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Joseph Domino - From The Outside Looking In

11/27/2020 2:26:16 PM -08:00

Every real estate agent I know bills themselves as an expert in their field. Most do a good job of keeping up with the market and helping their client execute what may be the biggest financial transaction of their lives.Every once in a while, you come across a client that teaches you a thing or two. I had a few clients that have helped me learn and expand my expertise. Without them, I might not enjoy some of the success I have been afforded.I can think of one example. It was when I partnered with a friend that wanted to start a new home construction business. He had a plan to buy some land, split the parcels, resell half of the parcels, and build new homes on the remaining lots. At that time, I was a relatively new agent that had only sold a few single-family homes and condos. I knew very little about selling new build homes or buying vacant land, but he was willing to work with me while I learned on the job. I quickly became an expert on the attributes that made a parcel ideal for the projects that he had in mind. I made contacts with the surveyors. I learned about easements, flood plains, water wells, and septic systems. After a while, I was on a first-name basis with the zoning officials at Maricopa county.As he built new homes, I would list them, which made me become an expert on the unique new home sales contract. It also gave me a rare insight into the types of options and amenities that homebuyers wanted. When you sell new homes and offer buyers a chance to choose their features it is different than selling homes where everything is already in place.After that, selling resale homes became easier. Even today, some fifteen years later, I have a different perspective on real estate than agents who have never had a chance to learn from the ground up.When real estate crashed in 2008, my builder friend lost his business. He had overextended himself and declared bankruptcy. He ultimately moved out of the area. I continued on the resale side of the business.But I will forever be thankful for the opportunity he offered me so many years ago. © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

11/26/2020 9:11:32 AM -08:00

How many times a day do you say, “Thank You”? I bet that it is quite a few.Do we recognize how often we are thankful for the little things? Perhaps it is as uncomplicated as receiving good service at the local coffee shop. As simple as someone holding a door for you. There are so many things to be thankful for, every day.Received a compliment? Say thank you. It goes a long way.Today I tried to place close attention to each time I said, “thank you”. I was surprised by how often I did. Most of the time I was talking to myself. I would say simple phrases like; “Thank God”, or “thank goodness”. Usually, it was when I was trying to solve a problem, and I found the answer. Other times it was an affirmation that someone else’s problem was resolved, such as in, “You’re feeling better? Thank goodness.”Of course, there are events in our lives that we are thankful to have happened. Big things that we remember forever. The birth of a child. The day we marry or one of our family members marries. We are grateful for birthdays, anniversaries, and family reunions. Sharing these milestones with others are all ways in which we express our gratitude. Friends and family are the people we are most thankful for.When you get older, you are thankful for a good night’s sleep. You can be thankful when your favorite football team wins or when the Green Bay Packers lose.But it is the small things we overlook. We can be thankful for the daily sunrise because it is a chance to start anew. Each day is a blessing. We can be equally thankful for a sunny day and a rainy one. They both have their place making the world a place that supports life.With so many little things to be thankful for, how can we be unhappy? We should always be thankful for all we have, big or small.It is an easy word to say, try it... “Thanks!”  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

11/23/2020 6:28:22 PM -08:00

Wow, I almost missed this one. But if you are looking for some fun. Why not spend a few hours touring the scenic Desert Foothills communities of Cave Creek, Carefree, and North Scottsdale, then look no further than the annual Hidden In The Hills Artist Studio Tour? The event is hosted in November on two successive weekends. This year’s event is scheduled for November 20, 21, 22 and again on November 27, 28, 29, so there is still time to enjoy this year’s tour. The free, self-guided studio tour, features over 150 local artists each demonstrating and displaying their unique talents.Sponsored by the non-profit Sonoran Arts League, the tour, is now in its 24th year. Is a rare opportunity for art enthusiasts to observe artists at work in their private studios. It also gives the public the opportunity to learn about the artist's method and creative process. You may also have a chance to buy from them in a friendly, engaging atmosphere that showcases quality art.Today I am featuring local award-winning artist, Billy Bodnar. Bodnar is well known for his whimsical caricatures hand carved from basswood.Just take a look at some of Billy’s imaginative work. XXX    You can find more information or contact Billy Bodnar at his website https://www.carefreecarving.com So why not pay us a visit here in the North Valley? The weather is perfect. It is a great time to begin your holiday shopping for something fun and unique. You can find more information about this great event at: https://www.sonoranartsleague.org/hidden_in_the_hills_studio_tou.php 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

