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    March Newsletter & Calendar of Events

    ‘Curb Appeal’ Remodels a Growing Trend
    As the winter thaw begins, and spring buying and selling fever heats up, there are
    certain renovations you can make on your home to ensure you get an optimal return on investment (ROI).Whether you’ve been waiting for that perfect time to list, or are looking to flip fast, being strategic with your home renovations can make the difference between losing money and having extra cash in your pocket.As a Houzz article points out, when it comes to home renovations, the “size of your space, the scope of work involved, your DIY abilities, the quality of materials you choose and even your geographic location all play a part.”

    Invest in curb appeal

    However, your renovations don’t have to be earth-shattering. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, the trend of making “curb appeal” renovations to your home scored a higher ROI than larger renovations.

    Boost energy efficiency

    Surprisingly, installing loose-fill fiberglass insulation in the attic came in as number one on the report. Although it doesn’t seem as exciting as other home remodels, it makes your home more energy efficient, and it can be accomplished yourself, inexpensively. Plus, it returns an estimated 107.1% on your investment.

    Interestingly, something as subtle as replacing your garage door could yield you as much as an 85% ROI. Landscaping is another tried, tested and true improvement that can return as much as 105% on your investment. Installing new windows, adding high-efficiency appliances and repainting the exterior and interior of your home can make a huge impact for little cost.

    Key to success

    Craig Webb, the editor of Remodeling, offers this advice: “If you see yourself keeping the house for at least five years, you shouldn’t worry about value at all … Housing trends and fads can change dramatically … If you plan to stay put, renovate however will make you happy, period.”

    March Calendar of Events
    Laugh with Hippieman, Improv, Bil Dwyer, Jackie Kahian and up & coming comedians at Westgate’s Stir Crazy Comedy Club. Because we all need a little humor in our lives! Visitwww.stircrazycomedyclub.com for comics, times and ticket information.

    March 2: Surprise Spring Training 5K, start time 7 pm. Sign up at surprisespringtraining.com/events.

    March 2: WHAM Rocks: Paint Your Pet! Come and enjoy an evening painting rocks learning from professional artists. First Friday of every month. Please bring a photo of your pet, all supplies will be provided for a $10 donation/adults and $5/kids. WHAM is a 501c3 non-profit offering art classes and a place where artists create, collaborate and display art serving the West Valley of Arizona. Register at www.wham-art.org/wham-rocks or call 602-989-3825.

    March 3: Dancing with the Stars Live! Comerica Theater, 4:00 & 8:00 pm show times.

    March 3: 5th Annual Dog Days of Buckeye: Activities will include agility course, small dog races, K-9, dog training and more. Sundance Park, Lower Buckeye Rd, 9am-2pm, FREE. Call 623-349-6604 or visit pyabes@buckeyeaz.gov for more info.

    March 15 – 31: Theater Works Presents, West Palm Prime a comedy set in a Florida retirement community. Can two people find live in the “prime” of their lives? Especially if they’re in-laws? Tickets $30 for seniors or students and $33 adults. Visit www.theaterworks.org for more info.

    March 17: Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Faire: The parade starts at 10 am at 3rd St & Sheridan and heads south through the streets of Downtown Phoenix. Featuring a variety of performers, entertainers, floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, and bagpipers. Following the parade, the Faire begins at the Irish Cultural Center at Hance Park. Enjoy 3 states of music, food, beverages, Irish crafts & merchandise, genealogy and more. Faire admission $12 adults, $10 seniors and military, kids 12 & under are FREE and Free parking w/ purchase of Faire ticket. Visit www.stpatricksdayphoenix.org for more info and parking locations.

    March 20 – 25: ASU Gammage Presents: The King and I, one of Rodger + Hammerstein’s finest works. Visit www.asugammage.com for tickets and show times.

    March 24 – 25: 5th Annual Italian Festival at Scottsdale’s Civic Center Mall. This two-day celebration of the Italian Culture’s, past and present! Enjoy Italian pop, opera singers, entertainers; authentic food, gelato, pizza, pasta, Panini’s, wine, Italian beer, drinks; vendors, arts & crafts and so much more! Tickets $15 at the door, kids 12 & under are FREE.

    March 24 – 31: Stage Left Productions Presents, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a drama by Tennessee Williams. Paradise Ballroom, 10950 W Union Hills Dr, Sun City. Tickets $16 – $20, visit www.stageleftaz.com for more info.

    March 30Havana Nights Fundraiser at West Valley Arts. The night will be filled with casino games, live music, dance, libation, heavy hor d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Tickets $75. WVA has been central to creating what is recognized as a “high quality of life” for West Valley residents. 623-935-6384 or www.westvalleyarts.org for more information.

    Easter Egg Hunts, March 31st

    • Peoria Sports Complex: 8am-noon. Enjoy a family fun and meet Mr & Mrs Bunny. Includes pony rides, crafts, carnival game, inflatable, rides and more!
    • Candy Hunt Times:
    • Age 1 – 8:20 a.m. Age 4 – 9:30 a.m. Ages 7-8 – 10:25 a.m.
    • Age 2 – 8:45 a.m. Age 5 – 9:50 a.m. Ages 9-10 – 10:40 a.m.
    • Age 3 – 9:10 a.m Age 6 – 10:10 a.m Individuals with Disabilities – 11 a.m.
    • Wigwam: Breakfast Buffet with Easter Bunny – Wigwam Ballroom 8am-11am; $25/adults, $15/children (4-12), 3 & under FREE.  Easter Egg Stravanganza 9am-12pm; egg roll races, egg hunt train ride, entertainment and more, FREE.

    Time to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

    Coffee drinkers are becoming younger. According to online restaurant supply store WebstaurantStore: “The fastest-growing demographic of coffee drinkers is the 13- to 18-year-old age group.” And this is changing the way we drink coffee. Here are some WebstaurantStore trends to look for:

    Younger consumers like mobile coffee. Ready-to-drink portable bottles of prepared Frappuccinos and other popular hyper-sweetened coffee beverages are now readily available in convenience stores, meaning fewer trips to coffee hangouts.

    When they do head to local coffee spots, younger drinkers are looking for something special: presentation. The Instagram generation now loves selfies with coffee and milk served French-style in beautiful café au lait bowls.

    Nitro coffee – coffee infused with nitrogen gas – is popular thanks to its rich creamy taste, and the new cold brew coffee is an in-demand cold drink that’s stronger, but less bitter. Finally, the interest in gourmet coffee continues, driven by more sophisticated consumers who aren’t interested in the latest trends and still value the taste and the experience of drinking good coffee.

    Featured Listing: 16615 W Robertson Drive, Sun City West
    2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,915 sq. ft. $245,000
    This stunning extended Carefree floor plan is a must see!
    Active Listing: 16845 W Bonita Park Dr, Surprise
    2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2,334 sq. ft. $369,900

    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, I’ll be able 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!

    The Best-Laid Plans: Things to Consider in Your Kitchen Remodel
    If a kitchen remodel is on your agenda for spring, be sure you have a comprehensive plan in place.

    Here are some issues to address in your plan. (Your New Kitchen: 7 Tricky Questions You Didn’t Know You’d Ask, published recently on Houzz.com, identifies other factors to consider.)

    Research your local building code: In the Houzz article, designer Yanic Simard notes that some building codes have rules around venting and the type of hood fan you install. And, if you’re renovating an apartment-style condominium, you may not be able to relocate the plumbing. Check with your association.

    Outlets: Early on, decide where your electrical outlets should go. If you’re adding an island, consider outlets at the outset.

    Flooring: This decision should also be made early, as everything else will depend on it.

    Appliances: Your kitchen needs to work for you; where you put your appliances will affect everything from cabinets to countertops.

    Sink: Before you consider finishes or backsplashes, decide what sink style you want. These range from undermount, with no edges, to drop-in, which offers the easiest install. Apron or farmhouse sinks have a deep basin for washing big pots.

    Cabinets: Making a mistake here can be expensive. Decide the function and location of each cabinet before thinking about hardware. If it’s a DIY, online 3-D software can help you envision cabinet placement so two cabinet doors don’t open into each other.

    Once the tough decisions are made, you can relax and consider the “jewelry,” such as cabinet hardware and backsplash. Enjoy. You’ve earned it!

    Jay & Lynn Otlewski
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    Are You a First-Time Buyer? Get My Free Guide
    Buying your first home is a big step and one that is likely to impact your financial future for years to come.

    Make it easier by requesting my free guide, “How First-Timers Can Make a Wise Buy.”

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

    Share This Newsletter
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    We’re collecting canned and boxed food for St. Mary’s Food Bank. Stop by our office today with your donation!

    Most need items:
    • Peanut Butter, canned chicken, canned ravioli
    • No sugar added canned fruit
    • Low sodium vegetables
    • 100% whole wheat cereal

    Irish Soda Bread
    Serves 12
    3 cups Flour
    3/4 cup Sugar
    1 tsp. Salt
    1 tsp. Baking Soda
    3 tsp. Baking Powder
    1 1/4 cups Buttermilk
    1 Egg
    1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
    1/2 cup Currants or Raisins (optional)
    1 tsp. Caraway seeds (optional)
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, set aside.In a medium bowl, mix wet ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir in raisins & caraway seeds. Bake in an 8″ round cake pan for one hour, until golden brown.
    Cool in pan, then remove. Enjoy!

    Ask the Agent:
    Should I Sell My Home Myself?

    Probably not, and here’s why.

    It’s more work than you think. Will you be able to rush home if a buyer wants to see your house in 30 minutes? Do you have time to keep track of your showings, follow up for feedback, and vet any potential offers? You’ll also need the know-how to negotiate any offers that come in. This negotiation is extremely difficult when you factor in the emotional and financial investment that comes with being the owner of the home. Similar struggles come into play when prepping your home for the market. It’s hard to see what changes should be made when the space is your own.

    An agent has all the necessary resources at his or her disposal to handle these situations for you. Agents’ professional perspective and experience create a smoother and more profitable process. Consider leaving it in their capable hands, so you don’t wring yours.

    This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.

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