Thursday, May 31, 2007

From the email bag...

I literally was just emailed this in the last hour...

Hi Todd,

I am not sure if you read today’s newspaper. But of course, RAID got the top headline again. Looks like these guys are so very confident to win in Nov. that they are already making plans for their “park”.

As a Kingman resident, let me say that this is a HORRIBLE use of the land. I realize that a number of points that I am about to outline have been stated before, but I feel the need to get this out there….

1) Land along I-40 has it best and highest use as commercial (not parks). In fact, Kingman already has its largest park along I-40 today, and we really don’t need another at Kingman Crossing along I-40.

2) Let the interchange be made, commercial built north of I-40, and then the City of Kingman should sell their +/-140 acres to developers. At that point, the residents of Kingman will receive the highest price of their land (likely to be tens of millions). With this money, the residents of Kingman could build/buy more parks in better locations, create smaller neighborhood parks, increase the fire/police, and put in much more infrastructure that is really needed in Kingman. Best yet…do all this WITHOUT raising taxes or issuing new bonds!!!

3) With the new Kingman Crossing, the City of Kingman will also realize additional sales tax revenue. Unlike the lies about just moving sales tax from one side of town to another, I am 100% certain that new sales tax will be realized from two sources. 1) Kingman area residents that do not have to go out of town to find the items they really need, and 2) Visitors getting off I-40 that would have NOT spent money in Kingman otherwise.

4) Location, Location, Location. I really cannot think of a better location in Kingman than along I-40 for major commercial/shopping. This is really the ideal spot from a convenience and strategic perspective. I think that if the RAID members were honest they would actually agree, however, their real agenda is simple – 1) Not in my back yard (literally), and 2) No growth in general.

Finally, I am actually concerned that RAID is getting more and more publicity and organization. I think that the other citizens in Kingman really need to get together and organize for this November’s vote. I want to BLOW RAID OUT OF THE WATER and finally show RAID that they do not represent the majority of Kingman voters. In fact, I would strongly urge you to organize a poll prior to this November election. It would be great PR prior to the vote and help to get the Pro-growth voters to the polls. We must work hard now to November to insure that as many people as possible show up to vote, and I don’t even think now is too early to start working on and starting an organized effort!

I'll have the link up to the article once it is available on the Miners site (hopefully sometime this week). I've read the article and it is clearly a report from their latest meeting.

According to the article they (RAID) want someone to build a jungle gym apparatus at the very least for kids on the 168 acres of city owned land (how will kids from my side of town get there to play with the kids on the other side of town though I wonder... cross the Interstate on their bikes and skateboards??). I don't know if this is the best use of the land for the entire community... but for now it is an idea. RAID says they will offer a proposal to the city for what 'they' have in mind. I can't wait.

I hope they include how the city will pay for the jungle gym and maintain the grounds, especially when sales tax dollars are being spent at Target in Bullhead City next year.

They also apparently want to get the city manager fired. I'm staying out of that one like I have said before (at least until I hear his side of things... and hopefully we all hear it soon). As soon as I can link the article there is a quote there that I think will make many of us chuckle. It basically says in one of the city emails (I'm paraphrasing) that the city manager writes that he 'zones' out when Mrs. Gillman from RAID speaks to the council. Yeah, many feel the same way when we read her columns.

Of course no mention in the article from their meeting that they would support the infrastructure improvement (i.e. building the traffic interchange in the Kingman Crossing area), so I guess this means that they'd still love to see folks suffer on Stockton Hill at least until 2014 at the earliest before ADOT builds the TI at Rattlesnake Wash. Here is your serving of cake, here is yours, and yours, and don't forget little Timmy...

The emailer makes a good point -- more people of Kingman need to vote, need to give a damn about the FUTURE of this city. Future is the key word here. I just turned 36 yesterday and plan on living a long life here in Kingman. I take my profession very seriously and hope to continue to build a prosperous business HERE in Kingman.

The mission of RAID is to see to it that jungle gyms are built on 168 acres of land, that the sacred road named Seneca is protected by any means necessary, and that all commerce is confined to Stockton Hill Road. Forget about better access routes, forget about better choices for shopping for goods and services, and never mind the fact that gas prices will continue to go up -- gas that we will be wasting stuck in traffic on Stockton Hill and on our trek's to places like Target (in BHC) and Costco (in Las Vegas) for the goods and services that most of this country has access to (and where sales tax is collected for those communities). "Let Them Shop At Wal-Mart," I can just see the next column title by Mrs. Gillman now.

Is this the type of leadership that has the citizens best interest at heart looking five years down the road?? Ten years?? Twenty?? I don't think so. Their view is for personal instant gratification. Kingman will double in population by then and traffic on Stockton Hill will be a real bitch as compared to now I'd say (and it ain't great shakes currently). But hey, at least there won't any traffic on Seneca, right?? Wrong.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Donate today...(updated)

Hey folks, I'm serious about raising money for the March of Dimes. I'm making this offer, the first 4 people that donate more than $25 to this cause (linked here) will receive this tee-shirt as a way of saying thanks for participation.

I designed the thing myself and I assure you that there will be a very limited amount of these shirts available. Be one of the few. (I ordered one for myself, but I have my sales site web address on the back)

You will have to email me once you make the donation so that I can order you the correct size and all.

I'm asking for small donations as well, please give any amount you can (I just won't be able to get you the shirt unless the donation is for more than $25).

Thanks again.


I want to thank Jim Duncan of Real Central VA for being the first donor of $25 or more.

Greg Swann of BloodhoundBlog has claimed the second shirt. Only two remain.

Hoover Dam Bypass construction...

Yesterday I had a visit from a frequent reader to this blog, Steve Mooring is his name. I'm always honored to meet the folks that read MOCO Real. Steve is a property owner in Mohave County (property located near the proposed Rhodes Homes development in Golden Valley), and hails from Los Angeles. We had a nice conversation about what may be happening near the property he owns and should see the value of his property increase over time.

He also let me know that he was headed out to check out the construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass and was going to take some photos and I asked if he would send me some and I'd post them on the blog.

