Gas Prices Holding Steady


With 4th of July weekend coming up and travelers taking summer road trips, the threat of increased gas prices becomes a pain. However, CNN and a Lundberg Survey have published good news – gas prices around the country have remained unchanged the past 2 weeks.

According to the Lundberg Survey, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.66. The lowest price lies around $2.40 in Kansas, and the highest around $3.02 in Northern California. If you can remember back to last summer, gas prices around this time were at $4.10 a gallon! We may worry that this weekend will bring a surge but it is doubtful. And we still are much lower than last year so we must not take that for granted.

The lack of change in prices is credited to the weak dollar, weak oil demand, and unemployment. Would you attribute any other factors?

I hope the prices aren’t too high in your area and wish you a safe holiday weekend!

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards.                                                                                                               

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI                                   

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors                                                   

(949) 753-7900

Orange County Home / A Few Monday Funnies For You!


 

Every once in a while it is nice to have a midday break. Hope these add a smile to your Monday.

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards.                 

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI              

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors   (949) 753-7900

Is a Summer Family Vacation Not in the Budget This Year? Why Not Consider a Staycation?


What is a staycation you ask? It is a vacation with out leaving you home or your immediate area. It can be fun and done even on the tightest of budgets.

Here are a few ideas for your staycation gathered via internet.

1. Set the Time and Date. Give your staycation a start and end date — otherwise, it runs the risk of feeling like just another string of nights in front of the tube.  

2. Follow a Staycation Budget.  Chances are, one big reason for planning a staycation rather than a vacation is that cash is short. Good news: You can take a staycation for next to nothing. An evening of inexpensive red wine and pizza.

3. Take a stroll in your downtown. How many times you think that the shops your are flying by again would be great to look in..so do it!  

4.Stock up on Games. Add a sense of play to your staycation by laying in a stash of games.

5. Transport yourself through the magic of movie!There’s nothing like curling up together on a staycation night to watch a great movie. The ones on my list can transport you to some of the world’s most beautiful locations — Africa, Tuscany, the South Pacific.

6. Don’t forget to take pictures. Suitably attired, you’ll certainly want to make a permanent record of your staycation to look back upon fondly.

7. Read a good book No need to wait till summer vacation to tackle War & Peaceany more. On your staycation, you have the luxury of time to sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in a great book. Whether your taste runs to bestsellers, contemporary literature the classics, or travel titles, a staycation is your opportunity to mentally visit other places and times.

8. Feng Shui your home. You’re probably living in a feng shui-free zone. Undo those bad-luck omens, move the furniture, let in the light, and let the positive energy flow back into your life.

9. Water Parks and Amusement Parks. Fun to do with the kids and often times you are able to dig up a coupon on the local places website.

10. Plan a real vacation. If you’ve make it to the end of your staycation without killing each other or filing for divorce, you’ve earned yourselves a real vacation. Even if you’re short on funds, you can start saving up now for a real vacation in the future This time, circle the calendar for real. And while you’re waiting to take that trip, repeat this mantra:

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like anywhere but home.

 

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards.         

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI        

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors   (949) 753-7900

Top 10 Charity Websites


Giving to Charity can be done in many different ways, all of which are generous and compassionate. The recent economic situation has left people with less time and money to donate. But, thanks to the internet we now have new ways to give back.

Below is a list, from toptenz.net, of 10 charity websites you can visit and give back without spending any money yourself. After you finish blogging and commenting, why not take an extra 10 minutes doing something for someone else…

10. Race to Stop Violence Against Women

Violence against women in cultures throughout the world seems to be an ever-growing problem. The website provides a button that you click that donates money so that women are able to write and send letters, explaining their abuse and situation in hopes for the problem to come to the forefront. Visit the site.

 9. Race for the Oceans

Our oceans are slowly depleting, leaving marine life in plenty of danger. With a few clicks you generate money that is given towards saving our oceans. The website donates money towards saving marine life and hoping to turn the health of our oceans back around. Visit the site.

8. Free Flour

Flour seems like something that isn’t so important, but in today’s world, many countries are in need of it, as homeless and less fortunate people use it to make common foods like bread. The website offers a trivia game where each correct answer supplies a spoonful of flour. With 100 spoonfuls, you donate enough flour to make an entire loaf of bread. Visit the site.

7. Prevent Breast Cancer

In recent months, breast cancer awareness has almost become a fad, with pink becoming the new black. With this website, a few clicks help to raise money for Breast Cancer Fund, in order to supply money for cancer research, testing, and outreach programs around the world. Visit the site.

6. The Rainforest Site

The rainforest has long been a problem for many countries around the world. Rainforests are being cut down and more and more exotic animals are losing their habitat and becoming extinct. By just clicking the button, you are able to protect acres of rainforest land by donating money to the Rainforest Conservation Fund and other foundations that protect rainforest land. Visit the site.

