Do You Know Which Car To Buy?

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Do You Know Which Car To Buy?

“Regardless of how fast you are driving, the distance to your destination does not change.”
 

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I was helping clients fill out a loan application. Being very proud of their accomplishments, they told me that their car payments were exactly the same as six years ago, which was the last time they refinanced their home. It seemed a bit strange to me, since they had a brand new Lexus SUV. Apparently instead of buying a new car, they leased one for three years and then returned the car to the dealership to get a new one—on the condition that their payments would stay the same at $609/month. No shopping around, no hassle; they were in and out in one hour. I also have a Lexus SUV, but mine is 10 years old with over 100,000 miles and I have no monthly payments. Of course, over the long run, I have spent money on various repairs, and it is difficult to say which method is more advantageous. But monthly payments not only drain our cash flow, they can significantly affection our ability to qualify for a mortgage.

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Recently, a client who was getting a purchase jumbo mortgage, had to pay off his two car loans to enable him to qualify. Often, paying off one’s debt has to be done before a loan is submitted to the lender for bank underwriting.

But what if the available cash is only enough for the down payment and closing costs?

Then borrowers need to get money from friends or relatives, and apply for a new car loan to repay their debts, after the mortgage loan is closed. To improve their cash flow, some clients use refinancing to pay off their car loans.

But what if you are planning to buy a new (or used) car?

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The first step is to do the research and then shop around. When my wife recently decided to change her Mini Cooper to another car (after the dealer told her that she needed to spend a significant amount cleaning the carbon build up in the engine), we called my friend Dave Sutch—an excellent car broker with whom I consult with before I buy any car. Not only did he give us good advice, which resulted in Elfa getting (and loving) an electrical Smart car, but he also arranged for the selling of her previous Mini. The fee we had to pay him was worth every penny. You can also use the online services, Calypso, which help with the buying and selling of used cars.

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While we see more and more electrical cars on the streets, and not only Teslas, many car manufacturers are designing gas-powered cars. The article, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal titled “Tomorrow’s Car May Run on Gas”, claims that the “US government standards require cars to average 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025, up from 25.1 mpg last year”. Well, this is only 10 years away.

Just in case you missed it, Apple is going into the electrical cars business as well.

P.S.

If you do not care about saving gas, and having some extra money, and want to indulge yourself (and impress others), perhaps a gold and pink Rolls Royce can fulfill your desire. Or maybe you would like a white Maybach, the top of the line car from Mercedes, with a starting price of about $190,000. How about the black Aston Martin car favored by James Bond, whose price can go over $200,000? Of course, if you care about the environment (and your budget), but still want to impress your friends, then perhaps a red Tesla is your choice (which I photographed next to my “horse”—a 10 year old Lexus). Enjoy!

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  Cheers,
Manny<br />
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Please be advised:

Appraisal and preliminary title report required on both properties

A client was buying a new home. His previous one was sold, but escrow did not close yet. He needed the proceeds from the sale for the down payment on a new property. Suddenly, he found out that the buyers could not get a purchase loan. He was about to lose this new purchase and possibly his deposit, however we were able to find a tailored solution!


Whom Do You Know That Might Benefit From Our Tailored Mortgage Solutions?
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Cheers,


Manny
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What To Do With A Tattoo

What To Do With A Tattoo

“Certain things in life are easy to get, but not so easy to get rid of.”

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Recently, we were at the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts Theater to see a performance by the internationally known Israeli dance company, Batsheva, who was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Their choreography is very modern in spirit and form, where a group of young dancers from different countries show their mastership of the body control and beautiful expressions.

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As I watched them move throughout the stage, I noticed that one of the young dancers had a dark spot on her shoulder and some more on the side of her arm and on her chest. Since she was the only one who with these markings, my photographer’s eye and attention became fixated on those dark spots instead of her dancing (I suspect that she was a good dancer to be a member of the Batsheva). This was not skin pigmentation or blemishes, but a form of self-expression through adornment of the human body with tattoos.

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When we were leaving the center, there was a young man holding the door for the women to get out. He was obviously well mannered and practiced in the art of chivalry (that I wrote about before), and I couldn’t help but notice that his strong arm was covered with tattoos. As I observed him, I saw that other parts of his body were adorned with tattoos as well.

In modern times, it seems that a lot of people in different age groups are willing to adorn their bodies with some pictures, designs, poems, and decorations for different reasons. Perhaps, one day there is going to be a doctoral dissertation on the subject of the reasons why people are using their bodies for their canvas. Tattoos go back in human history since at least the Neolithic times.

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I had a conversation about this with my daughter Alona, who lives in Paris. She recently visited Rome, Italy and noticed that there are more young people who have tattoos. She commented that perhaps in our modern world, where it seems people are “blending” with their cultural beliefs and customs, some want to look different. Or the reverse—they want to belong. Who really knows.

I read an article recently about how some of the young people had to remove their tattoos to enable them to get a job. For me, it does not make sense why to deny a job to a qualified person, but perhaps some companies have their own agendas.

P.S.

Because tattoos stand out, sometimes people who have them look eccentric and become good subjects for photographing. Enjoy!

P.P.S.

You have probably noticed that we’ve changed the name of my Friday newsletter. Instead of “Good News From Dr. Manny”, it is now called “MY ENCOUNTERS” since it is a better reflection of what I am sharing with you: my encounters with life.

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  Cheers,

Manny
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Our clients were looking to buy a 2-unit building in San Francisco. After a while, his offer for $1,600,000 was accepted. He put $500,000 as his down payment. However, the problem was that 4 years ago he had a short sale. Even though his credit score was 716, most of the Lenders required 7 years after a short sale to obtain a loan. There are very few Lenders that can do this loan, but Pacific Bay Financial finds solutions!


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Cheers,


Manny<br />
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How To Connect With Your Own Nature

 How To Connect With Your Own Nature

“There is only one way to protect nature–by realizing that we are a part of nature.”

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Often when friends return from a far away trip, they enthusiastically endorse their experience by telling me that I will have a lot of photo opportunities there. This is true—when I come back from my travels, I bring back thousands of images that take me days to sort through, delete, and select only a few to share with you.

But why do we need to go far to take snap shots with our cellphones (or cameras), to possibly, never look at those images again? Why are we compelled to share them with friends and on social media sites? After all, we are not “human seeings”, but rather human beings. Perhaps sometimes we need to practice the art and the skill of just being.

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I thought about this while visiting the top of the hill in Mount Davidson Park, recently.

I left my house at 8am on a Sunday morning. It was foggy; everything at that time was grey, and I knew that there was not going to be a beautiful sunrise to capture—but did it matter? This time I decided to take another route through the neighborhood to reach the more barren side of the mountain. When I came to the foot of the mountain, I noticed an opened garage door in one of the houses with a little girl calling out—“chirp, chirp, chirp”! I thought perhaps she was calling for her dog, named Chirp who had run out. When I asked her about whom she was calling to, her mom stepped out from the garage and told me that the girl was talking to an owl, and then pointed up to the wooden likeness attached to the balcony of the house across the street.

“No!”, the girl interrupted. “I am talking with the real birds.”

I looked around. There were none in sight, but there was chirping coming from the near-by tree.

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While continuing my journey up the hill, I enjoyed the view of the trees barely seen through the fog. Old tree stumps with the wrinkled surfaces, a dead moth with the intricate stripes on the wings laying on the ground. I noticed people walking their dogs, wildflowers blooming, and the rooftops of the houses below. When I reached the bench I always sit on, beneath a dead tree, the bug that I wrote about before was not around. I just sat down and listened. I heard an airplane flying above, noise from the traffic from the busy street below, a motorcycle rumbling somewhere on the other side, then suddenly bells chiming from a nearby church announcing the 9am hour, and then the steps of someone walking on the gravel on the other side of the hill, a hooting sound, that sounded like a real owl, and constant chirping of the invisible birds in the bushes. I was there as a part of nature—present, not interfering. Simply observing what was happening around me. Noticing the drops of fog on my camera, slight movement of the grass in front of me. There was a small plant which grew under the dead branch, a silhouette of a person in the fog, and brown gravel under my feet. Later on, the fog will disappear and everything which exists and pulsates underneath the hill will become visible again. Life never stops, even when we are not around or do not notice it. But can we become like children again and chirp with real birds?

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I went back down the hill though the forest. The water dripped from the trees. It was cold, damp, and incredibly beautiful.

P.S.

Hope you will enjoy some of the images I brought down with me. One of the advantages of photography is that we can bring souvenirs from our trips without the extra weight in our suitcases. Enjoy!

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Manny
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Our clients owned two rental properties and wanted to convert their 2-unit building into a 3-unit building, however they would need more money to complete the work. The clients had great interest rates on both of their existing properties.

With some researching, we found a solution! We were able to secure a line of credit (L/C) for their single-family residence (SFR). After the construction work is completed, we will be able to refinance the 3-unit building with an attractive 30 year fixed loan.


Whom Do You Know That Might Benefit From Our Tailored Mortgage Solutions?
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Cheers,


Manny
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Why Travel Back In Time?

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Why Travel Back In Time?

“We do not need a special day or time to express our love to our mothers, but sometimes we need a reminder of how to love them.”
 

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Something strange happened within the last month. I’ve encountered three major Euorpean countries…FROM 400 years ago. The first encounter was in England during the Elizabethan period. It occurred while listening to the audio book, “Shakespeare“, written and narrated by Bill Bryson. We have all heard the name of this playwright, who was born in 1566 and died in 1616. According to Mr. Bryson, there are thousands of books and dissertations written about Shakespeare’s life and his work, but very little is actually known about him, since many of his works were lost and there are not many records available, other than his well-known plays. As some of you may know, Shakespeare was not only a great playwright, but he also wrote poems and love sonnets.

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After my encounter with England, I ended up in Spain, in about the same period of time. Miguel de Cervantes was born in 1547 and died the same year as Shakespeare, in 1616. He finished writing Don Quixote de la Mancha in 1606. I am still listening to the audio book, which describes events and adventures of Hidalgo, a country gentleman, who after reading too many chivalrous romances, loses his mind and imagines himself as a knight-errant. A knight-errant’s job is to fight for justice in the name of the lady of his heart and whom he names “Dulcinea of El Toboso”. I wrote about this book in a previous newsletter. If you missed the synopsis, you can find it here.

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My third encounter was to Italy. My wife, Elfa, subscribes to seasonal tickets to the Great Performance series at Davies Symphony Hall. It is a delightful experience every time we go to the concerts. Often it is a surprise, since we are introduced to musicians and performers whom we have not heard before. Our most recent performance was Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo: The Birth of Opera”, performed by English baroque soloists with the Monteverdi Choir, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. Claudio Monteverdi was born in 1567 (three years after Shakespeare) and died in 1643.

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The synchronicity of these three experiences can be considered a coincidence—but even coincidences can have a meaning. I was mesmerized listening to the singing and to the music of L’Orfeo, which was written in 1607. While they sang in Italian, the programs had a translation in English. Only when I got home and read the words of the beautiful poem, did I realize that it was a love story based on the Greek legend of Orpheus. Then, it dawned on me. Cervantes’ writing is very witty and Don Quixote’s adventures can be even funny, but it was actually a love story as well, since his actions were dedicated to the woman he loved (or imagined that he did).

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And then of course, though many of Shakespeare’s plays are dramas, we cannot forget about his sonnets, which are love songs. So I was led to wonder, is the synchronicity of love and poetry a coincidence, since I tend to write about love? I resolved that it often happens in front of my own eyes, because I’m looking for it. When April ended, I flipped the page of my wall calendar to May, and voilà!  We are in the middle of Spring—the time of rejuvenation, awakening, blooming flowers, beauty, and of course love is in the air. I do not know what people will read, see or listen to 400 years from today. But I am sure that it is going to be about the perpetual subject “love”.

P.S.

When I finished writing this story, I was not surprised to realize that there is another “coincidence” this week, which encompasses spring, love, and flowers—Mother’s Day. Since Spring flowers are everywhere, it was difficult to decide which ones to share with you. I decided to choose a few I recently “picked up” on a morning walk in my neighborhood. Enjoy and share it with the Mothers in your life.

 

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  Cheers,
Manny<br /><br />
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*For Cash-buyers Only


Most Lenders limit the amount of cash-out to $417,000 OR charge higher interest rates. Pacific Bay Financial can offer different solutions.


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Manny
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What It Takes To Be A Gentleman

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What It Takes To Be A Gentleman

“A gentleman is a person who is gentle with himself and with others.”

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In my story last week, I wrote about “Don Quixote”, a book written in 1605 by Miguel de Cervantes. I also wrote that I discovered in the public library that the book has 549 pages in small print. (The librarian who found the book on the bookshelf asked me with concern in her voice, “Are you planning to read it?”)

“No,” I assured her. “I only plan to use it for reference since I have already checked out an audio version.”

“Don Quixote” is considered to be the “world’s best story book of all times” (The Guardian, 10/12/2013). The audio book I checked out is 40.5 hours long, and came with 35 compact discs, which I started to listen to in the car. The narrator, George Guidall, does a marvelous job and I’ve been enjoying listening to it very much.

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The story begins with a description of the gentleman named Don Quixote, who spends a fortune to buy and read books about chivalry. After reading losing his mind, he decides to become a Knight-Errant, the occupation that was practical about 400 years later.

There is a word in Russian, “cavalier”, and though I am not a linguist, I thought that the word “chivalry” may have had some connection with the word “Caveleri”, which in Russian was used to indicate a person of certain standing in a phrase “Dami ee Caveleri”—similar to ‘Ladies and Gentleman’ (also used as an admirer or a dance partner). But it also connected with the word cavalry (soldiers who fought on horseback), which brings us back to our story where Don Quixote wanted to know how to be and behave like a knight.

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According to the dictionary, a “cavalier”, or “chevalier”, means a gallant or courtly gentleman; a well-mannered man. It seemed that regarding how the word was used in the past, all definitions essentially lead to what today we call a gentleman. I proceeded to think about, what is a gentleman in today’s standards?  We’ve likely all heard the phrase, “he is a real gentleman”. Online, I found that one of the definitions of a gentleman is that it is “a man who combines gentle birth or rank with chivalrous qualities”. And what if I did not have a privilege of the gentle birth? Can I, like Don Quixote, learn how to be a gentleman without losing a sense of reality the way he did?

WikiHow tells us that there are at least 22 ways of how to be chivalrous. Apparently chivalry is not only about respecting women. It separates the “men from the boys”. I also found an article online by James Michael Sama, “The Art of Being a Gentleman” and of course there are more ways to learn. But first, start by practicing on yourself—before you can be gentle with others, be gentle with yourself. The word “Gentleman” can be used in different connotations, as well as in this story about a man who traveled to the countryside.

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When he got to his destination, he found out that the only hotel did not have available rooms. He was told that there is a widow, who lived close by and who might rent him a room for the night. When he rang the doorbell, a woman answered the door. The man asked if she would let him stay for the night.

 

“I am not sure,” she answered. “I am a widow and am alone in the house.”

 

“Do not worry,” the man assured her. “I am a gentleman.”
In the morning when he came down for breakfast, he asked the hostess “I noticed that you have many chicken and quite a few roosters. Usually there is only one rooster.”

 

“You are right,” the woman answered. “Actually there is only one rooster, the rest are gentleman.”

P.S.

One of the qualities of a Gentleman, or a man who follows 22 ways of how to be chivalrous, is to give flowers to the woman of his heart. I do not know if the men I photographed are gentleman, but they have the flowers. Enjoy!

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