RE/MAX 440
David J Feinberg

David J Feinberg
4789 Route 309  Center Valley  PA 18034
Phone:  610-509-4358
Office:  610-791-4400
Fax:  610-791-9575

My Blog

Don't Delay Buying a Home – It Can Cost You

July 14, 2015 1:24 am

If you are on the fence about buying a home, consider this: waiting to buy could cost thousands in accumulated wealth. According to a recent realtor.com® report, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing on a home purchase have become very steep – the average buyer is estimated to gain $217,726 (in today’s dollars) in wealth over a 30-year period.

Although some markets are more buyer-friendly than others, national data shows homeowners see significant financial benefits as compared to lifetime renters. In nearly 90 percent of metro areas, buying a home produces a financial benefit of at least $100,000 over 30 years.

“This analysis looks solely at the financial reasons to buy a home, based on assumptions about rising mortgage rates and changes in home values," realtor.com® Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke says. "It's important to remember that a home purchase decision is deeply personal. Potential buyers need to consider factors such as upcoming life events, job security and potential relocation, in addition to financial benefits, because they too can have a significant impact on ownership."

Source: realtor.com®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Properly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste

July 13, 2015 1:24 am

Following a severe storm, homeowners and renters should take special care when collecting and disposing of household hazardous wastes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), homeowners and renters affected by disaster should, whenever feasible, separate hazardous household waste from other debris before disposal.

Among the items that fall into the household hazardous waste category are paints and solvents, cleaning materials, batteries, oils and petroleum products, pesticides, explosives, swimming pool chemicals and pressurized gas cylinders.

Improper disposal of household hazardous waste includes pouring it down the drain, on the ground, into storm drains/sewers, or in some cases putting it out with the trash. The dangers of such disposal methods might not be immediately obvious. Certain types of household hazardous waste have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems, and pose health hazards to both humans and animals.

Oil-contaminated debris or material tainted by other petroleum products should be segregated and stored in a well-ventilated area. If stored outdoors, household hazardous materials should be covered to keep precipitation from contaminating nearby soil and water.

After separating out household hazardous waste, take the waste (or arrange for it to be taken) to a facility that accepts toxic materials. To find a facility that accepts household hazardous waste in your area, contact your local Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) office.

Source: FEMA.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Renting? 3 Savvy Storage Tips

July 13, 2015 1:24 am

(Family Features) Just because you don't own your home or have a permanent abode doesn’t mean you can't be neat and organized in the place you currently hang your hat, says professional organizer Lorie Marrero.

"Even if you are not able to drill holes in the walls, even if you are always on the move and prefer not to invest in costly storage solutions, there are still plenty of portable and attractive options for you," says Marrero. "Find those that work best for your needs and can be as portable as you are."

With the right products and a little creative thinking, adding moveable, functional, attractive and affordable storage can be quite simple for any renter. Marrero suggests implementing savvy storage solutions to make the most of your space and situation, such as:

Creative Closet Space


One drawback when renting can be the lack of storage space and the inability to install permanent fixtures in closets. Typically equipped with one rod and a top shelf, rental closets don't provide the best configurations for maximizing the available area. You can make the most of the limited space with a removable system that securely clips to an existing rod, with accessories like fabric bins and hanging organizers.

Plain View Storage


Colorful storage pieces can enhance existing decor and brighten up the often lackluster neutral walls found in most rentals. Anyone living in an apartment or smaller quarters knows that storage needs to not only look good, but also be completely functional. Add stylish storage to your living space with vibrant cubes that complement your existing décor.

Accessible Areas

Create a system to keep your place tidy. A drop zone, whether in your entryway, kitchen or living area, is a good place to keep your mail, keys, shoes, bags or whatever you always need readily available. A small bench or colorful coat tree by the door are good options to keep belongings off the floor. Once you've gotten your system down, be vigilant about sticking to the plan.

Source: ClosetMaid

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5 Ways to Get–and Stay–Debt-Free

July 10, 2015 1:21 am

Part of the American Dream for many is financial independence. Even with an improving economy, several households still carry debt that can create challenges when seeking a loan, say the experts of the non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC).

“Excessive debt can harm relationships, ruin retirement plans, and limit the chances of taking out a car or home loan,” says ACCC President and CEO Steve Trumble. “No one scripts financial disarray as a part of their life plan. Fortunately, there is a way out from under the oppressive weight of debt. Make this the year you tighten up your own personal spending and sharpen your long-term money plans.”

