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Monthly Archives: May 2012

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1st Quarter Data Shows Encouraging Signs for Housing Market

Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market report for the first quarter shows some encouraging signs for the U.S. economy and the housing market.

Positive economic data for first months of 2012

The report notes the economy grew 2.2 percent, as measured by real GDP. This was a slight increase from the previous quarter, but the highest increase of the four previous quarters.

The unemployment rate also declined in the first quarter, falling from 8.7 percent in Q4 2011 to 8.3 percent in Q1 2012. In turn, consumer expenditures gained with the decreased unemployment rate, the outlook indicates, improving 15.3 percent, as consumers increased their purchases of big-ticket items, such as cars and home appliances.

Additionally, Freddie Mac’s report found residential fixed income (RFI) increases were consistent with the economy’s growth. RFI increased 0.4 percent for the first quarter reflecting positive growth in new home construction and remodeling. Housing starts and home sales were the two bright spots for the market in the first quarter, the government-sponsored enterprise noted. Starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 690,000 per month from 670,000 in the previous quarter. Total home sales increased from a per month average of 4,220,000 in the fourth quarter to a 4,380,000 monthly average in the first quarter of 2012.

Foreclosures remain a factor in housing market

Foreclosures still continue to put downward pressure on the markets, reports Freddie Mac. More than 2 million homes still remain in foreclosure. Further, the quarter’s homeownership rate decreased 0.5 percent for the quarter dropping to 65.5 percent. This statistic is also expected to decrease further as the market foreclosures continue to work their way through the market.

Decreased foreclosures would likely help improve market prices given the deep discounts they are sold at in comparison to standard listed homes. The downward pressure from foreclosures could be one reason for the decreases in housing prices. The Freddie Mac House Price Index fell 0.3 percent for the first quarter. This index has been consecutively decreasing but is expected to turn up slightly in the second quarter of 2012.

With home prices and mortgage market rates continuing to remain low, now may be the best time for many interested buyers to capitalize on the housing market’s value.


520 Loxley Drive for Sale

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520 Loxley Drive for Sale

Check out this great new listing!

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New Goodwill on Lake Joy Road

A huge crowd hit the racks at the new Goodwill Center which opened Wednesday on Lake Joy Road.

The 21,500-square-foot store, which replaces the retail/donation center in Perry, is the third in the Warner Robins area. Jim Stiff, president and CEO of Goodwill of Central Georgia, said the Lake Joy Road store is positioned well for future growth.
The new $3 million store features a drive-through donation area. Wednesday, it was well stocked with long racks of clothing for men, women, girls and boys, along with books, household items and other goods.
According to Goodwill, Houston County donors have given about 4.4 million pounds of items this year, keeping the equivalent of 74 tractor-trailer loads out of the local landfill.
Last year in Houston County alone, Goodwill served 2,285 people, helped 506 find competitive jobs and completed 33,727 training days with clients, officials said.
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Ways You Can Help WR Animal Control

The Warner Robins Animal Control Division is committed to the education and promotion of responsible pet ownership.  There are several ways you can help support our mission.

If you are unable to adopt an animal – here are some ways you can help.

Welcomed Donations: Large metal dog bowls, Leashes, Plastic litter pans, Dual/deep plastic cat bowls, Dish detergent, Laundry soap, Liquid hand soap, Disinfectant spray, Cardboard pet carriers, Dry dog food, (please no cans), Dry cat food, Gift cards (Walmart, Target, & Lowes)

Donations can also be given to our GA-Dogs Of Ours Going Out Of State program.  Learn more about the program on our website at 

Donations can be taken to the Warner Robins Animal Control facility located at 208 Stalnaker Avenue, Warner Robins GA.  You can also reach them by phone at 478-929-7290.

What Should I Consider Before Purchasing My Next Home?

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A home is the largest purchase many people make. Like any major decision, homeownership requires careful considerations:
Be clear about your purchasing reasons
  • Is your family changing?
  • Are you down-sizing?
  • Do you need to relocate for a new job?
  • Are you moving to a new location?
  • Do you want certain amenities or features?
Estimate the cost of selling your current home
Before pricing your home, calculate sales costs, including:

  • The cost of repairs needed to maintain your home’s value. If you have a leaky roof, or need electrical or plumbing work, your sales price is likely to be lower to cover those costs.
    • Consider hiring a home inspector to uncover any hidden problems.
  • Making cosmetic improvements to increase the ‘curb appeal’ of your home. Relatively lower cost items, such as painting or landscaping, can make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
  • The amount you will pay in real estate commission. Real estate agents receive a percentage of the home sale as a commission.
    • If you are considering selling your home yourself, estimate your time and costs for advertising, showing the house to prospective buyers and handling negotiations.
  • Other miscellaneous expenses.
    • Is there a prepayment penalty on your mortgage?
    • Will you incur the cost of temporary storage for your personal items while showing to potential buyers?
    • Have you planned for moving and some packing costs?
Estimate the sales price for your current home
  • If your home is priced realistically, you may be able to sell it faster.
  • Property appraisers set a price by comparing a home to recently sold, nearby properties similar in square-footage, room number, age, and features.
  • Your real estate agent will help you decide on a listing price by getting a list of comparable properties.
Consider purchasing a home that needs renovation
  • Homes needing renovation may be available below market value.
  • Our Purchase & RenovateSM Loan may enable you to buy and repair with one loan.
  • Consider that remodeling and repairs may require hiring a contractor, depending on the loan you choose.
  • The Wells Fargo’s Mortgage plus Home Equity Financing option combines a Wells Fargo first mortgage together with home equity financing. There may be tax benefits and reduced closing costs with this option. (Consult a tax advisor on the deductibility of interest.)
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Try Tropicals This Year

Tropicals  give your porches and patios a little island mystique.  And, since tropicals typically come in basic plastic pots that can be slipped into boldly colored ceramic pots, they can instantly turn any outdoor space into a party place.

If you remove a tropical from its plastic pot and plant it in a decorative container, make sure the pot has ample drainage holes. Use only good potting soil, not garden soil, which is too heavy. Fill the new pot with one-third potting soil. Remove the tropical from its container and tease or loosen any matted, circling roots. Place it in the new pot and fill in with more potting soil. Water thoroughly. If the potting soil settles, add more soil and water again.

Tropicals are heavy feeders, so regular fertilization with a water-soluble food meant for flowering plants, or a time-released granule mixed into the potting soil keeps the plants blooming. Some potting soils have fertilizer already mixed into them, but they are often only good for a few weeks.

During hot summer days, potted plants need daily, sometimes twice daily, watering because the soil heats up and dries out quickly.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the new sun-loving tropicals you’ll find from companies such as Monrovia ( and Hines ( Monrovia is found at independent garden centers; Hines is available at garden centers and stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart.

Mandevilla Bride’s Cascade. These summer-long flowering vines come in all colors, including a new white one called Bride’s Cascade. The vigorous plant, which grows 15 feet long, needs a strong support system, including a fence, trellis or arbor.

Adenium Kissable Pink, aka desert rose. This carefree plant flowers all summer. Its bonsai-like appearance features twisted stems, oval-shaped leaves and large, bright flowers. When dry and dormant, the plant tolerates temperatures into the mid 40s; it can be brought indoors, kept dry and moved outdoors in spring.

Bougainvillea Bambino. These bougainvilleas reach 4-5 feet tall, and include Lauren with variegated foliage that contrasts nicely with large clusters of flowers spring-fall. Use them in containers and as hedges for real drama.

Babybino Bougainvillea. This new dwarf bougainvillea acts more like a shrub and is easy to grow. Dark Rose has deep rose-colored flowers that contrast against the olive green foliage; blooms appear spring-fall. Use it in patio pots, garden beds and window boxes. Get really crazy and plant it as a mass of ground cover around a patio or pool.

Crinum Purple Dream. It’s nicknamed Black Hawaiian Spider Lily because of its deep purple foliage that is almost black when it grows in full sun. Spidery, deep-pink flowers appear on dark red stalks above the foliage early summer to fall.

Bougainvillea patio trees and pots. These showy plants are show-stoppers when you use them for parties or outdoor celebrations like weddings and anniversaries. The blooms come in shades of red, pink, orange, purple and white. They need full sun and are fairly drought tolerant, which means you may not have to water their containers daily, if you are lucky.

Bahama Bay Hibiscus. These tropical treats produce endless numbers trumped-shaped blooms, some with ruffles, in orange, red and pink tones. The bright flowers always pop out against dark green foliage that has a nice sheen to it. Remove the old flowers to encourage new ones, and feed frequently. They dislike temperatures below 55 degrees, but can be protected at night and uncovered to bloom again during warm fall days.

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The following was sent to all members of the Ebby Halliday Companies today by President & CEO Mary Frances Burleson:

This could be the best time in a generation to buy a home. Here’s why:

Housing affordability is the best it has been in decades.

Nationwide, average home prices are approximately one-third lower today than at their peak in 2006.

The cost to buy is very often less than the cost to rent a comparable property. In fact, buying is cheaper than renting in 98 out of America’s 100 major markets.

Interest rates are at an historic low, and today’s low rates can be locked in for the next 30 years.

The general economy appears to be improving, with employment increasing, median wages rising, and little indication of possible inflation.

Overall, conditions indicate today may be the perfect time to buy a home.

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