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Joseph Domino - From The Outside Looking In

5/27/2020 10:42:19 AM -07:00

Excellent article by Robert Siciliano Though we, as humans, are supposed to be pretty smart, we do a lot of things that might not seem rational. For example, we do things like text and drive, we don’t get flu shots that can stop us from getting sick, and we hoard things like toilet paper…Dan Ariely, a professor from Duke University, has some reasons for this. Ariely has released a book called “Predictable Irrational,” and it takes a look at why we do these irrational things…especially in a time of crisis. One of the most mind-boggling things is why we have all become such toilet paper hoarders and why, when we see empty shelves, we start to panic. According to Ariely, when we are in these situations, you are saying to yourself “This must be something I need to get very quickly and let me get a lot of it so I don’t run out.” But, in general, our responses to things like this are flawed. On top of this, we don’t do a good job at thinking ahead. Ariely says, “We don’t pay much attention to things that will happen in the future, even if the future is two weeks from now.” He also says that we “don’t pay attention to things that are invisible like viruses.” All of this is compounded even more as COVID-19 started to spread, and this led to a slow government response and the population’s collective apathy to the threat. Another thing that compounds it is that we, at our core, are also pretty selfish. “We do what is selfishly good for us and not what’s good for other people,” Ariely says. This means that people who should be staying home because they are sick, go out anyway, and then they contaminate others. This is a normal impulse to defy the stay-at-home orders that many of us are under. And wearing a mask is NOT a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of caring for others than yourself. Ariely says, “What’s interesting about public goods problems is, as long as everybody participates, everybody gets a lot of benefits, and when people start defecting or betraying the public good, lots of bad things happen. And in a situation like a pandemic, it’s enough that a small percentage of people don’t adhere to the rules and they can hurt everybody.” Now, we also have the issue of some government officials and health experts being at odds with themselves. President Trump is pushing governors to open their states back up quickly, while public health experts are warning that doing this could quickly cause a huge uptick in cases. What does Ariely say about this? He says, “The sad reality is that we’ve always had a tradeoff between money and saving lives. This is not something new.” He also adds that the best thing we can do right now is make the best of our quarantine: “It’s an opportunity to start new habits, new routines like exercise, eat better, spend time with your family,” he says. “It’s also an opportunity to start worse habits, like not exercising, overeating and developing addiction to social media and the news.” ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

5/31/2020 9:58:47 AM -07:00

Welcome to The Soundtrack of a Lifetime 2018 and 2019 EditionsPrior to the start of the 2020 Edition. I put together a list of articles from the two previous years. Each day in June, I will post an article about one of my favorite songs from the past.Below is a list of hyperlinks that will take you to each of the 60 articles from 2018 and 2019. Join the fun by reading about and hearing some of the best music on the planet. Don't forget to bookmark this page and return here often. The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 1The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 2The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 3The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-4The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-5The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-6The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-7The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-8The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-9The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-10The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 11The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 12The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 13The Soundtrack of a Lifetime -2018 Edition - Day-14The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-15The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 16The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 17The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 18The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 19The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 20The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 21The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 22The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 23The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-24The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-25The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 26The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 27The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 28The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day-29The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2018 Edition - Day 30The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019-Edition - Day 1The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 2The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 3The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 4The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 5The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 6The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 7The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 8The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 9The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 10The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 11The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 12The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 13The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 14The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 15The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 16The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 17The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 18The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 19The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 20The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 21The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 22The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 23The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 24The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 25The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 26The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 27The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 28The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 29The Soundtrack of a Lifetime - 2019 Edition - Day 30   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

5/23/2020 3:04:19 PM -07:00

I love this blogpost by Marte Cliff. So often a writer will cram too much into a sentence. Then they make a mistake. When you proofread what you’ve written, you’re probably looking for mis-used or misspelled words, extra words, and typos. But don’t stop there… Your purpose in proofreading is to remove all the “stop signs” that make reader think about your words, rather than your meaning. Misplaced modifiers are huge stop signs, and they are all too common. Even professional writers sometimes forget to re-read their work to make sure it makes sense. Here are examples I found just yesterday: From an on-line article: “The Police Department warned individuals to stay out of the area and then informed the public when the suspect was apprehended through social media.” “The suspected shooter can be could be seen in this video boasting before he did it over social media:” From those two sentences, the reader would think that the crime was committed over social media, and the suspect was apprehended through social media. Simple changes would have made the sentences make sense: “The police department used social media to warn individuals to stay out of the area and to inform them when the suspect was apprehended.” “The suspected shooter could be seen in this video, boasting over social media before he did it.” (And yes – there was more proof that someone didn’t proofread: “can be could be.”) From another article: “Abrams however, has never even won a statewide contest casting doubt on her ability to help pull of a nationwide victory let alone run the White House in Biden’s absence, who is 77-years-old.” Ugh. Obviously, absence is not 77 years old, but the whole sentence is so full of punctuation and spelling errors that it should just be scrapped. Start over with a better writer! From a hard-bound novel: "... a bad portrait swinging in the wind of his majesty." The wind of his majesty? That’s a bit crude and rude. The bottom line: Read what you wrote. Proofread for errors, then read it again to make sure that your modifying words and phrases are placed where they belong. If you need to re-write the sentence to make it make sense, do it! Graphics courtesy of stuart miles at freedigitalphotos.net marte@copybymarte.comwww.copybymarte.com Priest River, Idaho208-448-1479 Call on Copy by Marte for: Custom Web Copy....Agent Bios....E-mail Campaigns Community Pages....Postcards....Custom Prospecting Letters Articles....Blog Posts....Print Ads PLUS Pre-written real estate letters that save you time and money - and keep you in touch with your prospects. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

5/23/2020 10:08:24 AM -07:00

There was a time when I hugged everyone that I liked. Of course that practice is no longer acceptable, heck it might even be dangerous. So social distancing and proper precautions are the practice we must follow today.For about ten years I would recommend one home inspector above all others. The company, a man and wife team, (she did the office, he the inspections) did an exemplary job. His credentials included being a licensed civil engineer and many years’ experience as a certified inspector. His wife ran a tight ship in the office. She always made sure that the house was ready for inspection (utilities on, lockbox access, seller ready) before the inspector showed up on site.Alas this great team of partners abruptly retired last year due to illness. I didn’t get a chance to hug them and wish them well. I was forced to find a new home inspection company. Today I have several that I use. While they are well-credentialed and reliable, I miss my old partners.I recently had one of the new companies perform an inspection for a buyer. Because of the Corona Virus epidemic we all took extra precautions. Masks, gloves, booties and hand sanitizer were the order of the dayThe inspection went great. The property was in great shape. The buyer was happy. The new inspector professional and thorough.I didn’t get to shake his hand; we did fist bumps. I am not really sure what he looks like, nor does he know what I look like. He doesn’t know if my buyer was smiling, or grimacing when he handed her the bill. But that is the new norm.I will recommend this inspector again, as long as he keeps doing a good job. I just won’t be hugging him anytime soon.  oe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

6/1/2020 7:16:30 AM -07:00

It's that time again - 30 songs in 30 days! Each year in June, I pay tribute to the music and artists that were so much a part of my life growing up and still bring me joy even today. Each day I will post a blog about one of my favorite songs along with a video of the performance. It is a lot of fun remembering. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I have writing the articles. So here we go 2020... This year we lost a lot of friends, partners, and others that influenced our lives. One popular folk singer that passed away in 2020 was singer/songwriter John Prine. John was already in poor health from two bouts with cancer, so it was no surprise that when he contracted the Corona Virus, he could not fight it off.Prine was noted for his gravel sounding voice and his serious songwriting. His songs were often described as “heavy” and regularly mirrored the dark side our social conscience. They were stories about the struggles of the common man, put to music. Sometimes they were sad tales without happy endings. His song Sam Stone about a war veteran with a drug problem was heartbreaking. His ballad, Hello in There, warned us about the loneliness of old age, and left us wondering about our own futures. Prine looked at life as temporary. He was keenly aware, and often reminded us, that we are only in this world for a short time. Despite his often-dark viewpoint on life, he would also pump out uplifting tunes that would leave his audience laughing. One song that was popular with the local crowds in his hometown of Chicago was titled Illegal Smile. Prine swore the song wasn’t about smoking marijuana, but it was 1971 and Prine had a huge audience of underground followers. Whenever he sang the song you could expect the audience to join in loudly singing the chorus. John’s health issues interrupted his career. He even had to stop performing for a period while he recovered. But he returned to the stage and the last few years was undergoing a resurgence in popularity.The song I chose today to initiate the 2020 version of The Soundtrack of a Lifetime is one that Prine performed hundreds of times on stage.When I looked for a song that would be a good tribute to his passing, it just seemed appropriate to choose When I Get To Heaven. The song details all the things he planned to do in the afterlife, including enjoying a few vices. In this video, performed in 2018 at Austin City Limits in Austin, TX, you can see the joy that Prine found performing live. I am sure the audience appreciated this great performance.So, take three minutes out of your busy day and listen to our first entry to Soundtrack of a Lifetime 2020. I hope that it will bring a smile to your face. I am sure that John is busy drinking a cocktail and smoking a cigarette nine miles long.  Did you enjoy this post? Do not forget to bookmark this site and return here often.Remember, you can revisit the entire Soundtrack of a Lifetime series by clicking HERE.  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

5/17/2020 9:35:34 AM -07:00

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”. ― Emma LazarusThis quote by American poet Emma Lazarus which is emblazed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty exemplifies the ultimate Welcome Home sign. It says to everyone that approaches it, “Please enter and make this place your new home.”So now you are trying to sell your home. You want to make a good impression. Shouldn’t every visitor to your home should be treated with the same respect that an immigrant is offered by the Statue of Liberty?One of the best places to start welcoming the visitors to your home is the front door. For most people, the front door is the place where you make your first impression. Nothing turns a buyer off more than walking up to a house and seeing a messy or ugly front door.Before they go in the potential buyer must open the front door. But what if the door is broken? Dirty or in need of paint? What if the lock does not work properly and is hard to open? What will be your home’s first impression?As both a home buyer and seller I can attest to what happens when the first impression leaves the buyer thinking. “I will have to fix that.” It immediately signals the house needs work. “What else is wrong?”A few days ago, I showed a prospective buyer a house that was being flipped by an investor. It was in a good location, nice floorplan and the seller had invested a significant amount of money on new flooring, a kitchen remodel, and new paint, among other repairs. Yet they failed at the most basic step in remarketing this property. The front door.When I approached the door I was turned off by the fact that the screen door was filthy. It had rust in the corners and cobwebs on the screen. The large wooden front door was equally as bad. While it at one time it was likely a grand entrance, a golden door, on that day it looked sad and tired. At a minimum, a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint would have improved the look.At some point, a buyer will come along and look past the first impression and make an offer on this house. But it was not this day or this buyer. We moved on to another property.My advice to home sellers and listing agents across the globe? Be like the Statue of Liberty. Welcome, all comers with hope and respect. Offer them the feeling of hospitality. Help them see the house as a home, not a project.“A good first impression can work wonders”. J. K. Rowling   Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

5/13/2020 6:29:54 PM -07:00

Ah yes, the life of a Real Estate Agent. It looks easy. Big money, little risk, wealthy clients that are easy to please. Or so it seems.The average Real Estate Agent longs for the situation described above. In reality, the work is inconsistent, and the clients are demanding, unsure, and fickle. Yet we champion on because that is what we do.Most people think that being a real estate agent is about sales. But selling is only one component in the job description. Other times you must be an analyst, a detective, sometimes a babysitter.Every real estate agent has had their share of difficult transactions that are loaded with drama. Sometimes those transactions fall out making it look as if we screwed up. Most of the time it is not the agent that screws up. Other times a transaction goes so smooth you wonder why they all cannot be this way. Some will make you laugh; others will make you cry. You may find some hard to grasp, or simply shake your head in disbelief.If you are lucky you connect with a serious and realistic client, the property is exemplary, and the cooperating agent is knowledgeable and attentive. But most often the buyers are demanding, the sellers inflexible and the property has a personality all its own.That is why a real estate agent, no matter how successful, must weather the highs and lows, smooth out the ups and downs and make it all look easy.If you are fortunate to get through the escrow process and finally here those words, “The property has closed.” You can reflect back on how well it all turned out.I am reminded of the old television show The A-Team. Their famous byline was, “I love it when a plan comes together.” I cannot agree more.  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

4/29/2020 8:43:35 PM -07:00

I never thought I would see the day when I would walk into a bank wearing a mask and be welcomed. I handed the teller my I.D., but since I was wearing a mask he just took my word that I was the same guy that was on my license. A strange new world in which we are living.In the last two weeks, I have been doing almost all my work virtually. But yesterday I actually had to go into the office and print a document. I wore my mask and made sure to wash my hands as I left the office.To be honest, I suffer from allergies and right now in AZ all the trees and shrubs are blooming. I have noticed that when I wear the mask that I sneeze and cough much less. The mask does a great job of helping in this regard. I don’t know about the Coronavirus, but I am more comfortable with a mask than without.This week I will be meeting a new client and will be doing a few in-person showings. I don’t know what she looks like, and she has never met me, so it may be a bit awkward. But if that is what it takes to stay safe it is a small price to pay.I haven’t decided which of my masks to wear. Should I use the surgical mask? The white dust mask? The blue particle mask? Is there such a thing as a mask faux pas?Maybe I will just wait and see which shirt I decide to wear and choose my mask accordingly. It is important to make a good first masked impression.I hope she doesn’t mind that I need a haircut.  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com Like what you are reading? Don't forget to bookmark this page and return here often. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

4/20/2020 7:35:42 PM -07:00

Moving is a stressful time. It becomes even more stressful when you have lived in a home for a long time and have acquired a lot of stuff and made a lot of memories.We just completed the first leg of a move out of a house that we called home for 19 years. Going through all your belongings and deciding what to keep and what to dispose of is stressful. Both my wife and I were forced to shed many items that while still perfectly good no longer have a purpose in our lives.Whenever you perform a move of this nature some items that you cherish are inevitably going to be left behind. You may also bring with you some items that have no purpose other than to bring a smile on your face.One such item that I refused to part with is an old thermometer that I had mounted on the garage wall. The thermometer has significance because it is the last remaining vestige of my family history.When I was a boy my grandfather owned a small grocery store on the south side of Chicago. It was a little Mom & Pop operation. He sold meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and some package goods to people in the neighborhood. It was a time before supermarkets. He knew all of his customers by name, and they all knew Sam. As times began to change larger grocery stores replaced the neighborhood stores and eventually, supermarkets sprouted up all around.The street where my grandfather’s store was located, eventually was bulldozed to make way for the Dan Ryan Expressway which runs north and south through the heart of Chicago.Most of the fixtures and counters were sold off or thrown away. Only a few items from the old store were salvageable to be repurposed. I remember my uncle saved a huge old wooden “butcher block”. My father saved a couple of old items as well. He brought home an old deli meat slicer and a hand-cranked sausage grinder. Both of which he kept for many years. One special item that my father saved and I eventually inherited was the thermometer. It is a sign that was hanging on the wall near the front of the store. It probably was provided to store owners from the soft drink distributor as part of their advertising. It features Royal Crown Cola with the slogan “Best by taste-test.”When I was boxing the sign up for my move, I cleaned it up before packing. It noticed on the bottom that it was made in November 1952. I suppose that qualifies it as an antique. But for me a fond memory of my Grandfather and his neighborhood store. It is a memory that has lasted me a lifetime.  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com Like what you are reading? Don't forget to bookmark this page and return here often. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

4/16/2020 7:56:44 PM -07:00

How will the economic downturn caused by the Corona Virus pandemic affect real estate? Well, in the absence of a crystal ball I can only predict that there will be a slowdown. How deep will the market slide? It is probably too early to tell.Real estate for the last few years has been easy. Property values have risen steadily, construction resumed big time in many areas of the country, and interest rates have fallen to all-time lows. All the while, lending practices for many types of loan programs became more liberal. Collectively all these factors made selling homes easy.As a result, many new agents entered the business. Many of them had little business or technical background, just a desire to make some of the easy money that real estate offered. It wasn’t just resale. Many started flipping homes, building spec homes or leveraging multiple investments. I am reminded of the saying, “A rising tide floats all boats.”.Lately, I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media from agents that were not involved in real estate when the last downturn in 2008 took place. Many are getting nervous. They are wondering what they should do to prepare for the upcoming changes.Newer agents are going to adjust to a changing market. Just as we did in 2008, they will need to learn new skills, develop new relationships and adapt to changing conditions.Also, I predict technology will change the home selling process. The way we show homes, execute contracts and move homes from listing to closing will require more skills than just a handshake and a smile.We are already beginning to see contract wording and addendum being put in place to protect buyers and sellers from the unexpected. We will likely see more changes to real estate contracts. Addendum and clauses will be written to address changes to lending, appraisal and even the disclosure process.We will adjust. Just as we always have in the past. We just need to make sure the boat stays afloat even if the tide goes out.  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

4/7/2020 8:26:54 PM -07:00

Legendary singer/songwriter John Prine succumbed to the virus Tuesday April 7, 2020.The raspy voiced Prine, made a living teaching people about life with his songs. Many of them about the darker side of life. His music was often considered “heavy”.With songs like “Sam Stone” about a war veteran that returned home with a heroin habit. Or “Hello in There” a poignant tune about growing old. Prine was a favorite in the Chicago folk scene.I had the good fortune to see him perform at one of the popular folk venues in Chicago, although which one escapes me now.Prine a veteran himself often, often song about issues surrounding the Viet Nam war. After all, many of his songs were written in the sixties.Later in his career, he focused his music more along the country genre. But he will forever be remembered for his folk music roots.Rest in Peace, John Prine.As a tribute to John Prine, I thought I might include a short video of one of my favorites. Take a few minutes to enjoy it.  © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

4/5/2020 7:03:14 PM -07:00

These are trying times no question about it. The world is in turmoil and it seems there is no safe-haven that we can reflect upon.  During these difficult times, I am reminded of a quote by author and speaker Dale Carnegie. Carnegie took the formula drafted by engineer and inventor Willis H. Carrier and brought it to life in his books, lectures and training classes. In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Carnegie penned the quote: “First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.”  Well, for me, the worst that can happen is that myself, my wife or someone close to me is affected by COVID-19 or has died from the virus. That hasn’t happened.But still, I cannot visit friends or family. I cannot hug my sons, my sister or other family members. In fact, the only person I can comfortably touch is my wife. Try as she may, she cannot escape. So, while the worst that can happen hasn’t happened. I fear that the worst that will happen may have already happened. My concern is that life as we have known it has changed forever. Even if the pandemic subsides in a matter of months, what will remain of our normal way of life? I suspect that there will be a new normal. The new normal will change many of the things we have taken for granted. Parties and family gatherings may be limited. It may be many years before we can resume travel, at least with the ease of freedom that we have known for the past decade.  Entertainment will change. Movies, night clubs, sporting events, casinos, etc. Every type of venue will have to change the way they provide people with access and security. The way we do real estate business will change. Everything from showing homes to closings will be different going forward Job interviews, business meetings, training, and teamwork all will be different. The very way most people earn a living will be changed. For younger people, the new normal will simply become a way of life. For us older people the change will be more difficult. We will likely find ourselves remembering how we used to do things. Regardless of the reason that life changes as long as the worst doesn’t happen, we can adapt. Then we only need to improve on the worst.   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

3/23/2020 3:50:01 PM -07:00

We had our house painted a few days ago. I was thrilled with the outcome. The painters were very professional. They were on-time each day, quiet, respectful and cleaned up after themselves. The best part was they were reasonably priced.I chose this company based on a referral from another agent. Referrals do not always work, but in this case, they were right on. When the salesperson came out to estimate the job, I could tell they were the company I wanted to hire. When you hear words like “We want to earn your business”, or “Here is my cellphone call me with any questions.”, you know that he is invested in your project.When the job was finished the estimator came back to view the work and make sure that I was satisfied with the result. I was. Before he left, I told him. “Keep up the good work.” I meant what I said. I want to refer him to other agents and associates, and I want to be sure that when I do they will get the same level of service that I received.Typically, when companies are first starting out, they go out of their way to please the customer. But far too often, as their business grows, they begin to lose sight of what made them successful.There are a lot of reasons this happens. Maybe the business grows too fast and they cannot hire enough skilled workers. Sometimes the owner grows tired of working so hard and delegates to a manager that is not as invested in the business. Or at some point greed takes over and money, not service becomes the goal.Whatever the reason, any business, whether you are a painter, a politician or a real estate agent you can never forget who you are working for. In business your reputation is everything.That is why when I say, “Keep up the good work.”, I mean it. Your future depends on it.  © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

2/26/2020 6:45:49 PM -08:00

Joseph DiMarco is missing. His partner Ned Tabor decides someone needs to investigate.Tabor, who along with a small-town Police Chief, works to unravel the mystery. When they discover a plan to defraud millions in taxpayer money, it all starts to make sense. The result is a chain of events that will have you guessing how it will all end. Don't miss this fun Cozy Mystery. Available now on Apple Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and more. Read a free sample. (Yes, this is a shameless book promotion.)   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

2/12/2020 6:31:39 PM -08:00

 Spring Baseball is back in the Valley of the Sun. Every year baseball fans from all over the world travel to Phoenix, AZ to enjoy the sunshine while watching their favorite stars and promising new prospects prepare for the major league season.This year the Cactus League will commence on February 21 with a meeting between the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals in Surprise, AZ. The spring baseball season is a month long party with the teams playing over 200 games in front of nearly 2 million happy fans.With 10 different ballparks hosting 15 teams, the Phoenix metropolitan area holds claim to the greatest concentration of professional baseball facilities found anywhere in the United States. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and the Texas Rangers all call Arizona their spring training home. While the rest of the nation is still feeling the effects of a long winter, Arizona will be enjoying 70 degree temperatures and clear sunny days. But don't forget to bring your sunblock. The sun in Arizona can be intense.Coming to Arizona from another city? Enjoy some of the regional cuisine from different areas of the country such as Chicago style Italian Beef, bratwurst fromWisconsin, Kansas City barbeque, and Sonoran hot dogs from Arizona. Feel free to enjoy yourself.Here is another great tip. Arrive at the game early, or go to the practice fields on an off day and you may get a chance to see your favorite player up close and personal.Want to save a few dollars? Most ballparks have lawn seats which will save you money. Bring a blanket and relax.Remember, “You can’t beat fun at the old ballpark.” © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

1/31/2020 6:45:11 PM -08:00

 Looking for a place to visit and learn about the beauty and history of the Sonoran Desert? Then look no further than Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a place where you can hike, ride horseback or pedal a trail bike. Today, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve maintains an area of over 30,000 acres. It is protected from future development and provides residents and visitors a unique recreation area unlike any in the world.The group of parks is accessible through eleven trailheads and 135 miles of trails. The trails which provide for non-motorized public use allow walking or hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching, photography or simply learning about nature.The Preserve is home to over 25 different mammals ranging from mule deer and javelina to coyotes, bobcats and even mountain lions.There are more than 35 species of reptile and amphibian life, such as rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, king snakes, desert tortoises and more.Birds abound within the preserve with over 128 identified types, such as roadrunners, Gambel’s quail, cactus wrens, cardinals, mourning doves, Harris’s hawks, prairie falcons, vultures, and great horned owls.Native Cacti, such as the mighty saguaro, cholla, green and red prickly pear, golden barrel and hedgehog thrive within the park. Trees such as acacia, mesquite, ironwood, and palo verde trees provide a home for the birds.It is a place where humans can observe and enjoy mountain peaks that soar to 4,000 feet.You can travel along deep canyons and wind-swept passes, marvel at distinctive boulder outcroppings, and photograph red and gray weathered granite mountains and quartz hills.Look closely and you will find a host of Archaeological sites with petroglyphs, projectile points, pottery sherds and other evidence of ancient peoples that came before the farmers and ranchers.All of this under an umbrella of majestic blue skies. Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is another of Scottsdale’s not so hidden treasures. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

1/1/2020 1:00:00 AM -08:00

I can’t believe it is 2020. Welcoming a new year can be a great time to look ahead toward a bright future. But looking ahead may not be enough to ensure we see clearly.For a long time, people have used the term 20/20 vision to describe perfect eyesight. The ability to see clearly. But when it comes to eyesight the term vision is incorrectly used. When describing eyesight we should say we have 20/20 Visual Acuity.We can be successful with less than perfect Visual Acuity. There many ways to correct Visual Acuity. Glasses, contact lenses, a variety of surgical procedures, and other types of visual aids.Vision, on the other hand, can be defined as: “the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come”. Yet there is only one way to improve our vision. By opening our minds to new ideas and new possibilities.Despite medical advances, clear vision is something that seems to be lacking in modern society. It seems that people are more interested in looking back. When we close our minds to new ideas and end up thinking “That is the way is supposed to be.” Or “We tried it before, it didn’t work.”. We begin to lose our vision. Instead, we choose to see things as we wish them to be rather than the possibility of what can be.While a New Year may not do anything to help our 20/20 Visual Acuity. For the New Year, we should pledge to open our minds, open our hearts and make 2020 the year of clear vision.   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

12/24/2019 11:55:29 AM -08:00

Merry Christmas to one and all!   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

