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

Outdoor Living: 4 Hot Trends

March 10, 2015 1:33 am

(Family Features) Inspired by neighbors, home improvement shows and social media channels like Pinterest and Houzz, today's homeowners are entering the deck planning and building process more informed than ever before. But sorting through this wealth of information and inspiration can make it hard to decipher what's really hot for today's outdoor spaces -- and to choose what's right for your home.

Surveying the wide variety of options is the first step in deciding how you'll approach designing your outdoor space. Start by considering some of the top influences expected to dominate the outdoor living landscape this season, according to decking and railing manufacturer Trex Company.

Designing Outside the Box
Gone are the days of simple squared-off decks and basic slab patios. Regardless of the size of the yard – or budget – homeowners today are thinking and building beyond the basic square space. Remodelers and architects report increased interest from customers in decks with multiple levels, curves, cantilevers, pergolas and even walls to create three-dimensional interest and define different functional areas.

Bringing the Indoors Out

The lines between indoors and out will continue to blur as homeowners look to extend the style, comfort and function of their interior spaces to their outdoor living areas. More and more indoor activities are migrating outside with the addition of features such as outdoor kitchens, dining nooks and fireplaces. Demand is also up for features like integrated benches with cushions and accent pillows, storage components and lighting, along with accessories such as ornamental post caps and railing with decorative balusters similar to those found inside the home.

Tropical Staycations

From New England to Southern California, the look of the tropics will dominate as a top outdoor design scheme. Materials that evoke the ambiance of an exotic island getaway are all the rage, from tiki torches, cabanas and waterfalls to deck boards featuring warm colors and multi-colored streaking inspired by tropical hardwoods.

High Performance, Low Maintenance
While aesthetics drive many deck-building decisions, performance is just as important. Increasingly, homeowners are seeking high-performance, low maintenance materials that allow them to spend more time enjoying their outdoor living space than maintaining it. This motivation has contributed to the continued innovation and popularity of composite decking and railing.

Source: Trex

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Shopping for a Car in a Connected World

March 9, 2015 1:30 am

The emergence of online and mobile resources has made it easier than ever to shop for a car, but there are still many shoppers who are prone to making some of the same old mistakes. Online car shopping leader Edmunds.com has identified the five most outdated car shopping tactics and their modern solutions:

Old Concept #1: Relying only on the dealership to build the deal and crunch the numbers.

New Solution:
Does the monthly payment for the car fall within your budget? Not sure if you're better off taking a low-APR or cash incentive? Want to know how much money you will or will not save by trading in your gas guzzler for a hybrid? Having a calculator at your fingertips and crunching the numbers along with the salesperson can help you better understand the deal and feel more confident.

Old Concept #2: Working only with the first salesperson that greets you or picks up the phone.

New Solution: There are several consumer review sites where shoppers leave feedback about their positive and negative experience. Before heading to the dealership, you can read through these reviews and identify a salesperson who delivers a consistently great experience, and then make an appointment with him or her.

Old Concept #3: Not asking questions because you're worried about looking weak or uninformed.

New Solution:
Dealers recognize the value of making you feel good about a deal, so a thoughtful salesperson will answer any question, no matter how ridiculous you might think it is. But if you're still wondering, it's easy to quickly research your question through a third-party resource on your mobile device.

Old Concept #4: Making a deal only when you're at the dealership.

New Solution:
Dealerships typically have an online process that lets you negotiate a price and make a deal remotely. That's a huge stress reliever for those of us who hate negotiating face to face.

Old Concept #5: Relying on your gut to arrive at your car's trade-in value.

New Solution:
If you're planning to trade in your old car, be sure to look up its value on your own. Be sure to print out the details and bring them with you to the dealership. Keep an objective eye; you may think your car is in "good" condition when "fair" might be a more accurate label.

Source: Edmunds.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: