Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas In Columbus, Mississippi

The Christmas spirit was alive and well in Columbus, Mississippi the past several weeks. There were numerous seasonal events. While most of them are in the rearview mirror, and with schools ending the semester, it’s time for people to leave town to spend the holiday with loved ones, or get the house ready for loved ones making Columbus their holiday destination. There are a few seasonal events in the coming days.

For high school students, the end of the fall academic semester means it’s time for holiday basketball tournaments. One of the top tournaments is here in Columbus. Teams from four different states – Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas converge on Columbus for the 18th annual Joe Horne Christmas Classic.  The tournament tips-off on Friday at 1:20 pm and noon on Saturday at the Columbus High School gym on Hemlock Street on East Columbus. There is no championship game. Teams get to play two games against quality opponents. This is both a boys and girls tournament.

Teams participating this year include Aliceville and Tuscaloosa (Central) from Alabama, Marion High School, Arkansas which is northwest of Memphis and Wilmer High School from the Dallas, Texas metro area. Mississippi teams include Aberdeen, Amory, Horn Lake, Murrah and Jim Hill High Schools from the Jackson area, and Velma Jackson High School in northeast Madison County, plus Meridian and Starkville will be in Columbus.  Add to that New Hope, West Lowndes and the host Columbus Falcons

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays mean parties. For young people there is a temptation to drive and drive. The Lowndes County Prevention Partnership has a program on Saturday at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library starting at 1:00 p.m. Saturday.  The library is on the corner of Seventh Street North and Third Avenue.

Put on the goggles, which simulate what a few drinks can have on the average person. Experience firsthand the difficulty in walking a straight line or walking through an otherwise very safe and simple obstacle course. It’s better to find out in a safe environment than on a dangerous and dark road. This simulation has a direct correlation to the consequences of driving under the influence. Hopefully this experience may save a life.

Most of the secular Christmas activities happened over the last two weeks. This weekend many turn their attention to the real reason for the season – the birth of Christ. As such, many churches have special events this weekend or on Christmas Eve. I am not going to list all of those activities here by church name or religious denomination. Instead, get a phone book or Google the name of a church to contact them about service times and special events. No matter where you attend a worship service, you’ll receive a warm welcome. There are a few events that are very special and worth mentioning.

One is at East End Baptist Church. See a live nativity scene from the comfort of your own automobile. The drive-through nativity scene is on Saturday and Sunday starting at 6:00 p.m. East End Baptist is located at the intersection of Holly Hills Road and Highway 50 (the east end of Highway 50 to West Point).

The contemporary Christian music group “Point of Grace” performs in concert at Artz Fellowship Hall of the First United Methodist Church on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free but get tickets for seating in advance from the church office on the corner of Main and 6th Streets downtown.

Another church has a seasonal favorite. “Merry Christmas Columbus” is a presentation by the choir and drama team from Fairview Baptist Church on the corner of Airline Road and Highway 69 in East Columbus. Unlike their Easter production, Merry Christmas Columbus has only performance – Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The title of this year’s performance is “Jesus Is Alive.”

There is one final seasonal event. It’s on Monday at 7:00 p.m. The Columbus Arts Council presents “Carols For The Christ Child” in Poindexter Hall on the Mississippi University for Women campus. This concert features the talents of Rachel Delk, Margaret Mary Henry and Alisa Toy. Their program features traditional and classic Christmas songs in solo, duet and trio.

During the next two weeks, look for reprints from HouseLogic.com. Expect new content on Monday, January 5, 2015. In the meantime, if you have a housing need and want to schedule a preview then contact your REALTOR® but give a 48-hour notice. Some sellers need the extra time to prepare for a buyer due to holiday guests or travel.
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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, December 18, 2014

How Do You String Your Christmas Tree Lights?

People are particular about holiday decorating. There are even 3 schools of thought on how to string Christmas tree lights. What’s yours?

O Christmas Tree,
O Christmas Tree,
How should I string thee?

The holidays always stir up a little controversy when it comes to Christmas tree preferences, like real or fake Christmas trees, and whether you’re a fan of tinsel or garland.

But there’s another debate out there: How to string the lights on your tree.

People apparently choose one of three methods: Circling, weaving, or wrapping. (Do you have a favorite method? If so, share your method in our comments below.)

This video from Lowe’s explains the three differences



The circler basically wraps lights around an evergreen until they achieve the desired effect. While the video states that this technique starts at the top, I have seen a few maverick circlers start at the bottom.

The weavers use a technique that’s brand-new to me. They start off by dividing a tree visually into 3 or 4 triangles. Then they zigzag a strand of lights within each section until the tree is all lit.

Wrapping is the most intricate technique and it’s the method I have grown up with. The goal here is to fill the whole Christmas tree with light by wrapping each branch from back to front. While this might sound like a ton of work, if you have a few merry revelers around to chip in, you can knock a tree out quickly.

If you’re wondering how many lights you need to execute any of these techniques, the video includes a quick formula based on tree height.

FYI, I like real trees and though I never use garland, I prefer it to tinsel.

How do you light your tree?
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Deirdre Sullivan wrote this article that appeared on National Association of Realtors® web site and is used with permission. She is an NYC-based writer who’s obsessed with maximizing every inch of her urban dwelling. She’s a former fashionista who has worked for Lucky Magazine and InStyle. She recently traded her high heels and Fashion Week pass for a drill and bandsaw. Follow Deirdre on Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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, December 17, 2014

What Will The New Year Bring To The Real Estate Market

Forecasting the future in real estate is about as accurate as relying on the weather forecast tomorrow or investing in the right Wall Street security. While experts in metrology and investing study various trends and provide a fairly accurate forecast, they are not 100 percent accurate. It’s the same when looking at the housing market. There are trends but there is no 100 assurance of accuracy. Let’s look at what will probably happen in 2015 with respect to real estate.

Stricter Lending Qualifications – Over the past ten years the real estate and banking industry made huge advances to correct the problem of lending money to borrowers with a marginal track record of fiscal responsibility. Expect that practice to continue in 2015 especially as mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are lowering the minimum down payment from 3.5 percent to 3.0 percent.

Lenders offering mortgage options such as a Rural Development Mortgage that requires no down payment and financing the full purchase price now require a higher credit score. Borrowers with a lower credit score have some options for little or no down payment but those individuals need to understand the reasoning.

If a person displayed a pattern of struggling to repay smaller existing debt, why should another lender want to finance an even larger purchase with a repayment period spanning decades? It is common sense that a person offering excuses for non-payment of existing smaller debt will exhibit the same pattern when the payment larger debt comes due.

For those with a credit problem, develop a plan of action. Let others see that plan evolve over a year or more. Actions are always more convincing than mere words or good intentions.

Higher Mortgage Rates – The interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgage is 3.75 percent. Compare that to a year ago when the same lender offered the same mortgage and terms for 4.375.  That means a savings of about $40 a month on every $100,000 financed. However, banks cannot continue to lend money at that low rate and still maintain a profit. That is why any conventional rate below 4 percent is a bargain.

This forecast does not mean that interest will exceed 5 percent a year from now. What it does mean is that interest rates will be closer to 5 percent by the end of next year. That is because the new Congress and Senate will probably put limits on the amount of federal spending. That could mean the Federal Reserve Bank will have less money. What happens in any market with a limited supply and high demand – prices go up.

Although the Fed might wait as late as early 2016, realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke suggested the increase will come in mid-2015, and mortgage rates will increase ahead of the Fed's move.

“Our forecast for housing assumes the 30-year fixed rate will reach 5 percent by the end of 2015,” Smoke said. “The one-year adjustable rate will likely rise less if much at all, and accordingly, we are likely to see a shift into more adjustable and hybrid mortgages over fixed.”

It’s A Millennial Market – The term millennial means a person born between 1981 and 2000. Many homebuyers purchase their first home between ages 30-45. Why at that age?

People between ages 30-45 are generally married. Most have a very good idea on their family/household size and income. Most repaid their student loans and established a responsible credit history. Most have a history of steady employment and company advancement. And most are no longer living with mom or dad. In short, Millennial’s established themselves within their community. They are a good credit risk for a lender.

So the Millennial home buyer follows a pattern of preceding generational identities. They are now in that “sweet spot” where everything converges. They have a family, income and a steady job. But they also have something more important, it’s just they don’t realize it. They now have the motivation to cease renting and grab a piece of the American Dream for themselves.

“Millennials make up around 65 percent of first-time home buyers,” Smoke said. “Of the millennials who are buying a home, 86 percent indicate that their motivation is a change in family size.”
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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, December 16, 2014

What Is An Affordable House

Many people that have never purchased a home before believe the project is too big, too risky and too complicated for them. Let’s try to dispel a few of those thoughts by answering a basic question – What is an affordable house?

I Can’t Afford To Buy A House – That might be a true statement if the one making the statement actually sat down with a mortgage originator employed by their bank. If they did not, then in reality they are only guessing that they cannot afford to buy a home.

Most every state requires a person employed by a bank and acting as a mortgage originator obtain a license from the state. Think about this from a consumer standpoint.

The consumer already has an account with that financial institution. The consumer trusts that financial institution with their money on a day to day basis. That company hired a person who successfully completed a number of classroom hours and passed a written state exam concerning home mortgages. Just the appearance is one of honesty and integrity.

That originator is going to review your financial information such as credit scores, tax returns, pay stubs, and credit accounts. At the end of the process, the originator will make a decision that is in the best interest of the employer – the financial institution.

That decision could be that authorizing a mortgage is too risky. That decision could be that the consumer has the financial credentials to purchase a house. There is something more. The mortgage originator sets the purchase limit. 

Just because there is a limit, the consumer is under no obligation to use that financial institution for a mortgage. That consumer is not even under an obligation to work with a real estate agent or directly with a property owner.

All the pre-approval letter does is let a consumer know the price point to consider housing. Any listing below that pre-approval limit is affordable. Any listing about that limit is unaffordable to that consumer.

What Is Closing Costs – Another phrase that scares a first time home buyer is the word “Closing Costs.” The best definition is that the closing costs cover all the administrative expenses to make the loan (or mortgage.) These expenses include the administrative fee to originate the paperwork. Most lenders also charge an underwriting fee, which is the quality control portion of the mortgage processing.

Underwriting insures that others did their job properly. Some of those others include the attorney. Why is an attorney needed? There are instances where a seller may not realize he cannot legally sell property. This happens frequently when there is a divorce or death of a previous owner. In the case of death, there could be multiple heirs. An attorney insures a seller can legally transfer ownership. There is a fee for that legal work.

There may be other fees, based on the requirements of the mortgage or the location of the property. Underwriting has an important job of reviewing the entire mortgage package and then giving their final approval.

So how much (in dollars and cents) are closing costs? This is the job of the mortgage originator. The originator can provide an accurate estimate that is normally within just a few dollars of the actual amount of closing costs. The word “a few dollars” means within 10 percent of the estimate.

That is the purpose of the “Good Faith Estimate” that is so important in a real estate transaction. It gives the consumer a good idea of the monthly payment based on the language contained in an actual purchase contract.

One of the biggest variables to accuracy of the good faith estimate is getting an accurate insurance estimate. Many home buyers make a change to their initial desired coverage. They want more coverage, mainly because they see the affordability in buying a house and making that monthly payment.

For the casual home buyer that doesn’t want to fool with pre-approval, estimate the closing costs at 5 percent of the purchase price. Different lenders charge different amounts for closing costs.  Use a high-ball estimate.

For the savvy home buyer, this is the specific reason to shop around for the best mortgage. Always start at your bank. But compare your bank with their competition. Think of this when you shop for a mortgage.

Most home buyers preview several houses before writing an offer for the best one. Doesn’t it make sense to do the same when it comes to writing 360’s checks to a bank? Being less than fully diligent in shopping for a mortgage, could negate the work of writing or negotiating a buyer-favored purchase offer.
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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, December 15, 2014

Offering A Fair Price For A House

Every home buyer wants a deal. Every home seller wants the most money possible. What is the best way to determine the price for both the buyer and the seller? Let’s discuss the best price for all involved.

Dollar Sign Is Not The Price – To a lot of buyers and sellers, the most important part of a purchase offer are the numbers immediately following the dollar sign. Indeed they are important but there are other numbers on the same purchase offer that can change that seemingly all-important number.

Let’s suppose a buyer writes a $150,000 purchase offer. In another part of the offer there is language that the buyer requests a $5,000 concession from the seller to pay for closing costs.  Here is what the seller reads – that $150,000 offer is really $145,000. 

A buyer wanting to pay the seller a fair price for a $150,000 but keep the $5,000 concession to pay closing costs is to offer the seller $155,000.

While every buyer does want a deal, just remember the shoe will eventually be on the other foot.  Today’s buyer is tomorrow’s seller. Treat the other side with respect and someone will show that respect when the time is right.

What Is A Fair Price – There are a few ways to determine the best price. The best way for either a seller or a buyer to determine the best price is to hire an agent. A real estate agent previews hundreds of houses. Just because one house has 1800 square feet and sells for $95 a square foot does not mean every 1800 square foot house is worth $171,000.  Some have a great market value because of location, quality of construction, maintenance, features, floor plan or any other number of variables.

It is also worth noting that a positive feature for one person could be either a negative feature or even a deal killer for another person. As an example, a swimming pool is a great feature. Some view a swimming pool as a negative feature from a safety, maintenance or property insurance standpoint.  One person may love the features of hardwood flooring for ease of cleaning and reduction of allergies or odors. Another may want carpeting because of cushioned flooring, better acoustics or something else.

Be aware that different people place different values on different features. That is one reason to hire an agent. They see hundreds of listings with various styles, locations and price points. Agents know market trends.

There is another reason that affects that market value. It’s the basic economic principal of supply and demand. Let’s use a seasonal example. What do you think the fair market value of a Christmas tree will be on December 27th?  It’s probably a fraction of today’s value – a week before Christmas. Why? Everyone buys a tree before the holiday. Demand is peaking now. After Christmas, the sellers are looking to sell whatever they have for a fraction of what they could get today.

It’s basically the same with housing. Let’s assume that a house is worth $150,000 in a perfect market. In a perfect market there are six nearly identical or comparable houses on the market and six comparable houses sold in the last 90 days. What if there are only three of those houses on the market? That’s the supply (or seller) side of the equation.  The demand (or buyer’s side) remains the same. Here a seller can generally get a higher price because the buyer’s compete for a limited quantity. 


Conversely, if there are six houses on the market but one three buyers, the seller must do something to make his listing more appealing. That is why having a real estate agent that knows and understands the local market is so important. They can evaluate the tangible (location, features, etc.) and the intangible (supply and demand).

One Other Variable – There is still another variable that determines the fair market value. It’s motivation. How motivated is either the seller or the buyer? Let’s provide an example.

A buyer with a lease expiring in 30-45 days is more likely to pay a slightly higher price than a buyer without that real-life condition. A seller relocating is generally more motivated to accept a slightly lower price in exchange for a faster closing.

If an agent personally knows the motivation of the other party, that agent cannot disclose that knowledge to his client. The reason it gives one side an unfair advantage on the other. A skilled agent can guide his client into making a pricing decision that is fair to everyone.
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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, December 12, 2014

Columbus, Mississippi Celebrates The Christmas Season

There have been plenty of Christmas holiday celebrations in Columbus, Mississippi already. There was the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Wassail Fest, parades, holiday concerts like “Messiah” and many other events. Hang on because there are even more seasonal events this weekend.

Christmas is really about a baby’s birth in a small village more than 2000 years ago. Want to go back in time? What was Bethlehem like back then? Bring the scriptures alive with a visit to the Brickerton lawn this weekend.

Our good friends at First Baptist Church of Columbus have an Interactive Bethlehem recreation at Brickerton, at the intersections of US-82, Military and Bluecutt Roads.

Encounter shopkeepers, Roman soldiers, and a living nativity scene complete with animals. The village opens at 6:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here is the best part. It’s free.

There is a holiday tradition seldom experienced in Columbus, because of its location in the Deep South. It’s snow. Leave it to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library on the corner of Third Avenue and Seventh Street North to not disappoint the children.

Saturday is Snow Day, starting at 1:30 p.m. Expect to see both Santa and Miz Claus. Besides that famous couple, there will be music, snacks, crafts, face painting and free books for the children compliments of Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The kids can even wear their pajamas, because there is no school on a snow day, so why get dressed?

While in the Library, enjoy the Winter Wonderland composed of 20-plus beautifully decorated Christmas Trees. It’s the annual Festival of Trees exhibit. Different organizations sponsor and decorate a tree in various parts of the Library. For some sponsors, this is an annual project. For others, it’s the first time. Regardless, each tree sponsor gets to choose their tree theme.

Communities like Artesia and Caledonia held their Christmas Parade last week. Now it’s Columbus’ turn. They have a huge parade on Saturday evening, with the theme – A Super Hero’s Christmas. The parade features floats, high school bands and units from area churches, youth groups such as Scouts, civic organizations and businesses. Oh, there is also a jolly ole elf in a red suit riding on a fire truck at the end of the parade.

Each year the Grand Marshal is a local resident. That does not change this year. But what does change is who she is. Miss Mississippi, Jasmine Murray is the grand marshal. She finished in the top ten of the 2015 Miss America Pageant. Even before she left for Atlantic City last September, she was already our Miss America.

The parade lines up at the Columbus Soccer Complex. The official starting point is on the corner of Main and Third Streets. The parade travels east along Main to 14th Street where it turns south for one block. It moves west along College Street, past Mississippi University for Women back to 5th Street downtown. There the parade turns north and goes for two blocks to the Lowndes County Courthouse – the ending point, which is just a block west of the soccer complex. The parade begins at 7:00 p.m.

What about after the parade? What is there to do? Stop by the Princess Theater on 5th Street and 3rd Avenue South for an evening of fun, food and good times. Here is the best part. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Columbus Lowndes Humane Society.

What would Christmas be without music? There is a concert Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at Poindexter Hall on the MUW campus. The Columbus Girl Choir presents their Christmas Concert starting at 3:00 p.m. There are actually two concerts. Both the senior girl choir and the junior girl choir perform. Dr. Cherry Dunn and Tina Morgan lead the choirs with Rachael Delk as the accompanist.

There is one more mention, though it’s not an event. Congratulations to the East Mississippi Community College Lions. They defeated second-ranked Iowa Western 34-17 in Mississippi Bowl VII last weekend to claim their third NJCAA championship in four years. EMCC’s main campus is in Scooba, but they have a satellite campus in extreme western Lowndes County. The Mayhew campus is a main column in the overall economic development plan for this area.

Anyone have another real estate need this weekend? Please make a private preview appointment at least 24-hours in advance by visiting your REALTOR® today.
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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, December 11, 2014

Secrets of a Pro: How to Create a Dazzling Christmas Light Display

We love over-the-top Christmas light displays. So we asked one hard-working holiday light hanger to share the secrets of his 400,000-light display in Delaware.

If you’ve got deep pockets and time on your hands, you can turn your ho-hum Christmas lights display into a dazzler with only 400,000 bulbs, 70 extra circuits, and hundreds of hours of planning and hanging.

As we promised in yesterday’s post about the cost of holiday lights we’ve got an inside peek into what it takes to create those dazzling light shows from the Smith family of North Wilmington, Del., to mount its annual Christmas lights show, which has delighted neighbors near and far for more than 25 years.

Brothers Tom and Jim Smith are the money behind the extravaganza, which runs through Dec. 23 on 1900 Prior Road in Wilmington. But brother-in-law Ralph Thompson, 54, is the brains and muscle that plans and puts up the display, working weekends and evenings from Labor Day until Thanksgiving.

Thompson recently told HouseLogic the secrets to mounting a holiday display that makes the news, and neighbors will remember all year long.

Houselogic: With so many lights and blowups and figures, how do you know where to put what?
Ralph Thompson: You learn from experience. I like to mix bulbs together — the old with the new; the LEDs with the incandescent light bulbs. The house is trimmed in big bulbs, and I use the small bulbs as icicles. My top tip for novices is: If you need 150 feet of lights, buy 200. It’s always good to have spares, because sometimes you can’t find a match later.

HL: How do you power up a display with 400,000 lights?
RT: We have two separate meters just to run the Christmas display. All together we have 70 circuits. We check the circuits with an amp meter to make sure we’re not overloading them.

HL: How many extension cords do you use?
RT: About 300 short ones, because we’ve buried most of our circuits underground. We use green and brown cords so you can’t really see them.

HL: Is more always better when it comes to Christmas light displays?
RT: People don’t realize that with a large display, you’ve got to add circuits, which means calling an electrician, and that gets expensive. A home owner can have a beautiful yard with just a half-dozen figures.

HL: Hanging lights can be dangerous. Have you ever gotten hurt?
RT: I’ve cut my fingers on broken lights, but I haven’t fallen off a ladder. If there’s ice or snow on the roof, we don’t go up.

HL: What’s the best way to attach lights to your house?
RT: Mostly I use plastic shingle and gutter clips. I’ve got some permanently mounted clips on eaves, but every few years I replace them because the sun eats the plastic.

HL: What’s your least favorite part of mounting the display?
RT: Going through every string of lights to replace every bulb that doesn’t work — that’s the most tedious. You spend hours of maintenance on a large display. The average person would be overwhelmed; I’m overwhelmed at times.

HL: Is there a friendly competition between your display and the Fauchers’ light show, also in Delaware?
RT: He claims he has more lights, but I don’t feel we’re in competition. More power to him. I know what it takes to do what I do.

HL: Why do you spend so much time and effort on this display?
RT: Years ago I had a personal thing happen in my life — a perforated ulcer. When I recovered, I was looking for a purpose. This is my purpose, to make people happy. I love to see the joy and smiles on faces of the young, and the young at heart.
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Lisa Kaplan Gordon wrote this article that appeared on National Association of Realtors® web site and is used with permission. She is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL. Follow Lisa 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.