731 W Skippack Pike
October 5, 2011 5:03 pm
The US Census estimates that 40 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 will go treat-or-treating this year. Planning parties, purchasing costumes and decorating the house in preparation for all the little ghosts and goblins can be scary. To help, DealTaker.com has a Halloween page filled with coupons, deals, and tips to save when planning your Halloween fun:
• Dress-up for less - Look for special offers online for costumes. Many online costume retailers like Costume Express and Buy Costumes have clearance sales for certain costumes or offer promotional codes for extra savings on the most popular costumes.
• Skip the candy - Consider less expensive alternatives to candy. Trinkets like Silly Bandz, pencils/erasers or bubbles not only cost less, but can be fun options to traditional sugary treats.
• Safety first - Reflective safety stickers are fun and less expensive than glow sticks or flashlights. Check retailers like Smile Makers or 4imprint for special Halloween designs.
• Haunt the house - Buying spooky Halloween decorations can add up; instead consider buying after-Halloween sale items or making your own homemade items. Find creative ideas at Spirit Halloween and Fright Catalog.
• Party time - To save when hosting a Halloween party, try co-hosting the event with friends, making treats instead of buying, and purchasing small party items in bulk at a dollar stores like Dollar Tree. Plus, websites like Kaboose and Family Fun offer a variety of free party ideas.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers are expected to spend an average of $72.31 on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy this year.
For more information, visit www.dealtaker.com.
October 5, 2011 5:03 pm
Lessee. Someone who rents under a lease; the tenant.
October 5, 2011 5:03 pm
Q: What are the disadvantages of buying foreclosures?
A: Buying directly at a legal foreclosure sale is risky. Among the disadvantages:
• There is no financing. You need cash and lots of it.
• The title needs to be checked before the purchase. If not, you risk assuming a seriously deficient title.
• It may not be possible to inspect the property’s interior before the sale. So you have no idea of the property’s condition.
• Foreclosures are routinely purchased “as is,” which means you cannot go back to the seller for repairs.
• Also, estate and foreclosure sales are the only property sales that are exempt from some state disclosure laws. In both instances, the law protects the seller —usually the heir or financial institution—who has recently acquired the property through adverse circumstances and may have little or no direct information about it.
October 4, 2011 8:03 pm
I was awestruck by images of the finished product when Ballard Designs teamed up with Southern Living to outfit several stunning spaces in their new 2011 Idea House at Escondido in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.
According to the folks at Ballard, the Mediterranean-inspired villa, with walls of warm, rough-hewn Texas sandstone and weathered wood, embraces its natural surroundings with indoor and outdoor rooms that flow from one to the other in an effortless blending of open living spaces.
Texas designer Marcus Mohon, the decorating force behind all of the home’s interior and exterior spaces. said he used natural textures in both the finishes and in the decorating.
Mohon used a pair of Brockton benches in the dining room, and a little metal hexagonal occasional Padova table next to them. He said the upholstered benches soften the dining room and make it feel more livable, and make great seating for a party. He also draped the bench with Suzanne Kasler linen which provided a perfect natural texture for the setting.
For building, he went with plaster and stone rather than sheetrock and wood floors because the materials endure. And for fabrics, Mohon sought natural fibers like linens and cotton velvets—classic, timeless materials that are beautiful in any setting.
Mohon chose Ballard daybeds because they could function as beds and sofas, turning any room into a flexible space where it could be a living/lounge area or a bedroom. And outdoors, he employed natural rattan—a great texture and scale for the space that he said added a youthful, modern feeling.
The designer also offered these two tips anyone can consider when considering ideas for their own home:
• Don’t get hung up on is whether something you do is right or wrong according to someone else’s external rules
• Don’t waste time asking yourself what other people are doing right now. The basic questions to start with are: “Do you love it?” and “Do you think it works with everything else?”
October 4, 2011 8:03 pm
Preparing your home's plumbing for the winter is vital to minimizing the risk of potentially expensive repairs. Burst pipes, faulty boilers and radiators all need an inspection to ensure they're in good working condition. Being prepared is better than being taken by surprise, so spend the time to ensure your home is completely "winterized," that way you will also lower the likelihood of you having to call the plumbers in.
Your radiators are a key component, not only in your home's heating system, but also to your comfort during the cold winter. Bleeding your radiators is a good way to restore their performance and efficiency. There is an easy way to determine whether your radiators need bleeding; check if they're hot at the top, but cold at the bottom. A simple home remedy is to get your radiator key and a cloth, and locate the square shaped bleed valve which is usually located near the top of the radiator. Turn off the heating, and gently turn the radiator key, while holding the cloth underneath to catch any dripping water, and let the air escape until water starts flowing. Tighten the valve again and move on to the next unit.
Boilers can have a serious impact on your home's energy efficiency, so the first step is to ensure you have a modern boiler. Older boilers tend to use a lot more energy that their modern counterparts and it is recommended that if you boiler is older than 15 years you should look at replacing it. If you have a modern boiler, you should have it properly serviced before the winter.
Pipes, more specifically frozen pipes, are often hardest hit by the winter. With some simple precautions, you should be able to avoid any damage to your home's plumbing system. All exposed pipes need to be covered with good lagging. Lagging provides protection to exposed pipes and taps during the cold winter and is more of a necessity than a good investment. Lagging helps reduce the risk of your home's pipes bursting, keeping condensation build up around the pipes to a minimum and improves energy efficiency. That means good lagging could not only protect your heating and plumbing, but it could even save you some money in the process.
There are a number of plumbers and plumbing companies that will install lagging for you. However, be sure that the company you choose is a reputable and / or trusted authority—dealing with damaged pipes and a broken heating system in the middle of winter could be extremely inconvenient, not to mention potential financial implications.
For more information, visit www.dyno.com.
