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6 Grilling Tips


Just in time for Memorial Day! 

PS Don't think your current yard is up for hosting a get-together?  I can help you find the perfect backyard with the perfect house!  

SIX Grilling Tips

1. Plan Ahead.  Make sure everything you need is close at hand so you can easily grab items while tending the grill.

2.  When prepping burgers, make a small indentation in the middle.  As a burger grills, the center tends to become wider than the edges.  Making this indentation will create more uniform thickness throughout.

3. Choose a steak with thin streaks of fat, or marbling, throughout.  The fat ads flavor and keeps the meat juicy.

4. Rub down the grill with vegetable oil before and after grilling.  Use a folded paper towel and tongs.

5. After removing meat from the grill, let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into it.  The extra time allows the juices to settle.  

6.  When grilling chicken, use indirect heat for bone-in.  These pieces take longer to cook and direct heat will likely burn them.  Boneless pieces are better cooked over direct heat.  Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is fully cooked.

5 Reasons Why Autumn Might Be the Best Time to Purchase a Home


The longheld belief that summer is the best time to buy a home is fading fast.  Savvy homebuyers are learning that when fall hits, numerous benefits are available that simply don't exist the rest of the year.

1.  Year-End Tax Breaks.
As long as you close on the house on or before Dec. 31, any property tax and mortgage interest paid are tax-deductible for that year.  This can be a dramatic impact on the amount of money you owe Uncle Sam, or increase your refund.

2. Less Competition.  
The National Association of Realtors recently noted that, in an average year, nearly half of all home sales occur May to August. Although most people wait until the hustle and bustle of the spring season, you'll likely encounter less competition during fall and winter. That means less chance and a reduced chance you'll be involved in a bidding war. 

3. Eager Sellers
Sellers become more motivated the longer their home is on the market, especially now that the summer rush is over.  If a home has been listed for a while, it may allow buyers more room for negotiation and potentially a better deal.

4. Cheaper Moving Prices
You're probably planning to hire a moving company in some capacity, whether you're moving across town or across the country.  In the fall and winter, moving companies tend to be less busy, which means you might enjoy flexible schedules and lower prices. 

5. Quicker Transactions 
Motivated sellers paired with less busy title companies may mean a faster closing in fall and winter.  Do you want a new home in time for the holidays or new year?  It's entirely possible when you house hunt now. 

Monday Morning Coffee


Monday, May 23, 2016

Fed officials made it clear that they will consider raising rates as soon as June if economic conditions continue to improve. Investors currently view tighter Fed policy as negative for mortgage rates, so rates rose as the Fed's position became better understood. 

Supporting the Fed's is stronger than expected improvement in the recent housing data. 

Existing home sales in April rose for the second straight month and were 6% higher than a year ago. I

Housing starts, an indicator of future sales activity for newly built homes, increased 7% in April from March.

And Here is Your Monday Morning Coffee...

"It is even better to destroy the box than to think outside the box." ~ Albert Einstein

He was born to a wealthy family, whose dreams for him were nothing more than a "distinguished career". However, his interests were of great concern to his father.

Explosives... he was passionate about explosives. His father hoped that would pass, as there was no hope for a distinguished career involving explosives. This seemed to be a path to safe cracking.

But at age 13, he obtained some skyrockets from a friend. He had six of them, and as his mind searched for the best use of those elusive possessions he spotted the little red wagon.

No, he did not want to just blow it up, he thought differently, he always had.

If one skyrocket could launch itself high in the air, what could six of them do? Could they possible launch it into the air?

He tied 2 to each side and 2 to the back of the wagon, took a deep breath, lit the fuse and jumped cleared.

To his surprise, when the first of the rockets lit, its power tipped the wagon up on its back wheels, and when all 6 were lit, it was careening down the street at amazing speed. He was at first a little disappointed, because it was still earthbound, but then realized how fast that wagon was traveling.

Taking off after the wagon, he followed it until the rockets finally burned out 5 blocks away. Neighbors came out of their homes to see what was happening, only to find a 13 year old boy dancing around a charred out wagon with complete, unbridled exuberance!

They thought it was the typical excitement of a boy with explosives... all boys like to blow things up. The police thought the same thing when they arrived.

When his father bailed him out of jail, he was still excited, despite the severe reprimand.

But you see, he was not excited because he got to blow things up or use explosives for fun... remember, he thought differently.

He was excited because he had just proved what kind of power those little skyrockets could provide.

Since he was German born, his first foray into the use of the power of rockets was for Hitler and the German war machine, but he fulfilled his dream and moved to America.

His father's desire for a distinguished career came about a little differently than what he may have thought, because his son was the reason that the U.S. space program was the first to reach the moon. 

Without him there would be no Saturn V, yes the same Saturn V that carried men to the moon. 

Wehrner Von Braun thought differently, about life, about toys and about success. He destroyed the box.

Remember, it is your choice, so destroy the box and Make it a Powerful Day! 


Monday Morning Coffee April 20, 2015



Monday Morning Coffee

April 20.2015

With Fed policy tightly linked to incoming data, the economic reports were the main influence this week. The major reports were weaker than expected, which was disappointing news for the economy, but good news for mortgage rates. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little lower. 

The 30 year fixed rate mortgage was 3.875% and the 15 year mortgage was 3.125% as of the end of the dayon Friday.

And Here's Your Monday Morning Coffee...

"The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature." ~Antoine-François

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."  ~Ambrose Redmoon

It was February 20, 1942, and no less than 9 Japanese bombers in formation, closed in on their target, the aircraft carrier, Lexington. 

Butch O'Hare was their lone pursuer.  If he did not seize the opportunity now, there is no telling how many would die on that aircraft carrier... before it was over, Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare had downed 5 of the 9 Japanese bombers and ran out of ammunition while firing at the 6th.

His buddies arrived to finish the job.

Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare was the 1st naval aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

A year later, he went down in combat, but his home town would never forget his heroics.

But step back a few decades ... the roaring 20's saw Al Capone as control a syndicate of crime unlike any other in American history.

Capone's secret weapon was a lawyer referred to as "Artful Eddie", the fastest of all fast lawyers.  His loopholes and unsavory legal strategies made sure the most glamorous gangsters walked the streets.

"Artful Eddie" became the undisputed Czar of a very profitable illegal dog racing empire. He was as rich as the rich could be, as feared, as powerful and nearly as famous as Capone himself.

Than one day, Eddie did the unthinkable... he squealed on Al Capone. He wanted to go straight.  

The Feds were understandably skeptical ... What was the catch, why would the man who had the personally pledged security of Al Capone, risk it all?

What could he possibly gain?

Then they found the catch... there was only one thing in his life that meant something to "Artful Eddie"... his son. Eddie wanted him to have a real life, not a life of disrepute and crime. 

Eddie knew exactly what would happen, and it did, he was silenced with 2 shotgun blasts eventually, never to know if his dream for his son came true.

It did of course, as "Artful Eddie's" son lived an acceptable life, so acceptable that he was accepted into Annapolis, and Lieutenant Commander Edward "Butch" O'Hare was the flying ace who took out those five Japanese bombers and saved all those lives and won the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Remember the next time you fly into Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, named for "Butch" O'Hare, remember his bravery, and remember the sacrifice of a crook, who despite his lifelong mistakes, through his love as a father, paid with his life for his son's chance to make good! (from Paul Harvey)

Remember, it is your choice, so Make it a Powerful Day!

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