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, October 6, 2017

Fun in Tucson: Desert Foods Fiesta in the Tucson Mountains

Come on out this Saturday October 7 to the Gates Pass area of the Tucson Mountains for a morning of good food and fun at the Desert Foods Fiesta. The event will be held from 9am to 1pm at the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, located at 5403 W Trails End Rd.

There will be cooking demonstrations, and good food prepared and sold by a variety of vendors. David Yetman, host of the PBS program "The Desert Speaks" will give a special presentation at 11am.  For more information, check out Cooper Center's Desert Foods Fiesta

The Cooper Center is a partnership between the Tucson Unified School District and the University of Arizona's College of Education. The center has hosted over 140,000 students and adults since it began offering outdoor desert experiences in 1964.

Cooper Center for Environmental Learning

Buyers Beware: Mortgage Rates Continue to Inch Up

Mortgage interest rates hit their highest levels in six weeks, according to Freddie Mac.  But don't panic yet, the average for 30-year fixed mortgages is still well under 4%, at 3.85%.  It has long been expected that rates would increase but we have seen these slight jumps before in the past few years.  A year ago, the average rate was 3.42%.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rainbow Rowell 
October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.... Merry October! - Rainbow Rowell

Thursday, August 17, 2017

5100 W Trails End in the Tucson Mountains

This gorgeous Gates Pass/Trails End area Tucson home has it all...views, a cool pool, privacy and a beautiful Sonoran desert setting. Beautifully updated with concrete and tile floors, granite and stainless kitchen, walk in showers, custom Pebble-Tec pool and outdoor fireplace with seating, this will be a home you will love to live in and entertain your friends. Beautiful desert setting near Tucson Mountain Park, yet only minutes to Downtown, UA, and the new Caterpillar HQ.  $474,900  For more details and pictures, check out: 5100 W Trails End Rd


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." - Buddha

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

We Bought the House...Now What Can We Spend Money On?

Your New Dream Kitchen
We have all been through the buying process and watched the costs mount up...home inspections, lender closing costs, escrow closing costs, down payment, upfront escrow lender collections for insurance and taxes and more.  So now that you are settled in the new house, what else can you think of to spend money on?  Lots, apparently.

A new survey from the National Association of Home Builders shows that new homeowners spend an average of $10,600 on furniture, appliances and home projects in the first year of ownership.  Now some of that is understandable...maybe the house did not come with all appliances (a separate survey by Home Innovation Research Labs shows that 2/3 of homes did not come with a washer or dryer) or maybe you bought it knowing the windows needed replaced or the roof needed some work. Or you just could not live another day in that new house without those granite counters you have longed for. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” - Oscar Wilde

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fun in Tucson: The Rogue Theatre's A House of Pomegranates

Adapted from short stories by Oscar Wilde, these three short plays are the perfect mix of great storytelling and writing, a wonderful production and even music and dance. It is an amazing adaptation from Wilde's stories by Tucson's own Christopher Johnson.

Playing at Tucson's wonderful Rogue Theatre through July 16.  Tickets are going fast so check out The Rogue Theatre's A House of Pomegranates

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mortgage Rates Rise a Bit This Week from 2017 Lows

After reaching record lows for the year last week, mortgage interest rates crept up a bit this week, nudged along by a sharp rise in global interest rates.

But in the grand scheme of things, rates are still pretty low. 30-year fixed rate mortgages are averaging 3.96% and 15-year fixed rate mortgages are averaging 3.22%.  Overall, still good news for Tucson home buyers (and sellers who want to sell to those buyers.)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tucson Sales Level With the Coming of Summer; Prices Up!

As expected, the Tucson homes market seems to be plateauing with summers approach. The number of active listings in May was down 4.8% from April, the number of new listings was down 5.6% and average days on market was up a bit to 46 from 44 in April.

But prices of those sold continues to rise, with the median sale price of a home sold in Tucson in May at $195,000. That is up from $190,000 in April and is the highest median sale price in Tucson since July of 2008.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Couples and Homebuying

One of the many skills you need in real estate (and that they don't teach in licensing class) is working with couples in buying a home. I have successfully worked with so many Tucson home buying couples over the years, that I am tempted to add "couples therapist" to my resume.

And a recent survey released by LendingHome supports the notion that couples often approach their new home wishes and dreams from different directions, but ultimately come together and are satisfied with their new homes.

So what does the survey show?
  • 14% of couples together five years or more disagreed frequently during the process
  • 30% of couples together four years or less disagreed frequently 
  • 49% disagreed on the level of debt to take on with the new home
  • 46% disagreed on the style of the new home

The good news? 60% of couples said their disagreements did not matter in the end, and 50% of couples said they felt more committed to each other after they were in their new home.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tucson Snapshot: Boots at El Tiradito

People ask: Where do you get your business?

I am often asked, by both clients and newbies to the real estate business, where I find my clients. My clients are just curious but the new agents want to know because they are typically scrambling to build their business in a very competitive Tucson homes market.

