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The Skies Over Tucson: Jeff Orr, Guest Writer, Pilot

(Published on - 3/19/2019 7:04:46 PM)

                               

 

If you’ve spent any time at all in Tucson, you’ve no doubt noticed the incredible diversity of aircraft flying overhead. You can look up at any given time of the day and into the night and you’ll see airliners, helicopters, fighter jets, light piston-driven aircraft and just about everything in between—even hot air balloons and gliders. The 300+ days of sunny weather per year in Tucson makes it the perfect place to take to the skies in whatever craft you happen to have on hand.

The bulk of the flights you see in the air above Tucson originate from Tucson International Airport and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base(DM), although Ryan Field, Marana Regional Airport handle a fair amount of traffic as well. If you’re lucky, as you’re driving north on I-10 north of town, you might even catch a glimpse of a 747 making its final landing at Pinal Air Park.

TIA is the airport that almost all Tucsonans have some direct experience with because most of us have flown in and out of there on a commercial airline flight. What a lot of people don’t know is that The Arizona Air National Guard’s 162ndWing operates a fleet of about 80 F-16s off of a 92-acre base on the northern edge of the airport’s property as well. The military and the Tucson Airport Authority share responsibility for using and maintaining the taxiways and the runways and have done so since the 152nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron set up shop in 1956.

Davis-Monthan sits across I-10 about four miles north of TIA with a single runway that’s oriented parallel to TIA’s main runway. In fact, they look similar enough that more than one pilot over the years has accidentally lined up to land on the wrong one—not that I would know anything about that personally…

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base plays host to several different units that operate A-10s, C-130s, HH-60 helicopters and various aircraft from units temporarily assigned to DM in two or three week blocks. From time to time, you might get to see an old Air Force ghost flying in the form of an F-4 Phantom or other retired jet flying into or out of the Boneyard which is attached to DM. In addition, the US Border Patrol flies Lear Jets and Blackhawk helicopters out of DM. There are a LOT of flying machines at Davis-Monthan!

When you see fighter jets, mostly the 162nd’s F-16s and DM’s A-10s, departing the city, they’re probably heading toward one of three major military airspace complexes: The Barry M Goldwater Range and Sells Military Operating Area (MOA) to the west, the Tombstone MOA to the southeast and the Outlaw/Jackal/Rustler MOA complex to the north. To get there, pilots fly from DM or TIA toward Kitt Peak, Sierra Vista, or Reddington Pass respectively. When they come home, they roughly fly past those same points in the opposite direction.

The flight paths that commercial flights take are also based on the locations of those military operating areas. They come and go from Tucson via the gaps in between them. On weekends and holidays when the military isn’t flying, air traffic control will sometimes let civilian airliners fly through the MOAs because they’re “cold.” These shortcuts often will cut several minutes off a flight.

The biggest difference between military and civilian airplanes you’ll notice on a day-to-day basis is that commercial planes’ sole purpose is to fly as straight a line as possible to the runway to land. They don’t spend any time circling overhead the city.

The military, on the other hand, oftentimes flies multiple patterns on a single flight to practice takeoffs and landings. In fact, the mission of two of the three A-10 squadrons at DM and three of the four F-16 squadrons at TIA is to train new pilots. That means there are a lot of practice takeoffs and landings happening here.


What You Need To Know About LEASED Solar!

(Published on - 2/19/2019 7:29:08 PM)

Team member Sara White is a National Association of Realtors (NAR) Green Designee, and is an expert on green features.  Sara believes that every step toward a greener, more sustainable environment is a step in the right direction!

Recently, while helping clients gather up a list of homes to view during their next visit to town, Sara ran across a listed home with leased solar panels. This raised a few questions and things to think about. Here are a few facts to consider if a home has a leased solar PV (Photovoltaic) system:

  • TEP’s annual percentage rate increase has historically been 1.25%. Solar companies, that lease solar PV systems, will have an annual rate increase anywhere from 3%-6%, which is added to the monthly payments each year. You can see where these companies make their money, yes?! Think of this type of lease as being similar to a reverse mortgage. Ouch!
  • PV systems are built based on the current homeowner’s energy usage and the payment plan is set in stone for the entire length of the lease terms. The new owner(s) may or may not have the same energy usage. If the previous owner(s) were fulltime occupants, then it’s a disadvantage to the current owner(s) if they are not full-time occupant(s). You are now paying for energy that you will never use!
  • Leased solar PV systems are considered a negative or a lien on a property. When purchasing a property with a PV system, the buyer(s) have to qualify for the lease and take on that lien.

Hope that these few facts are helpful when deciding to purchase a home with a leased solar PV system. Always do your due diligence and research all details! Know the difference between leased solar and owned solar!


We Know Tucson January 2019

(Published on - 1/21/2019 7:30:41 PM)
 
 
This month's "We Know Tucson" feature requires a little trip outside the City limits. Bizzy recently spent the day hiking and checking out petroglyphs west of Tucson.
 
