trip looking for the end of the rainbow.
went to Tucson on Saturday and Sunday back to Apache Junction.
time we headed off to Tucson, AZ to get the lay of the land and do drive
byes on a list of homes we wanted to check out that were in our price range.
Not so much in our $ range but things we wanted in a property. Big enough
for RV parking, a shop or garages for Terry, views for me, (I don't want
to be hiding behind brick walls in a development that feels closed in.
I need to see out, not just up. A place we can keep and enjoy now
for the winter season and later when we come off the road. We don't want
much do we. We know that this is out there as we have found
a couple, but they are in sale pending and in Apache Junction.
in Tucson... we had many listings to drive by out on W Picture Rock Road
and later down to the southwest on W Ajo Hwy.
got worn out just trying to find places..... The roads are like third world.
Just dirt paths never been maintained.
to a real estate person that happened by one property we were taking pictures
of confirmed our thoughts. He said the roads will never be upgraded.
Many were almost impassible. A couple of homes were ok but you could hardly
get to them even in a truck. Let alone try to get an RV in there. Let me
say this about that... They sure look different in the listings than in
were beat and it was getting late, close to sundown and we had yet to find
a motel. Ya think we would plan ahead and reserve one.
Da. We made it back to downtown Tucson in the dark using my trusty Droid
X giving directions to me in a city I had not driven before. Right to a
Motel 6 where we landed. Not fancy, but clean. $54 for a non smoking room
with double bed. I gave up that nasty habit many years ago and nice to
be able to say... yes non smoking (without bed bugs thank you...) I think
they may charge extra for non smoking... as he had to search for that in
his computer... we are in AZ after all.
couple of stiff drinks were in order (after we were checked in don't ya
know) since we drove by a liquor store on the way to the motel.
off to a Waffle
House just down the street for food as it was too late for the buffet
across the street.
This is the one we went to but a day view since picture
taken form Goggle Earth.
them looking for places to eat again on my Droid X. I love this smart phone.
I had a 10 oz T-bone steak... and it was darn good to boot. Terry
had their three pork chop dinner... (now these are not Iowa chops to be
sure) but they were covered in sausage gravy and tasty. You just
know they would have hash browns down to a science. It's set up so the
cooking is done right up front across from the tables. The front row of
tables are even served from the center isle. It was fun to watch the cook
do his thing right in front of us. We had never been to a Waffle House
or even heard of them. They have got this serving food down pat. I get
into watching places like this who have their act together. It was a work
of art as all worked together to get the food on the
table. None of it's not my job at this waffle house as they were helping
each other and it wasn't that busy.... not even close to the after bar
rush that I'm sure they must get. I later called the cook over (from just
a few steps away) when we were about to get up to leave and gave him a
$5 tip. Don't think he gets much of that. He said "Glad you enjoyed"...
we made it through the night in a strange bed with only two tiny pillows
(placed clothes etc. under each to help). Had to use my Droid X tethered
since the motel WiFi was not free... screen came up wanting payment.
I should have asked as we were in a line of motel chains all advertising
the same price on their signs. Bet others had free WiFi... But I got my
Droid X so who cares.
off topic... I need to download Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (would
you believe it is a 100 to 500 Meg download) and wont tell you how much,
but I know way too much for me to download over my satellite internet service.
So could have paid $2.99 and got it for the laptop (64 bit) but still needed
it for my desktop (32 bit). Guess I'll just go to McDonald's and
have a 99 cent burger and download it. We shall see. Think I can
get microsoft to send a CD with it on. Will need to do more checking on
so back to our field trip... I'm trying to forget it. But you want
to know all about how others get stressed out Don't Ya.
got up as Terry said it was going on 9 AM so I got up as he took things
out to the truck... THEN I looked, you got it, at my Droid X and
announced it was still before 8 AM.
did get going and left to head north via HW 77 (so to stay on blue roads)
so we could take another look at stuff in Apache Junction.
this hour in the AM on a Sunday morning we were so done for now with Tucson
if you get my drift... We just wanted to get out of town.
were impressed with the area going up HW 77 northeast out of Tucson and
I did a U-turn and came back when I saw a
Just what we needed... I had driven by several IHops or Dennys that
looked crowded. Who wants to wait forever for service when we are
on a mission. HomeTown
Buffet is another chain (who knew) but we had a very relaxing
great Sunday brunch.
