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

Tips for Making Your Fireplace a Cost-Friendly Heat Source

October 8, 2012 9:54 am

Did you know that an open fireplace hearth is like a window to your home left open year-round? If you are a new homeowner, or one that has enjoyed your open fireplace without ever stoking it up, you may want to brush up on some reasons to cover it up.

If you use your fireplace occasionally for ambiance, or regularly as a supplemental heat source, glass doors provide safety by keeping children and pets separated from the fire, and a smoldering fire safely contained when you go to bed.

And if you don’t use your fireplace, glass doors can make a design statement that helps your hearth become the focal point of any room.

Here are a few preliminary steps to consider before heading out to shop for your fireplace doors: first, determine if you have a masonry or factory-built fireplace; next, pick a style that will reflect your décor; and finally, determine the price range that's best for you.

If your outside chimney is faced with the same siding material as your house, you likely have a factory-built fireplace. Masonry fireplaces require brick or stone chimneys.

For factory built units, glass doors must be designed to allow that cooling air to flow the way the manufacturer designed it to flow. Gaps between the glass and frame vents exist on many of these doors to allow for this airflow.

Masonry fireplaces can accommodate a variety of fireplace doors. Aluminum and steel doors are available in many styles and finishes to suit nearly every décor and price range. Detailed instructions are provided, so installation by a handy homeowner is also possible.

A reputable dealer, however, can measure your fireplace opening, make sure that the door you order fits perfectly, and usually refer you to professional installers who will see it operates flawlessly and looks beautiful.

Source: glassfireplacedoors.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Survey Shows Safety and Good Neighbors are Highest Priorities at Halloween

October 8, 2012 9:54 am

When determining what makes a good neighborhood for Halloween, safety (95 percent) and good neighbors (92 percent) were top responses reported as being very important or important, according to a recent survey. Surprisingly, Halloween candy was only reported to be very important or important by 73 percent of Americans. Decorations and parties fell even further down the list, with 54 percent and 32 percent reported respectively.

This latest survey from Nextdoor about Halloween is part of a series chronicling, "The State of The American Neighborhood." According to the study, one in four parents who take their children age 17 and younger trick-or-treating (25 percent) have met new neighbors for the first time on Halloween; nearly one-third (32 percent) of Americans socialize with neighbors on this holiday; and 29 percent of parents who take their children trick-or-treating feel safe allowing their neighbors to take their children trick-or-treating.

Interestingly, while safety topped the list of priorities as to what makes a neighborhood "good" for Halloween, only half (50 percent) of parents of children age 17 and younger typically talk to their children about safety while trick-or-treating. Half of parents are also willing to venture out to other neighborhoods to take their children trick-or-treating.

The survey also found that parents truly do go all out for Halloween. 60 percent take their children trick-or-treating, 60 percent give out candy and over half (53 percent) decorate their home for this holiday. Also of note, the average American who will spend money on Halloween will spend $85 this year, on candy, costumes, decorations, etc. Surprisingly, men aged 18-34 who will spend any money on Halloween are the ones that anticipate spending the most, on average $200, significantly higher than any age group.
Other fun Halloween facts from the survey include:

Not just for kids: Nearly one in three (30 percent) parents dress up in costume for Halloween and one in four (24 percent) people believe you are never too old for trick-or-treating.

Creativity reigns: Nearly one in three parents (32 percent) have dressed their child(ren) in homemade costumes.

Age appropriate: Thirteen was the magic age when the most respondents believed that a child becomes too old to trick-or-treat (19 percent say this). The average age when parents believed it was most appropriate to begin taking a child trick-or-treating was around three years old.

Lower incomes spend the most: Americans with a household income of less than $35,000 who will spend any amount this Halloween said they plan to spend on average $112, which was the highest reported of all income groups. This is more than twice as much as people with a household income between $50,000-$75,000 who plan on spending about $52.

Source: NextDoor

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

New Survey Reveals Progress in Bullying Prevention

October 8, 2012 9:54 am

A new survey from Sears shows that 93 percent of parents will tell their child not to ignore a bully and 60 percent advise them to tell a teacher about a bullying incident. These findings may indicate that anti-bullying awareness campaigns are having an impact, according to leading anti-bullying expert, Marie Newman, who partnered with Sears as managing director of Team Up to Stop Bullying.

Sears, through its Team Up to Stop Bullying initiative, announced the findings at the start of October, National Bullying Prevention Month, to cast light on the pervasive issue, share solutions with parents, educators, children and communities and help put an end to bullying.

"The survey shows greater accountability when it comes to bullying, as well as its prevention. Of the parents surveyed, 73 percent believe that parents are responsible for the prevention of bullying, 65 percent believe that teachers and schools are responsible, while others believe that law enforcement and the greater community should be responsible for preventing bullying," said Newman. "Prevention doesn't lie with one group, but rather with society as a whole. We're encouraged by these results because they show progress toward finding the right solutions. That's where Team Up to Stop Bullying comes in."

Team Up to Stop Bullying was launched in August as the first solutions-and service-based anti-bullying coalition, launched by a major retailer, to provide immediate solutions that parents and schools can implement today. The program offers expertise from more than 70 coalition members to help children who have been bullied find answers, give parents effective ways to prevent and resolve bullying and guide educators on how to establish bully reform programs at their school.

Additional findings from the survey include:

Nearly two in five (39 percent) parents whose child has been bullied says that local law enforcement is responsible for the prevention of bullying.

Sixty-nine percent of parents believe that counseling a bully to understand the negative impact on his or her own life is most effective in reforming bullying behavior; 58 percent believe that counseling a bully to understand the negative effects on the bullied child's life is most effective.

Seventy percent of parents believe that developing a plan with their child's school is the best way to stop a child from being bullied.

Source: Sears

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Parents Urged to Check Window Coverings for Child Safety

October 5, 2012 9:52 am

The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are urging parents and caregivers during October to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children, and to retrofit or replace them with today's safer products. WCSC and CPSC recommend that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.

The October window-cord awareness campaign, known as National Window Covering Safety Month, is sponsored by the WCSC and the CPSC.

According to the CPSC, corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes, with infants and children dying each year from accidentally strangling in window cords. Some of these incidents involve older products that are still in use but don't have the safety devices or designs instituted in the past decade.

In addition, the Window Covering Safety Council encourages parents and caregivers to follow these basic cord-safety precautions:

Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows. Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children. Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall. Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement. Parents who check their windows and window coverings for safety and replace their older corded blinds, shades and draperies with cordless products can feel more confident about their child's well-being.

Source: Window Covering Safety Council, Consumer Product Safety Commission

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Cooler, Shorter Baths Could be Better for Your Health and the Environment than Hot Showers

October 5, 2012 9:52 am

With winter on the way, people are starting to turn up the heat and look forward to hot baths and toasty showers to warm their bones. While nothing seems better in the winter than lathering up with a fragrant shower gel, or letting your troubles drift away in a relaxing aromatherapy bubble bath, according to a recent study, cranking up the heat too high could be less good for your skin than it feels, adding further weight to arguments that you should be using cooler temperatures to wash.

Hot baths and showers have traditionally been thought to boast numerous health benefits, helping you to relax mind and body and expel toxins. However, according to recent Japanese studies, long hot baths in confined spaces without sufficient ventilation can be linked to a range of health concerns. These range from those as easily remedied as simple dehydration, to the inhalation of chemicals often present in tap water that can become volatile when heated. Aside from fitting a water filter to purify your tap water, clinical toxicology specialists claim the intake of any such toxins could be significantly reduced by taking shorter showers and baths at lower temperatures.

It's also popular knowledge that taking cooler showers may be better for the environment than hot. With increasingly strong power showers using more than double the water it would take to fill an average bath, green specialists are starting to recommend that for some, a relaxing bath may actually be the more economical option. Alternatively, consider fitting a low-flow showerhead to save the environment as well as save pennies.

Conditions such as dry skin are also thought to be exacerbated by long, hot showers because hot water breaks down the lipid barriers. Using a rich moisturizer can help to nourish, rehydrate and restore dry skin, but it is recommended that you moisturize after cool as well as hot showers to keep your skin feeling soft and supple.

So, while you may spend your chilly journey home looking forward to a bubble bath that will turn your skin pink, before you turn up the heat consider that a small bath will still warm you up, but it may also be better for your environment, your body and your wallet.

Source: The Body Shop

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Tips on How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Cold Weather

October 5, 2012 9:52 am

Each year winter rolls in threatening to blanket cities and streets with heavy snow, slush and freezing temps, or it has mercy and brings a few bitter-cold days and minimal snow. While last year's winter brought mild temps, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) predictions for the 2012-2013 winter calls for temperatures to be about 18 percent colder and above average snowfall is in the cards for cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Cold weather can wreak havoc on your vehicle's shine and performance. Waiting until the thermometer hits freezing is too late to begin preparing your car against the harsh winter elements, but taking the proper planning steps before winter hits will help protect your car from damage:

Wax On, Winter Off
– To keep your vehicle cleaner during winter months, make sure to give your car a thorough wash and wax before the cold weather hits. Wax will help prevent oxidation from dulling and damaging your vehicle's exterior. For best results, first use a product that will deep clean your vehicle's exterior and remove any stubborn dirt and stains. Then select a long-lasting car wax that can be applied to the entire exterior, including all metal, plastic and rubber surfaces, and will provide a protective barrier against road salt, snow and other inclement conditions.

Prepare the Interior – Winter elements can also cause damage to the inside of your car. To prevent tracked-in mud, slush and snow from staining your interior, prep your vehicle with protective floor mats and clean with an interior product that leaves behind a protective barrier against stains. Don't forget to remove any water based products, which can freeze and crack during winter, as well as any unnecessary items that can weigh down your car and lower your fuel efficiency.

Check Tires – Damaged tires are no match for sleek, slippery roads. Get tires winter-ready by first examining their tread for thin or uneven tread wear, which reduces traction and can be very dangerous in winter weather. Cut or damaged sidewalls are also weak areas that can collapse under severe weather conditions. Remember to check the air pressure in your tires before and during winter months to ensure the best traction and mileage. Once your tires are in good shape, apply tire cleaner and protectant to help repel winter elements.

Check Fluids – Maintaining proper fluid levels is critical to keeping your car working properly during the winter. A common mistake is forgetting to replace or top off summer windshield wiper fluid blends with winter blends that will not freeze when the temperature drops. Check your antifreeze and oil levels to prevent internal damage to your car, and keep your gas tank at least halfway full to help prevent gas line freeze. Winter prep should also include an oil change.

Always be Prepared – Winter can be unpredictable, so don't wait for the first snowfall to put the ice scraper and snow shovel in the car. Keep a winter emergency kit in the trunk in case of an accident or other bad weather situation. Recommended emergency items include a small first-aid kit, flashlight, blanket, gloves, road flares and cell phone or another communication device.

Source: Turtle Wax

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Turkey Safety Reminders

October 4, 2012 3:50 am

Cooked turkey is a central part of many holiday celebrations throughout North America - especially Thanksgiving. To ensure your family's health and safety, here are some steps you can take to help make your turkey feast a safe one.

Following the four key steps to food safety - clean, separate, cook and chill - can help reduce the risk of getting sick from undercooked turkey and stuffing, and from cross-contamination during preparation.
To help keep bacteria from ruining your family's celebration:

-Store your turkey in a leak-proof bag or container in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after you buy it.
-Thawing your turkey at room temperature is discouraged. It's better to thaw turkey in the refrigerator or in cold water.
-If you thaw your turkey in cold water, keep the turkey in its original wrapping and change the cold water regularly to ensure that the water remains cold.
-Don't rinse raw turkey. This can spread bacteria everywhere the water splashes, creating a safety hazard.
-Wash your hands carefully with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry.
-Clean and disinfect surfaces and kitchen utensils touched by raw or thawing turkey and its juices.
-Use a digital food thermometer, and cook turkey until the temperature of the thickest part of the breast or thigh is at least 85ºC (185ºF).
-Cook stuffing separately in its own oven dish or on the stove top. If you do stuff your turkey, stuff loosely just prior to roasting, and remove all stuffing immediately after cooking. Cook stuffing to a minimum internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF).
-Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours of cooking. Use leftover turkey meat, stuffing, gravy and other cooked dishes within two to three days or freeze right away for later use.
-Foods such as fully cooked turkey and potatoes can be eaten cold. Gravy should be reheated to reach a full rolling boil and other leftovers should be reheated to at least 74ºC (165ºF).

Turkey poses particular food safety challenges because it can be contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Many illnesses could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Source: Healthy Canadians

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

The Top 10 American Brewery Tours

October 4, 2012 3:50 am

For beer fans nationwide, Oktoberfest is upon us! If the Fall season has found you extra thirsty, TripAdvisor has revealed their top 10 brewery tours in the U.S. These tours show lager lovers how the beverages are crafted and provide tasty samples from some of the country’s top breweries.

New Belgium Brewing – Fort Collins, Colorado

Located 65 miles north of Denver, this sustainable, wind-powered brewery was the first of its kind in the United States. Beer lovers can enjoy one of their frothy beverages at the Liquid Center tasting room or take the 90-minute Tour de New Belgium where travelers will have the chance to learn about the brewing process and sip on some suds. Complimentary tours operate Tuesday through Saturday.

Allagash Brewery – Portland, Maine
Since 1995, this New England brewery has crafted Belgian inspired ales often using the finest wheat rather than barley, combined with a unique blend of spices. Thirsty travelers can take a free, hour-long tour of this coastal brew house while enjoying a refreshing taste of their seasonal specialties or year-round brews. Free tours operate Monday through Saturday.

Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour – Saint Louis, Missouri

During this hour-long tour, travelers will see and learn about the iconic Clydesdale horses and explore the architecture and history of the oldest Anheuser-Busch brewery. Hop fanatics interested in learning more about the brewing process can check out the acclaimed Beermaster Tour. Complimentary tours operate seven days a week.

Samuel Adams Brewery – Boston, Massachusetts
Located in the Hub, hop-enthusiasts will learn about the brewing process from start to finish during this 60-minute tour. Guests will also taste the special malts used to brew the beer and smell the aroma of the Hallertau hops. Free tours operate Monday through Saturday; a $2 donation is suggested to benefit local charities.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Chico, California

Known for its flagship pale ale, this northern California brewery offers a 90-minute tour offering travelers the inside scoop on how the ales and lagers are crafted using select malted barley, whole hop flowers, brewer’s yeast and pure water. Complimentary tours operate seven days a week.

Heinzelmannchen Brewery – Sylva, North Carolina

Travelers visiting the Great Smoky Mountains can enjoy tasty beverages at this microbrewery run by a German-born “brewmeister”. Guests are encouraged to stop in for a tour where they will sample a variety of Deutschland-style beers and non-alcoholic sodas, including sweet and tasty root beer and red autumn birch beer. Free tours operate Monday through Saturday.

New South Brewing – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This Myrtle Beach microbrewery offers travelers a tour through the entire brewing process and the chance to taste four frothy samples. Once a draught-only brew house, this beachside brewery now allows guests to purchase a six-pack of their favorite batch. Complimentary tours operate Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Boulevard Brewing Company – Kansas City, Missouri
With its 150-barrel brew house, this Kansas City company is the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. During the 45-minute tour, beer lovers will learn about the brewery’s unique history and crafting processes and will finish the tour in the Tasting Room where they’ll sip some hoppy creations. Free tours operate seven days a week; the “Unfiltered Tour” is $20 and offered on Saturdays.

D.G. Yuengling and Son Brewery – Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Known as America’s oldest brewery, this Schuylkill County establishment has been brewing since 1829. Travelers can step back in time as they explore the hand-dug fermentation caves used to store beer before modern refrigeration. Thirsty travelers can also savor some samples in the basement tavern built under the former Pottsville city hall. Complimentary tours operate Monday through Saturday.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. – Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
This Wisconsin brewery blends tradition with innovation to create a fascinating tour where travelers learn about five generations of the Leinenkugel family history while they’re guided through the bottling factory. To cap things off, travelers can quench their thirst with complimentary samples of award-winning beers at the recently opened Leinie Lodge. Free tours operate seven days a week.

Source: TripAdvisor

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Got Furniture? A Dining Table Buying Guide

October 4, 2012 3:50 am

A dining table is one of the most widely used items in any home, and with wood dining tables costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars, consumers need be aware of what they are really buying. Why do prices vary so greatly, and what should one stay away from when shopping? For an item used as much as a table, it is about far more than just the look; one must also strongly consider core material, construction, finish, maintenance and care to name a few. Here are some important factors to help consumers make a purchasing decision.

Tip 1 - Buy 100-percent Wood: Remember the dining table is one of the most used pieces of furniture in your home. It will need to be more durable, and most often times child resistant. For this reason, go with 100-percent wood, specifically pine, which is very durable, relatively inexpensive, and its style and charm is universal for any home. Alternatively, oak, chestnut and walnut are also highly durable woods, however, heavier than pine, so expect extra costs associated with these denser wood types. The trick here is to not be fooled into buying a table that looks like 100-percent wood, but is actually made with veneers, medium density fiberboard (MDF), or particleboard. The reason to stay away from these lesser quality materials is that they are far more prone to chips and scratches, thus a shorter life span than tables made from 100-percent solid wood. In addition, cleaning solutions, such as water, can often damage veneer and particleboard if not cared for properly. A well-built, solid wood table should last generations. Prepare accordingly by buying one made from the longest lasting materials.

Tip 2 - Ensure Durable Finishes: The finish will be paramount to the table's longevity and charm, as this is the frontline defense against dings, scratches and chips. For this reason, stay away from veneers as they can easily separate or chip, which inevitably will happen with an item as widely used as a dining table. As a result, this will lead to a shortened life span for your table. It is recommended to choose a dining table with multiple coats of stain, or paint finishes. Specifically, the more layers of finish that are applied, the more of a barrier you will have to protect your investment. It is the finishing process, and multiple layers, which are your true defense against scratches, stains, and water marks, which in turn will maintain your table's charm, and keep it looking like new. A true farm table is American made, built from reclaimed wood, and thus, eco-friendly. For authenticity purposes, ask where the manufacturing and finishing take place, and if their materials are eco-friendly.

Tip 3 - Check Maintenance and Care: Always ask what the cleaning and maintenance instructions are for your table. This can be a tell-tale sign of the materials used and the steps taken during the finishing process. As a buyer, this should raise questions about both materials and finishes being used. A well-made and durable wood dining table should not stain, should be resistant to both wet and dry marks, and should be able to be cleaned by only water or a dry rag.

Source: eCustomFinishes

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Back to School, Back To Germs?

October 3, 2012 3:50 am

With cold and flu season about to begin, students may have more to contend with than just homework. Schools can be breeding grounds for germs that can lead to illness and significant absenteeism: 189 million school days lost to the common cold and nearly 38 million to influenza each year. However, data from a new study shows that students who practice proper hand and surface hygiene in the classroom can effectively reduce the risk of germ transmission.

The study, conducted by Kimberly-Clark Professional, tested surface contamination on some of the most frequently touched objects in six elementary schools. Hygienists tested to determine baseline contamination levels. Participating schools then implemented Super Germ Fighters, a customized educational program for kindergarten through fifth grade, and The Healthy Classroom Station, which provides kid-friendly products – like hand sanitizers, alcohol and bleach-free surface wipes, and anti-viral facial tissue – to teach students how to "wash, wipe and sanitize" to help reduce the spread of germs.

Changing Behaviors
The study found that, when students were provided with the tools and knowledge necessary to break the chain of germ transmission in the classroom, contamination levels were significantly reduced throughout the entire school. After the program had been in place for seven months, contamination levels were reduced on average by the following amounts:

• 76 percent on bathroom stall door locks
• 71 percent on desks
• 53 percent on door handles
• 45 percent on cafeteria tables
• 41 percent on computer mice
• 34 percent on water fountain buttons

One of the most significant reductions in contamination was on classroom desks – surfaces that the students were personally responsible for wiping down on a daily basis.

"The study results demonstrate that providing young students with age-appropriate educational materials and products designed to instill good hygiene habits can have a profound effect on behaviors, which in turn can reduce germs inside and outside the classroom," said Richard Marriott, Education Target Market Leader, Kimberly-Clark Professional. "These results are even more significant when you consider the impact that illnesses can have on students, parents and teachers."

Also notable was the drop in contamination levels outside the classroom, especially on the bathroom stall door locks. While the children were only exposed to the products and the germ reduction curriculum inside the classroom, in one school, the locks' drop in contamination levels demonstrated that the students made a conscious effort to change their hand hygiene habits in areas outside of their classrooms as well.

Source: Kimberly-Clark Professional

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