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

Customize Your Home with Hassle-Free Design

July 9, 2014 3:51 am

(BPT) - Conventional wisdom holds that in order to achieve a custom look in your home decor you either have to spend a bundle hiring professionals, or invest countless hours of hard work doing it yourself. In the Internet age, however, it's easier than ever to achieve the look of custom home decor without the expense or hassle of traditional methods. Create a custom look for next to nothing with these tips.

Wall decor - While family photos are one of the easiest, cheapest ways to customize your wall art, sometimes a room cries out for an eye-catching canvas wrapped print. Home decor stores can yield some acceptable options, but for a bigger selection - and reasonable costs - head over to www.canvasyourway.com. With so many options, it's possible to find exactly what you're looking for at a reasonable price without the worry that you'll ever see a similar piece in someone else's home.

Lighting - Builders standardize home lighting and many homeowners simply never bother to change things. Or, if they do, they head over to the same home improvement store that everyone else uses, so changing a light fixture doesn't really give them a unique look. A simple online search can yield thousands of options for customizing your home's lighting design - from chandelier makers that allow you to specify the number, size and color of crystals to pendant lights in myriad colors, shapes and sizes.

Window treatments - Blinds for one room, sheers for another and valances in a third - sure, you can get all those window treatments customized from local businesses, but how much time and money will it cost? Online merchants offer virtually the same level of customization for window treatments as you would find in a specialty shop, at competitive prices and with far less hassle than driving to a custom store, or having a sales person come to your home. All you need is a measuring tape and a vision, and you can find custom window treatments online to fit any home decor.

Slip covers - From shabby couches that are still comfy to sturdy dining room chairs that just need a new look, covering existing furniture with custom slip covers is usually much cheaper than reupholstering or replacing furniture altogether. Again, it's easy to find a host of online merchants that can customize slip covers to your specifications, including the exact size, color, pattern and fabric you desire. And most reputable online sellers will offer satisfaction guarantees, so you can be confident you'll be happy with the look of custom slipcovers that you buy online.

Customization doesn't have to cost a lot of time and money. Some smart online searching can help you create the exact home decor look you desire.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Poll Reveals Americans Lack Confidence When Dealing With Personal Finance

July 9, 2014 3:51 am

Successfully managing our daily lives includes making smart financial decisions, often requiring a fair degree of financial competence. Nevertheless, a recent National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) online poll revealed that the majority of respondents were not fully confident when managing their finances, with more than one in four (26 percent) wishing they didn’t have to deal with their finances at all. Only eight percent, the lowest number of respondents, felt as though they had a good grip on their personal finances.

“Personal finance can be complicated, thus there is no shame in admitting difficulty understanding how to best manage money,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “However, since there is easily accessible and affordable help available nationwide, it is regrettable that more people don’t take advantage of it.”

Consumers may be hesitant to reach out for help due to misconceptions about financial counseling. Below are some of the false beliefs toward financial counseling that consumers admitted in the NFCC Financial Literacy Survey:

Financial counseling costs too much. The truth is that through an NFCC member agency counseling is either free or low cost. One of the requirements for membership in the NFCC is that no service will be denied based on an inability to pay. Cost should never be a barrier to finding the financial help needed.

It would be embarrassing to discuss my situation. NFCC member agencies counsel more than 1.5 million people each year. It is highly likely that the trained and certified financial professional you visit with has encountered a financial problem similar to yours, and may do so every day.

Credit counseling agencies only offer advice, not real solutions. Although financial education is critical to financial success, when a person has debt beyond what he or she can responsibly manage, a Debt Management Program (DMP) may be appropriate. The DMP allows consumers to continue to service their debt, repaying it in full, but often with a more affordable monthly payment, a lower interest rate, and late fees and over-limit fees stopped or lowered.

Seeking credit counseling might damage my credit report and score. Credit counseling is not reported to the credit bureau, thus could not have a negative impact on a person’s credit report or score. However, if a person elects to repay their debt through a DMP, the creditor may make a notation on the credit report of participation in the program. Nonetheless, graduates of the DMP often emerge with improved credit scores due to having paid off the debt through consistent monthly payments.

Debt settlement or bankruptcy seem like better solutions. Both debt settlement and bankruptcy are serious financial decisions which can negatively impact a person’s credit report and score for years. Before opting for either, a person should first rule out all other alternatives.

Source: NFCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Three Steps to Keep Produce Fresh

July 9, 2014 3:51 am

There's nothing like a fresh salad in the summer or a juicy watermelon to refresh you on a hot day. Whether you're camping or having a picnic or a barbecue, fresh produce is often part of an outdoor summer meal. But did you know that food poisoning from fresh produce tends to increase in the warmer months? That's because harmful bacteria can grow in as little as two hours when produce is not kept refrigerated or properly chilled when eating outdoors.

Lower your risk of food poisoning by following these food safety steps when handing and preparing your fresh produce:

Step 1: Clean
Before handling your produce, always wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. In most cases, antibacterial soap is not necessary for safe and effective hand hygiene.

Frequently wash surfaces where you are preparing your produce to avoid the spread of bacteria.

No water nearby? Alcohol-based hand cleansers are useful when soap and water are not available. If your hands are visibly soiled, use towelettes to clean your hands, and then use an alcohol-based hand rub. Disinfectant wipes can be used to clean surfaces and utensils.

Remove and throw away any damaged portions of fresh produce. Always wash raw fruits and vegetables with clean running water. Use a vegetable brush on produce that has a firm skin such as carrots and melons. You cannot tell whether food is carrying harmful bacteria by the way it looks, smells or tastes.

If you are preparing your salads away from home where clean drinking water is not readily available, wash your fruits and vegetables at home first. While camping, you can use commercially bottled drinking water to wash your fruits and vegetables.

Wash all plates, utensils and cutting boards that touched or held raw meat, poultry, fish or seafood before using them again for other foods, including fruits and vegetables.

Step 2: Separate
Keep your produce separate from raw (uncooked) meats. When you pack a cooler for an outing, it is important to keep your raw meats separate from your fresh produce and other ready-to eat foods. If possible, use a separate cooler for your raw meats such as hamburger patties, poultry, fish and seafood. If this isn't possible, be sure to wrap raw meats securely and put them on the bottom of the cooler to prevent raw juices from dripping onto other foods.

Step 3: Chill
When outdoors, perishable foods that are normally in the refrigerator, such as produce, must be kept in an insulated cooler with freezer packs or blocks of ice to keep the temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit until ready to serve.

Place leftovers salads back in the cooler as soon as you are finished eating. On hot summer days, don't keep food unrefrigerated for more than one hour.

Keep coolers out of direct sunlight and avoid opening them too often. Ideally, use separate coolers for drinks since these are opened often.

Source: Health Canada

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Building a Tool Kit: A New Homeowner's Guide

July 8, 2014 3:39 am

For many new homeowners, a dripping faucet can become a rite of passage—a time to learn how to do it yourself instead of calling the janitor or the landlord. But it needn’t be a stressful time, home store advisors agree. With a good basic tool kit and some free advice from the local home store, many household chores and home repairs are relatively easy to manage.

While your tool kit will undoubtedly expand over the years, a basic kit kept at the ready should prepare you for those first few homeowner challenges:

A set of screwdrivers—A few flat-bladed and Phillips-head screwdrivers in a variety of sizes will prepare you to tighten, adjust, and install almost anything, from fixing loose drawer handles or crooked hinges to mounting a bathroom towel rack.

Hammer and stud finder—Handy for hanging artwork or removing old nails, a hammer is a must-have tool. An inexpensive stud finder will help you hammer those nails into just the right spot.

A level—Our eyes can deceive us, but a level will ensure that anything you mount or install is truly level.

Exacto knives—These handy little knives will help you open boxes and make precise cuts wherever they are needed.

A good tape measure—From checking the floor space to measuring appliances, a good tape measure is essential. Buy one that fits in purse or pocket to take on furniture shopping trips.

Pliers—You’ll find dozens of uses for an inexpensive pair of pliers to help you pluck out nails, tighten screws and more.

A drill—Cordless models are nice, but a small electric drill with a cord will be handy for most household chores.

Shop vac—This handy device can be used to vacuum your car, clean out cobwebs or sliding door tracks, even suck up standing water.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Create a Functional Family Living Space

July 8, 2014 3:39 am

(BPT) - Let's face it - life is busy. And one of the byproducts of a busy life is a cluttered house. With piles of paper coming home from school and toys creating obstacle courses in the family room, parents may wonder how they'll ever take back control of the house. Families can utilize their living space for years to come with these tips.

Size it up.
Start looking at interior spaces in a new way - up. Utilizing a room's vertical space along the walls takes the heavy lifting off floor space as a catch-all for clutter.

This technique is especially beneficial in small living areas. In these situations, adding vertical modular storage units opens up space for tables and couches, while adding utility and keeping potentially harmful items away from small hands.

Look forward. Think toward the future when choosing furniture items. Children will grow up quickly so choosing materials that meet the family's needs now and in the future is highly advisable.

Nylon upholstery and durable, low-sheen furniture finishes, fiber seal textiles and individual lounge chairs sharing an ottoman instead of a loveseat are all smart solutions. These combinations offer form, function, and style, as well as the opportunity to fit in alongside new furniture purchases.

Keep the peace.
It's hard enough to convince siblings to share a tablet; what happens when they have to share closet space? Define areas based on age - for example, placing an older child's clothing on the top level of a double-hung closet. The area can be accessed via a stepstool - out of a younger sibling's reach.

Another option is to hang two bars extending into the depth of the closet, rather than one utilizing the width of the closet.

Showcase individuals. While parents show off their acquired style through furniture choices, artwork and decor, children's style can be a bit more - changeable. Provide children with flexible display systems that show off their creativity in a simple, neat and contained package.

Creating a functional living space - where parents and children coexist harmoniously - doesn't have to be a daunting task. By choosing durable but stylish furniture, practical storage solutions, and allowing everyone the chance to express their style in defined places, your home can become a haven for all ages.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Three Ways to Overcome Vision Challenges

July 8, 2014 3:39 am

An estimated 2.9 million Americans have low vision, which makes it difficult or impossible for them to accomplish activities such as reading, writing, shopping, watching television, driving a car or recognizing faces. Fortunately, there are many strategies and resources available to people with low vision that can help them overcome these challenges.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people with low vision and those that care for them follow these tips:

• See an ophthalmologist. Those with low vision can improve their quality of life through low vision rehabilitation, which teaches people how to use their sight more effectively and can be arranged through an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.

• Make things brighter. Make sure areas are well-lit and cover shiny surfaces to reduce glare. Consider increasing color contrasts as well. For instance, drink coffee from a white mug and always use a felt-tipped pen with black ink.

• Use technology.
Many of today's newer technologies have applications that can help with low vision. For example, e-readers allow users to adjust the font size and contrast. Many smartphones and tablets can also be used to magnify print, identify cash bills and provide voice-navigated directions.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Top 5 Moving Mistakes

July 7, 2014 3:27 am

Whether moving across town or across the country, packing up and moving can be stressful, costly and full of surprises. From shady movers and inaccurate price quotes, to over-packing or not allowing enough time to get the move set up, every step of a move has the potential for mistakes that can make a move a nightmare.

These tips will help anyone preparing for a move, whether they currently live in a house, an apartment, a dorm, with friends or with mom and dad.

1. Hiring a shady mover.
We've all heard horror stories about moving scams, and perhaps maybe you've been the victim of a moving scam yourself. You can steer clear of a less-than-upstanding mover by doing your homework. The Better Business Bureau, Angie's List, your state transportation regulator and the U.S. Department of Transportation—and even your relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues—are all good sources of information about whether a moving company is on the up-and-up. Doing some homework online can save you a lot of heartache on moving day.

If you've done your research and still aren't confident in the movers you've come across, you always can go the DIY route—just be sure you're up for the task.

2. Messing up the quotes.
If you hire a mover, you should be able to have someone from that company come to your place for an in-home moving estimate. If a moving company won't do an in-home estimate, you should think about shopping around for another mover.
Along those lines, don't rely on just one quote from one mover. Contact several movers for quotes. If you really like one mover over another but your favorite company is a little pricey, try negotiating for a lower price. Always make sure to get a moving estimate in writing.

3. Packing too much stuff.
Do you really need those old boxes of baby clothes that you haven't laid eyes on since your 6-year-old was in diapers? Before you move, you need to "edit" your belongings. Think about whether you can trash some of your possessions, donate them to charity, or give them away to friends and relatives. Perhaps you could hold a garage sale to clear out some of the clutter. If you haven't seen, worn or used something in a year, it's best to think hard about whether you need to keep it—and whether you need to haul it to your new place.

4. Failing to schedule your move well in advance.
During the summer months, good moving companies are booked up quickly. Rather than waiting till the last minute, make sure your move is scheduled weeks—or, better yet, months—in advance. You don't want to be scrambling to find a mover the day before you're supposed to head out. Moving already is stressful enough without adding that frustration.

5. Ignoring the need to pack ahead of time.
You'll find very few people who'll say that packing is fun. In fact, a 2013 survey commissioned by SpareFoot found that people who'd moved in the past year identified packing and unpacking as the biggest hassle in the process.
You can lessen the load by beginning to pack well before moving day comes along. Start by boxing up stuff that you won't need right away -- for instance, if you're moving in the summer, pack up your winter clothes so that they're out of the way. Also, be sure to carve out time in your schedule to check items off your packing to-do list.

If you get down to the wire and need help with packing, enlist friends, neighbors, relatives or colleagues to lend a hand. Make sure you've got plenty of food and beverages as a "thank you" for your volunteer helpers. If you can't rustle up any free help, consider hiring laborers to do the packing for you; that may be a small price to pay to alleviate moving-related stress.

Source: SpareFoot.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Keep Your Home Free of Summer Pests without Pesticides

July 7, 2014 3:27 am

Summer temperatures can be pleasant, but the warm weather is also attractive to insects and rodents. This is the time of year when pests make their way into your home, especially if they find the right living conditions. All they really need to get comfortable is water, food and a place where they can hide.

You can fight these pests without pesticides if you follow these suggestions:

Restrict access to food sources
• Tightly close any food packaging, like boxes and bags of cookies, chips, cereals or candy.
• Store items such as flour, sugar, rice or pasta in airtight bags or plastic containers.
• Clean any food spills or stains off the countertop, floor, and other areas throughout the kitchen.
• Do not let crumbs sit in pet dishes.
• Remember to take out the kitchen trash frequently, preferably every night.

Limit access to sources of water or liquids
• Try not to leave water drops or other liquids in the kitchen or anywhere else around the house.
• Wash and dry your dishes immediately after each meal.
• Repair leaky faucets or pipes in the bathroom, kitchen, backyard and any other area of the house.
• When gardening or watering plants, don't leave puddles or excess water.
• Open the bathroom window after bathing to clear out the steam.

Limit entry access to your home
• Seal cracks around pipes, doors and windows.
• Repair holes or tears on screen doors and windows.
• Close off the spaces underneath doors.
• Throw away or recycle unwanted boxes or wrappers.
• Put mouse traps inside and outside the home in areas where children or pets can't access.

Source: USA.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Catch Invisible Energy Thieves in Your Home

July 7, 2014 3:27 am

(BPT) - Today's consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before. They understand that making eco-friendly choices not only creates a positive impact on your surroundings, it can also translate into actual savings on monthly energy bills.

If you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home part of the "green" initiative, follow these guidelines to help you protect both the environment and your bottom line.

Get the most out of your refrigerator. Most consumers focus on keeping the inside of their refrigerators clean, but keeping the outside clean is just as important. Dusty coils actually can impact the refrigerator's overall efficiency, because when dirty, they trap heat and prevent the refrigerator from cooling efficiently. The grills and coils should be cleaned once or twice a year and more often if you have pets. Use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to clean the condenser cover and vents of your refrigerator. You can also use a soft bristled brush to access some of the hard-to-reach areas.

Insulate your home. Heating and cooling your home is one of your biggest energy costs, and if your home isn't properly insulated, you're losing money. Start by closing your windows and sealing any drafty areas you find. Hire a professional to insulate drafty areas of your home if you don't feel you can handle them on your own.

Cold is the new hot. A quick tip when it comes to laundry is washing clothes with cold water whenever possible. Look for washers equipped with "cold wash" technology, which achieves cold water savings with warm water washing performance. Another way to save water is to try to wash full loads, or if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately to avoid usage of extra water.

Turn it off. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips. Turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use as equipment still uses several watts of power when they are in standby mode. And be sure to unplug your cell phone charger when your device is fully charged.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Mid-Century Modern Home Upgrades Go Back in Time

July 3, 2014 2:39 am

(Family Features) Mid-century modern inspiration draws from the 1940s through the 1960s, a twenty-year span when design was sleek, elegant and functional. Although the style originated more than 70 years ago, this trend has resurfaced with a fresh revival.

Retro colors and simplistic styles are just the beginning when it comes to transforming a home into a sophisticated, mid-century modern residence. Here are two easy, yet impactful upgrades you can do at home:

Vibrant Colors, Patterns and Texture
Mid-century modern design showcases quality pieces of furniture or accessories rather than décor on the walls. White or neutral color palettes are typical on the walls, but your space comes to life with accessories, bright colors, various patterns and textures.

Opt for lamps with curved bases paired with narrow lampshades, accent pillows that tout bright orange and geometric shapes, or retro art to add mid-century modern personality throughout the home.

Simplistic Furniture
Furniture from this era is characterized by clean, straight lines which play up the natural beauty of the design. Pieces that are stripped down to a simple form often speak louder than those with excess detailing. Simplistic kitchen chairs or cabinets with wood detailing in the living room are perfect ways to play up this modern design theme in your home.
Looking for one piece of iconic furniture to make a statement? Find an impressive Eames lounge chair featuring a wood and leather combination to act as the focal point for a sitting room or bedroom.

Whether the dining room features a gold bar cart stacked with your favorite beverages or the kitchen shines with a unique, vintage light fixture – blending designs from the past into a modern home will result in a personalized, sophisticated style that is sure to satisfy your design cravings and impress guests for years to come.

Source: Brizo

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: