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Mortgage update
06/20/2013 02:45 PM

Now that the market is back in full swing, we are encountering problems with loans that can be easily avoided.  Here is what I have been seeing:

 

Power of Attorney:  Only a spouse that is a borrower or co borrower can sign for the other spouse and the POA must be approved by the lender PRIOR to scheduling a closing.  An attorney, the title company closer, a parent, or other relative cannot be the POA for a borrower. 

 

Water:  The water and electric must be on at time of appraisal or else the appraiser will put it on his appraisal and charge to go back out.  If your home is vacant and the water is off, you must go out and turn it on for the appraiser.  They will not turn it on.

 

Funds for Closing:  These funds must come from a bank account that has been verified by the lender.

 

Repairs:  Generally they must be completed prior to closing and be re inspected.

 

Home Inspections:  Do not give them to the appraiser.  If there any issues on it, they will condition for them to be fixed. 

 

Appraisals:  Make your deal go smoother.  Meet the appraiser at the property and have comps in hand. 

 

Closing Costs:  On purchases, they cannot be rolled into the mortgage.  In some cases the borrower may select a higher interest rate and receive a credit back from the lender that may pay some or all of their closing costs.

 

Fixer ups:  Lenders do not do those.  The house must be habitable.  I.e., you should be able to cook dinner, take a shower, and sleep in the house.  FHA, VA, USDA require appliances to be in the house and working!

 

Appraisal Final Inspections:  This is for new construction.  Once the appraiser inspects the property to see if it is complete, they have 24 hours to turn it in. Then the underwriter can take up to 3 days to review it, so please allow for up to 5 days from final inspection to closing.  We cannot hold up a loan if the appraiser states the property is complete.  A borrower’s punch list cannot hold up the closing.

 

Homeowners Insurance:  Due to the increasing cost of insurance, lenders now require a quote before they underwrite the file. 

 

HUD’S and Final Figures:  These come from the title company after the lender reviews  and approves them.   They are generally not available till the day before the closing.  We give borrowers a realistic Good Faith Estimate of their costs and how much they need at time of application.

 

HUD Homes:  If the borrower is going FHA, they usually do not need a new appraisal. HUD has already done one. You will need to obtain the appraisal from the listing agent.

 

Credit Reports:  One is run at time of application.  Lenders have subscribed to a service where they are notified if the borrower’s credit changes during the loan process or they obtain new credit.  So we tell the borrower not to buy anything on credit until after they close.  Not even a spoon!  And lenders cannot give out copies of credit reports.  It is against the law.  Credit reports are copyright protected by the 3 major bureaus. (sorry I don’t make the laws)

 

Gift Funds:  The big problem here is that we have to verify where the money came from, and that the donor had it to give.  So this means Mom and Dad HAVE to supply us with their bank statement showing they had the money to gift.  And gift funds must come from a relative or a person who co habitats with the borrower (s).  I.e., people in a relationship.

 

Praying:  It helps J

 

Roommate Paying Rent:  Generally we cannot count this as income to help qualify the borrower.

Read the rest of this article >>
How To Boost Your Credit Score FAST
01/25/2013 08:58 AM

How To Boost Your Credit Score FAST


I think we all know that the higher your credit score, the better chance we have at getting a loan, and on better terms. For example, if your credit score is around 660, you might qualify for a car loan, but at what percentage rate? Maybe 7, 8, or 10 percent. But what if you had a credit score of 760? You might qualify for very low 3, 4 percent--or maybe even ZERO percent financing--saving you thousands of dollars over the course of the loan. So you can see how having a good credit score can be invaluable and a real asset to you financially. It opens doors that would otherwise be closed.

This holds especially true for buying a home. Because of the large dollar amount that you will be borrowing to purchase a home, banks are very critical of your credit history and how you present yourself as a borrower. Did you make pay
ments on time? Did you max out your credit cards? Did you satisfy car loans or let them go back to the bank?  Follow these tips to get your score SOARING in no time!

3 Ways to Remove negative credit

1.  Obtain your credit report and score.  This is the first step in identifying any problems.  Your credit score is like a test grade.  The higher, the better.  It's important to know what your score is so you know where you stand.  Generally speaking, a score of 600 or less is bad, 601-660 is fair, 661-740 is good, and 740+ is excellent.  You can obtain a free report from several different sources online.

2.  Verify bad debt.  To do this, find a "fill-in-the-blank" form online for disputing old accounts.  Get the name and addresses of the Debt Collection companies, and mail out dispute letters via certified mail.  This forces them to provide evidence and ownership of the debt.

3.  Dispute the Debt with the Credit Agencies.  This is critical.  The credit agencies--Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax, all have built-in dispute resolution departments designed specfically to help consumers maintain accurate credit reports.  Tell them either on-line or over the phone about the debts and that you're disputing the debt.  They will follow up on your behalf and in many cases get it removed from your record.

6 Ways to IMPROVE the credit you DO have

1.  Make your payments ON TIME.  This is the most obvious advice, and the advice your father gave you when you were a kid, but it still holds true.  Especially car payments and credit cards.  Put your other utility payments or cell phone bills down the list if you have to choose which to pay first.

2.  Keep the balances LOW.  One of the biggest ways to improve your score is to keep the total balances on ALL accounts below 30% of the max.  This shows that you can manage your debt responsibly.

3.  DON'T close old accounts.  It might seem like a good idea, but one of the factors is LENGTH of debt.  A long track record of on-time payments looks good.  So try to keep accounts active, open, and in good standing.

4.  Obtain a SECURED Loan.  Can't get a loan on your own because of bad credit?  Go to your bank and ask for a secured credit card or a personal loan.  This is done by placing a fixed dollar amount, say, $500, into a bank account.  You then draw against that $500 (credit card) or get the $500 back instantly (secured loan).  You make monthly payments and pay off the debt.  In the case of the loan, you get the $500 back at the end of the payoff, and the same is true of the credit card if you close your account.

5.  Make sure you have ENOUGH credit.  Sometimes not having enough credit can hurt you.  If you've sworn off credit cards because you think they're bad, you're half right.  But the truth is, you will have a hard time getting a good credit score without enough good credit history.  A rule of thumb is you should have about 5 lines of good credit, with a mix of credit cards (lines of credit) and installment loans (auto loans/personal loans, etc.).

6.  Don't apply for credit too FAST.  While it's important to have good credit, try not to open up new credit accounts too fast one after the other or it will appear that you're trying to charge like there's no tomorrow.  This has the same effect of maxing out your credit--very damaging to your score.  Wait at least 6 months between applying for credit.

 

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HOW DO I START INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE?
01/24/2013 10:47 AM

 

HOW DO I START INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE?

 

The buy and hold and rent strategy has made millionaires of many, many people.  It’s a strategy that works.  Here’s how to do it.

You have to first get a solid feel for how much you'll be able to charge in rent for the type of property you're thinking of buying. So you first want to research rental listings in your area.  Use the newspapers and drive through the neighborhoods in which you are interested.  Call owners of property for rent ask questions about the property.  Talk with a competent Realtor to find out what the rental market is like. Don't even think of buying until you're confident you understand how much renters are paying.

Then it's time to start looking at properties for sale. When you do, you'll need to come up with a realistic, conservative (i.e. on the low side) estimate of what you think you could charge in rent for the property you're considering. (If you can't, go back and look at more rental properties.)

Use a competent Realtor to help you in your home search.  He/She should be able to provide you with information on home prices in the neighborhood.  Your goal is to buy the property at a discount to improve your cash flow on the property.

Once you've found a property and made your rent estimate, you then need to work out your monthly costs: mortgage, upkeep, taxes, insurance, etc. If you can't cover these costs with your estimated rent, you’ll have a negative cash flow. Ideally, you want to make sure you have "positive cash flow" (i.e., rent minus expenses equals more than $0).

If you calculate zero or below, you might still make money if the property appreciates in value, but with the recent run-up in prices, you certainly can't count on that happening.  History has shown that property values and rents both go up.  Many people use an average estimate of 5% per year.

You'll also want to talk to a tax advisor to find out what impact this rental income has on your return. If set up properly, rental property should have a positive impact. But you'll want to know all of the tax angles before you buy. You may have to pay a fee to a tax expert for this. But it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. (Consider it a tuition payment in real estate school.)

Make sure to ask as many questions as you want at every stage. No question is too basic. To get a loan, you'll have to show enough income and assets to meet the lender's minimum requirements. But it's not their job to decide whether you can really afford it or whether the property will make money for you over the long term.

 
If you've gotten this far, take a deep breath and re-check everything again. Don't buy until you're satisfied you understand every detail.

If you are like most people your own home is probably one of the best investments you have ever made.  My advice is buy one more!  Just get started.  Most people never start and let opportunity pass them by.

Read the rest of this article >>
Dealing with counter offers
10/11/2012 02:01 PM

 

 

Dealing With Counter-Offers

You're a serious buyer in the middle of negotiating the second round of counter-offers with the seller.

All at once, it happens -- the seller has accepted another offer from a brand new buyer!

Your first question might be, is this even legal? After all, your counter-offer gave the owner twenty-four hours to accept the proposal that's currently on the table.

It's probable that your second question would want to determine what you could have done differently, especially as a serious buyer.

First let's review the bargaining issues involved.

The seller was under no obligation to accept your counter-offer and was free to accept another offer from the new buyer who entered the picture.

Why?

