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Thomas Skiffington,  CRS, GRI, CRB, ABR, ePro, CLHMS, SRES, RECS, CDPE, ECOBROKER
Thomas Skiffington, CRS, GRI, CRB, ABR, ePro, CLHMS, SRES, RECS, CDPE, ECOBROKER
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Perkasie, PA 18944
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Office Phone: 215-453-7653
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Tom's Blog

5 Common Ways to Lose a Personal Injury Lawsuit

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

There are a variety of ways to shoot yourself in the foot (literally and figuratively) and lose a personal injury lawsuit.

From contributing to the accident to failing to take important legal steps, there are certain factors that can destroy your personal injury claim in court.

Here are five common ways to lose a personal injury lawsuit:

  1. No experts. Parties must often rely on expert witness testimony to prove negligence. For example, a father in New Jersey who sued a mall after his daughter was injured by an escalator ended up losing the case, partly because of his failure to provide an expert opinion to explain the exact cause of the accident, according to The Star-Ledger.
  2. Assumption of risk/contributory negligence. If you were negligent and contributed to your own injuries, or you assumed the risk of an obviously dangerous activity (and went ahead and engaged in the activity anyway), then your lawsuit may not be a winner.
  3. No proof. Winning a personal injury lawsuit becomes exponentially more challenging when there is a dearth of evidence to make your case. After suffering an injury, it's crucial to gather proof: Take pictures, write down descriptions, file a police report, seek medical treatment, and get witnesses' contact information.
  4. Lack of credibility. Your character can be an important element of the case. Any information you provide related to your personal injury should be honest and accurate. One easy way to destroy your credibility (and in turn, your case) is misrepresenting your injuries to your doctor. Remember, any discrepancy with the police report or other critical evidentiary record can harm your case. Don't lie to insurance companies, either. Instead, keep mum and let your attorney do the talking.
  5. No lawyer. While it may not be entirely necessary, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney may be the easiest way to handle your personal injury matter. A lawyer may be able to identify legal issues you hadn't considered, and can give you useful guidance that is tailor-made to your unique situation.

Source: Findlaw.com

 

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Planning Ahead is Key to Throwing a Memorable Party

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

BPT—There's nothing more chic than entertaining with ease and seamlessly bringing family and friends together over a great meal at a fashionable table. If you want to be known as an unforgettable host, follow these tips for entertaining in style to impress guests at your next event:

Select a theme: No matter the occasion, select a theme and color palette to set the tone and inspire everything from the tablescape to the menu.

Make your menu: Create a simple and delicious menu using fresh ingredients.

  • Set the table: To save time, design and set your table the night before. The key to creating fresh new tablescapes is versatile, white dinnerware paired with interchangeable, bold linens.
  • Prep and pop: Prep dishes in advance and store them in the fridge before baking and serving. When it's time to bake, pop them in the oven. CorningWare bakeware can go from the fridge to the oven, oven to table, table to fridge or freezer - no need to change dishes for baking, serving and storing. This time-saver will allow you to greet guests as they arrive and avoid last-minute meal prep.
  • All in the details: Just before guests arrive, add vibrant floral arrangements and light candles to set the mood. Enjoy the company of your guests while demonstrating how to entertain fashionably and effortlessly.

Source: www.worldkitchen.com

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Seven Strange Ways to Burn More Calories

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

It goes without saying that exercising is a sure way to burn more calories. Just walking at a moderate pace several times a week will burn enough calories to result in weight loss.

But if you seem to be stuck at a weight loss plateau, fitness gurus at ThePostGame.com suggest seven ways you might never have thought of to help burn more calories and kick-start the next phase of your weight loss:

Drink green tea – It’s full of antioxidants, which is good for you in several ways, but studies show that green tea – with lemon added, but no sugar – also helps burn calories.

Eat hot peppers – Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which causes the body to expend more energy as heat, therefore, burning more calories. Add a few chili peppers (or cayenne pepper) to your meal occasionally to get the desired effect.

Eat more protein – Protein-rich foods also cause the body to increase calorie burn. For every 100 calories of lean meat, fish or poultry you eat, you’ll net only about 75.

