RE/MAX 440
Roxanne Christy
4092 Skippack Pike, P.O. Box 880
Skippack  PA 19474
 Phone: 610-584-1160
Office Phone: 610-584-1160
Cell: 267-252-0567
Fax: 267-354-6977 
rchristy@remax440.com
Roxanne Christy

My Blog

6 Plumbing Maintenance Checks

May 13, 2015 12:40 am

Routine maintenance can save homeowners thousands in potential repairs, especially when it comes to plumbing. There are several steps homeowners can take to check for red flags in their plumbing systems, says Patricia Bonacorda of Spartan Plumbing. She recommends these conducting these six maintenance checks at least once a year.

Lint Trap – It may seem unrelated to the plumbing system, but lint buildup can block the drain of your washing machine if left unattended. Clear your lint trap (typically found on the internal recess of the unit) or hire a plumber to install a wire trap filter to improve drainage.

Supply Hoses – Inspect hoses that connect to appliances, such as your dishwasher, icemaker and washing machine. Look for bulging or other signs of leakage. If you spot a leak, make repairs or replace with a stainless steel hose immediately.

Sinks – Hard water deposits can clog the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms, reducing energy-efficiency. If you notice mineral buildup, unscrew the screen at the tip of the faucet (the aerator) and soak it in vinegar overnight.

Toilets – Conduct a DIY litmus test by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tanks of toilets in your home. If the water in the bowl changes colors after a half an hour, call a plumber to assess the problem.

Water Heater – Check the thermometer to make sure the temperature is lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase the longevity of your unit by draining a few gallons of water from the tank to eliminate corrosion-causing sediment.

Sump Pump – If your home’s basement is protected from flooding by a sump pump, test the unit by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. It should activate automatically and shut off when the job’s done. For an added layer of protection, install a flood alarm.

Source: RISMedia’s Housecall

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Painting, Landscaping Top Curb Appeal Projects

May 12, 2015 12:36 am

According to a recent Sherwin-Williams National Home Design Survey, more than four out of five homeowners are seeking to improve their home’s curb appeal this spring – and the majority are planning a painting project to do so.

Painting can be an affordable way to freshen up any home’s exterior. Exterior painting projects range from repainting the front door or adding a fresh coat of paint to a fence to repainting the entire outside of a home.

“A fresh coat of paint and some minimal landscaping updates can make a lasting impression and improve the overall personality and feel of your home,” says John Gidding, an interior designer and landscape architect. “This is especially true for curb appeal, and this time of year is perfect for sprucing up your space.”

Homeowners also report seeking a landscape upgrade to enhance curb appeal. Homeowners say they’d choose to landscape and paint the interior of their home themselves, but are more likely to hire a professional for outdoor painting projects.

Source: Sherwin-Williams

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Tips for a Functional Laundry Room

May 12, 2015 12:36 am

(Family Features) From fitting laundry into your schedule to removing tough stains, keeping your wardrobe and linens clean is no easy task. To keep fabrics looking their best, use these tips.

1. Don’t Forget to Prep – Invest in multiple hampers to separate everything by color and fabric. When organizing laundry, close all zippers and untangle pant legs and tablecloths before starting a new wash.

2. Invest in Front Load – Upgrade to a front load washer and dryer for better cleaning and gentler handling of garments. Front loaders use gravity to tumble your clothing, so there's no heavy agitation that can damage or wear down sensitive fabrics.

3. Save on Time – Take back time spent waiting for cycles to be completed with speedy and efficient appliances. They boast maximum efficiency with less water usage per load and unparalleled energy efficiency.

4. Keep It Fresh and Clean – Use decorative baskets to keep supplies like softener, detergent and dryer sheets organized and tidy. This can also help prevent liquids from spilling onto appliances. To keep your washer and dryer free of odors, leave the doors slightly ajar.

5. Take Advantage of Tech – Utilize advanced features from appliances such as special steam settings which work to eliminate stains in the washer and remove wrinkles in the dryer.

