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Dream Big Real Estate Blog has moved!

Hey Gang!

We wanted to alert you about our brand-new Dream Big Real Estate Blog, which officially launches today. You can find it at:


http://www.dreambigrealestate.com/riversiderealestate/.

 

We’re excited about the new format, which matches our unparalleled real estate website.

Check us out and drop us a line to tell us what you think!

– Brian

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Is Today a Good Day to Buy or Sell a Home?

January 29, 2011 1 comment

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE JAN. 29, 2011, EDITION
OF THE RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE.

Distressed properties are piling up by the millions, threatening to delay the nation’s economic recovery and the next upswing in the real estate market.

But combined with historically low interest rates and the current supply and demand, that pent-up supply has created a sweet spot in the market for buyers and sellers.

Standard & Poor’s reported this week that the volume of homes likely to hit the market as either foreclosures or short sales grew to $450 billion as of the end of the third quarter of 2010. This “shadow inventory” – which S&P defines as properties 90 or more days late on their mortgages; properties in foreclosure; and lender-owned properties not yet resold – is expected to take 44 months to clear out.

“Our estimate for the average time to clear these properties in the U.S. has increased by about 25 percent since the start of 2010 and increased 7 percent between the second and third quarters,” S&P reported.

“Experts” are all over the spectrum on predictions for the future. Economists from Fannie Mae, Moody’s, S&P, Wells Fargo and many others predict price drops in 2011, at least nationally. Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors predicts prices to remain flat this year.

With so much conflicting information, how should homeowners and potential buyers proceed?

SELLERS: If prices do decline again in a double-dip, sellers need to make their move now, before the competition grows.

A flood of homes to the market could increase competition among sellers and drive down prices.

For sellers with equity, that’s bad news because it translates to less money in their pockets at the close of the transaction.

For distressed sellers, it’s worse because the risks are greater – a bump in the road and the loss of a buyer could result in a financially devastating foreclosure that would keep someone from re-entering the housing market before the next big run-up in prices.

And for homeowners with vacant properties on the block, it could mean a continuation of dead lawns, squatters and vandals in the neighborhood.

BUYERS: People thinking about jumping into the real estate market face a trifecta of confusion: uncertainty, fear and the thrill of the past upswing.

The recent soar and plummet of the real estate market took us to unchartered territory. It shifted the way Americans think when it comes to buying a home, and that notion of “buy low, sell high” pierced so deeply into the core of the nation’s psyche, that suddenly, everyone was a real estate “investor.”

But many paid a heavy price in that arena.

That’s why home buyers today should be focused on the “cost” of home ownership instead of the price of a house.

Interest rates are at historically low levels, but they have increased more than a half-percent in the past three months. What was 4.2 percent in October is 4.8 percent today, according to Bankrate.com.

Home buyers who locked their rates at the lows of last year and closed their purchases at 4.2 percent on a $200,000 loan would have a loan payment of $978.03. In comparison, a buyer who waited for a 5 percent drop in prices but who purchased with today’s interest rate of 4.8 percent would have a payment of $996.86 on a loan amount of $190,000.

Lower price, yes. And higher cost.

Will interest rates continue to increase, or will they drop back again this year? It wasn’t that long ago that they were higher than 5 percent. Home buyers who focus on price instead of cost could get caught again.

Additionally, the cost to rent a home actually exceeds the cost to purchase in many areas of California. Online real estate tracker Trulia reported this week that in 72 percent of the largest 50 U.S. cities, renting actually costs more than buying. Though the Inland Empire cities of Riverside and San Bernardino were too small to be considered, Long Beach, San Diego, Sacramento and San Jose were all on the list.

The foreclosure epidemic also has also put pressure on the U.S. rental housing market. Property research firm Reis Inc. reported this month that the apartment vacancy rate in the last quarter of 2010 decreased to 6.6 percent from 8 percent a year earlier. And effective rents increased to $986 from $964 a year earlier.

FREE INFORMATION: Whether a buyer, a seller or both, consumers need the guidance of a seasoned real estate broker to help them navigate the complexities of a real estate transaction.

For a free copy of our brand-new Special Report, “Inland Empire Home Buyers: Strategies to get the Best Deal and Beat the Competition,” call 1-800-941-1900, ext. 9403; email PE@DreamBigRealEstate.com, or visit www.DreamBigRealEstate.com.

Or, for a free copy of the Brand-New Special Report, “9 Alternatives to Inland Empire Foreclosure,” call 1-800-941-1900, ext. 9003; email PE@DreamBigRealEstate.com, or visit www.DreamBigRealEstate.com.

(Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin are Realtors and Ambassadors for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. They can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin
Real Estate Professionals
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

 

ACTIVE RAIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog FACEBOOK - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros TWITTER - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsLINKEDIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsRSS FEED - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros BlogSTUMBLE UPON - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros SEND EMAIL to BRIAN BEAN @ Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros YAHOO PULSE - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros GOOGLE BUZZ - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsDIGG - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
 

 

Henry David Thoreau

Is a HAFA Short Sale Right for you? New Rules Make Qualifying Easier

January 16, 2011 2 comments

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE JAN. 15, 2011, RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE

After months of criticism that government had created another ineffective program, the Treasury Department has eased the guidelines of the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program.

Though the rule changes don’t fully address compensation for second lien holders, they do relieve the restrictions on relocation for jobs and distance.

The HAFA program was created by the Obama Administration in 2009 as an alternative for homeowners who could not qualify for a loan modification. Officials expected more than 1 million people to take advantage of the government-subsidized program that provided, among other things, $3,000 relocation assistance to the homeowner.

But as of Sept. 30, 2010, in the first six months of the program, only 342 HAFA program short sales were consummated. The biggest challenge to the program: limits on compensation paid to second lien holders, which are prevalent in California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona, states with the highest concentration of distressed homeowners.

Last week, the Treasury Department announced new standards for the HAFA program, to take effect Feb. 1. However, the changes do not fully address the most common obstacle that applicants face – acceptance by the second lien holder.

The program changes include:

  • One of the biggest changes is that the borrower can now qualify even if the property is currently rented to a tenant, as long as the borrower lived in the property as a principal residence within the 12 months prior to applying for the HAFA program. Additionally, the relocation does not have to be job-related, and the distance requirement for relocation has been removed.
  • The servicer is no longer required to verify the financial information of the homeowner, though the servicer still can require the borrower to provide updated paystubs, bank statements and tax returns. And a hardship affidavit is still required. That makes this change effectively toothless, since banks routinely require these documents before they’ll even open a loan mod or short sale file.
  • The servicer is no longer required to determine if the homeowner’s current mortgage payment exceeds 31 percent of their gross income. However, since the servicer still is allowed to ask for updated paystubs, it already has the ability to make that determination
  • Servicers are no longer capped at 6 percent to compensate subordinate lien holders. However, the $6,000 cap is still in force, which makes this change ineffectual and will continue to make HAFA program short sales difficult in California, where many distressed homeowners have more than one loan and the loan amounts are higher. (Anecdotally, most successful HAFA short sales have occurred when the borrower had only one loan or two loans from one bank.)
  • The servicer must provide HAFA short sale paperwork within 30 days after the homeowner applies for the program. And it must respond with an approval, decline or counter-offer within 30 days after receiving the file.
  • HAFA applicants already in process before Feb. 1 are not covered by the new rule changes, though the servicer can re-evaluate them at their own discretion.

Homeowners interested in the HAFA program must tread carefully. There are several alternative contracts and methods to pursue HAFA. One method requires the homeowner to surrender the property as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which has essentially the same impact as a foreclosure on a person’s credit report and future ability to purchase a home.

It’s critical that a homeowner choose the proper method. Waiting for the bank to take control and set the price is a recipe for failure. To determine if the HAFA Program is the appropriate solution for you, contact us immediately for a free HAFA evaluation. There’s no obligation.

Or, for a free copy of the Brand-New Special Report, “9 Alternatives to Inland Empire Foreclosure,” call 1-800-941-1900, ext. 9003; or email PE@DreamBigRealEstate.com

(Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin are Realtors and Ambassadors for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. They can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin
Real Estate Professionals
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

 

ACTIVE RAIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog FACEBOOK - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros TWITTER - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsLINKEDIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsRSS FEED - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros BlogSTUMBLE UPON - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros SEND EMAIL to BRIAN BEAN @ Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros YAHOO PULSE - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros GOOGLE BUZZ - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsDIGG - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau

Banks Took Back 1 Million Homes in 2010

U.S. lenders took back more than 1 million homes from distressed homeowners in 2010, according to a report released today by online foreclosure marketer RealtyTrac.

