Why You Should Incorporate Indoor Plants Into Your Decor

The benefits of indoor plants are numerous.  They purify our indoor air, thanks to the process of photosynthesis, whereby they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.  As part of this photosynthesis process, plants also release moisture vapor, thereby increasing the humidity of a room.  This increased humidity is a boon for those with respiratory issues such as allergies, sore throats and dry coughs.  Plants also remove air-borne toxins from the air, including up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCS) every 24 hours, according to research by NASA.  For these air purification results, consider using up to 15-18 plants in 6 to 8-inch diameter pots for a house of average size (1,800 square feet).  The goal is one larger-size plant every 100-square feet or two smaller plants (in 4 to 5 inch pots).

Now, which plants should you incorporate into your home décor?  Given that many people claim to not have a green thumb, here are some plants that are considered to be pretty indestructible, as they don’t require a lot of care and maintenance.  The Corn Plant is a beautiful specimen that thrives in low-light areas, and are perfect for the corners of a room.  They can grow up to six feet tall, so they are perfect for adding height and dimension to any room.

Another easy-care plant is the Pothos.  This plant works best sitting on a taller ledge or shelf as they feature trailing vines.  When the vines get too long for your liking, just trim them and put the clippings in a glass of water to root for future repotting.  The Maranta (or Prayer Plant) is a beautiful plant with bold patterns interspersed with red leaves.  This plant does best in a pot on a lower table.

The Jade plant is a succulent that is right on trend this year, with succulent plants being all of the rage in design quarters.  This plant is very fast-growing and hardy.  The Snake Plant is one of the easiest, low-maintenance plants as it doesn’t require replanting from its original pot.  Just place in a decorative basket or pot (after lining it to capture water), and you’re ready to enjoy this plant that will add drama to any room.

Chris & Cheryl Park, REALTORS® – Scottsdale and surrounding areas experts.

The Importance of Landscape Design

Your home’s curb appeal is the initial advertisement of the home for potential buyers.  After viewing your home on the Internet, potential buyers will then drive by your home.  Implementing a landscape design that will work with the style of your home, the climate and your existing lawn maintenance system is critical to your home-selling success.

curb appeal photoTaking a few simple steps to update and maintain your home’s exterior will invite potential home buyers to come closer to check out all that your home has to offer.  First, take a closer look at your front yard’s landscaping.  Nothing says deferred maintenance like a desert landscape riddled with weeds and overgrown trees.  Pruning and trimming all trees and shrubs will allow potential buyers to actually see your home, and will also demonstrate that the current homeowners care about their property, which is a good sign.   Placing fresh flowers or desert plants in pots near your walkway or front door is also another quick and inexpensive step to freshen up your home’s exterior and landscape.

If you live in a neighborhood where the HOA dictates your landscaping, be sure to take a look at those requirements before listing your home for sale.  For example, DC Ranch requires a certain number and types of plants, trees and bushes.  If any of those die and aren’t replaced, the sale of your home will be held up until they are replanted.  If you don’t have an HOA that requires this to be done, then be sure the plants, trees and bushes are all in good health and are connected to a working drip system or sprinkler system.  These systems will be examined during any home inspection so it’s important that they are in good working order before you list your home for sale.

As your realtors, we can give you more specific advice unique to your home and situation to help you maximize your home’s potential in these areas.  Contact Us!

Save Money With These Home Energy Conservation Tips

Whether you are listing your home for sale, or seeking to update your current home, environmentally friendly features are updates that will only increase the value of your home.  One simple step to go green is to replace your older appliances with energy-efficient versions.  Appliances with the Energy Star certification are 10-50% more efficient, on average, than traditional appliances.  Energy Star refrigerators, for example, use 40% less energy than refrigerators produced in 2001, for example. And, while you are updating these appliances, make sure they are stainless steel (silver, black or slate are all on trend and will stay on trend for years to come).  Motion sensor light switches in all bathrooms and closets are another easy way to update your home while increasing both the value and the efficient use of energy.

Another quick way to go green is to install a digital thermostat.  These new thermostats are programmable, have no moving parts (thus need no repair), and they increase the efficiency of the energy used to heat and cool your home, which is better for the environment, and your wallet. Water is another area in which conservation is key.  Low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets are all easy ways to reduce the amount of water used in everyday life.  Drinking water is another area where a small investment can pay big dividends for the environment.   Water filtration systems such as reverse-osmosis will eliminate reliance on wasteful plastic bottles and containers, and will reduce one’s carbon footprint.  These systems will also be touted as an upgrade if you do decide to put your home on the market.

Finally, whether you are painting your home to prep it for sale, or freshening up the paint in your current residence, low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint is an easy way to reduce the toxicity of your environment.  The EPA has determined that inside air is 3-5 times more toxic than outdoor air, thanks to the toxic compounds in paint and finishes in your home.  Low or no VOC paint is also beneficial for health reasons, and people with allergies or sensitivities to chemicals will also appreciate these paints.

The real estate market is hot this spring!  Are you considering selling your home? Get started with this free HOME VALUE ESTIMATE.

Why HOAs Are a Good Thing

Homeowners’ Associations, or HOAs, don’t necessarily have the best reputations nowadays.  From the overzealous curb appeal checks (leaving your trash can out a minute too long is a no no!) to the fines for fading paint on your home’s façade, it can certainly be argued that HOAs aren’t every homeowner’s cup of tea.  However, there are some very solid arguments regarding the benefit of these HOAs.

First, depending on the neighborhood of course, HOAs often fund and maintain the community amenities.  Whether your community features gated access or roving security, or community pools and clubhouses, or even pocket parks and sport courts, these amenities are supported and maintained via HOA fees.  The hassle of these fees is often outweighed by the benefits and your enjoyment of these amenities.

Second, HOAs establish and enforce the regulations that ultimately protect the value of your property and home.  Without these regulations, it can be argued that homeowners would not be incentivized to maintain the exterior of their homes, or their landscaping.  Your neighbor cannot do anything to his or her home that would adversely impact the value of your own home, without the threat of and imposition of hefty fines.  Simply taking a drive through a neighbourhood without an HOA, which likely features a few run-down homes, is proof of this argument.

Finally, HOAs often maintain and instil a sense of community.  HOAs can be used to resolve disputes between neighbours without having to involve the local police department.  Many HOAs will organize community events such as carnivals and potlucks.  Other HOAs spearhead neighbourhood watch groups, which help boost neighbourhood security.


Grayhawk Raptor Retreat Open House Saturday 4/8/17 from 1-4 pm in North Scottsdale

We will be holding an Open House this weekend on Saturday 4/8/17 from 1-4 pm in North Scottsdale’s Grayhawk Raptor Retreat neighborhood at 8156 E Windwood Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. Call us at 480-754-9477 or 480-754-9077 if you would like more information. This home has been completely updated. We hope to see you there.

Also, if you would like to see homes in other Scottsdale neighborhoods such as Grayhawk, McDowell Mountain Ranch, DC Ranch, Gainey Ranch, McCormick Ranch, Desert Mountain, Troon, Sonoran Hills, Desert Ridge, Terravita, etc, please let us know. We can send you listings for homes in your area of interest, preview homes for you and schedule showings for you to see any homes that you would like to see.