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Jean's September 2020 Newsletter

Posted On: September 4th, 2020 4:15PM

The Batson Team
SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialists)
Jean Batson

Al Batson
Quick quiz

Each month we'll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

Who was the cha-cha champion of Hong Kong in 1958?

Reply to this email
Click here to see a web copy of this newsletter
Ask Al and Jean
How Is an Offer Different from a Contract?

     When you have decided on a home you would like to purchase, you will be expressing your willingness to offer to purchase that home, and it can be expressed in verbal or written terms. Once your offer is presented to the seller, the terms can be negotiated between both parties.

     If a meeting of the minds is reached, then a binding contract to purchase is created. By law, the purchase contract must be in writing. The typical purchase contract will contain a detailed description of the property, the price, the terms of purchase and the date of transfer.

     Offers to purchase can be revoked prior to acceptance. Contracts are binding once fully executed by both parties and would require mutual agreement to terminate. Our goal is to make the home purchase process as clear as possible for you and to provide accurate answers to this and all of your questions.
Product Recommendation for your Home - Save your stove top

            Al had been looking for just the right product for protecting our stove top and for total ease in cleaning.  There are so many variations in stove tops - number of burners, how they’re configured etc. This website is easy to navigate -he got the Make/Model of our stove top and ordered it online.  He never mentioned he was researching such a product; he just came in, unrolled it and placed it on the range top under the grates.  It was magic.  Not only does it protect the underneath portion but if you have a spill-over,  a little water or Windex and a paper towel – good as new.  Or remove the Stovegard to wash it in the sink if you've really had a "situation."  Here are a couple of photos – I was boiling potatoes (to mash – God’s gift to the Universe) and let them bubble over to make a mess (I’ll do anything to show you).  After the burner cooled down,  I gave it quick clean.  Like new again!   I love this product - and it sure beats anything else we've tried over the years.

Check out the link above for better information! 

Thinking of Buying a Home? Get our Free Guide

Buying a home is a complex process with many factors to consider.

Prepare for the decisions you’ll need to make along the way by requesting my free report, "Buyer & Seller Tips."

Just call us and we'll send it right out to you.

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     In the past, we’ve mentioned how critical it is to have your affairs in order NO MATTER YOUR AGE [over 18] OR financial assets – to have a Will or a Trust.  So many people think it isn’t necessary unless you own property or have vast investments.  Of course, one should have legal instructions no matter what your financial situation or age is. If you have nothing but a checking account, at least provide the bank with the name of an alternate person who can access your account if something happens to you.

      Case in point, very recently a friend of ours lost her son suddenly and tragically. He was not married; nor did he have children.  She flew to Phoenix to take care of business but there was very little information to go by. She wasn’t listed on any accounts and his records were sporadic, at best.  There were a few papers and credit cards, and keys to a Safety Deposit box – but at which bank?  We went through the plastic cards – there were a few bank cards and a Debit Card.  We went to four different banks trying to determine if he had a current account.  Each time we asked if there was a Safety Deposit Box in his name…finally, we  tracked down his box at a different branch. Once a Death Certificate is presented, there is a 30-day required HOLD to access accounts...and a Court Order is required when someone dies intestate [without a Will].
     Most of us don’t know where our adult children bank, what credit cards or debts they have, payments, memberships, passwords. As in our friend’s case, it has been a horrific task to find these things out in order to do what is necessary.

     No matter who you are or what you have, somebody [probably a family member]  should be in the loop as to your general information [accounts, beneficiaries, passwords, any information assuming your living quarters need to be closed down, names of people to notify etc.]  Especially if you are unmarried. 
     It was so difficult for our friend to deal with the loss of her son to begin with…then to have to figure out his life, etc. was tragic and painful to watch. If you don’t want to give someone a document, put all of that information in your home; but make sure your next of kin knows where it is.

     We asked our family members to be sure someone is in the loop and legally able to take over in an emergency.   It’s a very considerate gift to give to your loved ones.

Wondering What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?
How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? Do I need a house inspection? These are all critical questions that shouldn't be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home.

Whether you're curious about prices in your area, whether it's an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, we can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

Let us know how we can help by simply giving us a call to set up a time to connect. We won't waste your time -  just give you the honest facts about your home, its value and what's happening in your neighborhood.
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Refreshing Dessert - takes 1 minute

What’s for dessert?

                September is the beginning of the end of our summer here in Arizona so most of us don’t want to bake but would like something easy and refreshing.  Growing up in Illinois, they were called BLACK COWS, but Al tells me that he grew up calling them BROWN COWS…universally, they’re called ROOT BEER FLOATS!  We’ve served them often – guests often have said "Why don’t we ever think to make these?"   We may personally be responsible for the resurgence of this treat.  In my old home town of Elmhurst, Illinois, there was an A & W Drive-In – a place we kids loved to go to for a "Black Cow."  It’s been gone for years…but the memory lingers on.


All you need is VANILLA ICE CREAM, Root Beer (we usually have A & W on hand), an ice cream scoop, a glass/mug, a spoon and a straw….we put the ice cream in - lots of it; then slowly pour the COLD root beer over.  That’s it!

To serve six (6), we'll buy the

  • 2 quart A & W ROOT BEER
  • and have on hand a 1/2 gallon of Vanilla or French Vanilla ice cream. 
  • Use what you need - plenty left for another time if it's just two of you.


 Maricopa Property Taxes Due October 1st

     Due dates for commercial and residential property taxes are the same; October 1 for the first half of this year and March 1 of the following year for the second half. Delinquent dates are also the same.  To pay them on-line, here is the link:

Maricopa County makes the process so simple.  You can sign up for e-notification as well as paying on line. 

      WARNING:   If you’ve recently bought a home your taxes may/or may not have been pre-paid depending on when you closed.  Do not be lulled into complacency that you don’t owe anything by October 1st.  Go to the website and find your property – it will tell you what you owe.

     We just paid ours on-line while reviewing the process.  Your property is identified by an APN NUMBER [Assessor Parcel Number] which can be found on your property purchase paperwork OR you can click on GET APN which will take you to the County Assessors Office.  then you can return to the MARICOPA COUNTY TREASURER'S website to complete the payment  

  • Click on PAY your taxes
  • Add your APN number
  • Fill the information in and verify the address etc.
  • Add your credit card number
  • Verify again and SUBMIT. 

You’ll immediately have a receipt of payment in hand.  We always put it on our annual calendar to remind us that they’re due October 1st and March 1st.    There you go – all done!

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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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Jean's August 2020 Newsletter

Posted On: August 1st, 2020 6:05PM

The Batson Team
Jean Batson

Al Batson
Quick quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

Who really invented champagne? Hint: it's probably not who you think!

Reply to this email
Click here to see a web copy of this newsletter
Ask the Agent
What Is a Loss History Report?

When you prepare to buy a home, the seller is required to provide a five-year history, if any, of any insurance claims for losses have been filed against that home. Fortunately, the insurance industry has a system for documenting the history of losses associated with residential property. Claims become part of "loss history reports" that typically go to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.), a national database that assists home insurers in underwriting insurance policies. If you're the seller, you will need to order that from your insurance agent; then provide it to your Realtor. Even if you've never had a claim, it has to be provided to the Buyer. We then, provide it to the Buyer. Of course, anything shown should also be documented on your property disclosures.

C.L.U.E. reports document the types and amounts of losses and the status of any claims covering the past five years.

We are here to cover every angle that will help ensure your home-buying success. The loss history report is one of the most important tools to make that happen.
Kitchen Tips
  • How to Clean Your Cookie Sheets:  Sprinkle baking soda all over the pan, then hydrogen peroxide, and then add more baking soda.  Leave it to do its magic for 2 hours.


  • If you’re making something that splatters, instead of using a large fry pan, why not use a deep full-sized pot - it catches the splatter. That avoids messy clean-ups.
  • Making meatloaf or meat balls?  If you don't have bread crumbs, try using crushed Ritz crackers, cornflakes or onion-flavored potato chips.  To crush, measure the amount you want, place in Ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin or pound with a meat tenderizer.
  • Buying fresh corn-on-the-cob?  To tell if it is fresh, prick the top kernels with your fingernail.  If the juice looks milky, it will be sweet and fresh.
  • Buying an Avocado? If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it's ripe and ready-to-eat. Ripe, ready to eat avocados may have a darker color but color can vary so it is best to go by feel as well as color. It will feel lightly soft but it will not "mushy" to the touch. Ripe fruit is perfect for that day.
  • How to cut your avocado into chunks?  Cut in half, remove pit, slice and remove with a spoon. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Life's Purpose


I heard this on a radio show the other day when a person was saying she had no purpose in life. The moderator asked if she’d like to hear the definition; to which she replied, "yes."

           "The definition of having purpose in life

                 is to live your life to benefit others."

That is so nicely said.  Always, but especially now, give someone a smile - get in touch with a family member, friend or neighbor just to see how they're doing. Don't forget those living alone. And Seniors who might need a hand. 

(Irony: I just wrote the above about staying in touch when our phone rang. It was our 106 year old friend in Florida, Captain Robbie Roberts.  He was checking up on US...via FACETIME.  He always amazes us.  He said that due to COVID19, his 106th birthday party was cancelled - so he'll have to wait until next April when he turns 107 for a proper celebration!  That is the epitomy of positive thinking. 

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What's Different in Showing Property Today?

            During COVID19, all real estate related businesses are considered "essential".  People still need to move.  That includes Realtors, Escrow/Title companies, Home Inspections, Moving Companies etc. Right now, inventory is low as are interest rates (as low as under 3% for qualified buyers). We are regulated by the NAR (National Association of Realtors)as far as guidelines to adhere to. 

            Many processes remain the same, Buyers often look on social media websites when searching for a home.  Buyers do a lot of looking and eliminating properties online before they’re ready to narrow it down to a few to actually visit in person with their Realtor.

            When viewing a property with the Realtor, here are a few basics – nothing complicated, of course, and mandated in most states anyway when in the public.

  1. Nobody should enter a home or meet with anyone if they’re sick,have a temperature,  tested positive or have been exposed to COVID19.
  2. Everyone is required to wear a mask and gloves upon entering a property. No exceptions
  3. It is easier if children do not come along because it can be difficult to keep some of them from touching surfaces/items in the home.  If they do come, one parent at a time can view the home.
  4. The Realtor will drive separately, meeting the Buyers at the home. Once the home is accessed by the Realtor, they will have you come inside.
  5. The Realtor will open any closets or cabinets for you – then wipe them down with a sanitizer.

     These are very easy protocols to adhere to for everyone’s safety.  Most procedures remain the same as far as making offers and escrow procedures. 
     Sellers appreciate these precautions and thank you for your cooperation – for safety purposes.

                                    Together, we can do this and stay safe.  

And as a side note, we're often asked about the market . That is never just one right answer.- it depends on price, condition and location.  The market is quite brisk.  Homes under $400,000 sell in a day or two as a rule. Often with multiple offers. Inventory is low and demand is high at that price point.

As asking prices increase, the demographics of affordability decrease so sales generally will take longer. An extraordinary home, well-priced in the $400,000-$600,000 range will sell but will likely take longer than the lower priced areas.

Just one more thing about properties, especially older ones.  Other than being up-dated (flooring, kitchen and baths), a buyer's first questions will be about the age and condition of the roof and the HVAC system.  If either are at end-of-life, it could be an issue so - price accordingly (and say so!).

Aviano of Desert Ridge Single-Story

Desert Ridge Aviano – new listing.   MLS# 6105742

            If you or anyone you know is looking for a lovely home in the Desert Ridge area (Aviano of Desert Ridge), check out this link.  It is a one-story, two car garage, 3 bedroom, 2 full bath home with high-end finishes, a fabulous floor plan (2341 square feet) with a Great Room, open concept. This one is IT!!  Priced at $589,900.  If you’re not familiar with Aviano, for $183.00 month HOA FEE (plus $37.00/month Desert Ridge Community Association) you get everything you could dream of….Heated pool and spa, Tennis & Basketball courts, Playground, Parks, Bike & Walking Trails, BBQ’s, Fitness center AND activities and clubs for all ages. All within walking distance of this beautiful home.  Aviano is located close to Desert Ridge Marketplace, High Street, Mayo Clinic and an abundance of shops, restaurants and medical facilities.  Even COSTCO is within 10 minutes!  Just a few minutes to Hwy. 101 and 51 so easy access to almost anywhere. This home is perfect for a newborn to 100 years of age.Take a look at this link:  




Call us for more information:  602-680-2791 or email us.

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We got a call this morning; sounded like a very sophisticated man.  The recording said "Our records show you have purchased a service agreement on your computer.  We are going out of business so would like to send you a REFUND. We'll need some information to process it."  Then you’re instructed to provide them information to get YOUR REFUND. All of your personal information.
THERE IS NO REFUND!  IT SOUNDS SO REAL. If ever a refund was due you, it would never be handled by a phone call.  DON’T FALL FOR IT.

Thank you.
Ole Salad (sort of)
     We were looking for a salad to go with Ole Chicken recently - something different.  We found one online but of course, we tinkered with it.  It really turned out well - we used it as a side-salad but you could make it as an entree salad by just adding some grilled or roasted chicken....or Chorizo...or - whatever you like!

Dressing:  (make ahead so the flavors can blend)


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice from a couple of limes (1/3rd cup)

½ tsp Tabasco sauce

½ tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper



1 large head of Romaine Lettuce, rinsed, chopped and dried

1 cup Cherry tomatoes/halved

1 avocado, diced (see KITCHEN TIPS ABOVE)

½ small onion thinly sliced

½ cup canned corn

½ cup Feta Cheese

Cilantro to taste

Optional – diced Cucumber, Snap peas or anything you’d like to add


Assemble when you’re ready to serve.

Corn bread is a delicious addition to the meal.

A lovely thought
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Every Little Bit Helps: Stimulating the Economy
In times of great hardship, it's easy to forget that all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of a single candle. There are still effective and everyday actions that you can take to support friends, family members, and local businesses as we collectively navigate the choppy waters of recession and recovery. Take note of these positive tips from financial experts and entrepreneurs to stimulate the economy; every little bit helps!

Buy small. According to the US Small Business Administration, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the US, making up a staggering 99.9% of all businesses in the country. Avoid big companies and take the extra time to check in with local vendors. They are very likely to have online or pickup options.

Order takeout. Don't feel guilty about enjoying your favorite weekly treat. Your patronage of local eateries helps keep the restaurant industry thriving!

Pay your taxes. While not the most pleasant of undertakings, here's a reminder that the simple act of paying your taxes is a significant part of a healthy economy.

Keep your rent or mortgage current.  Don't misunderstand that you can postpone paying as long as you can - some people think RENT is forgiven. It is not. You've heard that during shelter-in-place, landlords can't put you out on the street. If you've still got your job, its business as usual. Landlords have to keep current on their mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities. If they don't get rent,  they may not be able to keep that roof over your head.

Foster education. If you are able to do so, donate to educational organizations and charities. Financial strategist Michelle Loretta believes one of the best ways you can help individuals increase their earning power and ability to spend is by investing in their education. You can directly contribute to educational scholarship funds and grants.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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Jean's July 2020 Newsletter

Posted On: July 2nd, 2020 6:28PM

You are receiving this email because you are a client or you have agreed to receive messages from us. Click here to unsubscribe.
The Batson Team
Jean Batson

Al Batson
4th of July

            This year will be unlike any other in our lives with most firework displays, and events cancelled BUT even though we can’t celebrate in the traditional way, we can honor the day.  Here are a few facts that you may or may not know about Declaration Day.  Trivia anyone?

  • America declared their independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 HOWEVER, the official vote took place two days before even though the "Declaration" was published in the newspapers on July 4th.
  • Only two men actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th; the remaining 54 delegates signed over the course of the month.  The first signers were Charles Thompson and the infamous, John Hancock.
  • There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence  (no – not a treasure map in invisible ink) It says "Original Declaration of Independence dates 4th July 1776" Nobody knows who wrote it but it is believed it was added as a label during the Revolutionary War when parchment was often rolled up for transport.
  • The average age of the signers was 45; of the 56 signers the youngest signers, Thomas Lynch Jr. and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, were only 26. However, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest signer at 70 years old.
  • It was written on a "laptop."  Okay – not what you’re thinking, obviously. Thomas Jefferson drafted it on a writing desk that fit over his lap.  At the time it was called a "laptop."  See, what goes around…comes around.
  • Americans spend over $1 Billion on fireworks each year; about 10% of which are set off professionally. Thus, the estimated nearly 13,000 firework-related emergency room visits across the country.
  • Who designed the 50-star flag?  In 1958 a history teacher in Ohio assigned his students the task of designing a flag to incorporate two additional stars to include Hawaii and Alaska.  Robert G. (Bob) Heft, 16 designed a flag that earned him a B- in class. Unhappy with his grade, he challenged his teacher to give him an "A" if his design was selected.  He submitted it to President Dwight D. Eisenhower [along with hundreds of others].  He used $2.87 worth of blue cloth and iron-on materials and his mother’s Singer sewing machine. Of all the submissions, his was the only one with a stitched sample. In 1960, his design became the official US Flag – the one we proudly display and salute as citizens of this great country.  Oh, he got his "A." Want to read more:
What is Alternative Real Estate? 

