Hiking In The Valley – What You Need To Know!

Black Mountain photoArizona weather is a huge draw to locals and visitors to hike the many beautiful trails the valley has to offer.  Authorities are concerned about inexperienced hikers who are unfamiliar with the territory and over estimate their hiking ability and lack of preparation.  Don’t let the comfortable temperature of mid 70ies fool you. Firefighters sill get a lot of calls for heat related complications this time of the year.  You should not hike when you are not adequately rested, hydrated properly and have the appropriate clothing.

Here are some helpful tips to stay safe while hiking:

  • Avoid hiking alone in secluded areas where there is no cellular reception. It’s always best to have a hiking buddy.  If you decided to go on your own, be sure to tell someone when and where you are going.
  • Start hydrating long before you go on the hike and ALWAYS bring water.
  • Make sure your phone is charged
  • Wear appropriate clothing, preferably with UV protections and durable hiking shoes.
  • Sun protection is imperative! Bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Be familiar with the trails and take a photo of the trail map before you head out.

Check out these beautiful trails in and near Scottsdale, AZ:

Tom’s Tumb
Pinnacle Peak Trail
Lost Dog Wash Trail
Black Mountain Trail
Apache Wash Trail

Are you considering moving to North Scottsdale?  Browse this map of neighborhoods to learn about the communities and view homes for sale listings.

Are High-Performing Schools a Selling Feature?

Notre Dame Prep School photoHomes in proximity to good schools have higher property values.   Homes in neighborhoods with highly-rated public schools often are priced higher than homes that are not because home buyers seek out good schools.  These good schools, in turn, increase property values for everyone.  If your children are no longer school-aged, or whether or not you have children, good schools in good school districts are an amenity that any parent wants, and these desired amenities strengthen and increase the value of the homes in those neighborhoods. This increased value benefits everyone, parents and non-parents alike.

According to the National Association of Realtors ®, “Of all the local neighborhood amenities that can influence a buyer’s decision to purchase a home, proximity to good quality schools is one of the most influential.”   The good news for those seeking to buy or sell homes in the Northeast Valley, including Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, is these high-performing school districts featuring “good schools” are already in place.  The schools in Northeast Valley are part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District, the Scottsdale Unified School District and Fountain Hills Unified School District.

While some of these schools permit open enrollment, if a particular school is not accepting new students, residing in that school’s zoned neighborhood may be required before your student may be enrolled.  While I can help you narrow down your school choices when searching for your next home, you can also get started researching these districts.  Websites such as www.greatschools.org break down the test scores as well as the community ratings of each school district, as well as the schools themselves.  Another website, www.schooldigger.com, ranks the schools using criteria such as student to teacher ratio and test scores.

If you’re selling your home, I will help you to highlight the proximity of your home to good schools in my marketing.  With my assistance, you can rest assured that your decision to buy a home, if based on proximity to a good school is important, is a sound one.

Get started with getting a free home value estimate.

March Activities Around the Valley

Scottsdale Phoenix bird photoIf you’re in the market for some fun activities to enjoy during the beautiful month of March, consider checking out one of the many festivals and events around the valley.  For example, from 4 pm-midnight on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, there will be a Shamrock Fest for adults, at Dr. AJ Chandler Park located at 178 E. Commonwealth Place in Chandler.  This festival will include Irish dancers, bagpipes, live entertainment, traditional Irish food, themed activities and a beer garden.  Several contests including stein-holding and eating contests will occur in the Kiss Me I’m Irish zone.

The 2017 spring plant sale at the Desert Botanical Garden is happening March 18-19 from 7 am to 5 pm Saturday and 7 am to 3 pm Sunday at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, in the Events Plaza Parking Lot.  (Members of the DBG have access to the sale on March 17).  Free admission, and you will discover over 30,000 plants for sale, including trees, succulents, cacti, perennials, shrubs and herbs. There will also be a large selection of bare root cactus, as well as garden-related pottery and art for sale.

Also happening the weekend of March 18-19 is the Glendale Folk and Heritage Festival, from 10 am to 5 pm at Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, 9802 N. 59th Avenue.  This festival will feature a celebration of the culture and history of folk music.  With more than 400 performers on stage, you’ll hear bluegrass and folk music, along with cowboy poetry and storytelling.  Vendors and a hands-on workshop will also be a part of the festival.

If you’re willing to travel south a few miles, consider visiting Pinal county to check out the 61st Annual Pinal County Fair, occurring March 22-26.  The fair will feature vendors, a carnival, exhibits, food, entertainment, 4-H corner and a lot more.  Pinal Fairgrounds and Event Center, 512 S. Eleven Mile Corner Road in Casa Grande.

If you’re looking for something a little more outdoorsy, venture over to the Scottsdale International Sportsmen’s Expo from March 23-26 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, located at 16601 N. Pima Road.  This event is in its 18th year and features boats, RVs, exhibits on gear, guides and services for campers, boaters, hunters and fishers.  Hands-on activities including a Watersports Pond with kayak, SUP and wakeboarding demos make this a fun event.  From 10 am to 7 pm Thursday-Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday.

Click here to learn about Scottsdale homes and neighborhoods


What’s with all the canals in Phoenix?

Visitors to Phoenix and even long-time Phoenicians may have wondered about the canals that stream throughout the Valley of the Sun.  Did you know that there are more than 180 miles of canals in Metro Phoenix?  (ArizonaForward.org).  That’s more miles of canals than Venice and Amsterdam combined!  Venice has about 26 miles and Amsterdam has about 60 miles of waterways.

Arcadia Canal photoThe origin of the canals in Phoenix stems from the Hohokam natives who constructed the canals to harness the Salt River to grow enough crops for 50,000 people prior to A.D. 1450.   In modern-day, prior to the 1950s when air-conditioning became more common for Phoenix residents, community members used to swim in the canals and picnicked on the banks of the canals.  The canal banks used to be lined with cottonwoods and willow trees, creating a riparian habitat.  The Salt River Project then began to modify the canals to make them more efficient.  SRP lined the canals with concrete and gave them steeper banks.  Swimming was banned not much longer afterward, as these changes to the canals’ structure made the water flow much more quickly.

Along with the modification and modernization of the canals came a more efficient cleaning process in the mid-1980s.  While heavy machinery used to be utilized to clean the canals (removing weeds and algae), nowadays SRP relies on fish to clean the canals.  These fish are a type of grass carp, called the white amur.  The white amur can eat nearly three-quarters of its weight in algae and weeds each day.  (http://www.srpnet.com/environment/amur.aspx).

What’s next for the canals in Phoenix?  City planners have proposed Grand Canalscape, a $22.5 million project which will improve a 12-mile section of the canal system from I-17 to Tempe (known the Grand Canal).  This neglected area of the canals will receive a paved multi-use pathway, lighting, landscaping and crosswalks and traffic signals where the canal intersects roads.  Funding will come from a combination of federal grants, SRP funds and city funds.  (http://grandcanalscape.com/).

CLICK HERE to learn about Scottsdale Homes and Neighborhoods.

We are predicted to be #1 Hottest Market


With inventory dropping and price/sq’ on the rise, I am not surprised that we have been predicted to be, not only among the top 10 hottest markets, but the hottest market for 2017!  Our population grew by 100,000 last year, well over the 65,000 expected.  This is setting up for average price gains of 5.8%

You can read the article in it’s entirety here: Realtor.com National Housing Forecast