About Alan Ball

Over 30 years in real estate and related business in Santa Fe, NM.

How can it be so thin?

Just how can the capital city of New Mexico, with somewhere above 75,000 residents plus a bunch of part timers, be so short of inventory in homes available for sale? What do buyers do when they want to buy a home in Santa Fe? First, they watch to learn how the market is behaving. They pay attention to listings, studying how long they stay available before they are grabbed up by a motivated and qualified buyer. All of the widely used web sites that show residential listings – Realtor.com – Zillow – Trulia – and many more – show accurate listing data and when those homes go under contract, they often drop off the web site. That is your clue that home is no longer for sale (provided the contract holds up and it goes to closing).

So its fairly easy to track homes for sale if you are not ready and able to drive around town all day checking on for sale signs. What do you learn when you are shopping for a home below $500,000? (that is the low range in my posted and updated charts and spreadsheets available on the left margin). You see that there are many more homes sold in a year than there are available at any moment. This means that the absorption rate for homes under $500,000 is well below 12 months, on average. By the way, 6 months is considered a “balanced” market, between sellers and buyers. The calculation at the beginning of March was a mere 268 homes listed in Santa Fe city and county, while the current rate of sales is about 131 homes sold per month. That means in barely over two months, the entire existing inventory of homes will be sold.

It does not pay to be picky if you are a buyer ready to buy in this price range. Be prepared to act quickly and have a Realtor on call that can have your offer submitted in an hour or two.

Another point we might see more of is that listing brokers with Seller support may price a home knowing it will generate multiple offers and the status might change to pending on the listing in the first few days. Maybe the days of pricing a home a little above what it is likely to sell for are gone. Maybe better in this market to put a price on a home that is a “best guess” of what it will sell for and let the buyer’s brokers fight over whose customer is the most motivated to buy that home.

An issue with that approach is that Sellers must have put priority status on any repairs and cosmetic improvements. The new pending price has a better chance of surviving through the escrow period, when Buyers are trying to whittle down the price due to inspection issues. Sellers are well advised to get a pre-listing inspection and actually deal with the problems that report might identify.

And so, with thin inventory at critical low levels in the lowest price ranges, Santa Fe, the city different, extends its reputation as being unaffordable for most people. Money to put down? Good credit? You also need luck and excellent timing to buy a home in Santa Fe. Residential real estate deals are for the willing and the able.

Definition of emergency

Use the word invasion and you might make it stick. According to someone who might have been elected with illegal methods, means and influence, there is an emergency on our southern border because HE wants there to be an emergency and is trying to create one there.

Yet Border security employees, US Senators and many residents who live quite near the border say there is not an emergency that a wall, or steel structure, or human barrier would resolve. The true emergency is that our “Dear Leader” (the greatest deal maker of all time) is doing his utmost to uphold his deeply held beliefs that anyone that might be brown should be kept out of our country and he wants to preserve it for whites and only whites. Brown (and black and other colors) scare whitey. How about Muslim, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist religions? They are scary too.

Having to help those in need is not in his DNA. The would=be immigrants coming to our southern border are, for the most part, in great danger and suffering from physical, economic and cultural persecution in their home country. Getting into the Greatest Nation on Earth at least gives them a small chance to live a safe and healthy life. And that Leader wants to close our borders and deny them access, even though our laws state that people can apply for asylum and be allowed to enter and take their chances that they may be allowed to stay. If you don’t agree with him, he leads cheers to say that you want Open Borders. Did I mention that lies are his currency?

There is a small problem with that Leader in that he needs to maximize confusion and distraction from the pressure he is feeling from his corrupt and illegal administration’s mistakes. This emergency makes lots of people forget that he is possibly going to be impeached or go to jail or be forced to resign (he will claim victory and say he was too good for us) for all those deplorable things he has been getting away with. Follow the money and then count how many people from his staff and his orbit are either already guilty (they have admitted as much) or under serious scrutiny for what they have been doing for years. Some have even committed Treason. Manafort, Flynn, Gates, some very close to the Leader would be shot in another era.

We are somewhat reassured that the courts will be brought in to help decide if he can declare this emergency for the narrow reason that he could not get what he wanted from the legislative branch of our government. But what a waste of time and money having to protect the rule of law and our constitution because HE wants something and was unable to get it on HIS terms and timeline. Throw a tantrum, it may help.

What is your version?

