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I wish I could tell you that I came up with this genius idea but alas, no.  We got this from good friends who served it to our WINOS (wine club).  It’s a delicious and easy way to make sliders without the hassle of cooking each burger individually.



Happy New Year – a new year with plenty going on in the Phoenix area!

  • January 11-19 Barrett Jackson Auction/West World in Scottsdale. For details go to: to find information on tickets, the collection (including the PAUL WALKER COLLECTION/21 vehicles) and new safety standards (i.e. only see-through bags allowed in)
  • January 1-19 ZOO LIGHTS continues until January 19th at the Phoenix Zoo. 
  • January 27-February 2nd – one of the major sporting events of the year will be the WM (Waste Management) Phoenix Open Golf Tournament.  This event brings thousands of visitors to our area.  For detailed information go to:  (NOTE: if you’re a First Responder or Active/Reserve or Retired Military, go to the website to order your FREE admission with one paid ticket. 

As we begin this year with a fresh slate, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year - a time to reach out, give a smile and a helping hand to those around you.  For us, there is no place else we'd rather be than right here in this glorious state of Arizona. 
Al and Jean

Brrr...we're starting 2020 on the brisk side but soon the 70's will be back.
Home Maintenance for the New Year!

The new year is a good time to check your home out to be sure everything is in tip-top shape.  If the first of each year is set for these items, they aren’t as likely to be forgotten.

  • Change HVAC filters
  • Clean out Dryer ducts
  • Check the water filter in your refrigerator
  • Have your ducts cleaned.  This doesn’t need to be done often.  However, if you have pets that shed, it might be wise to have them cleaned every few years.
  • Check your water softener salt (check monthly)
  • Make sure you’ve had your HVAC system checked to be sure everything is working properly. This should be done bi-annually.

On the latter item, we just had our bi-annual check.  We had a very surprising conversation with our Tech. Al told him we had issues wherein the air flow from room-to-room was sporadic.  Upon investigating, he determined that the builder had installed a unit that was too large for our square footage.  We have just under 1900 sq. ft and a 4 TON A/C UNIT. Bigger is not always better.  In this situation, he said the builder probably bought all 365 A/C units in our community at once rather than considering the size of the individual home.  Every home should have a unit that is designed for the uniqueness of the home – square footage, exposure to sun, arrangement of windows, walls and flow.  Ours, he said is so powerful that it doesn’t run long enough to push out (circulate) the air properly. He recommended setting the temperature and leaving it alone rather than constantly adjusting it.  And when the time comes to replace the HVAC system,  go with a much smaller unit.

For the Air Duct cleaning (we’d had demolition of our bathroom so thought it wise to get that "dust" out) and had the same service do the dryer vents.  We’d asked our remodeling company (LEADER BY DESIGN/SCOTTSDALE) if they had anyone to recommend for these services.  They suggested JOE FILTER ( or call them at 480-813-9494).  That was a goldmine of service recommendations, so we used JOE FILTER for the duct and dryer cleaning. They were very professional and reasonable. We were impressed with how they made sure no vent dust got on anything. Their equipment was perfect for the jobs.  Note that if you do multiple services in one call, you save money.  They’ll do a quarterly service or one-time.  They do:

  • Air filters
  • Refrigerator filters
  • Water Softener salt
  • Reverse Osmosis Filters
  • Replace smoke detector batteries
  • Light Bulb replacement
  • Dryer Vent cleaning
  • Duct cleaning

This may be more than you need but what a nice service to know about for someone who doesn’t want to do any of these tasks.  Or can’t.

Facebook Hack notification from LifeLock

What Happened?

Data security researchers discovered an online database containing the names, phone numbers, and Facebook IDs of 267 million Facebook users available for download on a hacker forum. The database was not password protected and had been posted on December 12, 2019. On December 14th, the researchers contacted the internet service provider that was hosting the database and the database was removed on December 19th.

Although it is unclear why or how the database was created, researchers warn that such information can be used for phishing or spam, especially via SMS.

Facebook users can maintain better control over what profile information is displayed by adjusting their account privacy settings. For example, users can:

  1. Go to Settings & Privacy in Facebook
  2. Click Privacy Shortcuts
  3. Click See more privacy settings
  4. Set all relevant fields to **Friends** or **Only me**
  5. Set **" Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile** to **No**

2020 - Do you know what's coming back?
Every 10 years, the US CENSUS is taken.   This is the year.  More information will follow but suffice it to say, it creates jobs. And you need to know who could be at your front door so we will forward more on that later.   Much of it will be done by mail!  Stay tuned.

What's important to think about when buying?

Buying a home is more than determining what you need or want in a home or where it is located.  Of course, the location to work, family or medical services are all important.  And everyone has a type of home that works best for their lifestyle. Those items are probably already in the Buyer's mind.  Most people need a loan to purchase their home. So what do you need to think about?

The biggest key is the loan amount you qualify for. In most cases, where a loan is needed, a professional mortgage lender is the key, along with your Realtor (which we hope is us).

Improve your debt-to-income ratio: This ratio is key to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders want to make sure you can handle the additional house debt with your current income. To improve your ratio, pay down (or pay off) any debts you can, and increase your income if possible. 

Saving and building your assets is very important to your future financial health. Retirement age can sneak up on you so BE PREPARED. See the next point regarding spending.

Avoid debt as much as possible but if you have it, methodically pay it off before buying anything else.There is a difference between necessities (food, gasoline) and wants.  Stop shopping as retail therapy  or having ADD TO CART as a regular routine. When you get the urge to splurge, put that amount of money into savings instead.

Improve your credit score: Your credit score is another critical number that lenders consider. To increase your score, pay all your bills on time, avoid opening new lines of credit, and lower your use of credit. It's also a good rule of thumb to check your credit report at least once each year to ensure it is accurate. If there are any errors, report them to the credit bureau immediately.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about your options to purchase a home, we can recommend choices of mortgage professionals who can help you make owning a home a reality. Of course, we can do the rest

Coming soon. A single-story in Tatum Ranch

This beauty is located north of Hwy 101/Tatum Boulevard above Desert Ridge in Tatum Ranch in a lovely community with a community center and an optional golf membership.  The address is Cave Creek, but it is only minutes to everything you’d need…shopping, restaurants…medical offices…freeways.

It is almost 2,000 square feet with a lovely back yard with covered patio – great for entertaining.  The kitchen (with room for a table) has an island (bar seating) and features granite and Stainless-Steel appliances; the window over the sink looks out to the back yard with an arroyo on the other side of the view-fence.

The family room features a lovely fireplace and niches for those decorative items.  The original owners are returning to Canada so this fully furnished home can be purchased furnished (furnishings outside of escrow on a separate Bill of Sale) or vacant.  Perfect for anyone but a gem for snowbirds!  The large master features one of the largest walk-in closets we’ve seen…and access directly to the patio area.  We could go on and on…but we’ve got our professional photographer coming in a couple of weeks, so we’ll have more to share.  Let us know if you know anyone who is looking for a new castle.

What's "growing" on in North Phoenix

As posted by our local Realtor’s Association (SAAR): Shea Homes has purchased approximately 25.06 acres of land located at 56th Street and Deer Valley Road in Phoenix, closing escrow on December 11, 2019. Construction of model homes is slated to begin in the second half of 2020. The new community name will be Talinn at Desert Ridge.

The homebuilder plans to build approximately 83 single-family homes during Phase 1. The homes will range in size from approximately 2,318-3,738 square feet. Floorplans are expected to be similar to those currently available at Emblem at Aloravita in Peoria. The community is slated to have amenities such as a large community park and recreation center.

"Our team is working hard to meet the increasing demand for new homes in the Valley," said Shea Homes Arizona Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ken Peterson. "But we don’t close on a land deal until we are certain we’ve found the right spot. Talinn at Desert Ridge will bring some of our most popular Shea floorplans to the highly coveted Desert Ridge area. We think homebuyers are going to be pretty excited about this new Phoenix community."

Shea Homes is planning to close on an additional 54 lots for Phase 2 of Talinn at Desert Ridge in late 2020. Also, you might be

interested to know that DR HORTON will be building new homes around Tatum/Grovers
To the many friends and family members dealing with health issues currently, we hope and pray that your journey will lead you
on a path to good health and happiness in the new year.   HAPPY NEW YEAR

The Batson Team HomeSmart
Jean Batson
Home Smart
Costo Car Buying Service

Jacqui, our granddaughter, raved about her experience in purchasing her vehicle some months back.  She went online to COSTCO AUTO BUYING:  

They have over 3,000 dealerships with an on-site assigned person to help you.  The prices are set thus no haggling needed – the price is discounted to 10% below Dealer’s Invoice and incentives or rebates. In the past five years, over 2.3 million Costco Members have purchased this way.

Once you have a vehicle in mind, you go on the website, select the vehicle and get your AUTHORIZATION NUMBER.  You will be contacted by a local dealer.  You can make an appointment to visit.  They’ll tell you what they’ve got (or have access to) that matches your criteria (year, make, model, color and accessories); then give you the price. No pressure to buy but they will give you their price and terms…and if you purchase with a trade-in, they’ll handle all the paperwork too.  Basically, you show up and buy or not.   A shout out to Jeff Zillinski ( who is a perfect example on how this system should work

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Beef Sliders for a

 I wish I could tell you that I came up with this genius idea but alas, no.  We got this from good friends who served it to our WINOS (wine club).  It’s a delicious and easy way to make sliders without the hassle of cooking each burger individually.


You'll need a rimmed baking sheet (10 x 15)
1-1/2+ Ground Beef
1 med.Onion/chopped
1 large egg
Salt & Pepper to taste
6 Slices Cheese (quartered)
Lettuce/cut in 24 pieces
24 thin slices Tomato
Pickle slices (optional)

Have Catsup & Mustard on hand as condiments.

  1. Chop up onion – spread over the bottom of your pan.
  2. Blend meat, egg, salt and pepper together – carefully drop mixture over onions and spread in pan.
  3. When it is evenly spread, score into 24 squares.
  4. Bake about 8 minutes – then add the square of cheese on each section; put in oven for another 30 seconds or so to melt.
  5. Take the pan out to rest a few minutes; then cut along the score lines to separate
  6. Place each "burger" on a bun with a slice of tomato and pickle (if desired)

You can change this recipe up to add your own special touch.Serve and enjoy!!!




This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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