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There’s No Place Like Home, Especially Now

A message from Freddi: The world is struggling right now to find its balance. Stepping into a grocery store or walking down a crowded street are activities for which we are told to mask up and keep our distance. No longer are we to hug our friends when we see them walking past or invite the neighborhood kids over to share lemonade and cookies.

In the early days when our forefathers were traveling out West, they would circle their wagons in the face of danger to create a protected and safe space within. We, too, have a “protected space” and it has never been more sacred for our peace of mind and security. That place is home.

Whether you live in a condo, cabin or sprawling mansion, home is our safe haven. As we are asked to work and teach our children from home, we are seeing this crazy surge in our Flagstaff real estate market. Some say it is because of the extraordinarily low interest rates, but my take – after 44 years of experiencing every real estate swing, both up and down – is that we are all realizing that home is so much more than a place to rest our heads at night.

As real estate partners, Valerie and I merge our unique lives, which gives us the combined experience to guide our buyers and sellers to find their own sense of place.
The values so many of us grew up with are the rituals that have been lost in technology, the shuffle of carpools, workouts, afterschool activities and rushing off to the office daily.

My observation of the “new normal” for our team at home looks like this: Valerie and her husband, Brodie, have two high-energy girls, Victoria and Charlotte, who love their school, swim team, dance classes and all the chaos included with the addition of a new puppy. Vacation homes and puppies are definitely a trend we are seeing. This is certainly not a quiet environment for working from home, but the Cores’ household is now an all-purpose facility for everyone’s home activities.

Valerie has set up a great home office that provides space for home school and real estate. The family’s walkout basement has proven vital in the “new normal.” Valerie and Brodie have shifted to workouts on the Peloton and the girls enjoy Zoom dance parties, dryland workouts with the swim team and remote dance instruction. Family walks, firepit nights and bike rides have become part of the daily routine, as have family dinners. Yes, family dinners, where everyone sits down at the table at the same time to interact with each other. What a concept!!!

For me, this is the first year Terry and I have really gotten to enjoy the fruits of almost 20 years of cultivating our backyard. My mornings consist of a Zoom workout with my friends – whom I dearly miss – followed by a shower, coffee and a real sit-down breakfast. I throw on my sweats, occasionally I will comb my hair, and adjourn to my back deck office. Serenaded by birds and surrounded by my flowers, I dive into my computer to find that elusive home for my clients or join a Zoom call with my team.

And that brings us back to the topic at hand, real estate.


A message from Valerie: Mortgage rates are at a historic low. With no rate hikes, along with the continued purchase of mortgage-backed securities, a 30-year-fixed rate could stay near 3%, or record lows, according to National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

This means the typical house is no more expensive to own than it was 15 years ago. Because of the low rates, your purchase power is equal to a monthly payment made in 2005. As a result, our luxury-home market activity is extremely brisk. As pandemic fears subside, and many well-heeled buyers flee denser populated areas, we are seeing the surge of homebuyers coming from the Phoenix-metropolitan area in search of the Flagstaff lifestyle.

And there is another interesting dynamic we have been observing. Staying home has caused many to realize they do not like their house and aspire to a better-suited place to call home in this new reality. It certainly will be interesting to watch this play out. Our phone is ringing.

Meanwhile, as Arizona is an affordable western sun state, it’s no mystery why people want to move here. We expect the in-migration trend to continue to flood Arizona, supporting the notion that demand is exceeding supply as New York, California, Illinois and South Dakota have some of the higher outbound rates. The largest part of Flagstaff’s appeal is that it resides at the intersection where climate and other quality-of-life opportunities come together to create a happy work/life balance.

Now, more than ever, there’s no place like home when we’re spending so much of our time there for work, school, play and relaxation. With our money going further in the current real estate market, our team is diligently working to find your “no place like home.” FBN

By Freddi Paulsrud and Valerie Core

Associate Brokers Freddi Paulsrud, Valerie Core and Licensed Assistant Nina Bedatsky are the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Team in downtown Flagstaff, 219 N. Humphreys St. Valerie 928-607-4344 or Freddi 928-853-3737 or email us at: freddi.paulsrud@russlyon.com  or valerie.core@russlyon.


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