IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! It’s the holiday season… and as tradition goes time to watch an American classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”… Most of us have watched this film at least once and know its story line very well: George Bailey, who thinks himself a failure, and the miracles which led him to realize that despite of all the deprivations, he actually had a wonderful life touching lives of many, many people…
I first saw this movie in December of 1995 when I just moved to the US, and I have enjoyed watching it every year since. But up until’ recently I didn’t know how the film came to life. The story has impressed me and I want to share it with you in case you weren’t aware of how it all happened.
The film “It’s a Wonderful Life” was based on a short story “The Greatest Gift” written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939. The author tried to publish his short story many times but was rejected by several publishers. Not giving up, Philip Stern decided to publish it himself in 1944 by printing the story as a 21-page Christmas card that he sent out to 200 friends and people he knew. Well, in a way, that was the mid-20th century’s version of a social network. Typewriters, paper letters, envelopes, mailing through the post office proved the power of social networking even then. Because this 21-page Christmas card went viral and came across the desk of director and producer, Frank Capra, this short story came to life in one of the most popular and beloved films of all time in American cinema. It was a miracle in itself and a gift that keeps on giving every year!
Our warmest wishes to you during this wonderful magical time of the year - let us enjoy the greatest gift we have – our wonderful life with our loved ones, our families and friends, people we love and cherish, because without them the magic doesn’t happen. That is why during the holidays we try to connect with our friends and family, all those we care about, through honest warmest wishes, gifts, mutual help and giving…
Thank you for helping us grow… :)
Should You Buy a Home During the Holidays?
Union Tribune San Diego
By Lily Leung
December 1st, 2012
Once Thanksgiving is over, the real estate world starts to wind down for the holidays and it typically reawakens after the Times Square ball drops and resolutions come to life.
State of the Real Estate Market:
Upshot of the Foreclosure Backlog
The New York Times
By Lisa Prevost
December 6th, 2012
Foreclosures are taking significantly longer in states where lenders must go through the courts, and the delay may or may not be good for borrowers, depending on their circumstances. But some researchers say that dragging the process out hurts society at large.
Five Things to Know About a Home Before Committing to Buy
By Dian Hymer
December 17th, 2012
Your due diligence inspections should include more than hiring a home inspector to look at the home and reviewing a current termite inspection. And your due diligence should start as soon as you have serious interest in a listing.
What You Should Know:
Although real estate is local, in general, there are at least five significant contributors to rising prices: Housing affordability, increasing housing formation, rising rents, low inventory, and limited supply of distressed sales.
Housing affordability is attractive based on traditional metrics such as price-to-rent and price-to-income measures, largely because prices have fallen so far. Housing is even more affordable considering today’s low mortgage rates.
Housing formation is revving up. The U.S. is on track to add 1 million new households this year, up from 630,000 last year and an average of 570,000 over the past five years, according to economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Rents are rising. Falling mortgage rates and improving job growth didn’t do much for housing last year, in part because buyers didn’t have much confidence or urgency. Rising rents have changed that.
The share of distressed sales, such as foreclosures, are down, and in many Western markets, they are down sharply over the past year.
Inventories of homes for sale have plunged. Inventories of new homes for sale are at their lowest levels in nearly 50 years as builders sharply cut back construction over the past three years. Inventories of existing homes for sale are near a 10-year low, and down by one third over the past two years. Many homeowners have held back from selling because they owe more than their homes are worth, and even those with equity don’t want to accept big declines in prices.
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Fannie and Freddie Halt Foreclosures
for the Holidays
Homeowners facing foreclosure just received an early Christmas present: They won't be evicted from their homes over the holidays.
Mortgage giants, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, announced Monday that they will suspend all bank repossessions beginning December 17 and December 19, respectively, and will not resume the evictions until January 2, 2013.
“The holidays are a chance to be with loved ones and we want to relieve some stress at this time of year,” said Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management, Fannie Mae.
Real Estate Buying Knowledge:
Factoring in Commuting Costs
Mortgage lenders do not figure in a household’s likely commuting costs when weighing loan applications, but a recent study suggests that borrowers of moderate means would be smart to calculate these costs themselves before buying. The study, published in October by the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, looked at transportation and housing costs in the 25 largest metropolitan areas. It found that transportation costs rose faster than incomes in every area over the last decade.
Trends in the Market:
Home Prices Show Biggest Jump in 6 Years in October
Home prices increased 6.3% in October from a year earlier, the biggest year-over-year gain since 2006, according to Irvine research firm CoreLogic.
Prices dipped 0.2% in October from September, but such a drop was expected at the end of the home-selling season, the firm said Tuesday.
Keeping YOU in the KNOW:
Short Sales Jump Ahead of Tax Hike
A soon-to-expire tax break for troubled homeowners is helping drive a spurt in "Short Sales."
During the three months ended Sept. 30, short sales in which homeowners had fallen behind on mortgage payments soared 22% over last year, according to a report released Thursday by online marketing company RealtyTrac. By comparison, short sales by people current on their payments went up 17%.
Getting Your Home Ready:
How to Stage Your Home to Sell During the Holidays
So, it’s that time of year — the holidays. The time of year that you celebrate, when you shop, decorate, wrap, mail and bake. And, oh wait, you also have to sell your house!
Before you freak out, here are some helpful interiors tips to assist in selling your house quickly.
Facing the FUTURE:
The Automated Home is One Step Closer
By remotely controlling heat, locks, even the sprinklers, Vivint is making the house of the future a reality.