Fall service you must do on your AC unit in Arizona 🍁

Before you know it, fall will be upon us. That means that you have to prep your home’s air conditioning for this cooler season. Check out these tips from Armer Air Heating & Air Conditioning LLC:

Invest in draft snakes to prevent warm air from seeping out and vice versa.

Re-caulk gaps and repair weather-stripping on windows, piping, and foundation to save money on heating.

Change the air filter to alleviate autumn allergens and pathogens.

Call an expert to clean vents.

Run fans clockwise to reduce heating costs.

Lower temperature of water heater to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insulate pipes.

Schedule an HVAC maintenance check-up. To avoid emergencies and costly, unexpected repairs and replacements, this phone call should be made seasonally (every 3 to 4 months). For the fall, a professional should perform the following tasks on the central system:

Clean air ducts.

Check for correct amount of refrigerant.

Test for and seal leaks in ducts.

Measure evaporator coil’s airflow.

Verify correct electric control sequence.

Inspect electric terminals, and clean and tighten connections.

Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear.

Check thermostat’s accuracy.

Change your thermostat settings. When you change your clocks, change the temperature settings on your air conditioner’s thermostat, too. With cooler temperatures, you should increase or decrease the temperature based on your comfort.

Run the heat. The first time you turn on the heat for the fall, it’ll smell. Usually, that burnt smell is dust that’s settled on the heating components over the last few months of being stagnant. It’ll go away quickly and, if the heat doesn’t come on, call an HVAC professional.

Clean or replace your air conditioning unit’s air filter. Regularly clean and/or replace your air conditioning unit’s air filters about once a month (and always during the change of season). This routine cuts down on allergens and pathogens in your home and reduces your energy bill between 5 and 15 percent.

Remove natural debris from around the condenser unit. By the end of summer, dirt, grime, weeds, and leaves build up around the condenser unit. This can potentially disrupt clean airflow and hinder the efficiency of your HVAC system during cold weather.

Use a hose to remove all natural debris and clip overgrown grass. You should also rake any grass clippings, leaves, or weeds.

Clean your unit’s coils. The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over the summer months from your lawnmower (and through the fall as the leaves change). This dirt reduces airflow and can cause your A/C unit to absorb heat. Clean the exterior area around the coils and remove any debris.

Shut off the unit’s power. Shutting off the unit’s power averts any risk of condenser damage if someone accidentally switches the thermostat setting to “cool” during the fall. Look for a shut-off box on the exterior wall near your condenser unit and flip the switch inside.

Tip: Next spring, don’t forget to turn the power back on 24 hours prior to using the A/C unit.

Add extra insulation. Use foam pipe covers around the air conditioning unit’s exposed pipes and wiring, particularly those that go into your home. You can also use duct tape to keep the foam insulation in place and to stop pipes from freezing and cracking.

Brought to you by Armer Air Heating and Air Conditioning 
Contact us for questions, AC inspections and maintenance.
(480) 290-2977 – armerair@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this and other very cool homes for sale

 

 

 

 

 

Brought to you by Team EvoAZ at Revelation Real Estate 

Which Mortgage Loan is Best for Me?

When looking to buy a home, there are a lot of things to consider:  how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, 2-story, 1-story, Pool or no Pool.  Deciding on the best loan program isn’t usually the first thing that is considered, but it’s very important in the home buying process.  Some of the main questions to consider:

  • What programs are available with my credit score?
  • Which program requires the least amount of down payment?
  • What program will give me the lowest payment?
  • Do I have to pay mortgage insurance?

No two home buyers are the same, so the best loan for one buyer is likely unsuitable – or even unavailable – to another.  You’ll want to make sure you find a good loan officer to help you make a final decision.

The main loan programs available are:

  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Conventional

FHA Loan:

FHA loans are very popular with First Time Home Buyers.  The popularity is understandable.  With a small down payment requirement, lenient credit score standards, and flexible income guides, the FHA mortgage is making homeownership available to a many people who have been stuck renting for years.  The benefits of an FHA loan:

  • 3.5% down payment required
  • Credit scores as low as a 580
  • Past derogatory debt (like Bankruptcies and Foreclosures) require shorter waiting periods
  • Lenient income qualification
  • Is insured and guaranteed by the federal government

VA:

VA loans are for those who served in the military.  VA loans play an important role in helping those who serve and have served to buy a home because no down payment is required.  Other benefits of the VA loan:

  • Mortgage rates are typically lower than Conventional Loans
  • No monthly mortgage insurance required
  • You can reuse your VA loan benefit
  • You don’t have to be a first-time home buyer
  • VA is very lenient on past derogatory credit. You only need to wait two years after a Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, or Short Sale to qualify.
  • Is insured and guaranteed by the federal government

USDA

A USDA home loan is a zero-down payment mortgage for eligible rural and suburban homebuyers.  The program is designed to “improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.” Key Benefits of the USDA Loan:

  • No down payment required
  • Low monthly mortgage insurance fees
  • Lenient credit scores and income limits
  • Applicants must meet income limits of the program
  • Buyer must purchase a home within USDA-eligible areas
  • Is insured and guaranteed by the federal government

Conventional Loan

A Conventional mortgage is a home loan that isn’t guaranteed or insurance by the federal government (like FHA, VA, and USDA are).  This program offers flexible down payment options (as little as 3% down) but requires higher credit scores and is stricter on income and past derogatory credit.  It’s a great option for buyers with higher credit scores and larger down payments because rates tend to be lower than and mortgage insurance is cheaper.  Key benefits of a Conventional Loan:

  • Down Payment as low as 3%
  • No upfront mortgage insurance (like FHA, VA, and USDA)
  • No monthly mortgage insurance with 20% down
  • Loan amount up to $453,100
  • Unlike FHA, mortgage insurance is cancelable with 20% equity.

If you have any questions on these loans program, or if you need help determining which option works best for your specific situation, please call, text, or e-mail me anytime.

Senior Mortgage Banker Ryan Gilliam is a lifelong Arizona resident. He attended Dobson High School in Mesa and graduated from Arizona State University with a Business degree. He’s been in the mortgage industry since 2004 and has always been committed to client education and helping them through the entire mortgage process. 

Mobile: 602.614.0740

 

 

Cute 1929 Craftsman Style Bungalow! Mesa home for sale!

Call/text 480.250.0023

Click the pic for more info

2018’s Top 7 ‘MOM Approved’ Neighborhoods in the Phoenix area 🏡

Our MOM’s have spoken!  What are the top 7 favorite Phoenix area neighborhoods and why?

Morrison Ranch in Gilbert won the TOP neighborhood of 2018!!  Why?  LOCATION, location, location!!  This community is just a few miles from the 60, the 10, The San Tan Mall and the Superstition Mall not to mention tons of restaurants.  Plus the greenery, parks and amazing floor plans from a variety of builders.

Eastmark in Mesa was a close 2nd.  From the neighborhood diner to the community pool, the splash pad to the visitors center, the many school choices to the many parks throughout the community, our MOMs are moving in and they are not leaving the Eastmark bubble. Why leave when everything you need is within seconds from your door?

The very popular Ironwood Crossing in Queen Creek is home to many of our MOMs!  The location is awesome, the community offers many amenities and the home prices are very attractive.

Agritopia in Gilbert is a favorite for good reason!  Aside from the super cute curb appeal and unique home styles, the orchards for fruit picking, the Coffee Shop and Joe’s Farm Grill.   This community is super close to the 202 (within minutes) and the San Tan Mall.

Dobson Ranch in Mesa has some amazing amenities and probably the best location out of all 7.  The new park is awesome, the lake is awesome, the events like the fishing derby and the outdoor movie are awesome.  It’s a great place for kids and parents too plus it’s minutes from the 60, the 101, close to Downtown Mesa and 15 minutes from Sky Harbor.

Mountain Park Ranch is a huge community right in the heart of Ahwatukee.  Located within minutes from the South Mountain Preserve, hikers and bikers will be in heaven in this location.  Parents will love the convenience of the 10 and 202, the smaller town feel and the added bonus of all those views!

Power Ranch is a such cool neighborhood in south Gilbert!  Located so close to the 202, check out the two clubhouses,fishing lake, splash pad, pools and sports courts and fields.

There were a few others that didn’t make the cut but many MOMs recommend.  Areas like south Scottsdale, Arcadia and Desert Ridge in north Phoenix.

Fully Remodeled South Scottsdale Home for Sale

 

 

Top 5 Reasons Moms are loving Eastmark in Mesa

What’s all the buzz about Eastmark lately?  Oh nothing…it’s just one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the country consistently recognized as the #1 seller in Arizona.

That’s all great but why are Moms loving it?

1. The variety of homes offered at many different price points suits the needs of a wide range of families.  If you aren’t the new build type and need to move a little more quickly, there are several gorgeous gently used resale homes available. Check with The New Build Ninja for the list of specs available and get the best of both worlds, the brand spanking new home and the quick move-in!

2. The community feel is strong between neighbors.  There are many active Facebook social groups like Eastmark Moms, Eastmark Neighbors  and Eastmark Babysitters Group .  The beer club, gardening club and healthy life group brings those with similar passions even closer together.  The Eastmark Experience info page will keep you up to speed on the First Friday concerts, holiday events and all the other neighborhood happenings.

3. The amenities make life much more enjoyable and ridiculously convenient.  No mom wants to pack everything and everyone up just to drive several miles to the public pool or the park for fear of having to quickly pack up again and come home because someone had a meltdown or an accident.  Some of our favorite amenities are the 12 neighborhood parks, the splash pad, the Handlebar Diner, the Great Park, the Visitors Center with game room and the neighborhood pool.  The upcoming farm, lighted ball park and dog park are sure to be winners once they are complete.

4. The schools are very attractive and very close.  Queen Creek high school is coming to Eastmark in 2019.  Eastmark offers two of the country’s top-ranked charter schools. BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will be serving grades K-12 starting in 2019.  Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark is a STEAM-based elementary school that serves grades K-6.  The Learning Experience, serving the early education needs of children 6 weeks to 6 years, plans to open an Eastmark campus.  The public elementary school, Gateway Polytechnic, serves K-5.  There’s also a new Legacy Traditional School being built nearby that will be opening this year.

5. The commute is super reasonable.  These days anything affordable with the new home smell also comes with a 45 to 60 minute commute to the city depending on traffic. Eastmark is super close to the 202, the 24 and the 60.  It’s 30 mins to Phoenix Sky Harbor and 10 mins to Gateway Airport.  San Tan Village and all the shops and restaurants is 12 minutes away and Downtown Gilbert is only 18 mins away.

Got Eastmark questions?  Ask the New Build Ninja!

Jen Duncan (480) 707-7554

7 Things to Save for When Buying a Home in Arizona

Face it, it’s time to buy a house. You’ve been thinking about it more and more since your rent went up…AGAIN. All of your friends are taking the plunge and some are even building new homes with the New Build Ninja AKA Jen Duncan! You’ve realized it’s time to get it together and start the process, but where to start? Buying a home can seem daunting, but with a strong real estate team supporting you, and a few tips, you can simplify this exciting process.

So, what is the most important thing you can do to prepare for buying a home in Arizona?

Start saving ASAP!

Toss as much in a savings account as possible. The more money you have to work with, the more options you’ll have during the process which can save you time and money in the long run.

Here’s what you are saving for:

Earnest Deposit: This is the buyers “good faith” money. This deposit is due upon an accepted contract and is held by the title company in an escrow account until closing. The typical earnest deposit amount is 1% of the agreed upon sales price.

General Inspection and Termite Inspection: The inspection period is typically the first 10 days following the accepted contract date in AZ. During this time, the buyer is responsible for performing any and all inspections of the property. It’s common for the buyer to cover this fee as well as a termite inspection fee. Depending on the size of the home and the inspector that is hired, this fee is typically around $400.

Closing Costs: Costs to close for the buyer is typically around 2-3% of the sales price for financed buyers. This estimate does include prorated property tax amounts and an appraisal fee. The appraisal fee will likely be due once the buyer’s lender orders the report. This fee is approximately $500. Costs for cash buyers are a bit less and there are no appraisal fees generally.

Home Warranty Plan: Home warranty plans can help ease the stress of home owning. Depending on the size of the home, home warranty plans are around $500 for a basic plan and around $650 for a basic plan with pool coverage.

Deposit: Depending on the loan program, financed buyers usually have a down payment due at closing. Typical down payment amounts are 3.5%, 5%, 10% and 20%. A quick conversation with Ryan Gilliam with Waterstone Mortgage will help determine the best, most cost-effective loan program and can advise down payment amount.

Repairs: Keep extra money aside for repairs that may be needed prior to moving in. A little extra cash for possible appliance purchases is a good idea too. Both of these items may be negotiation points during the sale, however.

Utility Accounts and Deposits: Some utility companies charge deposits for new utility accounts. Buyers should be prepared for this and call all utility companies during the inspection period to check all fees and schedules.

Some of these costs can be absorbed by the home seller and that can be accomplished by having an experienced and seasoned negotiator on your side. In Arizona, the home seller is responsible for paying the fee to the buyer’s agent. There is no charge to the buyer.

Contact me with any questions about real estate in Arizona! Either call me directly at the number below, or fill out the form and I will be in touch.

Katie Halle Lambert
480-250-0023
EvoAZ.com

Home Maintenance Musts for AZ MOMs! 🏡

It’s so important for our AZ MOMs to keep an eye on these maintenance items regularly. Even renters should be aware!

Have the pest control company that regularly treats your home keep an eye out for signs of termites.  If you see a skinny tube hanging from the ceiling, that could be a termite tube.  They do tend to appear frequently on the stem wall and walls of the garage.

Change your AC filters per the manufacturers suggestions and get the AC unit serviced every spring and the heater serviced every fall.  Watch for signs of draining from the overflow drain pipe, that could mean there is a clog and a large leak could develop.

Keep an eye on the grading around the perimeter of the home.  Ask a landscaper to properly grade the ground around the home periodically.  This ensures the water runs away from the house vs pooling at the foundation.

Cut back trees from overhanging the house.  The debris from the trees could cause water pooling on the roof which could cause leaks and other damage to the roof.  Keep the roof and gutters clean of all landscaping debris.

If there’s a bathroom or other plumbing fixture (like a bar sink) that isn’t used often, run the water for a few seconds every week or so to keep water in the trap and to keep sewer gases and insects from coming into the house through dried up traps/pipes.

Check insulation levels in the attic and add or level as needed.  Check every few years and especially after having work done in the attic.  Be sure that insulation is replaced if disturbed.  This will help with energy efficiency.

Have roof checked every 3 years or so and especially if there appears to be an issue or a leak develops.

Sweep any active chimneys to minimize debris that could potentially cause a fire.  This should be done yearly.

Clean the lint trap on the clothes dryer between each use and clean (vacuum) the dryer vent / hose at least yearly.

Be sure to have anti-siphon devices on exterior hose bibs to keep the water from being disbursed back into the home water system after use.

Some homes do not have the anti-tip device installed at the kitchen stove and that could be very dangerous for a small child.  If you are unsure if yours is installed, pull your stove straight out and look in one of the corners closest to the wall.  The device will be installed at the base of the wall and secured to the floor.  One leg of your stove should slide into it and it will prevent the stove from tipping forward if there is weight put on the open door (like a child standing on the open door).

Check your windows periodically, if there is fog or “sweat” between the panes, there may be a broken seal and the energy efficiency of the window may be compromised.

Have your garage door and opener checked often.  Garage doors and openers can be very dangerous if they aren’t adjusted properly and if the reverse mechanism does not operate.

The access door between the house and the garage should be a fire rated self-closing door.  If it does not close on its own, it’s very important to have it adjusted so it operates appropriately.

Brought to you by Team Evolution Real Estate

To Build or Not to Build? 🏠

That is the question on the minds of many of our Mama’s these days!

Here’s our 2 cents…

The benefits of purchasing a resale home in AZ:

  1. The neighborhood is established and complete with mature landscaping.
  2. Location, location, location… resale homes tend to be closer to City center.
  3. Most likely, if there is a backyard, the landscaping is complete.
  4. Resales are typically less expensive.
  5. Most new builds are in an HOA but many resale homes in this area are not.  Unless you build custom (and, in some cases, even customs can be in an HOA community) you will likely be in an HOA community.  An HOA is a neighborhood governing body that establishes and enforces specific community rules.
  6. Approximately 30 days until move in.
  7. You can get a “fixer upper” or a distressed / under market sale.

 

The benefits to purchasing a new build home in AZ:

  1. The choice of lot, elevation, floor plan, upgrades and extras.
  2. The latest technology and energy efficiency.
  3. The opportunity to design your backyard landscaping.
  4. Warranty’s on all the big stuff like A/C units, roof, kitchen appliances, etc.
  5. HOA communities insist that a certain level of property maintenance is consistent throughout the community which is desirable.
  6. Most new build communities have quick move in homes or “specs” available…just ask your real estate agent for a list!
  7. In some cases you can negotiate the price or incentives offered on a new build home.  In most cases, if you use the builder’s preferred lender, there are additional incentives offered.

Follow Jen Duncan as she takes us through every step of her CURRENT new build home purchase.  They have just begun the journey and so far it’s been a wild ride!  Here’s her blog #NewBuildNinja

Contact Jennifer@EvoAZ.com for info on new build communities in your area.

Search all greater Phoenix Area resale Homes

Our FAVE East Valley Neighborhoods

We’re sure there are other neighborhoods that’ll do but our Mom’s are head over heels for this line-up currently.

