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Tell them you saw it in

~ Your Community News & Entertainment Guide, Since 2001

December 7 ~ 21, 2010

Mortgage Matters

Grandma D Talks Real Estate

Winter Wonderland

Now that You’re Back to Work ...

by Dianna Williams, RE/MAX Real Estate

by Tammy Engel, Mortgage Advisor

Living in the Land of Four Seasons is an easily overlooked privilege. We are treated to some of the most beautiful scenes Mother Nature has to offer year ‘round. The recent early season snow falls and the spectacular views of the evergreen pine trees dressed in silvery white, on the mountains to our south are a reminder that even the high desert of Southern California can cloak herself with a magnificent blanket of “Winter Wonderland”. I recently saw a comment on Facebook, from a fellow Southern Californian that her children had never experienced the joy of a snow ball fight, nor had they ever even held snow in their little hands. As she was feeling guilty about not having shared such a joyous event with her children, it reminded me how lucky our little ones of the Tehachapi Valley are each and every year as the soft gentle flakes drift out of the sky and fall into a winter playground of soft white mounds. These are the joys that remain with children and adults alike for the rest of our lives. They are memories that are tucked back into the recesses of our minds only to be brought forth at a moments notice when we reflect on any or all of our enjoyable life experiences. You know, the ones that bring a soft gentle smile to our faces. Remember the feeling of a steaming mug of hot cocoa warming our frozen little fingers as we watched the marshmallows bob up and down like little buoy’s on the waves at sea? Or how about that feeling of warming yourself in front of the crackling fireplace or the wood burning stove, turning yourself slowly from front to back and back to front as the chill and goosebumps that once permeated your flesh melt slowly away into a toasty warm glow. I am reminded of my childhood when my father packed all of us children into the car and

headed to Tehachapi to play in the snow. We dressed oddly enough with layers of pants and tops, the warmest old jackets we could find, plastic bags over our socks to keep our feet dry and we searched for flat pieces of cardboard boxes to use in sledding down the hill. It didn’t matter how we looked, whether we soaked our clothes to our undergarments or even that cardboard was not an ideal material for a successful sled run. We loved the thought of snow, talking incessantly about what we would do with the “white stuff” as we drove up the hill and laughing uncontrollably about our snowball fights and other shenanigans all the way back down the hill. I have to confess, to this day I love the first snowfall of the season. I sit up ‘til late at night or arise early in the morning, turn on the porch light and sit silently in the dark, as I watch the seemingly lighter than air flakes dance their way down from the sky, spinning quickly as if performing a pirouette in the breeze and falling down, down, down slowly, until they gently light on the slumbering landscape that was once my spring garden. I chuckle at my cat who patiently sits in the window waiting for a flake to hit the glass as she ever so gently pats the window in hopes of securing a new play toy. I even break down and build myself a snowman at times. Giving him the twigs off my hibernating plants for arms, a short stubby carrot for a nose and wrapping one of my winter scarves around his neck. But only after placing the always hoped for, magical black hat on his head. You would think by now I would have outgrown such simple pleasures but I must confess, the child in me always seems to emerge with the delight of the season’s first snow. So here’s to Mother Nature, a White Christmas, and a Winter Wonderland of Delights for All.

Suddenly lots of folks have been calling about buying a house, now that they’re back in the workforce. Whether they’ve been on unemployment, or have changed jobs, here is what they’re learning about qualifying for their next mortgage. The gold standard of loan qualifying has always been “two years on the current job.” That’s not as easy at it once was, given our current economy. What the lender is looking for is continuity of income, or the “ability” to repay your loan. Almost all lending today requires a review of your last two tax returns and your recent paystubs. Easy, if you’ve had your job for awhile. If you’re new to your job after having been unemployed for no more than 30 days, you’re okay. If you were out for more than a month, lenders are looking for at least six months on your new job – And some are looking for an entire year before they will count your new income in qualifying. Were you self-employed before? If you have gone to work for someone else’s company, expect at least a six-month wait before your income is seasoned. Be prepared to show that you are a “permanent” employee and that any probationary period has passed. Those employed under contract may need to evidence at least three years remaining on that contract. Relocating to the area would be viewed as any of the above scenarios. If your job moved you here and you are still on the same payroll, that’s easy. It’s when you have a gap between

the old job and the new that the waiting periods begin to apply. If you have just started your own business, be prepared to show two full tax filings before your new income will be counted towards your loan. Too, if you earn commissions or bonus, you’ll need to show two year’s receipt of those monies before they count. Three other areas of interest for qualifying income: Students new to the workforce usually need at least one year on the present job, showing school transcripts to go backwards for a full two-year history. For newly retired folks we can generally count retirement income right away, as long as it is scheduled to last for at least three years. And remember that disability often does not count as qualifying income, unless you can show it’s been received for at least a year and has at least three years remaining. Many private disability plans fail to meet that test. Disability paid as social security income is usually counted without a problem. The loss of stated income loan programs means toeing a very fine line these days. Before you contact a Realtor to look at homes, be sure you’ve had a frank discussion with your mortgage advisor to be sure you’ve got what it takes to be approved for your home loan. Tammy Engel, Mortgage Advisor thinks she knows it all. Does anybody even read this? Feel free to reach her at 661/822-REAL with your comments or questions.

First snow fall of season in Tehachapi, November 20, 2010

Loop ‘round the world!

The Loop went traveling with Vinnie Apicella and his dance group on the Carnival Paridise cruise ship to Catalina and Encinada Mexico. Vinnie was up for teaching us all the Electric Slide and Swing Dancing. Maybe you might recognize some of the group. :) Photo by Sam White

The Loop newspaper ~ December 7-21, 2010  

Tehachapi, California's Source for Community News & Entertainment. Our publication contains articles on local businesses and members of our...

The Loop newspaper ~ December 7-21, 2010  

Tehachapi, California's Source for Community News & Entertainment. Our publication contains articles on local businesses and members of our...