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Lewes, Delaware
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June 9, 1995     Cape Gazette
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June 9, 1995

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62- CAPE GAZETTE, day, jtme9 !Jae 15,1995 Business & Real Estate Christmas in July? Rehoboth groups working to bring new holiday decor to resort By Trish Vernon In an effort to upgrade and unify Rehoboth Avenue Christmas dec- orations, the Rehoboth Beach- Dewey Beach Chamber of Com- merce, in conjunction with the City of Rehoboth Beach, Rehoboth Beach Downtown Busi- ness Association and Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, will hold Christmas in July to introduce their plans to the com- munity. "We hope this will provide an incentive for businesses to remain open and offer additional visitor attractions and hometown charm for residents of Rehoboth Beach," said Carol Everhart, chamber executive director. They have been working with a firm that provides a wide variety of commercially appropriate Christmas decorations, which will set up an 18-foot by 22-foot fully lit showboat complete with cres- cent moon on the island in front of the fire hall July Fourth. "It will be a sample of what will come because we want to show businesses what they can buy into, in hopes they will relate their interest to us," Everhart noted. Dave Ackerman of Atlantic Sands Hotel will coordinate the effort, while the city has agreed to turn all lights on the Friday of Thanksgiving Weekend, rather than the first week in December, as has been the tradition. They will remain in place and lit until the first Monday after the first weekend in January. The city will also continue to string lights across Rehoboth Avenue and on the shrubbery. The chamber will contract help to put up and take down the deco- rations and find an appropriate storage area during the off season. Linda DiDomenicis of Boston's has taken on the task of contacting businesses which have been spon- soring island decorations in the past, giving them the option to continue that tradition and offer- ing a range of theme-appropriate selections chosen by the commit- tee. Those unable to afford the new decorations may share the cost, or go together with another business to provide a more elaborate dis- play. All signs will be uniform and part of the cost of providing the display, with a request for a $25 maintenance fee for each sponsor. A corporate sponsor will be sought for Santa's House and island and a request may be made to establish additional lighting at City Hall, Grove Park and Lake Gerar. By July Fourth, the committee expects to have details ironed out concerning Hospitality Night for retailers, the Annual Christmas Parade and decoration contest. This Christmas light-strung showboat with a aoving paddlewheel" is one of the decorations a Rehoboth Beach committee plans to unveil July Fourth in the island acro from the Fire Hall to let merchants and the general public know of their plans to upgrade the Christmas dec- orations this year. Mumford opens Jewels, Ltd. By Trish Vernon Every woman would like to look like a million bucks without spending that amount of money and Tricia Mumford of Rehoboth Beach is ready to help. She has opened her own emporium in an Ocean Outlets Seaside kiosk called, simply, Jewels, Ltd., "because selling candy would be too fattening," she laughed. From understated cubic zirconium "diamond" stud earrings in settings so classic that only your jeweler would know for sure, to dramatic replicas of pre- Columbian necklaces, bracelets and earrings, Mum- ford offers a wide variety of "high end costume and bridge jewelry," she explained. 'q'he pieces I have selected range from basic metal with synthetic stones, to sterling silver with genuine gems to vermeil," Mumford said. (For those unfa- miliar with the expression, vermeil is sterling silver with either 14 carat or 18 carat overlay.) With the warmth and feel of gold, some are embellished with genuine gems, while others are cubic zirconium. (She also offers pieces by Limoges, for those who like to collect these baubles.) 'Tve concentrated on career and evening looks," Mumford noted, pointing to a line of sterling silver rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets by Cynthia Gale. While not the run-of-the-mill pieces usually seen in department stores, and then again, not the "hippy" jewelry too often found in boutiques, they are modern, sophisticated designs often associated with custom designed and made jewelers. Continued on page 63 Thinking about home improvements? Do you want to make a few changes in your home? No matter what type of remod- eling project you choose, make certain the improvements increase your home's resale value as well as provide comfort and conve- nience. Do not assume that the money spent on sprucing up your home will automatically be recovered. To maximize your return, consider how long you are likely to live in your home. If you plan to move within a year or two, it's wise to limit your- self to relatively inexpensive touch-up projects you can do yourself or have done for little cost. Cosmetic improvements will give you home a fresh, clean look, add to its market value and create a favorable impression that will make your home easier to sell. On the other hand, if you are certain you will stay in your home for a minimum of three years, you REALTOR FOCUS might consider a more extensive renovation. However, don't over do it by spending more than you could possibly recover upon resale. The market value of your home is determined mainly by the value of homes around it, regardless of- renovations. Of course, if you plan to stay in your home forever, recouping your costs is not a fac- tor. You can let your imagination and budget be your only limita- tions. Once you have decided what you want to accomplish, think about financing. There are several options available. For instance, you might consider refinancing your current mortgage to cover the home improvement costs. This may be the most practical way to borrow for the long-term at market interest rates. If the outstanding balance is low on your current mortgage, refi- nancing could free up a consider- able amount of cash. Another option is a second mortgage. The interest rate typi- cally is higher on a second mort- gage than the first mortgage and the term is shorter. For relatively minor home improvements (less than $10,000) you might consider an unsecured personal loan. The term generally is short and the interest rate is higher than on a secured loan. In addition, check to see if an install- ment payment plan is offered by the contractor. When choosing a contractor, it's important to do your homework, Before interviewing potential con- tractors, decide what you want and why. Know what the renovations should look like and what prob- lems you think it should solve. And, be firm about how much you can afford. By sticking to these rules, you can control both costs and design while minimizing the risks. The following tips are offered to help you choose a reliable contrac- tor: Obtain at least three separate bids for all work needed and avoid firms that offer substantially lower prices than others. You may find that the quality of the work is as low as their prices. Before signing a contract, obtain several references from the contractor and cheek them careful- ly. In addition, contact the local office of the Better Business Bureau to check on the reputation and dependability of the company. Check to see if guarantees are offered. If so, find out if the guar- antee covers all work, or is limited to certain materials. Obtain a written copy of the price quotations and the specific work to be done. Never pay a contractor in cash, particularly before the work is started. Obtain a certificate of the con- tractors' liability insurance cover- age limits, policy and company. Proper preparation is the key to smooth, successful home improvements. And, once com- pleted, the project can add to the value and enjoyment of your home. (Jack Redefer is president of the Sussex County Association of REALTORS. For more informa- tion, call 855-2300.)