The top pick of the East Valley is Adora Trails.  Several of our members have shared that there are many little kids and it’s a very family friendly area.  The pool is nice with a kiddie section and beach entry.  There’s a splash pad and toddler friendly parks.  The community organizes Easter egg hunts, weekly food trucks, movie nights, play dates for the toddlers and morning stroller walks.   There is even Sunday morning football.  The fun walking paths, parks and green grassy areas are gorgeous. Most of the neighbors get in the holiday spirit and there are Halloween and Christmas decoration contests. The community has a gym as well as a beautiful club house and a lake for fishing.

Eastmark was a close second!!  Our Moms LOVE the plans for this awesome “city within a city”.  There is a school being built along with a Diner and the retail area and grocery store is right there too.  Eastmark has a great community feel with a splash pad and lots of parks.  The community building with the indoor play center, study center and work center is unbelievable.  It’s a great place to hang out with the neighbors or get a little work done while the kids play in the game room.  The homes are beautiful and there is a wide selection!

Dobson Ranch was recommended for the awesome parks, walking/bike trails and lakes. The community plans tons of very popular family friendly activities and  amenities for reasonable HOA fees.  Can’t beat the location!!  Dobson Ranch is close to Sky Harbor Airport, the zoo, art venues, restaurants, shopping, freeways, etc.

Several say that Agritopia is just beautiful!  In fact, it might even be the “dream” neighborhood of many!   Most love the look of the homes  with garages in the back, white picket fences and large front porches along with the garden, orchards and close proximity  to Joe’s Farm Grill and The Coffee Shop.  Great for bike rides!

Villages of Eastridge was mentioned a few times and noted for the HOA that puts on fall festivals and its close proximity to the 202.  There are larger homes with multiple garages and a school in this area.

We have a few Moms in Lehi Crossing.  It’s so quiet and the view is incredible.  Plus it’s just on the outskirts of everything so it doesn’t feel crowded and there is little traffic, but you’re still only 10-20 min from anywhere in the East Valley and easily accessible to Tempe, Phoenix or Scottsdale.

Power Ranch made the list for all the parks, pools and large pretty trees.  The neighborhood is HUGE with some gated areas, TONS to do and TWO clubhouses.  You can rent the clubhouse as a resident and throw the most epic birthday party right by the little lake.  There are many different floor plans and homes ranging from starter homes to zero lot line to mid-range.

Many like The Gardens because of the tree-lined streets and style of homes.  It doesn’t feel like Arizona at all.   The location is great and it’s in Gilbert off the 202 and Recker.  There are many young families with a few parks and a pool in the community.

Layton Lakes made the list!!  It is full of young families that can’t say enough how great the neighborhood is.  There are so many beautiful homes in this area that are new and full of style…the grey’s we are gaga for!

Historic Downtown Mesa is Mesa’s best kept secret and we love the artistic feel!  Evergreen Historic District and West 2nd Street Historic District are not only FULL of history and cute and eclectic homes, they are also walking distance to 3 museum’s, a world–renowned Art Center (Mesa Arts Center), award-winning restaurants and the light rail.  Americans are starting to make the move to smaller homes and walkable communities…our Moms included!  Visit the Official Mesa Historic District Homes FB page for area info and tons of historic photos!  This is where the famous and ever popular MOMnation Market takes place each month.  Our historic Moms always walk to the market!

Ironwood Crossing made the cut because our Moms love the amenities!!!  The pool and splash pad are incredible and there’s nothing like it in the STV/QC area. Our Moms feel that Ironwood Crossing is by far the cleanest and nicest neighborhood around and its location is super convenient!

Indigo Trails was also mentioned.  There are tons of kids and friendly neighbors.  The pool, two parks and splash pad are super close and we love the tree lined streets.  Also very close to shopping and restaurants.

Val Vista Lakes is a fave because of the amazing location and beauty of the lakes.  There are all ranges of homes found in this community from starter homes to move up to gated, luxury lake front.  It’s picture perfect and very established.

Morrison Ranch is SO worth mentioning per our Moms!  It’s HUGE!  There are many phases.  Our Moms love the styles of the houses (there are so many to choose from), all the greenery and the amenities.  The location is perfect as it’s close to the freeway and our local hangout, Downtown Gilbert.

The Bridges in Gilbert is popular community too with fresh new homes and lots of pretty common areas.  It’s such a treat to drive through!  Plus, it’s super close to everything that Power Ranch is close to which is excellent.

There are other neighborhoods besides these in the East Valley area of Phoenix that are beautiful and family friendly.  Need info on them all including all the new build communities?  Team Evolution Real Estate has it.  Call/text 480.250.0023 or visit EvoAZ.com.

Photo Credit to Photos by Jessica Nelson and Nicci Lovell!