Friday, December 23, 2016

Kingman Arizona Wine Culture

Award-Winning Vineyards are a Hidden Gem Along Historic Route 66

All  over Arizona there is a growing demand for great tasting, hand crafted wines. The Verde Valley area of Yavapai County around, Cottonwood, Sedona or Cornville are producing some great wines that are being met with a lot of praise and anticipation. Then there is Cochise County that still produces about 70% of the states wine grapes. However, I think that wine grapes and their skillfully crafted wine from Mohave County are often overlooked.

The area around Kingman has similarities to some great wine producing regions of the world. It has a lot of sun and heat to develop the succulant fruit. The Hualapai Valley also has unique soils and growing conditions that produce grapes with great flavors and concentration. The soil and the stressful growing conditions force the vines to put their energy into developing less abundant grapes, but grapes of higher quality. The more intensely flavored fruit then has the characteristics the winemaker wants to craft great wine.

Since 2006 we have seen two wineries grow and expand in the Mountain Vista Ranch area. The two that are open are Cella Winery and Stetson Winery. These pioneering wineries here are producing a wide variety of wines that are being praised by wine critics and are starting to win major national awards for their quality. Here visitors will experience the skillfully crafted wine that each artist produces but you will also see the rugged beauty of the area. Both are on an easy to drive dirt road but are surrounded by thousands of acres of undeveloped desert. What better way to enjoy a weekend than touring the wineries, tasting room, and area attractions that dot the landscape?

 After visiting the vineyards and the area you may decided you would like to purchase a home or land in the area for your own wine grapes.

Land for sale! 
This is an area of actively selling land. Therefore it is best to call me with an updated list. I currently have three properties in the area currently in escrow. Please call Justin Chambers of Chambers Realty Group to discuss Mountain Vista land at 928-716-0973.

Home for sale! 
 At the current time Cella Winery at 6927 Brooks Blvd is for sale at $1,515,000. It is a  stunning 4550sqft  home and Boutique Winery & Vineyard!!! It is a 10.02 acre property with approximately 4 acres of vineyards planted with Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Zinfandel. All the grape vines were first planted in 2006 so you have vines that are already 10 years old!!!

The home itself is beautifully handcrafted and has lots of upgrades with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms (includes 1bdrm 1ba Casita plus an ADA half bath for the Wine Tasting Room). There is a large office & spa Room. Hand carved 8 ft Mahogany doors against 10 ft ceilings with crown molding. Custom cabinetry. Jenn-Air Appliances including refrigerator, trash compactor and double convection ovens stay. Granite counter tops throughout including kitchen Island with wet sink. Surround sound and alarm system with video surveillance. Gas gireplace, tiled shower, jetted master tub, plus bidet. 2 Air Conditioning/Heating zones in main house plus separate HVAC for Garage and one for casita. 3 exterior buildings include a pump House for 2500 gallon water storage tank and pressurizer tank and 2 irrigation sheds for the Vineyard irrigation systems.

Directions to Cella Winery:
6927 E Brooks
Take Route 66 (Andy Devine) NE towards Hackberry to Milepost 71
Turn Left at Concho Dr.; Travel through Valle Vista about 4 miles,
Turn Left at Morningstar, to Monte Vista, turn Right, to
California, turn Left; turn Right on the 1
bladed road, Moonscape (not marked),
You will see the Red Barn of Stetson Winery about a mile straight ahead; turn
Right on Brooks and Cella Winery is the second property on the Left.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Why is Farming Expanding in Kingman AZ?

 These photos were taken in August of 2016. What they show is 570 acres of land  being planted with Pistachio trees approximately 35 miles north of Kingman on Stockton Hill Road. The address for this is 17250 Stockton Hill Road. This is a significant dynamic changing event for the entire Hualapai Valley. Why is that? The property is owned by Jim Rhodes of Las Vegas and is being managed by The Wonderful Company.

The past 16 years have been one of the driest on record. A prolonged drought has caused California Farmers to face severe water restrictions or pay a much higher price on district or irrigated water. Some farmers have been forced to not only curb their production but completely idle thousands and thousands of acres. Trees that were producing are now being ripped out of the ground and the water that was used for those orchards are being re-allocated to the ever growing city populations. For that reason I think we will see more and more nut farmers expand or completely relocate to this area.

