How to Do a Short Sale


Steps:
1.Verify the value of your property. If you are selling the property through a real estate broker, your broker will provide you with an estimate of market value. If you are selling the property yourself, do your own market analysis of the area and your property.
2.Add up all the costs of selling the property. If you are using the services of a real estate broker, the broker will provide an estimate of closing costs. If you are selling the property on your own (for sale by owner), call a local title company or real estate attorney and ask, as a seller, what the closing costs will be.
3.Determine the amount owed against the property. This will be the total of all loans against the property.
4.Do the calculations. Subtract the total amount owing against the property from the estimated proceeds of the sale. On a short sale, this will be a negative number.
5.Contact the lender or lenders. Talk to someone in the customer service department and tell them the situation. They may direct you to a specific department. Talk to a supervisor or manager if possible; this person will have more authority.
6.Ask the lender what its procedures are for a short sale. Some lenders are willing to work with you by reducing the amount owed or making other arrangements. Others will look to the agents involved (if any) or anyone else who's making money off the transaction to see if they are willing to make concessions to make the transaction happen. Still other lenders will tell you that your debt is your responsibility, one way or the other.
7.Sell the property. 
Tips:
Closing costs will include title and escrow fees (if the seller is responsible for any portion of them, which will depend on your county), attorney fees, a portion of unpaid property taxes, re-conveyance fees, notary fees, delivery fees, documentary fees and/or transfer fees.
If you sell the property without the assistance of a real estate broker, you will save the amount of the commission and have more to apply toward paying off your loan.
If you feel more secure having a real estate broker handle the transaction, consider using a discount broker to market your property. You could also try to negotiate the sales commission with your broker.
Remember that the amount on your monthly loan statement does not include interest. Interest is accrued until the date a loan is paid off, so you may have as much as 30 days of interest on top of the balance owing, and you'll need to include this interest in the total payoff amount. 
Warnings:
If a property is sold under a short sale, the lender may require the buyer to make up the difference, either through a personal obligation or a collection.
The IRS often gets involved with short sales, because they are seen as a relief of debt and may be treated as income. Check with your accountant.   

How to Break Into NASCAR Racing as a Driver


Steps:
1.Start early. Ask your parents to let you get involved in go-kart racing.
2.Check out the racing scene at your local stock car track.
3.Hang out at local speed shops and learn from experienced racers.
4.Volunteer as a pit crew member for a local racer.
5.Learn all you can about engine tuning and chassis setups.
6.Start racing in some of the lower, less expensive divisions such as "pure stock."
7.Gain local sponsorship and move up to purpose-built race cars.
8.Learn to win. Get tips from winning drivers. Practice their techniques.
9.Search out more sponsor dollars and move up to a professional racing series such as the American Speed Association.
1..Try to get a ride in one of the other NASCAR series such as the Goody's Dash Series, Craftsman Truck Series or the Busch Grand National Series.
1..Remember, the key to progressing through the ranks to the Winston Cup is winning on the track and getting noticed by the people who own or sponsor teams. 
Tips:
"This business, for all the machinery and high-technology stuff, is still a people business," said Benson, as the 2000 NASCAR season began.
Many NASCAR drivers enjoy playing the NASCAR-based video games, which actually duplicate the track layouts.
Use a radio scanner when you attend a NASCAR race and listen in on crew strategy. 
Warnings:
Racing is an expensive hobby, but as drivers progress to the more prestigious series, they can earn big money.
A successful racing career requires determination and dedication and sacrifices on the part of the driver and his family. 

How to Install an Internal Modem


Steps:
1.Shut down the computer, but leave it plugged into the surge suppressor.
2.Disconnect all peripheral devices, such as the monitor, from the computer.
3.Remove the computer's cover.
4.Ground yourself to the computer with any professional grounding equipment you have. Otherwise, ground yourself by touching a metal part of the chassis.
5.Remove the back panel if necessary.
6.Remove an existing modem, if any. Put new modem into that slot if it will physically fit. Skip to step 9.
7.If computer doesn't already have a modem, find a slot that matches the pins. PCI modems have fewer pins and fit into a smaller slot than ISA modems.
8.Knock out or unscrew the metal plate on the slot holder on the back panel, and insert the modem into the slot.
9.Replace the computer's back panel, if necessary, and any removed screws. Screw modem into slot holder if it has a screw hole.
1..Reconnect the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Connect the modem to phone line.
1..Reboot the computer.
1..If Windows detects modem upon startup, follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver and additional software. If Windows doesn't detect the modem, manually complete the installation using the Add New Hardware control panel.
1..Follow instructions in your modem manual to configure the modem in Windows.
1..Adjust the modem settings to match your telephone service and personal preferences.
1..Test the modem, then replace cover of computer. 
Tips:
If possible, do installation in an uncarpeted area.
If you can, use the slot with the most open space around it. 
Warnings:
Be careful not to touch any chips. Touch as little as possible on modem or inside your machine.
If your computer is under manufacturer's warranty, modifying the product usually ends that warranty.
If you do not understand these instructions or you lack good manual dexterity, have a qualified technician install the modem for you.    

