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Recipe: Carrot Soup with Crystalized Ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup roughly chopped crystallized ginger, plus a few pieces for garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, ginger and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, water and thyme. Simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove thyme sprigs and process soup in a blender or with a stick blender. Return to pot then add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of chopped crystallized ginger.
This month, some famous quotes on the topic of the family:
Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.
Michael J. Fox
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Some of the most important conversations I’ve ever had occurred at my family’s dinner table.
People are pretty forgiving when it comes to other people’s families. The only family that ever horrifies you is your own.
Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.
If you are looking for an excellent property that offers exceptional financing terms, you may want to look into the HomeSteps programs.
Homes purchased through this program have been taken back in the foreclosure process by Freddie Mac. The financing package, available in many states, includes a low down payment, usually 5%, and no mortgage insurance. The fact there is no mortgage insurance can save you thousands of dollars in premiums.
Financing: Financing is similar to the process you would go through in the regular mortgage process. However, the process may take somewhat longer. If you are planning to purchase a HomeSteps property, you need to demonstrate proof of qualification, which your lender will provide. You also need your own real estate agent, as well as an experienced real estate attorney.
Well-cared-for homes: As you won’t be required to get an appraisal, you can also save money. However, you should ask your agent if you have the option of a home inspection; as with any property you purchase, it’s always good to know what you’re getting in to. That said, Freddie properties are generally very well-cared-for and often move-in ready; Freddie even hires outside services, including landscaping, to maintain properties’ curb appeal.
One word of caution, Fannie Mae’s HomePath program, which was similar to HomeSteps, was discontinued on October 6, 2014, as Fannie felt special incentives were no longer needed. If you are interested in HomeSteps, consult your mortgage professional to ensure the program is still in effect.
You Can Stop Time From Flying By…
When we were kids, time seemed to crawl. The months between seasons, holidays, and birthdays just dragged and dragged. But in adulthood, time seems to fly by. And apparently, it’s not just our imagination.
One of the explanations for “time flying” is Habituation Hypothesis – a psychologists’ term that explains the differentiating details we don’t tend to notice when we go about our lives on autopilot. According to psychologists, we tend to notice fewer and fewer of the details that make each day unique; time seems to pass more quickly. Children, however, are always having new experiences and so notice more.
Dopamine may also affect how we experience time. According to an article in the New York Times, the neurotransmitter, when stimulated by ADHD drugs such as Ritalin, increases its function in the brain and seems to speed up the perception of time. Those drugs that block dopamine receptors slow the perception of time.
As for you…if you want to stop time from flying, skip the drugs and start noticing those details that make your day special.
Take a New Look at Love This Valentine’s Day
April is supposed to be the cruelest month, as penned by poet T.S. Eliot in “The Waste Land.”
Maybe so, but many of us would nominate February for the cruelest month title, both for its calendar position (just after New Year’s) and its weather (gray and cold). But February has an ace in the hole: Valentine’s Day.
What could be warmer, brighter and, well, lovelier, than a day devoted to love? But is it always about Eros – romantic love – as we tend to define it now?
Maybe the ancient Greeks had something when they used four – not one – words to connote different types of love: Eros, of course; agape, which is a deeper, selfless type of love; philia, meaning friendship; and storge, the affection parents have for their children.
These days we tend to get caught up in the trappings of Valentine’s Day – shopping for gifts, planning date nights, and buying chocolate everything. Why not look beyond the traditional and consider those other kinds of love?
For example: Make a point of telling your friends how much they mean to you. Or try agape and make a charitable contribution in the name of love to people in need. You frequently tell your kids and spouse how much you love them (if not, you should), but storge can also mean telling your parents how much you love them.
Valentine’s Day can be special, not just another buying opportunity. This year, why not make like the ancient Greeks and spread your love around?
Must I go Through the Appraisal Process?
Yes, you must. Whenever money is loaned against a property, the lender will want to ensure the property is actually worth what you are paying for it.
This is so that if you were to default on the mortgage, they would have a reasonable idea of what they could expect to get for it if they had to sell it. They use an appraisal to determine the value.
An appraisal is ordered after a contract is signed and accepted on a property, and you – the buyer – will pay for it upfront.
Your lender will use their appraisal management company (AMC) to perform the appraisal. A federal law prohibits lenders and appraisers from having direct contact with one another, so the AMC will assign a specific appraiser to perform the work.
The appraisal itself is completed in two parts. The first part is done online by pulling data for similar properties that have sold recently in the same area – these are called comparables, or comps. The data from comps is compared to the information on your property, called the subject property.
Because no two homes are exactly the same, information from the comps is adjusted to fit the subject property. Details that may need to be adjusted include number of bedrooms, number of baths, lot size, etc.
The second part of the appraisal is a physical inspection of the property. In this part, the appraiser must establish whether the subject property is in the kind of condition that the lender expects it to be in.
Once this has been done, the appraiser writes up the report and sends it to the lender. Regardless of whether you purchase the property in the end, the buyer has the right to obtain a copy of the appraisal, as you paid for it.
If you need additional information on the appraisal process, contact your mortgage professional.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale….
Mitch White Insurance Agency, Inc. Provides Auto, Homeowners, Business, Professional Liability, Life/Health, and Employee Benefits to All of California, Including Petaluma, Novato, Penngrove, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa, and Healdsburg.