We are often asked about alternative companies for selling your property.  Our intention is not to criticize any company or method; just present some thoughts for your consideration.  Obviously, you can decide what is best for your circumstance.  Let’s start from the Buyer’s point-of-view only

  •  Since the seller normally pays the BUYERS'S Realtor’s commission, it costs the Buyer nothing to get the expertise of their Realtor. So why would buyers go anywhere else because their own Realtor will closely monitor comparable market analysis, showings, arrange for home inspections, put you in touch with a viable mortgage lender if you don’t have one, handle the request to the seller for repairs by negotiating,  provide data to the appraiser, follow your escrow through for you; making sure you’re protected in every way. Realtors are there for you when you need them.
  • Remember the difference between an "Agent" and a "Realtor" from a recent newsletter?  An agent is a licensed real estate person who can be an employee of a broker (not earning a commission necessarily) but is not a member of any Board of Realtors.  A "Realtor" is a licensed agent whose license is held by a broker as an independent contractor (we pay all of our own costs for materials, signs, flyers, membership dues, lock boxes etc.) SO TO CALL YOURSELF A "REALTOR, YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF A LOCAL BOARD OF REALTORS.  A broker oversees everything we do to be sure we’re handling everything properly.
  • On average commissions are 6% divided 3% to the listing agent + Broker and 3% to the Buyer's agent and Broker)  for a total of 6%.  As with any occupation, most are hard-working, ethical and reliable with a goal of doing a good job for you; but some are not. A successful closing for the client is our goal.  This is a service industry. In our case, we offer to reduce the commission if we happen to obtain both the buyer and the seller.

There are many companies who say they will sell your home in a certain amount of time for the

asking price or much more saving the seller thousands of dollars.  We don’t know all of the answers as to how such claims can be made but here are observations based on experience and research. 

  • Some claim the" seller never pays 6% in commission."  They may quote a flat feel (such as $1,500).  Does that fee cover everything the seller really ends up paying? That might eliminate Realtors from presenting offers unless the seller agrees to pay them. How does such a company pay for staff/rent etc. at that rate on such a small flat fee?  Some do say in the fine print that it "does not include buyer’s agent fee."  Who is "assisting" you?  How much personal help do you get?  Are they available all the time or during "business hours."  Do you get assistance in showing how to declutter and stage for sale?
  • If a buyer sees a listing online that is not in the multiple listing service (but they have a Realtor they want to handle the sale), doesn’t the seller end up paying for the buyer’s agent/Realtor if they want that offer anyway? 
  • Some discount companies do not place their listings on the multiple listing service; counting on the fact than many people shop for a home on the internet…which they absolutely do. However, a big percent of those people who find a property of interest online will send it to their Realtor to check out and/or to show or write a contract. Algorithms certainly can determine what type of buyer will search for your property but does that bring them to your listing?  If so, how?
  • If your home is not on the multiple listing service, you don’t have the protection of the SUPRA lockbox (which registers every Realtor accessing the property).  And/or do you want strangers coming to your home? You must be a member of the Board of Realtors to purchase the SUPRA LOCKBOX.
  • Some promise you’ll have a buyer in 3-days at thousands of dollars above traditional sales.  That makes us wonder (unless they’re buying the property to resell) how could you know that?  In 3-days?  At thousands above listing?  
  • There are a couple of well-known companies who will purchase your home for a closing within a couple of weeks.  If you absolutely had to leave the property and/or needed to get out from under the obligation of ownership immediately, this could be a viable option.  Or perhaps you have found a house you absolutely want to move forward with (without contingencies), this could be viable for that circumstance as well. The company makes an offer sight unseen (in our experience lower than the seller would normally take) but…the sale is completed with cash in-hand to the seller so that can be worth it to the seller.  If repairs are necessary, and usually are, the seller can do them or leave them for the company to handle but the costs will be deducted from the proceeds.  They charge the seller’s (usually between 6-12%) to handle the transaction. Those companies then turn around and put those homes back on the market for sale after prepping it (repairs/upgrades if needed). These companies,of course, have to cover their costs to market your property once you'd been paid. Most have restrictions on properties they WON’T purchase, such as location, lot-sizes over ½ acre, distressed/REO, tenant-occupied, age of home, no leased-solar and maximum price (some around $500,000). There are two good companies we trust doing this if this meets your criteria.  You may not save money but the relief of having your home sold within a couple of weeks could be worth a lot if time is of the essence.

If you have any questions on this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We’ll do our best to clarify.  Basically what we're advising is ASK ALL THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, READ ALL OF THE FINE PRINT before making a decision.


The National Board of Realtors, Arizona Board of Realtors and our local boards (we belong to two) have come together with best practices for Realtors during COVID19.  Properties are selling!  There’s a shortage of listings currently.  Obviously, location and price range has a great deal to do with the market.

We’re ready to help you.  Vacation plans for the year have been cancelled so we’ll be right here.
Want to Sell Your Home Fast? Get Our Free TIPS

Preparing your home for sale can make the difference between getting the price you want - or ending up disappointed.