As you see below, crews are working again (in the hot sun even) which is great news. Projected completion is still listed for 2010 and I can't wait. The project seems to be moving along. I hope you enjoy Steve's photos. Thanks again Steve.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A few things to review...

I think many folks had their holiday plans on their minds late last week and I wanted to simply remind you of a few posts I left last week.

First one, please help me raise $1,000 for the March of Dimes. My efforts to raise these funds are going to be exclusively through the internet (my blog and emails to friends and family).

Next, I still have the interesting city emails that discuss the well sites bidding in Golden Valley and the Kingman Crossing project. I'm happy to share them with you in a reply email if you leave a comment requesting them. Leave the comment on this post (with the request) or on the other linked post. (Here is another article about the emails from the local paper)

Last one, the ADOT traffic study got plenty of hits last week. Don't forget to check out the information. I've said it all along, I want to see the traffic interchanges built along Interstate 40 and I don't care who does it (government, private party). These TI's are vital to the growing community for quality of life, better traffic flows, and of course safety.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. More to come this week.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Please Remember

Many folks are taking a long three day weekend because of the Memorial Day holiday. While we are out traveling around or simply enjoying time at a cookout or picnic, lets not forget the brave men and women that gave their lives for this country. Including one of our own from right here in Kingman very recently.

Friday, May 25, 2007

About those city emails...

Yesterday I obtained a copy of some of the emails from city of Kingman staff, fellow Realtor Scott Dunton was nice enough to give me the information. Mr. Dunton was also nice enough to have multiple conversations with me about his views on what is happening at city hall.

Scott has a hockey players mentality (and this is a good thing in my opinion). I've played and/or followed the sport of hockey for most of my life, Scott reminds me of legendary player Phil Esposito. 'Espo' was known for being a no nonsense kind of player that seemingly always got the job done (a prolific scorer that is in the Hockey Hall of Fame). When I'm in my car I listen to the hockey channel on XM Radio and Phil Esposito hosts one of the shows on there and -- to me -- Scott and Phil are easily cut from the same cloth (again this is not a bad thing). Since his playing days 'Espo' has gone on to have success in business and similarly my guess is that Mr. Dunton is very successful in business as well.

I do plan on sharing the information that Scott Dunton has given me with the Government Affairs Committee at my local Realtor Association.

I was also planning on sharing the information here on this blog for everyone to see. However, with all the stuff that has been going on lately (like RAID saying that what I post here reflects on KGVAR) I've decided that I won't post it here. I didn't do the research after all and I don't have the entire load of emails that were paid for by local developer Travin Pennington (heck, Travin doesn't even have them all).

What I did get is compelling no doubt, and I am willing to share with any reader exactly what I do have. However, if you want the information I'll want you to leave a comment requesting them first and then I will send you back the files you want to see via email. I'll have more on that in just a bit.

I'm reserving my comments and judgments on this information, for the simple reason that I'm not a player in any of it.

I clearly see Mr. Dunton's side of things for his criticism's of the city manager in regards to Dunton's bidding on the city owned well sites at the Rhodes Homes development in Golden Valley. While I've heard Scott's side of things, I haven't heard any other side though and because of that I'm not going to add my two cents to this provocative issue (actually I've been avoiding the whole 'well sites' story all together). But I have a copy of those emails from the city and I'll send you the file if you'd like.

I also have the emails that pertain to Kingman Crossing. These are also very provocative, but I have to question; is all of this in the right context?? Do we have the full picture?? This is not criticism of the information that was given to me or of the folks that gave it to me... it's just the first thing that crossed my mind as I read the stuff. I'd rather let you decide for yourself.

Also I understand that the local newspaper will be doing a major news story about this subject matter in Sunday's edition. I think it will touch on the city manager's past in other cities he has worked for as well and how it may compare with what may be happening here in Kingman. Now I don't always trust the media, of course, but it will be interesting to see if they manage to get all sides to the story on this or if it will just be like the 60 Minutes hit piece against Realtors that ran a couple of weeks ago. I hope it is the former and not the latter.

Edit to the above paragraph... I misunderstood what I read in the paper. The Miner will be doing a report THE Sunday before the city manager has his review with City Council.

I must say again that I know of other well respected residents of Kingman that are calling for the removal of the city manager (including some Members of KGVAR). They make a compelling case and because of what they have told me if I had to vote right now on firing the city manager, I'd vote in favor of dismissal. But still, I don't have all sides to the story and I want to as fair as I can.

I can leave my office right now and find one person that supports the city leaders and city staff, while in the next moment find someone that is in opposition (although I don't think it is a 50/50 split). I just want to let YOU decide and not dictate to you. You look at the data and come up with your own conclusion.

So here we are. After all the discussion I had with Scott Dunton it brings me back to the hockey player Phil Esposito comparison. I'm sure that Scott, like Phil, would earnestly tell me to just link the damn files for all to see already. Big power forwards have that kind of scorers mentality, it is what they do. Pretty goals, ugly goals, timely goals... guys like that just get it done and expect the same from everyone else. Well I'm a goalie and goalies are different (and a bit crazy in the head). So after a long day thinking about this, instead of linking to the files I will happily share them with you if you leave a comment.

When you leave a comment be sure to have a valid email address and I'll send the files to that email address. Let me know if you want the 'well sites' or 'Kingman Crossing' emails or both. I'll be in my office Saturday morning till the early afternoon before leaving to enjoy some of the holiday weekend. I'll get you the information as fast as I can.

The documents I received seemed to be a copy from an original that included highlights on some of the text. The text is not blacked out, it's just the quality of the copy is not that great. I scanned the hard copy on to my computer. When you open the PDF file(s) you may have to zoom in on some of that text to read it. Zooming in worked for me when I reviewed the scanned documents.

I'm going to jail

So much for my clean criminal record...

Actually I have been issued a 'warrant for arrest' by the March Of Dimes. Last week while I was in DC I received a call and the first thing the person on the other line says, "Todd you have a warrant out for your arrest." My first thought was, I haven't even had one night out on the town on this trip to DC... this has to be a mistake.

Of course when the caller clarified that I was being asked to help raise money for the March Of Dimes my heart beat slowed back to normal. Somebody tipped the MOD off to get me to agree to this and when I asked who that person was 'they' couldn't tell me.

Well, to whoever that person is... I will find you and I challenge you to raise more money than I will for this good cause.

Meanwhile I am going to ask the readers here to help me raise 'bail' money for a good cause. In fact the reason I was eager to participate in this event was because of the web presence that I have right now.

Please make a donation at this link.

To tug at your heart strings a little bit more, keep in mind that in Arizona 271 babies a week will be born too soon. Some of these babies may die, and others may face lives of illness or disabilities, including chronic respiratory problems, blindness, hearing impairment and cerebral palsy.

We're talking babies here!! Cute adorable babies!!

Help me generate charitable funds that will help this worthy cause.


Quick look at May numbers...

To prepare for my listing and sales reports that I provide here on this blog, I will routinely look at some numbers during the current month. I still don't like what I see.

For each sale so far this month, there has been 3.24 new listings that hit the market. Ugh.

That ratio is bad for sellers.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Traffic Study by ADOT

I've wanted to share these documents for about 3 weeks now. My problem was I didn't know how to upload documents that I could use as links on the blog. I finally called my wife's son Cullen, from Linn Logistics right here in Kingman for a solution. He has offered me some server space so that I can link to files that I want to share. I really should use Cullen a lot more as a resource for computer related issues. Please click on the link I've provided if you find yourself in a similar situation and need some solutions.

Please click on the following three links... link one, link two, and link three. What you will be looking at is a traffic study that speaks for itself.

Pay close attention to where the blue line heads south and links up with the street named Seneca. The colored numbers represent the amount of traffic that will use Seneca from Hualapai Mountain Rd. to Southern Ave. under three different scenarios.

The green figure shows the expected traffic in 2014 if neither interchange is built by then. The number in red is the traffic count if only an interchange is built at Rattlesnake Wash. It is the most favorable number. However the blue number is only 200 higher than the red number, and the blue number points to the traffic number if an interchange is built at Kingman Crossing (along with an interchange at Rattlesnake Wash).

I'm pointing out the Seneca St. area for obvious reasons (if you have been following along lately), but please look how other areas will likely be affected by this report. I only wish that there was data for Stockton Hill Rd. that is located just west (running north and south) of the maps provided.

Current residents of this southeastern part of Kingman are either taking Eastern to Airway Underpass to cross Andy Devine/Route 66 (which is still not a great route) or hitting Hualapai Mountain Rd. (which turns into Stockton Hill Rd. once you cross Andy Devine) and getting snarled on Stockton Hill traffic.

Both interchanges open up all kinds of different and productive access routes for the residents of this area. Keep in mind also that this part of town is almost all residential (there is some commercial areas along Hualapai Mountain Rd.). There are some commercial (like grocery and retail) areas just on the other side of the train tracks but only accessible by very limited routes right now.

This current reality may be alright for residents that don't go to work everyday or that are retired. I've listed and sold homes all throughout this area since I've been a real estate agent and most of my clients were of working age, meaning they have to use these limited routes often. The interchange proposed for Kingman Crossing will likely be constructed (one way or another) well before the one at Rattlesnake Wash has even broken ground, and thereby giving those residents much needed improvements to access the Interstate and the central to northern areas of Kingman WITHOUT HAVING TO USE STOCKTON HILL.

This interchange near the Kingman Crossing area will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Kingman there can be no doubt. Again, I'm only talking about the infrastructure improvement here, not about any commercial project or about agreements the city may make with developers in the area. I will say this though, whoever builds the interchange is going to be a hero in this city.

Who will build it??

I'm talking about the traffic interchange near Kingman Crossing that has this entire town buzzing. I've had some interesting discussions this week and wanted to share a couple of points.

The cost to build the interchange with the city government involved will likely cost nearly 25 million dollars.

However, if the project was bid out privately by a non governmental entity the cost would likely be about 15 million less.

I'm rethinking my position on the city being involved in this project at all. There's way too much being said about back-room deals being made involving the city and other land owners near the proposed site for the interchange. The city is going to have it's hands full pretty quickly because of the information that is being released to the media from those emails that were requested by a local developer (I may finally be getting access to this information later today, and of course I will update).

Another item of importance is what will happen on June 27th?? That is the day the 640 acres of State Trust Land located south of the 168 acres of city owned land near the proposed interchange at Kingman Crossing is supposed to be auctioned off to the highest bidder (minimum bid is 16 million dollars).

I originally thought that the party that wins this bid would be an important cog in the construction of the interchange... but what if nobody shows up to bid?? I'm hearing that it is likely that there will be no bidders on June 27th.

I still maintain that the Kingman Crossing area is the most ideal place for a new retail center for this community. If built out it will be in walking distance to many residential area's. It will improve the demand for housing in that area and likely increase property value, especially when and if the interchange is added to the mix for residential property owners on both sides of the Interstate. The other needed interchange further east (at Rattlesnake Wash) is barren by comparison in regards to residential neighborhoods. However, I leave it up to the private property owners that want to do the commercial project to come up with the solution at this time. That may mean they build the interchange on their dime.

I'm losing faith in the city of Kingman on a daily basis to be counted on for such solutions.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Original American Bandstand dancer...

Tonight on the CBS Nightly News with Katie Kouric, our very own Justine Carrelli is scheduled to appear in a news article about the city of Philadelphia. She flew out late last week and was apparently interviewed for a small feature on the original American Bandstand show.

Justine is a fellow Realtor that works in our office, if you are looking for a representative that really knows the Dolan Springs area north of Kingman make sure you give Justine a call.

Here we go...

I attended the City Council meeting last night. It was a full house with many in attendance to see action on the city owned well-sites located at the Rhodes Homes development in southern Golden Valley. Action as in deciding who really won the bid for the well-sites.

I haven't been blogging about this particular issue because it is a doozy of a situation. I'm strictly an observer at this time. What I have observed is a sealed bidding process that appears to be a travi-sham-ockery.

The Council decided to move that agenda item to the beginning of the meeting since it was clear that it was the hot button issue for the many in attendance. The next thing you know, on the advice of the city attorney, the issue was taken off the agenda for this meeting. Many in attendance did not seem happy about it and about half the room decided to leave the meeting after the postponement (including my buddies from RAID, but they're NOT a special interest group -- right??).

