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BlogArizona Category: Living in Arizona

This page contains all BlogArizona posts related to Living in Arizona.   Read a specific post by clicking on a title below, or scroll further down the page to read through all posts in this category.
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  • Saturday, September 14, 2013

    Treasure Found in Phoenix by Scottsdale Student

    Tempe Town Lake Bridge in Tempe, AZFor those who were participating in the College Times Treasure Hunt, it's over!  The $1000 certificate was found yesterday, near Hunt's Pyramid at Papago Park in Phoenix, by a 20 year old Scottsdale Community College student.  Clues for the Treasure Hunt were printed in each edition of College Times, but you could sign up to receive clues early by text.  Before the treasure was found, seven clues were released by text, plus a bonus clue was available by visiting the College Times 'street team' at ASU.  I think you could also get bonus clues by following College Times on Twitter and Facebook, but I didn't do that.  Perhaps I should have.  My family was searching by Tempe Town Lake since the clues referred to 'water northwest of ASU'.  We weren't even close!

    Tempe Town Lake at night in Tempe, AZWhile the chance of finding the $1000 loot was slim to none, we had a great time looking.  It's fun the whole family can enjoy and good exercise too.  It's also a great excuse to get out of the house, go places you normally wouldn't go and see parts of the Valley you may not otherwise see.  While at Tempe Town Lake searching for the 'treasure', my family ended up pedal boating on Tempe Town Lake as the sun went down.  After that, we walked down Mill Avenue and found a great little Turkish grill where we ate dinner.  Our college-aged daughters probably wouldn't normally want to hang out on Mill Avenue with my husband and I.  But they made an exception in this case, and we all enjoyed ourselves!

    Times Media regularly has similar treasure hunts in the Valley.  Interestingly, I just found this old post on a 2007 Times Treasure Hunt where the treasure certificate was found in basically the same place - under a rock at Hunt's Pyramid.  Except back then, the prize was $3000 instead of $1000.

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on September 14, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Sign on Front Door of San Tan Valley, AZ House

    This San Tan Valley homeowner has a humorous way of saying, "No thank you" to solicitors!

    Sign on front door of San Tan Valley, AZ house

    Scott Hubbard of Homewerx Home Inspections in Phoenix, Arizona    
    Written By: Scott Hubbard

    Certified Home Inspector, ASHI® Member
    Homewerx Home Inspections
    Office: (480) 503-2611
    Toll Free: 1-888-THE-WERX
    Schedule a Home Inspection Online!

    Posted by Scott Hubbard, Arizona Home Inspector on August 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Phoenix, Arizona Has Great Weather... and Snow?!

    It's snowing in the Valley!  This picture was taken in Mesa, but several cities in the Phoenix-metro area got snow today.  I hereby declare tomorrow a snow day :)

    Phoenix, AZ has great weather most of the time!

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on February 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Is There Really a Market For This Business?

    I was driving through Chandler today and this business caught my eye.  Is the economy really so bad that people have to rent tires?  I can't imagine a single situation that would make me want to rent a tire.  Even if you need new tires really bad but can't afford them, there are many used tire places around the Valley that sell decent used tires for half the price of a new tire (or less).  

    Rent-A-Tire in Chandler, AZ

    Since I'm a very curious person (or weird, however you want to look at it), I couldn't stop wondering what would make somebody rent a tire.  So I googled this place.  Their website claims that they're the "largest Rent-To-Own Custom Wheel and Tire Retailer in the nation".  I'm sure they probably are because I think they may be the ONLY Rent-To-Own Custom Wheel and Tire Retailer in the nation!  But here's what surprised me... their website says they have over 86 stores across 11 states, and the company is the 7th largest independent tire dealer in the country.

    Seriously, who rents tires?  Apparently not many people.  Although, the store was open and they had a "Sale" sign out front, there wasn't a single car in the parking lot.

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Beware of Mortgage Modification & Foreclosure Assistance Scams

    If you or someone you know is trying to do a mortgage modification or seeking help for a foreclosure situation, be sure to read this announcement from Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne:

    AG Horne Files Two Lawsuits Against Mortgage Modification Assistance Companies Operating In Both Phoenix and Tucson

    PHOENIX (Wednesday, August 15, 2012) -- Attorney General Horne announced today two lawsuits have been filed against Arizona companies selling mortgage modification services to distressed homeowners.

    “There is still a significant amount of fallout from the mortgage crisis, and consumers need to remain vigilant when approached about mortgage modification services,” Horne said. “The legal actions that have been filed serve as a reminder that people need to be very careful about dealing only with reputable servicers.”

    The lawsuits are against Phoenix based Making All Homes Affordable, LLC (“MAHA”) and its owner Albert Figueroa and Tucson based La Paz Source, LLC, its owners, Defendant Maria Beltran and her husband, Defendant Francisco Ramos and their new operation La Placita Multi Services, LLC owned and operated by Beltran and an individual named Arturo Gomez Leon.

    The lawsuit against MAHA alleges that MAHA and Defendant Figueroa violated the Consumer Fraud Act by misrepresenting the nature and value of the MAHA program, which MAHA advertises exclusively in Spanish language media and sells in face-to-face meetings in MAHA’ office and at several “retail outlets” in Phoenix and Tucson, including at the office of La Placita. The lawsuit alleges that MAHA salespersons tell potential clients that MAHA can help them obtain specific, favorable mortgage modifications, including lower interest rates and principal reductions. After homeowners pay MAHA nearly $1,900, homeowners discover that the MAHA program is nothing more than a do-it-yourself program, allowing them access to various standardized forms and information on MAHA’s website; forms and information that are available for free on government websites, such as www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. The lawsuit also alleges that MAHA uses dozens of fake consumer testimonials on its website and that MAHA charges its clients a fake sales tax of 9.3%.

    The lawsuit against La Paz Source and La Placita alleges that La Paz Source, LLC was an Arizona LLC who advertised as providing foreclosure consultant services. Consumers have reported that La Paz Source, LLC promised to stop the foreclosure process, obtain loan modifications for its consumers and communicate with lenders/servicers on behalf of its clients. As La Paz Source, LLC, the Defendants allegedly claimed they were authorized to conduct such business in Arizona when they were not duly licensed to conduct their business here. Oftentimes, La Paz Source charged very large upfront fees, which were prohibited by state and federal law, and then failed to provide the mortgage loan modification services required to earn those fees. In some cases, the clients lost their homes in the process.

    In November of 2011, Defendants Beltran and Ramos dissolved La Paz Source, LLC. The same day that the Defendants dissolved La Paz, Beltran and Arturo Gomez Leon started La Placita which also held itself out as being a provider of mortgage loan modification services to Arizona consumers.

    The Defendants deceptively and willfully target the Spanish-speaking community in Arizona to obtain a benefit through the exploitation of the consumers’ Spanish/English language barrier. The Defendants provide contracts written only in English. Many times, the Defendants verbally explain terms of the agreement to consumers, in Spanish, that are in direct contradiction to the written provisions of the contract provided in English.

    The La Paz and La Placita Defendants now claim to have changed their business model to that of a retail outlet for MAHA. The complaint further alleges: the Defendants continue falsely to guarantee consumers that the Defendants’ services will result in foreclosure prevention and a favorable loan modification; the Defendants hold themselves out to the community as experts in mortgage loan modifications and use deceptive means to lure distressed homeowners into parting with hundreds or thousands of dollars, then the Defendants take their money without providing the efficacy, nature, or kind of services for which the consumer bargained; and that the Defendants charge consumers a fee they call a “sales tax,” but those monies are not remitted to the Arizona Department of Revenue. Furthermore, the Defendants represent that they are compliant with state and federal laws when they routinely violate the FTC M.A.R.S rule banning upfront fees for mortgage assistance relief services.

    These cases are being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Cherie Howe and Jeremy Shorbe. The cases are State of Arizona v. Making All Homes Affordable, et al., Maricopa County Superior Court case number CV2012-011000 and State of Arizona v. La Paz Source, LLC et al., Pima County Superior Court number C20124738.

    If you believe you’ve been a victim of any type of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 / (520) 628-6504 / (800) 352-8431.

    You can also file a consumer complaint online at: https://www.azag.gov/consumer/complaintform.html

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Media Incorrectly Quotes Arizona Real Estate Stats

    Yesterday, the Associated Press misquoted some Arizona real estate stats that were recently released by ARMLS.  I know, big shocker that the media got it wrong!  ARMLS just issued the following correction:

    "Yesterday, two writers from the  Associated Press put out a story that said that 70% of the homes in Phoenix are at risk of foreclosures. By the end of the day the story had gone viral on the Internet and was picked up by multiple large media, including the Wall Street Journal.  Of course, the information is flat out wrong, and unfortunately, it was attributed to ARMLS. We are reaching out to the original writers and others who re-circulated it to get the information corrected.

    The statement was a result of the writers’ misinterpretation of the correct information put out in the February issue of STAT.  In that issue we stated that distressed properties accounted for 70.2% of total sales. 

    ARMLS is reaching out to our Subscribers to make sure they understand the error, and do not inadvertently re-circulate the wrong information in their blogs and on their social media platforms.

    Click here to read the February issue of STAT."

    There's a HUUUUGE difference between 70% of total sales, and 70% of all homes in Phoenix.  There's also a difference between "foreclosures" and "distressed properties".  A distressed property may be a foreclosure, but it may also be a short sale, divorce situation, etc.

    Thanks AP for making people across the country and around the world think Arizona's real estate market is even worse than it really is.  I'm sure the AP will print a correction... eventually.  Unfortunately, the corrected story probably won't go viral the same way the incorrect story did.  I guess reality just isn't quite as interesting as mainstream media hype.

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on February 24, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Arizona monsoons are bad for swimming pools!

    The other night, it got so windy that it blew a lawn chair in my pool. It also blew a million leaves and some of our landscaping lights in the pool. Where are my teenagers when I need them? Gotta love Arizona monsoons!

    Arizona monsoons are bad for swimming pools!

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 20, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Commercial Real Estate Question...

    Here's a question for all the commercial real estate agents, brokers and developers out there.  Why do commercial real estate developers always put these bumpy landscape tiles right by grocery store entrances and exits?  There must be a good reason because all the major grocery stores have these.  But they're such a pain because stuff starts falling off your cart as soon as the wheels hit these things.  If you try to go over them slowly, the cart's wheels get stuck.  If you try to go over them quickly, your cart bounces around and stuff falls off.

    This may sound sexist but I'm saying it anyway... the bumpy landscape tile idea came from some guy who's never had to push a cart overflowing with groceries through the parking lot!  Just sayin'.  :)

    Why do commercial real estate developers use these bumpy landscaping tiles at grocery stores?

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 16, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    AZ Homeowner Needs a New Landscaper

    One of these things is not like the others... two of these things are kind of the same!

    Decapitated palm tree in Mesa, Arizona!

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Real Estate Scam Involving Foreclosures, Short Sales & Vacant Homes For Sale

    Here's a recent "Scam Alert"sent out by ARMLS®.  Realtors® and anybody who owns a vacant home should beware:

    SCAM ALERT: Check Your Vacant Listings
     
    A recent scam reported to ARMLS® involves tenants moving into a pending short sale listing. The surprised listing agent contacted the owner who had not rented the property to anyone. The tenants (two women with two children) were physically moving in and had turned on utilities in their name. The sign and the lock box were removed, and all locks were re-keyed. 

    The tenants responded to a For Rent sign in the yard. They gave someone $1,800 as rent and signed a lease. While the short sale was able to close, the unfortunate victims of this scam were out $1,800 with no place to live.
     
    This down economy encourages some people to take advantage of others.  Listing agents should check their vacant listings regularly and provide neighbors their contact information in case they observe any suspicious activity.

    So sellers - keep an eye on your vacant homes and/or ask your neighbors to watch for suspicious activity.  Realtors® - check your vacant listings.  And renters - verify the owner/history of the property you're renting, and check out your potential landlord!

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on October 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

           

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