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Must Have Lawn Care Tools

by Samia S. Morgan

Spring is here and summer is on the way! Taking care of your lawn and garden can be a real pleasure instead of a chore with the right tools. Here’s what every home owner should have in the tool shed:

  1. Lawnmower – unless your yard is designed with flagstone and flower beds, you will more than likely need a dependable lawn mower. Most of us are familiar with standard rotary mowers – either gas or electric. The blades spin horizontally and often have a bag system for colleting grass clippings. Rotary mowers can be push, propelled or riding style. Reel mowers are push powered only. Falling out of favor to technology, reel mowers are becoming more popular because they are better for the environment and are much cheaper than rotary mowers.
  2. Weedeater – string trimmers are almost exclusively referred to by the famous brand name, but there are a number of styles and brands available, electric and gas-powered. They are a must have for flower beds, around trees and for other small tight areas that can’t be mowed.
  3. Spreader – these are generally push type, inexpensive buckets on wheels that spread fertilizer, seed or pest control materials quickly and evenly. Like lawnmowers, they also range in style and price depending on the size of your lawn and how much automation you choose.
  4. Blowers – also gas and electric, (backpack blowers are gas-powered) these tools blow air directionally to clean sidewalks, walkways, patios, carports and garages. Faster and less back-breaking than a broom, they are especially handy if your lot is heavily treed.
  5. Sprayer – sprayers come in various gallon sizes and are used to spot treat weeds or pests with liquid chemicals, allowing you to target troubled areas

Some of the smaller lawn maintenance tools that can be helpful, based on the complexity of your lawn and garden, and your interest in the details of lawn management can include:

  • Thermometer
  • Rain Gauge
  • Soil probe and thermometer
  • Trowels and hand tools

As with all tools, it’s a good idea to understand both the use and the care for your lawn equipment – including cleaning and storing them properly for the next use. Enjoy your landscape!

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Memorial Day Events In The San Francisco Area

by Samia S. Morgan

Memorial Day marks the official start of Summer and what better place to celebrate than here! The San Francisco area offers many family friendly fun events and most are free. Below are some events happening around time, get out and enjoy this important holiday!

  

Memorial Day program at SF National Cemetery at the Presidio

Join veterans and the community for the traditional Memorial Day Commemoration at the Presidio. The parade begins in the Main Post at 10:30 am, led by the 191st Army Band pipes and drums. The ceremony begins at 11 am at San Francisco National Cemetery. Program includes a Korean War commemoration, a flyover, the Cable Car Chorus, taps, and a 21-gun salute by the U.S. Army’s 5th Brigade 75th Division. Afterward, take a guided walk to the new National Cemetery Overlook. The free PresidiGo Shuttle will run from 9 am to 1 pm serving the Main Post and National Cemetery. Park near the Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Avenue, on the Main Post. For more information, call the Presidio Trust at (415) 561-5418. For more information on this event, visit their website at www.presidio.gov/calendar/memorial.htm

USS Pampantino

Remembering veterans and boats lost at war, the ceremony features tolling bells and bagpipes aboard this historic WWII submarine. Memorial Day, Monday May 31, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. on Pier 45 San Francisco, California Open to the Public Free Admission Please contact USS Pampanito at  (415) 775-1943 ext.13 visit their website at http://www.maritime.org/Lost_Boat_Ceremony_2010.html

12th Annual Memorial Day Rafting Trip

 
If you are wanting to get back to nature over the holiday weekend, join the Outdoor Adventure Club's 12th annual Memorial Day rafting trip on the class V1-V rapids of the Cal Salmon and Scott in northern California. Meals, camping and rafting gear is included. A carpool list is available as well. Please visit their
website for full details and to sign up.

 

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Common Property Insurance Claims

by Samia S. Morgan

Did you know that water damage is the most common (and costly) homeowners’ property insurance claim? Keep in mind, you don’t have to live in a flood zone to be hit by this kind of property loss – roof leaks, bursting pipes and drainage issues are also contributing factors to water damage in your home. Does your policy adequately cover this kind of loss?

Don’t get caught short if your home suffers any kind of material damage, do your homework when you select your insurance company and policy. Property insurance claims vary based on geography and even neighborhood, so it is also important to understand what the risks are for your address,

According to Allstate Insurance Company, below are some common types of property claims.
• Hail
• Water
• Wind
• Theft
• Physical damage (other)
 
Each area is different so be sure that you understand the specific risks associated with your neighborhood and that the policy you choose protects you from those kinds of damages.

Allstate offers a great tool called the Common & Costly Claims, check it out on their website www.allstate.com. Simply put in your zip code and the tool offers the top five property claims and the average cost by zip. This tool can help you determine the kind of policy or rider that you may need to make sure your home is safe and that your assets are protected.

It’s also a good idea to work with an agent so that you understand exactly what your policy covers; and in the event of a claim, how to recover the full value of your belongings or real property. Certain policies also cover temporary housing or living expenses for catastrophic loss- make sure you take full advantage of the premiums you pay!

 

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Better Business Bureau - Stimulus Package Related Scams

by Samia S. Morgan

Interview by Samia Morgan, Broker/Owner Samia Realty Group with Gene O'Neal, President of the Golden Gate Better Business Bureau. Gene discusses the current scams surrounding the Stimulus Package.

 

 

Expanding Guidelines & Improved Pricing

by Samia S. Morgan

The purchase market certainly has been heating up – which is great news for all of us!

And, some more good news is that last month we started to see Mortgage Insurance (MI) companies begin to expand their Loan to Value (LTV) guidelines and improve pricing. This provides additional options for your clients with less than 20% down.

FHA financing is a great option for some buyers. However, it’s not always the best choice for buyers that can put down 5%, 10% or even 15% as they will still assume the additional costs associated with a traditional FHA loans.

The expanded guidelines are as follows:

As of 4/12/2010

Conforming
($417,000)

High Balance
Conforming
$729,750)
Single Family 95% 90%
Condo 95% 90%


Regardless of the type of loan your client utilizes, Opes Advisors continues to make two distinctions when working with our mortgage borrowers. One is the issue of qualifying. Qualifying is simply answering the question of how much and under what circumstances a lender is willing to provide you with a loan. The second issue is affordability. Affordability answers the question whether or not you should have a particular mortgage, debt structure and real estate.

For example, with these expanded MI guidelines, your clients may decide that, although they can afford to put 20% down, they’d prefer to just put 10% down. Utilizing our proprietary software, Opes Advantage™, we can actively and objectively evaluate the tradeoffs within life and show the financial impact those decisions can have on specific goals for the future.

In this case, your clients may have made the decision to put 10% down (vs. 20%) because they think they need to have extra reserves available to them. Our software can determine what that 10% “savings” will cost them in additional interest payments or even how their reduction in savings will impact their future (because they feel like the 10% “savings” has caught them up for a bit and they’re altering their saving practices). With the immediate and specific results our software provides, we can determine which variables can be adjusted to create the most significant impact on your clients’ financial futures. And, it can be instantly modified as often as needed to consider additional scenarios.

We find that clients appreciate our approach. And, seeing the details of their financial situation eliminates the insecurity of wondering where they stand and gives them the confidence to move forward with a bias for action.

Please call me to discuss your clients' mortgage or financial strategies.

Andy Block - Mortgage Advisor & Financial Advisor
Opes Advisors

Email Me

Direct: 650.931.0605
Fax: 650.931.0601

License #01096311
400 S. El Camino Real
Suite 250
San Mateo, CA 94402
Fax 650.931.0601


Opes Advisors is licensed as a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is licensed as a Residential Mortgage Lender by the CA Dept of Real Estate.

Author and Business are endorsed by Samia Realty Group
Move2CA - our website
San Francisco Bay Area Home Search  - find San Francisco Bay Area properties for sale
What’s Your San Mateo - San Francisco Bay Area Home Worth? - get current market information for your San Francisco Bay Area home

Packing and Moving Tips

by Samia S. Morgan

Once you have purchased a new home there are many things to be done. First and foremost is packing and making the actual move. While most new homeowners are not looking forward to this process, you can make the chore less stressful if you are organized and make a plan.

 Below are a few tips to get you started.

 

  • Having a plan as well as budgeting for moving expenses before the move will be vital to having a smooth move. You will need to make decision such as: Will you be moving yourself or will you require the assistance of a moving company? If you are planning to use a moving company it’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time by using a moving calculator.
  • Make sure you stock up on the following packing supplies: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes.
  • Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together.
  • Use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped. Clearly mark these boxes FRAGILE.
  • Create a color coded system. Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home.
  • Pack any rugs last so that they will be the first thing unpacked and placed in the home.
  • Be sure to pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First”. This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags). 

Having a plan will help to make your move successful and smooth. Check out additional tips for your move here.

 

Better Business Bureau - Tax Related Scams

by Samia S. Morgan

Samia Morgan interviews with Gene O'Neal, President of the Golden Gate Better Business Bureau, on Tax Related Scams

 

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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