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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate

Furniture Placement Mistakes to Avoid

The most crucial social hub in our homes tends to be the living room. Whether we’re hosting a competitive game night with friends or enjoying a snuggly movie night with the family, our furniture arrangement can work for or against us.

When considering the placement of living room furniture, the goal is liveable comfort and function. Check out these five mistakes that commonly happen when laying out the living room:

  1. Overlooking the focal wall. When you walk into your living room, where is the first place the eye comes to rest? For example, if you have a fireplace, this tends to be the focal wall. A large window with a view or the TV wall could be your focal point. If your living room lacks a built-in focal wall, it’s easy to make one with art or a well-chosen piece of attention-getting furniture.
  2. Too much crammed into the space. You can start by laying out the room around your couch because it’s usually the largest piece of furniture in the room. It also tends to be the first place someone wants to go to relax. Experiment with it in all the places where it fits until it feels right and takes advantage of your focal wall. Everything else you bring in should work in relation to the couch.
  3. Placing the couch against the wall. Position your couch away from the wall by about 12 inches. It may surprise you to know that it makes a room feel bigger. It also helps prevent dead space in the middle of the room that takes away from the cozy and intimate feel we all crave in the living room. Do the same with other seating as well.
  4. Putting everything on display. Step back and reevaluate what is in your roos. If a piece of furniture is not functional or does not work in your living room design, let it go. Once you’ve established the seating layout, decide which pieces you need for surfaces and storage. Coffee tables, side tables, and desks are examples of surfaces, while cabinets, trunks, and dressers serve as storage. Send it out the door if it doesn’t serve you for comfort or function.
  5. Placing furniture around things you don’t use. Essential seating is just that…essential. Give the pieces that get used regularly the greatest priority and make everything else work around it.

For more tips on making purposeful design decisions, check out the book Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff by Myquillyn Smith.

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.

Home Management Inside Your Home Yard and Garden

Easy Houseplants for Southwest Homes

Elephant Food (Portulucaria afra) is very versatile, and can grow outdoors or indoors in Arizona.

The popularity of houseplants in American homes comes and goes. Although many people feel that houseplants require time-consuming upkeep, there are plenty of options available at your local plant nurseries that require very little effort to keep happy.

The following list includes pet-friendly indoor plants that require little water and are often more versatile than many other indoor plant options:

AIR PLANT (Tillandsia)

Air plants get the majority of their nutrients from the air around them. Soak new plants for 15 minutes, then allow to dry completely hanging upside down. You’ll want to ensure there is no water trapped between the leaves. Water according to the weather. Mist and soak more often when hot and dry and less when cold and dark. They do love bright, indirect sunlight and need good air circulation.

BROMELIAD (Bromeliaceae)

Bromeliads bring an exotic touch to the home and a sense of the tropics. They require medium to bright light when used indoors. They do great in shallow pots and can even thrive in low soil mediums like orchid bark, or without soil like air plants. The leaves grow to form a natural “cup” where the water is applied.

CHRISTMAS CACTUS (Schlumbergera)

Evergreen boughs, poinsettia, and Christmas Cacti are the plants of the holiday season in the southwest. The Christmas Cactus is the longest living of them and give a larger blooming of flowers year after year. It is in the same plant family as our giant saguaros! For blooming, they require cool night temperatures and plenty of hours of darkness. You may want to move them to your garage or an outdoor shed for a few weeks leading up to the holidays until they bloom. Then move them indoors away from direct sunlight. They like shady areas.

PONYTAIL PALM (Beaucarnea recurvata)

These long-living plants thrive on neglect. They are easy to grow so long as you don’t overwater them. In their native environment in eastern Mexico, they can grow up to 30 feet high but are rarely over 4 feet when grown indoors. Use a fast-draining soil in a pot with a drainage hole (clay pots are best). Give them plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, keep the soil fairly dry, and keep away from cold windows in the winter.

PURPLE HEART (Tradescantia zebrina)

This plant requires bright, indirect sunlight. The soil needs to be slightly moist, but don’t water directly into the crown since it will cause rot. Be sure it doesn’t get too dry in the winter. Misting can help maintain necessary moisture in between waterings. These are short-lived plants but can be prolonged by pinching back any vining tendrils.

SPIDER PLANT (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant is one of the most adaptable and easiest to grow, thriving in a wide range of conditions with few problems. They tolerate plenty of abuse. The soil needs to drain well, and they should be watered without allowing them to get soggy. They prefer to dry out a bit between waterings. They like bright, indirect sunlight and cooler temperatures, so keep them away from air vents during the winter. They reproduce with “spiderettes” which can be clipped and placed in another pot of soil.

TRUE YUCCA (Yucca gigantea)

These plants are striking and low maintenance, the perfect combination for houseplants. They thrive in a partly shaded location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Place in soil that is heavy enough to hold the plant upright and that retains water well without getting soggy. They like to be root-bound in small pots.

The String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is another great option for low-maintenance indoor plants.

Think about adding houseplants to your home to increase oxygen and purify the air. When you bring nature indoors, it promotes an increased sense of well-being. Don’t let past failures with humid-loving plants prevent you from beautifying your living space with low-maintenance plants.

Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate Uncategorized

Important Features of a Successful Family Home

Selecting a home in which to raise your family is one of the most important decisions you can make. Likely, it’s a decision you’ll make only a few times during your young family’s life.

While most kids would focus on “their room” and the pool area, parents know there are other features that are important. Aside from the obvious choices of updated features, interiors, good quality finishes, and appliances, here are a few others that might improve family communications.

Traffic flow is an element that may not get as much attention as it should. Having a kitchen that is accessible to living areas and outdoor recreation helps to maximize opportunities for good communication.

A breakfast bar can do much to enhance your communication opportunities with your kids. It creates a place for them to chat about their school day while enjoying a snack and gives them a place to get homework done where you can easily help.

Convenience and storage are other important factors. An easily accessible laundry room that is out of sight makes laundry day easier for the whole family. Having storage for those Costco shopping runs takes the stress out of figuring out where to keep the necessities close at hand.

Our current Fountain Hills family homes give young families room to sprawl while maintaining a convenient home life. For full details, photos, and videos of our homes, visit our site at .

Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate Uncategorized

Energy Saving Tips for the Summer

Saving energy at home used to be an afterthought, but as the times have changed, it’s come to the forefront of the minds of homeowners. There are several small things you can do; it often just takes a few tweaks. With that in mind, we’ve gathered 6 low-cost tips for your home to reduce its carbon footprint and lower your monthly energy bills:

  • Lighting is one of the easiest places to save energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures with “Energy Star” qualified bulbs can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. ( )
    • Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year! (
  • Electronics such as cell phones and laptop computer chargers account for 15% of your rental home’s energy consumption and electrical use.
    • Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use (like your cell phone or laptop computer charger).
    • Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using the equipment.
    • Using a power strip for your computer and other peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
  • To keep out the Arizona heat from the summer sun, close window shades and blinds during the hot weather.
  • Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher and use the air-dry option if available.
    • To make the most efficient use of your dishwasher’s energy and water consumption, run the dishwasher only when enough dirty dishes have accumulated for a full load.
  • Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.
    • Hot water heating accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes. Only 10 % goes to the electricity used by the washer motor. (
    • Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually with an electric water heater and more than $30 annually with a gas water heater. (
    • Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year. (
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your dryer has a moisture sensor, it will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done. Use it to avoid over-drying.
    • Remember to clean out the lint trap before every load.
    • Dry full loads or reduce drying time for partial loads.
    • Take advantage of Arizona’s warm, dry climate by using a drying rack to hang-dry clothing. This also extends the life of your garments.
Home Management Inside Your Home Real Estate

5 Home Tips for Empty Nesters

Entering the Empty Nester phase of life will either leave you in a puddle of tears or feeling excitement for the next chapter of their life…and yours. Perhaps you feel both ends of the emotional spectrum.

That chapter is inevitable. And it opens many options when it comes to your home. While some people choose to downsize after the kids move out, some people want to stay in their homes.

As you rethink your home, what changes do you want to make that reflect this new chapter? You have probably spent years defining your decorating decisions based on the needs of your children. It is time to look at your home with fresh eyes to decide how to make it fit your new needs and wants moving forward.


This is often the most emotional step after becoming an Empty Nester. Take it at a pace that is comfortable for you, going room by room to purge closets and get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose. Create a keepsake box that you can send along with your kids to their new homes and keep a keepsake box for yourself if there are things you are not ready to part with.

Take a good look at the items in each room. What items will you still use? What things do you still love and want to keep? Everything else can be sold or donated. If you need ideas to help you decide what items you could move out the door, CLICK HERE.


When you are busy raising kids, there never seems to be enough time to tackle the renovations you have wanted to make. Now you can transform your home to meet your needs while also creating more resale value for the future. Kitchens and bathrooms are the best places to spend renovation money.


Now that the backyard no longer needs to function as a playground, you can transform it into an outdoor retreat. Add an outdoor kitchen for entertaining, hang a swing to relax in the shade, and add the landscaping you avoided when your kids were kicking a ball around the yard.


Now that you have empty bedrooms in your home, think about how you want to live in your home going forward. Perhaps you want an exercise room, a hobby or craft room, or a luxurious guest room. Find inspiration on great sites like Houzz, Amber Interiors, and of course, Pinterest.


Our large spaces were great areas where the kids and their friends could gather to build forts, eat pizza, and play games. One or two adults will not use a large space the way you did when kids were always around. Add a coffee bar, a wine cabinet, or a bistro area. Trade your sectional for a cozy sofa for cuddling your partner.

If you get stuck or struggle with rethinking your home without kids, consider a professional organizer. We recommend Caitlyn Estes with Project Genesis.