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Cheesecake Factory makes the "Worst Company" list...I'm offended.

by Jeremy Larkin

I thought this was interesting. Calpers has been naming the worst companies since 1992. Fortunately their worst company picks WON’T put my beloved ‘Avocado Eggroll’ in jeopardy, but certainly isn’t helpful to the company’s stock.

 

On this year’s list? Cheesecake Factory, (OUCH!), La-Z-Boy, and many, many others.

 

According to Calpers, one of America’s biggest Pension funds ($235 Billion Big), the companies on this list need to improve their stock performance and governance practices.

California Public Employees Retirement System, also named insurance brokerage firm Hilb Rogal & health-care equipment supplier Invacare, and home-building group Standard Pacific to its most recent Focus List.

Making it onto Calpers' annual list is generally considered to be bad for a company's image and business, industry consultants have said, and top executives try to make quick changes to avoid being embarrassed a second time by the fund.

Here is a link to the MSN video that I first saw about this list: Calpers Worst Company Video.  Evidently they contact these companies “discreetly” in advance of publishing the list and tell them “hey, you need to clean up your act on some issues.” Some improve, and others don’t and end up on the list.

Last year the pension fund named insurance broker Marsh & McLennan and drug company Eli Lilly, but they made enough positive changes to escape being singled out again.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about their stock performance as long as they continue to serve those absurd portions and create one of the best products I’ve EVERY put into my gut.

Moral of the story: STAY OFF of any “worst” list of any kind.

Can Increased FHA Loan Limits Help Washington County Sellers?

by Jeremy Larkin

I've been away a few days and apologize for not getting this info up quicker.  This is fantastic news for residents of any county in the Nation, and specifically for Washington County buyers.  For a complete list of limits for all Utah counties, click here: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm

The FHA was established in 1934 to help borrowers, particularly those with low incomes, purchase homes by guaranteeing banks that those loans would be repaid should the borrower default. But the agency's loan limits have generally lagged behind those of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and as home prices climbed dramatically and lenders with looser underwriting standards proliferated the agency became less and less of a player in the mortgage market.

As a matter of fact, FHA insured loans have been mentioned as a possible escape hatch for borrowers who may be unable to make payments on their current adjustable rate mortgages when their interest rates reset over the next year, but that plan has its' challenges.

FHA financing is NOT the same as subprime financing.  It provides financing to borrowers with some credit issues and lower down payments, but it requires documentation of income and strives to prevent “payment shock” where a buyer jumps from a low rental payment to a high mortgage payment

This is good stuff, and in addition to the benefit of current mortgage rates (which I commented on HERE), this will allow many more buyers to realize the dream of home ownership in 2008. 

As a specialist in working with expired listings, I have been asked multiple times in recent weeks, "can this increase help sellers in Washington County?" The jury is still out. The real challenge lies in the fact that according to Lawrence Yun, chief Economist for NAR, as many of 80% of today's Buyers are also SELLERS trying to sell their current home before being able to buy. Ouch.

I better start out with the following disclaimer: I KNOW you are all thinking, "but Jeremy, of course you want us to buy now....you're a dirty Realtor!".....

And yes, you'd THINK that was the case, but I'd like to hope that I'm above car salesman-like sales tactics, and if you are thinking about buying Washington County Real Estate for investment or to live in long term, you'd better pay attention to this post, and in more detail, the Time Magazine Article titled "Ignore the Headlines...."

On one hand I can't see this market not declining further, yet John D. Rockefeller made the following logic famous when he said: "The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets."  And running it is!

Allow me to share the following excerpt from the article:

Consider a typical home that sells for $218,900. You put down 20% and get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at today's rate of 5.5%. Monthly principal and interest come to $994.31. Let's say that 12 months from now the same house goes for 10% less, or $197,010. But by then the recession is history and the Fed is jacking up rates to stem inflation. If mortgage costs rise a point, to 6.5%, your monthly payment would be $994.94 and you'd have saved nothing. Meanwhile, home prices might steady and sellers might become less willing to negotiate. And you have spent a year living someplace you'd rather not be.

To make matters worse, you'll have just spent 1 more year in a place you don't like! 

Here it is - read it and give me your thoughts!

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1713483,00.html 

 

 

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Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
435.767.9886
Fax: 435-359-5085

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