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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         

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Saguaro National Park

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Saguaro National Park 

They stand majestically and silently at attention, silhouetted in the setting sun like some alien form of life with extended arms sprouting every which way.  Their height is remarkable when one considers they grow at the rate of about an inch a year.  Imagine the stories they would tell, if only they could, of what they have seen over their 150 average year life span.  

Taking all of this into account, the Saguaro National Park is a magical place where in addition to the Giant Saguaro, are about 1,162 other species of plants ranging from desert vegetation such as cacti, ocotillo, and creosote in the lower elevations all the way to Ponderosa Pine, Oak and Douglas-fir trees in the upper elevations of the Rincon Mountains.  The Rincon Mountain District of the Saguaro National park includes terrain from under 2,500 feet elevation to 8,666 feet elevation.

Saguaro National Park is composed of two distinct districts:  the Rincon Mountain District and the Tucson Mountain District.  The Tucson Mountain District lies on the west side Tucson, Arizona, while the Rincon Mountain District lies on the east side of Tucson.  Both districts were formed to protect and exhibit forests of their namesake:  The Saguaro Cactus.

The Saguaro Cactus only grows naturally in the Sonoran Desert.  There are an estimated 1.6 million individual plants growing within the Saguaro National Park.  If you are as curious as I am about the universal symbol of the American West, then you'll want to be sure to check out the Saguaro Cactus Question and Answer Guide.

While the majestic Saguaro Cactus may be the main attraction, the park has much more to offer within its two districts including 165 miles of hiking trails.  So whether you prefer a short interpretive nature trail, a day-long wilderness trek or something in-between there is something for everyone.  

It seems rather fitting that the iconic Saguaro would be the one to give birth to Saguaro National Parkour Arizona State flower, the Saguaro blossom.  In late April through early June, the tops of the saguaro's trunk sprout a profusion of large creamy-white flowers with yellow centers.    Clustered near the ends of the branches, the blossoms open during cooler desert nights and close by the following afternoon.  To produce fruit, they must be pollinated within this time frame. 

Saguaro FruitPollination is carried out by nectar feeding bats, birds and insects.  It is estimated that a saguaro can produce nearly 40 million deeds during it lifetime.  However very few survive to adulthood due to drought, prolonged freezing or animals eating them.  In early Summer, the Tohono O'odham people come to Saguaro National Park to harvest the saguaro fruit

Located on the outskirts of Tucson, and just a short drive from Green Valley, Arizona, the enormous cactus are a must see for the area.  Whether you view the breathtaking scenery from the comfort of your car or on foot, you won't be disappointed.

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Bisbee, Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Bisbee, Arizona

Discover a treasured place where time seems to have stopped.  Nestled in the mile-high Mule Mountains of Southern Arizona, Bisbee has an old world charm that you will be hard pressed to find in many places throughout the United States.  Here you can experience history seemingly frozen in time. 

The wonderful collection of well-preserved turn of the century Victorian structures are full of old West history and copper mining lore.  Old miners' boarding houses have been lovingly refurbished into charming small bed and breakfast establishments...each one unqiue and no two alike.  Former saloons are now quaint shops, antique stores, art galleries, cafes and restaurants pulsating with the history of a time gone by. 


This picturesque county seat of historic Cochise County was founded in 1880 and named after Judge Dewitt Bisbee.  Bisbee is an Old West mining camp that produced nearly three mllion ounces of gold and more than eight billion pounds of copper, making it one of the richest mineral sites in the world.  In the "day",  it boast a population of 20,000 people and had the distinction of being the most cultured city in the Southwest.  However, the rough edges of the mining camps could be found in notorious Brewery Gulch, with its saloons and bordellos. 

In 1908 a fire ravaged most of Bisbee's commercial district along Main Street, leaving nothing but a pile of ashes.Reconstruction began immediately and by 1910 most of the district had been rebuilt and remains completely intact today. As mining operations on a large scale became unprofitable in 1975, the population began to shrink.

Undaunted by its change in fortune this spunky town has evolved into an attractive artist colony and retirement community with monthly special events and tourism.  Travelers from all over the world come to Bisbee to savor its unique charm...an uncommon blend of creativity, friendly people, historic style, and adventure all wrapped up in the splendor of the Old West. 

