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

4 Home Improvements Projects to Tackle This Summer

July 23, 2015 1:18 am

Summertime is ideal for projects around the house to not only prepare for the coming months, but to also add value to your home. "The summer months continue to be quintessential for home maintenance, and it's important to stay on top of projects like inspecting your siding or windows, setting up larger replacements like a new roof, as well as other curb appeal enhancements while the weather is warmer," says Power Home Remodeling Group Vice Presidents of Operations Matt Hess. "Checking the right improvement projects off your to-do list will create the best return on investment for your home and save you money in the future — making life easier leading into fall and then the holiday season."

According to Power, homeowners should focus on completing one or all of these projects before the season ends.

1. Make your home more energy-efficient.

High energy bills during the summer months can be avoided by increasing a home's energy efficiency. Consider investing in new doors and energy-efficient windows that not only reduce expenses, but protect window treatments, floors and furniture from fading. Look for heat resistant windows that are much more effective at keeping heat and humidity at bay. Cut down A/C usage by turning the thermostat up during the daytime hours, or consider installing a programmable thermostat.

2. Beautify your home's exterior.

Enhanced curb appeal has been linked to increased value and return on investment. Inspect your exterior for loose or rotted siding, and consider power washing or repainting if it’s time for a revamp. You may want to consider installing a new roof, as well – the seasonal weather will work in your favor. And don’t forget about refreshing your home's landscaping to complete the new and improved look.

3. Create your own backyard paradise.

Turn your backyard into a getaway and every weekend will feel like a vacation! Consider the atmosphere first. Hang dim LED lights throughout the yard, cut back shrubbery and plant a variety of bright, tropical flowers. Then, think about entertaining. Spruce up summer dinner parties by making sure the grill has been inspected and cleaned and consider installing an outdoor speaker.

4. Bug-proof your home.

Call in an exterminator in the beginning of the season to avoid a run-in with an unwanted guest or an irritating buzz while enjoying your home this summer. Be sure to store trash properly and only throw out food in trashcans with a lid. To prevent entry into your home, make sure screens free of holes are installed on both windows and doors.

Source: Power Home Remodeling Group

Published with permission from RISMedia.


6 Financial Planning Tips for Younger Caregivers

July 22, 2015 1:18 am

Like the rest of the world, the United States’ population is aging. According to the U.S. Census, it is becoming much more common for younger people to take on the role of caregiver – and to invest significant amounts of their own money toward the care of their loved ones, often at the expense of their own financial futures, a recent MassMutual study reports.

“We often refer to the baby boomers as the sandwich generation, but Gen Y and X could be called the ‘club sandwich’ generation,” says MassMutual SpecialCare(SM) Program Director Joanne Gruszkos. “These younger adults are not only trying to get their own lives off to a sound start, perhaps starting a family, while often caring for siblings with disabilities or in some cases, spouses who are injured or disabled veterans, and anticipating caring for an aging parent in the future.”

Whether or not financial support is provided, caregiving requires time away from work that could impact the ability to earn a living. Study respondents who identified themselves as being caregivers indicated they have less time for themselves (47 percent), an increased stress or anxiety level (36 percent) and poor sleep (35 percent). Close to 20 percent of caregivers indicated a financial impact and half say their future financial and/or retirement plans are being impacted.

This outcome can be avoided with advanced planning, says MassMutual. The first step is to have an honest conversation with your family members about their own health care wishes and the plans they may have in place to carry them out. Will they be able to fund their long-term care, or will they rely on you? Having this conversation before being called upon will allow for time to put plans into place.

The next step is to get the information needed to plan. Seek trusted advisors who have special needs experience to guide you through important financial decisions. Identify the person who will care for your loved one and draft a letter of intent that will serve as a guide for that person to provide care, support and other assistance.

Plan ahead for expenses such as housing, education, work opportunities and daily transportation when determining your loved one’s lifetime financial needs. Research federal benefits provided to families affected by special needs. You may qualify.

Lastly, make sure you have beneficiary arrangements and a current will that align with your other planning strategies.

Source: MassMutual

Published with permission from RISMedia.