IMG_2027Vol: 15                                                                                                   edition xi

Do You Tip? Do you know the balance before the cashier gives the total?

Here is a quick and easy formula.

Who needs a calculator?

You want to leave a 15% tip on a meal that cost $32.00.

First, convert the 15% to an actual number that can be used in a calculation. For percent’s, this is always done by simply dividing the percent (in this case 15%) by 100%.So, the conversational term “15%” becomes 15% / 100% = 0.15 in terms of a real mathematical number.

Second, you need to find out what 15% of your $32.00 meal cost. This is always done by multiplying 0.15 by $32.00, or

0.15 x $32.00=$4.80.

So, the amount of tip you are going to leave is $4.80.

This makes the total cost of your meal (to write on your charge slip or other payment)

$32.00 + $4.80 = $36.80.

Quick tip calculation for 15% tips:

If you’re leaving the standard 15% tip, here’s a quick and easy way to calculate it in your head, at the table in the restaurant, without embarrassing yourself by scribbling all over the back of a receipt or getting out a calculator:

15% is 10% + 5% (or 0.15 = 0.1 + 0.05, dividing each percent by 100). Thinking about it this way is useful for two reasons. First, it’s easy to multiply any number by 0.1; just move the decimal point left one digit. For example, 75.00 x 0.1 = 7.50, or 346.43 x 0.1 = 34.64 (close enough). Second, 5% is exactly half of 10%. So here’s how this quick and easy method works:

Take the total cost of your meal, $32.00 and multiply it by 0.1 by sliding the decimal to the left one digit to get $3.20 (you can do this in your head at the table). $3.20 is 10% of your meal cost. But the proper tip to leave is 15% (you need to throw in another 5%).

The additional 5% is just half of the 10% amount. What is half of $3.20? About $1.60. (Finding half of a number is also something you can do in your head at the table.) So, the total tip to leave is the 10% amount PLUS the 5% amount (for a 15% tip) or $3.20 + $1.60 = $4.80

The general rule here is:

  1. Find the number that results from sliding the decimal point of the meal’s cost left one digit,
  2. And add on another half of this number.

That’s your tip!


What Happens to a Reverse Mortgage After Death or When a Reverse Mortgage Becomes Due?


It’s well-known that many Americans (more than half, actually) are far from prepared for retirement. So to fill gaps in their retirement income, some are finding that reverse mortgages can fit into their financial planning.

But, like any financial product, reverse mortgages can be complex and must be fully understood by borrowers.

For starters, a reverse mortgage is a loan that converts some of your home equity into cash flow. A home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a reverse mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration and is the most common reverse mortgage.

Depending on your age and current interest rates, a portion of the equity that you have built up over years of making mortgage payments can be made accessible to you through a reverse mortgage.

The draw to this product for many retirees is that no monthly payments on the loan are required. However, what some borrowers don’t realize is that they are still required to pay real estate taxes, utilities and hazard and flood insurance premiums while they have a reverse mortgage.

Failing to maintain these payments and keep the house in good repair may be grounds for calling your loan due and payable.

So what exactly happens when your reverse mortgage becomes due? And what other circumstances may trigger the loan to become payable? Reverse mortgage experts weighed in to explain.

Why a Reverse Mortgage Does Becomes Due

A reverse mortgage loan has to be completely paid off when the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home, or moves out for one continuous year, which includes moving to a different home, as well as moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home.

The loan also becomes due if you stop paying your property taxes or homeowners insurance, or fail to maintain the property in good repair. While you don’t have a monthly mortgage payment, it’s important to remember you still have other payments you must maintain or else the loan will become due. “Failure to pay taxes and insurance is the number one reason behind most of the [reverse mortgage] foreclosures,” says Dan Larkin, divisional sales manager of Schaumburg, Illinois-based PERL Mortgage, Inc.

However, the most common scenario when a reverse mortgage becomes due is that the borrower has passed away, says Ryan LaRose, president and chief operating officer of Celink, a reverse mortgage servicer.

When a borrower dies, the servicer becomes aware of his or her death through public records and sends out a condolence letter to contacts listed on the loan, notifying heirs that the loan has become due and payable.

Once the reverse mortgage is due, it must be paid back in full in one lump sum, LaRose says.

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?

Who to Contact When the Reverse Mortgage Loan Becomes Due

Maintaining regular communication with the borrower’s reverse mortgage servicer is imperative during this process.

“The biggest thing is knowing that your best resource is to pick up the phone and call the servicer,” LaRose says. “If we don’t know what’s going on, we have to assume the worst — that they have no intentions of paying off the loan.”

So keeping in close contact with the servicer can actually be a benefit to the heirs, or those responsible for the borrower’s estate.

“The sooner you can contact the servicer, the more time you’re going to have [to pay off the loan], which means the more options that are on the table,” LaRose says.

Options for Paying Off the Reverse Mortgage Loan

Because a reverse mortgage must be paid off in full when it becomes due, it is often easiest for heirs to sell the home to repay the loan.

If your home is worth more than the loan balance, then you will get to keep the difference, under Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules. If your home is worth less than the loan balance, your heirs won’t owe any additional money beyond what the home is worth.

But if heirs plan to sell the home, they need to inform the reverse mortgage servicer and provide documentation, such as a real estate listing agreement, that shows this is the route they’re taking, LaRose says.

If your heirs want to keep the home, they’ll need to pay off the loan immediately. If the loan balance is more than the home is worth, heirs will typically only have to pay what the home is worth, not the full loan balance, according to federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. With a HECM loan, heirs can satisfy the loan by paying 95% of the appraised value of the home.

How to Get an Extension

Staying in constant communication with the reverse mortgage servicer can help extend the amount of time heirs have to repay the loan, LaRose says.

When requesting an extension, heirs must contact the servicer and provide documentation, such as a letter of hardship that details their intentions to repay the loan, a real estate listing, proof that they’re trying to obtain financing to keep the house, or probate documents, for example, LaRose says.

The servicer will then take those documents to HUD, which can grant the servicer an extension.

However, keep in mind that heirs will only have a maximum of one year from the date the borrower died to repay the loan, LaRose says.

How to Prepare for a Smooth Payoff

Planning ahead is key. To prepare for a smooth payoff, borrowers should strongly consider granting powers of attorney and naming the executor of the estate in their will.

This will make it much easier for the servicer to contact the appropriate heir or heirs when the reverse mortgage becomes due and payable.

“The smoothest transactions are ones where there has been proper planning in place — where the borrowers planned ahead of time and have all the wills and documentation in place before they pass away.

  • Michael Gould e 21 Realty

Estimate Your Reverse Mortgage Loan Amount




Buyers, or the lack of them, normally get the blame for all that ails housing.

When not enough people want homeownership, or can afford it, the available inventory of for-sale homes sits and loses value, and that’s bad.  Fed chief Janet Yellen may be one of the few people who believe this is currently an issue.

Knock on wood, that doesn’t seem to be a problem of the moment. This morning, the National Association of Realtors will release data on existing home sales for August.Consensus expectations are for a run-rate of 5.5 million. Likely, commentary accompanying the actual figure, to be disclosed at 10 a.m., will be that limited supply continues to stifle demand and inflate prices. Scarcity unbalances demand.

How many markets and submarkets do you hear about these days where available, for-sale inventory goes languishing?

The pace of sales may slow, the mix may shift, traffic flow may be off and on. But few question the fact that if there were a healthy supply of good homes in good communities–new and used–at varying price points and offering a variety of fair finance options, there would be a steady stream of demand.

If a market is creating jobs, or sustaining them, or casting a spell of allure to people–like retirees–to move there, there is demand. We see it now in the form of household formations. We do not see it in terms of tran

  • As GenX moves through the 40-somethings and 50-somethings, structural demand should continue to take a hit vs. longer term trends.
  • Focus on the lower-price tiers of the housing market, both for new and existing homes, will be likely to pay off for those who can manage the capital and time risks of providing those offerings for buyers who want to enter the ownership continuum
  • Focus among new home builders on people currently in their latter 50s and early 60s will be another big pay-off area, assuming that this is not a homogeneous cohort, and the existing options–even “age-ing in place” in their current home–may not be preferable, given where their kids are drawn to to find their livelihoods.


Vol 15 edition ix

There is one constant that you can be sure of and that is change. Most people in this business are bracing to see how the replacement of the HUD -1 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new condense form of two page from four pages. The Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.

Buy your plywood now there’s a change in the air, and a storm is on the way. The Federal Reserve held their position this week but will meet again in six weeks. A rise of .50 basis point is on the way, and the banks or pushing for it. This translate into fewer pre-qualifiers, Stagnate home sales and increased rental rates.


For example, in May, the average loan with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was $231,000 at a 4.03 percent average rate, which carried a monthly payment (principal and interest) of $1,107. However, that same loan amount at a 4.53 percent interest rate would jump the monthly payment to $1,175 – a 6 percent increase, according to®’s analysis.

What’s more,® predicts that higher rates will prompt as much as a 7 percent rejection in mortgage applications. “Based on analysis of loan-level ratios for a large sample of loans approved in the first half of this year, as much as 7 percent of mortgage applications would have failed to get approval as a result of higher debt-to-income ratios caused by higher rates,” Smoke says.

First-time home buyers may be particularly hard-hit, as well as high-cost areas.

What’re your thoughts…?

Michael Gould –e 21 Realty


08/04/2015    vol15 # VI

One could easily argue that the Brain is the most important part of the body, maybe that’s why it’s on top. The brain does all the thinking and instructing the other parts of the body….Kind of like a roof. The roof protects the structure in much the same way. It allows for the structure to eliminate a lot of radon gases and other health hazards most of us are not conscious of. The roof protects the integrity of the structure. Its design to throw water away from the foundation, and can greatly increase the value of your property. So take these suggestions into consideration when looking to increase the value of your property, and get a better return on your investment.


Here are some general numbers you can use to calculate how a contractor will price your roof. (Area and part of the country may vary)


Let’s calculate a hypothetical roofing contractor’s overhead cost:

Office manager salary: $36,000 + 18% for Workers comp, taxes, unemployment insurance = $42,800 / year.

Office / storage rental: $12,000 / year + $2,400 in utilities = $14,400.

Advertising: $6,000 / year.

Insurance: $7,500 / year.

2 Trucks: $9,500 / year * 2 = $19,000.

Office supplies: $1,000 / year.

Miscellaneous: $1,000 / year.

Total overhead cost: $91,700 or $251 each day of the year!

Figuring out total contractor’s cost to install one 15 squares roof:

Materials: $150 / square.
Labor: $86 / square ($1285 / 15 squares).
Overhead: $17 / square (assuming that a roofer does only 1 roof per day).
Dumpster + permit fees: $400 or $27 / square.

Total contractor’s cost: $4,186 to install a typical 15 squares ranch house roof, or $279 / square, before ANY profit.

If we consider that a roofer makes an average 25% NET profit on each job, before taxes, then our hypothetical roof above would yield $1,046 in profit. Total cost of such a roof would be $5,232 or $350 per square.

* * *Google Source: How to calculate A roof.***


It’s A Numbers Game!!!

06/04/2015    Volume 15 edition V

I pledge allegiance to the Democracy; I mean Republic; you may want to check with Mr. Webster for the meaning of Republic.

According to some economist, it would take a renter earning at least $19.35 per hour to afford a two bedroom apt. in SAN FRANCISCO working full time.

Hawaii $31.61 which equate to working four full-time jobs working at minimum wage. 28.04 Per hour in D.C.

Small business (Mom & Pop) stores and restaurants, you remember the neighborhood businesses that had the best hot dogs and hamburgers, and gave us after school jobs; don’t you remember?

Are we going to ask Mom to pay $10- $15 per hour? Layoffs are surely coming to after school kids.

Small businesses are what AMERICA was built on. Let’s look at the numbers: rent, workman’s comp, insurance, Professional fees, etc. Now how much can Mom charge for her hot dog? How much are you willing to pay?

I’m all for everyone making enough to be comfortable and take a summer vacation, but I have an idea. Let’s cut tax liability so that take-home pay will be more. Yeah!

That is a good idea; don’t you think? Your hot dog want go up…

Let’s figure out how we can make HOMES affordable.

Michael Gould


E21 Realty

100 Concourse Pkwy E Bldg #135

Hoover, Al.35244


“Don’t go into court without a lawyer or a real estate deal without a REALTOR”



05/26/2015    Volume 15, V

The one thing I think Most would agree is that the one constant thing in this universe is change. Now don’t fret, it’s a good thing; well, most of time anyway. What if we were still watching black & white TV’S, and listening to eight tracks? Ayah! You kind of like the change now. I Thought so.

Well get ready here it comes again, and it’s not only changing names, but the way it does business. HUD-1 your best days are behind you; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB);

August 1, 2015 you’re batting…

The final settlement disclosure is generally a routine exercise for lenders and title agents, but the new rule puts more responsibility on lenders for the precise timing and accuracy of the statement, which must be given to the borrower three days before closing. The new format of the closing disclosure is also very different than the current form, and automated systems have to be updated in the new format.

The new format of the closing disclosure is also very different than the current form, and automated systems have to be updated in the new format.

At issue is a final rule issued by the CFPB in November 2013 that merges the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act disclosures requirement into a single document.

Lenders said the adjustment to the new form is difficult. For example, the new closing document lists fees under certain categories but the industry doesn’t have standard definitions for many fees and charges.

“The trouble is that you can have a finance charge that has different names,” Andreano said. “In some cases, the same names may be used to refer to different types of fees, while in other cases different names refer to the same fee. The technology guys are wondering how to deal with that.”

Another problem comes down to the format of the new document. The current HUD-1 settlement sheet has dedicated lines for certain fees and other data, with each line numbered. But the CFPB’s new closure document does not have numbered lines — and it’s causing big problems.

“The problem is how do you set up the systems and how to ensure compliance if you don’t have any way to keep track of the line numbers,” said Rod Alba, senior regulatory counsel of the American Bankers Association.

A spokesman for the CFPB said the agency removed the line numbers from the document after extensive testing with consumers showed it confused many borrowers.

“The testing found consumers were better able to understand the information on the new forms without the line numbers,” the spokesman said.

Michael Gould


E21 Realty

100 Concourse Pkwy E Bldg #135

Hoover, Al.35244


“Don’t go into court without a lawyer, or a real estate deal without a REALTOR”


Published 4/30/15    volume 15, number IV

So you’re ready to start your business, but don’t know exactly where to start. You have a great idea; but now it becomes “A Numbers Game”.

In the Commercial world, it all about “Numbers”, price-per sq. ft. zoning, building classification, tenet allowances, etc.

You have got to decide whether to lease or buy. I could make an argument for both. But as always it comes down to your cash on hand or your access to capital; we’ll talk about that another time.

Decide how you are going to structure your business; sole-proprietor. LLc, etc. Basically how you’re going to pay your “Uncle”.

I was presented a question about three top priorities of starting a business; (after money of course), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Business Lawyer, and a Bank that only does business in

The state of your business; you will have to ask your attorney about the last one. Oh Yea! You need a good Commercial Real Estate Agent; I can help you with that.

Someone wrote: “Plan Your Work, and Work your Plan “– A.G. GASTON.

“Don’t go into court without a lawyer; don’t go into a real estate deal without a Realtor”- Michael Gould


Ellicott’s Stone Baldwin County

I was looking for the coordinates of Mt. Everest, and how it connected Nepal to Tibet in China. I then decided to locate Birmingham’s Global Position Satellite (GPS), and I came across this interesting fact.

Curious minds ENJOY!


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ellicott Stone

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

The south side of the stone. It reads: Dominio De S.M. Carlos IV, Lat. 31, 1799.

Nearest city

Bucks, Alabama


30°59′52.11″N88°01′21.06″WCoordinates30°59′52.11″N 88°01′21.06″W


less than one acre



Governing body


NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP

April 11, 1973

Ellicott’s Stone, also known as the Ellicott Stone, is a boundary marker in northern Mobile CountyAlabama. It was placed on April 10, 1799 by a joint U.S.Spanish survey party headed by Andrew Ellicott.[2][3] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 11 April 1973.[1]

It is the only known stone monument set by Ellicott when he surveyed the 31st parallel north latitude, which served as the boundary line between the Mississippi Territory in the United States and Spanish West Florida.[3]The boundary line extended along the 31st parallel from the Mississippi River east to the Chattahoochee River, as set forth in the 1795 Pinckney Treaty, formally known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo.[4][5] Ellicott’s Stone is the initial point for all United States Public Land surveys in the southern region of Alabama and Mississippi. It is the point of intersection of what is known today as the St. Stephens meridian and the St. Stephens baseline.[3]



Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization (CACAO)

On June 13th CACAO will host their 4th Annual Caribbean festival in Linn Park.

To those who joined us for the party on Sunday, my sincere thanks. Who knew Bingo could be so much fun 🙂 Thanks to board member Janet Hamm for getting us all engaged in Great food, great friends, great fun and no rain, just a wonderful evening.

For those who missed it here is a quick rundown of activities that were announced for June to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Caribbean American Heritage Month.

On May 30th the Birmingham Museum of Art will host a workshop where kids 5 and up will get to work with their parents to make Caribbean carnival costumes. We are fortunate enough to have Maureena Watson who runs the Atlanta children’s carnival as teacher for the workshop; I am including a link very excited because after 4 years of hard work, we are being recognized by the Birmingham community:

On June 7th St. John’s AME Church downtown Birmingham will host a service and reception in honor of Caribbean American Heritage Month. I need as many people as possible to attend because I would like volunteers to wear their national colors and carry the flags of the various Caribbean countries. This will be a really fun event.

On June 13th CACAO will host their 4th Annual Caribbean festival in Linn Park. We are expecting a great turnout; great food, music, dance contests and just a great time. We could use some volunteers here also, so if you haven’t yet paid your dues, remember, we pay for all these events so your help would be greatly appreciated. We will also be drawing for the winner of the two tickets to the Father’s Day concert in Atlanta during the festival.

On June 20th our sister group in Huntsville is hosting a Caribbean gala. As you know they regularly attend our dinner in December, so this is our opportunity to round out Caribbean American Heritage Month by joining with them. I will share the flyer when I receive it.

Lots of exciting things planned to celebrate our unique Caribbean culture, time for you to stop sitting on the fence and get involved. CACAO is growing, come grow with us.

Pauline Ford-Caesar


Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization (CACAO)

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