Lake Limestone is FULL as of Thurs 10-31-13

As of Thursday, October 31, 2013, Lake Limestone is full.

Prime Lending – Market Update for week of August 20,2012

>> Market Update

QUOTE OF THE WEEK… “Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” –Helen Keller, American lecturer and author

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… Home builders last week showed plenty of evidence they are both hopeful and confident. July new Building Permits came in UP 6.8%, to an 812,000 annual rate. In fact, July saw the most single-family building permits filed since August 2008, the month before the Lehman collapse and the financial market meltdown. Versus a year ago, permits for single-family homes are now UP 23.0%.

Housing starts did slip a scant 1.1% from June to July, but they’re still UP 14.2% year-over-year. Housing starts have been rising on an annual basis since September 2011 and are now 56% above their April 2009 low point. No wonder builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose in August to its highest level in more than five years, as builders expect the housing recovery to continue. We’re not yet in positive territory above 50, but we’re getting there, with four straight upbeat months.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… Successful people set concrete goals with a specific completion date: “I will contact 10 new prospects in the next 5 days.” Not: “I will make more new business calls when I get the chance.”

>> Review of Last Week

QUIETLY BULLISH… Stocks ended up again in a week marked by low volume and low volatility, as many traders were off on vacation, Europe’s debt crisis cooled down and our own economic data improved some. The net result had the Dow and the S&P 500 up for the sixth week in a row and the Nasdaq heading higher for its fifth week. The first news of the week was the best, with Retail Sales UP 0.8% in July after dropping three months in a row. At the same time, consumer prices stayed flat in July as measured by the CPI Consumer Price Index.

This good news that inflation remained in check was followed by overall industrial output growing 0.6% for the month. But manufacturing in the New York and Philadelphia regions were in negative territory, indicating contraction. Mixed messages also came with Initial Weekly Jobless Claims heading up to 366,000, but Continuing Claims declining to 3.05 million. Preliminary Michigan Consumer Sentiment for August surprised to the upside at 73.6, while the July Leading Economic Indicators index went up a better-than-expected 0.4%.

For the week, the Dow ended UP 0.5%, to 13275; the S&P 500 was UP 0.9%, to 1418; and the Nasdaq was UP 1.8%, to 3077.

Economic data that came in better than had been feared, plus the lull in bad news from Europe kept investors comfortable with riskier stocks. This sent bond prices down. The FNMA 3.5% bond we watch ended the week off .88, at $104.24. Average mortgage rates nationally were mostly higher, with fixed rates edging up for the third week in a row. Rates are still well below levels of a year ago.

DID YOU KNOW?… Leading indicators change before the economy does and include things like building permits, inventory changes, money supply, production workweek, stock prices, and unemployment claims. The Fed keeps an eye on many of these.

>> This Week’s Forecast

JULY HOME SALES, FOMC MINUTES… We now get a full read on July home sales, with Existing Home Sales on Wednesday expected to be up a bit and New Home Sales on Thursday also inching ahead. Tuesday we’ll get a look at FOMC Minutes from the Fed’s last meeting on July 31. These will be closely parsed to see if anyone can tell when the central bank will be cranking up the printing presses for the next round of quantitative easing.

>> The Week’s Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Economic Calendar for the Week of Aug 20 – Aug 24

 Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact
Tu
Aug 21
14:00 FOMC Minutes 07/31 NA NA HIGH
W
Aug 22
10:00 Existing Home Sales Jul 4.55M 4.37M Moderate
W
Aug 22
10:30 Crude Inventories 08/18 NA –3.699M Moderate
Th
Aug 23
08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 08/18 365K 366K Moderate
Th
Aug 23
08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 08/11 3.298M 3.305M Moderate
Th
Aug 23
10:00 New Home Sales Jul 368K 350K Moderate
F
Aug 24
08:30 Durable Goods Orders Jul 2.5% 1.3% Moderate

 

>> Federal Reserve Watch

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months… Economists do not believe the Fed will raise the Funds Rate until their stated goal of late 2014. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Sep 13 0%–0.25%
Oct 24 0%–0.25%
Dec 12 0%–0.25%

Probability of change from current policy:

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Sep 13      <1%
Oct 24      <1%
Dec 12      <1%
UIE

This e-mail is an advertisement for Trudy Savage. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice, or a commitment to lend. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee of its accuracy. The material contained in the newsletter is the property of PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company and cannot be reproduced for any use without prior written consent. It is designed for real estate and other financial professionals only. It is not intended for consumer distribution. The material does not represent the opinion of PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company. © 2012 PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company. Trade/service marks are the property of PlainsCapital Corporation, PlainsCapital Bank, or their respective affiliates and/or subsidiaries. Some products may not be available in all states. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company (NMLS no: 13649) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a state-chartered bank and is an exempt lender in the following states: AK, AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY. Licensed by: AL State Banking Dept.- consumer credit lic no. MC21004; AZ Dept. of Financial Institutions- mortgage banker lic no. BK 0907334; Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act- lender lic no. 4130996; CT Dept. of Banking- lender lic no. ML-13649; D.C. Dept. of Insurance, Securities and Banking- dual authority lic no. MLO13649; IL Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation- lender lic no. MB.6760635; IN Dept. of Financial Institutions- sub lien lender lic no. 11169; ME Dept. of Professional & Financial Regulation- supervised lender lic no. SLM8285; MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing & Regulation- lender lic no. 11058; Massachusetts Division of Banking– lender & broker license nos. MC5404, MC5406, MC5414, MC5450, MC5405; MI Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth- broker/lender lic nos. FR 0010163 and SR 0012527; Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department- lender lic no. 14553-MB; NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance-lender lic no. 0803658; NM Regulation and Licensing Dept. Financial Institutions Division- lender license no. 01890; ND Dept. of Financial Institutions- money broker lic no. MB101786; RI Division of Banking- lender lic no. 20102678LL and broker lic no. 20102677LB; TX OCCC Reg. Loan License- lic no. 7293; VT Dept. of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration- lender lic no. 6127 and broker lic no. 0964MB; WA Dept. of Financial Institutions-consumer lender lic no. 520-CL-49075; WV Div. of Financial Institutions- lender license ML31704 and broker license MB-31703. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. NMLS # 180854

 

 

 

 

 

Ten hidden controls of the iPhone headphones

The iPhone headphones (or any headphones with a mic and remote) can control your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in up to 10 different ways.

 

It’s never too late to discover that those boring, all-white headphones Apple threw in with youriPhone can do a lot more than adjust the volume.

In fact, any headphones that include a remote (or have a remote adapter attached) can be used to control your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in up to 10 ways.

Thanks to this post by Business Insider, here are all the ways you can use your headphones as a remote controller, allowing you to perform useful functions without taking your iDevice out of your pocket.

  1. If you’re listening to music, toggle pause or play by tapping the center button once.
  2. To fast-forward a song, tap the center button twice and long-press on the second tap.
  3. To rewind a song, tap three times and long-press on the third tap.
  4. To skip a song, double tap.
  5. To go to the previous song, triple tap.
       6.  If you have an incoming call, tap the center button once to answer. Tap again to   hang up.
       7.   To ignore an incoming call, long-press the center button. You’ll hear two beeps to confirm that the caller was sent to voice mail.
       8.  If you’re on the phone and you get a new call, tap the center button once to switch calls. To end that new call, hold the center button down for 2 seconds.
       9.  You can achieve supersteady shots by using your headphones as a shutter release. Tap the volume-up button to capture a photo.
     10.  For iPhone 4S owners: prompt Siri by long-pressing the center button.

 

by Sharon Vaknin

August 16, 2012 11:56 AM PDT

 

Waterfowl Hunting Blind Drawing Dates Set At Lake Limestone

Click here to find out more!

(August 16, 2012)–Three waterfowl hunting blind drawing dates have been set for those who hope to set up duck blinds at Lake Limestone, Lake Granbury or Possum Kingdom Lake, the Brazos River Authority’s reservoirs.

The first drawing will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Brazos River Authority Lake Office on Observation Point Road in Graford.

Another drawing will be held on August 24 at 8:30 a.m. at the office on Mambrino Highway in Granbury.

A final drawing is scheduled for August 31 at 8:30 a.m. on Sterling Robertson Dam Road in Thornton.

“The Authority authorizes the hunting sites at each lake, but hunters must provide their own blinds . Hunting will only be allowed at the designated Brazos River Authority blind sites,” officials said.

Participants will be required to stay within 20 feet of the marked area while hunting.

Up to four people can share a blind area.

To be eligible for the drawing, each person must be at least 18 years of age with a 2012-2013 Texas Hunting License that has a Texas Duck Stamp Endorsement and current federal Waterfowl stamp on the back,

Participants must be present to win and only one entry is allowed per person.

Winners will be expected to pay $200 cash upfront for the permit fee.

The winner of the first drawing, on Saturday, will get first pick of the location.

For more information, call (940) 779-2321 or (903) 529-2141.

Prime Lending – Market Update for week of August 13,2012

 

>> Market Update for the week of August 13, 2012

link to website: http://www.trudysavage.com/

QUOTE OF THE WEEK… “Actions are the seed of fate. Deeds grow into destiny.” –Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… Some of the actions we’re seeing in the housing market should lead us to a better destiny. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported median sale prices for single-family homes posted year-over-year gains in Q2 in 110 of 147 markets. This is up from 74 markets showing annual price appreciation in Q1. The national median sale price of existing single-family homes in Q2 was up 7.3% over a year ago, the biggest annual increase in six years!

Total existing home sales in Q2 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.54 million. Many indicators point to a bottom forming — new home inventories are at historic lows, home builder sentiment has turned around and home prices have gone up, seasonally adjusted, 4 months in a row. But some economists still aren’t convinced we have momentum, the #1 driver of home prices. That’s because the #2 driver, the unemployment rate, is still up at 8.3%.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… Always share the credit. When you do, co-workers and clients feel a sense of ownership in the idea or effort and a closer relationship with you.

>> Review of Last Week

CREEPING BULL MARKET… It certainly wasn’t a raging bull market — creeping is a more apt description of last week’s bullish move —  yet stocks scored their fifth straight weekly gain. All three market indexes ended above psychologically important levels — the Dow above 13,000, the S&P 500 north of 1400 and the Nasdaq over 3,000! The equity market is seen as a leading indicator for the economy, so it’s good to see both currently going in the proper direction, albeit at a very slow and painful pace. Europe stayed quiet, but China disappointed with industrial output growth at a three-year low.

Over here, we had our now familiar you-win-some, you-lose-some economic readings. Initial Weekly Jobless Claims were down to 361,000, but Continuing Claims rose to 3.33 million. The June Trade Deficit came in lower than expected at $42.9 billion, but May was revised upward to $48.0 billion. Preliminary Q2 Nonfarm Productivity was at a 1.6% annual rate, not exactly booming, up only 1.1% over last year. Manufacturing Productivity was up at just a 0.2% annual rate, way lower than Q1. Oh, and the Federal Deficit? $69.6 billion for July!

For the week, the Dow ended UP 0.9%, to 13208; the S&P 500 was UP 1.1%, to 1406; and the Nasdaq was UP 1.8%, to 3021. 

Treasuries, and bond prices in general, were under pressure last week, as the European debt melodrama delivered no big news, so investors headed back to riskier stocks. The FNMA 3.5% bond we watch didn’t do too badly, ending the week down just .14, at $105.12. National average mortgage rates were up slightly again, but still well below rates of a year ago.

DID YOU KNOW?… First-time home buyers, who have historically accounted for 40% of home purchases, bought 34% of all homes in Q2, up from 33% in Q1.

>> This Week’s Forecast

RETAIL SALES, INFLATION, MANUFACTURING, HOME BUILDING… This week features a little bit of everything economic including the monthly look at homebuilding. Thursday’s July Housing Starts and Building Permits should continue their upward slog. Retail Sales are expected back in growth territory for July, showing the consumer is still in the game.

Inflation, forecast at 0.2% for both wholesale (PPI) and consumer (CPI) prices, is a little hot but still within Fed guidelines. There are a slew of manufacturing reads — for August, the NY Empire Index is forecast down and the Philadelphia Fed Index looks to be negative, but overall Industrial Production for July is expected to show modest growth.

>> The Week’s Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Economic Calendar for the Week of Aug 13 – Aug 17

 Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact
Tu
Aug 14
08:30 Retail Sales Jul 0.2% –0.5% HIGH
Tu
Aug 14
08:30 Retail Sales ex-auto Jul 0.3% –0.4% HIGH
Tu
Aug 14
08:30 Producer Price Index (PPI) Jul 0.2% 0.1% Moderate
Tu
Aug 14
08:30 Core PPI Jul 0.2% 0.2% Moderate
Tu
Aug 14
10:00 Business Inventories Jun 0.2% 0.3% Moderate
W
Aug 15
08:30 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Jul 0.2% 0.0% HIGH
W
Aug 15
08:30 Core CPI Jul 0.2% 0.2% HIGH
W
Aug 15
08:30 NY Empire Manufacturing Index Aug 5.0 7.4 Moderate
W
Aug 15
09:15 Industrial Production Jul 0.6% 0.4% Moderate
W
Aug 15
09:15 Capacity Utilization Jul 79.3% 78.9% Moderate
W
Aug 15
10:30 Crude Inventories 08/11 NA –3.729M Moderate
Th
Aug 16
08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 08/11 368K 361K Moderate
Th
Aug 16
08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 08/04 3.300M 3.332M Moderate
Th
Aug 16
08:30 Housing Starts Jul 763K 760K Moderate
Th
Aug 16
08:30 Building Permits Jul 770K 755K Moderate
Th
Aug 16
10:00 Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index Aug –5.0 –12.9 HIGH
F
Aug 17
09:55 Univ. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Aug 72.2 72.3 Moderate
F
Aug 17
10:00 Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) Index Jul 0.2% –0.3% Moderate

 

>> Federal Reserve Watch

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months… The Fed does not expect to raise the Funds Rate until late 2014. Economists don’t believe they’ll have to. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Sep 13 0%–0.25%
Oct 24 0%–0.25%
Dec 12 0%–0.25%

Probability of change from current policy:

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Sep 13      <1%
Oct 24      <1%
Dec 12      <1%

 

Congratulations!

Congratulations to John & Vickie Lyon on their new lake lots on Lake Limestone. I know you, your family and the labs will have a great time and make lots of memories.

Prime Lending – Market Update for week of July 16, 2012

 

>> Market Update  week of July 16, 2012

link to website: http://www.trudysavage.com/

QUOTE OF THE WEEK… “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.” –John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… Everyone working in the housing market certainly has shown perseverance and it seems to be paying off. While the overall economy slows, there are signs of the start of a housing recovery. Bloomberg reports all major home price indexes registered modest national increases. Almost 10% more existing homes were sold in May than a year earlier. The inventory of existing homes has dropped close to a normal level of six months, key to sustaining spring home price gains. Housing starts were up 26% in May over the prior year and the inventory of new homes is back at 2005 levels.

A new survey of forecasters by the Wall Street Journal found “44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.” Housing is still far from healthy, but these indications of an upturn are welcome amidst the distressing lack of jobs. Economist Chip Case of Case-Shiller said, “A little tail wind is a lot better than a headwind.” Fannie Mae’s latest survey found 73% of Americans think now is a good time to buy a home and 35% expect prices to go up in the next 12 months.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… If you aren’t happy with how things are going, the only way to fix the situation is to do something differently. Think of an action to take — then take it!

>> Review of Last Week

LUCKY FRIDAY THE 13TH… Wall Street investors are anything but superstitious, as they chose last Friday, July 13, to pile big money back into riskier equities, rallying stocks to their best session of the month and halting a six-day losing streak for the Dow and S&P 500 and a five-day downturn for the Nasdaq. Robust Q2 U.S. bank earnings drove the big gains, but because of those earlier down sessions, Friday’s rally only brought the Dow and the S&P 500 back to the prior week’s levels and left the Nasdaq down for the week.

China disappointed with 7.6% Q2 GDP growth, its lowest in three years. But investors took this as a positive, because it increases the likelihood the Chinese will apply more stimulus to boost their economy. Over here, FOMC Minutes from the last Fed meeting suggested “further policy stimulus likely would be necessary to promote satisfactory growth,” but no commitments were made. PPI inflation showed wholesale prices up higher than expected, while University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment came in lower.

For the week, the Dow ended virtually flat, up less than 5 points, at 12777; the S&P 500 squeaked up 2 points, to 1357; but the Nasdaq was off 1.0%, to 2908.

As stocks tracked downward the first four days of the week, bonds advanced, but the gains were trimmed as investors sold off Friday to join the 200-point rally in stocks. Nevertheless, the FNMA 3.5% bond we watch ended the week down just .03, at $105.22. National average mortgage rates reached all-time lows for several types of mortgages in Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. The Mortgage Bankers Association survey showed demand for purchase loans was up 3% for the week ending July 6, but down 3% from a year ago.

DID YOU KNOW?… This week’s Philadelphia Federal Index is constructed from a survey of manufacturers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, the Third Federal Reserve District. Above 0 indicates growth, below 0 signals contraction.

>> This Week’s Forecast

NEW HOME STARTS, EXISTING HOME SALES, STORE SALES, INFLATION… Plenty to chew on this week, featuring reads on the June housing market, with Housing Starts on Tuesday followed by Existing Home Sales Thursday, both expected up a bit, although Building Permits, which look further out, slightly down. The week begins with June Retail Sales, forecast up after a down month, but the gain could be paltry when they take out auto sales.

With the Fed contemplating more money printing (“quantitative easing”), inflation will be closely watched. It’s predicted to remain within Fed guidelines when we get the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Core CPI for June on Tuesday.

>> The Week’s Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Economic Calendar for the Week of Jul 16 – Jul 20

 Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact
M
Jul 16
08:30 Retail Sales Jun 0.2% –0.2% HIGH
M
Jul 16
08:30 Retail Sales ex-auto Jun 0.1% –0.4% HIGH
M
Jul 16
08:30 NY Empire Manufacturing Index Jul 3.8 2.3 Moderate
M
Jul 16
10:00 Business Inventories May 0.2% 0.4% Moderate
Tu
Jul 17
08:30 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Jun 0.1% –0.3% HIGH
Tu
Jul 17
08:30 Core CPI Jun 0.2% 0.2% HIGH
Tu
Jul 17
09:15 Industrial Production Jun 0.3% –0.1% Moderate
Tu
Jul 17
09:15 Capacity Utilization Jun 79.2% 79.0% Moderate
W
Jul 18
08:30 Housing Starts Jun 743K 708K Moderate
W
Jul 18
08:30 Building Permits Jun 765K 780K Moderate
W
Jul 18
10:30 Crude Inventories 07/14 NA –4.696M Moderate
W
Jul 18
14:00 Fed’s Beige Book Jun NA NA Moderate
Th
Jul 19
08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 07/14 365K 350K Moderate
Th
Jul 19
08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 07/07 3.300M 3.304M Moderate
Th
Jul 19
10:00 Existing Home Sales Jun 4.65M 4.55M Moderate
Th
Jul 19
10:00 Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) Index Jun –0.2% 0.3% Moderate
Th
Jul 19
10:00 Philadelphia Federal Index Jul –10.0 –16.6 HIGH

 

>> Federal Reserve Watch

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months… With the Fed thinking about more “quantitative easing” to stimulate the economy, the experts expect the Funds Rate to remain unchanged. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Aug 1 0%–0.25%
Sep 13 0%–0.25%
Oct 24 0%–0.25%

Probability of change from current policy:

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Aug 1      <1%
Sep 13      <1%
Oct 24      <1%

 

Revoked FHA credit rule may take some of the hassle out of buying a home

Andrew Cates/Issues columnist – texasrealestate.com
July 13, 2012

I purchased a house a few weeks ago. The joy of being a first-time homeowner is almost enough to make me forget the crick in my neck from sleeping on an air mattress until the movers come!

I learned firsthand what I had often heard from others … that first-time homebuyers often encounter a number of challenges and unexpected delays. One of those for me was a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) rule that most lenders didn’t like, and that almost brought my dream to a crashing halt.

The rule, which originally went into effect in April but was later postponed to July, affected borrowers such as myself who wanted to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage but had a credit dispute of more than $1,000. It required these people to pay off the disputed amount or set up a payment plan on unpaid collection accounts.

Now, in my case, I had a mistake on my credit report that I didn’t know about. All of a sudden, I was looking at not getting a home because of someone else’s error!

Luckily, I resolved the situation. Even luckier for you, you don’t have to worry about running into the problem I did. The FHA recently rescinded the rule indefinitely.

The rule was widely criticized by the real estate and lending industries as being too restrictive on homebuyers. They said it would unnecessarily squeeze out a large portion of first-timers like me and would ultimately affect the entire housing market. A survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting reported that 25% of builders thought the rule would delay or derail as much as 60% of their home sales.

The FHA continues to take comments on the rule and will issue guidance on how to appropriately deal with credit disputes. In the meantime, rest assured that the real estate industry is on the side of responsible buyers who want to get into a nice new home, just like I did.

Now where are those movers?

 

Andrew Cates/Issues columnist – texasrealestate.com
July 13, 2012

This is a really neat idea for a picnic table.

Replace the middle board with rain gutter.

Source: google.com via Anne on Pinterest

Here are some Terms with definitions that you might hear or see during a Real Estate Transaction.

 real estate agent  A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate.

 Realtor®  A real estate agent, broker or an associate who holds active membership in a local real estate board that is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.

  pre-approval  A loosely used term which is generally taken to mean that a borrower has completed a loan application and provided debt, income, and savings documentation which an underwriter has reviewed and approved. A pre-approval is usually done at a certain loan amount and making assumptions about what the interest rate will actually be at the time the loan is actually made, as well as estimates for the amount that will be paid for property taxes, insurance and others. A pre-approval applies only to the borrower. Once a property is chosen, it must also meet the underwriting guidelines of the lender. Contrast with pre-qualification

  pre-qualification  This usually refers to the loan officer’s written opinion of the ability of a borrower to qualify for a home loan, after the loan officer has made inquiries about debt, income, and savings. The information provided to the loan officer may have been presented verbally or in the form of documentation, and the loan officer may or may not have reviewed a credit report on the borrower.

 contract  An oral or written agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.

 contingency  A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector, or the Buyer has to sell their current home.

 fixture  Personal property that becomes real property when attached in a permanent manner to real estate. (ex: drapes, stove)

 earnest money deposit  A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

 title  A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property.

 title company  A company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate.

 title insurance  Insurance that protects the lender (lender’s policy) or the buyer (owner’s policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.

 title search  A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.

 clear title  A title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property.

 deed  The legal document conveying title to a property.

 survey  A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.

 easement  A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.

 encroachment  An improvement that intrudes illegally on another’s property.

 eminent domain  The right of a government to take private property for public use upon payment of its fair market value. Eminent domain is the basis for condemnation proceedings.

 appraised value  An opinion of a property’s fair market value, based on an appraiser’s knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property. Since an appraisal is based primarily on comparable sales, and the most recent sale is the one on the property in question, the appraisal usually comes out at the purchase price.

 appraiser  An individual qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property. Although some appraisers work directly for mortgage lenders, most are independent.

 closing  This has different meanings in different states. In some states a real estate transaction is not consider “closed” until the documents record at the local recorders office. In others, the “closing” is a meeting where all of the documents are signed and money changes hands.

 closing costs  Closing costs are separated into what are called “non-recurring closing costs” and “pre-paid items.” Non-recurring closing costs are any items which are paid just once as a result of buying the property or obtaining a loan. “Pre-paids” are items which recur over time, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance. A lender makes an attempt to estimate the amount of non-recurring closing costs and prepaid items on the Good Faith Estimate which they must issue to the borrower within three days of receiving a home loan application.

 HUD-1 settlement statement or closing statement  A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that were paid at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow (impound) amounts. Each type of expense goes on a specific numbered line on the sheet. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller’s net proceeds and the buyer’s net payment at closing. It is called a HUD1 because the form is printed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD1 statement is also known as the “closing statement” or “settlement sheet.”

 escrow  An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the earnest money deposit is put into escrow until delivered to the seller when the transaction is closed.

 escrow account  Once you close your purchase transaction, you may have an escrow account or impound account with your lender. This means the amount you pay each month includes an amount above what would be required if you were only paying your principal and interest. The extra money is held in your impound account (escrow account) for the payment of items like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when they come due. The lender pays them with your money instead of you paying them yourself.

 escrow analysis  Once each year your lender will perform an “escrow analysis” to make sure they are collecting the correct amount of money for the anticipated expenditures.

 escrow disbursements  The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.

 estate  The ownership interest of an individual in real property. The sum total of all the real property and personal property owned by an individual at time of death.

  executor  A person named in a will to administer an estate. The court will appoint an administrator if no executor is named. “Executrix” is the feminine form.

 flood insurance  Insurance that compensates for physical property damage resulting from flooding. It is required for properties located in federally designated flood areas.

If you have any questions, please contact me. 

4 Emotional Mistakes Made by Home Sellers

Here are some tips to help any home seller avoid making emotional mistakes that could cost money.
Keep emotion out of selling a home

 The greatest hindrance to the sale of a home can be a seller who is seized by emotion.

 “It is very important for sellers to (keep) in
  mind that a real estate transaction is most
  likely the single largest financial transaction
  they will undertake,” says Fiona Dogan, a
  realtor in the Rye, N.U. office of Julia B. Fee
  Sotheby’s International Realty. “It should be
viewed and handles primarily as a business transaction, with cold hard decisions being made on a financial and investment basis”

 Home sellers who allow emotions and sentimental attachments to overtake them during the sales process run the risk of making hasty, sometimes poor decisions, Dogan says.

 

Getting top dollars is the dream of every home seller.
But getting a buyer to pay a premium for features
that are valuable only to you? That’s closer to
fantasy, according to Tracie Hamersley, senior
vice president and associate broker to Citi
Habitatis in New York City.

“Overpricing often occurs because of emotional
reasons,” Hamersley says. ” SO many sellers make the mistake of thinking that their home is special and that a special buyer will pay more because they also fell in love with the property.”

The truth is prices having nothing to do with the seller’s emotional affinity for the property, and according to Hamersley, its important sellers understand that as early as possible.

Sellers who bought at the top of the market likely won’t see that same price from today’s buyers.

“It’s a different market,” Hamersley explains. “If a seller bought their home during the market’s peak, they may have to face the unappealing prospect of losing money on the sale in today’s market. This is a difficult position for a seller to be in, but it’s one that reflects today’s reality.”

 

 There are a lot of legitimate reasons why a seller might want to be present for the home’s showing. But having a seller there tends to sour the experience for most buyers, according to Renee Weinberg of Petrey Real Estate in Long Beach, N.Y.

Getting the seller out of the house is key,”
Weinberg says. “Whenever we take a listing
this is explained in advance.”
According to Karyn Anjali Glubis, a real estate broker and owner of the Real Estate Experts in Tampa, Fla., sellers are sensitive when buyers nitpick flaws. “Sellers think that every little thing is a complaint against how they may have maintained the property,” Glubis says. The reality is that observations from buyers — though sometimes harsh — have nothing to do with the person selling the home.

Having a seller present for an open house or the first (or even second) showing tends to stifle potential buyers from expressing opinions. After hearing negative feedback, some sellers reject offers for emotional reasons, Weinberg says. Sellers should use their agents to insulate them from the the process, filter relevant information and only meet the buyers when there is a serious offer on the table.

 

Sellers be warned: The longer a property sits on the market, the worse the offers are likely to get, says Nick Jabbour, a New York City real estate agent and vice president of Nest Seekers International.

“Once a property is marketed, it will receive the most attention during the first two weeks,” Jabbour says. “(The home is) new to the market and any buyers that have been in the market for a homes will see it come up. If it is priced right, an educated buyer, (who has) been in the market for a while (and) sees the home as a fit, will put a serious foot forward.”

Sometimes early bids run the risk of spooking sellers who worry they underpriced their properties. But Jabbour says you can tell the property was priced correctly when an early offer is near the asking price, as long as the asking price is in line with the market.

“Waiting for a better offer is counterproductive and can result in a property languishing.” Jabbour says.

 

When you’re selling your home, it’s easy to take everything personally. But doing so is a big mistake, according to Fiona Dogan, a realtor in the Rye, N.Y., office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Sellers need to become emotionally detached very quickly from their homes,” Dogan says. “By its very nature, a real estate transaction is aggressive and confrontational since the seller wants the highest price and the buyer wants the lowest.”

That negotiation almost always means a buyer will point out every flaw with the property. But white hearing that information may sting a little, it’s really a good sign, according to Dogan, because it means the buyer is serious.

“A seller needs to be ready to hear criticism of their lovely home and be able to deal with it as a negotiating tool and not take it as a personal affront and walk away from a potential sale for emotional reasons,” Dogan says.

To Buy or Sell in 2012?

Even the most conservative forecasts call for growth in home sales in 2012, with some select pockets around the country already busting out where there are competitive offers on new listings. Another good sign, more than one-third of home resales were made to first-time buyers in 2011.

Meanwhile, here are a few helpful tips for 2012, aimed largely at the group that needs the most help — home sellers.

Price it right from the get-go

The old-school strategy of real estate sellers crossing their arms and holding out for a better offer will be brushed off by most homebuyers. Consider that of the homes that took four months or more to sell in the past year, almost half of their owners accepted less than 90 percent of the asking price, according to the National Association of Realtors. For a gauge, have I will produce the latest comparable sales including short sales and
foreclosures as well as a recent summary of sales prices versus original list prices. But be wary that such information doesn’t reflect the homes that failed to sell.

Put your best footage forward

Prep, paint, stage, scrub, improve, and repeat. Efforts can include caulking, plastering, planting flowers, adding potted plants, making the windows spotless, pressure washing that oily driveway, edging the walks, trimming the bushes and trees, and mending the fences. None of these is excessively capital-intensive, but when applied en masse, they say “buy me.”

Be flexible

I’m not saying bend over backward to accommodate real estate buyers. Bend forward and sideways, too. Be ready to negotiate and offer extras such as closing costs, paid property taxes, remodeling work (or a cash credit), appliances, paid homeowner association dues, a few months of mortgage payments or even seller financing. Sellers who’ve been on the sidelines and who advised their agents to ignore offers by lowballers don’t have that luxury now. I will listen intently to prospective homebuyers’ misgivings about the home and report to you, so you will be able to adjust accordingly and immediately.

Trump your techno-fears

As your listing agent I am steeped in mobile platforms. Sellers and  buyers are routinely using Facebook and other social media to sell and seek,  not to mention dozens of online selling sites. I even making  YouTube videos to showcase their homes, making it easier to quickly link to potential buyers via email. There’s also an abundance of smartphone apps  cropping up to review real estate listings and refine searches.

Don’t fall prey

Fraudsters are targeting distressed homeowners with “deals” that can sound perfectly legit. Some offer loan modifications for upfront fees while others offer fee-based “help” in navigating government housing assistance programs, sometimes claiming they’re attorneys.

There are also con-artist “investors” compelling  desperate owners to sign over their homes with quitclaim deeds in return for a  typically empty promise to remain there indefinitely. Others are telling former  owners they can get their homes back for a lump sum. Be forewarned: Never sign blank documents or documents with blank lines.

If you’re unsure of an offer, have an attorney or other trusted  adviser look it over. Keep in mind that a law barring firms — except attorneys  — from charging upfront fees for mortgage relief or mortgage modification took  effect in 2011. It’s called the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule

Finance 101

Realize it’s harder to qualify for loans these days. Credit records are under greater scrutiny, and lenders are often demanding a 20 percent down payment and some pricing flexibility from the sellers, especially if the lender’s appraisal doesn’t reach the asking price.

Consider cash offers, even if they’re not the highest. Reject too-low offers from homebuyers gently and with encouragement, telling them they’re oh-so-close. You don’t want to give away the farm, but you don’t want to give it back to the bank either. These days, meeting halfway usually means meeting buyers on their half.

‘Site unseen’ equals shortsightedness

Are you perplexed by the home valuation you did on your place on the website of a large, seemingly reputable real estate organization? Puzzled how that valuation can be 25 percent or more above or below a firsthand appraisal you’ve had done? Well, value estimates on these sites can vary widely, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars, even by the admission of the companies themselves. There are way too many variables in the valuation game to give too much credence to blind, algorithm-based estimates that are impersonally calculated. Nothing beats a nuanced firsthand professional appraial.

I have information to share with you of what properties have sold & I have extensive knowledge of the fair market values, to help you get a highest value, terms and conditions to proceed as quickly as possible.

Expand your buyer’s due diligence

Aside from the financial details, contracts, disclosures and
protections you typically tend to as you prep to buy a home, add these to the list:

  • Hire you own inspector. Don’t use the seller’s!
  • Get a Survey – To be sure property lines are accrate.  This will avoid future disputes, he will reasearch the oringal deed and will stake ou the property’s lines.

Other suggestions for your checklist

  • Go to the National Sex Offender Public Website at Nsopw.gov to search for neighborhood predators.
  • Spend some time around the neighborhood and briefly interview neighbors. Determine if there are noisy neighbors, signs of gang activity, nocturnal barking dogs, indigent lingerers,frequent loud parties and/or suspicious nighttime visits. Are there lots of rental homes? Does the school bus go past the block? Is there a restrictive homeowners association?

If you are ready to Buy, Sell or have questions, please contact me.
Alida Pollard, Realtor®
REALTY PLUS
email: alidapollardrealtor@gmail.com
cell: 281-797-8550

 

 

 

 

What did you use for bait?

What did you use for bait?

If the tables were turned.

Fishing Tips

  1. Put rice grains in your fishing tackle box to absorb moisture & prevent rusty hooks.
  2. Protect your fishing reel by storing it in an old sock.
  3. To use liver:  try getting a piece of your wife’s stockings or a piece of her pantyhose (the foot portion works best) .  Insert the piece of liver in the hose tie a knot in it and thread the whole concoction on yourhook. Be sure to cut off any excess material. The hose lets the fish bite and the scent escape but does not let the water or fish steal your bait.                                                                                                                                                                                 I agree this does work best! Be sure to put your treble hook on first before tying. You can use fishing line to tie. You can also use “chicken” hearts, if you can get enough. They are tougher, and have more flavor, too.
  4. A great tip for catfish: put non iodized salt on drained chicken liver and refrigerate overnight, it toughens the liver enough to stay on the hook for hours and channel cats love it. A little garlic powder helps too
  5. When the water tempature starts getting hot, try this: as the water in your minnow bucket warms the minnows will slowly die. They need a very cool temperature to survive. Never put ice cubes in with live minnows. The chlorine in the water stays and will kill your bait. Freeze water bottles then gently place them in the bucket. Usually one will be enough

Send me your fishing tips to: alidatxland@windstream.net and I will post them.

