Monday, April 02, 2007

drug and alcohol treatment

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“If you know someone addicted to alcohol and any other drug getting informed and involved maybe that persons only hope of a positive outcome of the addiction. Addiction usually ends in one of three ways treatment, jail, or death.” Stone Hawk Website

Located in Battle Creek Michigan (just east of Chicago), Stone Hawk heals addicts through its education and cleansing approach to drug and alcohol treatment. The program works to achieve permanent drug free living for its participants, with a success rate near 80%. The successful results of the program can be attributed to its healing and education of patients. Stone Hawk’s life skills and after treatment programs add an additional component that yield results.

alcoholism treatment

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Real Estate & the Economy

Business Week televised a couple of good items about the real estate industry as a whole yesterday. Their video can be seen here: I've pulled information from other current videos as well.

Some of the bullet points I thought were important are:

Buyers still have an edge in real estate.
Seller's are becoming more flexible and responsive to buyers' terms. It was specifically pointed out that buyer's who low-balling the selling price won't produce the desired result and indicated that 10% below asking was a reasonable price reduction to request.

Seller's can increase their returns by upgrading with environmentally friendly improvements. Shown by the trend in eco-friendly home buyers.
Sellers were directed to post at least 6 high-quality photos (recommended by because 80% of home buyer's check out listings online before touring in person.

Buyer's too have some work to do like; giving a boost to their credit score, and finding the best deal (budget friendly) on a mortgage.

Mike Mandel, Business Week Economist, talked about the economy as a whole & the real estate market's effect on it. He says there are factors other than the mortgage market that consumers should be keeping an eye on.
Mike pointed out that 30 year fixed rates are actually lower than they were a year ago and that borrower's who have an adjustable rate mortgage, and decent credit will have little trouble re-financing into a fixed rate and will be "sitting pretty".

As a whole the mortgage market is doing just fine, though the sub-prime market is in a bit of trouble. The market will no doubt affect the economy but won't cause a recession according to Mandel. One of the more important aspects to watch closely is business investment which he says have slowed and is at very low levels.

Also the increase in foreclosure activity was localized to areas that didn't have strong real estate markets in the first place.