Survive Working Away From Home at Plymouth Gym

Find A Home From Home at a Plymouth Health Club

As some of my readers may know from my posts on other sites, I often buy homes in other parts of the country and this often means spending extended time away from home. This is because although I have a good team behind me, there are always things that need to be done by me personally on site.

While this is a huge disruption to my normal routine, I try to minimize the effect by locating a few home comforts like good places to eat and relax, when I have time and as important is finding somewhere to maintain my fitness levels. After a couple of years doing my best to gain a good level of fitness the last thing I want to do is undo my hard earned progress. This is all too easy to do, using fast food restaurants and having poor “on the go” nutrition.

This year I was due to spend a couple of  months managing a project near Plymouth, working on a great 4 bedroom home that I picked up about 20% under market value. I was sure I wanted to locate somewhere to work out regularly, so I did not lose the gains I have made in the last two years. I was lucky enough to spot a recently opened club which fulfilled my needs exactly. Here is the story of my short time at Plymouth Gym and the new friends I made in the owners, Mark and Julie.

Keep Fit While Working Away

The health club offers some impressive facilities in its 3500 sq ft building, for an independent concern building its membership list in a market dominated corporate health clubs and high end gyms.

This is where owner Mark and Julie Foreman, originally from Australia are making inroads into the corporate gym market.

They do this by offering a very personalized service to their members and go to great lengths to make sure that members receive the best service possible.

All staff that wish to become part of the culture at the club undergo a rigorous induction to ensure that they are fully on board with the ethos of the club.

Mark & Julie have a long history in the health business and were owners of two clubs back home in their native Sydney, Australia. These were sold in order to relocate their operation to the USA.

In order to offer their members quality facilities, Mark and Julie believe that they do not need to charge a premium membership fee like some other local clubs and they start at a very reasonable $79 per month and can be increased depending on the higher end services you wish to use.

I have been a member of several gyms in two different countries and I have to say that the personal attention to detail was something that I have never experienced at any corporate health club. There was also a feeling of space that isn’t experienced at mass member gyms where you can be waiting to use machines for several minutes, this is much less common even at peak times.

Health Club Facilities

The club offers varying levels of membership and this can be tailored to your particular requirements. The club offers all the usual benefits that modern gyms offer including:

Personal Training with Bespoke Fitness Assessments

Mark insists that all trainers employed by him are highly experienced and have fully qualified as personal trainers for at least three years and worked with a range of clients of all ages. Only then are the allowed to assume responsibility for working with their clientele.

Fully Equipped Body Sculpting Studio

The classes are designed to improve overall body condition, strength and endurance and are a total body workout under the supervision of a qualified instructor for those at beginner level. The option to go solo is there, for experienced gym visitors.

All participants must first undergo the bespoke assessment to determine the current level of fitness and assess the goals and potential of each member. If a member wishes to go it alone – this is also allowed after the initial assessment which is carried out for safety reasons.

Cardio Wellness Studio

This replicates the design from Mark’s Australian business and has been one of the most active classes on offer. Instructors are always on hand to lead members through their set of individual programs or offer advice if required.

This is one of the most comprehensively equipped studios I have seen in any local health club and offers several different types of the latest free standing aerobic and resistance equipment. All user performance is computer monitored so your progress can be charter and updated each visit.

The ethos of the club is such, that to progress each member needs to know exactly how far their fitness has improved if they are to reach their individual goals. This can only be done by monitoring fitness levels closely and close collaboration with their trainer.

Mark also believes in education and regularly holds informal classes where he shares his extensive knowledge on the benefits of exercise, aerobics, cross-fit or body sculpting and of course nutrition. There is no substitute for knowledge imparted by someone who is passionate about health and fitness. Guest speakers are also involved and classes can become heavily booked.

Indoor Heated Pool & Juice Bar

This is a focal point for the club and hosts events on a bi-weekly basis for members. The pool facilities can also be hired by members only, wishing to host private functions on certain days of the year. This has become a firm favorite with members, hosting children’s private birthday parties and family gatherings.

A New Generation of Pilates Studio

Pilates has become a very popular form of exercise which is designed to improve tone and strengthen muscles by training the core of the body. This has a great deal of benefit for people wishing to improve postural problems, back pain and improve their overall fitness. A strong core is essential for a healthy body and Pilates will over time improve range of motion and flexibility of your whole body. It is not designed to build muscle bulk which is desirable for many of Marks’s clients.

This is without doubt one of the most enjoyable health clubs I have visited and Mark & Julie tell me that another two clubs are planned in the next year. These will continue the blueprint of the first US venture and the original Australian concept. To get more information go to You will not be disappointed by the warm welcome you receive from all staff, Mark & Julie who are committed helping members attain their fitness goals in the shortest possible time.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club and would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.

David Marshall

Paradise Valley – Home to the Rich & Famous

By Jeff Dealy, Real Estate

Luxury Living – Phoenix Style

Living a South-West desert lifestyle is a unique experience and can be highly enjoyable.While summers can be brutal, with 100F plus temperatures lasting for weeks on end, there is an upside.

That is, when the majority of the country is suffering from the cold and wet of winter, the desert dwellers of Phoenix will be enjoying sunny, bright and warm days. The great weather is not the only thing that makes the snow-birds and long term residents to flock to places such as Paradise Valley.

Paradise Valley or P.V as it is also known, is a small and very affluent town located a short distance to downtown Phoenix which also serves as the home of many influential celebrities and business people, including the late Muhammad Ali who passed away in June 2016.

The area enjoys nearly 300 days of sunshine a year and is very popular with residents and visitors alike, who enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the valley’s Camelback, McDowell and Phoenix Mountain Preserve ranges.

The area boasts numerous things to do for children and adults including top notch golf courses and a number of other fun activities, local sporting events, hiking, shopping and of course the outstanding scenery.

The town’s celebrity status is well deserved as it offers a range of palatial homes for sale and rental, many of which command sky high values from $2m upwards and rents in excess of $5000-$10,000 per month.

The area has older origins than much of Phoenix and plots have been purposely kept at one acre minimums, often much more by the initial residents.

Biltmore Luxury – Fit For A President

The Biltmore Estates is one such area and one of the most popular and well known parts of the southwest region of Paradise Valley. This area has hosted several former US presidents at the Biltmore Resort and is also a great place to visit. The location is stunning with views of the surrounding mountains set among beautifully manicured lawns and palm trees.

Indeed every president since Herbert Hoover, with the exception of Barack Obama has stayed at the Biltmore Resort & Spa at least once while in the Valley. President Obama, instead for reasons only know to the White House, decided to stay at the new Inter Continental Montelucia Resort which is also in Paradise Valley.

The Biltmore neighborhood is highly desirable and commands high property values in terms of rents and homes for sale.

It has also been or still is the home of many other celebrities and sports people including Muhammad Ali, Charles Barkley and Steve Bush to name a few.

The area also is home to many successful entrepreneurs and business people including Bruce Halle, the founder of Discount Tire one of the richest men in the Southwest, who is reported to have  a net worth of over $4 billion.

Paradise Valley is also popular with the arts community and is home to Max Cavalera, musician and also Alice Cooper to name two artists who still enjoy the beautiful weather, superb golf resorts and surrounding desert landscapes.

Paradise Valley as a neighbourhood is very well cared for and maintained, and enjoys an abundance of greenery and mature palm trees which adorn the large plots on numerous multi-million dollar homes, present in most parts of the PV district. The two main streets that run through the neighborhood are East Rose Lane and North Homestead Lane, which are both highly desirable addresses and benefit from everything the area has to offer.

What to do in Paradise Valley

The overall appearance and highly convenient location for downtown Phoenix is one of the many reasons why the PV and Biltmore is such a sought after and desirable location.

The area also boasts a number of great places to eat, numerous retail outlets and renowned schools for all ages, both private and public including;  Camelback Desert School, Montessori Academy, Camelback Christian School, Tesseract School and Kachina Country Day School.

Many of the homes in P.V district have a minimum of 5 bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, swimming pool and many offer dedicated sports courts which may be used for tennis or basketball. The homes in the area often have generous plots, which was one of the key features that the first residents wished to maintain – greenery and space harking back to it’s rural origins.

If you are considering The Biltmore or Paradise Valley area, contact Phoenix Quality Homes who have a number of experienced realtors, ready to advise on what is currently available. This part of the “Valley of the Sun” expanded massively over the last 25 years, as the desert made way for upscale neighborhoods and the demand for luxuriously appointed homes for rent and sale.

While there are some properties for sale at under $1m they are likely to be significantly smaller than those further afield to North or South of the district.

Homes in the region are frequently offered for sale in the $10-20m price bracket and above, which are sold without ever reaching the ARMLS and sold through private introduction.

Paradise Valley really is superb location and offers a great deal to do, see and experience for families and single people alike.

2016 Survey – Student Debt Could Slow Home Market

17 June 2016 by Mark Waterman

National Association of Realtors (NAR), Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, commented that first time buyer market’s share of purchases is as low as it has been for around 30 years. This is chiefly caused by the high level of student debt within this group of buyers. The desire to buy is there, but stricter conditions from mortgage lenders and debt repayment soaking up disposable income is having an effect on the market.

Among non-homeowners taking part in the survey, nearly 80% of the respondents stated student loan debt is delaying their ability to save for a down payment and purchase a home. The full report can be read here 2016 Student Loan Debt and Housing Report.

Over 60% say they can’t qualify for a mortgage, due to high debt-to-income ratios and also feel insecure about their ability to pay and maintain their repayments with and average student debt of $50,000.
The lack of first time buyers confidence and ability to purchase is of course is not an isolated problem and has a ripple effect, both on values and market activity further up the home buying chain.
There are also other groups affected by lingering debt including those in “Gen X” and “baby boomers” who are also statistically more likely to have high debt to income ratios.

Lack of Market Knowledge

Some 20% of the NAR survey commented that they felt concerned at their lack of financial know how and that was discouraging them from making the leap to buying their own home, even if they could afford it. A significant number of respondents, some 40% also suggested that navigating the home market was a significant worry that also delayed their decision. They also could often not afford to live in the location they desired or needed for employment.

The Effect of High Debt to Income Ratios

The knock on effect is one of congestion at multiple levels in the home buying ladder and one which has implications further for buyers and sellers alike. One of the direct results is that would-be home buyers are now remaining with their parents or family members much longer, in an effort to save for a down payment and reduce their student debt.
When we interviewed realtors for this article, some commented that some Millennials have less confidence in buying their own home, concerned that a future market crash will happen again. This, ironically has helped fuel the increase in rents seen in areas such as Phoenix, AZ, great news for investors searching for high yields, but pushes the first time buyer dream of owning their own home, further away. To contact a realtor within the Phoenix area for rental homes, buying or selling click the link to get the latest advice, or view the latest listings.
If you have been personally affected, please leave us a comment or email us directly at email