local expert: Saturday Night in the Desert: It's Raining! - 08/30/08 04:05 PM
It's raining! We love the rain here in the desert southwest. 
The monsoons are not over yet!  We may have another week or two before the weather pattern changes again. 
I camped out during the storm and took photo after photo with my little digital camera. 
I must have taken 70 frames. 
This one caught the lightning streaking from cloud to cloud as the storm receded towards the southern horizon.
Didn't God create a beautiful world?!  I'm glad to be able to share it with you.
I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as your local expert.

local expert: Live Venomous Critters at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ (1 of 2) - 07/14/08 05:21 PM
Saturday night entertainment.  My Darlin' and I were on the very front row.  My choice.  She's a saint.  The venue was an auditorium at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, just down Kinney Road from our neighborhood, Tucson Estates II.
The two speakers for the evening came walking down the auditorium aisle carrying boxes with holes in the sides and padlocks on the top.  The tops are painted bright red.  They house desert creatures who can put a hurting on you if you're not careful.
To give you an idea about the size of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake here, consider that the … (5 comments)

local expert: Staging the Back Yard for Emotional Appeal: Garden Sculpture in Tucson, AZ - 06/15/08 02:52 PM
You don't notice him right away; he's quiet and unassuming.  He blends in with the granite boulders that define my goldfish pond.  The artist who created him as "outdoor art" lives and works in Colorado.
When I first met his gaze, he was looking out of a glass case in a small gallery in Chandler, AZ.
"What's his story?" I asked the young lady behind the counter.
"Oh," she replied.  "We only have two faces, both done by the same artist, but they're designed for a different clientele than we have in Arizona.  We haven't sold any."
I suggested that we … (21 comments)

local expert: Looking Back at the Good Old Days? Better Keep an Eye On the Road Ahead. - 05/20/08 04:44 PM

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
No, they're not.
Despite what you see in the rear view mirror, the good old days are not coming back.
I don't have the NAR statistics on the average age of REALTORS, but I'm betting that my generation comprises more than 60% of those who are still making a living as a REALTOR.
Boomers have an advantage--the nest egg.  When the times get tough, we draw down our reserves and wait for the good times to roll around again.
There's something different this time around.  The playing field is changing, and … (21 comments)

local expert: Unique Chalet Graces Madera Canyon Near Green Valley, Arizona - 05/17/08 04:37 PM
Everything this man builds, from the tiniest birdhouse to an exquisite B&B in the Coronado National Forest, speaks to his love of wood and craftsmanship.
Take Exit 63 on Interstate 19, and go east.  Follow the signs for Madera Canyon, and you'll find this little gift shop and chalet nestled against a creek in the canyon.
The bent wood slats you see on the right are interwoven, drilled, and held in place with nuts and bolts made of wood!

The joinery on the first level holds the framing together without nails.  Here's a listing that actually WILL sell … (13 comments)

local expert: News Flash: Chase Dumps Home Equity Line of Credit Business - 05/15/08 11:50 AM
I just received an email from my Chase Account Executive regarding Home Equity Lines of Credit.  Chase is getting out of that business.  Here's what the email announced:
Unfortunately, given the market conditions Chase Home Finance has made the decision toeliminate the Home Equity Channel. Effective end of day Friday May 16, 2008 Chase Home Equity will no longer accept applications for home equity products. 
The long and short of this is that money is still tightening up.  You'll want to continue to educate your buyers and sellers with respect to available mortgage programs.  Call me if I can help.
I'm … (12 comments)

local expert: I-10 Expansion Half Finished in Tucson - 05/11/08 04:28 PM
We call it "the Tunnel."  It's a section of Interstate 10 through Tucson's downtown, from Prince Road to the Interstate 19 interchange. 
The tunnel funnels traffic past the construction area where our interstate is being widened to accomodate our growth as a city.
The lanes through the Tunnel have been narrowed to 11', and concrete barriers are a mere 16" away from the lanes themselves.
A big sign announces that vehicles over 26,000 pounds gross weight are to stay in the right lane.  Rignt!  The speed limit through the Tunnel is 55.  Right!  And with nowhere to go if you're involved … (13 comments)

local expert: Tucson's Version of the Hot Dog: Sonoran! - 05/10/08 04:55 PM
"So," I asked little Galilea at my favorite roadside hot dog stand here in the Tucson Mountains, "Do you run the business while your Daddy makes the hot dogs?"
"No," she grinned. "Actually, I pretty much don't do anything."  Not true.  She's the salesperson.  Galilea claps her hands and smiles when cars pull up.  You can't ignore her, and you will buy one or two sonoran style hot dogs.
If you're reading this from Chicago, you're pretty smug about Italian Beef Chicago Style.  You have reason to be--Chicago style hot dogs used to be my favorite when I was National Sales … (16 comments)

local expert: Local Expresso Entrepreneurs Battle Starbucks and Thrive - 05/10/08 04:37 PM
Starbucks Coffee is getting gray around the temples.  It's beginning to show its age, so to speak.
Once the local Starbucks stores reached the saturation point, we began to see Starbucks kiosks in the local grocery chains.
How big can you get before you've saturated your market?
New competitors with great coffee, magnificent customer service, and well-planned business models are beginning to sprout in Tucson.
I'm drawn to the newcomers.  They're what Starbucks used to be--friendly and customer focused.
Starbucks is beginning to suffer from the WalMart syndrome.
I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as … (9 comments)

local expert: Long Skinny House Update 1. Spec Home in Tucson 170' Long, 9' Wide - 05/10/08 03:01 AM
Motorhomes (with their slide-out rooms and awnings) are wider than this Tucson, AZ spec house!
Back in January 2008, I wrote a post about this unique home when it was first under construction.  Here's the link: Long Skinny House. 170' long. 9' wide.
What you see here on the left of the photo is the carport.  Half the car will be under roof in the shade (from noon on) the the other half will be at the mercy of the elements.
The builder is working under Tucson'sl aid back "mañana" type of scheduling.  The first listing agent has been canned after about six months, and the new … (19 comments)

local expert: Jazz at the China Rose, Tucson, Arizona - 05/03/08 05:15 PM
I love Chinese food.  I love good jazz.  Until coming to Tucson ten years ago, the two never shared the same file space in my brain.
That was before I visited the China Rose on Speedway in Tucson, AZ. 
Frank Hartline invited me to join him and his wife Cheryl for dinner last night.
The vocalist was excellent, and her partner Ely made the keyboard into an orchestra, with harmonica, horn, saxaphone and other instruments accompanying the vocalist.  Tucson is a cosmopolitan town, and this duo from the Phillipines made our evening!
This short post doesn't do them or the China Rose justice, so … (5 comments)

local expert: False Advertising and the Bathroom Break - 04/26/08 11:54 PM

Any port in a storm...  We were driving through New Mexico last week, and saw the Necessary as we pulled off Interstate 10. 
No Key Needed was painted in five inch high letters, but as I got closer, it was apparent that this was indeed, false advertising.  LOL
I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as your local expert...Looking for the next exit

local expert: The Home Inspector Told the Bank I Needed A New Roof - 04/23/08 05:24 PM
This is why we'll always have a job.  The buyer in the FSBO transaction paid for a home inspection. 
The home inspector told him that the roof was not economically repairable because of the age of the house, and that he shouldn't put much money into something so old.
I guess the buyer fixed HIS wagon!  Nice steps, too.
I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as your local expert.

local expert: Photograpy on the Fly: West Texas on the Way to Tucson - 04/21/08 03:23 PM

West Texas, driving home to Tucson.
Keep the shiny side up.  That's the main thing on my mind.
West Texas is flat, monotonous, and the Interstate runs a straight line to the horizon. 
Except for the rumble strips to keep you awake, what do you do to relieve the boredom?
I take photos.  Set the camera to take three quick photos in automatic succession, and we're in business.
I don't look at the display on the camera.  I focus on the highway ahead, and when the object of interest comes into view, I press and hold the shutter button.  Click.  Click.  Click... and we're 100 yards … (22 comments)

local expert: Just For (Lenn &) Lenders: Reduced Doc Loans Follow Dodo Bird to Extinction - 04/10/08 01:04 AM
For years, my favorite loan for high FICO borrowers with substantial assets and large down payments has been Suntrust's "Eligible" through Desktop Originator.  Fannie Mae gives me its Approve/Eligible, and Suntrust says "regardless of what Fannie says, you do not need to document..."
Before I learned to use DO, Countrywide's Fast and Easy was my favorite loan program for these borrowers.
The ripple effect of the credit crisis will sink these programs, and programs like them, at the end of April, 2008.  Already, the Appraisal waivers are gone.  With Suntrust, loans not locked prior to April 4th must be full doc.  It doesn't … (13 comments)

local expert: Greenspan on Home Price Stabilization: 2008! - 04/07/08 11:52 PM
Alan Greenspan has taken a lot of heat for believing (and acting on his belief) that bubbles are okay, and that they will sort themselves out.  No matter.  He's retired.
He still has one of the most acutely perceptive minds in the business, however, and when Alan Greenspan talks, I'll listen.  At a conference in Tokyo (hosted by Deutche Bank) Greenspan, while acknowledging that the credit crunch is the worst in half a century, said he expects the excess inventory of homes to shake out by early 2009.
This, perhaps, was his most encouraging comment: "...it is very likely that home prices will stabilize … (16 comments)

local expert: Two New Active Rain Referrals in One Weekend! - 04/07/08 08:55 AM
If you're young enough to ask the question "What is a broken record?" you'll have to forgive me.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record when I tell you that Active Rain relationships result in real business!
The most recent referral came this weekend, from Kent Simpson.  Kent wrote about it yesterday in his blog: Active Rain Works - Case In Point.
When the potential client called me on Sunday afternoon, he apologized, and said he had forgotten my last name, but he remembered that Kent said "Mike in Tucson."  He googled that, and found my Active Rain profile and blog posts on … (84 comments)

local expert: In This Real Estate Market, You Need Deep Roots - 04/05/08 03:22 PM

"Bloom where you're planted."  I saw this Barrel Cactus high up on a rock outcropping in the Tortillita mountains.
Not all success comes from being planted in fertile, cultivated soil.  The tiny seed that is now this hundred pound giant fell between the rocks. 
It found enough wind-blown soil, moisture and shade to germinate.  It began to send out roots, looking to anchor itself in place.  Once anchored, its roots probed every crack and crevice in the rockface in its never-ending search for nourishment and moisture. 
I feel a kinship with this successful Barrel Cactus in today's Real Estate market.  And look!  It's wearing a crown of … (21 comments)

local expert: Local Expert: Look What You Can Find Under the Bridge! - 04/05/08 02:54 PM
Tucson (rather, greater Tucson) has passed the million mark in terms of human habitation.  With that number of people comes a greater requirement for infrastructure.  Things like this concrete bridge spanning one of our many arroyos.
Thousands of cars pass over this bridge each day, commuting to work, going to the grocery store, heading out early for a round of Tucson's magnificent golf.  No one thinks about the bridge, or the structure beneath the bridge that holds it up.
Children might gaze out the car window and look at the dry riverbed beneath.  Adults rarely do.
If you were to park on the side … (15 comments)

local expert: Belt and Suspenders: Pima County, AZ Road Signs - 03/26/08 12:26 AM
I had to stop and take a photo.  The irony of this is downright funny!
I doubt that ice has formed on the roadway known in Tucson, AZ as Gates Pass Road, at least not since the Jurassic era.  Maybe not even then.
But there it is.  A sign (not one that folds closed, either) warning you to Watch For Ice.\
But look down there to the right.  See the fire hydrant?  That's the funny part.
Because of the high summer temperatures, kids have been known to crack the hydrant to soak themselves in a cooling spray of water.
Pima County has a sign for that … (15 comments)

Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC  (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) 	) Ambassador large

Mike Jones

Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Tucson, AZ

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Address: 1725 E Skyline Dr, Tucson, AZ, 85718

Mobile: (520) 349-9090

Fax: (520) 477-0732

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