Be a good neighbor!

Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or have lived here for decades, it’s always a good idea to stay on your neighbors’ good sides. These relationships will help when there’s a disaster, you lock yourself out of your home, or when you go on long trips and need someone to keep an eye on your house.

Here is a list of actions to take that will help build positive relationships with your neighbors:

  • Introduce yourself — Bring a small housewarming gift to new neighbors and visit neighbors on your block with treats during the holidays.
  • Exchange phone numbers — Even though everything happens online today, it’s always a good idea to have the phone number of a neighbor in case of emergency.
  • Keep your yard tidy — No one wants to be that person who doesn’t maintain their yard, causing neighboring property values to diminish. Make exterior maintenance and landscaping a priority, and hopefully your neighbors will follow your lead.
  • Discuss big exterior changes — Before you build a fence or cut down a tree near the border of a neighbor’s yard, let them know. They will appreciate the courtesy and will likely return the favor.

Thinking of selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Save money with meal planning

Saving money to cover your next home project or a down payment for a future home purchase can be daunting. Planning your meals is a simple way to get started saving.

Meal planning can save the average family of four $50-$200 a week on groceries and eating out. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Plan your meals for the coming week each Sunday and aim to visit the grocery store just once each week. This saves you money and time. 
  • When planning, reuse ingredients so nothing goes to waste. For example, if one recipe calls for just half a bunch of carrots, plan another recipe later in the week that will use the other half. 
  • Check your pantry and refrigerator before making your plan for the week, aiming to use all of your current ingredients before buying new ones. 
  • Plan your meals so that you make enough for leftovers, useful for packing lunches so you can avoid eating out at the office.

Thinking about selling or buying? Contact me for more ideas to prepare for your next step.

Stella Bonin

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214


I am licensed in California and Arizona and I have a great team to serve you with offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Top 6 Household Items Known To Cause Cancer

In the modern era, we are exposed to many different harmful chemicals on a daily basis. Workplaces and restaurants all have to adhere to certain safety measures to ensure that workers and customers alike are not exposed to dangerous amounts of these substances. However, many toxic chemicals can be found in your home as well. Take a look at the World Health Organization’s statistics on leading causes of death worldwide. It will tell you that the more advanced a country is, the greater your chances of dying of cancer. Advancements have brought down infectious diseases.

1. Air Fresheners

This is believably the number one product that most of the people have in their homes. The Natural Resources Defense Council reported that almost all of the common air-fresheners, even those tagged as being “all-natural” contain chemicals with serious carcinogenic potential. Any household item that contains some type of fragrance or “perfume” has a toxic chemical called phthalate. There are numerous types of phthalates that have different health consequences, but almost all of them have one thing in common — they affect reproductive health. Many of these air fresheners do not clean the air as we expect they will, but they do provoke respiratory problems such as asthma and cancer. As much as possible, choose fragrance free products and make your own homemade air fresheners to avoid phthalates.

2. Hair Color

Many women and a few men wouldn’t dream of consuming anything that isn’t natural and organic, but they have no problem putting cancer-causing chemicals on their heads once a month. Although ingredients vary, most home hair coloring kits contain quaternium-15 – a known neurotoxin, skin irritant, and formaldehyde releaser; diethanolamine (DEA) – a carcinogen that interacts with nitrites to form a carcinogenic nitrosamine; fragrances – a cause of contact dermatitis and a carcinogenic potential; phenylene-diamines and propylene glycol – carcinogens that can cause contact dermatitis. Perhaps it’s time we must decide to stop being partially “natural” and go all the way. Embrace the gray, and let’s age graciously.

3. Art and Crafts Supplies

You probably cannot ideate how something as seemingly nontoxic as a marker can be toxic to your health, but it’s true. Almost all glues, acrylic paints, and the solvents used in marking pens, contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to organ damage, allergies, and certain types of cancer. Although federal law, entitled the Hazardous Art Materials Act, says that art supplies sold must have warning labels if they contain any type of dangerous toxin, however, they don’t need to actually list the ingredients by name. Because of this, you should only purchase products that have been certified by the Art and Creative Material Institute (ACMI). Products that have this certification mean that they have been severally tested so that they are safe enough even for small children.

4. Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaners

We all are aware of those cleaners that are meant to scrub your sinks, tubs, and toilets? The ones that comes in pretty bottles but these are loaded with toxic ingredients such as crystalline silica, which is a known carcinogen as well as an eye, lung, and skin irritant. Silica is a known carcinogen. Some of these cleansers also contain “perfumes,” which, like air fresheners, contain carcinogenic phthalates. Instead of artificial cleaners one can use natural cleanser by mixing some vinegar and baking soda, or lemon juice and baking soda. These will neither endanger your health, nor will scratch the floor surfaces!

5. Hair Shampoos and Conditioners

This should be one of the hottest topics as we all use shampoos and conditioners. But, many people have been unaware of the toxins that are used in personal care items, even those that are labeled as being organic or natural. If you have ever read the labels you might be aware of the chemicals that it contains such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), cocamide DEA, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which make cancer causing agents when they are used together. To avoid the danger you can make your own natural personal care products at home – there are many recipes online that will tell you exactly how to make shampoos and conditioners.

6. Scented Candles

Most scented candles use lead wicks, while lead is one of the most dreadful things for your health. It is used to make the wicks last longer and burn more steadily, but lead is a deadly toxin that infuriate behavior problems and hormone disruption. Hold the wick and try to use it to draw a line on the paper. If you cannot see a smudge or line, your candle probably does not have a lead wick. Paraffin wax also creates highly toxic compounds. Toluene and benzene are both known carcinogens that are released into the air anytime paraffin wax candles are burned. Some candles also use artificial colors and artificial scent, which you inhale whenever you burn one of these candles.


Finding the right agent to work with is key to getting an offer accepted on the home you want or to have your home sold in a short period of time. I have years of experience assisting clients buying and selling homes. Contact me for more information!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
West USA Realty
Arizona Department of Real Estate # BR5550696000
California Bureau of RealEstate # 01222569

“Equal Housing Opportunity”