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

5 Security Tips for Apartment, Condo Residents

April 15, 2016 1:33 am

Apartment and condominium communities have some safety advantages over single-family homes, but they’re susceptible to security breaches like any other residence. Owners and/or renters should keep these safety tips top of mind, recommends Steve Kolobaric, spokesperson for security solution provider Weiser Lock.

1. Be on Alert – Be mindful of others, even when you’re inside the building or unit. Pay special attention when walking in stairwells, meet your neighbors, and know the general layout of the complex.

2. Lock, Lock, Lock – It seems like a common-sense action, but many (with a false sense of security) neglect to lock their doors. The majority of burglars gain entry into a home through an unlocked door. Don’t hide a key outside of your home, either—thieves know where to look!

3. Update Locksets – Did you change your front door lockset when you moved in? Not only could the past owner still have copies of the key, but so could his or her friends or your neighbors. Changing your lockset takes about 20 minutes—a small investment of time for peace of mind.

4. Note Concerns – Notify the property manager about any burned-out lights in the common areas, such as the lobby, parking garage or hallways. If anything seems out of the ordinary, such as open or broken windows or malfunctioning doors or locks, alert the manager immediately.

5. Deny Entry – If the front entrance to your apartment or condo requires a key pass, don’t hold the door for the person behind you. It may feel impolite, but the person may not be a resident or tenant—and if it is a neighbor, they will appreciate your preventative measure.

Source: Weiser Lock

Published with permission from RISMedia.


3 Ways to Keep Debt at Bay with Your Tax Refund

April 14, 2016 1:33 am

Many financial institutions observe reduced loan balances and lower credit card late fees in the second quarter of each year, coinciding with tax season and suggesting that many use their tax refunds to pay down debt.

“Paying down debt can undoubtedly be one of the best ways to put a tax refund to good use,” says Nick Bryan, executive vice president of OpenSky, a provider of resources and tools that help consumers build credit. “This not only saves on interest payments, but also can improve credit, since the ratio of debt-to-credit impacts credit scores.

“However, if someone has a no- or low-interest rate, paying off credit card or long-term debt may not be urgent,” Bryan says. “It makes sense to do the numbers—you aren't losing money to let zero interest debt stay where it is for a while.”

Bryan notes there are ways to turn refund money into a safeguard against possible future debt, rather than pay down existing debt. It may make sense to put a refund toward a "life happens" savings account for emergencies, such as car repairs or medical bills. Making necessary home repairs and upgrades is also a wise use of refund dollars—homeownership is an investment, and protecting that investment will pay off when the house sells for top dollar.

Tax refunds may also be used to help build (or rebuild) credit, Bryan adds. Using a portion of the refund as a security deposit to get a secured credit card can have a positive impact on credit history.

Taxpayers have until April 18 this year to file their 2015 returns, as well as pay any tax due.

Source: OpenSky

Published with permission from RISMedia.