June 4, 2019

7 Things Snowbirds Should Know Before Purchasing Property in Phoenix

There are a number of reasons that one may make the decision to move from Canada and the Northern United States to a more Southern locale before purchasing a home. The warmer climates of Florida, Nevada, California, Arizona, and other traditionally warm places are usually a prime factor. 

That being said, if you're a snowbird planning for a transition into the state of Arizona (specifically Phoenix), there are a few things you need to know about home ownership and the general area. 

Popular Areas To Live

Central Phoenix

The Central Phoenix area is known for its rich arts and culture. It has a good nightlife and is packed with restaurants, clubs, and cool places to spend the day, making it a great place for young adults to take up residence. 

Downtown Phoenix 

Downtown Phoenix is the city’s go-to area for commerce. In recent years it has expanded, filling with recreational opportunities such as museum touring, food and wine tasting, and shopping. 


While Scottsdale is one of the area's most popular for families to live, it's also one of the most expensive. Explore the area and work with a local realtor to find the right space to call home. There are plenty of condos and townhomes in the area that are in great school districts for the kids. Not to mention, Scottsdale features unparalleled shopping for the whole family

Home Care in Phoenix

Make use of the cool hours

Home maintenance is a given in Arizona, seeing as 90% of the year houses are subject to extreme heat and drought. This being said, it's a good idea to work on outdoor house maintenance projects during the coolest hours of the day: early morning and after sunset. Avoiding countless hours in the sun is beneficial to your health, helping you to avoid dehydration, sunburns, and heat sickness. 

Keep an eye on humidity

Due to hot weather and a prevalent monsoon season, Arizona homes are prone to mold and mildew growth. Here, keeping the humidity in the home in check is crucial. Using a dehumidifier is a great way to keep the levels of humidity within the home under control. Check your pipes often to avoid leaks.

Things To Do In Phoenix

Cobra Arcade Bar

The Cobra Arcade Bar is one of Phoenix's most popular over 21 hangouts. Here, you can play classic arcade games while sipping on tasty cocktails. 

Tovrea Castle

Standing like a statue amongst the Arizona desert, Tovrea Castle is a go-to for those first moving to Phoenix. You can schedule a tour or admire the stunning structure from the freeway. 

Desert Botanical Garden

A 140-acre desert garden, the Desert Botanical Garden is the best place to admire the city's unique greenery and landscapes. It's a great family activity for young kids to learn about nature. From within the garden, you can witness a number of creatures, take a guided flashlight tour, or hike the garden's self-guided trails. 

Roosevelt Row

A frequent recreational area for art-lovers, Roosevelt Row features a variety of spectacular visual displays. You can spend the day going up and down the street, visiting art galleries and admiring street art, visiting indie shops, and trying new food.

What is the busy season like in Phoenix?

The busy season, usually going from November to early May, is due to the ideal weather conditions that can be witnessed within the area. The busiest months are February, March, and April. The season brings thousands of tourists, many of whom enjoy a friendly game of golf. 

Tax For Part-Time Residents

Those who live in Arizona only part of the year are still required to submit taxes. Part-time residents have to file tax in Arizona and their state of residency, which often seems as if taxpayers are paying tax twice on one income. However, when it comes to filing within AZ, there are available tax credits that taxpayers can access. 

Part-time residents are also subject to income tax on any income that was made within the state, both before and after moving, and while they were physically in the state. In this situation, any individual who is is subject to tax twice on an Arizona income due to the tax laws in their home state might also be eligible for a tax credit. 

Posted in Lifestlye
March 29, 2019

Family-friendly Activities in Phoenix

With its wide range of offerings, Phoenix is a unique experience for both parents and kids. It’s one of a handful of places where you can visit a ghost town, make a splash in the first wave pool in the country, or dive into something sweet with a candy tour all within a short drive! A brief drive in your midsize SUV can take you virtually anywhere in the Valley of the Sun.


If you’re looking for family-friendly activities that will keep you out of the sun and won’t cost you an arm and a leg, check out our list below.

Must See Attractions and Natural Wonders

Big Surf Waterpark – Arizona doesn’t have a beach but it does have plenty of water. Man-made that is. Founded in 1969 in Tempe, Big Surf is home to the first inland wave pool in America. The park is open all day, but surfers can head over in the morning and later in the evening to go for a ride.


Phoenix Zoo – The largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in America home to over 3,000 animals including 30+ endangered species.


Castles ‘n’ Coasters – Features: roller coasters, miniature golf, and an arcade on a sprawling 10 acres in Phoenix.


Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park – Features artifacts from the  prehistoric Hohokam culture and other pre-Columbian peoples in the Phoenix area.


Pioneer Living History Village – A.K.A. Pioneer Village, this 90-acre historical site and living museum includes 30 reconstructed historical buildings from the 1800’s.


Desert Botanical Garden – A massive area in Papago Park with thousands of different kinds of desert plants and over 125 endangered and rare species.


Goldfield Ghost TownDrive out to this Wild West reenactment featuring a 1890s mining town with gold mine tours, gun slinging theaters, and a history museum.


Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix – The largest theme park in Arizona, Wet ‘n’ Wild is a massive  water park in north Phoenix with a variety of wave pools, rides, and playgrounds.

Stay Cool with Indoor Adventures

Arizona Science Center – Located in Downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center is a museum home to over 350 interactive exhibits that are both entertaining and enlightening.


Odysea Aquarium – Odysea is the largest aquarium in the southwest sprawling over 200,000 square feet and housing over 30,000 different marine animals just off the 101 in Scottsdale.


Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting – Learn of the national history of firefighting ranging from the 1700s to modern times.


I.D.E.A. Museum – Located in downtown Mesa, The I.D.E.A. Museum focuses on providing young children a chance to interact with art across a variety of exhibits and activities.


Legoland Discovery Center – The infamous and creative building blocks come alive at Legoland Discovery Center which features interactive exhibits, movies and a factory tour.


Free Fun for Everyone

Annual festivals and Events – Phoenix embraces community events and free festivals throughout the rear. Check out a list of local events to learn more about the latest events and how to get involved.


Children’s Museum of Phoenix – Have fun and explore an educational experience at the gigantic Children’s Museum of Phoenix that features over 300 interactive exhibits, activities and performances for kids of all ages. There is free admission from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the first Friday of the month.


Cerreta Candy Company – Explore the family-owned Cerreta Candy Company with a guided tour to find out how your favorite candies are made. Free 30-minute tours are offered weekdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Heard Museum – Head to downtown Phoenix to explore the intricate culture and meanings of Native American art at the Heard Museum. Admission is free from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.


Arizona Railway Museum – Choo choo fans rejoice at the Arizona Railway Museum in Chandler. A free museum dedicated to the preservation and history of railways and trains across the greater Southwest.


Explore Candy Cane Lane - The Phoenix winter comes alive with sparkling  holiday lights in several differnt valley neighborhoods. Between 24th Street and 28th Street, Phoenicians can commute to Pinchot Avenue, which is transformed into a lane of giant candy canes and brilliant light displays.


The Arizona League – A rookie-level minor league baseball league hosting 15 teams which has been going strong in the Phoenix area since 1988. Games are free to attend, start in mid June, and the season runs through late August each summer.

Posted in Lifestlye
March 6, 2019

Plumbing Basics for New Homeowners

Owning your first home can be exciting and incredibly overwhelming at the same time. Before if your water wasn’t hot, or your refrigerator crapped out on you could call your landlord and they would get it fixed in a timely manner. Now all this maintenance is your responsibility and any issues that come up could mean you find yourself forking out thousands to plumbing contractors and repair men to get it fixed. That being said, there are a few basics that anyone can learn that will give you a great head start to become a handy homeowner.  


Water Main  


The single most important plumbing tid bit a homeowner needs to know is where their water main shut off valve is. This valve stops all flow of water into your home and can save you thousands and thousands of dollars if you have a plumbing emergency by stopping the water flow. The water main shutoff valve is typically located in the basement or crawl space of homes but if you don’t have either of those, check the exterior perimeter of your home. Swift action by the plumber who knows 1. What the water main shut off valve does and 2. How to stop water flow can be incredibly useful in plumbing emergencies.  




Most people are aware that grease, bones and other things cannot go down your garbage disposal, but did you know citrus fruit peels and hair can cause major build up or damage as well? It’s a good idea when you get into your new home to keep an eye out on drains that may take longer than usual to take away the water. Usually you can fix these by getting a cheap drain snake at your local or big-box hardware store or installing a drain catch if there isn’t one already there. Drain catches work by just filtering all the dirt dust and debris that rolls through your drain, and require somewhat frequently. A few things that are advertised as drain healthy are really not, liquid drain cleaner should really only be used in an emergency and those flushable wet wipes are not really as flushable as they’d like you to think! Keep a trash can next to your toilet and avoid flushing them as much as possible.  


Water Heaters  


Water heaters are something most homeowners and/or residents don’t often think about until it goes out and you get a frigid shower. When moving into your new place take some time to inspect the current water heater and get an idea of the shape that it’s in. You can cross reference the serial number to determine the age of the unit, if it’s north of 12 years old it might be a good idea to start looking at newer units. Choosing an energy star rated water heater can save you up to 300 dollars a year in water heating costs. There are many options even if the space you pick is limited, for example tankless water heaters  are quite a bit more efficient than their tank-style brothers and last almost twice as long.  




Thankfully, the mechanisms that allow a toilet to function are mechanically simple. You have the bowl, the tank, the handle and the components inside the tank. Inside the tank there is usually a chain connected to the arm of handle, and the other side of the chain is connected to the flapper. Often toilet running problems are solved with a quick chain adjustment or a new flapper. Try to take care of your running toilets as quick as possible as they can cost you up to two hundred dollars a year in water costs. If your toilet is kind of old you might want to consider upgrading to a lower flow toilet, it can save your yearly water consumption and therefore impact your water bill. This youtube channel has some great lessons on how to repair your toilet for a variety of issues.  




Did you know that your dishwasher has a filter that needs to be emptied/cleaned every couple of months? It’s frequently forgotten about until the dishwasher starts to act up, but by keeping this filter clean you can avoid working your dishwasher harder than it needs to and using excess energy.  




Got a leaky faucet in your new home? Thankfully, like toilets diagnosing and fixing faucet problems are often simple. Most of the time it just needs a new rubber washer which is a cheap and quick fix. Other issues may occur and can typically be solved by disassembling the faucet and removing all the minerals and other buildup with a wire brush.  


Hopefully, with these fundamentals, you are able to save yourself valuable time and money. Not only will you not have to rely on external plumbers for minor issues, but you can also gain that wonderful sense of accomplishment knowing you got your hands dirty on your own abode!  Contact us for all your Phoenix real estate needs! 

Posted in Homes Projects
Nov. 29, 2018

Quick Checklist for Preparing to Fix and Flip

Are you thinking about starting your first “Fix and Flip” home renovation project? Depending on how you approach these large-scale investments, they can either be tall orders and difficult to see to completion or a walk in the park that takes no more than a few days with the right planning.


At its heart, fixing and flipping houses is a business of investment - you’re spending a little money and time now to reap the rewards later on down the road. Without properly knowing what you’re getting into, you may not maximize your profit in the end and can create a stressful experience for you and your team.


Here are five things you should be sure to do while preparing to load up your work truck and start your next fix and flip project.

Recognize Good Houses to Flip

The number one skill in flipping houses is being able to recognize what are easy projects and what are difficult projects. A home with major wall damage, floor stains, plumbing problems, and a neglected backyard pool will be far, far more difficult to flip than a home that just needs some minor cosmetic changes.


It is said in this business that the best way to maximize your profit, in the long run, is to minimize your initial costs. A house with more than cosmetic changes will require a larger team and more money to be invested. You may see a bigger return in the end with the right approach, but in general, the best homes to flip are those with nothing but cosmetic and light damage to be repaired and improved. Look into updating appliances as the biggest project, and focus on smaller projects like a fresh coat of paint and new countertops.

Research Neighborhood

When you’ve honed in on a house you think is ripe for renovation, take a day or two to research the neighborhood and see what the local area is like.


Commute times, availability of nearby schools, and stores and services located close to the house can all have a major effect on the appeal of the property. You won’t want to think about marketing to families if there are no schools around for many miles, and you won’t want to market the home to commuters if you’re located in an area of the city far from highways and major roads, for example.


The availability of amenities nearby can make the home more appealing to your average buyer, and if the property is very close to anything particularly useful, such as grocery stores or malls, you will want to be sure you know this so you can add it to your list of benefits for potential buyers.

Research the Market

Knowing the local market is key to maximizing the return on your investment when fixing and flipping homes. A house with a renovated pool, for example, will look much more attractive to a buyer in Northern California than a buyer in northern Minnesota.


Spend some time researching the real estate and homes around the property you want to fix and flip - you will be able to get an idea for what styles fit into the local trend (such as painting schemes and landscaping), what locals want from their properties (such as large yards, good school zones, and garages that fit SUVs and trucks), and can recognize options you can renovate into the home makes make it stand out from the rest while still fitting into the local housing scene.

Know Your Costs

With projects that require a huge initial investment such as this, it is highly important that you have a firm grasp and understanding of the costs associated with your project. The average cost of a full home renovation is anywhere from about $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the scale of the project, and that doesn’t include a whole host of other fees and payments you are responsible for.


In addition to the cost of renovation itself, you can’t forget about paying mortgage fees, utility bills, and other costs associated with home ownership until you are actually ready to sell the property.


Be sure to have a financing plan for being able to keep up with the month-to-month costs of flipping homes, such as a loan or through your own finances, and set up a budget so you know exactly where your money is going every month.

Find Team Members

After you’ve chosen a house, gotten to know the neighborhood and market, and understand the costs associated with your fix and flip plan, it’s time to find team members. Look for contractors who specialize in remodeling, especially with cosmetic-only renovations, and see if you can find out who are the top contractors in your area. Unless you also specialize in selling homes by yourself, you’ll want to find a real estate agent or business partner who can help to market the home and get it sold quicker, cutting down your month-to-month costs.


Go into this project knowing as much as you can and with the most thought-out plan you can create, and you’ll be looking at a significant return on your fix n flip investment in no time. Contact our experts to find you next Phoenix real estate project today!

Posted in Homes Projects
Oct. 3, 2018

5 Necessary Tasks to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Moving out and selling the beloved (or begrudged) home you've lived in for years can be a difficult process, whether you're moving "on up" or moving "back in."

While your hired real estate agent can help with most of the home selling aspects, there are a few you can take on yourself. In addition to knowing how to make to home smell like fresh cookies before potential buyers arrive, you'll need to take these five steps when preparing to sell your home.

Home Improvement

Appearances matter. Prepping a house for sale doesn't just mean dusting up and sticking a sign out front. If you really want to increase the value of your home and make it an attractive buy, there are a variety of things you can do that are cost-effective and easy DIY projects.

You can try pressure-washing and painting the exterior, doing some gardening and landscaping to boost curb appeal, replacing cobweb-ridden lighting fixtures, or repaving a cracked driveway. Even if there are some inner matters in disrepair, like bad plumbing, it's critical for purposes of selling that the exterior is presentable. As DIY becomes more popular, more people are willing to overlook some bad plumbing (as long as you disclose it), if they know and see your place as livable.

As much as home improvements are essential to make, you should also be cautious not to over-upgrade because it can come off as gaudy and obvious, and you might not get the return on investment that you’re hoping for.

Home staging

Staging, the act of preparing a home of buyer foot traffic by decorating it, can feel a bit fraudulent because you’re portraying an idealized version of what your house is, rather than what it’s really like. But you shouldn’t feel that way because 1) it’s a common and expected practice; and 2) you’re showing people what their potential home could be like for them (if they put in the time, effort, and attention).

If you have a realtor, they should be able to help you out or at least advise you on staging tips, but here’s some just in case:

  • Invest in good, bright, and warm lighting so your rooms look well lit.

  • Don’t leave closets empty, but do leave a small number of storage containers inside them to make the closets look bigger.

  • Remove unnecessary wires that make rooms look cluttered.


Your home is your home until it’s not your home. When you’re selling your home, stop letting it be your home. Sure, leave a few knick-knacks like photographs and paintings on the walls, but it’s important to create an air of neutrality and let potential buyers project their own lives on your walls and in your rooms.

For some people who’ve lived in their place for a while, depersonalizing can mean taking a space that’s precious to them, like a den or a bedroom, and taking out all the customize aspects that you yourself love. Our advice? Bring in a friend and have them tell you everything they wouldn’t have bothered with and get rid of it or replace it with a rented alternative (at least for a photo session).

Talk with your neighbors

Even if you don’t particularly like your neighbors, when you’re selling, it’s a good time to let them know.

Neighbors are invaluable resources for potential buyers, and buyers know that. Letting them know an unexpected number of unfamiliar cars and strangers will be coming through for a few weeks and maybe even asking them questions about the house and neighborhood helps benefit both the neighbor, the potential buyer, and you.

It's also a good time to get to know neighbors you've never met. If you enjoyed living in your neighborhood, the buyers of your home likely will as well. Getting to know your neighbors, even right before moving, can lead to long-lasting friendships and a good excuse to still enjoy the family activities in your old neighborhood.

Out with the Old

Particularly relevant if you're moving from a large home to a smaller condo or apartment, you'll need to find a way to get rid of your junk. There are a couple ways of doing this. You can hold a yard/garage sale, auction your items on eBay or Craigslist, donate lightly used items to Goodwill or Salvation Army, or use junk removal service to haul away both unusable junk and landscaping debris.

Posted in Homes Projects
Sept. 24, 2018

New Appliances for the Tech Savvy Homeowner

While we’re not in the age of flying cars, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to live like it’s not the future. Advances in day-to-day technology have made it so you can easily transform your home from the mundane to the tech-savvy without even breaking a sweat. A lot of your regular minutiae, from brewing coffee or just locking the front door can be automated or turned into simple voice commands, leaving you to focus on the important bits around the house. Not only will you feel like a futurist, you’ll even be able to save some money with efficient and eco-friendly options on your new, high-tech appliances. Here are some suggestions on how you can take a short trip to the department store for a big jump into the future.

Voice Assistant

For any real upgrade to a tech-savvy future, you’re going to want a voice assistant for your home. While this isn’t entirely necessary, you’ll appreciate it alongside other appliance upgrades. Amazon’s Echo and the Google Dot are specifically designed for communication with your smart appliances, allowing you to manage tasks throughout your home by simply speaking the command aloud. Equipping your front door with a smart lock allows you to tell your voice assistant to lock the door from your bedroom, and installing a smart thermostat means you don’t have to get up to adjust the room temperature.

Smart Plugs

Another important upgrade for versatility is the use of smart plugs. Smart plugs are fantastic because they allow control over just about anything that plugs into a wall outlet, all from your smartphone or voice assistant. Small appliances, like your coffee maker or curling iron, can be remotely turned on so they’ll be all prepped for use by the time you get to using them in the morning. You can even use them to start cooking before you’re home by connecting a crock pot or slow cooker to the plug and remotely activating it. Family dinner is nearly ready to serve by the time you’re on your commute! Perhaps one of the least known uses of a smart plug is to monitor power usage. Most smart plugs let you see how much power the appliance uses when it’s idle, but still plugged in, allowing you to make some decisions on which appliances need smart plugs to manage power use and bring down a costly electric bill by a significant amount!

Solar Powered Water Heater

One of the easiest and most environmentally friendly upgrades anyone can make to their home is to replace their water heater with a solar water healer. Solar water heaters are high-efficiency, green alternatives to traditional gas or electric water heaters. The reduction in carbon emissions alone make these a better choice than the other types, although most households may be more interested in the utility costs. Solar water heaters can reduce up 70% of the utility cost for water heating in your home. The only logistical issue is space for the solar panels, and of course, their maintenance. Some homes are better suited for solar panel installation, so consider getting a consultation before committing to any solar water heater.

Smart Thermostat


For absolute comfort and a futuristic feel, you’ll want to invest in a smart thermostat. Not only do they offer remote programming from your smartphone, most are also designed for energy efficiency when not in use. They sync up well with home assistants, and are simple installs for even the novice tech enthusiast. A smart thermostat can save you money in climate control in your home, allowing you to program and adjust it so you’re not paying to cool or heat an empty house. In addition to that, brands like the Google Nest have programmed eco-friendly settings for providing a comfortable household with minimal emissions.

While searching for your dream home, there's no reason to lower expectations. In the world of technology there are no limits! Contact us today to find the perfect Phoenix smart home for you.

Posted in Homes Projects
Aug. 24, 2018

Outdoors Activities in Phoenix

Phoenix is definitely warm in the summer time, that’s no secret. But the heat doesn’t have to stop you from having an outdoor adventure. Whether you were born to hike or would rather bike, or maybe you just want to cool things down a bit, the Phoenix Metro area has quite the lineup of outdoor activities. Check out these top outdoor things to do in Phoenix, and wherever you go, be sure to take plenty of water.


From dawn to dusk, Phoenix has spectacular hiking trails that are suited for every level hiker. Summer hikes in Phoenix can’t be beat, but the heat is a force to be reckoned with. Get an early start in the morning if you plan to hike during the summer while the temperature is cool and you can beat the morning traffic. Start your hike by 6 a.m. and stay hydrated.


The Echo Canyon trail at Camelback Mountain is a popular hike for both visitors and residents. The trail leads to the mountaintop where you can overlook the city. This trail is great for anyone adjusting to the Phoenix weather since there are bathrooms and water fountains on site. To really beat the heat, follow the trails along the light of the moon. If a nighttime hike sounds spooky to you take advantage of the ranger guided tours offered by the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. There is nothing more peaceful than being one with nature.

Mountain Biking and Off-Roading

If hiking isn’t your thing, hit the trails on a mountain bike. Phoenix Metro area has a cumulative 556 miles of bike trails for every skill level. Beginners love the Double Butte Loop at Papago Park. The 2.3-mile loop lends way to views of the park and the red rock formations. If you are no stranger to mountain biking, you may find the Apache Wash Trail to be more your speed. The intermediate trail takes you from small inclines to cliffsides. Want to add on a couple wheels to your adventure? Phoenix natives and visitors alike love taking to the desert trails on ATVs. Ramp up the fun with a four wheel tour through the desert.


There are also great trails that stretch throughout the city itself. For example, Scottsdale has a paved trail then runs north to south through almost the entire city. The path runs through parks, along golf courses and among the beautiful desert. This makes for a great opportunity to get some exercise or even switch up your morning commute.


Grab your clubs and get ready to tee off at some of Phoenix’s finest golf courses. With nearly 200 courses to choose from, your opportunity for golfing outings are seemingly endless. Golf amongst the desert landscape, or hit a hole-in-one at pristine resorts. See how the Troon North Golf Club in the Sonoran Desert stacks up among other courses. The exquisite course is laid out with the desert hills as a serene backdrop.


Nearly 100 years old, the Arizona Biltmore Golf Course still reigns among courses in Phoenix, and it’s no surprise why. This breathtaking golf course overlooks the Phoenix mountain preserve and has hosted celebrities, presidents, national leaders and of course, tourists, for years.

Splash into Salt River

Cool off from the Phoenix heat with a trip down the river. Salt River is an oasis when the temperature starts to rise. Grab a group and load up an SUV or truck to go kayaking or tube down the river. If your sense of adrenaline is kicking in, you can raft over the rapids. For a peaceful outing, paddle board your way down stream.  You can also lounge lakeside at the many neighboring lakes in Phoenix.

See The City From Above

Want to kick back and relax, but still enjoy the great outdoors? What better way to see Phoenix than from inside a hot air balloon. Tour the city from the treetops as you navigate through the vast desert, catch the early sunrise and get a glimpse at the wildlife darting by.


While you may be a pro at exploring the great outdoors, it is important to be mindful of the intense desert heat in Phoenix. Some outdoor activities may be suitable year round, but others may require extra precaution. Whichever you choose to do, be sure to plan ahead and consider all safety tips. If you can explore at night, take advantage of it to avoid higher temperatures and sun exposure. During the day, continuously reapply sunscreen, keep a sun hat handy and don’t push it if you start to feel overheated. And above all else - always stay hydrated. Load up the car and explore all the great outdoors activities in Phoenix!


Posted in Lifestlye
July 24, 2018

6 Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard This Summer

A well-designed backyard is one of the best places to be during the summer. Whether you are doing fun activities with the family, hosting a barbecue, or just enjoying nice alone time under the sun, it is important that you enjoy and admire your backyard. Many don’t realize that there are plenty DIY projects you can take to your backyard that are not only easy but can create a strong environment and add value to your home! The only problem is figuring out where to start. Lucky for you, you came to the right place. Let’s load up the truck and find the best ways to transform your backyard to the ultimate oasis.



Adding a pool can be a big job. Choosing an above ground pool versus a traditional pool can be a tough decision, and an expensive one. However, if you already have a pool, there are plenty of ideas that you can take to your pool to update it. If you think about it, we like to keep our bodies healthy and in shape to stay swimsuit ready, so it’s only fair that our pools get the same treatment before you or your guests dive in! A really popular add-on can be a self-working pool cleaner. This will help minimize your cleaning time and maximize your swimming time. To add some bonus points with the guests, look into adding a nice slide with your pool. Volleyball nets always tend to get the party started too! You can take it to a whole other level by adding a complimentary swim up bar, or some amazing water features. You will just have to find ways to fend off guests from always wanting to come over.

Patio pavers win

This is a great way to upgrade your patio without spending a fortune. While concrete slabs may cost a pretty penny, patio pavers will be less expensive and will be easier to replace. If a concrete slab is chipped or cracked, you have to invest in some of your hard-earned money just to replace it. With patio pavers, you can just swap out the damaged piece, or flip it over. Not to mention, all of the different types of patio pavers to choose from. It is no wonder people prefer this method over other alternatives.

Built in fire pits

Built in fire pits are one of the backyard’s greatest centerpieces. If done correctly, you can have people feeling comfortable and talking all night. It should also appeal to you that you can get some awesome return on investment with this move. Be sure to check what kind of fire pits your city will allow. If they don’t allow wood, just switch it up with a natural gas fire pit. This mixed with majestic pebbles on the top create such an amazing look, with far less smoke too! Some people enjoy the fire so much that they will integrate a brick pizza oven into their backyard. Nothing is better than relaxing in a backyard to some homemade, high quality pizza.


An integrated barbeque will light a fire to the party, and light a fire in buyer’s eyes. Having this already installed and integrated with your backyard is not only efficient, but it looks incredible to those who want it in their home. Also, mixing this with the pizza oven will have your place be the go to spot for any get togethers. Everyone loves a people pleaser! Once you finish the built-in barbeque, you can look into putting an awning above it so those who are cooking don’t get roasted on those hot summer days.

Get a garden going

Getting a garden up and running is such a neat and fun task. Imagine having all your veggies and fruits growing in one place while incorporating the theme of your backyard in it. There can be a mini DIY greenhouse and a little stepping stone path that will have everyone gushing over how adorable it is. Once you get all of your features implemented, add the cherry on top with an overlooking swinging chair. This will be your Zen spot that will allow you to feel peaceful after a long and hard day of work. You can also smile a bit bigger knowing that this will one day turn into a great investment.

Updated utility shed

Don’t let your shed turn into a place that all the spiders live in. Nobody likes being frightened to grab a necessary tool. Switch it up and update your shed to a more modern look. You can even make it easy on yourself by taking a wooden pallet, painting it a nice color, and putting it on the side of your shed. Not only will this add a rustic look, but it will add a place that you can put your go-to gardening or work tools. The ease of access will have you upgrading your backyard constantly! As for the inside of the shed, add some new lighting that spans the shed, and update the interior with stainless steel commodities or fresh paint. This needs to be a place you can access easily or else your chores will pile up! Sheds are also a great opportunity to add as a car port. This can protect a small car from the heat and weather the summer brings.


In the Phoenix heat, it can be tempting to load up and take a road trip to some place cooler, but with these updates, your backyard will become the oasis you never want to leave! Just keep in mind, all of these options are a major win, no matter how small. You win with family, friends, yourself, and money. If you need to do any big jobs, just make sure you consult with a professional beforehand. There is no use in doing a big project if you injure yourself. Good luck!

Posted in Homes Projects
May 31, 2018

Is Norterra Right For You?

The current housing market in Phoenix is proving that homes and properties are selling almost as soon as they’re listed, so buyers are being pressured to place an offer on the first thing they find. Still, a new home is a big commitment and it can have a financial impact long after the sale date.


There are many things to consider before buying a home. There’s the price, the location and the neighborhood around the home can affect property values as well.


As for finding the right neighborhood, Norterra in Phoenix is a perfect place to look. The name comes from a word meaning “northern,” and it borders Interstate 17 and the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. The area is close to many retail shops and an outlet mall, it’s proximity to the preserve means  a chance to explore the outdoors and it’s close to the Sky Harbor International Airport.


Phoenix in general is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. It regularly competes with Philadelphia for the 5th largest cities by population with numbers around 1.5 million people. The metropolitan area added about 500,000 residents between 2010 and 2017, making it the 10th-fastest growing metro in the U.S.


The Norterra neighborhood is a mix of young families and professionals getting their start, and older families looking at retirement. The median age is 36, and most people either work in government, healthcare or for Wells Fargo according to the North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.


Many communities in the area, such as the Fireside condominiums, have places where neighbors can meet and host events. The North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce regularly hosts business networking events and speakers. The Shops at Norterra is another major gathering place, with events during the week such as cycling, live music and stroller strides.


Norterra is only minutes away from shopping, grocery stores and dining. It’s easy access to I-17 means people can get to Downtown Phoenix in about 30 minutes. There’s also the Loop 101, which helps people get to Scottsdale and Anthem.


The Sky Harbor International Airport is about a 30-mile drive from Norterra, and there are four regional parks within a 30-minutes drive. But people can drive for a few hours and reach Las Vegas, the beaches of San Diego, skiing in Colorado and the major amusement parks in Los Angeles.


This neighborhood falls under the Deer Valley Unified School District. Many children attend Norterra Canyon School for grades K-8 and then move on to Barry Goldwater High School.


Norterra Canyon has great ratings from Niche and GreatSchools.org. It serves about 900 students, and it has a student-teacher ratio of 18 to 1. The latest state test scores show at least 53-percent of the students are proficient in math and reading. The state average has students about 38-percent proficient in both categories.


Barry Goldwater High School is another school that has positive ratings from Niche. It has about 1,800 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 22 to 1. About 37-percent of students are proficient in math and 26-percent are proficient in reading. The high school has a graduation rate of 87-percent, and students get an average SAT score of 1170. Most students move on from Barry Goldwater to Arizona State University or Northern Arizona University.


Arizona is a state that allows open enrollment, so parents can enroll their kids in other schools in the district if capacity permits. There are also several state-overseen charter schools in the area serving kids in grades K-12.

Activities and Attractions

The Phoenix area has a lot of natural beauty, and Norterra is no exception. The Sonoran Preserve has more than 18,000 acres of desert views, from cacti to blooming flowers in the spring and early summer. There are three trailheads, the Apache Wash, Desert Hills and Desert Vista that offer chances for hiking and mountain biking at all levels.


Lake Pleasant is about a 30-minute drive from Norterra, and this is where many people in Phoenix go for swimming and fishing. There’s also the Wet ‘n’ Wild amusement park located about 10-minutes south. The amusement park has a lazy river, slides and various pools among its 30 attractions.


The shopping areas such as the Shops at Norterra and the Outlets at Anthem double as nightlife areas. Fuego Bistro is a popular late-night spot, as it has a full bar and an outdoor patio. CAPS and Connolly’s Sports Grill are two places for catching the game in the evening. Just down the highway at Desert Ridge, Sandbar is a great place to grab some tacos or bring out that new club outfit.

Real Estate

The population in Phoenix is showing no signs of slowing down, so the real estate market in Norterra is expected to grow as well as the city expands in that direction.


The average sale price for homes is $390,000, with the average price per square foot $150. The average number of homes sold is up 13 percent compared to last year, at a high of 36 homes in March. Inventory is relatively low compared to other areas in North Phoenix, and homes take about 2.8 months to sell. This is up from 2.6 months in March.


Overall, sales of new homes has increased much more in western states compared to the northeast. Sales in western states rose nearly 25 percent compared to last year, meanwhile sales in northeastern states declined by 50 percent.

Is Norterra right for you?


From a real estate perspective, Norterra has a lot of indicators that show people can expect to see their homes grow in value. As for someone looking to move there, this neighborhood has an active community for young people starting their families and older people planning their retirements. Contact us today for everything you need to know about Norterra.


Posted in Lifestlye
May 22, 2018

10 Things to Do in Scottsdale Near Norterra

10 Things to Do in Scottsdale Near Norterra

Phoenix is one of the most populous cities in the nation. It’s made up of many diverse neighborhoods and suburbs. Located in Northwest Phoenix is Norterra, a district with a strong community and plenty to do. Whether you are interested in a relaxing afternoon spent shopping, an invigorating outdoor adventure, or a family-friendly outing, Norterra is a place that offers a variety of activities for all ages and interests.


Along with its own long list of local amenities, Norterra is located just north of Scottsdale, another Arizona city bursting with entertainment and natural splendor. Visitors and residents of Norterra are just a short drive away from all it has to offer. 

Shops at Norterra

For the ultimate shopping experience, visit the Shops at Norterra located just off the I-17 on Happy Valley Road. This outdoor mall offers shopping for the whole family in one convenient location. With its wide range of stores and delicious dining options, a shopping expedition here can be an all-day activity. To start your morning on the right foot, begin with a coffee and pastry from a local favorite located at the Shops at Norterra, Elevate Coffee Shop.

Harkins Movie Theater

Located at the Shops at Norterra is the famous Harkins Theater. This movie theater is a destination for those living all over Phoenix and Scottsdale thanks to its iMax theater, Ciné Capri auditorium, children’s play center, in-lobby bar, and leather reclining seats. In addition to its amenities, Harkins appeals to a diverse audience with its wide range of films shown. Whether you want to watch the latest Hollywood Blockbuster or a lesser-known indie film, this is the place to go.

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is a rehabilitation center for animals who have been injured, orphaned, or displaced. Within their care you will animals such as black bears, bobcats, wolves, owls, porcupines, fox, and more. The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center offers regular events and tours designed to educate and entertain the entire family. Just be sure to register in advance to reserve your spot.

Macdonald’s Ranch

Another great place to spend time with animals is Macdonald’s Ranch. Completely unrelated to the popular fast-fast chain, this horseback riding range accommodates single riders as well as large groups. Along with guided horseback rides, Macdonald’s also offers pony ride for young children, a petting zoo, and stagecoach rides. If you’re in Norterra in the fall, stop by to see their pumpkin patch and pick out one to take home and carve.

Hot Air Balloon Tours

For the ultimate vantage point to view the city consider going on a hot air balloon adventure. With several local companies to choose from, you’ll be able to cross this off your bucket list in no time. While the desert landscape is beautiful on its own, consider taking your adventure during sunrise or sunset for a truly spectacular show.

Odysea in the Desert

This entertainment complex in Scottsdale could take you and your family days to explore! Immerse yourself in the rainforest and marvel at some of the world’s most beautiful creatures at Butterfly World. Explore what goes on under the surface of our ocean and rivers at Odysea Aquarium. Experience a real-life land before time at Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs or get some energy out at Laser + Mirror Maze. 

Sonoran Preserve

With all its warm weather and sunshine, Norterra is a city that begs its residents to get outdoors. The nearby Sonoran Preserve is 18,000 acres of stunning desert landscape. With three trailheads leading to 36 different hiking trails, hikers can choose their hike based on their skill levels. Trail rates range from “Easiest”, minimal elevation and hard footing, to ”Extremely Difficult”, maximum elevation change and extremely uneven footing, making Sonoran Preserve a place compatible with those in wheelchairs, experienced rock climbers, and everyone in between. You can also grab your four-wheel drive vehicle for a fun, off-roading experience! 

Cave Creek Regional Park

Another conveniently located desert wonderland is Cave Creek Regional Park. This nearly 3,000 acres preserve offers ATV tours, horseback riding, camping, and spectacular scenery including expansive views and desert life. The entrance fee is $6. Campgrounds fill quickly so be sure reserve yours in advance!

Starlight Community Theater

This non-profit community corporation located in Norterra offers summer camp and classes for both adults and children. Starlight Community Theater regularly performs plays and musicals with tickets for just $20 or less. If you’re looking to entertain your family without the use of screens, consider supporting the local community and attending a musical or a play. Past shows include Rumors, Into the Woods, Ella After, and more.

Wet ‘n’ Wild

Beat the summer heat at this waterpark designed for all ages. With a large wave pool, countless slides, a lazy river, and wading pools, Wet ‘n’ Wild is the perfect way to spend a summer day. If you want to beat the crowds, show up first thing in the morning when the lines are shorter. For a half-priced admission, visit after 5pm for their twilight rate.

There's an endless list of activities and attractions to explore in Phoenix. So load up the car and explore Norterra today! Are you ready to make the move? Contact us today for all your Norterra real estate needs. 

Posted in Lifestlye