Valley Real Estate and Community News 

Jan. 6, 2020

Chizona | Moving from Chicago to Arizona

 

What started as a farming community in the 1860s now reigns as one of the biggest metro areas in the country. People continue to flock to Phoenix, AZ, to soak up the sun and the economic opportunities that this Southwest city has to offer.

Living in Phoenix has its perks. For example the cost of living is 5 percent lower than the national average. While median home prices were up last year, real estate costs are still lower than other big cities in the country and 20 percent lower than their pre-recession peak in 2005. More good news for homeowners: property taxes in Arizona are lower than most other places as well.

You’ll never run out of things to do in Phoenix, either. The majestic Grand Canyon and sublime Sonoran Desert are both within driving distance, as are countless other nature spots like Camelback Mountain. We’ve also got plenty of professional sports, not to mention being an important top on the PGA Tour.

Before you pack up to head to the Valley of the Sun, here are 20 more things you need to know about Phoenix.

1. Get used to the phrase “the Valley.”

Phoenix is so big that people tend to just refer to the entire metro area as the Salt River Valley. West Valley cities include Gilbert, Peoria, Avondale, Goodyear and Buckeye; East Valley cities include Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler and Queen Creek. About 4.5 million people call the Valley home.

2. Don’t bother packing your umbrella.

Phoenix averages just 8 inches of rain a year, most of it coming in just a few large summer storms called monsoons. Rainy days just don’t happen here.

3. Think Yankees-Red Sox is a nasty rivalry?


Entire families in the Valley are torn by the major sports rivalry of the state, Arizona State University vs. the University of Arizona. Pick one early (maybe find out your boss’ alma mater before you pledge allegiance).

4. You’ll never get lost.

Downtown Phoenix is one of the easiest cities in the country to navigate, with nearly all streets fixed to a clear north-south-east-west grid. Ever feel disoriented? Just look for South Mountain, which conveniently runs across the south side of town.

5. Never say, “It’s a dry heat.”

That’s one of those sayings that make locals roll their eyes. The heat is, indeed, dry in the summer. It’s much like sticking your head in an oven. Tell locals that it’s preferable to humidity, and you’re in.

6. Everyone is from somewhere else. Seriously.

There are very few native Phoenicians. Whole chunks of the city hail from Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles and more. The good news? There are great restaurants that serve food just like your hometown, wherever that may be.

7. If you’re a sports fan, learn to deal with disappointment.

University of Phoenix Stadium

Valley residents have a love-hate relationship with their sports teams. They love them, but they just hate the pain they cause. As recently as the 2013 season, the Cardinals, Suns and Coyotes each missed the playoffs by one game.

8. Vacations are a lifestyle here.

The Valley is home to some of the finest resorts in the United States, which means world-class spas, golf and dining are just a few minutes from your front door.

9. Plan on wearing jeans — a lot.

Phoenix is one of the most un-formal places around. You can go just about anywhere in a pair of jeans. Anything beyond that and you might be showing off. Yes, the concept of “dressy jeans” actually exists.

10. Learn to love haboobs.

Don’t worry, it’s not a naughty term. The famous dust storms that envelop the Valley a few times each summer are something to behold — as long as you’re not in your car when they hit.

11. You’ll learn to love the desert.

Desert Botanical Garden

It’s an acquired taste for some, but soon you’ll see how beautiful the desert can be. Don’t believe us? Check out the Desert Botanical Garden.

12. Rock yards are normal.

It could be the water-conscious aspect of living in a desert or just the realization that grass takes too much work, but yards of gravel are pretty common in the Valley.

13. No, snakes aren’t everywhere.

But scorpions might be lurking, especially if you live near a mountain. Always check your shoes, and invest in a blacklight (scorpions glow under black light).

14. Someone might not have liked his boss.

Take a good look at Sparky, the mascot of the Arizona State University Sun Devil. He was created by a Disney artist and bears a striking resemblance to Walt Disney.

15. Saguaros are amazing.

saguaros

The next time you see a saguaro cactus, take a real look. Each arm takes more than 50 years to grow. Nature takes time to create its majesty.

16. Each March, drive at night with your windows down.

Orange trees bloom this time of year, and in March the air is magically fragrant.

17. Mexican food is a wonderful thing.

In no time, you’ll find your favorite salsa, taco, enchilada and tamale — and each likely will be at a different restaurant. Get advice from coworkers and neighbors. Everyone has a worthy favorite worth sampling.

18. Be prepared to see famous folks.

golf course in arizona

Athletes flock to the Valley to train in their off-seasons or soak up the sun in the winter months. Scottsdale and resorts in Paradise Valley are havens for entertainers. You never know who you might run into at a coffee shop, restaurant or golf course.

19. Plan on driving just about everywhere.

Just about everyone avoids public transportation with the lone exception of the light-rail system, which is popular for Suns and Diamondbacks games, and downtown concerts.

20. Want to blend in? Don’t get tan.

The Valley of the Sun label isn’t an accident. Phoenix gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Locals use sunscreen and stay out of the heat, while visitors bathe in the sun.

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 30, 2019

Noon Year's Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get ready to ring in the new year at the stroke of...noon. This bash is frosty fun for the whole family.

Festivities include:

  • TONS of Snow (for kids of all ages)
  • Bounce Houses
  • Snowball Targets
  • DJ Dance Party
  • Noon Ball Drop (with a cider/juice toast!)

Phoenix Zoo

455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ

Date: December 31, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Posted in Community News
Dec. 29, 2019

Design Trends for 2020

 

 

From shiny kitchen cabinets to wooden ceiling beams, several home design trends aim to liven up neutral interiors in the new year. Home remodeling website Houzz recently asked designers to chime in about what design trends they expect to grow more popular over the next few months. Here are a few trends they flagged.

High-gloss kitchen cabinetry. Flat-panel cabinets with a high-gloss finish are gaining popularity, Kimmie Rokahr, a designer with DesignLoft Cabinets, told Houzz. The shinier finish bounces light around the space. Also, the flat-panel design gives a modern look that makes the cabinets appear like they’re receding. Additionally, don’t forget about the kitchen hood.

 

Wooden beams. More attention in home design is being placed on dressing up the home’s fifth wall. Wood ceiling beams are one way to do that. Designer Cynthia Soda of Soda Pop Design says the contrasting wooden beams can add some warmth to an otherwise all-white space. It can help accentuate the room’s height by drawing eyes upward.

 

Brass accents. Kitchen designs are incorporating more contrasts, and brass is one way to achieve that. Tecola Robinson of Tecola Camille Interiors told Houzz that she’s seeing more black or dark kitchen cabinets paired with brass or gold hardware for a visual pop.

Posted in Blog
Dec. 22, 2019

2020 Floorcast, what's in store for floors

HOME & DESIGN | 14 Dec | 

As the year (and decade) roll towards an end, it’s the time industry leaders take a focused look ahead to what 2020 has in store. Flooring America takes a look at what’s ahead for the 2020 “Floorcast” for floor design, industry categories and products.

1. Performance Reigns Supreme. One of the most transformative shifts in flooring is that performance has become the standard for the majority of flooring purchases. “Customers need flooring that works with the active lifestyle in today’s world. Floors that hold up to kids, pets, and messes. And thanks to the advancements in technology and innovation in the flooring categories over the last two decades– they can now have that performance and the aesthetic look they want in one product,” said Cathey Gundlach Links, Vice President of merchandising for Flooring America/Flooring Canada, IDG and the Floor Trader groups.

2. Luxury Vinyl Leads The Pack. The hottest flooring for 2020? “Our exclusive Downs® H2O luxury vinyl will continue to be number one on the minds of the consumers with wood looks trending. Beauty and durability will drive the success of this category into 2020.  With the advancements in the technology of the core, solid core constructions will continue to provide worry free flooring options,” Gundlach Links said.

3. Waterproof Wave Continues. Without question, the launch of waterproof real hardwood shook up the market in 2019, and Flooring America’s President Keith Spano sees no slowdown in demand for it in 2020. “AquaDura H2O™ waterproof hardwood has just started to hit the market and the popularity with the consumer is overwhelming.  Customers have totally embraced the whole waterproof phenomenon. The sky’s the limit for design and it will continue to be a game changer for the hardwood category in retail and commercial business,” he said.

4. 2020 Gets Lighter. As for color, the key word for flooring is lighter. “It doesn’t matter whether the customer is looking to purchase hardwood, luxury vinyl or ceramic, the color winners for 2020 will lighter and more natural looking,” said Gundlach Links. 

5. Going Coastal. What was once considered in designs only for the beach and coastal areas, white-washed looks will emerge as a key staple color on showroom floors. “Blonde, lighter greys and beige are will be the new tonal and color direction for wood looks,” said Gundlach.

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 22, 2019

Arizona No. 2 most affordable state in U.S.

 

BUSINESS NEWS | 8 Dec | 

A new study found that Arizona is the No. 2 most affordable state in the U.S. with expenses taking up 70.5 percent of income. The national average is 81 percent. 

What consumers spend to buy everyday items has risen 2 percent in just the past year. With incomes not keeping pace, Americans need to be more careful than ever choosing where they live. 

TheSeniorList.org today released a study on the Most and Least Affordable States using the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics on income and expenses like housing, utilities, groceries, healthcare, clothing, gas and more.

Here are key findings in Arizona:

• No. 1 lowest financial services & insurance costs, which is $2,049.

• No. 3 lowest healthcare costs at $5,681.

Here are key national findings: 

• 10 most affordable states are: D.C., Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Washington, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi.

• The least affordable state is South Dakota, where the average resident spends more per year than they take in, a ratio of 100.9 percent.

• The South is the most affordable region, with an average of 77.2 percent of income eaten by expenses, while the Northeast is the most expensive with 85.1 percent.

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 11, 2019

12 Places you can volunteer this holiday

 

 

 

Looking to give back and volunteer during this season of giving? Here are 12 volunteer opportunities and places you can volunteer to help others this holiday season:

The Salvation Army

Since it was founded in Arizona in 1893, The Salvation Army Metro Phoenix programs continue to provide services to the homeless, working poor, children, youth, addicted, elderly, and abused. They provide homeless and family services, youth and senior programs, an Emergency Family Shelter and an Adult Rehabilitation Center. 

Help The Salvation Army fulfill their promise to America of “Doing the Most Good,” by volunteering. This can include sorting and packing donated items or participating in interactive activities with children and other volunteers. The Salvation Army has an array of holiday volunteer opportunities including signing up to be a bell ringer at a Salvation Army Red Kettle stationed outside of grocery stores and businesses Valley-wide, hosting a Christmas Angel Tree or participate by taking a tag and purchasing a gift or donating.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

Priding themselves as the first food bank in the world, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance founded in 1967 in Phoenix tackles hunger in Arizona through food distribution, children’s feeding programs and a community kitchen. They work with 500 partner agencies in 13 counties to distribute food across Arizona. Or you can volunteer at the Kids Cafe, which prepares and packs up to 5,000 cold meals daily that are sent to after school programs around the Valley by working on assembly lines, making sandwiches and filling meal bags.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Since 1946, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has fulfilled its mission to feed, clothe, house and heal individuals and families in the community. They have various volunteer opportunities available from working in thrift stores sorting and organizing donated items, special projects, assist at the food warehouse sorting items donated by grocery stores and food drives, or help prepare, serve and clean-up at one of their five dining rooms in the Valley. During the holiday season, you can also participate in their Adopt-A-Family Christmas Program, which allows individuals and families to “adopt” families in the Phoenix area by providing Christmas gifts and meals.

A Place to Call Home

Founded in 1998 with the intent to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with special needs and disabilities, A Place to Call Home serves families through their locations in Mesa, Tucson and Prescott Valley. Their services and programs include foster care and developmental homes, adoption certification, training and respite and placement services. You can get involved by helping with set up and decorating activities at agency events, and around the holidays, host a toy drive to provide gifts for children in foster care, or purchase a gift from their Amazon Wish List for a child in care and have it delivered to one of A Place to Call Home’s locations.

Helen’s Hope Chest-Mesa United Way

Helen’s Hope Chest- a part of Mesa United Way, provides clothes, toys, personal hygiene items, school supplies and baby items for foster children in a boutique environment at their Mesa location where they can shop for their favorite items. You can get involved by volunteering to help sort items, host a donation drive or donate items. One of their programs, JaKelle’s Christmas Box which began in 2012, provides gifts to foster children for Christmas, where they can shop for gifts during the annual JaKelle’s Christmas Box held in December. If you’re interested in participating, you can donate gifts and drop them off at Helen’s Hope Chest in Mesa.

Phoenix Rescue Mission

Dedicated to its mission to provide Christ-centered life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness, Phoenix Rescue Mission helps thousands of men, women and children escape hunger and homelessness. They accomplish this through their solutions including the Hope for Hunger Food Bank, The Changing Lives Center for Women & Children, community engagement projects and more.

Arizona Pet Project

Our furry friends deserve some assistance too! The Arizona Pet Project aims to prevent homelessness by keeping families with pets together by providing affordable services, resources and support through shelter prevention programs such as free spay and neuter and shelter intervention. You can volunteer in many ways including administrative assistance, event support, community outreach, at spay and neuter clinics, shelter intervention, construction of building shade structures and fence repair. 

Southwest Human Development

Following their mission to strengthen the foundation Arizona’s children need for a great start in life for a positive future for every child, Southwest Human Development is committed to providing services that uplift the lives of children, families, other care providers and the communities in which they live. Some of the services they provide include child development and mental health services, family support and child welfare and disability services. You can volunteer by helping at special events, working in their book warehouse, helping in the offices.

Ryan House

The Phoenix-based nonprofit offers respite, pediatric palliative care and end-of-life care to children in addition to therapies and activities in a supportive, home-like setting. They provide these services to children at their 12,500-square-feet home that has a Memorial Garden and rooms, a family, arts and crafts and sensory and music rooms, bedrooms, family suites and a kitchen to help children and their families be as comfortable as possible during care. Ryan House has many volunteer opportunities; as part of their Care Team, which assists clinical staff with needs of children and families staying at Ryan House, community and corporate volunteers, where you can assist at events or working on projects or help as a Speaker’s Bureau volunteer, representing the organization at events and meetings and presenting about Ryan House. 

Save the Family

For 30 years, Save the Family Foundation of Arizona has offered resources for homeless families through comprehensive programs and services. They provide housing assistance, youth programs including school support and extracurricular activities, and career services. They also provide veterans services including daily living, transportation and child care. Their volunteer opportunities include their Welcome Home paint and clean projects where volunteers clean and paint homes and help prepare units for residents; cleaning and organizing classrooms at Save the Family’s office in Mesa, organizing a donation drive, teach a class, or provide GED tutoring.

During the holidays, Save the Family provides holiday food baskets and gifts for families who would otherwise be unable to celebrate the season, if you are with a company or group, you can sponsor holiday meals and gifts in December.

Child Crisis Arizona

For over 40 years, Child Crisis Arizona has aimed to provide children and youth in Arizona a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect, by creating strong and successful families through prevention, intervention and education programs designed to support children and families who may be at risk.

They have opportunities that include emergency children’s shelter volunteer; special activities volunteers such as art, music, science and dance; as an early education services volunteer, you’ll assist early education teachers with classroom projects; or as a program support volunteer, you’ll assist with childcare, event support and clerical support.

Arizona Humane Society

Since 1957, the Arizona Humane Society has fostered the belief that every pet deserves a good life. The state’s largest animal welfare and protection agency and designated responder for animals in distress during natural disasters has saved 80,000 pet’s lives over the past five years.

You can volunteer as an individual or as a group that include a howliday canine play, a team-builder with touring the AHS campus, taking the dogs outside for walks and to play, prepare no-bake treats and stuff holiday KONG toys and deliver them to the adorable pups.

Get ready for what could be, quite possibly, the best holiday party ever: with furry friends. The Arizona Humane Society’s Deck the Paws experience offers employees a chance to cuddle and take photos with the Society’s homeless hounds. The holiday-themed selfie station backdrop fit for the North Pole is available for one hour with a donation which will provide up to three dogs and is available through mid-January.

After reading through the places you can volunteer and help, if you don’t see an opportunity that fits what you’re looking for, check out HandsOn Greater Phoenix and Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, which are helpful resources to find more volunteer opportunities or search for nonprofits.

azbigmedia

Posted in Community News
Dec. 3, 2019

2019 F.Q. Story Historic Home Tour

 

 

                 Dec 7, 2019 6:00 PM - Dec 8, 2019 4:00 PM

  • F.Q. Story Neighborhood


  •                   North 11th Avenue & West Portland Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85007, United States

 

 

For 35 years, residents of the F.Q Story neighborhood have opened the doors of selected homes, to showcase our historic homes.  

The 2 day event begins on Saturday afternoon, where at 6:00pm the doors of 8-10 homes being featured open to ticket holders.  Stroll the festively lit sidewalks, as you walk between the homes.  In the 1100 block, the street will be closed, and will feature a selection of food offerings, Hot Coffee and other warm beverages.  Homes will stay open until 9:00pm

Sunday morning at 11:00am doors will open once again. This time, in addition to the homes, the 1100 block of Portland will feature a wide variety of local merchants, many with holiday themed items for sale.  Like Saturday night, there will also be a selection of food and beverage items, including the neighborhood Cookie House, where residents of the neighborhood have baked up a huge variety of sweet treats from their very own kitchens.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Community News
April 11, 2019

Best in Real Estate

Posted in Blog
March 14, 2019

Spring Training Client Appreciation Event

Posted in Blog, Video
Jan. 9, 2019

Serenity Shores

Posted in Blog, Open House