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CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not.

It’s a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.

“It’s like living under communism — someone gets to dictate every possible thing you do,” David Dobs said.

Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice. A recent attempt in Georgia to expand the right to go solar had support from environmentalists and some Republican lawmakers concerned about private property rights but it succumbed to opposition from developers and real estate agents.

Roughly two dozen states now forbid or limit homeowners associations or local governments from banning solar panels, according to a database run by North Carolina State University. Similar disputes have prompted lawsuits in Nebraska and California.

Angel and David Dobs supported the Georgia legislation after their run-in with the homeowners association. David Dobs had viewed the project as his personal contribution to prevent global warming.

Leaders of the Vickery Lake Homeowners Association in Cumming say the dispute is about architecture and aesthetics, not the merits of solar power. Homeowners automatically accept the community rules when they purchase a home there.

“We’re not going to debate whether it’s a good idea to have green energy or not,” said Jim Pearson, the association’s president.

These debates are likely to keep flaring as more people install solar energy systems because the equipment is getting cheaper and governments subsidize the cost. Taxpayers can now deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing solar panels from their federal tax bill. Other states and local governments offer additional incentives.

The fight is not new. Some solar rights laws date back to the 1970s, while other states have added similar measures more recently.

California’s law, first enacted in 1978, prevents homeowners associations from forcing residents to make aesthetic changes to photovoltaic panels that raise the cost by more than $2,000 or decrease a system’s efficiency more than 20 percent.

Most disputes in California are worked out privately, but a few have reached the court system. Last year, a California appellate court upheld a decision forcing a couple to remove solar panels that were installed in their yard without the approval of their homeowners association. They were allowed to keep other panels on their roof.

“They don’t like the way they look,” said attorney Michael McQueen, who represented the couple and others in similar disputes. “And (homeowners associations) are all about looks. Is your lawn green? Are your hedges trimmed?”

Ricardo Cestero, an attorney for the homeowners association, said neighborhood leaders were concerned the ground-level panels were not set back far enough from the street, were inadequately protected from damage and might cause erosion.

Texas adopted a law last year preventing homeowners associations from totally blocking solar panels. The law makes clear that residents can install them on roofs or in fenced-in yards or patios, subject to some limits. 

In Georgia, the fight between the Dobses and their homeowners association started in 2010. David Dobs said the rules required that he and his wife seek permission to build solar panels.

He first proposed installing 30 panels on two areas parallel to the slope of his roof. People could have seen sections of the three-by-five-feet panels as they walked or drove along the street.

The homeowners association rejected that request and three others from Dobs.

Board member Jim Graham said that to win approval, the panels would probably need to be out of view, perhaps mounted in a backyard and obscured by a fence — though fences too are subject to association approval.

Graham said that if people don’t like the rules, they are free to buy elsewhere.

“They chose to come into this community,” he said.

Lawmakers in Georgia tried to resolve the problem with legislation giving homeowners associations the rest of the year to decide whether to ban solar panels. Any neighborhood that did not set a ban by next year would be unable to stop a homeowner from installing solar panels in the future.

There were limits. Homeowners associations could restrict the panels to roofs or fenced-in backyards and patios. They could require that panels be installed parallel to the slope of a roof and ban any backyard solar equipment that rose higher than the surrounding fence.

Even in states that give homeowners the right to install solar panels, homeowners associations still ban them.

Neighborhood leaders in a Salem, Ore., subdivision rejected Larry Lohrman’s request to install solar panels on his roof because their rules banned the equipment, Lohrman said. He successfully argued that a 1979 solar rights law made that ban illegal, and he and a neighbor helped the association draft guidelines governing the installation of solar panels.

His panels were installed and started producing power in 2010, though Lohrman said he nearly abandoned the effort in frustration during the year it took to write the new guidelines for his homeowners association.

“They’re just afraid that someone’s going to put up this big, honking ugly thing that reflects light and just looks ugly,” he said. 

