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!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Sold! 2231 E 18th Street

Quite the charmer!  This mid-town 1950 home still has many of the cool original features including the kitchen tile work, built-in wood table and even the original gas wall heating. Newly painted and carpeted and ready for the buyer to move in. And the huge backyard with Catalina views will soon be blooming as she gets started on her gardening. A delightful client who is getting a great little house.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Celebrate 50 Years of Environmental Education in the Tucson Mountains with Food Trucks and Music!

Join the Tucson Food Truck Roundup and our Westside/Tucson Mountain neighbors in celebrating 50 years of Sonoran Desert studies at the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, better known to generations of school students and neighbors as Camp Cooper.  The evening will feature great food from an assortment of food trucks, campfire, night hikes and stargazing.  Music includes Mariachi Ariztlan from Tucson High.  The fun starts at 5pm this Saturday March 29th at Camp Cooper, 5403 W Trails End Road.

And here is how to get there.  Directions to Camp Cooper

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quote of the Week: Real Estate and Life

"One thought driven home is better than three left on base." - my fortune from lunch today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Whats Up and Down in Our Tucson Mountains/West Side Neighborhoods

Our Tucson Mountains/West Side neighborhoods are special to all of us who have our homes here. So when a neighbor asked about the market in our area, I thought I would share that information with all of you.

This quick analysis covered our Tucson Mountain neighborhoods roughly from Starr Pass north to Ina Rd,  and west of Silverbell to the Tucson Mountains.

The number of homes sold in our Tucson Mountain area was remarkably level over the past two years, 401 in 2013 vs 402 in 2014. The trend of note is the continued reduction in short sales in our area, from 13% of homes sold in 2012, to 9% in 2013 and only 3% thus far in 2014. REO (foreclosed) homes dropped from 27% of homes sold in 2012 to 19% in 2013.

26% of 2012 sales in our area were for cash, which dropped a bit to 21% in 2013.  Cash is back, at least in early 2014 with 33% of Tucson Mt area sales.  In terms of financing, 50% of home sales in this same area were conventional loans, with 15% going FHA and 13% VA loans. 

Many of the cash sales I am seeing are from investors on smaller properties, and from retirees and near-retirees reaching into their savings to buy that dream retirement place.

If you would like to know what is going on in your neighborhood or about that house that just sold down the street, give me a call or drop me an email. I am always happy to chat about real estate in our west side neighborhoods. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Good News: 4 Million US Homes Return to Positive Equity. Bad News: Many Arizonans Still Underwater

The good news is that the recovering national real estate market returned over 4 million homeowners to positive equity in 2013, according to CoreLogic, which researches such things. The bad news?  Arizona continues to be one of the top states for homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. 21.5% of Arizona homeowners were reported to owe more than the current value of their homes. Only Nevada and Florida were reported worse statistics.

The Tucson homes market has recovered more slowly than the national market and is even lagging the Phoenix market.  But even with the occasional pauses in our sales prices increases, the slow recovery of the Tucson market continues.
4 Million Homes Return to Positive Equity

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fun Things in Tucson: Desert Survivors Spring Plant Sale

The Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery has over 400 species of bio-regional plants and trees for our Sonoran desert climate and a knowledgeable staff as well.  Their Spring Plant Sale is this weekend, Saturday, March 15th (not open on Sunday).  And they are a non-profit whose sales support programs for children and adults with disabilities.

If you have been putting off landscaping for your Tucson house, this is a good weekend and great opportunity to get started and help a worthy Tucson organization.  Desert Survivors is located at 1020 W Starr Pass Boulevard, just West of I-10.

For more information, check their website:  Desert Survivors

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Quote of the Week: Real Estate and Otherwise...

I offer this one up as I chalk up yet another birthday this week.   

"Age doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese" – the late great actress Billie Burke

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Potential Seller Asks: What do I need to disclose about my house?

I always tell sellers that if there is any doubt about disclosing something about their property, then the answer is...disclose it.  Better the buyer find out from you about a property condition than to find out from the next door neighbor in a conversation over the backyard fence six months after the property changes hands.

In fact, the opening paragraph of the Arizona Association of Realtors' Sellers Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) says plainly..."Sellers are obligated by law to disclose all known (important) facts about the property to the buyer."  The SPDS form was developed to help the seller understand what and how property condition items should be disclosed.  

And the truth is that potential buyers appreciate the honesty in a thoroughly prepared SPDS.  It shows that the seller is being upfront about the past history of the property.  And for the seller, it is a good opportunity to demonstrate how well cared for the property was.  Was there a roof or plumbing leak five years ago?  The SPDS lets the seller disclose that leak and also the measures that were take to properly correct the problem.  So often what a seller considers a negative disclosure can be turned into a positive.

If you would like to see the six page Sellers Property Disclosure Form, give me a call or email and I would be happy to send you a sample copy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stat of the Week: Mortgage Rates Reverse Course This Week

Yay, mortgage interest rates dropped a bit this week after a four week climb, according to Freddie Mac.  30-year fixed rates averaged 4.28% and 15-year fixed rates averaged 3.32%.  Last year those average rates were 3.52% and 2.76%  So yes, rates are up a bit from their historic lows of the last few years but still are very very good.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fun Things In Tucson: The Rogue Theatre Dazzles with Pinter's Betrayal

We all know that betrayal can take so many forms. The Rogue Theatre's production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal cuts right to the heart of the emotions and fears any betrayal can generate.

In this case, the betrayal is an extended affair between Emma and Jerry. Exquisitely acted in the Rogue's intimate black box theatre, the play takes us through the evolution (backwards in this me, it works) of the relationship and the emotions too of Emma's husband Robert. 

So read what the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly have to say. Then go to the Rogue link and get your tickets now.  They are selling out of most of the remaining performances. Betrayal is running through March 16.
Arizona Daily Star: "Betrayal" renews faith that theater can provoke, excite

Tucson Weekly: Rogue Theatre creates a great experience...

And for ticket availability and more on Betrayal, go to the Rogue's own website:    The Rogue Theatre

And get there early for the pre-show music featuring the beautiful voice of Marissa Garcia.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quote of the Week: Real Estate and Life

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do." - Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Client Asks: "Do I really have to drive across town to sign a one page document?"

And the short answer is...probably not.

Proper signatures on correctly prepared real estate documents are key to a successful real estate transaction.  But with new technology (and the authorization of the Electronic Signatures Act of 2000) electronic signing is reducing the need for "pen on paper" signatures for many of my real estate clients.

E-signatures are set up for the client through one of several third party systems and can be used for everything from listing agreements and full contract purchase offers to those last minute contract addenda. 

My client receives a secure email which opens to a pdf version of the transaction documents.  The client can review the documents and then simply clicks in the appropriate areas to insert his signature electonically. Once completed, the signed document returns to me (again as a pdf file) which I can then send to the other real estate agent, turn in to my broker for his files, and retain for my own files.  Saves gas and trees, as we can eliminate a lot of driving and unnecessary paper printing.  I have done entire Tucson home transactions with out-of-state clients without ever meeting face to face!

While some foreclosure and short sale transactions still require ink on paper signatures, even that world is slowing changing.  So don't be surprised if you can sign important docs on your next home sale or purchase while sitting home in your jammies!