 

Fishing Joke

Fishing joke

Fishing joke

Lake Limestone – water level is on the rise

July 4, 2011, was the last time we were able to get the boat out.  Since, approx. January 28, 2012 the lake has come up about 7 ft.
and still rising. We are currently at 360.30.  This is the elevation above sea level.  363 is the level when the lake is considered
full.

8-16-2011

Drought 8-16- 2011
Drought 8-16- 2011

 

2-19-12

we got water 2-19-12

we got water 2-19-12

Looking for a better return on your income tax filing?

9 Documents That Help You Reap Real Estate Tax Breaks

Technically speaking, April 15th is tax day. But for Americans who expect a refund – including many homeowners who want to cash in on real estate-related tax perks – filing sooner holds the promise of getting that check in hand, stat.  9 Documents That Help You Reap Real Estate Tax Breaks

Looking for a better return on your income tax filing? Buying a home can get
help you get a larger refund! Looking to buy or sell a home, give me a call at
281-797-8550.

 

 

 

 

Post Your Helpful Energy Saving Tip

Use a Laptop Instead of a Desktop

If you have the choice between powering up your desktop or a laptop, choose  the latter. Also, when it’s time to upgrade to a new computer, think laptop.

Laptop computers draw only 15 to 25 watts during regular use, as compared to  the 150 watts used by a conventional desktop computer and monitor. Plus, laptops  also draw just a fraction of a watt when in sleep mode.  by Alida Pollard, Thornton, TX

5 Fall Green Cleaning Tips

1. Plug Leaks

As you clean and organize your house, why not take the opportunity to conduct your own home energy audit (or hire a professional service to do it for you)?

BENEFITS OF INSULATION

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing leaks around the house could potentially save you anywhere from 5 to 30 percent in energy costs. Check in places both big and small, from electrical outlets to window frames, baseboards to gaps around pipes. Don’t avoid inspecting the basement and attic, too. Caulk and seal around plumbing and wiring leaks and gaps, and anywhere you feel a draft coming in around windows and doors.

2. Elbow Grease

Before the cold winter season locks you inside, take the time to clean your house from top to bottom. Toss out the conventional cleaners and whip up some of your own, non-toxic eco-friendly versions. For example, a mix of baking soda and warm water can be used as an all-purpose cleaner on everything from countertops to grease spills to laundry.

In fact, keep air pollutants to a minimum all winter long by cleaning with homemade products baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and water can keep your home clean, germ-free and free of toxic chemicals.

Did You Know?

EARTH FRIENDLY CLEANING

Boiling vinegar in the microwave is a good way to get rid of that persistent burned-popcorn smell.

3. 120-degrees Fahrenheit

Many water heaters default to 140-degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) when they ship from the manufacturer, but temps that high pose not only high energy costs but scalding risks to your family. Most water heaters operate just as efficiently at 120-degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), and the lower temperature could help increase the lifespan of the heater.

For every 10 degrees you lower the water temperature, can save between 3 and 5 percent in utility costs. Additionally, wrapping an insulating blanket around your water heater will help save energy this winter, possibly as much as 4 to 9 percent in water heating costs. Find them in your local hardware store.

HEATING YOUR WATER

4. Start Composting

Autumn is the perfect time to start a compost pile or bin in your backyard (or inside, with a special composting bin). Even if you don’t have a large garden or yard, you can still benefit from composting — it enriches soil and reduces the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides. And if you keep a small garden or containers, those plants will love the extra nutrients, too.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that 24 percent of U.S. municipal solid waste comes from yard and food waste — all of which could be composted.

Basically any organic materials can be tossed into your compost pile, including leaves, grass clippings and any other yard waste that piles up as you rake and prepare your yard for winter. Food scraps can be composted as well but not all of it (keep bones, meat and fatty foods out).

The EPA also has a list on their Web site of what not to include in your composting bins — some of them being harmful to the plants you’re trying to help. A few on the list include black walnut tree leaves or twigs, coal or charcoal ash, dairy products, pet waste and any yard trimmings that have been treated with chemical pesticides.

TRASH AUDIT

5. Turn Down the Thermostat

When the weather starts to get cooler, we all tend to reach for the thermostat. Instead reach for a sweater, use draft stoppers in doorways and invest in a programmable thermostat — just don’t turn the heat up.

Not only will you save energy you’ll save money. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heating an “average” house (2,280 square feet) adds up to about 34 percent of a homeowners’ utility bill. For each degree you turn down the thermostat, the EPA estimates you’ll save about 4 percent in monthly utility expenses.

More ways to stay proactive and save money:

  • If your furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient model.
  • Have your heating system checked annually by a professional.
  • Replace furnace filters as recommended by the manufacturer (typically every month or two)

SHRINK YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

 

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