Allen Batson

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Jean's September 2018 Newsletter

Posted On: September 12th, 2018 6:58PM

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September 2018
Labor Day, the first Monday in September (9/3/2018), is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  Many families gather to celebrate the final days of summer, school starting and the welcoming of the Fall season.
Inspiration [as heard on a Today show interview recently]

Henry Winkler, "The Fonz," "I LIVE on tenacity and gratitude."  He said you must have tenacity to achieve your goals; and then you should be very grateful for the good that has come your way. We couldn't agree more.

Darlene Love: (back-up singer to many famous singers including Elvis) "I love to be happy."  She explained that when you look at life expecting to be happy while spreading that happiness, it helps you get through life’s bumps in the road – which we all have. Give a smile - you'll get one back!  We're also proponents of happiness and laughter.  In fact, we think one of the primary ingredients to a happy marriage/relationship is laughter.

Have a wonderful month – and if you have anyone you know who is buying or selling, we would very much appreciate a referral.  Please feel free to forward this newsletter to them by clicking on the left side (SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER).

Al and Jean

602-680-2791 (Al) or 602-228-0756 (Jean)

Trash it or Eat It?  Food spoilage questions

Food spoilage dates are confusing. In general, perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy get dates. But those dates aren’t always about spoilage. Some dates simply inform retailers when products are at their best for freshness, taste and texture.

The label types vary:

  • The "Sell by" date indicates how long a store should display a product on its shelves. But foods are still flavorful and safe to eat several days after this date if you store them properly.
  • The "Best if used by" date comes straight from manufacturers. The product will be freshest and have the best taste and texture if you eat it by this date. But this date does not refer to food safety.
  • The "Use by" date also comes from manufacturers. It’s the last date for peak quality. After this date, taste, texture and quality may go downhill, even if food safety does not.
  • The "Expiration" date is the only packaging date related to food safety. If this date has passed, throw the food out.

How long will it last?

Still confused or concerned? Use the following rules of thumb for foods in your fridge or pantry.

  • Milk is typically safe for two to three days after the "use by" date. Keep it in the back of the fridge, where temperatures are typically coldest.
  • Butter will keep for two to three weeks after purchase
  • Eggs are safe for three to five weeks after purchase. Keep them in the back of the fridge, where temperatures are typically coldest, rather than in the door.
  • Chicken, ground meat and ground poultry will last for one to two days after purchase.
  • Pre-cooked poultry should keep for three to four days.
  • Fish will last one to two days in the refrigerator after purchase.
  • Luncheon meat is safe for two to three weeks when it remains unopened. Use within three to four days after opening.
  • Dry pasta will last for one to two years after purchase.
  • Canned fruits and vegetables will last indefinitely. However, that rule goes out the window if they’re exposed to freezing temperatures or temperatures above 90°F. And be wary of damaged, dented or rusty packaging.

Also, remember that if you freeze something, it will last indefinitely, even if not at peak freshness, taste or texture.

Above all else, let common sense — and your senses —be your guide. If something smells rotten, curdles or turns a suspicious color, toss it in the trash.

By: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
 How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you're wondering what's happening to prices in your area, or you're thinking about selling your house, let us know.  If you're interested in finding out more about your neighborhood or one you might be interested in, we can easily set you up on a regular report based on the frequency you prefer.  Easy for us - accurate information for you. WIN/WIN
Just reply to this email with the area you're interested in tracking.

What to do with SCAM E-MAILS

 In the past month, we received two horrific scam emails so you have to be on your toes.  One was represented as being from Bank of America asking us for personal information so they could send us a receipt.  We don’t bank there. The other was from a foreign name and email offering us a great deal - at least for them if they got our information.

Anytime you receive an email about receipts or with a link about a purchase that doesn’t look or sound familiar or sounds questionable – check the email address carefully.  One letter off can mean a trap or a scam. Never open a link from someone you don't know.  A bank is never going to need to verify your information or ask for fees online. Here's what you should do: 

Forward unwanted or deceptive messages to:

  • the Federal Trade Commission at Be sure to include the complete spam email.
  • your email provider. At the top of the message, state that you're complaining about being spammed. Some email services have buttons that allow you to mark messages as junk mail or report them spam.
  • the sender's email provider, if you can tell who it is. Most web mail providers and ISPs want to cut off spammers who abuse their system. Again, make sure to include the entire spam email and say that you're complaining about spam.

Then block the sender.

Newcomers Club

A friend of ours remarried about 18 months ago and while they’ve each lived in the area a while, they thought it would be fun to meet new people together.  They became active in the NEWCOMERS CLUB of SCOTTSDALE.  She explained that members are from all over the area – Desert Ridge, Cave Creek, north Phoenix, Scottsdale and beyond..  All are welcome.  They have luncheons, social events and a plethora of activities to suit varied interests.  Here’s a link for more information:

Maricopa County is The Fastest Growing County in the Nation:

Click on this link from the Phoenix Area Association of Realtors (PAR):



Most people look to Realtors for recommendations relating to services for their homes – and we’re delighted to help.

All-Pro Carpet & Tile Cleaning – owned by Thomas Uhlenberg:  We met Thomas years ago at the SAAR (Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors) monthly broker caravan meetings.  He was then, and still is a sponsor.  Not only have we personally used their services, they have done magnificent work for our clients and friends.  We don’t run into smoke odors often these days but pet odors are not uncommon – they can handle that.  All-Pro does a great job!  In addition to carpet and tile grout cleaning, they also specialize in area rugs – and are the rare company that does Oriental Rugs.

Their prices are fair, they show up when they say they will and have made old carpet look fresh again.  They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and are approved by the BBB (Better Business Bureau).  And NO, of course we don’t get "kick-backs" when we recommend a service but we do get the satisfaction of knowing we’ve shared a valued service with you  - so tell Thomas that Al and Jean sent you and give them a try.

 We’re always interested in learning about valued services; we appreciate it so much when you send us names of people you’ve used – plumbers, electricians, handymen and so forth.  If you know of a wonderful service in the Phoenix area, please email the information to us at:    480-239-1759

Karen's Words to Live By:



"Live your life without regrets."


"When you make a mistake, admit it – fix it – move on."


"Always be honest, straight-forward, candid and kind."


"Never pay retail."


The Batson Team HomeSmart
Jean Batson
Home Smart
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Officinaphobia is the fear of what?

BROWNIES (with a hint of mint)

This genius idea came from one of my "Curves-Girls" who brought it to one of our weekly coffees.  So Lynne, hats off to you. 

Serves 9-12
  Box of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
  12 Andres Creme de Menthe thin mints

1)    Mix the brownie mix according to the directions (Lynne says to add an extra egg).

2)    Prepare pan (PAM); spread out half of the batter in the pan

3)    Unwrap (and try not to eat) about a dozen Andes thin mints – line them up on top leaving some space in between.

4)    Spread the remaining batter on top of the mints.

5)     Bake according to directions on the box.

It’s light and delightful with a hint of mint….and super easy.

 Oh go ahead - take this to your Labor Day a hero, bring something homemade - but easy!

Note: You can buy a 6-pack of the brownie mix at COSTCO.

Pyrex/Glass pans

Our friend, Mary, asked if we’d ever had an incident with Pyrex or any Corning products. We haven’t!  She said the older products that say MADE IN THE USA should be perfectly safe but apparently there are concerns about newer products made with a different formula off-shore.  Check this website to be sure you’re following the directions carefully.  Mary was about to pull a Taco Pie in a glass dish out of the oven when it exploded - fortunately inside the oven. How frightening – and what a close call. Seconds later she could have been embedded with hot glass and food. Be careful out there.

  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 2018 Newsletter

Posted On: August 5th, 2018 10:20PM

What is an iBuyer or iSeller?

In one word - "Internet."  But let us explain the process.

Today we hear so much about companies that will buy your home making a cash offer within 24-48 hours that will close in 60 days or less.  This can be helpful if you have a family emergency requiring the seller to leave the area - or if the seller has seen a new build or resale home where a "contingency offer" probably won't be considered.

There are several companies out there you’ve likely heard about – one did a presentation at our HomeSmart meeting to explain the details of their process.  And we, your Realtors can help. This is an overview of one Forpurposes of providing you information without naming a specific company, we shall refer to them as "QUICK SELL" or "QS" for short.

The focus on this quick sale venue is more about a fast closing without having to ready your home for showings; not lower costs to the seller. The seller still pays a fee to sell (averaging 6.5%) and is required to do home-repairs per the inspection but it guarantees you’ll be out within 60 days or less assuming there are no surprises during the Inspection period.  Here’s the basic process

  • QS purchases homes by making a competitive cash offer based on provided amenities and photographs – charging a fee of about 6.5%on average. (a little more than Realtor’s fees)
  • QS will then inspect the home; verify the value and present a repair list asking the seller to repair those things the end-buyer will likely ask for (when QS puts your former property back on the market for sale on the Multiple Listing).
  • The seller can perform all the repairs or provide a credit to QS to avoid the hassle of doing the repairs themselves.
  • Then you close escrow - you're free to move on.
  • After purchasing your property, QS will perform deferred maintenance and minor remodeling as needed before putting your home (which they now own) on the multiple listing service to resell it. This exposes the home to Realtors and the internet to hopefully find a buyer.  (So, we’re still out there selling those homes.)
  • The home is then available via a code box for people to see the home with or without their Realtor from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. QS uses security cameras to monitor the property.


  •  Single family homes, townhomes/condos
  • Priced between $100-$500,000
  • Built after 1960
  • Lots up to ½ acre


  • Any with leased solar
  • Additions without proper permits
  • Known foundation issues
  • Distress properties/REO
  • Tenant-occupied property

As your Realtor, we can facilitate this for you...and then bow out. 

This is not a threat to "standard" real estate; just another venue where we  mutually respect each other.  There’s a place for everyone in this business. The objective is always to help our seller move forward

Note: this is not to be confused with the company currently running a series of TV commercials slamming the real estate profession implying we "don’t do anything" so they apparently don't invest the time we do with  our clients, or they'd understand.  This form of advertising is offensive because SERVICE is our middle name. Their website, however, brags that they have "professional real estate agents" servicing your home. Wait - they said we don't do anything? Confusing. The website says their listing fee is $3,600 for the seller but the fine print indicates that the seller also pays the buyers' Realtor a commission (generally 3%). They don’t offer any benefits otherwise. It doesn’t sell any faster. The seller still must ready their home, show it; the property will go on the multiple listing service where we Realtors are expected to sell it.____________________________________________________________

How Hot Has the Summer of 2018 Been in Phoenix?
On Tuesday, July 24th, we hit a summer high for the year of 116 degrees (average July humidity is 20%) so those crazy rumors about it being 120 degrees every summer in Phoenix are false.  In actuality, climate history temperatures here have been recorded since 1895. Only 3 days in Phoenix's recorded history have temperatures exceeded 120 degrees. The last time was 7/28/1995. July and August are our Monsoon season when we get rain (much needed) which means higher humidity that usual. Of course, we're not saying it's pleasant in the summer - some days are more comfortable than others but that is true everywhere.  Heat and humidity elsewhere.

It's always a good time to buy real estate here. Currently our supply of available properties is slim. Homes that show nice and clean and are priced right, sell well. Of course, there are other criteria that impact how quickly a home will sell - location, condition of property/well-maintained or not, price range and how up-to-date it is.  There are buyers who are willing to up-date a home if they get it at the right price and others who want it to be move-in ready with all the bells & whistles. Prices under $250,000 sell much quicker than those in the higher price ranges due to the much larger demographics of buyers in those price ranges. .

We're here to work with Buyers and Sellers and we thank everyone who has given us a referral.   It's the highest compliment we can get.  If you know of anyone we can assist, please give them our information (forward this) or ask us to contact them.

Have a great month - stay cool and hydrated.

Al and Jean

Are you Familiar with the website "NEXTDOOR?"

What is NEXTDOOR?  NEXTDOOR is a social networking service for individual neighborhoods whose mission is to use technology to help neighbors build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

It was founded in 2008 and launched in the United States in October 2011. NEXTDOOR’S distinguishing feature is that users use their real names and neighborhood, They go to greater lengths than typical social media sites to ensure that user names and locations are true. Posts are not seen by the general public; only users who actually reside in that geographic neighborhood. 

We belong to NEXTDOOR DESERT RIDGE and find it very useful for everything from neighborhood information provided by the local police department to lost or found pets to neighbors needing recommendations for everything from plumbers to where to purchase items.  In fact, we just responded to a post for a plumber.  But, there are a few courtesy rules:

  •  It’s not there to provide a platform for political viewpoints or sell your business (That’s the internet like Facebook)
  • Use your real name (your personal address does not show up)
  • Report safety concerns to the police but feel free to warn neighbors – for example, if you’ve spotted someone suspicious, notify the Police and then mention in on NEXTDOOR to warn yours neighbors to keep an alert eye.
  • Post requests for help – ask for recommendations for a handyman, or anything else you need. We’ve seen young mothers form groups within the neighborhood. Or BUNCO groups formed. The opportunities are endless.
  • Don’t post anything personal about your neighbors – work it out in person.
  • It’s a great venue to post items for sale (or free such as used moving boxes).  You know that people who respond are in the neighborhood. 

For more information, go to the website to find your neighborhood...or start one:

Preparing for Your Move - Moving estimates
(if you don't need this now, keep this for the future)

It’s always a good idea to ask your Realtor and/or friends for recommendations for a reliable mover. There are many things you can do to make the process easier and estimates more accurate.

  • Get at least two estimates
  • The #1 procedure to following in getting moving estimates - be sure to request a home-visit when calling a moving company. We say that because most movers offer to estimate over-the-phone. There is no way to get an accurate estimate until the movers put eyes on everything you’re moving - from the closets to the rafters.  Garages, kitchen cabinets & pantries, closets, wall art, televisions, crawl-space storage, under-bed storage boxes…those forgotten items can make a big difference in your estimate.  The number of rooms you have is the tip of the iceberg.
  • Be sure to specify if TV’s, fine art, large mirrors, delicate lamps etc. will be packed by the owner or the moving company. Packing those fragile items take a great deal of extra time and packing materials so it’s good form to be sure they know what the movers’ job is.
  • If you pack your own fragile items (i.e. flatscreen TV’s, art, lamps), ask if those items are covered by the movers’ insurance replacement program in case of damage. 
  • If you follow these suggestions as a standard procedure in obtaining estimates, you’ll be comparing apples to apples. And the estimate will be more accurate.
  • Preparation for moving (packing and sorting) takes longer than you think so plan ahead on packing materials and your time. 
  • Boxes can be very expensive.  Often, you’ll see notifications on websites such as Nextdoor or Craig's List from people who offer them free after their move– or you can buy them at Home Depot and at storage companies.  Packing materials for glassware can be purchased as well and is a good investment in keeping your fragile items safe.
  • Label every box as to 1) which room it will go into and 2) what it contains.  If the contents are FRAGILE, mark the box accordingly.
  • Once you know you’ll be moving, begin the packing process. Even if your home isn’t yet sold.  Start going through items – dispose of items you no longer want (gift, charity donation or sale).  Begin packing up things you rarely use but plan to take with you.  If you don’t have space to stack boxes in your garage, it’s worth it to rent a temporary storage unit.

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

Today we have the internet at your access and many people love to search the web for properties they might be interested in but for also for values in their own neighborhoods.  However, if you want the most current, up-to-date information on the value of your home, we're happy to provide you with a no-obligation CMA (comparable market analysis).   Just give us your address by responding to this email and we will email you the information on a one-time basis or regular (monthly or weekly - your choice).  Or call: 602-680-2791.  It's what we do.


The Batson Team HomeSmart
Jean Batson
Home Smart
Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home? Get Our Free Tips
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The word "family" originates from the Latin word "famulus," which means what?

Being a Hoosier, Al grew up loving pork tenderloin sandwiches.  This is a light version that makes a wonderful entrée.

  • 4 pork cutlets
  • ½ lemon / juice
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Olive oil – 2-3 TBS


Pound cutlets to ¼" thick; season with pepper and garlic salt.  Sprinkle each side with lemon juice

Mix the flour and Parmesan together (we use a 9" square pan).  Dredge the meat in the mixture – making sure both sides are coated.

Heat 2 TBS Olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-heat.  When the oil shimmers, add cutlets and cook until golden brown and crisp. Turn over for another 4-5 minutes to cook the other side.  You’ll probably only get 2 in the pan at once.  Drain on a paper towel on a plate.

Repeat as needed until all the cutlets are cooked.

This is not to be confused with the deep fat-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches that Al grew up enjoying.  It’s quick, light, very tasty and EASY.  You can serve it over a variety of things- angel hair pasta,  mashed potatoes, Polenta – or absolutely nothing.  It stands alone nicely.  Add a nice green vegetable such as grilled asparagus on top with shaved Parmesan for color. Fit for a King – yet takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

And of course, you can serve it on a bun  – with tomato, lettuce, sliced onion, pickle and mustard – the Hoosier way

By the way, we buy those huge pork roasts at COSTCO; Al cuts skinny "chops" from the ends before he makes roasts and regular thicker chops.  They’re perfect for this.


There are so many inspection companies out there and most of them are excellent but this one is a stand-out – TOTAL INSPECTIONS.

We recommend Bob Nau, a licensed General Contractor for over 30 years who formerly did high-end home remodeling.  He’s hung his Home Inspection license at TOTAL INSPECTIONS.  He’s very thorough and one thing, that is critically important, is that Bob knows exactly what to look for. 

TOTAL INSPECTIONS reports are professionally written to provide  easy-to-read information with photos. After each inspection, Bob offers an informative client walk-through so the Buyer has a clear picture of the home’s condition

AND…their prices are excellent; based on a sliding scale of square footage – not a flat fee. And for an additional $60, Budget Brothers will do a termite inspection/report for the Buyer.

Call Bob at: 480-226-7915 or email him at

You can also go to the website to make an appointment – just be sure under NOTES that you request BOB NAU as your Inspector.                      


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Posted On: December 14th, 2017 11:50PM

Introduction As a valued customer, we understand that the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information is of the utmost importance to you. We respect and share your desire to maintain that confidentiality. In an attempt to assuage any fears you may have with respect to sharing that information, this document sets forth the listing Broker’s policy and commitment to you regarding the types of information we collect, our use of that personal information, and our efforts undertaken to protect that information. Background We collect and retain certain personal and financial information about you because we reasonably believe such information will enable our Brokerage to deliver that customer service necessary to meet your goals. That information may include sensitive financial data, which is protected under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act governing the use and collection of such information for financial and real estate settlement purposes. In addition, we may request other personal information from you that is not publicly available. We do not sell any personal information about you. During the normal course of our business, however, we may need to share your personal information with legitimate third-parties. For example, we may share this information when (1) the information is necessary for the completion of a transaction, (2) in order to verify the condition of your credit status or accounts with that third-party, (3) in order to comply with a governmental agency or pursuant to a court order, (4) upon your consent for personal reasons, or (5) as permitted or authorized by law. Policy 1. Definitions (a) Personal Information- Any documents or electronic files containing information relative to the Client’s finances, including but not limited to the following: statements for any accounts held with any financial institution, any revolving and/or credit card accounts, any information regarding mortgages, promissory notes or loans, FICO scoring results and credit histories, social security numbers, tax returns, addresses, electronic mail addresses, and phone numbers. (b) Broker- The real estate brokerage with which the Client has entered into a real estate services agreement, inclusive of all agents and employees of that brokerage. (c) Client- The undersigned client of Broker. 2. Storing of Personal Information (a) Physical Documents- Any and all physical documentation containing Personal Information will be kept in file cabinets and/or file rooms that are capable of being locked by the Broker. Those documents must be kept in such a manner reasonably intended to preclude any unauthorized third-party from obtaining access to the physical documents. (b) Electronic Files – Any and all Personal Information kept in electronic format must be stored on a computer and/or electronic server that is password protected and only accessible by the Broker. Those electronic files must be kept in such a manner reasonably intended to preclude any unauthorized third-party from obtaining access to the electronic files. 3. Transmission of Personal Information (a) Electronic Mail – Any and all electronic mail containing Personal Information communicated to any legitimate third-party shall be done in such a manner as to avoid the interception of that communication. Specifically, Broker shall take such steps as are reasonable to ensure that any e-mail transmitted is to the correct third-party, and contains the following language “The contents of this e-mail are private and confidential. To that end, if you believe you have received this email in error, you are advised to immediately delete this e-mail and contact the sender.” (b) Facsimile - Any and all facsimiles containing Personal Information communicated to any legitimate third-party shall be done in such a manner as to avoid the interception of that communication. Specifically, Broker shall take such steps as are reasonable to ensure that any facsimile transmitted is to the correct third-party, and contains a cover page with the following language “The contents of this facsimile are private and confidential. To that end, if you believe you have received this facsimile in error, you are advised to immediately destroy these documents and contact the sender.” That cover page shall not identify or disclose any of the Personal Information contained in the facsimile. (c) Third-Parties – With respect to any third-party, Broker shall ensure that prior to transmittal of personal information that third-party has consented to be bound by the terms of this document or is already bound by its equivalent. 4. Destruction of Files Upon the termination of Broker’s relationship with the Client, Broker shall destroy and/or delete those Physical Documents and Electronic Files containing Personal Information of the Client that Broker is not otherwise required to retain by law. 5. Notice to Clients Upon any breach of the security of the Client’s Personal Information, Broker shall immediately inform the Client so that the Client may take such remedial steps as are necessary to protect the Client. Broker shall take any and all additional actions reasonably required to protect Client. 6. Waiver and Release of Information By virtue of this document, the Client has been informed of those policies, procedures and actions undertaken by Broker to protect the Client’s Personal Information. Client understands, acknowledges and agrees that, notwithstanding the best efforts of Broker, certain information may be obtained by nonparties to this agreement. In no event shall client hold Broker liable for the criminal acts of anyone whomsoever in seeking or obtaining Personal Information. Client hereby acknowledges the receipt of this privacy policy and elects and agrees to the release of Personal Information to Broker. HomeSmart Client Date HomeSmart Client Date

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Driving in Summer Storms

Posted On: August 2nd, 2016 8:13PM