Automate Your Home

 

smart-home-1024x683

 

 

Automating Your Home with Smart Technology

With the advancements that have been made in technology in just the past decade, there are many new ways to incorporate faster, more efficient, and cost-effective solutions to everyday tasks and problems. One big trend that we are seeing right now is home automation, or “smart homes.” With the help of technology, today you can make the functions in your home almost entirely automated or controllable from a smartphone or tablet.

What exactly are the benefits of home automation?

Those with home automation save an average of 20% on home insurance
You can save around 15% on your energy bill
Based on national averages, you could save around $1,352 each year by automating your home
Better security and peace of mind
Control over almost all functions in your home from one tablet or smartphone
What are the capabilities of a smart home?

Thermostat: You can have the ability to control your thermostat even when you are not home. By adjusting the temperature when you are not home, you save on heating and cooling costs.

Security: With a smart home, you won’t need to be paranoid about whether you remembered to lock the doors to your home. Your smart home system can tell you if your doors are locked or unlocked. Also, with some advanced systems, you can trigger lights and television sets to turn on while you are out of town to give the appearance that someone is home.

Lighting: Some smart home systems have an “all off” button to help easily turn off every light in your home at once. Sensors can also trigger lights to turn on when motion is detected outside of your home.

Television: You can combine all of your remotes into one by using your smart home app on your tablet or phone. You can even set a sequence to dim the lights, adjust the room temperature, and start a movie with one click of a button.

Communication: You can send messages room-to-room through the television or to visitors through a touch screen outside of your home. You can also get notified if there is a leak in your basement or even when the kids make it home from school.

There are many options and benefits to making your home smarter and even the smallest steps could save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. Here are some of the best smart home devices you can implement in your home.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-smart-home-devices-2015-12

Sources

https://www.control4.com/blog

https://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/06/home-automation-benefits-infographic/

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment

EXISTING HOME SALES SLIP, BUT STILL STRONG

soldsign

 

EXISTING HOME SALES SLIP, BUT STILL STRONG
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Published Date 1/24/2017
Nothing new; yesterday the bond and mortgage markets improved, the 10 yr -6 bps to 2.41%, MBS prices +36 bps. This morning once again no follow-through as has been the case for weeks now. Yesterday the dollar under pressure, stock indexes a little weaker and news that hedge funds were lightening up on the bets f higher rates while money managers were buying 5s to balance their portfolios that are heavy with stocks. Trump backed away from the TPP trade pact and met with business and union leaders; this morning he is meeting auto executives he wants autos sold in the US to be made in the US. A very high hurdle but you can’t get anything unless you ask. Also, today Trump intends to sign two executive actions that would advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. He wants more oil companies to have more freedom to expand infrastructure and transportation efficiency.

In the UK its Supreme Court ruled that the government must bring the Brexit to a vote in parliament before it can trigger Article 50 of the EU charter. Theresa May though said she will go forward to trigger the exit in March sticking with her plan. Ministers could bring forward an Article 50 bill as early as Wednesday, with an accelerated passage through both houses of parliament in a bid to meet the prime minister’s deadline for initiating the Brexit process. The consensus is that parliament will vote to continue the process.

At 9:45 AM EST this morning the FLASH PMI manufacturing index; 55.1 from 54.2. The Philly Fed was very strong and so is the manufacturing PMI at 55.1 for the flash January score, up 8 tenths from final December (up 9 tenths from the December flash) and the strongest reading since March 2015. Production is also as strong as it’s been since March 2015 while growth in new orders is the best since November 2014.

At 10:00 Dec existing home sales were thought to be down 2.3% to 5.538M. Sales were down 2.8% to 5.49M, Nov sales were revised better to 5.65M from 5.61M. Yr/yr sales up 0.7% after increasing 15.4% yr/yr based on Nov data. Median sales price $232,200 up 4.0% yr/yr. Prices over the last five years up 41%, inventories in Dec the lowest since 1999.

This afternoon Treasury will auction $26B of 2 yr notes at 1:00 pm.

Nothing else scheduled today, news from the White House and more confirmation hearings in the Senate. Trump intends to keep FBI Director James Comey in his post, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, as the bureau continues its investigation into potential ties between Trump aides and the Russian government.

