Cobb County Commission Chairperson

Tim Lee has done a great job. We should keep him on the job as Commission Chairman!
I don’t understand the people who say that Tim Lee should not have negotiated in secrecy with the Braves; the only way this deal could be done was in secrecy.
The bond issue. Yes, it is a large amount. However, it will be paid back over many years with dollars that are worth less every year.
Don’t forget that getting the Braves to Cobb will stimulate business in Cobb resulting in more jobs and more tax revenue. How can people fail to “get that”?

 

Bernie Sanders Scares me !

Sanders calls himself a Socialist. He uses Scandinavia (Norway) as a model. It is not all it is made up to be. I know, I have lived there. I have family and friends there. Norway is not a Socialistic country. Socialism is defined as a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. That’s not how the Scandinavian countries work. Private ownership of companies predominates. There is socialized medicine but it does not work all that well. There are lots of benefits paid by taxes. The refugees know this and want to go there for the benefits and to be taken care of. And would you like TAXES at 50%? If so, elect Sanders.   Continue reading

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING – USING FACIAL RECOGNITION

Facial recognition. Big brother is watching! Your face is being recognized in many places! Department stores use facial recognition to follow people who previously had been caught shoplifting. Some stores use it to recognize high rollers for special attention. Disney Cruises don’t have walls of photos where you search for your pictures. Disney now has lots of pictures in their computer system sorted by cabin; you log in and find you photos directly. Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 sorts though old photos recognizing the faces! Facial recognition is being used on the streets, airports, train-stations and more. Bottom line: Your face s becoming much like your fingerprint – unique. The day will come when your face can be used to access your computer. Also, it makes it very hard to hide.

Facial Recognition Image

Why have interest rated dropped – again?

Source: The KCM Crew

The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.

“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.

So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?

NAR explains the correlation like this:

“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”

Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

How long will rates stay low?

No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.

“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.” 

Don’t wait too long

The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.

Bottom Line

NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”

Contact me today for more information !

Community: Safety Tips when using online sites

Information obtained from the   Cobb County Department of Public Safety:

Community: Safety Tips when using online sitesDear Nixle User,

Safety Tips When Using Online Sites

In light of the recent and tragic event involving “Craigslist”, the Cobb County Police Department would like to inform people who may use these types of online websites, the possible dangers associated with them.

When buying, selling or trading using online websites, BE SAFETY CONSCIOUS! Below is information one might want to consider when conducting a transaction on Craigslist.

1) If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
2) Generally, the higher price the item being purchased, the greater the risk involving the transaction.
3) As a general rule, do not accept cash for items priced over $100.00.
4) For those higher priced items, conduct the transfer in person and at a banking facility. (A banking professional can verify if/when funds have been successfully transferred to one’s account).
5) If available, use an anonymous email address to communicate with the seller/buyer. (This will hopefully prevent personal information from being disclosed).
6) Selling or buying through an online website is a business transaction. Therefore, stick to the facts of the business transaction and leave out any personal information.
7) ALWAYS meet in a public place to conduct business. Police stations, banks, or government facilities (during normal business hours) are all possible locations.
8) Conduct any transaction during the day and not at night.
9) Do not go alone! However, if that is the only way to conduct business, always inform a family member or friend when and where you intend on meeting the involved party. (Additionally, provide that family member or friend with any pertinent information they may need to give to authorities should something happen to you).
10) If a comfort level is reached with the seller/buyer, ask them for some form of identification that will validate who they are. (Follow that up by getting a telephone number for them, and immediately call it while they are in your presence). Note: This should be done at one of the recommended locations where the interaction between the buyer/seller can be monitored or observed.
11) Have a cell phone on your person (and ready accessible) during the entire transaction.
12) If the person asks for a picture of the item you are selling, take off the “geo tagging” information before sending it to them.
13) Only provide information related to the item you are buying/selling.

AVOID:
1) Conducting the business transaction alone! (Ask a trusted person to accompany you).
2) A seller who refuses to meet face to face to conduct business.
3) Conducting any business inside your home or on your property.
4) Sharing any personal information such as:
a. Social Security numbers
b. Bank Routing numbers
c. Credit Card numbers
d. Computer “Username” or “Passwords”
e. Buyers who offer to pay with a cashier/certified check or money order
f. Wiring of any funds, especially out of the country, via phone or online. (Beware of the request to use Western Union; many “scammers” use this service).For full details, view this message on the web.

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Housing Expectations for 2015 – Source: the National Association of Realtors

The information in this infographic comes from a video of NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun talking about his 2015 housing market expectations. He expects existing-home sales to rise about 7 percent in 2015 behind a strengthening economy, solid job gains and a healthy increase in home prices.

Watch the video of Lawrence Yun’s forecast.

Read the news release about Lawrence Yun’s forecast.

The Global War on Terror has ended. The Global War of Terror has begun.

We, here in the USA are blissfully unaware of the real world in which we live. I learned it the hard way in “peaceful and safe” Norway during WWII when Hitler invaded and occupied Norway. The following is quoted from the magazine NEWSWEEK relevant today:

That is the widely overlooked but frightening lesson from last week’s murderous attack by Islamic fundamentalists on Charlie Hebdo, the satirical weekly newspaper based in Paris. For more than a decade, since former President George W. Bush declared a war on terror, the focus of strategic planning by the United States and its allies has been largely on groups—Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the like. But intelligence analysts and officers have whispered among themselves that while the bold-name groups posed the biggest national security challenge in terms of their ability to destabilize countries and regions, the real domestic threats would emerge when small, two-or-three-person Islamist cells stopped focusing on sophisticated weaponry and grandiose targets. These terrorists are aligned with the beliefs of ISISes of the world, and maybe even have limited contact with them—but the enemy now is the ideology, not the group.

In Paris, it was just a couple of automatic weapons and a suite of offices—no giant bombs, no airplanes, no bridges or secured government buildings. Nothing elaborate or easy to detect. And this relatively simple attack using readily available weaponry on a soft target stopped a major industrial nation in its tracks while injecting fear worldwide.

4 Reasons to Buy Before Spring!

The holiday season is behind us, time to focus on what exciting new experiences 2015 can bring! If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, or moving up to the home of your dreams in 2015, here are four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting until spring.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 15.1% (most pessimistic) and 32.8% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense. 

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by the end of 2015.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

 

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Vanguard’s Economic Outlook – Favorable for us

Economic Week in Review: For the U.S., a brightening picture

December 05, 2014  Source:  VANGUARD

Reports out this week generally confirmed that the U.S. economy is continuing to expand at a moderate pace. Job gains for November came in well ahead of expectations, and reports on construction, manufacturing, and the services sector were positive as well. That stands in contrast to the weak or slowing growth seen abroad. On Thursday, the European Central Bank signaled that it’s readying to provide further stimulus to revive the Eurozone economy and avoid deflation. In recent weeks, the central banks of Japan and China have acted to spur their economies as well.