Archive for the ‘Investment Property’ Category

Sun Warmth and Happiness!

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Wafting through the air is the fragrant smell of turkey soup, simmering on the stove. The heat is cranked to take the chill off the house, and outside lies the beauty of the first snow…diamonds laden on the trees, undisturbed. The snow plows have not yet rumbled through the neighborhood, turning the pristine precipitation to an unappealing brown mess.  I am too old for this cold, this icy season where temps go to zero, when the wind blusters through the trees, and a foot of snow needs to be shoveled from the driveway.

Escape!  Escape to Tucson is the answer!  I will join the hundreds of winter visitors escaping from the northern climes to sun, temps in the 60’s and 70’s, to being able to take a walk outside without slipping and sliding on ice covered pathways.

Tucson is a haven for those who want to escape to a warm, dry climate.  Those arthritis sufferers suddenly find relief from the pain in the dry climate, and some come on the recommendation of their physician. Others swell the Tucson population because they want to golf and enjoy the myriad of outside activities, not spending  winter cooped up inside their northern abode.

Winter rentals are abundant, and Thanksgiving marks the influx of “winter visitors”, affectionately called “snowbirds”.  The majority however arrive after the Christmas holiday.  Many have purchased winter homes, often in active adult communities where activities range the gamut from book clubs to pool tournaments, from cooking classes to exercise classes.  Golf, pickle ball, and swimming is a draw for many of these communities, as well as restaurants on premises, community dinners, and group outings to various places in Arizona.

The cultural scene in Tucson is also a draw, the city is the home of the University of Arizona, and those who desire ongoing education can attend to Olli ( ).  Broadway comes to Tucson at the many theaters, both large, and small and intimate, and the music scene encompasses all genres.

Tucson has several art museums as well as the Center for Creative Arts at the University of Arizona, home to the Ansel Adams collection. And Tucson is a gastronomical delight with the best Mexican food in the nation, as well as restaurants which represent all cultures:  Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, plus a myriad of excellent food trucks.

How can you not want to escape cold, grey, dreary weather and exchange it for warm, bright, sunshine and a city which will welcome you with open arms?







Tucson Winter Visitors … Think About Tucson as a Second Home…

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

March generally is the last month that Tucson is home to winter visitors.  Easter marks the end of the season, but Easter is late this year in April and April is the time the crocus and daffodils rise from their winter sleep in the northern country.

Those who wintered in Tucson this year, I am sure, were grateful to miss all the snow, the sleet the ice and the difficult winter their stay at home counterparts witnessed.

Home prices now are low as are interest rates and this is an ideal time to think about purchasing a second home.

Many people arrive in November for the holidays, and granted the holidays without snow are different!  But hiking, birding, or just plain walking  in Tucson’s warm air and sunny days with a light jacket is joyous.

Active adult communities abound including golf course communities where the retiree can play a round of golf every day!  There is an abundance of private and public golf courses from which to choose including the world famous Dove Mountain Ritz Carlton course, made famous by Accenture Match Play.

For non golfers, Tucson offers a plethora of things to see and do.  Those people who opt for an active adult community often have planned activities including book clubs, art lessons, pottery lessons, tennis lesson, culinary lessons, exercise classes, poker and billards rooms and on and on.  But you don’t have to opt for an active adult community to be party to all of those things.

Tucson has an excellent library system and book clubs abound.  For more formal instruction, the University of Arizona and Pima Community College offer classes in literature for the general public, not just students.  The Tucson Museum of Art provides art classes as does the Sonora Desert Museum and for people who want to try something new, the Sonoran Glass Art Academy can help you learn to blow glass while you create beautiful items for your home and friends.

The Tucson Park and Recreation Association sponsors pottery classes in different venues in Tucson. You can also learn to salsa dance, play tennis, learn to swim, take up beadwork or any number of hobbies.  Golf lessons are also offered!

The Audubon Society has a year’s worth of activities for birders and the Sonora Desert Museum also provides classes about the natural habitat of the Sonora Desert.  The Tucson Botanical Garden is another popular place to enjoy time and classes as is the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Service where one can learn to become a Master Gardener.

Living in an active adult community provides instant activities, but for those who want to customize what to do during retirement, think about a house anyplace, then pick and choose your activities from all that Tucson and its surrounding area has to offer!

For more information, contact me: or check my website

Tucson Real Estate Market Showing Some Steam…

Monday, March 14th, 2011

The Tucson real estate market is experiencing some steam with an increase of 23.08% in volume from $130,258,440 in January 2011 to the $160,319,228 in February 2011. This number is about $15,000,000 higher than February 2010.

