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

Steer Clear of Family Disagreements over the Holidays

December 24, 2014 12:51 am

Do you and your family clash more than usual during December? If so, you’re not alone. It’s important to note that most holiday issues are rarely just about the holidays. They tend to be symptoms—signs of unmet needs or unresolved issues. Once you begin to realize arguments and bad feelings are signaling deeper misfires, the sooner you can start to address them together.

One reason families can feel blindsided by holiday blow-ups is that this time of year is “supposed” to be all colored lights, childlike wonder, love, and gratitude. This is, of course, a setup for failure. Depending on your holiday expectations, they can bring a unique set of pressures—forced family togetherness, ramped-up financial pressures, and jam-packed schedules, just to name a few.

To help ease the stress, consider these tips:

Be real about what you feel. This will allow you to head off recurring holiday issues. Most people can predict their relatives' problematic behaviors based on past experience. This year, instead of biting your tongue and then blowing up after the fact, speak up. Not only can you prevent the issue from occurring, you’re taking a step toward a healthier relationship.

Identify your limits. Watch out for overscheduling. Make choices about where to invest your energy and your time. Figure out which events mean the most and let some things go. Otherwise you are sure to spend all of your time stressed, resentful of your loved ones.

Look for rituals that have lost their meaning and eliminate them. Ask yourself, 'Where are we just going through the motions?' Maybe you’ve always driven across the country for the holidays because that’s where your partner’s parents live. But if you’re approaching the visit with a sense of dread rather than anticipation and joy, why not change it? You can always visit them mid-summer instead.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Winter Fixes for a Warm Home

December 23, 2014 12:42 am

Financing the cost of the holidays with the cost of keeping your home warm and safe during the winter season may be more than many families' budgets can handle. But keeping your family warm doesn’t have to break the bank. Generac recommends these cost-effective fixes:

1. Top Off Your Attic Insulation

A high percentage of heat loss occurs through the roof because of poor insulation. Make sure your attic is insulated with the minimum R-value for your climate (up to R-49 for northern). Also, check the rim joist areas above the foundation walls in the basement and plug any gaps with fiberglass insulation.

2. Dial Down the Thermostat
Tried and true, because most people can live comfortably with a lower temperature around 68 degrees. Setting it lower than that when you're away or asleep will also save energy. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that will lower the temperature automatically during off-peak times.

3. Replace or Insulate Drafty Windows

You can literally hear your money flying out the window when a winter wind blows on old windows. Consider replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones. Another option is to put up window insulating kits. The clear plastic film can increase coziness by reducing drafts, saving energy and avoiding the costs of window replacement.

4. Fill Gaps with Caulks and Sealants
Replace old caulk joints around your window and door trim (both inside and outside) that can shrink and leak energy over time. Use a spray foam sealant to fill in the gaps left around pipes, wires, TV cables or bath and dryer vents penetrating your foundation or siding.

5. Get an Energy Audit

Most local utilities can help arrange a home energy audit to pinpoint where to focus your winterizing efforts. One essential tool is a thermal-imaging camera, which uses infrared technology to show where heat is escaping the house. In many areas, the cameras are available to rent, so try one out before winterizing to know exactly what needs to be done to lower your heating bill.

Source: Generac

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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