Home Loan News – Mortgage Company In Need of Refinance

The news about the housing market has ‘not been good’ for some time now. It seems that we are bombarded on a daily basis with fresh headlines by Caty Couric or Charles Gibson about the latest woes to befall sub-prime mortgage home-owners. The sheer plethora of news on the subject is getting so depressing that I think it could actually be adding to the overall mental state of the nation, almost willing us into a recession.

The facts are undeniable. Foreclosures are up to 7.6% from 7.3% of loans past due or in foreclosure. The biggest rise in these numbers relate to what are called sub-prime mortgages. These are mortgages that were sold to lower income families where the original starting payments were set at a reduced rate. When interest rates rose, the borrowers of this type of mortgage were caught out. Instead of having to make a payment that they had been quoted when the mortgage was sold to them, they faced much higher payments in line with the higher interest rate prevailing at the time.

Now its easy to say that this is their own fault and that they should have been more careful when entering into the loan and that the duty of care is on the borrower to ask about the risks involved and the potential downside that a rise in interest rates would cause. The worrying thing is though, that many of these loans were sold to people who were novices in owning their own home and such complicated financial instruments. They came from low income households and were ‘blinded’ by a dream that most of us take for granted.

I am not the only one who thinks so. The Attorney General in Illinois is already investigating Countrywide Financial Corp for its potentially illegal targeting of minority groups for the purchase of high cost loans. This is just one of many State and Federal investigations underway.

Countrywide is also under scrutiny as its CEO Angelo R Mozilo is now being investigated for possible illegal securities transaction in which he cashed nearly $120 million dollars worth of stock shortly before his company announced bad loans of $422 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Countrywide who are currently being taken over by Bank of America has also been named by the F.B.I. today,(9th March 2008), as one of fourteen lenders being investigated for lending practices.

As with most investment stories, when people are losing money, there is usually someone making it. It emerged in recent days that Warren Buffet may be about to step in to take a stake in Countrywide. Mr Buffet, who recently topped the world list of the richest men on the planet, knocking off Bill Gates after thirteen years, has been sitting on a cash-pile of some $50 billion dollars for some time now. His investment company, Berkshire Hathaway has reported taking a stake in Bank of America recently and rumors abound that he is looking to get involved once again in the financial & mortgage securities markets. As usual, Mr Buffet, your timing is impeccable!

Even ‘The Donald’ could be seen recently on National TV bestowing the virtues of property investment. I have to agree with Mr. Trump that those who have the ability to invest in property in a depressed market are possibly the people who will profit the most. For the average man in the street though, I think the message is clear. When taking out a home loan or refinance package, get some professional advice. Check the small print and know the downside before signing the agreement.

How to Maintain a Beautiful Garden and Landscape

Whenever a person needs to improve the look of their house, it is always advised to have a proper garden design. The landscaping garden ideas may include any form of flowers and plants that can be grown in a systematic and maintained order. This is because, if a garden is left unattended, weeds may grow and it will ruin the garden’s look. Hence garden design is very useful to control how the plants will grow in our backyards. The design is also the easiest way for a gardener or a landowner to help the plants grow the way he wants.

But the processes of garden design and landscaping are not as easy as they sound. It’s not a plant it and forget it type of deal. It involves a lot of hard work and dedication to maintain it. So the main things for both proper garden design and landscaping are planning. The proper space for the garden has to be decided beforehand, and sorted accordingly so there won’t be a huge mess while you’re trying to plant. The shape and size also matters in both the garden design and landscaping. If you have a lot of free open space, you can always plant some green grass to cover a major portion of the space with lawn. This can also be done by planting some small plants and trees and then spreading the lawn around them. This adds to the overall beauty of the garden.

Garden design and landscaping are nothing without proper maintenance. Weeds tend to grow every now and then. So most of the time you’re going to need to use a lawn mower. But keep in mind this needs to be planned also. This is because if proper space is not left between every plant and group of flowers, the lawn mower may not be able to reach those areas, thus getting in the way and causing you extra work. So it’s always a good idea to design the landscaping based on the instruments you use.

Planning softscape and hardscape is also an essential part of fulfilling all of your landscaping ideas for gardens. Hardscape usually means constructing solid bodies to facilitate the ease of growth and maintenance of the garden. This usually includes solid concrete paths for the flow of water, which is vital to the plants growth. Other structures such as stone walls and circular stones around the plants also fall under this category. Lighting for decorations and constructions of permanent solid structures are some of the most widely used hardscape methods. Softscape on the other hand involves the idea of planting lawn and green grass within a certain area.

Since a garden can add quite a bit to the scenic beauty of your house, it’s important that you pay attention to the type of plants you use – depending on the color of the house, the surrounding environment and much more. Careful precautions must also be taken on weed growth and maintaining the height of the plants. Don’t let your plants overgrow, and you should have beautiful, well-groomed garden.

Decorating And Hanging Your Home Interior’s Artwork

How to hang art can be baffling to most so here are some steps to help you hang your art if you are finding yourself in that baffled situation. The first step to hanging your art is figuring out where you want to put it. What room or space are you going to decorate? You want to consider scale, color, and the number of pieces or art you are hanging on a particular wall.

The next step is to select your art. Find something that goes with the location you’ve picked out. You have two choices here you can go with your own custom look or you can choose something you like that’s already laid out for you. Don’t think you have to just do artwork either you can use other decor such as mirrors, plaques, sconces, shelves, wall planters, architectural plaques, or wallies. You can even to more then just one which is highly recommended. You don’t want to just throw some framed art work in the middle of your living room wall and call it good you can add sconces to it for some additional flavor or a shelf to bring out the artwork better.

Framed art sets the mood and style of a room. Smaller pictures can be used anywhere and work great as fillers on bookcases, hallways, or a tabletop. Mirrors are another form of wall decor and a source of motion. Mirrors can stand alone or be clustered together in different shapes and sizes. Using the same mirror in multiples will create a dramatic effect. Mirrors also can bring in sunlight to a room in the daytime and reflect candlelight at nighttime which in turn can create a little romance.

Sconces and shelves add a whole new set of decorating options to your print or mirror. Once you start to add these you start decorating in three dimensions! Planters and shelves will add depth to any flat surfaces of pictures and mirrors. It is great to add these when you decorate a wall with no furniture nearby.

Another thing you will need to think about when picking out your art is colors. To heat things up you will want warm, red-based colors, they can make a room seem more cozy and intimate. These colors can stimulate passion, energy, and appetites. For this color I would try abstract art in tangerine, floral art splashed with some red or landscape art in some yellow. If instead you want to cool things down go with some blue-based colors they tend to lend rooms an air of serenity and calmness. They can even give the illusion of expanded space so these colors are great for smaller rooms.

Now you want to hang the artwork you’ve picked out. Contrary to popular belief, hanging artwork isn’t just pounding a nail in the wall and making sure things are level. Hanging prints in a vertical line suggest formality and adds some feeling of height in a room on the other hand prints hung in a horizontal line tend to have a calming effect and can give a narrow room the illusion of some width. Prints have a greater impact if those with dark mats are hung on light walls and prints with lighter mats are hung on dark walls. When hanging a print on a papered wall you will want to cut a “V” slit in the wallpaper and lift it up to insert the nail. You can always glue the paper back in place if you ever want to remove the print. You will want to keep your prints from becoming crooked by placing self-adhesive rubber discs on the back of each corner. This helps tremendously with slipping and sliding.

Remember your home is an expression of who you are, and your walls are your gallery. You will want them to reflect your memories, your interests, and your personality. I love to fill my walls with the faces I love.

If your looking for “rhythm” to add to your room? Creating a certain rhythm depends on the shape, size, and spacing of the objects. When all of the objects are the same size and equally placed, then the rhythm is more placid. If larger objects are placed by tall, vertical rectangles, then the rhythm would be staccato, setting an emphatic tone.

You want to also find “balance” which is deeply important. If you don’t have a balanced arrangement then the arrangement may look top-heavy, bottom-heavy, or as if its side was falling off. You want a symmetrical arrangement where each half of the arrangement mirrors the image of the other half.

If you’re looking for a display with “impact” then you want to start with your largest frames being in the center, as the focal point. From there you want to surround the larger frames with smaller frames giving a balanced grouping. You can add visual interest by hanging frames at varying heights.

If you want to create a visual drama you can hang your frames following and upward angle like a staircase. Use larger frames as an anchor, and then complement them with some smaller frames. Make sure spacing between the frames is equal to create a balanced look.

You want to hang your art at eye level where it can be easily seen, which means it can be either at standing or sitting level your choice. In general, you want the artwork to be hung so that the center point of the picture or grouping is at about eye level for the average person.

Never just hammer a nail into a wall, choose the appropriate hanging device based on the composition of your walls and the weight of your art. Always hang your art on two hooks and two wall hangers for more level, even support. For heavier pieces use D hooks. Place the hooks, lay your frame face down and pull the hanging wire in the back toward the top of the frame in two spots the same distance from the top. Remember the further apart they are the closer the art will be to the wall. Measure the distance between these two spots, as well as the distance between one of them and the top of the frame. Transfer these dimensions to the wall starting with your center mark first. Install the wall hangers at the two hanging spots you have chosen. Begin hanging with the center piece, using it as a reference point for all the others you may have.

I hope this information has been helpful!