The vast majority of my clients are either repeat clients or from referrals from past clients, friends or business acquaintances. I try to stay in touch with past clients and see many of them at social functions or just out and about in Tucson. And I often get calls from them asking for a recommendation of a plumber, painter or roofer.

In the early years, I met a number of buyers at open houses. They would stop to see a house I was holding open, were not working with another agent and we just hit it off. I am still getting repeat business and referrals from many of these.

I haven't kept exacts stats for this but how do things look nationally for real estate agents? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released a survey showing that experienced agents (and I humbly include myself in that category) get 38% of their business from repeat clients and 25% from referrals. 63% say they have received no new business from open houses in the past year (most buyers are looking online these days...not driving around) and agent websites bring in about 1% of agents' annual business.

I love the repeat business and referrals. It means I have been doing a good job for my clients. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

New on the Market: 1848 N Mountain View Ave

I just love this tree shaded 1959 burnt adobe home in mid-town Tucson. The front yard is framed by two magnificent mesquites and the back yard is shaded by trees and a covered patio. This well-maintained home has an open kitchen with a really cool vintage O'Keefe and Merritt gas stove, bar counter and glass front cabinets facing the dining area. The backyard is ready for your flowers and vegetables in the raised garden beds.  Great location convenient to UA, Sprouts and Trader Joe's!  For more details & photos, click 1848 N Mountain View


Sunday, June 18, 2017

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me." - Jim Valvano

Monday, June 12, 2017

SOLD! 3443 E Lee Street

This classic 1947 midtown Tucson bungalow has so much heart, charm and potential.  Complete with Saltillo floors, lots of closet space, carport, and a large backyard with desert landscaping and mountain views. This light and bright two bedroom masonry home in the Mountain View neighborhood is close to UA, the Loft Cinema and Whole Foods. Asking price was $110,000.  SOLD FOR $115,000.  3443 E Lee Street Tucson AZ 85716


Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June." - Al Bernstein

Thursday, June 8, 2017

New on the Market! 2912 N East Plaza Drive

2912 N East Plaza Drive
New on the market and OPEN HOUSE this weekend, Sunday June 11 from 1pm to 4pm.

This delightful home is a rare find in the La Madera neighborhood...a home facing right onto La Madera park! With lots of upgrades, a large low care landscaping yard, water harvesting, cork floors, quartz counters, and more, this 2 bedroom/1 bath home one won't last long. $184,900.  Click the link for more details and lots more pictures: 2912 N East Plaza Drive

La Madera Park
Large brick patio with roof and Weber gas grill
Park View

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"My is my retreat and resting place..." - Michel de Montaign

Friday, June 2, 2017

Tucson Homes Market: Fewer Houses and Faster Sales

Wow! The average Days on Market (DOM) before going under contract in the Tucson MLS has dropped to 44 days. One year ago the average Days on Market was 57 days. That is the fastest sales rate since April of 2006!

And the number of Tucson homes actively for sale was 3,773 in April, down 16% from one year ago (4,525 in April 2016) and way way down from ten years ago when there were a whopping 10,387 homes on the market in April 2007. 

So what are our takeaways from these dry stats? 

Tucson homes are selling faster and there continues to be a smaller number of homes available.  Many homes are selling in a matter of days, sometimes with multiple offers.  But I must add one BIG CAVEAT to that statement: Those homes selling fast are generally priced right to begin with and are in pretty good condition. Just slapping an over-priced house on the market in any old condition will not generate fast and multiple offers.

The other big takeaway is that buyers need to be prepared to make their offers and to be flexible when doing so.  More on that next week.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Summer Hours Arrive for the Santa Cruz Farmers Market

With the heat of June comes new summer hours for Tucson's Santa Cruz Farmers Market.  Now opening at 4 PM each Thursday at the Mercado San Agustin, I am starting to see such summer treats as fresh tomatoes, onions and more join the reliable line of greens, carrots and such. It is a great social occasion too, as I always run into a few friends there. And this week they have live music by Young MacDonald.

Check it out: Santa Cruz River Farmers Market

Friday, May 26, 2017

SOLD! 5100 W Camino Del Desierto in the Trails End/Gates Pass Area

5100 W Trails End Road
Welcome the new neighbors to this award winning (Best House on the TAR MLS Home Tour!) home in Tucson's desirable Gates Pass/Trails End area of the Tucson Mountains.  
This beautifully updated burnt adobe home adjoins Tucson Mountain Park and has lots of windows and glass doors for desert and wildlife viewing. With gleaming Saltillo tile throughout and an updated open floor plan, this well-maintained 3163 sq ft home welcomes our new neighbors to their new life in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains. Morning coffee or a sunset cocktail awaits on their choice of view decks and patios, watching the wildlife wander down the tree-lined wash behind the house. The very private rear yard features citrus trees, brick patio, fountain and mature mesquite. All this and only minutes to shopping, Downtown, and UA.  Sold for $550,000. 

Click the link for more photos and details: 5100 West Camino Del Desierto