Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bad Economic Indicators

Yahoo has some interesting articles this morning

Bad January retail
The sales figures made it clear that consumers wrestling with high gas and food prices, a slumping housing market, an escalating credit crisis and a weakening job market retrenched further, buying mostly necessities even when redeeming their holiday gift cards. The disappointments cut across all sectors .

Wow! Written by a blogger? ;)

Jobless claims show labor market straining

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 356,000 claims for jobless benefits were filed last week, a decline of 22,000 from the previous week. The decline only erased a part of the huge jump of 72,000 in claims of the previous week.

Ouch. Not good numbers.

Do you remember I was blogging that my company would probably announce a relocation in March? Stop holding your breath. They won't announce anything.
1. We've already quitely relocated about a thousand to Texas in the last few months and into the next month or two. A relatively slow tricle. Why slow? Notice the lack of new coverage?
2. The company quietly opened a new campus in Colorado (surprised me!) and the first I heard about it is when employees of mine told me they were cashing out and moving to Colorado. Since this is a pure voluntary move, there won't have to issue any press releases. Again, a very quiet bleed off of jobs.

Mostly we're pulling from LA and DC. A few other areas, but not by intention. Since these are applied for relocations, the company cannot geographically limit the applicant pool without raising alarm bells.

Quite bluntly, we're copying Raytheon; they have become the master of quiet relocations from state to state. No forced relocations... No layoffs. But a steady bleed out of bubble markets. I didn't think we'd go the silent route. J6P thinks the Aerospace downturn was the only reason for the 1990's recession; the aerospace companies do not want to be the poster child for a housing downturn anywhere.

My company needs to get a cadre of experience into the new campuses to mentor new engineers we're hiring. Our rate of hiring will explode just due to the baby boomers retiring. So the company copied a competitor to enable future hiring without raising alarm bells. I'm surprised now, but I shouldn't have been. Cest la vie.

Got Popcorn?


Bye FL said...

I am not surprised. Everyone wants out of FL and CA. I am out of FL in a few months for NW PA where houses are 4-5x cheaper!

Ed said...

Consider a home inspection prior to purchasing a home, condominium or commercial property. This can bring peace of mind when you sign the sales contract. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the building and the future upkeep.

An ASHI home inspection accomplishes two important goals. First, it gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its structural soundness, and the condition of its mechanical systems. Second, it brings any problems to the seller's attention at a time when they can be resolved before closing a sale.

If you sign a contract before inspection, consider including a clause that the sale is contingent upon a satisfactory ASHI certified inspection, and specify when the inspection is to be carried out. That way, you are protected.

A comprehensive inspection includes a visual examination of the structure from top to bottom, including the heating, air conditioning systems, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure.

Following the examination, the inspector will provide a report that not only points out possible defects or areas of concerns, but also the positive aspects of the structure as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep the home in good shape.

Even the most experienced homeowners lack the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspection firm. For example, watermarks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem, toxic mold or simply may be a result of a single incident. Consider using an inspector that a certified with mold testing/indoor air quality.

A professional assessment will provide complete information about the condition of the property you are considering and will help avoid any unpleasant surprises after the sale. In addition, a home inspector can remain totally objective, while you, as a prospective homebuyer, may be emotionally involved.
A decision to have a home inspected is a good investment.
You might save many times the cost of inspection by being aware of defects, maintenance requirements, and upgrading requirements
Good decorating alone should not sell you on a house. Remember, you're also buying structural and mechanical systems. Walk through a house twice before you hire an inspector. The first time, look at the rooms, the floor plan, and envision your own decorating ideas for the house. The second time, go back and look at the condition of the walls, doors, appliances, and plumbing. If the home still looks good after two visits and you're getting serious about the purchase, hire an ASHI certified inspector.

Currently, in many states home inspectors are not regulated by any federal government agencies but in Pennsylvania must adhere to the Pennsylvania Home Inspector Law – ACT 114. Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania Announces a new “Start with Trust” initiative to alert consumers and real estate professionals as to how to identify compliant home inspection businesses. This program is being promoted in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Regional Organization of the American Society of Home Inspectors (PRO-ASHI).
A home inspection usually lasts about three hours. Professional inspection companies will be happy to answer all your questions. Avoid firms that issue only a verbal report. The report should be in narrative form, not just a checklist of items inspected. The home inspector should also issue a written report and adhere to the ASHI standards of practice.
You may find it valuable to accompany the inspector as they goes through the house.

Property inspections are not limited to residential properties. Many inspectors help homeowners with analysis and solutions to specific problems such as energy conservation, wet basements or cracked foundations. Inspectors also inspect work upon completion to ensure that a contract has been properly fulfilled.

If you are considering purchasing a home in Pennsylvania, Ed Lampl, certified ASHI Inspector advises that you invest in an inspection by a reputable inspector that is ASHI verified and compliant with the Pennsylvania law.

When hiring any contractor to come into your house you should consider asking if they have child custody clearances.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Know what you are buying and what your future upkeep obligations will be. Make sure that your inspector is certified in areas such as mold testing, radon and pest.
For questions contact – Ed Lampl (412-222-5968) ASHI certified - PRO-ASHI verified State compliant – inspector –servicing –the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding counties –
Home Inspections + Environmental Testing - Sick Building Syndrome Specialist

ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) #246381
CMI & CMA (Certified Mold Inspector & Assessor) #2033
Pesticide Applicator #402710 + DEP PA. Radon Certified #2569 - take a virtual inspection at our website
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