Posts tagged ‘Economy’

January 7, 2011

Random Friday Five “FIRST OF 2011” Edition

by brandt

The first Random Friday Five of 2011. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  I always liked this time of the year.  Personally, it reminds me of my high school days when my swimming season kicked into full force and we were actually competing in meets.  Metaphorically, it’s the start of a new year, and a start of a new chapter in the story of Ashley and I’s lives.  And from a kitty perspective, this is what they think of the new year: “…………………”  (that’s them thinking absolutely nothing).

Wait,  did I say kitty?

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December 24, 2010

The Christmas Eve Random Friday Five!

by brandt

It’s Christmas time again!  As Ron Weasley said to Harry Potter in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Happy Christmas, Harry!”  The Malone Compound inhabitants has been hard at work slaving over hot stoves getting cookies, cakes, and all sorts of sundry sugary items ready for mass consumption, as well as rocking out to some awesome Christmas songs (Um, Twisted Sister singing O Come All Ye Faithful, anyone?).  Anyways, enough with the holiday accolades, let’s get to the part everyone has been waiting for…


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December 7, 2010

House #7 – Rochester Part 2

by brandt

Part 1 is here.

OK, so I said it was a Homepath house, right?  And you remember what it meant to be a Homepath house, right?

You forgot?

Oh dear…

OK, a Homepath house is a house that is foreclosed on and the Government (most notably, Fannie Mae) is selling the house with loads of incentives to get someone into it.

First, they offer lower down payment and lower sale prices than other homes.  Conventional loans typically want 20% down, FHA loans require 3.5% down, but Homepath homes usually are OK with as low as 3% down.  Less cash to put down on a house, more cash in pocket.  Second, they are great for people who have less-than-great credit (which isn’t an issue for us).  Third, NO PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE!  Talk to any homeowner who has to pay PMI, and it is one of the worst parts about home ownership.  Fourth, no appraisal fees (which can be upwards of $300-$500)…again, more cash in pocket.  Fifth, because of the real estate economy, they’re also willing to chip in 3.5% towards closing costs – which is what we’ve been asking every time we’ve made an offer on a house.

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December 2, 2010

Brandt’s Craziness and Other Issues

by brandt

Short version – I’m picky because I’m over analytical with life.

A few nights ago, one of my friends sent me about our housing situation.  During the ADD nature of our text conversations (between mutually agreeing that Detroit Lions suck, the University of Michigan needs to fire Rich Rodriguez, and Brock Lesnar will hold the UFC Heavyweight Title again), he asked an interesting question about our little situation with the houses.

“So…now what?”

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November 12, 2010

Wheelin’, Dealin’, and Stealin’

by brandt

It’s time for another Q&A Session with Uncle Brandt, where I type till my fingers are blistered trying to answer the deep soul-searching questions you all have sent in!  First, obligatory CAT PICTURE.  STORY TIME after the jump.

Thinking kitteh is….thinking of the answers to your questions.


After Ashley and I graduated college in Idaho, we moved out to Michigan.  The economy wasn’t the greatest, I didn’t want to be a farmer in Idaho, and Michigan is where I had the most networking contacts to find my first job out of college.  I was hired by a mortgage company, and my first job while I was there was to take the big packages of mortgage documents and be in a “quality control”-type role.  Basically, I sorted them, made sure all the forms were there, and passed the stack on to the next person.

From what I was told, the only way to learn mortgages, and the only way to learn the industry, is to be around it.  That was the extent of my first-day-on-the-job training.  And considering many people buy 2, maybe 3 houses through the course of their life, much of the details and paperwork are left to real estate agents and loan officers, with us the consumer taking their advice.

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November 10, 2010

And Now, For Something Completely Different

by brandt

Why yes, that is an homage to Monty Python.

I’ve lived in Michigan almost my entire life. Ashley has lived in Utah her entire life. And when we found out that our job searching expedition was taking us to Michigan (which I’ll probably write about at a later date), there was trepidation for both parties.

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