What Does Your Life “Canvas” Look Like? Make It A Masterpiece By: Jim Rohn

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In my years teaching people to be successful, I have seen that basically people break their lives down in to two major parts: wealth-building and the rest of their lives. Having done a lot of reflection on these two topics–wealth and life–I am coming to some new conclusions about how to perceive the two.

 

Until recently I thought that there was a significant difference in how we should tackle the two areas. In fact, I thought that the two topics should be addressed in almost opposite fashion. You see, wealth-building is just math. While life, life is art. Think back with me to high school. Most of us were required to take math and most of us probably took art as well. Now, think about your final exams in the two areas. Your math paper was graded on hard facts. There is always just one answer in math. Math is a science. It is formulaic. You can know the outcome before it happens, every time.

 

But what about your final art project? Art is much more subjective. "Beauty," they say, "is in the eye of the beholder." There is no one right answer. Think of the different styles of the famous artists: Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Rockwell, Warhol. Different people find different styles beautiful, and that is what makes art, art.

 

So how does this fit with wealth-building and life?

 

Wealth-building is like math: If you add $1,000 to your retirement account each month and gain 7 percent interest over 25 years, you can know now how much you will have then. It is math. If you buy a rental property for $200,000 now and it increases in value by 3 percent a year, you know exactly how much you will be able to sell it for in 10 years. The beauty of math is in the knowing. You can work the system, set it on auto-pilot and the math does the work for you—and you know the outcome.

 

But life? Life is art. And that is the beauty of life. You do not know how it is going to turn out. Life, like art, is always changing. Different people provide different colors. When you make a mistake you can go back, erase it or even paint right over it. You can change the scenery. Life, like art, is ever evolving, and what looks good to one person is of no interest to another. And that is what makes life beautiful.

 

Another lesson I think we can draw is that in life we should do our math, but that life isn't made up of just wealth-building. Wealth-building should serve our ability to live our lives. Jesus, the master teacher, said that our lives are not made up of the abundance of our possessions. He didn't mean that possessions aren't good, just that wealth isn't what life is all about.

 

So let me ask you: Are you spending more time on your math or your art? Do your math. Everybody should do their very best at their wealth-building plan so they can take care of themselves and their families. But life is about the art. What does your canvas look like? What kind of picture are you painting? What kind of pot are you creating? What kind of statue are you sculpting? Take your time, make bold strokes, use brilliant colors, and make of your life the most beautiful masterpiece that you can.

 

In other words, do your math so you can focus on your art.

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Regains Nation’s Highest Foreclosure Rate in November

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The highest foreclosure rate of any state once again belonged to Florida in November after being displaced by Maryland in October, according to U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November 2014 released Thursday. Florida has now had the nation's highest foreclosure rate in 13 of the last 14 months, according to RealtyTrac. Prior to Maryland posting the highest foreclosure rate for October, Florida had the top rate for 12 straight months.

 

Both month-over-month and year-over-year declines could not keep Florida from regaining the nation's highest foreclosure rate. Overall, one in every 462 residential properties in Florida had a foreclosure filing (which includes default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions) in November, marking a 4 percent decline from October and a 15 percent decline from November 2013. It was the 16th consecutive month that the Sunshine State saw a year-over-year decline in foreclosure filings.

 

While foreclosure activity has been declining in Florida for many months, things have been going in the opposite direction for New Jersey.  The Garden State has seen a year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity for 11 of the last 12 months, including a surge of 196 percent in November, according to RealtyTrac. The huge increase pushed New Jersey from ninth in October to second in November in foreclosure rate. In all, one in every 478 residential housing units had a foreclosure filing in New Jersey in November, RealtyTrac reported.

 

In Maryland, foreclosure activity declined month-over-month from one in every 400 units in October to one in every 581 units for November, dropping the Old Line State from first to third among states for highest foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac. However, Maryland saw a 93 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure completions.

 

Delaware, which had the sixth highest foreclosure rate in October, saw increases month-over-month in both foreclosure starts (24 percent) and foreclosure auctions (34 percent), pushing the First State into the fourth position for the highest foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac. One in every 693 residential housing units in Delaware had a foreclosure filing in November, RealtyTrac reported.

 

A spike in foreclosure activity in Utah in November pushed the Beehive State from 12th to fifth for the highest foreclosure rate. In November REO activity surged by 83 percent month-over-month and 20 percent year-over-year in Utah. November marked Utah's first year-over-year increase in REO activity since June 2011, ending a string of 41 consecutive months with a decline. Utah's foreclosure rate in November was one for every 750 residential housing units.

 

Rounding out the top 10 for foreclosure rate were Nevada (sixth, 1:783), Illinois (seventh, 1:848), Ohio (eighth, 1:865), Indiana (ninth, 1:932), and South Carolina (10th, 1:933), according to RealtyTrac.


 

Steep Decline in October, Foreclosure Completions Remain High

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Foreclosure completions declined significantly both month-over-month and year-over-year in October, but are still way above pre-recession levels, according to the October 2014 National Foreclosure Report released on Thursday.

 

Foreclosure completions, which are an indicator of the number of homes lost to foreclosure, totaled 41,000 for October 2014, according to CoreLogic. The number was down 26.4 percent from October 2013, when 55,000 foreclosures were completed. Month-over-month, foreclosure completions fell 34.1 percent, down from the 62,000 completions that were reported for September.

 

The number of foreclosure completions has dropped 65 percent from its peak achieved in September 2010, according to CoreLogic. Before the housing market crashed in 2007, foreclosure completions averaged about 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.

 

Foreclosure inventory, which is the number of homes in some state of foreclosure, totaled 605,000 in October 2014, which was a 30.9 percent decline from October 2013, when 875,000 homes were in some state of foreclosure in the U.S. October 2014 was the 36th consecutive month in which there was a year-over-year decline in foreclosure inventory. Foreclosure inventory has declined by 2.1 percent month-over-month from September to October. "While there has been a large improvement in the reduction of foreclosure inventory, completed foreclosures remain high and serve as one of the obstacles to new single-family construction," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. "Until the flow of completed foreclosures declines to normal levels, new-home construction will not pick up because builders have little incentive to compete with foreclosure stock."

 

CoreLogic reported that 1.6 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the U.S. were in some state of foreclosure in October 2014, down from 2.2. Percent in October 2013. October 2014's foreclosure rate of 1.6 percent was the lowest it has been since May 2008. "The foreclosure inventory is less than 2 percent and seriously delinquent loans are trending lower right now," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "At current rates, we can expect the foreclosure inventory to slip below 500,000 units during 2015."


 

Foreclosure Inventory a Hurdle for New Home Construction

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Completed foreclosure dropped precipitously in October compared to September, although they were down to a significantly lesser extent from a year earlier.  While the foreclosure crisis is no longer front-page news, CoreLogic's October National Foreclosure Report, released today points out that completed foreclosures in October were nearly double the number in more "normal" times and are major factors inhibiting a return to normal levels of new home construction.

 

During the month there were 41,000 completed foreclosures nationally compared to 62,000 in September, a -34.1 percent change.  The October number was down 14,000 or 26.4 percent from a year earlier and was 65 percent below the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010.  It was the 25th month of double digit year-over-year declines in the inventory of foreclosed homes. Still, CoreLogic points out that from 2000 to 2006, before the decline in the housing market, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month.  There have been approximately 5.3 houses repossessed by lenders since 2008.

 

The foreclosure inventory, the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure, numbered 605,000 units in October compared to 875,000 a year earlier, a decrease of 30.9 percent.  October is the 36th consecutive month in which the inventory has declined and it was down 2.1 percent compared to the previous month.  The foreclosure inventory represents 1.6 percent of all homes nationwide with a mortgage, down from 2.1 percent in September and 2.2 percent in October 2013.  The October inventory rate is the lowest since May 2008. "While there has been a large improvement in the reduction of foreclosure inventory, completed foreclosures remain high and serve as one of the obstacles to new single-family construction," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. "Until the flow of completed foreclosures declines to normal levels, new-home construction will not pick up because builders have little incentive to compete with foreclosure stock."

 

CoreLogic president and CEO Anand Nallathambi pointed out that not only is the foreclosure inventory at a new low but seriously delinquent loans are also tending down.  "At current rates, we can expect the foreclosure inventory to slip below 500,000 units during 2015," he said.

Every state but West Virginia and the District of Columbia posted double-digit declines in foreclosure inventory year over year and in 19 states these were greater than 30 percent.  The largest decreases were in Florida (44.9 percent) and Utah (41.6 percent.)  West Virginia posted the smallest change, -8.9 percent while and the District of Columbia's inventory increased 17.3 percent.

 

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in October 2014 were: Florida (118,000), Michigan (45,000), Texas (36,000), California (29,000) and Georgia (28,000).These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

 

 

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: New Jersey (5.5 percent), Florida (4.1 percent), New York (4.1 percent), Hawaii (2.9 percent) and Maine (2.6 percent).  All five are judicial foreclosure states.Completed foreclosure dropped precipitously in October compared to September, although they were down to a significantly lesser extent from a year earlier.  While the foreclosure crisis is no longer front-page news, CoreLogic's October National Foreclosure Report, released today points out that completed foreclosures in October were nearly double the number in more "normal" times and are major factors inhibiting a return to normal levels of new home construction.

 

During the month there were 41,000 completed foreclosures nationally compared to 62,000 in September, a -34.1 percent change.  The October number was down 14,000 or 26.4 percent from a year earlier and was 65 percent below the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010.  It was the 25th month of double digit year-over-year declines in the inventory of foreclosed homes. Still, CoreLogic points out that from 2000 to 2006, before the decline in the housing market, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month.  There have been approximately 5.3 houses repossessed by lenders since 2008.

 

The foreclosure inventory, the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure, numbered 605,000 units in October compared to 875,000 a year earlier, a decrease of 30.9 percent.  October is the 36th consecutive month in which the inventory has declined and it was down 2.1 percent compared to the previous month.  The foreclosure inventory represents 1.6 percent of all homes nationwide with a mortgage, down from 2.1 percent in September and 2.2 percent in October 2013.  The October inventory rate is the lowest since May 2008. "While there has been a large improvement in the reduction of foreclosure inventory, completed foreclosures remain high and serve as one of the obstacles to new single-family construction," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. "Until the flow of completed foreclosures declines to normal levels, new-home construction will not pick up because builders have little incentive to compete with foreclosure stock."

 

CoreLogic president and CEO Anand Nallathambi pointed out that not only is the foreclosure inventory at a new low but seriously delinquent loans are also tending down.  "At current rates, we can expect the foreclosure inventory to slip below 500,000 units during 2015," he said.

Every state but West Virginia and the District of Columbia posted double-digit declines in foreclosure inventory year over year and in 19 states these were greater than 30 percent.  The largest decreases were in Florida (44.9 percent) and Utah (41.6 percent.)  West Virginia posted the smallest change, -8.9 percent while and the District of Columbia's inventory increased 17.3 percent.

 

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in October 2014 were: Florida (118,000), Michigan (45,000), Texas (36,000), California (29,000) and Georgia (28,000).These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

 

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: New Jersey (5.5 percent), Florida (4.1 percent), New York (4.1 percent), Hawaii (2.9 percent) and Maine (2.6 percent).  All five are judicial foreclosure states.

Refi Volume Rising While HARP Numbers Keep Falling

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Low mortgage interest rates helped elevate refinance volume throughout the third quarter as demand for the government's relief refinance program continued to diminish.

 

Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported 389,284 refinances throughout the third quarter, according to their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The figure compares to a total of 344,507 in the second quarter. The boost came as mortgage rates remained more or less stable in the 4.1–4.2 percent range, well below averages seen throughout the early second quarter. With rates now hovering around 4 percent, refinancing activity for the fourth quarter is well-positioned to beat out last year's slump.

 

As refinance volumes rose, the share of refinances completed through the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) fell further, according to FHFA. The agency's report shows HARP refinances totaled 44,136 throughout Q3, representing about 11 percent of total refinances. In Q2, HARP refinances totaled 54,040, about 16 percent of total refinance numbers.

 

Since the program first kicked off in 2009, FHFA estimates HARP refinances have topped 3.2 million. However, interest in the program has steadily fallen in the last year, with the total number of 2014 HARP refinances looking to hit only about one-third of last year's total—even as FHFA continues its initiative to boost borrower awareness by hosting town hall-style events in certain hard-hit markets.

 

By FHFA's estimate, there are more than 722,000 thousand borrowers who have a "strong financial incentive" to refinance, especially with mortgage rates at historical lows. With many Americans paying 1.5 percentage points more in interest than the current market average, the agency estimates those borrowers could save an average of $200 per month on their mortgage payments.

 

Despite its failing popularity nationwide, HARP refinances continue to account for a sizable share of refinances in certain states. Year-to-date through September, HARP represented 33 percent of total refinances in Georgia and 31 percent of refinances in Florida, nearly double the nationwide share of 16 percent.

 

HARP numbers also remain relatively strong among underwater borrowers. According to FHFA, 7,577 of Q3 HARP refinances were for consumers with loan-to-value ratios ranging from 105–125 percent, while 4,124 were for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios higher than 125 percent. While both numbers were down slightly from the second quarter, they compare to a much bigger drop in HARP activity among borrowers with 80–105 percent loan-to-value ratios.


 

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