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. 

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 97 and the humidity was only 17%, 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 $785, but if you pay it early, you can pay $770. Deposit is $785.
I am the owner/agent and property manager. Equal Opportunity Housing. This apartment is leased through June 30, 2018.

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 $975 per month. Available for the next resident to move in June 2, 2017. Lease through June 30, 2018. Renewable in one year increments after that. If you pay the rent early, you can pay $960. Deposit is $975.

This property is rented through June 30, 2018. 

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 $900 per month. If rent is paid before the first of the month, you can pay $885. Deposit is $900.  I am the owner/agent/property manager. Equal Opportunity Housing. Available July 3, 2017 with lease through June 30, 2018. Lease can be renewed in one year increments after that. Call me at 520-909-1171 to schedule a showing. I need to give 48 hours notice to the tenant.

This property is rented through June 30, 2018.

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 $670 per month, but if you pay before the first of the month, you can pay $655. Deposit is $670. 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, 2018.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Three of the 15 Best High Schools in the U.S. are in Tucson!

So saith the perpetual list maker, U.S. News & World Report. Charter schools Basis Tucson North and Basis Oro Valley were ranked second and third respectively, while Tucson Unified School District’s University High School was number 15 on the U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best High Schools ranking list. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hippie Family Values

I can not wait for Bev Seckinger to finish her feature-length film, "Hippie Family Values" about the counterculture movement started in the 1970s in the Southwest. She needs $20,000 to finish production, so please go to her Indiegogo page to see a 10 minute preview, donate some money, and get some cool perks. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

The BBC Eats Tucson

Tucson was featured in the April issue of BBC Good Food. The writer's first impression of Tucson, upon seeing the mountains, the desert, the magnificent saguaro cactus with their "hands up!" was the same as mine: I'm in a Roadrunner cartoon! I have never gotten over the delight of that whimsical revelation. The roadrunners who dash and pause, dash and pause across my back yard are my spirit animals.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tucson, and All That Jazz

I love this video, filmed in downtown Tucson. Look for the Snake Bridge, the old Chicago Store (RIP), the Ronstadt Center, Cafe Magritte (RIP), the stone ramada on A Mountain, the Fourth Avenue underpass, the Rialto, the old Fourth Avenue trolley (RIP), the old clock on a pedestal next to Veinte de Agosta Park (west side of Church Avenue, south of Congress--site of the Occupy Tucson encampment) and the bus stop in front of the Aloft looking toward the Palm Shadows Apartments. 

The Tuesday Night Bike Riders were surprised to roll into the live filming on the Snake Bridge, but the Sylvan Street sax player and film maker were cool with it.

Anyone know the location of the beautiful mural? 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bees in the Trees

I noticed a swarm of bees in my mesquite tree yesterday. Their old hive became too crowded, so they crowned a new queen and escorted the old queen to my tree. They are guarding the old queen inside this swarm while they look for a new home. I am honored to host royalty in my yard. I hope they find a great location that isn't my attic. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Milkweed is Caterpillar Food

We should all plant milkweed so the butterflies, especially the endangered Monarchs, have food for their larvae. I bought a pine leaf milkweed at Desert Survivors and was enchanted to see that it came with a Queen butterfly caterpillar. I watched it chomp on the leaves for five days, but now I can't find it. Maybe a bird got it, or maybe it has made a cocoon that I haven't located. 

UofA Bungalow and Guest House

Adorable 1937 Feldman bungalow, beautifully upgraded while maintaining the vintage character you seek. 
The main house has two bedrooms and one bath in 786 square feet. It shines with fresh paint, brand new Shaker cabinets, stainless appliances and granite counters. New oak-look tile floor in kitchen. Laundry room off the kitchen offers additional storage.
High ceilings, decorative fireplace and lots of natural light. 
Oak floors in living room and bedrooms. 
Of course, the footed tub was saved, complemented by a new vanity and sweet hexagonal floor tile. 
The 473 square foot guest house is one of the nicest you've ever seen.
Oak cabinets in sunny guest house kitchen.
Decorative fireplace in the guest house living room. Three-quarter bath and a bedroom large enough for a king-sized bed. Tenant pays $625 on month-to-month lease and can move with 30 days notice. 
 Mature desert landscaping in the private fenced yard. 
Two off-street parking spaces. The coolest location, right between UofA and 4th Avenue. The interactive floor plan is here. This property sold for $234,725 on May 31, 2017