2018 in review = part two

Enjoying the drama in Washington, along the southern US border, on social media, in cafes and locker rooms everywhere? There are unusual times in America. On the local scene, we have unusually low levels of inventory after years of buyers taking what they can find and very few builders providing new production for sale. Now that we have pretty much scraped the barrel clean, it will be quite interesting to see what happens to prices.

For example, the inventory turnover is, on average, less than 3 months for homes under $500K in price. That means the entire inventory of homes listed for sale under that price will be sold in 90 days or less. But why, you ask, will some homes still be around longer? New listings come along almost as fast as the current ones sell, so there is rapid turnover, but not all homes sell in 90 days. The ones that sell first are in the best condition, are priced to sell (not obviously overpriced) and are suitable for investors or for buyers to get financing.

Between $500K and $1 million, homes take a bit longer to sell, but still go fairly quickly using historical measuring trends. The Absorption Rate chart provided by this blogger (see left margin for access to view or download or print) indicates four and a half months for homes to sell, on average, between $500K and $1 million. That is well below what is generally defined as a balanced market period of time = 6 months.

Even homes above $1 million are selling in less than a year, again provided they are in good condition and are not too weird such that they don’t appeal to the average buyer. Just putting a million plus price tag on a home does not mean it will sell in a year. It might be a crazy floor plan, poorly decorated, near a major highway or just not built very well.

2019 will be a watershed year for our residential real estate market in the City Different. Based on our MLS stats, there shouldn’t be any homes left for sale by the end of the year. Watch carefully to see where the new listings come from. Some may be newly built homes, though not enough; some owners might decide its time to downsize or move on to greener pastures, some families will be going through changes, such as job loss or severe illness or death, or divorce can create a situation where a home becomes for sale.

Stay tuned if you want to follow these numbers. You can sign up to be notified when new posts are published, or just check back about the 10th of each month.

Thanks for visiting and for your support over the years. Contact me if you have a real estate issue that would benefit from consultation.

2018 in review = part one

Actually in the rear view mirror, we’ll now look at 2018 for statistics relevant to Santa Fe residential real estate. I’ll point out a few things available for you to see on the spreadsheets and charts I have posted (see left margin for access to same).

An annual posting known as Fourth Quarter Sales shows the serious effect of the lack of overall inventory with the most pronounced shortage in the “low end” of homes sold below $500K. Yes, I know what you are thinking; that a home selling for $495K should not be considered “low end”. But this is Santa Fe we are reviewing where the average sales price in 2018 (Santa Fe county and city) was $493.715. This is out of an overall sample size of 2429 homes. In that report, the total sales for 4th Qtr 2018 were less than 4th Qtr 2017 and the obvious shortfall came in the under $500K range. All other categories went up. I would venture to say that if there were more homes available for sale, at least another 70 to 90 homes would have sold in that price range. And maybe they did sell; just not reported to the SF Realtors Association MLS database.

The next report I will suggest you look at is called Residential Lot Sales (again, from the list on your left). This annual report shows a still muted activity for lot sales in SF county and city. Why is that? Several reasons come to mind. First, the old saying that is still true… “get lots while you are young”. And another popular saying is “they aren’t making any more land so buy now”. And yet another possible reason is that the real estate crash that has devastated many individual nest eggs over the last ten plus years saw lot sales drop (again see chart) from annual units of in excess of 600 to just 257 units sold in 2018. And yes, there could have been plenty of sales not reported to the SF MLS database. I know Realtors try to report sales to help make the data more useful, but sales between friends, family, associates and sales without a Realtor involvement are not going to show up in these figures.

Did 350 sales just disappear? Yes, quite so. When a lot in Las Campanas sold for $210K and years later sold again for $85K, something tells me that investors are going to stay away from residential lots as solid investments. That is just one example, but those exist all over the place, if you can find the data. Average sales price now is similar to what is was in 2002 and 2003. While it went above $200K in subsequent years, it went back down and has not been above $200K since 2008. The transition from ’08 to ’09 shows a decline of 63% in unit sales and a drop of more than 25% in average sales price. You could say that was the day the music died. Who was left holding land and lots with a fairly high amount of debt? We all know at least a couple people like that. Did they survive financially? No, they almost all had to deed lots back to their lenders or face expensive and drawn out foreclosure action that might also have included bankruptcy. Lot sales are not a fond memory lately.

I will continue this review next week after I get in some alpine skiing and some much appreciated rest. At my age I am a more careful skier and a more fitful sleeper. Naps are glorious.

