Yep... that time again to get all cliche and wonder where all the time went and proclaim how things will change in the New Year.
So lets get this out of the way, shall we??
For me, Todd Tarson, 2008 was the year of living dangerously. New experiences led to new educational opportunity. In 2008 I ran for public office and remained in the real estate industry... danger-danger.
Before I cover the boring political stuff, lets move to the exciting real estate stuff. A look at the market over the past year.
In the first monthly sales report of the year, I reported that the average price per square foot of living space sold was $116 per. Earlier this month, the listings report showed the new sellers asking for an average price per square foot lower than the sales price per at the beginning of the year. While it wasn't the first time this year it happened (August sellers asked $109, and in September sellers asked $116), sellers simply took way too long to respond to the market.
Now that homes in the Kingman area are averaging $91 a square foot when sold, will sellers catch on quicker next year?? I'll keep an eye on it.
The resulting affects of this lack of understanding of the market, sellers were not able to sell their property even though there are more properties for sale now than at anytime in the boom years.
If buyers and sellers figure out each other in the New Year we will see the bottom of the market. For buyers... please check out the bank owned property to establish the low price you would pay for a home. From there you should expect to pay a higher premium for a nice marketable resale owned by a real person (not a bank).
For sellers... please talk to a real estate professional or two (or three) and ask them to mine the data of SOLD properties and separate the bank owned from the human owned. Take a good long hard look at comparable properties and price accordingly. The market has proved itself to be right each day, month, and year. You simply cannot beat the market. Waiting for just the right buyer to like your listing at your price (not the market price) is simply folly. It will cost you more money in the long run.
If you've read reports here at MOCO for any length of time, you know that I can pull data to customize it to your property. Give me a chance to give you a figure that your home will sell for... if you don't like that price... you don't have to hire me.
I'll have more on the real estate market in the coming days. The listings report for December will be out tomorrow and then the sales report later in the next couple of weeks. Also look for the annual report in January.
Care to make any guesses at the percentage point drop in average and median price in 2008 compared to 2007?? Leave your guess in the comments or email them to me. Winner gets a prize (to be determined, but it won't be expensive).
Alright, lets do some political stuff...
All in all, 2008 was not as politically charged as the year before. Yeah, even though there were a few elections of note, at least locally the rancor was limited.
2008, living dangerously, me... that would be my choice to run for city council. I would like to thank all the folks (just over 800 of you) that voted for me in the primary election, also would like to thank the other 8 candidates for a very respectful campaign, for one last time this year. It was the kind of experience and education that you simply can't purchase.
I realized that more activism is needed on an ongoing basis. And no, it doesn't have to be the over the top sort of activism. Simple stuff such as voter registration drives, meetings or town hall type of events on individual issues, mining relevant information from all sides of issues (you know the sort of thing that CIVIC was doing until the Miner and others attacked that group and its members unfairly).
2008 will also draw to close another year that nothing will be done with 168 acres of land that sits up next to the Interstate that splits town. No plans for a new park or drainage ditch like one political action committee used as possibilities when they worked their referendum in 2007. Yet on the other side of the freeway a new hospital is moving along quickly towards completion and many on the southern side of town won't be able to access that life saving property in times of emergency because there is no sensible access.
As luck would have it, in today's paper comes a wish list the city has submitted to the President Elect of the country. On this list is the proposed interchange... there is no such thing as a free lunch. No matter what folks, we will pay for infrastructure improvements... the key is doing it in a way that has the least impact on our pocketbooks. Relying on the Fed is not it.
Water as a subject was not covered with the panic we saw in earlier years, that is until a recent decision by the Arizona Corporation Commission gave the go ahead for a master planned development near Kingman in Mohave County. Now I'm getting emails that say I don't know anything about water and that I shouldn't be representing the people of Golden Valley that are concerned about their water. Well those Golden Valley folks are in luck as I have not been appointed or elected to any office that would equal representation of Golden Valley folks that are all panicky and think that one golf course will mean the death of life in an arid valley.
Before that recent decision... we saw water levels rise at Lake Mead and Lake Powell for the first time in years.
2008 also marked a year will a very interesting national election for president. I had a visitor in my office the day following when Barrack Obama won the Iowa primary. The young man that was my guest and I had a pretty nice conversation about the happening. I remember telling him that while I wouldn't have voted for Obama on that night (or for any election) that the results were, to me, very American of this country. Obama obviously went on to win the ultimate prize and while I may disagree with his politics, I sincerely hope he finds success in managing this great country (and funds the Kingman Crossing interchange... lol!!).
Obama has already done one 'solid' for the folks of Arizona. He's chosen our governor to head up some cabinet position. Cool. Time for the republicans in this state to show some leadership in terms of spending cuts and managing a budget. What a great chance, and hopefully it is not wasted.
Social networking has become a big deal... and did so a couple of years ago really. I am just starting to catch up and I have to admit that it is at times overwhelming. Every time I think I've found a platform that I like and have mastered to a degree that is usable... something new rolls out and all the cool kids move along.
I have come to like (and be an addict of) Facebook in recent months. Over on the sidebar there, you can click on my info and add me as a friend... I'll accept. Once you friend me I'll send you an invite to a group pertaining to Kingman and positive growth efforts.
And you know... it has started to feel like that. This year I attended a real estate conference and one presenter spoke on social networks, Yvonne talked about it in a post a couple of months back. There was also another conference I attended and basically what was said is that in the not too distant future, all consumers will rely on their own network when making decisions on products and services to use and purchase.
While I work on the commercial use of social networking, in the last year through Facebook and other networks I have been able to reconnect with people from my past, really good people. Next year is my 20 year reunion and I wasn't really that excited about attending... but then folks from those days long gone by started friending me and now I can't wait to attend.
Welcomed in 2008...
Delaney Olivia Linn... appeared in June for the first time. Delaney is the third 'granddaughter' and all are beautiful (prolly because they aren't actually blood related).
I was also blessed with a niece... Jordynn Mae Hernandez was born in March.
Missed in 2008
We lost Arlene Stevenson back in the spring. The family will never be the same, but we feel her spirit often and she is never far from our thoughts and favorable memories.
Just a handful of hours left in this year known as 2008. It may not have been the best year on record, but it is a year I won't ever forget. I have respect for 2008 (hey, the Phillies won the World Series so I can't hate in total), but yeah... I'm curious to see what happens in 2009. I'm feeling positive about many things. I'm 'hope'ful for 'change'.
I'll be tipping one back later this evening, I'll be cheering for you -- the readers and contributors of MOCO. Stick around, I have a hunch that 2009 will be good for at least a few laughs.
Happy New Year!!