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Health Home Management Inside Your Home Non-profit Organizations

Tips to Get Organized In the New Year

Organize in Small Doses

Don’t try to reorganize your entire home in one day. We suggest picking one section of the house and focusing on that. Taking a break from decluttering will keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Toss What You Don’t Use

When it comes to clothes in your closet, “if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss (or donate) it.” Similarly, you could apply this rule to other clutter on your counters or in your cabinets. All those nail polish bottles that you haven’t opened in a couple of years? Bye.

Use square or rectangular products over round product

To maximize storage space, choose square or rectangular organizing products instead of round ones. When you place round organizers next to each other, you lose the space where the organizer curve. This adds up, so get the most out of your space by sticking with square or rectangular bins, baskets, and containers.

Have a donation bag ready 

Keep a ready-to-fill donation box or bag handy in a closet or garage. When you try on clothes that no longer fit or flatter or items begin to fill up your cabinets, drop them in the donation bag. Don’t put them back in the closet or cabinet to sit there longer. Do a little purging as you come across things, have a designated place to put the unwanted items, take the bag or box to donation when it is full, and repeat all year long. Local charities will pick- up donations from your home. Sun Shine Children’s Home accepts home goods and clothing and can be easily scheduled online.

Sort ahead of time when moving

Boxes organizing

If you’re planning to move and feel you have too much stuff, then you can start sorting your belongings now to save time and money. Although you’ll spend some time upfront sorting out the excess (tools, clothing, kitchenware, linens, knick-knacks). You’ll not only save money on moving supplies and relocation costs, but you’ll save even more time with less packing and unpacking. Start with the kitchen and open cabinets and drawers to pull out utensils, pots, pans, mixing bowls, and small appliances that haven’t been used, and set the items aside for a donation – especially large or heavy items. Remember to start small and focus on one room or a drawer at a time and you’ll be organized in no time this New Year!

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Home Management Real Estate

Fourth Quarter 1031 Exchanges May Have Shorter Time

1031 Exchange

Many do not realize that the Tax Code states the new Replacement Property must be purchased by the earlier of two possible dates:

  • 180 days after the date the Relinquished Property is transferred in the exchange, OR
  • The due date of the taxpayer’s return for the taxable year in which the Relinquished Property is transferred.

What this means is that a taxpayer who sold real estate and began a 1031 Exchange after October 18, 2022, must close on the new Replacement Property by the due date of their 2022 tax return, which is April 17, 2023.

For example, an investor who sells a 1031 property on December 12, 2022, must identify new Replacement Property by January 26, 2023 (45-day ID rule) and then, most believe, close on Replacement Property by June 10, 2023 (180-day closing rule). However, Section 1031 (a)(3)(B) shortens this exchange period. The investor must close by April 17, 2023 – 53 calendar days before the assumed 180 days date. To get the full 180-day period, the taxpayer must file a tax extension for their entire tax return. If the investor extends their tax filing, they will then have until June 10, 2023, to close on the property – the full 180 days.

Exchangers are strongly encouraged to discuss this deadline issue and the effect of filing an extension with their tax advisors. Although there is no cost for obtaining extensions and they are liberally granted; filing for an extension does not extend the time to pay taxes. Therefore, estimated payments may be required to avoid interest and penalties.

Be sure to consult your tax advisor regarding your tax filing requirement dates. The information above is provided by  IPX1031 a national leader in 1031 Exchange services.

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Home Management Inside Your Home Uncategorized Yard and Garden

Prepare for Freezing Overnight Temperatures

One of the benefits of living in the Sonoran Desert in the winter is only having to contend with a few nights of freezing temperatures. Even so, you will want to do a few quick and easy things to protect your home and foliage. These tips will allow you to sleep in your warm, cozy bed without worrying about what’s happening outside.

PIPES

Exposed pipes and outdoor faucets can be the source of trouble in freezing temperatures if not cared for properly.

  • Cover exposed outdoor pipes with foam insulation which can be found at your local hardware store.
  • Turn off faucets and cover them with foam insulation or a heavy blanket.
  • It’s recommended to have a professional winterize a misting cooling system to avoid broken lines in the Spring. Don’t delay and schedule your winterization. Call AZ Mist Systems for your winter maintenance visit.  (602) 908-7676

PLANTS

  • Bring potted plants indoors or place them close to the house for added protection.
  • Watering the roots can increase their chance of survival if they cannot be moved.
  • Cover plants and gardens with burlap, frost cloth or blankets, but never use plastic.
Snow on Golden Eagle
Snow on Golden Eagle

VEHICLE

  • If your car is not parked in a garage or under a carport, you can prevent frost and ice accumulation by covering the windshield with a towel, blanket or cardboard.
  • If your windshield gets covered in frost and you don’t have a scraper, an old credit card or gift card can be used to scrape it. Be sure it’s not an important card because it will take a bit of a beating.
  • Turn on your car and crank up the defrost, letting it sit for a while until the frost thaws.
  • NEVER pour warm or hot water on your windshield. Although it will not shatter, the water will seep into any cracks or chips. As it re-freezes, it could crack your windshield.

Freezing temperatures are now upon us. You’ll thank yourself for taking a small amount of time to prepare for it.

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About Fountain Hills Home Management Real Estate

What exactly is the NPOA?

We have all seen that bright blue eyesore on the corner or the architectural anomaly down the street. This is why the Neighborhood Property Owners’ Association of Fountain Hills, Arizona (NPOA) was formed to protect your property by maintaining quality architectural standards and guidelines in your neighborhood. 

When looking for a home to purchase in Fountain Hills you most likely have come across properties that are located in the NPOA area.

Good News! The NPOA is not a homeowners association with monthly dues or assessments. A one-time transfer fee of $335 is required when a property changes ownership. The main reason for NPOA’s existence is to preserve the beauty and uphold the guidelines that were initially put into place by Robert McCulloch, the master developer of Fountain Hills. This is just one of the many benefits of living in the beautiful Fountain Hills community.

Today there are over 4,400 properties in 66 plats that fall within the NPOA’s jurisdiction. To see if your home is included visit the NPOA website @ www.npoafh.org 

Then it is subject to the architectural and aesthetic guidelines listed in the Development Guide and enforced by The Neighborhood Committee of Architecture (NCOA), which meets weekly and maintains architectural control of Member plats. This entails a review of building plans for new construction and all other architectural alterations, including but not limited to repainting, demolitions, remodels/additions, porches, patios, walls, fences, solar, pools, awnings, gazebos, recoating a flat roof or installing new windows, etc. Appropriate permit fees and compliance deposits apply. For more information, NPOA can be reached at email: info@npoafh.org or by phone: 480-837-5317.

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Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate Yard and Garden

Misting System Winterizing

AZ Mist System
AZ Mist Systems Photo

Your outdoor misting system has been working hard to keep you cool all summer. Now that temperatures are finally starting to drop, however, it’s time to shut the system down for the season. Simply turning off the water isn’t enough to keep your misting system in good shape for next year. Standing water can damage the pipes in winter temperatures, and the pump system can sustain damage as well without some general maintenance.

AZ Mist System
AZ Mist Systems Photo

Why your misting system needs professional seasonal maintenance

The most significant risk of skipping winter maintenance on your outdoor misting system is damage from frozen water. As water freezes, it expands. So, when there is standing water in the pipes in your misting system, it can cause the pipes to burst on those cold nights when temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, standing water poses a risk for mold and mildew growth.

Another important aspect of seasonal maintenance is keeping the system clean. Replacing filters will keep the system spraying clean, odorless water. A technician will keep the pump in peak condition by changing its oil. While you may be tempted to take on winterization as a DIY task, it is ideal to call a professional. This is recommended because a professional technician can thoroughly inspect the system and make any necessary repairs. Furthermore, professional maintenance will be in line with warranty requirements for your system.

Don’t delay and schedule your winterization today. Call AZ Mist Systems for your winter maintenance visit. (602) 908-7676

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Desert Plants and Wildlife Home Management Yard and Garden

Xeriscape For The Win!

Ocotillos are great for xeriscape, developing leaves after significant rains.

Just because you live in the desert doesn’t mean you have to settle for a barren, rocky yard. A thoughtfully planned xeriscape can bring layers of visual beauty to your landscape.

Xeriscape is a landscape design method that reduces or eliminates the need for watering, which conserves our drinkable water. Plants that thrive primarily on what water the natural climate provides come in so many varieties and uses that you will not be limited on choices.

It’s important to choose plants and trees that are appropriate for your climate. Native plants are a logically great choice. There are two locations in Fountain Hills where you can get ideas for your xeriscape:

The Low Water Demonstration Garden at Fountain Park is a project of the Greening of Downtown committee. It was designed to show residents examples of desert landscape plants that are nearly maintenance-free.

The Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden, founded in 1975 by Jane Haynes, is an 8-acre wildlife preserve and garden right along Fountain Hills Boulevard. In 2006, the Town restored the original garden trail as an educational and hiking destination. Twenty-nine Sonoran Desert plants are identified along the half-mile trail, giving visitors an idea of the kind of native plants they can use in their own xeriscape landscaping.

Here are some landscaping trees and plants to get you started:

TREES

The leatherleaf tree is a great option for a dense, low-water tree.

The most common desert trees you’ll find are mesquite, palo verde (our state tree), acacia, olive, and palm. There are also beautiful flowering trees to consider, such as the Texas mountain laurel with purple flowers, silk floss with pink flowers, and anacacho orchid with white or pink flowers. If you want to enjoy the beauty of fall leaves each year, the Chinese pistache’s leaves will turn orange and drop in the cooler weather.

SHRUBS

The Arizona Rosewood is a great native bush that can grow large and survive on little water after being established.

Most of our shrubs produce thick blossoms at various times of the year, adding a gorgeous splash of color to your landscape. These include Baja fairy duster, honeysuckle varieties, bush dalea, Chihuahuan or Texas sage, green feathery senna, hop bush, bird of paradise varieties, oleanders (which can be bushes, hedges, or trees), and violet silverleaf.

Don’t forget to add a creosote bush. They are at the heart of that extraordinary smell when it rains in the desert. The tiny beads of oil on their leaves release a glorious scent when they encounter water.

VINES

Cat Claw vines are known for growing large and quickly, finding water wherever they can.

To add some fun texture to your xeriscape, add a vine or two. Consider bougainvillea, cat claw, pink trumpet, primrose jasmine, yellow orchid, etc. Each of these has unique flowers at various times of the year for a pop of color.

CACTUS

This Purple (Santa Rita) Prickly Pear needs very little water and blooms a beautiful yellow during the late spring and summer before developing edible fruits.

There are so many varieties to choose from, but the Argentine giant, prickly pear varieties, barrel cactus varieties, Mexican fencepost, and totem pole are great cacti to get you started with your design.

SUCCULENTS

Madagascar Palms are great succulents that prefer very little water. They need shade when young but eventually can grow to the size pictured and beyond.

Succulents contribute something of an ornamental effect to your yard. Some of the favorites are yucca varieties, aloe varieties, lechuguilla verde, mescal ceniza, and agave varieties.

ANNUALS

Red Verbenas typically last until the hottest parts of the summer.

One of the things most people love about the desert annuals is the way they soften the features of an otherwise prickly landscape. Instead of chasing “poppy blooms” for your Instagram feed, you can grow them in your own yard. Throw some beautiful lupine in for good measure. These are short-lived, so they can be scattered across your yard for a short-season burst of color. Verbena is a popular annual with a variety of blossom colors available. The plant remains once the flowers are gone for the season.

Whatever you choose for your xeriscape plan, remember to plant trees no closer than 10 feet from your home to protect your foundation. Also, keep in mind that plants continue to grow and can get overcrowded if planted too close together when young.

A little maintenance will be in order from time to time, but your xeriscape will save you time and money in the end.

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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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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. 

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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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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.