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

10 Reasons to Celebrate National Raisin Day

April 29, 2013 1:02 am

Have you heard through the grapevine? National Raisin Day is tomorrow! As a delicious and naturally sweet addition to favorite recipes and snacks, California Raisins are an all-time classic in lunch boxes, gym bags and grocery carts across the nation. Here are 10 of our favorite reasons to love this all-natural, dried-by-the-sun, small – but mighty – fruit.

1. On-Screen Stars. How many wholesome, healthy snacks can claim an Emmy nomination? Introduced in 1984, the California Dancing Raisins starred in an Emmy-nominated 1989 TV special, Meet the Raisins. The dancing raisins were officially named: Ben Indasun, Justin X, Grape and Tiny Goodbite.

2. Fill Your Tank with the Good Stuff! California Raisins come by their sweetness naturally. Because raisins contain no added sugar, the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food-A-Pedia website shows that a serving of the fruit contributes no empty calories.

3. California Dreamin'. California is the raisin capital of the world and almost all California Raisins are grown within a 60-mile radius of Fresno – in California's sun-drenched San Joaquin Valley.

4. Budget-Friendly Fruit. The USDA ranks raisins as the most economical dried fruit, making raisins the most budget-friendly dried fruit of them all.

5. Year-Round Goodness. Perfectly portable, California Raisins don't spoil, bruise or need refrigeration. They are available January – December and always ready to munch on as a travel snack or an on-the-go, naturally sweet treat.

6. Mighty Good for You. California Raisins are the small fruit with big nutrition. According to the nutrition facts label, a quarter cup serving of raisins has 9 percent of your daily value of fiber and potassium and 6 percent of your daily value of iron. Plus, just a quarter cup of raisins is a serving of fruit.

7. All-Natural Nibble. Their ingredient list says it all: raisins. California Raisins have no cholesterol, no fat and no added sugar.

8. Fruit-tastic! Raisins proudly carry the Produce for Better Health Foundation's Fruit & Veggies—More Matters logo because they are 100% fruit.

9. Heart Smart. Even sweeter news – a recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session suggests eating raisins three times a day may significantly lower the mean value of post-meal systolic blood pressure among individuals with prehypertension when compared to consuming popular, pre-packaged non-fruit snacks.

10. All-Around Awesome. Last but not least, exceptionally versatile, California Raisins add delicious, one-of-a-kind flavor to both sweet and savory recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time too.


Published with permission from RISMedia.


Four Tips for Green-and-Easy Grocery Shopping

April 26, 2013 12:58 am

Earth day has passed, but that doesn’t mean your eco-friendly efforts need to fall by the wayside. What you do on a daily basis can have a huge effect on the world you live in, and one action you can easily “greenify” is grocery shopping—something we all do regularly.

These simple steps will help you make green choices to lessen your environmental impact, and keep more “green” in your wallet, too.

Pick products with less packaging.
Efficient packaging can help lessen the waste stream. Consider cartons—products packaged in cartons are an average of 94 percent product and only 6 percent packaging, providing more value and reducing unnecessary packaging.

Use reusable or renewable paper grocery bags
Every year, Americans use approximately 1 billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste, according to the Clean Air Council. The next time you go shopping you can help reduce waste by choosing reusable grocery bags or renewable paper bags, which are made from trees, a renewable resource, and are recyclable where facilities exist.

Buy products in recyclable packaging
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to lower your environmental impact. Products made out of paper products can be recycled (where facilities exist) to make other everyday household items like bath tissue, office paper and building materials.

Choose products with renewable packaging
“Natural Marketing Institute data shows that 72 percent of consumers are looking for packaging made from renewable resources,” says Erin Reynolds, Marketing Director at Evergreen Packaging. “With this in mind, look for packaging made from renewable resources, such as cartons. Over seventy percent of a carton is paper, which comes from a renewable source—trees.”


Published with permission from RISMedia.


Springtime is Greener as Remodeling Gains Speed

April 26, 2013 12:58 am

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) first-quarter Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) data of current and future remodeling business conditions is reaching new heights, as quarter-over-quarter increases are seen across all sub-components measuring remodeling activity.

As remodelers approach the busy season, overall current business conditions have seen steady increases since March of 2012, now at a statistically significant 5.97 rating compared with the 5.59 rating from one year before.

“Remodelers nationwide are not only experiencing increased activity right now, but many have a backlog of projects well into the fall,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning & Research. “This current condition is worlds away from March of last year and suggests that the recovery is beginning to gain speed.”

Growth indicators in the first quarter of 2013 are as follows:

• Current business conditions up 1.0 percent since last quarter.
• Number of inquiries up 4.9 percent since last quarter.
• Requests for bids up 5.2 percent since last quarter.
• Conversion of bids to jobs up 1.1 percent since last quarter.
• Value of jobs sold is up 0.2 percent since last quarter.

Sharp increases in the number of inquiries and requests for bids speak directly to an increase in consumer confidence, especially in housing.

“Homeowners are tired of waiting to make improvements—many have chosen to stay put—and better financial positioning has them actively approaching professionals to get work done and enhance long-term livability of the home,” O’Grady says.

More specifically, drivers of remodeling activity include needing improvements due to postponement of projects (83 percent reported this as a driver) and improving home prices with 59 percent reporting (an 8 percent jump from fourth quarter data).

Other significant contributors to overall activity:

• Certainty about the future was reported by 44 percent of respondents
• Economic growth was reported by 43 percent of respondents
• Low interest rates was reported by 42 percent of respondents
• Growth in stock market was reported by 39 percent of respondents

Whereas two-thirds of remodelers forecasted the next three months positively in December of 2012, now 76 percent of remodelers believe there will be growth in the next three months. Only 7 percent of respondents reported declines in the near future.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tips for Homeowners Who Want To Take Their Spring Cleaning Outdoors

April 26, 2013 12:58 am

Spring Cleaning is an annual tradition in many homes that helps clear out the clutter and dust that can accumulate after several months spent indoors. Homeowners should keep in mind that their spring cleaning checklist should include several outdoor tasks as well.
Here are a few suggestions for completing a quick and easy DIY Spring Home Inspection.

1. Start with a quick visual inspection of the home and yard and surrounding area checking for any obvious signs of distress or areas of concern.

2. Inspect the roof next. Carefully remove debris and look for missing or damaged shingles or flashing. While you're up there, check the gutters for obstructions that could result in water backups.

3. Check the trees in your yard, particularly those near your home or electrical wires. Looks for signs of disease or damage that may weaken the tree and make it susceptible to strong winds. Trim dead or damaged branches.

4. Inspect fences, railings, stone walls and any other free standing items that may have been loosened during the winter months. Look for leaning or loose parts and check to make sure these items are still firmly anchored.

5. Examine porches and decks to ensure stability, paying particular attention to handrails and stairs.

6. Remove debris from the yard, including refuse, loose branches and gravel or dirt that may have accumulated as a result of snow removal efforts. Look for holes or sunken areas that could be a tripping hazard.

7. Inspect house siding and shutters, looking for loose, damaged or soiled areas in need of repair or cleaning.

8. Be sure to examine all your windows and screens and make any necessary repairs.

9. Check the driveway and any walkways for cracks or shifting that could create a tripping hazard and make any necessary repairs to avoid additional damage resulting from exposure to the elements.

10. Examine the foundation for cracks or bulges that could lead to leakage issues if left unattended.

Source: Freemont Insurance

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Are You Healthy? Would You Know If You Weren't?

April 25, 2013 12:58 am

Not too long ago – just after World War II – few people in the United States brushed their teeth with any regularity. Now, the mere thought of going an entire day or night without brushing one’s teeth is simply out of the question for most.

Hopefully, someday in the near future, a similar attitude will prevail regarding mental well-being, says Dr. Matt Mumber, an oncologist and author of “Sustainable Wellness: An Integrative Approach to Transform Your Mind, Body, and Spirit,” coauthored by Yoga therapist Heather Reed.

“Human happiness and well-being are rudderless without awareness, which I define as the quality of paying attention to what’s going on in the present moment from an inquisitive, nonjudgmental and focused perspective,” he says.

An easy way to think of optimal wellbeing might be to envision a three-legged stool, says Reed.

“The three legs include physical activity, nutrition and that underappreciated component missing from too many Americans’ lives – stress management, or a healthy mental state,” she says.

After checking off a healthy diet and exercise from the list, how does one go about ensuring a healthy mind? Mumber and Reed say the key is mindfulness, which they define as paying attention on purpose, non-judgmentally and as though your life depended on it. Framed another way, mindfulness means focusing on something without trying to change it, like the sky holding passing clouds without clinging to them.

They describe the states necessary for attaining mindfulness:

• Beginner’s mind is the ability to see things with new eyes. The Bible warns against putting new wine in old wine skins – doing so risks tainting the new stock. A beginner’s mind opens people to the world of possibilities that exist in the present moment. That does not mean throwing away good ideas from the past; rather, it means to entertain new ideas with a truly open sensibility.
• Trust: Believe in your authority to know your own body, thoughts and feelings. We need to have the confidence necessary to trust that our thoughts and feelings at any given moment have value.
• Non-judging is the ability to see things for what they are, to hold an open and neutral place for whatever comes up within and around you, without thinking of anything as categorically better or worse than anything else.
• Patience is a willingness to continue with the process of paying attention on purpose even when it appears that no progress is being made. Learning and growing through mindful practice happens with time, and we can’t force the outcome.
• Acceptance refers to allowing whatever comes up in the moment to be held in our field of awareness. This is not the same as giving up or being passive; acceptance is merely acknowledgement.
• Letting go is refusing to attach to specific thoughts, feelings or behaviors. This can feel like losing something, but every time we let go, we open ourselves to something new and, potentially, deeper.
• Non-striving: In our goal-oriented society, this may seem counterintuitive. However, non-striving refers only to practicing mindfulness without expectation of some future goal or dream, which helps us better live in the now.

“By having our three-legged stool firmly planted in awareness, we can drop into what we typically call a sense of spiritual wellbeing," says Mumber.


Published with permission from RISMedia.


First-Quarter Economic Growth Stronger Than Expected

April 25, 2013 12:58 am

Recent data indicate that economic growth in the first quarter has accelerated to an above-trend—but likely unsustainable—pace of 3.2 percent, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group. A significant buildup in business inventories provided a one-time boost to first quarter growth and is expected to resume a more balanced level in the second quarter. Meanwhile, several other key indicators late in the first quarter, including a downbeat March jobs report, were soft, presaging a more moderate pace for the rest of the year. The Group expects growth to come in at approximately 2.3 percent for 2013—still modest by recovery standards, but a pickup from the 2012 and 2011 pace of 1.7 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

“The April forecast reflects the growing realization that 2013 is off to a good start from a GDP perspective, but we expect the stronger-than-expected first quarter pace to slow somewhat in the second quarter,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “On the downside, tax hikes, sequestration, and the euro-zone crisis still pose significant risks to our forecast, and the fiscal tightening will likely affect consumer spending and other economic activity in coming months. However, the housing recovery continues to broaden and may be more robust than we anticipate, helping to offset fiscal headwinds.”

The continued housing recovery and rising home prices are expected to provide a cushion to growth this year and present the most likely source of upside to our forecast. Residential investment has made a positive or neutral contribution to economic growth for seven consecutive quarters, ending in 2012, with similar activity expected in 2013. Housing’s contribution to growth also continues to climb home as sales reached multi-year highs in the early stages of 2013.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


10 Must-Have Landscape Tools

April 25, 2013 12:58 am

The world of landscaping tools is vast—you could fill your garage with types of hoes alone. However, you will have to invest money and space in several basic landscaping tools to maintain and improve your property. Here are 10 must-haves.

1. Round point shovel: Arguably the most versatile landscape tool, this shovel has a rounded and beveled steel blade that ends in a point. It digs, scoops, and slices dirt, manure, and gravel. Cost: $20 to $30.

2. Rakes: There’s a whole world of long-handled tools that dig, spread, and gather. Buy a metal-toothed landscaping rake to move dirt, separate rock from soil, and spread mulch. Buy a plastic leaf rake that gathers leaves, grass clippings, and other debris on the surface of your lawn. Cost: $30 to $50 (landscaping rake); $10 to $20 (leaf rake).

3. Hoe: This digging and spreading landscape tool has the blade at a right angle to a long handle. The shape and sharpness of blades vary, making some hoes better for slicing weed roots (gooseneck hoe), and others for breaking up soil (garden hoe). Cost: $10 to $40 (specialty hoe).

4. Flat border spade: The blade is parallel to the handle. This is often used to edge beds and uproot grass. Cost: $60 to $70.

5. Chainsaw: These gas or electric saws have sharp teeth that revolve on a chain. They’re good for cutting wood, downed tree limbs, big branches and trees. It takes practice to use one safely, so get some pointers before revving up. A 40 cc saw with a 16-inch blade is good for most yard work. Cost: $130 to $200.

