Posts Tagged ‘Tucson Relocation’

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.









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.  

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 Real Estate Market Ripe for Purchasing

Monday, November 24th, 2014

After years of downturn, Tucson is beginning to come out of the morass which was the real estate market. 2015 is projected to be a year when the market should appreciate at a normal rate. Most of the foreclosures and short sales will have been sold or auctioned off.

But, we still are influenced by those buyers from other parts of the country who live in judicial foreclosure states. They are about three years behind Arizona and distressed inventory is weighing down their markets.

Potential buyers from those states who are considering a move to Tucson may be hemmed in by lower prices just as we were three years ago and therefore be unable to purchase now.

The average price of a home in Tucson went from $202,342 in December 2013 to $210,454 in October this year.

The median price rose a bit more than 4% from $159,900 to $166,500. Sales statistics are a lagging indicator since they are one month in arrears. The numbers for December 2013 reflect what transpired in November since closing takes approximately 30 days. Seasonal adjustments must also be considered, the normal drop off in sales during the winter holidays when people are celebrating and not thinking about selling their home.

Banks are talking about raising rates and if that happens, buyers may come out of the woodwork to take advantage of their ability to buy more home for the same amount of money. Housing prices have not escalated considerably and the market generally has been quiet.

If you are thinking about purchasing a new home, this is the time. Builders have inventory on hand and especially with spec homes, buyers can take advantage of incentives which include lower interest rates for the loan life. Call me and we can discuss what is out there and where it is located in proximity to your lifestyle. And take advantage of 2014 fiscal year tax deductions.

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

Marana Continues to Grow …Gilbert Davidson, Town Manager

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

“We live in a beautiful part of the state, we have incredible weather, and our issues are unique” Gilbert Davidson, Town Manager of Marana told a gather of Realtors® at the Tucson Association of Realtors® Economic Summit, last week.

Marana has higher sales revenues, projected to be up 5.3% through the first half of 2011 over the same period in 2010.  But the town does have budgetary concerns and is trying to cut back on programs which do not impact the long term growth of Marana.

Additionally, there is some building of new single family homes in Marana.  A total of 343 building permits for single family homes were issued in 2010, an average of 28 homes a month. Comparatively, a total of 75 building permits were issued in 2000.    Certificates of Occupancy totaled 42 in 2010.

The Twin Peaks Interchange, now opened, provides a commercial corridor and runs from I-10 to Dove Mountain. “It is the gateway to the Ritz Carlton”, Gilbertson said.  There is ongoing home building as part of the Ritz project.

With the assistance of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, Marana secured a federal government grant and built the 70,000 square foot LEEDS certified Marana Health Center.  It is located near the government offices.

Sargent Aerospace and Defense has expanded facilities in Marana and provides jobs.  “The University of Arizona is a gigantic economic engine” and Marana is looking to workforce connections and internships. “We must support the University,” Gilbertson urged.   Marana is a business friendly community and is courting business especially with U of A partnerships.

Marana hosts top PGA players from throughout the world February 21 through February 27 for Accenture Match Play.  The PGA tournament is televised to more than 200 countries.  Marana is on display to the world and Match Play is a tremendous advertising vehicle for Marana and southern Arizona.


Marana Health Center

Sargent Aerospace and Defense

Accenture Match Play

Town of Marana

“Oro Valley A Desired Place to Live and Raise a Family”…Jerene Watson Town Manager

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

With five new town Council members, fresh priorities are focusing on being a “business friendly” community, Jerene Watson, Town Manager of Oro Valley,  told the Tucson Association of Realtors Summit last week.

Two economic development summits resulted in the town’s ability to knock off a year in the development and permitting process.  “We are open for business and are continuously reaching out” to entice business to the community.

Ventana Roche is bringing 500 new jobs to OroValley and the town is courting new corporations in the bioscience, high tech and educational areas, Watson said.

The University of Arizona Bio 5 Oro Valley opened and is a research arm, developing potential new medicines.  Basis Charter School Oro Valleyhas students and took only five months with the new approved development plans.  Additionally Pima College Oro Valley campus is operational.

Private/public partnerships are being explored for potential leases of town owned property which will benefit the residents. Focus is on arts, recreation, and culture.  The Town Center development will offer incentives for potential entertainment or businesses and county bike and pedestrian trails provide recreational facilities for residents.

Like the other town managers at the summit, Watson said general fund revenues are down 20%.  Oro Valley does not have a property tax, but relies upon the sales tax.  Single family residential building permits decreased to 50 is fiscal year 2010 compared to 285 in 2008.  This represents a 50% drop in construction sales tax.  The construction sales tax was 40% of the budget and is now at 19%.  Belt tightening is the order of the day.

Unlike federal and state governments, towns cannot resort to gimmicks and tricks and need to come in with a balanced budget.  The town has courted new business to bring in local sales tax revenues.  Financial dash boards are on the website, she said.

The town is also looking at strategic annexation, and in particular 14 acres to the north bordering state land.

“We are positioning Oro Valley as a desired place to live and raise a family” she concluded.


Town of Oro Valley:

Basis School:

Bio 5:

Tucson Realtors Hear Jim Stahle, Manager of Sahuarita at Summit…

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The four managers of the towns in Pima County spoke Thursday to the Tucson Association of Realtors® (TAR) with a prognosis of what growth is anticipated in each of the areas.

“Sahuarita is contending with today’s reality and planning for the future” said Jim Stahle, City Manager of Sahuarita, a town which experienced a growth of 9000 houses, with one half of this building in Rancho Sahuarita.

A total of 1700 housing permits were issued in 2006 and in 2010, only 311 permits issued, the same as 2001, he said. Quail Creek, a Robson active adult community, has seen 18% of those building permits.

Sahuarita has cut budgets, cut staff and is making tough decisions in order to maintain the service levels.  As a result, the town has become more efficient.

Challenges facing the new town include a commercial Community Facilities District (CFD), the cost of  which would be shared with developers.

Development is projected in the Rancho Sahuarita Town District which is ideally located between I-19 and Sahuarita Road, Stahle said.

The town conducted a psychographics analysis trying to determine what people would buy in such an area.

Determining if Sahuarita  will “get into the water business” or if water will remain under the purview of private business is another issue facing the town.  If the town decides to purchase the water company, the issue is how to structure the purchase, the fact it will then be subjected to state regulation, and how the town will pay for the water company, now in private hands.

Farmers Investment Company (FIC), the largest pecan grower in the nation, located in Sahuarita, has 6,000 to 7,000 acres it is eyeing for development in the future, possibly 15 to 50 years.  Much of the land is located in a flood plain zone.  Projected growth will impact the river management plan and the master plan. The town and FIC are working together for planned growth and development.

Sahuarita is looking for opportunities to attract well paying jobs, and is identifying areas which are capable of landing employment.  It also, like the other three towns, is considering annexation of adjacent areas.


The Buyer Advisory…An Excellent Resource

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

If you are considering purchasing a home in Arizona, your agent should provide you with the Buyer Advisory, a document which is nine pages and provides information about items a person should know prior to purchasing a home.

The document, written by the Arizona Association of Realtors, is designed to allow the consumer to check  issues he/she should consider when purchasing a home.  It contains links to many websites which can answer consumer questions.

Information concerning neighborhoods is not static, changing frequently, and the Buyer Advisory is revised periodically.  The websites referenced in the Advisory also change their information frequently.

Crime statistics are important and the Advisory references the various sites in Arizona cities where these statistics can be obtained.  An agent cannot know all of these facts and the knowlegable consumer will reference the Buyer Advisory to find answers to his/her questions.

The Buyer Advisory is also a document which a homeowner can use to ascertain answers to questions he/she may have regarding where to go for tax information, zoning information, information about area schools, and the ever famous sex offender information.

If you are considering purchasing property outside of Arizona, the Buyer Advisory is an excellent guideline to questions you may have and potential places to obtain the answers in that state.

Take advantage of this resource, it is part of a buyer’s due diligence when purchasing a property.   A link to the Arizona Buyer Advisory is provided below, you may be surprised at the amount of information it contains.  Use this information for your advantage.  A knowlegable buyer is a good buyer.

Tucson International Airport, A Gem of an Airport!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Tucson is a warm weather destination for thousands of people who want to exchange snow, sleet, ice, and freezing weather for warmer temperatures, sunshine, and the exercise of a round of golf rather than shoveling snow.

With an efficient international airport, Tucson is easy to reach.  Many airlines have direct flights from their hubs, and the airport is within 20 minutes of Tucson proper.   There are also daily flights to points in Mexico.

The Tucson International Airport website (listed below) features daily deals for airlines, a terminal map, information about ground parking, transportation options, a list of arrivals and a list of departures with their “on time” status, as well as information about the artwork which greets visitors as they wander through the airport.

Tucson International is an easy airport to navigate and when walking out the main doors, the warmth of Tucson greets visitors framed by the majestic mountains which surround the city.

It’s easy to get to either I-10 which goes to the center of town, or to I-19 which one takes to get to Sahuarita and Green Valley.

There are plenty of rental car places, both on site at the airport, or off site.  Like most airports, those off site may charge a bit less.  But if you want the best deal, rent a car from a place in the city so you don’t have to pay the airport surcharge which most cities charge…and use the coupon which you get either on line or from The Entertainment Book!

People often think flying into Phoenix is cheaper, but I’ve tried that when flying to the east coast. I took the shuttle to Phoenix which is now $37 one way if booked a day in advance with a 25% discount for the second or third passenger, but still that adds $74 to the price of a ticket for one person round trip.  The ride was more than two hours, as opposed to 20 minutes to the Tucson Airport, and I groggily boarded the shuttle at 4:30 am for a 8:30 am flight.

Checking prices this morning for Southwest;  from Phoenix to Chicago is $109 on a “Wanna Get Away” airfare, and only $10 more from Tucson, at $119.  The “Anytime” flight is $403 from Phoenix and $437 from Tucson; and the “Business Select” is $423 from Phoenix, one way, and $457 from Tucson, still less than a one way shuttle price.

Sky Harbor Airport parking is $7.00 a day if you leave your car there.  Tucson International parking is $4.00 a day if one parks at Park’N Go, and the shuttle buses come every five to seven minutes.  Drivers are polite and always willing to help with luggage.

It is a given there are more direct flights from point to point at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor, but it is worth considering that flying into Tucson may be worth a half hour layover in Denver or Dallas.

If it is a two hour drive to Sky Harbor one way and you don’t want to bog down in Phoenix traffic, then think about flying into Tucson International.  You’ll begin your vacation much more relaxed!


Tucson International Airport