Archive for November, 2010

The Holiday Season Is Approaching Fast

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Thanksgiving is now passed and the Holiday Season is approaching fast.  There are mixed comments regarding Black Friday retail sales – some are up and some are the same.  Hopefully, some of you who ventured out very early in the morning were able to snag some great deals.  Some retailers have great return policies, if you need to return an item:  i.e. LLBean offers 100% product satisfaction guarantee-return anything at any time for any reason; Costco has an open-ended return policy for virtually everything it sells (minus some home electronics); Walmart offers no receipt-no problem. 

According to, consumer confidence rose to its highest level since June, which is a good sign as we enter the holiday season.  Consumers were positive about job prospects and the state of the economy, all encouraging news.  Let’s hope the consumers’ mood will continue in the months ahead.

A few upcoming Holiday events that are FREE:  December 4th, Holiday Parade of Lights in Guerneville, call 707-869-9000; December 4th and December 5th, Luther Burbank Home Holiday Open House, Santa Rosa, call 707-524-5445; December 11th,  Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in Petaluma, call 707-765-9725.

We Continue to See Private Money Loan Requests

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

In Sonoma County, our home sales fell in October to the second lowest level in 15 years.  Nationwide, in October, new home construction fell to an 18-month low.  Right now, there is little demand for any kind of new construction; however, you need to factor in the time of year, which is not prime-time for the housing market.  On a positive note, there is a slight increase in the number of building permits issued.  In addition, we are continuing to see loan requests from borrowers for private money loans, from rental property to commercial convenience stores and everything in-between.

For the consumer, prices are rising at a rate that is so sluggish, it’s the smallest price increase on record.  While that may sound good for consumers, we are still dealing with 9.6% unemployment.  On the bright side, however, retailers are “slashing prices like crazy” for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  Some merchants are offering sales before Thanksgiving, just to be the first to have the best and biggest deals.

On a lighter note, this Sunday, November 21st, in Sonoma, you can see the San Francisco Cypress String Quartet, opening its 7th season of classical music; call 707-938-3536 for information.  Also, Sonoma Community Center is hosting their annual Free Thanksgiving dinner; call 707-938-4626, extension 1 for more information.

Balance it Out

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Is there balance in your life?  How do you balance your work life and still make time for your present life?  Also, don’t forget the regular chores of house and yard, and pets, if you have them.  This is where everyone is created equal – you get the same 24 hours a day – no one gets any more or any less.  And now, we have Holidays coming up for the next couple of months that get factored in to your 24 hours.

Maybe you are a team of one or two, or more if you have a large family.  Keep in mind that one area of your busy life might take more time once in a while but be sure to “balance” it out.  There is a saying of “just do it”; there is no “trying”, only do or don’t.  Maybe that is part of the other saying – is your glass half full or half empty?  Those folks with the half-full glass generally have balance in their life – they work hard to make it happen.  The San Francisco Giants made it happen.  Let’s hope Governor-elect Jerry Brown makes it happen for California.

On a lighter note, there is a Holiday Craft Faire at Rodney Strong, Healdsburg on Saturday, November 13th, phone 707-431-1533 for information – free of charge with a food donation to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.  On November 20th and 21st, the Holiday Home Tour in Santa Rosa takes place, with a Winter Market of local vendors and artisans; for more information, call 707-545-5567.


Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

I think “team-work” is the saying of the week.  As a private money lender and running a company of agents and staff, it is imperative that we work as a team.  Everyone does their part to originate, document and fund loans; then the servicing of those loans begins, again with teamwork.  We also manage some REO properties with the support of a hard-working staff, again with team-work.

Obviously the San Francisco Giants worked as a team – they won the World Series, with fabulous pitching, hitting and fielding.  It was mentioned several times by the broadcasters that all the players worked as a team and never gave up, to reach their goal – a World Series title for the first time in San Francisco.

In government, you must work as a team to get anything accomplished.  There will be interesting and challenging years ahead to see if we can move forward, especially in California.  Governor-elect Jerry Brown has his hands full; let’s all do our part, no matter how big or small, to participate when needed and get involved when you can.

Don’t forget this weekend, Saturday, November 6th, ends daylight savings time; so, “fall back“.