Monthly Archives: December 2013

Oro Valley Real Estate FSBO


Real Estate Tough Sell FSBO-My Neighbor Is An A……

SELLING YOUR HOME ON YOUR OWN MAY BE HARDER THAN YOU THINK! Here are some points to consider: You may place the security of your home and yourself at risk. Ads and “For Sale by Owner” signs tend to invite just anyone to inspect your house. You have very little control and no opportunity to pre-screen potential buyers. You may not know the marketplace well enough to establish the best price for your home. If it is too high, you may lose buyers. If you ask too little, you stand to lose a great deal of money. Coordination of arrangements and the paperwork involved with a home sale requires many hours, especially if you are not well versed in real estate and the law. You also stand a chance of making costly mistakes. You may have limited advertising resources. Without good advertising and professional help, your home may be on the market for too long to get top dollar. That makes it harder to sell even if you do ultimately decide to list it with a Realtor. People may think it hasn’t sold because there is a problem. Buyers often need assistance with financing. That’s a job best left to a trained professional. Unless you are skilled in the art of compromise, you may not be able to effectively close your sale. The “give and take” aspects of the sale of a home must be skillfully negotiated before a transaction is successfully completed. Believe it or not, buyers don’t like to deal directly with home sellers. They aren’t comfortable asking questions or pointing out discrepancies since insult or confrontation may result.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Outlook 2014-Glass Half Full


Real Estate Outlook 2014-Glass Half Full

In November, existing home sales volume fell below year-ago levels for the first time in 29 months.

Sales volume was 4.96 million in 2012 and fell to a seasonally-adjusted pace of 4.9 million in 2013, according to The National Association of REALTORS®.

The NAR blames higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory and continuing tight credit, which may get worse in 2014.

Explains Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, “There is a pent-up demand for both rental and owner-occupied housing as household formation will inevitably burst out, but the bottleneck is in limited housing supply, due to the slow recovery in new home construction. As such, rents are rising at the fastest pace in five years, while annual home prices are rising at the highest rate in eight years.”

Between October and November, sales volume dropped 4.3 percent.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $196,300 in November, up 9.4 percent from November 2012. But prices can’t continue to rise if the number of transactions slows down.

Inventories are already higher than they were a year ago. In November, housing supplies were at 5.1 months on hand, up from 4.8 months on hand a year ago.

When housing supplies are under six months on hand, it’s considered a buyer’s market, but when supplies start to build, it’s worth taking note.

Experts are looking ahead to January 2014 when the housing recovery could face new challenges – rising interest rates, stricter underwriting rules, and lower income-to-debt ratios for mortgages.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Bad Neighbors


Negative News-Your Neighbor’s House-What Do We Do?

Suppose a listing agent is told by a neighbor that the property he has for sale probably has a structural defect. What is he supposed to do now? Should he query the owner? Should he do his own investigation? Should he put his hands over his ears and run away?

As with all of these kinds of questions, the right answer will be, “It depends.” The circumstances could vary greatly, and no single answer will be adequate for all the possibilities.

First of all, the Appellate Court noted that, “Negligent misrepresentation is a species of fraud or deceit specifically requiring a ‘positive assertion’…an ‘implied’ assertion or representation is not enough. The Appellate Court agreed with the defendants that no such assertion had been shown.

Nor was there negligence. The Appellate Court noted that an agent’s statutory duty to inspect and disclose is codified in Civil Code §2079. It then observed as follows.

“Plaintiffs fail to read the statute carefully enough. They base their case on a claimed duty by Kraft to investigate the foundation, based on the neighbor’s comments, to discover defects… and then to disclose those defects to plaintiffs. The statute does not require that kind of investigation and disclosure. Section 2079 requires a reasonably competent and diligent ‘visual’ inspection and disclosure of any material defects which ‘such an investigation’ would reveal.”

“Uncontradicted evidence shows that the only visually apparent problems with the foundation were some cracks and that those were disclosed… Nothing in the statutes required Kraft to order an X-ray examination of steel. Lack of steel was undisputedly hidden to the eye…”

No statutory duty was breached. No negligence was found.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Gardening Nightmares Made Easy


Gardening Nightmares Made Easy

You don’t have to pay through the nose to have the best backyard on the block. If you have a few simple DIY skills and know how to use a tape measure and level, you can easily upgrade and update your backyard all on your own.

If you’ve ever dreamed of a lovely garden path, perennial garden or a privacy fence, but you’ve hesitated because of cost, now is the time to invest a little sweat equity to create the backyard of your dreams.

Perennial Garden

Tending perennials may seem daunting to inexperienced gardeners, but in reality, they’re some of the easiest flowers to grow. Best of all, plant them once and they return to bloom every year. Perennial gardens make lively backgrounds for your annual plantings. Use them along fences and border porches and decks to add color from early summer to late fall.

To ensure the stability and livelihood of your perennial plants:

Keep the roots wet until you put them in the ground

Plant them in improved soil

Apply regular helpings of water and fertilizer

Place a 3-inch layer of mulch around, but not touching, the plants.

Replace Your Pool Liner

It sounds like a difficult challenge, but replacing your pool liner is quite simple when you start with the right tools and quality supplies.

  • Replace your liner during warm weather
  • Remove all water and debris from your pool
  • Avoid over-stretching your replacement liner
  • Utilize sandbags to secure the base seal
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the process before starting.


Hardscape Your Backyard

The addition of pavers, retaining walls, fire pits and patios all add value and comfort to your backyard, but many homeowners don’t realize they can easily complete these upgrades without the help of professional landscapers.

Lay decorative pavers on a bed of tamped sand to make an easy patio that stands up to the elements, or layer simple bricks with or without mortar to make attractive and functional retaining walls. A meandering garden path guided by decorative cobblestones can lead to a simple water feature or wooden bench in your garden. Delight your backyard guests and yourself this summer by creating a simple hardscape that complements the design of your home.

Install a Privacy Fence

If you crave a secluded backyard oasis, consider installing a 6-foot or 8-foot section of privacy fence. Your local home improvement store sells this type of fencing in sections. All you have to do is level the terrain and dig the post holes. Use a quick-setting cement to anchor your fence posts, making sure everything is level and square before moving on to the next section.

With a little tenacity, you can install a privacy fence in one weekend. Done properly, it adds privacy and enjoyment to your backyard and value to your home.


Oro Valley Real Estate-Connect Google+ to Facebook


First, link Twitter and Facebook. This can easily be done through an app. In your main Facebook account (they won’t you do it through your author page). Look in the left-hand column for “Apps” and go to the app center. You could also just type “Twitter” into the search box at the top of the page. Follow the instructions to connect the two accounts. If you have an author page, connect that page. After you do, all public Tweets will go to the appropriate Facebook page, and visa versa.

Linking Google+ to the other two takes a little more work. Here’s how I did it:

The first thing you’ll need to do is create an RSS feed URL. It’s easy. Go here and follow the instructions. When you click “Get Feed,” a page of code comes up. Don’t worry. Just copy the URL from the top of the browser.

Then go to and set up an account. What this lets you do is to set up an “trigger” so that when you do one thing (make an entry on Google+) something else happens (the same post is sent to Twitter, which then sends it to Facebook through the app).

Once you’ve got your account, select “Create Recipe.” They call these things “Recipes” for some reason.

Click on the blue “This.”

From the channels, click the orange “Feed” button.

Click “New feed item.”

Paste the RSS feed URL you created above and click “Create Trigger.” It will verify it. If it’s good, it’ll move to the next step.

Click the blue “That.” Up comes a page with icons for the various social media.

For our purposes, click the blue “Twitter” icon.

Click “Post a tweet.”

Click “Create Action.”

Add a description so you know what it is, the click “Create Recipe.”

That’s it. A list of recipes will come up where you can turn them on or off. Now, when you post to Google+ and, if you share it publicly, the post will appear on your twitter page and your Facebook page. There is a delay, though, so don’t expect it to appear instantly. It may take several minutes, and you may need to refresh the screen to see it.

Obviously, you can set this up any way you want to with any social media. Experiment with it. In any event, it will simplify your social media platform building efforts.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Know Your Competition-Compete-Win

Know Your Competition-Compete-Win

Know Your Competition.

  1. Who are your top-ten competitors?
  2. If you lose a listing, to whom do you lose it in most instances?
  3. How many agents do each of your primary competitors have?
  4. What is their average experience level?
  5. What is their annual per person production?
  6. What is the average number of listings in each office?
  7. What is their list-to-sell ratio and list-to-sale time-frame?

Fill Your Tool Chest with the BEST.


NEVER Stop Learning New Skills

LOSE What Doesn’t Work

Develop a Competitive Attitude: Attitude is everything. It takes a certain mental toughness to be willing to convey to a prospect that you are the best person/company for the job.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Time to Dump Your Realtor?

Time to Dump Your Realtor?

1. The agent doesn’t listen Right off the bat, an agent should ask you several important questions:

  • How long have you been looking?
  • Are you pre-qualified and, if so, for what type of loan?
  • What time frame are you looking to move in?
  • How much are you looking to spend?
  • What type of house and how many bedrooms are you looking for?
  • Are good schools important?
  • What neighborhoods are you interested in?

If he keeps showing you things that are outside your chosen neighborhoods, school districts or budget, then you might have a problem. Ditto if you are looking for a single-story home on a quiet street and he keeps showing you condos in a busy complex on Main Street.

“If the client says to me, ‘I want a three-bedroom house with a fireplace,’ and I show them something different, I need to explain and say why I’m doing it,” says Deborah Engel, an accredited buyers agent with Prudential California Realty in San Diego.

Good agent: Before you get in a car with an agent to look at that first home, he should go over the process, how he operates and what he charges, and get a good understanding of your “needs, wants and wishes” says Adorna Carroll, a Connecticut broker, real-estate consultant and course instructor.

Moreover, a good agent should preview most of the homes he is trying to sell you, so he doesn’t waste your time. If a house is a big fixer inside or has an enormous dead tree in the backyard, your agent should know about it before you agree to go, says Dorcas Helfant-Browning, principal broker with Coldwell Banker Professional in Virginia Beach, Va., and a past president of the National Association of Realtors.

2. She’s inexperienced Real estate is a full-time job. If your home search is someone’s side job, you should probably take this as your cue to move on.

Someone who works another job in addition to her real-estate gig probably isn’t able to scan the listings as often as she should — at least twice a day to catch everything — and you can bet she isn’t able to get back to listing agents, mortgage brokers and others as quickly as a full-time agent.

Moreover, if the agent lacks experience, contacts and credibility, she might have a harder time securing that winning bid for you, everything else being equal, Carroll says. Listing agents like to work with other agents that they know can get the deal done, she says.

A few signs that they’re green:

  • She doesn’t make sure you’re pre-approved for a loan before they get in the car with you to look at listings.
  • She doesn’t prepare a detailed market analysis with comparable values for the same type and size of property when you’re getting ready to make an offer. And they can’t tell you the reasons you might want to offer more or less on a property.
  • She can’t fully explain parts of the sales contract, or what they can and can’t do for you under the law.
  • She doesn’t inform you about homeowner associations and restrictions, if you are looking at a planned community or condominium complex.
  • She violates fair housing rules by talking about the ethnic makeup or religious background of people living in the neighborhoods you’re interested in.


Oro Valley Real Estate New Year Thoughts

Keep These New Years Resolutions-You Will Be Rich

1. Save more.

Yeah. That’s always easier said than done. But little changes really can make a difference.

2. Sing Karaoke.

Will people point and laugh? Probably. So what? The memories of a fun night will be well worth it.

3. Make Someone’s Day.

Not Dirty Harry style.

4. Call Your Mom.

You know you should.

5. Lose Weight.

Ugh. It’s the resolution that got away…every year.

6. Ask For A Raise

You might not get it, but what if you do?

7. Just Say No.

Are you the person everyone comes to…for everything?

8. Set A Goal…And Stick To It.

You don’t have to sign up for an Ironman competition (although how cool would it be if you did!).

9. Tell Someone They’re Great.

It could be your brother, your best friend, your coworker, or the guy bagging your groceries.

10. Tell Someone They Suck.

Coworker constantly taking advantage of you?

Oro Valley Real Estate-Women v Men Top 10-Who Wins?

Women v Men Top 10-Who Wins?

Top 10 Eureka Moments: Shower, Sleep and Drive  is one of my latest posts. Analyzing all the 348 moments creates this top 10 moments, which accounts for two third of all ‘the moments of great ideas’.

1. Showering 11.2%;

2. Sleeping 9.2% (dreaming);

3. Driving 8.6% (my car, motorbike);

4. Walking 8.0% (in nature or walking the dogs);

5. Working out & running 7.2% (jogging);

6. Before sleeping 6.6%;

7. Waking up 6.6%;

8. Talking to others 3.7%;

9. Alone 3.2%;

10. Always 3.2%;

This indicative research on LinkedIn confirms that if we STOP thinking, our best ideas pop into our minds. I have developed a structured methodology to start innovation in organizations in which incubation has an explicit role. In the FORTH innovation methodology there’s a step of ‘Observe and Learn’ to get new insights and ideas at those ‘not-thinking’ moments. And this pays off. At the start of the ‘Raise Ideas’ phase everybody has already booklets full of great ideas :-) .

Now, an interesting question is if there are differences in eureka-moments between men and women. Take a look at the top 5 female – and male eureka-moments.

The TOP female moments:

1. Driving 13.8%;

2. Sleeping 10.6%;

3. Waking up 9.8%;

4. Working out & jogging 8.1%;

4. Walking 8.1%;

4. Showering 8.1%;

The TOP male moments:

1. Showering 12.9%;

2. Sleeping 8.4%;

3. Walking 8.0%;

4. Before sleeping 7.1%;

5. Working out & jogging 6.7%;

Four out of five eureka moments of men and women are similar. The most striking difference is ‘Driving’. This top eureka-moment for woman, is not even present in the top 5 male eureka-moments. It is only 5.8% for men, while being 13.8% for woman. Does you have a good explanation for this? Do women drive more?


Oro Valley Real Estate-Winterize

Cold Out-Winterize

Every homeowner should start their Winter by tackling the “oh so fun” task of checking their home for leaks. Leaks can not only drain your pocket of money, but also drain your home of precious heat.

The U.S. Department of Energy ( knows how important it is for homeowners to stay warm and to save money. This is why they offer up prime tips for what and where to inspect. Let’s start on the outside of your home.

Visually inspect:

Oro Valley Real Estate-Borrow Money from Family


Oro Valley Real Estate Borrow Money from Family-Oops Forgot to Pay It Back

Question: I am looking into refinancing my home from a 5/1 ARM to a fixed rate. During this process my mother stated that she would lend me the $150K to pay off my existing loan and I would pay her back at the current market rate for a 30-year fixed. This would provide her a stable investment and I can forego the closing costs, paperwork, appraisal, etc. associated with the refinance.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Home Protection

Winter Storm Warning-Protect What You Love-If You Know What I Mean


Bitter temperatures, howling winds and icy precipitation can easily turn a pretty winter snowfall into a dangerous event. With a storm now on your doorstep, here are a few things you can do to stay safe and warm while the storm passes through.

Stay warm – and safe. If you start a wood-burning fire, follow all fireplace safety precautions. Do not use an oven or a range as a home heating device. If you have a generator, use it outside only, where there is sufficient ventilation. Test all of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they work properly. Do not let candles burn unattended, and keep them away from combustibles. LED candles are a safe, energy efficient alternative. Also, if you have an ice dam prevention system, turn it on before the snow starts to fall.

Get ready for a power outage. Turn your heat up now and close off any rooms that are not in use. Check pipe insulation and allow water to run at a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing. Charge your battery-powered electronic and communications devices. A battery-powered radio can help keep you aware of changing weather conditions. Get out your flashlights, batteries, first aid kit and other emergency supplies.

Check your supplies. Make sure you have a snow shovel and ice melt to keep walkways clear and safe. Check that you have sufficient heating fuel for your home and fuel for your generator, if you have one. If you will be using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you should have a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Have warm clothing and blankets on hand and stock non-perishable food items and necessary medications to last you and your family several days.

Stay inside – and safe. Drive only if you absolutely must, and be sure your car has adequate fuel and an emergency supply kit. If you go outside to shovel, know your limits and try not to overtax your body. Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing layers of warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Stay away from any downed power lines you may see. Keep your pets inside, or make other suitable arrangements for them.

Winterize your home and property

Ice, snow and wind can have devastating consequences on your home. The time to winterize is when the leaves begin to turn and not when the snow begins to fall.

Homeowners should take the following precautions:

Maintain gutters

Remove leaves, acorns, sticks and other debris from gutters so melting snow and ice can flow freely. You may also consider installing gutter guards. Available in most hardware and home stores, gutter guards are screens that prevent debris from entering the gutter and direct the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.

Trim trees and remove dead branches

Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break, damaging your home or car or injuring someone walking on your property.

Check insulation

Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat escapes through the attic it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. The water re-freezes causing more snow and ice to build up. This can result in a collapsed roof, and can contribute to ice damming. Ideally, the attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air. Well-insulated basements and crawl spaces will also help protect pipes from freezing.

Maintain pipes

Wrap pipes with heating tape and insulate unfinished rooms such as garages that frequently have exposed pipes. Also, check for cracks and leaks. Have minor pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent much costlier repairs in the future.

Keep the house warm

The temperature in your house should be at least 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees will not keep the pipes from freezing.

Check heating systems

The proper use and maintenance of furnaces, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves can prevent fire and smoke damage. Have furnaces, boilers and chimneys serviced at least once a year. Make sure that smoke and fire alarms are working properly and consider installing a carbon monoxide detector.

Maintain steps and handrails

Broken stairs and banisters can become dangerous when covered with snow and ice. Make repairs now to prevent someone from falling and seriously being injured.

Get to know your plumbing

Learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located. If your pipes freeze, time is of the essence. The quicker you can shut off the water or direct your plumber to the problem, the better chance you have to prevent the pipes from bursting.

Hire a licensed contractor

Have a professional survey your home for any structural damage. If damage is discovered, have it repaired immediately so further damage will not occur during the winter. Also, find out about ways to prevent water damage due to snow-related flooding. Plastic coatings for internal basement walls, sump-pumps and other methods can prevent damage to your home and belongings.

Plan for being away

If you are not going to be in your home this winter for an extended period of time, have the water system drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting. Also, have someone check on your home on a regular basis. If there is a problem, it can be fixed quickly, thus lessening any damage. Activity at your home will also reduce the likelihood that it will be burglarized.


Oro Valley Real Estate-Cash-Out Refinancing Scams to Pay Of Your Debt-Spend Less-Save More Instead

Dickheads are Back with Cash-Out Refinancing Scams to Pay Of Your Debt-Spend Less-Save More Instead
Be Careful

Cash-out refinancing is a way of accessing home equity by taking out a new mortgage with a larger principal than the current one. The difference in principal in the two mortgages is available to you to use as cash for almost any purpose you choose. You can use cash-out refinancing to obtain a new mortgage with a higher principal than what you owe. Let’s suppose your home is worth $200,000, and you owe $100,000 in principal. Your equity is $100,000. If you have a $50,000 balance on a credit card that carries an 18 percent interest rate, you can refinance to a mortgage with a principal of $150,000 and receive the difference between your old principal and your new one in cash. In this case, the amount would be $50,000. You may then use that money to pay off your credit card.Once this is done, you will no longer have credit card debt and, therefore, will have no monthly credit card payment. You will also have a better interest rate on your debt, so you will save quite a bit in interest each month. Even though you may pay more in your mortgage payment, you will be out of credit card debt, so you will have more money free each month.

Oro Valley Real Estate-DIY Go Cheap

How to spend Less Than $100 on each Do It Your Self Home Decorating Idea

So if your like me, you have either pinned or bookmarked tons of different websites that have simple DIY ideas/projects that you never end up doing! Personally, I believe this is because you have 3 different sites telling you 3 different ways to do it, then you get overwhelmed and give up. So I decided to create a list (with pictures) of my top favorite 50 do-it-yourself projects so it is all in one place! Many of these I have done myself and they turned out great. I might even put in a couple of my failed projects in here because maybe you are cooler than me and can do it better :) . I have also added multiple ways to do some of them and you can choose the one you like best.

Oro Valley Real Estate-Select The Right Listing Agent

How To Select The Right Listing Agent

When it comes to selling your home, selecting the right agent will be the biggest decision you have to make. This decision can cost you $THOUSANDS if you make the wrong one. Here is a guideline to follow when interviewing agents.

  1. Are you full time agents available around the clock 7 days a week and how long have you been in business? ALWAYS SELECT AN EXPERIENCED AGENT TO SELL YOUR HOME.
  2. Is the company you work for the Number One Company in town for sales in your area? THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE LARGEST COMPANIES ATTRACT THE BEST AGENTS AND CAN AFFORD TO SPEND MORE ON ADVERTISING.
  3. Does the company you work for have a Corporate Relocation department and which Corporate Clients do they work with? CORPORATE RELOCATION PROVIDES BUYERS READY AND WILLING TO BUY NOW.
  5. Do you have a guaranteed marketing plan showing where and when you are going to advertise? Can I cancel the listing if I am not satisfied? THIS PROTECTS YOU AGAINST MANY OF THE AGENTS OUT THERE WHO JUST PUT A SIGN UP, SPEND NO TIME OR MONEY ON PROMOTING THE HOME AND JUST HOPE AND PRAY THE HOUSE SELLS.
  6. How will you contact other agents to let them know my home is for sale? DIRECT MARKETING TO OTHER AGENTS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE.
  7. What will you do to get the General Public excited about my home? BASICALLY WE NEED TO GET EVERYONE EXCITED ABOUT YOUR HOME.
  8. What systems do you have in place to keep me constantly informed about activity and interest in my home? KEEPING IN TOUCH ON A REGULAR BASIS WITH FEEDBACK AND MARKET CONDITIONS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS TO BE COMPLETED BY YOUR AGENT.
  9. How many listings do you currently have and what is your average market time for selling them? AN AGENT WITH TOO MANY LISTINGS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SERVICE YOUR HOME PROPERLY AND WILL PALM EVERYTHING OFF ON A BUNCH OF ASSISTANTS.