The real highlight came just moments later. Fellow Realtor and Member of KGVAR, and respected long time businessman in Kingman Scott Dunton addressed the Council. As I understand it Mr. Dunton and Mr. Rhodes don't share an affinity for one another... I'm not going to get into that instead I'll just say that both men have a keen interest in the well sites and were the two parties bidding on them. A bid process that simply did not end well and left more questions than solutions.

Mr. Dunton asked the council to look into the past of the City Manager. I've been hearing plenty of criticisms of Paul Beecher here locally from other well respected citizens of Kingman. Mr. Dunton publicly spoke out against some alleged shady deals, and fears the same kinds of things are happening here in Kingman right now, again allegedly.

I don't have a dog in this fight at this time, I simply do not have the kind of information that others seem to have. I have been invited to view some information that could change all that and I have agreed to share the information here on my blog if I think it is warranted.

I applaud Mr. Dunton for publicly making a stand. Now it should be interesting to see where it all goes from here.

The other item of note from last nights meeting was the presentation of the Kingman Area Economic Development Strategic Plan. I do believe that the city leaders made too hasty of a decision to eliminate the positions that involve economic development from the city budget. Many local volunteers gave many hours of their time to focus on developing Kingman's economic plan. Hopefully the plan is good (I haven't seen the details, but it sounds like a good foundation) and will help the community. In the near future I believe the city should include an economic developer position again.


As Billie pointed out in the comments, there is a history of our current city manager that does not appear to be all that great. This is a link where you can read for yourselves. Personally, I'm still not on the same warpath as other... yet. I am aware of other highly respected Members of KGVAR that are calling for the firing of Mr. Beecher, I'm just not comfortable yet leading that charge (plus there's plenty of leaders already heading in that direction).

Monday, May 21, 2007

More RAID fisking...

I linked to the latest op/ed piece earlier, now time for me to have some fun.

They make it so easy, especially Mrs. Gillman. Just a few thoughts I'd like to pass along.

Interesting quote here:

I don't live near Diamond Street, but it certainly impacts my travel when I take Eastern to the Airway underpass!
Mrs. Gillman, you may not live on Diamond but you do live on Seneca. You are against an infrastructure improvement that would aid those that live on Diamond and YOU. If the Kingman Crossing interchange was built you wouldn't have to bother the fine folks on Diamond and you'd get to the Airway underpass in record time.

RAID (Residents Against Irresponsible Development) is not anti-growth! Let's get that straight! We are against irresponsible growth.
Please define irresponsible growth AND who made you and your group the arbiter of such?? Run for office if you are so knowing. How is adding a traffic interchange along the Interstate irresponsible?? Kingman needs more than just one interchange for its future growth pattern. The traffic study that is out and available from ADOT has a ton of useful information, you really need to check it out as it will benefit the entire community (I'm talking infrastructure improvements alone).

We are also not a "dangerous organization" as someone wrote in the newspaper recently!
Who wrote that in the newspaper?? I know I wrote that here on this blog and I was just wondering who used that in the paper?? Mrs. Gillman if you think that the 'dangerous' comment was bad, well then now you know how many people in Kingman think about your writing in the paper.

We have no expectations of grandeur - we don't plan to run for office - we just want what we "signed up for" when we packed up and moved here. We are not a special interest group!
You're not a special interest group you say, really?? I'm sorry you can't hear me laughing behind my computer screen. What did you exactly 'sign-up' for when you moved here?? There was no such documentation or agreements that I saw when I relocated.

Here is how our Association is defined as a special interest group by Mrs. Gillman...

The Kingman-Golden Valley Association of Realtors has publicly stated their entire group is for Kingman Crossing. However, I have heard from many local Realtors that the "Association" does not speak for all of the Realtors.
Is this the best you can do?? The Israeli's and the Palestinians will live peacefully before anyone can get 400 plus Members of a Realtor Association to agree on an issue. How 'many' is many Realtors anyway?? See because I've heard from 'many' retiree's that your group is a bunch of folks that live in big houses trying to protect Seneca from more traffic... how's that for propaganda??

So, if you citizens of Kingman think you should have a stronger voice in what is happening in our city, and you believe that the Kingman Crossing interchange should be put on the November ballot, please contact us at
More distortion from RAID. Their group wants to put an issue on the ballot that was decided already by the city council. The council agreed to amend the land use for the city property (that the city owns) along the south side of the Interstate. On the ballot there may also be a vote for allowing the city to sell the property. The final decision to build an interchange does not rest with the outcome of these votes like they want you to believe.

The special interest groups really don't want this put on the ballot, but we believe that everyone who lives in the city of Kingman should have the right to help make this decision.
I won't speak on behalf of the efforts at KGVAR on this, other than to say a little birdie told me that nobody will be finding KGVAR standing in the way of any election.

About the new disclaimer...

I feel compelled to include the disclaimer on the top of the sidebar on there here blog of mine to hopefully help folks understand the difference between Todd the blogger, real estate practitioner, & concerned citizen, and Todd the Member of KGVAR.

I've spent more than half my time as a real estate agent in a leadership position at KGVAR (4 years out of 6, including president in 2006). I'm in my third year serving on the Arizona Association of Realtors Professional Standards Committee. I will be serving as Regional Vice President on behalf of my region on the Arizona Association of Realtor executive committee. I serve on other committee's and board's as well and if I have learned one thing it is this...

As a leader you are one voice and one vote, not a dictator. There have been many occasions where I have not agreed with other leaders on issues and called for a vote and lost my position on that particular issue. I'm sure there will be many more occasions just like this going forward in my dealings as a volunteer leader in the various associations I am a member of.

Win or lose a vote on a committee or board, I do believe it is still prudent for an individual to maintain their own point of view... and share that point of view if they so wish. It is also prudent to support the will of the board or however a leadership team is comprised on the very issue that a person may have been in opposition of. Not to pat myself on the back or anything but I am VERY good at this in my roles on committee's and board's I serve on.

The disclaimer has become necessary now because of a local group's insistence that when I post an article here on this blog... it means that I am speaking on behalf of all Members of KGVAR... which is not the case and never has been the case and never will be the case.

Here at MOCO Real I'm in total control of the content. I'm free to say whatever it is I want to say. Usually a couple of times a day I do just that, I say what is on my mind.

This is (sadly for me) not the case when I involve myself say on the Government Affairs Committee at KGVAR. There I must adhere to the majority opinion even if it actually is not something I might agree with. If by chance that committee comes up with something they'd like to take action on the committee must wait until the KGVAR Board of Directors approves it. It is hardly a dictatorship.

I know when and where to wear my KGVAR hat, and I never wear it here. I do speak about some issues at the Association level, but I make no policy that ALL other Members must adhere to from behind this old keyboard. It just doesn't work like that.

Anyway, the disclaimer is now in effect.

RAID lashes out at me, film at 11:00

While I was away to the Nation's Capitol, the fine folks at RAID took the opportunity to tattle on me like a little brother or sister might do when the older sibling is not around.

From what I know right now is that last week our local Realtor Association president, Rita Zumwalt, took a couple of phone calls from members of RAID -- apparently not happy with the way I portray their group on my... MY blog. 'My' being the key word.

I'm waiting for the minutes to last weeks Board of Directors meeting before I comment further on this, but more comments are coming. I did add a disclaimer at the top of the sidebar that should clear things up for both RAID and the Association I belong to locally.

For now though, please read RAID member Gwen Gillman's propaganda piece from last weeks paper. I'll take this to task here on MY blog as well a little later on.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back from DC

NAR's mid-year meetings are over for me, I'm safe and sound back in Kingman. I enjoyed the experience once again this year and will be looking forward to attending again over the next couple of years.

There has been plenty going on since it was time for me to leave; locally and nationally. When I left on Monday morning I was wondering about the reaction to the 60 Minutes hit piece that ran on Sunday night. NAR had a response typed up to share with the Members at the meetings and I thought it was pretty good. I've caught up with the (now) old news on many blogs and news sites... it's mostly much ado about nothing at this point. I will be in business longer than Redfin is the only prediction I'm going to make.

I did attend a couple of visits to our state legislators.. but in typical fashion Senator Kyl could not meet with the group I was with because he was working on the immigration bill that came out last week. Our group did meet with members of his staff though to share NAR's political agenda, it was interesting. Also we were all set to meet with Representative Trent Franks and did... but only for about 30 seconds as he was needed back on the floor after arriving to greet us in his office.

Weather wise it was muggy and it rained some while on my visit. While in DC one should expect to walk around quite a bit and ride the metro (I love the metro). I have to say that wearing dress shoes and other business attire is not a great combination for comfort when one has to do a ton more walking that one is used to and when one doesn't react well to muggy weather conditions. Heck, at one point I could have swore I heard my shoes snap at me to lose some freaking weight and have mercy on their 'soles'.

Of course I visited the 'bloggers lounge' on this trip. I was even given a 'blogger' ribbon to affix to my meeting attendance badge.

Ian and Keith from the Center for REALTOR Technology Web Blog were nice enough to make a bit of a fuss about it. I love the comments from that post by the way, good stuff. I had a few inquiries from other attendees about the ribbon I wore with pride during the meetings.

I'll probably share more about the meetings in the coming week when I get a chance to catch up with the phone calls and emails for business.

Some other photos...

"Senator Tarson you are needed on the senate floor to pass some important legislation"... LOL... yeah right.

No, not the a scene from a Star Wars movie... this is where you catch the Metro... many stories below the surface of the planet in some cases.

The fabulous NAR building a stone's throw from the Capitol building. (BTW, NAR dues are going up next year, maybe their option ARM mortgage is resetting?? I kid.)

The view of the Capitol from the rooftop of the NAR building. Really it is impressive, looks much better than this photo.

Why?? Well they serve Yeungling on tap here. Now I'm not a big beer drinker anymore (beer is too filling, even light beer), but I found this place last year located near the hotels where the NAR meetings are held (and also located near the Metro stop that takes me back to my hotel). In four days I managed to have myself 3 pints of this stuff. Yeungling is a delicacy to me as far as beer is concerned, I find it very refreshing... especially on muggy days.

I'll have more about the trip later on I'm sure, but there are some local issues to get caught up on and you bet that I'll have more on the local stuff this week.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Mohave County covers a very large area. Our market covers miles and miles. We have a tour of homes once a week after our multiple listing meeting. Each week we cover a different area of the map. Last year a committee was formed and tasked with revamping our tour schedule to include more homes and new subdivisions. That particular job had to be a tough one and I appreciate everyone who worked on that committee and for the resulting map and schedule. One of the areas we tour is especially large. I believe Golden Valley covers 23 square miles. There were 24 homes on tour and even though there were a couple last minute cancellations those of us that went were successful.

I have to tell you though that during the tour, the vehicle I was riding in (a Chevy Suburban) and which was superbly piloted I might add, decided to take a short cut. We had the next house on tour and so we were leading the others. As we began going down this dirt road with almost a dozen other vehicles following us we began to notice that the road was deteriorating....quite literally up ahead was a sandy wash and then an upward rocky trail at about a 20% grade to exit the wash.......yes, we did it and yes, we made it. I might add that neither of us will ever try a stunt like that again....but, it's a story to tell. Oh...and no the others chose to turn around and take a safer route.

I wonder what other associations do for tour? If they tour? Do they caravan? Have things changed with the rise in gas prices? Maybe some areas no longer tour due to traffic concerns?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Some things just make sense

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has sent a letter to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors urging them to deny a proposed subdivision near the airport. I am a strong advocate for individual property rights and feel that people have the right to make profit on their property, however, with the airports intent to extend the runways 3,000 feet it only makes sense that this information be taken into consideration when the Board of Supervisors make their decision. Our airport is an important area for future growth of clean industry and Mohave County should not allow anything to inhibit the airports ability to expand in the future. To read the full article look here

Monday, May 14, 2007


I do hope Todd has a productive trip. While he is away I hope to keep the blog up to date. I too saw the 60 minute segment on Sunday night. While I agree that our industry needs to change and I really do feel that it is the idea of realtors operating a transaction over the phone terrifying.

In the segment, a Kelly Engel explains the guilt felt when they worked '5 hours' on a transaction and made $12,000 and in fact they said that the client found the home they bought on the Internet.

This is indeed sad. First of all the money Kelly Engel made in that transaction probably was too much if indeed that was all that the realtor did to earn it. A good buyers agent would show the property to the client, then prepare a comparative market analysis to help educate the buyer as to the market value of the property and then formulate an offer based on that information. The buyers agent would also point out that price is not the only factor looked at by the seller when deciding if and how to counter. In other words, a seller may accept a larger concession in price if the financing is solid and the closing date is quick. That's just the work that needs to be attended to in order to make an offer- after the buyers agent negotiates the offer and it is accepted then the buyers agent needs to open the escrow and make sure that all the important time sensitive inspections take place and that the buyer is reminded of their obligations and rights with regard to those inspections. Then the preliminary commitment for title arrives....or does it? Did the buyers receive it during the period outlined in the contract? What do they do with it? These are just a few of the duties a buyers agent performs during the transaction. Oh and did I mention that the sellers agent pays the buyers agent? Yes, that's right.

The television show began with talking about realtors charging 6%. They never talked about who receives that money. Now again, this realtor who says he worked the deal for 5 hours.....he should feel guilty, but as far as the original agreement for a percentage, that was negotiated between the seller and the sellers agent????? Commissions are not fixed--everything is negotiable, how the home is marketed, open houses, and commission. If the sellers agent showed the seller his marketing plan for the property and the seller felt he was getting his money worth through, color print advertising, web advertising and such...well...

The point is that I agree, our industry needs to change. We as Realtors are two things we are service providers and marketing executives. All of us need to strive to provide better service to our clientele. I feel that people for the most part understand that we are discussing their most valuable asset and they understand the concept of 'you get what you pay for', and they just want what they are willing to pay for.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mr. Tarson Goes To Washington

My apologies to Mr. Stewart for the super-imposed head on that classic photo (especially that head).

I found out that I will be attending this years NAR Mid-Year Legislative Meetings that start tomorrow. That means I'm heading to the airport in Vegas for an early morning flight.

Most likely I will not have access to this blog while I'm gone (still no laptop). This means this is Yvonne's blog this week. So instead of calling this place MOCO Real, we can simply call it MOCO Reil (which sounds the same anyway) for this week at least.

See you all when I get back.


I just watched the 60 minutes segment about Realtor commissions, wow!! I really can't wait to get to DC.

I'm totally in agreement that some things are due to change on this industry (and already have changed), but I'm dizzy from the spinning and my stomach hurts from the 'leading the witness' stuff from Leslie Stahl. That was a hit piece not a TV news magazine article.

There should be plenty to talk about this week inside this industry.

Happy Mothers Day!!

Mom, your favorite son loves you!!

To all Mom's everywhere, have a great day!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

April Sales Report (2007)

Don't call it a comeback... no not yet anyway. There was some better news for the April sales numbers as compared to the dismal number we saw the month before. There were gains in the number of units sold in April as compared to the month before... in fact it was the best month of the year so far. However, the average sales price dropped almost $13,000.

As always... the disclaimer:

Disclaimer... all data compiled for this report comes from the WARDEX Data Exchange and does not include any sales activity from outside that resource. All research is done only on single family homes and there is no inclusion of modular homes, commercial properties, or vacant land. The geographical area researched includes; all areas within the boundaries of the city of Kingman, north Kingman, the Hualapai Mountain area, and the Valle Vista subdivisions. Click here to see maps of the included area's.

As far as unit number were concerned there was a double dose of better news; total new listings were lower in April while sold units climbed to it highest peak in the year 2007. Hopefully this bodes well for prime selling season that is now under way.

Listings and sales in units chart:

While in the chart above we see the blue line and the red line close the gap a little, on the chart below you will see the opposite.

Average listings and sales averages chart:

The average sales price fell sharply, yet the asking price rose higher once again. Sellers are still hitting the market with prices that are well above the level of successful sales. Looking at the year over year data homes that sold in April of 2007 sold for $5,557 more than in April of 2006... that's good. The average asking price though shot up $14,400 in April of 2007 as compared to April of 2006... that's not so good.

Sellers are asking an average of $153 per square foot, while the buyers are buying at $128 a square foot.

2004 through 2007 unit sales chart:

Yeah, 51 sure looks a lot better than the number posted last month (31). The prime selling season last year never materialized and we can hope that this doesn't happen again. I'll be excited when we see numbers in the 90's and beyond this year, but I'll be pleased with a pattern that looks like 2004 and 2005 even if we don't match those years numbers (and I doubt we will).

2004 through 2007 average price chart:

I still see envision the average sold price dance between $190,000 and $210,000 for the rest of the year.

The average home sold in April had 3.02 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, with a 1.78 car garage, included 1533 square feet of living space, and was built in 1996. It sold for an average of $128 per square foot of living space. It was originally listed for $214,437 and it was price reduced to $204,003 by the time it entered into a contract, and the seller settled for $17,342 less than it was originally listed for (about $9 a square foot of living space less). It took 156 days to agree to a contract and 196 total days to close escrow from the listing date.

See you next month!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Great job and huge thank you's...

Yes, I was away on a planned (and needed) family vacation for the last City Council meeting and could not attend. For those that did heed the call to action to make your pro-growth presence known, I can't thank you enough.

I watched the online video of the meeting this morning and I have to say that I'm proud of the community. Of the 18 members of the public that spoke to the issue of changing the land use designation of the city owned property, 4 of them were Realtors and Members of the Association. One of them spoke against private property owners that were not from Kingman with multi-generational connections. Of course it was easy to see through his agenda because he is considered 'old money' from these parts and has many of his own interests and I don't blame him for wanting to reap the rewards from his holdings (like his family has for years). Of course this didn't have anything to do with the proposed land use designation on the city property.

Additionally the 6 or 7 speakers against the proposed major amendment barely spoke of the actual issue that was on the agenda, they instead were simply stating they were against needed infrastructure for the well being of this city's future. The theme from the anti-growthers was either delay the whole thing for one year (at this time) or their concern was about perhaps more traffic on THEIR OWN street. In either case no solution was offered by the critics.

One detractor from the group RAID questioned the traffic concerns that she has for her own property. She said that a traffic impact study was needed to determine how this project could affect her. She seemed to say that there was no traffic study at this time, but actually there is one -- and in fact it shows that if the traffic interchanges aren't added then she will be besieged by even more traffic ON HER STREET than with the proposed interchanges. She makes faulty arguments all the time in her column that runs occasionally in the local paper.

Other RAID members simply said things like, "it's too early" and "delay this decision for one year" or "let the voters decide in a referendum". RAID would rather that you sit for longer periods of time than necessary on Stockton Hill Road than improve access routes in this city. Think about that next time a loved one needs to get to the hospital and the ambulance is stuck in traffic in this small town (emergency services have told me that it has affected residents of Kingman in a negative way). Think about RAID the next time someone runs a red light on Stockton Hill and crashes into your car because that person was tired of waiting in traffic (this happened to my brother-in-law). RAID is dangerous to your health and when you really break it down you see these folks in their big houses in elite neighborhoods telling the rest of us to 'eat cake' because they think they know better. Members of RAID have 'theirs' and don't want you to have even a chance to get 'yours'.

I'm very proud of our Association president Rita Zumwalt and the Realtors that showed up to support. On the video you can see about half the room rise and stand as Rita spoke. Rita spoke on behalf of those residents and she made some great points. She even offered up a compromised solution of having the city keep some of the acreage for parks and open space to provide a buffer to the more residential areas, yielding to the RAID groups ONLY legitimate concern.

Another speaker that night (and I didn't get his name from the video) sort of echoed some of my criticisms of the poor arguments that RAID members have made. The speakers first name was Mike and I simply couldn't understand the last name. I'll correct this once the minutes from that meeting are posted. Mike is not a Realtor or an affiliate, simply a concerned citizen looking out for the whole of the community and made some solid and simple points.

It is likely that the decision that the City Council made will go to a referendum later this year. Last election there was an approximate total of 4700 voters that voted. Most likely all of the RAID folks participated in the previous election. If there is a referendum election there will be a huge effort to energize eligible voters of Kingman to vote in favor of the major general plan amendment that the council indeed approved by a needed 5-2 vote. RAID will have proved nothing in the end and even cost the city valuable resources that could go to much needed programs instead of expensive referendum elections.

The meeting on Monday was simply the first step in seeing a better Kingman of the future. It is not over by any stretch and more community support will be needed at future meetings. Please get involved where you can.

Prayers needed...

A local Realtor, fellow KGVAR Member, and fellow Board of Director Sofia White has suffered a stroke and I hope we can all take a moment to pass along a prayer for her recovery.

Sofia is a newer Member, but has been involved at the Association level since joining KGVAR. She has chaired the Education Committee for the last two years and became a Director this year. She was awarded the 'Rising Star' award and also received the 'Affiliate Appreciation' award for 2006.

Sofia means a great deal to this Association, her clients, and her friends and family. Please join me in offering a positive thought and/or a prayer for her today.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The First Step

The city council meeting began at 6:00 pm and ended with the city council approving the modification of land use of 159.8 acres of the 176.0 acres located south of I-40 from "Parks/Open Space" to "Regional Commercial". Twenty persons spoke either for or against the change. I tried to put my personal feelings aside (I am pro-growth and am for Kingman Crossing) and really listen to all parties and what they had to say because that is what I would like those who do not agree with me to do. After listening to all parties, what I came away with understanding is that this was indeed the first step. The first step to utilize this land for its highest and best purposes. Whether a person is pro or anti-growth, whether they are for or against the Kingman Crossing project I feel that all parties must see the wisdom of taking this first step for the betterment of Kingman and for all citizens. I don't know if all parties came away feeling the way I did as I did hear the word 'referendum' several times on the way out the door. There will obviously be a lot more work to do and it is true that a lot of questions need to be addressed and I believe that if last night was any indicator of what may lie in the future we can all rest assured that each and every question will be addressed.

I was impressed with the realtor turn out and with the support they showed Rita Zumwalt, KGVAR President. It is a good feeling for me to know that I belong to an organization that can pull together and really 'stand up' when needed.

Monday, May 07, 2007

City Council Meeting

I have been calling those persons who I think would most likely go to the meeting tonight. I do have firm commitments from one builder and one private individual. There are quite a few agents in my office who have said they are going as well.

I think we will have a pretty good showing this evening. I hope all goes well, I do hope a lot is accomplished and I personally am looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say.

Todd will be thinking of us all while he is on his way out of town wishing he could participate. It is good that he is taking a moment to be with his lovely granddaughter. Don't think about the meeting Todd.....try to enjoy things for a moment!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Heading out...


We had fun and Zoe got to meet with many new Disney friends... like Minne. Many precious moments and I'm so happy that I got to be a part of it all.

I know this may seem like a bad time to leave town, but my family has had a long scheduled trip planned for this week to Disneyland. Even though I've been asking for people to contact the members of City Council about amending the general plan, asking people to attend the City Council meeting itself (Monday night, at the COUNTY building, starting at 6:00pm -- be there!!)... I simply don't want to miss out on when this little one....

(my granddaughter Zoe)
... sees Mickey Mouse and friends for the first time. I've been looking forward to this trip for a few months now. I haven't been to the 'magic kingdom' for about 15 years.

I'll be trying to at least photo-blog from Anaheim but if I don't I will take some photos and share some when I get back.

Please don't forget to show your support to the city leaders about the land use change for the city owned land on Monday night. I'll be there in spirit for sure. Good luck everyone!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Guessing game...

Can anyone guess what the following photos are of??

Here is a hint... the anti-growthers in Kingman recently made a public remark at a planning and zoning meeting about the lack of potential for certain major retailers moving into the Mohave County area. Here is the exact quote taken from this article.

But Pettit expressed his doubts about pulling in big box stores at all, given neither Target nor Costco, as examples, had even shown interest in Bullhead City or Lake Havasu City, which both have higher populations than Kingman.

Go to the bottom of page 9 of the minutes taken from the Laughlin (Nevada) Town Advisory Board for an even better hint.

These anti-growthers simply will stoop to any means necessary to make their case, including misrepresenting KNOWN FACTS to make their weak points. It is my hope by pointing out obvious misrepresentations that the local media, city officials, and the community itself will stop giving this dangerous group the time of day.

Housing Recovery

We've all heard so much about what the future holds for real estate in 2007. We hear it on the evening news, in various publications and on the radio. It is inevitable that homes and land will always sell but it is true we have been facing several challenges including our unusual spring weather here in Kingman and surrounding areas and of course the changes that we've been seeing with the subprime lending market. As well as the interesting if not always accurate information in our own local newspaper.

The wall street journal just published a small rise in existing home sales and in a recent article in Arizona Realtor a recovery is predicted as well. To read more there go to$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

After being bombarded with all the information and without a crytal ball I must rely on what I am actually seeing and hearing in Kingman. What I'm hearing is good. I am experiencing much more serious traffic on my website and the phone calls I've fielded have felt much more serious as well. So here we are with 242 days left in 2007 and I think the buyers are tired of waiting for yet another reduction and deciding it's time. With interest rates where they are, with housing inventory what it is and reductions already made I have to say what I've been saying all's a buyers market and an incredible time to buy. Don't wait until there is a rush...prices go up when everyone is competing for the same house or area. Buy now when the prices are competitive and you have plenty to choose from. For those who have decided now is the time...congratulations, I agree.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More Housing Developments planned in Golden Valley

As we all sit in anticipation of the decision of the Arizona Corporation Commission that would either allow or deny a key component of the large master planned community by Rhodes Homes in Golden Valley, it should be noted that there are other smaller developments planned in that general area.

Here is a link to an article that features some of these developments.

Grace Neal Parkway plans announced...

A new arteriole that would run east to west connecting Stockton Hill to Andy Devine/Route 66 has been formerly announced by the fine folks at Mohave County Public Works.

Here is an article with a map.

Steve Latoski from MC Public Works gave a short presentation to the attendees at the Realtor MLS meeting this morning that basically covers what was printed in the article linked above.

Road development is key to the growth of Kingman. This east-west passage will help form a circular access pattern around Kingman as long as the Kingman Crossing interchange and the
Rattlesnake Wash interchange are also developed.

I thank Mohave County for proposing this plan and bringing it at least to the stage it is at as of right now. I just hope that the city leaders are also as willing to bring necessary infrastructure as well.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Has this ever happened to you?

I just got that call again, you know the one. It goes like this, "I was just looking at your listing and it says that it's new construction with one bathroom, is that right?"

My first thought is, here we go again. This is where I launch into my speech about how our listings are 'picked up' by other websites such as and some of the information when it is shared doesn't move over as clean as we would all like and unfortunately, we as real estate professionals have posted that information accurately on our own multiple listing service (which we pay for) and yes we could have some control if we choose to pay for each of these sites which pick up our feed and input the data manually and I go on and on closing with.....that's why if you call, interview and choose a buyers agent to represent you with your real estate transaction, that agent will then take your criteria and match it with accurate information from the multiple listing service and arrange personalized tours for you saving you oodles of time and will then provide you with a comprehensive market analysis when the time comes for you to make a decision and an offer........

I love the internet and I love the information it affords each and everyone of us. I also love the idea that we as real estate professionals have the opportunity to use these avenues to assist our sellers but the inaccuracies are so frustrating....but....someday their will be one national source for listings without errors or data sharing issues and I do hope it happens soon, come on NAR.

April Listings Report (2007)

Many people say this is the beginning of the prime selling season for single family homes. Well, sellers sure are ready and certainly have the jump. There was a slight downturn in the overall number of new listings that hit the Kingman market last month, but as you will see the average price tag went up once again.

As always, the disclaimer...

Disclaimer... all data compiled for this report comes from the WARDEX Data Exchange and does not include any sales activity from outside that resource. All research is done only on single family homes and there is no inclusion of modular homes, commercial properties, or vacant land. The geographical area researched includes; all areas within the boundaries of the city of Kingman, north Kingman, the Hualapai Mountain area, and the Valle Vista subdivisions. Click here to see maps of the included area's.


Today total listings available for single family residence equals 733 (up from 714 on March 1). The rate of new listings taken per day in April was 4.43.

There were 131 new listings taken in April (down a little from 150 in March). The average asking price for the new listings is $261,143 (while last month is was $258,530). The median asking price is $224,900 (up quite a bit from $195,900 previously).

The average newly listed home has 3.02 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, a 2.12 car garage, with 1649 square feet of living space and was built in 1995. The aveage asking price per square foot of living space is $153. 24 of the new listings were actually re-listed either by the same or different broker.

Of the new listings in April, 4 already have taken a contract.

Units under contract:

53 homes entered into contracts in the month of April (basically holding steady from 55 the previous month). The average asking price for homes that received contracts was $207,652 (up from $204,850 last month) and the median asking price for February was $181,000 (down from last months $189,900 figure).

The average home that went under contract in March has 2.98 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 2.02 car garage, with 1551 square feet of living space, and was built in 1994. The average asking price per square foot of living space for listings that entered contract this month is $133. It was also priced $9,921 higher when it first was listed as compared to its current asking price (the average price concession was $12,408 last month).


It should be rather obvious that many more higher priced homes are hitting the market judging on the much higher median price for the new listings. This is the factor that is moving the average asking price ever higher month after month. I believe a sellers best bet is to monitor the under contract data and the sales data coming out later this month. These sets of data will be more useful for a seller that is actually wanting to be successful in selling the home in this well established buyers market.

If you do not need to sell, now is not the right time to put the home on the market. There is still enough standing inventory for just about 14 months at the current rates activity. While the list of homes on the market continues to increase I am noticing a small decrease in available rentals. The fleet of available rentals is still bad news for sellers. Renters are paying a much lower cost per month in rent as compared to a comparable mortgage payment for a purchased home. Buyers have more opportunity to put off buying decisions if they can't get their ideal price. The ball is clearly in the buyers court and until these numbers begin to turn nothing is going to change.

Look for the sales report later on this month.