Are we out of the woods yet?

The average sales price increased 9.22% from January 2011 to February of 2011;  $166,998 to $182,388 in February, but still short of the 2010 numbers which were $201,219 in January 2010 and $195,996 in February 2010.

The average list price increased 8.43% from $177,036 in January 2011 to $191,957 in February 2011.  This compares to $201,219 in January 2010 and $206,843 in February 2010 .

The median sales price in February 2011 is $137,000 a decrease from February 2010 of $13,000 ($150,000) but an increase from January 2011 from $134,250 or 2.05%. The median sales price in January 2010 was $160,000.

A total of 2,272 properties were under contract at the end of February 2011, an increase of 60.34% from February 2010 when only 1,417 were under contract.  This is a 12.87%  increase  in February 2011 from January 2011 when 2,013 properties were under contract.  This compares to January 2010 when only 1,155 properties were under contract.

Total sales units in February were 879 compared to January 2011 when 780 were sold, an increase of 12.69%.  This is more than January 2010 when 712 units were sold and 741 in February 2010.

The numbers of new listings too have declined which may bode well for the Tucson market, maybe signaling that inventory is decreasing.  February new listings total 1,487 as compared to 1,949 in January and 2,104 in February 2010 and 2,424 in February 2010. The month over month 2011 decrease is 23.70%, a substantial number.

Active listings have declined from January when 7,147 properties were listed, and February numbers of 6,947 active listings, down 2.80%.  This is still higher though than 2010 numbers when 6,739 properties were listed in February and 6,618 in January 2010.

The area with the greatest number of properties on the market is the Northwest with 1772 active listings.  This is followed by the Central area with 869 properties for sale and the North Catalina Foothills areas with 727.  Only 17 properties are available in the extreme Northeast.

Looking at price points, the majority of homes sell between $100,000 and $159,999.   Running the gamut however, Tucson has 44 active properties priced at $29,999 or lower and at the other end of the spectrum, 194 properties price at $1,000,000 or higher.

The average number of days to sell a home in Tucson is 107 days.  The extreme Northwest properties sell in an average of 51 days while the northeast properties take 130 days.

The majority of people are paying cash for their real estate purchases (336), followed by Conventional loans (251) and then FHA financing (195).  VA loans totaled only 55.  The cash purchases may be reflective of the fact investors are active in Tucson.  Resort and second home buyers are also cashing in on the “bargains” here and many second home buyers also pay cash.

Prices are similar to the end of 2003 and the first month of 2004.  As Marshall Vest, Chief Economist at the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona told the industry at the Economic Summit, “buy all you can buy, hold it for five years, and make a killing!”


Get Out of the Cold…Come to Arizona… Take Resorts and Second Homes CRS Class

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Are you an agent looking to get out of the cold and wintry weather and need a good reason to leave snow, sleet, ice, and chill?

Arizona Chapter Certified Residential Specialists is kicking off the educational year February 22 and February 23 in Tucson with the two day class, Resorts and Second Homes.

With temperatures now in the high 60’s and low 70’s, Arizona is definitely a second home state and considered to be a “resort” state.   Now is the time for second home buyers to flock to the state to purchase resort homes at pretty much rock bottom prices.

The two day core class is designed “to teach the essentials of Buying, Selling, or Managing resort properties for recreation, investment, and development by U.S. and International clients and customers in the United States”.

Nationally known instructor Gail Lyons will teach the two day class.

Eight hours as an elective towards a CRS designation will be awarded, as well as continuing education hours towards earning a ABR designation.  Attendees will earn the Resort and Second Home designation.

For attendees  holding an ABR, ALC, CCIM, CIPS, CRM, CRS, CRB or the National Association of Realtor’s Green designation, payment of an administrative fee, in addition to the course cost, of $195 to REBAC as a one time fee will insure the RSPS designation for life without an annual fee.

Arizona Chapter CRS has made special arrangements with a The Windmill Inn, a local hotel in an upscale Plaza,  for a rate of $135 a night plus applicable taxes.  Persons wishing to begin the CRS designation are welcome to attend the two day class.  For information about the class or the special arrangements with The Windmill Inn, contact Arizona Chapter CRS President Terry Bishop at or

Tucson International Airport is an easy airport to maneuver and have direct flights from many areas of the country.

Charge for the two day class is $110 for Arizona Chapter members and $125 for non members.

Information about The Windmill Inn is below, as well as information about registering for the class.  If you have difficulty, contact Terry Bishop,   The Arizona Chapter wants to welcome you to the beautiful state of Arizona!

About Tucson:

The Windmill Inn:[0].numberOfAdults=2&tab=prices&arrivalDate=02-18-11&hotelId=121120&validate=false&destination=Tucson,+Arizona,+United+States#prices

How to Register for Resorts and Second Home Class:

Login or create a new profile

Click on Calendar of Events on left hand side

Scroll down and select the class

Click on the link to register

Click on “Submit Your Order”

Or contact Christine Sanchez: 520-382-8848 or 866-440-9804

Or contact Terry Bishop:  520-884-7201

Tucson International Airport:

Tucson Trying to Improve Business Climate…Mike Letcher

Friday, February 4th, 2011

“We are trying to improve the business climate here in Tucson” Mike Letcher, City Manager of Tucson, told the gather of Realtors® last week at the Economic Summit sponsored by the Tucson Association of Realtors®.

“The recovery has caused some painful times,” he said, “but we are getting optimistic.   “We want to make sure we do not miss an opportunity by not being able to take advantage of situations when they present themselves,” he continued.

The goals are to improve the business climate, encourage the economic recovery, and grow the local economy.  The new economy is not driven by rooftops, Letcher said.

The major source of revenue in Tucson is the sales tax, not the property tax as many people think. Tucson is trying to increase the tax base with economic diversity for job creation.

The city has cut back and laid off  employees and cut budgets .  First line supervisors have been told to be more “business friendly.”  This is “critical to the city for it to turn around” Letcher said.

The city along with the other towns represented here today must work as a region, communication between the municipalities is imperative since what one area does impacts other areas.

The Ombudsman Program with the city for business development is cutting the time and paperwork for large construction projects, Letcher said.   This is a portal for businesses and developers.  They have someone to go to who understands the best way to do business with the city.

In an effort to be more business friendly, the city has extended hours and has developed programs to protect developer rights.

“Hopefully we will build a stronger region and a stronger downtown,” Letcher said.


City of Tucson

City of Tucson Streetcar Project

City of Tucson Downtown Development

It’s True, Numbers Don’t Lie…Prices are Going UP!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

A contrarian doesn’t wait until national magazines and newspapers let the world know prices are on the way up.

Trend analysis is the tool used and is important for those people who want to “get in on the ground floor”.   The buy low, sell high mentality can’t wait for Time or Newsweek to announce home prices are up; by that time, the floor has risen considerably.

Sheer logic tells us this is true, think about the lead time needed for a reporter to first  realize prices are on the way up, then gather information to substantiate the claim, write the story, then the editor has to decide if this is a cover story or not…which may be a few more weeks.  Just as I am purveying this information after the fact, since prices are already on the way up, I too am late to the party!

Tucson Multiple Listing information for December 2010 shows that prices are up 3.13% from an average sales price of $180,736 in November to $186,399 in December.  The average list price of a home is up 3.04% from November, or from $191,637 to $197,457.

The median sales price remained approximately the same between November and December with a .29% decrease from $139,900 in November to $139,500 in December.

Although the total number of homes under contract in December decreased 7.37% from 1900 in November to 1760 in December, traditionally the months of November and December see fewer people putting offers on homes because of the Thanksgiving – Christmas holidays.

Yet the total sales volume rose 16.93%, an impressive amount, from $144,588,779 in November to $169,063,508 in December.  This represents an increase of 13.38% in total units sold within the Tucson Multiple Listing area, from 800 in November to 907 in December.

The holidays also see fewer people listing their homes.  Many wait until January, beginning the new year with new intentions, having put the holidays behind.  December new listings decreased 25.63% to 1,071 from 1,440 in November.   This brought the number of active listings in the Tucson Multiple Listing Service area down to 6,859 in December, which is a decrease of 7.99% over November.

New home construction prices are also on the rise.   In one subdivision I visited this weekend, prices on one model have had two increases in pricing within the last month.

Tomorrow we look at the various areas in Tucson and where the most homes are being sold…later this week we will revisit the numbers of short sales and foreclosures in the various areas.

Another Way to Look at Financing…

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Pay attention to Ben Bernake’s words and what the Fed is going to do if you are thinking about purchasing a home.

Why? you ask. What does the Fed have to do with my buying a home in Tucson Arizona?

The Fed determines the monetary supply and if we are in for inflationary ride, you may be wise to consider not paying all cash for your property but rather instead take a loan putting 20% down because you will be paying off that 30 year loan with cheaper dollars.

If you can get 4.75% or 5% money, and if we run into inflation in a few years, you still have 80% of that amount you originally were going to use to pay cash for a house, squirreled away and now you can hopefully put it into an investment where you will make more than 5%. And to boot, you will have the interest deduction.

History illustrates that inflation is always with us. Think about ten years ago and the price of an automobile, the price of a pound of hamburger, and the price of home. What are the percentage increases? And yes, it’s true you have had increases in your own paycheck, but that kept you even with inflation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics at it’s website :

has a calculator which will calculate the dollar value in terms of today’s dollar. It’s fun (and frightening) to play with it to see how much of your dollar has been eroded by inflation over the years. $1.00 in 1942, the year I was born, is equal to $13.32 today. $1.00 in 1964 when my daughter was born is now equal to $7.04, and that same $1.00 in 1968 when my son was born is now equal to $6.27.

Humor me with this little exercise. In 2000, you hypothetically purchased a property for $200,000 and financed the entire property at 5% interest for 30 years.
The monthly payment would have been $1,073.64 principle and interest only.

Now, ten years later, the inflationary index (using the calculator) places that home’s value at $253,556.33 in dollars today, and that same $1,073.64 principle and interest payment with inflation is equal to $1361.14 in today’s dollars. That is a 21% increase in 10 years.

So if Bernake wants to curb deflationary pressures by trying to increase inflation through bond buying, some type of inflation may be in the offing. Think about how you want to finance property and consult with your tax accountant and your financial advisor.

Articles RE: FOMC meeting

Tucson Retirement Home…The Choice is Yours…

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

There are plenty of active adult community properties for sale in Tucson less than $200,000. This is the time to look at your southwest sunbelt home. Check properties now while you still have the best pickings…before the majority of winter visitors arrive.   Enjoy January through April here in beautiful Tucson while your neighbors shovel snow, dig out their car, and bundle up in winter gear just to go to the store.

The price of property in Tucson is at 2003 levels and interest rates are at a historical low. This equation equals an opportunistic time for people who always coveted a retirement home or second home in the southwest sunbelt to purchase that dream.

Tucson and the surrounding area is home to several active adult communities and homes in these areas have decreased in price.   Prices are down 15 to 25% from three years ago.

In the entire Tucson Multiple Listing Service, 91 properties sold during the past three months (since June 22, 2010) in active adult communities at an average list price of $262,873 and an average sale price of $248,302.

That is an approximate 5.5% discount to list price. The median asking price is $249,000 and the sale price was $230,000 or a 7.6% discount to list. And the low price was $92,800 with the sale price of $92,000 or a .08% discount to list. The high end property which sold during the past three months, had an asking price of $599,000 with a sale price of $569,000 or a 5.0% discount to list.

Currently, as of this morning, there are 460 properties in active adult communities on the market, four of which are more than $1,000,000. The average price of those properties is $297,942 but of this total, 45 properties are $500,000 or above skewing the average prices upwards. The median price is $249,700, the low price is $52,500 and the high price is $2,800,000.

Most people seeking an active adult community will be purchasing property below $500,000 and the 415 properties on the market have an average price of $251,827, with a median price of $239,000, a low price of $52,500, and the high price of $499,900. These are asking prices.

Using the discount to list price during the past three months of 5.5%, one may be able to purchase an average active adult community property for about $237,000 if we use the entire domain of properties to $500,000.

To use an old cliché, “the early bird catches the worm”. For more information about Tucson active adult communities, contact me, for more information and a relocation package.

How Will You Price Your Property?…

Monday, September 20th, 2010

So, what is my property worth anyway? Is the market up or is the market down?  Whom are we to believe?

It seems as if you can take your pick of economists to whom you listen. Some say we are coming out of the doldrums. The big announcement today said the recession ended in June…and yet other economists say the other shoe is yet to drop, they foresee another 18% drop in home prices.

Part of it is political, it’s almost believe what you want to believe at your own peril. Caveat emptor prevails!

That leaves the home seller/homebuyer in a real quandary. Don’t believe the national media, they are slanted to whatever political perspective they subscribe. The markets are regional, areas which did not see the escalating increases in prices between 2003 and 2008 and remained fairly stable, are still stable.

Areas like Arizona which saw a 45% plus overall increase in housing prices within three years are still reeling from the deflationary impact.

But, there are parts of Arizona, and in particular Tucson, (which is the market I serve) that are harder hit than other areas.

