Arizona Mortgage & Real Estate News

Arizona Mortgage Limits Increased in January 2018. Following are the maximum loan amounts for FHA & Conventional Home Loans in AZ:

  • FHA Maximum Mortgage Limits Increased to $294,515
  • Conventional Loans Limits Increased to $453,100 
  • Jumbo Loans Required for Loan Amounts Greater Than $453,101
For questions about your Az Mortgage Loan, Contact Local AZ Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein at Arizona Central Mortgage : (480) 424-7144 ~ 

Posted by Steve Bernstein on January 16th, 2018 2:36 PM
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The number of Homes Sold in Arizona in October 2017 was 7,268. The Median Sales Price was $245,000. The Average Sales Price was $295,800. The Average Days on Market to sell an AZ Home was 67. There are currently 23,069 Homes available For Sale in Arizona, 3.17 months of inventory. The number of Residential Rental Properties listed for rent was 2,158. The Median Rent was $1,350 per month, and an Average Rent was $1,537. This data was provided by Arizona Multiple Listing ServiceARMLS.

According The World Population Review, Arizona is the 5th largest State by area, but the 14th largest State by population. The current AZ population equals 7,044,577, reflecting a 1.64% annual increase. The population in Maricopa County AZ is currently 4.1 Million, according to the 
World Population Review.

Median Home Prices For Arizona Homes By City
Provided by Zillow Sep. 30, 2017


Phoenix Residential Housing Starts Y/Y 2017 Q3

Provided by

Current Residential Real Estate Statistics November 2017
Per Trulia


Median Sales Price


Price Per Sqft


Median Rent Per Month

Arizona Population Breakdown By Race
Per World Population Review 2017
Black or African American330,4674.84%
American Indian and Alaska Native362,9685.32%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander18,1660.27%
Two or More Races186,5862.73%
Employment Data Phoenix Metro 2017
Phoenix Employment Data Provided by Colliers International

Employment growth in Greater Phoenix is expanding, but at a more modest pace than in recent years. During the past 12 months, employers have expanded payrolls by 1.7 percent, adding 34,300 net new jobs. This represents a slowdown from earlier periods. One year ago, employers were adding workers at a 3.7 percent annual pace. 

One sector that is growing at a much more conservative pace is professional and business services. A year ago at this time, more than 17,000 professional jobs had been added to this sector. Year over year through the third quarter of 2017, only 3,000 jobs have been added, at a growth rate of 0.9 percent. 

The retail segment has also been a slight drag on the market. Over the past year, retail employment has contracted by 300 jobs, a dip of 0.1 percent, though the outlook has brightened heading into the holiday shopping season. Retailers Panda Express and Sprouts together will add 800 jobs as new stores open. 

Multifamily Investment Property Trends
Phoenix Employment Data Provided by Colliers International

According to a Colliers International research, sales of apartment buildings increased by 3% from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2017. Year to date, sales are down 7% from the same period in 2016. Following a spike in the second quarter of 2017, the median price during the third quarter rose another 8 percent to $125,800 per unit. The median price year to date is $106,000 per unit, up from $103,900 per unit in 2016. Cap rates also ticked lower during the third quarter of 2017, averaging 5.4%. For the full year, cap rates have averaged 5.7%, nearly identical to the 2016 average. With investor demand healthy, cap rates will likely remain near current ranges.

Home Price Index

The Freddie Mac House Price Index (FMHPISM) provides a measure of typical price inflation for houses within the United States. Values are calculated monthly and released at the end of the following quarter. For example, the FMHPI for October, November and December are published in late February of the following year. Series are available at three levels of geographical aggregation: Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state, and national. All series begin in January 1975. The national index is defined as a weighted average of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. indices. The FMHPI is based on an ever expanding database of loans purchased by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

Opinions, estimates, forecasts and other views contained in this document are those of Freddie Mac's Economic & Housing Research group, do not necessarily represent the views of Freddie Mac or its management, should not be construed as indicating Freddie Mac's business prospects or expected results, and are subject to change without notice. Although the Economic & Housing Research group attempts to provide reliable, useful information, it does not guarantee that the information is accurate, current or suitable for any particular purpose. The information is therefore provided on an “as is” basis, with no warranties of any kind whatsoever. Information from this document may be used with proper attribution. Alteration of this document is strictly prohibited. ©2017 by Freddie Mac.

