Homes

Most Expensive Home Sales in Phoenix

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Here are the Valley's top home sales from the past week (11.11.14 - 11.17.14).

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Paradise Valley - New build basement home in guard gated golf course community of The Village at Mountain Shadows - $3,785,134

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Eight Tips on How to Prep Your Home for Fall

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Before the weather starts to cool down and the guests start arriving for the holiday season, Arizona homeowners should check their lists and check them twice — their housework lists that is. Co-founder of HomeZada, Elizabeth Dodson, offers some advice on prepping your house this fall and winter, as well as some tips that homeowners might not think to check on.

 

home maintenance cleaning the gutter with hands

1. Change Your Air Filter. With the winter months quickly approaching, heating systems will need to be turned on again. Before doing so, however, Dodson recommends changing your air filter. This ensures that you won’t have bad or unclean air flowing through your home when you eventually turn on the heat, she says.

2. Look at the Gutters. Dodson says this is also a good time to look at your gutters once again to make sure nothing is broken and that your spouts are clean and unclogged. This will prevent any unwanted water leaks into your walls or yard this fall.

3. Check Roofs and Doors. While the weather is still warm, you should also pull out the ladder and head up to the roof to check for any loose, broken or fallen shingles. Do the same with door seals. Doing this, Dodson says, will keep mold from growing if too much moisture gets inside your house during the cooler months.

4. Flush the Hot Water Heater. Dodson suggests flushing out your water heater, emptying it, and rinsing it at least once a year. This time of year is the perfect time to do so. That way, when you turn it back on “you’ll have great hot water, and clean hot water,” Dodson says. “You won’t have a lot of debris and sediment in your hot water tank.”

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5. Observe the Grading. One thing homeowners might not think to do is check the grading around the house. “Your grading should be so slight that it actually moves any water or anything away from your home,” Dodson says. If you don’t check the grading, you might cause damage and rotting to your home. It’s especially important to do if you get a lot of precipitation, she says, as it can cause mold that will cause further problems.

6. Clean Your Windows. Cleaning your house windows will not only make them sparkle for your holiday guests, but will also give you a chance to check for broken seals or screens. Broken seals can create issues with regulating the temperature inside your home.

7. Trim the Bushes. Trimming the trees and bushes around your home is a good idea to keep them from rubbing up against your house. “Your stucco can get warped if trees are rubbing against the walls,” Dodson says. As an added plus, it will also make your yard look pretty.

8. Fix the Little Things. We’ve all heard of “spring cleaning,” but fall is another perfect time to fix up your home as it is a transition season. The last important thing to do when prepping your home for the season is to complete the smaller maintenance tasks around the house, such as broken door handles, a squeaky floor or a leaky faucet. You’ll not only feel great about checking these things off your list, but this will also ensure that your home is intact for any holiday guests that might be staying over. “The one thing that can happen is something that you know is broken but you work around it, your guests don’t know that and they actually may break it even more if they’re not familiar with it,” Dodson says. 

It’s easy to forget about these things and put them on the back burner during the holidays, but you will feel better and your home will look better after it is prepped, cleaned and trimmed.

 

The End of Summer: 5 Outdoor Projects to Tackle While the Weather Permits

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For anyone that has spent a significant amount of time in Arizona, they know that summers can often be quite brutal. An Arizona summer - with temperatures routinely surpassing 100-degrees - is definitely not the time to tackle outdoor projects. Fall, on the other hand, makes a quite pleasant time to get out there and take on that to-do list. 

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Universal Design: One Size Fits All

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You may have heard about Universal Design or Design for All. Our Gilbert-based general contracting company, Arizona Structures, uses many of these concepts in our new homes and remodeling projects. 

Universal Design creates spaces for everyone without changing the look of an average home. 

You, your children, as well and your aging, perhaps physically challenged, parents. 

Accessibility, flexibility and safety are key elements with Universal Design. Spaces should be user friendly for all people, regardless of their age or ability levels.

The renowned architect, Michael Graves, has made significant contributions to Universal Design. An unfortunate illness left him in a wheelchair in 2003, and he has since designed products and public and private buildings which are user friendly. His first day in the wheelchair, for instance, he had difficulty reaching both the hot water and the wall outlet. So, he began designing for everyone. 

photo courtesy Hans Grohe USA for az structures

The bathroom and shower floors are at the same level, which removes the difficulty of moving in and out of the shower in a wheelchair and tripping hazards for everyone. And, the hanging shower curtain makes access to the shower easy and still gives privacy. Photo courtesy Hans Grohe USA.

In addition, barrier-free bathroom design can involve 

  • lowered sinks, countertops and cabinets
  • slip-resistant finishes and textured surfaces
  • no step shower enclosure and rolling shower doors
  • elevated toilets
  • lever-actuated components rather than knobs, which often require tight grasping
  • easy-to-use large flat panel switches or automation controls
  • hand rails

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A large bathroom offers room for a wheelchair and the added space for maneuverability everyone enjoys. Courtesy TOTO.

Other elements to consider for your home: 

  • anti-scald inductive cooking surfaces in the kitchen
  • wide hallways, ample clearances and easy storage access
  • generous pathways lighting

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Incorporating Universal Design, kitchen counters are at the same level for uniform access, allowing for easy access without adding in different heights. To accommodate a cook who uses a wheelchair, space under the sink, cooktop and prep counter is left open. Photo courtesy Cabinets by Design.

Why consider Universal Design in building your new home or renovating your existing space?

For one, Value built into a 21st - century home, these components improve your lifestyle now. Your home is more convenient and comfortable for everyone living there. 

Two, Marketability and Financial Returns. More and more, Universal Design has become a selling point, much as green is now for buyers across the market spectrum. We’ve seen how people, and not just older adults, are asking for components such as hand rails. People like them for their safety, regardless of age. And, today, they are available in a wide variety of styles, from the basic and practical to the more decorative.

When you choose to sell your home 5, 10, 20 years from now, this demand for Universal Design should be even more apparent. Once again, we recall when sustainability was considered by many a trend: It will pass, some said. It hasn’t.

A woman whose home we built a few years back, with many Universal Design features, recently put it on the market and sold immediately. Even though the residential market has somewhat improved recently, she says the buyer bought her home, instead of comparative ones at similar prices, because of Universal Design.

Third, Broad Accessibility: With its flexibility, your home welcomes everyone.

Combining for four decades of experience in building and renovation, Arizona Structures serves the East Valley, Arcadia, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. The first of a multi-part series, this story was assisted by David M. Brown (azwriter.com). Questions? Send them either to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Tom Monte, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Star Baseball Player to Sell Valley Home

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San Francisco Giant’s starting pitcher Tim Lincecum is hitting a home run off the field with his recently listed 11,000-sq.-ft. Paradise Valley home.

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