Posts Tagged ‘My Point of View’

Time is Money…

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Because people do not look at homes frequently, many view it as an interesting past time. Realtors® are more than happy to show property, but because they must manage their time carefully, good agents are careful how they spend their time.
The first step is to have a consultation with the client/customer to determine whether the buyer is qualified and for how much. It is not in the buyer’s interest to show properties which are higher in value than what the buyer can afford. That just sets the stage for ultimate disappointment for the buyer. At the same time, types of loans can be discussed: VA, FHA, Conventional, and Down Payment Assistance programs. The Realtor® can recommend lenders and discuss why local lenders are a better option than lenders out of area.
The agent should prep the buyer on what to expect and how the nine page purchase contract (Tucson) document protects the buyer and the seller. This is a legal contract; terms and conditions can be enforced by a court. The buyer needs to know what is in the contract and what can be enforced against him/her.
There are other documents the buyer will be asked to sign, and one is the buyer’s agency agreement. This in essence, is an employment contract whereby the buyer employs the agent to represent him or her and it extends for the length of time determined by the buyer and his/her agent. Many agents, myself included, do not ask a buyer to sign the Buyer Broker agreement until writing a contract. The buyer has no idea how I will represent him/her and whether they will find working with me beneficial. And the buyer should only sign one Buyer Broker agreement, otherwise he/she might be responsible for paying more than one commission.
Every state has different rules, regulations and statutes governing real estate. Many states are “attorney states”. In some states, negotiations are conducted on a verbal basis. Arizona is not an “attorney state”. The Realtor® – buyer’s agent -writes the contract, presents the contract to the seller’s agent, and both agents negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract on behalf of their clients. In Arizona, any verbal agreement concerning real estate will not stand up in court. All agreements must be in writing, signed by all parties.
If a person is from another state, his/her previous experience may color how he/she believes a transaction should be conducted. I had a client once from New York City who told me I was conducting the transaction all wrong. I pulled out my Real Estate Law book for Arizona and pointed out to him the statutes which governed. His previous experience colored why he believed I was incorrect. We must be cognizant of where people come from and what procedures they are accustomed.

Tucson Active Adult Community…Is That What You Really Want?

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Tucson’s Active Adult Communities offer a plethora of activities. What activities do you, the active adult buyer, sincerely believe you will participate?
Are you planning on taking advantage of Tucson’s wonderful climate and surrounds? Would you rather snuggle on you patio with a cup of java and a great book? Perhaps you’re an artsy crafty person? Or are you longing to play golf and go out to eat at night? Planning on traveling to all the national parks in the Midwestern and Western states? Or taking classes to get another degree?
Think long and hard about what you want to do in retirement…and think too about your budget. We don’t like to admit it, but money governs much of what we do.
Active adult communities offer planned, structured programs with people from the same community participating. If you are an outdoors person, is it to your advantage and interests to join an “open” hiking club where people from throughout the city belong? What about arts and crafts? Would you consider joining Philabaum’s Glass Art classes in downtown Tucson, or classes at the Tucson Museum of Art, or the Sonora Desert Museum? Or perhaps you are a classic car enthusiast.
I knew a retired gentlemen, a Fortune 500 Executive, who enrolled in the University of Arizona for a degree in fine arts and graduated at the age of 76. He fulfilled a lifelong dream. Think about what you would really like to do in retirement. This is much like making New Year’s Resolutions, I’m going to do x, y, and z. But are you really going to do those things, or are those the things you think you should do in retirement?
The Homeowner’s Fees in retirement communities are expensive. In some communities there is a substantial fee which is paid when you purchase the house and the funds go to the capital reserves. There are monthly fees after that ranging from a nominal fee of $20 a month to more than $400 a month.
You want to consider that for every $5.00 you spend in HOA fees, you could purchase another $1,000 in a home. A $400 fee would get you an additional $80,000 in house. HOA fees do not appreciate like a home, and often they go up with inflation.
The purpose of these exercises I’ve discussed during the past few days is to get you to really think about what you want so that your Realtor® can help you get the most bank for your buck. It is pointless to pay for things you may never use, and there may be other options which suit your needs and wants more than an active adult community.
You are making an entire lifestyle change and you are committing a substantial amount of money to make this change. You will want to make sure you are doing what you really want to do, not what your friends, family, and neighbors think you should do!

