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New Restaurants In Flagstaff!

by The Gary Nelson Group

You may have heard of a few of these…but maybe not.  Flagstaff has gotten a few new restaurants in the past several months!  Here are some new places you may want to check out:

  • Martanne’s: What?! (you may be thinking…)  Martanne’s isn’t new!  True.  But what is new at Martanne’s is that they are now open for dinner.  And it is very, very good.  Good to the point that some established Flagstaff Mexican places might want to take notice.  This is a restaurant that started out years ago as Martan’s Burrito Palace, named for the family that opened it.  It has gone through a sale, an actual move around the corner and has been handed down a generation.  But what hasn’t changed is that it is THE go-to Mexican breakfast place in Flagstaff.  Also, it is quickly becoming THE go-to Mexican dinner house.  It is very well known for Chilaquiles and Enchiladas with Eggs.  It is now becoming popular for Carne Asada and fish tacos.  And trust me on this piece of advice: Order the Chipotle Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp. You’re welcome.  112 Route 66.ā€‹


  • Southside Tavern: OK, this is more of a bar than a restaurant, but the food is pretty good too.  We love the décor and the location on South San Francisco Street.  It has a great vibe, great cocktails and bar food that stands up to scrutiny.  It also has quite a few employees that made the jump over from Charlies and the Hotel Weatherford for unknown reasons.  They are an established bar crew that can handle a busy place and, if I was placing a bet….it would be that Southside Tavern will become a Flagstaff staple.  If you have the Bacon Bleu Burger, remember to save room for the S’Mores Dip.  117 S. San Francisco St.


  • SoSoBa: Have you ever been to one of those great noodle shops in San Francisco where you get those big, fat Udon noodles in a rich broth with a mix of meats and veggies over the top and it’s the best thing you could possibly get on that cold, blustery day?  Yeah…this is better.   SoSoBa is a noodle shop with attitude.  It has something for vegans and omnivores alike.  And best of all, it’s in downtown Flagstaff.  And here is what you order when there: The Mic Drop.  The name says it all.  12 W. Route 66, #104.


  • Street Side Saigon:  This is another great addition to South San Francisco Street that brings Vietnamese street food to south Flagstaff.  Located near the University and other similarly good eateries, this nice spot should gain a foothold and a following pretty quickly.  Try the Pho, of course which is what everyone wants!  But, you may want to go early because they do run out of this popular Vietnamese soup pretty quickly.  121 S. San Francisco Street.


  • Agave: This is Flagstaff’s newest Mexican fair, and I have to say, it is pretty good!  It has been around for about 6 months or so, so it may not be new to some of you, but may be to others.  It is located in the Western Hills hotel, which has seen a lot of change over in that restaurant space over the years.  Several restaurants have met with their deaths in that location, which is very strange since it is right on Route 66.  However, Agave is good enough that it should be here for many years to come!  Try the chicken mole!  1580 E. Route 66
  • The Oakmont: Another restaurant that is now several months old, but I felt like it needed a mention.  This is the newest incarnation of the restaurant at the club house at Continental Country Club.  It takes the place of Jakes On The Green or Jotini’s before that.  The location has benefitted from the facelift that the new owners have given it, a more relaxed atmosphere, better use of the patio space and a pretty good menuBrought to Flagstaff by the guys that own Taverna, Field House and most recently they purchased Busters.  The Oakmont features a very well rounded menu, great views and great Country Club crowds. 2380 North Oakmont Drive.

Rumor has it that there is a new sushi restaurant going in Downtown at 106 North San Francisco Street.  This is the building just north of Pa

To Thai that used to house the Seasoned Kitchen.  Both the inside and the outside of the building are being spruced up right now, so we shall see what progress brings.


A second and even stronger rumor is about a new place going in at 409 South San Francisco.  This is the building that housed El Charro since God was a baby.  El Charro closed and was replaced by The Patio.  Unfortunately, The Patio only lasted a short while, so it will be interesting to see what is going in at that spot.  As of this writing, remodel work is in progress and a partial Airstream Trailer is being installed in the patio area.  Supposedly this will be an outdoor bar area.  That sounds great!  I will try to update you on that in another future blog.

Flagstaff has some great places to eat! Stay tuned and we might take you just a bit further into Flagstaff’s culinary gems!

Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at


Should I Buy a Home Now?

by The Gary Nelson Group

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

What To Know When Buying A Foreclosure

by The Gary Nelson Group

There are many intricacies when purchasing a home that has been foreclosed upon and up for sale by the lender. These properties are known as REO’s,  which means “Real Estate Owned” or Bank Owned. REO’s can be both a very good deal and a potential nightmare.

Most lenders have the home appraised prior to putting the home up for sale and typically price the home below market value in hopes of attracting buyers quickly.  So while you can get a home for below market value there are trade-offs.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

The bank will not inform you of any known defects in the home. As a matter of fact you will likely get no information at all and will have to waive your rights to all disclosures.  All bank owned properties are sold “AS-IS, Where is”, meaning they will not make any repairs to mechanical items as in a normal transaction.  Therefore, Home Inspections for bank owned properties are imperative. I recommend using a licensed home inspector AND a team of a contractor, roofer, plumber, electrician, etc.  The bank cannot take away your right to inspections.  In this case they are imperative.

The bank may not supply or agree to sign paperwork required by law.  Some banks refuse to fill out or supply forms that are required under state law. Most of the banks operate on a national level and are not familiar with state to state customs. From subdivision disclosures to rural property forms, some banking institutions think that some of the forms are liabilities and will not supply them, even if required to do so.

