Posts Tagged ‘arizona’
Today I stepped into the future…ish.
As Realtors here in AZ, my wife Kathy and I depend on our MLS access to show homes, list homes, and to track who has seen our listings. In the old days, everyone had an actual key, and someone losing their key was a major problem…all the lockboxes would have to be manually re-keyed, every time!
Recently, we’ve been using the GE Supra e-key. This system depends on the key itself connecting to the network, and telling everyone where that key was during that day. The listing agents would get notice of buyers viewing the house, and they can request feedback from the buyer’s agents. It was a great system, but there was a weak link. The only way the key could connect to the network was through a phone line…not a digital line like Vonage or Magic Jack, but a real live copper wire landline like Qwest. Since we had long since moved our Fax services to MyFax, the $100 a month Qwest bill was being paid just to keep our keys updated.
I had been hearing rumors about a new wireless key that was being rolled out in other states, and when Qwest had another outage (4th this year!) I started scrambling to find a way to update our keys that did not involve borrowing access to someone’s copper wire phone for 10 minutes. While Googling AZ MLS Keys, I came across a note on another broker’s website that one of their agents had gotten the newest version of the key, the GE Activekey, and that all their agents should upgrade. The ARMLS website doesn’t mention the upgrade, or the fact that their offices have moved. Flexmls, our Web tool for ARMLS, had a link to a pdf doc “explaining” the transition. Unfortunately it was only a flier that said the upgrade was coming soon!
I called ARMLS support, and they gave me the number for new ARMLS service center…at the Mesa location of the South East Valley Regional Association of REALTORS (SEVRAR). (Wow, I hadn’t thought to check their website! They had a link to the same PDF document about the pending upgrade.) The numbers I was given for the ARMLS center were wrong, so I called SEVRAR and asked about the new ActiveKeys. They let me know that the key exchange was going on, and had been for some time! All I needed was to bring in the old key and exchange it for the new one. Considering the state of the saga so far, I made it to Mesa within the hour and exchanged the key.
Incidentally, the ladies at the ARMLS center let me know that volume is very low so far, ( ya think?!) and that they are just letting word get out to avoid setting up a schedule to roll the new keys out. A sloppy but effective way to limit traffic, I guess!
If you’re involved in real estate, you should get out and get your new key ASAP, it’s a big improvement over the old model, despite the fact that it seems to be the exact same device, in a different case. The new key connects via cellular tower every few minutes and uploads your information to the same network as the old key. No more land-lines!!
That brings me to the only issues I have with the new device…its appearance! I guess they got a lot of feedback that the old style was too small and was easy to lose, and the numbers were too hard to read, anyway, it’s now much larger, white with giant blue buttons. Giant backlighting and a flashlight make it even cheesier, and around our office we call them “the Jitterbug keys”, after that phone that’s designed for seniors? The one with the TV commercials?
The ActiveKey… or the Jitterbug?
Allyn and Associates
Edited: July 28th, 2010
Short Sales and foreclosures made up over 40% of sales in the third quarter of 2008 making short sales commonplace in the Phoenix area. Without experience and persistence a short sale can be very challenging to close. But before we get into the details of short sale challenges let’s answer a very basic question, What is a Short Sale?
A short sale is when a mortgage holder accepts less for the property than what is owed. It’s that simple, but seeing the sale through to the finish can be a long and arduous process. Each financial institution is different, I’ve seen Short Sales take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to close, the average usually falling somewhere in the middle.
The first step is to call your lender, discuss your situation and the possibility of a short sale. Request information on their short sale process and a ”Short Sale Packet.” Next, talk to your REALTOR about listing your property. You may need an offer on the table to get the lender to look at your packet, so be sure to discuss the offer and approval processes with your lender. And as with all major financial decisions you should consult your Accountant and/or Attorney to discuss the financial implications.
Edited: February 3rd, 2009
Beep Beep! Everyone knows this local resident, either from the Saturday morning cartoons, or from seeing him zip across the road as we drive by. Just like in the cartoons, it can’t fly very far, but it can run up to 17 miles per hour. This ground cuckoo is a fixture all over our state, and many people even believe they’re the state bird. (They aren’t, it’s the Cactus Wren).
Roadrunners are fast and strong enough to catch and kill rattlesnakes, grabbing them by the tail and cracking their head against the ground like a whip, and they’re quick enough to grab a hummingbird or a dragonfly out of the air. They typically eat their prey whole, and they sometimes will be seen with a snake dangling out of their beak, eating it slowly over several days, as it digests.
In the deserts of Arizona, the Roadrunner will often mate twice a year, just prior to our early spring and late summer rainy seasons. These large, crested birds make nests of twigs and grass in the low branches of trees and bushes. After the eggs are laid, the male takes over and sits on the nest. As the eggs begin to hatch, the smaller chicks are often eaten by their parents, until there are only 3 or 4 left. The babies leave the nest after 18 days or so, and after a couple of weeks they go off into the desert to make their own way in the world.
And it’s a hard world for Roadrunners. Coyotes really are one of their biggest predators, along with hawks, owls, bull snakes, rat snakes, skunks, and housecats, and in cold weather, many die from exposure.
The Roadrunner is a pretty secretive guy, so when you get a glimpse, be sure to take the time to watch them go about their business!
Edited: February 1st, 2009
It is said that the powerful Peralta family had been operating several successful gold mines in the area of the Goldfield and Superstition Mountains during the mid 1800’s, and that they were making frequent trips home to Mexico to deliver their gold.
In 1848, while the United States was in the process of taking possession of the lands to the north of the present-day Mexican border, the Peraltas brought in a large group of miners and made a last minute push to recover all the gold they could before they lost their mines. Legend has it that while these men were returning to Mexico with their mules loaded with gold, they were set upon and massacred by marauding apaches. The raiding party supposedly took the mules, and the saddle bags, but they left the piles of useless gold rocks behind.
There were reports in 1912 or 1913 that a couple of prospectors found a substantial amount of gold ore at the site of this massacre, $18,000, a considerable amount of money in those days! To this day there are people who insist that this area is still haunted by the spirits of the miners, and the Massacre Grounds are a popular hiking destination on the western end of the Superstition Wilderness.
Of course, as with almost all the stories about the Superstitions, there are experts who dispute the origins of this story, or whether it happened at all. There are no records of the Peraltas mining in this area, but they did mine in California, and they fraudulently sold huge areas of the land around here after their mines failed. But in spite of these “facts” true believers will tell you that these experts just want to keep others from delving any deeper into the mountain’s history.
In the 1950’s , sandstone maps supposedly leading to some of these mines were found in the area, and now have become part of the legends of the Superstitions. Copies of the maps are now on display at the Superstition Mountain Museum.
Legend has it that a few of the Peraltas survived the massacre, and that one of them showed Jacob Walz, the infamous Lost Dutchman, where the mine was…but that’s another story!
Edited: January 27th, 2009
This post, I decided to profile of one of our most common neighbors out here in the Superstition Mountains, the Gambel’s Quail.
These little guys swarm all over the foothills, running in gangs called coveys.
Quail are mostly monogamous, and the male will raise the brood if the female is killed. The flocks usually consist of up to 20 birds, mostly sisters and children of the original pair.
They have a regular cycle in their reproduction, and some years (mostly wetter years) have much higher populations than others.
The Gambel’s quail is food for just about every predator out in these deserts, so a good year for the quail is a good year for all the other wildlife. Coyotes, bobcats, hawks and owls, and even Roadrunners have been seen preying on these little guys.
They seem to prefer running on the ground to flying, but they can fly explosively fast and as high as they need to when they are startled.
Many people put out food for the birds here, but it pays to remember that a birdfeeder is a snake-feeder as well. If you have a lot of quail, you have a lot of predators.
Edited: January 20th, 2009
In most parts of Arizona water is a precious commodity, making xeriscaping or xerigardening an essential part of successful gardening in Arizona. Here are a few ideas that can get you started on that low-water garden.
Indigenous or native plants will likely need less supplemental moisture most years than non-native species. The native species have evolved under the local conditions and usually have well developed mechanisms for surviving extremes in the weather. In addition to being well adapted, native plants can be some of the most beautiful highlights of your garden.
This doesn’t mean you’re limited to native plants or your typical low-water plants such as cacti, succulents or narrow leafed evergreens. There are plants found growing in coastal or mountainous regions that have developed mechanisms for dealing with extremely sandy, excessively well-drained soils, or rocky cold soils in which moisture is limited for months at a time.
There are also many herbs that adapt well to our arid conditions and are beautiful as accents or centerpieces of your garden.
Some plants adapted to sunny, dry conditions are: Yucca gloriosa, Broom, Yarrow, Nasturtium, California Poppy, Blanket flower, Sedum, Gold Dust (Alyssum), Moss Rose (Portulaca), Juniper, Artemisia, Lavender, Sage, Iris, Thyme, Crocus, and Evening Primrose.
Edited: January 13th, 2009