Yes, you can try to “For Sale By Owner,” but you will find that hiring a Realtor will create even more value by not only getting you more money for your home but reducing the stress that’s involved with selling such a huge asset.
Hire someone you feel comfortable around because you are going to be spending a lot of time with your realtor.
Hire someone who is commutative (your agent shouldn’t go mia for a while!)
Hire someone who knows the market you are selling in well. Your agent will also help you establish your asking price by presenting comparable properties that have sold or are for sale now in your area.
You and your agent will settle on a fee they will charge to sell your home. This includes paying the agent that brings a buyer for your home.
Your agent will gather information on your home to input it all into the MLS.
Your Realtor will help you with disclosures and legal documents. An example of something you will have to disclose is the age of the roof.
Your agent will provide professional photography, and will professionally market your home.
And this brings me to my next point, staging. Your realtor will give you tips on how your home will show the best.
The Staging Your House For Sale Phase
The declutter and depersonalize phase. Take down personal photos, organize your closets, throw away junk. Moving is a good time to purge!
Move some of your furniture to a storage unit or put it in the garage to make your home look minimal.
Spruce up the yard with fresh potted flowers, blow off dirt from the patio, and throw away any junk you may have on the side of your house (ps- no judgement- we all have that area in our yard that looks like a junk yard!)
Make the beds look nice and cozy, put fresh flowers in the kitchen, dress your table, buy fresh towels and pillows. I recommend buying from inexpensive stores like Target, TJMax, and Home Goods.
Be sure to make your house smells good. I recommend plug-ins that use essential oils, candles, and sachets.
Get your house professionally cleaned and detailed. The kitchen is very important because buyers will look inside cabinets. Bathrooms are really important too.
After the staging is complete, a photographer and videographer will come and take photos that will be on the mls, zillow, realtor.com, etc.
The Showing of Your Home Phase
Your Realtor will begin marketing your property by putting a for sale sign on your property and blasting your property on the internet.
Most likely, a lock box with the key inside will be installed for buyer’s agents to access your home and you will put showing instructions on the MLS- for example, “no showings before 4pm,” or if you have a dog, you might want to say, “please give an hour notice, owner has dogs.” You can be as specific as you want with your showing instructions.
It is ideal that the seller has a plan on where the pets will go during a showing.
Your Realtor will most likely do an Open House the first weekend your house is on the market and subsequent weekends your house stays on the market.
The Offer Acceptance Phase
When you get an offer that meets your approval, for example, your asking price and close of escrow (which basically means when the title of the home will be transferred to the buyer), you accept. You can also counter offers that you receive. You don’t have to accept the first offer you get.
The buyer also gives “Earnest Money” to hold your house.
After the offer is accepted, the buyer goes into a “Due Diligence” period where they read and understand the disclosures, hire professional inspectors to inspect the home. Typically in a residential sale this period is 10-days.
After the inspections are complete, the buyer’s real estate agent will send your listing agent a list of repairs with a document called the BINSR. You’ll have 5 days to respond and to whether or not you’ll honor those repairs or honor some of them or none. The buyer can cancel the contract if you do not honor all of the requested repairs.
After the BINSR has been negotiated, If the buyer is financing the home, an appraisal will be done for the lender so the lender can be sure the property is worth what the buyer is paying for it.
The Close of Escrow Phase
After the buyer’s contingencies are met (meaning- the home appraises at value and the buyer’s financing is approved), the title company prepares a Closing Disclosure (also known as the “CD,” like balancing all of the money and pay outs. An example of payouts include paying the old mortgage debt, the real estate agent’s commissions, and balances out prepaid taxes.
The title company will have all of the title transfer paperwork, as well as all of the paperwork from the lender signed with a notary with both the buyer and seller.
The buyer will do a “Final Walkthrough” of the home to ensure all of the agreed upon repairs have been taken care of.
The deed will get recorded and as soon as it’s recorded with the recorder’s office it can take up to 24-hours to receive your funds into your bank account.
The cooler weather is approaching and the first day of Fall is today- September 22nd! It’s time to enjoy some family-friendly activities! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 10 things to do with the family in Tucson around this time of year.
