Real Estate Market

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Market Update

Many parts of the Valley have finally returned to normal markets, with balanced supply and demand.  A normal market does not necessarily mean a market in great shape.  There is a normal level of loan delinquency, little distress, no shadow inventory to speak of, investors are not dominating the market and many (but certainly not all) homeowners are feeling good that they have some equity in their home again.

But, given the higher prices, interest rates that seem to be on the rise, media scare stories and the recent government shutdown, many buyers are choosing to stay out of the market and demand essentially collapsed.  Expect significantly fewer sales in the 4th quarter of 2013 compared the same time last year.

All this is great news for the buyers who are still in the market or for those buyers who have been sitting the fence.  Offers are getting serious respect at last and the upward pressure on pricing is dissipating extremely fast.

NOW, for a WEST VALLEY Snapshot:  Pending sales are down 31% compared with a year ago, continuing a trend in weaker demand that started in July.  At 2.9 months of supply, we are still well below normal, but we may reach a balanced market by Mid-December.

Contact me today for more information about accessing the most up-to-date data for your specific area.  I can be reached at 623-322-8588 and


How Safe is Free Public WiFi?

This seems to be a topic of renewed interest lately - how safe is that free WiFi at your favorite coffee shop, the airport, or restaurants?  The short answer is: It's not really safe at all, but that usually shouldn't matter!

While it's very convenient to have high-speed WiFi access provided for your laptop or smartphone while you're frequenting a favorite establishment, doing any serious work with it is really no different that if you were to bring all of your tax and income documents from home, spread them out on the table, and plug away at your 1040.  It's not particularly likely that someone  would go to the effort of snooping personal information from your sprawled paperwork for nefarious purposed, but it's still not a good idea.

Even when the WiFi Hotspot you're using has basic security enabled (a WEP or WPA password required to join it for instance). it's still very easy for someone with criminal intent sitting at another table to observe all the data you're sending and receiving over the air.  Most banking and finance websites encrypt all the traffic to their sites, and even Gmail has now turned encryption on by default when accessing their webmail client (can some other providers at least make it an option though you still have to find it and enable it yourself), so once you're signed in it's relatively safe.  However, most email providers and programs still send all of the information in the clear.

Checking your email with an email client application (Apple Mail, Google, etc.) is one of the biggest potential security holes, because even if the mail provider uses secure connection by default when logging in with webmail, the server settings for the mail program my not.  Cox, for instance, until recently always had their default mail program setup instructions skipping over the secure connection options and still does not require that they're used even though they do support them when they're switched on.  It would be a good idea to check your settings to make sure SSL or TLS is enabled (usually just a checkbox somewhere) for both the incoming and outgoing server, and inquire with your mail provider as to what the proper setting are to enable them if not.

If you find yourself frequently relying on network connections with questionable security, there is something else you can do to ease your mind:  use a VPN.  A VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection is a securely encrypted tunnel established from your computer to a remote server that all of your data is sent through on top of the open, unsecured network.  Think of it like talking to a friend with code words only the two of you know: others in the room might be able to hear you speaking, but they won't be able to understand what it is you're saying.  When using a VPN, even things like the unencrypted email client traffic will be sent over the secure channel (at least on your end where it's most likely to be snooped on). Most often a VPN is provided by employers for remote employees to secure company data, but you can purchase VPN service from a number of providers for only a few dollars a month. A few to check out if you're interested,, and

So, is it highly probable that you'll be the victim of identify theft if you decide to pay a few bills online while grabbing your morning latte?  NO.  Is it still a good idea to err on the side of caution and either add some extra security of your own or limit your online activities there when possible? ABSOLUTELY!

Call Joe - 623-322-8588 or 



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Contact Information

Photo of Joe Bourland, PC Real Estate
Joe Bourland, PC
RE/MAX Professionals
10320 W. McDowell Road, Suite B2005
Avondale AZ 85392
Fax: 623-505-4222

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