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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bio - Dave Zundel

Meet Dave Zundel
Co-founder, Real Estate Investor

To take the model of a drastically improved property management firm from an idea to fruition, Dave Zundel and Mike Sargent partnered in early 2008 to build HomeLovers, an Arizona-based property management company that specializes in residential rental properties including purchasing and managing rental property to building and growing a robust, profitable investment portfolio.

Dave's Experience
Dave Zundel has been building businesses for over 20 years, including hands-on consulting work with the owners of nearly 200 companies.

Recently, his experience allowed him to redefine residential property management and implement new levels of efficiency for a local Phoenix real estate investment and property management company, resulting in aggressive growth from 300 homes under management to nearly 2000 homes - almost a 600% increase. With a focus on numbers, Dave created tools to assist investors with avoiding purchasing mistakes, maximizing ROI and attracting ideal tenants.

In the same time frame, Dave accumulated a personal portfolio worth over $3 million that included 15 single family homes.

At age 40, Dave retired from his position as CEO to focus on his personal real estate investments. After three years in retirement, Dave could no longer resist the lure of reentering the business world. In looking at all the different types of businesses he had worked with over the years, none had more appeal to him than property management. With the luxury of hindsight, Dave was able to reflect on things that had created challenges and unhappy clients.

After nurturing the idea for several months and launching a joint partnership with Mike Sargent, a dramatically improved property management model evolved.

Today, HomeLovers is one of Arizona's fastest growing home rental and property management companies.

Read Dave's articles on the blog
Join Dave on Facebook

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phoenix Foreclosure Sweet Spot

According to MSN, Phoenix is still one of the top three leading destinations, regardless of all the marketplace grumbling. Read the article: http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=19873357&gt1=35000

In spite of all the stress in the economy, people on the move are still coming to Phoenix. This steady growth in population over time is fueling our recovery and contributing to the rapidly shrinking inventory of homes for sale.

While many other cities in the country are still affecting the headlines and promoting a national sense of crisis in real estate, Phoenix is well on its way to a stable market with healthy sustainable growth.

Many of these families flowing into Phoenix are coming from areas of the country where unemployment is high and opportunities tight. The demand for great rental properties is growing fast.

We are working daily with increasingly savvy investors who know the sweet spot in Phoenix is homes for middle-upper middle income families, NOT the cheapest home in the most distressed neighborhood.

Interested in learning more? Read our blog article on "Getting a great deal on an Arizona foreclosure" or yesterday's press release on major pitfalls during today's foreclosure buying frenzy.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bio - Mike Sargent

Meet Mike Sargent
Co-founder, Real Estate Investor

To take the model of a drastically improved property management firm from an idea to fruition, Dave Zundel and Mike Sargent partnered in early 2008 to build HomeLovers, an Arizona-based property management company that specializes in residential rental properties including purchasing and managing rental property to building and growing a robust, profitable investment portfolio.

His experience
Mike Sargent has personally owned and managed more than 30 investment properties, both residential and commercial, and was recently instrumental in growing a local Phoenix real estate investment and property management company into the largest property management firm in Arizona.

His leadership, investment and portfolio management experience allowed him to rapidly expand the number of homes under management to 2,000 homes during his tenure.

Prior to this, Mike spent 18 years as an executive at Inter-Tel, Inc., a major public telecommunications company; and Cirillium, Inc., a hi-tech Inter-Tel spinoff, both headquartered in the Phoenix area, where he was influential in launching VoIP (voice-over Internet Protocol) to major clients worldwide by leveraging his software design engineer background, financial acumen and boardroom experience.

He is an experienced international traveler who has visited more than 30 countries. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Arizona State University.

Read Mike's articles on the blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's HomeLovers Press Release

HomeLovers Urges Real Estate Investors to Avoid Major Pitfalls During Current Foreclosure Buying Frenzy

Investors are flocking to purchase sub-$100,000 "bargains" only to learn too late that they aren't good investment properties

Glendale, AZ, July 20, 2009 – HomeLovers, one of Arizona's fastest growing Arizona home rental and property management companies, today announced that second quarter home trends in Metropolitan Phoenix showed a mild upswing. Home prices have started to stabilize and even increase, and banks are becoming more willing to work with buyers. As home inventory begins to shrink and interest rates remain low, the better bargains are getting multiple offers from interested buyers and investors are eagerly snapping up homes - often under the mistaken assumption that every short sale, foreclosed or REO (real estate owned) property is a highly profitable investment opportunity.

Unfortunately, according to HomeLovers, while a home may be a great bargain, it may not be suitable as a rental property. "We are still seeing way too many people apply the right timing and enthusiasm to the wrong property," stated HomeLovers Co-founder David Zundel."Investors are bringing their new steals to us to manage, only to find out that the home they bought has long-term challenges and attracts the wrong types of tenants or is prone to vacancies."

"Over 80% of the homes brought to us for management are the types of homes that we would never have purchased or sold as investments," added Michael Sargent, HomeLovers' other co-founder. "Even the cheapest foreclosure can be a very expensive investment mistake."

Before jumping into what seems like a great opportunity, HomeLovers urges real estate investors to be cautious in avoiding common pitfalls:

1. Do your homework before shopping for a home, so you have a thorough understanding of your long-term plans for the property and the type of tenant you want to attract. It is important to know what your ideal tenant is looking for and the type of property that is most likely to meet their needs. For example, a two-story home in Sun City, Ariz. might lend itself to vacancy issues simply because the senior demographics of the area are adverse to stairs, where a two-story home in Chandler, Ariz. near a park or school may be in high demand because of its younger demographics.

2. Spend time looking at the demographics of the prospective home's neighborhood. Some neighborhoods are simply prone to attract the wrong types of tenants by nature of their affordability. If you are looking at homes renting for under $1,000, understand that you are looking at tenants that typically earn double or triple that - or $24,000 to $36,000 annually. Renters in this income level may struggle with bills and add an unwanted risk factor to your portfolio. The most common mistake, according to HomeLovers, is that investors are scrambling to buy the sub-$100,000 homes. While that might be a great price, there are many more issues that impact a property's profitability, and the advice of a reputable portfolio planner is critical.

3. Don't wait for the bottom of the market. By the time sources confirm the market has hit bottom, prices and interest rates are already on the upswing. Many people tend to sit back and watch before taking action, but if you watch too long, opportunities are missed. The time to buy is now, but it should be done carefully. Investors need to purchase with the long-term returns in mind. With the right tools and/or the expert advice of an experienced property manager, it is easy to crunch the inventory of available properties down to a short list of homes that would make a truly great investment. Once you have a short list, you can shop for the best deal without compromising long-term investment ROI. This strategy will put you ahead of the masses that are getting a great "deal" on bad investments.

4. Consider homes in the $1,000 - $1,500 monthly rental range. This is the "sweet spot" of the market that attracts financially stable, reliable tenants. With all of the foreclosure activity, many people who are used to owning will not be able to buy for a long time. These people make fabulous tenants, and will make a strong pool of tenants for years to come. Until the foreclosed owners get their credit back and start buying homes, we will enjoy a larger group of mid- to high-end tenants. The nicer properties are getting rented faster than ever, and there is a huge demand for middle to upper income homes to rent. Savvy investors need to consider bargains in this area of this market, instead of chasing the homes under $100,000.

For investor information on choosing the right property or choosing the right tenant, please visit HomeLovers' website at http://www.homelovers.com/. HomeLovers also offers a blog focused on property management and investing at http://www.arizona-investment-properties.com/.

About HomeLovers
Established in early 2008, HomeLovers is already one of Arizona's most rapidly growing home rental and property management companies. It was founded on the premise of creating a drastically improved property management agency model, including full disclosure of fees and anticipated costs in a market that is prone to "junk fees," unexpected costs and inexperienced agents that make it difficult to manage profitable real estate investment portfolios.

Because of its focus on the development of proprietary tools that assist investors with avoiding purchasing mistakes, maximizing return on their investments and attracting ideal, long-term tenants, HomeLovers was one of the first property management agencies to offer access to real-time online accounting, documentation and reporting.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is land a good investment In Phoenix?

An interesting article hit the Phoenix Business Journal yesterday on how investors are starting to pick up speculative land purchases at fire sale prices, now that "we know the world is not coming to an end."

Love that quote. Anyway, it is true that the real estate market is emerging from the gloom slowly and things are starting to pick up.

Vast majority of market is speculators
Reporter Matt Culbertson goes on include a quote from his source, “As long as you’re near the bottom, they feel comfortable in buying, The vast majority of the transactions that we’re seeing are speculators, for lack of a better term.”

We at HomeLovers have to agree that land investment is MUCH more speculative than homes, even in today's depressed market.

Buy homes, not land
While land investments have obviously been good for some over the years, HomeLovers does not recommend it to the average real estate investor. We point them to the much more stable and predictable housing market.

Watch for our press release on Monday that talks more about the state of the Arizona market.
Want to learn more about the nuances of real estate investing for free?

Call HomeLovers today at 602-792-5324 for a free consultation from expert investors with very successful portfolios of their own - Mike Sargent or Dave Zundel. I think you'll be extremely impressed by the level of advice and skill that is offered.

They are great at understanding the nuances of rentals and investing in Arizona, and sorting out which properties are good deals, and which are actually good deals for an investment. Very different things!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Do You Have a Realtor in the Family?

by Barbara Broyles

Almost everyone has a friend, cousin, brother, sister, or uncle that holds a real estate license. But real estate transactions are much more than a simple relationship business. Especially when it comes to building a real estate investment portfolio.

Is that family member or acquaintance really who you want to trust with your financial future?

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the true significance of a good agent. Obtaining a license is not that difficult, but keeping up with market trends and truly studying the financial end of real estate is very complicated.

Why it matters
Right now, the feeding frenzy is at the bottom of this market - meaning the lowest priced homes - and homes can be purchased as low as $40,000.

Does that make it a deal? While it sounds reasonable and smart, buying low is only a fraction of the equation when it comes to owning investment properties.

What if it takes six months or more to get that home rented?

Will you get the kind of tenants that you really want in a home that is in a low priced, low rent neighborhood?

How often will you have evictions?

What kind of rehab work will you have every time a tenant moves out?

These kinds of questions are essential, and ones that the right real estate agent should be helping you ask AND answer.

Selecting an agent
Investing in Real Estate is not a one-size fits all, and the right agent should require a detailed consultation to learn about your needs, your finances, and many other issues. Your portfolio should be as individualized as which home you choose to live in.

You should be asking about things like Return on Investment, Cash on Cash Returns, Cash Flow, Appreciation Rates - not focusing on how cheap a house is.

The bottom line is that your Realtor(r) or agent should be your guide to the right investment home, not someone who will just write a contract on a low price home then leave you to figure out the rest.

071709 © Barbara Broyles, HomeLovers

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bio - Barbara Broyles

Meet Barbara Broyles
Associate Broker, Director of Portfolio Sales

As Director of Portfolio Sales and Associate Broker for HomeLovers, Barbara shares her strong investment and portfolio management expertise by actively training and managing a team of HomeLovers agents, and is an essential force behind its roster of successful investor clients. She also manages a personal portfolio exceeding $1,000,000.

Barbara's career began with stunning success, as she collected awards for "Rookie Of The Year" and "Top Salesperson" during her first year, and produced total sales exceeding $10 Million consecutively for two years. She earned Associate Broker status during her third year, and is a member of the Arizona Real Estate Investors Association.

Barbara's ongoing passion for investment management and education keep her at the top of her field. By combining her investment, financing and market acumen with proprietary HomeLovers portfolio planning tools and a network of proven experts in related areas such as financing, title/escrow, LLC formulation and more, Barbara inspires rapid confidence in her clients.

Prior to her career in Real Estate, Barbara was a 25-year veteran of client relations and management for Qwest Communications who was instrumental in large business sales, management of 30+ technicians, and the establishment two call centers from the ground up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HomeLovers on YouTube

Coming within the next few weeks - HomeLovers will be launching the a new, first-of-its-kind "Investor Broadcast Channel" on YouTube. Watch for great educational videos on topics like:

  • How to select rental properties
  • Property management
  • Tenant selection and screening
  • Foreclosure, short sale and REO purchase tips
  • What makes a great investment property
  • How to choose a property management company
  • Reducing vacancies
  • Getting a GREAT deal

Subscribe to our blog now, and you'll get an email every time a new video is posted. See you on YouTube!

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Friday, July 3, 2009

HomeLovers Now On Trulia

When it comes to real estate advice, there is a lot of noise in the market place about grabbing up foreclosures. In all the excitement about "the next great deal", investors can't forget to educate themselves on the market at a deeper level.

HomeLovers is now on Trulia - answering Arizona investor questions, property management questions, and more.

Ask Us A Question
Want to hear about the Phoenix market, the nuances of how the economy is impacting rentals and vacancies? Don't hesitate to jump on Trulia (or post a comment on this blog) to get a dialogue going.

Be Trulia to yourself instead of impulsive - ask the right questions BEFORE you buy that potential investment property. We help far too many investors step out of poor choices, when a free consultation or dialogue on tools like Trulia before the purchase could have guided them into a great cash-flow opportunity from the beginning.

This week's activity on Trulia:

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