1. The Gaslight Theatre
The Gaslight Theatre’s Wizard Of The Rings- Running September 1st -November 6th, the Gaslight Theatre’s spook-tabular Fall show is a spoof of the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings! It is appropriate and fun for the whole family and it even has an audience favorite, the Gong Show Olio after the show! There are group rates available and shows Tuesday-Sunday with multiple shows on weekends. The food and drinks served at the show are from Tucson’s Little Anthony’s Diner, which is perfect for the whole family. For more information, go to Gaslighttheatre.com
2. Oktoberfest in Mount Lemmon
Oktoberfest in Mount Lemmon- 4 weekends beginning the weekend of September 17th and 18th through the weekend of October 8th and 9th. Festivities are 12:00pm – 4:30pm. Enjoy fabulous German food and authentic German music performed by the John Prokop Band. There are games for the kids and dancing! For more information, go to Skithelemmon.com
3. Apple Annie’s
Apple Annies- If you are up for a little trip East of Tucson, Apple Annie’s Fall Pumpkin Celebration in Wilcox is open on the weekends beginning September 24th and ending October 30th. Apple Annies has a 12-acre pumpkin patch and opportunities to pick your own produce and sunflowers. There is also a corn maze on site, hayrides, and the country store offers a lunch menu including homemade pies. The corn maze is $7-9 per person and the pumpkins start at $.69 a pound. For more information, go to appleannies.com
4. Glowing Pumpkins
Glowing Pumpkins- Glowing Pumpkins is an open daily event (excluding Mondays and Tuesdays) that runs September 23rd- October 31st from 6:30pm-10pm. It is located on the Northside of the Tucson Mall. You walk it at your own pace and it typically takes between 30-60 minutes. Some of the pumpkins themes are Superheros, Dinosaurs, Sea Creatures, just to name a few. There is a gift shop and snacks. Price for admission is $20 but there are group rates available. For more information, go to https://glowingpumpkins.com
5. Marana Pumpkin Patch
Marana Pumpkin Patch- The Marana Pumpkin patch is open Thursdays-Sundays from October 1st-October 30th and is fun for the entire family! Admission includes jumping pillows, diesel train rides, the farm playground, trikes, petting zoo, the super slide, mini diggers and tractors, pig races, and tractor rides out to the 50-acre pumpkin patch. There is also a corn maze and rides like the coranado and cyclone swings. Pony ride and the zip line are also available on the grounds for an extra fee. The pumpkins are available for $.50 a pound. For more information, go to Maranapumpkinpatch.com
6. Life Under the Oaks Lavender Farm
Lavender Farm- Life Under The Oaks Lavender Farm is located just outside of Tucson in the town of Oracle. The farm is open on Saturdays and Sundays and they have organized events. On October 1st, there is pumpkin painting, and on October 29th, they have a witch festival where you come dressed up like a witch and make various witch crafts. The scenery is beautiful and you won’t want to miss the Lavender farm this time of year! For more information on events, go to https://life-under-the-oaks-lavender-farm.square.site/shop/events/12
7. Old Tucson’s Night Fall
Nightfall at Old Tucson- NIGHTFALL returns to Old Tucson after a 2-year hiatus for its 30th Anniversary with an exciting new format! Nightfall is open Thursdays-Sundays starting October 6th and ending October 30th. “This year’s event is a fully immersive experience that combines terrifying mazes with classic stunt shows and a town full of characters that you can interact with throughout the night. You can choose to uncover their secrets, help them with their problems or just enjoy a show at the Grand Palace. How you choose to experience this story, from family-friendly to fully-frightening, is up to you.” For more information, go to nightfall.com
8. Boo at the Zoo
Boo At The Zoo- Come dressed up in a costume and enjoy safe trick-or-treating! The event is held on October 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, and 30th. Boo at the Zoo is a Tucson family favorite with kid-friendly activities like games and crafts and even a show. Ghoul at the zoo is even available for guests 21 and over. Gate opens at 5:30pm and the event ends at 8pm and tickets must be purchased ahead of time and are $11 for members and $13 for non-members. For more information, go to https://reidparkzoo.org/event/boo-at-the-zoo-2022/
9. Tucson Meet Yourself
Tucson Meet Yourself- October 7th 8th, 9th is a Festival in Downtown Tucson celebrating the many diverse cultures from around the world. There is food, music, dancing! This tradition started in the 1970s and has grown to be one of Tucson’s most notable events. The mission: “Our mission is to research, document, interpret and present the living traditional arts and expressions of everyday life of the folk and ethnic communities of the multi-national Arizona-Sonora region.” For more information, go to tucsonmeetyourself.org
10. The All Soul’s Procession
Tucson’s All Soul’s Procession- A beloved yearly event in Tucson since 1990, Dia de Los Muertos is a weekend with events honoring the dead. People show up to this experience with South-of-the-border traditions in countless ways. You can wear a costume to the parade or just attend the events in your street clothes. November 4th & 5th there is an All Souls Benefit Concert Series at the MSA Annex. November 5th is the Procession of Little Angels at Armory Park, and November 6th is the All Souls Procession and Ceremony on the Westside. For more information, go to allsoulsprocession.org
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Are you thinking about buying or selling real estate in Tucson, AZ? Please feel free to contact me to go over your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org. 520-869-3176.
The Tucson area is nestled between 6 mountain ranges. The Catalina Mountains to the North, Rincon Mountains to the East, Santa Rita Mountains to the Southeast, Huachuca Mountains to the South, Tucson Mountains to the West, and Tortolita Mountains to the Northwest. The sky is almost always clear in Tucson and Tucson has some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The sunrises over the Rincon Mountains and sets behind the Tucson Mountains. Tucson’s landscape is also beautiful because it is located in the Sonoran Desert and is surrounded by cactus, which makes Tucson very unique to the rest of the United States. The saguaro cactus is the symbol of the American West and Tucson is flooded with them. Be sure to check out my blog post all about the cacti you may see in the Tucson area. Tucson also has low pollution, lending itself to beautifully clear skies. It does not rain often in Tucson so you can see the sky with very little cloud cover most of the time. Tucson is the perfect place if you enjoy star gazing at night. There is a world-famous star gazing observatory Southwest of Tucson called Kit Peak. Kit Peak is “the largest, most diverse fathering of astronomical instruments in the word.” In fact, in 1972 dark sky ordinances went into effect in an effort to provide standards to keep Tucson dark for the observatory and its residences. You can even see the Milkyway Galaxy from downtown Tucson at night!
