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!

 

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!

 

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!

Jan. 23, 2019

Donation goes to ACSTO and helps granddaughter! !

Sharon Weslar bought a home in Tucson to be near her family and is supporting her granddaughter's education in the process.  By directing our contribution of $2914 to ACSTO (Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization) we can recommend her granddaughter as the recipient and everyone wins! ACSTO makes it possible for thousands of children to go to the private school of their choice that would not otherwise be possible because of cost. We loved working with Sharon and Deanna to find the perfect house!

Jan. 22, 2019

Montana Remodel - Redesign on a DIY Dime

By Beth Fedor, Realtor®

While most of the homes on SBCO’s SaddleBrooke 2018 Renovated Home Tour employed professional contractors and substantial home improvement budgets, Dick and Cheri Allen’s home was an exception. Since purchasing their Montana floorplan home in 2009, the Allens have, on their own, completed a number of renovation projects to overcome the dated nature of the home’s interior and improve the overall flow of living spaces. 

An oil painting artist and interior designer, Cheri has put her color sense to work, transforming the formerly Victorian floral wallpapered and compartmentalized living area into a bright cheerful open space to showcase what she designates a “Mediterranean-Hacienda” style. 

Doing most of the work themselves, the Allens removed an existing media wall that separated the family room from the dining room, hiring a drywaller and an electrician to professionally finish the job. To cover the bare floor remaining from the wall removal and replace the living space’s unwanted wall-to-wall carpeting, the Allens repurposed a friend’s discarded wood flooring, adding a tile border to effectively transition the home’s existing tile to the “new” flooring.

Spanning the back of the home, the now open great room has at its heart a massive wood bar with a generous L-shaped counter that provides an inviting social gathering space. Another DIY project, Cheri and Dick spent weeks on their back patio applying numerous coats of stain to produce a warm rich finish on the unfinished pine pieces. The Allens now relax and entertain in an open space that offers the opportunity to be doing different things while still feeling connected.

The room’s window treatments showcase Cheri’s love for architectural details and her ingenuity for creating a sumptuous look with a minimal budget. Devised by Cheri and executed with the help of a woodworker friend, both sets of sliders and the room’s central window are crowned with arched window mouldings accented with keystones that Cheri routed herself and flanked by drapery panels she made from a lavish crewel embroidered fabric purchased at a deep discount on Ebay. 

Other home improvements include Cheri’s “tiled” art studio floor, cleverly achieved with some automotive pinstriping and concrete stain applied by squirt bottle, a faux-painted master bedroom wall with metallic veining that extends from a painting into the wall backdrop. A master bathroom vanity makeover was affordably achieved by painting the existing oak cabinets an antique black and adding applique ornamentation and framed mirrors to replace the former plate glass mirror. 

The Allens’ creative energy didn’t stop with the home’s interior. In the backyard, tour attendees admired the result of Dick and Cheri’s labor to create undulating paver-lined pathways amidst the greenery of artificial turf that Dick installed as their dogs’ play space, shaded by lush palms and an assortment of colorful trees, including Mesquite, Olive, Acacia and Mastic Pastiche.

Cheri has funneled her high-energy creative nature into her own home-based design business and delights in helping SaddleBrooke residents breathe new life and beauty into their spaces with everything from a basic color consultation to full-scale kitchen and bath remodels. Over the past decade, the Allens have demonstrated how dramatically a home’s indoor and outdoor spaces can be transformed inexpensively with the help of an artist’s eye, a penchant for repurposing cast-offs and a lot of DIY initiative. 

This article features one of seven homes from the 2018 SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Remodeled Home Tour to help fund SBCO's programs that greatly benefit youngsters in nearby communities. The remodeled homes are presented in no particular order. Tickets for the 2019 Remodeled Home Tour go on sale on Monday, March 4th, 9am-3pm in the SBCO office, Suite L in the Minit Mart Plaza. (Only 300 tickets will be sold and they tend to sell quickly.)  Tickets cost $15 per person or $25 for two people and are limited to SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents only.  If you would like to serve as a docent in one of the 2019 tour homes, please email Perry Shapiro at sbdocents19@gmail.com. 

 

Jan. 22, 2019

Enjoy your garage space!

By Jo Parsons, Make Your Move Matter Real Estate Concierge

Now that you’ve sorted through all those Holiday Decorations and organized your kitchen cabinets and drawers, cleaned out the closet and freshened up your living spaces, what’s left…

The biggest project of all!  The “garage”.  The first place you come home to and should be as organized and clean as your house.  After all, when that door is open to the neighborhood, it says a lot about you.  Think about it.

Storage cabinets in the garage are a huge plus because we don’t have basements or attics.  We NEED that storage space.  Used wisely, cabinets can accommodate most of your extras while making your garage function better to free up your valuable time for more fun and relaxing things.

Designate one cabinet for seasonal décor.  See-through plastic bins and a handy label maker make finding the right items a breeze.  Changing holiday items and silk flowers is a snap when you know where everything is!

Make a section for those rarely used kitchen appliances and tools so they don’t overcrowd your kitchen spaces.  Chafing dishes, breadmakers and fancy tools can easily be pulled out on special occasions.

If you are a gardener, you will want a cabinet close to the outside opening, so your fertilizer, tools, pots and soil are close at hand.  In this cabinet I also store my car cleaning items, hoses, buckets, etc.

A cabinet for light bulbs, extension cords, power tools, etc. is especially handy and should be located closest to the work bench if you have one.

Wall mount racks for brooms, mops, etc. are excellent for keeping these items neatly hung and out of the way while conveniently at your disposal.  Bike racks are also space saving!

Floor coatings are excellent for keeping down the dust and compliment the beauty of your home.  There are several companies that do this.  

Insulate your garage door and the attic!  Our median temp this winter is between 60 and 70 degrees.  Quite a comfortable range, especially if you like to do projects or use exercise equipment in that area.

Your garage is so much more than a place to park your car and store your golf clubs.  It’s over 400 sq ft of usable living space!

 

Jan. 21, 2019

Halletts pick Pusch Ridge Christian Academy

Hallett's choose Pusch RidgeThe Hallett family chose a cause near and dear to their hearts - Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, where their kids go to school and Mrs. Hallett works.  They directed the donation to the school's capital campaign where it will help fund a new building!

Dec. 27, 2018

Start the New Year Right!

By Jo Parsons, Make Your Move Matter Real Estate Concierge

Fall was glorious with its cooler weather and changing leaves.  We regaled in the reds, greens and golds of the holiday season and drank a cup of cheer as we celebrated the New Year. But January, well, can be a little blah after all the celebrating. The first month of the year is when I like to regroup and give my house a little refresh.

  1. Now it’s time to take down the decorations and put them away for another year. While it’s tempting to just throw everything in boxes, why not review what you have? Will it bring you joy to see it again next year or is it time to part ways?  Decorations that are worn, discolored or broken should be tossed, but items that still have life can be donated to a charity group.

  2. As you put those decorations away in the garage, take a look at what else you’re storing there.  If you haven’t used it in the past year or two, do you really need to keep it? You may be surprised at what’s growing cobwebs out there!

  3. Inside, does your home now seem dull without the holiday decorations? Give it new life by rearranging furniture, repurposing your knick knacks, or adding a pop of color to get you through the doldrums of winter.

 

This is also a great time of year to think about getting involved in arts & crafts, hiking, biking, sports, reading clubs…the possibilities are only as limited as you make them…

Dec. 16, 2018

Upsized to Entertain – Galleria Remodel

Roy and Jacquie Christiansen began their SaddleBrooke adventure in a villa and progressively moved up in square footage.  Their third and largest home is a two-story 4 bedroom plus den 3410 sq ft Galleria on a premium east-facing view lot overlooking the golf course and mountains. “We didn’t realize what an active, busy social life we’d have in SaddleBrooke and found we needed more space for entertaining,” explained Jacquie.

With James Widdows, owner of Northwest Builders, as general contractor, the Christiansens have completed several stages of remodeling over the past fourteen years to modify the master bath, den, kitchen, bar area, downstairs second bedroom, the family room and even the addition of a 400 sq ft den. “They were really easy to work with,” said Widdows, “Jacquie always clearly knows what she wants.” An art school graduate, Jacquie originally had her mind set on a career in interior design before becoming a Pan Am flight attendant and meeting her husband.

Added to the front of the home, the new 20’ x 20’ den is accessed by double French doors that replaced the original living room windows. The addition flanks the opposing garage affording space for a soaring gated atrium  and privacy for a new glass paned front door. With an executive desk and a wall of shelves housing an extensive book collection and numerous airplane models, the room is not only a handsome library for the former aerospace sales rep, but also Roy’s “Man-Cave” where guests may relax over a game of billiards. The room’s south wall bumps out a few feet beyond the home’s existing footprint affording Roy mountain views from his desk through a French door opening to the backyard. The addition’s French doors, skylights and clerestory windows add the natural light that Roy missed in his former den.

With the addition, both homeowners now enjoy their own individual office space. In the home’s existing den, an entryway was added, allowing the formerly dark, dead-end space to flow from the front hallway to the bedroom hallway. Track lighting illuminates an inviting gallery of artwork brightening the formerly closed off hall. The removal of the room’s original pocket door entry and wall allowed space for a 2’ deep wall-to-wall closet with shelving for storage of Jacquie’s extensive collection of seasonal décor and tableware.

With two bedrooms on the second floor, the Christiansens opted to turn the first floor bedroom wing into an expansive master bedroom suite, converting the second bedroom into a spectacular dressing room/closet for Jacquie. While the master bath retained its original footprint, furnishings were repositioned and renovated. The unwieldy soaking tub was removed to make way for a walk-in shower, while the former shower space gave way to a new, larger linen closet. The bathroom’s original linen closet was removed to install a pocket door leading from the bathroom to the new master closet.

In the kitchen, cabinets were re-faced with new maple raised-panel doors adorned with crown molding and pewter hardware. Grey-veined, black granite tops, a linear-patterned glass tile backsplash with varying gray and black tones plus new appliances polish off the beautifully renewed space. Around the corner from the kitchen, a non-loadbearing pillar was removed allowing for an extension of the existing bar area where a refrigerator and icemaker were installed.

At the back of the home adjacent to the kitchen, the family room experienced a dramatic renovation with the removal of the existing standard slider and two existing windows to make way for a wall of glass formed by a custom 17 foot stackable sliding glass doorway. Three panels fold one into the other opening a seamless indoor/outdoor entertainment space. To enhance the views, Northwest Builders removed an obtrusive patio pillar which required reengineering and reinforcing the span with a heavier glulam beam. The Christiansens have maximized their stunning ridgetop view of a sweep of golf course greenery and the mountains beyond. While the Christiansens had the 20’ x 20’ addition plumbed to accommodate a bath should a future owner wish to convert the space to a casita, they largely put resale out of mind as they remodeled their home to suit their preferences and personal taste.

Nov. 13, 2018

Whimsically Reinvented Space – Topaz Remodel

 

Bearing little resemblance to the original model, Bill and Janie Fowler’s home represented one of the most extensive remodels on the 2018 SaddleBrooke Remodeled Home tour, taking eight months to complete. Outside, the home’s elevation was transformed with the addition of a casita and side-entry golf cart garage to the front of the home, along with the squaring-off of the arched entry.  Inside, all arched window openings and passageways were also squared off, with new casement window replacements throughout. Walls dividing a formal living and dining space from the kitchen and family room were removed, revealing an open, vaulted great room space spanning the back of the house which now capitalizes on home’s spectacular golf course, lake and panoramic mountain views

Views were paramount on Bill’s must-have list, but, ultimately, it was Janie’s desire for a guest casita that moved them to purchase and renovate the home. While the recently flipped property lacked a casita, it appeared there might be room to build one. The Fowlers consulted with SaddleBrooke Remodeling to see if the home’s lot would accommodate a casita addition. Once this was deemed feasible, the Fowlers knew they’d found their new SaddleBrooke home and Janie set out to put their unique stamp on it.  Kitchen -Before

Going beyond the common remodel of the Topaz floor plan—the removal of the wall defining living and dining spaces to create one great room—the Fowlers opted to also remove the divider wall with arched openings that separated the foyer from the living space. While removing these walls created more openness, it was the removal of upper cabinets and opening of the wall adjoining the kitchen island that lent the space its true open-concept feel. The new design emphasizes the dramatic vaulting of the Topaz floor plan and draws the eye to the views from the now uninterrupted wall of windows; views that are further enhanced by the new single-sash picture windows. A newly plumbed gas fireplace with stacked stone of varied shades of brown, rust and slate was added to one end of the great room to create a warm focal point.

While the home’s kitchen boasted new granite and stainless appliances, Janie, a retired professional caterer, longed for a dream kitchen appointed in her style with greater functionality and storage space. To accomplish this, the kitchen was completely gutted and new Amish-made, custom knotty pine Shaker-style cabinetry with wider, deeper dimensions was added. The design plan of adding a few cabinets with deeper, taller bases resulted in a staggered effect that gives the space more attractive dimension along with increased storage. The Fowlers cleverly repurposed the kitchen’s original cabinetry and granite, using some of the existing material to create a Butler’s Pantry in the hobby/laundry room. They gave the remaining granite to their friends who were working on their own remodel with the same contractor.

With newly plumbed water and gas lines to accommodate, a new gas burner stove and pot-filler faucet were added to a location more convenient to the handsome new porcelain farmhouse sink. The newly opened kitchen was outfitted with striking Italian granite tops featuring veins of copper, blue and slate against a crème background that also tops the remodeled master bath. A longer, wider peninsula provides with a bar-height counter extension in the newly opened space enhances the views from the kitchen and entertainment flow between the kitchen and living area. 

Above the peninsula hang two of Janie’s custom creations; a personalized antique recreation of a proprietor’s sign and three staggered pendant lights that she had an artisan craft from antique washing machine plungers on pulleys.  The home and its casita reflect an eclectic mix of the New England style of found, repurposed items and a laid back, rustic Pacific Northwest aesthetic, all punctuated by the homeowners’ sense of humor. Tour visitors delighted in the myriad of whimsical lighting fixtures and decor throughout the house. All custom creations, the front entry chandelier is composed of three vintage gramophone horns and the dining nook table chandelier features cascading arms of antique telephone pole insulators forming light shades. 

Inspired by the flooring of her Washington home derived from a schoolhouse built in 1892, Janie selected a palette of five different shades of ceramic wood-look plank tiles from two different manufacturers. The tiles were randomly arranged to mimic a natural rustic wood floor. Since the March Home Renovation Tour, the Fowlers had Bill’s office walls clad with the leftover wood from their Washington home. Describing the essence of New England style, Janie said “That’s what they (the settlers) did—used items they had on hand to beautifully create what they needed. That old flooring has a mix of cherry, pine, oak and hemlock woods and you can still see the nail-holes and stains from a century ago.” To compliment the newly paneled office, the Fowlers had the existing light-stained built-ins painted brown and removed one of the built-in cabinets to accommodate wine refrigerators.

The existing garage edge served as boundary for the home’s new golf cart garage and casita extension on the opposite wing of the home. The addition formed a new front entry space that provided privacy and the security to install a handsome new glass-paned front door. Nicknamed “The Tug Room,” the 320 square foot casita is a playful homage to the Fowlers’ former boat, Justatug with a blend of nautical and Americana décor. The casita’s ensuite bath features nautical light sconces and, in case of emergency, Justatug’s life preserver is mounted on the wall. 

With the casita now providing bed and bath space for guests, the Fowlers opted to remove the tub/shower enclosure of the main house’s second bathroom, creating a fanciful powder room. The bath’s frosted glass panel doorway properly announces it, tongue-in-cheek, as The Department of Stand-up Affairs and The Office of Sit-Down Operations. No longer needed for guests, the home’s second bedroom is now Janie’s “Loom Room” with plenty of space to accommodate her weaving hobby. 

