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Thank you so much for joining me today! Feel free to add any comments or questions you may have!

May God richly Bless you!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!

I cannot believe Christmas is over let alone that we are at New Year's Eve! How time flies ....the seconds run into minutes...the minutes into hours...the hours into days....the days into weeks...the weeks into months...the months into years....and all of a sudden it dawns on us....LIFE has passed us by and we wonder where did all the time go.

I can remember when I was a little girl and how slow time seemed to go. It took forever for my birthday to get her and Christmas was an agonizing wait but when it got here I was so excited to the point of most times getting sick and there was always this feeling of "let down"...almost melancholy sadness that stayed around for days until the New Year began. I truly believe we have allowed the media and outside influences program us to the point of being totally decieved. We are so programmed to be pulled into the wrong spirit of the season which more often than not is the season of  "BUY, BUY, BUY" and please use CREDIT, CREDIT, CREDIT.  More times than I care to remember have I heard folks whining and complaining about how they would never pay off their credit cards after the holidays. The cycle of spend, spend, spend has gotten way out of control and now not only are we in trouble but our children are in trouble and our whole country is as well. It we want something we just say to each other let's use the credit card. The joyful times of the holidays should be of spending time with each other enjoying one another and helping others and giving of our time, talents and yes ...money.  I do not believe God intended for us to live on credit and it is OK to just say NO. If we do not have the cash to pay for something then we say no....we wait until we have saved it. If that means we have fewer presents then so be it. We will all be happier and sleep better come January when the bills start rolling in and we would have funds to give to those less fortunate than we are. How many of us have several pairs of the same color of pants, shirts, shoes, purses and more jewelry than we could ever possibly wear?  I have many resolutions for this year and the main one is to STOP spending on things I do not need!!! I am NOT saying I do not have credit card debt. I do unfortunately. I am saying that my goal is to be rid of it permanently!

As this New Year starts I am sure we all have resolutions that we want to keep but rarely do. Let us all pray for one another that we might keep a few of them and succeed!  A few of my goals are to take better care of my health, lose weight, exercise more, grow  my business, pay cash for everything I possibly can, save money and pay down debt and love everyone like there will be no tomorrow.

Whatever your goals are for the New Year I pray much success and that God richly blesses you and your family!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

5 Tips to Sell a Home in the Winter

Good Thursday morning to everyone! There is so much sickness going around. I pray each and every one of you will be well soon and you are able to enjoy your weekend! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

There are quite a few things we can do to improve our homes curb appeal both inside and outside the home when trying to sell. It is very important to keep the outside clean and free of debris. Think like a buyer when you are looking at your home and find ways to make it "pop" by staging your home. An empty porch is both unwelcoming and depressing but a porch with a table, chair and flowers or a evergreen plant with a couple of pieces of yard art will trasform an otherwise dreary entrance into a welcoming feel. If anything needs painting please consider doing so. Paint is one of the least expensive ways to make a home smell fresh and look clean. If your home is cluttered the time is now to start boxing up those items you never use first and stacking them in the garage or one room designated for this purpose leaving the rest of the home clutter free. It may be removing one or two pieces of furniture will make a small room seem much larger. If you have clutter such as magnets all over your fridge remove those. If you have personal items such as piles of books, bills, toys etc...all of these things should be put away. If the home needs pressure washing and the deck is not in tip top shape then cleaning and staining or painting are inexpensive ways to bring added curb appeal to your home. Potential buyers have so many homes to choose from these days and many of them are foreclosures in ready to move in condition. Sellers must make their homes "stand out" from the others. Putting a dated and dirty home on the market at the top of market range will only hurt you in the long run but taking those few extra steps needed to bring your home to "show ready" condition could make all the difference between a quick sale or waiting for many months until you have to drop the price because of either competition or lack of interest in your home due to poor maintenance and or higher pricing. Don't be one of those sellers who many months later wishes they had listened and put their home on the market priced right and in "show ready" condition.

Below is an interesting article with tips for sellers in the winter!

Have a wonderful day!


5 Tips to Sell a Home in the Winter

Monday, December 27, 2010

The After Christmas Blues

Good WINDY Monday morning to all! Wow! Bundle up before you go out this morning and get ready for that hairdo to look very different than when you left.

I just wanted to say a few words this morning about the Christmas Blues. Every single year it seems that right after Christmas day folks seem to go into the doldrums and a bit of depression after all the festivities are over although truthfully the festivities keep on going through the year if we would only allow our hearts and minds to see it.

Maybe for some of us we spent entirely too much on gifts and such and are thinking about how we are going to pay back the enormous debt we incurred using credit cards or maybe our family was able to visit and have to go back and we are dwelling on the fact we may not be able to see them again any time soon or maybe we are out of work and didn't have anything to give and are thinking about the gravity of our financial situations and where we go from here. Whatever the reason it all leads to the same thing.....sadness and depression.

