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Think Opendoor is an Easy Exit? Think again

by The Russo Team

Think Opendoor is an Easy Exit? Think again 

By now you may have heard of the latest real estate upstart in Arizona called Opendoor. This company was started by three gentlemen from the San Francisco area, who secured a ridiculous amount of funds from private investors and they have decided to launch their upstart in our Phoenix market -- and they are making a killing taking advantageous of sellers who don’t understand what is really going on.

The slogan on their website states: “We believe in a better home selling and buying process.” That sounds great, until you read the fine print and the fees they are charging. As a seller, you agree to a reduced value on your home, with the promise that you will have no hassle, no time on the market and no buyer headaches. What seller wouldn’t want that, right?

In the fine print, the seller also agrees to whatever costs associated to repairs that Opendoor finds during their home inspection process. And you can be sure they will find something wrong with your home, even if it is as simple as the color of your walls or the style of your flooring.

According to data Opendoor provided to Inman News: “Over the past 3 months, 46 percent of our Phoenix customers paid 6 percent to 7 percent fees, and only 8 percent of customers paid above 10 percent. We are always working to lower fees and pass our cost savings back to our customers.”

Here is a breakdown of their fees listed on their website, which does not include any traditional real estate commissions fees that are also charged:

  • Service charge: 2.5 percent
  • Holding Costs: 1.5 percent
  • Market Risk: 2.25 percent

Opendoor claims to use a sophisticated algorithm of available sales in the area and the property condition to determine property values -- which usually ends up being 94 percent of the value a traditional REALTOR® would list the home for. At a quick glance, 94 percent of your asking price doesn’t seem so bad, but add in all the other fees and your net profit dwindles quickly.

On the offers we have received, Opendoor charges a 3.1 percent service fee right off the top of the offer price. Do the math and that is about 10 percent coming out of a seller’s pocket. What is the service fee for? Here is the clause taken right out of a contract received from Opendoor:

“After Opendoor assesses the market value of the home, they subtract a service charge to compensate for the risk associated with offering immediate liquidity to the seller. Opendoor will have this home relisted for sale, and they are most likely going to end up attracting the same buyer that you would. Since they assume the cost and liability of holding the property until the new homeowner comes along, they deduct a service charge that depends upon the particular home. This charge is separate from the buyer's agent commission.”

They are right in the fact that sellers will attract the same buyers that Opendoor will, after they relist the home for a higher price than they bought for, and sellers who don’t know any better are paying them to do it.  

The Russo Team has been helping homeowners and homebuyers for over thirty years. We don’t just believe in a better home selling and buying process, we provide it -- without all the fees and unnecessary costs. Homes in our market are selling for top-dollar, and in an acceptable timeframe. There is no need for you or anyone you know to accept a desperate offer out of fear. We will always negotiate on your behalf, the best terms, the best price with honesty, integrity and you can keep your hard-earned equity in your own pocket. Give us a call today – Frank 

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals
www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Oh, You're a REALTOR? What Do You REALLY Do?

by The Russo Team

Oh, You're a REALTOR? What Do You REALLY Do? 

This is a question that many in the real estate industry face on a daily basis. Having thought about this, here's a list we've compiled of over 150 items that we, The Russo Team, do every time we sell a home. Check out the list below, and let us know how we can help you, your family, your co-workers and friends with any real estate needs!

Pre-listing Activities

  • Contact property owner(s) and make appointment with seller(s) for listing presentation.
  • Send seller(s) confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm.
  • Review pre-appointment questions.
  • Research appropriate sampling of currently listed comparable properties (i.e., appropriate by property type, price range, and location).
  • Research trends and sales activity for an appropriate period (past three to six months is recommended) from MLS and public records databases.
  • Research "average days on market” for the property type, price range, and location.
  • Download and review property tax roll information.
  • Research property’s public record information for ownership and deed type.
  • Research property’s public record information for lot size and dimensions.
  • Research legal description.
  • Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure.
  • Prepare market analysis to establish opinion of value.
  • Prepare listing-presentation package with above materials.
  • Perform exterior "curb-appeal assessment” of subject property.
  • Verify public-school zoning and discuss with the seller(s) the impact of school districts on market value determination.
  • Review listing-appointment checklist to verify that all steps and actions have been completed.

Listing-appointment Presentation Activities

  • Review broker’s and company’s credentials and accomplishments in the market with seller(s).
  • Present company’s profile and position of "niche” in the marketplace.
  • Give seller(s) an overview and projections of current market conditions.
  • Present market analysis results to seller(s), including sold comparables, current listings, and expired.
  • Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions.
  • Discuss goals with seller(s) to market effectively.
  • Explain marketing power and benefits of the MLS.
  • Explain the different marketing options and their effectiveness.
  • Explain work the brokerage does "behind the scenes” and the broker’s availability on weekends.
  • Explain brokerages role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and to protect seller(s) from curiosity seekers.
  • Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan.
  • Review results of curb-appeal assessment with seller(s) and provide suggestions to improve sale-ability.
  • Research and verify city sewer/septic tank systems. Verify when property’s septic system was last pumped or inspected.
  • Well water: Confirm well status, depth, and output from third-party well report.
  • Natural gas: Research/verify the availability of natural gas and supplier’s name and phone number.
  • Verify security system, current term of service, and determine if it’s owned or leased.
  • Discuss home-warranty program with homeowner.
  • Verify if property has rental units involved.
  • Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file.
  • Verify all rents and all deposits.
  • Assess interior décor and suggest changes.
  • Prepare net sheet for seller(s).
  • Review accuracy of current title information with sellers. (If possible, obtain copies of seller(s)’ deed, owner’s title insurance policy, and most-recent survey.)
  • Verify names of owner(s) as they appear in county’s public property records.
  • Verify with seller(s) if there are any outstanding or expired construction permits or if any changes have been made to the property since the seller(s) purchased the property.
  • Obtain copy of current Title Insurance Policy.
  • Complete listing contract and addenda (using names of seller(s) as they appear on deed or title policy). Obtain seller(s)’ signature(s) on the listing agreement and return a signed copy of the listing contract to the seller(s).  (If property is jointly owned, all owners should sign listing agreement.)
  • Review with seller(s) the standard closing costs and pro-rations typical to the HUD statements.
  • Obtain seller(s)’ permission to use a lock box.
  • Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available.
  • Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, and easements that are known to the seller if they are not otherwise noted.
  • Obtain house plans, if applicable and available.
  • Review house plans and make a copy.

Post-listing Activities

  • Compile and assemble formal file on property.
  • Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex layout.
  • Verify with seller(s) if there are any outstanding or expired construction permits or if any changes have been made to the property since the seller(s) purchased the property.
  • Obtain copy of current title insurance policy.
  • Provide seller(s) with a copy of a blank sales contract to review in preparation of their receipt of an offer.
  • Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled.
  • Arrange for installation of yard sign.
  • Have seller(s) complete the seller(s)’ disclosure form.

Listing Activities

  • Order plat map for retention in property’s listing file.
  • Prepare showing instructions for buyer(s)’ broker and agree on showing-time window with seller(s).
  • Install electronic lock box and program the lock box with agreed-upon showing-time windows.
  • Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and loan account numbers.
  • Verify current loan information with lender(s).
  • Identify homeowner association manager, if applicable.
  • Verify homeowner association fees and pending or unpaid assessments with homeowner association manager.
  • Research electricity availability and supplier’s name and phone number.
  • Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact.
  • Prepare detailed list of property’s "inclusions and conveyances with sale.”
  • Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.
  • Explain benefits of homeowner warranty to seller(s).
  • Assist sellers with completion and submission of homeowner-warranty application.
  • Place homeowner warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale.
  • Make extra key for lockbox.
  • Place a copy of the seller(s)’ completed disclosure form in the property file.
  • Arrange for interior and exterior photos to be taken for MLS listing.
  • Arrange for creation of a virtual tour if one will be used in marketing the property.
  • Complete a new-listing checklist.
  • Enter listing into office records and/or create listing file. 

MLS-related Activities

  • Prepare "MLS profile sheet.” (Listing broker is responsible for "quality control” and accuracy of listing data).
  • Enter property data from profile sheet into MLS listing database.
  • Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy, including proper placement in mapping function.
  • Take additional photos of the property to upload into MLS and for use in flyers.
  • Provide seller(s) with a copy of the MLS profile sheet data form.
  • Add property to company’s active listings list.

Marketing and Showing Activities

  • Create print and Internet ads.
  • Provide "special feature” postcards for marketing, if applicable.
  • Submit ads to company’s participating Internet real estate sites
  • Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed.
  • Prepare mailing and contact list.
  • Generate mail-merge letters to contact list.
  • Order "just listed” labels and reports.
  • Prepare flyers.
  • Prepare property marketing brochure for seller(s)’ review.
  • Order an appropriate quantity of marketing brochures or flyers.
  • E-mail marketing material to brokers and agents with marketing material.
  • Upload listing to company and broker’s Internet site, if applicable.
  • Mail out "just listed” notice to all neighborhood residents.
  • Inform our personal and professional networks of the listing.
  • Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other REALTORS®. Return all calls promptly (weekends included).
  • Provide showing time comments and feedback to seller(s) and recommend changes according to potential buyer comments.
  • Review comparable MLS listings and new trends regularly to verify property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions, and availability.
  • Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks.
  • Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network.
  • Convey price changes promptly to all Internet groups.
  • Request feedback from buyers’ brokers after showings.
  • Review weekly market study reports.
  • Discuss feedback from showing sales associates with seller(s) to determine if changes will accelerate the sale.
  • Call seller(s) weekly to discuss marketing and pricing.
  • Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database.

Offer and Contract Activities

  • Verify proper licensure of buyer’s broker and salesperson.
  • Obtain a signed and dated verification that escrow deposit was delivered to escrow agency.
  • Receive and review all offer to purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ brokers.
  • Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet” on each offer, for the seller(s) to make comparisons.
  • Review offers with seller(s) and review merits and weaknesses of each component of each offer.
  • Contact buyers’ broker to review buyer(s)’ qualifications and discuss offer.
  • Provide seller(s)’ disclosure to buyer(s)’ broker or buyer upon request (prior to offer if possible).
  • Confirm buyer(s) is pre-approved by contacting lender.
  • Obtain a copy of the buyer(s)’ pre-approval letter from lender.
  • Negotiate all offers and counteroffers on seller(s)’ behalf.
  • Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance, or amendments to buyer(s)’ broker.
  • When offer to purchase is accepted and signed by seller(s) ("contract”), deliver contract to selling/buyer(s)’ broker or if none, to buyer(s).
  • Verify contract is signed by all parties.
  • Provide copies of the contract and all addenda to closing attorney and the title company.
  • Record and promptly deposit buyer(s)’ earnest money with escrow agent.
  • Disseminate "under-contract showing restrictions” as seller(s) requests.
  • Deliver copies of signed contract to seller(s).
  • Provide copies of contract to lender.
  • Inform seller(s) how to handle additional offers to purchase submitted between effective date of contract and closing.
  • Change status in MLS to "sale pending.”
  • Update listing file to show "sale pending.”

Loan-process Activities

  • Contact buyer(s)’ lender weekly to verify processing is on track.
  • Follow buyer(s)’ loan processing through to the underwriter.
  • Relay final approval of buyer(s)’ loan application to seller(s).

Home-inspection Activities

  • Coordinate buyer(s)’ professional home and termite (WDO) inspections with seller(s).
  • If property is vacant, arrange for power and water to be turned on.
  • Review home inspector’s report and WDO report with seller(s) and discuss issues and options, if needed.
  • Enter home inspection WDO inspection completion into listing file.
  • Verify seller(s)’ compliance with home inspection report and WDO report repair requirements.
  • Recommend or assist seller(s) with identifying trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs.
  • Obtain copies of repair bills showing seller(s) has made required repairs.
  • Coordinate entry into the property and buyer’s review of completed repairs, if needed.

Appraisal Activities

  • Make arrangements for appraiser to enter property.
  • Follow-up on appraisal.
  • Enter appraisal completion into listing file.
  • Discuss appraisal report with seller(s) and suggest options, if necessary.

Closing-preparation Activities

  • Distribute signed contracts to all involved parties (buyer, seller(s), title company, lender, seller(s)/buyer(s) broker, closing agent) and provide contact information as needed.
  • Coordinate closing process with buyer(s)’ broker and lender.
  • Update closing forms and files.
  • Confirm location, date, and time where closing will be held and notify all parties.
  • Confirm with closing agent that all title problems have been resolved.
  • Confirm that the seller has the proper Power of Attorney or trust documents, as required.
  • Work with buyer(s)’ broker in scheduling and conducting buyer(s)’ final walk-through prior to closing.
  • Confirm with closing agent that all tax, HOA, utility, and other applicable pro-rations have been resolved.
  • Request final closing figures from closing agent.
  • Review closing figures on HUD statement with seller(s) to verify accuracy of preparation.
  • Forward verified closing figures to buyer(s)’ broker and confirm buyer(s)’ broker has received and reviewed closing figures.
  • Confirm buyer(s) and Buyer(s)’ broker has received title insurance commitment.
  • Provide homeowners warranty for availability at closing.
  • Recommend courtesy closing agent for absentee seller(s), as needed.
  • Review closing documents with seller(s) and their counsel.
  • Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent. If closing agent is holding escrow funds make sure it appears on the final HUD
  • Coordinate this closing with seller(s)’ next purchase and resolve any timing problems, if applicable.
  • Confirm seller(s)’ net proceeds check at closing.

After-closing Activities

  • Provide REALTOR® referral information for seller(s)’ relocation destination, if applicable.
  • Change MLS status to "sold.” Enter sale date, price, selling broker, and listing broker’s ID numbers, etc.
  • Close out listing in company files.
  • Follow up with seller(s).

As you can see there are a lot of steps involved in selling your home, 150 in fact. If you or someone you know is considering a move, give The Russo Team a call. Let our years of experience get the job done for you! 

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals
www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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August National Housing Report from RE/MAX

by The Russo Team

August National Housing Report from RE/MAX 

Do you know what your home is worth? According to the August National Housing Report from RE/MAX we have seen inventory tighten, while property values level off.  In the RE/MAX National Housing Report analysis of 53 U.S. cities, July sales fell in 49 markets by 8.8% from July 2015 and by 13.1% from June. The Median Sales Price dropped slightly from June to $225,000, which is still 4.7% higher than one year ago.

At the same time, inventory continued to tighten by dropping 3.0% lower than June and 16.6% lower than a year ago, resulting in a Months Supply of just 3.5. Five metro areas reported an inventory supply of less than two months. Meanwhile, the average Days on Market dropped to 53 which is just one day less than the average in June and four days below last year.

“After a June jump in home sales, it's quite common to see July sales make a correction. This is a summertime pattern that we often see on a national level. Of course, one month doesn't make a trend and we still have a couple more months ahead in the traditional home-buying season. At the same time, it's important to note that, on a year-over-year basis, prices are rising at a moderate rate that's very much in line with historical averages," said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. 

To read the full August National Housing Report from RE/MAX click here. Are you considering a move? To find out what your Arizona home values are, email the Russo Team today. Frank

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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The Russo Team Newsletter August 2016

by The Russo Team

The Russo Team Newsletter September 2016

http://www.russoteam.com/agent_files/Monthly Newsletters/The Russo Team Newsletter September 2016.pdf

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Join us on Facebook and Twitter

5 Inexpensive Staging Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Showmanship

by The Russo Team

5 Inexpensive Staging Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Showmanship 

Are you thinking of selling your home? Did you know homes that have been staged tend to sell for more money? We know that first impressions are everything when selling a home, and can determine whether or not a prospective buyer decides to make an offer. Not everyone has the budget to hire a professional staging company, so we’ve come up with 5 inexpensive staging ideas that will boost your home’s showmanship.

1. Pack up your personal belongings: probably the least expensive step you can take and one of the most important in preparing your home for sale. Depersonalizing your space allows buyers to the opportunity to view it as their potential home. Photos and artwork can be a distraction to the buyer, and you want them to imagine their own belongings in the home, which might cause them to make an offer.

2. Time to clear the clutter: we know this one is hard to do, because we are all attached to our “stuff” and we may not see it as clutter. After years of living in the same home, you are bound to have a collection that needs to be sorted through and quite possibly pitched out. Pay special attention to the bathroom and kitchen areas, especially the counter tops. Make time to have a garage sale, and clear out drawers, closets, attics and garages. If you come across items you just can’t bear to part with, then consider boxing up those personal belongings and storing them neatly in a corner of the garage, or renting a small storage space away from the house.

3. Give your home a good ole’ fashioned deep cleaning: this one might not cost a lot of money but it does take the most labor! However, a clean home will stand out to buyers and may even cause them to overlook items that maybe old or worn out. Don’t forget to clean the ceiling fans, window seals, baseboards and window coverings. If you aren’t up to the task of scrubbing your home from top to bottom, you may want to invest in having it professionally cleaned.

4. Neutralize each room: each room of your home should have a useful purpose, and using your furnishing is a great way to create that feeling. If you are lacking inspiration, take a tour of some nearby model homes or spend a few hours on Houzz.com for some ideas. Remember, less is better when it comes to staging furniture and make sure you have plenty of lighting in each room, especially dark corners, stairways or even hallways. A little touch up paint on the walls and baseboards can go a long way with a prospective buyer!

5. Create a lasting first-impression: your home’s curb appeal is the first thing the buyer sees, so it is important that you capture their attention right away. If you have a lawn, make sure it mowed often, and that bushes and trees are trimmed neatly. Clear away any debris or junk from the walk-ways and pressure-wash your driveway. A few fresh flowers at the front door can add a warm welcome to your home!

If you still feel like you need some hands-on help preparing your home for sale, we got you covered! Give us a call today and we are happy to walk your home with you to help you boost your home’s showmanship and in return yield you the best sales price. Give us a call today! Frank 

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Courtland Home For Sale

by The Russo Team

Courtland Home For Sale 

Built by Courtland Homes, this beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath two-story home is one of the biggest floor plans built in the Crossriver community – with over 3,200 square feet there is plenty of room to roam!

The unique Courtland floor plan includes the master bedroom on the main floor, plus a cozy front room that could be an office, guest powder room and a spacious great room that overlooks the well-appointed kitchen. The upstairs design features a huge loft with built-in shelves, and wetbar plus 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and a gigantic laundry room with plenty of storage.

The updated kitchen has gorgeous beadboard cabinetry, island with convenient counter seating, granite counter tops, walk-in pantry, and a stainless appliance package. Other amenities include dual AC units, ceiling fans, tile, wood and carpet flooring. Crossriver is conveniently located near shopping, dining and the Loop 303.

Don’t miss out! Click here to view more details for 11734 W Donald Drive, or call us today at 602-864-1200 to schedule your private tour!

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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The Month of Miracles at REMAX Professionals

by The Russo Team

The Month of Miracles at RE/MAX Professionals 

Did you know that sixty-two children are admitted into a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute? That is just one reason The Russo Team is excited to announce our participation in the “Month of Miracles” at RE/MAX Professionals.

This is a month-long fundraising event is designed to raise much-need money to support our local Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well as raise awareness in our community.

“Children’s hospitals depend on local donations — like those from RE/MAX agents participating in Miracle Home and Miracle Property programs — to provide the top-of-class care kids deserve,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “On behalf of the millions of families impacted by RE/MAX donations, we appreciate each agent’s efforts and thank them for truly making miracles happen in their communities all year long.”
 
Over the past 24 years, RE/MAX affiliates have donated more than $147 million to CMN Hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. We believe in putting our money where the miracles are and that is why we need your help! Throughout the month, our goal is to raise one million pennies, or $10,000 to benefit our local Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As many of you know, my daughter Lianne was a patient at PCH when she was born. This organization is near and dear to my heart and we do whatever we can to support them, as they supported us in a time of need. I hope you will join us in the “Month of Miracles” and our goal of $10,000 this month. You can stop by any of our six office locations and empty your change jars to help us reach our goal. Of course, we are also happy to take cash and checks! Thank you in advance - we look forward to seeing you soon! Frank

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Russo Team Newsletter August 2016

by The Russo Team

Russo Team Newsletter August 2016

http://www.russoteam.com/agent_files/Monthly Newsletters/Russo Team Newsletter August 2016.pdf

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Search the MLS Now!
Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Snakes and Hikers Can Co-Exist

by The Russo Team

Snakes and Hikers Can Co-Exist 

Many people have snake phobias and no one really wants to run into one on a hike, but if you do you don’t always need to panic. Most snakes generally try to avoid people, and often slither away when they feel your footsteps approach. Besides, snakes play an important role in nature and we need them to keep the rodent population, rabbits, other reptiles and even bird populations manageable. An imbalance in the food chain will occur without snakes

So, here are some quick facts about snakes and what you should do to avoid them while hiking.  We need each other, must live together and with respect for each other we should be able to get along. But in the meantime, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Snakes are generally secretive animals. In nature, they basically move from one hiding place to another in search of food, while trying to avoid becoming food at the same time. They can often be found in underground burrows made by other animals, or underneath rocks and logs, etc.  Snakes spend a lot of their time hiding in holes and they do this to protect themselves from other predators. It's a natural instinct. Generally, that snake is just as unhappy to see you as you are to see it.

Educate yourself about the area that you are hiking and the common snakes found there. Here’s one website that has pictures of the variety of snakes you might encounter in Arizona. Experts have identified thirteen types of rattlesnakes and hundreds of other types of snakes in Arizona.  Take some time to learn how to tell the difference between a “good” and a “bad” snake. Leave the good ones alone and don’t go near the venomous ones if you can help it.

Take precautions. Teach children to respect snakes and don’t let them run ahead of you on the trail, try to stay on designated paths or trails, steer clear of tall grass, weeds and thick underbrush. Always wear protective clothing when hiking, including gloves if possible. Don’t stick your hands under rock ledges, logs or stumps. Sturdy, high boots are preferred footwear. Finally, hiking with a partner is best in case either of you needs help. 

Dogs need to be watched as well.  Dogs are more susceptible than us to a bite since they are naturally curious, they don’t wear hiking boots to protect their feet, and their faces are closer to the snake. Plus, if you let them wander off leash to explore they may wander off the trail where it is harder to see a snake or avoid a snake.  Keep them close to you, on a leash or check into a rattlesnake vaccine before the season starts. There are also classes to teach dogs to be repelled from snakes and not attack them.

Finally, if you do get bitten by a venomous snake, here’s what to do:

* Stay calm.
* Treat for shock.
* Drive to the nearest hospital or medical facility. 
* Do not attempt to kill or capture the snake. You’re just asking for trouble and giving them another opportunity to bite.  
* Do not use a tourniquet. If tied too tight it may cause the loss of a limb.  
* Do not make cuts through or near the site of the bite.  
* Do not suck venom from the site.  
* Some people are allergic to antivenin medicine so don’t automatically give it to the victim. Wait for a doctor to test first.

Arizona has wonderful hiking trails with spectacular scenery and we all need to take precautions but not let the possibility of snakes hold us back from enjoying this beautiful state we live in. According to Arizona Poison Centers, less than one percent of rattlesnake bites result in human deaths. We all need to get out and about, and with a little education and some precautions no doubt snakes and hikers can co-exist. Happy trails from the Russo Team!

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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Environmentally Safe Pool Options

by The Russo Team

Environmentally Safe Pool Options 

Enjoying some pool time in the Arizona summer heat is a welcome respite from the hot cars and pavements that we all deal with on a daily basis, but not all pools are created equal. And not all are good for the environment either. In fact, most pools have some degree of contamination from bacteria, algae and organic materials from swimmer’s wastes. (Did you know that an active bather produces up to two pints of perspiration per hour?) Add dust and dirt, and you get plenty of ways for a pool to go bad.

That’s why it pays to do some homework before you commit to a new pool. Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to create a safe environment and keep your costs down.

While not a type of pool, enviro-friendly heating methods can lower your bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Using alternative heating methods like solar blankets and energy-efficient heat pumps will keep your pool warm. Heating options are a simple way to help your pool remain environmentally friendly without breaking the bank. In fact, efficient condensing boilers can help to cut down your pool heating costs by almost 20 percent.

An ozone sterilization system will reduce your pool maintenance costs and help keep the environment clean by using electricity to convert oxygen into bacteria-destroying ozone.

You might want to consider these types of pool before you commit to a conventional pool:

Saltwater pools Reducing chlorine usage helps to minimize overall chemical consumption and, like the ocean, saltwater pools use a saline composition to keep water clean without chemicals.  Plus, the mixture of chlorine and table salt creates electrolysis, which gets rid of algae and bacteria.

Natural pools Natural pools are made of gravel and clay and are an affordable alternative to conventional pools, plus they’re chemical-free and low-tech. Plants can be added and are a natural purification system that introduces oxygen and good bacteria into the water so that you won’t need clorine.

Moss-filtered pools:  According to statistics moss systems reduce chemical usage by 40 percent, water consumption by 75 percent, and save about $6,700 annually in bills. Plus they reduce water use, reduce the need to backwash the pool for cleaning and cut down on the need for chemicals like chlorine.

It’s always a great idea to reduce your pool maintenance expenses, help keep the environment clean and create the perfect backyard swimming hole, but above all be safe, always watch your kids in the pool and appreciate the fabulous pool weather we have here in the Valley of the Sun!  Best wishes for a safe and fun summer from The Russo Team.   

Frank Russo
The Russo Team
RE/MAX Professionals

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

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