..

Better Days Ahead in Housing, Freddie Says

Photo courtesy of: http://onepicinspires.blogspot.com/

Photo courtesy of: http://onepicinspires.blogspot.com/

The housing market is stronger today than at any point since the Great Recession and has made progress in several key areas after hitting bottom in 2009, Freddie Mac reports in a blog post looking at the state of the housing market heading into spring.

Home sales are up 13 percent since their low point, Freddie Mac reports. Frank Notaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, predicts that home sales will rise about 3 percent in 2014.

Also, the agency reports that housing starts are up 50 percent since hitting bottom. Freddie Mac is predicting a nearly 20 percent increase in new-housing starts in 2014, “which will begin to help ease tight inventories in many markets.”

Housing prices have also been on the upswing, about 16 percent higher than their bottom in 2009, Freddie Mac reports. They expect home values to continue to rise this year, but at a more moderate 5 percent pace. Also, researchers say many markets are still posting housing values that are below their 2006 peaks.

Freddie Mac is forecasting mortgage rates to remain near their historic lows this year, but rates are expected to rise about a half-percentage point during the year to around a 5 percent average by the end of the year.

Source: “After Winter Chill, Time to Spring Forward,” Freddie Mac (April 10, 2014)
Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Heartbleed Bug, Change Your Passwords

Bug-with-eyes

Just when you think you only have to worry about the government bugging you, along comes the Heartbleed bug. I don’t know about you, but I went ahead and changed some of my passwords on such sites as Google, Amazon and a couple of others. Anyhow, here’s more information on what’s happening if you having already heard.

A massive security flaw exposed on websites could put at risk your private information, such as credit card numbers and other data.

Researchers uncovered the vulnerability in a Web security measure known as OpenSSL. Websites that have a lock next to the URL typically indicate that the site is encrypted and that third parties will not be able to read or receive the information you send. But the Heartbleed bug potentially could break the encryption and expose users’ personal information.

Researchers believe that up to two-thirds of websites could be affected. Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! recently confirmed that they had been affected and said they were applying fixes to their systems, The New York Times reports.

Administrators to websites are upgrading their software and applying added protections from Heartbleed. Still, security experts are advising consumers to change their passwords at any site that holds their sensitive data.

But beware: “Changing your passwords before sites were patched could simply lead to re-exposure,” says Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer and security consultant who discovered the OpenSSL flaw on his own site. He urges people to find out if the sites they use have fixed the problem — or if they were ever at risk — before changing their passwords.

The company LastPass has set up a “Heartbleed test” for consumers to check specific sites to see whether they are safe from the bug.

Companies will likely begin contacting customers soon about resetting passwords, but Brian Krebs, a security researcher, says consumers may want to be proactive in changing passwords now even if it means they may need to do it again later.

Source: “Flaw Calls for Altering Passwords, Experts Say,” The New York Times (April 9, 2014) and “The Heartbleed Bug, Explained,” Vox.com (April 8, 2014)

Help me keep this website going
Call today for buying or selling real estate

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Home Prices to Increase Next 12 Months

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.pleated-jeans.com/

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.pleated-jeans.com/

March 25, 2014

REALTORS® expect home prices to continue to rise over the next 12 months. But they expect them to do so at a moderate pace, given tight credit conditions and the chipping away of home affordability, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index, a monthly survey distributed to more than 50,000 real estate practitioners to gauge expectations over home sales, prices, and market conditions.

Real estate professionals reported a median price expectation of 3.9 percent over the next 12 months.

The states where practitioners are predicting the biggest increases—5 to 7 percent—are in California, Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii. Tight inventories have helped to lift home values in these areas, according to the survey.

“In states with booming economies like Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Michigan, and the D.C.-metro area, the expected price increase is about 3 to 5 percent,” according to the report.

Real estate professionals also expressed several concerns over the housing market holding back some buyers, particularly due to “unreasonably” tight credit conditions.

“Access to credit was often cited as a deterrent to home buying,” according to the report. “About 13 percent of REALTORS® who did not close a sale in February reported having clients who could not obtain financing.”

In those cases, about 6 percent of the professionals said their buyer gave up, while 7 percent said their buyer continued to seek new or other financing. Other transaction hang-ups were lack of agreement on a price (accounting for 11 percent); buyer losing a home to competition (10 percent); and appraisal issues (3 percent).

By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

 
Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Sergio’s Caffe’s Review at it’s New Location in Grass Valley, CA

Sergio Martignago

Sergio Martignago

By  Sherri L. Reynolds

Owned by Sergio Martignago and his lovely  wife Elena. They are now moved into what was once a coffee establishment and had the entire place remodeled. They have spent many  hours, months  and days, along with their positive energy into the  planning, design,colors and decor. This is a ” dream come  true” after being in the  restaurant business for over 10 years. They are the  loveliest people you will ever meet.

When you walk in, you immediately sense a welcoming feeling  and friendliness. You see the lovely chandeliers above and their signature mark of the glorious tall green palm tree in the middle of  the  restaurant The decor consists of warm colors with varied  yellows, trimmed with soft browns, tuscany reds and olive green. The seating area along the wall is leather cushioned and very comfortable.

Tables are a beautiful walnut brown. The wine and coffee espresso bar  area have high back cushioned chairs with hanging mosaic  lights in  pretty colors of red/orange/yellow,which also accent the  granite tile perfectly.This area provides a very comfortable area to sit, to have an appetizer, a delicious meal,dessert,
a cappucino or just to enjoy a glass of wine from one of the local wineries.

Come late spring and summer time, their outside patio will also be available for enjoyment. Another place to sit, relax, and have a delicious meal with friends , family or for yourself. You will also be able to listen to the music there as well while you eat your meal. Their music varies from Spanish guitar, Italian, Argentinian, Russian , French and so much more.

They have new menus for lunch and dinner, which also consists of an extended appetizer list. On the appetizer list they now serve Calamari, Clams and Mussels, goat cheese with marinated  olives. They also have a soup of the day, along with their signature vegetable soup. For lunch, they have sandwiches, salads and combination plates. The tri-tip sandwich and salad is a local favorite.
They also have roasted vegetable, fresh grilled salmon and chicken salads. Lunch pastas are pasta pesto,lasagnabolognese, handmade ravioli. They are very accomodating of adding whatever you like with your meal.

Read More…

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Nevada County Scotch Broom Challenge 2014 Volunteers Wanted

Bring your family and friends, pick a site and participate in one of Nevada County's most fun and satisfying challenges.

Bring your family and friends, pick a site and participate in one of Nevada County‘s most fun and satisfying challenges.

The Scotch Broom Challenge was created in 2007 to address the spread of this highly flammable and invasive plant in our community. The Scotch Broom Challenge started with just a few sites in Nevada County. In the spring of 2013 over 300 volunteers took the Scotch Broom Challenge and pulled broom at 24 sites throughout Nevada County and Placer County.

Local groups and agencies are once again teaming up and taking the Scotch Broom Challenge. We hope to educate and get people motivated in the region to combat this highly flammable invasive weed. Scotch Broom Challenge pulls are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. No experience is needed. Equipment and supplies are provided. All ages and abilities welcome. Sign up online at Scotch Broom Challenge Sign Up or call the Fire Safe Council at 530-272-1122

Hell’s Half Acre Scotch Broom Challenge

Saturday, March 8, 2014 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Work continues at the Hell’s Half Acre site adjacent to and also on the Twin Cities Church property. Major progress has been made and a new area will be addressed to the West of previous work. Please join us for a day of meeting new people or seeing friends while helping to make our community fire safe. This project site is sponsored by the Twin Cities Church & FSCNC. The project site coordinator is Joanne Drummond. To volunteer on this site or any other site, please register with the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County by either registering online online or by calling 530-272-1122.

Champion Mine Road & NID Ditch Trail Scotch Broom Challenge

Saturday, March 8, 2014 & Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Work continues along Champion Mine Road sponsored by the Greater Champion Mine Neighborhood Association.  The Scotch Broom Challenge pull at this site is on Saturday and Sunday.  This project site is sponsored by Greater Champion Neighborhood Association and Co-sponsored by Nevada County Walkers, Bicyclists of Nevada County & Forest Trails Alliance. The site coordinator is Frances Jorgensen. To volunteer on this site or any other site, please register with the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County by either registering online or by calling 530-272-1122.

Meadow Vista Scotch Broom Challenge

Saturday, March 15, 2014 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Placer Hills/Sugar Pine Roads. This site is on undeveloped land to the South/East of Placer Hills & Sugar Pine intersections. Site coordinator is Michelle Hamil. To volunteer on this site or any other site please, register with the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County by either registering online or by calling 530-272-1122.

