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“Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.”~ John Randolph

Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible | Keeping Current Matters

Billionaire money manager John Paulson was interviewed at the Delivering Alpha Conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. During his session he boldly stated:

“I still think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you’re the owner-occupier of.”

Who is John Paulson?

Paulson is the person who, back in 2005 & 2006, made a fortune betting that the subprime mortgage mess would cause the real estate market to collapse. He understands how the housing market works and knows when to buy and when to sell. What do others think of Paulson?

According to Forbes, John Paulson is:

“A multibillionaire hedge fund operator and the investment genius.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson is:

“A hedge fund tycoon who made his name, and a fortune, betting against subprime mortgages when no one else even knew what they were.”

Why does he believe homeownership is such a great investment?

Paulson breaks down the math of homeownership as an investment:

“Today financing costs are extraordinarily low.”

The latest numbers from Freddie Mac show us that you can still get a 30-year mortgage for under 4%.

“And if you put down, let’s say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent,” as many experts predict, “then you would be up 50 percent on your investment.”

How many are seeing a 50% return on a cash investment right now?

Paulson goes on to compare the long-term financial benefits of owning versus renting:

“And you’ve locked in the cost over the next 30 years. And today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting. And if you rent, the rent goes up every year. But if you buy a 30-year mortgage, the cost is fixed.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a billionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This billionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.





“You can make all the excuses you want, but if you are not mentally tough, and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win. “ ~ Larry Bird


Homeownership Rates: Are They Crashing? | Keeping Current Matters

The Census recently released their 2014 Home ownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of home ownership.

Easy… Chicken Little

The national homeownership rate peaked in 2004, representing a 69.2% of Americans who bought vs. rented their primary residence. Many have noticed a decline in rates since then and taken that as a bad sign.

However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to the historic norm. 2014 ended the year with a rate of 64% just under the rate in 1985 and 1995.

Homeownership Rates Historically | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, evaluate your ability to purchase a home with a local real estate professional.



“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”  –  Michael Jordan

Wow, a lot has happened since I last posted something on my blog. Believe it or not, I feel guilty for not posting in the past three weeks, but I have been very busy.  I’ve changed firms and in so doing had to learn a new platform for working with my leads.  I’m still trying to find a place for all the stuff I brought home from my office and I am also learning the Equator platform for dealing with short sales. One good thing is I did get all my files straightened out, so at least I can find a document when I need one.  To top things off, I’ve got my foot in an air cast.  It seems that it’s not broken, it’s a torn ligament.  I think I would have been better off breaking something.  Oh well this too shall pass.

I find it truly amazing that a small firm can get so many leads and a large firm such as the one I left, only gets a few leads per month.  So far in the three weeks I’ve been with this firm, I have received about 100 leads. Even if only 10% pan out – that’s 10% more than I would have had with the firm I was with before.

Now that I’m getting the hang of utilizing the lead platform, I believe I will be able to find some time to get back to blogging.  I actually miss blogging. I didn’t think blogging would get under my skin the way it did but it sure has; although there are times I struggle with what to write.

For this evening, I would like to leave you with something to ponder.  It is Werner Erhard’s definition of responsibility.

“Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience yourSelf as cause.

It starts with the willingness to have the experience of yourSelf as cause in the matter.

Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame, or guilt.  All of these include judgments and evaluations of good and bad, right and wrong, or better and worse.  They are not responsibility.  They are derived from a ground of being in which Self is considered to be a thing or an object rather than context.

Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from and with the point of view, whether at the moment realized or not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do, and what you have.  This point of view extends to include even what is done to you and ultimately what another does to another.

Ultimately, responsibility is a context – a context of Self as source – for the content, i.e., for what is.”

“SHORT SALE” Great Starter Home!

“SHORT SALE”  Great Starter Home!

This is a great home for the price.  The neighborhood is excellent and the lot is one of the larger lots in the area.  All in all,  this little brick gem is a great deal! I sold this home to the owners originally, and now it is time for them to move on.  So here I am selling the home once again. It is adorable and whoever buys this home will be very happy in it as my sellers are. To view more pictures of this home click on the link below.

“SHORT SALE” Great Starter Home!.


“For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.”  – Gloria Borger

You hear the bad news everywhere you turn. It’s on the television, the Internet, the radio and in print headlines. A lot of negative coverage has been devoted to today’s housing market.  What you don’t hear is the good news about the real estate market and the many reasons why the current real estate market may be beneficial to you.

Bad news sells newspapers and gets high television ratings; therefore, the media has no reason to report the upside of today’s real estate market to the average American. This is where I come in. For example, did you know that approximately 30 percent of homeowners own their home free and clear?

The current market also affords some great opportunities for those looking to purchase a home. First-time homeowners, move-up buyers and investors can all benefit from low home prices, and historically low-interest rates, making now a great time to lock in a long-term mortgage. Also, the large selection of homes and low sales prices make it a great buyer’s market. And did you know that if you buy in a rural area –Alachua, High Springs and Newberry qualify as rural areas –  you may qualify for a USDA loan, which is a 100% loan – a “no money down” loan.

Ultimately, though, these favorable conditions will go away. As inflation rises, so do interest rates. If you are looking to become a homeowner, you need to strike while the iron is hot!



“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”   Khalil Gibran

Fall is upon us and so are the many festivals that come this time of year.  And if you need more than just festivals, how about maneuvering one of the 3 corn mazes in the Gainesville area.

Newberry Cornfield Maze: September 30th – October 31st – Friday and Saturday nights: 3PM – 11PM / Sundays: 2PM – 5PM. Adults: $9 / Children 10 and under: $7. Hay Rides: $5

Activities at the maze include the Haunted Maze, a pumpkin patch, a barnyard, hay-rides (which will be haunted at night), a mini Maze for kids, and much more. One of the unique activities at the Maze is a Corn Cannon, where customers will be able to shoot ears of corn at a target out of a small cannon. One can ‘laugh by day’ with activities including a pumpkin patch, hay rides, a mini-maze for children, a cow train and farm animals, or one can ‘scream by night’ in the haunted corn field and bone chilling hay rides.

Roger Farm Corn Maze: October 1st – October 31st: Fridays: 5PM – Midnight / Saturdays: 10AM – Midnight / Sundays: 1PM – 8PM. Attractions Only: $8 / Add Maze for $4

Rogers Farm Corn Maze and other fun activities: We have a tractor pulled hay ride that travels around 110 acres of farm land! At the end of the hay ride everyone gets a free pumpkin to take home! We have a petting zoo that features goats, donkeys, pigs, sheep, chickens, guinnies, quail, phesants, cows, ponies, rabbits and more. Our activities include rubber duckie races, corn launcher, play place, mini maze, pony rides, spooky trail, tractor pulled hay ride, tractor pulled cow train, jumping pillow, roping and more!


Coon Hollo Corn Maze: September 30th – October 30th: Fridays: 4PM – 9PM / Saturdays: Noon – 9PM / Sundays: 2PM – 7PM. Adults: $8.50 / Seniors (65 and up): $7.50 / Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, FREE
Children 4-12: $6.50 / Children 3 and under: FREE

Fall Family Fun on the Farm! Admission Includes: Interactive Corn Maze, Pasture Putt Putt (NEW!), Hayride, Farm Train, the Coony Coon Goat Tree House (NEW!), Pedal Carts, Hay Fort/Corn Cribs/Buckin’ Barrels/Tire swing, Farmyard Obstacle Course (NEW), Antique Farm Equipment, Agricultural Educational Displays. Also enjoy the Concessions, Farm Animal Exhibit and Old Country Store.

The list of festivals for October and November is as follows:

Weekend of October 1st & 2nd

Peanut Festival: Saturday, 9-4 PM  – Arts & craft vendors, food vendors, entertainment, rides, games and a petting zoo. Williston

Horsin’ Around Fall Festival: Sunday, 2-6PM – live music, food, kids games and crafts, face painting, a hay maze & hay rides, bounce house, family sack races, pet adoptions, equestrian performance, raffle and more – Archer

Saturday, October 8th

Family Literacy Festival: 10-12 – local performance groups, vendor displays, literacy awards, free books,favorite mascots and characters and much, much more. Headquarters Library in Gainesville

Ocala Cultural Festival: 1-8PM – live bands, cultural dance performances, a child’s craft area plus, cultural food and craft vendors – Ocala

Ocala Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festival: 10-5PM – Come experience the sights and sounds of Scottish and Irish heritage. – Silver Springs Theme Park in Ocala

Weekend of October 14th -16th

5th Avenue Paint Out: Saturday, 9-4PM Local plein air artists will be invited to capture the essence of this historic African-American neighborhood in paint and canvas plus children’s art activities. – Gainesville

Alligator Warrior Festival: Friday – Sunday 9-5PM – reenactment, a Native American festival with music and dancing, living-history camps, demonstrators of historic skills, traders, craftspeople, and food vendors. – High Springs

Cedar Key Seafood Festival: Saturday and Sunday 9-5PM – 200 arts and crafts exhibits, great local seafood , musical entertainment and parade. – Cedar Key

Newberry Fall Market Festival: Saturday and Sunday 9-3PM – arts adn crafts, vendors, kid-friendly activities. – Newberry

Weekend of October 21st – 23rd

Haile Oktoberfest: Friday, 5-11PM –  live bands, a performance from the Cameron Dance Studio students, plus there is always beer, bratwurst, strudel, pretzels and other German foods plus kids activities. – Haile Village Center in Gainesville

Butterflyfest: Saturday and Sunday 10-5PM – fun and educational activities, including take-away crafts for children, informative workshops, and presentations on conservation and attracting butterflies and other pollinators. – Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville

Fine Arts for Ocala Festival: Saturday and Sunday, 10-5PM – local children’s art and entertainment groups as well as children’s art classes and professional entertainment. Free Childrens activities and workshops.  – Ocala

Heart of Asia Festival: Saturday and Sunday, 12-6PM – highlights the rich arts, cultures, and traditions of the Asian continent.  dine on a variety of Asian foods and visit the numerous booths that will feature Asian arts, crafts and information about Asian cultural organizations. – Thomas Center in Gainesville

McIntosh 1890’s Festival: Saturday, 8-5PM – Residents of the small town, welcome visitors to the very popular arts and crafts festival dressed in 1890s clothing.   – McIntosh

Pumpkin Fest at Big Shoals Park: Saturday 3:30 -7:15PM – This one-day annual event invites participants to enter two different contests the whole family can enjoy. – White Springs

Weekend of October 28th – 30th

High Springs Fall Festival: Saturday, 10-4PM – vendors, food and arts and arts and crafts – High Springs

Lubee Bat Festival: Saturday, 10-4PM –  a one-day educational event for families and folks of all ages, which includes a tour of Lubee Bat Conservancy, bat arts and crafts, family activities and vendors. – North Gainesville

Weekend of November 4th – 6th

Alachua Harvest Festival: Sunday, 11-5PM- arts and crafts vendors, food, live entertainment, and free hands-on children’s activties. – Alachua

Liberty Fest: Sunday, 1-6PM – a patriotic family event in celebration of Veterans Day, motorcycle show, car show, races, food, children’s activities, facepainting, music and more. – Santa Fe College in Gainesville

Weekend of November 11th -13th

Downtown Festival and Art Show: Saturday and Sunday 9-4PM An outdoor street festival showcasing the works of over 250 of the nation’s most talented artists plus a Children’s “Imagination Station,”  includes activities for kids like sidewalk chalk murals, book-making, or mask designs.- Downtown Gainesville

Weekend of November 19th -21st

Cross Creek Festival: Saturday 9-4PM – Delicious Florida Foods, Bake Sale, Arts and Craft Vendors, Entertainment for the Whole Family. Old Time Activities (story telling, turkey shoot, etc.) – Cross Creek

For a more comprehensive and up to date list of Festivals please click on the following link:


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“Bureaucrats: they are dead at 30 and buried at 60. They are like custard pies; you can’t nail them to a wall.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

An upgrade #5 carpet with a #2 pad. Some extra telephone and TV outlets. The den option with the double door entry. The list goes on and on. You have just completed the upgrade selection for your new home and feel pretty good about it. The option list given to you from the builder’s design center looked thorough enough, and you just plowed through it, choosing everything from flooring, to plumbing to electrical enhancements.

Once the builder has started on the house, he informs you that it is too late to make changes, except at a big non-refundable expense. Your builder has budgeted out his costs and everything has been ordered. But are there any upgrade choices the builder’s representative didn’t present because you forgot to ask about it? It seems as if this is every home buyer’s worst fear when selection time is over. Suddenly all kinds of advice and new ideas come pouring out from well-meaning friends and relatives.

If you have exceeded the cut-off times for adding anything more to the house at this point, there isn’t too much you can do. This advice, then, is for those thinking of going down that home buying path, but haven’t made their final decisions on upgrades. There always seem to be some upgrades and enhancements that can be added to your list that the builder may not offer you because, although they may be available, the builder does not have them as standard, pre-priced options.
The most common items I can think of that get overlooked by buyers and design center personnel alike are items that aren’t visually evident in the home. A biggie is insulation. Ask your builder about the thickness of the insulation they use in walls and between floors. If noisy living areas are not far from bedrooms, you may want to inquire about upgraded insulation to muffle the sound. Insulation is also important to energy efficiency. Is the new home a model of energy efficiency, or is there more that you can do through the builder to improve it?

What exposure is your new home? If one side of the home will experience brutal sun exposure, is there something you can do to add tinted or higher grade windows to that side, such as triple paned or the new “low-e squared” glass? What about more doors to the backyard, or a French door off the master to a deck or balcony? When asked, builders may be willing to add them or at least put in headers over windows that can be used for door openings later on, when the “hole in you pocket” syndrome is behind you.

And then there are what we in the industry lovingly call “pre-plumbs” and “pre-wires”. These are builder preparations for systems you intend to install later on. Pre-plumbs can be stubs for gas log-lighters in your fireplace, Jacuzzi tubs, central vacuüm systems, or a utility sink to your laundry room or garage, to name a few. They remain as behind-the-wall goodies you can use when you wish to add the full system later on. Pre-wires are for electrical enhancements for later on. An extra garage door opener, speaker wire in your family room ceiling, an intercom, or a security system.

Some buyers don’t think in terms of “extras” with some items they choose and regret it later on. A larger fireplace, more burners on the cook top, extra cabinets in the laundry room, more fans in bathroom areas, more security lights in the backyard, and even an outlet for Christmas lights in a place you don’t have to risk life and limb to get to, for instance.

Although new home builders have finally started to offer extra “flat work” (extra concrete for walkways or patios) to buyers, design center personnel may not be the experts in suggesting or designing it, so it may be something you have to inquire about. It’s not that the builders don’t want to make more money by permitting you to add these things; they sometimes don’t present them as part of their normal option package. What happens, all too often, however, is that by the time a buyer thinks of adding them, it’s too late in the construction process.

There are few buyers I have met that haven’t thought of something they would have added when choosing their options and upgrades, if they had the chance to do it over again. My advice would be to become the squeaky wheel when you are about to make these important decisions. Ask the sales person to give you examples of what others in the neighborhood have chosen for their new homes that isn’t evident on the builders’ standard option list. Then make a list of all the “behind the walls” additions you may want to opt for to take with you on that confusing, but exciting trip to the design center.

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