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.

Designing Your Kitchen Like a Boss

Whether a person is buying or selling a home, the kitchen is one of the major areas of a home that factor into that final decision.

Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a chef, the kitchen is often a general meeting space in a home, especially when it comes to parties and gatherings. A cramped, disorganized kitchen space will reflect on your home’s overall quality and value.

Recent statistics convey that the most common reason in the 2020s to remodel or give your kitchen a makeover is because it’s something that people have been meaning to do all along. Other common reasons include people not being able to stand the look of an old, outdated kitchen, as well as functionality issues.

Below, Elise Fay Group goes over a few ways to maximize your kitchen space and make it a welcoming place, whether you’ve just purchased your home, whether you’re looking to revamp/remodel, or even if you’re looking to sell.

Make the Most of Your Current Layout

Instead of coming in with a sledgehammer to maximize your kitchen space, there is a lot you can do with your current layout to make your kitchen feel less cramped and more spacious.

Aim to store most kitchen top appliances in the cabinets, unless we’re talking about a big bulky espresso machine you got last year for your birthday. This brings us to another point – if you can upgrade bulky appliances for sleeker, newer designs, this will help you save a ton of space.

Your mantra should be “Everything has its right place,” this way you don’t have items strewn about on your kitchen counters. Anything you don’t use with some amount of regularity should go into storage space.

Introduce Bold New Colors into Your Kitchen

When planning your kitchen decor, try to incorporate fresh new colors into your plan. Bright colors have a way of adding instant personality to a kitchen space. However, it’s important to proceed with caution. If you are planning on selling within the next 5-10 years, you might want to go with less bold colors in your efforts to de-personalize the space.

But, if this is the home you plan on making your own, do your thing! One area you can focus on that will give you the most bang for your buck are your kitchen cabinets. Make sure to plan for sanding, priming, and doing multiple layers of paint. You can DIY this sort of thing or hire a professional contractor if you’re pressed for time and worried about making a costly mistake.

Make Your Kitchen Smarter

Tech experts suggest that by 2023, the smart home industry automation in United States homes will rise to 53.9%. Not only this, but over 80% of consumers conveyed that they would be more likely to purchase a new home that incorporates smart technology. Smart technology includes voice-activated response systems, home security devices, not to mention smart appliances.

Contact Elise Fay Group Today for Expert Consultation

If you’re planning on remodeling your kitchen because you’re looking to sell or are simply looking for top-notch real estate advice, get in touch with Elise Fay Group today. We’re in the business of helping our clients make the most informed and most profitable decisions when it comes to purchasing or selling a home. Contact us today to learn more about who we are and how we can help you achieve your real estate goals.

Decorating Beyond Grays

modern kitchenDid you just recently buy a new house, or are you considering redecorating your current house? If you’ve got an eye on the decorating world, you know everything gray! Gray has been in the spotlight for a while now, but there’s a hot movement for colors, bold shapes and other trending decorating styles that you might find inspiring.

Geometry: Backsplash tile, wallpapers, bold rugs and even lampshades: If it’s angled, it’s in. The increasing popularity of a simple geometric form adds a modern flair and a bold edge to almost any space.

Bold sofas: Is it red? Wonderful. Is it velvet? Even better. Design trends are renouncing the plain for something that pops in the living room.

Marble, terrazzo and stone: Two are bold, the other sparse. But all are making a comeback in design trends, from lavish marble countertops to austere stone tables to funky, chunky terrazzo tiles.

Metallics: Take a few picks from copper, silver, gold or even rose gold to achieve a trending affection for mixed metal accents.

Macrame: Not just for the 70s anymore, macrame is back in action prominently as plant holders, but inside the home it also is adding a vintage touch hanging on walls and as textured fringe.

Warm color palette: Design color trends are shifting from cool tones to embrace warm browns and earthy, light accents. Yellows and browns make spaces more inviting while still retaining a minimalist sense of style.

Colorful cabinets: Move over, white. Kitchen design is all about the blue, green and other cool, moody shades for a cabinet look.

Southwest inspiration: Lucky for us, cacti are cool. The modern Southwest feel is especially trendy, so break out that ceramic pot, woven rug or rough-hewn basket.

Let me know what type of a home you are looking for.  I can help you find a home that meets your needs and decorating style! 602-329-7782

Pergola, Ramada or Gazebo?

ramadaThe beautiful spring weather encourages us all to spend more time outside. As a result, many homeowners start think about backyard projects. Have you ever considered building a pergola, ramada or gazebos? Is there a difference? Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there are distinct architectural differences between each structures.

What is a Pergola?
Pergolas have cross beams as a roof. They are also commonly used for outdoor kitchens and built in BBQs. Pergolas have become popular in recent years because their design accommodates modern styles and can be less expensive to build than a ramada.

What is a Ramada?
A ramada is rectangular or square in shape with a solid roof. It is often built over outdoor kitchens to protect the appliances from rain and other outdoor factors that can damage them. If you plan to install an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, a ramada is a smart choice.

What is a Gazebo?
A gazebo also provides shelter and has a solid roof like the ramada with open sides. The shape of a gazebo is either octagonal or circular in shape. The gazebo design has been around for several centuries, they can be seen on old properties all over the world.

Which one is right for you? Ask yourself if you want full protection from the weather or partial shade. If you want full protection, a ramada might be the best option for you. If you want partial protection, then a pergola or gazebo may be best. Of course, you will also want to consider your personal style preference and the style of your home. Or you can give me a call and I can help you find a new home with a pergola, ramada or gazebo all ready for you to enjoy! 602-329-7782

Home Renovations And Upgrades With Big Resale Value

backyard photoIf you’re considering renovating or upgrading your home, you probably have a few reasons for that. You may feel that your fixtures are outdated, or certain things aren’t working the way they should anymore. You might also feel as though upgrading your home could be a good way to help you get back even more on your investment when the time comes for you to sell the house. If this is the main draw behind the idea of upgrading, then you should pay attention to the types of renovations that are bringing in more money when it comes to resale value in the housing market today.

Basic Bathroom
Redo your bathroom, but don’t worry about trying to take apart the whole thing. A bathroom remodel should really consist of a replacement for your tub, toilet, sink, and tile. You don’t have to change the layout of the room, which may be very costly, but you should update the fixtures to suit what’s popular at the time. Don’t forget to redo the wall coverings if they’re outdated, too.

Kitchen Fixes
Just like the bathroom, you don’t have to gut your kitchen and redo the whole floor plan to update it enough to sell well. Bring in a new oven, sink, and new countertops, and consider redoing the cabinetry if it’s very outdated. The refrigerator may not need to be updated, but don’t forget to replace it too if it does. Recessed lighting and a kitchen island if you have the space for it are both great options, too.

Everybody enjoys outdoor spaces, and if they’re ready to use as soon as someone buys your home, that’s even better. Put in a patio, porch, or deck to encourage buyers to look twice at your home. The nicer your outdoor space, the better off you’ll be.

Outside Matters
Don’t forget to spruce up the outside of your home before you try to put it on the market. Repaint the house if it’s looking a little ragged. Consider painting the doors as well to help improve the curb appeal. And don’t forget about the landscaping! A small investment will go a long way toward making sure your home gets noticed when it goes on the market.

Basements and Attics
If you have an unfinished basement or attic, what’s keeping you from finishing it? If you have the funds to do so, finish the space and make sure it’s ready to be used as a fully functional room. While it doesn’t have to have a bathroom on the same level, that’s always a nice perk too, provided you have the money to do that kind of major renovation.

Are you looking to sell you home?  Click here to get started with a free, no obligation home value estimate.

Hot Kitchen Trends That Sell Homes  

Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes.  That’s a real estate truism that’s actually right on the money!  Whether you have just purchased your home and want to update the kitchen, you’re getting your home ready to list for sale, or whether you are looking to remodel your home in the future, you should consider the long-term resale value of any updates you undertake in the kitchen.

Nowadays, buyers want homes that are already updated, as their lives get busier and busier.   Therefore, if one of the most important rooms isn’t updated, many potential buyers will start adding up the cost to update the kitchen, at minimum, and may not offer as much for your home down the line.    Therefore, if you are considering updating your home to maximize the sales price, as well as to compete with similar homes in your neighborhood, here are some current design trends to consider:

  1. Stainless Steel Appliances.   This is the first, and most important, item to update in any kitchens. Buyers still want stainless steel appliances, and this trend isn’t likely to change anytime soon.  Swapping out any black, white or ivory appliances for stainless steel (silver, black or slate stainless) is a relatively inexpensive, yet simple way to quickly update your kitchen.   If you do decide on an “alternative” stainless steel, black stainless is quickly gaining momentum as being on trend in kitchen appliances as well, so you may want to consider this color if it coordinates with your existing cabinets and countertops (ie, whites and grays rather than browns and beiges).
  1. Paint.  Painting your kitchen in a soft, neutral color, especially if it hasn’t been painted in the past five years, is a simple, inexpensive and quick way to update this area of your home.  Paint also covers a multitude of sins so any fading or dinginess that occurs from all of the heat and dampness in a kitchen will disappear with a fresh coat of paint.  It is important to pick a color that will appeal to the widest range of buyers, and that will coordinate with your existing cabinets, countertops and appliances.  I’d be happy to assist you with this decision.
  1. Flooring.  After paint and appliances, consider the flooring in your kitchen.  Buyers prefer tile, stone or other hard flooring in the kitchen.  Eighteen-inch porcelain or ceramic tiles in neutral colors are relatively inexpensive, yet provide a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to updating the look of your kitchen.   While hardwood flooring is always in style, it’s not a favorite in kitchens due to potential issues with water damage.  Wide plank porcelain tiles are absolutely on trend, especially in larger dimensions (for example, 12 by 24 inches). Be careful not to choose patterns that are overly busy.
  1. Countertops. Anything but laminate and tile is what buyers are looking for in today’s market.  Granite or quartz countertops in the kitchen are upgrades that will quickly update the look and style of your kitchen, and because they are very low-maintenance, they will stay popular.  There are various levels (or pricing) of granite, and I would be happy to suggest which level of granite would be appropriate for the price range of your home as you don’t want to price yourself out of the future resale market.
  1. Cabinets.  Your cabinets are the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to kitchen updating.  Depending on the type of wood and the style of cabinet you currently have, simply painting or refinishing your cabinets may do the trick. White-washed, light maple or oak cabinets are considered dated in today’s kitchens.  If the interiors of your cabinets are in good condition but the style of the doors is not current, re-facing may be a better option to update your cabinets.   With re-facing, the doors and drawer fronts will be removed, and they can be replaced with any style or finish.  A finished wood veneer will be affixed to the cabinet sides, and new knobs and handles can complete the updated look.

White and gray colored cabinetry are more updated and on trend than maple or blond cabinetry.   A current trend with cabinetry is contrasting the colors of cabinetry with one color of cabinets in your kitchen island and another color (typically lighter) in your perimeter cabinetry.  Again, I’d be happy to suggest what color and style would be appropriate in your price range.

Updating your kitchen with any of the above suggestions and trends will be sure to help you maximize the final sale price of your home.  I look forward to working with you to prioritize the costs of any remodel or update you plan to undertake with an eye toward maximizing the sale price of your home.

Contact me for more staging tips!

Easy Ways to Update Your Older Home

How updated your home is will be one of the factors I will use to help you calculate what the best price for your home will be.  This calculation is based on a comparison to other homes in your neighborhood (ie, the comparables), as well as what updates you have already done to your home.  If you’re living in an older home, there are some easy ways to update your home to get it ready for sale.

One such way to update your older home is to replace your shower stall glass, first in your master bathroom, then in your secondary bathroom(s).  Even if you can’t remodel the entire bathroom, you at least should remove and replace any frosted shower panels that exist in your bathrooms.  Next up is replacing any older toilets, especially those older than 15 years.  These older toilets aren’t as efficient as newer models, plus new toilets are much more visually appealing.

An easy, and necessary, update to older homes is to change out any brass (especially shiny) hardware on your doors and cabinets.  Shiny and gold-toned brass is extremely out-of-date and will age your home in comparison to more modern antique brass, brushed nickel or even chrome hardware.  I can advise you as to which of these will do best in your home’s price point for sale.  As a corollary, any ceiling fans and light fixtures that contain old or outdated metal should also be swapped out for more modern versions.  These quick changes will instantly update your home for today’s market.

If you are able to go a step further, consider replacing any old fluorescent lighting in your home with recessed can lights.  Any lighting that is in a “box” in your kitchen ceiling or bathroom, and encased in sheets of plastic is not something today’s buyer wants.  Replacing these lights with recessed can lights and/or more modern lighting fixtures is actually a pretty economical cost proposition, especially with the returns it will give you when you sell your home.   Finally, if you still have popcorn ceilings, get rid of them.  They are easy to remove by yourself if they were installed post-1970s.  If they were installed in the 1970s, have a professional test the ceiling for asbestos content as they’ll need to do the removal and repair.  Any potential buyer won’t want to deal with the hassle of this, so it’s up to you.

Whatever you choose to do with an eye toward updating your older home, the results will be sure to help you maximize the final sale price of your home.  I’m available to consult with you about which fixes to tackle to help you to get the price you’d like.

Contact me at 602-329-7782 for staging tips.  Click here to get a free home value estimate.

Pop With Paint!

Paint remains one of the least expensive, and easiest ways to instantly update your home’s interior (and exterior) when you’re getting your home ready to sell.  If your home’s interior hasn’t been painted within the past five years, or if your existing paint colors aren’t in a neutral color family, I definitely recommend painting your home before you put it on the market.  Two things to consider before you begin this easy, cost-effective makeover: color and finish.

Neutral Paint in room photoChoosing a neutral paint color is the way to go when readying your home for sale.  While accent walls in the Pantone color of the year, or that mirror latest interior design trends can be a fun decorative touch while living in and enjoying your home, these colors aren’t necessarily the best way to go when you are trying to appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers.   Some paint colors that are sure crowd-pleasers, and that are trend-proof, are Amazing Gray (Sherwin-Williams), Manchester Tan (Benjamin Moore), Birchwood (Dunn Edwards), and Warm Butterscotch (Dunn Edwards).   Two strong choices for trim (and cabinets) are Swiss Coffee (Dunn Edwards) and Creamy (Sherwin Williams).

If you are technologically-savvy, consider using one of the many free apps to help you explore paint colors for your home.  Dunn-Edwards “Insta Color” app is an easy (and fun!) way to bring up any of the paint color options offered by this popular brand, and it also suggests coordinating trim colors.  Sherwin-Williams has their own app, called ColorSnap Visualizer which also gives you the option to instantly browse all of the colors in their color library, to help you narrow down the paint color that will look best in your home.

Another thing to consider when updating your home for sale by painting the interior is to paint all of the rooms the same color.  This will create a clean, cohesive look, and will be a blank slate for potential buyers to later decorate or add accent colors if they should so choose.

Finally, choosing the correct type of finish of paint is as important as the color you choose.  The four basic types of paint finish are: flat, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss.  Flat paint is paint that has zero-reflective qualities, and is better suited for deep rich colors.  Because it’s not a washable finish, it’s better used in rooms such as an office or a master bedroom.  Ceilings can be painted in a flat finish.  Eggshell finish is a finish that is very washable, so it’s much better for rooms that see a lot of use, such as the dining room, the kitchen, a playroom, kids’ bedrooms and the laundry room.  A satin finish is also durable, and has a smooth, subtle shine and is also great for higher-traffic rooms.  Finally, semi-gloss is a higher sheen paint that is generally used in bathrooms and kitchens because this paint is very washable.  Semi-gloss paint is typically used for trim and baseboards, as well as cabinetry.  However, semi-gloss paint isn’t forgiving when it comes to flaws on the wall, so that’s something to keep in mind.

While the multitude of color and finishes when it comes to paint can seem overwhelming, the payoff when it comes to readying your home for sale is instantaneous.  I would love to assist you in choosing the appropriate paint color and finish that’s specific to your own home.