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Ann Larson

Real Estate Specialist

My Blog

RE/MAX 2012 TOP 10 HOUSING PREDICTIONS

1/10/2012

THIS LINK WILL TAKE YOU TO A BRIEF YOU TUBE VIDEO OF DAVE LINIGER, RE/MAX CHAIRMAN AND CO-FOUNDER.
TOP 10 PREDICITONS

Pending Home Sales Rise Again in November, Highest in a Year-and-a-Half

1/2/2012
This is a great article by the National Realtor Magazine that came out just a few days ago. This is great news for Seller's that have been struggling selling their properties the last several years.  Good news for Buyer's is that the rates are still low and pricing is not on the rise yet so there are plenty of properties to choose from at fair and reasonable prices.
Click Link Below For Article:
http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/12/phs_nov

Winter Tips

11/15/2011

FERC Ruling

11/14/2011

*** FERC RULING INFO ***

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today provided certainty for
citizens at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri by setting the record straight
that FERC has not required shoreline homes and structures with valid deeds,
permits and easements to be removed. The Lake of the Ozarks reservoir is
part of the Osage Hydroelectric Project, licensed to Ameren UE.

"I am confident that today's decision will bring clarity to residents along
the shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks," FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff
said. "I expect Ameren to move quickly to comply with the Commission order.
This will resolve all outstanding issues associated with its shoreline
management plan and bring this matter to a swift and satisfactory
resolution."

FERC's prior order on this case, issued July 26, 2011, was misinterpreted to
mean that the Commission would order all privately owned structures built
within the boundaries of the Osage project to be removed. Ameren is
responsible for managing the shoreline, which includes ensuring that
structures within the project boundary around the Lake of the Ozarks are
built with the proper authorizations.

Today's order states:
. Whatever property rights that owners have in lands within the boundaries
of the Osage Project, whether conferred by deed, lease, easement or other
conveyance, have not been and will not be altered by FERC's actions today.
Nothing in this order affects any previously issued valid permit authorizing
a non-project use of project lands or waters.

. For structures without valid deeds, permits or easements, Ameren must
determine whether they interfere with the Osage project. If they do, Ameren
must take some action, such as redrawing the boundaries of the project, so
those structures no longer are sitting on project lands. This would put them
outside of the project boundaries and therefore outside of FERC
jurisdiction.

. If any structure does interfere with the operation of the Osage project,
Ameren and the structure owner must find a solution that satisfies both
sides. Ameren itself has stated that after the project boundary is revised,
it expects the majority of structures will no longer be considered
nonconforming.

FERC established these requirements in the context of directing Ameren to
change its shoreline management plan for the Osage project. Ameren must file
with the Commission its plan to modify the project boundary by June 1, 2012.

Fact Sheet/FAQs -
http://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2011/2011-4/11-10-11-factsheet.asp
Overview -
http://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2011/2011-4/11-10-11-osage-overview.
pdf
Decision -
http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/Files/20111110090759-P-459-310a1.pdf

** This information is provided by www.funlake.com (the Lake Area CVB)

Did you know this about the lake?

11/4/2011

With more than 1,150 miles of scenic shoreline, more than the entire Pacific coast of California, the Lake of the Ozarks offers visitors gallons (about 617 billion) of fun and adventure.

Nestled amid the rolling hills of Central Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks has long been known as the premier vacation, golf and meeting destination in America's Heartland. Because of its size and expanse, the Lake literally offers something for everyone. Whether visitors are looking for fast-paced action or a peaceful escape from the rigors of life, the area encompassing this 54,000-acre lake is a perfect spot for a family vacation, romantic getaway or gathering with a group of friends or business associates.

What's more, because it's privately-developed, it is the only major public lake in Missouri where visitors can go directly from their lakeside rooms onto their water craft (similar lakes around the state and region are managed by the Army Corps of Engineers which limits shoreline access).

The Lake of the Ozarks, once the largest man-made lake in the world, was created in 1931 with the completion of Bagnell Dam and the Great Osage River Project, the brainchild of the Union Electric Company. Just four months after dam construction began in 1929, the stock market crashed, bringing with it the Great Depression. While the rest of the country faced economic ruin, work on Bagnell Dam provided welcome employment to 4,600 workers at any one time and a total of 20,500 over the two-year construction period. As a result, Central Missouri experienced a time of growth and expansion while other areas endured the hardships of the Depression.

Directly and indirectly, the dam continues to provide employment and a tremendous quality of life to residents of the area, which translates to a great vacation opportunity for everyone else.

On and off the Lake, the choices are limitless. The Lake is host to some of the top fishing and golfing in the Midwest, including prestigious tournaments such as Bass Masters and the PGA Club Pro Championship, and offers an abundance of water activities and other recreation such as horseback riding, tennis, hiking, bird-watching and trap shooting. Throughout the year the Lake offers a lineup of exciting family activities ranging from fun festivals and events, spectacular cave tours and live country music shows to great shopping, craft shows, scenic cruises and more.

Four Seasons of Fun: Because warm weather usually arrives at the Lake in April and hangs around through October, there's a good eight to nine month window of opportunity for some serious outdoor fun and relaxation. Average daytime air and water temperatures in April are, respectively, 67 and 54, warming to 91 and 83 by July, and leveling off to 73 and 69 by October.

During the winter months it's not out of the ordinary for daytime temperatures to warm into the 50-60 range. In fact, there are many days throughout the off season when balmy weather offers a welcome respite from winter's chills. A mild winter day often beckons people onto the golf course where the higher summer rates are in hibernation.

Indoors or out, the Lake of the Ozarks during winter and early spring offers plenty to do. From the bustle of holiday festivities to romantic nights nestled by a fire, from a visit to the temperate climes of one of the area's show caves to brisk walks through the awakening landscape, a visit to the Lake of the Ozarks is a great escape from the winter blahs.

Which Way to the Lake ? The Lake of the Ozarks is conveniently located in Central Missouri , just about three hours from Kansas City to the west and St. Louis to the east. Its central location, friendly atmosphere, variety of activities (both on and off the water), accessibility and unlimited number of places to explore make it the perfect playground.

For visitors unfamiliar with the Lake , visualize it in the heart of Missouri , easily reachable from other well-known destinations in America 's Heartland. Bagnell Dam at the Lake of the Ozarks is:

  125 miles north of Branson , Mo.

  246 miles northwest of Cape Girardeau , Mo.

  467 miles southwest of Chicago , Ill.

  64 miles south of Columbia , Mo.

  300 miles south of Des Moines , Iowa

  150 miles southwest of Hannibal , Mo.

  420 miles southwest of Indianapolis , Ind.

  35 miles south of Jefferson City , Mo.

  165 miles southeast of Kansas City , Mo.

  338 miles north of Little Rock , Ark.

  545 miles south of Minneapolis , Minn.

  361 miles southeast of Omaha , Neb.

  260 miles southwest of Springfield , Ill.

  90 miles north of Springfield , Mo.

  192 miles southeast of St. Joseph , Mo.

  175 miles southwest of St. Louis , Mo.

  296 miles northeast of Tulsa , Okla.

  357 miles east of Wichita , Kan.


Information provided by www.funlake.com

Dam operators drop Lake one foot below guide curve

10/22/2011

LakeExpo.com Staff Reporter | Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 12:48 pm

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. Dock owners buzzing about the lake level being low for this time of year are correct. Through the end of September and gradually during October, operators at Bagnell Dam have dropped the water level to 657.0, a full foot under the Lake Ozark Guide Curve recommendation.

The short explanation from AmerenUE is simply, "No rain." Truman Lake currently has no water to release and Ameren must adhere to a minimum outflow to the Osage River. If dry weather continues, dock owners can expect the water level to drop lower at a trickle pace.

Minimum generation has been scheduled for the next three days bringing the lake to 657.10.

The low level limit over which the dam may legally operate in October is 654.0. However, the guide curve recommends 658 in October to raise to 659 by the end of November under normal rainfall conditions.

The annual drawdown to make room for spring rain usually occurs January through March.

Lake Level Oct. 21, 2011

Lake of the Ozarks: 657.03

River Level: 551.47

Truman Lake: 704.3

Surface Water Temp: 70F at Bagnell Dam

Lake Ozark Operational Data Oct. 19, 2011

Harry S Truman Dam Head Level at Midnight 704.3 FT

Harry S Truman Dam Outflow 0 SFD

Lake Ozark Inflow 1,999.0 SFD

Lake Ozark Inflow 7 Day Avg 1,067.0 SFD

Prescribed Minimum Flow 900.0 CFS

Bagnell Dam Discharge 2,945.8 SFD

FERC Rehearing on Lake: Whats Next?

10/19/2011
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:01 pm | Updated: 7:49 pm, Tue Oct 18, 2011.

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. Lakefront property owners wait.

In what has been viewed by homeowners as a massive government intrusion up to their front decks, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently ordered the removal of all structures within AmerenUEs project boundary including condo buildings, homes, wastewater treatment facilities, decks, gazebos, anything deemed non-conforming.

The united uproar from lake area landowners and the business community swiftly made it to Washington D.C.

FERC, under intense political pressure, approved on Sept. 26 a request from AmerenUE for a rehearing of the Shoreline Management Plan to specifically address the project boundary issue. It could signal FERC may be persuaded to soften its position. There is optimism to that end among sources closest to issue at the Lake.

For now, lakefront property owners wait. The rehearing process has no specific timeline, although sources have indicated FERC will likely make a decision in the near term.

Ameren has submitted in writing a two-part alternative to the federal agencys mandate. The rehearing provides that FERC will read the written recommendation and render some kind of decision. The rehearing does not guarantee any dialogue or verbal negotiation.

Ameren recommends the utility company be allowed to redraw the project boundary to accommodate major structures and correct the boundary where it meanders past logic. This solution is intended to paint a broad stroke around condo buildings, homes and commercial structures. However, it does not specifically address decks, gazebos and similar structures.

The second part of Amerens proposal would grandfather smaller structures that would have been eligible for permits through 2008. Any structures not eligible would likely have to be removed.

In the past, it has been common for Ameren to permit structures now considered non-conforming by FERC.

While skirmishes between Ameren and thousands of property owners over boundary lines simmer below the surface even in a best-case scenario, the landowners by overwhelming majority are on the side of the solutions now before FERC to circumvent the decimation of local property values.

Assuming FERC softens and the federal hurdle is overcome, landowners intent on disputing boundary claims made by Ameren will have to come armed with elevation surveys of their properties. Estimates are in the thousands of dollars per property to accumulate the proper documentation.

Lake of the Ozarks is unique in its development and management, so the justification of a custom solution is reasonable. However, this Lake is far from the only one battling FERC over the project boundary issue. Lakefront property owners as far east as Virginia and west as the State of Washington are also on the front lines.

As FERC ponders the fate of Lake of the Ozarks, a petition continues drawing signatures from across the nation asking the Obama Administration to, "CURB FERC regulations, which overreach and overregulated the shorelines of its hydroelectric projects."

Winter Energy Saving Tips from Ameren

10/18/2011

Saving Money Today      

                      You can save 2 to 3 percent on your heating costs for each degree you lower your thermostat during the heating season.
                      
                      Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your homes temperature settings when you are away or sleeping. Ameren Illinois customers may visit ActOnEnergy.com or call 1-866-838-6918 for details on a $25 programmable thermostat rebate. A programmable thermostat can reduce energy bills by about $100 a year.

                      Never place a thermostat on an exterior wall where it may be affected by outdoor temperatures.

                      Regularly change or wash (depending on type) furnace filters. Most filters should be changed once a month. This is especially important if you have pets or when there is dust in the area.

                      Take advantage of solar heat by opening curtains, blinds and shades on sunny days. Close curtains, blinds and shades on cloudy days and at night.

                      Have your heating system checked and serviced by a professional before the start of the heating season. Improperly operating fossil fuel furnaces may pose serious health and safety hazards, as well as waste energy. Fireplace and wood-burning stove flues should be inspected and cleaned by a professional, as well.

                      Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home, as required by state law.

                      Check for heating system duct air leaks. Begin by sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement or garage by using duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. Properly sealed ducts can improve your heating systems efficiency by up to 20 percent. Visit ActOnEnergy.com, call1-866-838-6918 or send an e-mail to: ActOnEnergyResidential@ameren.com for details on the Home Energy Performance Program.

                      Replace incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Unlike incandescent bulbs, CFLs emit little heat and last seven or more years. Ameren Illinois customers may purchase CFLs from participating retailers, online or by phone. For CFL details, visit ActOnEnergy.com, send an e-mail to ActOnEnergyResidential@ameren.com or call1-866-845-7085.

                      Use low-cost ceiling fans or other types of circulating fans. Fans help to evenly distribute air, eliminating both hot and cold spots. When used properly, many people find they are able to lower their thermostats a few degrees in the winter and raise the thermostat a few degrees during the summer months.

                     When not in use, keep fireplace and wood stove dampers closed. This will help keep warm air in your home.

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