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Home Management Local Businesses

Painting Your House with CertaPro Painters

Summer is the perfect time of year for big home improvement projects. Painting your house, inside or out, can be one of the biggest of these endeavors. This summer, we recommend CertaPro Painters for any of your painting needs.

CertaPro of Mesa and Tempe is our first choice when we need painting done at our properties. They offer free Color Choice consultations to get you started and warranty all their projects.

CertaPro specializes in interior painting for walls, cabinets, stairs, and anything else you need. If your cabinets need to be painted into the 21st century, CertaPro has you covered.

CertaPro can handle the outside of your home as well, no problem. If you’re planning on selling your home any time soon and you know your house needs a fresh coat of paint, now’s the time to get started.

CertaPro Painters of Mesa/Tempe is currently offering $200 off for any project over $2,000, find the coupon by clicking here. For more information about the services CertaPro has to offer, click here.

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Real Estate

13600 N Fountain Hills Blvd. #104

One of our newest listings is in the La Strada community on Fountain Hills Boulevard. Watch the quick video above to get an inside look at this beautiful condo!

Open House:

  • Friday 6/24: 1PM – 4PM
  • Saturday 6/25: 11AM – 2PM
  • Sunday 6/26: 10AM – 3PM

Be sure to subscribe to the RE/MAX Sun Properties YouTube Channel for more videos on local listings, events, and companies!

Categories
Home Management Real Estate

Preparing for a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an important and required part of the home selling process. A pre-inspection can give home buyers more confidence in making an offer and can keep you from being blindsided by a major problem further down the road. You can expect inspectors to examine appliances, systems, and structural features.

There are simple things you can do to make sure the inspection process is smooth:

  1. Take your pets with you or put them in a crate. Loose pets can make an inspector’s job difficult or uncomfortable and can create stress for your pet.
  2. Clean your home. A basic, but thorough, cleaning makes it easier and more pleasant for the inspector to examine all the areas he needs to reach. This includes dusting, cleaning the floors, wiping down every surface, taking care of dirty dishes, and tidying up your belongings.
  3. Clear the way to the water heater and A/C systems. These are two areas that require a detailed inspection and need a cleared path.
  4. Prepare access to attic and crawl spaces. Sometimes these access points are in closets or areas that require a ladder. Be sure to remove items that would make it difficult for the inspector to reach.
  5. Move boxes away from garage walls. This might be a big task, but it’s of great importance for the inspection.
  6. Light bulb check. Turn on all lights and replace burned-out bulbs to save the inspector time and prevent him from passing over issues that are actually pertinent.
  7. Leave keys and remotes for garages, storage structures, electrical boxes, gates, ceiling fans, etc. Clearly label the keys since the inspector must examine all these areas, too.
  8. Clear debris & overgrown vegetation away from the foundation. The foundation is a critical part of the inspection. Clearing the area around it makes it easily visible and accessible for a smoother inspection process.
  9. Map out well and septic tank. A simple map of the locations of your well and septic tank is needed to assess the conditions around those areas.
  10. Make sure utilities are on. If you are not living in the home, make sure all utilities are on. The inspection cannot take place without power, water, gas, etc. being on.
  11. Turn on the pilot lights. To inspect gas-powered furnaces, water heaters, and appliances, pilot lights need to already be on.
  12. Handle water stains on walls and ceilings appropriately. If the source of the problem has been addressed, repaint the area with a primer coat, but you must disclose the incident.

Taking care of these things in advance not only leaves a good impression, but will also help the inspection process to be less stressful for both you and the home inspector.

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Outdoor recreation Things to Do

Independence Day in Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation are both known for their fantastic fireworks shows to commemorate the Fourth of July. While the shows will go on as usual, this year’s schedule is a little bit different than other years.

What is usually dubbed “Fourth at the Fountain” is going to be “First of the Fountain” this year due to supply chain issues. Nevertheless, First at the Fountain is slated to be a fireworks show just as amazing as any other year’s, with live music by the Rock Lobster Band starting at 7:30 PM bringing the town together leading up to the famous fireworks show at 9:00 PM. As usual, the show will take place right in the middle of the Fountain Park.

