Don’t get an Instant Offer on your home. Here’s Why.

Real Estate Wealth Building Tip:
Don’t sell with an instant offer company.

Instant offer companies. They have been around for a while now. We recommend that you start reading reviews on Yelp, Google & Facebook.

Some companies say that they will give you a “Market Value” offer on your home. We are not sure what they are using to determine market value, but sometimes the offer is really low.

What we hear all the time is, “But it’s convenient.” Is this type of convenience really worth losing tens of thousands of your hard earn cash?

We added a screenshot of an example “Instant Offer”

Say your house is worth:

They offer:

You are already down -$20k

Closing Costs at 1%:

Now you are down -$22,450

Pending Repairs:
$5,000ish from our experience.

Now you are down:

Company Service Charge 10.5%

That brings your hard earned equity lost to -$53,175.

How much do you make in a year? Are you ready to give a portion of that amount over to an instant offer company for “convenience”

That is not a very good wealth building strategy.

There are different ways to sell your house that are not as costly.
For sale by owner or hiring a Realtor being 2 of them.

In that same scenario above, the average Realtor fees for selling your home at the $265k amount are not even as high as the loss on the $245k offer amount. Avg Realtor fees at $265k would be around $15,900 plus closing costs. Remember, the instant offer company offered you $20,000 less? You’re still up a couple grand by hiring a Realtor.

If you need to know the value of your home or other wealth building tips, access our free wealth building tool and analyze your home today.

Phoenix Sunday Breakfast! 3 breakfast places for July

Amy Gerrish, Your local Live Play Guide

Amy’s Phoenix Breakfast spot for July

It’s July, it’s hot, and monsoon sticky. Nobody wants to cook breakfast. So why not venture out and try out a couple of spots.

Here are my 3 picks for breakfast in no particular order:


    Snooze an AM Eatery: This is one of my favorite breakfast places because, well, flavor. They put together a bunch of different types of eggs benedict with killer combinations of flavor. My favorite is:

    • Chili Verde Benedict (with the pulled pork)
      Green Chili sauced tortillas and melted cheese with your choice of slow cooked pulled pork or barbacoa style beef, topped with poached cage free eggs, green chili hollandaise, pico de gallo, and cotija cheese.
    • They have 5 locations around the valley. See their listing here: SNOOZE AN AM EATERY LISTING



    Harlow’s Cafe: This little cafe in Tempe made the list because they have HUGE (Bigly?) breakfast portions. If you have a monster appetite this is the breakfast spot for you. They have great Huevos Rancheros, Biscuits & Gravy, blueberry muffins, pancakes and a great dish called Eggs Maximillon.

    • Eggs Maximilian
      Flour tortilla topped with homemade hash browns, diced green chile, chopped onions, three large eggs (whipped and pan fried), topped with sour cream and their homemade salsa.
      They are located in Tempe near on W University, see their listing here: HARLOW’S CAFE LISTING



    The Place – Mike & Ronda’s: This spot made the list for it’s traditional breakfast and more bigly servings. You will not leave hungry! French toast with fruit & whipped cream is well YUM!.

    • All Breakfast Classics are served with 2 Eggs, Hash
      Browns, Diced Potatoes or Refried Beans and choice of:
      Biscuit & Gravy, Toast, Pancakes, Tortilla or Muffin of the Day
    • They are located on W Bell Road in Glendale, see their listing here: THE PLACE LISTING

Amy’s 4 favorite Taco Shops around Phoenix

Amy Gerrish, Realtor
Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist

A self proclaimed “Taco Queen” and overall foodie, when Amy isn’t working on this guide of the Phoenix Metro, she is most likely getting a taco with her love, Carlos.

She spent all morning putting a list together of places that she will visit again, and again. This list is in no particular order, as these places are all unique in their offerings.