October 4, 2011 8:03 pm
An estimated 40 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 could hit the trick-or-treat trails this Halloween according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The nation's emergency physicians want all of them to enjoy the holiday traditions safely and not experience any Halloween horrors that would include spending time in the emergency department.
"Children should be out having fun and spending time with family and friends," says Dr. Sandra Schneider, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "They should not have to spend Halloween in the ER because of some injury that could have been easily prevented."
The risk of a child being hit by a car is roughly four times higher on Halloween than any other night of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other common Halloween injuries include eye injuries from sharp objects and burns from flammable costumes.
Emergency physicians recommend that children "trick-or-treat" at organized Halloween festivities, such as local churches, shopping malls or schools. This way, children are not walking in the dark and it allows constant adult supervision.
In addition, ACEP suggests that adults following tips for a safe and fun
• Make sure your child stays on the sidewalks as much as possible (off streets) and obeys all traffic signals.
• Discuss the importance of staying together in a group. Require at least one adult to serve as chaperone during trick-or-treat gatherings.
• Make sure your child knows the potential dangers from strangers. Make sure they know never to accept rides from strangers or visit unfamiliar homes or areas.
• Avoid costumes that could cause children to trip, such as baggy pants, long hems, high heels and oversized shoes.
• Avoid costumes that obstruct the child's sight or vision.
• Avoid masks if possible. If your child must wear one, make sure it is well ventilated.
• Make sure costume fabric, wigs and beards area made of flame-resistant materials, such as nylon or polyester.
• Keep candlelit Jack-O-Lanterns away from children so they can't get burned or set on fire.
• Make sure costumes are visible at night: avoid dark colors. Add reflective tape to costumes so your child is more visible to motor vehicles.
• Make sure you see all of the candy before your child eats it. Avoid candy that is not wrapped in its original wrapper, as well as all fruit.
• Take a flashlight while trick-or-treating as visibility decreases long before it gets really dark.
• Check accessories such as swords, knives, wands and other pointed objects. Make sure they are made from flexible materials and have dulled edges.
For more information on this and other health-related topics, go to www.EmergencyCareForYou.org
October 4, 2011 8:03 pm
Lease-purchase option. Opportunity to purchase a piece of property by renting for a specified period, with the provision that the lessee may choose to buy after or during the leasing period at a predetermined sale price.
October 4, 2011 8:03 pm
Q: How do I find government-repossessed properties?
A: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acquires properties from lenders who foreclose on mortgages that it insures. These properties are then available for sale to potential homeowner-occupants and investors only through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker's commission up to 6 percent of the sales price.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also acquires properties as a result of foreclosures on VA guaranteed loans. These acquired properties are marketed through a property management services contract with a federal bank that then lists them for sale with local real estate agents.
October 3, 2011 5:03 pm
Just-released statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation tell us a home is burglarized in the U.S. every 14.6 seconds—with an average loss to homeowners of more than $2,000 per theft. But, suggests Consumer’s Report, there are plenty of ways homeowners can help keep their homes from becoming a target for thieves.
Here are eight simple but effective suggestions for protecting your home and valuables:
1. Lock the garage door—leaving it open, or unlocked in your absence, is an invitation to thieves, who can simply close the outer door and gain access to your home from inside.
2. Don’t hide spare keys—Experienced burglars know where most keys are hidden; under a mat, above the door, in a planter box or under a statue. Instead of hiding one, give a spare key to one of your neighbors. 3. Don’t store ladders in an unlocked shed—Burglars can use them to gain access through an upper story window.
4. Think about a noisy alarm system—Silent alarms are fine, but most thieves know it will take at least 10 minutes for authorities to show up after an alarm is tripped. A noisy alarm will send them running.
5. Trim trees and landscaping—Trees near the house can offer a burglar easy access. Untrimmed shrubbery offers a pretty good hiding place.
6. Light up the dark—A darkened exterior gives a thief an entry advantage. Make sure your yards—front and back—are well lighted when you are away.
7. Secure sliding glass doors. Put a dowel down in the channel so the door cannot be opened wide enough to enter.
8. Don’t rely on a barking dog—Thieves may attempt to circumvent them by feeding them treats laced with tranquilizers or worse. Use timers to turn on lights, TVs, radios, etc. in random patterns.
9. Don’t ‘advertise’ at the curb—If you’ve just purchased a big-screen TV, a new appliance or other large item, cut the outer carton into small pieces that will fit inside the trash can.
10. Don’t post vacation photos on Facebook—at least not until after you are home. Wily thieves troll social media sites for such photos to learn when families are away.
October 3, 2011 5:03 pm
Don’t have the eye of a designer and the taste of a decorator? Or perhaps just looking for a little extra guidance? No matter what level of skill one processes in design, according to Lloyd Princeton of iMatchDesigners, anyone can have the home and business they have always dreamed of from the inside out in one easy process.
Here, Princeton shares his personal advice on how to efficiently achieve the best results for your design project in the timeline and budget desired.
• Look and Style: Select someone whose design style fits the look you’re going for. If you don’t know what your style is yet, encourage them to flip through the designers past work and portfolios and see what jumps out.
• Personality: Find someone you feel you can be open and honest about your likes and dislikes. Most importantly, find someone who understands the role you to play. If you want to be really involved, you can consult them on all details. If you want to hand over the reins, the designers will take full charge and create your project with minimal consulting.
• Scope of Project: Make sure the designer outlines the complete scope of the project. This helps avoid unforeseen costs and other surprises. If budget is an issue, be willing to compromise. Know when to splurge on the main pieces—the sofa and chandelier—and when to choose less expensive pieces for accessories like end tables and lamps. Also breaking up the project into phases helps keep the budget on track.
For more information, visit http://imatchdesigners.com.
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