Real Estate Update from Andrew Holm ~ February 2012

Local Events

Valentine’s Day Dinner
February 14, 2012

An a la carte menu is offered and features items like a cranberry-kiss martini and an appetizer of Maine lobster bisque and butter-poached snow crab. The entree is a 4-ounce mesquite wood-grilled filet and two pan-seared diver scallops with accompaniments like risotto and asparagus spears. Dessert is a “cupid’s heart” petite-shape red velvet cake with raspberry cream-cheese icing served with a trio of chocolate-caramel truffles and vanilla anglaise. Reservations recommended. Click here for menu.

Tonto Bar & Grill
5736 E. Rancho Mañana Blvd. | Cave Creek, AZ 85331


Carefree Native American Market

February 17-19, 2012 | 10am-5pm

Spend a truly “carefree” and relaxing day enjoying this new Native American Market. You’ll want to spend the entire day taking in the casual, lively, atmosphere that this event will create in downtown Carefree, Arizona. Enjoy a unique shopping experience in the shadows of the cactus studded foothills, while visiting the many boutiques, galleries and outdoor café’s that downtown Carefree offers. Free Admission & Free Parking

Town of Carefree, AZ 85377


Design for a Living World

Daily through April 1, 2012 | 10am-6pm

This winter at the Desert Botanical Garden an exhibition about design and sustainability will be on display in Dorrance Hall. The exhibit titled, Design for a Living World, connects the natural world around the globe with people, plants, and places. Developed by The Nature Conservancy the exhibit tells the story about the life-cycle of materials and the importance of considering conservation when designing new products, buildings, or landscapes. The exhibit includes works by ten prominent designers that used sustainable materials from around the world to recreate everyday objects, video interviews with the designers, sketches, models, and large-scale photography by acclaimed photojournalist Ami Vitale.

Desert Botanical Garden | Dorrance Hall & Ottosen Gallery
1201 N. Galvin Parkway | Phoenix, AZ 85008
Desert Botanical Garden


Statistics Prove Home Staging Works

Barb Schwarz, ASP, ASPM, AB, IAHSP

Many years ago, Barb Schwarz coined the saying “The investment IN staging your home will always be less than a price reduction ON your home!” And that statement is as true today as it was all the way back in 1973, when I developed the concept of staging.

The math is pretty simple. Imagine a $300,000 home that’s been on the market for six months without selling. The seller is becoming more and more frustrated and considers a price decrease of 5 percent. That’s $15,000. Now imagine investing only a fraction of that sum in staging and selling the home much faster.

That’s what staging will do, and the numbers are in to prove it – time and time again.

Recent statistics gathered by shows that 94 percent of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional sold in 29 days or less, compared to an average of 145 days for homes that were not staged. What’s more, homes staged by Accredited Staging Professionals stay on the market 83 percent less than a home that has not been staged.

For home stagers and real estate agents alike, it’s imperative to showcase the positive impact of home staging, both visually by showing examples of past staging projects AND by sharing statistical evidence that home staging works and that the investment is worth it many times over.

So next time a seller brings up the subject of a price reduction, make sure to share the positive impact of home staging. The investment will be less and the impact most likely more.

Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.
Photo Credit: Barb Schwarz,


Ways to Go Green and Save Green

Save energy to save money.

  • Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
  • Unplug appliances when you’re not using them.
  • Or, use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
  • Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.

Save water to save money.

  • Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
  • Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
  • Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area. Continue Reading »
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