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!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

30-year Rates Hit Another Low. Is It Now Cheaper to Buy than Rent?

The average 30-year mortgage rate fell to a record low 3.91%, on December 23 according to the weekly Freddie Mac survey.  The previous low was 3.94% set just a few weeks ago.  With Tucson home prices at levels we haven't seen for 10 years and record low interest rates, Tucson real estate is more affordable than in a long time.

Many renters are finding that it is now cheaper to buy than to rent.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has an interesting "renting vs buying" calculator on its website, the link to which is at the end of this article.  If you have children, friend or coworkers still renting, then suggest they check it out.  After all, their monthly rent check IS paying a mortgage...that of their landlord. 

Click here for the HUD "renting vs buying" calculator.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank you...for 2011

Thank You! my buyers, sellers, lenders, home inspectors, escrow officers, fellow agents and especially those of you who have been so kind as to refer friends, relatives and neighbors to me.  It has been a good 2011and I am grateful to all of those who made it so.

And it has been a fun year in Tucson real estate as well.  I worked with everyone from first time buyers to retirees making their move to Tucson.  What I most enjoy is that look of excitement on the faces of both first-timers and home-buying veterans as I hand them their keys to their new homes.

So thank you for 2011 and here's to a happy 2012 for us all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Seller Asks: Should I Keep My House on the Market Over the Holidays?

I understand...your Tucson house has been on the market and the thought of more potential buyers tromping through over the holidays may be more than you can bear.  But the holidays can be a great time to find your buyer. 

With interest rates at near record lows and the number of Tucson homes available on the market dropping, there are a lot of motivated buyers out there and fewer homes for them to look at.  Keep in mind that buyers who keep looking at Tucson real estate over the holidays are likely to be more serious in their search.

And the most important reason to keep your house on the market is the large number of visitors to Tucson this time of year.  These are people from colder climes who may have just decided to find their piece of our Arizona paradise.  And the holidays sometimes put them in the mood to picture their next Christmas in their Tucson home.

The bottom line is that you still do want to sell the house and it certainly isn't going to sell if it is OFF the market.  So my recommendation is to keep it on the market through the holidays, make the house look its holiday best, enlist the family to help neaten up when potential buyers are heading over and bake a few extra cookies for these additional holiday guests.

Friday, December 16, 2011

November Tucson MLS Statistics Released: Median Sale Price Up for Second Month

The November MLS sales stats are out and we have now seen a very slight uptick in the median sale price of a Tucson house for the second month in a row.  The median sale price edged up 1.67% in November but keep in mind that is still down 12.8% from the previous November.

The other bit of good news (at least for sellers) is that the number of homes actively listed on the Tucson homes market is down just over 30% from a year ago AND the number of homes sold in November was up 27% from a year ago.  And the number of new homes coming on the market was down 23% in November from the year before.

Before we proclaim the end of the down market, keep in mind we will likely see lots of fluctuations in the Tucson homes market for some time to come.  We have been seeing similar patterns for the last three years...where prices decline for months in a row followed by a month of two of a slight increase.

Click the link for the full November report, including the number of listings and solds in your zip code.

And if you want to know more about what's going on in your own neighborhood, just drop me an email and I will check it out.

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Matches All-Time Record Low at 3.94 Percent - Realty Times

And once again, home loan rates are at record lows.  It may be a good time to refinance your Tucson home, and a lot of buyers are taking advantage of these rates to buy their new Tucson houses.

Realty Times - 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Matches All-Time Record Low at 3.94 Percent

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Sold: 2561 E Monte Vista

A great fixer-upper home in a terrific mid-town Tucson neighborhood, close to UA and only a half block from the neighborhood park.  This brick two-bedroom/1 bath home retains a lot of the cool mid-century features and already has a new roof and upgraded electric service.

Holiday Shopping: Tucson Style

For memorable holiday gifts, look no further than some great Tucson traditions that also have wonderful gift shops.  Books, crafts, foods and jewelry can all be found at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Native Seeds Search, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson Museum of Art and other local organizations.

Many of these gifts are produced right here in Southern Arizona and will bring joy and fun to any Tucson home. 
And a gift certificate to one of our local restaurants is always a welcome gift and helps support Tucson businesses.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gates Pass Open House This Sunday

The weather looks to be gorgeous this Sunday, so take a drive into the Tucson Mountains and out Gates Pass Road to see this classic Tucson Mountains burnt adobe home.  I will be holding it open from 1pm to 4pm.

Drive West on Gates Pass Road and turn right on Via Roma just pass the International Wildlife Museum.  My open house signs will lead you the rest of the way.  And click here for more details and photos.  740 N Via Roma

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Shop at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market Today

The Santa Cruz Farmers Market, located in the Mercado on Congress St just West of I-10, is a great place to do your holiday shopping.  There are lots of locally-made products including food products, coffee, soaps and handmade items.  

And eat healthy for your holiday meals with fresh local produce, eggs, meats and breads.

Remember the market is on winter hours and is open from 3pm to 6pm each Thursday. 

Click the link for details on what will be available today.  This is one of the best farmers markets around and your Tucson home for good fresh fruits and vegetables.  See you there!           Santa Cruz Farmers Market This Week

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tucson Favorites: San Xavier Mission Christmas Concerts

On three magical December Tucson nights, the Patronato San Xavier's annual Christmas fundraising concerts at the San Xavier mission fill the 18th century church with candlelight and some of the most wonderful Christmas music I have ever heard.

The Tucson Boys Choir and Sons of Orpheus Mens Chorus join with guest soloists to raise funds for the ongoing restoration of the mission.  Sit and reflect on the season and the history, as you listen to the great music.  The 15th annual concert series takes place at the old mission on December 13th through the 15th.  Tickets go fast so contact Vern Lamplot (520.407.6130) at the Patronato San Xavier. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How to Become a Desert Dweller - Arizona Daily Star

As many of us moved to our Tucson homes from elsewhere, we had to learn the tricks of living in the desert.  My number one suggestion?  Always carry a comb.  To find out why (and other handy things to know,) click on the series of illustrations by David Fitzsimmons in the linked article below.
How to Become a Desert Dweller - Arizona Daily Star

The Pacific storm moved East and the Tucson sun came out this morning. The rain will be good for our Spring wildflower show.

Foggy Tucson with the snowy Catalina Mountains beyond

Twin Hills wrapped in wisps of fog as seen from from Tucson's Gates Pass

Friday, December 2, 2011

Interest Rates Settle In Around 4%

The Freddie Mac weekly market survey shows average fixed mortgage rates relatively unchanged this week.  30-year fixed rate mortgages were up just a bit to an average of 4.0%.  Last year at this time, the average was 4.46%.  Low rates and low prices continue to make houses in Tucson extremely affordable, but lenders are taking a closer look at potential buyer's qualifications.

Just Listed! Gates Pass Mediterranean Home at 740 N Via Roma

We just put this Tucson home on the market in the scenic Gates Pass area of the Tucson Mountains.  Convenient to Downtown and UA, this house could have been designed for entertainment with the large Spanish Colonial-inspired living room, arched portico and spacious brick patio areas.  For details and more pictures, click here:  740 N Via Roma