Atlanta Mortgage News

We posted this cute picture of the "Cat out of the bag" to grab your attention for 37 seconds to claim free money!

If you owned a property on January 1, 2021, I am talking to you!  

You must apply for Property Exemption(s) before March 31, 2021.

If your home is owner-occupied, you automatically qualify for a Homestead exemption and assessment freeze. This is one of the few middle class tax exemptions left.  For example, the standard tax on a 2 bedroom home may be about $2400/yr. With the Homestead Exemption it is closer to $1400/yr. In addition, there are several other exemptions for senior citizens, disabled people, widows of police, fire and military killed in action, etc.   Go to your county website and make sure you file by March 31st. Links for several of the metro county webpages are on my webpage at

See the DeKalb list of all possible exemptions here: ( Other than the Homestead Exemption, you have to apply in person for these others. The process is not difficult but it must be completed before March 31.  Go get it Tiger!!

Photo model: GIzmo Washburn

Posted by Elizabeth Washburn on January 22nd, 2021 1:00 PM

Typically, I'm good with calling a repairman or heading to the store for new appliance, but a dryer seemed... interesting ...and expensive. So I googled a few videos about dryer heating problems. Once I found my machine, it was clear where the problem was so imitating Wonder Woman, I grabbed my tools and faced the machine.

I will admit, the first two screws were difficult to extract, but things got better quickly.

I discovered the secret of my 12 year old dryer.

You see, being the law abiding citizen that I am, about every 12 months I pulled out the vent tube and cleaned it thinking I had done my civic duty as a person with home insurance.  Wrong!! I mean right, but that's not the whole story.

I found lint inside the dryer.  Not just "makes you sneeze" lint. I mean piles and layers and floating lint. Handfuls of lint!  I think I could have weaved three shirts from all the lint fibers in my dryer. Lint was everywhere inside the dryer. This was such a surprise because I thought the lint went out the vent.

Once I got past the lint, (actually under), I found more screws to remove so I could replace the broken heater. Fox Appliance Repair had the part in stock and ready to go. They even tested another part I brought in for a potential problem, but all good there!

So, after purchasing the new heating element for $90 minus the $4.21 found in the dryer (no whole socks though) and a total of three hours (accounting for drive time and obsessive vacuuming), I have a heating dryer and feel safer from the threat of a decade of lint. I also know how to open my dryer for an annual cleaning scheduled with Siri.

Oh- one last thing. When you plug your dryer back in, give it a minute if your dryer has a brain. Initially it appeared like there was no power, but after 30 seconds, the computer rebooted and things worked great. I hope this information is helpful. Happy house management my mortgaged friends!

Posted by Elizabeth Washburn on June 14th, 2017 12:07 PM

       Last Saturday, my husband contributed to the household maintenance by turning on the oven's self-cleaning mechanism.  With no good deed going unpunished, the cycle cut short and the oven remained locked. The good news is we have a five year warranty on the oven with six months left, so we called the technician.

        This is where it really gets interesting. He explained (off the record) self-cleaning can destroy ovens. He said the feature is added due to popular demand by consumers; however, the components and computer board are so sophisticated now that the self-cleaning oven mechanism can be hazardous to your oven's computer board health.

        He shared examples of shattered glass, fried electronics and blown fuses. Sometimes it all happened and sometimes just one, but either way, the damage causes complete oven failure. I was shocked to learn that the ovens really are not designed for 900° for 2 to 3  hours even though the mechanism is there to do so.

       So,  I asked him, how do I clean the oven safely because I hate the cleaning sprays?  He said, first get a aluminum tray and put it in the bottom of the oven to catch the spills. Do not use foil as a substitute because the foil will melt just enough to ruin the oven's finish.  Second, if you feel so inclined  to use you're self-cleaning mechanism after what he shared (and your warranty is still active), set a timer and turn on the heat for only an hour. An hour is sufficient to ash anything on the surface, and, hopefully, the heat will not fry the components.

He suggested this three step method for the safest results:

1 - Remove the racks

2 - Heat the oven at the lowest setting with a small solution of water and ammonia steaming.

3 - After about 15 minutes, use soap and water on a soft scrub pad (plastic, not steel) to wipe away the grime. Remember to use care with your hands/arms since the oven will be around 200°.

        If you want more information about this topic, check out this website with all the details.   I hope this knowledge makes your life a  little bit easier.

PS - The oven in the photo is not my oven.  It just a good photo for blogs.

Posted by Elizabeth Washburn on February 22nd, 2017 6:04 PM

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