Associated Press reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report. Follow Ray Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP

InfoTube thinks some logical thought should prevail on this issue.   On one hand, we want to encourage US independence from fossil fuels that harm our environment and fund terrorism.  On the other hand, homeowner association rules are in place to protect the beauty, value and function of a neighborhood..  Restrictions against solar panels are common in most associations and those rules were in place when the homes were initially purchased. 

ALL HomeBuyers HATE Popcorn Ceilings

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

   When trying to come up with a list of items that all homebuyers HATE..the first thing that came to my mind is Popcorn ceilings.   They scream dated.  They collect cobwebs, dust and dirt.  They are impossible to clean or paint.  And, if your home was built before the 1980′s, the popcorn may contain cancer causing asbestos.  (Asbestos was outlawed in 1977, but old supplies were used for years.) 

If you are selling your home, get rid of it….even though that is easier said than done.  If your home was built before 1980, you should first have the ceiling tested by a professional to see if it contains asbestos.  (Read the handout “Asbestos in Your Home“).   If asbestos is found, call a professional asbestos removal company to spray paint over it ($2-$6 a square foot), if it is in good shape.  Or, better, have the pro’s remove and properly dispose of it ($54-$64 a square foot).  Do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself!   There is a lethal reason it is a banned substance.                        

Whether the popcorn contains asbestos or doesn’t…removing popcorn ceilings is a messy, difficult and possibly expensive project.   Do it yourself with the proper gear, or expect to pay a painter about $2.50 a square foot to get rid of it, patch holes and repaint your ceiling.  

There are a few alternatives to sealing or removing popcorn ceilings.  You can opt to cover it up.   Depending on the architectural style of your home…you can consider installing beaded board or press tin ceiling tiles to hide the popcorn….forever.

If you are selling a home…get rid of the popcorn!!!  No one in the world likes popcorn ceilings…if you have them, you hate them, too.   Today’s buyers have so many choices, they won’t even consider a home with popcorn.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Please get rid of those dated, dirty, ugly and possibly dangerous ceilings today!!!    Popcorn is blowing your sale!

Click Here to Read What Buyers Hate Most…Second to Popcorn Ceilings

Rising Rents Push Homebuyers Into the Market

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

Sharply rising rents are pushing buyers into the real estate market this spring. 

Rising Rents Push Fence Sitting Homebuyers

Take a minute to watch this short video from the Wall Street Journal.   From now on…fence sitting will cost you!!

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Please LIKE us on Facebook!!

A Green or Living Roof… is a concept that has been around for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.    Cities such as Atlanta, Portland and Chicago now offer incentives to encourage builders to put green roof’s on their buildings.  The green roof on the Chicago City Hall (shown below) is one of the earliest and best known examples in the USA.

Why are Green Roofs Good for Man and Earth?

1.   Adding Green Roofs to Buildings in Urban Area’s has a dramatic effect on high temperatures, which are increasing.          A green roof can decrease cooling costs by 50-90% depending on the amount of glass used in the building.  On average, the use of green or living roof materials in cities can reduce overall summer temperatures by 4-7 degrees.   Imagine a July high temp of 82 vs 90.

2.  Living roofs dramatically reduce storewater runoff and they filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater.                           They can retain up to 75% of rainfall and reduce the need for expensive underground sand filters that meet storm water regulations. 

3.  Green Roofs Filter pollution and carbon dioxide out of the air, which lowers respitory diseases such as asthma.  Check out the green walled homes built in Austria below.

4.   Living Roofs create a Natural Habitat for Birds, Bee’s, Butterflies and Insects in Urban and Rural Settings.  They increase our agricultural space and can be used to grow food, herbs, fruiting tree’s and shrubs.

5.  Green Roofs Require Little to No Maintenance…and Mowing can be fun :)

6.  Living Roofs dramatically improve a roof’s insulation value and cuts heating and cooling bills about 25% on average.  The roof’s also last two to three times as long as a standard asphault shingled roof.

Flower Tower Building – Paris, France

7.  Green Roof’s Increase Real Estate Values and Earn LEED’s points

The idea of Green roof’s may be centuries old..but in the 21st century they are becoming new again.  They increase life, and the beauty of it…in addition they make financial and environmental sense.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   If you are installing or caring for a green roof…please send us your pictures or share you story with us.  We are always looking for new ways to improve quality of life and the value of real estate.

Big Tax Breaks for Real Estate Investors

Monday, March 26, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

  With reduced home prices and interest rates near historic lows, affordability levels in early 2012 reached their highest point in 42 years according to the National Association of Realtors.

Not only are homes at record affordability levels, real estate ownership also opens the door to a wide variety of tax benefits and additional savings.

“A recent poll shows that 75 percent of likely voters think real estate tax deductions are appropriate and reasonable,” said Steve DiUbaldo, president of Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate, a full-service real estate brokerage with offices in 22 states. “People understand the value of owning a home and the role played by tax benefits. Combine today’s affordability levels with tax advantages and now is a very good time to consider both residential and investment real estate.”

So what are the biggest real estate tax breaks? For most owners and investors the list of major tax write-offs looks like this:

1. Property Taxes. Real estate owners can write off the cost of state and local property taxes. For many borrowers this deduction can reduce taxable income by thousands of dollars.

2. Mortgage Interest. The IRS defines a home mortgage as “any loan that is secured by your main home or second home. It includes first and second mortgages, home equity loans, and refinanced mortgages.”

Mortgage interest can generally be written off, but not always. The limitation for mortgage interest on a primary and secondary residence is a total of $1,000,000 for acquisition indebtedness and $100,000 for home equity indebtedness. There are lower limits for individuals and those who are married but filing separately.

3. The Standard Deduction. “Everyone is entitled to a standard deduction,” said DiUbaldo. “However, write-offs for mortgage interest, property taxes, mortgage insurance premiums and other costs generally allow real estate owners to justify itemizing expenses and thus larger write-offs.”

4. Mortgage Insurance Premiums. Mortgage insurance allows purchasers to buy with less than 20 percent down. Qualified borrowers can get FHA financing with 3.5 percent down, conventional loans can require as little as 5 percent down and VA purchasers can borrow with zero down. Closing costs are extra.

“In general,” says the IRS, “if you itemize deductions, you may deduct premiums paid for mortgage insurance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Rural Housing Service (Rural Housing), or private mortgage insurers in connection with a mortgage for the purchase of your main home.”

5. Points. A “point” is a fee to the lender equal to 1 percent of the mortgage amount. Borrowers often have the option of paying points at closing rather than a higher interest rate over the life of the loan. Whether it’s better to pay points or accept a higher interest rate depends on such issues as the interest rate, the number of points and how long the property will likely be held.

In general, a point paid at closing for acquisition financing is fully deductible in the year paid. If a point is paid to refinance a home, the point is deductible over the term of the mortgage, typically 1/30th per year.

6. Investors can claim Depreciation. Depreciation allows investors to take an additional tax deduction because a real estate “improvement” is believed to wear out over time and will need to be replaced.

“Depreciation is an accounting concept,” said Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate’s president. “The investor is not actually spending the cash represented by the ‘cost’ of depreciation and one result is that it’s possible to have an investment property which produces a positive cash flow that is partially or wholly not taxable currently. In certain instances, subject to individual taxpayer limitations, it is even possible to show a loss for tax purposes.”

7. Sale Profits. When a prime residence has been occupied for two of the past five years it’s probable that much or all of the profit will be sheltered from capital gains. With a joint return up to $500,000 can be protected, $250,000 for an individual owner. Example: You bought a home in 1990 for $100,000 and sell it in 2012 for $300,000. There’s a $200,000 long-term profit, none of which is taxed.

If you’re an investor, sale profits are taxed as long-term capital gains if the property has been owned for at least a year. That means long-term capital gains in 2012 are generally taxed at 15 percent.

8. Tax-deferred exchanges: The National Association of Realtors says investors purchased 23 percent of all existing home in January. One reason for such interest is that it’s possible to have tax-deferred real estate exchanges with investment property.

“You can swap one investment house for another, but you can also trade a rental house for a commercial property or a property with four units,” said DiUbaldo. “An exchange can allow an owner to defer capital gains taxes for years if not decades, and swaps are one of the reasons investors come to our website ( www.apreus.com ).”

