February Newsletter & Calendar of Events

    • “Is It Done Yet?” Home Remodeling with Kids
      Spring home improvements can be stressful, especially when you’re living in the middle of it. Add children to the mix, and the tension increases.

      But you don’t need to take a vacation while your home is being remodeled – even if walls are coming down. Here are some tips on how to continue to live as a family during a major renovation.

      Your children’s space – and their routines – will be disrupted. To avoid comments like “When can we use the kitchen again?” share the construction schedule with them.

      Prepare for disruptions: Kitchens and bathrooms are often the rooms being remodeled; unfortunately, they’re also the most used. If possible, consider completing one room at a time. Set up a temporary kitchen in another room and prepare meals in advance that can be quickly reheated. Get the kids to help you devise a bathroom schedule; they may be more inclined to follow it if they’re involved.

      Make safety a priority: Know where your kids are during work hours. Make sure they understand the safety risks and put lots of space between them and the work. Also ensure your contractor stores tools away safely at the end of the day.

      Dust can be hazardous for anyone with allergies. Plastic sheeting should be used to seal off the area under construction from your temporary living space, but you also may want to consider closing the heating and cooling vents. As well, your contractor should use nontoxic paints and stains.

      Choose your contractor wisely. Make sure the company has a reputation for completing jobs safely, and be prepared to pay more for contractors who are properly insured and follow regulations. Ask them how comfortable they are with children on site and make sure everyone agrees to and obeys the safety rules.

      Finally, when it’s finished, have fun together in the new space. After all, you – and the kids – deserve it.


      SAVE THE DATES
       February – March
      St. Mary’s Food Drive
      Drop Off Donations @ DHP
      14815 W Bell Rd, Ste #100, Surprise

       June – July
       Back-To-School Drive
      Drop off Donations @ DHP
      14815 W Bell Rd, Ste #100, Surprise August – September
       Water Bottle Drive
      Drop off Donations @ DHP
      14815 W Bell Rd, Ste #100, Surprise


      November – December
      Toys for Tots Drive
      Drop off Donations @ DHP
      14815 W Bell Rd, Ste #100, Surprise


      Featured Listing: 16485 W Bonita Park Drive, Surprise

      2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2,334 sq. ft. $369,900This Mission Model is located on the green belt offering the privacy you desire!




      Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
      How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

      If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, we’re here to help.

      Just give my office a call for a no-fuss, professional evaluation.

      I’ll also give you the “inside scoop” on what’s happening in the housing market!


      Why Americans Are Now Buying into the
      Small Home Trend
      Call it the tiny house effect, or perhaps it might be considered a change in attitudes
      after the 2008 housing crash. Whatever the reason, small houses are continuing to gain in popularity with home buyers. As pointed out in a recent article by real estate industry news site RISMedia, some in the industry see smaller houses beginning to sell faster than larger properties. They’re not just a fad. Small houses are an increasingly attractive option for many buyers. Here’s why:Affordability
      In many hot markets with rocketing prices, prospective homeowners have had to reevaluate what they can afford. Other buyers have decided it’s not worth it to go house poor, and have sacrificed space for cash in their bank accounts. Many consider a small home a smart investment.

      Less maintenance
      The upkeep of a larger home can result in stress, especially for young families or aging owners. A smaller footprint requires less upkeep and outdoor maintenance, reducing stress and freeing up time.

      Location vs. square footage
      Location, not square footage, has become the marker of desirability in many of today’s real estate markets. Homebuyers now would rather buy a smaller house in a hip, vibrant, well-served neighborhood than go bigger in a less desirable part of town.

      Trends
      TV design shows where well-functioning and beautiful small spaces are created have become just as popular as those on multimillion-dollar properties. Maybe more so. Instead of thinking of a house as cramped, buyers are now just as likely to see the creative possibilities of a smaller property.


      February Calendar of Events
      Feb 1 – 28: Westgate – Laugh Out Loud on Thurs, Fri & Sat nights at Stir Crazy Comedy Club. Visit stircrazycomedyclub.comfor comedians, times and ticket information.

      Feb 3: Buckeye Air Fair 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at Buckeye Municipal Airport. A FREE fun day for the whole family; air shows, aircraft-related events and activities, police & fire demonstrations, a car show, fun rides, hot air balloons & helicopters and a kids zone. Visit buckeyeaz.gov for more info.

      Feb 3 – 28: WHAM presents Jan Graumnitz Exhibit. WHAM is a non-profit art organization created primarily to support the Northwest Valley, located at 16560 N Dysart Rd, Surprise.

      Feb 9 – 11: Glendale Chocolate Affaire, Murphy Park. Friday 5-10pmSaturday10am-10pmSunday noon – 5pm. Come out and enjoy everything chocolate; chocolate crepes, potato chips, popcorn, dipped strawberries, etc. This is a FREE event and free parking.

      Feb 10-11: Corks & Cactus at the Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix. Sample 40 different wines, enjoy music and purchase delicious fare while strolling your way through Desert Botanical Gardens. Tickets are $35 members, $40 non-members. Visit dbg.org for more info.

      Feb 10: Arizona Renaissance Festival Opens! Celebrating 30 years of cheers; experience magical moment’s, unique artisan shops, food, shows, music and more. Open Saturdays, Sundays & President’s day. Save money and get tickets at Fry’s Food Stores for $22/adults, $12/child. Visit arrizona.renfestinfo.com

      Feb 14th: Valentine’s Day Fun

      • Love & Marriage Comedy Show at Theater Works, McMillin Theater, Peoria. Now in its third year, Love & Marriage has become a Peoria Valentines tradition! Tony Vicich brings you the second greatest gift after love, laughter! Showtime 7:30 pm, tickets are $10.00.
      • Arizona Broadway Theatre presents One of These Nights, featuring the music of the Eagles. The show takes the audience on a journey through all the Eagles music and includes dinner. Visit azbroadway.org for more info.

      Feb 16 – 28: Theater Works, Gyder Theater, presents A Chorus Line. This beloved and iconic musical is a celebration of those unsung heroes of the Musical Theatre. These characters are based on the real-life experiences of Broadway dancers. Visit theaterworks.org for ticket and show times.

      Feb 23 & 24: Spring Training Opening Day! Come on out and enjoy the beautiful weather and cheer on your favorite baseball team.

      February 22 – 28: Stroll Scottsdale’s waterfront to experience Canal Convergence. This annual series of free educational activities and engaging events, featuring a cutting-edge public art installation suspended above and placed throughout the waterfront; plus live music and food. Visit canalconvergence.com for more info.

      Jay & Lynn Otlewski
      www.ValleyHomePrices.com
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      Are You Selling Your Home? Get My Free Guide
      First impressions count. So if your home isn’t looking its best, you could fail to get the best price for it.

      Put that problem right by requesting the free report “Great Ideas for Quick, Easy Fixes That Will Help Your Home Sell.”

      Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

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      Chocolate Strawberry Panna Cotta
      This romantic Valentine’s Day dessert
      Serves 6
      3 cups frozen strawberries thawed in a strainer
      1 3/4 cup buttermilk
      6 tablespoons sugar
      3 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
      1/4 cup whole milk
      1/4 cup heavy cream
      Store-bought chocolate sauce to taste
      Directions
      Blend together strawberries, buttermilk, and sugar until smooth, then pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.

      In a separate small bowl, add gelatin to the whole milk and let stand.

      Bring the cream to a simmer, remove from heat, and add the gelatin mixture. Stir until dissolved.

      Whisk together cream and buttermilk mixtures, then pour evenly into 6 small stemmed glasses. Chill for at least 8 hours.

      Serve with a fresh strawberry and drizzle chocolate sauce on top.


      Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
      Everyone says I should get a home inspection. Is an inspection really worth it?

      Too often, buyers forgo a home inspection in an effort to save time and money. This is not the place to skimp. A home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process. Keep in mind the option to perform a home inspection is included in all standard real estate contracts. This should be a clue to buyers that it’s important.

      A home inspection reveals any issues that are a safety concern or affect the value of the property. It allows the buyer to discover what items need to be replaced, serviced, or repaired immediately, as well as those that may require attention in the near future.

      Buyers can use the information to decide if they should walk away from a lemon or negotiate further with the seller for repairs or credit. They can also learn a great deal about the home, including what potential repair costs to expect down the line.


      *PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO OUR ST. MARY’S FOOD DRIVE GOING ON NOW!*

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