Add some carbs – Because carbohydrate intake is closely linked to thyroid gland function, eating a very low-carb diet for an extended period of time results in a sluggish metabolism. Adding a few more healthy carbs to your diet – such as whole grain bread or rice – should help get your calorie burn going.

Get enough sleep – Those who don’t enough sleep each night are at risk of low metabolism. Getting at least seven hours of sleep nightly will help increase glucose tolerance, which helps the body to handle carbs more efficiently.

Read more – Watching TV is one of the lowest calorie-burning activities. Reading increases brain activity, which burns glucose. So instead of watching late-night TV, pick up a good book and read.

Take a diet break – Being on a low-calorie diet for an extended period also significantly decreases total daily calorie burn. To help overcome this so that you can burn calories faster, take a diet break every four-six weeks. Two days of higher-calorie eating will immediately help reverse the sluggish metabolism and help you burn more calories total.

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Word of the Day

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

Appreciation. Increase in property value or worth due to economic or related factors; the opposite of depreciation.

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Q: Can the seller also include contingencies in a contract?

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

A: Yes. For example, if you decide to sell your existing home first before buying another one, you can make the sale of your home contingent on finding a replacement home.  Some sellers opt for this contingency to avoid a double move, such as moving to a hotel or rental until a new home is found and made available.

However, there is one problem with this type of contingency: it can inconvenience the buyer, particularly if his own home is in escrow.  He may not be willing to wait for you to move.  

This strategy has a better chance of working when the market is relatively strong, your home is a rare find, the price and terms of the transaction are very favorable for the buyer, or the buyer is in no hurry to move.

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Soft Skills Will Help you Land That Next Job

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

BPT—You've polished your resume, updated your references and picked up your best outfit from the dry cleaners. You're ready for that big interview. But while your experience and qualifications may match the position perfectly, have you given any thought to your soft skills?

Soft skills include a person's attitude, workplace behavior, values and ethics. Increasingly, employers are looking at soft skills as the deciding factor when choosing between two applicants.

Harry Weimann, director of education at WyoTech Blairsville and a business owner since 1986, says he wishes he would have learned to look for the appropriate skills long ago.

"As a business owner for many years, I've hired several employees," Weimann says. "Some were talented workers, but I never could pinpoint why I rarely got the person I was looking for. Working for WyoTech opened my eyes to what I was missing - soft skills."

Weimann says employers view an employee who shows up on time, performs the job correctly and respects others as being more valuable in many cases than an employee who is technically competent but shows up late, is sloppily dressed and has a poor attitude. Because of this, employers are looking harder at soft skills when hiring in the current market.

"For some reason, organizations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job or have the right soft skills," says Weimann. "The assumption is that everyone knows the importance of being on time, being accountable, having integrity and being a team player, but is that fair to expect without communicating that during the interview process?"

When you head to that big interview, you should expect to face some soft skill questions. These may include:

  • What is your definition of integrity?
  • What does it mean to be accountable?
  • What is your definition of common sense?
  • What is your definition of customer service?
  • What are your feelings regarding deadlines?
  • How do you handle high-pressure situations?
  • Tell me an example of how you've resolved a conflict in the past.

Make sure you are able to answer each of these questions with the same accuracy and confidence you would apply to any question about your resume. As employers continue to search for candidates with the right professional and soft skills, it is up to you to prove that you are qualified in both.

 

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Six Simple Ways to Optimize Your Mornings

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

Family Features—Even the most chipper of morning people can sometimes wake up groggy and tired. And if their children wake up feeling the exact same way, mornings can definitely drag. There are, however, little things you can do -- from scheduling exercise at optimal times, to packing protein into breakfast, to planning daily goals -- that will make a big difference.

The following tips will help put that zing in your family's step.

Wake up and work out: Do you start your morning with a healthy dose of exercise? The time you begin your workout matters more than you may think. A study shows that those who work out before eating in the morning burned approximately 20 percent more than those who wait until after breakfast.

Rev up your metabolism: Allow a little extra time in your morning to rev up your metabolism. A short, 20-minute weight lifting session can get your blood pumping and help you burn calories throughout the day. Of course, if you're busy managing the kids in the morning, you can still increase your metabolism just by adding more protein to your morning meal while making sure it's low in calories and carbs.

