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karen cooper: “Back to Nature”-Upper & Lower Table Rocks in Medford/Central Point Area, Oregon - 01/28/08 09:14 PM
Two of the most prominent topographic features in the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon are Upper and Lower Table Rocks. These mesa buttes rise immediately above the north bank of the Rogue River near Tou Velle State Park in southwestern Oregon, between Sams Valley and Central Point, providing amazing vistas of the surrounding Cascade Range to the east and the Siskiyou Mountains to the south and west.
Both Upper and Lower Table Rock have trails to their summits. In Summer 2005, we hiked Upper Table Rock with the Super Tuesday kids from Tablerock Fellowship. This trail is shorter, a little steeper, and (7 comments)
karen cooper: “Back to Nature” at Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon - 01/24/08 08:07 PM
Although Southern Oregon has a wealth of natural beauty to share with us, one of her special places is Lithia Park. This was one of the first places my family and I discovered upon moving here in June 2004, as we attended the City of Ashland's 4th of July Parade, enjoying the many different food, art and craft booths lining the entrance drive to the Park on this special day. We enjoy this park so much, every person who comes to visit us is brought here to experience the glory this National Historic Reserve has to offer, strolling through the many paths (10 comments)
karen cooper: More Affordable Housing for Rogue Valley - 01/23/08 11:54 PM
Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation (RVCDC) held their annual meeting tonight in Ashland, Oregon at the Ashland Community Center across from Lithia Park. Created in 1990 to work with low-to-moderate income people, this non-profit corporation has successfully developed 42 units, and has 14 units under development with the hope of soon pushing that number up to 28. These homes are spread out throughout the Rogue Valley, including homes in Ashland and in Medford. They are well on their way to meeting their mission to serve low-to-moderate income people of Jackson County through community development and self help, offering homeownership opportunities, assisting people (1 comments)
karen cooper: Effective Today Fannie Mae's Declining Markets Reinstated Guideline Takes Effect - 01/15/08 01:48 PM
Well, today is the day. Loan Applications dated January 15, 2008 or later may be subject to this reinstated regulation. Freddie Mac, VA and HUD have all posted similar notifications, making Fannie Mae the last one to the table on this issue. I'm finding that with a such a wide-based and undefined criteria, not all lenders are treating the regulation the same. Most lenders are ignoring Fannie Mae's recommendation that since real estate markets are local markets, and properties in one neighborhood may have stable values, while those in other neighborhoods may not. Fannie Mae Notice 07-22 states that if an appraiser stipulates on their (9 comments)
karen cooper: Declining Market Designation? Maybe, Maybe Not For the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon! - 01/13/08 10:54 PM
In December 2007, Fannie Mae instituted a requirement that maximum loan-to-value ratios be reduced for loans they make on properties deemed to be in a declining market area, either by the appraiser or by secondary verification sources such as Moody's/Case-Shiller House Price Index. Depending on which list you look at, cities in Jackson County, Oregon may or may not be included. Updates are being announced by the lenders, and one lender recently deemed all of California and Florida as declining market areas, but does not list Jackson County, Oregon cities. We may not find out for sure on a purchase transaction until (7 comments)
karen cooper: Winter Fun on Table Mountain at Hyatt Lake, Oregon - 01/13/08 09:42 PM
It was a beautiful day to go sledding, and we weren't the only Southern Oregon residents to think so! We headed off to our favorite sledding hill at Table Mountain Winter Play Area just across from Hyatt Lake. This is one of our favorite family time day trips for many reasons. Only 20 miles from Ashland, Oregon, off Hwy 66 to Dead Indian Memorial Road to the turnoff to Howard Prairie/Hyatt Lake, its location cannot be beat.
The roads are well maintained, although sometimes a little icy with the gorgeous pines in this forest shading the roads. Once you turn (8 comments)
karen cooper: First Time Buyer Resources - (Part 5 - Homebuyer Education) - 01/08/08 10:12 AM
Homebuyer education courses can be an invaluable tool for the First Time Homebuyer. They provide details on the many facets of homeownership, from preparing for the process, through the house hunt, all the way through to responsibilities of maintaining homeownership. Not all homebuyer education classes are the same. Many real estate brokers and lenders provide these courses, but most are not approved by HUD. HUD has two homebuyer's education course curriculum and has approved Housing Resource Centers throughout the country who facilitate these programs. Going through these programs will get first time homebuyers in to courses designed to provide information only - without any (6 comments)
karen cooper: First Time Home Buyer Resources (Part 4– Temporary Subsidy Buydown) - 01/07/08 02:12 PM
Temporary subsidy buydown plans are a way to help homebuyers qualify with the mortgage payment lowered initially, by the interest being "bought down" or prepaid by the homebuyer or the seller. When a homebuyer opts for a buydown plan, they will get lower, more affordable mortgage payments with the stability of predictable payment increases over time. Most homebuyers choose one of two temporary buydown plans, a Limited or an Extended buydown plan. The Extended plan allows the borrower to qualify at the initial (bought down) interest rate that can be up to 1.5 percentage points lower than the note rate. This rate is then (0 comments)
karen cooper: First Time Home Buyer Resources (Part 3– Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance) - 01/07/08 02:00 PM
Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance programs are being eliminated as allowable sources of down payment. As of December, 2007, FHA programs will still allow AmeriDream and Nehemiah Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance programs as acceptable down payment sources, but only until February 28, 2008 for AmeriDream. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not accept Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance as acceptable down payment sources on their programs. Down payment assistance providers Nehemiah Corp. of America, of Sacramento, Calif., and AmeriDream Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., sued the government Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, respectively. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman granted a preliminary injunction barring (5 comments)
karen cooper: First Time Home Buyer Resources (Part 2– Purchase Assistance Loan - PAL) - 01/07/08 01:34 PM
Many States, Cities and Counties offer Down Payment Assistance Loan programsto first time homebuyers whose income is low-to-moderate. Each program participant establishes the criteria for their local area. Usually, these loans are for homebuyers earning up to 80% of the HUD median income for their County and family size. Many of these loans bear zero interest, are "silent seconds", meaning they require no monthly payments, with the entire balance due when the home is transferred, sold, refinanced, or the primary mortgage is defaulted on. These PAL programs are for first time homebuyers- those who have never owned a home, or have (6 comments)
karen cooper: First Time Home Buyer Resources (Part 1 – the MCC) - 01/07/08 01:09 PM
A Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) is a federal dollar for dollar tax credit that program participants may take advantage of. This program was authorized in the 1984 Tax Reform Act, and is a tool to help homebuyers that usually fall in the category of needing "workforce housing". Several Cities and Counties offer the Mortgage Credit Certificate program to first time homebuyers - those who have never owned a home, or have not owned a home for the previous three years - who either meet the income criteria set for their local program, or are purchasing their home in a Federal designated (3 comments)
karen cooper: Southern Oregon Winter Wonderland - 01/04/08 05:47 PM
With the latest series of snow storms rolling through Jackson County in Southern Oregon, we're dusting off our snow gear and waiting for a window in the storms so we can head out for some snow play. If we draw a circle around Jackson County, Oregon and look for winter playgrounds within 60 miles, the choices available to us for destinations are fabulous!
Table Mountain Snow Play area near Hyatt Lake is one of our favorite places to go sledding/tubing. Only about 25 miles from Ashland, Oregon, it is convenient and the roads are pretty well maintained throughout the winter. (7 comments)
karen cooper: Winter Time in Northern California and Southern Oregon is Beautiful - 01/03/08 06:54 PM
Yesterday was a beautiful January day. We took advantage of a window in the snow to put in a day of skiing at Mount Shasta Ski Resort. We couldn't have asked for better conditions, both on the roads to and from the resort and on the slopes. With a straight route from Interstate 5 up Highway 89 then to the resort, even our Honda Civic Hybrid made the journey without challenge.
Mount Shasta offers a "Guaranteed to Ski" program for first time skiers/boarders that our youngest took advantage of. There is a 90 minute lesson in the morning where the (9 comments)
http://www.flickr.com/ "Are we there yet?" Apparently not, since the Fed has deemed it necessary to participate in not only a domestic, but a Global, Bail Out due to our illiquid credit markets. "How long will it take us to get there?" It might be a while yet - like with our road trips, it may depend on how many times it is necessary for us to stop to relieve ourselves, with the dropping of the fed funds/discount rates and the sale of short term funds to protect the identity of banks suffering liquidity crisis's. "How much longer?" (13 comments)
"A Harvest of Song"was presented at North Medford High School's Lynn Sjolund Auditorium, with all four choruses - Rogue Valley You Ensemble, Directed by Pam Nordquist; Discovery Chorus, Directed by Sandy Roney; Rogue Valley Children's Chorus, Directed by Gerry Flock; and Rogue Valley Cantare Chorus, Directed by Pam Nordquist - presenting the pieces they have worked so hard on at practice each week.
There are 215 students participating in these four choruses, from the 3rd grade chorus up (0 comments)
#1 Transaction closed September 2007: A young couple decided the time was right for them to buy their first home. They were married a year and a half ago, have been very diligent about limiting their debt load, only having a few small student loan balances, and socking every extra dollar away in to savings, planning to buy when values came down a bit from where they were in 2006. They managed to save up 10% for a down payment, but (2 comments)
karen cooper: There's A New Green Player In Town - www.BuildGreenRogueValley.org - 10/09/07 12:04 PM
Has anyone noticed there is a LOT of talk about "Going Green" lately? Thank Goodness, like Affordable Housing, Going Green has become "In" - not just in the "Organic Circles", but also in the mainstream. Environmental changes will come about only with major steps being made in this direction. Oregon is on board with this cause, and the State is attracting many Green related industries.
The Rogue Valley has formed a group in support of the U.S. Green Building Council, and more and more people are joining this group. This is the Rogue Valley Branch of the Cascadia Region Green Building (9 comments)
karen cooper: Proud To Be A Part of Habitat For Humanity/Rogue Valley's Success - 10/09/07 01:04 AM
My family and I relocated from Santa Clarita, CA to the Rogue Valley in beautiful Southern Oregon in 2004. We heard so much about the Quality of life the Rogue Valley had to offer, but our decision to move here had already been made as we drove down the Siskiyou Pass in to Ashland in April, awed by the green hillsides and pear blossoms in bloom. It has been a major lifestyle change for us. We had to learn that people REALLY yield to the traffic merging from freeway on-ramps; there is no such thing as a "California stop" here - people will waive you through the (0 comments)
karen cooper: Oregon Bond Loan - Still the Best Deal In Town - 09/18/07 02:53 PM
I love the Oregon Bond Loan! This program represents a wonderful collaboration of industry partners interested in giving low-to-moderate income buyers a leg-up to experience the many proven widespread benefits of home- ownership experienced not only by the homeowner and their families, but the community at large. In an area like Southern Oregon where living wages are not keeping pace with home prices, it takes a program like the Oregon Bond Loan to keep our police officers, teachers, nurses, and service industry in general by offering the stability of homeownership versus renting.
What is the Oregon Bond Loan? The Oregon Bond Loan is a program through Oregon Housing and (7 comments)
Bringing 29 years of experience providing Southern Oregon and California Home Buyers and Homeowners | Serving all of Jackson County Oregon including Ashland- Talent- Phoenix- Medford-Jacksonville- Ruch- Central Point- White City- Eagle Point- Shady Cove- Gold Hill, as well as Josephine County including Grants Pass- Merlin- Wilderville | Helping Southern Oregonians on the road to fulfilling the American Dream of Homeownership - and staying there!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.