November Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope all is well with you and your family. I would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to take the time to reflect on all those things you have in your life to be thankful about.

Here is an opportunity for you to share in the season. A friend of ours at Branham High school organizes and puts on a prom for the Special Education classes. This has become a major event for special ed. high school students in the San Jose area. Their goal is to minimize the cost to the families and yet provide a full dinner, music, favors, and pictures. You can help by sending a check made out to Branham HS, put in the memo area “BHS SpEd prom” and mail it to Branham High school at 1570 Branham Ln. San Jose 95118 attention. Ms. Hernandez. And it’s tax deductible. Please consider helping.

I hope you’re enjoying the cool crisp mornings of Fall, I certainly do. I enjoy tossing on the old dirty/musty heavy coat first thing in the morning when I go out to let the chickens out, feed the horses, clean the pasture and feed the dog (my morning routine). I think the peace of the mornings make it such a nice time. Of course that all changes when it rains, then I’m not such a happy camper.

Most of us have seen the commercials “what’s in your wallet” advertising a particular brand of credit cards. After reading credit reports for over 10 years I can tell you that all credit cards are not created equal. Sure everyone looks at fees and interest rates, and that makes a lot of sense. But something that’s probably as important is how the creditor report late payments. The major banks tend to give you a few days grace, particularly if you realize your mistake the next month and give them a call, but some creditors will file with the credit bureaus almost immediately that you have a late payment. This practice can really hurt your credit scores. There is one major creditor who has many many commercials on TV that is notorious for immediate reporting.
Polish Rooster bobble head

We lost another laying hen this last month. It happened one morning when I went out to the chicken run and heard a nice “cock a doodle do”. Seems our polish hen is a rooster. So far he is a nice little guy so we will keep him and see how it works out. His name is Bobblehead.


Occasionally I come across a math question that makes me think a bit and wonder how the “new math” being taught to my grand kids would approach the problem, here is one I found this morning;

Nick and Dave are rewiring a very large house. Nick is a master electrician and can sometimes work alone. Dave is the assistant and only works in a team. Nick makes $150 per day (non-NYC rates, obviously) while Dave makes $30 less. When they finished the job, the total labor cost was $2,190. How many days did each work? (No fractional days.)

Drop me an email with your answer. I don’t like my algebra….but I figured it out.

Here is some local real estate information. Interesting that Gilroy saw a significant drop in median price and $/sq. ft. about a 4% drop. Will have to watch that.


Median List prices by local city for Nov. 17th, 2014

  • San Jose, median list price $649,000 median size 1,475 sqft, $425/sqft
  • Morgan Hill, median price $878,000 median size 2,470 sqft, $346/sqft
  • Gilroy, median price $729,000 median size 2,300 sqft, $300/sqft
  • Hollister, median price $524,900 median size 2,200 sqft, $248/sqft.

This includes condo’s and single family homes. Data pulled from



Mortgage interest rates are about flat from a month ago and sitting near the 52 week lows per pls note most of these rates shown are with borrower paying an typically 1.0 point in fees.



Product Today 1 yr Low  1 yr. High
30 Yr FRM 3.99  3.90  4.66
15 Yr FRM 3.19  3.10  3.68
FHA 30 Year Fixed 3.50  3.40  4.25
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.84  3.85  4.60
5/1 Yr ARM 3.23  3.17  3.28
Updated: 11/17/14 3:01pm