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October 2008

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: September 29, 2008

Remember I told you to sit tight on that mortgage rate lock until after the Bailout Bill was passed?

Well, it failed.

Los Angeles mortgage rates are a little better than they were this morning. This morning a 30-year fixed par rate was at 6.0%; right now, this afternoon, it was at 5.875%.  If you’re closing on your home loan in 30 days , there is more risk that you’ll get a rate over 6% than under 6%.  Lock your mortgage rate if you’re closing in October.

If you have time, wait it out.  The bailout bill failed but it isn’t dead.  If the bailout bill DOES ultimately fail, Los Angeles mortgage rates will skyrocket, housing prices will tank, and you’ll probably renegotiate or cancel that home purchase.

When the bailout goes through (and the whining on Wall Street will be so loud that it WILL go through), Los Angeles mortgage rates will come back down.

PS:  If you’re a baby boomer, this is your worst nightmare. Most of the people over 55 have most of their retirement assets in the stock market, through mutual funds in their 401-k plan.  If you’re a real estate investor or buyer, this might be really good news.

PPS: Did you know that Main Street already got bailed out? I’ll talk about that next time.

Eagle Rock Music Festival This Saturday October 4

Save the date!  The Tenth Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival is almost here! The yearly FREE music festival with a unique and independent community vibe, to take place on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock, on Saturday, October 4, 2008, from 5p.m.-Midnight.

Highlights include:

- Abe Vigoda, Crystal Antlers, Earlimart, Mika Miko, Princeton, Pizza!, Gangi, the Evangenitals and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (a project of IMA Robot's Alex Ebert) on the outdoor Emerging Stage, showcasing artists from the diverse variety of independent music scenes in and around LA's Eastside.

- A Global stage curated by Los Angeles-based collective Dublab Soundsystem, bringing soulful, global roots music ranging from jazz fusion with Build an Ark, Afro-beat inspired dance jams from Fool's Gold, acclaimed local favorites Very Be Careful and their unique takes on 50s-60s Columbian vallenato cumbias, and Domingo Siete (Son Montuno, Colombian Cumbia, Mexican Norteño and Bolero)

- A stage created by KPFK Divine Forces Radio DJ Fidel Rodriguez, featuring DJs, Filipino MC Bambu, genre-fusing Latin songstress Cava, and Pachamama (Estela)

- Neo-classical Indian world jazz by Arohi Ensemble, featuring Highland Park resident Paul Livingstone and virtuoso Indian guest musicians from Calcutta on sitar, sarod, and tabla (appearing courtesy of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Recording Industries' Music Performance Fund through the assistance of Professional Musicians Union Local 47)

- A stage presented by Eagle Rock-based recording studios The Ship Studios, Kingsize Soundlabs, and the Eagle Rock Bowling and Drinking Club featuring The Parson Red Heads, Radar Bros., The Flying Tourbillion Orchestra, Landy with The Black Pine, and Amnion; plus Light F.M., Le Switch, Divisadero, Pierre de Reeder, and Human Value at American Tire Depot

- A Kids' Stage featuring interactive sound exploration for kids with GLANK and Open Gate Theatre, and CA Combo, plus Ellen and Matt, face painting, hoop dancing,  and more

- Amplified instrumental music and quieter folk at the American Legion Hall featuring Upsilon Acrux, Emily Wells, Emily Lacy, The Cobra Lilies, The Antarticans and experimental improv with Jesske Hume/Joe Berardi (of Non Credo) plus more at Swork with One Trick Pony

- Award-winning spirituals with Forever Dedicated Gospel Group performing at the historic 1924 Spanish Colonial Revival Church of Christ

- Xicano progressive fusion with Aztlan Underground, plus hard rock and punk with Stab City, Nu-Tra, HDR, The Beeters, Le Face, and the Curs, plus the winners of the 2008 Eagle Rock High School Battle of the Bands at 7p.m. at the Bateman stage

- Selections from 20th and 21st century classical composers performed by youth at Renaissance Arts Academy

- Literary cabaret Late Night Snack: Short Theater and spoken word by Mike the Poet, author of I Am Alive In Los Angeles!, and The Bus Stop Prophet from 5-7p.m

-Live painting by Unification Theory at the Global Stage from 5p.m.-Midnight, with sales of the paintings to benefit Center for the Arts Eagle Rock

- Soundsight- at Oinkster- Bughouse brings you 6 different art installations that incorporate art, sound and technology. HEADTRIP uses four 42" LCD screens that surround the viewer transporting them to  various locales including the desert, beach, the mall and a forest. TALKING HEADS is an interactive tower
comprised of large human cutouts that users can dynamically record and playback sound bites. THE VISUALISER uses live performance by 2 musicians to create and transform video projected graphics. Other
installations include live screen printing onto vinyl records, live speaker painting and individual art pieces

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: September 25, 2008

We are advising clients to delay mortgage rate locks until the Bailout hearings are over.  That could change in a New York minute so keep checking our mortgage rates report daily.  We could change if the mortgage bond markets start reacting to an expected bailout plan early.

