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Local Events Things to Do

Get in the Wild West Spirit at the Country Dance!

The Western spirit will be alive on the evening of Thursday, April 7th! Put on your boots and head to the Fountain Hills Community Center, which is hosting its first-ever Country Dance! After a few setbacks earlier in the year, the event is finally happening!

Put on your boots and welcome Johnnie Long from San Antonio, Texas at our first Country Dance. The FH Line Dancers will also be performing. Bachelor’s Pad BBQ will have their food truck on-site for some dinner to eat on the patio or in the ballroom. Tea and lemonade will be provided free of charge.

Admission is FREE to Community Center members. There is a $5 fee, per adult, for non-members. Teens and kids are free if they are accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required for all participants. The doors will open at 4:00PM.

The Fountain Hills Country Dance is sponsored by the Sonoran Lifestyle Team at RE/MAX Sun Properties. For more information about how you can sign up for the Fountain Hills Community Center or buy your tickets for the Country Dance, click here.

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Uncategorized

April Concerts on the Avenue

April is the month of music in Fountain Hills! After beginning the month with the huge two-day party that is the Fountain Hills Music Fest at the Fountain Park, the nearby Avenue of the Fountains is home to the Concerts on the Avenue series for the three following Thursday evenings.

            Businesses on the Avenue typically stay open late to accommodate the crowds during the Concerts, which run from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on April 14th, 21st, and 28th. The Sonoran Lifestyle Team’s office is no exception to this, providing popcorn and drinks to guests and clients. The April evenings will be perfect for putting out a picnic blanket or some chairs and enjoying the music on the grass of the Avenue’s median.

Notably, two performances typically happen at a time. Solo performances take place on the west end of the Avenue between the Town Hall and Sami Fine Jewelry. Bands perform down at the fountain courtyard in the median next to Sofrita. The performers are listed below.

April 14th:

  • Solo: Dave Clark
  • Band: Copper State Blues Band

April 21st:

  • Solo: Brady Lillie
  • Band: Lucas Brown and the Nights Watch

April 28th:

  • Solo: Ritchie Fliegler
  • Band: Chuck Hall Band

Many of the musicians and groups performing in the April series have performed in previous series or at other local venues, so you’ll likely see some familiar faces. There will be representations from several genres of music, so there will be something for everybody to enjoy.

We are proud to be the sponsors of the Concerts on the Avenue yet again. The concerts are totally free to attend, as always, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there! To learn more about this April’s Concerts on the Avenue, head to fountainhillsaz.gov/749/Concerts-on-the-Avenue.

Categories
Home Management Real Estate

Smart Tax Refund Uses for Home Improvement

It’s fun to imagine all the possibilities for using your tax refund for a home improvement. With the average refund at about $3,000, there are some great opportunities for tackling a project. Some home improvements have the potential to increase your property value and others tend to increase your enjoyment of your home.

What if you could choose a project that allows you to do both at the same time? We’ve rounded up some ideas for you to consider before that tax refund arrives.

  1. Add attic insulation. The most obvious reason for adding insulation is lower heating and cooling bills, the largest utility bill most homeowners pay. It also keeps you more comfortable in your home since it reduces fluctuations in temperature. As a bonus, it also acts as a vapor retardant to keep your home safe from moisture damage.
  2. Replace inefficient appliances. Appliances make up about 13% of your household’s energy costs. Replacing older models for newer energy-efficient versions saves money every month.
    1. A new dishwasher uses almost half the water, is quieter, and cleans better.
    2. Your water heater consumes 14-25% of the appliance energy used in your home and recent advances have made them more efficient than ever. Consider a tankless water heater for water on demand and to save space.
    3. Refrigerators made after 2000 are 40-60% more efficient than older models. A freezer over the top is more efficient than a side-by-side.
    4. Replacing your washer with a front-loading model will use 50% less water and save 37% in energy consumption.
    5. Dryers have not changed much in terms of efficiency, meaning that hang-drying more clothes is the best way to save money.
  3. Replace the front door. Beyond the obvious reason that it adds to your home’s curb appeal, a new door can increase security, improve energy efficiency, and reduce maintenance. A door that has cracked and swelled over time eventually warps. A fiberglass door will insulate better than wood and be more durable in the long term.
  4. Install new countertops. If your kitchen counters are cracked, eroded, have stains or burn marks, it’s time to replace them. If you are thinking about selling your home, you can increase your home’s value by replacing old, outdated, and damaged countertops. See our article on choosing new countertops.
  5. Replace garage door. A new garage door does more than increase your curb appeal. It also provides better security. Many home invasions come through the garage door, but newer materials make them virtually indestructible. Overworked springs and damaged sensors create safety hazards and should be inspected by a reputable garage door company. Older garage doors with poor insulation can affect the inside temperature of your home, reducing its energy efficiency.
  6. Enhance landscaping. A comfortably landscaped yard tends to encourage more family time outside, which leads to health benefits for everyone. It also provides a better space for entertaining. Smart landscaping protects your property with proper drainage and eliminates runoff during storms. Planting native trees and plants provides a sustainable environment for local birds and wildlife. Building beauty that lasts through your landscaping design also helps increase the value of your home.
  7. Pool upgrades & repairs. A pool is the focal point of a backyard. New tiles and an acid wash can quickly give it a fresh look. To improve energy efficiency, upgrade from a single-speed pump to a variable-speed pump. It uses less energy and reduces the demand for chemicals. Improve safety by installing a pool alarm or motion-activated pool cameras and updating or upgrading the safety fence.
  8. Replace HVAC. Technology has changed in the last 10 years, which means if you have an old unit, it’s probably time for an upgrade. New units will be more energy efficient which means financial savings. If you are adding to your home, your old unit may not have what it takes to handle the new demand.
  9. Update bathroom. Like the kitchen, an updated bathroom can improve your home’s value significantly. Consider including new safety features, water-saving devices, and updated ventilation.
  10. Replace windows. In addition to energy efficiency, new window technology also blocks ups to 95% of UV rays that cause damage to your belongings. Better windows reduce noise from outside and provide protection from the weather. Water leaks lead to mold and air leaks lead to an increased utility bill. If everyone in your home cannot easily open and close windows, it results in a safety concern.

It can be fun to dream of all the fun things you can do with a tax refund, but these home improvements will improve the quality of living in your home while increasing its value at the same time.

Categories
Community Engagement Local Events Outdoor recreation Things to Do

Fountain Hills Music Fest: 4/1-4/2

The spring is full of huge events in Fountain Hills. The next big one in the lineup is the Fountain Hills Music Fest, beginning on April 1st!

Historically, the Fountain Hills Music Fest has been a single day of music, food, and fun on the first weekend of April. In celebration of returning from two years of hiatus, the 2022 Music Fest is going to take place over the course of two consecutive evenings: April 1st and 2nd!

From 4:00 – 9:30 PM this weekend, some of your favorite local musicians will be performing on stage all evening. From that tried and true 80’s pop-rock vibe to indie rock, this music festival has something for everyone! On Friday night, People Who Could Fly, TripWire, and Pearlagram will perform. Saturday night will feature the Chuck Hall Band, Roots of Mine, and Tyler Dial on the stage.

Bone Haus Brewing will host a beer garden that will go along with the dining options from several food trucks just right. Water and Ice will also be on-site serving up their delicious kettle corn and shaved ice!

These evenings will have the perfect weather to bring a picnic blanket or some chairs for the whole family to enjoy.

For more information about the 2022 Music Fest, go to fountainhillsaz.gov or see it on our Community Calendar!

Categories
Community Engagement Local Businesses Local Events Non-profit Organizations Things to Do

Meteors and Art Auctions at the Dark Sky Fest

This Saturday night, it’s time to look to the stars at the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Festival! As the main festivities of Fountain Hills Day end, Centennial Circle at the Fountain Hills Community Center will fill up with visitors for a celebration dedicated to showing our appreciation for the night sky in our Dark Sky Community!

Not only is admission free, but there will be food, wine, guest speakers, an art contest, an art auction, and guided laser tours of the skies. This year’s Dark Sky Festival also features a meteorite collection and a promotion for the Proposed “International Dark Sky Discovery Center.”

Special guests will include the Executive Director of Lowell Observatory, Jeffrey Hall, and Robert Alling from ASU’s School of Earth and Space. Enjoy the telescopes, activities, and other exhibits all around the Centennial Circle.

For more information, go to fhdarksky.com. March 26th will be a big day in Fountain Hills; be sure to mark your calendars!

Categories
Real Estate

8 Secrets to Successfully Sell Your Home

Whether you’re a first-time home seller or an experienced one, there are tricks that will help you get your home noticed and sold at the right price.

  1. Find the right agent. Your agent can make or break your sales process. You need an agent who is well-informed about the market, who constantly monitors the multiple listing service (MLS), and knows the comps of your neighborhood. She should be tech-savvy with many tools in her pocket.
  2. Choose the right price. A good agent will research to find what your home is worth. An over-priced home will sit on the market too long. A slightly underpriced home could bring in multiple bids, driving up the price above what you expected. A savvy agent will know how to price your home in the current market.
  3. Go easy on the upgrades. Fixing obvious issues throughout the house before selling always pays off. Repair broken fixtures, add a fresh coat of paint, fix leaky faucets, and clean the carpet and grout. Huge home improvement makeovers do not guarantee you’ll make your money back. Ask your agent what makes sense for your home.
  4. The kitchen, the kitchen, the kitchen. You’ve heard it’s all about location, location, location, but keep in mind that you are selling your kitchen more than you are selling your house. While it could cost a few thousand dollars to replace your countertops, a buyer may ask for $10,000 off the selling price if your kitchen looks outdated. The fastest and most inexpensive updates include painting a neutral color and new cabinet hardware.
  5. Depersonalize your home. The goal is to help potential buyers imagine themselves in your home. Remove one-third of your belongings to help the space breathe. Pack up your family photos, collections, and keepsakes. Ask your agent about using a home stager to help you maximize the use of your space and give your house the right feel for showings.
  6. Highlight storage. Every homebuyer is watching for storage options. Remove half of the items in your closets and drawers and organize the rest. Buyers will peek in those areas, so give them the impression that there is plenty of storage.
  7. Let the sunshine in. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites they want in a home. You can maximize your lighting by pulling drapes all the way open, cleaning the windows, and trimming shrubs or trees that darken the inside of the home. Optimize indoor lighting and add lights to gloomy corners. Be sure it has a bright and cheery feel.
  8. The first impression is the only impression. Buyers will judge your home before they walk through the front door, no matter how good the interior looks. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Add a small bench, a vase of fresh flowers, and even a plate of cookies in the entryway to welcome potential buyers. Remove your pets, their food dishes, and litterboxes before showings. Keep it in tip-top shape so you can be ready for showings at a moment’s notice. Keep dishes clean and put away and make sure the bathrooms are sparkling.

The Sonoran Lifestyle Team at RE/MAX Sun Properties can help you understand what will position your home to appeal to buyers. If you are thinking about selling, give us a call at 480-837-1331. We’ll help you understand the process and get you started on the right foot for getting your home sold.

Categories
Local Events

A Recap of 2022 Saint Patrick’s Day Festivities

Saint Patrick’s Day is always a big event in Fountain Hills. Most years, it’s a weeklong celebration, with the Irish Fountain Fest taking place the Saturday before Saint Patrick’s Day, with the world-famous fountain turning green both that Saturday and Saint Patrick’s Day proper.

This year, the Irish Fountain Fest took place on Saturday, March 12th. It was a huge celebration with thousands of people gathering for food, beer, games, and Celtic music.

As the premier sponsors of the event, the Sonoran Lifestyle Team had a set of three tents with frisbees, cornhole, water, a trivia contest, and a photo backdrop.

As the clock struck noon, the fountain turned green as always. There was a slight delay due to a breeze appearing out of nowhere, but soon enough the pillar of green water towered high into the sky.

The music was great, the food was amazing, and the weather was just about perfect for spending time outdoors. We had a great time reuniting with friends and clients from years past and meeting new people to enjoy the day with.

But for us, the festivities weren’t over yet.

On Thursday, March 17th, we opened up our office for our annual Irish Coffee tradition. Starting at 9 AM and leading up to the third greening of the Fountain at 12 PM, we served homemade Irish Coffee to whoever decided to come pay us a visit.

There, the winners of our Irish Trivia Quiz from the Irish Fountain Fest arrived to claim their prizes. This year’s winners were Larry and George, pictured below.

We’re so glad that we got to spend these two days with some awesome people at one of the biggest events of the year in Fountain Hills. We’ll see you next year to do it all over again!

Categories
Around Arizona Culture Outdoor recreation

Spring Training is On!

For 75 years now, Phoenix has been the main hub for Major League Baseball’s Spring Training. Spring Training “began” about at the beginning of March. Unfortunately, Spring Training was delayed, and ended up beginning on March 17th, two weeks later than originally anticipated. So, what is the Cactus League, and what caused its schedule to be delayed?

The Cactus League is like the MLB’s practice round, combined with tryouts for aspiring new team members. For baseball players around the country, the Cactus League is the final achievement before entering the Major League and is also an opportunity to meet and interact with seasoned MLB players.

Tens of thousands of fans also gather to watch these Cactus League matches every day, providing one of Arizona’s biggest annual tourism booms. In fact, according to the Cactus League website, “the 2018 Cactus League season generated an estimated economic impact of $644.2 million” for our state. This includes visits to Arizona’s many other attractions between games.

However, if you look up the Cactus League schedule as of today, you won’t see much. Things have been put on hold recently due to MLB labor contract agreements not being settled yet. This means that many peoples’ plans have already been interrupted over the past several days, and the original matchup schedule is no longer accurate. Apparently, on March 13th, the MLB came to a deal with its players, and the games finally began on March 17th!

Click here to check the Cactus League’s schedule page, and see the new Spring Training schedule.

Categories
Home Management Real Estate

What is a Buyer-Broker Agreement?

You have spent days sifting through homes on Zillow and have a good idea of where you want to live and are ready to make it happen. You know the only way you can get in to see the homes that interest you is to find an agent. You make the appointment.

You meet your buyer’s agent and share what your dream home entails and tell her about your real estate goals. But before you see the first house, she hands you a contract and a pen and asks you to sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement.

What is it? And more importantly, should you sign it?

THE BUYER-BROKER AGREEMENT

A Buyer-Broker Agreement (also called a Buyer’s Agency Agreement or Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement) ensures that the agent gets paid for their services. Real estate agents work on a commission basis and only make a commission when they help a client buy or sell a property. Signing this agreement means that you cannot just drop your agent and avoid paying the commission.

This agreement will contain several key duties of the agent, the rights of the buyer, how the commission will be handled, and how your relationship with the agent will work.

Before we answer the question of whether you should sign it, let us look at what a buyer’s agent does.

THE BUYER AGENT’S JOB

Buying a home is a complex process. A buyer’s agent sorts through listings and narrows them down to fit your needs. They arrange for private viewings, help you to compare your options, negotiate, then work from the moment you submit an offer until closing on all the minutiae of paperwork to ensure that every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted.

In addition, they have the knowledge and skills to help speed up the whole process, get straight answers, and help overcome any hurdles that come along. They help you through the contingencies to make sure you do not get taken advantage of and make sure the home is worth the offer you submit.

SHOULD YOU SIGN?

So, should you sign? Look at it this way…if you want someone to have your best interest in mind, who has the knowledge and skills to get you through the entire process as smoothly as possible, and who is committed to you as a fiduciary, then yes, you should sign it. And you should know that in today’s world, these agreements are more common than ever.

Keep this in mind. Real estate agents spend their own money taking you to see listings and, more importantly, spend their time working hard for you, even when you are not with them. And they do this while relying 100% on a commission. So, when they work with a buyer who changes their mind at the last minute, it hurts their bottom line.

As with any contract, be sure to read the terms of the Broker-Buyer Agreement before signing but rest assured that your agent will go out their way to represent your interests and do all they can to help you realize your real estate dreams.

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Local Businesses Local Events Non-profit Organizations Outdoor recreation Things to Do

Fountain Hills Day is 3/26!

This year, Fountain Hills Day is coming to the Avenue of the Fountains!

The past few years have seen Fountain Hills Day make many changes, and this year it will include not only local businesses, but also local clubs, organizations, hobbies, food, and much more.

This will be a family-friendly and FUN event that will feature a business expo, local food tastings, music, and activities for kids. There will be something for everyone.

Across the Avenue of the Fountain will be booths for businesses and other members of the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce, where they can show the public what makes their businesses unique, host giveaways, etc.

In addition to the business expo, Fountain Hills Day will feature fun children’s activities with some of Fountain Hills’ favorite organizations. There will be carnival games, a Ferris Wheel, a petting zoo, and much more!

RE/MAX Sun Properties is already headquartered on the Avenue of the Fountains, so, in addition to tents in front of our two Avenue offices, our doors will be open to clients and guests who want to catch up with their favorite agents!

Click here to learn more about Fountain Hills Day. Also, you can click here to see an interactive map of the Avenue!