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Lisa Murray

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Great Tips for Preparing Your Home For Sale!

by Lisa Murray


Why to Work With a Fountain Hills Agent

by Lisa Murray

When you are ready to sell your Fountain Hills home, buy a Fountain Hills home, or do both simultaneously, you’d be wise to use a Fountain Hills real estate agent to guide you through the process! Whether it’s your first time or not, statistics show that both buyers and sellers are better off when they use an agent to help.

-Here are some statistics to give you an idea of how many buyers and sellers work with an agent:

-87 percent of buyers used a real estate agent to buy their home.

-88 percent of those buyers said they would use their agent again or would recommend them to someone else.

-89 percent of sellers used an agent to sell their home.

-Only 8 percent of homes were sold by owner in 2015, which was the lowest share of FSBO sales recorded since 1981.

-48 percent of sellers who don’t use an agent end up with a lower-than-expected selling price.

-Homes listed by an agent sell for an average of 18 percent more than if sold by owner!

As you can see, statistics prove that working with an agent is wise for both buyers and sellers! Here are some more proven reasons why working with a Fountain Hills real estate agent is a smart decision:

1.  If buying and selling simultaneously, it’s very tricky to pull off a purchase and a sale with one timeline. This can be one of the most stressful real estate situations. An agent can reduce your stress greatly by guiding you with their knowledge and skill in this situation.

2.  Agents know neighborhoods better than anyone and can keep you informed on the latest information about active listings, sold properties, sold prices, etc. This saves you a lot of time doing research on your own, and the information you find might be outdated.

3.  Agents have access to a wider selection of listings than you can find on your own. Sometimes, listings are available but aren’t yet listed or visible to the public. Agents can also get you in to see a property faster than you could on your own.

4.  When selling, buyers are much more apt to want to view a home with an agent than with the seller. An agent is usually available to show a home more often than the seller, and buyers are more comfortable viewing a home with an agent. This can lead to more showings and offers.

5.  Agents will supply you with all the necessary paperwork, which is getting more extensive every year for both buyers and sellers. Agents can also help negotiate the best deal for you, schedule necessary appointments, get you in contact with other professionals and more.

Ready to schedule an appointment with me to talk about your home-buying or home-selling goals in the Fountain Hills real estate market? Contact me, your Fountain Hills real estate agent, at your earliest convenience and let’s get started!

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
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Fourth at the Fountain in Fountain Hills, AZ

by Lisa Murray

Fourth of July is coming up next week, which means so is Fourth at the Fountain! This is the annual star-spangled family event that occurs every year in Fountain Hills, AZ in celebration of America’s birthday. If you’re new to the area, or it has been awhile since you attended this annual event, allow me to fill you in with the details. As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, I am here to keep you informed on everything happening in Fountains Hills, real estate and otherwise!

Fourth at the Fountain takes place on Tuesday, July 4th, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Fountain Park. Admission is free, and you could walk away with some prizes and giveaways! A DJ will be playing music all night for families to get their groove on. Kids can enjoy bounce houses and a rock climbing wall. When you get hungry or thirsty, indulge in some Italian ice, frozen lemonade and other delicious treats to beat the heat with.

Of course, what is a Fourth of July event without fireworks? These begin around 9 p.m. over Fountain Lake. You are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and whatever else will make you comfortable. Stake out a spot early to get the best view! You may bring picnics as well, but no glass, alcohol or personal fireworks or sparklers are allowed. Frisbees, balls and other type of lawn games are permitted.

There is public parking throughout downtown Fountain Hills, so enjoy a free evening of fun with family or friends in Fountain Hills, AZ.

There are other celebrations taking place a short drive away as well. Fourth of July Freedom Fest will take place at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess all weekend, June 30 through July 4. There, enjoy concerts, fireworks, American fare, military tributes, a vintage air show, poolside fun and more. Also, Casino Arizona in Scottsdale will be offering an array of dining specials at each of its six eateries on July 4th.

There’s always the opportunity to celebrate the 4th of July holiday at your Fountain Hills home, too! Invite your family or friends over for an old-fashioned pool party or barbecue. Or, hang out inside with the cool air conditioning and host a potluck with games. This is a great opportunity to spend time with those you love, and to take advantage of a day off work!

As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, I hope you’re fully able to celebrate and enjoy the Fourth of July summer holiday. When ready to accomplish your Fountain Hills real estate market goals this summer, contact me! Whether buying, selling or both, I am always here and ready to help make your dreams a reality. Summer is a great time for doing so! Don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Happy Independence Day!

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
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How Fountain Hills Homeowners Can Save On Energy Costs

by Lisa Murray

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer, but here in Fountain Hills, we get to enjoy warm, sunny weather year-round! While this is fantastic in most respects, it isn’t great when it comes to our energy bills. If you like to crank up the A/C in your Fountain Hills home, you know what I’m talking about!

As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, allow me to share some tips on how you can save on energy costs this summer and all year long in Fountain Hills. Once you start seeing lower bills, save that extra cash for a down payment on a Fountain Hills home purchase, or for fun activities this summer season!

1.  Maintain your HVAC system. A broken HVAC system means a steamy Fountain Hills home, so keep it maintained! Inspect your outdoor unit regularly for signs of damage, liked warped panels or torn insulation. Look inside as well, to make sure no animals or debris have made a home there.

2.  Clean air filters. Replace air filters regularly, as dirty or clogged filters cause your A/C system to work harder. Also, keep all of your vents open, as closing vents creates more pressure in the ducts, which also causes the system to work harder. Clean vents each season to help with maximum air flow.

3.  Add a programmable thermostat. If no one is home for certain hours of the day, adding a programmable thermostat is a great way to save money during that time. You can program it so that the A/C doesn’t turn on while you’re gone, or is turned down while you sleep.

4.  Switch to LED bulbs. While LED bulbs are known for saving energy usage, they also don’t produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, so it’s a win-win if you want to stay cool for less money! If you can’t afford to replace all of your bulbs at once, first replace bulbs in the rooms you use most.

5.  Use power strips. You may have heard that it is wise to turn off electronics at night. This saves energy and money on your energy bill, as you aren’t using them while asleep! The easiest way to remember to do this is to invest in power strips, so you can just click one button to turn off many devices.

For more tips on how to save energy this summer season in Fountain Hills, check out the tips from this RISMedia article. Other tips they suggest include not using an irrigation schedule, collecting rain water, using ceiling fans, keeping blinds closed and more. Are there any more tips that you would add? Leave a comment and share!

Keep cool this summer in Fountain Hills, AZ, and when ready to accomplish your Fountain Hills real estate goals, contact me! Summer is a great season for doing so, and as a Fountain Hills real estate agent, I would love to help you. Whether you’re buying or selling, give me a call! 

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
Find Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
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Celebrate Mom This Mother’s Day in Fountain Hills, AZ

by Lisa Murray

Mother’s Day is coming up! Do you know how you’re going to celebrate in Fountain Hills, AZ? As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, I’d like to offer you a few suggestions! You could attend a local event, plan your own unique outing with mom, or celebrate at home. Ask her what she'd most like to do! Here are some local options:

1.  Take mom to the theater. Fountain Hills Theater is currently presenting ‘Grand Hotel,’ which runs now through May 7. It takes place in 1928 Berlin, at the illustrious Grand Hotel. The performance will introduce you to a slew of eccentric hotel guests, as you watch their stories unfold. From the beautiful Prima Ballerina, to the deathly ill bookkeeper, you’ll be mesmerized. ‘A Beautiful Noise’ arrives May 12 at the theater, which is a high-energy musical revue, full of hit songs from Neil Diamond. Let mom take her pick!

2.  Relay For Life of Fountain Hills is this Saturday, April 29. Celebrate Mother’s Day early by signing up and walking with mom, in honor of cancer survivors and strugglers. It runs from noon to 10 p.m. at Fountain Park. Run or walk and show your support for those in the community, or for anyone you know who has dealt with the cancer fight. This event is always positive and uplifting, and a great, healthy activity for you and mom to partake in together! 

3.  Hike with mom! Fountain Hills, AZ has so many fantastic hiking and mountain biking trails. If your mom is a nature lover, get her out of the house and into some fresh air! Head to McDowell Mountain Regional Park or McDowell Mountain Preserve for some great trails and outstanding views. Or, you could choose an easier option and walk the Lake Overlook Trail right in the heart of Fountain Hills with mom. Either way, pack a picnic and a camera, and have a lovely outing as a family. 

4.  Plan a special Mother’s Day celebration at your Fountain Hills home. Sometimes, mom just wants to enjoy a day at home, chore-free. Bring mom breakfast in bed, cook dinner for mom, clean the house for mom, do the dishes for mom... you catch the drift! Wrap some gifts for her to open, invite family or close friends over to help you celebrate, lounge on your back patio with some frozen cocktails, watch old movies together… the options are endless. Just make sure mom’s feet are up, and she’s have a relaxing day while everyone takes care of her!

Enjoy planning your Mother’s Day this year in Fountain Hills! When ready to accomplish your Fountain Hills real estate goals, contact me, your Fountain Hills real estate agent. Is it mom’s dream to purchase the Fountain Hills home of her dreams? Make it happen with my professional help! I am here and ready to help all of your real estate dreams come true.

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Spring, Fountain Hills!

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
Find Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Check Me Out on LinkedIn

Choose a Design Style for Your Fountain Hills Home

by Lisa Murray

If you're a new Fountain Hills homeowner, or you’re just looking to spruce up your current Fountain Hills home this spring, allow me to help you narrow down your design style! As a Fountain Hills real estate agent, I know how overwhelming it can be to decorate your home in the internet age.

Chances are, you’re constantly saving photos from the internet of what you want your dream home to look like. However, when all is said and done, you might have photos of kitchens with white, black, light wood, dark wood and orange cabinets! So, how do you decide which style to go with?

Here are some suggestions from a HouseLogic article, with a few of my own thrown in:

1.  Figure out your general vibe: Look at all of your saved photos from a broad perspective. Notice some general vibes in the photos, such as reoccurring colors, tones and styles that you’re drawn to. Do you most commonly like dark or light features? What color schemes keep popping up? Do you prefer old-fashioned, traditional or modern style? Pick up on the common vibes of your saved images, and write those down, or save them to a new board or folder.

2.  Pick out specific features from these images: If you’ve narrowed down kitchens to white kitchens, what type of cabinet style do you prefer? Do the kitchens have backsplashes? Are the floors light or dark? What material are the countertops? What style windows does the kitchen have, and what type of window treatments are included? Ask yourself these types of questions for each room of the house. Pick up on common themes, like exposed brick or crown molding.

3.  Choose the accents for each room: Now look at the minute details of the images that you love. This could include brass hardware, raw wood dining tables, plush pillows, light fixtures, etc. You might even notice that the small accents are what you’re really drawn to, and the main features of your Fountain Hills home don’t need to be upgraded at all! Really notice what it is about certain images that you’re drawn to the most.

Once you’ve narrowed down your home design style and décor preferences, make sure they will go with your lifestyle. A white kitchen might not be a great fit for a family with young kids or puppies. A minimalist great room won’t work too well if you’re often entertaining. Take your lifestyle into account!

Then, it’s time to shop around for the materials that you’re interested in incorporating into your Fountain Hills home! You should love the place that you live. Have fun with it!

When ready to buy a Fountain Hills home, or when ready to sell your Fountain Hills home, contact me. I’m your Fountain Hills real estate agent, here and ready to help you accomplish your real estate goals this spring season!

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
Find Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Check Me Out on LinkedIn

Keep Busy During Spring Break In Fountain Hills, AZ!

by Lisa Murray

With March comes Daylight Savings Time, the beginning of spring, St. Patrick’s Day and spring break! As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, I want to help you plan your month ahead with fun, family-friendly activities during spring break, along with the rest of the month.

The Fountain Hills community always has a plethora of events and activities available. Attending one or a few of these events will help you get to know the community, and the people in it. This is especially a great idea for anyone who has recently relocated to the Fountain Hills area!

Mark your calendars for spring break events in Fountain Hills, AZ:

1.  Teens and adults can join Cuisine with Chantal the week of spring break, March 13-17, at the Community Center in Fountain Hills! One cooking class will take place each day of the week, where participants will learn how to make new and exciting recipes that will be easy to duplicate at home. Sign up, and then bring an apron and notepad to each session. 

2.  Broadway in the Hills presents ‘Leading Ladies’ March 10-26 at Fountain Hills Theater. Get a load of laughs in as you watch two Shakespearean actors bring their performance to the Amish country of Pennsylvania, where they learn of a dying lady who plans to leave her fortune to her two long-lost nephews. They pretend to be the lady’s nephews, which it turns out, are actually nieces. 

3.  Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and help support a great cause, by heading to Extended Hands Food Bank in Fountain Hills on March 9 or 15, 5 to 6 p.m., for Jim-Bob’s Famous Fish & Chips! For only $9.99, you get all-you-can-eat fish & chips with cocktail or tartar sauce, cole slaw, hush puppies, fries, water or iced tea, and dessert. Proceeds go straight to the food bank. 

4.  Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, on March 17, put on some flashy green clothes and head to Fountain Park for the annual tradition of turning the fountain green! Join other Fountain Hills residents as you watch the fountain change color, and then take some great photos in front of the new green water. 

5.  The Fountain Hills Library has all sorts of events taking place during spring break week, March 13-17, to keep you busy. Participate in the Summer Reading Bookmark Art Contest, and you win a prize if your design is chosen! You could also join a reading group, relax and color, listen to a seminar, play video games, join the chess club, take a yoga class, join the gardening club and more. 

Enjoy keeping busy during spring break, and all through the month of March, with these fun events taking place in Fountain Hills! When ready to accomplish your home-buying and home-selling goals in the Fountain Hills real estate market, contact me, your Fountain Hills real estate agent! I am here and ready to help you.

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
Find Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Check Me Out on LinkedIn

Fountain Hills Home Trends For 2017

by Lisa Murray

Are you thinking about sprucing up your Fountain Hills home this winter with some updated features? As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, allow me to fill you in on some of the projected trends for 2017.

As usual, every source recommends a different list of trends! To help you sort through the home-trending madness, here are a few lists that stuck out to me.

House Beautiful Magazine suggests that these are the home trends to watch for this year:

  • Smart home technology
  • Subway tiles
  • Nail head details on furniture, lighting fixtures, etc.
  • Deep jewel tones, such as emerald green or amethyst
  • 'Cerused' wood, which brings out the unique grain of wood
  • Marble on countertops and elsewhere
  • Matte appliances

House Beautiful says that what is out this year is brushed metal, oversized furniture and “strictly” antique. Learn more about what they say here

Meanwhile, Elle Décor is saying that what is in for homes in 2017 is this:

  • Bright green (‘Greenery’ is the Pantone Color of the Year)
  • Butterflies décor
  • Mixed patterns
  • Faux finishes
  • Textures throughout the home
  • Navy blue as an accent color instead of black
  • Artisanal instead of DIY
  • Raw white décor
  • Appliances and even rooms that fold up into the ‘less is more’ approach

To learn more about these design trends, check out Elle Décor’s article

Next up, let’s see what Realtor Magazine is saying will be hot for 2017:

  • Community gathering spaces within multifamily buildings and single-family residential communities
  • Taupe as the new gray in paint color
  • More playful homes, such as pizza ovens, backyard bocce courts or indoor golf stimulators
  • Naturally renewable surfaces, such as cork for walls and floors, and recycled granite, glass or even seashells for countertops
  • Surface-deep energy conservation, such as low-E window film, ceramic insulating paint and thermal energy shields in attics
  • More variety and authenticity with paint colors, layouts, building materials, etc.
  • Walkability, which could yield a higher home value

For more details on what Realtor Magazine predicts for this year, read this

As you can see, there is a wide range of predictions among these three sources. With color alone, we’ve got deep jewel tones, bright green, navy blue and taupe. So, how do you decide what to go with?

I say you go with Realtor Magazine’s prediction of “more variety and authenticity” in home décor, and you choose a color and design that you will love to live with! Your Fountain Hills home is your space, so enjoy it with what you prefer, not with what other sources recommend you use.

When it comes time to sell your Fountain Hills home, you may need to make some alterations, so as to attract the highest number of potential buyers. We’ll cross that path when we come to it.

If you’re ready to sell now, or you’re ready to buy a Fountain Hills home, contact me! As a Fountain Hills real estate agent, I am here and ready to help you achieve all of your real estate goals this year!

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
Find Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Check Me Out on LinkedIn

Fountain Hills Events to Begin Your New Year With

by Lisa Murray

Happy New Year! As your Fountain Hills real estate agent, I am here to fill you in on what Fountain Hills events you can look forward to in 2017. It can feel disappointing when the holiday season ends, but luckily, we live in a place with beautiful weather year-round! Therefore, January is just one more month full of fun events and activities to enjoy around the Fountain Hills area.

Sculpture & Wine Festival in Fountain Hills

Jan. 13-15, enjoy a Sculpture & Wine Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Head to the Avenue of the Fountains Plaza to view sculptors from across the world. From bronze, stone and copper, to clay, wood, metal, glass and more, you will find a stunning variety of sculptures to admire. There will be an array of sizes too, from small to life-sized!

While you stroll, you can enjoy live music and wine. Admission is only $3, and if you want to drink wine, the wine tasting ticket with souvenir glass costs $10 and gets you six tasting tickets. 

Fountain Hills Art Walks

Did you know that Fountain Hills is home to 150 pieces of public art? It’s one of the largest public art collections in the state of Arizona! Public Art Walks take place throughout the winter months to help you view the art during a docent-led walk. The docent will provide information about each art piece. These run on Saturdays and are free of charge!

A Centennial Circle Tour takes place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and a Fountain Park Tour takes place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Sign up for a date that works best for you! 

Art on the Avenue

Head to Avenue of the Fountains Plaza every Thursday, through April 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can browse and shop among more than 40 artisans at Art on the Avenue. This includes many wearable art jewelry items and clothing items that depict the flavor of our Southwest region. You can also find custom design items, along with paintings and other home décor items, which would make great housewarming gifts for a new Fountain Hills homeowner

Fountain Hills Farmers Market

In conjunction with Art on the Avenue, the Fountain Hills Farmers Market also takes place  every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by to stock up on fresh produce, honey, baked goods, meat, eggs, tea, breads and more gourmet food items. This is a great way to support local farmers and food artisans while eating healthy, local food and goods! We are fortunate here in the Fountain Hills to be able to enjoy a market year-round in our beautiful weather.

See? There are still plenty of fun activities to enjoy in the Fountain Hills area in the New Year! So, enjoy ringing in 2017 this weekend, and when January begins Sunday, start planning ahead for these fun events. When you're ready to accomplish your Fountain Hills real estate market goals in 2017, contact me! I am ready to help you get started.

Happy New Year from your Fountain Hills real estate agent!

Lisa Murray
602-400-0250
888-311-4833
Visit My Website
Check Out My Listings
Find Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Check Me Out on LinkedIn

What a Difference 50 Years Makes

by Lisa Murray

 

In 1966, a gallon of gas was $0.32 and today, it is $2.49. A dozen eggs were $0.60 but they’ve only doubled to $1.33. A gallon of milk was $0.99 and today, it costs $3.98. You could send a letter for five cents and now, it costs forty-seven cents.stamp.png

The average cost of a new car in 1966 was $3,500 and today, it will cost $33,560. New cars have more features than the earlier models but they’re still ten times more expensive. The median price of a new home was $21,700 and now, is $304,500.

Interestingly, mortgage rates are actually lower today at 4-4.5% than they were fifty years ago when they were just under 7%. The rates have been low for long enough that many people have been lulled into believing that they are not going to go up.

Yes, rates are a little higher but in perspective, they’re still a bargain. Years from now, will you be remembering and comparing what they were back when?

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25