Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended reports that the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit has been Extended for contracts signed through April 30th, 2010 that will close by the end of June. The income limits have been expanded as well to include Single buyers making up to $125,000 and Married Couples making up to $225,000. Additionally, those who are looking to trade up may also qualify, provided they have owned and occupied a home for at least 5 years out of the last 8 years.

Detailed information -
$8,000 homebuyers tax credit extended - CNN
First-Time Homebuyer Credit
Frequently Asked Questions - IRS.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wish every one a Very Happy 4th of July!

Today, the 4th of July 2009, we celebrate the independence day. "We the people" are guaranteed certain rights and liberties by the Constitution of the United States of America, to which we ALL should be grateful.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

As citizens of the USA, it is up to us, "We the people," to protect and exercise these rights in our daily lives, and to pass these rights on to the future generations.

We should never underestimate the power of the people, collectively, and in our own selves in making positive changes in our lives and of those around us. We are truly blessed to have the power of the ballet over the bullet and we should exercise it at every opportunity to keep our politicians honest and unswayed by the special interest groups. The government is a representation of the people, by the people, for the people, not the other way around. We should never forget that an elected government official is a servant of the public, and we should hold these people to the highest ideals and expect the best from them.

Use this special day to remind yourself to declare your own independence day from irresponsible spending and to reaffirm to your self to manage your debt responsibly so as not to become a slave due to unmanageable debt.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bad advise?

An article on is reporting that the pending home sales were boosted by record low mortgage interest rates.
"Record low mortgage interest rates boosted pending home sales for the third consecutive month, with some benefit now from the first-time buyer tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors®."
This is certainly good news just in time for the home buying season. With the amount of incentives out there for first time buyers, this is certainly a good time to buy. The article goes on to say that a median-income family making $60K could afford a home costing $296K, which I found rather disturbing.
"A median-income family, earning $60,900, could afford a home costing $296,800 in April with a 20 percent downpayment, assuming 25 percent of gross income is devoted to mortgage principal and interest."
While this may be possible if the family has no other debts such as car payments, drives a fully paid clunker and lives a very, very, very frugal life, I would not recommend this advice even to my worst enemy. Some one wanting to buy a $296K home with a $60K income has to be either the biggest gambler or the biggest fool on earth. As is often the case, expenses have a habit of popping out of no where; a car breaks down, a major repair needs to be done on the house, or the HOA asks you to paint your house. In this time of a bad economy, the best advise I can give is to buy a house that you can afford, not as an investment but one to live in, and certainly not to impress others.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

CDC Federal Credit Union offers $10,000 Mortgage Grant Program for Down-Payment Assistance

In addition to the $8000 Tax credit offered to first time buyers, CDC Federal Credit Union and Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta has teamed together to offer $10,000 in down-payment assistance for qualified buyers. There are strict income limits in order to qualify, and the buyer must contribute $1000 towards down payment in order to receive assistance of $5000 or put a down payment of $2000 to receive the full $10000. If the buyer retains the home for a period of 5 years, the grant is cleared completely and does not require repayment. The program is available on a first come, first server basis, and up to $1 million has been allocated towards this program. For more information, please visit the CDC Federal Credit Union

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Housing blues

MarketWatch is reporting that four states, Nevada, Florida, California, and Arizona (in order of the number of foreclosures) are the main culprits in dragging down the housing prices. These four states contributed 193,659 of the 342,038 foreclosure filing nationwide. This equates to these four states contributing about 60% of all foreclosures in the nation. Due to these foreclosure issues, these states are also contributing to dragging down the national median home price by a record 14% to $169,000.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wish everyone a joyous and peaceful Vesak

Vesak, which is considered to be the holiest of the Buddhist religious days, signifies the birth, enlightenment and the death of Buddha, which occurred on the same full moon day (lunar calendar). Vesak is celebrated in a multitude of ways including going to the temple, food offerings, lighting colorful lanterns, meditating in quiet tranquility, enacting plays from Buddhist stories, colorful parades, etc.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, is a calibration to commemorate the defeat of French troops in 1862 in Puebla, Mexico. Today, it is a calibration of the Mexican culture with music, food and street parties. For more information on where to celibate Cinco de Mayo, please checkout the following links.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Atlanta-style
Atlanta Cinco de Mayo

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Buy now or wait?

The real estate market has been in a downward trend for a while and many buyers have been holding out for the market to bottom out. While this is a good strategy, it is worth your while to figure out what its going to cost you to wait for the market to bottom out. Here are my thoughts about it. I want to make the disclaimer that I am not advising you to go out and buy a home. As always, you should do your own due diligence in figuring out what is best for your unique situation.

Lets assume that you are currently renting at $1200 a month, which is reasonable for a descent 2 BR apartment in Atlanta. Lets also assume that you consider buying a $200K house, but want to hold out longer with the hope of buying cheaper. In the buyers market of today, you can buy a very nice home in Atlanta today for $200K, of course depending on the location in the city. The monthly payment for a $200K, 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 5% would be below $1200 a month.

According to the CNN's Real Estate forecast for Atlanta, the decline so far from a peak in second quarter of 2007 is -11.3%. The total decline when we hit the bottom is expect at -14.6% from the peak. This means the house you can buy today for $200K has already declined $25,479 from a high of $225,479. The -2.4% drop expected this year will put the home at a bottom out price of $195,200 which is a drop of $4800. Something hardly worth the wait for a year.

Now lets look at what it will cost you to wait a year to see the bottom. At $1200 a month, it would have cost you $14,400 in rent alone. That is 7.2% of the price of the home. Now lets add to it the $8000 tax credit available to the first time buyers this year to get the sum of $22,400, which is 11.2% of $200K. Which means your effective price of buying the $200K home today is really $177,600. You could say that even if you were to buy the home today or a year from now, you would still have to pay either the mortgage or rent, so it is not a complete waste. However, the difference is that with rent, the money is gone out the window, while you can use the interest paid on your mortgage as a tax deduction and build equity in the home. I recommend talking to a CPA for the tax advantages of owing your home.

The scenario I drew above is assuming that the interest rate for a 30 year mortgage remains at historic lows. When you factor in interest rates which can change quite dramatically, what you save from one end may get sucked out from another. If the rates were to go up as a result of all the financial hiatus we are in today, the interest alone could become a huge disadvantage to make your wait worthless. However, if the rates were to drop down drastically, which I think is quite unlikely, you could come out a winner. Additionally, successfully calling the bottom and the peak is very hard... if it were that easy, many of us would have become millionaires in the stock market! I don't have a crystal ball, but my take is that waiting for the bottom in housing market may not work out for every body.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This side up!

Bloomberg is reporting that the home prices rose 0.7% in February, which was preceded by a 1% increase in January. This is the first time home prices have gone up for 2 straight months in almost 2 years. In addition to this, MarketWatch is reporting that the mortgage applications rose 5.3% last week.

That was yesterday while I was in the midst of writing up this blog about the January and February increases in home sales but I had put it off aside till today as I was busy... just then today, I found this article on CNN about home sales falling 3% in March! I guess that is what was meant by that age old proverb "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today!" But then again it saved me from writing an extra blog entry!

According to the article, fortunately this time the experts are predicting there are signs of price stabilization... but then again, with so much volatility any one can be an expert these days. The chance of being right one way or the other looks pretty good!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Headaches with buying bank owned properties

Washington Post is running an article that would be an interesting read for any one considering buying foreclosed properties. While there are many good deals to be found, you must have a lot of patience as banks work like banks generally do... Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 5 pm with many bank holidays that most people don't get... add to it that there are practically no incentives for them to go out of the way to sell bank owned properties as buyers are asking for rock bottom prices. So if you are planning to buy foreclosed properties from banks, be ready for a rough ride. Finding a good Real Estate Agent to help you out will go a long way.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring is in the air

The signs of spring is everywhere... the plants starting to turn green with fresh leaves, Cherry Blossoms starting to bloom, the stock market went up for some time and even the housing market is starting to show signs of life! In a market where some states have seen steep losses, seeing only a -2.4% forecast for Atlanta is definitely good news! Click here to check the Real Estate Forecast for your city

If you are planning to sell your home, it would be a good time to start early and give it a fresh coat of paint and do some landscaping or gardening to make it more appealing. Here are some ideas from a previous blog that you can do yourself for very little or no cost at all.

