Fed cuts rates to lowest since 1958

October 30, 2008

interest-ratesIn an effort to simulate the economy the Fed has slashed interest rates by 1/2 a point to the lowest rate since 1958.  According to the Fed, “intensification of financial market turmoil is likely to exert additional restraint on spending, partly by further reducing the ability of households and business to obtain credit.” Many economists already believe we’re in a recession, but they applaud the Fed’s efforts to mitigate the extent and depth of the recession.

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Do InfoTubes do more harm than good?

October 29, 2008

infotubeIt has been my experience that placing an information tube on a real estate sign does more harm than good. Potential buyers grab the flyers and skim them for a few pieces of information, such as price, bedrooms, bathrooms and square feet. If any of these bits of data don’t match their criteria your flyer is crinkled into a ball and thrown into the trash. Had the buyer been forced to call the Realtor to get the information a few things could have happened…

1. The Realtor could have captured their name and phone number – at the very least from Caller ID.
2. The Realtor could have used their sales skills to upsell the strong points of your home and downplay it’s weaknesses.

With a printed flyer buyers are allowed to pre-judge your home even though it could very well be the perfect home for them. You’re losing buyers because you’re making the false assumption that the more information you provide the better your chances of selling. While you do need to provide all relevant information to potential buyers, you don’t have to do it in the first 5 seconds of contact. Ok, so you have only 1 bathroom. Maybe this negative could be overcome by the fact that you have 42″ maple cabinets in your upgraded kitchen with gorgeous Corian counters. That buyer would never even know about the dream kitchen if they discounted your home the moment they saw it only had 1 bathroom.

Skip the InfoTube and allow your Realtor to work for you!

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JUST SOLD! – Eastwood Pines

October 25, 2008

1829 Bough Ave. #4
Clearwater, FL 33760

2 beds / 1 bath / 1-car carport $57,000

Clean and move-in condition! This 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo has an open floor plan with plenty of windows and sunlight. All appliances are included. Ample parking including a covered attached carport with locked storage. Beautiful community swimming pool and tennis courts only a few feet away. Walk down to the community fishing dock and enjoy Tampa Bay waterfront sunrises. There are no age restrictions to Eastwood Pines and pets are welcome too. Located only a few minutes from incredible shopping, dining and entertainment, but remote enough to have privacy and no thru-traffic. Put this condo at the top of your list.

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Don’t throw in the towel just yet

October 24, 2008

thow-in-the-towelIf you’re about to throw in the towel and just walk away from your home and mortgage you really need to reconsider. There are numerous great options available to you. Ignoring phone calls from your lender isn’t one of them. With a bit of effort and smarts you can solve your financial crisis and not have the nightmare of a foreclosure plaguing your credit report for the next 7+ years.

You might think I’m biased here, but hear me out. If you’re a few months late on your payments now is the time to call a good Realtor. While I happen to know one (me) I am suggesting you call ANY decent Realtor. A knowledgeable Realtor can help you explore the various options available such as a loan modification or a short sale. Don’t assume the banks are out to get you and sitting there at the corporate headquarters giggling about how they can’t wait to kick you out of your home. It just isn’t happening. Your lender does not want your home. They want money from you or from someone else. But there is no wild-eyed banker plotting to boot you from your home.

“But will they boot me?”

In a heart beat. Well, not an actual heart beat. Probably more like 20,000,000 heart beats…but who is counting? In Florida the foreclosure process takes about 5 – 6 months at the minimum. The time for action is the moment you start to slip behind in your payments. You need to be on the phone with your bank, and specifically the Loss Mitigation Department, discussing how you can get out of this predicament. Your bank will work with you if you give them a call.

“But I have called them and they were rude and mean and nasty!”

If this is the case you were probably talking to an idiot. Yes, you heard me right. If your lender doesn’t treat you with respect for making an effort to communicate with them and work towards a resolution then they’re idiots. It costs $20,000 or more for that bank to hire an attorney to initiate the foreclosure process. And then the costs start to really add up as the process moves along at a snails pace.

Most banks will treat you fairly and professionally, but few will offer empathy, sympathy or a shoulder to cry on. They’re dealing with thousands and thousands of other delinquent files and they cannot afford to get emotionally attached to you or your problems. If you call and get someone rude, mean and nasty politely end the call, wait an hour, and then call back. You’ll probably get a completely different person. And if this 2nd person is rude, mean and nasty then it is time to call me. I happen to specialize in dealing with rude, mean and nasty banks.

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Greenspan admits to not being superhero!

October 24, 2008

superheroIt looks like Alan Greenspan is finally coming out of the closet and admitting he is not the superhero we all thought he was for so many years. As of today he is confessing that he placed far too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Many people now believe that had Greenspan not held interest rates down for so long we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today. Low interest rates caused a feeding frenzy in the banking industry where people not otherwise qualified to buy a home were now finding it utterly irresistible. While I’m not sure any one individual can be held 100% accountable I do find it fascinating how we all love to point our fingers at one another. What ever happened to personal accountability?

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Pasco County Elementary Schools

October 18, 2008

school_busThe following is a list of all Pasco County Elementary Schools:

Anclote Elementary School
Principal: Carole Baird
3610 Madison Street / P. O. Box 446
New Port Richey, Fl 34652
(727) 774-3200 In District Phone#: 43200
Fax #: 727/774-3291

Calusa Elementary School
Principal: Deanna DeCubellis
7520 Orchid Lake Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34653
(727) 774-3700 In District Phone#: 43700
Fax #: 813/794-3791

Centennial Elementary School
Principal: Cindy Harper
38501 Centennial Road
Dade City, Fl 33525
(352) 524-5000 In-district Phone #: 45000
Fax #: 352/524-5091

Chasco Elementary School
Principal: Delores Gauvey
7906 Ridge Road
Port Richey, Fl 34668
(727) 774-1200 In-district Phone #:41200
Fax #: 727/774-1291

Cotee River Elementary School
Principal: Barbara Kleinsorge
7515 Plathe Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34653
(727) 774-3000 In-district Phone #: 43000
Fax #: 813/794-3091

Rodney B. Cox Elementary School
Principal: Leila Mizer
37615 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Dade City, Fl 33523
(352) 524-5100 In-district Phone #: 45100
Fax #: 352/524-5191

Cypress Elementary School
Principal: Teresa Love
10055 Sweet Bay Court
New Port Richey, Fl 34654
(727) 774-4500 In-district Phone #: 44500
Fax #: 813/794-4591

Deer Park Elementary School
Principal: John Shafchuk
8636 Trouble Creek Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34653
(727) 774-8900 In-district Phone #: 48900
Fax #: 813/794-8991

Denham Oaks Elementary School
Principal: Mardee Kay Powers
1422 Oak Grove Boulevard
Lutz, Fl 33559
(813) 794-1600 In-district Phone #: 41600
Fax #: 813/794-1691

Double Branch Elementary School
Principal: Peggy Lewis
31500 Chancey Road
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
(813) 346-0400 In-district Phone #: 60400
Fax #: 813/346-0491

Fox Hollow Elementary School
Principal: Lisa Miller
8309 Fox Hollow Drive
Port Richey, Fl 34668
(727) 774-7600 In-district Phone #: 47600
Fax #: 727/774-7691

Mary Giella Elementary School
Principal: Katherine Lail
14710 Shady Hills Road
Spring Hill, Fl 34610
(813) 794-5800 In-district Phone #: 45800
Fax #: 813/794-5891

Gulf Highlands Elementary School
Principal: Margie Polen
8019 Gulf Highlands Drive
Port Richey, FL 34668
(727) 774-7700 In-district Phone #: 47700
Fax#: 727/774-7791

Gulfside Elementary School
Principal: Chris Clayton
2329 Anclote Boulevard
Holiday, Fl 34691
(727) 774-6000 In-district Phone #: 46000
Fax #: 727/774-6091

Gulf Trace Elementary School
Principal: Hope Schooler
3303 Gulf Trace Boulevard
Holiday, FL 34691
(727) 246-3600 In-district Phone #: 63600
Fax #: 727/246-3691

Hudson Elementary School
Principal: Linda McCarthy
7229 Hudson Avenue
Hudson, Fl 34667
(727) 774-4000 In-district Phone #: 44000
Fax #: 813/794-4091

Lacoochee Elementary School
Principal: A. Karen Marler
38815 Cummer Road
Dade City, Fl 33523
(352) 524-5600 In-district Phone #: 45600
Fax #: 352/524-5691

Lake Myrtle Elementary School
Principal: Kara McComeskey
22844 Weeks Boulevard
Land O’ Lakes, Fl 34639
(813) 794-1000 In-district Phone #: 41000
Fax #: 813/794-1091

Longleaf Elementary School
Principal: Arlene Moreno-Bodden
3253 Town Avenue
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 774-0800 In-District Phone#: 40800
Fax #: 727/ 774-0891

Mittye P. Locke Elementary School
Principal: Tammy Berryhill
4339 Evans Avenue
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 774-3100 In-district Phone #: 43100
Fax #: 727/774-3191

James M. Marlowe Elementary School
Principal: Terri Mutell
5642 Cecelia Drive
New Port Richey, Fl 34652
(727) 774-8600 In-District Phone#: 48600
Fax #: 727/774-8691

Moon Lake Elementary School
Principal: Elise Landahl
12019 Tree Breeze Drive
New Port Richey, Fl 34654
(727) 774-4600 In-district Phone #: 44600
Fax #: 727/774-4691

New River Elementary School
Principal: Lynn Pabst
4710 River Glen Boulevard
Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
(813) 346-0500 In-district Phone #: 60500
Fax #: 813/346-0591

Northwest Elementary School
Principal: Tracy Graziaplene
14302 Cobra Way
Hudson, Fl 34669
(727) 774-4700 In-district Phone #: 44700
Fax #: 727/774-4791

Oakstead Elementary School
Principal: Tammy Kimpland
19925 Lake Patience Road
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638
(813)346-1500 In-district Phone #:61500
Fax#: 813/346-1591

Pasco Elementary School
Principal: Barbara Munz
37350 Florida Avenue
Dade City, Fl 33525
(352) 524-5200 In-district Phone #: 45200
Fax #: 352/524-5291

Pine View Elementary School
Principal: Cortney Gantt
5333 Parkway Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 794-0600 In-district Phone #: 40600
Fax #: 813/794-0691

Quail Hollow Elementary School
Principal: Michelle Berger
7050 Quail Hollow Boulevard
Wesley Chapel, Fl 33544
(813) 794-1100 In-district Phone #: 41100
Fax #: 813/794-1191

Richey Elementary School
Principal: Ken Miesner
6807 Madison Street
New Port Richey, Fl 34652
(727) 774-3500 In-district Phone #: 43500
Fax #: 813/794-3591

San Antonio Elementary School
Principal: Vanessa Hilton
32416 Darby Road
Dade City, Fl 33525
(352) 524-5300 In-district Phone #: 45300
Fax #: 352/524-5391

Sand Pine Elementary School
Principal: Ginny Yanson
29040 County Line Road
Wesley Chapel, Fl 33543
(813) 794-1900 In-district Phone #: 41900
Fax #: 813/794-1991

Sanders Memorial Elementary School
Principal: Jill Middleton
5126 School Road
Land O’ Lakes, Fl 34638
(813) 794-1500 In-district Phone #: 41500
Fax #: 813/794-1591

Schrader Elementary School
Principal: Mary Stelnicki
11041 Little Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34654
(727) 774-5900 In-district Phone #: 45900
Fax #: 813/794-5991

Seven Oaks Elementary School
Principal: B.J. Smith
27633 Mystic Oak Blvd.
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
(813) 794-0700 In-district Phone #: 40700
Fax #: 813/ 794-0791

Seven Springs Elementary School
Principal: Vicki Garner
8025 Mitchell Ranch Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34655
(727) 774-9600 In-district Phone #: 49600
Fax #: 727-774-9691

Shady Hills Elementary School
Principal: Tom Barker
18000 Shady Hills Road
Spring Hill, Fl 34610
(813) 794-4100 In-district Phone #: 44100
Fax #: 813/794-4191

Sunray Elementary School
Principal: Yvonne Reins
4815 Sunray Drive
Holiday, Fl 34690
(727) 774-9100 In-district Phone #: 49100
Fax #: 727/774-9191

Chester W. Taylor Elementary School
Principal: Eva Hunsberger
3638 Morris Bridge Road
Zephyrhills, Fl 33543
(813) 794-6900 In-district Phone #: 46900
Fax #:813/794-6991

Trinity Elementary School
Principal: Kathryn Rushe
2209 Duck Slough Boulevard
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 774-9900 In-district Phone #: 49900
Fax #. 727/774-9991

Trinity Oaks Elementary School
Principal: Allison Hoskins
1827 Trinity Oaks Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727)774-0900 In-District Phone #: 40900
Fax #:727/774-0991

Veterans Elementary School
Principal: Donna Busby
26940 Progress Parkway
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
(813) 346-1400 In-district Phone #: 61400
Fax # 813/346-1400

Watergrass Elementary School
Principal: Scott Mitchell
32750 Overpass Road
Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
(813) 346-0600 In-district Phone #: 60600
Fax #: 813/306-0691

Wesley Chapel Elementary School
Principal: John Abernathy
30243 Wells Road
Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
(813) 794-0100 In-district Phone #: 40100
Fax #: 813/794-0191

West Zephyrhills Elementary School
Principal: Emily Keene
37900 14th Avenue
Zephyrhills, Fl 33542
(813) 794-6300 In-district Phone #: 46300
Fax #: 813/794-6391

Woodland Elementary School
Principal: Kim Poe
38203 Henry Drive
Zephyrhills, Fl 33542
(813) 794-6400 In-district Phone #: 46400
Fax #: 813/794-6491

Please let me know if you see any errors in this list of Pasco County Elementary Schools. Thank you!

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Short Sales: Bad for Business?

October 2, 2008

short-sales2In the October 2008 edition of “Florida Realtor” a Realtor wrote a letter to the editor complaining that short sales are basically bad for business. Home sellers that are not in a short sale or foreclosure situation cannot compete with the extremely low prices offered by short sales and bank owned properties.

While this is true I have the reverse opinion. Short sales and foreclosures are helping thin out a saturated market. Granted, it is going to take quite a while to sell all of these short sale and REO (bank owned) homes, but they DO need to be sold if we’re ever going to get out of this economic crisis. The lower the list price the quicker the sale. The quicker the sale the faster we can clear the market of these under priced homes and start seeing traditional sellers have a chance of selling. Because right now…you and I don’t stand a chance of selling our homes. We have to wait it out and let the short sales clear the market. And it’s going to be a long and painful process so don’t hold your breath. As the current short sales sell new ones will enter the market.

An elementary understanding of economics tells us that price (or the equilibrium point of supply and demand) cannot increase (thus making traditional equity-holding sellers happy) without a decrease in supply. So short sales selling are facilitating a decrease in supply. Short sales are a good thing. We should all celebrate every time a short sale closes in our neighborhoods, because this short sale is moving us one step closer to a normalized market. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, that light isn’t a train.

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WANTED: Cat lover for 2 friendly cats – $25 adoption fee

October 2, 2008

I’m looking for an animal lover that would give 2 young cats a good home. The owner of these cats was the victim of a homicide recently. So in addition to losing their owner they are now homeless or strays. I’ve been doing my best to keep them fed and with fresh water, but the fact is they’re living outside on the patio of their past owners home. Every day I show up and spend a little time with them and refill their food and water, but this is not a good life for them. They aren’t showing any sign of wanting to wander away as this is where they were born and raised and loved and fed.

Both cats were very nervous when approached in early July. I have my opinion as to why. But now, after me feeding them and sitting with them a little every day, they allow me to pet them. And they love each other obviously. As you can see in the below pictures they sleep together and hang out with each other all day long. I believe the black and white cat is the older of the two, but both are related to each other.

I’m hoping to find someone that will take both cats and allow them to live together indoors. They will need the standard veterinary care such as vaccinations and possibly spaying or neutering. One is a boy and I didn’t snoop around to see what the other one is. The point is they are related or at least are friends and I want to find a home that will welcome them as a pair. If you want just one of the two cats please do reply, but if I can find a home for both cats that is the preference.

Please only reply if you have the $25 adoption fee, time, love and money to take care of two cats properly. If the $25 adoption fee scares you away then you can’t afford to own two cats. And if the cost of medical care frightens you then these cats shouldn’t be an option you’re considering. All pets need proper homes and I don’t want to turn these guys over to someone who will abuse, neglect or abandon them. Right now I have some control over their lives. When I turn them over I can no longer help them when someone decides to not feed them or take them to the vet when sick. Please, do not reply to this if you aren’t a cat lover or if you’re not interested in taking good care of them.

Why am I not taking the cats?

I would if I could, but I am very allergic to cats and dogs. The weird thing is my wife and I have a cat and I absolutely love him. Over time my allergies to him have diminished, but I do still struggle with sneezing and other allergy issues. One cat is all my health can handle.

What do I have to do to get these cats?

You can email me at chris@callchristoday or call me at 727-804-5319 or post a reply to this message. Please understand that I am looking for a good home for them so I won’t just turn them over to someone I don’t feel I can trust. Say a few words to make me realize you actually do love animals and plan to be a good owner. I’d rather keep feeding them and giving them water than turn them over to an abusive or neglectful person. I’m sure you will understand if you’re a true animal lover too.

These two cats are the last of about 8 cats that lived in the victims home. Some of them I took to the Humane Society, but a little research has now shown me that these cats are probably dead now. The Humane Society euthanizes about 70% of the cats brought in. Not good odds. I refuse to take these two cats to such a fate. One cat was adopted by my wife’s good friend and is now living a very happy life in an indoor, clean and safe environment. That’s my goal with these two cats.

I can see it in your eyes. You’re thinking, “Wow, those little guys sure are cute. Maybe I should talk to the wife about adopting these cats. We’ve been talking about getting a pet.”

Oh, just do it. Stop wondering. Look at these cats. Wouldn’t they look even better lying next to you on the couch while you read the Sunday newspaper?

Fine, you don’t read the newspaper. You’re more of a TV watcher. So edit my scenario. Close your eyes and picture watching Fox News with your new friends curled up at your feet.

You don’t watch Fox News? Hey, work with me here. Do you want these cats or what? Sure you do.

So call Chris today at 727-804-5319.

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