Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

 

Nov. 20, 2019

Seligman's Choose Sister Jose Women's Center

 

Barb and Larry Seligman recently retired and purchased a new home in SaddleBrooke.  They chose the Sister Jose Women's Center to benefit from the purchase:  a wonderful place for women to get a meal,  take a shower, wash clothes and even check their email.  The tour of the facility included the CREATE education building that houses their program to help integrate homeless women back into mainstream society. Pictured also is Jean Fedigan, founder of Sister Jose's.
Oct. 25, 2019

Upsize? Downsize? Rightsize?

As See in Saddlebag Notes by Jo Parsons 10/25/2019

When you moved to SaddleBrooke did you think of that new home as being a part-time abode, downsizing residence or permanent home?

Many start out with a smaller home because they are Winter Residents, a larger home because they are sure all their family and friends will come to visit, or a Villa because they want to travel and enjoy the lock and leave experience.

Now, after a few years in that current home, some are starting to rethink their choices. As a Real Estate Concierge for the Realty Executives Make Your Move Matter Team, Beth and I see a lot of lifestyle changes occurring in SaddleBrooke.

For some like myself, they started out with a smaller home figuring they no longer wanted the upkeep of a larger place and after a few years find themselves seeking more space. Whether it be for a home office, 'man cave,' hobby room or in-law situation, some choose to seek a larger home and others look to add on a Casita.

Then of course some are faced with the dilemma of what to do with all that extra space they originally bought that is no longer useful and no fun to clean. For me, it took three moves to get it right!

Whatever the circumstance, this is a life changing decision which some have difficulty managing. Hence, a good time to seek the help of a reputable Realtor who can assist you with making the right move.

I have lived here for 23 years and as a retired Realtor for SaddleBrooke Resales, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge which I gladly share with Beth's clients. From turning your current home into a perfect sanctuary with the addition of a casita or staging to market it and working with you on a home more suited to your needs of today, I can help.

We are a Team that Makes Your Move Matter, one step, one dream, one vision at a time. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get together soon…today may be the best day to start planning and putting those thoughts into action!

 

Oct. 25, 2019

A Cozy Nest in Raven's Rest – Madera Remodel

As seen in Saddlebag Notes By Beth Fedor 10/25/2019

 

This article is the third in a series to highlight seven homes(one villa and six single- family homes) featured in the 2019 SaddleBrooke Remodeled Home Tour held Saturday, April 7, 2019. The homes are presented in no particular order.

Jo Ann Collier is a woman who knows what she wants in a home. When she and husband Bob embarked on their SaddleBrooke house hunt, open concept and vaulted ceilings were nowhere on her must-have list. A cozy home appealed to the Portland expats who'd spent a great deal of their 37-years together in close quarters, including a couple of stretches living aboard a boat and a houseboat, and in the confines of their seasoned travel trailer. For the avid art collectors, the display space provided by the walls of a more traditionally divided floor plan was high on their priority list. Jo Ann needed gallery space for a prodigious collection of prints and ready perches for her vast collection of crow and raven art pieces, birds she admires for their intelligence and playful nature.

Another must-have for the Colliers was a view. Long drawn to the Southwest, Jo Ann craved a home with wide-open skies and the panoramic mountain vista that captivated the couple on their first drive of SaddleBrooke Boulevard's dramatic descent into the community. When she took in the sweeping Catalina views from the east facing backyard of the Madera located on Mountain Site Drive, Jo Ann knew she'd found her home. She admired the architectural interest of multiple arches, wall framing layers and soffits; including the additional archway from the living space to the floorplan's family room. A customization of the builder plan, the additional arched opening allows greater light and flow in the public spaces, without sacrificing coveted wall space.

Pleased with the overall bones of the home and its view lot, the Colliers wanted to renew and update the home's finishes to suit their taste and preferences. Chief among their dislikes were a kitchen that was too open to the adjoining family room (repurposed for a dining area) with dated oak cabinets, laminate kitchen counters, old white appliances and, in the baths tired cultured marble bath countertops and a wornout master tub and shower. While shopping for new appliances, fixtures, granite and tile began in earnest, Jo Ann and Bob searched for a general contractor to oversee their home renovation projects. With an assemblage of materials already sourced and Bob's handyman aptitude, the couple felt they could keep within a reasonable budget.

The Colliers hired Dan Szary of DS Builders & Remodeling to oversee the work of a number of subcontractors to renovate dated kitchens and baths, along with the addition of a gas log fireplace, an essential for Jo Ann. Adverse to the overly open feel of the one-level cooktop countertop, Jo Ann was pleased with Szary's solution to create a pony wall bar behind the cooking surface. The new higher bar top not only provides needed division between cooking and kitchen counter casual dining, but also lends a visual separation between the kitchen and adjoining dining room. Viewed from outside the kitchen, the raised island blocks the view to the kitchen's work spaces and any meal prep mess.

The kitchen cabinets were refaced with new handsome hickory shaker style recessed panel doors and upper cabinets were replaced by new staggered upper cabinets that offered greater storage. Roll out shelves added sensible storage to the pantry and underneath the sink and cooktop. The counter height Formica countertop that housed an electric cooktop was replaced with multi-level granite counters and a gas line was plumbed for the new stainless five burner Thermidor cooktop that joined a new stainless suite of kitchen appliances. A ceramic tile backsplash of muted earthy terracotta punctuated by a ceramic mosaic band was added to complement both countertops and cabinets. Bob estimates the refacing cost of $6,000 was likely half that of replacement cabinets.

Opting for a mid-range granite for the Kitchen counters, the Collier chose a higher end Brazilian granite with greater movement for dramatic pop on the vanities of the master, hall and powder room vanities. Eschewing the added cost of renovating the bathroom cabinetry, they chose to draw attention away from the vanity bases and add the impression of executive height with the use of stunning gold and brown glass vessel sinks.

Profiled various times in the engineering journal ENR for his work on Portland's Rose Garden arena, the Seattle Seahawks Stadium and Frank Gehry's Experience Music Project, retired civil engineer Bob Collier was hands-on in re-engineering the awkward laundry entryways that had both doors to the garage and kitchen open inward, blocking the washer and dryer. After reversing the door swing and repositioning the electrical switches, he made use of a folding closet door purchased from the Golden Goose for $10-a far more economical and less invasive solution over a pocket door.

Inspired by a friend's imaginative placement of a fireplace, the Colliers opted to place their fireplace on the living room wall opposite the Madera plan's traditional family room position on the opposing family room wall and had a gas line plumbed to the location. Built around a handsome, gnarled, mesquite mantel they found at La Cucaracha de Tubac, Bob drew out a plan and installed the ventless gas log firebox himself, while Jo Ann requested the fireplace surround be finished with rustic plaster to give it age-worn appeal.

Although initially drawn to the classic Santa Fe style their Saltillo tile interior and exterior flooring lent the home, the Colliers soon learned the downsides of the terracotta clay tile. Proving dangerously slippery in wet weather and an unfortunate conductor of water toward the house, something had to be done. Working over the existing 1,600 square-feet of Saltillo patio tiles, Noe Orozco Landcaping regraded to drain away from the patio and installed handsome sand set pavers. Orozco also extended and enclosed the front courtyard with a higher wall and arched entryway to house an iron entry gate from First Impressions.

After a futile and costly exercise of trying to repair and restore the interior Saltillo, the Colliers opened their wallet and the door to their motor home, where they escaped during the messy demolition and reinstall of 1,200 square-feet of interior tile. In its place, they chose a ceramic wood plank tile in the main living area with transitions to divide 12-inch square tiles in a complimentary earth tone laid in the kitchen and baths.

With a few stops and starts, and the exception of a couple of Saltillo setbacks, the Colliers accomplished what they set out to do and then some at relatively modest expense. The result is a relaxing homey abode within a community the couple is content to call their home. And Jo Ann has made her cozy crow's nest in 'Raven Rest.'

The Third Annual SaddleBrooke Remodeled Home Tour will be held Saturday, April 4, 2020. Due to popular demand, there will be two tours: a morning tour from 9a.m.-12p.m. and an afternoon tour from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Proceeds help SaddleBrooke Community Outreach provide food, clothing and educational opportunities for children is local communities. The SBCO Special Events Committee is currently seeking homeowners who would like to have their homes showcased in the 2020 tour, along with volunteers who can serve as docents in the tour homes. If you would like to participate, please email Trish Parker at patti.parker@gmail.com or Beth Fedor at beth@makeyourmovematter. com.

Oct. 16, 2019

Schmidt's Pick ACSTO

As a recently retired teacher from Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Kimberly Schmidt knew the value of a Christian education.  She and David chose ACSTO to donate to from the sale of their home and fellow teacher Tiffany Leon's children to be the recommended recipients.  ACSTO allows donors to recommend a student beneficiary of the donation.  Tom Askew from ACSTO was present for the check presentation.

Oct. 16, 2019

Treiberg's Donate to ACSTO:

 

When Michael and Melissa Treiberg moved, they chose the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization for their donation.  ACSTO provides scholarships for children to attend private schools like Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, where their daughter attends..  Pictured also is Tom Askew from ACSTO.
Aug. 10, 2019

Hallett Donation supports Pusch Ridge Christian Academy!

Halletts donate to PRCAThe Halletts recently bought a beautiful new house in Oro Valley. The purchase allowed them to choose a local non-profit for our to team to make a donation of $3855. They chose Pusch Ridge Christian Academy to support their athletic programs. Their children attend Pusch Ridge and we are happy to support such a wonderful organization!

 

June 28, 2019

Staging Your Vacant House Without Spending a Fortune

As Seen in Saddlebag Notes on 6/28/2019 by Beth Fedor

One of the questions home sellers frequently ask Realtors is whether or not to stage a house they have vacated. Be assured that nothing is more boring (and forgettable!) to potential buyers than an empty house – especially if the floors and walls are all neutral colors and views are less than spectacular. Furthermore, home buying statistics suggest that vacant homes typically take twice as long to sell and sell for less than even unstaged “occupied” homes.

Does that mean you need to rent furniture or hire a professional home stager? Not necessarily. A few well-placed knick-knacks and pictures can easily create the illusion of furnishings. Instead of trying to figure out where their belongings would fit in a room, your small, inexpensive tray table can remind potential buyers that their buffet would fit perfectly in the same spot. Empty rooms always appear smaller because there is nothing for the eye to focus upon. Even minimal furnishings can create an important frame of reference and visually expand space.

May 31, 2019

A Thing for Vacuuming

As Seen in Saddlebag Notes  By Jo Parsons   May 31, 2019

Let me start by saying that I am married to the King of Vacuums. Before moving to Arizona, our kids dubbed my husband Jim “Vac Man.” We had a vacuum cleaner for every floor and room in our house.

This has not changed. In our modest 1574 square foot Villa, we have, at last count, six vacuum cleaners. Lest one should run out of energy, we have the almighty backup – just in case.

We have the iRobot Roomba 970 which is currently in shop for repair, the Hoover Cordless React, the Hoover Cleanpath corded vac and my favorite, the Shark cordless Rotator Vac. Add to that an Oreck handheld vac and last, but not least, the Stanley Shop Vac.

I love that my Roomba “Delilah” automatically starts each day at a preset time and does a thorough job of cleaning our hardwood floors. I don’t like that it takes her over 90 minutes, and, for reasons unknown, she is fixated on our master bedroom closet.

While I love my Roomba “Delilah,” at the price we paid, I believe she should have lasted a lot longer without problems. After less than 9 months we had to replace her charger, and now, one year later, she popped her seeing sensor. So, $110 later, we are awaiting word from iRobot on when she’ll be back on the job.

Jimmy likes the Hoover React because it has great lights and a swivel head – yippee! He also likes the corded Cleanpath because it has the strongest motor (well yeah – it’s plugged into a juice supply!)

While corded vacs give you the best power at a reasonable cost, they have one major drawback - the cord. For me, it’s like dragging an ornery elephant around the house, one that needs to stop and be repositioned in every room. This Hoover does have a longer cord than most, so I will give it kudos in that department.

My all-time fave is the Shark. It is light, easy to use and does a fantastic job with a reasonable amount of power between uses. We used to have an Oreck which I truly loved but it was used on the outside patio by you-know-who one too many times and gave out. We did keep the handheld which I cannot be without for getting in all the nooks and crannies – it just never quits and is indispensable to me. Small and compact, the Stanley shop vac does a great job cleaning up debris and scorpions.

Until next month, run the vac, dust the tables and get out of the house. Summer is on the way and things are heating up in the desert so enjoy being outdoors as much as you can now!

 

May 31, 2019

Prepare Your Home now for the Monsoon Season

 As Seen in Saddlebag Notes By Beth Fedor, REALTOR® May 31, 2019

Newcomers to our region are often bemused by the “Do Not Enter When Flooded” signs oddly posted in the middle of the bone-dry desert. However, those who’ve experienced an Arizona summer know that these signs are no laughing matter when the combination of driving monsoon rains and wind and hardened caliche layers lead to heavy run-off and flooding.

 

 

The Arizona Monsoon Season arrives mid-June and generally lasts until the end of September. While the rain it brings provides a welcome respite from the summer heat, the storms can prove disastrous for the ill-prepared. Better to handle potential problem areas now and save money on larger home repairs down the road.

1.  Check your Roof:  Because no one wants to wake up to the drip, drip of a leaky roof, it’s advisable to have your roof inspected annually by a licensed roofing contractor. Most area roofers will provide a free inspection. Although concrete tiles are among the most durable and water-resistant of roof coverings, they are not watertight.   

A reputable, licensed roofer will check for cracked and slipped or missing tiles, along with any gaps or cracks around flashings or deterioration of the underlayment. Any defects can make the roof vulnerable to strong rains and winds. The simple and relatively inexpensive repair of sealing or replacing a few cracked tiles can avoid far costlier repairs down the road and extend the lifespan of your roof.

2. Evaluate your Home’s Drainage:  If you’ve noticed pooling of water in your yard during a rainstorm, make sure to take care of the issue before the Monsoon begins. A professional landscaper can provide drainage solutions to keep your yard and home protected against possible flooding. Adding pavers or solid surface over the dirt in your yard can help prevent flooding.

Don’t forget to clean out debris from rain gutters and downspouts to avoid ponding on flat areas and in valleys of sloped roofs and to divert downpours away from your home’s foundation. If you don’t have these, consider installing rain gutters. Since roof and gutter repair can often be a package deal, you could have your local roofing contractor check the gutters during their visit.

3. Trim Trees and Prep Plants:  Trim any unwieldy branches on larger trees that could potentially snap off and do damage. Reducing branches limits wind resistance so that strong monsoon winds can pass through, saving the tree from uprooting. Be sure to stake any smaller trees to withstand strong winds and rain. Prune palm trees that have browned as these can become kindling if lightening strikes.

4. Evade Electrical Damage:  Familiarize yourself with your electrical panel ahead of time. Ensure that rooms are clearly marked and identify the circuit breaker so you can find it easily in the dark should there be a power surge. Add surge protector strips to outlets used for powering electronics. You may even have an electrician install a master surge protector to protect every motor in your home from appliances to your air-conditioning.

5. Clean out the Garage:  Now is the perfect time to get to work on clearing out the clutter in your garage to make way for your cars. Since parking your car outside may leave it vulnerable to flying branches, falling trees or runaway umbrellas, as well as hail, rain and winds, best to park it inside.

6. Clear your Yard:  Prepare the outside of your home by securing pillows, cushions, umbrellas, gazebos and anything else that a monsoon storm could turn into a flying projectile. Warn your neighbors to do likewise.

7. Seal Openings:  Caulk cracks and gaps around the house and on the roof. Use weather stripping for windows and doors and gap filler near the foundation and on stucco to prevent against water seepage and potential issues with mold and mildew.

8. Replace Air Filter after Storms:  Changing your air-conditioning filters is a recommended monthly chore, especially during the monsoon season. Because dust storms are frequent during the Arizona summertime, you may consider replacing your disposable filter with a washable electrostatic filter.

With a little advance preparation, you can sit back and enjoy the spectacular showy skies and cooler temps the Monsoon delivers and the perfume of soaked creosote bushes that is the distinctive scent of our Sonoran desert rain.

Oh, and about those “Do Not Enter When Flooded Signs"; be aware that, since 1995, Arizona has upheld what is commonly known as the Stupid Motorist Law. If you do not heed warning signs and barricades, you may be held financially responsible for your rescue!

May 10, 2019

Sextons' New House supports ACSTO

We loved helping the Sexton family find their dream home in Oro Valley.  Colleen is a long time Pusch Ridge teacher and they chose to have their donation of $4050 go to ACSTO to provide scholarships for PRCA students.   Thanks Matt and Colleen!  We had a great experience!