November 2009 RSS Feed

Found 9 blog entries for November 2009.

Food for Thought


 "Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow."
                               ~ Edward Sanford Martin

Although some historians claim that the first day of giving thanks in the New World was on December 4, 1619, at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia, it is commonly believed that the first actual celebration of the harvest and blessings from God took place in Plymouth in 1621.

The festivities lasted three days and included feasting, entertainment, and competitions. President George Washington issued the first governmental National Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789. In 1863, during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, Thanksgiving…

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Congress has voted to extend the current higher Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA loan limits through 2010. The present loan limits would expire at the end of 2009 and revert to previous lower limits. The higher limits, along with the home buyer tax credit extension, are necessary to keep the markets moving at this critical time," said National Association of Realtors President Charles McMillan.

"Home sales have shown significant movement upwards in the past six months and reduced inventory in some segments of the housing market, but not in all. Home purchases in the middle-income and higher brackets have not moved much, and those markets must improve before we can experience a fully sustained housing recovery. These higher loan limits will help motivate…

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2009 Dana Point Harbor Parade of Lights Bring your blanket, lawn chair and warm drink down to the Dana Point Harbor to enjoy the 2009 - 35th Annual Dana Point Holiday Boat Parade of lights. Enjoy a festive evening with family and/or friends while watching the boats that are decked out with lights and holiday themes are sure to please all.

The Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights starts at 7:30-pm by the water's edge. So, come early and get a front spot for a spectacular view of lighted and decorated boats of all sizes and shapes.

  • Friday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12
  • Friday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19

Visitors and residents will again be treated to an evening filled with sparkling lights, fun entertainment and lots of holiday cheer.

For more…

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The Holiday Toy Express arrives in South Orange County from the North Pole on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6. The "Toy Train" will be adorned with some 50,000 sparkling and colorful lights that will bring holiday cheer as Santa and his friends from the North Pole put on a live 15-minute musical stage show with singing and dancing.

Arrival times at the Metrolink train stations are as follows:

  1. San Juan Capistrano: Saturday, December 5 at 8:30 pm
  2. San Clemente:
    • North: Sunday, December 6 at 5:45 pm
    • Pier: Sunday, December 6 at 8:45 pm

Bring your family and/or friends and have some free holiday fun for everyone!

The complete schedule of all the stops starting on November 21 and ending…

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According to Mr. Rick Sharga, Sr. V.P. at RealtyTrac, as foreclosures continue to rise, the most likely scenerio is that homes in foreclosure will be marketed very slowly over the next 3-4 years so not to have another housing market crash. Overall, we are in for a long, slow recovery. 

We attended a meeting that gave a foreclosure market recap, as well as 2010 and beyond projections. Of particular note is the fact that there will more "Strategic Defaults" where a home owner will decide to short sale or go to foreclosure simply because they owe far more than the home is worth, and it is their best financial interest to do so. You can view a recap of the details at Foreclosure Trends - Foreclosure Market.

More information about Short Selling your home in…
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Walking is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and according to a new study, it also contributes to increased home values! We are lucky, living here in Orange County, our weather allows us to walk year round.

"Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities" reports that homes in areas where shopping and social destinations are in walking distance command anywhere from $4,000 to $34,000 more than homes that aren’t.

The study measures a neighborhood’s walkability by the Walk Score algorithm. The more consumer destinations within walking distance of a home, the higher the walk score. Walk scores range from 0 to 100. Read the entire report.

Get the Walk Score for your Orange County home.

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Congratulations to Kasia Kosmala-Dahlbeck, eleven and a seventh-grader at Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente, who will be playing the violin in a recital at Carnegie Hall on November 22.

Kasia took first place in her age division in an international music competition, the Alexander & Buono International String Competition.


Speaks: Three languages – English, Polish and Swedish.

Plays: Violin, piano.

Sings: With the Shorecliffs Madrigals and the concert chorus of the Southern California Children's Chorus.

Has sung: With the Long Beach Symphony and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

A highlight: Performed at Verizon Amphitheatre with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in a 2008 Fourth of July concert.

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Buying a San Clemente home just got easier with the extension and expansion of the home buyer tax credit. Congress overwhelmingly approved an extension of the first-time home buyer credit and at the same time expanded it to include repeat buyers. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law today. Take a look at the important provisions of this new legislation:

Home Buyer Tax Credit

  1. The $8,000 tax credit will be extended and available for first-time home buyers through May 1, 2010.
  2. A new $6,500 tax credit will be available for repeat buyers who purchase between December 1, 2009, and May 1, 2010. To qualify, buyers must have used the home sold or being sold as a principal residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years.
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The Senate voted unanimously to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit on Monday and the House of Representatives approved the extension yesterday afternoon by a vote of 403-12. The extension includes an expanded tax credit for repeat home buyers. The bill now goes to the President for his signature which is expected to happen today.

Home Buyer Tax Credit Expansion and Extension

  • The $8,000 tax credit will be extended and available for first-time home buyers through May 1, 2010.

  • A new $6,500 tax credit will be available for repeat buyers who purchase between December 1, 2009, and May 1, 2010. To qualify, buyers must have used the home sold or being sold as a principal residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years.

  • Prospective buyers with…
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