East Valley Real Estate and Community News
- "Among REALTORS® who typically represent the buyer, 49 percent report most buyers are affected by home staging..."
- "For buyers it is easier to visualize the property as a future home..."
- "Thirty-two percent of buyer's agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent."
~ David Ramey
~ David Ramey
In the June 6, 2015 edition of the Arizona Republic, writer Karen Fernau submitted an interesting article, entitled "Keep your COOL, 5 ways to reduce electricity bills this summer."
In her article, she makes the point that two important methods of controlling the temperature inside a house are, "Blocking the sun and keeping cool air moving..."
One of the items in her list is to keep your air conditioning system in top working order, clean and "well maintained." Fernau quotes a spokesperson for SRP, Patty Garcia-Likens, as saying that "air conditioners account for more than half of the average homeowner's summer power bill." Wow! You may have already had your system checked by an air conditioning professional to keep it running efficiently and to care for any repairs or refrigerant it may be needing. Fernau makes the point that having the air conditioning unit itself in the shade can help use 10% less electricity.
Fernau also makes the point that awnings can help "block direct sunlight and heat, quoting a study by the University of Minnesota that found 'that installing awnings can reduce cooling-energy needs by 21 percent in Phoenix'." She points out that the awnings make most impact on the south and west windows in a home.
Another interesting point the author makes is that trees can shade the house from sunlight and help keep the temperature lower...quoting the Arizona State University Office of Climatology research, Fernau writes that trees can "reduce summer cooling costs by 15 to 35 percent. Shade trees can keep an upstairs 20 to 40 degrees cooler on sunny days." Another benefit of using trees for cooling a home relates to the fact that a "tree can transpire up to 100 gallons of water in a day. In a hot, dry climate, this cooling effect equals that of five air conditioners running for 20 hours, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency." She said that SRP offers assistance on the use of trees for cooling and mentions the website, "savewithsrp.com", as a source of information.
She mentions the use of solar screens for use on windows, saying that about one half of the heat enters the house via windows, pointing out that these screens also "protect your home's interior from sun damage," as well as saying "solar screens can be removed during the cooler winter season."
Fernau also mentions ceiling fans as to make a room feel more comfortable; she quotes energy.gov that a "ceiling fan lets you raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort." Adding, "turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room."
I found the article to be interesting, with useful information. As the temperatures rise in the summertime, so do the electricity bills, as we use more energy to cool our homes. Every single adjustment like these we make can help reduce our consumption of energy.
If you have a favorite way of conserving electricity, please share it by leaving a comment. We're all in this together...enjoying summertime in Arizona!
~ Grant Phipps
In our real estate business, we have the opportunity to work with clients from all over the country, yes, that includes Alaska and Hawaii...as well as various locations around the world, and since many of our clients come from different climates, questions about the roof are frequent.
People rightly ask all kinds of questions, such as, "How Long does a roof last out here in Arizona? How much does it cost to replace a roof? What kind of maintenance is required? Should I get a radiant barrier installed, does that help the roof?"
For someone new to the desert climate, or new to home-ownership, the questions can be as individual as the people asking them. One thing we know for sure, the roof is one of the most important systems of the house structure, and it is important to get these questions answered. And the person to ask is a roofing expert, a licensed, bonded and insured roofing contractor, someone your trust.
When a buyer selects a home in Arizona, and the purchase offer has been negotiated and accepted, there is an inspection period. During this inspection period, the buyer has the opportunity to have a home inspection. Usually there is a home inspection and a termite inspection. However, the buyer has the right to have other inspections performed as well, and we believe it is reasonable to have a licensed roofing contractor inspect the roof and provide a written evaluation to the buyer. This information, in addition to the home inspection report & the termite report will help provide a more complete picture of the current condition of the roof and whether repairs are needed now or in the near future.
Many buyers are familiar with shingle roofs, shake roofs and even flat roofs, having seen them in the locale from which they are moving.
Buyers who are not familiar with the tiled roofs in Arizona wonder if they last forever. According to my trusted roofing contractor, Randy Halfhill at Porter Roofing, Inc., even tile roofs need maintenance from time to time. He said that, underneath the roof tiles, there is a material known as underlayment and that is the material that will keep the rain off of the wood deck portion of the roof. Randy tells me that it is important for the underlayment to be in good shape, and of good quality. When a tile roof needs to be re-roofed, most of the tiles will remain with the house, and that it is the underlayment that needs to be replaced to maintain protection against moisture intrusion. He said that his company uses 40 pound felt underlayment, which is a higher grade than many other roofing companies use, and with the better quality material, Porter Roofing stands behind their work with a 10 year labor warranty.
Randy also explains that other aspects of the roof system must be in good working order,such as the proper installation of flashing, a metal material which helps channel the rainwater off of the house and away from pipes and vents on the roof. Another aspect of a tile roof is the mortar. Randy said that Porter Roofing uses mortar t stabilize and weather-proof strategically placed tiles at various points on the roof. He said that tiles at the corners are mortared on the sides as well as underneath that tile to keep dust, debris and water from accumulating, adding additional integrity to the roof, and helping it last longer.
The systems of the house such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC (Heating Venting & Cooling) are all important, yet over them all is the roof. Properly installed and maintained, it will serve a homeowner well for many years. It is likely much less expensive to keep the roof in good repair than to have leaks develop which require interior areas of your home to be repaired, restored or repainted. You may want to consider having a roofing pro take a look at your roof about every year in order to catch an issue before it becomes a bigger problem. With proper maintenance, your roof should provide you with many years of protection against the elements. When it comes to your roof, call a licensed contractor you can trust.
For further information, check out www.porterroofinginc.com or give Porter Roofing, Inc. a call at (480) 460-7602.
~ Grant Phipps
Tempe Festival of the ArtsThis weekend, head down to Downtown Tempe for the Tempe Festival of the Arts! The atmosphere is fun, festive and full of things to look at and buy. Tempe has closed Mill Avenue from University to 3rd Street, with several side streets part of this event. This is a place where you can enjoy a relaxed, but entertaining, morning or afternoon...or spend all day. It opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m.
You hear laughter, music and the sound of an entertainer on the top of a tall unicycle. You see people of all ages, people walking their dog, babies in strollers and the friendly faces of people strolling past the booths...stopping at one that draws their interest. Vendors and artists from all over come to Tempe each year to sell their wares. Street performers and musicians are part of the scene. Restaurants are easily available for those getting hungry, with other food/drink stands placed conveniently for your needs.
Fine art work, photography, cloth children toys, figures made from bolts, things made of wood, pottery, gas fire pits, signs, special vinegars, dip mixes, food items, jewelry, and so much more are there to view and buy. There is a street chalk picture contest on 4th Street west of Mill. You can even do your own square with chalk if you like. The weather is great and the fun waits for you this weekend. If you cannot make it this weekend, mark your calendar for December 4 - 6 of this year, when the Festival returns.
~ David Ramey
Cactus League Baseball is Here!
With the arrival of February, the Greater Phoenix Area knows Spring has arrived! What could be better after enduring chilly wintry daily average temperatures of 76 degree days in November, 67 degree days in December and 69 degree days in January than to bask in more great weather: February averages 71 degrees and March averages 77 degrees and the start of Major League Baseball Spring Training, known as the Cactus League!
As a boy, I would often find myself thinking about summertime and baseball during the waning days of school. Couldn’t wait to get the baseball mitt out and start swinging the ol’ bat. Now that I’ve grown up, and live in Arizona, I can get just about all the baseball I can handle this time of year!
The Cactus League started back in 1946, with the first teams being the Cleveland Indians and the New York Giants. Talk about tradition! 2015 will be the 69th year! And each year, the anticipation of the start of baseball season grows in the hearts and minds of true baseball lovers. Having the Cactus League in one metro area, makes it so convenient to see all the baseball you want, and still have time to enjoy other aspects of the Greater Phoenix Area, including world class hotels, superb restaurants, great sightseeing (have you heard of Sedona, the Flagstaff area and the Grand Canyon? Your camera will be thanking you!).
The Cactus League is an organized pre-season arrangement of practices and games which prepare each team for the regular season. The Cactus League begins in February and runs until the first week in April, just before the regular season starts. In fact, if a team doesn’t have a game on the regular season Opening Day, they might just be playing their final Cactus League game!
It is a great time to get closer to the action. First of all, if you go to a game, you will notice that the stadiums are smaller and more intimate. For example, Salt River Fields, the stadium where the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies play their home games, has a seating capacity of 11,000. You feel closer to the action, and yes, the umpire can hear your encouraging words!
Another benefit if your schedule is flexible is that the practices are open to the public and FREE! You can often catch the practices on a separate field at the same complex where your team plays. If you are in town and have the time, and want to see your favorite players at “work,” likely the best time to attend a practice would be a week prior to the start of the games. The Cactus League provides each team with the opportunity to work with their squads and fine tune in preparation for the regular season, by playing real games.
Game ticket prices are reasonable, and for the true baseball fan, it is possible to attend more than one game in the same day! The stadiums where the teams play are less than an hour apart, at the most, making the Metro Phoenix Area “Baseball Town” this time of the year. You can see games in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Surprise, Mesa, Peoria and Goodyear. Some baseball fans even consider renting or investing in a home so they have a place to stay during the season. (We really like those people!)
There are 10 stadium and 15 Major League Baseball Teams that practice and play in the Metro Phoenix Area during Cactus League.
The teams are:
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
Here are the ballparks which host Cactus League Games:
Maryvale Baseball Park
Peoria Sports Complex
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Tempe Diablo Stadium
Between early March and early April, there are more than 210 games played, in Metro Phoenix! Better make plans right away, this is a popular venue here. Last year more than 1.6 million sports fans attended Cactus League baseball games here in the Grand Canyon State. Great sunny weather, 15 teams, 10 ballparks, seeing your team up close…what other reason do you need to visit Phoenix? If you already live here, this is a perfect time to pick an afternoon and play a little hooky…this is big time baseball, after all! It might just be a good idea to set a goal for yourself to see at least one game in every ballpark!
Perhaps I’ll see you at a game, and if I do, I want to hear you singing, “Take me out to the ballpark…”during the 7th inning stretch!
~ Grant Phipps
February 13, 2015. Tonight is the Opening Game for the Arizona State Sun Devils Baseball Season. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. with the Sun Devils (ranked #18) taking on Oklahoma State (ranked #5). Oklahoma State finished up last season with a win in the NCAA Regional tournament. Both teams are considered premier teams. The competition starts out for ASU right away.
That's okay. ASU is used to solid competition. Her are some ASU Baseball Team Program Historical points of interest. ASU Baseball has earned several notable distinctions, including winning the Conference Championship 21 times, winning 4 in a row (2007 to 2010). 52 consecutive 30-win seasons. 120 All Americans. 102 Sun Devils have played in the Major Leagues. 22 World Series appearances totaling 61 College Series game wins. 5 National Championships. 8 College Hall of Famers.
Tonight marks a couple of notable "firsts." The game will be played in a new venue. After playing 40 years in Packard Stadium, on the ASU main Tempe campus, the game venue has changed. The new site is at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium (the locals call it Muni Stadium), which is approximately 2 miles from campus. The capacity is about twice the capability of the old stadium. (Packard Stadium is pictured above.)
Another "first" is the debut of the new Head Coach Tracy Smith, who is 2-Time Big Ten Coach of the Year from Indiana University. In 2013, he coached Indiana University Baseball Team to the College World Series, the first time for that school. Smith has coached baseball at collegiate level for 18 years with over 600 victories along the way. (New ASU Stadium picture on left.)
ASU Baseball's program is one of the finest in the nation. Attending a game or two (or a season's worth) is a great way to see high level competition, and to get acquainted with some of the players who will be future major leaguers. I hope to see you at some of the games! Perhaps at some games in Omaha too!
~ Grant Phipps
Leonardo da Vinci -- Codex Leicester
Phoenix Art Museum, 1/24/15 - 4/12/15
Phoenix Art Museum presents Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leisester (prounced "Lester") beginning this month through the middle of April. These are the original documents showing da Vinci's notes and drawings. This is the only one of da Vinci's writings like this located in America and it is on loan to the museum by private collector Bill Gates. To be able to view his original work is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Learn about the unusual way he wrote and how he learned to write this way. Featured in this hall with da Vinci's manuscripts are two Claude Monet paintings, prints by Ansel Adams and other artists' works that correlate with this particular set of da Vinci writings.
Once you have seen Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leisester, do not miss the rest of the exhibits in the Phoenix Art Museum. You do not realize how big the museum is until you peruse through the entire place. You discover a lower level and of course the main floor where there is a hall with Modern Art. If you like photography or fashion, there are exhibits for you to see. Two levels up is a do not miss exhibit with lights. It is more than an exhibit...it is an experience!
It is a great place to expand your horizons and enjoy your day. Read more about it on www.phxart.org
~ David Ramey
Super Bowl XLIX (49) in Phoenix!
For someone who has never been to Phoenix, Arizona, visions of sand, cactus and the oppressive heat come to mind. Kind of makes a person wonder why the Super Bowl 2015 would select a desert venue!
This is not the first time Phoenix has been selected for the Super Bowl; the big game was played here in 1996, 2008 and the kickoff for the 2015 game is just a few days away! Much preparation precedes the game. This year, the game will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium located in Glendale, home of the Arizona Cardinals Football Team since 2006. Spectators will enjoy state of the art surroundings, from the game replays on the gargantuan screens, to the sound system, to the halftime show, featuring Katy Perry. Last year's Super Bowl halftime performance was the most watched musical event ever, with over 115 million viewers!
This year's game features a team from the West and from the East. The returning Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks with their powerful defense and quick scoring offense vs. the New England Patriots' hard-nosed style of play, a machine that generally runs smoothly and efficiently and knows how to put up the points.
Every year there is the pre-game scuttlebutt with the side stories about the players, teams, hardships and rumors. That is just part of the pre-game run-up to publicize the game and keep it in the top of mind for the millions of people worldwide who will be watching the game on February 1st.
In Phoenix, this time of year there are also pre-game run up activities which occur in the days preceding the game. On January 25th, a week prior to the Super Bowl, the 2015 Pro Bowl will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Pro Bowl is designed to display the best talent in the NFL as voted on by fans, players and coaches. This year's game will be the third Pro Bowl played in Phoenix.
Other activities around the city this time of year include the Waste Management Phoenix Open. This golf tournament brings in top golf talent, and showcases the golfers' skills on one of the premier courses of the tour. The dates for this year's Phoenix Open are January 26th to February 1st. The Waste Management Phoenix Open considers itself the "most technology friendly" golf tournament on the PGA Tour, with the entire golf course basically being a gigantic hot spot, allowing spectators to view the game (isn't that why they come?), but also, text message, make phone calls, download the tournament app, and share their fun time with friends and family (who are likely in a colder climate location or at work!). Wednesday the 28th of January is the Annexus ProAm featuring celebrity golf, which creates a fun atmosphere and buzz to this big week. This is a popular venue, with last year's Waste Management Phoenix Open setting a new PGA Tour attendance record of 563,008 attendees for the week. That was without the Super Bowl in town!
If you are a major sports fan, you'll be happy to know that Phoenix is on the map as a city with four major league franchises. The Arizona Cardinals football team, the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, the Phoenix Suns basketball team and the Arizona Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets) all are prominent in the Phoenix area.
The popular WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, plays at the U.S. Airways (as do the Suns) and also calls Phoenix its home.
Of course, the Arena Football League Arizona Rattlers, the 2013 Arena Bowl Champions, hail from Phoenix. Want more sports? Consider there are four NCAA schools in the state, and the 2016 College Football Playoff Championship Game will be played here.
Later in March 2015 brings the LPGA Founders Cup to be played at the Wildfire Golf Club.
If you can come to Phoenix between late February to early April, the Spring Training Cactus League features 15 professional baseball teams, in an area with the largest collection of professional baseball facilities anywhere in the USA.
Want variety in your sports selection? The Phoenix area showcases such gems as the Phoenix International Raceway, with over a 50 year history locally, the P.I.R. features two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race weekends each year.
If you are planning ahead, you might want to visit the area in early April, 2017, when the Men' Final Four basketball tournament will be played and will decide the NCAA Division 1 Basketball National Champion. This event will be the first time a Western city has hosted the event since 1995.
Later in 2015, USA Basketball is scheduled to have completed its move from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Tempe, Arizona. USA Basketball is the national organization that selects the U. S. Olympic Teams.
Craving more activity? Consider other sports such as rodeos, marathons, soccer tournaments. With a climate where there is always someplace warmer and cooler, Arizona offers snow skiing and water skiing; the Jet Ski World Championship has been hosted in the Lake Havasu area. Other sports activities feature fishing, hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, sky diving as well as major triathlons. Oh, if you like golf, you'll love Arizona with almost 200 of the state's 300 golf courses located in the Great Phoenix Area!
Arizona is a sports minded state, and a great place to work on the New Year's Resolutions to enjoy life and stay healthy!
For anyone thinking all there is in Phoenix is sand and cactus, one thing is abundantly clear...it won't be boring! Consider a visit to Phoenix, Arizona in the near future. There's a lot to see and a LOT to DO!
~ Grant Phipps
Barrett-Jackson 2015 Scottsdale Auto Auction -- 1/10 through 1/18
If you are a car lover, or just enjoy having a great time, make your way up to Scottsdale's Westworld for the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction of Scottsdale. Before you go, save a little money by getting online to buy your tickets. (Go to http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Home/Scottsdale-2015/db2ea9f8-8e86-4e46-9f59-a145dea8d4a7). The parking is easy to get to and it's close to the event.
My neighbor, Steve, & I decided to go have some fun this past Saturday and we both had a blast. I love Ferraris, so I was treated to several along with Packard, Delahaye, Audi, Ford GT, Lotus, McLaren and several exotic cars. The Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction has enough variety to provide everyone with pure car-gazing pleasure. Anything car related can be found there, it seems. Old gas pump replicas, signs, special parts, the works!
Local collector, Ron Pratte, of Chandler is selling a large number of cars and collectibles and it was like walking through history as we wandered around all that he had brought to be auctioned.
Check out this Delahaye Whatthehaye
No matter what the weather is, you are in luck. Most of the auction and things to look at are under roof. When we arrived, it looked like they had recently constructed a new, very large building on the grounds. It takes a while to go through all of the buildings and tents, but you do not notice since you enjoy taking in all of the sights.
Once we made it outside, Steve & I decided to take a free ride in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (707 horsepower) -- Drag Race Style! The line was short so we signed in and got a black wristband, good for a free ride in the Dodge Viper on an obstacle course after we had ridden the Hellcat. It was not long before Steve jumped in the car on the left and I took the one on the right. A chat with the driver was cut short by the lights, GREEN, launching out in First Gear, Second Gear, then WALL coming at you. The driver quickly and safely slowed down taking us back to the next rider who was ready to jump in. It was two thumbs up! Check the picture out below.
You don't have to know a lot about cars or even go on a joy ride to have a great time at Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction. The weather will be nice the rest of this week, so think about heading to Westworld. You might even watch the auction a bit...or even decide to bid. There are plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you energized as you wind your way through. Have a great time!
~ David Ramey