Make Yourself at Home in Tucson – March 2018

As I write this, it is St. Patrick’s Day. For you and your family, whether or not you have any Irish ancestors, I offer a blessing for your home.

May you be blessed with Warmth in your home, Love in your heart, Peace in your soul, and Joy in your life.”

Today is also the celebration of the completion of the 131-mile path, The Loop, where the entire community of Tucson is invited to walk, ride a bike, run, or otherwise enjoy the sights of Tucson. If you haven’t been on any portion of The Loop yet, check out the website for more information.

This is one of the times of the year when people’s thoughts turn to making changes, often in buying or selling a house. If you have been thinking of making a move, or if you know someone who is, I welcome and appreciate your referrals. CONTACT ME – 520-248-6297.

Real Estate Trends  – National and Tucson

  • Forbes predicts that in 2018, housing inventory will still be tight; mortgage rates will hover around 4%; the new tax law will affect higher priced homes, and possibly rental costs; inventory will continue to be low; sales will slow, but only a little; and the increase in prices will slow, but not stop.
  • In the Tucson main market, February 2018 active inventory was 3,704, a 4% decrease from February 2017. There were 1,187 closings in February 2018, a 7% decrease from February 2017. Year-to-date 2018 there were 2,247 closings, an 8% decrease from year-to-date 2017. Months of Inventory was 3.1, up from 3.0 in February 2017. Median price of sold homes was $205,000 for the month of February 2018, up 9% from February 2017. The Tucson Main Market area had 1,707 new properties under contract in February 2018, up 16% from February 2017.

You can find housing information for your specific area of Tucson, on my website. And did you know you can also sign up for my “In Touch with Real Estate” e-newsletter?

Coming up

  • Spring Equinox – March 20, 2018 – It’s the time when day and night are the same length. From now until the Summer Solstice we will have longer days.
  • Tres Pueblos Neighborhood Spring Festival – March 24, 2018, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come on out and stop by my table. Plenty of family fun and food!

  • Easter – April 1, 2018 – Check your local paper or online for special events.

  • Tax Day, April 15, 2018 – If you can, don’t wait until the last minute to file!

The Month of April is Prevent Child Abuse month.

See what Prevent Child Abuse Arizona is doing to protect children. Call the Arizona state hotline to report child abuse – Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445)

Happy Spring!

Note: Banner photo taken in spring, 2011 at Tumacacori Historic Landmark

Make Yourself at Home in Tucson – May 2017

Here we are in May already, with celebrations galore! May 1 is “May Day” an ancient celebration to honor the goddess of flowers, Flora. Did you ever dance around the Maypole? In a few days is Cinco de Mayo, a favorite celebration of those with Mexican heritage, and close behind is the Kentucky Derby. Do you dress up and watch this race each year with a mint julep? Then there is Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. How will you celebrate this month?

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What I love is this time when all the trees and plants begin to leaf out and bloom. Here is a photo of the desert willow in my backyard. I planted it five years ago when it was just a “whip” about four feet high and a finger’s size in diameter. I enjoy watching the hummingbirds visit the lavender flowers all summer.

In case you would like to enhance your yard and provide some shade and a cooler place to sit outside, you can get your own trees from Tucson Clean and Beautiful. They offer a variety of indigenous trees that know how to grow in the desert, and at a reasonable cost. Many HomeOwner Associations require plants and trees that are indigenous to the area. These trees are the perfect choice. Check them out!

Word of the Month:  Listing – In the Real Estate world this word means that a property (building or land) has been placed on the real estate market for sale. This month I have two listings, one in Avra Valley with four bedrooms and three baths on one acre, and one in the Tres Pueblos neighborhood of Tucson, a townhouse with two bedrooms and two baths. If you or someone you know is looking for a home in either of these areas, please contact me.

News About Tucson and the Region:

  • If you live in the Rita Ranch or Vail areas, or if you would like to live here, visit this new park that is opening on May 3. This park provides a wonderful amenity to the residents of these communities.

Pima County Park

This Pima County park located on the southeast side of Tucson and named for a historic Southern Pacific Railroad stop opens on Wednesday, May 3. The 274-acre Esmond Station Regional Park will serve Vail and Rita Ranch area residents, offering a walking trail, five separate fitness stations with exercise equipment, and a ramada. For more information, visit the link.

  • A Reminder to Tucson residents and visitors:  Beginning May 1, 2017 it is against the law to use a hand-held device while driving. The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted in March to approve the ban. Violation of the new ordinance will be considered a secondary offense, meaning you must be pulled over for another reason before police can cite you. Texting while driving already is banned in the city, but the new rules expand that ban to phone calls and the use of other hand-held mobile communication and electronic devices. See this link for more information.
  • Historic Preservation Awards – Individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to historic preservation in Tucson and Pima County will be recognized at the annual Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony hosted by the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission (T-PCHC). The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 13, from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The Commission’s purpose is to foster awareness and preservation of historic sites, structures, districts, and character in our community. The Mayor and Tucson City Council, City of South Tucson, and Pima County Board of Supervisors appoint its members.

