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  • Selling Q&A

    • What are the advantages of owning a home?

      There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help put children through college, purchase a second home, or make home improvements.

      The mortgage interest paid on a home loan is tax deductible, as is the local property tax. If you get a fixed-rate home mortgage loan, you also can invest more wisely knowing your monthly mortgage payment, unlike rent, will not change substantially.



    • What is the first step to buying a home?

      Make sure you are ready - psychologically and financially. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have steady income? Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough to improve bad credit?

      A house needs constant care and attention. Also ask yourself if your budget will allow for unexpected repairs and upkeep. Once you can honestly answer "yes" to these questions, you are several steps ahead of the game and that much closer to becoming a homeowner.



    • How much can I afford?

      The general rule of thumb is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good REALTOR® or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance and other expenses.



    • Is it best to save for the ultimate dream home or begin with a less expensive starter home?

      It can take a long time to save for that perfect dream home. Meanwhile, the market has been flooded with some of the most favorable mortgage interest rates in years. Low rates make housing more affordable, which is why so many buyers have jumped on the home buying bandwagon.

      Home-price appreciation has also been strong, making very solid gains in communities across the country. In fact, home prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent to 3 percent annually over the next five years.

      If you purchase a starter home today, you can potentially begin to build value that can lead to the purchase of a larger, or more desirable, trade-up home in the future.



    • How do you decide whether to add on to an existing home or purchase a new one?

      There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home. As designer and builder Philip S. Wenz, the author of Adding to a House: Planning, Design & Construction, notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a "new" home without the heartache of moving.

      Other considerations:

      • Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will you need a loan?
      • How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.
      • Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition?
      • What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements.
      • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?
      Explore your options. Make sure your decision is one you can live with - either under the same roof or under a different one.

  • Monthly Help Videos

  • Monthly Home Ownership Tips

    • Is it true you never really stop fixing up a home?

      From the day you move in to the day you sell your home, there will always be something that will need to be repaired or remodeled. You may want to undertake some changes simply to elevate your comfort level - like installing central air conditioning - or spruce up the home's aesthetics, such as adding a few stained-glass windows.

      But other work will need to be done to maintain the property and minimize problems later on. For example, replacing a hazardous roof, fixing broken windows, and repairing leaky pipes. These are all necessities. Left undone, they can lead to major problems and damages within the home.

      If you decide one day to sell, other improvements will likely be made to increase the home's value and appeal to potential buyers.



    • Is there anything I should pay special attention to?

      From the very beginning, get in the habit of taking an inventory at least once every year of every nook and cranny of your home to check for potential problems. Examine the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical wiring - basically everything. Try to fix trouble spots as soon as you uncover them. This proactive approach will help you avoid larger expenses later on, so leave no stone unturned when taking your inventory.



    • What about the unseen problems like toxic gases?

      Problems with your chimney, mechanical devices on your heating appliance, and pressure within the home can all cause combustion spillage, the unwanted flow of combustion gases into your home. Present in these gases are toxic elements such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

      The best way to prevent spillage is to hire a professional - preferably one who specializes in building inspection, indoor air quality, ducting, chimneys and heating equipment - to do a yearly maintenance check of all your combustion appliances. These appliances include a gas-fired furnace, boiler, or water heater, an oil-fired furnace, boiler, or water heater, and a fireplace.The service professional can check for heat exchanger leakage, evidence of start up spillage, and condensation in the chimney. Maintenance normally includes a tune-up, or in the case of a chimney, clearing it of debris and fixing cracks on the inside wall.



    • How much, on average, can I expect to spend on maintenance?

      Expect to spend one percent of the purchase price of your home every year to handle a myriad of tasks, including painting, tree trimming, repairing gutters, caulking windows, and routine system repairs and maintenance.An older home will usually require more maintenance, although a lot will depend on how well it has been maintained over the years.

      Tell yourself that the upkeep of your home is mandatory, and budget accordingly. Otherwise, your home's value will suffer if you allow it to fall into a state of disrepair. Remember, there is usually a direct link between a property's condition and its market value: The better its condition, the more a buyer will likely pay for it down the road.

      Also, adopt the attitude that the cost of good home maintenance is usually minor compared to what it will cost to remedy a situation that you allowed to get out of hand. For example, unclogging and sealing gutters may cost a few hundred dollars. But repairing damage to a corner of your home where gutters have leaked can potentially cost several thousands dollars.



    • What are the main reasons why homeowners remodel?

      There are many reasons. Home remodeling can improve the appearance of your home, enhance its value, add to your quality of life, and appeal to future homebuyers. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, the top four reasons homeowners remodel is to obtain more space, avoid buying a new home, enjoy more amenities, and adjust to lifestyle changes.



  • Want a Market Analysis on your home: Request more Information

  • Glossary of Terms

    • Acceleration clause

      Stipulation in a mortgage agreement that allows the lender to demand immediate payment of the entire loan balance if any scheduled payment is missed.

    • Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)

      Mortgage loan on which the interest rate falls and rises with changes in prevailing rates. The mortgage rate is tied to a selected index and may be adjusted annually. Also called a variable rate mortgage.

    • Agent

      Person authorized to act by and on behalf of another.

    • Air rights

      Right to occupy and use the open space above a parcel of land or property, such as in the leasing of air space over existing buildings or highways.

    • Amortize

      Pay a debt in monthly or other periodic installments until the total amount, along with the interest, if any, is paid.

  • Daily Consumer News

    • 5 Tips for Snagging More Steps

      Did you know, people who take fewer than 5,000 steps every day are considered to be sedentary or inactive? The ideal number of steps to hit in a day for optimum health is 10,000 - but this can be hard for those of us with desk jobs. Below are a few tips to stretch your steps.

      Hit the stairs. This is one of the easiest tricks. Opt for the stairs over an elevator whenever possible.

      Park further away. While it may seem great to grab a parking spot right by the entrance to your destination, purposely parking across the lot--or even better, across the street - means you will grab some steps en route.

      Make a walking date. Instead of sitting down with a friend for coffee, go and hit the park instead. Walking and talking often makes for a more stimulating experience, anyway.

      Get a dog. It may seem extreme to get a dog just to up your daily steps, but dogs bring so much joy to their owners lives, in addition to helping them become more active. If you have time in your schedule to care for a pup, consider adopting a rescue and watch your steps soar.

      Drink tons of water. Why does this trick work? Improved hydration means more trips throughout the day to the restroom! Bonus: being properly hydrated has a myriad of other health benefits, too.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • In the Dark About Household Finances?

      In many couple situations, the task of handling various financial chores fall on one specific person. But that doesn't - and certainly shouldn't - mean that only one person should know what's going on with the household bills, expenses, and credit accounts.

      According to a recent report from The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), if responsibilities unexpectedly shift due to a sudden illness or loss of a spouse, getting up to speed quickly could be challenging
      for the person least familiar with handling family finances.

      Without the help of the person who has always handled the money, CFPB blogger Erin Scheithe says the one left in charge will face major headaches. Scheithe offers the following insights:

      - Schedule time for you and your spouse to go over your financial picture. Start by taking an inventory of your family finances: income, expenses, debt, and investments, if any. It’s good to get in the habit of sharing this every so often as your financial picture changes or so it stays fresh in your mind.

      - Maintain a list of account information and store it in a secure location. Make sure you both have access to online accounts. Create a list that includes account numbers, usernames, security questions, and passwords. There are many options available for securely saving the list digitally or printing it and storing it in a locked fireproof box. Remember to tell your spouse how to access the file and update it when necessary.

      - Have a plan. Make sure to plan for what will happen and who will manage your finances if one or both of you become ill or die unexpectedly. Consider creating a durable power of attorney so you will have someone in place to pay your bills or make financial decisions if you can no longer do it on your own.

      Losing your spouse is challenging on its own Scheithe says, and that stress multiplies if you find you are in the dark about your family finances.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 8 Tips to Kick Off the New School Year

      Prepping your family for back to school? Are you and your kids ready for the new school year? To help ease stress, USAGov offers these eight tips.