In order to truly value a home, one has to look at what is happening locally, and that is by zip code, and sometimes by subdivision. Those subdivisions which faced overbuilding during the frothy times of 2003-2008 are in far worse shape than areas where homes are older and do not turn over rapidly.

I took the better part of an afternoon to compute the numbers of bank owned properties and the numbers of short sales in every Tucson zip code as of August 30, 2010. I then computed the percentages of each and the combined percentages and found that more than 50% of the homes on the market in some zip codes are distressed properties.

Generally these are places where large master planned communities were being built; Gladden Farms, Star Valley, Rancho Del Lago, Sahuarita, Quail Creek, the Irvington Road/Escalante area, Cortaro Farms near the highway, and Corona de Tucson.

And there are areas where there are less than 20% of the properties in distress; the 85704 area which includes some of Oro Valley and the Casas Adobes area, the center of town near the university in 85716 and 85719, the Diamond Bell Ranch area, Saddlebrook and Catalina,  Mount Lemmon,a portion of the Catalina Foothills, some of Green Valley, and the prize goes to 85646, Tubac with only 7.143% of the homes underwater.

When you are pricing your home to sell, make sure your Realtor® knows the numbers and knows the trend in the area in which you live. I priced three homes today and pulled the numbers from the last six months for the zip code. The pricing differential in all three areas was significantly different. One was in 85747 where 43% of the homes are distressed; one was in 85704 where 19.5% of the homes are underwater, and one was in 85745 where nearly 35% of the homes have problems.

You as the buyer and or seller need to know this because the appraiser is obligated to take distressed properties into consideration when appraising your property.  As someone once said, “the distressed property in this area is the market” and unfortunately everyone suffers whether or not they are in the same predicament.

Tucson Real Estate Prices Looking Up…

Monday, February 15th, 2010

    The Tucson Real Estate Market is rousing from a deep sleep and January statistics show that Tucson  properties are beginning to catch the up wave. 

    The median sales price for a home in Tucson has risen $6,000 from $154,000 in December to $160,000 in January.  This represents a 3.90% increase in value although the average listing price has decreased from $211,281 in December to $210,592 in January. a decrease of a little more than .03%.  However, the average sales price rose $3.00 from 201,216 in December to $201,219 in January.

    This is significant because many buyers closed escrow prior to November 30 so they could take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit.  Tax consequences also propelled people to close escrow on a property prior to December 31.  Pending sales are up 36.36% to 1155 properties as opposed to 847 in December.  Significantly, the pending sales increased 22.74% year over year from January 2009.  This bodes well for the Tucson market. 

    January usually sees more properties coming on the market, as is the case this year when 6,618 properties are actively listed, up from 6130 in December, but down from last January’s numbers by 12.13%.  This is a good sign for inventory.  

   The most new listings are in the Northwest with 663, also an area where there are several master planned communities where extensive building occurred during the first decade of the 2000’s.  The central area has 306 new listings, and the North which encompasses the Catalina Foothills brought 268 new listings to the marketplace.  This corresponds with the numbers of total listings for those areas:  Northwest, 1772; Central, 822; and north 713 properties on the market.

    These numbers transfer to the percentage of sales in each of the areas during January.  The Northwest accounted for 29.67% of total sales volume in January; the north accounted for 18.25% and the central area,7.55%.  These three areas accounted for sales in more than 65% of the Tucson real estate market in January.

   However, relative to the numbers of properties on the market, 27.05% of all properties listed in the south, sold.  The average sales price is lower and reflects in dollar volume.  The southwest, which also has master planned communities, had 27.05% of properties in the 85746 zip code and 21.28% of the properties listed in the 85757 zip code sold.  This includes Midvale Park area and Star Valley.  the southeast, which includes the Del Lago master planned communities had 23.65% of the listed properties sold.

   The price range which is most active is the $200,000 to $249,999 range.  A three bedroom two bath home is the most popoular model sold.

   The number of days on the market for all areas has remained steady at 73 days for November, December and January.  The majority of people are financing with a conventional loan (248) and then cash (208).  Cash buyers may include some winter visitors as well as investors.  175 buyers preferred FHA financing and 56 buyers took advantage of their VA benefits.  Buyers paid 95.55% of the list price of the home, on average.  This is the list price of the home at the time of purchase and does not reflect price reductions or changes of agents.

    A full report is available on the Tucson Association of Realtors website listed below.  Another link provided below accesses the map which delineates the various areas of the Tucson Multiple Listing service.

    if you need help searching for properties or understanding the Tucson marketplace, contact me at

Tucson Multiple Listing Service January statistics:

Tucson Multiple Listing Service area map: