Aging in Place and What Every Senior Should Know

In Prescott, Arizona, we have a large senior population as our town has become a hotspot destination for retirees. With a great hospital system and plenty of doctors to choose from, events going on downtown every weekend, four mild seasons of weather, and a beautiful landscape, who wouldn’t want to retire here?!

With this larger population of seniors and retirees, what is being found a lot more often in these groups is “aging in place.” Aging in place is what it’s called when older Americans choose to stay in their homes throughout the aging process rather than go into assisted living facilities.

To get a better idea of what this looks like and what you as a senior citizen should consider when doing this, you should read this great article from Porch.com.

In the article, which you can read by clicking here, they go over everything you need to know from what aging in place is, what it looks like, how to prepare your home for it, types of in-home services you can use, the type of insurances you are going to want, and so much more.

They’ve got some great insight on how to spend the max amount of years in the comfort of your very own home after you retire. We hope you enjoy their article as much as we did!

How to Cut Costs When Moving

As we get ready for the Holidays, cutting costs wherever we can is probably something that is on all of our minds. This is especially true if you’re in the middle of a move, or about to move.

If you’ve ever moved before in your adult life, you know that it can get really expensive really fast. So, in a time when you’re trying to save money for Thanksgiving and Christmas,  and all the gifts and travel costs that come with it, how can you minimize your moving costs?

Well, we’ve got some tips to help you do just that! Brought to you by our friends over at A & C Brothers Moving and Storage, here is some of their expert advice on how to best cut costs during your next move.

Here’s How You Can Cut Costs When Moving

Regardless of whether you’re just moving to the next town or all the way across the country, moving between homes can be a pretty expensive process. Despite the unavoidable expenses, though, it’s not impossible to move on a budget. From collecting boxes to hiring moving services, there are smart ways to keep your costs down when moving.

These tips will require plenty of extra work from you, but they’ll help you relocate successfully without breaking the bank.

Get rid of stuff you don’t need.

Most people are guilty of wanting to keep stuff they hardly use or probably won’t use anymore. Unless the items hold great sentimental value for you, now should be the perfect time to get rid of them.

When we say rid, we don’t mean throwing them in the trash. You can either arrange a garage sale, give them away, or donate them to charity. Surely, you can find a good use for the extra money you’ll earn at the garage sale. The possible tax deduction from donating your stuff isn’t so bad either.

By purging your stuff, you’ll have lesser things to pack and worry about. More importantly, you’ll end up with lower mover’s fees because there’s fewer stuff to move on the big day.

Use Improvised moving supplies.

You may not notice it, but moving supplies can eat up a good chunk of your moving budget. The great news is, it’s relatively easy to cut costs on moving supplies if you plan things ahead of time.

For starters, you can collect boxes from friends and family instead of buying them. If you can’t have them for free, try purchasing some from your neighborhood grocery stores. Don’t get brand new moving boxes, if possible. They’re quite expensive for something that you might end up using just the one time.

If you need packing supplies to protect your fragile belongings, make use of common household materials like blankets, towels, clothes, and newspapers as alternatives. They’re just as effective, but they won’t cost you a single penny!

Hunt for reliable moving companies with great deals.

If you want to score a good deal, ask for quotes, and get as much information from different movers before making a decision. However, never hire a moving company just because they’re offering you the lowest price. You’ll want reliable movers who can move your belongings from your old house to the new one without even a scratch.

When looking for the right movers to hire, always check online reviews – both on their website and social media platforms. These sources should provide you valuable insight into their quality of moving services.

Avoid moving on busier days and months.

As with most things, timing is everything. The schedule of your move has a significant impact on how cheap or expensive your relocation could be. Moving on weekdays is generally cheaper than moving on weekends, while the spring and summer are the busiest and most expensive seasons to relocate.

Most moving companies offer discounts for moves scheduled during the slower months of the year. If saving money is what you’re really after, you might want to move during the fall season or early winter.

While it’s so much easier to pay and have other people take care of the entire moving process for you, this will cost you a fortune. Like we said, moving on a budget is possible, but it will require a lot of effort and planning on your part. Anything that you can do on your own saves you from paying other people to do it.

Good luck!

Columbus Day History

Columbus Day, while perhaps becoming slightly controversial in our time, is still a celebrated day on the calendar every year (for now).

Though there is still school and it is not a bank Holiday, it is recognized every year on the second Monday of October and this year that day is on Monday the 14th.

That being said, here is a quick video from History.com that ponders whether or not Columbus was truly the first person to discover America.

Click Here to watch the video.

 

For some things to do this weekend, you might head to the Downtown Square where there will be a Craft show going on all day Friday and until 3PM on Saturday.

Another option would be to head over to Watson Lake where there will be a Corvette car show from 10AM to 2PM on Saturday.

Also going on at Watson is “The Big Sting – Its a Country Thing” from Friday at 3PM to Saturday at 11:30PM. This event states, “Come see what all of the Buzz is about… Escape to the Country for an Exclusive Music Camp out weekend in the rocks with You and 3000 of your closest friends with the Shadows Foundation out at Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona. Concerts, Food, Beer, Camping, family, friends, sunshine, Corn Hole, other games and more!”

We hope you have a fabulous weekend in our amazing town of Prescott, Arizona!

Things to Never do to Your Home

Whether you are going to be in your home for 10 years or for the rest of your life, you always need to be considering resale when deciding which home projects to tackle next. That being said, here are some things you should never do to your house, both to save yourself money while you live there, and also to make your house more appealing when it comes time to resell.

Get Rid of Your Only Tub: No matter how much you want a super dreamy walk-in shower, if it requires getting rid of your only bathtub, don’t do it. A home without a bathtub can be a huge turn-off for many buyers who like having that option or who have kids and need a bathtub for this purpose.

Leave Your Cabinet Doors on While Painting them: Painting cabinets has become very popular in recent years because it is a cheap way to update your kitchen/bathroom look without the huge price tag of replacing the cabinets. It’s something that isn’t that hard to do yet makes a big difference in appearance. However, if this is your next project, make sure you remove the cabinet doors and drawers when you do so. Take the doors off and paint them separately, don’t leave them on while you do this. It makes for a much cleaner look in the end.

Plant a Tree Close to the House: This seems like it would be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. If you’re wanting to plant a new little sapling in your yard, make sure you do so with ample space away from the home. Otherwise, in years to come, that tree will grow large and could cause issues from falling branches and roots that grow underneath the home, going into foundation and piping. If that’s the case, it could cost you big bucks to remedy if you’re still living in the home, or even be something buyers ask you to remedy before buying your home.

Cover Wallpaper with Water-based Paint: Wanting to get rid of that tacky 70s wallpaper to have a fresh and updated look? Well, in case you didn’t know, depending on the condition of the wallpaper, you can actually paint right over it instead of going through the agonizing trouble of removing it. However, don’t use water-based paint when you do this. Water-based paint can actually re-activate the wallpaper glue and cause it to peel. We’re thinking peeling painted wallpaper wasn’t the updated look you were going for? Instead, make sure you use oil-based primer, let it dry, and then you can apply a normal latex paint over that.

Paint Exterior Brick: Now, this one might have some mixed reviews as to whether or not this is okay to do, but if you’re planning on being in your home for a long time, painting the brick on the outside of your home might not be such a good idea. Painting brick can destroy the brick and mortar, which could go so far as to cause a crumbling foundation. When comparing those costs, it’s just not worth it. If you’re looking to up your curb appeal, perhaps paint the door or add some shutters instead.

Tear Out Character: While your home might have some little corky features you aren’t thrilled about such as custom millwork, tin ceiling tiles, stained glass windows, etc., don’t be too quick to rip these things out (unless of course they are beyond saving and in disrepair). These classic details give your home character that buyers love and appeal that is hard to come by these days.

These are just a few things you should probably re-consider doing to your home or look further into to make sure you do them properly, if they are things you’ve been considering doing.

There are so many cheap and fun ways to update your home these days. Things that make it homier for you, but also things that can add great re-sale value to your home in the long run. But, make sure you do your homework on these house projects first! Not all of them are created equal.

How to Sell Your Home This “Off” Season

Although we love the Fall season, in the Real Estate business, it does start a downturn in our industry. The market slows with less people out looking to buy a home as they prepare for the holiday season with their family. Even though Prescott has a great housing market, we are not immune to this slower season.

So, what can you as a seller do then to help sell your home if you are trying to sell during this time? Well, check out this great article below from HomeLight about just that. They have some great tips on things you can do to sell your home this season, as well as some great advice to help with this process as well.

October Events in Prescott!

Fall is here and that means it’s time to start kicking off Prescott’s Fall season events! From fun events in downtown to pumpkin patches around the quad cities, there’s plenty to do! Check out this month’s events below, brought to you by our friends at Lawyer’s Title.

The Fed rate cuts: Good for Mortgages?

If you follow the housing market at all, odds are you have seen that interest rates for buying a home have dropped twice over the last year and are lower than they’ve been in quite some time. So, what does this mean for consumers and therefore, mortgages?

Well, check out the article below from Prescott’s own The Daily Courier to read what they’ve learned from sources such as The Federal Reserve and Freddie Mac:

What Fed’s rate cut means; good for mortgages?

The Federal Reserve has cut its benchmark interest rate again, big news for the U.S. economy but something that will likely have a muted impact on Americans’ personal finances, experts say.

That’s because the reduction doesn’t offset the increases of recent years. And as the key rate creeps closer to zero, financial institutions are less eager to pass borrowing benefits along. Lower rates could also further dampen the perks of savings.

As a reminder, the Fed slashed its benchmark rate — which affects a host of consumer and business loans — to near zero during the recession and kept it there until 2015. Then, as the economy improved, it raised rates several times. Now it has lowered them twice in one year, despite a fairly healthy economy, due to concerns about slowing economic growth and global trade tensions.

The central bank on Sept. 18 reduced its key rate by a quarter-point to a range of 1.75% to 2% and said it’s prepared to do what it deems necessary to sustain the U.S. economic expansion.

Here’s how the latest move may play out for consumers:

MORTGAGES

This is a bright spot for consumers. Mortgage rates remain at near historic lows and, while they do not move in lockstep with the Fed, they are influenced by some of the same factors. As of last week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.56%. A year ago, it stood at 4.6%, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, said that this full percentage point difference is “the single biggest impact on consumers” in this low rate environment. Low interest rates on mortgages can open the door for homeowners to refinance and save money or for people shopping for a house to secure an attractive rate. Someone with a $200,000 mortgage could potentially save $125 to $150 a month with a reduction of that size, McBride estimates, which is a meaningful increase in a household budget.

Mortgage rates fell sharply over the summer as broader economic concerns caused interest rates on government bonds to tumble. The yields on government bonds, especially the 10-year Treasury note, influence long-term mortgage rates. And while mortgage rates may move up slightly as they have in recent weeks, they remain historically low and no one expects major hikes soon.

BORROWING

The rate for other forms of borrowing — credit cards, home equity loans or personal loans — won’t see much of a change.

“The Fed raised interest rates nine times between 2015 and 2018,” McBride said. “Unwinding a couple of those puts us back to where we were this time last year, and rates are still notably higher than they had been as recently as a couple years ago.”

Lenders are also less likely to pass along decreases to consumers than increases.

Credit cards, for example, track the bank prime rate, which is 3% above the federal funds target rate. The prime rate will move down immediately after the Fed’s decision but many credit card issuers do not automatically adjust rates downwards because they have leeway in their contracts to do so. Some issuers may elect to keep rates unchanged to account for default risk or increase profits, said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree.

The average interest rate on a credit card is 17.61% as of Wednesday, according to Creditcards.com. A year ago it was 16.92%.

Other types of short-term borrowing, such as adjustable rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit, are more directly impacted by changes by the Fed. But Kapfidze said that as rates approach zero, they’ve been less responsive and he expects the latest reduction will see a muted reaction as well.

SAVINGS

Interest rates on savings accounts were already historically quite low and will likely stay that way.

The FDIC reports that the average rate paid on savings accounts in the U.S. is 0.09%. While some lenders have been competing online to offer high yield savings accounts with rates well above 2%, a few banks have already opted to dial back those offers. Marcus, the retail bank arm of Goldman Sachs, and Ally Bank both lowered the rates on their savings accounts this spring, just ahead of the Fed’s prior rate cut in July. There are still some savings accounts well above the national average available but those rates will likely dip after this most recent announcement.

All the same, this shouldn’t discourage people from saving, McBride said.

Consumers who find themselves worried about an economic downturn should still take steps now to shore up their finances, regardless of rates. That includes paying down debt, refinancing at lower rates and boosting emergency savings.

This “will enable households to better weather an economic downturn whenever one should materialize,” he said.

How to Winterize Your Pipes this Fall

As we head into Fall with Winter soon to follow, it’s never too early to think about ways you need to prepare your home for the cold temperatures that are sure to come.

One of the main things every homeowner in Prescott needs to think about when winterizing their home is protecting their pipes. While this could mean your own body’s physical pipes as the chill also brings about cold and flu season, what we’re talking about here is the pipes that make up the various water systems within your home.

Some steps to winterize your home can easily get overlooked in the chaos of the Holiday season, but we can’t stress enough how important this is to prevent serious future damage to your home. This includes your own home as well as any investment properties you may own. Remember, the landlord is responsible for these kinds of fixes should they arise and trust us when we say a burst pipe can become very costly, very quick.

That all being said, right now, the Fall season, is the perfect time to winterize your pipes before the below freezing temps kick in.

Preventative Measures to Keep Your Pipes from Bursting:

Insulate Your Pipes: One of the first things you should do to winterize your home’s plumbing is purchase a thick layer of insulation that you can wrap around your pipes. These insulating tubes are made of fiberglass or polyethylene and can be purchased online or at a hardware store. For extra protection, wrap your home’s pipes in heat-tape before you apply the insulation to give them additional protection from cold temperatures.

Let Your Faucets Drip: Now this is something you’ll want to wait to do until temperatures drop further and are looking like they are going to stay there, but what you do is turn on your faucets. This keeps the water moving through your system and slows down the freezing process. However, there’s no need to waste gallons of water, aiming for about five drips per minute coming out should be sufficient enough.

Open Your Cabinet Doors: When cold weather hits, open any cabinet doors that are covering plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom. This will allow for the home’s warmer air to better circulate under the cabinet and around the pipe, which can help prevent the exposed piping from freezing. While this won’t necessarily help much with pipes hidden in walls, ceilings, or under the home, it can keep water moving and potentially limit the dangerous effects of freezing weather.

Turn water off to pipes you won’t be using: An example of this would be outdoor hose bibs and the like. Turn the water off and possibly use an air compressor to get any excess water out of the pipes.

What to do if Your Pipes are Already Freezing:

Warp them in Warm Towels: Try wrapping them with warm towels, which might do the trick. You can cover them with the towels first and then pour boiling water on top or use already-wet towels (careful handling the boiling water and hot towels!). This should help loosen the ice inside and get your system running again and save you from a major burst as long as you address the exposed pipes once you’ve thawed them out again.

Pull Out Your Hairdryer: A hairdryer (or heat gun) can be a godsend when your pipes are freezing. If hot rags aren’t doing the trick, try blowing hot air directly on the pipes. Important note: You don’t want to use a blow torch or anything that produces direct flames, which can damage your pipes and turn a frozen pipe into an even worse disaster. You’re trying to melt the ice, not your pipes.

Shut Off The Water if Pipes Are Frozen: Are your pipes fully and completely frozen? Turn the water off immediately! Hopefully you know where the master shut-off is, but if not, now’s the time to find it! You can then try one of the steps above to help thaw the pipes, but if nothing is working, we suggest calling a local plumber to come help you remedy the problem.

Fall Is Here!

And just like THAT… It’s Fall. Yesterday, Monday, September 23rd, was the official last day of Summer.

The warm sunny season couldn’t have ended in a more dramatic and symbolic way with an overcast, stormy day that had us pulling out our jackets. With barely a monsoon and a few wildfires burning around town, most of us were more than happy for the welcome rain, no matter the temperature.

It seems as though we went straight from Winter to Summer and then back to Winter again the way our seasons played out this year (though here’s hoping these cooler fall temperatures stick around before we hit winter temperatures again).

After the snowpocalypse storm back at the end of February, Spring felt like it was a rushed few weeks of nice weather before the heat kicked in. From there, we had some good Monsoon storms throughout the summer, but nothing compared to the entire season of torrential rains we’ve become accustomed to and had been expecting. And now, after that abysmal Monsoon season that left us solely with the Arizona heat and humidity with no rain to show for it, summer is over.

It’s almost October and we find ourselves having moved from temperatures in the 90s just weeks ago, straight down to 70-degree days and 50-degree nights. So, that being said, all we can say is: HELLO FALL!

If we aren’t going to have a monsoon season, then we’re more than happy to say goodbye to the heat and hello to the cooler weather.

Fall kicks off one of our favorite seasons.

Leaves around town begin to change as we are lucky enough to live in a beautiful town with grown trees full of leaves that change from yellow to orange to red, and every other fall color in between.

The air is filled with smells of cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg. We break out the fall decorations of pumpkins and scare crows. The festivities of pumpkin patches, Halloween dress up, and Thanksgiving begin!

What’s not to love?

So, bring on the pumpkin spiced everything, the beautiful outdoor weather for recreational activities and strolling through downtown, and the entire Holiday season to come! We’re ready!

What are some things you most look forward to in the Fall season? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear!

Listing Feature – 1637 Constable Street

It’s no secret how beautiful and spacious this Prescott Lakes home is! Set on a cul-de-sac with views of the golf course, mountains, and the Dells, this live on one level home is truly welcoming with its split bedroom concept and open floor plan. The main level comprises of the fenced courtyard entry into the dramatic foyer, kitchen, dining, great room, master bedroom, 2 guest bedrooms, full bath, office alcove, deck and the two garages currently set-up for 3-cars but can be converted for an additional garage space.

The immaculate kitchen is complete with a large fridge, gas stove top, built in ovens, spacious island with bar seating, granite counter tops, hickory cabinets, plenty of overhead lighting, and a walk-in pantry.

With an open concept, you can move easily from the kitchen to the great room as well as be a part of any entertaining you’re doing while preparing food and beverage. Natural and overhead lighting also help the space feel open, making it an area you can truly kick up your feet and relax.

A large open room with access to the deck and a spacious bathroom complete with walk-in closets, separate toilet room, dual vanity, and large walk-in closet, the master suite is everything you need!

The lower level walk-out has the same high-amenity status as the main level and offers a family room, 2 more guest rooms, a full bath, and storage.

One highlight of this property is the incredible views and the wraparound deck with 3 access points on the main level including a 4-panel multi-slide door from the great room. The lower level has access to the backyard covered and open paver patios complete with mature trees and wrought-iron fence.

The features of this home are way too numerous! More highlights include  luxury wood-look laminate floors, stone fireplace, hickory cabinets and granite counters throughout, paver driveway, cement tile roof and 3-zoned heating and cooling. Enjoy the Prescott Lakes lifestyle in this attractive home with relaxed floor plan and grand views! This is the one for you! The attached garage from the laundry room is currently set-up as an oversized 2-car garage with a separate storage room. The walls for the storage room can be removed to turn it into a 3-car tandem garage which allows for a total of a 3-car garage and a separate 1-car garage with its own outside entrance.

Interested in this gorgeous home? Call for your showing appointment today! 928-771-1111.