5. Trivia for Charity

This website allows you to pick a charity in which you’d like to donate money to. The website is relatively new, but allows you to donate to homeless animals, cancer research, or homes for those in needs. The website offers a trivia game and each correct answer totals more money towards your chosen charity. Visit the site.

4. The Animal Rescue Site

If you’re one that loves animals and would love to give back, the Animal Rescue Site is a great way to donate a little bit of your time. A few clicks go a long way on the website. Each click donates food that is given to animal shelters and clinics around the world in order to provide for homeless animals. Visit the site.

You can also try Free Kibble which is a trivia game that provides food for homeless animals.

3. The Hunger Site

World hunger has been something that countries have been trying to end for decades. Sadly, numbers for those having to deal with hunger and starvation haven’t decreased much. With the Hunger Site, you easily click a button that donates food to those in need. Since its establishment, the website has been able to donate over 657 million cups of food throughout the world. Visit the site.

2. Free Poverty

Have you ever wanted to learn your world geography while still being able to give back to the needy? Free Poverty allows just that. The website is a geographical game that anyone can play. No matter if you get the answer right or not, you are still able to donate a cup of water. If you do get an answer correct, you donate 10 cups of water. The website donates clean water to locations where fresh water is scarce or not available at all. Visit the site.

Help Thirst is a website very similar to Free Poverty that also donates cups of water. It involves memorizing numbers.

1. Free Rice

Free rice is the first charity website that I came across today. The website provides a game for users to play. You can choose between many different types of games. But while you’re having fun and maybe even learning a few things, for each answer you get correct, you’re also donating grains of rice to poor countries. In May 2009 alone, Free Rice was able to donate 1,403,545,670 grains of rice. Visit the site.

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards.                                                                                                               

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI                                    2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors  

(949) 753-7900

 

Old Orange County Courthouse


Have you visited The Old Orange County Courthouse? Why not head into Santa Ana’s Historic Downtown District this summer and go take a look at a huge piece of our OC history. The Courthouse resides in the National Register of Historic Places and is a California State Historic Landmark.

 

The Courthouse was constructed in 1901 by architect C.L. Strange. He chose a Richardsonian Romanesque style, featuring arches and ornamented columns. It is constructed of brick and feature elaborate carvings. Today the 30,000-square foot building has been restored to look much as it had at the turn of the last century.

 

In the main floor lobby you can still obtain your marriage license in front of the grand staircase. You can visit the museum and gallery on the first floor. Here you will find a history of the building and the old jail. The third floor boasts a large skylight built to compensate for the limited availability of electricity in the early 1900’s. On the third floor also sits the jury room, judge’s chamber, and courtroom. Today the Courthouse serves as a museum and the site of government offices.

 

After visiting the Old Courthouse you can stroll through Santa Ana’s Artist’s Village. Once you’ve worked up an appetite why not eat at Bistro 400 for Cajun and Seafood or Jason’s Downtown for a good steak…enjoy!

 

Old Orange County Courthouse is located at:

211 W. Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701

(714) 973-6605

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards.                                                                                                               

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI                                   

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors 

(949) 753-7900

Greener Air Conditioning


 As a GREEN broker I am always looking for new was to be environmentally-friendly. A Business Week article today discussed the beginning of a green solution for air conditioning. This development is enormous because unfortunately, staying cool requires utilizing a large amount of energy. A large amount of energy in turn equals global warming.

 

A European company, Thermodyna, is in the process of building a household AC unit that can provide cool air using solar energy. According to the article, the revolutionary “Schukey” motor would transform the sun’s rays into cool air for your home or office. They report that one kilowatt hour would cost as little as 5 cents!

The system is fairly simple and may be on the market as soon as next year! This is great news as we head toward a more sustainable world. I can’t wait to see the progress of this endeavor. And for more “green” tips visit my website at: www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

Best regards.                                                                                                               

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI                                    2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors  

(949) 753-7900

Why not celebrate Father’s day everyday?


Were you busy this Father’s day and unable to spend it with good ol’ Dad? Work, illness, children, travel; there are many reasons why it wasn’t easy to celebrate this year. It’s unfortunate, but who says Father’s day should come only once a year?

Any day can be a day dedicated to your love and appreciation for your father. Spend some quality time together with some of these ideas:

  1. Make it a ritual to have a “date night” once a month. Go grab a bite to eat and catch a movie.
  2. Say in shape together. Sign up for a gym membership or play a game of tennis.
  3. Do something outside. Go fishing, camping, or simply take a walk.
  4. Use your lunch break to take Dad out for lunch instead of going with your co-workers.
  5. Save some money and cook together. Make a favorite you remember from childhood.

All of these are easy ways to reconnect with your father and show him that you care, everyday. It will provide great conversation and touch him like you wouldn’t believe. Even more, if you have children they will see the respect and bond you both share and strive for a similar relationship. So next Sunday why not celebrate your father?

One father is more than a hundred Schoolemasters.  ~George Herbert

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards.                                                                                                             

 Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI                                    2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors  

(949) 753-7900