Apology accepted

Went to the computer this AM to post a bunch of updated reports and spreadsheets about Santa Fe residential real estate sales and inventory. But Uncle WordPress had chosen to request a simple update of the software used in my and many other blogs.

Little did I know this 68 year old would have to learn a new posting system and a bunch of new icons and keystrokes to do what I was trying to do. For example I have yet to find the check spelling button. But hey! It’s the best version out there, they said. Reminds me of that saying some POTUS idiot said “I have the best words” or ” I hire the best people”

We know now that those were the first wave of a series of lies. Let us try to stay honest here and now that I am getting over the unexpected learning session with my blog postings, real estate in Santa Fe is getting scary, don’t you know? There is so little inventory in the lower end the only solution, assuming new homes don’t start showing up in large numbers, is a tighter rental market, more mobile and manufactured homes sales up to an hour from Santa Fe, and an increase in multi-generational households. Oh and the prices of homes in the lowest price ranges, where inventory is so lean, will have to go up because buyers will choose to pay more to get the basic home they feel they must have.

So after not budgeting for that extra 90 minutes of old guy computer learning, a painful sight indeed, I will be posting my narrative and exceptionally witty opinions about the state of our market in the next couple days when I get back to this screen. Meanwhile, read the reports, download and print them if you wish. Please provide appropriate author credit and attribution instead of claiming you designed and built this trove of historical data. Its free to use for your legal and moral purposes.

Happy New Year!!!

Don’t bother me!

… because I am busy trying to figure out where the homes are going to come from that buyers will be looking to buy next year. We have precious little to choose from making our market a lopsided seller’s market. That means buyers are not going to be in a strong bargaining position with sellers. One could say they could take it or leave it. And if they leave it they can figure someone else will come along and buy that home that they were not willing to pay for.

You see, these days a buyer actually has to pay back their mortgage and cannot count on lenders being forgiving and soft on repayment terms. Not that they ever were That soft, but lenders made so many thousands or millions of loans on fake terms that they had to swallow their losses when homeowners defaulted and left the lender holding ownership in a home that was worth less than the mortgage balance. I recommended back then that some home owners default, actually mailing in the keys to their lender, in certain circumstances. Rather than waiting 10 or 15 years for their home to become worth more than their mortgage balance, some owners were better off taking a hit on their credit rating and going through foreclosure or bankruptcy or BOTH and walking away from their home. But that was then and now is now.

While almost every home that existed in 2007 is worth the same or more now than it was then, for the last 10 years, homes were worth less when comparing value versus debt. Just to change the subject, do you think the USA has more real value than its underlying debt? I guess it does, yet it can still feel very uncomfortable to have such high debt, particularly in the hands of a seven year old child/man with no understanding of people, business OR governmental management. This is an untenable situation and I suspect it will come to a loud ending soon. Much blame will be tossed around on how he got elected and whom he takes down on his way out, but really all of us share at least a little bit of blame.

The reports and spreadsheets visible by selecting a link on the left side of this page will show you another untenable situation; the lack of inventory in Santa Fe residential real estate. We are at just over 12 months on average for all inventory in the 1 million plus range to sell using today’s current rate of sales in that range. Would you care to guess the last time we had only about 12 months of inventory listed for sale in the 1 million plus range? Go ahead and guess. How about NEVER. Well, at least not since my close and careful study of statistics related to residential sales in Santa Fe began early in the last decade. So we are in uncharted territory locally. Unless buyers stop showing up here and buying homes, we are going to plumb run out of homes for sale sooner or later. And it looks like it could be sooner.

What do we need? We need banks willing to lend to builders to build spec homes (and both parties taking the risks involved). We need more tract home builders putting up product ranging from $250K to $600K, in all forms of housing whether condos or single family detached. We need help and assistance from all governmental authorities that must approve of new projects and issue building permits, plus allow for water and sewer hookups, maintained roads and electrical lines nearby. We will need all necessary services extended to the new homes in the new subdivisions, even if they are in areas that are scrub and cactus right now. 

Or we don’t have to have new homes and the sprawl that invites. We COULD actually support IN-FILL with many of the new homes and businesses being built on existing vacant parcels within city limits and with fire, police and other services available. Look at what is happening off of Siler and Rufina, near Meow Wolf. Have you been in that area recently? Lots of new stuff and turnover of old warehouses into work/live developments, small label brewpubs, housing that is affordable and in multi story structures. Can Santa Fe grow enough housing without relaxing its severe limitations on building heights? Ask your representative next time you see her or him.

There are about 845 homes for sale as of December 1, this year, in all price ranges, while on approximately the same date in 2007 there were 1845 homes for sale. Is that dramatic enough of a change? In the $500K to 1 million range, the same two dates show current inventory of 275 homes while in 2007 it was about 886 homes for sale. Kind of scary, no?

Enough for now. Get busy and find out what is being built and where and tell your buyer customers so they do not miss out. And have a safe and warm holiday season and a Merry New YEAR!

Stop making sense (when did you…?)

Interest rates are inching upwards, slowly but surely. Rate monitors say long-term residential mortgage rates have gone up about ONE percent over the last 12 months and another ONE percent is forecast for the next 12 months. What does that mean? It means that more and more people will be priced out of buying the home they might want. The home they could have bought last year will not be available to them next year. So waiting was not a good idea after all? Each person is different, so what you did with your money while you waited for the right time to buy a home is your business. Maybe you made a small fortune in the stock market? Congrats to you! Maybe you invested in your own business to further secure its long-term success; necessary before you splurged on that new home?

There are plenty of good reasons for almost any action you take when it comes to real estate. And it is incorrect to posit that all people are subject to the same rules and market conditions equally. But if you are on track to purchase (with a mortgage) a home about a year from now, you might be looking at fewer choices and a smaller or “lesser” home than you thought you would be buying. Should you jump now and get what you can get before that new one percent takes hold? Maybe. Call me to explore what is out there.

Rates are still at historically low levels. If you are quoted 4.75% to 5.25% right now, that is much better than most of the last 40 years. It’s just the last 8-10 years, when rates hit bottom to assist in getting our economy back up and running, that you could get a lower rate. Those days of crazy low rates are gone now. I recall back in 1979 being told the going rate for a home improvement loan was over 18%. Yes, I know, your credit card rate is likely higher and I hope to heck you pay it off monthly! But home improvement loans can run for 10 or 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Santa Fe residential real estate market is healthy going into the winter. Many assume homes don’t sell in the winter, but they do sell. In relative terms, winter will see 120 to 140 home sales a month while summer will see 200 to 240 unit sales. There is no wrong time to list your home. And allow me to be a broken record: inventory is low and dangerously low in the mid and lower price ranges. Even the million plus range has less inventory compared to demand than has been the case in many many years. That makes it a sellers market overall, with occasional geographic exceptions and anomalies.

What else is going on?

IMHO, logic and reason can sometimes modify gravity, hold back the floods, temper the wildfires and heal the sick, but they cannot explain some of the current events in this great country. Allow me to wonder when exactly America used to be great and how we lost our way. And leave it to you to speculate when we should go back to (in years, maybe the mid ’50’s – a time of innocence for baby boomers?).

Do you want to return to any particular year or decade? Was that time long before the Civil Rights laws and the efforts by some to give people of color a chance at living in America without having to live with widespread racism and persecution?  Was there a time of economic prosperity that lifted everyone equally, when almost nobody went hungry or without shelter? Is the time you want to return to when your family and friends had everything and the hell with everyone else? Were you slave owners or something? Is your happiness dependent upon others suffering? Go ahead, take a look at what you say you want. I’ll wait.

Personally I would rather move forward and make progress on many issues rather than go back to another time with different conditions for living in America.

Our country is in the hands of people who do not have my or your best interests at heart. They solely have their own interests in focus and the rest of us can go eat worms. With just a touch of curiosity you can learn of the deep damage being done today to humanitarian efforts and systems that are the only safety net for so many that do not have food and shelter. Our national parks are being ignored and underfunded, selling drilling rights where sacred ground and wilderness should prevail. Health insurance is quickly becoming something for the few, not even the majority, not to mention the need everyone has for some level of health care. Corporations are raping and pillaging our environment in the name of stockholder returns and preventing true progress in alternative fuels and care for the earth we must live on.

The recent mid-term elections seemed to prove, among other things, that now more than ever we must put women in leadership and control. They are going to be in charge sooner or later. I hope it is soon enough to allow them to correct the course we are on, because it needs serious correction. Leaving the fate of our future in the hands of old white males seems suicidal. As a group they seem bent on the destruction of morality and the abandonment of progress, although I am sure there are some fine people on both sides! Both sides of what?

What is your worry when you go to bed at night? What keeps you awake? I observe the downward trends in civility and honesty among those that live and work together, yet might not always agree on things. I worry about drunk drivers and careless texting while driving, putting me at risk of being terminated by an event I cannot control. I am sorry so many fail to take care of themselves as they age and sad for those that were unable (or unwilling) to save money for their old age years. Who will pay for their care?

As people age they need more help in simply living and the oldest need the most help in the current system of societal care for elderly. If we are too old to work and are not employable, what are we contributing to our world? Are we caring for grandchildren and providing love and nurture to those less fortunate; to those in great need? Or are we watching TV all day and grumbling about the dog shit left in our front yard and the lack of money for infrastructure leaving potholes to grow larger? What is bothering you?

Thanks for staying in front of your screen and I hope to have helped trigger some thinking and some reflection on what sometimes is forgotten. Now go buy a house!

RECOUNT!!

I guess anyone might demand a recount if they really want to. But its clear only those on the short end of vote counts ever want a recount. You COULD demand a recount for home sales in Santa Fe year to date or you could just bite your lip and accept my numbers. They are not perfectly accurate, never were intended to be, but they are a consistent measurement of where residential real estate sales are going and where we have been. We are in such an improved market over the wretched one of the last 10 years that it would be easy to relax and assume all is well forever. Not so fast on the casual attitude!

This year’s now completed 10 months of sales is running at 7.8% more unit sales above last years first 10 months. We will likely end the year in similar shape; great improvement and manageable growth. But what are we going to do about the lack of inventory? To have an absorption rate below 3 months in the under $500K price range is crazy because it does not favor the buyer in any way. So the pressure to keep raising prices up from the bottom just makes everything less affordable for the first time home buyers and those with little or no down payment. And if the people that live and work here cannot afford to live here, do we have to build more highways so they can commute from El Rito or Golden?  Or Belen?

We are thankful for the snowfall today and hope El Nino kicks in some much needed snowpack to extend our claim on this high desert. Without water to drink and wash our dinner plates, how can we keep growing and prospering? Some would say we are already growing faster than we should. IF we had more homes under say $350K we would increase our growth rate exponentially. I am personally not sure what is right or wrong about growth. You be the judge. But not having affordable housing in the greater Santa Fe area cannot be right for realistic human needs.

Thanks for voting and I hope you got whom you wanted. Make it a habit to vote anytime there is an election. And maybe get some people elected that will take action on the rapid destruction of our planet and our habitat. New Mexico could be a leader in alternative energy and if we make it a priority, it will serve us well with new jobs and all that follows. While you are at it, take the Roadrunner sometimes, just to save some petrol and some ozone. Or take the bus or ride your bike instead of starting your car. Please.

Happy and warm holiday wishes to all.

Not my President

Yes, the title of this post is correct. It is exactly what I meant to type in the headline space. If you are highly sensitive and thin-skinned and lean right (politically speaking) you may want to quit reading. I am passionate about what is going on and I cannot avoid using this blog to speak up.

But wait; I am a Realtor and I am not supposed to openly state my political beliefs for fear of losing business, right? Some say it is blasphemy or professional suicide to speak or write one’s political views, in case a prospective customer might see or hear me and decide they can’t work with me. That’s too damn bad for me, I suppose. Hmmm… Guess I am a US citizen before I am a Realtor. And for a real estate blog about Santa Fe NM residential property and market trends, I might be preaching to the choir; I don’t know. Santa Fe is as left leaning as any city I am aware of. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

If you have alt-right, anti-POC, anti LGBT, anti-Semite, climate change denying, socially regressive, pro-Trump views and beliefs, do not contact me for real estate business if you prefer to work with someone who is more like you. I might speak about my beliefs while in your company. I might ask you about your beliefs. I am both sorry not sorry. That’s just the way it is. There are plenty of other Realtors out there that will keep their mouth shut when it comes to current events.

If you fear we are dangerously close to becoming a socialist country, which might mean affordable health care for all, don’t contact me. If you believe “Drill baby drill” is the best philosophy when it comes to energy sources, do not contact me.

Until there are checks and balances on the 45th President, preventing him from taking away basic health care from those that most need it, not allowing him to put abusers and hateful people into lifetime appointments in the judicial system, forcing him to obey the laws of this land (taxes, emoluments, honest dealings with people), I will not agree to just give him some time to sort things out. Already, in less than 2 years, he has destroyed many hard-fought victories for many disadvantaged and suffering people and institutions. He has laid waste to honesty and integrity in his communication and his behavior. He has incited violence (terrorism) here at home and destroyed alliances with almost all of our allies (unless he profits from doing business with them). He represents, so he says, his base, but that might be a mere 35 to 40% of people who actually voted in 2016. That might approach 20% of all Americans. So yes, more people should vote.