The buyer will assume all repairs and defects once the transaction is closed. So knowing what you are getting into is very important.  A lot of the homes have sat vacant for long time periods of time and have had deferred maintenance and some will have damage as a result. If an item comes up on the home inspection be sure and investigate it further.

Thermal imagining may be a way to further investigate behind walls and under flooring.  Home Inspectors are not allowed to cut into walls or pull up flooring during the inspection. No “destructive testing” is allowed. So to insure that the property is in the condition you expect, a home inspector that does thermal imaging can investigate water leaks inside walls.  

Be sure and check into the chain of title on the property.  You can check with the title company to make sure the bank has proper ownership of the home.  Sometimes Foreclosure Deeds and Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure (where the previous owner just turned the house back to the bank) do not get recorded properly. This can cause major delays in closing the sale.

Check to see if monies are owed to a utility company. In Arizona, municipalities cannot charge for services that were ordered by the previous owner or tenant. However, cooperative or private utilities such as rural water companies, can and sometimes do charge the new owner for what services that the previous owner or tenant received!

Check to see if past homeowner association dues are owed.  As with utilities, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry.  The purchase contract addresses liens and dues by homeowner associations, but at times past fees and transfer fees don’t show up for months.  Also, some home owners associations address past fees on a case by case basis, meaning they will waive fees for some individuals, but not for others.  Check the bank addendum thoroughly regarding HOA past dues.

Some Deeds are not as guaranteed as others.  Do your homework and check into how the Bank/Owner will Deed the property to you. Quit claim deeds and Special Warranty Deeds are not as protective as a Warranty Deed.  So the title policy insurance that they provide you could be insufficient if there are claims later. You may choose to pay the difference to the title company, to absolutely insure clear title.

Patience will be needed. Delays and repairs may be encountered during the purchase process, thereby delaying the close of escrow.  Counting on a foreclosed home to close escrow by a certain date may be a mistake.  If there are delays, it is typically the fault of the bank that owns the property and the Buyer may be waiting for weeks or sometimes months for documentation, signatures or clear title.

A REALTOR can be especially helpful in guiding you through these details. Buyer representation is very important in the purchase of a bank owned home and can save you a lot of time and heartache. During the process you are required to sign lengthy bank addendums that can negate some of the protections built into the state purchase contract and assign fees to buyers that are typically seller fees. A REALTOR that is experienced in foreclosures can save you much of the frustration and heartache.


Buying a foreclosure can be a steal but know what you are giving up for the fantastic price!

Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at

Gary Nelson Wins REALTOR Vision Award

by The Gary Nelson Group

At their annual Leadership Conference on October 7th, 2014, the Arizona Association of Realtors awarded the 2014 Vision Award to Gary Nelson of Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Gary was presented the award from Evan Fuchs, the 2014 President of the Arizona Association of Realtors. 

From the Arizona Association of Realtors:

“The Tyler Strout Vision Award recognizes an Arizona REALTOR® who best exemplifies the AAR vision: REALTOR®… the best prepared real estate practitioner with the highest standards. Participation in association activities is not a significant criterion for this honor. This recognition emphasizes quality service to the ultimate association customer: the buying and selling public. Members do not apply for this award. To be considered, members are recommended to the president of AAR for consideration, and honorees are selected annually by AAR leadership.”


In 2005, the award was given to Ty Strout, RCE, CAE, CEO of the Arizona Association of REALTORS® in recognition of his vision, leadership and integrity in leading the Arizona Association of REALTORS®. In honor of his commitment to the association’s vision, the name of the award was changed to the Tyler Strout Vision Award.

Flagstaff Ghost Tours 2013

by Gary Nelson

With October upon us and Halloween just around the corner, more and more people are drawn to all things scary.  Or at least mysterious.  In Downtown Flagstaff, locals and tourists alike have the opportunity to come face to face with some of the areas poltergeists, or at least their stories.  From now through October 31st, ghost tours are being offered in Downtown Flagstaff through a program sponsored by the Pioneer Museum and the Arizona Historical Society.

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, guests will meet at the Flagstaff Visitors Center (which is Flagstaff’s historic train station) at 7:00PM. The cost is $8 per person for the walking tour of some of Flagstaff’s oldest, most haunted buildings. You can hear tales of local history and the citizens of yesteryear that are possibly still walking among us.

John Wayne claimed to have seen a ghost in Flagstaff’s historic Monte Vista hotel while he was visiting Flagstaff during a movie shoot.  As a frequent visitor to Flagstaff, he was a fairly familiar sight particularly in the 1930’s and 1940’s when the western was at its heyday.

For the historic information only, these tours are fun.  But throw in a good ghost story, and it really becomes special. I took my 2 daughters on the tour in 2010 and will be taking the family again this year.  Our guide was a local storyteller that seemed to be channeling a lady from Flagstaff’s colorful past.  I would highly recommend this individual and she will be giving tours on the 27th through the 31st at 7:30PM.  Information can be found here:

or, you can call The Pioneer Museum directly at 928-774-6272.

You can make a night of it by having dinner at one of Downtown Flagstaff’s great restaurants and then stroll over to the train station. Make sure you dress warmly.  Late October nights in Flagstaff can be quite brisk and there are periods where you will be standing listening to stories and get a bit chilled. Afterward, how about a nice hot cocoa by the fire at:

Or…for something with a bit more kick, why not a cocktail or one of the many draft beers or single malt scotches at:


Happy Haunting!

Displaying blog entries 91-95 of 95

Contact Information

The Gary Nelson Group
Realty Executives of Flagsaff
15 E. Cherry Ave. Suite 101
Flagstaff AZ 86001
Direct: 928-225-3510
Office: 928-773-9300
Fax: 928-774-1102