Mmm… food and beverage…

After knowing me for even a short period of time, one will quickly realize how incredibly excited I get by food and beverage.  I love trying new foods, there is nothing I am unwilling to taste at least once.  Phoenix is very lucky to have a huge selection of great restaurants and bars to choose from!  I’ve put together a little MAP of some of my favorite places to grab a bite, or enjoy a beverage.  These are in no particular order, and the list will grow as I try new places (and randomly think of places I have been to, but haven’t added…), so be sure to come back and see if you’re missing out on anything exciting!!  Also, if there is a place you think I should try, please leave a comment!

Volunteering that makes a difference!

Phoenix has a ton of great opportunities when it comes to volunteer work, but taking that first step to getting involved in your community can be challenging.  Most of us think we couldn’t possibly dedicate any time to volunteer work because we’re already incredibly busy, so the thought rarely crosses our minds.

A few years back, I was in that boat.  I was working 40+ hours a week, had hobbies, and needed some social time with friends, and family.  I barely had any personal time, so the thought of dedicating any time to volunteering just wasn’t a consideration of mine.  Occasionally I would volunteer for a few hours at a food drive, but that was the extent of it.

It was then that I was introduced to New Pathways for Youth, a local non-profit that truly does make a difference, and has been doing so since 1987.  I had no idea what to expect going in, but I knew it was going to be intense, and require a lot of dedication on my end to make it work.  What I was not expecting, was what I would get out of it.

I started with a program called EXCEED which worked with high school students from around the valley.  30-40 mentors, and youth were sent to a camp in the woods, and forced to bond, not awkward at all…  When I say forced, I actually mean we bonded out of necessity.  Everybody was horribly awkward, and to survive those four days, we had to work together.  It was by far one of the more emotional four days of my life, you go in expecting to change the life of a youth, but end up also finding out a lot about who you are as a person.  This was a difficult realization for some, but definitely a beneficial experience for all.

After a couple years in the EXCEED program, I moved to the PALS program which involves a younger crowd, and so far I’m having a blast!  I currently dedicate 1-3 hours a week to my youth, and it has never felt like a chore.  NPFY does a great job at pairing mentors and youth, they have a system in place, and it works very well.  They take their time, and do their best to match you with the best option possible.

My reason for this post, is to spread the word about this awesome organization, they make a difference, but they could not do it without dedicated volunteers.  At this time they have 35 youth in need of  positive role models.  There are different programs available, so fitting around a schedule generally isn’t too difficult, but this does require dedication.  If you feel this may be something you’re interested in, I highly suggest doing some research, and finding out if it’s a good fit for you!

Check out the attached flyer for more info, or http://www.npfy.org/, you can contact Dina Reed at (602) 422-9264 or dreed@npfy.org if you have specific questions, or choose to hop on board!

Second quarter donations!

I can’t believe the second quarter is already over!  This year is going by far too fast, me no likely.  As mentioned here, I will be donating a hundred bucks from every deal I close, to various organizations.  This is something I started this year, and plan on continuing to do so until I am no longer involved in real estate.  The second quarter, I chose New Pathways for Youth as that organization, I’ve been volunteering there for a while, so it felt like the appropriate first choice.  I ended up closing a total of 8 deals this quarter, so that’s $800 that will go toward improving the lives of our future!

For this next quarter, I’m changing it up a bit, and going with something that benefits fuzzy critters.  I sent out a mass email to my contact list a couple months ago, asking for suggestions on where/what local organizations to donate to, and had a great response!  A current client of mine suggested Helping Orphaned Hounds, and that’s what I’m rolling with.  For the next three months, $100 from every deal I close will be donated to aid the fuzzy critters.  I’ve got two of my own, so I’m pretty motivated to do well, and give them lots of monies!!

Once again, I am asking all of you for suggestions on where my money should go.  If you know of, or are part of a local non profit organization that is in need of some help, I will add them to my list!  Once I get the ball rolling a bit more, I will most likely be changing things up just a wee bit.  I will have a designated organization that $100 from every closing will go to, and in addition, I will donate $50 to a specific organization that my client chooses.  Just in case there are people who don’t care about the fuzzy critters!  (I don’t work with those people anyway =P).

Cash money for your $home$!!

*Strategic folding methods were used in order to conceal all identities*

photo

I recently received what appeared to be a hand written letter from an investor wanting to $BUY$ my house.  I purchased this property over a year ago, and haven’t even spent a single night at the place yet, due to a rather large remodel, but I don’t expect the investor to know any of this!  Anyhow, I have received a few letters similar to this since I bought my new home, and had nothing better to do this morning, so I did a little digging to see what these guys were all about…

– Thought one, is this dude actually a real estate agent?  A quick search in MLS tells me that no, the individual who sent me this letter is not a real estate agent.  Not that this is really a big deal or anything, I was simply curious.

Thought two, how is this guy marketing/labeling himself online?  After a quick Google search, I found what I needed.  His primary method of  promoting himself from what I was able to see, is by telling home owners that they will save money by not having to go through a real estate agent.  No fees, no signs, no Buyer concessions etc…

Since I’m not much of a thinker, I stopped at thought #2, and decided to give the guy a call to see how the process worked.  I was lucky enough to get him on the phone, and he gave me a little more info.  This gentleman mentioned that there were agents on the team that provided him with accurate comps of the properties that were being flipped, but it was basically just a straight up sale between him, and the owner, no middle man etc…  I thanked him for his time, and information, and went on my way.

I’m left wondering how much he has to undercut homeowners in order to make a profit, and how many individuals who have received a similar letter, actually follow through with this method, rather than hiring an agent to assist them with the sale.  It’s true, the average Seller of a home is forking out roughly 7-8% of the total value of their home for real estate agent fees (both sides), and closing costs, but something tells me they’d still be walking away with more cash in their pocket.

The nice thing about living in ‘Murica, is that we have options.  All I’m saying here, is that if you receive one of these letters, and are contemplating selling your home this way, get a second opinion from a real estate agent, you have absolutely nothing to lose!

$100 Donation for Every Close I Get

100 doll hairs. That is what I will donate from each transaction I close from here on out. My fourth year in real estate is quickly approaching, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have met so many amazing individuals during that time. I truly do love the community that I am a part of, and I have been making a big effort to get more and more involved in it. I want to be able to say that I contributed, at least a little, to improving my community.

So, from now, until the day I get out of real estate, I am going to donate $100 from each transaction I close, to a local organization in need. The organization will change quarterly, and I will be doing as much research as possible to make sure the money is going to a good cause.

If you’re a part of, or even know of a decent non profit that could use a little extra cash, please let me know, and I will add it to my list! I want to make this fun, so I’m going to be relying on the suggestions of my past and current clients, friends, family, and acquaintances in general!

This quarter I will be donating to New Pathways for Youth, help me find an organization for the third quarter!!