It's all here! News on the Tucson real estate market, tips and information for your Tucson real estate needs, and my occasional "likes" about Tucson and all the things we love about it. Read on!

Friday, September 30, 2011

How Low Can They Go? (yet again)

Last week I blogged about home loan rates hitting a record low.  And I am back this week to report once again...home loan rates hit yet another record low this week.  Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week shows the conventional 30-year fixed rate loan averaged an all-time record low at 4.01 percent.  Wow...

I know people are skeptical of our economy and the housing market right now.  But at some point down the road, a lot of people are going to look back at these loan rates and Tucson house prices and give themselves a little kick.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Santa Cruz Farmers Market: 4 to 7pm Thursday

It is Fall back east, but there are still lots of good summer vegetables this week at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market, Tucson's home for quality fresh food.  Tomatoes, green peppers and squash top my list to buy.  Located in and around the new Mercado, just west of I-10 on Congress, the market is open from 4 to 7pm.

Click here for their weekly newsletter: 
Santa Cruz Farmers Market Newsletter

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

JUST SOLD in the Tucson Mountains: $280,000

4741 W Placita de Suerte near scenic Gates Pass
Privacy and quiet on an acre-plus of natural Sonoran desert.  This beautiful burnt adobe Tucson home with relaxing pool has beautiful views of the Tucson and Catalina Mountains.  All this and only minutes to UA and Downtown.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Low Can They (interest rates, that is) Go?

I made a joke at a recent Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting here in Tucson that if interest rates got any lower, the lenders' would be paying homebuyers to take their money.

Well, we are not quite there yet, but Freddie Mac's weekly survey of interest rates show an average for 30-year fixed rate loans of 4.09%!  Of course, every lender has different requirements, fees and points so your quoted rate may be higher.  But!    (The rates when I bought my first house were 14%!!)

The Federal Reserve recently made a public commitment for low rates to help the economy for the next year or two, but I would be amazed if home loan rates stay at this record low level for any length of time.  

So if a refinance of your current home loan, or the purchase of a new Tucson home is in your plans, you may want to talk with your lender soon.  Then give me a call and let's find that perfect Tucson house for you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tucson's Rogue Theatre Presents Shaw's Major Barbara

Click the link for more infomation on Major Barbara and The Rogue Theatre:

I saw the Rogue Theatre's current production of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara last weekend and it is just wonderful.  Funny, thought-provoking and just so well-acted, Major Barbara runs through next weekend.  Don't take my word for it.  Check the following reviews from the Arizona Star and the Tucson Weekly. 

"This is one you don't want to miss" says the Arizona Daily Star

"It is as funny as it is thoughtful" says the Tucson Weekly

So if you are looking for something fun and thought-provoking this weekend, go see Major Barbara.   Call or go online (Rogue Tickets) as tickets are going fast! 

The Rogue Theatre is home to Tucson's highest quality theatre, emphasizing quality language and literature, wonderful performers and challenging ideas.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Hot Off the Presses from TAR: August Tucson Real Estate Statistics

The Tucson Association of Realtors has just released the August sales statistics.

August Market Stats from the Tucson Association of Realtors   

Prices continue to real surprise there.  The median sales price for August was $122,200, down 2.24% from July and a full 18.94% from August 2010.  The median sale price is now just under what it was 10 years ago.

Total unit sales for August (1106) were down 1.6% from July but up 25.4% from August 2010.  Keep in mind the August 2010 total sales (882 units) may have  been somewhat depressed by the early 2010 rush to get first-time buyers into homes in time to qualify for the Federal tax credit.

Active listings on the market in August were 5,167 which is also down from July (5,412) and down a whopping 27.94% from August 2010 when there were 7,170 homes on the market in the MLS.  There are rumors of a rush of new foreclosures as the lenders clear up the paperwork management issues that have been so controversial, and resume the foreclosure process on many homes.  Some say that real recovery in the real estate market will not happen until a large number of these foreclosures have moved through the system and been sold.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bisbee Bloomer's 10th Annual Garden Tour - September 10

If it is getting a little warm around your Tucson home, head for the cooler climes of mile-high Bisbee this Saturday for the 10th annual Bisbee Bloomer's Garden Tour.  This year the self-guided tour will feature gardens that survived those zero-degree nights back in February (when Tucson was still a balmy 17 degrees.)

Live music will be featured along the tour.  This is a wonderful opportunity to see the variety of gardens, both drought-tolerant and traditional, that grace the hillside neighborhoods of historic Bisbee.  The self-guided tour is only $10 and runs from 10 am to 4 pm this Saturday, September 10. 

For more information, check their website at: Bisbee Bloomer's Garden Tour

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Buying a Tucson Home in an HOA Community? Read the Fine Print!

"Education is when you read the fine print.  Experience is what you get when you don't." - Pete Seeger

Homeowners Association (HOA) rules and regs are probably not what the great American folk singer had in mind when he said that.  But many are the homeowners who regret the experience gained from NOT reading the HOA rules and regs carefully before buying a house.   HOA rules may restrict the colors you may paint your house, the size and type of trees in your yard, whether you may have pets, a pool, an RV, an in-home business, a basketball hoop or even park your car in your own driveway at night.

The general purpose of HOA rules is to protect property values by promoting some level of conformity in a neighborhood.  After all who wants to live next to a garishly colored house with trash in the yard, dead trees, a motorhome parked crossways in the yard, and a car on blocks in the driveway in a permanent state of restoration? 

The HOA Addendum to the Arizona Association of Realtors purchase contract requires that you receive a copy of the HOA rules and regs (most commonly known as CC&Rs) and financial information (including budget) from the Seller or the HOA management company after contract acceptance.  If you decide you are not comfortable with those rules or any aspect of the HOA documents provided, you may then cancel the contract within five days of receipt of those documents.

The full list of HOA items to be disclosed to you is on the HOA Addendum that will be a part of your purchase contract if your prospective home is located within an HOA community.  I also recommend that buyers talk with neighbors and officers of the HOA, and review copies of minutes of past HOA meetings. 

So as Peter Seeger would recommend, read all of those documents carefully.  Think into the future whether any of those rules will impact you and your way of life in your new Tucson home.