The holidays are a good time to buy or sell a home - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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The holidays are a good time to buy or sell a home

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Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013 4:26 pm

‘Tis the season to be jolly, to deck the halls and to buy presents for family and friends. But, did you know the holidays are also considered by some experts to be a good time to buy or sell a home?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, which pegs summertime as prime-time home hunting season, buying during the off-season has its advantages. For starters, there aren’t as many people in the market this time of year due to social and family commitments, which also means there’s less competition. Additionally, interest rates remain low, and if you close on your home before the end of the year, you can deduct any mortgage interest and closing costs on your taxes.

Trying to sell your present home? There are some distinct benefits to listing a house during the holidays, too, experts say.

Financial specialist, author and syndicated call-in radio show host Dave Ramsey says holiday home-sellers actually are in a favorable position to sell their homes faster and for more money by taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the season. He says buyers who are in the market during the holidays are serious. Do whatever it takes to court them, including being flexible about showing times, making sure your home is priced to sell and keeping it in “show” condition at all times.

Other experts advise exercising caution when showing homes that are all decked out in their holiday finery. Be careful not to block or cover up important selling features, such as fireplace mantels and stairs. Other staging tips include:

• Stack wrapped presents in a closet or in one corner to avoid the impression of clutter.

• Never leave candles burning unattended.

• Set a plate of cookies on the counter, next to holiday-themed paper napkins for guests.

• Simmer spicy apple cider on the stove and set out cups and a ladle.

Home buying and selling during the “most wonderful time of the year” — also known as one of the most hectic and stressful times of the year, for some people — obviously isn’t for everyone. But, with cooler temperatures and a festive note of expectancy in the air, who knows? It just might be the perfect opportunity for Santa to slip a new set of house keys into your stocking.

• Andy Warren is president of Maracay Homes, the Arizona subsidiary of the Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company. He serves on the board of directors for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona and Greater Phoenix Leadership; as well as the board of directors and as an Executive Committee member with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He is also an active member of the Urban Land Institute.

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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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