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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

Best of Zillow

I’m so excited to share that I have achieved the Best of Zillow status! It’s the highest mark of distinction they award. The Best of Zillow badge is awarded to realtors who are among the top 10% of all Zillow Premier Agents. These ratings come directly from customer, so I want to say “thank you” to all my customers who have rated me 5-Stars!

Best of Zillow

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.

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

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.