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

Empty Nesters: How to Reclaim Your Space

June 15, 2015 1:45 am

(BPT) – The departure of children from the home may be bittersweet, but it is also an opportunity for empty nesters to reclaim their space. Updating the home after the kids move out with savvy improvements can help facilitate aging in place and boost resale value for those planning to downsize in the future.

If your children have left the nest, consider these home projects:

1. Find Your “Me” Space


Turn junior’s room into a space that works for you, like a home office, exercise room, music studio, craft room, workshop or home theater. Keep in mind your long-term plans. If you'll be selling the home at some point, consider a room that will have broader appeal, like a home office.

If you plan to age in place, remember to incorporate features in your “me” space that will facilitate your use of the room even if you experience mobility issues down the road. For example, you may want to take the opportunity to widen doorways, replace doorknobs with door handles, replace loose carpet or slippery tiles with slip-resistant flooring, and improve ventilation.

2. Embrace Natural Lighting


Vision changes as you age, so the artificial lighting that worked for you when you were in your 30s or 40s may not be adequate when you enter your 50s and 60s. Lighting is an important upgrade if you plan to remain in your home into your golden years. Look for improvements that will help aging eyes see better, like increased natural lighting and task lighting in work areas.

3. Create a Bathroom Retreat


Bathrooms sell homes, and if you've lived with an outdated master bathroom - or none at all - now's the time to renovate. In addition to all the luxurious features you've been dreaming of, like a rainfall shower head and heated floor, keep in mind the practical improvements that will make the room safe and usable as you grow older.

Look for slip-resistant flooring, improve natural and task lighting and replace faucet knobs with easy-to-maneuver levers. Install grab bars around tubs and toilets, as well as in the shower. Bath product designers are now making grab bars that offer the look of design elements coupled with the security of sturdy support.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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College Grads: Sidestep Financial Traps

June 12, 2015 1:45 am

Fiscal responsibility should be a top priority for anyone, but newly minted college graduates are more vulnerable to financial traps, say experts with the American Bankers Association (ABA). These traps, identified below, can hinder new grads from securing their financial future, including the ability to purchase a home.

Not Having a Budget – Simply put, don’t spend more than you make. Calculate the amount of money you’re taking home after taxes, then figure out how much money you can afford to spend each month while contributing to your savings. Be sure to factor in recurring expenses such as student loans, monthly rent, utilities, groceries, transportation expenses and car loans.

Forgoing an Emergency Fund – Make it a priority to set aside the equivalent of three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Start putting some money away immediately, no matter how small the amount. A bank savings account is a smart place to stash your cash for a rainy day.

Paying Bills Late – or Not at All – Each missed payment can hurt your credit history for up to seven years, and can affect your ability to obtain loans and the interest rates you pay for loans. Consider setting up automatic payments for regular expenses like student loans, car payments and phone bills.

Racking Up Debt
– Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs, and spend only what you can afford to pay back. It’s a great tool if you use it responsibly.

Not Thinking about the Future – It may seem odd since you’re likely just beginning your career, but now is the best time to start planning for retirement. Contribute to your employer’s 401(k) or similar account, especially if there is a company match. Invest enough to qualify for your company’s full match – it’s free money.

Source: ABA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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