Sages Road Scotch Broom Challenge

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Work continues along Sages Road in North San Juan to remove the Scotch Broom. This site is sponsored and coordinated by Rusty & Joann Fites Kaufman. To volunteer on this site or any other site, please register with the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County by either registering online or by calling 530-272-1122
Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

The Famous Wines of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region

By Judy J. Pinegar

The Abbey from a distance

The Abbey from a distance

The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is an overlooked region in the Italian tourism scene, but it produces some exceptional wines. The origins of these wines date back to the middle ages (1066 to 1485), when the area was important in the Mediterranean spice route from the Byzantine Empire to the trading center of Venice.  Travelers through the area brought grape vines from Macedonia and Anatolia. Under the Hapsburg reign, the German and French grape varieties were brought in.  Even today, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region is an area close to Austria and Slovenia. Due to this positioning, the region has a unique blend of Italian, Slavic and Austrian cultures and foods. But the wine, especially the white wine is special.

The Abbey of Rosazzo is located in the Coli Orientali (eastern hills) of Friuli in an isolated area to the northeast of Manzano (famous for the production of chairs), around twenty kilometres from Udine and ten kilometres from the Slovenian border. The origins of the over one thousand year old abbey are still not fully known. Proof to the early origins of winemaking as well as the importance of the craft to the society comes from a document in the abbey dated January 20, 1341 that reads: “The Patriarch Bertrando has threatened the excommunication of several people, who after having occupied a wood belonging to the Abbey of Rosazzo did not want to plant vines”. Shocking!

Looking out from the Abbey Both photos and quote courtesy of The Abbey of Rosazzo http://www.abbaziadirosazzo.it

Looking out from the Abbey
Both photos and quote courtesy of The Abbey of Rosazzo http://www.abbaziadirosazzo.it

In the pictures of the Abbey note the proximity of the vines and roses. Even today in California on a wine tour you often see a single rose planted at the end of each row, traditionally the roses are the grape growers early warning system. Powdery mildew is a fungus affects both plants, but roses are much more sensitive to the disease. So if the roses are infected, it is time to spray the grapes with sulfur or other fungicides that are used today. Roses also warn of other diseases, and harbor beneficial insects that help kill other insects in the grapes. And they are beautiful! The Abbey can be visited, with some limited rooms, but visit the cellar as it is one of the oldest in Friuli, dating back to the end of the thirteenth century with the Benedictine monks.

Read More…

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

$15 Million Beach House Built in Rock

Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
<a href=”mailto:johnodell969@gmail.com”>Email John</a>
BRE#00669941

 

 

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation to Host Cioppino Feed

cioppino-flyer

Join the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation at its fourth annual All-You-Can-Eat Cioppino Feed on Saturday, March 1 at Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 5 pm, and dinner service begins at 6 pm.

For the event, the chefs will create and serve Arnie Romanello’s special 100-year-old recipe for all to enjoy. Dinner includes antipasto, all-you-can-eat Cioppino, salad and garlic bread.  This year, a pasta dish will be available to those who do not prefer Cioppino, but want to attend the event. A no-host bar will also be available, and there will be a silent dessert auction and a live auction.

Tickets are $35 per person. If you’d like to purchase a table for 8, it is $350 and includes two bottles of wine.

Tickets are available by visiting the Nevada County Fairgrounds, calling the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217, or downloading an order form at www.NevadaCountyFair.com/foundation.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation and its mission of supporting and improving the community’s Fairgrounds.

For more information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com or call the (530) 273-6217.
Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Real Estate Scams You Need to Know About

http://residentialsettlements.com.au/nigerian-real-estate-scam-highlights-the-need-for-increased-vigilance/

Picture source: http://residentialsettlements.com.au/nigerian-real-estate-scam-highlights-the-need-for-increased-vigilance/

BY MELISSA DITTMANN TRACEY

Don’t be duped by mortgage fraud. Here are a few common scams and the red flags you should look for in a transaction.

Mortgage fraud is pervasive: An estimated $4 billion to $6 billion in annual losses result from mortgage fraud, according to FBI reports. “An entire community can be damaged by mortgage fraud,” says Rachel Dollar, a lawyer from Santa Rosa, Calif., and editor of the Mortgage Fraud Blog. Mortgage fraud can lead to a spike in foreclosures, home values plummeting, and lenders raising their rates and fees to recover losses.

The crimes are often complex, involving several parties and occurring over multiple transactions. To protect you and your clients, educate yourself about mortgage fraud and be on guard for any warning signs in a transaction. You can start by reviewing these five scams, and then test your knowledge by taking our Mortgage Fraud Quiz.

1. The Foreclosure Rescue Scheme

The Scam: “Rescuers” promise cash-strapped home owners that they can save their home from foreclosure. The rescue, which involves paying upfront fees, can take multiple forms, such as the perpetrator obtaining a new loan on behalf of the owner or by having the owner sign over the home’s deed and then rent the home until they can repurchase it. Eventually, the home owner loses the home, either to foreclosure or the fictitious rescue company.

