Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homeownership as an Investment: The Role of Price Appreciation

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters / The KCM Blog
Posted: 27 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT

Homeownership as an Investment: The Role of Price Appreciation | Keeping Current Matters
We recently posted on the results from the latest Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) showing where residential home prices are headed over the next five years. Today, we want to show you what the results of the report could mean to you. A good portion of every family’s wealth comes from the equity in the home they live in. As the value of their home (an asset) increases so does their equity. 

Let’s look at a possible case scenario based on the latest HPES. Here is a chart showing the survey’s projections on annual appreciation over the next five years:
Projected Mean Percentage Appreciation | Keeping Current Matters

 We then looked at the five-year impact this would have on the equity of a family that purchased a home in January for $250,000: Their family wealth (based on increased equity) would increase by $47,772 over those five years.
Home Price Appreciation | Keeping Current Matters
Bottom Line If you don’t yet own, perhaps you should be thinking about purchasing. If you already own, maybe it’s time to move up to enjoy your dream home and also ride the increase in equity of the larger asset.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Today's Memorial Day ceremony at SCCL was a lovely tribute to those who died in service to our country as well as to our resident Veterans.  The ceremony included the presentation of colors by the Charlotte Civil Air Patrol, a wonderful performance of our National Anthem, America, and America the Beautiful by the Carolina Lakes Choral Society,  and resident Garland Mitchel eloquently speaking of the history and meaning of Memorial Day.   
Watching our Veterans walk out to the dock together and salute as taps was played as a memorial wreath was put into the water was very moving.  Our resident Vets stood proudly as they honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Also, during the event, residents heard Dan Sadvary, head of the Steering Committee of the Honor Our Veterans / Memorial Interest Group speak about plans for a special area at the second amenities center (The Lodge) that will be dedicated to our Veterans.  Anyone interested in this project can join the Honor Our Veterans group at the SCCL website. As per the website, "The mission of our group is to honor the veterans of Sun City Carolina Lakes by displaying a collection of their military memorabilia in the SCCL Lodge currently under construction.  The Honor Our Veterans group is comprised of four committees – Communications, Physical Space Design, Memorabilia and Fund Raising with oversight provided by a Steering Committee. These committees are currently being developed by the Steering committee headed by Mr. Dan Sadvary."

It is a pleasure to live in a community that appreciates and honors our Veterans!  

A big heartfelt thank you to all our Vets for their service!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Since there is a limit to how many postings appear on a page, you will need to click on "older posts"  (below right) to see more posts.  Alternatively, you can go to the BLOG ARCHIVE on the left sidebar and search for postings by date.

Friday, May 22, 2015


I've spent the last week doing a lot of yard work... trimming our magnolia tree, removing dead and dying shrubs, removing pine straw and replacing it with hardwood mulch, and planting... lots of planting.  The problem with doing all that trimming and pine needle removal is that you can't put it in your trash can and be done.  Of course you can hire someone to haul away your yard waste (or do the whole landscaping job for that matter), but, being the do-it-yourselfers that we are, we chose to haul ours to the dump.  So, today my husband and I loaded up my car and went to "The Foxhole" with all our yard debris.  The Foxhole is a Mecklenburg County landfill located immediately north of the Walmart shopping center on 521, but, unless you actually know it's there,  you'd never know that there's landfill beyond the lovely entry sign and the meandering driveway lined with a pretty white fence. Once we entered the facility, we waited in line to pay our $8.50 fee (since we had more than a wheelbarrow size load) and then drove down to the yard waste area.  We emptied all of our bags and a rather humongous box and then had an interesting chat with the guy standing by with a bull dozer.  He told us about the compost and mulch that's made out of all the yard waste and about the other areas of the dump where construction and demolition waste go.  In addition to the "dump" areas, there's also a recycling center at the facility, so this place is definitely the place to go if you've got stuff to dispose of.  The Foxhole is easy to get to and pretty inexpensive... just be prepared to wait in line and to empty out your bags or boxes, as they cannot be included in the with the yard waste.  And one more thing, you can't include any stumps, roots, or dirt in with your yard waste... apparently, it screws up the machines that make the compost and mulch. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015


All gave some... some gave all.
I have always found it strange to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day and I can never bring myself to say those words.  Yes, we all look forward to the first long weekend that marks the unofficial beginning of summer and the first barbecue of the season, picnic, trip to the lake... or the Indy 500.  But, while all of those things make Memorial Day weekend a fun time, we need to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day.  As we enjoy time with family and friends, let us be sure to take time to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we cherish.  

And, as we remember those who died in service to our country, let us give thanks to those who are serving now and to all our Veterans for their past service to our country. 

Memorial Day History
American Widow Project
The Origin of Sounding Taps 
Arlington Remembrance by Trace Adkins
Buglers at Arlington National Cemetery
God Bless the USA by the Texas Tenors

In June 2014, an 11-year-old boy visited Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.  As part of the boy’s personal project, titled “Project Vigil,” this little boy spent four days teaching visitors and tourists about three paratroopers who had been buried in the American Cemetery.|By Paul Morris

This boy's parents taught him well!

Teach Your children Well by Crosby, Stills, and Nash:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Buying a Home is 35% Less Expensive than Renting!

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
Posted: 18 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT
Buying a Home is 35% Less Expensive than Renting! | Keeping Current MattersIn the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage throughout the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The updated numbers actually show that the range is from an average of 16% in Honolulu (HI), all the way to 55% in Sarasota (FL), and 35% Nationwide!

The other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low and even though home prices have appreciated around the country (3.9%), they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation (3.7%). “In the past year, these two trends have made homeownership even more affordable compared with renting.”
  • Some markets might tip in favor of renting if home prices increase at a greater rate than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due to the strengthening economy.
  • Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989. 

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Difference Your Interest Rate Makes

Courtesy of Keeping Matters Current/The KCM Blog

Some Highlights:
  • Even a small increase in interest rates drastically impacts your budget.
  • Securing a mortgage now while rates are still low means you can get more house for your money.
  • Spend your money on your dream home, not on interest.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Today I'd like to share a very eloquent Mother's Day message that was posted on Facebook by my friend and Arizona colleague, Kirsten Johnson.   Thank you, Kirsten, for allowing me share this!

I want to share something that comes to mind not only on Mother's Day, but often....

I think of women I know who have not had the opportunity to have children either because of a medical condition or because they have not found the right person to have kids with, like in my situation. Please do not judge these women or ask them why they do not have kids, because I can guarantee it is not because of lack of want, it just is what it is right now. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of these ladies. It is a journey.

I think of people who I have met along the way who did not have a mother who was present in their lives either physically or emotionally. Their stories hurt my heart. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of those who did not have the true presence of a Mother. It is a journey.

I think of many of you who I know who have lost your mother and the "missing" her never goes away. The wanting to pick up the phone and call her to say Happy Mother's Day and I Love You doesn't go away. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of those who have lost their Mother. It is a journey.

I think of those mothers who have lost a child to sickness or tragedy. My heart hurts with you. No Mother should have to feel this pain. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of those who have lost a child. It is a painful journey.

I think of the nearly 17,000 kids in foster care in Arizona and the 500,000 in the United States that are confused and conflicted about their Mother, wondering why she abandoned, neglected or hurt them. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of our Kids in Foster Care. It is a scary and painful journey.

I want to recognize those mothers who have found their way to adopt or foster a child. Thank you for giving a child a sense of family and what it means to have a Mother. Biology has nothing to do with being a Mother. Love has everything to do with being a Mother. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of those who have adopted, fostered or are thinking about doing so. It is a journey. 

To all Mother's....your children are a gift! Thank you for giving them a loving home. Do not ever forget how important your role is to your children. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of yourselves, other mothers, fathers and your children. It is a journey.

We all have a story when it comes to our mother and our motherhood! Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Understanding. Be Supportive of One Another. It is a Journey.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
Posted: 01 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT
Where Should I Retire [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights From The Report:

  • 80% of all pre-retirees in the South Atlantic region plan to stay there in retirement
  • 4 out of 10 pre-retirees plan to relocate in retirement
  • Retirees in the South Central Region are most satisfied with their Cost of Living
  • For more information or to read the full report: Click Here