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: 610-584-8291
Roxanne Christy

My Blog

Should You Spend the Rest of Winter Prepping to Sell This Spring?

February 12, 2018 2:06 am

Many of us like nothing more than binging on Netflix or a series of good books during the waning weeks of winter.

But if there is even a chance that you might put your home on the market in 2018, a number of sources say the time to start preparing is at hand.

Brent Ash at says now is the time to make your home sale-ready. Small home improvement projects will add curb appeal to your property and make the selling process as smooth as possible.

Ash suggests conducting a pre-listing conversation with a trusted contractor to catch any red flags that can prevent the sale from taking place. He says by identifying and correcting major issues now, you will gain peace of mind throughout the selling process.

For anyone who can move their home to the launch pad sooner than later, that agent says the remaining days of winter are a great time to list, as prospective buyers looking through late 2017 have exhausted limited inventory, and new buyers are 'moving in' to their home search as well.

Real estate professional Kelly Maguire says sellers should be sure to request and review a comparative market analysis (CMA), which will provide an initial snapshot of your home’s value.

Keep in mind that pricing and market conditions can change between now and the time you list, Maguire says, but knowing where you stand today will be helpful in planning both your sale and your next purchase.
One New York metro REALTOR agreed strongly, saying that pricing your house correctly is most critical when you first enter the market.

But the first thing to do is take a good walk through your property or ask someone like a trusted family member or friend to look at your home with the eyes of a prospective buyer and honestly evaluate your home objectively – with all its positives and negatives.

Next, get to work putting the property in tip top shape ahead of your 2018 listing!

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tips to Help Prevent or Identify Vision Loss

February 12, 2018 2:06 am

Many of us will need glasses in our lifetime, even if we have 20/20 vision in our youth. However, there are some things you can do to prevent vision loss, or at least identify it and treat is quickly.

Lighthouse Guild offers the following tips:

Get regular eye exams. Vision screenings and eye exams are critical to maintaining eye health. Comprehensive dilated eye exams for adults can help detect glaucoma, macular degeneration and other serious eye diseases that can lead to blindness. Vision screenings can help detect problems, such amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, in children.

Speak up if your vision changes. If you notice blurry spots, blurred vision, halos surrounding lights, eyes that itch or burn, black spots or "floaters," double vision, tearing or watering eyes, or if you find yourself squinting or having trouble reading or watching television, it's time to make an appointment. An eye doctor should be made aware of any gradual changes in your vision so the necessary action can be taken to maintain eye health.

Seek urgent care. Seek urgent care if you experience sudden and/or severe eye pain, sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, light flashes, or if your eyes turn bright red. Any of these could indicate a severe problem and should be addressed immediately.

Get UV-protected sunglasses. Tinted glasses will not necessarily protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. It is important to get good quality eyewear that provides both UVA and UVB coverage to protect your eyes properly.

Give your eyes a rest from the effects of digital eye strain. This type of eye strain—also known as computer vision syndrome—doesn't permanently damage eyesight, but symptoms could include burning or tired eyes, headaches, neck pain, fatigue, blurred or double vision. To rest your eyes, it's good to look up from your work every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds (the 20-20-20 rule).

Dr. Laura Sperazza, Director of Low Vision Services at Lighthouse Guild, says, "The most important thing you can do to protect your vision is to get an eye exam.  If you find out you're in the early stages of an eye disease, your eye care professional will help you maintain the highest possible level of eye health and visual function."

Source: Lighthouse Guild

Published with permission from RISMedia.


How-to Ward off Winter Sport Injuries

February 12, 2018 2:06 am

For those of us who love to hit the slopes, winter is the most exciting time of year. But with winter sports often involving high speeds and cold temperatures, it's no wonder they're some of the most dangerous activities around. Below are some tips for staying safe, from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

Ski and snowboard boots must fit properly. When tightly fastened, your boots should be free of pressure points that might cause blisters. Ankles and heels should remain securely in place.

All boots should be snug but not overly tight. Boots that are too tight can decrease blood flow and make cold-weather injuries such as frostbite more likely. But a common mistake is to buy a boot that's too large and allows the foot to shimmy. A snug boot will allow you to wiggle your toes, but too much wiggle means the boot is too large.

Make sure footwear provides warmth, and wear socks that are breathable and moisture-wicking so your feet will stay dry. Keeping feet and toes warm and dry is critical when you're on the slopes for long periods.

If you're buying your first pair of ski or snowboard boots, consult a boot fitter at your local sporting goods store.These professionals will help you find the proper fit for your sport.

Source: American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Could 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Hit 5 Percent?

February 9, 2018 1:51 am

A growing number of experts are predicting the protracted period of historically low mortgage rates may be drawing to an end in 2018.

Tim Lucas at reported that as 2018 arrived, mortgage rates hit their 26th week holding below 4 percent - but within two weeks, the average 30-year rate nationwide escalated to 4.15 percent.

He showed all the following sources predicting higher rates for 2018:
- Mortgage Bankers Association: 4.6 percent
- Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac: 4.5 percent
- 4.6 percent average, reaching  percent by year-end
- National Association of Realtors: 4.5 percent
- Kiplinger: 4.4 percent
- National Association of Home Builders: 4.34 percent

At, Natalie Campisi pointed out that mortgage rates inched up every week during January. She said the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 11 basis points to 4.38 percent - the highest point since last March.

The folks at reported that real estate industry data provider CoreLogic averaged six forecasts of mortgage rates, arriving at a consensus that the 30-year fixed will average 4.7 percent by December 2018. says interest rates are notoriously resistant to prediction, though, harkening back to the beginning of 2017 when most expected mortgage rates to rise steadily for months, but they only rose for a few weeks.

The average 30-year fixed peaked at 4.58 percent last March before it reversed, dipping slightly to 4 percent a few times in the summer, before ticking upward slightly in the fall.

Trendwatchers at say if their economic growth and inflation forecasts hold, then the The Federal Open Market Committee or FOMC will likely raise rates three to four times in 2018. However, predicts those anticipated rate increases will be gradual, allowing housing market activity to maintain momentum.

While Freddie Mac's baseline forecast is sanguine about the path of the U.S. economy and housing markets today, its experts are watching three factors closely: whether another recession is looming; if housing markets respond to declining affordability; and whether young adults will step up moving into the housing market.
We'll also be watching these factors - stay tuned.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Four Mistakes That Could Make Your Cruise Travel Insurance Worthless

February 9, 2018 1:51 am

Heading out on a cruise this year? How exciting! Booked travel insurance just in case? Good on you! However, it's important to pay mind to the fine print of your travel insurance so you don't end up with a void claim. Squaremouth offers the following insights:

Mistake No. 1: Waiting Until There's Bad Weather to Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance only covers unexpected situations; once a hurricane or winter storm has been given a name, it's too late for travel insurance.

Expert Tip: While travel insurance can be bought up until the day before you leave for your trip, make sure to get your policy early if you're worried about future weather issues, before a hurricane or winter storm is named.

Mistake No. 2: Drinking Alcohol and Assuming Your Medical Emergencies are Covered
Travel insurance can cover expensive cruise ship medical costs unless the traveler is intoxicated. This is a common exclusion in most policies.

Expert Tip: Travel insurance providers will not always know if travelers were drinking alcohol at the time of an injury or illness, however, providers will require documentation during the claims process, such as medical records or a police report.

Mistake No. 3: Assuming Your Medical Emergencies are Covered During All Shore Excursions
Travel insurance covers medical emergencies whether travelers are on the cruise ship or on land, including shore excursions. Some travelers may be aware that there are exclusions on dangerous activities such as bungee jumping or skydiving, but many travelers may not realize that a policy may exclude lower impact activities like kayaking or riding in a hot air balloon.

Expert Tip: Look at the policy detail for each shore excursion you plan to participate in while on your cruise before you buy the policy. If the policy excludes the activity, choose another policy or consider getting the Hazardous Sports upgrade.

Mistake No. 4: Arriving to Your Port of Departure Early and Assuming You're Covered
Travelers may want to spend a few days at their Port of Departure before their cruise begins. Many travelers may assume they only need to get a policy for their cruise, but travel insurance is designed to cover travelers from doorstep to doorstep and does not allow coverage for only a portion of a trip.

Expert Tip: Make sure to enter the date that you leave your home and the date you return home when getting a travel insurance quote. If your travel dates change, you can call your provider and have them update your travel dates. This modification to your policy can be made up until the day before you leave for your trip.

Consider a 'Catch-All' Coverage
If the possibility of cancelling a vacation is the traveler's top concern, the only way to be sure they'll get a portion of their money back is with the upgraded Cancel For Any Reason coverage. This upgrade refunds travelers 75 percent of their costs if they cancel for a reason not listed in their policy, as long as they insure all of their trip costs and cancel at least two days before they're scheduled to leave.

Source: Squaremouth

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Which Building and Design Trends Will Impact Your Home in 2018?

February 8, 2018 1:48 am

The International Builders' Show (IBS), held January 9 - 11 in Orlando, Fla. during national Design & Construction Week, is a meeting of minds for building and design trends. This year, the folks at were quick to blog about the cultural shift they saw toward mindfulness and creating a home sanctuary - especially evident in bathroom designs as well as outdoor living spaces.

Managing editor Kriss Swint noted the increasing prevalence of blues and greens being used in these spaces create a feeling of calm, serenity and escape. also pointed out the continuing expansion of Scandinavian design influence - sleek, simple and clean lines built on the principles of affordability, simplicity, and functionality that Swint and company expect will continue to dominate every facet of interior and exterior design in 2018.

Rexy Legaspi at observed that major strides in technology like smart locks and smart vent hoods were a few of the tools that were unveiled at IBS 2018. Legaspi also said “personal assistant” technology like Siri and Alexa are expected to evolve to even more advanced and sophisticated functionality.

Legaspi said multi-generational homes and aging-in-place designs are expected to increase in popularity in 2018. He learned about one 5,188-square-foot, seven-bedroom reNEWable Living Home in Arizona that incorporates an urban-inspired loft for a young adult, a first-floor in-law suite, a tech-savvy space for a teenager, and an amazing master suite that overlooks the home’s pool.

In that model home, shared social spaces include a Great Room, kitchen, outdoor living space, a game room, and pool area. The home’s two-story floor plan allows family members their desired private space/retreats and at the same time provides comfortable, homey areas where they can relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Besides widespread European influences, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) noticed many more exhibitors promoting hurricane impact products this year, along with large multi-slide doors that are offering even more colors and directing more emphasis to outdoor living spaces.

Stay tuned for more evolving information on design trends.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


5 Ways to Ward off Winter Illness

February 8, 2018 1:48 am

Think you can't outrun that cold that's going around? Think again! Here are five ways to ward off winter illness and keep you smiling until spring.

Eat fresh. Don't let the cool weather turn you towards junk food. Continue choosing fresh produce and healthy eats to keep your body happy. Avoid eating to many processed foods, sugar and alcohol, all of which can wear down your system and make you prone to catching that office flu.

Pop a supplement. Taking a supplement to ward off colds can really help. Talk to your doctor about what's best, but health aids with zinc and vitamin C tend to help.

Stay active. It's understandable that cold months make you want to hibernate, but being physically active keeps your immune system humming. If you don't mind the snowy weather, pick up a winter sport like snowing, ski boarding or simply walking outdoors when conditions are safe. Not a fan of frost? Join a gym or a hot yoga studio.

Rest more. It's natural to need more rest in the winter as our circadian rhythm adjusts. Allow yourself to hit snooze and, if you can, tuck into bed an hour earlier.

Wash your hands. Your mother was right when she reminded you to wash, wash, wash your hands. At work and out in public, take a break every once and a while to suds up your hands, and try as hard as you can to keep them away from your face and avoid finger foods unless you've just washed.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


5 Mistakes to Avoid When Booking Travel Online

February 8, 2018 1:48 am

Traveling is exciting and fun - and planning for your trip should be too. To help, offers the following insights on what mistakes can create a headache as you book travel online.

Check Your Airport Codes. You're looking for a cheap flight to Orlando, Florida. As you begin your search, you see ORD populate. The kids are screaming with excitement knowing they have endless theme parks ahead of them and you accidentally select that pre-populated option. Checking airport codes is one of the most important parts of purchasing travel online because instead of booking a trip to Orlando (MCO) you actually end up with a flight to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD).

Keep in mind that not all codes directly correspond to the city they are located in. Some match up nicely like Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS), but others can be misleading, such as ONT. This is the code for Ontario International Airport located near Los Angeles—not Ontario, Canada. Another frequent mistake occurs when a city with the same name exists in different countries, such as San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) and San Jose, California (SJC).

This mistake can easily be avoided by spelling out the exact destination in your search. Also, always double check your itinerary before booking. If you are unsure of the airport code, a simple internet search can help clarify.

Read the Fine Print. The Fare Rules and Regulations of a flight can be daunting. Small words that run pages and pages appear on a screen while all you want to do is complete your transaction. Policies and procedures are unique for every airline, flight, and ticket, and they can vary tremendously. Scan through the fine print and look for sections such as the following:

- Refunds: Not all flights are 100 percent refundable, even in the worst case scenario. If you don't see anything in this section specifically mentioning medical reasons, death, or bereavement there is no guarantee that you will be able to cancel your ticket for a full or partial refund.

- Changes: Most airlines charge a fee when a passenger requests a change to their ticket,

. including name changes, date changes, and origin or destination changes.

The Fare Rules will spell out exactly what you can do and how much it will cost.  If it doesn't explicitly say something, don't assume that it is allowed. Travel insurance is a great way to add extra security in case of any emergency situations that may occur.

