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5 Inexpensive Staging Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Showmanship

by The Russo Team

5 Inexpensive Staging Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Showmanship 

Are you thinking of selling your home? Did you know homes that have been staged tend to sell for more money? We know that first impressions are everything when selling a home, and can determine whether or not a prospective buyer decides to make an offer. Not everyone has the budget to hire a professional staging company, so we’ve come up with 5 inexpensive staging ideas that will boost your home’s showmanship.

1. Pack up your personal belongings: probably the least expensive step you can take and one of the most important in preparing your home for sale. Depersonalizing your space allows buyers to the opportunity to view it as their potential home. Photos and artwork can be a distraction to the buyer, and you want them to imagine their own belongings in the home, which might cause them to make an offer.

2. Time to clear the clutter: we know this one is hard to do, because we are all attached to our “stuff” and we may not see it as clutter. After years of living in the same home, you are bound to have a collection that needs to be sorted through and quite possibly pitched out. Pay special attention to the bathroom and kitchen areas, especially the counter tops. Make time to have a garage sale, and clear out drawers, closets, attics and garages. If you come across items you just can’t bear to part with, then consider boxing up those personal belongings and storing them neatly in a corner of the garage, or renting a small storage space away from the house.

3. Give your home a good ole’ fashioned deep cleaning: this one might not cost a lot of money but it does take the most labor! However, a clean home will stand out to buyers and may even cause them to overlook items that maybe old or worn out. Don’t forget to clean the ceiling fans, window seals, baseboards and window coverings. If you aren’t up to the task of scrubbing your home from top to bottom, you may want to invest in having it professionally cleaned.

4. Neutralize each room: each room of your home should have a useful purpose, and using your furnishing is a great way to create that feeling. If you are lacking inspiration, take a tour of some nearby model homes or spend a few hours on Houzz.com for some ideas. Remember, less is better when it comes to staging furniture and make sure you have plenty of lighting in each room, especially dark corners, stairways or even hallways. A little touch up paint on the walls and baseboards can go a long way with a prospective buyer!

5. Create a lasting first-impression: your home’s curb appeal is the first thing the buyer sees, so it is important that you capture their attention right away. If you have a lawn, make sure it mowed often, and that bushes and trees are trimmed neatly. Clear away any debris or junk from the walk-ways and pressure-wash your driveway. A few fresh flowers at the front door can add a warm welcome to your home!

If you still feel like you need some hands-on help preparing your home for sale, we got you covered! Give us a call today and we are happy to walk your home with you to help you boost your home’s showmanship and in return yield you the best sales price. Give us a call today! Frank 

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Courtland Home For Sale

by The Russo Team

Courtland Home For Sale 

Built by Courtland Homes, this beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath two-story home is one of the biggest floor plans built in the Crossriver community – with over 3,200 square feet there is plenty of room to roam!

The unique Courtland floor plan includes the master bedroom on the main floor, plus a cozy front room that could be an office, guest powder room and a spacious great room that overlooks the well-appointed kitchen. The upstairs design features a huge loft with built-in shelves, and wetbar plus 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and a gigantic laundry room with plenty of storage.

The updated kitchen has gorgeous beadboard cabinetry, island with convenient counter seating, granite counter tops, walk-in pantry, and a stainless appliance package. Other amenities include dual AC units, ceiling fans, tile, wood and carpet flooring. Crossriver is conveniently located near shopping, dining and the Loop 303.

Don’t miss out! Click here to view more details for 11734 W Donald Drive, or call us today at 602-864-1200 to schedule your private tour!

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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The Month of Miracles at REMAX Professionals

by The Russo Team

The Month of Miracles at RE/MAX Professionals 

Did you know that sixty-two children are admitted into a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute? That is just one reason The Russo Team is excited to announce our participation in the “Month of Miracles” at RE/MAX Professionals.

This is a month-long fundraising event is designed to raise much-need money to support our local Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well as raise awareness in our community.

“Children’s hospitals depend on local donations — like those from RE/MAX agents participating in Miracle Home and Miracle Property programs — to provide the top-of-class care kids deserve,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “On behalf of the millions of families impacted by RE/MAX donations, we appreciate each agent’s efforts and thank them for truly making miracles happen in their communities all year long.”
 
Over the past 24 years, RE/MAX affiliates have donated more than $147 million to CMN Hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. We believe in putting our money where the miracles are and that is why we need your help! Throughout the month, our goal is to raise one million pennies, or $10,000 to benefit our local Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As many of you know, my daughter Lianne was a patient at PCH when she was born. This organization is near and dear to my heart and we do whatever we can to support them, as they supported us in a time of need. I hope you will join us in the “Month of Miracles” and our goal of $10,000 this month. You can stop by any of our six office locations and empty your change jars to help us reach our goal. Of course, we are also happy to take cash and checks! Thank you in advance - we look forward to seeing you soon! Frank

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Russo Team Newsletter August 2016

by The Russo Team

Russo Team Newsletter August 2016

http://www.russoteam.com/agent_files/Monthly Newsletters/Russo Team Newsletter August 2016.pdf

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Snakes and Hikers Can Co-Exist

by The Russo Team

Snakes and Hikers Can Co-Exist 

Many people have snake phobias and no one really wants to run into one on a hike, but if you do you don’t always need to panic. Most snakes generally try to avoid people, and often slither away when they feel your footsteps approach. Besides, snakes play an important role in nature and we need them to keep the rodent population, rabbits, other reptiles and even bird populations manageable. An imbalance in the food chain will occur without snakes

So, here are some quick facts about snakes and what you should do to avoid them while hiking.  We need each other, must live together and with respect for each other we should be able to get along. But in the meantime, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Snakes are generally secretive animals. In nature, they basically move from one hiding place to another in search of food, while trying to avoid becoming food at the same time. They can often be found in underground burrows made by other animals, or underneath rocks and logs, etc.  Snakes spend a lot of their time hiding in holes and they do this to protect themselves from other predators. It's a natural instinct. Generally, that snake is just as unhappy to see you as you are to see it.

Educate yourself about the area that you are hiking and the common snakes found there. Here’s one website that has pictures of the variety of snakes you might encounter in Arizona. Experts have identified thirteen types of rattlesnakes and hundreds of other types of snakes in Arizona.  Take some time to learn how to tell the difference between a “good” and a “bad” snake. Leave the good ones alone and don’t go near the venomous ones if you can help it.

Take precautions. Teach children to respect snakes and don’t let them run ahead of you on the trail, try to stay on designated paths or trails, steer clear of tall grass, weeds and thick underbrush. Always wear protective clothing when hiking, including gloves if possible. Don’t stick your hands under rock ledges, logs or stumps. Sturdy, high boots are preferred footwear. Finally, hiking with a partner is best in case either of you needs help. 

Dogs need to be watched as well.  Dogs are more susceptible than us to a bite since they are naturally curious, they don’t wear hiking boots to protect their feet, and their faces are closer to the snake. Plus, if you let them wander off leash to explore they may wander off the trail where it is harder to see a snake or avoid a snake.  Keep them close to you, on a leash or check into a rattlesnake vaccine before the season starts. There are also classes to teach dogs to be repelled from snakes and not attack them.

Finally, if you do get bitten by a venomous snake, here’s what to do:

* Stay calm.
* Treat for shock.
* Drive to the nearest hospital or medical facility. 
* Do not attempt to kill or capture the snake. You’re just asking for trouble and giving them another opportunity to bite.  
* Do not use a tourniquet. If tied too tight it may cause the loss of a limb.  
* Do not make cuts through or near the site of the bite.  
* Do not suck venom from the site.  
* Some people are allergic to antivenin medicine so don’t automatically give it to the victim. Wait for a doctor to test first.

Arizona has wonderful hiking trails with spectacular scenery and we all need to take precautions but not let the possibility of snakes hold us back from enjoying this beautiful state we live in. According to Arizona Poison Centers, less than one percent of rattlesnake bites result in human deaths. We all need to get out and about, and with a little education and some precautions no doubt snakes and hikers can co-exist. Happy trails from the Russo Team!

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Environmentally Safe Pool Options

by The Russo Team

Environmentally Safe Pool Options 

Enjoying some pool time in the Arizona summer heat is a welcome respite from the hot cars and pavements that we all deal with on a daily basis, but not all pools are created equal. And not all are good for the environment either. In fact, most pools have some degree of contamination from bacteria, algae and organic materials from swimmer’s wastes. (Did you know that an active bather produces up to two pints of perspiration per hour?) Add dust and dirt, and you get plenty of ways for a pool to go bad.

That’s why it pays to do some homework before you commit to a new pool. Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to create a safe environment and keep your costs down.

While not a type of pool, enviro-friendly heating methods can lower your bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Using alternative heating methods like solar blankets and energy-efficient heat pumps will keep your pool warm. Heating options are a simple way to help your pool remain environmentally friendly without breaking the bank. In fact, efficient condensing boilers can help to cut down your pool heating costs by almost 20 percent.

An ozone sterilization system will reduce your pool maintenance costs and help keep the environment clean by using electricity to convert oxygen into bacteria-destroying ozone.

You might want to consider these types of pool before you commit to a conventional pool:

Saltwater pools Reducing chlorine usage helps to minimize overall chemical consumption and, like the ocean, saltwater pools use a saline composition to keep water clean without chemicals.  Plus, the mixture of chlorine and table salt creates electrolysis, which gets rid of algae and bacteria.

Natural pools Natural pools are made of gravel and clay and are an affordable alternative to conventional pools, plus they’re chemical-free and low-tech. Plants can be added and are a natural purification system that introduces oxygen and good bacteria into the water so that you won’t need clorine.

Moss-filtered pools:  According to statistics moss systems reduce chemical usage by 40 percent, water consumption by 75 percent, and save about $6,700 annually in bills. Plus they reduce water use, reduce the need to backwash the pool for cleaning and cut down on the need for chemicals like chlorine.

It’s always a great idea to reduce your pool maintenance expenses, help keep the environment clean and create the perfect backyard swimming hole, but above all be safe, always watch your kids in the pool and appreciate the fabulous pool weather we have here in the Valley of the Sun!  Best wishes for a safe and fun summer from The Russo Team.   

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Getting Ready for Back To School

by The Russo Team

Getting Ready for Back to School

All good things will eventually come to end and summer is no exception. While Mom and Dad might be doing high-fives because they’ve made it through the summer, little Johnny could be dragging his feet and wondering how he can get out of going back to school.  For him it might mean the end of fun and free time and worry could replace the carefree attitude that he's had all summer.  

If you have a first-timer, the prospect of walking into class that first day can cause anxiety and irritability.  But if you prepare, things can go smoothly and tears can be replaced by smiles. Here are some helpful tips to help you and your child get ready for the first day of school:

1) Talk about what to expect, how his/her day will probably go, and how long they’ll be away each day.

2) If possible, visit the school before the first day of class and introduce your child to their new teacher.

3) Ask around to see if any neighborhood kids can walk to school with your child or ride the bus with him/her that first day. Having a pal can relieve some of the first day jitters.

 4) If they can read, pack a loving and cute message in their lunchbox so that they’ll know you’re thinking of them.

Older kids might have the Back to School Blues and if so you’ll want to put on your salesman suit and really pitch the benefits of new adventures at school every day.

1) Remind them of all the fun they had the previous year and the new friends they're sure to make.

2) Encourage them to get involved with after school activities or sports teams.

3) Keep it positive. Even when your child says, “School is boring and I never have fun,” challenge that negativity with reminders of the previous year’s highlights.

4) Before the Big Day, reconnect with friends that they haven’t seen all summer and organize play dates, sleep-overs, picnics etc. Suggest that Johnny calls them to plan a meeting place the first day of school so he won’t feel all alone when walking into the classroom that first time.

5) Create a plan of action and role-play scenarios that might make your child uncomfortable if he’s anticipating trouble. Discuss how to act if your child’s being bullied, how you can help with math concerns and how to fit in if they are feeling left out. Planning ahead of time how to react can alleviate a lot of stress.

6) Take them shopping. Let them have that backpack or special outfit! Once there’s something to look forward to using or wearing, things can magically shift from bad to good and suddenly they’re ready to start school tomorrow. 

Kids aren't the only ones nervous about starting school. Are you feeling overwhelmed, too? Getting organized and setting priorities will help that immensely so that you feel you have things under control. 

1)  Begin slowly. Ease (yourself and) the kids back into a school year routine gradually. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they'll need to rise when school begins.

2)  Make a checklist of all that needs to be done before school starts and feel really good when you check off each item, knowing you're closer to being ready.

3)  Get organized by making or buying a wipe-off frig calendar for school functions, lunch menus, meetings, sports activities, music lessons and play dates. Just seeing it up and ready will reassure yourself that you can handle any stress that comes your way in the coming weeks. 

4)  If you have a large family you might want to have an School Contact List also posted on the refrigerator for last minute phone calls, emails or absence reporting. 

Finally, try to remember that in the end all will fall into place just as it does each year about this time and that life is all about learning to adapt to change and embrace it. Your kids are stronger and more resilient than you could ever imagine and even though it isn’t always pretty it’s how we grow and learn to succeed in life. As Ms. Frizzle from The Magic Schoolbus once said, "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"  

Enjoy the rest of your summer break and best wishes from The Russo Team!

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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The Russo Team Newsletter July 2016

by The Russo Team

The Russo Team Newsletter July 2016

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July

by The Russo Team

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

We all know that there are a multitude of festivities in Phoenix to celebrate the 4th of July and our hope is that yours is just right, safe and another great memory-making day.

It's always good to remind our friends and family to take extra precautions to make it a great time for all, so here are a few good tips to keep in mind:

CHILD SAFETY

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “safe fireworks” for kids. To prevent any firework accidents, here are a few safety tips: 

1) Create a "safety zone," Don't trust your kids to stay away; keep them far back behind a fence or roped-off area.
2) Or, simply have them watch at-home fireworks from inside the house.
3) Sparklers can still burn a child when the wire remains hot after all the sparks are gone. Never leave your child unattended while burning sparklers.
4) The American Academy of Pediatrics urges caution when using sparklers because they burn at 2,000 degrees. That's equal to a blow torch, and you wouldn't let your child play with a blow torch! If your kids are very young you might want to just have them watch this year.
5) Hands off! Don’t ever attempt re-lighting a fizzled firework and don’t let your kids pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully or seem to be dead.

PET SAFETY 

The safest and best bet for celebrating this 4th of July with your pets is to exclude them from 4th of July festivities. The American Humane Association reports that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters.  

Unlike people, pets don’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations.  

1) Keep them home and inside when you’re gone or celebrating outside.
2) Make sure they're wearing a collar with an ID tag in case they run off when the noise starts.
3) Keep doors and windows shut to minimize anxiety and escape attempts.
4) Provide a safe place for your pet to hide and/or relax.
5) Anxiety can cause excessive thirst so be sure to leave lots of water for your pet.  

Are you thinking about skipping the huge crowds on the 4th of July but still want to see fireworks? Here are some great places to watch them before the big night:

Friday, July 1st:

Ahwatukee’s Red, White and Boom Fireworks Festival at Pecos Park. The fun includes fireworks, live entertainment, food, drinks and patriotic games for a $5 admission price.

Sunday, July 3rd:

Firework Fest at Westgate at Westgate Entertainment District, Glendale. Free admission! Bring your blankets or lawn chairs and relax at Westgate Entertainment District to celebrate with two music stages, fun activities and great eats from more than 20 restaurants. 

Harold's Cave Creek Corral Fireworks in Cave Creek. Free admission or reserved seating available. Festivities include an outside BBQ, face painting, game truck, live music, fireworks at dark. 

Whatever you plan to do to celebrate the 4th of July, we hope you enjoy your time with family and friends - and remember that the 4th of July is truly a day to celebrate this great country that we live in! 

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July from your friends at The Russo Team! 

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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June 2016 RE/MAX National Housing Report

by The Russo Team

June 2016 RE/MAX National Housing Report 

Summer is heating up and so is homebuyer demand according to the June 2016 RE/MAX National Housing Report. May saw a 10.3 percent jump in sales over April and a 5.1 percent increase over May last year. The Median Sales Price in May was $222,475, a 4.2 percent rise from price levels one year ago and 3.5 percent above the median price in April. The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many markets across the country, with the May inventory 14.8 percent lower than May 2015. At the rate of home sales in May, the national Months Supply of Inventory was 3.0, down from 3.2 in April.

“May home sales increased at a rate that’s slightly higher than the average monthly increase. This is despite the fact that inventory in many markets remains very low. At the same time, interest rates appear to have stabilized, which helps encourage potential homebuyers. Price increases continue to moderate and are rising at a more sustainable rate. This market is offering current homeowners more incentive to sell, which could have a positive impact on overall inventory levels,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder.

Like previous months this year, home sales continued to be strong in the Northeast. Across the nation in May, 34 of the 52 metro areas surveyed reported home sales higher than one year ago.  Among the 52 metro areas surveyed in May, only five had a year-over-year drop in prices. The average Days on Market for all homes sold in May was 58, down six days from the average of 64 in both April 2016 and May 2015. Click here to download a copy of the RE/MAX June 2016 National Housing Report.

If you’re ready to buy a Phoenix home or sell your Arizona home, contact the Russo Team today and receive a complimentary analysis of your home’s approximate present value on the market today. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is always our number one priority! -Frank

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals
7111 West Bell Rd. Ste 101
Glendale AZ 85308
602-864-1200
602-739-2727
Fax: 623-643-1008

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