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, January 30, 2016

Get Out and Enjoy Tucson This Weekend

Sunshine and temps in the 70's are in store for us this fine Tucson weekend.  Cool weather returns Monday so plan your outdoor escape now.  Here are some thoughts on fun things in Tucson this weekend:
Drummers at the Rogue Theatre
You have the rare opportunity to see two of North America’s leading taiko (Japanese ensemble drumming) performers in the intimate space of The Rogue Theatre today. 88: Hachi Hachi is an intricate weaving of taiko, dance and theatre by Portland’s UNIT SOUZOU. Internationally recognized taiko performers Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe create a rhythmic journey investigating lineage, personal story and the space that exists between two people.
There are two shows today: 2:30pm and 7:30pm.  Check the Rogue's website for more info and tickets. The Rogue Theatre

Javelina and Hike in Saguaro National Park West

Learn more about out desert neighbors, the javelina, this Sunday at the Saguaro National Park West. The program is at 3:15 at the Visitors Center.  It is a short program and a great tie-in to a hike in this beautiful park. For more information go to Saguaro National Park West

Southern Arizona Symphony Explores the New World

Maestro Linus Lerner
The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO) performs Dvorak's New World Symphony (one of my favorites) Sunday along with the beautiful Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2  The concert is at 3:00pm at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. The concert repeats next weekend in Green Valley and Saddlebrooke. For more info and tickets:  Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra

Friday, January 29, 2016

Good News for Tucson Home Buyers: Mortgage Rates Down for 4th Week in a Row

Remember when the Fed hiked interest rates a few months ago?  That was supposed to be the beginning of a long rise in mortgage rates but nope, rates were down this week for the fourth week in a row. Both 30-year and 15-year fixed rate loans are averaging below 4%.  Buyers, this won't last forever!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." - Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Buyer Asks: Is a Home Inspection Really That Important?

I have several buyers who likely will be under contract soon, and one asked about the importance of getting a home inspection.

First of all, the home inspection is not a magic bullet to identify every possible issue and defect with the home. Your home inspector will spend a number of hours checking out the visible and accessible components of the property, but cannot see through (or tear open) walls, ceilings and pipes to see what is inside. A good home inspector will give you a lengthy report, complete with photographs, of issues he has identified. That is then the basis for approaching the seller for any repair requests, particularly on safety issues, at the end of your inspection period.

The home inspector's job does not include identifying cosmetic issues (I would hope you noticed the pink shag carpet on our first visit), though he is likely to point out significant cracks, perhaps structural cracks in stucco or tile floors.

Often the home inspector will identify a potential issue with the electrical, plumbing, roof or other systems that warrant a review and perhaps a repair estimate from a professional in those fields. In those cases, I work with you to get a licensed electrician, plumber or roof contractor to the house for a more intense look (and estimate) at those systems. The home inspector also does not take the place of a licensed termite inspector.

I also look at the home  inspection as an educational opportunity, particularly with older homes. I strongly encourage you to be at your home inspection and to stick close to the inspector as he goes through the house. In just a few hours you can learn so much about the systems on the house.   

Friday, January 22, 2016

Last Weekend for The Rogue Theatre's By the Bog of Cats

Marissa Garcia & Matt Bowdren
"This is one to see, even if it doesn't end well" says the Arizona Daily Star's theatre critic Kathleen Allen. And she is so right. By the Bog of Cats is as dark as any play the Rogue has produced.

The Irish tale of Hester Swane gives us a few glimpses of light before it resumes its journey towards a woeful end. I won't give any more away, but check out the Star's review:  
Arizona Daily Star Review of By the Bog of Cats

This is the last weekend and I am heading back to see it again Saturday night. There are tickets still available for both Saturday performances. For more information and tickets, check their website:  The Rogue Theatre

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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

Betty Smith
The world was hers for the reading" - Betty Smith

This one makes me think of my dear late Aunt Elizabeth, English teacher and librarian. I cannot remember her without a book in her hands.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Just Listed: 855 N Windbell Circle in the Scenic Gates Pass Area

855 N Windbell Circle
Tucson's dramatic Gates Pass area is this setting for this spacious contemporary home with beautiful views and wildlife. This 1.27 acre lot is very private & features a spacious view deck to watch sunsets & desert wildlife. Perfect for entertaining, the kitchen opens onto the family room with a fireplace and beautiful bricked covered patio. There is a large Saltillo-tiled living room and the den/office could easily be converted to a third bedroom.

Relax in your spa watching the sunset over the Tucson Mountains or the stars at night. This home is move-in ready and waiting for your personal updating touches. Minutes from Downtown and UofA. This neighborhood is surrounded by mountain ridges & is close to Tucson Mountain Park for great hiking and recreation activities.

For more details and photos, check out 855 N Windbell Circle

The Neighbors Drop by for a Morning Visit
Spacious Saltillo-tiled Living Room
Kitchen with Breakfast Bar

Family Room with Cozy Fireplace

Large Deck with Mountain and Valley Views

Covered Back Porch and Spa for Relaxing Star Gazing
Yet Another Desert Neighbor Drops By

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tucson Home Sales Market Update

Hey, we ended 2015 on an up note in the Tucson homes market!

The December Tucson MLS sales stats showed the number of homes sold was up 37% from November, and more importantly, up almost 16% from December 2014. 

The average sale price in December was up 1.06% over November 2015 and 3.27% over December 2014. Median sale price was up 4.14% from November 2015 and 6.67% from December 2014. These are not spectacular figures but show continued slow steady growth in the Tucson market...much healthier than a rapid run-up.

The number of new listings in December was down 7.72% from November, but that is not unusual over the holiday season. We should see a rebound in the January stats.

And here is a link to the full monthly Tucson MLS report:  Tucson Association of Realtors MLS Monthly Report

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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

"Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first day of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past." -  Henry Ward Beecher  

Tucson Ranks #7 for Active Living

Hiking in the Tucson Mountains
Looking at a variety of factors including numbers of available facilities and cost, the website WalletHub has ranked Tucson #7 of the best cities for active lifestyles. Scottsdale beat us out and is ranked #1, but then who would want to live there. Active lifestyle is one thing but a more funky local culture, tasty Mexican food and of course Sonoran hot dogs trump anything else Scottsdale would have to offer.

So yes, enjoy our "active lifestyle" ranking with an invigorating hike or workout and then head out for an El Guero Canelo hot dog. Life is all about balance.

Tucson Ranked #7 for Active Lifestyles

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Good Morning Tucson!

My photo does not do it justice, but in my 25 years of living in Tucson, this was one of the most beautiful mornings I can remember.  I was out with the dog before the sun broke over the Rincon Mountains. The incoming storm clouds reflected the pink, yellows and purple of the rising sun while over my shoulder twin rainbows arced over the Tucson Mountains. Sometimes we need these little reminders that we do indeed, live here in this beautiful place.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Recycle your Christmas tree at 9 Tucson locations

The Party is Over
Once again, Tucson residents can recycle their Christmas trees through the City of Tucson’s TreeCycle Program. The program continues through Tuesday, January 12, 2016.  TreeCycle sites are located throughout Tucson and Oro Valley (see list of TreeCycle sites below).  
The City asks that you remove all ornaments, decorations and tree stands before dropping off at the TreeCycle sites. Remember to Tree Pool! Bring your neighbor’s tree— fewer trips means cleaner air.

Additionally, from January 4th through January 12th, 2016, the City of Tucson will have Merry Mulch (wood chips) from shredded Christmas trees available for pick-up at Udall Park, and the Los Reales Landfill. Bring your own container and take home some free wood chips for your garden.
The following TreeCycle sites are open during daylight hours, seven days a week (except as noted):

Friday, January 1, 2016

Closing Times Stretch. New Federal Regs to Blame?

The average time to close a loan jumped to 49 days in November according to REALTOR.Mag, the longest since February 2013.  Most in the industry are blaming the longer closing times on the new RESPA-TILA "Know Before You Owe" regulations put into effect in October by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Designed to provide more disclosure and protections for homebuyers in the mortgage process, the regulations are also adding to the time to process loan applications and approvals.

One Tucson lender I work with has told me to write in closing periods of 45 days into my Buyers' contracts.  In the past, we have looked at 30 to 35 day closings, depending on the lender and the Buyers' circumstances.