Edward E. Hodgson Jr.RE/MAX 440 photo collage
Home
Market Snapshot
My Listings
View Area Listings
Foreclosures
Short Sales
Inside Tours
Federal Home Buyers Tax Credit
Mortgage Info
Community Info
School Info
About Me
Ed's Blog
Contact Me
Login
Helpful Links
Edward E. Hodgson Jr.
1110 North Broad Street | Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone: 215-362-2260 | Office Phone: 215-362-2260 | Fax: 267-354-6844
Cell: 215-850-6973 | email: ed@edhodgsonrealtor.com

My Blog

http://rrein.rismedia.com/feeds/15985/news.rss

Why the Perfect Workout Buddy Is Hairy, Panting and Shirtless

May 22, 2013 2:00 am

Typically, your ideal workout buddy would not be someone with an exposed hairy torso who is panting heavily, drooling and staring intensely in your direction. To encourage pet parents to get back on the fitness track by getting outdoors with pets, animal-lover and celebrity trainer, Gunnar Peterson, and Petco give five reasons why they are the best workout buddy one could ever hope for.

1) Being a no-show is out of the question. Ever have a workout partner that was never on time or just didn't show up at all? A dog is always there, raring to go so pet parents don't lose motivation. Plus, a fitness routine involving a pet has additional benefits. Besides helping keep you both physically fit, exercise also keeps dogs mentally alert and emotionally happy. They'll be more content and less likely to get into mischief.

2) They look forward to new adventures. If you have ever worked out with a Debbie Downer, they were likely resistant to exploring new places. Most dogs are always enthusiastic about a change of scenery. Routine long walks will also help cure boredom and satisfy their exercise needs too. Changing the walking route is a great way to challenge dogs because it is mentally stimulating to explore new smells, areas, pets and people, while also giving them vital exercise and time to bond with their pet parent. Retractable leashes are a great option to offer dogs freedom, while still keeping them safe and stylish.

3) They're great for your social life. Not only will you both be in great physical shape, but getting outdoors with a dog can actually help you meet someone. According to an article in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, one in four pet parents has met dates while walking their dogs and one third of owners have made new friends. Dogs are social creatures too, so you both will feel emotionally and socially fulfilled.

4) They will never get bored with helping perfect your throw. Whether you're in a summer softball league or gearing up for football season, a dog will never roll its eyes when you want to work on your pitching arm for the tenth time this week. In fact, you couldn't ask for more enthusiasm when it comes to ball time.

5) They're always up for a new challenge. Dogs look forward to a challenge, as should you. A sharp mind is equally as important as a sound body, so why not combine both? Get outdoors with a Kyjen Agility Kit. The dog takes cues from you to make his way through an obstacle course while racing against the clock. Unlike many other dog sports, basic activities on beginner obstacles are relatively easy to learn and most dogs can do well and have fun with minimum training. It's also a great way to enhance the emotional bond between you and your dog. The agility obstacle course keeps your dog's senses sharpened, body properly exercised, teaches problem solving skills and brain occupied.

Your pal's exercise program should be tailored to her age, size and breed. Ask your veterinarian how much exercise - and what kind - is appropriate for your dog.

Source: Petco

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Choosing the Best Mattress for You

May 22, 2013 2:00 am

Health experts agree the average mattress should be replaced after 10-15 years. But traditional mattress types have given way to new breeds. If you are in the market for a new mattress, which type is best for you?

“The only way to choose the right mattress is to lie on it for at least 20 minutes,” said Omaha mattress store manager Joe Paginolo. “Don’t let anyone rush you. Get comfy in the position you usually sleep in—and try it out for at least that long.”

Paginolo points out some of the pros and cons of four basic mattress types:

Innerspring
• Pros: They range in firmness, price and fluffiness of the pillow top to satisfy nearly everyone’s preference and budget.
• Cons – The cheapest may not have enough springs and cushioning to offer proper support. Be sure the mattress you choose has at least 390 coils. Firmer versions are best for the overweight and people with chronic back pain.

