Saturday, September 29, 2007

Buyers on the offensive...

I haven't seen this happen yet around here... but now that the position of power in the negotiations is clearly on the side of the buyers... it could.

Read link here from the BloodhoundBlog.

The game works like this: Make multiple low-ball offers on all the houses that might work for you, with all of those offers being subject to your final approval. Make it plain to all of your sellers that the first one to salute goes under contract, and the others go home empty handed.

This is exactly what sellers were doing to buyers two years ago, with multiple counter offers. By now there are at least eleven homes for sale for every qualified buyer. It’s time buyers exercised their incredible negotiating power.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank you Dan...

Commenter Dan is becoming the gift that keeps on giving. He just shared this link in some kind of effort to prove that a developer got over on a city. Read the link but I'm going to share some highlights below. Excellent food for thought.

The Town of Queen Creek and Vestar Development have negotiated a development agreement that provides a method for the Town to have needed roads and infrastructure built in the Town Center sooner than would otherwise be possible, improving overall transportation and access for the whole community and helping to expedite bringing new sales-tax generating businesses to downtown Queen Creek.

First of all the bit about 'negotiated a development agreement' should tell us all that this particular developer does not have a magic wand to make everything go their way.

Further, the rest of it sounds similar to the situation that Kingman is facing.

Development agreements are a tool allowed by state law, and commonly used by municipalities, to ensure a developer makes specific improvements to publicly owned roads and rights-of-way.


The agreement between the Town of Queen Creek and Vestar requires
the developer to build and expand large portions of new roads, including the Ellsworth Loop Road, Rittenhouse Road and other arterial streets, at a cost of $9.7 million to Vestar.

In addition, Vestar will contribute $10 million toward the construction of a railroad underpass on Ellsworth Loop Road. This totals $19.7 million that Vestar will pay toward public improvements in the downtown.

Still sounds like a plan... but I bet you have the same question by now. How does a municipality pay the developer back??

In return for advancing these funds and making these road improvements, the Town
agrees in the development agreement to reimburse Vestar over time from the sales taxes collected from the new businesses Vestar brings to the Town Center development.

Meaning that the retail sales taxes collected everywhere else throughout, say, Kingman would NOT be used to pay back the developer.

Beginning one year after the first retail businesses open, the Town will pay 50 percent of the sales tax received each year to Vestar. The total repayment by the Town will be $19.7 million, plus interest.

Please note... the interest is not amortized, it is simple interest. It's in one of those infamous city emails.

There are no "incentives" or "give-aways" in this development agreement. Only those funds spent by Vestar for construction of publicly owned infrastructure are to be repaid.

Just like a city would pay for up front... without a bond issue... if it could.

The Town of Queen Creek hired Ernst & Young to review the Vestar pro forma financial statements and compare them to other successful development projects. The results show that the repayment proposed of 50 percent of Town sales tax will be sufficient to repay Vestar within a 13-year time period, or sooner if development of the total site happens more quickly and sales tax receipts are larger. The Town’s repayment to Vestar is limited to $19.7 million plus interest, or 13 years, whichever comes first.

I still fail to see a problem.

The development agreement includes an additional sales tax to be paid to the Town on businesses within the 133 acres. This additional Town sales tax of 0.25 percent on those businesses will fund other necessary infrastructure and programs in downtown Queen Creek. These funds can be spent throughout the downtown area. Possible projects to be funded with this revenue might include widening other parts of Ellsworth and Ocotillo roads, new sidewalks, storm drains, landscape, street lighting and benches.

So the new development is helping fund other projects throughout the town?? Say it ain't so. And again, if another city in Arizona is doing this to improve the sales tax revenues... we should be, at the very least, considering something similar.

The development agreement contains performance standards that assume Vestar will complete the development within eight years (beginning September 2006) in order to ensure the generation of expected levels of sales taxes for the Town. If these standards are not met and construction is delayed, the Town will repay a lesser portion of the $19.7 million than would occur if the standards are met.

What is the reason we don't want the city of Kingman to begin these kinds of negotiations again??

Responding to one of the comments...

I'm moving part of the discussion from a comment made in one of the Prop 301 posts. To the commenter person that goes by the name of Dan... this is not to belittle you at all, it is just easier for me to respond to your lengthy (and appreciated) comments.

Here goes...

Here are some of my issue w/ Prop 301 Todd:

1. No legitimate actual appraisal by a licensed commercial real estate appraiser has been done, so we're simply guessing at this purported incredible value.

I am NOT an appraiser, nor do I play one on TV. However it doesn't take a licensed commercial real estate appraiser to tell folks that 168 acres of property along the side of an Interstate with a land use designation for commercial is more valuable than a land use for parks and open space.

Again, this is THE issue and why I'm supporting Prop 301 because it alone makes MY property more valuable.

2. There is a big hole in the property, which means to fill it, money will have to be expended, most likely a lot of money, which will decrease the profits of the land.

I've been told by folks in the development business that many creative things can be done with varying elevations, and it is thought that the entire hole would NOT have to be filled back in for some of these creations. But... I'm not in that business so I'd let the buyers sort that out.

Besides... why are we talking about profit on the sale of the land?? Prop 301 has nothing to do with the sale of the land. It is a simple land use designation change, where it goes from there is not my guess.

3. There is no access to the property now. If we gain access via the Crossing I/C, that means that we have to partner up w/ known felons (Wolfswinkel) and pay the ENTIRE PORTION of the I/C, thus AGAIN decreasing the profits.

What is with these assumptions?? Or have I missed the part where the City of Kingman has agreed to do whatever the developers on the north side of the Interstate want?? I've been to many, many city council meetings this year and haven't seen that resolution or ordinance passed. I've even watched the meetings on-line that I've missed and nope, haven't seen such a thing passed there either.

Of course I also would want to question your negotiation skills if you believe that the city HAS to pay for the entire traffic interchange. Unless someone can prove otherwise, no negotiations have taken place at this point with those north side developers. It is a clean slate and I believe that the city has more to bargain with than the developers do.

4. Don't forget the latest and greatest that neither your Council nor Staff have talked much about, but if KC I/C is a go, I-40 will have to be widened, which the City will be obligated to pay for the entire amount between Rattlesnake and KC, AGAIN decreasing profits.

Again with the profits. It is not profit, it is proceeds, and I fully expect them to spend all the proceeds once they are attained at some point in the future (again Prop 301 does not address the authorization for selling the property). For example expanding the Interstate sooner than later is probably a good thing and it would most certainly cost less to do today than it would 20 years from now. I don't know how much the city paid for that property but whatever that amount was, whatever the selling price may be one day you will want to take that figure and minus the cost Kingman paid for the property to get your profit calculation. I bet the citizens of Kingman do rather well for themselves when all is said and done.

And actually, many shrewd property owners (which we all are) often sell a property to improve other conditions... whether it is to buy more property, pay off debts, or to increase the quality of life. It is called asset management.

Bottom line--if this goes through, the City will come out in the red---that pit in those 168 acres will be a literal money pit. And trust me, you'll see--even if you do move by then, I'm confident you'll hear about it.

So you are saying that if Prop 301 is approved by the voters that the city will be in the red?? That is ridiculous.

It is becoming obvious that those against the land use designation change will do their very best to spread a misinformation campaign to confuse the issue. Advantage to those seeking a 'no' vote.

Dan, maybe you are a property owner and if so, would you want your property to be worth more or less in value if by chance someone came to you on the off chance that you might sell the property?? That is simply what this issue is about at this time.

To be fair...

Before I begin tearing apart the arguments for a 'no' vote on Prop 301 here in Kingman, I though I'd be fair and post the argument for 301 that appears on the ballot pamphlet that many are probably receiving in the mail currently.

So without further ado...

Please join us in voting ‘YES’ on Proposition 301. The residents of Kingman own 168 acres of real estate along Interstate 40. We are very fortunate to own such an asset, one that could eventually be sold for an extremely high price based on demand for commercial property with Interstate frontage. The city council passed a major amendment to the General Plan to help condition the property for highest and best use. This is only step one in a process that actually allows more time to decide if it is in the best interest of the citizens to sell the property sometime in the future.

The land use designation change does not necessarily mean that all or even most of the property ends up being used for a commercial purpose. Any future buyer who purchases or leases the property from the city will have to submit plans for a zoning change. Here the concerned citizens of Kingman will once again have input to accept or deny the zoning request of the possible future landowners.

It is critical now that the publicly owned asset is conditioned for highest and best use so that all future options can be weighed for benefits to all residents of Kingman. Benefits that could include: public safety and convenience, sales tax revenue generation for improved public services, and to allow for responsible growth.

Please vote ‘YES’ on Proposition 301 to approve Resolution No. 4425.

Rita Zumwalt

Todd Tarson
Government Affairs Committee Chair

I'll be back later to begin the fisking against the arguments against Prop 301.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Housing Bubble

I've intentionally avoided much of the 'housing bubble' talk. I find it not very productive. I do read tons of opinions and panic pieces (as they are hard to avoid now with the mainstream media getting their jabs in anytime there is no O.J. news to report on).

I found a different take on the 'housing bubble' and it is NOT a fluff piece from the National Association of Realtors or anything like that.

Give it a read here.

Additional info on Prop 301

In an effort to bring discussion on Prop 301, chances are good that you will see multiple blog posts on this subject right through the election. Of course I will be injecting my opinion here or there with the goal that we will see more discussion on the pro's and con's on this referendum.

Today I am sharing the ballot information and how it will appear in text.




This is a referendum on the City of Kingman Resolution No. 4425 which approved a major amendment to the City of Kingman General Plan 2020 by changing the projected land use of certain property from Open Space/Park to Regional Commercial.


This major amendment to the City of Kingman General Plan 2020 would reclassify City owned real property, described as 159.8 acres located south of Interstate-40 in the south portion of Section 9, Township 21 North, Range 16 West, Gila and Salt River Meridian commonly known as Kingman Crossing, from Open Space/Park to Regional Commercial to allow for future retail development.

A "YES" vote shall have the effect of approving Resolution No. 4425 and allowing the
change of the projected land use.

A "NO" vote shall have the effect of disapproving Resolution No. 4425 and not allowing the change of the projected land use.

It probably won't be a surprise to anyone that reads here that I'm voting 'YES' on this proposition.

Later on, I'll be sharing (and fisking) the arguments against Prop 301 that appear in the informational pamphlet and text of ballot for the special election. Registered voters will be getting these pamphlets in the mail by early next week if they don't already have them.

We will have fun with these.

I'll also be writing about the other issues that will appear on the ballot. As always, I ask that you join the discussion and have an open mind. I won't be telling you how to vote, but I will be sharing my opinion. Those opinions will be there for the 'fisking' that anyone wants to point in my direction.

This election, and the elections from here on out locally will be very important to the future of Kingman and the surrounding area. Please get involved at the minimum by exercising your right to vote.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Proposition 301

So what is 'prop 301'?? Simply this is the referendum issue brought to us by the fine folks in the 'clipboard brigade' otherwise known as RAID.

The referendum is to challenge a decision to approve a major amendment to the General Plan 2020 right here in the city of Kingman. The major amendment was to change the land use designation of 168 acres (give or take) of prime real estate that just so happens the citizens of Kingman collectively own. The current land use is listed as 'Parks/Open Space' and is to be changed to 'Regional Commercial'.

The folks behind the referendum are deliberately trying to devalue, or at least limit the value, on your very own property (if you live in Kingman). Even if you don't actually own property for yourself in Kingman, maybe you simply choose to rent a residence, you may not have realized that you are part owner of some real nice prime property located just off the Interstate which is located right smack in the middle of all the emerging developments in Kingman.

This land that you are a part owner of will likely have great value and I expect that private interests will come calling to ask the fine citizens of Kingman to part with that property for an extremely attractive price. The chances of this actually happening are even greater with a change in the land use on the general plan for this property.

The location of this land is prime because it is right next to the Interstate that runs through Kingman. It is a perfect place for commercial use (shopping, office space, and entertainment options are what I have in mind). How do I know?? Because just on the other side of the Interstate there is a developer that plans of developing in a similar manner (including a new hospital as well). That development will likely, over some time, increase the value and create demand for your property.

Changing the land use right now simply makes sense.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mr Bernanke speaks

I have been posting periodically with regard to the sub-prime debacle. Well here is the most interesting read on the subject so far.

Federal Reserve Board, Mr. Bernanke......

It is a long article, but truly worth the read for anyone.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

REALTOR Caucus of 2007

Last week I attended the AAR Realtors Caucus in Scottsdale. This is a state meeting open to all Members that helps formulate the legislative policies for the upcoming year. There were approximately a couple hundred Members in attendance this year.

Many of the attendees are familiar faces to me by now after the many years I have been at state meetings.

One of the speakers this year was Mary Peters, the US Secretary of Transportation. She talked about improving roads and highways, and because of the recent bridge collapse in Minnesota she also touched on infrastructure needs. I would have liked to take a few notes while she spoke but she was the speaker during lunch that was being served (and the lunch was fantastic).

The underlying theme from the feedback from various regions of the state was to set the bar higher to obtain and keep a real estate license in Arizona. I've actually been hearing stuff like this for many years now but is used to be a more quiet voice. There was no misinterpreting the message this time. We'll see what happens.

Another hot topic involved water resources. Readers from the Mohave County area let me just say this... make no mistake... the folks in Phoenix are looking to other parts of the state to draw water to their area. Rural Arizona is clearly in the line of sight here, especially if rural Arizona is not using enough of their own water resources.

One bit of good news though was the recommendation that the state Association support an initiative at the Capitol to begin a real conservation effort. One thing that I'd like to see is that if a community or even a county begins such a conservation effort on water that their water allocation will NOT be affected. In talking with some folks it seems like if a conservation effort is successful it could mean that the allocated water resources would be reduced and allocated to somewhere else. To me... that is not real conservation.

Last little tidbit. There is a growing concern that Members are taking their eye off the ball when it comes to legislative policy that could affect private property rights and means of taxation. Both could vastly affect the Realtor industry in Arizona. If an apathetic Membership allows a policy or two go by the wayside, we could be harming every property owner's ability to buy and sell real estate. (This is also a concern that I have for the local Realtors as well)

It is time to get our heads out of the sand and see to it that everyone's property rights are protected before more statute's and ordinance's hinder the freedom of our clients. We owe it to our clients, and of course owe it to ourselves.

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's About Time

I have always disliked seeing advertisements regarding home loans which are designed to target persons who may not be in a financial position to pay them back. We have all seen them they always start with 'No Money Down' and they imply an interest rate, but when everything is all said and done, the buyer doesn't get that interest rate. There should never be an instance when a buyer assumes they can buy, in most cases, the largest asset they will own without any monetary investment at all. It also is misleading when a potential client see's that and then they sit down with me and I explain they will need an earnest deposit, inspection fees, appraisal fee and credit application fee....

The FTC has finally stepped in and warned over 2o0 companies of their leading advertising campaigns.

It's about time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Election day in Golden Valley...

Today the voters in Golden Valley will be deciding whether or not to incorporate as a city or not. I've been watching this one from a distance to this point but I am interested in seeing the outcome.

I'm not trying to blast Mohave County, but in unincorporated areas such as Golden Valley there aren't a lot of services for many residents that live out there. Road conditions are brutal, dirt roads become washboard, washes are full of loose sand make passing those areas difficult, that kind of thing. I know the county has paved some roads in recent years but in order to take the next step I think the residents probably need to set up their own government to meet the needs of the citizens.

Incorporating might also allow some new options for some developers in the general area. Developers could certainly help with the needed improvements if a win-win situation revealed itself between developers and the Golden Valley community.

I think the possibilities of annexation could ride on the outcome of today's election as well.

Here are some articles from the media that give more insight to what is happening in Golden Valley.

Who is eligible to vote

Incorporation group quietly confident

And this article about the new town of Dewey-Humbolt. A newly incorporated city near Prescott. Article gives good information on what is happening and the political issues it has raised.

Speaking of politics... I'm heading to the Arizona Association of Realtors -- Realtors Caucus where the US Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, will be speaking. I'll wrap that up when I get back, should be interesting.


Today's marks a terrible day in the history of this country. Yvonne already has a very nice tribute up here, but I wanted to share a couple more.

First, this is my post from last year.

Second, the great Jay Thompson in Phoenix has another beautiful tribute this year.

Take time and remember today those that were taken from us.

God bless.

We will never forget.

Below is an article I found that I felt worth sharing:

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Witch Hunt

There is a witch hunt on in full effect in the Kingman area. The terms; lame duck city council, scoundrels, crooks, back door deals, and out of town developers are being thrown around at Kingman City Council meetings relentlessly and at will. I missed the last city council meeting because I was out of town but managed to catch up on what transpired at the city web site.

I appreciate and respect the citizens of Kingman who take time out of their busy schedule to stand in front of Council and say what is on their mind on the important topics of the day. I'm not writing the following to belittle any of the people that have recently stood in front of city council.

I do have some issues with what is being said.

First, the lame duck city council remark. I don't think there are any term limits for council members, including the mayor. The last thing I want to see out of the council is them sitting on their hands for the next six months waiting for the primary elections in March of 2008 to take place. I have made my intention to run for city office known, it is likely that I may be running against sitting members of council... yet still I believe they owe it to the city to continue the management and operation of the city to the best of their abilities.

It is wrong to imply that the folks elected by the citizens and voters of Kingman should stand idle for more than a 1/4 of the mayors term before any more decisions are made as to the direction of the community that is so obviously suffering in some ways at the moment.

If you are a citizen and a voter of Kingman that feels that City Council should not be making any further decisions now through the end of the current term, then stand before council on each and every issue on the agenda and ask Council to vote against making a decision.

The voters of Kingman will be making the decisions on important issues this November. Voters are free to rebuke Council on the general obligation bonds, granting the authority for City Council to sell the city owned lands near Kingman Crossing, and the council's decision to change the designated land use map on the general plan. As citizens and voters, we already have the final say in these very important matters.

Now, onto the back room deals with out of town developers.

We are now supposed to fear a resolution that hasn't been presented to City Council for review at a public meeting as of yet. A remark was made that Kingman should not even consider something (that doesn't exist yet) that comes from a non citizen of Kingman. Sorry... but this is not who gets the votes to win prom king or queen, this is about private property rights.

A private property owner may be offering a resolution for the city to consider that involves property owned by the city (the infamous 'well sites') that is up next to or surrounded by privately owned private property. Representatives of this private property owner have recently said that they would love to work with the city and the citizens on what has become a very touchy subject in the area. They also stated they want to utilize the proper channels in doing so.

A couple of months ago the local chapter of the Builders Association also wanted to offer a resolution to the city regarding another hotly contested issue... development or 'impact' fees. I was contacted by a prominent member of the builders group about my thoughts on their draft of their resolution with the hopes that the Realtors Association could back them on what they were proposing. I was told that the builders contacted city staff and leaders about forming the resolution with the hope that it would appear on a future city agenda for discussion in front of the public. Now I don't know if the builders went in the front door or the back door to get this done, but one thing I know for sure is they didn't appear in front of council at the call for comments from the public asking the citizens first if they could even write up the resolution... they just did it, through the regular and proper channels.

At a City Council meeting on July 16th of this year the builders resolution appeared on the City Council agenda and was discussed before the public and passed by the Council. About a month and a half later the resolution turned into a city ordinance and was scheduled for public discussion and a possible decision but was delayed at the request of the Builders Association.

Why bring up the local builders efforts to produce a resolution that came before the public?? Because it sounds exactly like what a private property owner is trying to do, but because the private property owner is who he is... the witch hunt is on. The local Builders Association (who I have respect and admiration for) is allowed to write up a resolution, get that passed to become an ordinance, then delay the decision on the ordinance on a simple request... but the out of town private property owner can't get his issue on the agenda without a bunch of crap??

Throw the witch into the pond. If she floats, she is a witch and must be burned at the stake. If she drowns... oh well.

Prejudice and fear walk hand in hand around Kingman right now.

August Sales Report (2007)

Do you remember yo-yo's?? Of course I'm sure we all do, I'm certain there are even experts in the yo-yo field to this day. Me?? I couldn't get a yo-yo to work if my life depended on it so I pretty much hated those things.

Well the average selling price market has been been playing yo-yo for the last few months as you will see below. If you remember in June we saw the average price spike to its highest level in Kingman ever, only to see it dramatically fall in July... in August somebody that knows just how to pull that string managed to bring the yo-yo up once again (but not all the way back to June's level). The result is an average that is... well... average.

You will see the charts only after you read 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.

Listings and sales in units chart:

To my dismay, unit sales were off from last months calendar year high, but at least they remain steady since April. Would love to see the new listing units continue to slip in the coming months. The media reports may begin to scare off would be sellers.

Average listings and sales averages chart:

Here is the yo-yo effect going back to April for sales price averages. All in all though, the numbers are working themselves out. The sales price per square foot of living space remains steady at $130 a foot last month, the homes that sold were on average larger in August than in July. It is interesting to see how the average price is coinciding with the average size in homes on a month to month basis.

2004 through 2007 unit sales chart:

Off over 100 units since August of 2005. Tells me that buyers are waiting and buyers are winning presently. My how quickly things have changed. I was hoping that August would have been a stronger month, now it is up to the normally weaker selling months to carry whatever they can for the rest of what is most likely a dismal year for sales in Kingman.

2004 through 2007 average price chart:

The yo-yo effect this year is basically in line on average with 2006. Still no dramatic fall off in price since last year. No sizable gains either. I'll say it again... no sizable gains this year.

2004 through 2007 median price chart:

The median comes in again lower than the previous year. Buyers are winning.

Average SFR statistics:

The average home sold in August had 3.09 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a 2.4 car garage, included 1,643 square feet of living space, and was built in 1998. The average hold sold for an average of $130 per square foot of living space.

It took an average of 140 days of marketing to attract a buyer to come to an agreement and a total of 175 days from the first day of marketing to the close of escrow.

Sellers reduced price $11,872 to attract a buyer on average from the first day of marketing, and conceded another $9,870 to the buyer in the transaction. The total average price concession for the homes sold in August was $21,742.

Bonus Chart:

This chart tells me that if you are thinking of putting your home up for sale in the Kingman area and do not want to wait 140 plus days to get a contract, enter the market priced accordingly. Sellers are taking a beating, sellers need to look at the homes that were 'in' the market... not the listings that are 'on' the market.

The song remains the same. The song is on repeat. The song is getting old. Quickly.

Earth to sellers...

I've been working on the sales charts for August this morning and will have the post on that shortly. I've been catching up on my favorite real estate blogs this morning and wanted to share something with the sellers out there.

This is from the BloodhoundBlog, the finest resource of straight-forward real estate information on the Internet.

What should you do as a seller? Whatever it takes.

Here are a couple of ideas:

First, have the house appraised, price the home below that appraisal and leave the appraisal report out where buyers can see it.

Second, have the home professionally inspected. Do all of the repairs in the inspection report, then have the inspector back to confirm your work. When everything is ship-shape, leave that report out where buyers can see it.

You can’t control lenders or interest rates. You can’t control the price of homes into the future. What you can do is take away every buyer objection over which you have control.

Nothing matters more than price, so if you won’t price your home to the current market, you needn’t bother with anything else. Your house will not sell. But if you’re committed to doing whatever it takes, these ideas could swing the balance.

Read the rest here. (emphasis mine)

I'm still offering my listing clients a rebate against the negotiated fees at close of escrow if the client is willing to pay for an appraisal and/or inspection.

In fact if you are a seller and are willing to do whatever it takes to sell your home, I will not only subtract the costs of the appraisal and/or inspection from the listing side of the commission, I'll double that amount off the fees at the close of escrow. I'll do this through the end of this calendar year for any listing client.

Isn't she lovely...

My wife Gail with Avery Harper Linn, the new addition to the family.

My favorite 3 ladies in the world. Zoe turns 3 in November, she is my football game watching buddy. She liked the team in the blue jersey's last Thursday (Colts), but at heart she is an Eagles fan... just like Grampa.

Proud Grampa's everywhere of course are going to say this, but it has to be said... she is beautiful and already incredibly sweet (and yes, she will be an Eagles fan as well).

I'm glad to be back and there are some things to catch up on but the last week was one of the best I've had, the kids are just so much fun. Just wish they weren't a 10.5 hour road trip away.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Horns, Hides, Laughs and Rides

That's right! It's almost Mohave County Fair time! I can't wait and this years fair is going to be great. I love to walk down the mid-way and smell the popcorn and see all the lights and maybe take a ride on the ferris wheel. We truly are lucky to be the county seat here in Kingman, Arizona and be host to our county fair.

I personally will be looking forward to winning a stuffed animal for my little boy Bootz (who is an 8 lb pomeranian). I will also be checking to see if any of my entries was fortunate enough to win a ribbon.

For more information on this wonderful event visit

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Moving in, moving out--cleaning tips

Cleaning Tips & Tricks

To clean your home is to free it from dirt, pollutants and other elements. Not only that, but cleaning can also translate into organization and proper storage of your possessions and eliminate your home's clutter. Either way you look at it, cleaning is an important task and, although not the most fun, it can be simplified with a few tips, tricks and a little knowhow.

Roll With It

When storing clothes, roll them instead of folding. This not only prevents fold lines, but also results in your clothing taking up less space. What does this mean for you? Quite simply, you can maximize your storage space and still keep your clothes free of creases. Think those nice plastic boxes from Walmart that stack up so well.

Stain Removal

If you want to remove stains from countertops, appliances, flooring or other surfaces, consider using baking soda or a vinegar/water combination. Either one of these is less harsh than typical cleaning products and still provides a quick fix for most of your stain removal needs. You may also consider anti-bacterial liquid soap and water for cleaning some surfaces. It's important to note that you should never submerge any electrical appliance into water. Instead, spot clean it with a cloth.

Categorize & Organize

Before starting to clean, create categories for your clutter. By separating your items by intent, such as keep, donate and discard (again think those really groovy plastic box/bins from Walmart), you will be able to move through your cleanup quickly and efficiently. Then use the same boxes for storage and they label well too with an indelible marker.

Getting Rid of Dust

When you clean, you are likely to stir up a little dust here and there. Regardless of how much or how often you clean, dust is a part of life and it's bound to find its way into a few corners. If you want to reduce the presence of dust in your home, try using a portable air cleaner in the room where you are cleaning. I got mine online, it is an Oreck and works fantastic!

Cut it Out

Instead of simply tossing out your old bills or credit card offers, shred them with a cross-cut or confetti-cut paper shredder. This will prevent any unscrupulous crook from sifting through your garbage and discovering personal financial information. If you don't own a paper shredder and don't have the extra money in your budget to purchase one, simply use a pair of scissors and cut anything with your name, address, social security number or banking information into small unreadable pieces.

Plastic Please . . .

Cleaning leads to tossing those unwanted items away, which means you may have a need for a lot of garbage bags. You can use the plastic bags from your local grocer to line your small wastebaskets. The handles make them easy to retrieve, tie and discard. The next time you are asked if you want paper or plastic, say plastic please and just think--you're recycling at the same time!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

August Listings Report (2007)

I now have been doing these listing reports for one year at the beginning of each month. I'm getting slightly better at it, but I can hardly believe one full year has passed already. I hope these reports continue to be interesting for you.

Some good -- some bad this month, we'll get to those highlights right after 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 731 (down some from 742 on July 1). The rate of new listings taken per day in August was 3.7.

There were 115 new listings taken in August (dropped a bit as compared to 131 in July). The average asking price for the new listings is $231,387 (while last month is was $227,829). The median asking price is $209,050 (up from $185,450 previously).

The average newly listed home has 3.08 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 2.15 car garage, with 1,596 square feet of living space and was built in 1994. The average asking price per square foot of living space is $145. Lastly, 14 of the new listings were actually re-listed either by the same or different broker.

Of the new listings in August, 7 have already taken a contract.

Units under contract:

As of today there are 103 total units under contract (down from 109 last month).

46 homes entered into contracts in the month of August (steady as compared to 47 the previous month). The average asking price for homes that received contracts was $202,712 (down from $213,317 last month) and the median asking price for August was $185,500 (up from last months $179,450 figure).

The average home that went under contract in August has 3.07 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 1.9 car garage, with 1,614 square feet of living space, and was built in 1992. The average asking price per square foot of living space for listings that entered contract this month is $126. It was also priced $10,570 higher when it first was listed as compared to its current asking price (the average price concession was $17,730 last month). It took an average of 110 days of marketing to get a contract.


Pretty simple still. Too many new listings with too high of an asking price for the limited amount of buyers 'in' the market. There are still way too many homes 'on' the market.

As I mentioned earlier, of the new listings in August, 7 out of the 115 already have taken a contract from a buyer. Here is the stats for those 7 new listings.

Average asking price - $134,371
Median asking price - $133,900

Asking price per square foot - $107

The size of the homes were smaller than the total average for new listings in August (1,247 square feet of living space), but I'm certain it was the price that attracted the buyers to make an offer.

So, sellers, do you really want to sell?? Do you want your listing to be 'in' the market or simply 'on' the market??

On the market listings are plentiful.

In the market listings are scarce, but they are a means to an end. Buyers do exist you just have to appeal to them. Pretty pictures on the MLS simply won't cut it right now.

The sales report for August is just a week or so away. First I'm going to visit my new granddaughter in New Mexico. See you then.