May 22, 2017

Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend in Phoenix: Having Fun While Keeping Cool

Memorial Day in Phoenix, AZ

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and people are already trying to decide where to go to celebrate, especially since the weekend tends to bring high temperatures in Arizona. Lucky for us, The Valley of the Sun has many places to celebrate, whether you’re with family, friends, or flying solo.

 

Water Parks in the Valley

Water parks are a great way to get out of the house, spend time with family and friends, and have a great time celebrating the long weekend without overheating.  Here are five places to head to if you want to splash around and have some fun:

 

Big Surf Waterpark

You’ll be a big hit with both the kids and the adults if you take them here. Located in Tempe, this waterpark brags about having the best collection of rides and slides!  Besides a wave pool and a nice bay where the little ones can safely splash under parent supervision, they have water slides with names like “Otter”, “Hurricane”, “The Black Hole”, “Tornado” and many, many more!  There’s a slide for everyone in the family, from the bravest soul to the timid at heart. Don’t forget to check out the zipline too!  If this becomes your new favorite place, check out the season pass!

 

Oasis Water Park

Located at the Arizona Grand Hotel in Phoenix and voted by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s Top 10 Water Parks, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa’s expansive, wild and fun Oasis Water Park has something for kids of all ages, making it perfect for your next family getaway. Curious what this 7-acre water park has?  Here’s a list of all you can enjoy:

8-story tower with 3 water slides

Gigantic wave pool

River tubing

Wild Cat Springs for kids

25-person hot tub

Private cabanas for the parents to chill 

 

Want to beat the crowd?  Check out their early entry pass which gets you in 30 minutes prior to the posted open times of the park. Please note:  The park is for the exclusive use of resort guests, so plan on staying at the resort to enjoy this gem!

 

Wet ’n’ Wild Phoenix

The name does say it all! There are thrill rides, kids ride and family rides; something for everyone! Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix is home to another world's first water slide attraction: Constrictor. Riders speed down the enclosed flume slide into a series of corkscrew turns, snaking back and forth in the series of spirals, slithering down its insides on multi-person rafts. Rather play with the whole group?  One family ride is the Crazy Cactus Roaring River; it’s sure to please the whole family with wave action, tipping buckets, waterfalls, and fast flowing water.  They sell season passes here as well so you can come back again and again!

 

Enchanted Island Amusement Park

Much more than a water park, and plenty to keep you cool and entertained! Located at El Encanto Park in Phoenix. Enchanted Island is filled with charm and magic, offering nine fanciful rides and a variety of popular attractions geared especially toward children aged 1 to 10.

Ride the historic carousel or pedal a boat or ride a canoe across the lagoon. You can even test your skill at the arcade games. Need to sit down and take it easy?  Check out the C.P. Huntington train which takes guests on a 7-minute tour of the island. There’s something for everyone here, and a great place to visit Memorial Day weekend.

 

Golfland Sunsplash

Golfland-Sunsplash is a series of water parks and family amusement centers, with its original location in Mesa, AZ. The park is separated into two separate parks. They feature over 30 exciting rides and attractions, which makes it a perfect place to take those out of town visitors to keep them entertained and out of the heat. Waterslides to miniature golf; you can’t go wrong at this park.

There is so much to choose from this Memorial Day weekend! Stay safe and stay cool!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Phoenix, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll gladly assist you with finding and/or marketing a house.

 

Posted in Things to Do
May 10, 2017

How to Enjoy Some of The Valley’s Best Lakes All Summer

Kayaking Phoenix, AZ 

As the temperatures start to creep up to the triple digit range, Arizonans turn their attention to ways to stay cool all summer and still have fun. For those of you who can’t escape to the high country to wait out the heat, another great option is heading to one of many lakes in Arizona. Surprisingly, many of those lakes are right in our own backyard; an easy drive to a summer full of water fun. Here’s how to enjoy some of the Valley’s best lakes (and rivers!) all summer long.

Saguaro Lake Near Mesa

It’s amazing how many things there are to do in this recreation area. Saguaro Lake is located within the Tonto National Forest and is just 20 minutes from Mesa, Arizona. If you’re a boat owner, this is the lake for you! There are slips available for day use or dry storage. They also offer a fuel dock, pump out facilities, and there’s an onsite store for those last-minute supplies you already forget to bring. Not a boat owner?  That’s OK! Precision Marine right at the lake offers rentals on runabouts, fishing, or pontoon boats. If you live in one of the nearby Mesa neighborhoods, this is a great way to spend the day with family and friends. If you prefer to leave the boat driving to someone else, you can check out the Desert Belle, which offers a relaxing, narrated boat ride around the lake. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, and a lot of other wild life. Finish up with a nice meal at the Lakeshore restaurant.

Saguaro Lake Ranch

The name says “lake” but this is all about the kayaking! There is no better way to enjoy the cool water, escape the summer heat, and check out the beautiful scenery than to go kayaking on the Lower Salt River! As you float down the Salt River you could see wild horses, deer, great blue herons, osprey, bald eagles, and other native wildlife. You can rent kayaks at Saguaro Lake Ranch, or bring your own kayak and launch from their beach (check out their rates for all the details on options).

Salt River Tubing

You can’t call yourself an Arizonan without checking out Salt River Tubing. People from all over the Valley make the trip to Salt River Tubing to go down a lazy river with their fellow sun bathers. It’s a party on the water, but one you’ll never forget. Renting a tube includes an exciting bus ride to and from the river. If floating isn’t your thing, join the people on shore who set up camp for the day just to watch the people float by.

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant Regional Park is a large outdoors recreation area straddling the Maricopa and Yavapai county border northwest of Phoenix. If you live in one of the beautiful Anthem neighborhoods, Lake Pleasant Regional Park is about a 20-minute drive from your home. Check out Pleasant Harbor Marina to store or rent a boat; it’s a full-service marina with many services and amenities offered. Don’t forget, they have a restaurant, a bar, as store and concierge service. Take advantage of this beautiful facility right in your own neighborhood!

Kiwanis Lake

There’s a lake smack in the middle of Tempe that you can kayak on all summer long. Kiwanis Lake is located in Kiwanis Community Park in central Tempe, southwest of Baseline Road and Mill Avenue. You can rent single kayaks, double kayaks or even paddle boats for those less daring (or those who prefer to paddle with their feet). Swimming and wading are not permitted, but they have lots of water options or you can even stay on land and rent a surrey, double surrey, cruiser bike or tandem bike. Even if you don’t get in the water, it’s cooler by the lake and a great way to enjoy the lake without getting wet.

Surprise Lake

Another great spot for those who prefer to stay on land, as it offers some great opportunities to fish. A part of the Surprise Community Park, visitors can fish to their heart’s content (look for posted fishing rules), where you can catch catfish, sunfish, trout, bass, and even white amur. There’s also a playground, dog park and swimming pool nearby to enjoy during a hot summer day.

Are you looking for a new home in Surprise or one of the other neighborhoods mentioned in this article? Give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Things to Do
April 28, 2017

3 Ways to Deal with a Self Storage Lease

Storage Unit in Phoenix, AZ

Whether you are buying a house or selling your property, if you lease self storage, chances are excellent you'll seriously reconsider keeping it. Self storage is a wonderful short-term solution to a very common problem: too much stuff and too little space. Unfortunately, too many lessees become inadvertent long-term renters. Paying for storage month after month with only a vague idea of what's inside. Of course, storage companies don't make it easy to get out of leases, but it isn't impossible.

Moving? 3 Ways to Deal with a Self Storage Lease

One option is to aggressively pare down on what you store. This reduces size, which reduces your need for space. So, if there are things you can throw out, donate, and/or sell, do it. Then, you can rent a smaller space which means a less expensive monthly obligation. While this tactic won't free you of the lease, it will be a smaller financial burden. And, you'll still enjoy the benefit of having somewhere to store items you want to keep without taking up space in your house.

This is one bill you really want to pay, especially if you’re keeping precious items in storage. Laws vary by state, but typically a self-storage company has the right to “evict” your goods and auction off your things to recoup the money they are owed. Don’t worry, in most cases your possessions won’t disappear if you’re a week late paying the bill. Depending on state law, a storage unit will have to follow due diligence to notify you of an auction including certified letters and a public notice of auction. --Market Watch

What you should not do is to outright break the lease. This is going to eventually appear on your credit report and become a collections annoyance which only escalates over time. At some point, you'll have no choice but to deal with it and the situation might be nightmarish. You'll not only be responsible for the arrears, but also, plenty of fees. That's just not a good scenario and one you can and should avoid if at all possible. So, if you are moving and no longer want to rent self storage space, you'll have to do something about it. Here are three ways to deal with a self storage lease if you really want to get out of it:

  • Pay off the lease contract. It might be possible to buy the lease out and it's certainly worth a try. Contact the storage facility and ask if you can pay the lease off in one lump sum. Although this is an expensive option, it will legally free you of the obligation and allow you to move on with your life.
  • Empty the space and wait. If you do not want to pay the entire lease agreement off in one sum, then you can at least move your possessions out of the unit and wait until the lease is ready to renew or expires. Be sure to read your contract carefully about giving notice, deadline to empty it, and other lessee obligations.
  • Request an agreement release. This is a long shot but it might be viable. Request to be let out of the lease without penalty. Generally, self storage company leases contain early termination fees and you might even be required to pay the entire amount of time left. You'll have to read the agreement and/or speak with the company to know for sure.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Copper Canyon Ranch or elsewhere in Surprise, AZ and want to make it a smooth process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll gladly assist you with finding and/or marketing a house.

Posted in Moving Tips
April 26, 2017

Where to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Phoenix

Mother's Day 2017

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and now is a good time to start planning what you’ll be doing for that special someone. Looking for something new and different to do for Mom this year?  We’ve got you covered! We’re highlighting some of the best places to celebrate Mom’s day this year, including restaurants, shows and much more! 

Mother Daughter Dance and Dinner

Mothers and daughters can share a special evening, presented by the Florence Parks and Recreation Department. The Annual Mother/Daughter Dinner and Dance is on Friday, May 5, 2017. The event will be held at the Florence Library and Community Center, 778 N. Main Street from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mothers and daughters will enjoy a memorable night full of activities including dance music, food, games and fun.

The fee for this one-of-a-kind event is $12.00 per person, paid at the Library & Community Center at 133 N. Main Street or online at www.florenceaz.gov/parks.

Mother's Day Bridal Celebration & High Tea

This is an event for moms and brides! Engaged couples and their Mothers can attend a high tea bridal celebration. Enjoy a delectable luncheon with a fashion show, shopping, music and live entertainment! The event is Sun, May 7th from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM MST and will be held at the ACC Banquet Facility, located at 8849 E Cholla Street in Scottsdale. Be sure to buy your tickets online early!

Mother’s Day Tea Party

Another great tea party for mom will be held May 13th and 14th at Faith Builders International Ministries, located at 949 East Bell Road in Phoenix. Check out the church’s website for details, including time and costs.

Spa treatments

Mom’s work hard all year, so giving them a spa treatment is the ultimate way to say, “I love you Mom!”. There are several spas offering special packages for Mother’s Day including the Luna Spa in Scottsdale which is offering the ultimate spring renewal pedicure that includes a lavender scrub, invigorating foot mask, and hand paraffin treatment while enjoying a complimentary mimosa. The 60-minute Signature Spa Pedicure costs $59 (regularly priced at $75). The Hotel Valley Ho in Phoenix is offering The Mom +1 Package; the perfect way to treat mom to some much-needed relaxation. Available May 8-14, 2017 it includes two 60-minute massages or facials, two glasses of wine and access to both pools for $200 (includes gratuity, $315 value). Call for reservations.

Take Mom out to the ballgame!

If your mom would rather “root, root, root for the home team” than sit still, The Arizona Diamondbacks are home this year on Mother's Day weekend, in a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates! The following weekend, the Mets are in town. The D-backs play at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. Be sure to buy tickets early; this is always a big day at the ballpark!

Give your mom butterflies

In celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14th, mothers receive $2 off admission and a special gift for the first 200 to arrive. Butterfly Wonderland boasts that it is "America's Largest Butterfly Atrium," home to thousands of butterflies. Check out all there is to do at the Butterfly Wonderland to make it an all-day event.

Best brunches for Mother’s Day

Of course, no Mother’s Day is complete without brunch! Here are a few unique places to check out:

The Gladly: This restaurant is located in Central Phoenix. Enjoy a fabulous Mother's Day Brunch when where they willl be showcasing their award-winning Sunday brunch a la carte menu, as well as daily features from Chef Bernie.

The Farm at South Mountain:  Bring mom down to The Farm for their annual Mother’s Day brunch, where you can enjoy delicious menu items amongst the beautiful pecan trees! Rated one of the best Mother’s Day Brunches in Phoenix!

Gertrude's at the Desert Botanical Garden:  The restaurant is offering several menu specials to commemorate mothers including special caviar and pheasant items starting at 10:30 a.m. until they are sold out. Located on Galvin Parkway in Phoenix

Make this Mother’s Day a memorable one for mom! If house hunting in the west valley is on your list of Mother’s Day activities, and you want to make it a smooth process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll gladly assist you with finding one that best fits your wants and needs. 

 

Posted in Things to Do
April 7, 2017

Where to Find Some of the Best Hiking Spots in the Valley of the Sun

Hiking in Phoenix, AZ

Living in Arizona means that year-round, you get to enjoy some of the best urban hiking around! What makes hiking in the Phoenix metro area special is that you can enjoy some of the most amazing views without having to leave the city. The Valley of the Sun is one of the few places in the country that can brad about some of these spectacular views in city limits. No matter what part of the Valley you live in, here is where to find the best hiking spots in the Valley; one must-hike location and a few many people don’t know about…. until now!

Papago Park

If you’re a frequent commuter on the 202, chances are you’ve driven past Papago Park many times, and likely saw many hikers enjoying the trails and scenery if offers. The gorgeous red sandstone that makes up the park is unique because not only can you hike on the sandstone, you can hike in the red sandstone, weaving your way in and out of cave-like areas such as Hole-In-The-Rock. This is a must-do urban hike for anyone who lives in the Valley.

Peoria Sunrise Mountain

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Westwing Mountain neighborhood in Peoria, you practically have this beautiful hike in your backyard! This is a fairly easy hike, the trail is well-maintained, and the views are nothing short of amazing. If you’re feeling adventurous, the more challenging portion of the hike will take you to the very top, but the views are well worth it! There are trails for beginners, intermediate hikers and advanced hikers, so this urban hiking locale has something for everyone!

Deem Hills

North Phoenix has an abundance of hiking areas to choose from. Stetson Valley boosts proximity to the Deem Hills Recreation area, where urban hikers can find some convenient yet challenging hikes to do without leaving city limits. The extensive trail system allows for both short hikes or longer ones. While fairly popular, this area is never overcrowded. The hikes are challenging but never too steep so you can cover a lot of ground. Once you get to the north side of the park, all the city views disappear and it truly feels like you’re out in the middle of nature but you’re still in city limits!

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

West-central Arizona has a gem of a hiking resource in the White Tank Regional Park. Folks who live in the White Tank Foothills community can take full advantage of the largest regional park in the county. The park is open 365 days a year, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to check out this treasure. One of the most popular trails is the Waterfall trail, which features a waterfall and is great for any skill level of hiker. It’s mostly used for hiking, walking and trail running, and the best time of year to hike is November – April. Dogs are allowed on the trail but they must be on a leash at all times.

Thunderbird Conservation Park

If you live in Glendale and are a dog lover, you’re in luck!  The Thunderbird Conservation Park is dog friendly, and the urban hiking is great! There is about 15 miles of multi-use trails have been constructed within the park, so you and your furry friend can choose which level of difficulty to try. This park is a is a conservation park dedicated to preserving the desert environment, so the trails and surrounding areas are always pristine. You can find a full list of Thunderbird Conservation Park hiking trails so you and your dog are prepared for a great day of urban hiking.

Are you looking for a home for sale in Glendale so that you can enjoy a dog friendly hike? Just give us a call. We'll help find the right property and work hard to get it for you.

 

Posted in Things to Do
March 30, 2017

What Sellers Look for in a Buyer's Purchase Offer

Real estate purchase contract

Deciding to buy a home is a big financial and life changing move but it's one that is typically worthwhile over the long-term. Locking in your cost of housing, building equity, and having stability are all great things. But you might face a somewhat unfavorable situation. It could be buying in a seller's market or in a popular neighborhood where house are rarely listed for sale. Whatever the reason, you should know what sellers look for in a buyer's purchase offer.

What Sellers Look for in a Buyer's Purchase Offer

Before you enter the real estate market, take time to prepare. Because the majority of home purchases are financed, it's going to take some time to obtain pre-qualification and the all-important pre-approval. Also, time to save for a down payment, earnest money deposit, inspections, moving, closing costs, and miscellaneous expenses. You should order copies of all three credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax (which you can do once a year for free through Annual Credit Report.com). Then, peruse each file for any errant information. Be sure to file disputes by U.S. Postal snail mail and skip the short, online forms.

Drafting a solid offer, or purchase contract, is like successfully cooking a new recipe. As a buyer, you want to pay the lowest possible amount for your new home, and have flexible terms for items such as earnest money deposits, mortgage commitments, and closing dates. As a seller, you want to get as much as you can for the property, with few contingencies and a quick timeline. --Home Finder

When your credit reports are in order, it's time to start shopping lenders to compare mortgage products and rates. Try to avoid adjustable rates, if at all possible. After you've done all your preparatory work, you'll probably begin your house hunt online. You'll likely see many homes in person and once you find the home with most of your needs and wish list items, you'll need to submit an offer to the seller. So, here's what sellers look for in a buyer's purchase offer:

  • Official pre-approval. If you don't have the liquid assets to make a cash offer, one with a pre-approval is the next best thing. This is because pre-qualification is little more than a cursory check of your finances, credit, employment, and more. A pre-approval is a serious examination of your finances and more, providing you with an amount you're able to borrow.
  • Sizeable earnest money. Some buyers skimp on saving for their good faith deposit and it only hurts them when it comes to the strength of their purchase offers. Have a sizeable earnest money deposit ready-to-go so the seller knows you're serious about buying the property.
  • Flexible closing timeline. It's usually a good idea to give the seller some flexibility with the closing date. After all, most sellers will also be simultaneous buyers. At the very least, the seller is likely to be searching for a rental, if he or she isn't a property investor or heir selling a house.
  • No far-reaching contingencies. While you'll occasionally see advice to waive all contingencies or most, this just entails too much risk. Instead, be reasonable with your contingencies, the seller will understand you're only covering necessary due diligence.
  • A sincere, viable backup offer. If you learn an offer already exists with the seller, then submit a strong backup offer. Consult your buyer's agent about what to include, what to change, and what to omit. This gives you a chance to buy the home, if the other buyer backs out of the deal.

If you are in the market to buy a Copper Canyon Ranch home and want to make it a smooth process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll gladly assist you with finding one that best fits your wants and needs.

Posted in Buying, Selling
March 21, 2017

Top 5 Things for Families on Spring Break in Phoenix

 

Spring Break in Phoenix

Phoenix metro is one of the most popular places for families to visit during spring break. The weather in Phoenix this time of year is beautiful, with the average daytime temperatures in the 80s, giving winter-weary visitors a welcomed respite from the cold. Not only that, Phoenix boast some of the best activities for families visiting this time of year, from spring training games to festivals to amusement parks and more. Need some ideas for your spring visit to Phoenix? Grab a pen and read on…

Spring Training Baseball

Baseball is the all-American pastime and families gather from all over the country to watch their favorite teams at play. Spring training in Arizona offers fun for the whole family, from watching the game to eating the fabulous stadium food to simply basking in the wonderful Arizona sunshine. Looking to catch a game or two when you’re in town?  Check out the Cactus League’s website and get ready to root, root, root for your home team!

Renaissance Festival

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a Jousting Tournament and a feast, all rolled into one non-stop, day-long, family adventure! There is something for everyone, including unique shows, fabulous food and one-of-a kind arts and crafts. The Festival is open Saturdays, Sundays and Presidents' Day Monday, from mid-February to the 1st weekend in April. Festival hours are 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. You can buy tickets in advance on their website or buy them at the gate.

NCAA’s Men’s Final Four

Phoenix will host the 2017 NCAA’s Men’s Final Four Tournament, but the town begins to buzz with excitement weeks before the finals start. The NCAA Men’s Final Four is not just three basketball games. It is a weekend-long extravaganza of events for fans and families alike. From the ultimate NCAA sports experience at Final Four Fan Fest to three days of free concerts at the March Madness Music Festival, a sneak peek into the teams practicing at Reese’s Final Four Friday, youth clinics, a basketball dribble down the streets of Phoenix and much more. There is non-stop action – all of which is low to no cost. It’s great entertainment for the whole family! Buy Fan Fest tickets to take advantage of all the fun!

Tempe Spring Arts Festival

Shop for art, eat some great food, and listen to local entertainment at the Tempe Springs Arts Festival being held in downtown Tempe March 31st – April 2nd. The festival even features “Kid’s Block” where kids can see works by their peers and do some projects of their very own! The festival is surrounded by shops, restaurants and pubs, so plan on spending the day here to get the full experience. The festival’s website provides useful information on parking, mass transit, driving directions and artists in attendance so be sure to check it out before you go.

Phoenix Film Festival

Ready for something a bit more low-key and out of the sun?  Check out the Phoenix Film Festival which runs April 6th – 13th. The Phoenix Film Festival will screen more than 175 feature films and shorts. Attendees will be a part of screenings and Q&A sessions with producers, director and talent. Different films will be presented each day. The Phoenix Film Festival has been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals and a Top 50 Worth the Entry Fee by MovieMaker Magazine and has been called the most filmmaker-friendly festival out there. Learn about the festival and buy tickets on their website.

Whatever you decide to do while visiting the Valley of the Sun, be sure to take advantage of our fun events and beautiful weather. If you’re considering making Phoenix your permanent home, or looking at homes for sale in Litchfield Park, AZ don’t hesitate to contact us for local market information. We’ll help you find the right home with most of your wish list items.

 

 

Posted in Things to Do
March 7, 2017

Easter Egg Hunt Locations in Phoenix 2017

Easter Egg Hunts in Phoenix 2017

Spring is one of the busiest times of year for the Valley of the Sun and with good reason:  Phoenix boasts some of the most beautiful weather this time of year, and there is no shortage of activities for winter visitors, from golf tournaments to spring training games to car shows and more. Phoenix is especially family-friendly this time of year, and offers some of the best Easter egg hunts and other Easter activities for the entire family.

Easter egg hunts and Eggstravaganzas in Phoenix

There are lots of places where the little ones can hunt for eggs. Below are just a few great venues for egg hunting and if you’re lucky, you might even see the Easter Bunny!

Enchanted Island Free Easter Egg Hunt – This event is free for all ages 1 – 10. Age appropriate hunts start at 10am (see the website for start times for different age groups). Arrive early, as all kids must register to receive an age-appropriate stamp. Registration is FREE! All eggs are prize-filled plus 40 Grand Prize eggs! Be sure to bring your own basket. The Easter Bunny is available 9am – 3pm.

Fountain Hills Eggstravaganza – Event will be held at Golden Eagle Park. Watch as hundreds of kids scramble to pick up over 15,000 eggs stuffed with candy and other prizes. Held on the ball fields at Golden Eagle Park, this event is a sure way to begin the spring season. Hoppy Bunny will serve as Master of Ceremonies and will be available for hugs and pictures throughout the event.  The event is open to children up to 7 years old who must be accompanied by an adult. Arrive early as the main event starts promptly at 9 a.m. A pancake breakfast will be offered.

Florence Easter Eggstravaganza - Hop down to the park and hunt for 15,000 prize filled eggs! There will be inflatables, vendors, and crafts for all to enjoy, Hip Hop the bunny will also be available for pictures. Event will be held at Heritage Park.

Dolly Sanchez Memorial Easter Egg Hunt - Enjoy a great event full of family fun and the chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Bunny! Held annually the Saturday before Easter, this event offers something for everyone. There are candy hunts for eight different age groups and one for individuals with disabilities.  
Highlights of the event include a petting zoo, pony rides, make & take crafts, face painting, carnival games, fun inflatables, and much more!  Admission and parking are free when you bring canned food to benefit the St. Mary’s/Westside Food Bank Alliance. Some activities require a nominal fee. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

Spring Eggstravaganza – Come to the Surprise Recreation Campus on Saturday, April 15th for an Easter egg hunt, inflatables, face painting, clowns, and Mr and Mrs Bunny!

Easter Egg-Citement – Reservations are recommended; registration and train rides will start at 9:00am and the egg hunts begin at 11:00.

Church at Litchfield Park Easter Egg Hunt – Good for infants through 5th grade, this Easter egg hunt starts at 10:00am on April 15th. There will also be singing and the Easter Bunny will be there for photos as well.

Easter pageants and parades

Everyone loves an Easter parade!  Here are a few parades that will be happening for Easter:

Easter Parade and Spring Fling – the 41st Easter Parade and Spring Fling will be held April 15, 2017 at the Ahwatukee Community Park. There will be artists, crafts, food vendors and other service providers, along with stage entertainers, carnival rides, food and drink, and the Easter parade that starts at 10am. Fun for the whole family!

Easter brunches

Looking for a nice place to relax and unwind after your little ones have gathered all their eggs?  Phoenix has some of the best Easter brunch offerings around. Here are a few of the more popular venues; click the links to get details on location, times and prices:

The Farm at South Mountain (Phoenix)

Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain (Scottsdale)

Wrigley Mansion (Phoenix)

The Wigwam (Litchfield Park)

Other things to do on Easter Day in Phoenix

If you’ve had your fill of bunnies and eggs, but are still looking for fun things to do on Easter Sunday, check out all events happening on Easter Sunday here.

Spring is the best time of year in Phoenix, which is why so many people make the move from Phoenix winter visitor to permanent resident. View all Phoenix Real Estate today at www.LovingPhoenix.com and see all the houses listed in the Arizona Regional MLS.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home and want to know more about the process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Things to Do
March 3, 2017

What Can I Expect from the Short Sale Purchase Process?

Approved short sale Verrado

Buying a home is a big financial commitment. So, some first-time homebuyers look for bargains. These come in different forms. An estate sale, a fixer-upper, foreclosure or short sale. But with a discount price comes a lot of due diligence. And, it's a more precarious situation. This is because in most cases, the buyer has less control of the process. Especially when it's an estate sale, foreclosure or short sale. So, you should know what to expect from the short sale purchase process.

What can I Expect from the Short Sale Purchase Process?

There are pitfalls to any home purchase, regardless of type, distressed or non-distressed properties. But with short sale purchases, buyers tend to make some common mistakes. These include being too optimistic. Looking past the property's problems and future complications. Skipping the home inspection because of misunderstanding their rights. Ignoring the various legal matters. Not delving into insurance needs and falling in love with a lemon.

A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to accept less than the full balance of the amount owed in order to release their lien on real property. Short sales have become a popular solution for homeowners who wish to sell their property but owe their lender(s) more than their home is worth. --The Settlement Group

Also, a short sale situation is a stressful one for the seller. He or she is giving up a lot of control to be free and clear of an unaffordable debt. Unfortunately, lenders aren't in the business of selling homes. So, don't expect much in the way of concessions. Generally, the only repairs made are those to ensure the property is free of health and safety issues. But typically, that's about the extent. What's more, you not only need to know what to expect from the short sale purchase process but what you should do:

  • Work with an experienced real estate professional. If you've already begun your house hunt and stumbled onto a short sale that seems to fit, you should solicit the help of a local real estate professional. You'll have an experienced guide to help you navigate the process and someone who can advise you to your best interests.
  • Find the right house. Some buyers begin their search with a narrow focus. Saving money on the purchase price being a driving force. But, it's important to understand, saving on the purchase price might well mean big time rehab expenses. Don't let a fanciful idea dominate your thinking.
  • Submit a strong purchase offer. Usually with a short sale purchase, the potential buyer should go in with his or her strongest offer. Lowball offers tend to be rejected because the lender is already losing money on the sale. In general, the stronger the purchase offer, the better.
  • Get a home inspection. Unfortunately, some homebuyers skip the home inspection because they believe a house sold as-is, doesn't give them the ability to have it inspected. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this is one situation that absolutely demands a home inspection.
  • Wait for lender approval. While it's a nerve-racking wait, it's just part of the short sale purchase process. The lender won't rush back with an immediate answer to your purchase offer. Be prepared to face a long wait period. In addition, be prepared for a higher purchase price counteroffer to come back from the lender.

If you are in the market to buy a short sale home for sale in Verrado and want to know more about the short sale process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Buying, Short Sale
Feb. 28, 2017

Home Improvement Tax Deductions

There are several home improvement tax deductions, including credits and more. So, when it's time to prepare your taxes, you should take advantage. While not all home improvements you made in 2016 will qualify, plenty do make the list of acceptable write-offs. Be sure to consult a licensed professional to ensure you're not running afoul of some obscure or arcane tax rule. You might just find some pleasant surprises or at least something that eases your burden.

Home Improvement Tax Deductions

As any experienced real estate pro will tell you, home improvements are generally long-term investments. Sure, some are great for short-term returns. For instance, small repairs and a fresh coat of interior paint are great ways to get a home in showable condition to sell. But, you won't find any give-back from Uncle Sam. And, if you're selling your primary residence, don't forget about capital gains, as this tax can be a factor.

It’s no secret that finishing your basement will increase your home’s value. What you may not know is the money you spend on this type of so-called capital improvement could also help lower your tax bill when you sell your house. Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home. Why is that a big deal? Because a higher cost basis lowers the total profit — capital gain, in IRS-speak — you’re required to pay taxes on. In other words, you might have a tax break coming. --House Logic

Speaking of selling real property, if you're going to sell a rental house, definitely look into using Section 1031 of the United States Internal Revenue Code to your benefit. A 1031 exchange allows you to defer capital gains or losses, if you purchase another property. Also, if you did any home improvements to a rental home in 2016, be sure to ask your tax professional about possible deductions and credits. Here are some of the most common home improvement tax deductions:

  • Home improvement loans. If you took out a loan specifically for home improvements last year, then you can deduct the interest you paid. In fact, the interest write-off extends up to $100,000, according to IRS Publication 936. You can also deduct the interest paid on a HELOC or home equity line of credit in most circumstances.
  • Improved energy efficiency. While not exciting, energy-efficient home improvements do help to reduce long-term costs. Additionally, you can deduct or receive credits for many of these. Insulation, central air conditioning, solar water heaters, windows, doors, skylights, roofs and more are all included, according to EnergyStar.gov.
  • Capital improvements. Making some repairs and other home improvements to ready your house for sale typically qualifies as capital improvements. These include roof replacement, window replacement, door and gutter replacement and HVAC replacement.
  • Certain repairs. If you repainted the interior and exterior of your home, those are considered tax neutral. But, repairs made for damaged caused by fire or storm might be allowed under casualty/loss rules. Here again, consult a tax professional about what's allowable.
  • Home office improvements. The rules for home office improvements allow for some deductions. But, not all home office improvements will qualify. What's more, those home office improvements which do qualify might require you to deduct over time. These generally fall under legitimate business expenses, since the home office is used for just that.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home and want to know more about the process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you house hunt and find a property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Home Improvement