Love Your Tat? Want to Remove It?

Occasionally, I help out at our high school and I am often asked, “Hey Mr. Walters, have any tats?”  When I say “no” they almost always ask “why not?”.  (My answers are for another post).  It is becoming more common for young people to get tattoos.

Ask people your close enough to if they wish they had not gotten their tat and some will admit they do.  Nationally, 23% of adults have at least one tat and 2 out of 10 wish they could get rid of them.  Angeolina Jolie may be one. See hers?

Well, tell those who wish to remove their “mistakes” that there is a way.  This article covers virtually all of the questions you can imagine: the process, the cost, the affects, etc.  It is really amazing.

Do you have one?  Like it?  No?  Well, here you go.

College Student: “Should I Buy or Rent?”

A college student posed this great question in Trulia: 

“I’m a college student looking to move to Sac this winter. Should i rent or buy? Property around Sac State is expensive…  I need some help on what i should do cause renting is more expensive then a mortgage would be”.

Here was my response:

I would buy if you can.
Why not email me these basic items and I will tell you how much of a loan you can qualify for and what your payment options are:
1. Gross, (before taxes) income year-to-date and for 2013;
2. Amount of cash you have for down payment & costs (including family gift $);
3. What is your minimum, monthly, required debt payment for all, unpaid card balances, car loans etc.;
4. Whether you have had any late charges, or collections.

I will email your results back along with a couple of outstanding, buyer-real estate agents contact info.

Same offer to anyone: you could send me the same info and I will provide you with the results listed above.

Webcam Sneak-a-Peek Prevention

By now you have heard that people can easily hack into your computer to watch you through your computer webcam, right? Yep, and I guess it is easy. The scary thing is you have no way of knowing they’re watching: no blue light comes on, nothing.  Take a look at this fun little video.

Well, here is a low-tech prevention solution:  You know those little poke-a-dot things from your 2 hole punch? Tape one of them across your camera eye on your lap top when you’re not using it. Bye bye peepers.

Have you been hacked?  What have you done to prevent peepers?

Papa Bragging Post

This is just too good to not post about.  Our granddaughter, Isabelle Bay, just took over all, #1 dance performer, in “Dance Masters America’s Grand National Finals” in Orlando, FL.

Isabelle has been accumulating Platinum and Gold awards over the last 3 years but this is the big one!  All dancers her age, all styles – the best.

Isabelle’s little sister, Miah Bay, was awarded her Black Belt in Karate last month!  This is in addition to her successes in baseball and soccer.  So Miah, is a champion in her own right.

These two girls receive so many trophies they are going to need a room addition just for all their awards.

The great thing about them is they are just regular kids who have chores, get academic awards, and love their mom & dad.  They also treat their papa like a king.

I need one of those bumper stickers about my grand kids.

 

Watch Out for the Winnemucca Whammy.

The good news is the legal speed limit in Nevada is 75 mph and 80 in some places. Unfortunately, with your cruse control set and the boredom of the wide open desert your reactions can get a little delayed.

Heading East on Hwy 80 we were enjoying good munchies, road-trip music and the A/C.  We had traveled through such exciting towns as Lovelock and Imlay – with no events.  So, when we approached the thriving meganopolis known as Winnemucca we were pretty much dialed in.  Another town to see before we blinked a 2nd time.  HOWEVER, the max speed limit dropped from 75 to 70, 60 and suddenly to 55 mph, all within a very short distance.  I had barely clicked out of the cruse control and began to coast toward the newest posted limit when out of nowhere (I mean nowhere)  I saw a cop car behind me with his lights on.

I should have recognized his ‘rookieness’ when he seemed puzzled by the simple question: “My wallet is in the trunk. Would you like me to get it out of there for you?  When I tried to reason with him about the short distance in down speeds he parroted back a canned line: “this is a construction zone near a metro area“.  Oh, please!  IT IS A SPEED TRAP.

After he’d been back in his new patrol car for a good 15 minutes, seriously, he finally came back to me holding this cool, miniature, gadget which did everything for him.  It looked expensive and I didn’t appreciate their speed trap to fund such goodies.

So, if you are heading East on Hwy 80 watch out for the Winnemucca Whammy.  You can do a lot with $261 – rather than provide toys for the cops.

Happy Birthday USA, 238 yrs. Young.

 

With the World Cup focus and among all of the flag showings, I still think Old Glory is the most awesome: bold, balanced, and beautiful.

 

On 9/12/2001 I posted our flag in front of my home.  I had always posted it on Flag Day, the 4th of Jul, Memorial Day and Pearl Harbor Day.  But I vowed to leave my flag up until the 9/11 bad guys were brought to justice. That time has long past and she’s still out there.  Actually, we’re on our 4th or 5th flag.  It has just become part of our home.

Aside from the shear beauty of our flag I love all of it’s symbolism and the ideals it represents.  Yes, the USA is not perfect.  We’re reminded of that all too often.  But you do have to ask yourself – ‘self, if the US is all that bad, why are so many people sacrificing so much to get here, often at the peril of their very lives?’

True, I do love travelling.  It seems that wherever we go we find something to like about that place: the beaches, the water, the native foods, the weather…But as awesome as these places are, “there’s no place like home“.  We’ve got it all AND, it’s for everyone, which is the greatest attribute our USofA offers: “…ONE nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all“.

And of all of the renditions of our National Anthem, Whitney Houston’s is hands down the best.  Give it a listen here.

What does our flag mean to you?

Hollister Homes Highest Value Gain

Hollister, CA

Of the 3 cities which make up ‘ South County‘, the City of Hollister, CA single family residences saw the highest appreciation from 1st quarter 2013 to 1st quarter 2014.

The average Hollister single family residence (SFR) value rose 23.1% whereas Morgan Hill, CA experienced 21.9% and the City of Gilroy, CA saw their SFR rise by 11.2% from 1Q13 to 1Q14.

However, Hollister’s typical SFR value dropped 43% from 1Q07 (when many say the bubble burst) to 1Q13. Morgan Hill dropped 32.5% and Gilroy 30.6% during this same period.  Hollister’s ave.  SFR value in 1Q07  was $302,383, down to $240,798 in 2013 and up to $274,309 1Q14.

Another indicator of Hollister’s recovery is the time it takes homes to sell.  The average days on the market in 2007′s 1st quarter was a whopping 148 days.  In 1Q13 the time dropped to 124 days on the market.  That is a 69% improvement!  Then, this year we watched the average days on the market drop even further to 24.

Finally, the average Sales to List price ratio was 99.5% in the 1st 3 months this year compared to slightly over 96% in both ‘o7 and ’13 first quarter.  They are selling faster and virtually at their asking price.

What do you think this trend will do?

(data source: MLSListings)

Hollister, CA Air Show – Awesome

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Home Prices in Gilroy, CA

City Gilroy

Gilroy, CA is not only known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” but it is also known for its robust housing market.

Using the first quarter of 2007 (1Q07) as a high point in,  and the beginning of decline of market values, there are some interesting changes which point to a strong recovery:

The average number of days it took for homes to sell in 1Q07 was 141. Then, in 1Q13 it had dropped to just 36 days, and, 1Q14 days on market slipped up to an average of 45 days. Obviously, homes are again, selling much faster but the pace is slowing.

Gilroy CA’s average sales price for single family residences (SFR) in 1Q07 was an amazing $785,763!  By 1Q13 prices dropped to $544,965. In the year since, the average prices continued to increase: 1Q14, the average was $605,845.

Another indicator of a recovered market is the ratio of sales price to listed price. In 1Q07 the average was 97.7%; in the first quarter of 2013 it was 98.7% and in the 1st 3 months of this year it averaged 96.2%.  Again, 2014 is still improving but it seems at a slower pace.

Relatively speaking, Gilroy had the least significant drop in prices of the other South County neighbors: Morgan Hill and Hollister. Gilroy’s drop 1Q07 to 1Q13 was 30.6% while Morgan Hill’s was 32.5% and Hollister saw a 43% drop in that time frame.

So, what do you think values are going to do here in South County in the near future?

(data: MLSListings)

Morgan Hill, Ca Home Price Recovery

City of Morgan HillDon’t you hate the question: “So, you want the good news or the bad news?”

Well, here is the good news and, ‘not-really-that-bad’ news regarding single family residence (SFR) values in Morgan Hill, CA:

Good:  The average number of days homes were on the market dropped from 66 days during 1Q07 down to 43 days for 1Q14.  There was also a drop from 1Q13′s 52 days to this year’s 43 days. They’re selling faster.

Not really that bad: The average closed sales price for Morgan Hill, CA’s SFR dropped from $931,413 during 1Q07 to $629,030 in 1Q13.  That $302,383 drop in average sales price reflects the market’s peak in ’07 down to the recovering level in ’13.

However, the good news is that Morgan Hill, CA homes’ values rose by $137,641 or, 17.7% in the last year.  That is the 3rd straight year where we’ve seen sustained appreciation.

The interesting comparison is the average sales price/list price ratio. There has been little change: in 1Q07 it was 97.6%, first quarter, ’13 averaged 98.6% and this year’s first 3 months saw an average of 96.6% . So, I’m not sure if that is good or ‘not really that bad’ news. Homes are virtually selling at their asking price, due to the low inventory of homes for sale.

We have seen similar values in Gilroy and Hollister, CA.  I’ll post those comparisons soon.

So, what do you think values in the South County are going to do?

(data source: MLSListings)