Tucson’s Premier Bike Race…El Tour De Tucson!

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Bicyclists from the world arrive in Tucson, land of saguaro cacti, beautiful mountain ranges, blue and sunny skies, ready for Saturday’s event, the annual El Tour de Tucson, always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  Tucson is well known as a bicycle friendly city and has won the Gold Award and is striving for the Platinum Award.

While Buffalo, a town accustomed to snow, is laden with more than six feet of the white stuff and much of the nation is suffering temperatures far below normal for this time of year, volunteers for El Tour de Tucson are getting their last minute instructions for the 104 mile bicycle ride through Pima County where temps should be in the high 60’s, a comfortable ride for bicyclists pedaling their best.

El Tour de Tucson has four rides: the most strenuous is 104 miles, a 75 miles ride, and a 55 mile ride, and finally a 40 mile ride. This is a city wide event and some streets are closed off to motorists.

The route transverses the city from the south to the east to the north to the west and then back down south to the start place.

Along the route, contingencies of people cheer for their favorite riders. People set up water and snack stations for bicyclists along the shoulders of “country roads”. Police in their orange vests direct traffic … the motto- packs of bicyclists first.

More than 9,000 cyclists are expected for the event and 2600 volunteers will be available to assist cyclists. A full program and schedule of events is at

People planning to travel within the city on Saturday should check the route map on the above web site and plan their travels accordingly. It is easy to be held up for 10-15 minutes when cyclists are crossing major intersections.

Stately saguaros from their hilly perches stand at attention for those who brave the trek on what promises to be a beautiful, warm, Tucson November day!

Tucson Gardening and Weekend Activities…

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

It’s the weekend, I’m trying to keep  Saturdays clear  to do things around the house; the normal – clean, pick up paper mess, put things in order, generally take care of all the mess made during the week.  Sometimes the disorder can be substantial!  And of course run the vacuum around the tiles and then mop the floors.

But it’s springtime and the roll-offs are in the neighborhood which means it’s a grand time to clean out the garage and trot all the junk to the roll-off.  This saves multiple trips to the dump for everyone in the neighborhood and I am eternally grateful that our little enclave orders the roll-offs from the city.

Last weekend the pool was the order of the day.  It is now sparkling, having fished out some of the Arizona Elm leaves which find a home in the bottom of the pool, along with the tiny leaves from the pomegranate bushes.  The birds enjoy a feast for a king when the pomegranates begin to turn from green to red, and then the fruit is full of small holes where seeds have been pecked.  Occasionally I find spots of red bird droppings and smile to myself because I have more than a few plants of various species which came from just that type of planting.

John and Debbie, who own Fiesta Growers and are regulars at the St. Philip’s Plaza Sunday Farmers Market, brought me the seeds I ordered last Sunday.  This weekend I will plant them in pots so I can eat fresh salad for the next few months, at least until it gets so warm I will give up watering. The lettuce mix will provide red leaf and green leaf lettuce, a bit of endive and I will mix that with the peppery arugula which makes a tasty meal or sandwich filling.  The spinach is always dark green and almost sweet, delicious right from the pot and so tender it is a raw treat.

For fun there is French Breakfast Radishes and I confess, they germinate fast and I like to see progress.  Crunchy with a bite, they are delicious just pulled from the pot with the dirt scraped off and eaten in a few bites.  But the bulls blood beets provide beet greens for salads and vegetables and eventually have a bulbous sweet deep red beet.  That’s a two for oner…greens and beets!

Basil grows well in Tucson and I spike my salads with fresh basil for a refreshing change of pace, and I can freeze what is leftover for fresh herbs during the rest of the year.  The cilantro is a Tucson staple for Mexican food as well as Chinese food, and that too along with the parsley is good in salads or as garnishes.

Learning to garden in Arizona is not akin to gardening on the east coast. It takes a few years of practice.  I don’t want the rabbits to eat my fare, nor do I want the javelina to snort around, hence the pots.  It’s a beautiful weekend and I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my labors!


Fiesta Growers

It’s Spring…Clean Out, Clean Up… Look at Your Home From The Eyes of a Buyer…

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Tucson real estate is no different than real estate in any other location;  periodically we should take a gander at our surroundings from the eyes of a buyer, even though we are neither buying or selling.

How we keep our yard and our surroundings both exterior and interior, reflects the neighborhood in which we live, and consequently the property values.  The person down the road may have his home for sale;  I may have an unkempt yard with some junk on the side, but visible from the road or by a potential buyer who is walking the area, and my junk may impact the value of my neighbor’s house.

“Harumph” you may say.  How can that be?

Comparative market values, otherwise known as “comps” are cumulative.  Certainly they reflect economic conditions of the time, they reflect the area, and more specifically they reflect a neighborhood.

Given two identical homes, one which has been maintained in a well maintained neighborhood and the second in a neighborhood where there is an occasional older car someone wants to restore  “someday”, which is sitting in the yard with two flat tires collecting dust, and another home where the weeds are becoming a wonderful goat patch, and perhaps another home where the facia board is chipping and flaking, which home will command the higher price?

It is not one home which creates this scenario of a neighborhood which is “run down”; it is the cumulation of homes which cause this impression.

The combination of “mess” creates the image of people not caring about their surroundings.  Buyers do not want to buy into that type of neighborhood.  If the neighborhood looks a bit “run down” today, what will it be in five years?,  they think.  And rightfully so.  Blight begins with one person not caring.

Spring is in the air and spring is traditionally a time for clean up and clean out.  Ask your neighbors to take pride in their neighborhood and get rid of the “junk” and the things which devalue the neighborhood, or just begin yourself, and offer to help an elderly neighbor clean up their yard.

So how does your junk impact your neighbor?  If he/she must price his property lower because of your treasures in your yard and those of your neighbors, when it comes time to sell your home, you will pay that price and probably more in a lower sales price, and potentially in a buyer who also doesn’t care about maintaining the property, or an investor whose only interest is in the rent.

Go back and look at your home from the eyes of a buyer.  It’s eye opening! … A Whole New Attitude!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

I am so excited and I want to share my joy!

The Arizona Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists voted at their December meeting to go ahead with plans to redesign the web site. Charles Weasner is the CRS agent responsible for this project and he did a bang up job.

The redesign was done by Steve Redmond, also a Realtor in Tucson, and was unveiled just a few days ago. CRS agents should go to the website and see what has been done.

This is a project in the making and Arizona CRS is open to any and all ideas.

The Arizona Chapter is trying to rev up its presence in the state, and the website has information about the Professional Development and Education groups. These are smaller groups lead by a CRS agent or agents who have meetings at which all real estate agents are invited. There are presently four groups in the Greater Phoenix area and the website will keep people abreast of what is transpiring.

There is an Education corner with information about CRS education which is upcoming and a column about legislative issues on the state and federal level about which agents should have an understanding.  There are some references to the National CRS website, as well as information from the CRS Board of Directors.

Corporate sponsors will be listed as well as Friends of the Chapter.

CRS agents are welcome to submit articles to the website. The articles will first be vetted for unseemly information. There is a widget on the page which will allow you to write an article.  We welcome your comments and your criticism, that is how we will get better and provide to you, the Arizona CRS agent what you want and need.

The newsletter will also go out and if you want to be on the mailing list, please e mail me at   .   I will make sure your e mail is included.  If you are interested in joining the Arizona CRS Chapter, please also contact me.  I am here to serve you.

