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Home Owners Rush to Refinace with low interest rates - 12/27/08 11:24 AM
We are seeing a rush of refinancing with rates dropping to new lows. Changing consumers monthly payment and debt ratios. 30 Year fixed rate hit 5.1 percent 15 Year fixed rate hit 4.91 percent Five Year adjustable rate hit 5.49 percent One Year, adjustable rate hit 4.95 percent The rule of thumb on refinancing is, if you can save 1 percent it will be profitable for you to refinance. This was sparked by many things and a lot of people are taking credit for the fall in interest rates and the possible stimulus to the housing market. Here are some of the real (5 comments)
Have you hit the lotto lately? The odds are not with you....BUT! - 12/27/08 10:57 AM
Have you won the lottery lately? I always ask the same question when someone tells me the latest lotto jackpot total... They say hey did you know the lotto is at....and give me some fantastic number in the millions of dollars. My response is...do you have to buy a ticket to win? They look at me quizzically and say YES! My reply...darn. I don't buy them and I don't add to the winning totals either. So as you might expect I don't buy lottery tickets. So in my traditional exchange of gifts with my family this year my sister buys me (19 comments)
As we pass another year...here is something from years gone by...like OLD Cars? - 12/27/08 10:14 AM
Here is a treat for those that like the old cars......... turn up the volume! Someone did an awesome job putting this together and with sound to boot. At the very end of the video you'll hear the song ' Thunder Road ' sung by the star of the movie for which it was the theme! Not uncommon except this is the one and only song ever recorded, for publication, sung by Robert Mitchum! Click here: http://thefiftiesandsixties.com/CarsWeDrove.htm This will remind you of the sock hops...people danced with their shoes off! Hence the word "sock hop". I actually owned some of these tunes (1 comments)
Shake your head "YES" if we are headed south! - 12/27/08 09:45 AM
That was a cartoon, showing homeless people trudging through the snow asking for directions from a homeowner looking out the window with a for sale sign in his yard! Michigan is just under 10% unemployment and the big factor for that is the automotive and furniture plants. We have not diversified in our state more than 40 years. What is ahead? We can be certain that more foreclosures are coming. One in ten home owners are a month behind on their mortgage payments. I saw another carton with Santa standing over a little boy. The caption...Santa was the stimulus package and (2 comments)
Winter Wonderland or is it Wondering what's next? - 12/27/08 08:59 AM
We have a saying in Michigan...if you don't like the weather wait 24 hours it will change! I have no idea who came up with that line....but he certainly had to have been a meteorologist! Just a couple days ago we were digging out and the radio was blaring the "the weather outside is frightful", and it was true! Today is pea soup...visibility is an 1/8th of a mile, it has been raining and now we have flood warning out. Look real close, in the photo to the right, center bottom even the deer hold up in weather like this. A (2 comments)
Re-Gift or Return that is the question! - 12/27/08 08:24 AM
Some of us get those gifts that just make you shake your head...smile and say under your breath....what were they thinking? When getting a gift it is supposed to be remembered for the spirit of the act...my mother and father told me that from the time I was little and it rings in my head every time I get something that is never going to be used by me. That happens rarely but it does happen. I am always appreciative but will never use the item, sometimes it is a shirt that could only be worn on Saturday Night Live, other (2 comments)
Keeping your Christmas tree green long after Christmas is gone! - 12/27/08 07:43 AM
Going Green long after the Christmas is taken down is just as important as having a "Green" tree during the Christmas season. One of the best things you can do is recycle your tree! In many areas of the country there will be specific hours you can recycle your tree. In our area of West Michigan we have many choices of going green by recycling. Ada Township Park: January 12th, 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. Allendale Township: Does Not participate in tree recycling, Allegan: Has curbside pickup of trees between January 7th and the 18th. Alpine Township: Has a drop-off site (0 comments)
Merry Christmas...another day in Paradise! - 12/25/08 09:39 AM
Nobody can say Michigan does not have a "White" Christmas! We have just less than 24" setting on level ground...time for a snowman! For those of us that are hosting the family gathering it may be very easy compared to driving on the icy roads. All we can do is be concerned that everyone arrives and returns home safely. For those defending our country in harms way we should stop and say a prayer of thanks and appreciation for them as well. I spent a tour of duty in Vietnam and Christmas was the least of my worries while still (10 comments)
Winter showings in the snow belt. - 12/20/08 08:59 PM
Showing homes in the snow belt. Many of us that like the change of seasons or say we do while our teeth chatter have a couple little issues when showing homes when the snow is deep. Buyers do not find going to a home and wading through knee deep snow to get to the front door! You want them to take off their shoes after you made them wade through the snow...fat chance. You think they are going to bid a fair or higher price on a home that looks like the seller doesn't care if it is shown or not? (4 comments)
Jingle Bells or Wedding Bells? - 12/20/08 07:11 PM
This time of year you never know what to expect. You won't believe the Christmas Card I received... My sister just sent me the most unique Christmas card and I must admit, took me completely by surprise. The outside of the card showed snow covered trees and Merry Christmas written across, but it was the message inside was not what I was expecting! I usually don't share many personal family issues. I had written about my sister before and her long time battle with MS. I didn't tell you her husband of over twenty years couldn't cope with her illness. They (6 comments)
Winter Wonderland or is it Wondering what's next? - 12/20/08 08:10 AM
It is a winter wonderland out there today!! Wonderland indeed! Wonder if you are going to be in the ditch, stuck in the intersection or part of another vehicles fender bender! Everyone has been preparing for the winter storm that was predicted and yes, it has arrived. Yesterday, the lines at the grocery store were long, people lined up at the gas pumps, etc. ...everyone making their list and checking it twice to see if they have all they need in case of being snowed in. It reminded me a bit of being back in Florida as we were preparing (3 comments)
Your business partner driving your crazy? - 12/19/08 06:08 PM
Mine Too, for the last time! OK this may not be what you think. My phone is my business partner. Without my phone I am out of business and most of us are out of business if we cannot communicate. This is my former partner. See the little buttons on the front bottom...the one on the left...that is the "push to connect button. So the last number dialed....you can call them right back just by bumping your hip on the console of your car...whoever that person was now can hear you talk bad to other drivers....or about them if the conversation (28 comments)
A word on the economy! Yuck! - 12/13/08 07:06 PM
Want to know how the economy is doing? Here is another milestone for this recession....or is it a recession? Treasury Bills just sold for zero percent interest....now that is an investment I can understand. It beats the stock market where you can be smiling today and crying tomorrow...lately it has been more tears than smiles. How low can we go? Here is another one for you to think about. General Motors employs 96,000 US workers, pays health care for 1 million workers, retirees and dependants. Now how do you do that? OH there is more.....they pay pensions to 475,000 on top (22 comments)
Sheriff Sales in Michigan...foreclosures - 12/13/08 06:49 PM
Sheriff Sale's happen to good people too! They are commonly known as foreclosures! When you consider a Sheriff sale most people don't think of it as a Foreclosure. Most are finding out what the terms mean and what the posting on the front door of a home means too. A few weeks ago a home in my neighborhood was foreclosed. It seemed to be a shock to the neighborhood. They never seen the posting on the front door. That was simple...the home owner took it off just after the officer left the premises. Many neighbors didn't know the family was in (7 comments)
Heating costs not jumping 40% in Michigan! - 12/13/08 06:07 PM
And the Good News is......We'll be paying less for heating costs this year......that is what they are saying this week! Heating costs were estimated to go up between 30 and 40% this year for Michigan residents. The economy has gone into a tail spin and the demand for oil has changed. The other issue is the cost of oil has gone below $60.00 a barrel and on some days below $50.00.... That does not mean the demand for natural gas has gone down but that too has gone down. The only think to consider is whether the energy companies will keep (0 comments)
Mainstreaming, Children and Adults Learn - 12/13/08 05:24 PM
Mainstreaming, Children and Adults learn! Children with disabilities in mainstream school and how the other kids relate and react. My granddaughter is going through an experience at her school. She started second grade this year. This school year has been different than last year for her. Her class has 8 children with different levels of disabilities (2 are autistic and the remaining 6 have various behavioral disabilities). The classroom can be an environment of yelling, shouting, crying, etc. from these 8 children. I think "mainstreaming" can be a very critical path to helping our society understand and working with those that have disabilities. My granddaughter is one (1 comments)
We are going to have a White Christmas - 12/13/08 04:36 PM
For those of you in the warmer climates that have never experienced a White Christmas you are in for a treat.....It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas right out our own back door. The air is so crisp and fresh and the new snow looks like a white blanket draped over our backyard. Pretty soon when we look out again we will see the "footprints" of all our neighboring wild turkeys, deer, etc. that stop by for a visit. This is the photo was taken a few days ago, it looks like I better put away the summer shorts...we won't need them again (7 comments)
Michigan Foreclosure and Short Sale Blog Spot - 12/13/08 08:12 AM
If you are involved in Michigan "Short Sales", "Foreclosures" or the REO bank owned property market you may want to join the forum. The forum is designed to share issues and educate the public, real estate agents and other related professionals. Since this is a public forum anyone across the nation is welcome to comment and encouraged to comment based on relevant topics. This is a good opportunity for other professionals like inspectors, lenders and legal council to take up the mantle of the housing debacle sharing their knowledge, concerns or issues. Many homeowners do not understand the process. Most do (3 comments)
Handicap parking abuse....no one notices until it's you or your family! - 12/13/08 07:50 AM
Parking in the empty space with a blue sign....you get you a big fine. I cannot tell you how many times I see people speed up zip into a Handicap parking area and dash off to do their business. In the American For Disabilities Act (ADA) has very strict guideline on who and how the parking spaces are used. I can feel for pregnant woman that are in their last term but unless you have a sticker you too are not allowed to use the protected parking spot. I have seen elderly looking for a place to park....and then a twenty something (2 comments)
Christmas toy sales Beware! - 12/06/08 03:40 PM
Here is something that caught my eye...and maybe because I have some shopping to do for my grandchildren. A headline said, "One in five toys still have lead". The is what the tests said...so guess what the toy industry is now questioning the test! It means we have to be very careful in the selection of the toys for our children and grandchildren. The next obvious problem is how do we know what toy is going to be safe since 1 in 5 contain lead? Is there a website you can go to check out which toy is OK? Glad you (7 comments)
Job losses Regional and Nationally...do we really know the impact? - 12/06/08 03:20 PM
You hear the numbers and wonder what are these people going to do? Well the National numbers are not great with 500,000 this month losing their jobs. We look at Michigan and the jobless rate hit a 16 year high on November 19th with 9.3% unemployment in Michigan. We have seen tough times before and we have always worked our way out of the mess we have been in...this time it feels different to those of us that have been there before. I spoke with a retail business owner and his concern wasn't staying in business it was surviving. He said, (4 comments)
How is your Christmas budget, holidays sales are down! - 12/06/08 02:51 PM
The retail sector is making big noise about the lack of spending. The market reports a slump in consumer spending. How is your Christmas budget? I have taken very little time to consider the national impact on retail sales. I have been more concerned with the people around me and those that are working to make ends meet. This is a very difficult year for many families. Michigan has it's own issues with the automotive related industries and the national economy has impacted the big office furniture manufacturers located here too. I would think that Georgia carpet mills and slowing, the (16 comments)
The Legal News....not where you want to be featured. - 12/06/08 02:35 PM
There are many sources for tacking foreclosures, bankruptcies and bad debt claims. In our market Grand Rapids, Michigan. We have a publication called the Legal News that publishes foreclosure notices, bankruptcies and debt claims. The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors has a special wording requirement to identify Foreclosed properties versus short sale listings. This information is very helpful. Many of the same properties show up in the Legal News. Being featured in the Legal News column is usually a bad thing. Why...your are in financial trouble. Here is something for you to consider before you are featured in the Legal News...call a (0 comments)
Having trouble with Vista or your software? Beware! - 12/06/08 01:22 PM
Beware of those so called helpful chat sites that list repair ideas. If you are a novice your may find yourself pushing your cart full of tech stuff to the repair shop wondering what went wrong! Here is a little story that could have happened but didn't. I have the latest and greatest Vista Ultimate...woo hoo! I would not jump for joy having this software...but I do like many feature and could throw my system in traffic hoping a bus runs over it for some of the other features. Permissions is one of those little words you will grow to hate. (1 comments)
Are YOU ready for the best interest rate in your lifetime? - 12/04/08 06:25 PM
Here it is a real stimulus to your economy and finally Washington may have their head in the right economic place. Interest rates are being proposed for new homes and existing homes at a rate of 4.5%! You read that right......4.5%. This is not some introductory rate that hikes out of sight after a few years. This is a fixed rate mortgage! This rate will not be offered to refinance existing mortgages. This is ONLY for new or existing home purchases as it is being proposed today. We already know the home values are as good as they have been in (6 comments)
Tired of JUNK calls...learn the facts about the National Do Not Call Registry. - 12/01/08 07:07 PM
Tired of all those JUNK calls...it is time to fight back. I know as a Realtor I have to take special steps not to make unsolicited calls. If potential clients are listed on the do not call list....guess what I don't call. I may know I can help them but it is not a Sometimes Law! I send a post card instead. I know that it reduces my chances but that's my option...short of walking up to the front door and knocking. I have done that too. Realtors get just as many junk calls at home as the public. Somebody is always (10 comments)
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