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

8 Mistakes that Decrease Your Home's Value

November 27, 2015 1:18 am

Keeping up your home’s curb appeal shows more than pride of ownership. It shows respect for your neighbors – and when or if you decide to sell, a well-maintained home means it will sell faster and likely for top dollar. Similarly, maintaining your home’s interior is likely to pay off in the end.

Real estate experts told House Beautiful Magazine these eight missteps could cost you in the long run:

Landscaping without thinking ahead – Trees planted too close to the house or driveway without much thought about how big they will get can cause major problems later – like roots causing breaks in the pavement or interfering with sewer or water lines.

Letting the entryway languish - Unkempt shrubbery around the front entry, or a door that needs updating makes people wonder what else has been let go inside.

Choosing funky paint colors - Don’t choose an exterior paint color that is too far afield of neighbor homes – and stay away from contrasting trim colors that distract instead of attract the eye.

Neglecting the small stuff – Watch out for dirty windows, torn screens or broken light fixtures that show a distinct lack of care.

Hanging on to old appliances – Pay attention to the age and quality of your kitchen appliances. A stovetop too old and scratched to be cleaned properly is a turn-off – and appliances that aren’t energy-savers are costing too much money to run.

Skipping a deep clean – Details matter when it comes to home care. Look out for dirt in the window tracks, dirty grout in the tile or badly stained carpets.

Thinking too small – A small bathroom will seem smaller tiled with small tiles than with larger ones. Peruse décor magazines for ideas that help to open your space.

Neglecting wood floors – Water and vinegar dulls them over time. If you can’t afford to refinish them, have them buffed every few years.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Don't Let These Financial Blunders Leave Your Wallet Empty

November 26, 2015 1:18 am

To err is human, but when mistakes affect your pocketbook, it’s not exactly divine.

Don’t feel alone if you’ve committed a financial blunder, though. Two-thirds of Americans have made a significant money mistake somewhere along the way, says Jim Chilton, founder and chief executive officer of the non-profit Society for Financial Awareness (www.sofausa.org).

“One thing I always tell people is that you can’t let your emotions get in the way when you are trying to meet your financial goals,” Chilton says. “When it comes to finances, there is always going to be at least a little uncertainty.”

He says people can go a long way toward financial stability if they avoid these common blunders:

•  Living without a ‘net.’ Bad things happen in life, even to the best people who are trying to do the right things. That’s why you need to set aside savings that will serve as an emergency fund in case you suddenly have major medical problems or lose your job, Chilton says. He recommends a six to 12-month cushion that would cover your mortgage, groceries, utilities and the other necessities of day-to-day living.

•  Failing to check credit reports. More than 70 percent of credit reports contain some sort of error, Chilton says. Meanwhile, identity theft is on the rise. You should check your credit reports annually to make sure you are not a victim.

•  Giving little thought to retirement. Many people fail to properly prepare for retirement. If you think Social Security will take care of you, think again. Social Security is designed as supplemental income, not something that can replace your entire paycheck, Chilton says. You need to plan and save to make sure you can lead the lifestyle you want in your later years.

•  Racking up credit card debt. Credit seems to rule, but cash should be your real king, Chilton says. Americans are carrying more than $800 billion in credit card debt, he says. Making a conscious effort to use cash will help wean you off your reliance on plastic. “If you are struggling with credit card debt, you need to start making a plan to get rid of that debt,” he says.

•  Seeking advice in the wrong places. Uncle Felix may mean well, but he’s not necessarily the ideal person to offer you advice on the stock market. A trained professional is your best bet, Chilton says. Sure, word of mouth can be helpful, but it can be equally hurtful. Before you pick someone to help you with investments, do your homework because you want someone with a good reputation, Chilton says. Check with the Better Business Bureau and do a Google search to see what else you can learn.

•  Trying to do too much, too quickly. Financial problems that took years to create aren’t going to be fixed overnight, Chilton says. So ease into your new financial plan. Instead of a dramatic overhaul that could leave you frustrated, try to make small changes that will lead to larger commitments.

“Even as we get older and presumably know more, we are still bound to make a misstep here or there,” Chilton says. “We simply can’t know it all, especially when it comes to our finances. But if we realize our limitations, we can at least learn to make fewer mistakes and do a better job of setting and meeting the goals we have for our money.”

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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