The Bottom Line: Whether purchasing as an owner-occupant or as an investor, tax rules can powerfully impact the value of your real estate. For the latest information, details and deductions be sure to check with a local tax professional.

As always, we urge you to consult with your own independent Certified Public Accountant as to the appropriateness of any tax deductions for your specific circumstances.   Article by Market Watch.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Visit our website for FREE home marketing tools, proven sales aids and MLS and Realtor.com listings

Okay, sure…  not ALL of the beds in these cities are infested.  But if you’re planning on hotel stays in any of these destinations, you might want to do an inspection around the headboards before you lay your body down.

Pest control corporation Rollins (which owns seven companies - including Orkin) reports a 34% rise in bed bug biz from 2010 to 2011.

Here’s the list, including the change from the previous year’s ranking:

1. Cincinnati
2. Chicago
3. Detroit (+1)
4. Denver (+2)
5. Los Angeles (+20)
6. Columbus, Ohio (-3)
7. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (+43)
8. Washington, D.C. (-3)
9. New York (-2)
10. Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+6)
11. Houston (-1)
12. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif. (+35)
13. Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Ohio (+1)
14. Boston (+4)
15. Dayton, Ohio (-7)
16. Las Vegas (-1)
17. Honolulu (+55)
18. Baltimore (-6)
19. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+9)
20. Philadelphia (-9)
21. Atlanta (+24)
22. Lexington, Ky. (-13)
23. Syracuse, N.Y. (+25)
24. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (+27)
25. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (+19)
26. San Diego (+13)
27. Seattle/Tacoma, Wash. (-3)
28. Omaha, Neb. (-11)
29. Buffalo, N.Y. (-16)
30. Pittsburgh (-3)
31. Indianapolis (-12)
32. Milwaukee (+6)
33. Charlotte, N.C. (+13)
34. Phoenix (+19)
35. Louisville, Ky. (-3)
36. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-16)
37. Grand Junction/Montrose, Colo. (+30)
38. Knoxville, Tenn. (+4)
39. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich. (-17)
40. Nashville, Tenn. (+15)
41. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+24)
42. Des Moines/Ames, Iowa (-13)
43. Salisbury, Md. (+46)
44. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-23)
45. Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (-22)
46. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. (-20)
47. Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (-17)
48. Salt Lake City (-8)
49. Charleston/Huntington, W.Va. (-13)
50. West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Fla. (+6)

Read more: http://www.wwnc.com/pages/petekaliner.html#ixzz1pIaC7Ynm

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   Visit our website to list property, search for a home, purchase an InfoTube or InfoBox or place a property listing on the MLS or Realtor.com.  If you have a home to sell….we can help and save you money!!

If you are one of the millions of Americans who would love to take advantage of record low home prices and record high levels of foreclosures, but your cash on hand is coming up  little short… consider using a portion of your IRA funds to buy a piece of rental property.

Millions of Americans have billions of dollars tied up in IRA’s that nay be paying little to no interest or gains to investors.  Maybe it’s time you considered diversifing from stocks or mutual funds… and add some tempting real estate bargains into the mix.

Here are the basic rules:

  • The funds used to buy the property must be held in a self directed IRA.  You can not use 401K funds or Roth IRA’s to buy real estate, but you can roll over those funds into an IRA before you buy.
  •  The property you buy must be an investment property.   You can not buy a second home or primary residence with IRA funds without paying a penalty.
  • You must pay cash for the investment property.  You can not borrow or take out a mortgage against your IRA investments.  
  • Monthly rental income must be placed back into the IRA account.
  • When the property is Sold…the sale proceeds must be deposited back into the IRA.
  • No taxes are due on rental income or capital gains held in the IRA, until the money is withdrawn at retirement age, so earnings grow tax free.
  • The IRA can pay all expenses associated managing and maintaining the property.
  • You can use a property manager or manage it yourself.

Real Estate IRA

Here is a simple example of how the investment could grow and fund your retirement.

  • You buy a $100,000 rental property with IRA funds.
  • You collect $10,000 a year in rent that is paid directly back into the IRA. 
  • After 10 years, the entire $100,000 you invested in the home has been paid back into the IRA.  Bonus, you still own the property and you can sell it anytime you chose and put the proceeds into your account, too.
  • You pay NO TAXES on income or capital gains until you withdraw money from the IRA.

Tax deferred gains

Buying a foreclosure with IRA money can be a great way to diversify your retirement portfolio and take advantage of historically cheap real estate prices and highly motivated sellers.  As with any tax related investment…ALWAYS consult your tax expert before investing.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  The spring home selling season is underway and it looks to be the best one in several years.  If you are in the market for home, this is a great time to be shopping.   Check out some of the great deals on our site…or place your property listing on our site for FREE.

If you are selling a home, we can set you up with an MLS listing and you can still sell the property yourself.  Click Here to learn more.

Home Buyers Move Back to Basics

Thursday, February 23, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

                                                    Home Sellers take note:

When it comes down to chosing a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  Today’s buyers consider new or updated kitchens and bathrooms, and a flexible, open floor plan as the most important features they are looking for in a home.

A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents reveal what features appeal to the broadest cross sections of buyers in the marketplace.

  • 33% of those surveyed said that a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature they are looking for.
  • 14% of purchasers said that an open floorplan is a must have. 
  • 12% are looking for homes with new or updated bathrooms.
  • Only 1% of buyers feel that entertainment rooms or finished basements are important home features.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  When you advertise, photograph and show your home, don’t forget to emphasize the “hot buttons” area’s that buyers are telling you they are looking for.

  A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents uncovers the reasons some homes sell….and others languish on the market. 

Agents say that the majority of home sellers have gotten more “real” about their real estate in 2012.  More than half (51%) of sellers are willing to price their homes more competitively this year vs last.   And, nearly half (45%) are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to appeal to and entice buyers.   

What is the best use of a seller’s time and money?  De-clutter, de-personalize to make their home appeal to the broadest cross-section of potential buyers.

  • 94% of sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates.
  • 78% are willing to “de-personalize” their homes.
  • 59% are bringing in new home decorations or furniture to make their home updated and appealing.

De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home makes it easier for a buyer to imagine him or herself living in the property.   In order to sell your home in today’s competitive marketplace, it is crucial for seller’s to realize that the property is no longer their “home”…it is an expensive product that is For Sale.        

Always remove family photo’s and personal artwork.  They do nothing for the appeal of the home.  They simply distract a buyers focus and perhaps give the buyer too much information about the seller’s personal life.  Never good.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   5 FSBO houses on InfoTube.net SOLD this week.   Things are improving for those seller’s who work smart to attract buyers.   Visit our Facebook page for informative, fun and revealing news.

Lowes Hardware Now Selling InfoTubes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

     We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the folks at Lowes Hardware for putting InfoTube back on the store shelves.  

Lowes has been a supporter of InfoTube since the early 1990′s, but they made a decision to stop stocking The InfoTube a few years back, when the real estate market hit the skids.

Now, in support of our effort mutual efforts to Support American products and American workers, Lowes has restocked the shelves with InfoTubes, in anticipation of the spring home selling season.   As a result, we have been able to add workers and our customers love the convenience of shopping at Lowes.  (Lowes will also continue to sell our popular InfoBox, too.)

We appreciate everyone at Lowes and we appreciate all of you.   Please look for our products trademarked Red Lids and Caps when you shop…and ask for InfoTube and InfoBox products by name.   

Say NO to Chinese imports.  Together, we can rebuild our country… one little product and one worker at a time.   

    

We finally have an avalanche of positive news regarding on the real estate and housing market for 2012.   

  1. Foreclosure activity in 2011 is down more than 50% lower in several states, including New Jersey, Maryland and Florida.  Realty Trac
  2. The much feared “shadow inventory” of foreclosures declined dramatically in 2011.  In December 2012, 2.2 million properties were in some stage of foreclosure.  In September 2011, that number dropped to 1.5 million units…or a whopping 32% in nine months.  Realtytrac
  3. Realtors in some hard hit area’s, such as Michigan and southern California, are reporting a shortage of housing inventory and a return to bidding wars in tight markets.  
  4. Wall Street thinks the worst is over.  Stocks of the nation’s five largest, publicly traded, home builders are at 52 week highs signaling an upswing in home construction in 2012.  In addition, the home builders have been snapping up deals on land and abandoned subdivisions in anticipation of increased buyer demand.  CNBC
  5. Realtors and home builders are getting a boost from rising rents, as Americans realize that owning a home is often less expensive than renting one.   And, while future rent increases have no ceiling on how high they can go, ownership locks in housing expenses and equity is created as the loan balance decreases each month.
  6. Legal issues, property maintenance and other issues complicating the foreclosure process will push banks and lenders to approve more short sales in 2012, further reducing housing inventory.
  7. Interest rates will remain at historical lows in 2012, which allows more people to qualify for a home and cheap money buys more house for the same monthly payment. 
  8. Foreclosure activity was down more than 30 percent in 2011.   Fewer than 2 million properties foreclosure notices were filed in 2011, down from 2.9 million property filings in 2010.  Realty Trac

InfoTube believes that this news spells OPPORTUNITY for home buyers, home builders, investors and real estate agents.  Home prices and affordability are excellent, yet buyers and investors can still find good bargains.   Today’s smart home buyers will feel like geniuses in ten years when the see what inflation has done to home prices. 

If you have a home to sell, we can help.  Visit InfoTube.net to place a FREE home listing about your property or to buy an InfoTube or InfoBox to advertise your property to drive by customers.  Or, supersize your marketing efforts with an MLS listing.  The MLS and Realtor.com reaches millions home buyers each day that otherwise would not know your home is for sale!!!

The male-dominated industry has never seen anyone quite like Lynn Tilton, a New York financier who since 2000 quietly has been amassing an empire, acquiring or investing in more than 70 companies, with holdings totaling $8 billion. 

Lynn Tilton, New York financier and owner of MD Helicopters, gives out signed photos of herself to well wishers as a line formed in front of her exhibit booth at Heli-Expo recently in Anaheim, Calif.

Rotor blades and turbine engines were supposed to be the showcase at the annual helicopter convention in Anaheim, Calif., the last week of February, so pilot James Costa wasn’t sure what to make of the crowd surrounding a woman in a leopard-print dress and knee-high boots.

She had long, blond hair who was signing glossy photos of herself as a line formed in front of her exhibit booth.

“I thought she was a stripper,” said Costa, a helicopter pilot from Tulare, Calif., before he found out that the woman was Lynn Tilton, owner of one of the nation’s largest helicopter makers.

“Very cool,” Costa said in disbelief. “You know, she brought that company back from the brink of destruction. She’s our rock star.”

The male-dominated industry has never seen anyone quite like Tilton, a New York financier who since 2000 quietly has been amassing an empire, acquiring or investing in more than 70 companies, with holdings totaling $8 billion.

“She doesn’t fit the usual pattern of an executive,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst for Teal Group. “but she has stayed in this game a lot longer than people thought.”

Part Warren Buffett and part Dolly Parton, the 49-year-old native of the Bronx borough of New York owns or has an equity stake in companies that are as eclectic as her wardrobe — and include brand names such as Arizona Ice Tea, English Leather cologne and Isotoner gloves.

Through her private-equity firm Patriarch Partners she also owns companies with some of the world’s most iconic names, including mapmaker Rand McNally, firetruck manufacturer American LaFrance and Italian factory-machine maker Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali.

In 2005, Tilton acquired Mesa, Ariz.-based MD Helicopters, a company founded by Howard Hughes.

Common trait

Although diverse, the companies had a common trait before Tilton began investing in them. They produced well-known products but were about to go out of business.

“We turn dust to diamonds,” she said at the Anaheim Convention Center. “We buy what everybody else tosses away.”

Although some of her companies have had to lay off people because of the economy, they employ a total of 60,000 workers in the U.S. The return on her investments has averaged 25 percent annually, she said.

“Making money and making the world a better place don’t have to be mutually exclusive objectives,” she said.

