Friday, December 15, 2017

Three Budways

My fabulous client Kathy Budway's new CD is reviewed by another of my fabulous clients, Jim Lipson, on page 39 of the December issue of Zocalo. I have wonderful CDs by Kathy and each of her siblings, Maureen and David, but haven't heard all three together. I need to get this CD. These are three talented musicians.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Menlo Park Townhouse

Terrific end unit town home in desirable Menlo Park. Cul-de-sac location next to guest parking with locked gate to Safeway Plaza. Inviting courtyard leads along the side of the house to the back yard. 
Soaring great room ceiling gives a light, airy feel. Tiled fireplace. 
Kitchen has a pantry and is open to the dining area and great room, with direct access to two car garage. Laundry and lots of storage adjacent to kitchen. Two bedrooms and full bath downstairs.
Covered patio with view of Tumamoc Hill, popular with family walkers and fitness runners. Tile or wood floors through out. 
Master bedroom suite upstairs has spacious bathroom, two clothing closets, plus under-eave cubbyhole storage. Clerestory windows. Under 10 minutes to UofA and PCC. Closer to Tumamoc Hill, All Souls Procession, July 4 fireworks and the Thursday afternoon farmer's market at Mercado San Agustin. Your urban hideaway.

Sold January 24, 2018 for $142,250.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

All Souls Procession Has New Route

The All Souls Procession is an amazing event, with thousands of people walking through the streets of Tucson remembering their dearly departed, be they grandparents, pets, the planet Pluto, migrants, jaguars, scientific inquiry or civil discourse. It's a folk art extravaganza where people wear home-made costumes and ride floats out of bicycles or carts. Some people wear giant paper mache heads carried high above the crowd on back pack frames. Others work together to create a multi-bodied creature. There are bands, bagpipes, stilt walkers and a wonderful feeling of community. 

The Procession will begin around 6:00 PM Sunday, November 5. It used to begin on Fourth Avenue, but this year the start of the route will be on Grande south of Speedway. But don't go there. It will be way too crowded. Find a place along the route, and after it has passed, follow it to the Convento for a concert by the Tucson Symphony and the burning of the prayers and hopes you put in the beautiful big urn. You can't miss this. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sellers' Market Now

Here are the sales statistics from the Multiple Listing Service of Southern Arizona.

Median sale price in Southern Arizona increased 7.77% in one month from August to September 2017, and increased 17% from September 2016 to 2017.

There were 3,587 active listings for sale in September, which is very low supply. There were 1,212 home sales, which is high for September, but September sales have been higher than average for the past three years. The ratio of active listings to sales is 3,587 divided by 1,212 = 2.96 to 1. Anything under a 6 to 1 ratio is considered a sellers' market. The average sale price of a single family house was $271,000.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Mavericks in Cuba

My fabulous client Ed Friedland is the bass player in the Grammy award winning band The Mavericks. They went to Cuba this year to play with some of the masters of Cuban music and record a special for PBS. Check out Rolling Stone magazine's cool video.

Cracks in Your House

Are you worried about cracks in your walls, foundation or floor? Most houses have some cracks. Here's an article from the 2-10 Home Warranty site that discusses the warning signs of problematic cracks.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Walking Stick

Then there's this thing. Maybe a walking stick. Green body with turquoise legs and orange antennae. I think. At the opposite end from the possible antennae is some sort of yelow grasping mechanism. Or something. Found this on my sliding door. Had to go in the other door so I wouldn't squash it. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Has Equifax Ruined Your Credit?

As you probably know, Equifax allowed the credit data of millions of consumers to be breached. If you want to know whether you were a victim, first you have to give up your right to sue them. 

Someone could be charging stuff in your name as we speak. Here is an interesting article with advice on how to monitor your credit.

Guess I'd better get my free credit report and see whether my identity has been stolen. 

Monday, August 28, 2017


Last year I had one hornworm on my desert willow tree. It was apple green, about four inches long, with yellow and purple stripes and a curved horn on its end. I thought, "How cute!"
This year I saw a sphinx moth on the desert willow. I though, "How pretty! It hovers like a hummingbird, and it used to be a hornworm. Maybe she will lay some more hornworm eggs."