Enjoy our new website!

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show…Education too is a big part

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is not only a feast for the eyes, it is also a smorgasbord for attendees with the variety and abundance of classes offered during the two week period.  The theme of this year’s show at the Tucson Convention Center is “Minerals of California” .

Experts will speak about California minerals and these lectures are for the true professional mineralogists and gemologists.   This show begins Thursday, February 10 and runs through February 13.  Doors open at 10 am.  It is at this show that specimens from private collections and museums are exhibited, including minerals from the National Park Services, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, Flandreau Science Center from the University of Arizona in addition to hundreds of worldwide exhibitors.

American Gem Trade Associations hold their annual meetings at the Gem and Mineral Show and there are numerous by invitation only cocktail parties and dinners. This is a place where business is transacted for many of the associations.

The huge show book details classes available, when and where at each of the shows.   Most of the classes carry a fee, but generally that is for the price of the kit being used.

Beginner instruction as well as ultra advanced instruction is available.  The topics are diverse from beginner stringing for beads to “Off loom weaving and circular peyote stitch, intermediate level” for a crystal beads and buttons bracelet.

Technical sessions such such as forensic gemology and how to identify gemstones using gemological tools you can carry in your pocket are well attended.

Classes for gem and lapidary enthusiasts are available throughout the show.  Lampwork Beads and Donuts, Macrame, Flameworking, as well as classes in cabochon pendants, and wire crochet necklaces are available for the novice and expert alike.  All day workshops on beading which cover a myriad of methods are a favorite.

I think it would be grand to take three or four days and a bucket load of money and not be concerned about working or money;  then take a week’s worth of classes starting from the baby beginner class in some aspect of jewelry making, practicing throughout the week until I could create a piece of jewelry which is more than passable.  I would then take another bucket load of money and run unbridled  throughout the shows, pondering the selections, picking and choosing  my colors, facets, and designs for my grand masterpiece which would  culminates the week’s “education”.


Tucson’s Stately Saguaros Welcome You…

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

A stately saguaro in Saguaro National Momument WEst

Standing stately in Saguaro National Momument West and East are thousands of  tall heavy Saguaro cacti with their arms reaching out or towards the sky.   They are often pictured on postcards with captions like, “Welcome to Arizona” and the creamy white flowers which become a fruit are the state flower of Arizona.   The Saguaro blooms in May and June and the fruits become the basis of wine and jellies.

The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum sponsors fruit gathering outings where visitors learn how to harvest the fruit with the long and unweildy Cactus puller.  Fruit is usually harvested in the morning when it is cooler and the intensity of the desert sun is not as hot, beating down upon the workers.  The fruit can be eaten raw and is an excellent source of nutrition as are many of the cacti found in the Sonora Desert.

Birds feast on  the fruit and cactus wren, the state bird of Arizona which often nests in the Saguaro, derive much of their water source from these oblong reddish green “balls”.

The Saguaro is an amazing plant, weighing tons especially after monsoon season.   They are protected and removing them from their “home”  without proper permitting , and especially the desert is a crime.

It takes approximately 75 years for a saguaro to grow it’s first arm.   Plants like that shown are  100 years old or more.    The seeds fall or are carried by birds and bats which are abundant in the desert, and those seeds which are protected by other vegetation such as mesquite and palo verde trees are the most likely to grow and mature.  This is why one often sees a young saguaro near a willowly palo verde or lacy mesquite.

Holes and “scars” are numerous especially in an older saguaro.  These are the homes of numerous birds, bats, owls, and insects; the holes have been carved by these inhabitants to become a place to live raise their young.

It takes at least five years for a saguaro to die and the ribs of dead saguaros are used for building and for trim on furniture.   One might see part of a native home made of saguaro ribs or used as a building material, no part of the cactus is wasted.  The decaying cacti are a source of food and lodging for many beetles and insects which roam the desert.  Examination of  a decaying saguaro structure reveals an abundance of life which can only be seen close up.

The unique beauty of Saguaro National Monument is attributed in part to the regal Saguaros which dot the landscape.


Giving Back to the Community…CRS and Hearth

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

The 23th annual Founder’s Day Luncheon, celebrated by the Arizona Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) and the Hearth Foundation, is a commemorative event open to the community at large.

Founder’s Day celebrates the founding of The Hearth Foundation by members of CRS and the Tucson Board of Realtors®.  Articles of incorporation were filed with the State of Arizona November 12, 1987 with the mission of establishing housing for homeless women 18 years of age or older with children 12 years or younger.

Since that time, Hearth has broadened its scope to include homeless women caring for children and has embraced the community at large, not just Realtors®.  Hearth supplies transitional housing as well as emergency short term housing for homeless women with children and derives its funds from fundraisers sponsored by the organization as well as donations from the public and other civic organizations.  Programs are provided by Our Family Services and New Beginnings.

CRS is an organization of Realtors®  under the auspices of the National Association of Realtors®.  Only four per cent of Realtors® hold their CRS designation, earned from both extensive continuing education as well as production, yet CRS agents account for 25% of the transactions nationwide.  CRS agents are known for their skills and knowledge which serves clients well.

In the past, the Arizona Chapter of CRS has been named national Chapter with the Heart for its support of Hearth.

Reservations for the luncheon, which begins promptly at 11:30 am, can be made at the link below.  The cost is $25 per plate.  Westward Look, a renowned Tucson resort off of Ina Road just east of Oracle, is the venue and valet parking is available.  Menu choices are available at the registration site and include:  Herb-Roasted Breast of Chicken with Prickly Pear Glaze, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and the Chef’s selection of Fresh Seasonal Sauteed Vegegtables or a Vegetarian Ravoli.    The luncheon will end promptly by 1:15 pm so attendees can get to the TAR Summit by 2 pm.  Make your reservation at:

Click here to register

Preparations underway for the Gem and Mineral Show…

Monday, January 17th, 2011

White tents dot Tucson in preparation for the Gem and Mineral ShowPPThe

The big white tents are beginning to dot the city;  from Palo Verde on the south side of town, up through the Frontage Road along I-10, to the center of town across from the Tucson Convention Center.  Preparations are underway for the Gem Mineral and Fossil Showcase.    The show, which takes over the city, brings vendors and buyers from all over the world.   Tucson truly becomes a melting pot.  Language students are in their glory!

This year’s theme is Minerals from California.    The main show at the Convention Center will feature colorful multi faceted minerals and gems from the state speculators flocked to during the gold rush.  Incidentally, Tucson was made a part of the Gadsden Purchase because it was the best route to California for those with gold rush fever.

Begun originally as a local show in 1955, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show has grown to become the largest show in the world which other shows wish to emulate.  The Showcase has grown up around it.  Many of the “shows”  allow only professional buyers with tax identification numbers.    Buyers from throughout the world are here to buy and sell precious stones and minerals which will become part of investor collections, part of a precious piece of jewelry, or a museum item.  Millions of dollars change hands.

Hotel rooms become the bartering place including the very upscale resort hotels here in Tucson.

But the fun shows welcome the general public and the flavors represent all parts of the world.  If you spent the entire time the show is up and running, you could not see everything.  African art, beads from throughout the world, fossilized plates, huge piece of crystal, delicate rings with gemstones, diamond earrings, rugs, crystals, meteorites… on and on.   It’s an education unto itself!

Grab a comfortable pair of shoes and get ready.  The Showcase opens January 28 and will run through the second week of February.  The Gem Mineral and Fossil Show at the Convention Center opens February 1o through the 13th.  This show will dazzle, but the fun is at the many and varied Showcases in the big white tents.  And there is “show food” too, but don’t forget your bottle of water, this is after all, Tucson!

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