March To-Dos for Your Home

The weather has finally been warming up (can we get a “hallelujah”?)! With sunshine and blue skies, it’s beginning to be nice enough to put on those work boots and do some much needed inspecting around the home. Below is a list from houseopedia.com with some things to consider doing around your home now that the weather is thawing out.

  • Inspect the roof. Check for damage from ice and wind. Look for loose shingles and flashing. Check behind chimneys where shingles meet flashing. Inspect the gutters, especially where they attach to fascia boards. Reattach any gutters that may have pulled loose under the weight of ice.
  • Inspect the attic. Look at the underside of the roof decking, checking for signs of water seepage. Ice can get into cracked shingles, expand and cause a leak upon melting. Replace shingles and backing, if necessary.
  • Foundation drainage. Before spring rains, check the slope of soil from the house foundation. Build up any areas where soil has eroded. Use small river rock mixed with the soil to better hold it in place.
  • Clean fireplace. Shovel out ashes and log remnants, then use a hand broom and vacuum to remove the fine dust. Close the damper. If you have a gas log set, consider shutting off the pilot for the spring and summer to save on gas usage.
  • Prep garden tools. Sharpen shovels, hoes and pick axes. Gas up the lawn mower and weed eater and give them a trial run. Take the insulating covers off the faucets and move hoses into place.
  • Gardening goals. In March or April, depending on your climate, it’s time to start thinking about a spring and summer garden. Clear raised planting beds of debris, and turn soil. Start seedlings inside. Do not plant until after last frost date in your area.
  • Relocate firewood. If you have left over wood, move it several yards away from the house. During the spring, a wood pile attracts creatures such as termites, carpenter ants, skunks and possums.
  • Power wash siding and decks. Over the winter prolonged moisture may create mold and moss on decks and house siding. Rent a power wash machine and give them a good cleaning.
  • Clean windows. Winter weather leaves dingy windows. Let the sun in with a good cleaning.
  • Provide nutrients for your landscape. Depending on your climate zone, March or April is the time to apply fertilizer and weed control. Consult local gardening experts.

Prescott’s March Calendar of Events!

Spring is nearly here, which means events in Prescott are going to start happening a lot more frequently! We say, bring on the sunshine and festivities! Here is your calendar of events happening in Prescott this month, brought to you by our friends over at Lawyer’s Title.

How to Keep Snakes Away from Your Home

Although here in Prescott we’re still having some cooler weather, pretty soon things are going to start heating up! With warmer temperatures comes that beautiful weather we’re all looking forward to, however, it also brings along other things with it.

That’s right, it’s almost snake season again, not to mention bugs too, but for now we’ll focus on our slithering friends.

In Arizona, now is about the time where snakes are going to start coming out of their homes again. It’s not so much about the time of year for them as it is the right temperature, and if you didn’t know, we have plenty of species of snakes to go around. Rattlesnakes, bull snakes, gopher snakes, king snakes, and the list could go on. So, with so many snakes soon to be out and about, how do we keep them away from our homes?

Well, while we’re in real estate and have some knowledge on all things Prescott, it’s probably best to ask the experts on this one. That being said, we turn to Rattlesnake Solutions, whom you can follow on Facebook.  They have all the knowledge on snakes in Arizona.

Here is their latest in-depth article about How to Keep Snakes Away from Your Home.

Giving Your Deck a Facelift

As we come to the end of January, the shorter winter days are behind us. Gradually getting more sun with each passing day, Spring will be here before we know it – hallelujah! With Spring comes birds chirping, blooming flowers and green trees, and warmer weather that invites you to come and enjoy the outdoors with those you love.

After a snowy, grim winter though, thinking about having others over to your home and possibly starting up that grill that’s been sitting since summer makes you take a harder look at that outdoor hosting space. How is it looking? Specifically, how is your deck doing? Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing.

Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below:

Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if it’s more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Don’t exactly have the money to do some much needed repairs to your deck and home? Here are some options to consider:

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but may be worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

Maintaining your Heating and Cooling Systems

Living in Prescott with a climate where we often use both our air conditioning and heat in the winter and summer months, we need to make sure we’re taking good care of these systems in order to make them last long and work to the best of their abilities (no one wants a broken heating system in the middle of the night in the dead of winter, or an air conditioning system breaking down when it’s 100 degrees outside).

Because of this, it’s a good idea to hire an HVAC company to inspect and do maintenance on your systems about twice a year. They’ll do things like inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms of the air conditioner and furnace, as well as other maintenance tasks that are a bit more challenging for the average homeowner.

However, aside from bringing in a professional, there are even more things you can do as a homeowner throughout the year to prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your systems. While some of these things you should do immediately, other tasks only need to be done seasonally or even just once a year.

Here are 10 things to do to maintain your systems well:

  1. Buy a better filter if you haven’t already.The new high-efficiency pleated filters have an electrostatic charge that work like a magnet to grab the tiniest particles — even those that carry bacteria.
  2. Replace the filter at least every 90 days.But check it monthly. If it looks dark and clogged, go ahead and change it. If you have pets, you’ll probably need to change every month.
  3. Make sure there’s at least two feet of clearancearound outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.
  4. Remove debris,such as leaves, pollen, and twigs weekly during spring, summer, and fall from top and sides of outdoor air-conditioning units and heat pumps. Don’t allow the lawn mower to discharge grass clippings onto the unit.
  5. Monthly, inspect insulation on refrigerant linesleading into house. Replace if missing or damaged.
  6. Make sure unit is level.Annually, ensure that outdoor air-conditioning units and heat pumps are on firm and level ground or pads.
  7. Stave off clogs.Annually, pour a cup of bleach mixed with water down the air-conditioner condensate drain to prevent buildup of mold and algae, which can cause a clog.
  8. Shut off the water supply to the furnace humidifierin summer. In fall (or when you anticipate turning on the heat), replace the humidifier wick filter, set the humidistat to between 35% and 40% relative humidity, and turn on the water supply.
  9. Never close more than 20% of a home’s registersto avoid placing unnecessary strain on the HVAC system.
  10. Replace the battery in your home’s carbon monoxide detector annually.

 

Monsoon Season May Be Over Already

When we wrote a few weeks ago about Monsoons, weather reporters and scientists still had a somewhat hopeful outlook for potential monsoon storms to come. With ideals that storms were just delayed due to a wetter than normal winter and a dryer summer that was prohibiting moisture, many hoped the rains would still be on their way, we just needed to be patient.

However, we all know the weather is a fickle thing, and here we sit just two weeks later with a much more bleak prediction – our monsoon season being called a “Non-soon” season.

Azfamily.com says, “as we look to September, we don’t have great news. The new 30-day outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center puts Arizona in a category of ‘equal chances.’ That means we have equal chances to have more rain than average, or less. Flip a coin.”

With wildfires burning statewide and things getting dryer by the day, that isn’t a very reassuring statement. We need rain, not ‘flip a coin and hope for the best.’

The article went on to state, “So far, we’ve only had 0.27” of rain at Sky Harbor Airport. We’re more than 80% behind normal summer rainfall… If for some strange reason we get no more rain before Sept. 30, the end of the monsoon, it will go down as the driest monsoon on record.”

We don’t know about you, but seeing the words “driest monsoon on record” are both depressing and scary. We live in the desert! We need water! The animals and vegetation need water! Otherwise the plants dry up and make for quick tinder, and the animals start moving inland in search of water. Not only that, but we love our summer monsoons with their crazy flashes and cracks of lightning, gusting winds, and torrential downpours. We’d hate to think that they’re over before they even really begun. However, as much as we might want to, we can’t control the weather, and a lack-luster monsoon season might just be something we’ll have to deal with should the rains never come.

Holding out for winter rains and snows might have been promising, only those aren’t having the best predicted outlooks either… “We’re much more dependent on the winter snow. But, there’s more potential bad news. The latest winter outlook for January, February and March 2020 shows, again, just ‘equal’ chances of more or less precipitation.”

In short, our moisture outlook for the remainder of the monsoon season, and into the winter season, is a gamble. With a 50/50 chance of rain through the end of the year and into winter, I guess we will just have to stay hopeful and take what we can get!

How to Up Your Outdoor Entertainment Game

With our summer months coming to an end, we can’t help but want to squeeze in every outdoor party, BBQ, and get together that we possibly can before the weather starts cooling off again.

There is nothing better than having friends or family over for a fun backyard party. Grilling, good drinks, board and yard games, water activities, and just good company with good conversation. What’s not to love?

If you’re wanting to throw a few last shindigs before summer is officially over – whether you have a huge yard for entertaining, or just a small deck – here are some things you can do to revamp your parties for the remainder of the season.

Get Some Giant Games

Who doesn’t love games like Jenga and Connect Four? Well, now you can get giant versions of these to put in your backyard to enjoy at every BBQ. These paired with your more traditional games such as Corn Hole and Can Jam (a new game that is growing in popularity), and your guests will have plenty to do to keep the fun going all night long.

Get an Outdoor Bar and Cooler

A traditional cooler will do the trick when having friends and family over, but if you really want to class up your outdoor parties, perhaps consider getting a nice outdoor bar. These tables often have expanding tops that hold drinks in ice beneath the surface and also create space to set your party foods such as chips and dip.

Get a Camouflaged Speaker

Nowadays, with so many varying types of Bluetooth speakers, there are so many great ways to bring the beats to you. One of these ways is camouflaged speakers. These are weather-proof speakers that look like a part of your normal landscaping (ex: like a rock), so they aren’t obtrusive, but also provide great tunes year-round for your outdoor festivities. This way you can just connect to your speakers outside rather than having to bring out your indoor Bluetooth speaker every time you want music.

10 Best Things to Do in Prescott, Arizona!

It’s summertime, which for some means extra time to fill their days, or kids at home to keep occupied for the next two months. Here are the top ten best things to do in Prescott, Arizona according to AZCENTRAL.COM.

Watson Lake:

  • Boating, fishing, and kayaking on the water give you an up-front view of the gorgeous boulders that make up the Granite Dells.
  • Hike one of the many trails around Watson Lake, one of which makes a 4.8-mile loop around the lake and takes you all throughout the beautiful Granite Dells. The loop takes you behind the lakes damn, where water flows past you as you are ensconced by towering boulders.

Visit Downtown Prescott:

  • The famous Whiskey Row makes up one side of the courthouse which is centered in the historic downtown area. Named Whiskey Row for a reason, it is a stretch of fun bars and saloons to help liven up your weekends or go out for a mid-week drink with friends.
  • Visiting Downtown in the summer means there will be one of numerous art festivals occurring. There is some kind of event going on every weekend, which always gives you something to do!
  • Walk around the Courthouse and see the different statues and plaques to read, learning more about Prescott’s rich history
  • Wanting to come to Prescott when it’s a bit cooler? Visit at Christmas. The holiday decorations light up the square and are a glorious site to see.

Lynx Lake:

  • Lynx Lake is in the middle of the pines with beautiful viewing surrounding. Come spend the day and enjoy the warm weather as the sound of the breeze rustling through the pines helps you relax even more.
  • Hiking, boating, kayaking, camping, and fishing are just some of the fun activities to partake in at Lynx Lake.

Sharlot Hall Museum:

  • Sharlot Hall Museum is a museum that was built around the Territorial Governor’s mansion, a rustic log cabin from 1864 that still stands.
  • The museum hosts the Prescott Indian Art Market, the premier Native American art market in the Southwest.
  • Sharlot Hall, whom the museum was named after, was a respected poet, historian, and activist years before women had gained a right to vote. She successfully fought a measure that would have brought AZ and New Mexico into the union as one state.
  • She also preserved and restored the first Territorial Governor’s Mansion and stocked it with her extensive collection of artifacts. The mansion as well as buildings added around it to complete it as a museum, opened as a museum in 1928.
  • The living history program at Sharlot Hall Museum features staff and volunteers dressed in period appropriate clothes to help make your experience complete.
  • Other buildings that are included in the Sharlot Hall Museum are the Bashford House and Fort Misery. Slated for demolition, the Bashford House was transported to the grounds of Sharlot Hall Museum and restored in the 1970s. Fort Misery is the place where the town people met and decided to become a town, and to call it Prescott.

Phippen Museum:

  • An amazing art museum that showcases Western Art.

Smokie Museum:

  • The host of an annual Navajo rug auction full of amazing Native American rugs, and an event you do not want to miss.

Goldwater Lake:

  • Yet another lake in Prescott that offers boating, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. This lake also has a great playground for kids as well as multiple gazebos you can reserve with seating and grills for picnics.

Thumb Butte:

  • Hike the iconic peak or enjoy its views from all around town. You can even drive around the peak, going up Copper Basin, the road loops around the backside of Thumb Butte and shoots you out onto Thumb Butte Road (thought use caution and have a car that can handle bumpy roads).

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary:

  • With animals such as mountain lions, mule deer, wallabies, tarantulas, and more!
  • Their motto is “Conservation through Education” and they offer a home for animals that have no other.

Peavine Trail:

  • A converted railway bed, the Peavine trail begins south of Watson Lake and Leads into the Granite Dells.
  • Part of the Prescott Circle Trail, a 54-mile loop around Prescott that has been in the works for 25 years.
  • Watson lake and the Dells are visible from the Peavine Trail and the trail goes all around them.
  • The trail is good for biking, hiking, and walking since most of the actual trail is flat, with rockier inclines on the off-shooting trails.

We hope some of these activities will help keep you busy this summer! When in doubt, Prescott has a summer event going on downtown nearly every weekend and our town is infamous for its amazing trails and outdoor recreational activities. We’re sure you’ll be able to find something to do!

Summer Is Almost Here!

With most of the Prescott and Quad city area schools ending the school year tomorrow (you heard right… TOMORROW!), summer is almost officially here for everyone!

Though it might not feel like it with the turn of cold weather we’ve had this past week, summer is upon us. The year has flown by and we find ourselves at the cusp of many people’s favorite season in Prescott that brings beautiful sunshine, fun filled festivities, and glorious monsoons. What’s not to love?

Filled with festivals, art shows, farmer’s markets, live music, the world’s oldest rodeo, and more, you’re sure to find something to do in Prescott, Arizona this summer to have fun and keep busy.

Every weekend the downtown square is packed with booths selling art and clothes – among other things depending on the festival – not to mention the great food that comes along with all these things. Kettle corn, funnel cakes, candied almonds, BBQs, and more. If none of those sounds good, there are plenty of restaurants downtown with mouth watering food for your summer fixes. Burgers, pizza, sandwiches, tacos, French fries, ice cream, frozen yogurt, coffee and tea, pastries, delicious beers and wines… you name it and the downtown area has it!

If festivals aren’t your thing and you’d rather have a little peace and quiet in nature, don’t fret, the coming of warmer months provides the use of our great outdoors in the Prescott and surrounding areas.

With miles on top of miles of beautiful trails, you will never be bored exploring the fast wilderness we call home. You can visit the City of Prescott’s website here for some recreational areas to enjoy this summer including the Circle Trail, Watson Lake, the Willow Creek Dog Park for your furry friends, Aspen Creek Trail, Goldwater Lake, and Heritage Park to name a few. Mountain biking, kayaking, trail running, fishing, playgrounds for the kids… there is a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy and get yourself some much needed Vitamin D after a long winter. While some of these places have free parking, be aware that some do charge a $5 parking fee, except for free day which is every Wednesday.

To get a better idea of some of the events going on in Prescott this summer, you can visit the city’s event page by clicking here.