While home buyers are busy angling for the right purchase in the dynamic Valley real estate market, another trend is focused on the West Valley — buying second homes here.
Hippo, an insurance company based in Palo Alto, California, issued an industry report on the top U.S. cities for a second home. The metrics (“low median housing prices, relatively low property crime rates and high walkability scores and comfort indexes”) point to Glendale as the No. 4-ranked U.S. city overall, and first in Arizona.
In the “best Western cities to buy a second home” category, Glendale came it at No. 1, edging out destinations including Riverside, California; Bakersfield, California; North Las Vegas, Nevada; and Boise, Idaho.
“A northwestern suburb of Phoenix, Glendale has secured the top spot in the Western region due to its affordable home insurance premiums, high property value growth rate and walkability rating,” the study quoted, adding that Glendale shows a property value gain of 229.86% over the last 10 years. “But outside of the numbers, Glendale draws people in with its fun attractions.’”
The study was conducted in August, and Hippo notes that the methodology to identify the top cities to buy a vacation home pulled data sets for the top 100 most populous cities in the U.S. to measure average cost of home insurance, average cost of a home, property value gain over 10 years, comfort index, cost of living, percentage of people who own their homes, property crime-burglary, and walkability.
The Valley as a whole for decades has certainly been a haven for winter visitors, aka “snowbirds,” to retire to the warmer climate with a second home while keeping a residence in their home state. But warm-weather chasing second-home buyers aren’t just retirees anymore, says RE/MAX Fine Properties partner Melissa Dierks.
“We’re seeing more and more of that, not just in our senior community but we’re seeing that just in general,” notes Dierks (firstname.lastname@example.org, 623-229-0154), whose company recently opened a new office in Peoria to focus more on Glendale and the West Valley. “Especially with people working from home now. People are literally saying, ‘I’ll go to warmer weather.’”
She is also seeing more clients buying up second homes to turn into rentals in a thriving market.
“People have so much equity in their homes at this point, I know people who are taking the equity and buying rental property,” reported Dierks, who has been with RE/MAX in Arizona for 11 years. “People are paying off debt, they’re refinancing, their debt-to-income ratio then becomes smaller, and they can go and possibly purchase another home to add to their wealth portfolio.”
As for the specific appeal to do so in Glendale, Dierks simply says, “the median price.” While other Valley properties are hovering in the $290-300 per-square-foot price, she notes that Glendale’s city-wide median square foot price is $242, as of Nov. 28. The city, quite simply she notes, offers second-home buyers more bang for their buck.
“And they are centrally located,” she added.
Hippo Study: Click here.