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McKenna Property Management Blog

History of Halloween

The old saying “you learn something new every day” is one that came across my mind while writing this. By now most us have picked out our children’s costumes (or ours, for that matter, while contemplating the next Halloween party to attend), have finished decorating the house, or have already stockpiled endless amounts of candy for the soon to be trick-or-treaters in a few weeks.

The timeless question of “why?” comes to mind when asking just why do we do all this stuff when it comes to Halloween. The history of Halloween is quite interesting and dates to the ancient Celtic days over 2,000 years ago and has its roots in age-old European traditions. Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Back in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared November 1st as All Saints Day to honor them. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve which later became Halloween.

 

The Celtics lived in the area that is now Ireland, the U.K., and Northern France and they celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest as well as the beginning of t

 

he long, cold and dark winter, a time of year that was most often associated with human death. This is where the history gets interesting as the Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31st, they celebrated the before mentioned Samhain when they believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

It wasn’t until the second half of the 19th century when America was flooded with new immigrants that helped to popularize Halloween in our country. Many of the millions of new immigrants were the Irish as they were fleeing the potato famine. Trick-or-treating began in our country when borrowing from Irish and English traditions we began to dress up in costumes going from house to house and asking for food or money. Young women believed that on Halloween they could discover the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple pairings, or mirrors!

A fun fact to know is that one quarter of all the candy sold annually in the United States is purchased for Halloween. So, you see, it’s true that you do learn something new every day!

Fright Dome Fun

By now we are all aware that Fall is upon us and the Halloween season is in full swing. It’s no surprise that if you’ve stepped outside recently you’ve noticed the Halloween decorations in the stores, the huge sales on bulk candy, and costumes galore for both children and adults alike. Personally, this is my favorite time of year as it brings back fond childhood memories of trick-or-treating with friends and going through as many haunted houses as possible!

My motto has always been “The scarier, the better” when the conversation centers around Halloween time. And one of the attractions put on annually here in town is Fright Dome at Circus-Circus. Now in its 15th year, Fright Dome was created by horror film director Jason Egan whose many years of experience in the industry has made Fright Dome one of the top attractions in the nation. This is the ultimate thrill seeker’s paradise as it has over 250,000 “scare feet of fear” as the website describes filled with 6 new haunted houses, 4 terrifying scare zones, and over 15 thrilling rides and attractions. I remember when I first walked through the doors 15 years ago when Fright Dome opened and being both terrified and mesmerized at how dark and spooky it was. The folks here do an outstanding job in transforming the Adventure Dome, (once known as Grand Slam Canyon for us long time locals), into a new realm where terror, gore, and anything evil is all but dead! Lurking around each corner are actors looking to prey off your fear and have you running and screaming for cover! Patrons can also enjoy the classic Canyon Blaster roller coaster that’s been there since the park’s inception as well as such rides like the Inverter, Chaos, and many more!

Each year Fright Dome is centered around a certain theme and this year they have chosen “Zombie City” to commemorate their 15th year in turning the year-round Adventure Dome into a month long haunted theme park! As expected each year, the park features scare zones along with a handful of different haunted houses centered around different concepts and famous movies and or characters! Among a few of them for this year are the “Happy Hellidays” haunted house and the debut of the “Hex” haunted house and experience! In the first ever “Happy Hellidays” haunted house Fright Dome master mind and creator Jason Egan has decided to include the other major holidays into this sick and twisted spin on Halloween hence the name. In the all new Hex haunted theme voodoo comes alive as the stores of black magic come to life! Hidden deep within the Fright Dome in the mountainside, spells are abound in this demonic labyrinth and the key is to escape alive or fall victim and have a hex fall upon you!

If you and a few friends are brave enough to try and escape the Fright Dome then come on down to Circus-Circus hotel and casino to try your luck. Fight Dome is open from 7 p.m. until midnight on select day. For more information on prices and how to buy tickets please visit their website at www.fightdome.com/tickets. Fright Dome is accepting new victims nightly and there is sure to be something that will terrify even the most brave and daring of souls!

Frightening Family Fun

With school now in full swing, cooler temperatures upon us, and only a few months left in the year, this must mean that Fall is finally here!

There are many things to do and events to go and be a part of, and all the fun and spooky Halloween happenings around our lovely valley that people of all ages can attend! One event in particular that holds near and dear to my heart is Opportunity Village’s Halloveen. If you’re a long-time resident of Las Vegas then you’ve most likely heard of their Magical Forest event which they’re most famous for every December. This is something that MUST be seen if you haven’t already, and features a beautiful and dazzling display of a magical forest strung with thousands and thousands of Christmas lights. There is also The Forest Express train and the best funnel cakes in town! But back to the topic at hand, Halloveen is a fun for all ages event that features many Halloveen rides and attractions including The Haunted Adventure and the Forest Express Ghost Train! Little ones are sure to enjoy this spooky yet fun train ride through the forest and experience all the fabulous Halloween lights and décor that the park has to offer! Cheyenne’s Carousel is sure to put a delightful smile on your child’s face as they may pick an animal to ride on and will even bring the adults back to a time of childhood nostalgia of when they once rode upon a carousel.

Witches and werewolves will also delight in treat stations around the forest and so will the giant Avalanche Slide that is a staple of the park! They even have Rod’s Monstrous mini-golf that makes for a little family friendly competition. While all of this is a great thing to do and to be a part of, let’s not forget the reason for this great community event. All proceeds for Halloveen will benefit people with disabilities at Opportunity Village. A little background on who they are, Opportunity Village is a non- profit organization that serves adults in the southern Nevada community with intellectual disabilities to enhance the lives of not only them but their families as well. As stated by their website Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by a small group of families who sought to improve the lives of their children with disabilities. Since that time, Opportunity Village has grown significantly to become the state’s largest private non-profit organization serving nearly 2,000 people annually. They provide vocational training, community job placement, and social recreation programs among many others! Opportunity Village is almost entirely self-funded making it even more so impressive!

Halloveen at The Magical Forest is located at 6300 W. Oakey Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89147 and more information regarding prices can be found on their website at www.opportunity village.org. Halloveen runs from October 13th-15th and October 20th-31st from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. So, come out and bring you and your family to The Magical Forest for a spooktacular night of fun, laughs, and scares! Food and drinks will be sold on site and there will be PLENTY of free parking available in the College of Southern Nevada parking lot across from the entrance.  Hope to see you all there as this is something that you will NOT want to miss!

Free Homework Help

By now the kids are in school with their backpacks packed, supplies in hand and, hopefully eager to learn and excel! School has been back in session for a few weeks now which hopefully, (if you are a parent) gives you some time to relax with a little peace and quiet. While they still may be settling in from all the summer fun they had, there are resources out there that will help them achieve the pinnacle of success inside of the classroom!

 

 

Homework Hotline has been one of the most enduring resources for your child to use. This comes in handy if you are busy at work and would like for your child to complete their homework before supper time if they

may need a little assistance. Chances are your child has seen one of the many different colored posters for Homework Hotline hung up inside his or her classroom. This statewide program is in its 27th year and counting and is designed for students in grades 4th through 12th! The program also presents daily thematic segments on topics such as health, animals, book reviews, history, and government issues. The best way to describe how the free Homework Hotline resource works is for example, if your child is struggling with their math homework and you are not home nor too sure of what the right way is to solve the problem then your student dials the number at (702) 799-5111. Someone will then answer and ask your child a few basic questions such as name, the grade they are in, and most importantly the subject they may need help with. After getting this information, the Homework Hotline helper will then best explain how to solve the problem step by step with the best approach to reach the correct answer! This service is available Monday through Thursday beginning after school from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Once again, the Homework Hotline telephone number to call is (702) 799-5111. It is FREE!

Max’s Market Snapshot

Inventory is down, prices are up!  All is right in the world, particularly if you bought a home between 2010 and 2013. That bank-owned property or that short sale which you purchased at the low point in the market is now worth a lot more money than when you bought it.

How long will our inventory stay low? Will prices continue to climb? What about the shadow inventory? Are there a large number of homes occupied by people who aren’t making their mortgage payments or are we entirely clear of the distressed market? These are all great questions to ask and you will likely get 3 different answers if you asked 3 different people.

I can tell you this. Last month was the first month in the past 12 months in which our inventory actually increased. Mind you, the increase was just a tick, nothing significant. And that increase might have more to do with the fact that school was just about to start and people weren’t necessarily out looking for homes.

One interesting tidbit of information is that the number of cash transactions has decreased. That means that more people are buying homes to live in rather than investing in property and renting them out. That translates to less rentals on the market, which translates to lower rental supply and higher demand, which should ultimately translate to higher rent rates.

All of that is a lot to digest. The bottom line? This is a great time to sell and a great tie to invest in rental real estate. We are having great success in finding our clients and investors properties that are positive rental properties that can rent out very quickly.

Call me (Max) today at 702-434-4663. Let’s get your property on the market to sell or find you another great rental.

A/C Tips

There’s no doubt about it that we have entered the hottest month of the year here in our valley and, with that brings the most common issue regarding our homes. We are talking about our air conditioning units. Below are some tips that you’ll find helpful in order to keep your A/C unit running properly and possibly save it from having to be repaired or replaced.

The first and most common thing to do in order to keep you’re A/C unit running effectively is one that is often easily forgotten. That tip would be to make sure that you are changing your air filters in your home and cleaning the vent and surrounding areas to keep it running smoothly. You should change your air filter at least once per month and replace them as needed. This is especially important during this time of year because dust and allergens tend to circulate more frequently. By not changing your filters, it increases the chances of clogging them and you’re a/c unit will have to work harder in order to supply the same amount of cool air. Just like changing the oil in your car, changing your air filter(s) is a crucial step to maintaining your system’s long-term health and performance.

Another useful as well as effective tip is to not let your thermostat take the heat. What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t place or keep lamps, T.V. sets, or other appliances that generate heat near your thermostat. As you may or may not know, when your thermostat senses heat it causes the A/C unit to run longer than necessary. For all of you homeowners out there, be sure that when you install or replace a new thermostat that you do not put it in a place where the sun might shine directly on it.

Removing debris from around you’re A/C unit can do wonders. Make sure to keep plants, shrubs, as well as other landscaping about two to five feet away from your outdoor unit in order to ensure adequate air flow! Trash and debris tend to cling to our units here in the valley especially on windy days. So, next time the weekend rolls around, spend 20-25 minutes cleaning the debris from around your unit outside as newspapers and plastic bags especially love to collect and stick to your unit. This simple and easy step is one in the right direction in keeping you A/C unit running to its maximum capacity and saving you time in money in the long run by adhering to this tip.

Hopefully these tips not only save you time but also money when it comes to your air conditioning unit. By following these helpful hints and tips, you can prevent a major repair or, even the hundreds of dollars that it costs to replace you A/C system. Living in the Vegas heat we obviously know just how essential our A/C units are so, next time yours starts to give you fits then keep these tips in mind for the future! One last thing to consider is that should your A/C go out, utilize all ceiling fans as well as stationary fans to cool your home. Your local casino and if you have any friends or relatives in town should be reached out to as an option because A/C repair companies are extremely busy this time of the year. Stay safe and cool Las Vegas!

 

 

Pet Safety Tips

It’s no surprise that summer is officially here and with it, brings the scorcher of heat for the next three months. If you have pets, please follow these simple steps to ensure their safety and well-being. Make sure that your pets have plenty of water and food to keep them safe during these crucial few months. If you have a doggie door/ pet door then it is a good idea to leave a water bowl both inside and outside of your residence so that it’s readily available to your pet. Most importantly, please make sure that your beloved furry friends aren’t left outside in the heat all day. This goes without saying because if it is too hot for you to be walking around outside bare foot, then it is too hot for your pets. Leave your pets indoors always and consider, (if you don’t have one already) investing in a cage, play pen, or room divider so that your pet can be kept inside. When taking them out for a walk, it is best to do it early in the morning around 6 a.m. or late in the evening around 9:30 p.m. The hottest part of the day here in the valley is 4 p.m. and the coolest is around 7 a.m. Another important reminder is to NEVER leave pets in your vehicle unattended. Temperatures inside of your car when parked can reach over 125 degrees creating immediate danger to your dog or cat. Putting wet towels around their neck will help cool them off and allow them to regulate their body temperature and not pant. These tips will be sure to keep your pets safe, healthy, and happy!

 

Millennials… It Is Time To Stop Buying Apps And Start Buying Real Estate

When people think about a house they normally think about starting a family, which means that a 25-year-old isn’t thinking of owning properties anytime soon. The younger generation or in other words “Millennials” have this idea in their heads that they aren’t going to own a house until they are settled down in a nine to five job.  Most people in the 18-32 age bracket don’t stop to think about how much of an investment real estate can be.

Indulge me in a hypothetical. Let’s say you are 25 and just finished college so you rent a 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 2 car garage house that is under 1700 square feet. You pay a $1,200 rent. You have no control of whether your lease will get renewed. No control over if you can paint the walls, and you will have to pay pet and security deposits. The control and stability are lacking, and for someone who just got out of school control and stability is highly sought after.  This is not the ideal situation.

Now think of this hypothetical. After school, you rent for the minimal amount of time possible. Once you save up enough you purchase the same house discussed above for $230,000. Since you are a first-time home buyer you would qualify for an FHA loan. This means the minimum you can put down is 3.5% compared to a more conventional 10%. After adding up the rest of the costs such as closing costs, lender fees, and insurance you would have to put down approximately $14,000 to complete the purchase.  Your monthly mortgage payment would be approximately $1,100 based on the average 4.125 loan rates (less than your rent).

You live in the house until it has outgrown you and when you leave you don’t sell it. You rent the house with a dependable property management company. Now instead of being the tenant who gets no say you become the owner who has all the say. You get people in your house to pay your mortgage with their rent. Paint the walls yellow while you’re at it, it is your house. Once you have had your fair share of other people paying your mortgage, you then sell the house when the market is high for more money than you bought it in the first place.

These specific numbers were pulled from the Nevada real estate market so the numbers may vary depending on where you live. The important thing to note is that this offer of a 4.125 loan is the best it has been in a very long time. You are not going to find an opportunity like this for a while. The market is great, these numbers have stayed stable even before November of 2016. Jump on this investment while you have the chance. House appreciation is coming back from the drop in 2007 and prices are going to continue to go up.

Millennials, this moment, right now, is the perfect time. Start doing research, think about your future, get involved. What 25-year-old wouldn’t want to say that they own a house and have equity in real estate?

Are the Las Vegas Raiders Really a Touchdown for Nevada Real Estate?

The common thing that you keep hearing from public news is that this new NFL team is going to be the best thing that has happened to Las Vegas this decade. Everyone is ranting and raving that sales are going to go up, tourism is going to go up, and real estate is going to go up. This is all true, but people have the story wrong. It’s not going to be a spike that happens in three years, it’s happening right now and people need to start reaping the benefits of such a great market.

When you associate your home town with a sport or a team that is in your backyard it creates a since of community. Since Vegas never had a team to cheer for, there was never the feeling of unity that other cities possess. Now, not only is a NFL team making their way to Vegas, but a NHL team is also arriving November of 2017. Las Vegas and Nevada residents will finally have something to cheer over. No longer will neighbors argue whether the Colts are better than the Patriots. Instead they will sit down over a bowl of nachos and hot dogs cheering for their home team. The feeling of family will grow inside the Las Vegas area and as a result people will become more rooted. Vegas won’t just be the place people go in between jobs to work. Vegas will be the place people go to start their lives.

This sense of community and family is already starting to blossom even though the Raiders are three years away. Real estate and property management appreciation is rising and the market is in the best shape it’s been since the hit in 2007. Rentals are on the market for half the time they use to be with twice the applications and a 5 to 8 percent market analyzed increase. For homes, there is only a 1-and-a-half-month inventory on re-sell properties making it a Sellers’ market.

There is also this false idea that the sales are only going to rise in certain areas that are close to the arena. Unfortunately, you only have about half a mile of empty space before you hit the strip. There is not a lot to build on. It’s not going to be a location spike. It’s going to be a tic that occurs in every neighborhood because it’s so easy to get anywhere with our freeways. Even if you are 10 miles away from the stadium you can get there in less than 15 minutes.

Take it from a professional who has been around for 25 years. The time is now to sell your property. In three years, there’s not going to be a huge spike, just a slight 5 to 8 percent difference in sale value. If you were to put your house on the market right now you could have multiple offers within two weeks. If you’re a construction worker coming from California or Colorado that’s only going to be here for three years, consider buying while you are here and then handing it over to a great property management company that is going to take care of your property and treat you right. Don’t wait, because it is just not worth it.

Invest in selling your property now, not only so you can reap the benefits of such a great market, but so you can also invest in some season tickets and merchandise with the profits that you make.

Hello to Home Buying

Blog Post 4 Img 1Did you know there is more to the McKenna Team then just simply property management?

If you thought property management was our only specialty, think again. The McKenna Team in partnership with Keller Williams Realty make the transition from tenant to homeowner a piece of cake. And with the market conditions making a positive change, you might be asking yourself what to do when your lease end date draws near. Whether you choose to renew your lease or start on the home buying path The McKenna Team is here for you!

While we absolutely love our tenants, we also love having the ability to help with all of our tenant home needs. If buying a home is your ultimate goal, we want to assist you in achieving it.

“Time to own the American Dream!”

Luckily we have all the resources you will need for the process from start to finish. With our highly experienced team of realtors, we can make your dreams of buying a home a reality while still keeping you a part of the McKenna family. Be sure to check out the link below to our website for more information, or contact our office at 702-434-4663 (HOME) for a Free, No obligation consult.

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