Archive for December, 2015

Tucson Active Adult Communities Run the Gamut…

Monday, December 14th, 2015

The Tucson area is home to a multitude of active adult communities which range in price and amenities available.
Some communities require that buyers be age 50 and others age 55. Some communities stipulate that the owner meet the age requirement. This means a child less than 50 or 55 cannot purchase a property for a parent who meets the age restriction.
Other communities have no restriction on who can purchase a property as long as the occupant meets the age requirement. Some developments ask for proof of age, others don’t. When purchasing a property in an active adult community, the Covenants, Codes and Restrictions (CC and R’s) will spell out the requirements.
Price points run the gamut from $60,000 to more than a million dollars. Popular manufactured home active adult communities offer lower cost options and yet have many of the bells and whistles of the more expensive communities. Most have pools and recreation centers and offer the camaraderie of like minded residents.

Active adult communities built by production builders such as Pulte and Robson sport a beginning price point of the high $100’s.   Add ten to twenty percent to the base price for new home construction upgrades. When considering new home construction, use a Realtor®.  Make sure you make your first visit to that community with the Realtor® since he/she can often save you money and guide you in terms of what upgrades you should consider for future resale value.  You want to have representation and not be represented by the builder’s site agent who is working for the builder, not you.

Your Realtor® should check the inventory in the community to make sure you are aware of what is available.  Pre owned homes will probably have landscaping completed as well as window coverings, fans, and other upgrades which make a house a home and will save you money in the long run.  He/she can help you compare and contrast various communities.

Understanding your wants and desires and trying to match communities throughout the Tucson area is the function and job of your Realtor®.  There are many smaller communities within town; condos, townhomes, patio homes, manufactured homes, in addition to single family homes which may meet your requirements.  Not all active adult communities are golf course communities with hundreds or thousands of homes.

Think about what you want in a home, how you want to live your retirement, and tell your Realtor® who can help you translate that into reality.









Tucson 4th Avenue Street Fair-Things to See and Do…

Friday, December 11th, 2015


Weekend Wanderings…

Tucson’s 4th Avenue Street Fair fills 4th Avenue, the street with fascinating eclectic stores, with more than 400 white tents in which thousands of people will wander this weekend.
The semi-annual 4th Annual Street Fair is a staple in Tucson, just before the Christmas holidays and during the spring. Artisans from all over will set up and sell their wares.
The weather promises to cooperate with temps in the 60’s and the sun reigning over the area. The enticing smells of funnel cakes, hot dogs, corn dogs and fried foods linger in the air, but no promises of fried pickles or deep fried oreos. Beer is on tap and the 4th Avenue restaurants will also be open.
The Street Fair evokes a sense of excitement and happiness and eagerness to discover what is in the next tent. When several people congregate in front of one tent, the natural instinct is to find out what everyone is checking out!
It’s a time to meander while checking out what is in the 4th Avenue stores too. The Street Fair comes courtesy of the 4th Avenue Street Merchants who originally sponsored the street fair as a marketing event to get people to see what 4th Avenue has to offer.
And now, after many years, the Street Fair is an event eagerly looked forward to by locals, and also by local charities which sponsor booths to hawk food and beverages.

Above the din of the crowds music drifts through the air like a gentle breeze.  Two stages are erected and musicians of all ilk play according to a schedule.  At one stage there may be country and the other, a group singing a capella.  Sometimes there are instrumentalists, or rock groups.  Swaying to the music or improv dancing is encouraged!  Often musicians will have their music for sale.

Crafts and paintings are available for sale; it’s a good place to find unique stocking stuffers, and there is always an abundance of beautifully crafted jewelry.  Woodworking items show beautiful patinas, and hand thrown pottery are one of a kind in an array of styles and colors.  I’m in the market for a new apron, perhaps I can find one in one of the white tents.

It is always remarkable that all the items for sale are hand crafted with love and precision and don’t come from an assembly line.  The ideas were created by the craftsperson who then took the time to transform the idea into a reality.  Hats off to all of these people, and a huge thank you to the Fourth Avenue Merchants for bringing this event to us.




Tucson Golf Course Community…

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Tucson retirement is coming into focus,’ you sat down and discussed what you like and what you don’t like. You’ve decided on a price point, and you’ve come to the conclusion, you want a Tucson golf course community.

My question now is “WHY?”.

Do you play golf? Do you like golf? Or do you like the green expanse of the golf course and the idea of a golf community and the country club atmosphere? Do you both play golf, or are you intending to learn?

I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m trying to drill down and find out your motivations so I can find you the correct Tucson golf course community.

So the first question is – do you want a golf course community or an active adult golf course community? There is a difference and that is the ages of the inhabitants.

My second question is, do you like to play golf on the same course or do you like to play on various courses?

And do you want to grab your clubs and walk to the course or be there to tee off within five or ten minutes?

There are many active adult communities which do not have golf courses, but there are groups of people  within those communities who play at various courses throughout the area.  Tucson has several city owned golf courses; there are municipally owned courses in Green Valley and in Oro Valley.   And there area a plethora of privately owned golf facilities.

