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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

I was making yearly treks to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum long before I was living in Tubac.  In fact, for the past 22 years I have watched both the Museum and my two sons (now 28 and 26) grow up during our summer visits to Grandpa and Grandma. 

My dad has been a card carrying member of the museum for as long as I can remember and there was always an abundance of free passes for our visits.  Trips to the Desert Museum to see what was new and visit "old friends" -- my sons' favorite were the playful and wildly entertaining prairie dogs--to this day are one of the most cherished memories of our trips to Arizona. I look forward to the day when I can introduce my grandson to the Museum!

For nearly a half-century, the Arizona-Sonora Museum has enchanted millions of visitors with it exhibits of live animals in refreshingly natural settings, while also intriguing and instructing them with fascinating educational programs.  The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.  Leading by example, the Museum is a living testament to its mission. 

While visitors flock to the Museum for its rich experiences, what they may not realize is that it is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden.  It has gained worldwide repute in the scientific community as an institution committed to researching and protecting the land, plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. 

Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. There are almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert.  Throughout the grounds exhibits recreate the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert region so realistically that you find yourself eye-to-eye with mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters and so much more.

One of my personal favorites happens to be watching the Birds of Prey in free flight...it is definitely a mesmerizing experience as you will see by this amazing video, produced by Unique Views Of Nature.


However, nothing can replace seeing it in person so make plans to visit the Museum...I'd love to hear what you think of this magical place. 

As I wrote in the launch blog for this series titled The Spirit Of Arizona, I want this to be an interactive process so please share your thoughts about a particular topic you would like to see covered.  In order to encourage your comments, I am going to come up with something creative to giveaway with each blog post in this series.

In keeping with this blog's topic, I will be making a $50 donation to the Arizon-Sonora Desert Museum in the winner's name.  To be eligible, leave a comment about this blog--a winner will be drawn from all of the comments submitted.

          JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Low Ball Offer--Before You Say NO....

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

It can be very insulting for a Seller to receive a ridiculously low offer but before you dismiss it out of hand consider this...I had an offer, which was $75,000 less than the Seller was willing to accept, that became a win-win for both the Buyer and the Seller. 

Put Your Emotions Aside...

Don't get so hung up on the ridiculous offer that you fail to realize that any offer means there is someone out there interested in your home.  Remember, an interested Buyer, even one with a less than desirable offer, is a great starting point to getting it sold! 

I know it is hard not to react when you have an offer on the table that is $100,000 less than your asking price, especially when it comes in on a home that is priced at $275,000.  Trust me, it isn't easy for a listing agent to present such an offer.  Please don't shoot the messenger and remember we are REQUIRED to present all offers no matter how absurd. 

My Sellers reacted quite strongly but fortunately took my advice to sleep on it and consider coming back to the Buyers with an offer that was consistent with the market comparables (comps) for their home.  The next day I presented an offer to the Buyers' agent, supported by the comps, that was promptly accepted. 

How Low Will You Go...

Due to all the short sales and foreclosures on the market I believe many Buyers think that any home with a For Sale sign in front can be had for a bargain basement price.  So they are playing this game that I like to call--how low will you go? 

A reasonable counter offer will separate the serious Buyers from those that are just out for the deal of the century.  You'll never know if you have the former or the latter unless you play the game with them. I can say this...there is a very happy Seller in Green Valley, Arizona who, after a restless night, decided to play and was amply rewarded with a SOLD sign in their front yard.

          JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Canoa Ranch In Green Valley Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Come home to picturesque Canoa Ranch, which offers breathtaking views of the lovely Santa Rita Mountains and is home to Southern Arizona's premiere "The Canoa Ranch Golf Club".  Its ideal location includes access to big-city entertainment from within a Southwestern paradise that includes hiking, biking, golf, bird watching and more.  

This age restricted community has homes for sale ranging from the mid $200,000 to low $400,000, including the resort style Wyndham Canoa Ranch Resort. The resort is set on 52 acres, and will feature: 288 units (mostly two-bedroom condos), two championship golf courses, an upscale restaurant, a planned spa and fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool.  Canoa Ranch has the newest of Green Valley’s 13 Recreation Centers, which opened in late 2008 and has amenities that include an indoor saltwater pool, fitness room and a multipurpose room. 

 

Enjoy the following video tours of featured homes  for sale in the upscale, gated community of Canoa Ranch:

To learn more about Canoa Ranch and all it has to offer give Judi a call at 520-241-7780. 

