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Friday, April 30, 2010

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Borrowers Would Do Things Differently

This is what they mean by hindsight is 20/20. Always speak to professionals that have foresight and look after your best interest. I hope that I have gained your trust that you think of me as that trusted professional.
REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Borrowers Would Do Things Differently

Family Festival at St. Finbar Church

Here's a popular event happening in Burbank this weekend of April 30 to May 2nd, 2010. It's the annual fiesta at St. Finbar Church. They have decided to go with a Hawaiian theme, O'hana. Ka Nui: Of Many One Community. I wonder if this means they'll have a booth dedicated to the variety of ways to eat Spam :).
St. Finbar is located at 2010 W. Olive Burbank, CA 91506 where according to the St. Finbar site, St. Finbar "Keystone Meets Olive, People Meet Christ". Here's a link to the map, Map to St. Finbar Church.

You can also find out more information about the event on justburbank.com, O'Hana. Ka Nui. Please join them for some fun and from my past experience there they have tons of great food.

Family Festival at Cristo Rey

If you happen to be looking for something to do this weekend of April 30 through May 2, 2010 check out Cristo Rey Church at 4343 Perlita Ave LA, CA 90039. This church is on the north end of Atwater Village. It's nearest cross street is Chevy Chase. Map of Cristo Rey Church.


They will be hosting their annual festival with rides, games and food. So if you're in the area come by and support one of your local churches and have some fun while you're at it. Here's a sneak peek of what they have set up so far. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

TGIF? How About Just TGIA

How times and our culture have changed. Past generations took a lot of pride in having to go to work and you were defined by your work ethic. They were always in survival mode whereas now we really take employment for granted until it is gone. I guess that is expected in an age of entitlements where almost everything has become a right and not a privilege. Our culture loves the phrase "TGIF, thank God it's Friday" and Fridays seem to be the day we wake up with a little more spring in our step. Sunday nights are probably the most depressing because we have to get ready for another work week. Well I want to be able to wake up everyday and say "TGIA, thank God I'm alive". What can you do to make you feel this way? Well we all have gifts that we have been blessed with and we all have different passions but just don't know how to make money using our gifts or pursuing our passion.

I had found that I had a knack for accounting but it was not a field that I enjoyed. I have always loved helping people and using the knowledge I acquire to help others. This is what really drove me into real estate. I believe that property rights are some of the most fundamental rights here in the United States that we have the privilege of enjoying when we work hard to acquire property. I have loved showing people how to do it and the best thing is that my buying clients don't ever have to pay me. The seller's pay the commissions on most real estate transactions.

I have recently read No More Mondays by Dan Miller and it's an inspiring book for those who keep asking what am I supposed to do with my life. This book really does a great job of pointing out that if you are doing something you love than it does not feel like work. When you have a passion for something you really give it your all and your love for that labor shows in the effort you put in to your service or product. Let's get away from only thanking God for one day of the week and gravitate towards thanking him for everyday we get to be alive.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Does God Exist? My Faith Tells Me Yes

Many people don't believe in the existence of God or any other god. Many people have blind faith. Who is right? Can we rely on science to prove everything? Is the existence of life only on one planet in this vast universe the result of random events? Was everything planned by one supreme being or infinite intelligence? This blog is just to share one of my experiences and why I believe in God and why this faith has me believing in Jesus Christ. Will I judge you if you don't believe, no cause that's not my job. My duty, according to the bible, is to share my belief. Don't ask me where it says this cause I've mentioned before that my memory is bad and I have trouble memorizing scripture.

This morning I went for a hike in Glendale, CA at Brand Park, http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XTR003-024. I had a lot of things on my mind, mostly prayers for friends that I wanted God to hear. I always feel that a good walk helps clear my head for meditation and good conversation with God. For some reason I thought making myself really struggle and climb over 1000 feet would put me in a better position for him to hear me :). I know the link says it's a 6.5 mile loop but I don't want anyone to think I did 6.5 miles. Since I was a kid there's one spot on this trail that I've always climbed up to but for some reason being 50 pounds overweight makes this seem a lot farther than it was when I was a kid. I made this spot my goal and I was focused to reach my goal.

On the way up I was faced by the devil. He took the shape of a sharp pain in my lower back. Eager to make me give up the pain compounded and my breathing became heavier. The temptation to quit was growing stronger and I started to think if God really wants to hear from me he'll make the devil go away. Not even half way up the devil did a good job at making me realize my weaknesses. I am overweight, out of shape, and weak. I am alone and starting to feel that God has abandoned me.

All of a sudden I felt a boost in my will power. Thoughts raced through my head that continued to encourage me. I focused on why I started this journey. I started thinking of the struggle Jesus went through as he carried the cross and eventually died for us. My faith was giving me the strength and filling me with hope that I will complete my goal. God showed me the best example of being a great Father. He allowed me to take on as much as I'm capable of taking on by myself before he filled my mind with encouragement. I was never really alone, he was always right there with me. As a father I have to do the same with my children. Make sure that I allow them to take on things on their own and give them the right amount of encouragement. I want to make sure I do not intervene and this way they will grow in faith also. Because of my faith I always have hope.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

WHAT IS A "BINDING" CONTRACT OF SALE FOR IRS TAX CREDIT PURPOSES?? "Let's all be careful out there.."

We as Realtors have to disclose that all tax advice must be sought from a tax professional. I will form an opinion from what I have read and found out but in the end my advice is to consult with a tax professional. I ran across Lenn Harley's blog while on hold for close to an hour with the IRS trying to get an opinion on what constitutes a binding contract in a short sale situation. Ms. Burchett #0246491 basically said to me that the binding agreement is between buyer and seller. To tell you the truth I don't think she really understood what a short sale was although I tried to explain that the lender ultimately approves the sale. For my own selfish reasons I would like to end it there but I have to agree with Lenn and advise everyone to seek their own advice from a qualified tax professional or the IRS themselves.

My real conclusion is that the tax code is too complicated and we ultimately need to figure out how to increase tax revenue while lowering the tax burden and my suggestion is that everyone look into the Fairtax at http://www.fairtax.org.

Via Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate:
WHAT IS A "BINDING" CONTRACT OF SALE FOR IRS TAX CREDIT PURPOSES??
Depends on whether you are a
  • HOME BUYER
  • HOME SELLER
  • REAL ESTATE LICENSEE
  • IRS TAX FORM REVIEWER
  • LEGISLATIVE BILL WRITER
  • OTHER
Sadly, this is a perfect example of the fact that the brains who dreamed up the income tax credit do not have the foggiest idea about how their programs effect the tax payers, or should I use the term the IRS uses, "Worker".  You gotta love that.  SEE:
The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?  Because the determination of what constitutes a BINDING contract may cause the denial of the tax credit to MILLIONS of tax return filers who believe that they qualify, plan to use the funds and, generally, realy on the advice OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS in matters of real estate.
HAVE YOU BEEN ASKED FOR ADVICE ABOUT THE CREDIT???  I surely have. 
Lola Audu  has published a post examining this matter, however, as with any real estate practitioner, has serious questions about the meaning of the IRS guidelines.  As for Jim Hale's thoughtful comment, I could easily read the IRS instructions that way.  However, without APPROVAL by the seller's lender, there is no "binding" agreement.  What "binds" a Contract of Sale??
For one thing, satisfaction of all contingencies.  When is the "lender approval" contingency of the Contract of Sale for a short sale satisfied??  When you get the approval letter FROM THE SELLER'S LENDER.
Sadly, those conditions do not include satisfaction of that critical contingency, approval of the Contract of Sale by the Seller's lender.  Without which, there has not been, is not and never will be a BINDING Contract.
What is going to happen when thousands of home buyers file for the tax credit and the IRS denies their application because, without satisfaction of that contingency by April 30, there is no BINDING Contract of Sale.
The key word is, of course, BINDING.
I'm willing to accept that, for purposes of the Tax Credit, the BINDING condition for claiming the tax credit is the date of acceptance between the parties, the BUYER and the SELLER.
However, I am not going to STAKE MYSELF OUT AND GIVE THAT ADVICE TO A CONSUMER.  I'm going to refer inquiries to the IRS web site and let the consumer come to their own conclusions or the advice of their tax consultant.
Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.

                           TAX CREDIT
"Honey, were you able to find out if our contract will qualify for the tax credit?"
"Not yet Dear.  I asked 4 people and got 4 answers."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday My Baby Girl

Happy Birthday My Baby Girl

Alaina,

The day you were born not only did you breathe for the first time but I was also born again.



That morning of April 20, 1996 God blessed us with a little angel. I never knew unconditional love until that day.



Despite all you have been through these 14 years of life, you have managed to adapt to change. I’m very proud of the young lady you have become.



You not only are beautiful and smart but you are a very caring person. You’re a great granddaughter, daughter, older sister, cousin, and friend. God has blessed everyone who knows you with you.



I’d love to tell you that life gets easier but then you wouldn’t appreciate what life is really about. You will grow in faith when faced with struggles and you will take them on confidently because I will always be there for you.



Love,



Daddy



  Still My Baby Girl, Love You!