I am here to walk you or anyone you may know through the real estate process, even if you just need a few questions answered. Please contact me or visit my website. Remember, I’m never too busy for your referrals and I’d love to hear from you.

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You can locate homes for sale, open houses, find commute times, and more from my Long Realty App. Visit http://longrealtyapp.com/suswanne from your mobile device. Updated every 15 minutes.

Make Yourself Home in Tucson – March/April 2017

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Today is the Spring Equinox. What more fitting way to celebrate than to enjoy this Amaryllis that finished blooming today? The bulb was a Christmas gift, and I’m drinking in the color!!!

This month I’m focusing on Trends in Southside Tucson. This area of Tucson is showing much economic growth. To see homes in the area get My Free Mobile App. I also invite you to visit my Real Estate Blog, where I post articles about aspects of Real Estate, including architecture, design, urban and rural planning issues, historic preservation, landscaping, gardening, and more.

  • With the expansion of Tucson Marketplace, residents can enjoy the new Century movie theater, restaurants, Starbuck’s, Planet Fitness, Dave and Buster’s, as well as Walmart and Costco. Located between S. Park and S. Kino (Campbell) it is convenient from two areas in Southside.
  • According to the February Ward 5 Newsletter, Southside has a total of 7,000 jobs that have been created within the last few years. Tucson Marketplace alone has created approximately 1,100 jobs.

  • The Mexican bakery Suspiros added its flavors to Tucson with its grand opening on February 17. Located at 5327 S. 12th Ave it offers gourmet cakes and pies, with wedding and quinceañeras catering coming soon. Check out their website.
  • Nearby, in Southwest, in the Midvale area, a new Fry’s opened in December 2016. It’s a huge store with everything a customer could want!

  • Remodeling of Tucson International Airport began last year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. For construction updates visit flytucson.com. And you can find a report of the Tucson Airport Authority’s achievements in the past year here. The influx of passengers to this area will increase the need for more services in Southside.
  • For more information about Southside Tucson, see VisitTucson.

Real Estate, Southside Tucson: Each month Long Realty provides a housing report for each section of the city of Tucson, as well as other communities. You can find information about housing trends in your area by going to my website and requesting the Housing Report.

To see homes in the area get My Free Mobile App. I also invite you to visit my Real Estate Blog, where I post articles about aspects of Real Estate, including architecture, design, urban and rural planning issues, historic preservation, landscaping, gardening, and more.

For Southside Tucson, distressed properties dropped from 20% to 13% of all properties, which means that more people are no longer “upside-down” or “underwater” with their loans. Properties for sale are in a “seller’s market” as buyers are many and properties for sale are fewer. The inventory of homes available dropped by 4% from this time in 2016. The market is HOT and sellers are getting 100% or more of their asking price.

Loan rates for real estate in Tucson are ascending, slowly but surely. They vary according to loan type, such as VA, FHA, or Conventional. But 4.3% to 5% are good rates in my book. My first house was bought at 7% a long time ago!

Upcoming Events:

  • Happening Now – March 19-24: Escapees Rally at Pima County Fairgrounds -The Escapade RV Rally is a fun, five-day event focused on the RV way of life. The schedule includes an extensive line-up of educational seminars, workshops, panels and discussions on topics relevant to the RV lifestyle.
  • SAHBA Annual Spring Home & Patio Show April 7,2017 – For over 45 years, the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) has been producing one of the largest home shows in the United States. Featuring more than 300 exhibitors, see what’s new in home improvement trends, remodeling ideas, and gardens.

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  • Easter Sunday – April 16: Check online for local celebrations and events.

Now is the Time! Talk to Me!

Whether you want to sell your home or buy a home, NOW is a good time to do it in Tucson!

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For beginning home buyers the mortgage rates remain low, and although the inventory is down, there are homes out there for you.

For sellers the time is right as well. There are buyers seeking their homes.

So don’t wait. If you are on the edge about either buying or selling, decide today. Prices and rates will be going higher.

Future

If you are renting it’s possible that your rent, too, will be going up. The trend is that rents are going up faster than wages can keep up. If you can qualify to purchase a home, you might want to explore the possibility of putting your money into a more permanent situation.

Here is an article by Trulia about the pros and cons of buying now. Be Smart. Be educated about the home-buying process. Talk to a Realtor! Talk to me!