The stock market a little better in early trade but looks heavy so far. The dollar better today after weakness yesterday. Two elements that are presently leaning against the interest rate markets. Interest rates remain in a tight range with an overlay of bearishness on the continuing belief the Fed will hold to its three rate hikes this year. Last week Yellen said the increases would be “gradual”; gradual does suggest a hike in March if the Fed does move three times this year. The FOMC meets about every six weeks so if it going to be gradual it must start soon or getting three in before year end would imply quick moves later this year. All that said, the Fed talks the talk but for three years hasn’t been able to walk the walk.

At 10:00 MBS prices lower by 6 bps from 9:30. Technicals (market action) still neutral. The outlook now is for higher rates but it isn’t happening yet. Mortgage rates in a narrow range, the treasury complex also chopping with no immediate trend. Stock markets and currency markets will dictate where rate markets trade today. Three weeks of no significant change in mortgage rates or the bellwether 10 yr note.

Source: TBWS

January 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment

Daily Mortgage Market Overview

Take a look at the Daily Mortgage Market Overview.

Daily Mortgage Market Overview

 
 
 

Today’s Mortgage Rate Summary

How Rates Move:

Conventional and Government (FHA and VA) lenders set their rates based on the pricing of Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) which are traded in real time, all day in the bond market.  This means rates or loan fees (mortgage pricing) moves throughout the day, being affected by a variety of economic or political events.  When MBS pricing goes up, mortgage rates or pricing generally goes down.  When they fall, mortgage pricing goes up.  

Rates Currently Trending: Neutral

Mortgage rates are moving sideways to slightly higher so far today.  The MBS market improved by +35 bps yesterday. This was enough to improve mortgage rates or fees.   The market experienced moderate volatility yesterday.

Today’s Rate Forecast: Neutral

Domestic: There are no domestic events today.

Germany (# 4 economy): Still recovering from their latest terrorist attack, this morning we got their PPI which was much stronger than expected. Their MOM Producer Price Index gained 0.3% vs est of only 0.1%. And YOY it was up 0.1% vs est of a decline of -0.2%.

Japan (# 3 economy): The Bank of Japan left their key interest rate alone. In a 7 to 2 vote, they left all their key asset purchase levels and policies alone. But they did upgrade their economic outlook for Japan which some are considering a “back door” form of tightening.

China: Handed over our lost naval drone.

Today’s Potential Rate Volatility: Average

Since there isn’t economic news due out today, we’re not looking for much movement in mortgage rates.  The only thing that is likely to move mortgage rates today is a surprising geo-political event.

Bottom Line:

If you are looking for the risks and benefits of locking your interest rate in today or floating your loan rate, contact your mortgage professional to discuss it with them.

Source: TBWS

 
 

Contact Me

About Me

Jim Marcinkowski joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17. While in the military, he moved my way up through the ranks to become a Staff Sergeant and Team Leader of a Bomb Squad. He participated in Desert Shield and Storm. This is where he acquired leadership and management skills. Upon leaving the military, he took a position as Manager of Administrative Services of a non-profit corporation. Jim was responsible for Human Resources and Fiscal accountability of approximately three million dollars in Federal, State, and local grants. This is some of the experience Jim brings to the mortgage business. He is committed to helping clients make the most educated and best financial mortgage decisions. Jim enjoys helping clients meet their housing goals, needs, desires and investment needs.

 

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December 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

Lower USDA Fees

USDA Lower USDA Fees

Good news!

Both the upfront guarantee fee and annual fee (collectively the “fee schedule”) for purchase and refinance using USDA Rural Development’s home loan program will decrease on October 1, 2016, the first day of fiscal year 2017.

The upfront guarantee fee will drop from 2.75% to 1%, and the annual fee from 0.5% to 0.35%.

This could possibly mean more buying power! Income limits and credit approval will apply, but this could be a wonderful opportunity for anyone you know considering buying a home in an approved rural area.

Want to know more? Contact Jim Marcinkowski at 239-936-4232

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE
Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

In 2016, Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third consecutive year. Inlanta has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

November 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

The Meaning of the EOD Badge

EOD Master Badge

Meaning of EOD Badge

THE WREATH is symbolic of the achievements and laurels gained by minimizing accident potentials, through the ingenuity and devotion to duty of its members. It is in memory of the EOD personnel who have given their lives while performing EOD duties.

THE BOMB was copied from the design of the World War II Bomb Disposal Badge; the bomb represents the historic and major objective of the EOD attack, the unexploded bomb. The three fins represent the major areas of nuclear, conventional, and chemical/biological warfare.

THE LIGHTNING BOLTS symbolize the potential destructive power of the bomb and the courage and professionalism of EOD personnel in their endeavors to reduce hazards as well as to render explosive ordnance harmless.

THE SHIELD represents the EOD mission which is to protect personnel and property in the immediate area from an inadvertent detonation of hazardous ordnance.

 

HISTORY

Bomb disposal in the United States dates back to April of 1941. EOD developed as an outgrowth of the British experience with German ordnance. The Unites States was not yet at war, but we were actively preparing for that eventuality. It was expected that if the United States entered the war, we would experience bombing of our cities and industries. As a result, the need for a bomb disposal program in this country received immediate attention.

In April 1941, the School of Civilian Defense was organized at the Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, and part of the training was to be bomb disposal. The Commandant of the Chemical Warfare School requested assistance from the War Department to set up the Bomb Disposal School. The request was approved and forwarded to General Julian S. Hatcher, who was the Commanding General of the Ordnance Training Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. General Hatcher selected Major Thomas J. Kane to provide assistance.

It was decided that both military and civilian bomb disposal personnel would be trained by the Army. All responsibility for bomb disposal was placed under the US Army Ordnance Department. The location of the Bomb Disposal School was changed from Edgewood Arsenal to the Ordnance Training Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In the interim the Navy, under a directive from the Chief of Naval Operations, instituted a Mine Disposal School in May of 1941. In December of 1941, the Chief of Naval Personnel issued another directive for the formation of the Navy Bomb Disposal School.

EOD in the United States is a joint service program. Each branch of the service has specific responsibilities assigned to it by DOD. Some of these responsibilities are unique to one service and some overlap between two or more services. In 1947, the Navy was assigned Joint Service responsibility for basic EOD training. In 1971, the Navy was designated as the single manager for all common EOD training and technology. Today, training continues to be provided by the inter-service staff at the Explosive Ordnance Schools located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Division, Indian Head, Maryland.

Successful officer and enlisted graduates are awarded the joint-service EOD badge which dates back to 1942. This badge is also officially recognized by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Thank you http://www.goordnance.army.mil/eod/eod_history.html 

August 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgage Loans

Reverse Mortgage loans give seniors the ability to live in their home, with no monthly mortgage payments¹, by converting home equity into cash while still maintaining ownership!

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), also known as reverse mortgage loans, were created over 25 years ago to help homeowners age 62 and older convert a portion of home equity into tax-free money.³

How does it work?

A reverse mortgage loan allows you to turn some of the equity in your home into cash to improve your financial situation. With a reverse mortgage loan, you will remain on title and can stay in your home without making monthly mortgage payments during the loan period.¹ The borrower will be required to pay for property taxes, home insurance and home maintenance. The loan balance becomes due upon the occurrence of other events including non-compliance with the loan terms.

This federally-insured loan offers multiple ways to receive the proceeds and gives you the ability to spend the cash as needed. Common uses of Reverse Mortgage loans include:

  • Paying off debt
  • Cover costly medical bills and prescriptions
  • Home repairs and modifications
  • Delay Social Security benefits²
  • …and much more!

 Important features of a reverse mortgage loan include:

  1. Proceeds from a Reverse Mortgage loan are tax-free³.
  2. There are multiple ways to receive the loan proceeds, either as a line of credit, a term payment, a tenure payment or lump sum.
  3. Live in your home with no monthly mortgage payments¹ .

 Qualifications include:

  • The borrower must be 62 years or older (a nonborrowing spouse may be under age 62)
  • The home must be and remain the borrower’s primary residence
  • The borrower must own the home
  • The borrower must meet the financial requirements of the HECM program

 Ready to get started?

Get a Quote

Already a customer and need help? Contact us.

 Disclosure:

¹If you qualify and your loan is approved, a HECM Reverse Mortgage must pay off your existing mortgage(s). With a HECM Reverse Mortgage, no monthly mortgage payment is required. Borrowers are responsible for paying property taxes and homeowner’s insurance (which may be substantial). We do not establish an escrow account for disbursements of these payments. A set-aside account can be set up to pay taxes and insurance and may be required in some cases. Borrowers must also occupy home as primary residence and pay for ongoing maintenance; otherwise the loan becomes due and payable. The loan becomes due and payable when the last borrower, or eligible non-borrowing surviving spouse, dies, sells the home, permanently moves out, or defaults on taxes and insurance payments, or does not comply with loan terms. Call 1-239-936-4232 to learn more. A Reverse Mortgage increases the principal mortgage loan amount and decreases home equity (it is a negative amortization loan). These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a government agency.

 ²Social Security benefits estimator available at www.ssa.gov/estimator.

 ³Loan proceeds are paid tax-free; consult your tax advisor.

 

August 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

Inlanta named Top Workplace for third consecutive year

Top Workplaces Awards 2014, 2015, 2016

Top Workplace Award 2016

We are pleased to announce that Inlanta Mortgage has again been named a Top Workplace by theMilwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2016 marks the third consecutive year Inlanta has won the Top Workplace award.

Top Workplace Award Criteria

Top Workplace honors are awarded to companies whose employees have rated their companies highly in categories such as leadership, direction, ethics, culture, training and benefits. Top Workplace award winners do not know whether their employees have rated them favorably until a third-party, Workplace Dynamics, collects and reviews all results.  This is the third year that Inlanta Mortgage has received the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s prestigious Top Workplace award.

In addition to being named a Top Workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Inlanta has been consistently recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations, and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016

June 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment

Seven Things Your Agent Should Know About Your Mortgage Approval

While some experienced real estate agents have a general understanding of the mortgage approval process, there are a few important details that frequently get overlooked which may cause a purchase to be delayed or denied.

New regulation, updated disclosures, appraisal guidelines, mortgage rate pricing premiums, credit score, secondary approval layering, rescission deadlines, property type, HOA insurance requirements, title and property flip rules are just a few of the daily changes that can have a serious impact on a borrower’s home loan financing.

With today’s volatile lending environment, it’s obviously important for home buyers to get a full loan approval which clearly defines all contingencies that pertain to each unique home buyer’s scenario prior to spending any time looking at new homes with an agent.

Either way, we’ve listed a few of the top things your agent should keep in mind while showing you new properties:

Caution – Agents Beware:

Property Type –

High-Rise, Condo, Town House, Single Family Residence, Dome Home or Shoe House… all have specific lending guidelines that can influence down payment, credit score and mortgage insurance requirements.

Residence Type

Need to sell one home before moving into another? Is a property considered a second home if it’s in the same city?  What if I’m buying a home for my children to live in, it is still considered an investment property?

These are just a few of several possible residence related questions that should be addressed by your agent and loan officer at the initial loan application.

Rates / Locks

Mortgage Rates are typically locked for a 30 day period, and one of the only ways to get a new rate is to switch mortgage lenders.  Rates also have certain adjustments for property / residence type, credit score and down payment which could have a big impact on monthly payments and therefore approvals.

A 1% increase in rate could literally mean the difference between an approval or denial.

Headline News / Employment

Underwriters watch the news as well.  Borrowers who work in a volatile industry during hard economic times may have to jump through a few extra hoops to prove that their employment and income is secure.

Job changes, periods of unemployment or property location in relation to the subject property are other things to consider that may cause a speed bump in the approval process.

Title / Property Flip –

A Flip is considered a property that has been purchased by an investor and quickly sold to a new buyer within a 30-90 day period.  Generally, an investor will do a little rehab work, fresh paint, landscaping…. and try to re-sell the property for a significant profit margin.

While it seems like a perfectly fair transaction, many lenders have strict guidelines in place that prevent borrowers from obtaining financing on properties that have a previous owner with less than 90 days of documented ownership.

These rules change frequently, and are specific to particular property types, so make sure your agent is aware of all the boundaries associated with your approval letter.

Homeowner’s Association Insurance

Some lenders require Condos and Town House communities to have sufficient insurance and reserves coverage pertaining to specific ratios on units that are owner occupied vs rented.

It may also take a few weeks and cost up to $300 to receive an HOA Certification, so make sure your Due-Diligence period is set accordingly in the purchase contract.

Appraisal Ordering Procedures

Appraisal ordering guidelines are changing quite frequently as regulators implement many new consumer protection laws created to prevent future foreclosure epidemics.

Unfortunately, some of the new appraisal regulations have proven to slow the home buying process down, as well as confuse lenders about the true estimate of neighborhood values.

VA, FHA and Conventional loan programs all have separate appraisal ordering policies, so make sure your agent is aware of which loan you’re approved for so that they document any anticipated delays in the purchase contract.

For example, if an appraisal takes three weeks and the average time for an approval is two weeks, then it probably isn’t smart to write a purchase contract with a four week close of escrow.

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Related Articles – Home Buying Process:

April 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

Do I Need To Sell My Home Before I Can Qualify For A New Mortgage On Another Property?

Although every situation is unique, it is not uncommon for homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage on a new home while still living in their primary residence.

Perhaps you are outgrowing your current house, or have been forced to relocate due to a job transfer?  Regardless of the motivation for keeping one property while purchasing another, let’s address this question with the mortgage approval in mind:

So, Do I Have To Sell?

Yes. No. Maybe. It depends.

Welcome to the wonderful world of mortgage lending. Only in this industry can one simple question elicit four answers…and all of them may be right.

If you are in a financial position where you qualify to afford both your current residence and the proposed payment on your new house, then the simple answer is No!

Qualifying based on your Debt-to-Income Ratio is one thing, but remember to budget for the additional expenses of maintaining multiple properties. Everything from mortgage payments, increased property taxes and hazard insurance to unexpected repairs should be factored into your final decision.

What If I Rent My Current Property?

This scenario presents the “maybe” and the “it depends” answers to the question.

If you’re not quite qualified to carry both mortgages, you may have to rent the other property in order to offset the mortgage payment.

In that scenario, the lender will typically only count 75% of the monthly rent you are proposing to receive.

So if you are going to receive $1000 a month in rent and your current payment is $1500, the lender is going to factor in an additional $750 of monthly liabilities in your overall Debt-to-Income Ratios.

Another detail that can present a huge hurdle is the reserve requirement and equity ratio most lenders have. In some cases, if you are going to rent out your current home, you will need to have at least 25% equity in order to offset your payment with the proposed rent you will receive.

Without that hefty amount of equity, you will have to qualify to afford BOTH mortgage payments. You will also need some significant cash in the bank.

Generally, lenders will require six months reserve on the old property, as well as six month reserves on the new property.

For example, if you have a $1500 payment on your old house and are buying a home with a $2000 monthly payment, you will need over $21,000 in the bank.

Keep in mind, this reserve requirement is incremental to your down payment on the new property.

What If I Can’t Qualify Based On Both Mortgage Payments?

This answer is pretty straightforward, and doesn’t require a financial calculator to figure out.

If you are in this situation, then you will have to sell your current home before buying a new one.

If you aren’t sure of the value of the home or how your local market is performing, give us a ring and we’ll happily refer you to a great real estate agent that is in tune with property values in your neighborhood.

…..

As you can tell, purchasing one home while living in another can be a very complicated transaction.  Please contact us at anytime so we can review your specific situation and suggest the proper action plan.

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Related Articles – Mortgage Approval Process:

April 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?

Most people are surprised to learn what appraisers actually look at when determining the value of a real estate property.

A common misconception homeowners generally have is that the value of their home is determined after the appraiser has completed their physical property inspection.

However, the appraiser actually already has a good idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry so much about pushing back an appointment a few days just to “clean things up” in order to help influence the value of your property.

While a clean house will certainly make it easier for the appraiser to notice improvements, the only time you should be concerned about “clutter” is if it is damaging to the dwelling.

The Key Components Addressed In An Appraisal

The Site:

Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features…

Design:

Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features

Condition:

Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features

Health & Safety:

Structural integrity, code compliance

Size:

Above grade and below grade improvements

Neighborhood:

Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?

Functional Utility:

Is the property functional as built – style and use?

Parking:

Garages, Carports, Shops, etc..

Other:

Curb appeal, lot size, & conforming to the neighborhood are obvious to the appraiser when they drive down into the neighborhood pull up in front of your home.

When entering your home, they are going to look at the overall design, condition, finish work, upgrades, any defining features, functional utility, square footage, number of rooms and health and safety items.

Be sure to have all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in working condition.

Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing.

If you’re interested in what specifically appraisers are looking for, here is a copy of the blank 1040 URAR form that is used by every appraiser in the country.

Related Update on HVCC:

Appraisers hired for a mortgage transaction on a conforming loan are chosen from a pool of qualified appraisers at random. Neither you nor your lender has the flexibility of deciding which appraiser will inspect your home.

This recent change was brought on with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct HVCC, and is effective with conventional loans originated on or after May 1, 2009.

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Related Appraisal Articles:

March 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment