Cheat Sheet Q&A:


Today’s topic: Is now a good time to buying a home

The entry: 

My best friend is in the process of trying to buy a house right now he is currently looking and not having the greatest time finding stuff on the market. There was one property that they were very excited about and that they put an offer in on and the owners decided to let the house foreclosed based on information from their lawyer. Is there any reason why they would want to do that? I am going to make sure to let him know about the decline in sales year-over-year by 6.8%. I was wondering is that a national average? Is there a chance that you could find a average or the data for
MartinCounty because that's where he lives and is looking to buy I appreciate everything that you guys do.


Bottom Line:  Let’s start with the first question.  Is there a reason an attorney would advise a client to allow a home to foreclose rather than selling it to your friend…  Yes there is a reason and without knowing any additional info I can tell you with near certainly what occurred.  It seems as though the couple had recently been through a bankruptcy.  In a bankruptcy you can choose to retain responsibility for your home or rescind responsibility for the home.  By rescinding responsibility if the home is under water and sold – the lender can’t pursue the previous owners for a deficiency judgment.  If after a bankruptcy an owner signs new legal paperwork pertaining to property (like a short-sale of the property for example) the lender may have the opportunity to pursue a deficiency judgment.  As for the national and MartinCounty real-estate market…


We did see a 6.8% year over year decline in April in existing home sales.  Importantly we did still see prices rise just over 5%.  That means that the recovery is still intact but is definitely slowing. If we see a decline in sale and a simultaneous decline in price I’ll be very concerned about housing and the overall economy for that matter.  MartinCounty is currently performing better than the national real-estate market on average.  In AprilMartinCounty saw a slight increase in home sales year over year, 0.5%, and strong price growth at 12.6% year over year.  If you friend if planning on being in the home for a minimum of 3 years and ideally 5 or more years, I’d absolutely be looking to buy right now.  Real-Estate typically appreciates at about 4% per year and we shouldn’t take these historically low mortgage rates for granted if we are looking to finance. 


If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:


Audio Report:



Why you may not get a raise & buckle up for another round of health care cost increases:


Bottom Line:  It’s easy to get bogged down in the insurance cost argument within the ACA debate and lose site of other significant consequences related to the ACA mandates and the rising cost of health insurance.  We now know what employers did last fall as a result of the higher health insurance costs.  According to the Aflac WorkForces Report:


  • 39% hired independent contractors instead of actual employees
  • 32% eliminated or delayed raises to employees
  • 22% cut back on benefits provided to employees
  • 21% cut full-time employees to part-time

All told 56% of companies also passed additional costs along to employees.  So it’s clear that the impact of the rising cost of healthcare and mandates associated with ACA are taking their toll in many other facets of the labor market.  The news for this fall isn’t better.  59% of employers are anticipating moving increased healthcare costs – so it’s an even higher number than last fall.


Audio Report:



Skype's next big thing could make the world a lot smaller:


Bottom Line:  Skype is a Microsoft company and Mr. Softee is working on something globally significant.  This fall Skype will be ready to beta test real-time speech translation with most recognized world languages.  If all goes well it will be ready for primetime in the first half of 2015. 

The implications of bridging all language barriers via Skype are clearly huge.  From business to education the world would be at your finger tips.  The impact is almost beyond calculation at this point but in a world of rapid technological innovation, this service would instantly be the most relevant on a global stage.  I’ll keep you posted as I have updates.


Audio Report:





Summer hiring 2014:


Bottom line:  The summer hiring season is in full swing right now for companies that add summer seasonal help.  The news is better this year if your kids are looking for an opportunity.  By the numbers: 


  • The average summer wage is $10.39
  • 14% more summer hiring is expected this year vs. last
  • The average company hiring will add 25 employees
  • 78% of those hired will be new to the company
  • The most desired characteristic by summer employers is a positive attitude and eagerness


Most employers anticipate they’ll fishing adding summer employees by the end of the first week of June so get out there quickly and aggressively if you haven’t already.

Audio Report: