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Real Estate

Real Estate at the Mid-Year, 2022: 8-Page Report to Keep You Informed

The massive shift created by COVID has affected nearly every part of our lives. We’ve learned to adapt to one crisis after another. We’ve come to accept product shortages, online purchasing, and ZOOM, grateful we can conduct business remotely and keep in touch with loved ones.

In real estate, there has never been such a speedy shift of buying trends as we saw in the spring of 2020, with smaller shifts occurring nearly every month since then.

What’s Next? No one has a crystal ball, but we’d like to give you a view into our world of real estate in and around Fountain Hills and Rio Verde, AZ.

Dori Wittrig, President of RE/MAX Sun Properties and team lead of the Sonoran Lifestyle Team gives you an in-depth view of where the market indexes are currently, what to watch out for and where your opportunities may lie. 

Some of the topics we discuss in our 2022 mid-year report include:

  • Housing Dynamics To Watch
  • Inventory Levels Now vs. Past Years
  • Mortgage Rates: Rate Shock or Short-Term Memory?
  • Housing Demand, and Where the Buyers Are
  • …and much more!

To receive a copy of the 8-page report, contact us at Hometeam@SonoranLifestyle.com  or call (480) 837-1331.  You can also download the report by clicking below.

We also have 6-month market summaries for local area markets, highlighting values by neighborhood.  Let’s talk about your needs and decide which reports suit you best.

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Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate

5 Easy Kitchen Cabinet Upgrades in a Weekend

Kitchen cabinets are a significant expense. If your cabinets are in good condition, but you want to get a fresh look, here are some easy upgrades you can do in a single weekend.

SWAP HARDWARE

In a single hour, you can make a big impact on the look of your cabinets by changing the hardware. Find a new style that still looks great with your cabinets and get a fresh look.

CUSTOMIZE LOWER UNITS

Make your kitchen easier to use by retrofitting a cabinet or two with some pull-out drawers. Do you have an awkward corner cabinet? Add a lazy Susan to make it more functional.

CUSTOMIZE DRAWERS

Make jumbled and over-filled drawers a thing of the past. Add drawer dividers or trays for better organization. While you are at it, get rid of gadgets and utensil you no longer use. You will love the tidy feeling.

ADD SOME FUN

Whether you have open cabinets or not, adding removable wallpaper, contact paper, or fabric to the back of the inside of your cabinet creates a pop of fun. You can even add it to the outside sides of your drawers for more kitchen fun.

LIGHTING

It is easier than ever to add under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen. This provides extra task lighting and a soft ambience in the evening after the overhead lights have been turned off.

A quick cabinet upgrade does not have to cost much or take a lot of time to achieve. And it only takes a single weekend to freshen the look.

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Around Arizona Culture Desert Plants and Wildlife Things to Do

3 Arizona Destinations to Beat the Summer Heat

It’s summer in the Valley, and it’s hot. If you have time for a day trip, or even an extended stay, up in a place with cooler weather, why wouldn’t you? Luckily, there are forests and high elevations in almost all directions, where the weather is significantly cooler and wetter and the views are second to none. The best part: you can drive to all these places in a few hours.

Big Lake

Located near the town of Greer and the Sunrise Ski Resort, Big Lake is just one of the dozens of natural lakes on the Mogollon Rim. The elevation in the Big Lake area sits around 9,000 feet, and the average high temperature in the nearest towns is a beautiful 75.6 degrees in July.

The fishing is great here, and the views of meadows, forests, and often perennially snowcapped mountains are stunning. There are lots of places to park an RV or go camping, and there are cabins available for rent in Greer all year round.

Flagstaff

Flagstaff is the biggest city in northern Arizona, known for being the gateway to the Grand Canyon, home of Northern Arizona University, and the Sno Bowl Ski Resort. Arguably the best features of Flagstaff are its beautiful ecosystem and cool temperatures, all while being only a 2.5-hour drive from the Phoenix area. The average high temperature in July is 82 degrees.

There are countless resorts, hotels, and B&B’s in and around Flagstaff waiting to take in flatlanders trying to escape the heat. In the downtown area, there are several great food options and bars.

The nature in Flagstaff and the surrounding area is absolutely amazing, with stands of ponderosa pines mixed with aspen trees, occasionally separated by meadows.

Mount Lemmon

Mount Lemmon is one of the most prominent “Sky Islands” in southern Arizona, and the weather does not disappoint. Situated just north of the city of Tucson, a drive from Fountain Hills to the resort on top takes about 3.5 hours.

While Mount Lemmon is best known for its ski resort that runs throughout the winter and spring, the surrounding village is full of cabins to rent, trails to hike, an observatory to tour, and a few cute restaurants to enjoy.

The drive up the mountain and what you’ll see from the top are some of the best views you can find in the state. With an average July temperature of 76.5 degrees and an elevation of 9,171 feet, Mount Lemmon is a place you’ll want to see – and feel.

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About Fountain Hills Faces of Fountain Hills Schools

FHUSD Begins School August 9th!

School’s back for the fall! Fountain Hills Unified School District (FHUSD) is bringing the kids back to school starting Tuesday, August 9th for the 2022-23 school year.

This year will be the first year featuring the return of Dr. Cain Jagodzinski! After serving as principal of Fountain Hills High School from 2016 through 2020, “Doctor J” will now be assuming the role of superintendent of FHUSD.

As usual, the school year will begin on a Tuesday, this year on August 9th. The first day of school is usually a half-day for students, so make sure the kids have a ride home.

To earn more about what to expect for the 2022-23 school year in Fountain Hills, go to fhusd.org.

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Community Engagement Culture Local Events

Ballet Returns to Fountain Hills on September 8th!

Ballet Under the Stars is back! On September 8th, 2022, Ballet Arizona is commencing its 2022-23 ballet season. The season kicks off with “Ballet Under the Stars,” a free, public event at the amphitheater of the Fountain Park here in Fountain Hills!

The performers of Ballet Arizona are some of the most skilled dancers in Arizona, and their broad range of skills will be put into the spotlight at Ballet Under the Stars. You’ll be able to witness an assortment of genres, both classical and contemporary.

Get ready for a night of great music, fantastic dancing, and family-friendly entertainment. Be sure to bring a blanket or some chairs so you can enjoy the evening to the fullest. There will be food trucks behind the stage as well.

This show is totally FREE and will be fun for the whole family! The performance begins at 7:00PM. We’ll see you there!

To learn more about Ballet Arizona’s 2022-23 program, click here.

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Community Engagement Culture Local Events

Back To School Bash 2022!

Fountain Hills Community Services has provided so many fun activities for the kids of Fountain Hills this summer. The re-opening of the Noon Kiwanis Splash Pad inaugurated the season of summer fun, with weekly and semi-weekly events such as Wacky Wet Wednesdays, Splash Pad Summer Series, and the Summer Games. As summer comes to an end, a grand finale is in order: The annual Back 2 School Bash!

The first day of school in the Fountain Hills Unified School District is set for August 9th this year. Ten days later, on August 19th, the Back 2 School Bash will take place at Four Peaks Park.

The Back 2 School Bash, which is proudly sponsored by the Sonoran Lifestyle Team at RE/MAX Sun Properties, is truly a grand display of fun summer activities capping off every activity the town provided over the summer and more. Water slides, dunk tanks, kettle corn, water games, and cornhole are just some of the things you’ll find this time around. MCSO and the FH Fire Department will also have vehicles on display for kids to check out.

No matter how old your kids are, there will be something there to enjoy. The event is totally free and will go from 6:00PM through 8:00PM. To learn more about the activities and amenities at this year’s Bash, head to fountainhillsaz.gov.

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Desert Plants and Wildlife Home Management

Plant Care During Monsoon Season

Monsoon Season is one of the most interesting times of year for an Arizonan. Hot days are interrupted with brilliant thunderstorms that can either bring impressive rains or intense winds. Our plants are even more excited for these summer rains than we are.

Native plants are accustomed to these weather patterns and are often drought-deciduous. This means they intentionally lose their leaves during dry spells and regrow with gusteau after heavy rains. Non-native plants used in landscaping often have a more difficult time making it through the summer.

Without the instinct to be drought-deciduous, it’s up to the plant’s caretaker to help carry non-native vegetation through its first few summers in the ground.

Can You Plant During The Summer?

Ocotillos are native and are drought-deciduous. This ocotillo is beginning to sprout leaves after a few days of rain.

The best times to plant your landscaping for the year are in the fall and the spring, but sometimes people need to get their planting done during less opportune times. Whether it’s a good idea to plant something during the summer depends on the species.

If it’s a native plant like a palo verde or a barrel cactus, etc., you can probably expect the plant to survive. However, if you’re planting something that requires lots of water or isn’t accustomed to the erratic weather of the Arizona summers, the transition from a cozy nursery to a bright sunny yard may put the plant into shock and cause damage or death.

If you’re planting a non-native plant during the summer, your best course of action is to ease it into its new lifestyle. Give it a few deep soaks with a hose during the first month it’s in the ground. Consider putting a 50% shade cloth on top of its youngest foliage if possible.

Should You Fertilize During the Summer?

Most of the time, it’s best to hold off from using chemical fertilizers between June 15th and September 1st. Chemicals can hurt vulnerable roots on plants during the hottest parts of the summer. There are some options for giving plants a boost, though.

Fully organic liquid fertilizers, such as those from FoxFarm, are usually still okay to use, no matter what time of year. Be sure to use liquid and not solid, as liquid fertilizer gets into the plant’s system faster and prevents any potential root burn.

You can also give plants minerals any time of year. Powders like Azomite and liquids like Superthrive are full of vitamins that plants will use to fortify their immune systems during difficult times.

How Much Should You Water Plants During the Summer?

Potato vines are good at handling the heat but need lots of water during the summer.

Every plant has its own wants and needs, but generally, the answer to this question is “more than during the winter.”

If you notice that your plants look droopy every day at about 4:00PM, that’s because the late afternoons are the hottest times of the day. It’s okay if a plant droops a couple times, but if it becomes a regular occurrence, leaves can begin to die pretty quickly. At this point, it may be worthwhile to change your watering schedule to include a little boost at 4:00PM.

If there’s just been a huge rainstorm, feel free to turn your irrigation off completely for a day or two. Even during the summer, overwatering can still happen. If lower leaves on a plant begin to turn yellow, sag, and fall off, it’s probably being overwatered.

Again, there are a lot of nuances depending on the species of plant. For more specific care stats, consult your local nursery. These are just some general pointers that are much more likely to help than to hurt.

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Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate

Create a Cozy Outdoor Living Space

While we wait for the hot summers to shift into the lovely cool season, many of us are dreaming about spending more time outdoors in our yards. Who doesn’t love having breakfast and coffee on the patio and evenings around the fire pit with family and friends?

We’ve rounded up some tips for creating a cozy backyard space under the stars. Some of these can even boost your home’s value.

  • Create outdoor “rooms”. Turn your backyard into an extension of your home’s interior. This can expand your living space and give you more options for entertaining. With the improvements in weather-resistant outdoor furniture, it’s easier to create outdoor living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. For optimal comfort, design these spaces like you would your indoor rooms.
  • Porcelain pavers. Continue the floor from indoors right out to your patio. Porcelain pavers are durable, easy to install and bring the look of the indoors to your outdoor living space. Porcelain is frost-proof and impervious to water penetration.
  • Lighting. Use the same approach to lighting in the backyard as you would inside your home. Choose dimmable lights, create task lighting, add ambient lighting, and don’t forget some pretty twinkle lights in trees or under pergolas. Remember to consider dark-sky-friendly fixtures
  • Outdoor blinds/shades. Choose water and mildewresistant outdoor curtains for function and aesthetics. Shade screens are helpful for blocking the unwanted sun. Consider electric shades that can be raised and lowered with a touch of a button. Sail shades are also a popular choice to permanently shade a specific area.
  • Fire pit. Enjoy our beautifully protected night skies while gathering around a fire pit to roast marshmallows and tell stories. Every budget has unique options, including fire pits that use glass or stone for a more decorative appeal. Be sure to locate them in an open area away from structures. Some town codes require permits, so do your homework first.
  • Potted plants. Placing potted outdoor plants in your patio living space creates a soft blending of indoor and outdoor ambiance. Choose plants with varying heights and textures and use pots of all shapes and sizes.
  • Gardens. Raised vegetable and flower gardens can give you the experience of growing your own food in yards that have the space. Even small spaces can hold a vertical garden mounted on a patio wall with herbs and flowers.
  • Water feature. There is almost nothing more relaxing than the sound of a small waterfall or fountain. Be sure to get the plumbing and electrical right to save money and to keep it safe.

With our long season of mild outdoor weather each fall and spring, functional and cozy outdoor spaces are prized by Arizona homeowners. Boost the value of your home while extending the indoors into the outdoors.

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Community Engagement Culture Things to Do

FH Theater Presents “Solitary Confinement” and more!

Fountain Hills Theater announces the opening of the mystery comedy-thriller “Solitary Confinement,” along with the hilarious musical satire “Urinetown!”

Solitary Confinement

When eccentric billionaire Richard Jannings discovers that someone is trying to murder him in his high-rise, security-controlled penthouse, it becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse between the paranoid Jannings and the mysterious would-be assassin. This wildly unique murder mystery by Rupert Holmes (Say Goodnight, Gracie, Curtains and The Mystery of Edwin Drood) becomes a thrilling and funny whodunit.

            “Solitary Confinement” will play from August 19 through September 4, 2022. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM.  

Urinetown

Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards, “Urinetown: The Musical”, is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, the political system, and musical theatre itself!

“Urinetown” takes place in a Gotham-like city, where a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Amid the people, a hero decides that he’s had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!

“Urinetown” will play from July 8th through 24th, 2022. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM.  

The Theater

Individual tickets are $35 for adults and $18 for youth 17 and under. Seniors receive a $5 discount on all Thursday performances. Group, Active Duty, and Veteran discounts are available.
All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. Tickets are available at fhtaz.org.

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Local Events Things to Do

Jurassic-Themed Family Fun Night 7/21!

“Word on the street is that we may even see some real dinosaurs!”

Next Thursday, Fountain Hills Community Services is bringing Jurassic Park to the Community Center! This year’s Family Fun Night is the climax of the FH Summer Recreation Program for local kids.

This free event begins at 6:00 PM at the Community Center and will be filled with fun Jurassic-themed activities and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy. Some of the highlights expected at Thursday’s party will include:

  • The “Dino Crew”
  • Fossil Dig
  • Inflatable
  • Reptile Encounters
  • Food Truck to purchase dinner or a treat
  • Jurassic Crafts
  • and more!

If you are interested in going to the 2022 Family Fun Night, click here. Bring your kids and get ready to beat the heat with some dino-sized fun!