Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Weekend Means Many Events In Columbus, Mississippi

There is never a shortage of unique things to do during the weekend in Columbus, Mississippi. That is one of the main reasons for highlighting community activities. Newcomers to this area need to realize that a wonderful lifestyle awaits them. How wonderful? Let’s see some examples.

Columbus is the home of Mississippi University for Women. This weekend they celebrate The W's most famous alumna – Eudora Welty.  For the past 26 years, the W honors Miss Welty with a Writers' Symposium.  Southern writers read from and discuss their works to an audience of several hundred.

Each year a theme provides coherence to stimulate interest. Writers whose works seem to embody the theme chosen receive an invitation Characterization, locale, autobiographical elements, problems of dialogue/dialect, etc. More than 125 different writers and nearly 50 scholars have appeared, some multiple times.

The symposium takes place at several auditoriums on campus on both Friday and Saturday. Use the entrance on College and 12th Streets and ask campus security for the symposium locations.

The Ultimate Fair is at the Columbus Fairgrounds on Highway 69 in East Columbus. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Friday and at noon on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Ultimate Fair has always one of the largest ride midways in Mississippi or Alabama. The 2014 edition has a larger midway with new rides and shows, games, sideshows and live entertainment. It’s fun for the whole family.

Leon Gilliam, a former member of the legendary group “The Platters” performs Friday at 7:30 p.m. There is a giant demolition derby on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The American Daredevil Stunt team performs at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The Thai by Thai restaurant in the Littlewoods Shopping Center on Wilkens-Wise Road and US-45 has a Friday night special planned. Enjoy a 4-course meal along with 4 different beers. Let’s start with the appetizer. It’s Thai beef jerky, sun-dried sliced beef jerky fried with sriracha sauce. Next have a bowl of Tom Kha chicken soup. This is a tangy broth of galangal and coconut milk, with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and cilantro.

Then comes the main course. The entrée is a Beef Rama platter. It’s beef sautéed in peanut sauce, served on a bed of steamed carrots, bok choy and broccoli. If that doesn’t fill you up the Banana in Sticky Rice dessert will. Banana wrapped in sticky rice is jasmine rice mixed with coconut milk and steamed inside a banana leaf.

Remember, each course comes with a wonderful craft beer from Goose Island and Shock Top breweries. The Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society receives a donation from each meal.

Friday night also means high school football.  The Columbus Falcons (2-6) begin their final home stand of the season by hosting the Madison Central Jaguars (4-4). The New Hope Trojans (7-1) host the Lewisburg Patriots (4-5) from Olive Branch. The Caledonia Confederates (5-4) host the Noxubee County Tigers (7-2) on senior night. The West Lowndes Panthers (4-5) visit the Sebastopol Bobcats (4-4).

In private school football, the Heritage Academy Patriots (5-4) visit the Starkville Academy Volunteers (7-1). The Columbus Christian Academy Rams (5-4) travel to Arcola for a game with the Deer Creek Warriors (2-6). The Victory Christian Academy Eagles (8-1) takes the week off before starting the playoffs next week.

This is the final shopping day for the season at the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market on the corner of Second Avenue North and 2nd Street. After today the market closes for the winter. Stock up on the freshest produce, baked goods and crafts.

The Coffee House on 5th Street donates the coffee each Saturday morning for market shoppers. There is a juice bar with watermelon and apple juice, peach and carrot juice, kale, pineapple and cucumber juice or apple, carrot and ginger juice. The market opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday.

This is also the final weekend that Country Pumpkins is open.  Get your seasonal flowers, pumpkins or other gourds while the children have fun playing in a safe family-oriented environment. Country Pumpkins is on Spruill Road in Caledonia. Watch for the signs off Wolfe and Ridge Roads.

The Mississippi Soccer Association has their Coaches Cup tournament this weekend at the Columbus Soccer Complex. There are games all weekend. Plus there is a Youth Module U10 Coaches Clinic on Saturday beginning at 12:00 p.m. The Soccer Complex is directly behind the Farmers Market between Second and Third Streets from Third through Seventh Avenue North.

Three major universities with membership in the Southeastern Conference are within a two-hour drive (or less) of Columbus. Each is among the top four ranked teams in the nation too. Unfortunately each is on the road this weekend.  #1 Mississippi State plays at Kentucky in the middle of Saturday afternoon. #3 Ole Miss visits LSU and #4 Alabama is at Tennessee. Both of those games are in the early evening on Saturday.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has their annual awareness walk in Columbus Sunday. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. with the walk starting an hour later. Teams or individual participants can walk along the Riverwalk at the west end of Main Street knowing that the money raised by DFM remains in Mississippi. That is why differentiate this event from the fund raising events of other diabetes groups. After the walk, stick around and enjoy free hot dogs, snacks, fruit and games for the children.

Anyone have a real estate need this weekend? Please make a private preview appointment at least 24-hours in advance. Your REALTOR® knows how to do that.
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Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR®, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Sales and Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He has a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 7 Most Common Code Violations Remodelers Make

You may save money when you DIY, but unless your projects are up to code, you’re flirting with expensive fixes and putting your home and family at risk.

A good DIYer knows a lot about tools and techniques, but the best DIYers know about building codes, too. Completing home improvement projects that are code-compliant — and can pass inspections from your local building authority — are the route to a safe and happy home, and well-done DIY projects.

Although few homeowners can claim an encyclopedic knowledge of their local building codes, here’s a heads up on seven of the most common code violations that DIYers are guilty of:

1.  Working Without a Permit – Sure, permits cost money. And if you don’t apply for one, who’s to know?

A lot of DIY homeowners have that point of view, and it’s wrong-headed. Yes, homeowners are allowed to do their own improvements without a contractor’s license, but you still need a permit for many remodeling projects.

That’s important because:
 – You’ll know that your improvements are safe and reliable.
 – Your work will comply with the latest energy- and water-conservation measures. That saves you money in the long run, and makes your house more marketable when you decide to sell.
 – Work that’s not up to code may be discovered by an inspector when you try and sell, putting a big damper on your plans. You may be required to fix any problems (with added expense) before a buyer will consider making an offer. And if your buyer should later discover fixes that aren’t up to code, you could be sued for repairs and damages.
 – If you have permits, your project will be inspected. Don’t think of visits from a building inspector as adversarial; rather, they’re opportunities to learn about construction techniques and materials. A building inspector can be a valuable helpmate for the DIYer.

Not all projects require permits and inspections. Start off by inquiring with your local building authority and discussing your project in detail.

2.  Not Testing Older Materials for Asbestos and Lead – These two dangerous materials lurk in many older building materials, and their disposal is strictly regulated in most states.

Those laws not only protect your health, but protect trash removal workers and landfill operators, too. If you dump tainted remodeling waste, you’re putting others at risk.

Asbestos is found in many common building materials, especially in houses built before 1970, including:
 – Popcorn ceiling texture
 – Vinyl tile
 – Drywall joint compound
 – Hot-water pipe and duct insulation
 – Vermiculite attic insulation
 – Cement shingle siding

Most communities have independent testing facilities that, for $25 to $50, can determine if asbestos is present in samples.

However, even the removal of samples is risky. If you suspect asbestos, contact your local building authority or regional Occupational Safety and Health Administration office to find out the best way to test for and remove asbestos.

Lead paint has been outlawed since 1978. Laws prevent contractors from doing work without taking specific precautions to contain and dispose of lead-contaminated building materials.

DIY homeowners aren’t subject to those laws. But if you’re hiring a contractor to do some of the work, your pro must adhere to the laws or be subject to fines of up to $37,500 per day. Talk about putting a crimp in your plans!

Other than that, your own health may be at risk if you cut, scrape, or sand materials — especially paint — with lead in them. DIY lead test kits are cheap ($8 to $35) and easy to use.

3.  Improper Fastening of Deck Ledgers to Houses – Building a deck is the ideal DIY project — it’s fairly straightforward and materials are simple.

But a recent spate of deck failures reveals that many decks fail where the deck ledger fastens to the house — one of the more technically challenging steps of deck-building.

The North American Deck and Railing Association says two of the most-common mistakes are:

 – Improper (or missing) flashing to keep water from seeping behind the ledger where it can soften and rot out wood.
 – Using old fastening methods, such as plain nails, to secure the ledger to the house.

It’s a good idea to have your deck inspected for proper construction techniques when you build it, and to do yearly DIY inspections and repairs.

4.  Adding a Basement Bedroom Without an Egress Window – Seems like a no-brainer: Junior needs his own bedroom, and you’ve got all this space in your basement. A few walls and carpet and voila! — an extra bedroom.

But it’s not that simple. Codes say that any “sleeping room” must include an egress window that’s at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches high, with a minimum opening of 5.7 square feet — enough for an adult to crawl through.

Because it’s a basement, you’ll likely need to excavate outside the window and add a window well to help keep water out.

The installation of an egress window costs $2,500 to $5,000 — well worth it for your peace of mind and the safety of your family. Without an egress window, a real estate appraiser won’t qualify the space as a bedroom, which may hurt your chances to sell your home.

5.  Venting a Bath Fan into an Attic – You’ve spiffed up the guest bathroom and even added a new bathroom vent fan — nice going. But you aren’t finished unless you vent that fan all the way to the outside of your house.

Venting directly into an attic space might be easy, but your fan is going to deliver plenty of humid air into your attic where is can cause mold and rot.

Building codes say you’ve got to vent the air from the fan to outside your house using a 4-inch-diameter vent pipe.

Some inexpensive bath fans have 3-inch-diameter fittings. If so, buy a piece of converter pipe that changes the diameter to 4 inches.


6.  Botched Electrical Work – Few examples of home improvement and repair are life threatening, but electrical work definitely can be. That’s why utmost caution is needed when you do your own wiring. Here are a few common wiring mistakes:

Wrong size circuit. Basically, 15-amp circuits are for lighting fixtures and 20-amp circuits are for receptacles. If you’re renovating and want to add a receptacle, don’t splice into a lighting circuit to do it — rather, extend from an existing 20-amp circuit.

An exception is a refrigerator, which can be on a dedicated, 15-amp circuit.

Splicing wires without a junction box. Don’t splice wires together with a couple of wire nuts and some electrical tape and call it a day. All wire connections must be inside an approved junction box. While you’re at it, you can’t hide a junction box inside a wall — it must be visible and accessible.

Missing GFCIs. A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is required for any circuit that services an area where water might be present: bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, and outdoor receptacles. A single GFCI at the beginning of a circuit can protect other receptacles on the same circuit.

7.  Not Following Fence Height Requirements – Fences are a major source of disputes with neighbors, and a top source of complaints to local building and planning departments.

Many problems stem from the fact that homeowners, in an attempt to establish privacy, build fences that are too tall. Most codes limit fences on the sides and in the back of property to 6 feet, and 42 to 48 inches in the front.

If you build a fence that’s not in compliance, a complaint could bring a building official to your property with an order to tear your fence down.

Related:
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John Riha wrote this copyrighted article that appeared on National Association of Realtors® web site and is used with permission. He has written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Follow John on Google+.

Visit Houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.


Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR®, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He has a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Act Now For Affordable Mortgage Interest Rates

There are two items costing less these days.  A month ago a gallon of regular gas sold for about $3.09 a gallon. Today the price is 25¢ less.  Here is another item with a decreased cost. A month ago mortgage rates were about 3.75 percent for a 30-year fixed rate government backed mortgage. Today that rate is 3.375. So what does that mean? Let’s explain.

Principal and Interest Last Month – Let’s assume a buyer found a great house and agreed on a price. The borrower got a $100,000 mortgage. About a month ago the standard interest rates for a government backed mortgage was 3.75 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. That equates to a $463.12 monthly payment for principal and interest only.  Remember the actual payment also includes other fees, insurance and taxes. But the principal and interest compromise the vast majority of the monthly mortgage payment. The key number to remember is the $463.12.

Principal and Interest Today – Let’s assume the another borrower found an equally priced house ($100,000). Today’s rate for the same 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.375.  The monthly payment (principal and interest only) is $442.10. That is a savings of just over $21 a month. It is a savings in the cost of a mortgage.

Will The Rates Go Lower – Unfortunately no one knows the answer to that question. Technically, yes they can. Realistically, how much lower can interest rates go? Is waiting for a lower rate worth the risk? If rates do fall, what is to prevent that same borrower from waiting again in the hopes of getting still another reduction? Remember you do not know the rates bottomed out until they begin to rise. Then you’re paying slightly more.

Allowing a borrower to use money at any rate under 5 percent is a bargain. Get that rate under 4 percent and it is bargain basement time.

When Will Rates Rise – Again no one knows. When will gas prices go up or down? Please understand that there is no correlation between gas prices and mortgage rates. But there is this similarity.

The consumer never knows when there is a change in prices. Neither does any bank. That is because economic issues change by the minute. Go back to the point made above. You do not know the point where mortgage rates bottom out until they begin to rise.

Who Does Know – No one has a crystal ball to accurately predict the future. Can the weatherman accurately predict the weather every day of the year?

The government (or more specifically the Federal Reserve Bank or the Fed for short) sets the amount of money they want in circulation. Lending money is part of that total amount of money. Money is like any other good or service offered by the market. The laws of supply and demand take precedent.

External factors such as unemployment rate, imports versus exports, and even political issues all have an effect on how much money is in circulation.

When small banks need money they borrow it from the Fed. The rate the government charges banks to borrow money is the “prime” rate.  Banks then add to the prime rate as a method of covering business expenses and generating profit.

What To Do – Any serious homebuyer needs to take action today about applying for a mortgage. Also remember most lenders will not allow a borrower to “lock in” a certain rate until they have a purchase contract that lists the specific address, the price and terms of the sale.

Your REALTOR® can assist you with preparing a purchase offer that will eventually become a purchase contract once the buyer and seller agree to every term and condition.

Most sellers want to see the pre-approval letter before they begin serious negotiations. A seller has zero motivation to reveal his true purchase price to a buyer that cannot prove their financial capability to complete the purchase.
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Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR®, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He has a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How To Create A Favorable First Impression

What makes a buyer want to preview a house? There are many factors, but one is most common. It’s also the most logical. The buyer saw the listing on the Internet, that listing appealed to the buyer and caused the buyer to drive by the house. Creating a favorable impression from the curb is first step toward getting a buyer to reach the closing table. Let’s discuss improving curb appeal.

How Does A House Look From A Distance – A property owner might invest thousands of dollars to update counter tops – install new carpeting, replace fixtures, paint and so forth. Those are all great projects. When done at the expense of the neglecting the front and side yards, those updates could become a bad investment.

With tree leaves falling, make it a priority to cut (and mulch) the grass and fallen leaves at least once a week, but preferably twice. Make your house shout out “Please buy me!” with a great looking yard. This is a simple solution to gain an advantage over the competition.

Easy Projects – See if there are any dead limbs and branches. Cut them down. It’s also time to cut back on shrubby. Don’t let a shrub hide too much of the house. Here is a general rule of thumb for trimming trees and shrubs.

Any tree branch easily touched by an upwardly extended hand is too low. Trim it. That leaves about 9-10 feet below the tree for easy access to the trunk. Prune any tree branches that extend over the roof.

Let shrubby accent the house rather than hide it. Trim shrubby so that it hides no more than one-fourth of the house. Expose the top three-fourths or more of the house to buyer’s eye. That sends the message the seller is not trying to hide anything. Cut any shrubbery that blocks even a small portion of a sidewalk or porch.

This Is A House Not A Cemetery – Don’t let dead trees, shrubs or plants ruin an otherwise great listing. Remove them. It may seem like a waste of money to incur an expense now. Consider the profitability of all projects.

If spending $200 to remove a dead tree or plant results in adding $1000 to the sale price that is a great trade. Avoid the reverse. Don’t spent more for the project than the realistic payback. With any project, spending involves risk. That is part of home ownership. Taking calculated risks that achieve financial rewards.

How Does The Ground Appear – Planting the right flowers can be the difference to getting a buyer inside the house or just passing by without taking any action. Almost any colorful flower sends a bright and cheery message. There are several autumn bloom flowers that can differentiate you from the competition. Remember it’s about getting a buyer inside your home.

Unnatural Things – Trees, shrubs, flowers and grass form the basis for just about every yard. Look at the non-living things outside your home.  Did the summer sun fade the colors on a porch swing cushion? Rather than buy new ones, simply remove the old cushions. You probably won’t be living there when the warm weather returns.

Some owners like to display cheery flags. Again, look for color fading. Maybe it’s time to display a new flag.

Look at the front porch. Can a visitor or guest walk easily from the driveway to the front door without having to hurdle porch chairs, large decorative vases or other objects? Relocating some of these objects can improve curb appeal. Ask the children to place bicycles and other toys into the backyard. Curl up all hoses and sprinklers.

Most buyer form their first impression of a house based on the outside appearance. Buyer’s reason that a house maintained well on the outside has the same maintenance inside. A sloppy or careless outward appearance may give a hint what is behind the front door. Make a favorable yet cost-effective first impression.
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Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Short Sales and  Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He has a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home Buying Tips

There are less than two and half months left in the calendar year. If buying a home in 2014 is a goal, time is running out. Here are a few tips to achieve that goal before the year ends.

Act Now – Don’t delay any more. Unlike other types of purchases, buying a home takes at least 30 days and closer to 60 days. Give yourself time to find an acceptable house, negotiate a fair price and then provide all the information that lenders require today.  Sometimes the current owner needs time to find a home. Waiting adds additional stress. Avoid that by acting now. What does “acting now” mean?

Get Mortgage Pre-Approval – Let a professional financial expert, who can write a mortgage, determine the maximum amount of the purchase. The lender can easily convert a monthly payment into a total purchase price. As an example, if a borrower can afford a maximum monthly payment of $750.00 that means that probably most houses priced under $150,000 are affordable.

There is one small caveat to this example. This also means that the borrower’s existing recurring debt is only about 10 percent of the monthly income. That is why using just a rent a payment may not be an accurate gauge. The lender does not want a borrower living paycheck to paycheck. They want the borrower to enjoy living in the house.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is easy today from a mechanical standpoint. Just about every reputable lender has an on-line mortgage application. It’s possible to submit an application 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Know What To Buy – Before contacting a real estate professional, have a good idea of the type of house that fits the needs of every person in the household. This is more than just needing 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Give thought to the area of town to buy a home. What is the commuting distance to work, school, shopping, other family members, and quality of life services such a church, the gym, piano or dance lessons, parks and so forth.

Forecast into the future. What will the family look like 10 years? Today’s first-grader will be a high school junior in 2024. Older children require more space. Also remember that by 2029 today’s first grader will probably be married and living elsewhere. The point is to make intelligent decisions about housing needs today and tomorrow.

Hire A REALTOR® – When driving by a house that has a “for sale” sign in front of it, understand what the sign really says.  The sign says one of two things. The “For Sale By Owner” sign says the owner decided to not hire a REALTOR® for the transaction. The sign of a real estate company says the seller saw the value that a REALTOR® brings to the transaction.

In either case, the buyer retains the option to hire a REALTOR®. The buyer’s agent has two basic jobs. One is to put the buyer’s best interest at the forefront of all actions. The second is to eliminate or reduce any buyer risk in a professional manner.

The buyer’s agent can work with any real estate company. That means a Coldwell Banker agent can sell a house with ReMax sign in the front. A Century 21 agent can sell a Coldwell listing. A ReMax agent can sell a house with a Century 21 sign, or any other combination. Those transactions happen every day. Real estate is one of the few professions where a competitor can also be business partner.

Helpful Hint – If a “For Sale By Owner” seller does not want a REALTOR® involved in the transaction for any reason, there is a logical reason.  No matter what the FSBO owner says, he knows deep down that a real estate professional will expose something that puts the seller at a distinct disadvantage.

Quite often the FSBO seller appeals to a financial motive – save the brokerage fee. Here is what a buyer needs to remember. Buying a home is the largest and most complicated financial transaction of a lifetime. It deserves the best representation to insure it’s not only mistake free, but also the purchase itself is the best choice from among several alternatives. That is the job of the buyer’s agent.
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Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR®, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He is a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.


Friday, October 17, 2014

A Festive October Weekend in Columbus, Mississippi

One of the reasons to highlight community activities each week is to show newcomers and even local residents that there are plenty of local activities that suit just about every possible interest. Let’s see what is happening in Columbus and Lowndes County this weekend.

The third weekend of October the small town of Caledonia in northeast Lowndes County celebrates Caledonia Day. This year all the activities take place in Ola J. Pickett Park on Wolfe Road, just south of the YMCA and the schools.

The Friday night concert features the 2012 X-Factor winner Tate Stevens. The 2013 X-Factor winner Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers get things started at 7:00 p.m. Bring a lawn chair to better enjoy the concert.

Saturday features several events.  There is a 5K fun run with registration at 7:00 a.m. and the race an hour later. This is not an ordinary fun run. All the profits help fund a Vo Tech school in Belieze.

The most important member of the household is the king or queen this morning. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. for the Caledonia Day pet parade an hour later. After all the pets arrive at the main stage, there is a pet blessing from a local clergyman. That leads to announcing the winners of the largest pet, the smallest pet, the most unusual pet and best pet costume. The Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society will be on hand to accept donations for their facility.

