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Certified Military Residential Specialists

by Yvonne Matejka

4 Years - 50 Cities - 20,000 Agents trained & over $600,000 raised!

I will be attending a training course tomorrow which offers Real Estate Agents the opportunity to be equipped to handle the home purchase needs of active duty and former military clients.

The American Warrior Initiative has reached over 20,000 real estate agents around the country at the Certified Military Residential (CMRS) and American Warrior Real Estate Professional (AWREP) Boot Camps by bringing awareness of the challenges facing the men and women who have served in the military when returning from war. They also spearheaded over 50 give back initiatives for wounded heroes of America. These wounded heroes have been served through mortgage free housing, business grants, home upgrades, service dogs, and more.

Fairway Independent Mortgage company is sponsoring this event and their mission is to educate, encourage and inspire people to give back to our veterans!

For more info about this incredible cause, please visit


Checkups, Fix Ups, and Cleanups For Your Home Maintenance

by Platinum Home Warranty Team

Any time you buy an appliance these days, there is one certain question that you can count on being asked: “Would you like to purchase the home warranty with that?” What will follow is a list of options to choose for the care of your new home appliances once they are in your house. You may want to listen to them and choose from one that fits your budget. The truth is, they have saved people much money and many inconveniences.

When the sales representative is speaking to you about home warranty options for your new appliances, take the opportunity to ask them about general maintenance that you should be aware of, as just being a responsible consumer. The sales associates know that it is part of their service to you to give you information about your appliance, and they can likely give you a few good tips that you can be mindful of on a daily basis to reduce the need for costlier repairs. Listen to their suggestions, as it is their business to see you happy with your purchases and coming back when you need another appliance.

When you ask a sales associate what you can do to lengthen the life of your new appliance, he or she will want to inform you of your home warranty, so if you are interested in the top three tips for saving the life of your appliances, getting a home warranty is always going to be at the top of the list, as it encourages professionals to visit your home for thorough and routine maintenance; things that the average consumer cannot take care of on their own. Remember that these are not schemes to get your money. After all, they are going to send you help when you need it, generally free of charge when you have signed up for those sorts of programs.

The second very good tip for you, which you can do yourself, is to keep the appliance clean. The build up of dust, lint, and grime can certainly affect how an appliance runs. An overload of dust might hamper any mechanical parts that could then put a strain on other ones. The refrigerator should occasionally be dusted really well on the backside and underneath. (The refrigerator is usually using a higher amount of energy than the other appliances, so it needs extra care too.) Ignoring a regular cleaning of that sort can surely hamper the proper airflow and cause energy to be wasted. You can do this yourself or it can be done during a home warranty check, as that is a routine part of their visit.

The third way that you can personally affect the life of your appliances is to not put unneeded stress on them. That means not over filling washers and dryers. Most washers have a weight capacity for loads of clothes. Get familiar with what a large load of your clothes weighs in general. You can step on your scale with and empty close basket; note the weight, then get on again with the basket of clothes you intend to put in. Check to see if you are within the guidelines. Don’t tax your refrigerator by allowing the door to remain open for long periods of time. Shut your coffee maker off when you aren’t going to drink any more to save wear on the heat elements. Don’t put dishes in your dishwasher without a quick rinse or scrape. Pay attention to your common sense and extend the life of your appliances.

Phoenix out of top 20 as a best place for first-time home homebuyers

by The Aladin Group

Phoenix, a longtime bastion of low home prices, fell just outside the top 20 cities in the U.S. as a good place for first-time homebuyers. An index created by SmartAsset that ranked cities in terms of mortgage lenders, volatility and average price per square foot among several other factors, found Phoenix ranked No. 21 in the U.S.Topping the list were Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City and Omaha, Nebraska. Pittsburgh received the top nod due to its high percentage of loans funded and low average cost per square foot. The cost per square foot was one of the high markers for Phoenix, which has seen prices steadily rising during the last two years after the Great Recession wiped out much of the home equity in the Valley. While many areas have recovered to pre-recession price levels, others have not. Yet SmartAsset found Phoenix with an average price of $130 per square foot. That equates to roughly $221,000 for a 1,700-square-foot home.

Millennials are changing the housing and retail markets

by Todd Willems

Millennials are already impacting the consumer market in ways I never imagined. Think about it, if I had approached you 10 years ago discussing the sharing economy and companies like Uber and Lyft, what would have been your response? Well, we are facing a new millennial-fueled shift, challenging traditional knowledge of the housing market. Since 2005, I’ve watched as American households have increasingly sought rental options, with over 9 million new residents choosing to rent, the largest gain in the rental market since the 1960s. While many thought, it hit its peak during the 2008 financial crisis, it appears the trend will likely continue. Even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average has exceeded 21,000 and joblessness is under 5 percent, the number of rental properties is still increasing.

You may be asking yourself why.

Dispelling the myth of the millennial there are many factors, but one prevailing trend is that a large percentage of millennials are now entering the workforce and starting families. Over 10 percent of the rental boom can be attributed to millennials, and less than half of the generation has yet to enter the workforce. Although this generation is one of the most educated group in our country’s history, they are more likely to rent than own. It’s not that millennials are frivolously spending their hard-earned money, rather the cost of home ownership is growing faster than median salaries, preventing many millennials from purchasing a home. Also, this generation is the most indebted, with many students leaving university with tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. With this debt in mind, an increasing number of young professionals are seeking affordable options that will still allow them to maintain a comfortable lifestyle after rent and student loan payments.

Multi-family housing development has increased sharply in the last five years. Behind the scenes though, there has been a subtler change. An increasing number of single-family homes are being rented out in older suburban neighborhoods at a much lower cost. As these young professionals flock to single-family rentals, they are changing the market potential for retailers. Typically, the cost of renting in older suburban neighborhoods is substantially less than home ownership, averaging close to $1,030 a month. This lower cost to enter these rentals, mixed with the limited liability, means that millennials have money left over from rent and student loan payments to put into the local economy.

As this trend continues over the next decade, developers must seize the opportunity to establish a presence in the right area.

Freon vs. Puron. What’s the big deal? How does it affect you?

by Platinum Home Warranty Team

You may have caught wind of a big change underway in the air conditioning industry. Freon is being phased out. Puron is the new go-to. If you’re wondering what this means and how it affects you, here’s the scoop.

The story in a nutshell, Freon (R22) used to be the standard refrigerant used in air conditioners. It’s being phased out due to environmental concerns and will eventually be unavailable. Instead, Puron (R410A) has become the refrigerant of choice. Though Freon and Puron serve similar functions, they cannot be used interchangeably. This means that you cannot just start using Puron if your air conditioning system was designed to use Freon. You actually need a different system altogether. Because manufacturing of Freon is intentionally being reduced each year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult and costly to acquire it. Prices have jumped significantly and are expected to keep skyrocketing as time goes on. Freon will be completely phased out by 2020.

How does this affect me?

If you have a maintenance issue that involves Freon (like a leak or compressor issue), what was once a basic repair may now be quite costly. Given the shortages of Freon, many homeowners are finding that paying top dollar for it no longer makes sense. Instead, they choose to put that money towards a new air conditioning system. Regardless of whether you have an immediate repair issue, we recommend that you begin to consider your upgrade options if your system uses Freon. Whether you choose to upgrade now or plan for the future, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) phase out plan will push you to make the switch eventually.

How do I know my if system uses Freon?

You’ll need to reference your system documentation or have a professional take a look. All air conditioners manufactured after December 31, 2014 use Puron and are already up to date. If your system was manufactured prior to 2015 though, the answer is less clear cut. Puron was introduced as early as 1995, so it’s possible to have an older system that uses it. If you are considering an upgrade, reach out to us. We can take a look and see whether your system uses Freon. If an upgrade is right, we’re happy to work with you to determine the best system and payment plan for your needs.

What is Freon, and why is the EPA phasing it out?

Freon is a type of refrigerant. Refrigerant plays a substantial role in the cooling process within your air conditioning system. The EPA has recognized Freon as an ozone-depleting substance that causes environmental harm. For more scoop, check out the EPA’s website.

Is it true that you can convert an old system to use Puron?

Yes, some people are more or less hacking their old system to use Puron in place of Freon. We don’t recommend this. In most cases, this conversion voids your warranty (whether that be your manufacturer’s warranty or your home warranty) and the cost of labor is high. In the long run, you’re much better off purchasing a new system designed to use Puron.

10 Tips to Maintain Your Pool This Summer

by The Aladin Group LLC

It’s that time of year. Temperatures are absolutely ridiculous. So, if you’re a lucky (or just wise?) homeowner with a pool, you’re likely spending LOTS of time in it. Given that, it might need a bit extra attention. To keep your pool in top shape during this prime swim season, we recommend doing the following:

1. Skim Debris

Skimming the pool’s surface by hand every few days is one of the fastest and easiest ways to keep your pool clean. Floating debris will eventually sink, becoming harder to remove. Use a long-handled net called a hand skimmer or leaf skimmer to remove leaves, bugs and other unwanted items. Skimming significantly increases the efficiency of the pool’s circulation system and lowers the amount of chlorine you’ll need to add to your pool.

2. Clean Out Baskets

Cleaning out strainer baskets at least once a week also helps circulation and lowers chlorine demands. Locate strainer baskets attached to the side of aboveground pools and in the pool deck of in-ground pools. Simply remove the plastic basket and shake it out; spraying the inside with a hose can help dislodge stubborn objects.

3. Vacuum the Pool

A pool should be vacuumed every week to keep water clear and reduce the amount of chemicals you need to add to it. There are many types of pool vacuums. If you have a manual design, work it back and forth all over the surface of the pool like you would if vacuuming carpet. It’s good form to slightly overlap each stroke. Check the filter each time you vacuum, and clean it if necessary.

4. Brush Walls and Tile

Vacuuming isn’t the only maintenance that should be done once a week. Brushing the walls and tile helps minimize algae buildup and calcium deposits so they don’t fester and become larger problems. The material your pool walls are made of dictates what kind of cleaning tools you should use. Select a stiff brush for plaster-lined concrete pools and a softer brush for vinyl or fiberglass walls. For tiles, use a soft brush to prevent scratching or degradation of grout. A pumice stone, putty knife or a half-and-half mixture of water and muriatic acid can also work well.

5. Clean the Pool Filter

There are three kinds of pool filters: cartridge, sand and diatomaceous earth. While there are different maintenance procedures for each type, all require periodic cleaning depending on the type of filter and how often a pool is used. Cleaning the filter more often than recommended can actually hinder the filtration process. A clean filter is less efficient than one with a mild amount of dirt in it because the dirt helps trap other particles, which removes debris from the water. However, you don’t want to let the filter get too dirty. A sign that it’s time to clean is an increase in flow between the pressure gauge and flow meter. Clean the filter when the difference reaches 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kilograms) per square inch.

6. Professionally Service the Heater

Pool heaters typically require the least maintenance of all pool equipment. Gas heaters can work fine without being serviced for a couple years, and electric ones can last even longer. Consult your manufacturer’s manual for specific care instructions. Sometimes, calcium scales build up inside the tubes of a heater and restrict flow, preventing the water from heating adequately. If this happens, recruit the help of a professional because the heater may need to be disassembled and have its tubes cleaned out with a wire brush or acid. Hiring someone to service your pool can cost $100 or more per month, depending on the maintenance

7. Check and Maintain Water Level

A lot of water will be lost throughout the swimming season largely because of evaporation and normal wear and tear, such as swimming, splashing and exiting the pool. When you remove debris with your skimmer throughout the week, that’s also a good time to check the water level. Ensure it doesn’t fall below the level of the skimmer, otherwise the pump could be damaged. If the water is low, use a garden hose to bring it up to safe levels. If you drain your pool to perform maintenance or once the swimming season has passed, be careful to not let the pool sit empty too long. As a general rule, it’s best to leave water in a pool throughout the winter because the weight of the water counteracts with forces from the ground pressing up against the pool from below.

8. Maintain the pH Level

Pool water should be tested regularly to make sure it’s clean and healthy. The pH scale is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity that runs from 0 to 14. A reading between 7.2 and 7.8 is ideal; this range is safe for swimmers and helps sanitizers work at top efficiency. You can monitor your pool’s pH level with a testing kit. There are many kinds of testing kits available; however, most homeowner versions are either reagent kits or test-strips. Reagent kits aren’t too difficult to use. You take a sample of pool water, then add liquids or tablets to it. The water changes color, indicating its chemical balance. Test-strips work differently. When you submerge them in the pool for a few seconds, dyes they contain cause them to change color. Next, match up the strip to a color chart to determine the pool’s pH level. Use this information to gauge what kind and how much of the chemicals your pool needs.

9. Supercholorinate Water

Organic contaminants like ammonia or nitrogen build up in a pool over time. Massive amounts of such contaminants can interact with a pool’s chlorine to form chloramines, which give off that potent chlorine smell that many people associate with pools. To get rid of this harsh odor, it’s necessary to superchlorinate — or shock — pool water back to normal chlorine levels. While it may seem counterintuitive, adding a large amount of chlorine to a pool can make the undesired odor go away. Some pools should be shocked once a week, while others can go a significantly longer time. Follow manufacturers’ instructions before superchlorinating your pool to get the best results.

10. Find and Repair Leaks

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine if low water levels are due to evaporation or a leak. You can discover leaks in your pool by conducting a simple bucket test. Fill a plastic bucket three-quarters full of water. On the inside of the bucket, mark the water line. Place the bucket in the pool, then mark the water line on the outside of the container. (If the bucket has a handle, remove it to allow for better stability while floating.) Let it float for two or three days. If the water inside and outside the bucket has gone down the same amount, your pool is losing water due to evaporation. However, if the pool water level has gone down more than the water inside the bucket, your pool has a leak. That’s your cue to call a professional to have it patched.

The Purpose of Your Home Warranty

by The Aladin Group LLC


When it comes to home warranties, one of the biggest differences between the happy homeowners and the not-so-happy ones lies in expectations. Happy homeowners know that the purpose of a home warranty is to reduce the cost of repairs. They know that some things will be covered and some things won’t. They realize that out-of-pocket expenses are to be expected.

 On the other hand, not-so-happy homeowners tend to be misinformed about the purpose of a home warranty. They believe it will eliminate the cost of repairs. Sadly, they soon find — it doesn’t matter which company or plan you choose, a home warranty does NOT eliminate the cost of repairs in your home. There are, indeed, many things that could go wrong that lie beyond the scope of any home warranty coverage.

 Knowing the purpose of your home warranty can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction with your home warranty! For more helpful scoop on what you can expect, check out our full resource.


This post is an excerpt from our resource Your Guide to Home Warranties. For the full guide with more helpful scoop, head to

Broker Open House

by The Aladin Group LLC

At The Aladin Group, we pride ourselves in developing new and fun ways to sell our listings. Our unique Cave Creek home is located at 5916 E Highland Rd and has horse property potential!Not only do we feature our listings in our monthly newsletter, we market our homes everywhere online, mail out postcards, drone videos, luxury flyers and do frequent open houses. Our listings are syndicated over 500 websites worldwide and we have a marketing team dedicated to giving your home the most exposure. Our events promote listings and partner up with Title Companies and/or Lenders, offering free appetizers and drinks to potential clients. Click on the link below to see our latest event featuring our Cave Creek home! 

Broker Open Video:

Highland Drone Video:





















The Aladin Group Testimonials!

by The Aladin Group LLC

We are a very proud and experienced Real Estate team with over 65 years of combined experience. Here are some of our clients reviews for The Aladin Group. Thank you so much!!

Aladin, Angela, Randy & Yvonne

To leave your own review, Click Here !

"I worked with Aladin in purchasing a new home after 14 years of living at my old house. Aladin was very knowledgable and connected within the Phoenix Valley real estate market which greatly assisted in getting the new house closed on time along with selling of the old home. His experience was helpful well beyond the negotiation of the sale but also with all the other little things that come with purchasing and selling a house." - Brett Battina

"Aladin and Angela made our home buying experience something wonderful and remarkable! We had a different realtor initially who we were unhappy with. When we switched to The Aladin Group, the difference was clear immediately and we were so thrilled. They are so competent, knowledgeable, great at listening to the client, and lovely to work with! They are also excellent at negotiation with the other realtors. Aladin made us feel reassured and confident because he had so much experience and knowledge in all areas of the realty business. He helped us get the home of our dreams for the price we felt was right. We are so grateful that we were able to have The Aladin Group on our side. We highly recommend them! Anyone would be lucky to have them on their side!" - Jessica and Tony Watkins

 "Real Estate transactions can be nerve wracking at times. Aladin helped us get what we wanted while still keeping the buyers happy. We closed on time!" - The Toner Family

"Working with Aladin on my first home purchase was wonderful! Aladin made the process painless and made sure I understood all the documents before I signed anything and what a great negotiator! If you're looking for an experienced Realtor, I highly recommend Aladin! " - Christine DeShay

"Angela made the whole process of buying our new home extremely easy. She took time to meet with us and show us multiple homes and new builds, and she made sure that we were happy by the end of our day. We adore Angela and highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a home or to build (which is what we did).

Thank you Angela for everything!!!!!!! We love you!!!!" - Johnny & Tammy Gonzales

"Angela was referred to us by my son and we are eternally grateful.  Do not be deceived by her sweet, unassuming, agreeable, affable demeanor, this lady has some teeth. This is who you want on your side. The first day Angela met us at her office and went over some homes on the computer with us then took us out and showed us pre-owned homes we thought we'd like; a large workshop was our main priority. During that search we realized we needed a 4 car garage because homes that had proper workshops were not available. That afternoon Angela got on the phone to builders asking who built homes with 4 car garages in our price range. That following day she found us a brand new spec home that perfectly met our wants/needs. Now here's where the teeth came in.  She campaigned for and got us a $5,500. discount and wrung every last concession from the builder possible. If the salesman mentioned a perk for other models or lenders she was right there asking in our favor.  The $5,500. Discount was if we used the builder's lender but we were paying cash. She made sure we got the discount. Altogether we moved in with about $57,000.00 equity. No I did not misplace the decimal point. She did the same thing for my son. Angela does not waste time. From start to finish it took four days. We closed and moved about two weeks later. Angela is an energetic and knowlegeable advocate. As a former Realtor I am impressed with her unflagging attention to detail. I would highly recommend her anyone. You can't get a better one anywhere." - Claudette Tessman

"Aladin was awesome!! He answered our questions whenever we called and was very reassuring. We would recommend him and his team very highly." - Mark Meeker

"Danielle made buying our first home so easy! She guided us through every step and looked out for my best interest. I would highly recommend her!" - Sonya Crittenden

"I appreciate Aladin's dedication, passion and effort getting my purchase pushed through at a level that I can afford. My dream of owning a home I love has come true! We are thrilled! I plan on passing Aladin's name along and will definitely use him in the future!" - Sophia Pimentel

"Aladin was the kind of realtor one dreams of. He was professional, hard-working,responsive, but most importantly he delivered on what he promised. Aladin's group understand modern marketing tactics, and made sure my listing was easily found. I received updates on who was looking at my property and any feedback that was left. I was thrilled with the price Aladin got me for my condo, and the short time it took for an offer to materialize. Aladin is the person you want to sell your house." - Graham Fidler

"Thank you to you and your team for all your assistance during the process. Very impressed." - Martin Fidler

"Several family members have worked with Angela Zampino in the past and spoke very highly of her. However, their praises did not really do her justice. Angela Zampino of the Aladin Group is very more wonderful than we could have imagined. Purchasing a home is a very exciting yet stressful time. Angela anticipated and met our needs every step of the way, she truly exceeded our expectations. We feel very blessed to have had Angela Zampino of the Aladin Group as our Realtor. We love our new home so much. Thank you again Angela!" - Leanne Prenovost

"We have worked with Howard Rea at The Aladin Group, it was a pleasure working with him.He will be the only Realtor we will recommend to family and friends." Marki Family

"Without a doubt the most professional curteous and knowlegable group I have dealt with. Aladin Abdin has powerful negotiating and representation skills and is a great leader of this group. Always an enjoyable exercise" - Edward Fry

"I had a great home hunting experience with Dave Pries of The Aladin Group. Dave is a very organized guy who exceeded my expectations with planning and time management. I found him to be very responsive to communications and also knowledgeable of the Phoenix Metro home market. Dave was referred to me via a trusted friend at a Scottsdale Business Networking Group. The vendor support resources in Dave's network were also very professional." - Geoff Hester

"My wife and I could not be more happy with the service provided by Danielle Zampino of The Aladn Group. We purchased our house just as the market was getting to be very competitive. Luckily Danielle was a step ahead of other buyers and we were the first to see our dream house go on the market. Danielle was an aggresive negotiator and saved us 10% off the asking price. I would gladly recommend Danielle to anyone in the Phoenix area."  - Sean & Felicity Barrett

"We bought two multifamily properties this year working with Howie & Randy. They were both knowledgeable, responsive, and easy to work with. I would definitely work with them again." - Ross Wilson

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Aladin Abdin

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Contact Information

Photo of The Aladin Group Real Estate
The Aladin Group
HomeSmart Elite Group
10601 North Hayden Road, #I-100
Scottsdale AZ 85260
Fax: (602)507-3263