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, December 21, 2012

Sold! 5100 W Trails End Road

The Gates Pass and Trails End area seems to be in high demand because of the gorgeous desert setting close to Gates Pass and Tucson Mountain Park, yet only minutes to downtown and UA.  This beautiful custom Territorial is set on an acre of Sonoran desert with Tucson Mountain and Catalina Mountain views, with beautiful landscaping and a custom pool and spa. 

I was sorry to see the Sellers leave the area but we are welcoming a new neighbor to the Gates Pass area.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tucson Desert Gardens - Frost Protection

Marylee Pangman had a good article in today's Tucson Weekly about plants at our Tucson homes and our freezing nights.  She has some good advice and notes that a lot of the potential for freeze damage depends on what part of town we are in.  I once read where areas with a lot of ironwood trees and jojoba tends to be a warmer micro-climate than other areas of Tucson.  I have both but still need to cover the frost sensitive plants on nights like this.
Keep it simple...an old sheet covers our potted tomatoes

A neighbor who is new to Tucson called the other night to ask about covering her native cactus, and I told her that the true native Sonoran desert cacti should be just fine.  

But if you have non-native frost sensitive plants, you may want to grab some old sheets and get out there tonight and cover them up. 

Click the link for Marylee's article:
Desert Gardens for Small Spaces - Frost Protection

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Bazaar This Weekend at Mercado San Agustin


Tucson's Mercado San Agustin hosts its 5th annual Holiday Bazaar this weekend, December 14-16th. Market hours are 11am to 6pm each day.  The Mercado is located at 100 S. Avenida del Convento at West Congress Street.
Showcasing Tucson’s diversity through small business, you can expect to see artisan foods, children’s clothing and toys, jewelry, specialty gifts, and more.  In addition to the best holiday shopping in Tucson, market goers can expect live music and performances daily.
Shoppers can take pleasure in the variety of traditional holiday foods such as tamales, buñuelos, and champurrado
For the past four years, the Mercado’s vision has been to provide an innovative avenue for local artists, cooks, merchants, and entrepreneurs to harness the rush of commerce during this season, and to create a holiday shopping tradition that brings community members together to celebrate goodwill and rich heritage.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

16th Annual San Xavier Mission Christmas Concert

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.  This year, the 16th annual concert series takes place at the old mission on December 11th through the 13th.  Tickets go fast so contact the sponsors at Patronatosx@earthlink.net

Friday, November 30, 2012

Case-Shiller Index Predicts Tucson Home Prices to Rise in Late 2013...After a Dip - Arizona Daily Star

Tucson home prices are predicted to begin an upward trend beginning in mid-2013, according to the Case-Shiller Index people, who track home-price trends in more than 380 real estate markets in the U.S.   But in the meantime, they are predicting a bit more of a dip between now and then...around 2.5% between now and the second quarter of 2013 in Tucson home prices.  Sale prices of Tucson homes have been relatively stable through 2012, though the October Tucson MLS statistics showed slight declines in both average and median sale prices from September.   November stats should be out in just a few days, so check back here for an update. 

Tucson home prices forecast, and other news

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Get out of town to La Fiesta de Tumacacori this weekend

La Fiesta de Tumacacori, celebrating the history and cultures of the Santa Cruz Valley, kicks off Saturday morning December 1 with the traditional blessing of the fiesta followed by two days of music, dancing, food and crafts. 

Established in 1691 by Father Kino, the Tumacacori Mission is the often overlooked sister to the White Dove of the Desert, the San Xavier Mission closer to Tucson.  But the quiet and relative isolation of the preserved ruins at Tumacacori have always made me feel a little closer to the older history of Southern Arizona and the Spanish missions.  A special attraction to me is the restored mission gardens and orchard.  The Mission Orchard 

The Tumacacori Mission is located on the banks of the Santa Cruz River 50 miles south of Tucson.  Go south on I-19 and take exit 29.  Click the link for more information on La Fiesta de Tumacacori.

  2012 La Fiesta de Tumacacori


Monday, November 19, 2012

Sold! 1010 N Camino Miraflores

This was a wonderful Tucson Mountains home with views, pool and a terrific house.   So it was no surprise that it went under contract in less than a week after it went on the market.  With four bedrooms and three baths, this west side Tucson house featured a lot of custom touches and  upgrades.  Sold for $342,500.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Santa Cruz Farmers Market Today from 3pm to 6pm

Thanksgiving is only a week away, so today is the day to stock up on fresh locally grown produce at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market.  Bread and baked goods are also available.   And if you collected your mesquite pods this year, Desert Harvesters will be there to mill your collection into mesquite flour.

Winter hours are 3 to 6pm.  The Santa Cruz Farmers Market is located at the Mercado San Agustin off Congress just West of I-10.  Click the link below for directions and more details.

Santa Cruz Farmers Market

Monday, November 12, 2012

October Tucson Homes Market Statistics

Both average and median Tucson home sale prices dipped just a bit in October but to levels still in line with the averages of the past six months or so.  The lesson to remember is to not read too much into monthly figures but instead to look at six months or more of statistics to determine any real change or movement in the market.  One trend that has reversed itself is the long drop in number of homes on the market, which started in early 2011 and continued through mid 2012.  The number of homes on the market is now at the highest level since February 2012.  Total home sales for October were up a bit from September but still below the averages of the past six months.  The bottom line...we are still bumping along a plateau in terms of both prices and number of sales. 

For the full report go to Tucson MLS October Sales Statistics

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Preparing Your Tucson Plants for Winter Cold

With a projected low tonight of 34 degrees in Tucson, it is a good time to prepare to protect the plants at your Tucson home for tonight and more cold nights to come.   While our native plants can handle our normal cold nights well enough, our imported annuals and perennials, as well as citrus, are quite sensitive to the cold.  So get out the old bedsheets and check the forecast.  Click the following link for a Tucson Weekly article from Tucson's own  container gardening expert, Marylee Pangman.
 
Preparing Your Potted Plants for Winter Cold

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Open House Sunday October 28: 1010 N Camino Miraflores

Stop by and see this beautiful West Side Tucson home this afternoon from 1pm to 4pm.  Try out the views from the patios and picture yourself lounging poolside on a gorgeous Tucson day like today.

Click the link for more details and photos.  Go West on Speedway from Greasewood just under a mile and watch for my open house signs. 

1010 N Camino Miraflores

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Food Trucks Invade West Tucson Tonight!

It is Saturday night in Tucson, and the Tucson Food Truck Roundup has settled in at the International Wildlife Museum on Gates Pass Road in the Tucson Mountains for an evening of Haunted Food Truck food and fun.

There is an amazing selection of mobile kitchens there including:

  • Smokin' Hot BBQ
  • Jamie's Bitchen Kitchen
  • Street Delights
  • Pin UP Pastries
  • Seis Curbside Mexican Gourmet
  • Crazy Dogs Hot Dogs
  • Jackie's Food Court
  • Jake's Donuts
  • and more!
 The Food Truck Roundup goes until 8pm!
Click here for more info and schedules on future Tucson Food Truck Roundups 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1010 N Camino Miraflores: New on the Market

This wonderful Tucson Mountains area four bedroom, three bath home has it all...desert, city lights and wildlife views and a spacious home with beautiful upgrades throughout.  Oh, and a pool!  

Built in 2001, this home features a formal living room and formal dining room, plus a huge family room with fireplace and desert views.  The granite-countered kitchen adjoins the family room, and there is a cool built-in bar with mini-frig too.  Custom upgrades include ceramic tile, new carpet, ceiling fans in almost every room (including the huge master bathroom), skylights and custom painting throughout. 



