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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

Word of the Day

July 31, 2012 5:46 pm

Plat. Map or survey showing the location and boundaries of individual properties and how they have been subdivided into lots and blocks.
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Q: What Is the Difference between Appraised Value and Market Value?

July 31, 2012 5:46 pm

A: A certified appraiser who is trained to provide the estimated value of a home determines its appraised value. The appraised value is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property, and several other factors.

Market value is the price the house will bring at a given point in time, once you and the buyer establish a “meeting of the minds” on price.
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For Your Tween: Making the Move to Middle School

July 31, 2012 5:46 pm

Making the move to middle school can be a difficult time for you and your adolescent. A new school means a new schedule, new layout, and new friends. The transition marks a time of new expectations and increased responsibility. The following tips can make an easier transition for you and your child.

Get Organized
A middle school student will have four or more teachers, each with different requirements. Work with your child to develop a system of organization that is realistic. If your school provides an agenda, discuss how your child will use this tool, and consider ways to organize everything from notes in folders to his or her locker and book bag. As parents, our system of organization may not work perfectly for our kids. Getting your child involved creates buy-in and sets the stage for accountability.

Foster Independence
Each stage of school is preparation for the next. Middle school requires a delicate balancing act of providing a supportive environment while helping a child become independent. Heavy-handed assistance in schoolwork and constant reminders about deadlines, which may have proven fruitful in elementary school, can actually backfire. Parenting on either end of the spectrum — over-involvement or too little involvement — can lead to a rebellious child or one who is fearful or even ambivalent about going to school.

Provide Relevant Consequences
As parents, we tend to see the bigger picture. But preaching about the need to do well in order to go to college and get a good job can lead to glazed-over looks. Talk about consequences that matter: not being able to see a friend, having a cell phone taken away or restricting video games. If your child fails to meet the expectation, confidently follow through on the promised consequence. Children who are not used to having to make choices with real consequences may take a little more time, patience and commitment. Once your son or daughter is aware you will not waiver, you should begin to see results.

Get on the Same Page
In addition to being clear with your child about what they can expect at school and at home, it is important to also get on the same page with the school. If your child is struggling, anxious about school or acting out, talk to the school counselor or teachers about what may help your child be more successful. Schools have dealt with a wide range of issues children face and may offer helpful suggestions.

Know When to Seek Help
During this time, children are going through many changes. This can lead to making excuses for your child or believing that their behavior is a phase that will pass. If professionals outside of your family are beginning to point out problem areas with your child, this may be a sign to seek help. Don't ignore your instincts.

Source: EagleRanch.org
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A Look at the Latest Cool Gadgets, Organizers

July 30, 2012 6:32 pm

A couple of times a year, I love to poke around to see what kind of cool new organizing gadgets and accessories are being offered to homeowners. So this month I tapped my contacts at 'Get Organized' (shopgetorganized.com) to see what's hot and what's not in home accessories and came up with these five beauties:

Give hanging plants a spotlight to shine for just $17.98 with a decorative, battery-powered solar hanging plant lamp which bathes flowing flora in a warm glow and inviting aura cast by a luminous ball designed to mimic natural cuts of a crystal. A honeycomb pattern spreads light evenly over the top to make colors and foliage pop. This adds romantic touch to outdoor décor.

Cover unsightly CFL lights with the softer look of shatterproof bulb covers. The set of 3 provides a more natural feel and look for just $14.98. Now you can save the planet without sacrificing style. Perfect for ceiling fans, mirror lights and track lighting the covers install in seconds. The heat-resistant reusable large covers fit most 9W-13W CFL bulbs, while small covers fit most 9W CFL bulbs.

Take the bar to where you are for just $155.98 when you carry the Get Organized 2 bottle cocktail case. This beautiful leatherette carrier includes: 2 hand blown 7oz martini glasses; stainless steel olive picks; a 19oz shaker; double-sided jigger; tongs; strainer, and Vermouth mister. The case also features an insulated, divided compartment to hold 2 spirit bottles, and a suitcase style handle along with an adjustable leatherette shoulder strap.

At $199.98, the Mighty Tidy Closet creates an attractive storage-space-on-wheels to match even the fanciest decors. The sturdy construction includes a clothing bar with brackets for mounting. This mobile closet accommodates long jackets and garments as well as multiple pairs of shoes. And it easily rolls anywhere in a room for easy access.

For the gardener or handy mom, the Get Organized tool rack with wheels is just $54.98 and organizes up to 30 tools, a weed trimmer, electrical cord, etc. The unit features side-access tool slots with clips to keep tools secure; 4 high quality casters allow easy movement; easy 5-minute assembly - no tools required; and a steel-core structure that provides strength and stability.
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Word of the Day

July 30, 2012 6:32 pm

PITI. Acronym for “principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.” Frequently used to describe a loan payment that combines all four items.
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Q: What Is the Difference between List Price and Sales Price?

July 30, 2012 6:32 pm

A: The list price is your advertised price, or asking price, for a home. It is a rough estimate of what you want to complete a home sale. A good way to determine if the list price is a fair one is to look at the sales prices of similar homes that have recently sold in the area.

The sales price is the actual amount the home sells for.
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Trending: Salt Water Pools

July 27, 2012 6:20 pm

(ARA) - One of the hottest summers in U.S. history has sent everyone scurrying into their pools to cool off, and the biggest new trend in swimming pools is salt water. First developed in Australia, saltwater pools offer several advantages over conventional chlorine and have become incredibly popular in the last decade.

People no longer have to tolerate the eye-burning, nose-curdling sting that comes from chlorine. Saltwater pools only have one-tenth the salt of ocean water and about one-third when compared to human tears. They are also gentler on the skin and hair than traditional chlorine pools. And pool owners don't have to purchase, store, and handle harsh chemicals, so maintenance is easier, more convenient, and saves time and money.

Across the country, more chlorine pools are being converted to salt water and today there are more than 1.4 million saltwater pools in operation nationwide. An estimated 75 percent of all new in-ground pools are salt water, compared with only 15 percent in 2002, according to data published in Pool & Spa News.

Since the Evergreen Commons senior center in Holland, Mich., converted its 65,000-gallon pool to salt water, members have been pleased with the results. "The minute you walk into the pool area you notice a big difference," says Jodi Owczarski, the center's community relations director. "There is no longer that chemical smell. People also tell us that the water is much softer. In the old pool, people said they sometimes had to wash twice to get all those chemicals off, but in this pool, they only have to wash once. All in all, people have been thrilled with this new system."

In saltwater pools, chlorine is automatically produced as water passes through the generator. As the water exits the generator and enters the pool, the sanitizing chlorine reverts back to salt, and the process repeats itself, conserving salt and keeping sanitizer levels balanced.

Saltwater pools require less maintenance than traditional pools, but pool owners still should test weekly for pH and chlorine, and monthly for other water balance factors and for salt levels, which can drop due to splash-out, rain and filter back-washing. Most pool owners test their pool water themselves with test strips and periodically bring a sample in to a pool retailer for testing.

Anyone who has made the decision to move to a saltwater pool should make certain they use salt specifically designed for that use. An average 20,000 gallon pool requires 530 pounds of salt at startup; with quantities that large, even small amounts of contaminants within the salt can cause pool problems. That's why ultra-pure salt is best for salt water pools. Salt water systems can also save money in the long run over chlorine-based alternatives.

There have also been questions about the effect of salt water on pool construction materials, decks and surrounding structures. When pools are properly constructed and normal maintenance is followed, salt water has no effect on pool finishes, equipment and decks. Most materials are suitable for salt water pool construction, and most kinds of stone and decking materials will last if treated and sealed properly and periodically rinsed off.

If you're considering a saltwater pool, talk to a knowledgeable builder or retailer, or get some insight from other saltwater pool owners. You can also find more information at the Salt Institute website.
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Painting Kids' Rooms: Tips and Tricks to Get It Right

July 27, 2012 6:20 pm

Looking to set up a nursery or revamp the color of your tweens bedroom? Painting is an easy and cost-effective way to create just the right atmosphere. But knowing how to get started can feel overwhelming. These tips will help you choose the best type and color of paint, while keeping the process quick and stress-free.

Sheen Savvy -Sheen determines how shiny your paint looks when it's dry. Choosing the right sheen adds the perfect finishing touch on a room, and it can make a big difference when it comes to cleaning up.

Semi-Gloss - Brings a soft shine to the room without being overpowering. It's good for kids' rooms because it's durable and easy to clean. You can wipe off crayon and pencil marks with common non-abrasive cleaners.

Eggshell/Satin - Has a smooth finish with a subtle sheen, and is washable and scrubbable.
Flat - A beautiful matte coating with no shine. It is ideal for low-traffic areas and hides minor dents or nicks best.

Choosing Colors

For many DIYers, choosing paint colors can be a tricky and time-intensive process. There are so many options and many people worry about making a big color mistake.

Get inspired - Look through magazines, websites such as Pinterest®, an online pinboard, and even at friends' homes to get some ideas.

Try them out - Once you've narrowed down your color choices, try out your top picks to see how they will look in the room with your specific lighting conditions.


Painting Tips

• Consider using a combination paint and primer -- it can save you time and money by eliminating the need to use two painting products.
• Work from the ceiling down to the baseboards. Do one entire wall or area at a time.
• Use wide masking tape to mask off areas you don't want to paint, such as window panes or trim.
• Use a roller to paint in blocks of roughly 4 x 4 feet. Paint adjacent blocks before each previous block dries to help blend the edges.
• Paint molding and woodwork with a brush, in the direction of the wood grain. Use short strokes to coat the surface, then use longer, smoother strokes for an even and finished surface.
• Make sure the room is well ventilated as you paint.
• Pick a paint that dries quickly and has low odor, so your child can move into the newly painted space sooner.

Source: www.Glidden.com.
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Tips to Recognize Teen Depression: Eagle Ranch Academy

July 27, 2012 6:20 pm

Every parent wants to be a support system for their child. Keeping an eye out for signs of depression is one way you can be there for your teen. Below are several tips for recognizing if your child may be suffering from depression.

Tip 1: If a teen becomes overly quiet and withdrawn from others, tending to spend most of their time in their room away from family and friends, this could be a definite sign of depression. Typically, depressed teens do not wish to communicate with others and would rather avoid any type of social situation.

Tip 2: Dropping grades in school could also be another sign of teen depression. A student that usually gets A’s or B’s, and is currently getting more C’s and D grades could be suffering from depression, as is sometimes seen when parents decide to send their children to a teen treatment center.

Tip 3: Quick or dramatic changes in mannerisms, dress, actions, and friend crowd could also be a sign of depression. Observe a teen closely to see how their behavior and friend crowd has changed.

Tip 4: During the winter months, if changes in teen behavior occur, this could be a sign of seasonal depression. Treatment for this depression may be different than others, but the symptoms for seasonal depression are the same, but with symptoms only occurring during certain seasons, and disappearing in others.

Tip 5: Is a teen prone to listening to music on their iPod or multimedia device with their headphones in and their volume up to full blast for long periods of time? This could be another sign of teen depression. Typically, a teen that does this regularly is trying to isolate themselves from the real world by tuning out everything but their music. It is not so much what music they are listening to as it is the fact that they are choosing loud volumes and isolating themselves.

Source: Eagle Ranch Academy
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Word of the Day

July 27, 2012 6:20 pm

Origination fee. A charge by the lender for granting and processing a new mortgage loan.
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Learn more about Philadelphia County, Doylestown, Northampton County, Hilltown, Montgomery County, Ottsville, Chester County and Richlandtown and search all the real estate listings in the Perkasie area MLS. We have packed our site with tons of information about Revere, Hilltown, Ottsville, Doylestown, Perkasie Real Estate and Northampton County Real Estate plus what you need to know about buying and selling a home or condo. I offer full a full range of professional real estate services. On this Perkasie real estate site find Perkasie In Town and Suburban Properties, Land, Lots, Perkasie Golf Homes for Sale, Luxury Estates, Town Homes, Perkasie New Homes for Sale, Perkasie Condos, Town Homes, Real Estate, Perkasie Luxury Estates, Equestrian Estates and Perkasie Executive Homes For Sale. Search for Homes for Sale in Perkasie. You can also Search for Homes for Sale in Lehigh County and it's surrounding counties. Lehigh Valley Real estate ad Lehigh Valley homes or properties for sale.

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