    1. TACO CHIWAS: The star of their menu is the Taco Chiwas! It’s beef, ham,jalapeno, anaheim chilis, cheese and is oh soooo good. Their charro beans are also very good, a very home style comfort food. You know a place is downright authentic when there are legit bars on the windows and the parking lot is full. More about Tacos Chiwas here. 
    2. LOS TAQUITOS – Their carne asada is so tender and marinated well. Amy also really enjoy their green sauce that they keep in the squeeze bottles by the soda fountain. Carlos really likes their lengua, he says it is also really tender and tasty. He usually gets the lengua torta. They have 3 locations around the valley, you can usually find Amy and Carlos at the one in Ahwatukee. The other 2 are in Chandler and Phoenix. More about Los Taquitos here. 
    3. JOYRIDE TACO HOUSE – When you come to Joyride, you don’t think of Tia Rosa’s family recipes. It’s a hip suburbanite taco shop that holds it own. They make homemade tortillas, use fresh ingredients and the flavors are really bomb. They also have a great bar with great margaritas. There are 2 locations, one in central Phoenix and one in Gilbert. You can catch Amy & Carlos at the one in Gilbert after showing homes to clients. More on Joyride Taco House here.
    4. AL FUEGO MEXICAN RESTAURANT – A restaurant? Not exactly, more like a taco counter with some seating. But, don’t let the no frills fool you. These guys mesquite smoke their meat and it has amazing flavor. You can smell the mesquite when you walk in. They used to have a small salsa bar off in the corner, but it’s gone now. Ask them for salsas when your food comes up. This place is one Amy’s favorite because you can’t beat the price. So, if you need to have 6, 7 or 27 street tacos you can afford it. More about AL Fuego Mexican Restaurant here.

7 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure


Amy Gerrish, Realtor
Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist

As a homeowner, you have options, and you don’t need to just lose your home to the bank, leaving you empty-handed.

We’re going to show you 7 ways to avoid your home from going into foreclosure, or at least buy you some time to get things back in order.

But before we jump into how to stop foreclosure, you need to understand why it is a big deal and how it can impact your future.

You might be ignoring the problem at this point

A part of you might even think that if you just let the bank take the house back, then you don’t have to deal with it anymore. But foreclosure can do a lot more harm than simply losing your house.

Avoiding foreclosure doesn’t have to be a hassle if you let the right people help you.  I have  been helping people navigate this process for over 10 years. 

Going through foreclosure, on average, tanks your credit report by at least 200 points.

In addition to holding on to your FICO score, you will also avoid having a record of home mortgage default.

1. You Might Be Able To Avoid The Entire Thing By Talking To Your Lender

This might sound obvious:

If you just pick up the phone and call your lender (or answer the calls they’re undoubtedly making to you), then you might find the absolute easiest way to resolve the problem.

Think about it–

…foreclosing on a home is costly for a bank or lender.

Not only are they not going to get paid the interest on the loan they made to you, but they’re going to lose a portion of the principle when it goes to auction!

When a home goes to auction, they often sell it at a severely discounted price.

They do this because they’d rather get some money than no money.

What does this mean for you?

You actually have a little bit of leverage here. You can negotiate with them and find out what options they’re willing to give you so that you can get back on track.

2. Forgiven Payments Might Get You Back On Track

One little-known fact about lenders:

They actually forgive payments sometimes, especially if it means that they’re more likely to help you get back on track with your loan.

If you can convince the lender that you simply went through a rough spot and you actually make enough income (or can reduce enough expenses) to continue making payments, they may forgive a loan payment or two.

This could be enough to keep you out of foreclosure entirely, but it may at least buy you some time.

Either way, it’s worth asking!

3. Freezing Your Interest Rate Might Be An Option

This one only works in one scenario:

If you are on an adjustable mortgage, the lender may be able to freeze the interest rate before it changes or increases in order to keep it manageable for you.

They may additionally extend the amortization period to help compensate for the different in payments and rate change.

This is called a loan modification (although it’s one of a few different things that they can do).

4. Add The Payments To Your Loan’s Balance

Take advantage of your equity:

If you’ve had the loan for a while, then you likely have some equity built up.

The lender may be willing to add your backpayments to the loan.

This is essentially a refinance, so your loan balance and amortization schedule will be different.

