See, I knew I liked Will and Jada Smith..

they home school! And now they’re opening a new school… see Essence article HERE

I met a man a few weeks ago who was totally against everything except for Public School..needless to say he is a Teacher in the APS system. He was going on and on bashing Charter Schools about the use of public funding etc… so I had to ask “What do you think about Home school?”  As a deep frown spread across his face, he began to tell me all the WRONG with home schooling and home schooled kids i.e they will not know how to work with others, they are sheltered, they are not social etc- the same nonsense many think. ( I wasn’t angry- I’ve been doing this 3yrs now and have heard everything from family,friends, “teachers”- and my favorite, STRANGERS. ) But here is the killer…so I ask this highly opinionated teacher, “Do you have kids?”   and as usual, the response was “NO! But, I work with kids daily.”   That was all I needed to hear to end the conversation.

Anyway, for all of you other home schooling moms or those thinking of it, here is a cool new group I was introduced to : Kid Cultivators Homeschool Support Group

Make Some Money With Your House

For owners of vacation homes or properties in tourist-friendly areas, here’s a money-making tip.
If there’s a major sporting event or arts festival in their town, make some extra money by renting your primary or vacation home to tourists and moving elsewhere for a couple of weeks.
If you rent your home for 14 days or less in a given year, you don’t have to pay any tax on the rental income, says Bob Scharin, senior tax analyst for Thomson Reuters. You don’t even have to report the income to the IRS, he says.
If you rent your vacation home for more than 14 days, you’ll have to report the income on Schedule E when you file your tax return. That’s not as bad as it sounds, because you’ll also be permitted to deduct expenses, such as insurance, utilities, property management fees, and depreciation.
Source: USA Today, Sandra Block

Maine: Why Not Buy an Old Stone Jail?

Anyone looking for security should check out the place just listed by Dawson Commercial Realty in Bangor, Maine.
It’s a roomy, brick and stone county jail in the middle of Skowhegan. Constructed in 1897, the 14,000 square-foot building is for sale for $200,000 and comes complete with razor-wire fencing. There are no zoning or permit-use restrictions, but Philip Roy, chairman of the Somerset County Commission, says only buyers with profit in mind should apply.
“I’d like to have it go back on the tax rolls of Skowhegan, and I’d also like to see it create jobs – ultimately, that’s what we’re looking for,” he says.
Source: The Associated Press

Memorial Day Weekend in West End…

We really did need this 3day weekend! The 1st day that I did get to relax was wonderful; I’m looking forward to the 4th of July..

Besides the normal race of finding the perfect house for my new buyers (which they found!) I  did attend the Malcolm X festival, had a blast and was grateful I left my money at home or else I would  be over flowing with hand made bracelet’s, earrings and hair ornaments.   My girls enjoyed watching the show of African Warrior dance moves. *pictures to come*

I also had the pleasure * NOT * of going to David’s Bridal and try on dresses for a summer wedding my girls and I will be in- check out the girls:

Then on Monday we got to enjoy a BBQ- Jordon enjoyed watching the fish swim in the pond-this little one was hard to snap a picture of…

I did get a chance to snatch up a baby…

and watch a card game… *I suck at ALL games*

 

Leah was trying to butter me up for more chips..

Leah

my neighbors have done an amazing job with their backyard adding a pond, veggie/herb garden, island seating area…

I think I’ll take some before and after pics of my yard. I’m working on it- slowly…. I’ll try to have it done by July 4th. 

So when I look at the pictures and reflect, I realized although I really really really miss Brooklyn- it’s pretty wonderful to be in the West End.  I’m looking forward to adding new neighbors.  Only 5 more available homes on my block!

For Some, Foreclosures Wave Is Boon

The foreclosure crisis has been good for business for thousands of contractors who are hired by mortgage companies to inspect and maintain abandoned homes.
The upkeep of foreclosed homes has become more of a focus for local and state governments that want to preserve real estate values in neighborhoods and deter drug and gang activity.
Local governments have increased their code enforcement efforts by fining mortgage companies for allowing repossessed homes to deteriorate.
Vacant homes could become more of a problems for mortgage companies and local governments, as economists forecast a couple of million more homes will enter foreclosure in the next two years, says Cheryl Lang, president of Integrated Mortgage Solutions in Houston.
Source: New York Times,Vikas Bajaj (05/27

Mortgage Fraud Crackdown Continues

The FBI was instrumental in 206 convictions in 2007 for real estate securities and commodities fraud.

According to an FBI report released Thursday, the 1,204 mortgage fraud cases pursued in 2007 resulted in 321 indictments and court orders for $595.9 million in restitution.

The FBI, working in conjunction with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is investigating more than 1,300 mortgage-fraud cases and conducting 19 corporate investigations linked to the subprime lending crisis.

Source: The Associated Press, Marcy Gordon 05/22/08