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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
45 minutes | 3 days ago
So Much to Look Forward to
Believe us, there’s a lot to look forward to. We know there’s many of you that agree. Some may be skeptical. Regardless of where you are on that line, join us and our guests Jeff Reidel and Dwight Jackson to share what’s coming our way… that’s good. We continue our fan-favorite segments including “Stump Steve.” This week, tires (don’t roll your eyes – there’s a lot of interesting stuff! “Felecia’s Rant” is about Brady (and a little bit about the Jets), Matt shares his “Good Neighbor” news and Ryan gives us his “Lock of the Week.” You’re gonna love this one. Don’t miss it! Episode Recap Coming Soon
47 minutes | 17 days ago
Don’t Get Screwed: Anxiety, Automobiles and AZ Real Estate
It doesn’t matter what you believe, who you agree with or what you do. If you’re here… now, you’re stressed out. Working out may be the last thing on your list, but getting a little movement in every once in a while, even a very small amount, helps you deal with all that stress. Feel better! Guest Don Chenevert shares his story and his approach to helping us get on board and get results. Of course we cover lot of other great topics from Steve sharing the best way to warranty your car to the Cardinals and everything in between. Listen in. Get in a few laughs. And, learn something new. Episode Recap Steve was so worked up this episode, he didn’t even talk about the Jets until over 15 minutes in. So, let’s dive right into what got Steve so hot about car insurance. More warnings about car insurance — read your contract. A few days ago, Steve had a customer come to Friendly Auto with a Ford Escape with a 100,000 mile warranty through extended warranty, but was denied a claim on a new transmission. Why was it denied? 62 miles. When submitting the claim for the new transmission, the warranty company asked for a fluid sample for chemical analysis—something Steve found outrageous. The chemical analysis found that the transmission was legitimately bad but the claim was denied anyway. On the first of the month, the customer noticed something wrong, and called a mechanic who guessed it might have been a bad guess, so the customer should try putting in fuel injector cleaner and a fresh tank of gas. She tried that, drove for a week, and it wasn’t better. She made another appointment. Two weeks passed and nothing was resolved, so the mechanic said she needed to go to a different auto shop who could fix the transmission, so she drove to Friendly Auto. In all this time testing different solutions, she drove the car 62 miles — a very small amount in Arizona. The company then denied the cost of the new transmission because she drove around while knowingly having a transmission problem. Being honest about what she’d done to resolve the problem ended up being her downfall in getting her claim approved. Steve’s advice? Make sure that if you’re getting a warrant, you read the full contract, not just the brochure. There are always limitations in the policies that they leave out of the brochure, so you need to read the exact contract. How do you get a reputable warranty and how much does it cost? It’s challenging because companies go by a lot of different names for different policies, so talk to your mechanic for their recommendations. For an average car, that warranty is going to cost about $2500 by Steve’s estimates, but he still thinks it’s worthwhile if you get a good one. Don at Better You Personal Training 2020 has brought immense stress to people around the world. And the dynamics of the pandemic forcing us to stay home has also caused health issues as folks aren’t getting the exercise and activity they’re used to. These things go hand in hand — mental health and physical health. That’s where Don at Better You Personal Training comes in. Like many people are right now as their jobs are disrupted by COVID-19, Don recently made a career pivot. He was in the production field as a production manager for 25 years in the semiconductor industry, working with cell phones and computers. He worked 60-70 hours a week, but it eventually led to burnout and he decided he needed a life change. He was always stressed and he never saw his family. He had to change life for the better for his health. He did it, and now wants to help others who are in his position—stressed and unhealthy. Don’s typical client is a stressed out business professional between 40 and 55 years old looking for work-life balance through weight loss and stress management. He says men generally avoid talking about mental health, but it is a big thing everyone is experiencing right now. People are spending more time watching Netflix than exercising and are gaining the “COVID-20” from all the snacking and stationary living. But it doesn’t take a major shift in order to turn things around—20-30 minutes of movement and exercise a day have been shown to have a profound impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Don’s personal training is a great option during the pandemic. He only does 1:1 personal training, so it’s not a gym with 50 people there. You’ll have your temperature checked before beginning a workout and everyone wears masks. Don creates a one hour workout plan structured to the client’s needs. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, he’ll mix cardio for fat burning and strength training for increased metabolism. To get serious results, you really need to combine both cardio and strength. How do you stay motivated once you get started? Keep your workouts new and fresh, rather than doing the same thing over and over each day. Do you have a local business you want featured on Friendly Auto? The gang would love to have you on the show, just give us a call. The median nationwide home value has increased to a new record – how you can be a competitive buyer The median nationwide home value has increased to 313,000, a new record and up 15.5% from last year. Home sales were up 4.3% in October and are up 27% year over year. As a result of the massive demand, Inventory is down 20% year over year. From Felecia’s experience, houses are lasting less than a week on the market in the valley. So what do you do if you really need housing right now, but are struggling to compete? Get a local realtor. If you are a local realtor and you’ve been around, you know the players and can gain a reputation. With a positive reputation, you’ll be the first to know about new offerings and will be trusted to bring reputable buyers who are really prepared to buy. Those people are winning the bids— experienced agents who already have their finger on the pulse of the market. The gang wishes everyone a safe Thanksgiving. Stay healthy and Drive Friendly!
47 minutes | 24 days ago
Title Loans, Testing and Personal Thrills with guest Jeff Reidel
As we emerge from the year of a week that was last week, we take an opportunity to focus on our “silver linings.” The things we do and feel great about as we celebrate winners in our community! Things that make the lives of others better. What we see that makes us happy and hopeful. Join, and please share your silver linings with us. Episode Recap The Jets officially have a losing season, and Adam Gase is winning if the goal is high draft picks. While the Jets are not a feel-good moment this season, today’s episode includes the gang speaking about what’s making them happy during this challenging year. Auto-Repair Financing + The Problem with Title Loans Steve shared a story of a customer who is a disabled veteran. The gentlemen brought a pickup truck to Friendly Auto in need of a new engine, but the man couldn’t afford to fix it. While Steve recommended junking the truck and getting a new one, the veteran couldn’t afford it because he had a title loan on the car. What is a title loan? It’s usually an interest-only loan. Many don’t have end dates, meaning you pay interest every month and never pay off the principal until you can afford to pay the principal in full at once. In this case, the gentleman had a title loan for $1000. Despite the relatively low principal, he’d been paying $140 a month for almost four years, paying over $5000 on the loan and still no closer to paying it off because the full principal remained. So what do you do if you need auto repairs and can’t afford it, but want to avoid a title loan? Speak to your mechanic — many of them have financing options that are better than title loans. An option is interest-free financing. Now, this is not a perfect solution and still comes with risk as each provider has very specific criteria to get financing, and sometimes those rules shift while you’re paying. The key to a successful experience with interest-free financing is paying it back within the interest-free window, because once that interest-free window closes, the interest rate explodes. Many mechanics, like Steve and Friendly Auto, will be transparent about the terms of the agreement, but not all will, so shop carefully. COVID-19 Testing from Sun Valley Health This weekend, Friendly Auto is hosting a COVID-19 testing site in its parking lot, so the gang brought in Jeff from Sun Valley Health to speak to some of the details of how the testing works. Two types of tests are offered — antibody tests and active culture tests. The antibody test is a fingerprick test that tells you if you’ve previously been infected with the virus, and you can get results in 5-10 minutes. This test will help tell you if you’ve had COVID-19 even if you didn’t experience symptoms. The problem with the test is that your body only produces antibodies for a limited amount of time. If you take the test a week after you’re infected, it will certainly show on the test, but if it’s been several months, it may not be as accurate. The active culture test is a nasal swab or throat swab that shows if you have the virus right now, with results in approximately 48 hours. If you have insurance, these tests are covered if you have Arizona Medicaid or Medicare Part B. or no insurance. If you have no insurance, you can also get a test for free as medical providers have federal funds that they can use to cover the cost. If you have a different insurance program through your employer, the cost is $99 for a nasal swab/throat swab test or $65 if you just want the antibody test. What happens if they get positive results? Talk to your doctor. Depending on how bad your symptoms are, they’ll have recommendations on what to do. The Gang’s Feel Good Moments Everyone is having a tough time in 2020, so Felecia wanted to use the end of the show to discuss the things that are making the gang feel good, ranging from great food to success at work. For Felecia and Steve, the feel-good moment was a fantastic meal from Bee’s Fiesta Kitchen. While they are excited about when they can return to eating in the restaurant, Steve enjoyed seeing the staff when he went into the restaurant to pick up their order. If you can, please pick up orders yourself and order directly from the restaurant so they can avoid the fees charged by delivery services. PK’s feel-good moment of the week actually came when she lost a customer. She was hired by a couple to help them negotiate their divorce, but when PK met them she advised them to try separation rather than divorce, which meant they didn’t need her services. For the first time in her career, the customer apologized for staying together because he knew that she lost business from them. But for East Valley Mediators, the family comes first, and this was a positive result. Matt’s feel-good moment came from watching his wife, Bree, run a fantastic business with her business partner, Ashley. It’s a unique pairing, as Ashley is the stepmom of Matt’s oldest son. They’ve built a fabulous blended family and a great coffee company that taught Steve what cold brew is. For Ryan, his feel-good moment was helping a gentleman refinance an investment property. With Ryan’s help, the man can save $700/month on his monthly payments and increase the total payment by only $40. As a final plea in the episode, Felecia wants all our listeners to support local businesses. These people are your neighbors, so we should do what we can to buy local. Wrap Up Until next time, Stay Healthy and Drive Friendly, Arizona!
