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Column: Finding a place to live in the Verde Valley is a process, don’t give up!

(Independent stock photo)

(Independent stock photo)

Since most of us aren’t millionaires and can afford the average home price of $1,346,944 in Sedona’s market, we tend to look other places to find suitable housing in the Verde Valley.

The problem is, with so few places available in local inventory, prices continue to skyrocket for those that are available, even in locations like Cornville, Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Clarkdale and so on.

But don’t worry, we’re not alone Verde Valley neighbors, it’s like this pretty much everywhere!

COVID-19 has really thrown the country for a loop when it comes to the housing market. Despite some of the lowest interest rates we may ever see in our lifetime when it comes to purchasing a new home, costs on the other hand continue to rise.

A recent report by the National Association of Realtors revealed that home prices have increased by 16.2% from 2020 to 2021, but a whopping 416% from 1980 to 2020.

So when my father paid $30,000 for my first childhood home in the mid-1980s, that means the same house today would go for nearly $125,000. And are there many $125,000 homes around these days? Nope. Just ask the Zillow Home Index, which shows that a typical home price in the U.S. is currently $293,349.

The National Association of Realtors study showed that in the second quarter of 2021, the median home price sale was $374,900.

Yikes.

So what if you’re not in the buyer’s market yet, and you, your family or someone you know want to rent?

A recent National Low Income Housing Coalition “Out of Reach” report revealed a full time minimum wage worker (in Arizona, that’s $12 per hour) can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment in any state. In any state!

In the same report, 93% of the same workers can’t afford a one-bedroom, either.

I’ll let that soak in for a minute.

In Arizona, workers would need to put in 73 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental. Excluding weekends, that’s 14.6 hours a day.

The report references the “affordability” of a home, or basically, a worker who shouldn’t be spending more than 30% of their income on rent. And to meet that requirement? Workers would need to make $24.90 per hour for a two-bedroom place, or $20.40 for a one bedroom.

So if you want to move into the Verde Valley area, what should you do? Here are a few property management places you can visit to aid in your search:

• Foothills Property Management, fpmsedona.com;

• Simply Rentals in Cottonwood, simplyrentalsaz.com;

• Sedona Property Management, sedonaverdevalley.net;

• Sedona Elite Properties, sedonaeliteproperties.com; and

• Coldwell Banker-Mabery, coldwellbanker.com/Coldwell-banker-mabery-real-estate.

A few tips I have off the top of my head would be:

• Get to know the agents, remember, they are there to help you!

• Ask about inventory they may have coming up in the next 30 to 60 days. You never know what you’ll find.

• Give them a good idea on what you’re looking for in a home, condo, or apartment.

• Fill out an application and have them keep it on file. Then, be sure to stay in touch with them.

It’s a painstaking process, but hopefully in the end, it will pay off!

Good hunting!

Follow Brian M. Bergner Jr. on Twitter and Facebook at @52MediaWorks. Email him at bbergner@verdenews.com, or call 928-634-2241, ext. 6033.

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