Memory foam
• Pros: By molding to the shape of your body as your weight shifts through the night, memory foam reduces pressure points and relieves pain. Memory foam also absorbs movement, so if you sleep with a partner, you're not likely to be disturbed by his tossing and turning.
• Cons - Because they are temperature sensitive, they soften and mold with body heat, so they can make you feel hot during the night. Also, some memory foam mattresses have been known to emit an unpleasant chemical smell.

Latex
• Pros – Made from either natural or synthetic rubber, they provide a very firm, bouncy support that is uniform throughout the bed. They are supportive but comfortable for most sleepers.
• Cons - If you don't like the feel of a firm mattress, latex is probably not the right choice for you.

Air mattresses – (Unlike the blow-up kind you use for overnight guests, the high-end types known as “sleep number” beds use air-filled chambers instead of coils, and are covered by a foam layer on top.)
• Pros – The firmness of each side can be altered, so they are a good choice for couples who have different firmness preferences.
• Cons – They can tend to pop up on one side when you sit on the other. Be sure your choice has multiple chambers, so this does not occur.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Study Reveals Americans' Rising Faith in Housing Market

May 22, 2013 2:00 am

Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) say they feel more comfortable purchasing a home today than at any other time in the past five years, according to results of a recent survey by Mayflower. And nearly a third say they are now ready to make a move.

Compared to 2012, residential moves were up 18.9 percent in the historically slowest moving months – January through April.

The survey data is also consistent with other national data showing continued rises in existing home prices and sales. Growth appears to be the strongest in the West, where data showed 54 percent of survey respondents are now comfortable purchasing a house.

The data reflect an easing of the wariness Americans have felt in recent years in the aftermath of the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008. Although the average American reports moving six times throughout their adult life, nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say they have put off moving since the bubble burst nearly five years ago.

Among those now interested in searching for a new home within the next year, the survey showed the desire for a new or better home is the leading motive. Other important motives include a desire for a more attractive neighborhood and the desire to become a homeowner.

Most mobile are the young, with half of Millennials (18-34 years old) more receptive to buying a home than renting and looking to move within the next year. While younger consumers would be more likely to move due to a change in employment or a growing family, half of adults over the age of 65 would consider moving in the next year because of retirement.

The peak moving season begins in May and will continue until September. Here are some tips to help consumers save time and money throughout their move:

• Move on a weekday. Weekends are the time when most people want to move, but on weekdays, moving trucks often go unused. Book a truck on a Monday or Tuesday and use the weekend to prep for the movers' arrival.
• Move in the early part or middle of the month. A lot of household moves happen at the end of the month, which means prices will be higher.
• If given a choice, avoid moving in the summer, especially June and July. You can save big on your moving costs.
• Book in advance. Once you know the date of your move, book your mover right away.
• Do some of your own packing. You can easily pack clothes, blankets, pillows and other non-fragile items yourself. For the breakable items, consider letting professionals pack them to avoid having to replace broken items.
• Consider a do-it-yourself option like a container. Portable moving and storage containers allow you to pack and load your things at your own pace. A professional will pick up your loaded container and deliver it to your new home, so you don't ever have to drive a truck.
• Bundle other services into the price of your move. Look for a carrier that can arrange for services like cleaning, PC and network assembly and disassembly, and ID theft protection. Bundling these services with the cost of your move can help you save hundreds of dollars compared to hiring separate companies for each service.

Source: Mayflower

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Figuring out Finances after Divorce

May 20, 2013 1:36 am

Divorces can be messy. Emotionally, spiritually and financially. If your partner handled the finances, then you can be left clueless. Budgets and bills can be overwhelming if you’ve never had to take them on before. Or, maybe it’s not the new responsibilities, but the divorce itself is cleaning out your savings. Alicia Klat a contributor to SupportInASplit.com offers four ways to help yourself, or a friend in need, find financial empowerment and the happiness that comes with it.

Break it up. Approach one element of finances at a time or set a time limit and work in 10-minute chunks. Removing the pressure to “do it all” in one sitting will help ease anxiety. 

Remain positive. Focus on the fact that you are taking action. Positive association around money objectives will reinforce a good energy.

Team up. You can’t do it all. If you’re feeling fluster, then ask for help. Know a financially literate friend? Make a date to review paperwork together. 

Source: Supportinasplit.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

What Do We Like to Do Most in Our Yards? Relax, Says Poll

May 20, 2013 1:36 am

 With spring 2013 around the corner, many Americans will finally be venturing out to enjoy their yards. And according to an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive in December 2012, those with a yard/landscape will be looking forward to three yard and landscape activities most of all: relaxing, planting, and spending time with family. 

The study, conducted among more than 2,800 U.S. adults (ages 18+) on behalf of PLANET, the national trade association of landscape professionals, finds that yard/landscape ownership is highly prevalent (88 percent) among Americans. In fact, 81 percent of those with a yard/landscape say the upkeep of their yard/landscape is important to the look of their home.

Why Take Care of That Yard/Landscape?
When asked the chief reason for maintaining or improving their yard/landscape, yard/landscape owners are most likely to cite showing pride in their home (42 percent) as the primary motivator, although creating an outdoor relaxing space (16 percent) and raising or protecting their property value (15 percent) also win double-digit support.

But, when it comes to what the yard or landscape is commonly used for, relaxing rises to the top (26 percent), followed by planting flowers/vegetables (17 percent) and spending time with family (14 percent).

Not surprisingly, those with children under 18 in the household are more likely to view the yard as a place where the whole family can interact, and where kids can play. 

• 70 percent of people aged 55 and over and 75 percent of retirees say that the upkeep of their yard/landscape is important to them vs. 40 percent of 18-34 year olds.
• Yard owners 55 and over are much more likely than any other age group to use their yard mostly for relaxing (33 percent vs. 26 percent for the 45-54 age group, 18 percent for those 35-44, and 22 percent among those 18-34.)

Hiring Professional Help
Since taking care of a landscape often requires help, if yard/landscape owners were to look to landscape professionals for help, the most important factors they would look for would be price (69 percent) and quality of work (68 percent). Interestingly, men place more value on quality of work, whereas women cite price as particularly important.

“Our members dedicate their lives to helping homeowners keep their yards and outdoor spaces healthy and inviting,” said PLANET CEO, Sabeena Hickman, CAE, CMP. “We’re glad to see that consumers are taking pride in their well-kept landscapes and find them important areas for relaxation and quality time with family.”

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Easy Ways to Tackle Interior Project Planning

May 20, 2013 1:36 am

Home remodeling and redecorating can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be an awful lot of hard work. Among the many areas of focus for project work are stages of planning, getting any required licenses or permits, interviewing subcontractors and getting proposals with bids, looking over materials and making selections and making sure the entire project is on track and remains that way through completion. And many people find enjoyment as well as fulfillment with making material selections: choosing just the right color combinations and patterns, the best products and service for the budget and top quality providers to help build your projects. Consider the following suggestions when planning your interior project plans:

1) Budgeting Basics--Start by seeing if you have to completely remodel or if perhaps you can redecorate instead, and save money and time. Remodeling often means ripping apart old structures and then building new ones; like for extra space for a new window or set of shelves or a new room, ceiling or floor. However, with redecorating, you can frequently add simple new structures to those in your existing environment like a new bookcase, new curtains and plush carpeting, or new textured ceiling paint with all paper plus new hanging pictures and plush cushions. 

2) Contractors, Invoices, Project Materials and More
—Next, you will have a lot of decisions to make: which project materials to buy, which vendors to use, which subcontractors to hire, how to agree to payments, how to handle problems and other important issues and emergencies along the way, etc. So start a project notebook with an accompanying folder specifically for this project. Keep all important documents, receipts, bids, business cards, designs, paint colors, fabric swatches and other info there, to ensure that everything is in one place.

3) Project Parts - Some areas of your project may have sub-categories or basic design elements that will involve work with different areas of focus for each part. For example, you may be remodeling one floor, so you'll have several main areas of focus under this heading like: bedroom walls, hallway and bedroom floors, all window treatments, upgraded lighting and new wood furniture. Use dividers in your notebook, extra folders or extra see-through sleeved pocket folders that fit into your binder to handle these separate areas of focus, so you can concentrate on specific tasks within each area. 

With the proper planning, you can choose the easiest and most affordable redecorating or remodeling options that best suit your home's needs. 

Source: MyHomeImprovementTips.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

10 Tips for Enjoying Your Backyard This Summer

May 17, 2013 4:42 am

As temperatures heat up across the country, you can make sure this is the best summer ever with the following 10 tips, time-savers, water-care ideas, and maintenance and safety suggestions for backyard living.

1 – Safety first. Follow a few common sense rules in the backyard and around the pool. Keep each child within arm's length at all times, designate an adult as water watcher, ensure that the pool's fence is always locked, and install both gate and pool alarms to alert you to unsupervised pool use.

2 – Use plants to dress up the landscape. A bit of backyard greenery can be both pretty and functional. Use shrubs for form, foliage-heavy plants for color, and sturdy perennials for reliability. Plenty of pretty perennials, such as coneflowers and black-eyed Susans, require little tending and offer cheery blooms throughout the growing season.

3 – Add years to backyard furnishings. If mildew spots appear on outside chairs and tables, wash the fabric according to manufacturer directions and dry in the sun. Then mix together equal parts lemon juice and salt; spread on the stain. Dry in the sun again and rinse thoroughly.

4 – Organize backyard toys and tools. Two simple storage rules for keeping backyard clutter to a minimum: air out wet things by storing them in big mesh bags or open-weave crates; toss all the little bits—sunscreen, dive toys, etc. —into a clear plastic shoe organizer hung on the fence where everyone can easily find them.

5 – Stay healthy with a water workout. According to the Centers for Disease Control, just 21 minutes a day of exercising in a pool can decrease your risk of chronic disease. If swimming laps doesn't excite you, there are other great ways to get moving. Try kickboxing using water as the resistance and enjoy the benefits of strength, endurance and balance. Depending on intensity, a typical water exercise session of 40 to 50 minutes can burn up to 600 calories.

6 – Maintain a perfect pool. A pool filled with cloudy water equals no fun. Fortunately, there's a pool-care strategy—Circulation, Filtration, Cleaning, Testing and Chemistry—that equals a stellar pool season. Maintaining a pool, its equipment and beautiful water requires proper water treatment. Make sure to complete the proper water testing and upkeep on a regular schedule.

7 – Convert an ordinary salt pool into a backyard oasis. Try using a special blend of minerals, pool equipment protectors, water enhancers and pH adjusters that all work to make silky, relaxing water.

8 – Soak in a sensational spa. A backyard spa can offer the same soothing effects as a professional spa with a few easy, affordable ideas. Place flameless LED candles around the edge of the spa. Take tunes into the spa with a floating speaker that connects wirelessly to an MP3 player. Add a soothing scent to the water with single-use aromatherapy packs.

9 – Make a smaller footprint on the Earth. In order to be more environmentally friendly, make sure to always keep pool chemicals properly balanced. Overworked filters and motors waste energy and hike utility bills.

10 – Help pets swim safely. It may seem like fun to let the dog paddle around in the pool, but before you let a pooch jump in, make sure he can get out without damaging the pool or hurting himself. Also check with the vet—swimming in a pool should be appropriate for the breed. Finally, make additional time to monitor the pool's water. A typical dog can be the equivalent of about 50 swimmers in the pool, meaning extra vigilance is needed to maintain the chemical balance.

Source: www.bioguard.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Mortgage Rates Move Higher for Second Consecutive Week

May 17, 2013 4:42 am

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed-rate mortgages following U.S. Treasury bond yields higher this week on signs of stronger consumer spending.

Findings:
• 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.51 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending May 16, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 3.42 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.79 percent.
• 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.69 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.61 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.04 percent.
• 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.58 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.83 percent.
• 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.55 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.53 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.78 percent.

"Mortgage rates followed U.S. Treasury bond yields higher this week on signs of stronger consumer spending,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “Advanced retail sales rose 0.1 percent in April, above the market forecast consensus of a 0.3 percent decline. Excluding such items as automobiles and gasoline, sales were up 0.5 percent for the second time in three months.

"Households are also shoring up their balance sheets. Total household debt fell by about $110 billion in the first quarter. In addition, approximately three million homeowners were seriously delinquent (90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure) on their first mortgages, down from a peak of about 5.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2009."

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

National Poll Shows Ethics, Social Recommendations Fuel the Growing Sharing Economy

May 17, 2013 4:42 am

According to a new national poll, the emergence of the Sharing Economy is primarily driven by philosophical ideals, in addition to the financial benefits. The poll of over 2,000 adults was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Airbnb.

Leading the way in sharing are people under 35 years old (30 percent), who are more likely to be digitally savvy. Rachel Botsman, author of "What's Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live," estimates that the Sharing Economy is a $26 billion industry that will continue to grow rapidly as Americans look for new revenue opportunities in a down economy.

While many people who have shared property or belongings online started sharing to make extra cash (31 percent), evidence points to a shift in motivation for those who continue to participate in the new economic model. A plurality of sharers (36 percent) identified that the philosophical beliefs behind sharing—values often instilled in kindergarten—were their top motivation. This finding may partially explain the success seen by community marketplaces for sharing where financial and philosophical benefits are integrated.

"The down economy has created an appetite for sharing that is expanding economic opportunities for people to generate income with big ticket items like their homes, cars or skills," said Farnoosh Torabi, a personal finance expert, author and TV personality. "Often people begin sharing as a way to make money, but we're seeing that philosophical benefits and social connections are the reasons people come back time and time again. The bridge between online and offline communities are creating the virility and stickiness that is propelling the 'Sharing Economy' forward."

Among sharers, the vast majority (77 percent) agree that being able to borrow or rent property or belongings online is a great way to save money, and two thirds (68 percent) agree that it is a great way to earn additional income. Six in ten sharers (61 percent) agree that earning extra money is a major motivation for sharing, and almost half (46 percent) put the earned money toward paying bills.

Responses indicated a general belief in the growth of the Sharing Economy. A majority (60 percent) sees the sharing economy as a new trend. A majority of those who have shared (55 percent) say that they would recommend sharing with others, indicating a potentially strong growth trajectory. This conclusion is consistent with analysts' projections around the growth of the Sharing Economy.

Source: Airbnb

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Finish Your To Do List During National Home Improvement Month

May 16, 2013 4:40 am

May is National Home Improvement Month and the perfect time to tackle those home repairs or improvements that you have been putting off. Consider the following home improvement ideas or home repair projects during National Home Improvement Month:

Fix leaky faucets
• Not only can leaky faucets be extremely annoying, they can waste up to 750 gallons of water during the summer!
Address potential moisture problems

• Water-stained walls can be the early signs of a greater moisture problem in your home that can lead to damaged drywall and toxic mold. Get on top of this problem before it costs you thousands of dollars to make replacements.

• Investigate the attic for leaks and you could save yourself up to $5,000 on drywall and roof repairs.

Reinstall weather stripping
• If you want to save some money on your energy bills, reinstalling weather stripping could help by reducing the amount of air leaks in your home. This can help you save an average of $80 on air conditioning alone!

As far as your home's exterior is concerned, here are a few projects that you should look into:

Painting
• A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to refresh the look of your home and protect it at the same time. But if these two reasons aren't enough for you, repainting your home can do wonders for increasing your home's market value. May temperatures are often ideal for exterior painting.

Repair damaged window or door frames
• As with the weather stripping, replacing broken door and window frames can help seal your home and provide better insulation. This is also important for keeping out seasonal moisture, which can lead to toxic mold growth.

Repair deck
• Making repairs to your deck is crucial before the onset of summer. The last thing you want is to have a party in your backyard only to have someone crash through a rotted deck plank or fall down the stairs due to a weakened railing!

Clean out gutters
• Get rid of all the debris that winter deposited into your gutters to avoid water damage and repairs that could cost you up to $10,000.
May is the perfect month for general home repairs and home improvements because it is generally the time of year when the weather is most conducive to exterior home repairs. It is right after the severe winter and the rainy spring, and before the high temperatures of summer.

The items listed above are general home repair ideas that should be made to your home every year, or few years in the case of painting.

Source: Handyman Connection

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:


Copyright© 2017 by  eWebEngine - A Division of Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies
Powered by Lone Wolf - Real Estate Technologies
Each RE/MAX office is independently owned and operated Equal Housing Opportunity
RE/MAX 440, PA
Agents Only