Monday, December 8, 2014

Classy Winterhaven Townhome

The Home That Welcomes You embraces guests as they enter the sweet courtyard.

Nestled in a lovely and well-maintained neighborhood with mature vegetation, this attractive home is a delight.
Sunny oak kitchen has a breakfast bar where your guests can visit while you put the finishing touches on dinner. Tile floors throughout.
The great room has a vaulting ceiling that gives a feeling of grandeur. Adorable corner fire place invites you to sit on its bench and take in the warmth.
Watch the colors change on the Catalina Mountains from your Arizona Room, which provides a bonus of 125 square feet. The two bedrooms and closets are generous. Two bathrooms.The floor plan is here. Storage in the carport.
North-facing covered back patio and privacy walls expand your living space to the outdoors.
Pool, spa and barbeque are only a few doors away. Two carport spaces plus two guest parking spaces at your front courtyard. The HOA fee includes water and exterior maintenance. Sold for $124,000 on March 5, 2015.Equal Housing Opportunity.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rare Custom Home in Central Tucson at a Reasonable Price

Toto, I don't think we're in Tucson anymore. Adobe construction and vaulted open beam ceilings evoke the serenity of a cozy New Mexico mountain cabin. See the open, flowing floor plan here. This unique hand-crafted home is a feast for the senses.

Walk on the cool, clean Saltillo tile floor in your bare feet. Take a deep breath of the delicious aroma of freshly-cut grass.

Open the wooden blinds to let the light stream in. Enjoy the delightful surprise of the rich stained concrete counter tops with maple cabinets.

Taste the fruit of your pomegranate tree. Hear the rain celebration on the blue metal roof. Contemplate your good luck with a mountain view from your roof top perch. King-sized bedroom.
Attractive solar-powered gate. Control the thermostat from your cell phone.

This house has an interesting history. In 2003, one of my friends from graduate school referred an incoming hydrology student to me. I helped him buy 630 N Jerrie Avenue. My client split the lot and built this house, 626 N Jerrie Avenue, behind it. I saw him and his friend making adobe blocks in the yard. They used as few power tools as possible, and their names are burnt onto the top of the center beam with a magnifying glass. I toasted the completion of the house with the builders on the roof. The market was crazy hot in 2006, and my client sold 626 without my help. The following year, I helped him sell 630.

626 was sold again to its third owner in 2011. A few weeks ago, the Tierra Antigua relocation director called to ask whether I wanted a listing on a cute little house behind a house on Jerrie Avenue. I asked whether it had a blue tin roof, and he said it did. So I put this house on the market, and sent the listing to my former client, the one who built the house. He sent the listing to his former housemate, who had lived in 630 and who helped build 626. The former housemate is the new owner. The builder, the buyer and I were all in the University of Arizona hydrology graduate program at different times. Sometimes magic happens. It's fitting that it happened with this lovely little home.

Sold December 11, 2014 for $149,000. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tucson's 40 Under 40

I am so pleased that the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Daily Star honored my fabulous client Moses Thompson as one of their 40 under 40. He has done wonderful work at Manzo Elementary School, helping the children learn about gardening and poultry. The school cafeteria will soon be serving the produce the children grow. Imagine how exciting that must be for them, and what a positive influence it will have on their eating habits.

This is a good time to point out that you can get a state tax credit for contributing up to $200 to a public school as an individual, and up to $400 as a couple filing a joint return. A tax credit means if you give $200 to a public school, you can reduce the amount of income tax you owe to the State of Arizona by $200. I know Manzo will use my money much more productively than the State will, so I always give my tax credit to Manzo. You can even pay by credit card.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

September Residential Sales Statistics

The Tucson Association of Realtor has released the residential sales statistics for September. No surprise, the number of listings is up, the number of sales is down, and the average sale price has decreased. This happens every fall and it is probably no cause for concern. It's a good time to be a buyer, as most of the buyers will soon be obsessed with the holidays, so you don't have as much competition. If you're a seller, you may need to be flexible to get your house sold now. Or you might just want to wait until things pick up in January. Prices probably won't be a whole lot higher then, but you may have more buyers looking at your house.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Favorite Neighborhood

CASA CON LOTE GIGANTESCO. This solid masonry House With The Huge Lot is nestled in my favorite neighborhood, Tucson Park West 3. Home Sweet Desert Home. High above the city in the Tucson Mountains, you'll enjoy wide streets, cleaner air and usually more rain and lower summer temperatures than down there in the flat lands.

Yet you're only 10 minutes from downtown and 15 minutes from UA. Even better is our 65 acres of common area, from which you can hike all the way to Saguaro National Park, crossing just two streets.
But you may not want to leave your quarter acre lot with walled back yard and mature trees.
The cheerful Arizona Room adds 150 bonus square feet to your home.
Three bedrooms, two baths, living room plus family room. The floor plan is here.

This well maintained retreat is reluctantly being given up by its owners of 26 years. 
Here's your chance to become a grateful TPW3 homeowner. Sold for $160,000 on September 17, 2014. The buyer was willing to pay full price, $165,000, but the appraiser made us reduce the price to $160,000.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2720 N Warren Ave

This adorable apartment is hidden away from the street in the middle of a four-plex. High beamed ceilings. Lots of sun light and quiet. Oak cabinets in the kitchen. Two bed rooms, one bath. The floor plan is here. At 600 square feet, it's itty bitty, but still, my tenants happily stay for years.

The floors are shiny composition vinyl, with a retro look, sort of like polished concrete. Very pretty and clean.

Each of the four apartments here has its own washer and dryer in its own laundry shed. Off street parking is available for two cars per apartment.

A mile and a half north of the U of A near the Mountain Avenue bike path. A few blocks from Albertson's, Raging Sage, Beyond Bread, Opa!, Lovin' Spoonful, Yoshimatsu, Blue Willow, The Folk Shop and lots of other cool stuff on Tucson's real main street, Campbell Avenue.

Rent is $705 per month. If you pay before the first of the month, you can pay $690. Security deposit is $705. I pay for water, you pay for gas and electric. Evaporative cooler and gas wall heater.

You must be self supporting, have good credit and good landlord references. No smoking and no pets. Equal Opportunity Housing.

I am the owner/agent and property manager. This apartment is rented through June 30, 2019.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Richland Heights Opportunity

Amazing opportunity for an investor or buyer who wants to build sweat equity. House with guest suite plus casita on north 4/10 acre.
Enormous garage/workshop on south 4/10 acre. Possible to split into two large lots. House has gorgeous beamed ceilings, polished concrete floors and living room fireplace.
Large family room faces spacious back porch. Two bedrooms and full vintage-style bath in main part of house.
Guest suite has three rooms and bathroom. Casita has kitchen and bathroom. See Floor Plan here. Richland Heights is a desirable neighborhood only two miles north of UofA.
The huge lots and wide streets give the feeling of country living. Stunning view of the Catalina Mountains. So convenient to the stores and restaurants on Campbell Avenue and close to the Rillito River bike/walk path. Sold for $260,000 on August 14, 2014.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Creatures in the House

One of my friends Back East is starting to think about moving some place where the winters aren't so harsh and the taxes aren't so high. She asked about the aggression of the fauna in Tucson, particularly the spiders.

Once I answered the spider question, I was on a roll with describing my experiences with wildlife that found its way into my house. Steve said this was really mean and I went overboard. Being the personality type that I am, I of course think if what I say is true, why would anyone be offended? I don't remember the name of the personality type, but that's me. Here's what I said.

We have loads of spiders, and they do bite. In the summer, I usually have a few bumps or red marks I can't identify. I have two right now. They disappear, usually painlessly, in a day or two. Some spiders, like the black widow, which I have found in my house more than once, are poisonous even to people who aren't allergic, but usually not fatal. I have also had very startling encounters with wolf spiders, which are about three inches in diameter, and love to hang out on top of doors. They fall on you when you open the door. Otherwise they are harmless, as are tarantulas, which are about five inches in diameter. I have never seen a tarantulas inside the house, but armies of them can be seen crossing dirt roads during mating season. Charming, isn't it?

I have not yet been stung by a scorpion, but I have killed plenty of them in my desert house. This is more of a problem in the desert than it is in town. I never saw scorpions inside the house in town. A scorpion sting won't kill a person, but it will make life pretty miserable for several hours. This is a scorpion I caught in my kitchen. I put it under a glass bowl on my table so I could photograph it before its demise.

We have had snakes inside the house in town, though. That is always exciting. I think they came in through a hole in the doggie door, because we haven't had any in the house since we discovered and closed the hole. The kind that have come in the house were not poisonous, and we were able to capture them and put them outside. See my blog post, The Snake Chronicles. We like to have them outside because they eat the pack rats. I don't know anyone who has been bitten by a snake. We have encountered rattlers on our hikes and I occasionally see one curled up on a porch or under a pool filter when I'm showing a house, but snakes want to be left alone. They are typically not aggressive and if they bite, the skin may necrotize, but the person probably won't die, although I understand that for a while he may wish he would. The typical snake-bitten person is a drunken male in his 20s who was handling or provoking the snake.
This snake was not in the house. We met him when we were hiking in the Tucson Mountains. He was next to the trail, and I had just passed him without noticing. I heard a cough behind me and turned around to see what it was. I thought it was a javelina, but it was this snake, slithering away toward his hole. 

We have had pack rats in the attic, which I tolerated for a while until one of them died inside the pantry wall and made a huge stink. Then I had the attic cleaned out and I repaired the screens on all the attic ventilation holes that the rats were using for ingress and we haven't had pack rats since.

We also had a skunk in the hall furnace closet in our house in town. It came in through the fresh air vent in the foundation. We've screened that off, too, and I don't think he has any wildlife in there these days.

It does take a certain type of person to love the desert. There is an article on my blog called Bedouins and Gods that explains it. There is magic in the air here. 

I think I may have blown any chance of getting my friend to visit Tucson or consider moving here. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pistola, si. Cerveza, no.

My pal and fabulous client Alison Jones made a music video with her friend, Grammy-nominee Linda Chorney. You can see Alison at 0:35 and 0:45 wearing one of my tie dye dresses and peace necklace.

Linda and Mariachi Sol Azteca ask the musical question: You can carry a gun into a restaurant in Tucson, but you can't carry a beer out? The answer, sadly, is si, senor.

Painted Hills to Become Park of Tucson Mountain Park

Pima County plans to buy 286 acres near the intersection of West Speedway and Anklam Road known as Painted Hills for $7.5 million from the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, which paid $27 million for it in 2006, one year after the parcels involved sold for $3.3 million.

After the Dallas pension fund wildly over paid for the property, the City of Tucson refused to provide water service to the property. The Dallas pension fund sued, and lost.

Without water service, it seems to me this property is worth exactly $0 to a developer. It is in the Tucson Mountains, far west of the Tucson Valley aquifer, and it is unlikely that any significant groundwater can be found in these rocky hills.

This is very beautiful desert land, and I am glad it will be preserved, but I am concerned that the County doesn't really know how they are going to pay for this. Either they will get the funds in a November 2015 bond election (not likely) or hope they get enough revenue from an iffy agreement with Starr Pass Resort. I see foreclosure in Painted Hills' future. But as long as the City of Tucson continues to refuse to provide water that we don't have, the property should remain safe from development.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

May Residential Sales Statistics

In Tucson, June is the traditionally month when the most sales close. Those sales got into escrow in April and May. Things will start to get slower now and then start to pick up in January. Here are the Residential Sales Statistics for May from the Tucson Association of Realtors.
This year, instead of steadily building toward the annual peak in sales activity in June, there were 6% fewer closings in May than in April. 

A few of my colleagues at Tierra Antigua have been sending mass emails to the other agents in the company asking where the buyers are. Some agents are reporting few showings on their houses.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Holy Moly and Holey Dove, Batman!

A couple weeks ago my birding pal Alison and I left Tucson at 4:30 AM to participant in the Tucson Audubon Society's Elegant Trogon Survey in Madera Canyon. We did this last year, but I think because we were rookies TAS assigned us to an unproductive section of the lower canyon. This time Alison requested and got a better assignment for us, and it paid off in this sighting of the object of our search. He was absolutely magnificent, stunning, thrilling and elegant.

Closer to home but no less fascinating is this White Winged Dove with a hole in his chest. When he drinks from my wildlife bubbler, water comes out of his chest. I saw him several times over the course of about ten days, but this sighting on May 27 might have been my last.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sanctuary at Southside

Southside Presbyterian Church is the home of the Sanctuary Movement started by Reverend John Fife in the 1980s. Southside recently went back to its roots by housing a family that was threatened with deportation. I am so proud of my fabulous client Kat Sinclair, who stayed with the family during their two weeks of sanctuary. Her devotion to civil liberties is inspiring.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sweet Home In Feldman Historic District

I am very fortunate to have two new listings in historic districts near the University of Arizona. Both are eligible for tax breaks up to 45%.

This attractive straw bale wall with its distinctive tile mosaic is a Fourth Avenue landmark.

The WWII vintage home is an appealing sight from the street, but you'll find lots of modernization inside. Central AC and dual pane low-E windows enhance your enjoyment of your conveniently located urban retreat. Spacious eat-in kitchen with oak cabinets.

You'll love the split floor plan. Real wood floors, private entrance and bathroom in the north master bedroom wing. Two bedrooms with walk in closets in the south wing.

Original tile has been preserved in the surprising hall bath, which has tub and shower. Insulated 267 square foot two-room storage building offers intriguing possibilities. Large laundry room might double as office or party serving area.

New block wall creates your private back yard hideaway with shaded patio and mature lemon tree. Sold on July 16, 2014 for $175,000 with multiple offers.

Ranch Home In Jefferson Park Historic District

Well-built, low-maintenance home in the desirable Jefferson Park Historic District. Eligible for up to 45% reduction in property tax. Rented without a vacancy for the past 10 years. The owners' UofA students and their friends have enjoyed the location and amenities this home offers. Every little repair issue was quickly and meticulously addressed. All you need to do is buy it, move in and relax.

Central air, split floor plan, huge fenced yard with plentiful off street parking and privacy behind the gate.

Kitchen is open to the living room across the breakfast bar. Lots of storage. All the appliances are included. Kitchen door goes to the east yard and the laundry.

Vaulting ceilings and large windows enhance the spacious, airy feeling.

The sunny master bedroom has two closets, cute built-ins, a private bathroom and its own walled patio. Large closets in the other two bedrooms. Under a mile to UofA on the Mountain Avenue Bike Path. Sold for $160,500 on July 30, 2014 with multiple offers.  The interactive floor plan is here.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Library Loft with a Mountain View

This sweet home is perfect for you if  you need a home office, studio, hobby room, playhouse or guest space. Two marvelous energy-efficient pods of corten steel provide the space and style you  want. Featured in the October 13, 2008 issue of Archinect magazine, the 197 square foot library and the 100 square foot office were designed by Dale Clifford and Jason Vollen, former professors in the University of Arizona School of Architecture.

The ladder leads up the the library loft, with a tree top view of the Catalina Mountains.

Equally fabulous is the two-car garage, which you know is a rare find in the desirable Blenman-Elm neighborhood.
Enjoy your serene back yard from the huge covered patio. The Meyer lemon tree will be fondly missed by the sellers. Parties spontaneously combust at the outdoor fireplace.

The straw bale wall curves to hug the beautifully landscaped front yard.

IKEA kitchen sports stainless appliances, bamboo floor and glass-front cabinets. Laundry room off kitchen.
The main house has three bedrooms and one bath. Heated and cooled Arizona Room offers flexible space. Tankless water heater. Hard surface floors through out.

The interactive floor plan is here. Sold for $300,000 on July 16, 2014.