Mortgage Alert!!!! Mortgage interest rates lowest since 1950!!!

In an Associated Press article posted on 6/27/12 by Mary Gordon, she writes that current mortgage interest rates are the lowest since 1950!

She sites that Freddie Mac is quoting 30 year fixed rates at 3.66%………down from the previous amount of 3.95%. This marks the 7th reduction in rates in the past 8 weeks.

Mary goes on to quote that for well qualified buyers that the 15 year fixed rate is also at a historic low of 2.95%. That is a huge savings to a potential home buyer.

Cheap money and good credit scores, means great news for the buying public. If there ever was a time to get off the fence and buy……… its TODAY!  Here in Lee County there is currently a very low inventory of  quality homes on the market, which is actually driving prices up a bit. You may not be buying at the very bottom of the market, but certainly still at bargain prices.

Another trend we are seeing in our market is an increased number of contractor vehicles on our roads and streets. Could this be a signal that new construction is going to return in 2012? With many years of lenders not offering any construction to perm loans, its time for that trend to change. Our local economy is driven in a large part by new construction. It employs both construction laborers, as well as the vitally needed building materials suppliers. Both spur hiring in the private sector which boosts the economy. …continue

Should we rent or buy a home in 2012?

Sounds like a simple question, but with a somewhat complicated answer!!

It’s tempting to suggest a move toward purchasing a home since our market hit the bottom with home prices in the fall of 2011.  Although you may have missed the bottom, prices have not risen that much, resulting in some remaining, very good deals to be made on both homes as well as condo,s. There are a number of things to consider when thinking about buying and the American Bankers Association has come up with a few critical questions to help with that decision process.

1] How much can you afford to put down?  For some this would immediately answer the question of buying or renting! Banks are looking for 20% down in most cases unless your credit score is in the very high 700’s or into the 800’s. The size of the down payment has a direct impact on the monthly payment. Examine your overall financial health, to determine the impact a fixed monthly mortgage payment will make on your overall expenses.  Also, the term of the mortgage will be important…….perhaps instead of the traditional 30 year term, a 40 year may suit your needs better. …continue

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Readers’ recipe swap: garlic

I certainly haven’t made any new friends this week – we may be less squeamish about garlic than we once were as a nation, but putting away an entire plate of the stuff can still make a girl feel self-conscious. All in the name of a good cause though – behold the stinking rose in all its glorious versatility, from the fieriness of a pungent Greek walnut sauce to the rich sweetness of the winning salsa recipe. If you’ve never tried baked garlic, this recipe may well change your life.

The winning recipe: roasted garlic, jalapeno and tomato salsa

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Food for a king indeed: roasted garlic, jalapeno and tomato salsa Photograph: foodforaking via/GuardianWitness

A Mexican-style salsa delicious slathered on meats, seafood, corn on the cob, tacos, tortillas, beans, cheese and crusty bread. It will last in the fridge for up to five days – but it’s doubtful you will let it sit there that long.foodforaking, via GuardianWitness

Makes 1 large bowl2 whole garlic bulbsOlive oilA handful of coriander, including stems1 red onion, chopped1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped400g tin of chopped tomatoes60g pickled jalapeno1 tsp black treacleJuice of ½ a lime

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Remove all of the flaky white skin from the garlic bulbs, then cut the top off each bulb, exposing a little of each clove.

2 Rub the bulbs in olive oil and wrap in foil or baking paper. Bake for about 35-40 minutes depending on size of bulb.

3 Remove the leaves from the coriander, chop and set aside. Finely Are All Prada Products Made In Italy chop the stems.

4 Fry the onion in a little oil for 5 minutes, then add the coriander stems Authentic Prada Handbags Uk and chilli and cook a further minute. Now add the tomatoes and 60ml water, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

5 Remove the garlic from oven and, when cool enough, squeeze the cloves out from the bulb and roughly chop along with the jalapeno.

6 Add the chopped garlic, jalapeno, treacle, half the coriander leaves and lime juice to the tomato sauce, season and cook on a low heat for a further 5 minutes.

7 Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining coriander leaves and allow to cool Black Prada Doctor Bag before serving.

Greek garlic sauce (skordalia with walnuts)

This dish is traditionally eaten on the Greek national holiday on 25 March, especially in Thrace. It’s very good with fish but it was made to accompany boiled beetroot salad or fried potatoes. You may cut the walnuts with leftover bread if you like, but you’ll need to soak the bread in milk first.gpapageo, via GuardianWitness

Makes 1 large bowl240g walnuts1 garlic bulb, peeled40ml olive Authentic Prada Milano Handbags oil, plus extra to finish3-4 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 There is a school that says that the walnuts need to be roasted before making this, so if you have the time, roast the walnuts at a low heat until they begin to brown; it’s essential not to burn them. If you can’t be bothered (I can’t) just use them as they are.

2 Whizz the garlic with some oil and vinegar in a food processor until it is very finely pulped and then add the walnuts, and bread if using.