And nearly 4 million foreclosure filings were recorded against nearly 3 million properties during the same period, despite the “foreclosure freezes” that occurred for several weeks at the end of 2010, according to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Both figures were increases from 2009 and exceeded projections for the year.

“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a company news release. “Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 — which we estimate may be as high as a quarter-million — will likely be restarted and add to the numbers in early 2011.”

According to RealtyTrac, 3,825,637 foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were recorded on 2,871,891 U.S. properties in 2010, a record high. Filings increased 2 percent from 2009 and were up 23 percent from 2008, according to RealtyTrac. One in 45 homes in the United States received at least one foreclosure filing last year, 2.23 percent of all U.S. housing units, up from 2.21 percent in 2009, 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006.

Fourth-quarter activity dropped as several large banks suspended foreclosure activity for a period of time before resuming filings. In December, banks filed on 257,747 properties, down 2 percent from November and 26 percent from December 2009. Quarterly filings decreased 14 percent from the third quarter and were 8 percent lower than in 2009.

California in Top Four

The big four — Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California — had the highest foreclosure rates, RealtyTrac reported.

Nevada: More than 9 percent of housing units (one in 11) received at least one filing in 2010, though activity did decrease 5 percent from 2009. Nevada has had the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for four consecutive years. It also saw a spike of activity in December 2010, increasing 18 percent from November and 14 percent from December 2009. Fourth-quarter activity was down nearly 7 percent from the previous quarter but up 19 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009.

Arizona: One in 17 housing units (5.73 percent) received at least one foreclosure filing in 2010.

Florida: One in 18 units, (5.51 percent)

California: One in 25 units (4.08 percent). California topped the list with the largest total number of homes receiving foreclosure filings at 546,669, a 14 percent decrease from 2009. Foreclosure activity hit a two-year low in November but spiked back up nearly 15 percent higher in December, which was still 18 percent lower than December 2009.

Other states rounding out the top 10 foreclosure rates were Utah (1 in 29, 3.44 percent), Georgia (1 in 31, 3.25 percent), Michigan (1 in 33, 3.00 percent), Idaho (1 in 34, 2.98 percent), Illinois (1 in 35, 2.87 percent), and Colorado (1 in 40, 2.51 percent).

Riverside and San Bernardino County Foreclosure Activity

Homes in the city of Riverside received 897 foreclosure filings in 2010, while 636 Corona homes received filings, RealtyTrac reported. They led Riverside County, which had 6,628 homes countywide with a filing.

San Bernardino County homes received 5,806 filings, according to the report. The High Desert city of Victorville had 620 of those filings, and San Bernardino had 606, followed closely by Fontana at 602.

Los Angeles County led the state in foreclosure activity with 12,807 properties receiving filings. The city of Los Angeles recorded 2,616 of those filings, but north L.A. County areas of Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita and Pearblossom had the highest concentrations.

To see more details from the RealtyTrac report, CLICK HERE.

With foreclosure activity on the upswing, it’s more important than ever to ensure that, faced with the inability to make your home payments, you make the right choices. One misstep can result in a foreclosure on your record, which will be financially devastating to your credit rating and future ability to purchase a home before the next real estate boom begins.

We can help you choose from among the many alternatives available to avoid a foreclosure on your record. Call us today for a free evaluation to determine the best path for you. Or call 1-800-941-1900, ext 9003, to order a copy of the Brand-New Special Report, “The 9 Alternatives to Foreclosure.”

(Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin are Realtors and Ambassadors for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. They can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin
Real Estate Professionals
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

ACTIVE RAIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog FACEBOOK - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros TWITTER - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsLINKEDIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsRSS FEED - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros BlogSTUMBLE UPON - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros SEND EMAIL to BRIAN BEAN @ Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros YAHOO PULSE - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros GOOGLE BUZZ - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsDIGG - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau

HAFA Program falls woefully short …

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE APPEARED DEC. 18 IN THE P-E

By Brian Bean & Tim Hardin

Banks completed just 342 short sales through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program in the first six months, according to a report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

HAFA launched April 5 and was designed for homeowners to short sale a home and avert foreclosure if they couldn’t complete or qualify for a loan modification through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program. Through Sept. 30, the Treasury Dept. paid out $1.6 million in TARP funds to banks, investors, servicers and homeowners on 342 short sales or deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, according to Treasury data in the SIGTARP report.

Banks and servicers dispute the results but thus far have not produced their own HAFA numbers. Servicers canceled 699,924 HAMP trial modifications as of September and another 29,190 permanent modifications, according to an October report from HousingWire.

HAFA guidelines provide $1,500 to a servicer for a completed HAFA short sale, and the lender cannot pursue the borrower for the remaining loan balance. The investor also receives $1 for every $3 it allows to compensate a junior lien holder, up to $2,000. Junior lien holders can receive a maximum of $3,000 each. The borrower receives $3,000 for “relocation.”

In the Inland Empire, junior lien holders often derail HAFA transactions because the program severely limits their compensation while requiring lien holders to waive the deficiency balance. The government program, despite what many believe, is not mandatory.

For information about the realities of HAFA and HAMP, call 951-778-9700 or email PE@DreamBigRealEstate.com.

* * *

MLS Home Sale Data

Here are monthly sales statistics for Riverside-San Bernardino single-family residences. The data is reported by CRMLS, the regional database Realtors use to market properties for sale and lease and to track sales activity. Sales data, which is updated by individual brokers, can change.

SOLD

November 2010

Riverside County: 2,463

San Bernardino County: 1,466

October 2010

Riverside County: 2,554

San Bernardino County: 1,560

November 2009

Riverside County: 2,823

San Bernardino County: 1,628

IN ESCROW

Dec. 15

Riverside County: 7,443

San Bernardino County: 4,175

ACTIVE LISTING

Dec. 15

Riverside County: 12,730

San Bernardino County: 7,448

(Brian Bean is a real estate broker and ambassador for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. He can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean
Real Estate Professional
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers


ACTIVE RAIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog FACEBOOK - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros TWITTER - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsLINKEDIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsRSS FEED - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros BlogSTUMBLE UPON - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros SEND EMAIL to BRIAN BEAN @ Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros YAHOO PULSE - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros GOOGLE BUZZ - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsDIGG - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
 

 

Henry David Thoreau

For Sale: Fabulous Canyon Crest Pool Estate

Fantastic Canyon Crest Country Club-area Pool Home For Sale

CLICK HERE FOR LISTING DETAILS

(Brian Bean is a real estate broker and ambassador for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. He can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean
Real Estate Professional
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

 

ACTIVE RAIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog FACEBOOK - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros TWITTER - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsLINKEDIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsRSS FEED - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros BlogSTUMBLE UPON - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros SEND EMAIL to BRIAN BEAN @ Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros YAHOO PULSE - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros GOOGLE BUZZ - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsDIGG - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
 

 

Henry David Thoreau

Corona Condo w/Garage in Gated Community – 2Bd/2Ba – $149,900

See Detailed Listing Here

This is a great property with a great location! Two-Bed, Two-Bath with fantastic floorplan & separated bedrooms. Granite countertops & stainless steel appliances. Laundry inside unit — full-size machines. Custom paint & flooring, crown molding & all window coverings. Two Master Suites with walk-ins, access to 2 balconies. This open floorplan is perfect for a first-time buyer or even two singles looking to venture into real estate ownership. One-car garage just downstairs & there is plenty of guest parking onsite. Pets Allowed. Easy access to 15 & 91 freeways. Shopping & restaurants just minutes away. Less then 30 mins to beach. The clubhouse features numerous amenities, including beautiful pool & spa, exercise room/gymnasium, meeting rooms, party room with kitchen, & much more. This is the best-priced unit in the complex!

(Brian Bean is a real estate broker and ambassador for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. He can be reached directly at Brian@DreamBigRealEstate.com.)

Brian Bean
Real Estate Professional
www.DreamBigRealEstate.com
www.IEShortSalePros.com
www.HelpingAMillionHomeowners.com

Short Sale Genius Elite

I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

ACTIVE RAIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros Blog FACEBOOK - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros TWITTER - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsLINKEDIN - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsRSS FEED - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros BlogSTUMBLE UPON - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros SEND EMAIL to BRIAN BEAN @ Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros YAHOO PULSE - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros GOOGLE BUZZ - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale ProsDIGG - Dream Big Real Estate and Inland Empire Short Sale Pros

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau