Buying A Home January 1, 2022

Before Buying a Historic Home, Look for These Kew Things

Prescott, Arizona, holds beautiful historical downtown! Around the area, you will find grand old homes with detailed architecture, stunning peaks, and peaceful porches. Did you know that the oldest house in Prescott dates to 1864? It is the Fort Misery log cabin at Sharlot Hall Museum. The Fort Misery log cabin was built in 1864 and moved to the property of the Sharlot Hall Museum in 1943.

Before buying a historic home, be aware of problems that arise with the age of the home. Historic homes are treasures to own if they have been well looked after by their owners over time; however, these houses also tend to age much more rapidly than newer builds because their construction materials (and underlying structures, too) are much older and not as well made. As a result, they may contain more problems than you’d expect just by looking at them.

Look Behind the Wall: Lead & Asbestos

A significant issue that arises when buying an older home is the presence of lead paint. A home built before 1978 has a high risk of containing lead paint. Make sure to get your house tested for lead levels.

Also, lookout for the presence of asbestos within the walls or insulation. In some cases, this won’t be an issue because it can be sealed behind layers of new drywall; however, if you are planning on pulling up existing flooring or doing extensive renovations, make sure to hire a professional inspector to take a look at what might be hiding beneath!

Renovation Restrictions

A truly historic home may be ineligible for particular renovations depending on preservation guidelines. Make sure to check out the preservation guidelines beforehand if you have plans for improvements.

Wiring and Plumbing

If the electrical system in the house hasn’t been upgraded, you might find yourself facing problems. Adding appliances or other significant power loads to the system can cause issues. Older plumbing found in historic homes can also change typical plumbing repairs into complicated projects.

Click here for 10 tips for “Inspecting Historic Houses Before You Buy,” from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. If you’re exploring historic homes, be sure to ask the current owners about all of these issues to see if they’ve dealt with them.

If you’d like to look at historic homes or think perhaps it’s time to consider something a bit newer, let me help you find just the right house!

Selling Your Home December 12, 2021

6 Tips For Moving: Keeping Your Belongings Safe

Moving can be a stressful process. There are so many moving tips and moving hacks out there that it’s hard to know what is best for you. It can feel like moving all of your belongings from one location to the next is impossible. But, with the proper planning and using these six tips for moving, you’ll have everything in order before your move and will be able to keep your belongings safe during the travel!

  1. Label everything: Labeling your belongings is one of the most significant moving tips. When packing up your boxes, make sure to put a label on each one that indicates what is inside. Not only will this help you keep track of your things while moving, but it will also make unpacking a breeze when you get to your new home. Labeling can be especially helpful for fragile items – if something breaks during transport, you’ll know exactly where it came from and can easily replace it.
  2. Pack smart: Another one of the most important moving tips is to pack smart. Don’t try to fit everything into a few boxes – this will only lead to disaster. Instead, take your time and fill each box with care. Make sure that you have enough packing material so that your belongings don’t move around during transport. And, if you’re packing fragile items, be sure to use extra caution when filling up your boxes.
  3. Create an inventory list: Along with labeling your belongings, it’s also a good idea to create an inventory list of what you’re taking with you. This way, if something does go missing or gets damaged during the move, you’ll have a record of what was in the box. An inventory list can also help you keep track of your moving expenses.
  4. Get insurance: If you’re worried about your belongings getting damaged during transport, then be sure to get moving insurance. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that if something does happen, you’ll be compensated for the damage.
  5. Pack a survival kit: When moving long-distance, it’s always a good idea to pack a survival kit. This should include everything from snacks and water to a first-aid kit and toiletries. 
  6. Create a timeline: Moving is a big project, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why it’s crucial to create a timeline and stick to it. This will help you stay organized and on track, especially when moving long-distance. With a timeline in place, you’ll be able to plan out each step of the moving process and ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

These are just a few of the many moving tips out there. By using these tips for moving, you’ll be able to keep your belongings safe during transport and make the moving process much less stressful!

Selling Your Home November 23, 2021

Staging: Not An Expense But An Investment

When it comes to marketing and selling a home, staging can be a powerful tool. 77% of buyers find it “easier to visualize the property as their future home” when it’s staged, 27% of buyers are more willing to “overlook property faults” on staged homes, and 40% of buyers are “more willing to walk through a staged home they saw online.”

There are many good arguments for investing in a professional home stager. Staging can help a home sell faster and boost the buyer’s desire for a home, resulting in a potentially higher closing price. A 2018 survey of more than 4,000 homes deduced that 68% of staged homes sold for at least 9% more than those of their un-staged neighbors’.

Some agents are turning towards virtual staging. Virtual staging uses computer imaging technology to create realistic listing photos that display a staged home, even though the property itself isn’t physically staged. Through 3D modeling and photo editing, empty rooms transform into a staged home. The results are impressive.

The positives for virtual home staging are that it is less expensive than traditional home staging and is completed in less time. However, stagers believe virtual staging is deceptive, as buyers will be disappointed when they arrive at an empty home.

Virtual Staging Software Options

  1. Virtual Staging Solutions
  2. BoxBrownie
  3. VisualStager
  4. VHT Studios
  5. VRX Staging

It might depend on your philosophy when it comes to staging. If your primary motivation is generating interest in the home online, you might want to go with virtual staging to create appealing photographs to drive more leads. If you want buyers to experience a home’s potential when they visit an open house or walk-through, then you’ll probably want to go for a traditional home staging. 

What Part of Your Home Should You Stage?

Below is what over 4,200 surveyed home buyers deemed the most critical rooms in the home to have staged.

  • 86% Living Room
  • 84% Master Bedroom
  • 68% Kitchen
  • 63% Outside Space 
  • 71% Dining Room

Whether you are physically for virtually staging, in either case, it’s a good idea to view staging not as an expense but as an investment. If you’re thinking of selling soon and would like to work with a stager, contact me today. I will connect you to trusted professionals who will make your home look its best.


Real Estate News October 22, 2021

A Good Way to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

The IRS wants everyone to have an IP PIN

What is an IP PIN?

The IRS lists six tips for anyone considering an IP PIN:

  • It’s a six-digit number known only to the taxpayer and the IRS.
  • The opt-in program is voluntary.
  • The IP PIN should be entered onto the electronic tax return when prompted by the software product or onto a paper return next to the signature line.
  • The IP PIN is valid for one calendar year; taxpayers must obtain a new IP PIN each year.
  • Only dependents who can verify their identities may obtain an IP PIN.
  • IP PIN users should never share their number with anyone but the IRS and their trusted tax preparation provider. The IRS will never call, email or text a request for the IP PIN.

For late or extension filers, there’s still time to get an IP PIN for this year’s return. That said, those who have already filed but want to protect next year’s return will be able to apply for a PIN this coming January. Luckily, the IP PIN registration process is relatively straightforward for most taxpayers.

How do taxpayers sign up for an IP PIN?

The IRS says that those with secure Internet access should first consider the Get an IP PIN tool on Users will need to have some personal information at hand when registering:

  • Email address
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Tax filing status and mailing address
  • One financial account number linked to your name:
  • Credit card –last 8 digits (no American Express, debit or corporate cards) or
  • Student loan – (Enter the student loan account number provided on your statement. The account number may contain both numbers and letters. Do not include any symbols.) Additionally, we can’t verify student loans issued by Nelnet. or
  • Mortgage or home equity loan or
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC) or
  • Auto loan
  • Mobile phone linked to your name (for faster registration) or ability to receive an activation code by mail

Since this info is required to verify online users’ identity, the agency suggests checking out the page detailing the Secure Access process: “Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools.” Those preferring an analogue approach who make up to $72,000 a year can always file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number.

Here are a few more IP PIN-related links that taxpayers may find helpful:


Jan Telesky Telesky
Financial Services
591 W Hamilton Ave, Ste 210 Campbell, Ca 95008
T 408-551-6580
F 408-551-6584

Fire Preparation October 11, 2021

Importance of Fire Prevention

While the official Fire Prevention Week (October 3rd – 9th) may have just passed us by, you can never be reminded too frequently about the Sounds of Fire Safety. Knowing the difference between the beeps and chirps made by smoke and carbon monoxide alarm can save you, your home, and those you hold dear.

Prescott Arizona September 7, 2021

Did You Know September Is National Library Sign-Up Month?

