Scorpions…are they really that bad?

When we moved here 18 years ago I was thrilled to not have all of the mosquitoes, flies and various bugs that we had back in North Carolina. The kids being able to play outside without a heavy dousing of off spray! Shortly after we moved here I was at my children’s school & heard a woman talking about scorpions. Her description of them sounded like the beginning of the apocalypse! Were they that bad? Were they going to attack my children and pets?

If you are moving to the Phoenix area, rest assured that scorpions are not crawling around everywhere you look as some people believe.

Get to Know Scorpions… (as found on tripsavvy)

Scorpions have four pairs of legs. They also have pincers that look like little lobster claws. Scorpions come in many sizes and colors, but most of the ones you’ll see in Arizona are usually pale gold or tan in color & are less than 3 inches long. Scorpions hide under rocks or debris. They live in crawl spaces.

They are active and feed at night. The scorpions that are native to Arizona typically eat spiders, insects and each other, if they are hungry enough.

  • They hide during the day. Check your shoes and clothes before putting them on if you live in an area where there are likely to be scorpions.
  • If you live in an area where there is a lot of construction, you may be more likely to find scorpions inside because their outdoor habitat has been disturbed.
  • They can live for months on water only. Because they are looking for water, you may find them in or under sinks or tubs.

Here are some common sense tips that will help control scorpions.

  • Close or caulk door openings, screen openings, and window cracks so scorpions can’t get into the house.
  • Dust and vacuum in corners and normally undisturbed places where scorpions hide.
  • Eliminate the scorpion’s prey (crickets, spiders, and other insects) by using common pesticides.
  • Eliminate outdoor places where scorpions can hide, such as trash piles, rock piles, decaying wood or piles of junk.
  • Don’t walk around the house at night in bare feet.

 

What are the best plants for your home in Phoenix?

There are two main growing seasons in Phoenix: from mid-February until the end of May, and from September to mid-November. As a result, nation-wide calendars are ill adapted to our needs.
Moving here from Charlotte, NC I didn’t know what to think when I went out in my yard. Lots of things with thorns and gravel everywhere! I loved getting my hands in the dirt and planting my flowers and vegetables. Now I stand here feeling bewildered…the ground is rocks & sand. What do I do with this? Where is my grass?

So I decided to check out our local plant nursery, The Green Goddess near Tatum and Bell and I found a whole new world of plants! Lantana, purple sage, bird of paradise and more. I also found that there were some of the plants from back east I could plant-pansies & geraniums just at opposite times of the year than I was used to!
I also discovered the draught tolerant plants. The many varieties of Bougainvillea, lantana, desert lavender, desert marigold, agaves and all of the beautiful cacti. I never knew there were so many different cactus-prickly pear, barrel and the list goes on…

By the time I left the nursery my fears were lifted and I found plants and flowers to plant & frame our little of piece of paradise. Now I can walk out in my yard and embrace the beauty of my surroundings! Whether you are looking for drought resistant landscape or more of a traditional landscape I’ll find you the home you have been searching for! Click here to start your search or call me 480-980-8286

 

 

dog photo

4 Top Rated Pet-Friendly Scottsdale Resorts

dog photoImagine a tranquil oasis with pampering spa services to renew your body and soul.  Then envision world class shopping and golfing just steps away.  Ahhhhhh….Scottsdale delivers all this in style with a wide array of amazing resorts!  But hate to leave your best buddy behind?  Never fear: there are several pet-friendly options to consider.  Check out these popular destinations which provide a soothing getaway for your entire family, even the four-legged members.

 

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

Nestled in the heart of Scottsdale, this resort expertly delivers all the spa services you could desire.  For a sumptuous evening meal, Alto Ristaurante serves up five star, classic pasta dishes.  When followed by a serenaded gondola ride in the curving lagoons, mamma mia…that’s amoré!

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Another world-class setting to consider is the Princess.  The extensive grounds are perfect for roaming with your pup, while you gaze at the saguaros, cacti and palms.  In fact, December is an ideal time to book: with over a million twinkling lights and holiday displays, a night stroll in the desert winter wonderland is a must for all ages.

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

If retail therapy is on your short list, then the iconic Westin Kierland needs to be your choice!  Here’s a world class resort, surrounded by some of the finest shops in the Valley.  Then kick off your shoes and nestle into the plush appointments of your luxury suite.  Or, lounge next to the sparkling pool.  Even Miss Molly gets a cool drink, too!

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

For a true Sonoran desert experience, head North to the Four Seasons and book an adobe casita.  Unrivaled luxury combines effortlessly with Pinnacle Peak views by day and star-studded skyscapes at night.  Western flair abounds throughout the meticulously appointed grounds.  After a round or two of golf, be sure to book a relaxing massage in the privacy of your own terrace.

Fido Footnotes

Scottsdale boasts even more pet-friendly resort options, beyond these top traveler picks.  But regardless where you book, be sure your pup is on his best behavior.  Resorts will require that he is leashed at all times.  Excessive barking will be frowned on so overreactive breeds may not be ideal hotel guests.  And, of course, be sure to pick up after “his business” is done.  Leave no trace, as the saying goes.  Following these simple guidelines will allow both you and Fido to truly enjoy a desert spa getaway…and ensure a return visit!

click here to learn about Scottsdale neighborhoods and view homes for sale!

Troon house backyard photo

Tips for Seasonal Residents Buying a Home in Scottsdale 

Troon house backyard photoAre you a “snowbird?” Are you thinking of becoming a “snowbird” in the near future? When you’re looking for a seasonal home in Scottsdale, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you’re buying the right property to suit your needs. Buying a home for year-round living isn’t quite the same as the experience you may have shopping for a seasonal home, and the factors you’ll need to keep in mind may be quite different than you expected. Check out our tips to help you learn how to make the right decision so that you can find a seasonal home you’re sure to love for many years to come.

