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New Law Banning Cellphones While Driving Implemented

by Melissa Dierks

New Law Banning Cellphones While Driving Implemented

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes annually. Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol is. One out of every four traffic crashes that occur in the U.S. are caused by cell phone usage. This startling data may be one of many reasons why a new law banning the use of cellphones while driving went into effect in Surprise this month, making it the latest city to attempt regulation rather than wait for a state effort.

Surprise officials put an ordinance banning talking, texting or anything involving a handheld communication device into effect last week, the Arizona Republic reported. Police will generally issue warnings only for the first thirty days of the new law, said Surprise police Sgt. Tim Klarkowski. After that, the fines will begin. The fine is $250 on the first offense. The law prohibits talking on a cellphone, sending a text message or otherwise using a hand-held communications device while driving in the city, unless the device is in hands-free mode.

City leaders were cautious when enacting the outright ban, fearing that it could make the city a target of the state Legislature, which has been enacting local pre-emption laws on many subjects. But Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott said the Arizona League of Cities and Towns believed the law could be imposed.

Lawmakers have gone back and forth on cellphone bans in cars for more than a decade. Earlier this year, legislation banning drivers’ cellphone usage was shot down gained approval in the Senate but died in the House.

The lack of a state law has led to a mishmash of different ordinances across jurisdictions. Tucson, Sedona and Oro Valley currently prohibit handheld cellphone use while behind the wheel. Meanwhile, Phoenix, Flagstaff and Fountain Hills only prohibit texting while driving.

Drivers, please make sure your cellphones are tucked away when crossing into Surprise city limits, and as always, please drive safe!

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018

by Melissa Dierks

RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018 shows increasing home prices, low inventory and a reduction in days on market. These combined factors made August 2018 the sixth time this year that home sales lagged behind last year’s pace—but only slightly at -1.1 percent. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

Home prices rose by 3.7 percent over August 2017, much lower than the year-over-year price increase of 5.4 percent from August 2016 to August 2017. In fact, the past three months of 2018 have trailed 2017’s rate of price growth year-over-year—compare that to four of the first five months of 2018 when year-over-year price increases easily topped those posted in 2017.

The Median Sales Price of $248,500 marked the twenty-ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

Even though active inventory dropped for the 118th consecutive month, the decline of 5.4 percent from August 2017 marked the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the August 2018 inventory drop marked the fourth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines, rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen in early 2018 and over the previous three years.

“It varies by market, but we’re hearing that buyers are being more selective and sellers are becoming more pragmatic,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “That dynamic could bring inventory levels up, especially in the most overheated markets, where we expect to see the clearest signs of equilibrium returning. The economy is strong and potential buyers are out there—they just need more listings, at the right price points, to consider. We believe that balance will return, which will be good for everyone in the long run. It’s just a matter of when.”

Contos added that although the lack of inventory continues to be a challenge, the trends suggest that the market finally appears to be rebalancing.

“The moderation we are experiencing seems to be a bit more than the normal seasonal lull we’d expect this time of year,” said Contos.

Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018. Looking to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix? Contact the Regal Team today! We offer unparalleled service to all clients in the Phoenix, Arizona real estate market. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority!

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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Don’t Fall for Package Delivery Notification Scam

by Melissa Dierks

Don’t Fall for Package Delivery Notification Scam

Jae Herron, a Valley homeowner says she recently found a notice on her front door, implying she had missed a delivery. Like a lot of consumers, Herron likes to shop and buy online. She says getting packages dropped off at her home happens fairly frequently. So, when she came out of her front door and found a notice saying, "Sorry we missed you" from a company called "Valley Delivery," it got her attention.

But when she called the number on the notice and that's when felt something wasn't quite right. They proceeded to ask her for her date of birth and she said no. Herron says she then grew even more suspicious as the representative kept asking more personal questions, so she hung up and reported the fraud. According to the Better Business Bureau, a company by a similar name, Nu Home Promotions, was told to "modify misleading advertising practices.” Herron says she’s not surprised and wants others to be aware.

This isn’t the first time this package delivery notification scam has happened in the Valley. Earlier this year, Dave Sollis, a homeowner in Surprise said fake delivery people had been hounding him from the same company that's not actually delivering packages, but rather delivery notices aimed at data mining, according to the company's fine print. Sollis said a fake delivery man visited his home at around 5 a.m. one day, leaving a fake delivery notice. Sollis looked up Valley Delivery online and decided it wasn't a legitimate delivery company.

Valley Delivery has done business under several different names. They have a bad record with the Better Business Bureau and have been the target of past investigations looking into their shady marketing practices. 

The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers often impersonate well-known shippers or steal the identities of popular retailers to appear more legitimate. If you really did miss a delivery, the driver will leave a ticket at your door to arrange for a later delivery or for you to pick up the package. If you or someone you know has been a victim of delivery notice fraud please report the incident to the Attorney General, Better Business Bureau or contact the local, state or Federal regulators most likely to have answers to your questions here.

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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Melissa Dierks
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals
7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101,
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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