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Active Adult Living in Peoria

Are you searching for something for the 55+ community to enjoy? Wondering what life is like for this age group in this part of the valley? There’s a lot to uncover in the Peoria area, so whether you’re trying to find something to occupy your time or you’re just looking for more information about living here, be sure you know everything there is to know about what makes this area so great. Check out this list below to help you learn a little bit more about what life is like for the 55+ crowd when you call Peoria your home.

Living in a 55+ Community

One of the best things about living in Peoria is that there are plenty of options for 55+ housing in the area. If you’re interested in living in a 55+ community, you can’t go wrong with just about any of the options Peoria has to offer. One of the best and most popular is Trilogy at Vistancia, which is an age-restricted community that’s committed to luxury and upscale living at every turn. It has been rated the best master-planned community in the United States, and it draws a lot of new residents to the area. Although Trilogy certainly isn’t the only 55+ community Peoria has to offer, it’s definitely the crowning achievement in this area.

If you prefer something in a slightly lower price range, however, Ventana Lakes and Westbrook Village also offer excellent, quality homes in an age-restricted setting. With any of these great communities, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful views and tons of incredible amenities that cater to your lifestyle and your wishes too. Ventana Lakes is the smallest of these three communities, while Trilogy is the largest.

Golf

Whether you want to play on your community’s course or check out one of the many other incredible golf courses in Peoria, you’ve got lots of options to choose from. The golf club at Trilogy is one of the best in the area, and it’s certainly the most popular, but there are some other excellent courses you can check out nearby as well. Be sure to visit the Westbrook Village Golf Club Lakes Course when you want to try your hand at a different round for a change. Peoria Pines is another popular course you may want to check out in this area, too.

Click here to read more about Active Adult Communities and view homes for sale.

 

Staging & Selling Before the Holidays

Staging & Selling Before the Holidays

FamRmAfter1

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!

To Pool or Not to Pool?

Photo courtesy of www.shimmeringwaterspoolservices.com

Photo courtesy of www.shimmeringwaterspoolservices.com

To Pool or Not to Pool?

Are you one the many families in the Valley who can’t decide whether or not to install a swimming pool in the backyard? Before you take the plunge, here are some things to consider.

Most importantly, think about why you want a pool. Adding a pool is an expensive endeavor and, realistically, just because you spend $40k on a pool does not mean that it will add the same amount to the value of your home. It could even add nothing to the value, depending on current market and neighborhood standards.

The only real reason to add a swimming pool to your home is because you want a pool. The investment lies in the fun, enjoyment and recreation for your family, enhanced appearance of the yard and the cool escape from hot summer temperatures. If you’re only looking to add a pool to your home with the expectation that you will recoup the cost upon sale, it’s really not worth the investment.

The fact is, there is no definitive answer as to whether a pool will or will not help sell your home. Many Phoenix area buyers want a pool. Some people fall in love with homes, but don’t buy because there isn’t a pool and they don’t want to go through the installation process physically or financially. Although already having a pool appeals to some buyers, there are also many buyers who won’t look at homes that have a pool at all.

My personal opinion, as a buyer, is that if the home is perfect except it doesn’t have a pool and I want one, I’d have one installed. Were I a buyer looking for a home and did not want a pool, I would not consider looking at homes with one. This is simply because having a pool filled and landscaping the yard seems like unnecessary work, whereas adding a pool would be a value to my family’s enjoyment and recreation.

Only you can consider whether the investment is right for your family and answer the ultimate Phoenix homeowner question: to pool or not to pool?

For more information on adding a pool or other upgrades to your home and their potential values, contact Elise Fay or the Fay Team.

Easy Luxury Fixes Buyers Love

Easy Update
Easy Luxury Fixes Buyers Love

There are several luxury fixes buyers love. No matter how tight their budget, buyers will have a wish list of features that feel luxurious.

Here, we focus on refining details, outlining the third installment of our ideas for luxuries buyers look for and how to accomplish them effectively. Contact the Fay Team to quickly achieve list ready status.

Adding, improving or tweaking details in your home can add great value without breaking the bank. A few easy and even DIY ideas include:

Updating baseboards or adding crown moulding

Adding interior or exterior shutters to windows

Painting moulding, baseboards, mantles and/or door trims a contrasting color

Replacing doors or light fixtures; a new light fixture can change the feel of a room completely

Replacing dated faucets, sinks, toilets, hardware, door handles

Exterior paint updates; eaves, doors, trims & fences

Built-ins: Adding built-ins for books, in closets, desks or even recycling centers in the kitchen  feels luxurious because it eliminates furniture and offers a polished look and efficient use of space.