God tells us He wants us to be happy and joyful in the knowledge He will supply all our needs and He tells us we only need to ask Him and He will give us the desires of our hearts if we truly are seeking Him and want to please Him. It is so easy to allow Satan to take us to a "dark" place in our heads so that we become moody and have an unhealthy thought process going on which affects not only us but all those we love and care about.  God wants us to be constantly moving forward and growing with a joyful heart while Satan wants to keep us in bondage unable to make a difference becoming stagnant in our lives.

Help us all to be thankful for your blessings. Help us realize that no matter what we should have done differently or what challenges we face today there is nothing too hard for God and if we only but ask He is willing to listen and restore our joy and peace. Help us God to dwell on the good, change the things we can change, help when we can, do good to all and turn all our concerns and worries over to you.

"For with GOD all things are possible!"

_________________________________
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I cannot believe it is CHRISTMAS EVE! I really cannot believe they are calling for snow for our area for Christmas! It would be so awesome to see a WHITE Christmas!!! 
 
I pray each and every one of you will be blessed with everything that your hearts desire and that you are surrounded by those you love and even if you are alone you feel the arms of Jesus wrapped around you giving you strength, courage, peace and joy! As we reflect over the past year and all we have been through with the good and the bad help us to all say a big THANK YOU GOD for all of your blessings and challenges for it is in those challenging times we learn and grow the most. Help us all reflect on what the up and coming year can mean....a time of growth and change for the better, a time of reflection on where our priorities are and how we can put into perspective those things that matter most....JOY....Jesus....Others...Yourself!
 
I would like to say thank you to my husband, my children and my family as well as all my friends and colleagues for a wonderful year. Thank you for being there for me through the good times as well as the bad. God bless you for understanding and forgiving my weaknesses and for praying for me. It is through your encouragement and understanding and by God's grace I am able to accomplish anything in this life and I am grateful and appreciative to each and every one who had or has a part in any way in my life.
 
May God richly bless each of you! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Help Us Be Like...The Proverbs 31 Woman!

Good morning to all of you! Happy Wednesday before Christmas! I pray each of you have a wonderful time with family and friends during this holiday season!

Today I would like to talk about us as women. What does it mean to be a Godly wife? I have been studying about this and just wanted to talk a bit about it.  Let me say upfront….I am far from perfect  and have to work on myself each and every day.  I have to “die daily”! The carnal in me wants to be selfish, controlling and always have the last word but the spiritual side of me knows that these are not traits that we as women should allow to take over in our marriages.  
Why is it that some women deliberately wait until the holidays to pick fights with their families? Why is it that they cannot get along with their children, their husbands nor their husbands family? Why is it that they lose their tempers and attack those around them knowing all the time they are actually angry at something far deeper than what they actually claimed to be the problem? Why is it that women constantly belittle and demean their husbands and children both at home and in public yet they can smile at everyone else and sing in church like an angel?  This ought not to be! A woman who truly wants to build her home and her marriage would not be doing these things and should certainly be searching for the answers as to why these things are happening. Pointing a finger to anyone other than yourselves is not the answer as when we are right with our Heavenly Father it does not matter whether the other person is wrong or not. We know we are doing the right thing regardless.  
Let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman. What a huge difference from the women I describe above.  When we are calling ourselves Christians and involved in our churches singing and worshiping and playing an active role it is imperative that our testimonies speak honesty and truth…we should be at home who we are at church and the following verses are shining examples of what we should be aspiring to as women in order for our homes to be full of peace and  joy as God intended and not a war zone with fighting and bickering going on constantly. How sad it would be if our husband and children feel inside their hearts that we are selfish women full of pride and arrogance desiring to only have our way instead of being Godly warm loving Mothers and wives whom our families adore and respect.
Our husbands should never have to worry about us ridiculing and demeaning them ever. They should  be confident that we are building up and not tearing them down not only to our children at home but in public as well.  Whatever issues we have inside of us we must take it to the cross and ask God to help us control our outbursts, manipulations, anger, bitterness, wrath, hatred, jealousies, resentments and so on. If we truly want to have successful marriages that are filled with happiness we must lose our pride and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways. He will not hear us unless we do and nothing in our lives will get better until we start to correct the sin in our own lives first and foremost.  I speak from experience as I have failed miserably in the past and have learned much from my mistakes.
May God bless each of us as women. May He guide us and give us strength to be the women we were intended to be so that our homes are places of joy, peace and happiness.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Proverbs 31:10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Understanding Landlord Insurance

Happy Tuesday to everyone! Just a couple of days left before Christmas! I am sure you all may be running around like a chicken with its head cut off but I have had numerous questions about the topic below and I wanted to post an article about it.  Happy shopping everyone. Just remember Jesus for He is the reason for the season!

