December 30, 2008
Effective 1/1/2009, this blog has moved to ThePhoenixAgents.com. Please update your bookmarks and feedreaders. You can click here to see all new content.
A new year often brings reflection and resolutions. This year, for me, it brings a new direction. I’m partnering up with Chris Butterworth of the Butter Homes Blog. Going forward we’ll be known as The Phoenix Agents at Thompson’s Realty and you can find us posting on our new combined blog, ThePhoenixAgents.
Chris and I have been working closely together since about June of 2008, and have found that our work styles and personalities complement each other so well that it became time to form a partnership. We’re both looking forward to bigger and better things for ourselves, our readers and most of all our clients.
Join us! I will be posting all new content on our new website: http://ThePhoenixAgents.com. Please come over for a visit, update your bookmarks and feed readers, and be sure to let us know what you think.
December 29, 2008
Some days working as a Realtor is pretty discouraging. Buyers are scared to buy a house now, afraid it won’t be worth what they paid for it on the day they take possession. I’m not sure I can blame them.
Cash investor buyers make offer after offer at 50% of list price or less, only to be turned down or beat out by other bidders.
Too many sellers seem to still be desperately clinging to the idea that their house is the one in a million that has increased in value over the past 24 months. And they want me to spend my hard earned dollars on advertising to find “the one buyer who’ll really appreciate it.” Of course what that means is “the one idiot silly enough to overpay for it.”
It seems the topsy turvey market is bringing out the worst in people. Some days the only sane way of dealing with this craziness is to have a stiff drink at the end of the day. Cheers!
image courtesy of user cx ed over at stock exchange
December 25, 2008
These holiday lights photos are compliments of the North Phoenix community of Moon Valley, located at the northwest corner of 7th Street and Thunderbird Road.
Moon Valley has a special Christmas Eve tradition: holiday lights and luminaria. Every year on Christmas Eve, homeowners place brown paper bags weighted with sand on the sidewalk perimeter of their home. At the appointed time, tea light candles are lit inside the bags and voila! the show is on. Valley residents come from miles around to see the luminaria display. Most of my pics below don’t capture the luminaria themselves but you can see tons of great photos of Valley luminaria displays on Flickr.
The annual tradition is that folks drive slowly through the neighborhood (with only the car’s parking lights on) to see the holiday lights. This year I noticed a new trend – families sitting in their front yard with a brightly burning chiminea to keep them warm as they enjoy the festivities. It’s become almost a moving tailgate party!
This year I also noticed a bunch of families walking the sidewalks to catch the holiday light displays. Last night I even saw an SUV towing a little rickshaw-type wagon full of teens who were belting out holiday songs. I rolled down the car windows to catch most of these pics, and realized that lots of people were shouting “Merry Christmas” to each other through their open car windows. No wonder many of my school friends moved back to Moon Valley to raise their kids – such a special family-oriented neighborhood.
Lawn deer are a holiday favorite:
Outlining the house is also very popular (and thankfully makes a decent night time photo for my crusty old digicam, sans flash.)
And then there’s always the neighbors who go all-out.
Wishing you and yours and very happy holiday season!
– North Phoenix Agent
December 24, 2008
It’s a map based tool that allows you to see crime reports in your area. The website claims the reports are in real time, i.e. they show up online within 3 to 24 hours of the occurence of the crime.
December 22, 2008
I was thinking about writing (again) about how buying a foreclosure home can be a great deal, but isn’t always what it seems. Then I found Realtor Amy Jones’s post about the same topic, complete with a picture (below). A picture is worth a thousand words indeed. Go check Amy Jones’s post about foreclosures out.
Foreclosure homes frequently have zero appliances. The owners take them on their way out the door. They often bang up the walls on their way out too. Frustrated and frightened people who’ve just lost their home and are (likely) moving to a dingy rental aren’t too careful moving big stuff through small hallways.
Foreclosure homes are almost universally dirty. The carpet must be replaced. The walls have shoe scuff marks on them. The ceilings have shoe scuff marks on them, which leaves one wondering…. The doors are outlined with magic marker. The door handles are missing. So are the the light fixtures.
Is that blood on the carpet? Or is it mushed-in dog poo? The counters have been cigarette burned, or are still sticky with jam and peanut butter. Don’t dare open the fridge if the power is off. Whatever’s in there is about ready to climb out on it’s own! In a word, it’s naaaasty. A maid service is likely to charge you $400 or $600 to clean it all up.
I’ve seen bare concrete floors, missing cabinets and bathroom mirrors, three month old dinner still in the oven, unopened bills and court orders on the kitchen counters, missing toilets, mold so bold it nearly smacked me, and pools so green I thought I saw Nessie lurking beneath.
What haven’t I seen? Anyone other than sophisticated investors willing to buy in.
December 22, 2008
Shot a few quick pics of the light rail trains running up and down Central Avenue late last week. Used my cell phone so the quality isn’t super, but thought y’all readers would enjoy these.
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The smudges in the lower left frame of photo 2 are my dashboard. Didn’t have time to open the window, just shot right out through the glass. Me? I’m SO excited to see this project finally come to fruition. I got giddy and squealed like a school girl when I saw the train passing me. It was moving! I’d guess about 30 or 32 miles per hour. Drivers should be alert starting this Saturday.
I lived in Philadelphia for 12 years and visited Manhattan frequently while there. I missed my native Phoenix like a long lost boyfriend as I endured 2 truly horrible Northeast winters in the 90′s. I pined for good Mexican food, colorful sunsets and our oven-like heat. But one thing I always regretted is that we didn’t have public transit worthy of our stature as the country’s 5th or 6th largest city. My NYC friends never used a car, and I frequently got around Philly on public transit. It was easy, quick, and nearly everybody used it at one time or another.
For Phoenix, our upgrade to world-class public transit is finally here. I refuse to listen to the naysayers who complain about cost, lack of appeal to the average Phoenician or anything else. I’m stoked!
The Phoenix Business Journal reports that 200,000 people are expected to take free train rides this weekend, during the Light Rail’s Grand Opening. The Grand Opening begins with a huge kickoff party, Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the Metro Operations and Maintenance Center. That’s on 48th Street just south of Washington Street.
The Mayors of Phoenix (Phil Gordon), Mesa (Scott Smith) and Tempe (Hugh Hallman) will attend, along with outgoing US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and Arizona’s Representatives to the US House, Ed Pastor and Harry Mitchell.
All three cities are going for the gold with their opening day celebrations. Local rock favorites Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers will play during the Saturday festivities in Tempe. Mesa is hosting the legendary Grand Funk Railroad.
Phoenix, it seems, couldn’t find or didn’t want to spring for the cost of musical entertainment and is instead combining the light rail event with the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly renovated Convention Center. Nice job keeping an eye on our tax dollars at work, Mayor Phil!
All light rail train rides are free through December 31. What a great reason to head downtown to enjoy New Year’s celebrations! Trains will run every 10 minutes, with additional buses on hand to move visitors from train stations back to the park and ride stations as needed.
“Several streets will be closed for the crowds, including Main Street between Sycamore and Dobson in Mesa; Third Street between Monroe and Jefferson streets; Washington Street between Second and Fifth streets; and parts of Third and Fifth streets and sections of College and Forest avenues in downtown Tempe.” (direct quote from the Biz Journal, as linked above)
Want more info? Get it straight from the source, Valley Metro Transit
December 21, 2008
photo credit to MiamiAmia, courtesy of StockExchange.
Click here to see the entire Sunday Stats series, and for historical perspective.
This week’s chart is a mess of red and green all over, not following any discernable trend. Kinda like the Valley’s real estate market now. Or maybe the stats chart is feeling Christmasy.