Gardening isn't just for the summer...Perhaps you already know this, but one of the true joys of living in the San Joaquin Valley is year-round gardening. We all know that tomatoes and peppers grow like weeds here in the Fresno area, and we all have our favorite summer fruits and veggies, but your winter garden can be just as bountiful. Not to mention, gardening can be therapeutic.
So, if you haven't already started to plan you winter garden, or if you've never planted a winter garden, or even if you've never planted a garden before, now's the time to get started.
You don't need a lot of space, if you have ton of space, all the better, but anything from row tocontainer gardening works for you winter garden. Here's just some of the veggies you can plant for you winter garden: carrots, spinach, lettuce, celery (don't forget the root, it's the best part), radishes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, leafy greens like chard, kale, collards, and of course broccoli (if you've never had broccoli from your own garden, you've never had broccoli).
Gardening is good for the body and mind!
Local Resources to help you on your gardening way...
INTERMOUNTAIN NURSERY:Operating on about 5acres, the nursery has evolved though the years to become the principle grower of CA native plants in the Central Valley area. There are over 12 demonstration gardens on the grounds, with a self guided tour highlighting native plants, and other drought tolerant plants.
GAZEBO GARDEN:Gazebo Gardens Nursery has been the Central Valley's trusted source for the best horticultural supplies and advice since 1922. Located at the beginning of historic Christmas Tree Lane, one of Fresno's oldest neighborhoods, Gazebo Gardens has been a family tradition for generations of loyal customers for nearly a century. (If you haven't been to the beer garden with live music on Friday & Saturday nights, clear your calendar for this weekend.)
EVERGREEN GARDEN CENTER:Fresno's biggest and best rose and perennial color nursery. In business since 1986 under the same ownership! We care a full service nursery with a full line of trees and shrubs, color items, roses, pottery, chemicals, soil amendments and unique gardener's gift shop!
OLD FRAMER'S ALMANAC:Ok, so I may be exposing myself as a bit of a old fogie, but the Old Farmer's Almanac really is a wonderful source of fascinating reading and a terrific resource. You can get lost for hours just looking over all of the info contained on the site
If you were hit by the economy in turmoil, your credit score likely took a hit too. Many people lost their homes, either because they were underwater (the idea of throwing good money after bad was just too much to take), or perhaps one or more person in a household lost their job. Many did all they could to keep their homes through different programs and incentives, only now to see mortgages rising sharply.
Add to this the fact that wages are barely staying a head of inflation, just 2% growth from last year, and the long-term trend showing flat or lagging real wages. And, the fact that job growth is stagnant as well....well, at least good paying, full time, career type jobs, it seems that home ownership may be a remnant, a forgotten, or unreachable goal. The stock market may be the highest it's ever been, but for many, their credit rating seems to have a inverse relationship to it.
As chief economist at Sterne Agee, Lindsey Piegza told the Wall Street Journal, "We are not seeing job gains translate into wage pressure. It's a question not just of quantity but also of quality."
As the economy continues to slog along, the dream of home ownership seems to be slipping further away, like grasping at fog.
However, as economic woes continue, the hope of homeownership is still there, although, not without risk. As the refinancing of homes slows, banks are looking to broaden their revenue base by loosening the strings on credit. That means that on government insured FHA & VA loans, banks like Wells Fargo, are now accepting credit scores as low as 600. When you consider that FHA loans require as little as 3.5% down and VA loans provide 100% financing, home ownership becomes a little more accessible to a lot more people.
Are we headed for another bubble?
Are there any worries concerning the health and strength of the housing market? Some of the same issues we saw when the housing market crashed last time are popping their ugly heads up again. You may have seen or heard advertisements for "stated income" loans. We are starting to see inventory for homes in the Fresno area far out pacing the demand. Lenders see this too, and are trying to entice more and more buyers into the market. That's why we see, notoriously tight fisted lenders like Wells Fargo opening their doors to more and more buyers.
The good news for buyers, is that the market is still pretty sane when it comes to housing prices. Home prices have been on the rise, but prices have seemed to plateaued in recent months, which again is good news for buyers. This isn't bad news for sellers though. Prices have rebounded, from historic lows as well.
The problem is that we may be opening doors to buyers who are not in the best position to buy a home. The seeds to massive numbers of defaults may be in the process of being planted now. This is not to say that everyone who has a 600 credit score is in danger of defaulting in the future, but working with reputable lenders and Realtors can go a long way to making sure, you can not only afford a home, but making sure you buy a home that is not only the perfect abode, but a good investment for your future.
There are always risk in making such a large purchase as a home. Prices are not out of control, like they were at the height of the market, but as lenders try to widen their base of clients taking loans, we risk a smaller bubble popping in the future. That said, historically low interest rates, reasonable prices, and a bulging inventory of homes, still makes this a very attractive market for home buyers.
If you have any questions concerning the real estate market & whether now is the right time for you to buy, please feel free to call or email me today.
It's not always easy to save money, but here's a easy, dare i say, fun way to save some money this year. The great thing about this challenge is that is progressive. That means you can ease your way into it. It starts slow, and builds as you get better at saving.
Saving money is one of the most important things you can do for your financial health, and the more we do it the better we get at it. But like starting any exercise regiment, we may need help to begin. You're not in it alone. Because it's so important, I'll do what I can to help. If you'd like, I'll send you bi-monthly reminders to save. Just fill out the contact below.
Here's to 2014 & a little extra money in our
and a very merry christmas to you...fannie mae & freddie mac letting those evicted stay in their homes during the holidays
In what has become a Christmas tradition, mortgage giants Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac have instituted a moratorium on evictions during the holidays. That means that families that were set to be evicted will get to stay in their homes, but just through the holidays. After January 3, however, evictions will resume.
Better to stay in your home though the holiday then be evicted, but aside from that it's mostly a PR move. Even though evictions will be halted during the two week moratorium (Dec 18-Jan3), administrative procedures will continue, so that preparations for eviction will commence after the respite.
The moratorium is only in place for single family homes and one to four dwelling residences. To learn how to avoid foreclosures read here...