Within the aviation industry, Tilton often has been described as the “dominatrix lady” because of her penchant for black-leather dresses and high-heel shoes.

“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” she said when asked about the initial impression some people might have. She has a bachelor’s degree from Yale and an MBA from Columbia.

She acknowledged that she has used the image to her advantage because many people upon first meeting her underestimate her abilities.

Before she began signing autographs, Tilton already was shaking up the helicopter convention. As four executives of the world’s largest helicopter makers, including Bell Helicopter Textron and Sikorsky Aircraft, finished up their presentations, Tilton, who was running late, walked up to the podium wearing that leopard-print dress.

“I don’t have pretty slides,” she said. “But I’m wearing a sexy dress. I hope this will do for some of you.”

Then, taking a more serious tone, Tilton said that the industry was “not a chosen one that defies gravity” and warned the audience that more improvements were needed, including making helicopters safer.

Tilton, who has three siblings, said she grew up in a dynamic family. Her father was a professor, and her mother later became publisher of a newspaper in Teaneck, N.J.

Single parent

At 23, Tilton became a single parent, and for the next several years she “worked 100 hours a week on Wall Street” to support herself and her daughter. “Compared to then, this is nothing,” she said of her workload juggling more than 70 companies.

Tilton worked at top Wall Street companies including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before becoming an expert on distressed loans. She later would obtain a patent for a method of turning around bad bank loans.

Tilton had enough money to retire comfortably at age 40 but decided to form her own company to “give back to the world.”

Her most challenging and endearing acquisition has been the helicopter company, one of the few that she personally has overseen and managed, Tilton said.

Because of parts problems, the company stopped producing helicopters in 2005, putting more than 250 jobs in jeopardy just before Tilton acquired an equity stake.

After going through three chief executives in one year, she personally took charge, handling the company’s reorganization while acquiring faltering businesses.

At the same time, she began to be the “face of the company” as she led the sales force and was able to regain the attention of its customers.

“She’s turned things around at MD, and I think that’s helped her gain some respect,” said Matthew Arnold, chief executive of Alabama’s Marshall County Economic Development Council, which has worked with Tilton on aviation matters.

The company expects to deliver 70 new helicopters this year, up from 52 last year.

“My ultimate legacy would be if I could keep people from going home and telling their families they’re unemployed,” Tilton said.

By Peter Pae  Los Angeles Times.   Source for this article is the Seattle Times Company.

InfoTube.net salutes Lynn Tilton and applaudes her effort to employ Americans and rescue US companies.  If I can be of service to you Ms Tilton, please let me know.  It would be an honor to work for you and I would do it for FREE.   Tommi Crow

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Traditions the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. 

Make this year different.  Make it the year that Americans give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it on Facebook and to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net and for supporting our American workers!!!

New York City Man Hole Covers Made in India?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

This photo, sent by an InfoTube customer, perfectly illustrates the reason that the United States is going down the drain.  

Does NYC know that Pittsburgh, PA is a steel town?  Does Mayor Bloomberg realize that tens of thousands of taxpayers in Pittsburgh are unemployed, many losing their homes?  Does the New York City purchasing department know that Pennsylvania is located right down the road from the state of New York?

If “they were cheap” is the answer…I don’t care how cheap Indian man hole covers are.  If they were FREE, US workers and taxpayers can’t afford them.

In addition…wasting oil to freight heavy man hole covers half way around the world is slap in the face to US families and business.  The economy has been crippled by $4.00 a gallon gasoline and the billions of dollars that have been borrowed to fight wars for oil! 

I say Enough!   We believe that Americans have to start producing what America buys.  It’s really that simple. 

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  We hope you join in us in our fight to Save American Jobs!!!   (Click here to read our David and Goliath success story).

Demand American products when you shop.  Together, we can turn this around.  Just look at what one, young woman did to turn the new bank charges for ATM’s around!!!!

Tommi Crow, owner of Crow Erickson, Inc and inventor of the InfoTube and InfoBox battled Home Depot and Lowes…and WON!!!    Now, she and her company get to keep selling their American Made products and her US workforce will stay employed.

To Read About this David vs Goliath Victory …CLICK HERE!!!!