11/20/2020 1:29:35 PM -08:00

She hovered over me with a shovel in her hand, her face flushed with resentment. I knelt on the ground cowering at the circumstances ahead of me. How did I get into this mess?The ground in front of me was like concrete. My knees ached. My arms throbbed. Now I remember? It looked so easy.I had vowed never to get myself in this situation again, but here I was. There was nothing more that I could do. I had to keep digging.We took turns, digging, then clearing out the hole. The cavity was getting larger and deeper. Soon it would be big enough.Suddenly it dawned on me. These projects are the things that keep divorce lawyers in business. As our nerves became more and more irritable, we were at each other’s throats. Would we make it through without saying something that we would both regret?Finally, it was time. "Let's get this over with." We slid the new sapling into its new home. “Really? I thought it was bigger?”“Yeah, they always seem bigger before you plant them.”“Let’s cover it up before we change our minds.”We kicked the dirt back in the hole. Shoveled and racked it until it was smooth and solid. Soaked the roots. The job was done. Hopefully, but not realistically, for the last time.Now it is up to mother nature and father time.A tree (hopefully) grows in Scottsdale.    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

11/16/2020 3:48:37 PM -08:00

Turning a house into a home often require you to make changes to accommodate your lifestyle. When the changes are big you may require a handyman or a contractor. Other times there are small jobs that any homeowner should be able to handle themselves.Today my project was to install two new robe hooks in our bathrooms. The builder did a good job of putting in towel rods and towel rings, but we wanted something more. We found two matching robe hooks online that were just what the doctor ordered. It is a small job, so I grabbed my tool belt and went to work.The first decision of course is to find the best location. We measured carefully and found the best place for our needs. Then we had to find the best way to mount them on the wall. The manufacturer supplied plastic wall anchors for use with drywall and while I am sure they were adequate. I wanted something a little stronger. So, I looked at what I had available, then decided on the best approach for my job.If you are not familiar with hanging on drywall, you have many choices. If you are lucky enough to be lined up with a wall stud, a screw is all that is required. But what about a hollow wall cavity? For that job, you will need an anchor. I had my choice of using one of several different types. Each has its pluses and minuses. Take a look at the picture below. We will look at some of the options available.Starting from the right. The basic plastic drywall anchor, in yellow, works well for many light-duty projects. It has the benefit of being easy to use and requires a small easily repairable hole. Simply drill a small hole insert the anchor and when you tighten the screw it will expand to hold tight against the drywall. This type of anchor is available in a variety of sizes to meet your needs.Next, we have a stronger version of the plastic anchor. Notice this type of device is threaded. This allows you to screw the anchor into the wall creating a tight hold. The version in the picture is designed to self-tap its own hole, although I might be inclined to drill a small pilot hole just to be safe. The downside of this type of anchor is that it makes a big hole.The third from the right is called a “molly”. It is designed to be inserted into a small hole. Then when the installer tightens the screw the metal expands making it nearly impossible to remove without damaging the drywall. Molly’s are used when extra holding power is required.Lastly, we have something known as a “toggle bolt”. The one depicted here is one of a variety of types that all use the same concept. You make a hole in the drywall large enough to accommodate the toggle. You insert the folded spring-loaded device in the hole. Once inside it expands to create a solid anchor that will hold even the heaviest of wall hangings. Oh, and this is important. Make sure you thread the screw through the wall hanger before you insert the toggle into the wall! Once expanded it will never come back out again.For my project today I chose to use the “molly” style drywall anchor. It was for me, the best compromise between ease of installation and strength. It only required me to drill a small hole and tighten one screw. After that, it was smooth sailing.So, now you know all you need to know if you need to hang anything on a hollow wall. Choose the right anchor, and it will be a happy voyage home.As for me, I now have a new robe hook in each of our bathrooms. They are solidly anchored, look great, and added some nice functionality.The second picture (below) shows the finished product. What do you think?   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

