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design of a home theater system

All You Need To Know About Setting Up A Home Theater System

In the past decade, the popularity of home theater systems in Scottsdale homes has increased immensely. This is not only due to the hours of enjoyable entertainment that the home theater system provides, but also the cost-effectiveness of the equipment. Contrary to popular belief, this entertainment equipment is not completely unaffordable and the options that are slightly more costly offer high value for money. Basically, this means that even if you do spend a larger amount of funds on the system it will provide you with several years of entertainment; thus, reducing the money you would spend on external amusement in the future. While many individuals do choose to utilize the services of professional technicians when setting the system up, it is possible to complete installation independently. This article will provide information on how to complete this activity effectively without any difficulties, or at least a minimal amount of difficulties.

1. Choosing The Television

The first step to setting up a professional home theater system is choosing the correct equipment with the most important item being the television. While it is tempting to purchase the largest screen with the highest quality visual and audio features, it is not always recommended you purchase on impulse. Choosing a television can be deemed a form of ‘science’ and bigger is not always better. In fact, the bigger the item is often the worst option available.

When choosing a television it is important to take certain factors into consideration, such as the size of the room and how you are going to mount the TV. The recommended distance between a television and individual watching the screen is approximately two times the size of the screen itself. This not only reduces any injury to the watcher’s eyes but also allows for adjustments of the television to achieve maximum viewing satisfaction.

2. Choosing The Speaker System

The second point to take into account when purchasing and setting up a home theater system is the speaker system. All home theater systems can manage films and music; however, the quality of the audio is generally dependent on the type of speaker being utilized. To determine which is the most suitable, it is necessary to determine whether the system will be used for films, music, or a bit of both.

The traditional form of speaker required a wire connection to the television and radio; however, in recent years, the wireless and blue tooth forms have become more popular. While the wireless option is often more costly, it is simpler to install and adjust due to the fact that there are no inconvenient wires to fall over. As is mentioned above, it is possible to install these items independently; however, it is recommended that you consult a professional technician to ensure you receive the most appropriate and effective speaker system.

3. Placing The Home Theater System

Before installing any piece of equipment, it is essential that you determine the most suitable position for the system. The majority of individuals will place their Scottsdale home theater system in the part of the room they believe is best based on impulse; however, choosing the most appropriate position does require various considerations. Firstly, it is important to determine the distance between seating and the television screen. Next, you must consider the possible need to adjust the equipment and how much adjustment would be required. Both of these factors indicates a thorough need to look at the wall size and ensure that it is larger than the system itself. This not only makes viewing comfortable but also reduces the chance of the room seeming ‘smaller’ or claustrophobic.

investing in real estate in mission bc

Smart Tips For Purchasing Mission Real Estate for Investment Purposes

When it comes to making your retirement dreams come true, it makes sense to invest your hard earned money into something that can yield monthly profits for years to come. Though binary trading is a common choice for many retirees, one of the safer option would be purchasing investment real estate in Mission, BC. You don’t have to be a real estate savvy investor to understand the ins and outs of purchasing a property that you will rent out to local tenants. In fact, sometimes, your keen eye is all you need to succeed.

Of course, there is a right and a wrong way to invest your money into real estate, and in any case, it’s important to earn a good return on your investment. Here are some smart tips to get you started:

Single-family Homes and Condos

Single-family homes and condos are probably the safest options to rent out as they’re often located in a desirable neighborhood. It’s important that you don’t choose a location that’s too low rent or a neighborhood within Mission that is too upper class. Generally, working middle class neighborhoods are a safe bet as that’s the group you’re most likely to appeal to when renting out properties.

Try to get a good deal on the property you’re looking to buy. In fact, if the market is slow in your area, don’t shy away from making a “low ball offer”. If a homeowner is motivated to sell, you can rest assured he or she will be willing to work with you. On the other hand, if the market isn’t too bad, play fair and make an offer as soon as you can.

Consider How Many Upgrades Will Be Needed

When purchasing any type of property solely for the purpose of investment, take into consideration how much work will need to be done. If the property is in disrepair, how much money will you need to spend before it’s okay to rent it out? It’s also worth taking into consideration that depending on local codes and regulations, some properties can’t be rented out unless they meet these codes. For example, in some areas, there’s actually a code that prohibits homes from being rented out, unless they meet a certain ceiling height requirement.

Talk To a Mission Real Estate Agent

Get the advice of a Mission real estate agent before considering a piece of property. Don’t just assume that the property will be easy to rent out, be certain! A good real estate agent will have no trouble working with you to determine the realistic value of a property and gauging the probability of you renting it. Additionally, make sure that the real estate agent you employ does not have any stake in the property as that can become a conflict of interest later on.

Not everyone is a born investor, and you really don’t need to be! Just by doing your research and using good old fashioned logic, you can purchase a property that can secure your retirement. It’s always best to choose an area that has an established neighborhood with little change in the market over the years!

phoenix property management

How to Hire a Phoenix Vacation Rental Property Management Company

It is always a smart move to consider hiring a rental property management company to assist you with your vacation rental. Even though most home owners will be comfortable letting their family members or friends handle the details, a hired qualified manager offers much more. You can be assured that your guests as well as your investment are always in good hands. However, the problem is always finding the right rental property manager to hire. Below are several tips that you can use to ensure that you get the best rental property manager company available in Phoenix, AZ.

Search Online And Check Reviews

The first place to look is to do a search online using search phrases like “property management phoenix” or even “property management scottsdale” if you need to search in other areas of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. These companies will have experience dealing with the Phoenix market and will know it better than even yourself. The top results will have reviews posted online for sites like Google+ Local or even Yelp. Read those carefully and call the top three or five that you feel have the best reviews and best information on their website.

How Long Have They Been In Business?

The first thing that you need to know is how long the company has been operating in Phoenix, AZ. This is important as it tells you the level of understanding that they have in the local market. There is a big difference between a recently started company and one that has been in the market for several decades. You should ask about the staff size, local regulations, seasonality and any other factors that can affect the performance of your property.

What Are Their Rates?

You will also have to find out about the charges and contract terms of the company. In most cases, the vacation rental Phoenix property management services will charge between 30% and 50% of the nightly rental rate to get a full service manager. This is a significance portion of your rental income. You should therefore ensure that you know how long you will be bound to the contract with the management company, this ranges between 6 months and 12 months. You should choose one which you are comfortable with. If you do not want to get locked in by the contract, you should ask the manager to include an out clause that will depend on the performance of the property.

Find Out About All Of Their Services

You should never assume that the property manager will sort everything. This is why you have to get a full list of all the services offered and their fees. This way you will ensure that you get the services that you need including repairs, check-ins, maintenance and walkthroughs. The best vacation property management companies are always willing to service all types of guests. This is especially the case when you are hiring them for on-the-ground tasks only. You have to clarify this from the beginning to ensure that you have a flexible and service-oriented person working for you.

What Resources Does The Property Management Company Have

It is crucial that you hire a property manager with all the necessary resources required to market and book your vacation rental. They should be able to cover the cost of having your home listed on some of the top Scottsdale vacation house rental management websites. Their staff should also be able to respond to inquiries as soon as possible. The website that they use should be mobile friendly and allow different modes of payment when customers want to book the rentals. You will also want a property management company that frequently updates you on your property condition. This will depend on how often they perform the walkthroughs. You should consider talking to some of their current and previous clients to get an idea of how the company operates. This way you can be assured of finding a solid Phoenix property manager for your rentals.

pointe hilton phoenix destination weddings

Why Phoenix Is A Great Place For A Destination Wedding

Featured photo courtesy of Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. A fantastic wedding venue in Phoenix.

Phoenix is an under appreciated place for a destination wedding. There are so many reasons why it is a great place to host a wedding. In this article, we will discuss why you should choose Phoenix for your wedding.


1. Weather.

One of the biggest reasons why Phoenix is such a good place to host a wedding is because of the great weather that you can enjoy there. When you choose Phoenix, you can be sure of one thing, you will have excellent weather the entire duration of your stay.

2. Great Resorts.

There are also a lot of different resorts that you can choose from if you are looking for a nice place to stay. There are a bunch of options that you can consider which give you access to all different kinds of activities that you can enjoy.

3. Affordable.

If you are trying to choose a destination wedding, you are going to want to take note of the expense that would be required for each destination. The good thing about Phoenix is that it is extremely affordable and it will allow you to spend most of the money on the things that matter – your wedding. Also, it is going to be an affordable option for any guest that you may have attending. There are plenty of packages that you can choose from and a lot of different resorts offering all sorts of rates to consider.

4. Outdoors.

Another reason why you are going to want to choose it as a destination wedding is that it features a ton of variety as far as the outdoors and nature is concerned. You should be able to experience a lot of different outdoors activities and sceneries. They have the desert which can be a very unique and enjoyable experience for anyone to have.

5. Amenities.

As noted previously, there are plenty of resorts from which you an choose from. With that comes a lot of different amenities that you can choose from, as well. You can find all sorts of amenities that are going to make your destination wedding much more enjoyable.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to choose Phoenix for your destination wedding. Be sure to find the best deals on your wedding by searching online and looking at all of the different options. Consulting a destination wedding co-ordinator like Forever True Wedding Designs can help you get everything planned with a lot less stress. You can visit their website by clicking the link here

Check out the destination wedding photos in the video below from Carrie Evans photos or you can view the video on YouTube here:

my phoenix rental home

Property Management Services for Vacation Homes

vacation home managementFor many landlords and landladies, a property management company that can offer them great services and lessening the hassle to rent the property, particularly vacation homes. Basically, there are quite many benefits of hiring such company to manage your vacation rental home in Phoenix AZ. Here are some of those benefits:

Reduced tax stress

In Phoenix, rental incomes need to be reported just like a trade or business does, with every payment made to gardeners, plumbers, accountants, decorators and other involved contractors requiring information return to IRS. A property management company can deal with most of this annoying paperwork for their clients (landlords) and/or keep some meticulous records, which helps you have accurate, up-to-date tax fillings and also avoid any fines.


Being a property owner, especially a landlord means managing the tenant details, the physical property and other personal and business concerns. Hiring a good property management company to care of these things can save you a lot of work and expenses, this will result in fewer anxiety and headaches and a higher return on investment.


map of arizonaThis is another advantage of having someone take care of your rental property, especially when living away from its location. A local property management company in Phoenix will have quicker access to your rental properties, saving you the effort and time of going there yourself, particularly if you live out of the city. For instance, these companies will perform or recruit others to perform regular repair and maintenance to your property. This helps prevent further damage, hence saving you unnecessary expenses. These professionals will also be the frontline in case of occurrence of an accident or any act of nature that damage your rental home.

Long term savings

The vigilance of a property management company that keeps your tenants and property under scrutiny assures that you will get the best out of both. They are there to make sure any slightest issue in your property is dealt with while small; for instance, plumbing repairs and bathroom renovations can save you from huge expenses over time.

Tenant interface

These companies can also perform a task, which several property owners would rather avoid; dealing directly with their tenants. These companies have a group of professionals who handle maintenance calls and issues, field all complaints and most importantly collect rent. Since you hire them to interface closely with your property and its tenants, they can quickly identify any issues with lease violations or late payment so that the appropriate action can be taken quickly.

In a nutshell, apart from these benefits of hiring a property management company in Phoenix to manage your property, there is also much more that comes with these agents.

If you are curious about what property management services include, this video from Ascent Property Management ( will answer all your questions. read more..

equity for your home

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

What is a reverse mortgage?
Reverse mortgage basically is the exact opposite of the traditional type. It reverses the normal flow of home-equity mortgage payments. Instead of the homeowner making payments to the financial institution to settle the mortgage, the bank extends a loan to the homeowner in exchange for its eventual claim on the house. The bank will get its money plus interest back when the home is sold once the homeowner dies. With this type of mortgage, homeowners who otherwise have financial challenges can live in their own homes and still meet all of their financial obligations.


over 65 homeownersTo qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must:

  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Own a single-family home or any other approved property
  • Live in the house as your primary residence
  • Have repaid all or most of mortgage on the house

How It Works

The amount of money that can be borrowed depends on the age of the borrower, the value of the house and the interest rate. While borrowers with an existing mortgage on their home can still qualify for a reverse mortgage, the old mortgage would be paid off first before the homeowner can get anything.

Money from this mortgage can be disbursed in many different ways. Most homeowners take the payments as a repayment-free line of credit, which allows them take money from the approved loan amount anytime they need it. Funds may also be paid by a tenure method, which offers equal monthly payments provided the borrower continues to live in the house.

A reverse mortgage becomes due:

  • When the home is sold
  • When the borrower dies then the property has up to 12 months to pay off the loan
  • When the homeowner no longer lives in the house for over 1 year then he/she has up to 12 months to repay the loan by selling the house or refinancing

Reverse Mortgage Pros

  • senior with equityNo regular payments required
  • No income requirements
  • No minimum credit rating
  • No restrictions on the use of proceeds
  • Provides tax-free and guaranteed income
  • No personal guaranty requirement
  • Reverse mortgage has no effect on your credit score
  • You own the home at all times

Reverse Mortgage Cons

  • You have pay your property taxes and maintain the house
  • You must be 62 years of age or older to qualify for this mortgage

In conclusion, remember to weigh the pros and cons of reverse mortgage before signing for it. It can prove useful if you want to reduce the risks of outliving assets, repay your existing mortgage or even fund long-term care insurance.

For more information on reverse mortgages, you can call Seniors’ Lending Centre at 604.614.2382 or fax 604.463.7886. They are very helpful and will guide you through all of your mortgage needs.

mortgage broker for phoenix home buying

Why You Should Use a Mortgage Broker To Buy Real Estate

A mortgage broker could be one of the best types of people that you could ever hire when it comes to taking a look at real estate in Phoenix. A broker is a person that will broker a mortgage loan on your behalf and provide this to a mortgage lender or bank. It’s all with the intention of trying to give you the most favorable rates that you could ever hold. This is a great advantage in its own right but there are many other advantages that come with hiring such a person for your demands.

Get the Best Advice

A mortgage broker is not going to try and steer you towards one particular lender or bank. That broker will give you the advice that you could use when trying to find out if someone is worth doing business with and if that person has the right rates for your situation. It’s all about finding a choice that suits your needs the most regardless of what you might have a desire for.

Get Better Rates

Since a broker is not directly affiliated with any lender, that person can quickly negotiate plans to get rates that are in your favor. You might find after a while that a rate from a broker’s services could be better than what you might get on your own.

The Broker Is Paid By a Lender

You don’t have to pay money for a lender’s services. Instead, the broker will be paid by the lender as a result of facilitating the origination of a new loan. In addition, brokers tend to be paid the same amounts by all lenders and brokers based on the values of the properties they facilitate, thus ensuring that the broker will not be biased towards one provider that might pay a little more money for getting a sale facilitated.

It Works For All

Mortgage brokers work hard with negotiations because they understand that every person has their own particular needs with regards to their credit. In particular, a broker may provide you with options that are appropriate for your demands even if you have bad credit. More importantly, your broker will adjust one’s strategies for providing you with a good deal based upon the credit history that you hold. This should really give you more out of your demands for finding a good loan.

Make sure you look around with the assistance of a mortgage broker like the Community Lending Centre when buying real estate. This is a free service to have so you will have nothing to lose.

arizona camping

Camping Options in Arizona

During the winter season, which starts from September to May, many people visit Arizona to camp due to the warm desert climate. People who wish to escape scorching temperatures in the Summer are attracted by the cool pine forests located in the mountains. Arizona’s western border alongside the Colorado River toward the White Mountains in the northeast side of the state is among the best sceneries that attract people to camp for more than one month.

Best camping sites in Arizona

aspen campsite1. Aspen Campsite

This small campsite is located at the center of the Apache National Forest within Central eastern Arizona has only six campsites. Fishermen prefer these campsites since they are located near the Black River which boasts of rainbow, Brown trout, brook and cutthroat.

2. Lees Ferry campsite

Lees Ferry is located near Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It has a great tailwater fishery near the Colorado River that stretches more than 15 miles from the Lake Powell outflow at Glen Canyon Dam. Fly-fishing is the best sport at Lees Ferry campsite. The campsite offers bathrooms and grills, as well as a boat launch ramp just a few miles away.

3. The Grand Canyon

grand canyon campingThe Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most remarkable camping site. This is a natural wonder that you must see to believe. It stretches 277 miles from end to end; rocky and steep walls descend about a mile to the Canyon’s Floor where the amazing Colorado River flows southwest. There is a unique mixture of geological color and erosional landforms.

Arizona Camping tips

Long-term camping is best when you get accommodation at a private campsite in Northern Arizona. Most private campsites are usually open throughout the year and provide top notch amenities such as, Wi-Fi, Golf courses, hot showers, Playgrounds, Cable Televisions, swimming polls, Club houses and community events. Long-term campers have an opportunity to apply to work seasonally.

You get to see cute little rabbits and cooing doves while camping at Arizona. You can avoid unpleasant interactions with wildlife by being careful. Brown Recluse spiders, scorpions and black windows are common in several parts of Arizona. They are usually harmless until you venture into their hiding areas. They can bite or sting forcing you to seek emergency medical attention.

Avoid rattlesnakes by talking or making other sounds when on the trail. Ensure that you take extra care during spring, when snakes come out of hibernation. Purchase wildlife-resistant containers for food and keep your campground free of garbage to avoid unnecessary visits from bears, javelina and skunks.

scary phoenix pests

5 Common But Dangerous Pests in Phoenix, AZ

Pests are aptly named due to the inconvenience that they cause. Common household pests are rarely peaceful, and they wreak havoc to our health, family and property. It worsens and becomes a difficult problem when these pests invade your home and breed in it, creating a more serious problem – infestation. Here are some of the most common household pests that you may find in the Phoenix, Arizona area and some ways to get rid of them.


arizona bark scorpionScorpions have more things in common with spiders, another bothersome pest, than you may think. They are both arachnids, and both are extremely dangerous because some species of scorpions are deadly and carry venom that is fatal to humans. The most common scorpion in the Phoenix, Arizona area is the Bark Scorpion. Its venom causes severe pain to the person when stung, and the area becomes immobilized and may also bring convulsions. Bark Scorpions hide most of the day due to the heat and their favorite resting places are wood piles, cinderblock fencing and rocks. They don’t burrow, but they only need about 1/6 of an inch opening in your home to gain entry. Scorpions are very difficult to eliminate and prevention is still the best cure for this pest. Sealing the house, taking the pain to destroy other bugs in your house and seeking scorpion shelters are some ways, but calling in pest control or an exterminator and entrusting it to the experts is still the best way to keep your home scorpion-free.


cockroachCockroaches are very common and they may just seem like nuisances, but they are very dirty and carry harmful diseases and germs. There are 4 types of cockroaches in Phoenix, Arizona that can live in your house and disrupt your day-to-day activities. American cockroaches are the largest of the pack and prefer damp and warm areas like sprinkler boxes and flowerbeds. Brown-banded cockroaches can be found in warm and dry locations such as your closets and kitchen cabinets, motor housings and electronic equipment that produce heat. These cockroaches carry protozoa and bacteria that cause diarrhea and gastroenteritis, trigger allergies and asthma. The German cockroach is the fastest reproducing bug out of the 4. They typically like moist parts of the house like kitchens and bathrooms. Cracks and crevices may also be home to them. These cockroaches can consume household items such as paper and cloth. Eradication of this pest is burdensome because they can multiply quickly and in the dark. You may try to get rid of it by eliminating stray food sources and water leaks, but having a home that is cockroach-free may require an appointment with an exterminator or pest control experts.


rodentRodents are no stranger when it comes to living in your house, but it does not mean that they are harmless. Like cockroaches, when mice decide to make your home a living spot, they can establish themselves and eat your food and water. Mice can reproduce up to 50 offspring per month. Rats carry deadly diseases and parasites like ticks, lice and fleas that can infect your pet dog and further aggravate your pest problem. Rats are very hard to catch and control as they typically avoid common baits and traps, and live in hard to reach areas such as under porches, between wall voids and in the attic. There are some ways to prevent entry and that includes sealing your home, and other catching techniques like cage traps and sticky traps, but if they persist, exterminators and experienced pest removal can do the work for you and save you valuable time and money.


antThese small insects are right at home in the temperature and climate of Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona has the most species of ants than any other state, having 318 species, and not all of them are peaceful. These ants are quick to find and swarm over food that is left unprotected. Once they establish that a household has plenty of food sources, they move in and swarm without hesitation. It can be very hard to kill these tiny creatures, let alone find their source. Fire ants are the most destructive of the bunch, although they rarely found in the state of Arizona. These creatures are carnivores and consume anything and everything in their path. Small animals do not stand a chance, and if they are left unchecked, can pose a greater problem than their pest counterparts. If your home is not made of treated wood carpenter ants may also take an interest and literally eat your house away. Using solutions that deter and keep ants away can be one of the solutions, as well as homemade ingredients such as caulk is not for everyone, especially if they have pets and small children. Pest control and exterminators would know how to find the main source of ants and remove it before it causes any more problems.


termiteJust the mention of the word termite causes alarm and panic among homeowners, and the Phoenix, Arizona is home to one of the most destructive species – the Drywood termite. In the high desert, these pesky creatures like to find moisture and can single out your home, with its wood that contain about 12% or less content. They settle and eat away the wood and leave line galleries. Remember that once a termite infestation is suspected, it is not just one part of the house that can be affected, but the entire structure itself. It is estimated that termites cause billions of dollars in property damage annually. Do not let your house become a statistic and purchase wood materials that are treated with chemicals to prevent termites. If the worst scenario happens and termites are already incorporated into the wood, Let the expert pest control and exterminators do what they do best and annihilate the problem once and for all.

The solution provided is just temporary and for small-scale pest invasions. If all else fails, exterminators and pest control companies are certainly equipped to deal with and eradicate their presence in your home. Don’t wait and think that they will just go away- instead, seek help from the experts and you will be happy that you did.

emergency plumber needed after accident

Questions You Need to Ask An Emergency Plumber in Phoenix

From time to time we all have plumbing emergencies, and we need to call an emergency plumber. It could be a leaking boiler or the water meter could be going around like mad, but we can’t figure out why. And we all know how much water can cost when you live in a desert like Phoenix.

One thing is for certain, we are very dependent on water for many things, and it is important to have the phone number to a reliable plumber. It is always best to be prepared. You may not need an emergency plumber today, however it is a good idea to know a little bit more about your emergency plumber.

Yes, you may have his phone and his website address, but who is this person you might be asking to call around to your house in the night? There are a few important questions which you should ask before you decide to make this person your dedicated emergency plumber.

Questions to Ask your Emergency Plumber

It is always a good idea to know a little bit more about the people who will help you in an emergency. Both plumbers and electricians provide emergency services and call outs, but you will feel more comfortable about calling them when you know a bit more about them.

Are you qualified and what experience do you?

It is important not to assume that a person who calls himself a plumber is qualified to do the job. There are a lot of people who think they know a lot about plumbing when in fact they don’t. They have never taken a trade exam and are not insured to do the job.

If you need to claim on your home owner’s insurance policy, you may find your insurance company will only pay out if you have used a licensed plumber. It is really important to make sure your emergency plumber is qualified to avoid future problems.

Before you put his card on your refrigerator door, you should always ask if he is qualified and find out about more about his experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for references, all professional plumbers will be happy to provide you with references.

Are you insured?

All professional plumbers in Phoenix should carry insurance. This is really important if they cause accidental damage inside your home. After all, you don’t want to end up footing the bill for his mistakes.

Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau?

Most members of the Better Business Bureau are vetted, and the organization checks that they have all the relevant certificates and licenses to do the job.

Can you fix the problem quickly, and do you provide cover when you take a vacation?

It is important to make sure the plumber of your choice is equipped and can handle emergencies. Not all plumbers provide an emergency call out services, so it is really important to ask.

Also, ask what happens when he takes a vacation. Does he have an emergency contact number, or does he work together with another plumber to ensure that emergencies can always be dealt with quickly.

Who Will I be speaking to you if I call in the middle of the night?

Make sure that you will be speaking to the plumber of your choice when you call with an emergency. Some plumbers and electricians have answering services, and it may take some time for them to call you back.

Your should also feel comfortable that the advice your emergency plumber is giving you over the phone is correct. This is one of the reasons it is important to know a bit more about your plumber.

What is your emergency rate?

Don’t forget to find out your plumber’s emergency rate. Rates can vary a great deal, and it is important to both find a qualified plumber who offers a fair rate for his services (see this as an example

Sometimes we are our very reluctant to ask outside home contractors questions but it is important to do so. It establishes a good working relationship. You will know a little bit more about your plumber, and he will also know you a little bit better.

stage your home with house cleaning

Stage Your Home For Selling By Having it Professionally Cleaned

Anyone who has bought a home before can tell you, that you can go through dozens of homes seemingly looking at the same thing, until eventually you see the house that makes you say “This is it. This feels like home.”

And from the other side, anyone who has sold their home knows that the ordeal can be frustrating to try and hope that someone feels that way about entering your house and wanting to write up an offer for purchase!

First Impression is Very Important When Selling

So what sorts of things can you do to try and better position your home for sale? Well, obviously there is the usual stuff like keep the beds tidy, turn on some lights and leave the cat with a friend or family member. However, something that is often overlooked is the general cleanliness of your home, which is going to be the new buyers first impression.

Have you ever noticed when you go to a friend’s house, that there home a distinct smell, one that can be good, bad or indifferent? Well, you generally won’t notice what your own home smells like, but visitors sure will!

The selling process can be stressful enough with having to determine where you want to move, line up financing, timing of the sale and purchase, packing, the list goes on. Why not alleviate some of your burdens and hire a professional house cleaning company?

Getting your house professionally cleaned in an effort to stage it for sale is not only something that saves you the time in doing it, but it also changes the buyers perception when they enter your home. They are more likely to find themselves immediately being warmer about your home when they come through the door and have a clean, fresh smell.

A House Cleaning Company May See and Smell Things You Don’t

House cleaners can sometimes be more observant about your home as well when passing through the home and being your own front-line maintenance team. From pointing out chipped paint to needing to grout the bathroom shower stall, they will generally be able to find some imperfections in the home that are minor, but can change a buyers first impression when touring through your home.

Even if you are a good house cleaner and take good care of your home, there are areas that you may neglect without even knowing it. That cobweb that you’ve ignored and no longer noticed in the lighting fixture can be removed with the expert care of a professional. They will even get into scrubbing the corners of your tile flooring and baseboards, again, taking the level of deep clean up a notch higher than most people do when cleaning their own home.

Buying a new home should be exciting and a fun thing for you and your family! Ignore the messy parts of scrubbing toilets and walls, and leave that to a professional house cleaning company to make your house shine when it’s ready to hit the market.

Choosing Dog Boarding in Phoenix, AZ

Kennel boarding your pet requires you to investigate which kennel service would be the best choice. Currently dog boarding is huge, with so much competition in the business – which means customers are looking for high quality service at affordable prices. Pet Care Services Association instructs and accredits members who volunteer for scrutiny as far as pet sitting services are concerned. A simple membership in such an organization not only means the service participates in the group, but accreditation also means education and self-regulation are instituted.

However, you don’t need to depend on other organizations to select the service that best serves your needs. When seeking a place to board you dog in Phoenix, AZ, use the following guideline to help you make the best decision.

  1. Location and Security
  2. The facility should be close enough to your home to allow you pick up and retrieve your dog conveniently. In addition, it should be in a safe location including the surrounding neighborhood. Large manufacturing industry, heavy traffic, and noise imply lack of neighborhood security. Also do ensure that the perimeter is adequately fenced and gated to prevent pets from accidentally running off.

    dog boarding certification website

    An example website of accreditation for dog boarding facilities or staff.
  3. Staff
  4. Check to see if the staff is genuinely interested in the pets and dog boarding in general. Do they have an idea of what they are doing or talking about? At least some of them should have some certification/ training in dog care. How easy is it to get help from the facility? Are the employees courteous and friendly? Do you feel a sense of warmth? Somebody has to stay at the facility 24/7 as the pets should not be left unattended.

  5. Veterinary Association and Vaccinations
  6. The facility should have a vet on call or consult with your vet whenever there’s illness. Inquire about their emergency procedure. Is your dog required to be current on vaccinations (rabies and kennel cough)? Is the facility willing to accept the full responsibility to administer medications to pets with regular prescriptions?

  7. Food, cleanliness, and contact procedures
  8. Ask about their contact procedure in case they need to reach you or vice versa. How clean is the facility? Cleanliness should be consistently maintained throughout. Ask the feeding schedule and if the facility will accept your choice of food if you’ll have to bring it.

  9. Pet facilities, rates, and other services
  10. Check out the lighting and ventilation, including heating and cooling. Can the pets play? How is grooming? How much do they charge?

    These dog boarding tips from the kind people at will help you choose the best facility in Phoenix, AZ.


Car Accident Lawyers for Realtors: Get Out of Your Ticket

Editor’s note: We’ve received help on this post from the lawyers at

If you’re a realtor and spend hours in the car for showings and listings, a car accident on your driving record could greatly increase your rates. If you were in a recent accident and you were cited for the accident, you want to hire a car accident lawyer to fight the ticket. Bring the citation and information regarding the accident to your first consultation. Or, if you search for a lawyer online, go to the website of a lawyer that allows you to upload the information of the citation for review.

Is there evidence of the cause of the accident?

If you were ticketed for speeding when the collision occurred, or if the officer ticketed you and said you were driving recklessly, was there evidence? If you know that they caused the accident, you want to get proof. If there were no eye witnesses to make a statement, and it’s your word against the other driver’s, your lawyer will want to get the black box out of the vehicle. 

A majority of vehicles on the road today contain a data recorder, also known as a black box. This recorder will have proof of how fast you were going when the collision took place, if you were wearing your seat belt and more. Your lawyer may also want the box out of the other vehicle. Your lawyer will have to file a court order to get it, but then they can compare the information. 

What was the other driver doing at the time of the accident?


If the other driver’s box shows that they were turning, breaking, or doing something else that was sudden, which caused the accident, then you may be able to get the citation dropped. Once you get rid of the ticket, and you can prove the other driver caused the crash, the other driver’s insurance provider should have to pay for the accident. This prevents you from having to make a claim, so your insurance rates don’t go up.

If there is no evidence that the car accident lawyer can use, they will try to fight the ticket saying there is a lack of evidence, or they may try to work out a plea deal. A plea deal is a bargain, and it can help you get the ticket lowered. Instead of getting a ticket for reckless operation, you may be able to get a speeding ticket. If the speeding ticket is for a large amount over the regulated limit, your lawyer may be able to get it dropped for just a few miles over the limit.

Keep your record clean to insurance rates low

The worse the charge, the more you will have to pay in fines, and the higher your insurance it is going to go. Realtor’s often have to pay high insurance rates because they drive throughout the day on busy roads and streets, they put many miles on the vehicle, and they often have passengers. You can try to keep your rates low by keeping your record clean, and fighting tickets. 

You don’t want to talk to your insurance company, or the company of the other driver until you have spoken with a car accident lawyer. You don’t want to take the fault, and you don’t want them to talk you into signing any paperwork without your car accident lawyer’s approval. What you want to do is go here and allow the lawyer to begin working on your behalf. 

Final tip – first steps after an accident

Have a look at the video below for some tips from Central Insurance on first steps after an accident.

financial advisor

How To Find A Financial Advisor in Phoenix, AZ

There are chances that competency comes into your mind when you think of a financial advisor. This is very important since a “cheap” financial advisor is the last thing that you would settle for when looking for financial advisory. It is wise to put more weight on competency that trust, since it is possible to trust someone who is not ethical and has their client’s best interest considered. The following is a friendly guide that will help you find a competent and great financial advisor in Phoenix, AZ at a reasonable price.


Credentials matter and it is good to hire Certified Financial Planners or Certified Financial Analysts to help you with your long-term financial plan. This is very important since you will hire advisors who have expertise in financial planning, investment and meaningful tax planning. Such advisors are not prohibited from giving tax advice which is also very important when determining possible returns. Visit their website and check their credentials and it doesn’t hurt to check the state board to see if they are certified.

Understand the service offered

Financial planning is composed of investment advice, wealth management, retirement and financial planning. Some of the best financial advisors provide specialized services in one field only. It is important to first know what you need so as to settle for a well trained advisor with relevant expertise. This will assure you will receive quality services and help you align all of your decisions in the final plan.

Understand financial planning

Smart financial planning can make significant differences on how you spend your money or run your business. Good financial decisions will increase your income or returns dramatically. You will also know that a good financial plan requires a reliable advisor who can recommend sustainable investments.

Avoid advisors with misplaced focus on allocation of assets

There are advisors who see asset allocation as the only solution to your plan. This may be important, although planning is independent of your assets and should not focus on financial assets because many people are limited by their personal wealth.

Finally be sure to interview your prospects before making your final decision. The interview will help you know their attitude and whether you will want to have them manage your money. Moreover, you will know whether the advisor is ethical or not. For instance, some financial advisors compete with lies, especially when asked ways in which they can help you achieve the outstanding returns of your investment. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is. On the contrary, a good advisor (see will talk about planning and the necessary levels of risks that will help you achieve your objectives. In conclusion, be sure to look at these considerations and you will get a proficient financial advisor in Metropolitan Phoenix who will give you a plan that will help you achieve your realistic goals.

real estate seo phoenix

Importance of SEO to Realtors in Phoenix

You might have heard about the term SEO and don’t know how it can be used to promote your real estate business here in Phoenix. If you are a realtor, you will start seeing your efforts to acquire more clients paying off by having them find you online. The cost of using this form of marketing is cheap and you can try various methods of SEO.

You Do Need to Be Careful With SEO

It’s important to note that you should be careful when choosing the methods of SEO you use to boost your site’s ranking with search engine optimization. There are some techniques that, if used, can cause the negative effect on your search engine pages. There are many people who have had very good strategies that would have landed them on the top at the search engines but fail due to adding poor methods of SEO. The search engines have become more serious when it comes to ranking pages.

Below are some of the importance of using SEO (click here for more). The results can be seen after implementing the SEO plan. You will start having more visitors and increase your chances of closing the next deal.

Build Your Brand

search engine optimizationSEO can be used to build a brand for your business. If a person searches ‘real estate’ and ‘Phoenix’, the goal will be to have your webpage appear in search results. The first impression of the person searching is that the pages appearing first will be the best. This will make them start trusting the brand and will believe you will deliver. The customers can also view the services offered by the real estate company. They will also be able to learn more about your real estate firm or practice.

Snowbirds Looking for Homes May Find You

People who live thousands of miles away, including those snowbirds from the north or even Canada, can find you and learn more about the firm. There are many people who want to buy a property but they are not physically present in that location. If the person searches for the real estate firms in that location, he/she will likely find your company. This can translate later to a sale.

Using SEO as a tool for marketing will save you costs. There is a chance you are spending a lot of money on marketing, but you don’t see the results you expected. With SEO, you are sure the visitors are interested in what you are offering. This means the cost of acquiring a customer is much cheaper than other forms of marketing.

Using SEO as a marketing tool has become very popular because it is easy and cheap. If you don’t know anything about SEO, you don’t have to worry because you can use the services of an SEO agency here in Phoenix or anywhere, for that matter.

business card design ideas

Creating a Great Business Card for Your Phoenix Business

Business cards help people remember your business and probably contact you since they act as calling cards. It is important to make sure your business cards are designed well with readable fonts that give them a professional look. The following are some great tips that will help you create great business cards for your phoenix business.

Type of business cards

There are different types of cards that you may consider for your business. For instance:

  • Basic cards – They are the standard calling cards in terms of size and papers.
  • Picture cards – They features photos of the goods being sold
  • Tactile cards – They have a smooth texture that makes them appealing.
  • Original and fancy cards – They usually based on the specifications of your business.


Most business cards leave no great impression among prospects as they soon become a faint memory. This mainly caused by poor design and color that blends with other cards. Try to be unique to come up with a business card that defines what your business does with a great look and feel. Use different software templates and samples to make an informed decision. Spicing up your business cards with different colors will make them more appealing. Avoid using grey print on white backgrounds since it lacks contrast making the print hard o read.


The quality of business cards is usually related to the cost of production. It is sensible to invest heavily on the cards instead of compromising quality and looks. Various factors such as layout, fonts and colors affect the quality of your calling cards. Don’t try to skimp on money if you want to have good print and great cards that are pleasing to touch with a substantial feel. A quality business card displays a business has quality goods and attract customers.


The size of your business cards plays an important role in determining whether they will be effective or not. The sizes should not be too small or oversized. Any business that doesn’t fit in standard business card holders and wallets may end up being in the trash bin. It is also wise to use a type size of 7-8 point for general information, 9 point for your name and 12-15 point for the company name. This will help you create average-sized cards which are easy to read.

Business cards are among the most cost-effective and important marketing tools that you will ever incorporate in your business. Be sure to keep the above tips when creating your cards or visiting the website of business card design companies to see what they offer if you want people to remember you even after getting home from a meeting.

Business card photo courtesy of LinxPrint. Go here to visit their website.

phoenix real estate by fulton homes

Has the Real Estate Market Recovery Driven Canadian Buyers from Phoenix?

Photo courtesy of Fulton Homes

The greater Phoenix real estate market has begin to show signs of improvement after several down years in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis. An improvement in the labour market and unemployment, coupled with the boom of oil production throughout the United States has left many of the markets that were deeply affected showing signs of recovery in real estate property values.

So does this mean an end to the influx in capital from investors north of the border in Canada looking for properties south of the border? In regions such as California, Nevada, cities across the greater Phoenix region, and into Florida, buyers found the strength of the Canadian dollar, and value on American home prices to be too good to pass up. This led to countless deals on foreclosed and short sale homes as many looked for investments to hold and sell, or to vacation to in the frigid Canadian winters.

A Noticeable Decline In Real Estate Purchasing

Speaking to a Maple Ridge Real Estate agent Kris Mugridge, Partner of The Cardas Mugridge Group, says many of his buyers have noticed a decline in interest south of the border.

“There was once a point that many could get into the market and find condos and small homes from $40-$50,000, and that seems to now have passed. Many of these once troubled markets have begun to show signs of recovery and values have bounced back, making the price less attractive to get into the market.”

In real estate markets like Vancouver, BC, the average price for a single family home is in the ranks of Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and New York city, making for one of the least affordable North American markets.

“On paper, there is certainly lots of appeal in buying a property south of the border within only a few hours flight away, however, the US market doesn’t appeal to most of my clients as it maybe once had” notes Mugridge.

Why Are There Less “Snowbird” Home Buyers Now?

So what caused this shift if prices are still significantly below that of a typical Canadian market?

  1. Tax regulations make it difficult to navigate clearly. Coupled with estate planning, it can be challenging to confidently sink significant amounts of capital into a foreign market. Often it means having to find a new accountant familiar with the US tax system, which may not be easy for most to find.
  2. Health care costs. The typical snowbird purchasing a secondary property is over the age of 50. Health insurance abroad from home markets can be quite expensive, and is a cost that must be considered if one decides to make frequent trips. Speaking with one Canadian who had property in a Scottsdale RV Park, he noted he had to return home to step foot in Canada every few months to get a better deal on travel medical insurance. Not exactly a practical vacation!
  3. Maintenance costs. Managing plumbing, heating, air conditioning, landscaping, and the rest of the upkeep around one home is hard enough. Doubling it to a second home doesn’t become any easier! Foreign investors need to be cautious about working on their own properties as well, as immigration rules have heavy restrictions on what a foreigner can and cannot do while in the country.
  4. Travel time and cost. As more low-cost carriers have begun entering many markets, driving down most airfare prices, air travel still remains a significant expense for many travellers. Furthermore, as owners get older and mobility issues begin setting in, it can become all the more challenging to endure the flights that you maybe once had as a young individual!

Although it may be easy for a buyer to browse Maple Ridge MLS listings and be envious of a US Real Estate market like greater Phoenix, there are certainly more things to be concerned with than the cost of purchasing when it comes to buying that next property.


Reasons Why You Should Invest In Phoenix, AZ Real Estate

Featured photo by DPPed (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The real estate market is one of the best investment choices especially for realtors wishing to invest around Phoenix, Arizona. The real estate market collapse was indeed a blessing in disguise for Phoenix, the boomer region that has seen an upsurge in real estate profits ever since. Other than the excellent home value, many investors prefer Phoenix for many reasons. Here are some of the reasons why many people turn to Phoenix and why investing in the city is a great idea.

Snowbirds Invade Phoenix in the Winter Months

Snowbirds or retirees who prefer spending the cold winter days in warm and pleasant weather mostly choose Phoenix. This provides a great demand for properties to rent and buy, which is why you should be among those benefiting from this market. Such people look for the most prime property and are ready to pay $20,000 for homes near resorts and other luxury amenities. There are therefore pleasant returns for investors who can get anything from 9-12% annually.

A Fast Growing Population

Phoenix population is growing fast as the economy diversifies, making real estate a smart investment choice. The fact that there are great job opportunities including top institutions such as Arizona State University makes Phoenix a magnet for career people. So why not use this moment to multiply your revenue through investing in real estate to house the massive population?

Natural Resources

Phoenix, AZ has a rich real estate potential considering its wealth of natural resources that make people want to live there. The South Mountain Park and botanical gardens like Desert Garden attract new dwellers to the area every year. Investing in such an area is great as there will be plenty fun activities that residents can engage in and this is definitely a great selling point. Regular visitors prefer buying real estate to use when they are in the area and rent it out for the rest of the year.

Lots of Sun

Phoenix boasts 320 years of splendid sun in a year, making it an ideal destination for ardent golfers. People dream of setting up home in phoenix because then they can enjoy unlimited golf at world famous courses like Superstition Springs Golf Club and Arizona Baltimore Adobe. Besides golf, other sports enthusiasts like to buy real estate in the area because then they will share homes with major teams like Cardinals Football Team, Phoenix Coyotes Ice Hockey team and the Phoenix Mercury Women’s’ NBA team to mention but a few.

Phoenix is the Hot Spot for Real Estate

People are constantly looking to live in Phoenix for the great sunny weather as statistics show the area as one where real estate properties never sit empty for long. This is why every potential investor seeks property in the area rich with foreclosure properties that every investor would love.

Phoenix, AZ is ideally the real estate hot spot of Southwestern U.S but benefits certainly do not come without sheer hard work. You have to prepare and parade your property in the best possible way to attract anyone seeking to buy. A good marketing strategy, choice of location and size of property are some ingredients for absolute success in the Phoenix real estate market that every investor must consider.

process server gavel

What You Need To Know About Hiring a Process Server

If you work in the legal field then you may have heard the term “process server” many times by now. But to an outsider, this term may sound very strange and would probably make him think about something that has to do with computers. The truth is there are many misconceptions about what process serving actually is and the duties of a process server, but below we’re going to focus on telling you everything you need to know about this.

Why is the service of process so important?

While there are many reasons to why service of process is required, the most important one involves ensuring the due process of law is upheld. Another reason to why a process server is a vital part of a civil society is to make sure that legal papers in general are going to be served appropriately and effectively.

If the papers wouldn’t be served properly, then it would be impossible for any court to rule on a case that relates to someone if the legal steps weren’t taken for them to know about it. In fact, this service is so important that if it’s considered to be improper, a whole case could easily be dismissed. Therefore, it’s crucial that you are aware of the laws pertaining to your state about how to best serve a defendant while staying within the boundaries of the law.

What does a process server do?

A Phoenix process server can help in a wide range of tasks, including document retrieval, serving legal documents and also with filing court papers. So basically, these professionals are tasked with delivering legal documents to the defendant or to anyone who may be a part of (involved in) a court case.

Even after the papers were served by the process servers, they’ll need to bring evidence they did this and the verification that’s offered (also known as the affidavit or proof of service) needs to be notarized and then given to the company or the person that needed the papers to be served. Keep in mind that the way documents are served differs from one state to another.

Hiring a process server

If you need to hire a process server and this is the first time you need to consider this, then there are quite a few things you have to bear in mind before doing so. Shortly, your process server needs to be able to offer you the following services:

  1. Successfully network with many other trusted servers across the US.
  2. Be up to date with the latest changes in the field and able to use the latest technology available in it.
  3. Bonded, certified and licensed.
  4. Timely and high quality service.
  5. He also needs to be able to offer related services including document preparation, property inspection and skip trace.

If you really care about your business, then you should always entrust it to a Phoenix process server who is up to date with the latest changes in the field and uses the latest equipment and tools in order to offer your clients and you the competitive edge you need to achieve success!

This post is by Arizona legal process serving specialists, ASAP Serve LLC.

arizona fast facts feature

Arizona Fast Facts

arizona fast facts info graphicThis is a great info graphic about Arizona courtesy of Maps of the World.

  • Many people think the name “Arizona” came from the Spanish phrase meaning “arid zone”.
  • Arizona is one of the “Four Corners” states of the American Southwest located directly to the south and east of California.
  • Most of Arizona is a desert, although there are colder, more mountainous regions in the northern part of the state.
  • Arizona has a great deal of national and state parks, and is well-known for its high levels of natural beauty.

Plus so much more. View the whole info graphic here.

arizona newcomer

Arizona Newcomer Information

Automotive Information:

Drivers Licenses are issued by the State of Arizona and are required for newcomers as soon as residency has taken place. Proof of and and identity is needed.(birth certificate, previous drivers license, etc.) You must also pass a vision test, and possibly a written and road test. Drivers license fees are based on the age of the applicant. Arizona drivers licenses expire at the age of 60 and each driver is required to update their eye test and photo every 12 years. Drivers 55 and older recieve a 5 year license.

Motor Vehicle Department of Arizona
1801 W. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 255-0072

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree:
15023 N. 75th St
Scottsdale, AZ

Vehicle Emissions Testing: All Cars built after 1966 must pass emissions inspection. For vehicle inspection stations call (602) 470-4646.

Vehicle Registration: You can register your vehicle at the same offices as you get your drivers license. The fee is based on the make, model and year of the car. You must provide the previous registration card, license plates and title in order to register your vehicle.

Television Guide:

Channel 3: KTVK (Independent)
Channel 5: KPHO (CBS)
Channel 8: KAET (PBS)
Channel 10: KSAZ (FOX)
Channel 12: KPNX (NBC)
Channel 15: KNXV (ABC)
Channel 21: KPAZ (RELIGIOUS)
Channel 33: KTVW (UNIVISION)
Channel 45: KUTP (UPN)
Channel 61: KASW (WB)
Channel 64: KDRX (TELEMUNDO)

Radio Guide:


State Income Tax Information:

Single and Married filing separately:
Taxable Income:
$0-$10,000 2.88%
$10,001-$25,000 3.24%
$25,001-$50,000 3.82%
$50,001-$150,000 4.74%
$150,001+ 5.10%

Married Filing Jointly/ Unmarried Head of Household:
Taxable Income:
$0-$20,000 2.88%
$20,001-$50,000 3.24%
$50,001-$100,000 3.82%
$100,001-$300,000 4.74%
$300,001+ 5.10%

Property Taxes:

Maricopa County property taxes are based on the assessed value of each home and property.

Formula: TAX=(assessed value) x (district tax rate)

For further information, contact the Maricopa County Treasurers office at (602) 506-3975

Voter Registration:

To vote in local, state and national elections you must be registered to vote 29 days prior to the election, be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States.

Registration can be done online by printing a form out and mailing it to the Maricopa County Recorders office.