You've signed every paper, you've completed every walk through & finally they hand you the keys to your new house. You've prepped & planned for this day for what seems like forever. On moving day everyone shows up to unload boxes & beds, furniture & food. And then you're left, alone. In a big empty house with loads of boxes where nothing has a place & nothing feels familiar. Even if you're not moving to a new town, it still feels lonesome because this house, while lovely & everything you've wanted, just isn't quite home...yet.
5 Ways to Make Your New House...a Home.
1. Start Cooking. You know those favorite family dishes you've always loved? Make those. Make them every night & every day. Stock your pantry & fridge with all those favorite foods to grab in a rush. We live in a culture, for better or worse, where so many moments are connected to food. It makes all kinds of sense though. The dinner table is the perfect time to gather together, enjoy something you love & catch up on the day's events. As you do this in your new place, you'll be creating new memories & creating new connections to your new house, which will help it start to feel more and more like home.
2. Get organized. Part of what makes home feel like home, is that you don't have to think about where anything is. You've created habits & routines that allow you to effortlessly move through your day. The day you move into a new house, well all those habits & routines are turned upside down & inside out. As such, your days tend to have more hiccups, more, "Have you seen my keys?" moments, which tend to lead to running late & being frustrated. Be patient. Then get organized. Make sure everything has a place & everything is in it's place. There'll be a little bit of a learning curve & you might start with something in one place & then realize it should be in another. Work through it & organize on they way you live.
3. Unpack. Don't drag this process out. Pull out that art piece you picked up on that beach vacation. The rugs you love. That mirror from grandma. Those are the things that remind you of where you've been & help you to decide where you're going. They also feel a lot like, well home. Get them unpacked and while it might take a minute for them to find a new spot in your new place...keep moving them around until it's just right.
4. Cultivate Scent. Ever been away from your childhood home for a period of time & then return? You open the door & instantly it smells like, 'home.' Every home has it smell, right? Start bringing in those scents that you love. Perfume, freshly baked cookies, candles, clean laundry or a certain soap. Soon enough you'll return from a trip away & find yourself realizing, that this house smells just like...home.
5. Invite people over. Family, friends or the new co-worker you met in your new city. Invite them over & be together. Order food in, cook up a favorite, but create an afternoon or evening together. Play games, watch a big game or just visit. Strengthen those bonds & learn how these dynamics work in your new house. As you continue to bring the familiar into the new, the new will begin to feel more and more just like home.
Pricing is now available for our Eastmark floorplans and we're feeling about like this ^^^ If you already signed up for our newsletter, this is old news, as we always give our subscribers all the info first. Catch yourself up here...and then don't miss any more announcements & get signed up for our newsletter at the bottom of this post.
We are also excited to announce that we will be taking lot reservations TOMORROW, JANUARY 7TH FROM 10AM - 4:30PM.
A lot reservation ensures you get first shot at your first choice lot. It requires a $500, full refundable, deposit, to hold your spot. Then, once sales contracts become available, you'll be first on the list, with your reserved lot. In the event you change your mind, you probably won't, but if you do, your deposit is fully refundable...and we'll give your awesome lot to the next person on the list.
We're excited to meet so many of you tomorrow!
The day is here, we finally have floorplans we can release! After months of designing & then tweaking & fine-tuning, they are ready! Our project in Eastmark will include 6 floorplans & sits just across the street from the Orange Monster. If you're at all familiar with Eastmark, you know what the Orange Monster is. If not, it would look about like this from the 2nd story windows of our homes.
Today we're excited to be able to release all the floorplans that we will be building. We've got some new & innovative designs & hope you love them.
The Monogramme is literally a build-to-suite option. It starts off as a loft witha 2 1/2 car garage & you're able to add up to 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom depending on your needs.
From the Celebration on up, we are happy to be offering 3-car garage options on each flooplan.
The Marquee, at 1900 square feet offers a great home office or nursery option that will allow homeowners a quiet corner.
The Quattro is for those who can never have enough garage space, with a standard 3-car garage & an optional 4th, we know this will be a hot commodity in the neighborhood.
While the Quattro boasts a 4-car garage option, the Millenial can go up to 5 bedrooms with a 3-car garage AND has an option for an upstairs storage room. We can't wait to see what homeowners do with that bonus space.
We'd love to hear your feedback -- what do you love? How would you use that upstairs storage space? Can you believe we managed a 4-car garage?
Pricing will be coming soon! If you want to be the first to know every detail, pricing included, sign up for our newsletter & we'll put you on our priority list. Those on our email list, receive all information before the general public, including pricing & grand opening incentives & information.
Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit quite like an outdoor skating rink. This year there are a few to choose from.
CitySkate in Phoenix
A whimsical ice rink smak dab in the center of downtown Phoenix? Sign me up. Located on Central Avenue, this event features a 36-foot tall Christmas tree. Dress your best because on certain days, Santa will swing by for photos & bring the whole family on the 9th for the City Lights Movie Night, featureing 'Home Alone 2' and 'Elf.'
A few details: Open through Sunday, Jan. 8. Check the website for ice-skating session times. 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $15 general admission; $25 for express pass, $10 for ages 4-8, military members and seniors. Free for age 3 and younger. Fee includes skate rental. 602-772-3900, phxicerink.com.
Desert Ice Skating Rink in Scottsdale
Christmas at the Princess returns for its seventh year, with seemingly every corner of the lavish resort decked out with decorations. The 6,000-square-foot Desert Ice Skating Rink — with real ice and nightly snowfall — is a big draw. Reservations are available for rink-side fire pits with blankets so you can enjoy s'mores, hot chocolate and cocktails.
The resort also features Lagoon Lights with more than 3 million lights, rides on the Princess Express Train, a massive four-story musical Christmas tree and more. New this year is Santa's Secret Headquarters, holiday character appearances and Enchanted Plaza shows.
Details: Through Sunday, Jan. 1. Times vary; call or check the hotel website. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Drive. $20 admission, $5 skate rental. $35 for parking. 480-585-4848, scottsdaleprincess.com.
Skate Westgate in Glendale
Previously, Westgate only hosted an ice rink on Thanksgiving weekend, but this year the rink will stay all holiday season. The rink features real ice, and can be enjoyed along with a 33-foot holiday tree and snowfall. Santa will make regular visits through Christmas Eve. There will be free horse-drawn carriage rides through Dec. 24, nightly snowfall through New Year's Eve and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Details: Through Jan. 8. Skating hours are 5-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-Dec. 18; and 3 p.m.-midnight daily Dec. 19-Jan. 8. Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale. $13 for general admission, $10 for seniors, military, students with ID and children ages 4 to 6 years old. Free for children younger than 4 with purchase of ticket. westgateaz.com.
Merry on Main Street in Mesa
After a 10 year hiatus the Merry on Main Street holiday celebration made it's return last year. Including a 4,000-square foot, a 4-story Christmas tree, and a 'sELFie Villiage' where visitors can create special holiday cards. Use the light rail (last year it was free during the run of Merry on Main) to enjoy dinner at Jack Frost's Food Truck Forest, activities at the Mesa Arts Center & the Christmas Concert Series at the Mesa Temple Grounds.
Details: Merry Main Street runs Nov. 25-Jan. 1. Ice rink runs 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; noon a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Special times are noon-4 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31, and Jan. 1. $10 for a one-hour session, includes skate rental. No personal skates. merrymainst.com.
Nutcracker with the Phoenix Symphony
For your girls day this month, make sure you make arrangements to see the Nutcracker put on by Phoenix Ballet. I had the opportunity to catch a preview & not only did the dancers WOW, but the costumes were stunning. Here's all the details you need...along with a 50% off coupon code!
Master Ballet Academy, the official training institute of Phoenix Ballet, has become one of the best and most recognized ballet academies in the country & even the world; voted so in "The Big Top 10." Slawomir Wozniak's acclaimed version of The Nutcracker is a magical production that features some of the world's best young dancers who perform alongside Phoenix Ballet's professional adult dancers. His lush sets, costumes and intricate choreougraphy is pure magic, with dancing mice, a stilt-walking Drosselmeyer, a snowfall on stage adn the magic of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Enjoy the wonders of the holidays with Phoenix Ballet this December
Show Dates performed at the Orpheum Theatre
Friday Dec 9th 7pm -- Live music by the Phoenix Symphony
Saturday Dec 10th 2pm & 7pm -- Live music by the Phoenix Symphony
Sunday Dec 11th 12pm & 4pm -- Live music by the Phoenix Symphony
Thursday Dec 22nd 7pm
Friday Dec 23rd 2pm & 7pm
Saturday Dec 24th 12pm
Head here for tickets. To receive 50% off (excludes price level 4 & valid on adult tickets only) use code FRIENDS after selecting seats. Once coupon code is entereted, use the drop down to select 50% each ticket.
After new models are built, the number one question every builder gets is, 'what's that paint color?' Whether you've walked a model recently or are moving into a new house it seems everyone is always looking for the 'perfect' color. We've yet to find the perfect-for-everyone color, but these 3 seem to almost always make the cut.
No list of paint colors is complete without Revere Pewter. If you're on the fence & can't decide, let this be the choice for you. A solid neutral that doesn't pull blue or purple or brown or green...it's the perfect griege (gray/beige).
If you want something a little lighter, but still neutral, Halo is a good white...this isn't actually stark white. As a note for those with little fingers in the house, this will show hand prints!
Next to a solid blue, that doesn't pull purple, you have Eternity. With a strong gray undertone this color will anchor any room & can even go both feminine or masculine. Hard to ask for much more.
Regardless, of what you choose, the best advice we can give to you is be sure the paint color you choose has a gray undertone -- the muddiness prevents it from pulling funny in different lights & anchors the color in any room.
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If you're ever going to have family in town, November is the month. Today, we've go 7 things to get out & DO this November! Let us know which is your favorite.
11/5 - 6th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships
The Sixth Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower returns on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Last year the Scottsdale Polo Championships drew the biggest crowd in the country for a polo event with over 12,000 fans, enjoying the showdown at the annual Polo Party. This year, attendees are in for a treat with sneak previews of the 2017 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction along with local Ferrari and Lamborghini car clubs lining the field and the The Cultural Concert! For more info, go here.
11/5 + 11/19 - Verrado Open Houses + Tours
If you've never been to Verrado in the West Valley, now is your chance. If you're a front porch kind of person, you'll love it! Visit any of the builder models starting at 10:00 a.m. and receive complimentary tickets for A Taste of Verrado to enjoy eats and treats from 6 different, diverse and delicious restaurants, all with a side of rockin’ live music. A Taste of Verrado debuts in Verrado’s beautiful Village Commons Park, just west of the Verrado Way and Main Street intersection from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on November 5 and 19 only. Come out to Verrado and enjoy the taste of small town charm.
11/11 - 11/13 Gilbert Days Rodeo
If you're looking for some roping & riding, don't miss the Gilbert Days Rodeo! Always a family favorite!
11/15 - Ina Garten @ Mesa Arts Center
For all the foodies, you won't want to miss this! Ina Garten, the country's most beloved culinary icon, author of NINE New York Times bestselling cookbooks & house of the popular Barefoot Contessa show on Food Network will be joined on stage by a moderator to share stories that bring you behind the scences of life in the Hamptons. From filming her TV show, writing bestselling cookbooks & enjoying food with friends and family. An audience Q&A will directly follow the interview.
11/18 - 11/20 - Goodguys 19th SW Nationals
This one is for every car enthusiast! Loaded with fun, head here for all the details!
11/25 - 12/31 - Las Noches de La Luminarias @ the Desert Botanical Garden
Eight thousand hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights will set the Garden aglow this winter for 21 magical evenings. Put this Southwest holiday tradition that features the sights and sounds of nine entertainment ensembles on your calendar. Great for out-of-town guests!
11/25 - 11/26 - Glendale Glitters Spectacular Kickoff
Glendale’s award-winning holiday lighting event has become a family tradition across the Valley and Arizona. The stunning display of 1.5 million lights will illuminate sixteen blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale, making it the largest free holiday light display in Arizona.
Free admission makes this award-winning festival, now in its 23rd year, one of the best-loved events for Arizona families year after year. In fact, the event was named azcentral.com’s Critics’ Choice for the Best Kid Event in the state
Find this house, at our location in Verrado, here.
Ready to buy your first home, but have no idea where to start? Before you find the perfect home in the perfect spot & mentally move yourself in, you need to determine your perfect BUDGET. I know, the dreaded B-word! While no one loves talking budget, it is the very first & maybe most crucial step to buying a home.
Creating a budget, will help you create the parameters of your search & ensure you don't get in over your head. There is nothing fun about being house poor. So where do you start? How do you create the budget?
First, you need to write it out. Get out those spreadsheets, or just some paper & pencil. At the top, write down your total monthly income after taxes. Then, make a list of every single monthly bill you are currently paying. That would include, rent, car payments, insurance, water, electric, cable, internet, cell phones -- everything you are required to pay every month. Then, start adding the things that don't come as 'bills' but that are still monthly expenses, things like groceries, gas & eating out. Once you have it written out...
Add it up. That will give you your monthly expenses. Subtract your monthly expenses from your total monthly income to determine how much disposable, or extra income you have each month. This is your 'flex' space & depending on how much flex space you like to have, will help determine how much you should put towards your new home.
Trim the fat. If you're looking to move into something bigger & better, you might need to cut the fat in order to afford a bigger mortgage. Where can you cut back? Do you need cable? Is there a less expensive alternative? Can you brown bag your lunch a couple times a week? You're mortgage is really going to end up taking the same spot as rent, and a standard rule for lenders is that your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should not take up more than 28% of your income before taxes. This debt-to-income ratio is called the "housing ratio" or "front-end ratio." Once you have these numbers all written out figure out what your 28% is. It is not recommended that your mortgage be more than 28% of your monthly take home pay, and if you can keep it less, do it!
Run the numbers. Once you have a monthly mortgage number you're comfortable with its time to start talking to a lender. Or you can use a mortgage calculator to help determine your housing price point. There are all sorts of apps and websites that provide relatively accurate mortgage calculations, but know that none of them are as good as talking to a lender who can give you exact rates & parameters for your unique situation. Don't hesitate to call, it's their job after all!
Stick with it. Remember this is a process. If this exercise shows that you need to save more for a down payment, make the changes necessary & do it. If it shows that you can afford more than you thought, well do a happy dance & get shopping! While rarely does anyone like sitting down to go over budget, its the only way to better empower your decision-making. Small changes will add up & make a big difference.
6 things to do this October
The weather has finally shifted & it's time to get outside...or just have some fun. 6 things to put on your October calendar and fill up your Instagram feed with.
1. TOMORROW NIGHT! It's Monster Jam. Whether the men in your life are 5 or 55, this always seems to be a hit. Who am I kidding? It's not just the boys that love the rock & roar of this event. With the likes of Grave Digger, MaxD and Northern Nightmare on the line up there isn't much to complain about. Head here for all the details & ladies...pay attention to what bag you can and cannot bring into the venue with you.
2. ARIZONA STATE FAIR Whether you're there for the fried twinkies, Concert series or petting zoo, just make sure you get there! The fair is running from 10/7 - 10/30 this year. The Concert Series, which is free with a paid entry ticket, is bringing some fun names like, Big & RIch (10/8) Iggy Azalea (10/15), Charlie Puth (10/21), and Gavin DeGraw + Andy Krammer (10/28). Every year I'm astounded at the amount of fun attractions and things to do. Head here for more info and bring the whole family or make it a date night.
3. Speaking of Date Night...Have you heard about the ? This is a 21 & over event? Enjoy haunted stadium tours, costume contest, gourmet food trucks, beer, and wine---then cap off the night with a movie on the field (blankets only)! Head here, to vote for which movie to show & start prepping your costumes asap.
4. Find Fall. Head up North & find the best fall foliage. We all know that no instagram feed is complete without a picture of #fall. Pack a picnic lunch & enjoy a drive to the mountains. Need some ideas of where to head? Here are 5 great spots. If you're looking for a great hike while you're there, try Tonto Natural Bridge, a great hike for the whole family. Make sure you hike down through Pine Creek Trail...you won't believe you're still in Arizona!
5. And if going north is too big a hassle to find fall, just head to Schnepf Farms. Always fun for everyone with hayrides, corn mazes & pumpkin picking! you can get discounted tickets at your local Fry's. Head here for all the details.
6. And after all the inevitable munching that will happen at those events...get yourself signed up to run the Haunted Half Marathon + 5K on October 29th. Race starts at 7 am in the San Tan Mountains...go here to sign up & get training!
Hi, I'm Amy, the resident blogger for Pinnacle West Homes. A licensed real estate agent, I've worked in the new home industry for over 10 years. While real estate is fun, I'm mostly a wife & mother & understand that you're not just buying a house, you're creating a home. If you have a question you can't find the answer to here, shoot me an email & I'll get you covered. We're happy to be on this journey with you.