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Obamacare may be causing dip in home prices, values

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Obamacare could be causing the value of your home to drop.

It's not a joke.

"When you go from November 2012 to November 2013, right when Obamacare hit, Valley home sales are down 27 percent," said Valley real estate expert Dean Wegner.

He admits it could be a coincidence.

"Interest rates did rise, but the two big headlines were probably a rise in interest rates and Obamacare hitting at the same time," Wegner said. "But it was like the brakes hit. The market slowed down substantially. A 27 percent decrease."

Wegner said the buyer pool could be shrinking because companies are only hiring part-time workers to avoid paying for health insurance. Because they are working less than 30 hours a week, people are continuing to rent instead of trying to buy a house.

Incidentally, people who take a second job to earn enough money to buy a house are getting rejected. Mortgage companies want to see that the people they are lending to have been on the job for at least two years. Most who have taken a second job are being rejected because they haven't been employed at the second one long enough.

Despite all of this, Wegner said now is still a good time to sell your house. The price hikes of the past few years may have now left you with enough equity to sell your house and have enough money to use as a down payment on your next one.

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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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