Paradise Valley: the Ultimate in Arizona Living

Paradise Valley: the Ultimate in Arizona Living

 

Nestled conveniently between Phoenix and Scottsdale is Paradise Valley, Arizona’s most affluent and exclusive community. With a population of about 26,000 over a tiny 16.5 square miles, Paradise Valley has become THE place to live for the wealthy from all over the United States thanks to its spectacular views of Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain, along with spacious single-family home properties of at least one-acre, Paradise Valley should be on your shortlist if you want seclusion and safety.

 

Exclusive Neighborhoods with Famous Residents
Paradise Valley’s 19 neighborhoods are home to many famous people who have lived there previously or still have homes. Rocker Alice Cooper and his wife are long-time residents of Goldwater Estates. Arizona Cardinals head coach Cliff Kingsbury and team president Michael Bidwell own properties here, as does Olympian Michael Phelps.

Among the more popular neighborhoods in Paradise Valley are Camelback Country Club, Mockingbird Lane, Montelucia, Stone Canyon, Casa Blanca. The average home value in Paradise Valley is just over $3 million, but buyers will also find many lavish, multi-acre residences like the Tuscan-style estate in the Cameldale community that recently sold for $21 million. The 15,736-square-foot home has seven bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and a guest house on 4.27 acres. That will be outdone by a massive 18,000-square-foot estate by BedBrock Developers set to begin construction in 2023. The price for this over-the-top residence with multiple swimming pools and a 10-vehicle showcase garage is $30.6 million.

 

Why is Paradise Valley So Popular?
Paradise Valley is almost exclusively residential, which gives residents ultimate privacy, yet the community has possibly the best location in the Phoenix Valley. It’s close to attractions like Downtown Phoenix, Old Town Scottsdale, Fashion Square, the Shea business corridor, and Scottsdale Airport. making the combination of seclusion and fun eminently attractive.

 

High-End Resorts and Golf
The good life is out in full force in Paradise Valley. You’ll find four luxury resorts in the town:
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
• Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
• Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley at The Palmeraie
• Doubletree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley

Golfers won’t go wrong with any of the fabulous courses. Take your pick as each one is better than the next:
• Camelback Golf Club
• Paradise Valley Country Club
• The Short Course at Mountain Shadows

 

Fine Dining
Local resorts and golf clubs all have renowned cuisine. Yet, you’ll also find outstanding food at the following restaurants:
• El Chorro
• Elements
• Rita’s Cantina & Bar

 

Local Schools
Students primarily attend classes in Scottsdale Unified School District 48, with teens attending Chaparral and SaguaroHigh Schools while others attend Camelback High School in the Phoenix Union District. Biltmore Preparatory Acade

Improvements That Improve Your Home’s Safety

Improvements That Improve Your Home’s Safety

Improvements That Improve Your Home’s Safety

 

If you’re worried about people trying to gain access to your home without your permission, you should learn about these tools that improve home safety.

 

Home security is important; everyone should feel safe in their own homes. Stopping people from trespassing or intruding on your property isn’t always easy, but you can find ways to deter theft. To improve safety on your property, consider this list of the best home upgrades you can invest in.

Home Security System

The first step is to invest in a home security system that’ll alert you and local law enforcement when someone breaks into your home. These security systems are among the best tools you can use to keep your home safe from break-ins and respond to intruders. Additionally, a good home security system is a security feature that makes your home more attractive to buyers.

Better Outdoor Lighting

Lighting has a significant impact on the frequency of crime, as criminals want to avoid attention when breaking the law. Places with poor lighting are more common targets for intruders because they will have an easier time getting away undetected. Invest in motion-sensing lights and look for better lighting solutions in and around your home.

Impact-Resistant Windows

Many burglaries happen when someone breaks a window to access the house. That’s why impact-resistant windows can be so helpful in protecting your home. These windows are difficult to break, which protects your home against invaders as well as storms and intense winds, which are common in arid places like Arizona. Additionally, new impact-resistant windows help increase the value of your home.

Improved Door Locks

Doors are another common entry point for thieves looking to gain access to your home. Try to install a lock or deadbolt that’ll prevent access by anyone who doesn’t have a key. This will make it difficult for people to break in, plus they are easy to set up in your home. That’s why improved door locks are among the best improvements that increase home safety.

These methods all help keep your home safe from individuals who may want to break in. While these improvements won’t make your home impenetrable, they can dissuade criminals from even attempting to break into your home.

Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home

Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home

Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home

 

The holidays are a wonderful time to visit Arizona and view homes for sale. Don’t miss these unique Arizona holiday traditions for your new home.

 

Each region of the U.S. has special winter festivities. If you’re planning to relocate to the Phoenix area, don’t miss some of these unique Arizona holiday traditions for your new home. The holidays are a great time to visit and see what your new community has to offer at this special time of year.

Our climate won’t necessarily provide a Currier and Ives postcard aesthetic—unless you’re high in the Arizona hills, where snow is possible! But our desert traditions and multicultural communities have an abundance of festive events for residents to enjoy during the holiday season.

Luminaria

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix glows with thousands of luminaria and holly along curving walks throughout the garden. Buy tickets in advance. The event runs through the end of December.

Camelback Santa

Sometime in the last decade, some hikers went up the Camelback Mountain trail and set up a Christmas tree at the summit. Then a volunteer, John Cressey, became “Camelback Santa,” distributing candy canes to anyone who took the trail to the top to get a photo with him.

The hikers and volunteers have reached an agreement with the park service to keep the area clean and litter-free and are now using birdseed ornaments. They remove the tree each night and bring it back the next day to minimize environmental impact.

Chandler Tumbleweed Tree

Arizonans have been known to craft snowmen out of tumbleweeds. The city of Chandler take holiday tumbleweeds to the next level with a Christmas tree made out of tumbleweed. They spray the tree with fire retardant and paint and string colorful lights on it in a ceremony that’s back in 2022 after a temporary pandemic shutdown.

Polar Express Grand Canyon Train

The whole family will love the 90-minute train ride that leads from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon. The train ride is based on the children’s classic holiday book, “The Polar Express,” and delivers passengers to Santa and his reindeer at the “North Pole.”

Glendale Glitters

In the nearby Phoenix suburb of Glendale, enjoy brilliant lights, shopping, and live performances at the annual “Glendale Glitters” event. Check the schedule for movies, too!

Zoolights

The Phoenix Zoo is brilliant with lights and music during the holiday season. Tickets include a visit to the “Dinosaurs in the Desert” exhibit.

Creative Cacti

Don’t be surprised by the occasional Santa hat atop Arizona’s signature Saguaro cactuses! The famous I-17 Christmas “tree” (actually a juniper bush) fell victim to fire, ending a long-standing Arizona holiday tradition. But Arizonans find many substitutes for trees to decorate, from shrubs to palm trees.

Professional tree services are available to consult with Phoenix residents about maintaining the health of native trees through the holiday season. They can determine whether a tree can bear decorations or is better left in its natural state.

Arizona is ready to welcome you for a holiday visit or a permanent stay in your new Phoenix area home!

 

Livable, Western Theme, That’s Scottsdale

Why Golf in Scottsdale Is The Perfect Sport To Take You Outdoors 

Livable, Western Theme, That’s Scottsdale

 

Scottsdale is unique whether you call it America’s Most Livable City or the West’s Most Western City. This major suburb of Phoenix is a city unto itself, with everything you need to live the good life. Whether it’s local or high-end shopping, creative restaurants, golf, stunning scenery, or things to do, you’ll find it in Scottsdale.

 

Ideal Homes for Everyone

While Scottsdale is rightly known as a luxury enclave for real estate, prospective buyers can find homes in a wide variety of price ranges. Property values have appreciated considerably over the last several years, with the median sales price in 2022 at approximately $850,000. However, prospective buyers can find cozy condominiums that make perfect retirement or winter homes in the low to mid $300,000 range, all the way up to brand-new multi-million estates worth over $9 million. You’ll also find plenty of mid-range family-friend neighborhoods.

You’ll find four major areas in Scottsdale. South Scottsdale tends to have the least inexpensive homes. Old Town (and Downtown) Scottsdale) has trendy, modern condominiums attractive to young professionals, while Central Scottsdale has many different neighborhoods appropriate for young families and those looking for executive homes. For the ultimate in luxury and expansive land, head to north Scottsdale.

Single-family homes represent the overwhelming residence type, with many located in popular planned communities like Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale Ranch, McDowell Mountain Ranch, Grayhawk and more.

 

Living the Scottsdale Lifestyle

Buying a home in this community places you amid everything that makes living in Arizona unlike anywhere else. What’s your pleasure? Golf, tennis, pickleball, hiking? You’ll find it within minutes of your home.

 

Outdoor Life

Scottsdale is a paradise for those who love to spend time outdoors. The city has an extensive public parks system, with facilities like Scottsdale Sports Complex, Sandpiper Park, Cactus Park, El Dorado Park, and Chaparral Park, featuring multiple sports courts, fields, playgrounds, pools, and running/biking paths.

The main attraction for outdoor enthusiasts is the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale’s crown jewel, with more than 30,500 acres of pristine desert, including 225 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The preserve has 11 trailheads with paths for all skill levels. Other outstanding recreational areas include the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, the Cave Buttes Recreation Area, and McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

 

Top Golf Courses

Scottsdale is home to dozens of resorts with world-class links, each one better than the next. According to Golfbreaks, the best courses are:

 

  • We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, in the Sonoran Desert, owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
  • Troon North, considered Scottsdale’s Crown Jewel
  • TPC Scottsdale
  • Talking Stick, situated on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community

 

Tennis and Pickleball

Virtually all country clubs and resorts have excellent courts, although some have guest- or members-only policies. But you’ll still find dozens of places to play, including:

  • Indian School Park & Tennis Center
  • Scottsdale Ranch Park & Tennis Center
  • DC Ranch Village Tennis Center

 

Shopping, Dining, and Things to Do

What’s your fancy? Boutique shopping? Creative dining, Art galleries and walks? While strip malls that serve daily shopping needs are scattered throughout the city, residents have several main areas where they can enjoy themselves. Check out these districts:

  • Downtown includes the Entertainment District with diverse restaurants and nightlife and Scottsdale Waterfront with an upscale mall, restaurants, and high-end high-rise living. For luxury shopping, visit Scottsdale Fashion Square with name brands like Versace, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and Prada.
  • Old Town, located just south of downtown, this unique area has historical buildings like the Blacksmith Shop and the Rusty Spur Saloon, plus many great boutiques, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants. It’s a great place to stroll or spend time after enjoying a baseball game at Scottsdale Stadium, the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants.
  • Kierland Commons and the adjacent Scottsdale Quarter feature a chic collection of shopping, dining and entertainment with a combination of local and chain restaurants, movie theaters, and special events.

 

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Scottsdale is home to more than 750 restaurants in Scottsdale, like mom-and-pop eateries and pancake houses, ethnic restaurants, steakhouses, and five-star fine-dining establishments. Among the restaurants with outstanding reputations are:

  • Café Monarch
  • Talavera
  • Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
  • The Vig (multiple locations)
  • Goldwater Brewing Co.
  • Franco’s Italian Café
  • Grassroots Kitchen and Tap
  • Los Olivos
  • The Mission

 

Festival Fun

In the cooler months, Scottsdale comes alive with frequent festivals. Choose from these and many more:

  • March: Scottsdale Arts Festival – A week-long event with art, music, fun, and culture.
  • September: Scottsdale Fall Festival – A popular three-day event with handmade crafts, local and ethnic foods, live entertainment, and a parade.
  • October: Salt River Fields Balloon Spectacular – This pre-Halloween event features more than 20 hot-air balloons over two days, trick-or-treat candy stations, a haunted trail, and a fireworks finale.
  • November: Scottsdale International Film Festival – For eight days, you can view over 50 films at the Harkins Camelview at Scottsdale Square and the Harkins Shea 14 theaters.

 

New Places

Although some businesses have closed their doors over the last few years, come creative ones have taken their place like:

  • Etta
  • Green Corner Restaurant
  • The Wine Collective of Scottsdale
  • Gastronome Market
  • Culinary Gangster
  • Hello India

 

Local Schools

Scottsdale Unified District 48 covers most of the town, with Cave Creek Unified District 93 serving the far northern portion. Five high schools are in District 48, including Arcadia, Chaparral, Coronado, Saguaro, Desert Mountain. Families can also choose Notre Dame Preparatory High School, Bella Vista College Preparatory, and several  parochial and private elementary schools.

Best Communities in Arizona to Raise a Family

Best Communities in Arizona to Raise a Family

Best Communities in Arizona to Raise a Family

 

Any family would be happy to call several cities in Arizona home. Arizona’s top cities, towns, and villages exhibit a family-friendly appeal thanks to safety, excellent schools, great amenities, clean streets, and friendly neighbors. But nothing is flawless. Every charming city has an equal counterpart that you should avoid. As a result, check out our list of the best communities in Arizona for families if you want to raise your family in an area with many benefits and few drawbacks.

Scottsdale

Head to Scottsdale to raise a family while having a blast doing it. Scottsdale has a relatively temperate climate, even in the height of summer, in contrast to much of the rest of the state. In addition, it still has a lot to offer even without its moderate climate. For instance, it abounds with top-notch public schools, good wages, a low crime rate, and fantastic career prospects, particularly in the tech sector. Many pubs, clubs, and restaurants are available for folks who want to juggle parenthood and their active social life. Moreover, it’s simple to understand why Scottsdale is such a popular travel destination considering its breathtaking riverfront, lovely parks, and many golf courses.

Paradise Valley

Another one of the best communities in Arizona to raise a family is the lovely Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley, in many ways, lives up to its glorious name, and you will quickly understand why people choose to live here. It is a well-kept and wealthy city that borders the Phoenix metro region. Also, Paradise Valley has under 15,000 inhabitants, but it has expanded by about 15% over the past ten years. The roadways and landscaping are immaculate, and it is Arizona’s most prosperous municipality. In addition, there are a lot of golf courses, hiking trails, public parks, and indoor attractions in Paradise Valley for family fun. However, most families travel to Phoenix or one of its suburbs for more diversity.

Marana

There are several excellent reasons why Marana’s population has continuously grown in recent years. The town, northwest of Tucson, has a lot to offer families, including a relatively low crime rate and nearly 20 well-regarded schools. If the abundance of amenities, booming employment opportunities, and miles of the breathtaking landscape seem like the type of area you’d like to raise a family in, you know where to go.

Gilbert

More than 272,000 people now call Gilbert home, making it the biggest town in the country and one of the fastest-growing communities. Just southeast of Phoenix, Gilbert spans 72.6 square miles and has shifted from an agricultural area to a vibrant and economically diversified suburban community. Gilbert is considered the most prosperous city in the country, one of the safest, and one of the best communities in Arizona to raise a family. Destination parks, eateries, entertainment, and business possibilities abound in Gilbert, enhancing the quality of life for locals and tourists alike.

Therefore, if you would like to move to Gilbert, we would understand your reasons. However, ensure you reach out to an expert team of movers to help relocate you here, especially if you have to make an interstate move. Interstate movers can make your relocation fast and carefree so you can enjoy your new home as soon as possible.

Phoenix

We must mention Phoenix discussing Arizona, right? Phoenix is a beautiful city with many benefits, as its 1.6 million citizens can confirm. Families will like many aspects of the city, including the top-notch amenities, the strong employment market, the variety of housing alternatives, and the reputable schools. There are several outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy, including countless chances for hiking, mountain biking, and camping. Just be aware that you might want to avoid it if you don’t like the heat. Phoenix, like a large portion of Arizona, is extremely hot.

Chandler

Like many Arizona communities, Chandler is home to more than 261,000 people and still rising. Furthermore, 25% of the population is represented by children, one of the state’s highest proportions. The city has top-notch schools, which is excellent news for these lucky youngsters. In reality, BASIS Chandler,  one of the top high schools in the nation, is located in Chandler. Furthermore, the Chandler Regional Medical Center, one of the top hospitals in the country with a recognized maternity center, is another community highlight.

At the same time, the Crayola Experience, an amusement park where kids and their parents can express themselves creatively, is one of the most incredible activities to do with kids in Chandler. Also, make sure to visit one of the best places in Chandler, the Arizona Railway Museum, or try Escape Chandler, one of the top five Western US escape rooms.

Sedona

Sedona, whose slogan is “The Most Beautiful Place on Earth,” may be the most attractive city on our list. It is situated in the center of the desert, surrounded by towering red sandstone formations and an endless expanse of mountains, canyons, and woods. More than 80 art galleries in the city exhibit great art paintings, modern jewelry, exquisite wood carvings, and much more. This charming and artsy town also has a great selection of excellent little restaurants, pubs, and cafés that line the streets, making it a great option as one of the best towns to live in in Arizona.

Prescott

Nearly 40,000 people live in this little community, isolated in the desert and located approximately 1.5 hours north of Phoenix. Nevertheless, we consider it among the most remarkable places in Arizona to live. Numerous lakes and fantastic hiking routes are available, and it is near a lot of natural beauty. Additionally, the stunning Prescott National Forest is very near to the city. Also, Prescott has a charming downtown area that will make you feel like you are in the Old West, which kids will absolutely love.

In conclusion

As you can see, Arizona has a lot of great cities and towns for families with children. So read our list carefully and choose your favorite one out of the best communities in Arizona to raise a family. Arizona will offer anything you need, whether you want a calm town or a vibrant city.

Image used:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/villas-of-arroyo-roble-resort-in-sedona-arizona-6604588/

 

Most Common Real Estate Purchase Mistakes in the Chicago Area That Buyers Make

Most Common Real Estate Purchase Mistakes in the Chicago Area That Buyers Make

 

A property is always one of the largest investments a person makes in his or her lifetime. Chicago is one of the most luxurious cities in America. By eliminating several fundamental mistakes, prospective homebuyers in Chicago may make well-informed, long-lasting judgments concerning the purchase of a home. Sometimes, homebuyers make decisions based on emotion and want rather than reason and need. This might cause years of hardship since they will be trapped with mortgage payments on a property, and they cannot sell for what they pay.

Overpaying For a House

To prevent overpaying, submit an offer on a Chicago home that has been on the market for an extended period of time. Usually, sellers first overprice their home and spend some time understanding the price. It also costs money to get a house listed, and unhappy and nervous sellers are more motivated to sell a home for a low price. Look for foreclosures, since they are always on the lower pricing side. People who had money when they purchased their property frequently cannot pay it in the future, resulting in magnificent homes being foreclosed on at a discount. Then, compare the home to comparable properties in the same community.

Not Appointing a Real Estate Expert

There are several processes involved in purchasing a property, and many of these steps cost money. Some purchasers attempt to reduce out-of-pocket costs by giving up the services of a real estate agent. 

Chicago’s luxury real estate expert Rafael Murillo said, “By an agency agreement, the buyer’s agent has a legal responsibility to their client and is required to act in their best interest. Before acquiring a property in Chicago, you must require to choose a real estate agent from among the many available.”

Ignoring HOA fees

In the center of Chicago, condos with homeowner’s associations (HOA) are more popular than single-family residences. Unfortunately, only a few purchasers are aware of the extent to which HOA fees can boost monthly housing costs. Every homeowner is responsible for contributing to the building’s maintenance and operations. Typical HOA fees in Chicago include water, common area maintenance, landscaping, insurance, and maybe broadband. Understand the most prevalent mistakes when buying a home in Chicago.

Incapability To Pay the Mortgage

If you want to buy a home in Chicago, you must definitely make one of the largest investments. Most people have a general understanding of their income and what they can spend at the time of purchase. Regardless, the future remains unknown. You cannot predict the quantity of money you will have in the following years. Experts have established that you should not devote more than 30% of your monthly income to your mortgage payment. Additionally, save money and make the largest possible down payment. This will minimize your monthly mortgage rate and your loan amount.

Excessively Decrease in Value

Future value is a big consideration when purchasing a property in Chicago, particularly the first home. When purchasing a property, it is commonly assumed that you would someday wish to improve or relocate. Finding a house in a community with excellent public schools is typically a very strong indicator that a city’s property values will not decline. Examine the neighborhood’s property prices over time to see if they are growing. Explore the city. Make some questions.  Has the neighborhood’s downtown improved? Do several new enterprises exist in the area? If yes, then the home’s value should grow if it is adequately maintained.

Neglecting Closing Expenses

Once you’ve saved enough money for your down payment, you might think you’re done. However, you will also need money to meet your closing fees in Chicago. Expect to pay an additional 3 to 5 percent of the purchase price at closing for incidentals such as the loan origination charge, assessment, lawyer fee, paperwork fee, inspection, and insurance. The exact amount varies by area and property type. Request that the seller pays these charges via credit at closing to resolve this issue. 

Chicago is the most convenient place for rich homeowners. Purchasing a home is a commercial transaction. Many purchasers run into difficulties when they acquire an emotional attachment to one of the properties they view. Before proposing and negotiating an offer, it is optimal to have a first option, a second choice, and ideally a third choice. Always be prepared to walk away from talks if the vendor refuses to fulfill your requirements in Chicago.

Buyer’s Guide: 5 Things to Look for in a Vacation Home

Buyer’s Guide: 5 Things to Look for in a Vacation Home

Image source

 

Investing in a vacation home is a great thing to do, having plenty of benefits. Many people worldwide decide to purchase a vacation home to rent or to go for a retreat whenever they want. But it is not the sole reason for buying a vacation home. So, before you set your mind on a vacation home to buy, you should consider your plans for using the vacation home. This is essential as it steers the whole purchasing process. Most often, people either buy a vacation home nearby, if they plan on using it often, such as weekly. If they plan on using it a few times a year or during a certain season, such as winter or summer, they often decide to go for a vacation home abroad, so it feels like a vacation.

 

Among the top 5 things to look for in a vacation home, we’ve listed the price as the first and main factor. Then, there is the suitability aspect, as not all vacation homes work for everybody. You should also be mindful of the location and the neighbourhood. Moreover, you want to buy a well-equipped home that doesn’t require a lot of investment. Additionally, you should consider how to protect it as you don’t live there.

 

1.   The price

One of the most deciding factors when it comes to buying a vacation home is the price. In fact, before you even start considering a certain vacation home to buy, you should first consider your finances and decide how much money you have at your disposal. So, setting a budget is the very first step. Having a budget narrows your choices. However, be mindful of the finances, as the price of the vacation home is not the only thing you have to pay. There are other, additional costs related to property purchasing, so consider these too. The fees and taxes associated with buying a home abroad can differ from the country you live in, so you should get familiar with these before making a final decision.

2.   Suitability

Another thing to have in mind when it comes to purchasing a vacation home is its suitability. Think about what kind of vacation home would be most suitable for you. Think about the seasons: which are your preferred seasons for spending time in your vacation home? Is it summer or winter? Take into account other factors as well regarding suitability. What’s also important to note is that buying a property abroad requires the help of a local professional. So, if you’re planning on buying a vacation home in Australia, consider hiring a buyer’s agent in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or wherever you plan on buying. They know the laws, they have insight into listings and they can be of great help. It is an investment worth the while.

3.   The location and the neighbourhood

Another key factor to consider when making such a big investment is the location and the neighbourhood. Depending on how often you plan on visiting your vacation home, consider how far it is and how optimal it is. Try to think objectively and really consider whether the location suits your needs. If you plan on using it often, opt for a closer location as you won’t likely want to spend too much time travelling back and forth.

4.   How equipped it is

Moreover, you want your vacation home to look nice and to be well-equipped. If that’s not the case, you’ll have to invest money into a renovation, which can be a little difficult as well as costly, especially if you don’t live in that country. Instead, it’s better to purchase a vacation home that’s ready for use. It is the easiest and most affordable way to go.

5.   Protection

Every home needs some kind of protection, especially if you don’t live in it. You want to make sure that your vacation home is safe and secure from burglars and break-ins. Have someone take care of your vacation home at least on a monthly basis. You can find and pay for such services, they come in handy. You can also consider a security system with alarms and cameras to surveil your home from afar.

 

Searching for a vacation home can be exciting, but also overwhelming and challenging at times. As it is a substantial investment, one is likely to make once or twice in a lifetime, it’s essential to approach it seriously and take time to make the right decision.

Experiencing The Best Hikes Near Scottsdale

Experiencing The Best Hikes Near Scottsdale

 

What is one of the best ways to enjoy the Sonoran Desert? On foot, of course. The Phoenix Valley is full of excellent hiking trails, especially in Scottsdale and surrounding communities. When the weather cools, many area residents take to the trails for exercise and to enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.

Most residents are only minutes away from a great hike. Some Scottsdale neighborhoods even have running and walking paths that connect to some of the area’s best trails. You’ll find family-friendly and easy trails, along with challenging ones with steep climbs, all with outstanding scenery. So, put on your boots, fill up your water bottle and make sure you have sunscreen. It’s time to enjoy the best Scottsdale and North Valley hikes.

 

Camelback Mountain

This beloved Valley icon of red sandstone and granite has two challenging climbs for the hikers, both reaching the summit. The Echo Canyon Trail starts at the “camel’s head,” while the less-crowded Cholla Trail is just as challenging and picturesque. Both have steep, rocky terrain and slick patches.

 

Tom’s Thumb Trail

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is full of beautiful hikes, but Tom’s Thumb Trail is one of the best. It has a four-mile out-and-back walk that is short yet steep and full of switchbacks. You’ll love the views of the surrounding mountains and Phoenix but be prepared, as there is little shade. Yet, this hike is worth any discomfort you may feel as you enjoy spiny cacti, millennia-old geologic wonders, panoramic desert views, not to mention quick-footed desert creatures.

 

Pinnacle Peak Park

Head to North Scottsdale for one of the area’s best outdoor experiences. The Pinnacle Peak Summit Trail is hard to beat. This 3.5-mile round-trip experience features one of the area’s most picturesque hikes with towering saguaros, abundant wildlife and spectacular views. The trail is wide in smooth, even though you’ll experience an elevation change of 1,300 feet to the top. Keep your camera handy as you’ll want to snap photos of the views as well as wildlife like quail, jackrabbits, cactus wrens and roadrunners.

 

Go John Trail

This hike in Cave Creek Regional Park is a six-mile trek that loops around jasper-studded hills. This moderate trail has several bursts of additional difficulty, but it also has gorgeous views of the nearby Spur Cross Ranch.

 

Bajada Nature Trail

Located in Scottsdale’s Preserve, this trail is wide, scenic and ideal for families with young children who want to introduce them to the desert. It’s also great for those with mobility challenges, as it is one of the area’s easiest hikes. This half-mile hook has a minimal elevation gain and a hard, smooth surface that allows you to view plants, animals, geology and topography.

 

Jewel of the Creek Preserve

The Dragonfly Trail in Cave Creek’s Jewel of the Creek Preserve is a hidden gem. The well-defined dirt path is accessible for walkers to navigate, with only a few rocky spots. Dragonflies and butterflies are numerous in this desert oasis with water and lots of greenery.

Kitchen Upgrades That Increase Home Value

Kitchen Upgrades That Increase Home Value

Kitchen Upgrades That Increase Home Value

 

One of the most important rooms that homebuyers look at is the kitchen. Luckily, there are a few kitchen upgrades that increase your home’s value.

 Selling your home means putting yourself in the shoes of future buyers. They look at each room and picture what their life will be like as they walk through the doorway. So it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the home’s small and large details. The kitchen is one of the best staging grounds for this purpose. These are a few kitchen upgrades that will increase your home’s value.

Repaint Your Cabinets

The kitchen is the location where you create delicious meals and recipes. For that reason, it’s important that it feels both spacious and clean. Open house concepts focus on removing as many dividing walls as possible to help with this, but that doesn’t help old cabinetry. If you’re not looking to replace all of them, brightening things up with a new neutral coat of paint goes a long way in freshening the entire room.

Update or Install an Island

Walk-in kitchens are highly coveted, and that space garners extra accommodations, like islands. The important thing to remember when installing or upgrading yours is not to take up too much space. It’s essential that you and your guests can comfortably move without struggling to maneuver around the kitchen’s basic fixtures. Islands allow for more practical applications and storage that help your home valuation without taking up too much space.

Replace Older Appliances

The fridge, oven, and dishwasher are all key points people look at in a kitchen. Everyone knows what that old white refrigerator looks like, and when looking at home, it’s not an appealing feature. It’s worth considering upgrading to newer equipment and knowing how to clean and maintain your stainless-steel appliances to make them last.

Buyers look at your kitchen as one of the main focal points of your home, so it’s worth knowing how often to replace your appliances. An open and clean appearance is the most likely way to draw attention and make it easier for a buyer to come to a decision. These kitchen upgrades that increase your home’s value are worth considering when going down the list of things to change up in your house.

4 Financial Tips for First-Time Homeowners

4 Financial Tips for First-Time Homeowners

4 Financial Tips for First-Time Homeowners

 

Are you considering buying your first home? You likely have questions about the costs involved with homeownership. Here are some helpful financial tips.

There are plenty of beautiful homes in Arizona that are perfect for first-time homeowners. When you’re about to embark on a new journey, it’s natural to have questions about costs. Here are some financial tips to help make the journey easier to navigate.

Determine Your Budget

Even with the help of a mortgage, an important financial tip for first-time homeowners is determining how much they feel comfortable spending. Plan on saving some money for your down payment, as this will be a major expense.

Depending on what kind of mortgage you receive, your down payment can be anywhere from 3 to 20 percent of the cost of your new home. To figure out this number, you can try using down payment calculators online. That will give you some idea of what to expect.

