RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

What Every First-Time Renter Should Do

January 21, 2015 12:45 am

There’s no question that renting presents a financial challenge for some millennials. If you’re considering making the leap to renting for the first time, weigh your options carefully by taking these steps. Preparing in advance will make you a happier renter – and lead to long-term savings.

Know your credit rating.
A landlord can and will consult your credit score before approving your lease. Before touring apartments, ensure your credit is good standing. Any discrepancies in your credit history can cost you your dream digs.

Have some money in the bank. If you’re serious about renting, save up at least three months worth of living expenses before moving in. Depending on your landlord’s policy, this will cover a security deposit or first and last’s month’s rent, as well as any unforeseen expenditures.

Shop within your budget. Stick to rentals that your budget can reasonably accommodate. Financial experts recommend spending no more than 30 percent of your monthly income on rent, but that’s not always a realistic number, especially in big cities. If you live in a high rent area, bump up your percentage to no more than 50 percent.

Factor in household items. Many first-time renters forget that everything in the apartment must be financed by their income, including small items such as toilet paper and garbage bags. Budget for household necessities, and while you’re at it, factor in renters insurance, too.

Stick to basic big ticket furniture. When you first start renting, avoid the temptation to furnish every square inch of your apartment. You only really need three things: a place to sleep, a place to sit and a place to eat. Other furnishings can come later, after you’ve established a workable monthly budget.

Learn to grocery shop. Instead of going out for meals or ordering takeout, spend some time in your local grocery store learning sales schedules. And get yourself a cookbook – preparing your meals on your own will save you hundreds in food costs each year.

Source: Bankrate

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Four Ways to Save Big on Winter Travel

January 21, 2015 12:45 am

Winter months are generally less expensive for travelers. Booking platform One Degree World ( recommends that snow birds take advantage of winter travel deals with these tips.

Choose your booking day wisely.
Try to book airfare mid-week and travel off-season, advises Aleza Freeman, One Degree World. “I always pick a general timeframe in which I’d like to travel, then let the prices dictate the actual dates,” she says. “If you can’t be flexible, try booking at the last-minute.”

Consider a stay-cation.
For those of us lucky enough to live in vacation areas, be a tourist in your own town. Oftentimes locals are eligible for huge discounts on hotels and attractions, and you just may discover some hidden gems you never knew existed.

Find local hot spots.

It’s no secret that prices skyrocket in tourist areas. Explore off the beaten path and go to local haunts, which are often less expensive than tourist trap establishments. “There’s absolutely no reason to stick to the typical attraction these days,” Freeman says.

Splurge on priorities.
If staying in the lap of luxury is your thing, don't skimp on the hotel. Instead, try to get a great deal on a flight. Are you a foodie? Make sure you eat at the best places, but look for lower priced hotels for your accommodations. "There's a deal out there for everything," Freeman says. "You just have to find the one that's right for you."

Source: One Degree World

Published with permission from RISMedia.