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TOUGH LESSONS!

by Rob Zwemmer

TOUGH LESSONS!
 
In an old "Peanuts" cartoon, Sally is making a list while Charlie Brown looks on. Sally says, "I'm making a list of all the things I've learned in life . . ." In the next panel she continues with, "Well, actually, I'm making two lists." Charlie questions, "Why is one list longer than the other?" Holding up the much longer list, Sally explains, "These are the things I've learned the hard way!"
 
It's easy to chuckle a little at the part about "learning things the hard way," isn't it? We've all done that. There's really a more revealing message in this simple cartoon.
 
The short list of things we've learned generally contains lessons that required no effort, or lessons we learned passively, while just listening or observing. For instance, we learned simple courtesies from our first grade teacher. We learned historical names and dates from our history teacher. We learned to tie knots from our scout leader. Our parents taught us to share. The list goes on.
 
The important list, the one that's much longer, contains the things we've learned from experience. These lessons are endless, and no matter how trifling the lesson, we learned one every time we took action. We dared to try a two-wheel bicycle and crashed - several times. We tried out for the school play - and made fools of ourselves in front of friends.
 
By attempting - at the possible expense of our pride, our self-esteem, or our physical well-being - we either succeeded or failed (and learned a lesson). It is our actions that produce results and teach us those valuable lessons. Teddy Roosevelt said it right: "Far better to dare mighty things . . ."

In an old "Peanuts" cartoon, Sally is making a list while Charlie Brown looks on. Sally says, "I'm making a list of all the things I've learned in life . . ." In the next panel she continues with, "Well, actually, I'm making two lists." Charlie questions, "Why is one list longer than the other?" Holding up the much longer list, Sally explains, "These are the things I've learned the hard way!" It's easy to chuckle a little at the part about "learning things the hard way," isn't it? We've all done that. There's really a more revealing message in this simple cartoon. The short list of things we've learned generally contains lessons that required no effort, or lessons we learned passively, while just listening or observing. For instance, we learned simple courtesies from our first grade teacher. We learned historical names and dates from our history teacher. We learned to tie knots from our scout leader. Our parents taught us to share. The list goes on. 

The important list, the one that's much longer, contains the things we've learned from experience. These lessons are endless, and no matter how trifling the lesson, we learned one every time we took action. We dared to try a two-wheel bicycle and crashed - several times. We tried out for the school play - and made fools of ourselves in front of friends. By attempting - at the possible expense of our pride, our self-esteem, or our physical well-being - we either succeeded or failed (and learned a lesson). It is our actions that produce results and teach us those valuable lessons.

Teddy Roosevelt said it right: "Far better to dare mighty things . . ."

Remember Your Worth

by Rob Zwemmer

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”
Hands started going up.
He said, “I’m going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this.” He then proceeded to crumple up the dollar bill.
He then asked, “Who still wants it?”
Still the hands remained in the air.
“Well then, what if I do this?” he asked, dropping the bill on the ground and grinding it with his shoe.
He picked up the $20 bill, now all crumpled and dirty and asked: “Now who still wants it?” Still hands went up all around the room.
“My friends,” he said. “You have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to this $20 bill, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in its value. It was still worth $20.”
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special… remember that.

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up all around the room.

He said, “I’m going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this.” He then proceeded to crumple up the dollar bill.
He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

Still hands remained in the air.

“Well then, what if I do this?” he asked, dropping the bill on the ground and grinding it with his shoe.

He picked up the $20 bill, now all crumpled and dirty and asked: “Now who still wants it?”

Still hands went up all around the room.
“My friends,” he said. “You have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to this $20 bill, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in its value. It was still worth $20.”


Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

You are special… always remember that.

Monthly Palm Springs Area Sales - July '13

by Rob Zwemmer

For the third year in a row home sales hit a peak in May at 1,000 units. They are currently at 896 in July. These are trailing three month averages to smooth the results. If we continue the seasonal pattern of the last three years, sales should decline to around 650 units by November.
 A longer term measure
 of sales (trailing 12 month average), which takes out the seasonal factor, is
 792 units and practically unchanged compared to last year.

*Information courtesy of Market Watch - Monthly Desert Housing Report

Safeguard Your Debit Card

by Rob Zwemmer

 

Safeguarding your Debit Card
There are several risky places to use your debit card. Be on the lookout when you visit outdoor ATMS, gas pumps, etc. High-tech thieves are out there.
ATM SKIMMERS
Outdoor ATMs are probably the most dangerous places to use your debit card. “Skimming” is a practice of capturing a bank customer’s card information by running it through a machine that reads its magnetic strip. The skimming machine is often placed over the real card slots at ATMs and other public card terminals and virtually undetectable. When observed closely, you can spot ATM skimmer components that usually look beat-up or out of place. Public outdoor ATMs are convenient when you are out and about, but try to use machines inside a retail store or a busy and well-lit spot where there is a lot of activity. 
PIN NUMBERS STOLEN AT GAS STATIONS
Gas stations are another danger spot for debit card use. With a skimmer affixed to the pump, a thief can be sitting across the street with a laptop and antenna, picking up all of your PIN info as you swipe your card. Before you even get home from the gas station, the thief has debited your account. With minimal supervision at stations, it’s fairly easy for a bad guy to install a skimming device with a little pinpoint camera that can compromise your number. Small, unobtrusive cameras can capture images of customers entering their PINs so they can have free access to their accounts. Thieves can even duplicate your card’s magnetic strip and use it for “sign and swipe” Visa or MasterCard transactions. 
WEB PURCHASES
It’s quick and easy to purchase products online with a debit card, but it is a very risky transaction to make. If you have malware on your computer, it could be at their endpoint of the transaction that the data can get compromised. If a hacker gets into a merchant’s customer database, your debit card info is at risk and money can be drained from your account in no time. You also never know who is handling the point of sale and now has full access to your debit card info... it could result in underhanded information theft and a drained account. 
RESTAURANTS
It takes one dishonest restaurant server to obtain your debit card information and place you in a vulnerable position. A server takes your debit card and disappears in the back for awhile, ringing up your ticket and copying your card information to use later. Even restaurants without sit-down service can present a threat for you. Using a debit card to order delivery is risky because cashiers over the phone take down debit card info and keep it on file. It makes repeat ordering easy, but small businesses usually don’t have the means to safeguard their customer’s personal info. 

 


There are several risky places to use your debit card. Be on the lookout when you visit outdoor ATMS, gas pumps, etc. High-tech thieves are out there.

ATM SKIMMERS

Outdoor ATMs are probably the most dangerous places to use your debit card. “Skimming” is a practice of capturing a bank customer’s card information by running it through a machine that reads its magnetic strip. The skimming machine is often placed over the real card slots at ATMs and other public card terminals and are virtually undetectable. When observed closely, you can spot ATM skimmer components because they usually look beat-up or out of place. Public outdoor ATMs are convenient when you are out and about, but try to use machines inside a retail store or a busy and well-lit spot where there is a lot of activity. 

PIN NUMBERS STOLEN AT GAS STATIONS

Gas stations are another danger spot for debit card use. With a skimmer affixed to the pump, a thief can be sitting across the street with a laptop and antenna, picking up all of your PIN info as you swipe your card. Before you even get home from the gas station, the thief has debited your account. With minimal supervision at stations, it’s fairly easy for a bad guy to install a skimming device with a little pinpoint camera that can compromise your number. Small, unobtrusive cameras can capture images of customers entering their PINs so they can have free access to your account. Thieves can even duplicate your card’s magnetic strip and use it for “sign and swipe” Visa or MasterCard transactions. 


WEB PURCHASES COMPROMISED

It’s quick and easy to purchase products online with a debit card, but it is a very risky transaction to make. If you have malware on your computer, it could be at the endpoint of the transaction when your personal data gets compromised. If a hacker gets into an online merchant’s customer database, your debit card info can be accessed and money drained from your account before you know it. You also never know who is at the other end handling the point of sale, now with full access to your debit card info... it could result in underhanded informational theft. 


RESTAURANTS THAT KEEP YOUR PERSONAL INFO

It takes one dishonest restaurant server to obtain your debit card information and place you in a vulnerable position. A server takes your debit card and disappears in the back for awhile, ringing up your ticket and copying your card information to use later. Even restaurants without sit-down service can present a threat for you. Using a debit card to order delivery is risky because cashiers take down debit card info over the phone and keep it on file. It makes repeat ordering easy, but small businesses usually don’t have the means to safeguard their customer’s personal info.

The Story of Two Horses...

by Rob Zwemmer

The Story of Two Horses...

Just up the road there's a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you get a closer look you will notice something quite interesting...

 

One of the horses is blind.

 

His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made him a safe and comfortable barn to live in. This alone is pretty amazing. But if you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. It is coming from a smaller horse in the field. Attached to the horse's halter is a small, copper-colored bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow. As you stand and watch these two friends you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting he will not be led astray. When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, he will stop occasionally to look back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

 

Sometimes we are the blind horse, being guided by the little ringing bell of those who have a special place in our lives. And at other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.

 

 

 

"The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time." - Abraham Lincoln

GO TO THE GARDEN!

by Rob Zwemmer

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Thought in the mind hath made us. What we are
By thought was wrought and built. If a man's mind
Hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes
The wheel the ox behind . . . 
 
. . . If one endure
In purity of thought, joy follows him
As his own shadow - sure." 
~ James Allen
 
GO TO THE GARDEN!
 
The human mind is like a garden. It directly reflects the care and attention given to it. Consider two gardens side-by-side, in the same soil.
 
The first is bursting with color, gives off the most delicate of fragrances, is free of weeds, and forest green. New buds continually replace each other, and it's a delightful place to spend a sunny day.
 
Just a few feet away, you encounter a musty patch of stunted leaves, few blooms, parched soil, and insect infestation. The few plants remaining beg for a kind word and attention of any kind. They look sad from their days of inattention.
 
Why is there such a disparity between the two gardens? The first has a gardener, while the second has been totally ignored. And just as an untended garden will fail to prosper, so will an untended mind.
 
Imagine how easy it is for the mind to wither and atrophy when attention is not paid to its simplest needs. The mind can be so creative, unless it is fed passive TV drivel hour after hour. The mind can be so enthusiastic, unless powered by a body nourished by fast food, chips, sugar-filled cereal, and caffeine-packed soft drinks.
 
Just as a vibrant garden inspires, a well-tended mind can bring forth the best in others. It deserves our attention. It should be watered and fertilized with foods filled with the proper nutrients. It can be expanded greatly through the stimulation of education. It can remain viable only through the practice and application of solid principles.
 
When the care given is incongruous with the results desired, the garden is a disaster. When the mind's actions do not match its stated objectives, chaos is the result. Our minds have the potential to bloom more abundantly than any garden. They deserve our utmost attention.

Prop 90 Passage Benefits Riverside County Homebuyers

by Rob Zwemmer

 

 

Riverside County supervisors gave final approval this week to Proposition 90, allowing homebuyers that are 55 and over, the opportunity to transfer their Prop 13 tax base into the County. For buyers in the market to purchase their final home, Prop 90 is a powerful sales tool. Homebuyers can save tens of thousands of dollars in property tax payments, and hundreds of millions in local economic benefits will be generated.

The passage of Prop 90 in Riverside Country creates an incredible homebuying opportunity allowing inter-county transfer of property taxes for a person 55 years and over. The party relocating can retain the "factored base year" assessment that determines what was paid in annual property taxes. The home seller is now granted the right to purchase a new home and pay the same amount in annual property taxes that was paid at the home just sold in the original county… even if their new home is worth significantly more than the one just sold. 

To see how this effects you, log on to the California State Board of Equalization: http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/faqs/propositions60_90.htm

Real Estate Today. An Update...

by Rob Zwemmer

 

Existing home sales are up 6.5 percent according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reaching the highest level since November 2009 when homes sold at a 5.44 million annual rate. Homes were sold at a 5.39 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, beating economic forecasts of a 5.15 million sales pace. The sales rate was up 17 percent from the same time last year. There has not been three straight months of 5 million or greater seen since second quarter 2007. The Median Price for a home was $213,500, up 14 percent from last July, the biggest year-over-year gain since 2005. It is projected that sale prices will keep rising due to the tight inventory of homes offered for sale. Mortgage rates are currently at the highest level in two years. 30-year mortgages have risen by a full percentage point since May.The Real Estate market remains in a period of recovery, so economists will keep a watchful eye when the Federal Reserve slows down the pace of its bond-buying program, there are any significant mortgage rate fluctuations, and continued rising home prices.

Expect the Unexpected!

by Rob Zwemmer

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time." 
 
~ Abraham Lincoln 
 
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! 
 
Weddings. Graduations. Birthdays. Holidays. An endless list of important occasions. We all have major events in our lives and others’ lives in which we participate. We and people close to us have sometimes exerted tremendous effort organizing celebrations with the intention that everyone involved will enjoy themselves. 
 
In other words, we actually make plans to be happy and to have a good time. We even map out entire blocks of days in which to have fun in the form of vacations. We develop hobbies in order to ensure that we can devote some hours of our week doing something we know we'll enjoy. 
 
While looking back over some of the happiest, funniest, most fulfilling or most moving experiences in your life, however, how many of them were in fact not planned at all, but completely spontaneous? 
 
If you stop and think about it, you'll probably find that your life is full of these moments, these small events during the course of an otherwise average day that you will retain in your memory as meaningful and recall with pleasure. 
 
It may be as simple as a gathering around the proverbial water cooler that evolves into a joke fest that you later remember as the time you laughed harder than ever before. Or it could be as complex as a first meeting with a person who eventually becomes extremely prominent in your life. 
 
Every single day is full of opportunities to become a day that you'll remember, a day with moments that add up to a lifetime of memories. The trick, of course, is to make yourself aware of that NOW, and to enjoy these moments while they are happening. 
 
The chances are excellent that today... or tomorrow... or this week... will bring you many of these moments. Be open to them. Plan to enjoy this day, and have a great holiday! 

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY: "The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time."  ~ Abraham Lincoln  

 

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!  Weddings. Graduations. Birthdays. Holidays. An endless list of important occasions. We all have major events in our lives and others’ lives in which we participate. We and people close to us have sometimes exerted tremendous effort organizing celebrations with the intention that everyone involved will enjoy themselves.  In other words, we actually make plans to be happy and to have a good time. We even map out entire blocks of days in which to have fun in the form of vacations. We develop hobbies in order to ensure that we can devote some hours of our week doing something we know we'll enjoy.  While looking back over some of the happiest, funniest, most fulfilling or most moving experiences in your life, however, how many of them were in fact not planned at all, but completely spontaneous?  If you stop and think about it, you'll probably find that your life is full of these moments, these small events during the course of an otherwise average day that you will retain in your memory as meaningful and recall with pleasure.  It may be as simple as a gathering around the proverbial water cooler that evolves into a joke fest that you later remember as the time you laughed harder than ever before. Or it could be as complex as a first meeting with a person who eventually becomes extremely prominent in your life.  Every single day is full of opportunities to become a day that you'll remember, a day with moments that add up to a lifetime of memories. The trick, of course, is to make yourself aware of that NOW, and to enjoy these moments while they are happening.  The chances are excellent that today... or tomorrow... or this week... will bring you many of these moments. Be open to them. Plan to enjoy this day!

Palm Springs Area - YTD Change in Price Per Sq Ft.

by Rob Zwemmer

PRICE GAINS 
RANKED BY CITY

La Quinta is the strongest city with a 
35 percent Year-to-Date return. This is followed by Indio at 31 percent, Desert Hot Springs at 23 percent and Cathedral City at 18 percent. The two cities with the smallest returns are Rancho Mirage at 7 percent and Coachella at 4 percent.

*Report Courtesy of Market Watch - Monthly Desert Housing Report

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