Discover some easy things you can do by requesting our free TIPS, We wrote one both
for Buyers and Sellers

Just call or email us to send it right out to you.

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A friend's analysis regarding masks

A friend and client from out-of-state said this so beautifully about the mask issue [which are 
uncomfortable but…]

"Whether it's a restaurant, Home Depot, or the grocery store, we think we owe it to the people who are going to work there every day, to do our part to protect them (and us) from unwanted germs.  I appreciate the clerk at the supermarket who goes to work instead of collecting unemployment and I am happy to do my part to make sure all are safe.  We hate that this courtesy has been turned into a political statement - we just want to be cautious!"

Keep in touch with the CDC:

Something to think about!

What’s the secret to a happy relationship? Based on life experience - ours!

So simple – the basic GOLDEN RULE…treat your mate (partner, friend, relative, client, co-workers) as you’d like to be treated.  Works like a charm.   And laugh. 

Life is much easier when you can enjoy each other and treat each other with respect and kindness and have fun at the same time.

What do these words have in common?


See below for the answer but first, give it some thought.

By the way - if you have any real estate needs or questions, we hope you'll contact us:

Al@AlandJean     or
602-680-2791                                     602-228-0756

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Thanks to the over 90% of GOOD cops who wear it.  Something to think about when you need help or someone to solve a crime. This was sent to us as a quick point written by a Policeman
entitled THE BADGE:!AoYWSfxc3a0o8gKHZOTEUWFgFCBQ?e=ftjaE7

The Answer as to What Those Words have in Common!!!
If you take the first letter of each word and put it on the spells the same thing backwards!  (Another trivia question)
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6 Hygge Decor Tips to Bring More Calm to Your Home
When it comes to home comforts, the Danish have it down! Using the principles of hygge, the concept of valuing warmth, coziness, and togetherness, Danes infuse their decor with the good feeling that arises from an aesthetically pleasing and well-curated environment. Take a leaf out of their book and use these decor tips to get the Hygge flowing at home.

1) Avoid loud color schemes. Instead, create a calm space with a monochrome or delicately balanced palette: think earth tones and soft hues. A neutral color palette takes the focus away from the walls and allows the room and its comfy contents to do the talking.

2) Balance your harmonious colors with texture. A mixture of materials and patterns adds character to the minimalism whilst adhering to the color palette. Use warm, natural textiles like wood, leather, and wool.

3) To be able to truly embrace the Hygge lifestyle and make space for coziness, a mess-free canvas is crucial. Try decluttering your living area and investing in smart storage solutions like cord hubs, ottoman storage boxes, and hidden shelves behind headboards.

4) Once you've cleared your space, create comfort by decorating with fluffy pillows, layers of blankets, and candles. Perhaps there's a nook or a window bench you can transform into a space for relaxing with a cup of coffee or tea and a good book.

5) Candles are to Hygge as water is to swimming. Transform ordinary evenings into candle-lit memories with the soft glow of candles. It's a kinder form of light perfect for relaxing and spending quality time with loved ones. Today, it is safer to use the flameless candles; safer and cleaner but with the same effect. 

6) Explore the simple pleasures of daily rituals in your surroundings, and set aside time for self-care and relaxation every day to instill Hygge within.  Relax....
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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Jean's June 2020 Newsletter

Posted On: June 1st, 2020 5:54PM

The Batson Team
We hope you like our new format.
If you wish to print, go beneath the QUICK QUIZ and open it as a WEB COPY.
Cntl P/Print
Jean Batson

Al Batson
Quick quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

On what date did Benjamin Franklin conduct his famous kite experiment?

Reply to this email
Click here to see a web copy of this newsletter
June - Summer is here!

June 14th – Flag Day - Flag Day is a non-federal holiday in the United States that honors the history and meaning of the American Flag.  Fly it proudly.

June 21st – Father’s Day - celebrated on the third Sunday of June since 1910 to honor our Fathers.We thank our Dads – Russell Batson and Stu MacLeod for providing us with love and learning growing up.  We miss them both terribly;  they’re in our hearts forever.

NOTE: If you live in the area of Desert Ridge - there will be a SHREDDING EVENT in front of Pioneer Title, 5355 E. HIgh Street, Phoenix. $5/box from 8:00-11:00 a.m. on June 24th. Normally there are shredding events in the Spring but due to COVID19, they aren't being held. Thanks to Angie Sanich/Pioneer Title for putting this one together for everyone who has cleaned out old files and needs to safely dispose of personal documents.

2020 has been one for the record books – and it is only June. It’s as if we’ve all lost three months with no clear understanding as to what will happen with this dreadful disease. We’ve been out walking regularly throughout this time, catching up on projects at home – cooking a lot…just like everyone else.

We’re grateful to see that so many businesses can open up, even with social distancing restrictions.  This COVID19 situation has certainly hit our economy, incomes and small businesses.

Hopefully, with safety measures, life will be back to normal soon. Let's support our local businesses whenever we can...and each other.

Have a fantastic month.

                                      Al and Jean

From the AZ Commissioner of Real Estate

:Judy Lowe, AZ Commissioner of Real Estate  Q & A

Q:         How many Licensed real estate agents are in Arizona?

             A:         89,000 licensed BUT only 57,000 licensees are Active

Q:         Are all licensed real estate agents Realtors?

            A:         No, in order to be designated as a Realtor, you must be an active, dues-paying                                  member of a local Board of Realtors; your license hung with a Broker.

Q:         During the pandemic, it said on the news that if tenants could not pay rent due to  loss of  job, they                 cannot be evicted due to mandatory requirements to shelter-in
             place. Will they have to pay back rent?

             A:         Absolutely. This was a measure to assist tenants who lost jobs during the height of the                       pandemic when sheltering-in-place was mandatory.  Landlords need their rent to pay the mortgage,               property taxes, maintenance, management fees, and in some cases, utilities. This was not     

            designed to give people free rent…just temporary relief. (Many landlords with valued tenants will                    help defer payments during the crisis)


Get Our Free Working From Home Survival Guide

As we continue to social isolate, working from home (WFH) life can start to feel overwhelming. I’ve put together a helpful guide to help you bust some bad habits and help you become your most productive self.

Click below to download your copy of my "Working from Home Survival Guide."

Download My Guide
Real Estate Robocalls?  Legal or Not?

We’ve been asked many times about calls you receive at home (we get them too) wherein the caller tells you they have a buyer for your home Is this legal?   And do they have a buyer?

We had a Webinar with Judy Lowe, Arizona Real Estate Commissioner recently. The subject came up about the many unsolicited calls homeowners are getting and the difference between legal and illegal.

  • It is legal for a licensed real estate agent to "cold call" from a phone list to offer their services. If interested, you can ask what company and jot down who they are but most people prefer to select a Realtor from someone they know or is recommended.
  • It is not legal for a non-licensee to call a homeowner unsolicited saying they have a buyer for your home. Usually that will either be a "flipper" or a scam. You can report these to the FTC.
  • The Department of Real Estate does not have the capability to oversee these calls.  It is an FTC issue.

     The usual line is, "Mrs. Jones, I have a buyer for your home," Odds are they don’t know anything about your home. They’re calling from a phone list. When we get those calls, we ask to be removed from their list and/or just hang up

     It is definitely a Robocall if it is a prerecorded call saying they have a buyer or are interested in buying your home– and ask "if you’re interested, please push "1" to be connected to an "agent."  Hang up!  Don’t push anything.

     It could be a legitimate Realtor looking for new listings asking if you’re thinking of putting your home on the market.  It is not ethical to call saying they have a buyer for your particular home if they don’t. Obviously, there could be a situation wherein the Realtor knows the neighborhood and is looking for a particular floor plan. .With the right questions, you can determine that quickly. [Have them describe the floor plan their buyer is interested in – if it isn’t a match, you know they’re not being truthful.]. 

     Personally, we would never do cold-calling for business because we hate to be bothered at home with unsolicited "offers."  Why would we intrude on other people’s private time?  And we work mostly from referrals.

  • Per the FTC:  "A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless the company has your written permission to call you." [Charities and political organizations are allowed without permission]. Also legal are flight change information, school notifications, and appointment reminders. We advise NEVER DO BUSINESS FROM A PHONE CALL OR EMAIL THAT IS UNSOLICITED.You have no idea who you're speaking with.
  • FTC: "If someone is already breaking the law by robocalling you without permission, there’s a good chance it’s a scam." (or a company you would not want to do business with.) 


            The Registry is designed to stop sales calls from legitimate companies to block unwanted telemarketing calls. They know they're not supposed to call if your name is on the Registry. Sadly those scam- telemarketers ignore it.  The FTC does not have the ability to block calls.

For more information on ROBOCALLS, GO TO: :  

What's Happening in the AZ Market?

Everywhere you turn you’ll hear prognostications of the market.  There is rarely a common thread amongst those reports. According to a recent webinar with our local Board of Realtors – There is a current lack of inventory with a tremendous pent-up demand due to our recent shelter-at-home situation.  While numbers on sales will show a dip during this period, the expectation is that by the 3rd quarter, full recovery could very well be in place.  Factor in that there could be major changes in the work force heading to offices vs. working from home.  That could mean more people searching for larger homes where they can have an enclosed office at home (an extra bedroom?  Den?).  Our crystal ball is in the shop, but this made sense to us.

With some changes, we're open for business - with the shortage in listings, now is the time to move forward if you've been waiting.

Please contact us if you'd like a property or neighborhood report on current comps.

Reply to this email
Pasta-in-One Dish (It's delicious and easy)
Our good friend, Nancy, prepared this dish for several of us some time ago.
It's an amazing 
one-dish meal with easy preparation  - but she tweaked
this original recipe from Martha Stewart by topping it with butter/garlic shrimp for a whole new and delicious taste.

It was served with corn on the cob and salad.

The quick and easy part is the you put all of the ingredients in one large sauté pan with a lid and cook it in about 11 minutes. 


  • 1 pound of pasta. (Linguini or spaghetti).
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes halved, or 3 tomatoes chopped (discard seeds)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 5 cups water
  • Hand full of fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried)

Place all dry ingredients in a large sauté pan. When ready to cook, add water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook 11 minutes.


Nancy served it with shrimp but chicken or Italian sausage would work as well:

  • Sauté 2 lbs. of peeled and deveined shrimp* (or alternative) in butter and garlic. 

Place finished pasta on a large platter, top with shrimp (or alternative) and butter.


Top with grated cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan. Enjoy!

Looking for a new or different home?
Before you begin your hunt for a new home, even if it's online, we suggest that you do some important information gathering ahead of time so that the fruits of your labor will be more immediate and satisfying.

The place that you will call "home" will be the result of understanding what your needs are now and into the future. Condo or loft living may be your chosen lifestyle if you don't want to deal with much maintenance and have no outdoor living requirements. There will be monthly homeowners insurance to have the community do your maintenance.  It may be no more than what you're spending on landscaping, painting, pool care costs already.

If a single family home is your cup of tea, how many square feet do you need, Other criteria will go on your list. Pool/no pool/either way - if this will be a long-term home - will you want the cost and maintenance of a pool as you age?  How many car garage do you need (not for junk storage but for vehicles etc)?  Do you need a home office? Is a great room concept more viable than a formal living and dining room?

"What location is best?" Probably the most important part of your information gathering will be how you answer this question. The value of your new home will be influenced by its location, so you will need to analyze your needs regarding how and where you work and play.

The type and locale of a home will determine your overall cost of ownership. Will it be city life, country living, or nesting in the suburbs? Additionally, you will want to include the cost of home maintenance and commuting costs as part of your cost of living fact-finding.

Once you decide whether you are a candidate for a remodeling project or if a newer home better suits your way of life and patience, you will need to get prequalified for a loan that is tailored for the type and location of the home that works for you. We have contacts to help.

Please remember that we are here to make your information gathering easier so that the end result is a home that is a perfect fit for you and your family.
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Have a fantastic month - be kind to each other.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.

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Jean's May 2020 Newsletter

Posted On: April 30th, 2020 10:51PM


    • May 5th – National Teacher’s Day
    • May 6th National Nurses Day

      May 10th – MOTHER’S DAY  In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Mother's Day. He asked Americans on that day to give a public "thank you" to their mothers and all mothers.

      May 25th – MEMORIAL DAY. The first national celebration of Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) took place May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery.

    None of knows what May, June or July will look like – and this is certainly a year none of us will forget. Going from a fantastic economy only weeks ago to THIS! From the lowest jobless rate to THIS! These are the times our parents warned us to prepare for…and keep our attitude on track. This is a test none of us expected.

    After this much confinement, our closets, pantries, cabinets, and drawers should be sparkling clean and organized.  Everyone is handling this the best way they can.  Predictions indicate this disease will come in waves which could mean longer sequestering.

    We received an email that is paraphrased below called "WE’RE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT."  It shows an overall look that makes us look outside of our own personal situation. This is the time to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to offer a word of cheer or a helping hand. If you know an elderly person who might need groceries, offer to pick up items for them.

    We want to take a moment to thank the medical professionals and first-responders who are putting their lives on the line. They do it every day in their chosen profession, but now it is a whole new ballgame.

    We are strong - pulling together, we can and will do what it takes to get through this difficult itme – to help each other in any way we can. Kindness abounds – people helping people.

    One day at a time…that’s how we must face it. As Abe Lincoln said, "This too shall pass."

    Be safe and healthy,

    Al and Jean

      The Profession of Fraud:  

    They go to their office like any other worker – they make calls and earn commissions based on their success. The only difference is the business is fraud. They pretend to be government officials, lottery officials or other identities. But, they’re not!  They’re highly trained to be charming and to convince the person they’re calling to provide personal information with the intent to defraud. They’re told that Americans are wealthy so, they won’t even miss the money. Of course, that isn’t true. It’s big business; the hotbeds of this "business" are India, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Romania/Eastern Europe, Nigeria and Florida (Miami and Tampa).  Florida often focuses on Medicare fraud. The goal is to convince older people that they need genetic tests for cancer. Today it is probably testing for COVID19. Medicare would pay the lab who, in turn, pays the scammer. As a bonus, the scammer now has Medicare numbers which can be sold on the Black Market.

    India specializes in "tech support" scams. We’ve all gotten those calls where they say they’ve been notified that your computer has a virus, but they can repair it for you remotely.  Don’t fall for it.  They have no idea what is going on with your computer. After getting that call dozens of times, I played along. I asked which of our computers they were referring to…they hung up on me. Gotcha!!!

    Nigeria is home to "love scams."  They follow dating sites and search for the most vulnerable. They even create fake profiles to make their victim think they’re speaking to the person in the photos. Once the victim is hooked (think they’re in love), that’s when the scammer asks for money to help their sick mother or plane fare to come visit.  Of course, there is no sick mother, and nobody will be needing a plane ticket. They break hearts and bank accounts.

    In Peru, there are alleged scammers claiming to be from the IRS who target Spanish speaking people in the USA threatening deportation unless they can pay a fee.

    If you didn't buy a lottery ticket in Europe, you didn't win anything so don't be talked into paying a "Processing fee" or give them your bank's routing information.  It's a scam.

    We all want to support our Police and Fire Department but please, do not respond to calls asking for donations. It could be anyone from anywhere calling. Support your local first responders but through local charities such as THE 100 CLUB OF ARIZONA  ( that assists families of the fallen (police and firefighters). 

    Unfortunately, there are many so-called charities that are scams and/or a very high percentage of donated funds of actual charities go to "administration" not to service the purported charity. Check out this link:

    The US Senate Special Committee on Aging reported that last year, older Americans alone lost roughly $3 Billion to scammers. The overall number must be even more staggering. Whatever your age, don’t be a victim.  If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. If these scams weren’t so successful, they would stop. When you get a call, don't engage; just HANG UP. 




     How has COVID19 affected Real Estate?

    This pandemic is certainly nothing anyone saw coming until it was upon us. It’s shut the world down, changed the economy and the lives of every one of us.  Real estate procedures will be done in new ways to ensure the safety of all participants in each transaction. There are multiple schools of thought – and rumors about the housing market running amok. Here are a few thoughts based on numerous real estate webinars we’ve attended recently.  

    • Yes indeed, we’re open for business BUT some of the procedures have changed dramatically. Homes are still being bought/sold and leased. Just slower now. Please ask us—we’re happy to explain it in detail.
    •  What is the Cromford Report?  It is an analytical report for Realtors based on public and ARMLS (Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service) sales statistics. This is where some of the information we’re providing is from – not our personal opinion.
    • A point to bring up – pay attention only to local  housing statistics or projections on the news because the market varies depending on where you live. If you live in Phoenix (or wherever), home sales and pricing in New York City or Washington has little impact on your situation
    • Cromford says that statistics today as to sales are about the same as usual…but those numbers will change when stats for April or May show up because it takes time to assemble the data and analyze it. So anticipate the number of sales will drop. It is unrealistic to think they won’t drop when the world is shut down temporarily.
    • According to Cromford, we are not expecting a "crash" by any means; just less sales temporarily due to the weeks with minimal activity due to COVID19. Due to self-quarantining, April has not been business-as-usual, so it will impact statistics we hear in coming months. May is yet to be determined. Expect that – don’t panic.
    • Comparisons to other major market disasters (like 2008/the Subprime Mortgage) aren’t possible because we’ve simply never had a situation quite like this so it can’t be accurately compared.
    • We noticed that some escrows opened just before COVID19, have fallen out of escrow because the buyer may no longer qualify if their job is in jeopardy or they’ve been laid off etc. There are so many variables, of course. Most escrows that started pre-COVID19 closed normally. 
    • There is a potential that escrows could, in some cases, take a few days longer to give lenders the opportunity 3-days prior to closing to re-verify employment.

    Lending – an integral part of the real estate process

    • Regulations are tightening. - self-employed/independent contractors etc. may have less options. Nobody knows for sure what will happen with interest rates because things are changing daily.  Some lenders may require a 20% down, when weeks ago 10% was satisfactory.
    • It could be a great time to refinance. We can offer you the names of a few trusted mortgage lenders you can ask.
    • FICO score requirements will likely be higher.
    • Forbearance? You may hear this word – it is a temporary postponement of mortgage payments for emergency use ONLY if you absolutely can’t pay your mortgage during the COVID19 crisis. This does NOT EXCUSE the payments due so if you’re having issues, talk to your mortgage lender. Some are allowing those payments to be tacked on to the end. Let them know you need help; negotiate.
    • Prices, at this point, are maintaining thus far; and are expected to stay that way. Of course, there are always situations that can skew the values. We can’t predict the next few months, of course.  Homes under $350,000 generally sell quickly and they’ll still sell – it may take longer simply because people are in self-quarantine. The higher priced properties will always take longer; especially when they’re priced over $1 Million. There is simply a smaller demographic who can afford that price range.



    We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be or vice-versa.

    For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, or reconnection. For others, this is a desperate financial & family or mental health crisis. Some are safe in their homes while others must go into the front line and face this virus head-on.

    For some who live alone, they’re facing endless loneliness.  Others may be trapped with an abusive partner or parent.

    Some parents are trying to work AND home-school – other people are missing some of the important events in life (Prom, graduation, weddings, milestone birthdays or funerals)

    Some choose to wear masks in public; others do not. Some think it was planned; others don’t.

    Some have been ill, lost loved ones or have survived COVID19. Some had it and didn’t know it. Some are carrying the virus unwittingly while others think this is no big deal so don’t take precautions.

    So friends, we are not all in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs might be completely different. Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm


    This month's recommended business from personal experience:



    It was time for us to update our Trust/Wills, Power of Attorney (Durable General and Health) to be sure we were in compliance with Arizona law.  Andrea Claus of BIVENS & ASSOCIATES came highly recommended.  They specialize in Estate Planning-Elder Law and Special Needs.  We’d heard Andrea speak at Pioneer Title and were very impressed with her handle on how real estate relates to estate planning.  We worked together during COVID19 via phone conferences and when it came time to sign/notarize our new documents, two witnesses and the office Notary came to our car (we were all masked and gloved with our own pens) to sign on clipboards.  It was flawless.  We learned more about options than we’d ever heard before.  She’s amazing!  As is her staff.  Special thanks also to Jackie Chaney. 

    BIVENS & ASSOCIATES AT 480-922-1010 or contact  Website:






    If you haven't done it yet, it's time to call your heating and air-conditioning company to have them check your system.  You don't want an emergency in the summer.
    If you need a suggestion, we use
    AccuTemp. We pay an annual fee for two check-ups.  602-957-3745

    The Batson Team HomeSmart
    Jean Batson
    Home Smart

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    Spanish Flu 1918-1920

    100 years ago – the world was hit with the Spanish Flu, the most severe pandemic in recent history, at the time. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919.  In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of SPANISH FLU deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.

    Today's situation and comparison of data

    Seasonal flu in 2018-2019, the CDC estimates 35.5 million Americans were ill and there were 34,200 deaths

    As of 4/28/2020, there have been 54,239 deaths in the United States and 205,398 globally thus far due to COVID19.

    To recap:

    • Last year's flu season brought 34,200 deaths all year.
    • As of 4/28/20, there have been 54,239 deaths thus far from COVID19.
    • That means that in the past 60 or so days, COVID19 has killed over 20,000 more people than last year's entire seasonal flu did.






    We thought you’d enjoy a very simple treat since we're all staying at home.  We titled these as PC COOKIES; if we’d led with Potato Chip Cookies, you might not have read further.  Recently our good friend, Sandy,  dropped some of these cookies off for us to try.  She’s a baker extraordinaire! They were fantastic.   Well, I have made them and LOVE them!  We hope you'll give them a try! They fit my criteria - SO SIMPLE & DELICIOUS!  Kids will enjoy making them as well. They won’t last long once you’ve had one. They should be against the law; they’re addictive!



      1 lb. softened butter
      1 cup sugar
      2 tsp. Vanilla
      3-1/2 cups unsifted  flour
      2 cups (4.5 oz.) regular potato chips
      Powdered sugar

    Cream together the butter and sugar. Slowly blend in the remaining ingredients.  Drop by the teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, press with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Shake cookies in a bag with powdered sugar.

    I/2 a batch is plenty for us to gorge on.


  This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.  

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