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Paying It Forward--Valley Assistance Services

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

A movie titled Pay It Forward, released by Warner Brothers in 2000, had a profound impact on my life.  The storyline is endearingly sweet and really quite simple but one that packs a wallop of a message.

Pay It ForwardA young boy, Trevor, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, takes to heart an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher.   The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people.  His efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.

The novel of the same name, written by Cathrine Ryan Hyde, gave birth not only to the movie but also the Pay It Forward Foundation and a social movement of inspirational and random acts of kindness.

Having had the best year of my relatively young 3 year real estate career, I found myself reflecting on this movie and wondering how I could pay forward the gratitude I feel for the many blessings in my life.   In a synergistic moment at a recent MLS meeting, a woman named Chris Kang spoke to us about an organization I had never heard of called Valley Assistance Services

As soon as I heard their motto, "The helping hand forward for Valley Assistance Servicesthose in need", I knew I had found my way to pay it forward to those who need it most.  Valley Assistance Services mission statement is: "connecting seniors and families with appropriate and essential social services, to reinforce independence, resilience, and create an improved quality of life".   They are dedicated to providing hope and empowerment to seniors and families so they can sustain their independence. 

I love the fact that this organization is committed to helping isolated seniors stay connected in life so they can remain in their own homes and live their lives with independence and purpose.  It is a cause that pulls at my heart strings as I have had a number of personal experiences over the past 3 years with seniors who have found themselves alone and without resources at a time in their lives that they are unable to solve their circumstances without help. 

Being in the business of "homes", whether I am helping Buyers find the one of their dreams or assisting Sellers in selling one that no longer suits their needs, I see on a daily basis the joy that comes with home ownership.  And, I have shared the sorrow of someone who can no longer stay in the home they love. 

I want to help people be able to stay in their homes and beginning in November, I started paying it forward with a commitment to donate $100 from every one of my real estate sales over the next year to Valley Assistance Services.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of my clients whose support and continued referrals have made my business successful.  It is because of you that I am able to give back in such a personally meaningful way and in doing so, help to change a part of the world that I call home.  

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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DeGrazia Gallery In The Sun

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     DeGrazia Gallery In The Sun DeGrazia Galley In The SunKnown today as the "Legendary Landmark Of Art and Architecture", DeGrazia Galley In Sun began as a small construction project in the early 1950s. Designed and built by the acclaimed Arizona artist, Ted DeGrazia, who developed his "Gallery In The Sun" into a 10-acre National Historic District. 

DeGrazia believed "my best painting is the next one.  I haven't painted it yet.  I am only in competition with myself and that's tough, because I believe that each thing I do must be better in some way than the last".  While that may have been the case with his works of art, the heritage he left behind in his biggest creation, the gallery, is truly a masterpiece that has no equal. 

Following a regional tradition of building a chapel or shrine in thanks for the land, DeGrazia's vision was to create an adobe mission built from the ground floor up at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains.  The artist made design sketches then gathered a crew of friends who made traditional adobe bricks with soil mixed with the water DeGrazia hauled up in his Model A. The bricks were baked onsite by the Arizona sun.

 

With its rock floors, interior murals and open-air roof, the Mission in the Sun was built in honor of Padre Kino and dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose image DeGrazia painted onto the adobe altar.  The iron door, a replica of the Territorial Yuma prison gate, opened to the public in 1965, and the tradition continues as visitors from around the world flock to this legendary landmark of art and architecture that's now surrounded by a booming metropolis.

There are six permanent collections of paintings that trace historical events and native cultures of the Southwest. Rotating exhibitions display some of the 15,000 DeGrazia originals housed at the gallery, including oils, watercolors, sketches, serigraphs, lithographs, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry. A consignment room displays DeGrazia originals available for purchase, while the gift shop offers a wide selection of reproductions.

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Tombstone Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Tombstone, Arizona

The scrappy town of Tombstone, known as "The Town Too Tough To Die", is one of the best preserved representations of our 1880 western heritage with its original buildings from that era, not to mention the many artifacts that can be found throughout the area's museums.  A visit to this Historical American Landmark, is a step back into time. 

Walking the dusty streets you'll follow in the footsteps of Western legends like Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Virgil, Johnny Ringo and Ike Clanton who roamed them more than 130 years ago.  In fact, during your visit you will mingle with their feisty spirits embodied in the performers who re-enact the gun battle that put Tombstone on the map. 

Tombstone was founded in 1877 by a prospector named Ed Schieffelin.  Ed was staying at what was then called Camp Huachuca (wa-chu-ka) as part of a scouting exhibition against the Chiricahua (chir-i-cow-uh) Apaches.  During his time there he would venture out into the wilderness "looking for rocks", ignoring the warnings from the other soldiers in the camp, who said the only rock he would find would be his tombstone.  He did eventually find his stone and it was silver.  He named his first mine The Tombstone after the warnings he had received from the soldiers.

You'll want to make a day of your trip to Tombstone and perhaps a night of it as well.   There is plenty to see and do in this authentic and wild Western town that is still home to about 1,500 residents who believe in preserving the history and rich heritage of the "Wildest Town in the West", and a draw for visitors from all over the world.  From old time photo studios to gunfights, horse-drawn carriage rides, tours of historic sites, museums and more.  Tombstone celebrates its colorful history throughout the year with many special events that bring the town and its varied history to life.

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Reid Park Zoo

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Reid Park Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.  With a vast range of animals that include an African Lion, Dwarf Caiman, and Malayan Tiger to mention but a few of the hundreds of animals that call Reid Park home:

Meet The Animals

You can choose to experience the Zoo on foot or take the Zoo Train which located just outside the front gate of the Reid Park Zoo.  Each ride is just $2 and the train runs during most business hours depending on visitation levels. 

There is plenty to see and do for all ages, including the Kenya Get Wet--an interactive wet play area where you will most certainly get wet...so bring a towel.  In the Wild Ideas exhibit you will find live animals and hands-on exhibits and at times, games or crafts.

The staff is dedicated to keeping the Reid Park Zoo experience new and exciting no matter how often you visit so be sure to check out the Daily Activities schedule at the Zoo gate.  You will often find new opportunities to interact with the staff and animals. 

Want to impress your family and friends?  The entire facility with its lush ground and meandering pathways, is available for rental after the Zoo closes to the public.  You can enjoy anything from a black tie affair to a casual and fun Bar-B-Que.

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Green Valley, AZ October 2010 Real Estate Statistics

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Roller CoasterOctober resembled a roller coaster with both ups and downs for the greater Green Valley Real Estate market.  As is typical for this time of the year, the number of active listings skyrocketed from 766 in September to 833 in October while during the same time period the average listing price dropped to $224,795 from $240,356 in September. 

A glimmer of hope lies in the average selling price which has shown signs of recovery since January.

AVERAGE SELLING PRICE BY MONTH FOR 2010:

JANUARY 2010 $160,589
FEBRUARY 2010 $164,601
MARCH 2010 $158,559
APRIL 2010 $164,599
MAY 2010 $162,135
JUNE 2010 $165,334
JULY 2010 $167,056
AUGUST 2010 $167,884
SEPTEMBER 2010 $167,543
OCTOBER 2010
$168,547

The breakdown for the active residential listings as of October 31, 2010 were as follows:

GREEN VALLEY

(includes Quail Creek & surrounding subdivisions)

688

SAHUARITA

(includes subdivisions N of Duval Mine Road & Duval Mine Rd.

  93

AREAS S & SE & SW OF GREEN VALLEY

(includes Elephant Head, Amado, Aravaca, Montana Vista & Lakewood)

  18

AREAS N & NE & NW OF SAHUARITA

(includes Vail, Curley, Horn Ranch, Ocotillo Ranch, etc)

    5

TUBAC & TUMACACORI

  60
   
RIO RICO   15

OTHER

(includes Tucson, Nogales, etc)

    4
   

Number of homes sold in October were on par at 40 with the number sold in September.  The breakdown by area for those sales were as follows:

GREEN VALLEY                                                28
SAHUARITA

10

TUBAC
 
VAIL, NOGALES, RIO RICO, ARIVACA/AMADO   2

Following is the 2009 to 2010 year-to-date comparison for the time period of January 1 through October 31, 2010:

  2009 2010
Houses Sold 618 662
Days On Market 163 172
Average Selling Price $180,080 $168,547
Median Price $160,000 $150,000

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221