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How about Flagstaff Native Wildflowers and a Garden?

(Published on - 5/21/2020 6:14:52 PM)

Lets talk about something besides Real Estate this month;

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Kristin Haskins, the Executive Director of The Arboretum at Flagstaff speak at our local Flagstaff Rotary Club.
Her topic covered a lot of what is happening at the Arboretum and about Native Wildflowers.

About the Arboretum:

The Arboretum at Flagstaff was founded by Frances McAllister in 1981 as a private nonprofit organization under the official name "The Transition Zone Horticultural Institute." While research was the original primary focus, over the years it has become known as a destination for local and out-of-town visitors who want to learn more about the native plants and animals found in northern Arizona, and as a wonderful venue for a wide variety of events and educational programs.

Mission:

The Arboretum at Flagstaffs mission is to increase the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and plant communities native to the Colorado Plateau. We strive to:

  • Identify, evaluate, display, and introduce plants adaptable to the climatic and soil conditions of the Flagstaff environment
  • Seek through scientific research innovative solutions to conservation issues of this high altitude environment
  • Develop educational programs that increase the understanding of the need for wise stewardship of our natural environment.

 

Here are some Spring Seeding and Gardening Tips the Arboretum has put out.

So with all that,

I picked up some of their Native Wild Flower Seeds.
Last week on Mothers Day, May 10th I prepared a small bed in the front corner of our lot and planted the seeds.

This will be a fun experiment on how well I prepared the soil, planted the seeds and  have been keeping them watered until they sprout.

So every morning and evening, they get a drink, this morning I found 1 lone seed that has sprouted. Our friends Chad and Megan planted theirs on the 3rd and have a lot more up already, so mine I hope are just about ready to wake up.

The plot does not have any morning sun, there is a large Ponderosa Pine tree on the left you do not see and a Blue Spruce on the back right you do see.

The picture direction as you are looking at is pointed pretty close to East. So sun hits this spot about 1:00 p.m. every day.

My goal will be to update you on the garden throughout the summer.

Also in future newsletters I plan to give you more information about the Arboretum at Flagstaff. Kristin has provided a a list of the plants and will get that to you in my next newsletter. There are 16 native plants on the list. If you would like that ahead of time, reach out and I can send to you.
I also asked what book I should get to better understand our local Native Plants, she suggested;
Native Plants for High-Elevation Western Gardens by Jan Busco and Nancy Morin, this book was done in partnership with the Arboretum at Flagstaff

This will be fun to see how well this garden progresses through the summer.

I look forward updating you and please never hesitate reach out.
There are a number of things we can talk about besides Real Estate, so would love to visit

Jeff

 

About the Author:

Jeff Ross
Realty Executives of Flagstaff
Phone: 928-773-9300
Direct: 928-225-3511
Mobile: 928-607-5556
Email: JEFF@ALLFLAGSTAFFHOMES.COM
Website: www.AllFlagstaffHomes.com

 

 


Camping in Flagstaff

(Published on - 5/14/2020 8:59:51 PM)

There are so many good things to say about Flagstaff! It has just about everything you’re looking for: mountain hiking, snow sports, beautiful woodlands and outdoor activities galore. And even better, plenty of camping options located close to town.

There are two ways to go camping around Flagstaff: Campgrounds, and Dispersed (free) Camping.

Most campgrounds charge a fee, which coversamenities like bathrooms, water, dumpsters, and campsites with fire rings and picnic tables at each site. You can camp in and around many of the area national parks and monuments. At the more popular campgrounds, seasonal hosts will be there to help you check campsite reservations and answer questions. Sometimes, there is even firewood for sale. Most paid campgrounds within the Flagstaff Ranger District are open seasonally. They are closed in Winter. Nightly campsite fees can range between $15.00-$30.00. Most campgrounds are first come, first served. Here are a few of the more popular campgrounds:

*Lockett Meadow Campground: Stunning views of aspens and the tallest mountains in Arizona. Fall is the peak season. There is no running water.

*Bonito Campground: Located just across the road from the Sunset Crater’s visitor’s center. If you are going to Sunset Crater, park admission includes the Wupatki National Monument. This campground includes running water, fire rings, and flush toilets.

 

*Canyon Vista Campground: Popular with climbers, it offers a short and easy walk to ‘The Pit’, one of Flagstaff’s most popular sport climbing areas. It is conveniently close to town. You will find running water, vault toilets, and access to a variety of trails.

*Ashurst Lake Campground: This quiet spot is great for fishing. Ashurst Lake is one of the few natural lakes in Arizona, and fishermen will find catfish, trout, and bass here. The campground offers a boat launch, campfire rings, picnic tables, bathroom and running water.

Flagstaff KOA: Offers same amenities as all other KOAs. It is seconds away from Mt. Elden’s hiking trail network, and the Flagstaff mall.

Dispersed camping can be had down just about any forest road, away from main highways. With a few regulations, this practice is legal, convenient, and best of all, free. You can find established campgrounds way out in the woods, in the hollowed out core of an extinct volcano, or perched high above lush canyons. Most of the topography around Flagstaff is flat, and there are many miles of forest roads crossing through this whole region. When doing dispersed camping, it is important to realize America’s public lands are a treasured resource. Some principles are obvious, like packing out your trash, or not littering. Still, it is a good idea to read up on the finer points of leaving no trace. Make sure to check for any fire restrictions before setting up that campfire.


Native Americans, Past and Present

(Published on - 5/7/2020 4:13:45 PM)

Native Americans have played very important roles in our county, past and present. Currently, Arizona is home to 22 Indian tribes. Arizona has the 3rd highest Native American population, with reservations taking up over a quarter of the total land area. The Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, Kalibab-Paiute, and Hualapai tribal lands alone cover 31,000 square miles of this region.

There are numerous ancient Indian ruins to explore around the Northern Arizona region, the most famous being Wupatki National Monument and Walnut Canyon. Exploring these ancient cliff dwellings, along with Montezuma Castle are definite must-do’s for anyone interested in Native cultures or just looking to take in some fabulous views. If you are really interested in furthering your education, you can plan a visit to the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Check their calendar for the annual special exhibits for both the Navajo and Hopi nations. Various works of art are displayed, along with live demonstrations with some of these very skilled artisans.

And in the more recent past, the Navajo played a huge part in World War II. Have you ever heard of the Navajo Code Talkers? During World War II, the Marine Corps used the Navajo language to create an unbreakable code. The Navajo language seemed to be the perfect option as a code because it is not written and very few people who aren’t of Navajo origin can speak it. During the course of the war, about 400 Navajos participated in the code talker program.

 

Code Talkers Code Platoon

The Navajo recruits began developing the code by taking words from their language and applying them to implements of war. For example, the names of different birds were used to stand for different kinds of planes.

The Navajo Code Talkers (who were actually comprised of Navajo, Comanches, Hopis, and others) were treated with the utmost respect by their fellow marines. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared August 14 as National Code Talkers Day. In 2000 President Bill Clinton signed a law which awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the original 29 Code Talkers. President George W. Bush presented the medals to the four surviving Code Talkers at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington in July 2001.

Want to more more? Check out the Discover Navajo webpage, with links to Museums and more--or the authentic Navajo Code Talkers webpage, filled with photos and even more history!


Corona Virus Moving Approach

(Published on - 4/30/2020 6:42:15 PM)

Some questions to ask your moving company:

  • Do you provide virtual or digital estimates?
  • Are the trucks and movers equipped with hand sanitizers, masks and gloves?
  • What other measures are being taken to ensure the safety of your customers and crew?
  • How often are high touch surfaces within the trucks sanitized?
  • If I opt for packing services, can you pack my home without me there?
  • What is your cancellation or rescheduling policy?

A few other questions, tips and ideas for your move:

1. Is moving an essential service in my state?

Check your state’s executive order for essential businesses, and do so frequently as officials update their guidance daily.

2. How do I know if my move is allowed?

While your local officials may deem moving essential, some apartment communities and HOAs are not allowing residents to move during stay-at-home orders. Check with your management company, board, etc. before booking anything for your move.

3.What should I do to best accommodate my moving company?

You should provide a few accommodations to make the move safe for your family and the moving crew, such as:

  • Wear a mask and gloves
  • Don’t forget to pack your disinfecting wipes, cleaners and soap
  • Allow the crew to wash their hands frequently (before, during, and after)
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces often. Think: doorknobs, sinks, cabinet pulls, refrigerators and more.
  • Keep your windows open during the move to provide additional air circulation.

4.  What happens if I need to cancelmy move?

If you need to cancel your moving company, don’t worry. In most cases, booking a moving company is non-binding, allowing you the freedom to cancel at any point prior to your move – without a penalty.