11/14/2020 8:46:55 PM -08:00

Welcome to Scottsdale’s only new build, age restricted community. Welcome to Scottsdale Heights.Conveniently located at the intersection of Dove Valley Road and Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale Heights is one of the last remaining undeveloped parcels in North Scottsdale. With phase one offering only fifty-four lots, this project is sure to sell out fast.Scottsdale Heights consists of four villa styled single-story models, ranging in size between 2090 and 2194 square feet. These two- or three-bedroom models feature all the most popular options including gourmet kitchens, energy-efficient design, and open floorplans. All homes in Scottsdale Heights are placed in the most desirable north-south orientation for usability even in the hottest months.Scottsdale Heights offers a maintenance free lifestyle, allowing residents to spend their time enjoying activities and hobbies instead of maintenance and repairs. Community features include secure gated access, a community pool, walking distance to stores and restaurants, and mountain views from every lot.Priced from the mid-600’s, Scottsdale Heights is right in the sweet spot of affordability for the highly desirable North Scottsdale location.Built exclusively by K. Hovnanian at Scottsdale Heights, LLC. You can customize your own new build on one of the remaining available lots or if you prefer you can choose from one of the available quick move-in models.Like all new build communities in Arizona, K. Hovnanian offers buyers that are represented by a licensed agent a cooperative commission. To take advantage of this perk you must be accompanied by your agent on your first visit to the community or before you register with the builder.As a licensed agent with expertise in this community, I can promise you that as your representative I will save you money and help smooth you through the pitfalls of negotiating a complex purchase of this nature.Call me first, before you visit any new home builder. You will be glad you did. Want to see more about Scottsdale Heights? Click the link below.https://www.showingnew.com/joedomino/community/arizona/phoenix-mesa/scottsdale-heights/139494I make it easy to search all new homes in the Phoenix metro area simply visit the link below.https://www.showingnew.com/joedomino © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

11/7/2020 12:21:44 PM -08:00

Some names are just renowned throughout the world. The name Hershey is synonymous with the candy bar. The name Xerox has long been identified with the brand name of a company that produces office machines that can duplicate a document. But Xerox is also synonymous with the act of making the duplicate.In business, you want to be recognized. Being the first one that comes to mind when a need arises, puts you in the forefront. Ahead of the competition.Easily recognizable names are not always a good thing. Some names identify with failure. Being a Benedict Arnold is tantamount to being a traitor, something no one wants to aspire to. In the 1950’s Ford Motor Company produced a line of cars called the Edsel. Even to this day the name Edsel is synonymous with failure, even though the Edsel was a high quality, luxury automobile.Certainly, if you plan to be famous it should be for something good. No one wants to be known as Satan, or Hitler. The name Bernie Madoff will forever be remembered with dishonesty and corruption. So, it seems that notoriety in itself may not be a good thing.With that in mind, it is eminence that we really seek. We want recognition along with distinction. Like the Hershey bar, we want to be known throughout the world. Like Xerox, we want to be known for more than one reason.Over the years I have tried every type of marketing. I have placed newspaper ads, mailed out postcards, farmed communities, and towns. I have tried my hand at seminars. I still use email blasts and business cards. More recently I have adopted several forms of social media. I maintain a website. My blog has done well in attracting followers.But it takes more than an advertisement. It takes performance. Performance is what separates us from the other guys. Anyone can advertise but only the best serve their clients at a level that distinguishes. Going the extra mile for your client builds your reputation. Reputation brings referrals, the best source of recognition.I may not be as well recognized as my competitors. I may not be as well-known as the Hershey bar. I am just happy I am not an Edsel.   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

10/31/2020 8:15:45 AM -07:00

The world lost a great actor today. Sean Connery passed away at 90 years old.Sean Connery created the character James Bond which will live on forever. But it wasn't his only role. Connery won an Oscar for his 1987 role in The Untouchables.And who can ever forget this song from Darby O'Gill and the Little People?  © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

10/31/2020 7:53:40 AM -07:00

 Halloween 2020 will be a strange one. Should it be any different than anything else?There is no question that 2020 has been a strange year. Despite all the negativity surrounding the pandemic, some memorable things have happened.Why don’t we examine some of the things that will make this Halloween a year to remember? In 2020 we will experience both a full moon and a blue moon, something that happens rarely. Although blue moons occur about every two- and one-half years, the last time that we experienced a coast to coast full moon on Halloween was back in 1944.Let us not forget that Halloween is a holiday for ghouls and goblins and that big full moon may bring out the werewolf in all of us.It is also the weekend when many parts of the country switch back from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. Meaning that in those states the blue moon will last an hour longer than usual. Which can be a great help to those of us that will enjoy a Saturday evening costume celebration.Speaking of costumes, two of the more popular costumes this year will be firefighter and health care worker. Although the stalwart Witch and Devil will continue to be popular.On the downside, the pandemic will likely limit the time-honored tradition of “trick or treating”. Unfortunately, this is an activity that has been on the wane for years. And what is going to happen to all that unsold and undistributed candy? It will eventually be sold, likely at a discount. One thing for sure, it will get eaten. Even if it takes a little longer. Did you know that currently, the most popular Halloween candy is Skittles? Which are followed closely by the Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, M&M’s, and Snickers. Candy Corn, once the most popular has fallen to sixth according to Candy Industry Magazine.I would say that the full moon often drives people crazy. But in 2020 it is hard to decipher what is normal and what is crazy. Perhaps the rare Blue Moon on Halloween will set things right again? 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

