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!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tucson Home Sales Slow with the Holiday Season

The November Tucson Multiple Listing System (MLS) stats are out, and as we expect this time of year, activity is easing a bit. The number of homes sold (1,266) was up a miniscule 0.56% over October but the number of homes under contract was down 7.65% from October. That is not unusual as many buyers begin to focus more on the holidays than house hunting. The number of active listings was down a bit as well, which again is not unusual as some sellers postpone going on the market due to the approaching holidays . But...scroll down and read my posting of November 30 on why this is a good time for sellers to be on the market AND for buyers to keep looking.

Both average and median sales prices in November were up a bit.  The average sale price was $217,446 as the Tucson market continues its long slow recovery from the market bottom of September 2011, when the average sale price was $150,699.  Check back in January for a full summary and analysis of our Tucson 2016 homes market.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Millennials are looking for the "Urban-lifestyle Suburb"

Tucson Modern Streetcar on 4th Ave
Ah, those Millennials. If only I had a dollar for every article about how they are all sleeping in mom and dad's basement, or they are never going to buy a house, or they are anxious to buy a house, or they prefer the convenience of renting. But one fact is emerging about potential Millennial buyers. They love the urban life and existence...but many can't afford urban home prices. And Tucson is no exception. I have talked with so many Millennials (and others) who love the Congress Street, 4th Avenue and UA area lifestyle but just cannot afford homes around there.

So both in Tucson and around the country, many Millennials are heading to the suburbs. A new study by the Urban Land Institute says that 75% of people aged 25 to 34 are opting to live in the suburbs. Does that mean they prefer the suburban lifestyle? No, but they do like the cost of living in the suburbs. And they still want urban amenities in the ' coffee shops, fast internet access, good jobs, and convenient transportation back to their urban haunts. The latter is greatly helped these days in Tucson by ride services such as Uber and Lyft.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SOLD! Gates Pass Home with Panoramic Views

It was love at first sight for the new owners of this spacious Gates Pass home. The views, the convenience to UA and the access to Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park were the big attractions here. And the home is great too, with three bedrooms plus a bonus suite, view deck and patios, and three bathrooms. Sold for $298,000.
Click the link for more details and photos. 765 N Via Roma


Tucson Tuesday: Geranium Steps

Winter geraniums on the steps

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Niccolo Machiavelli
"Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul." - Niccolo Machiavelli

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fun Things in Tucson: Shaw Play Reading and Christmas with the Band

Tucson's The Rogue Theatre
George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession will be the subject of a staged play reading at Tucson's wonderful Rogue Theatre this Sunday at 2:00pm. The play reflects on the moral complexity of prostitution and the evolving role of women in Victorian society. Tickets are running low, so call the Rogue Ticket Line at 551-2053. The reading is Sunday, December 4 at 2:00pm. For more information on this and the Rogue's entire season, check out  The Rogue Theatre

Tap Your Toes to Holiday Favorites
And on Wednesday night, December 7 at 7pm, the Tucson Concert Band (with yours truly on trombone) will present a selection of holiday favorites in the Activity Center at Voyager RV Park located at 8701 S Kolb Rd.  Tickets are only $10 and can be reserved by calling 574-6100. For more information, check out The Tucson Concert Band

Lorelei Conrad, Conductor and Musical Director

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mortgage Interest Rates Edge Higher...Again...

Average fixed mortgage rates have edged higher for five weeks in a row. But as scary as that sounds, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is still just above 4%.  Those same loans were available one year ago for an average of 3.93%.  But who knows what the future holds? Is this a trend?  Buyers?  Oh, Buyers?...   What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Seller Asks: Should We Put Our Tucson House on the Market over the Holidays?

I am occasionally asked by Sellers about the wisdom of putting their Tucson house on the market around the holidays. And my answer is that, particularly in the Tucson market, it is a great time to have your home on the market. 

First of all, the snowbirds and holiday visitors are here! I have known so many people who were inspired to begin their Tucson home search while here on a visit to Tucson. 

Second, while there may be fewer buyers out there over the holidays, the ones that are looking tend to be very serious buyers. They are real buyers who need to find their Tucson home!

Third, a lot of Sellers follow your instinct and take their houses off the market over the holidays or delay listing it, so there is suddenly less competition for you.

And finally...when does your home look and smell better than over the holidays! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments." - Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Surveys Show! First Time Buyers will be back in 2017

First time buyers have been huddled on the sideline for much of the housing recovery. In 2016, only 33% of homebuyers are expected to be first time buyers.  But a new survey predicts that up to 52% of homebuyers in 2017 will be purchasing their first home. That bodes well for Tucson home sellers, especially those who may be ready to move up to their next level Tucson

Monday, November 7, 2016

SOLD! 7850 E Chauncey

Charming is quite the over-used word in real estate, but it certainly applies to this nice Tucson townhome that we just sold on the east side.  With beautiful tile and wood-laminate floors, beehive fireplace, Catalina Mountain views from the kitchen, and private backyard with covered patio, this Tucson home was perfect for the new owner.  Great for entertaining with the community pool just a short distance away.  Sold for $135,500.  7850 E Chauncey Street, Tucson AZ

Sunday, November 6, 2016

We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another - until we speak quietly enough that our words can be heard as well as our voices. - Richard M Nixon

 heard as well as our voices. Richard M. Nixon
Read more at:
We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another - until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices. Richard M. Nixon
Read more at:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Do Open Floor Plans in Tucson Homes Make You Fat?

I was casting about for a Tucson real estate tidbit to post and came up with this doozie.

Actual research (from the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame) claims that homes with open floorplans may make you eat 10% more per kitchen visit than a home with a closed floorplan. And that 10% translated into 170 more calories consumed per kitchen visit. The study authors speculate that the "direct view and access to the serving area..." were generally responsible for this additional gluttony. And one caveat...this study was done with 57 college students.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Now you can easily check out your prospective Tucson home contractors

I have talked before about the importance of using licensed contractors to work on your Tucson home, especially for important repairs and work such as plumbing, electrical, remodeling, solar, and your roof.  Now the Arizona Registrar of Contractors has made it much easier to check out your prospective contractors, their records and yes, to confirm that they actually have a current license! And with over 36,000 licensed contractors in the state (and a lot more unlicensed ones...), it pays to check them out. Arizona Registrar of Contractors

And among the tips the Registrar gives are:
  • Review a contractor's license at Arizona Registar of Contractors website (hey, I already told you that.
  • Ask for references and check them out
  • Obtain written estimates from at least three contractors
  • Work with the contractor to obtain proper permits (you will be glad when it comes to sell your house)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hunter S Thompson
"Who is the happier man: He who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?" - Hunter S Thompson

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fun Things in Tucson: Hop on your Bike! Cyclovia Comes to Tucson

"Cyc˙lo˙via (/ˌsklɵˈv.ə/) n.
A Spanish word signifying the temporary closure of a network of streets to cars so that they become “open” to  people."

Whatever the origin, this is a fun day in Tucson to hop on your bike and explore some new neighborhoods.  The fun starts Sunday at 10am.   For more details, check out Cyclovia Tucson

The Route

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Let's Stay Home!

Sixty-one percent of home owners over the age of 55 surveyed say they plan to stay in their homes indefinitely. - Home Advisors’ 2016 Aging in Place Report

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tucson Tuesday: Good Eats at the new Welcome Diner

Another fine addition to Tucson's well deserved designation as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sold! 1950's Adobe Bungalow

1220 S 11th Avenue
"Great bones!" is such a trite and overused word in real estate, but this Tucson house sure has them. This is a great property for George and Wayne who are throwing their creativity and energy into turning this into a wonderful home, while preserving its original character.
I will repost this one in a few months with the "after" pictures.   

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean." - Mother Theresa

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fun Things in Tucson: Open Studios in West-Northwest Tucson

Art Trails is the first in the Open Studio Season, hosted by visual artists in the West-Northwest part of Tucson-Pima County. Art Trails artists will open their studios to the public, present a variety of unique, one-of-a-kind artwork, works in progress, and artworks for sale October 22-23, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m each day. 

And I am happy to see at least two of my artist-neighbors, Carolyn Leigh and Glory Tacheenie-Campoy are participating. This is a free event.  Click the link for a map and list of artists.   Art Trails Open Studio 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Tucson Homes Market: Ups and Downs

The Tucson homes market continued to bump along in September as it has all year. The number of homes sold was 1331, down 5.8% from August, but it is normal to see a slight drop from summer. For the year so far, we are still slightly ahead of 2015. The average sale price in September was almost unchanged from August at $220,538 but is still up 6.6% from one year ago.   For the full September Tucson MLS home sales report, go to September Tucson MLS Homes Sales Report

Monday, October 17, 2016

New on the Market: 5281 W Camino Del Desierto

The magnificent Gates Pass/Trails End area of the Tucson Mountains is the setting for this beautiful Santa Fe home. You will have your own resort with solar-heated pool and spa, covered patio with gorgeous mountain views and outdoor kitchen. Step out into your pool area from the magnificent master suite, with build-in speakers, bedroom views both west and east, spacious master bath with spa tub and walk in shower, and two huge walk-in closets with custom built-in storage. With a billiard/family room, formal dining room, den/office, 3-car garage, central vacuum and so so much more. Priced at $550,000. Check the pictures, click on the listing and call me for a visit. 5281 W Camino Del Desierto


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ice Cube
"The best thing I have done with my money is buy a house for my family. You wake up to a house you love and you feel like somebody." - Ice Cube

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fun Things in Tucson: Tohono Chul Plant Sale and the Quince Fest at Mission Gardens

It is a great weekend to get outside and check out some new and different plants for your desert landscape. You can even eat some of them!

Fall Plant Sale at Tohono Chul Park 

Saturday and Sunday, you can pick up some beautiful desert and desert friendly plants, from agaves to Zauschneria and everything in-between, at the Tohono Chul Park's fall plant sale.
Tohono Chul Park Plant Sale & Other Events

Mission Gardens 4th Annual Membrillo Fest
Taste and learn to make traditional cajeta de membrillo and quince jam by the hand of Josefina Lizárraga at the West Side Mission Gardens on Saturday afternoon. There will be orchard tours and sales of edible trees.     Mission Gardens 4th Annual Membrillo Fest

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ah Fannie Mae...I Beg to Differ

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index for September claims a 5% drop in the number of consumers who say it is a good time to buy a house. And there was a 6% drop in the number of people who believe mortgage interest rates will go down over the next year. 

Picking those two apart, I can't speak for the nation as a whole, but it is a great time to buy a house in Tucson. While Tucson home prices have recovered from the bottoms of several years ago, we are nowhere near full recovery prices and definitely behind the market recoveries of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California. 

And interest rates? I agree that there is a good chance that interest rates will not go lower over the next year. Why should they? Mortgage interest rates are already at near record lows and the economy continues to improve.

So my take on this is to ignore the national stats and focus on our Tucson market. There are a lot of great homes on the market at great prices and a lot of them are selling fast. So if you are considering your first home or a move-up home, take advantage of these still-low interest rates and our still good prices and give me a call. Let's get looking!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Advice to Tucson Home Buyers: Keep your offer simple

Now that the Tucson homes market has picked up a bit, it is not unusual for homes to sell quickly, often with multiple offers for homes in certain price ranges.  So what can buyers do to make their offers stand out in the crowd?  My strongest recommendation is to keep it simple and realistic.

Sellers are looking at three things in the current Tucson homes market: Is it a good price?  Is it a fairly quick closing date?  Is the Buyer pre-qualified with a lender, preferably a local one.

In the past few years of the down market, it was common for Buyers to ask for lots of extras (such as the sellers paying the buyer's closing costs, lengthy closing periods because the Buyer's lease is not up until much later, etc.)  And these requests were often on top of a low-ball offer.   

But now that we are in a more balanced market, and one that in some price ranges even favors the Sellers, I suggest that Buyers go in with a strong, clean offer to start.  Make a realistically priced offer (or at least in the realm of reality) based on comparable sales, have a strong Pre-qualification from your lender, and don't load your offer up with distracting requests.

So while you don't want to neglect what is truly important for you in the offer, do make an effort to keep it simple and straightforward.  Remember, in this market you may well not be the only offer sitting in front of the Sellers.

Monday, October 10, 2016

We have a Winner! 5281 W Camino Del Desierto

I love it when my client's beautiful home wins the Best House on the Tucson Association of Realtor's Home Tour!