Aug
09

8 Tips to Sell your Home Fast by Catherine del Rey

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Selling your house is not always easy. My favorite money couple on YouTube, His and Her Money, gives the top tips for selling a home quickly and for top dollar. This video is honest, humorous and to the point.

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Jan
09

Miley Cyrus can help you save money on your home energy

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Miley Cyrus can help you save money on your home energyDancing kid courtesy of Microsoft images.

Vigorous twerking to the strains of Wrecking Ball can help you expend energy, if you’re trying to lose weight after the holidays. But Miley Cyrus’s music has also been demonstrated to save you energy—solar energy—and money on your utility bills.

Yes, a recent study has shown that playing pop and rock music to your solar panels increases their efficiency. The high frequency sounds cause vibrations that enhance their ability to generate energy, according to the trendy researchers at Queen Mary University and Imperial College London.

“We thought the sound waves, which produce random fluctuations, would cancel each other out and so didn’t expect to see any significant overall effect on the power output,” said James Durrant, Professor of Photochemistry at Imperial College London and unwitting punster.

“The key [sic] for us was that not only that the random fluctuations from the sound didn’t cancel each other out, but also that some frequencies of sound seemed really to amplify the solar cell output – so that the increase in power was a remarkably big effect considering how little sound energy we put in.”

Sorry, classical music doesn’t work. You can’t really rock out to Lizst.

So for maximum energy benefits, turn up the volume on Miley’s music so your solar panels vibrate, and then twerk like nobody’s watching.

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May
16

Watching a Movie at the AMC Movie Theater: A True Dining Experience

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The specialty drink made for the Ironman 3 movie. The icecubes are lights and lit up the theater.

The specialty drink made for the Ironman 3 movie. The icecubes are lights and lit up the theater.

I have been out of the country and have not had the privilege of trying this very different way of watching a movie. The anticipation of the new Ironman movie could be cut with a knife in my household which is why we found ourselves sitting down at the Esplanade AMC Fork and Screen theatre and placing our drink orders before the movie began.

Although we were not able to sit in the truly luxuriousCinema Suite theatre because we had a young one with us, the Fork and the Screen seats were a far cry from the traditional movie theatre seats. We were given a drink menu, the first of the many very noticeable differences in this  theatre. I ordered a champagne to celebrate my maiden voyage into the new “cinematic experience” and ordered a chicken salad, and assorted other savory appetizers. All were delicious, the movie was even better.

We saw the movie “Ironman 3” in the AMC Fork and Screen Theatres. If you haven’t had the experience, try it. There is nothing like watching a movie with a cocktail in your hand.

http://dinein.amctheatres.com/how-it-works/fork-and-screen

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Jan
20

Heard Museum Events this Weekend

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Dec
18

Top 10 Ways (and more) to Fix Up Your House Before You Sell

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This comes from our February Newsletter…

Real Estate Corner…

 

Q. We’ve purchased a new house, and are selling our existing home. We don’t have a lot of money to fix up our existing home before selling it. Do you have any inexpensive suggestions?

 

A. The typical response from all realtors are; carpets and paint. There are so many other low cost things that you can do to help you sell your home.

 

1. Deep clean your home. Make it sparkle. That includes washing all of the baseboards, cabinets, and closets.

 

2. If your master bedroom looks drab, add new linens, pillows, and shams to spice up the bedroom. It also adds some color

 

3. Buy a bright colored curtain and rug to perk up a dull bathroom.

 

 

 4. Regrout your tile if your bathroom grout is chipped or discolored.

 

5. Eliminate clutter. Remove photos, knickknacks,refrigerator magnet and other personal items. Organize your cabinets and closets.

 

6. Clear off kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Put away appliances

 

7. Arrange your furniture so it focuses on your home’s strongest feature (it may be a view, a garden, flowers, or a painting.

 

8. Remove excess furniture

 

9. Create a “model Home” look, clean, attractive with well-placed items

 

10. Dress up your rooms with attractive area rugs and framed prints

 

11. Install new light fixtures if they are damaged or unappealing

 

12. Paint your walls neutral tones. Paint the front door if needed

 

13. Trim bushes and make sure the outside landscaping is neat and clean.

 

If you looking for caring and competant representation, please contact us at 602.315.9292 or Info@MetroRealtyphx.com

 

 

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Dec
17

Phoenix: 4 Smarter Ways to Sell Your Home Online

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The Internet has a wealth of tools to help you sell your home, from social media to targeted advertising. The trick is using them correctly.

By Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate

© Simon Potter/Cultura/Getty Images

With a lot fewer homebuyers trolling the market, sellers need to make sure that their homes are getting out in front of the most promising prospects.

Whether the home being sold is a suburban rancher perfect for young families or a move-in ready condo for single urban professionals, a wealth of high-tech tools is available to help sellers target the most likely buyers. Unfortunately, tech experts say, most people are misusing them.

“Fifty percent of the people who are using social media (to sell real estate) are doing it wrong,” says Michael McClure, president and CEO of Professional One Real Estate in Plymouth, Mich., and a frequent guest lecturer on real estate and technology. (Bing: Top social media blunders)

Rather than developing relationships with potential buyers in places where they hang out online, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, most agents are simply slapping up electronic listings and hoping buyers take the bait. That strategy can backfire, turning potential buyers off and away from what looks like spam.

“There’s a culture (in social media) built up around the ostracizing of people who do that,” McClure says. “People will say, ‘We need to unfollow (or unsubscribe from) that person immediately.'”

Owners have a bit more leeway than agents in promoting a home online. But, regardless, McClure says, nine of every 10 pieces of communication on Facebook or Twitter should be something other than a sales pitch.

It’s not about selling, he says. It’s about “engaging and relating” with the people who have a good shot at buying what you have to sell.

  1. 1.   Target your marketing
    While you can’t target specific groups of buyers in the text of your marketing appeal without risking charges of discrimination, you can draw attention to your home in the places where its most appreciative would-be buyers hang out.

A home’s seller can say things on Twitter that might attract the right buyer, such as “#architecture buffs should check this one out” or “my #kids were crazy about this yard.”

If you have an amazing view or the world’s largest walk-in closet, you can tweet about that, too.

“Can you believe the size of this #closet?” the post could read, with a link to photos on your agent’s site.

It’s best to stick with promoting a home’s unique features and simply put the message in places where the buyers you are targeting can’t miss it, such as ethnic, religious or school-related groups or local parenting pages. Likewise, owners of horse property or lakefront homes could try hitting up fishing or equestrian blogs and message boards.

Slide show:  7 tips for first-time sellers

Whomever you’re targeting, experts say, there’s a way to reach them without explicitly singling them out in your listing.

2. Harness the new breed of advertising
One of the most focused ways to target certain buyers without risk of discrimination is through Facebook ads, McClure says.

Even if you can’t advertise that your home is perfect for people without kids, young hipsters or gay and lesbian couples, you can silently target these groups with keywords in the social network’s advertising. You can be even more selective by placing ads in front of Facebook users by age, employers and even ZIP codes to get the most bang for your online buck.

And that means you can call out incentives that may matter most to the groups you are searching for, offering help with closing costs to first-time buyers, proximity to public transportation for young professionals or home warranties for empty nesters.

“I think most people don’t know that this technology is there, but the learning curve (to do it) takes 30 seconds,” McClure says.

He says he finds it much more effective than glossy real-estate magazines and newspaper ads, after spending two decades using those without success. “I’d be willing to bet that digital return on investment (ROI) is 100 to 1,000 times greater” than print, he says.

Digital media also allow you to reach potential buyers who may be relocating, or investors scouring your area for properties, says Ben Kinney, an agent with Keller-Williams in Bellingham, Wash. “It’s important that you do things to market your home to people outside your physical area,” Kinney says. “Consumers might want to think twice about hiring the agent who spends their money on print because they are not keeping up with the market.”

Indeed, Kinney says, you’re better off saving your money and posting your home’s listing on Craigslist as long as you’re willing to update your listing every 48 hours from the day you list until the day you sell.

Many real-estate experts also recommend advertising on the nation’s big real-estate search engines such as Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia, so your home pops up at the top of the search page, rather than on page 15, by which point many potential buyers have stopped looking.

It’s all about being in a high-profile position on the sites that buyers frequent most.

“You have to go where your audience is,” agrees Sara Bonert, director of broker services for Zillow.com.

Sue Adler, a Keller-Williams agent in the Short Hills area of New Jersey, advertises on search engine Google using keywords including the handful of bedroom communities just outside Manhattan in which she works. She’s also hired someone to do search engine optimization of her site, so it and her listings are at the top of search results – paid and unpaid — and top of mind for those looking.  

 “Anybody can stick a house in the (multiple listing service). The whole key is to get the right amount of exposure and get people from out of the area in,” Adler says.

3. Sell the neighborhood
One way agents are drawing in more buyers from out of the area is by promoting the selling points of the neighborhoods in which they work, as well as the listings.

Adler had a videographer put together community videos for the towns in which she works, highlighting what’s unique and wonderful about each of them, such as good schools, parks, cultural diversity or a small-town feel.

That’s how Richard Rein, a Manhattan trader, found Adler when he was looking for an agent and a home for his family within a short commute of his work.

“She had tons of information about those markets,” Rein says. “Her website had a lot of resources; it wasn’t just listings.”  

 

Ultimately, Rein bought one of the properties she had listed on her site, a $2 million custom Colonial in Chatham, N.J. The area was not the family’s first choice, but they now say they love it for its quiet streets and newer homes.

A video like this can be made for an individual home, then tagged or labeled with a neighborhood or city so it can be found on sites such as YouTube, which is starting to account for a larger share of real-estate search.

“Video is probably the most effective way to market an individual property,” McClure says. “You can syndicate a video … that says, ‘Check out my amazing view home in (your neighborhood here)”” he says. “I don’t understand why more people aren’t doing it.”

McClure suggests that agents write blog posts about an area and its news, events and issues, with a link back to a real-estate website to draw in potential buyers. Kinney uses these avenues to do giveaways – which are reposted more widely in social media – including raffles of an iPad to visitors who frequent one of his open houses.

Slide show:  6 ways to ruin your home listing

Kinney also monitors conversations on Twitter looking for buyer leads. By creating search columns for specific hashtags (or terms marked with a # symbol in front) such as #moving or specific neighborhoods such as #WestHollywood) he can reach out to prospective buyers and offer help or resources, a strategy that has resulted in sales.

Owners gearing up to put their house on the market would be wise to expand their social media presence, too, agents say. They can add friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter so they will have a built-in audience to tap when they share information about the listing and upcoming move.

4. Tap your agent’s social network
The right agent can you help you decide what and when to tweet or post to Facebook, Bonert says, including links to high-definition photos that will look better on that iPad or mobile phone that would-be buyers are clutching as they drive neighborhoods on the weekends.

Ideally, this real-estate agent will have a huge email database and Facebook and Twitter network. Even agents who don’t post listings themselves on Twitter will often retweet your post, giving it exposure to a broader network of agents and potential buyers.

It also pays to choose someone who has enough of an online presence around your neighborhood to be considered a local expert, because that will help draw more potential buyers to their site and your listing.

Seth Silverstein, a seller who works in digital marketing, chose Adler to list his Milburn, N.J., home last spring, partly because of the high traffic to her site, and partly because he kept getting referred there when he did Web searches.

“People are getting their information about real estate in a lot of ways,” Silverstein says. “Sue wasn’t relying on one or two avenues for people to find out about the listing. She was really thorough.” His house sold within its first week after getting four offers.

Of course, your agent had better stay connected and keep monitoring social media or risk losing leads that could have turned into buyers for your home.

Tiffany Hampton, an agent with Century 21 Samia Realty in southern Maine, says she and her partner picked up a buyer for a $1.1 million home when a competing agent didn’t respond to a referral left on his Facebook page.

“He set up a Facebook page but never monitored it and the lead just set on his page for three days,” Hampton says. “The person giving the lead sent a message (saying he was) disappointed. We immediately acted on it. It is a great Facebook success story.”

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Sep
26

Chinese Purchases of US Real Estate Poised to Rise

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Growth in the number of well off mainland Chinese, an increase in overseas study by their children, a drop in US property prices, and a dropping US dollar, and a rising Chinese Yuan all create a perfect storm for the Chinese investor.

 The US represents a good value for what is considered a rapidly globalizing Chinese investor. Permanent private ownership and the market adjustment in the last five years represent a good time for people who are well funded with cash to take advantage of market conditions. The US on the whole does have some softness; in particular, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Detroit, and Atlanta are really dragging down the market. But New York, particularly Manhattan and the LA area are not behaving in the same way as the rest of the US market.

 In LA properties are still in many cases 20% below their 2007 peak and there is some room for capital appreciation. Education is also a huge driver to many of these purchases. Boston is a natural market with universities such as Harvard and Boston University in the vicinity. There is also a business connection where investors want to purchase properties where they do business.

There has also been a growing interest in commercial properties among the Chinese. It has grown substantially, because the U.S. commercial market has some stress and difficulties, and this creates opportunities. We are getting more inquiries from people who are interested in purchasing commercial property, primarily hotels, shopping centers and office buildings. We see a trend of emergence (of demand) on the commercial side. Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix, LA, and San Francisco are the cities in which Chinese investors are most interested. Boston, because of the education angle, is showing promise as well There has also been an interest in golf homes especially if those homes overlook the golf course.

You can’t beat Manhattan overall, when you look at rental yields and when you look at how it’s been really restrained market over the last 10 years from a capital appreciation point of view despite everything that’s happened. Manhattan condominiums, for example, appreciated 60% between 2001 and 2010. We think that there’s still a lot of value there and a lot of stability there. If one of our clients says, “I want prime, I want stable, and I want safe,” we feel that Manhattan is very well aligned. Some of our clients have more of a “want to see more rapid appreciation,” and we think that Miami or Phoenix, as long as you buy right, is well positioned from a 3-5 year viewpoint.

The market saw some really substantial devaluation in properties, in some cases 50%+. Some very good developers (have) had some very prime properties that are selling for below construction cost. Residential real estate is our main focus. We think there’s a good opportunity for Chinese buyers who want to buy those now and do a 3-5 year flip.

The other interesting markets are the suburban parts of L.A. which still offer some very good value — places like Arcadia, Pasadena, Orange County, and Newport Beach. These areas are still 20% – and in some cases a little better than 20% — below their 2007 peaks. The market took a pretty substantial hit in 2007, but it rebounded quite quickly. Again, these are places that are well aligned with different clients we work with. The agricultural sector holds a lot of promise for investors.

The price of milk has gone way up proportionally to what price this dairy farm is on the market. According to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2008 by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, a consultancy, wealthy Chinese investors have traditionally held a high proportion of their assets in real estate. In 2007, a year that saw investors diversify into other assets against the backdrop of a booming stock market, high net-worth individuals in China allocated 21% of their assets to real estate, against a global average of 14%.

 Now, the drop in housing prices and a steady renminbi have created an opportunity for wealthy Chinese to invest in real estate abroad, said Rupert Hoogewerf, CEO of the Hurun Report, a web portal that provides information on China’s wealthy. “What used to cost US$1 million now costs US$800,000,” he said. Hoogewerf estimates China is home to more than 50,000 people with a net worth of over US$10 million, and more than 800,000 with a net worth of US$1 million. But Chinese law restricts individuals from taking more than US$50,000 out of the country in one year.

 According to Hoogewerf, the restrictions mean buyers are predominantly traders, or those with businesses that export overseas. These people have stockpiles of US dollars and the savvy to navigate real estate overseas. “Investing abroad generally means a combination of increased opportunity and a perceived increase in risk at home”, said Michael Pettis, a professor of international finance at Tsinghua University. Last year, China saw a large influx of hot money and a record trade surplus of US$290 billion.

 Although much of this cash is now moving in the opposite direction, the flow is not as strong as that which brought it in. This leaves experts to infer possibilities from other trends. While it’s still too early to tell whether these prospective US homeowners herald a shift in Chinese spending and investing habits, it is worth monitoring the movements of small business owners, said Pettis. “They’re the ones that have the best sense of what’s going on at the ground level,” he said. “It’s good to watch what they are doing.” To investors from China: If you are interested in touring Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, or New York for these kind of real estate deals, please contact Dennis Kolodin at 602.315.9292 or kolodin@msn.com .

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Aug
28

10 Steps To Cut Your Real Estate Taxes: Talking Down Your House

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 More homeowners are appealing their tax assessments. Here’s what to do if you get a tax-bill shock.

 Local assessors, sometimes part-timers with little training, too often guesstimate a home’s assessed value. That number is then multiplied by the tax rate to determine your annual real estate tax bill. “Do not assume an assessor is necessarily an ‘expert.’ Assessors are often elected officials lacking any special skills,” warns the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) in a handy guide, How to Fight Property Taxes, downloadable from its website for $9.95.

What makes that bad situation even worse these days is that some state and local governments have raised real estate tax rates to compensate for falling house values and/or weak sales and income tax revenues. So a too-high home assessment becomes even more painful.

Higher tax bills, the greater information available on the Web and the growth of special low-price appeals services are all leading more folks to challenge their assessments.

Is it worth fighting? Peter Sepp, executive vice president of the NTU, estimates that 20% to 40% of those who appeal win some reduction. Billionaire Tom Golisano saved $100,000 last year by appealing the $6 million assessment of his Mendon, N.Y. estate to a state court, which cut the assessment in half. “The New York system is very unfair to taxpayers,” says Robert Jacobson, Golisano’s attorney.

You’re more likely to save hundreds than thousands, but here are nine steps to take when your next tax assessment arrives in the mail.

1. Pin down the basics

First, determine the assessment base, which is usually (but not always) stated on the bill or in an accompanying pamphlet. In some localities properties are assessed at a fraction of market value. A too-high assessment representing 80% of your home’s value might look reasonable if you wrongly assume it’s 100% of the value.

Next, determine the assessment date. Your home’s worth as of that date–not its current value–is what’s significant. Some areas have three- or five-year revaluation cycles. Your house, now worth $400,000, might show a $500,000 assessment, based on 2007 values. You can still appeal this year’s bill, but understand you’ll be fighting over what your home was worth back then, not what it is worth now. Even more confusing, some areas phase in multiyear assessments, meaning your annual assessment could–legitimately–be rising, even while your actual property value is falling. You can always appeal a current tax bill assessment, but you usually can’t go back and fight over last year’s bill.

 2. Act quickly

Deadlines and rules vary, and most are not taxpayer-friendly. You might have only 25 days after getting your assessment notice to file an appeal and then only a few days until the hearing. Meanwhile, pay your bill on time; an appeal won’t ordinarily delay the due date.

3. Get your property record

Your assessor’s office has filing cabinets (or a computer) stuffed with “tax cards” for each property. “It’s a gold mine of information,” says Richard Michaud, a real estate lawyer with Bernkopf Goodman in Boston. Even if the assessor has put information on the Web, you’ll usually get more details by visiting the assessor’s office.

Check that all information is correct, including the square footage, number of bathrooms and fireplaces, and the quality (or depreciation factor) used to value your home. If you find factual mistakes, go in for a friendly chat and ask the assessor to correct it. “Your tax assessor isn’t your enemy. He’s an official trying to do his job. Often you can work these issues out very informally,” says Michaud.

4. Be a nosy neighbor

While you’re at the assessor’s office, get your neighbors’ property tax cards if you can. Assessments are always available as public records, and often the cards are, too.

You have a good chance of reducing your tax bill with an appeal if your house is assessed for more than what similar, nearby properties sold for or are assessed for. If all the neighbors have made improvements, and you haven’t, make sure your assessment is lower. A drive-by assessor might have judged all the houses as being of equal value, unaware that only yours still has the original lime-green bathroom fixtures, no central air and a wet basement. Think like a buyer trying to talk down the price of your house.

Another resource: The real estate agent who sold you your house might put together a list of comparable property sales (not listings) for you in hopes of a future referral.

5. Use the Web

You can search for all the houses on your cul de sac on Zillow.com or Trulia.com and compare basic stats (size, number of baths) and the assessment and sales histories–a particularly useful exercise if your locality hasn’t put such data online. Warning: The value estimates on these sites tell you what you might sell your house for today and are irrelevant for your appeal. Boards can throw out the data you submit if it postdates the assessment date.

One new Web service, ValueAppeal, charges $99 (refundable if you don’t win) for online help putting together an appeal package, including up to 15 comparable property sales. Before you pay you plug in your address to see if you’re one of the 25% of folks who ValueAppeal estimates can save $300 or more a year by appealing. (If not, the service won’t take your money, giving it an 80% success rate, claims founder Charles Walsh.)

6. Consider hiring a pro

If you’re not intimidated by local bureaucrats, you can argue the initial appeal yourself (typically in front of a local board). At the other extreme, if big dollars are at stake or you fight all the way up to court, you’ll likely need a lawyer.

In between are various services that file a large number of appeals. Some don’t require any payment up front from you; instead they collect a share (usually 50%) of the first year’s reduction in taxes. That’s not a bad deal if the assessment will affect your bill for three or more years.

Or you could find a local pro who specializes in your area and knows the detailed (and possibly quirky) criteria that affect assessments there. “The system is nuts,” says Sheila Anderson, who does appeals in Florida for residential and commercial clients. “If you don’t know what’s in the pages and pages of criteria that affect how you are assessed, you could be blindsided,” she adds.

7. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot

If the facts don’t support your case, an appeal could actually lead to a higher valuation of your property. Perhaps the assessor has listed your lot as larger than it is but missed your addition. Be aware that an appeals board will likely ask what improvements you’ve made to the property, whether or not you ever filed for a building permit. You’ll be under oath when you answer.

8. Search out exemptions

You might also get your tax bill reduced by finding an exemption you qualify for and aren’t getting, such as a homestead exemption for a principal residence. Also common are exemptions for low-income seniors and veterans. Marc Soss, a tax lawyer in Sarasota, Fla., returned from service in Afghanistan and found he was eligible for a one-time $1,500 combat rebate on his real estate taxes. Separately he filled out an application, as a disabled vet, to get $5,000 chopped off his assessment, translating to $70 a year in savings. “Most people are completely unaware of these breaks,” says Soss.

9. Work to reform the system

After a partial victory knocking $400 off the annual tax bill on her family’s one-story stucco Odessa, Fla. home, Sara Cucchi, a former industrial engineer and now stay-at-home mom, is applying to be on her county’s appeals board. “I want the system to work the way it’s supposed to work,” she says.

If you are over 65 and live in your own home in California, check for parcel taxes on your property tax bill. You may be able to file for an exemption from such parcel taxes, typically levied by school districts.

 

Disclaimer: We are a real estate company. Please consult a legal and tax expert before using any of these strategies.

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Jun
09

Phoenix Real Estate Residential, Commercial, and Investment

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  Search the Multiple Listing Service that Phoenix realtors use. These listings include short     

           sales and foreclosures.

                        Log on to http://metrorealtyphx.com/search-mls/

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Jun
09

Arizona’s Wallow Fire Continues to Burn

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About.phoenix.com  Judy Henning

UPDATE JUNE 9, 2011: Eagar and Springerville have now been evacuated. Power lines are one of the many concerns now, as that would result in rolling blackouts to communities in New Mexico and Texas. It is estimated that Arizona’s Wallow Fire will surpass the Rodeo-Chediski fire (468,000 acres) in acre consumption. Right now about 389,000 acres of forest have burned (about 607 square miles) and destroyed 11 buildings, with nearly 600 structures at risk. There have been no serious injuries reported. Here is a map of the Wallow Fire affected area.

A DC-10 tanker has arrived in Arizona. That aircraft is able to carry a 12,000 gallons of fire retardant. That’s about 5 times the load of a normal tanker used to fight wildfires. According to the referenced article, “While effective, the DC-10 comes with some steep costs — $56,000 per day with a five-day minimum plus $12,000 per flight hour.”

Other items you might be wondering about:

The fire has burned onto land under State Forestry Division jurisdiction. The Arizona Forestry Division was awarded a Fire Management Assistance Grant from FEMA, which will reimburse the state for some of the costs incurred for firefighting and evacuation.

The Arizona National Guard is providing logistical fuel support to fire crews at the Wallow Fire with three 2,500 gallon fuel tanker trucks and crew. Arizona National Guard forces are poised to deploy if needed.

The Department of Agriculture has deployed livestock officers to perform welfare checks on animals in the area and evacuate livestock that need to be relocated. Evacuated animals are being moved to areas in St. Johns and Show Low. Call the Apache County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 928-337-4321 or 800-352-1850 for more about those animals.

The Department of Health Services is assisting licensed facilities to ensure the safety of patients and staff, not only with evacuations of patients but also with information about smoke hazards.

The Department of Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality in Springerville and St. Johns.

The Department of Transportation is managing 200 miles of closed state highways and supporting evacuation efforts in coordination with emergency managers.

AZ Game and Fish Department has 30 wildlife officers either working on evacuation and security of parts of Eagar and Springerville and preparing information on impacts the fires might have on wildlife and on hunting and fishing in the affected areas.

The Department of Economic Security is monitoring the proximity of the fires to their facilities, including group homes for Child Protective Services, people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Arizona Humane Society has set up an animal shelter with medical support in Show Low for evacuated pets that are unable to stay with their owners at this time.

Anyone who wants to help is encouraged to do so can go online at www.AzEIN.gov for suggestions. Please do not try to visit the affected area of the fire — that doesn’t help.

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