Is it February? Then property taxes are due…again!
Stamp prices up again to $0.45 effective January 22. Happy New Year.
PROMISSORY NOTES: Are you refinancing? Or perhaps you are thinking of lending money to someone? Or maybe you just want to know for knowledge’s sake, what are the basic facts about a Promissory Note?
If you look up “Note” in the dictionary you will find many meanings attached to this four letter word. In the real estate industry, however, the Note invariably is “a written promise to pay a debt”. In an escrow transaction, the Escrow Holder may be requested by parties to prepare the Note if the Lender is a private party who does not have the forms or the knowledge to make sure all the necessary ingredients are put in for it to be valid. Whether you are the Payor or the Payee on this Promissory Note, be sure you have at least a basic awareness of what constitutes a valid Note.
Please go to our full length article at our website with this link: http://www.vivaescrow.com/for-your-convenience/faq/notes
PAYING HOMEOWNERS TO SHORT SELL: There is no doubt that Sellers under a Short Sale scenario are very happy when, under the government’s HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) incentive, they are allowed to receive a certain amount of funds for “relocation”. Now, outside of HAFA, more banks are also willing to pay a certain sum to those homeowners who are on the brink of foreclosure to sell their property. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have all offered incentives, using the premise that it is cheaper for them to pay that amount than to wait for the months (or years!) until the full foreclosure is completed and then sell it as an REO. According to this article, the programs were offered in Florida, but we have done a few Short Sales in our office in which it was offered here, too. How does the lucky Seller get it? I would think that it is up to the Real Estate Broker handling the short sale to negotiate with the Lender. What do you think?
If you negotiate Short Sales, would you give us some input on the above in our comment section to share with others? Thank you!
THE AWESOMELY CRAZY APPLE (STORE): Have stocks in Apple? Lucky you! As of the end of January, Apple has become the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, surpassing Exxon Mobil. It’s unbelievable to realize that the value of this company’s stock is greater than the GDP of many countries, including Greece, Austria, Argentina and South Africa. Remember when Microsoft was Number 1? No more! The value of their stock is now 60% of Apple’s. Isn’t this another example of making good on the American Dream? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – representatives of what can be done at the right place, right time, and most importantly, with the right vision.
LEARNING CHINESE IS THE NEWEST FAD: Throughout Chinese communities in the nation and particularly in California, (think Arcadia and Saratoga), you will find many high schools that are now offering Chinese language classes and many Chinese language after-school programs. Being just a hop, skip and an 11 hour flight away from China, it is understandable that the effort to keep the culture and language going amongst the new generation is of major concern to Chinese parents. It seems this “fad” is now catching on in other parts of the U.S. in non-Chinese communities where high schools in the Midwest and South are also looking forward and offering Chinese as a second language, with help from the Chinese government. You can read a little about it here.
Smart! You want to give your child an advantage going into college and the employment roll thereafter, supply them with this opportunity and set them apart from the thousands upon thousands of other graduating students. Am I promoting this because I am Chinese? No, I am promoting it because of China’s billion people and rapidly rising economy. 30 some years ago in my first political science class in college the first page of my text book read something to this effect: The 19th century belonged to the British, the 20th century to the Americans and the 21st century to the Chinese. This book was printed way before Nixon and the Open Door Policy when the thought of the curtain falling in the Middle Kingdom was a dream.
Look at it this way: if your child’s school offered the choice of learning Spanish, French and Chinese, which one would do the best good in the future?
P.S. It’s easy to pick up Spanish and French on the streets; try picking up Chinese!
IT’S ALL ABOUT LIVING HEALTHY: The article is called “The #1 Tool to Avoid Food Poisoning” and it caught my attention as it would for anyone who has had to remain within 2 feet of the bathroom for a prolonged period of time. Just posting it makes me feel like I have done a community service!
DEALING WITH FRACTITIOUS APPLIANCES: Ever had your dryer or your refrigerator make funny noises? If you are like me, totally appliance impaired, you might want to read and bookmark this article which give you tips on troubleshooting the problems we encounter with big appliances from time to time. It tells you (1) what you can do yourself, (2) what needs a hand from a professional or, if worse comes to worse, (3) what can be dumped for a new one. The next time I notice a puddle of water near my dishwasher, I won’t freak out. I’ll just check if I put in too much soap.
THE ISSUES OF POSTING PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK: I will be the first to admit that I look to Facebook as a very valuable tool for my personal and business life. I always think before I post, and try to post things of value (including this newsletter) in a proper and acceptable way. Last December I wanted to wish my sister a Happy Birthday on Facebook and picked a picture of her and her husband to tag along with it. I thought it was a good picture, but she was a bit upset because she felt the picture did not show the best of her. I was bummed that my fun intention was not as well received as I thought it would be, and realized that like everything else that infringes on the personal, I should have asked for permission first. Today, I picked this article regarding the etiquette of downloading photos on Facebook. In our enthusiasm to share our whole life with the whole world, we forget that there are others in it who may not feel the same way. This was a good lesson for me to learn.
2012 is the start of Election Year, not only for the U.S., but also for 59 out of 193 countries of the world. New regimes will go in, old ones will come out and there will definitely be many worldwide repercussions, economically and politically. Click here for an informative article about 2012 – the Year of the Elections. With that in mind, here is my quotation for the month of February of the year 2012:
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters.
If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters”
- Alan Simpson, Politician-
Juliana Tu, CSEO, CEO, CBSS, CEI