Adapting to the New Normal with guests Alex Shapiro and Curt Larson


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Adapting to the New Normal with guests Alex Shapiro and Curt Larson

We’re opening back up, but are things getting back to normal? Not even close. In fact, the new normal is starting to feel a little… normal. Let’s talk about that.

Zoom graduations, virtual _________ (everything), our favorite TV shows (at home editions), drive by birthdays, drive by holidays. What else? We’ve got a couple of special guests joining us this week. Like so many others, they’re helping us adapt to the new normal.

Can Monkey takes your garbage cans out and returns them every week. Even if they’re empty. They were growing fast in the pre-Covid world with property managers, Airbnb, VRBO, but now they’re attracting all sorts of customers that would just rather not go outside.

Also joining us is Curt Larson from VIP Mortgage a specialist for anyone over the age of 62 that needs a unique way to increase your monthly cashflow. You’ll be asking, what’s the catch? Curt answers that question for us among others.

Episode Recap


  • Prepare your car for the transition from driveway to highway.
  • Can Monkey will get your trash cans to the curb.
  • Reverse mortgages are a great option, even in tough times.
  • It’s a great time to refinance your home.

Get Your Quarantined Car Ready for the Road

Everything here in Arizona is opening up for business. It’s time to get the car ready to get back on the road. If your car has been sitting in the driveway, go out to the car and open up the hood. Right under where the wiper blades are, blow that area out. Some leaves and other debris may have accumulated there, which can clog up the cabin air filter. That means the first time you turn on the air conditioner (and it’s already getting hot here!), it’ll suck in that dust and debris. Clean it out. Also, grab some Lysol or other disinfectant and sanitizer that filter. Do the same in the car — disinfect the inside. Finally, while you’ve got the hood up, check all the fluids. Check your wiper blades. Let’s be safe now that you might be getting back on the road. If you want help, Friendly Auto will take a look at all of this for you and even make sure your tires are at the proper pressure, which is safer and helps with fuel efficiency.

Are you ready to get back out there? Some restaurants have opened up. We’re still a little nervous about getting out there, but it’s your call. We suppose a lot of people will stay working from home. Ryan’s working from home. Matt is at the office, by appointment only.

Even opening up, businesses should be helping customers stay safe. At Friendly Auto, we’re taking care of essential workers, from supermarket workers to truck drivers — they get a 12% discount! We also bought a lot of refrigerant…so much that we’ve lowered our A/C service pricing. Full evacuation, recharge, special oil, add dye, and throw in a free cabin air filter along with a full sanitizing, all for $79 — the Friendly Frost Special. So, bring your car into the AAA Top Shop two years running (third year coming!).

Lots of graduations going on now. Our son Eric just graduated from ASU. That happened on Zoom, but there is a ceremony planned for December, too.

Get Those Garbage and Recycle Bins Out with Can Monkey

Matt took over for this segment to talk about Can Monkey and introduced Alex. Can Monkey is a mom-and-pop business that puts your trash cans out for pickup. They pull the cans around on trash day and put them back when they’re empty. The business really took off with rentals and AirBnBs. There ended up being a real need. You can schedule this, or hire them on-demand for only $35.

With COVID, they started offering it for free to the elderly, hospice care, and other people in need. Now, they’re seeing business grow again, organically.

Are people really lazy enough to hire somebody to take out their trash cans? It’s a great service for people going on vacation, for rentals, and many other circumstances. Their clients are not lazy people.

Can Monkeys is building a community. As part of that, they are also partnering with other companies that offer services to homeowners, like plant watering, pool companies, landscapers, etc.. Alex is also looking to create the “Uber of trash-to-curb” services.

Can Monkeys started in Scottsdale. The price is $35 per month, flat. In order to keep that price, they had to focus on a small geographic area. Now, they’ve expanded into Mesa and Gilbert. They’ve even gotten some investment to expand.

They do offer a free month of service. Give it a try and see if you like it. They’ll also clean out your cans — a one-stop-shop for your trash cans.

Reverse Mortgage Facts

We had Curt Larson from VIP Mortgage to talk reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is just a mortgage. The title remains in the borrower’s name. There is interest charged on the loan, and the owner must pay taxes. However, the interest is accrued, so there is no primary or interest charged while you live in the house. No payment required as long as you live in the home. You’ll need to have a significant amount of equity in the house. There are both adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages. The lender gets paid when the last person leaves the house.

What happens if the home becomes part of an estate? The bank never owns the house, so the beneficiaries want to take over the house, they’ll need to refinance it and pay off the mortgage, just like a normal mortgage.

Can a reverse mortgage be used to buy a home? Yes, there are reverse mortgages available to purchase. Many people are ‘smart sizing’, selling an existing house, using the equity to leverage a reverse mortgage.

Sound too good to be true? What’s the catch? The catch is that this isn’t a loan for the short-term. It’s not for that purpose. There are up-front costs that are financed. It only makes sense for the long-term, and yes, it’s a great deal for the right situation.

How do these uncertain economic times affect reverse mortgages? This can help people who lose jobs or have home repairs to save money monthly. It’s also better than doing a forbearance on a loan, where you’ll have to pay back a large sum.

How do you qualify? Qualifying is much different than a conventional loan since there’s no payment. The buyer needs to show that they can pay the taxes. They just need to demonstrate that they bring in more money than they spend.

Housing and Lending Update

Matt has saved people thousands of dollars by reviewing their insurance policies. With people having time to go through these with Matt, he’s been able to find them some real savings. He’s been able to save money and add value for people who have switched over from other insurance providers.

State Farm has really stepped up during this coronavirus crisis, which really means a lot. And we all take notice of companies who are doing good. Like AirBnB, who did right by the employees they had to let go, unlike Uber who just dumped their employees. And businesses like Uber Eats and GrubHub are taking profits from restaurants.

Ryan is still seeing business during the crisis. People are looking to refinance, lower payments, and find ways to save money. VIP is still lending, unlike other lenders, from jumbo loans to refinancing.

Felecia’s real estate listings require an approved loan to see the property. It’s part of keeping people healthy and safe. It’s the same as leaving doors open, lights on, and not touching stuff. That’s why a pre-qualification is needed in order to identify serious buyers.

iBuyer “apps” charge an average of 11% in fees. With Realtors, you’ll pay 6%. Stay away from those apps. Many of them up and deserted us when things got bad, but one or two are coming back. Again, stay away from those and work with a professional Realtor. You’ll save money and have a pro on your side.

Wrap Up

Until next week, Drive Friendly and Stay Healthy Arizona!


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