Happy Wednesday everyone! We have a fun event we would love to share with you all. Saturday May 8th we will be hosting our first ever golf tournament! You might be asking yourself, why is the Darwin Wall team hosting a golf tournament?? Well, as many of you know, we work with a bunch of inspiring and amazing realtors but unfortunately, one of our own is battling cancer. Tiffany Le Doux was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and is currently going through chemo and overall treatment. We hate that one of our own is having to deal with this, but Tiffany is a bad ass woman who will fight hard and will never give up! As a team, we fully support Tiffany to the best of our ability, so we decided it would be it would be fun to host a golf tournament to help her cover medical costs and other necessary expenses to help her win the battle against cancer.
Teeing off for Tiffany will take place at the Springfield Golf Course in Chandler, AZ. One way to help out is by gathering 4 people to play in the tournament. It's $400 per foursome but you get range balls, lunch, and the green fee covered with the overall total. Check in begins at 6:15am and the tee off starts at 7am. Another way to help out is by donating or giving a raffle item for us to raffle away during the tournament. We truly hope and expect for this to be a great turnout! The weather should be nice, we'll all be gathering for a great cause, and we simply want to have fun while supporting one of our own. If you would like to donate a raffle item, please reach out to any of us on the team. You can also donate by clicking here. We can't wait to see everyone on May 8th and we will continue to fight with Tiffany as she continues to go through her treatment so she can hopefully go into remission soon!
Happy Friday everyone! Who's ready to enjoy the weekend??
We definitely are, but we also wanted to share with you another awesome article written by our friends over at Happy Writers Co. Just like buying a home, adopting a dog can be exciting but nerve wracking. Having a furry companion has plenty of benefits, but how do we know we are ready to adopt a dog? Take a look at a few different reasons on whether or not you're ready to bring a new family member to your household!
In case you didn't know, we also have dog bandanas for your 4 legged friends! Check out this good boy Gus rockin' one of our bandanas! If you are considering adopting a dog, here are a few local organizations that have dogs up for adoption who need loving homes.
Arizona Humane Society
Halo Animal Rescue
Arizona Small Dog Rescue
Am I Ready to Adopt A Dog?
Choosing to adopt a rescue dog is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make! It might feel as if you are ready to commit to bringing home a new member of the family, but there are some honest questions you need to ask yourself before making your final choice.
One reason alone is not usually enough to consider adopting a dog. For example, even if you want to adopt a dog to give it a new, loving home, that is not necessarily enough. Of course it is a great reason to adopt a dog, but you also need to make sure that you will be capable of giving your new dog a loving home at all times.
How can you know if you are ready to provide a loving home for a dog that needs one? Here are some of the main questions to ask yourself and your family before adopting a dog:
Do you have the time to devote to training an adopted dog?
Many adopted dogs come with the need for intensive training. Some might have been raised in dysfunctional families, or have gone through other traumatic experiences which make them fearful of humans or other dogs. These dogs will need plenty of care and attention, so it would not be wise to consider adopting a dog if you are going to be out of the home very often.
Is your job going to cause any issues?
Does your job require you to work long hours away from home? Do you have a history of being posted to other locations on a whim? These situations aren’t going to mix well with a new, adopted dog that needs your love and attention.
If you decide that you are adopting a dog but are going to be working away from home for more than 4-6 hours per day, ensure someone else is available to give your dog a walk and check up on them.
Is your home environment right for the dog?
First off, if you rent from a landlord, you must be told in writing that dogs can be allowed in your home. This way, you can avoid any major problems with your dog being allowed in your home after you have made the decision to adopt.
Also, remember that large and outdoorsy breeds like Border Collies or Greyhounds are not well-suited for apartments. Some breeds of dog need hours of exercise each day, so do your research carefully before committing.
Do you have previous experience owning a dog?
Whether you have owned one yourself or have owned one as a child with your parents, it is a good building block to have owned a dog before. This will have you better prepared for the potential challenges of adopting a dog from a rescue center.
Lastly, and most importantly… is everyone in my household ready to take this on?
You should ensure that yourself and everybody you live with is completely on board with the decision to adopt a dog. This is a major commitment, and the questions in this article are only a handful of the ones you should consider before extending your home to a new, four-legged member of the family!
Jack Vale is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with K9 Sport Sack, the top retailer for dog backpack carriers.
Happy Friday! Real estate in Arizona is a huge sellers market right now. Prepping your home is one of the biggest benefits you could give yourself because it helps add value to your home. You want to make sure your home is in tip top shape and ready to be shown to plenty of potential buyers. Our good friends over at Happy Writers Co. helped us come up with some awesome tips for getting your home ready to sell!
4 DIY Home Inspections to Do Every Year
Developing the eye and increasing your knowledge around home inspections can save anyone who owns, is planning to buy, or who is selling a world of trouble and headaches in the long run. One of the most important things to remember when inspecting a home on your own is to take your time and record notes or pictures if possible. Logging as many details as you can about the home is beneficial information that future inspectors or home segment specialists can learn from. Everything from stuck windows or doors to sloping floors, stained walls, and slow drains should be noted. Out of the magnitude of inspections that should be completed regularly, here are four inspections that can be done on your own every year.
Look for Wear and Tear on Roofing
Repairing a roof and full roof replacements can cost as much as $30,000, and pricing varies depending on materials and the scope of work needed. Whatever the roofing issue may be, spending the time and money on roofing fixes is a hassle. Going into any sale with eyes wide open regarding roofing needs will help future homeowners plan and negotiate property costs, and homeowners will be able to use the information gained to have an educated conversation with roofing companies.
Using scaffolding or a ladder to safely access the roof is best. Once safe access has been established, assessing the current condition of shingles, missing shingles, and doing penetration testing to check for disparities will quickly reveal any leaks, holes, or weak points that need to be fixed. Homeowners should also do their own assessment and research before hiring an inspector or service provider. The information will help owners and sellers compare services and discuss issues with housing experts.
Be Sure to Check Gutter Systems
While your scaffolding or ladder is out and readily available, ensure to thoroughly check outdoor gutter systems. Keep an eye out for wear and tear, and you may have to unclog areas if they are cluttered to get a better look. Don't forget a hose when inspecting. Water should be run through the gutter to make sure that they are working correctly and that downspouts are not obstructed.
Clogged gutters can cause foundational issues because water can collect around the foundation of your home and seep into unwanted areas, which can then cause rot and mold. If you see water collecting around the house, be sure to make a note. It could be a simple clog, or gutters may need to be upgraded.
Windows Tell a Big Part of the Home’s Story
Make sure to pay attention to the windows and check for cracking, broken glass, gaps, and stripping as you walk through the property. Windows with cracks or crevices can let in heat and cold, which will drive up heating and cooling costs. Gaps are also an open door for bugs and critters to make it into the estate. Openings and stuck windows and doors can also be a sign of foundational issues.
Also, ensure that windows can open and close properly. A common reason why this function fails is because there is a buildup of dust, dirt, debris, or loose/damaged hardware. If windows are getting up there in age, then it could be time to replace them, and this is an essential detail to note.
Don't Forget About the Siding
The side of a home might be one of the last things on your mind, but it can be one of the more extensive home fixes on a property. Poor siding opens up homes to a wide variety of weather-related susceptibilities that decrease the home's value and let moisture in. Houses that are not appropriately insulated also have trouble retaining a consistent temperature, which can impact your finances.
When inspecting siding, check for rotting, discoloration, rust, exposed nails, moisture damage, and damage around joints and seams. Keep in mind that damaged siding may not necessarily be due to wear and tear but improper installation. This means that even if the home or siding is new, a thorough inspection is still needed. Water damage is the typical result when siding is not connected correctly, and damage may not show itself inside the home but still impact the home's structure.
A Thorough Inspection Delivers Peace of Mind
Taking your time and looking for the story homes tell through walls, windows, drains, and all of the other elements that make up a property provides peace of mind in the end. Knowing what the tell-tale signs of significant damage look like will help prospective buyers skip over properties that may not be worth pursuing, or strengthen dialogue with home professionals as a seller or homeowner.
3 Value-Boosting Upgrades for Your Current Fence
Who knew that Robert Frost knew so much about the value of fences when he spouted the everlasting truth, "Good fences make good neighbors" in his famous poem "Mending Wall." Quality fencing makes a significant difference in every component of home life, impacts relationships with neighbors, and is a must-have, especially for homeowners with pets and children. Apart from the physical and more practical elements, fencing can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time, and upgrading this part of your home exterior can add value to your home in the long run.
Natural Barriers Are Trending
The default white picket fence now has competition since the arrival of the natural barrier. Using trees, shrubs, vines, and many other landscaping architecture options to line your property is often a more cost-efficient approach to marking your property line. Live fences can consist of 100% plant life, or plants can be weaved with fencing materials. Not only are natural barriers visually stunning, they also provide ecological diversity and support local ecosystems by increasing habitats for bees, and other critical insects that need a home.
An additional value-add to natural barriers is that they last considerably longer than manufactured fencing and are resistant to termites and fungal attacks. The greenery that lines your property can also double as a garden and produce fruits and vegetables. If you're looking for a more clear-cut boundary, then inosculating or grafting branches in a criss-cross pattern, so that they grow concurrently will give your live fence a more definitive look.
Defining Property Lines Doesn't Mean Views Have to be Obstructed
Another trend taking properties by storm is low fencing that doesn't obstruct the home's view. This fence type is the perfect fit for highlighting the architecture of a home, and drawing a clean property boundary will be a delight to neighbors as well. A good neighbor fence can be built in multiple sizes and is a shared feature, which means that collaborating with neighbors is part of the building process. Both sides are pleasing to the eye with this type of fence, and costs are split evenly between neighbors.
Going with a good neighbor fence and a lower fence line works to add value to your neighboring properties, which in turn benefits you. Another bold style that can be considered is combining plant life with a traditional good neighbor fence line. This would include using some traditional fencing along with shrubs, trees, or bushes to break up the fence line and make it more creative.
Make it Automatic
Installing an automatic gate on your property instantly improves security by restricting pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Homeowners can easily control who can access their property from inside their home and screen visitors. Gates can also be opened from inside of a vehicle and help to protect pets and children. Automatic gates make a significant difference in larger properties and help to increase privacy. This heavy layer of protection for your home also boosts your property value and can even reduce insurance premiums.
An automatic gate's convenience component is one of the most attractive reasons to have this feature automated, but various safety elements transcend its practicality. Inclement weather or a late-night arrival can make it very uncomfortable and unsafe to open up your gate for visitors or people living in your home. Having a secure way to operate your property's entrance no matter the weather or time of day offers many homeowners peace of mind.
Choosing the Right Fence For You
There are many styles and raw materials to choose from when deciding on the fence that will stand the test of time, look appealing in contrast to your property and be an all-around perfect fit. The wide variety of fencing materials available offers homeowners a collection of styles and looks that will end up being one of the first style elements people see when visiting your home. Starting with functionality and quality is the first step. Whether you decide to install a traditional, natural, vinyl, or wrought iron fence and add an automatic gate, putting your design hat on will help you choose the right style that makes your property stand out.
We want to kick off the start to 2021 by thanking our website sponsors! We truly appreciate the partnership our sponsors have given us throughout the years. We love being able to help other local businesses, whether that's through our website or simply giving a shout out through social media. With that being said, we want to individually thank each of our sponsors, who knows, you might find yourself getting in contact with them because of us. ;)
Capturing Small Accents and Details in Real Estate Photography
Are you doing it yourself, or hiring a professional to do it for you? The photographing of your home, that is.
When taking your home to the market, you can give yourself the best chance of impressing potential buyers when you take photos that bring out its natural charm. Of course, you need to cover the essentials like the kitchen and the yard, but there might just be some areas that you have not really considered taking pictures of before!
Let us take a minute before we dive into some real estate photography secrets. Firstly, we can explore the basics of photographing your home and making it look appealing when viewed on a screen.
The basics of real estate photography
When all is said and done, an undeniable truth is that in the vast majority of cases your online photos constitute the first impression of your home on potential buyers. People love surfing the web to compare homes.
Here is how to make the most of photography to ensure your home becomes a candidate in the eyes of a buyer:
● Open shades and make sure windows are clean. There are two things that are very off-putting to buyers. Dark, lifeless rooms and grubby windows. Try taking a photo of your living area with the shades closed, and then again with them open. You will notice how natural light just adds some personality and life to your room. However, if you are going to be showcasing your windows, check that they are free of marks and perfectly transparent!
● Eliminate clutter. If showcasing your kitchen counter, it will look infinitely more spacious if free of last night’s leftovers and a few used plates. Remove everything (except essentials like a kettle and toaster - your home needs to look habitable!) and give the counter a good clean to make it shimmer for the photo.
● Hide toiletries. It is usually advised to remove shampoos, conditioners and other toiletries before taking photos of your shower. We know that your house needs to look livable, but the bathroom is a very personal space. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine feeling peaceful in a private, clean bathroom!
● Turn on all lights. ‘But what about the beauty of natural light?’ Not to worry - you can use both to your advantage! Sometimes, natural light alone does not illuminate every area of the home. Also, smartphone cameras might struggle with the contrast between the glaring sun and darker spots of the room. Ensure that no place is left unlit by switching the lights on in every room.
● Pay attention to the first impression. The saying holds weight - first impressions count. This applies tenfold when buying a house. No matter how lovely the interior looks, most people want the external entrance to be just as appealing. You can showcase a striking front door like these ones, or just tidy up and cut the grass so everything looks put together.
Small details to make your real estate photographs look great
A 2014 study found that professional real estate photography helped a home to sell 32% faster than those listed with average or low-quality images. These findings still apply today, so you should concentrate on finding the right equipment to take professional-looking images yourself if you do not want to hire a photographer.
The main difference between a professional photographer and an average one is that a professional knows which small details to look out for. There are some more nuanced design details that can showcase the personality of your home, so let us explore a few of those now.
● Ensure your doors and cabinets are photographed with straight lines. A professional-looking photo will always work with straight lines. An amateur photo will look like it is tilted slightly to one side. Take a look at these two images below - the first one is taken by an amateur and the second by a professional.
Notice how the doors and cabinets in the second image seem to have very straight edges that point to the sky. All of the lines in the room are parallel, whereas the lines visible in the first photo point in slightly different directions. The wall, tiles and edge of the shower do not appear to be in unison. Consider how you are showcasing your doors and cabinets, particularly with respect to how their edges line up with the rest of the room.
● Search for a defining feature. If your home has a unique, well-designed feature, it would be remiss not to show it off! As mentioned before, something as simple as your front door can be the answer. Perhaps it is designed with immaculate stained glass or shows off an elaborate doorknob. Whatever might be unique about your home, make sure your photos show it off.
● Exciting light features. Does your home feature a chandelier or other unusual light fixture? You are surely starting to get the message now - if your home has anything particularly beautiful about it, you should do your best to capture it in your real estate photography.
Like we said earlier, we could go on forever talking about Arizona but we're going to give out some honorable mentions to the state since we explored more of the local area.
Fun fact, Arizona is home to one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon is headed North of AZ and is a popular destination for people from around the world. We always recommend for people to go at least once in their life because it truly is breathtaking. Many people think of a miserable heat when they hear the word Arizona, but we truly only get into the 100s during the months of June-September. We're glad we only have to go through a dry heat! Another great destination to visit if you're into the outdoors life is Sedona, AZ. What makes Sedona so unique is the beautiful and colorful canyons, waterfalls, and hiking trails located in the town. With the weather being cooler up north, you won't have to worry too much about the heat when in Sedona or the Grand Canyon. Here's another fun fact for you. Did you know that it snows in Arizona?? Yes, it really does snow in Northern Arizona and if you don't believe us go check it out for yourself. Down toward the South you'll find the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Need a little getaway that involves the beach? Visit Rocky Point, which is approximately 2.5 hours away from the Phoenix area. You can easily plan a weekend getaway with friends or family and relax at the beach while chowing down some fish tacos.
Now that you know a little more about Arizona and all of the great things we have to offer, would you ever consider moving here? What about visiting for a few days to test out the waters? Let us know down in the comments, and if you're planning a trip here tell us! We want to hear why you're excited to visit. Already an AZ resident? Tell us all about why you love the state and city you live in!
Wow, we can't believe that the month of June is now upon us! May passed by us in a blink of an eye and we're happy that we still managed to stay busy during the month. Take a look at some of the events and listings we did during May!
The darwin Wall Team. Assisting Arizona Home buyers and Sellers in the East Valley.