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Don't pull the covers over your head, let's face it together!

by Debra Pace, Buying and Listing Specialist

How many people out there are struggling to pay their monthly mortgage payment, possibly even a few payments behind?  You have no idea what to do or where to turn. The first step is to put your pride and lack of knowledge behind you and ask a reputable person for help. There will come a time when you can’t pretend it’s not happening because more time in denial only makes it worse.  Some couples even hide it from their spouse to avoid the argument and it escalates after they find out the truth.  Believe me; you will sleep better at night if you deal with it now to avoid the consequences.

This situation DOES NOT DEFINE YOU (per Dr. Phil and he knows everything)!  Perhaps you over bought, had a job change, new baby,  illness, infidelity, divorce, college expenses, or you just plain overspent on other things and cannot make ends meet.  Whatever the situation, you can turn this boat around if you get help early.

I’m known in the office as the Short Sale go-to person.  At times I think I’m the only dummy who is willing to work on a transaction for months and argue with the big banks with zero common sense.  A short sale can be triple the time consumption and triple the frustration than a regular transaction, but it can be rewarding if you are committed to doing what is needed.  I have helped several extremely good people with a short sale and they always call or write back to thank me.  Some have purchased homes again, some are renting until they can get back on their feet, but the common denominator is they feel relieved and happy.

I could write pages about this topic, but I’ll save it for when we meet in person.  Before you call me though, please know that a short sale is not for everyone.  I can only help those who have not washed their hands of the situation and are willing to do 25% of the work by filling out the necessary documents and provide the necessary financial documentation.  In return,  I will do the remaining 75% of the work for dealing with the bank, and marketing your home to attract a buyer.  So, if you or someone you know is struggling, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work in order to help you avoid foreclosure, and hopefully have a happier 2016!


 

 

Here’s how to light up your Christmas light display safely and economically.

 

Christmas lights can be modest displays to show good cheer, or million-bulb light-apaloozas that draw gawkers from near and far. Here are some tips on how to get the most from — and spend the least on — your holiday display.

 

1.  Safety first. Emergency rooms are filled with homeowners who lose fights with their holiday lights and fall off ladders or suffer electric shocks. To avoid the holiday black and blues, never hang lights solo; instead, work with a partner who holds the ladder. Also, avoid climbing on roofs after rain or snow. 

2.  Unpack carefully. Lights break and glass cuts. So unpack your lights gingerly, looking for and replacing broken bulbs along the way.

3.  Extension cords are your friends. Splurge on heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use. To avoid overloading, only link five strings of lights together before plugging into an extension cord.

4.  LEDs cost less to light. LED Christmas lights use roughly 70% to 90% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can safely connect many more LED light strings than incandescents. Downside: Some think they don’t burn as brightly as incandescent bulbs.

5.  Solar lights cost nothing to run. Solar Christmas lights are roughly four times more expensive to buy than LEDs, but they cost zero to run. They’re a bright-burning, green alternative. Downside: If there’s no sun during the day, there’s no light at night. The jury’s also still out on how long they last; they’re too new on the market for results.

6.  Dismantle lights sooner than later. Sun, wind, rain, and snow all take their toll on Christmas lights. To extend the life of lights, take them down immediately after the holidays. The longer you leave the up, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.

7.  Plan next year’s display on Dec. 26. Shop the after-Christmas sales to get the best prices on lights and blowups that you can proudly display next year. Stock up on your favorite lights so you’ll have spares when you need them (and after they’re discontinued).

8.  Permanent attachments save time. If you know you’ll always hang lights from eaves, install permanent light clips ($13 for 75 clips) that will save you hanging time each year. You’ll get a couple/three years out of the clips before sun eats the plastic. 

9.  Find those blueprints. Instead of guessing how many light strings you’ll need, or measuring with a tape, dig up your house blueprints or house location drawings (probably with your closing papers) and use those measurements as a guide. 

10.  Store them in a ball. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to store lights is to ball them up. Wrap five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat. Store your light balls in cardboard boxes, rather than in plastic bags: Cardboard absorbs residual moisture and extends the life of your lights.

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The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402
601.545.3900
800.335.6477

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.