May 2015 - Luxury Condos - Blog

Luxury Condos - Blog

Archive for May, 2015

Condo versus Single-Family Home: Some Pluses

If you’re weighing the benefits of a single-family home versus a condominium community, sometimes the choices aren’t easy. However, for many homeowners, luxury condos such as The Cays at Ocotillo provide a perfect setting for an easy, friendly lifestyle without the inconveniences and expenses that single-family homes can bring with them.  Here are just a few advantages condos offer:

1. Safety in Numbers.

If you grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody else, the suburban or “bedroom community” neighborhood, where people barely know each other farther than a wave from adjoining driveways, is a far cry from the sense of community you’re looking for. Neighbors close by make for better security when you travel — they keep an eye on things, since they share the premises with you!—  as well as an instant pool of social contacts when you’re feeling lonely.

Another “plus” to living in a planned community is that there are strict rules governing what people can use their condos for, how much noise they can make, what they need to maintain on their units, and other behavioral “guarantees.” The threat of fines and/or eviction is a powerful aid to keeping things safe and pleasant for everyone. Condo management often includes additional security features as well, such as an attended gate, doorman, or intercoms, all great helps in keeping potential trouble at bay.


Artfully Entertaining: First Fridays in Phoenix

If you’re an aficionado of art and artists, music, or food fests who happens to be lucky enough to hang out anywhere near The Cays at Ocotillo don’t miss stopping by several of Phoenix’s now-famous First Fridays. They’re free self-guided monthly tours of downtown art galleries, studios, and creative spaces, organized by Artlink, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing art, business, and the public together for everyone’s mutual benefit.

Over the past 20 years, First Fridays have grown to include both serious art lovers and ordinary people from all over the Valley and beyond. They come out for people-watching, a nosh or two, a refreshing drink after dark, and cool music from indie bands. They love the assortment of funky merchandise they can find from tiny boutiques…and the bargains they can pick up from local artists, especially students from the nearby Art Institute. Participants often share on traveler forums about the “steals” they got from beginning artists, pieces that are now treasured parts of their collection.


Where It Began

The first glimmers of First Fridays shone in 1988, when Beatrice Moore (owner of Kooky Krafts) got together with several other artists to start Art Detour, a modest studio tour.  Four years later, Phoenix Arts After Hours became a Wednesday-night event. At that time, Artlink became both the support organization and the originator of the Friday focus for the art “crawl,” while Art Detour still remains a stand-alone annual event. The inaugural First Fridays attracted a crowd of about 200 to 300, mostly fellow artists, friends, and families of the gallery owners; now, as many as 20,000 people show up.


Visitors now can stroll through, study, and sample the works of 100 participating art galleries (including one that’s actually a hair studio as well!), restaurants and bistros, and retailers during the weekly events. Refreshment options include the Film Bar, a combination Indie film house and wine and beer café; the Treehouse Bakery, a vegan sweets emporium; and Jobot Coffee and Diner, one of many sources for live entertainment.


This kind of a crowd-pleaser has its own “growing pains,” of course. Various arrangements have been made over the years with business owners — to make sure patrons understand they can still get to non-art-related enterprises during the time — and the city, which wanted to make sure participating vendors had permits. To take care of the latter situation, the A.R.T.S. Market was formed at Fourth and Roosevelt Streets, a pop-up retail area open only during First Fridays.


A.R.T.S. Market Vendors undergo an application process and are carefully balanced by Artlink to reflect a cross-section of different styles, cuisines, and products. Accepted vendors are notified by the Monday before each First Friday, except for food vendors, who are selected a bit further in advance and on a case-by-case basis.


A Helping Hand

For an event like this, you need a game plan: there’s a lot to see and do, and it’s spread over a wide area. Fortunately, the Artlink site lists specific “hubs” to visit such as Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue, along with maps to assist you in finding your way around. They even encourage investigating what they call the “spaces in-between,” small galleries and eateries tucked into nooks along McDowell Road and on 1st, 4th, and 6th Avenues.


Getting around the downtown event is a snap on the free trolley — which includes validated parking for your own car. Along the way, you can enjoy newly cultivated “streetscapes,” including plantings and greenery to enhance the overall ambience (and lend some cool “green space” in the desert night). Alternatively, hop on the Metro Light Rail line, connecting the Phoenix Art Museum, the Roosevelt/Central trolley stop, and the downtown core. You can even call or text to get the schedule!



Daytime in Phoenix can be scorching, especially during the summer months — but the nighttime “heats up” with its own special magic during these First Friday nights. And a perfect “jumping off” point just might be your own luxury condo at The Cays at Ocotillo. Between fascinating and fun evenings under the stars and the soothing amenities of pools, scenic gardens, and meticulously kept surroundings at The Cays, you’ll truly have the best of both worlds — feeling like a pampered tourist, with all the comforts of home, sweet home.


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Opportunity Knocking: Established Companies in Chandler, Arizona

Besides a terrific climate, sunny outlook — literally, as the area gets 300+ days of sunshine per year — and lively tourism and traveler attractions, the Chandler, Arizona, area also offers long-term possibilities for employment. A wide variety of industries provides residents great jobs with companies that get high marks for work environment, amenities, and benefits. So if you’d like to make both a good living and a good life in resort-like comfort at sites such as The Cays at Ocotillo, read on: you’ve got plenty of options from which to choose. Here are just a few:


A Sound Foundation

No matter what your industry or calling, a solid education is the place to start — and increasingly, learning is becoming individually tailored through online study and tracking. That’s a specialty of Flipswitch, a learning-centric company that features student information systems, learning management systems, parent-student portals, and a rich curriculum resulting from over 10 years of collaboration between administrators, teachers, parents, and students. From Common Core and standardized national and state subject matter to Advanced Placement options, Flipswitch helps young minds to soar.


Educators can also find teaching and research venues through the Education Management Corporation, an administrative “umbrella” with several Phoenix/Chandler area schools under its aegis. These include Argosy University, Brown-Mackie College, and the Art Institute of Phoenix. In addition, Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Western International University are also located in the Chandler area.


For the Geeks among Us

If you have a knack for IT and love the nimbleness and flexibility of smaller firms, you might want to check out Avisolve or Galaxy i Technologies, Inc. Self-starters with skills will find a wide range of opportunities in these companies from consulting to software development, cloud storage to VOIP applications, e-commerce to training and infrastructure management. A little research through their websites reveals how to apply for open positions, as well as feedback from present and former employees to help jobseekers determine if the “match” will be a good one.


Software itself can be an invaluable aid to keeping day-to-day routines running smoothly, and that’s where the folks at Infusionsoft come in. Specializing in small businesses, this software and system company helps companies automate tasks and improve CRM with an entrepreneurial approach that encourages individual development and global perspective.


Health and (Possibly!) Wealth

Medical professionals aren’t left out of these prospects, either. The Chandler Regional Health Center, a member of the Dignity Health Network, is an award-winning health care provider with high standards, a vision that reaches out to the less fortunate, and a continuing reputation as one of the “best places to work in the Valley,” according to a survey in the Phoenix Business Journal.


Many people flock to the Southwest for health reasons: the dry climate can help many conditions, including allergies and respiratory weakness, as well as being a “tonic” for inflammatory or arthritic joints. Hand-in-hand with these naturally healing surroundings, Isagenix offers products to assist with health and wellness, including weight loss, skin care, energy and performance supplements, and aids to healthy aging. This health-focused company can also give participants a touch of wealth: becoming a marketer of the products and sharing them with others can help budding entrepreneurs build direct-sales income.


When the Going Gets Tough…

…the tough go shopping! And in tough economic times, all of us appreciate a bargain; Phoenix-based Tanga is fast becoming a premier place for getting just that.


From a humble beginning literally locked in a garage, this enterprising group has focused on providing “the absolute best deals on the Internet.” Since their inception, they’ve closed over 1 million of those deals and shipped over 3 million orders, to the tune of $300 million savings over retail prices for their users. They offer opportunities to “smart, kind, and honest” help, as well as easy ways of listing your treasures for sale on the site.


Ready for Work!

It doesn’t take long to discover that the Chandler, Arizona, area isn’t just a great place to retire: it’s filled with opportunities for students and entrepreneurs, artists and physicians, geeks and salespeople. So if you’ve got your eye on a beautiful home in a place like The Cays at Ocotillo, be sure to investigate living there all year ’round — you might just find it’s easier than you think when you make a Chandler-area business your “day gig.”

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