Let us all be certain to vote November 6th (I voted early and was pleased to see good crowds out on a rainy day). Because until we vote in enough legislative people to put a check on the lawless, corrupt, unethical, immoral and hateful activities he supports, we will have to be very careful in what were traditionally safe places: schools, places of worship, places of public gatherings…

Every now and then someone comes along that gets such a large head start on fooling the majority of people, that a great deal of damage is done before enough come to realize what is going on. We have passed the point where we are impressed with his ability to garner votes. Once the Russian meddling in our elections became well-known and understood, his legitimate standing as President became in doubt. He is not my President.

What are others saying? I have borrowed from a New Yorker article recently published online:

On Wednesday, David Gergen, the veteran Republican political commentator, who has worked for four different Presidents, said on CNN, “Donald Trump unleashed the dogs of hatred in this country from the day he declared he was running for President. And they’ve been snarling and barking at each other ever since. It’s just inevitable there are going to be acts of violence that grow out of that.”

The veteran Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who worked on the Presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain, has become an ardent critic of Trump. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets commenting on the pipe-bomb attacks, he described Trump as “the greatest demagogue in American history,” someone who “has celebrated violence over and over again.” Schmidt went on, writing that “no journalist or commentator should be intimidated from making this point. The stoking of hatred and sundering of the American people was always going to lead to terrible consequences. Chief amongst them would be the initiation of partisan or sectarian violence within our country.”

The above quotes are just from this week, a tragic and historically horrible week in our history. Is it getting better? I say no, as long as that President continues to blame everyone else for his human shortcomings and his determination to abandon democracy for the sort of dictatorship practiced by Putin that he so covets. He simply cannot stand criticism, believing it to be unfair to him. In a way it is as if he thinks he lives “above the law”.

Here is to honest and heart-felt discourse without blame and without prejudice. Here is to finding ways to make ourselves and our society better. Here is to helping preserve this beautiful world for our great-grandchildren. I hope each and every person can find ways to improve someone else’s welfare and sanity in addition to just worrying about their own piece of the pie.

Steady as you go

I am pleased to share updated statistics about the Santa Fe residential real estate market in this autumn season of 2018. You will find several spreadsheets and reports available for viewing (and printing) on the left side of each of the blog pages you wish to view.

Please note the consistency of finding out that the Third Quarter 2018 sales matched the same Quarter from 2017. When I crunched the numbers I was amazed that we had exactly as many sales this year (over the last 3 months) as we did last year. But do take a look at the 3rd Quarter report because it clearly illustrates how short of inventory we are in the under $300,000 range. Actually I would say we are short of inventory of homes priced at $500,000 and below, but the lowest range really hits home showing a decline in sales below $300,000 year over year.

A prediction that might not be too bold is that if we had triple the inventory in that lowest price range, the sales of those units would have at least doubled. But it is what it is and for many years people living in Northern New Mexico have often had to settle for a manufactured or mobile home that they can afford. The average sales price over the last year is over $485K while the median sales price is $365K.

While the Third Quarter last year and this year are identical in total sales of units, sales in the middle and upper price ranges made up for the decrease (due to lack of product available) in the lower ranges. I think it is safe to say that total sales for the Quarter just completed would have been over 700 units if there was more to choose from.

Annual precipitation is yet again below the average for this date this year. The last chart I saw showed we had rec’d just under 7 inches so far this year while the historical average is over 1 inches. So when is this drought going to break? Or is this the new normal and we are now getting what we can expect to be the average for the near term future. How fortunate to be far away from the hurricanes and tornadoes that ravage our lands and people. We only have drought and a very rare case of the plague (sounds medieval) and hantavirus. And having spend some time in the Southeastern USA recently, we are fortunate not to have mosquitoes in thick swarms here.

You have to give credit to the typical Santafesino for being so frugal and careful with water use. Almost nobody has a visible blue grass yard (though I have seen some back yards with the water hungry grasses). I would hate to be selling lawn mowers and leaf rakes here.

Get your costume early so you can practice eating the Halloween candy that you will be collecting soon. It’s not my fave holiday so I will probably be sitting in the dark at home not answering the door.

Thanks for visiting my site. Its a bit of a labor of love for me so I always appreciate anyone that gets use out of it. Let me know anytime you want to say thanks. (insert big smiley face here)