Dedicated Spaces: Dedicating a space to an activity can make a big difference in the perception and feel of the area or room. Choosing the right color paint, appropriate furniture and places for supplies are key here. Think office or craft room for example; use bright colors in these spaces as research shows bright colors foster creativity.

If you’re looking for more easy luxury fixes buyers will love, contact Elise Fay or the Fay Team for more ideas on how to make your listing shine.

 

Easy Luxury Fixes Buyers Love

Solar Panels

Easy Luxury Fixes Buyers Love

There are several easy luxury fixes buyers love. No matter how tight their budget, buyers will have a wish list of features that feel luxurious.

Here, we focus on energy efficiency, outlining the first installment of our ideas for luxuries buyers look for and how to accomplish them effectively. Look for more on the blog in weeks to come. Or, if you can’t wait, contact the Fay Team to quickly achieve list ready status.

Automation:  People love when they can cross remembering something off their list. Or, in today’s technology obsessed world, remove one of the many reminders Siri is managing for them.

In Phoenix, the summer months can hit the pocketbook hard with electric costs. Installing an easily programmable thermostat is a great little luxury fix buyers will love. The Nest Learning Thermostat is a great option. It features auto-schedule, which means it programs itself in about a week, creating a personalized schedule based on changes you’ve made and continually adapting. It also has an auto-away feature, which senses when you’ve left the house and automatically adjusts the temperature to avoid high energy costs. Most convenient of all, you can change the temperature and adjust the schedule from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Cost is right around $200 upfront, more or less depending on home size and number of devices.

Solar:  8 out of 10 homeowners have said they would install a solar system at home if cost wasn’t a factor. In Phoenix, where it’s sunny nearly every day of the year and one of the hottest places in the country in the summer, a solar system is definitely a viable luxury for any home buyer.  Installing a solar system can create a double luxury of allowing homeowners to run their home on a renewable energy source and also to reduce monthly energy costs.

In some areas, costs can be quite low for solar panels. Some companies may pay for the system, install for a low cost and pay for maintenance while the customer only pays for the power used each month. While these deals are not available everywhere, it’s definitely something worth looking into for the energy savings.

Considering one of these energy updates for your home is a little luxury fix that will go a long way. Whether the update is for your own enjoyment or you’re looking for an easy luxury fix buyers will love, energy efficiency is a win-win for the environment and for your listing.

Look for more easy luxury fixes buyers will love next week. Or, contact Elise Fay or the Fay Team for more ideas on how to make your listing luxurious.

 

 

 

Top Arrowhead Ranch REALTOR®

Arrowhead Ranch Realtor

Arrowhead Ranch

Top Arrowhead Ranch Realtor

In order to be a top Arrowhead Ranch REALTOR®, I am client centric. I do more direct marketing for my clients than other real estate agents. I listen to my clients, give guidance on ways to maximize the value of their home, and act with their best interests in mind. This ensures a smooth experience from listing to closing.
The difference between me and other Arrowhead Ranch realtors is that I am energetic, eager and driven. I’ve been in the Arrowhead Ranch market for over ten years and I am an ambitious marketer online and offline. The Fay Team markets homes directly to the consumer, so we drive more people through our listings than the competition. Many other agents rely solely on the MLS to sell homes.

The majority of our competition is tired, intermittent or part-time. We’re different. We’re progressive, We’re aggressive. It’s the only way we know how to be a top Arrowhead Ranch REALTOR®. Call Elise Fay & The Fay Team to start the progressive home listing process today.

Three Easy Fixes for a Great Home Showing

Stinky-HouseThree Easy Fixes for a Great Home Showing

How Vodka, a Laundry Basket & a Fabric Softener Sheet can help close your deal.

No, this isn’t an episode of MacGyver, simple things you already have at home can help eliminate some common reasons your home is still on the market.

There are three easy fixes for a great home showing sellers forget, but buyers notice, that are easy and inexpensive to tackle.

Smell Your Way to a Sale

One unseen factor that could be keeping your house on the market is odor. The variety of odors that could be present are endless, most commonly cigarette smoke, pet odor or a musky scent in a bachelor pad for example. Here are a few odor issue easy fixes for a great home showing:

  1. Orange you glad you drink coffee?

You can put orange peels and/or coffee grounds in a bowl for a little decorative piece or put them in the trash can or garbage disposal. Orange peels and coffee grounds are both odor neutralizers.

2. Happy Hour Mist

Vodka grabs and evaporates odors, so make a freshening mist to spray before a showing. Recipe: Two parts water, one part vodka (You can also use this to clean   glass…just spray on mirrors or windows and wipe clean with newspaper)

3. Good old fashioned vinegar

A bowl of vinegar in a room will soak the odor.  Put a bowl out the night before the showing and the odor will disappear overnight.

4. Fire away bad scents. Grab a match and a small bowl of water. Set the bowl on a surface in the room with the odor.  Let the mach burn 7-10 seconds then submerge in the water.

A Scummy Deal Breaker

Soap scum is generally found in the kitchen or bathrooms which are some of the most important spaces in a home and also are often used before or even during a showing. One quick way to lose the scum for a great home showing:

Grab a fabric softener sheet and a plastic glove and you’re in business.  Just wear the glove and use the dryer sheet to wipe away soap scum on tubs/showers/sinks, etc.

“Necessary Clutter”

Every home has clutter that’s necessary to the home’s functionality. Staging this clutter is easy and important. A few of my favorite ways to store those essentials that are easy fixes for a great home showing:

Use storage baskets, canvas bins, etc. to store things in any room: toys, magazines, crafting supplies, etc.

One of my favorite ways to de-clutter the garage or backyard is with laundry baskets.  All the kids’ outside toys, balls, etc. can be thrown in the baskets and if it rains, the water will not pool in the bottom of the basket.

These simple, quick and inexpensive fixes could remove an obstacle in the way of selling your beautiful home; why not try one and see (or smell) the difference! For more tips on how to prep for a killer home showing, contact Elise Fay and the Sibbach Team.

Fun Phoenix Getaway Deals

phoenix_desert

Fun Phoenix getaway deals are happening now!

A local getaway is a great way to experience luxury in the desert at a fraction of the cost.  Why spend a ton of cash on flights, rental cars and the other vacation necessities this summer when people travel from around the world to experience resorts in Arizona?

Summer is the best time to book a fun getaway at a resort in greater Phoenix or Tucson for a great rate.

Incredible pools, quiet gardens, posh spas, exclusive golf, quaint romantic settings, award-winning dining and family fun are just some of the fabulous things local resorts have to offer. And, in the summer, with a staycation, you can have a piece of that luxury or a weekend of poolside family fun for a great price!

Visit any of the resorts’s websites or call for more information on the fun phoenix getaway deals.

AZ Grand Resort & Spa

arizonagrandresort.com

Current Getaway Deal: $169/night

Benefits: Affordable family fun: Seven acre water park; Dive-in movies; $50 credit toward spa, dining, golf, retail, room charge, resort fee, Rustler’s Rooste restaurant

*Added bonus: Travel Tuesday Program- 40% off best rate on Facebook page

My favorites: I’ve been to this resort with my family and it’s a perfect staycation sport. The pool, poolside activities & water park make it perfect for kids of all ages and Rustler’s Rooste boasts yummy AZ BBQ type food in a Country-Western themed atmosphere with beautiful views of the valley from the mountain on which it sits

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

www.marriott.com

Current Getaway Deal:  Fling & Swing Experience $169/night Ask for code ZJ5

Benefits:  Affordable family fun or luxurious vacation: Kids Eat Free; $50 daily resort credit; free golf; free resort fee (includes internet, self-parking, tennis); Lazy river for family poolside fun

My favorites: The resort is luxurious with a nice vibe of both family-friendly and romantic getaway; If you leave the kids at home, don’t miss a quiet dinner date at Roy’s for some of the freshest fish in the Valley; With or without the kids, the large fire pits on the patio are a great place to gather for a drink after the sun goes down

The Phoenician

thephoenician.com/offers

Current Getaway Deal: Splurge & Surge $159/night Ask for code SUMMER

Benefits: Kids splash pad with activity line up & kids menu

My favorites: The Phoenician is a staple resort in the Valley and highly sought by tourists The Camelback Mountain location is beautiful; The pool is my favorite part of the resort…it’s three tiers of pools, with the top pool being the most kid-friendly boasting a splash pad, the second being a lively mix of kids and adults and the lower pool more adult-friendly.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort

www.hilton.com

Current deal: Summer Flashback Package $109/night

Benefits: Affordable family fun: Waterpark; themed family poolside activities; Friday night dive-in movies

Royal Palms Resort & Spa

www.royalpalmshotel.com

Current Getaway Packages: Luxurious Vacation: Luxe Lounging; Anniversary sale; Summer romance

My favorites: I’ve traveled all over the world from Paris and Rome to Maui, St. Lucia and Bora Bora and the Royal Palms is still one of the most quaint, beautiful places I’ve ever experienced.  Lush gardens, 24-hour pool and romantic hideaways abound the gorgeous resort sitting at the base of Camelback Mountain. Although it’s more of a couples getaway, I’ve also stayed with my toddler and had a great time. The poolside cabanas are a steal during summer months priced at only $100 and it doesn’t get any better than T. Cook’s award-winning dinning for a quiet dinner for two.

Stay tuned for our next installment of fun getaway deals close to home: Spotlight on Tucson.

Sedona’s Cathedral Rock-“8th Wonder of the World”?

Sedona to have the “8th Wonder of the World”?Sedona Arizona

Yes it’s true…Cathedral Rock is in the running to become the “8th Wonder of the World”.
Inspired by the newly developed 8th Wonder of the World contest created by Virtual Tourist, The Sedona Chamber of Commerce asked our 30,000 Visit Sedona Facebook fans “What are the 7 Wonders of Sedona?” Below are the complied results in order of popularity:

  1. Cathedral Rock
  2. Boynton Canyon
  3. Bell Rock
  4. Slide Rock  State Park
  5. Devil’s  Bridge
  6. Palatki  Heritage Site
  7. West  Fork Trail

As you can see from the results above, our fans, visitors and locals alike choose Sedona’s Cathedral Rock as the #1 most iconic spot in Sedona, Arizona. We therefore nominated Cathedral Rock into the running to become the 8th Wonder of the World. It seems obvious that with vivid crimson spires and copper sandstone monoliths, Cathedral Rock was a perfect nomination choice.

Official voting is now open until September 30, 2013; and Cathedral Rock is listed as one of the 324 locations around the world. Although Sedona is small, sometimes considered to be a hidden gem, we know we can count on the support of locals and national/international visitors who have marveled at the beauty and majesty of Sedona’s Cathedral Rock. Ideal for a romantic hike, a family adventure, a photographer’s greatest ally or thrill seeking adrenaline junkies; Cathedral Rock has something to offer all ages and interests.

We hope we can count on your VOTE for Cathedral Rock as the 8th Wonder of the World. You can vote every day until September 30, 2013!

Reprinted courtesy of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

Home Prices & Mortgage Rates

Home Prices and the effect of Mortgage RatesHome Prices

Will the recent rise in mortgage interest rates have an effect on the housing market? Well the answer may surprise you. No. There is NO inverse correlation between interest rates and home prices. Historically housing prices have gone up when interest rates increased and they have gone up when interest rates were cut.

Let’s look at some of the scenarios.  According to Michael Orr, Cromford Report, from 1989 to 1991 home prices fell about 10%, but during this same period mortgage interest rates fell from about 10% to 8.5%. Between June 2006 and Aug 2011 home prices spiraled downward while interest rates dropped from about 6.75% to 4.5%.  In both of these situations, prices dropped just as interest rates fell.

The only time we see a fall in home prices is when supply outstrips demand. What do you know? In this complicated world we live in there are still some tried and true facts …it’s all about supply and demand.

From August 2011 to June 2013 interest rates have been down to about 3.5 to 4%. Home prices have seen a strong increase during this time period but the demand for homes is just up slightly.  In other words, the very attractive interest rates did not bring a huge influx of buyers into the market…demand was up a little bit, but not a lot. What drove home prices up? The lack of supply in relation to demand.

So what effect will the rise in mortgage rates have on the housing market? Well believe it or not, it will create a sense of urgency and we could see more home buyers/sellers enter the market before it rises any higher.  We have seen it happen many times before. So if you are thinking of selling, this is a great time to get into the market…there will still be plenty of buyers out there.