Pistachio Market Overview
• The U.S. pistachio industry is relatively young, much of it dating back to 1976, the year the U.S. placed a boycott on the importation of pistachios from Iran and Iraq.
Justin Chambers, Broker/Owner of Chambers Realty
 • From its first commercial crop in in 1976 of 1.5 million pounds, the market has increased up to 551 million pounds in 2012, a 24% increase from the previous year.
This is a Pistachio Tree in Kingman Arizona
• Today, the states of California, Arizona and New Mexico represent 100% of the U.S. commercial pistachio production.  California comprises 98.5% of the total with over 250,000 acres planted throughout the San Joaquin Valley (see map to the right). • Pistachios trees require several years of growth until they begin bearing nuts, with significant production starting 7 to 10 years after the pistachio trees have been planted.
• The United States is the second leading producer (and exporter) of pistachios nuts behind Iran, providing 24% of the world total.

This is a 320 acre farm that has been cleared and now is planted with Pistachios. I sold the parcel to the gentleman who have now planted this farm. I can give any buyers for the area a tour of this farm anytime. 
This is one of the most amazing machines I have ever seen that plants the bare root trees.
• The northwest region of Arizona is one of the few locations that have the same exacting water and soil conditions and number of chill hours as the Central Valley which are required to grow pistachios. • Even though Arizona has experienced a drought like California, the northeast region of Arizona sits on the three massive aquifers, including the Hualapai Valley, Detrital Valley and Sacramento Valley water basins which, according to US Geological Survey estimates, have collectively approximately 47.3 million acre feet of water. 
• In a worst case scenario, even if other landowners develop their properties into pistachio and almond orchards, there should still be adequate water supplies for all landowners, including those who have developed pistachios and almond projects for over 100 years. • According to Arizona Groundwater Management Act, “a person may … withdraw and use groundwater for reasonable and beneficial use”, which includes use for agricultural purposes, thus assuring Red Lake I with a reliable source of water for the Project.

This well is able to produce 1200 gallons per minute.

This is the Generator that pumps the water out of the ground.

This is one of the new Pistachio farms located 35 miles north of Kingman, it is owned/operated by Jim Rhodes

Jim Rhodes farm of pistachios

This is an alfalfa farm run by Red Lake Ventures

 These are all Walnuts that have recently been planted by Rodney Beard of Quality Nut.

Lazy YU Ranches, Kingman AZ

Custom Home Sites Available!
Lazy YU is on the western slopes of the Hulapai Mountains. This is one of the most prestigious communities in Kingman AZ. Lazy YU is a 2847 acre ranch of custom site-built homes and does not allow mobile or manufactured housing. There are value adding CC&R's for this area. The community consists of parcels that range from the 5 acre minimum to 40 acres or more. The 5000 foot average elevation allows for Juniper trees, palo christi and some pinion pines. The area has wonderful hiking trails, horseback riding trails or places to ride your ATV or side by side.

At the current time about half of the roadways are paved. Many of the outlining streets are still dirt road. Every landowner here has to pay a yearly road maintenance fee that runs about 43 dollars per parcel.
To buy or sell your land or home in Lazy YU please contact Justin Chambers of Chambers Realty. It is always best to call me on my cell to discuss at 928-716-0973.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pistachio Farming Comes to Kingman

 These properties were taken in August of 2016. What they show is two sections of land being about 1280 acres of Pistachio trees that are planted. This is a significant dynamic changing event. Why is that? The property is owned by Jim Rhodes of Las Vegas. He has rented the property long term to Paramount Farms. Paramount is probably the largest nut producer in the country. They own tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of acres in California and produce cutie oranges, Pom Wonderful, and grow
and sell nuts.

I have personally thousands of acres to local nut and row crop farmers. They are all testing to see what grows out here. So far almonds have not done well. This year we had record heat and possible root rot disease that has killed off about 90% of the almond trees, so much that the remaining trees are being pulled out of the ground and being replaced with Pistachio's. 

I can't help but think that these two sections located 35 miles north of Kingman just past the large Red Lake bed are just a test plot for Paramount. It would be nothing for them to plant these sections and see what happens. If it proves to work out then they will continue planting and purchasing more land in our area. If it fails they can pull their labor and equipment back to California.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Why your land is not going up in Mohave County, and won't!

I have run into a disturbing trend lately with real estate. I am finding that sellers are completely unrealistic in terms of wanting to sell their land. Every week I have at least 10 people call me to sell land, and every week I am trying to convince someone to buy land that they don't need.

Here is the brutal truth about vacant land in Mohave County.

80% of it is owned by people, corporations or investment groups from out of state-What does this mean? It means that these sellers are unfamiliar with the dynamics of our area. They don't have a vested interest in Mohave County and if they sell their land they are taking the funds out of our area and not reinvesting it in Mohave County or spending the money here. I am finding that they have owned the land for a long amount of time and are looking to capitalize on selling it here and will take the money out of the area.

8 new home permits were pulled in the city last month! - What does this mean? This means that at the current rate it will take 20-30 years to build out the lots that are already in place without having a huge influx of people moving here! That means that your land out in the desert will not see a home on it in my lifetime or your lifetime! Therefore the only way out of the land is for a farmer to buy it or another out of state investor that sees it as a long term investment.

Our water is being used up at a very disturbing rate!  The last two years there has been a disturbing trend in the amount of farming that is taking place north of Kingman. I have been to every water meeting put on by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and they are not passing any regulations whatsoever in terms water withdrawal. Without diving into all the particulars that are covered in other blog posts that I have stated one can easily find that all the water in our area will be used up in one generation. In the next 30-40 years the entire amount of water that is reachable will be pumped out and used for growing cotton and alfalfa that is being shipped to Saudi Arabia and China.

The Millenials aren't buying land! What does this mean?  Without the next generation buying land there is no one to sell the land to at a loss or profit. The buyers and sellers that I work with are all over age 60. When they pass on or get to an age where assets don't matter to them then we have to look to the next generation as buyers. However this demographic of buyers can barely afford getting into a home and they have no interest in buying land. There are many reports out there that prove that their wages aren't keeping up with the rising costs of living. Therefore buying investments is the last thing on their mind. Furthermore we are coming to what is called the demographic cliff. In 7 years from now there will be more "die-ers than buyers." What does this mean? There are more baby boomers that will be dying off than there are Generation X or Millenials to replace them. The Millenials are also a group that prefer experiences over assets. Therefore they would prefer a vacation to Hawaii than to own 40 acres in the middle of the desert.

Therefore when you call me to discuss the value of your land please listen to what I have to say and be realistic in your valuation. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Water Law in Mohave County, and How it Effects our Aquifer

Water Information for Mohave County

I have more phone calls on this than anything else regarding the buying and selling of vacant land. In answer to your questions I have spent a lot of time in the past studying water laws for Arizona. I think the information provided below as well as the attached article with my notes should help you in your decision to move forward with projects here. I know Jim Rhodes has in fact spent 6 million on proving the adequate water supply for adding literally millions of residents to our area. However with the housing collapse and the demographics proving that our area, and our nation already has enough homes then I think the highest and best use for the time being is for farming. The fertile soils, dry climate, and huge underground aquifer from the closed Hualapai Basin make the area ideal for a wide variety of diverse crops. From pistachios, walnuts and  almonds, alfalfa, grapes to row crops we have land for it all.

The Hualapai (wall-uh-pie) Valley and Sacramento Valley ( Golden Valley) is being purchased by large farmers with agendas. With purchases recently from Quality Nut, Alldrin Bros.and interest from Paramount and others we are seeing large former ranch tracts of land that went largely undeveloped for years go into production for farming, especially permanent crops like nut trees, row crops and wine grapes.

Our aquifers are in the Northwest portion of the state and so far don't have any type of regulation.
Outside of AMAs and INAs, groundwater may be withdrawn and used for reasonable and beneficial use without a permit. Use of this groundwater, however, does require the filing of a notice of intent to drill with ADWR. Within AMAs, groundwater use requires a permit. Groundwater withdrawal permits (which allow for new use of water) are limited to certain specified activities. Arizona groundwater law requires certain criteria to be met for each type of withdrawal before a permit can be issued. In addition to rights granted through permits, three other types of groundwater withdrawal rights exist within AMAs. The first is grandfathered groundwater rights (Agricultural, Type 1 and Type 2 IGFR). These rights are based on historic use of groundwater for five years prior to the designation of the AMA. Most grandfathered rights are appurtenant to the land, but some are not and may be purchased or leased from the owner (Type 2 only). Withdrawal rights can also be granted to municipal water providers, private water companies, and irrigation districts within AMAs, enabling them to provide service to their customers (Service Area Providers). Finally, small domestic wells are exempt from the regulations within an AMA. Users of small domestic wells may withdraw ground water for non-irrigation purposes with just filing a Notice of Intent to drill. Usually the well drilling company does this as part of their services. .

Outside an AMA a developer or city is required to have the state review its plans to determine if the development has an adequate water supply, as opposed to an assured water supply, for 100 years.  However, unlike developments within AMA boundaries, the developer can legally choose not to include water information in its filing with the state which automatically triggers a finding of “inadequate water” supply.  Although such a finding cannot, in and of itself, halt construction or lot division.  Nonetheless, the initial seller (aka developer) must disclose the state’s finding of inadequate water supply, which will be stipulated the AZ Department of Real Estate’s Public Report, subsequent sales do not have to include the disclosure.

As most of our sales are to California growers with water woes, I am asked first about the water. The water availability here is from an underground aquifer. You will need to drill wells between 800 to 1200 feet deep but once you do that there is a seemingly unlimited amount of water that may potentially be being pushed in from the Colorado River into our aquifer. We have wells in this area consistently producing 2500 to 3000 gallons per minute. We also have no regulations as of yet for water usage so long as the water you pump out is put to "beneficial use," and farming fits this use requirement. From what I understand if we ever are put into an AMA or active management area you would have your water usage grandfathered in.  Please visit these websites for more information:

Please look at this site as well for more information, I have also attached and printed it so you can see where we are at with this. Go to page 9 and read from the star down.

The consensus at the meeting is that we are using more water than what is being replenished to our aquifer. However that number is unknown. The last time the wells that ADWR looks at were looked at was in 2006. During that time water levels went down or up depending on what well they looked at so therefore it is unsubstantiated at the current time. They don't plan on checking water levels again until 2017 in our area.

We do know that the Hualapai Aquifer holds approximately 37-40 million acre feet of water down to 400 meters. Below that is more water that goes significantly deeper but they figure it is too deep to reasonably draw water from. The usage right now is 6600 acre feet per year that is being drawn out for residential purposes and this amount is not being replenished. However the ag has not been measured as of yet.

They do feel that in time we will need to be regulated with an AMA or INA. That information is attached. If and when this happens then anyone with ag or commercial wells will be grandfathered in and no new wells for ag or irrigation purposes from that point on can be drilled. This will bring great value to anyone here that already has wells in for these purposes and at that point "water rights" will be established.

For the time being it is still the wild wild west. You can do what you want with the water and there is no regulation whatsoever. I would suggest proving your model with the trees. If it proves to be financially feasible then be prepared to buy land like crazy and then punch wells in like crazy before regulation. I think regulations will still be 2-4 years out and when that happens then you want to already have all the wells in place that you want for the time being.

Justin Chambers, with Chambers Realty Group is right in the middle of this highly productive agricultural area with an office in Kingman. This dedicated land agent will assist you with permanent plantings, row crops, or any other agricultural land sale. In addition, the staff will take care of your residential or commercial real estate needs in the local area. At Chambers Realty Group we believe in putting the client’s needs first. We turn challenges into successes every day. If you want to know more about the area and the properties available, contact us and let us know how we can help. We are Mohave County's largest provider of land.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Self Reliant Farming in Mohave County

One of my favorite writers said this. I think the time to become a self reliant farmer is now for my generation and the one below me. If you research it there are startling statistics that lead one to believe that the price of food is about to dramatically increase at a time when Americans are already struggling.  According to the Labor Department, the median age for farmers and ranchers is 55.9 years old. With the high prices of farm equipment and and the farm land prices skyrocketing and a long drought we will see only corporations control the food supply.

25% of the food in the US is grown in California. California grows virtually all of the country’s walnuts and pistachios, 90% of the lemons and tangerines and a majority of the grapes, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, avocados, raspberries, kiwis, olives, dates and figs. It is country’s largest producer of melons, and it accounts for 60% of fresh vegetables.

One acre foot is 326,000 gallons. The state’s total agricultural and urban consumption, then, exceeded an incomprehensible 13.4 trillion gallons of water in California. Therefore I feel we are just a short time away from California restricting water use to farmers so much that is will have a huge effect on food prices for everyone in the US and abroad. The price of water, if supplied at all to the farmers, will be at increased rates and will force them to either cease food production or force the market to accept higher prices on the food from here on out.

Working as a real estate agent I always have people ask me how their land is "doing." Since the unprecedented downturn and the complete devaluation of land in Mohave County we don't see land values going up. Under rare circumstances the value goes up based upon what neighbors or doing or there being a scarcity of develop-able land in the area. However for the last decade land values have not escalated and probably won't. There are a lot of demographic trends that will contribute to flat prices but I'll get more into that later. I think the only potential now for your land is to convert it to something that does produce an income. We are finding that the soil and climate here are ideal for grapes for growing wine, nut trees such as pistachios, almonds, pecans, row crops, cotton and alfalfa ( the later two not being my favorite due to water consumption). There is probably potential for bee hives here as well, small chicken operations and maybe even hydroponics.

I think the time is now for millenials and gen-xers and even some young thinking baby boomers to buy land and start creating a sustainable, and self reliant existence. We have lost touch with where our food comes from and when we do find out where it comes from through a documentary or a clip on youtube we are repulsed to think that we make meat animals live that way for their short existence on earth. Furthermore we are disgusted by the amount of chemicals we are consuming with our food from spraying and poisoning pests. This would all change if we learned and grew what we eat.

I think it is also important to become self reliant as there will come a time when government checks and food stamps will cease due to increased debt of our nation. You can argue against me on this, however look at the situations in Greece and Venezuela when those countries basically collapsed. We would be ignorant to think that that could never happen here. We are not too far behind those countries in terms of the breaking point in the debt that forces those dire situations. Those who are self reliant, have educated themselves on food and have planned will be the ones who prosper in the coming times.

Land prices here are historically low. We can find nice land at 1,000 per acre or less. Some of the land at these prices even has water already supplied to it either with a well or by a rural water company. Therefore with 10,000 dollars you could start looking for your own land to buy to start your own mini farm or ranch. If you don't have that much money you can always find land where the owner will carry the note or the loan on the property so you can get started earlier.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Rancho Santa Fe Exit, Kingman Arizona and the Economic Implications of it.

Updated 8-16-17

There is a lot of talk with the eastern "bench" of Kingman and the "Rancho Santa Fe" or Rattlesnake Wash which are the same interchange. The idea that it should have a positive name as opposed to Rattlesnake Wash, I think in the future the Rattlesnake Wash name will not be used anymore and Rancho Santa Fe will permanently be the name of the interchange once built.

It is just a matter of time before we know when it will happen but  everyday we are seeing more talk and progress on it. The state of AZ is willing to commit about $20 million towards this and the city as of last night increased the city sales tax 1/2 percent to fund the rest. (8-15-17) To pay for this the city will need to take out a bond of about 40 million and pay it off over 25-30 years at what I think will be about 3.5 percent interest. This should cost the city about 3.8 to 4 million per year to finance this bond. The city is then leaning on the property owners in this area to fund the utility deficit that will be in place once this or both interchanges go in. There is a need for more water, sewer, power and natural gas as well as roads when this interchange is built.  Parcel 322-12-004 just south of the freeway is owned by the same local group. This is a parcel that is hard zoned for more residential. However we do need hotels, which are full every night here, and we also need restaurants. What is also very interesting here is that the I-40/Highway 93 bypass route has already been selected. So just as Boulder City is being bypassed downtown Kingman will be bypassed as well and this is nicknamed "gasoline alley." I see huge potential for this area as a gas station/truck stop location. Also I think there will be interest from big box stores, like Target, Lowes, Sam's Club for instance.

Proposed Rancho Santa Fe Exit, Kingman AZ and Parkway

The other interchange "Kingman Crossing" at the hospital is being pushed by KRMC. They are not willing to work on both interchanges. According to a letter written by its president he feels it isn't prudent to build and finance both interchanges. They also feel that by having both interchanges you are giving retail more options to build and providing too much land that will drive the price of their real estate down. However I think they are looking at it as dividing one pie up when there is enough people to eat two pies.

Stockton Hill Farms, Farming in Kingman AZ

Copyright of Chambers Realty Group LLC
Stockton Hill Farms/Red Lake Ventures

Copyright of Chambers Realty Group LLC
 Here are some photos of the Stockton Hill Farms also known as Red Lake Ventures that is east of Mile Marker 23 going north on Stockton Hill Road. There are thousands of acres here being plowed, disc-ed and then planted with cotton, wheat, alfalfa, onions and Sudan grass. The soil out here is very favorable for crops as it doesn't have rocks and it is virgin soil so it is easy to get a certification for organic farming here.
Another name they can be found under is Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC. Mr. Bob Saul serves as Managing Director at Wood Creek Capital Management LLC.
Copyright of Chambers Realty Group LLC

 The only other prior use for this area was the grazing of cattle since being privately owned. The land formally belonged to John T. Neal who sold the land to Red Lake Ventures also known as Mass Mutual. The land they own is now about 17,000 acres.

A lot of people are associating this farm with Jim Rhodes, however that is not the case. Mr. Rhodes did get them interested in town and started a joint venture with Stockton Hill Farm, however that partnership has since dissolved.
Copyright Chambers Realty Group LLC

 When I have buyers call me asking about land for sale and wanting 5-6,000 contiguous acres I find it sometimes difficult. Over the years the large ranches in our area were bought out by groups that subdivided the land and then marketed them to people all over the country. Therefore 80% of the land in Mohave County is owned by out of state owners.