Then the hornworms ate all the leaves off my desert willow. 
I still thought the hornworms were cute, in a monstrous sort of way. But my poor tree!
I called the Tucson Botanical Garden and the Master Gardeners. They both assured me that the leaves would grow back and there was nothing to worry about. After all, they would pupate and turn into lovely sphinx moths, which are pollinators. I didn't have anything against pollinators, did I?
These monsters use those four pair of claws or hands or something to stuff leaves into their mouths. Out the other end, they excrete little brown poop grenades. The poop is about 1/4" long, and has incisions that look like a grenade. I can't imagine how they get the incisions on there.
So, the advice I got was to 1) do nothing and wait for the leaves to grow back, 2) spray a bacteria on the tree that would kill them, or 3) pull them off and fling them some place far from the tree. They are very selective, and won't just eat anything. 
I opted for #3. It wasn't easy. Those feet have suction cups on them, and the hornworm does not want to go anywhere or do anything but eat and turn into a sphinx moth.
I flung a few hornworms on the ground, and within minutes a roadrunner appeared, picked up a hornworm, slapped it silly, and gobbled it down in one bite. Then he repeated with the other hornworm. 
My partner in crime. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ciudad del Alimento

Don't have time for a trip to the lovely and lively country south of the border? Going to Food City is like shopping in Mexico. Norteño music greets you as you enter, and all the signs are in Spanish and English. You can get a piñata or a statue of La Virgen de Guadalupe or a memorial candle. The produce is cheap, but never organic. 

It's really pretty amazing. Many of the customers and cashiers are speaking Spanish. 
You'll find the usual assortment of dulces, principally made of corn syrup, sugar and food coloring. But it's fun to be dazzled by all the colors. 
They even have a health supplement section to counteract the effects of los dulces. 
I was amazed to see giant bags of chia seeds, a staple of my vegetarian diet. I make chocolate chia pudding, flavored the Mexican way with cinnamon and chili powder. It reminded me of how delighted I was to find chia seeds for sale in Pátzcuaro a few years ago. I thought I just got lucky, but the shelves at Food City suggest chia seeds are staple of Mexican cuisine. It's got me hankering to head south again. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Free Water

If you have central air conditioning, and you're not harvesting the condensation, you're missing out on free water. Many air conditioners have a condensation line that dumps water out of a pipe right next to the house. Water near the house is a problem for a few reasons. It could cause land subsidence, which could damage your foundation. It can also attract termites and other wood destroying organisms like mildew. 

So grab that water! Buy a garden hose fitting like the one in the photo at a hardware store. Attach a garden hose, and put the other end on a thirsty plant. 

Being the geek that I am, I got to wondering how much water this system produces. A few days ago when the temperature was 95 and the humidity was only 26%, I collected the water from the condensation line in a measuring cup. I was impressed to find I collected 0.7 gallons per hour! 

Someone pointed out that this water doesn't have a lot of minerals in it, which is true, but it also doesn't have the nasty chlorine that comes out of the hose that's attached to the hose bib. It doesn't seem to hurt the plants. Here's my new Mexican Honeysuckle, about to get a nice drink. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Staying Cool When It's 107

When you have to wear a fur coat all summer, you look for any opportunity to cool off. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

'S Wonderful! 'S Marvelous!

Lovely, light and spacious two bedroom, two bath townhome in the perfect foothills location close to St Phillips Plaza and the Rillito Riverwalk. End unit offers privacy. Two car carport with storage rooms.
Cheery eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Ceramic counters and backsplash. Beehive fireplace in living room, which is over 16' x 27' and includes the dining area.
Diagonally scored concrete floors. Smart neutral color scheme.
Lovely northeast-facing back patio is a relaxing spot for admiring the beautifully landscaped and well-maintained common area. More storage out here.
Here's your community pool.
Guest bedroom could be a fine office, with its custom shelving, outside entrance, bathroom and recessed ceiling lights.
Gorgeous remodeled master bathroom with travertine-look ceramic, walk-in shower and generous granite vanity top.
Huge master bedroom is over 12' by 22' with two windows to the back porch.  The interactive floorplan is here. This lovely home sold for $215,000 on August 15, 2017.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2716 N Warren Ave

This is the front unit in my pair of duplexes, and it's the fanciest one. I call it my Bag Lady Back Up Plan. I made this place so nice that if the second Great Depression wipes out everything I have, I could happily live here myself. It has high, open beamed ceilings that make it feel larger than its 900 square feet. Two bedrooms and one bath. The floor plan is here. The decorative (non-functioning) fireplace has a cozy bench in front of it. calls this location "Very Walkable. Most errands can be accomplished on foot".

