Your Home Near Your Work


Steffy's Notes

10/6/2019 6:30:58 PM

I grew up in a moderate climate area with autumns that had so beautiful nuances from green, yellow to dark orange and red. I could not take my eyes from the window when we were traveling on a highway and the hills were rolling in this yellow-orange-red sea. Now we live in the Sonoran Desert in Phoenix, AZ and the fall colors are very vibrant, but most of them seem to be purple, lavender, violet. On my drive today from North to South Phoenix, it seemed every place had at least one of those plants happily in bloom. I was quite fascinated and could not resist taking a few photos.  Langman's sageLangman's sage bush                                         Violet Silverleaf  Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

10/5/2019 1:19:14 PM

Sometimes looking for certain floor plans and features in homes can best be searched by the year they were built. Festiva Tempe Subdivision was built in 1995, by builder D.R. Horton. It is located in Tempe, zip code 85283, close to Kyrene Rd and Elliot Rd. The size of homes ranges between 1,245 sq.ft. to 1,800 sq.ft. Most of the lots are just under 5,000 sq.ft, and only  a few corner homes on Stephens Dr. and Dava Dr. have lots around 8,000 sq.ft.The homes in the subdivision have five different floorplans:Floor plan 1 (Verde) - 1,245 sq.ft. - 22 homes of this floor planFloor Plan 2 (Cimmarron) - 1360 sq.ft. - only 6 homes of this floor planFloor Plan 3 (Pecos) - 1524 sq.ft. - most popular, 32 homes of this floor planFloor Plan 4 (Cumberland) - 1,614 sq.ft. - 17 homes of this floor planFloor Plan 5 (Summit) - 1,800 sq.ft. - 26 homes of this floor planThe Home-owners Association dues are $50 per month and cover the common area maintenance. The community has a solid Ramada and a green belt - great for picnics, daily dog walks, or staying out and enjoying the sunset. The front yards have mature trees and pretty desert landscaping.The community is close to the South Highline Lateral Canal Trail.   Ramada in Common area - Festiva Tempe SubdivisionStreet View - Festiva TempeReal estate sales for the year of 2019 were all above the $300,000 mark, ranging between $ 300,000 and $323,500. For the previous 3-4 years, between 2014 and 2018,  prices ranged between the low and high $200,000 ($225,000 to $288,000). Festiva Subdivision is close to I-10 and Highway 60, to many warehouse type stores like Costco, Floor and Decor, IKEA and many more. Almost everything in Tempe is within a 20-minute drive, so if you , for example, like to be in the urban down town, it's only a short drive, if you like sports activities, Kiwani's Park is within 5 minutes drive. Both Phoenix SkyHarbor Airport and Arizona State University are about 15 minutes drive.  If you would like to see homes currently for sale, please reach out to me at my direct land line: 480-966-9353. I will be happy to share with you floor plans, and more detailed insights into the current market dynamics.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

10/2/2019 5:07:28 PM

The home in 307 W Santa Cruz Dr., Tempe AZ 85282 is for sale now. It's on the corner of Kyrene Rd. and Santa Cruz Drive. It is an updated home with a sparkling pool. It has a car port for two cars and extra space to park additional vehicles, a boat or an RV. It's an older subdision, with no HOA, which means no monthly dues, and usually less restrictions. The homes are quite well maintained nearby, with pretty front yards with artistic touches. Nearby homes vary in price, lot and home size - see all homes currently for sale in this subdivision of Dwight Park neighborhoods, please click on the link. My walk yesterday started from Dwight park, along Manhatton Street past 307 W Santa Cruz Dr. and finished at Kiwani's Park. Dwight park is a small City of Tempe neighborhood park, with a nice green open area which is often used for soccer games, with a basketball court, children's playgrounds which were updated in 2017. there are also several grill areas and just enough trees and walkways to make it a pleasant place to spend a quiet afternoon, or evening. Occasionally, on week-ends neighbors can hear a violinist or a flute player practicing.  Dwight Park, Tempe - View to Playgrounds                  Dwight Park, Tempe - View to Soccer Field   When I reached Kiwani's park, I've had a pleasant walk, but my photos will not be showing daylight. At this time of year, at 6:30pm is already dark in Tempe. Kiwani's park is 125 acres with a 12-acre lake for fishing, paddling, kayaking. There are playgrounds, a batting range, tennis courts, indoor recreation center with an Olympic size lap pool. It was quite lively and full of activities every direction I looked.    Kiwani's Park - 12-acre Lake                                         Kiwani's Park - Sport's Fields  The home in 307 W Santa Cruz Dr. is located between both parks, almost equal distance. It is also close and within walking distance to a shopping plaza, anchored by a Fry's Grocery Store. There are several restaurants, a UPS store, a hairstyling salon, too.  If you would like to see the updated home in 307 W Santa Cruz Dr. Tempe AZ, please visit my website at, or to schedule a private viewing, please call me at 480-966-9353.  Please notice the table in the back yard - it will not fall down easily, as you may have guessed, it is deeply rooted, and has been there for many years.    307 W Santa Cruz Dr. Tempe AZ 85282 Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

9/22/2019 5:04:49 PM

Taliesin West is architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter residence, one of my favourite Phoenix landmarks. I often buy an annual membership and love to revisit several times thoughout the year - the docent's stories are always different, yet equally entertaining, informative, and memorable, delivered with an elegant sense of humor.  With each visit I discover different aspects of the talent and influence of the architect in the Phoenix area.  My last visit to Taliesin was prompted by a sudden change in my schedule, and I was so happy and grateful that there was a spot on the tour. Our docent was a lady who had seen in 1964 the construction of Gammage Hall , Arizona State University's Performing Arts Center. She also knew one of the students/apprentices, Heloise Crista, a sculptor, whose work can be seen on the Taliesin West campus. Heloise Crista lived on the Taliesin West campus and passed away last year at age 92. Two of her bronze sculptures below: The route of the tour was through the architect's work studio/office, the front of the school building with expansive views of the whole Phoenix area, though the breezeway, the living room, the bedrooms, the Kiva, the dining area, the Drafting Studio, the Music Pavilion and the Cabaret. The views from the living room are amazing; on the photos below, if you squint your eyes, you may see the Black Mountain and the Superstitions mountains, about 72 miles away.   The docent demonstrated the incredible accoustics in the cabaret. People sitting on the last row can hear equally well as the ones in the first row - why, there are no parallel walls in the cabaret building.The Drafting studio had no students in it now, as the they are in Taliesin Wisconsin until early October. Then they come back to Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ for their winter semester, and stay till end of April. Frank Lloyd Wright liked to collect cars, he had 92 of them and they helped transport faculty, staff and apprentices in a caravan-like manner back and forth between Taliesin Wisconsin and Taliesin West.  The Master's Degree program in Architecture has an enrollment of about 30 students. The 8-week Immersive Program is geared towards college-level students and adults of all ages. I glanced quickly into the syllabus of the Spring Immersion Program, which was themed "Escape in a World of Connectivity", inviting participants to search for answers to questions like: 'what is escape in a world full of connectivity', 'is it possible to be 'lost' when everything is tracked', 'what is the aesthetic value of the contemporary, colonized desert'.The Insights tour takes about 1.5 hours, and is a memorable experience.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

9/3/2019 4:49:10 PM

One or two year's ago I resumed my participation in the Broker Tours in the cities where I have listings, and I have been very pleased ever since from each tour. It's an great way to stay updated on inventory in our service areas and to get a better feel of neighborhoods.Today's Broker Tour was very efficient and quick - we all boarded the special tour bus and we were able to talk and hear news from a mortgage lender, a title company and from other realtors in the time between the actual tours of the homes.   Below are a few photos of the homes we visited in Tempe AZ - they are quick snaps of features that I thought were interesting - I would encourage you to click on the photos and the links and see the actual professional photos from the MLS, as published by the listing agents.  This is a custom 4-bedroom home in the Lakes subdivision in Central Tempe.  At the home entrance a friendly pebble stone painting is waving welcome, and from then on, it is a lot of 'wow's, elegance and views.    Another home from the tour was a Bradley home, known for excellent quality block construction, and it featured a split floor plan and 5-bedrooms.   The home, selected as best home on tour for presentation and value, receives a sign rider, which can be displayed on the home sign in front of the listing. Please click on the photos below to see more of the home, voted Best on Tour:   I love digital marketing, and print marketing, yet in my marketing mix I am including more  in-person events - doing open houses, and attending broker tours.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/26/2019 12:22:18 PM

This attractive home for rent is in a fourplex in Central Tempe. Upstairs there are two bedrooms and one full bath, and downstairs are the kitchen, dining/living area and half a bathroom, total size is approximately 900 square feet. The kitchen is updated with recently installed appliances and cabinets.  The living room is spacious - you can easily fit your boat, your bike and still have space for an easy-chair or a couch.  The home is quiet - block construction, nobody above or below,  plus this is an end unit with only one shared wall. This unit has a lovely Romeo&Juliet balcony, overlooking the trees and grassy areas and city light in the evening.  Well maintained complex with lots of green lawns and trees around. It is close to shopping, restaurants, entertainment, ASU, highways, on the route of the free ORBIT bus. The home is available October 3, 2019. Please call me at 490-966-9353 to schedule a private viewing, or send me an email. Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/21/2019 12:59:47 PM

As I was coming out of our AZCREW lunch meeting yesterday, where the inspirational speaker Carla Harris had invited us to think about ourselves in terms of three adjectives which people will use to describe us when we were not in the room, I noticed those numbers. I looked at the building entrance - here are the four characters that identied the building perfectly  - at eye level, with bright contrasting colors, available immediately when I looked for them. Our meeting room had been moved to a different building, and all I wanted to know is where that building was amongst the several structures around. Do you think it was easy to find? It took me 3 seconds and I didn't have time even to be irritated about the change.  That's what she was asking us to write about ourselves.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/18/2019 4:45:41 PM

