Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Watch out, Arizona!

Watch out, Arizona! And California, Washington, Colorado, and Nevada!

For the past three days, I have been attending the Bloodhound Blog Unchained conference in Phoenix. It’s humbling to be around so many brilliant Web 2.0 Realtors and Lenders at one time! While we’re indoors at the Heard Museum learning the tools needed to serve our clients at a superior level, outside, the temperature is 110°F. It’s HOT!

When it’s that hot outside, what’s the one thing we hear, over and over, that we need to protect us? You need to drink plenty of water.

The problem? Soon, there won’t be enough water to go around in Phoenix. There’s only so much water in the Colorado river, and when it’s all gone, it’s all gone. And that’s a really big problem. So, watch out, Arizona! Ditto for Colorado and Nevada!

In California, as in Washington state, the problem is different. Even though home prices there have fallen in the past two years, they are still WAY above the prices of homes in the Ann Arbor area. So, watch out, California and Washington state! My friend, Jeff Brown (BawldGuy Talking), even writes about California prices today on his blog.

In Michigan, we have the things that employers (and all residents) want: plenty of water, and plenty of (less expensive) homes and land. We also have the benefit of some really intelligent and talented graduates coming out of the University of Michigan. Some of those graduates would like to stay in the Ann Arbor area.

Is it any wonder why Google located their AdWords division in Ann Arbor? We have plenty of water, plenty of (inexpensive) homes, and plenty of talented young people just itching to break into the world of Google.

So, if you had the choice of relocating your family to Phoenix, or LA, or Las Vegas, or San Francisco, or Denver, or Seattle, would you go? Or, would you rather relocate to the Ann Arbor area, where you can buy a lot more home (within 5 miles of your work, when gas costs $4 a gallon) than in any of those cities, with plenty of water, and with great schools?

Do you think the employers in those cities may be having some trouble attracting good new employees, because of concerns over housing costs and lack of water? Hmmm…..

When it comes to Saline real estate, we have what they want.


BawldGuy Talking said...

I wonder region sized areas are gonna realize planing the whole water things is the way to go. What we've seen up 'till now is the zero sum, I got mine, ha ha, game.

You strike a crucially important chord when talking water. I'm not a conservationist by anyone's definition, but the intelligent distribution is what we're missing big time these days.

Good stuff, Vance -- and thanks for the mention.

Brian Brady said...

Brilliant! Someone was listening!

Vance Shutes said...

Jeff and Brian - It was awesome to be working with you the past three days at Unchained. Thanks for teaching me so much, and for your comments here.

Heather Rankin said...

Vance - One of my favorite topics - water. I worked at the dam (Glen Canyon - the main cog in the wheel) for seven years. It was there that the "Drain Lake Powell" movement was focused.

While I am as big of a tree hugger as the next person, it leaves one to contemplate if these folks at the Sierra Club (for a time pushing the Drain the Lake movement) have anything going on in the grey matter.

After years of "dealing" with them my standard answer became "Sure, drain the lake and while you are at it, go move everyone out of Phoenix and don't forget San Diego too."

We have built large cities in hostile environments. One day soon it would seem we need to wake up and exercise some planning around the water.

The Anasazi lived on the Colorado Plateau for over 1000 years and they did not survive a 40 year drought. We are, at most, 150 years on the Plateau. Food for thought...

Vance Shutes said...


Your comment:

The Anasazi lived on the Colorado Plateau for over 1000 years and they did not survive a 40 year drought. We are, at most, 150 years on the Plateau. Food for thought...

gives one pause to consider many things. For those of us in the general mid-west, with the Great Lakes so nearby, it's almost frightening to contemplate what COULD happpen should there ever be such a drought in the southwest.

Another reason why I wrote "We have what they want". In such a case, our local politicians are right to vigorously defend and protect the Great Lakes. So, could there possibly be a mass exodus from the southwest to the Great Lakes one day? Hmmm......