If you like playing on various courses, you may consider purchasing a home where there are other amenities which you enjoy.  Living in a golf course community may not be the answer to what you want in retirement.

But on the other hand, if you like the camaraderie and the advantages of living in a golf course community where belonging to the “club” is important, then a golf course community may be your ticket.

When looking at such communities, be sure to check the prices of belonging to the “club”, the amount of money you are expected to spend on food and beverages, the amount to rent the golf cart, and greens fees.  Prices vary.

I belabor these points because this is your retirement home, this is what you’ve worked for all your life, and I want you to think about these questions because your own answers may surprise you!



Active Adult Community? Questions to Ask Yourself…

Monday, December 7th, 2015

AdobeStock_80344017_WMSo you are thinking about a retirement community…or in the proper parlance, an active adult community.  There are several questions you should consider and discuss with your partner.

You can do what is known as a “Ben Franklin”- take a sheet of paper, fold it in half lengthwise, and on one side write all the pros – reasons you want an active adult community- and on the half, list all the cons – reasons you may not want an active adult community.  Both parties should do the same, and the fun of the game is not to talk with each other about your lists.

Give yourself two weeks or so to do this.  As you go about your daily business, you will think of reasons for either column, then write them down.  At a previously agreed upon time, over coffee or wine, in a relaxed atmosphere, pull out your lists and discuss them.

You may want one thing and your partner another…this is a time to sit and discuss what is on the list and prioritize what you have created.  You will find that this exercise will help you both formulate what is important to you both, or what is important to one, but perhaps not another.  It will help you to understand what you features you can comprise.

Do you want a single family home?  And if so, what kind?  A regular Single Family home or a patio home?  Or do you want a town home or a condo.  In my last blog, I discussed the differences.

Are you looking for a community which provides a plethora of activities which are pretty much contained within the community?  Or do you want to participate in activities such as classes at Olli, classes and activities from Parks and Rec which run the gamut from learning how to play tennis to advanced pottery classes.  Or are you a volunteer type of person who would become a docent for the Symphony, for the Desert Museum.

This is your retirement and this is your opportunity to do what you have always wanted to do!  Unfortunately many people never think about this and just kind of stumble along in life.  Make this time for you, for you are the most important person in your world!  Do the hard work now so you can enjoy your time in retirement, wherever it is!

Condo? Town Home? What’s the Difference?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

golfing-620x412The blue skies of Tucson and the inviting warm climate beckon, especially during drizzly, cold and bone chilling December through March weather.  Thoughts drift to a condo or a town-home in warmer and more hospitable climate, where golf can be played year round, hiking and birding are within a few miles of the city, and dining al fresco at one of the many establishments may become more than just a dream.

Tucson, Oro Valley and Green Valley have many condo and town home communities, many of which are limited to active adults with a minimum age limit of 50 or 55.  Condos and town homes are legally and statutorily different animals.

The Arizona State Statutes define condominiums in Title 33 which is the section governing property.  Chapter 9 concerns condominiums and Charter 16 governs town homes.

Condos do not have to be physically contiguous.  Some condo units are free standing, but the legal description is what separates a town home from a condo.  The owner of a condo owns the unit, but anything exterior to the unit is common property and is governed by the rules and regulations of the Association, unless that exterior element services only that unit.

A town home on the other hand, is a unit whereby the owner owns the land in the front and the back of the property and is responsible for that land.  It is not considered common property.  However a town home complex can have common property such as a recreation center, walking trails, or open space, just like a single family home subdivision.

These types of properties are governed by an Association which is comprised of the owners of the units, each having a specified vote according to the declarations of the community.  That Association is controlled by a Board of Directors which is elected by the property owners.

Rules and regulations of the Association must comply with state law, but dues structure, what the Association offers, and the types of maintenance such as roofing, landscaping, building painting, are determined by the Board of Directors and voted on by the members of the Association.

Often an Association will vote to outsource the day to day maintenance and collection of dues to a Management Company.  Many Homeowner Associations (HOA) pay a management company and this also includes single family home subdivisions as well as town home and condo complexes.

The rules and regulations of the Association are in the documents called the CC and R’s, Covenants, Codes and Restrictions.  Purchasers of properties which have CC and R’s should read the restrictions carefully.  Restrictions regarding the length of time children under a specified age can state are the property are important considerations for people in an active adult community who may want their grandchildren to visit, the policy on pets and weight of pets may be of concern, as well as information on how and when the Association can place a lien on property for non-payment of dues.

Your Realtor® should help you decide whether a condo or town home or single family home is best for you, and should guide you through the paperwork and CC and R’s to make sure the property you are purchasing suits your lifestyle and needs.

For help with purchasing a property in the Tucson area which includes Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson, Green Valley, and Sahuarita, contact Terry Bishop Broker Owner of Terry Bishop Realty, 1802 West Grant Road, Tucson Arizona 85745-1232 – cell:  520-349-4785, office:  520-232-3911.