Whether you are struggling to erase debt or want to maintain debt-free finances, the ACCC recommends the following:

1. Don’t live beyond your means. You can’t always control the amount of money you make, but you can control the money you spend. One way to avoid overspending is to carry cash instead of a debit or credit card. It's harder to overspend when you carry cash. Unlike credit or debit cards, which can go over the limit or into a negative balance, you can't slide past zero when you carry cash. If you decide to carry a card, limit spending to only what you can afford to pay off at the end of the month.

2. Pay more towards your monthly minimum. If you are struggling to pay off a credit card with a high interest rate, make sure to pay more towards your monthly minimum. One way to quickly plan out your payments is to use an online debt payoff calculator to give yourself an idea of the date in which you will be finished paying it off.

3. Invest in the future. One of the best ways to plan a financially free future is to save toward your own retirement through an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. If you don't participate, you're missing a golden opportunity to save for retirement while lowering your tax burden on those savings.

4. Keep an emergency fund. Always prepare for an emergency. Set aside a portion of each paycheck and save a minimum of 9-12 months of expenses in a separate interest-earning account. The funds will help cover expenses in the event of a job loss, car accident, house repairs or other unforeseen events.

5. Insure yourself.
Even if your job does not supply it, make sure your medical, disability, home and automobile insurance policies are in order. Disaster could take any form – a car breaks down, a major home fire, or an automobile accident that leads to pricey legal action. Insurance gives you peace of mind. With it, you know that if anything happens to you, your family or your business that you will be financially secure.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Overseas Volatility Pushes Mortgage Rates Down

July 10, 2015 1:21 am

Mortgage rates recently dropped in response to global uncertainty, helping to keep buyer activity strong toward the close of the homebuying season, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®).

The results of the survey found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.04 percent, and the 15-year FRM averaging 3.20 percent. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.50 percent.

"Yields on Treasury securities declined this week in response to investor concerns about events in Greece and China,” explains Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti. “Mortgage rates fell as well, although not by as much as government bond yields.

“Overseas volatility is likely to persist for some time, providing some restraint on potential U.S. rate increases. In addition, the minutes of the June meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee suggest the Federal Reserve will proceed cautiously–monitoring events both overseas and in the U.S. to ascertain the appropriate moment to begin raising short-term interest rates. As a result, mortgage rates may remain in the neighborhood of 4 percent for a while."

Source: Freddie Mac

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Aging in Place Remodels Most Popular

July 10, 2015 1:21 am

As the housing market continues its recovery, homeowners are increasingly seeking more square footage and accessibility in and out of the home, suggesting an aging in place trend, reports a recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey. Popular design requests by homeowners also include single-floor plans and informal, open-space layouts.

“An increase in home square footage with the rising popularity of accessible design concepts points to a population that is preparing to age-in-place, or, perhaps, is anticipating responsibility for caretaking of older relatives in the future,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “As homeowners prepare to stay in their current homes, investment in outdoor living spaces has also increased.”

In outdoor spaces, homeowners most covet low-irrigation landscaping, exterior security lighting and blended indoor-outdoor living, according to the survey.

The remodeling industry as a whole has seen a slight uptick in the last year, particularly when it comes to remodeling custom or luxury homes, move-up homes, second homes or vacation homes. First-time homes and affordable homes saw little increase in remodeling. Kitchen and bathroom projects, as well as projects in townhouses and condos, remained relatively unchanged.

Source: AIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Is That Garden Guest a Friend or Foe?

July 9, 2015 1:21 am

It pays to know what’s what in your backyard. According to Gardener’s Supply experts, crawling, buzzing, flying and diving insects can either be pests or pollinators, and it’s important to know the difference.

Often mistaken for a paper wasp, hornet or bumblebee, the honeybee is responsible for pollinating flowers and food alike and should be a welcome guest in your garden. Honeybees generally don’t sting unless threatened.

Yellow jackets, however, are much more likely to sting without provocation, but they also do good for your garden – yellow jackets feed on pest insects including houseflies, caterpillars and grasshoppers.

If a yellow jacket appears threatening, hang a lantern-style object that looks like a wasp's nest to trick it into splitting the scene.

Source: Gardener’s Supply Company

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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8 Tips for Choosing a Locksmith

July 9, 2015 1:21 am

When it comes to service industries, the best deals aren’t always best for consumers – and security services are certainly worth the cost. One security service homeowners may call upon is the help of a locksmith, but it’s important to seek out a reputable and reliable professional. According to America’s Lock experts, here’s how.

1. Consider dealing with a local company
that has roots in the community they serve. A local locksmith service is preferable to national chains who may farm out work. This is also an excellent way to reduce the wait time and travel expenses.

2. Check references; ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers who they used and check on-line reviews.

3. Make sure that the locksmith can perform the job.
Some locksmiths may be great for an automotive lock-out emergency, but they may not do residential work. Check the company's website or Yellow Pages.

4. Ask for an address
(this may not apply to a mobile locksmith service) and check to see that it is a legitimate address. It is really important to check the signage of a mobile locksmith vehicle. A reputable company will have good signage on service vehicle.

5. Make sure that the company is licensed and check to see what professional organizations the locksmith company belongs to. Always ask for proper identification and check it with the locksmith office. Make sure that the company runs background and criminal checks on their employees.

6. Always use a company that is fully insured and bonded.
This will protect your property should something go wrong.

7. Always ask for proper identification and check it with the locksmith office.

8. Get a written estimate. A telephone estimate should be available in an emergency, but make sure that the telephone estimate and the one you receive in writing are the same. Ask for all charges, including travel charges, minimum fees and after-hours work. Never sign a blank work authorization form.

Source: America’s Lock

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Homeless Fare Better with Housing Vouchers

July 9, 2015 1:21 am

Homeless families offered housing vouchers experience significantly better outcomes than families assigned other options, according to findings from a recent report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The report reveals families offered a Housing Choice Voucher are less likely to experience housing instability than others offered community-based rapid re-housing, project-based transitional housing, or “usual care,” such as an extended stay in an emergency shelter.

“The results of this study demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of supporting families experiencing homelessness with stable and enduring rental assistance—such as the assistance provided through our Housing Choice Voucher Program,” says HUD Assistant Secretary of Policy Development and Research Kathy O’Regan. “We will continue to study the efficacy of these interventions to see if the longer term outcomes mirror those we see in the short term.”

According to the report, emergency shelter programs have the highest average per-family monthly costs of approximately $4,800, compared to transitional housing at $2,700, a voucher at $1,160 per month, and rapid re-housing at $880 per month.

An estimated 150,000 U.S. families experience homelessness each year. Intervention options offered include a permanent housing subsidy (generally the Housing Choice Voucher), which assists with locating housing but does not offer additional supportive services; community-based rapid re-housing, which provides temporary rental assistance and limited services; project-based transitional housing, which provides temporary housing in agency-controlled units and intensive services; and “usual care,” which is defined as any housing or services a family accesses in the absence of immediate referral to other interventions.

Source: HUD.gov

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Your Personal Data Has Been Compromised – Now What?

July 8, 2015 1:18 am

When larger organizations face a breach of their customer or employee data, they often offer free credit monitoring services to affected individuals. If you are faced with a personal data compromise and don’t receive this offer, there are still several options to help you recover from a personally identifiable information (PII) breach, say the experts at Wombat Security Technologies.

It’s important to be proactive about minimizing the impact of breach, whether yours is one of many compromised records or you are the victim of a limited-scope breach. With the latter, if you have the motive and the means to enroll in a credit monitoring service on your own dime, it could be well worth the peace of mind to know that someone is looking out for you. Regardless, the following do-it-yourself activities will help you mitigate some of the damage caused by a breach -- as well as prevent future damage.

If you’ve been alerted to an account breach -- or you suspect you’ve fallen for a phishing email that prompted you to reveal credentials for a login-protected site like webmail, online banking, or social media -- change your password posthaste. If you happen to use that same password on other sites, be sure to update those logins as well. Hackers will often cross-check stolen passwords on multiple sites in hopes of getting a hit.

For cases in which you personally discover or suspect a data security breach, contact the help lines for affected accounts right away. Be sure to use trusted customer service channels, such as phone numbers from your credit cards or billing statements.

In many cases, it’s not just account numbers that hackers and scammers scoop up. They often grab names, email addresses, and phone numbers to use in follow-up attacks. In these attacks, fraudsters will put together multiple pieces of information they have about individuals to make their messages and calls seem more legitimate and more believable. It’s important to be on high alert once you know your data is already in the hands of hackers.

With all the ado about cyber security attacks, it can be easy to become complacent about snail mail. But consider the prior point about email addresses and phone numbers and you’ll see that the leap to a mail-based attack isn’t hard to make. If scammers obtain your name, address, and other identifying information, it can be easy for them to send compelling and seemingly genuine letters, bills, payment notices and other mailers. It’s critical that you verify the validity of unsolicited mail that asks for any type of remittance.

Source: WombatSecurity.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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