By Tony Stevenson, SWBC
Consumer Sentiment and New Home sales climbed, but Durable Goods took a turn for the worse and fell 2.4% as our economic recovery rocks back and forth.
Stocks did take a hit for the 3rd time upon the disappointing data helping cause Mortgage rates to fall about .125% for the week. The Federal Reserve decided to stretch out the pace of a program intended to lower mortgage rates and to help prop up the housing market. It also left it’s key bank lending rate unchanged according to an article in the E-N. The WSJ also reported the same with further explanation that the FED program to purchase Mortgage backed securities will last into early next year. This is surely welcome news to all of those in the Mortgage and Real Estate markets.
Now we wait to see if the first-time-homebuyers $8k tax credit will be extended. All indicators point in the positive that they will, especially if NAR (National Association of Realtors) have their way.
Watch the outcome of the U.S, France, and Britain’s pressure on Iran this week to play havoc in the markets.
Plus, Friday’s Unemployment Report will be a definite market challenger as well. Keep in mind that when stocks do well, it usually has a reverse impact on MBS’s and vice-versa.
Renewable Energy Roundup this weekend The 10th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair returns to Fredericksburg at the Marktplatz at the 100 block of W. Main St. beginning Friday, September 25 from noon until 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and then Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until event wraps at 3:00 p.m.
Admission on Friday or Sunday is $10; on Saturday, $12, or it’s $20 for a 3-day pass (children under 12 free). Tickets will be sold at the gate. For more information, call 1-877- 3ROUNDUP or visit http://www.theroundup.org .
Pioneer Museum to host Roots Music Concert on Saturday Music fans can enjoy Cajun music and Cajun cooking at the upcoming Roots Music Concert this Saturday, September 26, at the Pioneer Museum – located at 325 W. Main St. in Fredericksburg. For details, including hours and admission costs, call 830-997-2835 or visit http://www.pioneermuseum.net .
Hill Country Horse Club to host Ranch Rodeo this Saturday Teams of four will be vying for honors this Saturday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. when the Hill Country Horse Club holds its Ranch Rodeo at the club at 283 Equestrian Drive in Fredericksburg. For information, call Justine Elliot at 830-456-0219.
Boutique Wine and Food Festival this Saturday Texas Vineyards & Beyond, located at 329 ½ E. Main St. in Fredericksburg, will host the Boutique Wine and Food Festival this Saturday, September 26 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m., featuring wine tastings from five Texas wineries and food pairings from local food artisans. Cost is $10 per person and includes logo wine glass, logo hors d’oeuvres plate; plus wine, cheese and food tasting. For more information, call 830-990-9199 or visit http://www.texasvineyardsbeyond.com .
From Tony Stevenson,
9311 San Pedro Ave., Suite 100
San Antonio, TX 78216
Economic Data: Week Sept 21
Consumer stocks drove the DOW up 36 points for it’s second weekly gain in a row. Plus, the unemployment rate dropped in 16 states in August. More signs of stabilization in the economy. Retail sales rose as well.
Ben Bernanke said that the worst recession since the 1930’s is probably over. But, we are still going to see the unemployment situation persist. We’re all waiting to see if the White House will extend the $8k tax credit which has helped first-time home buyers in recent months. The NAR is asking Congress to extend the credit into next year.
Also, Mortgage rates fell very slightly last week. According to Bankrate.com, “Market participants seem to be slightly optimistic that a recovery will come soon, but they are not ‘wildly’ optimistic. That sentiment keeps rates (mortgage) from rising.” This just means that they expect inflation, but not as soon as once expected. Inflation is the arch enemy of MBS’ (Mortgage Backed Securities).
Look for changes in FHA loans coming in the near future as well. Will the DOW hit 10000 this week? Will Mortgage rates remain at today’s levels?
By Lynne Renaud, Sales Associate, Century 21 Sunset, Realtors
Home inspections are an essential component of most residential transactions. Buyers often rely on an inspector’s report to raise their buying confidence, helping to eliminate unpleasant surprises in the future.
But should an inspector be expected to pinpoint every current and potential problem? How comprehensive should their report be? Perhaps the best guidance on these questions can be found from the American Society of Home Inspectors’ Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics (which can be downloaded at http://www.ashi.org). This document walks through all the key elements of a comprehensive residential inspection, outlining in detail what should be inspected and described in the inspector’s report for each of these areas of the home: -Structural system -Exterior -Roofing -Plumbing -Electrical -Heating -Air Conditioning -Interior -Insulation and ventilation -Fireplaces and solid fuel-burning appliances.
The guidelines also indicate certain features that an inspector is not required to evaluate. This may include, for example, outbuildings other than garages, and carports, or seasonal accessories shuch as screens, shutters and awnings. You’ll also find guidance on general limitations and exclusions for inspectors, a glossary of inspection terminology, and details of the ASHI Code of Ethics.
SAFETY TIPS FOR GPS & CELL PHONES- Things stolen from cars can include a garage door remote control, money and GPS’, which are sometimes prominently mounted on the dashboard. Victims find that their homes have been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. Thieves use GPS’ to guide them to your home, they use the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS is stolen. Suppose your handbag is stolen, which usually contains your cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc. avoid using names such as home, husband, dad, mom, etc. in your contact lists. The thief could texted you spouse and ask what your PIN number is and more than likely you will texted back the number. The thief may actually use the stolen cell phone to text ‘hubby’ in the contact list and gotten the pin number. Within minutes he could withdraw all our money from your bank account. Moral of the lesson: Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc…. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back. Also, when you’re being text by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet ‘family and friends’ who text you.
Pioneer Museum to host School Days this Saturday. See what school life was like for pioneer children as the Pioneer Museum recreates that time with its School Days event this Saturday, September 19 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the museum complex at 325 W. Main St. in Fredericksburg. This event is free with regular museum admission. For details, call 830-997-2835 or visit http://www.pioneermuseum.net .
Wine Road 290’s ‘Kab and Kiolbassa’ is this Saturday All nine wineries making up the Wine Road 290 wine trail will join forces this Saturday, September 19 to host ‘Kab and Kiolbassa’ pairing mouthwatering Kiolbassa sausage with their wine. For more information, including individual winery hours, visit www.wineroad290.com .
On Friday, September 11 at 1:30 p.m., the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas will honor those who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks against America by holding a special Patriot Day program in the historic ballroom in the Admiral Nimitz portion of the museum at 340 E. Main St. in Fredericksburg – free with regular museum admission. The commemoration will include a special showing of the film, The Day the Towers Fell. For more information, call 830-997-4379 or log on to http://www.nimitz- museum.org .
Stomp grapes this weekend. Pedernales Cellars will have their La Rioja Grape Stomp Saturday, September 5 from 10:00am – 6:00pm. Live music from 1:00 – 4:00pm. Wine will be available for tasting and purchase.
Pedernales Cellars is located at 2916 Upper Albert Road in Stonewall and please visit www.pedernalescellars.com.
Becker Vineyards will also be having their Grape Stomp on Saturday, September 5 from 10:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday from noon – 6:00pm. They will have live music on Saturday. Wine will be available for tasting and purchase.
Becker Vineyards is located east of Fredericksburg on Highway 290 and please visit www.beckervineyards.com
Chisholm Trail Winery is also having their Grape Stomp on Saturday. They will have live music starting at 2:00pm.
Chisholm Trail Winery is located on Highway 290 West at 2367 Usener Road and please visit http://www.chisholmtrailwinery.com
by Jack Arnold, Broker, Century 21 Sunset, Realtors
Today Sunya and I will take you for the promised trip to Enchanted Rock. This is Sunya’s favorite place so she is excited. From Century 21 Sunset, Realtors we turn right on Milam Street (which is FM 965) we head north for about 16 miles. (see photo #1)
At about 15 miles out we climb some hills, round a corner and encounter the sweeping countryside with Enchanted Rock spread before you. Wow, what a sight! (see photo #2)
About a mile down the road is the Park Entrance on the left. (see photo #3)
Sunya is ready and waiting. The trail to the summit leads upward through the jumble of rocks in the background. (see photo #4)
Turkey Peak is visible on the right as we climb. (see photo #5)
We are about 2/3 the way to the summit. Need to get my breath. Sunya waits on a rock. She is the same color as the granite. You can see the breeze blowing her ear. It is after 7:00 pm. The sun is still well above the horizon, but it is cooling off after a hot day. (see photo #6)
The dome is constantly changing through a process call “geological exfoliation”. The rock peels off in layers. (see photo #7)
The process leaves visible layers and huge boulders. (see photo #8)
We are at the top. You have views in all directions. The surprise is that the top is covered with “gnammas” or “weathering pits”. (see photo #9)
These weathering pits fill with soil and fill with water when it rains. The result is colorful lichens, grasses, flowers and even trees. In this picture a yellow lichen edges the garden which nature maintains. (see photo #10)
This is a small gnamma. It looks as if it was professionally designed. (see photo #11)
Here are some gnammas in early stage of development. When it rains all of these fill and many will hold water for several weeks. During this time the eggs of a brine shrimp will hatch, and they can be observed in the pools with tadpoles and other microscopic insects. (see photo #12)
I forgot to tell you. Your trip was planned to watch the sunset from the top. So here it is in all its glory. As scheduled! (see photo #13)
Enchanted Rock is a hard place to leave. And it is a particularly enchanting place to watch the world get covered in darkness. But Sunya and I took one more look over our shoulder at the “cloud” show in the sky, then made our way to reality and our car. We were back home, tired but happy. We hope you enjoyed your visit, and now if not tired are at least happy. (see photo #14)
If you would like additional information on Enchanted Rock, google “Enchanted Rock, Texas”. You will find a number of sources of information, but I recommend the website entitled: E-rock, A Virtual Field Trip. We hope this excites you enough to come to Fredericksburg, Texas to see for yourself. And while you are here, come by and see us. Any of our agents can help you find other places to visit, to eat, to stay and can even help you find the home of your dreams in this “little piece of paradise”, Fredericksburg, Texas.
HAPPENINGS IN FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS THIS WEEK!
First Friday Art Walk
Returns this Friday Art lovers take note: this Friday, September 4, is First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg. Make it a day of art appreciation as you browse exhibits, sip wine and enjoy extended hours at these galleries – open until 8:00 p.m. Participating galleries include Artisans at Rocky Hill , Beckendorf Gallery , Fredericksburg Art Gallery , Fredericksburg Art Guild , The Good Art Company , Insight Gallery , Photography 414 , Rodeo Studio Gallery , Uptown Market and Whistle Pik Galleries . Stop by the Visitor Information Center at 302 E. Austin St. in Fredericksburg to pick up a map to these galleries.
Brushes with History’ happening at the Pioneer Museum
Join artist, musician and storyteller Phil Bob Borman as he demonstrate plein air painting from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 5 at the Pioneer Museum at 325 W. Main St. Local artists are also invited to bring their easels and join in the available painting activities for children. Works of the late Fredericksburg artist, Edwina Mintel, will also be on display. These events are free with regular museum admission. For more information, call 830-997-2835 or visit www.pioneermuseum.net .