Low Impact Living – Community Gardens

Iron Horse Community Garden

Living a low impact lifestyle with a small carbon footprint is a good idea for many reasons other than the headline-making issues.  Low impact living helps to unify communities and creates good will between neighbors.  Low impact living is good for your Tucson Real Estate also.  There are many ways to have a low impact lifestyle.  One way is to organize a community garden.  I recently posted about the historic Iron Horse neighborhood in central Tucson.  Located adjacent to Iron Horse Park is the Iron Horse Community Garden.  The land for this garden is provided by the city and this small community space brings a pleasant oasis of green where a barren sandy lot could add to blowing dust.

Some community gardens rely on a property owner setting aside a portion of their land where neighbors can share resources like tools, water, information, expertise, and above all fresh organically grown vegetables.

You can explore http://www.communitygardensoftucson.org to learn more about community gardening.

Remember to consider low impact living when considering your Tucson Real Estate choices.

Iron Horse Community Garden

Spending Locally – Wilko

Spending Locally is a great thing to do.  Not only for the environment, but also for your neighborhood and city.  By spending locally you help limit the fossil fuels needed to transport items across the country, while keeping money local and stimulating the local economy (in the process maybe even increasing the value of your Tucson Real Estate).

If you find yourself near the University this weekend, you might want to stop in at Wilko.  Located at the main gate, Wilko is a great place to take a break from a hectic day. This place has a little of everything.  You can have a beer while watching a game on one of the two TVs.  Listen to their eclectic music while enjoying a wide selection of wine.  Or, just chat with friends over some spicy mac -n- cheese and herb fries.  Yum!

According to their website:

Wilko is a modern gastropub featuring inventive classic American comfort food in the Main Gate district at Park and University. Everything on our menu is prepared on site and whenever possible we use local and organic ingredients. We have over 30 wines by the glass, six craft brews on tap,  and an extensive tasting menu featuring the best artisan cheeses and salume available from small local and regional producers.  Many of our house made condiments, dressings, and sauces are available for purchase along with our artisan cheese and salume offerings in our small market and espresso bar.

We are currently open 10am – 10pm Monday through Saturday; 11am – 9pm on Sunday. Breakfast coming soon!

Check out their webite at wilkotucson.com to see the full menu.

So when you need a break from your search for the perfect Tucson Real Estate, spend locally at Wilko.

Interest Rate Overview as of 16 September 2010

If you have been thinking about purchasing Tucson Real Estate, the interest rates are still looking good.  Here is what Richard Blair from Smart Financial Mortgage had to say in a recent email:

Rates were stable at historic lows again in the past week. Freddie Mac announced that for the week ending September 16, 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.37%, up slightly from 4.35% the previous week. The average for 15-year fixed fell slightly to 3.82%. Adjustables were also down slightly with the average for one-year adjustables easing to 3.40% and five-year adjustables falling slightly to 3.55%. A year ago 30-year fixed rates were at 5.04%. Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac, “Rates on 30-year fixed loans have remained below 5 percent for the last 19 weeks giving people ample opportunity to refi their existing loans. As a result, homeowners reduced their financial obligations relative to disposable personal income during the second quarter of 2010 to the lowest share in almost eight years, according to the Federal Reserve. Currently, four out of five applications for home loans are for refinancing existing loans, based on figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.” Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only. They should not be used for comparison purposes.

Current Indices For Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Updated September 17, 2010


Interest rates are always an important factor when considering a purchase of Tucson Real Estate.

Refinancing In The Current Marketplace: Reasons It Make Sense

Is now the right time for you to refinance your Tucson Real Estate?

When it comes to refinancing a mortgage there are multiple factors that can make it beneficial to do so. Of course, in the current marketplace with interest rates at record lows, the first reason to refinance is most always a lower interest rate. However, there are other reasons as well that make sense to refinance and today we will discuss some of these reasons.

The first reason to refinance is to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Even with the downturn in interest rates, there are still many homeowners who have not refinanced.

Of course, many borrowers would like to refinance, but can’t because they have little or no equity due to falling home values.

However, for those with some equity, that have not taken advantage of or are unaware of how low current interest rates are then this is the first reason to look into a refinance in the current marketplace.

The second reason to refinance is to move to a more stable fixed rate loan from an adjustable rate loan. In this regard, many borrowers do have low interest rate loans, but those rates are not long term fixed rates, but rather adjustable rate mortgage rates that will sooner or later adjust and will do so upward when rates inevitably rise again. For these borrowers a fixed rate, even if it is not tremendously lower makes sense over the long term.

Even more so, there are borrowers who do not plan on staying in a home long term, but with adjustable rate mortgages in the current market also being extremely low it even makes sense for the borrower who is only going to spend five more years in a home to refinance into for instance a new five year fixed rate mortgage. Over those five years the savings can still be enough to justify the process of a refinance.
Yet still, another reason that many homeowners may refinance in the current market, is if their home is currently paid off. While a paid off home is not necessarily a bad thing, in the current market with very low long term interest rates, many borrowers are now taking advantage of this fact and cashing out there homes. They are using the money for investment in another property, a business or a multitude of other investments. This is because once again home equity is one of the least expensive long term sources of money in the current marketplace.

On the other hand for even those that do not necessarily have a home completely paid  off, but still do have equity in their homes, a cash out refinance can also make sense when it is used to pay off debt or for certain investments as well.

Cash out refinances were in vogue as property values rose during the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, but for certain borrowers who still have equity in their homes, cash out refinances with rates at record lows, still make sense.

Finally, yet another reason to refinance would be to combine two existing loans into a single home loan on the property. Many homeowners who have second mortgages have either non-fixed rate home equity loans or higher interest rate fixed loans and thus it makes sense to combine both loans into one lower fixed rate loan.
Of course, this will require that a borrower not be upside in their home, as is the case with many homeowners, but combining two loans into one makes a lot of sense in the current marketplace as well.

These are just some of many reasons to refinance in the current marketplace and if you fall into any of the above scenarios it may be time to look at refinancing your current home loan.

The information above was received from http://www.strategicmtgaz.com.

I hope the foregoing information helps you in the decision of whether or not to refinance your Tucson Real Estate.

Interest Rate Overview as of 2 September 2010

If you have been thinking about purchasing Tucson Real Estate, the interest rates are still looking good.  Here is what Richard Blair from Smart Financial Mortgage had to say in a recent email:

Rates hit more historic lows this past week, however, the weak bond market Thursday and Friday may bring a halt to this streak in the coming week. Freddie Mac announced that for the week ending September 2, 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.32%, down from 4.36% the previous week. The average for 15-year fixed fell to 3.83%. Adjustables were also down slightly with the average for one-year adjustables easing to 3.50% and five-year adjustables easing to 3.54%. A year ago 30-year fixed rates were at 5.08%. Attributed to Amy Crews Cutts, deputy chief economist, Freddie Mac, “The 12-month price growth of core personal expenditures remained at 1.4 percent in July, which kept overall inflation expectations well at bay. Fed chairman Bernanke reiterated this in his August 27th speech in Wyoming, noting that with inflation expectations reasonably stable and the economy growing, inflation should remain near current readings for some time before rising slowly. As a result, rates eased further this week to new historic lows. House prices, appear to be firming. Home prices rose 2.3 percent between the first and second quarter of this year, reaching the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the S&P/Case Shiller National Home Price Index. In addition, 15 metropolitan areas in the 20-City Composite Index experienced annual house price growth in June, compared to 13 in May and 11 in April.” Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only. They should not be used for comparison purposes.

Current Indices For Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Updated September 3, 2010


Interest rates are always an important factor when considering a purchase of Tucson Real Estate.

Bank Owned Homes – Where To Find Them Online

Are you looking for bank owned Tucson Real Estate?

Bank owned homes or as they are commonly referred to, Real Estate Owned properties (REO’s) make up a large percentage of the properties being purchased in the current marketplace. That is because these properties are often times very attractively priced and can be purchased relatively quickly as they sitting as vacant inventory of the lenders who have had to foreclose on or take the homes back from homeowners.

Now when it comes to searching for these types of homes, your best bet is still more often than not going to be to have a real estate agent look up the information about these properties as most of these properties will be listed on the multiple listing services which they have access to. However, there are places that anyone can go online right now and begint to search for bank owned homes. Here are some of the biggest and best sources for bank owned homes available online.

Fannie Mae’s  Home Path – http://www.homepath.com – here you can find information on purchasing and search for properties from mortgage  giant Fannie Mae’s inventory.

Freddie Mac’s Home Steps – http://www.homesteps.com – here you can find information on purchasing and search for properties from mortgage  giant Freddie Mac’s inventory.

HUD Homes – http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/hud_homes – here is where you can find out information about and search for HUD owned government properties.

Bank Of America – REO’s -http://bankofamerica.reo.com/search/PropertySearch.aspx  – here you will find a searchable database of Bank of America’s current Real Estate Owned properties.

Chase – REO’s -https://servicing.chase.com/reo/property/FeaturedProperties – here you will find a searchable database of Chase Bank’s current Real Estate Owned properties.

Wells Fargo – REO’s -http://www.pasreo.com – here you will find a searchable database of Wells Fargo current Real Estate Owned properties.

CitiBank – REO’s -https://www.citimortgage.com/Mortgage/Oreo/SearchListing.do – here you will find a searchable database of CitiBank’s current Real Estate Owned properties

The information above was received from http://www.strategicmtgaz.com.

I hope the foregoing information helps you in the search for your perfect Tucson Real Estate.

Interest Rate Overview as of 26 August 2010

If you have been thinking about purchasing Tucson Real Estate, the interest rates are still looking good.  Here is what Richard Blair from Smart Financial Mortgage had to say in a recent email:

Like a broken record (or we should say records), the weak economic data continues to contribute to the current string of record-breaking rates. The streak has been running for over two months now. Freddie Mac announced that for the week ending August 26, 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.36%, down from 4.42% the previous week. The average for 15-year fixed fell to 3.86%. Adjustables were stable with the average for one-year adjustables down slightly to 3.52% and five-year adjustables remaining at 3.56%. A year ago 30-year fixed rates were at 5.14%. Attributed to Amy Crews Cutts, deputy chief economist, Freddie Mac, “Existing home sales plunged 27 percent in July, while new homes fell 12 percent to a new all-time record low, which led to some market concerns that the housing market may slow the economic recovery. As a result, long-term bond yields fell to the lowest levels since January 2009, allowing fixed rates to ease to new record lows this week. Much of the slowdown in sales, however, was expected due to the recently expired homebuyer tax programs, which pulled through future home purchases into the first half of the year. The average existing home sales over the first seven months of 2010 were nearly 8 percent higher than over the same period a year ago. Moreover, house prices still appear to be stabilizing. Nationally, house prices rose 0.9 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis during the second quarter of this year this year after 11 consecutive quarterly declines, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s purchase only index. Eight of the nine census regions experienced positive gains, compared to none in the first quarter.” Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only. They should not be used for comparison purposes.

Current Indices For Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Updated August 27, 2010


Interest rates are always an important factor when considering a purchase of Tucson Real Estate.