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

14 Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design

April 15, 2015 1:24 am

As the housing recovery continues, kitchens and bathrooms remain the most popular areas for investment by homeowners, according to a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Kitchens, in particular, remain the center of operations within the home, with energy-efficiency, water conversation and healthy home materials topping the list of homeowner must-haves.

“The major point of emphasis in kitchen design nowadays revolves less around actual cooking activities,” says Kermit Baker, AIA chief economist. “Rather, homeowners are looking for kitchens that are gathering spots for family and entertaining, as well as serving as a hub for electronic devices and recharging stations.

“Another important trend we see appearing more, not only in kitchens but the entire project, is specifying healthier construction components such as paint, caulking, glues, grout and other potentially high VOC (volatile organic compounds) products, that may contain harmful ingredients and off-gas noxious fumes or vapors over time as they are curing.”

The survey concluded that the most popular kitchen products and features are:
  • LED Lighting
  • Computer Area/Recharging Station
  • Larger Pantry Space
  • Upper-End Appliances
  • Double Island
  • Adaptability/Universal Design
  • Drinking Water Filtration Systems
Based on the survey, the most popular bathroom products and features are:
  • LED Lighting
  • Doorless Showers
  • Adaptability/Universal Design
  • Large Walk-In Showers
  • Stall Shower without Tub
  • Water Saving Toilets
  • Radiant Heated Floors
Source: AIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


10 Tips for Last-Minute Tax Filers

April 14, 2015 1:21 am

Though the tax filing deadline is imminent, taxpayers must remain thorough when filing their returns. To avoid processing hiccups, take note of these tips from the IRS.

1. File electronically.
Filing electronically, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. And best of all, there is a free option for everyone.

2. Mail a paper return to the right address. Paper filers should check or their form instructions for the appropriate address where to file to avoid processing delays.

3. Take a close look at the tax tables. When figuring tax using the tax tables, taxpayers should be sure to use the correct column for the filing status claimed.

4. Fill in all requested information clearly. When entering information on the tax return, including Social Security numbers, take the time to be sure it is correct and easy to read. Also, check only one filing status and the appropriate exemption boxes.

5. Review all figures.
While software catches and prevents many errors on e-file returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.

6. Get the right routing and account numbers. Requesting direct deposit of a federal refund into one, two or even three accounts is convenient and allows the taxpayer access to his or her money faster. Make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause a refund to be delayed or deposited into the wrong account.

7. Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. E-filers can sign using a self-selected personal identification number (PIN).

8. Attach all required forms. Paper filers need to attach W-2s and other forms that reflect tax withholding to the front of their returns. If requesting a payment agreement with the IRS, also attach Form 9465 to the front of the return. Attach all other necessary schedules and forms in the sequence number order shown in the upper right-hand corner.

9. Keep a copy of the return. Once ready to be filed, taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all schedules for their records.

10. Request a Filing Extension. For taxpayers who cannot meet the April 15 deadline, requesting a filing extension is easy and will prevent late filing penalties. Either use Free File or Form 4868 – but keep in mind that while an extension grants additional time to file, tax payments are still due April 15.


Published with permission from RISMedia.