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Is It Time For Spring Cleaning In Prescott Arizona?

Is It Time For Spring Cleaning?… How About Your Air Conditioner?

Spring in Prescott is a time of beginnings. You get a chance to start over, to try something new and to get your air conditioner ready for the hot summer to come. It might not be as romantic as the budding of trees and blooming of flowers, but having your air conditioner in tip-top shape is arguably far more useful.

When you start your spring clean, don’t forget your air conditioner. In just a few minutes, you can improve its efficiency while helping it continue to run well for years to come.

First, A Basic Explanation of Air Conditioning Technology

Your air conditioner isn’t magic, but it’s pretty close. These devices were actually invented in the early 1900s as a way to reduce indoor humidity in paper plants. It just so happened they have a side effect that we rely on even today.

Air conditioning systems depend on the expansion and contraction of gasses to pull moisture out of the air by cooling it down. This is basic physics at work — warm air holds more water, cool air holds less.

When air is pulled into your air handler (for many, this is a furnace) through your warm air return, it’s forced over a tent-shaped coil that uses refrigerant to cool the air as it passes. A blower then blows that cooled air back into the house.

So What Does the Outside Condenser Do?

The air conditioning condenser that most people consider to be “the air conditioner” is actually a giant heatsink. See, when the air is cooled inside your air handler, the refrigerant is what’s absorbing most of the heat. It then gets pumped to the condenser, where the heat collected inside your house is released to the environment.

It’s really a pretty simple idea that has made a huge change to how we live, play and work.

Your Air Conditioner Spring Cleaning Checklist

There’s no time like spring to do a little air conditioner tune-up. A lot of the heavy lifting will have to be performed by HVAC professionals, but there are things you can do to keep your system running longer as a homeowner. Generally, these items should be done at least once in the spring before you start using the A/C and again in the fall when you’re ready to put it away for the year.

Change your furnace filter. Whether it’s on the ceiling, on the floor or inside your furnace or air handler, a clean filter is a filter that can let the most air through for cooling. And the easier it is for the system to pull air in and cool it, the more comfortable you’ll be with the least amount of cost. Investing in an electrostatic filter that you can wash and reuse is a smart move for the long term.

Flush your condensation line. There’s a pipe or tube that comes out of your furnace or air handler and runs to a drain somewhere. This is the condensation line. All the moisture your system is pulling out of that warm air has to go somewhere, you know? That somewhere is a pan that empties via this tube. Just open it up from the top (which tube it is should be obvious, but if you can’t find it, ask your HVAC professional), slowly pour in about a cup of vinegar or bleach. If the liquid moves, you’re gold. If not, you may need to spend some time investigating the issue. More often than not, it’s algae growth in the tube or mineral deposits, both things you can flush out, but require some patience to remove.

Clean your a-coil. That tent shaped coil mentioned above is called the “evaporator coil” or the “a-coil.” It can get dirty, which makes it a lot less efficient at removing moisture and cooling the air. If you feel brave, and you’re careful, you can wipe the coils clean or use a shop vac. They’re very similar to the coils on the back of your refrigerator, treat them the exact same way.

Comb the fins on the condenser. If you look closely at your outside condenser, you’ll notice that the part that’s inside the cage is made up of a whole bunch of teeny fins. These little guys can get damaged by accident, causing them to be less efficient because they’re not really in an optimal configuration anymore. All you need to fix this is a fin comb. This simple device lets you straighten bent fins, restoring your unit to its former glory.

Spray the condenser down. Last, but far from least, you’ll want to spray your air conditioner’s condenser down with a hose. Start by wetting all the fins with a garden sprayer, then go back around and spend some time slowly flushing out the dirt, one section at a time, working top to bottom.

That’s it, by doing these few steps you can potentially add years to the life of your air conditioning unit. Please feel free to contact Tim Eastman of Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert for additional information or if you would like a complementary Value Estimate of your homes current value in today’s Prescott Home Market.

Want a Family Picture Wall? 5 Things to Consider Putting It Together.

Consider these 5 Things when Putting Together a Family Picture Wall

One of the best parts of owning your own home is that you can do pretty much whatever you want when it comes to hanging things on the wall. No landlord will charge you $5 per hole you poke through the sheetrock. It’s kind of nice. You can let your creative side have a heyday with a hammer and a bunch of nails.

For a lot of families, putting a family picture wall together is a high priority in their new homes. It can be a fun project that can be the very first of many happy memories in the new place.

Steps to Planning Your Picture Wall

If you hop on Pinterest and search for “family picture wall,” you’re going to find an overwhelming number of ways to put one of these together. There’s no one way to do a family picture wall, since every family is different. There are lots of things to consider while you’re planning your wall, though.

Don’t just start hanging pictures willy-nilly. Do some real prep work to ensure that your wall turns out as special as what you have envisioned rather than yet another #PinterestFail. These tips should help:

Pick a theme. You need something concrete to get you started in the planning stage. Choosing a theme can be a good place to start, since it’ll inform your image choices as you go through your Google Drive. A theme could be anything from “vacation photos” to “photos with the color blue in them.” The best photo walls have some kind of unifying theme, choose one before you get started.

Use technology to simulate your photo wall. Art.com’s iOS app gives you the capability to not just imagine what an image or set of images will look like on your wall, it actually can virtually add those photos to the wall using augmented reality. The same technology that powers Pokemon Go can help you get great results with your family picture wall.

Choosy kids choose cool frames. The frames you choose are just as important as the images. If you’re looking for something pretty unusual, scour flea markets and antique shops for old frames with unique designs. If you can’t find anything that tickles your fancy, your home improvement store’s trimwork aisle will have some really fancy trim that you can use to build your own frames!

Incorporate more than photos. Sure, it’s called a “family picture wall,” but who says you have to stop there? Memorabilia from favorite spots, items that reflect interests and hobbies, even accolades like medals have a place on a wall like this. Just make sure that you’re using sturdy materials and secure shelves tightly to the wall to avoid long term issues.

Sometimes, fewer is better. Family picture walls can get pretty overwhelming fast. Instead of hanging every photo you’ve ever taken of your kids, pick the two best from now and the two best from their early childhood. Capture those moments that really meant something and remember that sometimes less is way more. Besides, you’ll want to save some of those embarrassing pictures for leverage later.

Saying Goodbye to Your Prescott Family Home

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Your Prescott Family Home

It’s easy to tell yourself that your house is just a building made of walls and ceilings and light fixtures and flooring, but when it comes time to sell, you may start to feel the sting of grief.

After all, you don’t know if the new owners will take care of the rows and rows of brilliant iris that line the fence in the spring or if they’ll cut down the crepe myrtle because they don’t realize it waits for the first kiss of summer heat to spring back to life.

Will they paint your daughter’s former bedroom and cover up the mural she spent so much time creating? Will they take out the built-in desk and bookcases you made for your son?

Maybe saying goodbye isn’t the easy process you thought it would be.

Selling Your Prescott Family Home is a Type of Loss

When you’re selling your family home, it’s not just a building that you’re saying goodbye to. It’s all the memories you made there, however, maybe most importantly, the security of that one place you could always fall back to if life started kicking you too hard. This goes for the house that you raised your kids in as well as the house where you were raised — both are genuine losses.

“You’re dismantling something that was once precious, and you have to go through grief and mourning when this happens.” psychologist Dr. Arthur Kovacs explained in an Interview with the Chicago Times.

Of course, that’s only part of the story. Another element that makes it so hard to quit a family home is the link between memory and physical space. When your memories are tangled in with your home, it can be hard to let go.

“We have memories and associations that are connected to all of those things that make houses so heavily connected to ourselves,” Duke University’s department of psychology and neuroscience chair, Dr. Scott Huettel, goes on to explain the phenomenon to the New York Times.

Easing Into Selling Your Prescott Family Home

Much of the time when you’re looking to sell a family home, it’s due to a big change in life. Maybe your kids have all left home and you’re planning to downsize or maybe your parents have passed away and you’re having to liquidate their estate. No matter the reason, it’s one of the hardest things you can do, even if you think you’re totally prepared.

How do you get ready for such a big sacrifice? It’s all about your mindset. Start to detach from the house by taking down and packing anything that’s personal. This includes photos, crafted decorations, paintings and so forth. As you take these things off the walls, the space starts to become more generic, less personal and it gets easier to consider selling the house.

If you’re still feeling the pain at this point, work on other parts of the house. Remember that crack in the wall from four years ago when the game controller flew from your son’s hand and hit the drywall at full force? Patch that up. Your Prescott home buyer probably won’t even notice it, but you will. Sterilize your home until you can bear to sign the papers

When the Offer To Purchase Your Home Comes Through

blankThe day will come that you get an offer. Resist the urge to flat out reject it, no matter the price. This is where the rubber meets the road — it’s now grossly apparent that you’re selling the house you poured so much of yourself into rather than just thinking about it.

It’s time for a wake.

Maybe you’d be better to call it a “remembrance party” or something a little cheerier, but the whole point is to say goodbye in a big way so you can get the closure you need. Some people go room by room to have one last good walk down memory lane, others celebrate by doing something they hadn’t gotten around to doing, like hosting a luau.

Your goodbye will be best if you do it in a way that’s meaningful to you and your family. There aren’t really any shortcuts when it comes to grief, unfortunately. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not “just a house.” That’s the building that sheltered and protected you year after year. That’s the stuff that attachment is made of.

When You’re Ready to List or Buy…blank

The market’s continuing to heat up even as you’re reading this blog. If you’ve been thinking about downsizing, this is a great time to sell that big home and move into something more energy efficient and easier to care for. You’re not alone in your efforts and Tim Eastman of Realty ONE Group in Prescott is experienced in assisting families in Downsizing or if you need to expand to a larger home in Prescott or the surrounding area we can help. Contact us for professional assistance with questions you may have.

Why Is A Vacation In The Prescott Area A Good Idea?

A vacation in Prescott, Arizona is going to be a nice idea for your family, and you can find a thousand things to do when you come to the city. Prescott lies out in the desert like an oasis that is going to help you make the most of your time traveling across this great country. Prescott has built itself up as a massive city that can give you the best time while giving you a nice stop on your way to the west coast. So whether your looking for a vacation spot of homes for sale in Prescott you’re going to really enjoy yourself.

Prescott’s Geography

Prescott’s Geography makes it easy for you to have a good time on your next trip because you will be able to do everything in just one stop. There are magical golf courses sitting on the flat parts of the city that allow you to see the amazing sights behind you in the mountains. You can go climbing in the mountains, and you will have fun kayaking down the river when it gets cool outside. Prescott has everything you need, and you just need to decide where you are going to start.

prescott golfGolf

The award-winning courses in the city are going to provide you with all the game you need to have fun when you pass through. Bring your clubs because these courses have greens feed, and you will be able to hit many of them on your trip. There are packages that allow you to play multiple courses during your trip, and you must make sure that you schedule as much golf as you can get. Prescott prides itself on being a haven for the guy who loves a good golf game, and you must make sure you always have your clubs with you.

The River

prescott riverThe river is going to allow you to take a trip down the waters, and you will be able to get all your kids and your spouse on the river at the same time. These soft courses will allow you to have a nice time when you make your way through the area, and you will notice that the area has a much better selection of places to relax. People who are camping will be able to make their way to the shore at any time, and people who are visiting from the trails may raft down the river to a new camping spot.

The City Center

The city center is a great place to go because it has all the shops and restaurants that you will need to have a nice time. Anyone who is going to come to the city is going to have a nice walk wherever they like to shop or eat without trouble. There are many nice shops, and there are even more restaurants that you will enjoy. This is something that kids will enjoy because they can run around outside, and you can eat very well when you are hungry. The city is home to many great chefs, and all their eateries are great places to sit down for a meal.

The Arts Culture

prescott city centerThe arts in Prescott are thriving, and you can always find live music and entertainment in every place you go. You can find someone playing a bar downtown, or you can go to a show that is going to feature the best that the community has to offer. You can see musicals in the downtown theater, and you can see concerts of the best artists who are passing through the area.

Lodging Deals

Lodging deals are going to help you take a nice trip to the Prescott area for less money. You need to have a place to stay when you are traveling in the area. You need to have a nice place where you will be able to enjoy your stay, and these hotels are often so nice that you will not want to leave. These places have their own shops and restaurants that will make your stay that much more enjoyable.

There are many ways to have a good time in Prescott, and you need to make sure that you are going to get the most enjoyment out of your stay. This oasis is going to make you want to come back every year.

Prescott AZ Homes for Sale

The American Dream is alive and well, albeit a little more complicated than when the concept was invented. For anybody that is looking into real estate and the process of buying a home there is a lot to be understood; especially for first time home buyers. Few things can be as exciting as looking for a new home, there are so many options and possibilities to explore!
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When considering buying a new home there are many things that a potential buyer should consider. The first step is to determine where you want to live and what kind of neighborhood you really want to call home. Is the neighborhood close enough to schools that you like? Is the commute going be conducive to a pleasant drive to and from work? Is the neighborhood surrounded by good markets for shopping and/or entertainment? All are questions that must be considered when looking at purchasing a new home. With such a big investment it is crucial that all of what you are getting is close to your checklist of desires. Are you looking for some space in the country, or are you looking for a city scape with lots of kids for the family? Investors should make sure to be honest and open with their realtor when establishing what they want in their potential home. Whether that is the very popular open floor plan, an extra large kitchen, or a mud room for the kids. The more specific you are about your criteria the better the odds that your realtor will be able to find you your dream home. For example, if your potential new property has a pool, but no fence; and as a buyer you want one installed, for peace of mind, you can ask that the seller reduce the price before closing. That reduction of price can potentially get your safety fence installed, or maybe the seller counteroffers that they add the cost of instillation into the closing costs; then the seller gets it installed so you don’t have to concern yourself about construction upon moving into your new home.

prescott real esateAnother important point when considering buying a home is feasibility and finances. For those that aren’t familiar with purchasing property it can be a very daunting process. Luckily your realtor will be an excellent source of information. After all, their job is to help you make this process a success and something that you will enjoy. From closing and escrow to signing a contract there are many opportunities to voice your desires and make sure that you are getting the most out of your investment. Many times sellers are willing to work with you to close the deal so make sure to voice any concerns or requests. After all not asking is the quickest way to get a no.

In looking for a new home any buyer should remember to look at the big picture, it is important that the home is structurally sound with a solid roof, and in the heat of Arizona a well working air conditioning unit is a must. If work needs to be done on a home a buyer must be realistic and sure that they are able to tackle such project. However those that are ready to tackle some DIY fixes find that they are able to find a diamond in the rough and turn it into a true paradise.

Kitchen renovationIt is still a buyers market with housing prices both reasonable and with interest rates that are low. After doing a little research and finding the right real estate agent, who truly wants to give you the keys to your new home a buyer has all the opportunities in the world to find the property that they have always wanted. Remembering to have open communication with their agent, a checklist of what they want out of a home and neighborhood, as well as the knowledge that they have the power to voice any requests or concerns, home buying can be enjoyable and an adventure for a family to undertake. Anything is possible for those that are willing to explore their options and understand that they have the power to make their dreams come true.

Things to do After a Home Purchase in Prescott AZ

Your search for home in Prescott AZ ended when you bought that dream house of 4,000 sq ft with yard and pool that was move-in ready. After enduring a series of offers, counter offers, inspection reports and property disclosures to sign, you finally have the keys to that home. The excitement, stress and anxiety of the house hunt do not end here as there is more to look forward in this home buying journey.

Got the keys to your new home? Congratulations! Now change the locks. Your old keys are likely to be carried by each and every member of the seller’s family, even the painter and stager the seller has been in contact with. Imagine an oblivious real estate agent walking into your house with a ‘for sale’ after you have moved in. Imagine a handyman whom the seller had once hired wandering in your backyard with a punch list of to-do items from the agent when no one has told him that the house closed a week ago. This can be a nightmare. The best way to make sure such incidents never happen is to change all locks of the front door and every door that outsiders may come across.

The next step you need to undertake after buying a house is to plan any major or minor work that needs to be done well ahead of the time. You don’t want your family to go through the frustration of staying in a construction zone. By the time you are ready to move in, although the home is in move-in condition, there are many things to do like bringing the furniture in, sorting out shelves, cabinets, dusting the floor, cleaning the yard and much else. If the house has minor issues, get engaged in a conversation with a general contractor about what to do next. Better yet, start getting bids for the essential jobs from various personnel skilled in the field. Real estate agents are the best source to get in touch with these tradespeople.

Set up utilities in your name the same day you walk into the house with your keys and belongings. While many utility companies offer grace period for former and current home owners, this can’t be the case all the time. Sometimes the services may have been canceled a long while before your offer was accepted, so make sure the utility connection is in place. The best way to know is to call the company ahead so that everything is ready when you move in.

Moving in and setting up the furniture, artworks and other items of your household can take days, if not months, and the frustration can take a toll on your health as well. Things like cleaning, dusting, sorting can drive you crazy. Not all of us are cut out to do these chores easily. Imagine having to do the same work for the entire 4,000 square feet of your home sweet home. Big houses come with a price. Investing a few hundred dollars in hiring someone do these minor tasks can take a big burden off your shoulder and potentially relieve you from a big headache.
Finally, don’t neglect the yards. Spending time outdoor in the little or big yard that came with your house is good for you and your family, so have a plan for yard cleaning and makeover if necessary. An important part of living in a new home is appreciating why you went to all that effort of buying the home in the first place and creating the vibe. Whether enjoying an outdoor meal with your friends, reading a book on that hammock, working on your laptop in your front porch sipping a cup of coffee or weeding the garden, creating an active and functional outdoor space will put you in closer touch with nature. It will help you remind to keep the community and environment clean and healthy.