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

Landscape Investments Drive Home Value

June 9, 2015 1:39 am

Maintaining the landscape on your property creates scenery not only visually appealing – it can enhance value, too, according to the Appraisal Institute.

“If landscaping is properly maintained, the impact on home values can be positive,” says Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle, MAI, SRA. “However, it’s important for homeowners not to exceed neighborhood norms when upgrading.”

Curb appeal is an important factor when selling a home, Coyle adds, noting that it is one of the best ways for property owners to make a positive first impression. A home with landscaping that is dated or not appropriately maintained can be a turn-off to prospective buyers and can have a negative impact on the home’s potential resale value.

Coyle says homeowners should ask themselves the following questions when it comes to their home’s landscaping:

• Is the landscaping nice enough to make the prospective buyer walk through the front door? Keep the design modern and on-par with comparable properties in the neighborhood.

• Could the landscaping help future owners save money? Landscaping that needs minimal, if any, water to maintain could be attractive depending on the geographic area.

• Does the landscaping help with the property’s energy efficiency? For example, it’s a good idea to plant trees in a location where they provide shade in locations with year-round hot climates.

If you’re installing a new landscape or planning to revamp an existing one, the EPA’s Energy Star program advises selecting plants that are appropriate for their climate and using a suitable landscape and irrigation design. Homeowners should also consider landscaping techniques using low-water and drought-resistant grass, plants, shrubs and trees.

Source: Appraisal Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Home Tech Evolves with Apple HomeKit and More

June 8, 2015 1:36 am

(Family Features) There’s no doubt technology brings convenience and peace of mind to homeowners. At the touch of a button, families can benefit from thoughtful, digital shortcuts throughout their homes.

One of the newest additions to home technology is Apple HomeKit, slated for release sometime this year. Apple’s latest rollout will make controlling smart devices seamless using iPhone and Siri. Some of the first HomeKit-enabled products include Chamberlain MyQ garage door openers, Honeywell thermostats, the iDevices Switch and Schlage door locks.

While you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of HomeKit, take a look at these other advancements already available for your home.

• It is now possible to control lighting throughout the interior and exterior of your home using your smartphone. With the proper bulbs, in-home Wi-Fi network and an app on your phone or tablet, you can control lights from anywhere and even schedule lights to turn off and on at intervals to give the appearance that someone is home. You'll never have to enter a dark house again when you use lights with geofencing technology, which recognizes when you pull in the driveway and turns lights on automatically.

• Similarly, you can automate and control your home's temperature from your smartphone or device. Although many thermostats allow you to drop temperatures while you're away at work for the day, options such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and Honeywell Lyric take climate management to a whole new level, learning your schedule and adjusting temperatures automatically.

• Motorized drapes not only add a stylish enhancement to your windows, they help keep dawn at bay and your privacy intact through smartphone control. A variety of options allow you to customize settings based on needs, such as blocking daylight, obscuring valuables from outside view, managing the impact of UV rays on your possessions or regulating solar heat.

• With landscaping a chore for many, and water conservation a growing concern, a robotic hose attachment may be the answer, delivering precise amounts of water to each plant. For a large yard, or to use your existing irrigation system, a smart sprinkler system may be a better answer to keep your yard looking lush. Most models can be customized by valve or zone, and many use weather data or moisture sensors to ensure the right amount of water is delivered each time.

• When dinner plans call for a steak on the grill, keep your meal deliciously on target with a smartphone app, such as iGrill or Grill It, which guides you to the perfect temperature based on variables such as the cut and thickness.

With such advancements right at your fingertips, it's becoming easier than ever for families to manage household tasks and functions quickly and easily. Evolving technology means more sophisticated alternatives are yet to come. It's clear that when it comes to home management technology, the future is only a click away.

Source:
Chamberlain.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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