This could really help if you’re able to make regular payments but those already-owed payments are keeping you in the hole.

5. Selling The Home Can Be A Saving Grace

Hear me out:

Although you may not want to sell the home, or you simply think that you can’t, there’s always an option.

Phoenix Metro homes are in high demand, if your home is in fairly good condition we can help you sell it for top dollar and help you save the equity you have left. We have special pre-foreclosure rates to save you your equity.

6. Short Selling The Home Can Be The Next Best Option

This situation is for people that want to sell, but you owe the bank more  than what you can sell it for. You may already be at a point where the lender has filed a Notice of Default and you just don’t know if you have time.

If that’s the case, you still have the opportunity to sell your home fast before it goes to auction.

When the home goes to auction, the lender is simply going to sell it anyway, so presenting an active buyer is more likely to get approved because it saves them time and money anyway.

I have been helping home owners get out from underneath their homes for 10 years. It doesn’t cost you a dime.  Ask me how! I’d be happy to share how it works. 480-294-8680 or

7. Filing For Bankruptcy Can Buy You Some Time

If keeping the home is your #1 goal:

Filing for bankruptcy can actually put a pause on the foreclosure process.

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to completely get out of it, but it may buy you some time, up to 2-4 months.

Get with a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy, explain everything about your situation and all your finances, and they will recommend the best course of action to take.

This may not be an option if you’ve filed within the last 7 years, so make sure you find out what routes you can take from someone who can give you legal advice.

Amy Gerrish, REALTOR Short Sale & Pre-Foreclosure Specialist

Bottom Line?

If foreclosure is looming over you, there are things you can do!

There is a lot of foreclosure information available to you, from the web and your lender.

Don’t wait until the last minute.

Don’t wait until they take the home away from you.

Pick up the phone and either call your lender or call or text me. 480-294-8680

You’re going to get through it one way or another.

4 Factors Fueling the Arizona Education Crisis


An overview of how complicated this issue really is. I have been a Realtor for over 10 years. I also have been studying data science and have been very interested in the numbers behind the issue. Here is what I have so far:

FACTOR 1, THE FUNDING: The k-12 education budget was on the decline until about 2012. 2013 it started going up about 1% each year. 2018 will be the biggest increase.

FACTOR 2, COST OF LIVING: Cost of living increases are playing a big roll in the education crisis. Average home cost in 2013 was $140,000 and today is $230,000. That’s a 61% increase. Not including rising food costs, fuel, taxes etc…..Teacher’s are feeling the crunch.

FACTOR 3, POPULATION INCREASE: We have more people, more families with more kids which means we need more teachers, and we can’t afford to pay them. Maricopa county sees about 6,000 to 7,000 new families a month and we cannot support all the new kids.

FACTOR 4, INCOMES: The median income of AZ is somewhere around $50 – $65k a year. Home prices will rise, however when the median incomes cap out current inventory, it will force it to flatten out.

Phoenix Metro housing shortage, turning into a crisis.

As a real estate agent in the valley for over 10 years I have seen a lot happen. I was newly licensed as the housing market imploded onto itself as a result of the failing mortgage backed securities. I jumped right into helping many home owners sell a home that had almost no value left.

I learned that you can in fact sell a home that is just about worthless even though you owe the bank arm and leg for it. My clients were so extremely grateful that I was able to help them out of a financially stressful situation. So many of my past clients have rebuilt their credit, gained solid financial security and have been able to purchase a home again. They were smarter the second time around, they didn’t fall for adjustable rates or the zeal of purchasing a McMansion. They purchased what they could afford and have been able to savor their quality of life without a giant housing payment.

Life has been grand, the economy has been good, junior is about to go off to college, but something is looming. Something dark and ominous is looming in the housing industry. Many of my REALTOR colleagues can feel it. So many of the home buyer’s definitely feel it.  It starts with “I can’t afford that”.  My new home buyer clients have been coming out in droves, they get approved for a sound mortgage. They tell me what they need out of a home and I tell them what’s available. It’s inevitable, the words flow out like Kanye on Twitter….”I can’t afford that, what else do you have?”

NOTHING. I have nothing else for you to see. They get mad and call 3 other REALTORS that all tell them the same thing. See, the crux of the matter is if you look at the actual inventory of homes for sale, you will see that your options are limited. As I type this, the amount of single family homes currently for sale in the Phoenix Metro 13,938. If you want a condo/town home or mobile home you have 3,004 to choose from. But once you add in your budget, bedroom requirements and location you will probably only have 6 to choose from. Yep, that’s it. We have over 5 million people in the metro and we are all fighting for the same 6 properties because the majority have the same budget and median income.


Straight up, people are not moving. If people don’t move, homes don’t become available. Here are some of the reasons why people are not moving:

  1. They bought when the market crashed, they bought a home for $100,000 with 3.4% interest rate. They are happy little clams with a low housing payment. They look at homes prices and interest rates now and say, “No thanks, I’m good right here.”
  2. Interest rates are rising. As interest rates start the to rise, they can afford less home , so why bother?
  3. The Phoenix Metro economy is pretty great now. People have jobs, big tech has quietly been coming into town and people are getting better paying jobs. Life is good, why move?
  4. Phoenix is still affordable compared to other Metros. Why move? Where are they going to go? Seattle? Can’t afford it. San Francisco? (or any part of Cali for that matter) Can’t afford it. Austin? Can’t afford it. Vegas? Nah, we can just drive there for the weekend. Connecticut is broke and it snows. Florida is, well humid and they have all those taxes and hurricanes. Chicago is, well guns. I heard Ohio is affordable, might have something to do with lack of jobs.  Meh, why leave? It’s pretty good here comparatively to other options.


For all the reasons I listing above on why people aren’t moving out of Arizona are the same reasons people are moving in. Maricopa County is the fastest growing county in the entire nation.  Thousands of people move into the metro every month, but barely anyone is leaving. Our current supply of homes & apartments can’t keep up with the population boom. Rents are going up & home values are going up at a staggering rate. There is no doubt that all this growth will break us if we don’t address this issue now. Look at the teachers and the schools. Their funding was gutted as a result of the housing crisis we fell into in 2008.  Teacher’s can barely afford housing as it is, home ownership for many teachers is simply unattainable. Incomes in Arizona job markets have NOT been rising as fast as housing prices.

Arizona isn’t the only state with a housing shortage. Just google housing crisis and you will see it has turned into a nationwide phenomenon. Nearly 1/4 of the population spend 50% or more of their paychecks on housing. It’s only bound to get worse. People will WANT to leave, but will have no place to go.  San Francisco’s median housing price is $1.3 million. If you don’t have a roommate in San Francisco you are considered bougie. Seattle’s median home price is nearly $820,000.  Phoenix is still at $227,000 for the median home price, just 5 years ago is was around $140,000. Expect that to continue to rise at staggering rates as Maricopa County continues to be the fastest growing county in the nation.


  • Eventually growth will cap and our metro will be left with affordability & congestion problems brought on by unbridled growth. But, how long will that take?
  • The United States as a whole is feeling the effects of housing shortages. Until it’s addressed on a national level we are going to have to fight this on a state level. The local and national governments needs to address the housing shortage so that people can relocate and move for job opportunities. The opportunities are out there, but why move if your quality of life is going to be compromised by spending more than 1/2 your paycheck on rent?

Amy Gerrish, REALTOR
The Phoenix Metro Group
Brokered By Homesmart

Home Buying Programs

Home Buying Programs

$0 Down & Military
This is full down payment assistance. With these programs your down payment is covered through a special bond or grant. There are a few different ones available. Programs require 640 or better credit score as well as full time income. Other qualifications may apply.
$0 Down & Military
Multiple Programs
Low Down
Low down programs are usually 3 to 3.5% down. These programs have varying credit score. Can go as low as 580, but prefers 640 or better. Income and other qualifications apply. 
Low Down
Multiple Programs
Investment Homes
Investment homes (Rentals/Flips/Air B&B). Investment home programs vary by type of investment. Long term rentals vs fast flip programs have different requirements.
Investment Homes
Multiple Programs
2nd Homes
Low down, a lot down, lower rates If you are purchasing another home that you plan on living in you have the most options! You can do anything from no down or low down, starting at 3%, to a large down payment of 10,15, or 20% and reduce your payment.
2nd Homes
Multiple Programs
Vacation Homes
Vacation homes usually require a larger down payment. Programs fluctuate from 10% down to 20% down. 
Modern Exterior with Pool
Vacation Homes
Multiple Programs
Jumbo Homes
Vacation homes usually require a larger down payment. Programs fluctuate from 10% down to 20% down.
Luxury Furnished Interior
Jumbo Homes
Multiple Programs

Phoenix Model Home Trends 2018

Model Home Trends with Summer & Amy

Amy Gerrish, Realtor
Summer Morris, Realtor

2018 kitchen trends

Moving into 2018 we are still going to see more of the “Rustic Modern” style. But instead of the Greige coloring we are going to start to see more colors, both on the walls and on cabinets.

Photo by Cabinet Solutions USASearch kitchen picturesPhoto by Dove Mountain HomesDiscover patio design ideas

outdoor space

Creating an outdoor space that is both functional and protects from the sun will be big on many people’s remodel list. With 330 days of sunshine in the valley, a backyard & patio investment always gets a powerful return when it comes to resale.

Model Home Search

Model Home Monday wouldn’t be complete with out access to all the Phoenix Metro model homes & floor plans.

instant access

Design Trends 2018

Photo by Cabinets By Sun RayMore kitchen photosPhoto by ART Design BuildMore bathroom photosPhoto by CW Architecture, Inc.Discover kitchen design inspirationPhoto by nina_84Discover landscaping design ideasPhoto by Exteriors By Chad RobertSearch patio picturesBy Exteriors By Chad Robert Phoenix – See more Home Design Photos

Model Home Search

Instant access to all the Phoenix Metro model homes & floor plans.

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Preparing your home to sell for professional photography

There are thousands of homes on the market, yours needs to be better. Follow our guide on preparing your home for professional photography.

Preparing your home to sell: One of the science’s of selling a home includes beauty. We partner with one of the real estate industry’s top professionals for high quality digital photos. But first, you need to do your part preparing your home to sell prior to their arrival. Watch this video to get your home in top shape:


Checklist preparing your home to sell:

(Downloadable Version Here)

(The Phoenix Metro Group Seller Programs)

  • Replace any burned out bulbs
  • For the best possible photos, we highly recommend replacing ALL bulbs with newer generation, white­light, daylight bulbs

  • Remove trash cans, gardening tools, etc from sight
  • Remove pets
  • Stow children’s and pet’s toys, coil hoses
  • Open patio umbrellas and set out cushions
  • Uncover BBQs, pools, spas
  • Put dogs into the garage or removed from the premises for the duration of the shoot
  • Bright flowers out front or by the door can add some great color

  • Clean Well, De-­Clutter
  • Remove pets
  • Remove/Replace/Repaint anything that is too “taste specific”
  • Valuables and Medications out of sight or locked up
  • Open window coverings (unless they are concealing a less than desirable view) or remove them entirely; rooms are larger when the eye can extend out of the window
  • Turn on all lights; fans off
  • Toilet lids down
  • Remove most, if not all, personal photographs (especially large portraits over fireplaces or in the main living areas; replace those with neutral art)
  • Conceal/remove garbage containers
  • Clear kitchen countertops. Leave a maximum of one appliance per countertop area. Countertop microwaves should be hidden from sight
  • Remove everything from the fridge (pictures, kids art, magnets, etc)
  • Keep floor coverings to the essentials. If you are unsure remove it entirely
  • Clear the bathroom countertops. Leave only a few decorative items or a floral or plant arrangement. Put out best towels
  • Empty the shower of shampoos, etc
  • Remove shoes from entryways
  • Make all beds
  • Remove all signs of pets (bowls, rugs, pillows, etc)
  • Remove any table coverings, de-clutter fireplace mantle

Yes, I want to sell my home.

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