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A Little Patch of Heaven and It’s Mine

Much of my time the past two months has been spent looking at this view. My backyard has been a work in progress for a number of years, dating back to my first house. It was there that, after working a small ton of overtime as a trainer for Charles Schwab, I was able to have the backyard sodded and a sprinkler system installed. And then I got divorced and, well, that was that for that yard. My next house came with the yard already done but, for reasons I can’t quite explain, I never spent near as much time […]

Today’s Oxymoron: Part Time Real Estate Professional

INTERIOR DAY, INSIDE AN OPERATING ROOM AS A MAN AWAITS A HEART OPERATION “Doctor, will this surgery cure me?” “I think so.” “You think so … you’ve done this before, right?” “Oh, yes … since I got my medical license 10 years ago I’ve performed at least a dozen of these surgeries. And two of those were in the past year. You’ll be fine …” — INTERIOR DAY, INSIDE A MEETING ROOM AT A MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON. “You can get me off, right?” asks the flinty-eyed man, his rotted teeth barely visible as he snarls at the attorney on the […]

More Mistletoe Than Inventory

Any real estate agent in the Phoenix market can tell you this is the time of year when inventory climbs. Fewer buyers combine with sellers who have a poor sense of timing and lenders adding bank owned inventory without regard for market conditions to gradually flood the market. It was only a few years ago that the inventory for single-family detached homes in Maricopa County soared above 44,000 properties. But that’s not happening this holiday season. In fact, the current inventory level of 12,700 is little different than it has been for the past several months. Which makes this a year […]

Quitting, Burfict Style

By all accounts, Vontaze Burfict quit Friday night. Quit on his teammates, quit on his coaches, quit on the fans who have made excuses for his hot-headed, bone-headed behavior on the field even as they cringed as the next penalty flag flew. Less than five minutes into the second half of Arizona State’s loss to California on Friday, Burfict started jawing with a Cal player. On the next play, to the surprise of no one, he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. As he walked off the field, according to the Sun Devils sports network, he took off his gloves, his […]

Traffic Patterns and Local Real Estate

Texas, as the residents of the one-time Lone Star Republic will tell us, is a different world. Such was the discussion that arose yesterday at my parents’ house as we celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my sister, brother-in-law and nephews who live in the Houston area. It seems that in Texas, those shoulders on the freeway aren’t shoulders as unmarked lanes – any local apparently knows that if you’re exiting the freeway and the right lane is clogged, just jump on the shoulder and go where you need to go. Frontage roads aren’t really frontage roads but merely extensions of the […]

Coach Erickson, I Can Help

Dennis, First off, can I call you Dennis? I know you won the two national titles once upon a time but after spending hard-earned cash watching the teams you’ve coaches this past five years, I feel like we ought to be on a first-name basis. Second, I’m not here to lambaste you for the utterly inexcusable loss to Arizona yesterday. Or for the Arizona-under-Stoops-like fade our Sun Devils are enacting, bringing what felt like such a promising season to an incredibly depressing end. I do thank you for at least getting ASU bowl eligible for the first time since your […]

Arizona State vs. Nogales Tech, Redux

The only thing more enjoyable than pulling up old posts is discovering typos in the originals and cringing. My streak of consecutive ASU-U of A football contests ended last year for a variety of reasons after 21 straight years without missing a kickoff. Still regret it, if I’m honest. Today’s game comes with mixed feelings: we won’t have to listen to that miserable marching band as they’ve been relocated to the upper deck. The visitors’ ticket section, however, remains two sections over – if this were a Mexican national team game in Azteca, they’d be withing range of various ballistic […]

Spring Cleaning, Real Estate Style

I’ve never understood the concept of spring cleaning. (Some may argue I don’t understand the concept of any cleaning, but that’s another subject for another day.) Perhaps it has something to do with the hibernation habits of those living in places where the daytime December high isn’t in the 60s or 70s. Since I entered the real estate business, the Thanksgiving through New Years time period has been my own cleaning period – the time when websites are updated or revamped, the time when I start making plans for the following years (some of which I’ll actually keep), the time […]

Banks Selling Homes – See No Defects, Hear No Defects, Speak No Defects

Yesterday afternoon I ran into a bit of a conundrum. With the inspection complete on a bank owned property in Tempe, my buyer decided either the bank was going to need to lower the price (not normally a contractually allowed request in Arizona, unlike other states) or move on to the next property. The listing agent indicated we would need to provide a Buyers Inspection Notice and also provide specific details regarding the reasons for the request (and not just “the buyer wants to pay less” – the agent’s words, not mine.) To my mind, there would be no better […]

How Phoenix Real Estate Can Be Like Purchasing a Suit

As a habit, I tend to wear shorts (or during the three weeks a year we call winter, blue jeans) and golf shirts. My days of dress shirts, slacks and ties disappeared once my work as a stock broker came to an end. But on those rare occasions where I need something a touch dressier, such as when purchasing a new suit, I’ve found it’s much easier to walk into a men’s shop and turn myself over to the experts working there. If you’ve ever gone this route, you know there are countless choices inside the store at which you […]