Archive for July, 2012

Citius… Altius… Fortius

July 30th, 2012
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Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic committee, proposed this as the motto for the modern day Olympics.  It is the Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger.  He also said “The most important thing is not to win but to take part.”  My grandson, Alec, recently made a trip to Chicago to try out for American Idol.  He loves music and hopes to make it his career.  Apparently, there is a long row of booths where you get about a 3 second runway to sing a bar and then a judge gives you a thumbs up or down, two words of wisdom about what you need to do to improve and then calls out, “Next”.  He didn’t make the cut but he had the courage to take part.  He didn’t sit on the sidelines waiting until he was perfectly ready and absolutely assured of a spot on the show.  The try was the win. 

  There are thousands of participants in the Olympics…we call them ‘hopefuls’ and they practice their disciplines daily, weekly, monthly often for years in advance of that one brief opportunity to go for the gold.  Only a very small percentage walk away with medals.  The rest walk away with the experience of a lifetime.  Read the rest of this entry »

The New Health Care Law has an obscure Real Estate Tax provision.

July 23rd, 2012
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A small percentage of home sellers may have to pay an additional 3.8% in taxes when they sell their home.  If it’s your primary residence and you are a single person making in excess of $200K or a married couple making in excess of $250K, and you still have a capital gain in excess of the allowed exclusions of $250K per person, you will pay an additional 3.8% in taxes to fund the new Health Care programs. In order to qualify for the current exclusion for a primary residence, you have to have lived there for at least two of the five years prior to sale.  Selling earlier, depending on your income, may result in a higher tax on sale. If it’s a rental or second home, you sell and you’re in the income range, you will pay the additional tax.  While it probably won’t affect a ton of people, it is something to consider when providing advice to our client bases.  I imagine it will start popping up shortly in net proceeds calculations when listing someone’s home. Read the rest of this entry »

Any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th in it.

July 16th, 2012
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Most years have between 1 and 3 Fridays that fall on the 13th.  We all know someone who gets a little twitchy whenever this day shows up on a calendar, certain that the day is going to bring some bad luck.  According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist who specializes in the treatment of phobias, “the figure may be as high as 21 million people…It’s been estimated that $800-900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do.”  Dr. Dossey is the founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Ashville, North Carolina.  The term he coined for this particular phobia is Paraskevidekatriaphobia. I don’t think I could pronounce it correctly so I’m glad I’m not one of the sufferers.  I’m a firm believer in making my own luck especially when it comes to running my business. Read the rest of this entry »

Lured in by extraordinarily cheap money, the refinance market is white hot and that’s cooling off approval timelines.

July 9th, 2012
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When I looked up rates for today’s blog, I had to clean my glasses to make sure I was seeing them clearly.  Never in our lifetime have they been so low.  We aren’t a traditional refinance office.  We absolutely take care of our current clients by handling their refinances, but we don’t troll for additional business on the radio and refinances only represent a small portion of our business.   Yet, we all have the same pool of resources to draw from and settlement service providers from title companies to appraisal companies are getting really backlogged. Read the rest of this entry »

I would love to save you a summer of heart in the throat worry.

July 2nd, 2012
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If you’re like me, when you get on a plane you really hope that this trip will be blue skies all the way.  After you’re in the air, the pilot comes on and tells you how far you’re going today and what time he/she expects to arrive at your destination.  You’re cruising right along and then, suddenly, you feel a jolt, the little red buckle seat belt sign comes on.  If you’re like me, your heart starts pounding and you have a death grip on the closest available part of your husband’s body.  If you have a really experienced pilot,  the next thing you hear is his/her reassuring voice giving  you a run down on how long it will last, and what they’re doing to avoid the worst of it.  No pilot ever promises there won’t be any turbulence.  Their experience and reassurance when it occurs are priceless. 

I would love to save you a summer of heart in the throat worry

There’s a lot of unavoidable turbulence in today’s lending environment, but an equal amount that is.  Early and frequent communication is the key to avoiding most of it. Read the rest of this entry »