UPDATE: Princess has been rescued! Thanks for the inquiries and read the story here.

I was called by a friend and prior client that I needed to get a house listed where the owner passed away.  I found out that there was a German Shepherd living in the house.  I have a fear of big dogs, so I wasn't excited about this idea and I immediately knew I had to help find a home for her.

princess the german shepherdMeet Princess, the sweetest German Shepherd I've ever met. Although I love animals, German Shepherds were never dogs I would have considered bringing into my home. However, if I didn't already have 3 dogs (2 Pekingese and 1 Dalmation), I would certainly take Princess in if we couldn't find someone.

She is currently home alone as her owner died recently. She has a friend…

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Four out of every 10 real estate transactions were second-home sales for vacation, part-time living, and/or investment purposes, according to an annual report put by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). These types of sales hit records in 2005.

Las Hadas Villas in Scottsdale Arizona

Two surveys showed that 27.7% of properties purchased in 2005 were for investment purposes and 12.2% were vacation homes. Many second home purchases are not really a 2nd home, but a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or more because of good investment returns. What I found interesting is that the median distance of a vacation home was 197 miles from the primary residence, and 47% were less than 100 miles away while 43% purchased 500 miles or more away.

In Arizona, a lot of people in the valley, like Scottsdale, will…

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happy couple man lifting woman in front of a scottsdale home for sale

It seems like it was kind of a late start this year but I have personally been super busy since right after Easter.  I just sold a listing in Scottsdale in one day!

If you have a property on the market and it continues to sit with few showings and no offers, you now need to seriously consider reducing price or fixing the property up to show its best at the price you currently have it at.

This might be the busiest time of the year so if you have your place priced too high it might be too late when you finally decide to reduce.  Your listing might become "stale" and if it was priced correctly in the beginning it might have sold for more than it would if you become desperate and lose out on the active market time.

I've seen time and again that…

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Sometimes it seems like there is just no way you'll ever be able to afford to purchase your first property in scottsdale house in a bottle during a storm Scottsdale, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, or another Phoenix area. As prices increase, the dream of homeownership drifts farther away.

There are many different rules and ways of obtaining financing and/or funds. Here are two you might want to consider.  Please consider the date of this post and double-check with your IRA or 401K provider to make sure what the current rules are.

1. If you are a first-time home buyer you are allowed to withdraw up to $10,000 from your IRA without penalty. You will be taxed on the withdrawal, unless you have a Roth IRA, as you were already taxed on those contributions.

2. You'll…

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judy orr published in southtown star and chicago sun times newspapersSome of my fellow agents, friends, and clients have seen my recent press.  It started a few weeks ago with a Wall Street Journal article about how I lost the domain name for my Oak Lawn real estate website.  Many other news sources across the nation picked the WSJ article.

Please be assured that I did not forget to pay my $9.00 fee.  I relied on my web host to let me know what the problem was when my site first went off-line since I purchased the domain name through them.  They finally figured it out the 2nd time the site went down but by that time it was too late.

The story was captured by two local papers, The Southtown Star and The Chicago Sun-Times.  The Southtown Star article wasn't as bad as the Sun-Times article which made it sound like I…

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Over the past week or two, there has been an influx of activity with my listings and I've had 5 or 6 contracts presented in this short time period. I have noticed a real estate trend that I haven't seen in a long time. Some Scottsdale home buyers are coming in with very low offers.

man going under limbo pole

I believe the lowest I received was $30,000 or more under the list price on a Scottsdale home for sale. Of course, my seller was upset and let me know that he'll hold onto the home and wait for a better offer rather than sell it at such a lowball price.  In fact, not one of these lowball buyers has been successful in getting their offers accepted.

No matter if it's a Buyer's Market or Seller's Market, there will always be potential buyers that will make lowball…

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I have mentioned how I wasn't happy living in the state I was born in, Illinois. I always say that I was born in the wrong state. I sometimes developed SADD during winter. It actually started in the fall season, knowing that Illinois winter was right around the corner.

woman leaving illinois to travel to arizona

One of my life regrets - a job offer based in New York

At the age of 19 I had a job offer to work with my prior boss who left the company I was employed at to work for the World Bank. I would be his Executive Secretary, traveling all over the world. However, I would have to relocate to New York. I had just gotten married and I laid awake at night contemplating such an exciting move.

I talked to my husband who was still trying to find his ideal work situation and who wasn’t…

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fort myers sunset

For as long as I can remember, every year during Easter vacation my family would jump in the aqua 1950 something Buick and drive to Sarasota, Florida. We would leave at 2-4:00 a.m. and drive until around 6:00 p.m. when we would stop at a Holiday Inn for dinner and sleep. Then we’d do it again the next day until we hit Sarasota. I remember one time we had to wait for a cow to get off the road.

When Mom would fall asleep Dad would rev it up to 100 mph. As soon as Mom woke up, we'd tell her and she'd say "Oh Bud!" and give him a hit on his arm.

We stayed in the same motel every year. It was owned by a couple who lived on-site and my parents became friends with them.

The private gated pool was across the street. There were 1-bedroom to 3-bedroom…

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UPDATE: Please note this post date - check out that computer in the picture. The figure stated below keeps rising, it is now way above 90%. Print advertising has all but died out. Many brokerages have completely cut out all print advertising.

couple searching for Scottsdale homes for sale on their computerAccording to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), Internet usage has risen among Scottsdale home buyers. In 1995, only about 2 percent of home buyers surfed the Internet. Today that figure has risen to 77%, up 3% from 2004 (see UPDATE above).

This is the reason I use multiple social media sites and invest time and money into my Scottsdale area website. These attract buyers to my site so they can see all of the Scottsdale real estate and surrounding towns (Cave Creek, Carefree, North Phoenix, Fountain…

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This is an older post that I've updated.  I received a real estate association e-mail newsletter with an interesting list from an Illinois real estate agent, Mark Nash. I'd like to quote his Top Buyer Mistakes and give my opinion after each one:

1. Bought properties to flip at top-of-market prices

scottsdale homes for sale in a shopping cart

I still can't figure out why buyers do this. Maybe if a buyer timed the purchase around the flipping of a Scottsdale home for sale at the beginning of a seller's market, they might have seen a substantial profit. In our local market, things are slowing and I've already seen homes purchased and quickly put back on the market at a higher price (after some renovating) sitting and not selling.

UPDATE: We are still seeing flips but I do see a lot of…

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