Kitchen has pretty blue counter tops, gas stove, maple cabinets, refrigerator and dishwasher. Tile floor through out.
The bathroom tile and color are a knock out. The dining room has floor to ceiling windows and a ceiling fan. You have exclusive use of a washer and dryer in your small storage shed. Covered carport plus off street parking for another car. Central air conditioning and gas heat. I pay for the water, you pay for the gas and electricity.
To rent it, you must have good credit and landlord references. No first time renters, and no co-signers, please. No smoking and no pets. The rent will be $815, but if you pay it early, you can pay $800. Deposit is $815.
I am the owner/agent and property manager. Equal Opportunity Housing. This apartment is leased through June 30, 2019.

1415 E Seneca St

I have owned this sweet little University-area home since 1995. I invested almost $25,000 in 2016 in flooring, new kitchen, plumbing, electrical, fence, HVAC and painting.
Only four blocks to University Medical Center. Its desirable Jefferson Park location can't be beat. This little two bedroom, one bath house is like a mountain cabin with its high, open beamed ceilings and wood paneling. Ceramic Saltillo look-alike tile throughout. 
The operative word is little. At only 750 square feet, it is tiny, but my tenants happily stay for years because of the comfort and convenience of living here. The floor plan is here

I really got carried away with the bathroom. Adorable hand painted Talavera tile in the shower. Beautiful calla lily ceramic mirror. Too cute.
The sweet new kitchen has a dishwasher, gas stove, microwave and refrigerator. 14 SEER air conditioner and gas furnace were installed in June 2016. Ceiling fans in kitchen, living room and bedrooms. 
There are hookups for your washer plus gas or electric drier on the back patio. Grey water goes to the gorgeous mesquite. New corrugated metal fence on west side of the fully enclosed back yard.
Gigantic yard and enormous 12' x 26' storage shed. 
I am the owner/agent. To rent it, you must be self-supporting, and have good credit and landlord references. No smoking and no pets. Equal Opportunity Housing. Shown with 48 hours notice to tenant. Rent is $1,000 per month. Renewable in one year increments after that. If you pay the rent early, you can pay $985. Deposit is $1,000.

This property is rented through June 30, 2019. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Government-Subsidized Housing for the Wealthy

The National Association of Realtors says that they will fight any threat to eliminate mortgage interest as an income tax deduction. They claim that it makes home ownership more affordable, and the housing industry and consumers will be harmed by the loss of the mortgage interest deduction (MID).

They needn't worry. The MID is wildly popular, and few politicians dare to suggest its demise.

The New York Times has an interesting article about the MID, its beneficiaries, and its cost to the U.S. economy.

Friday, May 5, 2017

1620 W Delaware Street

Barrio Hollywood is Tucson's intercultural gem of a neighborhood. Generations of families are now being joined by young professionals who appreciate the river terrace soil for its garden qualities.

Manzo Elementary School is in Barrio Hollywood. My fabulous client Moses Thompson is a counselor there. He has the children raising vegetables and hens, which has had a profound affect on the children's interest in school, as well as their appreciation of healthy eating. The farm at Manzo has changed Barrio Hollywood for the better.
Close to University of Arizona, Pima Community College, golf, community center, library, shopping and I-10. This solid masonry home has three bedrooms, two baths, a carport, and no weird additions. Two sheds in the back yard. One is a substantial masonry shed with a covered porch. Projects! Play! Dining al fresco!
A car-sized rolling gate provides access from the alley to the shady back yard. Air conditioning. Washer and dryer provided in the indoor laundry room.
Fireplace in the living room is decorative and can not be used.
Large eat-in kitchen.
Refrigerator, dishwasher and gas stove.

Tile floors throughout. The floor plan is here.

No smoking, no pets. Tenant must have good credit and landlord references. Offered at $925 per month. If rent is paid before the first of the month, you can pay $910. Deposit is $925.  I am the owner/agent/property manager. Equal Opportunity Housing.

This property is rented through June 30, 2019.

Monday, May 1, 2017

2718 N Warren Avenue

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.
Evaporative cooler and gas wall heater. 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 $700 per month, but if you pay before the first of the month, you can pay $685. Deposit is $700. I pay for water, trash and recycling. You pay for gas and electric.

No smoking, no pets. Tenant must be self supporting. Good credit and landlord references a must! Listing agent is owner and property manager. Equal opportunity housing.

This property is rented through June 30, 2019.