10/25/2020 6:56:51 AM -07:00

How has my life changed recently? Enormously. 2020 has been a year of change. For me it was a move and a downsize. That meant selling a house that was my home for nearly twenty years. It also meant recreating that feeling of warmth and happiness in a strange new building.Moving means changes. It means ridding yourself of the old and replacing it with the new. New appliances, furniture, and new neighbors. All stressful, all exciting. Since August we have been playing catch up with our lives.But 2020 hasn’t been an ordinary year. The COVID pandemic has limited so many of the things we want to accomplish. Products have routinely been back-ordered. Ceiling fans, washing machines, and cabinet hardware have all been delayed because the factories cannot produce what we need. We have been waiting for a dining room table since June. We ordered it weeks before we moved. Twice it has been delivered with the incorrect tabletop.We visited a store that specializes in office furniture and the salesperson stated they cannot guarantee a delivery date because the factory is down to only ten people. Production is way behind.Small items have been less of a problem. If it is in stock, I can order online and pick up curbside or wait for delivery.Now I spend my days waiting for deliveries from Amazon, eBay, or some other online retailer. Like a child, I stand outside, my heart races as I see the delivery truck. Then it drops as they drive past to another lucky house. I wave to the driver. Sometimes they wave back as if they are obliged, still other times they just drive on by.Today I received a package. It’s Christmas once again. Hooray, I have a new toy. Something new and strange to replace something old and familiar.As singer David Bowie once intoned, “Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes; Turn and face the strange.”   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

10/20/2020 5:00:42 PM -07:00

Well it happened yesterday; I lost my Brother. Sad because he was only eleven years old. The brother I am speaking of is my Brother MFC-J825DW multi-function printer. If you have followed my blog, you will know that I have extoled the virtue of this wonderful device. For many years it has performed flawlessly as I faxed documents across the country, scanned and digitized pictures, made a quick copy for a friend and printed countless documents.It happened quickly. So quickly that I am not sure what happened. I was moving the printer from one side of the room to the other. When I plugged it in at its new location instead of coming up ready, an error occurred. It was the dreaded “Failed to Init: 48” code.I searched the internet for a cure. There were dozens of articles on the meaning and repair of this fault, none worked. Hour after hour I tried every possible procedure with no success. Despite all my best efforts to revive the unit, including a forty-minute wait with Brother Technical Support, I realized it could not be saved.After a good night’s sleep, I resigned myself to say goodbye and move on. It took several hours to find a suitable replacement. There was plenty to choose from. But at what cost? Which one would both meet my needs and preserve my bank balance?I finally decided on an Epson Workforce 4820 multi-function printer. This unit compared favorably to my old friend in terms of features and cost. Once the decision was made, I began to search for availability and price. Not surprisingly most stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, were in short supply. COVID-19 has done a number on the availability of the product, at least that is the excuse they gave me.Luckily, I found one at a local office supply house, in stock and at the price I wanted to pay. I ordered it for curbside pickup (another new opportunity courtesy of COVID).A few hours later my new partner is sitting proudly on its throne. It seems to be every bit as capable as the Brother it replaced. Time will tell if it can survive eleven years of abuse at the hands of a demanding hoard of users or abdicate before its time. One can only hope.Long live the king!  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

10/19/2020 8:34:47 PM -07:00

 What happens when you have all the answers, but the questions have changed? It seems in today’s world this situation has become more commonplace. Many of the things that we take for granted are no longer true.In times of rapid change, we must re-examine how we think, how we work, and essentially how we live.The real estate business is not immune to this rapid change. In the last few months, we have changed the way we sell homes. Many of the traditional processes may no longer be the best way to market a house. At one time a seller’s goal was to get as many people to visit their house as possible. We would fling our doors open hoping that a buyer will walk in, fall in love, and buy.Today we are more cautious. Using modern tools like drone photography, video promos, and virtual tours, we provide prospective buyers with loads of information before they ever walk through the door. It allows sellers to limit in-person showings and answer many buyer questions without a physical showing.When it comes to in-person showings, buyers are asked to wear masks, gloves, and booties to help limit the spread of communicable diseases. Requiring safety measures has the added value of eliminating the lookie-loo that may not have a serious interest in the house.But it isn’t just COVID related changes that have affected our business. Low inventory has made buyers anxious and sellers more choosey. In many markets’ buyers are overlooking repairs, increasing earnest money deposits, and waiving contingencies.Lending has seen dramatic changes as well. With interest rates at an all-time low, lenders have seen a huge demand for refinancing, clogging the system and extending the time required to close a loan for purchase money as well.Changes to the appraisal process are also affecting real estate with appraisal waivers, drive-by appraisals and desktop appraisals bypassing the full appraisal requirement. Certainly, an appraisal waiver is a blessing for most borrowers, but a low desktop appraisal can be a huge disappointment.Buying or selling a house today may take on a quite different personality that even just a few years ago. Adjusting to a new and different market is imperative if we want to maintain our professionalism. Times have changed, at least for now.For those of us that for so many years have strived to have all the answers, we must now make sure we know the question. When your client asks, “What should we do?” You may have to rethink your answer.   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

10/9/2020 10:15:22 AM -07:00

Where do they find the time? I mean everyone is Zooming everyone else. But Zooming is not what it used to be. Years ago, zooming meant deceiving or taking advantage of someone. More recently, zooming meant getting high on a mixture of drugs and energy drinks. Today, thanks to the Zoom video conferencing software, people are Zooming each other daily with no ill effects.There are so many Zoom meetings that I cannot keep up with them. My brokerage hosts regular status meetings sometimes as often as two or three times a week. We host marketing strategy meetings. Almost all of our regional training classes are now hosted over Zoom.Due to COVID concerns many agents or sellers are hosting their virtual open houses via a Zoom platform.But Zooming in not just for business. It has other uses as well. Since I cannot be with them, I talk regularly with family members over Zoom. Which is helpful since many of them live far away. The best part is I do not have to feed them.With all this Zooming going on, I have decided to upgrade my computer systems. I recently upgraded the speed of my internet connection to allow me to perform multiple tasks without slowing down.Then I installed two additional computer monitors with windowing capability. Now I can host multiple Zoom meetings at the same time. I can attend a real estate training session on one monitor, converse with my mother-in-law on another, and I can watch YouTube videos of my favorite rock concert, all at the same time. I cannot tell you what a time saver that has been.But Zooming raises a question that needs to be answered. Do you dress for your Zoom meeting? I mean, if you were going to meet in person you would dress appropriately for the meeting, especially business meetings. Should it be any different in a virtual world?Would it be wrong to add a corporate logo to my new pajamas? After all, I want to look professional.   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

10/6/2020 7:16:09 PM -07:00

We work hard all our lives to accomplish our goals, earn recognition, and attain wealth. In our early years, we seldom recognize how our lives will evolve. We cannot predict the future, so we can only plan our futures based on the knowledge we have today.If the year 2020 has taught us anything, it should have taught us that life is unpredictable. Enjoy it while you can.I was having a discussion with a friend the other day. This gentleman has only known me for about five years. He did not know me when I was up and coming, or even when I was at the pinnacle of my career. I tried to describe to him that I was once a highly sought-after expert in my field, one of only a handful of people with my level of expertise.At that time, I was a member of a team that traveled the world consulting on the conversion of telecommunications systems that are the foundation for today’s digital society. Technology that we take for granted today. It was my fifteen minutes of fame.It suddenly dawned on me how long ago it was. Since that time, newer more powerful technology has supplanted much of the work that I believed would last for decades.It is incredible how quickly time goes by. Sometimes you run so fast you forget what is behind you. I never noticed that I was coasting downhill.I no longer work in that field, but I still have goals and aspirations. Maybe not as lofty or earth-shattering. Perhaps a bit more self-centered.My life has slowed a lot since those early days. I probably spend more time playing tennis than I do working. But still, I am glad it is only slowing and has not come to a sudden stop.A wise man once told me, “It isn’t the fall that kills you. It’s the sudden stop.” 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

