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Feb. 16, 2018

Will more Millennials buy Phoenix-area homes? It's what new home market needs to recover

Could Millennials be holding metro Phoenix’s new home market back from finally recovering?

Most of this huge generation of young adults haven’t bought homes yet, and the Valley’s home-building market still hasn’t recovered from the crash.  

Housing market watchers, including myself, have been a bit obsessed with where and how Millennials, born between the early 1980s and 2000s, live. That’s because, like the baby boomers, it’s a huge group that can shift and reshape growth.

Lower-than-normal new home sales

Although the Valley’s home-building market is on the mend and in 2017 had its best year in a decade, new home sales are at about at half of what they were during the pre-boom and bust years.

Millennials have, so far, been slow as a generation to take on a mortgage and a new house. But they've also faced some unique obstacles:

  • They hit the workforce during the Great Recession, and many had to move back in with their parents.
  • Far too many of the nation’s  almost 80 million Millennials are dealing with a record amount of student loan debt that’s keeping them from saving enough for a down payment to buy their own home.

(And we Gen-Xers thought we had it rough.)

But housing experts say that may be starting to change.

“New home sales have gone straight up over the past two years with 18,000 (in metro Phoenix) during 2017,” housing analyst Jim Belfiore recently told a crowd of more than 1,000 people tied to the real estate industry at his annual market update.  

And he predicted that number will continue to climb.

"Millennials waited and waited to buy, but we are finally starting to see this huge group come into the market," he said.

Student loan vs mortgage payments

Holding many Millennials back from buying is a monthly school loan payment often bigger than a mortgage payment.

“There’s tons of pent-up demand from Millennials who became frugal, stayed at home with mom and dad and worked on paying down student loan debt,” said Arizona economist Elliott Pollack at the forecast.

The monthly payments many Millennials owe on school loans would buy some pretty nice homes.

About $300,000 in student loan debt comes with a monthly bill of almost $3,200. That’s enough to pay the mortgage on a $666,000 house, according to Pollack.

The monthly payment on $100,000 in student loans is about $1,100, enough to pay a $222,000 mortgage. The Valley’s median home price is about $250,000.

About 55 percent of Millennials aren’t buying homes because of student loan debt, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That’s why Millennials are renting about six years longer than their parents.

But the oldest Millennials are in their early 30s now, and housing market watchers think they are getting ready to settle down, get married, have kids and buy a home.

'Millennials wait until they are ready'

“I am a contrarian about Millennials,” Sheryl Palmer, CEO of Scottsdale-based Taylor Morrison Home Corp. told the crowd at Belfiore’s forecast. “I see them getting married and having kids and buying homes.”

Taylor Morrison is one of the biggest home builders in Arizona and the nation.

Palmer said about 25 percent of Taylor Morrison’s buyers are Millennials, and many of those are moving up and buying their second home.

“Millennials wait until they are ready, and they process things differently,” she said. “But when they are ready, they move fast, and many are buying in the burbs in places like where they grew up.”

Ready to buy

Belfiore’s forecast is for new home building to climb again in metro Phoenix this year because more Millennials will buy.

I met a new neighbor Saturday, a Millennial father who was taking his six-year-old daughter around selling Girl Scout cookies. I couldn’t stop myself from asking him why he just bought.

“We were tired of renting and moving around,” he told me. 

I was so happy to hear that, I scrounged every dollar out of my wallet to buy more boxes of cookies.

Feb. 12, 2018

Home sellers are making huge profits. So why aren't more people selling?

 

Sellers profited about $54,000 on average at the end of 2017, according to Attom Data Solutions. That's a 10-year high and means sellers were bringing in an average return on investment of nearly 30%.

But selling a home in this market is the easy part. Finding a home to move into? Not so much.

A dismally low supply of homes on the market has made house 

hunting difficult in many cities. The lack of available homes has driven up prices, leading to bidding wars and homes selling for well above asking prices. While that's good news for sellers, it's bad news when they become buyers.

"It is fun and exciting to see a huge appreciation in your home," said Allie Howard, a Redfin real estate agent in Seattle. "But what scares [sellers] is not wanting to be stuck in a rental scenario when homes continue to appreciate and they get concerned they will be priced out."

West Coast home sellers have seen the largest gains, with those in San Jose, California, experiencing a 91% return on investment at the end of 2017. San Francisco home sellers saw a 73% return.

Seattle is also a booming market for real estate sales.

Nicole Rendahl recently sold her four-bedroom Seattle home for $400,000 more than she paid for it in 2008.

She purchased the home for $1,199,000 and just sold it for $1.6 million in November. The sale closed in seven weeks.

"It went through multiple price reductions before we purchased it," she recalled. "We were fortunate of the price reduction, we couldn't afford it when it was originally listed."

She and her family are now looking to upgrade, but they haven't been able to find the perfect house.

They recently lost a bidding war, but Rendahl is hopeful that more inventory will hit the market soon. Her goal is to find and move into a place by the end of the summer.

Owners are staying in their homes for a little more than eight years, on average. From 2000-2008, the average tenure was four years.

And new homes just aren't being built fast enough to keep up with demand. Only around one million new homes are currently hitting the market -- that's well below the historic norm of 1.5 million.

Not having a home to move into means more people are staying put, and that has ripple effects throughout the housing market.

"The longer home ownership tenure is a central piece to why the housing market is behaving as it is where home prices are rising fast and there is an inventory logjam," said Daren Blomquist, ‎senior vice president, communications at Attom.

Historically, buyers in starter homes tend to trade up after a few years to a bigger house -- frequently after starting a family. But if they can't find a home to move into, they will stay in the starter home longer. The lack of buyers trading up makes it particularly tough for first-time buyers to break into the market.

 

"It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. If builders built more homes, homeowners might move up, but because homeowners aren't moving up, the builders aren't seeing as much demand for new homes," said Blomquist.

Buyers may also be facing higher borrowing costs this year since interest rates are expected to rise.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 4.5% since January 2014. Higher mortgage rates could also keep homeowners in their homes longer if they purchased when rates were at historic lows.

"It impacts the affordability equation," said Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia.

Feb. 6, 2018

Startups Are Thriving in Phoenix

If a startup is looking for a place to dig in its roots and flourish, that place is Greater Phoenix. There’s no other city in the nation full of more promise and potential of fostering a growing startup than the Valley of the Sun. And I saw it all begin in 2015 with the birth of what is now Techstars Startup Week PHX powered by Chase for Business.

At the time I was local, and in the middle of transitioning to the fast-paced startup community in Boston. But I heard about the startup community developing back home, and I was drawn to Phoenix by the appeal of a small grassroots movement of entrepreneurs and the desire to pursue my ideas and goals my way. What I found here was compelling, unexpected and entirely unique to Phoenix.

While other cities are startup hubs for a set of similar reasons to each other, there are three aspects of Phoenix that completely set it apart from the rest and make it the best place for startups to be right now.

Cowboy Up: Phoenix has the rough and rugged reputation it does for a reason. This city is full of scrappy individualists, who are eager to get their hands dirty and honor the Old West mentality of Arizona. If they don’t know how do something (e.g., securing capital, getting paid customers, or anything else that goes along with founding a startup), they have the ingenuity and grit to figure it out. But they also have a community of local experts who are responsive and willing to impart wisdom through mentorship and more. Where other cities’ startup cultures can be lonely, Phoenix’s is overflowing with collaboration.

In Arizona We Trust: The thing I was most surprised about when I dove head first into Phoenix’s startup world was the unwavering commitment to Arizona. As a transplant myself, I chose Phoenix because I did believe in it. And I am not alone. Startups in Phoenix want to see the community and the city itself grow. It’s obvious to see that each individual and business here understands and is willing to fight for the common goal of bettering Phoenix. If this city succeeds, so do we.

Embrace South of the Border: More and more, if a startup is going to find success, it has to be willing to jump into the global marketplace, and Phoenix is at the front line. Literally. Having gone down to Mexico, and participated in Startup Weeks there, I know the proximity Phoenix has with our neighbors to the south and how that is an invaluable advantage. Being a gateway for Central and South American businesses to enter the U.S. market is rapidly positioning Phoenix at the forefront of the global market. The most successful startups will be those that partner with businesses in Mexico and Latin America.

With such a fresh approach, provocative perspectives and talent, Phoenix is unsurprisingly at the top of experts’ lists when they consider emerging startup hotspots. And this is in no small part due to Startup Week Phoenix.

Back in 2015, before the startup community became what it is today, Startup Week Phoenix started as a free, week-long conference put on by entrepreneurs for other entrepreneurs. For the first several years, it was largely tech-focused and encouraged participants to foster good ideas, get those ideas to market, create a proof of concept and ultimately, sell the idea.

With more than 10,000 planned participants and a growing list of local experts and success stories leading the conversation, Startup Week Phoenix 2018 is all about entrepreneurs. This year, entrepreneurs will experience a five-day, immersive program, learning everything from the nitty gritty details of starting a business to seeing it through to success.

Stephen Viramontes is the volunteer chief organizer of Startup Week PHX and CEO of Assure Vote, a local GovTech software-as-a-service company.

Feb. 2, 2018

February Garden Chores and Tips


February Garden Chores and Tips

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What To Do in February

Even though it is starting to get a little warmer in the Valley of the Sun, we can still have an occasional frost. Don't forget that weather forecasts are generally quoted from Sky Harbor International Airport, and many of the outlying parts of the Valley can be up to 10°F colder than that at night. Be prepared to cover frost-tender plants.

Bug talk:
Aphids may be present on many plants. The best control is natural predators, such as lacewings, and praying mantis. Acquaint yourself with these insects, and if present do not use insecticides. Hosing the aphids off with a forceful spray of water is helpful in gaining control. A couple of drops of dish soap in a spray bottle of water can also be very effective.

Grass

  • Ryegrass should be watered about once or twice a week depending on the weather. Bermuda grass needs water about once a month.
  • Bermuda will begin to turn green when nighttime lows reach about 65 degrees.

Trees/Shrubs

  • Fertilize fruit, nut and shade trees, shrubs and vines.
  • Pecan trees and grape vines need a zinc rich fertilizer to help them produce their best.
  • Now is the time for shaping citrus trees a little, if you must. Normally there is no need to prune citrus like regular fruit trees. Try to let the citrus foliage grow to about knee high. The best fruit is produced on the lower two-thirds of the tree so raising the skirt reduces the amount of the fruit you will get.
  • Clean out dead wood.
  • Remove any suckers growing from below the graft.
  • Shape your ornamental shrubs so the new spring growth will fill in the bare branches and holes left from pruning.
  • While pruning frost-damaged plants, wait and prune after new growth has started.

Flowers

  • Prepare flower beds for spring gardens.
  • Freshen up flower beds by removing faded or spent blooms.
  • Bare-root roses should be in the ground this month, the earlier the better.
  • Begin fertilizing established roses with granular fertilizers about the middle of the month.
  • Clean out dead or diseased wood in roses.
  • Remove weak and crossing canes and old leaves to discourage insects and disease.

Vegetables

  • Plant seeds: beans, beets, bok choy, carrots, swiss chard, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, melons, mustard, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, sunflowers, turnips, watermelons, Martha Washington asparagus (roots or crowns).
  • Plant transplants: artichokes, asparagus, chard, kohlrabi, lettuce, onion, peppers and tomatoes.
  • If you set out transplants before mid-February protect them from the cold.
  • Prepare your soil for a spring/summer garden. Organic matter, mulch, manure or compost is very important.
  • Fertilize producing vegetable gardens.
  • Corn may be seeded after mid-February. Plant short day varieties (less than 70 days).

Don't Make These Garden Mistakes in February

  1. When pruning don't ever remove more than 1/4 of the total plant. Always use sharp, sterile, quality pruning tools and disinfect them between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.
  2. Don't cheat on soil preparation for flowers and vegetables.
  3. Don't fertilize dormant Bermuda grass until late April or May.
  4. Don't plant roses with western exposure because of the afternoon summer heat.
  5. Too much fertilizer can cause salt burn and too little can cause nutrient deficiency problems. Water both the day before and immediately after applying granular fertilizers.
  6. Don't fertilize mature trees near the trunk. Fertilize the outer two-thirds of the ground of the leaf canopy where the most active roots are.
  7. Don't water grass at night when the temperatures are coolest as this fosters the growth of fungal diseases.
  8. Don't mow when grass is wet. This also may result in fungal disease.
  9. Don't delay on weed control. Handle weeds while they are young, tender, and their roots are manageable, or before they sprout.
  10. Don't use a pre-emergent in an area where you are going to plant veggies and flowers from seed. It will prevent seeds from germination. It will not affect transplants.
Jan. 30, 2018

Gathering lead information

 

A quick video discussing how and why real estate agents should gather and retain lead information.  Something that is often discussed, but more rarely attempted.   Many agents aren't comfortable asking for contact information at an open house, or asking more follow up questions to a sign call.   These questions can be critical to a new agents success!
Jan. 30, 2018

First post in Tips & Tricks

My initial post introducing the blog.  A short video introducing myself, and going over some of things I'll be publishing to the site.   Post will include videos, thoughts, images, how to's etc...   Subscribe to see how we continue it going forward!
Jan. 23, 2018

Higher loan limits just made it easier to buy that first house in metro Phoenix

Thanks to a little boost from mortgage lenders this month, 2018 could be the year all those Street Scout and Zillow couch surfers finally pull the trigger on their dream home.

Rising metro Phoenix home prices are making it harder for many buyers. But this month, government mortgage backers began offering a little extra help. 

The Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have raised the loan limits for mortgages.

Almost 64 percent of all Phoenix-area homebuyers used one of those loans to buy in 2017, so the higher limits are bound to give the market a boost.

Homebuyers can now borrow up to $453,100 using Fannie and Freddie mortgages. That's up $29,000 from last year.

Almost half of Valley homebuyers took out a loan backed by one of those two federally-owned mortgage giants last year, according to The Information Market, owned by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

The loan limits on Federal Housing Administration loans climbed to $294,515 from $279,450 at the beginning of the year. More than 15 percent of Phoenix-area homebuyers took out Federal Housing Administration loans in 2017.

A market boost

Most mortgage brokers and real estate agents are cheering the loan increases. Limits on federally-backed mortgages went up in most parts of the U.S.

“The loan limit increase is a small but necessary drop in the bucket of necessary moves that will continue to help the Phoenix housing market grow,” said Amy Swaney, branch manager of Citywide Home Loans in Scottsdale.

And she said the changes will not only help first-time buyers but also move-up buyers.

The Valley’s median home price is about $250,000, up about 6 percent from last year. Move-up homes in the area are typically priced at about $500,000.

So with the new Fannie and Freddie loan limits, a buyer could now purchase an almost half-million dollar home with a 10 percent down payment.

Government-backed mortgages are popular with lenders because they carry less risk and usually mean lower interest rates for borrowers.

And it sounds like the boost is paying off already.

“I’ve been surprised by how many new loans we have seen since the limits were increased this month,” said Dean Wegner of the Scottsdale office of HomeStreet Bank. "I think the higher limits helped with some pent-up demand from buyers."

A bit scary

Since the too-easy-to-get subprime mortgages that spurred the housing crash, any changes to make getting a mortgage easier raises alarm bells with some real estate market watchers — including me.

I'm watching closely for any signs that could spark another housing crash.

But this is only the second time since the crash in 2008 that federal loan limits have been increased. The first was in 2016.

And metro Phoenix home prices have nearly doubled since the crash.

Many of us bought our first homes with a Federal Housing Administration loan, which we couldn’t have done if the limits were too low. We'll see if the same proves true for the next generation of new home buyers and maybe even more Lindsays and Dylans will sign the dotted line on their first house.

Jan. 16, 2018

The First-Time Homebuyer's Guide To Grown-Up Furniture

The First-Time Homebuyer's Guide To Grown-Up Furniture

You just bought your first home. Congratulations: You're an adult! Now it's time to fill it up. But if you were planning to pack up those ratty old beanbag chairs and the bed that awakens you with a morning backache and move them to your new place, we have a few suggestions. It's time for a grown-up upgrade. Here's where to start.

Invest in the important staples

You can scrimp on your mattress because it's not something that guests will see, right? Not so fast. A good mattress should be at the top of your list because it affects something more important than the opinions of friends and family: Your health.

 

"You wouldn't run a marathon or hike a mountain without the right gear. And yet, despite spending a third of our lives sleeping, many of us haven't adequately prepared in the bedroom - when it comes to mattresses, that is," said Huffington Post. "You might be tempted to blame your budget for continuing to doze on a less-than-ideal mattress, but considering just a little bit more shut-eye can help you lose weight, improve your memory and live longer, can you really put a price tag on good sleep? But the wrong mattress - or the mattress that's simply too old - can be the cause of more than that crick in your neck or your lower back pain. Here are five sneakier ways your mattress affects your sleep - and your health.

If you just can't bring yourself to spring for that kind of big-ticket item right now, look for opportunities to spread out payments with a zero percent interest deal, which more and more retailers are offering. Go to a place like Rooms to Go and you might be able to get your mattress and a living room set with monthly payments that are right around what you and your honey would pay for a nice lunch.

Measure, measure, measure

Having furniture that's too small or too large for a room can make it function poorly and look "off." Measure ahead of time so you know what to look for. Stores like HomeGoods have stacks of paper measuring sticks laying arouond, but you won't always be that lucky. Measure your space and input everything in your phone, stash a measuring tape in your bag, and you won't have to guess if something will work when you're out shopping.

Dress up the bed

One of the best ways to make a bedroom look pulled together is with a headboard. But many people don't even take a look at options because they assume they will be too expensive. You can get a super chic headboard for a minimal spend if you know where to go. This tufted headboard from Overstock looks like it would cost you about as much as a monthly mortgage payment, but it's just $137.


Buy a decent couch

The couch falls squarely under that "investment pieces" category. It will probably be among your most-used pieces of furniture, so it needs to be able to stand up to a lot of butts, a few feet, an assortment of overnight guests, and maybe a spill here and there. Comfort is key, and so is durability.

You'll hate yourself - and your couch - if you buy super cheap just to get something in the room. And we're speaking from experience. Our first cheapie couch (purchased online, BTW) started falling apart after about a month. Contrast that against what Sotheby's-trained home shopping expert Jennifer Litwin, author of Best Furniture Buying Tips Ever, says should be the lifespan of the couch: "The general prognosis is about 10 to 15 years, she told The Nest. You can scrimp on other, easily replaceable items like side tables and chairs that won't be used often, but when it comes to that couch: Go ahead and splurge a little.

Like and follow influential sites

Speaking of chairs…

Just today we learned about this great-looking $43 chair on Amazon that we never would have known about if we weren't fans of MyDomaine. And, by fans, we mean we follow them on Facebook. "The midcentury-modern chairs feature velvet upholstering, steel legs, and are available in dusty rose, moss green, gray-green, and teal, to name a few," they said. They're sold in a set of two, starting at $85."



Sites like Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge are great places to get interior design ideas, and liking and following a few favorite stores like World Market and HomeGoods and online sites like Wayfair and One Kings Lane is a great way to keep up to date on sales and trends.

Be careful about buying online

When comfort and quality are key, you want to be careful about buying without being able to see, touch, and sit. If you just have to have it, at least you can read what others have to say before producing your credit card. Back to that $43 chair from Amazon: "How do you know if chairs sold on Amazon look and feel as luxe in real life," asked MyDomaine. "Members of the Facebook group purchased the chairs and posted images of the items IRL, confirming that they live up to the hype. Yes, if the long chain of comments, likes, and photos are any indication, this might be one of Amazon's best-kept secrets."

Buy some art

Real art, from real actual artists. You can find some surprisingly affordable pieces that will give your home a personal touch. "Collecting art can be an expensive habit, but these days there are plenty of places to get amazing original art for a great price," said POPSUGAR. Like Minted, one of our favorite spots for original art that "discovers talent through ongoing design competitions. Designers submit, the Minted community votes to tell them what to sell, and we end up with seemingly limitless options at super affordable prices," they said.



That doesn't mean you need to give up all your posters (although, we adults call them "art prints.") Just get them framed nicely. "Luckily, framing has never been easier, now that there are online services like Framebridge," said Refinery29. "And when all else fails, you can't go wrong with the basic Ikea RIBBA frames (just make sure the art fits and doesn't slip and slide around when it's hanging on the wall)."

Don't be afraid to go to IKEA

IKEA is good for more than frames, even though you probably equate grown-up furniture with stuff you don't have to put together yourself. But not everything has to be a permanent fixture when you're just starting out. Concentrating on the big-ticket items may leave limited funds available to fill in the rest of your place. Many a new homeowner has hit the big blue-and-yellow warehouse and headed straight for the MALM dresser. It's cheap (starting at $54 for a two-drawer version), it's functional, and if you have a little bit of creativity—or the ability to do some basic research and follow directions—you can turn it into something that looks far more expensive.



We're also loving this South Shore Cookie 6-Drawer Double Dresser in gray and white from Walmart, which could give you the function in you need in an extra bedroom or guest room with a sleek, modern look. We guarantee your guests will never know where it came from…unless they were savvy enough to purchase on for their own home.

Get a few key housewares

Living like an adult isn't just about what you put stuff on. It's also about the stuff you put on you. Still using the same stiff sheets you bought for your first apartment or ratty towels you'd be embarrassed for company to see? "You'll feel more grown-up the second you stop drying off your body with a towel that has a fish in sunglasses on it," said Refinery29."

Jan. 9, 2018

2017's strong housing market in metro Phoenix gives 2018 a lot to live up to

2017 will go down as one of metro Phoenix’s best-ever years for home sales.

An early tally shows 93,500 Valley houses changed hands last year. That’s 6 percent higher than home sales in 2016.

“Only 2004, '05 and 2011 were better years for home sales,” said Tina Tamboer, senior housing analyst with the Cromford Report.

And in those years, the Valley's housing market was far from normal. The housing boom, fueled by subprime mortgages and speculators, started in 2004 and was in full swing during 2005. 

Metro Phoenix’s housing market hit bottom in 2011, and investors snatched up a record number of bargain foreclosure homes that year.

So 2017 could be considered the Valley’s best healthy year for home sales, something real-estate analyst Tom Ruff predicted in August.

“2005 went down in the history books as the year our housing bubble rapidly inflated,” said Ruff of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service’s The Information Market. “2011 was the year housing prices bottomed out after the housing-market collapse.

“This leaves 2017 as the very best year for Valley resale homes in our history not influenced by some freakish market outlier,” he said.

Prices still shy of peak levels

2017 was a strong year for housing appreciation in the Valley, but prices still aren’t back to peak levels of 2006.

Tamboer said an early analysis of sales on the MLS shows Phoenix-area home prices climbed 6.5 percent last year.

The Valley’s median sales price climbed 7 percent in 2016.

Metro Phoenix’s median existing-home price is hovering around $250,000 now, after getting an 8 percent boost in December.

That is still $15,000 off the Valley’s peak median home price in 2006.

Past predictions

Most housing analysts, understandably, don’t like to make annual predictions about the market. No one wants be to be wrong and get skewered for it, particularly since buying or selling a home is most people's biggest financial decision.

In December 2016, Realtor.com predicted home prices would climb 5.9 percent and sales would jump 7.2 percent in the Phoenix area during 2017. That forecast ended up being a bit off for both.

The national real-estate website also predicted metro Phoenix would have the best housing market in the U.S. last year. The verdict on that one is still out.

Looking ahead in 2018

Here are some predictions — hopes and concerns, really — from Valley housing market experts.

  • “Phoenix's housing market will continue to perform in 2018 much as it did in 2017,” said Mark Stapp, executive director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. But he said not enough affordable housing, inflation and resulting interest rate hikes along with new tax laws could be factors that work against the market here in 2018.
  • Ruff is concerned about not enough affordable housing. “The challenge is to build more housing that people can afford,” he said. “Valley prices can’t keep climbing at the current rate, if people can’t find homes they can afford.”
  • Tamboer said she “wouldn’t be surprised to see appreciation soften a bit this year.” She believes home prices will keep climbing in 2018, but potentially not at the same rate as in the past two years.

Will 2018 be the year Valley home prices finally recover from the crash?

The area’s median price needs to climb 6 percent this year for that to happen.

Jan. 2, 2018

'Malcolm in the Middle' star Frankie Muniz's Phoenix mansion sells for $3.2M

 

"One of the most romantic properties in the Biltmore area" is off the market.

Frankie Muniz, who starred in "Malcolm in the Middle," sold his Phoenix estate for $3,200,000.

The 5,300-square-foot bungalow-style mansion was built in the 1930s and is called il Segreto. 

An undisclosed buyer purchased Muniz's home in November with plans to renovate, according to Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. 

It was on the market for a little more than a year.

"This is an incredible home inside and out with a lot of history. We are happy to have found someone who loved it as much Frankie enjoyed his time here,” said real-estate agent Monica Monson, who sold the property along with Barry Van Patten.

The 4-bedroom, 5-bath mansion comes with a Roman fountain, a bocce ball court and prayer gardens.

It sits on more than two acres, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the family room, wood-beamed ceilings in the dining room. The deep swimming pool in the house was once the home base for a Phoenix diving team.

"This is truly one of those special properties," Monson said.

This is the second Valley home the "Malcolm in the Middle” star has sold in the past three years. 

In 2014, Muniz sold a Phoenix home in the popular Arcadia neighborhood for $2.85 million.