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

Not a Beach Bum? Visit One of These Coastal Gems

June 26, 2015 2:09 am

Many beachgoers consider lounging with their toes in the sand a day well spent, but for others, spending hours idling on the beach can be a drag. If you're in the "can't wait to get off your towel and do something" camp, there are several beaches worldwide that offer more than just sand, seashells and sunshine, say the experts at Cheapflights.com. Here are their five top picks.

1. El Castillo, Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Even if you aren't a huge beach fan, it's tough not to appreciate the postcard-perfect combo of white sand and turquoise water set against cliffs that you get at El Castillo in Tulum. But there’s much more to do here than sit on sand. This beach is directly below the Mayan ruins of Tulum, meaning you can combine some cultural exploration with a bit of beach hopping. El Castillo is the largest structure among the Mayan site and can be seen directly from the beach.

2. Long Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Long Beach, as the name would suggest, is long. This stretch of sand located in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Tofino and Ucluelet clocks in at just over 4 miles. Options include surfing (or learning how to surf), kayaking and jogging.

3. Kite Beach, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

If your speed of beach-going leans more toward, well, speed, then this is the beach for you. Cabarete is a small village in the northern part of the Dominican Republic that's within walking distance to Kite Beach, an aptly named mecca for kiteboarders. Kite Beach gets constant trade winds and warm waters, which is why it's so popular among kiteboarders. If you're interested in trying the sport, there are several local businesses that offer lessons and rent equipment.

4. Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Known as one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica, Playa Grande in the Guanacaste region attracts surfers from around the world. The breaks at Playa Grande are moderate and constant, meaning it's a suitable surf spot for both experienced and new surfers. And, if you're in the area between October and May, you might be lucky enough to spot a leatherback turtles coming ashore.

5. Maho Beach, St. Martin

If you like watching planes coming in for a landing, then Maho Beach was made for you. The popular stretch of sand in St. Martin is located at the western end of the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport and it's known around the world for the ultra-close encounters with planes you can have there. How close? Close enough to reach out and touch a wheel!

Source: Cheapflights.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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6 Ways to Finance a Renovation

June 26, 2015 2:09 am

(BPT) - If you're planning to take on a home improvement project, you're in good company. A recent report by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University predicts that the home improvement industry is expected to post record-level spending this year. As you prepare for your renovation, it’s important to review your financing options based on the size of the project, your intended repayment plan and whether you plan to use a contractor or do it yourself. Some financing options to consider:

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
- A HELOC can provide ongoing access to funds using the equity in your home, which typically results in lower interest rates than unsecured credit. This type of credit may also provide you potential tax benefits. Consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest.

Mortgages with Built-In Renovation Financing
- These loans help homeowners complete renovations with a loan amount that is based on an appraiser's estimate of what the property value will be with completed improvements. This is also an option for aspiring homeowners who purchase properties that need repair. Whether a home purchase or a refinance, this option finances the renovations and mortgage in one loan.

Cash-Out Refinance Mortgages - A cash-out refinance replaces your current mortgage with a new and larger mortgage that pays off your current balance and allows you to use the equity in your home to provide additional funds for other purposes.

Credit Card - Credit cards can be used for large or small purchases and may earn rewards, which can add up to significant benefits when you're making big home improvement purchases. However, credit cards often have higher interest rates than other loan or credit options, which should be taken into consideration.

Personal Loans and Lines of Credit - These personal credit options typically offer quick credit decisions and access to funds in a day. Lines of credit provide ongoing access to funds.

Savings - If you have a do-it-yourself project or a small renovation, accessing your savings might be an option. By paying cash, there is faster access to funds and nothing to repay.

Your bank may not be the best source for what color to paint your room or which walls to move, but it can help you identify your financial options. Each option has its associated benefits and considerations, and your bank can provide valuable information to help you make informed decisions about which options are right for you.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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