Blog & Industry News

Tucson Summer Land Market is in Full Swing

The summer season, particularly June and July, are generally sleepy months of relative calm in the land and lot business. My primary focus usually turns to things other than business. Days include lots of early morning tennis at Tucson Racquet Club, catching up on activities with friends and family, seeing a few summer blockbusters, relaxing on my patio with a good book or a single malt scotch (preferably both), and binge watching Netflix series that had previously passed me by.

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5 Hidden Expenses of Home Building

When it comes to building the home of your dreams, there are tons of online resources which can help you choose your home design plan. More often than not, when calculating your costs for any given building plan, people assume that the calculated price is a complete price list for building your own custom home.

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How to Beat the Summer Heat in Tucson

When people visit Southern Arizona in the summer, they often wonder just how it can be that people could live in this heat year-round. The question is often answered with a colloquial desert saying: It's a dry heat.

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Determining A Building Site on Vacant Land

When I walk through a vacant parcel of land for the first time, like most people, I am impressed by the ease and ambiance of the entryway, the vegetation, the topography, the views and the physical attributes of the parcel and its surroundings. As my clients may continue to concentrate on these, I begin to shift myfocus to identifying the potential buildable areas and thus the actual building location(s) on the site. If the parcel is in a subdivision, the answer will come more quickly as we can look to the subdivision’s recorded, final plat for information.

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Reading Topography

As I discussed in my last blog, reading topography can be a bit of an art. Those who deal with it regularly gain the capability to see the contours literally come into focus as a three dimensional pattern. For example, I can look at a topographic map and tell whether the contours are forming the side of a hill or defining the sides of a wash.

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Relief from Topography

My father, ‘Sut’ Settlemeyer was a surveyor for the United States Geological Survey (USGS). He referred to the maps they produced as quad, or relief maps. The universal geologic language of relief mapping is contour topography. Now what exactly is a contour? Simply, nothing more than a step. Just as a flight of stairs is comprised of risers and treads, topographic contours consist of elevations and resolution.
 
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