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Avondale Unrolls Sacks to Mats Program

by Joe Bourland

Avondale Unrolls Sacks to Mats Program

On a single night in January, 610,042 people were experiencing homelessness according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The overall economy is starting to recover, but this improvement does not appear to be penetrating lower-income populations. The pool of people at risk of homelessness has remained high despite improvements in unemployment and the overall economy.

That’s why volunteers in Avondale have taken on a mission to help Arizona’s homeless population. Their initiative is designed to alleviate two major issues at once — keeping plastic bags out of landfills and providing the homeless with a softer place to sleep. The “Sacks to Mats” program takes ordinary grocery store bags and turns them into protective cushions for Arizona’s homeless to sleep on. The average American family takes home almost 1,500 grocery bags each year, and less than five percent are recycled, the Environmental Protection Agency reports.

The group’s goal is to make fifteen mats by March 31st, which is when the Men’s Overflow Shelter in Phoenix will close its doors, leaving hundreds to sleep in an empty parking lot. Dozens of volunteers have stepped in to help at Mosaic Arts Center in Avondale. Each mat uses about 600 bags, which means they need at least 9,000 to meet their goal. Donation boxes have been set up throughout the city for people to drop off plastic bags including the Avondale Community Center, the Avondale Elementary District Office, the Avondale Police Department, and the Mosaic Arts Center in Avondale.

People can also volunteer to prepare the bags. Bag preparation events will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursdays at the Avondale Civic Center Library located at 11350 Civic Center Drive, and crochet classes will be offered from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every Tuesday at Mosaic Arts Center.

The mats will be donated to the Salvation Army along with hygiene care packages, which will then be given to the homeless as a replacement for the typical cardboard used on the streets. For details on how you can donate or help with the Sacks to Mats cause, click here.

To stay up to date on Avondale community news and Avondale real estate, please contact the Bourland Group.

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

www.joearizona.com

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Top 3 Recently Extended Tax Write-Offs for Homeowners

by Joe Bourland

Top 3 Recently Extended Tax Write-Offs for Homeowners

Did you know? The primary source of funding for county government and the board of education is property taxes. In fact, many of the aspects that make your community a desirable place to work, live and play are a direct result of the investments made by your local government and board of education with your property tax dollars. Turns out utilizing your tax breaks does more than put a pretty penny back in your pocket. It can do some great things for your west valley community as well. And thankfully, many of the tax breaks that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2014 were extended at the last minute by Congress and the President with the Tax Increase Prevention Act, which was signed Dec. 19, 2014. Seeing how tax season is in full swing this spring, here are the top 3 recently extended tax write- offs for homeowners.

1.) Energy tax credit. Homeowners can still get a tax credit of up to $500 for making home improvements that save energy to their primary residences. This could include installing solar panels, new energy efficient windows or getting a new roof, air conditioning system, furnace and more. In general, the deduction is ten percent of the cost of the improvements, up to $500. There is also a credit for purchasing an electric vehicle. A separate Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, which was not part of this extension and is in effect through the end of 2016, gives credits of up to thirty percent for qualifying alternative energy improvements.

2.) Deduction for private mortgage insurance. It’s no secret that anyone who buys a house with less than twenty percent down has to pay private mortgage insurance. Fortunately, the ability to deduct PMI for mortgages taken out on primary residences in 2007 or later was extended one more year for homeowners who meet income limits. So homeowners not only get to deduct the interest they’re paying but also the private mortgage insurance as well which is a big write-off that affects a lot of homeowners.

3.) No tax for canceled debt. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 allowed thousands of Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sale not to have to pay tax on the forgiven debt. The new extension means that debt forgiven on a mortgage for a primary residence (up to $2 million) is still untaxed and is a hefty sum of savings for many homeowners.

Looking to use your tax refund towards a down payment towards buying a new Arizona home? Contact the Bourland Team today and let us help you reach your real estate goals. - Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

www.joearizona.com

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Spring Training Sweeps the West Valley

by Joe Bourland

Spring Training Sweeps the West Valley

Take me out to the ball game, take me with the crowd! Baseball season is here and spring training sweeps the west valley like a fast ball over the plate. The West Valley is home to four major league spring training ball parks and the west valley community is excited for the upcoming spring training games and events.

The first game of the Cactus League season was at Camelback Ranch - Glendale and was designated as Glendale Appreciation Day. The game took place last week on March 4th, and Glendale residents received special discounted tickets to the game and enjoyed various pre-game festivities. Residents can purchase tickets for future games at the stadium box office with a valid ID or proof of residency in Glendale. Spring training at Camelback Ranch-Glendale will feature additional promotions this season, such as spring break specials and Senior Day every Wednesday. Visit here for more details.

Were you unable to make it to the first spring training game of the season? Don’t despair! Arizona residents and out of town visitors can enjoy Cactus League games valley wide, including the popular west valley stadiums. Fans can catch one game or several during the 2015 Spring Training season at the Surprise Stadium, Peoria Sports Complex, Goodyear Ballpark, and Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Click here for a spring training schedule or to purchase tickets to see your favorite teams play.

For more Arizona spring training events and local west valley events please contact us today. - Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

www.joearizona.com

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West Valley Small Business Workshop Comes to Avondale

by Joe Bourland

West Valley Small Business Workshop Comes to Avondale

Avondale really loves its small local businesses. So it’s no surprise that the City of Avondale would offer a west valley small business workshop to help business owners in Avondale learn about ways to grow their business. The 1st Annual West Valley Small Business Workshop is offered Thursday, March 19th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00  p.m. at the Avondale American Sports Center located at 755 N. 114th Avenue, Avondale AZ 85323.

The City of Avondale workshop will address topics such as the best ways to market your business, where you can find finance options, and how to increase profit margins. Subject matter experts throughout the Valley will lead the workshops and will also discuss finance, talent recruitment, marketing and branding, and accounting.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to find out what their business health score is in today’s market. 

The Avondale Small Business Workshop is the perfect opportunity for small business owners to discover how to take their business to the next level of success! This is a free event and seating is limited so interested business owners are encouraged to register soon. To register, a business owner can go to www.avondale.org/smallbiz

For more information about local west valley events and Avondale real estate news, please contact us. - Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

www.joearizona.com

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Avondale State of the City Event and Business Mixer

by Joe Bourland

Avondale State of the City Event and Business Mixer

The City of Avondale recently embarked on an exciting journey with the launch of their new brand for the city that aptly defines the Avondale community: “Aspiring. Achieving. Accelerating.” As a part of this proudly presented brand initiative the City of Avondale will host State of The City 2015: Avondale Means Business, a business mixer focusing on economic development and business partnerships, on Thursday, March 5th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event will take place at Avondale City Hall’s outdoor Amphitheater located at 11465 W Civic Center Drive in Avondale, amid a sunset backdrop with food, entertainment and more.

In his keynote inaugural State of the City Address, Avondale Mayor Kenneth Weise will highlight many of last year’s accomplishments, including the city’s development and redevelopment successes. The city will also highlight three companies whose contributions and stories embody Avondale’s brand story of Aspiring, Achieving, and Accelerating. The event will also include entertainment, opportunities to mix and mingle, and refreshments provided by “uniquely Avondale” businesses. The event is open to the public, however RSVPs are requested. Dress is business attire. Click here for more information or to register for the Avondale State of The City Event and Business Mixer.

For more information about local events in Avondale, AZ please contact us! – Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

www.joearizona.com

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Serving Meals of Love at the Ronald McDonald House

by Joe Bourland

Serving Meals of Love at the Ronald McDonald House

As many of you know, our family lived in the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, California for a month last summer when our son Jackson had to have back to back heart surgeries. In June he had to have two surgeries; the first being a double valve transplant (Aortic and pulmonary) and the second being a valve replacement (the Ross Procedure)

While we were going through this life changing journey with Jackson, we had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of several “Meals of Love" during our stay. Meals of Love is program which provides an opportunity for individuals and groups to get involved with the Ronald McDonald House by providing a home cooked meal for the children and families staying at the House. The volunteers were so supportive and wonderful that my wife Courtney and I decided to return the favor here in Arizona. On Monday, February 16th, we helped by serving dinner to the families at the Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix.

The Ronald McDonald Cambridge House is the newest addition to the RMHC Phoenix facilities. The House, located on the campus of Phoenix Children's Hospital, opened its doors in June of 2008 and provides housing for the growing number of families traveling to Phoenix to receive treatment for their seriously ill or injured children.

It was an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to give back and repay the kindness to other families who were going through the same struggles we ourselves had faced not that long ago. If you’d like more information about how you can help support this wonderful non-profit charity, please visit http://www.rmhcphoenix.com/cambridge-house. – Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

info@joearizona.com

www.joearizona.com

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2015 Market Update

by Joe Bourland

2015 Market Update

February is the month of love, and I love to keep my commitment which is to keep you updated on our current real estate market. The RE/MAX National Housing Report for this year shows year end home sales bouncing back. Although home sales have generally been lower in 2014 than 2013, three of the last four months have experienced sales higher than the same month last year. As a result, the Months Supply of inventory rose to 5.7 on a scale where 6.0 indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

“After a sluggish start, it’s nice to see the year end on a positive note. Even though we’re well into the winter months, homebuyers felt confident enough to enter the market in greater numbers than just one month ago. And with prices rising at a much slower rate than last year, sellers continue to increase their equity, while buyers don’t feel priced out of the market.” -Dave Liniger, RE/MAX, LLC CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder

Because inventory has generally moved in a positive direction this year and demand has been slightly below 2013 levels, home prices have not been rising as rapidly as last year according to the most recent January 2015 National Housing Report.

If you’re thinking of buying an investment property or buying a home in Avondale, now is the time before prices increase. I can help you navigate through each step of the process to assist you with making the best real estate investment decisions. Let me help you with your real estate investment goals for 2015. Call me today! – Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

info@joearizona.com

www.joearizona.com

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Let’s Move! Avondale

by Joe Bourland

Let’s Move! Avondale

February is National Heart Health Month and the objective to taking care of your heart by staying active should start at an early age. That’s why I’m so proud to see the Let’s Move! program in Avondale. So what’s it all about?

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.

Avondale is an official ‘Let’s Move!’ city, as part of the national movement to improve the health of our community by providing programs and services that promote healthy choices and physical activity.

Last year, the City of Avondale community was awarded medals for recognizing the achievements in addressing childhood obesity through Let’s Move! Five medals were awarded to Avondale for action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food and increase opportunities for physical activity. These medals were awarded specifically for Avondale’s achievements in Start Early, Start Smart and My Plate, Your Place initiatives for promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings through annual training to care providers as well as being a venue that prominently displays MyPlate in all municipal venues where food is served.

Due to last year’s success, the Avondale community will be promoting the program again this year. Avondale, in partnership with University of Arizona, Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Program, will present free family-focused nutrition workshops in the next few weeks.

For more information about Let’s Move! activities in Avondale or for local events happening in Avondale, please contact us.- Joe

Joe Bourland

The Bourland Group

RE/MAX Professionals

623-322-8588

info@joearizona.com

www.joearizona.com

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West Valley Listing Inventory

by Joe Bourland

Supply and Demand....The Phoenix Real Estate Market

by Joe Bourland

Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO on the positive signs for the housing market.

As you will see, the inventory in the Phoenix market is extremely lowDemand is high

Are you toying with the idea of selling your home?  Would you like a free Market Analysis of your home? 

Email Joe with your property address as the subject line and he will email you back a complementary Market Analysis of your home.

joe@joearizona.com

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 68

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