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, February 27, 2015

2014 Tucson Homes Market Wrap-up

A client was asking how 2014 went for home sales in Tucson. So here are the data and my thoughts.

Despite a slight drop in sale prices, the Tucson homes market was remarkably stable in 2014. And that is good for both buyers and sellers. 

The number of Tucson area homes (of all types) sold in 2014 was 13,739 which was down slightly from 2013 when 14, 819 homes sold. The average sale price of a Tucson home in 2014 was $202,740, which was up from 2013's average of $197, 584. This is the first year since 2009 that the average sale price broke above the $200,000 level.

2014 started out with cash sales leading the way but by the end of the year, conventional loans were the primary financing means for buyers.

Short sales and foreclosed property sales continued to decline, which is also leading to market stability.

I am happy to email you a copy of the full Tucson home sales report, so just drop me an email at

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quote of the Week: Real Estate, Home, and Life

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain

Monday, February 23, 2015

Its Tax Time!

Woo Hoo!
Whether you bought, sold, paid mortgage interest or just used a dedicated space in your home for your office in 2014, you may have some tax deductions coming on your 2014 returns.

Mortgage interest deductions are the big ones, of course. Congress has not yet done away with that, although it always seems to be on the table as a negotiating item.

Private mortgage insurance and FHA mortgage insurance premiums?  Yep, may be deductible as well. 

Did you prepay mortgage interest or pay points on a mortgage loan?  Again, they may (sorry for all the italics) be deductible as well.

And the list goes tax deductions, home office deduction, energy efficiency upgrades...just make sure you confirm all of this with your tax professional.

And here is the link to a great article on the subject:
Tax Deduction Advice for Your Clients

Disclaimer: I am NOT an accountant and you should confirm all possible deductions (see all of the italicized "may"s above) with your professional tax preparer or give our friends at the IRS a call.

SOLD! Flower

Sold!   3226 E Flower Street

Such a cutie!  This 1944 masonry-stucco bungalow is only 425 square feet but has so much charm and potential. It features studio-style living with a living/bedroom combination with beamed ceiling. The sunny and spacious kitchen has been updated as has the bathroom. 

The house may be small, but it also has a large garage with workbench and a separate big laundry room which could have many uses. Artist studio perhaps? A large covered patio with fireplace is perfect for outdoor gatherings and includes a fireplace.  And yet another large storage building is on the site.

The mid-town R-2 zoned lot is huge at just over a quarter of an acre. All this and a convenient mid-town location.

Sold for $64,800.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oops! Prices and Sales Slip a Bit in January

One month's statistics do not a trend make, we hope.
Our January Tucson MLS sales statistics showed a bit of a drop in both sale prices (both average and median) and the number of sales as well. The 25% drop in sales from December to January is not a huge concern as most of those January sales were homes that went under contract in December. And frankly, most people in December are more concerned with gifts and eggnog recipes than writing contracts on houses. And another statistic may confirm that. The number of homes going under contract in January was up 35% from December.  Most of those should show as February sales in the next round of statistics.

Both average and median sale prices were down a bit as well (4.9% and 2.88% respectively) from December.  Prices were relatively flat in 2014 and I will have a full report on that in a week, so check back.

Tucson MLS Stats for January 2015

For Sale! in Cesme, Turkey (legal disclaimer: this is NOT my listing.)

Charming fixer-upper we found for sale on an evening walk in Cesme, Turkey the other night.  Not your typical Tucson house, it has a nice ocean view! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Food City: Go!

I know it may not be the first supermarket of choice for many but I just love Food City.  The grocery selection, the produce, the atmosphere, the music!  When I am in a mood to cook Mexican it is my first stop for great ingredients. And their fresh limes are MUCH cheaper than anywhere else in town.  So check it out!  Our closest Food City on the West Side of Tucson is on St. Mary's Road just west of Grande. There is also one on south 6th just north of I-10.  It is a good place to get your freshly roasted green chiles in the early fall.

There was a wonderful article in the Tucson Weekly that really captures the flavor (sorry) of the place.  Check it out: Food City: A Valentine

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Quote of the Week: Real Estate, Home, and Life

"I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give." - Julia Child

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cheap Gas Prices and the Tucson Real Estate Market

"Crashing Oil Prices to Hit Home-Price Appreciation"

Tucson Gas Prices for Saturday, February 7
That was the headline of a recent article suggesting that crashing oil prices in the oil patch states would lead to a crash in the oil production business and take the air out of the real estate market in those areas.

But closer to home, what will the cheaper gasoline prices mean for the Tucson homes market? Back during the boom days of the earlier 2000's, there was a saying in real estate and for many buyers..."drive 'til you qualify." And what they meant was that many buyers were willing to drive long distances to new developments in Red Rock, Vail, Sahuarita and even Benson in order to find less expensive homes for which they would qualify for a home loan. The trade-off was a long commute from jobs in Tucson, but many buyers were willing to take that on. But when the market crashed, those far-flung developments were among some of the worst hit for foreclosures and short sales as the appeal of those long commutes, coupled with plunging home values and rising gas prices, lead many of those homeowners to just give up.

So today we are back with cheap gas prices (and cheap loans with low down payments.) Are we going to see buyers seeking to take advantage of the cheaper prices of distant homes and gas once again?  It is a little early to tell, but stay tuned.

And if you are looking for the cheapest gas in Tucson for your commute home, check out            Tucson Gas Prices.

Fun Things in (and near) Tucson: Barrio Viejo Tour, Tubac Festival of the Arts, Southern Arizona Food & Wine Festival

Barrio Viejo Historic District Walking Tour

One of my favorites and certainly one of Tucson's most historic neighborhoods, Barrio Viejo is hosting a walking tour late this afternoon.  The Sonoran architecture in this great neighborhood is exemplary and an example of so much that was lost in the Urban Renewal fiasco of the 1960's. The tour starts at 4:00pm and reservations are required. For more information, and to sign up for the tour,Barrio Viejo Tour.

Tubac Festival of the Arts

The last time I was at the Tubac Festival of the Arts, my mother and I were admiring the work of a wonderful young Navajo jewelry maker. I liked his silver and turquoise rings, but he just didn't seem to have exactly what I wanted. So he offered to design one and we stood there for 45 minutes doing just that. I still have it and wear it (thank you, Mom) and it is a great memory. The Festival is underway again this weekend. Check it out and make your own memories. Tubac Festival of the Arts

Southern Arizona Food and Wine Festival

Another fun (and filling) event today is happening today at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  The Southern Arizona Food and Wine Festival features the creations of up to 40 of Tucson's finest chefs and a dozen or so of Southern Arizona's wineries and breweries. Tickets are available at the door today for $75 and the event runs from 11am to 3pm.  More information is at Southern Arizona Food and Wine Festival

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Quote of the Week: Real Estate, Home, and Life

"No one's ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that's abandoned by February." - Suze Orman

Monday, February 2, 2015

SOLD! University Area Duplex at 1727 East 8th St

This was a terrific duplex offering so close to the UA that you hear the football crowds. Featuring solid masonry construction and off-street parking, this duplex is two blocks from UA stadium and convenient to the UA student rec center.  Each unit features 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath and private outdoor space, enclosed back yard, covered patio and storage. One unit has tile floors and all appliances stayed including a washer/dryer in each unit.  Sold for $207,000.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

UA Opera Theater flash mobs Tucson streetcar

I am a fan of both good opera and the new Tucson modern streetcar and would LOVED to have been in on this spontaneous performance.  Go ride Tucson's modern streetcar and see what you discover.

Video: UA Opera Theater flash mobs Tucson streetcar