• Characterized by bright colors, woven fabrics and handcrafted pieces, southwestern-style decorating takes influences from Native American, Spanish and Mexican art. Whether you live out west and want your home to reflect your surroundings, or you simply want to incorporate colorful or handmade items into your existing decor, here are some tips to help you...

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  • A new phenomenon is affecting the mortgage and real estate industries. People who bought a home or refinanced in the last few years have such a ridiculously low mortgage rate that they don’t want to move and have to accept a new mortgage with a higher rate. But the reality is that these people...

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  • This post is for all the gardeners out there! This time of year, we’re excited about combining our love of gardens with our love of prize giveaways. Whether you’re new to the gardening game or have years of experience in the backyard, this contest is for you.

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Market Update – China's Central Bank Raises Interest Rates

Market Update – China's Central Bank Raises Interest Rates

China’s central bank Tuesday raised interest rates for the first time in nearly three years. The People’s Bank of China said in a statement it will raise the one-year yuan lending rate to 5.56% from 5.31%, and the one-year yuan deposit rate to 2.5% from 2.25%. In other economic news, treasuries and mortgage bonds were down slightly from yesterday’s close amid speculation that more quantitative easing by the Fed will increase inflation.

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Market Update – Bonds Rebound With Expectations of QE2

Market Update – Bonds Rebound With Expectations of QE2

Bonds are rebounding this morning as the market expects the Federal Reserve will begin asset purchases (Quantitative Easing Round #2) ahead of the FOMC meeting in 2 weeks . There isn’t much in terms of economic news this week, however, we will see several earnings releases from top firms in the financial sector. A few of the big headlines this week include today’s industrial production and tomorrow’s housing numbers.

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Michigan State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo Presented with Patrick McInnis Community Hero Award

Michigan State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo Presented with Patrick McInnis Community Hero Award

Detroit, Mich. – Oct. 15, 2010 – The 3rd Annual Patrick McInnis Community Hero Award was presented to Michigan State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Tom Izzo, at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint last week. Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender and fifth largest retail lender overall, and Fathead LLC, the leading brand in sports and entertainment graphic products served as the official sponsors of the Club’s 8th Annual Steak Dinner where the award is presented annually. The Patrick McInnis Community Hero Award was established in 2008 as a way to recognize an individual or group each year whose extraordinary leadership or contribution positively affected the Club and the Flint community. The award was named in recognition of Fathead CEO and Flint native, Patrick McInnis, whose investment in the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint has directly resulted in a more vibrant organization where area youngsters can learn, play and grow into productive citizens. “It is a pleasure to present Tom Izzo with this year’s Community Hero Award because of his leadership and commitment to kids in the Flint community,” said Patrick McInnis, CEO of Fathead. “He inspires kids to choose success and aim high, and recognizes talent in our area which is a testament to his belief that Flint is a winning community.” More than 300 guests attended the event, When I Grow Up: A Celebration of Opportunity & Achievement, which featured a steak dinner donated by Outback Steakhouse, a silent…

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Market Update – Bernanke Indicates Further Monetary Stimulus

Market Update – Bernanke Indicates Further Monetary Stimulus

The big headline this morning is Ben Bernanke and his statement that additional monetary stimulus may be warranted because inflation is too low and unemployment is too high. The Consumer Prices report showed the cost of living in the U.S. rose less than forecasted, indicating that companies have been unable to raise prices. This also shows the Fed’s inflation goal is falling short yet again. In other economic news, both Retail Sales and manufacturing in the New York region came in higher than expected and bonds are now trading down.

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Quicken Loans Reports 25-Year All-Time Record Closed Loan Production of $3.4 Billion in September 2010

Quicken Loans Reports 25-Year All-Time Record Closed Loan Production of $3.4 Billion in September 2010

Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s largest online home lender, and among the top-five overall retail lenders in the country, reported its largest monthly closed volume in the company’s 25-year history in September 2010. The Detroit-based mortgage bank closed approximately 15,500 home loans totaling $3.4 billion in loan volume in September. The record month surpassed the previous record of nearly 14,000 closed loans and $3.15 billion in loan volume, which the 50-state centralized home lender achieved just one month prior in August 2010. In addition, Quicken Loans maintained its industry leading closing times by processing nearly 75 percent of its loan closings in 28 business days or less, despite the immense volume that flooded the national Internet-based lender. “Our technology and process-driven home lending platform continues to separate itself from the entire industry with its unparalleled capacity, speed, geographic reach and client experience,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans. “I am proud of the entire organization and our 4,000-plus brainforce for achieving this amazing accomplishment.” In 2009, Quicken Loans closed a company-record $25 billion in home loan volume, and is projecting to close more than $30 billion in home loan volume in 2010. The company also has significantly increased its retail government lending programs (FHA and VA) closing more than 42,000 loans and $7.5 billion in home loan volume in 2009, which is expected to grow to approximately 45,000 closed home loans and more than $8 billion in closed home loan volume in 2010.

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Market Update – Weekly Jobless Claims Remain High

Market Update – Weekly Jobless Claims Remain High

After initially opening lower, mortgage bonds are currently flat to yesterday’s close. Today’s weekly initial unemployment claims report was released this morning. The expectation was no change at 445k following last week’s -11k drop. The actual number rose to 462k. Weekly claims, however, were expected to be lower by -12k to 4.45 million. The actual number declined more than expected to 4.399 million.

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