Archive | January 2014




Which is more important? Reputation or Character?  First it is important to determine how they are different.  It was shared recently with me that your reputation is what other people think of you or perceive you to be.  Character is who you really are internally, what and how  you do things when no one else is looking or no one else will find out.  In today’s society it seems people are far more concerned about their reputation versus character.  Thankfully I am plugged into a source that molds me with the belief that what other people think about me or say about me is none of my business.  One can never please everyone and if you try you will be a double minded man – unable to lead anything or anyone.  People will follow character far longer and with much more passion than they will reputation.  Reputation can change and often does, but character should not.  An example of this is Abraham Lincoln.  Here is a man that at the time of office, his reputation and “approval ratings” were not exactly those to be desired.  He had at least half of the country against him, to the point of war and to the point of assassination!  Yet Lincoln did not budge or waiver in order to have a better reputation or approval rating.  No, he continued on the course of doing the right things.  Not the right things in public opinion but rather the right things pertaining to his moral code and beliefs.  It has been said that time will either expose you or it will promote you.  I believe this.  Lincoln is a great example.  Today, his “approval ratings” are through the roof, yet nothing changed other than time and his steadfastness to truth.  Remember, reputation does not always stay with you, yet your character never leaves you.  Or, how about this:  One cannot fully control his reputation, but he is always in charge of his character.

What are your thoughts?  Comment below:

MY 2014 GOAL: To identify 20 people who are serious about generating an additional $2,000+ a month in residual income on a spare or part time basis.



Mortgage rates will rise in 2014

Online real estate database Zillow predicts rates will hit 5% by the end of 2014–sharply up from the 4′s and 3′s of late, but still well within the common range. Janet Yellen, the new Fed Reserve Chief, is expected to continue Ben Bernanke’s policy of keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities, but the Fed’s bond-buying taper could push rates higher. “While this will make homes pricier to finance – the monthly payment on a $200,000 loan will rise about $160 – it’s important to keep in mind that mortgage rates in the 5% range are still extremely low,” says Erin Lantz, Zillow’s director of mortgages. “Prior to the Federal Reserve’s 2008 decision to buy $85 billion in debt per month, the 36-year average was 9.2%, and never below 5.8%,” notes Glen Kelman, CEO of Redfin.

Affordability will decline

Despite the slower pace of price increases, housing affordability will decline as mortgage rates rise. The real culprit is jobs with a lack of pay increases, which aren’t keeping pace with the rise in housing costs. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors’ Home Affordability Index dropped to a five year low. Many industry leaders predict the trend will continue in 2014.
Ownership will decline

In 2014, Zillow predicts, the rate of people owning homes will fall below 65 percent for the first time since 1995. “The housing bubble was fueled by easy lending standards and irrational expectations of increasing home values, but it put seven out of ten American households in a home (a historically high number), if only temporarily,” says Humphries. “That home-ownership level was on long term shaky ground and during the housing recession and recovery the home-ownership rate has floated back down to a more normal level, and we expect it to break 65% for the first time since the mid-1990s.” Watch also for adult children to leave the protective nest of their parents’ homes, starting their own households and further decreasing the overall home-ownership rate.
Nationally, Vacancy Rate Up This Year

In the third quarter of 2013, 10.2% of housing units were without occupants, excluding vacant homes that the Census classifies as “seasonal,” such as beach homes. Vacant homes are those including, “for sale” or “for rent”, as well as homes “held off market” for various reasons. This vacancy rate of 10.2% – the share of homes that are empty – was unchanged from 2012 Q3 and exceeds the pre-bubble level. In fact, the vacancy rate today (10.2%) is closer to its highest level during the recession (11.0% in Q3 2010) than before the bubble (8.8% in Q3 2000).
Mortgages Tougher for Credit-Challenged this year

Prospective borrowers with sub-standard credit and lack of proper documentation of their income and assets have found it more difficult to get a mortgage than other mortgage applicants after the housing bubble, according to the latest MarketPulse report from CoreLogic. “Underwriting eligibility in the current market expects borrowers to possess good credit and the ability to document their incomes fully,” said the report, which compares first mortgages originated in October 2013 against mortgage origination figures before 2004.