Long ago, residents of the area used petroglyphs, images carved into cliffs and boulders, to communicate and record scenes from daily life. Seeing these images up close and personal is a fun way to experience the desert and history from long ago.
 
The Signal Hill Picnic Area at Saguaro National Park West is one place to check out prehistoric Hohokam petroglyphs. If you've never been to Saguaro National Park West, the drive up and over Gates Pass is worth the trip. Directions: Take Speedway Boulevard west. Speedway becomes Gates Pass Road soon after you pass under I-10. Follow Gates Pass Road through Gates Pass and when you dead end into Kinney Road take a right and head north. After about 3 1/2 miles look for signs to Saguaro National Park. Park at the Signal Hill Picnic Area. The trail gently climbs to a hill covered with dozens of 800 year old petroglyphs.
 
The Picture Rocks area also boasts petroglyphs. The Picture Rocks petroglyphs are along a short trail at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road.
 
The center’s website notes that visitors are welcome to view the petroglyphs, but visitors are asked to check in at the front office and refrain from climbing on the rocks.
 
Also, please note that oils from your hands can actually damage the petroglyphs. Visitors may take lots of photographs, but are asked not to leave any fingerprints.
 
 

New Year's Mortgage Update

(Published on - 1/21/2019 7:30:27 PM)
The Bizzy Orr Team is happy to introduce a special guest columnist, Gary Franks, Sr. Loan Officer/Branch Manager, Sunstreet Mortgage, LLC.. Thanks Gary!!
 
 
                                  
 
The new year is always a fun time to look ahead to new possibilities in almost all facets of life. Health, occupation, vacations...and of course economic projections. While I'm certainly not qualified to speak on big economic topics, I can update you on what's new in the mortgage world and what our industry expects for 2019. Here goes!
 
New Loan Limits
Every year Fannie Mae analyzes average home prices throughout the country and makes a determination on the highest loan amount they will purchase, thus defining a conventional loan. Anything above their limit becomes a Jumbo loan. In 2018, the "conforming limit" was at $453,100. To kick off this year, the new loan limit for Single Family Homes has been increased to $484,350. This is an increase of almost 7% and is a result in the values of homes across the country staying on the rise.
The Veteran's Administration followed suit and uses the same number, $484,350, to establish the maximum loan amount they will finance without requiring a down payment. Veterans can buy homes larger than this number, but any amount over this limit requires a small down payment.
Lastly, FHA also adjusts their loan limits annually, usually at 65% of Fannie Mae's limit. Here in Pima County, and most counties in Arizona, the 2019 loan limit is $314,827. Last year the limit was $294,515.
When limits increase, more people are eligible for the most affordable financing options available. Also, more sellers are able to market their properties to larger pools of potential buyers.
 
Loan Program Update
Don't be alarmed when you hear that some of the loan programs that took the brunt of the blame for the housing crisis in 2007 are edging their way back into the market. While it's true that some loans are being re-created to use reduced documentation to help qualify specific borrower traits, for example Stated Income Loans, the legislation that resulted from the Great Recession will put some significant restrictions on how far these loans can go. Also, as these programs are slowly reintroduced, they will come with steep down payment and credit score requirements.
There is one Down Payment Assistance program of note that should continue to be available through June 2019. It is marketed as "Pathway to Purchase" and provides 10% (but no more than $20,000) as down payment help, in the form of a "silent " 2nd lien on the property. The lien is fully forgivable if the borrower lives in the home for 5 years. I'm not a huge fan of most of these programs, but this one combines a substantial incentive with a very reasonable interest rate. While it's only available in certain zip codes, it's worth enquiring about if you or someone you know is looking to purchase in the next few months.
All of this said, 99% of the loans made these days continue to be standard Conventional, FHA, VA, and Jumbo fixed rate loans.
 
The 2019 Rate Outlook
Crystal balls, especially when I look into them, are about as reliable as a weather forecast. . .so have some salt handy as you read on. . .
Earlier in 2018, most rate watchers and prognosticators were predicting increasing interest rates through all of 2019, starting with a Federal Reserve Board rate hike in March of this year. This likely means rates will bounce around in a range close to our current levels for most of the year. Only some very positive economic data, combined with inflationary concerns, would get our rates moving upwards again.
For the first time in almost a year and a half, we saw a slight rate decrease in the last 30 days. Rates in November 2018 were typically between 5.00% and 5.5% (depending on loan type down payment, credit score, etc.). Today we see most rates coming in between 4.5% and 5%.
As I write this, it feels like the rate decrease has stalled. From here we're hoping for many months of stability at these levels. I believe the Federal Reserve feels the same. It's hard to root for rates going much lower, as that would likely be at the cost of our stock market, and consequently our retirement account values.
 
Best wishes in 2019!
Gary Franks
 
If you have questions for Gary, click here for his contact info and website.

Real Producers Magazine features Bizzy Orr

(Published on - 12/3/2018 9:51:13 PM)

Bizzy Orr - Seizing Every Moment

By Kylea Bitoka

Photos by Joey Ambrose

     

If there is one thing Elizabeth “Bizzy” Orr has learned as a military spouse it's make the most of your time. “You learn to grow where you are planted. It opens your eyes to opportunity and teaches you to make the most of what is around you.”

That is exactly what Bizzy has done. She’s made the most of every opportunity as their family has moved around the United States and the world. Bizzy never expected to pursue a career in real estate or be in the top 1 percent of REALTOR®s in Tucson, however, 11 years into her career, she is still going strong with no plans of stopping. The awards and recognition for her achievements continue to add up. When you experience Bizzy’s can-do attitude, fun-loving spirit, and passion for helping people transition, it makes sense.

                          

One of Bizzy’s first introductions to real estate was a foreclosure flip. “My husband and I have been buying and selling houses since 1999. Our first foreclosure was in Indiana; we remodeled it, then sold it. Both of us enjoyed what we could do with real estate, how we could improve homes and improve communities.” Before they got involved in buying and selling real estate, Bizzy and her husband, Jeff, were frequently on the move with his career in the Air Force. While they lived in Missouri, Mississippi and Arizona, Bizzy worked in promotions and marketing for TV stations. Then her husband got stationed at Misawa Airbase in Japan. Bizzy retired from the TV industry. “I did a lot of fun things in Japan. I worked in an art gallery, I taught English, and I volunteered. Our son, Erik, was born in Japan. It was great to be able to stay home with him.” Bizzy laughs as she shares a funny story about Erik. “For the longest time, he thought he was Asian American because he was born in Asia and he is American.”

While stationed in Misawa, Bizzy and her family savored all the sights and sounds of the area. “We were in the northern part of the main island; it’s a lot like Colorado or Oregon. There are mountains, rivers and hot springs. It’s very beautiful. We traveled a lot. We loved to go camping and skiing.” After 10 years as an active-duty pilot, Bizzy’s husband transitioned into the Air National Guard. It’s a move that allowed them to put down roots and opened the door for Bizzy’s real estate career. “When we moved to Tucson, we decided to invest more in real estate. The timing worked out for me to get my license in 2007. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would use the license. I just thought it would help us with our rentals and buying or selling different properties. But it ended up that I had this network of people that knew me and trusted me. One client at a time it turned into a career. I sort of accidentally became successful.”

In addition to becoming a licensed REALTOR®, Bizzy was a full- time mom, coordinator for her son’s swim team, and stroke and turn judge for swim competitions. Like Bizzy always does, she made the most of the opportunities that were in front of her, not missing a moment. “A lot of the swim families became clients of mine. Our family still shares a special bond over swimming. In fact, we just got back from Denver; we went to watch Erik’s last swim meet of the season. He’s on the Air Force men’s swim team.”

Jeff graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1992. Now Erik is following in his father’s footsteps – he will in graduate in 2021. It’s a proud moment for Bizzy and Jeff who both come from families with a strong tradition of military service. “I couldn’t be prouder. My dad is retired Navy. Jeff’s father is a former Army pilot. I’m really excited for Erik and the opportunities ahead of him.” It’s an Air Force tradition for the families of pilots to take a picture in front of the jet, this time both father and son were in flight suits, a truly special moment for their family.

Bizzy’s own experience in military moves has given her a passion for helping other military families relocate. “I’ve been where they are, and I can help them. It’s very rewarding.” Every year Bizzy helps many military families relocate to Tucson. Sometimes, it even reunites her with old friends. “In Japan, I worked with the wife of a military flight doctor. When he retired, they moved to Tucson, and we reconnected. I was able to help them buy a home.”

Even in their spare time, Bizzy and her family like to be active. “We love to get outside for hikes in Sabino Canyon and Tumamoc.” Whether it’s a triathlon or a CrossFit workout, Bizzy is always up for the challenge. Both Bizzy and Jeff have completed triathlons. Investing in fitness is a priority in her personal life as well as her business life. Bizzy’s real estate team shares her passion for an active, healthy lifestyle and is currently sponsoring the Tucson Tri Girls. Founded in 2003, Tucson Tri Girls is a nonprofit that provides support, training, and events for women triathletes of all levels and abilities.                                                                                                                                 

                                                

For all the hard work she puts in, Bizzy also knows how to have fun. She’s found a creative outlet in modeling for a stock photography company in Tucson. The images are available for purchase and are used nationwide. Her photos have been spotted on greeting cards, ads, and gift bags in Hawaii, Illinois and Maine. “We did a '50s housewives series, and those photos have been very popular. They show up on social media all the time. One of my images was actually used by The Loft for selling popcorn. BRAVO TV even used one of my images on ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.’ You never know where they will turn up next.”

As far as the future goes, Bizzy and Jeff are getting ready for another adventure. Jeff is starting a new job as a pilot for Southwest Airlines. “Opportunity knocks; you’ve got to take advantage of the new things coming your way. As my husband starts flying, there will be more chances to travel. Being in the military, we have friends all over the States and all over the world; it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with these special people in our life. I can see in the next five years still having a great real estate team but me being more mobile.” It’s an exciting new chapter, and Bizzy is ready to seize every moment of it.


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