Because a counter-offer is regarded as a brand new offer that the seller does not have to accept. Even though you and the seller might have agreed to some or even most of the terms of the purchase/sale, any change in the offer -- such as a counter-offer -- makes it void. In other words, all previous bets are off and the parties are back to square one in the negotiations. In your case during this mid-stream process, the seller chose an offer from another buyer.

You may not ever know why the seller accepted the other offer. It could be that the buyer came in with a higher price, better terms, and/or fewer contingencies. The buyer might have flashed more earnest money in front of the seller to entice him. Or perhaps the seller got tired of the tedium and stress of counter-offers with you and wanted to bring the volley to a halt.

The lesson for you is to determine your priorities before you find a new property. The following can help you decide:

Begin with the end in mind.

In other words, know which issues are most important for you to win as well as which are you're willing to give up? It's best if you prioritize the three most important wins you ideally seek in the purchase.

For example, fair price, minimizing closing costs and quick closing may top your list. If you can win only one, it will be price. If you can reach for two, you'll ideally pay fewer closing costs. Also know the degree to which you'd minimize or even sacrifice all three in order to obtain the house you want. Knowing this, you're less likely to find yourself in needless counter-offers that could have disastrous results.

Communicate your position.

Make sure you fully communicate the desired outcome to any real estate professional that's representing you. For example, if a buyer's agent is negotiating on your behalf, outline to the agent just how much you want this house and what you're willing to do to get it. As a trained professional, he/she will then evaluate the best approach to take in price, terms and negotiating tactics to help you realize your goal of obtaining the property.

Show your interest.

Be honest with the seller about your interest in purchasing the property. This doesn't mean that you'll reveal all of your purchase strategies or back away from negotiating a fair price. It just means that you'll express the appropriate amount of interest, involvement and motivation to signal to the seller that you're a serious purchaser. Sellers often "choose" one buyer's offer over another based on the level of personal interest and commitment the buyer appears to have to the seller's home.

If a buyer's agent represents you, it's good to reduce to writing exactly what the agent can share with the seller about your level of interest in the property. That way there's less chance that inappropriate, harmful information could be leaked to the seller to potentially erode your negotiating power.

While counter-offers are designed to let the other party know you're still in the negotiating game, using them haphazardly without a definite game plan can drive you away from -- not closer to -- a home purchase.

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Welcome to Manatee County
09/23/2012 09:27 PM

 

holmes beach for saleWelcome to Manatee County

The jewel of southwest Florida’s gulf coast, Manatee County lies along the Gulf of Mexico between Sarasota and Tampa. Here, residents enjoy an incomparable quality of life defined by 150 miles of shoreline along the Gulf, Sarasota and Tampa Bays, and the Manatee River. Shore birds and shell seekers share white sand beaches that stretch for miles along the island-fringed coast. Residents and visitors alike flock to Gulf and bay shores for swimming, boating, fishing and just plain taking it easy. Named for the West Indian Manatee, the county treasures this large, easygoing aquatic mammal. In the warmest months, manatees can be seen in area waters grazing through pastures of sea grass. They are constantly threatened by humans using the same waterways and are in danger of extinction. As a result, they are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Picturesque villages and resort communities dot the barrier islands and bay shores. Inland are bright cityscapes, modern family oriented developments, luxurious country club communities, and thousands of acres of peaceful countryside. The eastern part of the county, with its rural atmosphere, is an area of recent development and a center for fruit and vegetable production and colorful crops of flowers and cattle. Area history takes you deep into the past, to the arrival of Hernando DeSoto in Tampa Bay in 1539. In May of that year, he led an army of 600 conquistadors ashore at the mouth of the Manatee River in search of gold and other riches. DeSoto never found the gold he sought, and ignored the riches of land and water all around him. It was another three centuries before anyone discovered the treasure that DeSoto overlooked. But finally in 1842, Josiah Gates came upon the haven of the gentle Manatee, and when he and others laid out their settlement, they gave it the name of the creature the Spaniards had called the sea cow.

When the railroad came shortly after the turn of the last century, and bridges and highways made access easy, the once rural area became a mecca for retirees and vacationers. The first winter residents came in 1924, and by the 1930’s, major league baseball players were regular springtime residents. Some, like St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Dizzie Dean, stayed through the winter. In 1969, the Pittsburgh Pirates began spring training in Bradenton, and today, they train at a newly renovated McKechnie Field.

Today, it is not surprising that so many people have chosen Manatee County. Their choice attests to the vitality of the area that continues to draw people from all walks of life, whether young families, corporate executives, or retirees.

Interstate 75, the major north-south route through the county, brought a boom in residential development to surrounding areas. The unincorporated community of Parrish in northeastern Manatee County is also developing rapidly.

In the past two decades, the county’s population has more than doubled, attracting national attention when Money Magazine ranked our area as the 21st Best Place To Live in America in 1997 and PC World ranked us as the 2nd Best Mid-Size City To Work From Home.

SEVEN COMMUNITIES

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Bradenton Real Estate New owners information kit
09/01/2012 09:40 AM

 

Residents of Manatee County enjoy convenient access to interstate and state highways, including I-275, I-75, US 301, US 41, State Road 64 and State Road 70. This access makes it easy for travelers to commute to and visit nearby cities and towns

   Fort Myers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 miles

   Sarasota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 miles

   Tampa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 miles

   Orlando . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 miles

 

as well as other southern population centers, including:

   Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 miles

   Jacksonville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 miles

   Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 miles

 

Manatee County also offers its residents and visitors convenient use of a public transportation bus system, which operates six days a week

Fares start at $1, enabling riders to travel as far south as Sarasota’s John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and as far north as Palmetto. Senior citizens (age 60+) and physically challenged individuals are entitled to discounted fares. To learn more about Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) and its schedules, visit its information booth located just outside the county courthouse (115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton) or call 749-7116. Daily service to a variety of other destinations within Florida and the United States is also available via Greyhound Bus Line.

 

The Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport is located just 10 miles south of the city of Bradenton, offering air travelers their choice of seven major carriers and four commuter airlines. In addition to a wide range of customer and general aviation services, this global thoroughfare is also a U.S. Customs port of entry. Each year, in excess of 2 million people travel through its gates, helping to inject more than $800 million into the local economy.

 

Tampa Bay’s southern shore is home to one of Florida’s major seaports. Located in Palmetto, Port Manatee not only harbors facilities for shipboard cargo transportation, but – because of its close proximity to major highways and airports – also serves as a docking facility for the state’s thriving cruise industry.

 

About Registering Your Motor Vehicle

The Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office requires newcomers to register their vehicles within 10 days of employment or enrolling children in school. In order to register a vehicle, drivers must present a current driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance (from a Florida-licensed agent), title to the vehicle and a previous registration certificate. Newcomers can register vehicles, obtain license tags and purchase disabled parking permits at any of the following offices:

 

Bradenton/DeSoto Office:  819 U.S. 301 Blvd.

Downtown:  415 10th St. W.

Holmes Beach:  3340 E. Bay Dr.

Palmetto:  1341 U.S. 301

Sunshine State Tag Office:  6807 S.R. 70 E.

 

Vehicle identification numbers are verified when application is made for a license plate. Fees are based on vehicle weight. The state also requires its newcomers to obtain a Florida Title Certificate; if there is a lien against a vehicle, a transfer of title is also necessary. To learn more about this process or to make an appointment, call 741-4811 (24-hours-a-day). You can also access the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office via the Internet at www.taxcollector.com

 

about Obtaining a Driver’s License

The state requires newcomers who drive to apply for a Florida driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a resident. In order to obtain a license, be prepared to show proof of Florida registration of your vehicle, an out-of-state driver’s license and Social Security card. Drivers who currently possess a valid out-of-state driver’s license and have a driving record free of violations are only required to pass a vision test. However, drivers who have offenses against their license or drivers attempting to acquire a license for the first time must also pass a written exam (based on the Florida Driver’s Handbook) as well as a driving test. For additional information, call the Division of Drivers’ Licenses at 741-3017.

 

about Local Government

Manatee County operates under a constitutional form of government adopted in 1921. A seven-member commission based out of the Manatee County Government Administration Center in Bradenton meets weekly to address issues and concerns relative to county residents. In addition, the county also has an appointed administrator and its citizens, who take their voting rights very seriously, regularly elect a tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections, sheriff and clerk of the circuit court.  

 

about Proving You’re a Resident

Proof of residence may be required before some employers will hire newcomers. In order to establish residency in Florida, a Declaration of Domicile must be filed; this document certifies that the applicant lives at a specified address. To file this declaration, visit the Clerk of Court’s Office; the document can also be notarized at this location.

 

about Registering To Vote

Newcomers interested in obtaining a voter’s registration card can do so by visiting the Supervisor of Elections Office (305 15th St. W., Bradenton; 741-3823) or any Department of Motor Vehicles office. To qualify, potential voters must be U.S. citizens of at least 18 years of age. Keep in mind that registration books close 29 days prior to elections.

 

about Obtaining Sporting Licenses

Manatee County requires its anglers and hunters to obtain the appropriate licensure. In addition to most sporting goods outlets and bait shops, these licenses can be obtained at any Manatee County Tax Collector’s office as well as area Wal-Mart and Kmart stores. Children under the age of 16 do not require licensure. Seniors over the age of 65 possessing a valid Florida driver’s license or Florida voter’s registration card are also not required to obtain sporting licenses. The fee structure for hunting and fishing licenses varies according to residency and use. License can also be purchased online at www.manateechamber.com:

 

about Local & State Taxes

Many newcomers are drawn to Manatee County because of its favorable tax structure, which features no personal income taxes or inheritance taxes. In lieu of this form of taxation, the government relies primarily on sales (the sales tax in Manatee County is seven percent; medical items and groceries are exempt from taxation) and property taxes for its main sources of income (homeowners in Florida who use their home as their residence and meet certain other requirements may be eligible for a $25,000 homestead exemption).

 

Bonds, stocks, accounts receivable and certain other personal property are subject to a small annual tax

This tax is based on the value of these assets beginning on January 1 of each year and only applies to values in excess of $20,000 for individuals or $40,000 for husbands and wives filing jointly. Currently, the rate is 1 mill, which equates to $1 per $1,000. Other assets, including accounts receivable, annuities and mortgages held outside the state, are levied at a rate of 2 mills per $1,000. Additional information about this taxation is available from the Florida Department of Revenue at 800/352-3672 and on its website, located at http://sun6.dms.state.fl.us/dor

 

With the exception of real estate, personal property belonging to a business is subject to a tangible tax

To comply with this requirement, businesses must file a return prior to April 1 of each year; failure to file this return results in a 10 percent penalty. Tangible personal property and ad valorem (real estate) tax bills are mailed in mid-November of each year. For additional information about these taxes, contact the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s office at 748-8208 or visit its website at www.manateepao.com.

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Buy a business in Florida for immigration visa
08/20/2012 02:49 PM

 

Immigrating to the United States (USA)

America is the land of the business entrepreneur and the most prosperous economic market in the world. People from all countries desire to move to the US because of the tremendous opportunities for individuals and families. Possibly, the easiest way to move permanently to the US is by means of an investor visa, of which there are basically two: the E2 visa and the L1 visa.

1) THE E2 VISA

The E2 is the most practical and popular of the 2 visas. It requires a minimum investment, which varies by country but is at least $100,000 US dollars for British nationals. Canadian nationals can also expect to invest a minimum of $100,000 US. The investment requirements can be as much as $500,000 US for other countries. A list of those countries which qualify for a visa follows below.

2) THE L1 VISA

The L1 visa is available to people who own businesses in their home countries and wish to acquire a business in the US. The person designated by the acquiring business may obtain a L1 visa based on an inter company transfer, which gives them permanent residency status in the US with convertibility to a green card in time (two or three years.)

E2 and L1 Visas are not difficult to obtain as long as you stick to the proper process and understand all the issues involved. Always use people with in- depth experience to assist you. The most critical decisions involve choosing where to live and what kind of businesses there are in that area. Securing a business which qualifies can be a challenge; a visa qualifying business must have good tax returns, adequate and properly documented employees. Such businesses are very much sought after by Americans and thus one has to be coached to adopt the correct negotiating posture if you want to be successful.

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Manatee County important Telephone numbers
08/14/2012 12:22 PM

 

Important Telephone Numbers

(Unless otherwise indicated, the area code is 941)

Emergency Services

Access Center Helpline 741-3117
American Red Cross 792-8686
Coast Guard 794-1607
Emergency Ambulance, Fire, Police 911
Emergency Management 748-4501
Humane Society 747-8808
Poison Control 1-800-282-3171
Spouse Abuse Information 755-6805
Wildlife Rescue Service 750-9453

Police Department Non-Emergency Numbers

Florida Highway Patrol Bradenton Post 751-7647
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office 747-3011
Anna Maria Island Police Department 778-4711
Bradenton Police Department 708-6273
Bradenton Beach Police Department 778-6311
Holmes Beach Police Department 708-5804
Longboat Key Police Department 316-1977
Palmetto Police Department 723-4585

Fire Department Non-Emergency Numbers

Anna Maria Fire Department 741-3900
Bradenton Fire Department 708-6233
Braden River Fire Department 751-5611
Cedar Hammock Fire Department 751-7090
Duette Volunteer Fire Department 776-1782
Longboat Key Fire Department 383-5666
Myakka City Fire Department 322-2292
North River Fire District, Palmetto 721-6700
Parrish Fire Department 776-1459
Southern Manatee Fire-Rescue District 751-7675
Trailer Estates Fire Department 758-6453
Whitfield Fire Department 355-2013

Art and Culture

Art League of Manatee County 746-2862

Artist's Guild 746-4469

Arts Council of Manatee 708-3896
Asolo Center for the Performing Arts 351-9010
Bishop Planetarium 746-4131
DeSoto National Memorial 792-0458
Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum 365-5738
Gamble Plantation State Historic Site 723-4536
John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art 359-5700
Lemily & Son International Art Gallery 727-1146
Longboat Key Art Center 383-2345
Manatee Community College Fine Art Gallery 755-1511 x4251
Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre 748-5875
Manatee Village Historical Park 749-7165
Mote Marine Science Aquarium 388-4200
Selby Gardens’ Museum of Botany & the Arts 366-5730
Sweet Adelines 794-6252
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 953-3366

Village of the Arts 795-6499

Business Information

Better Business Council 748-1325
Economic Development Council 748-3411  Fax 745-1877
Manatee Chamber of Commerce 748-3411  Fax 745-1877
Internet: www.ManateeChamber.com
E-mail: Info@ManateeChamber.com

Civic Center and Auditoriums

Bradenton Municipal Auditorium 708-6220
Manatee Convention & Civic Center 722-3244
Neel Auditorium, Manatee Comm. College 755-1511 x4240

Education

Public Schools Administrative Offices 741-7200
Manatee Vocational-Technical Center 751-7900

Colleges and Universities

Eckerd College 957-3397

International College 906-8627

Manatee Community College

   Main Campus 755-1511
   South Campus 493-3504
National-Louis University 1-800-366-6581

Ringling School of Art & Design 351-5100
University of Sarasota 379-0404

University of South Florida

   USF/Sarasota 359-4310
   New College 359-4200

Webster University 365-7040

Government/State


Port Manatee/Tampa Bay 722-6621
Insurance & Treasurer Consumer Hotline 1-800-342-2762

Jobs and Benefits 741-3030
Proof of Residency Clerk of Court 741-4040

Property Appraiser 748-8208

Tax Collector/Tag Offices

819 US 301 Blvd., Bradenton 741-4800
415 10th St. W., Bradenton 741-4800

1341 US Hwy. 301, Palmetto 741-4800

3840 East Bay Dr., Holmes Beach 741-4800

Driver’s License

1600 First St. W., Bradenton

   Information 741-3010
   Appointments 741-3015

Manatee County

Animal Control 742-5933
General Information 748-4501
Clerk of Circuit Court 749-1800  Fax 749-7194
Library Services 748-5555  Fax 749-7191
Parks & Recreation 742-5923  Fax 749-7172
Sheriff’s Office 747-3011  Fax 749-5401
Voter Registration 741-3823 Fax 741-3820

Government/City


Anna Maria City Hall

10005 Gulf Drive 708-6130  Fax 708-6134

Bradenton City Hall

101 Old Main Street 708-6200  Fax 708-6256

Bradenton Beach City Hall

107 Gulf Dr. North 778-1005  Fax 778-7585

Holmes Beach City Hall

5901 Marina Drive 708-5800  Fax 708-5812

Longboat Key Town Hall

501 Bay Isles Road 316-1999

Palmetto City Hall

516 Eighth Avenue West 723-4570  Fax 729-9177

Healthcare

Elder Helpline 742-5818
Columbia Blake Medical Center 792-6611 or 798-6140
Health Department 748-0747

Kid Care 748-0747 x1250

Manatee County Dental Society 755-4860
Manatee County Medical Society 755-3411
Manatee County Public Health Clinics 748-0666
Manatee Memorial Hospital 746-5111 or 745-7233
VA Clinic - Ellenton 721-0649

Libraries

Central Library 748-5555
Braden River Branch 727-6079
Island Branch 778-6341
Palmetto Branch 722-3333
Rocky Bluff Branch 723-4821
South Manatee Branch 755-3892

Newspapers - Dailies


The Bradenton Herald

P.O. Box 921, Bradenton 748-0411

The Sarasota Herald Tribune - Manatee AM

905 Sixth Avenue West, FL 742-6120

Newspapers - Non-Dailies

Anna Maria Island Sun 778-3986
Bradenton Shopping Guide 748-4344
El Mensaje Latino 351-8886
The Gulf Coast Business Review 330-1588
Islander Bystander 778-7978
The Longboat Observer 383-5509
Manatee Magazine 921-7228

North River News 722-1088

Other Services


Community Connections

Manatee Aging Network 753-4149
Neighborly Senior Services 758-9969

Manatee Religious Services 753-6749
Volunteer Services 746-7117

Post Office

1-800-275-8777
www.usps.gov

Sports and Recreation

Blackstone Park 722-9053
Buffalo Creek Golf Course 776-2611

Duette Park 776-2295
East Bradenton Center 742-5948
G T Bray Activity Center 742-5974
G T Bray Administration 742-5923
G T Bray Aquatic Center 742-5932
G T Bray Gymnasium 742-5926

G T Bray Softball Complex 792-9816
G T Bray Walton Racquet Center 742-5973
Manatee County Golf Course 792-6773
Palma Sola Park Softball 792-9005

Rye Wilderness 776-0900
75th Street Park 792-9808

YMCA Outpost 753-0954

 

Others

Anna Maria Island Little League 778-1908

Braden River Little League 794-3070

Braden River Soccer Club 756-2034

Bradenton Horseshoe Club 739-2387

Bradenton Shuffleboard Club 747-6184

East Manatee Bulldogs Football 758-8544

Manatee Area Youth Soccer Organization 794-3159

Manatee County Babe Ruth League 753-7004

Manatee County Church Softball Association 755-3009

Manatee East Little League 747-4996

Manatee East Soccer 744-0320

Manatee Lightning Soccer 795-0670

Manatee Magic Soccer 795-0670

Manatee West Little League 794-1512

Manatee Wildcats Football 746-3021 or 798-3235

North River Little League - American 723-9760

North River Little League - National 721-9008

North River Soccer 729-3071

Pram Sailing 722-3140

13th Avenue Little League 746-7470

Westside United Soccer 792-1947

Professional

Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball 747-3031
Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Football 800-282-0683
Tampa Bay Devil Rays Baseball 727-825-3100
Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey 813-229-8800
Tampa Bay Mutiny Soccer 813-288-0096

Transportation

Greyhound Bus Lines 747-2984
Manatee County Area Transit 749-5916
Commercial & Cruise Lines - Manatee County Port Authority 722-6621
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport Information Line 359-5200

Utilities

Bradenton Public Works 708-6300
Manatee County Utilities 792-8811
Palmetto Public Works 723-4580

Water, Sewer, Garbage Service


Unincorporated areas

Manatee County Public Utilities 792-8811
after hours 795-5457

Electricity*

Florida Power & Light Co. 917-0708
Peace River Electric Coop 722-2729
*Service determined by area. Call with either former occupant’s name, or serial number on front of electric meter.

Natural Gas

TECO People's Gas System 366-4277
(Hook-ups available in metropolitan Bradenton, Palmetto, and some rural areas.)

Telephone

Verizon*
   Business 800-483-5200
   Residential 800-483-4200
*Serves all county residents.

Cable Television

Time Warner Comm. 748-1822
Comcast Cable 371-4444

Visitors Information

Convention & Visitors Bureau 729-9177 or 800-733-7935

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Lifestyles and Homes in Manatee County
08/13/2012 04:19 PM

 

Lifestyles and Homes in Manatee County

 

 

Turn-of-the-century bayside villages, quiet rural settings, country club communities, comfortable urban neighborhoods, and secure retirement enclaves all are a part of the good life in Manatee County. Newcomers continue to be drawn by the area’s climate, natural beauty, easy tempo of life, and friendly atmosphere.

 

A relatively low cost of living, a $25,000 homestead exemption, and a wide range of affordable housing made Manatee County a mecca for retirees in the first three-quarters of this century, but today, the same incentives are a magnet for a growing number of young families just starting out. Several luxurious golf and country club communities are among at least 25 new housing developments that have broken ground since 1990.

 

According to 1995 MLS figures, single-family homes make up to 56.8 percent of the housing market, with an average new-home price of $109,678. Condos account for 26.7 percent of the market, with an average price of $74,017. Depending on the community, single-family homes range in price from $80,000 to $300,000 and more for waterfront and country estates. Prices of condos run from $40,000 to $300,000. Typical of moderately priced condo complexes in Manatee County is Mount Vernon, a 434-unit complex on Sarasota Bay in which homes are priced from the high $50,000s to low $90,000s.

 

Single-family home styles range from traditional to contemporary, with popular features including a separate maser bedroom suite, patios, courtyards and lanais, cathedral ceilings, window walls, and a variety of built-ins. Condos are mainly single-story villas, either detached or in attached groupings, or units in multi-story buildings, where convenience and accessibility account for their popularity with adults 55 and older.

 

The emphasis in new communities has turned toward making the most of what nature and the Florida climate have to offer, with neighborhoods built around swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and nature preserves. Security, privacy, and low or no maintenance living are added amenities. A golf course is an important feature of River Club, a community of younger families in eastern Manatee County. Golf and tennis are both featured at Terra Ceia Bay in Palmetto, which offers bay vistas and a 500-foot long fishing pier.

 

Brand new in eastern Manatee County, the Summerfield neighborhoods at Lakewood Ranch offer Florida ranch-style homes priced from the $80,000s to the $130,000s. The wooded environment is a plus for the new development at Creekwood, and also for Rosedale, where a small forest of oaks and pines has replaced open pasture land.

Taking care of the environment was a priority in the development of the luxury golf course community of University Park in southern Manatee County. It features lakes, preservation areas, and neighborhoods of tree-lined streets. Prices of homes in this country club community range from $200,000 to $1,000,000.

 

Ecology conscious homeowners throughout the county take advantage of the Manatee County Extension Service’s Yards & Neighborhoods Program, which helps homeowners to protect the environment and restore native habitats through landscape design and plant selection.

 

Offering housing to suit every lifestyle and need, Manatee County has a large number of rental and condominium communities - largely apartments, villas, and manufactured (mobile) homes - many of which accommodate the annual migration of nearly 50,000 so-called snow birds, who live in Manatee County only in the winter. Recent figures indicate that 31 percent of county seniors live in manufactured homes

 

Lifestyles and Homes in Manatee County

Turn-of-the-century bayside villages, quiet rural settings, country club communities, comfortable urban neighborhoods, and secure retirement enclaves all are a part of the good life in Manatee County. Newcomers continue to be drawn by the area’s climate, natural beauty, easy tempo of life, and friendly atmosphere.

A relatively low cost of living, a $25,000 homestead exemption, and a wide range of affordable housing made Manatee County a mecca for retirees in the first three-quarters of this century, but today, the same incentives are a magnet for a growing number of young families just starting out. Several luxurious golf and country club communities are among at least 25 new housing developments that have broken ground since 1990.

According to 1995 MLS figures, single-family homes make up to 56.8 percent of the housing market, with an average new-home price of $109,678. Condos account for 26.7 percent of the market, with an average price of $74,017. Depending on the community, single-family homes range in price from $80,000 to $300,000 and more for waterfront and country estates. Prices of condos run from $40,000 to $300,000. Typical of moderately priced condo complexes in Manatee County is Mount Vernon, a 434-unit complex on Sarasota Bay in which homes are priced from the high $50,000s to low $90,000s.

Single-family home styles range from traditional to contemporary, with popular features including a separate maser bedroom suite, patios, courtyards and lanais, cathedral ceilings, window walls, and a variety of built-ins. Condos are mainly single-story villas, either detached or in attached groupings, or units in multi-story buildings, where convenience and accessibility account for their popularity with adults 55 and older.

The emphasis in new communities has turned toward making the most of what nature and the Florida climate have to offer, with neighborhoods built around swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and nature preserves. Security, privacy, and low or no maintenance living are added amenities. A golf course is an important feature of River Club, a community of younger families in eastern Manatee County. Golf and tennis are both featured at Terra Ceia Bay in Palmetto, which offers bay vistas and a 500-foot long fishing pier.

Brand new in eastern Manatee County, the Summerfield neighborhoods at Lakewood Ranch offer Florida ranch-style homes priced from the $80,000s to the $130,000s. The wooded environment is a plus for the new development at Creekwood, and also for Rosedale, where a small forest of oaks and pines has replaced open pasture land.

Taking care of the environment was a priority in the development of the luxury golf course community of University Park in southern Manatee County. It features lakes, preservation areas, and neighborhoods of tree-lined streets. Prices of homes in this country club community range from $200,000 to $1,000,000.

Ecology conscious homeowners throughout the county take advantage of the Manatee County Extension Service’s Yards & Neighborhoods Program, which helps homeowners to protect the environment and restore native habitats through landscape design and plant selection.

Offering housing to suit every lifestyle and need, Manatee County has a large number of rental and condominium communities - largely apartments, villas, and manufactured (mobile) homes - many of which accommodate the annual migration of nearly 50,000 so-called snow birds, who live in Manatee County only in the winter. Recent figures indicate that 31 percent of county seniors live in manufactured homes.

Read the rest of this article >>
Leisure and Recreation
08/13/2012 09:17 AM

 

The Arts & Culture

Manatee County, art, music, and theater have strong community support. An active force in developing that support is the Manatee County Cultural Alliance which promotes the area’s cultural resources and publishes an up-to-date calendar of events.

The Art League of Manatee County is a comprehensive center for the visual arts. With three galleries, several classrooms, and annual programs offering a variety of exhibition and educational opportunities, the League encourages both enjoyment and participation in the arts. Opportunities to exhibit are shared by amateur and professional artists. The League offers classes for artists and aspiring artists of all ages. Art galleries and groups throughout the county and on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key also fill a year’s calendar with classes, exhibits, and other events.

Among regularly scheduled offerings are performances of the Manatee Players at the Riverfront Theatre. On Anna Maria Island, the Island Playhouse has been the scene of live stage productions for more than 40 years. The Manatee Ballet is also active and music thrives in concerts by church and other choral groups.

The Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra performs at several locations, most notable Manatee Community College’s Neel Auditorium. The orchestra offers many programs for children. The 90-member Sarasota-Manatee Community Orchestra gives six concerts a year at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota and at other locations.

An active cultural center, the Neel Auditorium is also the site of many concerts and other events produced by music and theater groups at the Community College. Serving more varied needs, the Manatee Convention Center in Palmetto is an all-purpose auditorium. In Bradenton, the Municipal Auditorium hosts an array of trade shows, concerts, conventions, sports, and other events.

Among the more important cultural resources available to Manatee County residents is the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the state’s official art museum. The 66-acre museum complex, adjacent to the New College Campus of the University of South Florida, forms the state’s most important cultural and educational district. Its galleries house the country’s foremost exhibit of Baroque art, including works by Rubens and other great masters. Ca’d’Zan (“House of John” in Venetian) is a mini-palace, which was the Ringlings’ winter home. The Asolo Theater houses an original Italian Baroque theater room brought from Italy and reassembled at the museum. In honor of John Ringling, the Circus Galleries display a collection of circus art and artifacts.

 

Manatee County is also pleased to announce the restoration of the Crosley Estate, located on Sarasota Bay. The Spanish revival style mansion features towering walls of cast stone, hand-carved wooden doors, stone portico custom windows, fireplaces and a grand panelled compass room. The mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes, was once the home of one of the greatest entrepreneurs the world has ever known - Powel Crosley. By the year 2000, the site will also house the Powel Crosley Museum of the American Entrepreneur.

SCIENCE & NATURE

The best way to discover Manatee County and Florida is by a trip to Bradenton’s South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium. History, natural history, and archaeological exhibits depict South Florida from the Stone Age to the Space Age. The museum’s Mary E. Parker Aquarium is the home of “Snooty,” the oldest living manatee born in captivity and the county mascot. Since his arrival at the museum in 1949, the manatee has greeted more than one million visitors. Adjacent to the museum, the Bishop Planetarium features daily star shows, spectacular laser light and sound shows on weekends, and nighttime use of the observatory telescope.

Marine life is the theme at the Mote Marine Laboratory on City Island south of Longboat Key. It features a shark tank and other aquaria occupied by creatures native to Sarasota Bay.

A special treat for nature lovers are the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, which feature native and tropical plants in a peaceful, waterfront setting. The gardens are a world center for the cultivation and study of orchids.

HISTORY

Going back to the area’s very earliest residents, the Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site, north of Palmetto on Bayshore Road, is a flat-topped ceremonial Indian mound. It contains artifacts dating from the beginning of the Christian era to the arrival of the Spanish.

The arrival of Hernando DeSoto is marked by the DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton. From December to April, park rangers re-enact what life might have been like for DeSoto and his men in their camp on Tampa Bay. Visitors may also follow a nature trail through a mangrove swamp to add to their sense of what the Spaniards’ trek was like. Exhibits emphasize the life of the Southeastern Temple Mound builders whose culture disappeared with the coming of the Europeans.

Heritage is preserved by the County Historical Commission in the Manatee Village Historical Park. On the site are seven authentically restored buildings: the first Court House, a "Cracker Gothic" style rural home, a historic 1889 church, a general store, a one-room school house, a replica of a 19th century barn, and a smokehouse and sugar cane mill.

Manatee County’s oldest building is a mansion built in 1844 by Major Robert Gamble who fought in the Seminole Wars. The Gamble Plantation is one of the largest antebellum sugar plantations in the U.S. and the only one surviving in Florida. Operated by the Florida Parks Service, the mansion is furnished with period pieces and sits in a 16-acre park.

The railroad played a critical role in opening Manatee County to settlement. That story is told at the Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum in Parrish. Visitors may take a 1950’s-style train ride or wander among antique cars and more than 1,000 music makers from hurdy-gurdies to calliopes at Belm’s Cars and Music of Yesterday just south of the Sarasota/Bradenton Airport.

The City of Palmetto boasts a beautiful historical park, named Heritage Park, complete with the original old post office, brick pathways, wrought iron fences and gorgeous trees. The Park is adjacent to historical Carnegie Library.

FESTIVALS

A kaleidoscope of festivals celebrate the history and collective heritage of its people, and the unique lifestyle this spot in southwestern Florida offers.

In Manatee County, a kaleidoscope of festivals celebrate the history and collective heritage of its people and the unique lifestyle this spot in southwestern Florida offers.

In early spring the county celebrates Manatee Heritage Days with a parade, boat and walking tours of old Manatee and other historic sites, concerts, and arts and crafts exhibits. Parrish celebrates in March with a parade and a railroad train tour starting from the old depot. Terra Ceia Day at the Madira Bickel Mound features arts, crafts, tours, and lunch. Spring is welcomed with a flower show at historic Gamble Plantation. In April, the annual Florida Heritage Festival, its Grand Parade, and Riverfest bring as many as 200,000 people to Bradenton to celebrate Florida’s cultural diversity, and to commemorate the European discovery of Manatee county. Also at this time of year, Anna Maria Island holds its Springfest at the Holmes Beach City Hall with live entertainment, food, and fun.

Two highlights of summer are the 4th of July celebration in Palmetto and the giant birthday party given for county mascot, Snooty, at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. The family-oriented party is paired with a Wildlife Awareness Festival.

Autumn brings the Manatee Riverfront Art Festival in Bradenton; a Party in Bradenton’s Waterfront Park with fireworks, boat and water ski shows, and a parade; Bradenton Beach’s Bridge Street Festival; the Manatee Convention Center Craft and Folk Art show; and the annual Tomato Fiesta in Palmetto, center of the tomato packing industry.

 

Highlighting the winter season are the Anna Maria Island Festival of Fine Arts; an antique and collectibles show in the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium; the Palmetto Winter Craft Fair; the Manatee County Fair; and the annual seafood festival in the fishing village of Cortez.

RECREATION

Manatee County is a treasure trove of recreational pursuits. The climate is ideal for getting out of doors. Here, nature has provided a wonderful playground of beaches and parks.

Anna Maria Bayfront Park on Bay Boulevard North along the calm, shallow waters of Anna Maria Sound. For swimming, shelling, fishing, picnicking and boating.

Cortez Beach on Anna Maria Island. A wide sandy beach with jetties for fishing.

Coquina Beach at the southern end of Anna Maria Island. A 96-acre park with full recreational facilities, shelter and picnic areas.

G.T. Bray Park, county park with gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis complex, athletic fields, picnic sites, jogging and bike paths. Programs for all ages are held at this 140-acre park. The county also operates two 18-hole golf courses and two public Gulf beaches with lifeguards.

Lake Manatee State Recreation Area, on Rte. 64 east of I-75. A remote area of 556 acres around a 2,400-acre lake. Offers camping, picnicking, a swimming beach, boat ramp, and fishing.

Longboat Key. A resort area with few public beaches.

Manatee Public Beach on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. An all-around spot for beach lovers. Surfing is even possible at times.

Myakka River State Park, 11 miles east of I-75 on Route 72. Florida’s largest state park, with nature trails, air boat rides, tram tours, biking, camping, and canoeing.

Palma Sola Causeway and Palma Sola Bay on Manatee Avenue West. Popular for swimming, boating, water skiing, and walking dogs.

Easily accessible water makes boating and fishing popular pastimes. The county’s boating public is served by 30 marinas and eight boat ramps. In bays, bayous, and along the shores of the Gulf, fishermen find trout, redfish, pompano, and flounder. Offshore they go for kingfish, mackerel, grouper, and tarpon. Among the public fishing piers are the Anna Maria City Pier at Pine Avenue; the Bradenton beach Fishing Pier at Bridge Street; Manatee Beach Fishing Pier on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach; and the Rod ‘n’ Reel Pier on Bay boulevard in Anna Maria. The Manatee and Pinellas ends of the old Skyway Bridge have been converted to fishing piers. The 1.59-mile Manatee County section is the longest fishing pier in the world.

A golfer’s paradise, the county boasts over 25 public and private golf courses with another 200 golfing facilities scattered throughout southwest Florida.

Excellent city and county parks offer tennis courts, racquetball courts, softball, basketball, volleyball, and flag football leagues, and a wide variety of other sports opportunities. The Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy is headquartered in Bradenton and offers training to players of all ages. Among other events, the Parks and Recreation Department sponsors an annual Olympic-style Gulf Coast
Senior Games.

With the spring come several major league baseball teams. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ winter home and spring training is held in Bradenton at the beautiful McKechnie Field. Recently renovated, the field has received national awards for its innovative design. Nearby Sarasota is the home to Major League Baseball spring training and summer leagues. Just 25 minutes to the north are the newly acquired Tampa Bay Devil Rays professional baseball team who will call Tropicana Field home. Football fans cheer for the Tampa Buccaneers and the professional Arena Football Team, the Tampa Bay Storm. Hockey fans cheer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, an NHL team in St. Petersburg. Professional soccer fans get their kicks with the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Tampa Bay Terror.

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only you can decide if a short sale is right for you
08/13/2012 08:56 AM

 

Only you can decide if a short sale is right for you. 

If you can no longer afford your mortgage payments and/or have fallen behind with your payments you must consider your options. 

If you decide to attempt a short sale you must understand the process from a lender’s perspective. In today’s Bradenton - Sarasota market a lender is more willing to work with borrowers facing financial hardship.  A short sale is likely to be approved under the following conditions:

  • You are facing a hardship that makes paying your mortgage unlikely. A lender will not accept a short sale if you simply don’t want to pay your mortgage.  You must be able to demonstrate a true hardship like death of a spouse, illness, disability, loss of job, or some type of financial crisis.
     
  • You are at least one month behind on your mortgage payments. Typically lenders will not consider a short sale if you are current with your payments. Even if you are only one month behind, you will probably be dealing with the Customer Service or Collection Department.  Their job is to collect the payment.  Short sales are handled by the Loss Mitigation Department.
     
  • You have a ready, willing, and able buyer.  If you try to find out what short sale price the lender will agree to before you find a buyer, you will not be successful.  The correct order is to put the home on the market, find a buyer, execute the contract, and then contact the lender.  Expect to negotiate the pay-off acceptable to the lender and the price acceptable to the buyer.
     
  • You have depleted your savings.  If you have savings enough to cover the payments your short sale will not likely be approved. Remember, it’s not that you don’t want to make the payments, but that you cannot make the payments.

I previously wrote about the Borrower’s options.  Here is a summary:

  1. Contact your lender and ask for their suggestions: Homeowners facing financial difficulties often make the mistake of avoiding their lender, which is exactly the wrong thing to do. If you are unable to make your mortgage payments, contact your lender as soon as possible and explain your situation. Find out your options from your lender.
     
  2. Try to reinstate the mortgage: If you think you might be able to catch up the back payments in time, ask the lender to work with you.  If you can show your ability to bring the mortgage payments up to date, your lender will probably agree not to foreclose.
     
  3. Work out a forbearance: A forbearance is when the lender agrees to allow you to skip payments or make reduced payments for a period of time.   Eventually you will be responsible for the repayment of the accrued interest and principal.
     
  4. Refinance the loan and consolidate your debt: With a good credit history, you may be able to consolidate your debt with a loan that requires a total monthly payment of less than you're paying on all your other loans put together. Be careful with this approach because you may only be making matters worse.  Lenders will typically not accept a short sale when the loan is less than one year old.
     
  5. Give a deed in lieu of foreclosure: You may be able to offer the lender the deed in exchange for them not foreclosing on you. You lose the house and your equity, but retain your credit rating. In a market with declining values it is unlikely that the lender will accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
     
  6. Foreclosure: This is, by far, the worst option for most people because of its wide ranging effects emotionally, financially, and credit wise. With foreclosure you lose your home, lose your credit rating, and any equity you may have built up. You will probably not be able to buy another home for years to come and your credit will be ruined for years. You may also face a deficiency judgment. This is when you still owe what the lender lost.
     
  7. Negotiate a short sale: Lenders typically want to avoid foreclosing, because of the costs associated with it. Most lenders are open to negotiating a short-pay on the loan. If you can demonstrate your financial hardship to the lender this may be your best option. This isn't something you should attempt alone.  Talk with a knowledgeable Realtor.

Once the Manatee County, Florida homeowner has decided that a short sale is their best option they should IMMEDIATELY contact an experienced Realtor®. A Realtor® who is knowledgeable about short sales can skillfully guide the homeowner through this challenging process.

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Man rescued after getting stuck in woman
08/13/2012 08:46 AM

Man rescued after getting stuck in woman’s chimney

stuck in ChimneyIn Evansville, Indiana firefighters had to tear through a wall to rescue a man who became stuck while trying to enter a home through the chimney. Evidently he was drunk when he climbed down the chimney at 3:30 a.m. to see the woman he knew.

“Everyone does stupid things sometimes when they’re dunk,” he said.

 

Here was a guy trying to get somewhere he wanted to go but going about it all wrong. 

Isn’t that a metaphor for the way so many people lead their lives. We often have a worthy goal in mind, but then try to reach it the wrong way.  Of course, we get stuck and wonder why we did such a stupid thing. At least this guy was drunk.  In this state of altered thinking he truly believed he could get to where he wanted to go by going about it all wrong.  We know better, don’t we?

 

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How to Spot Mortgage Fraud
08/13/2012 08:35 AM

How to Spot Mortgage Fraud

mortgage fraudIt seems like Florida is always nabbing one of the top spots on somebody’s “best of” list. Now, thanks to a booming housing market and the popularity of nontraditional home loans, suspected mortgage fraud is up 35 percent nationwide—and Florida ranks in the top 5 places in which that type of fraud can occur.
“When you look at the sheer volume of real estate transactions here in Florida, it’s inevitable that the state will have a higher delinquency, fraud and foreclosure rate,” says Edward M. Wentzel, senior vice president of SunTrust Mortgage in Orlando. Here are some recent scams and tips on what to look for in your real estate transactions.
 

1. Hyped Appraisals

One red flag, Wentzel says, is when a buyer is willing to pay more than the seller’s asking price. “I heard of one case where the sellers sold the house and the buyers actually went and got a mortgage that was substantially higher than the sales amount,” he says. “Then, the bank was left with a mortgage that was substantially higher than the amount [the house] was worth. They must’ve had an appraiser working with them because it takes a couple of people to pull it off.”

In November, worldwide financial services corporation Lehman Bros. Holdings filed suit against a group of investors, title companies, a mortgage company and an appraisal company involved in possible mortgage fraud at a New Port Richey condominium complex. According to the lawsuit (filed in Tampa), the defendants used inflated appraisals in a scheme to potentially defraud Lehman Bros. out of millions of dollars. Each of the properties (13 in all) were appraised at $733,000 when, in actuality, they were worth barely one-third that amount.

During the real estate boom of the past five years, it was easier for lenders to fail to spot loans that were worth more than the actual properties’ values. Now, as the market is cooling down, mortgage experts say lenders are expecting to uncover more cases of mortgage fraud.

In many cases, lenders don’t find out until buyers start missing their payments. As the lender prepares to foreclose, the inflated appraisal is discovered and the lender is out thousands of dollars or more when the home is sold. “In most cases, it’s down the road six months [or more] before people realize they had a faulty appraisal,” says Wentzel. “And [these criminals] usually need more than one person to carry it out. Somebody was in on the scheme.”
 

2. Phony Fees

Mortgage fraud needn’t involve big bucks to constitute a crime. Wentzel explains that, in many cases, mortgage fraud goes unnoticed because it consists of simply padding the paperwork with phony fees. “Someone can put a bogus fee on the closing statement and you might not find it until later when you’ve started auditing and you see that [someone is] getting $50 here or there from the closing agent,” he says.
 

Reminder:

It might be a good idea for sales associates to have the seller/buyer review the paperwork with an attorney prior to closing.

 

 

3. Altered Paperwork

Wentzel recommends comparing all of the documents prepared in advance with the final versions that will be signed at the closing to make sure everything is above-board. “Keep an eye out and [scrutinize] the HUD statement that’s prepared before closing, for example, and compare it to the HUD at closing to make sure there aren’t any strange third-party fees that popped up at the last minute,” he says.


 

 

4. Know Your Vendors

Wentzel advises sales associates to work with mortgage professionals, appraisers and title companies that they know and trust—or get referrals from reputable people in the community. Checking out professionals’ licenses with the state, county or city regulatory agencies is a must, he says, because their license could’ve been suspended for fraudulent activity in another area. Also, if an individual’s name is listed (instead of a company) as someone who gets paid for services rendered that could possibly indicate a scam, he says. “I’ve heard of that happening,” he says, adding that corporations—not individuals—should be paid for the appraisal, title work and so forth.
 

Where to Report Suspicious Lending

Visit the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Web site dedicated to stopping and reporting mortgage fraud: www.stopmortgagefraud.com.

 

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EFFECTIVE Real Estate Negotiation
08/03/2012 02:20 PM

 

negotiatingEFFECTIVE NEGOTIATION

 

General Words of Wisdom

  • Negotiation is not a contest. A better deal can be found for both parties.
  • Never fear to negotiate, no matter how great the differences may be.
  • Stay rationally focused on the issue being negotiated.
  • Quick negotiations are bad. Deadlines put timelines on ourselves that can have a negative effect on the negotiation.

Preparation - Personal

  • Exhaustive preparation is more important than aggressive argument.
  • Write down your plan. The better you plan the better the results you will get.
  • No plan is complete without considering how you will defend yourself against arguments.
  • Think through your alternatives. The more options you feel you have, the better a negotiating position you'll be in.
  • Learn as much as you can about the strategy and tactics of the negotiation.
  • Never decide an issue unless you are prepared for it.
  • Set your sights higher. Be prepared to take risks that go with higher targets. Be prepared also to work hard and be patient.

Preparation - Team

  • Never enter an important negotiation without inoculating your team.
  • Don't negotiate with a second-rate team.
  • Train your negotiators. There is a zone of not knowing in every negotiation.

Sources of Power

  • Competition
  • Legitimacy and a sense of "rightness"
  • Commitment
  • Knowledge
  • Risk-taking
  • Time
  • Effort of work
  • Money
  • Negotiating skills
  • Friendly associations

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Find common ground on a personal level.
  • A tough negotiation involves conflicts.
  • Don't be intimidated by status or authority. Be willing to confront after you do your homework.
  • People who have higher aspirations do better in the outcome.
  • The man or woman who has a strong need to be liked is apt to give away too much.
  • "Normal" people raise their expectations after success and lower them after failure.
  • You have more power than you think. Look for the limits of your opponent's power.
  • If, in a negotiation, you pushed the other party too far, have the grace and goodwill to renegotiate. At the very least be sure you listen to his/her problem and have empathy for it.

Success and Failure

  • Neither success nor failure is experienced if targets are too easy or too difficult to reach.
  • A great success leads to greatly raised aspirations. A great failure results in a severe drop.
  • Moderate success leads to a small rise in expectations. Moderate failure leads to a small fall or none at all.
  • People appear to have downside resistance to small failures. It often takes an extended series of small failures to drive expectations down.

The Opponent's Position

  • Determine what your opponent really wants.
  • Spend less time talking and more time listening and asking good questions.
  • Let the other side make the first offer. If you're underestimating yourself, you might make a needlessly weak opening move.
  • Listen without being critical. Sometimes silence is your best response.
  • Don't be intimidated by facts, averages, and statistics.
  • Test your opponents. You never know what he/she will concede (partly because he/she isn't sure themselves). Take your time and be persistent.
  • Negotiate in depth. The other person cannot say "yes" unless you help him/her earn a "yes" answer from his/her organization.

Deadlocks

  • Don't emphasize your problems if deadlock occurs. The other party has plenty of their own.
  • Don't be intimidated by a last-and-final offer, a firm price, or take-it-ot-leave-it. They are negotiable.
  • Introduce new information.
  • Change the negotiator.
  • Change levels within the organization.
  • Go off the record (go to a less formal atmosphere).
  • Caucus.
  • Learn to walk out and, later, return.

Offering Alternatives

  • Change the time-shape of the risk (share unknown losses or gains).
  • Change the time-shape of money (pay periods, down payments, etc.)
  • Offer minor concessions.
  • Present a "What if..." proposal.

Miscellaneous

  • Some gurus advocate a bit of play-acting. Always seem put off at your rival's offer. Play up the importance of factors you don't care about so it'll seem like a bigger deal when you concede on them. Seem more befuddled than you are so your opponent will underestimate you.
  • Remember that profit is a gain in satisfaction. Look at the hidden part of the iceberg for real satisfiers.

 

TACTICS

 

Take It or Leave It

  1. Test it by walking out.
  2. Continue talking as though you never heard it at all.
  3. Protest to higher management.
  4. Determine if there are some things you can do for yourself and thereby reduce the price.
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Real estate transactions can trigger an audit
08/03/2012 11:11 AM

 

Real estate transactions can trigger an audit

Tax time provides an opportunity to cash in many of the rewards of dabbling in last year's red-hot real estate market -- but there are numerous tax traps if you sold a home, refinanced your mortgage or bought an investment property in 2005. Although the rules are too twisted to explain fully, here's a brief primer of four common real estate transactions that could leave you vulnerable in an audit:

If you sold your home

Most sellers can cash in one of the biggest perks in the tax code. Couples can sell their home for a $500,000 profit without paying a cent of income tax. Single taxpayers can pocket $250,000. To qualify, the house must be your principal home for two of the past five years -- and even then there's flexibility because those periods don't have to be continuous and there are numerous hardship exceptions. If your gain is over the exclusion amount, hunt for expenses such as the cost of home improvements, real estate commissions and title insurance that can pad your "tax basis." Every $1,000 you track down will save nearly $250 in federal and state taxes. Tax trap: The rules changed dramatically in mid-1997. Until then, homeowners could defer tax on their gain by rolling it into the purchase of a more expensive house. If you traded up before the rules changed, you must count that deferred gain against your $250,000 to $500,000 exclusion. You can pluck the deferred gain from Form 2119, attached to your tax return for the year you sold the previous home. But it will be difficult to remember -- let along prove -- what costs you incurred in your current home if you don't save receipts and records. In that case, "go back down memory lane and look at old photos," said Daniel D. Morris, a tax partner with Morris + D'Angelo in San Jose. The goal is to find evidence of kitchen remodeling, landscaping and other improvements -- and hope you draw a forgiving auditor.

 

If you bought a home

One huge benefit of buying a home is that you generally can deduct the mountains of interest you pay. That probably means you'll graduate into the class of taxpayers who can save more by itemizing mortgage interest, property taxes, certain loan costs and a raft of miscellaneous expenses rather than settling for the standard deduction every taxpayer is entitled to grab. But there is a limit to what you can write off. You can deduct interest on up to $1 million of so-called acquisition debt and up to $100,000 of home equity debt -- caps that can seem snug considering the median-priced home in Santa Clara County sold for $689,000 in 2005, according to DataQuick Information Systems. Tax trap: That $1 million can also include a loan on a second home, but you can't deduct interest on what you borrow above that threshold.

 

If you used your home as a piggy bank

As interest rates crept higher last year, many homeowners refinanced their mortgages to lower their payments and siphon out cash. Others took out home-equity loans to tap the growing value of their real estate. Refinancing can unleash some tax savings. Some of your mortgage fees are deductible immediately, while the charge for "points" -- each point equals 1 percent of the loan -- must be deducted incrementally over the life of the loan. What if this wasn't the first time you refinanced? You can deduct the remaining points from the previous loan now. The points from the current loan still must be deducted over time.

Tax trap: Tax pros increasingly are warning that home-equity loans are ripe for audit because few homeowners understand when they can't deduct all the interest they pay. Sometimes, even interest on refinanced loans can be limited. "That's a minefield," said Lawrence K.Y. Pon, owner of Pon & Associates in Redwood City. Generally, you can borrow up to $100,000 of home equity and deduct the interest, regardless of whether you used the money to remodel your home, buy a Prius, pay college bills or take a vacation. But that can change depending upon whether you borrowed more than $100,000, how you spent the cash, whether you owe the alternative minimum tax and other factors. If you owe the AMT, for example, you usually can deduct the interest on up to $100,000 if you spent it to remodel your kitchen, but you get no write-off if you spent it on a car or other personal expenses. "It's an area of wide ignorance -- or people are ignoring it," said Sharon Kreider, a Sunnyvale CPA.

If you became a landlord

Investors scooped up rental properties amid the housing boom, looking to profit from appreciation, rental income and a raft of tax breaks. For example, it's possible to pocket thousands of dollars in rent tax-free and defer taxes years into the future and potentially pay lower tax rates. Tax trap: The rules of rental real estate are complex and often subject to dispute. It's highly recommended that you hire a pro to help you cut through the tangled rules of depreciation, passive activity income, capital gains and more. The confusion can begin when the first tenant hands over a check. The first and last month's rent are income, but the security deposit isn't because it might be refunded, Kreider says. The most obvious puzzle involves determining whether a bill can be written off immediately as a straightforward business expense or whether it must be depreciated over a number of years. This is an Alice-in-Wonderland portion of the tax code where landlords must depreciate an air conditioner in a window over seven years, while one on the roof takes 27.5 years.

"There are a thousand different issues," warned Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning for the Schwab Center for Investment Research.

 

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Parrish Real Estate
07/11/2012 02:17 PM

 

Bradenton real estate covers the areas that are north of the Manatee River.

  Locals refer to the area as North of the River.  Palmetto, Ellenton and Parrish are becoming some of the most desired areas to purchase your new home. Ellenton is the home of the famous Outlet Mall.  There is a new library offering a coffee bar, meeting rooms, children and teen areas as well as computers for your use. Don’t miss the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish.  Ride in a red Caboose, the dinning car or rent a caboose for your personal party Parrish has new construction communities as well as great resale’s for you to consider. Be sure to have a Braden real estate agent accompany you so you are sure to have your own representation during the sale. Come fall in love with North of the River and one of the agents at Bradenton real estate will help you find your new dream home.

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Bradenton is my home town
07/11/2012 02:13 PM

Bradenton is my hometown.

It is a growing town located between Sarasota and the metropolitan areas of Tampa and St. Petersburg Florida.  Our location provides us with the feel of a medium size town with convenient travel options to make use of other cities cultural, educational and sports opportunities, such as Major League Baseball, National Football, Stanley cup winning hockey and a wide choice of spring training games.  And don't forget the many beautiful Golf Courses !  We have or own live performance center that will be completed in a few months that is home to the "Manatee Players", an award winning troupe of actors!  And performing arts centers and small theaters are also available in Sarasota area. Higher education facilities include University of South Florida, New college, Ringling School of Art, State College of Florida, IMG sports Academy, and  Lecom, just to name a few.


Bradenton real estate provides a wide variety of housing options that are sure to meet your needs

From the beautiful homes that line part of our Gulf of Mexico shores to large open spans of farm land, from Downtown apartments to vacation cottages on the beaches, Manatee County has it all. Apartments and single family living can be found along the banks of our beautiful Manatee River. Many with boating access which opens right out into the Gulf of Mexico.  Large subdivisions like Lakewood Ranch, Heritage Harbour, and Panther Ridge are growing larger every day! Whether you are young professionals, growing families or Seniors, whatever housing needs you require can be found here. I will say it again, Bradenton real estate has it all!

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Sarasota realestate
07/10/2012 11:49 PM

 

SARASOTA, Fla.

Prized for the sands of Siesta Key Beach, named the world's best in 2011, Sarasota and Her Islands is a resort destination that attracts visitors from nearly every corner of the world. Sarasota isn't just known as a hot spot on the Gulf Coast, however-it's annually ranked in the Top Ten on "Best Small City" and "Best Place to Retire" lists nationally. 

In addition to the Ringling Museum, Sarasota is home to an opera, ballet, and symphony orchestra, as well as theatres, art galleries and artist communities. The "Purple Cow" as locals have come to know it, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall adds even more color to shimmering Sarasota Bay,  hosting big concerts and theatrical productions.  October

2012 marks the start of the Asolo Theatre's 54th season.

The Asolo, in collaboration with the Sarasota Ballet, brings Tony Award winning-musicals to Sarasota, along with many other productions. Local theaters including the Venice Little Theatre and Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, as well as a slew of music and dance companies, including the Florida West Coast Symphony, also call Sarasota home.

