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Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate

Staging That Gets Your Home SOLD

Your home might be beautiful. Maybe it is immaculate, stylishly appointed, and highly upgraded with the finest materials and features. Yet unless you are one in a thousand, it is not “staged’. Staging is intended for two audiences: the camera and the potential buyers.

Let your home speak to buyers. Your home speaks to you, but what is it saying to your potential buyer? Our homes are personal, yet how we live is not how we sell. Our homes represent who we are. The goal of staging is to make the home speak to everyone else in a compelling and positive way.

The personal photos, the too-tall centerpiece, the overstuffed China cabinet, and the bookcase filled with Arizona Highway magazines – these are all treasures to be sure, but they serve only to sidetrack a buyer from the task at hand.

Clutter may suggest your home doesn’t measure up! Clutter is the perpetrator of distraction. More importantly, though, clutter may be sending a message that you don’t have enough space.

Here are a few tips for what to do BEFORE the staging process begins:
  • De-clutter. De-personalize the space and remove unnecessary items and furniture to make the home feel larger and cleaner.
  • Relax the bedroom. Make this space feel serene and decluttered. Remove unnecessary items from the closets to make them feel larger.
  • Bathroom spa. Place toiletries out of sight and learn to use baskets for your daily needs so they can be neatly tucked away each morning.
  • Finishing touches. Proper lighting, neutral paint tones and freshened cabinet faces improve the look of your home so that buyers feel like it is move-in ready.

The reality is, the moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as their home. Let us help you “emotionally detach” and get the process of selling your home underway.

Here are some top reasons to stage your home, according to the Home Buying Institute:
  1. Staging increases the likelihood of a sale.
  2. Staging gives the impression of a well-maintained home.
  3. You get a head start on packing!
  4. Staging helps you justify your asking price.
  5. Staging makes the house seem larger…really!
  6. Suddenly, every room has a purpose. (Buyers should never have to guess the purpose of a room!)
  7. Staging helps buyers see themselves in a home.
  8. Staging puts your house above the competition.
  9. Buyers will have a favorable first impression.
  10. You get the buyer’s agent on your side. (It makes their life easier!)
  11. A “Must-See” home will bring in more buyers.

Staging is not a do-it-yourself sport. Our stagers can often work with what you have, rearranging and reallocating all your belongings, to present the property in its best light. Often this means reallocating some of those belongings to the garage, so please be understanding!

Only a third-party specialist can bring the neutrality and objectivity needed to accomplish the goal. Your daily routine will be turned, at least temporarily, on its head, but if selling your home in the shortest amount of time and for the most money is your goal, it is necessary!

The Sonoran Home Team provides every level of staging necessary to get your home SOLD!

Whether it’s just some rearranging and depersonalizing that is necessary, or whether your home is vacant and requires complete staging, we have what you need. Our experts can help you create an exceptional viewing experience to get your home sold. So, let us help you create the “buzz” you need to sell your home quickly.

For more information about the staging services we offer our clients, call us at 480-837-1331.

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About Fountain Hills Community Engagement Local Events Outdoor recreation Things to Do

The Spirit of Bavaria Lives at Oktoberfest 2022!

Can you hear the polka music playing? For several years now, Fountain Hills has been home to an annual Oktoberfest for the whole town to participate in some classic Bavarian festivities.

Oktoberfest has been a tradition in South Germany for over 200 years, beginning in 1810 as a celebration for the Bavarian King Ludwig I’s marriage. Since then, Oktoberfest spread across what would become Germany, and eventually to the United States.

Oktoberfest in the United States stayed concentrated to regions with high German populations until after World War II, when it finally began to spread to the rest of the country, eventually including Fountain Hills.

This Bavarian-style celebration features live music, costumes, German foods, and of course: Beer! You’ll see authentic details such as long tables decorated with blue and white paper, perfect for meeting friends and enjoying your beer and pretzels.

Participate in various themed contests for prizes, such as the Beer Stein holding contest, the Alphorn blowing contest, and the Bavarian Costume Contest.

While you do have to be 21 or older to purchase the beer, there is a free Kidz’ Zone full of activities for young Oktoberfest fans.

This year’s Oktoberfest will take place on the evenings of September 23rd and 24th, 2022 from 5:00PM through 10:00PM. Pre-admission tickets cost $5, and tickets purchased at the gate will cost $10.

For more information on how you can get into the Bavarian spirit this fall, go to fountainhillschamber.com

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About Fountain Hills Community Engagement Culture Holidays Local Businesses Local Events Outdoor recreation Things to Do

2022 Turkey Trot Ticket Giveaway!

The 32nd annual Turkey Trot is kicking off Fountain Hills’ Thanksgiving! This year, the Sonoran Lifestyle Team is the Turkey Trot’s presenting sponsor, and we’ll be there the whole time

As presenting sponsors of the event, we have five extra tickets sitting around that we’d like to give away. If you’ve run the Trot in previous years and want a chance at a free ticket, your big opportunity is here!

Runners waiting for the 2021 Turkey Trot to begin.

Leading up to this year’s Turkey Trot, we’re going to be giving away five spots at the run FOR FREE! That’s right, if you want a chance to save $30 in registration, all you have to do is:

  • Send a picture of yourself at a previous year’s Turkey Trot to Sonoran@SonoranLifestyle.com,
  • or tag @sonoranlifestyle with your photo on Instagram.

There are only five free spots available, so don’t delay! We’ll reply to the FIRST five entries with instructions for receiving their free tickets.

The Turkey Trot will take place at 7:15AM on Thanksgiving morning, November 24th. We’ll see you there!

Categories
About Fountain Hills Around Arizona Culture Outdoor recreation The Verdes Things to Do

How The “Beeline” Highway Got Its Name

For residents of the east valley, the Beeline Highway is an important part of daily life, the gateway to the Mogollon Rim. It’s the only modern highway that connects to Fountain Hills.

The official name of the road is State Route 87, so you might wonder: why is it called “The Beeline Highway?”

History of Travel from Rim to Valley

You can see in this 1937 map that the Bush Highway follows its modern route. This is 21 years before the Beeline Highway. You can also see that the only trail that passes through modern Fountain Hills is likely the Stoneman Road.

The first major car route between Mesa and Payson was the Bush Highway, named after Harvey Granville Bush. He was a lumberman by trade, and thus had homes in Mesa and Payson, where the tall pines grow.

Getting lumber to the Valley from the mountains was a huge challenge during the days of wagons and early automobiles, involving several disjointed trails that went through the dangerous Reno Pass. So, Bush pushed an initiative with the state and the lumber industry to create a unified road from the city to Payson. Completed in 1934, the path, named after Bush, was the best and most convenient route to get to and from the Mogollon Rim.

As Phoenix’s population boomed after World War 2, camping became a larger and larger pastime, and the traffic up the Bush Highway increased drastically. This came to the attention of Grady Gammage, president of Arizona State Teachers College in Tempe. Gammage lobbied the state government and worked with James G. Hart of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to begin the creation of an official State Route to access and pass Payson.

After receiving permission from the Salt River Indian Reservation and Fort McDowell Indian Reservation, construction began.

A new, more convenient route was then built west of the Bush Highway. It was a significant shortcut for most Phoenix residents, considering it connected to West Mesa on Country Club Drive instead of all the way in Apache Junction.

The shortcut was so obvious, that it was considered “taking a bee-line” up to the Rim, with the term “bee-line” being a slang term referring to a shortcut.

While the Bush Highway passes through scenic and mountainous terrain, the Beeline shortcut cuts distance and time and travels along mostly smooth ground.

From then on, the Beeline Highway was paved and expanded on top of, and sometimes next to, the old Bush Highway. The original “bee-line” shortcut ends where the modern Bush Highway meets the Beeline, just north of Goldfield Ranch. You can still see the original route along the modern Beeline to this day, all the way to Payson.

The Beeline Highway as we know it today was fully realized in 1966, with the merging of the old State Route 65 (which connected Winslow to Strawberry) and the ever-expanding path of Route 87.

