Arizona Science Center

We visited the Arizona Science Center last weekend.  It was a hot summer day, and my son picked it over a trip to the Grand Canyon:-)

It had been many years since I’d visited the Science Center, so it was a good refresher.  The building is currently undergoing major renovations, but there was still more than enough to see, even though we skipped the featured exhibit (The Science of Fear!), the planetarium,  and the IMAX theatre.

On the first floor, the home construction exhibit, “Many Hands Make a Home”, is always a hit with both kids and adults.  It is fun to see how a home is put together step by step.

Moving upstairs, we spent a bit of time on the “Music Landing” playing with sound, and then headed over to the Get Charged Up Gallery, another one of the many hands-on exhibits. In here, I laid on a bed of nails. It was prickly, but not painful at all. Actually, it felt pretty cool.

On the third floor, the “My Digital World” was new to me.  Fun! I had to pull my camera out for one of the exhibits (see the show below).  Still don’t know quite how the technology works on this one, but totally enjoyed watching everyone play with the light!

The Forces of Nature exhibits on this floor were interesting, too. My favorite was the short movie about weather, complete with wind, heat, and rain showers.

SRP sponsored a solar exhibit, “Solarville”, in the fourth floor hallway. Small, but definitely educational.  It’s so much easier to understand a concept when you have a chance to play or get a hands-on experience.

The Arizona Science Center is located at 600 E. Washington in downtown Phoenix, just north of Chase Field.  We parked in the garage just north of the Science Center, and with validation, the charge was only a buck (even though there was a Diamondbacks game going on at the same time).  Exhibit hours are usually 10-5, seven days a week, but you will want to check the center’s web site to make sure.

Helpful Arizona Science Center Links:

Arizona Home Sellers – Changes in Sign Laws for Home Owners Associations and How They Impact You

I sit on the Board of Directors for the Sandpiper Home Owner’s Association here in Scottsdale, and receive up-to-date HOA information from a number of sources.  Yesterday, I received the following email from a local law firm (Ekmark & Ekmark), and since it covered the new sign and open house laws so well, I asked if I could share it verbatim.

If you live in a community governed by an Arizona Home Owner’s Association, you will want to know what your rights are as a home seller. 

For Sale Signs

            An association may not prohibit the indoor or outdoor display of a for sale sign and a sign rider by a unit owner on that owner’s property.  

            This applies to all properties subject to deed restrictions (A.R.S. § 33-441, created 2009), condominiums (A.R.S. § 33-1261, amended 2007) and planned communities (A.R.S. § 33-1808, amended 2007), including those that are access-restricted.  It does not apply to timeshare properties.

            These laws protect not only professional realtor signs but signs that indicate that the property is for sale by owner.  The laws also state that the size of the sign and sign rider shall be in conformance with industry standards.  The laws define industry standards as a sign that does not exceed 18 x 24 inches.  Likewise, the sign rider shall not exceed 6 x 24 inches.

            Also, planned communities (A.R.S. § 33-1808, amended 2010) and condominiums (A.R.S. § 33-1261, amended 2010) may not regulate for sale signs if they are not larger than industry standard size.  Associations may not require the use of particular signs indicating real property for sale and may not further regulate the use of for sale signs that are industry standard size and that are owned or used by the seller or the seller’s agent.  In other words, associations may not force owners to use pre-approved for sale signs or signs that are a particular color or design. 

Open House Signs and Open House Hours

            Arizona law protects open house signs and open house hours in condominiums (A.R.S. § 33-1261, amended 2010) and planned communities (A.R.S. § 33-1808, amended 2010), including those that are access-restricted. 

            Associations may not prohibit or otherwise regulate temporary open house signs if they are not larger than industry standard size.  Associations may not require the use of particular signs indicating an open house and may not further regulate the use of temporary open house signs that are industry standard size and that are owned or used by the seller or the seller’s agent.  In other words, associations cannot force owners to use pre-approved open house signs or signs that are a particular color or design.  It is important to note, however, that planned community and condominium associations may still prohibit open house signs on common areas or common elements. 

            Associations may not limit the hours for an open house for real estate that is for sale, except that the association may prohibit open house being held before 8:00 A.M. or after 6:00 P.M. 


For Lease Signs and Open Houses for Rental Properties

            Arizona law protects for lease signs and open house hours for rental properties in condominiums (A.R.S. § 33-1261, amended 2010) and planned communities (A.R.S. § 33-1808, amended 2010), including those that are access-restricted. 

            Associations may not prohibit or otherwise regulate an owner’s or an owner’s agent’s for lease sign unless an association’s documents prohibit or restrict leasing of a member’s property.  Moreover, Associations may not further regulate a for lease sign or require the use of a particular for lease sign other than the for lease sign shall not be any larger than the industry standard size sign of 18 X 24 inches on or in the member’s property. 

            If leasing of a member’s property is not prohibited or restricted under the association’s documents, the association may prohibit open house leasing being held before 8:00 A.M. or after 6:00 P.M. 

For a link to the actual text of the bill, click here: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/laws/0041.htm

            If you have any questions about this new legislation, please contact us at 480-922-9292.

Thanks to Ekmark & Ekmark, L.L.C.  for giving me permission to share this timely info!

Scottsdale Weather Forecast – What does a day in July look like?

Scottsdale Weather Forecast – What does a day in July look like?

June is the month were many of the highest recorded temps have been recorded, but with its lower humidity doesn’t feel quite as hot as July and August, when the humidity of monsoon season arrives.  Whether it’s heat, humidity, sprinkles, lightning, wind, or a true rainstorm, the weather at this time of year varies as much as it ever does.

This week’s forecast:

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In July, we wake up to morning clouds and gorgeous sunrises, that often burn off to a clear blue sky.  By mid-day, the thunderheads start building around the city.  At the end of the day, we might get some rain, but more often than not, it’s "just another gorgeous sunset"!

Sunrise - McCormick Ranch Golf Course North

McCormick Ranch View of Camelback Mountain

Saturday Storm Clouds

Scottsdale Microburst

Saturday Night Sunset (Custom)

Corrected 7/22/2010:  First paragraph originally stated that June is our hottest month.  From the National Weather Service web site, I found the historical data showing that this was not the case.  See: Phoenix AZ Monthly Temperature from 1896 to Present  (Thanks to Sage Dillon, Arizona native, for catching this one!)

Federal Tax Credit for Home Buyers Still Available to US Military until June 30, 2011

I received the following info in an email from  Matthew Remus, a lender at People’s Home Equity. 

The Federal Tax Credit for First time Home Buyers is still available to US Military Service Men and Women until June 30, 2011.

Members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and qualify for the credit. Thus, an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011. If a binding contract is entered into by that date, the taxpayer has until June 30, 2011, to close on the purchase. Members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community are eligible for this special rule. It applies to any individual (and, if married, the individual’s spouse) who serves on qualified official extended duty service outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010

Source: IRS.gov

A Week in Review

Since I’ve started taking a intermediate photography class from the City of Scottsdale Park & Recreation, my life seems to revolve more around my camera than ever before.  As a Realtor, photos are a big part of my job. In fact, with most initial home shopping being done on-line, I decided that improving my photography skill was a must. 

One of our assignments this semester is to complete a photo log, taking a photo a day and creating a presentation at the end of class.  Today, I was thinking about that project and thought it might be interesting to see what photos I could put together for you that would document and describe what this past week looked like for me.

Take a look what this past week included for me, living and selling real estate in Scottsdale.