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Summer 2022’s Desert Vibe Magazine Is Here!

The second quarterly issue of Desert Vibe magazine is finally here, and it’s full of must-see information about local events, listings, and market information!

Here are some of the things you’ll see in the summer Vibe:

This Desert Vibe, as with the previous, is being released in an online-only format, with interactive links to everything you’ll need! To read the full Desert Vibe magazine, go to

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 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. 

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  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.

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.

Desert Plants and Wildlife Real Estate

Easy Desert Wildlife Habitats for Your Backyard

There is something satisfying about relaxing in the backyard and watching the birds come and go, butterflies fluttering in the wind, and bees pollinating the flowers. The populations of many species are struggling with the loss of habitat and food sources. Still, you can easily turn your own yard into a mini sanctuary for the various specimens of desert wildlife.


It does not take much to attract a variety of birds to your backyard, but you can offer them some things that encourage them to stick around a little longer. A clean birdbath and shelter in trees or oleander hedges are enough to make most birds happy. A little birdseed does not hurt, either. You can attract hummingbirds by hanging a feeder, but keep it out of direct sunlight, clean it often, and do not use red dye or fruit juice.


Attract a wide range of butterflies with flowering plants, especially red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple ones. They prefer flowers that are flat-topped or clustered with short flower tubes. Place a few flat rocks in the garden where they can rest and warm their wings. Create a damp puddle with coarse sand in an area that is kept moist. Go a step further by planting some milkweed for Monarchs, the only plant they’ll use for laying their eggs.


One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build their homes and find nutritious food sources. Although flowering plants provide a good source of food, bees get most of their nectar from trees, a place where they also find nesting materials and shelter.

Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water and pebbles or stones that break the water’s surface where they can land. Many bees are solitary, so add a bee “condo”, especially if you don’t have trees where they can shelter. Become a bee scientist on the citizen scientist app iNaturalist.


Bats are a great form of organic pest control, especially for those annoying mosquitos and insects that like to raid your vegetable garden. Plant fragrant night-blooming flowers and herbs to attract them. A birdbath or fountain is a great way to replenish a large amount of water they lose each day. Although trees are their natural habitat, you can also build or purchase a bat house to give them a private place to live. For more details on caring for your bat house, visit


Arizona Game & Fish allows Arizona residents to adopt captive desert tortoises that cannot be released back into the wild where they can transmit disease. These untraditional pets can live 80-100 years and need a long-term care plan from their owners. For more information on adoption, visit

Real Estate

13600 N Fountain Hills Blvd. #104

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

Open House:

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

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

Home Management Real Estate

Preparing for a Home Inspection

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

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

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

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