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Rosie’s Garage: Living Proof One Person Can Make a Difference

by The Domis Team

All it takes is one person with a mission to change the course of events.  Such a person is La Habra Councilmember Rose Espinoza.  Before she was a councilmember Rosie Espinoza was a concerned parent, neighbor, and citizen.  She saw a need in her community and did something about it.

In 1990, after moving back to her hometown, Ms Espinoza discovered there was gang activity in her neighborhood and decided to talk to her neighbors.  In going door to door, in a grassroots effort to involve her neighbors, she realized many did not have an education above an elementary level.  Knowing that she needed to keep the children from joining a gang they would need an alternate option.  

 “Espinoza saw education as a path to help children become confident, capable and independent adults,”  and a way to break generational poverty.  With this vision in mind, Rosie Espinoza turned her garage into an after school tutoring program. But, most of all in order to win over the children she knew it had to be fun and cool to hang out at Rosie’s Garage.

It became so cool to hang out with Rosie and tutoring volunteers that a second site was opened in 1997.and in 2005, Rosie’s Garage took over a former gang house. “Last year, Rosie’s Garage was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, funded by private donations, foundation grants and an annual 5k run to benefit scholarships for Espinoza’s students.”

Ms Espinoza and Rosie’s Garage has won many awards over the past 20 years for helping over a 1,000 students to increased their reading, writing, and math skills.  One person - with a vision - can make a difference!

How much is your home worth?

http://www.homevalueslahabra1.com/

 

Contact Linda and Tim at:

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

Whittier do you think Roth IRA conversion is it a good idea?

by The Domis Team

In a Roth IRA account your savings are tax free and when you withdraw your funds during retirement it will also be tax free.  Of course, converting from another type of savings will incur state, federal, and local taxation.   However, with the new federal estate tax taking effect in January 2011, you will be able to leave the Roth IRA as an income tax free inheritance.  So is a Roth IRA conversion a good idea?

An article from Forbes.com gives some good pointers on why you should convert. 

Why convert:

  • Federal Tax – expect a rise in taxes
  • Moving – state income taxes
  • 70 ½ years old - you will not have to take an annual distribution
  • Inheritance – tax free
  • Taxable Estate – reduce estate taxes
  • IRA investments - decline in the growth of wealth
  • Spouse – loss of your life long partner
  • Social Security – possible taxation

Why should you convert to a Roth IRA if you are moving to another state?  Many states have state income taxes plus other taxes that will hinder your retirement fund.  Also, if you have a taxable estate, the first million is tax free; there are at least 19 states that have estate taxes.

The decline in the growth of the IRA investment has a really good point for converting to a Roth IRA.  There is a special provision for taxpayers to take advantage of and it is possible to undo the conversion, if your investments are still in a decline or just not growing.

As always, having a good lawyer and accountant will aid you in making these decisions.

How much is your home worth?

http://www.homevalueslahabra1.com/

 

Contact Linda and Tim at:

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

Woodland Duck Farm - Phase I

by The Domis Team

The Watershed Conservation Authority, in conjunction with the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy acquired the Woodland Duck Farm in 2004.  The goal for these 57 acres between the 605 Freeway and the San Gabriel River is to reclaim the land for public usage while protecting the watershed of the rivers and the wildlife. 

The Watershed Conservation Authority (WCA) is to “provide open space, habitat restoration, and watershed improvement projects.”  The San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) mission is to “preserve open space and habitat in order to provide low-impact recreation and educational uses, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvements.” Both of these agencies have similar goals.  With one exception the WCA works like a partnership between the RMC and Los Angeles County.  This partnership helps with funding and projects. 

This project will be done in 2 phases according to the Conceptual Site Plan.  This plan was drawn up in 2007 and had to slowdown its completion because of the budget constraints.  But the WCA is expecting the Duck Farm to be opened to the public by April 2010.

Phase 1 of the Conceptual Site Plan is within unincorporated Los Angeles County.  This part of Duck Farm will have trails leading to the river, improve the river levee, a park, a dog park, and improve an existing equestrian center, a new road access, and a native plant nursery.

Phase 1 – North Parcel

  • 14 acre Riparian corridor
  • 4 acre native plant nursery
  • 4 acre wildflower meadow
  • 0.5 acre wetland/freshwater marsh
  • Visitor Center
  • Improvement for pedestrian

Phase 1- East Parcel

  • Park with community garden
  • Children’s play area
  • Dog Park
  • Equestrian facility
  • 250 parking spaces with 2 vehicle access points

How much is your home worth?

http://www.homevalueslahabra1.com/

 

Contact Linda and Tim at:

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

History of La Habra City, CA – The Second Hundred Years.

by The Domis Team

With the coming of the 20th Century La Habra City really started to change.  The Pacific Electric Railroad came to the city in 1908, in 1912 Standard Oil Company built a pipeline; by 1913 La Habra was blooming with tents to house the oil and citrus workers.  With the increase of the population so did the property values; in 1916 La Habra was a modern city of its time.  It had everything, including a dance hall.

The City decided to incorporate in 1925, had a Police Force by 1926; employing a Chief, Patrolman, and a Traffic Officer.  In ’28, it was known as the largest avocado center.  In the depression era, the Fire Department first building was erected and during the deepest parts of the depression in 1935 the first City Hall was built.

By the middle of the century, 1950’s, La Habra grew to almost 5000 people.  The County Library with a Civic Center (1966) and the Administration Building (1969) came to fruition during the Vietnam War.

1974 was an award winning year for La Habra.  The City won the All-America City which was given by the National Municipal League and was picked to be a Bicentennial City.

Even today, in 2010, La Habra is a full service city.  Known as a “bedroom community” with only 62,000 people in a 7 square mile radius, La Habra manages to be on the cutting edge.  The City’s history has shown its people to be a forward thinking and acting body.  For example, community supporters, with the City Management Team, had the first Children’s Museum in the West.  Also, the water supply has been “greened” to make it more flexible and diversified to accommodate California’s dry spells.

So, as we progress through the 21st Century, it will be interesting to see how La Habra City develops.

How much is your home worth?

http://www.homevalueslahabra1.com/

Contact Linda and Tim at:

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

Whittier Women Have "Hattitude"

by The Domis Team

Sue Ellen Cooper,the founder of the Red Hat Society, read a poem, Warning by Jenny Joseph, and then gave a red hat and a copy of this poem to her friends.  This simple act of friendship took off and has become an international social society.

The sole mission of the society is to “do whatever you wish”.  Their goal is to bond with other women while having fun.  The Red Hatter’s celebrate being a woman over 50.  This particular set of baby boomers is redefining aging for women.  The first group started in Fullerton, CA with the second group in Florida.  And by word of mouth this society began spreading across the nation and has become international.

You will be able to recognize a Red Hatter instantly. They arrive wherever they go wearing red hats and purple clothes.  Boas and elaborate red hats are signature signs of “ Hattitude”.

Hattitude has struck such a deep cord with women that younger women wanted to join.  So, until they turn 50, the Pink Hatters wear pink hats and lavender clothes and join their mothers and grandmothers in having fun.

But, for people who keep asking what they do?  They laugh, they chuckle, they giggle, they act silly, this joy of living is infectious, and you find yourself laughing right along with them.

Doctors will tell you that laughter is good for the body.  Theologians will tell you that laughter is good for the soul. All I know is laughing makes me feel good.

 Find out more about the Red Hatters at the local Whittier chapter.

How much is your home worth? 

http://www.homevalueslahabra1.com/

 

Contact Linda and Tim at:

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

 

LaHabra: Here’s Some Good Advice From the Good Old Days

by The Domis Team

I recently read an article, "17 Ways Consumers Are Changing" by Rick Newman, Chief Business Correspondent of U.S. News and World Report Money website. I thought his perspective was worth taking a look at.

Mr. Newman’s sees some of the changes as:

  • Less credit, more cash
  • More suspicious
  • More resourceful
  • Less brand loyalty
  • Smaller is bigger
  • Less window shopping
  • De-Cluttering
  • Food frugality
  • More gardening
  • Less waste
  • Less healthcare
  • More negotiating
  • More volunteering
  • Redefining success

Just think this is how our grandparents and great-grandparents lived. They lived within their means and took pride in the fact they paid their debts. They “willed” their treasured possessions to family members. Everyone has something that was left to them from a parent, grandparent, or some family member that meant a great deal to them and now to you. 

For years I have heard how America’s families are in trouble and what do we do about it, the rest of the world was saying America was out of touch with reality, even Americans were sending e-mails about how good the good old days were, and writing songs about the good old days.

“What was good about the good old days”, you ask?

Many things were not good about the good old days but, there were other things that will always stand up to the test of time. Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and even our great-great-grandparents had strong work ethics, did not expect hand outs but, were willing to give a hand to help, close knit family ties, participated in their community, understood  the rhythm of nature, and I think knew what freedom really means in every sense of the word. 

So the changes Mr. Newman wrote about aren’t really new – just recycled into a new generation.

How much is your home worth?

http://www.homevalueslahabra1.com/

 

Contact Linda and Tim at:

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

Follow These Nine Steps to Buy Your Whittier / LaHabra Home

by The Domis Team

Intimidated by the buying process, don’t be. Hire a good Realtor, and follow these HUD guidelines  for buying a home.  

These nine steps are a great guideline to use in making your Whittier home buying experience less confusing:

  • How much can you afford - That answer depends on your annual income, debt ratio, and credit rating from the three credit bureaus the down payment, and the current interest rates.
  • Know your rights under the law - Research and learn about the laws that protect the buyers and sellers such as Fair Housing, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the rights of a borrower, and most importantly predatory lending.
  • Shop around for loans - Don't be shy about comparative shopping for a loan with an interest rate that helps your pocketbook.  After all you will have this loan for 15 to 30 years.
  • Research for home buying programs - The federal and state governments offer home buying programs with sales discounts and low interest rates to encourage buyers to seek homeownership.
  • Search for a home - Make a dream list of features you want in your home and community.  HUD encourages buyers to select a Realtor to help in finding their dream home/community that matches their income. 
  • Place an offer - Negotiate - this is where your Realtor’s  expertise will be most beneficial.  Put it in writing but, if the seller accepts your offer within a few days it will become a contract.
  • Have a home inspection done - HUD suggests your offer be "contingent on a home inspection". Have a list of questions to ask the home inspector, i.e.; cost, length of time, etc.
  • Homeowners insurance - Don't assume all homeowners insurance is the same.  Shop around and compare prices for what is being offered in the policy. 
  • Sign papers and move in to your new home - Yeah! You've made it to the best part of buying a home.

Want to know what your current home is worth?

Contact the Domis Team

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

Whittier, What Do You Think Is The Biggest Trend in Crafting?

by The Domis Team

According to the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA), the two biggest trends in Crafting are re-purposing and sewing.  Both of these ideas are not new but, seem to get a re-birth when the economy takes a down turn.  The purpose of re-purposing is to take something that is old, things that are no longer used but still good, and create a new reason for them.  Re-purposing is not only fun and creative, but it helps to leave a smaller carbon footprint.  We love that idea.

March is National Craft Month.  And Whittier, the CHA has challenged you to pledge to spend one night a week reconnecting with family and friends over a craft project. “….you will enjoy a sense of accomplishment , memory keeping, and relaxation.”

Crafting  gives each generation a chance to add their sense of style to the current trend, save money, and rediscover the joy of crafting. Whether you put crafting to use in developing your own sense of style in your clothes, for a charitable organization, or your home, re-purposing and sewing is a productive creative outlet. 

Of course, real estate is the perfect place to put your crafting skills to good use.  The whole family can put their crafting abilities  into repairing and updating houses. 

Ask me about "fixer uppers" that need a crafter's TLC.

Contact the Domis Team

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

A Population Snapshot of La Habra

by The Domis Team

All the buzz around the 2010 Census, got me wondering just what does the population of La Habra look like.

Here are a few pertinent La Habra demographics pulled primarily from the 2000 Census:

  • As of 2008, the population number was estimated at 62,000.
  • 14% of the population is over 60 years old.
  • The median age is 31

The Racial and Ethnic Population breaks into:

  • 41.4% White
  • 49% Hispanic
  • 6% Asian & Pacific Islander
  • 1.4 % Black
  • 2.2% All Other

Voter Registration:

  • Democratic 10,034
  • Republican 11,383
  • Independent 616
  • Green106
  • Libertarian 143

Housing:

  • Occupied Housing Units 19,042
  • Owner Occupied Housing Unites 10,815
  • Renter Occupied 8,227
  • Household Size 3.19 persons per household

Income:

  • Median Household Income $47, 652
  • Per Capita Income $18,923
  • Below Poverty Level 12.9%

The above information is a snapshot of La Habra ten years ago. It is now time for the entire country to participate in the decennial census of 2010. It will be very interesting to see what changes have occurred. You may ask, why do we care what the population specifics are, and does it really matter if the population is more or less now than it was ten year ago.  Yes it is very important and critical to some communities.  The Census data will determine the number of members that each state will have in the House of Representatives. And how much of the more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding our community will receive to spend on infrastructure and services such as hospitals, senior centers, schools and emergency services. 

Ten years ago the senior population of La Habra was 14% of the population, what if that has drastically increased. Federal funds will help provide more hospitals, senior centers and services.

Don't forget to complete your 2010 Census form that will arrive sometime in March.

Contact the Domis Team

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

Are you a senior citizen in need of extra money for remodeling your home, buying a new car, or even purchasing additional real estate? After all it is a buyer’s market and there are some fabulous buys available. If so, a Reverse Mortgage may be just what you need.

What is a a reverse mortage? A reverse mortgage is a loan available to seniors, and is used to release the home equity in the property as one lump sum or multiple payments. The homeowner's obligation to repay the loan is deferred until the owner dies, the home is sold, or the owner moves. If you’re a senior (over 62) and a reverse mortgage makes sense for your circumstances, here are the fundamentals of what you need to know:

  • To qualify a borrower must be 62 years of age or older.
  • The borrower must live in the property as the primary residence.
  • There are no minimum income, asset or credit requirements.
  • There are no monthly payments required for as long as the borrowers occupy the residence as their    primary residence.
  • The funds can be taken as a lump sum, monthly payments, line of credit or a combination.
  • There are no restrictions on how the funds are used.
  • Loan proceeds are not considered income and will not affect Medicare or Social Security benefits.
  • There are no prepayment penalties.
  • Heirs may keep the home by paying off the balance on the reverse mortgage loan.
  • All applicants are required by federal regulation to seek 3rd party financial counseling by an approved Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) organization.

For more information on Reverse Mortgages visit www.reversemortgage.org 

Contact the Domis Team

http://www.whittierhomes.com

http://www.lahabrahomesonline.com

http://www.lakeparkbrea.com

http://www.lakeparklahabra.com

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Photo of Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team Real Estate
Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team
Keller Williams Realty
16310 E. Whittier Blvd. Suite F
Whittier CA 90603
Cell: 562-884-5373
Cell:562-458-6947
Fax: 562.902.5158
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Linda Domis - DRE #00571375 | Ryan Domis - DRE #01969771
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