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.
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!