Mountain home in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson’s north side remains a high priority market for home buyers.

When we think of Tucson and the northwest area, do we think the area has developed from the future or do we think the area has developed from the past?

If we think from the future, creative ideas, visions, success and a thriving environment can follow. If we think from the past, we focus on values of stability, community, sharing and gathering along with a pioneering spirit. Are all of these qualities shaping the present and future of northwest Pima County real estate? 

If we go back 100 years, who was migrating to the area? What did the terrain look like? After speaking with Bruce Dinges, editor of the Arizona Historical Society’s publication, The Journal of Arizona, it is my understanding that Tucson and the area was attracting a small group of World War I veterans. 

The VA Hospital was being built to accommodate the veterans who were seeking fresh air and a dry climate, and tuberculosis clinics and sanitariums popped up as far north as Oracle, Arizona. Dinges said the Sunshine Climate Club, which marketed Arizona nationally, also promoted tourism in the area.

Amidst this flurry of activity, a ranching tradition remained close to the core of the region’s character. The Sutherland Golder families set a strong foundation on the land,    up through the Town of Catalina, for cattle ranching. Ranching continued as far west into Marana, where Dove Mountain and Interstate 10 connect. West of Interstate 10, what is now Continental Ranch and Gladden Farm, agriculture was taking root.

Moving forward 100 years, we continue to see our men and women in the military purchasing homes in our area and using the VA Hospital as a facility for their personal needs after combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our long time veterans are also using the VA as they age. Because housing is affordable in the Northwest area, many veterans, couples, and families continue to find the area attractive. I know from personal experience having worked with one veteran, it took three offers on various houses to succeed in getting a home under contract. This is due to the demand of homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. Buyers need to be quick, pre-qualified by their lender and ready to close with some flexibility.

According to Mitchell Jones, loan officer with Nova Home Loans, the average loan amount for the northwest area is $245,000.  He said that Pima County offers a “Homebuyer’s Solution Program” for those seeking to occupy, as primary residence, within 60 days of purchase. The credit score minimum for the program is 640 or better. Home Buyers can receive up to five percent assistance, based upon credit scores. Buyers are allowed a large selection of loan types, from Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loans.

We also continue to see people flock to our area for the mild climate in the winter, and our winter residents continue to be attracted to active adult communities.

The newest Del Webb Active Adult Community in Dove Mountain began in 2014 and sold 260 homes, according to Randy Carlson, sale agent with Del Webb.  This year alone, they sold 52 houses at an average price point just over $357,000.  Del Webb, Sun City in Oro Valley, a well-established active adult community, continues to show constant movement both coming in and going out. In the past year, nearly 200 homes were sold with an average price of roughly $263,946. 

According to The Tucson Association of REALTORS MLS stats of the northwest area, from January through July, the average house sale closed at about $302,000. A total of 1,711 properties closed with an average of 47 days on the market. In 2016, 2,714 homes sold in the northwest, with an average sales price of just over $287,000.  Average days spent on the market was 52.  

Time will tell if the sale of homes in 2017 will exceed the figures for 2016. The end of the year will be the deciding factor for home prices going up. Stay Tuned!

Deborah is a Realtor with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Tucson, Arizona. For further questions or comments, please contact Deborah Van De Putte at 282.111 or Deborah.vandeputte@russlyon.com.  

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