A Weekend of Winter in Northern Arizona

A Weekend of Winter in Northern Arizona

45bf1b0447fb9591b7b23269523667b3-1A weekend of winter in Northern Arizona is the perfect getaway close to home for a real seasons feeling. Many people living in Phoenix are from somewhere else and, although they may have left “home” for warmer weather, that occasional cold or snowy weekend is a fun change of pace.

The two best options for a weekend winter getaway are Arizona’s White Mountains and the Flagstaff area. Both will bring the winter temperatures and possibility of snow. There are skiing options in both places and other winter activities, as well. Here is a look at a few of the winter highlights in both areas and accommodation options for a weekend of winter in Northern Arizona.

A Weekend of Winter in Northern Arizona, White Mountains:

What to do: The cities of Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, Snowflake,Taylor and Greer comprise the recreation wonderland known as Arizona’s White Mountains. The largest stand of ponderosa pine graces this region of Northeastern Arizona where hunting, fishing, camping and skiing are plentiful. From the quiet, cool beauty of the mountain air, to the rich cultures of the communities and Indian tribes, there’s plenty to do in the White Mountains.

In the winter months, skiing, tubing and sledding down snow covered hills are favorites in the region. Sunrise Park Resort, located in the heart of the White Mountains and Arizona’s premier ski destination, is a great place to learn to ski or snowboard or spend the weekend taking on the three mountains if you’re already a pro. With 65 runs, there is sure to be adventure for skiers and boarders of all levels. For the advanced snow adventurers, Sunrise Park Resort offers a terrain park featuring implanted wood and metal rails, boxes and a special event area with jumps for all skill levels. Additionally, Sunrise is home to cross country trails, sledding and tubing.

Where to stay: There are a small amount of motels and hotels in the White Mountains area and Sunrise Park Resort offers 100 rooms of lodging however, the most plentiful accommodations in this region are cabin rentals. Cool Mountain Vacations offers a plethora of cabin rentals in Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside with all fully-furnished options in every size and price range.

A Weekend of Winter in Northern Arizona, Flagstaff area:

What to do: The Flagstaff area is a popular spot due to its proximity to Phoenix.  It can get busier than the White Mountains area due to the shorter drive, but there is still plenty to do in the winter. Snowbowl is the ski resort outside Flagstaff which has 40 runs for varying degrees of skiers and boarders and also the Sunset Terrain Park with obstacles, spines, rails, and fun boxes for the skilled adventurers.

Also popular for families during the Holiday season, The North Pole Experience and The Polar Express, are both near the Flagstaff area. The activities, focused on the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus, are both great options for families with young children. The North Pole Experience

The North Pole Experience (NPX) in Flagstaff is the home of Santa’s authentic 400 year old workshop and one-of-a-kind Christmas experience. Guests will enjoy a 1 hour and 45 minute “Christmas adventure of a lifetime” with a trolley bus ride to the North Pole through a magic portal.  Inside his famously grand workshop and toy factory headquarters, they will work side-by-side with Santa and his elves, building toys.  Also included in the experience is a tour of Santa’s Toy Hall of Fame, attendance of Elf University, cookies inside Mrs. Claus’s Bakery, viewing Santa’s sleigh and mission control, and special one-on-one family time and photo with Santa.

The Polar Express is a special chance for the family to experience the magic of the treasured holiday classic story by Chris Van Allsburg. Every winter, the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express comes to life on a journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams, Arizona, to the enchanted “North Pole” where Santa and his reindeer are waiting with a keepsake for every good boy and girl. On the journey aboard the train, you’ll enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with listening to the story. The ride lasts a little over an hour, with three departures daily.

Where to stay: If you’re heading up to ski, Arizona Snowbowl has their own ski lift lodge and cabins. For The North Pole Experience, consider Little America. This hotel has an NPX trolley departure to take you straight to the experience. in addition, the property displays over a million Christmas lights. For those interested in The Polar Express, consider the on location Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Designed to resemble the century-old train depot that housed the original Fray Marcos Hotel, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is a relaxing retreat in a picturesque Western setting. For those not partaking in the Christmas festivities, consider staying in a cabin rental in the Flagstaff area. There are an abundance of cabins of all sizes and price range available online.

No matter which you choose for your weekend of winter in Northern Arizona, an escape to the White Mountains or Flagstaff are sure to bring a little winter magic escape from the mild Phoenix winter.

