RE/MAX 440
Mary Mastroeni
mmastroeni@remax.net
Mary Mastroeni
731 W Skippack Pike
Blue Bell  PA 19422
PH: 610-277-2900
O: 215-643-3200
C: 610-213-4878
F: 267-354-6212 
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Mary's Blog

Top 25 Highest Paying Jobs of 2017

March 17, 2017 12:30 am

Are you the parent of a college student, or thinking of jumping into a new career yourself? While it’s important to follow a path you love, it doesn’t hurt to keep pay in mind. Below are Glassdoor’s 25 highest paying jobs in the country, alongside how many positions are currently available via Glassdoor.com.

1. Physician
Median Base Salary: $187,876
Number of Job Openings: 7,770

2. Pharmacy Manager
Median Base Salary: $149,064
Number of Job Openings: 2,370

3. Patent Attorney
Median Base Salary: $139,272
Number of Job Openings: 525

4. Medical Science Liaison
Median Base Salary: $132,842
Number of Job Openings: 391

5. Pharmacist
Median Base Salary: $125,847
Number of Job Openings: 5,496

6. Enterprise Architect
Median Base Salary: $112,560
Number of Job Openings: 1,320

7. Physician Assistant
Median Base Salary: $112,529
Number of Job Openings: 13,547

8. Applications Development Manager
Median Base Salary: $112,045
Number of Job Openings: 516

9. R&D Manager
Median Base Salary: $111,905
Number of Job Openings: 185

10. Corporate Controller
Median Base Salary: $110,855
Number of Job Openings: 259

11. Software Engineering Manager
Median Base Salary: $109,350
Number of Job Openings: 1,011

12. IT Architect
Median Base Salary: $105,303
Number of Job Openings: 250

13. Software Architect
Median Base Salary: $104,754
Number of Job Openings: 1,147

14. Nurse Practitioner
Median Base Salary: $104,144
Number of Job Openings: 12,566

15. Solutions Architect
Median Base Salary: $102,678
Number of Job Openings: 4,174

16. Data Architect
Median Base Salary: $102,091
Number of Job Openings: 1,438

17. Actuary
Median Base Salary: $99,507
Number of Job Openings: 463

18. IT Program Manager
Median Base Salary: $98,883
Number of Job Openings: 250

19. UX Manager
Median Base Salary: $98,353
Number of Job Openings: 263

20. Systems Architect
Median Base Salary: $97,873
Number of Job Openings: 1,167

21. Plant Manager
Median Base Salary: $97,189
Number of Job Openings: 1,286

22. Scrum Master
Median Base Salary: $95,167
Number of Job Openings: 2,072

23. Financial Planning & Analysis Manager
Median Base Salary: $94,862
Number of Job Openings: 501

24. Nuclear Engineer
Median Base Salary: $94,852
Number of Job Openings: 155

25. Attorney
Median Base Salary: $94,695
Number of Job Openings: 1,010

Source:  Glassdoor

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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When it Comes to Homeownership Decisions, Pets Rule

March 16, 2017 12:30 am

A lot goes into the decision to buy, sell or remodel a home. After all, this is one of the most significant investments of your lifetime, so there are a lot of factors to be weighed and considered...including how happy your pet will be.

Yes, you read that right. In fact, 81 percent of respondents to a recent report from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), reported that animal-related considerations play a role in determining their next living situations. In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it stands to reason that our animal companions will play a significant role in our housing decisions for the foreseeable future.

According to NAR’s 2017 Animal House: Remodeling Impact report, 99 percent of pet owners said they consider their animal part of the family, and 89 percent of those surveyed said they would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. In fact, 12 percent of pet owners have actually moved in order to accommodate their furry, finned or feathered family member, and 19 percent said they would consider moving to accommodate their animal in the future.   

No one knows the relationship between homeowners and their animal friends better than REALTORS. Those surveyed for the report said that one-third of their pet-owning clients often or very often will refuse to make an offer on a home because it is not ideal for their pet.

Other interesting statistics from the report include:

- 67 percent of REALTORS say animals have a moderate to major effect on selling a home. If you’re selling your home, make sure you’ve cleaned or replaced any areas affected by pet damage or odors.
- 52 percent of respondents said they had completed a home renovation project specifically to accommodate their pet, such as fencing in their yards, adding a doggie door or installing a pet-friendly laminate flooring.
- 80 percent of REALTORS consider themselves animal lovers, so you’ll have lots of support in accommodating your pet’s housing needs when buying!

Source: National Association of REALTORS

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Help Friends and Family Members with Post-War PTSD

March 16, 2017 12:30 am

Helping a family or friend reintegrate into society after leaving war can be complicated, but when your loved one has PTSD, it can be even more intricate. To date, an estimated 400,000 service members live with invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to a report released by Institute of Medicine in 2014, 47 percent of veterans diagnosed with PTSD in 2013 after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan did not receive treatment. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) believes it is imperative to raise PTSD awareness and offer education in our communities.

"PTSD is a normal reaction to a very bad situation, and no one should be ashamed of suffering and seeking help," said John Roberts, WWP warrior relations director. "Combat veterans need to know that PTSD does not have to be a lifelong sentence. It can be treated and managed. Life can be better." 

Here are tips for helping warriors who are coping with PTSD:

- Let veterans determine what they are comfortable talking about, and don't push.

- Bring veterans to a quiet place or suggest some deep breathing exercises when the stress seems overwhelming.

- Encourage creative outlets like writing to help veterans clarify what is bothering them and help them think of solutions.

- Avoid unhealthy habits as ways to solve problems. Alcohol and drug use make things worse in the long run.

