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Archive for May, 2009

Marino on Money: May 12

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

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Would you recommend purchasing another house right now, or should we stay out of the market until things settle down?

Is it time to buy a home? That depends on your situation. Can you afford to buy? Would you qualify for a mortgage? If you answer “no” to either question, this is not a good time to buy a home.

If you are currently a home owner, the expenses of owning your home are built into your budget. It should be easy for you to determine if you can afford to buy another home. If you are renting, determining what you can afford is a little more challenging. Here are some considerations that apply to anyone who wants to purchase a home.

First, determine if you might move from the area, within a couple of years. If you need to move for any reason, buying could be much more expensive than renting. Even if you are already a homeowner, it may not be worth it to move into a new home, for only a couple of years.

Consider these costs:

There are moving expenses, decorating the new place, regular maintenance, repairs, and closing costs on the new mortgage. For the first couple of years, most of your mortgage payment goes towards interest, not principal, meaning, the only significant equity you may build, will come from the home appreciating in value.

Here is a common mistake people make. They think they can afford a home just because the new mortgage payment is roughly equal to their current rent payment. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Your expenses as a renter are limited. Your expenses as an owner are all inclusive. All
expenses are your responsibility.

Once you go to sell your home, there will be even more expenses, plus a real estate commission. Just to break even, your home may need to appreciate at least 10%. Owning a home for a short period of time is not always profitable. So in some situations, renting can be a wonderful experience.

Regardless, there are plenty of reasons to be a homeowner, and we’ll discuss those tomorrow.

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videoThis week, Marino on Money focuses on real estate. Is this the time to buy that house?

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Earlier school start drawing some opposition

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

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North Carolina students may get the summer vacations cut short. A bill at the state level may allow public schools to start the academic year two weeks earlier in August.

A commerce committee voted in favor of allowing schools to start the academic year as early as August 8th. Back in 2004, lawmakers pushed start times back to August 25th, which was a positive for the tourism industry. It allowed families to vacation longer during the summer months, and it allowed high school students to work at summer jobs in the tourism industry.

School officials argue that starting school earlier in August would help with exam schedules for students, but the bill has plenty of opposition. “There are a thousand reasons why. It has to do with families being together. It has to do with southeastern North Carolina, our county builds schools on sales tax so the very entity we are trying to help is the very entity fighting against extending the season so we can raise that money,” said Representative Carolyn Justice, 16th District.

Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden said, “We got to have people here to spend money and enjoy the beach and our entire coast. Not just the beach but the mountains and all of our state as tourism is such a big factor in our economy.”

The bill goes to the House floor for a vote this week. Even if it passes, it will still be up to county school boards to decide their own school calendar. This would just give them the option to start sooner.

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North Carolina students may get the summer vacations cut short. School officials argue that starting school earlier in August would help with exam schedules for students, but the bill has plenty of opposition.

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UPDATE: Police know little about body found on Holden Beach; hear the 911 call

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Holden Beach police are investigating a body found on the beach strand early Tuesday morning, and officers said they have little information.

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Big deposit made thanks to Stamp Out Hunger

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

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Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger event yielded quite a harvest.

Letter carriers in the Wilmington area collected nearly 37,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

The annual event will help provide more than 30,000 meals for needy families in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus counties.

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Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger event yielded quite a harvest.

Letter carriers in the Wilmington area collected nearly 37,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

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Associated poll

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Miss Bessie goes for first motorcycle ride on 102nd birthday

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

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It was a very special ride for one local senior who celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Bess Tancrelle took to the streets on a Harley Davidson this morning while her 98-year-old sister Clara saddled up in the side buggy.

Carolina Coast Harley Davidson granted Miss Bessie’s birthday wish of riding a motorcycle.

The group took a cruise around Greenfield Lake before returning to a standing ovation from her friends at Lakeshore Commons retirement home.

Miss Bessie said she’s ridden on horse, a camel and even an elephant, but it was nothing compared to riding a ‘hog’. “It was a great thing, it’s the greatest thing I’ve experienced in life.”

Jeff Granato had the honor of driving the pair around town. He said the ladies were overjoyed to finally be able to ride a motorcycle, and it was a great experience for everyone involved.

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It was a very special ride for one local senior who celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Bess Tancrelle took to the streets on a Harley Davidson this morning while her 98-year-old sister Clara saddled up in the side buggy.

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Associated poll

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