Clark Howard Show Notes – November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! There’s a lot of news to cover on the show today. Here’s a rundown of what we’re talking about:

Ilyce’s Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

If you’re looking for my Turkey Recipe, here it is!

Consumer Spending Rose in October

According to the Commerce Department, U.S. consumer spending rose in October following September’s sharp fall that came after the government’s cash-for-clunkers program ended. Real (inflation-adjusted) consumer spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in October after a 0.7% drop in September. Real disposable incomes rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in October. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected normal spending to rise less than that. With spending rising faster than income, the personal savings rate fell to 4.4% from 4.6% in October.

There was an unexpected decline for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods, indicating recovery from the recent recession would be slow.

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall Slightly

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits slid to 466,000 last week from 501,000 the prior week in the fourth straight week of declines. The figure was well below the expected 500,000 initial claims. Continuing claims was down slightly as well. But, the point is that the U.S. still isn’t creating new jobs. We’re still losing jobs – plenty of them.

New Home Sales Rise

The Commerce Department reported that sales of newly-built U.S. single-family homes jumped 6.2% in October to a one-year high. Sales of new homes rose to a 430,000 unit annual pace last month, from 405,000 units in September. That beat expectations of 410,000 units. The rise in sales pushed the supply of new homes on the market last month to 239,00 units, the lowest since May 1971.

Mortgage Rates Match 50-year Low This Week

If you chose this week to refinance, you chose wisely. Mortgage rates in the U.S. matched a 50-year low set last April. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 4.78% from 4.83% last week. The average 15-year rate was 4.29%, the lowest since mortgage interest rates have been tracked.

The Federal Reserve program to buy $1.25 trillion in housing-backed securities ends after 1Q2010, and interest rates are widely expected to jump as high as one percent.

Black Friday: Deals of the Day

We’ll talk about Wal-Mart and some of the other retailers that are providing you with great Black Friday deals on the day after Thanksgiving. There are some retailers that are open on Thanksgiving as well. You shouldn’t spend money you don’t have, but retailers are desperate and consumers are anxious and that can make for a bunch of fine sales. Email me your best deals of the day and tune in Friday for our annual Day After Thanksgiving “Deals of the Day” show.

New ThinkGlink Ebooks About Investing in Real Estate Are Now Available

We created five new ebooks that together provide you with more than 100 pages of important, money-saving information about investing successful in real estate. here are the five topics:

  1. 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges. Everything you need to know about 1031 Exchanges (also known as Starker Trusts) and how to use them to defer capital gains and recapture taxes.
  2. LLCs, Corporations, And Other Ways Of Holding Title To Real Estate. The time to start thinking about you’re going to hold title is BEFORE you buy an investment property. This ebook walks you through the different ownership options and what you need to know.
  3. How to Profit From Foreclosures: 9 Top Tips From Investors. Avoid the most common and most devastating mistakes real estate investors make by reading this ebook.
  4. Finding Great Tenants And Profitably Managing Real Estate Investments. If you don’t have good tenants, you’ll wind up with losing money with your real estate investment – or perhaps destroying your credit. This ebook tells you how to find great tenants, how to price your unit to rent, and how to manage your property effectively and efficiently.
  5. The Successful Real Estate Investors Guide: Top Tax Tips. Investing successfully means you’ve got to keep your expenses low. That means, watch what you pay in taxes. This book walks you through the major tax areas you’ll encounter with real estate investing.

We also have FREE BOOKS and other ebooks in the ThinkGlink.com store.

Order Your ThinkGlink Ebook or Free Book Today!

Buy 3 Ebooks and Get 1 Free Ebook DEAL!

If you select 3 ebooks from our store and enter the discount code “freeebook” (no quotes), you’ll get one of those ebooks for free. It works with all of our ebooks. Just use the code to get the discount. It will show up when you check out of the ThinkGlink store.

ExpertRealEstateTips.Net

We had a call today from someone who wants to buy a foreclosure, but is concerned about buying a property in “as is” condition. While only a professional home inspector or a good contractor can tell you exactly what is wrong with a property, you can train yourself to look for red flags along the way.

On my ExpertRealEstateTips.Net website, you can find ALL of my videos by category. Just look on the left navigation bar to find Inspections, and then click through to see all of my home inspection videos. You’ll watch a professional home inspection walk you through various parts of the house.

On ThinkGlink.com, we also have our Home Inspection topic page, where you can start your search for some great advice on home inspection and inspecting your future home purchase.

Ebates.com and BlastoffNetwork.com Rebate Shopping Sites

So, I clearly don’t do a lot of online shopping. Wanda called in asking if I had heard about BlastoffNetwork.com. A friend of hers was pushing her to sign up for it. Apparently, you earn rebates if you shop online through the site. It looked like a good, legitimate website, but I hadn’t heard of it and it wasn’t listed on ClarkHoward.com.

I put it out to our WSB listeners. If anyone has signed up for BlastoffNetwork.com. Instead, we got a few calls about Ebates.com. Lynn said Ebates.com runs on the same premise. She’s been a member for 3 years and has received $350 in rebates. Paul said he had been a member from Ebates.com for 4 years and had earned $450 in rebates. He said these sites work on affiliate relationship, where they get a percentage from the retailer for steering buyers their way. They apparently split this affiliate cash with the buyer – or, perhaps make some money on the float, Paul suggested. They make money by signing up friends as well.

I still haven’t heard from anyone about BlastoffNetwork.com. If you use them, or another similar site, please leave a comment.

UPDATE: BlastoffNetwork.com has just followed me on Twitter. @blastoffnetwork

UPDATE #2: BlastoffNetwork.com just tweeted to me that they have been live only for 6 weeks and they already have 290,000 members.

Calls Today on the Clark Howard Show:

Tim wanted to know about the home buyer tax credit.

Wanda wanted to know if Black Friday is really the best time to buy a television. She knows what she wants. I told her that if she sees what she wants at the price she’s willing to pay, then go for it. But, I think we’ll see a lot of deals after January 1 – when retailers try to cure their holiday headaches.

Todd went to Costa Rica and got charged as a cash advance instead of a regular charge.

Mary Her brother-in-law died and his house is about to be foreclosed on. She needs to get an extension so that she stops the foreclosure.

Eddie wanted to know if he should settle with his credit card company. He’s 6 months late and they’re about to charge off. They’ve offered him 35% on the dollar. I said YES, settle, but get it in writing and make sure the letter says “paid in full” or “paid as agreed.”

Mike wants to know where subcontractors and 1099 fit into the unemployment picture.

Joyce wanted to know if I think the Amazon Kindle is a good gift for her husband. I like the Kindle (more than I thought I would) and think that these devices are going to get really amazing over the next few years.

Alan wanted to know how to find customers for his new business that clean out and fixes up foreclosure homes. I suggested he contact the local chamber of commerce and start to meet local members.

Joanne called back to tell me that two years ago she called and I told her she couldn’t afford the house she wanted to buy. I was absolutely right, she said. Now she’s buying twice the house for half the price AND she’ll qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit! She is VERY excited. Me, too. I love stories like this.

Stan’s son is trying to buy a foreclosure in California. The lender wants the son to indemnify the lender with regard to HOA fees and possible leases. I think this is bunk! The buyer should be asking the buyer for these indemnifications. Not the other way around. I don’t know why a buyer would want to take this risk.

I’ll be back on Friday for our annual WSB “Deals of the Deal.” Be sure to tune in at 1pm ET.


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