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

Tax Refund Outlook Differs by Generation

April 13, 2015 1:09 am

Two-thirds of millennials expect to receive a tax refund this year, more than any other age group, Bankrate.com reports. The likelihood of receiving a tax refund decreases with age: just 35 percent of people age 50 and older anticipate getting money back from the government.

Although experts generally frown upon receiving a tax refund because it amounts to an interest-free loan to the government, 38 percent of Americans prefer to receive a big refund and another 19 percent prefer a small refund.

"It's surprising that so many people still prefer to get a big refund, rather than adjust their withholding to get their money throughout the year," notes Bankrate.com tax analyst Kay Bell. "You'd think during lean times, they'd need the money more to meet their monthly expenses. But old and bad tax habits die hard.”

Twenty-two percent of all Americans would welcome higher taxes if they would lead to free health care for anyone who needs it. Additionally, 43 percent of millennials are willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for free college tuition for all students, versus just 20 percent of other adults. Senior citizens are significantly more likely than other age groups to support higher taxes for repairing and rebuilding roads, bridges and mass transit.

Most Americans will use their tax refunds to pay down debt (34 percent). Thirty-three percent plan to save or invest their windfall, 26 percent will spend it on necessities such as food or utilities, and just 3 percent will splurge on a vacation or shopping spree.

Source: Bankrate.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How Landscape Design Can Boost Home Value

April 13, 2015 1:09 am

(Family Features) A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) found that sustainable, low-maintenance designs are top trends among residential landscape projects. The study, which asked landscape architects to rate the expected popularity of outdoor design elements, points to a great demand for ecologically sensitive upgrades intended to preserve the environment, conserve water and reduce landscape maintenance.

According to the study, the top five upgrades are native plantings, adapted drought plantings, food or vegetable gardens, fire pits and fireplaces and low-maintenance landscapes. If you'd like to incorporate these ideas into your outdoor space, it’s best to hire a professional. Here’s why:

1. A landscape architect is well equipped to design an outdoor living space that will add value to your home, extend your living space and allow you to enjoy all that nature has to offer in a controlled setting. From arbors to fountains, they can create a space that is both inviting and environmentally sustainable.

2. Hiring a landscape architect is a terrific investment for your home. Research from Virginia Tech shows that landscapes literally grow in value over time, while traditional home additions or remodels start to lose value the minute the dust settles.

3. Landscape architects are licensed professionals who often work with landscaping or other construction companies to install their designs. Think of the fashion designer imagining an outfit while a clothing manufacturer makes the apparel, or an artist designing a wall poster that's printed by another company.

4. Landscape architects are trained to think about landscapes as systems. They will assess your property's problem areas, as well as possibilities, and create a solid plan that addresses both the big picture and exact details of how your landscape will look. They will handle all the details, saving you time and stress.

5. Landscape architects will deliver a finished project that you will love and that will comply with regulations and codes. It will be a special place that you and your family and friends will enjoy for years to come.

Source: ASLA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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