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Category Archives: Home Buyers

Houston County Teacher Finalist for Grant

A Houston County teacher is in the running for $15,000 in grant money from publishing company McGraw-Hill.

Huntington Middle School teacher Jason Heath is the only one from Georgia who’s made it to the final round of the online contest.   McGraw-Hill is looking for teachers who have the most effective approach to teaching science and math.

If Heath wins, the cash will go to the school to improve teaching in those subjects.   You can help by going to You’ll need to sign up because only one vote is allowed per person. Voting ends September 19.


Warner Robins Ranks in American Generosity

Out of “366 Major Metropolitan Areas,” Warner Robins ranks 36th in generosity, according to a study by The Chronicles of Philanthropy.

That means that of Warner Robins households, on average, families donate 6.9 percent of their income.


Issac’s Impact on Central Georgia

The center of the storm will stay hundreds of miles to the west but Isaac  still bring us periods of rain.  Central Georgia will experience rain bands from the outer edge of the large storm.

When looking at the “cone of uncertainty” it is important to keep in mind that rain and wind can extend well beyond the center of the path.

The chance for rain will increase on today and Wednesday.  We’re more likely to experience rain bands that come and go instead of a long, continuous downpour.

Rainfall totals could range from 1 to 4 inches in Central Georgia.  Higher amounts are possible, but not guaranteed.  Localized flash flooding is a possibility that will be monitored closely.

Hurricanes can spin up tornadoes after coming ashore.  Based on the current track, there will be a potential for isolated brief tornadoes late Tuesday and Wednesday.

Look for our updates here on, on our Facebook page and on Twitter

Renovations You Should and Should Not Do Yourself

What you should not do on your own

Plumbing: Unless you’re fixing a drain or unclogging toilet, there aren’t a lot of plumbing projects you should DIY. Messing with the plumbing can lead to expensive mistakes. A sudden pipe burst can fill your home with water in minutes. Plumbing that’s not properly tested can leak and pool, causing water damage and an even worse problem, with possible several health consequences – mold.

Decks: Decks seem like something people can do on their own and a great project to get underway on the weekend but decks have collapsed and it comes from not having that experience how to properly attach the deck to the house.

The problem with decks is that they can and do collapse, and cause major injury and damage.

Electrical: There are so many electrical codes you have to follow when installing your own electric that it’s even hard for electricians to keep up. Improperly installed electric can cause fires at any point, putting everyone in the home and the home itself at risk. You’re even at risk during installation, when a major shock could kill you.

Demolition: Too many things go wrong during demolition and more often than not, they’re hugely costly to repair.  One homeowner was ripping out cabinets when he broke off the water shutoff valve, blasting water out of the pipes. By the time the homeowner got to the basement to turn off the water, his basement and first floor was flooded with water.

What you can do yourself

Painting: The worst thing that can happen when you paint yourself is a bad paint job. Use plenty of painter’s tape, ask about a good primer and buy enough paint. You might even want to watch a few YouTube videos to get some tips on technique.

Tiling: While you need to be patient and exact with tiling, a vinyl tile floor is certainly possible to do yourself. A tile backsplash will add value to your kitchen and is such a small job that you’ll pay a premium for a contractor.

Drywall work: While installing large-scale drywall may be too much for some homeowners, others are perfectly capable of tackling this project. Start with a small space, like a bathroom, and see how it goes. And anyone can patch some drywall. It just takes patience and a small flat spatula.

Installing trim: Try trim work.  The worst that you’re going to do is cut some pieces short. Consult with people who have done this project before, make sure you’re level and you’ve cut the right size pieces, and this is a project most DIY-ers can tackle with relative ease.



Let’s Automate the Transaction Now

At Real Estate Connect San Francisco last week, a session was held dubbed “How Millennials Shop for Homes.” The panel included three 30-something homebuyers: Greg Pasquali, Brittany Ashlock and Martin Ringlein. This articulate threesome was determined to be homeowners, though they were each a tad cynical about the risk and the woes of home buying.

One thread throughout the discussion was their desire for digital documents and an easier transaction.

For 15 years, Inman News has been preaching the importance of automating the transaction with digital documents and an easier transaction process. While there are signs that the process is improving, this panel was a reminder of how arcane the transaction still is.

Many of the woes can be blamed on government requirements and unruly documentation that bureaucratic rules require. As Ringlein said, “I didn’t even read the documents.” That seems like a practical response to the ridiculous requirements put on homebuyers and sellers in the process.

But it is also an unfortunate outcome.  Pasquali thought it absurd that he had to submit a letter confirming that the driver’s license he submitted was really his and the forms he just signed were really his signature. The absurdity of this requirement is anyone who would commit fraud by signing someone else’s name would be willing to do it again with this inane requirement.

Most of the documentation foisted on homebuyers and sellers is the result of an overreaction to bad behavior by lenders, builders, Realtors and scam artists during the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s and the subprime loan fiasco in the last decade.

But another problem is the number of Realtors who do not use digital documents.  The industry needs to use its clout to remove some absurd regulatory requirements and to automate the transaction with easy-to-use digital documents.

This year’s Inman Innovator Award went to DotLoop CEO Austin Allison.

This is our small of way of saying: Come on, gang, let’s automate the transaction now and get rid of unnecessary documents. It is hurting consumers, housing markets and the industry.


101 Ways to feel happy every day!

  1. Smile.
  2. Connect with nature.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people in person or online.
  4. Do something you’ve always enjoyed.
  5. Do something you’ve never done before but have always wanted to try.
  6. Learn something new.
  7. Smell something that makes you happy: a mandarin, your lover’s perfume, chocolate, you decide.
  8. Reward yourself for your good habits.
  9. Eat something that makes you happy, but not too much if it’s fattening.
  10. Spend time with a good friend.
  11. Touch something that makes you happy: a cat, velvet, the bark of a tree? Take time to notice.
  12. Don’t worry now, worry later.
  13. Say, or sing, something that makes you happy.
  14. Challenge yourself, I dare you.
  15. Look at something that makes you happy.
  16. Stop procrastinating, do something.
  17. Take a small step towards your goal.
  18. Congratulate yourself.
  19. Tell someone you love them.
  20. Do a good deed.
  21. Face your fears.
  22. Read a book you love.
  23. Get outside.
  24. Spend time with inspiring people or read about someone who inspires you.
  25. Clear out your junk, literally.
  26. Let go of negative memories.
  27. Dwell on positive things from your past.
  28. Be creative.
  29. Dare yourself to do something.
  30. Give someone an unexpected gift.
  31. Change your habits just this once, do something unexpected.
  32. Watch the sunset.
  33. Get up for sunrise.
  34. Open a savings account.
  35. Be active.
  36. Plan for success.
  37. Eat something healthy.
  38. Trust your instincts.
  39. Follow your passion.
  40. Throw a party, or plan to soon.
  41. Avoid drama queens and energy suckers, you know who they are.
  42. Write stuff down, keep a diary.
  43. Set a goal.
  44. Clean your house, bit by bit.
  45. Say “no”.
  46. Spend a day alone.
  47. Devote a day to family.
  48. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
  49. Wear your favourite outfit.
  50. Be present.
  51. Go for a bike ride.
  52. Do something you loved as a kid that you haven’t done for years.
  53. Forgive someone, especially yourself.
  54. Go slow.
  55. Have a meal somewhere different: try a picnic.
  56. Avoid advertisements.
  57. Pick a bunch of flowers and put them in your house.
  58. Ban all media for the day.
  59. Let something slide.
  60. Display a colorful fruit bowl and eat one or two pieces a day.
  61. Be romantic.
  62. Play a game: try Uno or Monopoly with the kids and chess or poker with your friends.
  63. Make a smoothie.
  64. Have a siesta.
  65. Do something you’ve been putting off.
  66. Dream big.
  67. Start small.
  68. Seek out supportive and like-minded people.
  69. Understand that all things come to an end.
  70. Feed the ducks.
  71. Persevere: pick up something you gave up on.
  72. Start a new habit, a good one.
  73. Look at yourself in the mirror, pick what you like best and flaunt it.
  74. Seek sensuous activities and enjoy them.
  75. Look around for funny things and have a laugh.
  76. Rest up.
  77. Change your routine.
  78. Take a photo, and look back at old ones.
  79. Stretch your body.
  80. Meditate.
  81. Write a mantra.
  82. Focus.
  83. Don’t buy something — and see if you miss it. Put the cash in a savings account instead.
  84. Notice what makes you happy and use it in sad times.
  85. Ignore people who annoy you, stop being with them.
  86. Play hide and seek with some kids.
  87. Put a picture of something you want on your wall.
  88. Tell someone your dreams.
  89. Love yourself.
  90. Be grateful.
  91. Visualise.
  92. Unblock.
  93. Use your brain: try a crossword or sudoku.
  94. Make a good choice.
  95. Acknowledge your feelings.
  96. Go on a journey, long or short.
  97. Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally connect with.
  98. Be grateful for life.
  99. Write a poem.
  100. Teach someone something you know well.
  101. Choose to be happy every day.

Stylish Bathroom Fixtures Also Cut Water Use

Being water-wise can cut your utility bills, reduce the need for costly investments in water treatment and delivery systems, and contribute to a more sustainable water future. The bathroom is the place to start since it’s the water hog in our homes, accounting for more than half of the indoor water we use. Check out these water-wise plumbing fixtures that don’t compromise style or function.

To find water-wise fixtures, look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense, a partnership program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is an independent organization that reviews (among many other jobs) plumbing fixtures for water efficiency. Their certification, or approval, is given to fixtures that are at least 20 percent more efficient without compromising performance. The average bathroom makeover with WaterSense fixtures saves 7,000 gallons of water a year. That’s enough water to wash six months’ worth of laundry.

Bathroom faucets

Getting a faucet with the WaterSense can reduce your sink’s water flow by up to 30 percent. Doing so will save the average home 500 gallons of water annually. You can also add an aerator to bathroom taps. An aerator decreases water flow while maintaining or even increasing water pressure by mixing water with air.

And regardless of how much water comes out of your tap, don’t forget to turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing teeth.

Dual-flush toilets

Toilets consume far more water than any other indoor fixture, accounting for 30 percent of most homes’ indoor water use. Dual-flush toilets, increasingly common in homes, are an easy way to cut water use without compromising effectiveness. A dual-flush toilet differs from standard models with two flush options: one for liquid waste, which uses less than a gallon of water, and a second for solid waste.


The U.S. is known for a love of being uberclean, so it’s surprising that we haven’t embraced bidets, as they offer a cleanliness we can’t get with toilet paper. Beyond cleanliness, bidets save water, because making toilet paper is an incredibly water-intensive process. And some bidet users increase their shower intervals, saving more water still.


You don’t have to give up a luxe shower experience to save water. Feel virtuous when lathering up with a WaterSense-certified shower head. WaterSense understands that no one wants a wimpy shower spray, so all their approved fixtures tout a “satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market” while using just two gallons of water per minute.

Showers typically use less water than baths, as long as they’re kept brief. A timer can help you keep an eye on how long you’ve been lathering up.


There’s nothing like a long, luxurious bath. That luxury takes a lot of water — roughly 50 to 70 gallons per bath. Being water-wise doesn’t have to mean giving up your long soak. When remodeling or building, look for smaller tubs with a capacity of less than 60 gallons. Also, when you’re just looking for a quick clean, you’d be more water-smart to jump in the shower, where you’ll use about half the water.


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