Thursday, December 30, 2010

Removing Driveway Stains

Driveway stains such as oil, for instance, can be a real eye sore. Not to mention the annoying threatening letters most of us get from our associations to remove them. If you have pavers, as a lot of us down in Florida do, this can be a problem because they are expensive to replace and almost impossible to replace. If you have concrete, then it really stands out.

I have found a solution and it actually works. The key is to try and catch it as soon as possible instead of letting it fester and to apply the right amount of ingredients to the formula I am about to give you.

First, puchase a bottle of TSP liquid from your local hardware store or Wal-Mart and a carton of talc. Mix the two together in a bucket, but be careful not to use too much TSP because you want to mix it into a paste and not have it come out too watery. Then apply directly the stain and let it dry. Afterwards, simply scrape off and sweep away.

Mortgage Rates Rising in Sluggish Market

"Mortgage rates for U.S. loans climbed to a seven-month high, increasing borrowing costs for homebuyers in a sluggish real estate market.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.86 percent in the week ended today from 4.81 percent, Freddie Mac said in a statement. The average 15-year rate advanced to 4.2 percent from 4.17 percent, the mortgage-finance company said.
Rising home loan rates may limit homebuyer demand as housing remains a weak link for the economy. Home prices in October fell 0.8 percent from a year earlier, the largest year- over-year decline since December 2009, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values showed this week.
“Optimism is fading from the housing market,” Robert Shiller, an economics professor at Yale University and co- creator of the index, said on Bloomberg Television on Dec. 28.
Sales of new and existing homes rose less than economists estimated in November even as mortgage rates sank to the lowest levels on record, reports from the Commerce Department and the National Association of Realtors showed last week.
Pending home sales climbed more than forecast in November, a sign demand is recovering following a post-tax credit plunge, according to a report from the Realtors group today. The data are based on contract signings, while existing-home sales represent closings.
The rate for a 30-year loan has climbed for six of the past seven weeks amid speculation that President Barack Obama’s agreement to a two-year tax cut extension will boost economic growth and inflation. The rise pushed the monthly cost of a $300,000 loan to $1,585 from $1,462.
Borrowing costs are still near historic lows. The 30-year fixed rate averaged about 4.7 percent in 2010, the lowest on an annual basis since 1955, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement today."
To contact the reporter on this story: Prashant Gopal in New York at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Giving Back To The Troops

I recently found a fantastic way of giving back to our troops overseas. And the best part is that it doesn't cost anyone a thing. General Motors is sponsoring a program where you can donate your used cell phone in exchange for a soldier receiving a free 60 minute calling card. Go to the following website and print out a free postage page label to send. I am sure they will appreciate it, especially now. Besides, it's the right thing to do.