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Home Management Real Estate

Moving Out of a Rental Property

Moving out of a rental property?  Do you want your move-out to go smoothly, without any conflicts and hassles? You’ll need to follow through with all your Tenants’ Responsibilities when moving out, giving your property management company proper move-out notice, and leaving your rental home in good condition.

We want to help make the process as easy as possible. This checklist will help guide you through the entire process and ensure that you don’t overlook anything important when leaving your rental home so that you can get your security deposit back and leave on good terms.

Review your Lease Agreement

  • Find out how to properly end the lease agreement.
  • Check on all rules and regulations regarding the moving-out notice. (i.e. maintenance obligations, utility transfers, etc.).
  • Review how far in advance you will need to give your property manager notice.
  • Once you review all provisions in the rental agreement and know your tenant move-out responsibilities, make sure to add all tasks and deadlines to your moving calendar.

Give your Property Manager a Move Out Notice

  • Most lease agreements require the tenant to provide written notification to your property manager 30 days before moving out.
  • Write a Tenant Move Out Letter and send it to your property manager at least 5 weeks prior to moving day.

Inspect the Rental Property and Fix Damages

  • Make sure to check the rental property against the condition report from when you moved in to find out what exactly you’re responsible for.
  • Normal wear and tear is expected and acceptable, but you’re responsible for repairing holes in the walls, fixing scratches, repainting the walls, and making sure the electrical and plumbing systems are in good condition.
  • Keep all repair works documented and keep your receipts if you made some permanent improvements to the property.

Pay Off Your Bills

  • Inform all your service providers that you are moving out and arrange for the services at your rental to be disconnected.
  • Take readings of all gas, electricity, and water meters on moving day and photograph them for proof.

Move All Your Things Out of Your Rental Home

  • Sort out all possessions a couple of months before your move and find a way to get rid of everything you don’t want anymore.
  • Remember to take down pictures and calendars from the walls, remove stickers and magnets from the fridge, get all your items from the bathroom, pack decorations and hobby materials, and take your door mats and rugs, tools, flower pots, etc.
  • Open drawers and cupboards, go through the basement and garage, and walk around the yard.
  • Take out all the trash.

Clean Rental Thoroughly

  • Your lease agreement may provide specific details as to what is expected of you in terms of cleaning the rental unit before moving out:
  • Washing the windows;
  • Cleaning the curtains (depending on what material they are made from, some curtains require dry cleaning, others can be steam cleaned or machine-washed, etc.);
  • Steam cleaning mattresses and upholsteries;
  • Washing the carpets or having them professionally cleaned;
  • Dusting furniture, ceiling fans, and lighting fixtures;
  • Wiping doors and door frames, furniture handles and light switches, etc.;
  • Cleaning kitchen appliances;
  • Washing and disinfecting sinks, toilets, tubs, shower surrounds, countertops, and other kitchen and bathroom surfaces;
  • Vacuuming/sweeping and mopping the floors;
  • Mowing the lawn, trimming the trees and bushes, sweeping the garden paths, removing dead leaves and debris from the gutters, etc. (in case your rental property has a yard);
  • Cleaning up garages, patios, sheds, balconies, etc. (if applicable);

Document the Condition of the Rental Property

  • Keep all proof of the condition you’re leaving the rental in.
  • Document the cleaning and repair works (i.e. videos, pictures, receipts).

Arrange a Move Out Inspection

  • Arrange a time to call your property manager to conduct a move-out walkthrough of the rental unit.
  • Be present at the move-out inspection.
  • Discuss any issues that may arise and try to find a mutually beneficial solution.

If you have questions about the move-out process or property management in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, please contact Dawn Woods, Property Manager at RE/MAX Sun Properties at 480-837-1331. 

Categories
Home Management Inside Your Home

Water Pressure Regulators Protect Your Pipes

Nobody wants to wake up to see their home flooded because their pipes burst from high water pressure. This is why Water Pressure Regulators are absolutely invaluable for every household, especially in areas where water pressure is known to fluctuate. If your neighborhood’s water pressure is too high and your regulator is too old, there’s the risk of a burst that can cause expensive damage.