Fort McDowell’s WeKoPa resort is also known for its grand fireworks displays during the days leading up to the Fourth of July. This year, the show will be “One of These Nights: The Ultimate Eagles Tribute.” With a live performance paying homage to the Eagles at 7:00 PM, leading to an amazing firework show beginning at 9:00 PM.

If you’re going to be in town the weekend of Independence Day, you’re in for a treat with both of these awesome tributes to the independence of the United States of America.

Categories
Culture Desert Plants and Wildlife Outdoor recreation Yard and Garden

Edible Plants in the Sonoran Desert

Most of us don’t pay much attention to the edibility of the many plants in our backyards. Most people just see spiky plants and assume that they’re poisonous or otherwise inedible, beautiful scenery only to be admired. In reality, the desert is full of fruits, beans, and other edible materials that you can find right in your own backyard.

Palo Verde Beans

Palo Verde beans are at their best when they look like this.

Palo Verdes are some of the most common trees in the Sonoran Desert, and they are actually in the legume family. The bean pods, which are currently falling off the trees in droves as of late June, are currently just past their prime. They are best eaten when still soft and green. If you harvest them while they are still in their most easily-edible condition, usually around April or early May, they taste quite similar to snap peas.

Prickly Pear

This prickly pear was prepared by putting a lighter to its thorns and then splitting it in half with a knife, scooping out the contents with a spoon.

Prickly Pears are some of the most famous edible plants in the Sonoran Desert. Prickly Pear pads can be de-thorned and cooked, turning them into “nopales,” a signature ingredient in many Mexican foods. The fruits of the prickly pear, after being carefully picked with tongs and de-thorned either with flames or towels (or both), can be eaten, juiced, or made into syrups. Often foods made of/with prickly pear fruit are served at restaurants as one of Arizona’s classic endemic flavors.

Wolfberries/Goji

Desert Hackberries (pictured) taste good and are filled with antioxidants.

If you’re ever out hiking and you see large bushes with red or yellow berries on them, you’re most likely looking at hackberries, wolfberries, or goji berries. Before eating random berries in the wilderness, be sure to do what you can to ensure that what you’re looking at is one of these three edible options and not something poisonous. Once you’re sure, you can pick these berries and eat them with no special preparation. They are in the same family as tomatoes and tomatillos (which also grow out here if you know where to look), so you’ll taste something reminiscent of tomato when you try these native berries.

Ocotillo Flowers and Leaves

These ocotillo flowers are edible and taste super sweet.

Ocotillos, contrary to popular belief, are not cacti, but rather drought-deciduous bushes endemic to the American southwest and Mexico. After significant rains, ocotillos often become covered in small leaves, which taste like spinach when consumed. Every spring, ocotillos bloom brilliantly with bright red flower stalks at the top of each branch. These flowers can also be harvested, and taste quite sweet.

Saguaro Fruit

Saguaro fruits are traditionally picked with one of these long sticks.

Saguaros are one of the most popular symbols of Arizona. Their fruits are quite delicious as well, and they usually become ripe over the course of June. It’s illegal to harvest saguaro fruits out in the wilderness, so be sure to stick to saguaros on your own property or on another property where you have been given permission to harvest.

Barrel Cactus Fruit

Barrel fruits last a long time on the cactus before they begin to decompose.

The Compass Barrel is another of the most common cacti in the Sonoran Desert. They produce bright yellow fruits that are ripe by June most years. These fruits are edible, but most people claim that they don’t actually taste very good. This might be something worth trying, but maybe only consider adding it to your diet in a survival situation.

Cholla

These are the young buds of a Buckhorn cholla.

This one surprises a lot of people. Most people look at cholla as the most painful of the cacti, the ones to stay away from at all costs. However, if you can successfully collect some young pieces of cholla (especially ones with flower buds), you can boil them and scrub them with a toothbrush and steel wool until the spikes fall out.

After it’s cooked and the spines are all gone, the meat of the cholla cactus is similar in taste to the nopales of the prickly pear. Most people only try to consume the buckhorn cholla, as its thorns are the easiest to remove during this process and it is the least likely of the cholla varieties to cause digestion problems. This is another option that might be best left for survival situations.

These are just a few of the many plants of the Sonoran Desert that are edible. For a few more items on the menu, check out this article from Phoenix.org.

Categories
Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate

Shedding Light on Homeowner Myths

Whether you’re just buying your first home or have been in the game for decades, there are many common misconceptions people have about life as a homeowner. Below we have several thoughts people often believe to be true before learning the hard way.

“A lifetime warranty means you’re covered for life.”

The term “lifetime warranty” rarely ever means “lifetime”. It’s a bad choice of words that confuses some homeowners. While the definition varies from company to company, it’s important that you do your research and get all the details before signing up.

“DIY projects don’t require permits.”

You may never see your favorite HGTV stars applying for a permit before tearing into a fixer-upper, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t get one. Small projects don’t require a permit, but many larger ones do. It’s important to contact your local Development Services to find out what kind of permit you need for your project.

“When the pipes clog, pour in a bottle of drain cleaner.”

Chemical drain cleaners seem like a quick and convenient fix for a clogged pipe, but they usually cause more damage than the problems you are seeking to fix. The chemicals often wear away the insides of the pipes, causing leaks. A $15 investment in a manually-operated snake from the local hardware store is a much better solution. Preventive measures can go a long way, such as installing screens to keep food scraps and hair out of the pipes, and never putting anything but toilet paper and sewage down the toilet.

“If my water main springs a leak, the water company will cover it.”

Think again! The city is responsible for the water lines from the road to the edge of your property. All pipes within the perimeter of your property are your responsibility. A leak that is not addressed immediately can run up your water bill by thousands of dollars. The biggest culprit is tree roots getting into older pipes. Special water pipe insurance is a waste of money and only covers fresh-water pipes. Instead, rely on yourself by creating a home maintenance account.

“My neighbor’s tree fell in my yard, so they’ll pay for it.”

This may or may not be true. The first thing you should do in this situation is to call your insurance company to see if you are covered. If not, you’ll want to have that tough and potentially awkward conversation with your neighbor to see if their insurance covers it. If your tree falls in your neighbor’s yard, do not offer money for the removal or repairs until you’ve contacted your insurance company. Trimming and maintaining your trees will prove your diligence.

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About Fountain Hills Things to Do

Father’s Day Feasts in Fountain Hills

Father’s Day is this Sunday! Here are a few local restaurants to take your dad to this weekend to celebrate.

Bone Haus Brewing

Bone Haus Brewing is a local Fountain Hills brewery located at 14825 E Shea Blvd, known for its live music, daily food trucks, excellent beers, and baroque atmosphere. This Sunday, you’ll find the Pizzart Food Truck and a live performance by I Am Hologram.

Batchelor’s BBQ

Batchelor’s is one of the newest restaurants in town, and, as a southern barbecue grill, it’s the perfect place to go on a day like Father’s Day! Experience their amazing homemade sauces and their fresh barbecue meats. Batchelor’s is located at 13407 N La Montana Dr.

Parkview Tap House

Tap House describes itself as the “unpretentious American Bar and Grill.” Located at 16828 E Parkview Avenue, it is a great place to sit down for a burger, fries, and a beer. Most evenings live music fills either the dining room or the bar room. The dining room has a relaxed, western vibe, while the newly-remodeled bar has billiards, a wall of liquor, and everything you need to have a classic bar experience.

Categories
About Fountain Hills Around Arizona Desert Plants and Wildlife Outdoor recreation Things to Do

Monsoon Season Begins!

The temperature is high, the winds are getting stronger in the afternoons, and the thunderhead clouds are building up in the north.

If you’re familiar with our weather patterns, you’ll know these are some of the early signs of monsoon season, perhaps the most interesting time of the year when it comes to meteorological phenomena.

The National Weather Service declares that June 15th is the “official” start date for the monsoon season, and it runs through September 30th. These dates are the average, but there are other ways to tell when the season has begun.

Map of “Precipitable Water” compared to air pressure in 2021. Higher millibars (mb) signify lower air pressure, which also contributes to stronger storms.

Dew Point

Scientifically speaking, the monsoon has begun when three consecutive days pass in June during which the Dew Point at night exceeds 55 degrees. That means that water vapor reaches its saturation point, turning to cloud at air temperatures of 55 and below.

Cicadas

Another way to tell when the season has begun is to listen for cicadas. Cicadas begin their chirping during the hottest, driest weeks of the year. These weeks just happen to often coincide with the dew point exceeding 55 degrees. Once you hear cicadas outside for several days in a row, you’ll know it’s only a matter of time before the first storms begin.

While the season may begin halfway into June, June is still the driest month of the year in the valley. Typically, the first raindrops of the season won’t hit the ground until the first week of July.

If a monsoon storm brings in enough moisture, the clouds can descend and even cover parts of the McDowells in the mornings. This happened a few times in the 2021 monsoon season.

This was the case in 2021, which turned out to be a record-breaking monsoon season in many parts of Arizona. Check out Weather.gov’s 2021 Monsoon Review for more details on what made last year’s season special.

The NWS explains its prediction of an above-average monsoon season in this short video.

The National Weather Service is predicting another above-average storm season for the summer of 2022, so stay tuned for some of the best shows of nature that Arizona has to offer!

Categories
Home Management

DIY Home Improvement Myths

Who doesn’t love watching hours of HGTV and dreaming about that home improvement project you could DIY? How hard could it be to give your master bath a walk-in shower in one weekend like the celebrity DIYers do?

Before you pick up the sledgehammer and drop hundreds of dollars on materials, let’s debunk some popular DIY myths first.

DIY Home Improvement Shows are Great Tutorials

Remember that the people doing the actual renovations on these shows are professionals, or they hire professionals to do what they cannot. Step back from your project and give it a strong dose of reality so that you can give it the respect and expertise it deserves. Be honest about your experience level and you just might save yourself tremendous stress and costs.

If you are in doubt at any time, get help from a professional. One resource some DIYers find helpful is “The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling” by Charlie Wing.

I’ll Save Money by Doing It Myself

The most obvious truth about this is that you’ll save money on labor. But often that’s where the savings end. Most contractors get a discount for materials that are not available to the DIYer. It’s not unusual for homeowners to run into unexpected obstacles due to a lack of experience and expertise that end up increasing the cost of the project. And let’s not forget about the screw-ups that must be fixed along the way. It’s not unusual for some projects to cost as much as they would have cost if you had hired a professional from the get-go.

I’ll Save Time by Buying Materials Online

When purchasing materials online, you are not able to test the quality of the products or know that the color you see on your computer screen is the actual color. Being able to see and touch the actual materials will often help you make the best decision for your project and save you the time and hassle of returning items that do not fit the bill.

Mistakes and Flaws Can be Covered with Paint

No amount of paint can hide crooked cabinets, poorly mitered baseboard corners, and poorly-built decks. If you can’t get it right, get help. And never cover up damage from termites or mold by slapping on a layer of paint!

All Home Improvements Increase Value

This could be true if you’re talking about a leaky roof, outdated countertops, or dilapidated carpet. But converting your entire garage into a personal gym may be viewed as a deterrent to potential buyers should you decide to sell.

Categories
Home Management

Prepare Your Roof for the Summer With Five Guys

As we head toward the monsoon season, it’s important to make sure your roof is in good condition and ready to handle anything the weather may offer. For any of our roofing needs, we call Five Guys Roofing.

Five Guys Roofing is a local, family-owned business headquartered in Gilbert that has been fixing roofs in Fountain Hills since 1994. They are trustworthy and their work is always of the highest quality.

Whether you’re looking for a roof to be repaired, replaced, or built, Five Guys can get the job done. If you’re looking for a regular maintenance plan, Five Guys offers plans such as the Forever Care Program. With this plan, you can be guaranteed annual tune-ups that will extend the lifetime of your home’s exterior and cooling/heating systems.

Our Vendor Spotlight Video for Five Guys from earlier this year

Five Guys Roofing helps ensure that your roof can make it through rain or shine, especially during the monsoon season. For more information, go to FiveGuysRoofing.com.