Better Home Security!

Preventing Burglaries Requires More Than Locks and Alarms

There’s no doubt about it. If you want to keep your home safe from break-ins, you should have good locks on all doors and windows and ideally have an alarm system in place.

But home security doesn’t end with locks and alarms. There are other less obvious ways to keep your home safe. For example:

  • Install exterior lights with a motion detection feature. A light suddenly going on will almost always send a potential intruder away.
  • Look for – and, if possible, eliminate – potential hiding spots around your property.
  • Always leave some lights on in your home when you’re away for an evening.
  • Never announce that you’re on vacation or otherwise away from your home on social media sites. (Ask your kids not to do this either!)
  • Don’t leave tempting valuables where they can be easily seen through a window.

In addition to good locking systems on doors and windows, simple precautions like these will significantly lower the risk of a break-in.

Dog days of Summer!

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Your referral would mean a LOT to me!

As you know, word of mouth and referrals are a major part of my business. I’m always looking to help anyone who could use my services.

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of talk about today’s competitive housing market. You probably even know someone who dealt with a bidding war on a home they really wanted.

Competition is so different from one neighborhood to the next, and it’s vital to work with a local agent who understands your needs. More importantly, I know how to make this market work for you.

Whether you or someone you know needs help finding your first home, or you’re trying to coordinate selling a house while buying a new one, I’d love to help with your real estate needs.  Call today (928) 273-0538 or email me via “cathi@myrebroker.com” Cheers!

Simplifying Your Home Life

Simplifying Your Home Life

Let’s face it. Life can get complicated, complex and stressful very easily. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to simplify your life, especially at home. Here are some tips from the experts:
  • Don’t be ruled by the TV guide. Instead, select the shows you want to watch and record them. That way, you can watch what you want at the times that are most convenient for you.
  • Prepare some meals in advance and freeze them. Simply heat them up as needed. That will reduce a lot of after-work, “gotta-get-dinner-ready” stress.
  • Create a weekly dinner menu. It takes some time to prepare, but it allows you to shop effectively, and greatly reduces the stress of figuring out what to cook each day.
  • Don’t accumulate stuff you don’t want or need. Give those things away.
  • Simplify your cleaning by dividing tasks into 10 minute chunks (such as vacuuming the living room.) Then, fit those tasks in whenever you have 10 minutes to spare.
  • To avoid clutter, adopt the “touch it once” rule, which simply means you put things where they belong right away.
  • Limit the time you and others in your family spend checking emails and text messages. Consider having an hour or two of “no screen” time each evening.
  • Develop healthy routines, such as evening walks and family board game night.

These are just a few ideas. If you want to simplify your home life, you can probably brainstorm several other strategies and habits you can try. The idea is to make your home an enjoyable place to be – for you and your family.

Tips to increase your productivity!

6 Less Obvious Tips to Increase Your Productivity

5 Ways to beat the heat!

As the temperatures start to rise, we’re all looking for ways to beat the heat. We have no shortage of pools and water parks, but there’s a lot of other ways to keep cool in the Valley. Here are a few you may not have considered.

1. Ice Bar

Polar Play Ice Bar is the best place in town to chill out. Literally. The admission ticket includes a parka, gloves and all-day access to fun and games within a 23-degree environment. This arctic playground is part of the Odysea in the Desert entertainment complex, which has an aquarium and a variety of other indoor attractions.

two women beat the heat at ice bar

2. Mini-Golf

Move your golf game indoors where it’s nice and cool. Play Pebble Beach or 20 other world-class courses in air conditioned comfort at Under Par or play 18 holes of glow-in-the-dark mini golf at Glow Putt. Take golf to a whole new level at Top Golf, a huge driving range/restaurant/bar with four Arizona locations that adds a fun and competitive twist to the game. Stalls have air conditioning and misters so you’ll never break a sweat.

3. Indoor Skydiving

Feel the wind in your face and the rush of a lifetime at iFLY, an indoor skydiving experience. To make it extra cool, add in the virtual reality option and BASE jump the Alps or fly over some of the world’s most exotic destinations.

4. Indoor Go-Kart Racing

Not quite ready for skydiving? You can still feel the wind in your face while firmly on the ground with indoor go-kart racing at Octane Raceway or K1 Speed. Both are indoors and offer courses for children and adults.

5. Bowling 

Bowling is cool by every definition of the word! Bowling alleys like Bowlero and Brunswick Zone have opened locations all over the Valley, offering an exciting atmosphere with a wide range of entertainment options–all tucked away from the outdoors. Skylanes takes it a step further by combining bowling with clubbing for the 21 and over crowd.

photo of bowlero bowling alley

Whatever you do to beat the heat this summer, have fun and think cool thoughts!

Spring home selling 2019

We’re approaching spring, which means the housing market is getting ramped up.

Experts agree that the market is softening for buyers, but will it be a full-on buyer’s market? Definitely not — at least, not by springtime.

This spring, buyers will likely see fewer bidding wars, slower price growth and less competition. But sellers will still have some leverage.

Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this spring? Keep these things in mind:

1. Prices won’t skyrocket.
The last few years have seen massive jumps in home prices, especially during the busy spring buying season. This year price growth is likely to slow down a bit in most markets. We may see higher prices at the height of the buying season, but they’re unlikely to be drastically higher than those seen at the end of 2018.

2. Year-over-year inventory will likely remain stagnant.
Because mortgage rates are rising, many homeowners are staying put. New home construction continues to grow, but it still lags behind buyer demand. This means we are unlikely to see an increase in listings from previous years.

3. Bidding wars will lessen.
The days of sight-unseen offers and heated bidding wars are mostly over. Except for a few hotter markets, most buyers will enjoy a slower-paced market and a little more leverage than in years past.

4. Sellers might have to make some concessions.
As mortgage rates rise, fewer buyers are looking to get in on the market, and that means sellers will need to do more to get their attention. This could mean more concessions and more room for negotiations.

Having a knowledgeable agent on your side is crucial to effectively navigating 2019’s changing housing market. If you’re considering buying or selling this year, get in touch today for personalized advice and guidance.

Thanks for reading my newsletter! I look forward to connecting on social media!

Should you move or renovate?

Should You Move or Renovate?

Determining whether you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama, they make reality TV shows about it!

So, if you’re wondering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider:

1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?

If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, given the layout of your house, it might not be possible to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace, then a renovation could make that happen.

Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home?

It’s important to get accurate estimates of both the cost to renovate, and the cost of a new home, so you can make an informed decision.

Renovations often have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. Remember, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

3. Beware of compromising versus settling.

Whichever decision you make – to renovate or to sell – you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.

For example, consider the impact of adding an extension to your house. It would be a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home that already includes the space you need?

It can be a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call today to get the facts you need to make the best choice.

Making “Neighborhood Targeting” Work for You

Imagine if you dreamed of owning a special limited-edition vehicle. What would you do to ensure that your dream vehicle would someday be parked in your driveway – with your name on the ownership papers?
You would probably start by doing some research. You’d find out how much that vehicle would cost, what features are available, and so forth. You would likely visit a local dealership and take a test drive if a model is available on site. You would keep an eye on the market for any that come up and let the dealer know you’re looking for just that car.

If you did, then, someday, you’d probably be the proud owner of the limited-edition car of your dreams.

What does this have to do with real estate?

Well, you can take the same approach when there’s a neighborhood you’d love to live in someday. You can target it, learn what homes typically cost in that area, and keep your eye on that market in case a property becomes available that meets your criteria.

By focusing on a specific neighborhood, you increase your chances of someday living there, simply because you’re focusing on it.

Of course, neighborhood targeting isn’t as simple as aiming to own a specific car someday. That’s why you need someone like me who can keep an eye on that neighborhood on your behalf, and alert you to opportunities that become available.

Then, if a listing that’s a good fit comes on the market, you can decide whether or not to make a move.

Is there a dream neighborhood you’d like to live in some day? Call today to start making it happen.

Low-Cost Storage Hacks for Creating More Space

Comedian George Carlin’s most memorable routine was, “A place for my stuff.” In it, he talked about dealing with the increasing quantity of items we accumulate throughout life.

George was funny. The problem is not. Here are some low-cost ideas for quickly creating storage space for your stuff.

  • Attach a cloth pouch or thin plastic basket to the inside of cupboard doors. This is a great way to store Tupperware lids, cosmetics, etc.
  • Install hooks inside the foyer closet for loose items such as hats and scarfs.
  • Use egg cartons to make effective storage inserts in drawers.
  • Fashion stores often put purchases in stiff, high-quality boxes. Placed on their sides, these make effective storage compartments. (Shoeboxes are especially effective.)
  • Consider using suitcases for out-of-season clothing. In addition to storage, they also provide protection.
  • Never throw out an old wine rack. There are numerous ways these can be used for storage. (For example: tools)

By thinking creatively, you can probably come up with many other simple ideas for creating more storage. The reward is a home that looks neater and more spacious.

Low-Cost Storage

Low-Cost Storage Hacks for Creating More Space

Comedian George Carlin’s most memorable routine was, “A place for my stuff.” In it, he talked about dealing with the increasing quantity of items we accumulate throughout life.

George was funny. The problem is not. Here are some low-cost ideas for quickly creating storage space for your stuff.

  • Attach a cloth pouch or thin plastic basket to the inside of cupboard doors. This is a great way to store Tupperware lids, cosmetics, etc.
  • Install hooks inside the foyer closet for loose items such as hats and scarfs.
  • Use egg cartons to make effective storage inserts in drawers.
  • Fashion stores often put purchases in stiff, high-quality boxes. Placed on their sides, these make effective storage compartments. (Shoeboxes are especially effective.)
  • Consider using suitcases for out-of-season clothing. In addition to storage, they also provide protection.
  • Never throw out an old wine rack. There are numerous ways these can be used for storage. (For example: tools)

By thinking creatively, you can probably come up with many other simple ideas for creating more storage. The reward is a home that looks neater and more spacious.

How practical is smart tech for you?

How practical is smart tech for you? 1/30/19


Smart tech has come a long way for homeowners. With the right tools, you no longer have to get up to turn on lights or change the thermostat. Have a habit of forgetting to lock the front door or turn on your porch light at night? Smart home tech can help with that, too.

Are you thinking of installing a few smart devices in your home? Here are some of the most popular and practical options to consider:

Security Products
This includes motion-activated doorbell cameras, door locks with timers and garage doors controlled by smartphone apps. These technologies can offer peace of mind for homeowners who live alone and added independence to anyone with limited mobility.

Lighting
Motion detecting exterior lights are the most publicized in this category. However, there are also indoor sensors that control lights as you enter and exit a room or open and close pantry doors. And Wi-Fi-enabled lightbulbs allow you to customize mood lighting throughout the house. These options offer convenience while at home and added security when you’re away.

Appliances
Virtually all appliances come in smart versions today — from kitchen scales with built-in recipes to Bluetooth-enabled slow cookers to washers and dryers that let you schedule your laundry loads. These can make housework more manageable for those on a busy schedule.

Assistants
These smart home tools do more than give you traffic updates. Using IFTTT (If This, Then That) customization, they can create a truly connected home. For example, they can turn on specific lights when your TV comes on or open the garage door when you get within a certain distance of the property. And they allow you to voice-activate many of your smart tech commands.

Smart home devices are also one of the most in-demand features with today’s homebuyers. Installing them could increase your property’s long-term value and marketability.

If you’re considering a new home, or have questions about your home’s value, get in touch today.

Thanks for reading my newsletter! I look forward to connecting on social media!

“Because Experience Matters!”