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Black Monday’ Rattles Housing Market

Chinese home buyers, in particular, may be more cautious in entering the U.S. housing market following Monday’s massive stock market sell-off that sent stocks tumbling, according to housing analysts. The sell-off began in Beijing on Monday and sent shares plunging by record amounts across the globe. Chinese media dubbed it “Black Monday” as markets fell nearly 8.5 percent there.

Read moreChinese Dominate as Buyers of US Real Estate

In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 1,000 points just minutes after the opening bell alone on Monday. The Dow made up some ground later in the afternoon but still closed nearly 600 points in the red.

John Burns, CEO and owner of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, explained in a blog post that Chinese home buying will likely be under a cloud of uncertainty.

“While the recent Chinese stock market correction has caused a decline in sales (one of my builder clients has noticed a sharp pullback, another just told me about a home sale cancelation specifically due to the buyer’s stock market losses, and one publicly traded home builder even mentioned the pullback on their earnings call), our research has convinced us of tremendous Chinese demand to buy US real estate for their families and as investments,” Burns says.

However, Burns says there is some doubt over whether the Chinese will continue their big U.S. buying spree. He questions the number of people who will still be able to afford to purchase a home in the U.S. after the stock market correction and currency devaluation.

Chinese home buyers have been strong in the U.S. market lately. Sixteen percent of international home buyers come from China, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The Chinese spent $29 billion last year on U.S. real estate, surpassing Canada as the top spenders.

Source: “Betting on Chinese Home Buyers in the U.S.,” LinkedIn Blog (Aug. 24, 2015); “Stock Market Slide Continues Across Asia,” The Washington Post (Aug. 24, 2015); and “Black Monday Hits Housing, Mortgage Finance Worse Than Dow, Nasdaq,”

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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Exciting Contests and Activates at the Nevada County Fair

Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

Special Contests. Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

No pre-registration required. Show up ½ hour before event, have fun, and win great prizes! 

At this year’s Nevada County Fair, August 12 – 16, there are exciting contests and activities happening each day of the Fair! Here are just a few of the fun contests planned for this year’s Fair.

New this year is the LIVE Art Battle on Saturday from 2:30 – 3:30 pm. Artists of all ages will have 20 minutes to create a painting, and then the audience will vote for their favorite. All supplies provided.

With the “Catch the Fair Bug!” theme, we have lots of fun “bug” contests – Building A Bug Snack, where Fair-goers can create an edible bug out of yummy food on Wednesday at noon; Make and Take Bug Crafts on Wednesday at 2 pm; Create a Litter Bug from recycled items on Thursday at 3 pm; and Make a Bug Puppet on Friday at 2 pm.

If you love creating with Duct Tape, don’t miss the Duct Tape Art Challenge.  Kids and adults will have 30 minutes to create an item or thing. Some tape will be available for use; however, if your project requires specific colors/patterns or supplies, please provide. Happening on Friday; kids contest at 3 pm; adults 3:45 pm.

Special Events . Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

Special Events . Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

 

How about a scavenger hunt using your cell phone? Find a partner and join the fun at the Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt on Wednesday at 3 pm.  At check- in, contestant teams will receive a scavenger hunt list, and teams will have 45 minutes to find and photograph with their cell phone as many of the items on the list that they can.

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Nevada County Fair Planned for August 12 – 16, 2015

Tommie performing with Pokiejoe. Picture courtesy of Nevada County Fairgrounds

Tommie performing with Pokiejoe. Picture courtesy of Nevada County Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds confirms that Fair will take place as planned

The Nevada County Fairgrounds confirmed today that the Nevada County Fair will continue as planned on August 12 – 16.

While the Fairgrounds are currently being used for a command post and fire camp, the Fair team is busy behind the scenes preparing for its biggest event of the year – the Nevada County Fair.

“There have been rumors of the Fair’s cancellation, but that was never part of our plan,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “While we are happy to be able to assist our community and provide a place of rest for our heroic firefighters, we are still busy preparing for this year’s Fair, which opens in less than two weeks.”

To date, the Fair has received more than 7,000 entries for community exhibits, discounted tickets are being sold, and entries for special contests are being accepted.

Additionally, the Fair confirmed that Community Involvement Day – a day to donate items to non-profit organizations, while also receiving free tickets to the Fair – will take place in the Gate 1 parking lot on Monday, August 3. This year, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is teaming up with the Food Bank of Nevada County, Foothill Lions, Story Club, Nevada County 2-1-1, Sierra Harvest, NEO, and BloodSource for Community Involvement Day.  These organizations will be set-up at the Fairgrounds Gate 1 parking lot on Monday, August 3, from 1 – 6 pm, to receive donations of items.

“The fire camp will still be on the grounds during Community Involvement Day, but we’re ready to host the event, which will cause little disruption to the fire camp,” said Callender.

While the Fair will take place as planned in two weeks, the grounds are currently closed to pedestrians and bicyclists; and RV camping is limited.  The Fairgrounds will notify the community when these services are open again to the public.

The Main Office will continue to sell advanced sale Fair tickets, and continues to be open during normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

“On August 12, we will be ready to open our gates to the community and welcome them to the 2015 Nevada County Fair,” said Callender. “At that time, we’ll also take the time to celebrate our community and thank our firefighters for their efforts in keeping us all safe.”

For information about the Nevada County Fair, August 12 – 16, call 530-273-6217 or visit NevadaCountyFair.com.

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Nevada County Fairgrounds Becomes a Command Post and Fire Camp for Cal Fire; Animal Evacuation Center

July 27, 2015

Nevada County Fairgrounds Becomes a Command Post and Fire Camp for Cal Fire; Animal Evacuation Center

Lowell Hill Fire Photo by John J. O’Dell

  

Contact:          Rea Callender, CEO, Nevada County Fairgrounds

(530) 273-6217; Rea@NevadaCountyFair.com

Due to the Lowell Fire, currently burning in Nevada and Placer counties, Cal Fire and assisting agencies have set up a command post and fire camp at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Additionally, the Nevada County Veterinary Disaster Response Team has set up an evacuation center at the Fairgrounds for large and small animals.

Due to the large number of resources utilizing the fire camp, the Fairgrounds will be closed to walkers and bicyclists until further notice.

During the duration that the camp is set up, Gate 1 will be open to Fair employees and Fair business (those visiting the Fairgrounds’ administration office) only, Gate 4 will be open to campers, Gate 8 will be open for animal evacuation, and all other gates will be closed to the public and restricted to authorized fire personnel only.

These closures and restrictions do not affect the Main Office, which is open during its normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Additionally, limited RV camping will be available by contacting the Main Office.

During this time, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is also being used as an evacuation center for small and large animals. The Fairgrounds are open and equipped to handle large and small animals brought to the Fairgrounds. Several animals are already on the grounds, and the Fairgrounds will continue to receive and house animals as needed. Those with animals impacted by the fire, or those who need to remove animals to a safer location, are encouraged to use the Fairgrounds. If you need information or have questions regarding animal evacuations, contact Pat, Nevada County Veterinary Disaster Response Team (Animal Evac), at (530) 913-6506.

According to Mike Mohler, Public Information Officer with Cal Fire Incident Management Team 1, the fire camp, which was established on July 25, currently houses more than 700 individuals, as well as large equipment required to fight the fires.

For updated fire information and evacuation updates, contact the Cal Fire information line at (530) 823-4083 or visit Cal Fire’s website at www.fire.ca.gov.

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Avila, Spain – May 2015


Pictures of Avila

After being in Madrid for awhile, we decided to take a narrated bus trip to Avila and Segovia, two famous cities to the north of Madrid.

The main monument is the imposing Walls of Ávila (11th-14th centuries), the medieval work was started in 1090. The enclosed area is 77 acres, it has 88 semicircular towers, and walls  over 9 ft thick, with an average height of 39 ft, and 9 gates. It is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world. It is possible to walk upon the walls themselves for roughly half their circumference.

We also visited the Cathedral of Ávila, a Romanesque and Gothic church, a cathedral-fortress, its apse being one of the turrets of the city walls.  It is surrounded by a number of houses or palaces. Across town we also visited the church and museum dedicated to Saint Teresa.

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Madrid, Spain

Text by Judy J. Pinegar  Photos by John J. O’Dell

Arriving by train, really late (about 10 PM) we got a taxi to the place we were staying. They didn’t charge us for being late which was good because the rules said it would cost us 30 euros (1.12 cents= 1euro). But restaurants nearby were still going gangbusters and we ate, then went to bed.

The next day was typical Madrid, better said in pictures than words, a shop full of deserts (John in convinced no one can do desserts like Spain), the subway (we got very good at this), Plaza Mayor, a very nice OLD bar, statues, buildings, Lions about to eat men, Historical figures hanging out of buildings, churches, Museo del Prado (they wouldn’t let us take many pictures inside), and fantastic old doors.

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Trip to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Text by Judy J. Pinegar, Pictures by John J. O’Dell

“The Way” or the Camino de Santiago has been used for over 1000 years for pilgrims to get to Santiago de Compostela, the tomb of Saint James the Apostle.  Although there are many “caminos” or paths to get there, the most frequently used is the path from France, 783 Kilometers (486 miles) across all of northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. John and I met one of those people, Cody from Louisiana, and shared several hours (on a train from Santiago to Madrid) talking about his month long experience. He walked the whole way, after training for three months in Colorado, because with this trip you have to cross the Pyrenees Mountains.

A 13th century poet wrote “The door is open to all, sick and healthy, not only to Catholics, but also to pagans, Jews, heretics and vagabonds.” There are many places to stay along the way where people charge 5 or 10 euros for food, a place to stay, a shower and laundry services. Cody said there were often 3 or 4 languages at a table for 12 people! Carrying a walking stick with an attached scallop shell, it is now more popular as a personal or spiritual journey of discovery, rather than one primarily motivated by religion, an average of 150,000 pilgrims a year make the journey today. If you walk at least 100 kilometers (62 miles) you get a ” Compostela” certificate  and there is also a passport in which you put the stickers you accumulate along the way.

Needless to say, John and I have no stickers or certificates, but the church and the city are beautiful and very old. Sometime in the 9th century a religious hermit, following a shining star unearthed the tomb of the Apostle James in the woods, and after it being confirmed by a local Bishop, the Spanish King and eventually the Pope, pilgrimages began, and today a grand Cathedral stands in the spot, built piecemeal over several centuries it is a mix of Romanesque with baroque and Gothic flourishes. The biggest part was built in 1075 to 1211, with the tops and flourishes added later, then an 18th century facade was added (we didn’t see it as it was being refurbished), you may see the netting in some of the pictures of the outside.

After taking the tour of the Cathedral and it’s museums, we also saw a very mysterious street act, where one man appears to be holding another man in the air with his staff, only two (one of each) of their hand are on the staff…. what do you think?? Then a trip on the tourist bus and another day to the huge Ciudad de Cultura de Galicia (the area which contains both this city an A Coruna) which has lots of symbolism: the overall shape resembles a giant stone wave sliced into sections, the footprint in the vague shape of a scallop shell, or the shape of the old city portion of Santiago de Compostella.  On this site, we visited the museum, the largest library I have ever seen, and a display of the architectural designs for the site. Although the project was started in 1991, the first two buildings were opened in 2011, with another added in 2012, and at least three more are planned. Currently work has stopped for lack of money.

Then there are pictures of some of the tapas available for sale, some of the streets and buildings, flowers and a big fruit and vegetable stand in the city… after two days we left for Madrid via the train.

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Our Trip to A Coruña and Buno

Text by Judy J. Pinegar, Pictures by John J. O’Dell

Coming into A Coruna it was a nice hotel with horrible basement parking. John did it the first time, but then they asked him to let them park the car in the future, and  John was more than happy let them!

These homes are called glass houses because of the intense number of windows facing out to sea

These homes are called glass houses because of the intense number of windows

So out for a stroll we saw the most famous sign of A Coruña, glass houses facing the marina/port, then the Plaza de Maria Pita… dedicated to Maria Pita. The English were bad neighbors here, first the Spanish Armada took off from here and failed badly, mostly due to the horrible weather. Then Sir Frances Drake the famous pirate came to take over the town, and was succeeding until Maria Pita, who  was assisting her husband, an army captain manning the defenses, when he was killed by a crossbow bolt that struck him in the head. An English soldier with a banner, who was making his way to the highest part of the wall, was killed by Pita. She appeared on the heights of the wall herself, shouting: Quen teña honra, que me siga (“Whoever has honor, follow me!”) whereupon the English incursion was driven back by the defenders. The English later gave up the assault and retreated to their ships. I always like it when the women come through!

Plaza de Maria Pita

Plaza de Maria Pita

We then went into the walled old town and saw a 12th century church, a beautiful walled garden, and views of the port.

12th century church A Coruna

12th century church A Coruna

We then came to the Plaza of Humor, with cartoons from all over the world including Disney engraved into the concrete, and a statue of a funny man… John is still mad that I put my hand on his leg!

SAM_0034

Later we went to a archeological museum, inside of what used to be a prison, Castillo de San Anton, with Roman ruins and evidence of the later military uses.. Then a walk along the exposed coast, where we saw an odd glass structure that turned out to be the port navigation center (on high like at an airport)! and finally the Tower of Hercules, which was first a Roman Lighthouse, then made over several times to the current structure. Fairly well preserved relics were still beneath the tower, but the ceiling was about  5’6″… my son Kevin would have had to be in a crouch to see it!

Tower of Hercules A Coruna

Tower of Hercules A Coruna

One day (well actually two) the first time John had forgotten the old picture he had of his Mom’s house that he had taken when she was visiting with him in her old age. We showed the picture to two people who were born and still living in Buno and they recognized it right away and gave us directions. So we took some pictures for the family. See John beside what is now a metal door into the stone structure. His mother told him that the animals lived on the first floor, and the people lived on the second floor, which was quite common in those days.

John's mothers home in Buno Spain

John’s mothers home in Buno Spain

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Three Days of Travel along the Coast of Northern Spain

Text by Judy J. Pinegar, Pictures by John J. O’Dell

After leaving Bilbao  we spent three days getting to A Coruna. Our first stop was Cuervas de Monte Castillo, a site with several caves with prehistoric wall paintings by humans since 150,000 years ago. We had a 45 minute guided tour of the cave which has 275 paintings and engravings of bison, deer, goats mammoths, hand prints, and other mysterious symbols dating from 26,000 to 11,000 BC. Unfortunately they wouldn’t allow pictures so you just have to take our word for it… I did get a picture of John standing outside the entrance, by a big rock, some flowers which appeared to be growing out of pure rock, and the scenery of the area!

When we stopped at the Villa Rosario hotel in Ribadesella, a beautiful, beachfront hotel, a classic century old mansion built by a returned emigrant from Latin America or the Caribbean (with money), I thought I must have really gone off my budget of 70 euros a night.  But it turned out we were in the newer addition (black glass and grey rock across the street, for only 55 euros)… still very nice, almost luxurious inside, really…. and we had breakfast for only 9 euros each in the all glass beachside restaurant next to the older hotel. The town was nice with lots of boats and a fantastic beach… too cold of course this is the Atlantic. They had our same London plane tree, but cut back like a fruitless mulberry (pollarded I think it is called), with the branched grown together within and between trees. Very interesting.

Cudillero, Spain

Cudillero, Spain

The we were on the way to Ribadeo, stopping first at Cudillero, with streets winding down an impossible steep cliff side to end at a picture perfect harbor, this tiny fishing town now gets many visitors in the summer, luckily we are before tourist season to start in June. However the food here was still about three times the average for a meal an any of the towns we have been visiting so we moved on.

Then Ribadeo with plenty of time to explore the small town. We visited Santa Clara Convent, built in the Middle ages and still operational now we heard singing from a half open door and the sign said earlier in the day they sell almond cakes to make money. Then the Moreno’s Tower built between 1914 and 1915 following the design of an Argentinean architect, which is now the best known building in Ribadeo. Then down to the port past a tiny staircase path to houses above, and a tiny shop filled to the brim with everything you can imagine! After walking the town for several hours, we had to go back to the hotel and wait because restaurants don’t even open until 8PM. Still at 8:30 we were the only ones there until 9PM. This is true all over Spain on this trip. The waiters tell us most people come to dinner between 10 and 11 PM. People working on roads, parks and in stores start at 9 or 10 until 2 PM then a siesta until 4PM then continue working until 7PM. So dinner is Later!

Next the city of A Coruna and visiting John’s mom’s birth town of Buno!

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Travel to Bilbao, Spain

Text by Judy J. Pinegar, Pictures by John J. O’Dell

After leaving San Sebastian by bus, we arrived in Bilbao, famous for the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art.  Again we stayed in the old part of town (Casco Viejo), and after a rest, took the river walk to the Museum.

The first thing we saw was a beautiful red bridge, for cars leaving and entering town, going over some huge towers to mark the beginning of the museum.  Next the huge spider, the dancing women and the tower of silver balls, all famous signs of the Guggenheim Museum. Inside was modern art which didn’t thrill either of us and an interesting temporary exhibit about the sculpture, painting and other art, including a full length movie by Niki de Saint Phale. Very interesting woman, now deceased. In front of the museum is a huge puppy, his body made from flowers planted in turf on a huge mesh statue.

Walking home we see some tapas bars and many narrow streets. The next day we visited a museum of the history of the Basque peoples, along with some maritime exhibits, some churches and other neat buildings.

That day we ate in a typical Basque restaurant with a cideria (a huge barrel of the local apple cider) … to pour a glass you have to start far away from the stream/spigot, and not spill a drop! Ha! that was fun, and tasty too! This area’s documents show that the people were sipping cider as far back as the 8th century. The region churns out 80% of Spanish cider up to 30 million liters a year!

 

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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BRE#00669941

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