Happy 4th of July!

Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

When you’re looking to sell or refinance your home, it’s important to consider your home value and take as many measures as you can to make sure that you set yourself up for success as much as possible.

There are many ways that you can increase your home value without breaking the bank. Below, The Fay Group goes over a few of the most inexpensive ways to make your home stand out without having to do a costly remodel.

There are many ways that you can increase your home value without breaking the bank. Below, The Fay Group goes over a few of the most inexpensive ways to make your home stand out without having to do a costly remodel.

Clean and Declutter

One of the cheapest ways to increase the value of your home is to give it a nice deep cleaning and decluttering. You can do this one of two ways: with good old-fashioned elbow grease or by hiring professional help.

If you’re working on a budget, it’s a good idea to set aside a weekend to get the job done solo. You can enlist family members and friends for help. All you have to do is spring for some cleaning products. Of course, on the other hand, if you hire professional help you will cut down on time and labor on your end, but you can expect to pay the going rate for cleaning services in your area.

Just by cleaning and decluttering your home, you can increase your home value by 3-5%, according to sources like Forbes.

Powerwash It

Two ways to give your home a visual makeover include putting a fresh coat of paint on the interior and exterior as well as giving your home and driveway a good pressure washing. You will want to do the pressure washing on the exterior of your home first to remove debris, stains, and additional build-up.

Try pressure washing:
  • fencing
  • driveway
  • patio
  • deck
  • walkways

If you’re looking to hire someone to power wash parts of your property, the price of different elements will differ. A house typically costs $220-$380, while smaller aspects cost less. While hiring a professional would save you time, you could avoid all extra costs by renting a power washer from your local hardware store for a pay per hour, which usually costs a lot less.

Paint It

You can address any exterior paint fading or chipping by repainting the exterior of your home. When you paint the interior, try to go for a neutral color so that it doesn’t end up being too jarring to a potential buyer if you’re looking to sell.

If you DIY your paint job, you can expect to pay from $200 for the interior and  upwards. Exterior painting will end up costing closer to $1,000-$2,000. Pressure washing is fairly inexpensive- $200-$500 should do the trick. You have the option to either rent equipment and get the job done yourself or hire a professional service, which will come at a higher rate.

Boost Curb Appeal

Real estate people love using the term “curb appeal”, which is how your home looks to someone walking or driving by. You can make your home stand out a little more by touching up any worn-out landscaping, pruning bushes, trimming trees, re-mulching, or even mowing the lawn.

Other inexpensive ways to increase the value of your home include:
  • changing out hardware and light fixtures
  • adding green energy solutions to your home
  • upgrading certain appliances
  • adding crown molding

Once you get done sprucing up your home and you’re ready to sell, contact Elise Fay Group today.

We specialize in helping our clients get the most out of selling and purchasing their homes in the Pheonix-Metro area and surrounding communities. We’re excited to help you get the most out of your investment, no matter where you stand. 

Spring Cleaning Dos and Don’ts!

As the Spring season approaches, you might be looking to make some improvements to your home. Spring cleaning is an infamous pastime that you might have lamented during your childhood having to sacrifice great weather days to spruce up the home. However, as an adult, Spring represents a season of renewal, which can be channeled into your seasonal cleaning and home improvement process.

Getting started on your Spring cleaning might have you perplexed and possibly overwhelmed. That’s okay. Read on for a few tips and a few practices to avoid in order to make it a productive Spring season.

Do: Get Rid of Clutter

Decluttering is a great way to free up more space at your home, which will make your living space less cramped. You can declutter by donating items you no longer need or use, or you could even have a garage sale in order to make a little extra cash.

If you can implement a rule, use the 90-day principle, which means if you haven’t used something in 90 days or more, it’s probably safe to get rid of it.

Don’t: Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

One common theme among homeowners is that many have lofty DIY projects that they set out for themselves during the Spring and Summer seasons. Instead, try to make smaller objectives instead of taking on grand-scale projects, especially if you’re a working professional.

One way to keep things manageable is to focus on a specific room or area of the house. Start with the kitchen and work your way into the bedrooms and maybe even the garage.

Planning larger projects takes more time and larger projects have a way of not getting done over the course of a weekend. You don’t want to set a project out for yourself that takes months to complete as part of your Spring cleaning strategy.

Do: Finish What You Start

Making a strategy will help you zero in on what needs to be done around the house, not to mention force you to land on your end goals once your Spring cleaning is done. Set out tasks for yourself to complete on your off days. Try not to plan projects that will take more than one or two days to complete. This way you can make sure that you don’t begin a new task/project until the task at hand is finished.