Red Flags: With foreclosure rescue programs, borrowers are often advised to sign over the title of their house to a third party, become renters of their home, not contact their lender, or send mortgage payments to a third party, according to Fannie Mae, which provides fact sheets on mortgage fraud.

2. Loan Documentation Fraud

The Scam: This fraud involves numerous schemes in which a borrower provides inaccurate financial information — such as about their income, assets, and liabilities — or employment status in order to qualify for a loan with lower rates and more favorable terms. Occupancy fraud is one growing area: Borrowers say they plan to live in the property when they actually intend to rent it.

Red Flags: Documentation may raise suspicion if the employer’s address is shown as a post office box, accumulation of assets compared to the person’s income appears too high or low, the new house is too small to accommodate occupants, the person has no credit history, or the application is unsigned or undated, according to Fannie Mae.

3. Appraisal Fraud

The Scam: A faulty appraisal — saying a property is worth more than what it really is — is connected to many types of mortgage fraud. It entails manipulating or overstating comparables, market values, or property characteristics in order to obtain a higher appraisal. The higher property appraisal, which generates false equity, is done by falsifying an appraisal document or using an appraiser accomplice to obtain the higher value.

Red Flags: Be skeptical of appraisals that are dated prior to the sales contract, list comparable sales that do not contain similarities to the property or are outside the neighborhood, the owner is not the seller listed on the contract or the title, or a third party participating in the transaction orders the appraisal, Freddie Mac warns.

4. Illegal Property Flipping

The Scam: This entails purchasing properties and reselling them at inflated prices. These scams usually involve faulty appraisals and inaccurate loan documents. The property is then refinanced or resold immediately after purchase for an inflated value. The home is purchased at a higher price, often by straw buyers working with the “flipper,” and eventually falls into foreclosure.

Red Flags: Some key things to look for are rapid refinancing of a property; the seller recently having acquired the title or acquiring the title concurrent with the transaction; an appraisal that comes in too high; a property that was recently in foreclosure being purchased at a much lower price than its sales price; or the owner listed on the appraisal and title not matching the seller on the sales contract, according to Fannie Mae.

5. Short Sales Schemes

The Scam: Borrowers owe more than the current value of their home so they fake financial hardship and no longer make their mortgage payments. An accomplice of the borrower then submits a low offer to purchase the property in a short sale agreement. The lender agrees to the short sale, unaware that it was premeditated. The property, after being purchased at the reduced price, is then often resold at the home’s actual value for profit.

Red Flags: The borrower suddenly defaults on the mortgage with no workout discussions with the lender, an immediate offer is made to a lender at a short sale price, the short sale offer is less than current market value, or a cash back is offered at closing to the delinquent borrower (disguised as “repairs” or other payouts, for example) and is not disclosed to the lender, according to Fannie Mae.

You can report instances of suspected mortgage fraud to Stopfraud.gov.

Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn

Anonymous Online Reviewers Made be Subject to a Lawsuit

gavel

Recent cases are challenging the rights of online reviewers to remain anonymous against the right of businesses to pursue defamation claims. In one of the latest cases, Yelp filed an appeal all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court that challenges a court’s order to release the identity of allegedly defamatory reviewer.

In the case, Yelp Inc. vs. Hadeed Carpet, the company Hadeed challenges whether a set of negative reviews posted on Yelp were really authored by real customers. Hadeed had filed a complaint and asked Yelp to supply documents containing the full name, gender, birth date, IP address, and e-mail address of the authors. The company used a Virigina statute that says anonymous communications must be revealed that “may be tortious or illegal.”

Yelp refused to supply the information and the incident first went to circuit court, then the court of appeals, and now the Virginia Supreme Court is being asked to weigh in.

Yelp argues that if  “a company is able to identify its critics by doing no more than representing that it believes that its critics are not customers, consumers and others who have valuable contributions to make to public debate, but who worry about retaliation, will be chilled into silence.”

But businesses say it’s unfair to provide them with no recourse when they’re targeted by an anonymous review that they know to be false.

The topic is raising First Amendment issues. “Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent,” wrote the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995. “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.” However, speech that is deemed defamatory can fall outside First Amendment protection.

Source: “When Should the Authors of Anonymous Online Reviews be Revealed? Yelp Challenges a Court ‘Unmasking’ Order,” Forbes.com (Feb. 7, 2014)

Please help to keep this blog going
Let us Sell or help you buy your new home or land

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • email
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere News
  • FriendFeed
  • Google
  • muti
  • LinkedIn