The Wildflower Walk at the Lost Dutchman State Park is a beautiful and close in place to visit. If you are into photography, bring your camera. There will be plenty of beautiful vistas of poppies in hues of orange and yellow. Last year, I took this walk and shared some of my photos in this post: Lost Dutchman State Park. I will plan to go again this year sometime in March as the Superstition Foothills begin to bloom. Located just east of Mesa, Arizona at Highway 88, this is definitely worth the trip. For more details, you can logon to azstateparks.
Another place close by, is located in Sedona, Arizona. If you've not been to Sedona, you are truly missing out. Red rocks, red mountains, and beautiful, beautiful scenic views. From Phoenix, you would head north on the I-17, and then exit on 89A which takes you right through Sedona. If you were to continue on this highway, through Sedona, you would end up in Flagstaff at the top of about 17 miles of a zig-zag mountain climb. Breathtaking! Along the way, you would pass by a popular state park, Slide Rock. I've shared pictures from Sedona, Jerome and Slide Rock as well. Just click on the link. Also available in Sedona, are Hot-air balloon rides. Check out the information at: NorthernLightBalloon and RedRockBalloonAdventures.
The third place to visit is The Grand Canyon....there is a trail requiring the visitor to be physically fit called the Grandview Trail. For those of us not quite as athletic, spend the day strolling along the paved Rim Trail, and be sure to bring your camera for a snapshot of the beautiful sunsets and vistas. Here's a link to find more information on visiting the Grand Canyon.
If you love to hike, you will LOVE Arizona. During the winter months, we are typically in the 50's, and on up to 70's, and it's perfect for being outdoors. For anyone that hikes or just wants to stroll along a trail, be sure to be prepared. Bring plenty of water and a cell phone. So often on the news, there are news stories about those people being rescued from this or that mountain, or lost! Even when I take a stroll - because it certainly isn't a "hike" for me, I bring water, and I'm never alone.
When those that are unfamiliar with our climate, exit the airplane with shorts and t-shirts, (coming from the east) they're ready to rock and roll and love our warm and sunny outdoors.
I'm providing a list of some of our hiking trails for those of you looking for a good trail. Be sure to check and make sure they are still open. Due to the economy shift, some may be closed.
1. Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area - East McDonald Drive - Phoenix, Az 85018; Phone: 602.262-4837
2. Piestewa Peak - 2701 East Squaw Peak Drive, Phoenix, Az 85016; Phone: 602.262-7901 (right off of the 51)
3. Superstition Mountains at Lost Dutchman State Park - State Route 88, Apache Junction, Az; Phone: 520.982-4485
4. Dreamy Draw Recreation Area - 2421 East Northern Avenue, Phoenix 85021; Phone: 602.262-6696
5. Tempe Town Lake - Mill Avenue and Rio Salado, Tempe 85289; Phone: 480.350-8625
6. Papago Park - 625 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix 85008; Phone: 602.256-3220
7. South Mountain Park - 10919 South Central Avenue, Phoenix 85042; Phone: 602.495-0222
8. Shaw Butte Park - 12898 North Central Avenue, Phoenix 85020; Phone: 602.262-6696
9. Thunderbird Park - 9170 East Thunderbird Road, Scottsdale 85260; Phone: 480.312-2771
These trails are very popular and well marked. There are others as well. Just off of I-60 heading east from Mesa into Gold Canyon, there is a nice and mild hill on the north side of the freeway. I see cars parked there daily. Enjoy your hike, but again - take plenty of water, wear good hiking shoes, and take a cell and a friend. ;-)
Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona- Do You Know What CC&R's Contain? In Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, many/most of the newer communities have a Home Owner Association. That means, for those who don't know, that there are "Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions" governing the community. Buyers when you purchase a home in Phoenix or in Mesa, or in Phoenix Valley, you will be given a copy of the By-Laws and CC&R's for your community. Generally title will mail them to you within ten days of opening escrow. It would behoove each buyer to actually review and/or read the CC&R's to make sure they are aware of the rules and regulations set forth therein. I'll cite some "for instances" below:
1. Say, for instance, you the buyer, purchase a home and move into a family community. You have four children, and of course want to install a trampoline (with a net for safety reasons) and a swing set with a fort at the top and a slide, swing, etc. Have you read your CC&R's?
2. Next, you want to utilize your RV gate, and park an RV trailer, or a boat alongside your home, or even in the back if the lot is large enough. Have you read your CC&R's?
3. How about this one: You realize you need extra storage in your back yard, so you build a storage shed (which is 6-10 inches above the wall). Have you read your CC&R's?
4. Since your children love to play basketball, you install a basketball hoop in the backyard.....again, have you read your CC&R's.
5. You'd like to paint your home a different color....
I've just cited a few problematic situations. You, the buyer, will quickly learn what the rules of the HOA are when you attempt to do any of the above without getting Board approval. Many times the Board will be able to approve certain requests based on the contents of the CC&Rs. Keep in mind that the Board did not structure the rules. They are merely serving on the Board to carry out the rules you agreed to when you purchased your new home. As a former member of the Board of Directors in my community, I was privy to all of the behind the scenes' action. Most of the problems could have been resolved before ever being presented to the Board if only the Buyer had read the CC&R's.
The builders and their attorneys are the ones that typically put together the CC&R's - and from what I've seen, they are pretty much boiler plate.....
Learn to work within the boundaries of the CC&R's, and offer to join the Board to help make your community one in which everyone will want to live.
I suspect most of us have heard about the opportunity to obtain a "free" credit report from the three major reporting agencies each year allowing each of us to challenge any negative reporting, and then access our report for seven days after. You will be given a special report number - be sure and write it down - and you will need that in order to access any updates. I had one item on mine that was clearly bogus, and I challenged it as being untrue. I received an updated report that indicated it was removed.
In addition to checking your payment records, etc., it allows you to check the spelling of your name, any addresses that belong to you, and to correct any incorrect information! I cleaned mine up.
I recommend that anyone thinking of purchasing a home take advantage of this annual opportunity. Just recently, I suggested that my daughter check out her credit. It was great! - She wants to purchase a home - hopefully here, so I wanted to get her on board. NO ONE wants to be turned down for any kind of loan. This is just one way to be prepared.
Be sure and sign in and get your free annual credit report here at: Annual Credit Report. Pay attention to the options of paying for any extras. You do not have to - unless, of course you choose to - pay for your FICO score, etc.
Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona Valley! Buyers and Sellers! Appraisal Issues! The real estate market in the Phoenix, Arizona and Mesa, Arizona valley is going through more twists and turns as foreclosed homes come onto the market. Unfortunately, many buyers are competing against cash buyers – and losing. The old saying, “cash is king” is true in this competitive real estate market.
Recently one of my buyers made an offer on a foreclosed property. Over asking price, very clean, and a desirable offer to any potential seller. However, the buyer lost out to a cash buyer even though the cash buyer offered less. Even the REO agent wanted my buyer to get the home, but has no say!
Why? You ask? Would the bank accept a lower offer? In our market, appraisals are all over the place. As of May 1, in order to “fix” or “remedy” the problem, a new federal Home Valuation Code of Conduct was placed into effect. No longer are the lenders allowed to speak with the appraisers – nor are they allowed to “choose” the appraisers that will be appraising a home “they” are lending on. Bottom line? It’s a mess!
The left doesn’t know what the right is doing, homes are not appraising, and there are multiple bids on the most desirable homes.
Despite the issues we face, Realtors will continue to push through the paperwork, the difficult appraisals, and we will write two, three, four and more offers in order to get our buyers a home. Ridiculous? Yes!! BUT, this, too, shall pass!
For more insight and understanding about what’s going on, click on the links here and here.