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!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

“In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today. Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future.” - Mehmet Murat Ildan

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mortgage rates up but still relatively low

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was up a bit to 3.99 percent in this week’s survey, according to Freddie Mac. Although this week’s survey rate represents a five-month high, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are still below the levels at the end of last year and early part of 2017. Mortgage rates have remained relatively low all year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Federal Tax Law Limits Property Tax Deductions

The new tax law passed by Congress may limit the ability of some homeowners to take advantage of  deducting property taxes.  The new tax law limits the amount of state, local and property taxes that homeowners can deduct at $10,000.  While many homeowners are rushing to pay next year's property taxes this year, they should first consult their tax advisor and check out this link to an advisory that the IRS put out this week.  IRS advisory on prepaid real property taxes

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tucson Snapshot: Thursday Night Piano Bar

If you haven't yet discovered Downtown Tucson's Piano Bar, then go!  Fun Thursday evenings with good music, singing and cocktails at The Dusty Monk Pub               

Bartender Extraordinaire Laura takes a turn at the microphone with Elliot tickling the ivories

Sunday, December 24, 2017

"Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection." - Winston Churchill

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fun Things in Tucson: More Christmas Doin's

Enough of gift wrapping and cookie baking. Get out of the house for some last minute Christmas fun.

It's a Wonderful Life at the Fox Theater

One of the three best and classic Christmas movies, It's a Wonderful Life screens Saturday afternoon at 2pm at the historic Fox Theater on Congress Street.  Check out the Fox's website for more information:  Tucson's Fox Theater   It's a Wonderful Life is a close third to my personal favorites...White Christmas (which the Fox showed last weekend) and Christmas in Connecticut, a totally under-appreciated Christmas movie with Miss Barbara Stanwyck and Sydney Greenstreet.

 Steel Drums and Winterhaven Lights

And what says Christmas in Tucson more than a stroll through
Winterhaven to see the lights and sip some hot chocolate? Saturday night includes some great steel drum music starting at 6:30. For more information check out:  Steel Drums in Winterhaven

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tucson Homes Market Update: Prices Tick Up a Bit

The Tucson homes market continues its long...slow...recovery from the big crash of 10 years ago.  Unlike Phoenix and some other western states cities, we have not seen any dramatic booms in prices or numbers of sales.

But we are seeing an ongoing gentle price increase, with the occasional monthly pause. Average sales price in November was $246,437, an increase from October but still down a bit from September's figure. The median sale price of $207,527 in November, which many argue is the more accurate figure, actually hit the highest point since December of 2007! 

Total unit sales chugged along with 1134 homes sold, down a bit from earlier 2017 monthly stats but still pretty darned good.  Well priced homes in good condition are selling fast. Buyers don't seem to want to take on projects, but tend to be going for homes in move-in condition, often with the upgrades they desire already done.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tis the Season! Holiday Home Hazards

An online outfit called InsuranceQuotes has put out a study pointing out the top dangers to your home in this holiday season. 

Number 1 on the list is what they call porch pirates, or those who prey upon your Amazon packages or Aunt Minnie's fruitcake that delivery companies leave on your porch when you are not home.

Number 2 is the danger of theft and wanton destruction of your home outdoor holiday know...all those lights and that inflatable snowman you got on the spur of the moment at Home Depot.

And Number 3?  Now this is a serious fires! The study reports that 6.5 million homes have had a fire started by a Christmas tree (presumably bad lights) and 9.7 million homes have had fires caused by errant candles. They don't cite a time period for those stats, but be aware anyway.

So with due caution...Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Johann Sebastian Bach
It is easy to play any musical instrument. All you have to do it touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.  - Johann Sebastian Bach

Saturday, November 4, 2017

2836 N East Plaza Drive

A rare find in Tucson's desirable La Madera neighborhood...right on the park!  Charming and lovingly maintained 2 bedroom/2 bath brick home with cove ceilings, fireplace, and updated bathrooms. And a large quarter acre corner lot.  All this for $184,900.  For more details and pictures check out: 2836 N East Plaza Drive

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