Replaced roof, air condition units are the new granite counters, stone flooring - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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Replaced roof, air condition units are the new granite counters, stone flooring

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Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 9:52 am

With the average age of our properties here in Ahwatukee at around 20 years there seems to be a shift in what is most important to buyers out here looking to purchase. Ten years ago interior upgrades like granite counter tops, newer fixtures and flooring were on top of most buyers list when searching for a home. Top of the radar these days are big-tickets items that have reached their life span like roofs and air condition units. Another non-cosmetic item high on the list is energy efficiency such as newer windows and solar equipment.

According to Dennis Porter, longtime resident of Ahwatukee and owner of Porter Roofing, around 60 percent of homes today in Ahwatukee will have roofs that have reached their useful life if they’re original. Porter went on to say that although the roof tiles should last around 50 years the underlayment, if installed properly, should last around 25-30 years. From this we can see the factors that add to shortening the life of the roof are improper installation. Currently, Porter roofing is re-roofing about five to eight homes per week in Ahwatukee. Depending on the size of the home the approximate cost to replace the roof is approximately $10,000 to 20,000, Porter said.

With our blistering hot summers being another big concern buyers are interested in energy efficiency, especially with the age of the air conditioning units. We talked with a local air condition company, Brewers Air Conditioning. According to Brewers, the average life expectancy of A/C units, depending on use, is eight to 12 years. This varies according to maintenance and operation. The approximate cost to replace A/C units with 13 seer is 5,000 to 6,000 per unit. Again, depending on the size of the home there could be multiple units needed. This would be another major investment for a buyer if the units are more than 10 years old.

Because roofs and air conditioning units are so costly to replace buyers are likely to be as concerned with condition and age of these items as they are with cosmetic things like upgraded interiors. A buyers agent and buyers can use search fields in MLS to determine if the roof and air conditioning units are original or if they have been updated and what year they were updated. Sellers need to be prepared to either replace roofs with failing underlayment and air conditioning units on their last legs or price homes accordingly to be competitive with current market conditions.

• Bonny Holland is with Keller Williams, Sonoran Living in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (602) 369-1085, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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