PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- For Arizona native Madison Sanders and her family, Peoria has always been home.

"We're at my in-laws' house right now," she told Arizona's Family on Friday. "And then, just a couple blocks down the road is my grandma. And then next door to my grandma is my mom."

She's looking for a new house in the area with her husband. For them, the perfect home would ideally include four bedrooms with a backyard. But after months of constant scrolling, dozens of showings and lost bids, buying a home has been an excruciating process.

"We go out every single one of our days off," Sanders said. "My realtor takes us out. We look at at least 10 houses, and we put in offers in all the ones we think might work. And every single time, without doubt … it's a cash investor." Or they lose a house to someone from California.

Arizona native Madison Sanders

Arizona native Madison Sanders says her family keeps losing potential homes to cash investors and people from California.

Sanders and her family are not alone in their search.

"I've personally seen people go over $100,000 over the asking price. All cash," said realtor Carla Magee with MHG Commercial. "Waiving appraisal. Basically saying I don't care what you think the house is worth. I just need a house."

How to make a competitive offer in AZ's hot housing market

Phoenix is a hot spot for jobs, Magee said, which is fueling demand. One of the couples she helped last week got a promotion and was moving to the Valley. Another got transferred through the United States Air Force.

Jan Leighton, the president of the Arizona Association of Realtors, says in a normal market, there would be 20,000 to 25,000 active properties for sale in the Valley, specifically single-family detached homes. As of Friday afternoon, that number was below 4,000.

"We have a lot of economic expansion," said Mark Stapp with the W.P. Carey School of Business. "Economic expansion means that jobs that are being created. Jobs means we have people moving here, and that's the demand for housing."

Stapp has worked in Phoenix-area real estate in some capacity for decades. There are underlying factors, but essentially supply can't meet demand. He does not think we're in for another housing crisis like in 2008.

"The underlying fundamental reason for that crisis had to do with a lack of discipline in the lending environment," he said. "And a lot of speculation. And neither of those exist in this marketplace."

Just how insane is the real estate market in the Phoenix metro?

Madison and her husband sold their last home quickly and are living with her grandma until they find a permanent spot.

"I don't want to keep moving," she said. For them, family is everything, so they'll keep hunting for a house where they can continue to make memories. Sanders has an 18-month-old daughter and is expecting another in July.

More Phoenix real estate stories

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How to get the best offer for your Phoenix house

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