2- The Cost of Living
A lot of people move to Tucson after selling a home elsewhere in the United States and are able to put down a large downpayment or even pay cash when they buy a home. Tucson is roughly 10% less expensive to live in compared to Phoenix and is roughly 10% less than the national average. Check out Bestplaces.com and compare Tucson to the rest of Arizona to see that Tucson falls below the state average in grocery, health, ultilities, housing and transportation. Tucson is also bike-friendly and has extensive bike routes and paths, including “The Loop.” Tucson also has no tax on Social Security benefits, which makes Tucson a hot spot for retirees. Tucson is also home to some larger companies like Raytheon, Caterpillars Hexagon Mining and Amazon that have reputations for being high paying. Davis Monthon Air Force Base and The University of Arizona also provides many jobs to Tucsonans. The minimum wage as of April 2022 is $13 an hour and is scheduled to increase to $15 by 2025.
Tucson has sunshine almost year-round and the weather in Tucson is perfect 7 months out the year, and when I say perfect, it is typically between 65 and 80 degrees during those months. The other 5 months out of the year (May-September), the temperature can be in 100s, but Tucsonans just adjust their schedules to get outdoor activities done in the early morning or evening during those months. You can hike, bike, golf, or ride horses before the 100-degree temperature hits or wait until the monsoon cools of the city. The monsoon is a short rainstorm that comes through parts of the city between June and September and it really cools off the entire city. The 7-month perfect weather lends itself to people who love outdoor activities. It snows every few years in Tucson and ski valley up in Mount Lemmon gets snow during the wintertime and the temperature up there is 20-30 degrees cooler so it is a perfect escape during the summer months!
Tucson is a college town and home to the University of Arizona and with the University comes all of the college sports. The “Wildcats” have an excellent football, basketball, and baseball team which draws in large crowds of fans. The arts scene is incredible and there are several local theatre companies that put on Broadway-quality musicals and plays done by talented Tucson locals. Broadway in Tucson brings in professional traveling theatre groups. The University also has plantetarium, and dance and theatre performances in their theatres on campus. Tucson is also known for its live music scene and many restaurants offer live music. Also, with Tucson being a college town, 4th Avenue and downtown also has really cool boutique shops, restaurants, and bars and you can get around this area on Tucson’s street car. Tucson’s Old Town Artisans is where you can find vintage clothing, organic food and contemporary art. There are also a lot of art museums, and Tohono O’odham and Hokokam native historical sites to visit. Tucson has golf courses all over the city which attracts people from around the world. There are amazing caves just outside of Tucson, and the town of Marana even has sky diving. Tucson has a “Rodeo” in February and schools even close because of how large the event is.
Tucson is the 2nd largest city in Arizona and feels more like a “big town,” while compared to Phoenix. It is only 70-miles from the Mexico border and you can be on the beach in Mexico in on less than 4-hours in Rocky Point. Tucson is also a little over 6-hours to the beach in San Diego, 7-hours to Disneyland, 7-hours to the entertainment capitol in the United States “Las Vegas.” The airport is small and low stress and actually offers direct flights to many cities. Mount Lemmon is just a 45-minute trip from the base to the top and even has skiing during the winter months. Tucson is only two hours to Phoenix, and there is a ton to do in Phoenix. Northern part of Arizona also attracts vacationers world-wide. The Grand Canyon is about 5-hours away Flagstaff 4-hours and Sedona is 3.5 hours away.
Are you thinking about buying your very first home in Tucson, AZ? Please feel free to contact me to go over your needs: email@example.com. 520-869-3176.
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You need at least 3.5% down with a FHA loan, 3% down with a Conventional loan, and 0% down with a VA loan.
There are government grants available for down payment assistance. Ask your lender. If you need a lender, I can refer you to a top professional in the business.
You need a decent credit score to approve for a home loan. I’ve seen 590 approve but the rate will be higher. You can work with a credit repair specialist to improve your credit score.
Expect to pay around 3% of the home in closing costs. Closing costs include the fees are the fees the bank charges for taking out a loan, title insurance, and escrow fees to change over the title.
Did you know that you don’t pay for your Realtor? Your Realtor is considered the buyer’s agent. The seller of the home negotiates a rate with the listing (seller’s) agent and the seller pays the buyer’s agent and the listing agent.
Question #2- How Do I Make An Offer On A Home?
After you get pre-approved with a lender and set a budget, you hire a Realtor to show you homes. Hire a Realtor with experience, good communication skills, knowledge of the market you are buying in, a good attitude, trustworthy, and someone who doesn’t push you into purchasing a home.
When you find the home you love, have your Realtor run comps on the property that way they can guide you on what an appropriate offer may be. Your Realtor will share what knowledge they have on the home itself and if anyone else is interested, that way they can set you ip in a position to have the winning offer.
You will sign a purchase contract with your Realtor outlining turns such as purchase price, down payment, concessions (this is what you ask the seller to pay for), when the close of escrow will be, and how long the offer is good until.
You can make offers on homes site unseen and never sign a physical piece of paper. Everything can be done electronically, even signing legal paperwork! Just make sure that your Realtor is tech-savvy for this convenience. In Real Estate, “Time is of the essence,” and everything is time sensitive and documents signed electronically is a big time saver when you are in a time crunch.
Question #3 What Happens After My Offer Is Accepted?
When your offer gets accepted, you will deposit your earnest money with the escrow company. Your earnest money is the good faith monetary value that ensures that you are serious about buying the home. You will then be in the period of “Due Diligence,” which is also known as the inspection period. Your Realtor will give you recommendations on inspectors and will facilitate the whole process.
After your inspection period is over (usually about 10-days after contract acceptance), your Realtor and you will write a “wish list” of repairs and the seller will have 5 days to respond to whether or not they will honor all or some of the repairs. This is also when you can ask for concessions/money from the seller to fix a problem instead of them actually fixing something before the close of escrow.
If the seller response is unsatisfactory, you can cancel the contract and you will get your earnest money back. The only money you would be out is the money you paid the inspectors to investigate the home.
If the seller response is satisfactory, the transaction continues. If using a loan, your lender will have an appraisal done to make sure the home is worth the amount they are lending to you.
If the appraisal comes up short, your Realtor can renegotiate the purchase price. If the home appraises at value, the loan gets approved and the loan gets clear to close and the documents will be sent to the title company. The title company will make sure there are no liens on the home and will issue the title insurance and get the loan and title documents signed so you can get the keys to your new home!
When using a lender, the whole process from offer acceptance to close of escrow is around 30-40 days.
Are you thinking about buying your very first home in Tucson, AZ? Please feel free to contact me to go over your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org. 520-869-3176.
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The Catalina Foothills, simply referred to as “The Foothills” by Tucson locals, is on the North side of Tucson, on the Southern side of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Foothills is considered anything North of River, East of Oracle Road and West of Sabino Canyon Road. The Coronado National Forest is the Northern boundary of the Foothills. Development of the Catalina Foothills began in the 1920s and prior to that, the area was Federal trust land and was used as open grazing for cattle. This affluent area features some of the most expensive homes in land in all of Arizona. The housing in the foothills is unique, ranging from some of the oldest and most charming homes in all of Tucson, to affordable condos and townhomes, to modern/contemporary dwellings.
The Santa Catalina Mountain Range is Tucson’s most famous mountain range with its spectacular peaks and it is home to Mount Lemmon and Sky Valley, the Southern-most ski resort in all of the United States. The Catalina Foothills neighborhood has incredible hiking, spectacular resorts and golf courses, amazing restaurants, upscale shopping, famous art galleries, and awesome views of the city and mountains because of its elevation. The Catalina Foothills is also home to the highest-ranked public school in all of Arizona. This article will touch upon all of these amenities.
According to Niche.com, the Catalina Foothills School District ranks best overall district on all of Arizona. There are 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and one high school in the district. The Foothills also has private and charter schools. Click on the links below to find out more information about each individual school.
Southern Arizona has a rich arts culture and some of the most famous art pieces are located in galleries and museums in the Catalina Foothills. Learn about the galleries by clicking on the links below.
The Tanque Verde Valley is nestled in the valley between where the Catalina and Rincon mountains ranges meet. The landscape is very green and lush because of the close proximity to the mountains and this area gets much of the rainfall flowing off of the mountains. There are large washes and creeks running through the Tanque Verde Valley and the two largest ones are the Tanque Verde Wash and the Bear Canyon Creek. There are several natural hot springs in the area, making the Tanque Verde Valley very unique to the rest of Tucson. Also, because the two mountains border the Tanque Verde Valley, the area has little room for growth so the population is low. Zoning ordinances require dwellings to be on larger lots which makes this area a highly desirable place to live in Tucson. The Tanque Verde Valley has become an affluent community with a rich ranching and farming history and still has a significant equestrian presence. According to the most recent census, the median household income is one of the highest in all of Arizona. The Tanque Verde Valley has amenities such as parks, above average public schools, churches, golf, hiking, restaurants lodging, and shopping. This article is going to touch upon these community amenities.
There’s no doubt about it that the Tanque Verde Valley has some of the most amazing hiking in all of Arizona. Here is a list of some great hikes in the area:
Tanque Verde Falls Trailhead-783P+Q4, Tanque Verde, AZ 85749
Seven Falls VIA the Bear Canyon Trailhead– 5150 N. Bear Canyon Rd.
Sabino Canyon Trail #23 VIA the Bear Canyon Trailhead– 5150 N. Bear Canyon Rd.
Agua Caliente Trailhead– 3798 N .Cam Cantil #3600
La Milagrosa Trailhead– 4996 N. Avenida De Suzenu
Douglas Springs Trailhead– 14306 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tanque Verde Unified School District has two elementary schools, a junior high, and a high school. All four schools in TVUSD are highly-ranked and 75% of the students have scored above average on standardized tests.
Tanque Verde Elementary (Pre-K-6)- 2600 N. Fennimore Ave.
Agua Caliente Elementary (K-6)- 11420 E. Limberlost Rd.
Emily Gray (7-8)- 11150 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tanque Verde High School– 4201 N. Melpomene Way
Tucson Unified School District has one elementary school in the Tanque Verde Valley. Collier Elementary is a very small school and test scores are slightly above the state averages.
Collier Elementary (K-5)- 3900 N. Bear Canyon Rd.
Sabino High School- 5000 N. Bowes Rd.
The Tanque Verde Valley has one public charter school, Hermosa Montessori. Hermosa Montessori was labeled an “excelling” school, which is the highest rank that awarded by the state.
Hermosa Montessori (Pre-K-8)- 12051 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Tanque Verde Lutheran Preschool– 8625 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Real Kids Preschool– 3353 N. Houghton Rd.
Hermosa Montessori Preschool– 12051 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Tanque Verde Pre-K– 2600 N. Fennimore Ave.
La Petite Academy– 8940 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tanque Verde Lutheran Church, located at 8625 E. Tanque Verde Rd., TVLC offers 3 unique services, a Saturday 5pm service, a traditional 9:15am Sunday service, and a 10:30am Sunday contemporary service.
Desert Skies United Methodist Church, located at 3255 N. Houghton Rd., has 2 services on Sunday mornings, 8:30am and 10:00am.
Hope Church, located at 3255 N. Houghton Rd., is a non-denominational Christian church with one service at 10:30am on Sundays.
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, located at 300 N. Tanque Verde Loop Rd., has three weekend masses: Saturday at 4:30pm, and Sunday at 7:45am and 9:45am. There is also mass Monday-Friday at 8:00am.
Church of Latter Day Saints, located at 9541 E. Snyder Rd., is a ward located in the Tanque Verde Valley. Please visit https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org for more information on times throughout the week.
Rincon Mountain Presbyterian, located at 8445 E. Tanque Verde Rd., has one Sunday 10:00am service. Sunday school is at 9:00am on Sundays.
The Bridge, a nondenominational church located at 8355 E. Tanque Verde Rd., has one Saturday service at 5:00pm and two Sunday services at 9:30am and 11:00am.
Oasis Church, located at 8961 E. Tanque Verde Rd., has two Sunday services. One at 9:00am and one at 11:00am.
–Forty-Niner Country Club Golf Club, located at 12000 E. Tanque Verde Rd., is a 110-acre golf course that opened in 1961. The golf course was designed around a wooded riverbed and has beautiful Rincon and Catalina mountain views, mature mesquite, cottonwood, eucalyptus and weeping willow trees and a couple of lakes. There is a driving range on the grounds and it is open to the public.
–Arizona National Golf Club, located at 9777 E. Sabino Greens Dr., is a public golf course with a diverse 6,785-yard layout, that has been noted as being particularly “challenging.” Nestled right up again the Catalina Mountains, this course has spectacular mountain views, forests of saguaros, and nine natural springs.
Le Buzz– 9121 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #125
Rincon Mountain Grill– 12000 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Bear Canyon Pizza– 8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #335
Fortinatos– 9100 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Viv’s Cafe– 8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #361
The Gardens– 8991 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
The Barnyard– 11011 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Taco Giro– 9165 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Risky Business– 8848 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Firetruck Brewing Company– 9155 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #177
Viv’s Cafe– 8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Safeway– 9125 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Walgreens– 8980 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
CVS– 8920 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Dollar Tree– 9135 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
In the Tanque Verde Valley there are authentic ranch-like bed and breakfasts, a large dude ranch resort, and many privately owned Airbrbs. Here is a list of some of the B & Bs and resorts:
The Casitas at Desert Springs – 9690 E. Sabino Greens Dr.
Tanque Verde Ranch– 4301 E. Speedway Blvd.
Desert Trails Bed & Breakfast– 12851 E. Speedway Blvd.
The Casitas at Smokey Springs Ranch– 1451 N. Smokey Springs Rd.
Karrel’s Double K Ranch– 3930 N. Smokey Topaz Ln.
Jeremiah Inn Bed and Breakfast– 10921 E. Snyder Rd.
Are you thinking about buying or selling a home in the Tanque Verde Valley? Please feel free to contact me to go over your needs: email@example.com. 520-869-3176.
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The cooler weather is approaching and the first day of Fall is today- September 22nd! It’s time to enjoy some family-friendly activities! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 10 things to do with the family in Tucson around this time of year. 1. The Gaslight Theatre The Gaslight Theatre’s Wizard Of The Rings- Running… Continue reading 10 Family-Friendly Fall Activities in Tucson
1- Beautiful Scenery The Tucson area is nestled between 6 mountain ranges. The Catalina Mountains to the North, Rincon Mountains to the East, Santa Rita Mountains to the Southeast, Huachuca Mountains to the South, Tucson Mountains to the West, and Tortolita Mountains to the Northwest. The sky is almost always clear in Tucson and Tucson… Continue reading Top 5 Reasons to Move to Tucson
Are you visiting Tucson, new to living in Tucson, or new to being a parent? As a season parent and Tucsonan, I compiled this list of The Top 15 Things To Do With Kids In Tucson.
1 – Skate Country
Located on Tucson’s Eastside, on 7980 E. 22nd St., Skate Country is Tucson’s largest roller skating rink. Open 7 days a week with sessions throughout the day to suit the needs of all skaters, Skate Country offers an experience for everyone. “Skate mates” are available for novice skaters, and they even have a small practice rink. They also have games and races at most of the sessions and they offer prizes. They have a wide variety of food and treats at their snack bar, as well as a store with top-of-the-line new and used skates for purchase. Don’t have your own skates? Don’t worry, Skate Country offers rentals in any size. Also, the entire rink has some pretty amazing murals of famous musicians, which is my personal favorite thing about Skate Country. For more information, please visit: https://skatecountry.com
2– Wild Katz
Centrally located in Tucson, on 4629 E. Speedway Blvd., Wild Katz is a large indoor playground for kids. There are a number of large slides, a dodge ball arena, a ninja warrior course, rock walls, a ball pit, and a toddler area perfect for the little guys who don’t want to have to dodge the bigger kids. Wild Katz offers affordable birthday party options and has a snack bar with a large variety of fountain sodas and other treats. For more information, please visit: https://wldktz.com
3- Happy Foot Farm
Located on Tucson’s Northwest side, at 2405 N. Wetmore Rd., Happy Foot Farm is “not your normal petting zoo,” according to their website. Happy Foot Farm has traditional petting zoo animals, including chickens and goats, but also has animals that you would only see in a zoo, including capybaras, porcupines, Patagonia maras, emus, and kangaroos. In fact, Happy Foot Farm is one of the only petting zoos in the United States where you can feed these exotic animals. A tour guide takes you through the farm to interact with these exotic animals and it is a fun and educational thing to do with the entire family. For more information, please visit: https://tucsonpettingzoo.com
Located in Tucson’s downtown, on 119 E. Toole Ave., PlayFormance offers a parkour program and play-based fitness program for every age and stage, from beginners to advanced. Based on a challenging physical curriculum, this is the perfect place to get your children tired from all of the physical exercise and fun. They even have “nerf battles” in their nerf playground. Playformance also offers camps throughout the year. For more information, please visit: https://www.playformancetucson.com
5- Resort Staycation
My personal favorite resort to have a staycation with kids is La Paloma and Star Pass Marriott is a close second. Let’s start with La Paloma. Located at 3800 E. Sunrise Drive on Tucson’s Northside in the Catalina Foothills, La Paloma offers a large water slide and large swimming pools and spas enjoyable for the entire family. They have a swim-up bar and grill and offer special vacation packages for Tucson locals. Be on the look-out on your Groupon app for those. The JW Star Pass Marirott is located at 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., on Tucson’s West side, and has a lot of fun things to do for kids as well, including a large lazy river to float down. The JW Marriott also has a few large pools and a large water slide. For more information, please visit: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tuswi-the-westin-la-paloma-resort-and-spa/ & https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/tussp-jw-marriott-tucson-starr-pass-resort-and-spa/overview/
6- The Sonoran Desert Museum
Located on Tucson’s far West side, just beyond the Tucson Mountains, on 2021 N. Kinney Rd., the Sonoran Desert Museum attracts visitors from around the world with its interpretation of the Sonoran Desert, one of the most diverse deserts on earth. An AZA-accredited zoo, the Desert Museum has 21-acres with two miles of walking paths through various habitats. The Desert Museum has 230 animal species, including Mountain Lions and Big Horn Sheep, and 1200 types of plants, including a beautiful cactus garden. There are mineral and art exhibitions, and even a man-made cave that strikingly resembles a real cave. In addition, there are restaurants, gift shops, and even an aquarium on the grounds. They even have an exhibit where you can touch live sting reys. For more information, please visit: https://www.desertmuseum.org
Located at 4861 N. Stone Ave., Defy Tucson is Pima County’s largest trampoline and extreme air sports park, offering fun for families, gymnasts and friends. They have basketball hoops on trampolines, a ninja warrior obstacle course, a zip line, just to name a few of their amazing attractions. They offer an amazing venue for kids birthday parties, group events, corporate events, company team building, holiday parties and they also have a summer camp. For more information, please visit: https://www.defytucson.com
8- Trail Dust Town
Located at 6541 E. Tanque Verde Rd., Trail Dust Town has fun for all ages! See the amazing Pistoleros Wild West Stunt Show or take a ride through the “West” on a real “mini” train that even goes through a mine. Enjoy a spin on the vintage Carousel or Circle-the-Wagons Ferris Wheel. Try your hand at panning for gold or test your skill in the shooting gallery! The shops and restaurants are unique and the grounds are impeccable. For more information, please visit: https://www.traildusttown.com
Located at 221 E. Wetmore Rd., Funtastics has mini-golf, a large arcade, bumper boats and cars, laser tag and more. Kiddie Land has rides geared to accommodate younger guest. The Cactus Springs Water Park is a perfect place to cool off in the summer. Cactus Springs Water Park attraction has multiple levels, featuring colorful water slides and multiple gigantic tipping buckets that dump 1000 gallons of water every 10 minutes. You can rent a cabana or enjoy sitting in the sun on a lounge chair while the kids play. For more information, please visit: https://www.funtasticks.com
Located at 6503 E. Tanque Verde Rd., Golf-n-Stuff features unique miniature golf courses, go-karts, bumper boats and laser tag. In addition, Golf-n-Stuff has lush landscaping and water features. Golf-n-Stuff also has a batting cage and the most current and up-to-date video and prize arcade games. If you are planning a group outing, birthday party, company event, sports banquet, or just a special get together, look no further. According to their old commercial “Golf N’ Stuff can’t get enough.” For more information, please visit: https://golfnstuff.com/tucson/info.html
11- Mount Lemmon Day Trip
