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

Homeowners: Make Way for the Super Kitchen

February 10, 2016 1:42 am

More activities than ever take place in the kitchen—so much so that a new movement has emerged. “Super kitchens,” coined by and revealed in its recently released Kitchen Trends Survey, blur the lines between the heart of the home and other living spaces.

“The modern ‘super kitchen’ supports family, friends and work and does it in style,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Our findings show that homeowners expect kitchen renovations to go far beyond improving flow, storage or aesthetics. The ‘super kitchen’ has literally become a living room, family room and office, with finishes, layouts and decor that challenge us to define where the kitchen ends and the rest of the home begins.”

According to the survey, homeowners have adapted their kitchens to serve a multitude of needs, including:

• Dining Space (69 percent)
• Entertainment Space (49 percent)
• Space for Socializing (43 percent)
• Homework Space (25 percent)
• Space for Television Viewing (19 percent)
• Reading Space (14 percent)

To meet these needs, homeowners have adjusted the layout of their kitchens—46 percent have made the space completely open to other interior rooms, and one in five were opened to the outdoors. Thirty-five percent of homeowners renovated their kitchens into a U-shaped layout; 28 percent remodeled their kitchens into an L-shaped layout.

Homeowners have also added features traditionally reserved for living and dining rooms to their super kitchens, including:

• Dining Tables (25 percent)
• Chandeliers (23 percent)
• Televisions (14 percent)
• Desks and Workspaces (7 percent)

Why the shift to super? Aside from necessity, many homeowners report simply being unable to stand their outdated kitchen—a motivation that surpassed budget concerns. Approximately half of homeowners (52 percent) spent $25,000 or less on kitchen renovations; nearly identical percentages (31 and 30 percent, respectively) spent $25,000 to $50,000 or $50,000 or more on kitchen renovations.

Source: Houzz

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Uneasy about Retirement? Write Out Your Goals

February 9, 2016 1:39 am

Writing down information not only helps you retain it, but it also helps to set the wheels in motion—and when it comes to retirement, action can make all the difference. According to recently released research from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, pre-retirees with formal, written retirement plans feel more confident about their future than those without, and are twice as likely to feel prepared for retirement.

"While three-quarters of pre-retirees and retirees have some kind of financial retirement plan, our study found only 16 percent have a formal written retirement plan,” says Matthew Drinkwater, PhD., assistant vice president, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.  “Our research demonstrated that taking the time to create a formal written retirement plan—which involves a comprehensive discussion about goals, asset management and risk mitigation—often leads to better outcomes in retirement.”

The research, documented in a study called “The Benefits of Retirement Planning,” reveals a stark contrast between those who write out their retirement goals and those who do not, with significant implications for retirement outcomes. For example:

• Eighty percent of those with a formal written plan have estimated how many years their assets will last into retirement, nearly double of those who don’t have a formal written plan (42 percent).

• More than three-quarters of pre-retirees and retirees who have a formal written plan (78 percent) have developed a specific plan for generating income from savings; only 38 percent of those without a formal written plan have done the same.

• Pre-retirees with formal written plans are twice as likely to convert a portion of their assets into guaranteed income (22 percent vs. 11 percent). Retirees with formal written plans are three times as likely to convert a portion of their assets into guaranteed income (25 percent vs. 8 percent).

“Strikingly, most of pre-retirees and retirees we interviewed said they would not have been as financially successful without a formal written retirement plan, acknowledging their own lack of awareness and skill,” says Drinkwater. “Even the wealthier consumers said they found value in a formal plan—if only to review and vet their own ideas.”

Source: LIMRA

Published with permission from RISMedia.