Thursday, February 26, 2015

Note To My Blog Readers!

I am delighted to inform you that my blog has moved to our new AZuRE Team web site at

The blog is at

You'll find the same great content and advice about real estate, and even much more now with community pages.

So come and visit us and tell us what you think!

Richard Bazinet - AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hottest & Latest Home Improvement Trend in Phoenix Scottsdale


Here's the hottest and latest home improvement trend in the Valley Of The Sun - Phoenix Scottsdale.

Fireplaces. Sounds unusual for Arizona, but not quite as this is the trendiest home improvement to date.

Fireplaces in your bedroom, great room and in the backyard (firepits count as well). If you are thinking of adding a fireplace in the master bedroom or the great room, This might sound really tricky if you didn't do it before your home was built, but its quite possible. You can add a beehive fireplace in the bedroom or the great room and had a natural gas line run into the hearth to fuel the flames.

Before planning your fireplace, remember that burning wood indoors or out is heavily restricted in Arizona; you want to use natural gas or propane. Another issue is how you will vent the fireplace to provide air for the fire and to remove the exhaust. But I am told by competent contractors that there are actually a number of ways to do it safely.

They tell me that vents can be run through the walls to carry the exhaust to the exterior of your home, just as is done with clothes dryers. Vent-free fireplaces are also possible to install, but are strictly limited by city and county regulations based on the size of the room where they are being built. In Phoenix, for example, a vent-free fireplace can only produce 6,000 BTUs in the average-size bathroom. In a bathroom or small bedroom, you may not have enough space to do a fireplace without having a vent or chimney.

According to specialized fireplace and gas contractors,  qualified plumbers can run gas lines over the roof to the room where you want the fireplace. Or you can install a propane tank just outside the bedroom or bathroom to supply fuel for the flames. You can also install an electrically lit fireplace, but it just doesn't provide the same kind of excitement that real flames will create.

One of the newest trends is to install linear (long, skinny style) fireplaces instead of the usual rectangles. For example, a fireplace that was five feet long horizontally might be only 14 inches high.

On the other hand, in the backyard, there’s something about a firepit or a fireplace that will lure you, your friends and family into your backyard. Not only that but you can actually build a fairly inexpensive firepit yourself using concrete pavers. You’ll also want to have a plumber run a gas line out to the pit so that you can avoid any restrictions in Arizona on burning wood. You can, however, also fuel your firepit using a propane tank installed in a cabinet nearby.

A firepit is a great place for family and friends to gather for parties or for the grandchildren to toast marshmallows.

Richard Bazinet - AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Buy Or Rent? Buy.


Besides the many advantages of owning versus renting your real estate, according to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, in 2013 owners of real estate are 36 times wealthier than renters.

Richard Bazinet - Azure Team /Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Monday, February 2, 2015

Home Upgrades For The Biggest Pay-Off


Here are the top upgrades for the highest return for your home in Phoenix Scottsdale.

1. Repairs and refreshing. This is where the smartest money is. Maintenance and deferred repairs. New interior and exterior paint, leaky roof and antiquated plumbing. Caulking around the water area rooms. You just can't keep those secret from a home inspector or appraiser.

2. Remodeling beats adding on. Large additions just don't pay-off. Go for quality over quantity. Having a big formal living room plus an everyday family room is less desirable than one-multi use common space. Don't add on square footage. Rather, re-purpose existing square footage by re-configuring the floor plan. Knock down walls between the dining room and the kitchen - it makes the house look bigger.

3. Use eco-friendly upgrades. Install energy efficient features such as energy-star appliances, water-saving efficient plumbing fixtures, the newer light bulbs, a much better upgraded HVAC system, and insulation.

4. Add technology infrastructures. But not cool gadgets that quickly go obsolete. Built-in wireless systems, instant hot water systems and Bluetooth-enabled intelligent home thermostats that work off your smartphone is so much better than a home theater system.

5. Keep up with the Joneses. Always keep your house's amenities in line with the neighborhood. Otherwise, you become less desirable. Upgrade the kitchen appliances, the washer/dryer, replace the old HVAC system, and refresh your kitchen cabinets.

6. Front and back-yard. Make sure the curb appeal is top notch and the backyard pleasant and inviting. The first impression is from the curb. The backyard is where you entertain.

6. The new payback is 5 years. Don't spend big money unless you plan to stay at least 3 to 5 years. The longer your time frame, the lower the risk. If you plan to stay for a while, don't delay starting a project.

Richard Bazinet - Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate