Buying a Home, Valley of the Sun Communities

Why finding a home in Scottsdale could be your best move

When you picture the perfect weekend away, what do you envision?  Maybe it’s a day on a world-renowned golf course followed by a farm-to-table meal at a local restaurant.  Perhaps it’s strolling through museums and ending your day at a relaxing spa.  It could even be spending the day hiking the beautiful trails of desert. When this is the place that thousands of visitors come to unwind from everyday life, you know there must be something special about Scottsdale.

No matter if you are single, a young family, or a retiree, you can find exactly where you belong here.  It’s no secret that the Valley of the Sun has no shortage of exciting nightlife, outdoor activities, and great homes nestled in a beautiful scenario.  What are you waiting for?

scottsdale pic

Tee Time
Golfing is a favorite hobby in Scottsdale.  Whether it’s for leisure or business affairs, there are plenty of rolling green courses to choose from here.  Surrounded by the complimentary views of mountainous landscapes, this area has become the premier destination for avid (and novice!) golf players around the globe.  A few of the preferred courses of the locals to tee off include Troon North (which continues to hail king of the “must play” courses), Southern Dunes Golf Club, and The Boulders.

The Dining Experience
If you are looking for an evening of fun and food, The Mission Restaurant serves up a mix of traditional dishes with a modern twist.  The atmosphere alone will make you feel like you are miles away from home.  Start your Latin-inspired feast with their famous guacamole and pair it with the perfect tequila cocktail.  You won’t regret it.
When the chef is the southwest nominee recognized by the James Beard Foundation, you know you are in for an amazing culinary experience.  FnB uses locally grown ingredients in dishes that will engage even the most eclectic taste buds.  The menu is seasonally rotated to ensure the freshest quality.  Their award-winning wine list perfectly pairs dishes to the glass.  Be sure to make a reservation!
While locals enjoy celebrating special occasions at this local cafe, the setting at Monarch brings a romantic feel to any meal.  Request a table in the candlelit courtyard to enjoy a chef-inspired 4-course meal.  End it all with a delectable slice of rum cake.

Get Outside
Many locals would agree that it’s almost impossible to live in Scottsdale without enjoying the active lifestyle.  Bike trails, outdoor yoga, and hiking paths invite you to explore the hidden treasures of the city.  Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture breathtaking views!
Best local park?  Pinnacle Peak.  Be ready to spend your entire day enjoying the cactus air!

SAMSUNG CSC
SAMSUNG CSC

Social Scene
If you didn’t know that so much of Scottsdale revolved around food and drinks, take a look at the local event calendar.  From the Scottsdale Culinary Festival to Southwest Festival of Beers, your social agenda will quickly fill up!

Parada del Sol Parade

The Scottsdale Arts Festival welcomes over 170 artists from across the country.  Peruse the booths, enjoy the music, and take home your own masterpiece.  If you are a music lovers, Arizona Musicfest is your scene.  Or check out live music when the sun sets.  Old Towne Tavern offers one the best patios around. Gather some friends, sip on some drinks, and listen to your favorite local band.  You’ll soon find out that Scottsdale is a nightlife kind of town.  Get out and enjoy the scene!

Become Refined
Gather your friends and sip on the best wines in the Valley.  Explore different flavors at wineries and support your local businesses at Aridus Wine Company, LDV Winery, and Postino.
Tap into your cultural side by purchasing an annual membership into one of the area’s museums.  Debuting as one of Arizona’s newest attraction, Museum of the West embraces the art, history, and stories of the American West.  Engage yourself in the rotating exhibitions, events, tours, and activities for the entire family.  The Heard Museum celebrates the heritage and culture of American Indians.  The art exhibits and galleries brings to life how they played a role in shaping our future.  The Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits the modern works of art, design, and architecture.  Check out the events calendar for upcoming galleries, social minglings, and artist meet-and-greets.
While the Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most visited tourist spot, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home Taliesin West can also boost as a national historic landmark.  Tucked at the foothills of McDowell Mountains, you can feel the famous architect’s presence and the legacy he left for the future.

Baseball Fanatics
After a long winter break, baseball spring training returns just in time for spring.  Sports fans flock to this great town from mid-February to late March to spend an afternoon immersed in America’s favorite pastime.  Pitchers and catchers report to local spring training and more than 200 games are booked on the Cactus League schedule.  Root for your team in (practically) your own backyard!

If you’re interested in looking at real estate in Scottsdale, consult a native from the Valley of the Sun!  I’ll be able to find your dream home in your dream community!  Call me- Erin Newman at 480-466-8193 for a consultation.
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Real Estate, Selling Your Home

Ten Little Reasons Why Your Home Is Still On The Market

Several months have passed and the “For Sale” sign is still stuck in your front yard without so much as an offer.  Even if an offer has come along, it was well below your asking price.  What gives?  Maybe the problem is (drum roll, please) you.  Or it may even be your house.  Some of the reasons are things you can fix.  While the others may require creative thinking for you as the seller.  Here are ten reasons why you haven’t sold your home:

for sale

  1. Outdated or unpolished look
    While I would love to say that this is a quick and cost-efficient fix, sometimes it’s simply isn’t.  This requires looking at your house in a new perspective and understanding market demands.  Wood panel walls and green shag carpet clearly give potential buyers an outdated vibe.  Look for ways to modernized your home such as replacing hardware, a fresh coat of paint, and removing furniture or decor that makes your home less than inviting. This includes anything that’s broken like a knob or kitchen sink handle. Buyers will think you haven’t maintained the home like you should.  I have the resources that I can provide that not only evaluate what your home needs to get “market ready” but are able to give the information for licensed contractors who can do the work.
  2. Curb appeal
    I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting people through your front door by creating curb appeal.  You can market your home with photos on social media with perfectly staged rooms with an inviting feel but if the front yard and driveway look like a mess, you can expect them to do the notorious drive-by.  Mow your lawn.  Rake up leaves.  Hide the garbage cans.  Get rid of broken down cars.  Pressure wash the driveway. Replace the broken shutters.  You get the point.curb appeal
  3. Location, location, location
    Remember how I mentioned how one reason may not be an easy fix?  This is one of those reasons.  The physical location may be not be ideal to certain buyers.  This could include factors such as schools districts and traffic.  They also consider factors such as congestion or small yards.  It may simply be too far away from the nearest grocery store or work.  This may require targeting the attention of buyers who are looking into your specifics of your home.   As a seasoned agent, I can market to the buyer that will want your home.
  4. Research the price tag
    price tagI know you want to get what you believe your house is worth but let’s face it. Sometimes sellers have the tendency of marketing their home at a price that potential buyers don’t believe in paying. If your end goal is to sell your home to move on, then consider a fair market value by researching what similar homes in your area have recently sold.  When home sales are public records, buyers know what your home is worth.  I am an agent who keeps her finger on the “pulse” of the market.  My National Association of Realtors Designation Pricing Strategy Analyst allows me to provide you real time market values.  You need an agent that understands the market.
  5. Summer or Winter?
    Do your homework.  This is one of the key elements before placing your home on the market.  See when the influx of home buying in your area is at its peak.  Is it the summer when kids can easily transition into the year at a new school in the fall?  Or does the colder months contribute to more sales?  This is a great indicator if it’s bad timing for home buying.  My research will help you with the best time to sell.
  6. Advertising
    If you aren’t advertising in the right social outlets, then your home isn’t being viewed at the highest potential by buyers.  Open houses are a great opportunity for people to view your home. My pre-marketing is very successful in getting exposure of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.
  7. Hire a pro
    photographer imageNever take photos of your home for marketing purposes from your iPhone. There.  I said it. You would be surprised at how many people overlook a great home because the photos lacked good angles. If you don’t own a high resolution camera and have a good eye, then hire a professional.  A photography fee will be worth the appeal that professional pictures will lure.
  8. No wiggle room or flexibility with potential buyers
    Unless the offer is completely unreasonable, you can always create room for negotiation.  Rigid home sellers are a turn-off for those who are interested in purchasing your home!  After all, everybody wants to feel like walked away with a deal.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a pushover but be flexible.  As a top negotiator, I can educate you in this process.
  9. Get out of the house during showings
    house drawingHave you ever been to a car lot to look at their inventory only to be followed and hassled by a salesperson? Annoying, right?  Buyers know what they are looking for and most certainly don’t need a lurking shadow following them into every room to show them the best assets of the home.  Vacate the premise during showings and let the buyers relax and see what all your home has to offer.
    10. A good real estate agent
    You probably already knew that I was going to plug this in but it’s true.  If you don’t have an agent who is doing everything he/she can to effectively market and showcase your home, you are being dis-serviced.  The most common complaints about agents tend to be poor communication, little or no guidance through the preparation and selling process, and ineffective advertising.  You deserve a professional real estate agent who will lead you through the process.  I’m committed to working for you during the sale of your home and make it as seamless as possible. Call or text Erin Newman at 480.466.8193.  

“It has been a great experience to work with Erin in the complex process of selling our home. She has been very flexible to accommodate our needs, and her strategic approach to marketing our home paid off with us receiving an offer in only 3 weeks! She’s guiding us through the closing stages of the sales step-by-step and we look forward to continue to work with Erin in the search for our new home. We gladly recommend Erin to any of our friends that are in need of a real estate agent.”
– Franzis S.

“Erin put all her effort into selling our house. She immediately did 3 straight weekends of open houses. She helped me stage [my home] which I needed so much help with. She followed up with every guest even the ones that didn’t leave their phone number.  That one person ended up giving us an offer that is now in escrow! If she had not followed up with every guest,  we may not have received this offer!”
Katherine S.

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Uncategorized, Valley of the Sun Communities

There’s lots of reasons why Tempe could be your next neighborhood.

My full-time real estate career takes me all over the valley.  As I talk with my clients, I can get a feel of what they are looking for in a home.  But there’s a bigger picture in mind.  The people.  The neighborhood. The community.  What do they picture doing on the weekends?  Whether it’s hiking or perusing through a local farmer’s market, finding a home is so much more than where you place your head at night.  Through a series of Valley of the Sun Community blogs, I will be featuring several local communities that may give you a new yearning to be there, to connect there, and to live life there.  So let me ask you…what area you want to call home?

Tempe

tempe
If it has been a while since you’ve been to Tempe, it’s time to give it a second look. With a thriving culture of eclectic restaurants, museums, shops, and ASU (Arizona State University for all the non-locals) campus, there’s always something to do.  Walking through downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue gives you a sense of the life here.

Dining local

You’ll quit eating chain food restaurants when you discover the sacred dining district in this part of town.  You never have to leave your own town to experience flavors from all over the globe in the local eateries.  House of Tricks offers a relaxed dining experience and a menu that is sure to satisfy any craving.  Feast on Korean baby back ribs, house smoked salmon, or seared scallops.  Don’t forget to end your meal with a salted caramel-apple bread pudding topped with cinnamon whipped cream

tempe restaurant

Meet friends for Sunday morning brunch at Postino.  The quaint establishments serves up ciabatta French toast and breakfast sandwiches whipped up with only the freshest ingredients.  Check out the wine selection for seasonally rotating menu.  Take in your whole experience while sitting on the patio.

Saturday mornings

If morning runs or getting on the water are your thing, Tempe offers plenty of parks and water recreation.  You’ll soon find your own favorite hotspot for all those sunny desert days when you want to be outside.

One of the most popular spots for everybody- locals and visitors alike- is Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake.  Town Lake boasts the title for largest Independence Day celebration in the state!  But there’s a plethora of activities around the calendar. Check out the Fantasy in Lights Boat Parade in December and Ironman Arizona in November.  Competitive runners enjoy marathons such as The Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, The Color Run, and Run the Distance for Parkinsons.

fourth of july tempe
Hiking or biking fanatic?  Explore the network of trails at Papago Park.  You will enjoy the natural setting and find some of the best views that the Tempe area has to offer.  The park features an archery range, fishing lagoon, and baseball facility. The Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens are conveniently located.

papago
You always hear to think local, buy local, and support local.  Here’s your chance!  Tempe Farmers Market specializes in organic and local products.  If you want to eat healthy or just try out new ingredients, they can guide you towards what you want.  Grab a specialty latte at the coffee bar while you are taking it all in.

Find a workshop or class for the whole family at the Tempe Center of the Arts.  The events calendar is jammed packed with educational classes to weave in history, art, and fun.

Sea Life Arizona offers an interactive aquarium with touch pools and a 360 degree tunnel. Spend a day observing the likes of lionfish, octopus, and sharks.  Be sure to stop by and visit Ziva, the aquarium’s very own resident endangered sea turtle!

Become a hometown tourist

I know what you’re thinking…. “Erin, why would I do something so “tourist-y”?” My response is you’re seeing the city from a whole new perspective.  And if we’re being honest, you know you’re curious about how fast a segway goes.  Take one around Tempe Town Park.  Is there any better way to get to see your own town?

If that doesn’t sound like your speed, there’s plenty of other ways to experience the city. Rent a boat and spend the day on the water, take an electric bike through the trails, or even see the views by hot air balloon!
http://www.tempetourism.com/things-todo/tours-transportation/

A Culture of Art, Food, and Music

Calling all art lovers!  Tempe Festival of the Arts is consistently hailed as one of the top art shows in the nation and is the recipient for the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association.  While locals can enjoy this bi-yearly event in the spring and fall in their own backyard, visitors from all over the country come to this three-day weekend event.  Arts range from photography to ceramics and jewelry but not everybody is invited to participate.  A jury selects the top artists to showcase their work to ensure that guests are viewing the best of the best. As many as 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets displaying unique and hand-made artwork that offers a distinctive shopping experience. In addition to the art, the festival also features live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, and street performers for the whole family. Grab lunch and enjoy the day!

Beer and wine bars are a specialty here in Tempe.  Tap into your more refined side (we all have one, right?) at the Arizona Wine Festival for tastings and sales by the glass, bottle, or case. Or if wine isn’t your drink of choice, The Great Arizona Beer Festival features local microbrewery sampling and sales.  Be sure to bring along a DD! tempe wine

Live the college life

Ahhhhh, life in a college town.  The Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!) is situated perfectly in Tempe and adds exactly what a community needs.  Of course, there’s always collegiate sporting events and Friday night pep rallies. There’s something special about strolling through campus on a beautiful morning.   If you want Broadway performances, look no further than the Gammage located on campus.   The school has a nationally recognized film school so check out the calendar of events opened to the public.

If you’re interested in looking at real estate in Tempe, consult a native from the Valley of the Sun!  I’ll be able to find your dream home in your dream community!  Call me- Erin Newman at 480-466-8193 for a consultation.