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Monday, November 16, 2009

TARP Watchdog: Officials Could Have Done More to Reduce Bailout Costs - FOXBusiness.com

TARP Watchdog: Officials Could Have Done More to Reduce Bailout Costs - FOXBusiness.com

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DIY Car Wash Saves Money

We are in a recession, wait I think they are saying we are out. Doesn't really matter on an individual basis because you can choose to participate in a recession or adapt and go about living your life. I choose to adapt. I don't have the luxury of going to a car wash and waiting for my car to be washed anymore. I have found an alternative that not only saves me money but time and I get a little bit of exercise.

I know DIY (Do It Yourself) isn't a new concept in real estate but it was a forgotten concept when it comes to our cars. I just want to share this option with our local community because I have found it very beneficial. Zeavy Car Wash is a do it yourself car wash located at 520 S. Victory Blvd in Burbank between Verdugo and Alameda. This is one of those car washes we used to refer to as a Coin-op but they now take visa/mastercard or debit cards w/ those symbols. If you do swipe a card it's a minimum charge of $5 for 10 minutes. This is plenty of time for my Honda Accord. You will need coins for use of the vacuums. They have a spot free rinse that I use and I have to admit it works. I don't hang out and dry my car, I just drive off and I don't have any water spots or streaks. If you have change and are really fast you can get it done for as little as $2.25 for 4 minutes. I've done that a few times too when I just needed a quick rinse.

If you feel the need of tipping someone one to wash your car feel free to have your children help you. One of my fond memories as a kid was when my dad allowed me to help him with the car. Funny how parents can make work seem like fun and a privilege.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Federal Loan Mod Effort Reaches 20 Percent

No matter how hard the administration tries to get involved it is too difficult for them to take over private industry. I hear the most successful loan mods are from the GSE's, Fannie and Freddie. Other than that there's too many other factors in play like mortgage insurance and investors. Throw in the loan servicing companies and you have such an inefficient process that the majority of homes just end up foreclosing. How do they expect homeowners to make payments when they are unsure of what the lender is going to do and so they just start saving their cash. I am not saying that's right but I am saying that unless these lenders become more proactive, you will just see more foreclosures.
REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Federal Loan Mod Effort Reaches 20 Percent

Friday, November 6, 2009

"All You Need Is Love"

This song made famous by the Beatles hit the nail on the head. I think all of us benefit from love of family members and friends. We would all benefit by reaching out to others that might not always feel the same love that we do.



As I watch the news it's hard to keep a positive attitude. All you see and hear is negative news. Ft. Hood has been described as a "kick in the gutt" for the U.S. Army. Another shooter goes crazy in Orlando and Unemployment is in double digits. Sounds like the Mayan calendar might be right and the world is coming to an end.



Lucky for me I had spent most of my morning at church and watching innocent children performing for police officers. These public servants were given the gratitude that is well deserved. I watch these kids and realize that they look to us for guidance in this very negative world. We have a responsibility to them to change this world. We can all do this by first taking care of our own backyards.



Let's do this in baby steps. Start at home by providing a positive environment. Once you've done that than reach out to a neighbor or an organization and see how you can help. The holidays are very difficult for many especially in these tough economic times. If you think that they might be too proud to ask for help then see if you can send them something anonymously.



We can do this one neighbor at a time. Teach these kids to love one another and you will see that this world will be a better place.

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Getting Ready for the Holidays? Call for Help.

The following was passed on to me by a parent/volunteer of the Burbank Vikings Football and Cheer program. Please keep those in need in your prayers this holiday season and below is a list of things that you can do to help out.

Burbank (November 3) - For the sixth consecutive year, The Burbank City Council declared November "Burbank Temporary Aid Center Month" in Burbank. Throughout November a variety of events will be held to assist BTAC in helping the working poor, needy seniors, and homeless of Burbank. Events include food drives, fundraising, and other related efforts. 'BTAC Month' encourages the community to work together in helping those who need it most.



Requests for assistance continue to soar during this unpredictable economic period, and BTAC is working hard to keep pantry shelves stocked for the upcoming holiday season.



"BTAC's food pantry has seen an 80-percent increase in grocery requests over the last twelve months," says Executive Director Barbara Howell.



"The holidays are always a busy time of year for BTAC. But this year the number of families that have requested help are unprecedented," Howell said.



BTAC clients include those who are newly unemployed, and those who are homeless. BTAC also sees clients who may have a job, but who are forced to choose between rent, health care or groceries.



"Our goal is that 'BTAC Month' will provide enough food to keep the pantry fully stocked throughout this holiday season," Howell said. "The fuller the pantry, the more people BTAC will be able to help."



For further information regarding 'BTAC Month,' please contact BTAC directly at (818) 848-2822, ext. 110. You can also head to www.TheBTAC.org to find a list of the food items most urgently needed.



Following is a list of several "BTAC Month" events and information about those events. Help our community by attending or donating to any of these events! Let's make this Holiday Season a success!



Nov 1 - Dec 24. Barnes & Noble begins its Holiday Book Drive. Purchase books for children or teens that B&N will deliver to BTAC's "Santa's Room." Help Santa's Room give the gift of reading this Holiday Season and visit B&N in the Burbank Center Mall, 731 N. San Fernando Blvd. This event continues through Christmas.

Nov 1 - Nov 20. Escrows Inc. welcomes the public to support its annual food drive. Items can be donated at the office at 3520 W. Magnolia Blvd. Donations will be accepted through November 20th.

Nov 1 - Nov 25. Burbank Unified School District will be holding food drives at each elementary school until Thanksgiving.

Nov 1 - Nov 30. Burbank City Federal Credit Union will hold a food drive for members and employees all month long. There will be a bin to donate food located in the lobby. BCFCU is located at 1800 W. Magnolia Blvd.

Nov 1 - Nov 25. Curves Burbank will waive its service fee ($200!) for the month of November for customers who purchase a Henry's Market turkey that is donated to BTAC. The fee can also be waived for those clients who donate two bags of groceries to either Curves location. Groceries will then be delivered to BTAC! This event continues through November 25th.

Nov 1 - Nov 30. Keller Williams will hold a drive at its Burbank office at 401 S. First Street to collect items other than food that BTAC needs. These items include: Mens wear, socks, baby diapers, etc. Of course, they will also accept canned food as well.

