Saturday, June 4, 2016

Buyer Beware!!!

As you know, I visited Tombstone Arizona last winter and actually spent quite a bit of time looking for property there.  I'm just an Old West kind of cowgirl who would love living in an 1800's house, sitting on the porch watching the world go by .... at least when I wasn't quilting.

There were LOTS of places for sale, although if you've been there, many are run down and in need of repair, not to mention they are very small, one or two bedrooms with one bathroom.  They didn't have much in the way of belongings in the old days, so houses were strictly functional .... a bed, a kitchen and maybe a parlor.

Nevertheless, I drove up and down the streets looking.  I also have been keeping an eye on realty sites and have noticed a distinct increase in properties for sale.  As a Property Tax Manager for eleven years, that rang a tiny bell in the back of my head.  Like in past California days, it seems everyone is bailing out of Tombstone.

Time to check with the locals and see what's up.  This is a picture of Allen Street, closed off into a walking mall for the tourists and gunslinger shows.  Little do people know what lies beneath their feet.  This town arose from the dirt extracted by miners ... and a lot of it came from UNDER the town.  That made it unsafe to drive heavy vehicles down Allen Street, so they closed it off.

The next road over, Toughnut Street, is beginning to have the same problems ... sinkholes.
They have tried everything possible, from throwing timbers down the holes, to filling them with sand and gravel, but nothing seems to work.  The holes just continue to suck up anything dumped in.  The idea of filling them with concrete came up, but that is a VERY expensive proposition, one the townspeople and business owners cannot afford.  The solution to getting the required money, is to raise the property tax ... a LOT!!  As they try to figure out how to fix the dangerous problem, we may find Toughnut Street also becoming a walking mall.
So what about the houses located there?  Yeah, that was my question also.  It seems that behind the Rose Tree (you may remember that from my blog) they've already had cave-ins.  That makes buying a house there a pretty dicey adventure.

To make matters even worse, apparently the School District has overspent dramatically ... over a million dollars more than they had in their bank ... because the County Office kept telling them they were in the black.  In our County, it was my job to set the tax rates based on the school's projected budget and distribute it to them throughout the year after collection.  It's not rocket science, or I wouldn't have been doing it!!

Every time the school district ran out of money, the bank would put more in ... on their line of credit.    Apparently no one figured out actually WHERE the money was coming from until a few months ago.  To correct the situation, a General Obligation bond will be placed on the tax rolls at an exorbitant rate.  The people of Tombstone are leaving in droves!!  Seems this ghost town will again become a ghost town due to property tax.

Add to that the City Council has been trying to overshadow the County Chamber and spend the bedroom tax on THEIR pet projects.   They even increased the tax so they could have more to spend .... except they got caught and had to reverse the increase in tax.   All this means the little Old West town of Tombstone is in turmoil.

Depending on the location, now may be the time to buy.  Prices are in the toilet as people race to sell out and divest themselves of a money pit.  On the other hand, it might just end up being a quiet little place to winter, assuming of course you don't disappear into the mine shafts below.  The key words here are BUYER BEWARE!!


  1. Cuppola trains of thought why not invest in the bedroom tax only because of the fact you could move your bedroom wherever you wish
    Point of question tombstone Arizona the temperatures hundred degrees today
    Weather forecast building Montana 78°
    Weather forecast Long Beach Washington 77
    Weather forecast Burlington Vermont 79
    Weather forecast Cocoa Florida 86
    So you see 77 weather trumps anything over 86
    And some of those places don't even have a bedroom Tax
    Unless you're looking at retiring coming off the road it's good to see that you're not in a hurry
    Someday something will come along and you bump into the right situation
    Just remembered no more then 50 in the winter time and 75 in the summertime Snow in the mountains and beach by the ocean And when you find that other than Hawaii let us know because were all move there
    Interesting I did not know they had mines under tombstone

    1. That's funny ... I too have said "when you find the right spot, let me know ... I'll be your neighbor!!" That perfect spot probably doesn't exist, but I'll keep looking.

      Yup ... the mining companies followed the veins, even if they went underneath the town. In those days, they didn't really know what sinkholes were ... or maybe didn't care!

  2. Are there maps of those mines? Perhaps they could help you discover where to buy or not buy?

    1. I don't think anyone knows exactly were all the mine shafts go. They did go underground in an effort to find out, but it was too dangerous to go very far. There is actually a mine tour you can take .. right on Toughnut Street!! That says a lot about home buying in Tombstone!!