Buying & Selling Homes Simultaneously

Buying & SellingBuying & Selling Homes Simultaneously

Buying and selling homes simultaneously can seem quite daunting and raise many questions, especially regarding timing. When should you list the home you’re selling? At what point should you begin looking for a new home? What happens if you get an offer on the home you’re selling before closing on your new place?

The key to combining your buying and selling processes is timing. Taking the time up front to consider your options and make educated timing decisions will increase the chances that you’ll get to seamlessly move from the old home into the new space. So, how do you make those smart timing decisions?

Find an expert. A good real estate agent is a knowledgeable and reliable expert on buying and selling homes simultaneously.. The agent researches and understands current trends which will help you time your transition to the new house while also getting the most money from the house you’re selling.

Know the Market. A real estate agent is also a great resource to educated you on your local market. The agent uses current market data, the condition of your home, neighborhood comparable homes and other factors to determine a realistic selling price for your listing.

Understand your Finances. As you look at your options, know where you stand financially, how much equity you have in your current home, and how much money you can reasonably use toward the down payment of a new house. Homeowners who have enough equity to sell their existing home and can come up with a down payment for another one are going to have an easier time buying and selling at the same time.  Before the real estate shift in 2008, homeowners often leveraged the equity in their home to open a home equity line of credit (HELOC). They would borrow 95 to 100 percent of the home’s value and then use that money toward the down payment of the new home. This made it really easy to close on a new home and sell the current home quickly. Today however, depreciated home values and strict lending options have made it difficult to open a HELOC. Know that there are many options for those homeowners in all financial categories. Understanding your finances will help when you discuss this process with your agent.

Make Quick Fixes. Price and home condition are the two most important factors that effect the sale of your home. As explored specifically in previous posts, investing money up front to update the yard, repaint the walls or make other small fixes has been proven to significantly increase the likelihood that your home will sell more quickly.

Start Shopping for the new home. If you and your agent agree that listing your home is a good decision for you, it’s time to begin your home search process. If possible, start looking at homes before you put yours on the market so that you have an idea to the timeframe it could take to find the new place based on your search criteria.

When you’re ready, list the home. Putting the home on the market is a careful process that depends largely on how fast you think you will be able to find and close on your new home. The previous step, shopping for the new home, will help make that decision. Keep in mind, if you put the home on the market and the right buyer puts in an offer more quickly than you anticipated, there are contingencies you can add to the contract to give you more time to find your new home.

Buying and selling homes simultaneously has its challenges, but with the help of a solid agent, homeowners make it happen everyday. Elise Fay & Associates would be happy to walk you through some of the buying and selling scenarios or help begin your home search process. Give us a call!

Staging & Selling Before the Holidays

Staging & Selling Before the Holidays

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Staging & selling your home before the holidays can help save stress and give you time to focus on family and holiday festivities. Getting your home sold before year end is ideal so you can start the new year fresh. There are a few tips to help the process started and assist in running smoothly and effectively.

Take advantage of the tax write-offs. Often, part of staging a home includes purging. If you have a large amount of items you’re having trouble parting with, consider the tax credits for donating. Add up the value of the items you might be willing to donate and look at the tax savings using a Goodwill or Salvation Army calculator. This might be the perfect motivation to help let go of the items you don’t really need.

If you’re relocating or downsizing and won’t be able to take all your items, consider using home listing photos with a list of contents you’re looking to get rid of on Craigslist or other goods selling site as an alternative to donation. Selling before the Holidays is an effective idea especially, because people might be in the market for some gently used or vintage gifts.

Use Online Coupons. By now, we’ve all heard of sites like Groupon, Deal Chicken, Living Social, Amazon Local, etc. These sites offer local goods and services a a discounted price. The cost and effort of staging can be a hurdle for sellers. Search these sites for offers for cleaning services, painting, etc. Affordable ways to get these jobs done may get your home ready to show more quickly and with a lot less effort on your part. Especially during the holiday season, the last thing you want to be doing is a lot of work on the house. Let the professionals help make the staging a success at a discounted price.

Shop Ahead. If you’re selling to move into another property, you likely have either already found that property or at least have a solid idea of housing and new furnishings to make the place your own. If you have the budget, shop ahead for the furnishings. Things like furniture, non permanent lighting, decor, etc. for your new place might help stage the space you’re selling in the mean time.

No matter your situation, staging & selling before the holidays is a great idea and, with a little help from Elise Fay & Associates, you can get a smooth process started right away. Just give us a call!