Look Out For Additional Costs. These days, the airfare is only a small portion of the total cost of a flight. Ancillary fees can range from luggage surcharges, to seat selection fees, to the soda and snack box you buy on the plane. The pricing structure varies from airline to airline so it's important to be aware of what is mandatory versus what can be avoided. For example, you may be able to pay for your luggage online at a discounted rate as opposed to on the day of your flight. This will not only save you money, but it will also save you time on your travel day. It is recommended to calculate all the costs that come along with booking a certain ticket before actually booking. The fare plus all of the additional costs on one airline may end up being more expensive than an all-inclusive fare on another airline.

Make All of Your Preferences Known. Not every trip that is booked online is the same and neither is every traveler. If you have special circumstances that require attention, make them known as soon as possible. Some common requests are for special meals, handicapped persons, unaccompanied minors, or infants traveling on your lap. Make a list of your travel preferences and if they are not listed online in the booking process, contact a CheapOair customer care agent before booking for guidance on how to proceed.

Double Check the Confirmation. You are almost ready, but before you click "Book Now": DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING. Finalize your personal information and assure everything is correct. Remember that the name on your ticket must exactly match your driver's license or passport including first, middle, and last name. Pay attention to the spelling, numbered addresses, and contact information, your origin and destination, and of course the travel dates.

Once you've booked, make sure you receive your confirmation email, print out any necessary documents, and store them in a safe place. Always confirm any reservations a few days before a trip to make sure no changes have surfaced prior to your takeoff.


Published with permission from RISMedia.


4 Things to Teach Your Teens About Money

February 6, 2018 1:39 am

Even if they’ve received an allowance every month in return for doing household chores, the teen years are when many kids begin to earn money by doing ‘real’ jobs. Their first paychecks can be a valid source of pride—but also a temptation to spend.

This is the time to help your teen establish good money habits, financial advisors say. Money editors at The Motley Fool suggest four things parents should address:

Creating a budget. It’s important to know how much money is coming in, how much will be spent—and on what—and how much will be saved. Parents can share their own budgets, if they wish, or create an imagined scenario including those components. It’s a good way for kids to learn the connection between working, spending, and building wealth.

Real life has costs. Budgeting may help teens track where their money is going, but they should understand that real life has real life costs. If your teen has recently earned a driver’s license, for example, your insurance cost probably went up—which may mean making changes in your budget. Share that with your teens. You may or may not ask them to contribute, but it’s a good way for them to realize that life may carry unexpected costs.

How to read a paycheck. Show your kids how much is taken out of your paycheck for taxes, retirement, and health insurance, and the difference between gross and net income. It will help them realize, when they take those first ‘real’ jobs, that how much money they will have to spend out of each paycheck will be a lot less than they had figured.

The difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt. Teens should understand that money borrowed at a relatively low interest rate that helps you grow wealth over the long run, such as a student loan or a mortgage, is considered good debt. High-interest consumer debt, on the other hand—such as debt incurred for frivolous expenses or things you know you can’t afford—can bust your budget and become a crushing burden.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


How to Get the Best Deals on Airfare

February 6, 2018 1:39 am

Whether you're looking ahead to that summer vacation or a spring break getaway, it pays to be thrifty. To help, has released a list of tips and tricks for seniors and retirees on how to save money on travel this year.

Avoid Peak Travel Season. Every destination is busy at different times of the year. By doing a little research ahead of time, you can potentially save a lot of money by knowing when the airlines, hotels, and rental car companies are most in need of the business.

According to CheapOair's booking data from 2017, many popular international destinations saw large airfare difference between the slowest months and the busiest months.  

- Passengers that traveled from the U.S. to China in September 2017 instead of June 2017 on average saved 37 percent on airfare.

- Passengers that traveled from the U.S. to Spain in February 2017 instead of July 2017 on average saved 36 percent on airfare.

- Passengers that traveled from the U.S. to Australia in August 2017 instead of December 2017 on average saved 29 percent on airfare.

- Passengers that traveled from the U.S. to Italy in March 2017 instead of June 2017 on average saved 25 percent on airfare.

Consider all of your options before booking. Many airlines have recently changed their fare structures to have very low base fares, but then charge extra fees for things such as checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or seat selection. Before booking the lowest fare you see, read the fine print to double check what’s included and what’s not. Depending on your preferences, it may be worthwhile to book a more expensive (but more comprehensive) fare upfront to save money on the fees you could be charged later.

Be flexible with your dates. Booking engines like allow travelers to see the cheapest dates for travel even before selecting their intended travel dates. Since retirees are less time-constrained, consider taking advantage of the ability to fly on cheaper days.

Sign up for a travel credit card. Travel credit cards are a great way for frequent travelers to earn reward points that are redeemable for future travel.

Source: CheapOair  

Published with permission from RISMedia.