10/5/2020 9:03:04 PM -07:00

It seems everyone today has the same goal. A paperless office and by extension, a paperless society. Books, who needs them? Why can’t we simply do electronic documentation? Envelopes, mail, file cabinets, do we really need them?Call me old fashion, but sometimes you just need to have a paper in your hand. Every office needs a printer, and I have one that has been a great friend for nearly ten years.It is a Brother MFC-J825DW, multi-function system and it has been a workhorse. Multi-function printers are nothing new, but this model was of exceptional design. It not only prints black and full color, but it will also scan at high resolution, copy with one touch, and fax anywhere in the world.It is one of the few models that I have found that auto-duplexes, making two-sided printing a snap. It has connectivity via ethernet, USB cable, or wireless. And it prints both letter and legal-size documents. It can scan documents and pictures directly from the internet or from a USB device, a SD memory card.I was lucky to discover this printer on sale at my favorite warehouse store for only $89. I was worth more, but a newer model was being produced so this year’s model was on clearance.Well, you guessed it, the newer(s) model did not work as well as my old 825DW. Even today, my old model is in high demand. In this era of throw away technology, I see used ones for sale on eBay for as much as $250 and rebuilt units as high as $800.But like all mechanical devices, it occasionally needs a little maintenance. Over the years I have had a few things break. The little plastic tab that holds the ink cartridge in place broke off a few years ago. I fabricated one out of a picture hanger. The hinge that holds the rear access panel broke while ago, but since parts are no longer available, I had to glue a makeshift hinge in place of the old one.During our recent move, the printer ended up in storage for nearly six months. When I finally unpacked her, she was full of dust and the print head was clogged. I found a cleaning kit online and a few days ago I was able to clean the printhead and it is once again printing like a new system.I do not know how much longer my old friend will be with me. One of these days it will again breakdown and I won’t be able to repair it. I will need to buy a newer model. When that happens, I will miss this old slogger. Luckily, I don’t print as much as I used to. I am going less paper. But for the time being, I can still print to my heart's content in full color, two-sided and on legal size paper. Call me old fashioned.  © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

9/5/2020 3:14:44 PM -07:00

We all use tools. Tools for building, tools for gardening, tools for cooking, tools for cleaning. Some tools have become essential to our modern lifestyle. Scouring pads, shovels, screwdrivers, flashlights are all examples of tools that we use every day without consideration.But what about the smartphone? Is it a tool? Can you use it in place of many of the tools that we have traditionally carried? The answer is a resounding YES!Let’s just look at some of the wonderful tools that my smartphone has replaced.It is a calculator. Now I can add subtract and multiply easily no need to own or buy a separate calculator. Lost? My smartphone has a compass to tell me what direction to go. Even better, if I know where I want to go it can tell me how to get there, I never have to try and fold a paper map again.Building something? My smartphone has a measuring tool. Once I determine how high I want my picture hung I can see if it is straight because my phone has a built-in level.I saw a sign for something that interested me. I wanted to write down the information number and details, but I didn’t have a pencil. No problem, I just took a picture. All of the details were right there where I needed them.Can’t remember something? Leave a voice memo. Want to know how high is the mountain you just climbed? Use the free altitude app.As a real estate agent, I have several tools that help me on a daily basis. I can schedule a home showing, find my way through the winding streets of the Phoenix metro. I can open a lockbox, measure the size of a room, or calculate a mortgage payment.When it gets dark or I need to look in a closet or cabinet, my built-in flashlight is invaluable.Why I can even realign the angle of my satellite dish with the help of my friendly Dish Align app.I am sure that there are many more uses for my smartphone. It seems there is no end to all the tools I have replaced with my smartphone. Now if someone would just develop a phone I could use as a hammer my toolbox would be complete. 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

8/17/2020 9:12:18 AM -07:00

Everyone has a home improvement story. We were sitting around talking the other day and we recounted a story from about 30 years ago. It made me laugh, so I thought I would share it here. It is about do it yourself home improvement. Have you ever tried to make something better? Of course, you have. Everyone has things that need improvement. In this case the thing I was trying to make better was my new house.Shortly after my wife and I were married we bought our first house. It was a cute raised ranch with three bedrooms and an unfinished basement that I planned to finish. The house was a standard tract home, so except for the exterior color it looked identical to every other home in the development. I wanted my house to be both better and more distinctive. So, I decided to make some improvements.One of the first things I did was to replace the front picture window with a really nice five pane bay window. The new window would add a distinctive look and add to the energy efficiency of the home.I laid out the plan. It was a simple matter of building a temporary wall to hold up the ceiling, removing the old window, installing the new window, trimming, and repainting, and removing the temporary wall.Five simple steps. Well, maybe a few more than five and some not so simple.When I ordered the new window, I had my choice of a custom made unit that would fit neatly within the existing rough opening. Or for a lot less money I could get a standard size unit and adjust the rough opening. Money was tight, so I decided to go with a standard unit that was slightly larger than the window that it was replacing. Little did I know that it would present some additional challenges.With the larger window, I had to recreate the header that supported the wall. I started with constructing a temporary wall that would hold the weight of the ceiling and roof once the old header was out.Once in place, the old window could come out. Once the old window was out, I could begin work on reframing the wall. The new opening required moving two wall studs, which in turn required moving an electrical outlet, something I hadn’t counted on. It took a few hours to tear out the old and rebuild the wall to the new specifications. As the day wore on, it was becoming apparent that we would not be able to finish the project in one day.We decided to call it a day and finish the project the next day. The weather was good so I didn’t think that we would have any problem leaving the wall open for about 12 hours. Just to be sure I grabbed a couple of plastic tarps and sealed up the hole. It would keep any birds and bugs etc. from coming inside.I suppose I should have checked the weather report before finishing up for the day. Because that night a major storm blew in. The storm brought high winds and a torrential downpour. I remember standing in the living room watching as the tarps were battered to and fro. If they didn’t hold, the wind and rain would destroy the living room of our new house.I was in near tears, doing whatever I could to button down the tarps. Trying desperately to keep them from being blown away. Even today, my wife reminds me how I exclaimed: “I am so stupid, why did I attempt this…”But luckily the tarps held. The storm abated and the next day a group of friends and I were able to install the new window and weatherproof the exterior. When the job was completed, and the last splash of paint was applied the window looked great. It was a huge improvement in my new home. It made my house distinguished from all the other tract homes.I wiped away my tears, put away my grief, and proudly displayed my new windows to the whole neighborhood.  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

8/15/2020 8:19:10 AM -07:00

For you Rolling Stones fans, the group is re-releasing their classic album Goat's Head Soup into a multi-volume set complete with re-digited music, videos, and story lines from the past. The group released this video from the early 1970's as a promo for the album. It is a lot of fun to see the Stones as young men.Check it 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

8/9/2020 8:28:36 AM -07:00

We made it! After months of living out of a suitcase. Wearing the same clothes over and over. Self-quarantining in strange rental properties. We have closed on our new home.It hasn’t been easy. Selling our old home took longer than expected. A task that has made me more sympathetic to my clients.Overcoming shortages of livable rental properties. All the good ones were taken or outrageously priced. We had to move multiple times over a five-month period.Then there was negotiating with the new builder. A process that leaves you feeling powerless. Delays in delivery of supplies like cabinets and appliances, along with a general sense of uncertainty.Some things went well. When the pandemic hit sales at the new home development plummeted. Several under contract buyers canceled. Tradesmen, including the Construction Superintendent, got sick. The entire sales team quit (or were fired) all in a matter of days. To stem the tide the builder increased their sales incentive and extended the incentive to under contract buyers like myself. That in turn made the good deal we had negotiated even better.In the end, it all worked out okay. It was a rocky ride, but we have landed. It may be one small step for mankind, but one giant leap for man and wife.  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

8/7/2020 1:06:27 PM -07:00

Welcome back. For those of you have followed my Soundtrack of a Lifetime series you have probably wondered what happened to the June 2020 songs. Well they disappeared and may never return. I had considered restoring them, but I have always felt that this blog is more about inspiration than perspiration. So instead I will from time to time post an Encore entry when I feel inspired to do so.Today I was in Lowes and as so often happens these days a popular song from my past is playing on the store’s speakers. To my wife’s chagrin I was singing along with the song which is now stuck in my head.The song was Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars.So, let’s have some fun today. Take 3 minutes to enjoy a great song and fun video.   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

7/28/2020 7:29:20 PM -07:00

The market in Phoenix is hot, in more ways than one. Once again, the Phoenix metro has led the nation in year over year home price growth. In June 2020 sellers sold their homes for 99% of asking price. The average home went pending in 37 days and homes in hotter areas of the valley went from listing to pending in just 14 days.Despite a spring slow down attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has rebounded nicely.New home builders have seen an increase in sales of over 6% in the month of June.The result is a market that clearly favors sellers.But rising rental rates and historically low-interest rates have kept buyers in the market in spite of rising prices, competitive bidding wars for homes in the lower price ranges.For the time being, sellers will remain in command of a market that is suffering from low inventory and high demand.But all is not rosy in Phoenix. It had been a very hot summer keeping people indoors at a time when they might be out enjoying the outdoors. Arizona has also been a hot spot (excuse the pun) for COVID making showings difficult. And the latest complaint from listing agents is that appraisals have failed to keep up with the price increases.This of course has caused problems for buyer’s agents who want to help their buyers achieve their dream but often are met with frustration. I can attest to the exasperation of spending an afternoon showing homes in 110+ degree temperatures, only to lose the bid to another anxious buyer.The most interesting part is that in the next few months the weather will turn mild and even more buyers will descend on Phoenix. The weather will cool, but the market will likely stay hot. 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

7/26/2020 8:03:40 AM -07:00

I noticed that Alan May posted up one of these compilation videos, so I thought I would try my hand at it.In honor of the restart of America's Game, I found this video from a gentleman named Harrison Sheckler. Welcome back Baseball!Try not to sing along.   © 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

7/21/2020 7:13:57 PM -07:00

Due to unforeseen circumstances, many of the Soundtrack of a Lifetime – 2020 Edition posts have been lost. But there is still plenty of good music to listen too.The Corona Virus/ COVID-19 pandemic has changed some of the ways we live our lives. Most rock concerts and live stage performances have been canceled or at least postponed. Yet, the performers that we enjoy are still playing, even if their fans cannot participate.There have been a lot of performers that have offered virtual concerts which can be fun in the absence of live music.One of the latest is a compilation of performers that have been put together by guitarist Dave Mason. Mason’s latest gig is appropriately named Dave Mason and the Quarantines.In this latest endeavor, Mason joins forces with a group of others including Sammy Hagar, Mick Fleetwood, and The Doobie Brothers to recreate one of Dave’s big hits Feelin’ All-Right.Like all virtual concerts, the artists are in different locations. But it all comes out okay in the end with a rocking good time.So with all that has happened so far in 2020, we still have time for an Encore.  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

7/20/2020 8:28:02 PM -07:00

This is a recovered version of a post that was lost. Enjoy! Well, June 2020 is in the books. It is time for the Soundtrack of a Lifetime to go back into intermission. 2020 has been a strange year in many ways, but the beat goes on. With each passing year our repertiore of sonds grows larger and more variedI wanted to finish the season strong. So, today you get something a little different. The song is “I’d Rather Go Blind”. Written and originally performed by the great blues singer Etta James. The song is about a woman that realizes her love is leaving her. She cannot bear the thought. The Etta James version was recorded in 1968 and has become a blues classic. It is so moving that Etta will bring a tear to your eye. You can listen to the Etta James version by clicking HERE. Since we covered Etta James back in 2019 with another of her great songs "At Last", I decided offer you a version by another artist, that in my opinion is equally as good. The song that we have the pleasure to enjoy today is performed by blues singer Beth Hart and recorded with the incredible blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa. In this video, performed in 2014 in Amsterdam, Hart knocks it out of the park in a performance that matches Etta James for raw emotion. But for me, the thing that makes this such an amazing performance is the guitar work that Bonamassa adds to the song. Each time I hear the song I am awestruck at the synergy between the vocals and the music. You can hear Bonamassa's guitar weeping along with Hart's vocals. There are only a handful of guitarists that can make a guitar sing like Bonamassa. I hope you enjoy it. Until next year, The Soundtrack of a Lifetime bids you many happy days of listening pleasure. 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

7/8/2020 12:43:45 PM -07:00

We closed on a home in Sun City, AZ last week. It was a lovely ranch home loaded with upgrades including a solar grid that was only a few years old. The house was lovingly cared for by a husband and wife that owned the home for over 15 years. The couple had planned on it being their forever home, but sometimes life doesn’t work out as planned.The husband passed away. Leaving his wife alone in this big house. She decided to restart her life in another area, closer to her family, so the home went on the market.Along came a sweet single woman that was relocating to Sun City and was looking for a house that would meet her unique requirements.“Unique requirements?” you ask. “Yes.” The buyer is a world-class musician that needed a home for herself and her instruments which include a grand piano, an organ, and a harpsichord. There are also three large harps and a variety of other musical paraphernalia.In addition, the buyer is an avid crafter, so she needed room for her workspace. It was a match made in heaven. Except that the buyer needed a contingency on the sale of her current home. After a little negotiating we were able to agree on terms. Although the escrow was long due to the home sale contingency, the sale closed, and the seller moved to be close to her family. The new buyer is happily tuning her instruments and playing her music.It is summer in Arizona, so most homes are shut up tight or the owners have left town to escape the heat. In a few months, the weather will change, and every house will have their doors and windows open to let the outdoors in and the indoors out. People will be spending time out in their yards and sitting on their patios.It is just a matter of time before our new buyer, the musician, will be filling the neighborhood with beautiful music. I suggested that the buyer start a garage band, she declined. Perhaps she can put a tip jar out on the porch and take requests.  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