Housing Market Bust

Are we at the bottom of the housing market yet?  It has been fairly depressing just seeing my home’s value diminish over the past few years in this recession.

Who knows when the US economy will recover?  What about house prices declining to prices buyers can easily pay on a normal salary.  One of the contributing factors that added fuel to the fire is the government that encourage debt, making prices higher, not lower.

Real estate has been regarded as one of the safest investments for quite some time. Despite the relative safety of real estate investments; however, there remains the possibility that the real estate market can fall like any other investment. Over the long term, real estate still remains relatively safe simply due to the fact that the population of the world continues to increase while land is a limited resource. When there is an occasional downturn in the real estate market, it is important to recognize certain strategies which can be used in order to keep a real estate investment from becoming a complete loss.

The first thought many people have when they realize the market has experienced a downturn is to attempt to sell the property as quickly as possible before the market grows worse. In reality, many investors have found that it is often better if they can manage to hold onto the property and ride out the downturn in the market. While the market might certainly dip lower before it rebounds, historically it always does come back.

By selling the property during a down market, you position yourself to take a certain loss. If you are able to keep the property afloat you stand a much better position of being able to make a profit on it when the market turns back around. Of course, holding onto a property during a down market sounds fine in theory but it can often be much more difficult in practice. One possibility is to rent out the property in order to attain a positive cash flow while you wait for the market to turn around.

If you find that you are facing a foreclosure on the property, then the best option would obviously be to go ahead and sell it in order to attain as much profit as possible rather than take a complete loss. In this type of drastic situation, the key is to look for ways that you can make the property as valuable as possible. Selling real estate is really not that much different than selling any other type of product. In this case, the product is a home or building. If you have had the property on the market for awhile, it is important to look at why it has proven difficult to sell the property. You might consider making some changes in order to make it more desirable.

Ultimately, holding out during a market crash or downturn involves remaining calm and avoiding acting on emotional impulses. Making hasty decisions based on fear will often cause you to take an action you would likely regret once the market turns back around. Before you take any action, make sure you have carefully considered all of the options available to you. By doing soArticle Search, you may well be able to turn a dip in the market into a big return once the market starts the climb back to the top.

Kit’s Miracle Mile 2009 10K Results

Here are the official race results.

Finished 2nd in my division for First Timers… Could have, and should have ran a bit quicker for #1.

                     Kit Callahan's Miracle Mile 10K
                     Fairfax, VA   September 27, 2009
                      ChronoTrack Timing and Scoring
                        by Capital Running Company

                    First Time Racer's Official Results
                   Distances Run Are Unknown at This Time

Place Div/Tot  Name     Lname      Sex Age Hometown         Gun T Net T Pace
===== ======== =================== === === ================ ===== ===== =====
    1   1/3    Bryan Furman        M    22 ARLINGTON VA     48:55 48:43  7:51
    2   1/2    Victor Leung        M    35 FAIRFAX VA       49:19 49:06  7:54 
    3   1/6    Cynthia Chen        F    23 BURKE VA         51:39 51:28  8:17
    4   2/3    Jason Li            M    25 ALEXANDRIA VA    51:37 51:32  8:18
    5   2/6    Megan Harvey        F    22 ARLINGTON VA     53:52 53:40  8:39
    6   3/6    Mimi Do             F    22 FAIRFAX VA       54:25 54:12  8:44
    7   1/2    Diane Behm          F    32 WOODBRIDGE VA    55:49 55:46  8:59
    8   1/4    Farrokh Roushan-Afs M    56 BURKE VA         60:34 60:15  9:42
    9   1/2    Robert France       M    40 ALEXANDRIA VA    64:03 64:03 10:19
   10   4/6    Kate Beal           F    26 FAIRFAX VA       65:23 65:07 10:29
   11   3/3    Mark Eddy           M    27 RESTON VA        77:02 65:35 10:34
   12   1/1    Rachel Cohen        F    16 BURKE VA         73:49 73:29 11:50
   13   5/6    Chelsea Feist       F    23 FALLS CHURCH VA  85:15 73:33 11:51
   14   2/2    Praveen Dodda       M    39 CENTREVILLE VA   75:07 74:51 12:03
   15   2/4    Peter Marinovich    M    51 ROCKVILLE MD     76:59 76:52 12:23
   16   2/2    Christopher Hughes  M    41 LAUREL MD        78:20 78:04 12:34
   17   1/2    Eleanor Schmidt     F    49 FAIRFAX VA       83:54 83:23 13:26
   18   2/2    Elizabeth Skelley   F    46 FALLS CHURCH VA  83:55 83:29 13:27
   19   2/2    Theresa Stawski     F    39 CLIFTON VA       85:49 85:30 13:46
   20   1/2    Jana Dillon         F    50 TRIANGLE VA      86:53 86:16 13:53
   21   3/4    Dennis Dillon       M    50 TRIANGLE VA      89:06 88:27 14:15
   22   2/2    Kathryn Fanelli     F    59 ANNANDALE VA     97:53 97:22 15:41
   23   4/4    Sam Fanelli         M    53 ANNANDALE VA     97:52 97:22 15:41
   24   6/6    Krystal Klingenberg F    24 WASHINGTON DC    103:28 102:51 16:33

Ferrari’s 2010 Driver Dilemma

For the 2009 F1 season, the Maranello squad has Kimi Raikkonen and Felippe Massa as their primary drivers.  With the 2009 season winding down, the Maranello squad has already made the announcement that Massa will have a driver’s seat in 2010.  What about the former champ Kimi?  Ferrari hasn’t confirmed Kimi for the 2010 seat, and there is huge speculation that Fernando Alonso’s going to be signed with the team.  I like the ice man Raikkonen for his cool headed personality and ability to overtake other cars.

Let’s say Alonso does become part of Ferrari in 2010, some other good options out there is for Kimi to go back to McLaren.  Although he did have the worst of luck with McLaren with reliability of his car, I think McLaren has gotten over its woes of reliability.  Currently McLaren/Mercedes has the strongest engine in the field, and coupled with their management of KERS and aerodynamics they have built quite the rocket.  McLaren would have two former champs, Lewis Hamiltion and the Ice Man.  Wouldn’t that be a cool team?

We’ll see what happens after Suzuka.

MR2 Berk Exhaust

Berk has this 3″ diameter cat back dual exhaust system that I picked up to get a few more horses out of the MR2.  The exhaust looks really nicely packaged.

I was looking to get the exhaust put in by a shop instead of having to do it myself.  The message boards, and the MR2 BGB has some general guidelines that when I read it thought it would be fairly easy

First impressions of the exhaust:

Noise:  It’s definately louder than the stock exhaust system.  At idle it has a nice low humm.  At half throttle when cruising it’s noticeably louder, but not to the point where you can’t have a normal conversation with the passenger.  Gets pretty loud when you stomp on at wide open throttle.

Performance:  I can feel it’s more responsive and feel it pull much quicker.  Haven’t had much time to really put the exhaust through its paces.  But from the manufacturer’s website, it says HP power gains from 20-50WHP vs stock.

Appearance:  Very nice fit and appearance.  Tucks in nicely and the exhaust tips are polished.

My Money Tree

I decided to add some ‘life’ and possibly luck of fortunes with a money tree.  I found this 10″ money tree amongst all the others, and felt like this was the one for me.  The species used for a money tree plant is formally known as Pachira aquatica.  It is native to swamp lands in South America.  The plant itself is already considered to be fortunate by followers of feng shui, because of its five lobed palmate leaves. A money tree plant with leaves in clusters of seven, another powerful number, is considered to be especially lucky. The leaves of the money tree plant are edible, along with the flowers and nuts that it forms. The lucky trees can often be found in powerful places in the home, because plants and living things are supposed to be good for feng shui.

I decided to pick up a new pot for the plant.  Just a regular plastic pot with a dish to catch any leaking.  What I did to make the pot seem a bit more vibrant/modern was to pick up some spray paint from Home Depot and sprayed it the color of rust/copper.  It turned out alright.  The challenge was to repot the plant.  There was some left over gravel in the garage and put it at the base of the pot to help the soil breath, and filled it with a couple of inched of potting soil.  The plopped the money tree inside and filled the rest of the pot with potting soil.  It’s been about a week sitting in my sun room and the leaves on it are blooming ever so quickly!

Another F1 Scandal

First it was the big McLaren spy scandal last year and they got fined a hefty $100M after they were found guilty.  As some of you F1 enthusiasts might know, Renault’s management team has been barred from F1 and motorsports.  Specifically the flamboyant Briatore.  The whistle blower, Piquet, has been let off scott free with complete immunity.  Is that the right thing?  Probably the most righteous thing to do, but you can be sure that Piquet’s name in motorsports has been dragged through the mud and good luck trying to find a job behind a world class racing team.  In some ways it was his way of retaliating back at the Renault team, and Briatore after being kicked off the team for lack of performance.  I can’t blame the guy, but he was one of the conspirators in this scandal.  Piquet had a choice in Singapore, and we know the outcome of that race.

Kit’s Miracle Mile 2009 10k run

Well, after a few months of running in hopes of improving my medical condition, I put my body to the test for a good cause for a charity.  3 laps around Patriot circle, and not knowing that the terrain was a slow decline, and then a greuling incline towards the finish line.  The weather was really nice, it was cloudy, with a bit of an overcast, slight drizzle and couldn’t have asked for a better day.   The first lap was pretty good, had a strong pace.  I started near the middle of the pack, and then started to weave my way through the crowd to catch up to the front runners.  Knowing that this is my first 10k, I had to conserve my energy.  Then come the 2nd lap the slow incline started to wear me down.  On the 3rd lap my body wanted to stop by my mind kept me going towards the finish line.  After the final bend, I got a sudden burst of adrenalin and sprinted to the finish line.  Gasping for air, I picked up some energy drinks and banana’s at one of the water stands to recharge.  I finished 40th, and with a time of 49:06.  So about 7.9 minutes/mile.  Not bad for my first run.  It was alot of fun.  Overall a great time, would like do it again, and hope to improve on my time.

10k training

I decided to give it a chance a few months ago to start training for a 10k run.  It’s been a good experience just training, learning how to breath, form, and diet.  It’s pretty amazing that such a simple mode of human transportation has such a science to it.  Even the apparel/shoes that are out there have differences in material, support in running shoes, and even mp3 playlists to keep you bouncing to the beat while running.

My company was having a function in support of a 10k run charity event and decided to register.  The name of the charity is Kit Callahan’s Miracle Mile 10k. I was 91st to register, and a total of 427 others.

The MKII

The Toyota MR2 SW20 turbo is a pretty sweet looking car considering it’s been around since 1991.  As some people call it, the poor man’s Ferrari.  MR2 = mid engine rear wheel drive 2 seater.

I looked around all over the web to find a 1991 turbo T-top that was relatively stock.  There is a wealth of resources on the web talking about how to build up the engine, even plenty of DIY mechanics.

For a car that’s been around for 18 years it still has that appeal for a double take, at least in my eyes.