      Don't skip the shots. Your pediatrician can tell you which vaccinations your kids need each year. Check if your family qualifies for low-cost or free vaccines.

      Shop the sales. Some states have sales tax holidays in August for clothes and school supplies. Take advantage of the deals and save money.

      Get smart about smart phones. Talk to your kids about cyberbullying, appropriate phone behavior, and staying safe online.

      Be on track for college. Advise your middle or high schooler to prepare for higher education through their classes, extracurricular activities, and even chores at home.

      Beat the after-school blues. Encourage your kids to get involved in extracurricular activities at school or in the community. Learn how to find quality after-school child care in your area.

      Discuss drug abuse. While painkiller use is down among teens, vaping has become popular. Talk about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and other drugs with your children.

      Nurture nutritious eating. Your children may be entitled to free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school. Find out if they're eligible and how to apply.Ditch the stress. Students can worry about grades, friends, bullying, or changing schools. Help your kids respond to stress in healthy ways.

      Source: USAGov

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Why You Should Get a Dog

      (Family Features)--Few things compare to the feelings of love and companionship that come with owning a dog. Many owners even call their dogs "fur babies" or say they're a "pet parent." While having a pet comes with responsibilities and commitment, the physical and emotional benefits can make bringing a pet into the family a worthwhile experience.

      Consider these benefits of having a pet and why it's one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.

      Work Out with a Buddy. If you're looking to stay active, look no further than your four-legged friend as the ultimate workout partner. Take your pooch for a walk or run, or play a rousing game of fetch. You'll get in some exercise, and he can expel some extra energy.

      Share Your Healthy Lifestyle. When trying to eat healthy, it can be easier to do it with a buddy to help keep you motivated, and your furry friend can be the perfect partner. Provide your pooch with a nutritious pet food made with real, recognizable, nutritious ingredients.

      Meet New Friends. Your pet isn't the only one who can make friends at the dog park. Use your dog walks and trips to the dog park as an opportunity to socialize with fellow dog owners in the neighborhood and make some new, dog-friendly buddies to spend time with.

      Feel Good About Doing Good. The relationship between pets and pet parents is a special thing for everyone involved. Pets bring unconditional love, goodness and endearing innocence to their owners' lives, and pet parents provide their furry friends with their forever homes. These loving homes are especially meaningful for rescue dogs.  If you're looking for a new pet, consider a rescue.

      Enjoy Constant Hugs and Kisses. At the end of the day, it's hard to beat the feeling of coming home to a wagging tail and a smiling, furry face. Simply put, dogs can bring joy into peoples' lives with unconditional love and endless hugs and snuggles.

      Source:  Family Features Editorial Syndicate

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Protect Your Kids From Water Accidents at Home

      For those with young kids, water can be deadly - and not just at the beach or pool. In 2014, a study showed that more than 50 children younger than 5 years old fatally drowned in and around the home, excluding pools and spas. About 90 percent of these drowning deaths occurred in bathtubs.

      The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers safety tips to help prevent children from drowning in and around the home.

      - Never leave a baby alone, or with young siblings, in a bathtub even for a second. Always keep baby within arm's reach. Children can drown quickly and silently.

      - Keep the toilet lid down, and keep young children out of the bathroom when unsupervised. Consider placing a latch on the bathroom door out of reach of young children.

      - Be sure all containers with liquids are emptied immediately after use. Do not leave empty containers in yards or around the house where they may accumulate water and attract young children.

      - Always secure the safety cover on your spa or hot tub.

      - Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaver.

      Source: CPSC

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Buyers: Ck out our featured Properties

    • 100 N MAIN ST SELLERSVILLE, PA 100 N MAIN ST, SELLERSVILLE, PA Residential Income | SingleBldg for sale. $849,900 
    • 100 N MAIN ST SELLERSVILLE, PA 100 N MAIN ST, SELLERSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $849,900 
    • 212 HAMPSHIRE DR CHALFONT, PA 212 HAMPSHIRE DR, CHALFONT, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $354,900 
    • 794 LAURELWOOD RD POTTSTOWN, PA 794 LAURELWOOD RD, POTTSTOWN, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $152,900 
    • 794 LAURELWOOD RD POTTSTOWN, PA 794 LAURELWOOD RD, POTTSTOWN, PA Commercial for sale. $152,900 
    • 350 ALEXANDER DR TELFORD, PA 350 ALEXANDER DR, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $560,000 Price reduced from $588,000 (-$28,000)
    • 837 W MAIN ST LANSDALE, PA 837 W MAIN ST, LANSDALE, PA Commercial for sale. $1,950 
    • 118 S 3RD ST TELFORD, PA 118 S 3RD ST, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $259,900 Price reduced from $269,000 (-$9,100)
    • 270 MAPLE AVE COLLEGEVILLE, PA 270 MAPLE AVE, COLLEGEVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $315,000 
    • 357 N MAIN ST SOUDERTON, PA 357 N MAIN ST, SOUDERTON, PA Commercial for sale. $885,000 
    • 72 HALDEMAN RD SCHWENKSVILLE, PA 72 HALDEMAN RD, SCHWENKSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $627,500 
    • 2936 FUNKS RD HATFIELD, PA 2936 FUNKS RD, HATFIELD, PA Commercial for sale. $4,063 
    • 3031 RAINER RD CHESTER SPRINGS, PA 3031 RAINER RD, CHESTER SPRINGS, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $445,000 Price reduced from $449,500 (-$4,500)
    • 310 W WALNUT ST PERKASIE, PA 310 W WALNUT ST, PERKASIE, PA Single Family | Semi-Detached for sale. $224,900 Price reduced from $229,900 (-$5,000)
    • 271 HUNSBERGER LN HARLEYSVILLE, PA 271 HUNSBERGER LN, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $375,000 Price reduced from $385,000 (-$10,000)
    • 271 HUNSBERGER LN HARLEYSVILLE, PA 271 HUNSBERGER LN, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $375,000 Price reduced from $385,000 (-$10,000)
    • 111 ALLENTOWN RD SOUDERTON, PA 111 ALLENTOWN RD, SOUDERTON, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $219,000 Price reduced from $239,900 (-$20,900)
    • 111 ALLENTOWN RD SOUDERTON, PA 111 ALLENTOWN RD, SOUDERTON, PA Commercial for sale. $219,000 Price reduced from $239,900 (-$20,900)
    • 515 SUMMIT LN RIEGELSVILLE, PA 515 SUMMIT LN, RIEGELSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $609,900 Price reduced from $614,900 (-$5,000)
    • 958 BETHLEHEM PIKE COLMAR, PA 958 BETHLEHEM PIKE, COLMAR, PA Commercial for sale. $298,900 
  • Search the Mls for Houses for sale

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    Postal Code 19333, PA
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    School District School District, County, PA
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    Address 123 Main St, Devon, PA
    Street Main St, Devon, PA
    Listing ID #123456
  • Search for School information on a home you like

    Before you purchase a new home it is always a good idea to research the schools in the surrounding area. The quality and/or proximity of the schools surrounding your home may significantly impact its resale value.

    Select a city to view a comprehensive list of all public and private schools that are available in the area.


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  • Buying Q&A

    • What are the advantages of owning a home?

      There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help put children through college, purchase a second home, or make home improvements.

      The mortgage interest paid on a home loan is tax deductible, as is the local property tax. If you get a fixed-rate home mortgage loan, you also can invest more wisely knowing your monthly mortgage payment, unlike rent, will not change substantially.



    • What is the first step to buying a home?

      Make sure you are ready - psychologically and financially. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have steady income? Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough to improve bad credit?

      A house needs constant care and attention. Also ask yourself if your budget will allow for unexpected repairs and upkeep. Once you can honestly answer "yes" to these questions, you are several steps ahead of the game and that much closer to becoming a homeowner.



    • How much can I afford?

      The general rule of thumb is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good REALTOR® or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance and other expenses.



    • Is it best to save for the ultimate dream home or begin with a less expensive starter home?

      It can take a long time to save for that perfect dream home. Meanwhile, the market has been flooded with some of the most favorable mortgage interest rates in years. Low rates make housing more affordable, which is why so many buyers have jumped on the home buying bandwagon.

      Home-price appreciation has also been strong, making very solid gains in communities across the country. In fact, home prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent to 3 percent annually over the next five years.

      If you purchase a starter home today, you can potentially begin to build value that can lead to the purchase of a larger, or more desirable, trade-up home in the future.



    • How do you decide whether to add on to an existing home or purchase a new one?

      There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home. As designer and builder Philip S. Wenz, the author of Adding to a House: Planning, Design & Construction, notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a "new" home without the heartache of moving.

      Other considerations:

      • Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will you need a loan?
      • How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.
      • Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition?
      • What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements.
      • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?
      Explore your options. Make sure your decision is one you can live with - either under the same roof or under a different one.

  • Financing Q&A

    • What is a mortgage and how does it work?

      A mortgage makes homeownership possible for most people. In the simplest terms, it is a loan that is secured by real property. The lender holds title to the home until the loan is completely repaid. If you fail to pay up, the lender has a right to take the property, sell it, and recover the money that is owed.

      The amount of a mortgage will vary greatly depending on the down payment you make to reduce the amount of money that is needed to finance the home. You may put as much money down as you like, or you can sometimes pay as little as 3 to 5% of the purchase price, or sometimes nothing at all. The more you put down, the more you reduce the amount that is financed, thereby lowering your monthly payment.

      The monthly payment consists of both principal and interest but also typically includes additional amounts to cover property taxes and insurance-specifically hazard insurance and private mortgage insurance, the latter of which is required for down payments less than 20% of the purchase price.

      Home buyers in the U.S. have access to several different types of mortgage loans.



    • How do I qualify for a home loan?

      Top 5 Members have information on lender loan requirements and will be able to calculate a rough monthly figure you can afford based on the maximum monthly payment for the loan, taxes, insurance, and any type of maintenance fees. This pre-purchase evaluation by the agent can save you a lot of time spent looking at properties you cannot afford.

      Lenders also routinely calculate what you can afford and can pre-qualify you for a loan even before you begin your home search. This way, you know exactly how much you can afford to buy.

      Lenders generally stipulate that you spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on a mortgage payment or 36% on total debts.

      Ultimately, the price you can afford to pay for a home will also depend on other factors besides your gross income and outstanding debts. They include the amount of cash you have available for the down payment, your credit history, current interest rates, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender, and the type of mortgage you select.



    • What's the best way to choose a home loan?

      A lot will depend on the length of time you plan to live in the home, other financial obligations, and potential savings gained from comparing the monthly costs of a home against the upfront costs and closing costs involved with a particular loan.

      Also, you will need to be comfortable with whatever choice you decide to make. Trust your instincts and do not be pressured into signing for a loan that will not really work for you.



    • Where can I get a mortgage?

      You can get a home loan from several different sources-a credit union, commercial bank, mortgage company, finance company, government agency, thrift (which includes savings banks and savings & loan associations), mortgage broker, and even the seller.

      Note, however, that most lenders have tightened their credit standards in light of increasing foreclosures and higher delinquency rates. Begin your search by calling at least half a dozen lenders to inquire about the types of financing available, current rates on each loan type, loan origination fees and number of points, other loan features and their credit requirements for borrowers.

      Once you actually apply for a mortgage, the lender will pull a recent copy of your credit report. That inquiry and any and all others are recorded and become a part of your credit file. Normally, several inquiries during a short period are viewed negatively, as a sign you are trying to open several new accounts. Such a move lowers your credit scores; and lower credit scores mean you will be offered a higher mortgage interest rate.

      However, there is a caveat. Credit scoring software generally detect that you are shopping for a single mortgage, if you shop within a short, 30-day window. So multiple inquires pulled roughly within this time frame will only count as one inquiry and should not affect your FICO or credit score.

      Checking your own score also will not lower your credit score.



    • What does a mortgage broker do?

      Much like a stockbroker helps you buy stocks, a mortgage broker can help you purchase a home loan. Because the broker has access to many lenders, you will be able to select from a wide variety of loan types and terms that fit your specific needs.

      Note, however, that brokers are not obligated to find the best deal for you. Of course, if you agree in writing to have one act as your agent, that is an entirely different story. This is why it is important when looking for a broker to contact more than one, just as you would any other lender.

      Compare their fees and ask questions, particularly about how they will be paid. Sometimes their fees appear as points paid at closing or the compensation is factored into the interest rate, or both. In any event, haggle with the broker and the lender for the best deal.

      Real estate agents normally maintain contact with several brokers. Ask your Top 5 Member for recommendations.



  • Home Matters Articles

    • In this Edition: Keep Your AC Use in Check

      Our lead story in this month’s Home Matters examines simple ways to give your AC a break as we make our way through the remainder of the summer. Other topics covered this month include common culprits that could be keeping your veggie garden from thriving and what you need to know so that you don’t become a victim of a social media scam. We hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Home Matters and as always, we welcome your feedback. Email us anytime!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Cool Your AC Costs With These Simple Tips

      As temperatures skyrocket during the dog days of summer, so do air conditioning costs as we work to maintain climate control within our homes. But finding a way to keep AC usage in check can prevent utility bills from getting too high. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, you’ll save approximately 3 percent on your utility bill for every degree you raise the set temperature for your central air.

      While the temperature you choose to keep your central air set to is ultimately a matter of your own personal comfort, Energy Star recommends that for optimal cooling and energy efficiency, you should keep your house set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and awake, 85 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at work or away, and 82 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re sleeping.
       
      If that sounds a little too toasty for your liking, try going down by 1 degree at a time (bearing in mind the 3 percent savings per degree formula). Or, if you can handle the heat, go up a degree or two to lower your energy bill, and try some of these other suggestions from Consumer Reports for cooling off at home:

      • Use your ceiling fan or box fans, if you have them, which will create a wind chill effect in your home, provided the humidity isn’t too high.
      • If you have a programmable thermostat, use your smartphone to set your AC to shut off then turn on an hour before you arrive home. That way it’s off for a good chunk of the day.
      • If the temperature is really on the rise outside, avoid using appliances like your washer and dryer, dishwasher and oven, which will generate more heat.
      • Avoid cooking indoors altogether by eating cold foods, like salads, sandwiches and smoothies, or grilling outside. 
      The best tip of all? Next time you’re about to complain about the heat, remember what it felt like on a cold winter day. Your warm home suddenly might not feel so warm after all!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • How to Revive a Lackluster Veggie Garden

      Many of us kick off summer with ambitious plans for a bountiful vegetable garden, only to find ourselves disappointed with poor growth and no signs of fruit a few weeks later. However, it might not be your lack of a green thumb, but rather, several common culprits that are responsible for a lagging veggie garden. Consider whether any of the following are at play:

      • Not enough sunlight. To grow strong and thrive, most vegetables need at least eight hours of sunlight a day, especially the fruit-bearing kind, like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. You might be able to grow some leafy greens and herbs in partial sunlight, but that’s about it.
      • Poor soil. Rich, healthy soil is critical for growing veggies. A soil test will give you a good idea of your soil’s fertility and pH level. If it’s not up to par, try a homemade compost or organic fertilizers to help improve your soil quality.
      • Not enough (or too much) water. The right amount of water is critical. Newly seeded beds will need frequent watering; however, established crops can get by on one or two inches of water per week, says Nikki Jabbour at savvygardening.com. She recommends conserving water by mulching the soil with several inches of straw or shredded leaves, which will also go a long way toward reducing weeds.
      • Critters. Moles, deer, rabbits and the like can make a feast out of your vegetable garden, and are pretty crafty about gaining access. Make sure your fencing extends six inches under the soil to prevent bunnies from burrowing underneath, and at least eight feet above the ground to prevent deer from jumping over. 
      Before you throw in the towel, assess the situation and see if you can troubleshoot any of the areas above to bring your vegetable garden back to life so that you can enjoy a healthy harvest before summer’s out.
       

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Great Ways to Decorate an Exposed Brick Wall

      Have a room with an exposed brick wall? Lucky you! Not only is the brick itself an irresistible design element, with a few simple décor tricks, you can amp up the chic factor even further.
       
      Try these suggestions from the experts at American Home Shield.

      Place an open-backed shelving unit in front of it to allow the brick to show through, instead of opting for a traditional, close-backed bookcase. Keep the amount of items you place on the bookcase sparse to expose as much of the brick as possible, and opt for a natural wood or metal style that melds well with the brick.

      Instead of hanging décor, lean large items against the brick wall, like a full-length mirror, framed print or an antique sign. This plays well with the contemporary, urban style that brick walls often exude.

      Contrast the rich tone of the brick with vibrant pops of color in the form of a bold velvet settee, a floor lamp with a bright lamp shade, or a few fun throw pillows. The neutral palette of the brick gives you a blank canvas to work with.

      Complement the warm red tones of the brick with wood accents and greenery in the form of picture frames and wood-framed furniture, accented by a couple of ferns or ficus trees. This will give your room a warm, rustic and country vibe as opposed to a modern, city feel.

      You can also change the look of the room completely by painting the brick. Create a distressed look by using colors or stencils sporadically as you might see in an old warehouse, or make a uniformed statement by whitewashing the entire wall or painting it an unusual color. Talk to a paint expert about the best way to prep the brick before painting.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Safety Watch: How to Recognize Social Media Scams

      Social media is a great way to unwind, catch up on the latest trends and news, and connect with friends and followers. However, fraudsters have found ways to infiltrate social media sites to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Jackie MacKnight of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau advises social media users to watch out for the following scams when scrolling through your favorite feeds:
       
      Like-Farming. This scam involves the creation of emotionally driven posts—think sick children, lost animals, political ire—designed to generate massive amounts of likes and shares. According to MacKnight, some of these posts even claim that Facebook will donate money for every comment or share. As people like and share the post, its audience increases, at which point the scammer will edit the post to include a malicious component, such as a link to a website that downloads malware to your machine, or they may resell the page on the black market to buyers who will use it to spam followers or harvest the information Facebook provides.

      Blackmail. While one of the best parts about social media is the ease of sharing photos, unfortunately, it’s extremely easy for these photos to be stolen and used for nefarious purposes, including blackmail. The surefire way to avoid this is to never share photos of yourself in compromising positions. Make sure your privacy settings are set so that your friends and followers can’t share such photos without your approval, as well.

      Phishing. Phishing scams have also made their way to social media, so steer clear of anyone claiming to be from your bank, credit card company, utility company or anyone else you do business with. The rule of thumb when it comes to identifying a phishing scam? These institutions will never ask for personal information like your credit card number, Social Security Number, passwords, etc., online. Inform them that you will call them directly on the number you have for them to verify the call before providing any information.

      Generally speaking, to steer clear of such scams and stay safe on social media, MacKnight recommends following some common sense safety measures, such as avoiding offers that sound too good to be true, only liking posts and articles that are legitimate, and being extremely cautious when it comes to sharing personal information. Never provide your address, phone number, birth date, etc., to a person or company you don’t know or trust.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Office Location: 418 Main St, Harleysville

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  • Patricia O'Herrick

    Vice President / Associate Broker Harleysville Office

    (215) 256-6543

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    Patricia has been in real estate over 20 years. She has lived and work in this area her whole life. She is actively involved in her church and volunteering in her community. She has a heart for serving her clients and giving back.  Her background has always been in management and sales. She has several real estate designations, both state and nationally recognized, that give her the expertise she needs to represent her clients successfully.

    - Sellers love her dedication, marketing plans and pricing that gets their house sold.
    - Buyers appreciate both the time, energy and care that she puts into finding just the right home for them.
    - Her certified negotiation skills aide in all areas, giving her clients the most for their money.
     
    Patricia's experience and expertise is joined by her caring and fun personality. Her clients love her and continue to come to her for all their real estate needs.