This updated home in Tempe AZ has just been put on the market for $324,500.307 W Santa Cruz Dr., Tempe AZ 85282The home is located in central Tempe, in Dwight Park Neighborhoods, with an easy and convenient access to shopping, parks, down town entertainment and employment, to Arizona State University.The home is primarily block construction, 1,538 square feet, and has 3-bedrooms and 2-bathrooms, and a very open and spacious floor plan. It is very quiet, well-insulated,  with the dual pane windows. The home has a brand new roog, installed in the summer of 2019, brand new flooring in the living room, kitchen, master bedroom and in both bathrooms. The RV parking is right next to the 2-vehicle carport. The sparkling pebbletec pool and spa are the focus of the relaxing back yard. It is great for entertaining - with its beautiful, mature desert landscaping, which is easy to maintain, too, and the 7-foot block walls make it quite private.  If you would like to view this or other homes in the neighborhood, please reach out to me - I am a phone call away at 480-966-9353.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/14/2019 4:52:54 PM

It's Time To Move Your Contract Period to 45 Days PSA for real estate agents across the country - 45 days is officially your new 30 days.  Think it's a benefit to go 30 days?  Well, with the yield curve on treasuries officially inverting today, we're officially in a refinance boom.  What does that mean?  Longer turn times for lenders - literally every lender in the country is experiencing an influx of refinance volume - at levels I've NEVER seen before. The last time rates were this low, consumers had nowhere near the levels of home equity they currently do.  Last time they had home equity in the amounts they currently have, rates were closer to 6%.  We currently have the perfect storm of huge rate drops (down from the 5's last November to the 3's today) immediately following a 24 month period of extreme home appreciation.  For home owners, this means the time is now to refinance  -either for rate/term refinances or cash out refinances (rarely is the market primed for both to offer such huge benefits). For real estate agents, this means you're setting yourself (and more importantly, your clients) up for failure if you're still pushing 30 day (or if you're feeling muy loco, 21 day) escrow periods. Lenders might still be telling you they can get stuff done in 30 days.  And the reality is, they probably can (I can still, as of today, close a loan in 3 weeks) - but the margin for error we used to have is gone.  Our operations teams (by our, I mean our entire industry's) are maxed out - applications are up, pipelines are bulging, and turn times are being effected. If your option is to push for escrow periods of 30 days and almost guarantee a stressful closing for just about every party involved, or to set your escrow period at 45 days and ensure everyone is happy, all deadlines are met, and expectations are exceeded, WHY would you choose the former?  Don't do it. The verbiage everyone should be using is "45 days or sooner, if all parties agree", in any and all contracts where that's possible - and the biggest responsibility is for listing agents to properly explain this to their sellers.  Buyers agents are still feeling the pressure of "our offer won't get accepted with more than 30 days" in many hot markets with tight inventory, so they're still going to push for 30 or 21 day escrows.  Lenders, feeling the pinch and afraid of losing the business, will agree to this - and then everyone will be pissed off come closing time because deadlines are being missed or things are happening but at the very last minute. Listing agents need to be the ones to set the escrow period longer, and communicate why to their sellers - set the expectations low, and exceed them, rather than trying to force something to happen that is in reality setting yourself up for failure. The average time someone spends in their home is 9 years, or 468 weeks.  Delaying entry by less than 2 weeks is not going to make or break most people or most transactions, and if you enjoy your reputation and prefer less stress over constant panic, my very strong recommendation is to begin using 45 days as your new benchmark for the home sale transaction. Want to work with a lender that's keeping on top of market conditions and exceeding expectations?  Give us a call at 484-680-4852 or bring your questions to an expert for immediate answers!John Meussner NMLS# 138061Visit My Website!   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/11/2019 3:37:17 PM

Rent vs. Own - Leverage Your Live-in Investment to Build Wealth Owning a home has great financial benefits. The single best opportunity to build wealth is homeownership. Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership: 1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available 2. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent 3. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings” 4. Owning is a hedge against inflation 5. There are still substantial tax benefits to owning (*Consult your tax advisor to confirm your personal tax benefits) *Infographic provided by KCM The Bottom Line:Owning your own home vs. renting may lead to some great options, such as locking in your monthly payments and having the freedom to customize your living space. It is estimated that a family buying an average priced home this past January could build more than $42,000 in family wealth over the next five years. Think about it - whether you rent or own, you have to pay someone’s mortgage - wouldn’t you rather it be YOURS? You may as well be doing so to build your own wealth, rather than that of your landlord. House values and rents tend to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation. Wouldn’t you rather see your house value go up - than have to pay an increase in rent? Renting and owning both have up-front fees when you sign your lease or close, respectively. Think about putting that money to work for you!Thinking of breaking up with your landlord? Let's talk! Call or text (704) 491-3310 today and I'll help get you on the road to wealth via homeownership! Read more about homeownership - How Americans feel about The American Dream Tired of Rising Rental Rates in Charlotte? Lose Your Charlotte Landlord © Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | | Rent vs. Own - Leverage Your Live-in Investment to Build Wealth

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Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/11/2019 2:57:01 PM

I was at a gift store yesterday, looking for decor accents for a coming soon listing in Tempe, and came across those colorful creatures. It seems the guy in the hat was keeping an eye on me, demanding attention and checking if I would look anywhere else besides at him. I was so impressed with the different expressions of the eyes of each one of them.I felt very much at home in their company, as I keep one of them on my desk and often admire the artistry.Navajo Folk Art Chicken. Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

8/3/2019 9:53:18 PM

August is here and Monsoons are hanging heavy in the desert air.The usual walk up the hill felt twice more difficult than in other months. Everything will be much fresher tomorrow after tonight's rain.  August colors of the desert have all shades of fiery yellow, pink, purple, magenta, blue, green.     Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

7/28/2019 1:10:17 PM

Tile is a very popular flooring option in Phoenix, AZ - it keeps the rooms cool, it is easy to maintain, and does not store dust, as carpet does. After designers made tile to look like wood, now I can see it is starting to resemble carpet and area rugs. I liked these ideas.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

7/31/2019 3:18:53 PM

A favorite destination for summer leisurely activities that nurture creativity and imagination through art is the Shemer Art Center in Phoenix.  The Art Center was named by the Culture Trip as one of Phoenix's 10 Best Kept Secrets. It is on the Phoenix's Point of Pride List, together with 31 other locations. Here is what we can expect when visiting The Shemer Art Center:Art Exhibitions, especially of emerging artists; Sculpture Garden - large scale outdoor sculptures, on loan by the artistsAdult Classes and WorkshopsYouth WorkshopsArt LecturesGift Store I often look through the emails about the workshops,  and I feel like I would like to attend all the classes and workshops. They are fun and affordable, taught by professional teaching artists. Here is what I saw offered for the month of August this year - Introduction to Calligraphy, Hand-Painted Silk Scarves, Marbling and Collage on Rice Paper, Ceramics Zoomorphic Vessels, Fused Glass Mosaics, Ceramics Surface Design and so much more. If you click on the link, you will be able to see some of the artwork and class descriptions. When I need to buy gifts I like to visit the Gift Store - I usually find unique items by local artists, which fit the occasion. The Shemer Art Center has its name from its founder Martha Evvard Shemer, who purchased and donated the lot and the home, built in 1919, to the City of Phoenix. In 1984 it became open to the public - as a historic building place, and as a place providing Arts Education for the citizens of Phoenix. Below is the information about location and hours of operation: Shemer Arts Center & Museum 5005 E. Camelback Road Phoenix Arizona 85018   Hours:  Tuesday-Saturday | 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.Sunday/Monday | Closed This is my third post for July's Summer Fun Contest - Show off your town! Thanks for hosting it, Anna! Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

7/25/2019 2:15:06 PM

The flashlight tours at the Desert Botanical Garden are a favorite destination during the summer months. Every year, and every week  there are different actvities and exhibits that capture the delight and imagination of visitors - from young kids to adults. Docents and Volunteers at the garden have stories to tell about the creatures that can be found at the Garden, and wild, in Nature in our Sonoran Desert. This desert tortoise was one of the first to welcome us in the garden on the day of our visit.  During flashlight tours, we and the kids can also experience setting up a tent, crawling inside it, building a camp-fire, and roasting delicious s'mores. The spacious field, the stars, the sounds of the night desert - it's all within 15-20 minutes drive from a home in Tempe or neighboring areas of Scottsdale, Phoenix or Mesa.    As we stroll along the Garden's trails, we sometimes see the rare night blooming cactus - the Queen of the Night. It blooms only once a year, and at night only. I was able to see one in bloom a few years ago, and have saved the photo - it caught me unprepared camerawise, but still with some imagination, we can see the white flower among the sprawling branches.   It's fun to stop by the creativity stations - painting with mesquite on clay pendants, painting with glowings crayons and painting with light (the link will also show some more photos of light creations).   There are several discovery stations, as well as a telescope to see the night sky, sometimes Mars can be visible. My favorite love to tour the garden on the nights when there is full Moon, too. If you follow my blog, this is probably not the first time you are reading about Desert Botanical Gardens, and the flashlight tours.  Here is the link to the previous blog post about the flashlight tours in published in 2017.  If you like what you are reading, please subscribe to it. This post is a participation in the Summer Fun Contest - Show-Off Your Town!  Flashlight tours at the Desert Botanical Garden:DATE: Saturday nights | June 1 - August 31 | 7 – 9:30 p.m.TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pmPRICE: $14.95 adult | $9.95 child | Garden members and children 3 years and younger are admitted free   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

7/17/2019 1:54:50 PM

One of my favorite places in Phoenix is the Musical Instruments Museum -  a collection of more than 6800 musical instruments, organized geographically by continent, by region and by country in five Geographic Galleries.  As you enter, a screen greets you with images of musicians and dancers and the message: Music is the langiage of the soul!  If your time permits, I would strongly recommend to join one of the docent tours - they are very insightful, entertaining stories about how to navigate the MIM galleries; also each docent story will reflect their specific music expertise or interest. I have attended tours where the docent was an expert on percussions and he started the tour in Africa and took us through the continents, explaining how percussion music was created in different geographies. Another docent, experienced in Mongolian string instruments, pointed out curious details about the music and culture - he took us to the video demonstarting music resembling the sound of a galloping horse.    Mongolian Morin KhuurThe Artist Gallery has instruments, stage outfits and performance video of many world renowed musicians - Joshua Bell, Elvis, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Tito Puente, Ravi Shankar, Johnny Cash, Celia Cruz and many more.Mechanical Music Gallery has instruments designed to play on their own. At 3pm daily is the demonstration of the 25-foot wide Apollonia orchestration. Do you remember your Grandparents having one of those?  The Experience Gallery encourages guests of all ages to try playing various instruments - there are several harps, which strangly enough are always well-tuned, guitars, xylophones, maracas, drums and more.   Experience Kids has various age-related programs - for ages 6-12 Junior Museum Guides; for ages 0-5 Mini Music Makers; for ages 6-10 there are Musical Adventures which gives kids the opportunity to create musical instruments from different parts of the world  and then find them in the geographic libraries. I can see that the parents have equal fun in those events, too. Last week, during the Experience France event, the invitation was to create Chapeau Chinois (Bell Tree). I will let you read from the description in the photos below what it is.  Once a month, the Signature Events invite us to immerse in one culture or one artist's life time perfomances. During those two-day highly interactive events we can see musicians and dancers performing art from the selected geography, hear guest lecturers and curator talks. I recorded for us the accordion performance of local musician Tony Petrino, strolling along the corridors during the Experience France event, and Bartholomew Faire, performing French Renaissance music. Summer months in the Phoenix Metro may not be inviting us to be outdoors much, however they are great for visiting this unique collections of musical instruments and experiences.Musical Instuments Museum is located at 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050. It is open 9 a.m - 5 p.m. every day. If you like to read more about favorite summer destinations in the Phoenix Metro area, please subscribe to my blog and follow me.This blog is my participation in the Summer Fun Contest - Show off your town! hosted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886  in the month of July 2019.        Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

7/5/2019 4:05:59 PM

We just closed escrow on this cozy townhome in 944 S Valencia Dr. #5, Mesa AZ 85202. 3-bedrooms/ 1.5-bathrooms, 1,320 sq.ft.Sold for $165,000As it often happens, there were multiple offers. Buyers had flexibility and could wait until the lease end of the current Tenant. They enjoy the convenience of the location, the close proximity and availability of Starbuck's cafe, restaurants, Tempe Canal Trail, Freeway US60 and Loop 101, shopping, Banner Health hospital, Mesa Community College, schools. The painted concrete and street decoration on the nearest major street - as you exit from the subdivision - is quite colorful and very festive, just as the name of the area - Fiesta District.   Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

7/1/2019 2:34:50 PM

This single family home in 2156 S. Hu Esta Dr. Tempe AZ 85282 was a great find for my Buyer clients - it is in a cul-de-sac like location off Mill Avenue, close to down town Tempe, to Arizona State University, to almost everything needed.3 bedroom, 2 bathrooms - 1510 sq.ft.Sold for $280,000The previous owners had planted in the front and back yards several fig trees, other fruit and decorative trees. They started an orchard and a vegetable garden, to which the new owners will add more and will turn it into a place of their own. The home was built in 1952 and updated and improved several times through the years.The City of Tempe has plans to complete a landscaped, multi-use Path behind the home. The project is a 7-mile, non-motorized path from Knox Rd. to University Avenue. The path will include lighting, landscaping and public art.  Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/30/2019 8:44:35 AM

Magical place to be playful, if you feel so - step in the middle circle and discover how your voice sounds.Or this could be a peaceful and quiet place  -  to sit down, relax and reflect on the day's events.The colorful nature backdrop changes by the minute.Those of you who follow my blog, probably know already that this lovely view is taken at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ. Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/28/2019 9:43:03 AM

This lovely condo in Mistwood Condominiums, Tempe AZ 85282 is now sold.2-master bedrooms, 1,092 sq.ft. Tempe AZ 85282Sold Price $190,000The Sellers received multiple offers within a day on the market. The fact that the first day on the market was a Monday, did not stop the showing activity. Just another proof that the real estate market is still quite hot in Tempe AZ. The Sellers wanted to repair and perfect everything in the home, to clean it thoroughly, including the windows, interior and exterior, before it was put on the market. It took a few days longer than expected, but in the end it paid off well. There were no surprises or delays after the Buyers' home inspection was done.The transaction was financed and it closed within the normal time frame - about 30 days after the offer was accepted. On my website,, you can see more listing in the Dwight Park neighborhoods and in this community, too.  Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/20/2019 12:09:20 PM

Construction of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway is nearing completion. It will provide an easier connection between  the West side of the Phoenix Valley (Interstate 10 near 59th Avenue in Phoenix) with South Phoenix, Laveen, Ahwatukee, Chandler and other cities in the East Valley.At the luncheon, organized by Women in Commercial Real estate,  Martin Perez, Program Manager at the City of Phoenix, and Lori Collins, Deputy Economic Development Direct at City of Phoenix, talked about the new industrial construction in the area and the creation of a new jobs corridor along the new highway. Cathy Thuringer, Principal at TrammelCrow Company, described the new West 202 Logistics Center, located at the Corner of 59th Avenue and Lower Buckey Road. It's a huge Cross Deck Distrubution type, with size 554,000 sq.ft. With only 5 - 5.30 hrs drive time from San Diego, Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports, the availability of the distribution center will be a convenient location for many businesses.The easier connection of West and East Valley will lower considerably the commute time for employees from the Chandler high-tech corridor. To see a quick overview of homes and amenities near the 59th Avenue expansion of Loop 202 - click here:If you would like to know more about homes that are closer to your work, please connect with me at Tel: 480-966-9353 and I will prepare a customized home search for you. Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/18/2019 9:04:51 AM

How Do You Pick The Best Loan Term? Home mortgage loans are one of the most common sources of financing. Lots of home buyers will put some serious thought into what loan term they should go with. How do your pick the loan term that is best for your financial circumstances? Hopefully, by the time you're done reading you'll have a better sense of direction on that. You can also visit the resource at Maximum Real Estate Exposure for additional guidance. Numerous lenders offer mortgages for nearly any loan term you desire. Most people, however, assume conventional fixed-rate mortgages are for either fifteen or thirty years. You can use these loans to buy a new home or refinance your current home. The decision to pick one loan term over another is usually a function of qualifying and income. Many people who have the financial means to qualify for a shorter loan term will go that route. For the average Joe, that is not always possible. In fact, the fifteen-year mortgage term is far from the most used. As of 2012, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that eighty-five percent of purchase loans were thirty year fixed mortgages. The thirty-year fixed mortgage has been popular for a very long time. You could call this kind of loan the mortgage standard. There are, however, other loan terms that could be just as appealing, if not more so. Most people think of loan terms in either five or ten-year increments such as ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty-year mortgages. Many lenders, however, are now doing odd loan terms. For example, you may want a loan term amortized over twelve years. Could it be that you know you'll be retiring at that point and want your mortgage paid off? This is just one example of why someone might want a more unusual loan term expiration. Choices for credit terms Customized loan terms have been available in many smaller institutions for a long time. It is more recently that some of the larger lenders have joined the fray in customizing their loan periods. Shorter loan terms and alternative loan terms have become more popular in recent years for a couple of reasons. First, extremely low-interest rates make the monthly payments on shorter mortgages more affordable to borrowers. Second, the recession from 2008 to 2012 with high levels of unemployment has led many consumers to strive for making their debt load smaller, including mortgages. If a customized loan term is something you desire then it's one of the questions to ask a lender up front whether they will accommodate your needs. Reasons to go for an alternative loan term Below are the reasons as to why you want to use an alternative loan term 1. You will pay less in interest Most people who are refinancing will go for a shorter loan period. The reason for wanting to have a quicker payoff period is very logical. If you have owned a home and have been paying off your loan balance for several years, you'll want to stay on track with your loan payoff schedule. For example, if you started with a thirty-year mortgage and refinance your loan balance, it is unlikely you'll want to go back to a thirty-year amortization if you have owned the house for five years. You have been paying down your mortgage for five years, so you have only twenty-five left. Many borrowers would either ask their lender for a twenty-five-year loan or go to a fifteen-year mortgage. So while you may be paying a higher mortgage payment refinancing into a fifteen-year mortgage, you'll be saving thousands of dollars in interest payments with a shorter loan term. Lots of folks like to be able to take those funds and invest in other places where they can make their money grow. 2. It gives a convenient payoff date As previously mentioned, some homeowners will go with a customized loan payoff date due to some kind of financial milestone. Some of the more common reasons for wanting a specific loan schedule include retirement or paying for your kid's college bill. When refinancing it is not uncommon for homeowners to select a new mortgage end date that coincides when their original loan date would have ended. So if for example the loan was initially scheduled for a twenty-year payoff they might refinance into a ten-year loan if they have owned their home for ten years. 3. Proper budgeting One of the most significant considerations for picking an appropriate term for the loan is the financial budget. In both the homes I have purchased I opted for customized loan periods. While I would have loved to go with a fifteen-year mortgage to pay less interest over the life of the loan, I chose a twenty-year loan. While many buyers would have picked a thirty-year term, I opted for twenty to pay off my loan balance quicker. By choosing the twenty-year term, I got a little bit better interest rate which further saved on interest payments. You could say there was a fine line between balancing my housing expenditures and keeping my loan term as short as possible. How to compare loan features 1. Compare the interest rate and fees you'll pay. Some lending institutions have different fees for different loan programs. It is imperative to compare apples to apples. It is possible that you could be charged higher fees with going with a less than standard loan term. Interest rates are always lower on loans with shorter lengths. For example, you will get a lower interest rate when you opt for a ten-year loan vs. a fifteen year. The same can be said when comparing a fifteen-year mortgage to one that is amortized over twenty years. Usually, the interest rate spread between a 30-year and a 15-year loan is larger than the difference between a 20-year and a 15-year mortgage. Different lenders might charge the same interest rate for a 20-year loan and a 25-year loan. This is why comparing different lending institutions becomes so vital. You will need to analyze all possible loan terms before deciding which one suits you best. 2. Loan Amortization. The lenders you are interviewing can prepare amortization tables for some loan terms and corresponding interest rates to show you the principal and interest at various times during your loan. You can do this when bringing financial documents the lender will need to process the loan. With a shorter loan term, you'll begin to pay down your principal much faster. Conversely, with a longer loan term such as a thirty-year mortgage, during the first few years, your mortgage payments will be mostly interest. In other words, you won't be paying down your principal balance all that much. An amortization table could show you how much less you would pay in interest if you chose a shorter loan term. 3. Monthly Mortgage Payments Your monthly mortgage payments can vary tremendously according to your loan term. Typically, the mortgage principal and interest payment are higher with a shorter term loan. Given the interest rates are lower on these mortgages, the payment might not be as high as you expect. Keep in mind, that paying less in interest is what most people desire, and shortening your loan term will help you to pay off your mortgage faster. The downside, however, is that your mortgage interest tax deduction will be reduced and will eventually disappear. You'll have to plan for potentially higher taxes if you choose a shorter loan term. When deciding on a loan term, this is something you might want to discuss with your financial advisor or tax account first. Everyone's economic circumstances are different. What might be great for one person could be completely different than the next. Heck you might even want to extend your loan term because you plan on making home improvements to the property. It's possible you could add an additional amount to your loan balance to cover the additions that will make your property worth more and enjoyable to you in the process. Final Thoughts on Loan Terms When picking a loan term, it is essential you think about your complete financial picture. For this reason, many folks opt to speak with qualified professionals before making such a significant financial decision. Your financial goals should play a large part in what loan term you decide on. Do you have student loan debt? Have you overextended yourself with credit card debt? Do you need to save for the kid's college? Will retirement be sneaking up on you soon? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself when trying to decide which way to turn. What you can qualify for is another consideration. Some people might not even be able to go with a shorter loan term that they desire. Sometimes you can put yourself in the best of both worlds position. For example, one of my favorite things to do is put money each month towards paying down my principal balance. I am paying off my loan quicker which in turns lowers the amount of interest I will pay throughout the loan. One loan term may be good for the goose but not for the gander. Do your due diligence to figure out the best option for your financial goals and position. Other Helpful Active Rain Real Estate ResourcesMost frequently asked mortgage questions - when buying a home it is important to ask a lot of questions and get the answers that make you the most comfortable. See some of the questions most borrowers will ask their lender.Why having a buyer's agent is smart - some people have no idea why they should be using a buyer's agent. The least important task of a real estate agent is showing you homes. You should be looking for someone who can provide expert real estate guidance. One of the main functions of a buyer's agent is to provide sound advice.Look at these additional resources for more helpful financial and real estate advice. Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others. Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/15/2019 5:30:33 PM

I wasn't planning on buying any art for our walls - I was just going to look at the exhibition, and also enjoy the tranquility and views of  the Valley from Taliesin West in Scottsdale AZ - Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and desert laboratory. Well, it didn't happen exactly so.Myself and almost everybody present seemed to leave with a roll of prints. After the opening of the exhibition, and the short introductory speech of the curator, the audience somehow moved from the theatre seats into a long line, waiting to purchase their favorite prints.The poster-style exhibits, showing buildings and homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, are attractively displayed in the Music Pavilion and look even more dramatic with the architect's favorite Cherokee-red background. The Smiths house (aka MyHaven) in Bloomfiel Hills, MI - JC Richard   Experience Felowship by Alison King, Phoenix AZ    The Exhibition is organized by Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Spoke Art Gallery. On display - June 14-16, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  12345 North Taliesin DriveScottsdale AZ 85259 Below: View of Wright's work studio at Taliesin West.  Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/15/2019 8:51:58 AM

Thinking back on my first home purchase. I was not a Realtor. My close friend was going through a divorce. She was going to sell her cute row house close to both our parents. I was just 1973 I was  married with a gorgeous two year old daughter Johanna. The house was $21,000 both our parents helped us with the $1,000 each and we had some money saved. My husband worked at an attorney office who took care of everything. Six years later there was now a nine month brother Eric and we decided to move. We now had a considerable amount of equity in the house. The interest however were very high around 18%. I did find a very nice lady Realtor. She worked for Fox & Lazo (now Berkshire Hathaway) She found a cash buyer right away for top dollar. I respect her even more thinking back as I wanted to live in a townhouse in Neshaminy Valley Bensalem that was not her area and she referred me to another agent in Bucks County. The problem was he did not listen to what I wanted. He was more comfortable showing me singles in Levittown. He would also make pit stops to his own house in  Levittown. Being who I am this was a big turn off..This agent was foolish. I was ready to buy he did not listen .Always listen to your clients wants and needs. I started looking in the newspaper this was way before computers. I found a "for sale by owner"  I loved it. It had every thing I wanted plus it was a hop skip and a jump from the Elementary School. I took my husband Joe he loved it too and again we had the attorney's handle the sale. Also the sellers  bank was willing to give us a 15% interest rate. Wow what a great deal To make along story short I decided to go back to work once both of my children were in school. So I took a vocational guidance test. Real Estate Agent was top of the list. The rest is history --- After a year at Realty World I went to Re/Max. One day builder representatives came in the office to show us plans for a new development behind the Golf Course which was close to our office. Five of us in the office ended up buying a house there I was the first. I called Joe who was convinced we would go broke if we moved again so I did the Ben Franklin approach and showed him how we could do it. We had lived in our townhouse more than seven years and had quite a bit of equity. Especially because when we bought interest rates were high so when the rates came down prices went up. We purchased at the right time and had a nice amount of money to put down. Real Estate was a great investment for us as a young couple. We did not buy the house of our dreams the first time but it was a nice house. We had wonderful memories there and it was a great investment.. It allowed us to step up into a spacious townhouse that today would cost a quarter of a million dollars. From there into a beautiful single house that today our daughter Johanna and my son-in law John with my beautiful four grandchildren live in with the pride of home ownership So if you want to talk about the pride of ownership I can . Even if I do not own this house any more every-time I visit my family I feel pride . Pride that I taught my daughter how important home ownership is .Pride in how much love my son in law John puts into this house . Pride of ownership is what you put into a house it gives back to you - Most of ALL PRIDE of Ownership is how much LOVE is in Your House I have always had compassion for my clients when they moved   I understand the stress of packing ,turning on utilities ,change of address , dealing with movers , mortgage companies, title companies  and all the stress that is involved in the moving process . What type of agent do you want to represent you ? If you are looking for an agent who will understand and work hard to make it an easier transition for you please contact me 215-820-3376 This  post is an entry to Debe Maxwell, CRS challenge Pride of Homeownership Re/Max Eastern 215 953 8800 215 953 8818 cell anytime  215 820 3376 HannahRemax@Gmail.Com contact me to be set up for a portal Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

6/7/2019 6:29:34 PM

Juniper Village in Tempe AZ 85283 is a small community of 48 detached patio homes. Twenty seven of them are single story and twenty one homes have two stories. The size of homes is approximately between 1,050  and 1,500 sq.ft. The subdivision was built in 1983-84. The regular assessment for the Home-Owners Association is approximately $150 per month and covers pool and common areas maintenance.Reviewing home sales for the last five years, from January 2015 till June 2019, we see that there are one to three home sales per year.  A three-bedroom, two-bath home of 1,479 sq.ft. sold for $174,000 in April 2015, and a three-bedroom, two-bath home of 1,502 sq.ft. sold for $242,000 in September, 2015.  In 2018, there were three sales and they ranged between $225,000 and $260,000. In 2019 - just one home, listed for sale this year so far; it went under contract after five days on the market - and was listed for $285,000. The subdivision feels park-like with its small, shady lanes with mature trees and with the green belts around the subdivision.  We like Sun; when there is lots of it, shade is a treasure, too.  What I love about this community is that I can walk from it, through the community gate to the neighboring Tempe Square Plaza and be in the shade all the time.   As a side note, I'd like to mention, that the gate in the picture above was the result of Juniper Village residents' participation in the City of Tempe Neighborhood Grant Program. The program is for resident-initiated projects, designed to enhance the quality of life in Tempe neighborhoods.   Going back to my walking, the distance from the gate to Tempe Square Plaza covered walkways is a few feet only and there I am in the shade again - I pass by the Inner Vision Yoga Studio, by the Imagination Station Child Care and I am right at Trader Joe's. Or, I can turn North and walk by Independent Bookstore Changing Hands, next is Wildflower Bakery, further out Walgreen's is seen, too.   A quick look at shows that there are 45 restaurants near the Tempe Square Plaza. Lots to choose from.  If you enjoyed reading about this Tempe neighborhood, and would like to know more and in depth information about Tempe, Chandler or Scottsdale neighborhoods, home sales or live/work places, please reach out to me. I will enjoy sharing my knowledge of Tempe neighborhoods and will help you sell your home or find the one that you have been dreaming for. My phone is 480-966-9353.  Steffy Hristova, MBA, SFR, CNE, Realtor® HomeSmart Elite GroupTel:  (480) 966-9353 10601  N. Hayden Rd. I-100Scottsdale AZ 85260 Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin