August 25, 2011

Credit Check

Pulling your credit reports are easy and free if you are a resident of Georgia. Georgia residents are allowed to pull one credit report for each of the following three credit reporting agencies once per year.

Equifax
PO Box 105851
Atlanta, GA  31348
1-800-685-1111
www.equifax.com

 

Experian
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX  75013
1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com/freestate

 

Transunion
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA  19022
1-800-888-4213 or 1-877-FACTACT
www.annualcreditreport.com

 

To “opt out” of receiving prescreened mailings and credit card solicitations, call 1-888-5OPT OUT (1-888-567-8688).

Allows consumers to provide opt out information to all 3 national credit reporting systems with one phone call.

August 23, 2011

Agent of the Month: Valencia Stephens

Valencia Stephens

Valencia Stephens

Agent’s Choice:

This recipe is delicious and low fat. I use Splenda for the sugar and brown sugar to lower the calories even more, but it is not required. You can put the cutlets between two sheets of wax paper and beat them to make them thin in order to reduce the cook time.

Dijon Pork Chops

16 oz lean boneless pork chop, (8 chops) 
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of water
Cooking spray
  • Combine mustard and next three ingredients in a small bowl. Place pork in a shallow dish; spoon 2 tablespoons mustard mixture over pork, turning to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add pork, and cook 4 minutes on one side; turn pork and spoon reserved mustard mixture over pork. Cook pork 2 minutes or just until done.
  • Add water, stirring slightly; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Turn pork to coat, and place on a serving platter. Pour pan juices over pork. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cutlets).

August 18, 2011

Energy Savings

Have you ever thought of how much of your monthly household budget is consumed by electric & gas cost? Consider these tips.

  • Is there someone at your home at all times? If not, consider buying a programmable thermostat. There is no need in cooling your home all day long when your family is only at home after 5pm on weekdays.
  • Setting you air condition 5 degrees higher can save you up to 20% on your cooling cost.
  • Consider budget billing. Most utility companies provide this free service to anyone who has been at there current address for more than 12 months. Budget billing, which is also known by other names depending on your provider, finds the average of your bills over the past 12 months. Instead of your bill changing every month, you would pay the same amount. Please note that with budget billing, your account may be up for review monthly, quarterly or yearly to see whether your provider may need to raise or lower your monthly bill amount depending on the cost of electricity and/or your usage.
  • Try running your ceiling fans more often instead of lowering your air condition.
  • Replace standard light bulbs with CFL (compact florescent) bulbs that use less energy to run.
  • Be sure to enable “power management” on all of your computer and be sure to power them down at night. A laptop uses 90% less power than a traditional desktop.
  • Use large appliances, such as your dishwasher, washer and dryer later in the evenings to lower cost on electricity. Using electricity between 8am and 8pm cost you more. Try setting your dishwasher on timer mode and have it run around midnight.
  • Still curious about more ways that you can save on utilities, call your local utility provider and ask them to come out and do an energy audit of your home. Most utilities will do this for free as a service to their customers.

According to some recent tips from State Farm’s Good Neighbor magazine (Spring/Summer 2011) consider this…

Try a Utilities Crash Diet

For one month make it your goal to use as little electricity as you can and still live a relatively normal life. For example see how little hot water you can use when doing laundry and dishes, or when you shower. Then compare your bill with the same month in the previous year and see how much you save. You might decide that a utilities crash diet can help you shed some financial fat.

August 16, 2011

Agent of the Month – Valencia Stephens

Valencia Stephens

Valencia Stephens

The Services I Offer

I began selling Real Estate because I love that way it makes me feel when I help a family find that perfect home or when I assist a seller in moving into a new home by selling their current one. There is nothing like seeing the way a buyer’s eyes light up when they walk into the house that they have been dreaming of. I love the challenge of finding exactly what my buyer wants within their budget, which can sometimes be a real challenge. I do not sell Real Estate for just a paycheck; I do it for the love of the industry.

 

I am a Realtor, which means that I belong to an association of Realtors that hold me accountable for my actions. We have an ethics committee that we must answer to if we make a decision that could offend a customer or client. It is not a requirement by the state to be a Realtor, agents can conduct business without the Realtor designation, but they do not belong to a board. I belong to the Heart of Georgia Board of Realtors, which is a local board that is very active in our community.

 

If you are looking for a home or if you would like to sell your home, please do not hesitate to call me. I would be happy to help you.

August 9, 2011

Agent of the Month: Valencia Stephens

Valencia Stephens

Valencia Stephens

Featured Listing

1500 Tara Place, Hampton

1500 Tara Place, Hampton, GA

$197,000

This two bedroom, two bathroom town home is conveniently located just south of the perimeter, but close enough to commute. The views from the front porch are amazing, as well as the view from the back of the home, which is completely glass. The natural light is unparalleled. For those of you that are Nascar fans, you can see the race live from the comfort of your own living room or go down to the stands and feel the wind in your hair from the cars passing by you at 200+ miles per hour because tickets to the races are included. This home really has it all. The amenities are beautiful and the location can not be beat.

August 4, 2011

Take a “Productive Day Off”

One piece of advice, that is especially important during these economic times, is to be sure you have your financial house in order before purchasing a home. From time to time, we will be sharing some of our favorite cost-saving tips.

According to s0me recent tips from State Farm’s Good Neighbor magazine (Spring/Summer 2011) consider this…

Take a “Productive Day Off”

This idea comes from New York Times columnist Ron Lieber. He took a day off and spent it online and on the phone working to lower interest rates, find better CD rates and get better deals on rewards cards. He also checked on his current major insurance policies to make sure they were up-to-date and still made sense for his current situation. A few hours of concentrated financial housekeeping can net a big return over the course of a year. For people really seeking to put their money matters in order, it can be a great way to get a good handle on where you stand now, and help you plan for 6-, 12- and 24-month financial goals.

August 3, 2011

Credit Cards Declined

A recent article in the Pike County Journal Reporter points out that effective August 1st, the Pike County Tax Commissioner’s office will no longer accept debit or credit cards. The tax commissioner’s office sites the high fees associated with accepting cards as the reason behind the move. The article also states that the county is in the process of getting a website set up so that these fees can be paid online. In the meantime, please remember to bring cash or check when paying your tax bills.