But the real excitement here is the beautiful saguaro studded backyard with pool, a separate wildlife viewing patio, covered patio, citrus tree and adjoining natural desert neighborhood common area.   This one was too good to last, and it was under contract in four days.
For more details and photos, click on the link to 1010 N Camino Miraflores on the My Listings link on the right side of this page. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just Sold: 9472 N Elan Lane in Northwest Tucson


9472 N Elan Lane in Tucson AZ
This was one of those sales I was almost sad to see happen.  I sold this Northwest Tucson home to this wonderful couple when they retired to Tucson several years ago, and we just sold it again so they can move back east to be close to their new great-grandchildren and the rest of their family.  So good reasons to move, but I am sorry to see them go.

But with the right pricing and their house in gorgeous condition, it sold quickly!  With four bedrooms, two baths, masonry construction and an Energy Star rating, this home was under contract in less than three weeks and sold for $197,000.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Tucson Market Remains Stable and Mortgage Rates Remain Low

The September Tucson homes sales statistics are out, showing that prices are relatively unchanged and seem to have plateaued the past few months.  Whether this is the market bottom, only time will tell.  Lower priced homes continue to sell relatively quickly to first time buyers, investors, retirees and  near-retirees.  Click the link to the full September Tucson homes market report.   MLS Market Report for Tucson Homes

Fixed mortgage rate averages edged up just a bit this week after hitting record lows last week for the second week in a row.  Average 30-year fixed rate mortgages hit a new low of 3.36% last week and 15-year fixed rate mortgages hit a new average low last week of 2.69%.  Again, they edged up a bit this week but still...wow!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tucson Concert Band at Pima College West on Sunday


The Tucson Concert Band opens its 2012-13 season with a concert of autumn and band favorites at Pima College West Campus Proscenium Theatre this Sunday at 2pm.   One of Tucson's best kept cultural secrets, the Tucson Concert Band has entertained a wide variety of audiences from Tucson to Australia to Mexico in its 40 year history.  This is our first full season under the baton of new conductor Lorelei Conrad.  The first female band master in the US Navy band system, Lorelei retired to southern Arizona and is sharing her enthusiasm for great band music with a variety of southern Arizona audiences.
Me and my trombone
So come on down this Sunday to Pima West at 2pm  for a fun afternoon of good music.  Tickets are available at the door.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New on the Market and Open House this Saturday: 2993 W Shawna Place

OPEN HOUSE THIS SATURDAY, October 6 from 1 to 4pm.  Come on by!
Enjoy the privacy and quiet in your Tucson  Mountains foothills gated community of Desert Montage.  With views from both the front and back, you will feel at home in the desert yet are still only minutes from downtown, UA, Pima College, Starr Pass and great hiking and recreation in Tucson Mountain Park.

Tile entryway, skylights, covered patio and a mountain-view backyard just ready for your landscaping dreams.  All appliances stay, so this wonderful home is move-in ready!

Click the link for details, more photos and a map to get you to the open house. 2993 W Shawna Place

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shred Your Docs and Support a Good Cause: Saturday October 6

So why do you still have your tax returns from the 1970's gathering dust in a box under your bed?

First American Title is holding a fundraiser for the Laura B. Currillo Breast Cancer Foundation this Saturday morning. Bring your unneeded documents you wish to dispose of (including financial/medical records, personal information, etc.) for secure shredding on-site!
    - First box = $5
    - Each additional box = $1

This is a great cause and a wonderful opportunity to create some more space at home. 

The Shred-It event will be held at First American Title: 1880 E River Rd, Suite 120 from 9am to 1pm.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Gardening for the Newcomer" Class at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Gardening in Tucson was a real learning experience for me.  All I could think of was year-around tomatoes when I moved here, but I didn't take into account hungry jack rabbits, javelina and those oven-hot summer days. But over time I learned what grows best here, when and how.  If you are a newcomer to Tucson (or just a newcomer to gardening in Tucson), the Tucson Botanical Gardens holds a great series of classes starting this week, to familiarize you with Tucson's seasons and soils.  For more information call 326-9686 or check their website at Tucson Botanical Gardens' Gardening for the Newcomer Class

