New Year’s Eve Boot Drop

Tonight we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019! The year has flown by in a blurr and now on our last day of 2018 we get our first snow that’s sticking!

Finally!

If you’re looking for something fun to do tonight to ring in the new year, check out downtown Prescott’s traditional Boot Drop. It’s the last event of the year for our beloved small town and the entire downtown area becomes a giant street party. The Boot sits atop whiskey row and is lit up in neon fluorescent lights. People from all over come to watch as the boot drops, once at 10PM for those of us looking to go to bed a little earlier, and one more at the traditional time of 12PM.

This year you’ll want to bundle up with the temperature dropping below twenty degrees after 10PM, though thankfully, the snow is SUPPOSED to stop.

As always, be careful driving around tonight with all the people out and about to celebrate their new year, and also with the roads which are sure to be icy.

We hope you have fun, have safe travels, and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For more information on the Boot Drop downtown, click here!

Tips to Winterize Your Home in Prescott

As the temperatures drop and we patiently await our first snow – not just the flurries, but the kind that sticks – now is a good time to look at precautions to take in order to winterize your home in Prescott.

While don’t get as much snow as other places such as Flagstaff just north of us, or Colorado’s white winters, we still get some chilling temperatures and blizzards that can wreak havoc on unprepared homes. Burst pipes, inadequate insulation to keep in heat and save energy, a furnace that cannot keep up with the freeze, and many other things.

Below is a blog from Talking Rock Ranch Realty featuring our agencies very own Sheila Mengarelli on how to winterize your home this season. Take a look at her tips and tricks, and make sure your home is properly equipped for the cold months – and hopefully snows – still to come!

 

Realtor Series: Winterize your Home

December 13, 2018

Tips to Winterize your Prescott Home

By Sheila Mengarelli, realtor at Kathleen Yamauchi group

As part of our ongoing Realtor Tips series, we asked one of our expert realtors, Sheila Mengarelli, to share some tips about living in Prescott. She lives right around the corner from Talking Rock.

Keep your family snug and warm while saving on energy bills during the winter months by following the winterizing tips below. Prescott experiences freezing temperatures from November through March, so be prepared. With a forecast of a wetter-than-normal winter predicted, these tips will help protect your home from damage that can lead to costly repairs.

  • Service your Furnace– Have your furnace serviced fall and spring by a local HVAC company to keep you high and dry.

 

  • Change the filters— Don’t forget to change the filter in your furnace. When you put the first furnace filter of the season in, don’t forget to set your digital calendar to remind you to replace it at monthly intervals throughout the cold season.

 

  • Inspect your Gutters– Clogged gutters can cause water that is blocked to freeze and seep into your home. Take the time to clean them out and make sure that your downspouts are carrying the water away and not toward your house.

 

  • Repair drafts– Electrical outlets, door frames, windows, and recessed lighting areas typically tend to be drafty. Sealing up these areas can save on your energy bill. Simply use a wet hand, or incense, to move over the areas to spot potential leaks.

 

  • Check your insulation– Attics require 12 inches of insulation. Moisture problems can occur if your insulation has backing paper, so take the time to do an inspection.

 

  • Check for any exposed pipes outside– Pipes must be insulated from the cold too. Not only does it keep the pipes from freezing, it will prevent condensation from freezing on them, helping to save on energy bills. Make sure any drip systems are drained and water spickets are off.

 

  • Vacation — Will you be away for an extended period of time? Never turn your furnace off. Set it at 50 degrees. This will keep your home at a steady temperature no matter what the weather brings. It’s also a good idea to set your water heater to vacation or away mode

 

  • Check your smokealarm – While you are inspecting so many other aspects of your home, don’t forget to make sure that your smoke alarms are all functioning, and replace the batteries as needed. Also, make sure that you have a functioning fire extinguisher as well.

 

To view the full article, you can visit Talking Rock Ranch’s blog by clicking here.