Make time for breakfast: Never skip breakfast -- not only will that deplete your energy, but it can also negatively impact your health. In fact, recent studies show that those who opt out of breakfast time are at a 27 percent higher risk of having a heart attack. The same study also finds that those who eat breakfast are likely to be healthier eaters overall. This is especially important for children as they develop habits over time. So, help them establish a healthy breakfast habit early. If time is an issue, make breakfast a priority (and a convenience) by filling your pantry with quick, healthy. low-fat options.

Create a checklist: Think of your entire day as a series of small goals and write them down in the morning or the night before. Then cross out tasks as you complete them. Not only will you reduce stress from having a better visual of your family's day, you will feel more productive as you progress through your list.

Shake up the morning: Get out that blender and toss in healthy foods. Breakfast smoothies and shakes are a fast way to get the essential nutrients to jumpstart your day. Plus, they're easy to pour, and they're mobile -- throw in a straw and sip while you walk. Recruit your children to help, and let them have fun mixing up their own tasty creation with fresh fruit like pineapple, banana and blueberries.

Pause: Before you leave the house, take one minute to breathe. Feel good you ate breakfast and warmed up your body with exercise. And don't forget to take your to-do list with you. You never know what opportunities the day will inspire. 

Source: www.ViCrunch.com.

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Create Your Dream Green Kitchen

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

Family Features--Today’s newly remodeled kitchens boast more than just rich hues and shiny appliances – they have an eco-conscious ambiance that marries great style with respect for the environment.

Dreaming of a fresh, modern kitchen that is also eco-friendly and strikingly beautiful? Achieving this transformation is more attainable than you may think. Environmental lifestyle expert, Danny Seo, provides these helpful tips on how to add earth-friendly updates to your kitchen:

Refrigerator

When searching for a new refrigerator, be sure to look for more than just the Energy Star label to ensure maximum energy efficiency. It is also important the new appliance fits your needs and the size of your kitchen. A larger refrigerator uses more energy. If the one you select is too big for your needs, you will be wasting energy and money.

Blocked wood countertops

With their rugged durability and timeless style, butcher block countertops are making a huge comeback. Though typically made from cherry, walnut and oak, greener options, such as high pressure laminate designs made by Wilsonart, can contribute to US Green Building Council LEED accreditation as an eco-friendly material to use in your home. For more information on their new Blocked Wood designs – Old Mill Oak and Truss Maple –visit www.wilsonart.com.

Flooring

For a more sustainable approach to kitchen flooring, there are several options available. If you love the hard, classic appeal of wood, look for reclaimed, recycled or sustainably sourced materials. Bamboo is also a beloved choice among eco-conscious remodelers for its biodegradable nature and high renewability.

“Going green at home can be overwhelming, so I always advise people to not sweat the small stuff and focus on the one room of the house where it matters the most: the kitchen,” says Seo. “Being kind to the planet in the kitchen can also be kind on your wallet over time, so it's worth it to invest in sustainable upgrades.”

Backsplash

Recycled materials are the star of the show when looking to add green touches to your backsplash. There are three main types of recycled materials: ceramic, metal and glass. Old bottles and windows make up the materials in glass tile; old plates and clay vases are recycled to become ceramic tile; and those old soda cans become aluminum metal tile. All of these materials come in a variety of shades and styles to fit the look of your dream kitchen.

Dishwasher

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, using an Energy Star labeled dishwasher is the most efficient use of energy and water, even more so than hand washing. When looking to update your dishwasher, pay close attention to the EnergyGuide labels, which include the annual estimated costs to run them. This valuable information can help you compare models to find the best fit for your family’s needs.

A dream kitchen that is both eco-friendly and chic is easier to attain than you think. With a few changes not only will you be smiling, but so too will Mother Earth.

 

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Word of the Day

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

Due-on-sale. Clause in a note or mortgage giving the lender the right to call the entire loan balance due if the property is sold or otherwise conveyed.

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Q: Are seller-paid points deductible?

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

A: For the buyer, yes, but not the seller – even though the seller pays them.  Since January 1, 1991, homebuyers have been able to deduct points paid by the seller whereas, previously, they could only deduct the actual points they paid on the home loans themselves.

 

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