Make Yourself at Home in Tucson – September 2016

Another month is about to roll out, bringing somewhat cooling temperatures to the Sonoran Desert. Here is the September edition of my newsletter. Hope you can make it to some of the fun events coming up!


Trending in Tucson

  • For current trends in the Tucson housing market, go to my website and download the Housing Report for your area.
  • Development and building activity in Downtown – “Downtown Tucson continues to be a hub of activity and redevelopment as 22 new residential projects, which could bring more than 1,500 multi-family housing units, are being built or planned.”

More About Chili:  Looking for a day trip out of Tucson or possibly an overnight for Labor Day Weekend? Visit the CASI chili cook off at Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, NM, just across the border from Palomas, MX. The date is September 3, and my partner will once again be cooking! This cook off benefits the Friends of  Pancho Villa State Park.

Pancho VillaIf you can’t make it, maybe you can try the First Ever Last Chance Chili Cook-off in Benson, AZ at the Mescal Bar and Grill on September 24. It’s bound to be fun! This cook off benefits Rocky Point Animal Rescue.

Word of the Month: Disclosure – One of the most important facets of a real estate transaction for purchase of a residence is Disclosure. The seller of a property is required by law to disclose all material facts related to the property he/she is selling. That means that the crack in the concrete covered by an area rug needs to be disclosed. It means that holes in a wall covered by a large piece of furniture needs to be disclosed. Consequences for not disclosing can be serious and cause a deal to fall through. Real Estate agents are also required by law to disclose material facts that come to their attention, whether the seller disclosed it or not.


Holiday Fun: Join the the Tucson Desert Harmony Chorus and share the joy of singing during the Holiday season. Rehearsals start September 6 from 6 – 8 p.m. No audition required. If you love to sing four-part harmony with other women, join up at the Jewish Community Center, 3800 E River Rd. Learn more on the web site or call 520-790-1813.

Special Events:

  • September 3 @ 5:00 pm – October 29 @ 8:00 pm -Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Tucson Premium Outlets present a series of free, family-friendly concerts. Enjoy the sounds of some of Southern Arizona’s finest local musicians at Tucson Premium Outlets. The signature free concert series, held every Saturday evening, will feature a variety of weekly performances from local musicians and bands.
  • Sunday, September 11, 2016 Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block is pleased to announce the launch of Second SundAZe @ TMA presented by The Stonewall Foundation. Beginning September 11, residents of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico will receive free admission to the Museum on the second Sunday of each month.
  • Saturday, September 17 Arizona Zipline Adventures present the“Peppersauce Roundup”, Arizona Zipline Adventures includes the Mt. Lemmon Grinder bike race (40-50 miles), 10 mile run on the AZ Trail, and 5K, Bluegrass & County Music Festival, Kids Zone for play, 2 Beer Gardens, vendors, ziplining, food, camping available.



Curb Appeal and First Impressions


curb appeal2I recently had the opportunity to tour listings of other Realtors to provide feedback for the sellers. I was given a sheet of items to give scores to, such as Location, Interior, Exterior, Price, etc. Two other items I found particularly important were Curb Appeal and Landscaping.

Curb Appeal is that quality that attracts you to a home. And a seller has only one chance to make a first impression. While exterior “freshening” and maintenance are important, the quality of the landscaping and plantings are also a part of that first look at a home. While it is not the most important, curb appeal is what draws you further to look at the interior.

If my first impression is an overgrown, or overplanted yard, or that there are dead plants that have been overlooked, I may wonder about the level of upkeep for the interior of the house I’m considering. A seller needs to make sure that the exterior has the same careful appearance as the interior of the home.

In one of the homes I visited there was a permanent window box where once-living plants had succumbed to the Tucson desert heat, and the rest of the planter was bare. A little attention to this would have made a better impression. Just removing the dead plants and covering the soil with mulch would have made a difference.

Another home I visited was in a historical area with large, older trees and shrubs, and a lawn. The seller had turned off the water/irrigation system, and because of the Tucson heat, the plants suffered drought and were dying. Now, an older tree needs to be removed from the landscape. Also the older foundation plantings, while well-trimmed, are turning unsightly brown and need to be removed. And there was a dead vine clinging to an exterior wall that now needs to be removed, and the surface cleaned.

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Purple Opuntia

There are circumstances that while the view from the curb is not too inviting, some buyers can see beyond the existing situation and create a vision for a dressed up facade and yard. And while some yards do need help, they may not be the detractor from a sale. It all depends on what a buyer is looking for. But for a seller, attention to detail is important in making that first impression.

If I am a potential buyer, do I want to spend money on planting new shrubs or replacing old, overgrown shrubs? Am I a gardener with enthusiasm to do my own landscaping and planting, and digging up old, tired plants? Or do I want to move in with the satisfaction that my yard is “set” for low maintenance?

In an environment like Tucson’s it’s important to plant drough-tolerant and low-maintenance plants. Creating a xeriscaped yard is beneficial to save water and yard upkeep. If you have a drip irrigation system it needs to be on, even when you’ve moved out and the house is vacant. Unless a homebuyer likes to do the landscaping, the plantings should be in good condition until the property sells. Keeping yards simple is key in the Tucson area, and the Southwest in general. Here is list of plants sutiable for xeriscape in the Tucson area and information about xeriscape in general.

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Water in center of Agave

First impressions do count when it comes to finding that home that feels just right. What draws you to a house you could make a home?