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Volleyball State Champs - Red Bank and Boyd-Buchanan - Congratulations - 10/31/09 01:09 PM
Last night two local teams, the Lady Bucs of Boyd-Buchanan and the Lady Lions of Red Bank, won state championships in high school volleyball. For Boyd-Buchanan this year was a return trip to the Class A state final. This year they won, completing a 20-0 season within their state classification. The final match was 3-0. For Red Bank, where my son played basketball and my daughter was on a state championship soft ball team, this is the first time in the class AA state final in 19 years. This is the first state title for the Red Bank volley ball team. Red (0 comments)
Calculated Risk Blog - New Home Sales Distressing Gap - 10/31/09 08:49 AM
The Calculated Risk Blog is a highly recommended read. This week there was a post with this chart on the growing distinction between new and existing home sales. The phrase used is "Distressing Gap." In the post, some important points were made about the increased value to employment and the economy from new construction home sales.
www.RichardSmithHomeLoans.com (3 comments)
Recovery funds and job creation - 10/30/09 01:42 PM
With numerous good reports on the economic front over the last few weeks, many are starting to suggest that the recession is over. Jobs though continue to be a problem. To answer questions about the impact of the stimulus program, the administration has announced that the stimulus is approaching 1,000,000 jobs saved or created. From the White House blog. According to information on Recovery.gov, Tennessee has been an especially fortunate recipient of the stimulus funds.
Still, Tennessee's unemployment remains over 10% through September, despite the 1156 jobs identified as created by the stimulus. Some good news is starting to be announced locally. (2 comments)
First Time Home Buyer tax credit moving forward - no longer just first time home buyers - 10/30/09 07:03 AM
The administration support, and the approaching deadline, has given much momentum to the extension and the expansion of the First Time Home Buyer tax credit.And the Senate Finance Committee has pushed forward a proposal to extend a credit to existing home owners. Included in the Senate bill is also extended unemployment benefits. In fact it would no longer be a first time home buyer tax credit. Just a home buyer tax credit. Provisions of the tax credit agreement Deadline to be extended to April 30 Existing home owners, who have owned prior residence at least 5 years, may receive up to (0 comments)
Chattanooga Community Kitchen Fast Day fund raiser - 10/29/09 02:31 PM
The Chattanooga Community Kitchen is in the process of its Fast Day Fund raiser. Member churches and other organizations ask their members to skip a meal and to donate the cost of that skipped meal to the Community Kitchen. This fund raiser has taken different forms, but has been the main fund raiser for the Kitchen for many years. The Kitchen has received national recognition as a model for a local non profit organization. It was originally started in 1982 as a feeding program. There were 7 downtown churches that partnered to meet a growing need in Chattanooga. The Kitchen has (0 comments)
First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit - Administration supports extension - 10/29/09 10:47 AM
Whether or not you agree with the First Time Home Buyer tax credit, the Obama administration through Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has called for the credit to be extended. Such support from the administration may very well be sufficient to pass the extension. Evidently, the tax credit is seen as a critical to continue the jump start of the economic recovery. It still seems to me that the tax credit is not doing much in the way of creating new buyers, and that it mostly takes from from future sales. But the recent and unexpected drop (0 comments)
Chattanooga Renaissance Oktoberfest was great fun - 10/28/09 02:19 PM
The Chattanooga Renaissance Oktoberfest was held this past weekend. Despite the threat of rain and the cool weather the turnout was good. Music, food, activities and fun times highlighted the event. The proceeds went to help the Chattanooga Education, Arts, and Culture programs.
Parade Magazine misrepresents Reverse Mortgages - 10/27/09 12:05 PM
This past Sunday Parade Magazine published an article entitled "Beware of Reverse Mortgages." The article was misleading on a number of fronts, but the biggest issue I have with the report is that it presented legitimate issues that a home owner should consider immediately beside fraud and discriminatory abuses that apparently exist. (Although the article did not provide any supporting documentation for its accusations of cited abuses.) Parade Magazine should apologize for misrepresenting FHA Reverse Mortgages. The article associated reverse mortgages with subprime lending. This association of legitimate issues involved with considering a reverse mortgage, with subprime lending and with (3 comments)
Bank closings reach 100 for the year- FDIC Chairman Bair talks on You Tube - 10/23/09 06:23 PM
With four closings today, totaling 8 in October, the FDIC closed bank list broke 100 to reach 103 for the year. Today there were 3 Florida banks and 1 Georgia bank. The ramifications are many. At present the FDIC fund is stretched. The loss of local banks always has adverse local impact. Of course these banks are not lost, only sold. And most depositors are protected. The local bank though becomes part of a larger bank. The worst news is that some projections look to as many a 400 more bank closings can be expected over the next few years, (5 comments)
First Time Home Buyer Tax Fraud - 10/23/09 07:23 AM
The more I think about the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, the less I like the program. In one previous post, I concluded that the credit was not creating new buyers as promised, but only borrowing from future sales. In other words, we are paying for purchases that would have taken place without the incentive. One analysis suggests that 4 out of 5 tax credit recipients would have purchased anyway. This means that each new buyer costs the Treasury $40,000. In another previous post, I suggested an alternative to the tax credit, which my numbers indicate would cost less, help (8 comments)
Rural Development purchase money funds are tight - 10/22/09 04:38 PM
Rural Development is projecting that funds for purchase money transactions may run out as soon as October 27, pending receipt of actual funds from the recently passed Agricultural Appropriation Act for FY 2010. The announcement indicates that it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to receive the funds from the Office of Management and Budget. Just another thing to work though. The Tennessee Rural Development office earlier this week made a commitment to get received loan file submissions processed in time for the tax credit. For some home buyers, funding might be an issue. For those with pending Rural Development purchases, (0 comments)
All about the women - Women's Expo 2009 - 10/22/09 10:54 AM
The 2009 Women's Expo in Chattanooga, presented by Memorial Health Care System, was held Tuesday. The annual event is all about the women - Food, Fashion, Fun. This year featured Taste of Home Cooking School and Belk's Fashion Show. The MaryEllen Locher Foundation receives 10% of the ticket sale proceeds. Vickie Phillips and Tina Christein from our office went this year and came back raving about all the new things they learned.
Tina and Vickie were also interested in the Time 2 Save Workshops and the P90X Fitness Program. (0 comments)
FHA Delays Condo Rule Implementation, Again - 10/21/09 04:20 PM
FHA has just announced that the implementation date for the new condo guidelines has been pushed back again, until December 7. Good news for condo buyers and owners. Originally, the new rules were to take effect at the end of October, but FHA granted a reprieve until November. Now the new implementation date is December 7. Lender spot approvals will be accepted until then. Possibly even more important with the announcement today, FHA will issue new guidance with "additional leniencies to address the difficult market conditions." A new mortgagee letter is expected out in a couple weeks with updated guidance. Mortgagee letter (0 comments)
Chattanooga's Renasissance Oktoberfest - 10/20/09 04:02 PM
The excitement is building for the First Annual Chattanooga's Renaissance Oktoberfest, this weekend, October 24, from 11am to 7pm. The event is growing and gaining much momentum, with announcements seemingly daily about new offerings and activities for the one day celebration of Chattanooga as the "South's Renaissance City." The Renaissance Oktoberfest is being directed by the City of Chattanooga's Department of Education,Arts & Culture and will benefit the EAC afterschool initiative. Activites include: Chattanooga Market: "Market on the Bridge". The Market will continue its celebration of Chattanooga's Renaissance on Sunday, back at the First Tennessee Pavilion. With Big River Grille and Brewing (0 comments)
Fiber Optics Available Now in Chattanooga Areas - 10/20/09 02:27 PM
Fiber optics has been coming to Chattanooga for a long while. There have been law suits and regulatory attempts to stop it, but fiber is now available in many locations in Chattanooga. The promise is "virtually unlimited bandwidth," along with consistency and increased reliability. Check availability for your area here. This technology is a must to maintain Chattanooga's momentum as a growing and forward looking community. I expect there will be direct benefit even for those who do not switch to fiber, as Comcast and the other Internet access options compete for customers. (0 comments)
Real income down in US, despite indications that the recession may be over - 10/19/09 05:06 PM
Several important reports support the economic consensus that the recession is ending. Despite many encouraging numbers the fact remains that people are struggling. Unemployment continues to grow. As recent Bureau of Labor report show, even for many who are working, real income is down. The Bureau of Labor reported today, "Since reaching a high point in December 2008, real average weekly earnings have fallen by 1.9 percent." Loss of jobs and loss of income will make it difficult for consumer spending to drive the recovery. Federal Reserve Chief Bernanke today shifted focus towards the budget deficit, but also for the world (0 comments)
Red Bank Lions - Win division - 10/17/09 09:55 AM
Congratulations to the Red Bank Lions football team for clinching their district football championship. This year is beginning to develop into a special year, like the last state championship team of 2000, Red Bank is ranked #1 in the state for their division 4A and 14th overall in the state. Last night they clinched with a 42-8 win over rival Brainerd. The win was especially significant as Brainerd has the second best offense in the district, behind Red Bank. The win pushed their record to 8-0. Congratulation to the players, to Coach Tim Daniels, and to the Red Bank High School. (0 comments)
Tax Credit Alternative - 10/17/09 09:18 AM
The First Time Home Buyer tax credit has spurred recent home sales. Several options are being considered to extend the credit, in some form. While the credit has at present increased sales, there are questions about whether the credit has stimulated new sales or just encouraged already decided buyers to purchase sooner rather than later. In other words, no real boost to the overall housing sales that would have occurred anyway over the next several months. If this is the case, then the sales in the coming months may be adversely impacted by the present tax credit incentive. Other objections are (2 comments)
$8000 tax credit - to extend or not to extend? - 10/16/09 05:22 PM
The popular First Time Home Buyer $8000 tax credit is due to expire November 30, 2009. There are some efforts to extend the tax credit, but there are many who question whether the incentive has been effective. No doubt the tax incentive, as with Cash for Clunkers, brought buyers out to take advantage of the incentive, but the question is whether the incentive produced the desired result of stabilizing the housing market. "If you pay people to buy something, they will." The question is if we are getting new home buyers or just encouraging home buyers to purchase earlier. In other (5 comments)
Greening Habitat - Chattanooga Habitat for Humanity Goes Green - 10/16/09 02:30 PM
The film, Main Street: More than a Home, documents the story about the first LEED certified Habitat home in Tennessee. Several months ago Habitat for Humanity in Chattanooga announced the first LEED certified home in Tennessee. The home was completed in April. Today Habitat announced the film documenting the effort and the client's story - a remarkable story - will be featured at the Brownfields Film Festival on Tuesday, November 17th. The LEED certified project was a joint effort with local entrepreneur - architect, Thomas Palmer; green builder Ethan Collier; and local nonprofit, green|spaces - and Habitat. The client is (0 comments)
Susan G Komen Events for October 2009 - 10/14/09 10:14 AM
Last month another successful Race for the Cure was held in Chattanooga. This year a record crowd came out for the annual 1k Fun Run and the 5K Competitive Race. As a follow up to the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure two more events are scheduled in October. Tomorrow at 4pm, organizers with the Chattanooga Affiliate of Susam G Komen for the Cure® are going for the Guinness Book of Records for the largest human awareness ribbon. Anyone over the age of 15 can participate. Participants will meet at Chamberlain Field, UTC. The next event is October 29 at the (2 comments)
Chattanooga Economic Growth - 10/10/09 03:22 PM
The Chattanooga economy has received some very positive signs in the last several days. Even with employment in Chattanooga currently close to the very high national average, signs of new growth are encouraging Reviewing the recent story lines in the Times Free Press reveals postive stories that bear out a trend of economic recovery in the Chattanooga area. Chattam, a local consumer products manufacturer, has seen its stock price jump as investors take note of its rising sales and profits. The article reports that the company's top 4 brands, Gold Bond, ACT, Icy Hot, and Cortizone-10, are having strong sales. The (4 comments)
Chattanooga - Least Physically Fit ?!? - 10/09/09 09:20 AM
It has been my pleasure to post frequently the high ratings Chattanooga receives as a top city on the international scene. This morning I must now post our high ranking as the least physically fit city in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Come one folks - we are better than this. We have the Riverwalk, bike trails, numerous gym facilities, even some public facilities. 7 area YMCA's. Each community has a walking track with its youth athletic association. We are better than this. Let's go for a walk! Today! (4 comments)
Yield Spread Premium - Consumer's Guide - 10/09/09 08:32 AM
Yield spread premiums are the current target of federal regulators, as well as many in Congress. Using loaded language such as "steering fees" and "kick-backs" and misdirected by well intentioned (I hope) but misinformed consumer advocacy groups, regulators and legislators are working to make changes to the mortgage industry that will harm consumers and small businesses alike. The goal of consumer advocates and federal regulators is to make loan officer compensation unrelated to the terms of the loan. The false and overstated perception is that loan originators have incentives to push unwitting consumers into a loan that only benefits the loan (0 comments)
What's a Realtor and a Buyer to do? - 10/07/09 09:34 PM
We had a client referred today from a real estate agent who had been driving a buyer around for 3 weeks. The buyer was prequalified by a local bank loan officer. The client said the loan officer had called and said they needed to have a sales contract today and to lock today because the program that allowed the client's credit score was going away today. The agent asked if we could help, because they could not find a property today. They have been looking steadily for 3 weeks, but had not found a property yet. We talked with the client (10 comments)
NAMB testifying about FHA before Congress - 10/07/09 08:01 PM
The NAMB has announced that it will testify before Congress Thursday, October 8, at the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Expected time is 2pm. Some of the major points in the prepared statement are: Consumers benefit from working with brokers, many of whom who have working relationships with one or more banks Mortgage brokers facilitate competition in the marketplace and help drive down origination costs NAMB consistently advocated for a licensing and registration regime for all mortgage originator which has helped establish higher level of professionalism in the broker industry NAMB supports the goal of appraiser independence, but HVCC (0 comments)
Homebuyer Help - 10/07/09 04:55 PM
The idea of purchasing a home, your first or your last, will bring many questions to mind. As is so often said, one of the major purchases a family will make.Many questions are about finding and selecting a home.Your Realtor® is the best source for help in this. Financing is another facet of your home purchase. We hope you will find some answers to many of your questions about financing. Shopping for a mortgageThere are different types of home mortgages – conventional, FHA, VA, and Rural Development are the most common. These vary in their requirements. Loan size, credit, amount and (0 comments)
Skywatching - my new hobby - 10/07/09 07:04 AM
I was reading a book on astronomy recently and found it difficult to visualize all the various relative motions of the Earth, Sun, Moon, other planets and stars. When I went outside to try to work the motions out, skywatching became much more than interesting. It has become a new hobby. Seeing the moons of Jupiter is probably what hooked me. When I first saw the planet, I had only guessed it was a planet because of its brightness and its appearance in the telescope. I had heard that the moons were visible, but did not see them the first night. (8 comments)
Will spending get the economy going? - 10/06/09 05:55 PM
Today the National Retail Federation projected a down holiday sales season in consumer purchases, following the down fall back to school season. Economists seem always to look to consumer spending to drive economic recovery, but this year, at this time, spending is apparently not the engine that can. The general thought is that consumers are looking for savings and job security - not the latest thing. Will we be in a new economy - one based on saving rather than spending. What kind of economy will we build as we move into the recovery. NPR ran this story a few days ago about (4 comments)
NPR Chattanooga, WUTC, celebrates 25 years - 10/06/09 10:35 AM
My favorite radio station is the local NPR affilitate, WUTC. The news, the music, the features just make my day, every day. They play the absolutely best music and with great variety. The news I count on is from WUTC, both local and national. This month is their semi annual fund raiser and it is being conducted in conjuction with their 25th year celebration. Public radio has long been a consistent and reliable source for balanced and indepth news coverage. Every program is flat up to date. I always learn something new about the bigger stories, but also about the important (0 comments)
Economy turning around - 10/05/09 08:59 PM
News that the service sector showed growth for the first time in a year is a very postive sign that the economy is beginning a turn around. Employment is still the big question, as we all look for sustained job gains. Last Friday's employment numbers nationwide indicate that jobs will continue to be a drag on the economic recover. Employment is always a trailing indicator of economic trends, and as such, improvement in jobs tends to lag behind improvements in other areas. The numbers of unemployed though are the highest since 1983. The size of the employment problem is having a great impact (8 comments)
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