However, if your moving company collected a deposit prior to your move, it may be nonrefundable. Contact your moving company about your deposit. Many reputable moving companies will be flexible or make an exception considering the pandemic. They may refund your deposit or provide credit for a future move.

5. I don’t feel comfortable with others touching my stuff. What are my options?

There are a few things you can do:

You can move using your own vehicle, which is the safest option.

You can rent a truck.

You can rent a container. It’s contactless, and you can pack everything yourself.

6. I want to rent a truck and do it myself. What should I do to ensure my safety?

If you rent a truck, be sure to wear gloves and disinfect the truck’s “hotspots” before getting behind the wheel. This includes the steering wheel, keys, door handles (outside and inside), seats and seat belts, the gear shifter or selector, knobs and buttons on the dashboard, console and touch screens.

7. How do I make sure my things aren’t infected? (boxes, furniture, etc.)

This is a great question because it seems nearly impossible to disinfect every item in every box. If you don’t have to move in right away move your belongings first and then move yourself and family into the house 72-96 hours later.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that tested how long the virus can remain stable on various surfaces. They found it was still detectable on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.

If you’re moving at the same time as your belongings, pack on “open first” box or two. When you get to the new home, drop your “open first” boxes in a safe place, and place the rest of your boxes away from them. (You can cover them in colorful tape or use colored markers to make sure they don’t get swallowed up in a sea of other brown boxes.) Prepare to disinfect the box and the items inside.

Here are some items to include:

  • For the kitchen: disinfectant spray, water bottle, plastic cups, non-perishable snacks and paper towels.
  • For the bathroom: hand soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, shower curtain, shower line, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
  • For the bedroom: sheet set, blanket, pillow and phone charger.
  • For the next day: change of clothes and instant coffee or cold brew.

8.When/how should I clean my new home properly?

Be sure to deep-clean and sanitize your new home before you move into it. Here are a few resources and tips to help:

Use the CDC’s recommendations on how to clean and sanitize your home.

EPA has a list of disinfectants that meet the criteria to fight COVID-19. When purchasing any product, check if its EPA registration number (located on the product label) is included in this list. The products on this list may be marketed and sold under different brand names, but if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product.

Use disinfectant wipes for quick cleanings over the most high-touch areas like doorknobs, sinks, cabinet pulls, refrigerators, etc.

Use disinfectant sprays for areas that can’t be wiped clean. You can use Lysol, for example, on your couches and mattresses which will touch many surfaces during a move (the ground, the inside of a truck, etc.).

Use the CDC bleach mixture recommendation on your new tile floors. Use a disinfecting wet mop cloth on your hardwood floors.

As you unpack, be sure to also disinfect your computer and accessories (keyboards can get pretty gross), your television remote controls, credit cards, wallet and more.

9. Is it safe for installation teams to come into my home?

Many television and internet providers now offer self-service solutions for installing new equipment like routers, DVRs and such. If you’re healthy and capable, that’s your best option. Regardless of installation technique, you need to prioritize your internet setup. Under stay-at-home orders, your internet connection is your connection to work, family and friends.

There have been 1-2 hours call wait times, as more and more people call to increase speeds and bandwidth. You can’t bank on getting an appointment as easily as you have in the past. Additionally, you may also want to consider a high-bandwidth plan to account for changes in working from home, video calls and multi-device streaming and more.

 

 


Think This Is A Flagstaff Housing Crisis? Think Again

(Published on - 4/23/2020 4:18:27 PM)

So, Where are we today, Here in Flagstaff in our Housing Market?

I can tell you where we are today, the end of the month March, 2020, and can even show you where we were in March of 2009.
What I cannot say with these uncertain times, where we are going, so will use History as a guide.
I will also include the research below, 'Think This is a Housing Crisis? Think Again', which came from a Real Estate Research company that helps me stay current with the Real Estate Market. You will find this an interesting read.

March was a bright spot with sales up from the previous year, but these sales were generated from pending contracts in January and February before the Covid-19 event started to take effect. 

A look past to maybe see the future;

One line below talks about Absorption Rate, the number of months it takes at the current average sales rate to sell all the homes on the market. The Experts in the Real Estate field feel a 6-7 month supply makes a healthy market, any more, we are in a buyers market, any less we are in a sellers market and to few means we have pent up demand from those that cannot find a home to purchase.

Here is some history going back to March of 2009 compared the the end of March this year, 2020.

   March 2009  Today- March 2020
Absorption Rate 12.03 Months   3.22 Months 
Homes Sold in March 67   119
Active Homes on the Market, End of March 891   443
Pending Homes that came to the Market in March 67   49
FreddieMac Monthly Average 30 year Fixed, with .7 pts 5.00%   3.45%
       
  March 1 to April 13 2019   March 1 to April 13 2020
Number of Showings in Flagstaff 1879   1427
  Decrease in Showings of  -24.05%
       
  2019 2020
A Weekly Average of showings starting Jan 12 +35% increase in Showings -45% decrease in showings

Here is what the above is showing us;

  • Home Sales for the month of March 2020 were up 77% over 2009
  • Active homes on the market today are down 50%
  • Pending contracts in March 2020 were down 27%
  • Interests rates today are down approximately 1.55%
  • Both Statewide and in Flagstaff, a % of those wanting to purchase have stepped aside for the time being.

When we compare 2020 to 2009, we are selling far more homes, we have far fewer homes on the market and interest rates are far below 2009.
Showings are down both in Flagstaff and Statewide, Buyers are certainly holding back waiting to see what happens. When the time comes, those that were waiting will jump back into the market and in numbers.

Today and the past recession are two different animals,
We have far fewer homes on the market, interest rates are well below the 2009 rates, and demand for homes thru February has been exceptionally strong which was Caused by both low interest rates, low inventory of available homes and pent up demand. The article below lays out a good case that housing will be the leader in bringing back the economy.

With all of the unanswered questions caused by COVID-19 and the economic slowdown we’re experiencing across the country today, many are asking if the housing market is in trouble. For those who remember 2008, it's logical to ask that question.

Many of us experienced financial hardships, lost homes, and were out of work during the Great Recession – the recession that started with a housing and mortgage crisis. Today, we face a very different challenge: an external health crisis that has caused a pause in much of the economy and a major shutdown of many parts of the country.

Let’s look at five things we know about today’s housing market that were different in 2008.

1. Appreciation

When we look at appreciation in the visual below, there’s a big difference between the 6 years prior to the housing crash and the most recent 6-year period of time. Leading up to the crash, we had much higher appreciation in this country than we see today. In fact, the highest level of appreciation most recently is below the lowest level we saw leading up to the crash. Prices have been rising lately, but not at the rate they were climbing back when we had runaway appreciation.Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again. | MyKCM

 

2. Mortgage Credit

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index is a monthly measure by the Mortgage Bankers Association that gauges the level of difficulty to secure a loan. The higher the index, the easier it is to get a loan; the lower the index, the harder. Today we’re nowhere near the levels seen before the housing crash when it was very easy to get approved for a mortgage. After the crash, however, lending standards tightened and have remained that way leading up to today.Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again. | MyKCM

3. Number of Homes for Sale

One of the causes of the housing crash in 2008 was an oversupply of homes for sale. Today, as shown in the next image, we see a much different picture. We don’t have enough homes on the market for the number of people who want to buy them. Across the country, we have less than 6 months of inventory, an undersupply of homes available for buyers.Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again. | MyKCM

4. Use of Home Equity

The chart below shows the difference in how people are accessing the equity in their homes today as compared to 2008. In 2008, consumers were harvesting equity from their homes (through cash-out refinances) and using it to finance their lifestyles. Today, consumers are treating the equity in their homes much more cautiously.Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again. | MyKCM

5. Home Equity Today

Today, 53.8% of homes across the country have at least 50% equity. In 2008, homeowners walked away when they owed more than what their homes were worth. With the equity homeowners have now, they’re much less likely to walk away from

their homes.

Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again. | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The COVID-19 crisis is causing different challenges across the country than the ones we faced in 2008. Back then, we had a housing crisis; today, we face a health crisis. What we know now is that housing is in a much stronger position today than it was in 2008. It is no longer the center of the economic slowdown. Rather, it could be just what helps pull us out of the downturn.

 

About the Author:

Jeff Ross
Realty Executives of Flagstaff
Phone: 928-773-9300
Direct: 928-225-3511
Mobile: 928-607-5556
Email: JEFF@ALLFLAGSTAFFHOMES.COM
Website: www.AllFlagstaffHomes.com

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