Thursday, November 21, 2019

Consider buying a home with a pool? What do you need to know if you are considering it.


So many times, I have had folks come to Arizona and say, “I would like a home with a pool”.  Before you go that route, please think.  Because after about 2-3 years those same people come to me and ask me to sell their home because they are tired of being a slave to the pool.
 When decided to move to Arizona, you will see a lot of homes have a pool out here, but here are a few things to consider when buying a home with a pool.  

·         If the pool is heated, you can have all year enjoyment. But usually it is heated by electrical and that will jump your bill up about $200.0/$400 a month. (depending on how much you heat it)   

·         If the pool is not heated, then you will most likely not use it for only about 6-7 months of the year (typical usage is from May through September), depending on your tolerance of colder water. But will have to maintain it every month by adding chemicals and keeping the water level up and cleaning it. Average cost $50-120 per month.  Measure the cost with the usage to see if you feel it is worth it.  You can hire a pool company to come out each week or biweekly or you can do the maintenance yourself…but that is about a 2 hour time commitment.  
      **My recommendation  for a good quality Pool company is Troy  http://www.azpoolcarepros.com/   480-699-2566

Remember, the city can fine you if your pool is not taken care of and becomes a heath hazard.

·         There are safety measures you must take by law if you have a pool.  Here is a good website to find out the current requirements; http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/oeh/pool_rules.htm  and check with the city you plan to purchase the home in as they may have additional rules/laws.   

·         With safety measures come liability—be sure to talk with your insurance company to see what your home insurance will cover, and how much a year will it be, usually homes with a pool are more expensive. 

·         If you decide to get a home warranty on your home, check with the company to see if you will need extra coverage for a pool and what they cover like; the pump, the electric panel, the valves, etc., etc., and  if it is a salt water pool do they cover the salt cell?

Pools are very enjoyable out here in the heat of our summer.  But do your homework before you buy and you will find yourself relaxed and at ease, floating away an afternoon.  If you don’t the same afternoon could be filled with all sorts of things you didn’t expect.  


Friday, November 8, 2019

Smart Phones- cheap is not bad anymore!

Don't Be Afraid of Buying Budget Phones Anymore
For the past few years, the smartphone flagship wars have pushed phone technology to new highs. And what goes up, must come down, which means that technology for less-expensive phones gets better. In fact, the processor chipset used in Google's Pixel 1 is no longer available, even though the phone is only 3 years old. A 3-year-old flagship phone is now surpassed by most affordable phones on the market.

What this means is that a budget-minded consumer now can buy a phone for $300 that outperforms a phone that once sold for $650 at release. There's no more "settling" for a budget phone because they outperform phones of recent vintage.

Once upon a time, smartphones were slow and reluctant to respond to more than a single press of the finger on an app. Trying to switch apps quickly or process a command ate up precious time.

The solution was to spend a lot of money on a high-end smartphone and deal with the fallout. That included watching as the technology becomes dated, the phone battery wears out, and the phone slows down as it gets older. Add the fast depreciation of the value of the phone, and it soured a lot of people on the idea of buying a flagship phone. But low-end phones weren't much better.

It's true that budget smartphones weren't the best in terms of performance. Everything about a budget phone felt cheap, along with its slow performance due to a low-end chipset. All of that has changed as smartphone technology has advanced and made low-end chipsets cheaper to produce. Budget phone manufacturers took advantage of this and started to design phones that run as well as flagship phones of recent vintage. A budget-minded buyer now has the opportunity to buy a phone that is fast, has a battery with staying power, a high-quality display, and durability at a price that's nice instead of outrageous.

Source: Digital Trends

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Halloween Decor Trends

Decorating for Halloween is a tradition that many families take part in year after year. As with most traditions, though, the decorating trends that dominate Halloween change from time to time. Giant inflatables and laser light shows were all the rage just a few years ago, but now things are starting to shift a bit more toward subtle. The over-the-top Halloween decorating style will likely never fully go away, of course; there’s at least one house in every town that goes all out with its display and people always love it. If you’re looking for something simpler (and easier on the power bill), here are a few trendy options to keep in mind.


Candles
With the right candleholders, basic white candles can add a spooky ambiance that hearkens back to older Halloween traditions. Specialty candles are available that are carved to look like bones or horns as well. No need to go overboard with effects-candles, such as those that “bleed” when lit; just a few tapers burned to different lengths and then extinguished serve as the perfect subtle candle accent to your other decorations.

Pumpkins
What would Halloween be without pumpkins? While the traditional jack-o-lantern is still great, there’s an increasingly common trend to display uncarved pumpkins as well. White pumpkins are also seeing an upswing in popularity to really help set your decorations apart from the norm.

Halloween Wreaths
Also seeing an increased popularity are Halloween wreaths. Coming in a variety of styles, these wreaths have a lot more room to experiment than more traditional Christmas wreaths because of the generally spooky nature of the holiday. You can DIY a wreath yourself or buy one of multiple pre-made varieties to give your home a really unique Halloween look.

Lighting and Signs
Halloween lights have been growing in popularity in recent years, providing a decorative option that can be enjoyed even once the sun goes down. Signs, both lighted and non-lighted, are also firmly establishing themselves as Halloween must-haves. Combining the two can give your home a unique look that neighbors can enjoy both during the day and after the night descends.

Window Décor
Instead of going all-out with inflatables, animatronics and big clunky pieces made of plastic and rubber, an up-and-coming trend is to make use of silhouettes in front of plain curtains to give your decorations a more subtle flair. Some homes even take this a step beyond, using white sheets or similar coverings on the interior windows and then using creative lighting and figure placement to actually cast shadows onto the waiting windows. The shadow puppet feel gives the effect an extra layer of spookiness.

Black and White and Purple Trappings
While black and orange are the dominant colors of Halloween, a big trend in recent years has been to move away from the orange and embrace the holiday’s darker tones. White is used for contrast, with the predominant colors in decorations being black and dark purple. Splashes of other colors may be added as well, but the black, white and purple theme is definitely striking.

Zombie Flamingos
While there has been a move away from some of the cheesier parts of the holiday, the kitsch of putting zombie flamingos on your lawn is a bit too fun to ignore. There are a variety of styles of flamingoes available ranging from silly to gory, giving you plenty of room to find birds that match both your personal tastes and decorating style. Best of all, they can be mixed with a few traditional pink flamingos to give everything a splash of color while totally buying into the Halloween fun.

Need Some Halloween Style?
If you’re not sure what sort of decorations would look best with your home, consider consulting a decorator who has experience with Halloween trappings. Not only will they help you pick the best décor options, but they’ll aid you in choosing accents that go perfectly with both your home style and the decorations you choose. If you need a referral to a great interior decorator, let me know, I can hook you up with one of the best!!  


And if you are thinking of selling your home and want to be in a new home the night before Christmas-- you still have time to make that a reality!  So contact me to see where your home is in the market- I bet you will be surprised!    

www.AzSellsHomes.com  is my website, it is a great place to start!  Or you can call or text me at 480-570-1912 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Is your house ready for an electric car?



While they aren’t quite dominating the automotive market just yet, electric vehicles are definitely seeing a rise in popularity. More and more consumers are embracing the vehicles as a stylish and more environmentally friendly way to get around, and charging stations are starting to appear in places such as hotels, rest stops and even shopping centers. There’s definitely a market for electric cars out there, and it’s growing.
If you’ve considered an electric vehicle before, you should stop and ask yourself if you’re actually ready for one. Here are 2 things to consider: (This isn’t a trick question or a suggestion that electric cars are somehow superior; it’s a legitimate question that you’ve probably never given a thought to).
1.) Electric vehicles need to be plugged in and charged somewhere, so you need to figure out whether your house is actually ready for an electric car.
2.) They cost more upfront, so your monthly payment is going to be more—will that out weigh the cost of putting gas in your car? Coming up with 40 or so dollars each week might be easier on your budget—just a valid question.
Electrical Access
A lot of garages have electrical outlets in them, but not all of them do. Even for those that do, they aren’t always conveniently located for plugging in an electric vehicle. Either way, this can be a big problem when it comes time to recharge your car. Without convenient outlets you will have to get creative while charging, and an electric vehicle isn’t exactly something you want to risk running a questionable extension cord to. When trying to determine if your home’s ready for an electric car, this is one of the big points that you need to consider. If you don’t have an outlet where you need one and aren’t willing to try some more creative parking options to get to the closest plugs, you may need to wire and install an entirely new outlet.
Can Your Home Handle the Draw on the Electricity?
Electric cars pull a decent amount of electrical current while they charge. This isn’t a major problem in many modern homes but depending on what else is on a circuit with the vehicle, you may end up tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. In some cases, the added draw of the electric vehicle may actually push you into using more electricity overall than your main panel was designed to handle. If you live in an older house, you could wind up facing a lot of hassle with your electricity if you get an electric car. Depending on how bad the problem is, you may even need to get some wiring reworked or have a new service panel installed to handle the increased electrical requirements.
Charging Station Issues
While the points made thus far have dealt with basic charging options that plug into a standard electrical outlet, home charging stations are also an option. These stations recharge electrical vehicles much faster than chargers that plug into an outlet, though they also have to be installed before you can use them. Depending on where you live, there may be laws or ordinances restricting who can install an electrical vehicle charging station and where they can be installed. Permits and inspections may also be required, all of which will cost money in addition to the cost of the charging station itself and professional installation.
An Alternative Consideration
To reduce or eliminate the cost of recharging an electric car, some owners choose to install solar panels that provide power to a dedicated charging station. This can be a great option, as it eliminates long-term costs while also providing a greener method for keeping your car charged. Unfortunately, there may be restrictions or other ordinances surrounding the installation of solar panels, as well. Solar panels also often have a high up-front cost, though depending on the size of the panel you choose you may be able to keep this down.
Don’t Know the Answer?
If you aren’t sure if your home is ready for an electric car, it’s time to call in a pro. Jack with the Auto House at 480-262-1019 https://www.autohousetempe.com/  or Armando with Azul Electric 480-694-1339 can answer your questions and help you to get the car you are dreaming of. And heck if you decide your home doesn’t fit your car—will I can help with that!  See my new website at www.azsuperstars.realestate

Monday, September 2, 2019

Multi Sides to Solar--Should You Buyer or Lease Solar Panels?

The cost of solar panels has come down greatly in recent years, prompting more homeowners to consider going solar. Properly sized panels can slash energy expenses by 50% or more and generate extra income during peak months. These are just two of many benefits of adding solar panels to your home. One of the first decisions you must make is whether to buy or lease the panels.

What Are the Advantages of Leasing Solar Panels?
Solar panel leases offer many advantages, including:


  • No upfront cost. Solar panels cost tens of thousands of dollars to install, even with a decrease in manufacturing and installation costs. Therefore, many homeowners who would benefit from lowered utility expenses do not have enough money to buy panels outright. Leasing puts solar panels within everyone's reach.
  • Some utility savings. Depending on the company you choose to lease panels from, you will receive a 10% to 20% reduction on your electricity costs. While the savings are not as great as when you own solar panels, it's better than nothing. When you can pay nothing up front, lower your energy expenses, and make green home improvements, what's not to love?
  • You don't have any maintenance costs. When you own solar panels, you need to pay for routine maintenance and repair. When you lease solar panels, the company takes care of this for you, so you never have to worry about unexpected repair costs.


What Are the Disadvantages of Leasing Solar Panels?
The downside of leasing solar panels relates primarily to their inability to provide value as a long-term investment. Consider the following:


  • You won't get the tax credit. Federal tax credits for green energy improvements are a big incentive to go solar. However, when you lease panels, you will not get the credit, which can run up to 30%. The company that owns the panels will get it on your behalf.
  • You save less and own nothing. If you plan to live in your home for decades to come, you may be better off purchasing solar panels. You'll save the most money on your utility bill and begin paying off the installation cost right away. Once you recoup your initial expenses, you can start earning money from your home and even sell extra power back to the grid. With leased solar panels, you own nothing at the end of the lease term and save less money over the long run than if you were to buy the panels.
  • One other thing to consider is if you sign a lease, and you go to sell your home: the new buyer has to agree to take on the lease. The way some of the leases are structured, (lower payments early and then the payment goes up over time) leases could be a liability not an asset. If you buy them out right, (even if you get a loan for them) it actually adds value to your home, and the loan has to be paid off before the transfer can be done, so then you are freed of the debt, without out of pocket costs.
  • Bottom line, it is complicated, don't just talk with solar companies, contact me and I can help you weigh out the perks VS the liabilities. But whatever you decide to do- just make sure you understand both sides of Solar.