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

Space-Saving Tricks to Open Up a Small Kitchen

November 2, 2015 12:54 am

A well-designed kitchen should offer minimum clutter and maximum efficiency. Whether you are redecorating or totally remodeling, check out these space-saving ideas shared by noted kitchen designers with House Beautiful editors:

Re-think the design – If your kitchen is not wide enough to add an island, rethink your existing counter. Jutting a small counter piece out from the wall to form an L-shape can up the available workspace by a lot.
Smart cabinets – For more accessible pantry space, think about slide-out shelves in upper kitchen cabinets that can slide out over countertops.

Tucked-away seating – When not in use, backless stools can be slipped under the breakfast counter or even under a kitchen island to save space, while offering seating when you need it.

Open shelving – Think about replacing upper cabinets with open shelving, which can hold more and make a small kitchen look larger than it really is.

Go lighter – a small kitchen can look larger just by replacing or refinishing dark wood cabinets and/or backsplash tiles in a much lighter color.

Hang pots and pans – An antique pot rack on one wall keeps pots and pans within easy reach and frees up lots of cupboard space.

Hanging knife rack – A knife block is nice, but it takes up lots of space. Free that counter space by hanging a knife rack on the wall.

Add mirrors – It’s a trick of the eye, but using antiqued mirrored glass in place if regular glass in your cabinet doors will enlarge the look of a small kitchen.

Roll with it – If you have someplace to tuck it away when not in use, a moveable rolling cart – even a folding cart – offers a great way to gain needed counter space while you are working in the kitchen.

Conquer the corners – Try a lazy Susan solution to turn that smidgen of unusable cabinet space in the corner of your kitchen into a useful bit of extra storage space.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Dos and Don'ts If You're Eyeing A Home Equity Loan

November 2, 2015 12:54 am

With interest rates still hovering at historic lows and the economy and job picture improving across the nation, many property owners are eyeing home equity loans to underwrite a variety of products and purchases. So we're tapping the folks at Take Charge America, a nonprofit financial planning and resource site (takechargeamerica.org) for some common-sense, home equity dos and don’ts:

DON’T use home equity to purchase unnecessary luxuries.

DO use home equity for improvements or additions that add value to your home. It may also be appropriate to use home equity to purchase income-producing property or an investment that’s expected to generate a higher return than the cost of the loan.

DON’T tap home equity if you plan to sell in the near future.

DO consider home equity to cover expenses from unexpected events. If you do not have emergency savings, your home equity can provide financial relief related to unexpected events, such as an injury preventing you from working.

DON’T take out excessive equity. Since a home equity loan or line of credit decreases the amount of equity you have in your home, if you have taken out too much equity and the real estate market drops, you can end up losing all the equity in your home. Further, if you have negative equity, the lender may demand immediate payment of the loan.

DO consider home equity for use in retirement. Retired homeowners who have paid off their mortgage can sell their home and cash out the equity by downsizing. Further, homeowners 62 and older have the option of reverse mortgages, which basically means the bank will give your equity back to you while you’re still living in it. The homeowner does not need to repay the mortgage for as long as he/she lives in that house.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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