Monday, July 28, 2008

Home Buying Assistance

In today's home buying market, it's getting harder and harder to get a home loan. As I see it in my day to day business, it's particularly hard for the first time home buyer who may have the funds to make the monthly payment, but may not have the money for the required down payment. I have recently been researching programs to help just this type of buyer.

What I have found is two types of programs both that very easy to do and worthwhile and both geared to go hand in hand with FHA loans.

The first will gift fund the 3% down required of FHA loans for the buyer. The catch is that you have to find a motivated seller that is willing to pay all the closing costs including the 3% down (that will ultimately go back to the gift funder) plus a $395 for using the program. If you have a seller willing to participate, this is an easy way to get a first time home buyer into their home. This program is offered to single family detached home and manufactured home buyers.

The other program that I have just discovered offers down payment assistance to first time home buyers who's property meets FHA requirements and is a single family detached home, manufactured home, townhouse, condominium and one to four owner occupied units. There is no purchase price limits, however, FHA will have limits in your area. The gift funds are not limited to the required 3% but will also go to fund your closing costs. The fee for the program is $295 plus the seller will incur certain agreed upon closing costs to permit the participation of their property in thee program that are equal to the amount that was gifted to the buyer, similar to the first program. Even if a buyer has funds, this program can come in handy to keep your cash on hand for improvements, furnishings and just emergency funding. Imagine getting into your home and coming the closing table with nothing. I can be done!

Now the catch. The House and Senate have recently passed bills to ban DPA's (Down Payment Assistance Programs). It's on it's way to the President's desk as we speak to be signed. If the ban is signed by President Bush it will NOT go into effect until October 1st. This bill will not effect any loan for which the mortgagee has issued credit approval for the borrower prior to October 1, 2008. In speaking directly to a representative of the second program mentioned, she stated to me that they will accept applications for their program until September 30, 2008.

If you live in Oregon or Washington and are interested in learning more about this type of loan, please call me as soon as possible at 541.786.1613 in order to get your application in. If you are an real estate agent with a client that could benefit from the program, call or email me at or visit Things are changing fast and this could be the last opportunity to take advantage of such a program.

If you are interested, below are some quotes from Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Barney Franks made yesterday afternoon in support of DPA and reported on C-Span as well as the text from the bill the eliminates seller funded DPA.

· Nancy Pelosi: Regretted that seller funded down payment was not in this bill but would support new legislation to include it.

· Maxine Waters (Congress woman from California) : Applauded the Fannie and Freddie Bailouts and said, "We did not get the Seller Funded DPA program but my Subcommittee on Housing will start immediately to work on this legislation that we can come back in a few months with a stand alone piece of legislation to do what needs to be done. This is an important Program. This program has helped over 730,000 homeowners between 2000-2007. It is extremely important to helping those who can afford to pay the mortgage every month that cannot afford the down payment to get into the home. It works! it works well and it needs to be understood. We need to put in the Law and do it correctly!

· Barney Franks Committee Chairman (who issued the compromise to get downpayment assistance removed from HR 3221): Immediately followed Maxine and said, "We were able to postpone the deadline for DPA until Oct. 1, there was also an issue on Risk Based Pricing. I believe we will have both of those resolved in a more flexible way before Oct. 1st so that Seller Financing and risk based pricing appropriately done will not go out of existence".

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Just Don't Get It

A lot of attention has recently come up regarding unfortunate comments made by Jesse Jackson. When it read things like this, it never fails to shock me. I guess the wagon left me behind because I don't see this campaign as a "black man" running as much as I see what he stands for and what he can do for our country.

Yes, I'm excited that we are on the threshold of electing our first African/American president but I am far more consumed by what he stands for and how the changes he is set to make will influence not only this nation but rather the world. I really, really wish people could get on THAT wagon and stop dropping the race card.

Someone once told me that there are African Amercians and there are *that degrogitory word that I won't even type* and there are white people and there is white trash or . Why must good and evil be segrigated? Why can't we simply acknowledge that there are now and always will be good and bad in this world and stop lumping them into racial divides?

Barack Obama is a man who can lead this free country and make some positive changes. Can't we start to LISTEN to him rather than just LOOKING at him?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


SALEM, ORE., 7 JULY 2008 – An Oregon-based guitar company has hit the market with the world’s first production aluminum archtop guitar. Introduced just last month in Nashville, Normandy Guitars instantly gained international acclaim and captured best of show honors at NAMM, the largest music trade show in the world.

