Real Estate Information Archive


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Tuesday Morning Inspiriation

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"If thou wouldst keep money, save money;
if thou wouldst reap money, sow money."

~ Thomas Fuller


In George Classon's classic "The Richest Man In Babylon," he urges readers to "set your purse to fattening." His other advice? Pay off your debts - live debt-free. With those two simple bits of advice, he lays out a wealth of financial advice guaranteed to keep the wolf away from the front door - forever.

He has the audacity to suggest that a part of all you earn is yours to keep. Put $100 a month into your "purse" beginning at age 20. Invest it at 10%. At age 65, you will have a purse filled to the brim with $1,048,000. How difficult is it to convince yourself to put away $100 each month?

Poverty is not our fear. It is the insecurity of being vulnerable that we fear - of not being able to meet our obligations. The "fat purse" does not pay our bills. The amount we earn over and above the part "that is ours to keep" does that. The part we keep - our "fattening purse" - is what gives us the confidence that we are okay.

By the way, according to "The Millionaire Next Door," the "haves" spend twice as much time planning their financial success as the "have nots." Forget setting aside $100 a month, the "haves" set aside up to 40% of their pre-tax income for fattening their purse. That also means they live on just 60%. The "have-nots" are hyper-credit users who do no budgeting whatsoever.

Want to set your purse to fattening? Want to give your children a heads-up on being financially independent? Pick up a copy of Suze Orman's best-seller "The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom". More importantly - put her financial roadmap to work. Don't worry - be happy!

Wednesday morning inspiration

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"Always remember the distinction between contribution and commitment. Take the matter of bacon and eggs. The chicken makes a contribution. The pig makes a commitment."

~ John Mack Carter


OK, sure - you prepare the meals, maintain the yard, balance the checkbook, take the kids to soccer, wash and iron the clothes, tune-up the car. You take care of all the daily needs of the family. So - is that your contribution to them, or a contribution to your commitment to them?

Our world today is frantic. As adults, our responsibilities are awesome. Our careers require long and odd hours away from family. Our children are lured by television towards needs and desires for more and more material possessions, i.e. logo clothing, "gaming" accessories, makeup, or cool vehicles. Our spouse wonders why there's never enough time for "us." Where will it all end? How can we slow down?

If your family is moving at the speed of life, and there seems to be no end in sight, maybe it's time to take a look at your commitment to all involved. A great place to start is time alone with your spouse - away from home. If possible, that means an overnight or weekend trip. It's a time to re-examine your values, your goals in life, and the direction you would like your family to take. Finally, it's a time to re-commit to the health of your marriage.

You may quickly realize that it's a time to simplify your life - and that of your family. That's easy to say - more difficult to accomplish - yet attainable with a firm commitment. If you like the idea of simplification, there are three excellent books that can move you in that direction.

First is a great primer, Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From The Sea." Next, for both men and women is "The Simplicity Reader" by Elaine St. James. Finally, and especially for women, is "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Why not make a new commitment to your family, beginning today? Your contributions will be much more enjoyable!

Even More HELOC issues

by Liz Warren

Many buyers of Mt. Hood properties in Welches, Government Camp and Rhododendron use HELOCS to obtain downpayments and purchases of second homes and investment properties. With a pinching off of HELOC funds, this could impact sales in our area.

Do you have a home equity line of credit? Well, be sure and check if you think you do because many banks are pulling these and notifying owners after the fact. Some homeowners are writing checks on these equity lines and finding their checks have bounced even before the notification.

Housing prices are adjusting downward all over the nation. Home Equity Lines of Credit are based on home valuations. Depending upon what state you live in, the amount of your total home debt can be 65% or 75% of your home value. The "home value" is determined by a computer model the banks use.

If you read the small print of your agreement the banks have a right to pull this at any time the home value reaches a certain amount and they can immediately freeze your ability to use this line of credit.

Turmoil in the banking industry will cause even further tightening of credit for Helocs over the next 24 months as they sort out the sub-prime mess and capital issues.  Just be aware that this instrument to gain funds may not be there for a while!

Tuesday Morning Inspiration

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.... Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.... The divinity that shapes our ends is in ourselves. It is our very self.... All that a man achieves is the direct result of his own thoughts.... A man can only rise, conquer and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak and abject and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts."

~ James Allen, "As A Man Thinketh"


It's so simple . . . the advice given in the above quote . . . and so true. Each of us has the power to elevate the value and quality of our life, simply by "lifting up" our thoughts, by placing our hands firmly on the wheel of positive thinking. Earl Nightingale gave an example in one of his taped programs. He said imagine that you are the operator of a huge piece of earth-moving equipment. You are perched in a small cab, hands on the wheel, and have the ability to move vast amounts of earth. Would you take your hands off the wheel and let it run itself into a ditch?

Your mind, and hence your thoughts, mirror that steering wheel. Through positive thoughts, you guide your life in a direction that produces positive actions, resulting in positive re-actions from others. Refusing to keep your hands on the wheel will quickly deliver you into life's ditches.