Mount Lemmon has a summit elevation of 9,159 feet, which is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is located in the Coronado National Forest and is an average of 15-30 degrees cooler than Tucson. In the summer months, you can take the kids to Rose Canyon Lake to beat the heat and fish, or you can take them on a hike and let them play in a stream. In the winter, it snows often and you can take the kids to Ski Valley to ski, which is the Southern-most ski resort in the United States, or you can just find a place to play in the snow or sled. At the top of Mount Lemmon is a town called Summer Haven and it has restaurants like the Cookie Cabin, the Iron Door Restaurant and Sawmill Run. Creative fudge flavors at Mt. Lemmon General Store & Gift Shop satisfy any sweet tooth. For more information, please visit: https://www.skithelemmon.com
12- The Tucson Children’s Museum
Located downtown, at 200 S. Sixth Ave., the Tucson Children’s Museum provides fun, hands-on learning experiences for kids. It has 17,000-square feet and 13 exhibit areas filled with components that encourage kids to build, create, imagine, explore and discover. There is also a large outdoor playground. The Tucson Children’s Museum is play-based learning at its best! For more information, please visit: https://www.childrensmuseumtucson.org
13- Hiking Trails
Number 13- Hiking Trails. There is no doubt about it that Tucson has some of the best hiking in the United States. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do with my kids. My personal favorite thing to do after it rains is to take my kids to running washes and let the kids play in the water. It truly feels like a beach and my kids can play for hours. My favorite creeks include the Bear Canyon Trail Head and the Tanque Verde wash. Another Tucson favorite is the hike to 7 Falls where at the end of the hike, there are 7 waterfalls leading to large pools of water. Make sure you bring a bathing suit, plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. And please educate yourself on what a flash flood is before venturing out by washes especially during monsoon season. For more information, please visit: http://www.arizonahikersguide.com/all-hikes
14- Reid Park Zoo
Located minutes from downtown, at 3400 E. Zoo Ct., the zoo has been a local favorite for generations. There are over 250 animals from around the world. Take a ride on the Cox Wildlife Carousel and the Zoo train, and sign up for behind-the-scenes for a once in a lifetime tour. The zoo also offers the unforgettable “feed a giraffe experience.” The zoo also has holiday events, including Boo at the Zoo for Halloween and Zoo Lights around the holidays. After enjoying a zoo, go play at the park where there is a large duck pond, water falls, and playgrounds. For more information, please visit: https://reidparkzoo.org
15- The Pima Air & Space Museum
Located at 6000 E. Valencia Rd., the Pima Air & Space Museum features about 400 historic aircrafts, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. Sitting on 80 acres, the museum opened its doors to the public in May of 1976. Over the past forty years, the museum has grown immensely and today encompasses six indoor exhibit hangars (three dedicated to WWII). The Pima Air and Space Museum also offers exclusive tours of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Known as the “Boneyard,” it is the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility. For more information, please visit: https://pimaair.org
So, there you have it, the top 15 things for kids to do in Tucson! Here is a video of the same information:
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Are you new to Southern Arizona and wondering what some of those funny-looking plants with thorns are? This post is all about cacti (plural for cactus). The many species of cactus is what makes Tucson so unique because Tucson is in the Sonoran Desert. I took a class while getting my bachelor’s degree back in the day at the University of Arizona called “Arizona Plant Life,” and learned that Tucson’s vegetation is part of the Sonoran Desert Scrub. I am going to go over a few of the cacti and point (pun intended!) out the ones to particularly look out for while hiking or just taking a walk to the mailbox!
Saguaro Cactus 🌵
Probably the most iconic cactus in the Sonoran Desert is the saguaro. Saguaros are the largest cactuses and, like trees, grow arms, and most do not grow their first arm until they are 50-years old. An extremely slow growing cactus, the saguaro lives 150-200 years and can grow to be 40-60 feet tall. When they die, the woody ribs can be used for furniture and natives used the ribs for roofs on houses. Saguaros are covered in protective spines, blooms white flowers in the spring and grows red fruit in the summer.
Prickly Pear Cactus
There are many different types of prickly pear cactus. Some prickly pears are green and some are purple but all of them have flat pads. Most have 3″ thorns on the pad, as well as little hairs that are quite pokey and are not fun to get out of your skin if you get stuck because the thorns are so tiny. Yellow flowers emerge in May and June and red fruit, known as the prickly pear fruit, emerges in late summer. You can eat the prickly pear fruit when cooked and it makes a delicious jelly. Prickly pear cacti live for about 20 years and are fast growing.
The ocotillo is a very unique cactus and is essentially a plant with a root with a bunch of long sticks with thorns sprouting from the root. After a good rain, usually in the summer, the ocotillo sticks grow green leaves. The ocotillo blooms a pretty red flower “cluster” once a year between April and June. Ocotillos live around 60 years and get up to 20 feet high. Ocotillos also have a practical purpose in that they have been used for centuries as fences to keep out introducers.
The cholla cactus, also known as the “jumping cactus,” is one to look out for because it literally jumps at you and attaches to your skin if you accidentally brush up against it. They have little stems that grow like a chain and if one chain jumps off of the plant, it causes no harm to the plant and harm to the thing it attaches to! The spines on the stems are shaped like a fish-hook and that is why they hurt so badly when they attach to skin. Chollas are very fast-growing, almost like a weed and it blooms in the summer. Birds take advantage of its hostile thorns by using the plant to protect their young from predators.
Like other types of cactuses, there are many species of the barrel cactus and some get between 3 and 9 feet tall, though most are short, stumpy and round with large thorns. The barrel cactus lives to around 100 years old and the flowers typically bloom in April. As the flower wilts, pineapple-shaped fruit forms. Although you can technically eat the fruit, the fruit is extremely bitter and natives only ate the fruit in extreme situations where no other food was available.