 

Fans of modern art will find it all in Downtown Sarasota, which is jam-packed with art galleries, theaters and independently-owned boutiques. Visitors can tour Towles Court Artists Colony, an artist's neighborhood filled with studios that often double as homes.  Looking for a little more upscale experience?  Check in at the Hyatt or the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.  Stroll the shops and boutiques of the world-renowned St. Armands' Circle.  Endless arts and entertainment, restaurants, boating, fishing, outdoor watersports of every kind are at your fingertips.  Oh, and endless sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.  Enjoy.

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Sarasota Real Estate
07/10/2012 03:54 PM

Siesta Key BeachSarasota Real Estate

Sarasota has great beaches on the Gulf of Mexico with 35 miles of powdered-sugar sand. There is great shopping and dining on St. Armands Key. There are 3 barrier Islands; Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Lido Key. There are also great hotels such as the Ritz Carlton and Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. It has a small art district brought in by John Ringling originally from Wisconsin and now consists of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Asolo Theatre Festival and the Sarasota Film Festival.

-Chandra Boone

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Avantfax 3.3.3 fax server php 5.3 fix after update from php 5.2
06/06/2012 11:10 AM

fax server with hylafax and avantfaxI have been using Avantfax on my server in conjunction with Hylafax to run fax services for our brokerage. After upgradeing to PHP 5.3 from PHP 5.2 the site for Advantfax showed a "white screen" or "blank screen" error 500...

After searching for some time I found that the update necessitated an alteration within the include/classes.php file to add require_once 'Smarty.php'; and to comment out the _autoload section.

Below is a short script you can copy to within the "includes" directory of your avantfax install and execute (once you set the file permissions to allow execution) and it will patch your classes.php file for you. :-)

 

#!/bin/bash

#

echo "File \"classes.php\" edit."

for i in $(ls ); do

if [ -f $i ]; then

NAME=$i

i=$

LETTER=$(echo $i | sed -e 's/[^A-Z]//g')

if [ ! -z $LETTER ]; then

sed -i "/config.php/a\require_once \'$NAME\';" classes.php

sed -i "/config.php/a\require_once \'htmlMimeMail5.php\';" classes.php

fi

fi

done

echo "Function \"__autoload\" comment out."

sed -i "/function __autoload/c\/** function __autoload" classes.php

n=$(grep -niw 'function __autoload' classes.php|awk -F: '{ print $1 }');

n=$(($n+3));

sed -i "$(echo $n)i\ */" classes.php

 

 

 

Once complete you will have full access to your advantfax install...

Avantfax php 5.3 update

If I helped you fix your install too please be curtious and leave a quick comment so others will be assured this works. :-)

claim token: YV64WYS82MW6

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4 Guidelines for Sucessful Negotiations!
05/30/2012 09:35 PM

How often are you involved in a negotiation?


If you answered, "almost daily," you already realize how much negotiating is involved in our everyday lives. Think about it. We negotiate with our kids over everything from homework to the car keys. We haggle over prices at a yard sale. We go back and forth over whose turn it is to do the dishes.

In business, negotiations are constantly in the picture -- with vendors, colleagues, employees and clients. We even negotiate for clients.

Some people believe negotiations are bound to be contentious. But they needn't be. It's clearly possible to negotiate with a cool head and reach an agreement that pretty much satisfies both parties. Here's how:

1. Start by listening
Don't reveal what you want right away. Let the other side go first, so you know what you're dealing with. If they're hesitant, be firm. Explain that you can't give them what they want without knowing what they need.

2. Stick to the process
Experts tell us there's a 3-step process to successful negotiations:

  • Collect the opening positions
  • Probe for more information
  • Arrive at a compromise

Look for common ground in the step where you're asking for more info. Suppose you're buying a used piano. After the seller and you share opening positions, ask what's included -- the piano bench, a piano light, maybe some sheet music the seller no longer needs. These can be things on which you and the seller can compromise.

If the conversation stalls, but more could be done; talk about what each of you would be willing to give up for you to be able to move ahead. If you're really deadlocked in an important negotiation, you may have to bite the bullet and bring in a professional mediator.

3. Be ready with, "Under what circumstance...?"
This is the magic phrase that reveals what the other side feels they need. "Under what circumstance would you provide this financing for my business?" "Under what circumstance can you deliver this by the end of the month?" Until you know this, you can't reach a compromise.

4. Avoid round numbers
One office cleaning service quotes $40 a week, another says $38. Which one would you negotiate with? Always come to the negotiating table with an exact number, but don't use zeros. Not using a round number makes it look like you've done the math, which can intimidate the opposition. Make concessions the same way. If you have to come down, lead with an odd number amount.

Follow these guidelines and you should come out of every negotiation not necessarily with everything you want, but always with everything you need....

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Market Update
05/28/2012 10:10 AM

 


INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Well, we can all finally enjoy some solid signs of recovery in the housing market. Tuesday we got the news Existing Home Sales were UP 3.4% in April to a 4.62 million unit annual rate. Sales are now UP 10.0% over a year ago. The median price is UP 10.1% from a year ago and the average price is UP 7.4% for the year.  

This great news was followed on Wednesday with new single-family homes sales UP 3.3% in April to a 343,000 unit annual rate and UP 9.9% over a year ago. The months' supply of new homes dropped to 5.1, although inventories rose a bit. The median price is now UP 4.9% versus a year ago and the average price is UP 5.1% for the year. No one expects a huge increase in sales right away, but as one economist put it, "The housing recovery is definitely underway."

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... When someone asks what you do, be ready with an exact 15-second reply. This "elevator pitch" should state the pain you solve and whom you solve it for.

>> Review of Last Week

WORRIED BUT WINNING... Worries about Europe obsessed Wall Street investors, yet there was enough positive sentiment to give stocks their first winning week in a month by the time everyone left for the long weekend. Fears that Greece would abandon the Euro were joined by news that the U.K. slipped back into recession where Germany may soon find itself after logging one quarter of negative growth. The week concluded with Spain about to do its biggest bank rescue in history. Phew!

The good vibes pivoted around the unexpectedly upbeat home sales for April and the revised University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. This surprised to the upside, hitting its highest reading in four years. Still, all was not rosy, as April Durable Goods Orders were up less than expected and when volatile transportation items are taken out, Durable Goods were down for the second month in a row. 

For the week, the Dow ended UP 0.7%, at 12455; the S&P 500 closed UP 1.7%, to 1318; and the Nasdaq ended UP 2.1%, to 2838. 

In spite of investors' eurozone worries, there was enough optimism about stocks to keep bond prices pretty much flat for the week. The FNMA 3.5% bond we watch finished the week down just .05, at $104.11. National average mortgage rates were little changed in Freddie Mac's weekly survey, holding near record low levels. Their chief economist noted this was "helping to drive home buyer affordability." 

DID YOU KNOW?... GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the total market value of all goods and services produced, equal to all consumer, investment and government spending, plus exports, minus the value of imports.

>> This Week’s Forecast

APRIL PENDING HOME SALES AND JOBS TO SUPPORT THEM... Wednesday we'll see if the good news in housing will continue. Pending Home Sales for April will give us an idea of Existing Home Sales in the June time frame and they're forecast up a bit, though not quite as much as in March. 

We'll then see if this beginning of a housing comeback gets help from the May Employment Report. With Q2 GDP expected to show economic growth slipping under 2%, only 155,000 new payrolls are forecast for the month. Core PCE Prices, the Fed's key inflation reading, should stay within the central bank's guidelines.

Monday, in observance of Memorial Day, all U.S. financial markets are closed.

>> 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 May 28 – Jun 1

 Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact
Tu
May 29
10:00 Consumer Confidence May 69.0 69.2 Moderate
W
May 30
10:00 Pending Home Sales Apr 2.0% 4.1% Moderate
Th
May 31
08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 05/26 365K 370K Moderate
Th
May 31
08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 05/19 3.250M 3.260M Moderate
Th
May 31
08:30 GDP-2nd Estimate Q1 1.9% 2.2% Moderate
Th
May 31
08:30 GDP Price Deflator-2nd Estimate Q1 1.5% 1.5% Moderate
Th
May 31
09:45 Chicago PMI May 57.5 56.2 HIGH
Th
May 31
11:00 Crude Inventories 5/26 NA 0.883M Moderate
F
Jun 1
08:30 Average Workweek May 34.5 34.5 HIGH
F
Jun 1
08:30 Hourly Earnings May 0.2% 0.0% HIGH
F
Jun 1
08:30 Nonfarm Payrolls May 155K 115K HIGH
F
Jun 1
08:30 Unemployment Rate May 8.1% 8.1% HIGH
F
Jun 1
08:30 Personal Income Apr 0.3% 0.4% Moderate
F
Jun 1
08:30 Personal Spending Apr 0.3% 0.3% HIGH
F
Jun 1
08:30 Core PCE Prices Apr 0.2% 0.2% HIGH
F
Jun 1
10:00 ISM Index May 54.0 54.8 HIGH

>> Federal Reserve Watch   

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The Fed is committed to keeping rates super low well into next year and economists believe they'll succeed.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
Jun 20 0%–0.25%
Jul 31 0%–0.25%
Sep 12 0%–0.25%

Probability of change from current policy:

After FOMC meeting on: Consensus
Jun 20      <1%
Jul 31      <1%
Sep 12      <1%
 

 

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