Much like the transition from wood to metal in the tennis industry, the buzz in the music industry is that this could be the advent of a new era in the guitar market. “Our response at this show was phenomenal,” said Jim Normandy, CEO of Normandy Guitars. “The guitar’s distinctive craftsmanship and design gained recognition from artists, manufacturers and media. The world does not need another Stratocaster copy,’” said Normandy.

Macsimum News presented the “Best of Show” honors for Summer NAMM 2008, where they recognized the ATG-SB Aluminum-Body Guitar by Normandy Guitars as one of the hottest products at the show, “…seek out what you want and hold on to your strap when you hear the monster tone of Normandy Guitars,” they say. “Turn heads with your sound, but cause whiplash with a Normandy.”

The Normandy guitar is made out of specially selected aluminum, resulting in sustain qualities that are better and have been touted as far superior to the traditional wooden-bodied guitars. “The purity and length of time a single, plucked note can ring out clean and true are far superior... this is important to guitar players, especially those who play lead guitar,” says Normandy. “A
headlining act at one of the NAMM after-show concerts loved our guitar. They played the Normandy throughout their entire performance!”

The guitar features a body with classic archtop curves, a vintage Bigsby®-vibrato tailpiece and distinctive rivets on the front and back. The Normandy guitar is available in nine colors and three different finishes: chrome, several powder-coated colors and Candy Apple Metal Flake finishes. The chrome finish is triple electroplated. In that process, the body is initially buffed, electrically charged in a hot bath with Zincate, then dipped in copper, covered with nickel and completed with a flashy chrome finish.

For more information on Normandy Guitars, visit,, or call Jim Normandy at 503.689.1998.

About Normandy Guitars
The Normandy guitar is the world’s first production aluminum archtop. The American-made guitars are manufactured and hand-riveted in Salem, Oregon. Known for their sustain qualities and warm tones, these lightweight aluminum electric guitars are an instant classic. They are now available in nine colors and three different and unique finishes: chrome, several powder-coated colors and candy apple metal flake finishes. For more information or to order, visit or call 503.689.1998.

# # #

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Early Death Comes from Distilled Water

During nearly 19 years of clinical practice I have had the opportunity to observe the health effects of drinking different types of water. Most of you would agree that drinking unfiltered tap water could be hazardous to your health because of things like


Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking distilled water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous.Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of distilled water in the 1970's when it first became a fad with the health food crowd.Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapour condensed. Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them. Studies validate the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time). Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.Distilled water is an active absorber and when it comes into contact with air, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it acidic. The more distilled water a person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 'Distilled water, being essentially mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Notably, carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are dissolved by distilled water.'The most toxic commercial beverages that people consume (i.e. cola beverages and other soft drinks) are made from distilled water. Studies have consistently shown that heavy consumers of soft drinks (with or without sugar) spill huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals into the urine. The more mineral loss, the greater the risk for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and a long list of degenerative diseases generally associated with premature aging.A growing number of health care practitioners and scientists from around the world have been advocating the theory that aging and disease is the direct result of the accumulation of acid waste products in the body.There is a great deal of scientific documentation that supports such a theory. A poor diet may be partially to blame for the waste accumulation. These and other junk foods can cause the body to become more acidic:

fried foods
soft drinks
processed foods
white flour products
dairy products

Stress, whether mental or physical can lead to acid deposits in the body.There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood.The longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an acid state.I have done well over 3000 mineral evaluations using a combination of blood, urine and hair tests in my practice. Almost without exception, people who consume distilled water exclusively, eventually develop multiple mineral deficiencies.Those who supplement their distilled water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-distilled water drinking counterparts even after several years of mineral supplementation.The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like


Distilled water tends to be acidic and can only be recommended as a way of drawing poisons out of the body. Once this is accomplished, the continued drinking of distilled water is a bad idea.Water filtered through reverse osmosis tends to be neutral and is acceptable for regular use provided minerals are supplemented.Water filtered through a solid charcoal filter is slightly alkaline. Longevity is associated with the regular consumption of hard water (high in minerals). Disease and early death is more likely to be seen with the long term drinking of distilled water. Avoid it except in special circumstances.Zoltan P. Rona MD MSc

Airola, P. 1974. How To Get Well. Phoenix, AZ: Health Plus Publishers.Baroody, Dr. Theodore A. Jr. Alkalinize or Die. California:Portal Books, 1995.Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. The Complete Guide to Diet & Nutritional Medicine. Berkeley, California:Celestial Arts, 1992; p. 22.Rona, Zoltan P. and Martin, Jeanne Marie. Return to the Joy of Health, Vancouver: Alive Books, 1995.Rona, Zoltan P. Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection. Rocklin, California:Prima Books, 1996.