So – there you have it….give me your thoughts!  I would love to hear them…

Brits Swap Cuppa For Cappuccino…




There are few things considered more quintessentially British than a nice cup of tea. But that seems to be changing, as sales of tea bags have plummeted, according to a recent report in The Telegraph. The December 17 report cited new figures indicating that the volume of tea sales had fallen by more than 6 percent in the past 12 months, almost double the decline of the previous year. Industry magazine The Grocer said sales of Tetley Round tea bags were down 17.3 per cent in the past year, while PG Tips Pyramid sales were 6.4 per cent lower.

The falling rates of tea bag sales have been attributed primarily to the rising popularity of coffee chains and espresso bars, as well as the increased popularity of at-home coffee preparations and machines. Experts also noted that many people are switching from traditional black tea to other teas, such as green tea or herbal infusions. Coffee products, however, are flying off the shelves faster than ever, as the report noted that sales of supermarket products such as Nescafe have increased by more than 6.3 per cent.

Coffee is apparently becoming the preferred drink while dining out, as well as at home, according to Nigel Travis, chief executive of Dunkin Brands, owner of Dunkin Donuts. “If you look over the past year, coffee sales in restaurants are about two-and-half-times higher than tea,” he said.

Britain as a nation of coffee drinkers? It seems to be heading that way. And we’ll certainly drink to that.




Being patient in tribulation?  It is no easy task when you have just one tribulation impacting your life, let alone many.  The bible and God are very clear that you will have them.  They are for everyone.  Why?  Why does God, who is the most powerful entity in the entire universe; creator of all, allow us to go through trials, tribulations, and difficult times? (If you are not a “believer” in Christ, don’t just check out here or stop reading…you can look through/past all of that “stuff” to find some real value here…keep in mind – EVERYONE will have trails and tribulations, this post will help you understand why).  God allows trials so that we may become weaker which ultimately makes us stronger.  Those that are humble, that are thankful, they edify others, and have the strength to over-look an offense are magnetic, right?  We are drawn to them.  There is an inner strength, an inner depth that cannot be explained with words, but we just know there is something special about them and we want to be around them.  Those people generally have gone through some major trials, tribulations, and/or times of difficulty where they didn’t understand why it was happening.  They were patient, knowing that is was for a time, a season, and that “this too shall pass.”  Generally they also realized at some point during or just after the process that it was there to “help” them versus hinder them.  It allowed them to be more empathetic of others, and they gained the gift of being a bridge-builder for those that are or will go through similar situations.  Keep in mind God is all about building bridges rather than tearing them down.  That is precisely why He sent His Son…was to be a bridge so that we could once again connect with our heavenly father in intimacy.  That topic if for another post.

Remember a few things while you are in the throws of heartache, difficult times, and confusion.  1) Take responsibility for where you are.  There is power in taking responsibility versus being a victim as it releases the “hold” that the situation has on you.  It allows you to step forward and become solution oriented along with gaining understanding.  2) Believe it is there for you to learn and grow in strength.  The Lord has promised He will never give us trials/tribulations greater than we can handle and will always give us a way to step out from underneath it.  Sometimes our greatest difficulties and pain end up being our greatest blessings.  Remember that we do not like pain, so we avoid it at all costs and try everything to stay in our “comfort zone.”  There is no growth in our “comfort zone.”  We must have pain in order to grow complete – lacking in nothing.  3) Be thankful.  Wow, this is a hard one when you are in the middle of the storm, believe me, I know.  I am not writing as someone on the outside looking in but rather someone who has endured many tribulations since 2006, from lawsuits, divorce, legal issues,  failed businesses losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, losing houses, and crippling debt to name just a few.  Being thankful allows the power of the moment and situation to be released from having a hold on you.  It allows you to begin moving forward toward new blessings.  4) Look for lessons to be learned.  By taking responsibility you are now freed to look how you will do things differently in the future.  It is okay to make mistakes, not okay to repeat them.  5) Help others.  This releases you from thinking, feeling, believing that you are the only one going through difficult times.  It takes the focus off of ourselves, which is very important because when we are going through difficult times it is very easy to just simply focus on our world, our situation, and how it is “crashing” down around us.  Helping others gives us a greater, broader perspective.

Here are some amazing versus in the Bible for you to read as I KNOW they will bless you…whether you are a believer in Christ or not, you still should read these versus.  The Holy Bible is a book filled with unlimited WISDOM, it is there for your benefit – take advantage of it.