The pets give way to motorized vehicles – actually antique cars is a better description. During the afternoon there will also be lawnmower races, power wheel races and bicycle races, with prizes awarded in each category.

What would Caledonia Day be without numerous food and craft vendors? They have plenty of items to purchase and enjoy.  Remember that this year all Caledonia Day activities take place at Ola J. Pickett Park on Wolfe Road, south of the YMCA.

Want to stay in Columbus? Then head out to the Columbus Fairgrounds on Highway 69 in East Columbus for the annual Roast n Boast barbeque cook-off. This is an officially sanctioned event by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Teams compete for cash prizes.

American Idol Top Ten finisher Dexter Roberts from nearby Fayette, Alabama performs at 8:00 p.m.  Other Friday entertainers include Charlie Burgin and the Southbound Train plus the always popular Keith and Margie.

Saturday has two types of entertainment.  During the afternoon watch daredevil car stunts by American Daredevils. There is also pig racing. As for music, Ian Faith performs at 7:00 p.m. followed by Trademark at 9:00 p.m.

It’s the middle of October and that means it’s time for a Mississippi University for Women tradition. The W’s Student Programming Board has their annual Oktoberfest celebration on Friday stating at 5:00 p.m. This event is at the Shattuck Lawn on the corner of College and 15th Streets, in the extreme northeast corner of the MUW campus. This event allows students to raise money for their campus organizations by selling treats and hosting a variety of activities such as face painting and bumper cars. There is also a costume contest for children 10 and under beginning at 6:00 p.m. along with performances by the Masker Washboard Band and Elite Modeling Squad.

Friday night also means high school football.  The Columbus Falcons (1-6) travel across the state for a game with the Greenville Hornets (1-6). The New Hope Trojans (7-0) visit the Oxford Chargers (6-1). The Caledonia Confederates (5-3) are on the road for a game against the Kosciusko Whippets (6-2). The West Lowndes Panthers (3-5) host the East Oktibbeha Titans (0-7).

In private school football, the Heritage Academy Patriots (4-4) host the Leake Academy Rebels (4-4) from Greenwood. The Columbus Christian Academy Rams (5-3) visit the Newton Academy Generals (6-2). The Victory Christian Academy Eagles (8-0) goes on the road for a game with the Tuscaloosa Christian Warriors (6-3).

Looking for the freshest locally grown vegetables? There is only one place to shop. Visit the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market on the corner of Second Avenue North and 2nd Street. Farmers sell tomatoes, peppers, squash, radishes, eggs, honey, fresh cut flowers, blackberries, blueberries, peaches and watermelons around. Plus there are baked goods and arts and crafts vendors.

The Coffee House on 5th Street donates the coffee each Saturday morning for market shoppers. There is a juice bar with watermelon and apple juice, peach and carrot juice, kale, pineapple and cucumber juice or apple, carrot and ginger juice. The market opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday.

October is breast cancer awareness month. The Frank P. Phillips YMCA on the corner of Main and 6th Streets is doing their part. They have a fund-raiser called Girl Power For a Cure. Come join the fun. Make a small donation to the Baptist Cancer Center and pound with other girls to honor those with this illness. The fun starts at 9:00 a.m.

Country Pumpkins is open daily for the remainder of the month. Get your seasonal flowers, pumpkins or other gourds while the children have fun playing in a safe family-oriented type of environment. Country Pumpkins is on Spruill Road in Caledonia. Watch for the signs off Wolfe and Ridge Roads.

Three major universities with membership in the Southeastern Conference are within a two-hour drive (or less) of Columbus. Each has a Top Ten national ranking by the Associated Press. Texas A&M visits #7 Alabama for a mid-afternoon game. Tennessee visits #3 Ole Miss for an early evening game. #1 Mississippi State takes the weekend off.

For those loving true classical music, the Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Orchestra presents Southern Talent String Symposium at the Rent Auditorium on the MUW campus Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of music of Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens and Valentin Bogdan. Dr. Michael Brown conducts the orchestra with feature performances from guest artists Julia Mortyakova and Valentin Bogdan. Best of all this is a free event. Rent Auditorium is on the corner of College and 11th Streets in the extreme northwest corner of campus.

Anyone have a real estate need this weekend? Please make a private preview appointment at least 24-hours in advance. Your REALTOR® knows how to do that.
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Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR®, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Sales and Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He has a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Replace Weather Stripping

When weather stripping on doors and windows gets worn out, cold air comes sneaking in. Here’s how to replace weather stripping and stop air leaks.

Weather stripping on windows and doors protects the home from air leaks while increasing comfort and saving energy. But as weather stripping ages, it loses its effectiveness. Stay ahead of the game by checking for worn-out weather stripping and replacing it.

Identifying Worn Weather Stripping – Weather stripping deteriorates due to age, friction, and exposure to the elements. It also can be damaged by people, pets, and pests. At least once each year, inspect your windows and doors to check for air leaks that indicate your weather stripping isn’t doing its job.

Self-adhesive foam tape loses its grip over time, causing it to pull away from the door or window frame — or fall off completely. Foam also can lose its resilience, no longer springing up to fill the gap.

Rubber and vinyl weather stripping becomes dry, brittle, and cracked. Over time, it can also lose its shape and effectiveness.

Spring-metal V-shaped weather stripping bends out of shape, cracks in spots, and comes loose thanks to missing nails.

How to Remove Old Weather Stripping – For peel-and-stick-type weather stripping, simply pull the foam strips off the door or window by hand. Stripping that is fastened in place with nails or screws requires a more tedious process of locating and removing all the fasteners.

Options for New Weather Stripping – There’s no shortage of weather stripping options at hardware stores and home improvement centers. As is often the case, the cheaper and easier the product is to install, the less effective and durable it probably is over time.

Adhesive-backed foam tape is inexpensive — costing less than a buck a foot — and peel-and-stick types are easy as pie to install. It works best where the bottom of a window sash closes against a sill, or a door closes against a doorframe. It’s the compression that produces the seal. Don’t expect this product to survive longer than 3 to 5 years.

V-shaped weather stripping, sometimes called tension-seal weather stripping, is the best option for the side channels of a double-hung window or a tight-fitting door. This product springs open to close gaps and plug leaky windows and doors.

Inexpensive peel-and-stick V-shaped vinyl (as little as $0.50 per foot) is easy to install but won’t last much longer than foam tape. More expensive copper or bronze styles cost as much as $2 per foot and must be nailed into place, but they look better and will last decades.

Tubular rubber or vinyl gaskets prove the most effective for sealing large and irregular gaps, such as around an old door. These hollow tubes are large enough to plug big gaps but soft enough to compress nearly flat. Types that are nailed in place last longer than peel-and-stick varieties. Prices range from less than $1 per foot for peel-and-stick to $1.25 per foot for nail-in-place.

Prepare the Surface – Before installing any new weather stripping, start with a smooth, clean, and dry surface. Remove all old adhesive using an adhesive cleaner and perhaps a light sanding. Fill and sand old nail holes. If old screw holes can’t be reused, fill and sand those as well.

Installation Tips – Some peel-and-stick types should only be applied when the temps are at least 50 degrees. Check the product label.

Start with one small area to make sure the door or window opens and closes without difficulty before completing the entire job.

Measure twice before cutting to prevent mistakes and waste.

Cut rubber and vinyl varieties with shears or a utility knife, and metal types with tin snips. Be careful not to bend the thin metal while cutting it.

Make sure to face the opening of V-shaped weather stripping out toward the elements to prevent moisture from getting inside.

Installing Weather StrippingAdhesive-style weather stripping: Remove the backing and press firmly in place. Removing the backing as you go helps prevent the sticky part of the strip from accidentally adhering to something it shouldn’t.

Nail-in weather stripping: Fasten the strips in place by nailing through the pre-punched holes. For double-hung windows, you’ll need to install the lower half, drop the sash, and then install the upper half.

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Douglas Trattner wrote this copyrighted article that appeared on National Association of Realtors® web site and is used with permission. He has covered home improvement for HGTV.com, DIYNetworks, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He lives in a 1925 Colonial.

Visit Houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.


Andy Kalinowski is a REALTOR®, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative®, a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource® and a Military Relocation Professional with CENTURY 21 Doris Hardy and Associates, LLC in Columbus, Mississippi. He has a Mississippi Real Estate license. Andy is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Contact him by cell (or text) phone – 662.549.3421 or by e-mail – andyk@dorishardy.com.  He is also available for web video chat.