Nov 3. The Burbank City Council approved a proclamation declaring November "BTAC Month" in Burbank. See:

http://burbank.granicus.com/…Player.php

Nov 7. Barnes & Noble will kick off the Holiday season with Story-Time at 11am located in the Burbank Town Center Mall. This is also an opportunity to buy books for children or teens that B&N will forward to BTAC's Santa's Room program.

Nov 7. The Morning and Noon Rotary Clubs in Burbank will have a food drive at the Ralphs at San Fernando Blvd. and Delaware Rd., 8am - 2pm.

Nov 7. The Zonta Club of Burbank Area is holding it annual "Woman of the Year" luncheon, this year honoring BTAC executive director Barbara Howell. It will be held at the Castaway Restaurant at 11:30am. Guests are encouraged to bring canned goods, and donations to BTAC will also be accepted. Tickets are $50.00. For information and reservations, please contact Grace Farenbaugh at (818) 398-7170.

Nov 7 - Dec 12. Bell Cottage, located at 3816 W. Magnolia Blvd, will give a 10% discount off your purchase with the donation of 5 or more items from the BTAC NEED LIST. This generous offer will continue through December 12th. You can find the BTAC NEED LIST at www.TheBTAC.org under the "Donate/Volunteer" tab.

Nov 8. National Charity League is holding a food drive from 9am to 3pm at Ralphs on Buena Vista St. and Victory Blvd.

Nov 11. Keller Williams employees will be bringing BTAC 150 sandwiches for sack lunches distributed to the homeless.

Nov 14. Leadership Burbank Alumni Association will conduct a food drive at Pavillions at 1110 W. Alameda Ave., and another at Ralphs at 25 E. Alameda Ave. Both run 8am - 2PM.

Nov 14. Scouting for Food Project begins. Area Boy Scouts will distribute bags for donations throughout Burbank neighborhoods starting November 14th. They will collect the bags filled with food donations to BTAC on November 21st.

Nov 18. Woodbury University students and faculty may donate canned food at the campus' annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Woodbury University is located at 7500 Glenoaks Blvd.

Nov 19. Warner Bros employees will contribute by preparing Thanksgiving food bags at BTAC from 1-3pm.

Nov 19. Remax-in-Action Realty will donate and deliver 100 turkeys to BTAC at 1:30pm.

Nov 19. Century 21, Paul and Associates will donate and deliver to BTAC potatoes for client Thanksgiving meals.

Nov 21. Burbank Jaycees Operation Gobbler food drive will be held at Pavillions at 1110 W. Alameda Ave. from 10am to 4pm.

Nov 21. Roaders Car Club will hold a food drive at its car show outside Ivy's Flower Station in Glendale's Kenneth Village in the 1400 block of Kenneth Road, from 5pm-8pm.

Nov 22. Burbank Ministerial Association will hold an Interfaith Service at Burbank Temple Emanu El at 7:30pm, and food and cash donations to BTAC will be welcomed. The service will be held at 1302 N. Glenoaks Blvd.

Nov 30 Walt Disney Studios is holding a special screening of its latest animated film The Princess and the Frog at 7:00pm on the Disney lot. Guests will also have access to an interactive display on one of the sound stages! Tickets are $50.00 and all proceeds will go directly to BTAC.

Employee Food Drives:



All month long the following businesses will hold food drives for their employees: City of Burbank, Aramark Uniform Services, and My Eye Media.

Yahoo will hold its annual Turkey Drive and The Writers and Producers Guild of America will conduct a food drive for employees throughout the week of November 16th.

Warner Bros. will conduct a lot-wide food drive for BTAC starting November 16th, and running through December 23rd.

SPARK OF LOVE:



ALL BURBANK FIRE STATIONS: Starting November 30th and continuing through Christmas all Fire Stations will be collecting toys and athletic equipment to be distributed to children and families in need.

THE METROLINK HOLIDAY TRAIN: On December 11th, at the Metrolink Station in Burbank, the fire department will host The Metrolink Holiday Train. The event will take place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and will feature the train adorned in lights and holiday cheer! Activities will include carolers, snacks, hot cocoa and of course the main guest on the Holiday Train: SANTA CLAUS!

Attendees should bring a toy for the Spark of Love to make others' holiday joyful as well.

BTAC NEED'S LIST



We have an especially urgent need for donations to support our food pantry!



At this time, BTAC is only permitted to accept contributions of commercially prepared, unopened food. We cannot accept homemade food items.



BTAC needs the following supplies year-round: Macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, canned soups, canned meats (chicken, tuna, etc.), rice, pasta, instant potatoes, pancake mixes, syrup, personal hygiene supplies such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, and deodorant. Canned goods with easy-open pull-tabs are especially appreciated.



Please, no ramen noodles, or exotic, specialty-food items!



Source: Burbank Temporary Aid Center News Release and Burbank City Council Meeting, Nov. 3, 2009

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Super Dad? Just Call Me Mario

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I'm often referred to as Super Dad by a few friends. It's flattering but I don't think of myself as anyone doing anything above and beyond what I am supposed to do. If anything I'm always looking for opportunities to volunteer more. At times I sacrifice the time that I should be using to focus on my business.



When I worked full-time and didn't have a flexible schedule I hated having to ask for the time off to attend the kids' functions. This is what drove me to become a Realtor. I actually work more hours but I'm able to create my schedule around the children. I know many fathers out there would love to be able to be at all of the kids functions and can't because of work. I know those fathers make up for it on the weekends. Lot of my friends are in that same boat and if you're envious of me, let me tell you that I'm envious of your steady paycheck.



I am able to do the things I do because of the support I receive from great family and friends. Nine years ago when I was entering single fatherhood I made a decision early on to welcome people into my life that shared a love for my children. I know at the time I had mixed feelings of how I was going to do this. I went through my divorce with a lot of pain and anger towards my ex. I learned quickly that this was a very unhealthy attitude for me and my children. As a man I had a lot of pride and I see single moms deal with the same kind of pride that blinds them from seeing what is best for their children. I quickly put my pride aside and accepted the help being offered. Yes this included my ex-wife's family.



My ex obviously has her own issues and demons to deal with and 9 years later I still offer words of encouragement in order for her to try to salvage any type of relationship she can with her children. My ex-in-laws and I are very close and keeping them involved in my kids' lives has been very beneficial to them and myself.



I am a father who is actively involved with his kids but they have sacrificed because of it. I can't always afford to get them what they want and as they become teenagers that becomes even tougher on them. There are times that I'm ashamed because I am not yet the multi-millionaire that I thought I was going to be when I was 18 but I appreciate the lessons that I am able to teach them about life, finances, and balance. I will always struggle to find balance but that is how I want it. I always want to be looking for ways of improving.



What I am trying to lead into is that as a single parent life can be tough. There has been women doing it for years by themselves and I've used them as inspiration. When I think life is tough I take a step back and realize that there is always someone else out there that has it tougher. This message is for single parents or married couples. When life is throwing an obstacle in your path, keep in mind that others have had it happen to them. Look for a support group or that special friend that will fill you with enough positive vibes to turn your life around. For those of you that everything going right help spread some love and extend a hand to someone in need. We have so many resources out there that nobody should ever feel alone.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fairtax Could Have Prevented This Financial Mess

No real data to back me up because I don't get paid to write. This is all based on theory. Check out http://www.fairtax.org/ for yourself and figure out for yourself if this is a better system.



I think we all can agree that the unsustainable rise in real estate is what contributed to the recent economic collapse. Home prices in many areas rose at a rapid pace because new loan programs made it very simple to buy a home. The amount of home buyers drastically increased while inventory levels remained low. Many of us thought how can most people afford the average home price in Los Angeles County when it was reaching a median price around $530k? Under traditional underwriting standards you needed an annual income of more than $120k. So how did people making $50k annually qualify?



Stated income loans, 100% financing, interest only payments, and the worst one the negative amortization loan. These products is what made it affordable. People took on payments and many of them unfortunately were misled to believe that they can eventually refinance into a lower fixed payment because values were building instant equity. What if values went down or just flat-lined? This is the question failed to be asked or explained by the professionals.



How could the Fairtax have prevented this? Stated income loans were created for self-employed who have a tendency to write off a lot of their expenses to keep from paying income taxes. You mean cheat the IRS? It's a fine line that's walked but many will try to explain that every single lunch they had was business related. Sorry I let the cat out of the bag. Not only would the Fairtax create jobs and growth but it will switch the burden of paying taxes on income to paying a national retail sales tax. Those who spend more pay more. No more class warfare because the choice of paying taxes is yours and your spending habits.



Stated Income loans should have never been used for wage earners and it would have never been needed for self employed borrowers if we had a tax system like the Fairtax.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Message to Buyers - Patience is a Virtue

You were convinced to get off the fence and start searching to buy a home. Maybe it was even me who convinced you using the low interest rates, depreciated values, the first time homebuyer tax credit, or any combination of all three. The only problem is that thousands of other buyers were also convinced. Now the deadline for one to qualify for the tax credit is right around the corner and there isn't any certainty that a short sale will close on time and traditional and REO listings are getting multiple offers that you just can't find yourself getting the winning bid.

This experience can be very frustrating. You look for someone to blame and naturally we blame our agents. These Realtors aren't doing their job. They say they can sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo and they can't convince the seller to sell to me. As agents we understand the emotions that one can experience and we know the blame game comes with the territory. We will do our best to hold your hand through the process and educate you to what is happening in the market. As Realtors we are looking after our client's best interest first and not after our own pocketbooks. With that said let's keep in mind that we also have bills to pay and would love to get you in a home as soon as possible but we are going to guide you in making the best decision possible and not exceeding your budget or the market value of the home.

Why do we care that you stay within your budget? Let's look at the current environment. Many people exceeded what they can afford and look at what has happened to the market. Instead of consistent growth we had rapid growth with rapid decline and that has affected our economy in a negative way. People that lose their homes blame their lenders and their agents. Looking at the condition of some of these foreclosures you can tell that the previous owner took their frustration out on the house. Last thing I want as a Realtor is for this to happen to someone and for them to tell their network of friends and family that it was my fault. Those Realtors that think this way are still practicing real estate today.

Why do we talk you out of making offers above market value? If the value comes back lower than was expected than the lender is only going to lend to you based on that value. So if you really want the home you will have to tap into your savings and cover the difference. This is not advisable because any financial planner will tell you that you should have an emergency fund. Buying your new home is going to result in a lot of expenses and some impulsive ones because you noticed that one wall needs a frame and the entry way needs a vase and don't forget the new dining set. The last thing you want to do is rely on credit cards to make these purchases. The people bidding most likely have that extra cash. I don't mean to sound cliché but in this market it is true when they say, "cash is king".

I truly believe that the right house is out there for everyone. I always go back and ask more experienced people their opinion on what is happening today. Here is what I have learned. Some of our parents, most of our grandparents bought things they could afford. They were taught to save for their purchases and budget their money. They did not need a tax credit to convince them to buy. You do not want to get caught up in a bidding war just to receive that tax credit. Does it really make sense to overpay $8k plus to receive $8k. If you are financially ready to buy then a good deal will present it. If you do not make the deadline for the tax credit, that might result in buyers leaving the market and therefore you not getting into a bidding war. You might actually save more than $8k from being patient. One other thing I learned and this was from my own parents was that it took them 2 years to find their home. Mortgage interest deduction for my father did not matter cause with three boys to claim he had enough deductions on his small salary. They bought because it made sense to make a mortgage payment rather than paying someone rent. They bought when they had enough money saved up to make a decent down payment. They paid off their mortgage years ago because they lived within a budget. They are debt free and have little to worry about during retirement. My parents migrated hear from Guatemala and worked their butts off in jobs that most of us will not take but have more financial literacy than their son who has a graduate degree.

Patience will pay off so continue to work with your Realtor and if that means that you have to rent a little longer than consider it a blessing to continue to save money and get a better deal down the road.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Protect Your Children

As we get ready for back to school and other activities we get a little overwhelmed. Please remember our primary focus is the safety of our kids. Please talk to your children about good touch and bad touch. Let them know that it is okay for them to talk about anything that makes them uncomfortable.



Many child predators look at volunteer jobs as a way to get closer to children. Make sure that you monitor any programs where your child is participating. Make sure these programs require criminal background checks for anyone that has access to the children. As a parent you must make sure that you have had some face to face time with any coaches and volunteers. Also make sure that there is a written policy about how to deal with the prevention of any molestation or abuse issues.



As a parent, volunteer, or teacher you must get familiar with any warning signs. It is our responsibility to report and bring forward any suspicious behavior. Here are a few that predators may use:



* Always wants to be alone with children.

* Too much touching.

* Allows children to participate in activities that you would not allow.

* Shows children pornography.

* Bad language or dirty jokes around children.

* Gifts to children without your permission.



If you are aware of some of these signs and participate in your children's activities you will decrease your chances of your child being a victim. Communication with your kids and communication with the people involved is crucial. I don't like to write about these types of things that scare people or set a negative tone but I hate to hear about child abuse even more. Please do all you can to keep our children safe.

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Protect Your Children

As we get ready for back to school and other activities we get a little overwhelmed. Please remember our primary focus is the safety of our kids. Please talk to your children about good touch and bad touch. Let them know that it is okay for them to talk about anything that makes them uncomfortable.



Many child predators look at volunteer jobs as a way to get closer to children. Make sure that you monitor any programs where your child is participating. Make sure these programs require criminal background checks for anyone that has access to the children. As a parent you must make sure that you have had some face to face time with any coaches and volunteers. Also make sure that there is a written policy about how to deal with the prevention of any molestation or abuse issues.



As a parent, volunteer, or teacher you must get familiar with any warning signs. It is our responsibility to report and bring forward any suspicious behavior. Here are a few that predators may use:



* Always wants to be alone with children.

* Too much touching.

* Allows children to participate in activities that you would not allow.

* Shows children pornography.

* Bad language or dirty jokes around children.

* Gifts to children without your permission.



If you are aware of some of these signs and participate in your children's activities you will decrease your chances of your child being a victim. Communication with your kids and communication with the people involved is crucial. I don't like to write about these types of things that scare people or set a negative tone but I hate to hear about child abuse even more. Please do all you can to keep our children safe.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Make Social Responsibility Law

Our President says we should all have the same opportunity. Our taxes are used to fund programs to provide these opportunities but that is still not enough. Does President Obama forget what country he became president of?



This country has become one of the richest nations because of its citizens. We have many self-made millionaires. We have had people go from homeless to riches. What other opportunities are being held from us. There are social inequalities but that is what pushes some us harder. These same inequalities sometimes bring people tumbling down to poverty levels. We have all seen the examples but for some reason some of us think that we have to do right for the injustices of the past and even some of the present. Napoleon Hill has a formula and it's quantity of work + quality of work = compensation. This is a formula that works for everyone and if you have an employer that doesn't see your value, his competitor will.



Our government has decided that they should be the source of charitable giving but the last statistic I heard was that 8 cents of every dollar goes to the beneficiary of that charity when organizations like the American Red Cross get 90 cents of every dollar to its intended beneficiary. It's been proven that government departments are inefficient. They never operate under their budget because they fear their budget being cut in the following fiscal year, so there's no incentive to come under budget. If we allowed charities to be responsible for helping those in need we'd have 2 results. More efficient use of the money and less dependence on charitable help. When people collect welfare from the government they encounter government employees that encourage it and no longer feel guilty receiving the help. If they're going to their local church they are going to want to get off the help as soon as possible and eventually pay it forward. I am not one to say that if you need the help you should not get it but we might want to talk to an expert in social studies to why one is more likely to get off assistance faster when they are getting the help from someone other than the government.



What I am trying to say is that our government needs to slim down and go back to what our founding fathers' foresight was for this country. As consumers we have more information at our fingertips and we will award those socially responsible companies. We are a generous group of Americans and we will continue to give to charities. Give us back our freedom and money and the creative and innovative brains will come back into the marketplace and create a booming economy once again.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Make Social Responsibility Law

Our President says we should all have the same opportunity. Our taxes are used to fund programs to provide these opportunities but that is still not enough. Does President Obama forget what country he became president of?



This country has become one of the richest nations because of its citizens. We have many self-made millionaires. We have had people go from homeless to riches. What other opportunities are being held from us. There are social inequalities but that is what pushes some us harder. These same inequalities sometimes bring people tumbling down to poverty levels. We have all seen the examples but for some reason some of us think that we have to do right for the injustices of the past and even some of the present. Napoleon Hill has a formula and it's quantity of work + quality of work = compensation. This is a formula that works for everyone and if you have an employer that doesn't see your value, his competitor will.



Our government has decided that they should be the source of charitable giving but the last statistic I heard was that 8 cents of every dollar goes to the beneficiary of that charity when organizations like the American Red Cross get 90 cents of every dollar to its intended beneficiary. It's been proven that government departments are inefficient. They never operate under their budget because they fear their budget being cut in the following fiscal year, so there's no incentive to come under budget. If we allowed charities to be responsible for helping those in need we'd have 2 results. More efficient use of the money and less dependence on charitable help. When people collect welfare from the government they encounter government employees that encourage it and no longer feel guilty receiving the help. If they're going to their local church they are going to want to get off the help as soon as possible and eventually pay it forward. I am not one to say that if you need the help you should not get it but we might want to talk to an expert in social studies to why one is more likely to get off assistance faster when they are getting the help from someone other than the government.



What I am trying to say is that our government needs to slim down and go back to what our founding fathers' foresight was for this country. As consumers we have more information at our fingertips and we will award those socially responsible companies. We are a generous group of Americans and we will continue to give to charities. Give us back our freedom and money and the creative and innovative brains will come back into the marketplace and create a booming economy once again.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day


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Buy "Forever" Stamps

Don't forget that postage is increasing from 42 cents to 44 cents on May 11, 2008. "Forever" stamps are always honored because they don't have a denomination on it. If you use a lot of postage you might want to run out and buy some "Forever" stamps before the increase and pick up your mom something nice while you're out there.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Great Time to Start Your Own Business

Many people, including some real estate agents, do not know that a real estate agent is a small business owner. Okay some agents are big business owners and I'll admit that I'm not at that level yet. Most agents are independent contractors and are responsible for their own taxes and insurance. This allows them to take advantage of many of the tax loopholes offered to small business owners.



Robert Kiyosaki has introduced us to his Cash Flow Quadrant. The quadrant is made up of employees, small business owner, big business owner and investor. The majority of us like the stability we get as an employee. We are starting to realize that is not so stable. In Robert Kiyosaki's book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" his rich dad diversified himself in the quadrant and took advantage of the tax loopholes offered to all sectors.



What is my pitch? In these tough economic times we need to reinvent ourselves and sometimes diversify our income sources. For those of you who are still employed, you should be looking at ways of creating an income source. For those of you who have recently been laid off you should also be looking at doing the same. Being a real estate agent is not for everyone and I am not suggesting it for everyone. For those of you who enjoy talking to others about financial independence, investing, and/or homes then you should consider starting your own business in real estate.



This is a field that doesn't have huge barriers of entry. You don't even have to buy any inventory. The start up cost is very minimal. It is not a pyramid scheme. It is a business that revolves around relationships. Understanding that owning a home is beneficial to most and for many is the only investment that they will ever make. You are selling a dream and although the financial payoff can be good the biggest reward is knowing you helped someone.



I'm always looking for agents that are self motivated and independent but for those who are just starting I do love to coach and get you to that level where you are independent. I'm also always looking for agents in other areas that I can refer clients to. If you're interested in finding out how you can start or how you can make money from referrals, call or email me.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who Said You Get What You Pay For?

I want to clarify that many people in my industry give away free advice all the time. Does this mean it doesn't have value? No! We do it to develop relationships. We know that if we can help friends, family, prospects, or strangers that it comes back to us in the form of goodwill.



I have written in the past that in California we can not charge upfront fees unless it has been approved with the Department of Real Estate. Therefore most of us represent buyers at no cost to the buyer and we get paid by splitting commission with the listing agent.



Yes this is tough especially during these times but our biggest reward is seeing people get ahead and achieve the American Dream. Once again I'll extend the offer to all of you. If you have a question regarding real estate feel free to email me or call me and I guarantee you'll get a good answer without any type of sales pressure.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green Job Seeker Passes Out Paper Resumes

I am watching the news and they mention this guy in Henderson, Nevada seeking a green job. The difference is that he was holding a cardboard sign along the road and passing out resumes.

I would think that someone looking for a green job would be think green also by submitting resumes online. Well maybe he used recycled paper.

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Raises During These Hard Times?

When a company is having hard financial times all of the employees and executives are asked to tighten their belts. Hiring and raises are frozen. They work together to get over the hurdle. This is how it should be but not when you are getting your money from the taxpayers.



In Sacramento they just awarded raises to staff of legislators. This is insulting to the taxpayers, especially for the 8.5% plus that are now unemployed. This is just another example of how legislators are out of touch with the citizens they govern. I have to rank this act of stupidity right up there with bonuses that AIG paid out. Oh yeah they also got their money from taxpayers.



They keep on saying that we only have short term memory and soon will forget these acts of stupidity. Let's prove them wrong and really show these guys that we do not like them spending our tax money. Vote these guys out of office and let's put some fiscally conservative people in office.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

No Dunkin' Donuts in California, What?

So this weekend I decided that I would try to see what all the hype was about Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. Then the shock, there aren't any in California. Any investors out there you might want to jump on a franchise opportunity cause I hear that during this recession people are choosing to get their coffee at cheaper places as long as it's good coffee. I guess I'll stick to McDonalds for now.

By the way Dunkin' Donuts has a promo on their iced coffee April 21, 2009. They are donating a percentage of their iced coffee sales to Homes for Our Troops. That would've have made a lot of money in southern CA because of the summer type weather we are having. Come on Dunkin' Donuts stop ignoring us here on the west coast.

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Obama's Latest Budget Cuts

Thank you Mr. President for trying. Cutting is definitely something we need in order to avoid future tax hikes. Obviously he is going to take a lot of heat because the cuts are a small fraction of the $3 trillion budgeted for spending.

I have an idea let's get as much money back from the bailouts and keep the current cuts and come up with some more. Let people choose where they want to spend or if they want to save their taxes. I suggest to save so that banks can conservatively lend.

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I Applaud Miss California

Too many times in this day and age we end up with well intentioned laws that result in an economic crisis because people are scared to speak their mind. In the Miss Universe pageant Miss California hesitated when asked what she thought about gay marriage. I am sure she hesitated because she thought should I say what I really feel or do I say what is politically correct and win this contest.

I applaud her for taking the high road and not taking the path of least resistance. A lot of you might disagree and turn this into a gay rights versus homophobia discussion but that is not why I am writing this. All I am saying is that I respect her for not being a hypocrite and taking the road of less resistance. For the record I don't believe the government should have any say who they recognize as married or domestic partnerships. If there are churches out there that want to marry gay couples then more power to you. Let people live their lives and let's not force our will on people.

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818 Area Code

Those living in Glendale, Burbank, and the rest of the San Fernando Valley please remember that now you must dial 818 to dial another number with the same area code. We now have an overlapping area code, 747. Some phone numbers will be duplicated. When dialing an 818 or 747 phone number you have to dial 1 + the area code + the number.

Another friendly reminder from Mario Villagran :)

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Beware of Tax Scams

At the pace our government is spending money I can only conclude that our taxes will have to go up. With that said please remember that fear is a huge selling tool for many especially scam artist. Here are the top tax scams according to the IRS, http://tinyurl.com/c9nrbj.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cancelling Credit Cards

Well I learned this the hard way and just thought I'd pass it on. I am trying to rely only on the money I make and not use credit cards. I decided to close all of them. This past weekend I wanted to rent a van for my daughter's birthday trip to Magic Mountain. Well car rental companies will not rent unless you have a major credit card. They wouldn't even take a deposit. Now I know I should keep at least one for emergency and travel purposes.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Happy Good Friday to everyone. The kids and I will be taking some time out of the day to observe the Cross and remember the sacrifice that was made for all of us. If there's ever a time to be thankful for what you have, now is the time.

Enjoy your life, enjoy your family, and enjoy your surroundings this Easter weekend. Love everyone and it will be returned to you. Http://www.catholic.org

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Loan Modifications are on the Rise

Despite a lot of bad press lately, loan modifications do seem to be on the rise. In the past few months I've witnessed a few offers to my clients and I had my buyers lose a home that they had an accepted offer on cause the sellers received a modification. Just today a client called and they had Green Credit Solutions negotiate a modification with Indy Mac Federal.



The terms of this offer were 3% for the next 5 years interest only. After 5 years the rate would be capped at 4.875% and the payment would include principal. The $7500 she owed in arrears is put on the back end. This client had an option arm and was paying the negative amortization payment. This offer is a great deal for my client. I told her to take it and apply as much as possible to the principal so that when the 5 years is up she has paid down her balance significantly. I would like to tell you that I know she'll have equity in 5 years but my crystal ball's batteries just died. The key is that she is able to stay in her home with a payment that allows her to have peace of mind.



I am sure Green Credit Solutions charged her an upfront fee. I am also sure that they earned their money. There are a lot of good companies out there that deserve to get paid for their services and a lot of fraudulent companies that deserve to go to jail for defrauding people. How do you know which ones are legitimate? That is the problem. Loan modification seems to be a growing business in these tough times and because of that we have very little oversight.



I have always said that one of our government's duties is to protect us against fraud. The problem with our government is they react and are never proactive. The con artist are usually one step ahead in the beginning and only get caught because of their greed. Here in California anyone that negotiates anything that has to do with real estate has to be licensed. Yes this does include mortgages unless they are hiding under an institution's California Finance Lender license. An attorney is also exempt from having to be a real estate licensee. The first thing I would do is go to http://www.hud.gov/ and click on the link for the administrations "make my home affordable" plan. This is the free help that they are talking about. Not really free cause it is subsidized by our taxes but that's another conversation. If you do not feel like the counselors can help you or if they tell you they can not then do your research before paying someone upfront. Most people I have talked to felt like they needed to hire someone because the administration's plan only allows for the loan to be 105% over the current value of the home. A lot of people that I have come across are at least 20% over their current value. When you research a company get referrals, make sure you are hiring a company with attorneys or an attorney directly. If you hire a company that says they are attorney based, then check with your department of real estate to see if that company is licensed. In California the site is http://www.dre.ca.gov/.



Keep this in mind, if more home mortgages are being modified and avoiding short sale or even foreclosure, we will have less homes on the market. This will help stabilize home prices and eventually get to a normal market. Home prices will begin to appreciate in a normal market as they historically have. If you are someone thinking about walking away from your home just because you are upside down, be patient the housing market always appreciates in the long run.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

CWA and AT&T Please Work It Out

It is no secret that CWA's contract with AT&T is about to expire. It is also no secret that corporations are trying to make certain cuts right now. I just hope that AT&T realizes that the reason they have grown to the size that they are is because of its workers on the front line. These are your everyday blue collar workers that cannot afford to miss a check or have a cut in their pay or benefits. The American people are tired of seeing the corporate executives make off like bandits while everyone else struggles. AT&T you will not get any sympathy from your consumers or shareholders if you are just trying to cut at the lower level. Take care of your employees and they will take care of you. You cannot afford to have consumers switch their services because you failed to recognize your employees.



CWA please make sure that you are doing everything possible to work things out with AT&T. One problem that I have had with unions in the past is that they even protect workers that do not deserve protection. It almost becomes like a socialist state where everyone gets the same despite the quality of work. There does come a time when corporations have to make cuts so as long as they are making them across the board please be willing to give a little. I would hate to see what happened to the grocery store workers happen to your membership.



I am a supporter of CWA and AT&T but competition has increased a lot in the last few years and if I have to deal with bad service or interruptions because a strike then I will change my services and probably never come back. I am sure that I am not the only one.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Unemployment Numbers

I just read that unemployment is at its worst since 1982. I'm sure the numbers being reported are as accurate as can be considering our flawed system.

What I mean is that I've been around the block enough times to know that some people are out there getting paid under the table. Employers like to be able to pay under the table also because they then avoid payroll taxes. Just judging from the amount of traffic I see on a daily basis I know that people in Los Angeles are doing well. Yes people are scared but that's okay cause I'd rather have growth that's not based on credit.

If we were to have a fair tax or a national sales tax then we can hire more IRS officers to police the collection of taxes and some employees will actually see a raise because their employers will save money.

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Home Buyer Refundable Tax Credit

Just wanted to remind everyone that the home buyers tax credit to purchase a home in 2009 can be claimed on this years taxes. If you have already filed you can always amend your taxes. This is a refundable tax credit up to $8000. Call me for more information, 818-416-7511 or leave a comment here.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Real Time Numbers not Historical Numbers

I am off to get an offer signed and double check another property before signing another offer. Recession is almost over don't believe the media. These are observations from my personal experiences but I have noticed that my personal experiences have been a better thermostat for what is happening. Gas prices are low and so are prices. True that people are still being laid off but other companies are hiring. It is time to reinvent yourself and get into a growing industry. Do not rely on being at one job the rest of your life but continue to grow and adapt.



I am also going to ask to get proactive because the only thing that will slow down our recovery are the pending tax hikes from all of the bailouts. Write to your congressmen and women and let them know that you will vote them out if they vote for another bailout or another tax increase. Enforce the current tax laws and catch the tax cheats. Legalize marijuana and prostitution and you have another revenue source. Let's start some dialogue about my last proposition.

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Sales Tax Increase

Ok I know we are still only 2 days away from the increase but I just looked at my lease statement and it increased by $3 because of the increase. This is ridiculous cause now I'm going to speed up those payments and payoff my car sooner which won't benefit anybody but me. That means I am going to cut back on other spending in order to make that happen. I guess the only companies that will benefit are going to be the makers of Spam and Ramen cause that's what the kids and I will be eating while we make all these cut backs in our family budget. I refuse to give the state anymore money cause they are just so inefficient.



To all my friends who are hired by the state I apologize but I know most of you have admitted to me that the state empowers administrators too much and employees too little. So in the end all you have is bureaucratic heavy departments.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Love Your Life

I am sitting here thinking about my life. I love everything about it. Sure sometimes my life has knocked me on my a$$ but how I get up is what defines my character. All my experiences good or bad has made me who I am and I wouldn't change a thing. I love my life and when I finally realized that, things started falling into place.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Temporary Tax Increase!

This is not an April Fools joke! Californians will be hit with another so called temporary increase in the sales tax on April 1st. This is a one percent increase. I am very curious to know how many of the past temporary increases were ever repealed.



These smart politicians decide to make things more expensive during a recession just because they cannot control their spending. I remember someone being quoted saying that they would not increase taxes during a recession. I guess this just means personal income taxes but raising taxes on everything else is okay. How many people out there purchase items from other states just to avoid the California sales tax? I don't think California's politicians get it and they think that people are actually reporting how many items they have purchased from other states on their state income tax return. You are not going to generate much tax revenue during a recession and so you must cut your spending.



Thank you to all of those politicians who have approved this tax increase. Thank you for prolonging California's recovery. When will they get it? If they want to regulate something then make it mandatory for our politicians to take courses on economics and not just econ 101. If there's a petition to recall circulating please send it my way.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Understanding My Purpose

There are times that I question if what I am doing in life is what I am supposed to be doing. Okay I question it a lot. Being in real estate is a struggle. There are so many factors that are out of my control. Then I spend money to try to make money and by the time I get additional business I need to figure out where to get more money so I can advertise. It becomes a vicious circle and many are lucky to have spouses that could support them and here I am as a single parent making my kids sacrifice right along with me as I try to build my business.

Days like today make me realize that the struggle is well worth it and it is not because I'll be receiving a commission check soon. I just helped someone get into a home. This is their biggest purchase so far and a giant step for the newlyweds. Soon they'll start their family there and have many Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. I played a big role in this purchase. This was their first real step in building wealth aside from having a savings account. I love this feeling.

Best of all they will benefit from the $8000 refundable tax credit and the mortgage interest deduction. Their payments are now building equity instead of just going down the drain like the rent. I taught renters how to become homeowners and I'm able to do this on a mass scale thanks to the internet and have time to do something else that I love, spend time with the kids.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Presidential Motorcade

I was able to witness the Presidential Motorcade around 3:15 pm today as I was trying to get on the 5 Freeway north by the LA Zoo. All of us were stopped from getting on the freeway when I realized he must be on his way to the Tonight Show. So first socialism and now traffic, great. I am just kidding and taking a cheap shot. It was actually pretty cool. I've never witnessed this before and my only regret was that the kids were still at school and did not witness it with me.

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Checks & Balances

Thank God that our founding fathers were a lot smarter than our today's legislatures. They are flexing their muscle today and trying to tax the bonuses that AIG paid out 90% to 100%. The problem is that this is contract law and the legislature is just doing a dog and pony show right now. They should have never given them the money to begin with and allow for AIG to restructure under our current bankruptcy laws.



I know there is a big debate whether what they are doing is constitutional or not but it brings me to my point. Eventually this will go to the court system and it will be determined then. If you ask me AIG has been defrauding us from the beginning and if they investigate them properly they will be able to get the tax money back. Now next elections please vote out any incumbent that voted for yea for any of the bailouts and vote in anybody else. We cannot allow for government to corrupt itself by giving itself more and more power. Next thing you know I can't even write something like this. Oh wait maybe I should keep quiet for a while.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Inappropriate Use of Tax Money

So President Obama says that AIG represents inappropriate use of tax money. This is just like me giving the homeless guy off the freeway off ramp with a sign "need money for booze" some money and getting mad cause he bought some booze. We knew that these guys were unethical before the first bailout and then they threw a huge party and we continued to give them money.



Mr. President the true inappropriate use of tax money is how our politicians just continue to hand it out and reward bad behavior. Yes it is true that he has inherited this problem but now that you are in charge please listen to the American people and let us get back to a free market. Our government is responsible for protecting us from fraud and prosecuting those that defraud us. Instead of prosecuting we just keep giving them a check.



We complain that we are at a disadvantage when it comes to trade. When they have these G20 conferences what is it that they talk about? Are they not trying to even up the playing field? We just did the same thing that we complain other governments do and subsidized an industry. We need to lead by example and let the free market take its course.



Listen to the American taxpayers. We believe in the United States and we know that we will rebound. We believe in taking risks and learning from our mistakes. We do not believe in our hard earned money being used to reward failure. The only ones benefiting from these bailouts are the highest income earners. I thought the democrats platform was based on helping the middle class and yet the middle class is about to pay the biggest price.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Burbank Parochial League 2009 - SRB

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A while ago I wrote about my t-ball team and how proud I was of them. On Sunday March 15, 2009 we had our picnic. This is a great time for the kids and parents to get together for some games and great bbq. Most importantly you get to feel the love that we all have for our kids.

As a rookie coach I was initiated by being put behind the grill and having to chop up some tomatoes. Thank God for the beautiful day. We also had egg toss, water balloon toss, 3 legged races and much more.

We concluded the festivities with trophies and gift cards to the kids that have played since T-ball and this was their final year cause now it is off to high school. The "A" division which is made up of 8th and 7th graders won the Championship for SRB.

I wrote before that I was honored just by being a part of these kids' lives and them showing me that they improved throughout the season and then they surprised me with a gift. I was really touched by this gift and so I had to share it. If you cannot make out the picture, it is a Mets Jersey with all of the kids' hand prints. I strongly recommend the Burbank Parochial League for anyone in the area. Sign ups for next season are held in October and for more information go to http://www.bplbaseball.com/

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beware Non-Licensees!

Just read through my CA Real Estate Magazine and read that penalties for non-licensees is $20k and/or 6 months in a county jail. A corporation is subject to a fine of $60k. I wish they would offer a reward cause I could probably make a living reporting all these people that are required to have a license but for some reason will not get licensed.
When dealing in real estate matters please make sure that the person you are dealing with is licensed. First of all it is not that hard to get licensed so you have to ask yourself why one would not get licensed. Second of all licensing is one way that they try to protect the general public. If you are interested in this law look up California Business & Professions Code Section 10139.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Runaway Production in Los Angeles

Studios are making economic decisions to film in other geographic areas other than Los Angeles. So our city legislatures decide to offer incentives to keep production in Los Angeles. Good idea but why is it only applied to one industry?



If you make it inexpensive for a business to operate and then they will operate in your district. The jobs will attract labor who demands other services and housing. Taxes are collected on the sales of goods and services and so more revenue is generated by the city. Now if we just cut out the unnecessary spending we would have a productive local government. Tax incentives or lower taxes should be offered to all industries.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

2009 St. Robert Bellarmine Mets - T-ball

My t-ball season came to an end yesterday as we took on the 1st seeded team, St. Finbar Phillies. It was one of the best games of the year and I couldn't have asked my kids for any more than what they gave me.



These kids were having fun and playing their hearts out. My team was made up of a lot of 5 and 6 year olds and the other team was a lot of 7 year olds. Anybody that knows the league would have told you that the Phillies were going to sweep the floor with us. They were a very dominant team throughout the season and came in to the tournament with only one loss. As my kids started to score you can see the frustration of the other coaches setting in and at the end they felt real lucky to escape with a win by just 3 points.



Despite my team being very young I was amazed how they soaked in the instructions given to them by myself and my other coaches. I gave them a pep talk before the game and you could tell that they believed that they were champions and they played just like champions. I wish I could keep all of my kids together for next season but since our Parish keeps things very fair we go through a draft process and keep all the teams evenly matched. I was taught a lot by my kids yesterday. They showed me that competition can and should always be fun. When it's all over the most important thing is that we had the opportunity to play and we gave it our all. The best gift that I got from my team was that I saw them learn and improve throughout the season. That is how I know I did my job.



