Interest Rate update:
Rates hit record lows yet again the first of May but backed off slightly on Friday May 3rd. With home values rising rather rapidly this year, many people are now able to refinance who were prohibited in the past -- due to their home value; and many on FHA loans with Mortgage Insurance are now able to refinance into a conventional loan without MI.
On the home sale and purchase front, recent reports suggest that reluctant sellers may start coming off the sidelines now that prices have risen. It’s still a seller’s market, but with more inventory coming on the market, it is still a great time to buy…but you MUST be pre-approved before getting out to look. Many programs have loosened guidelines, but it still takes a mountain of paperwork to obtain loan approval.
TRAVEL AND FAMILY NEWS
Turks and Caicos
Steve and I took a vacation to Grand Turk in March. We stayed at the Bohio Dive Resort and had a fabulous time. We did two morning dives every day, and the diving was equal to the best we’ve had. Afternoons were spent reading, painting (in Steve’s case) and generally just relaxing. The food was spectacular, and we met some really fun people staying at the resort. Dive resorts don’t fit the typical “resort” profile but this one came pretty darn close…great service, inventive cocktails, and wonderful food. www.bohioresort.com They had live entertainment three nights we were there and it was definitely the “happening” place on the island.
Diving: Lots of turtles, nurse sharks and various other Caribbean tropical fish...there was always a lot to see. On our last day we chased a whale in our dive boat, and jumped into the water with him briefly, until he swam away. Spectacular! The island is tiny, and although there is a sizable native population, there is nothing to do or see, other than under the water. The end!
I’ve had a couple of visits to Palm Springs this spring, both around birthday celebrations. The first in early March was a quick weekend jaunt. Dinner at the Steakhouse at the Spa Resort Casino was the highlight ….other than my company, Susan Green. We met with some of her extended family (Italians!) and they call Palm Springs their second home. What can I say? We danced and visited with my son Kenny who is home FOR GOOD from Europe. Thank Goodness!
I also visited Palm Springs with a girl’s group in April. We rented a home in the “Movie Colony” that was spectacular, and had dinner at the Workshop—pretty groovy—and Melvyn’s, an old Palm Springs tradition. Dinner at Melvyn’s was an elegant affaire, just like the old days. The piano bar there is a crack-up. www.Inglesideinn.com
Here is the link for the Workshop: http://workshoppalmsprings.com
Our last evening we ate early at Lulu’s and watched the PS Follies’ which was a pretty extraordinary event. I mean these really old chicks—in their late 50’s 60’s and 70’s—are the showgirls, and they really look and act the part. They are amazing looking! Just to be clear here I AM in that age group, but these showgirls put me to shame. Plastic surgery is very fashionable in the desert areas. (!)
Whatever you do, if you attend, don’t sit in the front row as the MC likes to pick on people sitting there. WATCH OUT! He’s pretty funny but a bit caustic.
I always enjoy my visits to Dallas. This was my last visit to Steve’s loft in The Beat Lofts on Southside Dallas since he’s moved into the building where he is selling…Museum Tower. We did a lot of shopping for furniture for the new place. It was a bit painful (Chinese water torture?) since he takes a long time to decide, and I’m a finger-snapper. Oh well, it was fun anyway. I am very excited to visit him next time in the Tower since the pool level is sooo cool… I’d be willing to camp out on the lawn there. Of course, they wouldn’t allow it, but it would be fun!
This is a picture of me with two models--painted like statues--for a fundraising event held at the Tower:
The views from the Tower are amazing, and it is right next to the new downtown park named the Klyde Warren Park where they hold daily classes like Yoga, Zumba, and have all kinds of activities including weekend concerts, etc. A real people meeting place in a downtown area.
There are many restaurants within walking distance, not to mention the museums and theatres. This visit we enjoyed meals at Stephan Pyles, Stampede 66 www.stampede66.com and the Village Marquee Grill and Bar http://marqueegrill.com in Highland Park. We were pretty cool. haha I must say that Dallas has more great restaurants than anywhere I’ve ever been, save San Francisco and New York City.
My favorite evening included cocktails at the NYLO Rooftop Bar www.nylohotels.com, and nightcaps at Cedars Social. www.thecedarssocial.com Just real people go there! Always fun! Their champagne/vodka cocktail is the Best.
Lest you think I am vacating when in Dallas, think again. I have a work station in Steve’s office so I am completely functional with my computer, and their scanner/printer, etc. I am doing mortgage business while they are selling homes. I can’t lend in Texas unfortunately, since I am not licensed in Texas. Most of the buyers are all-cash buyers, or have their own bank loans.
My prodigal son has returned to the USA for good...and is seeking employment. While completing his portfiolo and resume, he's taken some time off to climb in Joshua Tree. He completed a first ascent of a new route there. This is a photo of him in Yosemite and is almost as scary as the Joshua route photos...which I can't seem to upload here. Ready, GULP!
Last, but Not Least
My baby grandson Theo is growing by leaps and bounds, and I need to visit more often. Last time I was with him was in February. He’s already almost five months old and a real looker. Here he is:
Best wishes to all!