As you may have seen in the news lately our government in Washington DC has been busy (well kind of busy).
Just this past weekend the government announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which own or guarantee about 50% of the nations $12 trillion in home loans) will come under direct government control. This news caused mortgage bonds to soar higher this week and interest rates on the average 30 Year fixed rate fell almost .75% (3/4 of a point)! They also plan on putting over 150 billion more in home loans which may lower rates even further.
This comes on the heals of one of the most rapidly approved bills in memory, when President Bush last month signed into law H.R. 3221, the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008," a sweeping $300 Billion rescue plan to hopefully help put the national housing market back on track. Some of the highlights include the extension of higher loan limits at preferred interest rates and a new tax credit of $7,500 for first-time buyers. Seller assisted down payments are set to expire Oct 1st, but there is talk of putting them back - so stay tuned for more details on this. These changes, along with lower home prices, makes today one of the best opportunities to buy in many years and we feel that we will look back and say what a great time it was to invest in a home for you or for an investment in real estate.
Almost everyone already knows about Tombstone, Arizona, “the town too tough to die.” Now more and more people across the country are hearing about Green Valley, Arizona, a place Arizona Highways described as the “town too good to die... populated by people who have learned how to live.” That’s because Green Valley was designed to offer the good life and it does. Selected as one of the country’s best places to retire to by “Where to Retire” and “New Choices for Retirement” magazines several times, Green Valley, located in the historic Santa Cruz Valley, combines the best of two worlds and four cultures. The community is part of the original San Ignacio de la Canoa Land Grant from the king of Spain, an area filled with rich history ranging from the Indians who settled the area about 1 A.D. to the conquistadors, missionaries, cowboys, miners and ranchers, and modern day health seekers. Green Valley appeals to those who enjoy small-town living, where you know your neighbors, and traffic jams are a rare occurrence. Yet the retirement community located 23 miles south of Tucson, and 145 miles south of Phoenix, also offers the desirable amenities of city life, including cultural activities, shopping, and a wide range of recreational activities. Linked to communities both north and south by Interstate 19, Green Valley is bounded by Duval Road on the north, Elephant Head Road on the south, the Santa Cruz River and Madera Reserve on the east and the Sierrita Mountains to the west. The area is known for its unique blend of Native American, Spanish colonial, Mexican and Anglo cultures. Four flags have flown above the region: Spanish, Mexican, Confederate and American. Located at an elevation of 2,900 feet, at the foot of the ruggedly spectacular Santa Rita Mountain Range, Green Valley and the surrounding areas are blessed with sunshine more than 300 days a year.Prime Attraction
Annual temperatures average 80 degrees during the daytime and 50 degrees at night, making the area a prime attraction for visitors who flock here to enjoy outdoor activities, especially golf, all year long. The sunny and mild winters, healthful, clean dry air and combination of rolling grasslands, high desert and majestic mountains and canyons also lure hikers, tennis players, bird watchers, bicyclists, horseback riders, and swimmers to visit or, better yet, move to Green Valley each year. Many are drawn to Green Valley and to nearby Tucson, Tubac and Tumacacori by the historic attractions, which range from early Spanish missions, old mines, ghost towns, sprawling cattle ranches and wildlife preserves to Old West theme parks and artists’ colonies. Nearby Sahuarita is home to the Titan II Missile Museum, which draws visitors from all over the world to explore what was previously an intercontinental ballistic missile site. Open daily, the museum offers a guided tour of an underground silo that once housed the largest ICBM ever developed by the United States. Scenic drives and recreational opportunities abound in the area surrounding Green Valley, including four lakes and Madera Canyon, the “sky island” that ranks as one of the best bird-watching areas in the world.Astronomy CapitalAlso nearby is the Fred Lawrence Whipple/Mount Hopkins Observatory, a world-renowned facility that rests atop the second highest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains. Also close by and contributing to Southern Arizona’s reputation as the “astronomy capital of the world” is Kitt Peak Observatory, which houses the world’s largest collection of telescopes. Lovers of art and history are drawn to historic Tubac, the oldest European settlement in the area and a shopper’s paradise with nearly 100 galleries and shops in addition to its historic park and museum. About 45 miles south of Green Valley are the twin cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, a favorite of bargain-hunters, that draws visitors from miles around to its hundreds of shops offering goods ranging from leather, pottery, rugs, jewelry, furniture, decorative accessories to arts and crafts. Nogales, Arizona, with its many lovely homes and historic old courthouse, is the seat of government for Santa Cruz County. Nearby Patagonia, Sonoita and Elgin offer scenic views of rolling mountain countryside populated by cattle and horse ranches and wine vineyards.EmploymentMajor public employers in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area are Pima County with installations at the Pima County Government Center and Pima County Library, the U.S. Postal Service, Continental School District, and Sahuarita Unified School District. Major private employers in the area are the two copper mines, the home building and real estate industry, the Smithsonian Institution’s Whipple Observatory, Farmers Investment Co., which grows and sells pecans, Caterpillar, Inc. Training Center, Safeway, Carondelet Medical, Best Western Hotel and the Tohono O’odham Nation, which recently opened a $52 million casino and entertainment complex, just up the road at Interstate 19 and Pima Mine Road. There are four main shopping centers in the Green Valley-Sahuarita area, with approximately 370 shops. The Green Valley Chamber of Commerce has a membership roster of more than 450 businesses, including banks, real estate professionals, accounting, legal and title services, doctors, dentists, health care providers, service providers, retail outlets and many more. Green Valley is primarily a retirement community so much of the community’s income is derived from social security payments, private retirement benefits, investment income and saving. The median income in Green Valley is $43,000 a year, with 32 percent of residents reporting $50,000 plus annual incomes.Medical FacilitiesHealth care facilities include nearly two dozen adult care homes, two nursing homes, four assisted living centers, a facility for those with memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, an oncology center, several medical clinics, dental clinics and ambulances with trained Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics. Nearby Tucson offers nearly a dozen hospitals and numerous clinics with their own specialties. A complete listing of health care providers may be found in the Green Valley News 2003 Health Services Directory. Green Valley has its own twice-weekly newspaper, the Green Valley News and Sun, and its own radio station, KGVY, A.M., both of which focus on community events. The area is served by seven television channels from Tucson, and cable and satellite TV. Green Valley is governed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors and served by a Sheriff’s substation. The Green Valley Fire District and Rural/Metro are the two fire departments that serve the area. The incorporated town of Sahuarita has its own police department. There are three motels in Green Valley and nearby you can find resort hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, RV parks and guest ranches. Tucson International Airport is located off Interstate 19, about 23 miles north of Green Valley.Recreational FacilitiesGreen Valley offers an abundance of recreational facilities, including nine golf courses, 12 recreation centers, 23 heated swimming pools, shuffleboard, tennis, bocce, and racquetball courts. Green Valley Recreation offers numerous activities at its centers, including cultural events, arts and crafts rooms, sewing room, fitness centers, lapidary, ceramics and woodworking, photography, shuffleboard and billiards and computer instruction.
Sahuarita (Saw wah ree ta) is a town in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Sahuarita was founded in 1911 and incorporated in 1994.Sahuarita is located south of the Tohono O'odham Nation and north of Green Valley, 15 miles (24 km) south of Tucson. The population was 3,242 at the 2000 census; in 2006, it was estimated at 13,027.
The first known human inhabitants of the Sahuarita region were the Hohokam people, which may be the ancestors of the modern day Tohono O'odham nation. The Hohokam were known for their highly innovative and extensive use of irrigation. The Hohokam were a very peaceful people, they had extensive trade routes extending to mesoamerica, and showed many cultural influences from their southern neighbors.
The Sobaipuri were possibly related to the Hohokam, and occupied the Southern portion of the Santa Cruz, with the Pima to their North and South. While Coronado passed just East of Sahuarita in 1521, it wasn't until Eusebio Kino's 1691 journey along the Santa Cruz River that he met the leaders of the Sobaipuri people. Kino was a true champion of the indigenous Indians, opposing forced labor in mines by Spanish overseers. Kino would later go on to found the Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1699, just north of Sahuarita. In 1775, Fransico Garcés would follow the same path, laying the groundwork for the founding of Tucson.
In 1775, after building a series of missions in the region, the Spanish established a colony in Tucson, just north of Sahuarita, effectively placing the region under Spanish control. After the Mexican War of Independence in 1821, the region came under Mexican control.
In 1854, following the Gadsden Purchase, Sahuarita would become a part of the Territory of Arizona, in the United States of America. In the same year, Andrew B. Gray would travel the region on behalf of the Texas Western Railroad, in order to run a preliminary survey of the region. Meanwhile, the Native American peoples of the region were being pushed onto each other's land through American expansionism. In 1857, the Sobaipuri, who had acted as a buffer between the hostile Spaniards to the South and Apache to the North, finally collapsed under the pressure and vacated the area, generally moving Westward to Papago territory. In 1867, Fort Crittenden was created between Sonoita and Patagonia in order to support the establishment of European settlements in the Santa Cruz Valley. In 1874, the San Xavier reservation was created, presently called the Tohono O'odham Reservation, and Native Americans were forcibly relocated to the reservation.
An 1870 map of Arizona shows an "Indian Village" just north of Sahuarita. The earliest known reference to the town can be found on a German map from 1875, which labels the town "Sahuarito". The first known US map to list the town came in 1879, by the US Department of Interior, calling the town "Saurita". The Saurita town name would continue to be found on successive maps of 1880 and 1890. Finally, a 1925 map of "Auto Trails" (e.g. roadways) of Arizona and New Mexico lists "Continental" instead of Sahuarita. The roadway at the time was an "improved road", one step inferior to a "paved road", laying the route to what today is called the Old Nogales Highway.
In 1879 Sahuarita Ranch was created by James Kilroy Brown. Brown choose the name Sahuarita due to the preponderance of saguaros in the area. The ranch was used as a staging area between Tucson, Arivaca, and Quijotoa. A small community developed in the area named Sahuarito, while the railroad laid tracks through the area (which remain to this day) and established a station and post office. Although originally surveyed by the Texas Western Railroad, the route would soon be run by the Southern Pacific Railroad up until the late 20th century. Brown sold his ranch in 1886 which caused the region to stagnate for three decades.
During this time, the hub of Sahuarita commerce was at the intersection of Sahuarita Road and Nogales Highway, in the form of the One Stop Market and Sahuarita Bar and Grill. These 130-year-old buildings remain intact, but they are scheduled to be demolished for a road expansion: "While some have said the 1 Stop and the shuttered Sahuarita Bar on the north side of Sahuarita Road were long-time fixtures that might deserve historic recognition, the longest-serving council member, Charles Oldham, and the council member who lives closest, Marty Moreno, both said the convenience store should make way for badly needed road improvements. Oldham said, “It’s in the way."Continental Farm (1915 - present)
The Continental Farm of Sahuarita plays a central role in town history. In 1915, worried about the possibility of a German blockade of rubber imports, Bernard Baruch, Joseph Kennedy and J.P. Morgan founded the farm along the Santa Cruz River with hopes of growing guayule: plants that provide rubber. The project was abandoned after the end of World War I, and in 1922, was sold to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The Queen rented the land to cotton farmers, in what would be the primary crop for the following four decades. In 1948, R. Keith Walden relocated the Farmers Investment Co. (FICO) from California to Arizona, buying the Continental Farm lands from the Queen. In 1965, over fears of a fall in demand for cotton resulting from the advent of synthetic fibers, Walden switched his crop to pecans. Today, the FICO pecan orchard is the largest in the world, with over 6,000 acres (24 km²) and 106,000 trees.
The Army Air Corp from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base first used this 27,046-acre (109.45 km²) range in April, 1942 for practice bombing runs. The Sahuarita Flight Strip was completed in 1943, with a 5,540-foot (1,690 m) paved runway, and the bombing runs ceased shortly thereafter. The site included 12 buildings in addition to the airstrip, and four observational towers. In 1950, bomber crews operating out of Carswell AFB, TX, restarted bombing runs on the range, which would last until 1962, with the airway strip remaining in use as an emergency landing strip thereafter. The Federal government soon released the land to the State of Arizona in 1978, who in turn leased the land to a cattle rancher. Presently, the former airstrip has been converted into a roadway that leads to "Sahuarita Park", while the remaining land remains in use for cattle grazing. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing its longstanding efforts of identitifying remaining munitions, preventing environmental containmentation, and protecting several endangered species in the area, including jaguars, spotted owls, among others.World War II (1944 - 1945)
During World War II, Sahuarita was home to Camp Continental, a labor camp for German prisoners of war. The location of the camp was around what is now Continental Ranch, West of the Nogales Highway and the Quail Crossing Boulevard intersection. It was established around November, 1944, as one of 21 "branch" POW camps established throughout the state. The population of 250 prisoners primarily worked in agriculture, tending to cotton and vegetable cropsPopulation
The population of the town was 1,629 in 1990, while in 2000, the population rose to 3,242. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that it had a population of 13,027 in 2006.
In contrast to federal census data, in 2006 the Arizona Department of Economic Security assessed the town population at 18,035. The town has guessed that its 2007 population was 20,393.
Sahuarita is located at 31°55'45?N, 110°58'56?W (31.929245, -110.982241).According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39.4 km²), all of it land. Since the most recent census was taken in 2000, the town has annexed more land; its area is presently about 30 sq mi (80 km²). The Santa Cruz River runs through the town, flowing north during the monsoons.
Sahuarita Lake is an artificial lake that was completed on June 22, 2001, by Rancho Sahuarita. The lake surface area is 435,600 square feet (10 acres), with a 1-mile (1.6 km) long perimeter and maximum depth of 10 feet (3.0 m), holding approximately 70 acre feet of water (22.8 million gallons). This reflects a water amount equivalent to less than one tenth of one percent (< 0.1%) of the 76,000 acre feet (94,000,000 m³) of water used by all of Sahuarita and Green Valley in 2006.
The lake is a "managed lake", which means that natural ecological changes within the lake that do "not fit within the parameters set by man", are cause for remedial action to return to the goals of the management plan. Air compressors located at various points under the lake continually inject air through diffusers which aids the movement of water in a process called vertical mixing. This system of continual aeration enables the circulation of all water in the lake on a daily basis, and therefore creates an ecological balance and uniform appearance. The lake also contains fish and frogs, the former of which are regularly stocked by the Arizona State Department of Game and Fish, and is an attraction to ducks and various kinds of birds.
The lake consumes water to the extent that all the water in the lake must be replenished every year. Regarding water evaporation, lake documents state that according to the USDA Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, the mean annual evaporation rate for Sahuarita is 69 inches (1,800 mm) per year. This results in a mean water loss of 57.5 acre feet per year. Regarding water loss due to seepage, initial estimates indicated an annual loss of 10 acre feet of water, or 17% of total capacity per year. The J. Harlan Glenn Engineers that provided this estimate indicated that this equates to an "extremely low seepage rate". On average, 65 gpm (gallons of water per minute) must be pumped into the lake to maintain its current level. A nearby well site that draws on the shared Upper Santa Cruz Valley aquifer is used to refill the lake. In 2006, 105.3 acre feet (129,900 m³) of water was used for the entire Sahuarita lake park, which includes water for the 5 acres (20,000 m²) of grass and restroom facilities.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,242 people, 1,155 households, and 927 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.2 people per square mile (82.3/km²). There were 1,247 housing units at an average density of 82.0/sq mi (31.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.85% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 1.08% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 7.40% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. 24.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,155 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.6% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 15.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $53,194, and the median income for a family was $55,338. Males had a median income of $42,258 versus $26,174 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,075. About 4.0% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
In April 2007, the Eller College of Management conducted an assessment survey of Sahuarita residents due to the town's 529% growth since the 2000 Census, because data from that census "on workforce and community characteristics is no longer applicable." The survey was mailed to 7,805 households and was weighted by area to ensure a representative sampling.
The survey reported that in educational attainment 19.7% of residents are high school graduates; 32.4% have an Associates Degree or some college; 26.9% have a Bachelor's degree, and 14.6% have a Master's degree, and 3.3% have a Doctoral degree. These statistics lead to the finding that "demonstrates significantly higher concentrations in associate’s, bachelor’s and graduate/professional degrees than the county as a whole, or the state."
For places of work, 57% of residents reported working in Tucson, with 16.6% working in Sahuarita, and 12.7% in Green Valley. It found that local workers specialized more than workers elsewhere in Pima County, being most concentrated in the following occupations:
The Town of Sahuarita operates under the council-manager form of government. The Sahuarita town council is responsible for the policy matters of the town, and the management of a town manager to oversee staff and carry out the day to day functions of the town. Sahuarita is administered by the seven member town council, which includes a Mayor and Vice Mayor. The Mayor and Vice Mayor are not elected into those positions, but are instead chosen among elected council members. The town council oversees all issues pertaining to Sahuarita, including residential and commercial development and natural preservation.
The Town of Sahuarita is a general law town, and does not have a town charter. As a result, Sahuarita operates fully under Title 9: Cities and Towns, of the Arizona Revised Statues.
Sahuarita contains the master planned communities of Rancho Sahuarita & Resort (north), Quail Creek (southeast) and Madera Highlands (south) in addition to the residential neighborhoods of La Joya (southwest), Los Colonias and Los Arroyos (west). The town has 92 acres of public and private parks and recreation facilities, with approximately 125 additional acres currently proposed.
Since 2002, 30% of the land in the town is zoned for residential use, the majority of which (22%) is classed as medium density residential, defined as a single family suburban environment. Employment, commercial, institutional, and industrial land comprises 6.5% of town land, while mixed use zoning occupies 9% of land. The town has set aside 7% of land for resource conservation/open space, while 25% of land is designated flood plain.
Sahuarita contains the Titan Missile Museum, which is the only Titan Missile site in the world accessible to the public. The actual Titan II missile, the most powerful nuclear missile on standby in the US, remains in the silo for visitors to see.
Just 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Sahuarita is Madera Canyon, rising above the town at 5,500 feet (1,700 m). Visiting the canyon offers residents a way to escape the summer heat (about 15 degrees cooler than Tucson), and travel the extensive trail system or experience the world-renowned bird watching opportunities.
In the desert southwest, water sustainability is a major concern. According to a 2007 report by Pima County, 76,000 acre feet (94,000,000 m³) of water was pumped from the aquifer in the Upper Santa Cruz Valley in 2006 [in the report referred to as the Green Valley area, which includes Sahuarita], with 85 percent of that water being used for mining and agriculture. The remaining 15 percent was split between water used for golf courses and residential/commercial water use. The report explains that "The Green Valley area does not have a sustainable water supply given current groundwater pumping rates... the water table in Green Valley has been declining in past years, and is expected to decline even faster as water demands [continue to increase]...". The report concludes that "Water supplies will become critical within the next ten years."
So, you’ve made an offer on a home and it has been accepted. Congratulations! Within the escrow period, there is the inspection contingency period for you to look into all of the nooks and crannies of the house to make sure it is the perfect home for you. And, if you do find any significant faults, the inspection contingency provides the ability to pull out of the contract.
Now, you probably aren’t an expert in foundations or furnaces or termites, so you have to get the experts in to inspect your home. But, what should you expect to inspect? Of course, every home is different in size, history, style and more, but this is a general list to set you on the right path to a successful completion of your inspection contingency period.
General Home—A look at all of the basic systems in the house, from heating and electrical to roofs and windows. The general home inspection can sometimes lead to additional specialized inspections.
Roof—An examination of the age, style and condition of the roof.
Sewer Lateral Inspection—This inspection looks at the plumbing connection from the private home to the city’s sewer system to find any possible leaks or seepage.
Pest and Structural—A investigation of any termite infestation or basic structural defects.
Foundation—A detailed investigation of the home’s basic foundation.
Heater—An examination of the age, type and condition of the home’s heating system.
Electrical—An examination of the age, type and condition of the home’s electrical system.
Plumbing—An examination of the age, type and condition of the home’s plumbing system.
The cost of these inspections can vary from free to several hundred dollars, so make sure to budget that into your plans.