Source: Electrolux

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Ways to Make Your Home Show-Ready

May 12, 2015 12:36 am

(BPT) - What makes someone decide a home is the right fit? If you're selling your home with an open house, there’s a lot you can do to wow would-be buyers. Make the best impression and boost offers with these five tips.

1. Work from the Outside In – Poor curb appeal can turn buyers off before they step foot inside your home. Make sure the outside is every bit as beautiful as the inside. Paint the exterior if you need to, plant flowers and mow the lawn.

2. Clean Up Shop – It sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many homeowners don’t clean their homes before an open house. If nothing else, the kitchen and bathrooms must be spotless. If you don’t feel you can get your home ready on your own, hire a professional cleaning service to do the job for you. The money you spend will be well worth it when your home sells quickly and for top dollar.

3. Cut the Clutter – Even the cleanest homes still feel messy if there’s too much clutter. Before your open house, adopt a minimalist lifestyle to keep your home as clutter-free as possible.

4. Eliminate Stale Odors
– Don’t underestimate the benefit of fresh air in your home. Consider using essential oils to keep your home smelling great throughout showing. Simply tap a few drops and some salt into a decorative bowl and place near a sunny window or heat register to diffuse the aroma.

5. Make Wise Investments – If your home requires improvements, allocate funds for the rooms buyers care about most – the kitchen and the master bedroom. A granite countertop, new appliance, additional closet or fresh coat of paint will work wonders when it comes time to sell.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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There Are No Zero-Risk Zones for Flooding

May 11, 2015 12:36 am

Did you know standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood risk? A separate flood policy can protect you from footing the bill for flood-related repairs. This policy is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), or through a few private insurance companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Recent flood insurance reforms are phasing in for areas at high risk for flooding, and flood maps are being updated to move some people into higher- or lower-risk zones. However, there are no zero-risk zones. Through the NFIP, the average cost of a policy for a homeowner, which includes coverage for both contents and the structure itself, is $700. Private excess flood insurance is also available if more coverage is needed than the maximum amount available from the NFIP.

Renters should also consider a flood policy. Most renters living in low- to moderate-risk flood zones are eligible for preferred rates, with contents-only coverage ranging from $44 to $266 a year, depending on the flood zone and amount of coverage.

Have a conversation with your insurance professional to make sure your coverage is up to date. Keep in mind that flood insurance policies through the NFIP have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect, so do not wait for a severe weather warning to start looking into flood protection. Visit FloodSmart.gov for more information.

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Brace Yourselves - Summer Mold is Coming

May 11, 2015 12:36 am

Mold in the home can lead to serious problems, including respiratory irritation and warm weather illnesses, says the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Mold spreads due to air and moisture, and if an HVAC system produces condensation or is exposed to the elements, it can become an immediate breeding ground for mold.

To nip these problems in the bud, or rather, the spore, NADCA suggests an annual HVAC inspection. During an inspection, the condition of the property is categorized on the NADCA scale as Condition1, Condition 2, or Condition 3. Condition 1 represents normal ecology within the home; Condition 2 is assigned to homes which has been contaminated with settled spores or contains traces of actual mold growth; Condition 3 denotes a home with an active or dormant presence of spores and mold growth.

After the mold has been removed, be sure to keep the humidity in your house as low as possible. This can be achieved by using air conditioners and dehumidifiers in the more humid months, as well as making sure that there is plenty of ventilation in your home. Vents or fans over stoves and other moisture-bearing appliances are also a must.

Source: NADCA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Signs of a Rental Scam

May 11, 2015 12:36 am

With a variety of websites to choose from and skyrocketing online search rates, it’s easy to miss the signs of a rental scam. If a deal seems too good to be true, take a moment to assess the situation before taking action. Here’s what to look for, according to the experts at RentalRoost.com

Can you see the property before making an agreement?
Insist on a face-to-face meeting with the landlord and a tour of the property. If the person on the other end says they’re “out of town” or otherwise unable to accommodate your request, it’s likely a scam.

Does rent compare to fair market rents in the area?
A major red flag to watch for is a rental priced out of the range of comparables in the neighborhood. A scammer will likely post unreasonably high rents to gain the most money – don’t fall for it.

Does the leasing agent have favorable reviews?

When searching for rentals, use reputable websites only. If you’ve found a rental that seems promising, conduct your own background check with a quick Google search. Look for complaints and anything that seems suspicious.

Is the landlord using a middleman?

Be mindful of any opportunities the landlord takes to delegate tasks. If he or she offers to pass along the keys through someone else, for example, you’re likely being duped.

Is the landlord requesting money up front?
Most scammers rely on wire transfers to secure your funds. No matter how appealing the deal seems, never wire money or otherwise pay without assessing the above factors.

Source: RISMedia’s Housecall

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Report: Mortgages Drive Overall Debt

May 8, 2015 12:30 am

A sign of an improving economy, overall debt levels declined in metro areas across the country – and the decline was driven by lower first and second mortgage debts, according to Equifax’s recent National Consumer Credit Trends Report. Overall debt totaled $9.9 trillion, down from $10.1 trillion.

"The latest numbers show that while the mortgage market continues to heal, the overall appetite for debt is growing across the board as consumers continue to open their wallets," says Assad Lazarus of Equifax.

Overall debt tumbled from $10.1 trillion to $9.9 trillion, the Report found. Of the nation's largest 25 markets, just six experienced increases. Many of those markets continue to work through a huge backlog of foreclosures that came during the Great Recession, says Lazarus.

Source: Equifax

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Remodeling Budgets Increase as Housing Moves Forward

May 8, 2015 12:30 am

Whether to enhance home design or invest in resale value, more homeowners plan to take on remodeling projects this year, according to data from the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) recently released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Motivated by encouraging interest rates and increasing home equity, the LIRA projects annual spending for home improvements will inch upward 2.9 percent by the end of the year.

“Housing turnover quickly sparks significant improvement spending as new owners customize their recent purchases to fit their needs,” says Chris Herbert of the Joint Center.

The LIRA estimates national homeowner spending on improvements and provides a short-term outlook of homeowner remodeling activity.

Source: LIRA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Don't Let Reduced Rainfall Ruin Your Landscape

May 8, 2015 12:30 am

The water crisis facing California is serious and carries imminent environmental, financial and human impacts, but below-normal rainfall is not uncommon in several areas of the country. Before giving up on your lawn–or worse, ripping it out–consider carrying out the following steps, says the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

Evaluate what you have.
Look at the landscape you have now. Some elements in your landscape may already be drought-friendly, but you may need to change others. Calculate how much water you are using now and how frequently you are watering.

Think about how you intend to use your lawn or landscape moving forward. Do you enjoy backyard barbecues with friends and family? Is your yard a restful oasis from stress? A place for children and pets to romp and run? Consider how you want to use your yard or landscape going forward to ensure that your re-designed landscape meets your needs.

Educate yourself about how lawns and turf grass respond during a drought. Most people over-water their lawns and assume that if grass is not green, it may be dying. Grass actually goes into a dormant state during a drought. It may look brown, but it’s not dead. If the crowns and root system are intact and have adequate moisture, grass can sustain itself.

Consider the environmental and human impacts. Lawns and landscapes offer benefits that mitigate drought impacts. Grass cools the air around a home or building, reduces pollution, limits heat islands, suppresses dust, controls soil erosion and sequesters carbon.

Grass also assists in decomposing pollutants, dissipates heat, lowers allergy-related problems, reduces home cooling costs and acts as a fire barrier. Importantly, grass serves as a natural filter to potable water supplies, reducing stormwater runoff and capturing and filtering precipitation.

Seek the advice of lawn and landscape professionals. With a variety of different rules and restrictions at the state and local level, it is important to make sure you are making changes that are in line with the regulations. A Landscape Industry Certified professional implements best practices, applies up-to-date information, and has a thorough understanding of land stewardship. Many landscape companies have water management specialists, as well as professionals educated in sustainable landscape practices.

Install drought-friendly landscaping and change your watering practices. There are many drought-friendly landscaping options available, such as drought tolerant low-water native plants. Planting with hydro zones and installing drip irrigation can minimize water usage. There are many ways to make a landscape drought-friendly, enjoyable and useful.

Source: NALP

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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