How Private Gated Communities Provide Safety

Living in a safe community can reduce stress, promote peace, and improve your overall well-being. And of course, when you live in a truly safe neighborhood, you can better protect your family from crime making safety an important factor to consider when searching for a new home.

If you’re wondering “are gated communities safer,” read on to learn the safety benefits of living in a gated community:

A Guarded/Gated Entrance

Upon visiting private communities, you’ll notice gates guarding the entrance. The front entrance of Terravita’s private home community is not only gated but guarded by security patrol 24/7. Some communities don’t have any keypads or passcodes, rather, security has the ability to control guest access. This method provides a more effective way to let in those you want and keep out those you don’t. This is in addition to a strict no solicitor policy within the community. As a result, the gates and entrance security prevent non-residents from accessing the private community, protect residents from unwelcome guests and solicitors, minimize foot and car traffic, and allow the communities to remain quiet and peaceful.

Safe Places for Physical Activity

Because they’re enclosed and well-kept, private communities also provide a safe environment for being active and spending time outdoors. Many private communities also contain a swimming pool, a golf course, and a trail system. Some private communities even have a community fitness center with reliable, state-of-the-art equipment and personal trainers who will help you exercise properly. As a result, private communities can protect and promote your overall health and well being.

Caring Neighbors

Many private communities sponsor clubs and events to encourage residents to socialize and bond with one another. Thanks to these private social gatherings, a sense of camaraderie and trust exist throughout these communities. Consequently, residents often become dear friends who appreciate and help one another. So if you ever need a house-sitter for the weekend, you can always turn to your neighbors for support.

Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home and community—and for good reason. When we feel protected on a regular basis, we worry less and have more time to enjoy our friends and family. So if you are interested in upscale gated community living, contact us!

We’re Celebrating National Dog Day with a List of Our Favorite Dog-Friendly Spots in Scottsdale

Did you know National Dog Day is coming up? Here are some dog-friendly restaurants to try out in one of the country’s most dog friendly cities.

Dog lovers, get ready! August 26th is National Dog Day, and it’s time to give extra love to our furry best friends. National Dog Day was started to celebrate all types of dogs, and help the public recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued. The day also reminds us to pause (or “paws”) and honor all of the dogs that do important work in our communities. Luckily for us, it’s easy to give our pooches a fun-filled day, since Scottsdale is one of the most dog-friendly cities. Here’s a look at how to find dog friendly restaurants, dog friendly stores, and Scottsdale dog parks you can patronize on this upcoming National Dog Day.

Doggie Dining

Scottsdale and Cave Creek have many options when it comes to dog friendly restaurants. You can also check out a website like “Bring Fido” to find a long list of restaurants that would be happy to let your pup come with you. Some restaurants even offer your dog a water bowl and some treats.

One of our favorites is the Paradise Valley location of O.H.S.O. Eatery + Nanobrewery. This fun restaurant has an outdoor patio they call their “Barking Bar,” which includes a water fountain, and they’re happy to give your doggie some treats as well. We also like Aunt Chilada’s Squaw Peak location, although it’s a bit of a drive, because their patio is dog-friendly and they offer menu items like spice-free chicken that can be served to your dog.

Many Scottsdale restaurants have dog-friendly patios, and you’re sure to enjoy the time eating good food with your best furry friend. Dog-friendly stores can be a little harder to find, but here are some in Scottsdale and surrounding areas.

Dog Parks

In addition to taking your pup to eat with you on National Dog Day, why not enjoy one of the many Scottsdale dog parks? There are several to check out, and your dog is sure to love socializing and having a chance to run around. Chaparral Park is one of our favorites, and there are several up north like the Echo Mountain Off Leash Arena at Grovers Basin, and the Paradise Valley Dog Park. Wherever you decide to go, be sure to bring a frisbee or tennis ball for your dog to catch, and be ready to watch them romp and play for hours.

Dogs capture our hearts in such a unique way, and it’s great we have a full day dedicated to celebrating them. We hope you make the most of National Dog Day, and give your dog the love they deserve.

A Look Inside One of the Best Places to Live and Work: Scottsdale

With a population size of more than 249,000 Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s largest cities and has plenty to offer people of all ages. Scottsdale is well known as a major tourist destination, a family-friendly city, one of the best cities to work in, as well as a historical southwest icon. If you’re looking for a new city to call home, check out why Scottsdale is the best place to live and work.


Employment Rates

Due to the number of resorts, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and flourishing businesses in the area, Scottsdale provides endless employment opportunities for its residents and is continuously ranked as one of the best cities for jobs. The unemployment rate in Scottsdale is 3.1%, which is lower than the national average. The median household income is $80,306 and the average commute to work is just under 20 minutes. The U.S. Census Bureau states that the American median household income in 2017 was $61,372 and the national average daily commute to work is 26.1 minutes. Scottsdale beats out both of these national averages, indicating an exceptional place to build a career and have fun. With a lower cost of living compared to many other large cities across the country, Scottsdale is an upscale yet affordable place to live, play, work, and thrive.

Activities, Events, and Sports

Not only is Scottsdale ranked #1 in the country as the best city to live an active lifestyle in according to WalletHub, but there are endless things to do and see in this eastern Maricopa County city. Some of the must-see cultural attractions are the Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of the West, Fiesta Bowl Museum, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop. After you’ve worked up an appetite exploring these southwestern exhibits, you can choose from nearly 800 restaurants, ranging anywhere from mom and pop traditional, to the most trendy and modern cuisine. No wonder Livability ranks Scottsdale in the top 100 best places to live and work!

If sports are your idea of entertainment, Scottsdale will leave you with an endless amount of events to attend, or watch on TV at the wide variety of sports bars. In fact, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the most-attended tournament in the world, with an annual attendance of about 500,000. And of course, the MLB’s spring training brings baseball fans from all across the country. Located in the middle of the Phoenix Valley, Scottsdale is within a 30-minute drive from major college and professional sports teams as well, including Arizona State University Athletics, and the Arizona Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Coyotes stadiums.

Business Environment

The city’s proximity to Scottsdale Airpark and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has really helped define the city as a business haven. The surrounding Airpark, developed as a regional center of commerce, employs more than 50,000 people in over 2,500 individual businesses. Also, a partnership with Arizona State University has produced SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, that combines technology, education, and entrepreneurship to provide business and professional growth opportunities for many. The combination of all of these factors makes Scottsdale one of the top rated cities to work and build a comfortable life as well as a place for new businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish.

Tourism Economy

Scottsdale has a rich history of tourism, visited by more than 9 million people per year, generating an economic impact of $3.7 billion. As mentioned before, spring training in March and other major events brings millions of people to the city every year to welcome new life and opportunities for people to fall in love with. Because Scottsdale is so big on tourism, there is a constant mix of diverse people coming in and out of the valley, bringing new business and culture to an already flourishing city.

With all of the opportunities for work and play in Scottsdale, it’s no wonder why it’s ranked one of the best cities to live in, not only in Arizona, but the entire country. If you want to know what else there is to do in Scottsdale, or are itching to see the golf hype for yourself, please contact us. We would love to help you make Scottsdale home.

The Best Ways to Experience Art in Scottsdale

Our residents often rave about our location for many reasons, one of which is our proximity to beautiful art. Experiencing different types of art, and art-based activities, is a great way to feel connected to nature, as well as other people, cultures, and perspectives. It can provide a great escape, or your next inspiration.

Whatever you’re seeking emotionally or visually, you can probably find it in nearby Scottsdale art galleries or Cave Creek art galleries. Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy Scottsdale arts and beyond.

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

While many people are aware of the Scottsdale Art Walk, where Main Street opens up every Thursday night year-round to display local artists’ work, fewer people know about this hidden gem. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West showcases the best of Western and Native American art, artifacts, and culture. Scottsdale residents gain free entry November-April on Thursdays.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

SMoCA is a delight to tourists and residents alike. Dedicated to contemporary art, architecture, and design, SMoCA rotates its exhibits regularly and also offers many fun and educational events for guests. The Scottsdale Center for the Arts is also nearby, which presents a wide range of arts performances.

Sonoran Arts League

If you’re an artist yourself, or interested in becoming one, you might want to look into this nonprofit organization. The league is a volunteer-based, arts service organization dedicated to actively advancing art, artists, and art education. Members put on shows and hold galleries for the public, and also teach art education in a variety of disciplines. Free classes for veterans and multiple events per day make this a fun way to explore creativity.

Blue Coyote Gallery

This gallery may be tucked away in Cave Creek, but it’s known for world-class art. Specifically focused on regional contemporary and early Twentieth Century fine art, Blue Coyote also offers Native American art and even custom furniture. It’s a must-see for art enthusiasts.

Heard Museum

If you’ve lived in Arizona for any period of time, you’re likely familiar with the Heard Museum. This staple of our state is dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, often sharing stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective. The Heard Museum is located in Phoenix, and definitely worth the drive.

Sergio Ladron de Guevara

Art lovers will be mesmerized by the gallery of Sergio Ladrón de Guevara. The gallery has gone through many evolutions, from just focusing on Sergio’s work to include the work of other artists, back to displaying Sergio’s work alone. But in each iteration, the local gallery has been one to watch.

The Signature Gallery

This art gallery also has sister locations in New Mexico and California. The Scottsdale location features original paintings in both acrylic and oil, as well as bronze, wood, and glass sculptures. From acclaimed artists to local sensations, this gallery has it all.

Famous LOVE Sign

Finally, have you taken the time to see the LOVE sculpture near the Scottsdale Civic Center Library and City Hall? This sculpture was a symbol for peace in the midst of the Vietnam War, created by the late Robert Indiana. Check it out, and be sure to take some pictures with this famous gem.

Art can take a variety of forms, and can be displayed nearly anywhere. We’re lucky that there are so many Scottsdale art galleries and Cave Creek art galleries that can bring us joy and awaken our creative souls. To learn more about our community, please contact us.

7 Hacks to Stay Cool This Summer

We all know how hot and miserable the summer heat can be at times, especially in the Arizona desert. Why suffer when there are many tricks on how to stay cool in the heat? Here are some tricks that help you stay cool this summer and make the upcoming months a bit more enjoyable:

Bedroom Remedies

Save the silk or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton material are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom. Also, you can stick sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed, wrapped in a plastic bag. This trick won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a short relief from the heat.

H2O Before Bed

Drink an 8oz glass of water before bed to get some hydration. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can cause dehydration, so get H2O in beforehand. Also, a cold shower before bed brings down the core body temperature and rinses off perspiration so you can hit the sheets feeling cool and refreshed.

Avoid the Stove

Summer isn’t the best time to spend hours slaving in the kitchen over casseroles or roasted chicken. Instead, eat cool, room-temperature dishes like salads to avoid generating any unnecessary heat in the house. If hot food is an essential item of your menu, fire up the outdoor BBQ grill instead of turning on the oven. Also, replace big meals for smaller, lighter dinners that are easier to metabolize. The body produces more heat after you devour a huge steak versus a plate of fruits, veggies, and legumes.

Give Your A/C Unit a Makeover

Clean or replace the filter in your room and central air conditioners about once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system’s efficiency by as much as 15%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with peelable caulking or a sealant strip. These steps help ensure good airflow and keep the coils cleaner, which means more efficient and effective cooling.

Dress Right

Wear one of the widely available synthetic fabrics designed to fight sweat and that sticky feeling; they’re not just for athletes anymore. If you prefer cotton, make it thin, light colored, and, most of all, loose. Don’t make light of the sun’s power; always be sure to wear a hat outside to avoid sunburns (along with sunscreen). Sunburns make it harder for your body to cool down naturally and also dehydrate your – making staying cool in the heat even harder to do.

Change up Eating Habits

Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. Eat more hydrating foods, like smoothies, fruits and vegetables. This might come as a surprise, but start adding spicy foods to your diet because they make you sweat and in turn, helps your body cool down faster. Eating cold foods like ice cream or iced tea actually don’t do you many favors. These foods make your internal temperature cool too rapidly, and then your body ends up compensating by raising your body temperature back up, making you feel hotter. On the contrary, eating spicy foods raises your internal temperature to match the temperature outside. Your blood circulation increases, you start sweating and once the moisture has evaporated, you’ll feel cooler.

Cool Workouts

Switching up your exercise routine to include more water exercises and early morning workouts are also great for beating the heat. Swimming and water aerobics are great because they’re easy on the joints while keeping your body temperature cool. At Terravita, our pool is a popular hang out spot for residents with many of them adding in water aerobics to their daily schedules. If you’re not keen on hitting the pool going for a walk in the morning before the sun heats everything up is another great tip on how to beat the heat – and stay active.

Hopefully these tricks and routine switch-ups help make your summer more enjoyable and keeps you feeling cool and refreshed despite the sweltering heat outside.

8 Ways to Improve Quality of Life for You & Your Loved Ones

Life doesn’t just happen to us, we have to make life happen. Sometimes it’s wonderful and you don’t have a care in the world, and other times it can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed by our day-to-day lives. If you are looking for ways to improve quality of life for you or your loved ones, check out these tips:

Get Enough Sleep

Too many people forsake getting enough sleep each night in order to have more time to do the things they need to do. Unfortunately this is a huge mistake. Not only does sleep deprivation cause impaired cognitive function and memory problems, but not getting enough sleep causes negative changes in mood. People who don’t get enough sleep are more irritable, negative, and less resistant to stress. We all have stress, but people who report not getting enough sleep also report reacting negatively to the stressors that life throws at them.

The amount of sleep an adult needs will depend on the person, while some people need to get more sleep than others most research indicates that you need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night to be well-rested and ready to take on the world. However, it’s not always about the amount of sleep, the quality of your rest plays a key part in how rested you feel the next day. Improve sleep quality by investing in a mattress that suits your needs, disconnecting from your phone before bed, turn alarm clock away from you, and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.

Meditate

Meditation has been shown to have multiple positive health benefits. You can start experiencing these benefits by meditating as little as 20 minutes a day. Even if that’s quite a stretch for you, meditating for 5-10 minutes to start can have wonderful effects. Meditation has been shown to alleviate depression and anxiety, improve concentration, reduce stress and even increase gray matter in the areas of the brain that correspond with regulating emotions.

Engage With Nature

Being outside and engaging with nature has a positive impact on mood, lowers stress, and increases creativity. In one study, it was shown that simply walking in a forest as opposed to walking in an urban center decreased heart rate, and walkers reported less anxiety and better moods. In another study, those participants who spent three days in nature performed 50% better on creative tasks than those who weren’t exposed in nature. Take the time to engage with nature, even if it’s as simple as a walk in your local park.

Exercise

Exercise not only improves your physical well being, but it has a large impact on your mental well being, as well. Studies have shown that moderate exercise can be just as effective as an antidepressant in treating mild depression. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety and improves cognitive function that are all key in leading an overall healthy lifestyle. The benefits of exercise can be felt by something as simple as walking 30 minutes daily. In fact, you could take a walking meditation outside and squeeze in 3 of these 8 tips!

Socialize

When you socialize with your friends or close family members, the nucleus accumbens, a major reward system in the brain is activated, giving you a rush of dopamine. Social isolation can be toxic, and people who are lonely have higher mortality rates than those with an active social life.

Be Present

Being present involves not ruminating on past experiences or projecting your thoughts into the future, but rather focusing on what is happening now. Thinking about the future and obsessing about what is to come only does harm and robs you of the peace of the moment you’re living in. When you live in the future or the past, you are focused on situations that are ultimately unchangeable. Be present and accept this moment for what it is, a present!

Set a Realistic Goal and Achieve It

Setting a goal and seeing it through to fruition can boost your self esteem and well being. It’s important to set a realistic goal that you can achieve and take baby steps toward achieving it. Setting too lofty a goal and failing to meet it can demotivate and harm your self esteem, even halting or back tracking progress you’ve made.

Be Grateful

Focusing on what your life is lacking, rather than what you do have, is one surefire way to end up miserable. In one study, students that kept a gratitude journal for 10 weeks reported feeling more positive and more optimistic about the future. Reaping the benefits of gratitude is as easy as writing down one thing you are thankful for each day.

Don’t try to implement all of these tips at once, or you will end up feeling even more overwhelmed. Instead, try implementing 2 per week until you’re practicing all 8. These simple tips will help improve quality of life for you and your loved ones and help you appreciate the life you are living.