I usually don't voice my political views to my clients or society but this is a very important issue in my mind and a great solution.
"IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU’VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM"
WRITTEN BY A 21 YEAR OLD FEMALE
Animal Adoption Event Saturday
The Alpine City Animal Shelter and the Alpine Humane Society are having an Animal Adoption Day on Saturday, October, 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event will be at Morrison’s True Value Garden Center. The animals are ready for Halloween and will dress for the occasion. Adoption fees are $50, which includes testing, vaccines spay/neuter and a microchip. Come by, see them in costume and find a new best friend.
Halloween Parade Oct. 27
Alpine’s Halloween Parade will be Saturday, October 27 at 6 p.m. Line-up starts at 5:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 6 p.m. Line-up will be at 704 W. Sul Ross (Alpine ISD Administration Building) and the parade will end at the Alpine Middle School Halloween Carnival. Prizes will be awarded to the following Divisions: Best Overall Float; Best Decorated Bike, ATV, Motorcycle and Miscellaneous; Best Equestrian Entry; Best Decorated Automobile.
Trunk or Treat
Trunk or Treat is Coming! First Baptist Church of Alpine will sponsor Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Kids of all ages are invited to come for free candy and prizes, which will be handed out from decorated car trunks parked in the West Texas National Bank parking lot. For more information contact the church office at 432-8370-2487.
Pajama Story Time
Attention all children ages 4-10 years old: Don your pajamas or Halloween costume and come to the Alpine Public Library on Saturday, October 27, at 7 p.m. Watch a spooky puppet show, listen to festive Halloween stories, and make a frightening pop-up ghost. Take a look at a scorpion’s tail under a microscope! This program is free and will last about an hour.
Harvest Festival Sunday, Oct. 28
Grace Christian Fellowship Church, at 801 E. Brown, will be hosting a Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be games, prizes, rides, food and candy. Bring the kids and enjoy the fun and fellowship. Free admission! For more information, please contact Derek Thurlby at 386-7230.
Toddler Time meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Alpine Public Library. Join us on October 30 for not-so-scary Halloween stories and craft projects.
First Assembly of God, across the street from the Alpine High School, will host an evening of food, games and a premiere showing of “Amazing Love,” Wednesday, Oct. 31 in the church’s fellowship hall. The food and games will begin at 6 p.m. with the movie starting at 7 p.m. This event is free to the public and all are welcomed.
Scary Story Contest at the Alpine Public Library
Think you can scare us? The Alpine Public Library is having a Scary Story Contest for writers between the ages of 11 and 18. Stop by the library for contest rules information, or visit our Facebook page at alpinepubliclibrary.org. Prizes include gift cards to La Casita and Alicia’s, and free Rangra movie passes. Deadline for submissions is October 31 at 5 p.m.
Halloween for kids, grown-ups on Murphy Street
Trick or Treat on Murphy Street will be held on Wednesday, October 31, at Raspa/La Yarda, with Adventure Rides on the Desert Express (5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.); Scary Stories (7 p.m.) and a Halloween Play starring Matt and the Sul Ross Players (8 p.m.); as well as marshmallow roasting and more. Join us for kid and grown-up friendly Halloween fun along Murphy Street. Participating businesses include Hotel Ritchey, Murphy Street Raspa, La Yarda, Los Jalapenos, La Sombra, Alpine Studios and Brown Dog Gardens.
Halloween pictures Oct. 31 at AES
The PTO will be taking Halloween pictures on Wednesday, October 31 at Alpine Elementary. Students will be allowed to wear their costumes to school that day. If you would like a 5x7 picture of your child/children, please send in your payment with the form that was sent home with your child. Pictures will be $5. Forms and payments need to be in on Tuesday, October 30. For more information, 432-294-4852 or email@example.com.
"Shine in His Light" Fall Festival
Alpine Christian School will be hosting their annual “Shine in His Light” Fall Festival next Friday November 2nd at 5:00 at Kokernot Park. Lots of food, games, prizes, bouncy house, face painting, photo booth, cake walk, and much more will be available for the kids to enjoy. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to World Vision, a global non-profit Christian organization that focuses on the sustainable living of the poor in third world countries. All other funds will be used at the classroom level and will directly benefit the students. A costume contest will also take place but we ask that children wear only family-friendly costumes. We look forward to seeing you there. If you would like more information, contact Alpine Christian School at 837-5757.
Farmers’ Market planning move, name change
The Alpine Farmers’ Market will be moving to the Hotel Ritchey courtyard Nov. 3, to become the Historic Murphy Street Saturday Market. The market is every Saturday year-round. Come down and join us for local produce, local food and local fun.
One Stop Shop
Come experience the One Stop Shop in Alpine Saturday, November 10 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Alpine Civic Center. Get a jump start on your Holiday Season. … Join us for a fun-filled day of Shopping. Admission is free. There will be gift baskets, give-aways, a concession stand, goodie bags and more. Give-away ticket proceeds will benefit Project Graduation 2013. For more information contact Lorene Villanueva at 432-294-2126.
1. Don't Grab WiFi: signing on to insecure networks can leave you open to hackers and identity theft. Take steps to reduce your exposure by visiting websites that use https (instead of http). It's better to use your own Internet service even if it is slower.
2. Be Careful and Original with Passwords: do not use the same passwords on social networking sites that you use to access banking sites or email. Consider leaving a list of passcodes on your PC but stored as something innocent-sounding like Gingerbread Cookies.
3. Keep Your Credit Cards Safe: many credit cards and debit cards now contain RFID strips that allow the convenience of "waving" your card at a register to purchase an item. Thieves can now purchase machines to carry on them that allow them to simply steal your information by standing next to you. Consider purchasing an RFID sleeve to protect your information in your wallet or leave credit cards at home that you don't use regularly.
4. Protect Your Mobile Devices: keep your virus protection up to date and also install a security program on your smaller devices that can protect you from viruses, such as Kapersky.
5. Get an Annual Credit Check Up: You can receive a free credit report once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com. Read the results and correct any problems that could be bringing your score down.
6. Be Careful Online: avoid clicking on websites that come through your email. Instead manually type the website address into the address bar. If you have a virus protection program that checks your emails, run it on the email you are questioning and it will tell you whether it has a virus.
Texas Home Sales Return to Normal
By David S. Jones, Senior Editor, Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University
April 17, 2012/ Release No. 20
COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Despite today’s uncertain economic climate, a noted residential analyst sees a “slow upturn” ahead for the Texas housing market.
Dr. Jim Gaines, research economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, is optimistic about the state’s home sales in coming months.
“Home sales in the state rebounded a very modest 0.7 percent in 2011,” he said. “That was a big improvement over the 4.5 percent decline in 2010. A gradual improvement in monthly sales moving toward the long-term norm is expected to continue into 2013.”
Gaines projects Texas home sales to be in the neighborhood of 212,000 this year, an increase of 3 to 3.5 percent more than last year.
“The projected 2012 sales level is consistent with the historical rate of statewide sales per 1,000 households,” said Gaines. “The three-year sales trend that began in 2010 reflects a reversion to the 1997—98 pace.”
In other words, he said, sales are getting back to a “normal and sustainable” level. The residential analyst cautions that the Texas housing market is “somewhat precarious” and even a small factor could derail the housing recovery.
Gaines cited several economic concerns — both in the United States and overseas — that could alter his predictions dramatically. For example, Europe’s unstable financial markets could trigger a U.S. “retrenchment” or outright recession. In this country, the credit squeeze makes mortgages more difficult to obtain.
“Many buyers are postponing purchases because of a lack of confidence in the market,” Gaines wrote in an article published recently in Tierra Grande magazine. “They are concerned that prices may not have bottomed.”
When you're looking to the future, don't look at the national news only. It will depress you. Since MLS is not a reliable source for our area, ask your Realtor what the market is doing and what's really happening in your community. You might be surprised.
The main question is whether there is a healthy and consistent movement of properties in the area. The point is, all real estate is local. So, just because Podunk, MI isn't selling doesn't mean your town isn't. Find the details of your community in your community. Only use the national and state news when it's appropriate.
City of Alpine & Chamber of Commerce
Unite to Bring Back Nursing Home Care
Texas District 23 Director for Congressman Francisco Canseco will attend.
ALPINE, TEXAS--"We had no idea anything was wrong," says Alpine City Council member Diana Asgeirsson. " Early Monday morning I got phone calls from women crying saying the owners of Alpine Valley Care Nursing Home came into the building and told everyone to clear out by Monday. 'You no longer have a job,' they said. Others called asking me what to do because their parents were being evicted by Friday." I had no idea what happened, but I began making calls immediately.
Asgeirsson was not the only City Council member to receive hysterical calls Monday morning. In response to those calls Alpine's City Council will meet at 6 PM Tuesday, Jan. 17th, in City Hall, 101 N. 13th St., Alpine, TX 79830. "Anyone who has any ideas on how we can have a nursing home back in Alpine is welcome to come and make recommendations," says Asgeirsson.
James Ross Smith, known in Alpine as J.R., says, "We have a very serious problem in our community if we don't have a nursing home." J.R. Smith is Manager of Alpine's Chamber of Commerce. "Until last Monday, when MSC pulled out its nursing home, we were a certified retirement community in Texas and the nation. Without a nursing home we lose that accreditation." Alpine, Texas, with a zero crime rate and annual average daily temperature 70 degrees, has been named by such distinguished news organizations as the Wall Street Journal as the ideal retirement community in America. "At the moment we can no longer make this claim," says Smith.
MSC officials from Lubbock,TX entered their Alpine Valley Care Nursing Home early Monday morning telling 45 employees and 29 residents, "We're out of money. We're shutting down operations Friday." By Friday (tonight) only a handful of residents remained in the building. Most of the employees are out looking for new jobs and applying for unemployment benefits, as MSC told them to do. The nursing home residents, some bedridden, some with dementia and Alzheimer's, and most all confined to wheelchairs, were hurriedly placed in vans and trucks and driven to other far away Texas nursing homes. The nearest one was 67 miles in Ft. Stockton. "Many were sobbing and crying as they were carried out the door," described an employee of the Nursing Home. "They were begging us not to go."
"We don't know what our City can do at this point," says Ms. Asgeirsson, "because MSC is a private business run as a non-profit for the Missionary Baptist Association. "But I can tell you this, not once....to my knowledge.....did anyone ever from MSC come to City Hall and express any kind of financial problem. We were totally caught off guard by their decision to shut down Alpine Valley Care. We certainly would have wanted to know when something of this magnitude was about to happen in our city. We could have held a similar meeting long ago if we'd known anything was wrong. We just did not know."
One citizen commented, "We should let MSC stay in Alpine tax free. That might help." But the response was, "They were exempt from local taxes. That's the first thing I checked. They were paying no taxes at all. That's how the city was helping our seniors and invalids who lived there."
J.R. Smith, speaking from his Chamber of Commerce office in Alpine on Friday said, "The citizens of Brewster County are not the only ones hurt by this event. We are told we cannot qualify for various nursing home government assistance programs because our population is too small....barely 5000 citizens. What they don't realize is we actually represent three different counties with almost 10,000 citizens. We desperately need a nursing home. We want to discuss different ways on how to make this happen at the City Council's meeting on Tuesday. It is very important for us."
Texas U.S. District 23 Congressman Francisco Canseco became aware of the nursing home upheaval in Alpine on that same day, last Monday. The following morning his office began investigating what had happened and is working now to help resolve this hurtful event in Alpine. His District 23 Director Michael Koerner, based in San Antonio, will attend the Alpine City Council meeting on Tuesday.