 

 

Final events for Prescott in 2018

Now that Christmas is over with all of its celebrations here in Arizona’s Christmas city, life will slowly go back to normal. However, in Prescott, we love our events, and there are still a few more things to enjoy before we ring in the New Year. Below is a list of festivities on the City of Prescott’s website that are still to happen in 2018 for you to partake in before we hit 2019:

Tis Art Gallery (105 S. Cortez St):

December 27th – Winter Fine Art Photography Exhibit, 5pm-7pm.

“Prescott’s 4th Friday Art Walk at ‘Tis! Reception for Joan Knight and Barb Wills of “Adorn Yourself 2018” and the photographers of the “Winter Fine Art Photography” exhibits Appetizers, Libations and All Around Fun 5:00 – 7:00 PM.”

December 28th – Prescott’s 4th Friday Art Walk 5pm – 7pm

“Join us for our 4th Friday Art Walk reception for Barb Wills and Friends of “Adorn Yourself 2018” wearable art and the photographers from our “1st 2019 Photography” exhibit that runs through January 22, 2019.”

New Year’s Eve Jackpot Arizona Premier at Buckey’s and Yavapai Casino:

1505 HWY 69, Prescott, AZ 86301

December 31st from 2pm to 1am

Fireworks show at 9pm, live music until 1am, free appetizers between 10:30pm and 11:30pm, and a champagne toast and cash prize drawing all night long.

New Year’s Eve Boot Drop:

December 31st from 8pm to 12:30am in downtown Prescott

We’ve all heard of the ball drop in New York City. Well, here in Prescott we do the boot drop!

“Historic Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott, Arizona will ring in the New Year with its 8th Annual Whiskey Row Boot Drop. A 6-foot illuminated boot will be lowered from the Palace building’s flagpole at 10PM and midnight. Fireworks will also occur 10PM and midnight! There will be live music, giveaways and food.”

Prescott Woman Magazine Kathleen Yamauchi Group Article

If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a copy of this month’s issue of Prescott Woman Magazine, or visit their website at prescottwomanmagazine.com to see it, here is the article we published titled, “The Kathleen Yamauchi Group: Rising Up to Carry on a Business Legacy Built on Family, Faith, and Fortitude,” written by Prescott Woman Magazine’s Tara Fort:

The Kathleen Yamauchi Group has been a pillar in the Prescott community for over 25 years. From the start, natural leader Kathleen Yamauchi excelled in management, marketing and creative vision. She started her agency with a team of highly-skilled professionals and over the years her efforts paid off. In 2016, she made Real Estate Executive Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Real Estate Agents. Kathleen’s passion for people allowed her to focus on being the very best at developing relationships. In Spring 2018 with retirement on the horizon, Kathleen and her husband, Shoyei, began grooming their son Dan to take over the family business. But, life takes some strange and unexpected turns, leaving those who remain tasked with sifting through the foundation of what was built, and ultimately carrying on discovering what lies ahead.

Sadly, Kathleen passed away in March after a nine-year battle with cancer. Those who knew her continue to feel her spirit of dedication and uncompromising excellence. Dan Yamauchi says, “My mom earnestly loved those around her and made every effort to serve their needs above her own. We hear stories of how her kindness and joy touched this community and the ways her life positively impacted others. We’re learning to deal with the pain and sadness of her absence, but there’s comfort in knowing she’s remembered for demonstrating the values she cherished.”

Moving forward will be both exciting and bittersweet. While some companies fold or experience massive reorganization after the loss of a founder, the Kathleen Yamauchi Group is just the opposite. Designated Broker Molly Hohrein who has been with the agency since 2002 says, “As far as what is next for us, the answer is simple. We’re here to continue Kathleen’s legacy. As a team, we are driven to maintain what she started, and to continue to grow. Kathleen used to say, ‘It has never been our intention to be the biggest—only the best.’ We will continue to serve the business community and support the volunteer organizations that she selflessly represented.” The team knows there will be challenges along the way and finds inspiration in serving organizations Kathleen supported such as foster care and adoption, the community pregnancy center, youth and military families, and most recently Global Fingerprints—an organization Kathleen chose while in the hospital earlier this year.

As impactful as Kathleen was in the community, it’s not difficult to witness the inspiration she gained from those around her. The broad and diverse group will continue to move forward. Dan states, “Our doors are still open at and we’re keeping her name on the sign. She built a solid team of professionals who will continue offering the best real estate services in town. She was irreplaceable, but we’re very excited to follow her vision and grow this business.”

 

Tips to Make Packing and Moving Into A New House Easier

With over 50 years of collective real estate experience, we here at the Kathleen Yamauchi Group have quite a bit of our own experiences and tips for packing and moving from one house to another.

However, we love to support other businesses and get the real expert’s opinion – the ones who specialize in that business and do it every single day.

The following article is by Amanda Schultz, content specialist over at A&C Brothers Moving and Storage in Phoenix. A family owned and operated company, they have over three generations of experience and specialize in full service local and long distance moving. They offer services of temporary and long term storage, moving services locally and across state lines, full packing and unpacking services, and more!

Here are some of their best tips and tricks on how to make your moving experiences as smooth and as stress free as possible:

Almost everyone who has relocated at least once in their lives knows that the entire activity is a highly-stressful one. You can hire a moving company, but unless packing is part of that deal, you still have to pack your own belongings, and packing alone can make even the most patient person lose it. Add to that the day of the move itself, and a person can be under so much mental, physical, and emotional strain that he or she may end up inches from being a nervous wreck by the time the move is done.

That said, moving doesn’t always have to be that stressful. As long as you are prepared for everything that comes with relocating, the stress won’t always be so overwhelming. Here are some packing and moving tips that should help moving into a new house easier for you.

Pack early

One thing that you should keep in mind once the decision to move into a new house becomes final is that time can move so fast you won’t realize moving day’s already a day or two away, and you have barely done any packing. So you should start packing on the very day you finalized your moving plans. That way, you get to avoid doing any panic packing and the tremendous stress that comes with it.

Declutter your home

For most people, moving is that one, big chance to finally do some decluttering. If you decide to sell, give, or throw away things you don’t really need, then you will be reducing a significant amount of the stuff you’ll be packing and bringing into your new house. That is quite a load off, figuratively and literally.

Always use quality packing materials

Whether you’re recycling old boxes and packing materials or buying new ones, make sure that they’re of good quality. You can’t have your boxes full of your most precious things fall apart on the way to your new home, so it’s in your best interest to get quality boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, zip tie bags, and other quality materials for the move.

Labels, labels, labels

Labels are extremely important because you don’t want to be digging into every box just to determine what kind of things are in it or to whom they belong. Markers will be fine, but you can also use stickers to label each box. You can even use colored stickers as some sort of a code or category.

Create an inventory

An inventory is always good because it helps you keep track of all your belongings being moved. By creating one, you will know if you lost something in transit as well as give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing everything’s where they should be.

Hire professionals

Moving can be done in a do-it-yourself way, but more and more people are realizing how easier relocating would be if you hire professional movers, who know every trick in the book when it comes to moving your belongings from one point to another. While you will have to shell out money for their services, the convenience they provide will make everything worth it.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can make moving into a new house easier. Consider the tips above and search for many others, and you won’t have to be that stressed-out by a move anymore.

The Slowing Market and Warning Against Overpricing Your Home

For the past few years now, the housing market has been at the top of its game! Prices continually rose without fail, homes lasted only a few days on the market and had multiple competing offers, and the market began to come back to its former glory of the pre-crash market with how well it was doing (without the scare of faulty lending habits and the scare of another crash).

At that time, wise sellers saw their opportunity to sell and sell their home for top of the market value, if not more than what it would actually appraise for. With homes going faster than people could keep up, can you really blame them? By the time you saw a newly listed home, it already had three offers on it. That’s how red hot the market had become!

Reviewing the market today, it is still doing well, but has definitely begun to cool down. In an article by marketplace.org, they stated, “Average home prices in the 20 biggest U.S. cities grew at the slowest pace in nearly two years in September, according to new figures from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. Prices are still rising but so are mortgage interest rates, making houses even less affordable, as sales of existing homes continue to decline.”

Gone are the days of homes only lasting a few days on the market before getting an offer – for now at least. Currently, homes are lasting a month, 2 months, 3 months, and so on. When taking on new sellers who are still looking to “strike it big” by listing their homes with an ambitious sales price, this slowing down of the market is something to keep in mind and something to inform them of.

One realtor in the same article mentioned above said that he comes prepared to inform prospective sellers of this new market. He goes to appointments ready with data showing how homes have been staying on the market for longer now and even shows them news stories about the slowing of the market. This is to help his sellers be more realistic about what price they are willing to list their home at and to ensure it doesn’t get listed too high. If the home is listed too high, it will sit on the market for longer and become harder to sell. If the home is listed at a more reasonable price, it will help it sell more quickly and easily.

If sellers are having this conversation with their real estate agent, it is best to keep in mind that their agent only has their best interest in mind. Remember, realtors work on commission, which is how you really know they are truly thinking of what is best for you – when they are encouraging you to not go too high on sales price.

We here at the Kathleen Yamauchi Group as well as realtors everywhere, adhere to a code of ethics in which we pledge to do what is best for our clients. We will work hard for you and to the best of our abilities to ensure you have as smooth of a transaction as possible!

So, those of you out there thinking of selling your home, keep this slowing market in mind. If you’re in the Prescott area, give us a call, we’d love to talk to you more about this and do a comparative market analysis on your home.

Forbes Magazine’s Take on the Rising Housing Market

With home prices rising every year, a question on many people’s minds has been, “Are we headed for another housing market crash?” For anyone who was affected by the last crash, or nearly escaped its clutches, this is a very real concern and question to be asking when we see prices rising the way they are.

However, while from the outside looking in it may appear as though things are escalating in a very similar fashion as they did ten years ago, when you look at the numbers and statistics comparatively, they are a lot different. The overall housing market is actually in a much better state than it has been in awhile and it is far better than it was when the crash occurred last time.

Recently we came across an article in Forbes magazine that will help explain the current housing situation further and perhaps ease some of the concerns we’ve all been having with this rising housing market.

Click here to read the article on forbes.com titled “Mortgage Debt Nears A Pre-Crash High, But That’s No Cause For Concern.”

Acker Night 2018!

Acker Night is TONIGHT and we are so excited!

For those who are not from Prescott and do not know what Acker Night is, here is a bit of history:

Acker Night is an event that was created to fulfill the wishes of Prescott resident and patron James S. Acker. Living from 1865 to 1955, James S. Acker stated, “All the residue of my estate… I give to the City of Prescott to be used for parks and for promotion of music, particularly for children.”

When Mr. Acker died in 1955, he wanted much of his estate to go towards supporting and promoting music with the youth, which is where Acker Night comes from and why it was created.

Not only did he donate his estate for music, but he also donated a good number of parcels of land he owned to the City of Prescott to be used for parks. Today, from his generosity, we have Acker Park, an 80 acre parcel of natural parkland near the downtown Prescott area. The park includes a one mile loop trail, picnic areas, restrooms with a mural on the outside of the building depicting the history of the land and the nature there, mosaic art walls, an amphitheater, geocaching spots, and more!

Due to Mr. Acker’s generosity – and to fulfill his wishes – we now have Acker Park and one of our favorite Prescott Christmas events; Acker Night!

From 5:30 to 8:30 tonight Acker Night will take place, an event produced solely by volunteers. A tradition continuing for thirty years now, there will be over 500 performers dispersed throughout the downtown area to sing, play instruments, and raise money for music programs and instruments for the youth in Prescott. Nearly every shop in the downtown area will have someone performing accompanied by complimentary hot cocoa, apple cider, and goodies to eat that they kindly provide free of charge for our delight.

You do not want to miss out on this time honored tradition that has such a beautiful history behind it. The courthouse will be lit up, there will be carolers and performers everywhere gracing us with their musical talents, there will be dancers performing in the streets, and do we need to mention the hot beverages and treats again? Bring your friends and family, and enjoy the show!

BUT, don’t forget your layers because after 5PM the temperature will drop below 50 degrees and will be almost below 40 degrees by 8PM! Grab that winter scarf, put on those wool socks and ear muffs, and snuggle up in your coziest jacket. Grip a complimentary hot beverage to warm your belly as you walk around engulfed in music and joy, and take in the Christmas season festivities.

Happy Acker Night to you all! Stay warm!

Should Flood Insurance be government funded?

On the list of interesting articles this week on Prescott Area Association of Realtors news was an article on The Hill, a blog that talks about recent news and things going on around the world. This particular article titled, “Reauthorization of National Flood Insurance Program should be priority during the lame duck,” posed the question of whether or not National Flood Insurance should get reauthorized as it expires at the end of this month.

The term used in the article’s title, “lame duck,” is a called lame duck session in regards to the Congress and it is when Congress meets after its successor is elected, but before the successor’s term actually begins. What the National Association of Realtors and many individual Realtors across that nation believe should happen during this meeting is for the National Flood Insurance to get reauthorized.

The article goes on to point out that flooding is one of the most common disasters in the United States. Every year flooding effects people nationwide in both coastal and inland locations, adding up to about 22,000 communities across the country.

However, does this mean that flood insurance should be a government funded endeavor? While there are arguments for both sides – flooding is something you cannot control and it is the government’s duty to help those whose lives are ripped apart by it VS. many people knowingly buy/build in a flood plain area or a place known to be prone to flooding and it is their responsibility to therefore pay for their own flood insurance – it is certainly not an issue to get brushed aside lightly as there would be repercussions in either decision.

CLICK HERE to read the article and comment below to share your thoughts. We’d love to know how you feel about whether or not flood insurance is a government responsibility, or an individual one.

Hanukkah!

Yesterday, December 2nd, began the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that last eight days, beings on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, usually falls in November or December, and commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C.

The word Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew and, according to history, it is when the Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. As many know the object/symbol of the Menorah, the holiday is often called the Festival of Lights and is celebrated by lighting this object, as well as participating in eating traditional foods and games, and exchanging gifts.

Here is an account of the Hanukkah story and history from History.com:

“The events that inspired the Hanukkah holiday took place during a particularly turbulent phase of Jewish history. Around 200 B.C., Judea—also known as the Land of Israel—came under the control of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue practicing their religion. His son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, proved less benevolent: Ancient sources recount that he outlawed the Jewish religion and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. In 168 B.C., his soldiers descended upon Jerusalem, massacring thousands of people and desecrating the city’s holy Second Temple by erecting an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls. Led by the Jewish priest Mattathias and his five sons, a large-scale rebellion broke out against Antiochus and the Seleucid monarchy. When Matthathias died in 166 B.C., his son Judah, known as Judah Maccabee (“the Hammer”), took the helm; within two years the Jews had successfully driven the Syrians out of Jerusalem, relying largely on guerilla warfare tactics. Judah called on his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah—the gold candelabrum that’s seven branches represented knowledge and creation and were meant to be kept burning every night. According to the Talmud, one of Judaism’s most central texts, Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in the rededication of the Second Temple witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply. This wondrous event inspired the Jewish sages to proclaim a yearly eight-day festival. (The first Book of the Maccabees tells another version of the story, describing an eight-day celebration that followed the rededication but making no reference to the miracle of the oil).”

Some Hanukkah traditions include lighting a new branch of the menorah for every passing day of the eight day holiday and reciting blessings during the lighting, having your menorah displayed in the window for all to see and remember the miracle of the holiday; playing with dreidels, having all your foods fried in oil, and exchanging gifts.

Happy Hanukkah to all our friends out there who celebrate! We hope you have an amazing and blessed holiday!