12/17/2019 11:46:52 AM -08:00

If you stay in this business long enough you will experience some crazy things. A couple of them came to mind when I read this contest.I remember one time when I met a young couple looking to rent a home. They had just moved to Phoenix and their current home in another state was being sold short. I usually try to meet my clients in my office to interview them. We talked at length about their needs and just as we were getting ready to go out to a few homes the young woman announced that she needs to feed the baby. “Would it be alright?”The office is a public place, but fortunately it wasn’t crowded that day. I found a conference room that she could use. We pulled the blinds and the husband, and I stood guard outside. In a little while we were on our way to their new rental home.Back when I was a relatively new agent, I sold quite a few of vacant parcels of land to buyers building new custom homes. The market in one area was very hot and nice buildable sites were in demand. We found one parcel that appeared to be a good deal. It was a recent split of a 5-acre parcel that now consisted of four 1.25-acre homesites. The lots were freshly graded and ready to build.As we walked the property, we noticed a new, nearly complete, home under construction on an adjacent lot. But something didn’t look right. The back yard was full of junk. Piles of scrap metal, wood and all types of building material. On top of the pile was a bright red, old fashioned, coke machine.I called the builder of the new home to inquire. He said yes, we were digging for a new septic and found that the previous owner had buried tons of junk prior to grading the lots. Buried all around the property were cars, scrap metal, even an old manufactured home. He stated, “Don’t be surprised if there is junk all over your parcel as well.”Needless to say. My buyer opted out of the purchase. Eventually buying an already built spec home.But my most surprising transaction still shocks me today. I had a buyer make an offer of a nice 3BD/2BA/2CG in N. Phoenix. In a rare turn of events, the seller requested that we present the offer in person. This was rarely done anymore. I just assumed that they were old school. Figuring we had nothing to hide, it was a good offer, I agreed. We met in a conference room at one of the local title companies. We all introduced ourselves and sat down to present the offer. To my amazement the seller pulled out a gun and laid it on the table. It was reminiscent of an old western movie where the poker players were put on notice not to cheat. It was Intimidation 101.In all honesty, I was more nervous than the buyer was. We presented the offer. The buyer and seller agreed, and the seller accepted the offer. Afterward the buyer said “I wasn’t worried, I have been around guns all my life. He wasn’t going to shoot anybody.” After that, the sale went through without a hitch. I haven’t had the chance to present an offer in person since that day. I am not sure I want too.In Real Estate, truth can be stranger than fiction. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

12/15/2019 6:00:02 AM -08:00

The world is in a hurry. We have a lot to do and little time to do it all. Consequently, we have found ways to make ourselves more efficient. Where we would once write letters, we send emails. Where we would once go shopping, we order online. Where we once would call, we send a text. It often makes sense. After all, you can send an email in a matter of minutes. No stamps, no trips to the mailbox, no wasted paper. Today you can be eating dinner and answer a text at the same time.But there often is a trade-off between efficiency and execution. The other day I was showing homes to a new buyer. I had taken the time to set up appointments. I mapped out the showings in order so that I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth across town. I sandwiched the vacant homes in between the occupied ones so that it would be easier to keep on schedule without inconveniencing the owners of the occupied homes. To make all this wonderful magic occur we used a system called Showingtime. Showingtime makes it easy to contact the listing agent, helps organize your showings in precise increments and updates as you go.Just when I thought I had everything arranged I received a notice from one agent that the scheduled time for my showing would not work for their seller. She suggested an alternate time. But the alternate time wasn’t going to work for us, so I countered with another option. Unfortunately, that hour was no good as well.Rather than keeping the game of tag going I called the agent. I think she was genuinely surprised to hear my voice. I informed her that “I just thought I would call, rather than using Showingtime.”We had a friendly conversation. We were able to adjust our schedules so we could accommodate both the buyer and the seller. In addition, I had a chance to speak one-on-one with a human and get some additional information about the house. My buyer did not choose to offer on this home, but if they had I feel we would have had a good start on a friendly negotiation.It may not be as efficient, but sometimes it is better to make that human contact. If nothing else, I had a chance to make a new friend.  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

12/9/2019 8:05:41 AM -08:00

“What a wonderful view. I could sit here all day and just enjoy the landscape.”“Yes, it is very serene.”“I just love the smell of fresh-cut grass…”“And you never have to mow it, the groundskeeper takes care of the maintenance.”“That’s it, I have decided. I want a home on the golf course.”...“Wait, what is this over here? It looks like a dent in the siding.”“Hmm…, it must have been from a stray shot?”“Is that a crack in the window?”“Every house has a few small things that need to be repaired from time to time.”“FORE!!!”“Excuse me, I think this is your ball.”“Maybe a house with a pool would make more sense?”  Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

12/6/2019 6:24:29 AM -08:00

I fear that I am becoming a blog snob. We all enjoy reading a good article, story or blog post. It can be fun and often educational. But it bothers me when I read something that is full of mistakes. It is even worse when an article is written in language that is full of terminology that is hard to understand. Recently, I was reading an article in a popular real estate publication. The title was one that caught my eye. I hoped that it was going to be a chance to learn something new. I am sure the author meant well, but it was a very difficult article to read. I had to read it 3 or 4 times before I finally understood what the writer was saying. It really upset me. To be fair, this was a national publication. It was going to be read by millions. One of the worst parts was that the author used several acronyms that they didn’t define. The author just assumed the reader knew what they were writing about. As is often the case, acronyms can be used to abbreviate many different topics. I wasn’t sure if the author was talking about my Best Friend Forever or my Burnt French Fries. I had to search the internet to find what the acronyms meant before I could fully understand the article. Fortunately, I knew a little about the subject matter, so I was able to determine what the writer was discussing.Perfection escapes us all from time to time. We try our best. My advice? Write your story as if the reader doesn’t already know the punch line. Otherwise, your article may be DOA. Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix metro area. For more information or to contact Joe visit: www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com  © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

11/29/2019 10:33:42 AM -08:00

Thanksgiving is a day that is celebrated in various ways across the globe.In the U. S. the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is most often traced to the feast celebrated by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1621. Celebrating a good harvest along with the Native Americans that helped them through the previous winter. It was celebrated in different ways until 1789 when President George Washington proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving and prayer.Today Thanksgiving is celebrated with food and friends and football. Families, extended families, friends and neighbors gather over a celebratory dinner. A typical menu might include turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie but since it is a celebration there may be plenty of other food choices.  I started the day watching my favorite team, the Chicago Bears, playing the Detroit Lions. It’s an old rivalry. It turned out to be a good game with an outcome that favored the Bears 24-20.   Later the other members of my family and extended family assembled at the home of John Hudson and Larry Harman to enjoy a feast, swap stories and watch the other football games.We have been very blessed and have a lot to be thankful for. We should never lose sight of how lucky we are to have someone to share our good fortune.This year it seems like Thanksgiving was a bit overshadowed by Christmas. That is too bad, because Thanksgiving is an important holiday.But now that we have finished our turkey and cranberry sauce, we can start our Christmas shopping.   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

11/22/2019 7:26:23 AM -08:00

Measuring the square footage of a house can sometimes be a mystery. Ask the seller how many square feet and you may get one answer. Ask the assessor how big, a second answer. Ask the appraiser and you may get even a different answer. Ask two appraisers and get two different answers.Builders will often include square footage such as stairwells and utility closets in the living area. Assessors will often measure only the exterior perimeter of a building. Both may be incorrect when measuring for a residential appraisal.How is square footage measured for appraisals? The unfortunate truth is that it depends on who’s measuring. The correct method for calculating the square footage of a home is determined by using the guidelines in ANSI standard Z765.Many appraisers mistakenly round their measurements to the nearest foot. It makes the math easier, but it is improper procedure for an appraisal. Not all houses perfect squares. For houses with additions or cutouts, rounding to the nearest foot will impact the measurement. All dimensions of the house should be measured to the nearest inch or tenth of a foot; the final square footage is then reported to the nearest whole square foot. ANSI Z765 also suggests measuring and multiplying the home’s exterior dimensions, then subtracting unfinished space, rooms that are not usable year-round, and rooms with a sloping ceiling that meet certain criteria.Any inconsistencies to the measurement such as inability to access the property or utilizing builder plans should be noted on the appraisal.Why is it important? Because a home’s value can often be influenced by how many square feet of living space is available. Let’s assume that properties in a given area sell on average for $250 per square foot. Adding or removing 100 square feet from a measurement can change the value by $25,000.After viewing several appraisals on a single property it becomes clearer why the appraisal can often result in different numbers. Most often agents that run into issues with an appraisal find that it is because the appraiser used different comparable sales. But it may also be important to verify the square footage that the appraiser is using to value the property. It may make a difference.   Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix & Scottsdale metro area. You can find more great information by visiting his website at www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com.    © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

11/21/2019 11:05:15 AM -08:00

The housing market in Cave Creek, AZ continues to be a Sellers market.In the last few weeks the market has achieved a relative stasis point in terms of sales to inventory. However, inventory is sufficiently low to keep us in the Seller’s Market zone. We will continue to watch for changes in the Market Action Index. Any indication that the market is heating up, could also indicate that prices are likely to resume an upward climb.This month the median list price for Cave Creek, AZ 85331 was $730,000.The Average Days on Market in 85331 is 146 days. This seems long, but it is not uncommon for the higher priced homes in an area to take longer to sell than those in the lower priced areas.For more detail on the housing market in Cave Creek, AZ visit the following link: November 2019 - Cave Creek, AZInterested in a home in Cave Creek, Carefree, N. Phoenix or N. Scottsdale? Give me a call at 480-390-6011. I am your North Valley expert. This months market report courtesy of Pioneer Title Agency, www.PTAAZ.com   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved