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8 Homes That Upped Their Energy Efficiency

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

8 Homes That Upped Their Energy Efficiency

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

A Designer's Dream Kitchen Becomes Reality

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Standard Or Itemized?

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Standard or Itemized

Taxpayers can decide each year whether to take the standard deduction or their itemized deductions when filing their personal income tax returns. Roughly, 75% of households with more than $75,000 income and most homeowners itemize their deductions.

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Beginning in 2018, the standard deduction, available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they own a home, is $24,000 for married filing jointly and $12,000 for single taxpayers.

Let's look at an example of a couple purchasing a $300,000 home with 3.5% down at 5% interest. The first year's interest would be $14,630 and property taxes are estimated at 1.5% of sales price would be $4,500.

The interest and property taxes would provide a combined total of $19,130 which is less than the $24,000 standard deduction. Unless this hypothetical couple has other itemized deductions like charitable contributions that would make the total exceed $24,000, they would benefit more from taking the standard deduction.

If the mortgage rate were at 8%, the combined total of taxes and interest would be almost $28,000 which would make itemizing the deductions more beneficial. 

Tax professionals will compare available alternatives to find the one that will benefit the taxpayer most. For more information, see and consult a tax advisor.

Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Tips

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Tips

Kitchen appliances

The old saying goes, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” However, like a heart, a kitchen needs proper maintenance. Without care, the shelf life of appliances can severely decline, and the costs of new appliances can add up.

Below are several tips to keep your kitchen clean.


One of the most important appliances in the kitchen is the refrigerator. The environment in the fridge makes it easy for mold colonies to creep up. To prevent the spread of these biological pests and prevent wear and tear, here are several key cleaning tips.


  • Check the food for expiration dates that have passed, and toss old or spoiled food every week.
  • Remove all food from the refrigerator to clean tough-to-reach corners.
  • Temporarily remove the shelves and drawers and scrub the interior with a mixture of warm water and soap.
  • Use baking soda to remove any stains.
  • Dry any wet spots with a separate cloth or towel before you put your food back in.


  • Examine the condenser coils located on the back of the fridge for dust and use a broom or similar cleaning tool to remove any debris.
  • Check and maintain the seals of the fridge.


Picture this: after waiting a few minutes to heat up a bowl of soup, you open the microwave door and broth residue is splattered all around. A simple spill can cause food particles and stains to build up quickly. Here are some tips to get rid of stains quickly and efficiently.


  • Heat up a cup of water for roughly three minutes depending on the power of the microwave.
  • Let it sit and evaporate until steam appears on the glass window.
  • Use a paper towel, sponge or cloth to wipe the interior clean.
  • If your microwave has a glass plate, remove it and scrub the plate separately so that no spots are missed.
  • Finally, use soapy water to disinfect the inside.
  • Dry the interior well.


  • Use an all-purpose cleaner on a cloth or sponge to keep it clean, but be careful not to spray cleaner directly on the appliance because there’s a risk that the cleaner will enter the ventilation holes.
  • Periodically inspect the glass outside the door for fingerprints, dirt, splatter or grime.

Stove or Oven

Do you remember when dinner was left in the oven a little too long a few weeks ago? Maybe there was a cookie dough overflow. More than likely, the remnants of those dishes are burned to the bottom.

Although most ovens have self-cleaning cycles, the high temperatures often result in smoke  and old food burned to ash. To avoid this, use store-bought oven cleaner as an alternative. Make sure to wear a mask and gloves, as this type of cleaner is very strong. Non-scented ammonia is also a good substitute. For tough spots or hard-to-reach places, use a scraper.

For electric stove tops, use a basic cleaner to cover the surface area. Gas stove tops are a little trickier, often requiring you to take apart the components to clean them properly. 

Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a little tricky to maintain and can be dangerous. Keep your hands and large objects out of the garbage disposal, as this can damage the machine and your appendages.

Your solution? A natural cleaner such as a citrus fruit, plus some dish soap:

  • Fill the sink with soap and water.
  • Let it flush and drain.
  • Cut the fruit in half and run the disposal until both halves are gone.


Choose a toaster with a crumb tray so that you can clean it out with ease. After unplugging the toaster, gently shake your appliance over the trash to remove any excess food particles. Avoid using water or other cleaners when cleaning the inside the toaster.

Coffee Maker

Because they’re used daily, coffee makers are especially prone to germs and can host mold and other microscopic pests if not cleaned properly. 

After sipping your morning cup of joe, pour out any leftovers and rinse out the pot. Leaving leftover coffee in the open invites bacteria to come in, especially over several days. A more thorough wash of removable parts is recommended, especially since loose coffee grounds can remain after a simple rinse.

 An alternative cleaning method is to mix vinegar and water while brewing: 

  • Mix one part white vinegar to two parts water, then pour the mixture into the water tank of the coffee maker
  • Place a filter in the basket and turn the coffee maker on.
  • Once complete, run at least 2-3 more pots of plain water to flush the vinegar out of the coffee maker.

Much like a human heart, you need to take care of the kitchen to ensure a safe and clean space for living. For more cleaning tips, check out the Zing Blog’s Room-by-Room Natural Cleaning Guide.

Velvet Curtain Ideas To Tempt You Over To The Soft Side

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

How To Find The Best Plants For Your Yard

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

How To Organize Your Cleaning Supplies

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

101 Ways With A Mirror At The Entry

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

14 Colorful Spring Containers To Cheer Up Your Porch Or Garden

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 544




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Contact Information

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Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221