You may think buying a short sale is a good deal and many times it can be a good option. Short sales can also be fraught with complications and often can easily fall apart. Here is a list of things to be aware of so your short sale doesn’t become a long shot.

• When a house is placed for sale as a short sale the owner doesn’t always have the authority to sell the house at the advertised price. The owner hopes the bank will accept that price as a short sale.

• The negotiating process is far different than a regular sale. You often will first negotiate with a seller but remember the bank has the final say-so.

• You are making an offer to purchase blind because many lenders will not even discuss a short sale with a seller until a purchase contract is in place. There is no guarantee the lender will even accept a short-sale offer.

• Short sales often are not short at all. They can be long, drawn-out affairs. Be prepared for it to take months.

• Even though the lender may have taken their time on the short sale approval, once approved the lender often require the sale to close within a short period of time.

Due to the way many short sales happen, a buyer may have to put out money for a home inspection, appraisal, credit report and application fees paid to their lender and the sale may not even happen. So while short sales can often be a good deal they can also be a long shot. Take your time, do your research and be sure to work with a real estate professional to help guide you through the potential pitfalls of a short sale.

Retirement can be expensive. Transitioning from a steady income to living on a fixed one can be difficult. If you are nearing or currently in retirement there are some ways to stay within budget and reduce your spending.  Here are some tips to help reduce your retirement expenses:

Have a Budget

The most important and crucial first step is to create and stay within a budget. Over the course of a few months track and review all of your spending habits. Track things like food, housing, utilities, entertainment, etc. and create categories of spending. Analyze how you are spending money and if needed make adjustments to stay within budget.

Manage Your Costs

If you need to reduce your spending there are some easy ways to accomplish that. Try using coupons, shopping for store brands and even buying in bulk. If you have too much of a bulk item try splitting with a friend. Look for free entertainment in your area  at the local library or senior center. Take advantage of shopping senior discounts. Many stores have certain days or hours when seniors receive a special shopping discount.

It may also be possible to lower household costs such as electricity, and water by negotiating with your utility company. They may even offer a senior citizens or income discount. Talk to family members about family cell phone plan to help reduce costs too.

Manage Your Medication

Health care costs are a big concern for seniors.  Talk with your health care provider about any generic medications available. Generic medications are often much less expensive. Don’t be afraid to shop around, prescription and medicine prices are not the same at every store.

Most of all continuously review your budget and spending to make sure you are staying on track.

Have you ever taken your jewelry to be cleaned? Having your jewelry professionally cleaned will set you back quire a bit of money.

Making your own homemade jewelry cleaner can give you the same results for a fraction of the cost. Here is recipe for homemade jewelry cleaner:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ammonia
1/4 cup dishwashing liquid
3/4 cup water

1. Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes.

2.Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush.

3. Buff dry.

Caution: Don’t use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.

For most of us cleaning is no fun. There are some hidden secrets that can make cleaning just a little bit easier. Here are some little known cleaning tips:

-Remove grease and dirt build up from kitchen cabinets. Say to clean cabinets, 1st heat slightly damp sponge or cloth in microwave for 20 – 30 seconds until it’s hot. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, spray cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner containing orange oil, then wipe off cleaner with a hot sponge.

-Soak old paintbrushes in hot vinegar for 30 minutes and good as new.

-Clean that oily, sticky residue off of appliances with a little Cream of Tarter mixed with a few drops of water, add some scrubbing!

-Get a clean microwave by filling a microwaveable bowl with 1-2 cups of water and add a dash of vinegar (about a tablespoon or two). Put the bowl in the microwave, shut the door, and turn it on for 5 minutes.

-Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal.

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