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mortgages AGAIN Hit Record Lows This Week

They aren't quite giving money away yet, but with average mortgage rates this week of 3.40 percent on a 30-year mortgage and 2.73 percent on 15-year mortgages, it is pretty darned close to that.  The average rate on the 30-year mortgages is the lowest since long-term mortgages began way back in the 1950's.
Lenders continue to be a bit tight with qualifications for buyers, but at these rates it is working talking with a lender to see if you qualify for a new Tucson home or a re-finance.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tucson's Rogue Theatre Embarks upon a Journey to the West

The beautiful music and costumes are starring players in the Rogue Theatre's production of Mary Zimmerman's tale of a young monk's search for enlightenment and the scrolls of wisdom.  But the story and acting are the real stars as well, in this contemporary adaptation of a 16th century epic story.  The Rogue Theatre is the Tucson home for thoughtful theatre and has just been chosen as one of ten theatre companies nationwide to receive the National Theatre Company Award from the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards.

This beautiful play runs through September 23, so get your tickets now.  We saw it opening night and will be back again next weekend. 

For details on the current production and ticket information, check their website:  The Rogue Theatre


Monday, September 10, 2012

August Tucson Home Sales Statistics

The August Tucson homes sales statistics are out and the market continues to show signs of stability.  The average sale price was down a slight 0.98% from July, but the median sales price was up 3.5% from July.   And both average and median sale prices for August were up over the same month one year ago.  The number of homes actually sold (1179) was up 3.69% from July and just over 6.5% from August of last year. The number of solds per month has been fairly stable since March of last year.

The number of Tucson area homes actively listed for sale on the market was up by almost 100 to 3564, but that is still way below the peak numbers sitting on the market of recent years. The eight month decline in the number of homes on the market ended in July, but that number has been stable since. So why did we have such a dramatic drop over those months?  Tucson homes were selling at a brisker pace with lots of first time buyers, investors and retirees (and those planning for retirement) coming into the home-buying market.  And the majority of homes selling are still in the under $160,000 price range.

Click here for August MLS Home Sales Statistics

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tucson Foreclosures Part 1: The Upside...Competitive Pricing and Homes in Good Condition

I previewed a foreclosed Tucson home the other day and was rather shocked to see missing appliances, cut plumbing, holes in the drywall, missing light fixtures and damaged kitchen counters.  Foreclosed homes in that condition were quite common in Tucson just a few short years ago, but most banks and other sellers of foreclosed homes learned their lesson.

Negotiating with the delinquent homeowners to leave the property in good condition, sometimes through a "cash for keys" program has meant that foreclosed homes coming on the market are in much better condition than we saw a few short years ago.  And these institutional sellers often will make basic repairs, paint the interior and replace carpet before placing the home on the market.  Pricing by these banks and institutions is also getting more attention as they attempt to "right price" the home for the current market.

Improved condition of the homes and "right pricing" means that some Tucson foreclosed homes, particularly in the lower price ranges, are selling fast, often with multiple offers and a sale price over the asking price.
Many of these foreclosed homes are ideal for investments, retirees and first time buyers.  But if you find one you like, you may need to act fast with your offer in order to grab it before someone else.

Can their be downsides to buying a foreclosed home?  You bet, and I always explain those to my buyers so they have the entire picture of the transaction on a foreclosed home.  I will have more details on these transaction challenges in my next post: Foreclosures Part II: The Downside

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Just Listed and Open House this Sunday! 9472 N Elan Lane

This energy efficient contemporary home located in the convenient Thornydale/Linda Vista area is now on the market and we will be holding it open tomorrow (Sunday, September 9) from 1 to 4pm.

Quality-built of masonry and steel-frame construction, you will find lots of room in your new home, with four bedrooms, two baths, living room, dining room and a large family room with fireplace.  The master bedroom is bonus-sized with a large walk-in closet, and master bath with large tub and separate shower.  Low-care landscaping and a private backyard (backs up to a wash...no neighboring houses peeking over your back fence) make for relaxing outdoor living.  Upgrades you will love include gorgeous oak-laminate floors and beautiful carpet.

Stop by Sunday from 1 to 4pm for your personal tour.

For detailed information and photos, click the link:   9472 N Elan Lane
Click the location link below for map and directions.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tucson's Santa Cruz Farmers Market Looks Towards Fall

It still feels like summer to me, but the Santa Cruz Farmers Market is off and running with a full schedule of Fall events.  On Thursday afternoon, their Fall Seed Exchange kicks off at the weekly westside Tucson farmers market.  Bring your extra seeds to trade for those you need.  They are also organizing their Fall 2012 Garden Workshops and looking for volunteers to help with the Fall Mesquite Milling which gets underway in November.

But you will still find a lot of wonderful summer vegetables at the market including squash, tomatoes, okra, eggplant and more.  The Santa Cruz Farmers Market is open 4-7pm each Thursday and is located at the Mercado San Agustin.  Click the link for more details on the market.   Santa Cruz Farmers Market
And click the location link below for the location.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Voted Best House on the Tucson Agents Home Tour! 2550 N Falling Water Court


We have a winner!  2550 N Falling Water Court was voted the Home Tour Winner by visiting agents on the recent Tucson Association of Realtors home tour.   Come home to resort-style living in this custom contemporary home in the gated community of The Lakes at Castle Rock off Tanque Verde Road.  Several lakes for fishing or bird watching, and two fitness centers for your swim and workout. 


2550 N Falling Water Court

Lake view from your back yard
Custom contemporary on quiet cul de sac


Your dream kitchen with granite, cherry cabinets, Jenn Air stove, lots of storage and a view of the lakes


Monday, September 3, 2012

Just Reduced! Gorgeous Trails End Territorial Home in the Tucson Mountains

Just reduced almost $25,000 to $404,995! This beautiful custom Territorial is set on an acre of Sonoran desert with Tucson Mountain and Catalina Mountain views.  Custom pool and spa, and really cool rooftop view deck with custom made iron spiral staircase. 

Gorgeous desert setting close to scenic Gates Pass and great hiking in Tucson Mountain Park. And just wait til you see the beautifully upgraded kitchen, baths and more in this wonderful Tucson home.

Call me at 820-7204 to arrange your personal visit

Click here for more details and photos:  5100 W Trails End Rd


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Celebrates its 60th Birthday This Sunday

The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum celebrates its 60th birthday this Sunday morning, September 2 with a Member's Pancake from 8am to 11am.  Eat your fill of delicious pancakes then roam the grounds for a beautiful morning at the Desert Museum.  The pancakes will be served at the Ironwood Terraces Restaurant and the Baldwin Education Building on the Museum grounds.

The pancake breakfast is $12 ($5 for kids 7 and under) plus admission but Members (and why aren't you a member of the Desert Museum?) get free admission to the grounds. 

Happy 60th Birthday to my favorite place in Tucson!


Pancake Breakfast at the Desert Museum



Tucson Food Truck Roundup Tonight in Gates Pass


OK, you lucky West Siders and residents of the Tucson Mountains.  It is dinner out tonight when the Tucson Food Truck Roundup sets up shop under the palm trees at the International Wildlife Museum in Gates Pass.  Graze from truck to truck and choose from everything from barbecue to subs to Mexican food to pizza and a whole lot more.  Tables are set up so you can dine under the palm trees and starry desert skies. 

The fun and good food starts at 5pm.  Get there on time, as the food can run out.  Click on the location link below for a map.

If you haven't discovered the food truck phenomenon for yourself, come on out for a real treat tonight  Click on the link for more information on the fun of Food Trucks and more information on tonight's event in Gates Pass.

Tucson Food Truck Roundup

Friday, August 24, 2012

Just Listed and Open House this Sunday, August 26! Gorgeous Custom Santa Fe Home on 3.3 Acres in the Tucson Mountains

835 N Camino De Oeste
This stunning 2003 custom Santa Fe home is set on 3.3 acres in the heart of beautiful Gates Pass.   Three bedrooms, three baths, PLUS dining room, den/office, huge 3 car garage, lots of storage and covered horse corral.

Camino De Oeste ends less than a half mile away at the David Yetman trailhead in Tucson Mountain Park, well-known for great hiking and horse trails.  All this and just minutes to Downtown, UA, Pima West and I-10.

Open house this Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.  Stop by!

For detailed information and pictures, click the link:    835 N Camino De Oeste

Celebrate Tucson's 238th Birthday at Mission Gardens and Mercado San Agustin this Sunday Morning


Come celebrate Tucson's 238th birthday and the rebirth of the Mission Garden this Sunday morning, August 26th at the Mercado San Agustin on West Congress Street.
A traditional breakfast of torta de huevo, tepary beans, home made tortillas, pan dulce and horchata will be served beginning at 7:30am at the Mercado San Agustin.
Then stroll over to tour the recently rebuilt and replanted Mission Garden, which features many heritage plants.
 
The event runs from 7:30 am to 9:30 am.  And you will have the opportunity to buy heritage plans for your own home garden.   Tickets are $20 at the door.

Click on the link for more information.   Mission Gardens Sunday Event




Thursday, August 2, 2012

Santa Cruz Farmers Market Features Summer Produce

Summer crops are in full swing this week at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market.  Tomatoes, summer squash, chiles, sweet peppers, eggplant, melons and heirloom vegetables will be available from several local growers.  Located in the Mercado San Agustin just west of I-10 on Congress Street, the market features fresh produce, baked goods and plants for your own garden.  The market is open from 4pm to 7pm each Thursday.

For more details, click on the link to the Santa Cruz River Farmers Market

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Saturday Evenings at the Desert Museum

I can't think of a better place to experience the glory of a Tucson summer evening than the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum on one of its Summer Saturday Evenings.  You will find the museum animals are at their most active on our warm summer evenings.  Special docent presentations highlight those animals, the night sky and other facets of our desert nights.  And don't forget to make reservations for a scrumptious evening dinner at the museum's Ironwood Terraces restaurant. 

The Desert Museum is truly one of my Tucson favorites, and another reason so many of us like to call Tucson our home. 

Summer Saturday Evenings continue at the Desert Museum through August 25.   There is discounted admission after 4pm and members get in free, of course.

For more information, check out their website: Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Summer Saturday Evenings

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This Weekend: Plants and Gardening Ideas for our Tucson Heat


Summer gardening at our Tucson homes is always a challenge.  But with the right choice of plants and proper care, even the searing heat of summer can produce some gorgeous plants as well as tasty herbs for your Tucson kitchen.  Herbs such as basil, oregano thyme and even mint love the heat, though a little protective shade can help for the really hot sunny days. My favorite is basil and I am always looking for new recipes to use up my over-supply.

A good place to get started with your Tucson summer garden is the Monsoon Madness Plant Sale at Tohono Chul Park this Friday and Saturday (July 27 and 28.)  Check out their website for hours and more details.    Tohono Chul Park Monsoon Madness Plant Sale

And click this link to a great article in the Sunday Arizona Daily Star with some good tips on gardening in the Tucson heat.    Arizona Daily Star article on summer gardening

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wow! Mortgage Rates: The Record That Keeps on Breaking

 Once again...mortgage rates hit record low averages this week.  These low rates are a big reason we are seeing stabilization of the Tucson homes market, and even a bit of an uptick in prices in the lower ranges. 

Mortgage Rates: The Record That Keeps on Breaking

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just Sold! 2167 W Splitwood

Convenient to, well... everything...shopping, downtown, UA, I-10...this three bedroom/two bath Tucson home just off Silverbell near Grant Road had new carpet and paint.  Priced right to start with, it was under contract before I could even send out the Just Listed postcards, and closed fast with a cash offer.