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“This economy hit Arizona hard and Yavapai County even harder. Houses were selling slow and at lower prices than ever before. There is a prediction that there will be another big drop in the coming year.” Frances Pitcher expounded on the financial condition of the real estate market as she ate dinner with her best friend, mortgage broker Lisa Wood.

“But you have a lot of listings for bank repos, so you will be okay. Right?” Lisa inquired as she took a bite of her steak.

“You never know. One week you’re flying high and the next week you’re borrowing money from family just to survive.”

“But, you got all the listings for State Bank. They were heavy into small ranches. People from California made up most of their clientele. There are literally hundreds of houses in foreclosure and you have all of State’s. Some of those houses originally sold at half a million and even with the problems with the foreclosures, you’ll be listing them at a quarter of a million.” Lisa, ever the optimist, was looking for the horse in the room full of horse manure.

“Well I do have quite a few on the list of foreclosures and we’re waiting for the renovations on about eight more. Things will start looking up if I can just get two or three into closing.” Frances sighed and took a sip of wine. Her composure returned as she studied her dinner. Her short, curly blond hair belied her years, as did her Jones New York suit tailored to perfection.

Frances had made her living as a Realtor in Yavapai County for more than 35 years with a focus on small ranches in the outlying areas. She and her husband had put the kids through college, paid off the family home, and even put aside a nice retirement, before he passed away nine years ago from cancer. The hospital bills ate up the retirement and the bankruptcy that followed took the family home. All Frances had left was her car, a 2004 Toyota, an investment condo she and Tom had purchased years ago, her little rat terrier, Jackie, and a garden plot the size of a postage stamp. Frances took everything in stride trusting in her faith in God and belief in people to get her through in tough times. The current downturn in the economy was, for her, just another storm to ride out. She cut coupons, shopped at resale/consignment stores, and pinched pennies twice in order to stretch the meager earnings she received now from foreclosure sales.

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