Great Stay-cations around the Valley

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No time to venture out of town, but need a break in a big way?   Many Valley residents love to staycation.   No cooking, no laundry, no errands and just lounging by the pool for a couple of days sounds like a great anti-stressor, doesn’t it?   Lots of options:


Categories : Blog
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Fire Prevention Tips

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Nearly half a million structures, including homes, burn down across the US each year.  Each has a unique story explaining the cause of the fire.  Many could have been prevented with more vigilance or better home maintenance.   Sean Lissarrague with American Family Insurance in Chandler  (480-759-4102 ) graciously offers this quick safety list to remind us all to be safe and prevent home fires: 

Categories : Home Care
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Patio and back yard trends

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Valley dwellers love their back yards.  While patio time may shrink during our hottest months, we have pools, misting systems, and shade to add to the allure.  Here are some trends employed to enjoy and entertain in the back yard:

  • Making it as comfortable as your family room with natural materials using outdoor rugs, blankets, pillows.
  • Comfortable seating – retro looking furniture on the patio is a big trend currently.
  • Cool, soothing colors, or bright ones, patterns.
  • If your patio is small or you would like another shady spot, adding a pergola or gazebo is popular.  Less expensive: a sun-sail or umbrella.
  • Adding lighting to spotlight a few hardscaping details or plantings lends drama to the evening.
  • Less grass and more low- maintenance and desert-friendly trees and plants.
  • Urban or container gardens for condos or tiny yard space.
  • Edible gardens. Growing your own tomatoes, lettuce, spices.
  • Outdoor kitchens for some, or at least a good grill to limit oven use inside during the hottest months.
  • Wireless surround sound.


Categories : Arizona Real Estate
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Stuff not to move

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Moving to a new home is a new chapter of your life, so why not start with a fresh slate and lose the clutter. When deciding what to bring to your new home, ask yourself whether you use it, really need it, or really love it.  For anything not getting a yes – toss it out. Here’s a list to start you thinking about stuff you can sell, donate, or give away to lighten your moving load.

  1. Old towels, linens and shower curtains, You may be buying new linens for your new home, or may just want to pare down to your best and favorite.
  2. Unworn/Old Clothes, as you pack, create a pile to donate clothes that no longer fit, or you never choose to wear.  Some people can easily reduce closet contents by a third or even half!
  3. Cosmetics, cleaning supplies, aging spices and canned goods in the kitchen.  Enough said.
  4. Cords, Cables and old electronics no longer in use.
  5. Paperwork, Take the time to sort through those boxes of papers, organizing the essentials (perhaps digitizing) and shredding those tons of old statements.
  6. Excess furniture, appliances, knickknacks,  Most of us find that some furniture just isn’t right for the new place- and there are charities happy to pick up.  While you’re looking at larger possessions, go through the kitchen and donate small appliances and extra sets of dishes just taking up space.  Knick-knacks are personal, and you may love all of yours – but now’s  an opportunity to free the less than favorite ones to someone else’s home, reduce your collection, and thereby limit clutter growth in your lovely new place.

If you are ready to buy, sell or have a real estate question, please contact me.  I love to help.

Categories : Arizona Real Estate
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Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster.

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It used to be that people would buy a house for cash or a loan with a much shorter payoff schedule than today’s typical 30 years.  The house would stay in the family and get passed on through generations.  Today – the average time spent in a house before selling it is 10-13 years.  Paying off the mortgage is still a goal many have.   Here are a few tips to help pay off that huge debt:

  1. Make an extra payment each year, by paying a little extra each month, or a full extra payment once a year.
  2. Setting up a bi-weekly payment will accomplish an extra payment a year.
  3. If you can’t make a full extra payment a year, even a little extra every month will help shave your principle.
  4. Sometimes refinancing can reduce the interest rate, thereby reducing the payment, making it easier to pay extra.
  5. Refinancing to a 15-year loan does wonders.   Look at ways to shave other expenses to enable a larger monthly payment.    If you do want to consider refinancing, carefully look at the numbers to make sure the expense associated with refinancing is worth it in the long run.

A good lender can help you decide and let you know your options.   Just ask – I can recommend a few trusted ones.

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