Memorial Day 2010

memorial-day-flag The U.S. flag inspired the National Anthem

The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Many thanks to all those who have served and continue to serve to preserve our land of the free and home of the brave.

Phoenix Real Estate Update: Pending Sales Give You Inside Info

Bob Bemis, CEO of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS), spent a few minutes on Channel 12 yesterday morning announcing new real estate statistics now available for the Phoenix market.


When a home seller accepts an offer on his home, the listing agent is required to input certain information into the MLS system about the sale. Information which is hidden from public view.  Information includes closing date and agreed to sales price. 

ARMLS will now be publishing a monthly report, so that agents can share what is truly going on with the Phoenix real estate market real time, utilizing the ARMLS Pending Price Index™.  Bob does a great job of explaining why this statistic is more relevant than others, and he also shares his insights on the market. 

Take a few minutes to listen to Bob’s interview, and then if you’d like to know more, please let me know. I have a full copy of the May 2010 ARMLS Stat Report, which I can email to you at your request.

Echo Coffee Opens in South Scottsdale: Great coffee, good vibe, organic eats


Echo Coffee opened a little over a month ago, and fills a much-needed niche in South Scottsdale.  Locals were some of the first through the door, and they congratulated, and thanked, owner Steve Belt, for opening an independent coffee shop in their neighborhood.

From its Grand Opening press release:

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (05.04.10)- Offering a fresh outlook on starting your day with a friendly smile, Echo Coffee has opened in South Scottsdale with the motto that the community around the coffee shop is what’s most important.  From the modern comfortable décor to the numerous meeting spots throughout, Echo Coffee hopes customers will not only grab a great cup of coffee, but take a few minutes to relax and maybe meet a new friend.  


The store has been open for less than two weeks, and already Echo has seen a steady stream of coffee enthusiasts interested in the modern but homey coffee shop. Belt, former real estate agent, always loved his time spent in coffee shops and wanting a change in pace.  His new venture emphasizes this more tranquil outlook on life.  “I loved starting my day by coming to a coffee shop, sitting and talking with my neighbors and colleagues. In my shop I wanted to combine a great product with a viable third place location.”        


Each drip coffee is made to order at the pour over bar, where the barista pours hot water over the freshly ground coffee.  Belt has hired chef Carylann Wootton, formerly of Liberty Market in Gilbert, to create a menu emphasizing fresh, organic ingredients.  The pastries and light lunch menu include fare such as pecan and cranberry salad, curry chicken sandwich, hot pressed Italian sandwich, and various scones, breads, and pastries.


I stopped in early on and got a coffee roasting demonstration from Steve.

From green coffee beans…..


…. to the beautifully roasted.


And, of course, Steve sells these fresh beans by the pound, too.

Great coffee…

I find myself looking for an excuse to head over to grab an exceptional cup of coffee and catch up with Steve.  Not only am I glad to see a new business opening in South Scottsdale, it’s wonderful to see a friend going after a dream and doing it well.

The food is excellent too!  Menu


To contact Echo Coffee, visit, or call 480-422-4081.

Echo Coffee on Facebook

Echo Coffee on Twitter

Echo Coffee is located at 2902 North 68th Street on the northwest corner of 68th Street and Thomas Road.  Business hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

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Scottsdale Home Prices Dropping: Fact, Fiction, or Freaking Out?

Last week, I read the headline to this article, Scottsdale home prices remain in a freefall, and shook my head.  Regardless of the content of the article, I felt the headline was just "too much drama". 

  • Yes, Scottsdale is a different real estate market than the rest of the valley. It did not experience the dramatic drops in the past several years that much of the rest of the valley did. 
  • Yes, Scottsdale home prices have declined.
  • Yes, Scottsdale has too many foreclosures and short sales, but they no where near the numbers found in many of the outlying area of metropolitan Phoenix.

Now that the Cromford Report is back in full production after a devastating fire, I’ll share some charts, and you can come to your own conclusions. For the this conversation, I’ll compare Scottsdale and Phoenix.

In 2007, when home prices started dropping , you can see that Scottsdale (the heavy line) and Phoenix (the lighter weight line) followed approximately the same path.  These charts map out annual appreciation, based on the monthly average sales price / square foot.  At the beginning of the year, properties in both cities were appreciating annually about 2.5% , but by the end of the year, properties were depreciating about 4-5%.

Comparing Scottsdale and Phoenix Home Price Appreciation 2007

Moving ahead to 2008, you can see the dramatic depreciation that both Scottsdale and Phoenix were on a steady decline, with Phoenix depreciating at a much greater pace, ending the year at -50%, while Scottsdale was closer to -30%.

Comparing Scottsdale and Phoenix Home Price Appreciation 2008

Then in 2009, depreciation continued, but started easing up significantly in Phoenix in March of that year.  It’s significant, jumping from -60% to less than -10%.  One could look at that and call it the beginning of a recovery.  

And Scottsdale, experienced improvement too, and you will see that while real estate values started the year depreciating at a rate of 30% and rose to better than -10%, the city really never got hit as hard as Phoenix did.

Comparing Scottsdale and Phoenix Home Price Appreciation 2009

This year, Phoenix real estate values has continued to improve.  Prices per square feet are appreciating, from 5% depreciation rate to consistently appreciating at an annual rate of over 20% since March.  Scottsdale continue to hobble along, depreciating at an annual rate of somewhere between 5-10%. 

 Comparing Scottsdale and Phoenix Home Price Appreciation 2010

While Scottsdale price are still depreciating, they are by no means in a freefall, at least in my opinion.  Competition is still pretty fierce in the lower price ranges, which has helped Phoenix much more than Scottsdale. At the same time, Scottsdale has not experienced the huge depreciation that Phoenix did.

I believe we’ll continue see bits and pieces of improvement throughout the rest of this year, but by no means do I feel the Scottsdale real estate market is in jeopardy. 

Now, tell me, what do you think?

I like, I like, I like

Here’s a morning minute for you!

Easy to smile with this one, and a great reminder to appreciate our lives.

(I could easily tie this one into home buying, but the message is a lot bigger than that!)

Enjoy your day 🙂