So yesterday I wrote a well thought out and researched article on why owning a home is not an investment.  You can and should read this if you are considering buying or selling your house.  The downside of doing this though, is that not only do I have housing on the brain, but I really feel like being snarky.  So I decided to illustrate something my wife and I have noticed about Tucson.

When we moved here from Pittsburgh 5 years ago, we had a great realtor on that end.  He was professional, dependable, and knew what the hell he was doing.  It seems that none of those skills have translated here to Tucson.  Tucson has a problem selling it’s houses, and I know what that problem is.  No one taught these poor realtors how to take a picture that will actually sell a house.

A picture is worth 1ooo words, so lets try to take picture that don’t make our houses sound like that were howling at the moon for 10 minutes.  The pictures below were taken from a random sampling of homes over a 5 minute period using the TARMLS site.  I didn’t take more than one pic from each house, and I probably grabbed a pic from 75% of the houses I looked at.  This is our competition here.  The only pic I couldn’t find was one of dirty dishes in the sink, which I have actually seen before.  Think of the below as Mystery Science Theater 3000, but for homes on sale in Tucson.



Any realtor worth his salt will tell you to pic good, safe, neutral colours to put on your walls to appeal to the most buyers.  Apparently in this person’s word that means going for the mouldy zebra look.


Tone it down is a phrase that really should get used more around here.  Since teal and disgusting olive go together so well in the average home.


In addition to sleeping 75, this small field sized bed in this tiny room can be used as emergency helipad space.  (Camera perspective is everything)


What are your showing here?  You like to read?  You can screw rickety shelves into brick?  Your reading chair is a 5 dollar plastic lumbar liquidator?  Pack that crap up.


Ok, showing off built in shelves.  Good, packed up all his personal books.  Bad, left everything in a trash sack under the desk.  Dude?  You are making yourself look like a hoarder with poor planning skills.


I know some people like an exercise room at an apartment complex, but I think this is missing the boat.  Everyone hate’s home gyms because they get in the way.  Thanks for proving it.


This is the one area of the house where the baby can live in the heat.  Notice the play thing DIRECTLY in front of the AC, as well as the willingness to sacrifice light to prevent heat in this sweat lodge.


And when you are done with breakfast, you can load the dishwasher without even getting up.


Here is our formal dining area, It’s so formal we don’t even use it.  We put the chairs in, and never had space to pull them out.  It’s for dinner parties.


Don’t get me wrong, I totally respect a chicken coop and a shed, but when they look like they were lifted directly from the spare set of Deliverance, you should probably not include them.


This one comes with it’s own complete unabomber bench, which saves so much time when being an angry gremlin that builds things.

That’s is how Tucson sells a house.  I think the lesson here is just because the MLS lets you use 30 photos doesn’t mean you should, and owning a camera, doesn’t make you a photographer.