Rio Verde welcomed Reigning Grace Ranch to the Box Bar Ranch as an intermediate home while their new 20 acre ranch was being prepared at 172nd and Rio Verde Drive this spring. Reigning Grace was started in 2009 by Christopher and Amanda Moore, and pairs at-risk youth with formerly abused horses to experience the life therapy both share with one another. 75% of the children in the program are in foster care or child protective services programs. Most of the horses have been rescued and rehabilitated from abusive and neglected backgrounds. Reigning Grace Ranch is a registered equine rescue in the state of Arizona.
What do at-risk kids and neglected horses have in common? Both have lost trust in those who had them in their care. How do you get that back? Reigning Grace pairs each child with a mentor and a horse. One of the first things that happens is the horse picks the child, not the other way around. Kids are placed in a circle, and the horse “goes to” the child that will be his for the 7 weeks of sessions. During the process the child along with their family learn the skills of a working horse ranch: Hard work, problem solving, leadership, self-esteem, responsibility, life skills, character development and the calming therapy of a horse.
It’s about time someone stood up for the issuer of tough love: the HOA. Lovers of the right to own property in a free society will screw up their faces at the mention of a Home Owner’s Association. Who needs someone telling you what 12 colors of dirt you can use to paint your house, and then charging you for the privilege? Maybe I want to paint my house purple, or never weed the yard, or leave my car in the driveway since I have exercised my right to exercise and my garage is a gym.
One of Home Owner’s Associations greatest values is they help the homeowner maintain the value of their property. A healthy HOA, with reasonable by-laws and competent leadership can add great value to your investment. Those home buyers who don’t want to be told what to do have the option to live in another area, and those who want a consistent experience should not fear the HOA.
Home ownership! You have found your dream home, and before you close the Title Company calls to ask you how you would like to take title. What? How can you know! If this is your first home, or your first in Arizona, this question may be puzzling. What are your choices? What can happen if you die? What about your heirs? What about estate taxes? What if you own a home with someone you are not married to? What if you and your neighbors want to “go in” to buy the vacant lot behind your houses to preserve your view and privacy? Taking title may have significant legal, estate planning, and tax consequences. You should seek legal and tax advice from qualified professionals.
Let’s get down to the fun stuff! After all this Eat-Eng, we need to burn off a few calories, and the Rio Grande offers lots of options if you like to hike, fish, golf or float the river.
Here are three hikes that start easy, and end up pretty tough: Continue reading
One can only play so much golf at 7:00 AM in the summer in the Verdes. The heat starts in May, and will end in October. The ideal strategy is to break up the summer heat stretch with a trip to a cooler climate in July or August. My favorite spot is Colorado. So I told everyone I was taking my dog on vacation, we loaded the car and headed to South Fork, Colorado.
South Fork is one of those “where the heck is that” small towns in the south central part of Colorado along the Rio Grande River. For those who are a little Colorado savvy, I tell everyone South Fork is over Wolf Creek Pass from Pagosa Springs, Colorado, or if that doesn’t ring a bell, about two hours from Durango, Colorado. All of these locations are a one day drive from the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. At 8000+ foot elevation, cool clear air, and crisp sleep-under-the-covers nights are awaiting the chronically overheated denizen of the desert. And her little dog Jay-Jay.
What activities await? I tell everyone I am going to visit my Chinese friends: Shop-Eng, Dine-Eng, Hike-Eng, and Fish-Eng. I am also blessed to have my good friends from Rio Verde here in the summer, so I have a sweet place to stay. If however, you need to take care of Sleep-Eng and Dine-Eng, let me make some recommendations: Continue reading
Happy Fourth of July! Out here in Arizona, I guess you could say everyday is some variation of a summer day. But the Fourth is a guaranteed hot one. Our summer days make us dream a little bit about our youth “up North”, wherever that is for you. Consistent 100 degree days greet us by the end of May, and do not leave until we are well into October. By time Fourth of July hits, we also start to deal with the Monsoon season. Humidity that was ridiculously low in the 3-7% range soars to the 40% range. Now I know, if you are back in the east or mid-west, 40% is a dry day. But it isn’t 108 degrees and no shade to be found along with the 40%. It’s hot baby!
So what can you do when it is that hot? The pool is an option, but even the water in the pool becomes swampy warm by July. I guess we will have to golf! Continue reading
Oh no, not a dry article about getting a loan. I promise to keep it short, and lay out the important changes to Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Yes, the government that brought you regulations to govern your purchase of light bulbs, the EPA and Obamacare has actually brought a new regulation that may actually be helpful! But it may take some getting used to.
There is evidence to support that borrowers who are not presented with clear and understandable information about their mortgage loans may not understand the risky business of taking out a home loan.
In leading up to the financial crisis, many consumers took on loans that they could not afford, and confusion about terms (when your adjustable rate mortgage adjusts sticker shock for example) piled on the risk. To add even more confusion, mortgage lenders would provide two different documents, the early Truth in Lending Statement and a Good Faith Estimate. At closing the title company provides a final Truth in Lending and HUD-1 Statement. Four different documents from two different agencies with overlapping information.
Starting August 1, 2015 here are a few of the changes: Continue reading
April 22 was Earth Day, and on that day Rio Verde received the designation as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community. Rio Verde has been working toward becoming a sustainable community for five years now. To become a sustainable community Rio Verde developed and implemented a Long Term Sustainability Plan.
Included in the plan was the installation of solar panels on the community center, removing turf areas out of play on the golf course and replacing those areas with desert landscaping featuring native plants, replacing gas golf carts with electric carts, and donations of citrus fruit grown by the residents to local food banks.
Rio Verde now becomes the ONLY COMMUNITY WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI to be designated an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community.
Read the Fountain Hills Times article for more information!
This April the Rio Verde Events Committee presented their annual car show. Over 70 vehicles were on display and the event was attended by over 500 car enthusiasts and interested residents (like me). Food tents, music and a DJ added to the feel of the event. The cars were set up in the community center parking lot adjacent to the par three 16th hole on Quail Run. To avoid any stray tee shots striking the cars, the tee for the men was moved up to the ladies tee. Wouldn’t you know, someone had a hole-in-one from the moved up tee, and had to endure the ribbing from “the guys” about the questionable hole-in-one. I am sure the poor fellow had to provide lots of complimentary beverages to quiet the criticism.
To top off the day, a community open house was hosted by the local Realtors, and I hosted that afternoon. To everyone who dropped in, thanks!
Big Blue looking hot!
But not as hot as a car with flames on the sides.
In a Ranking Arizona opinion poll Rio Verde Country Club and Golf Community have been voted the No. 1 “Private Golf Course” and “Active Adult Community” by Ranking Arizona: the Best of Arizona Business.
Voters in the poll included residents and business leaders throughout Arizona who cast their ballots via the Ranking Arizona website. AZ Big Media published the list of the top preferred business and leisure activities of Arizona’s business professionals, and guess what…It’s us!!