Eating-In Instead of Out During the Coronavirus

restaurant table and chairsWhile all of our favorite restaurants may be closed for dine-in eating, most are still open for take-out! After chatting with friends and co-workers, we complied a list of everyone’s favorite local restaurants for take-out:

Hopdoddy Burger Bar
11055 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Hopdoddy Burger Bar is open for curbside pickup and delivery via Uber Eats (free delivery), Postmates, and DoorDash.

Joyride Taco House
Multiple Valley Locations
Joyride Taco House has shifted to a to-go operation, serving guests through curbside pickup and delivery. Order through UberEats for free delivery.

Breakfast Kitchen Bar
15147 North Scottsdale Road, Suite H133, Scottsdale
The Breakfast Kitchen Bar at Scottsdale Quarter is offering a carry-out menu of $8 breakfast items and $20 mimosa kits. Customers also get a free coffee with purchase of entrée.

Autumn Court Chinese Restaurant
Autumn Court Chinese Restaurant is offering its entire menu for takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Delivery is also available through Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats.3752 East Indian School Road

Casa Mia Cucina Italiana
11675 North 136th Street, #107, Scottsdale
Casa Mia Cucina is offering takeout and delivery directly from the restaurant off a limited menu.

Sapiens Paleo Kitchen
10411 East McDowell Mountain Ranch Road, #120, Scottsdale
Sapiens Paleo Kitchen is offering its full menu of French paleo cuisine for takeout and curbside pickup from 4 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Dinner packages and weekly meal preps are also available.

Unbaked Edible Cookie Dough & Ice Cream
3712 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 105, Scottsdale
Unbaked Edible Cookie Dough & Ice Cream is offering curbside pick up and delivery for everyone’s sweet tooth!

Do you have a favorite restaurant that should be added to our list? Let us know, we would love to try something new! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Grocery Shopping Safety Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

grocery shoppingOur daily routines have definitely over the past month, yet one thing hasn’t changed – our need to eat! Fortunately, grocery stores have been able to stay open, but many are wondering – is it safe to go grocery shopping when supplies are running low or should we opt for delivery?

If you’re planning on ordering your groceries for delivery:
Ask your delivery person to leave the groceries outside your door if contact-less delivery is available. Some services have sections where you can specify how you would like your groceries to be dropped off so, tell the delivery people to leave them outside. If you plan on giving the delivery person a tip, see if you can tip electronically instead of giving cash.

If you’re picking up ordered groceries:
The steps are basically the same for this option as for delivery. If you’ve ordered and are having someone put the groceries in your car in a parking lot, consider opening your car door yourself rather than having the person bringing the items to your car touch the handle. And if you can tip on a supermarket’s app, do so rather than giving cash.

If you’re planning on going to the store:
Try to go when it’s least crowded. Since the virus is mainly transmitted through close contact with other individuals, the key to social distancing is by avoiding large groups of people. Bring sanitizing wipes with you so you can clean any shopping carts or baskets you use and use hand sanitizer after going through the checkout. Many stores are offering special early hours designated for Seniors only.

During this time of social distancing, all of us will need to grocery shop at one time sooner or later. The key is to be smart about how we go about it so we can minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Is there something you need help? Give us a call, we would love to help out! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Gated VS Non-Gated Neighborhoods

gated communityLiving in a gated or non-gated neighborhood can be a tough decision for some people in the market for a new home. There are different opinions on both ends of the debate which are completely pro or against one or the other, but what are the real advantages and disadvantages to a a gated neighborhood?

Many people think that there are strong benefits to raising a family inside a gated neighborhood. Some who live in gated areas say they feel more secure or are not afraid to be home alone or leave their kids alone in the neighborhood. Often, people who live in the gated neighborhoods feel a sense of safety that they don’t think they would feel in a non-gated neighborhood. Another reason some homeowners prefer a gated neighborhood is the perceived added prestige.

No matter the reason for choosing to live in a gated neighborhood, the biggest question surrounding gated vs non-gated is safety. The major question that is asked of gated neighborhoods is “Do they really keep crime rates down?” The short answer is, not really. In most cities, some forms of crime such as car theft is reduced initially but the long term crime rates are only marginally better at best. The trend is that crimes against people tend to go down because “outsider” perpetrators initially prefer not to go into areas with which they are unfamiliar and it may be more difficult to escape. Typically, crimes such as burglary drop within the first year of a new gated community but then rise back to the same levels as non-gated neighborhoods.

Does living in a gated neighborhood give a false sense of security? This is what many people believe; gates are more of a marketing tool and fad than serving any true benefit or purpose. For example, in neighborhoods with unmanned gates, codes to get into the gates are given to many people who don’t live there but visit frequently. Often, friends who don’t live inside the gated neighborhood can become irritated with having to remember the code or contacting you for the digits each time they visit. “Outsiders” who get the code not only include friends but also food delivery persons or other individuals providing services to people living inside the gates. Think about all the contractors, landscapers, house cleaners, dog walkers, pest control providers, etc. who enter on a normal basis and consider the level of security coded gates truly provide.

Despite the statistics showing no significant decrease in crime in gated neighborhoods over time, the number of these communities continues to grow. While research shows that the “old school” neighborhood watch programs prove to reduce crime if properly run by the community, often these are forgone in a gated community due to the sense of security from the gates and walls alone. Whether living in a gated or non-gated neighborhood, homeowners should always rely on providing their own safety and security first. Locking doors and windows and keeping the garage shut are the most basic forms of safety and other home safety devices or home security alarm systems can always be installed for added measures.

At the end of the day, living in a gated or non-gated community really just comes down to personal preference. There are pros and cons to living in a gated community. The added security is debatable, but that hasn’t stopped them from being a popular choice for families across the country.

Call us to view homes for sale in gated and non-gated neighborhoods. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Back to School!

back to schoolSummer vacation was fun, but it’s time to get the kids back to school! Here are some tips for a fun first day back to school and tips for a successful school year.

1st Day of School Traditions

  • Hold a first day photo shoot. Keep the mood fun by suggesting silly faces or letting the family pet join in. Keeping the camera snapping after school and capture your child stepping off the school bus in the afternoon.
  • Bury a time capsule. Fill a box or jar with items that represent your child’s current hobbies and interests. Have your child make a list of their favorite movies, books, and bands and describe first-day fears, friends he or she can’t wait to see!.
  • See how they measures up. Using a growth chart (or the inside of a closet door), mark your child’s current height. Keep track year-by-year to show growth spurts.
  • Plan a bus stop breakfast! Invite all the neighborhood kids to get an early start the day before school begins. Fill a wagon with juice boxes, fruits and donuts. Brint it to the neighborhood bus stop at the usual pickup time as a “dress rehearsal” for the first day of school.
  • Tuck a love note into your child’s lunchbox to show you’re thinking of them. The first day can be nerve racking for everyone, so you may want to go for comfort food when dinner time comes and enjoy a cool dessert as summer vacation comes to an end.

Back to School Study Tips

  • A well-stocked desk in a quiet place at home is key, but sometimes you need variety. A trip to the library, park, or even just moving to the kitchen table will give kids a change of scenery which can prompt their brain to retain information better.
  • Remind your kids to look over their notes each night to make sure they have got all the information they need, then have them highlight the information that they know is the most important.
  • Don’t let a bad grade keep your kid down. A rough start doesn’t have to ruin the entire school year. Remind your kids to take proactive steps by checking their grades regularly and asking for a tutor if they need one.
  • Encourage your kids to make a friend in every class. Having a few friends in each class if always helpful if they have a homework question or had to miss class, then when it comes time to study for exams, they will already have a study group.
  • Keeping a calendar helps everyone plan ahead, but you’ve got more going on than just school so make sure you’re marking your extracurricular, work, and social commitments!

…and before you know it, summer vaction will be here again!

Easter Brunch

Easter Basket
With so many Easter brunches around the valley, how do you choose? Here are a few of our favorite local restaurants for brunch!

Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
6114 – North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Weft & Warp at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows will be going all out this Easter Sunday. From 11am to 3pm delight in an assortment of cheese and charcuterie, slow-roasted prime rib, pan-seared scallops, and so much more! Raspberry coconut eclairs will sugar-coat the entire experience, but go for a Lucky Charms tart to keep the meal festive. Bottomless mimosas are sure to get you buzzing at $25. An egg hunt will be held on property from 10 to 11am, including a special adult hunt with prizes. Brunch costs $75 for adults and $35 for children 7 to 12. Call 480-214-4622 for reservations.

Pomelo at the Orchard
7100 – North 12th Street, Phoenix

Enjoy Pomelo this Easter with an inspired brunch set at one of Arizona’s first citrus farms. Start with a crudite platter with hummus and grilled pita, then keep it fresh with the seared ahi tuna salad. Indulge in the short rib Benedict or breakfast pizza featuring fresh mozzarella, Schreiner’s sausage, breakfast potatoes, and over-medium eggs. Plus, you can rendezvous with rosé all day for $20. Brunch runs from 10am to 3 pm. Call 602-633-2600 for reservations.

Ocean Prime
5455 – East High Street, #115, Phoenix

Treat yourself to seafood and upscale vibes this Easter at Ocean Prime from 11am to 3pm. Easter brunch will be a la carte and feature lobster toast with a sunny-side egg, crab and eggs atop an English muffin with hollandaise sauce, and French toast with mixed berries and candied bacon. Start your meal with a blood orange mimosa for $9, or go all out with Ocean Prime’s signature Bloody Mary with jumbo shrimp for $18. Call 480-347-1313 for reservations.

Once you finish your Easter Egg hunt and you’re ready to begin your house hunt, give us a call! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Why Residents Love Fountain Hills

fountain hills backyard photoIf small town charm is what you’re looking for, Fountain Hills is the place to be! Fountain Hills is a beautiful, safe and quiet community, and is just a short drive away from Phoenix. Ask around, and residents will tell you there are plenty of reasons to love Fountain Hills! Here are just a few reasons you and your family should consider calling Fountain Hills home. 

Great Schools

Fountain Hills has a great school district, with outstanding academic and extracurricular programs. In Fact, according the school district’s website, Fountain Hills was ranked in the top 5% of U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best High Schools. 

Saguaro Lake

If your family loves the great outdoors, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful scenery and outdoor adventure in and around Fountain Hills. Saguaro Lake is just twenty minutes from town, and is a popular spot for boating, fishing, picnicking and so much more. You may even be lucky enough to see a bald eagle or desert mountain sheep!

Arts & Culture

With over 150 pieces, Fountain Hills is home to one the largest public collections of art in Arizona! The town offers docent-led, self-guided and private art walk tours. Experience all the beautiful artwork including statues, painting, murals and photography.

There are many more reasons to name… a lot of homes have gorgeous views of vistas and mountains.  It’s a serene and beautiful community with a small town feel that is within a short drive to Scottsdale’s finest shopping and dining.  Cheryl and I are local area real estate experts in Fountain Hills.  We can find you a home that fits you needs and lifestyle.  Just give us a call! 480.754.9477 or 480.754.9077

Click here to learn more about Fountain Hills and view homes for sale


Best Dog Friendly Activities in Scottsdale

Are you looking to bring your pup along on your Scottsdale adventures? Scottsdale is consistently ranked the most pet-friendly city in Arizona, and for good reason! With so many great trails and restaurants offerings a space for your pup, there’s no excuse not to bring your dog along. Here are some of our favorite places –

dog photoLost Dog Wash Trail 

This 4.4-mile loop is a great hike year-round to bring your pup. With several beautiful wild flowers and short, moderately trafficked trails that are great for you and your pup to explore. Featuring a natural desert landscape, it’s easily accessible from Scottsdale and offers parking at the trail head.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Among the antique carousel and historic railroad museum, McCormick-Stillman Railrod Park offers expensive grassy areas and great picnic areas for you and your furry friend. Make sure to keep your dog leashed, but enjoy the walks around the old railroad cars and exploring the grounds.

Su Vino Winery

Hoping to bring your dog along to your next winery trip? Su Vino is a great local pet-friendly option. You can enjoy your wine while your pup sips on bowls of dog water under a shaded patio. Located in downtown Scottsdale, it’s great for the urban pup that wants to come along with you.

Chaparral Park 

One of the biggest and most-visited dog parks in Scottsdale is Chaparral Park. With over four acres for your pup to run around in, it offers various water fountains, play features and seating for you. Feel free to bring a chair too! Chaparral Park also offers two sections for dogs to play in — one for more passive dogs that might be easily scared.

Gateway Trailhead

Perfect for both the pups and your children, Gateway Trailhead is a great opportunity for hiking and education. Children can get a passport along the way and collect stamps, while dogs can trot alongside via leash. With plenty of parking and an easy hike, it’s a great option for the whole family.

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History of Old Town Scottsdale

While Old Town Scottsdale is known today for its old-timey stores and historic art galleries, the history of the Old Town Scottsdale paints a picture of a Western pioneer town, and how far the city has come thus far.

Old Town Scottsdale Cowboy photo

Settled in the late 1880’s, Scottsdale was originally named Orangedale by one of it’s original founder’s, Albert G. Utley. Utley was the main city planner and laid out the streets in exacting fashion. Utley chose Orangedale because he thought the area was a great place to grow citrus.

However, next to Utley’s land, was Winfield Scott’s 64 acres where Old Town Scottsdale now sits. In 1888, Winfield Scott, who is the town’s namesake, purchased the original 640 aces where Old Scottsdale is housed for only $92, equaling $3.50 per acre.

Over the next 50 years, the town of Scottsdale continued to grow. In 1896, the public-school system was founded, with the first post office following shortly after. The area continued to attract artists and writers, with the town’s first resort opening in 1909. The popular Little Red Schoolhouse was built also in 1909 with two classrooms for grades one through eight. It now houses the town’s historical museum.

The town really began booming in 1950 when Motorola came into Scottsdale and built a new plant. They soon followed with another plant in 1956 and the city’s population continued to grow to 2,000. At this point, the city was incorporated and it’s first mayor, Malcom White, developed Scottsdale’s motto of “The West’s Most Western Town.”

Now, local icons like the Sugar Bowl, one of Old Town Scottsdale’s oldest attractions, offers visitors a blast from the past. It opened in 1958 on Christmas Eve and has been serving customer’s ice cream ever since. Other places like Porter’s Western Store still stand today, offering a history lesson for today’s patrons.

Next time you drive through Old Town Scottsdale, think about the history and culture that founded the town. From Western bars and two-room school houses, Old Town Scottsdale is a treasure trove of history right in our backyard.

Click here to learn about Scottsdale’s Homes and Neighborhoods.

Noteworthy Wineries around the Valley

wine glass photoMany of us enjoy to relax and unwind with a glass of wine and good company. You may not realize it, but Scottsdale is also a hub for wine, with the Senoita, Wilcox and Verde Valleys in our backyard. Dating back to the 1970’s, the areas local vineyards have made a name for themselves as a wine destination, with local tours offered throughout the year.

Check out these well-known Arizona vineyards for the best wine the state has to offer.

Granite Creek Vineyards

Nestled in the Chino Valley, Granite Creek Vineyards is family owned and operated, and was the first winery in Arizona to be certified as organic. This is a big accomplishment, as it required 100 percent of the grapes to come from an organically certified vineyard that is tested and audited. While the vineyard is a bit isolated, it’s location and weather is perfect for producing grapes.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards

Started in 2007, Arizona Stronghold Vineyard has helped put Arizona wines on the map, winning numerous awards and recognition at tasting competitions. The vineyard, located in Graham County, boasts several wines on a seasonal basis, with their tasting room offering a quirky but fun environment.

Charron Vineyards and Winery

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Tucson, Charron Vineyards is a bit more of a drive, but is a great option for a weekend getaway. Situated in the foothills of the Stan Rita Mountains, it offers some of the oldest vines in Arizona. It’s most known for its White Merlot, which has sold out every year since it won the 2000 Governor’s Choice Award.

Windmill Winery

Built on the foundation of an old brickyard, Windmill Winery is a gorgeous nursery, turned vineyard. Founded in 2001, the quaint winery offers a shabby chic feel with a handful of wines for visitors to try in their local tasting room. And it’s just over an hour away from Scottsdale!

Su Vino Winery

While not an actual vineyard, Su Vino Winery is one of the most well-known tasting rooms, located in Scottsdale’s Arts District. The main Su Vino Winery is in Texas, but the Scottsdale location is its second storefront. With dozens of wines by the glass, including some on tap, Su Vino is a great local option if you’re not in the mood to drive to the winery.

There are many more wonderful wine bars in the valley including the Cave Creek and Carefree area. Many offer happy hour and other weekday specials.  Click here to learn about Scottsdale Homes & Neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Fountain Hills

Located just Northeast of Scottsdale, the community of Fountain Hills is a unique and interesting town that offers outdoor recreation, a thriving art community and dozens of local events that unit the residents.

Home of the fourth largest fountain in the world, Fountain Hills features a spectacular 560-foot fountain in the center of town. Serving as the focal point for the community, it’s a point of pride for residents. Taller than the Washington monument and the Great Pyramids, the fountain was built in 1970 and sprays for 15 minutes every hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Fountain Hills downtown photoThe thriving downtown area offers family-friendly entertainment, while catering to an art-cantered adult community. The downtown area offers a sprinkler splash pad for children to run through during the hot summer months, and a robust Farmer’s Market and Art Walk. The Fountain Hills artist’s gallery is owned and operated by 30 local artists that create and sell their work in the heart of the Fountain Hills. If you’re looking for a history of Fountain Hills, stop by the River of Time museum that offers historical background on the area.

Fountain Hills also offers over 50 miles of biking and hiking trails, including outdoor Jeep tours, kayaking, golf courses for outdoor activity year-round. Notable hiking trails including the Tonto National Forrest, McDowell Mountain Preserve, and Saguaro Lake – located 20 minutes away from Fountain Hills.

And you can’t forget the annual fairs! The Fountain Hills Great Fair takes place every February, bringing over 500 artisans and craftsman to the small community with free admission. It also includes musicians and restaurants from all over the world.

If you’re looking for a lively option, don’t forget about Fort McDowell Casino, offering a variety of dining and cocktail options, all surrounded by the environment of fun card games and slot machines. It’s the state’s largest card room! The casino also offers live music and shows on a weekly basis.

Located just 25 minutes from the airport, Fountain Hills is a great option for those wanting a more serene living option that gives the convenience of being close to Phoenix. Surrounded with expansive mountain views and natural desert landscape, Fountain Hills offers family-friendly fun with a unique artist community and thriving downtown environment, all within a short drive to the bustling city of Phoenix.

Click here to learn more about Fountain Hills and view homes for sale.