Are you allowed to rent the home?

If you’re not considering renting out your home during the time you aren’t living in it, then there’s no need to worry about this one. However, many snowbirds living in Scottsdale prefer to rent their homes during the months they aren’t occupying them. If you’re going to do this, it’s important that you buy a home in a community where you’re allowed to do this. Some neighborhoods monitor this very closely and you may be unable to rent. And if you purchase a condo instead of a single-family home, the limitations may be even more extreme.

Are you ready to handle the taxes on a second home?

This is going to be a potential cause for concern no matter where you plan to buy your home—including Scottsdale. While you may be able to afford the initial cost of buying a second home, don’t forget you’ll need to pay taxes on it, too. You’ll also have to keep up with home insurance whether you’re staying there or not, and you’ll have to pay for utilities when you’re there. And, finally, if you aren’t renting your home, you may need to pay someone to stop by and take care of it periodically when you aren’t there, too.

Is the location right for the lifestyle you’re looking for?

Are you looking for something close to golf courses? What about something near hiking or other outdoor experiences? Would you rather live in the heart of the city or near the mountains? This is all going to help you decide where to buy your seasonal home. You need to be sure you’re very satisfied with the location, because you don’t want to end up deciding to sell your seasonal home in just a couple of years when it doesn’t turn out to be what you’re looking for.

As a North Scottsdale local area real estate expert, I can help you find the perfect house that meets your needs.  Click here to get started with a custom home search.

home wiht mountain view backyard photo

Things That Will Lower the Value of Your Home

home wiht mountain view backyard photoWhen you’re looking to buy a new home, you want to consider every aspect of the investment you’re about to make. Although you, of course, can’t see the future, you may still want to try to remember some problems that may cause the value of your home to decrease instead increase. Some of these may be situations you can avoid or try to do something about, but others could be something you’re stuck with.  Before you ever go house shopping, familiarize yourself with these problem areas.

Nearby Odor Sources

This is one of the problem areas you might not be able to do much about. If the house in the vicinity of a waste disposal area, chances are good you’re going to be able to smell it at the house, especially on a hot day or any time the breeze blows just the right way.  And, if located close a power plant—nuclear or otherwise—there’s going to be a lot of smell associated with it, too. Proximity to a nuclear power plant tends to scare away buyers and may lower the value of your home even more.

Trouble with Neighbors

If you observe noisy, rude, or messy neighbors, it may be in your best interest to move on and look for another house. You may not have an issue with troublesome neighbors, but unruly front yards and obvious lack of care without an HOA to sep in may devalue your home as well.

Sex Offenders

Registered sex offenders in the area are a definite cause of a decline in the value of your home. The information is readily available to all potential buyers with just a little online research.

Bad Local Schools

If the home is located in a low performing school district, this could be off-putting to some buyers. However, if you’re selling to a couple without children, a single person, or an older family, you may not have to worry about this issue as much. You could always go the extra mile and research some better private school solutions in the area for your potential buyers if you wish.

Billboard Placement and Traffic Light Visibility

Last but not least, if there are a lot of billboards in the area, you may notice a steeper decline in the value of the home.  Even billboards that are kept up well tend to cause a decrease in property value because they’re widely regarded as an eyesore. Same goes for backyards facing a major road that has the visibility of a traffic light.

I am a local area expert in Scottsdale and surrounding areas.  Click here to learn about Scottsdale’s neighborhoods and browse homes for sale or call me at (480) 980-8286.

 

Notre Dame Prep schol photo

Private Schools in Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale, Arizona is a great place for families. While the public school system is always a good option, you may find that you prefer to send your kids to something a little different. And if you’re interested in private schools, Scottsdale is definitely the place to be. This area features some of the best and most celebrated private schools in the region with plenty of options for kids of all ages who live nearby, too. We’ll give you a brief rundown of your options when it comes to choosing the perfect private school in the Scottsdale area.

El Dorado Private School

El Dorado Private School, located in Scottsdale, has been around since 1970 and continues to offer high-quality education to students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary school and middle school grades. This is a smaller school that cultivates a sense of family and close bonds between all the teachers, students, and parents. Kids do great in this school and feel accomplished with their work when they take part in the good education from this establishment.

Notre Dame Prep schol photoNotre Dame Preparatory High School

If you’d like to send your children to one of the most technologically savvy private schools in the Scottsdale area, take a look at Notre Dame Preparatory High School. This Catholic school provides a safe and secure learning environment that leaves most students feeling happy with their school surroundings. It offers plenty of fun clubs and extracurricular activities for kids who want to do a little more outside the classroom, too. Many parents have reported their children’s grades improving after making a change to this quality school.

Rancho Solano Preparatory School

Rounding out our examples of great private schools in Scottsdale is Rancho Solano Preparatory School, another popular choice. This school incorporates all grades, from preschool through 12th grade, and ranked as the number two best private K-12 school in Arizona in 2016. The school functions like a traditional school but can also be used as a boarding school for students who need to stay on-site as well. This is one of the most expensive private schools in Scottsdale.

The right school can be tough to find, but with some good information to help you get started, you should be well on your way to picking the perfect education for your kids as soon as possible. Don’t forget to ask around and look for reviews as well as word of mouth recommendations for schools you might want to check out in your area.

Click here to learn about Scottsdale homes and neighborhoods and view homes for sale listings.