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Desert Living: Why Arizona is the “It” Place

Arizona livingIf you’re thinking about relocating to Arizona, you’re in for a treat. There are a lot of incredible reasons to love Arizona. So whether you’re a new resident or a local who’s lived here your whole life, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy about this great state. Though the long-time residents of Arizona have always known how wonderful it can really be, it’s beginning to be more and more popular with people looking to move somewhere with a great climate and plenty to see, do, and get involved in, too. Check out the list we’ve put together below to see what might draw you to Arizona, too.

The Desert Scenery

You can’t beat the kind of scenery going on in Arizona. This state is full of incredible vistas and amazing mountain ranges, desert colors and flora and fauna you’ll have to see to believe. Depending on where you live, you might even have a great view of the desert right outside your own window.

Plenty of Outdoor Experiences

Do you love getting out and exploring the great outdoors? How about biking, hiking, horseback riding, or playing outdoor sports all year round? With the great weather in Arizona, you can do all that and a lot more. Plus, there are so many incredible outdoor locations to explore that you’ll never run out of options.

Wine Country

Arizona has a great wine country, especially in the Sedona Valley region. There are tons of great wine tours you can join just about anywhere in the state, and most vineyards will gladly offer a tour as well.

Golf, Golf, Golf

Arizona is where it’s at when it comes to golfing. There are dozens of golf courses in any given part of Arizona, so no matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it. And if you live in a gated community you may even end up with a golf course as part of your home’s amenities, too!

Great Local Cuisine

Foodies are falling in love with Arizona because of the unique cultural dining experiences to be found throughout the state. Don’t be afraid to try all the variations of cactus you can find, including jelly, honey, and even margaritas made with cactus ingredients.

Get to the Grand Canyon

Last but not least, the Grand Canyon is in Arizona, and you can get there pretty easily from anywhere in the state. Visiting this site is a unique experience every time, so it’s worth it to get out and explore—especially if you’ve never gotten to before.

When you’re ready to find your new home in the Arizona desert, call me at 602-329-7762.

Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf

artificial turfSince Arizona is primarily composed of desert land, with very little rainfall, you may have considered installing artificial grass instead of real grass in your front or backyard. One of the biggest reasons to install artificial turf is the lack of maintenance. Gone will be the mornings of mowing, weeding and trimming your grass. Instead, you’ll only need to occasionally rake off some leaves and debris. Additionally, with artificial grass, you won’t have to pay for fertilizer, watering or seeding, so the ongoing maintenance costs of real grass will be nixed.  Another upside to artificial turf is its appearance.  Your lawns will always be green, verdant, and lush-looking.  The average life expectancy of artificial turf, depending on the product itself, is 15-25 years, so it likely will be something you won’t have to worry about with the entire time you live in your home.  Finally, there are many more options of artificial grass nowadays, with many more realistic artificial turf choices out there, instead of the plastic-looking turf of the past.

Some of the cons of artificial turf to consider are first, the cost.  Artificial grass averages around $7/square foot, so the initial expense can be considerable. This cost, of course, should be balanced against the maintenance and landscaping costs of real grass on an annual basis. Also, in Arizona at least, the temperature of artificial grass as opposed to real grass can be a real concern.  The surface temperature of artificial grass can exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes this surface a very real danger. Watering down the surface on hotter days can cool it down, but this may negate the fact that you’re trying to reduce water usage.

I’d be happy to discuss these pros and cons with you, especially with regard to listing or buying a home. 602-329-7762

Popular Architectural Styles in Arizona

Arizona is home to many building architectural styles which are influenced by the various cultures that populated Arizona many years ago.  Phoenix has some noteworthy popular building styles: from Native Indian inspired adobes, Mediterranean style to modern mid-centtury homes that are currently growing in popularity.

Following is an overview of some popular building styles you’ll find throughout the valley:

Spanish Colonial
Spanish Colonial Style or Santa Fe Style is very common is Arizona and typically has smaller windows, flat roofs, orange, reds and blue themed tiles and Saltillo tiles.  Many homes have arched doorways and natural wood beams throughout. People often choose wrought iron chandeliers and southwestern styled furnishings, rugs and decorations. The Santa Fe Style is a traditional Southwestern style owing to the warm climate of the region.

Mediterranean Style
Another popular architectural styles is the Mediterranean style homes. A Mediterranean style home is characterized by large, arched windows and ornate columns outdoors and realistic, warm color schemes and sand-textured walls.

Ranch Style
Long, L-shaped one-story buildings with inspiration from the Old West are the hallmarks of Ranch-style homes. A lot of the furniture in these homes are made of leather with the floors totally covered with carpet. While the fireplace may be made from piled bricks, it is easy to move from one end of the house to another due to the openness of the design.

Pueblo Revival Style
This style owes its roots to the homes of the Pueblo Indians during the 8th century. They grew in popularity in the early 20th century. The homes which are also called “Adobe-style” are characterized by the sloping roofs and earthy materials or adobe, which are used in building them.

Tudor Revival Style
Another popular architectural style is the Tudor Revival style. However, there are not so many in the urban regions of the area. These homes are a reference to the English royal architectural style of the Tudor families in the middle-ages. These homes are characterized by their high-pitched roofs and large chimneys.

Contemporary Style
Contemporary homes are increasing in popularity and you’ll find many newly constructed and remodeled homes throughout the valley.  Contemporary homes are characterized by open spaces, vaulted ceilings, large windows, untextured walls and minimalistic styled kitchen and bathrooms. Homes of this style are often built to be environmentally friendly, while also using some of the latest home technology to provide comfort. Common materials used in contemporary homes are flat panel wood, glass, steel and compliments mid-century styled furnishings and neutral colors.

What is your dream home?  Let me know!  Let’s find the type of home that meets your needs and lifestyle.

New Home Community in Peoria

New Home Community in Peoria

So I was out with these buyers last weekend and they started asking me about what new home communities are available in Peoria, AZ. (As opposed to Peoria IL or Peoria, CA) Funny because I had just visited a brand new subdivision just off Deer Valley Rd in 85383. It has 219 total lots, but is already 65% sold out. However I had snapped a few pictures while I was there.Peoria New Home

This community has homes from $365,000 up to $557,000 with the size range from 2,200 sqft up to the big dog 6 bedroom floorplans with 5,674sqft. They are all a minimum of 10,000sqft lots with RV gates and they are allowing RV parking (first community built in the last 15 years to allow RV parking in this area of Peoria).

Call me if you want a new home community tour, I’ve got about 6 communities we go through in a 2 hr period. 602-329-7782

Or if you’d like to look at others… Click here to see these and other New Homes in Peoria

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.