Buying or Selling a home in Green Valley, Arizona?  Judi Monday, CRS, is your Green Valley Real Estate Expert.  She is the owner and top producing agent at RE/MAX Valley Properties in Green Valley, Arizona.  Serving the entire Green Valley, Arizona real estate market including the surrounding communities of Tubac and Sahuarita,  she knows these markets inside and out and is highly skilled in guiding you through the real estate buying and selling processes.  Recognizing that ongoing education is critical to her success in meeting your real estate needs, Judi was awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.

If you are selling or buying a home in Green Valley, call one of Green Valley Arizona's top producing Realtors, Judi Monday, at 520-241-7780 and put her boundless energy to work for you today!

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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6 Questions to Ask Before You Hire A Realtor To Sell Your Home

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

It can be a daunting prospect to choose the right Realtor to represent you in the sale of your home.  But it doesn't have to be if you are pragmatic in your selection process.  Here are 6 questions you should ask each potential candidate before hiring one.

  1. How many homes did you sell last year? 

    The best measure of whether an agent can get the job done for you is their track record.  Recently I listed a higher end home for a homeowner whose previous agent had not sold any homes in the last 8 months.  Needless to say, they were quite frustrated to learn this after their home spent 6 months on the market with barely a nibble.
  2. What designations do you hold?  Designations like Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) show that the agent is committed to their real estate career by investing in advanced training. 
  3. How will you market my home?  The days of putting a For Sale sign in the yard and hoping for the best are long gone.  Look for an agent who does aggressive and innovative marketing, and is leveraging the power of the internet to get your home sold.  Before you list with an agent visit their website--is it professional and engaging to potential Buyers?  Once your house is on the market, check to make sure they have delivered what they promised to you.  At the very least, go to the 3 major public real estate sites:  Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and Realtor.com, and take a look at your listing with a Buyers hat on--does it make your house appealing enough for Buyers to visit it in person? 

  4. How will you keep me informed?  I can't tell you how many people tell me that they hire an agent and never see or hear from them again until there is an offer on the table or it is time to renew the listing.  You deserve to know how your listing is performing as well as what is going on with the real estate market in general. 

  5. Can you provide references?  Ask to talk to at least three clients that the agent assisted.  Call and ask whether they would work with the agent again. 

  6. Are you a REALTOR®?  All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.

          JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Kitt Peak National Observatory

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Kitt Peak National Observatory

Imagine being able to spend a night with the stars--real ones not the Hollywood type.  At the Kitt Peak National Observatory you can do exactly that with their Nightly Observing Program

The world's largest collection of optical telescopes is located high above the Sonoran Desert under the most remarkable night skies you will ever experience. Kitt Peak, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, is home to twenty-four optical and two radio telescopes representing eight astronomical research institutions. 

Kitt Peak is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  There are three guided tours offered daily. 

When you plan your trip to the Kitt Peak National Observatory, keep in mind that it is located at an elevation of 6,875 feet above sea level.  Mountain temperatures vary from the desert floor as much as 15 to 20 degrees and, it is often windy, so dress warmly for your star filled adventure.

As I wrote in the launch blog for this series titled The Spirit Of Arizona, I want this to be an interactive process so please share your thoughts about a particular topic you would like to see covered.  In order to encourage your comments, I am going to come up with something creative to giveaway with each blog post in this series.

In keeping with this blog's topic, I will be making a $50 donation to the Telescope Fund Drive in the winner's name.  The observatory is raising $126,000 to replace a telescope that has been in operation since 1996 at the very start of its public stargazing program.  It has been rebuilt twice and simply has outlived its useful life.  

To be eligible, leave a comment about this blog--a winner will be drawn from all of the comments submitted.

      JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Aging In Place

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The term "aging in place" means living where you have lived for many years or living in a non-healthcare environment and and using products, services and conveniences that enable you stay in your home as circumstances change.   It is estimated that some 70% of seniors spend the rest of their life in the place where they celebrate their 65th birthday.

Rather than moving into an Assisted Living community, a rapidly growing choice of many seniors is to have modifications made to their homes to cope with fading eyesight and restrictions of movement.  Studies have shown that elders remaining in their own home live healthier, safer and happier lives.  The Aging In Place home modification movement is helping today's aging population to remain in their own homes by creating modifications that provide comfort and safety.

With nearly 80 million baby boomers reaching their senior years, Certified Aging-In-Place specialists (CAPS) and the National Association of Home Builders are working toward developing programs that go beyond what is required in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Among other things, the ADA requires ramps at entrances to public buildings and wider bathroom stalls in order to be accessible to wheelchairs.  CAPS is bringing barrier free functions combined with aesthetics into private homes to provide safety in an attractive setting. 

About 27% of today's senior have chosen to live in a NORC, which is a community or neighborhood where residents remain for years, and age as neighbors, until a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community develops. A NORC may refer to a specific apartment building, a street of old single family homes, or a community of diverse developments. 

Green Valley is a unique community 25 miles South of Tucson that qualifies as a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC).  Fair housing laws allow a complex with 80% of its residents over 55, to become officially age restricted.  Except for a few "all age" areas, Green Valley is an age restricted community offering a robust blend of services to the senior population, including 13 Green Valley Recreation Centers that offer an array of social and recreational programs. 

Click here to find a Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) in your area. 

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Hummingbirds of Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                  Hummingbirds Of Arizona

 I could watch these aerodynamic wonders for hours on end and am blessed to live in a scenic paradise that brings fifty or more of them every year to my mountaintop home nestled in the Tumacacori foothills. 

Arizona boasts 18 species of hummingbirds which is more than any other state except Texas.  You can see first hand at least 14 of the species in Ramsey Canyon, which is located within the upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona and is renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty and the diversity of its plant and animal life. 

Hummingbirds are lovingly called the "air show of the avian world" by bird watchers  They can fly in any direction including backwards, and can hover in midair, their wings a blur to the human eye.  There is nothing more magical than watching these flying jewels in action, as beautifully captured in this video by 
Dave at A-Z Photo:

Hummingbird Facts:

  • Even though the hummingbird's brain is the size of a pea, it is comparatively larger than the human brain.
  • A hummingbird weighs no more than 3 paper clips.
  • Hummingbirds breathe more than four times per second while resting.
  • Hummingbird wings move between 50 beats per second to as high as 200 beats per second.
  • Hummingbirds are confirmed sugar addicts--drinking the nectar of as many as 3,000 flowers a day up to 75 % of their body weight.  You would have to eat 20,000 calories daily or 50 pounds of sugar to keep pace with just one hummingbird.

As I wrote in the launch blog for this series titled The Spirit Of Arizona, I want this to be an interactive process so please share your thoughts about a particular topic you would like to see covered.  In order to encourage your comments, I am going to come up with something creative to giveaway with each blog post in this series.

In keeping with this blog's topic, I will be giving away a copy of my most coveted book on hummingbirds, titled "Hummingbirds" by Melanie Votaw.  Hummingbirds is your passport to their amazing world.  Learn the secrets of their unusual feathers and wing structure, take a look at their typical work day and learn how to attract and photograph hummingbirds in your own backyard. 

To be eligible leave a comment about this blog--a winner will be drawn from all of the comments submitted.

       

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS              

520-241-7780

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Green Valley, AZ July 2010 Real Estate Statistics

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

While July brought spectacular Monsoon activity to the Green Valley, Arizona area, it was a less than stellar selling month.  In fact, at 34 homes sold in July 2010, this was nearly 1/2 the 56 sold in July 2009.  On a more positive note, the average sales price showed a slight increase over last month:  $167,056 as compared to $165,334 but continues to lag behind the average selling price of $183,801 for the same time period last year. 

 The number of active listings remained relatively stable at 785, and the average listing price in July was $246,850 as compared to $248,810 in June. 

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

GREEN VALLEY

(includes Quail Creek & surrounding subdivisions)

580

SAHUARITA

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

  95

AREAS S & SE & SW OF GREEN VALLEY

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

  20

AREAS N & NE & NW OF SAHUARITA

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

    2

TUBAC & TUMACACORI

 

  64
TUCSON     1
RIO RICO   23

OTHER

(includes Nogales, etc)

    0
   

There were 39 homes sold in July 2010, down from 55 sold in June.  The breakdown by area for those sales were as follows:

GREEN VALLEY                                                34
SAHUARITA   4
TUBAC   0
VAIL, NOGALES, RIO RICO, ARIVACA/AMADO   1

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

  2009 2010
Houses Sold 494 538
Days On Market 169 174
Average Selling Price $183,801 $167,056
Median Price $164,000 $151,250

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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