Sunday, September 13, 2009

Alpharetta's Wills Park- Busy on Sunday Morning

Steve and I were out for our Sunday morning stroll today, and realized how fortunate we are to live within walking distance of Wills Park, a beautiful green space! As we walked down Rucker Road, we decided to include a stop at the Alpharetta Community Garden to check out the changes from summer to fall crops. The gardens were lush and plots were packed with ripe tomatoes and peppers. A new rail fence has been installed around the garden. Hard to believe that just a few months ago this gorgeous, food-producing spot was just another piece of plain ole' grass! Way to go green, Alpharetta!

As we walked around the path in the park, we came upon a canine agility show in the big arena. All shapes and sizes of dogs and their handlers were getting ready to compete. Then, as we headed back toward Greenmont, we noticed that Rucker Road had been blocked off for something. That something turned out to be the IronKids Triathalon! We cheered the elementary-aged bike riders as they rounded the corner to pedal back toward the finish line. Before we got home, we came across a yard sale and a road-side vegetable stand. I think I heard some baseball game announcing in the background, and, of course, the tennis courts were alive with players, too!

It was all great activity, though- one of the many reasons we love it here. Even though we live in one of the largest cities in the United States, there is a lot of small town feel left in Alpharetta.

Look around your yard and neighborhood this week. I bet you'll find a few things that you are grateful for! I am grateful for Wills Park, a huge, diverse green space in the heart of Alpharetta- a place I won't take for granted anymore.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Honey, I'm Out By the Pool!

Looking for a super value in a great Alpharetta location? Well, the Alpharetta House Hunter has found a good one for you! This traditional 4-bedroom has been lovingly updated and maintained by the original owner. The kitchen features beautiful cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and a slate floor. In the backyard, you'll find many perennials, a garden space, a huge inground pool AND a fully-operational Tiki Bar! (Your neighbors and friends are going to LOVE you!) Topping it all off is a brand new roof! This is one of the prettiest properties I've seen in a while, and I would love to show it to you, so just give me a call and we'll schedule a time for a private showing. Priced at $310,000.

Remember, if you are a first time home buyer (or haven't owned a home in 3 years), you have until November 30th to qualify for the Federal Tax Credit of $8,000!!
Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Call me if you have any questions.

To Our Successful House-Hunting!


Monday, July 27, 2009

A Sweet Home in....Alpharetta!

I don't usually write about individual homes in my blog postings, but today I think I will, because I want to tell you all about a sweet little house that I just listed! This house reminds me of the smaller homes that most of us grew up in with its 3 bedrooms, compact size and big, beautiful yard shaded by mature trees.

Located near Alpharetta Elementary, the Library and within walking distance of downtown, 209 Kenneth Drive would be a perfect 1st home, empty-nester downsize or rental property for the savvy investor. Built the old-fashioned way, the house is brick on all four sides and has a big, new deck off the dining room looking out into the private, wooded backyard. Did I mention that there is a full basement underneath it all? You can walk out to the backyard from this level, too!

Come take a look, but don't wait long! Priced at only $169,900, this charming brick home with it's gorgeous yard will go fast.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alpharetta- a Georgia Green Community

John Monson of the Alpharetta City Council forwarded the following press release yesterday issued by the Atlanta Regional Commission, and I wanted to share it with you!

The City of Alpharetta has been awarded bronze-level Green Community Certification by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The certification as an ARC Green Community is the result of policies that the City Council adopted earlier this year, along with hard work by our Community Development, Engineering/Public Works and Finance Departments. These efforts have made Alpharetta a recognized leader in environmental stewardship and will have lasting positive impacts on our community. The policies implemented to earn this designation make sound fiscal sense and provide a return on taxpayer dollars in addition to being the right things to do for our environment. Alpharetta is one of only 3 communities in Georgia to earn this designation.

Congratulations to My Sweet Home, Alpharetta! It's a great, GREEN place to live!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Good Old-Fashioned 4th of July!

I know I'm prejudiced, but I love my neighbors- and my neighborhood, Greenmont Walk!
Several of the neighbors organized our Second Annual 4th of July Barbecue in the cul de sac, and it was just the perfect way to celebrate the day.
Under the shade of a stately oak tree, friends gathered to share food and fun with a festive, patriotic theme.
Warren did a fabulous job manning the grill, and everyone brought their favorite dish to share. Children played in the safety of the cul de sac and waited excitedly for the sunshine to turn to dusk, so they could light their sparklers. Even Moms and Dads and Grandmas and Grandpas could be seen twirling the brightly lighted magic sticks! Finally, it was time for the Big Fireworks Show to begin. (We are fortunate to be able to watch The Alpharetta Fireworks Display right from our lawn chairs in the cul de sac!) No matter how old we are, when it's time for fireworks, we are all kids again!
Thanks to Warren and Colette, Trey and Jenny and Amy and Tim for organizing such a fun time for everyone. I know the children will remember these special times when families had fun together just hanging around in the backyard!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Alpharetta Girls Night Out!

Attention Ladies!

While strolling through the Alpharetta Farmer's Market this morning, Carol Anderson-Wood of Colonial Bank, stopped making her delicious fresh-squeezed lemonade long enough to tell me about the upcoming GIRLS NIGHT OUT, scheduled for Thursday evening, June 25th from 4-8 p.m. Lots of downtown shops are participating in the fun, including The Cannery, galerie Boutique, Courture Consigner, Twigs & Lace, Savvy Snoot, Ivy Interiors, Southern Comforts, Monfort's Gallery, and Arbor House Interiors. AND there is a FREE Drawing for a $150.00 gift card!

So, gather up your BFF's and head to downtown Alpharetta on Thursday night!

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Real Estate- It's Always Been a Great Investment

"Real Estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world."

Who said it? Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)

It just goes to show that we shouldn't be afraid to buy that house or piece of property, especially now when prices are as low as they've been in a long, long time.

Think about it!

Have a wonderful, fun Memorial Day weekend!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

RED DAY- Keller Williams North Atlanta Gives Back

Watch and listen as Realtors from Keller Williams North Atlanta spend the day on a volunteer Extreme Home Makeover in Alpharetta!

I'm so proud to be part of a company that really cares about our neighbors and neighborhoods.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Breaking News- Georgia State Tax Credit

You read it here first! Thanks to Christine Witzel, Suntrust Mortgage, for this latest update.

Here is the current HB 261 bill in a nutshell- what it takes to qualify for the added State Tax Credit in addition to the existing Federal Tax Credit.

1) The tax credit applies to single-family homes and condos if purchased as your primary residence.

2) The property must be for sale prior to the effective date and still for sale after the effective date (May 11, 2009) OR

3) The property must be in default on or before March 1, 2009 or has already been foreclosed and is held by a mortgagor.

4) On the first day of the month after the effective date of the law, the purchase of a home meeting the criteria above within the next six months would be eligible for the tax credit.

5) The tax credit is limited to 1.2% of the purchase price or $1,800, whichever is less.

Here is the tricky part-

6) You can only claim, at most, 1/3 of the tax credit in any one year, beginning with your 2009 tax return.

7) One final caveat: If you're purchasing a home, be sure to request a copy of the necessary documents to maintain for your tax records to document how the home qualified for the tax credit, whether it is because it was listed prior to the effective date OR because it was delinquent or had been foreclosed.

8) This is NOT limited to first-time home buyers.

Any questions? e-mail me at
or contact Christine at

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

REO's, BPO's and other Foreclosure Terminology

Over the past year or so, those of us in Real Estate have become more and more accustomed to using certain acronyms that describe the current state of affairs in our business. Sadly, 60% of our current inventory of listed homes are considered distressed sales.

Since I just spent two days in class last week to become a specialist in the field of REO's, I thought I would tell you about this all-too-familiar term. REO stands for "Real Estate Owned". These are properties that have gone through the foreclosure process without a successful sale and have gone back to the bank or lender. Typically, the owner has already left the home, because he or she could not afford to pay the monthly mortgage. Now, the bank has the burden to market and sell the property for the highest possible amount. We in Georgia are one of the top 10 states in foreclosure activity.

One of the first things a bank does when taking possession of a foreclosed property is to order what's called a BPO or Broker Price Opinion. The lender may be in California and the property is here in Georgia. The BPO is what gives the lender "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" about their reacquired asset. A licensed local realtor is hired by the bank to inspect the property, research comparable sales and write up a report including pictures. The realtor is the "local eyes and ears" of the bank. He or she recommends needed repairs, estimates how much those repairs will cost, and tells the bank what is going on in the local real estate market.

Sometimes, this same local Realtor is hired by the bank to manage the property and list it for sale locally. The Realtor is then responsible for getting repairs done while protecting the bank's asset until it sells. The management team might then include a home inspector, a contractor, an attorney, and a landscaper. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?

And you thought Realtors just drove people around to look at houses! Realtors are in a critically important spot right now to help get bank-owned properties sold and back in the hands of individual homeowners. The faster we can do that, the better off we all will be. Our neighborhoods will look better and our cities and counties will be stronger financially.
Enough for today! I will continue with more foreclosure information in my next post.

If you have questions about short sale, foreclosure, or any other confusing real estate situation, please feel free to comment or call or e-mail me.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Be a Smart Buyer- Hints for MOVERS and Shakers!

You've heard everybody saying that it's a great time to buy, right?
It is certainly a buyer's market currently, but you can still make some costly mistakes, if you don't know what you're doing.
Here are a few buyer basics to keep in mind while you're out looking for your dream home.

1) Don't move money around when you're in the process of buying a home. Banks want to see a very stable financial picture, and they need to track where your money has been the past few months. Don't take money out of your 401K and put it into your savings account. It's like fooling yourself into thinking you have more available funds than you really do.

2) Get a pre-approval letter from your lender, not just a pre-qualification. When you have been pre-approved for a certain amount of money, it's like shopping with cash. It puts you in the best possible negotiating position, especially if you are in a bidding war. Sellers want buyers who are ready to close.

3) Keep your credit impeccable. This seems like a no-brainer, but don't charge anything more on your credit card. Lenders will be checking your credit score right up to closing day, and in the long term, you just don't want to start off with too much debt!

4) Watch out for arbitrary fees in your mortgage documents, such as document processing, courier fees, postage, etc. Don't be afraid to check with your realtor and lender about anything you don't understand.

5) Avoid boundary disputes- get a survey. I always advise my clients to buy that extra piece of mind that a survey provides. Just because someone said the property line is "just behind those trees", doesn't make it so. A survey is very good preventive medicine!

6) Don't try to time the market. Nobody knows when the market is at its lowest point. We can only determine the bottom after things start moving upward, and then we're not at the bottom anymore! The best time for you to buy is when you find your perfect home at a price you can afford. Sometimes we make money going IN to a house, and sometimes we make money going OUT. Rarely are we lucky enough to catch both sides of that equation.

I could go on and on with things to keep in mind when you're buying a home, but here is a really good tip.....When you are about to move into a new area, spend some time stalking the neighborhood! No, not illegal stalking, but rather, walking around, checking things out at different times of the day and evening, so you can get a better feel for things.

Can you think of any other good tips? Something that helped you during the buying process?
Please comment! We'd love to hear from you!

Rates are great, so don't be late!


Friday, March 27, 2009

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Video: Tax Credit for First-Time Home Buyers from
National Association of Home Builders

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Easy Being GREEN

Yesterday, St Patrick's Day, I had the opportunity to tour a "Green Home", and I was very inspired to bring more "green" into my daily life. The home that we toured featured many energy-saving systems and has been built with local materials, minimizing the footprint of the building process. Listing agent, Mia Hannah, told us that the annual energy bill for this home is $150.00! When you are in the Roswell area, take time to go over and tour Weatherford Place, the community of EcoCraft Homes near Historic Roswell.

The home is open to tour on Wednesdays from 1-5, Sundays, 1-4 or by appointment.

Here are a few simple changes we can make in our daily lives to promote our healthy planet.

1. Lower your thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat.
2. Reuse your water bottle. Avoid buying bottled water. In fact, reuse everything at least once, especially plastics.
3. Check out your bathroom. Use low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets.
4. Start a compost in your back yard or on your rooftop.
5. Buy foods locally. Check out Eat Local Challenge and FoodRoutes to get started. Buy locally made products and locally produced services.
6. Buy in season.
7. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs. You'll find more on energy-efficient products and practices at Energy Star.
8. Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room. Unplug your cell phone charger from the wall when not using it. Turn off energy strips and surge protectors when not in use (especially overnight).
9. Recycle your newspapers.
10. Car pool. Connect with other commuters at eRideShare.

My father worked for a utility company, and I can still remember him always reminding his four daughters to turn off lights, television sets, curling irons, etc., etc.

I tell people my family was energy conscious long before everybody else caught on!

I would love to hear from any of you who are making green changes in your home.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Short Sales- A Short Course

Over the past few months it seems those of us in the Real Estate world have developed a whole new vocabulary full of unfamiliar- and somewhat scary terms. Foreclosure, REO, Short Sale, Loan Modification to name just a few.

Let's start with "Short Sale". Only a couple of years ago, hardly any of us had ever heard this term, and today, unfortunately, it is an all-too-common situation. Nationally, about 11.18% of all mortgages are falling somewhere in the ballpark of "at least 1 past-due payment, all the way up the process to foreclosure. That is a staggering number!

As a Realtor, I wanted to become proficient in handling Short Sales, because I could see that this was the best way to help distressed sellers avoid the devastation of foreclosure and salvage some of their credit rating. Short Sales also help the community by keeping home values up.

So, what is a Short Sale? A Short Sale means that the lender agrees to take less on the sale of a home than is owed in order to avoid the expense of foreclosing on the property. The seller must demonstrate that there has been a hardship, e.g., job loss, medical expense, etc, that is making it impossible for him to keep up the mortgage payments. Sellers must provide documentation of income, expenses, etc., to the lender, and the lender ultimately approves the sale of the home at the lesser price. The seller does not receive any of the proceeds of the sale.

Recently, President Obama has proposed legislation that would help some distressed homeowners to stay in their homes. Some people will be allowed to refinance their mortgages and some will qualify for loan modifications. The specifics of these new laws are not totally clear just yet.

If you are a homeowner who has suffered job loss or other conditions making it very difficult or impossible for you to make your mortgage payment, don't hesitate to contact a knowledgable Realtor or Lender who can help you navigate through the process. Don't avoid the issue. If you are having trouble, talk to someone who can help you.

Enjoy the weekend and the beautiful sunshine!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Linda's Best Buys: He Who Hesitates has Lost a Super Deal!

Our Buyer's Market continues.......... Atlanta home prices have declined to 2002 levels. Yes, it is a challenging time for sellers, but I still believe that if you price correctly right from the start, (Chasing the market doesn’t work) and make sure your home is in tip-top condition, you can be successful.
Have you thought about “moving up”, but think you can’t sell your present home? This is really a great opportunity! Think about it. If you give up 10% on the sale of your present home valued at $300,000 and then win a 10% concession on the purchase of your $500,000 dream home, you are a winner, since 10% of 500,000 is a lot more than 10% of 300,000!

On the left, a super value at only $149,900 is this contemporary home in an ultra-convenient location. Close to Woodstock, Alpharetta and Roswell with very convenient access to major highways, this home is undergoing a kitchen remodel! If you are a first-time buyer (take advantage of the new $8,000 tax credit) or if you are an investor, no renovations needed!

The home below is a fantastic deal in Wexford. Lakefront, 4-bedroom, 2-bath, hardcoat stucco, master on main, 3-car garage, granite counter tops, ¾ acre lot in a swim/tennis neighborhood. This home has been reduced from $399,000 to $289,900!

I don’t think this one will be around long at this price.

Call me on either one of these great homes, and let’s go take a look. We just might find your dream house- at a DREAM PRICE!!
Home prices are low, Interest rates are low, and inventory is high.
If I was a betting person, I'd say those are pretty good odds!
Think about it and give me a call.
Here's to your "Sweet Home Alpharetta",

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Understanding the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

We've all been hearing a lot the past couple of weeks about the first-time home buyer tax credit. Here it is in a nutshell for you. Notice that even if you have owned a home previously, you still qualify for this program if you have not owned a home in the past 3 years.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contains a provision to assist / encourage first-time home buyers with a home buyer tax credit of $8,000. Below is a brief synopsis of the program.

Give me a call if you have any questions at all, OR if you would like to go House-Hunting!

Amount of the Credit Lesser of 10% of the cost of the home or $8,000
Eligible Property Any single family residence (including condos, co-ops, townhouses) that will be used as a principal residence
Refundable Reduces income tax liability for the year of purchase. Any unused amount of the tax credit is refunded
to the purchaser
Income Restriction Individuals with an adjusted gross income of less
than $75,000 ($150,000 for a joint return) can receive the full tax credit amount. The program phases out completely above $95,000 per
individual and $170,000 for a joint return.
Who is a first-time buyer? Any purchaser who has not owned a
principal residence in the past three years.
Revenue Bond Financing Buyers can take advantage of this credit even
if local or state bond financing is utilized
Repayment This credit contains a recapture clause that will require that the entire credit is repaid if the home
is sold within three years after purchase.
Effective Dates For purchases between January 1, 2009
and September 1, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Night for Telly

My good friend and colleague, Telly Olympiadis, was seriously injured in an ATV accident last November. Telly, a self-employed contractor and handyman, was hospitalized for several weeks, and he has been wheelchair-bound in his home since then.

Telly's friends have organized a benefit concert, coming up on Saturday evening, February 28th at Trilogy in Marietta featuring live music by THREE great bands from 8:30 pm-12:30 am 4930 Davidson Road, Suite 200, Marietta GA 30068

8:30- Fox Trot November
9:30- Kevin Spencer
10:30- The Mixx
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Dinner is available at Trilogy.

Admission is FREE, and donations for Telly and his family will be accepted at the door.

Mike Cohen, who is heading up the event, books bands and said that one of these three is ready to sign a recording deal!

Bring your friends and join us for music, fun and a chance to help a young family!

And Meanwhile, Happy Valentine's Day!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Calling All First-Time Buyers..... Best Home Sale Ever

If you are currently renting a house or apartment, now is an excellent time for you to look at all the options available in this buyer's market.

First of all, your present cost of living might really surprise you. If you pay $1,000/month for rented housing, you will have forfeited a whopping $36,000 over the next three years with no equity to show for it. You’re paying the mortgage for the property owner when you could be building equity for yourself.
Tax deductions for home ownership vary, but the IRS dictates that mortgage interest, pre-paid interest and interest on construction loans are all things to consider as tax benefits.

Another important thing to consider is that right now there is an excellent supply of homes for sale at bargain prices in pretty much every price range, AND interest rates are very attractive, too!

On top of all that good news, if you are a renter and don't have to sell a home before you can buy, you are in the absolute best position! Sellers and their agents will be eager to negotiate with you, because they know that you are ready to move and won't have to wait to close until your present home sells.

Whether you are looking for new construction or an older home that could use your personal TLC, let's get out there and do some serious looking! By the time Spring has sprung, you'll be ready to plant your favorite flowers in your own backyard!

Call me soon, so that I can unlock the door to your favorite house!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Tips for Sellers: How Can I Attract Buyers?

You're ready to buy your dream home, but you can't seem to attract interested buyers to your present house. (It's a familiar story these days.) Here are some great tips that I saw recently on, and I wanted to pass them along to Sweet Home Alpharetta readers!

1) Helping with the Down Payment: Financing is the biggest road block for buyers these days. Even though interest rates are good, buyers do need a down payment now. Financial incentives from the seller are very helpful- and attractive to buyers.

2) Helping with Closing Costs: Closing Costs can amount to as much as 2-3% of the loan amount, so assistance here from seller to buyer can go a long way to sealing the deal for you.

3) Paying Points: Paying the cost of a point to get the buyer's interest rate from 6.5 to 5.5%, for instance, might be just the deal-maker that brings about a win-win for everybody. (You get to move on to your new home!)