I’m not really sure what first turned me into a reader but it has always been a joy for me. Reading has calmed & soothed me when things around me are crazy,  been a great way to spend a rainy or snowy day and eased me off to sleep nightly. Sharing conversations about a favorite book or author is something my 97 year old dad and I do to this day. Trips to the local library have always had a special place on my weekly calendar and my library card is front and center in a special slot in my wallet.


Did you know Prescott Public Library, as part of the Yavapai Library Network, gives you access to over one million printed items. You can also access many electronic books, audiobooks, movies, and informational databases from home with your library card? Why not Celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month by getting your very own library card! Throughout September Prescott Public Library is offering some extra incentives for Yavapai County residents to come in and get a library card:

  • A deck of Prescott Public Library playing cards for the first 190 people who sign up for a new library card.
  • Bring someone in to get a card, and you’ll get a Friends of the Library book bag.
  • Surprise celebrations and a welcome bag for children who get a card.
  • Have fun with our photo booth for kids and adults on the 2nd floor of the library. There’s a hole for your face in these life-sized adventurous characters!

You can learn more and sign-up for a library card online at the info page.

Happy Reading!

Home Improvements August 23, 2021

Tip to Make Your Home Baby-Friendly

Do you have a new baby in the family? Or, will you be entertaining guests that do? Below are some sound strategies to make your guest’s visit low-stress and safe by baby proofing your home. These are great ways to put your guests at ease and do your best to protect their little ones from harm by investing in some modest pre-visit baby proofing.

  • Mind the Power and Appliances
    Outlets are enemy #1. Baby fingers are like magnets for electricity, so splurge on some plastic outlet covers which fit snugly into those empty sockets. If you have any multi-socket power strips around, be sure to cover those as well (or elevate them out of harm’s reach). Depending on your youngest visitors’ age, some may be able to reach knobs and buttons on appliances like your stove. Exploring hands can accidentally turn on the gas, so if you think your kitchen will be vulnerable, invest around $10 on stove knob covers.
  • Make Some Rooms Off-Limits
    It may not be practical to baby proof every inch of your house, making certain zones baby-free by using gates. Sturdy, simple, pressure-mounted gates will protect specific passages and prevent you from making any permanent holes in your wall. Alternately, use doorknob covers to make even unlocked rooms less likely to be prone to an infant invasion.
  • Fight Falling Objects
    Babies are all about testing gravity, and as they try to bring themselves upright, they’re liable to tug on anything within arm’s reach. Items that can fall on a child include entertainment centers, bookshelf, floor lamps, or other furniture. Are there any precarious pieces that might tumble down and seriously injure a child? Consider items on top of shelves (like decorative glassware), which can fall if shook, even it is modest force.
  • Curtail the Cords
    Power cords and curtain (or blind) cords can cause falls, entanglement, or even strangulation. Tie these up out of the way or too high for a baby to reach from the floor.
  • Get Down and Look Around
    A baby will put anything in its mouth. That will include choking hazards, dropped medications, or stray chemicals such as rat poison or cleaners. Shift your perspective to the floor and look for anything suspicious.

Looking at things from a child’s perspective is critical. If you have magnets on your refrigerator, move them up out of the child’s reach or take them off your fridge and tuck them away. Kids love sticking things in their moth; magnets could cause a choking hazard. Consider putting bumpers on sharp furniture edges, as toddlers are still figuring out balance and will stumble easier. In the bathroom, install toilet locks to keep the toilet lid closed so that there is no chance for kids to fall headfirst in when they are curious.

Some homes are more kid-friendly than others. If you’re looking for a perfect home for little ones, I can help you find one today: 928-830-2882.

Real Estate News June 20, 2021

Personal Representative Should Complete the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) Even if They Have Never Resided in the Property

Resource: Arizona REALTORS® Legal Hotline


Acting on behalf of an estate, the court appointed personal representative listed the property for sale shortly after the death of the owner. The personal representative has never resided in the Property and has virtually no knowledge of the property’s conditions. The personal representative ultimately entered into an Arizona REALTORS® Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract with the buyer. The buyer has now requested a SPDS and the personal representative does not want to provide it claiming she has no knowledge of the property condition.


Is the personal representative required to provide a SPDS even though she has virtually no knowledge of Property condition?


See discussion.


Although some sellers are reluctant to provide a SPDS because they lack knowledge, a seller of real property that knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property that are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, must disclose those facts to the buyer. Hill v. Jones, 151 Ariz. 81, 725 P.2d 1115 (App. 1986). Additionally, by entering into the purchase contract, the seller agreed to provide a SPDS within three (3) days of its acceptance. See Section 4a. The personal representative is therefore contractually obligated to provide the SPDS to the buyer even though she has virtually no knowledge of the property condition.

Buying A Home June 15, 2021

Making the Right Offer

Making the right offer is crucial when you have your eye on a home. Offer too little, and you may get passed over for the next buyer. But, on the other hand, offer too much, and you may need to reevaluate your budget for furnishings or upgrades. So, how do we navigate one of the most challenging parts of buying a new property? 

Want to make sure you have a firm offer at a price you can afford? Here’s when you might offer above, below, and at the listing price.

  • At List Price: A home that’s within your budget, move-in ready, and comes with most of the amenities you want could be worth an offer at the listing price. But you’ll want to make sure there’s not much competition for the property. Truth? Most homes receive multiple offers in our current Prescott area market, and many sell over the asking price with an all-cash offer!
  • Below List Price: Does the home need serious work? If so, you may want to offer below the selling price. In this case, bidding less money could free up cash for future repairs and necessary upgrades. Truth? There is minimal opportunity for this strategy in our current sellers’ market. 
  • Above List Price: You may want to go beyond listing price if you’re in a particularly active market or you know you’re up against several buyers. Together, we can determine what other homes in the area are going for, and we’ll craft your best competitive offer.

Here are some additional preparation tips:

  • Be prepared to make your first offer your best and final offer! Writing an offer hoping to receive a counteroffer is not a strategy that works in our current super-heated market.
  • Offering cash? Have a current proof of funds letter from your lender to submit with your offer.
  • Using a loan? Have a current lender prequalification. Better yet, have a preapproval which is a more official step that requires the lender to verify your financial information and credit history, a stronger sign of what you can afford and adds more credibility to your offer than a prequalification.
  • Be as flexible with the “terms and conditions” of your offer as you can be.

I’ll share with you what I know about a sellers’ preferences for close of escrow timing, etc. to help with this. 

Personal Growth June 1, 2021

Why I Volunteer

We lived on Teton Avenue in Sun Valley a newer subdivision outside of Omaha, Nebraska when I can remember the first volunteering I did. Christmas was just around the corner and somehow my mom found out about a family with kids at our school who were struggling. Being a part of the reason that family had a decorated Christmas tree with wrapped gifts and presents “From Santa” under it, Christmas dinner with all the “fixings” and a bit of spending money for afterwards, well that was one of THE greatest feelings and I was hooked!

Over the years I’ve happily worked side-by-side with my mom slicing, peeling, dicing, mixing, and serving up meals at Saturday church suppers, the Annual Strawberry Festival (is there any better dessert than New England-style strawberry shortcake?) and at the Plymouth Fair food booth.

As a REALTOR® with Seville Properties in Los Altos, California I stumbled upon Habitat for Humanity through our local Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® On one build I painted doors side-by-side with one of the owners of the company. I remember thinking about the family who would be walking through those doors I was painting.

Another time I remember getting up in the wee hours of the morning to join REALTOR® colleagues in Los Altos for the Spring Clean Up—-helping seniors in need of having their mattresses flipped, lightbulbs or smoke detector batteries changed, windows washed, or yards cleaned up. Simple acts for us, a HUGE gift for them.

When we moved to Prescott, Arizona some 17 years ago other volunteer opportunities found me through Southwest Airedale Terrier Rescue, Prescott Equine Rescue, Black Stallion Reading Program and LASER—Large Animal Shelters & Emergency Readiness. Through membership in the Prescott Area Association of REALTORS® Community Services and Outreach Committee and Hardship Task Force I’ve been a part of teams raising funds, collecting coats and food and folded & tied cards for SWAG boxes. As an affiliate with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate BloomTree Realty I’ve coordinated the participation of colleagues in three Habitat for Humanity builds and the collection of puzzles, crosswords, craft kits, knitting supplies and large print books for Arizona Serves Senior Care Drive.

I give because I can, and it feels right to me. The reward? The twinkle in an eye, a joyful bark, a hug, the squeeze of a hand. Knowing someone’s life might just be a tiny bit better tomorrow than it has been.