I highly recommend the Burbank Parochial League to anyone in the Burbank area. It's fun, competitive, and filled with great coaches that truly care about the development of every child involved. There are four churches involved in the Burbank Parochial League, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Francis Xavier, St. Patrick of North Hollywood, and St. Finbar. For more information check out the website http://www.bplbaseball.com/. I hope to see some of you at sign ups in October. Also championship Sunday is next week. Check out the schedule to see what division your child would play in and check out the championship game next week.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mastermind Alliance

We normally hear about forming a mastermind alliance when it comes to business. This was made popular by Napoleon Hill in "Think and Grow Rich". What we commonly forget is that we need a mastermind alliance in our personal lives.
I am a single father and I knew from the beginning that I was going to lean on my friends and family a lot. The past 2 weeks I've come to recognize that my close friends and family are my mastermind alliance. These are people that have been there for me and my kids. They all share the common goal of seeing each other succeed. What I love about them is that we all share a sense of loyalty to each other and it's unspoken. I love my mastermind alliance deeply and I'm not just saying this cause I had a few drinks :).
I suggest for everyone to make sure you surround yourself with good friends and family. Accept the help when it's offered and don't allow for pride to turn help away.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tax Time

Tax time again and some of you are done while others are waiting until the April 15th deadline. For those of you who are single and just starting your career, you are just realizing what a big chunk Uncle Sam takes. It was 13.5 years ago that I was in your situation. My brother and I began to look around to invest and there was plenty of foreclosures to buy. I would still have equity had I bought but life threw me a curve ball, my ex-wife.

That's another story but learn from me and talk to your cpa or tax preparer about the mortgage interest deduction or depreciating investment property. Right now there are many opportunities. Look all I'm saying is that in my life I've stepped in it and I'm just trying to show you where it's at so you don't step in it too. Take advantage of this market.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Government is Making an A$$ Out of You & Me

I would love to tell you were the exact flaws are in the stimulus plan but I can't because just like most legislatures, I have not read it. What I want to mention is that the stimulus plan is making the assumption that people will get into debt in order to continue to shop and that banks will begin to lend money. The money going out does not have any guarantees to get paid back except in the form of raising taxes. What if our nation becomes a nation that saves more than spends and the banks still don't lend money. What we need is economic expansion and to attract foreign investment cause we just can't keep recycling our own money in our economy. Small companies provide expansion but the government still makes it expensive for a small company to run. Lower payroll taxes and you will begin to see more companies hire. Stop protectionism and allow our companies to compete freely.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good Intentions are not Free!

I have started to read Obama's book and just from the prologue I know where this book is headed. Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished and the amount of hope people have because of him. He went up against all kinds of odds to get where he is at and now he believes that we would be better off if everyone got a free ride. He wants the government to pay for everyone's opportunity.



This idea has good intentions behind it but it comes at a cost. Government would have to pay for those who could not afford it and so basically that means Joe and Jane taxpayer are going to have to pay more taxes. This would drive down the incentive for someone to work while they went to school or to start a savings for school. How about those who build character and develop their drive from having to struggle? As far as I remember our country is full of opportunities for rich and poor.



The other night Obama mentioned that he just could not sit around and do nothing. Cutting payroll taxes is not doing nothing and it would lower the cost for all businesses and allow them to hire. His argument against giving taxes back is that people will not spend it. These are the same people that he says in his book that must be trusted to choose for themselves. He also says that consumer spending alone can not get us out of this mess. If people don't spend then that means they are saving and therefore the banks do not need a bailout cause they can make more money by making more loans. The people borrowing are now spending and putting money back into the economy. How much of our GDP do we expect government spending to be? I do not think we can develop a dependency on our government being a big percentage or else we will just have to keep raising taxes and eventually become a socialist country. I guess that is one way to fix our immigration issue cause at that point immigrants will just decide to stay in their own countries. Opportunities and Innovation will cease to exist. That my friends is why you should be scared.

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Good Intentions are not Free!

I have started to read Obama's book and just from the prologue I know where this book is headed. Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished and the amount of hope people have because of him. He went up against all kinds of odds to get where he is at and now he believes that we would be better off if everyone got a free ride. He wants the government to pay for everyone's opportunity.



This idea has good intentions behind it but it comes at a cost. Government would have to pay for those who could not afford it and so basically that means Joe and Jane taxpayer are going to have to pay more taxes. This would drive down the incentive for someone to work while they went to school or to start a savings for school. How about those who build character and develop their drive from having to struggle? As far as I remember our country is full of opportunities for rich and poor.



The other night Obama mentioned that he just could not sit around and do nothing. Cutting payroll taxes is not doing nothing and it would lower the cost for all businesses and allow them to hire. His argument against giving taxes back is that people will not spend it. These are the same people that he says in his book that must be trusted to choose for themselves. He also says that consumer spending alone can not get us out of this mess. If people don't spend then that means they are saving and therefore the banks do not need a bailout cause they can make more money by making more loans. The people borrowing are now spending and putting money back into the economy. How much of our GDP do we expect government spending to be? I do not think we can develop a dependency on our government being a big percentage or else we will just have to keep raising taxes and eventually become a socialist country. I guess that is one way to fix our immigration issue cause at that point immigrants will just decide to stay in their own countries. Opportunities and Innovation will cease to exist. That my friends is why you should be scared.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Can an Average Person Buy at the Bottom?

Many people keep waiting for the housing market to bottom. Lending guidelines are getting stricter as prices continue to drop. As prices continue to drop more investors are coming in to the market to snatch up inventory. Well at least rent has seemed to reach its limit but still doesn't change the fact that paying rent is just as bad as a negative amortization loan. You will never have equity from paying rent and that is on guarantee I can make.

If you are thinking about buying speak to a professional that can sit with you and analyze your situation. I am not just talking about finances but look at your short term and long term goals, is your family increasing or are you going to have kids leaving the nest. A good real estate professional will consider everything about you before they advise you whether or not you should buy.

Stay positive and remember our economic cylces always have these dips. Some longer than others but in the long run we always trend up. Keep your chin up and smile cause it is about to get better.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Scam Artist

First they started on Craigslist and now I've even been contacted by one on ActiveRain. I'm sure all of the social media outlets are next. Does anyone really fall for these scams where they have millions in a bank and they need you to get it out and they're willing to part w/ 10% to 20%?

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Executive Compensation Limits

Companies taking bailout money now have limits of $500k/year for senior executives. Some argue that now they will not be able to attract talented executives. They forget that the current executives were getting paid a lot and they were terrible. I guess everyone skipped the class on risk management.

Not only do they want our money but they want to do whatever they want and not answer to the ones lending them this money. If you want to run your company your way then do not ask the taxpayer to bail you out. Go to your shareholders and ask for more money.

Congress do you now see what you have started. Take the money back and let a new set of entrepreneurs supply the demand that is left when these companies fold.

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