The economic data suggest that we are in a full-blown recession. While that isn’t a good sign, it’s positive for interest rates.  Fed Chairman, Bernanke, may cut interest rates again:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke moved closer to cutting interest rates, signaling that risks to U.S. growth are greater than policy makers saw them just last week.

The “intensification” of the financial crisis in recent weeks is curbing Americans’ access to borrowing, making the outlook for consumer spending “sluggish at best,” Bernanke told lawmakers in Washington yesterday. While he noted that risks to inflation remain, the Fed chief’s testimony focused on “grave threats” to the banking system.

An expected bailout combined with the increased probability of a Fed rate cut compels us to remain positive but vigilant about lower mortgage rates.  Sit tight for now.

Originally posted on Mortgages Unzipped

Tuesday is Farmer's Market Day

This week's Featured Vendor:

Do you like mixed nuts? Check out Avitua Farms.  Avitua Farms has been with the market from the very beginning. Run by Joe Avitua, whose been farming in Exeter since 1985. He specializes in citrus, apples, stone fruits and grapes, farming nearly 100 acres.

When you come to Old L A Farmer's Market, Avitua Farms is located at the southern-most location on Ave. 58 close to Figueroa; you'll see a selection of nuts (pecans, macadamians, walnuts, etc.) and dried fruits (raisins, persimmons, many others), all grown at the Avitua farm.

The Old L.A. Farmers Market in Highland Park is open every Tuesday, from 3 to 8, on Avenue 58 between North Figueroa and Marmion Way, and along Marmion Way.

Autumn Equinox

Our early ancestors were deeply aware of changes in the seasons, and changes in the heavens above them. 

As the days shortened, the harvest wound down. The fields were nearly empty, because the crops had been plucked and stored for the coming winter.  As the autumn equinox approached, the ancients celebrated the changing seasons and gave thanks for the harvest.

Each equinox signals a balance between dark and light, an equal amount of day and night. While our ancestors celebrated the gifts of the earth, they also accepted that the time of light was ending.  They had stores of food to eat, but the crops were brown and going dormant. Warmth was behind them, and long days of cold ahead.

During Medieval times, The Christian Church replaced earlier Pagan solstices and equinox celebrations  with Christianized observances. Replacing the fall equinox is Michaelmas, the feast of the Archangel Michael, on September 29.  His feast was celebrated with a traditional well-fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble of the fields after the harvest. In many places, a there was also a tradition of special large loaves of bread made only for that day.  It was a time for beginning new leases, rendering accounts and paying the annual dues.

In 2008, the autumnal equinox occurs on September 22, at 3:44 PM (15:44)

Conrad Romo Reading at Cypress Park Library September 20

Announcement: Cypress Park Branch Library hosts a reading by two writers, one from the community
Contact: Conrad Romo, (323) 931-1200,
Branch Librarian Patty Rostomian, (323) 224-0039

LOS ANGELES - Most of the attention the working-class, largely Latino community of Cypress Park northeast of downtown receives from major media comes from spasms of gang violence. The fatal shooting in August of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. The February shooting outside Aragon Elementary School.

But the community is much more than that.

The Cypress Park Branch Library, a hub of community activity at 1150 Cypress Ave., will showcase another side of the neighborhood with a free reading 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, featuring two local authors, one of whom grew up in Cypress Park.

Reading from their work will be Reyna Grande, author of the critically acclaimed novel "Across a Hundred Mountains," and Conrad Romo, who produces "Tongue and Groove," a five-year-old monthly reading event at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, and who grew up in Cypress Park a block from the former Southern Pacific railroad yard.

Grande, who was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant at the age of nine, received a 2007 American Book Award and the 2008 El Premio Aztlan Literary Award, for her first novel. She is currently finishing a master's program in creative writing and her second novel, "Dancing with Butterflies," is scheduled to be released in 2009.

Conradromo2Romo, a second-generation Angeleno, has had short stories published in Palehouse, Wednesday magazine and Noveltown Review. His short story, "Cement God,'' was recently featured in Tu Ciudad magazine and also appears in the Anthology "Latinos in Lotusland."

Romo organized the reading in an effort to give something back to the community where he grew up, to call attention to positive aspects of the tight-knit community, and to show that Cypress Park is defined by more than just the headline-grabbing violence of a few gang members.

"There are other stories," Romo said. "A whole community can be identified by just a few actions. . . .  but there are other stories, other people who live there."