4) Home Warranty: A home warranty is like an insurance policy on your home, covering major mechanical systems. Paying for a home warranty, especially on an older home, gives your buyer piece of mind. A good plan costs in the range of $400-$500/year.

5) Gimmicks: Some sellers are resorting to big screen tvs, cars, and exotic vacations to entice buyers, but most experts recommend spending your money on doing repairs on your home, so that potential buyers aren't scared away before they even think about making an offer.

If you have any questions about getting your home ready for sale, I would love to give you a hand. Our present market is challenging for sellers, so you want to have everything covered before entering the competition! Hiring an experienced realtor doesn't cost, it pays!

Have a great week, everybody. I hope you all have a little time to watch some of the Inaugaration Events! It's so exciting, isn't it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Help for the Organizationally Challenged!

How Ready Are We for 2009?

OK, I admit it, I am not the world's most organized person. But, the new year seems to be an opportune time to adopt some tried and true principles that should make my life less stressful. My husband is very good about keeping track of where all my "stuff" is, but that shouldn't excuse me from at least attempting some better habits, right? So, if you lean toward messy, like me, maybe one or two of these organizing tips will help you, too!

Now that the holidays are over and a new year has begun, now is the perfect time to make sure we are ready for 2009. Here are five things we all should do this month that will make our lives easier in the months ahead:

1. Clean Out the Clutter: We keep saying we'll do, let's go ahead and do it. Let's spend an hour going through our old files, and shred those receipts, bills, and statements we no longer need, like old ATM receipts and utility bills, paystubs more than a year old, and receipts for things that are not deductible.

2. Get Organized: While we're at it, let's create new files for our 2009 tax-related papers and receipts. Examples of categories include medical expenses, gift and charitable donations, and home improvements.

3. Check the Gift Card Fine Print: If you received gift cards as a present over the holidays, use them soon. Some have expiration dates, or the amount on the card may get reduced over time. In addition, in the current economy, retailers that go out of business may not honor gift cards.

4. Do Some Review: Review various insurance policies - life, home, auto, etc - to make sure the coverage we have is still the best fit for our needs and situation. To save on cash out of pocket, we might even consider raising our deductible to get a lower premium.

5. Do Some Reflection: Take an honest look at our schedule and responsibilities and make sure we are taking the time you need to stay healthy and feel good. Don't feel bad about actually scheduling specific blocks of time to exercise or spend special time with family and friends, to ensure it actually happens. This will make everything else we have to do this year easier...and more enjoyable, too!

Baby steps, baby steps........
Have a great week, everyone!


Monday, January 5, 2009

New Mileage Rates for 2009

Here is some new, useful information for the new year from our friends at the IRS.(Thanks, Kathy Vitali of Country Wide!)

If you drive a car, truck or van for work, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced news that impacts you. That's because they have released the new standard mileage rates for 2009.
The rates will be used to calculate deductible costs for driving an automobile for business, charitable, medical and moving purposes. The new mileage rates for business, medical and moving purposes will be slightly lower than the rates for the second half of 2008, which were raised in the middle of last year due to spiking gas prices. The rate for charitable driving, however, is set by law and will remain unchanged from 2008.
Beginning January 1, 2009, the standard mileage rates for 2009 are as follows:
Businesses = 55 cents per mile driven
Medical or moving = 24 cents per mile driven
Charitable organizations = 14 cents per mile driven
Overall, these rates reflect the higher transportation costs compared to a year ago. However, the rates are slightly lower than the second half of 2008 to factor in the recent drop in gasoline prices. While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage rate, other fixed and variable costs, such as depreciation, also enter the calculation.

But before you calculate your deduction, make sure you qualify. The IRS reminds taxpayers that they cannot use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

Remember, you don't have to use the standard rate! Although the IRS provides the standard mileage rate for ease and convenience, you're not required to use it. If you choose, you have the option of calculating the actual costs of using your vehicle instead of using the standard mileage rates. So keep that in mind as you calculate your automobile usage for business, medical, moving, or charity driving in 2009!

Have a great first week of the new year, everyone.

Here is a quote that will get us motivated."Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle."Abraham Lincoln