Since there is more space available here on this site than on the maps, I may go into more detail or more fully explain events. If you have any
questions or comments, please feel free to send me e-mail to me by clicking here.
If you are looking for the newsletter information from earlier years, please check at the bottom of this page for the links to the earlier Diaries starting in 2005.
The activity that I had been seeing at the first of the year slowed as the temperatures out here increased, and now that we have been running in the 100's for the past few weeks (getting as high as 116 and 118 at times) things have slowed significantly. So, the activity has slowed, just like it does every year in the summer heat. I guess Buyers are smarter than me . . . I'll head out there at the drop of a hat!!
Of the sixteen sales in Whispering Ranch since January 1st, I have had eight closings, all of which were in the higher price range. The sale prices ranged from $3,000 up to $28,000 for a five-acre parcel. My transactions were the top ones in price. Looking at the transactions shows there are some Sellers accepting bargain basement pricing, just to get out of this stagnant market. And, if you look at the properties, most of the sales at the lower price point were for parcels that we less accessible, farther from power, and in most cases impacted by floodway or floodplain. When I checked today, there were 65 parcels for sale out there, and I only have 30 of those listings, so I don't have the majority anymore. And most of the properties for sale are priced below that $15,000 for 5 acres, some even as low as $7,800!! Wow. And in the last few days, there is another group of parcels that Tattie Land is selling off, priced at $7,900 for a five-acre parcel. They have been dribbling parcels onto the market a low prices for the last couple of years, selling off a few here, then a few there, but I think that might be winding down before long as they sell off the parcels they own. But then again, I'm the genius who's been predicting a market rise . . .I just never said exactly when!
Since the last newsletter, things seem to have come together on the Grazing Lease and Agricultural Exemption confusion. Gene Meyers did take over the grazing side of the operation, and has been steering cattle around the Ranch. I still don't know the name of his organization although someone told me it was Douglas Ranch Cattle Company. Since Gene's passion and expertise is more in the saddle as a cowpoke, and not so much in the office doing computer stuff, he got with Bob Jastrab. Bob is the office type and is much better on the computer and more adept at getting paperwork stuff filled out and completed and to the County. If you had a grazing Lease with B&J Cattle, Gene and Bob probably already have your information since they got with Bobbie Weighall and got her old paperwork. They may or may not contact you about a new lease, extension, etc. But just in case - or if you want to sign up and take advantage of the Agricultural Exemption - send Bob Jastrab an e-mail at BobJastrab@aol.com - and they will get everything up to speed so you don't get overlooked and lose that exemption you have been getting on your property taxes. You might not get Bob when you call - he has an assistant, Jessica DeSanti who you might hear back from. From what I gather, the pricing structure is going to remain the same. They will be charging $10 per acre per year (or $50.00 a year for your five-acre parcel), but it's still saving me money. And, as I said before, I'd much rather pay a cowboy than pay the County. You can get clarification on what this new company is charging when you contact them.
There's still no indication that the County is planning to start on any of the planned roadways in the Whispering Ranch area in the foreseeable future, so
don't count on any near term rush out to this area. I am still letting folks know about the pricing in the area - land out here is among the best value in the
County - there are currently eighteen five-acre parcels that are priced less then $2000 per acre, so if it's inexpensive land you want, then this is the place.
And now is the time. And of course for nicer parcels - no flood impact, nearer to paved roads, closer to electric service, hillside views, etc., - it going to
cost you more . . . but you're getting more.
If you need more information on specific area in "The Ranch" or want a current market analysis on your property, please feel free to get in touch with me. I'm happy to get information out to you and bring you up to speed on what's happening. You can see what the pricing is for parcels near yours, and I'll pull up everything that has sold in the area over the past two years as well, so you know what the market is really doing. It's probably not a good time to sell since prices are still so low, but if you need to sell, I'm you're best contact.
And if you are interested in buying, now's the time to buy! Prices are low, and there's no telling when the market might change and start moving back upward. For that, I'm your best contact as well! Just don't expect that you will get a "Rolex at a Timex price". Fair deals are fair for all concerned.
I don't expect that we'll see any short term increase in the value of the parcels out here, but I still believe in the formula . . . inexpensive vacant land + available water source + planned roadways and parks = future growth in value.
The area will grow, and when it does, you need to be ready. That could mean that you have bought before the market starts to rise, or it could mean that you have waited to sell and can take advantage of a rising market!
Oh well, it's hot!! Normally things slow down when the temperatures head this high, and this year is no exception. Let's keep calm until temperatures go back down to a tolerable level and things start to moderate and we'll go back at it again!
All we have to do is wait for the right time, and this area will blossom . . . .
Since the first of the year, I have been seeing significantly more interest in the Whispering Ranch area. I have been fortunate to have four or five of the lower priced parcels sell, and I am getting quite a few more inquiries for maps and information on the area from prospective Buyers. I have been spending a lot more time out in the area touring folks around and showing them the different areas, terrain and views. I can't say at this point that the market has started to move upwards, but I sure hope that this recent surge of activity continues. I am still seeing a lot of investor interest and I am hopeful that they will start to realize that property in the area is currently priced at 2002 levels and that offering 50% of the asking prices is probably not going to work as the market activity increases and sales starts rising. More and more of the lower priced properties are selling - so sales volume is up slightly - but pricing hasn't gone up significantly. Some bulk sellers of multiple parcels are still putting properties on the market at bargain basement prices, and they are selling, but that's keeping the market from rising - at least until they run out of properties ! !
I still have the majority of the properties listed in the market, and I'm getting more referrals from outside agents who don't want to drive out to the area and put up signs or take photo's of the parcels, and I'm just fine with that. But there still are the properties that don't have an address, don't have decent directions, don't have photos, and in a lot of cases don't have the required disclosures about floodplain/floodway. There are times when even I have trouble find properties based on the information the other Agents provide, and I know my way around out there pretty well, so there's no chance a prospect driving out there for the first time could ever find some of these parcels that Sellers want to sell! There was one case of a Buyer asking that I meet him out there to look at a property he had in escrow, only to discover that he had been shown the wrong parcel!! He had to cancel the escrow since the correct parcel had some issues that were not disclosed (one of the planned Parkways as going to take about 100 feet all the way across the front of the property) and he wasn't very happy. I have seen a number of transactions go south since the first of the year because of mis-information on these types of issues. And some of the Sellers get upset with me, but I am obligated to disclose and facts about a property that could have an affect on a Buyers decision to purchase the property.
Of the 24 properties I currently have listed out in the area, 21 of them are priced lower than $20,000. The calls I'm getting are for the lower priced
properties, but I'm finding that most of these Buyers are looking at - and showing interest in - the higher priced parcels as well. You might expect that a nicer
parcel might have a higher price, but a lot of the "tire kickers" out there still can't admit that might be the case. I keep telling folks "You're not going to get a
Rolex at a Timex price" but they don't believe me. Oh well, eventually they will learn.
Since the last newsletter I have been swamped with calls and e-mails from folks asking what's going on with the Grazing Lease issues. It seems that the Grazing Lease situation and Agricultural Exemptions for those Owners with properties under lease has been resolved. Earlier this week, I ran into Bobbie Weighall, the gal that had been running B&J Cattle Company since Mark Lee passed away a couple of years ago. She did confirm that her business was being taken over by Gene Meyers who handles the cattle grazing for Douglas Ranch. They have had a long-standing business relationship and Bobbie was giving Gene a letter assigning all of her current leases to Gene. I'm not sure what the name is of the cattle company - it might be Douglas Ranch Cattle Company (??), but my calls and e-mails to get a business name have not been successful. If you need questions answered, the phone number I have for Bob Jastrab, the guy handling the paperwork, 602-228-4400. The way I was told to contact them via e-mail is BobJastrab@aol.com. The only mailing address from what I can see is 28901 West Patton Road, Wittmann, AZ 85361. This is the address on the Approved Rancher List that I got from Maricopa County. I know this is a little unusual, but it's all that I have despite making multiple calls and sending a lot of e-mails to him over the past two or three months. I guess that all I can do is send you out more information as it comes in as a part of my newsletters in the future. I hope this information helps. I've been trying for the past six weeks to get some answers to send out to everyone, but I haven't had a lot of luck. But at least you now know who to get in touch with.
When I first found out about B&J Cattle going out of business, I sent letters out to cattle companies, handled phone calls and e-mails, sent out information, maps and names and parcel numbers of owners that I knew about to the four or five cattle companies that were interested in this business opportunity. I have invested a lot of my time in trying to continue this service for property owners who were taking advantage of the tax savings or who want to sign up for this tax saving service. I have NO interest in any company that handles this service. I have done this as a good will service for owners. It is frustrating that some owners are now upset with me that they are having problems. Sorry, but direct your frustrations elsewhere. I don't want to be the middleman on this issue in the future.
I did receive the "Notice of Valuation" from the County Tax Assessor's Office a couple of weeks ago. The good news is that the valuation for 2016 is showing the same tax valuation as last year, so I can only presume that I still have the Agricultural Exemption in place for the 2016 tax year. I hope that things remain the same for you as they did for me. If not, all I can suggest is that you try to contact Gene Meyers (see previous paragraph) and go from there. If you notice that your valuation is going up, you can call down to the Maricopa County Assessor's Office and speak with David Boisvert at (602) 372-1629 or Marita Lammie at (602) 372-2683. With a little luck, they can give you an idea of what they see happening from their end.
I am posting the information that I have on the Whispering Ranch information web site and updating some of the information as it relates to what's happening with the planned roadways, planned Parks and recreation areas that will impact the Whispering Ranch area. If you need specific information or want to get an idea of what you parcel is worth in today's market, please feel free to get in touch with me, and I'll send you an analysis of what's for sale and what has sold in the area around your property.
Let's all hope that the market activity continues and that the market starts to improve. Maybe 2016 will be the year I've been predicting since 2012 (chuckle!!)
Links to the Newsletters from previous years . . . .
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