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

3 Fresh Takes on Holiday Décor

November 17, 2015 12:57 am

(BPT)—Does your holiday décor need a reboot? Take a cue from this year’s top trends, says Kirsty Froelich, design director of The Tile Shop.

"Red and green will always be classic, but when it comes to holiday décor, rules are meant to be broken," says Froelich. "Anyone can use inventive color schemes, fun patterns and smart home updates to create spaces that embrace the essence of the season."

Trends to consider, Froelich says, are ones that blend holiday tradition with modern aesthetic. These include:

1. Festive Florals – Fresh or dry floral arrangements are a simple way to adorn your home with holiday cheer. To switch up traditional evergreens or poinsettia, consider blooms in hues of rich purple, crisp white and funky fuchsia. Place a small arrangement on a bathroom vanity to add warmth and color—perfect for those hosting guests.

2. Beautiful Backsplashes – Think tiling a backsplash is too difficult? Think again. Instantly transforming the look of a kitchen or bar space, installing a fresh backsplash is a relatively inexpensive DIY project that can be completed over a weekend. Finish the project before the thick of the holiday season to really reap the benefits.

"There's no better time to let your home shine than the holidays," says Froelich. "Adding holiday greenery, a few metallic touches and whimsical window updates will make your home feel festive. Now's the perfect time to get that tile project done that's been on the back burner, so you can show off your hard work and the amazing new space to all visitors."

3. Wowing Windows – Don’t overlook your windows when adding holiday touches to your home. Visit your local craft store, pick out a bolt or two of fabric that blends with your holiday aesthetic, and have the appropriate lengths cut. Then simply drape and enjoy!

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Got Student Loans? 5 Tips to Avoid Default

November 16, 2015 12:57 am

Most students begin the process of paying back their student loans within six months of graduation, but rising tuition costs and a tepid job market have made many unable to meet the terms of repayment. If this is the case for you, it’s important to consult with your lender about deferment or forbearance, say the experts at the nonprofit organization American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC).

“Student loan repayment is not something you want to put off,” says Steve Trumble president and CEO of ACCC. “Delinquency and default destroy credit and can create problems that follow you throughout your life—making it more difficult to secure a loan or rent an apartment. In some cases, defaulting also allows the government to intercept your tax refunds or garnish your wages or retirement benefits. Defaulting on a student loan is the worst scenario, and it’s important that consumers speak to their lenders before it gets to that point.”

Depending on their line of work or financial situation, a student may be eligible for student loan forgiveness. In order for a loan to be discharged, the borrower must be experiencing circumstances beyond their control.

To better manage repayment of your student loans and avoid default, ACCC recommends:

1. Understanding your loans and loan agreements – It is important to understand the types of student loans you have, the variety of student loan repayment options available, and different programs offered to federal and private loan borrowers. Read your promissory note, which is a legal document. 

2. Making payments on time – Making payments on time is not only the best way to avoid default and eventually pay off your loan; it’s an excellent way to build credit. Building good credit will help when it comes time to make a big purchase, such as buying a house. 

3. Creating a budget – Create a post-college budget that includes all expenses, from credit card payments to utilities and groceries. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can ensure enough savings to be able to pay your loans on time. 

4. Keeping good records and tracking your loans – Track all payment schedules and keep a paper record of every monthly payment. Utilize the ability to manage your loans online in order to stay up to date. 

5. Addressing any financial challenges quickly – If you’re having trouble making your monthly payment, don’t wait to address the problem. Research your options and talk to your lender. A borrower is usually considered in default if he or she has failed to make a loan payment for 270 days or more. Don’t let it get to that point. You may be able to switch repayment plans, consider an income-driven repayment plan, change a payment due date, or secure a deferment or forbearance.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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