If you have been thinking of buying a home instead of renting and throwing your money away every month, there are many options available to the first time buyer... historically low prices, incredibly low interest rates, mortgages that can be lower than rent and even an attractive gift from uncle Sam in the form of a $8000 Tax Credit!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rick Santelli vs the "looser home owners"

Rick Santelli of CNBC expressed his opinion about the bailout of what he called "looser home owners." I have not been a fan of bailouts either, however I cannot agree with his position when the rich are bailed out at the expense of the poor and he is angry at the few bones thrown at bailing out the poor. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander as well!

The amount of bias some media companies operate with is truly mind boggling. Whatever happened to reporting news as it is, objectively, without personal bias? This cannot be the sign of a healthy country when comedians give you the facts, and media companies give you propaganda!

Not to be outdone, The Colbert Report is running a story about Glen Beck and his miserable virtual world. Compared to Fox and NBC's biased views in news, Comedy Central's Daily Show and Colbert Report seems to provide quality news with humor.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Citigroup to give a break to unemployed

I read this article titled "Citi to Allow Jobless to Pay Less on Loans" on The Wall Street Journal, that would be welcome news to those who have undergone financial hardships in this ugly and uncertain economy. Citigroup's program claims to lower the mortgage payment for those who have lost their jobs and are at least 60 days behind on mortgage payment. The offer applies only to loans serviced by CitiMortgage that are $417,500 or lower. What is not clear to me about the 60 days behind on mortgage payment requirement is how it applies to title theory states like Georgia, where the majority of the foreclosures are non-judicial. Could it be possible that the lender forecloses on you before you get 60 days behind on your payment??? I dont know the answer, and I am not going to speculate either, just pointing out a possibility. I found this well written article on Georgia Foreclosure Law, written by McCurdy & Candler, LLC. If you are facing the unfortunate prospect of foreclosure due to a job loss, and your loan is serviced by Citigroup, you may be in luck.  However, if you are thinking of falling behind on your mortgage payment in oder to take advantage of this opportunity, I would suggest consulting a lawyer that knows and can advice you about the full implications of how this may apply to you. Please note that posting the article on "Georgia Foreclosure Law" by McCurdy & Candler, LLC is not a recommendation or an endorsement as I am not familiar with them. I have written another other article on foreclosure prevention that may be worth a look.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First time buyer incentives abound

There are numerous advantages to purchasing a home this year. In addition to the low interest rates, high levels of offordability, and incredible deals due to the financial crisis, there is an additional $8000 or 10% of purchase price (which ever is less) tax credit for first time home buyers. In order to qualify for the tax credit, you would not have owned a home for the past three years, and the purchase must be made between 1/1/2009 and 11/30/2009. Unlike the previous $7500 tax credit, this is not a loan and does not require repayment if purchased within the specified time period. However, in this unpredictable market, the buyers must exercise caution not to get into homes they cannot afford.

If you are looking for a great deal in the Atlanta and surrounding areas, I can help you find a bargain and represent your best interests. Be sure to read the differences between exclusive and non exclusive agreements and why you should work with an agent even if you are buying a brand new home.

Snow in Suwanee

We have been pretty lucky to have a mild winter so far. It rarely snows in Atlanta and the first snow of winter fell today to remind us that the winter isnt over yet! Here are some pictures I took from the Sims Lake Park in Suwanee.


Hiking Trail

Small Pond

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

House Designs

When it comes designing houses, people come up with ideas as diverse as the universe itself. Here are some interesting ones I saw on youtube

Going green? Here is a guy that is making Recycled Homes

And homes that the big bad wolves dream of blowing down

Here is an interesting Sliding House

This is a nicely built cave house, but unfortunately being foreclosed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Can you change the world?

Can you change the world? Can a single person determined to make a change for the better succeed in a world full of obstruction and negativity? More importantly, what if you were to believe the world of negativity that you cannot make a difference and join the self defeating ideas of a world asleep? Surely, you would have lost even before you ever started. However, if you believe you can give a try despite the world of negativity, you have given yourself a fair  chance. A chance that can make a difference. Here is a wonderful video that says just that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Atlanta Properties Group

Today I swithed to a different broker; Atlanta Properties Group. Keller Williams Realty has served me well, but I decided it was time to try out a different broker in order to find a broker close to where I am. I believe Atlanta Properties Group is well positioned to help me serve my clients in the best possible ways.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14th marks a day set aside for the lovers and the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of valentines... but the history of the Valentines day is far more amusing when you look at its history. According to the Wikiedia, the Valentine's Day was originally a pagan festival that was renamed after two Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. Yes, you read that right! If you want to find out more, just dig into the Wikipedia link mentioned above and/or read "The History of Valentine's Day" from Regardless, enjoy the day by sending out a Valentine to your favorite person!

Wish all my readers A Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What are banks doing with the bailout money?

Many have been wandering what the banks are doing with the bailout money as they seem to be hoarding it, instead of helping to ease the credit crunch. In this article titled "Bank CEOs flogged in Washington" CNN is reporting the CEOs of 8 top banks being questioned by the law makers for the unwillingness to lend to consumers. So, the real question that we have to ask as tax payers is "what are the banks doing with our handouts?"

While I have no insight into the practices of banks, I can only postulate.  Here is what I think... Imagine you are a home owner getting squeezed by the credit crunch. If some one were to give you a lot of money that you could use for whatever you like, what would you do? Go and blow it out on a new car, new furniture, and big screen TVs and home entertainment systems? That would be one way to spend it, but if it were me, I'd hoard that cash and spend thriftily so I wont go into foreclosure. Now imagine a bank that has acquired many homes thru foreclosure proceedings, being squeezed by the credit crunch and forced to sell those homes at huge discounts to avoid bankruptcy. Now, if a benevolent government were to hand them a ton of other people's money, all of a sudden they don't have to feel the tightening of the screws any more. Instead of being forced to sell the homes at a huge discount, the bank can hold on to the properties much longer and can afford to reject the low ball offers. Instead of lending to the consumers at around 5.5% and risk loosing money again, it seems much more profitable to hold on to the houses longer in hope of a recovery and reduce the losses with the free money. In a way you cannot blame them, but the money was given for the specific reason of unthawing the credit markets. I could very well be wrong here, but I think this is the reason why the banks are behaving as they are. While the bankers get bailed out with public money to protect their assets, the consumer gets left out in the cold to be foreclosed. In any case, it is us, the consumer, that gets screwed once again!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bottom in sight?

Lately, I have seen a number of articles looking for a bottom in real estate.  I tend to agree since we have been in a recession for well over a year, housing affordability is better than ever, along with lower mortgage rates and the government taking corrective action in multiple fronts.  Although I dont have a crystal ball, I believe there are many reasons to expect the prices to stabilize in the near future. In my opinion, some of these reasons are;
However, these reasons are not enough to stabilize the market. With the consumer confidence at record lows, and huge unemployment numbers, the would be buyers have been delaying the purchases further. So, what remains to happen before the sentiment changes is the creation of new jobs. Hopefully, this is issue will be addressed by the bailouts, for what they are worth.

It is hard to predict exactly where the real estate market will be in the future just as much as it is hard to predict where the stock market will be headed. However, if you buy responsibly whiten your means in this down market, a home can be a long term investment, in addition to providing you shelter and tax breaks. As each person is in a unique situation with different circumstances, each person should evaluate their own situation when making such decisions. While a brand new expensive mansion will be an option for one person, a fire sale fixer upper with a big discount might be the option for another. Whichever option suits you best, there are far more options available to the home buyer today than to the buyers of yesterday.

Here are some articles that I've been reading recently
Hovnanian's CEO Foresees Housing Are We Drawing Near a Housing Bottom?
Can We Expect a Springtime Bounce in Housing Prices?
The Future of California's Housing: Shortage Ahead?
Homebuilders Agree: January Was A Good Month
Searching for a Housing Bottom? Look at New Sales Activity
Seeking Stabilization in the Housing Market? Look at This Chart
Housing Inventories Offer Positive News
New Home Market Inches Closer to Normal
A Nation of Mortgage Slaves

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Free markets not so free

I had to wait in line for little over half an hour today to return my Charter cable TV receiver and modem. Our bill for cable TV and internet jumped from the $79 promo to $140 at which time I decided to switch to DirectTV ($39) and naked DSL (without a voice line) from AT&T ($37). I also subscribe to VOIP phone service through Packet8 for $20 a month. These 3 services from 3 different vendors cost me roughly $100 a month, yet Charter's TV and internet service cost $140! So, I wasn't surprised at all to see so many people waiting in line to return their cable boxes. A lady waiting in line even commented about how Charter is a monopoly and how glad she is to get out of it... which reminded me how unwillingly I signed up for Charter as it is the only cable TV provider servicing our subdivision. I also had a long held grudge against AT&T for unsuccessfully trying to stick me with an exorbitantly large phone bill that shouldn't have been. So my choices were very limited at the time; I didn't want anything to do with AT&T, Direct TV and Dish didn't make much sense at the time and Comcast wasn't even available for us. A few years later, Charter is still the only cable provider for our subdivision, and out of necessity to save a buck and punish one monopoly, I had to subscribe to another. There are many other legal monopolies such as oil and energy companies, airlines, and even Microsoft, that we have come to accept in our daily lives. So whenever I hear people talking about free markets, what comes to my mind is how can we have free markets when we don't even have the choice to choose our cable provider. The day when we can truly choose what we want is still far far away, as monopolies try to divide regions and markets where they can operate in and extort money from consumers without much of a choice.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year, marking the beginning of the year 4706 in Chinese calendar, begins on the 26th of January 2009. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the Ox, which signifies prosperity through fortitude and hard work. Taipei Economic and Cultural Office is hosting a 2-day New Year celebration festival from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, on January 31- February 1 at 5377 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341.

Every "drunk" has his day!

We have all heard of research articles that keeps popping up every now and then about how wine is good for your heart. 60 Minutes ran a story about a substance found in red wine called resveratrol that could prevent a number of age related illnesses. In the CBS article, "Fountain Of Youth In A Wine Rx?", Dr. Christoph Westphal of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc states that it maybe possible to slow down the genes that control the aging process. From my personal experience, I can agree with him in that it at least seems to slow things down when you are drunk! ;-) I have learned to take these "research articles" with a grain of salt since a lot of these "research" tends to be funded by parties with a vested interest. However, having one more reason for having a drink is all always good news!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inspirational Videos

A few days ago, an African American man achieved the highest position in the most powerful nation in the world; the thought of which was just a dream less than 50 years ago. The power of the human spirit is amazing. If you really want something, it is truly within your grasp, if and only if you really, really want it, and are willing to work for it. Looking into the world of business, here is the inspirational speech given by Steve Jobs for the commencement Speech at The Stanford University in 2005 and one from Bill Gates given at The Harvard University. But some times things don't go so well and life throws some curve balls, but to face it bravely or to be defeated by it is truly your own choice. I ran across this amazing video of an amazing man with an inspirational message about how to get up when you are down.

If that didn't inspire you enough, heres another amazing video of two other amazing people who have made the best of what they have. The message is simple; life is what you make of it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A unique day in history

President Barrak Hussein Obama took oath as the 44th president of the United State of America today, marking a historic event in many ways than one. This day is living proof of the American and the human dream that every man is created equal, should be judged only by their actions, without prejudice, and not by any superficial features. This wondrous day has come to America, peacefully, through the power of choice, free will, and self determination. I hope that this day will come to people of all countries that are fighting each other, without realizing that what they fight for is the same pursuit of Peace, Liberty and Justice for all.