Anyone impacted by the unexpected closing of Alpine Valley Care Nursing Home is invited to attend the City Council meeting at 6 PM Tuesday to offer suggestions on how Alpine can recoup this critical loss. Not only are former residents and employees of the center adversely impacted, but local businesses that provide goods and services for the home, for its employees and residents are adversely impacted too. So are local doctors, the hospital, workers who process medical and disability claims, Sul Ross University students who study medicine, flower shops, bakeries, churches and utility companies.... just to name just a few of the impacted entities.
"All of us are hurt professionally and financially when Alpine can no longer claim it is a certified retirement community in America. Tuesday's meeting will be very important for our town. We need to unite with each other now, not only to protect our seniors and invalids, but to protect our business community as well," says J.R. Smith.
The housing market appears healthier than a year ago. Perhaps that isn’t saying much, but the progress is tangible. Existing home sales improved 7.7% in August, putting them + 18.6% from a year earlier. There were 3.2% more housing starts in August, and that indicator registered 7.8% annual improvement. August data also showed 12-month gains in new home sales (6.1%) and pending home sales (7.7%).
How low could mortgage rates go? In September, the short answer was “even lower”. Homeowners who could manage a refi were looking at a 3.28% average rate for the 15-year fixed on September 29 according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That was down from 3.39% on September 1. The average rate on the 30-year FRM was a milestone 4.01% on September 29; it had been 4.22% on September 1.
Now is the time to buy with rates being so low!!! Call us today for some good purchasing opportunities in real estate.
Alpine has been blessed with rain again!! Yes, it poured Thursday night and Friday night and actually knocked out a fire that lightning had started last night near Double Diamond. It feels so cool and crisp now and today was beautiful.
Michelle and I just got back from Austin on Wednesday from the Texas Realtor Convention where we were bombarded with all sorts of neat new things in the tech world and marketing ideas for our clients. Once we catch up with our normal work we will be able to start implementing these wonderful things.
Jami passed her real estate exam!! She is just one small step away from getting her license and being able to show & list property and take over Property Management. She has a lot of great ideas too that will improve our company and get us organized and exposed to the market.
Buyers!!! Mortgage rates are still low so get out there and start shopping for a house before the rates go up to 6% again and down payment requirements jump to 10% or more.
According to Preston Howard, successful mortgage broker in Pasadena, 40% of all homeowners who have taken out a home equity loan (HELOAN) or HELOC are underwater. A broad majority of all short sales involve a first and a second loan. To carry this point a little further, HELOAN and HELOC lenders are severely taking it on the chin. What motivation do mezzanine lenders have for extending new lines of credit given the severe losses that they are currently incurring with short sales? There have none. Moreover, there are record numbers of foreclosures as well. We all know that unless the 2nd lien holder pays off the 1st lien holder and initiates foreclosure proceedings on the subject property, their interest is completely wiped out at the courthouse steps. If the property has a negative equity position (as so many do), there is no reason to pay off the 1st lien. So once again, the HELOC lender takes a huge loss.
I remember the days when Greenpoint mortgage would provide a stated income HELOC for up to a 90% LTV on a non-owner occupied fourplex. In today’s economy, the idea of such financing sounds insane, but it’s true. Borrowers could get lines of credit on almost any property type: two to four units, apartment complexes, industrial buildings, restaurants, and hotels. Every class of property was on the table and available to be leveraged but raw land. Now, it’s rare to see a HELOC/HELOAN go above 80% on anything but an owner-occupied property at a maximum 80% CLTV! When one considers the serious dialogue on Capitol Hill regarding 20% down payments being the minimum going forward, the only people who will still have access to lines of credit will be those who purchased their properties before 2000.
In the end, it would not surprise me at all if the HELOC industry were curtailed, if not cut off. Lienholders of 2nd mortgages have been burned severely. They haven’t gotten the returns on equity, priority cash flows, cents on the dollar, or the legal protections that would incentivize the various banks, hedge funds, or private lenders into making such a risky investment. So we shall see what the future holds for HELOC/HELOAN. Will it be a buried past or have a resurgent future?
MVP Investments, LLC, dba Mtn. View Properties2100 W. Highway 90, Alpine, TX 79830(432) 837-5518www.mtnviewproperties.com