Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend Events!

Happy Thanksgiving! Its the day after Thanksgiving and most people here in the States have the day off, making it a long holiday weekend. Looking for something to do? Here are a few suggestions...

  1. Have a good laugh! See D. L Hughley @ Center Stage Friday, November 23, 2007 at 7pm. Another option is Damon Wayans, David Allen Grier, and Tommy Davidson @ Fox Theatre, Saturday, November 24th 7pm.

  2. Go to the movies! Check out This Christmas or Fred Claus.

  3. Go shopping! This is a great time to pick up electronics. Great deals can be found on HDTVs, digital cameras, and GPS units.

  4. Take in the holiday events like Holiday in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

  5. Go to Fernbank for Martinis & Imax

  6. Hear some good music – See Patti LaBelle & John Legend in concert at Philips Arena on Sunday, November 25th at 7pm

  7. Hang out at Atlantic Station – See a movie, do some shopping, even play in the man made snow. (The picture above is of the Atlantic Station Christmas Tree)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How to Invest in Real Estate with Your IRA

Did you know that you can invest your retirement funds in real estate? Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code permits you to purchase land, commercial property, residential property, condos, and more with money from your IRA retirement account.

The first step is establising a self directed IRA. Your typical IRA restricts your investment options to a variety of mutual funds. A self directed IRA allows you to personally choose where the money will be invested. The next step is to purchase the property in the name of the IRA. This means that the property won't actually be held in your name but rather the name of the retirement account where you've contributed your money.

Use caution with this option as the IRS does not allow you to use property owned by your IRA as a personal residence or vacation home. You also cannot lease space in the IRA owned property for your business.

All in all, this is a great way to take advantage of the current buyer's market and prepare for retirement. Click here to read the National Association of Realtor's article on buying real estate in your IRA. You can also send me an email at c_lusby@kw.com if you'd like more information on getting started.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Atlanta is One of the Best Places for Young Professionals

Forbes.com has named Atlanta as one of the best places for young professionals. The financial website tracked graduates from the country's leading universities and looked at where they ended up 10 years later.

All of the cities listed below received high marks because they had the best business opportunities, the most young and unmarried people, and paid young professionals the most money.

Atlanta ranks number 3 on the list of best places for young professionals! Yet another great reason to call Atlanta home. :)

1. New York city
2. San Francisco
3. Atlanta
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C.
6. Boston
7. Seattle
8. Minneapolis
9. Philadelphia
10. Denver

Click here to read the Forbes.com article.

Monday, November 12, 2007

On Going Green...

Thanks to Al Gore and the Inconvenient Truth documentary, there is a heightened awareness of global warming and the impact we have on our planet. As a whole, people want to go green but what exactly does that mean? We know that we should recycle and that hybrid cars are a great idea but is there anything else?

Here are a few ideas that may help you go green. None of them are time consuming or difficult to do.

1. Buy a reusuable shopping bag. This prevents plastic bags from filling landfills. I have a canvas shopping bag that I picked up at Trader Joe's. I take it with me each time I go grocery shopping and it eliminates the need for plastic or paper grocery bags. An added bonus is that Trader Joe's enters me into a raffle each time I shop with the canvas bag. The prize is $25 worth of groceries.

2. Wash your car at a car wash that recycles water. There is a water ban in metro Atlanta so you shouldn't be washing your car yourself anyway. A professional will probably do a better job and if they recycle water then you know they are acting responsibly. Cactus Car Wash is a popular carwash in the city that recycles water. Cactus Car Wash

3. Reconsider public transportation. The cost of gas is rising so its a timely alternative. Give MARTA a try. If MARTA can't get you there, then try a Flex Car. Its a service that allows you to rent a low emmission, fuel efficient vehicle for a few hours at a time. This way you have the benefit of a vehicle without the long term expense. Flex Car

4. Donate your old computer and accessories. Electronic equipment is a significant component in landfills around the world because it is slow to decompose. Instead of throwing away your old pc, monitor, printer, etc; you can donate it to a local school or charity. I did this a few years ago. I gave an old pc to an elementary school and they were very appreciative. It was a win-win situation because they received a free pc and I got the tax write off.

If donating your equipment is not an option, you can recycle it at no charge. One option is Hewlet Packard. They have a recycling program where you receive coupons on the purchase of HP products. Its a great way to save a few bucks on new equipment and also recycle the old. Click here for more details.

5. No list on going green is complete without talk of recycling. If your community doesn't offer recycling services, you can drop off your paper, aluminum, and plastic items at Ikea. Click here to learn more about Ikea's committment to the environment.

For more ideas, check out the 10 Things To Do from the Inconvenient Truth website.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Person to Person Lending

The internet gives us so many options. Not only can you check movie times, look at houses, and find out about your favorite celebrities; now you can lend money. Its a new trend called person to person lending and the web makes it easy to do.

You go to a lending website and search among borrowers that are looking for loans. I skimmed the Prosper website and found a person looking to consolidate high interest rate credit card debt in anticipation of a new baby. Another person is expanding his business and wants to pay off the company truck. Credit ratings and debt to income ratios are provided so that you can determine the likelihood of being paid back.

Its a great concept. I may try it myself. If so, I'll write another post about it in the future.

Click here to read more about person to person lending.

Person to Person Lending Sites:
http://www.prosper.com/
http://www.lendingclub.com/
http://www.lendingcircle.com/

Atlanta is One of the Best Places To Live Well


According to Forbes magazine, Atlanta is one of the best places in the country to live well. What does it mean to live well? It means we get high marks for quality of life, arts and leisure, reasonable housing prices, and consistent growth. The city falters when grading the overall cost of living, traffic, and pollution.

For more details, check out the article online Best Places to Live Well

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Wow. Its hard to believe its that time of year already. Halloween was just last week and already there are signs of Christmas all around us. Just go inside Target or any department store and you'll see what I'm talking about. Before Christmas, of course, is Thanksgiving. If you will be traveling for the holiday, now is the time to buy your airline tickets. The closer we get to the holidays, the more expensive it will be to fly.
Happy Holidays!