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Ten Tax Tips for Individuals Selling Their Home

by Leslie Edwards

IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2011-15, August 8, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service has some important information to share with individuals who have sold or are about to sell their home. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude all or part of that gain from your income. Here are ten tips from the IRS to keep in mind when selling your home.

  1. In general, you are eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.
  2. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).
  3. You are not eligible for the exclusion if you excluded the gain from the sale of another home during the two-year period prior to the sale of your home.

  4. If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.

  5. If you have a gain that cannot be excluded, it is taxable. You must report it on Form 1040, Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.

  6. You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

  7. Worksheets are included in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to help you figure the adjusted basis of the home you sold, the gain (or loss) on the sale, and the gain that you can exclude.

  8. If you have more than one home, you can exclude a gain only from the sale of your main home. You must pay tax on the gain from selling any other home. If you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is ordinarily the one you live in most of the time.

  9. If you received the first-time homebuyer credit and within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full credit is due with the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence, using Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year’s tax return.

  10. When you move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service to ensure you receive refunds or correspondence from the IRS. Use Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS of your address change.
For more information about selling your home, see IRS Publication 523, Selling Your Home. This publication is available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
To buy or sell real estate, call me. Leslie Edwards 770.460.9448 leslie@leslieedwards.com www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com RE/MAX

Selling Your Home in a Down Market

by Leslie Edwards

Even in a down market, the best homes sell.  Read this USA Today Article for ways make sure your home gets SOLD.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2011-07-02-home-sellers-down-market_n.htm

If you are ready to sell, or just want to talk about it, call me.

leslie edwards                                                                             770.460.9448                                                            leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                 www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                                                           RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 

Is it "Me", "Myself" or "I" ?

by Leslie Edwards

95% of the time when I hear someone use the word "myself" in a sentence, I cringe.  The word "myself" is rarely used correctly.  More often than not, the correct word is either "I" or "me". 

Below are two explanations of when to use "Me" "Myself" or "I"

"In the old days when people studied traditional grammar, we could simply say, "The first person singular pronoun is I when it's a subject and me when it's an object,' but now few people know what that means. [. . .] The misuse of I and myself for me is caused by nervousness about me. [. . .] But the notion that there is something wrong with me leads people to overcorrect and avoid it where it is perfectly appropriate. People will say, 'The document had to be signed by both Susan and I' when the correct statement would be, 'The document had to be signed by both Susan and me.'

Trying even harder to avoid the lowly me, many people will substitute myself as in 'The suspect uttered epithets at Officer O'Leary and myself.' Myself is no better than I as an object. Myself is not a sort of all-purpose intensive form of me or I . Use myself only when you have used I earlier in the same sentence: 'I am not particularly fond of goat cheese myself'" (Brian’s, Common Errors in English Usage).  *** I wanna be, all by myself. le

When do you use "me"?

The craziest rule of all, to my ear, is the rule that governs the use of "myself" and "me". Which of these *sounds* correct to you?

1. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and myself.

2. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and I.

3. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and me.

The correct version, of course, is the 3rd. The word "me" is always a direct or indirect object (never a subject) and "I" is *always* a subject--that much doesn't sound too far-fetched, and it rules out the 2nd example.

"Myself" is a special object (direct or indirect), to be used only when the subject is you (note I didn't write "...when the subject is yourself"). I can give a gift to *myself* since I am the one doing the giving. The Captain can never "give a gift to myself" since the subject is the Captain.

Part of the confusion comes from the two-part indirect object in the examples above ("my partner and me") but the same grammar rules apply whether or not the object is compounded.

leslie edwards, Realtor                                                                       770.460.9448                                                                                                        leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                          see all the listings at                                            www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                                                                     As a Certified Distressed Property Expert, I help families avoid foreclosure.  If someone you know can't pay their mortgage, ask them to call me.

 

How Buying a Home Is Likely to Change

by leslie edwards

In the future, it will be harder to buy a home. Read this February 10, 2011 article from US News and World Report, By Rick Newman and see if this might be the right time for you to take advantage of low interest rates, low down payments and low home prices.

How Buying a Home Is Likely to Change

By Rick Newman
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Last year's sweeping financial-reform law revamped much of the banking system. But there's one industry it didn't touch: housing finance, for good reason. Unlike the convalescing banking sector, the housing market is still a wreck, with any false move likely to destabilize things even further and cause fresh damage.

 

But the system can't continue the way it is either, so policymakers in Washington are gingerly starting to propose ways to fix the way we finance the purchase of homes and assure that there's never another housing bust like the one that began in 2006 -- and still isn't over.

The biggest and thorniest question is what role the government should play in the housing market. The government has had a hand in housing since the 1930s, when it began to subsidize home purchases for some buyers. But today the government dominates housing finance, with our system effectively nationalized. The government backs nearly every new mortgage, bearing much of the risk that lenders would ordinarily take on. That has kept mortgage money flowing during a severe credit crunch, preventing a much bigger disaster in housing, and a deeper recession. But it has also cost taxpayers billions of dollars, created a perverse system ripe for political abuse, and crowded out private financing that might be deployed more efficiently.

So with the economic recovery gaining strength, it's finally time to address the problem-to-be-named later. The Obama administration has come up with a set of options for winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the insolvent housing agencies that back many middle-class mortgages but suffered catastrophic losses in 2008 and were taken over by the government. Some Republicans would like to see Washington end its role in housing altogether, while many economists favor some kind of hybrid system that transfers much but not the government’s entire role to the private sector. A few small changes could happen this year, with the biggest reforms probably not likely until at least 2013, after the next presidential election. Even then, changes will probably be phased in slowly, to minimize disruption -- and panic.

Still, we may be on the verge of a transformation in the way Americans pay for the biggest purchase they'll ever make, which determines how millions of families prioritize their household finances. Since many families spend years saving for a down payment, long-term planning is prudent. Here are some of the possible changes both buyers and sellers should anticipate:

Rising mortgage rates. During the housing boom that ended in 2006, mortgage rates were artificially low because lenders failed to price in enough of a cushion to account for the kind of steep price declines that have occurred. Even the most responsible lenders figured the worst-case scenario might be a 10 percent decline in prices, and they priced their loans accordingly. So far, home values have declined by about 30 percent from the 2006 peak, and they could still fall another 5 to 10 percent. That's one reason losses at Fannie, Freddie, and other mortgage lenders were so severe. While the average rate on 30-year mortgages just rose to 5.05 percent, the highest level in 10 months, rates are still extremely low. That's largely because the government is effectively subsidizing them through taxpayer bailouts, Federal Reserve policies, and guarantees against losses on most new mortgages.

If the government continues to back mortgages at current levels, rates might stay low -- but taxpayers will be on the hook for the cost of the next meltdown. A more likely outcome is a hybrid system in which private lenders bear more of the risk, while the government insures them against catastrophic losses and charges a fee to cover the cost -- similar to the way the FDIC insures banks. A recent study by Moody's Analytics calculates that such a system would raise mortgage rates by about 30 basis points, or 0.3 percentage points. If the whole system were privatized, Moody's estimates that could push rates up by about 120 basis points, or 1.2 percentage points, compared with a government-run system. On a $200,000 mortgage, a 30-basis-point bump would add about $39 to the monthly payment; a 120-point bump would add about $159. The spread would likely be greater for borrowers with weaker credit. And remember, those hikes would come in addition to other factors likely to drive long-term rates up over the next few years.

Higher down payments. Last year's Dodd-Frank financial-reform law did contain a few provisions that affect mortgages, including one that's likely to lead to formal down-payment requirements for many traditional loans. The government hasn't yet spelled out the details, but it probably will sometime this year. It seems likely that the required down payment on the majority of mortgages could be 20 percent, and perhaps as high as 30 percent. It will still be possible to get a loan with less money down, but because of new ways that lenders will have to handle such loans, interest rates will probably end up higher than they would have under the old rules.

Of course, many borrowers can't even get a loan these days unless they come up with a meaty down payment, so formal rules may not make that much of a difference, in reality. The biggest impact might be felt by hopeful buyers without a lot of cash who have been waiting for standards to ease, so they can get into a home with just 5 or 10 percent down. It might be a long time before standards ease that much, or banks make loans affordable for buyers financing most of the value of a house.

Less backing for expensive homes. The government changed the rules during the financial crisis to allow federal backing for mortgages as high as $729,750 in some high-cost areas, which means loans up to that amount count as "qualifying" loans suitable for the lowest rates. That ceiling is set to drop back to $625,500 on September 30. Expect it to happen, since Republicans who now control the House of Representatives want to reduce the government's role in housing finance, not perpetuate it. Bigger loans will still be available -- but with higher rates. And the ceiling on qualifying loans could shrink further, since that might be one way to shrink Fannie and Freddie.

Fewer fixed-rate mortgages. If the housing-finance system were to end up largely privatized, it would probably mean far fewer 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages -- which are the ones most popular with consumers. Banks don't like such mortgages because consumers can refinance if rates go lower, but banks can't hike rates if they go higher. "The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage exists because of the government backstop," says Mike Konczal, a fellow with the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. "Getting rid of it would shift more of the risk onto households."

In countries where the government plays a lesser role in financing homes, such as Canada and many European nations, the majority of mortgages are adjustable, with rates that reset every few years. That requires more cushion in the family budget for rising costs -- and more responsible homeowners. But it might be worth it, since many of those nations avoided the kind of bust that has left millions of Americans with mortgages that exceed the value of their home. The odds of Congress killing the 30-year mortgage outright are probably low, but the rules under a hybrid system could restrict access to a smaller subset of top-tier borrowers. People who once might have qualified for the best mortgages might have to settle for less. Good credit will remain more important than ever.

Fewer homeowners. Loose lending and aggressive government policies pushed the homeownership rate to a peak of about 69 percent in 2005, a level that was probably unsustainable. It's now back to about 66 percent, and with foreclosures still mounting, the homeownership rate could very well dip below the historical average of 64 percent or so -- and stay below long-term norms. One bit of good news for home buyers is that a combination of steep price drops and low interest rates have suddenly made homes very affordable. But credit is obviously tight, and new rules could keep it that way.

There's one other possible change that could discourage homeownership: The reduction or elimination of the mortgage-interest tax deduction, which costs the government about $80 billion per year. That tax break has been in place for decades, as a way to promote homeownership. But with Washington running record annual deficits and facing mounting pressure to start paying down its debt, giveaways like the mortgage deduction might have to go. At least two deficit-reduction panels have recommended a lower homeowner subsidy, which would hit middle- and high-income homeowners the most. If it ever happens, the result could be smaller, less expensive homes for many -- plus more renters.

Less volatility. If policymakers do their job well, they'll ultimately produce a system less susceptible to hot money, speculators, bubbles, and shocks. For buyers, that means a return to the days when you bought a home to live in for a decade or two, not to occupy for a few years and then turn a profit on. "If I were a couple looking at a home, I'd be extra skeptical about investing," says Konczal. "I'd be prepared to sit in the home for 10, 20, even 25 years." It sounds restrictive, but many Americans might decide that a home for life is better than no home at all. And that they could live with a little stability.

Call me and let's discuss your situation and see how I can help.  I closed 67 properties in 2009 and 62 in 2010 and I would love to close one for you to.

 

leslie edwards

Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent

770.460.9448

CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert

CRS   Certified Residential Specialist

Epro  Certified Internet Professional

ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative

GRI    Graduate of the Realtor Institute

Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Selling South Metro Atlanta including:

Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including:

Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough

Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more

Moving Families Since 1978

Let My Experience Work For You

fax:  770.460.0739

www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

www.leslieedwards.com/blog

leslie@leslieedwards.com

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 

Save your credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help your family.

Call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.

http://www.leslieedwards.com/Blog/What-is-a-Short-Sale-and-Why-You-Might-Want-One

  

 

Lax Lending Could Blow Up Housing Market Again

by Leslie Edwards

I had a bad car accident once and for awhile after, I drove very carefully.  Slowly, over time, my bad driving habits returned. It is the same when someone has a health scare, like a heart attack.  Immediately after, they diligently follow the doctor's orders regarding diet, exercise and smoking.  But again, over time, most people revert back to their old habits. 

Is the Government back to their old ways? People might think that the after this latest housing crisis, the Government would realize that not every one should own a home.  But already, the pressure is on for banks to lend to people using less stringent criteria and accepting lower credit scores.

Are we destined for another housing crash? Read this article from the Washington Times.

Double bubble Lax lending policy could blow up housing market again
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Washington Times
6:35 p.m., Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently guarantee about $5.5 trillion of outstanding mortgages and debts - nearly as much as the Treasury's own public debt. If the companies were fully nationalized, the government's books would have to reflect both the revenues and losses from those obligations. 

Americans have lost more than $4 trillion in assets since the housing market collapsed in 2006. Risky government mortgage lending regulations helped inflate prices beyond reason, but those policies have not gone away. Instead, they've just moved into a new home, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Unless Congress acts to renovate eligibility requirements for borrowers, we could see an even worse financial disaster unfold.


Signed into law in July, the Dodd-Frank Act pulled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending institutions out of the subprime loan business. Those government-sponsored monstrosities were fingered as prime culprits in the financial collapse, so the Obama administration has enlisted the FHA to perform the same functions. Peter Wallison and Edward Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute have raised the alarm, writing, "As in the period leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, these loans will again contribute to a housing bubble, which will feed on government funding and grow to enormous size."

Congress began blowing the initial bubble in 1992 when it amended Fannie's and Freddie's charters to compel the mortgage giants to back financing for low- and middle-income families seeking housing. Subsequently, those enterprises induced mortgage lenders to relax their qualification standards, allowing millions to buy homes with no or little money down. As these properties went into foreclosure starting in 2006, the red ink at Fannie and Freddie ran into the hundreds of billions - with the public footing the bill. In October, the Federal Housing Finance Agency estimated the eventual cost to taxpayers would be up to $360 billion.

 The pressure to perpetuate dicey lending has begun already. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a housing rights group, filed complaints on Dec. 7 with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, claiming 22 banks across the country have violated fair-housing laws by denying FHA-insured loans to black and Hispanic borrowers with credit scores above the federal minimum.

 The FHA insures loans for borrowers with a minimal credit score of 580 and a down payment of 3.5 percent. The feds responded the next day by launching an investigation into the banks' practices.

Participating lenders are caught between the Scylla of penalty for denying loans to marginal borrowers and the Charybdis of sanction for having too many defaults on their books. It will only get worse: The FHA has announced it intends to pump up its loan volume to $1.34 trillion by 2013 and make nearly half of its loans subprime by 2017. Thus, the stage is set for a second housing-market crash.

 If Republicans in the 112th Congress intend to make good on their promise to set the country back on the path to financial stability, they should toughen FHA mortgage lending standards by requiring higher credit scores and larger down payments. Better yet, the feds should get out of the mortgage business altogether and let the free market reach an equilibrium free of bubble and bust.

While Uncle Sam may appear compassionate in assisting low-income families become homeowners, this "charity" has been disastrous. Millions have lost homes in the recent crash, with the burden falling most heavily on financially responsible Americans to clean up the billions in damage done. Learning from these mistakes of the past will prevent their return in the future.

If you know someone who is behind on their mortgage payments, have them call me for a FREE confidential consultation.  As a Certified Distressed Property Expert, I help people avoid foreclosure. 

leslie edwards

Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent

770.460.9448

CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert

CRS   Certified Residential Specialist

Epro  Certified Internet Professional

ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative

GRI    Graduate of the Realtor Institute

Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Selling South Metro Atlanta including:

Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including:

Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough

Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more

Moving Families Since 1978

Let My Experience Work For You

fax:  770.460.0739

www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

www.leslieedwards.com/blog

leslie@leslieedwards.com

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 

 

List Your Home For Sale In Winter

by Leslie Edwards

Sellers will often take their homes off the market if they have not sold by Fall or they will wait to list until Spring because a common belief is that homes do not sell in the Winter months.

Although there are fewer buyers looking during the 2nd Season (Fall to Spring) than during what is considered the hot Selling Season, a lot of the people looking when the weather is nice and school is out, never buy anything. 

I have found that if people are looking at  homes during the 2nd Season (Winter) are serious buyers who intend to buy. Fewer showings but the buyers are ready, willing and able to buy. Since showings tend to follow the light of day, the showing hours are compressed and evening appointments are very rare. Fewer, more convenient and better quality showings are less intrusive for the family.

Since most Retail Sellers (not distressed, short sale or foreclosure) believe nothing sells in Winter, there is less competition for the buyers who are looking.

According the National Association of Realtors 1 in 4 home sales across the US involved a distressed property.  In some areas of South Metro Atlanta the number is much higher making short sales and foreclosures the biggest competition for Retail Sellers.

Recently, some of the largest mortgage companies, including Chase, announced that they were halting foreclosures until they work out some paperwork and process issues that could void some foreclosures.  Many mortgage servicers typically slow down on foreclosing during the holidays.

If there are fewer foreclosures on the market, there is less competition for the Retail Sellers.

Less competition, less intrusion, better quality prospects.... Three good reasons to market your home now. 

I am expecting a lot of 4th Quarter real estate activity so call me and let's get started.  I offer FREE Buyer and Seller Consultations with no obligation because I want to be your real estate resource.

If you or anyone you know is behind on their mortgage, call me.  I help people avoid foreclosure.

leslie edwards                                                                       770.460.9448

CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                              CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                      Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                      ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                       Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Fax  770.460.0739

Selling South Metro Atlanta including: Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Meriwether, Pike, South Fulton & Spalding Counties                                      All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport,

Including:  Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Hampton, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Peachtree City, Tyrone and many more

Moving Families Since 1978

Let My Experience Work For You

leslie@leslieedwards.com

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 See all of the properties for sale in the MLS at www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

 

 

This is not what I signed up for....

by Leslie Edwards

Way back in Elementary School, my expectation was that I would go to college and study to be a therapist.  Some say that lots of crazy people go into the field to figure out what is going on with themselves. Hmmm...                        College came 5 years after High School (that's a whole other story) and it took me another 5 years to get a degree in Psychology while working full-time.          It was pretty exciting when I got my first job/internship with the Fulton County Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center.  I thought I was on my way to the career I had planned for since Elementary School.                                                       The reality of the situation was not at all what I expected.  The failure rate of addiction treatment was huge compared to a very small success rate. I found out quickly that the chance that I could actually help someone was minuscule.  All I could really do is listen, which left me seriously depressed.  If the patient cried, I often cried too.  I carried their pain home with me and it did not take me long to realize that the job was too hard on my own mental health.                  

In 1977 I got a real estate license on a lark.  Part time I closed a few transactions and soon, real estate was in my blood. I could actually help people get what they wanted and if they came back, it was a success, not a failure. At closing, everyone was happy. The buyers got a house, the seller got a check, agents, loan officers and attorneys all got paid a fair fee for their work. 

There is a "new normal" in real estate today and my job has changed so much that it now looks and feels more like my Therapist experience than my real estate experience of the first 30 years.

Today, buyers have to wait months to close a foreclosure or a short sale, both of which dominate the current real estate market.  Sellers who have to move, because of the foreclosures and short sales in their neighborhoods, are bringing money to closing or negotiating a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure with their mortgage companies, which has a huge negative effect on their credit ratings.  The fees for real estate agents, loan officers and attorneys have steadily decreased while expenses and the work involved have more than doubled.  So rarely at closings today, is everyone happy.  Often nobody is happy.   Listing appointments today consist of telling sellers their homes are not worth what they paid and finding out if they are behind on their mortgage payments and if so, how much.                                                                 It often feels like I am in my Psychologist mode rather than in my Sales Person mode.  A lot has changed in the past few years. So many sellers are experiencing hardships that make it impossible to make the payments and are at risk of losing their homes.  When I listen to some of them tell me their stories, I still want to cry and I still take their pain home with me                                                         

It does not look like things are going to improve any time soon.  The news reports claim people are once again spending money so the economy must be recovering.  I don't think so.                                                                  Often, right after people have an accident or serious illness, they will drive more cautiously, quit smoking, eat right and exercise.  Human nature is such that, over time, these same people will start falling back into their old habits. 

           My sense is that those spending money are just reverting to old spending habits that got them into trouble in the first place.

Foreclosures are moving steadily up in the higher price ranges.  There are also many interest only loans that cannot be refinanced because the appraisals willl not support the loan amount they approved when the interest only loan was made.  Because we have had historically low interest rates, those loans have remained manageable for many.  Once the interest rate starts moving up, and it will, those interest only loans will start to adjust to higher interset rates and monthly payments, causing a whole new stream of foreclosures and short sales.

The job has changed. Because I have 32 years of experience in the real estate trenches, I can help some people fix their problems and that is some consolation. Some people can't be helped.  Sometimes it is their own fault but most often something bad has happened to cause them to lose their home.

If you know someone who needs help, have them call me. I will do a free consultation to find out what we can do for them.

I am ready for the business to return to the time when we all got to be happy at closing, but until then, I am trying to help everyone I can.

You cannot change the world one at a time but if you help one person, you can change their world.

leslie edwards 770.460.9448                                                               selling real estate throughout South Metro Atlanta

environmentally aware, socially conscious, politically active

 

 

Negative Energy

by Leslie Edwards

The weekend after Christmas I was walking to my car in the Target parking lot at Hwy 74 and Peachtree Parkway.  I watched as two cars directly behind eachother started to back up out of their parking spaces at the same time.  There was honking, but neither would move so the other could back out and leave. There was more honking and some waving and still, neither woold move.  I could not stop watching. I had to see which one would give up first.  Others stood around and like me, did not try to pretend they were not looking. Both drivers had to know they were attracting a crowd.  Still no one gave in.  It seemed like the standoff lastest for days, but it was probably minutes.  

It got me thinking about what kind of hostillity do you have to work up to get so invested in who gets to back out first?  Was something else going on in one or both of their lives that caused their reaction?  Perhaps. Or, is one or both of them basically an asshole?  The occasionally stressed out from life people I can understand and forgive.  The assholes are the people who start out being assholes instead of waiting to se if the situaton warranted such a strong reaction. The negative energy has to permeate thier lives and it's hard to imagine that it would be anyones' choice to feel that way.  Maybe someone needs better meds.  If you need it, take it.

So, always try nice first, and sometimes second, before moving on to assertive, aggressive hostile and violent.  My goal every day is to have a happy, stress free life, which is possible no matter what the circumstances.  It too, is a choice everyday.  I expect the best.  I get what I expect. leslie

leslie edwards                                                                                                                                                   sells real estate    770.460.9448                                                                                                                RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                                                                     leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                                                   Selling South Metro Atlanta for 30 years Call me if you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell real estate.  Your referrals are appreciated.

 

 

 

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

by Leslie Edwards

When I go the grocery store I find one thing that I have never tried and toss it in the basket.  The results vary from awful to it has potential, and occasionally, to oh, so fabulous. 

The recipe for Creamy Brussels Sprouts was in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.  Although I never ordered a subscription to BH&G, I have been receiving the magazine in the mail all year.  Last year I got Rolling Stone Magazine unsolicited. 

I was invited to a Thanksgiving get together and had to choose a dish to take with me and I pondered it for days.  It was poor planning to take a dish to an event the first time I tried to make it, but I did have Plan "B" in mind. 

A lot of people do not like brussels sprouts, but the recipe sounded good and I really like brussels sprouts. My rule is that if I am going take  a covered dish, it will be something I could take home and eat if no one else wanted it.  It turned out to be a good choice as it was all eaten and someone asked for the recipe.  It was easy to make and looked terrific.  If you try it, please let me know what you think.

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
·         4  slices peppered bacon (I used regular bacon and added pepper) 
·         2  lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through stem end
·         3/4  cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
·         1/2  tsp. kosher salt
·         1/4  tsp. black pepper
·         3/4  cup whipping cream
·           Cracked Black Pepper
Directions
1. In 12-inch skillet cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.
2. In skillet add Brussels sprouts to drippings; cook and stir over medium heat 4 minutes. Add broth, salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover; cook 2 to 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add cream. Cook 4 minutes more or until thickened.
3. Transfer sprouts to serving dish. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and cracked pepper. Serves 8.
Nutrition Facts
·         Calories 174,
·         Total Fat (g) 14,
·         Saturated Fat (g) 7,
·         Monounsaturated Fat (g) 5,
·         Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 1,
·         Cholesterol (mg) 38,
·         Sodium (mg) 305,
·         Carbohydrate (g) 10,
·         Total Sugar (g) 2,
·         Fiber (g) 4,
·         Protein (g) 6,
·         Vitamin C (DV%) 123,
·         Calcium (DV%) 6,
·         Iron (DV%) 8,
·         Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
 
leslie edwards
sells real estate
770.460.9448
RE/MAX  Around Atlanta
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Blast From The Past

by Leslie Edwards

 

Do you ever wonder what happened to someone you knew years ago?  Search Engines like Google, offer the possibility of finding a long lost friend or relative.  You can google the school bully from years past and find out if he is in prison or the most popular “jock” from high school to see if he ever made anything of himself. 

Recently, my daughter googled her father, who had been estranged for many years, and found his obituary.  She also learned she had a half brother she did not know existed.  They have been in contact getting to know each other since.

 It started me thinking of people I knew in the past, wondering how their lives turned out and what they were doing now, so I googled some of them.  It is harder to find old girlfriends as women tend to change their last names when they marry, and again when they remarry.  That is an outdated custom as people are often married more than once and it is just plain inconvenient to keep changing names.  Men are generally much easier to locate.

    Some of my friends were shocked that I would ever want to hear from or about an ex.  I have never understood how some people can hold on to anger and resentment for years. If I cared enough to  have a longtime friendship, a romantic relationship or to marry someone, then I will always care about them (some more than others) and wonder how they are. 

    My second husband from 1970 was easy to locate.  When I googled his name, I got lots of information, including email, phone number and street address. 

    He was glad to get my email and we have since been sharing memories of our time on Tenth and Peachtree Streets at the height of the hippie movement.  Without a doubt, that was the most interesting time of my life so far. 

    Either we were never real mad at each other or if we were, we have both forgotten. We have had some terrific strolls down memory lane talking about people and things I hadn’t thought about in over thirty years.

   Interestingly, he is, for the most part, the same kind and sensitive person he was in 1970.  He has dedicated his life to helping recovering addicts through Narcotics Anonymous.  He sponsors people during their recovery, speaks, writes and publishes books and has a worldwide network of friends he is in contact with regularly. I think he and I will be friends forever now.

   Is there someone in your life you wonder about?  Take a chance.  Google (free) the name or check out Classmates.com ($).  It can be fun and often enlightening.

Try it.  Google someone today.

le

        

 

 

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