Early Voting in Scottsdale

I just read that 84% of Scottsdale residents voted in the 2004 election.  I find that number astounding, yet really indicative of the involvement level of community.

It’s too late to order an early ballot to be mailed to you, but you can still vote at Scottsdale City Hall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Take along some reading or something else to do, as waits are expected.  However, it’s probably safe to assume that you may have an even longer wait on Election Day. 

84%.  Isn’t that amazing?!

Daylight Savings Time – Not in most of Arizona

In almost all states in the U.S., people will be changing their clocks this weekend. I had a reader inquire about Daylight Savings Time in Arizona and in researching an answer for her, I found this excellent resource on the State of Arizona web site. Besides giving a history of how Daylight Savings Time was first used in Arizona in 1918(!), and several other times during history, I discovered that it was legislated off the books in 1968.


Daylight Saving Time
Originally uploaded by Petoo

Missing the Signs: How to know when it’s time to buy

So, is the market coming?

Or going?

I ran the First Responder Run to help the Arizona Autism Support yesterday, planning to run a 5K. Turns out that the 5K and 10K routes shared the same path and I missed the turnaround. Oops! As time progressed, I realized my mistake and decided to flip around, so I wouldn’t hold my family up who was waiting for me at the finish line.

I’ve been training and was really intent on improving my race time, and suddenly my plan was trashed. So I spent some time really enjoying my run and experiencing some of the free-form thinking that comes from being in that space.

Suddenly, I realized that my “mistake” was so similar to some of the real estate feedback that I’m hearing from some buyers who are trying to time the market and buy at the “bottom”. And my question is, have we hit the bottom (in some sense of the word), here in Scottsdale, but maybe missed the signs?

Take a look at this Altos Research chart on for Market Action in Scottsdale. In their proprietary calculation, anything above a 30 signifies a seller’s market. Interesting to see that we in an overall improving market, contrary to what some other areas of Phoenix and the rest of the country may be experiencing.

Changing Scottsdale Market
Changing Scottsdale Market

I have been working with several buyers who’ve decided that now is the time to buy and are closing this week.  One is a first-time buyer, another is purchasing a vacation home, and yet another is relocating to the area for a new job.  Other first-time home buyers and investors are still looking, knowing that now may be an ideal time to negotiate and buy.  As one buyer said last week,  even if the market trends downward for a bit longer, I’m planning on staying here long enough, that it doesn’t really matter to me.

So, the more important question to ask “Is now the right time for you to buy a house, a home, or an investment?”  Opportunities exist in any market, and only you can make the decision that is truly right for you.

PGA Golf Tournament in Scottsdale This Weekend

I was previewing townhouses in Grayhawk yesterday and noticed quite a few Frys.com Open signs in preparation for the golf tournament this week.   The Pro/Am event is today, and regulation play starts tomorrow.  You’ll be able to find the playing field online and will need to check back for tee off times, as they become available.  Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at the gate or at Van’s Golf Shops

The temperature is expected to be cooler in the mornings and a perfect 85-90 degrees in the afternoon, with clear blue skies.  Just one more reason to get outside and enjoy our great fall weather!

(For more a detailed weather report, visit: AZCentral.com

Related Blog Post:  Check out Steve Belt’s perspective on the playing field.

Scottsdale Real Estate Report – October 20, 2008

Here are the latest Altos Research real estate market updates for all Scottsdale zip codes. These freshly updated reports are in a one page executive summary format. If you’d like the more detailed report for your zip code that includes an overview for the whole of Scottsdale, please call or email me.

This week’s update:

  • 85262 – Listing prices have been decreasing. Days on market is increasing. Inventory is decreasing.
  • 85266 – Median list price steady.  Days on market and number of homes available increasing.
  • 85255 – Median list price and days to sell are holding steady. Inventory tightening.
  • 85260 – Median list price steady.  Days on market increasing. Inventory tightening.
  • 85254 – List price trending down. Days on market and inventory are increasing.
  • 85259 – Listing prices and days on market are holding steady. Number of homes on market is decreasing.
  • 85258 – Listing prices are holding steady. Days on market up. Inventory down.
  • 85250 – List prices trending upward. Days on market decreasing. Inventory tightening.
  • 85251 – Listing prices trending upward. Days on market decreasing. Inventory decreasing.
  • 85257 – List prices holding steady. Days on market increasing. Inventory decreasing.
  • Assessment:  Northern Scottsdale, particularly in the 85259, 85260, 85255, and 85266 zip codes, are still experiencing a market that heavily favors buyers, while activity in southernmost Scottsdale (85257) is holding steady with the improvements we have seen over the past several months.