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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The 34th Miner

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

This morning I could barely tear myself away from the TV long enough to hold the Open Houses I had scheduled.   Last night I crawled into bed hours later than I normally would as images of the rescues splashed across the screen and more importantly, were seared into my heart and soul.

The 34th MinerThey are a testament to the indomitable human spirit and a reminder that all things are possible when we believe.  Each time the aptly named Phoenix (spelled on the rescue capsule as fenix) rises to the earth's surface is a miracle beyond comprehension as men who had spent 69 days buried alive set foot above ground to be greeted by the loved ones they must have wondered if they would ever see again let alone touch and hold in their arms. 

The men who step from the capsule are not the same people who entered that mine 69 days ago for what they thought would be a normal workday.   We watched transfixed as the man who filled the role of spiritual leader for this remarkable group hugged his wife and then kneeled on the ground in silent prayer.  Transformed to the very essence of his being…he did not let the experience defeat him but rather shape him.   Amazingly, the day he entered that mine more than 2 months ago was going to be his last as he was starting a well earned retirement the next day.

Many of the rescued miners have referenced the 34th miner who was with them throughout this unimaginable ordeal.  We’ve heard how this experience has changed them in ways we cannot not see or touch…at a deep spiritual level.    Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes they have been transformed in ways we too should aspire to experience.  

There is so much to be gleaned from this daring rescue mission, including

  • Proof of the fact there is a power higher than ourselves who is with us even in our darkest hour…if we are willing to embrace that 34th Miner then we can overcome whatever obstacles lie before us;
  • Never underestimate the unbeatable power of a world coming together for a common cause;
  • BELIEVE…and all things are possible

I am convinced this unfolding event will serve us well as we continue to find our way through the worst economic times since the depression.   Like the Miners who are rising from the darkness into the light so shall our great country.   The next time you are feeling down or defeated by what is taking place around us, remember the brave 33 men who have been tested as few of us ever will be and how they managed to transcend it in a powerful and deeply meaningful way.

Horseback Riding In & Around Green Valley AZ

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Discover The Great Southwest On Horseback

Horseback riding is as much a part of the American West as sunsets and saguaros. In fact, there is nothing finer than a horseback ride at sunset in the Sonoaran Desert and Saguaro National Park. 

In the Green Valley/Tucson area and throughout Southern Arizona you can saddle up at a guest ranch, resort, or public stable.  Horseback riding opportunities abound in the immediate area. 

Horsemanship lessons and wrangler-guided trips (with trail-side breakfast or picnic lunch) are available for both individuals and groups of all skill levels. For a special treat, look into specialty rides, such as sunrise, sunset, and moonlight rides to make your time on the desert trails especially memorable.  


Whether you choose a half-day jaunt, a longer trail ride, a group or solo journey, riding horseback is the real Western way to explore the high desert landscape.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Kartchner Caverns State Park

Kartchner Caverns State ParkDeep within the bowels of the earth in the Whetstone Mountains is a magical place 200,000 years in the making--a pristine limestone cave.  Discovered in November 1974 by two young cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts, when they found a narrow crack at the bottom of a sinkhole leading into the hillside. The warm moist air that flowed from the crack signaled the existence of a cave.

Curious, they crawled deeper and after several hours found the "live" limestone cave.  This underground wonder is home to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations, including:

  • one of the world's longest soda straw stalactites: 21 feet 3 inches (Throne Room)
  • the tallest and most massive column in Arizona, Kubla Khan: 58 feet tall (Throne Room)
  • the world's most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk (Big Room)
  • the first reported occurrence of “turnip” shields (Big Room)
  • the first cave occurrence of “birdsnest” needle quartz formations
  • many other unusual formations such as shields, totems, helictites, and rimstone dams.

For an unforgettable adventure be sure to put the Kartchner Caverns State Park on your "must see" list.  During a memorable 1 1/2 hour tour, your guide will unveil the mysteries of this fascinating underground landscape.  The park's Discovery Center features museum exhibits, a large gift shop, regional displays, theater, and educational information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. There are also campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater, and a hummingbird garden.

JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Before You Say YES To A House

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Two of the buyers that I am currently working with are clients of mine who each bought a house though me less than a year ago.  This is the first time in my relatively short real estate career I have had anyone come back and say they bought the wrong house...and it has happened twice in the last month. It has made me wonder how such a costly mistake could be made and what advice I should give to buyers to help prevent it from happening again. 

First and foremost I would tell anyone thinking about purchasing a home to sit down and create a list of must haves in their new home.  Secondly,  prioritize that list in two ways--things that are cosmetic and therefore can be changed and those items that cannot be changed or "fixed'. 

For instance, you "must" have granite counter tops.  Of course, the best case scenario would be to find that perfect home with granite counters.  But, let's say you find a home that fits all the criteria on your list except for the granite counters.  Given that this is something that CAN be fixed, and, if there isn't another home that fits so perfectly with what want in a home, then the lack of granite counters shouldn't be a deal breaker.

However, let's say a quiet setting is high on your list because you are sensitive to noise.  You find find a home that has granite counters and everything else on your list EXCEPT it is close to a busy highway.  Then this is a house that no matter how perfect it may be otherwise, is one that you should most likely walk away from or risk living each day regretting your decision to buy it.  Perhaps the noise is at a level that can be masked to some degree with a water feature -- then you need to consider if the noise will grow louder over time as the community continues to grow.  Is this a risk you are willing to take?

Lastly I would advise a buyer to make several visits to the home at different times of the day and to use all of their senses each time to evaluate whether this is really the right home.  How do you feel when you are in the home; what noises do you hear; what do you see as you walk around the inside and outside of the home; and what do you smell inside and outside the home? 

In summary, as you begin your home buying adventure, come armed with a list of everything you MUST have in your new home.  Understand which items on the list are cosmetic in nature and therefore could be changed, if necessary, as opposed to those that cannot not be changed or "fixed".  By NOT compromising on the items that can't be changed, chances are you will live happily ever after in the home of your dreams. 

   JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Tubac, Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Tubac, Arizona

One of my favorite memories of yearly trips to Green Valley, Arizona to visit my parents was the trek to Tubac.   My mom, my sons and I would always make the time for a day in Tubac where I would always find one special art piece in order to take a bit of the Southwest back with me to my home in California.  

The charming spirit of this quaint town, surrounded by scenic high desert vistas, was always the highlight of my trip but never once did I imagine that I would one day call Tubac home.   And today, I still feel that same kinship with the unique artists' colony whose whose streets are lined with art galleries and one of a kind stores.  

Established in 1752 as a Spanish presidio (fort), today working artists' studios surround the grounds which once served as the home for a Spanish military garrison.  Its origins are not forgotten as evidenced by the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park located in the village's Old Town. 

The town's motto of "Where Art and History Meet" can be experienced through the more than 100 businesses that populate the meandering streets of the village, giving it a walk-able and friendly feel.   If you are an art lover like me you'll want to be sure to make the Tubac Center of the Arts a favorite for frequent visits.  It offers a full array of programming including a Summers Arts Program for Children and an array of workshops on all aspects of the arts, as well as seasonal exhibits that are not to be missed. 

JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Real Estate Disclosure

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

A question I am often asked by my sellers is what should I disclose about my home to potential buyers?  My answer is always the same, disclose every material fact that you have knowledge of to a potential buyer.  Taking it one step further beyond the material facts, for instance, if there are rumors about something going on in the area then let the Golden Rule be your guide:  If it is something you would want to know as a buyer, then your buyer probably wants to know it as well--in essence, treat your buyers the way you want to be treated. 

Material Facts:

A material fact is something which might: influence a buyer's decision to purchase the property, negatively impact the buyer's decision, or alter the price and terms a buyer is willing to pay. All known material facts should be disclosed to a buyer. 

Use the following guidelines when filling out your Seller's Property Disclosure Statement:

  • Disclose all that you see, smell, hear, sense, or know
    How about that barking dog next door?  This past week I had someone come into one of my Open Houses and asked about barking dogs.  I could honestly say that during the times I was there for Open House I never heard a single dog.  I told him I would verify this with the Seller, and suggested that he may also want to talk to the neighbors--remember, what is an irritant to one person may not be to another but to be safe, when in doubt, disclose

  • Disclose any and all "work" that has been done to your home.  Personally, I would stay away from the word "repair" because it implies the defect has been permanently corrected.  Let's say you had a leaky faucet, I would disclose:
    • Faucet in Kitchen leaked in 2/2010
    • Paid ABC Plumbers, $85 to stop the leak
    • Faucet has not leaked since that time. 

  • Disclose any and all items in your home that may need "attention", no matter how minor they may seem.
    For instance, if you have a ceiling fan that makes a noise when it is first turned on, indicate this in your disclosure statement:
    • The ceiling fan in dining room makes a slight noise when it is first turned on but works fine otherwise.
       
  • Do not try to determine the cause of the defect unless you are 100% sure of its origin.  Let's say you have a water stain at the base of the hot water heater--if it was there when you bought the house, say so; if the stain occurred while you owned the house then state what happened:
    • Stain under the water heater was caused by the old unit
    • New water heater installed by ABC Plumbing 02/10, $375

How About Those Pesky Rumors?: Do onto others as you would have done to you.  Let the timeless Golden Rule be your guide when it comes to rumors, and remember there is a fine line between a "rumor" and the truth. 

  • Case in point, I had a listing located across the street from 3 empty homes that the builder had bought back due to drainage/structural issues. Now, while everyone "knew" this was the case, the people who were affected were under a gag order not to divulge any facts about the buy-back AND the builder used a different company to purchase the impacted homes so when meeting with the remaining homeowners in the area, simply stated that they had no information about the situation. 

    I showed this listing to one of my buyers and disclosed the fact that there were empty houses on the South side of the street.   The potential buyers then talked to 2 other neighbors on the North side of the street who all confirmed that the houses on their side of the street had not been affected by the problems experienced on the South side.   My buyers made an offer on the home but the next morning, after a sleepless night, had a change of heart, citing the empty houses as their overriding concern. 

    My seller was initially quite upset with me for disclosing this situation.  But as I explained to them I had knowledge and therefore an obiligation to disclose to the buyers not only so they could make an informed decision but also to protect the sellers from the possibility of a future lawsuit.

    This story has a happy ending because less than a month later the buyers who came into my Open House and asked about the barking dogs, put an offer on the house (after being told about the empty houses across the street), that was accepted and will close shortly.  

    So, while there are many rumors swirling around about those empty houses, and no one has concrete information--the bottom line is that those houses are empty and therefore must be disclosed to a potential buyer.

The time you spend conscientiously filling out your Sellers Disclosure Statement could save you from a canceled escrow down the road or worse yet, a lawsuit.  Also, when it comes to completing the disclosure statement, by law, real estate agents cannot fill out any sellers' home disclosures unless the agent is the seller or a party to the transaction.

Are you thinking about selling your Green Valley, Arizona home?  Put the power of my proven marketing plan to work for you!  Call 520-241-7780 today for your free market analysis

JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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SELLING? Getting To SOLD And Feeling Like You've WON

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

I realize this isn't a great market for Sellers but the good news is that homes are selling when they are priced right for the market and the Seller is clear on their motives for selling as well as their bottom line.  This past week I had THREE of my high-end (all in the $325,000-$400,000 price range) listings go under contract. 

The Sellers in all 3 cases paid attention to the market comps, competitively priced their homes, and didn't hesitate to make the deals work, all the while keeping in mind what they needed from the transaction.  Most importantly, they all walked away feeling like WINNERS!

A good negotiation is one where both parties walk away feeling like they've "won".  "Won" can mean different things to different Sellers-- to one Seller it may mean getting rid of a home--period.  To another it means getting that magic number that they have in their head, or getting enough so they can move on to the house they really want.  

My newly "under contract" Sellers represent all three of these instances.   One was an estate sale that had become an albatros around the heirs' neck, and listing #2 was a Seller who got their magic number after recently turning down an offer that was $5,000 less than their very firm "bottom line".   The third Seller had their house on the market only a few weeks, got a very fair offer that was above market comps and accepted it, even though they could have probably held out for more (in fact, may still have a back-up offer coming in this next week), because it meant they could make an offer on the house they really wanted. 

Thinking about selling?  Before you list your house be clear on your motives and what you want from the sale.  There is a cliché when it comes to negotiations that is true. Losers figure out what they want during the negotiation while winners do it before the negotiations ever start. Be a "winner" with a successful win/win  or risk serious remorse with a sale that leaves you feeling like a loser. 

If you are thinking about selling your Green Valley, AZ house give me a call and I will help you get to "won" with the sale of your home. 

JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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 Green Valley Arizona Real EstateCanoa Ranch Green Valley ArizonaGreen Valley Arizona Golf InformationJudi Monday's BlogJudi Monday's YouTube Channel Judi Monday's Raving Fans

Certified Residential Specialist

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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