Sunday, August 19, 2012

We Make it Official: Now Is the Time to Buy A Home!

The Numbers Show That Right Now Is THE TIME To Buy, Becuase It Isn't Going to Get Any Better - And We Put Our Money Where Our Mouth Is..

    Having a few friends who are Real Estate agents, you often hear that now is the best time to buy... The truth generally is there are better times to buy, and worse times to buy.  Generally.  Then, very rarely, everything falls into place that if you can afford it, you will NEVER do better than now.  From what we've seen in the Real Estate market, this may quite possibly be the best opportunity to buy a home in our lifetime.  In short, if you've been on the fence, get off it..

    Yes, not only are we telling you to do something if needed, just like a Stock Analyst who tells you he personally owns, we are taking our own advice.  After finally selling our home here in Florence, we just bought a home in Laurinburg, North Carolina.   Cheap - and at a rate that would make you puke a few years ago.  But why now? Easy.. The fear is always that people buy a house at a price before they've hit rock bottom, and at a higher interest rate. The housing numbers released in the past few weeks tell us that the housing bubble burst has ended for the most part. Here are a few factors that gave us the green light...

1. Interest Rates at an All-Time Low.
    This is the obvious one.. Back in the 80's I couldn't believe my Dad got a 4% VA loan when he bought his house in the 1950's. His mortgage back then? About $20 per month.... Well, rates have gone even lower than that now - but they're pretty much done. I started at 3.75% rate, but during the process, it actually dropped another 1/8 point to 3.625%, or 2.75 full points less than my last mortgage in 2007, when prices and rates peaked.  The difference between the two in interest? About $300 per month!  A key to fixing the housing crisis is right there - refinancing. But, credit is very tight, so who knows?

2. The Price Freefall is Over
     Yes, it always depends on what market you live in, but nationally, prices are beginning to recover slowly. In major cities all across the US, selling prices have risen, in part due to the lower interest rates (lower interest rate = lower payments = more house for your money).  If you're waiting it out to wait til home prices hit absolute rock bottom, we have advice for you - it's there, and may actually have passed. Jump on that house now, or live in regret.

3.  New Permits Are Up.
     It's been a buyer's market for years. My agent told me that a recent seller she had ended up bringing $14,000 in cash to the table to sell their house. To us, that' batshit crazy, but some do what they have to do.. There was a glut of available homes, but that is evening out at long last. That has given the sign to home builders that it's finally time to dust off the sawsall, and start making homes again. While it could cause a glut of available houses again, new homes and preowned homes don't always directly compete against each other. Time will tell, but it's a real good sign.

4. Renting is a Crappy Deal
    Again, it depends on where you live.  If you live in Manhattan, and can't afford $600,000 for a 700 square foot condo, you may want to rent.  In most other locations, renting is no longer a deal.  My house for example has a mortgage cost of $450 per month.  This is for a 4BR/2BA, 2259 sq ft home that needs NO updating or repairs, unless I want to.  To rent a home in the same area would be in the $750-800 a month range (and that's conservative). Most rentals in Laurinburg are pretty bad, so it's a no-brainer.  Basing the $350 per month savings with the $3500 down payment on it, and my house will break even in a mere TEN MONTHS.  After that, it's all gravy... The tight credit market caused many to be forced into the rental market, resulting in skyrocketing rental rates.  Buying is way smarter than renting right now...

I'm sure there are other factors that play into all of this as well - and my Realtor buddies will be glad to 'list' them. Sorry, just a little Real Estate humor.  We don't overblow things when it comes to buying or selling stuff, unlike the guys on TV, pushing Gold every five minutes... We're conservative fiscally, so when we say it's the Best Time Ever - much less a good time to buy - that's ringing the dinner bell.... Getting financing isn't the easiest thing right now. But if you can qualify, and have been thinking about buying a home, stop thinking and act..


Cartoons of the Week..

      Welcome again to our usual Sunday lineup.  Yes, it's all we've been doing lately, but there hasn't been time to do much else. We'll explain very shortly...  Luckily, the campaigns have started to heat back up, so we do have a few things to review in the political cartoon world.  With Paul Ryan being selected as Mitt Romney's VP choice, the discussion turned instantly, geared mostly by a coordinated talking points memo by the Democrats through Twitter.  But, at least he has taken the time to make a budget - something the Democrat controlled Senate hasn't done in three years plus..

Is there anything more pathetic than a old white guy in his 70's from Delaware saying Y'all?  Not to us.  We've been here 15 years, and the looks I got the first time I called someone 'Beau' was hilarious.  Rule of Thumb: If you were born above the Mason-Dixon line, don't ever use Y'all, Yonders or the like....

And what's the penalty for saying dumb stuff? They send you home for a week or two, and even let your wife campaign before you do... Apparently, there is a VP Time Out area - thought 'potatoe' doesn't appear to be scrawled on the wall....


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cartoons of the Week..

     Welcome again to our usual Sunday lineup... It's been a huge weekend, but the cartoonists work on a delay. So, you'll have to wait until next week to see their opinion on Paul Ryan's selection as Vice-President.  We don't expect much positive thoughts from them, but we always hope...  We did like this one to start off with.  Barack Obama does seem to be conjuring the ghost of Bill Clinton a lot lately, including putting him as a speaker at the upcoming convention.  Problem is, everything changes after 20 years.  It's kind of like thinking I picked up women a lot better when I was in college, so I should just dress like I did back then - except that I don't have a 32 inch waist anymore!  Times change, Mr. President.....

This one also caught our eye... To us, this lady seems like an Ann Romney fan.  Not being one to discuss social issues, we kind of agree with her.  It's still the economy, stupid....

But, Top Prize goes to this one... We feel really bad for all those people who live in tose swing states.  Getting barraged with all those commercials for the next 12 1/2 weeks must be like being stuck in the 7th circle of Hell...  We're not 'curious' about that at all.


Another Major Milestone For SC6 !

        On Friday night at about 900pm, we hit a big mark for blogging statistics when we had our 500,000th hit.... We have no way of knowing exactly who it was, but it was likely a spam hit for Canadian Viagra or someone using the photo of the Budweiser girls we posted a last year (it's our top read post at 3400+ hits).  It's actually much more than that, but Blogger only started keeping stats since 2009 - 4 years after we started...

    We've seen a lot along the way - two presidents, two governors, three Lt. Governors and a new Congressional district.  With our readership steadily increasing 15-20% per year, the only thing that can stop us is us - and we're very close to closing the tent on this puppy.  We expect after tomorrow night, we'll explain a bit more, but you never know what'll happen.  Thanks to our loyal readers for making us a success - although that total is approximately 1/3rd of what Will Folks claims to get in a single month!  But, as you know, we go for quality and giving well-thought out solutions.   Once again, thanks for checking in!


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Today's Founders Quote: The Manners and Spirit of a People

"It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."

- Thomas Jefferson, 1781.

    TJ is right on the money again... As much as the media and political machines control the debate, it is the people who control what is acceptable in our country, and how it operates.  The Chik-Fil-A situation was a great example of that.  No matter how much sides may disagree, most of us tried to respect each other's view, and their right to air them... When we fail to do that, we fail our country.

   One thing that doesn't fail us is Olivia Munn's beauty.  The Newsroom star is canker-free, with the most flawless skin you ever saw....  Vigorous indeed!


Cartoons of the Week ....

       It's another Sunday, and that means it's time for our usual Sunday fare... That is, if my laptop holds out. Yes, I dumped an entire Pepsi smackdab on the keyboard about an hour ago.  So far, so good - no sticky buttons yet.  For a week where Congress went on vacation (and did nothing, surprise), there were a few layover topics to cartoon about.  Yeah, the Olympics are going on, but aside from the badminton scandal (???), nothing THAT interestingly snarky occurred... However, Mitt Romney did finish up his tour in Poland - and as you can see, what we thought might happen did: no one paid attention.  Lucky him...

As for things that ACTUALLY affect your life, the drought continues across the Midwest and Deep South, though we seem in better shape here.  Expect higher food prices by Spring, if not sooner - and gas seems to already have followed..

Lastly, Chik-Fil-A Gate Rounds Two and Three took place this week... Everything has already been said - except that the cows are the only ones happy about everything. As for Camilla.... She's dealing with it.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Why Mitt Romney May NEVER Release His Tax Returns..


      Unless you've been living under a very large rock the past few months, you're well aware that seemingly anyone and everyone has been pressuring Mitt Romney to release his tax returns for the past ten years.  It's gotten so bad, Democrat punks like Harry Reid and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (who got thumped by John Kasich in 2010, after Ohio's economy went down the toilet) are intimating without proof that Romney may have actually NOT paid taxes.... It's getting out of hand, but for those of you Republicans hoping to end the pressure by releasing the returns, don't hold your breath - it's probably not happening.

   Yes, Romney might have been able to diffuse this back in January by releasing all of those tax returns, but he wasn't a lead pipe lock to win the nomination, so he was likely worried it could cost him.  By the way, as usual, this whole mess was started by ourselves - namely Newt Gingrich.  One day, we'll stop eating our own during primary races, but this wasn't the year... If Romney were psychic, and knew he would have won the nomination anyway, we're sure he would have let them out back then.  Now, it's too late.  Why? Because no matter what Romney does, he can't win...

   What do we mean?  Simple.  While Republicans would be happy with Romney's fortrightness, it doesn't earn him any votes.  However, he would not be treated so nicely by the Democrats.. It's a fact when it comes to taxes - rich guys can't win.  Whatever numbers come out, the Democrats will manipulate them however it makes him look bad.  Say, Mitt paid $25 million in taxes at an overall rate of 33% in 2001... Will they say that? No way - they will only point out that he made $75 million that year, and that is EVIL... Yes, making money is a crime to some. 

   Do we think that is what it'll look like on his returns? We don't know, we're not his accountant.  But, we do know that superrich people - whether they earned it or not - are vilified by the political machine out of sheer jealously and the blind will to win at all costs.  We don't think Romney can win in this scenario at all, and if we were him, we'd ingore it as well.  Eventually, the 'where are the tax records?' calls will die down again, as REAL issues in an election take precedence.  We've heard the theory that Romney's taxes are like Obama's Birth Certificate.  We agree totally... BOTH are non-issues.  Thank God, Summer is flying by, and Labor Day - aka Election Ramp Up - will soon be here..... 


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Today Was a Great Day For America ...

For Or Against Gay Marriage, You Have to Like This Week's Chik-Fil-A Debate That Played Out Across the Country....

     Just a quick note to mark Chik-Fil-A Day.. Not from the political perspective, because we try to avoid social issues.  But more so to celebrate as an American, and the display of our First Amendment rights.  Now, to get semi-political.... Our favorite comment was from Dana Moody-Shriver, who mused 'It would be nice to see lines at the polling stations like there were at Chik-Fil-A today in November.'   If only we got as excited about voting as we did about Chicken Filet Biscuits.....


Karma Bites London Mayor Boris Johnson In the Ass..

When You Resemble a Sheep Dog, You Might Consider NOT Picking On Mitt Romney, Because It Does Have It's Consequences.... 

     You want to know why we generally stay away from attacking people?  Remember, we said attack, not criticize - there is a difference.  It's because when you are nasty outwardly towards others, there is payback.  It's called Karma, and she is one mean bitch..

     Ask London Mayor, Boris Johnson.. The guy with the hair that makes even Donald Trump ask 'WTF is with the Doo?', took a potshot at Mitt Romney last week before his city began it's hosting of the Olympics.. You've probably already heard it, so we won't review.  What he found out today is that anyone, anywhere can end up looking like an idiot..

     Mayor Johnson (why do we keep typing 'Major Johnson' by accident?) was the special guest at an event in London, where he agreed to run across the park on a zipline - like the pig in that GEICO commercial.  Well, instead of saying 'Pure Adrenaline' while squealing, Johnson's plus-sized posterior apparently was a bit too much to keep the zipline taught... He bowed the line to the point that it got stuck about 3/4 of the way across, leaving him stranded about 20 feet in the air...

    Johnson eventually got across, but he hopefully learned his lesson: at one time of another, we ALL look dumb.  Usually, it takes a bit longer....  but when you do such a good job of starting shit, God makes it easier for you to realize that for every negative action, there is an equal and opposite reaction... If you want to look at Hizzoner on the Highwire, here is the link


There Are Some Things That Even Jim Clyburn Can't Bear To Watch ...

While Having to Endure Nancy Pelosi's Partisan BS Will Make Anyone Cringe, There's One Thing That The Whipper Hates Even More....

     Time for one of those interesting little stories that we used to do all the time - you know, the ones you miss..... Not much is going on in politics right now, so we're left with amusing anecdotes.  Sometimes it's better that way.

     Listening to POTUS this week, we heard a neat little national clip of our own soon-to-be-former Congressman.  In an interview, he admitted that when it comes to Election Day, Clyburn can't bear watching the results.... At least not in public.  We hate to say it, but we apparently have ONE thing in common with each other.  Aside from that, we share nothing.

    No, he doesn't skip the returns altogether - he just prefers to be alone in a room, watching TV (MSNBC, no doubt - he's on there weekly!).  Why? He says he doesn't like all the distractions, but we think it's because you can't drink Jack Daniels & Diet Cokes all night in the Radisson Hotel Enchantment Room....

   Otherwise, we don't understand it.  Maybe he's being a team player, and can't tolerate watching his fellow Democrats getting their butts waxed every four years in South Carolina.  He sure can't be worried about himself losing.  If there's anyone who has a guaranteed seat, it's Jim Clyburn.  There is some bad news to it all.... as of this posting, everytime he has locked himself into that room, he's always walked out!  Maybe we'll get lucky this Fall....