How to Know Who Traditionally Pays for What During a Wedding


Steps:
1.Expect the groom (or the groom's family) to pay for the engagement and wedding rings for the bride, the rehearsal dinner, the marriage license, accessories for the groomsmen, the minister's or judge's fees, the bride's bouquet, corsages for both mothers, boutonnieres for the groomsmen, and the honeymoon.
2.If the groomsmen need lodging in a hotel or motel, the groom also absorbs those costs.
3.Plan for the bride (or the bride's family) to pay for the groom's wedding band, the bridal gown, invitations, photography, flowers, and bouquets for the attendants and flower girls. The bride's family also pays for transportation to the ceremony and reception for the entire bridal party, plus all costs associated with the reception.
4.If the bridal attendants require lodging in a hotel or motel, the bride pays this cost.
5.Expect groomsmen and bridesmaids to pay for their tuxedos or dresses, plus any expenses they incur traveling to and from the wedding. 
Tips:
The bride and groom should each buy gifts for their attendants, and the attendants should provide gifts for the bride and groom.
Remember that you can work out the "who pays for what?" details any way you want. Your goal should be to preserve good feelings among everyone in the wedding party and to make your wedding day both affordable and unforgettable. 
Warnings: Be realistic about what you and others can afford. A $500 dress may put a large strain on a bridesmaid's budget - as well as on your friendship.   

How to Pour the Kwanzaa Unity Cup (Kikombe cha Umoja)


Steps:
1.Choose a special unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja) that represents African culture to use in your Kwanzaa celebration. Use a cup that has been in your family or buy one at an African store. Cups, along with other Kwanzaa supplies, may also be purchased online.
2.Arrange the cup with the other Kwanzaa supplies on the Mkeka (straw mat).
3.Fill the unity cup with water, grape juice or wine, prior to each nightly ceremony. This is your Tambiko (libation).
4.Pour small amounts of the Tambiko onto the floor in the four corners of the room, representing the four cardinal points of the globe. This is done to honor ancestors.
5.Take a sip from the unity cup then raise it and say, "Harambee," which means, "Let's all pull together."
6.Pass the unity cup around to other celebrants so they may do the same, as a sign of solidarity.
7.Salute ancestors as the libation is being poured or as the cup is being passed.  
Tips:
The libation is performed each night during Kwanzaa, immediately following the lighting of the candles.
This ceremony is usually performed by an elder.
Children are encouraged to be involved in all aspects of Kwanzaa. Allow them to drink from the cup and salute their ancestors.   

How to Get Kids Comfortable With the Water


Steps:
1.Make sure the pool water is a comfortable temperature before the lesson begins. 80-84 degrees F is good for children.
2.Allow the child's parents to stay around for the lesson, but also ask nicely that they don't interfere. That way, the child won't feel abandoned and your teacher-student relationship won't be compromised.
3.Get into the water yourself first, demonstrating to the child that the water is a good place to be. Smile and invite the child to join you.
4.Help the child into the water. Some children must be carried into the water protesting, while others will jump in on their own. Do what you must to get the youngster in. (This is one instance where you may require the parent's help.)
5.Start teaching the lesson where children can touch the bottom.
6.Incorporate lots of games and fun activities into your lesson plan. Having small prizes and rewards can also be a big help.
7.Demonstrate each lesson before you have the child attempt it. 
Tips:
Games are one of the best ways to "trick" a child into learning a lesson. Make your lesson plans fun. You'll be amazed how much better a happy child learns.
If you know in advance a child's reponse to jumping in is going to be "No," then don't ask. Just lead the child gently.
Don't let one crybaby ruin your swim class. Let the crying child sit aside and watch you having fun with the other children. Ask every so often if he or she is ready to join in. 
Warnings: Never leave children unsupervised around a pool.   Overall Warnings: Teaching swim lessons to children is inherently a dangerous activity. Seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Bike Race in Hot Weather


Steps:
1.Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Start drinking water or a sports drink well before the race, and keep drinking during and after it. Hot weather and physical exertion dehydrate the body very quickly.
2.Apply sunscreen, the higher the Sun Protection Factor the better (SPF 30 or above). Since you'll be sweating quite a bit, look for sunscreen that's waterproof.
3.Freeze water bottles the night before - they stay cold longer.
4.Try to have a friend, family member or teammate help you throughout the race. In both mountain and road bike racing, there are specific "feed zones" where you can get food or drinks. A cool drink in the middle of a hot race provides a welcome boost.
5.Carry as much fluid as possible. Hydration packs are not allowed in many road races, but if you can use one, do.
6.Try to keep at least one water bottle with only water in it, not a sports drink. This way you'll have something to dump on your head to cool yourself.
7.Wear a light-colored jersey made of a wicking material, which will help evaporate your sweat faster to cool you down. Jerseys with mesh sections or zippers will open up for better ventilation as well.
8.Find a helmet with good ventilation and many air vents.
9.Wear gloves to keep your hands from slipping off the handlebars and to efficiently wipe sweat from your face. Gloves with a terry cloth or other absorbent back are great for keeping the sweat from your eyes.
1..Soak a bandana in cold water and wear it around your neck.
1..Cool off after the race by pedaling slowly for 5 to 10 minutes.
1..Eat and drink after the race to restore sugar and electrolyte levels. 
Tips:
When hydrating, stay away from fluids with caffeine in them - caffeine will dehydrate you.
Use sunscreen even if the day is cloudy or you think you'll be under the cover of trees most of the day. Cloud cover can sometimes increase the sun's harmful rays and even sun filtered through trees can burn you.
Don't like to use a hydration pack on your backs because it's cumbersome or heavy? Use this to your advantage - the more you drink, the less weight is on your back.
Jerseys made of wicking material will actually keep you cooler that riding with no shirt, and they'll protect you from the sun's harmful rays.
Studies have shown that wearing a helmet does not raise core body temperature when riding. "It's too hot out" isn't a good excuse to not wear one. 
Warnings:
If at anytime during a race, especially a hot one, you start to feel dizzy or light-headed, or you get a headache or chills, stop and walk your bike. You may be going into heat exhaustion, or worse, heatstroke. Seek medical attention.
Bicycle racing is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to String Outdoor Lights


Steps:
1.Sketch the outside of your house, indicating its width and length. Include the locations of any available outlets in your sketch.
2.Figure out and measure where your lights will go - along the eaves, around the windows, on each tree branch? Add an extra 30 feet or so to allow for the pitch of the roof. Measure the height of bushes and the height of the sections of any trees you want to light.
3.Figure out how many strings of lights you'll need based on your measurements; strings come in lengths from 25 lights to 200 lights. (For trees and bushes, figure on about 50 lights per foot of height, or double that number if you're using miniature lights.)
4.Decide what style of lights you want to use: solid, chasing or blinking? Miniature or full-size (C-7 or C-9)? White or colored?
5.Shop for lights and test them before you start hanging them. (See "How to Buy Outdoor Christmas Lights" and "How to Test Outdoor Christmas Lights," under Related Hows.)
6.Make sure your ladder is long enough to reach and that you have a secure place to set it up. It's best to have a helper to hold the ladder for you.
7.Use plastic light clips to hang the strings from your gutters and eaves. They are safer for the wires than a staple gun and much easier to remove.
8.Light your trees by starting at the base of the trunk and wrapping the lights around in a spiral. Work your way to the end of each branch, wrapping the lights around each individual branch.
9.Use full-size C-9 bulbs on evergreens. Start at the top and zigzag the lights through the center of the tree or bush, getting wider with the tree's or bush's shape. 
Tips:
Make sure the lights you use are designated for outdoor use.
Consider putting your lights on a timer.
Try the new light nets or light wraps instead of stringing lights in shrubs and on tree trunks.
Use miniature lights on deciduous trees – they look better. 
Warnings:
Do not plug in the lights until they are all secured to the tree or house. There is always a danger of electrical shock.
Don't ever staple or hammer a nail through the wire.
Throw away any light strings that have damaged insulation. You don't want a house fire because you tried to save a few bucks.  Steps:
1.Determine where you want your luminaries to be located.
2.Measure the length of the area, and multiply by two, as you will need luminaries on both sides of the path.
3.Determine how many paper bags you will need. Luminaries are usually spaced between 6 inches and 2 feet apart, depending on the length of the area to be decorated and the desired look.
4.Purchase an equal number of green and red lunch-size paper bags. These are available at most craft and paper stores and range in price from about 15 cents to 35 cents each.
5.Purchase a small votive candle for each paper bag.
6.Purchase sand to weigh down the bags. Each bag should have about a 2-inch base of sand - about 2 c. for lunch-size bags.
7.Fill each bag with about 2 c. sand, and place the bags along the pathway to be decorated, alternating the green and red bags.
8.Twist a votive candle into the sand in the middle of the bag, making sure it's secure.
9.As dusk falls, light each candle for a striking holiday glow. 
Tips:
Some craft experts recommend placing the candles in glass holders inside the bag, although this is not necessary.
Burning approximately 4 hours each evening, each votive candle will last about 4 days.
Regular brown lunch bags can be spray-painted green and red if you can't find the colored bags at your craft or paper store.
Some craft stores sell plastic and ceramic luminaries, if you're looking for something a little more permanent. 
Warnings:
Practice fire safety. Don't place luminaries in areas where they could spread fire if accidentally knocked over.
Luminaries are best used in dry areas of the country. Exposure to snow or rain will destroy the bags - and their glowing effect.   

How to Make Christmas Garlands for the Birds

Make the Garland
Steps:
1.Gather a wheelbarrow full of evergreen trimmings. Use the tips of the branches for best results. Some suggestions are juniper, oak, asparagus fern, bay laurel, redwood, cedar, pine and fir.
2.Cut the evergreens to a length of 6 inches.
3.Lay a 10-foot length of string or twine on a large, flat surface.
4.Tie a loop in one end of the string.
5.Attach #24 floral wire (sometimes called paddle wire) to the loop end of the twine.
6.Select several of the 6-inch foliage pieces and place them together in a bunch, with the stems at one end. You can mix different kinds of foliage in one bundle.
7.Place the bundle of foliage at the loop end of the twine with the stems pointing toward the long end of the string.
8.Wrap the floral wire around the stems and twine to secure them in place. You will need two hands for this - one to hold the foliage in place against the string and the other to wrap the wire.
9.Wrap the floral wire around the bundle a second time and then pull it tight. Make sure to leave the wire attached to the twine because you still have a long way to go.
1..Gather another bundle of foliage and lay it so that the stems overlap with the first bunch and cover the stems. Make sure that all the stems are facing the same direction.
1..Continue the process of overlapping the bunches of foliage and wiring them to the twine until you run out of string.
1..When you finally do run out of string, twist the wire tightly around the last bundle and knot the wire and the string together. Leave 12 inches of wire (to attach the garland where you want it) and cut the wire with scissors or pruning shears. 
Tips: If you need the finished garland to be longer than 10 feet, you can wire two completed garlands together.  
Warnings: This is a dirty job! Work over newspaper and have plenty of soap and water ready to clean your hands when you're done. 
Add the Bird Treats

Steps:
1..Roll pine cones in peanut butter, then in birdseed. Wrap some paddle wire around the base of the cone and attach the treat to the garland.
1..String clusters of whole raw unsalted peanuts in the shell onto raffia. A large sail maker's needle works well. Pierce two or three peanuts and tie the raffia onto the garland. String grapes using the same method. Tie the grape bundles loosely to the garland.
1..String a few kernels of popcorn, then roll in peanut butter and birdseed. This is a favorite treat of blue jays.
1..Slice apples, pears and oranges and attach to the garland with wire ornament hangers.
1..Tie millet sprays to the garland with raffia bows.
1..Cut net onion bags into small squares and fill with sunflower seeds. Tie the bundles of seeds with raffia and attach to the garland. The bright colors will look divine and the birds will enjoy the offering. 
Tips:
Make the strings of fruit, nuts and popcorn short. Long strings are difficult for little beaks and claws to handle. A few inches is perfect.
Tie the raffia loosely so that the critters can pull the offering away from the garland to eat in peace, if they so prefer.
You won't know the players without a scorecard. Purchase a good bird book so you know who is enjoying your creative endeavor!   

How to Print Continuing Row and Column Headings for an Excel Worksheet


Steps:
1.Open Microsoft Excel and the file you want to change.
2.Open the File menu and select Page Setup.
3.Select the Sheet tab.
4.Enter the cell numbers you want to use as your row headings in the Row to Repeat box. Enter the first cell number for the heading, then a colon, then the last cell number. For example: B4:F4.
5.Enter the cell numbers you want to use for your column headings in the Columns to Repeat box. Enter the first cell number for the heading, then a colon, then the last cell number. For example: A1:A2.
6.Click Print Preview to see how your document will look.
7.Select Close to exit from the Print Preview function.
8.Click OK to accept your changes. 
Tips: To add lines around your cells, open the Format menu and choose Cells, then click the Border tab.