American Icon Paul Newman Succumbs to Cancer at 83

American icon Paul Newman has died. He was 83. The man of many talents, actor, director, race car driver, entrepreneur, and activist lost his battle with cancer yesterday at his home in Connecticut. His wife of 50 years, Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward, was with him as were the other members of his family and their close friends.

Paul Newman, born in 1925 in Ohio, was the son of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. He served three years in the Navy during WWII, a fact not often listed in his resume. His father’s death resulted in Newman and his brother inheriting an interest in his father’s sporting goods store. Not satisfied with the retail life, Paul sold his interest in the company to his brother Arthur, and moved his wife Jacqueline Witte and their young family to Connecticut where he enrolled at the Yale School of Drama. He later moved to New York to continue his studies and pursue what would become one of the most successful acting career ever.

Paul Newman’s acting career includes several Oscar nominated performances including “Cool Hand Luke”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, and “The Long Hot Summer”. His only Oscar win was for his role in “The Color of Money”, which came 20 years into his amazing career. He was the recipient of two honorary Oscars, numerous Emmy awards, and other film awards.He was active in theater and film until this spring when he announced his retirement. At that time, he cited getting older as his reason for retiring and did not mention his cancer. Throughout his illness, Newman did not draw attention to the seriousness of his disease, preferring to downplay his declining health.

Newman’s passion for life led him to try many different things including auto racing. He’d been turned onto it during his work on the film “Winning”. Never able to do anything half way, he turned pro in 1977 at the age of 52 and two years later took second place in the famous Le Mans race. Paul Newman continued to participate in professional auto racing until just a few years ago. He participated in the grueling race 24-Hours of Daytona several times, finally winning in 1995 at the age of 70.

His company, Newman’s Own, started in 1982 selling salad dressing based on Newman’s own recipe. Fifteen years later, Newman’s Own donated $200 million to charity. From its inception, all profits from the company are donated to charities and non-profits, primarily dealing with children’s issues. His charitable spirit has gone beyond just giving money. Newman established The Hole in the Wall Gang camps for children with life threatening illnesses in several U.S. states and in Europe and spent a portion of each year at the camps. To date there are 11 such camps.

Married twice, Paul Newman was the father of five daughters and one son, Scott, who died of a drug overdose in 1978. Newman established a foundation in his son’s name that finances anti-drug films, which are used as educational tools for children.

What Will Improve Curb Appeal and Motivate Realtors and Buyers

The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.

When a home becomes a property for sale the owner must objectively look around and take care of his side of the business. Curb appeal should be improved before listing the house for sale. Failure to do so will affect the chance of a quick and profitable sale.

Therefore, the seller must understand that the potential of his house cannot always justify the sale price he has in mind. A seller can use some of these guidelines to take appropriate actions by playing the role of the realtor, or of the buyer, who sees the house for the first time. And, private house buyers in particular can use them as a check list.

The Curb Must Show Pride of Ownership

Often neglected is the street number which is what a first-time visitor will look for. Then, what has become invisible to the owner such as an obsolete television antenna on the roof, or Christmas lights in July, will be eyesores to the visitor.

Leaving garden debris or other rubble at the curb is a lack of consideration when a house is for sale. And, unless it is collection day, trash cans should be out of sight.

To repaint a gate or take care of squeaks is easier than repairing major cracks in retaining walls and pathways, but the visitor and the realtor will notice both.

Not to be neglected is the driveway, which should be cleared of what might be permanently left there. Because an unobstructed view of the house is important, as is space available, it is best not to have any vehicle in the driveway when a buyer is expected.

The Landscaping Must Show Tender Loving Care

A garden should enhance a house and draw the eyes to attractive surroundings. For this reason, bushes and hedges should be shaped, and vegetation in front of windows should be trimmed below the sills. Even if the landscape design is taken over by overgrowth, the addition of landscaping lighting under mature trees will pleasantly surprise the potential buyer who might want to drive by at night.

Stressed areas can be improved with bark-chips, rocks, or replanted. It makes sense to keep the lawn fertilized, watered and mowed, and to remove dead plants. Water leaks signal problems whereas a pond, a bench or other garden ornament please the eyes. Plants left in commercial plastic containers are unattractive and so is a tired seat on the porch.

The Front Door Area Must be Welcoming

Paths or stairs leading to the front door must be swept and not obstructed. A few solar garden lights are a welcoming touch for late showings. A negative sign while approaching the front door would be shutters, blinds or window treatment that are not hanging properly.

Garden shoes, untidy garden hoses, or empty containers don’t belong by the front door, but a few colourful attractive pots of seasonal flowers do.

Waiting for the door to open is when realtor and buyer have time to notice insect problems (ants, wasps, bee nests, spider webs). If eco-friendly solutions fail, an exterminator service might be the last resort.

A polished door handle, and door knocker will make a good impression. And, the best thing of all is an attractive new doormat as wide as the door.


Benefits of an Adverse Bad Credit Home Remortgage Fixed Rate

The following post is a guest post from Houston, Texas area real estate developer and entrepreneur Tracy Suttles. Tracy can be best contacted for questions, comments and concerns on Twitter at @tracydsuttles.

Mortgage Refinance or an Adverse Credit Remortgage

Generally when a home is refinanced it accomplished using the same lender. As an example, under the Obama Administrations Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP for short, the homeowner refinances their home with the same mortgage servicer. Other than that distinction, a refinance and a remortgage are virtually one in the same.

Consumers with a poor credit rating may be able to use a remortgage as a means to improve their credit rating. Since a remortgage is essentially a new home loan with a new lender, the old home loan is recorded as paid in full. If there’s a history of late mortgage payments, the credit should be erased since it’s recorded as paid in full.

Once the adverse credit remortgage takes affect, it’s essential that the monthly payments be paid on time. With a remortgage the homeowner has the opportunity to make payments on time to repair their credit rating.

Remortgage for a Lower Monthly Payment

Another benefit of a remortgage can be a lower monthly home loan payment. If the current mortgage interest rate is higher than the current rates, there may be an opportunity to substantially lower the payment amount. Extending the loan to a longer term, like a 40-year fixed, can also lower the monthly payments.

The current principal amount can also have a dramatic affect on the monthly payment. If a large amount of the principal has been paid down over the years, the amount remortgaged could be less than the original loan. A lower principal amount translates into a lower payment. In summary a lower payment can be realized by a

  • lower interest rate
  • diminished principal
  • extended term length

In a nutshell, the two major benefits of an adverse credit remortgage are repairing the homeowner’s credit rating and lowering the monthly mortgage payment. Unfortunately not all homeowners that have poor credit can qualify for a remortgage. Although there are other factors involved, the main factor for procuring an adverse credit remortgage is the amount of equity in the home.

Homeowners that are upside down in their home should look at other options. One option for struggling homeowners is the Obama Administration’s HAMP program. Veterans may also be able to get relief through a VA refinance program.