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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

Hot Home Trends: Euro Metro Modern Furniture Design

October 1, 2012 6:42 pm

You don’t have to be a hipster to decorate your home with modern furniture. Today, bright, sparse furniture is drawing on more than just its reputation for uncluttered, art-inspired designs. The iconic bright colors, pop art and sci-fi shapes of mid-century modern furniture are giving way to more understated colors and up-market designs.

"Euro-modern styles perfectly marry a light-filled, uncluttered, high-tech home with a comfortable, high-style, luxurious one," says Brenda Dillon, VP of Merchandising for Ashley Home Furniture. "This look is style with an edgy vibe. White leather. Black finishes. Clean textures. Chrome. These are some of the elements that make Euro style the hottest trend. It's modern style—all grown up!"

Ashley's new Euro pieces are smaller in scale for those who are space-challenged, as well as clean-lined with no ornamentation for a cool esthetic. They include:

Small-scale sectionals, modulars and sofas. These pieces create a number of set-up combinations to fit within any living area -- without sacrificing the comfort of the thick, boxed-seat cushions and backs surrounded in a soft chenille fabric.
Sleek, space saving tables. Choose from faux marble, travertine, chrome, and more for a cool, sophisticated palate that awakens the décor of any living area.
Innovative lighting designs. Say goodbye to sloped or angled lamp shades. Euro-modern designs feature straight shapes, including rectangular styles, as well as square and circular styles.
Abstract art. Modern art was made for modern furniture. Choose from big pieces, including art canvases without a frame. Hang a complementary pair of pictures together for a clean, modern look.
Bold accent pillows & rugs. Rich and contrasting textures are must-haves in a room with such clean lines. Ashley offers accessories that are a trendy counter point to the hip Euro feel, including shaggy rugs and throw pillows to contrast sleek chairs and shiny steel.

Source: AshleyFurnitureHomeStore.com.
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Keep Your Home Fire-Free

October 1, 2012 6:42 pm

A fire is one of the greatest homeowner fears. Not only could you lose your home and valuables but, more importantly, your family could be at risk! To put your mind at ease, and protect your home from potential fires, follow these simple tips.

  • Change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every six months.
  • Always turn car engines off when pumping gas.
  • Give space heaters their space – at least three feet from anything flammable – and turn space heaters off before bed.
  • To extinguish charcoal grill fires, close the lid and vents and if the fire persists, douse the grill with water from a distance. Remember: never use a charcoal grill indoors.
  • Keep charged fire extinguishers handy in the home and in vehicles.
  • Use baking soda instead of water on grease fires.
  • Program ICE (In Case of Emergency) in cell phones for EMS, police and fire contacts.
  • Long grilling utensils are best to avoid burns.
  • If an appliance smokes or smells, unplug it immediately and have the appliance repaired or replaced.
  • Store matches and lighters safely out of kids' reach.

Source: Firehousesubs.com
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Word of the Day

October 1, 2012 6:42 pm

Trustee. One who as agent for others handles money or holds title to their land.
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Q: Do Builders Provide Financing?

October 1, 2012 6:42 pm

A: Many builders offer financing incentives to help move more buyers into a project. In fact, major building companies often have their own mortgage brokerage subsidiaries, while many other builders routinely refer buyers to "preferred" local lenders. If it is a buyer's market in your area, you can be sure developers will offer incentives such as low-down-payment financing or interest rate subsidies.
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10 Quick Kitchen Fixes

September 28, 2012 4:34 pm

You need not spend a lot on granite counters or tile flooring to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. So says stylist Rebekah Zaveloff, owner of design studio KitchenLab.

“So many people thing kitchen remodeling is an all-or-nothing proposition,” Zaveloff noted. “The truth is, you can brighten and lighten your kitchen with a few deft, inexpensive touches.”

For starters, she offers these 10 simple fixes:

Throw down a colorful area rug
– Kitchens don’t have to be boring. A colorful area rug by the sink, under a portable island, or beneath the kitchen table can really liven up the space.
Update the barstools or kitchen chairs – Browse second-hand shops or Craigslist for vintage or designer chairs or stools that will add new pizzazz to your old kitchen.
Change the lighting – Fluorescent lighting sheds more light in a dark kitchen, and a well-chosen chandelier or other hanging fixture over the kitchen table will provide a whole new look.
Go bold with wall color – A bright paint color will add new life. Paint all the walls or just one area, perhaps in the dining nook.
Paint the cabinets – If you’re tired of white, try a bold color on the cabinet doors, leaving the background white if you care to.
Change the cabinet hardware – New hardware is easy to install and makes a big impact on the look of your kitchen – especially if the woodwork is dark.
Add a pot rack to a blank wall – It will give the kitchen a new look and help to free up cabinet space.
Add display shelves – Shelves on the wall or behind a glass door cabinet can showcase collections, like antique cooking accessories, or hold glass Mason jars filled with pasta, cereal, rice, dried fruit and wrapped candy.
Tile the backsplash – tile of your choice is easy to apply and can dress up the space behind your sink or stove, adding new color and easy-clean elegance to the kitchen.

Tile, paint or wallpaper the built-in island – Choose a pattern that adds a bold look and a statement about who you are.
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Should You 'Winterize' Your Pet?

September 28, 2012 4:34 pm

(ARA) - The arrival of autumn signals many changes in the household, from switching from salads to soups to pulling sweaters out of storage to changing furnace filters. With pets, however, you may need to think as much about what you don't change as what you do.

Chicago veterinarian Dr. Shelly Rubin is well acquainted with the dramatic temperature swings that accompany the change of seasons, as well as how to help pets and owners cope with them. Following is his list of fall do's and don'ts for pet owners.

Don't “fall” off the exercise wagon. With days getting shorter - and cooler - it can be tempting to skip your early morning or evening walk. But with more than half of all pets in the U.S. being overweight or obese, exercise is vital. A daily walk, or several shorter walks, can rev the metabolism of both two- and four-legged walkers for hours.

Do ensure your pet is outfitted for cooler weather. Small, light-bodied breeds, dogs with very short hair and older dogs with weakened immune systems are likely to need a sweater when venturing outside. And once cold and snowy weather sets in, dogs may require protective footwear to keep their paw pads from freezing.

Don't assume that cooler weather eliminates the threat of diseases like heartworm, which are spread by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have been known to survive well into the winter months, thanks to indoor havens and protected microclimates existing within larger, cooler climate zones. For this reason, the American Heartworm Society recommends year-round heartworm protection for both dogs and cats.

Do ensure your senior pet has a warm, draft-free place to sleep. Many older dogs and cats suffer from arthritis. Just as sore joints in people tend to feel worse in cold weather, so it is with pets. A warm cozy bed can make nights - and mornings - more comfortable.

Do be sensitive to your pets' feelings if fall brings changes to your household.
Just like people, pets can get depressed. And if you're missing a son or daughter who has moved away to start college or a job, chances are your family pet is also feeling the loss. Spending time with your pet and giving him an extra measure of cuddling and affection will help both of you feel better.
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Financial Tip of the Week: How to Get More for Your Money

September 28, 2012 4:34 pm

You know how it goes: pay day comes and you’re feeling good about your finances, but after your mortgage, college tuition payments, grocery bills and the occasional latte, you’re wondering where that money ran off to. It used to be that "middle class" meant "comfortable." Yet today, some are finding that lifestyle is slipping away as they struggle to maintain their standard of living.

Today, the best way to maintain the lifestyle you're accustomed to is to become smarter with the money you do have.

Here are four strategies to help you maximize your money:

Budget for your specific needs. When every dollar counts, you can't afford to let anything slip through the cracks. That's where a budget comes in. Creating one – and actually using it – can help you take control of your money. Start by keeping a spending journal so you can see where your money's going. Next, subtract your fixed monthly costs (i.e. mortgage or rent, car payment, utilities, savings, etc.) from your monthly income. The remaining money is what you have left for variable expenses, such as groceries, entertainment, gas, etc. How you divide this money is up to you – the only catch is you have to stay within your budget limits.

Plan ahead to avoid ATM fees. Avoiding this extra cost is as simple as planning ahead. Paying $3 here and there may not seem like a lot, but it adds up over time. "For example, paying $3 at a non-bank ATM, four times a month adds up to $144 each year.

Find a credit card that benefits you. Look for one that rewards you for the money you spend.

Save money on everything. With a bit of advance planning and research, you can save money on everything from groceries and gas to haircuts and entertainment. Many of these savings can be found online and through mobile apps. Follow your favorite businesses via social media to learn about exclusive discounts and sales. Mobile apps can help you find the lowest prices on gas and other items you use everyday.

Source: http://www.harrisbank.com
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Word of the Day

September 28, 2012 4:34 pm

Townhouse. Usually a two- or three-story dwelling with shared walls, or a living unit operating under the condominium or townhouse form of ownership.
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Q: Is It Best to Save for The Ultimate Dream Home or Begin with a Less Expensive Starter Home?

September 28, 2012 4:34 pm

A: It can take a long time to save for that perfect dream home. Meanwhile, the market has been flooded with some of the most favorable mortgage interest rates in years. Low rates make housing more affordable, which is why so many buyers have jumped on the home buying bandwagon.

Home-price appreciation has also been strong, making very solid gains in communities across the country. In fact, home prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent to 3 percent annually over the next five years.
If you purchase a starter home today, you can potentially begin to build value that can lead to the purchase of a larger, or more desirable, trade-up home in the future.
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Q: How Do You Decide whether to Add on to an Existing Home or Purchase a New One?

September 28, 2012 4:34 pm

A: There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home.
As designer and builder Philip S. Wenz, the author of Adding to a House: Planning, Design & Construction, notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a “new” home without the heartache of moving.

Other considerations:

  • Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will you need a loan?
  • How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.
  • Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition?
  • What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements.
  • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?
  • Explore your options. Make sure your decision is one you can live with – either under the same roof or under a different one.
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