Buying Is a Good Investment, If You Choose Right

Pessimists are implying that the housing market will never get any better and housing will always be a lousy investment.

Are they right? Of course not, say experts at the Motley Fool finance Web site.

In fact, the Fools predict that pretty soon housing will be a great investment because prices will have fallen to the point where homes are cheap.

Then as now, the Fools say the key to buying a home that is a good deal will be:

• Location
• Don’t overpay
• Buy what you can afford

If the price goes up, great, the Fools say. If not, buyers will be OK because they have picked a great place to live.

Source: The Motley Fool (08/23/2010)

10 States with Pricey Closing Costs

Closing costs have risen an average of 36.6 percent compared to 2009, according to’s annual survey.

The big increased was caused by the U.S. government requiring lenders to provide accurate good faith estimates of closing costs. Previously, lenders weren’t penalized for a bad estimate.

On average, the origination and third party fees on a $200,000 purchase mortgage added up to $3,741.

Here are the 10 highest states:

1. New York, $5,623
2. Texas, $4,708
3. Utah, $4,605
4. California-San Francisco, $4,566; California-Los Angeles, $4,406
5. Alaska, $4,327
6. Oklahoma, $4,254
7. Pennsylvania, $4,236
8. New Jersey, $4,110
9. Idaho, $4,077
10. Massachusetts, $4,025

Source: (08/16/2010)

626 Willard renovation off to a good start…

This house was recently renovated. I will have the listing details for you soon- in the mean time, look at the before pictures below. The house had good details to start- Spacious lot, great landscaping,  ceiling beams, built-ins, fireplace, hardwoods, french doors to a back deck, large master suite with a nursery or sitting room …just needed the finishing touch.

Westview Calendar of Events

Special Request – Neighbors to Support a Local Classroom

Coordinator: Ayana Gabriel

The WCO has adopted a local classroom, Ms. Hunter’s 6th grade class, at KIPP STRIVE Academy.  This is a perfect opportunity to spend time with children in the neighborhood.    We are looking for neighbors who can spend as little as 30 minutes speaking to the class about how you use reading in your everyday life.  We also need neighbors who are willing to help organize classroom books.  This is a GREAT activity for retired neighbors, so if you know any please mention it to them!

Special Request – Help Paint Elderly Neighbor’s Homes

Coordinator: Ayana Gabriel

The local non-profit, House Proud, spends time fixing up the homes of elderly neighbors in need.  Our local representative, Jonathan Kidwell, has asked if there are any neighbors who can help paint on higher parts of a local neighbor’s home. “Higher parts” are areas that require a person to be comfortable with a 24’ ladder.  So if you aren’t scared of heights and have some time, let us know!

September 11 – Back to School!

8:30 – 11:30 am

KIPP STRIVE Academy, 1444 Lucile Ave

Coordinator: Ayana Gabriel

Our own neighborhood charter school!  We are partnering with KIPP STRIVE to help introduce their students to our neighborhood.  We need about 15 neighbors who are willing to volunteer on September 11 to help give the students of KIPP STRIVE a tour of OUR neighborhood. 

October 2 – Neighborhood Clean-Up

8:30 – 11:30 am

Starting at KIPP STRIVE Academy, 1444 Lucile Ave

Coordinator: None, neighbor needed!

Please come out to clean-up trash and debris from our neighborhood.  For a second year we are partnering with KIPP STRIVE.  Adults are needed to help haul heavy trash, and mow vacant/empty lawns.  We also need a neighbor who is willing to coordinate this event.

November – Thanksgiving Basket

Day/Time TBD

Coordinator: Mary Green

We will be creating thanksgiving baskets to give to needy families in the neighborhood.  We will also host a volunteer day at Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless located less than 5 minutes from our neighborhood.  Every year this organization feeds 50,000 people at their annual Thanksgiving Event, and many more throughout the year.

December 11 – Holiday Dinner

Fire Station #17, 1489 Ralph David Abernathy

Day/Time TBD

Coordinator: Scott Smith

Our annual neighborhood celebration of the winter holidays at Fire Station #17.  Get your pot luck dishes ready!

If you are interested, please contact me at agabriel1908@  Also, if you know neighbors who are not on email, invite them to come out to an activity.

Fannie, Freddie Will Not Forgive Underwater Debt

Despite rumors to the contrary sweeping Wall Street and Washington, D.C., the White House says it is not planning to order Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of people who owe more than their homes are worth.

“The administration is not considering a change in policy in this area,” said Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams.

Mortgage bond prices stabilized after that rumor was quashed.

Source: Reuters News (08/05/2010)