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

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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How Often Are We Unplugging from Technology?

March 2, 2016 2:09 am

Disconnecting from technology is challenging, but not impossible. In fact, many Americans are actively unplugging, according to a recent Harris Poll®. The poll found that 45 percent of Americans cut back on screen time at least once a week, whether to enjoy quiet or “me” time, or to spend quality time with their families. For most, “unplugging” means avoiding the Internet, email, social media, calls, text messages, apps, videogames and/or television.

But is that enough? According to the poll, 60 percent of Americans wish their family members would unplug more often, and nearly 30 percent have been told to unplug by others. What’s more, almost 40 percent believe it is “unrealistic” to unplug for more than a few hours at a time, and have a fear of missing out (FOMO) if they’re disconnected for too long.

The poll also found that the device most difficult to detach from is also the device inducing the most anxiety: mobile phones. Over 40 percent of Americans—especially Gen Xers and millennials—feel anxious when they don’t have their phones with them.

Still, unplugging gives way to other enjoyable activities. Reading ranks number one, according to the poll, followed by spending time with family, sleeping, relaxing and gardening.

Ironically, nearly 20 percent of Americans cited in the poll make an announcement on social media when they’re going to unplug. Go figure!

Source: The Harris Poll®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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