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We are a networking group open to all videographers, film makers, broadcast professionals and photographers.

Our meetings are always free, and no RSVP is needed. Just bring your creativity, your desire to learn, and a few business cards!

Steps of Mortgage Refinancing


Although we read plenty on the internet, and see commercials all over the television, refinancing a mortgage is not an everyday occurrence for most people. While companies are quick to say that they approve or decline every applicant within ten minutes, or they approve all types of credit records, the reality is that everyone should take some time before applying to ensure their affairs are in order, and so that there are no surprises. Small issues or problems can be fixed beforehand, but after the fact is rather time consuming or even impossible. Moreover, following a list of steps of mortgage refinancing will put you closer to acceptance than working at the project willy-nilly and uninformed.

The Basics

To start off your checklist, ensure that all basic factors are covered. These would include:

  • Active insurance policy on the house and property
  • Paid property taxes
  • Income taxes filed and paid to date
  • Blank checks to write required post-dated checks, or an active bank account for automatic withdrawal
  • Cash on hand for fees upon closing, if you are not permitted to mortgage brokers’ fees, lawyers’ costs, and other administrative fees
  • Run the numbers either in a spreadsheet or by hand on a piece of paper, listing all your monthly expenses, any other expenses which are due within the year, and your income to determine whether or not you can realistically afford the refinancing.
  • Make a list of how you plan to spend the money if you are requesting cash back. You may not have to show this to the lender, but you will have it ready in case, plus it will help you to spend the money wisely.
  • Determine whether the house has enough value to refinance. How much equity do you have available?
  • Ask yourself whether the present mortgage is up to date and has no arrears or issues that might be derogatory and detrimental toward your new refinancing
  • Compile all your documents. The lender may require you to show actual copies of your income taxes, photo identification, proof of current income by showing paycheck stubs, current credit card statements with balances, existing mortgage agreement, and in the case of multiple mortgages on a house, all mortgage contracts will be required.

Read Your Reviews

Find out what other consumers are saying. Whether it’s checking the Better Business Bureau, this review of lender loanDepot, or this review of One Reverse Mortgage, you can learn a lot if you do a little research. Too many consumers fail to take this step, and it can and will cost you time, money, or both.

Final Thoughts

Finally, one of the most important steps of mortgage refinancing is obtaining a credit report. Unless you regularly check and are aware of the particulars, many people are shocked by what they find. Errors happen, late payments that seemed ordinary now become a problem, omissions which could have helped the person’s situation, and any other “problems” with the report can be a detriment to refinancing. This is why it is crucial to start early when deciding to refinance. In addition, you want to know what issues you are facing for two reasons. One, if you know in advance, you can most likely fix the problem. And, two, you want to know without someone else telling you on the spot when things are tight.

Photo is from Flickr.

Arts And Crafts Tips To Get Started

There is a power to arts and crafts in this world that really helps drive society forward. Think about your part in this and how much you enjoy arts and crafts as a hobby. Wouldn’t you like to know more about things that can help you along the way? Keep reading so that some tips about arts and crafts can be told to you.

Internet groups are a great way to connect with others who share your passion for a arts and crafts. This is especially true if you are into a craft that that is not widely popular. You can connect with like-minded crafters from all over the world with the help of the internet.

Collect items from around your yard for your arts and crafts collection. There are so many natural things that might be around that’ll come in very useful for an upcoming project. Some of the most popular things you’ll find outdoors include pine cones, smooth pebbles, and even colorful leaves.

Allow your child’s creativity to determine how art projects turn out. You should avoid examples so kids can create things themselves. Let them use their creativity for interesting ideas. Ideas that come from them are more meaningful than the results.

It can be a pain to start a craft project and have to move to another space, so make sure that the space you dedicate for the project is not needed for anything else. For example, it is not a good idea to use a dining room table if there is a chance the project won’t be done by the next mealtime.

Don’t throw away any wire hangers! That wire can come in mighty handy with lots of different arts and crafts projects. Keep those hangers to the side. You can stretch them in all sorts of angles to create all sorts of fun shapes. Or you can use it as a way to bind pieces of a project together.

You do not have to keep a craft forever. Crafts are generally 3-D and may quickly take over a ton of space. Everything a kid makes is not a masterpiece. You can say goodbye to really old projects when you make new projects with them. The value of a craft is in the making of it.

If you love sculpting, but have run out of ideas or are stumped about what to create, get a blindfold. People who have some skills with sculpting can create amazing pieces when they simply use their minds and hands! Set yourself up as you normally would, and just put a blindfold on, or close your eyes and let your imagination go.

You and your children can make a quick and easy bird feeder by taking a pine cone then covering the outside with peanut butter. Dip it in seed as it’s still tacky. You will find seeds to stick to peanut butter. This is the case even once it has dried. Simply put on a string and see the birds come to it.

Try to find ways to include recycled items into your crafting skills. Quilters may use discarded clothing to make quilting squares. Painters may find old frames that can be restored. There is an entire world of items that are about to be discarded that can be recycled into a beautiful new work of art.

An arts and crafts project is a terrific way to keep lots of kids, or even adults, entertained. There are great projects available for any age. Find crafts online for the ages you will be working with.

Consider opening up your own shop online, if you are particularly clever with arts and crafts. Many merchants are making considerable earnings by selling their works online, and so can you. A place like Etsy will allow you to sign up for free, and after that it’s just between you and your customers; offer your most unique designs up first, and take it from there!

Arts and crafts will continue to be a major hobby of many people throughout the world. Everyone has artistic abilities in some form or another. So be sure to utilize the advice that has been provided so that you can definitely benefit from growing in the field and learning to get even better.

Psychic Scams and How to Avoid Them

Although there are many authentic and real psychic readers, intuitive healers and spiritual guides offering genuine assistance and support, there are also many “psychic” scammers out there looking to take your money.  If you are looking for a good psychic, it is important to know what to look for and how to avoid psychic scams.

The following is a detailed list of some of the most common psychic scams as well as the steps you can take to avoid them.

Psychic “Bait and Catch”

One of the most common psychic scams is to present an introductory offer such as a free initial reading or a reduced rate reading. This is supposed to give you a taste of what the psychic has to offer so that you can decide if you want to continue.

Often times, this is a legitimate business practice that serves both the business provider and the consumer.

In the case of psychic scams however, this bait and catch technique is only meant to lure you in so that you end up paying much more than you bargained for.

The scammer achieves this by teasing you with just enough information so that you either want more or think you need more, at which point the psychic will hit you up for additional money.

An example of this can be telling you that you might come into some good fortune, but that you will need more information from the psychic in order make sure it happens.  This pattern will continue with the psychic stringing you along with just enough information to get you to the next “buy in”.

Psychic Spells and Curses

Another typical psychic scam is to tell you that you have some type of curse or bad omen looming over you that needs to be removed.  Once the psychic has convinced you that you need help to avoid calamity, it becomes quite easy to separate you from your money in order to “give you” the necessary assistance.

You may be asked for large sums of money in order to pay for candles, rituals and even spells.

Sometimes the psychic will even tell you that one of your valuable possessions is cursed, such as an expensive jewelry item.  They will ask you to leave the item with them so that they can perform the necessary cleansing rituals needed to remove the curse.

If you hand over that pearl necklace or pair of diamond earrings, you can be pretty sure it will be the last time you see it.

Cold Reading

This type of psychic scam involves a series of techniques that allow the scammer to ascertain relevant information about you without you knowing it.

Information can be quickly gathered by analyzing your age, clothing, body language, gender, religion, sexual orientation, manner of speech, etc.

This information is then presented back to you as if it were received through some psychic channel.

If the psychic reading is being conducted over the phone, this method can be achieved by asking you a lot of suggestive and/or specific questions.

For example, the psychic may say something like “I am getting information about you, but it is still a little unclear.  Can you help me uncover it by answering a few questions?”

Cold readers often throw out high probability guesses, pay keen attention to your response to determine if the guesses are close, and then either continue or re-adjust the conversation.

Promises, Promises

I don’t care how good the psychic is, you should always be weary if you find that you are being promised anything.  Whether they are promising you money, love, power or whatever else, it is almost certain that this is a scam and the “psychic” is manipulating you, probably in order to get your money.

It is perfectly reasonable for a psychic to let you know that it is their intention to help you make positive change in your life, but to promise it is dishonest and deceptive.

Conversely, if psychic promises that something bad is going to happen if you don’t take a certain action, which likely involves giving them more money, there is an equally good chance you are being deceived.

How to Avoid Psychic Scams

The first step in learning how to avoid psychic scams is to know what to look for.  While I have detailed some of the most common psychic scams above, here are some specific steps you can take to avoid being scammed by a psychic.

  • Take the time to research your psychic beforehand.  Look for online reviews and feedback.   If possible, talk to someone who has had previous experience with the psychic.
  • Clarify the rate structure before your reading.  A good psychic should have a simple fee structure that is easy to understand.  A flat rate for a specific amount of time is ideal.
  • Read the payment terms and fine print, and only use “secure payment sites and services”.
  • Pay close attention if it appears that the psychic is preying on either your desires or fears.  If they began to promise you something or try to convince you that you need their help, get out fast!
  • Pay close attention if the psychic is asking you a lot of questions.  It is reasonable that the psychic ask you what you want to work on or which area you need help with, but if they start asking too many probing questions, this is probably a sign of cold reading.

Trust your intuition!

This is the perhaps the most important piece.  Ultimately, you are your own guide and authority.   You may be seeking assistance, but you should never go against your own intuition.  If you feel that something is off with your psychic or that you are being manipulated or deceived, trust that and move on.

This can be difficult, especially as many people who are seeking psychic assistance are going through some period of weakness, illness or need.  This unfortunately plays right into the hands of the psychic scammers.