 Understanding Landlord Insurance

Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com


By: Dona DeZube
Published: September 01, 2010


Turning your home into a rental or buying an investment property? Expect to pay up to 20% more for the right insurance policy to protect your property.


If you think a homeowners insurance policy will cover you when you turn your current home into a rental property or buy an investment property, think again.
Rental properties require their own type of coverage--landlord insurance, which is different than the homeowners policy you buy when you live in a house yourself. Landlord insurance protects you against losses from fire, lighting, falling trees, wind and hail, water damage, and injury to your tenants and their guests.

But it doesn't cover the renters' household goods. So encourage tenants to buy a renters policy to cover their stuff. You can even include a clause in your lease saying they have to buy renters insurance, so everyone is clear about what's insured and what's not.

Landlord insurance is expensive

You'll pay 15% to 20% more for a landlord insurance policy than you will for a homeowners policy on the same house--and even more if you offer short-term rentals. Start your policy shopping by calling the company that sold you your homeowners insurance, then check with an independent insurance agent selling commercial and business policies.
Ask how you can get discounts if you have fire prevention devices, burglar alarms, or multiple properties.

What a landlord insurance policy probably will cover:
          Lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, riot and civil commotion, smoke, falling objects, snow, ice, sleet, vandalism, sonic boom, sprinkler leakage, frozen pipes, water damage, burglary, volcanoes, and sinkholes.
          Things that belong to you that stay at the property, like appliances, furniture, or lawn care equipment. Keep an inventory (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/compile-home-inventory-right-tools/) of what's on site.
          Outbuildings, like sheds or garages, although this coverage will have its own limit (probably 10% of the overall insurance policy amount).
          Costs to defend yourself against lawsuits filed by tenants or guests, as well as the costs awarded if you lose the case. Some policies cover medical bills for injuries; some don't.
          Lost rental income if the property is damaged and you can't rent it.
What a landlord insurance policy probably won't cover:
          The tenants' belongings.
          Your rental property if it's vacant for more than 30 days. Seek an exemption in advance from your landlord insurance company as soon as you know the property is going to be vacant.
          War and nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attacks.
Optional coverage you might want to buy:
          Flood
          Earthquake
          Vandalism (if the policy you buy excludes it)
          Pool and tennis court insurance
          Liability for personal injury, wrongful eviction, wrongful entry, libel, and slander

Don't forget liability coverage

To cover yourself in case you lose a big court case filed by an injured tenant, buy an umbrella insurance policy (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/cost-umbrella-insurance-homeowners/) that gives you liability protection for $1 million to $5 million or more if you have a lot of assets to protect.

Don't file a claim unless you absolutely have to

There's a limit to how many claims (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/homeowners-insurance-to-claim-or-not-to-claim/) you can file before insurance companies start charging you more or canceling your policies. Claims can quickly add up as you buy more rental properties.
One time you always want to file a claim is when someone says they've been injured on your property. One claim you'll want to avoid filing: water damage for less than $10,000 because worries about mold growing in water-damaged properties will lead some insurers to immediately cancel your insurance policy.

More from HouseLogic

How to Correct Your Clue Insurance Report (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/how-to-correct-your-clue-insurance-report/)
 Improve Your Insurance Score (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/improve-your-insurance-score/)

 Other web resources

Renters Insurance Brochure to Share with Your Tenants (http://www.iii.org/brochures/renters-insurance.html)
 Dona DeZube, HouseLogic's News Editor, has been writing about real estate for over two decades. She lives in a suburban Baltimore 1970s rancher on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound.
Visit Houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from Houselogic with permission from the . Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Letter From Jesus About Christmas!

Good Monday morning to each of you! I pray you have a wonderful sunny day filled with the joy of Christmas! I am so excited that my son gets to come home for Christmas and am waiting with anticipation for his arrival. I plan to have a Christmas Eve celebration to welcome him home. I find myself this morning thinking about how blessed I am to have my family and friends who love me and regardless of our situations in life we are quite thankful as we remember the Jesus is the reason for the season!

I wish that I could take credit for the wonderful letter below but I found it and I have no idea who wrote it which is quite fitting as I truly believe the person who did write it was filled with the Holy Spirit and wishes for us all to stop and think about what it is we are doing to each other and what we are not doing.  This letter is much needed as I have never gotten so many negative and ugly emails and heard so many people tearing down each other because of differences of opinions as I have had in the last year. I truly believe that this letter is needed and it is dead on as to what it is we should be doing with our lives. 

May God bless you this week as you are preparing for your special time with friends and family!


A DIFFERENT---BETTER PERSPECTIVE OF CHRISTMAS.......GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1 - 8.

 If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it: 

 1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
4. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
5. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
6. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
7. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
8. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
9. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine. Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have asked you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. Have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember.

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dos and Donts of Homebuyer Incentives

Happy Saturday to everyone! I am sure you are busy preparing for Christmas but I still want to take the time to post an article to sellers about incentives on their homes. It just might be of interest to a seller who is frustrated with waiting on their home to go under contract and might give them some other points of view or ideas! As always feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns. I will be more than happy to help! Have a wonderful weekend!


Dos and Dont’s of Homebuyer Incentives

Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com


By: G. M. Filisko
Published: September 01, 2010


Homebuyer incentives can be smart marketing or a waste of money. Find out when and how to use them.


Be sure you're sending the right message to buyers when you throw in a homebuyer incentive to encourage them to purchase your home.
When you're selling your home, the idea of adding a sweetener to the transaction-whether it's a decorating allowance, a home warranty, or a big-screen TV-can be a smart use of marketing funds. To ensure it's not a big waste, follow these dos and don'ts:
Do use homebuyer incentives to set your home apart from close competition. If all the sale properties in your neighborhood have the same patio, furnishing yours with a luxury patio set and stainless steel BBQ that stay with the buyers will make your home stand out.

Do compensate for flaws with a homebuyer incentive. If your kitchen sports outdated floral wallpaper, a $3,000 decorating allowance may help buyers cope. If your furnace is aging, a home warranty may remove the buyers' concern that they'll have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it right after the closing.

Don't assume homebuyer incentives are legal. Your state may ban homebuyer incentives, or its laws may be maddeningly confusing about when the practice is legal and not. Check with your real estate agent and attorney before you offer a homebuyer incentive.

Don't think buyers won't see the motivation behind a homebuyer incentive. Offering a homebuyer incentive may make you seem desperate. That may lead suspicious buyers to wonder what hidden flaws exist in your home that would force you to throw a freebie at them to get it sold. It could also lead buyers to factor in your apparent anxiety and make a lowball offer.

Don't use a homebuyer incentive to mask a too-high price. A buyer may think your expensive homebuyer incentive-like a high-end TV or a luxury car-is a gimmick to avoid lowering your sale price. Many top real estate agents will tell you to list your home at a more competitive price instead of offering a homebuyer incentive. A property that's priced a hair below its true value will attract not only buyers but also buyers' agents, who'll be giddy to show their clients a home that's a good value and will sell quickly.

If you're convinced a homebuyer incentive will do the trick, choose one that adds value or neutralizes a flaw in your home. Addressing buyers' concerns about your home will always be more effective than offering buyers an expensive toy.

More from HouseLogic

Setting the right home price (http://buyandsell.houselogic.com/articles/6-Reasons-To-Reduce-Your-Home-Price/)

Using an appraisal to set your home price (http://buyandsell.houselogic.com/articles/what-you-must-know-home-appraisals/)

Choosing the right offer on your home (http://buyandsell.houselogic.com/articles/6-tips-choosing-best-offer-your-home/)

 Other web resources

More on homebuyer incentives (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-29889.html)
 G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who gritted her teeth and chose a huge price decrease over an incentive to sell a languishing property-and is glad she did. A regular contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
Visit http://www.houselogic.com/ for more articles and info. Used by permission of the National Association of Realtors

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Friday Story

TGIF!!! Good morning to all of you!  The weekend before Christmas has arrived and I imagine none of us will be able to drive anywhere without traffic flow problems waiting until the last minute to obtain gifts and such which we should have already gotten weeks ago perhaps. Some of us like my husband refuse to do much of anything until Christmas Eve....can you imagine that?  If I waited until Christmas Eve to do anything it would not be a pretty site for Christmas morning.




I was reading a beautiful story this morning and I thought what could I say that could top this so I decided to share it with you. May we all find someone whose lives we can touch in a special way this Christmas.


MY FRIDAY STORY

THE CHRISTMAS ANGELS
By Susan Fahncke
It was December 23, 1993. For a single mom who was going to college and supporting my children completely alone, Christmas was looking bleak. I looked around my little home, realization dawning like a slow, twisting pain. We were poor.

Our tiny house had two bedrooms, both off the living room. They were so small that my baby daughter's crib barely fit into one room, and my son's twin bed and dresser were squeezed into the other. There was no way they could share a room, so I made my bed every night on the living room floor.

The three of us shared the only closet in the house. We were snug, always only a few feet from each other, day and night. With no doors on the children's rooms, I could see and hear them at all times. It made them feel secure, and it made me feel close to them -- a blessing I wouldn't have had in other circumstances.

It was early evening, about eight o'clock. The snow was falling softly, silently, and my children were both asleep. I was wrapped in a blanket, sitting at the window, watching the powdery flakes flutter in the dimming light, when my front door vibrated with a pounding fist.

Alarmed, I wondered who would stop by unannounced on such a snowy winter night. I opened the door to find a group of strangers grinning from ear to ear, their arms laden with boxes and bags.

Confused, but finding their joyous spirit contagious, I grinned right back at them.

"Are you Susan?" The man stepped forward as he held out a box for me.

Nodding stupidly, unable to find my voice, I was sure they thought I was mentally deficient.

"These are for you." The woman thrust another box at me with a huge, beaming smile. The porch light and the snow falling behind her cast a glow over her dark hair, lending her an angelic appearance.

I looked down into her box. It was filled to the top with delicious treats, a fat turkey, and all the makings of a traditional Christmas dinner. My eyes filled with tears as the realization of why they were there washed over me.

Finally coming to my senses, I found my voice and invited them in. Following the husband were two children, staggering with the weight of their packages. The family introduced themselves and told me their packages were all gifts for my little family. This wonderful, beautiful family, who were total strangers to me, somehow knew exactly what we needed. They brought wrapped gifts for each of us, a full buffet for me to make on Christmas Day, and many "extras" that I could never afford. Visions of a beautiful, "normal" Christmas literally danced in my head. Somehow my secret wish for Christmas was materializing right in front of me. The desperate prayers of a single mom had been heard, and I knew right then that God had sent his angels my way.

My mysterious angels then handed me a white envelope, gave me another round of grins, and took turns hugging me. They wished me a Merry Christmas and disappeared into the night as suddenly as they had appeared.

Amazed and deeply touched, I looked around me at the boxes and gifts strewn at my feet and felt the ache of depression suddenly being transformed into a childlike joy. I began to cry. I cried hard, sobbing tears of the deepest gratitude. A great sense of peace filled me. The knowledge of God's love reaching into my tiny corner of the world enveloped me like a warm quilt. My heart was full. I fell to my knees amid all the boxes and offered a heartfelt prayer of thanks.

Getting to my feet, I wrapped myself in my blankets and sat once again to gaze out the window at the gently falling snow. Suddenly, I remembered the envelope. Like a child, I ripped it open and gasped at what I saw. A shower of bills flitted to the floor. Gathering them up, I began to count the five, ten, and twenty-dollar bills. As my vision blurred with tears, I counted the money, then recounted it to make sure I had it right. Sobbing again, I said it out loud: "One hundred dollars."

I looked at my children sleeping soundly, and through my tears I smiled my first happy, free-of-worry smile in a long, long time. My smile turned into a grin as I thought about tomorrow: Christmas Eve. One visit from complete strangers had magically turned a painful day into a special one that we would always remember...with happiness.

It is now several years since our Christmas angels visited. I have remarried, and our household is happy and richly blessed. Every year since that Christmas in 1993, we have chosen a family less blessed than we are. We bring them carefully selected gifts, food and treats, and as much money as we can spare. It's our way of passing on what was given to us. It's the "ripple effect" in motion. We hope that the cycle continues and that, someday, the families we share with will be able to pass it on, too.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan Fahncke can be reached at www.2TheHeart.com/SusanFarrFahncke
See my latest book projects and learn about my writing workshops!



Sent to you as a courtesy of...
Your friends at AsAManThinketh.net
For a free eBook of James Allens classic:
http://www.AsAManThinketh.net


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Think You Have Arthritis?

Good rainy cold morning to you! Stay home and stay warm if you can. Curl up with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy your day!

Today I am just going to share a link to a Lifescript article about arthritis as I know many of you suffer from the early signs or may be already diagnosed with arthritic health problems. The cold seems to wreak havoc on us much more than the warmer months and I thought this article would be of interest to someone as it was to me. The aches and pains asscociated with arthritis are very dehabilitating and excruciatingly painful for some. We need to learn all we can and help each other cope. 

I pray that each of you have a warm safe pain free day!


http://www.lifescript.com/Health/Conditions/Arthritis/Sore_Stiff_and_Swollen_It_Could_Be_Rheumatoid_Arthritis.aspx?utm_campaign=2010-12-16-68359&utm_source=healthy-advantage&utm_medium=email&utm_content=healthy-well-wise_Sore%20Stiff%20and%20Swollen&FromNL=1&sc_date=20101216T000000
_____________________________________
DEAL OF THE DAY!   WATERFRONT! Brick with full Basement!http://lisaebersole.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/realestate.property_detail/propertyid/247AFA38-C257-4C2C-B24EEECE77C1A2A5

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fielding a Lowball Purchase Offer

Windy, windy, windy! I cannot remember it ever being this cold and windy in December...maybe March but not December. Cold weather is certainly not for me. Best to stay indoors and stay warm!


Today I am posting an article about some ideas for sellers who have been presented with offers that are much lower than they would like to have on their homes. This is good information and provides great tips  when you are trying to sell a home in a buyers market. Always remember that no matter what offer you receive it is imperative that you respond and NOT reject the offer as I have found many many times that buyers are just trying to get their very best deal and are programmed to offer much lower in some cases than we would like to see. Many times they were willing to come up many thousands of dollars. Sometimes this is not the case if you are dealing with an habitual lowballer. This is why the seller making themselves familiar with the comparables is imperative. A seller cannot say I want X amount of dollars on a home just because you put a ton of work into the home and you are emotionally attached. You must understand that NOONE cares about this and leaving emotion out of your decision when buying and selling a home is very important. Appraisers must go off the facts....how much are homes selling for in close vacinity and best compares to your home. If the sold sales do not support your price your home will not appraise and the lender will not allow a home to close unless it appraises. Knowing all the facts up front before you ever put your home on the market will save you , the Realtors and the buyers much aggravation, time and money.

Enjoy reading the articles below and have a safe and happy day!

Fielding a Lowball Purchase Offer on Your Home

Published: June 10, 2010
Consider before you ignore or outright refuse a very low purchase offer for your home. A counteroffer and negotiation could turn that low purchase offer into a sale.

Check your emotions

A purchase offer, even a very low one, means someone wants to purchase your home. Unless the offer is laughably low, it deserves a cordial response, whether that’s a counteroffer or an outright rejection. Remain calm and discuss with your real estate agent the many ways you can respond to a lowball purchase offer.

Counter the purchase offer

Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.

A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

Consider the terms

Price is paramount for most buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.

Review your comps

Ask your REALTOR® whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

Consider the buyer’s comps

Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that justify your asking price.

If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.

Get the agents together

If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your real estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your real estate agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.

Don’t signal desperation

Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer.

If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.

More from HouseLogic

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Purchase Offer for Your Home

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

Marcie Geffner is a freelance reporter who has been writing about real estate, homeownership and mortgages for 20 years. She owns a ranch-style house built in 1941 and updated in the 1990s, in Los Angeles.

Go to http://www.houselogic.com/ for more great articles. Used by permission by the National Association of Realtors

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Trouble Making Your Payments?

What a cold and rainy day! I hope you are able to snuggle up nice and warm in the comforts of home when you return home from church!


Some of us are troubled this morning. We are worried about whether or not we can make the next mortgage payment. It might be due to the loss of a job or illness or something else but we are concerned. There are options available and if you truly want to keep your home NEVER NEVER give up and do NOT leave the home. Stay put. I have seen over and over again folks vacate the premises which at that point the lender has the right to start foreclosure proceedings. Do NOT leave your home. Keep in constant contact with your lender and no matter what your situation keep telling them you want to work something out with them to be able to keep your home. If you truly DO want to leave put your home on the market with an experienced agent. Having your home listed actively on the market will buy you much needed time and also allows the lender to see you are trying to sell the property instead of just walking away. Whether you are behind or not on your morgage payments makes no difference. Make sure your Realtor knows your situation completely as they may be able to help you in ways you have not thought about. Case in point: I have been working on a home for over a year that is due to finally close soon. The homeowner has not been able to make payments for many many months. Were able to obtain a shortsale on the property which means the bank has accepted a much lower price than what is owed on the mortgage. It took time to work out but we did not give up and we finally have an approval and clear to close so never ever give up!

Below is an article you might find helpful and I have many more if you have need of more information so do not hesitate to ask!

Have a great day!


Trouble Making Your Payments?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Want Better Communication With Your Spouse?

Good Morning! I hope everyone has a very happy stress free weekend! I know! I know! That is impossible being this close to Christmas right? Well, we can at least try!

I had a thought this morning about communication between spouses and how it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day struggles, routines and worries of life and how quickly we can start to dwell on the  negative in each other so that before too long we have created such a distance that it might take a bit of work to get that closeness back we once shared.

I believe that marriage should be between best friends for without that it will not last. It takes 100 % participation on both sides to make a relationship what it should be and when that is not happening over time clearly it can cause problems. Human nature is that when one spouse in not fully engaged in mind body and soul the other side suffers. It might be very subtle at first but over time those little things add up and even though there may be so many wonderful things you love about your spouse you find yourself dwelling on what you do not have or what you are not getting from the relationship.

I admittedly find myself drawn to my work. I have always been a workaholic and even when I am out doing other things or watching a movie my mind easily drifts to that as being self employed it has become a part of my entire life. It is my only source of livelihood and I take it very seriously. My husband however is the direct opposite of me finding ways to make me leave it all behind and just enjoy the moments. He can find more excuses to take a break in one day that I could in an entire month. I am constantly thinking about how to grow my business and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done and I find myself exhausted and feeling like I have accomplished nothing at the end of the day. When I tell him this he scolds me and goes over all the things that I did right that day which I had already deleted out of my mind with thoughts of the next task. We both have to make concessions for each other and sometimes it is not easy. Our differences are great when you look at the big picture and satan would like nothing better than to see our relationship deteriorate for that is his job. Whether it be my workaholic attitude or my husbands own personal inward issues that he will not talk about satan uses each and every little irritating things he can muster up to drive a wedge between us but we must not let him.

