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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
701 W. Market Street
Perkasie, PA 18944
Phone: 215-453-7883
Office Phone: 215-453-7653
Toll Free: 800-440-remax
Fax: 267-354-6800
email: tom@tomskiffington.com
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Tom's Blog

Fall House Cleaning: Chores to Do Now

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

Everyone talks about spring house cleaning – a time to freshen up your living space to get it ready for fresh air and sunshine. But, advises a staffing supervisor for Molly Maids cleaning service, a clean house requires a fall cleaning routine as well:

Deep clean the closets – Sort out your wardrobe and clean out clothes closets. Donate whatever you are unlikely to wear again to make room for seasonal purchases.

Get rid of expired medicines – Check the medicine cabinet for expired meds and last winter’s leftovers. As you dispose of them, make note of things you need to buy, such as bandages, antiseptic creams or over-the-counter cough syrup.

Clean out the fridge – Dig deep for tired or expired foods, clean the shelves and organize the fridge. Remember to replace that old box of baking soda with a fresh one to guard against odors.

Clean the carpets – A little elbow grease now will get you ready for holiday entertaining. Deep clean summer’s grime out of your carpets or hire a professional carpet cleaner with equipment that may dig deeper than you can.

Clean ceiling fans and ceiling light fixtures – Open doors and windows all summer have likely left them coated with dust. Clean them thoroughly now that the doors are closed.

Wash the windows – Washing them inside and out may be a pain, but winter can be depressing enough without having to look through dirty windows.

Shine the silver – Before Thanksgiving is the best time to get out the polish and get your silverware ready for company.

Check the gutters – Autumn means gutters are full of falling leaves. Clean them out now with a special hose attachment that has a hooked end to get down into the gutters. Look into attaching “hoods” or “helmets” to the gutters so you won’t have to worry as much about cleaning out leaves in the future.

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Five Ways to Build a Better Shower

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

BPT—The shower is a place to unwind from a stressful day, where you can forget your worries and pamper yourself. Remodeling the shower is extremely popular because it allows homeowners to create a spa-like experience in their own home, not to mention it's a good investment and can increase resale value. Before you start your remodel, here are five ways to create a shower that will give you some well-deserved peace and quiet.

1. Spacious shower

If you're gutting your bathroom, think about opening up the space to expand the size of your shower. Typically, showers are 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep; but now, luxury-style showers measure at least 48 inches by 96 inches. You can also create more shower space by selecting certain types of shower doors. Sliding glass doors can be a hassle to clean, as dirt can get into every little crevice. Hinged, glass doors, or if you have the space, a larger opening with no shower door at all, are better options for creating a modern, streamlined look.

2. Bring in the light

Do you have a small bathroom and don't have room for a spacious shower? Not to worry - make the shower look bigger with lighting. Adding a skylight above the shower will make it feel larger in size and give a sense of being in a high-end resort. The materials you use on the door can also brighten things up. Choosing a glass door lets more light fill the space while showing off a fancy showerhead or tile. The glass can be frosted for added privacy.

3. Showerheads in all shapes and sizes

Showerheads come in a wide variety of styles to add the desired look - and functionality - to your bathroom. From rainshowers to traditional showerheads and body sprays, the combinations are almost endless.

No matter what style or the number of sprays you choose, make sure to include a hand shower. It makes cleaning the shower a breeze, will help with washing the family pet, and gets all those hard to reach places during your daily shower.

4. A place to sit and relax

Shower benches and seats are becoming an essential component for rest and relaxation. It's a great way to add a spa-like element to your shower but also provides extra safety for your family. You can build a bench into the shower or attach one that folds up against the wall. Different styles and materials are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Teak is a popular choice in the shower as it withstands different temperatures, is resistant to bugs and humidity and is also easy to clean.

5. Storage in the shower

Finally, build niches in the shower wall to fit all the bottles used on a daily basis. Creating several built-in areas will eliminate reaching for bottles on the shower floor and make it easier for the family to stay organized. Make sure the shelves slope toward the shower to keep the areas from getting moldy or full of soap scum. If you aren't putting in new shower walls, you can also create more storage with a sturdy, corner shelf. Choose one with at least three shelves so Mom, Dad and the kids can each have their own shelf.

Source: moen.com  

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This Halloween, Avoid Frightening Injuries and Keep Kiddies Safe

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

The ghosts and goblins may be coming out this Halloween, but your skeleton shouldn't!  As millions of Americans prepare for the traditions of Halloween - pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and home decorating - the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) urge celebrants of all ages to put safety first.

"The most common Halloween injuries we see are severe hand injuries from pumpkin carving and leg and extremity injuries due to falls from long costumes and/or costumes that impair vision," sayz orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Kevin G. Shea, MD. "It's a scary thing when individuals are ill equipped with safety rules such as wearing dark costumes without reflectors, or using the wrong tools to carve a pumpkin. By familiarizing yourself with safety tips, you decrease your chances for injuries."

A study published in the 2010 journal Pediatrics found that Halloween is the holiday with the fourth highest number of emergency room visits. Other results from the nine-year study on injuries between 1997 and 2006 included:

  • Finger/hand injuries accounted for the greatest proportion of injuries on Halloween (17.6 percent)
  • Of the finger/hand injuries sustained on Halloween, 33.3 percent were lacerations and 20.1 percent were fractures
  • Children, ages 10-14, sustained the greatest proportion of injuries (30.3 percent)

To help reduce the risk for injury on Halloween, the AAOS and POSNA offer the following safety tips:

Trick-or-treat

  • Walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. Obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. The child's vision should be unobstructed by masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, so trim or hem them as necessary.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating. Remember that these pets can pose a threat when you approach their home.
  • Avoid candles in Halloween decorations.  Instead, use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights.
  • Carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.

Pumpkin carving

  • Use a pumpkin carving kit, or knives specifically designed for carving. These are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin. 
  • Children should not carve pumpkins unless supervised closely by an adult. Some Halloween carving devices, designed especially for children, may be safe for use with parental supervision.  Younger children can use paint, markers or other non-carving decoration kits. Always carve pumpkins in a clean, dry and well-lit area, and make sure there is no moisture on the carving tools or your hands.
  • Beware of sharp carving tools!  If you are cut, apply pressure with a clean cloth and elevate the area above the heart. If bleeding does not stop within 10-15 minutes or if the cut is deep, evaluation by a physician might be needed.  Make sure cuts are cleaned and dressed with clean bandages.

Source: ANationInMotion.org

 

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Word of the Day

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

Loan servicing. Task of collecting monthly payments, handling insurance and tax impounds, delinquencies, early payoffs, and mortgage releases.

 

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Q: Will I be able to buy again after losing a home to foreclosure?

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

A: It can happen.  But a lot will depend on your circumstances and the mortgage interest rate you are willing to pay.  Generally, most lenders will consider your request for a home loan two to four years after your foreclosure.  Predatory lenders will issue a home mortgage in less time.  But beware – they routinely charge high mortgage interest rates, fees, and penalties for this privilege.

A quality lender will expect you to show that you have cleaned up your credit.  Providing a reasonable explanation about the circumstances that led to the foreclosure – such as exuberant medical expenses – is also helpful.

 

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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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