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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Need something to do this weekend?

All Natural Liquid Soapmaking from Scratch

March 30th, 2012 by gaelite

Need something to do this weekend?  Learn how to make Liquid Soap using all natural oils you can find in your own grocery store. True Liquid Soap is made from scratch with potassium hydroxide and we will teach YOU how to make it safely. Making Soap in the Mossy Creek Soap Studio you will learn a craft that’s been passed down through history with trusted recipes that you can take home with you.

We will cover all of these items below~

· Safety gear and precautions when working lye and caustic materials

· Soap making equipment (what to use what not to use),

· A brief Chemistry Lesson involving the soap process

· Explanation of the different properties of soapmaking oils

· Discussion about Fragrances and Essential Oils in soapmaking

· Recipes will be provided. Complete explanation through demonstration of all steps involved.

You will go home with a booklet full of information and recipes to help you make soap at home.

Saturday, March 31, 2012, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Cost: $69.00
Phone: (478) 973-3190
Tickets: mossycreeksoap.com/item_256/Liquid-Soapmaking-Class.htm
Event url: mossycreeksoap.com

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Getting the House Ready to Sell Make Your Home “Anonymous”

 

March 26th, 2012 by gaelite

If there is a new home sales tract near your home, go visit. It doesn’t matter what size the homes are. What you will find are some wonderfully (but sparsely) furnished homes that anyone could live in — with the emphasis on “anyone.” They are anonymous. There may be a baseball glove in the boy’s room, but no family photos on the walls.

There may be “personality” – but no person.

The reason you want to make your home ”anonymous” is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about living in the house themselves.

Put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit.

Do not just put the box in the attic, basement, garage or a closet. Part of preparing a house for sale is to remove “clutter,” and that is the next step in preparing your house for sale.

 

What? You “Unfriended” me??

See Who ‘Unfriended’ You on Facebook

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012

Want to see which of your clients or colleagues may have “unfriended” you on Facebook? A third-party script program — not endorsed by Facebook — called Unfriend Finder notifies you whenever a “friend” decides to part ways with you. Your message will come to you in the same way as a friend request or message. 

You may need to revisit your wall posts if you find you’re being “unfriended” in the masses, or the “unfriends” may even cue you into viruses that lurk, which may mean you need to start taking action to protect your account. 

Facebook has largely fought against such “unfriend” finding features as this and does not endorse or plan to implement its own “unfriend” application. 

Facebook wants “users to feel free from discouragement or negativity when posting or experiencing their platform,” a recent article about the “unfriend” feature at Forbes.com notes.

Source: “Discover Who’s ‘Unfriended’ You on Facebook,” Forbes.com (Feb. 9, 2012)

 

Forget a dream home — aim for what’s practical

March Real Estate on the Cheap: Time to pinch pennies? Shoot for what you need in a home over what you want.

By Leah L. Culler of MSN Real Estate

Forget a dream home — aim for what's practical (© Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

 

Your home may be your castle, but the past several years have proved that it’s not the surefire investment it once was. It no longer makes sense to stretch your budget and buy the biggest and best home you can afford.

Plus, most people move about every five years, on average, says Don Russell, a Charlotte, N.C., real-estate agent.

“Don’t try and build your dream house right off the bat,” he says. “You don’t want to live for your house when you’re young. If you never have any money to go to the movies or — worst-case scenario — even Taco Bell, you are not going to be the loving couple you are today in five years.”

But your home should meet all your needs. In this installment of “Real Estate on the Cheap,” we’ll talk to some agents about how to winnow down your list of wants to find a home that’s just what you need — and nothing more. We’ll also talk to an agent in the hot real-estate market of Orange County, Calif., to see if there’s hope of finding a deal there.

THINGS NOT TO DO BEFORE PURCHASING A HOME

Things Not to Do Before Purchasing a Home

March 21st, 2012 

No Major Purchase of Any Kind

Review the article titled, “Don’t Buy a Car,” and apply it to any major purchase that would create debt of any kind. This includes furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, vacations, expensive weddings, and automobiles.

Don’t Move Money Around

When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the things they are concerned about is the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Most likely, you will be asked to provide statements for the last two or three months on any of your liquid assets. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, stock statements, mutual funds, and even your company 401K and retirement accounts.

If you have been moving money between accounts during that time, there may be large deposits and withdrawals in some of them. The mortgage underwriter (the person who actually approves your loan) will probably require a complete paper trail of all the withdrawals and deposits. You may be required to produce cancelled checks, deposit receipts, and other seemingly inconsequential data, which could get quite tedious.

Perhaps you become exasperated at your lender, but they are only doing their job correctly. To ensure quality control and eliminate potential fraud, it is a requirement on most loans to completely document the source of all funds. Moving your money around, even if you are consolidating your funds to make it “easier,” could make it more difficult for the lender to properly document.

So leave your money where it is until you talk to a loan officer.

Oh…don’t change banks, either.

 

 

HOME INSPECTIONS: 18 RED FLAGS

Right At Home Daily: Take It And Run: Legal Home Inspection: 18 Red Flags To Look For
By Samuel J. Tamkin for Right at Home Daily

Almost all homebuyers hire a professional home inspector to examine the home they want to purchase. But unless you have ample cash flow, it isn’t financially feasible to hire a home inspector every time you find a house you like. Thus, it’s likely you’ll make an offer before a home inspector steps in. Fortunately, you can protect your investment by training your eyes to detect possible home weaknesses. And then you can base your offer on any future maintenance or renovation costs. Below are 18 red flags that could spell home distress. Of course, all of these problems can be fixed but for a price.

1. Brown stains on the ceiling. A possible indication of a past or current leak. Water travels; so don’t assume that the source of the leak is directly above the stain. Water could be coming in from the roof.

2. Warped wood floorboardspeeling floor tile or cracked floor tiles. Warped floorboards point to water damage. If floor tile is peeling, the underlayment could have soaked, expanded and then destroyed the glue holding the floor together. Cracked ceramic tile could be a sign of water damage also.

3. Mildew smell in the basement. A sign that water regularly seeps into the basement.

4. Brown stains on the basement walls. Another sign of past or current water damage.

5. Chipped paint around the windows. Wood sills could be damaged and need to be replaced.

6. Failed caulk around window edges. At best, an air leak; at worst, a water leak.

7. Three layers of roof. Look around the edge of the house. If there are three layers of roofing on the house, you may need to pull them off when it’s time to re-roof the house-an additional expense to regular roofing costs.

8. Poor grading. If the ground surrounding the house doesn’t slope away from the house, it could be causing water to run down the foundation walls and into the basement.

9. Knob and tube wiring. Typically, these parts are about 100 years old. While they may function, if you decide to renovate or expand the house, you’ll need to upgrade the electrical system to comply with local building code.

10. Old windows and storms. If you have old windows, chances are a significant amount of air is leaking into the home. If the storm windows are old, they may not provide much insulation. To replace windows is extremely expensive, but plan on spending a few dollars for caulk and new storm windows.

11. Wet drain in the basement. If the house is on a sewer system, it could mean tree roots have burrowed their way into the sewer. Plan to clear the sewer at least once a year.

12. Only one area has been repainted. If you see that the basement walls are freshly painted but no other area has been, it’s possible the seller doesn’t want you to see something-like stains from when the basement last flooded.

13. Furniture, boxes and other items piled up in one room or corner of the house. The sellers could be moving items around, or they could be hiding something. Try to move enough of the stuff so you can see everything.

14. Bad smells. If a house smells foul to you, it could have a serious mold problem behind freshly painted walls. Removing mold could cost thousands of dollars. Removing pet odors is less expensive, but it could take a long time to refresh the smell of a house-that is, if you ever can.

15. Appliances that don’t work or that the seller tells you “Don’t turn that on.” The most obvious red flag: If the seller doesn’t want you to do something, or go somewhere in the house.

16. Cracks in the foundation. If the foundation or basement floor has a crack bigger than 1/8″, it could be a structural problem that will be expensive to fix.

17. Synthetic stucco homes. In general, these homes are expensive to maintain and need to be inspected by a synthetic stucco specialist at least once a year.

18. Strange feeling. In the dead of winter, if a house’s windows are open, with candles and incense burning and the heat blasting, there’s probably a serious problem the seller is trying to hide.

 

EARLY ALLERGY SEASON

 

Due to the mild winter pollen season started early this year.  Most of us in Central Georgia have been noticing the yellowish coating since the middle of February.  For those who suffer from allergies, here are a few tips to help minimize your pain.

When possible, the best strategy is to try to avoid the pollen. That means staying indoors.

If you have to be outdoors, it’s smart to use a mask to protect your airway.

Tight-fitting glasses can help keep the pollen out of your eyes.

When inside, keep your doors and windows shut. Turning on the air conditioning can help keep the air clean.

Central air systems work great to filter indoor air, but you’ve got to change the filters. Not enough people change their filters regularly enough.

A shower before bed will wash pollen out of your hair and keep it off your pillow. That may make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.

If you have indoor pets that also go outside make sure you wipe them down with a damp cloth when they return indoors.

 
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