Life today is complex. It brings with it many opportunities for negative thinking. They range from the personal early morning "Hurry up, we're going to be late!" to the mid-day business crisis of "The deal isn't going to close!" Another quote goes like this: "Think you can, think you can't, either way you're right!" Again, it's your choice, isn't it?

The next time you feel frustration and doubt creeping into your vocabulary, think of a time when you felt really good about a similar situation . . . then replace the negative thought with a positive statement. As another wise individual once said, "Our lives are what our thoughts make of it."

Market Action for August 2008

by Liz Warren

Traditionally August is one of the most active of our year in sales. Take a look at the market action from multiple listing for the month of August.  The board of directors of the Multiple Listing Service have changed the calculation of the aveage days on market to the total market time which is now cummulative.Some agents would wait for a listing to expire or withdraw and relist as a new listing giving an unrealistic view of marketing time. This decision by the board will make more realistic figures for sellers and buyers to understand the market.

Sales for August were down 47% from the year before. Days on market will be showing up as longer due to the new cummulative amounts. August saw a total of 12 sales.


Tuesday morning inspiration

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"You can be happy without expecting others to agree with you."

~ Kathleen Russell & Larry Wall, from "Achieving Your Dreams"


One of Garth Brooks' tunes goes like this: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained - sometimes you've got to go against the grain!" What is this "grain" we seem to fear going against? Chances are it's really what people will think about us for venturing in a new direction - not some immobile obstacle we cannot physically overcome.

Author/philosopher Wayne Dyer speaks on this topic in one of his programs. He equates our lives to being in a boat and watching the wake it leaves behind as it moves through the water. He explains that the wake is not what powers us through life, it is merely what we leave behind - our history - where we have been.

Often, the "grain" we go against is really someone else's "wake." Others may say something like "That's never been done before," or "We've always done it this way," or "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That's their wake - not yours!

Do you have a dream? Is there something you want to achieve that others might not understand? Don't tell them! It's not necessary to tell anyone what you are doing or planning. If your plan is radical, "they" probably wouldn't understand anyway.

So - live your dream. Plan it, execute it, and enjoy it. Make your own wake!

Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae

by Liz Warren

Well, with the Feds bailing out these two institutions it means REDUCED RATES!

Buyers, take advantage right now because it may be the best possible senario with low rates and BIG inventories!

Recent rates have dropped to 5.875% for 30 year fixed!!!!!

Don't hesitate!


by Liz Warren

There is a disconnect between what is happening in the real estate market and homeowner perceptions of what is happening. Take a look at the chart below to see what recent surveys show from the second quarter of the year.

You can see by the first example the real number is 77% of home values decreased over the past year yet only 38% of home owners see this as true. This is a market that has not been seen before by experienced real estate agents. Sellers who need to sell or to know their homes current value should look at only sold properties to determine their current market values.

1031 Tax Exchanges

by Liz Warren

There's a bit of buzz in the air about 1031 tax exchange  intermediaries. While tax exchanges are quite common in the Mt. Hood area the FTC is under pressure from legitimate exchange companies to regulate their industry. This is due to significant fianncial damages done to some clients. Just like there was fraud in the mortgage industry, some exhange companies have "bad eggs" too. The FTC is not ready to step into this yet but as financial issues continue to unwind in regulations will surely come into play. As I mentioned in a previous post, the amount of tax losses from questionable exchanges alone should spur the Feds to regulate.

Be careful who you hire as your exchange intermediaries. They could  bite you in the end!

Wednesday Morning Inspiriation

by Liz Warren
Monday Morning Coffee


"You've failed many times, although you may not remember.
You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you?
Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat?
Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips
before he published 564 books.
Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
Don't worry about failure.
Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try."

~ Full-page ad published in the
Wall Street Journal by United Technologies


There's a wonderful story in "Chicken Soup For The Soul" about a 4th grade teacher and a funeral. The teacher had her students fill a sheet of notebook paper with all the things they couldn't do. They wrote furiously for quite a while filling their paper with "I can't do ten push-ups," or "I can't kick the soccer ball past second base," or "I can't get Debbie to like me."

The students were then instructed to fold their papers and place them into a shoebox at the front of the room. The teacher then tucked the box under her arm, and invited the students to follow her out into the playground. There, they each took a turn at the shovel and dug a hole four feet deep. The box was placed in the hole and quickly covered with dirt.

The students then held hands while the instructor delivered a eulogy in memory of "I can't." In it, she noted that "I can't" was survived by his brothers and sister, "I can," "I will," and "I'm going to right away."

"I can't" is a close relative to most of us, yet maybe with a little extra effort we can finally let him go. It won't be easy since he's been such a close relation, yet maybe by dwelling on his brothers and sister and their importance to us - we can!

Remember the unforgettable line from "The Little Engine That Could"? "I think I can - I THINK I can! I THINK I CAN!" Don't forget the last line of our quote for the day. "Worry about the chances you'll miss when you don't even try!"

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Contact Information

Photo of Liz Warren Real Estate
Liz Warren
Merit Properties Group - Keller Williams Realty PDX Central
Box 131
Welches OR 97067
Direct: 503-705-3090