Oct. 28, 2019



"Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim."
~ Graham Greene

This weekly column often encourages you to reach high and focus your energy towards achieving your dreams. What happens when the dream eludes you, or you feel that you're not measuring up against the standards of your peers?
Sometimes we do set our sights too high, or expect to reach them in an unreasonably short period of time. Just as important as establishing a goal is to map out an intelligent route. It's not usually all Super Highway between where we are and where we want to go. There are often plenty of other roads leading to and from that freeway, and you shouldn't drive 70 mph on a narrow two-lane country road!
But... what better place to slow down and enjoy the scenery? It's these paths that define the greatest part of our experience, and we shouldn't overlook them because we're so focused on the ultimate objective. Strangely enough, the things we see and experience along the way often lead us to change our path - or even our destination.
Ignore the worry-warts and over-achievers who want to know why it's taking you so darn long to get there. There is no time limit on success. You'll get there when you get there, and you won't be too old for it when you do. Success is sweet at any age, but it tastes best washing down a lifetime of experience, pleasure, and pride in one's work.
Achievement is a certificate that never expires, and there's no "due date." With the right attitude, you'll find small successes every day to keep your outlook positive and your life moving forward - at your own pace. When you make it clear that you are in the driver's seat and enjoying the trip, others will find themselves wanting to get on board. Happy motoring!

Oct. 7, 2019

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October



"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
~ Helen Keller
Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.

The majority of deaths (269 000) occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services. 

The recommended early detection strategies for low- and middle-income countries are awareness of early signs and symptoms and screening by clinical breast examination in demonstration areas. Mammography screening is very costly and is feasible only in countries with good health infrastructure that can afford a long-term programme.

Taken from: https://www.who.int/cancer/events/breast_cancer_month/en/

During the month of October, The JAY PATEL Group and RETHINK Real Estate will be donating a portion of every transaction to a charity that supports the research and treatment of Breast Cancer. 

Sept. 30, 2019




"Infinite patience produces immediate results." 
~ Unknown
Have you ever wanted something special to happen in your life or desired to attract a person or outcome into your life? Maybe you laid specific plans that should have produced the desired results. Maybe you prayed that the results would occur. Perhaps you focused on the desired outcome with great intensity over an extended period of time.
What was your response when nothing happened, when there occurred not the slightest apparent movement towards your desired objective? If you became impatient, chances are good that you were too attached to the outcome. Perhaps, while you were waiting, you were also skeptical or allowed friends and associates to dampen your belief that the desired outcome would occur.
Today's quotation at first glance appears to be at odds with itself. After all, there's a great chasm between "infinite" and "immediate." Yet, when you exercise infinite patience, the desired results often appear immediately, or so it seems. Patience means not being so attached to the outcome that you sit waiting minute-by-minute for the results. When you take action to achieve or strongly believe in your objective, it cannot NOT occur.
When you are detached from the outcome, you do not sit idly by waiting for the result. You continue doing other things, moving towards other outcomes. As you do, the results you sought earlier come to you of their own accord and at the appropriate time. You cannot rush them, and they often come disguised as other outcomes.
The next time you desire a specific objective, keep it to yourself. Avoid putting it out on the line for all to see and criticize. Exercise infinite patience, and know that what you desire is already on its way to you. Then, recognize its arrival with gratitude!

Sept. 23, 2019



"There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself."
~ Hermann Hesse
You've probably seen it a dozen times - "The Wizard of Oz." It's a delightful tale of fantasy, complete with munchkins, a scarecrow in need of a brain, a yellow brick road, a wicked witch and a mythical wizard with the imagined power to send Dorothy back to Kansas.
Regardless of the fantasy, the beautiful color, the unusual characters, and the whimsical plot, there is a powerful message that comes as one of Dorothy's last lines as she prepares to leave Oz. She says, "If ever again I go looking for my heart's desire, I won't look any further than my own backyard." It's such a simple statement, yet it carries a lesson for all of us.
How often do we look outside our own world of home and family for "our heart's desire?" There are so many distractions that lure us out of our own backyard: careers, shopping, powerful people, sports, clubs, TV, committees, the Internet, and the list goes on. There's so much to do and so little time. Then one day we look and our own backyard no longer seems to exist.
We should take time to smell the roses in our own garden, rather than looking over the fence and down the yellow brick road to see the roses of others. We need to let go of the imagined - the tin man, lion, and scarecrow of our own making - and appreciate the real Auntie Em's in our lives. If we don't, we may wake up one day to realize we're "not in Kansas anymore."

Sept. 18, 2019




by Jay Patel

The U.S. is on the brink of recession at just about any moment. However, the economy has remained steady over the last few years. The Great Recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, but many Americans are still dealing with the effects, particularly from the housing market crash, years later with roughly 5.2 million homeowners owing more on their home than it’s worth at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. While that number, representing 9.1% of all mortgaged properties in the U.S., is a slight increase from the end of 2018, when 8.8% of mortgaged homes were seriously underwater, it’s still far lower than anything seen in the aftermath of the recession. Negative equity hit its peak in 2012, when nearly 30% of homeowners were underwater on their mortgages.

Nationally, real estate has come a long 

way since those dark times. Home values continue to rise and are expected to increase a total of nearly 4.1% nationally in 2019, according to Zillow. Low inventory of available homes on the market and a high volume of buyers contribute to the price increases.

Since the economy is now flourishing and has been for a few years, people are wondering when it will begin to slow and are nervous about how badly they’ll be affected when the next downturn hits. Fortunately, the history of recessions and current issues that could harm the economy don’t lead many to believe the housing market crash will repeat itself in upcoming times.

While housing isn’t expected to be problematic nationally in the next recession, some markets will likely take bigger hits than others. Even outside of a large-scale recession, individual housing markets and geographic regions often 

see highs and lows, rising with demand and then experiencing a downturn once prices go beyond what homebuyers are willing to pay.

Already, many markets across the U.S. have seen a slowing demand among buyers. This price correction makes up for recent years when housing inventory was so low it caused rapid home value increases. Rather than serving as a precursor to recession, these housing markets are preparing for a period when the economy tightens. But even if home values experience a dip on a national scale due to a slowing economy, a slight drop would not instantly lead to foreclosures. The housing crisis in the Great Recession was fueled heavily by the fact that job loss was paired with a significant share of homeowners who didn’t have much equity in their homes. Overall, homeowners aren’t making the same mistakes now and they have much more equity in their homes. In addition to this equity, the vast majority are also 

locked into 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, most likely having refinanced during the recent period of historically low interest rates.

With a low interest rate and affordable monthly payments, most homeowners are in a good place if the economy slows. If you haven’t refinanced yet, there’s still time to do so. The Federal Reserve announced in March that it plans to keep the federal funds rate at 2.5% for the remainder of 2019. The decision not to increase the rate, combined with a less competitive housing market overall, has helped keep mortgage rates low in recent months. Freddie Mac reported at the end of May that the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage interest rate fell to 3.99% at the end of May, which is the first time it has below 4% since January 2018. For many homeowners looking to lower their monthly payments with an economic downturn in mind, now would be a good time


Sept. 15, 2019



"Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them."
~ Napoleon
Written by Dr. Fred Craddock, the following story was passed along:
One of my schoolmates spent many years ministering in China. He was under house arrest and the soldiers came one day and told him that he could return to America. The family was celebrating. The soldiers said, 'You can take 200 pounds with you.'
They had been there for years! Two hundred pounds. They got the scales and they started the family arguments - two children, wife, and husband. Must have this vase . . . Well, this is a new typewriter . . . What about my books? . . . What about our toys? They weighed everything and took it off, until at last they had it right on the dot: two hundred pounds.
The soldiers asked if they were ready to go and they said, "Yes!" "Did you weigh everything?" They said, "Yes!" "Did you weigh the kids?" "No, we did not." "You will have to weigh the kids." In the blink of an eye, the typewriter, vase, books, all became trash. Trash. It happens.
Talk about a paradigm shift. How often have we all weighed our goods without considering our "kids"? Think of the times we placed value on our "stuff," only to be swiftly reminded of the value of a loved one.
This concept is confirmed with the story of a man who showed up at the pearly gates with a wheelbarrow full of gold bars. St. Peter explained that he could not "take it with him." Nevertheless, St. Peter consulted with God about the man being allowed to bring the gold bars. God answered with a simple question: "Why does he want to bring in paving materials?"

Sept. 9, 2019



"The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss."
~ Thomas Carlyle
When setting goals and planning our future, we sometimes fail to look far enough ahead. Consider the following story:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, "Only a little while." The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs." The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, then stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life."
The banker scoffed, "I'm a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. You would eventually open your own cannery and control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."
The fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years." "But what then?" asked the fisherman. The banker laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."
"Millions? And then what?" The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos." (!!!)
So . . . what are you working for? The IPO or the good life? Stop working toward "someday," and appreciate your success on this day. Take time to enjoy the siesta!

Aug. 26, 2019



"Time is clay. Make something."
~ Unknown

To paraphrase a favorite tune, "If I could save time in a bottle..." I could have saved literally millions of minutes so far. Of course most of us think in terms of a 24-hour clock that gives us another chance to save each time we wake up. We think of time beginning anew with the start of each day. Not so. Time is actually a continuum, a straight line.
If you were born in 1952, you could have saved 27,856,800 minutes by now. Born in 1968? You'd have a bottle full of 19,447,200 minutes. No matter when you were born, it's easy to calculate just how many minutes you could have saved by now. The real question, of course, is how many minutes are left. Bet you didn't want to hear that.
Not to worry. It's what you do with what you've got that counts. So why not begin looking at time as clay - as something you roll in your hands and form into anything you like. Remember making little cars, or a house, or a little clay doll when you were little? Back then, no one told you what to make - you just let your imagination guide you.
As you got older, you were told what you could do, when you could do it, and how much time you had to get it done. You quit playing with the clay, and didn't have the time to let your imagination guide you. More than likely you fell into a routine (a.k.a. a rut), one possibly designed by someone else's imagination.
Why not take some of the time you have to rediscover the joy your own imagination can bring? Think back to those wonderful days of clay - and make something!

Aug. 18, 2019



“The children are watching us.”
~ Italian film title (Vittorio De Sica, director)
Turns out the children are listening, too.
The question is, what are they learning and what are we teaching?
No matter whom we interact with, we should all take some time to reflect upon how our practices are matching up to our ethics and beliefs. We all have the potential to produce a profound effect on the people in our lives, both directly and indirectly. How we choose to act in our encounters helps define who we are: are we good stewards, good managers, good parents?
Consider the language we use when we deal with other people. Those who value power over action will use the language of judgment and superiority: “That idea is doomed..." or "You will never succeed..." or "That project is a waste of time.” Such language only serves to predict its own end and unfortunately, that end is often failure.
Now consider language that recognizes individuality while setting us up as collaborators: “I understand what you want..." or "I can only imagine how hard this is for you..." or "I'd like to help.” As we acknowledge the needs and feelings of others, we have better opportunities to show the same respect we’d expect in return. The encounter becomes a win-win situation.
As we interact with others, a good yardstick by which to measure our actions is to imagine how children would perceive them. Do we play by the rules? Are we being fair? Do we share? Are we doing unto others as we would have done to ourselves? During your next meeting, imagine a seven year old is watching the proceedings. Would you conduct yourself any differently?
Before children start to learn the later lessons of failure and success associated with competition, they first learn to “play well with others.” The politics of the playground still hold some powerful lessons for us, too!

Aug. 13, 2019




© Phoenix Business Journal. Used with permission. 

After eight months of lower activity, homebuilders have seen a rebound around the Phoenix region with a major uptick in sales — especially in the West Valley.

From mid-May through mid-June, new home sales shot up 16% year over year, said Jim Belfiore, founder of Phoenixbased Belfiore Real Estate Consulting and author of KnowledgeBase Current & Future Market Insights reports. That’s typically a time of year when demand softens.

New home sales also jumped by 16% through mid-June from a month earlier. By contrast, two months ago, from midMarch to mid-April, sales were down 18% for metro Phoenix homebuilders, Belfiore said, continuing a streak that had been in effect since last fall.

“Now the latest 30 days, they are up 16% 

year over year,” he said. “It just skyrocketed. Not only have they increased year over year but we have hit a peak we haven’t hit since mid-2007.”

Andy Warren, president of Scottsdalebased Maracay Homes, said the late blooming spring market may be a result of consumer confidence bouncing back. “My guess is once consumers realized that ‘Oh maybe it is a good time to buy 

despite what I see on the nightly news of what’s happening in Seattle,’ they have come around,” Warren said. “I think it’s a combination of just good market fundamentals and probably some pent-up demand.”

As an indicator of that demand, Maracay unveiled its Avance 400home gated community in South Mountain on May 11, when 3,000 

people showed up for the grand opening weekend, Warren said.

“We have sold 65 houses within the last four to five weeks,” Warren said. Home prices start in the mid $300,000s.

Belfiore’s report also noted that the West Valley had nine of the top 10 selling new home communities from mid-May to mid-June.

Jordan Rose, attorney and founder of Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, said she was elated to hear the turnaround in new home sales. Her practice focuses on business consulting, land use and government relations.

“After living through the Great Recession you sort of temper your enthusiasm for big fast numbers, but here since the real homebuyer demand is racing past our supply, I feel pretty good exhaling a little shout of joy,” Rose said.