Thursday, April 22, 2010

Most/Least expensive vehicles to insure

Interesting article on what vehicles to consider (or not) as it relates to cost to insure. To be honest, however, if I could actually afford a Porsche 911 Turbo, I would hope that I could afford the insurance on it... (well, until I got several speeding tickets!). Cheers, Bo

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

4 Days until March for Babies!

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Friday, April 16, 2010

"Southeast Economy Improved in March & April"

So the Fed's "Beige Book" report noted that the Southeast's economy saw some improvement in March and April. Specifically, retailers saw higher sales, increased traffic and that's a big plus as we all know that retail sales contribute around 70% of our economy. Car sales even rose a bit, despite Toyota's recall woes (offset by a big sales push) and Chrysler's continued slump. Homebuilders should be a bit more positive as housing starts have increased over the first quarter (yes, there was a small dip in March, but that was due to a large upward revision for February). Existing home sales have picked up a bit, but mainly in the lower priced markets (sub-$300K) due to the 1st-time homebuyer credit. As noted several times in the past, the $6,500 credit was a non-event as a) people aren't truly aware of it and b) the 5-year residency provision was too restrictive. Prices are still a bit lower due to all the foreclosures out there (expect more in 2010 and 2011 as ARM's continue to re-set). While there are still hurdles to obtaining home financing (tight underwriting and low appraisals) I keep hearing that common sense MAY actually be returning and lenders are having less trouble making loans (I even heard that there is a local company actually doing SECOND mortgages again, the horror!). We'll see how that sorts out; hopefully interest in homes won't fall off a cliff after 4/30/10 when the tax credits expire (for good). Georgia reported higher unemployment (a record 10.6%) which has outpaced the National average for 30 months. Labor Secretary Michael Thurmond notes that there are signs of growth, however, and while we may lose additional jobs in the short-term, a recovery may finally gain traction in Georgia. Finally, the FDIC extended protection for large deposits (Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Program, which guarantees non-interest-bearing deposits greater than $250,000, not that it affects me individually!) which will help smaller banks keep high dollar deposits in-house. Hopefully we won't see any new bank closures, but don't bet on it... Have a great weekend! Bo

Monday, April 12, 2010

I told you so...

Read this article to see what I'm talking about. Suffice it to say if you want to buy a house and/or refinance, make it happen SOON......!