In this episode, we talk to Diane Clarke, From The East Coast.
Diane Clarke is a real estate agent who lives and works in Prescott. She moved here from the East Coast, via Wyoming, Michigan, and the world.
Her phone number is 928-237-6285. Web site is yourprescotthome.com
Well, we were we were just desperate. We were tired. We were frustrated, I’m sure.
And we pulled up to this house, my husband took off to the left, the real estate agent took off to the right. And I’m standing there with nobody.
I found out later that the only reason that my husband in the agent wanted to go in was because they had to use the bathroom .
I’m Conrad Walton, and this is Finding Prescott, moving stories from people who decided to make Prescott Arizona their hometown.
This is my first real interview. It’s going to be with Diane Clarke.
She’s a real estate agent here in Prescott at Realty One Group Mountain Desert. She’s works in the same office that I do.
She was actually the person who hired me into this brokerage when I came here years ago from another brokerage in town and she’s been very friendly and supportive ever since. I really appreciate her help and doing this.
She’s volunteered to be my guinea pig to see how this technology works and see if we actually do an interview and put it out as a podcast.
This is not a face to face interview, like I was hoping and planning, because we’re recording this during the Great Hunkering of 2020. We’re doing this over the internet using Zoom.
There’s a few audio anomalies along the way. I want to assure you, she was not drunk. It’s just a bad internet connection. And with that, let’s go to our interview with Diane Clarke. Here she is…
Conrad. Thanks for doing this. This is Diane Clarke with Realty One Group mountain desert. Anyone can reach me at 928-237-6285. And I’ve been in the real estate business since ’05.
Let’s start out with, Tell me about the first time you were ever aware of Prescott or knew it existed and how did you find out about it?
Well, I actually moved to Scottsdale way, way, long time ago, many years when I was, you know, just a young thing and we used to come up here from Scottsdale and spend the weekends, just like everybody loves to do.
Prescott was a cute little town then. It’s a little bigger now, but it’s still cute.
So we knew Prescott existed but then got transferred. So we left Scottsdale and Arizona and lived around the globe.
When we retired, we kept hearing so much about Prescott and we just kept looking at each other saying Prescott? Prescott? Really? Prescott?
So we finally decided it was time to go take a look at Prescott again. It had been quite a few years since we’ve been here and we actually found that it had everything we wanted as a retired couple.
Fell in love with Prescott all over again.
It was about the perfect size. We didn’t want a big town. We wanted a town that had enough to do.
We needed the medical care. That’s always a big one for retirees moving in here. So what kind of medical care do you have?
What, What did you find it was good for a retired couple?
You know, we’ve got you Yavapai Regional Medical. There’s now the East Campus out in Prescott Valley.
So we’re growing there but the downtown It was just so quaint. There’s all the hiking trails, biking trails, there’s lakes. Believe it or not, we have five lakes here.
We managed to find our favorite, which was out at Granite Mountain, and the trails around Granite Mountain were fabulous. So we spent a lot of time out there.
You’re within an hour and 15 minutes of the Grand Canyon. You can go to Phoenix whenever you want to another hour and 15 minutes down there.
Everything is just so close yet so far away.
So did you come up for like day trips or weekend did you spend time here?
We’d come up a few times on the weekend, but mostly it was a day trip up and back.
And so when you decided to move here, so Granite Mountain is the neighborhood you chose?
We did. We like the Granite Mountain area. We wanted to be on that side of town close to the trails that are over there. So we ended up on just off Williamson Valley Road.
We actually wanted to be in a few more trees, but we found that when you go out into the trees, you had views of the tree right in front of you, but not any distant views. So we had to get out a little bit further to find some distant news.
We also at that time had a one slab, dining room table that was, that sat eight. It was huge. And we just weren’t ready to part with it. So we had to find a house that would fit that dining room table.
So that was always the criteria is, when we went in what does a dining room look like?
So what are houses like out there? How would you describe your neighborhood?
We were on Willow Creek, the creek,
On the creek?
The creek ran through the bottom section of our property. We could see down the valley all the way across to Mingus mountain, you know, we had a few Ponderosa trees, we’re on an acre and a half the neighbors weren’t real close.
We felt like we were just in our own little, our own little Canyon. There were only a few houses in there and it was quiet and peaceful, and it was a bird sanctuary you know, with a water waterway drew all kinds of animals.
So there are a lot of large lots and large houses. up in that area?
They were larger houses and larger lots. Yes, we were just to the south of South View.
Tell me about your house buying process. Were you a real estate agent at that point?
No, I hadn’t been a real estate agent since the late 70s, early 80s. I was a real estate agent in Scottsdale. My husband was too. That’s how we met.
We left the real estate to an agent who’s actually still working.
Because of the dining room table, and an art collection that we had, we were very particular, difficult, I would say, clients, now that I look back on it, but it taught me a lot about how I treat my clients.
Now if they have something particular in mind, and they need to find it. I’ll take as long as it takes to find it so that they have that perfect house. If we look at one, that’s great. If it works, fine. If we have to look at 100, we’ll look at 100.
Did you drag your agent around town?
We came into Prescott on a Sunday night, promptly was greeted by 14 inches of snow the next morning. I wasn’t sure I wanted to live here without much snow.
And so Monday was a little bit of a crazy day. Tuesday we looked at, we thought maybe we’d try condos or townhouses or something to see, because we wanted, we thought we were downsizing. Ha. Ha.
And then we ended up looking at houses every day, that week. Sunday afternoon, we had to fly out of Phoenix to get back to where we were.
We were living on the East Coast at the time. She said no, I’ve got another one for you. There’s more. Let’s go look. She never ever, ever gave up.
And so I’ve learned that from her. You just never ever, ever give up when a client’s looking for that right house.
And strangely enough, ironically enough, the house we ended up buying was a house we saw that morning. So if she hadn’t taken us out to see three more houses, we wouldn’t we wouldn’t have bought a house in Prescott.
That’s another funny story if you want to hear it.
Here how that all went.
Well, we were we were just desperate. We were tired. We were frustrated, I’m sure.
And we pulled up to this house. We all kind of looked at it and I said, this is a garage with a house attached. There was no curb appeal because of the slope. The angle that you had to come in at.
My husband said “Oh, let’s go in.”
The real estate agent said, “Let’s go in.”
So I said “Okay, I’ll, I’ll go.”
So we go in the front door, and we’re greeted by this fabulous, great room with vaulted ceilings of huge fireplace at the end, windows.
My husband took off to the left. The real estate agent took off to the right and I’m standing there with nobody, going “Don’t they want to see the view out these windows?”
So I walked straight to the windows and saw absolutely the most beautiful cottonwood.
Okay, so you walk in and…
We looked at the house and we said this will work!
The dining rooms the right size. The walls are great. We We can make this work.
And I found out later that the only reason that my husband and the agent wanted to go in was because they had to use the bathroom.
And if they hadn’t needed to do that, we never would have seen the house that that we eventually bought.
So I have this extreme level of patience.
So the hot tip is to always have to use the bathroom.
Yeah, let’s check out the bathrooms. Okay.
Give people, give your clients water.
Yeah, keep them hydrated. So they have to.
Okay, so after, so how did the deal go? Did the deal go okay in buying it?
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Oh.
It was all easy.
It was. Yeah. went off without a hitch.
We actually had to do everything from the east coast. So everything was done by mail. There wasn’t a lot back then that you could do by internet.
And the the most wonderful part of that whole move which I will gloat over and have gloated over forever was that when we actually moved our furniture out here, my husband came with the furniture and I got to stay back east with the grandson and he had to unpack everything.
Sounds like another hot tip.
That’s, that’s right. Yes.
Always have a, always have a grandchild that you have to take care of, so the husband has to unpack everything and he did a great job. That’s the best part.
So, So how was the moving process? The actual packing everything up, shipping it out here unpacking it. How did that go?
That was fine. We had actually, prior to moving to Prescott, we’d lived aboard a boat for three years. Three years prior, we had packed everything and put it in a shipping container. We had it. Everything was stored in a 40 foot container for three years while we were on the boat.
Well, that’s cheating. Nobody does that.
Well, we had to pack it three years prior, but we did it. So it was all there. So all they had to do is pick up the shipping container and and move it out to Prescott.
My moving experience was really emotional. Did you have any emotional issues leaving one place moving to another? Is that exciting or scary?
Yeah, always. Obviously, leaving a house that I loved and moving aboard a boat was was absolutely petrifying, but it turned out that it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
And then when we left these coasts, I, we had just had our first grandson and that was hard to move and not have him right there under under foot. So it was it was kind of rough leaving him but we needed a place to settle down and the east coast wasn’t that for us.
What was the best part about moving to Prescott?
Oh my gosh, the best? That’s hard to say. I think I think for me, it was the area.
It’s the four seasons, or I actually have come to realize we have five seasons; winter, spring, summer, fall, and monsoon.
I grew up in Montana, so I’m kind of a mountain, foresty, woodsey kind of girl, Prescott offered all of that without the cold and winter of Montana. We have a we have three months of winter, we can have snow.
We just had a foot a week and a half ago.
I feel like I get just enough snow here to make you feel like you’ve been through a winter, but not enough to be inconvenient or bothersome to the point that it creates a problem in your life. Okay, so you get snowed in one or two days. No big deal.
So what’s the worst part? What are the bad parts about living in Prescott? What’s hard about it?
The lack of seafood!
Having lived on a boat on the coast for three years and able to get seafood at unbelievably cheap prices and fabulous restaurants and I’m that’s what I miss the most.
I really do, but I do have a restaurant to share with you. Lynx Lake Cafe has absolutely the best fish taco on Fridays you would ever want, that I’ve ever tasted.
And Lindo Mexico has a seafood soup that is fabulous. So I finally found two really, really good spots to go to get my seafood fix.
Anything else that’s difficult about living here?
I think we have maybe just a meager selection when it comes to shopping. We don’t have the grand malls and the stores that you will find in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas.
But I think once you’re here, you kind of find that the need for that goes away.
We’re a very laid back community. So some of that isn’t necessary.
And if you’re okay with online shopping, you can get anything you want online. So really, when it comes right down to it, is there really anything we don’t have here?
Well, that, that “being laid back” brings up the issue, what kind of people live here? How would you describe people who live in Prescott? It’s sort of a mix. How would you describe?
Unknown Speaker 13:05
It’s a huge mix.
But I think because we’re such a huge retirement community, we get retirees who can afford the kind of housing that we have in Prescott and you know, I was looking at some pricing the other day that came in and the median priced home in Prescott is right around $500,000.
So when you’re looking at clients who need to have a retirement fund that will support a $500,000 home, you’re looking at some fairly well educated people.
So I think we’re we’re attracting a lot of people who are good for the community, in that they’re bringing great ideas, lots of knowledge is coming in.
And so that’s always good to see and our city fathers and I guess, can I say fathers and mothers? I don’t, or city, or city council people…
I’m not gender neutral, go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 13:58
realized years ago, that we were going to have a shortage of low income housing in any community.
I don’t care where it is, if you don’t have a good mix of income levels, you’re not going to be able to sustain and support any lifestyle in town.
So we finally have a lot of low income apartments, medium income apartments that have been built in Prescott, which is going to support our services industry. It’s ready. They’re, they’re leasing and I’m happy to see that somebody was finally able to come in and do that for us.
You spent a lot of time coming up here from Scottsdale in the early days and then you moved here. What surprised you after living here and buying a house and moving here?
What didn’t you expect that you found?
Oh, wow. Um…
Or did you pretty well have a wired?
I probably found more artsy things to do.
And I say that in a very kind way because I used to manage an art gift shop and I was very active in a museum and symphony back in small town in Michigan where we used to live.
And so when I came to what I call my mountain town, I was kind of surprised that we had as much art and culture here that there really was and is, and it’s growing. It’s growing very quickly.
We were thrilled in the beginning to hit all the museums and the art galleries and fairs on the square and everything that Prescott had to offer. We were overwhelmed with all of that.
So I think that was my biggest surprise was to find the culture, the the theater, the movies, the activities at Yavapai College, the arts, the performing arts center that they had there. I mean, that’s amazing. For such a small town.
What advice would you give to people that are thinking about coming here? Because I know not everybody is going to be comfortable in this town.
This town is what it is and not everybody fits.
What What advice would you give to people?
Well, I think it kind of depends on where they’re coming from, you know?
Are they coming from a large metropolitan area and they’ll have to learn how to downsize and ,like myself, kind of get used to not having certain things?
Or are they coming up from a small town somewhere? And they need, let’s say they’re they’re moving here because they want a better education for their kids or something.
So I don’t think the adjustments will be quite as hard if you’re moving up as if you’re moving down. So it kind of depends on, on which direction you’re coming from.
But I really think that because we have a Western culture overlaid with our colleges and the, you know, we have five colleges in Prescott with a lot of young people living here, so you get a nice blend of maybe the old culture in the new culture. So you just have to seek out what you want. It’s here.
You just have to go find it.
Okay, good advice. So do you have any final thoughts that you’d want to tell somebody that was thinking about moving here?
Well, I think I’m a real good example of why not why Prescott is so great, but why I’m still here in Prescott.
I have no family and Prescott.
I have no family in Arizona.
My husband I moved here and he passed away eight years ago and I’m still here.
I haven’t packed everything and move to where my kids are or where my family is. I could go move to where ever any of them are if I felt like I wasn’t still comfortable here.
I don’t feel like Prescott is not offering me anything I don’t have.
I have friends. I have places to go. There’s always something to do. So I don’t ever feel like I’m I’m a fish out of water here.
It’s the kind of community that I think just kind of hugs you.
You just you just have to know where to find the hug.
Thank you Diane Clarke for doing that interview giving us some advice and some tips and for telling your story. I appreciate that.
I really want to thank you, my listeners for choosing this podcast to spend your time and attention on.
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If you want help or have questions about moving to Prescott, give me a call or text me at 928-925-4428.
Or you can send me an email at Conrad at findingprescott.com. That’s C O N R A D, or you can contact me through the website. There’s a Contact Us form there at findingprescott.com.
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And remember, the key to life is gratitude.
So stay thankful!