Welcome to our Great Southwest Show, episode #64 of Boroughs & Burbs. This week we have a tale of two cities which could not be more different, and yet they share a great deal in common.
First, there’s San Diego, known as “America’s Finest City” with its quintessentially southern California vibe. It’s a more laid-back environment, and a much more affordable market than L.A., attracting “billionaires in board shorts.” Blessed with the most temperate climate in the nation, averaging 65 degrees and sunny all year long, its a market bounded by the Pacific to the west, the ecologically-protected desert and mountains to the east, Camp Pendleton to the north and Mexico to the south. With these natural boundaries limiting development, and an economy long-dominated by the military presence in the area, is it any wonder that San Diego has been one of the most stable real-estate markets in the country? Greg tells me that they’ve been short of inventory for the last 30 years, something that most of the rest of us have been experiencing for the very first time. We’d like to understand who besides Alicia Keys is moving to San Diego and why?
We also have Scottsdale, Arizona, city of 250,000, long known as an incredible tourist destination but sometimes overshadowed by its sister city Phoenix. Like San Diego we see that tourism is now the second-largest industry in Scottsdale as the medical industry is on top. The median price of a home in swanky Pinnacle Peak is only $660,000. Prices have appreciated in Pinnacle Peak by only 10% this past year whereas in South Scottsdale they went up 30%. Taxes are not bad. The top income tax bracket is 4.5% and property taxes statewide average only .62%, significantly less than the nationwide average of 1.06% (compare to Connecticut at 2.13%, New Jersey at 2.49% and New York at 1.72%) Some of the questions we have for Nicole are who is moving into Scottsdale and why? With all of these medical facilities and golf courses can we still say this is a winter destination for retirees, or has Scottsdale evolved into a more balanced year-round community? Is Scottsdale still affordable, or is Arizona experiencing some of the terrific appreciation levels seen in Palm Beach, Boise, and Austin?
John Engel – John Engel can be found at http://www.JohnEngel.com. He is a consistently top-producing agent in Fairfield County, Connecticut. John recently won the Realtor of the Year Award in New Canaan where he is has been Chairman of the Town Council and is currently a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission. John also brings an insight into internet-based marketing that is unsurpassed. Before going into real estate he was the founder of two successful internet businesses, Paper.com and e-Media for which he won the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. John spent his earliest years in Stuyvesant Town in lower Manhattan and went to New Canaan High School before attending Davidson College in North Carolina. After graduating, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army and spent some time leading a military intelligence platoon on the front lines of the first Gulf War. He currently lives in New Canaan with his wife Melissa and four children. In addition to hosting this podcast on the market each week, John Engel produces an easy-to-understand and in-depth monthly market analysis called the Market Report for the 16 towns of lower Fairfield County.
Roberto Cabrera – Roberto can be found at http://www.RobertoCabrera.com. With 24 years of experience, I have been recognized throughout the industry for achieving outstanding results: Ranked nationally by REAL Trends as one of “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” for avg. sales price of $4.350M. Sold a single family Townhouse faster than any other on the Upper West Side over $10M. I live with my wife and daughter on the Upper West Side, the neighborhood I have called home for the past 23 years. I was originally born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up in Maryland, just one mile south of the Mason Dixon line. After graduating with a degree in Mathematical Economics from Hampden-Sydney College, the 10th oldest school in the country, I spent 5 years in Washington, DC working as a financial consultant. I also studied at The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and I’m a former actor who once moonlighted as a stand-up comedian. Many years ago, I authored APPLE PIE – The Real Ingredients for Buying and Selling Your Slice.