Dog Days at the Garden

Treat your four-legged family members to a morning stroll at the Desert Botanical Garden. You and your pup will have a tail-wagging good time exploring all the beauty and sniffs of the Garden.

Saturdays September 19th & 26th from 6am-9am. The Garden Shop welcomes dogs during your visit and the Patio Café will open at 8am. offering a light menu to enjoy.

-For the health and safety of guests and dogs, please remember the following:
-Please BYOB (bring your own bowl) to fill at Hydration Stations located at 5 points throughout the Garden.
-Please bring waste bags and clean up after your dog.
-Dogs must be on leash, licensed, and up-to-date on vaccinations.
-Owners must maintain control of their dogs at all times.
-Any dogs deemed to be aggressive to humans or other dogs will be asked to leave the Garden.
-Watch those noses and paws! Be alert to cactus pieces and other debris on the trails and do not allow dogs to wander off trail.
-Be aware of your dogs’ limits and monitor your pet for signs of heat stress.
-An indoor “cool-off” space is located in Webster Auditorium. You may also locate cooler areas under the shade of mature trees on several Garden trails.

5 Benefits of Homeownership

Owning a home is often referred to as the “American Dream.”  While there are many obvious benefits of owning a home, there are also some that are not so obvious.

1-Stable Monthly Payments

If you choose a fixed rate mortgage, then your monthly payments will remain mostly the same, which is one of the best benefits of owning a home. When renting a property, there is always the unknown if the monthly payments will increase each year when you renew your lease. Consistent monthly payments that come with owning a home can provide some peace of mind when it comes to creating a monthly budget. Of course, monthly payments can change when owning a home if property taxes or homeowners insurance change, but the amount of change in property taxes is typically a very small amount.

2-Opportunity to Build Equity

The longer that you own a home, the more you pay towards the principle balance of your mortagae.  As the balance of the mortgage lowers, and hopefully the value of the property increases, the larger the equity!

3-Cheaper Than Renting Overtime

Undoubtedly, there are many associated when buying a home, such as the down payment, appraisal fee, and homeowners insurance.  The upfront cost to buy a home is substantially more than just paying monthly rent to a landlord. Yet, over time, owning a home is cheaper than renting which is a great benefit. In Arizona, if you compare a rental property and the monthly mortgage of a comparable home, the cost of ownership is typically much less.

4-Owning a Home Provides Tax Advantages

Paying taxes is a necessary evil, but a great benefit of owning a home are the tax advantages that it provides.  Arguably the biggest tax advantage of owning a home is the option to deduct paid monthly interest from your tax returns. If you’re unsure how owning a home will impact your taxes, it’s recommended that you discuss it with your accountant so you fully understand how owning real estate will impact you come tax season.

5-Build Your Credit

There are many factors that impact a persons credit score, one of the most important being the length of credit history.  Since the length of a mortgage is typically 15 or 30 years, having a mortgage on your credit history is a great way to lengthen the average of your credit accounts.  In addition to improving the average length of credit accounts, each and every month that a mortgage is paid on-time it shows that you’re a responsible borrower which not only can improve a credit score but also improves the chance of approval for future credit accounts.

Owning a home is much more than just having a place to live. Give us a call when you’re ready to become a homeowner! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Featured Home in Desert Vista at Troon North

scottsdale home for sale

Absolutely gorgeous home with breathtaking mountain views and tons of on-trend features located in the quiet community of Desert Vista. Spacious open great room has oversized windows for tons of natural lighting and a huge wet bar with granite counters, fridge, and breakfast bar. Gourmet eat-in kitchen incorporates granite counters, island with breakfast bar, stainless appliances, 4 burner cooktop, and double wall ovens.

Other features include soaring high ceilings, 18in ceramic tile flooring, built-in speakers throughout. den with double door entry, gas living room fireplace, and 3 car garage. The master suite offers a charming gas fireplace, two walk-in closets, wood flooring, private patio exit, and a full bathroom with dual vanities, a makeup vanity, soaked tub, and snail walk-in shower.

Oversized backyard has stunning views of Troon and McDowell mountains, extended covered patio, view fence, above ground spa, pebble tech pool with boulder waterfall, and an upgraded irrigation system! This private lot is ideal for stargazing!

Call us today for your exclusive private showing! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Homebuying During Covid-19

With mortgage rates at all-time lows and an uncertain future due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, is now a good time to buy a home? It may feel contradictory to purchase a home at this time, however, for people who feel confident about their job security and finances, this might be the perfect time to buy.

Why Making the Move Now May Be Right for You

House hunting during the coronavirus can have its benefits. There may be less competition for the houses in the areas where you might be planning to move, and sellers may be more motivated to sell or more flexible on price. Once the crisis passes, there may be more house hunters back on the market and prices may escalate due to a more competitive market that benefits sellers rather than buyers, so taking a few steps forward now will put you ahead of the game.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

When you do find the home of your dreams, being preapproved for a mortgage proves to the seller you are serious. It’s possible to get preapproved online through some banks. Mortgage preapproval is a letter from a lender that indicates how much you are qualified to borrow from the lender, at a specific interest rate.

Use This Time to Research the Market

Despite the decrease in the number of newly-listed homes, there are still excellent options in property listings. This is a time to research the market and find your preferred property in a community you like. Take this time to expand your search to other surrounding neighborhoods that might have homes with excellent value for money, amenities, and facilities.

As you spend more time at home, it’s an opportunity to assess your current home and determine the level of functionality and comfort it offers you. That helps in knowing your priorities when searching and, consequently buying a home.

Virtual Home Viewing

Many real estate agents post virtual tours of properties for sale on their websites. When you take a virtual tour or attend a virtual open house, you can get a realistic view of the property. Then, with a click of the mouse, you can see all the details that are important to you. In addition, by touring homes virtually, you can see many more than would be possible in a single day with your real estate agent.

Prepare Your Home For Sale

While entertainment, sports, and other social events are canceled, take advantage of this while to prep your current home for the market. Preparation may include anything from mowing the lawn, exterior repairs, tidying the gutters, and decluttering the interior.

Start with a DIY approach to reduce expenses before calling the professionals. Do an online home improvement search to note the additional décor that can enhance the visual appeal of the home.

Do you have questions if now is the right time for you to buy? Call us today, we’d love to help answer all your questions and find your new home when the time is right for you! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Featured Home at Legend Trail in North Scottsdale

scottsdale home for sale
Absolutely gorgeous home with excellent curb appeal and tons of on-trend updates and features! Gourmet eat-in kitchen incorporates granite counters, custom cabinetry, travertine backsplash, stainless GE Monogram appliances, gas range with cooktop, custom hood, double ovens, built-in concealed fridge, and a center island. Great room area has a charming gas fireplace with stacked stone and surround sound speakers.

Other features include a custom front door, 18in travertine tile flooring, a bonus space with built-in bar, new AC unit, dry bar with wine fridge, a spacious den wired for media system, and a 3 car garage with water softener and central vac.

The master suite boasts double door entry, private patio exit, gas fireplace, walk-in closet, and a full bathroom with high-end granite counters, his and hers vanities, makeup vanity, antiqued cabinets, walk-in shower, and a jetted tub. The guest suite has a private door to exterior, walk-in shower, and an en-suite bathroom perfect for family and friends. Resort style backyard with a massive wrap around covered patio with cantera pavers, sparkling pool and spa, built-in BBQ with stacked stone bar, faux grass lawn, fireplace, and a wrought iron view fence!

This home has everything today’s market seeks. Call us today for your exclusive private showing! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Summer Home Maintenance

Summer is in full swing and now is good time to inspect your house to see how your it is doing in the summer heat. Here’s a quick list of 7 summer home maintenance tips and projects you can do to spruce up your home and keep everything running smoothly throughout the year:

Attic Inspections

Attics can be claustrophobia-inducing, but it’s a good idea to brave those tight confines at least once a year. You want to check your attic for any indication of pests or insects, water leakage, mold or mildew.

Rain Gutters

It’s easy for desert dwellers to forget about checking the rain gutters. Gutters can become clogged with dirt and grime, especially after a monsoon season so it’s a good idea to flush out your gutters with the hose at least once a year.

Washing Machine Maintenance

Your washing machine is one of those appliances that needs some light maintenance every now and then. When your washer is not in use, inspect the seal between the door opening and the drum for areas of soil buildup or any stains. If you find any, you can clean it with a mixture of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Wipe the area with the bleach-water solution and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then wipe dry with a clean cloth, and let it air dry. This will remove any odors and keep your clothes from getting stained by dirt deposits inside the seal.

Clean the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher

This home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily just a summer chore, but it’s important reminder to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can easily clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, you should add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash.

Wipe Down & Clean Baseboards

Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to weekly cleaning, but it’s something you will want to do at least once a year to keep dust and dirt from building up. A damp cloth and a little extra time is all you need to clean up the trim around your home.

Wash Exterior Windows

Summer is a good time of year to wash your windows from the outside. Simply fill a bucket with hot soapy water and get scrubbing. If you wash your windows more than once a year, you may be able to get away with just using Windex, but a bucket of soapy water and a sponge will usually deliver the best results.

Clean or Replace Window Screens

Washing your exterior windows won’t make much of a difference if you don’t also wash your window screens. Take off all your window screens to your house and gently scrub them with hot soapy water. If your window screens are too dirty to be cleaned, you may just want to replace them.

Phoenix Continues to Lead Nation in Population Growth

Phoenix continues to lead the nation in population growth as it attracts more new residents than any other city in the United States for the fourth year in a row, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. Census Bureau documented the population of Phoenix to have grown by 26,317 in 2019, increasing the total to an estimated 1,680,992.

Phoenix remains the nation’s 5th most populated city while its metro area has surpassed Boston’s in becoming the 10th most populated metro area in the U.S. Phoenix also led the nation in ten-year population growth with an increase of 234,301 residents since the 2010 census.

The U.S. Census Bureau also documented Buckeye in the west valley as being the second-fastest growing city in the U.S. when measured in terms of population percentage increase over the last 10 years. In July 2019, Buckeye’s population was estimated to be at 79,620, a 56.6% increase since 2010. Buckeye was also the only Arizona city to rank in the nation’s top 10 in terms of the fastest growth as a percentage.

phoenix

Local Farmers Markets – Spring 2020

vegetablesSome local farmers markets have chosen to temporarily close during the coronavirus, but several are still open! In order to help keep vendors and shoppers healthy, new shopping standards have been implemented:

-Only vendors can touch their own products.
-All products selected by vendors, bagged, and then handed to the customer.
-Shoppers may pay vendors with a credit card, inserted by the customer into the square mobile device, no signature.
-No onsite cooking. Prepared foods must be in covered containers ready to go for take out.

Open farmers market include:

-Carefree Farmers Market – Open Fridays
-Old Town Scottsdale – Open Saturdays
-Verrado Farmers Market – Open Sundays
-Roadrunner Farmers Market – Open Saturdays

Stay healthy during the coronavirus by purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables while supporting local businesses!

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

5 Types of Mortgages

coins and houseBefore you purchase a home, it’s important to educate yourself on the various types of mortgages you can get so you can make the right decision when the time comes to choose yours.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE A conventional mortgage is a home loan that’s not insured by the federal government. There are two types of conventional loans: conforming and non-conforming. Conforming loans are loans for amounts that fall within the maximum limits set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (government agencies that back most U.S. mortgages). Loans that do not meet these guidelines are considered non-conforming. Jumbo loans are the most common type of con-conforming loans.

JUMBO MORTGAGE Jumbo mortgages are conventional loans that have non-conforming loan limits. Your credit score generally must exceed 700 and you are required to make a larger down payment. However, it allows buyers to to borrow more money to purchase a more expensive home.

GOVERNMENT-INSURED MORTGAGE The U.S. Government is not a mortgage lender, but it plays a role in helping more Americans become homeowners. There are several types of government backed mortgages including Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans) , U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA loans), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA loans) and more. Government-insured loans are ideal for buyers who do not have funds for aa large down payment and can not qualify for a conventional loan.

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE The most popular mortgage is the fixed-rate mortgage. It is ideal for homeowners who expect to stay in their home for many years. With a fixed-rate mortgage the interest rate stays the same over the the life of the loan. Fixed-rate loans are typically available in terms of 15 years, 20 years or 30 years.

ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE This type of mortgage offers a lower interest rate and monthly payment at first, then slowly increases as time goes on. An adjustable-rate mortgage can be beneficial if you only plan to own the home for a few years.

Do you have more questions about the different types of mortgages? Give us a call, we would love to discuss the different types of mortgages of available. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477