1 Peter 5:10.  James 1:12.  Romans 12:12.  1 Corinthians 10:13.  John 16:33.  Romans 5:3.  1 Peter 4:12.  James 1:2-8.


Matthew close up




Looking for a speaker who is not another talking head?  Matthew Stewart is able to connect, inspire, and motivate his audiences by sharing powerful and moving stories.  Get all the information at the link below.

“Changing family’s financial futures…one cup of coffee at a time!”



“Count it all joy, my brothers, WHEN YOU MEET TRIALS of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its FULL EFFECT, that you may be perfect and complete, LACKING IN NOTHING.”
James 1:2-4

A couple key observations: 1) God doesn’t say, “IF” you meet trials. They will come, it is part of life, and they need to happen or else you will always have LACK in your life. 2) We need not try to shorten our growth in steadfastness, but rather embrace it and be joyful for we are having an opportunity to grow, model to others, and GAIN EVERYTHING!

“Changing family’s financial futures…one cup of coffee at a time!”








1. Interest Rates Are Going UP

The economy’s slowly getting on track, and that has interest rates creeping higher. Characteristically, the higher the rate, the less mileage homebuyers get for their bucks.

There’s little motivation to anticipate that this pattern will switch. The Fed as of late affirmed that its primed to start decreasing its rate- by diminishing its security buys by $10 billion a month. Moving up on this most recent adjust of quantitative easing – Qe3 – will have an effect on investment rates. Notwithstanding, if the Fed’s $85 billion in month to month bond buys made the mirage of interest, what will the lessening do to the true request?

As such, premium rates for a run of ventures are prone to keep creeping higher in the year ahead. There’s a reason why smart gurus have been pouring cash out of security shared finances lately as higher rates bring about lower security costs.

2. It’s No Longer House-Hunting Season

The National Association of Realtors has reported three back to back months of decreases in existing home bargains.

Housing “bulls” will contend that the market is still solid. The association representing real estate professionals still anticipates that 5.1 million homes will be eventually sold in 2013, and that is the most elevated count since 2007. Is that worth gloating about? Is it simply a random point, that 2007 was when the last lodging air pocket popped?

However you slice it, the recent months have not been very kind, and certainly have done their part to eliminate most positive energy the market encountered earlier in the year when rates were bottoming out.

3. The Mortgage Market is Starting to Dry Up

With home prices getting more and more out of buyers reaches, and investment rates getting higher, you may anticipate that premium in purchasing will become scarce, and that is precisely what’s been going on.

We are encountering the lowest level of mortgage applications since 2000. The spike in rates has slaughtered off most home refinancing, and loans for home buys are likewise beginning to slump, per the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That surely isn’t an exceptional sign for a housing market where a bounce back in values needs a liquid mortgage market to keep sales growing at a sensible pace.

4. Home Builders Are Getting Greedy

The sum of these factors might appear to be cautioning signs for home builders, however they don’t appear to be paying attention to the preventative indicators. Housing starts are speeding along as U.S. home builders kicked things off on new homes a month ago at the speediest pace in five years.

It’s not difficult to see why the builders are getting more forceful given the climbing home costs, yet who is set to pay for these new price standards in 2014?

In its most recent quarter, luxury home manufacturer Toll Brothers (TOL) reported that the normal cost of its new homes checked in at $703,000, a whopping 21% in front of what it was charging a year prior. Then again, there’s a “Toll” to be paid for this kind of conduct in the market. Requests for new Toll Brothers homes fell by 10% throughout the quarter.

Toll isn’t the main builder encountering a slide in requests. So what will happen after all of the new development that is underway hits the market one year from now?


Matthew Stewart is a RETIRED Rocklin Real Estate agent out of Rocklin, CA.  Matthew Stewart SOLD hundreds of homes over nearly 17 years, leaving the industry to build passive/residual income by teaching, training, coaching others to do the same through the gourmet coffee and tea industry.  Due to his expertise in Rocklin real estate, he gives back by tracking the market, it’s trends, and helping others with information about all faucets of Rocklin real estate and beyond.  Have a real estate question?  Email him at

Have a residual/passive income and/or entrepreneurial question? Email him at

%d bloggers like this: