Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Your Mortgage Rate - "Lock" or "Float"?

You found the perfect new home, made an offer that was accepted, and now you've got to get your loan approval in two weeks, maybe less. But, you won't "close" for 60 days or more. Should you "float" your interest rate hoping that rates drop a fraction of a point the nearer you get to close (it'll add up to a tidy savings), or "lock" it now in the belief or fear that rates may rise closer to settlement? We wish we had the answer-- but we can look at key factors that affect mortgage rates for some clues.

Long Term Mortgage Rate Movers & Shakers


    Inflation

    If an inflationary cycle fires up, long-term interest rates are more than likely to rise. Why? Because the value of long-term debt instruments, such as bonds, ebb during inflationary times causing demand to fall, which causes the rates to rise.


    Economic Growth

    Strong healthy growth in the economy results in fear of inflation-- so if the economy starts picking up real steam, mortgage rates could rise as a curbing influence.


    International Economic Activity

    U.S. Treasury bonds have long been considered the safest investment in the world. And so, an economic crisis in a foreign country has often resulted in a "flight to safety" by foreign investors who shelter money in Treasury bonds until the crisis is over. A high demand for the bonds will raises he price and lowers the yield. Mortgage rates tend to move in the same direction as Treasury bonds, so, international economic instability can result in lower mortgage rates.


    Unpredictable Events

    The Presidential elections, the situation in Iraq, the situation in Iran, another state-side terrorist attack, continued lack of confidence in the stock market, natural disasters-- these and many more unexpected events or turns of events will affect long term mortgage rates.


So, what to do? If the future is impossible to predict, probably the best thing to do is go ahead and lock in your interest rate and move on. Rates are still fairly low and have even dropped in the last few weeks from a brief warning uptick-- so maybe now's the time to find a new home and lock your rate. After all, financing a home isn't the time to gamble.




Good Grades Get Donuts?

KRISPY KREME's program to reward students on a donut-per-A basis has drawn less than tasty results.

West Palm Beach Florida school board member Debra Robinson said Tuesday, "Krispy Kreme doughnuts are very good, especially when the 'hot' lights are on, but I can't say that there's anything healthy about them. Can't we find something else? I mean a doughnut?"

True story. In the pudgy face of ballooning childhood obesity problems, the famous donut maker Cravers Click Here promises one sweet treat per A per report card. In conjunction with the program, school children from Kindergarten through sixth grade are encouraged to decorate donut posters with "success sprinkles" when students reach goals. The posters can then be submitted for a reward for the entire class-- a full set of donuts.

The donut program comes at a time when Palm Beach County has earmarked $1.4 million to fight childhood obesity promoting healthier lifestyles with nutrition and exercise programs. The district is also offering healthier school lunch menus.

The donut reward program is being offered to school systems nation-wide. Our nation is wide enough, though.



Sunday, August 22, 2004

Buying a Fixer-Upper - How To Profit - Five Points To Keep In Mind

Saturday, August 14, 2004

MSNBC - Most overpriced places in 2004

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

St. Johns/San Juan Arizona - Cont'd



We continue the story of the founding and naming of St. Johns, Arizona. The following disputes the "official" history of St. Johns, contending that it was founded by Hispanic-Americans as they were the first to settle the area. We have exerpted this account from J. Baca Romero.

"They were Spanish speaking Americans; schools were taught in the Spanish language, politics, all exchanges were and continued to be in the Spanish language.

They came by wagons, from Belen, New Mexico USA, to settle in an area on the "Coloradito" the little Colorado River, there were about thirty Hispanic families already settled there.

Don Jose Maria Saavedra and his son were the founders and the first family to settle in this city.

The town was called San Juan by all, and the citizens wanted to make the name official. They had previously applied to the US Postal Service to officially name their town, however the applications were ignored numerous times.

The applications were submitted in the Spanish language, and the US post master chose to ignore the application because it was in the Spanish language. (this was reported in the Apache County newspaper).

After numerous attempts, the Spanish speaking settlers made application again to the United States Post Master for a mail route. The settlers wanted to name their city after Doña Maria de San Juan Baca and to dedicate the settlement to San Juan Bautista as its Patron Saint.

When the US postal authorities granted the application, they ordered that San Juan be called St. Johns.

An old newspaper clipping from Apache Country newspaper reads that the US Postmaster said: "We'll show those "Mexicans" which country they are in."

And so the town was called St. Johns instead of the proper name it should be "San Juan".

(Note: Hispanics who founded and settled the towns in this area were American (USA), solid outstanding Americans as history has shown. They were Spanish speaking Americans.

To this day the city is called San Juan by many in the White Mountain area and the Southwest.

Also to this day, San Juan Bautista Day is celebrated each year, with a parade in the San Juan area, this is celebrated on June 22nd of each year."


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When we talked to several life-long area residents, they were surprised to hear this story-- but doubtless it has some veracity. We plan to go up to St. Johns/San Juan next June for the annual festival De San Juan-- and maybe you should, too!