There are other types of cactuses but the saguaro, prickly pear, ocotillo, cholla and barrel are the most common in Tucson. All of those cactuses have thorns, but particularly beware of the cholla cactus that literally jumps up at you if you get too close. Do not be too afraid of these funny-looking plants though. They are beautiful and if you’re new to Tucson, you will enjoy seeing them bloom every year. You just might find yourself on the side of the road taking pictures of them (like me!)
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This post is all about Tucson’s suburbs! Although Tucson has a population of a little over a half a million, combined with the entire metropolitan area, the population is a little over one million people. This article will go over four of Tucson’s suburbs: Oro Valley, Vail, Marana, and Sahuarita.
Oro Valley, Arizona
Oro Valley, Arizona is a suburb to the Northwest of Tucson and has some amazing scenery, which includes the Santa Catalina Mountains to the East and Tortolito Mountains to the North. Oro Valley has a population of 45,000 and, interestingly, the majority of the residence own their own home. A quarter of the residence are over the age of 65 and many own properties in other places in the United States. Tucsonans often times refer to this type of Tucson resident as a “Snow Bird.” There are many golf courses, country clubs, and hiking trails in the area. There are also multiple community events hosted in Oro Valley, including the Oro Valley Festival of Arts, the Oro Valley Music Festival and the Oro Valley Triathlon. Referred to by the Arizona Daily Star Newspaper as the “Tech Mecca of Southern Arizona,” Oro Valley hosts ten high-tech firms. The public schools in Oro Valley are in the Amphitheatre School District and Oro Valley is home to several private and charter schools, including the renown Basis School. Oro Valley has many family-oriented attractions like the Children’s Museum and the Farmer’s Market at Steam Pump Ranch, Aquatic Center, Honey B Canyon Park, and the Gaslight Music Hall just to name of the few. Most of the homes in Oro Valley are newer than 30 years and are in track home communities. Although the home prices are more expensive than Tucson, the crime rate is low and the city is kept up nicely, which makes Oro Valley an amazing place to live.
Vail, Arizona is a suburb to the Southeast of Tucson and is unincorporated, which means it is not technically a city. The Rincons Mountains, which is home to Saguaro National Park East, are to the North of Vail, and the Santa Rita Mountains, home to Madera Canyon, are to the South. The population in Vail is around 15,000 and the homes in Vail are lower price-wise to homes in Tucson and some of the neighborhoods are track communities and some are more rural-type homes on acreage. The Vail Unified School District is award-winning and has been highlighted throughout the country and has an A+ distinction. In general, Vail is made up of families who moved to Vail because of the school district and for the lower cost of living. In fact, 30% of residents in Vail are under the age of 18, and 60% are between the ages of 18 and 65. Close to Interstate-10, Vail offers an easy access to other cities in Southern Arizona where many of the residents are employed. Attractions include Colossal Cave, which is one of the largest dry caves in North America, horseback riding, the Cienega Creek Trail Head, the golf course at Del Lago, and the farmer’s market at Rocking K Ranch.
Marana is a suburb of Tucson located to the Northwest of Tucson and Oro Valley. Marana’s population is growing and is currently right around 50,000 and the median age of residents is 37. Located by the Interstate-10, living in Marana is a relatively easy 90-minute commute to Phoenix, which is very convenient for people who commute to Phoenix for work or for people who like to attend professional sporting events. Marana features beautiful landscapes, with the Tucson Mountains, home of Saguaro National Monument West, to the West and the Tortalita Mountains to the East. Like many areas in Southern Arizona, Marana has ranching and farming in its history and many of the homes are on acreage. Marana has several Master Plan Communities so many of the homes are track homes. There are many things to enjoy in Marana, such as Sombrero Peak and Cathedral, the Wild Burro hiking trail, the Gallery Golf Course at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Premium Outlet Mall, Dove Mountain Park and Gladden Farms Park and splash pad. Seasonally, the Marana Pumpkin Patch has the largest pumpkin patch in all of Pima County open to the public in the month of October, and is truthfully, more like an amusement park with its large variety of kid-friendly activities.
Sahuarita, Arizona is along the Interstate-19 and is a suburb 15-miles South of Tucson and is about a 40-minute drive North of the US/Mexico border. To the East of Sahuarita are the Santa Rita Mountains, home of Madera Canyon. Running through Sahuarita is the Santa Cruz River, which runs typically during a wet monsoon season. Sahuarita, which means “Little Saguaro,” has a population of roughly 35,000 and the median age is 35. According to Safewise.com, Sahuarita is Among the Top 10 safest cities in Arizona and it attracts families raising children. The Master Plan Community of Rancho Sahuarita started building homes around 2000 and most of the homes are new track homes with a community-feel. Close to Interstate I-19, many Sahuarita residents commute to work in Tucson or Green Valley. Madera Canyon is Southeast of the town and offers hiking trails and bird/nature watching. Other attractions include the Titan Missle Museum, ASCRO Mineral/Open Pit Mine, San Xavier Del Bac, which is the oldest European structure in Arizona, and Green Valley Pecan Company, the largest pecan orchard in the world. There are many family-oriented activities, mostly centered around Rancho Sahuarita and Sahuarita Lake, which is a 10-acre man-made lake, which lends for a day of fishing, biking, and hiking.
So there you have it… the four largest suburbs of Tucson in a nutshell. If you are looking to buy real estate in Tucson, I’d love to help you decide which area fits your family’s criteria!
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