Ever since I was a student at Cal Poly in the late 70’s, I’ve known that you don’t speed when you get close to King City. I just arrived back from the Bay Area and the CHP was out in force today. We counted one helicopter and 6 patrol cars within a few miles of King City. I’m one that just sets the cruise control to 72 MPH (in the 70 MPH zone) but the speed limit changes back to 65 MPH when you enter King City. I’ll admit that even though I know this is the case I’ll catch myself once in awhile with the cruise control still on as I pass through King City. Be aware that the speed limit does change at King City!!
Atascadero has a new restaurant that gets this foodie’s vote! Fig or Fig Good Food – a tiny place with big flavors. Cute place with a few tables inside and then some outside seating, both front and back. All dishes looked wonderful but my choice was the ‘Frenchie’ sandwich that has a surprising combo of fig chutney, brie, greens on foccaccia (heated – sort of pannini style – to my thinking). Yum, quite memorable and well done up for not a huge amount of cash. They have homemade dishes including take out/eat in rotisserie chicken, pasta dishes, assortment of main dish or side salads, soups, and inviting deserts……..a bit of everything. It’s just down Traffic Way a block or so from the Carlton and is co-owned by two very nice people who are friends that are married to different people – Greg Perello and Christine Dillow. Try it but only during the week from 11 – 7. And if the thought of what to cook for dinner brings you to your knees, just stop by on the way home for their take out chicken with some wild rice or herb roasted potatoes…..heaven after a long day! One more plus for those of us who are thinking green……their plasticware is biodegradable!
Nancy Heins, North County Realtor
California home buyers can begin claiming $10,000 tax credits starting May 1 under a bill expected to be signed soon by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Buyers must close escrow or reserve a credit on or after May 1 and before or on Dec. 31 to qualify.
Home staging tips for Tuesday!
I found an awesome new local photo / art tip. I met a great local photographer who turns his beautiful pictures of our local landscape into framed canvas art. Some of them look like oil paintings and some look like photos, but they are all impressive. He has a great eye for capturing our beautiful coastline. For the size of these prints they are all very well priced .
I have always felt that people buy houses in our area because they fall in love with the scenery- make sure you remind them of that when they look at your home too, maybe it will be that extra special “something” that gets your home SOLD!
Here is the artist’s website link: www.calseascapes.com To see the pictures- check his online store. Nice guy, local artist, beautiful pictures for your home, I call that a win-win-win!
A presentation is planned for this Thursday March 25th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meadow Park in San Luis Obispo to discuss SLO County’s plan to develop its own green building ordinance (2333 Meadow Street). This plan is somewhat controversial as it would exceed state requirements for energy efficiency, which are already the nations toughest, and result in new homes being 30% more energy efficient than just 10 years ago. The concern is that such an ordinance will further slow development and make it more expensive and harder to build housing anywhere in the area. The meeting is being co-sponsored by SLO Green Build, the area U.S. Green Build Council, the county Air Pollution Control District, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Mary Anne Lodato, San Luis Obispo Local Expert
Mortgage rates continued to hold steady as there were no major surprises in the monthly inflation reports or with the Fed announcement. As expected, Federal reserve officials repeated their pledge to keep the fed funds rate near zero for an “extended period” and confirmed that the $1.25 trillion mortgage-backed security purchase program will conclude at the end of the month. Thomas Hoenig, president of the Kansas City Fed, dissented for the second straight meeting. The inflation data showed that inflation is not a concern right now. February’s core Consumer Price Index increased at a reasonable 1.3% annual rate, and year-over-year Producer Prices were also satisfactory. The only surprise occurred on Thursday when India’s central bank unexpectedly raised rates for the first time since July 2008 after inflation accelerated to a 16-month high, ending an eight-day winning streak for US stocks. Currently, the 30-Year Fixed sits at 4.750% (4.929% APR) and the 15-Year Fixed is at 4.125% (4.432% APR). This week, we will see the monthly housing reports including New and Existing Home Sales.
On Monday, exactly two years after the collapse of Bear Stearns, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd unveiled a 1,336-page financial reform bill that would drastically reduce the oversight role of the Federal Reserve Bank, give government unprecedented powers to split up firms that threaten the economy, and create an independent consumer watchdog. The bill proposes that the Fed would oversee banks and important financial firms with assets greater than $50 billion, reducing the Fed’s supervision of over 5000 banks throughout the nation to only 35. Dodd’s bill also aims to end “too big to fail” bailouts funded by the American taxpayers by creating a a safe way to liquidate failed financial firms, imposing tough new capital and leverage requirements that make it undesirable to get too big, and establishing rigorous standards and supervisions to financial companies that pose a risk to financial stability. Companies that sell products like mortgage-backed securities will be required to retain at least 5% of the credit risk, unless the underlying loans meet standards that reduce riskiness. The new independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will have the sole job of protecting American consumers from unfair, deceptive and abusive financial products and practices and will ensure people get the clear information they need on loans and other financial products.
Dodd’s bill, titled Restoring American Financial Stability, was immediately met with strong opposition from financial institutions including the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), American Bankers Association (ABA), Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. Initial opinions and backlash were widely varied and seemed to depend on each organization’s perspective and interests. Bernanke cited the Fed’s role of supervising smaller banks provides the Fed with an important window into financial conditions throughout the nation’s economy and is vital to monetary policy. The ABA opposed the approach to consumer protection and noted the bill’s failure to address accounting issues in any fashion. The MBA was concerned the bill did not provide uniform national regulation of all mortgage banking firms.
Dodd hopes to get the bill through his committee next week, preparing it for action on the Senate floor sometime after Congress’s two-week Easter process. Americans have faced the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and are demanding responsibility and accountability in our financial system. Obviously there is a long way to go for complete financial reform, and Christopher Dodd’s new bill has successfully started the conversation.
Central Coast Lending, Inc.
This past week has been pretty chaotic in the Byrd household. I got a call last Monday night that my mom had died. She was going to be 90 this year (my dad’s 86 with dementia). We’ve been trying to keep them in their home in the Bay Area as long as possible but knew we were going to need seek care facilities when they couldn’t safely take care of themselves. Since my brother lives on the Central Coast, it made sense to move them down here so we’ve been looking at care facilities for awhile. It also helps that my oldest daughter recently went through psychiatric technician training at Cuesta/Atascadero State Hospital. The technicians spend time working in the different care facilities in the area and she knows which ones are good and the not so good ones too.
My dad is now a resident (as of this past Monday) at Sydney Creek, a mental care facility in SLO. I’d like to say that the folks at Sydney Creek have been really great with the transition for my dad and our family.
The other item I wanted to note was that my parent’s Living Trust helped a lot with all of this. Without it, the process would have been a lot more complex.
I’m also going to go look at long term care insurance. We got a sticker shock when we found out how much it costs for elder care.