    Spooktacular Halloween Events

    Fall Favs
    photo credit: wheatfieldbrown

    Thanks to Cynthia Lujan over at LandAmerica Title for putting this list of Halloween fun together and sending it my way.

    The Great Pumpkin Festival (PHOENIX)

    Find that perfectly plump pumpkin at the Great Pumpkin Festival. The Desert Botanical Garden invites you and your kids to take a hayride out to the patch, and children younger than 12 can choose their own free pumpkin. Then wander through the Amazing Hay Bale Maze, get up close to the animals at the petting zoo and enjoy some live country-western music. There will also be carving demonstrations and face painting.

    Details: Oct. 24-26, 9 a.m.-noon Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. $12; $6 for age 3-12; $2 for members age 3 and older. 480-941-1225.

    Basha’s Boo at the Zoo (PHOENIX)

    This Phoenix Zoo favorite is chock-full of ghoulish activities. This year’s theme is “It’s Toad-ally Awesome!,” so your kids can learn about amphibians and how to help them and their environment. Activities include a pumpkin patch, a special Halloween Wild About Animals show, performances by Mrs. B, the Pumpkin Romp and Stomp and a mascot and pony parade.

    Details: Oct. 25-26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway. Included with zoo admission. 602-273-1341, www.phxzoo.org.

    Doomtown (GILA RIVER)

    Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass: Features Halloween-themed decorations, including spider webs and jack-o’-lanterns. Watch out for the Headless Horseman, Ghost Riders, Digger Payne, Dr. Mortimer Morbius and other spooky characters. Travel through the haunted houses, the Crypt and the Asylum, and ride the Train of Terror.

    Details: Through Nov. 2, 6 p.m. Free Admission; Charges apply for haunted houses. 5700 W. North Loop Road, Gila River Reservation. 480-502-5600. www.rawhide.com

    Peek-a-Boo at Pecos Park (PHOENIX)

    This one’s for the pet lovers. The annual Peek-a-Boo event at Pecos Park encourages owners and their dogs to get dressed up and compete in a costume contest. There will also be a pumpkin patch and carnival games, and plenty of opportunities for Fido to socialize with other canines.
    Details: 10 a.m. Nov. 1. Pecos Park, 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix. Free. 602-534-5252.

    Halloween Monster Bash and Balloon Illumination (PEORIA)

    Celebrate Halloween and show off your costume under the glow of hot-air balloons.

    Details: 5-9 p.m. Oct. 25. Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Ave. Free admission with canned food donation, additional cost for some activities. 623-773-7564

    Fall Festival (SCOTTSDALE)

    The haunts can be pretty scary for younger kids so if you want to take them to something festive but safe, check out the Fall Festival. There a Haunted Forest that you can walk through with your kids. Then head over to the more than 40 game booths and try to win some prizes. There is a special area for toddlers and attractions with higher skill levels for kids 14 and older. And try to win even more goodies during the costume and pumpkin-carving competitions. The evening ends with a big fireworks show.

    Details: 6-9:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Eldorado Park, South Ball Field, 1909 N. Miller Road. Free. 480-312-2483, www.scottsdaleaz.gov.

    Pumpkin & Chili Party (QUEEN CREEK)

    Schnepf Farms offers a new spooky train ride with a 17-foot-tall Animatronic Pumpkin King that talks and moves to scare riders. The party offers attractions and activities for the family, including pig races, carousel, bands, petting barn, hayrides, corn maze and fireworks.

    Details: Thursdays-Sundays, Oct. 2-Nov. 2. Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. $14. ($2 off coupons available at Fry’s and Fry’s Marketplace; age 2 and younger free. 480-987-3100, www.schnepffarms.com.

    Arizona Scream Park (SCOTTSDALE)

    Four haunted attractions: Alice’s House of Nightmares, 3-D Fear Factory, Castle of Darkness and Goldminer’s Revenge. Also includes palm and tarot-card readings. Details: Through Nov. 2, times vary. $16-$75. 8823 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale. 480-444-2590. www.azscreampark.com