3 Add more olive oil until it’s runny enough to fall off a spoon and season to taste.

Roasted garlic soup with chilli oil

Everydayveg’s delicious roasted garlic soup with chilli oil. Photograph: everydayveguk via GuardianWitness

The chilli oil drizzle cuts through this rich soup beautifully. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of garlic used here – the roasting process will lessen the flavour.everydayvegUK, via GuardianWitness

Serves 2For the soup3 large garlic bulbs 1 tbsp olive oil1 white or yellow onion, choppedA knob of butter1 medium potato, peeled and cubed500ml vegetable stock50ml single cream

For the chilli oil1 fresh red chilli2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Break apart the garlic bulbs, keeping the skin on; set aside any peeled cloves for other uses. Pop the rest in a greased ovenproof dish, cover and bake for 45–50 minutes, then leave to cool.

2 While the garlic is roasting, make the chilli oil. Dice the chilli, seeds and all, as small as you can, or whizz in a blender. Fry in a little oil for about 5 minutes, transfer to a bowl and, once cooled, add the rest of the extra virgin olive oil and leave to infuse.

3 Fry the onion in the butter in a medium saucepan until translucent. Squeeze the flesh out of the garlic cloves into the pan. Add the potato, along with the stock, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

4 Once the potatoes are soft, blend the soup until smooth before adding the cream and seasoning. Pour into bowls and drizzle the chilli oil on top before serving.

Felicity chopping away at garlic Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian

Roasted garlic and ricotta pizza

The garlic ricotta cream can be prepared ahead to make a light and refreshing dish for a quick supper or simple brunch. It also works well on puff pastry.TwinnyDip, via GuardianWitness

Makes 2 medium pizzas1 garlic bulb1 tsp olive oil200g ricotta1 tsp honey300g spinach60g pecorino, shaved2 medium pizza bases2 eggs (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Peel away the outer skin from the garlic bulb and cut off the top to Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada E Shop expose the top of the cloves. Place in a baking tin and drizzle with olive oil. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, checking occasionally that is isn’t burning. Once done, leave the oven on for the pizzas.

2 Once the garlic is cool enough, squeeze the cloves from their skins and mash with a fork. Mix with ricotta and honey and season well.

3 Meanwhile, blanch the spinach in lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool, then squeeze out as much water as possible and roughly chop.

4 Spread the garlic ricotta mixture evenly over the pizza bases, leaving about 1cm around the edges. Dot with teaspoonfuls of spinach, evenly spaced around the pizzas, followed by shaved pecorino. If you like, break an egg on to the middle of each pizza. Season to taste.

5 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling, and the crust is lightly golden.

Auntie Regina’s 12-hour garlic beef

Belleaukitchen sets aside a day or so for this sumptous 12-hour garlic beef. Photograph: belleaukitchen via GuardianWitness

During the second world war there was little if any meat to speak of, and where it was available it was usually the cheapest of cuts. This dish, which has been handed down through our family, must have taken its influences from both France and Poland, but I imagine the great amount of garlic was originally probably to mask the smell of the meat! Nothing was ever written down so don’t be slavish to my rules; relax into it all and enjoy the process.belleaukitchen, via GuardianWitness

Serves 6900g piece of beef brisket1 large garlic bulb (roughly 15 cloves), peeled and crushed2 tbsp flaked salt1 glass red wine (optional)

1 The evening before you want to eat, rub the beef with the crushed garlic and salt, cover with clingfilm and leave to marinade until the morning.

2 If you want to eat at 8pm then at 8am the next morning place the marinated Amazon Uk Prada Bags beef in a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, pour over the wine (this is not in the original recipe but I think much needed) place the lid on tightly (you can even use a little foil too if unsure) and place in an oven at 100C/200F/gas on the lowest setting for 12 hours.

3 After 11 hours your house should be filled the most incredible fug of garlic beef. Take the brisket out of the oven and set aside, still in the covered dish while you make your choice of side dishes. Place the beef on a wooden board, shred and serve.

Mum’s garlic and coriander prawns

This simple but stunning dish really reminds me of coastal home town of Mombasa, and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do! It’s always on the menu when I visit my parents. An ideal quick starter at a dinner party, the prawns also make great barbecue skewers.Zahra Saeed, Twitter: @misszahras

Serves 4 (as a starter)360g raw shelled prawns (or double if unshelled)

For the marinade25g butter10 garlic cloves, finely choppedJuice of 1 lime1 tsp chilli powder

For the sauce60g butterAround 30g coriander leaves, finely chopped2-3 green chillies, finely choppedJuice of 1 lime

1 To make the marinade, melt the butter in a pan or microwave, and add it to the finely chopped garlic, lime juice and chilli powder. Mix and season with a small pinch of salt. Add the prawns, stir well to coat and leave for 30-60 minutes.

2 When it’s time to cook, prepare the sauce by melting the remaining butter, and adding the coriander, chillies and lime juice. Mix and Authentic Prada Handbag Uk season to taste.

3 Get a griddle pan very hot and throw on the prawns. They should take no more than 2 minutes to curl up and turn a coral pink. As soon as they do, take them off the heat and pop them in the serving dish. Drizzle over the sauce and serve immediately.

Send us your spiciest curry recipes…

…and be in with a chance of becoming Guardian home cook of the year.

Recipes will appear on Saturday 12 April.

Email your recipe suggestions to recipes@theguardian.com or upload your recipes and images to theguardian.com/witness by noon on Wednesday 2 April.

Please include your name, address and phone number (conditions apply)

What cities are on-line buyers looking at in the Homes.com site?

In the world of  websites that offer the general public access to search for homes in all parts of the world, there are 3 that capture most of that market………Trulia…Zillow…and Homes.com.

Periodically these 3  report activity levels within their site and publish various and interesting results. If you have the time go to Homes.com and read the entire article…”Top 100 Cities….State of the Housing Market Report.” If you do not have the time go there to read the entire article I want to recap for you…….Its great news for our area.

The most searched  cities in America on the homes.com site are: …continue

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Manchester City’s Samir Nasri relishes near perfect debut against Tottenham

So, Samir Nasri, do you think you might have done the right thing in joining Manchester City? As debuts went, this was about as perfect as Are Prada Handbags Cheaper In Italy it could have got, right down to the detail of Authentic Prada Handbags Canada this dramatic statement of intent coming in north London, where the Frenchman is now disliked on both sides of the divide.

City’s latest signing from crisis‑torn Arsenal considered the point as he presented the man-of-the-match champagne to the unstoppable Edin Dzeko, with whom he had linked to devastating effect. Yet his thoughts were fixed on exciting times ahead.

“Boring, boring City” sang the travelling hordes, their tongues pressed firmly in their cheeks. It is now 12 goals in three Premier League matches and nine points from nine. “I am convinced we can Authentic Prada Handbags Online Australia win things,” Nasri said. Nobody could disagree.

The principal sub-plot of what had been billed as a finely balanced early‑season encounter but ended up bringing angst and recrimination to Tottenham Hotspur was the tale of two unsettled Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Messenger Bag midfielders. While Nasri managed to force through his protracted £24m transfer and his football consequently basked in a sense of liberation, Luka Modric has so far had no such luck.

The Croat remains desperate to join Chelsea but his ambitions have cast dark clouds over Tottenham’s summer. Harry Redknapp revealed that Modric, who Authentic Prada Bags Online Singapore had missed the club’s opening matches of the season because “his head hasn’t been right”, came in to see him two hours before kick-off to tell him he did not want to play.

The manager told him that he had to start, yet there was no mistaking his frustrations. Authentic Prada Messenger Bag For Sale Nor those of Modric who, after a bright opening, faded badly, rather like his team. The crowd had bellowed their encouragement to him – they are practically begging him to stay – and when he was substituted they booed the decision. Modric, though, somewhat sheepishly, Black Leather Prada Milano Purse kept his head down as he walked to the bench.

“Luka’s head’s not right again today,” Redknapp said. “He came to see me, at probably 11.30am, and he told me that he didn’t feel his head was right. I told him he needed to play. His head’s been turned. It’s probably been turned again last night. We all know what goes on in australia prada the game.

“Something happened last night, I don’t know what. He was OK to play yesterday morning. While he still sees a chink of light to go to Chelsea, he’s probably doing what he’s been told is the best idea to get to Chelsea. It’s part Best Prada Outlet Italy of football, whether it’s agents talking to him. He’s getting advised maybe not to play today. We’ve seen it before.”

Chelsea were reported to have made a £40m bid on Saturday night, their third offer of the summer, but Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, is adamant that Modric will stay. Redknapp is confident of completing the signing of Scott Parker from West Ham United while he has a serious interest in Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy, Real Madrid’s Lassana Diarra and Bolton Wanderers’ Gary Cahill. Wilson Palacios has undergone a medical at Stoke City ahead of his proposed transfer there, while Peter Crouch has also been heavily linked to the Potteries club.

“We’ve had a terrible pre-season,” Redknapp said. “There’s been a feeling round the place … for me, it’s not Amazon Uk Prada Shoes been right. People going, people wanting to go … Crouchie to Stoke in the papers every day and we have to play him. No one’s ever told me that he’s going to Stoke. It’s all been a bit unsettling. The place needs a lift and I’ve told that to the chairman.”

The contrast to what Nasri can now enjoy at City is startling. He had trainedonly three times with his new team‑mates after his arrival last week but, surrounded by high quality and unstinting endeavour, he found it straightforward to settle.

Nasri was involved in the creation of 11 chances in total but it was his crosses for the first two goals that made the most telling mark. He drifted dangerously Baby Prada Shoes Uk from his starting position on the left, his passing was intelligent and his touch and flicks were sometimes breathtaking.

Unsurprisingly Modric appeared to look on with no little envy.