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Forcing one to learn about anything breeds contempt for the matter, especially among children.
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    David's Corner :

    Judge Merit, Not Race

    "The race of any human being should have nothing to do with justice, civil rights, appointments of job responsibilities, or hiring practices. People should be assessed and compared based on their merits, skills, and whether they communicate with each other fairly while conforming to rules and standards. People frequently rewrite laws in their own mind to justify (validate) some perceived and unrealistic notion of the way they believe they've been treated. The race card is segregationist bigotry. When it's played, the player, white or black, is the loser."
    David Saks
    REALTOR« Magazine September 2005

    Terra Firma and Leviticus 25:36-37

    "Property tax scheduling, at county and city rates, combined with income tax schedules, will create additional burdens for buyers. Debt to income ratio calculation and borrowing becomes more complicated when qualifying a buyer. Debt is increased by the taxation schedules when an income shift occurs on the eve of new property assessment values for Shelby County, creating additional tax burdens for our commercial and residential property owners. Our combined city and county property tax rates are among the highest in the land ! Combined, they approach subprime lending rates! The housing market in Shelby County has been undervalued by economists. Our property taxes are usurious ! It's time to lower the property taxes in Shelby County to conform with a fair national average, now! The "number one priority" of our voters is to elect integrity minded leaders who are committed to reducing our taxes."

    The Sheriff of Nottingham Forest ?

    Is Memphis the Victim of Predatory Ad Valorem (Property) Taxation ? Many homeowners and real estate leaders believe so ! Rather than increase property taxes, lowering them will help fight crime even more by reducing the financial burdens on many of our citizens facing foreclosure and catastrophic financial ruin. Poverty creates crime. Reducing the tax burden and lowering taxes will alleviate the financial pressure and reduce crime as well. Lenders will deny many new loans during the first twelve months of the reassessment period. The shift seems to occur every four years. The 28% mortgage cap for monthly payments and 36% total monthly debt fiqures used for calculating the debt to income ratios will be affected during a heavy cycle of taxation and the lenders will look at these fiqures carefully before making their decisions. When lenders exceed these rates they put borrowers at terrible risk by committing them to loans they can't afford ! By doing the math properly lenders and homeowners can avoid foreclosures and keep interest rates down when financing becomes realistically affordable. It makes sense that if you have more money going out than coming in your going to go broke, or keep putting off your creditors without any hope of catching up. It's a classic scenario for bankruptcy. If the city passes this concept down to the homeowners rather than deal with it's commitments within the city budget, our homeowners will suffer and face the consequences of going broke. Lowering taxes encourages borrowing and new and existing home financing opportunities. The crime problems in Shelby County will not go away, but they'll slack off. The property taxes in Memphis and Shelby County should be lowered, now ! We must elect leaders that encourage lower property taxes. The citizens of Memphis and Shelby County should applaud elected officials such as Shelby County Trustee Bob Patterson for the Tax Relief Program he created for our citizens. Lowering taxes encourages good will and will pay the bill. The foreclosure and bankruptcy statistics in Shelby County are the highest in the nation this day ! Let's end this catastrophe. Three cheers for the late (d.January 18, 2008) Bob Patterson ! Shelby County Trustee (you may click Bob's name to visit his home pages)

