Consider the Source

avatarthumbnail.jpgMaybe it’s the journalism degree or the time spent working at newspapers once upon a time, but there always has been something that drives me crazy about the so-called “iReporters” at CNN.

iReporters in reality are people who happen to own a computer or video camera and they’re the wicked offshoot of the entire blogging culture. Whereas most people who felt the need to share their voice would do son on their platform (and mostly anonymously, for that matter), those who need something more can post their “news” and their opinions on

What I’ve always wanted to know is what kind of liability these folks have? Take the person who posted the fake story that Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack, causing shares of Apple stock to fall 10 percent. Wait … there can’t be liability. It was posted anonymously. Even better!

Of course, CNN … I mean, CNN’s iReports … (cough) … aren’t the only place you can hear misleading information that can cost thousands of dollars in the end. Ask anyone their opinion on real estate in general or the Phoenix real estate market in particular and stand back as the rush as possibly credible information comes forth.

“Banks are really, really motivated to sell so you can pick up bank owned homes for pennies on the dollar.”

Not true. Bank owned homes continue to fuel the local market and it’s not uncommon to find yourself bidding with several other people for the same house. Even when you aren’t bidding with others, you may be given the impression by the listing agent that you are.

How much flexibility exists in the price depends on the bank, depends on the demand and also demands on the initial list price. Many banks price these REO homes on the bleeding edge of the pricing curve; a home already at a discount to comparable homes likely will not sell for a great deal less.

“Any property can be turned into a vacation rental”

Um, not so much. Think about your own travel experiences. Do you tend to stay in those roach motels that offer hourly rates or would you rather stretch out in something just a little bit nicer?

The same goes for vacation rental property. You need to be in a high-demand area with some really good amenities and easy access to the freeways, especially given how many vacations here center on golf. Or hockey for that matter.

There are vacation rental websites that can give you a good idea of what can be turned into such a property. Don’t check the listings so much as the booking calendar for a true picture of what the demand will be.

“The home’s new. You don’t need an inspection.”

Always, always, always get a home inspection. Appearances often can be deceiving. Before you drop six figures on a purchase, make sure you know what you’re getting.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at