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Old 11-09-2009, 07:55 AM
 
34 posts, read 49,566 times
Reputation: 28

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I have become savvy about home ownership in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. But, now I need to learn about maintaining an AZ home.
I bought a 2br/2ba 4th floor condo in DT Phoenix and need some tips:

First, a curiosity, why do real estate listings say "preferred North/South exposure. Is it due to not getting direct westerly sun?

Second, do I need to run my Air conditioning if I leave the home closed all summer (yes, I am a snowbird, wanted to avoid this revelation if I could, but, I can't, so I won't). It is on the top floor, and has only North/South Exposure.

If I do need to leave my A/C on, any suggested temp? I don't want the place habitable, just don't want to damage anything. What COULD the heat damage?

Would you recommend moving patio furniture indoors for the summer? What patio furniture materials hold up best in the hot sun? ( wicker?, steel?, aluminum?)

Are there any other "must know" tips about maintaining a condo in a hot climate.

THIS is REALLY naive probably, but, is there a negative feeling about "snow-birders". I sorta felt there may be when I talked to folks in Phoenix about my winter plans.

Many thanks!!!! Your input would be valuable
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:04 AM
 
34 posts, read 49,566 times
Reputation: 28
oops, I forgot one of my questions. I need to buy window coverings for this place. Are there any suggestions about style of drapes/blinds/shades that will help with a summer shut-down?
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:05 AM
 
76 posts, read 122,404 times
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I would like to say thank you for helping the AZ real estate market by purchasing in downtown Phoenix. Ignore snowbird haters. My suggestion would be to get involved in the AZ community. Some of the negatvie thoughts revolve around the perception that snow birds only care about AZ for the warmth during their four or five months in AZ.

Now to your question. I would bring in the patio furniture. The sun and monsoons can damage it. The thunderstorms might carry it away into Chase Field. As for leaving the AC on, I must defer to others since I always spent my summers in AZ.

Welcome to Phoenix.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,614 posts, read 21,011,538 times
Reputation: 9264
Don't leave anything other than concrete on the patio during the summer. Unpainted aluminum might be OK as well. Anything plastic will be destroyed including supposedly UV safe materials like Sunbrella. It'll just take a few more weeks. Tarps don't work, they are reduced to threads in a matter of weeks. Even if your patio will be shaded in summer, the dust will be awful and the winds could take the furniture as poster mentioned.

N-S is supposedly better because any rooms that have windows and walls exposed to the sun heat up. N-S presumes fewer of these though that is not always the case. In fact, for a seasonal (winter) visitor it may be undesirable, because if the patio is on the north side you get no sun (cold) and if it is on the south side you have the low sun in your eyes all winter.

Last edited by Ponderosa; 11-09-2009 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:29 AM
 
270 posts, read 349,740 times
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Yes, you will want to leave the AC on. Set it in the mid-80's - check the SRP website or call them, they have recommendations.
Be sure to close toilet lids - you may even want to put plastic wrap over seat because water can evaporate and cause problems.
Check door and window seals - tight seals can keep dust from getting in your apartment.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:49 AM
 
34 posts, read 49,566 times
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Thank you all for your help! People were very nice when I was out there looking, can't wait to wade into your community!!! Marian will SRP be my electric provider?
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Willo Historic District, Phoenix, AZ
1,717 posts, read 1,930,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddmpls View Post
Marian will SRP be my electric provider?
No, downtown Phoenix is served by APS.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:25 PM
 
34 posts, read 49,566 times
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Thanks Pbenjamin!
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
222 posts, read 344,417 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
Don't leave anything other than concrete on the patio during the summer. Unpainted aluminum might be OK as well. Anything plastic will be destroyed including supposedly UV safe materials like Sunbrella. It'll just take a few more weeks. Tarps don't work, they are reduced to threads in a matter of weeks. Even if your patio will be shaded in summer, the dust will be awful and the winds could take the furniture as poster mentioned.
...
So ... what's the difference between a snowbird's place and a full-year resident's place when it comes to patio furniture?! Do full-year residents bring their patio furniture in during the summer? I would have thought having a patio to sit on during those warm evenings once the sun has gone down would be a benefit. I've just gone through my first summer here and found the outside air to be delightful at around 10pm ...
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:38 AM
 
8,172 posts, read 9,887,631 times
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i don't really find it enjoyable outside in the summer ... a lot of times temps can still be running 90-100 that late

with that said, in the past i've kept it out year around - we get some cover from both the house, block wall and patio covering .... even with that the sun destroyed our old chairs in a couple of years

we bought some new furniture that is metal based, which should help .... we also invested in some good patio coverings ..... it's the same material as my grill cover, which has done a good job and lasted about 4 years before needing a replacement, so I'm hopeful it will both help protect from the sun and keep the ever present dirt off the furniture

our friends spent a fair amount of $$ on some outdoor loungers, big comfy water tolerant cushins, etc

they had them out all summer because they would lie on them to dry off or take a break from the water when using their pool

1 summer in and they are pretty much ruined ... big holes in them, etc

I had a hammock out here make it one season ... really enjoyed using it, until one day my brother got in and just fell through it

i rolled it up and tucked it away toward the side of my house and forgot about it for a month or two as summer came in strong ... the fabric turned to dust ... it was weird, you'd look at it and it looked like rope, you'd touch it and it would crumble to powder
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