Don’t: Clean From Bottom to Top

Working smart instead of hard is of the essence when it comes to Spring cleaning. Clean from top to bottom, this way the last thing you end up cleaning are the floors after everything has been cleaned and dusted. This will make sure that you don’t backtrack or clean objects and areas of the floor more than once.

Ready to Sell? Contact Elise Fay Group Today!

If you’re planning on Spring cleaning as a way to prep yourself for selling your home, I’m here to help. Call The Fay Group at 602-329-7782 today to learn more about how I can help you get 5% more for your home. Happy Spring cleaning season!

 

Earth Day Tips for Your Home

Earth Day Tips for Your Home

In observance of Earth Day, The Fay Group is here to help our clients and readership with valuable information that will help make a greener home. Right now, many people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and a great place to start is on the home front.

Earth Day House Plants

Many options are available as far as products and technologies are concerned, not to mention a few simple habits you can adopt to make the world a better, cleaner place.

Below, The Fay Group goes over some Earth Day tips for going green at home.

Be a More Conscious Consumer

Earth Day Trash Build Up

Before you do any sort of upgrade or overhaul, you can practice making more conscious decisions when it comes to the products you buy and the brands you support. Top green brands include Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, and Numi. As you can likely tell, you can make more environmentally conscious choices when it comes to the foods you consume, the beverages you drink, and the clothes you purchase and wear. Now is the time to pay a little closer attention to which companies, brands, and organizations you support. If a company or brand is not holding up their end of the environmental bargain, it’s a good idea to give them the boot and stop giving them your hard-earned dollars.

Crafting a Green Sanctuary at Home

Earth Day Green Sanctuary

Many people plan to go out into the world and plant a tree on Earth Day, which is a fun and fulfilling way to make a positive impact in your community. You can also take such measures at home, whether it’s in your front or back yard. The benefits of planting trees include combating climate change, providing oxygen, preventing soil erosion, and even preventing harmful UV rays.

If you haven’t already, head to your local nursery to check out the best and most viable options for your neck of the woods. Once the planting is done, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of raising plants and trees while engaging in eco-friendliness as well.

Green Upgrades for Your Home

Earth Day Power Conservation

From smart plugs that automatically cut off energy when devices are not being used to solar-powered outdoor lights, there are so many products and technological innovations that will help you reduce your carbon footprint while helping you save money simultaneously.

There are also backup energy solutions such as solar-powered generators that will ensure you have the power supply you need, even in emergencies. Nowadays gas-powered generators are starting to become a thing of the past, and if you run out of fuel for a gas-powered generator, you could end up in an uncomfortable situation during your time of need. Solar-powered backup energy solutions are a more sustainable and often a more reliable option. 

Earth Day Fay Group

There are a variety of benefits when it comes to going green at home, including increasing your home’s resale value. If you’re thinking about selling your home, there are more than a few simple upgrades you can make that will end up being a smart investment when it comes time to sell. If you have any questions about going green on the home front or selling/purchasing a home, The Fay Group is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about why we are the number one real estate team in Maricopa County.

 

 

Tips for When it’s Time to Move

When it comes time to move you might be faced with more than a few decisions and actionable items to handle, all while adjusting to a new environment.

Whether you’re moving across town, across the country, or even to an international location, it’s important to have all of your ducks in a row. Below, Elise Fay Group goes over a few tips that will help make your big move less stressful.

Remember to Plan Ahead

Planning is your best bet to make it through your moving day with your sanity intact. First, make sure that your utilities are shut off at the place you are moving from and turned on at the place you are moving to. You don’t want to jump the gun and find out the hard way how much you need services like electricity, water, and even the internet. When you get all this set up ahead of time you will save yourself a tremendous amount of discomfort.

Plan ahead when it comes to getting help with moving your belongings as well. Rent any sort of van or truck ahead of time and make sure not to wait until the last minute. Rental companies are notoriously swamped toward the end of the month because, guess what, other people out there happen to be moving as well.

If you can plan your move during the week instead of the weekend you will beat the rush and have some breathing room when it comes to relocation. Taking a little bit of time off of work will make sure that your schedule isn’t slammed as well. Make this process as easy on yourself as humanly possible.

Do Your Research

Make sure to look into whichever moving services you plan to use. You don’t want to hire a company that has a bad track record when it comes to customer service. Take a look at review sites and consumer reports to double-check and make sure that your moving company isn’t going to damage your belongings.

While it’s important to save as many dollars as you can, make sure that you’re not skimping on the quality side – you will end up paying for any half-measures you end up taking.

Invest in Moving Materials

It might be tempting to fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to moving, but it’s a good idea to stock up on moving supplies that will make your experience less difficult. Make sure you have boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, a dolly, tie-downs, and markers to label your boxes.

Moving materials will help protect your items and help you organize your move. However, make sure that you only purchase what you need to stick to your budget.

 

Contact Elise Fay Group Today

If you’re planning your next move and looking to buy or sell your home, we can help. We’ve been the area’s top realtors since the mid-1990s. We live and work in the North Glendale area and possess unparalleled experience selling homes in Glendale, Peoria, N. Phoenix, Desert Ridge, Surprise, Buckeye, Goodyear, and our surrounding communities. Get in touch today if you’re looking to buy or sell a home with style.

Benefits of Purchasing a Home Warranty

One of the early purchases you might make as a homeowner is your home warranty. In fact, a home warranty is such a common helpful resource for homeowners that it’s often negotiated into a purchase contract which means you receive warranty coverage as soon as you close on your home.

A home warranty is a contract you enter with a warranty provider to gain repair coverage for your home. It’s a great alternative to needing to file an insurance claim if something, like the AC, goes out. A home warranty claim is a lot more cost effective for the homeowner (typically around $60 for the trip charge) compared to filing an insurance claim where you then have to pay a hefty deductible before you get your repair made.

If your home warranty wasn’t included with your home purchase, you can also pay for a home warranty on a monthly or annual basis. When a problem occurs with an appliance or one of your home systems, you’ll give your provider a call to file a claim. With a snap of your fingers, a service specialist will be there to diagnose the problem and provide applicable service. Since you’re already paying for your warranty, you generally won’t have to shell out any more cash in a problematic or emergency situation.

What Exactly Do Home Warranties Cover?

Home systems covered by warranty usually include electrical, heating (including your water heater), interior plumbing, ductwork, and in some cases more.


Major appliances covered by many warranties include air conditioning (which is usually optional), dishwasher, garage door/garage door opening system, garbage disposal, oven/stove, refrigerator, pool-related equipment, and more.

Home Warranty Benefits

Home warranty benefits include peace of mind knowing that you’re covered whenever a problem happens. Many homeowners worry about the functionality of their home systems and appliances, sort of like worrying about an automobile that is not covered by a warranty. Whenever a problem happens you will usually have to pay a hefty sum completely out of pocket. With home warranty coverage you can rest at ease.

A home warranty will also save you time. If you need to file a claim, all you have to do is contact your provider and they will make it simple and easy on you. If you have to go out of pocket for repair, you’ll spend more time comparing the prices and services of contractors. 

Having a strong home warranty will help you stick to your budget and continue to build your savings. Without coverage, random problems might seem to come up right when you’ve put a little bit of money away, draining a huge amount of your savings in the process. With a home warranty, you can anticipate exactly how much you’ll spend on a monthly or yearly basis.

Contact Elise Fay Today

If you have questions about whether or not you should purchase a home warranty or questions about becoming a homeowner, Elise Fay Group can help.

With over $22 Million in sales, our team has developed a solid reputation as Top Real Estate Agents in the West Valley and Phoenix-Metro areas. We have unparalleled expertise in the current real estate market. We work with integrity, loyalty, and professionalism. Elise Fay Group aims to provide stellar customer experiences at every stage of the homeownership process, whether you’re buying, selling, or somewhere in between. Contact Elise Fay Group today to learn more about who we are, what we can do for you, and how we can help you achieve the living situation of your dreams.

Laundry Room Design Tips

Doing laundry is unavoidable, make the chore less tedious with these 4 tips:

1-Designate a spot to divide dirty laundry. Use drawers, or wire mesh baskets are the ideal option since they air out dirty clothes before washing.

2-Mount dryer racks to the wall. Instead of taking up floor space, mount a few drying racks straight to the wall. When they’re not in use, you can fold them up so they don’t get in the way of washing, drying and folding.

3-Use your machine’s exterior. Attach a bin to the side of your stackable machines so you have exactly what you need within arm’s reach.

4-Roll a cart between machines. We all know the struggle that comes with side-by-side machines, often becoming cluttered with lost socks and dust bunnies. If you have a big enough gap between the washer and dryer, fill that space with a shelved cart that you can roll in and out.

laundry room

Growing Vegetables in the Arizona Desert

Vegetable gardening in Arizona has challenges. Gardening tips that may work in other climates, often don’t apply to gardening in the low desert of Arizona. Yet, growing a successful vegetable garden in the desert is absolutely possible and soon enough you’ll be preparing your salads from your backyard garden!

Benefits of vegetable gardening in Arizona:

-Ability to garden outdoors year-round. 

-Abundant sunshine – necessary for all living things.

Challenges of vegetable gardening in Arizona:

-Extreme heat. A few vegetables (okra, Malabar spinach, Armenian cucumbers) tolerate the heat and continue producing. Some die, and others go into dormancy only to take off again when the humidity of late July or August sets in. 

-Low humidity. Many desert-adapted plants such as cactus, succulents, and plants with waxy leaves are adapted to less humidity. However, most vegetables and garden plants need more moisture in the air to grow well in the low desert of Arizona. 

SUCCESSFUL GARDENING TIPS

Take advantage of microclimates in your yard:

-Some parts of the yard will be warmer or cooler than others. Use those areas to your advantage by growing plants whose requirements match up to the specific microclimate available. 

-Notice in your yard which areas receive the most sun and shade during different seasons of the year. Learn the sun requirements and heat tolerance of different plants. Consider adding shade parts of the garden that need it during the hottest times of the year. Take advantage of the shade provided by larger plants to interplant different crops. 

Water your Arizona vegetable garden correctly:

-Vegetables and fruits do not produce well if they are stressed. Problems in the garden can often be traced back to watering – not enough, too much, or inconsistent water. Plants become stressed and are more prone to diseases and insects. 

-Spend time in your garden each day. You will notice the watering needs of your plants and be alerted to issues with your watering system.

-Water in the morning. Wilted leaves at midday don’t necessarily mean a plant needs water; always test soil a couple of inches deep to see if the soil is dry before giving droopy plants more water. They will probably recover once the sun goes down.

Looking for a new yard to start your garden? Call me today!

garden

 

7 Tips for Summer Home Maintenance

washing windowsSummer is in full swing and it’s a good time to inspect your house to see how your home is doing in the summer heat. Here’s a quick list of 7 summer home maintenance tips and projects you can do to spruce up your home and keep everything running smoothly throughout the year:

Tip #1 Attic Inspections
Attics can be claustrophobia-inducing, but it’s a good idea to brave those tight confines at least once a year. You want to check your attic for any indication of pests or insects, water leakage, mold or mildew, and turn off the lights to check for any sign of peeking daylight.

Tip #2 Rain Gutters
It’s not hard for desert dwellers to forget about checking the rain gutters. Gutters can become clogged with dirt and grime, especially after a monsoon season. Flush out your gutters with the hose once a year.

Tip #3 Wash Exterior Windows
Summer is a good time of year to wash your windows from the outside. Simply fill a bucket with hot soapy water and get scrubbing. If you wash your windows more than once a year, you may be able to get away with just using Windex, but a bucket of soapy water and a sponge will usually deliver the best results.

Tip #4 Clean or Replace Window Screens
Washing your exterior windows won’t make much of a difference, if you don’t also wash your window screens. Take off all your window screens to your house and gently scrub them with hot soapy water. If your window screens are too filthy to be cleaned, you may just want to replace them.

Tip #5 Washing Machine Maintenance
Your washing machine is one of those appliances that needs some light maintenance every now and then. When your washer is not in use, inspect the seal between the door opening and the drum for areas of soil buildup or any stains. If you find any, you can clean it with a mixture of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Wipe the area with the bleach-water solution and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then wipe dry with a clean cloth, and let it air dry. This will remove any odors and keep your clothes from getting stained by dirt deposits inside the seal.

Tip #6 Clean the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher
This home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily just a summer chore, but it’s important reminder to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can easily clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, you should add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash.

Tip #7 Wipe Down & Clean Baseboards
Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to weekly cleaning, but it’s something you will want to do at least once a year to keep dust and dirt from building up. A damp cloth and a little extra time is all you need to clean up the trim around your home.

Not a homeowner? Then let’s find you a home! Interest rates are low making this a great time for new homebuyers. Call me today to learn more! 602-329-7782

Enjoy a Staycation in Your Backyard

backyardAs we stay home more because of the coronavirus, creating a backyard staycation is on the top of many homeowners’ to-do list.

Tips to transform your backyard space:

Finishes- Consider dark color finishes, sun shelves, complete automation, grotto waterfalls and comfortable outdoor furniture to create and inviting space to relax.

Light it Up- String lights are a simple and inexpensive solution for mood lighting. If your space is under a pergola, gazebo or large tree, dress things up with an outdoor chandelier. Battery operated candles also add a little light.

Adding TVs/Stereos- Incorporating TVs and stereo systems on the patio provide entertainment while outside. Install a TV in a shady spot on a metal, heavy duty wall mount that can pivot for easy viewing.

Add Privacy- Plants and curtains are two easy ways to create a more private outdoor space. Plants such as ficus or citrus trees work well in the desert to create privacy hedges. Hanging curtains around a covered patio or gazebo also softens the outdoor space and helps block the sun.

For more tips, or to find a new home with all the backyard features you are looking for, call me today! 602-329-7782

Spring Cleaning During COVID-19

mopSpring cleaning your house includes traditionally includes extra dusting, window cleaning and shampooing carpets. With our home cleaning checklist, we’ll give you the best spring cleaning tips, plus additional tips for attacking COVID-19.

CLEANING VS DISINFECTING

Did you know there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting? Cleaning is the removal of dirt and germs from surfaces. Cleaning doesn’t kill viruses, but it will lower them. You can clean a surface using a simple combination of soap and water, which is effective against COVID-19. Disinfecting involves using a chemical to kill germs on surfaces after you clean it, which lowers the risk of spreading infection. You can use a simple bleach combination to disinfect, which is ⅓ cup of bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. It’s important to let the bleach sit on the surface for at least one minute before you dry it completely.

The CDC recommends regularly cleaning and disinfecting areas of your home that are frequently touched — three times per day if someone in your house is sick. This includes:

-Kitchen and bathroom counters
-Light switches
-Doorknobs
-Faucets
-Toilets
-Electronics

DUST YOUR HOME THOROUGHLY

Spring cleaning is a great time to both clean and declutter your home. If you’ve got major clutter to deal with, getting a portable container delivered to your driveway may be just what you need to get the job done, especially if you need to make room as you work. Having temporary at-home storage can also help if you need to separate items to go to relatives, donations, or a garage sale.

If it’s just a matter of dusting and cleaning a room, here are some quick tips:

-Before getting started, take time to peruse shelves and side tables to see if there are any books or knick-knacks -you can clear out.
-Empty all shelves and dust thoroughly with a feather duster.
-Use your vacuum to get hard-to-reach spots.
-Gently clean your books with a damp cloth.
-Disinfect surfaces before you rearrange things.
-Don’t forget to vacuum ceiling fans, the tops of your windows and moldings.
-Reach corners in rooms where cobwebs cluster with a long duster.

WASH YOUR WINDOWS

When months go by and you wonder why those trees and blue sky aren’t looking so vibrant anymore, it means it time to clean your windows! Now is a great time to give your windows a wash. If you can reach, wash both inside and out. Might as well enjoy the view while you’re staying home all day, right? If you have slatted blinds, use a damp cloth to wipe them down.

CLEAN YOUR FLOORS

Tile can really start to look dingy if you haven’t done a deep cleaning in a while. If you haven’t been able to find traditional tile cleaners in the supermarket, a simple mixture of baking soda and water will do. Just pour ½ cup baking soda into 2 gallons of water and mix well. This is a great non-toxic cleaning option for bathroom and kitchen floors. You can even do this on your tiled kitchen countertop before you disinfect. Vacuuming and carpet shampooing should be on your list for this year’s deep cleaning. Make sure you move furniture to clean underneath so you can suck up those pesky dust bunnies. Clean under beds and in closets as well.

POLISH STAINLESS STEEL

Your kitchen will look like it is ready for an open house once you polish your stainless steel appliances. First, clean your stainless steel with a soft cloth to remove dirt and grime. Then, soak a microfiber towel in olive oil and slowly buff the steel. Buff again with a clean, dry cloth and your stainless will be sparkling in no time.

DON’T TRY TO DO ALL YOUR CORONAVIRUS SPRING CLEANING AT ONCE

If you try to do all your deep cleaning in one weekend, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed and may want to quit before you finish, so try to break it up into easy to manage sections. Don’t forget your electronics and remote controls! Once you’re done with your deep cleaning, it’s important to keep cleaning and disinfecting for coronavirus regularly, especially the commonly-touched surfaces.