    Memphis, Nashville SMSAs(Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas)Described as "Low Risk" Markets
    Homeowners, whose residences are in foreclosure, in recent days have been subjected to fraud, deception, and unfair dealing by home equity purchasers, investors and others offering an easy bailout. The recent rapid escalation of home values over the last seven years, particularly in urban areas, has resulted in a significant increase in home equities, which are usually the greatest asset held by homeowners in this state or any other part of our country. During the period of time between the commencement of foreclosure proceedings and a scheduled foreclosure sale date, homeowners in financial distress, especially the poor, elderly and financially unsophisticated, are vulnerable to the importunities of equity purchasers, unscrupulous investors and lurkers who induce homeowners to sell their homes for a small fraction of their fair market value through the use of schemes which often involve oral and written misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation and other unreasonable commercial practices. With fewer financing opportunities available because of the recent demise of hundreds of lending institutions nationwide, and with the prospect of obtaining a mortgage reduced to the oversight of a market in which control over the supply of money is in the hands of a smaller number of lenders (an oligopoly, if you will), real dangers will exist because the influence of a smaller number of available lending and banking institutions will control the flow, price, and costs of available loan products. This will adversely affect competition which will limit most sale, purchase or refinancing options throughout the land. This day put aside the old warning "Caveat Emptor", "Let the Buyer Beware". It's time to reverse the thought process with "Caveat Venditor", "Let the Seller Beware".
    This all began in 1999 when property assessors nationwide began artificially inflating the values of every other piece of land, commercial and residential property in order to cash in on the taxes because of the higher assessments taxed at fractional percentages of the assessed values. It was a smooth con designed to skirt the negative impact and dissension of property owners all over America to the prospect of higher property taxes based on legislative action. The government started the disaster. The banks and mortgage brokers fell for it, and became prehensile by underwriting loans on the new levels of equity established by the phony tax reassessment levels in order to cash in on the over-inflated new values established by state, county and local governments. It started eight years ago. Stop blaming the mortgage brokers, realtors, closing attorneys, appraisers, Countrywide, New Century, Ameriquest, National City Mortgage or anyone else in the real estate business. Blame the tax assessors. The artificial inflation of property values by the tax assessors is the same kind of guile that Gernmany used to deplete the gold reserves and drive the economy down in 1928.
    The 2006 Winter report of the PMI U.S. Market Risk Index showed that home appreciation is slowing in 32 of the 50 largest housing markets in the U.S. It's much worse now in 2008. For the two Tennessee markets in the study, however, this report should be GOOD NEWS! Of the 50 national markets studied, the MEMPHIS SMSA is rated as the SECOND-lowest risk housing market in the country, with a rating of 57 ...which translates into only a 5.7 percent chance of price declines. The NASHVILLE SMSA also came out very well, as the FIFTH-lowest risk market in the country, with a score of 62 ...or a 6.2 percent chance of price declines. [The lowest-risk market in the country is Pittsburgh, PA, with a score of 56.] Compare these figures with San Diego, which has a score of 588 (or a 58.8 percent chance of price declines), or Los Angeles, with a score of 533 (or a 53.3 percent chance of price declines)! The PMI Market Risk Index looks at a variety of factors in measuring risk, including labor market statistics, median household income, affordability, historical price data, etc.

    Could it be that there is a low risk of home price decline in Memphis and Shelby County because of the ridiculously high property taxes ? On the other hand, could high property taxes make it more difficult to stay in step with appreciation ? Other factors such as foreclosure risk, tax liens, divorce and bankruptcy influence price decline.
    [SOURCE: Business Wire]

    Questions and Observations:

    Has the Housing Market Become a "Sellers Rally" and a "Buyers Windfall" ?

    30 and 15 Year Interest Rates Are Climbing Because of the Fuel Crisis, Natural Disasters, Increased Building Material Costs, War, Fed Rate Hikes and Other Critical Problems Plaguing America !!!
    Pre-approve Your Loan With a Dependable Lender and Lock-In a Good, Fixed Mortgage Rate !!!

    CAUTION: ARM's (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) were risky because of unpredictable and frequent Fed (click here for Federal Reserve Bank) rate hikes.

    The Low Interest Rate Windows Are Closing and Interest Rates Are Climbing in Every Category, Conventional, FHA, VA, ARM, Jumbo, etc. !!!

    Bankruptcy Petitions Were and Are Being Filed In Record Numbers Because of New Laws That Protect Lenders Which Became Effective October 2005 !!! Source: The New York Times

    According to the Federal Reserve, the number of bounced checks in 2003 was about 200 million, for a value of about $151.2 billion. The average amount of a bounced check was $756. In 2003, about 548,000 checks, for a value of $414 million, bounced each day. You can imagine that with the increases in mortgage and banking fraud, along with other financial crimes, that these numbers are UP this year !

    Brokers and Agents: Caution !
    Always remember that before you view a property, even if it's just standing in the yard, contact the agent or owner first or you could be charged with attempted burglary or criminal trespassing ! Never get out of your car to view or survey a property after you've taken a brochure from a tube or just stopped to copy the information off of the listing agents sign ! You could be arrested ! Remember to contact the owner or agent and arrange to meet with a responsible party to insure your safety and uphold the law ! Just because there's a flyer or brochure tube in the yard with listing information doesn't mean that an open house is in progress ! Contact the agent or owner by mail or phone first ! Stay in sync with federal calling guidelines. Tempers can flare !


    Rhode Island Towns Report Home Sales Brisk, Slowing Only Slightly
    Higher interest rates and interest rate hike fears are beginning to weigh on homebuyers nationwide, but Realtors in Rhode Island towns report that sales are still brisk, even as they begin to slow due to overinflated home prices. FULLáSTORY->

    Lessen Your Risks, Understand Your Insurance Policy Before It's Too Late
    In the wake of recent California wild fires, fire victims are storming Sacramento looking for insurance reform. Phoebe Chongchua offers tips for keeping your insurance policy current and making sure it provides adequate protection for your family's needs. FULLáSTORY->

    One Free Credit Report Per Year? How About Three?
    After years of debate and discussion, consumers will finally be able to obtain free copies of their credit reports in all states under a rule adopted by the Federal Trade Commission. Peter Miller reports on the new regulations. FULLáSTORY->

    Architects Bring Canadian Design To China
    Canadian architects from 15 firms were selected by a Singapore developer to participate in an urban planning competition to design a Canadian-style Sustainable Community in China. PJ Wade tells you how they fared. FULLáSTORY->

    Alfresco Kitchen Extends Social Center, Unintended Invitations
    An outdoor kitchen offers the added value of extending a home's social center to the alfresco arena, but with it comes additional maintenance chores and unintended invitations to unwanted wildlife. Broderick Perkins has the details. FULLáSTORY->

    Can't Afford It? Let Your Parents Help
    I am a first-time home buyer and would like to know how my parents can help me purchase a condominium unit with money they have saved in an IRA. I have a decent income but just cannot afford the price. I am concerned that if I wait too long, the price will even be higher. What do you advise? FULLáSTORY->

    Expect Smallest Homeowners Insurance Increase In Five Years This Year
    After several years of steadily healthy increases, homeowners insurance is expected to rise by 2.8 percent this year - the smallest increase in five years, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Michele Dawson reports -- and provides tips on how you can reduce your insurance costs. FULLáSTORY->

    Austin, Texas Pulls Out Of Housing Slump
    Ranked as one of the best places to live and work in the country, Austin, Texas has suffered through a dot-com meltdown which also flattened housing sales for several years. Local Realtors are reporting those days are over. FULLáSTORY->

    National Home Real Estate Appreciation Rate Entering Cool-Down Phase
    The latest federal survey of home value appreciation documents a significant shift toward moderation. Out of 53 home real estate markets where last year's appreciation was in double digits, 52 turned in lower -- sometimes dramatically lower -- annualized price gains during the first quarter of 2004. Ken Harney reports. FULLáSTORY->

    Anticipation That The Fed Will Move Aggressively Stabilizes Long-Term Mortgage Rates
    In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.30 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ending June 11, 2004, up slightly from last week when it averaged 6.28 percent. FULLáSTORY->

    PR Tips For The Techno-Challenged
    Technology can boost your public relations efforts, but used improperly it can block the flow of information, break down communications and keep consumers -- potential customers -- from getting the message. Broderick Perkins has the story. FULLáSTORY->

    Planning Day Precedes Moving Day
    Roughly 15 percent of Americans will move from one dwelling to another this summer, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. M. Anthony Carr offers tips for making the most of your upcoming move, and getting it done more efficiently than you thought possible. FULLáSTORY->

    Newport, North Carolina's Location Creates Built-in Market, Say Realtors
    Located between Havelock and Morehead City and near Cherry Point military base, Newport offers a rural lifestyle with new development and quick access to sandy beaches. FULLáSTORY->

    Mortgage Maps
    Unfortunately, too many loan officers simply give you the bad news and move on to the next loan application when your initial attempt at mortgage financing was declined. Instead, you should have been given a road map on how to get a home loan in the future. FULLáSTORY->

    What American City Are You?
    You could be Los Angeles or Memphis or New York, but why would you when you can also be Boston, Washington, D.C. or San Francisco? It's just a matter of knowing who you are before you can determine where you are with this unique test of personality and place. FULLáSTORY->

  • Vermont Realtors Say War-Weary Homebuyers Seek Country Comforts

  • To Sell Or Rent: A Difficult Decision

  • Laundry Room Trends All Come Out In The Wash

  • Re-Lining Underground Fuel Tanks To Protect Drinking Water

  • Sandy, Utah: Salt Lake's "Other Downtown" Reports Brisk Housing Sales

  • Metal Houses Make A Comeback

  • Housing Fueling Consumer Spending

  • Automating HOA Collections

  • Silicon Valley Prices Rising, Records Falling

  • How Brokers Can Grow Their Business In A Rough Market

  • Fairfax County, Virginia Still In Feverish Seller's Market

  • Location Still Key For Canadian Workers

  • Water Fun Brings Risks For Nation's Sunbelt

  • How To Make Your House Show Great If You're Scrambling To Sell This Summer

  • Providence, Rhode Island Sales Slow From Last Year


  • Why You Must Read Your Sales Contract

  • Let Renters Buy Your Retirement Home

  • Sellers And Buyers Can Go One-On-One

  • Paying Off Your Mortgage

  • Buying a Fixer-Upper? House Needs to be in "Marketable Condition"

  • Old Paper Work Can Be "Lien and Mean"


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    David Saks, Broker (The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc.): Education in Memphis, TN
    "Success is waking up and getting your ass out of bed in the morning !"
    -David Saks-

  • ę2007