Chocolate Calculator

Isn't the internet interesting!? A friend sent me this recently. Try it!

Don't tell me your age; you'd probably lie anyway-but the Hershey Man will know!

This is pretty neat.
DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read. Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than 1 but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator
5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759... If you haven't, add 1758.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born

You should have a three digit number The first digit of this was your original number (how many times you want to have chocolate each week)

The next two numbers are
YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)

Interest Rates Fall – Opportunities Galore!

I noticed last week that interest rates for 30 year home loans edged down again and are close to record lows, which provides another excellent opportunity for home buyers to save money. The average rate was 5.04, which is really a great rate! It seems the Fed’s strategy to spend over $1.25 trillion on mortgage backed securities is having the desired effect of driving down rates for home loans. Apparently that money will run out by winter and will most likely result in a rising trend for rates about six months from now.

I hear early reports that we are beginning to work our way out of recession even though it doesn’t feel like it yet. Low interest rates, combined with low prices, combined with the $8,000 First Time Home Buyer’s grant, provides an awesome opportunity for buyers. I think I sound like a broken record, but it is true!

Who do you know that’s ready to cash in on this once in a generation opportunity?

Thanks for helping me better serve our Real Estate Community

Client Appreciation Party – Sound of Music Sing-Along

On September 18, 2009 the McGinn Real Estate Group is hosting our annual client appreciation party. This year it will be held in Ellicott City at the Patapsco Female Institute (see link for Historic Venue Info) and we will be presenting The Sound of Music in Sing-Along format. This style of movie presentation has become quite popular in Europe and other places such as the Hollywood Bowl in California. It is much more than just watching this classic family movie. Attendees are invited to participate by coming dressed in theme costumes. So be prepared not only to sing along to songs such as "Do Re Mi" and "Edelweiss" but to really get into the act. Here is an idea of what we will be doing. For example, whenever you see a mountain, everyone yells “mountain!” When you see the Baroness, you hiss. As Liesel says something cute, everyone says “ahh.” When the bad guys appear you boo and when they are trying to find the von Trapps, everyone waves flashlights around. Prizes will be awarded for costumes so use your imagination. We have included some neat ideas in the blog.

The Patapsco Female Institute is a stunningly beautiful historic site. Since we have the site for the evening feel free to come early (any time after 5:00 pm) and bring a box supper. There are lots of picnic tables or you can spread blankets and enjoy the beauty of the grounds. There isn’t a bad seat in the place so you can take your time and enjoy yourselves. We are anticipating it getting dark just about 7:30-7:45 pm.

Remember – seating is limited so sign up quickly and prepare for a great time! Pray for good weather and plan to join us for a wonderful evening. We will make the Hills of Ellicott City come alive with the sound of music!

Thanks for helping me better entertain our Real Estate community.

Will Congress Extend the $8,000 Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers?

About 14 weeks from now this important tax credit is set to expire. The big question is whether or not congress will extend the program another 6 to 12 months. I have experienced first hand the impact of this program since its inception in late 2008. It has been instrumental in encouraging people to buy their first home. In my opinion it has been a very important factor in stabilizing and correcting the housing decline. Since no housing recovery can occur without the first time buyers getting back into the market it stands to reason that until we are fully and completely recovered this program will be critical to the process.

Time is an important issue here as well. Since the home purchase process can take around 8 to 14 weeks from start to finish (including searching and getting under contract) we are now at the point where that window of opportunity may be closing and buyers could be left without the incentive at a time when it is still needed. Economists at the National Association of Realtors have estimated that $63,000 in downstream “ripple effects” is generated on a typical home purchase. That could include things like furniture purchases, landscaping, renovations etc. Even if that number is a little on the high side it is still plain to see that home sales have a significant impact on our economy.
One of the key points that seems to get lost when the real estate downturn is discussed, is that housing is the biggest industry of all, bigger than the auto industry, the steel industry and general manufacturing. When housing is sick, everything is sick. So, the best way to heal housing is to keep important incentives in place that encourage home buying and selling. That in turn will begin to heal the overall economy and we will move more quickly to work our way out of this deep recession. We might want to send that message to our members of congress and encourage them keep working to get this incentive extended. I don’t think it needs to be a bigger credit or more extensive than what it is at this time, but let's at least extend the existing program so more can benefit from it.
Thanks for helping me better serve our real estate community.