Real Estate Update
- Buyers & Seller's Corner
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2 -- Groundhog
3 - Super Bowl Sunday
8 - Boy Scout Day
11 - Thomas Edison Day
12 - Lincoln's Birthday
14 - Valentine's Day
18 - President's Day
22 - Washington's Birthday
29 - Leap Day
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing
at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting
-- Dorothy Nevill
Existing-Home Sales Expected in 2008
to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®
(NAR), existing-home sales are expected to hold fairly steady during
the next few months as indicated by pending sales activity, then
rise later in the year and continue to improve in 2009.
one hand, we have a pent-up demand from the 4 million jobs added
to our economy over the past two years of sales decline,”
said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "On the other, consumers
continue to wait for additional signs of market stabilization. There
are more people with financial capacity now than in 2005, but many
are trying to market-time their purchase. As a result, the exact
timing and the strength of a home sales recovery is a bit uncertain.
A meaningful recovery in existing-home sales could occur as early
as this spring, or it may be further delayed toward late 2008.”
the forecast, existing-home sales for 2007 should total 5.66 million,
the fifth highest on record, then edge up to 5.70 million this year
and 5.91 million in 2009, compared with 6.48 million in 2006. Existing-home
prices for 2007 are likely to be down 1.9 percent to a median of
$217,600, hold even this year and then rise 3.1 percent in 2009
fixed-rate mortgage is expected to rise slowly to the 6.3-percent
range by the end of 2008, but an additional cut in the Fed funds
rate would lower short-term interest rates, the report said.
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.
-- Henry Ford
3 "Real" Important Buying Considerations
buying your first home or your tenth, the home-buying process can
be overwhelming. But, some things never change, including these
three very important considerations when buying a home.
-- You've heard it before, "location, location, location."
The reason you've heard this is because it's true! Unlike the rental
world, where neighbors come and go, a house is a long-term commitment.
If you fall in love with the house, be sure to check out your neighbors
as well. One bad neighbor can turn your dream home into a nightmare.
In addition, schools, shopping and major roads should be considered.
If there's a highway nearby, some questionable properties, an unfriendly
feeling, or anything else that feels uncertain, it might be wise
to pass on that property. You can't change your home's location,
so it's critical you are happy with everything in the area.
Repairs -- Be sure to check out the property thoroughly,
yourself. A home inspection is good, but YOU really need to see
it for yourself as well. Go along with your inspector and ask questions
while he's there. You'll learn a lot. The most expensive things
to repair include: roofing, furnace, central air, and plumbing and
electrical systems. These can add up fast. It's still OK to buy
a home that needs major repairs, just be sure you've taken them
into account in your price negotiations.
Damage -- Is the house located in a flood area? Is the
roof or basement leaking? Is there water ponding in the yard? If
water damage occurred once it's not likely to stop unless the problem
has been corrected (and not just temporarily covered up). Water
damage often leads to expensive irrigation systems and major repairs,
including mold removal.
When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most
was that things were as bad as we'd been saying
-- John F. Kennedy
Right Way to Store Your Paint
With the price
of paint nowadays, and the ever-growing concern with the environment,
what is one to do with their leftover paint? Keeping it for touch
up and repairs is a good idea, but more time than not, the paint
has "gone bad" by the time you use it. Well, here's how
to properly store your paint so you can use it a year from now.
- Wipe away
any paint residue left in the rim of the paint can. The key to
keeping paint good is to keep it airtight.
- Cut a small
piece of plastic from a grocery or garbage bag into a circle a
few inches larger than the paint can lid.
- Blow into
the can before Step No. 4. This displaces some of the air in the
can with carbon dioxide.
- Place the
plastic on top of the paint can before putting on the lid. The
plastic acts as an air seal and keeps the air away from the paint
-- preventing the paint from drying out.
- Use a rubber
mallet, or a hammer and a block of wood, to "tap" the
lid down tight to reseal it. It's important not to damage the
lid, or you'll have air leaks.
- Store the
paint in a dark, cool and dry place.
- Keep in
mind many paints can't be used after freezing, so the garage may
not be the best place.
- Also: If
you don't want to store the paint, check to see if your community
has a paint recycling group. Empty containers can usually be thrown
out with your regular trash, but be sure to leave the can open
for a few days so the paint dries out completely. Never pour paint
down a drain.
What is written without
effort is in general read without pleasure.
-- Samuel Johnson
1.) The second of February is Groundhog Day. It is also
a special day for Roman Catholics. What is it?
a.) Ascension Day
b.) St. Andrew's Day
c.) Candlemas Day
d.) Michaelmas Day
2.) What is the birthstone for February?
3.) When did Valentine's Day become commonly observed in
the United States?
a.) During the Civil War
b.) Around 1900
c.) In Pioneer Days
d.) During World War I
4.) February was originally the last month of the year.
True or false?
5.) Where did the first American Mardi Gras take place?
a.) Las Vegas
c.) New Orleans
d.) Panama City
whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly
and in a
thousand things well.
-- Horace Walpole
Tips for Better Mental Health
a lot of time focusing on physical health. While this is important,
it's equally significant to focus on your mental health. What's
the point of looking good if you don't feel good? Try some of the
following ideas to raise your spirits.
Yourself -- Don't be too hard on yourself. Treat yourself
with kindness and respect. Make time everyday to do something
you enjoy and broaden your horizons.
Confidence -- Identify your abilities and weaknesses,
accept them, and learn to make the most of it.
Care of Your Body -- Exercise, eat nutritious meals,
drink plenty of water, get a good night's sleep, and avoid smoking
and excessive drinking.
Compliments -- If someone gives you a sincere compliment,
enjoy it, and remember it when you need it.
Out with Good People - Don't take your family and friends
for granted. Make plans with good people and seek out positive
activities together. Nurture these relationships.
Within Your Means
-- Financial problems cause stress, often leading to other problems.
-- Give your time and energy to help someone else. You'll meet
new people, and you'll feel good about yourself.
Stress -- Stress is a part of life. Learn to deal with
your stressors head on and practice good coping skills. Try to
find some humor in your problems.
Help -- Sharing a problem with others who have had similar
experiences may help you find a solution. You're not the first
person to have a problem. Seek professional help if you have a
mental or substance abuse problem.
It Up a Bit -- Routines may make you more efficient and
feel more secure, but they get monotonous. A change of pace, such
as a road trip, mini-vacation, trying a new restaurant or learning
something new is good for your mind.
Drama is life with the dull
bits cut out.
-- Alfred Hitchcock
- The Eye
Her Dead Body
Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
Home Roscoe Jenkins
Up 2 the Streets
- The Spiderwick
- Be Kind
- My Mom's
- The Other
releases only. Opening dates subject to change.
cannot convince them, confuse them.
-- Harry Truman
sauce tastes great with seafood. And it's quick; about 35 minutes
total time. Serve with a Caesar salad and garlic bread for a real
- Serves 6
- 16 ounces
- 3/4 cup
green onions -- chopped
- 3-4 garlic
cloves -- peeled and minced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons
- 3/4 pound
shrimp -- peeled and deveined
- 3/4 pound
- 1-1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup
grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and
pepper to taste
- 1+ tablespoon
cornstarch (optional - to thicken)
- 1/2 cup wine
and mushrooms (optional)
- Bring a
large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook
for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- Melt butter
in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions
and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp and scallops, stirring
to combine, and cook 3 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium-low.
If the sauce is too thin for your liking, add a bit of cornstarch
until it is the right consistency. If using frozen seafood, be
sure to thaw and drain it before adding it to the sauce.
- Add cream,
salt, and pepper (wine, mushrooms) into the pan and bring to a
simmer, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Gradually sprinkle 1/2
cup Parmesan cheese over seafood mixture and continue stirring
another minute. Remove from heat.
- Toss cooked
pasta into the pan, coating thoroughly. Sprinkle with remaining
Parmesan cheese, and serve.
- Villard Estates
Esencía Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2001
the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.
-- Herbert Hoover
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c.) Canclemas Day; #2. a.)
Amethyst; #3 a.)
During the Civil War; #4. a.)
True; #5. b.)
MobileJohnson; #5. b.)
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