when I get behind the wheel I just drive on and on. So for me to stop for
a restaurant experience is a surprise for Terry. Even I know what is need
from time to time. I hit a home run with making a stop at this place and
knowing it would be fast as it was after all a buffet. But it turned out
so much more... Staff was friendly and welcoming. Food was first rate...
and at fast food prices. We left happy... but still ready to get out of
Dodge or Tucson as the case may be...
on forward north.... feeling awake with only decaf coffee. Terry
got a cup of hot tea. He even had breakfast Meneudo soup. Whatever
that was. I'm not doing a google search... you can if you are into
did I say it snowed in AZ... I lied and told our friend Tad it didn't,
but it did....
HW 77 heading north.
As we got to Apache Junction
north, no snow on the ground as they are 1000 feet lower. Cars were
pulled over taking pictures of the Superstition Mountains.
We drove around Apache Junction
unprepared as we hadn't done a current listing research. So we just drove
around looking at listings we had found before and getting a more idea
of the lay of the land. Today the views were much better than we had been
here last time in the rain. Just look at the views from possible
This is the view you get
from most everywhere in the north sections of AJ.
Now we did make a few calls
to voice mails and later emails about a couople of places that may
meet our wants.
This one does have a Terry
want... A huge building shop with water and electric.
Want to see more
here is the listing...
You are bound after clicking
on the listing link NOT to make an offer.
We saw it last visit but
thought it was a sale pending but got a call form the agent saying it was
active with no offers and would be happy to get a showing for us this weekend.
So we may go back for a another field trip (this could get old) weekend
Now I liked another listing
with great views
one but it is sale pending...
The agent emailed back
that it has a sale pending offer WELL above the asking price.
She sez I could put in a back up offer if there is a problem with the offer
Now in this market with depressed
values and with 50% of homes underwater, who in their right mind would
offer well above the asking price for a house. Now you should
understand the agent I'm talking to is the selling agent as I called the
number on the sign. Do you believe everything someone tells you? When the
contingent on this property expires on Thursday, later this week she will
get back to me if there is a problem with the first offer.
We are in a mode where agents
are starting to take an interest that we are serious abut buying property.
I'm sort of getting a feel
for all the bumps on I-10. At least the sped limit is 75... A speed I would
never do pulling a 5er... but it might be good to clean out the fuel jets
in a diesel, wondering if that is a good side to these trips...
So we have one property to
visit, Terry's prime site and another that might go back on the market
so we shall see....
Stay tuned to see if we make
a lifestyle change.
Or if we say screw it and
continue on with life as we now know it...
I know one thing... After
we got back from even a one night stay in a motel in Tucson it was great
to get back to our little 5er home. This has been our home for the last
six or so years and no matter what you call it... It is "Home Sweet
Home". It does feel good crawl into your own snuggie warm bed
When we sold our last house
to do this lifestyle we said never a sticks and bricks again... so what
are we doing...
Who knows at this point
and at this hour of the night as I post... not sure...
A field trip in
the rain on Sunday...
was nice when we left Quartzsite Sunday morning... but of course we drove
through Phoenix during a downpour.
OK this shot was without
rain but this was on the return trip later in the afternoon heading back
What we should take pictures
in heavy traffic in a downpour and kill how many including us?
trek was to to get to Apache Junction to drove around checking out the
area and drive by a bunch of places I tagged on my S&Ts printout. Now
you know by now giving this info to my trusty navigator is never my best
move. When Terry sez turn right I usually always go left. I did grab the
map from time to time so as to make sure we were heading in right direction
(along with a little yelling which is always necessary when frustrated)
but ya know Terry did do OK as we got into this going from place to place
like we were delivering pizzas. Now it did get a bit much when I
had to adjust the wiper speed while concentrating on driving. All the while
declaring to anyone within hearing (yelling again) that my Droid X navigation
system could do this better. But I'm driving so that is not PC.
We did find most of the addresses as planned while still maintaining a
speaking relationship when all was said and done.
had a long list of places to assess and like all things in this life, most
didn't live up to the way they looked in the listings or even looking at
them in Goggle Earth. We did find a couple of properties we would consider
and now doing more research on them.
now you have to get a life if you think I'm going to show you pictures
of them. What you think... after all the research and study... you
should be able go grab one of them before we make an offer.
in this market not sure we should rush. I've checked the counties
assessor's web sites. A prime site in east AJ with great views we are looking
at was assessed at $231K in 2008 and in 2010 at $116K and now offered for
$99.9K. We have now done a tour of what is offered in Apache Junction...
next we will go to Tucsun. I've got a selection of property searches for
that area also. Just to show we are thinking... the altitude in AJ is about
1K feet higher than Q and and Tucson is another 1K higher. So lots
of things to consider in this search. Winter in Tucson would be cooler
than what we are used to in Q.
be we just give up the search and do a longer term study later on. A new
report now sez values are still dropping and soon 50% of homes will be
underwater in this country. That is a sad statement to be sure. But we
do think now is a good time to be looking and if we find a place we should
go for it.
Ya got a nice site on a 1-2 acre site with views, a large shop (garage,
building) with RV parking.
and did I say a nice house on the property for us to live in besides
a huge shop would be nice.
been through the more garages than house issue before... We had a hard
time selling our last sticks and bricks back in IA in 2003. A split
foyer with three garages under and two more detached. So now we are looking
again... and as much as Terry wants large garage spaces to do his
thing we are watchful not to make repeat mistakes of the past.
have found a couple of listings in Apache Junction and many more in the
Tucson area that meet that and much more.
is scary... does Tucson meet our needs or is somewhere else better? I even
searched the Wickenburg area.
say when you find a property you love... just go for it... and STOP
tuned as we kick it up in a slightly higher gear and trek off looking for
a winter home with an RV landing spot.
also could fit the bill to become a home when we get to be old and
decrepit. At times I think I'm there now.
Bob and Linda from Because
We Can can find a place to land so can we... They found their
in south Texas in Mission.
have been there and it's nice, as my mother stayed in Weslaco next door
for many years in an RV resort park.
they write... "Life isn't a dress rehearsal so we've got to
grab for the golden ring every chance we get".
are trying... to find a great spot for us to view the sunsets
while soaking in a hot tub or floating without a care in a pool.
are my wants... and Terry's wants are a huge shop to piddle
his time away with his hobbies. (woodworking, metalworking, silversmithing),
think we are nuts..., I hear Ya... but with the current property
values, we are finding listings that offer this and more..
tuned to see if we find it...
It can rain in
Q Don't Ya Know...
out our 5er door...
Toy Hauler 5er moved in and me thinks he may be disapointed as you know
he wanted to get his off road machines out and ride... baby..ride.
rained on and off during the night and was nice sleeping with the pitter
patter on the roof.
you believe we even had some thunder and lightening. It is so nice to wet
things down and have that fresh smell.
rained most of the morning and cleared up past noon. We were all getting
tired of the small dust storms the last few days.
is just what we needed.
held off heading over to Apache Junction due to the weather and glad we
did as I got several new listings sent to look at. Got them marked
down in S&Trips. We shall see when we head over to look around....
thinking it will be just on a whim when we wake up early and we say...
We didn't drown
in the hot tub. As
some had worried, and some had hoped.
has turned slow in Quartzsite and to be frank, haven't had much to blog
have to take comfort from Andy over at MyOldRV.com
who likes to say if you are going to blog at least have something to say,
instead of just doing the mundane blog thing. Now if I could only
write like him I would have it made.
on with my mundane post...
we don't change our minds we are off soon to check out the real estate
market in Apache Junction.
you are not famillilar with Arizona, Apache Junction is on the east side
of Phoenix. Another mecca for snowbirds like Quartzsite.
even have a Gem and Mineral Club. Not anywhere near like Q's but what can
I say. They're trying and Terry could help them make it beter, I'm sure.
call ourselves RV fulltimers... (living off the grid for months on end)
using solar and generator power when needed.
what are we doing... thinking about real, real estate. Not just a
big appliance box under an overpass.
years now "home" meant a PMB number at a mail forwarding outfit in South
remember what we went through to get rid of our house, and that was in
2003 before the housing bubble burst. It still took 8 months to sell, at
last when we had left for the winter when we were in Texas for the winter.
We did make a bit and didn't have to sell short like so many today.
are having the time of our lives... or so they tell us. You know who they
are... the ones who are still working and wishing they could quit their
jobs and sell thir house and live this lifstyle. Life is good, but, everyday
is not a day fly fishing or camping in a remote location like the dream
protends. That special vacation camping trip you remember so fondly, was
great, but it can't be continued day after day. For one thing it would
wear you out if you tried. You do get flat tires along the way to deal
with, from time to time. No... Real people, live real lives.
just happen to be living it in an RV so we are closer to the action, and
good times, when it happens. This lifestyle is pretty darn good, just don't
make it out for what its not. You still have to take out the trash and
dump the holding tanks before you light the campfire.
more what NOW...
will came a time (when we are older and feeble :) when we will want to
have a little more structure, without having to dump holding tanks and
hustle up fresh water every few days, especially in a winter type location,
without being in a cramped RV resort park. With the real estate market
the way it is in Arizona we thought should be looking out for our future
interests, so to speak.
was natural to begain looking right here in Q. But this place is
in denial as to what they think anything is worth in this desert outlaw
RVers flock here for the shows and the venders but would you want to call
this place home after you stop just coming here for the winter season.
Buy a home here and you might just have to live in it fulltime later on.
You want to spend a summer here in Q in the desert at temps reaching 120.
Nope, not us either.
the RVers leave this place, each spring it dries up to nothing. The
county (La Paz) is about to go bankrupt. They had a civil judgment against
them for $12 M and they only have $3M. A judge locked down their funds
so they couldn't even pay county payroll lately. Also reported the
town of Q is about broke, so who knows. Next, the town of Q is having a
Hatfield-McCoy" ongoing feud. Or now in modern times it's the tea baggers
against the Mormon mafia. Now if the governor gets her way and cuts
Medicaid many rural hospitals would have to close per news reports.
That might mean the LPRH in Parker would be ripe for closing along with
its clinic in Q. Anyway western AZ is more and more not looking like
place to call home. Who knows we could always djust rop by for a visit
for the 10 day shows in January like everyone else.
we are off to see if the east side of Phoenix is any better.
surprised to find so many nice homes on 1 - 2 A lots with RV parking, workshops.
etc. that allow horses (not that we have that need). All spread out with
unused land between them. More of a country feel. We especially want
to look at the ones on the north side of town that are up higher overlooking
I can say all that by looking at the listings on the computer and google
earth, so we shall see if in real life it all holds up to be that appealing.
I have pointed to the listings addresses of a must see on Streets and Trips
and a print of the actual listings for reference.
you want to look at the listings in Apache Junction in the range of
$50K to $150K go to
and see the listings we are looking at.
a little kick in the pants... I tried to make reservations and it seem
rooms are pretty much booked up. Yesterday no problem, today all
gone. Guess we just got out of the having to make plans, plan. What,
I thought we were in a recession. Might have to move our visit dates
or forbid hook up the 5er and land on one of several Passport America Parks
in the area. You know we are way too settled in at our winter boondocking
spot when we think it would be a pain in the butt to have to lower our
solar panels etc. to move our home on wheels.
can still sit here and get immediate updates on the market as the real
estate sites email me with new listings and when a listing price drops.
Sort of like ebay for house shopping.
As things wind
down in Quartzsite we turn to thinking about buying property again.
RV lots that can also be
built on, or a house with attached RV parking.
What they want for lots and
houses here in Q is just delusional. The one big development here in Q
that failed a couple years ago has local agents trying to sell the model
homes that were built in 2006 (never lived in) and still want big bucks.
No lots have been built on for years, if what we found looking into the
records at the county assessor's office is true. Several homes are up for
sale as short sales. Just a few of the 103 lots were sold or bult on.
We love boondocking in the
BLM (with all the freedom it gives) but with the real estate market overall
as it is, you would be nuts not to at least look into buying a spot to
land on for the winter right now. Me thinks the local real estate
maket in Q thinks dumb snowbirds are easy marks as real estate here is
inflated compared to what we found by doing a little reserch on other areas.
Terry's three year obligation
as trustee at the Quartzite
Gem and Mineral Club expires this season so we are free to explore
other locations to land in for the winter.
Like they say you have wheels
just move on...
NOW... There is a
and Mineral Club in Apache Junction on the east side of Phoenix.
I started looking into real
estate in that area. Would beleive you can buy a McMansion
in that area for what they
want here in Q. Many homes on big lots with RV parking, large out buildings,
and with views to kill for. We think we should be taking a mini trip
for a visit soon.
More on this later... To
The weather is to warm up
this weekend to 80. We are getting the hot tub water refreashed so
it should be a good time in the tub soaking this weekend.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
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