A retired contractor, Bill understood the inevitabilities of renovation, namely unanticipated delays and budget increases. While they faced both, the Fowlers were determined to build to suit their lifestyle and personality, not that of a future buyer. Ultimately, they were so satisfied with the job the contractor and his subs had done with their “forever after” home, that they cohosted a progressive dinner celebration with Dave and EddyLee Scott, (owners of the renovated Fiesta model featured in the SB Notes August issue) inviting all the workers and their families.

 

Oct. 29, 2018

Laredo Remodel – Sophisticated, Serene and Soothing Space

by Beth Fedor, REALTOR

When realtor Lauren Moore first laid eyes on her SaddleBrooke home, she was sold on the lot's privacy and sweeping Catalina views. While the home's views and private setting on the border of Sierra Tucson's vast recreational space were ideal, and the Laredo's open concept floor plan offered solid bones, the dated condition of the original one-owner home needed a makeover. With Formica countertops, oak cabinetry and wall-to-wall carpeting, Moore faced a significant renovation. 'I knew it was a great floor plan, I just needed to take it from basic to beautiful.'

With some experience fixing up her prior California residences along with inspiration from her clients' home improvement projects, Moore undertook the role of general contractor, organizing and orchestrating the efforts of 10 different contractors to update and modernize the 2002 built home from floor to ceiling.

The house was repainted inside and out and existing carpet and vinyl flooring made way for an expanse of wood-look ceramic tile flooring and 5' baseboards. To further capitalize on views, a new picture window was added to the great room along with two new windows that flank the master bedroom slider. Additionally, the house was refitted with new window coverings, lighting fixtures and ceiling fans inside and out. The upgrades create a light, airy ambiance and lend a clean feel and seamless flow to the home's open plan.

Keeping the original boxes intact, kitchen cabinets were refaced and doors replaced with knotty Alder modern shaker-style cabinet doors finished with a simple crown molding and accented with striking nickel pulls. The wavy design of the pulls, along with the undulating pattern of sleek new 'Kashmir Cream' granite tops, provide a complimentary offset to the linear modern aesthetic of Moore's striking new kitchen.

Providing more storage and counter space, an additional bank of cabinets extends beyond the stove and an extra cabinet broadened the existing kitchen island, providing a more practical work space. Deciding to 'lower the bar,' Moore opted to replace the traditional higher level breakfast bar with a single level counter height bar. Along with an uninterrupted expanse of gorgeous granite, she gained a greater flow between the kitchen and great room space, more conducive for entertaining. The same refinished cabinetry and granite upgraded both bathrooms, where counters were raised to executive height and outfitted with new nickel hardware and fixtures. Both the master walk-in shower and guest bath/ shower were remodeled with a handsome floor to ceiling tile with mosaic accenting. In both baths, oval mirrors above each sink vanity replaced the dated wall-to-wall mirrors.

Originally designed for older bulkier electronics, the built-in media wall was streamlined and modernized, with its new narrower depth adding more living space. Arched display niches and built-in shelves were replaced by a simple arrangement of two lighted rectangular niches to display artwork which flank a flat screen television mounted above a contemporary linear gas fireplace. A focal point anchor of the room, the new arrangement has a balanced Zen-like feel.

Other improvements include an Organizer's Dream built-out master closet, new water heater, new water softener system, upgraded kitchen windows, new slate appliances, under cabinet lighting, and surround sound. To complete the home's contemporary identity, Moore took a minimalist approach to furniture and accessories, choosing a soothing neutral palette with some bold pops of red. The result is a modern sleek sophistication that feels inviting and soothing.

Incredibly, the home's renovation was completed in a three-month time period. Grateful for the 'best case scenario,' Moore was able to live in the upstairs of her parents' Durango while work was ongoing, rather than endure the slow and messy room-by-room process that a live-in renovation requires. She is continually surprised and pleased to hear how many of her clients are busy remodeling their homes. 'SaddleBrooke has many great contractors and subcontractors that can do almost anything you need to improve your home!'