I just wanted to write about this thought today because I have seen so many  families torn apart by allowing bitterness to fester and boil over until one day it was just too late. If there is anything you can think of that is bothering you about your spouse make a determination in your heart to stop and talk about it. Get it out out in the open and keep a positive attitude determining you are going to be sensitive to the concerns and needs of your spouse. 100 % participation is essential but sometimes we do not get that. When this happens the only things you can do it take it to God in prayer and determine in your heart you will do the right thing regardless of whether your spouse does or not. Just because one spouse does not participate like you would want them to does not relieve us of our obligations to our spouse. We must do right even if they do not. It might help to take time each week just to sit down and say what can I do to make this marriage better? Starting off with a question of what you can do to be a better spouse will open the door to conversation and communication and you just might be surprised with the answers.

There are some couples who have deeper issues to deal with such as addictions and abuses. In these cases I do not believe God would have you stay in relationships that are harmful to your physical and emotional health and this may need the intervention of trained professionals. If you are in an abusive situation please find counsel and guidance as it has been proven over and over again that generally things get worse not better.

This was written for couples who are committed to their marriages and are concerned about allowing the cares of this life to pull them apart and distancing them so they do not feel the closeness they once did as a couple. Remember 100 % participation and you will be amazed at the results.

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend spending time with your family!


Below is an interesting article you might enjoy!

http://www.kyria.com/topics/marriagefamily/marriage/communication/threequestions.html?start=2

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So Thankful!

Good FRIDAY morning to you! TGIF!  I hope you all have had a very productive and exciting week. I cannot believe we are only a couple of weeks away from Christmas! How time has flown this year.


My thoughts have been on my daughter this week who is 18 years old and also my boys who are 21 and 28. I love them with all of my heart and soul. I have had to work very hard over the years trying to build a real estate business for myself and my children and going from full time homeschooling Mom to divorced single working 24-7 Mom would be hard for any child to handle. I have to look back now and say how in the world did they turn out at all and anyone watching our lives would say that GOD is alive and able. Through my mistakes, shortcomings and failures God protected, guided and watched over all of us through some extremely difficult times.


After many years of working so extremely hard, facing many battles, making many mistakes and learning from them and now being happily married to the most caring considerate man that tries his best to meet my every need I can honestly say....if I can do it anyone can with the help and grace of God.


 Since my daughter is still at home I get to see her more often than my boys. She has been a constant source of encouragment in ways she will never know and tries so hard to do what God would have her. When I see her reading her Bible and hear her listening to music or singing and doing her art work for the church my heart swells with pride and joy as I know He has given me a precious gift that money could never buy. No amount of sales or prestige could ever come close to the feeling of being MOM. I include my boys in that as well for although they are each completely different all three of them have talents and imaginations that are amazing and I just wanted to take the time today to tell them how proud I am of them and how much I love them. God blessed my life with the gifts of my children and husband and I do not ever want to take that for granted.


I pray that each and every one that might read this smiles in the knowledge of the love you have and share with your families and may this holiday season be filled with happy memories for you to cherish for years to come.


Have a wonderful weekend!
_________________________
Deals of the Day!  NEW LISTINGS!

http://lisaebersole.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/realestate.property_detail/propertyid/D57BE98D-BC2A-40AD-802419E20D10CB14

http://lisaebersole.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/realestate.property_detail/propertyid/6EDF5A83-02E8-4B81-99A2BA4B599ABB06

http://lisaebersole.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/realestate.property_detail/propertyid/6EDF5A83-02E8-4B81-99A2BA4B599ABB06

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering Our Loved Ones

Good Wednesday morning to all! We had power outages off and on last night. We usually turn a fan on for the air flow and extra noise and I thought I was dreaming. I kept hearing a motor start up and then quiet, then start up again and then quiet again. It was not until early this AM I realized when my clocks were blinking that the power had been going off and on after I had already reset them once before going to sleep. I am most certainly thankful for HEAT and HOT WATER! Thank you God!

I would like to take the time today to just remember all our loved ones who have gone on to be with Jesus. At holiday time especially it seems a bit harder to take and dampens the holiday spirit if we let it.

Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death many years ago. He died of a massive heart attack at only age 52. The last holiday I shared with him was Thanksgiving. The family was together enjoying our traditional Thanksgiving meal. None of us had any idea anything was wrong with him nor did he. He worked a full time job, ran a farm and pastored a church for many many years.....a plan for disaster. One of the jobs my Dad worked at was so stressful that we all believe it contributed greatly to his ill health but thankfully he did give that job up and moved away from SC to Tennessee, bought a farm and pastored a church. This is where they were when he passed away. They had gone to a Christmas party for the church and while there he started having pains which were so bad he went to the emergency room and for anyone who knew my Dad he had to have been in pain. He did not go to doctors unless absolutely necessary. They conducted a stress test and sent him home after finding nothing. He died in the bed with my mother trying to save him. I will never forget my Mother calling me after midnight to tell me my Dad had passed away. To this day I cannot stand it when I receive phone calls at that hour of the night. The pain was so great for my Mother that we truly did not know how to reach her or help her. I was very thankful for at that time my cousins and Aunt and Uncle who lived there took care of my Mom and helped her in so many ways which forever we will all be grateful for.  I was living in NC at the time and had to take care of my three children and was completely and totally committed to our church there at Temple Baptist. I threw myself into doing as I always do when I am upset, angry, hurt or confused. I try not to think. It seemed easier that way. It took a very long time before I realized I had not been there for anyone...not my Mom, not my Sister...we all just seemed to go our separate ways and worked through our grief and sorrow the best way we could. I am truly thankful that we all know Jesus Christ as our Savior because otherwise we might not be the very close family we are today. We all have to forgive each other to get past the past. We must let go of the pain, bitterness and anger in order for us to be truly happy.

I wanted to say all of the above to say that if you are grieving for a loved one who has passed away my prayer is that you will find peace, comfort, strength and courage to face the holidays with the help of friends and family.  Help us all to enjoy every moment we have together not taking for granted one single person in our lives. Help us to all let go of petty quarrels, bitterness, anger, resentment and jealousies making every effort to make this holiday season one of happiness, joy, contentment, peace and most of all love and may we continue this all through the coming year. We have no promise of tomorrow so let us all do now the things that should be done, say the things that should be said so that we will look back and say we have no regrets.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

7 Tips For Staging Your Home

Good Tuesday morning to everyone! Cold, cold, cold!!! I have been out listing and showing homes and I am "still" NOT a cold weather person. I hope you all are staying nice and warm!    

       

I am attaching an article today about staging your homes because I find that many times sellers have no idea how to present their homes to the public in such as way that the buyers can visualize themselves there. When sellers refuse to declutter, get rid of excess furniture, give curb appeal to their home by making especially the front entrance charming, clean and attractive, when they refuse to pressure wash leaving the home dirty and unappealing, when they leave all the closets and laundry room cluttered with no organization and when sellers refuse to make the necessary repairs that are needed in the way of leaks, heat and air problems, cleaning filters etc...they really can have no reason to complain when their homes do not sell. We are in a highly competitive market with many foreclosure homes that are ready to move in to. I have closed on several homes that had hardly anything that needed to be done at very significant price reductions so it is IMPERATIVE that sellers understand that when putting their homes on the market they should do everything possible to stage and present their homes in the very best condition they possibly can.


7 Tips for Staging Your Home

Published: March 19, 2010
Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and speed up the sale process.

1. Start with a clean slate

Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings.

2. Stow away your clutter

It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decorations. However, don’t make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface, suggests Barb Schwarz of www.StagedHomes.com in Concord, Pa. For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.

3. Scale back on your furniture

When a room is packed with furniture, it looks smaller, which will make buyers think your home is less valuable than it is. Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger.

4. Rethink your furniture placement

Highlight the flow of your rooms by arranging the furniture to guide buyers from one room to another. In each room, create a focal point on the farthest wall from the doorway and arrange the other pieces of furniture in a triangle around the focal point, advises Schwarz. In the bedroom, the bed should be the focal point. In the living room, it may be the fireplace, and your couch and sofa can form the triangle in front of it.

5. Add color to brighten your rooms

Brush on a fresh coat of warm, neutral-color paint in each room. Ask your real estate agent for help choosing the right shade. Then accessorize. Adding a vibrant afghan, throw, or accent pillows for the couch will jazz up a muted living room, as will a healthy plant or a bright vase on your mantle. High-wattage bulbs in your light fixtures will also brighten up rooms and basements.

6. Set the scene

Lay logs in the fireplace, and set your dining room table with dishes and a centerpiece of fresh fruit or flowers. Create other vignettes throughout the home—such as a chess game in progress—to help buyers envision living there. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
Make your bathrooms feel luxurious by adding a new shower curtain, towels, and fancy guest soaps (after you put all your personal toiletry items are out of sight). Judiciously add subtle potpourri, scented candles, or boil water with a bit of vanilla mixed in. If you have pets, clean bedding frequently and spray an odor remover before each showing.

7. Make the entrance grand

Mow your lawn and trim your hedges, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before showings to make your lawn sparkle. If flowers or plants don’t surround your home’s entrance, add a pot of bright flowers. Top it all off by buying a new doormat and adding a seasonal wreath to your front door.

More from HouseLogic

Spring cleaning guide Green cleaning products for the bathroom
Green cleaning products for the kitchen

Other web resources

How to make a small room look larger How to arrange bedrooms

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who occasionally rearranges her furniture to find the best placement—and keep her dog on his toes. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.