A Water pressure regulator, which is often called the “pressure reducing valve” (PRV), is the main line of defense for a home from the often intense water pressure of your neighborhood’s main water line.

According to the Home Maintenance blog “The Spruce,” most plumbing fixtures in your home are intended to operate at about 50 pounds per square inch. Much of the time, municipal water mains push water into homes at up to 200 psi!

In Fountain Hills, the average water pressure in your main line depends on which water reservoir tank serves your neighborhood, leading to a lot of variation. As water lines age, they are subject to further inconsistencies and even ruptures.

As stated in this 2020 article from the Fountain Hills Times, EPCOR and the town have been cooperating to renew the town’s water mains for several years now. However, water line inconsistencies continue to this day, making the need to have a healthy water pressure regulator even more important. If you have an old regulator at your home, a rupture in your own plumbing becomes even more likely.

As part of your annual home maintenance, have a plumber check to see if your water pressure regulator is still in good condition. Installing a new regulator typically only costs about $550 and doing so can save you thousands of dollars in potential damages.

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Around Arizona Things to Do

Must-See Mountaintops in Arizona

Arizona has a lot of mountains, some that are high in the forest and others that tower over the low deserts. The views on top of many of these mountains are so good, you’ll have to see them all.

Here are five mountains in Arizona that have particularly standout views:

Kitt Peak

Parts of the summit of Kitt Peak were damaged by a wildfire in June, but the view is still fantastic.

Kitt Peak is one of the sky islands of southern Arizona, located in the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. While its peak is only at 6,883 feet, the views from the summit are stunning.

On a clear day, you can see for hundreds of miles in any direction, and at sunset, you can look down as the sun sinks below the horizon to the west. The Kitt Peak National Observatory sits at the top but is currently temporarily closed due to damages from the Contreras Wildfire in June of 2022.

Mt. Lemmon

Mount Lemmon is another sky island, located just north of the city of Tucson. It sits at over 9,000 feet in elevation and is known for the Mount Lemmon Ski Resort.

From the summit of this beautiful mountain, you’ll have views overlooking almost every ecosystem in Arizona, from the high forests of the sky islands to the chaparral transition zones to the Sonoran and Chihuahua Deserts.

Piestewa Peak

Piestewa Peak is the twin sister to Camelback Mountain, right in the middle of the Valley, and it does not disappoint. This peak requires a hike through a beautiful desert preserve to reach, so be sure to bring sunscreen and a lot of water.

At 2,610 feet, you’ll still be in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem at the summit, and you’ll have a fantastic view of the entire Phoenix area in all directions. One of the mountains you’ll be able to see from here is the next entry on this list.

Thompson Peak

Thompson Peak is “the antenna mountain” of the McDowell Mountain range that towers over Fountain Hills and east Scottsdale. This peak also requires a hike, and at the top, you’ll be able to see the entire Phoenix metro area to the south and west, vast swaths of Tonto National Forest and McDowell Mountain Regional Park to the north and east.

While the trail to Piestewa Peak is only open from sunrise to sunset, a big standout feature of Thomspon Peak is that it is a popular destination for night hiking. Start your hike at sunset (with lots of water and flashlights) and in 2 or 3 hours you’ll be overlooking the brilliant glimmering city lights in one direction, and the quiet darkness of the forest in the other.

Mount Ord

Mount Ord is a tall peak in the Tonto National Forest that typically marks the halfway point between Fountain Hills and Payson during a trip to the Mogollon Rim. You’ll have to drive a dirt road to get close to the top, before hiking the final half mile to the summit. The road is well maintained, but if there’s been rain or snow, you should avoid taking a city car up the very curvy path.

At the top is another radio tower, and some amazing views to the south. From Mount Ord, you can see all of Roosevelt Lake, the Reno Pass, Bartlett Lake, Fountain Hills, and much of the Phoenix area. If you have a Tonto Pass and decide to camp near the top, you’ll be able to see both city lights and shooting stars from the same peak, thanks to its altitude and distance from Phoenix.

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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.