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Updated Jun 21, 2012 - 7:34 am

Tight Valley home market taking toll on first-time buyers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With a one-month supply of homes for sale in the Valley, it's definitely a seller's market.

First-time homebuyers are getting a rude awakening.

"They're getting crushed," said Valley real estate expert Dean Wegner. "They're not experienced homebuyers. They're entering thinking it's still actually a buyer's market, and you can offer 10 or 20 percent less, and wait a couple of days and the seller will get back to you. That's far from the case right now."

Wegner said that first-timers are getting beat out by investors and other cash buyers. For first-time homebuyers, this is a learning experience.

"What normally happens with first-time homebuyers is they make two or three offers, and they get rejected because they offer less than the asking price," said Wegner.

"Then they start offering the asking price. On about their 10th house, they realize they have to offer at least 10 percent more than the asking price, and then they get their house. They get a couple of black eyes until they figure out the game and end up buying a house."

Wegner's advice to first-time buyers is to be persistent.

"Look at lots of houses, make offers fast, and be realistic," he said. "It's OK if you're going to lowball the first couple of offers. You'll eventually learn what the game is like."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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