Besides the down payment, you should also keep in mind other factors that will affect your budget, including:

  • Property taxes
  • Moving costs
  • Closing fees
  • HOA fees

Familiarize Yourself With HOAs

First-time homeowners who lived in apartments may neglect to think that their new neighborhood may come with unexpected fees. It’s important to learn about homeowner association essentials beforehand.

Also known as HOAs, these organizations set certain rules to enforce community standards. They also charge fees in exchange for providing you with services, such as maintaining the landscaping of your neighborhood. This monthly cost can also impact how much money you receive for your mortgage.

Because HOA fees vary, pay attention to them when shopping for your new home. You will likely see the cost of most HOAs on online real estate listings.

Applying for a Mortgage

Your mortgage is a big determining factor in what kind of house you can afford. Before you even start shopping for a home, try getting preapproved, as this will give you a clearer picture of your financial situation. It will also give you a better chance of closing on your desired home, as this position helps sellers take you seriously.

To set yourself up for success, research the dos and don’ts of applying for a mortgage. Essentially, establishing stability is important, so you should make efforts to improve your credit score. This factor will show lenders your successful history of paying back creditors.

It’s also wise to get multiple mortgage quotes, even though it can be tempting to stick with the first one you receive. You can save more money by comparing what’s out there.

Assess Your Family’s Needs

Lastly, consider what you want out of a home. If it’s only you and your partner, you likely would not need as large of a home as someone with children. You could save money by buying a townhome, condominium, or a duplex.

However, if you want plenty of space for a growing family, you would likely choose a single-family home. While this type of housing can be more costly, they generally come with more space and privacy than the other options.

We wish you nothing but the best in finding your new home! With a little know-how, you’re bound to find a home you can afford.

What to Do When a Neighbor Damages Your Property

What to Do When a Neighbor Damages Your Property

What to Do When a Neighbor Damages Your Property

 

Sometimes, accidents happen. One day you may wake up or come home to damage to your property, and perhaps your neighbor caused it. Neighbors can be your best allies and trusted friends, or they can be a nightmare when causing noise, not taking care of their property, or damaging your land or home.

 But before rushing to knock on your neighbor’s door, it’s important to calmly evaluate if the kind of damage you find could really be the fault of your neighbor. Is your neighbor liable? Much will depend on the circumstances that lead to the damage. 

Frequent Types of Damage 

Not all damage to your property will be the fault of those living next door or perhaps above you if you reside in an apartment complex. Yard or window damage can be the result of inclement weather and the fault of no one. 

 

Typical property damages caused by neighbors include:

  • Windows broken by children or pets
  • Pavement damage due to emerging tree roots 
  • Damages caused by construction work at your neighbor’s house
  • Fence damage from trees, vegetation, or activities next door
  • Roof damage due to falling trees from the property next door or unsecured objects during stormy weather
  • Garden damage by children or pets 
  • Excrements left on your property by neighbors’ pets
  • Water damage from flooding next door or above you if you live in a condo or apartment complex.

 

These kinds of damages are generally unintentional and accidental. 

What to Do When You Discover Damage

Evaluate the damage you find and prepare an accurate description of what exactly occurred. Photos of the damage should be part of your documentation. Be sure to include the date and any incidents that took place before the damage appeared. If someone witnessed the damage, get a statement. 

 If you feel that vandals have caused the damage, you will need to report it to law enforcement and file a police report. This is important even should you decide not press charges. A police report may prove to be a deciding factor in an eventual court case.

 

What to Do When the Property Damage Is Caused by a Neighbor

The first thing to do is talk to your neighbor, because he or she may not even be aware of the damage caused. If you do not have a good rapport, put your complaint in writing otherwise, try these steps:

  • Choose a reasonable hour to approach your neighbor and remain calm, be sympathetic, polite, and patient while explaining the damage suffered. 
  • Request that your neighbor accompany you to where the damage is to verify and evaluate repair necessities.
  • Verify if your neighbor is insured or in the case of a construction company if the company is. Ask your neighbor if their home insurance covers damage to third parties. A neighbor may decide it’s not worth it to make an insurance claim and pay out of pocket. You too, may also be able to make a claim to your home insurance provider and then your provider will recover costs from your neighbor’s insurance company. It’s important to verify if either of you have home insurance policies that cover the kind of damage you suffered.
  • Advance a proposal for the necessary repair compensation. You should have estimates that reflect an accurate appraisal of any necessary repair work.

 

If your neighbor appears uncooperative, consider mediation by an accredited third party such as a property manager, a condominium board, or similar. You might find a resolution to the situation without pursuing legal action.

If your neighbor indicates that he or she will not reimburse you for damage, send a registered letter requesting compensation. Letters should include detailed information about the damage including the date and photographs as documentation. If you have already spoken with your neighbor, cite this in your letter. Specify the compensation amount you want and express hope that you will not be required to take further legal action. 

What If I Can’t Prove My Neighbor Caused the Damage?

To submit either an insurance claim or pursue legal action, you must prove that your neighbor is responsible for the damage. Hard evidence is crucial to the success of any request for compensation or claim to an insurance provider. 

What Happens If My Neighbor’s Insurance Provider Refuses to Pay Compensation?

Even if you can prove your neighbor caused the property damage, an insurance provider may refuse payment if the damage was caused by negligence or poor maintenance on the part of your neighbor. In these cases, your neighbor will need to pay for the damage himself.

 

Pursue Legal Action for Unintentional Damage

If your neighbor remains uncooperative and refuses to reimburse the damage despite attempts to talk or mediation by a third-party, and if there is no response to a written complaint, take your case to court. If everything else has failed, legal recourse may be the only option that remains.

To pursue legal action, you will need an attorney, or if you don’t have the budget for this, you will have to file a complaint in small claims court. 

This means completing all the necessary paperwork and getting a court date. Remember, that laws will differ from state to state. In Arizona, you can only make a claim against another party for damages if the amount is less than $3,500.00. In California, for example, you can claim for a dispute up to the amount of $10,000. 

When pursuing legal action, you’ll need all available supporting documentation including a description, witness statements, photographs, and anything that can support your claim. If you suffered more than just property damage, such as lost wages or pain, these aspects should be included in your case documentation.

Appointing an attorney may be costly, so evaluate if the cost of reparations is more or less than the cost of a lawyer. If you have suffered costly, extensive damage, selecting an attorney may be your best option. 

When Damage Is Malicious and Intentional

If you have a tumultuous relationship with the folks next door, and your neighbor purposely damages your property, this action will most likely be a criminal offense. If you have reason to believe that the damage was done intentionally, you need to contact the police.

 

When Is the Best Time to Invest In Real Estate In Florida?

When Is the Best Time to Invest In Real Estate In Florida?

When Is the Best Time to Invest In Real Estate In Florida?

 

Investing in real estate can be a tricky thing if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s easy to get caught up in the low real estate prices and beautiful locations that Florida has, but you want to make sure you’re investing at a good time. If you want to know the best time to invest in real estate in Florida, keep reading. 

What is the real estate market like in Florida?

Florida is a great state with so many homes available for sale at great prices. People come from all over to live in Florida due to the fantastic temperatures, amazing waterfront views, and fun atmosphere. People also visit to invest in some of the gorgeous properties that sit along the coast. 

The real estate market has done incredibly well over the last year, and it just seems to get better and better. The state has continued to rise in population, and it continues to be in the top 10 fastest-growing states. They have also done a great job keeping up with the housing demand, and there are plenty of new construction homes available.

The state is known for some of the most beautiful houses in the country, and people love to vacation there in the summer months. This means short-term rentals have seen a significant boost, with vacationers choosing to stay in a nice home over a dingy hotel room. 

Is there a good month to invest in Florida real estate?

There are actually a few times in the year when buying real estate will be less expensive for you. In April, the listing price of homes is actually 6% lower than the rest of the year. April is also an excellent month for housing choices as there are usually 15% more homes on the market. 

If you’re looking for the best time to get a mortgage rate, think about buying a home in December. This is usually the slowest month for homes everywhere due to the large amount of money people spend during the holiday season. In December, the mortgage rate is about 2.9% for a 30-year mortgage which is a fantastic rate compared to the rest of the year.

As far as seasons go, the summer months usually have a higher price of about 10k. Many snowbirds from up north come down in the summertime to vacation, and a small percentage decide not to return. Buying a home in the colder months is the way to go if you want to save yourself some money. 

 

Are there good towns to look at if I want to buy some investment homes?

Florida has plenty of amazing towns all along the coast, but some of these places have a higher cost of living based on the fact that they cater more to tourists. Luckily, there are plenty of smaller towns near big cities that have excellent prices, along with a few larger towns that have incredible homes. Let’s have a look at some of the best cities to look at if you want to invest in Florida real estate.

 

Lakeland, Florida

Median Home value: in the 300k range

Lakeland is situated just east of Tampa and has a population of around 110,000. People love the fantastic local parks along with the great location, and many of the residents Commute to nearby towns for work. The city also has a 45% rental rate, so you will likely have quite a few people looking for rental homes. 

Daytona Beach, Florida

Median Home value: in the 600k range

If you want to invest in some high-end luxury homes with amazing waterfront views, Daytona beach is the best place to look. The town has around 68,000 residents, bringing in thousands of visitors annually. The largest age group in Daytona is 55+, so the town is an excellent place for retirees and seniors. Among all other locations, Latitude Margaritaville is the most demandable area to buy a home as an investment in Daytona beach.

Fort Meade, Florida

Median home value: low 200k range

This city has fantastic real estate prices along with a great location. It’s a quiet town with around 6,000 residents, and it’s a great place to find inexpensive homes that would be great for short-term rentals. Tampa is about an hour away, so the city is an excellent place for short-term renters to stay. 

Is right now a good time to buy in Florida?

Yes! Now is a fantastic time to check out some of the incredible homes in the state. There are so many cities that still have low prices, so you should get in on it as soon as possible. You want to get in these homes before they are gone!

Realtors agree that the prices right now are only going to go up with the current inflation rate issues, so have a look online at some of the fantastic homes in Florida today.