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

Winter Improvements Add Value, Appraisers Say

November 4, 2015 2:39 pm

Did you know winterizing your home has the potential to increase its value? According to the Appraisal Institute, making specific improvements ahead of colder months is often well worth the investment.

“Fall is an ideal time for homeowners to take stock and make the appropriate updates for the cold months ahead,” says Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle.  “Routine improvements can make a winter indoors more enjoyable and, in some cases, increase the value of a home.”

Home improvements with the highest cost-to-value ratio include steel entry door replacement, mid-range and upscale garage door replacement and wood window replacement, according to a recent Hanley Wood Cost vs. Value Report. Replacement projects tend to generate higher returns on value than major room remodels, including those of kitchens and baths. At the time of resale, for instance, a bathroom remodel recoups 70 percent of its cost, but a steel entry door replacement recoups almost 102 percent.

Along with making these improvements, homeowners can winterize with some simple, energy- and cost-efficient measures:

• Check for air leaks around walls, ceilings, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.

• Look for ways to use controls such as sensors, dimmers and timers to reduce lighting use.

• Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.

• Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.

• Close curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in the warming sunlight.

Additionally, taking steps to winterize outside of the home can protect investments in landscaping, a deck or roof, all of which can potentially add to property values. Consult with an appraiser before making decisions on which outdoor winterization projects to undertake.

Source: Appraisal Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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3 Questions Every Job Candidate Should Be Prepared to Answer

November 2, 2015 12:54 am

In a less-than-flourishing employment market, job-seekers have to compete for positions. One good way to improve your chances is to sharpen up your interview skills.

“There are three things I look for in every candidate, Lori Senecal, CEO of the CPM Partner Network, told Adam Bryant of the New York Times. “I always ask three questions to determine which job-seekers can deliver.”

Savvy candidates would do well to address the issues behind Senecal’s three main questions—whether or not they are specifically asked – at some point during the interview:

What have you invented? – This doesn’t mean you have to have built a robot that brings beer from the fridge, explained Senecal. It’s to establish that you have a creative mindset and an ability to find fresh solutions – a new, more efficient way of doing something…or filing something…or approaching something. What in your school years or a previous job moved you to solve a problem?

What is your greatest achievement? – This may be less to learn about your achievement (which has probably been answered with question one) than to test your willingness to be part of a team. Senecal finds an ‘I/we’ mindset more significant than an ‘I/me’ perspective. Think about a time when you worked with a team to achieve a positive outcome.

Have you ever had to stick your neck out for the greater good of a mission? – "I want people who are willing to take bold action to move the mission forward," Senecal said. She looks for talent that embodies original thinking, passion and dedication, and a spirit of collaboration—traits it will most likely take to excel in a creative work environment. Was there a time when you bucked the established view in order to get something done?

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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