46 minutes | a month ago
Winterize in Arizona (HA!) Not so Funny. What You Need to Know.
Let’s talk. Let’s talk about anything other than that. What should we talk about? How about why (and how) you want to winterize your car if you live somewhere that doesn’t get cold. Or, why a new law in Massachusetts is going to make a huge difference when you get your car fixed. Of course we can’t forget about the nutty real estate market, and things to look out for. Join us. It will be a fun and welcomed distraction. Episode Recap One thing that isn’t a surprise — the Jets are the worst team in football. But something that is a surprise? This week’s special guest as part of a new drop in segment. Steve almost ruined the surprise, but Felecia caught him in time to keep the radio listeners in anticipation. Winterizing Your Car—in Arizona? It’s 90 degrees in the Valley, why are we talking about winterizing your car? You may not need it when you’re in Arizona, but Arizona sees a lot of residents travel to winter ski destinations in Utah. Or, there are folks from Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Chicago who come to Arizona to escape the cold, but need a winterized car when they return home. So what do you need to do? First, you need to check your coolant (also known as antifreeze). Most important is using the right antifreeze and knowing when it’s ok to do yourself and when you should have a mechanic do the job. The antifreeze used by people who maintain their own cars is often only effective down to 32 degrees and can cause engine problems if it gets colder than 32 degrees. Second is making sure your windshield washer fluid won’t freeze. In Maricopa County, you can’t buy windshield washer antifreeze, but frozen windshield washer fluid can break your windshield, so make sure you take steps to avoid that scenario. Finally, make sure you have a spare tire or snow tires if you’re traveling north and that you keep a full tank of gas when traveling in snow. Surprise Guest — Colleen Kaspar from Down Time Wines Can you imagine a wine that doesn’t give you a headache, even after a whole bottle? Well, it exists at Down Time Wines. And with everything that’s happened in 2020, you’re going to need it. How does it work? The wine that Colleen’s husband makes is low in sulfite and low in preservatives. What started as a hobby in 2003 turned into a business in Chandler in 2016. They can seat up to 30 people for tastings. They’re best known for their coffee dessert wine and their peach chardonnay, but you can come for tastings of their 42 varieties. “Right to Repair” Good For the Auto Services Industry and the Consumer While the Gang isn’t talking much about the news over the last week, one important development was the passage of the “Right to Repair” law in Massachusetts. This law requires major car manufacturers to make car details and specifications open to the public. Previously, if you bought certain cars, like a Volkswagen, you could only get them fixed at the dealership because mechanics didn’t have access to the cars specifications in order to fix it properly. These repairs were often more expensive than your local shop because the dealers knew that they didn’t have competition. This was only going to get more complicated in the future as electric vehicles grow in popularity and their repairs require more detailed specifications. Felecia summarized it best as “the freedom of information act for cars.” Applying for a Mortgage — Be Careful with Appraisals With the number of people buying homes rising, average savings rates are dropping. Interest rates are incredibly low right now, with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 2.78% (last year 3.69%). But, with increased demand for houses and limited supply, prices of houses are rising. So while you may get a higher loan amount, it’s buying you the same amount of house. One of the biggest shifts Felecia is seeing that causes concern is the role of the appraisal in the buying process. An appraisal happens because the lender wants to confirm the value of the home they are giving you a loan on. The lender wants to make sure that if something happens to you and they have to sell that property that they are going to get their money back. But, because houses are in such high demand, sellers are raising prices beyond what a house actually appraises for. Since the bank won’t give a loan beyond the appraisal price, folks are being asked to pay out of pocket for the difference. Now, if this is your dream home and that extra cost is worth it, that’s fine. But it’s risky if you’re only going to be in the house five years or so because the market in five years may be worse and you’ll lose money on the house. Something to look out for — realtors who change the listing price to alter the appraisal. Felecia has heard rumors that that some agents, upon receiving a higher than expected offer, have changed the list price to match the higher offer in hopes appraiser will believe that it is the true value of the price. If you have a realtor who will do that, run away because you don’t know what other shortcuts they are taking. The Importance of a Local Realtor Did you know pricing estimates on Zillow are usually way off? They may know how many bathrooms a house has and how many square feet, but they don’t know the neighborhood like a local realtor does. What if there’s a public notice for a big project two blocks away that might change the neighborhood for the worse? Zillow doesn’t know that. Local realtors can also help you get the best deals with local contractors you may need to work with while preparing your house to sell. For example, Felecia works with roofers and electricians who will offer to hold on billing until the house is sold and you have the extra cashflow to pay them. They wouldn’t take this risk with an unknown realtor. Felecia’s company, Platinum Realty, even offers a “flip your home” program where if there are small fixes that will dramatically change the value of your house, they’ll offer you a loan to complete those projects that you only pay for if the house sells and you do in fact see the increased value. And now, to watch the Jets face the Patriots — the first game in decades between the two teams where it might actually be close. Til next time gang, Stay Healthy and Drive Friendly!
47 minutes | a month ago
There’s Nothing Scary… About these Spooky Savings
Most all of us are saving more money now than we did before all of this craziness, but we don’t have to stop there. Let’s talk about your car. There are a ton of ways you can save and in this episode, Felecia attempts to “Stump the Steve” on a few of them. His tips are all, as a lifelong and friendly auto mechanic, very important to him, but what’s in it for us? Saving money! Later in the show, Felecia finishes off her list of critical things you need to know if you are buying or selling a house in the Phoenix Market. This is certainly a show worth turning in for. See you there. Episode Recap Happy Halloween from the gang! Felecia invented a new game, “Halloween Pong”, where instead of tossing ping pong balls into red cups, you toss candy from a distance into kid’s candy bags to be COVID-friendly. While this idea may not pan out, it’s still more likely than a Jets win this week against the Chiefs. Tips for Saving on Towing Towing can get really expensive really fast. A lot of basic insurance, however, covers a very minimal amount of towing. To save on this, get AAA with unlimited towing or an insurance deal that has unlimited towing. This is especially important given the COVID-19 pandemic. More people are traveling in their cars these days with fear of flying. With more people traveling and using their cars, there is more demand for mechanics and towing services. Without a connection through your insurance, you could be waiting a while for support. How Can I Save Money on Gas? Q+A What’s the deal with air filters? An engine runs on 15 parts air to 1 part fuel for perfect combustion. If your air filter is clogged, the engine works harder to get air in for complete combustion, or it doesn’t work harder and is inefficient. This can cause you to lose 1-2 miles per gallon. Luckily, this is a simple thing to fix by yourself with a screwdriver. Simply unscrew the filter from under the hood and hold it to a light. If the light can’t pass through, you need a new filter. These tend to clog more in the summer when there is more dirt and dust on the road. A new filter, however, only costs between 10 and 20 dollars and any reasonable mechanic will not charge for labor for such an easy task. Why does it matter if there is stuff in my trunk? The weight is like carrying extra people— it takes more work from the car to move. A full trunk of heavy items can cause a four gallon per mile difference. What’s the deal with gas additives? Professionals call it “fuel supplements”. Cars don’t have gas filters, so the gas in your car has passed from the tanker to the ground to the pump to the hose to the car without filtration of dirt and buildup. Because of that dirt and buildup that comes into your car from the gas, fuel injectors spray on full force and can cause cylinder misfires. By using a good fuel supplement, you can prevent the formation of carbon at the injector and flush out the dirt in the injector. This dirt and buildup is the most common cause of broken injectors. However, adding a fuel supplement that prevents this buildup is a lot cheaper than changing injectors, which are relatively expensive. Is a “tune-up” still a thing people need? The core question is why are you going to a mechanic? Not everyone has the same understanding of a tune-up. Sometimes you’re more likely in need of a diagnosis of an issue because the reason you were inspired to seek out a tune-up is actually a problem with your car. Why do wheel alignments make a difference in gas mileage? Tire pressure and wheel alignment are the biggest impact on gas mileage. Tires wear unevenly, and the uneven wear can cause an impact of 1-5 miles per gallon. Rubber isn’t going to grow back, so just rotating tires isn’t going to solve the problem. Alignment is critical. Do you change the tire process when attaching a camper to your car/some other towing? When you’re preparing your car to carry a camper or some other heavy attachment, put weight in the back of your car or truck bed to simulate the weight of the attachment. Use that weight to balance wheels in preparation for the camper. Being Prepared to Buy a House in a Busy Market The most competitive and most prepared are the ones who get the houses. Felecia has shared lots of strategies over the last few weeks to have the best experience buying or selling a house. Today, she wraps up her advice for buying in this sellers market. Many people buy houses out of fatigue—they don’t want to keep looking and they haven’t found the perfect house. To prevent this problem, do more previewing and less in-person viewing. You don’t need your realtor to google houses and see them online. With this, you can easily find the deal-killers (Iike no walk-in closets) before you take time out of your day to go visit in person. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, even if it says “as-is”. A misunderstanding about selling houses, people think you can make all these changes and sellers will make changes for you. But, that never happens, especially in a sellers market. You can try to negotiate on items, but it isn’t a guarantee. A way to identify whether you should negotiate, understand why the seller is selling and how motivated they are to sell. If they have a need to sell, they may be more willing to negotiate, but if the seller is more skeptical about selling, they may be less open to negotiation. Do not think your closing date is set in stone. So, have a place to put your things if there is a gap between when you have to leave your former home and move to the new one. Even if you think they are aligned, sometimes things fall behind. There are so many houses moving that the banks, lenders, and others involved are struggling to keep up. Put money aside for a backup plan including storage and hotels. Wrap Up Until next time, Stay Healthy and Drive Friendly, Arizona!
46 minutes | a month ago
Real Protection from Real Insurance, is Worth Much More than 15 Minutes
Stop getting ripped off on warranties and insurance payments. Most insurance companies don’t want to tell you this… So well will . Be in the know. Join us! Episode Recap Insurance can be complicated. Many people look at the price of or get a recommendation from a loan officer and they don’t do their research. But with that mindset, you can end up with a policy that is as useful to you as Adam Gase is to the Jets. In other words, not useful. In this episode, Matt from State Farm shares some important advice on insurance. Friendly Takeaways: When buying car insurance and warranties, don’t look at payments, look at policy. Consider breakdown insurance for expensive appliances like air conditioners. Have an insurance agent, not just an 800 number. A personal agent who knows you will make sure you have the right coverage for your unique circumstances. Your life insurance through work is great to have, but not enough. Consider additional life insurance. Car Warranties and Insurance: Policy, Not Payments When buying car insurance, most folks think about what it means for their wallet on a monthly basis — what the payments are that they’ll be making. But they don’t look at what the policy actually covers, and what that means for their out-of-pocket costs when something happens and they actually need to use their policy. Steve and his auto shop have seen numerous scenarios where customers had insurance but it didn’t address their needs. For example, a customer got locked out of his car and needed roadside assistance to help get the keys out, but his Geico policy didn’t cover roadside assistance. So, he had to pay a significant amount to get a towing company to help him. Another customer had a bad transmission, but the cause of the issue wasn’t covered by insurance, so they only would pay for a junkyard transmission and ⅓ of the labor costs. So, the customer ended trading in the car instead of getting the fix. Breakdowns happen, and if you are only looking at your payments, you might be in trouble when the time comes to actually use your policy. Why should I meet personally with an insurance agent? You never know when an accident is going to happen. You can be healthy, a sage driver, in a sound home, but something can still happen. Insurance can be a savior in those circumstances. To emphasize this point, Matt shared a sad but important story of a customer who was driving to a red light and making a right on red. While he was turning, someone darted across the street to try and get out of the rain, and the driver hit the pedestrian. So, the pedestrian sued the driver for $900,000. But the driver didn’t end up paying a cent—his insurance did. With an umbrella policy, State Farm covered the driver’s fees because he had met with an insurance agent and bought the best policy given his assets. All insurance looks the same until an incident comes up when you have to use it. An insurance agent can help explain what you’re paying for in a policy and why it is useful. Why are some policies cheaper? You pay for what you get and cheaper is usually cheaper for a reason. Myth: I don’t need life insurance, I have it through work. There’s a common myth that individuals don’t need to buy life insurance because it is offered as a benefit through work. For companies, life insurance is a great benefit to offer. Group plans are inexpensive to get, but like other forms of insurance, they are inexpensive for a reason. Did you know one percent of life insurance policies from work payout because the employees typically leave their job, get fired, or can’t work anymore and therefore become ineligible for those payouts? Additionally, payments from work policies are typically lower — 1-2x income compared to the recommendation of 7-10x income. If you have a supplemental policy beyond work, you can set your family up to pay off mortgages or other major expenses that may arise should something happen to you. Myth: The color of my car affects the cost of my insurance. Does the color of your car affect your cost of insurance? No. What does make a difference? Make and model of your car and your personal driving record. Certain cars and models are more likely to be in accidents and your personal driving history is a predictor of your likelihood to be in an accident in the future. Myth: My older car is safer because no one wants to steal an older car. Newer cars are actually getting higher discounts on insurance because of safety and security features built into the car. While older cars may seem less desirable to take, the weaker security features make them easier to break into. Should my spouse and I share a policy? Matt recommends separate policies for spouses. While you can plan to stay together forever, you never know what can happen. With separate policies, you give yourself security in the circumstance that you do in fact get a divorce. Confident you’ll stay together forever? You can still make your spouse the beneficiary of your policy and only change it if something changes. Wrap Up Til next time gang! Stay Healthy and Drive Friendly!
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Divorce and Things Your Dealer Doesn’t Want You to Know with guest Jeff Guarino
There are a lot of things that your Car Dealer would rather you not know. Like the fact that you can put anything that you like into it and that it can be serviced by anyone. “It will void the warranty…” If you hear that, ask for it in writing. We also revisit the subject of separation during this strange days with guest Jeff Guarino and Co-Host Pk Jordan from East Valley Mediator. They cover a lot of great info. Join us. Learn a little, laugh a little. Episode Recap We’re back this week once again with the folks from State Farm and East Valley Mediator. We wonder if PK and Jeff could moderate a mediation between the Jets and Sam Darnold so they can move on? In this episode, the Gang talks about a new car service that helps match drivers to the right mechanics for their needs, the financial implications of getting divorced and buying a new home, and more of the mistakes that buyers make when buying a home. Friendly Takeaways If a car dealership tries to void your warranty because you used non-factory parts, call them on their bluff. It’s illegal to void a warranty this way according to the Magnuson-Moss Act. Consider donating to College Bound AZ, a nonprofit in Arizona that helps provide scholarships and other donations to students who are college-bound, but lack the funds to pay for it on their own. In today’s rental market, a three-bedroom/two-bathroom home averages $1700-2000/month in Tempe, $1700-2100 in GIlbert, and $2400-5000 in Scottsdale. The problem is that even if these are in your price range, availability is extremely low. Will Car Savior be Your Saving Grace? Last week we talked about drivers getting scammed on repairs when they go to a mechanic they aren’t familiar with. But what if there was a service that could help match you to the right mechanic when you are in an unfamiliar place or don’t know what to look for? Enter Car Savior. So how does it work? When something is wrong with your car, call Car Savior and they’ll interview you about what’s going wrong and attempt to diagnose the issue. Then, they’ll recommend a local mechanic who is best suited to solve that particular problem. Since they aren’t the ones doing the repairs, Car Savior can give you a more objective diagnosis than a potential repair shop who wants to make money from your repairs. Now, this service isn’t a perfect solution as it’s impossible to perfectly diagnose what’s wrong without diving into the car, so your mechanic may still uncover additional or different issues than Car Savior provided. However, it still will get you closer than if you had tried to diagnose yourself. While this service isn’t in Arizona yet, Steve may have found a new project for his business to help with those on the West Coast. Money and Divorce— Two Ugly Topics That A Mediator Can Help With A common question that arises when a couple goes through a divorce is what to do with their shared home. There are a few options: The pair can keep the home and continue living in it with new arrangements One spouse can buy out the other spouse Refinance the house based on one spouse Sell the house But what happens if you choose to sell your house, but one spouse wants to buy or rent a new place before the deals on your old house and the official divorce are finalized? You need to sign a non-purchasing spouse agreement. There are also important considerations for your loans. For example, if you aren’t eligible for a loan based on your income alone because you previously relied on your spouse’s income, you can use child support payments as evidence for loan eligibility. However, the child support payments must continue for at least three years after the divorce, so if your child is 17, this won’t work. So You Decide to Sell, What Are the Must-Dos to Prepare for the Market? It’s a seller’s housing market, so do you really need to make those repairs? With buyers snatching up houses quickly nowadays, won’t they overlook them? Felecia says no, you should definitely still do the repairs even in a seller’s market. Repairs show better and you get top dollar. Buyers don’t overlook repairs—You can’t sell garbage and expect to be paid for gold. So many new homes are being built, that even if buyers are going to end up with a used home, they’ve probably still seen a new home in their search and that provides a point of comparison. What are the must-fix items? Felecia says there are five primary things you MUST address repairs for — air conditioners, roof, electrical, plumbing (the most often missed by homeowners until inspection!), and termites. No one will provide a loan to buy a house with termites. Some secondary things can help seal the deal on a sale like uniform flooring throughout the house, uniform paint color, and clean landscaping. Mistakes that Buyers Make In a competitive market, home buyers are often offering to pay a certain price even if it is above the house’s appraisal value. In those cases, an agreement has to be signed from the buyer that if this house doesn’t appraise at a certain value, I’ll bring cash to make up the difference. Some people say to absolutely avoid paying above appraisal cost, but Felecia thinks it isn’t so cut and dry. Whether or not to pay above appraisal value: depends on why you are buying the house: You should pay above appraisal (if it’s in your budget) if: You have young kids and this is going to be your home for the next 10 years. If you love the neighborhood and everything lines up, pay the money and buy the house. In 10 years, barring recession, you’ll likely make your money back if you want to sell. You should not pay above the appraisal value if: You’re only going to stay 3-5 years and your guarantee on making your money back based on the market is more risky. Wrap Up Until next time, Stay Healthy and Drive Friendly, Arizona!
46 minutes | 2 months ago
How to Separate When You’re Stuck Together with guest Jeff Guarino
The last seven months have been challenging, but how much worse would things be if you and your significant other no longer want to spend any significant time together. Our main topic today is separation. Guest Jeff Guarino and Co-Host Pk Jordan from East Valley Mediator talk about how to do it during these strange days. What’s right? What’s fair? And, what’s best for everyone (especially the children)? If you or someone you know could use a few ideas and advice on how to separate when you’re stuck together, join us. Episode Recap It’s Steve and Felecia’s 27th wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than talking about used cars and mediator services? It’s certainly a better way to celebrate than watching the sad Jets. Friendly Takeaways: If you’re out of town and your car breaks down, call your local mechanic to ask for a referral. Felecia’s secret to a successful marriage? Compromise. If you’re considering divorce, one of the most important things to think about are finances. Can you afford to separate? But finances don’t have to be a dealbreaker with the support of a mediator. When buying a house, plan to have approximately 8% of your house’s cost available for a down payment and closing costs. Broken Down Car? Do Your Homework Before Committing to Repair Work Steve has seen the horror stories of customers who come in for repairs and have been taken advantage of by other dealers in their repair work. First, a customer who needed an engine replaced and went with one of the discount engine replacement services that offer unbelievably low prices (until you read the 6 point font with the terms and conditions). While advertised at $1495 for the engine, the end price came to over $4000 because of unanticipated labor and parts. But that wasn’t the end. A few months later when something went wrong again, the company offered no warranty on the service because the customer didn’t have a receipt for every oil change he’d gotten with the new engine. Then, Steve shared the story of a customer who needed his transmission replaced while on a cross-country trip, so he got the car serviced at a local repair shop he was unfamiliar with. The transmission then broke again when he arrived in Arizona. However, the shop had bought the part in the customers’ name, so the only warranty on the part was from O’Reillys. O’Reillys would only offer to pay $45/hr for labor, while the typical auto-repair shop charges $130/hour. The customer was forced to foot the bill for the difference. These sound terrible, but there is a solution. You probably have a mechanic that you work with regularly at home. So, if you need work away from home, call your local mechanic and ask for a recommendation. They are typically members of several associations and networks where they can recommend a reputable provider. Worst case scenario? Go to a franchise organization rather than a mom and pop shop where you’ll have more opportunity for recourse. Pandemic Blues or Pandemic Chaos PK Jordan and Jeff Guarino from East Valley Mediators joined the show to discuss their advice for those going through divorce during the pandemic. PK referred to the “Pandemic Blues” and “Pandemic Chaos” — the former referring to sadness during the pandemic that drives you to say that you’re done and over it, the latter referring to anger that you can’t do it for another day. Both lead to couples considering divorce, but there are challenges that can require a mediator to find the best solution for the family. Finances and living scenarios are often at the core of these challenges. If these seem like impossible barriers, mediators can help identify unique solutions. For example, could you offer physical assets to offset the split of financial assets? If you aren’t comfortable giving up any of your retirement fund, could you offer your car in the split of assets? If you can’t afford a second home, could you create physical separation within your existing home? Some families have had one parent live upstairs and another downstairs, and children would transition from one floor to the other depending on which parent’s turn it was to watch the kids. Or, you could rent a studio and whichever parent is not watching the kids in a given week moves into the studio, then they swap. Often planning ahead for future scenarios can help keep things as smooth as possible, such as pre-determining in what circumstances you’d be comfortable with your children meeting a parent’s new significant other. The most important thing? Doing what is best for the kids. New Buyers — Homebuyers The housing market is as busy as ever with extremely low interest rates incentivizing home buyers to act quickly on purchasing a home. Felecia’s advice as a realtor is to have a plan about what you’re looking for and what you can afford before you walk into the first house. With homes moving quickly, you don’t have much time to think after you’ve visited a house or you might miss out. The first thing to think about in your plan is money. Even if you’ve been approved for a loan, there are upfront costs that you need to be able to pay right away, including a down payment (3.5% minimum), closing costs (usually between 3 and 4 percent), inspection costs, appraisals, and more. It all adds up. Car Maintenance as the Weather Changes As temperatures drop, air pressure in your tires drops as well, but don’t panic. A 5-6 lbs decrease is typical. As cool weather comes, more battery issues are also common as oil gets thicker. Come to Steve to get your tires filled at no cost and to get 5-year free replacement batteries with no charge for installation. Wrap Up Until next time, Stay Healthy and Drive Friendly Arizona!
45 minutes | 2 months ago
The New (or Used) Car Buying Experience with guest Jerry Brodeur
They way you bought a car in the past is much different than your options today. Maybe you like to “kick the tires” and you still can, but chances good that when you arrive on the lot – you already know exactly what you’re going to buy. We cover a lot in this show with guest Jerry Brodeur of Berkshire Hathaway Automotive. Much more than we could ever wrap up into a tiny title and little description. Things like: how to get the upgrades you want for less, what to look for in a used car, what to avoid, what not to avoid. The list goes on… and on. Join us. Learn something new! Episode Recap Is it time for you to sell your car and get a new one? It’s definitely time for the NY Jets to sell Sam Darnold and get a new quarterback, according to Steve and Felecia. But when it comes to your car, there are many considerations on what path to go when shopping for a new (or used) vehicle. Friendly Takeaways If you’re buying a used car, don’t buy from a friend or neighbor — they likely won’t be your friend for much longer. A big mistake folks make when buying a car is rushing into it. Instead, try renting a car for a week in the model you’re considering purchasing and see if you like it. Many people are moving their car shopping online rather than in the dealerships. The average buyer spends 16 hours shopping online for a car before going to a dealership. Some skip the dealership altogether and have their vehicle and paperwork delivered to their house. When buying a used car, find a salesperson and mechanic you trust. There are many ways to get caught up in used car scams, but they are avoidable if you take proper steps. How to Win the Car Buying Process So your car needs several parts fixed, and the cost to repair exceeds the price of a new car. So, you’ve decided to call it a day on your current car and look to the market. Financially, this is probably the right move, but you need to be careful, or you could end up with a worse-off vehicle than you started with when you began the process. When you are in sudden need of a car, often you’ll look to the first opportunity that arises. That is usually a friend or neighbor you know who happens to be selling their car. In this case, many buyers skip the step of having a mechanic check the vehicle for any issues because they are afraid of offending their friend. Then, that first time you go in for an oil change, you discover all the reasons your neighbor was eager to offload the car. Here are the steps you can take in the buying process to avoid these challenges Review any used car with a third party mechanic that you find through reviews or referrals from friends Test the car model you’re considering from a rental organization first to make sure you actually like it without the pressure of a salesperson in the car How the Internet is Changing Car Shopping Jerry Brodeur of Berkshire Hathaway joined the show, and one of the insights he revealed is that today, the average person spends 16 hours online searching for the car they want before going to any dealerships. Once they get to the dealership, they usually have a near-certain plan for what car they want to buy — if they go to the dealership at all. COVID-19 has accelerated a trend where car buyers never have to go to a dealership, and instead get their car and paperwork delivered. The shift to online shopping means that if car salespeople want to compete, they need to be even more people-oriented and shift their image away from the sleazy car salesman. Brodeur’s business offers a form of concierge service where Jerry will escort car buyers through the process, helping protect buyers from sales gimmicks and teaching salespeople how to excel at the same time. The Debate: New vs. Used There’s a consistent debate in the automotive community of whether to buy a brand new car or a used car. Here are some considerations from the gang: Most new cars lose value immediately when driven off the lot, so what are you really gaining? If you care about always having the newest model, leasing a new car is likely the best option. If you’re looking for updated gadgets like Bluetooth or rear-view cameras, it is often possible to add those after the fact to a car for less money than buying the package upfront. So, don’t make technology your primary motivator for buying a new car. If you’re making payments for the next five years, make sure that the car will fit your needs for five years. If you think you’ll grow your family, move to a different climate, or make some other life change, make sure your car can accommodate, or that it will be paid off before you make those changes Until next time, Stay Safe and Drive Friendly, Arizona!
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Wah, Wah Warranties, AND Things to Know About AZ with guest Dee Baginski
To warranty or not to warranty. That is one (not all) of the questions we ask today. Whether ’tis a good idea – yes, but what “deets” should ye seek. Enough with the silliness. In addition to Steve’s infinite auto knowledge, Felecia sheds some light on stuff that most Arizonans (especially transplants) don’t know about Arizona. That plus Ryan Steckelberg’s “lock of the week.” We’re also joined by special guest Dee Baginski, President and Founder of the Courage Under Cancer Foundation. She shares her personal battles with Cancer as well as the unbelievable cost of treatment. Her foundation believes that people shouldn’t have to go without cancer treatment because they can’t afford it. It’s her passion. Episode Recap While the Jets likely won’t be extending Adam Gase’s contract based on their performance so far this year, you can and should extend your car warranty — if you take the right steps to do it properly. The Rozanskys are joined by special guest Dee Baginski to discuss her nonprofit Courage Under Cancer. We also discuss the merits of buying a used car (over a brand new pickup truck) and learn some fun facts about Arizona for all the transplants who may not know much about their adopted state! Friendly Takeaways It’s ok to consider an extended warranty on your car, but not until the included warranty is running out. And if you do get an extended warranty, read the contract. Support cancer patients with Courage Under Cancer The monthly price difference between a used car and a new car could allow you to max out your IRA every year The official necktie of Arizona is the bolo tie Extended Warranties Dealerships often convince buyers into getting extended warranties when they first buy a car. However, this is the wrong approach. Why shouldn’t you buy the extended warranty with your new car, and what should you do instead? The car salesperson often says that if you buy the warranty, they’ll be able to offer a lower interest rate. However, this is meant mainly as a negotiation tactic, and if you push on it, you’ll get access to the interest rate without the warranty. Most cars come with a warranty already — usually a minimum of 3 years or 36,000 miles. So, if you buy a five year extended warranty, you’ll only actually gain two years beyond the warranty that comes with the car. Instead, buy the extended warranty when the original warranty is close to expiring. The extended warranties claim to cover everything, but this is often not the case. The specifics in the contract are much more narrow, but only for used parts, for labor at below market rates, or at dealerships that are inaccessible or not qualified to work with a particular brand of car. Ask to read the contract before buying the warranty, instead of relying on just the brochure. Dee Baginski – Courage Under Cancer Many nonprofits that focus on cancer donate their money for research. However, another major need is for cancer patients and the expenses they incur in managing their treatment. So, Dee Baginski and her husband started Courage Under Cancer to address this gap. Baginski is currently going through cancer treatment for the third time and has been lucky enough to have insurance that has covered her expenses, but she knows the challenges many patients face. Baginski shared research from the University of Richmond: 25% of people diagnosed with cancer can’t afford treatment, 20% of patients can’t afford prescriptions. So, Baginski’s organization would help patients with these costs, or with other costs that they may struggle with while paying for medical expenses. To raise money for Courage Under Cancer, Baginski and her team are organizing a Bachelor Mystery Auction event. Pickup Trucks & Used Car Ever wanted a brand new pickup truck? Maybe you’ll want to reconsider if you’re hoping to retire comfortably. A monthly payment for a new pickup truck can run up to $1300 per month — more than many people’s monthly mortgage payments. For Steve, his transition from New York to Arizona also led to a transition from a minivan to a pickup truck. But, he bought the truck used, making it a much more cost-effective investment. Felecia shared a dramatic statistic that makes the new versus used car debate hit home — with the monthly payments saved by going with a used car rather than a new one, an individual could max out their IRA each year. The safest place to buy a used car is from a local dealer rather than a major auction. When you buy a used car, read the carfax front to back to understand how many owners and auctions it has been through. Aim for one to two previous owners and few locations. Then, have your own mechanic look over the car for any red flags. Get to Know Arizona When they moved to Arizona, Steve and Felicia didn’t know too much about where their new home. With lots of new residents in Arizona, they shared some fun facts you might like to know: There are nine billionaires in Phoenix area and Paradise Valley is richest place to live in Arizona The official necktie of Arizona? The bolo tie. East Valley started as a cooperative partnership between the towns to organize a destination marketing campaign and drive tourism and homeownership in the area. The state bird is the cactus wren A more logistical fact — make sure you Understand your expenses and changes in utilities when coming to Arizona! When moving from a single floor house in NYC to a two floor house in Arizona, Steve and Felicia’s bills changed dramatically. Until next time, Drive Friendly and Stay Safe Arizona!
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Yay for Battery Day!!! Plus Easy Ways to Save $$$
Read your policy? Of course not (it's up there with service agreements), but there's a lot you need to know before you make hasty decisions.
46 minutes | 3 months ago
When Low Prices Cost You Big Money with guest Tony Picarello
We're cleaning up after low-price providers. Abandoned repairs, sideways deals, "surprise" or hidden fees, and what you can do to avoid them.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
How to Keep: Your Car, Home & Office and $$$ with Guest Jeff Barker
Things are getting rough. All those safeguards are getting ready to expire, and while most people will do the right thing, we need to fight for what’s ours. That means taking care of what’s essential. It means making yourself indispensable. It means making the right moves when the time is right. This is the theme behind this week’s show. Jeff Barker of Robert Bosch, LLC joins Steve, Felecia, Matt, Pk and Ryan for a lot of laughs and learning. Episode Recap FRIENDLY TAKEAWAYS: Stay safe on the roads by inspecting your car Bosch filters will extend the life of your car’s engine Talk to your landlord to avoid getting evicted Get the right price for your home Auto Safety Inspection and Accidents in Arizona Steve couldn’t find his Islanders jersey, but the show still went on! Aren’t we all missing sports? It’s all repeats and highlights on sports TV. PK noticed that kids are still out playing in the ballparks. These days, though, kids are playing mostly video games — get back out there on the courts and fields! We had a great guest today. Friendly Auto Centers is a Bosch certified dealer. Our guest today is Jeff Baker from Bosch, a real car guy. You can follow him on Instagram for great car info. Arizona has the highest rate of vehicle accidents in the US — we’re number one! We’re one of the few states with no safety inspection. Many states have an annual safety inspection, which can really help reduce accidents and lower insurance rates. That can also help save money on repairs because you get things fixed before they become really expensive. What do they check for? They look for tire treads and tire wear — no baldness, no bulges, etc. Brakes can’t be cracked or worn down. Wiper blades have to be good to go. No fluid leaks. Cracked windshields will fail your car, just like cracked lights or lights that are out. They’ll also check turn signals. Steering needs to be good to go, no leaks. We need to implement this in Arizona. Licensed service stations would get behind this. This will make cars safer and reduce the amount of junk and debris off the roads. This is the exact reason that Matt covers the cost of oil changes, because it reduces claims. The New Line of Bosch Oil and Air Filters Drive Friendly became the CarFax Top Shop in Arizona! Be sure to check out the show, The Blender with Jeffry O’Brien, on 1580 AM — our new channel. Great show. In this segment we welcomed our guest Jeff, with Bosch. The latest and greatest with Bosch is their new line of oil filters. Just about every car has oil filters, but most people don’t pay much attention to them. Engines these days are much cleaner than they used to be. Older cars need to be changed every 3,000. Some newer cars can go 7,000-10,000 miles, but they need the right oil filter. If you’re using high-end oil and want to go 10,000 miles, you need a filter that can handle it. Lower-end filters have paper filters that get chewed up. The new filters have fiberglass filtering. The key is the pleats in the filter. The more pleats you have, the more dirt it can hold. The more filter you have, the less of a pressure drop you have going through the filter. It also gets out the smaller particles. That little hole at the top of the filter is the bypass. Old, used filters get all gunked up at which point it no longer filters the oil, as the oil gets bypassed. The only thing worse than dirty oil is no oil. It’s that ‘worn out’ oil we discussed in a previous episode. Poor filters can disintegrate and end up in the engine. Friendly Auto is now offering these filters with the ultimate oil change. They also have the Bosch air filter, which really filters the dirt out of the air. Having a good air filter can really extend the life of other parts and sensors in the car. Some filters can even melt onto components, like oxygen sensors. That can show up as a bad sensor, when it really might just be an air filter. That’s the real price of a cheap air filter. We’re seeing a lot of carbon buildup on 4-cylinder BMWs and Mercedes. It can be really expensive to get rid of that buildup. How to Avoid Eviction During COVID All over the news is people getting evicted. What happened to caring for each other? What can somebody do? PK Jordan shed light on that. It’s never been the case that you don’t have to pay your rent during COVID. If you can’t pay, talk to your landlord. You can agree to break your missed rent over several months. Pay what you can, then work it out with your landlord to pay the rest. Landlords must keep the key utilities running. Let’s say the A/C goes out, make a phone call to your landlord and follow it up with a written confirmation of what’s going to happen. That is a necessity, not a luxury. The law that the governor passed says you can’t put tenants on the street during COVID. Now, there are still things a landlord can do to remove a tenant, but it can’t be COVID related, like doing repairs to the property. Have to give notice on that, though. They can’t just kick people out for non-payment. Sometimes, leases can be negotiated, and there are other things that can be done. The key is that landlords don’t want a vacancy. Talk to your landlord! There are options for small businesses, as well. You can use partial rent, free rent. Commercial landlords also don’t want a vacancy. Be a good tenant, so that they want to keep you. If you’re a trouble tenant, they’ll be less likely to work with you. If you have to get out of a lease, negotiate the exit to save yourself money. How to Get the Price Right When Selling Your Home We are at the lowest level of houses being sold here in the Valley. Inventory is almost half of what it’s been at its previous lowest. And loans are available at incredibly low rates. People want to buy. There’s just so little inventory. It’s definitely a sellers market. So, what do you need to do when you want to sell your house? Even with enthusiastic buyers, it can all change at inspection time. The inspection can really put the brakes on a deal or even just kill the deal. Felecia recently had a buyer walk away because of the inspection. In looking at the inspection, there were a couple things that needed fixing. They fixed them and got full price after three days on the market. There are four things to look at in your home: The inside surface: floors, walls, kitchen, bedroom. This is the first impression inside the home. Underneath: what does it look like underneath. Look at the plumbing, the roof, the A/C. These kinds of things will show up in the inspection. Outside: You want curb appeal. Clean up the yard, get rid of debris, trim the bushes, mow the lawn. Dog poop can kill a deal. Check the facia boards. There’s a lot more to the house than the eyes can see. We’ll talk more about this next week. Wrap Up Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona! Oh, and be sure to check out the other shows on The Fanatic!
48 minutes | 5 months ago
A Big Hello to Our New “Fanatics”
We’ve moved…A new station and a new time – we’re so excited! In this show we talk about our teams, our passions and all of the things we’re working on to support our community. Oh, and we get back to getting Ryan a date (800+ credit score ladies). It’s an introduction of sorts for our new audience on our new station, The Fanatic (https://www.1580thefanatic.com/). Not new to the show? You’re still going to learn something new about us and of course get in a few good chuckles. Join us! Episode Recap FRIENDLY TAKEAWAYS: Hello sports fans! Change your car’s fluids during the summer. Position your offer so that the home seller accepts it. Support your community. Talking Sports Here on our New Station: The Fan We’re excited to be on our new station, The Fan! We’ll talk cars, sports, and real estate here on this great sports station. As lifelong NY Jets fans, we’re happy to be on a sports station. Check in with us each week for our take on the NFL games, too, assuming they’re able to play this year. Who do our teammates root for? Ryan Steckelberg, the mortgage expert: Iowa Hawkeyes, Northern Iowa basketball fan and the Arizona Cardinals. Matt Watson, State Farm Risk Advisor: Detroit Lions, his own youth wrestling and baseball teams PK Jordan, Divorce Mediator: Chicago Bears; huge soccer freak, especially the youth leagues Summer Car Maintenance: Change Those Fluids The number one maintenance thing you can do in the summer is changing your oil. Your car has nine different fluids. Changing those fluids is the best thing you can do to keep your car running. Get your car’s owner’s manual and check the fluids schedules — then divide that by half. The more you change your fluids the better your car will do. If your manual says 10,000 miles or 6 months, change it out at 5,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. Even if you don’t drive your car much, you need to change those fluids. Get to know Friendly Auto Centers, AAA Top Shop two years in a row and two-year nomination for the BBB Ethics Torch awards. We’ll take great care of your car. Plus, our work is lifetime warranty, guaranteed, including a 3-year, coast-to-coast warranty. Ryan Steckelberg, Your Mortgage Expert The very single Ryan Steckelberg shared his background and what they need to know about mortgages today. From Cedar Falls, Iowa, he moved to AZ twenty-five years ago and has been racking up awards and loyal customers ever since. Is the market okay? He’s done as much in the first six months this year as all of last year. His angle is making sure he is taking care of clients, getting them the right loan, and being transparent. He wants your loan to close on time. If he has to, he’ll beat builders’ own rates! At VIP Mortgage, they have a team of fifteen, including processors and loan officers. They are all experienced and licensed. So, what’s the deal with Quicken Loans going public? Is this like the iBuyer apps who are loyal to shareholders rather than sellers and buyers? Felecia, of Platinum Realty, is a professional, full-time Realtor who will fight for you like no app can do. You’ll save yourself so many headaches in this sellers market when you work with a seasoned pro. How to Get Your Offer Accepted in a Sellers Market The market is a sellers market, which means the seller has the advantage. An escalation clause puts in automatic bids up to a certain amount. We’re seeing more of these in this market. How can you be competitive in a tough market? Five things: Price. Is it fair and competitive? In a market like this, buyers may pay more than appraisal. Cash. A mortgage is cash in 30 days, so it comes down to price either way. It does help mitigate risks of the buyer not qualifying in the end. Closing Date. You want this as close to the offer date as possible. 28 days is ideal, but we see 30-45 days. The key here is to know the motivation of the seller. You might need a 6-week closing date? Matching that up to your needs is key. Home Warranty. Don’t make this contingent on the sale, but try for it. Inspection. This can be the hardest part. Be ready to negotiate anything that pops up in the inspection. In this market, it is important to know what to ask for and what might kill the deal. Later, we’ll talk about how to get your offer accepted. Insurance for that New Home with Matt Watson Once you buy a home, how do you get it insured properly? If you have a mortgage, you have to have insurance. But having the right insurance is important. With your car, it’s the law. The key to working with a pro like Matt Watson is that he’ll help you get the right coverages. He’ll sit down with you and understand what you’re protecting. You work hard for your home, your assets, your money. Matt will make sure that you keep all that protected — a wall of protection. When you do business with Matt Watson State Farm, you’ll also be giving back to the community. He gave back 20% of premiums to help the community during the COVID crisis. Using Mediation to Save Money on Divorce and Leases PK Jordan joined the show to talk lease negotiations. She’s super grateful for this whole Drive Friendly team and how they all support each other. Matt Watson recently really came through for PK. It’s relationships like these that last and are really helpful. Ryan has helped her clients. Felecia has helped her with her real estate transactions. And of course, she takes her cars and refers her clients to Steve and Friendly Auto. As a mediator, she wants people to know that, in divorce, COVID is either strengthening couples or breaking them apart. If things are rough, divorce may not be your only option. Look at counseling or other services to try and save the marriage. If it just won’t work, then mediation is the way to go. If you hire separate attorneys, you’re going to pay way too much for your lawyers to fight each other and drain your bank accounts. With COVID, we’re also seeing a lot of small businesses having to decide whether or not to close their doors. You have options, and PK offers a free consultation to help you make that decision, to consider all of the options. There is likely room to negotiate your lease and save yourself thousands of dollars should you need to exit out of your lease. We’ll dive deeper into divorce and leases with PK in later shows. Being a Good Community Partner Supporting the community is near and dear to the hearts of everybody on the show. All of us are business owners, and it’s important to us to give back. Matt Watson State Farm: Matt has always been about giving back, ever since he opened his doors. He works with Big Brothers/Big Sisters because he was a little brother growing up. That’s helped him develop his core values. He also works with the Community Alliance Against Family Abuse, College Bound, and others. Friendly Auto: Steve grew up in tough times, on the other side of government cheese. So he works closely with the Southwest Food Bank donating food and fixing their trucks for free. Steps to Recovery Home is another group he supports, a place that helps recovering addicts get back into the community. It’s all through a thrift store, so he finds items to donate through his U-Haul clients. Felecia also supports College Bound along with Matt. They work to help East Valley underprivileged kids to get scholarships to ASU. Last year they had 24 full-ride scholarships. This year, it looks like they’ll top 50 scholarships! Ryan Steckelberg: VIP Mortgage gives to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Boys and Girls Clubs and over 20 local charities. They’re always out there feeding those who need it. PK Jordan: She runs the Laloboy Foundation, which provides counseling stipends to help those who need help some counselling. She will also be doing seminars on internet safety for kids. Kids are in crisis right now. Wrap Up Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!
43 minutes | 5 months ago
Go Places! (Other Than a Different Room) with guests Kristin & Richard Morris
What’s better than staying home? “Anything” yes, but what about travel? What is available? Are there any deals? Where could you go? Is it safe? Really safe? These questions and more from our returning guests Kristin and Richard Morris of Arizona Cruise and Travel. Also don’t miss Steve’s tips for those long-hauls with a camper and Felecia… Felecia has just a few things to say about keeping it local. Don’t miss it. Episode Recap FRIENDLY TAKEAWAYS: Got to get away? Prepare that vehicle for a road trip! Get smart on traveling during COVID. There are lots of travel deals right now. Shop local and stay away from iBuyer apps. Prepare Your Vehicle for a Family Vacation Deciding to travel this summer is tough in this environment. Kids are already stir crazy. Parents are looking to get out. Many are traveling to see family. So, how do you get your car, camper, or truck ready for some travel? Camping is very popular here in Arizona. How do you get your truck ready to pull a camper? Most campers we see in Arizona are the ones that are towed. It’s just a matter of hooking it up and driving off. You need to prepare your vehicle. Steve has a V-8 Dodge Ram, for example. Trucks were designed to carry the load in the back. When you tow, you need to prep the truck, especially when you’re going up and down these mountains. Take a drive with the trailer on the truck before you load the family up in it. Make sure you’re able to handle it. As for brakes, you need a carbon-metallic brake pad. When brake pads get hot, you can mash down on the brakes, but you won’t stop. You can’t let that happen when you’re coming down the mountain and need to stop suddenly. Another thing is how you load up the trailer. The truck was designed to carry a half-ton either in the truck OR in the trailer. Don’t overload it. Also, you want to make sure your shock absorbers keep up with the increased loads. Account for the bugs. When you drive through the state, bugs get caught in the condenser on the front of your vehicle. If that gets too clogged, it can’t cool the engine down enough. You can buy a long wand on Amazon and blow out the debris forward, out away from the engine. It’s just $30 and hooks up to your garden hose. And of course, before you take off, make sure your vehicle’s fluids are topped off. Don’t put dishwasher fluid! It just bubbles up. Yeah, we’ve seen that. Washer fluid in Arizona isn’t freeze-proof because you can make drugs out of it. So, to buy it, you have to prove you’re from a cold part of the state. You can add a little rubbing alcohol to normal fluid, and it won’t freeze. Make sure your spare tires are good, for both your vehicle and your trailer! They’re cheap. Make sure you get that trailer spare. And don’t forget the lug wrench! Cruises and Other Travel During COVID-19 We all spent time hanging out with our guests Kristin and Richard, a few months back. That was the exact moment that COVID really hit and slowed things down, including canceling travel plants. They had to work hard to take care of their clients who had travel plans. It was like they went underground helping everybody. They gave excellent advice. Sometimes, they told their clients to just wait it out and stay patient. People started panicking and wanted to cancel immediately. But they noticed that cruise lines were starting to give incentives to re-book travel for later dates. So, they advised clients to hold on and wait to see what the vendors might start to offer. These incentives indeed came along. They offered up to a 25% incentive to re-booking that trip. Those who canceled only got a refund. That’s a 25% difference in what they can spend on their future travels. The important reason to work with a travel agent is that they can get on the phone and handle the bookings. Sometimes, that took hours. If you went this alone, you likely spent hours on your own, on hold. That’s a huge bonus when working with a travel agent. Kristin and Richard also handle other travel, like Sandals and European excursions. In those cases, it really depended on what the vendor was offering. Most would reschedule, but they were also able to get some of them to offer up refunds. The hotels got more flexible with government assistance. The vendors that didn’t play well…are getting re-evaluated. Those that do the right thing will get their loyalty. The cruise lines have been great, among the best in the travel industry, in handling this. They’ve been great for both travelers and agents. Great Travel Deals for Beaches and Resorts There are some great travel deals going on now, right now even with COVID going on. How do we get out of town? Cancun is taking people and is a great place to visit. They’re limiting capacity, so you can stay healthy. They are at 25% capacity and keeping everything sanitized. Right now there are 7-7-7 deals — 7 resorts, 7 rooms, 7% off. They get these deals every week! So, you’ll want to keep up with Kristin and Richard on these. There are also credits, tour credits, free sunglasses — some great incentives. Are you a first responder or military? Great discounts there, too. Now is a great time to hit up a beach if you like having space to yourself. With limited capacity, you’ll have a good chunk of the beach to yourself. If you’re looking at Europe, you’ll want to look later in the year or next year. They’re shutting Americans out for now, so no immediate travel to Europe. Same with Asia. It’s pretty much shut down, too. If you’re going there, look at spring of 2021. A lot of the cruises are allowing people to cancel or reschedule up to 48 hours in advance, should anything happen. But Richard recommends travel insurance to cover that. Knowing these details are another reason to use a travel agent. What’s the feeling about air travel and the virus? Some airlines are promising an empty middle seat, but they’re seeing plenty of filled flights. Wearing a mask and sanitizing your seat should be good. The airlines are following CDC guidelines for sanitizing the planes between flights. A lot of places in Mexico and the Carribean will actually swab you — give you a COVID test. But check out the airline you’re using. Southwest seems to be doing things right. Felecia’s Rant on iBuyer Apps: Don’t Do It! Time to talk buying local. Kristin and Richard are local. You can visit their office in Gilbert! How does that affect real estate? Those iBuyer apps! Where did these people go in April as COVID hit? They ran and left town back to wherever their offices are, which is not in Arizona. So, who was left? The local Realtors! Agents are essential workers, so we’re able to continue to work. If you were counting on an iBuyer app, you were left dry. You want to work with an agent who shops at your same stores and lives in your same cities. These are the pros who are loyal to you and the community. When you use an iBuyer app, that money leaves the state and your community. And that’s not to mention that you’ll pay more with those! These apps care only about their shareholders. They don’t care about you. It’s Wall Street versus Main Street. Wall Street is doing fine. But our friends next door on Main Street are hurting. These apps also lose you money. With an agent, you’re only paying about 6%. With Zillow, you’ll pay 11-17%. Their offers are made with an algorithm. Most times, they don’t even come see the house. They don’t know the neighborhood. A local Realtor knows the area. It’s important to know the vibe. Arcadia and Gilbert are different. An app won’t know that. These apps force you to make repairs before you can close. When you work with a Realtor, they’ll do an inspection up front and be prepared to negotiate. If you need to do the work, you can choose your favorite local contractor. You lose all that with an iBuyer app. If you can make another $10,000-15,000, be patient and work with a local Realtor. Did you know that you can negotiate the Title and Escrow fees? Yes! You can’t do that with an iBuyer app. You give up all your power, in addition to your money. A good, full-time Realtor will fight for you. An app won’t. It’s all about negotiations and getting what’s best for you. A Realtor will really get to know you and your goals and help you make the best decision for you and your family. That might even be not to sell your house right now. Will an app tell you that? A Realtor will have a conscience and ethics. The bottom line: shop and buy local! Your money stays here and you’ll help a member of your community make it through this COVID stuff! Wrap Up Until next week, Drive Friendly and Stay Healthy Arizona!
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