REMINDER! Property taxes have to be paid no later than December 10th. If you have not received a bill, you can look up their website on ours at http://www.vivaescrow.com/for-your-convenience/other-links. You will need your Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) handy.
THE “S.I.” – WHO, WHY AND WHAT? The S.I. is the acronym for the “Statement of Information”, that one page form that many clients, for one reason or another, dislike completing. Surprisingly, the most common reason they balk is that because the form has many blanks and lines, clients take one look and feel overwhelmed. The less common but more understandable reason is that the form asks for all sorts of personal information, including social security number, driver’s license, date of birth and residence and occupation for the last 10 years.
Whether you are a Buyer, Seller or a Borrower, as long as you are involved in a real estate or business purchase transaction, you will be requested to fill one of these out. The information that you give will actually protect you because it will differentiate you from others who have a name that is similar to yours.
Let’s say your name is “Juliana Tu”. Not a common name, right? Google it and you will find a number of other “Juliana Tu’s” pop up. Given the same name scenario, I can only hope that none of them have liens and judgments and other bad filings which might easily show up as my debts!
Due to the length of this article, you can read the full article on our website here.
FILE THIS UNDER “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?” It’s not like Nevada can afford any more hits to their depressed real estate market, but here is an article about two Title Officers, both residents of California, who were indicted in a robo-signing scheme. They directed employees who worked under them to forge signatures on notices of default, forged notarization of such signatures, and then they filed these documents to initiate fraudulent foreclosures. The questions I have are: What was their incentive? Were they tied to the lending institutions? And of course, “What were they thinking?”
GADGETS THAT WON’T MAKE IT INTO THE NEXT DECADE: Once the Smart phones and the Tablets hit the consumers, it was all over for the rest of the toys. Because of these 2 devices, the following everyday gadgets will become an exhibit at the Smithsonian in the near future or offered up on E-Bay for sale as an antique! So get ready everyone, it’s a matter of sooner or later for the following:
- Standalone GPS systems
- E-Readers – No! Not my Kindle!
- Feature phones – What are those now? How quickly we forget!
- Low End Digital Cameras
- DVD Players
- CD and DVD disks
- Video Game consoles
This is a technology jump that has everything to do with Steve Job’s vision of the future. So, “Thank you, Steve Jobs, for opening the doors to this strange new world”. Today’s toys are tomorrow’s discards.
GROCERY BILL OUT OF CONTROL? With gas prices at a rise, mortgage defaults at a high, and the general standard of living rising beyond our means, the four-letter word for what is happening to your everyday grocery bill is, according to this article, CORN. And WHEAT. When we think of these 2 staples, we usually think of yellow ears of corn, sitting in our market vegetable section, or acres upon acres of golden wheat waving under the sun. What we don’t realize is that corn is used for everything, not just to be consumed at a barbecue, but also to be harvested for ethanol, used as feed for animal consumption, and even as food for our household pets. Today, due to a combination of natural disasters, drought caused by global warming, crop disease and the production of ethanol, the supply of what is left of corn and wheat is not sufficient to meet the demands needed for our daily grocery foods – our cereals, pasta and breads.
My solution: we should all turn to tofu (made from soybean). Lots of protein, no carbs, eat healthier, lose weight, problem solved.
MORE THAN JUST AN ARTICLE: I can always use helpful hints for around the house, and it’s a gut reaction of mine to click on articles that deal with cleaning, household tips to make my life easier, or savings on time. I clicked on this article and definitely found interesting tips that I will try. What was even more surprising were the comments at the end of the article! Scroll down and look at all the tips and solutions posted by readers which, just like that, turned a bare article into one with a great deal more interest and value. Now that is what I call good blogging. My view is that if you don’t have something interesting to say, don’t say it at all. Just because you can post incognito does not mean you should leave idiotic comments that have absolutely no value. I enjoyed this article and commend all the readers who were willing to share their insights. Hope you will forward it along to your friends and who knows, I will check back in a month or so and there might be even more tips that I can use!
FAKE ATMS, REALLY. Everywhere you go in the big European cities you will find convenient ATMs at each corner, as it seems Europeans find this a quick and easy way to deposit and (particularly) withdraw funds. In the U.S. the ATM’s are mostly connected to a bank, normally situated outside of the banking building for easier customer access. I rarely use an ATM that is free standing with no actual bank in sight, but do you? If you do, you might want to read this article to protect yourself from identity theft because apparently, a crook can buy an ATM on E-bay and then just park it somewhere like at a gas station or convenience store to entice an unsuspecting victim. It might not cough up the money you asked for but after it gives you an error message it will already be too late – the machine will have already gotten your card and PIN and you will be another victim of identity theft. The point of the matter is that we should all be aware of possible theft or our identity at all times, wherever we are.
One word of caution: Always, always check your bank and credit card statements when they come in. Question immediately line items that you have no recollection of. My credit card was accessed once, just last week, with an unauthorized purchase. We were on vacation in Costa Rica at the time.
WEBSITES THAT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY: Time to save money! A penny saved is a penny earned, as Ben liked to say, and this is the season to apply it. Here are some suggested websites that can help you save money, and I aim to try some of them out myself. I already have Amazon Prime and I highly recommend that to everyone. In particular, I want to try Plastic Jungle where I hope I can get gift cards for those hard to buy relatives that I have – my 2 fashion conscious teenage nephews!
To those of you who were affected by the windstorm that swept through the San Gabriel Valley area on December 1st, my best wishes for a speedy recovery. We lost complete power for 2 whole days, not only at the office, but also at our residence. This is a disaster that paints a very painful picture of how little we can control Mother Nature, and how desperately dependent we are on technology. Without electricity, everything in my life came to an absolute standstill. I could not communicate with the outside world as land lines were down and cell phone service for many was sporadic and intermittent. I could not even charge my cell, except by running it through my car. How sad is that! But we survived and this disaster has bonded many neighborhoods and communities together.
A Happy Holiday wish to all, and let us give thanks for the many blessings that came our way this year of our Lord, 2011
Juliana Tu, CSEO, CEO, CBSS, CEI