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

30 Ways to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

March 3, 2016 12:09 am

Yearning for the outdoors? We’re with you! Spring’s almost here, and quality outdoor time isn’t far behind. To get the most enjoyment out of your outdoor space, now’s the time to consider an upgrade (or two) while the weather’s still in between seasons.

Need inspiration? Here are the most common outdoor upgrades and add-ons, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), ranked in order of popularity:

1. Fireplace/Fire Pit
2. Lighting
3. Wireless Internet Connectivity
4. Dining/Seating Area
5. Outdoor Furniture
6. Planters, Sculptures and Other Garden Accessories
7. Grill
8. Pergola
9. Counter Space
10. Deck
11. Outdoor Heater
12. Arbor
13. Fencing
14. Sports Courts (Bocce, Tennis, etc.)
15. Porch
16. Spa Features (Indoor/Outdoor Saunas, Hot Tubs, Jacuzzis, Whirlpools)
17. Stereo System
18. ADA-Accessible Structures (Bars, Ramps, Shelving, etc.)
19. Movie/Television/Video Theater
20. Swimming Pool
21. Utility Storage (Tool Sheds, Garden Sheds, etc.)
22. Sink
23. Pavilion
24. Play Structures (Swing Sets, Treehouses, etc.)
25. Refrigerator
26. Outdoor Cooling System
27. Shower/Bath
28. Gazebo
29. Hammock
30. Labyrinth

Source: ASLA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Renting? 5 Tips to Consider

March 3, 2016 12:09 am

For many, renting is a necessary stepping stone on the path to homeownership. Embark on the journey wisely with these rent-smart tips, courtesy of NeighborWorks America.

1. Be on alert for rental scams. Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist or aren’t available (“phantom” rentals) to trick prospective tenants into sending them money. Signs you may have encountered a scam include a person telling you to wire money, or send a security deposit and/or first month’s rent before you’ve met or signed a lease. To report a scam, contact local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

2. Get your finances in shape. Nearly half of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Strengthening your credit can help save you from overspending. A good credit score is important because most landlords use a credit check to vet potential renters. Consider financial counseling to help build up your creditworthiness.

3. Know your options. Depending on your area, you may have the option to rent directly from a landlord or from a managed property. Weigh the pros and cons of both—you can easily get in touch with a property manager for maintenance issues, for example, but landlords may have flexibility when it comes to rent.

4. Obtain renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance protects the valuables inside your home, whether you're living in an apartment or renting a house. If there were an incident like a fire or water leak, the landlord's insurance will cover the building itself, but you would still need to replace your own property if it were damaged.

5. Research moving companies. Moving schemes are common, especially in larger cities. Conducting research before hiring a mover is essential. Look for online reviews, check out social media, and ask your family or friends for a recommendation.  Be sure to get estimates from a few moving companies to compare prices. 

Source: NeighborWorks America

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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