6. Shears: There’s a wide variety of hand-held landscape tools that cut and trim. You’ll need small bypass shears for roses, hedge shears for boxwoods, and looping shears for small tree limbs. Cost: $20 to $30.

7. Lawn mower: Manual, battery, electric, or gas-powered lawn cutters are pushed or ridden, self-propelled, or hand-propelled. Most can bag clippings. Get a 21-inch gas-powered mower for the average yard. Yards bigger than a quarter-acre may need a riding mower to save time and muscle. A push-type reel mower is a good green choice. Cost: $100 (reel); $300 (gas); $1,500 (riding mower).

8. Wheelbarrow: Made of metal or plastic, wheelbarrows are movers of soil, plants, hay, and basically anything that fits. Most have one wheel and two handles for balancing and steering; some have two wheels for added stability. Cost: $30 to $250.

9. Edger: This is a manual or automatic landscape tool that creates a neat and clear separation between the lawn and adjacent surfaces (such as driveways) and around trees or flowerbeds. $30 (foot powered); $90 (electric); $190 (gas).

10. Hand trowel: This is used for digging small holes to plant seedlings and bulbs for borders and gardens. Cost: $5 to $10.

Source: HouseLogic

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Moms Want More from Airlines

April 24, 2013 6:58 pm

With spring in full bloom, many families are starting to plan for their big summer vacation. For air carriers, this means more child passengers during the summer months. However, a new survey from™ has revealed that 72 percent of moms believe airlines do not always adequately cater to families traveling with children.

Recent policy changes by some airlines have not been perceived by moms as family friendly. According to the survey, 51 percent believe it is unacceptable for airlines to ban parents with elite status or tickets from bringing young children into first-class airport lounges; 30 percent did not like airline decisions to prevent children from sitting in certain seat rows, and an overwhelming 69 percent were unhappy about the elimination of pre-boarding for families traveling with little ones.

The survey also showed a clear consensus that flying with children is stressful—68 percent of moms rate their level of stress as moderate to extreme. The leading cause of anxiety is fear that their child will disturb other passengers. In fact, moms were more concerned about their child disturbing others than they were about their child's physical and mental comfort during the flight.

So, with Mother's Day just around the corner, what is the best gift that airlines and airports can give their mommy passengers? According to survey respondents, the answer comes in the form of more child-friendly amenities. The top four requests were to have child play areas at airports, dedicated family security lanes, complimentary in-flight activity packs and appropriate in-flight entertainment programming.

"The airline industry has a lot to gain if it can better understand the needs of moms flying with young children," said Warren Chang , vice president and general manager, "With more tickets purchased per itinerary, it's a great opportunity for airlines to develop a loyal and lucrative passenger base. Just as business travelers appreciate targeted services to improve their flight experience, so does the traveling parent."

Other Survey Findings:

• The majority of moms (65 percent) believe there is a negative stigma attached to flying with children.
• Many moms with young children have already flown more than 10 times with their child: 24 percent of moms with children age five and under, and 35 percent with children in elementary school.
• 64 percent of moms will likely be flying with their child/children in 2013.

The survey questioned 884 mothers within the United States, each of whom had flown more than once with their child. All respondents were Travelzoo Inc. and users.


Published with permission from RISMedia.


Top 10 Cities with the Greenest Homes

April 24, 2013 6:58 pm

With Earth Day just around the corner, Redfin has announced a ranking of the country's top 10 cities with the greenest homes. The analysis looked at each city's overall carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the number of homes currently for sale that have "green" features or eco-friendly ratings. Examples include solar panels, low-flow faucets, dual pane windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances, LEED certified homes, and new construction by green builders. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the most widely used green building program worldwide.

1. San Francisco, Calif. – In addition to having the lowest carbon dioxide emission rate per capita, San Francisco has a large number of homes for sale with eco-friendly features. One incentive for locals to go green may be Pacific Gas & Electric's rebates, which offer up to $4,000 for home energy upgrades, including insulation and air duct sealing.

2. Washington D.C. – According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington D.C. has the most (LEED)-certified space, which likely contributes to the city's low carbon dioxide emission rates. In addition, the district offers a number of rebates and tax credits for residential energy efficiency, which may help explain the high number of homes for sale with eco-friendly features.

3. Sacramento, Calif. – Sacramento has the second-lowest carbon dioxide emissions in the country, and new developments have focused on energy-efficient homes, such as the Northwest Land Park, which will build 800 new homes that use net-zero electricity.

4. Boston, Mass. – Boston Mayor Thomas Menino launched an initiative to be "Green by 2015," which includes powering homes using a combination of waste products and solar panels. The city also supports the Energy Positive "E+" Green Building Demonstration Program, which aims to bring green homes to Boston's neighborhoods.

5. Portland, Ore. – Portland General Electric offers residents the choice to pay a little more for renewable energy options, including wind-sourced power. In addition, Portland residents who want to make their home more green can attend Fix-It Fairs, which offer resources and information to help attendees reduce water and energy usage, among other green initiatives.

6. Philadelphia, Penn. – Even though Philadelphia's carbon dioxide emissions were higher than other cities, it ranked second for homes with eco-friendly features. In 2009, the city passed two laws that advance green building practices. The first requires that new city government buildings meet LEED Silver Certification, and the second requires all new construction to have "cool roofs" that meet or exceed Energy Star standards.

7. Phoenix, Ariz. – As part of the "Green Phoenix" initiative, Phoenix offers a one-time grant to homeowners for making improvements that reduce energy consumption. The city has also received funding to retrofit low-income residential homes with cost effective energy saving measures.

8. Los Angeles, Calif. – Homeowners looking to reduce costs associated with air conditioning in L.A.'s warm climate can take advantage of the L.A. County's Energy Loans Program, which offers loans of up to $50,000 with financing as low as 4.99 percent when homeowners undertake home energy improvements. In addition, Energy Upgrade California offers rebates of up to $4,000 to homeowners who make their home more energy efficient.

9. Seattle, Wash. – Seattle residents are known for being eco-conscious, as evidenced by the recent ban on plastic bags, so it's not surprising they'd want their homes to be green too. Although the city is known for its rain, Seattle receives more sunlight than Germany, the world's leading solar market, and Washington State offers financial incentives for those who generate their own electricity using solar electric systems.

10. Austin, Texas – Austin Energy is the nation's top seller of renewable energy, and the company offers homeowners low-interest loans of up to $20,000 for energy efficient upgrades. In addition, the company offers rebates for numerous upgrades, including extra attic insulation, high-efficiency clothes washers, rainwater collection barrels, and low-flow toilets.

Source: Redfin

Published with permission from RISMedia.


How to Create Your Dream Garden This Spring

April 24, 2013 6:58 pm

With a winter that seems to have lasted a lifetime, now's the ideal time for green fingered folk to head outside and make the most of their gardens. So with signs of spring starting to show, we've compiled our handy hints to help you enjoy your garden for longer this year—starting now!

1. Plan what you'd like your garden to look like

The weather still may be a little wintry outside at times, but that shouldn't stop you from planning what you want your garden to look like this year. Think about what plants you'd like to see in bloom and how you want to arrange your garden. Maybe you'd like to plant a vegetable patch to help you become more self-sufficient. Whatever your dream garden looks like, plan ahead, keep a diary and research where you can buy local supplies from.

2. Prepare your garden

Over the course of the winter, it's unlikely that your garden received the same level of attention as other times of the year. With this in mind, start by spring cleaning your garden and getting rid of any leaves or debris. Why not freshen up the appearance of your garden by cutting your grass and trimming your edges? These small changes will give your garden a new lease of life and won't cost you a penny.

3. How to get your greenhouse gleaming

Before you get into the swing of spring, clean out your greenhouse so that you can use it to its full potential. Remove any plant debris and disinfect it with a garden disinfectant inside and out. Remember to clean out your pots and seeds trays too and ventilate your greenhouse so that it dries out.

4. Weed out the enemy

Keep your garden weed free by putting newspapers down between the rows in your flower beds. The newspaper will not only keep the weeds at bay, it will also add great nutrients to the soil. If your plants are being attacked by pests, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of water and dish soap and spray the solution over your garden until you find where the pests are hiding.

5. Tips for tidying up your tools

You wouldn't clean your home with a dirty mop, and the same rule applies to your garden: Don't do any gardening with dirty tools. Looking after your garden tools will help protect them and prevent the spread of disease in your garden too.

Source: HomeServe

Published with permission from RISMedia.