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Doc Burnstein’s

If you’ve driven through the Village of Arroyo Grande lately, you’ve probably seen the Union protest sign across from Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream shop. I didn’t know what this was about but thought it was odd when the blood bank bus was parked in the village a few weeks ago with the Union sign hanging behind it. I thought about taking a photo of the people sitting in chairs with the Union protesters standing behind them since it looked so weird.

An article in today’s Tribune says that they are protesting non-Union carpenters being used in the Santa Maria Mall on a store that Doc Burnstein’s plans to expand to. The Mall said they used a bidding process to choose the workers as they always do and the owner of Doc Burnstein’s had nothing to do with the selection process.

In comments on the Trib story on their website, it is also stated that the people the Union have standing for 6 hours a day in the Village are NOT members of the union, but people they pay minimum wage to.

I grew up with my dad being a member of a union while working for a soft drink company (he was a delivery person). When I was a kid, I walked the picket lines with my dad when the soft drink industry had a 9 month strike back in the early 70’s.

Unfortunately, this protest appears to be targeting the wrong business but I guess it’s cheaper for the Union to have one protest sign and pay a couple of workers instead of protesting all around the Santa Maria Mall. I’m going to go buy some ice cream at Doc’s later today to show my support of this local business.

Here’s a link to the Tribune story

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Rates On The Rise… Why?

Mortgage rates moved higher through the shortened Christmas week despite mixed economic data and the Fed’s continued commitment to keep rates low. Existing Home Sales rose 7.4% in November to the highest level in nearly three years. Sales were up 44% from one year ago, the biggest increase on record. First time buyers accounted for 51% of sales last month. On the other hand, New Home Sales unexpectedly plummeted 11.3% last month, representing the lowest sales volume since April. The final revision to 3rd quarter Gross Domestic Product showed the economy grew at a much slower pace that initially thought, increasing 2.2% instead of the 2.8% reported last month. Unfazed by the negative GDP news, Consumer Sentiment rose to the highest level since September on a slightly improved employment outlook. Also contributing to consumers’ holiday cheer was Personal Incomes experiencing the biggest gain in six months, and Consumer Spending rising for a second consecutive month. Currently, the 30-Year Fixed sits at 4.875% (5.054% APR) and the 15-Year Fixed is at 4.250% (4.557% APR). We have another short holiday week that will include the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and Consumer Confidence.

Mortgage rates have increased 0.500% in the past couple weeks primarily due to investor perception and the normal supply and demand of the markets. Early last week, we saw the Treasury yield curve widen to a record as investors believe the economic recovery will lead to higher inflation and hurt demand for government debt. We saw signs of this waning demand in the last auctions as indirect bids were much weaker than earlier in the year. The difference between the 2- and 10-year Treasury note yields increased to 281.4 basis points, from 145 basis points at the beginning of the year. Some investors point to normal weak year-end trading activity, and that rates will fall back down after the New Year when the “A” team of traders is back in action. Others, however, are concerned the economic recovery is for real, and rates naturally need to rise from the historic lows to keep inflation in check. On Christmas Eve, the US Treasury agreed to provide Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with as much capital as they need over the next three years in an effort to reassure the investors that bought their debt. Opponents believe this is a blank check for Fannie and Freddie with no definite end, and the move puts additional upward pressure on inflation which will lead to higher rates. Supporters believe this simple gives stability to mortgage-backed securities investors.

Look for 30-Year Fixed rates to fluctuate between 4.500% and 5.000% through the 1st quarter of 2010. If you’re thinking about refinancing, get your applications completed right away as rates are bouncing on the bottom and will not improve beyond the historic lows we’ve already seen.

Central Coast Lending, Inc.
(805) 771-9870
info@centralcoastlending.com

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Great way to show off your digital photos

I had tons of family photos I’ve taken over the years with my digital cameras that I’ve never uploaded to any photo sites. This year I decided to create photo books and give them out as presents to my wife and daughters. I used blurb.com and created a 260 page 10×13″ book for each of them. They came out FANTASTIC and would recommend it to anyone wanting to create a keepsake using your photos.

Happy Holidays to All!

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Morro Bay Walk

(submitted by one of our North Coast Agents)

Today I explored the public bike path and beach boardwalk in Morro Bay that runs from San Jacinto Ave- oceanside – behind the Cloisters- to an oceanfront viewing deck on the beach. The total path runs about 1 mile or so, but you can also pick it up at the Cloisters Park or the Cloisters Indigo Circular drive. It is paved for easy usage for all.

The Cloisters is a sub-area in Morro Bay that includes elegant homes built in the 2000’s with a few that are newly built. They now range in price from the mid $700,000’s to $1,500,000+. There are single level homes as well as two story ones; some have ocean views and all have easy access to the beach.

Just another beautiful day on the Central Coast!

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Light, Bright and Airy Home Staging Tips

Happy Holidays! It seems like the holidays got here quickly this year. Here are some quick tips for staging your home for sale into the New Year.

  • Clean up after the holidays sooner rather than later- most buyers don’t want to see lights still on your house in February.
  • If you had pictures taken of your house with holiday decorations, clean and take fresh ones for the MLS after the holiday decorations are down.
  • Plan ahead for a quick getaway if Realtors call for a showing.
  • Holiday cookies and warm fires make houses feel extra cozy on cold winter days – great for showing your home!
  • Take time to enjoy the spirit of the season, even if your house is for sale!

Merry Christmas! For a free quote on staging your home, or an other questions, please contact me at: shannon@LightBrightandAiry.com or check out my website: www.LightBrightandAiry.com

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Craigslist Rental Scam

Thanks to our blog reader that contacted me today about a suspect rental ad on Craigslist she found. It was advertising a Paso Robles home for rent. Problem is…that home is an REO and is listed in the MLS for sale.

This is not a new scam. Scammers find vacant REOs and try to rent them to unsuspecting people. They get the security deposit and a few months rent from a renter thinking they are the legit owner or landlord.

BEWARE OF CRAIGSLIST ADS!

If you are looking to rent a home/condo, search on SloCountyHomes.com to see if it is listed for sale. You also want to check to see if it is in foreclosure.

I’ve contacted the listing agent to let them know about the Craigslist ad.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Happy Holidays From CCL!!

Mortgage rates finished the week unchanged as the Federal Reserve held the fed funds rate steady. The monthly inflation reports were mostly in line with expectations and the Fed made no indication that it will deviate from current monetary policy any time soon. The Producer Price Index for November was slightly higher that expected, while year-over-year core PPI, excluding food and energy costs, was up only 0.5%. The Consumer Price Index remained at low levels with the core rate coming in flat for November. As expected, the Fed kept the benchmark lending rate between zero and 0.250%, and reminded us that inflation was not a concern in the short-term. The Fed did note some improvement in the job market since the last FOMC meeting, but they still intend on keeping interest rates “exceptionally low” for an “extended period”. Currently, the 30-Year Fixed sits at 4.625% (4.804% APR) and the 15-Year Fixed is at 4.125% (4.432% APR). There is a lot of economic news due to be released before the long holiday weekend, including New and Existing Home Sales, Consumer Sentiment, Durable Goods Orders and the final reading for 3rd quarter GDP.

Wishing everyone joy and happiness this holiday season!

Central Coast Lending, Inc.
(805) 771-9870
info@centralcoastlending.com

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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You won’t find a chain restaurant doing this

Brad’s restaurant in downtown Pismo Beach will be offering a traditional Christmas dinner from 1-6 pm. According to a flyer I received, it says…

“Our invitation is extended to anyone who may be alone, without family, or in need that would like to join us and share the company of others on Christmas day. No one will be turned away.”

Hats off to the owners, Brad and Helen Phillips, that have run the family business for over 55 years.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile