July 2016

There are 8 blog entries for July 2016.

The last thing new homeowners want to do after they finally close on their new homes is to spend yet more money, but if this is your first home, shop you must. As a homeowner, all repairs fall to you; no more picking up the phone to call the landlord. If you consider yourself handy and have the tools on hand that you’ll need to get the job done, you’ll save money in the long run.

Let’s take a list at some essential tools you may need to have for small repairs.

1. Tool kit — Even a basic kit is better than nothing. Ensure it includes a hammer (for hanging pictures), a Phillips head and standard screwdriver, a measuring tape, adjustable wrench, pliers and a utility blade. Now, those are the basics to get you started and you may want to consider

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 While it may not seem like it when a down real estate market drags on for years, the one thing you can count on is that it will, eventually, change. Scottsdale, Arizona’s market showed signs of doing just that, starting in late 2011, with high buyer interest and rising prices. Tumbling interest rates brought even more buyers to the market and today we’re in a hot seller’s market.

Sure, other sectors that affect the housing market remained clouded, such as low consumer confidence and sluggish jobs reports. But the slowing economy in China and the U.K.'s decision to exit the European Union pushed interest rates to slightly above the historic low. Because of this, Freddie Mac released revised projections last week, predicting increased action in the

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Scottsdale is a yoga aficionado’s paradise. We haven’t counted the number of studios but we know they’re almost as prolific as Starbucks.

It’s important that what you wear is not only comfortable but moves with you, doesn’t ride up and doesn’t expose certain body parts when you’re doin’ the downward dog. We’ve rounded up what we consider the stores with the highest quality yoga wear, both here in Scottsdale and online.


Lucy is based in Alameda, Calif. but REI carries the line as does Athleta at Kierland Commons. They also offer online ordering at lucy.com.

From a look at the website’s “What’s New” section we see they’re offering some cute muscle tanks and a lot of non-athletic stuff. Dig deeper into the website, however, and you’ll

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 woman pressing weights in a gym

Here we are more than halfway through 2016 and, if you’re like me, you’re a bit burned out on your fitness routine. When it’s time to shake it up a little, dump what you’ve been doing and try something else. From across the country to around the world we have a list of a few of the most popular workouts, guaranteed to get you off your couch and looking as hot as a Scottsdale day in July. Best of all? They’re offered right here in Scottsdale.

The most popular fitness routine

Body weight training took top honors in the 2015 ACSM Health & Fitness Journal survey of fitness trends. In 2016, it’s number two, falling behind “wearable technology,” which is more of a trend than a fitness routine, so body weight training, by default, became the most

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Yellow rose


Rosarians understand that while growing roses in the desert is challenging, it’s also quite rewarding. Believe it or not, many varieties that don’t normally bloom twice a year will do so in our Scottsdale climate. Overall, the trick to growing better roses in Scottsdale is to choose varieties that have proven their heat tolerance. These include popular roses such as “Peace,” “Julia Child,” and a climber named “Sally Holmes.” Since we’re heading into another hot, dry Scottsdale summer I thought this would be a great time to share some tips from local rose experts.


A 3 to 4-inch layer of mulch spread around the rose bush (placed 6 inches away from the plant) will help conserve soil moisture and insulate the plant’s roots from the heat.

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House and keys sitting on top of stacks of money

We see it often as listing agents – Scottsdale homebuyers that go into the process absolutely clueless about the fees they’ll be required to pay at closing. In fact, most of them think the down payment is the whole ball of wax when it comes to cash outlay. Hey, we don’t blame them; it’s their lender’s fault.

Since lenders don’t seem to be doing an adequate job of counselling homebuyers about the very significant amount in fees they’ll pay at closing, we will. Well, we can’t cover all of them, but these are the biggies.

Down payment

The amount you’ll pay at closing for your down payment depends on the amount and the type of your loan. Conventional loans require 20 percent of the loan amount as a down payment while the VA and the USDA require

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You didn’t move to Arizona to spend your leisure time doing home maintenance projects, did you? If you’re tired of paying the pool guy and maintaining your landscape, consider low-maintenance living. The HOA takes care of those tedious chores while you get out and enjoy life in Scottsdale.

You can do just that when you buy a home at The Ridge at Troon North. The community is only a year old so you’ll have few worries about interior maintenance as well.

Located in the foothills, near Troon North Golf Club, the community couldn’t be more ideally situated. If you golf, the benefits of living at The Ridge at Troon North are obvious. Originally designed by Tom Weiskopf, Troon North offers two courses, the Monument and the Pinnacle, with a total of 36

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According to a recent ranking of the 100 largest cities and their park systems, Scottsdale sits at number 40 in the nation. It is, however, number one in the state, according to The Trust for Public Land.

Park systems were chosen based on their size, the percentage of parkland in the city, park funding and how easy it is for residents to access a city’s parks.

Other Arizona cities included Phoenix, which was ranked 49, Glendale at 55, Chandler at 71 and Mesa at 91.

So, which cities ranked at the top of the list?

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Washington D.C.
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • San Francisco, California

And at the bottom of the list?

  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
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