Congratulations President Obama! May you have the wisdom and courage to become a great president of this great nation and in making our government a government of the people, by the people, for the people!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Foreclosures rise in Gwinnett

The number of foreclosures recorded in the Gwinnett Daily Post's legal section for the Gwinnett county has hit an all time high of 1,685 properties. These properties will be auctioned at the county courthouse next month. Even though you may be able to find a good deal, buying foreclosure properties has its own set of pitfalls. If you are considering buying foreclosure properties at auctions, read this well written article titled "Should I buy a foreclosed property?" by Monika McGillicuddy. If you are facing the unfortunate prospects of foreclosure, please read this article I wrote a while back on Foreclosure Prevention, to find the help you need.

Here are some auction sites I found for Atlanta. I am neither affiliated with any of these companies, nor have I used any of their services, so I cannot recommend or warn you about these companies. If you are looking for the auctions conducted by the county court house, they are generally held on the first Tuesday of every month at the county court house.
Williams & Williams
Interstate Auction Company
Atlanta Foreclosure Homes
Hudson and Marshall
Georgia Foreclosure Listings
Neighbors Auction

Thursday, January 8, 2009

HBO secures rights to Presidential inaugural ceremony

HBO has secured rights to telecast the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony for an undisclosed sum. HBO is claiming that they are working with Cable and Satelite providers to make the service available to the public for free, but this remainst to be seen. It is sad that such public events are up for the grabs to the highest bidder. From what I gather from the Wikipedia, inaugural ceremonies are organized by the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, which is a public entity, organizing a public event. So why are the rights to telecast this event sold to the highest bidder for an undisclosed sum? Given that the costs for the ceremony has to be recovered, it is reasonable to charge a fee and find sponsers. However, there should not be exclusive deals that has the possibility of restricting the public from being able to witness such historic, public events. Why not charge a standard fee from all broadcasters willing to broadcast the event and do away with exclusive deals which gives the upper hand to a broadcaster that charges subscription fees? Secondly, public events should not have the stigma of any undisclosed sum deals attached to it, all funds should be well accounted for, and should be an open book. I would like to know what others think of this subject.

U.S. household debt decreases

The Wallstreet Journal is reporting that the U.S. household debt declined in the third quarter of 2008 for the first time since The Federal Reserve started tracking it in 1952. The article states that the consumer spending groweth also declined for the first time in 17 years, painting a grim outlook for the future by focusing on 2 families that have been forced to save due to job losses. Being a Wall Street article, it is written as if the cost cutting and savings are a bad thing and we are heading back to the middle ages. One family is even quoted as having bought a calf, which they plan to slaughter and eat the meat! However, I believe that the end of consumerism and return to saving is a good thing as people get out of careless spending sprees and start taking responsibility for creating a financially secure future for themselves. If this article titled "Hard-Hit Families Finally Start Saving, Aggravating Nation's Economic Woes", is trying to suggest that these hard hit families go out and start spending to save the economy, they are suggesting bad advice. Yes, there will be a lot of pain ahead, but if we continue to get bigger and bigger as a nation of debters, the implications will be far greater. According to the Treasury Direct our national debt as of 1/6/09 stood at a mind-boggling $10,638,425,746,293.80!!! So getting into more debt to solve a crisis of debt is not the answer.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

Wish everyone a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year! I was out on vacation in Daytona Beach over the new years eve and got back home late last night. Having lived close to the ocean in San Diego, the urge to go to the beach became too intense to resist :-) The weather was pretty nice, but the water was a bit too chilly to take a dip in the Atlantic.
"A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life."
Now that the new year has arrived, we should try to make New Year's resolutions to better our lives. I received this PowerPoint presentation with beautiful thoughts in it. I'm not a chain letter person, but since it was a thoughtful presentation about things we forget or overlook in life, I thought of putting it up on my blog for those who would like to read it. Its a year old, but its never too late to live a good life.