RATES...FIRST AND FOREMOST
Interest rates have moved off their record lows of the summer (and ever, for that matter) and are hovering slightly higher after news of stabilizing events in the EU as well as improved economic indicators here in the US.
Rates are subsequently up around .25% which brings them back to the levels of late June. I will not predict whether they will rise or fall in the near future since I, along with almost everyone else, thought we’d seen the bottom much earlier this year.
As I am fond of telling my clients, I threw away my crystal ball some time ago….there are just too many factors affecting rates today in our global economy.
Home values appear to be rising slightly in some markets, and there is no clear indication of the legendary “shadow inventory” of properties either owned by banks or not yet foreclosed…so your guess is as good as mine on the future of home prices!
VACATIONS AND FUN STUFF
In mid-June –Fathers’ Day weekend-- we went to our favorite camping spot on the bluff over the ocean in El Capitan where Steve painted some nice landscapes while I read. We kayaked in the ocean (alas no dolphin sightings except from shore) and took some bike rides.
One day we drove from our campsite, where it was at around 60 degrees, inland to the Los Padres National Forest (on the way to the San Ynez Valley) for a bike ride. When we arrived there, the temp was almost 100. No kidding! To cool off we went swimming in the river which was a hoot (yes we brought our swimsuits!)
Favorite eats were lunch at Brophy Brothers, dinner at Beachside Bar & Café in Goleta and Holdren’s Steakhouse.
Next up – In early July we drove to Napa Valley for some wine tasting and to visit close friends who live in Calistoga. We were accompanied by my daughter Katie and her boyfriend Paul, who had both flown out from Ann Arbor.
Favorite wineries were Rombauer, Frank Family, Clos Pegase and Cuvaison. We had a wonderful dinner out on our last night with our friends (including a local chef, and a winemaker) at the SolBar in the Solage resort.
Amazing food, accompanied by special bottles we brought in, plus a magnum of Zinfandel. I’ve become a Zin lover since I first tasted the Rombauer Zins. WOW! We partied on the 4th at our friends’ home… with an expansive view of the Valley from the hill above Calistoga, where we watched the fireworks at the State Fairgrounds below us. All in all a great time!
On the 6th we drove through San Francisco down to Carmel for a wedding. We had the great fortune to stay at the Mission Ranch in Carmel overlooking a vast meadow and Carmel Bay. http://www.missionranchcarmel.com/ The wedding party had booked about half the rooms at the Ranch where the rehearsal dinner was held, and I had the honor of creating the playlist and “dj-ing” the event. It was a blast and I’ve found my next calling for the future, after I become a professional dancer/Zumba instructor! HA!
The morning of the wedding Steve, Katie, Paul and I rode our bikes from our hotel through Carmel to 17 mile drive. It was beautiful and might I say somewhat strenuous (I’d forgotten how many hills there are). We returned just in time to grab a bite at the Rio Grill. http://www.riogrill.com I was super impressed with the menu and beer and wine list, and wished we’d had more time but we had to do a quick change to make it to the wedding, which was a full mass at the Mission Basilica. The artwork inside was impressive…and OLD! The wedding was awesome…afterwards we had a great party in Carmel Valley.
The next day, while in recovery, we rested and took a walk down to the beach below us. For dinner Steve and I browsed around Carmel Village and found ourselves at a restaurant named Grasings which was absolutely the best food we’d had in days (hmmm since the SolBar?) I highly recommend dining there next time you are in Carmel. http://www.grasings.com/ The bartender entertained us with stories of deep sea fishing and free diving off the Santa Cruz, Monterey and Marin Coasts. Fun and fabulous food!
Katie and Paul flew home Sunday, we drove home the following day, and I found I’d gained five pounds which I have had to work very hard to take off. AHHHHH! The joys of aging!
FINALLY Steve and I took his boys to Mammoth for a family vacation in August for a week where we stayed in a condo at Snow Creek. It was very lovely, beautiful views, wonderful warm weather, great biking, hiking and fishing. We ate our own freshly caught trout (from June Lake) and were skunked at both Lake Mary and Lake George. The hike up above Lake George to Crystal Lake offered wonderful views of the valley down past Mammoth to the Owens River Gorge.
One day we rented a pontoon boat on June Lake and lazed around, swimming, fishing and just chatting. These pontoon boats have apparently become very popular in the mountain lakes as well as SUP’s (Stand Up Paddle boards for the uninitiated.)
Home at last….until the next trip. I hope your summer has been an enjoyable and eventful as mine! Please call me if I can help out with your home financing needs.