Arizona County Websites
For property tax and specific County information please click thru to the following Arizona County Websites:

About Arizona's Counties Learn about each of Arizona's counties, meet their elected officials, and see the career opportunities currently available in each county: 

If there is additional Arizona Real Estate information that you would like to see added to this report in the future, please email or call me directly. If you have a specific question about financing residential real estate in Arizona, please call or email me directly: (480) 424-7144,
Posted by Steve Bernstein on December 2nd, 2017 2:19 PM

National Association of Realtors recently concluded that the Tax Cut Bill is actually a tax increase on the Middle Class of approximately $815 per year. They also concluded that Home Values will Decrease by 10%, if the proposed tax cut legislation passes. NAR's Conclusion Is Based On Two Variables:
1. Tax Reform will wipe out the interest deduction on Second Homes and Second Mortgage Loans.

2. Tax Reform will 
eliminate the need to write off Mortgage Interest and Property Taxes, thereby removing one of the major benefits of Buying and owning a  Home.

Their logic is that by increasing the Standard deduction, and by eliminating the State Income Tax deduction, fewer people will benefit from itemizing tax deductions, thereby reducing one of the major benefits of Home Ownership.

1) Tax Deductible Mortgage Interest & Property Taxes
2) Property Appreciation
3) Mortgage Loan Amortization
4) Pride In Ownership

For additional information about homeownership and mortgage financing in Arizona, Contact Local AZ Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein & Save: (480) 424-7144,, 

Posted by Steve Bernstein on November 7th, 2017 4:23 PM
Steve Bernstein - Just How Much Could The Tax Plan Affect Housing?
Just How Much Could The Tax Plan Affect Housing?

The GOP tax bill dominated news headlines this week, especially after its official announcement on Thursday. The housing industry was quick to lambaste several of the provisions as having massively negative impacts.

I won't get into a judgment of bill's pros and cons (though Homebuilders and Realtors are happy to oblige), but I can offer some perspective that may help address the question of housing market fallout.

First thing's first: we have no idea what the housing market fallout will be yet because this bill is still just a bill (and yes, it is likely "sitting there on Capitol Hill").  Unlike the charismatic little cartoon, this particular bill isn't going to serve as a shining example of the legislative process.  It is a starting point... a rough draft.  Some of the deepest lobbying pockets will certainly see to that and few are deeper than the National Association of Realtors'.  

By the time we add the lobbying efforts of Builders and Mortgage Bankers to the mix, there is already a lot of resistance to what many see as the bill's most notable feature: a change of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) limit to $500k from $1 million. 

The MID has long been considered sacred with respect to tax code.  It was one of the few interest deductions that successfully evaded the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  That made comments from Jerry Howard, CEO of National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) all the more interesting.  Howard likened the possible effects of the current bill to the 1986 legislation, saying "after that tax bill passed, there was a significant housing recession."  He also noted that it would jeopardize homeownership for millions of families.

There's some truth to some of this, but to whatever extent 1986 continues to be used as a talking point for the current tax bill, it's worthwhile to brush up on historical facts.  

It's true that construction numbers dropped after the 1986 tax bill, but not because homeowners were any less able to deduct mortgage interest.  The Tax Reform Act of 1986 actually marked a shift in tax policy in favor of individual homeowners at the expense of landlords, developers, and builders.  Homeownership actually didn't change much during that time, but the nature of borrowing money changed in a major way.

2017-11-3 NL1

With the Savings and Loan crisis blossoming at the same time that builders were losing valuable tax incentives, it's no surprise that construction declined, but it was the multi-family sector that did the most damage.

2017-11-3 NL6

This time around, the tax changes that pertain to borrowing money pale in comparison to the mass extinction of almost all interest deductions seen in 1986.  But unlike 1986, the current tax bill would indeed limit the mortgage interest and property tax deductions for many homeowners on their primary residences.  

Whether or not it would impact homeowners in such a way that cripples the housing market remains to be seen.  There's been growing consensus over the years that the MID isn't as critical to homeownership as once thought.  Homebuilders were even ready to agree before changing their tune last weekend.  But that doesn't mean capping the MID won't hurt.

Perhaps the most insidious and least-intended side effect would be to discourage owners of homes with mortgages well over $500k from moving (all existing mortgages as of November 2nd would be grandfathered with no deduction cap, even if after future refinances).  That would put additional pressure on a housing inventory situation that's already precarious, to say the least.  

Apart from tax bill drama, there were actually a few other pieces of news this week!  Many of the stories are linked below, but a notable highlight is yet another stellar home price report, this time from S&P/Case-Shiller.  The Case-Shiller Index (20-city) has had an uncanny run of ultra-stable year-over-year appreciation.  It rose to 5.9% this month.

2017-11-3 NL2

For a week with plenty of potential motivation, interest rates weren't too volatile.  Mortgage rates fell to the lowest levels in more than 2 weeks, but they did so gradually.  In the bigger picture, rates are near the middle of 2017's range and haven't moved much recently (based on 10yr Treasury yields--the best benchmark for long-term rate momentum).

But shorter-term rates are a different story.  They continue rising because they're more closely-tied to Fed rate hike expectations.  In fact, as of this week, the gap between 2 and 10yr Treasury yields was as narrow as it's been since before the Financial Crisis.  

2017-11-3 NL4

Why does that matter?  It may not matter too much just yet, but if this trend continues, economists will quickly remind us that when this spread gets too narrow, recessions often follow.  Here's a much longer-term view of the same 2yr/10yr spread with the last 3 major recessions highlighted.  In all 3 cases, the spread went below zero (i.e. 2yr rates were higher than 10yr rates) just before the recessions became official.

2017-11-3 NL3

Recently Released Economic Data

Time Event Actual Forecast Prior
Monday, Oct 30
8:30 Sep Core PCE (y/y) (%) +1.3 1.3
8:30 Sep Personal Income (%) +0.4 0.4 0.2
8:30 Sep Consumer Spending (Consumption) (%) +1.0 0.8 0.1
Tuesday, Oct 31
9:00 Aug CaseShiller 20 yy (% ) +5.9 6.0 5.8
9:45 Oct Chicago PMI 66.2 61.0 65.2
10:00 Oct Consumer confidence 125.9 121.0 119.8
Wednesday, Nov 01
8:15 Oct ADP National Employment (k) 235.0 200 135
10:00 Oct ISM Manufacturing PMI 58.7 59.5 60.8
10:00 Sep Construction spending (%) +0.3 0.0 0.5
14:00 N/A FOMC rate decision (%) 1.000 - 1.250 1.125 1.125
Thursday, Nov 02
8:30 Q3 Productivity Preliminary (%) +3.0 2.4 1.5
8:30 Q3 Labor Costs Preliminary (%) +0.5 0.5 0.2
8:30 w/e Jobless Claims (k) 235 233
Friday, Nov 03
8:30 Oct Non-farm payrolls (k) +261 310 -33
8:30 Sep Private Payrolls (k) 83 165
8:30 Oct Unemployment rate mm (%) 4.2
10:00 Oct ISM N-Mfg PMI 60.1 58.5 59.8
10:00 Sep Factory orders mm (%) 1.2

Upcoming Economic Data

Time Event Forecast Prior
Tuesday, Nov 07
13:00 3-Yr Note Auction (bl) 24
Wednesday, Nov 08
7:00 w/e Mortgage Market Index 389.8
13:00 10-yr Note Auction (bl) 23
Thursday, Nov 09
10:00 Sep Wholesale inventories mm (%) 0.3 0.3
13:00 30-Yr Bond Auction (bl) 15
Friday, Nov 10
10:00 Nov Consumer Sentiment 100.9 100.7

Event Importance:
No Stars = Insignificant   |   Low   |   Moderate   |   Important   |   Very Important

Around the Web

Posted by Steve Bernstein on November 3rd, 2017 4:35 PM

The Fall season is upon us, and so are our AZ Property Tax Bills. For Homeowners in Arizona who don't escrow their property taxes, following are the websites to pay your property tax bills online in Maricopa County AZ, Pima County AZ and Pinal County AZ:   

Maricopa County Property Tax Due Dates:
The first half of 2017 property taxes are due Sunday, October 01, 2017, and delinquent after Wednesday, November 01, 2017. If you miss the first half payment date you may pay the full year amount by December 31 without incurring interest. You can Search For Your Maricopa County AZ Property Address and Parcel Number at: - Then click on your APN at the top left of the page, and click on the View/Pay Tax Bill Tab. If you know your AZ Property Parcel Number, go directly to one of the following pages, to pay your AZ Property Taxes: 

Pay Your Maricopa County AZ Property Taxes:

Pima County Arizona Property Taxes can be paid at: 

Pima County Arizona Property Tax Due Dates:

Pinal County Arizona
 Property Taxes can be paid at:

Pinal County AZ Property Tax Due Dates:

Information provided by Local Arizona Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein : Arizona Central Mortgage : : (480) 424-7144,  AZ MB 0933140. 

Posted by Steve Bernstein on October 31st, 2017 8:00 PM


How Much Home Can You Afford?

Want to know how much home you can qualify for, What's the maximum mortgage amount you can get approved, How much the down payment will be, How much your monthly mortgage payment will cost? -- You've definitely come to the right place! 

Arizona Central Mortgage is owned and operated by Steve Bernstein, who has originated, processed, underwritten and closed nearly $1 Billion in Arizona Home Loans over the past 25 years. Steve has assisted aspiring and existing AZ Homeowners qualify for, and close The Best Conventional, Jumbo & Government Home Loans In AZ. If you would also like to get Pre-Qualified, or Pre-Approved for Your AZ Mortgage Loan, Give Us A Call Today & SAVE (480) 424-7144.

How Much Loan Can You Qualify For?

There are three primary factors that determine how large a mortgage loan you can qualify for:

  • Credit Score - Typically a 620 middle Fico score is required for a Conventional mortgage, but there are also low down payment mortgage loans that permit a 580 middle credit score. Conventional Loans require a 4 year waiting period after Bankruptcy discharge and 7 years after Foreclosure, while Government Insured Home Loans typically only require a 2 year waiting period after a Bankruptcy, and 3 years after a Foreclosure. Note, exceptions to these rules are few and far between, regardless of whether there was a divorce, job loss, or financial mismanagement.
  • Down Payment - Depending on your middle credit score, there are AZ mortgage loans that permit down payments as low as 1% down, 3% down, 3.5% down, and on up from there. Veterans & Active Military are often eligible for 0% Down VA Home Loans. 
  • Debt Income Ratio - Depending on the loan program you select, your total monthly debt obligations cannot exceed 43%, 45%, or 50% of your gross monthly underwritable income. Note, Arizona is a community property state, so a Non-borrowing spouse' debt obligations are used when calculating your debt to income ratio.

If you would like to determine how much home, and how big a loan you can qualify for in Arizona, give us a call now to determine the Maximum Purchase Price and Home Mortgage Loan You Can Qualify For: (480) 424-7144

How Much Will The Down Payment Be?   

The lowest down payment mortgage loan in Arizona is determined by your middle credit score. The 1% down payment loan requires a 720 middle credit score, while the 3% down payment loan requires a 620 middle credit score. There is also a 3.5% down payment mortgage loan that only requires requires a 580 credit score. These are the minimum required scores, and may require compensating factors for loan approval. Following are some of the  Compensating Factors underwriters consider when approving your Home Mortgage Loan:

  • Long-term Job Stability
  • Post Close Reserves 
  • Light User of Consumer Debt
  • Additional Income Not Used In Debt/Income Ratio
  • Minimal Increase in Monthly Housing Payment
  • Tax Free Income Like Social Security or Child Support
  • Strong Residual Income Exceeding 20% of Requirement
Acceptable Down Payment Funds are required to be sourced and seasoned for at least 60 days. Cash on hand aka "mattress money," is not an acceptable source of funds for your mortgage down payment and/or closing costs & reserves. Following are acceptable sources of funds for your down payment, closing costs, and post close reserves:

  • Checking & Savings Accounts
  • Liquid Investment Accounts Minus Capital Gains Taxes
  • Vested Retirement Accounts Minus 401K Loans - 60% of Balance For Reserves
  • Documented Gift Funds From A Direct Family Member
  • Funds From Sale of Prior Real Estate
  • Rental Security Deposit Refund, If Paper-Trailed
  • Sale of Personal Property via Bill of Sale & Cancelled Check

How Much Will The Monthly Mortgage Payment Cost?

Your mortgage payment is calculated based on your Loan AmountLoan Term and Mortgage Rate. Your mortgage payment also includes 1/12th of your County Property Taxes, and 1/12th of your Annual Home Owner's Insurance Policy Premium. Additionally, if you put less than 20% down when purchasing your AZ Home using a Conventional Mortgage Loan, then Monthly Mortgage Insurance will also be included in your monthly mortgage payment. 

FHA Mortgage Loans always require monthly mortgage insurance, but there are some Conventional mortgage loans that do not require monthly mortgage insurance. If you are interest in removing your monthly mortgage insurance, than lender paid mortgage insurance options are often available, but typically cost .375% higher in mortgage rate. The Following variables are used to calculate your total monthly mortgage payment:

  • Principal & Interest Payment - Either use our mortgage payment calculator to calculate your monthly mortgage payment, or use the following rules of thumb:(Divide Your Expected Mortgage Loan Amount / 1,000 and then multiply that figure x $4.77 = Estimated Monthly Principle & Interest Mortgage Payment. 
  • County Property Taxes - Search your County Assessors website for a particular property annual tax bill and divide by 12 months. Otherwise estimate the property taxes as follows: (Purchase Price x .0078% / 12 months = Estimated Monthly Property Taxes. (Maricopa County Property SearchPima County Property Search)
  • Homeowner's Insurance - Estimate your homeowner's insurance as follows: (Home Price x .0035% / 12 months) = Estimated Monthly Hazard Insurance Payment.
  • Monthly Mortgage Insurance - Monthly mortgage insurance is very difficult to calculate, as it is based on your specific loan program, loan to value, and credit score. In general you can estimate your monthly mortgage insurance payment as follows: (Mortgage Loan Amount x .0085% / 12 months) = Estimated Monthly Mortgage Payment.   

If you would like to calculate your approximate monthly mortgage payment, we provide plenty of Mortgage Calculators for calculating your monthly mortgage payment, income tax savings, rent versus own analysis, and many other useful mortgage calculators. If you prefer to have us walk you thru your specific mortgage calculations, give us a call now, and we will walk you thru the figures. (480) 424-7144

What Are The Closing Costs?      

Mortgage Closing Costs are added to your down payment, and your mortgage escrow account, to determine your Total Cash Required To Close. The Property Seller will also pay separate title insurance and escrow fees. But Home Buyers are responsible for most of the closing costs related to Buying a Home in Arizona. 

Following is a list of Closing Costs typically paid by an AZ Homebuyer. These Buyer costs can also be paid by the Home Seller, but "Seller Paid Buyer Costs," will need to be negotiated in writing thru your Arizona Residential Real Estate Contract. Note, some Buyer Paid Closing Costs can also be paid by the Lender. Give us a call now to discuss Lender Paid Closing Costs(480) 424-7144

Bank Closing Costs

  • Appraisal Report - Typically $470 to $750 depending on the loan program and price of the home
  • Credit Report - $35 per borrower for a 3 bureau scored credit report. Additional fees may apply when supplementing the original credit report with a landlord reference, updated mortgage rating, or adverse credit accounts that have been recently paid off. 
  • Flood Certification Fee - $15 is a 3rd party fee charged to verify if property is located in a flood zone  
  • Tax Service Fee - $45 is a 3rd party fee required to obtain tax transcripts thru the IRS and administer property tax payments over the term of your loan 
  • Underwriting Fee - $899 is a typical underwriting fee charged by a bank for underwriting your loan  
  • Processing / Administrative Fees - $45 is a cover all fee banks charge to cover misc. admin costs

Title & Escrow Company Costs

  • Title Insurance - Title company fees vary by title company, property type, and loan amount. Title companies file their fee schedules with the State of Arizona thru AZDFI. Title Insurance charges typically range from $699 to $1,020.  
  • Escrow Fees - Escrow fees are typically split between the home buyer and home seller, and cost $375 to $650, based on the title company used and the size of your loan 
  • Recording Fees - Recording fees $34, are charged by the Title Company for the cost of recording your mortgage Note and Deed of Trust, at the County Recorders Office.
  • Title Endorsements Fees (EPA, ARM, PUD, CONDO) - Title companies charge endorsement fees for adding additional title insurance coverage to their standard coverage. These endorsements range from $25 to $75 per endorsement.   
  • Courier or Overnight Delivery Fees - Courier fees of $35 are often charged by the Title Company for transporting loan documents from their office to the signing, and then back to the office, to be sent to the lender for funding, and then to the County for recording.  
  • Closing Protection Letter (CPL) - Lenders usually require a Title company to provide a CPL fee of $25 to indemnify the lender for actual losses caused by certain kinds of misconduct by the closing agent.

What About The Escrow Account?           

Most Arizona Mortgage Loans Require An Escrow Account Property Taxes, Homeowner's Insurance and Flood Insurance, if required. The escrow account also includes prorated interest from the day you close escrow, until the end of the month. For example, if you close on the 20th of the month, there will be 10 or 11 days of prorated interest due. If you close on the 10th of the month, there will be 20 or 21 days of prorated interest due except if your closing date is in the month of February.

An escrow account is setup by a mortgage lender to ensure your property taxes and homeowner's insurance are paid when due. Following is an example of escrow charges that will be collected by your Title Company's Escrow Officer, when you close your purchase or refinance loan in Arizona:

  • Homeowner's Insurance Policy - You will select and negotiate with the homeowner's insurance company who will insure your property should damage occur. Hazard Insurance policies typically cost between $750 to $1,200 per year. You will be required to pay for your 12 month insurance policy at closing, plus two months' insurance will be collected for your escrow account. Then you will pay 1/12th of the cost of your annual homeowners insurance bill, as part of your monthly mortgage payment. That way you will have 12 months of homeowner's insurance plus a 2 month cushion when your insurance is due 12 months after you close on your new home.    
  • Property Taxes - Property taxes are also collected and placed in your escrow account, when you buy a home in Arizona. Lenders will collect the the equivalent of 3 to 4 months of property taxes, so that your escrow account will have the 6 months property taxes, plus a two month cushion, each time your semi-annual property tax bill becomes due. To review a specific semi-annual property tax bill, visit the County Recorders Office online, or in person.   
  • Aggregate Adjustment - There is also a small aggregate adjustment that is calculated by the bank computer system. The aggregate is a small credit that will be subtracted from your total escrow account due, based on the congressional legislation.

What's The Next Step    

Pick up the phone and call Arizona Central Mortgage Now (480) 424-7144. One of our mortgage specialists will help you determine which home loan is best for you. You will be asked a series of brief diagnostic questions about your debt, credit income and savings, that will determine what mortgage options will help you to best accomplish your AZ home buying needs. Then you will receive a mortgage prequalification letter that will strengthen your home-buyer negotiating position, when purchasing your AZ Home.

If you are already shopping for an AZ Home, we can also assist you with a fast, automated preliminary mortgage approval for a Conventional, FHA, or VA Home Loan. The preliminary approval process will require the following financial documentation:

1. 30 days recent consecutive pay stubs
2. 2015 & 2016 W2's, 1099's or K1's
3. 2 most recent consecutive bank statements all pages
4. 1 quarterly retirement or investment account statement if applicable
5. Current award letter if using social security or disability income
6. Tax returns w/ all schedules, if using self employment or commission income 
7. $35.00 credit card authorization for 3 bureau scored mortgage credit report

We then run your preliminary mortgage approval thru our FNMA, FHLMC, FHA or VA automated underwriting engine, which will take 24 hours or less, from the time you provide your financial documentation. Then you will receive your written preliminary mortgage loan approval letter, or we will call you to review additional items required to procure your preliminary mortgage approval.

Once you have an approved Home Purchase Contract, we will update your loan application and miscellaneous disclosure forms, and quickly move your file to underwriting, for your complete underwritten mortgage approval. At that point, the underwriter will likely have a couple of questions and/or additional requests. We will work with you closely throughout the mortgage approval process, to ensure your Home Loan is approved quickly and efficiently.

Why Arizona Central Mortgage?         

Arizona Central Mortgage Provides Low Mortgage Rates For Buying, Refinancing or Taking Cash Out of Your AZ Home. We offer a complete menu of Arizona Mortgage Loans, including: Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA & First Time Homebuyer Loans. Following are a few of the Value Added Mortgage Benefits We Provide: 

Posted by Steve Bernstein on October 1st, 2017 11:03 AM

The July 2017 Residential Real Estate Figures are out for Maricopa County Arizona, and we are definitely in a Seller's Market. This means the Demand for AZ Homes, far exceeds the Supply of Available AZ Homes For Sale. This Arizona Home Inventory Shortage is due to the following Market Conditions & Statistics.


  1. The Cost of Land has Increased in Arizona to the point where Residential Home Builders in AZ cannot afford to build Lower Priced Homes.
  2. Mortgage Rates are still Very Low, but are approximately .50% to .75% above prior lows. So, AZ Home Sellers who plan to Buy Another Home, have to pay more per month just to maintain their current standard of living.
  3. The Population in Arizona Continues to Increase, so their are more Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials chasing Fewer AZ Homes For Sale. 
  4. AZ Rental Costs have been Steadily Increasing, due to the Lack of Affordable Rental Housing Inventory. 
For those Selling an AZ Home, and moving down, or moving to a more affordable geographic area, market conditions are excellent. For those Selling an AZ Home, and then Buying a more expensive AZ Home, payment shock is an issue, hence a 5/1 or 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage is becoming a more attractive home financing option. For those who are currently renting in Arizona, and who plan to buy their First AZ Home, the market is quite challenging, as there is currently a shortage of affordable housing available.

The Good News for First Time Homebuyers is that mortgage rates, and down payment requirements are relatively low. So, First Time Home Buyer's monthly mortgage payments are typically very similar to current rents.     

Following are Maricopa County AZ Residential Real Estate Figures that were used to support the assertions above.


  • New Home Listings July 2017: 7,696 vs. July 2016: 8,823 = -12.8%
  • Active Home Listings July 2017: 13,340 vs. July 2016: 21,172 = -37%
  • Avg Home Listing Price July 2017: $572,013 vs. July 2016: $444,644 = +28.6%
  • Median Listing Price July 2017: $355,975 vs. July 2016: $295,000 = +20.7%
  • Monthly Home Inventory July 2017: 1.6 vs. July 2016: 2.7 = -40.7%
  • Average Home Sales Price July 2017: $308,956 vs. July 2016: $284,192 = +8.7%
  • Median Home Sales Price July 2017: $254,000 vs. July 2016: $235,000 = +8.1%
  • Multifamily Apartment Rents in Phoenix, AZ have risen 8% in the past 12 months
  • Apartment Occupancy Rates in Phoenix, AZ metro area are approximately 95%
  • Maricopa County AZ Population is currently 4.2 Million, and is increasing by over 81,000 per year, or 222 people per day.

If you would like to Buy, Refinance, or Take Cash Out of Your AZ Home, and you want to Save More Time & Money, Call Local AZ Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein Today & SAVE: (480) 424-7144, Arizona Central Mortgage,, NMLS 1230169, Company NMLS 1443346, Equal Housing Lender.

Posted by Steve Bernstein on August 7th, 2017 1:24 AM


NEW homes sold in May 2017, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units, according to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is 2.9% above the revised April sales figure of 593,000 new homes sold, and 8.9% above the May 2016 estimate of 560,000 expected new home sales. Please realize these figures are for "NEW HOMES" only, and do not include existing home sales / resales for May 2017. Also the margin of error is higher than typical for the HUD and U.S. Census figures released.


The median sales price for NEW HOMES sold in May 2017 was $345,800 units, as compared to $406,400 for Existing Home Sales. The number of EXISTING / RESALE HOMES sold in May 2017, was 610,000 units, an annualized figure of 5.62 million homes expected to sell in 2017. Although we do not yet have the figures for Arizona, new homes and existing homes sold on the West Coast, were significantly higher than the national averages.


Buying An AZ Home & Want To Save $1,000? Contact Steve Bernstein Direct (480) 424-7144, Arizona Central Mortgage,
steveb@azcentralmortgage.comNMLS 1230169 / Co. NMLS 1443346


Posted by Steve Bernstein on June 23rd, 2017 3:41 PM

Fannie Mae released a few important updates today regarding Conventional Mortgage Loans! The changes will take affect July 29, 2017, and should help more Arizona Home-Buyers and Homeowners procure Conventional Mortgage Approval! 

1) Maximum Debt/Income Ratios - The maximum allowable debt-to-income ratio will be adjusted up to 50%. For DTIs above 45% and up to 50%, DU will no longer require, "certain additional compensating factors."

2) Adjustable Rate Mortgages - The new maximum allowable loan to value for adjustable-rate mortgages will be increased to mirror the LTV for fixed-rate mortgages.

3) Self-Employment Income - More Fannie Mae self employed borrowers will only be required to provide one year of personal and/or business tax returns vs. two years.

4. Timeshare Credit Reporting - Timeshare installment loans that are currently reported as mortgage debt and/or mortgage delinquencies will now be treated as an installment loan, and not a mortgage.

For additional questions regarding Buying, Refinancing, or Taking Cash Out of Your AZ Home, Contact Local AZ Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein To Save! (480) 424-7144 -, NMLS 1230169 / 1443346, Equal Housing Lender.

* Information provided by Arizona Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein (480) 424-7144 NMLS 1230169 / 1443346, and sourced thru Fannie Mae.
Posted by Steve Bernstein on May 31st, 2017 5:37 PM

 Arizona Credit Reporting Laws

Credit Scores determine Mortgage Rates in Arizona. The key to saving more money when Buying, Refinancing, or Taking Cash Out of an AZ Home is to maximize your three FICO credit scores. Many consumers use Credit Karma to monitor their credit, but the reality is, CK scores are not the same as FICO Credit Scores. In my experience the CK scores deviate from AZ Mortgage credit scores by 20 to 50 points per credit bureau. So the key is to talk to a mortgage loan expert who can run your actual credit scores, and then help you procure the best mortgage at the lowest possible interest rate. There are a couple of obvious, and not so obvious strategies used for increasing credit scores:

  • Pay all debt obligations on time
  • Do not apply for extra credit. Credit Inquiries result in credit score reductions
  • The more debt you pay off, the better your credit scores will be
  • Do not close old credit accounts. Older accounts demonstrate greater credit history
  • Do not pay off latent adverse credit accounts that have been inactive and recently unreported
  • It is better to build a diverse credit history ie., Installment, Revolving, Retail & Mortgage Debt 
  • Ask a Family member to add you to one or two credit accounts, so you can benefit from their good credit
  • If you have an unpaid collection or judgment, try to negotiate with the creditor to "Remove" the item from all three credit bureaus, in exchange for partial or full payment. Make sure you receive a written commitment stating that the creditor will remove the account from Transunion, Equifax & Experian 
  • When all else fails, write repeat letters to the three major credit bureaus requesting that they provide you with the legal documentation used for reporting a particular account, otherwise request that they remove the item from your credit report
  • Review National Consumer Assistance Plan updates and news about the the three major credit reporting bureaus:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act explains your consumer rights, and the credit reporting agencies responsibilities, when reporting your consumer credit in AZ. For each uncorrected error on your credit report, the credit bureaus are liable for $1,000. 

The point is that by paying your credit obligations on time, paying your balances down as quickly as possible, and holding the credit bureaus accountable for accurate credit reporting, you can maximize your credit scores, and save more time and money when Buying, Refinancing, or Taking Cash Out of Your AZ Home! 

You are also entitled by law to a Free Annual Credit Report showing exactly how Transunion, Equifax & Experian are currently reporting your credit. This is considered a "soft pull," and will not affect your FICO credit score. 

Steve Bernstein is a Mortgage Broker & Mortgage Credit Expert in Arizona for 22 years. If you are Buying, Refinancing, or Taking Cash Out of an AZ Home, Contact Your Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein to Help You Save More Time & Money! Phone: (480) 424-7144, Fax: 866-424-7176,,
Posted by Steve Bernstein on February 20th, 2017 10:57 PM

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