- Stay aware of your surroundings. Crowds, trash on the side of the road, fireworks, and certain smells can be difficult for veterans coping with PTSD.Source: Wounded Warrior Project

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Do You Live in One of America's Healthiest Cities?

March 15, 2017 12:30 am

Ever wonder where the healthiest spot in the US is? WalletHub’s latest Healthiest Cities in America analysts compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities across 34 key metrics. The data set ranges from “cost of doctor visit” to “fruit and vegetable consumption” to “fitness clubs per capita.”

Check out these key stats from the survey:

- Richmond, Va., has the most mental-health counselors per 100,000 residents, 221.5, which is 14.5 times more in San Antonio, the city with the fewest at 15.3.

- Overland Park, Kan., has the lowest share of adults with 14 or more physically unhealthy days reported in the past month, 7.1 percent, which is 2.7 times lower than in San Bernardino, Calif., the city with the highest at 19.0 percent.

- Jacksonville, Fla., has the lowest cost per doctor’s visit, $68, which is 2.7 times less expensive than in Milwaukee, the city with the highest at $182.

- San Francisco, Calif., has the lowest share of adults eating fruits less than once daily, 32.5 percent, which is 1.7 times lower than in Little Rock, Ark., the city with the highest at 56.0 percent.

- Portland, Ore., has the most gluten-free restaurants per 100,000 residents, 12.3, which is 41 times more than in Detroit, the city with the fewest at 0.3.

- Durham, N.C., has the most dietitians and nutritionists per 100,000 residents, 46.8, which is 5.3 times more than in Las Vegas, the city with the fewest at 8.8.

- El Paso, Texas, has the lowest average monthly cost for a fitness-club membership, $12.44, which is 6.2 times less expensive than in Anchorage, Alaska, the city with the highest at $77.56.

- Tallahassee, Fla., has the most walking trails per 1,000 residents, 80.2, which is 53.5 times more than in El Paso, Texas, the city with the fewest at 1.5.

The top healthiest cities, by survey results are San Francisco, Calif.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Scottsdale, Ariz; Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Irvine,Calif.; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Honolulu, HI; Washington, DC; and Santa Clarita, Calif.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Wallpaper Makes a Comeback

March 15, 2017 12:30 am

My sister bought a co-op on Manhattan’s Upper West Side last year. After several rounds with the contractors and months of renovations, she invited me over to see the stunning results. She was finally thrilled with the space. “Well, except for that bathroom,” she said with an eye roll toward the guest bath, which is covered - walls and ceiling - with wall paper.

The term “wall paper” feels almost politically incorrect, so reviled has it become over the years as a design option. But truth be told, after a few visits to my sister’s place, I discovered that I actually liked that funky chinoiserie wall paper in the bathroom - and apparently, I wasn’t the only person to say so.  In fact, upon further research, it seems like wallpaper is making a comeback.

According to an article in The Washington Post, wallpaper’s renaissance can be attributed to a new swath of fashionable prints and interesting textures - not to mention sorely needed improvements to the installation and removal process. The real game changer for wallpaper, however, has been exposure, thanks to the likes of HGTV, social media and style bloggers.

Ready to rethink wallpaper for your next design project? Here are some key trends to consider from realtor.com blogger Jamie Webb:

Metallic
Whether it’s used in bold stripes, geometric patterns or a more detailed prints, metallics add a contemporary look to walls. A word of caution from Webb: Metallics tend to emphasize any errors made during a DIY install, so you might want to consider a pro.

Silk
This elegant wallpaper treatment involves applying silk threads to a paper backing. Considered a very “delicate” style, it is most appropriate for dining rooms and bedrooms as opposed to more lived-in areas like your kitchen.

Embossed
Embossed wallpaper allows you to create worldly plaster work designs such as the fleur-de-lis or acanthus leaves. Painting after application brings out the raised, textured effect, says Webb.

Embellished
Many of today’s wallpapers feature beading, recycled tile and glass to give walls a dramatic, mosaic effect. Some designers even offer hand-painted accents for a customized look. Keep in mind, embellished wallpapers are very expensive so save this option for a small space or accent wall.

Geometric
From cubes and herringbone to blocky and bold, geometric patterns are in big demand. You may want to start with an accent wall, however, as these striking desigins could easily overwhelm an entire room.

Digital prints
Thanks to modern technology, wallpaper is no longer limited to repeating patterns but rather can encompass an entire, mural-like scene, from the night sky to a watercolor painting. You can even turn your favorite image into wallpaper, so the sky’s the limit!Whatever option you choose, the most important place to start is by changing your mindset toward wallpaper. Doing so will open up a world of interior design options.  

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Safety Tips for Outdoor Power Equipment

March 15, 2017 12:30 am

Chainsaw, lawn mower, power washer, weed whacker – whatever your outdoor power tool of choice may be, it’s important to know how to stay safe while using it.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers tips to help users get the most from their equipment when they need it.

- Read your owner's manual and follow all fueling guidelines for your outdoor power equipment. Familiarize yourself with the controls. If you have lost your manual, look it up online.

- Drain old fuel. Don't leave fuel sitting in the tank for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer) left in the system will deteriorate, which may cause starting or running problems and, in some cases, damage to the fuel system.

- Only use E10 or less fuel. Some gas stations may offer 15 percent ethanol (E15) gas or higher ethanol fuel blends, but any fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol can damage--and is illegal to use in-- small engine equipment not designed for it.

Label your fuel can with the date of purchase and ethanol content of the fuel. Never put "old" gas in your outdoor power equipment. If you don't know the date of purchase, dispose safely of the fuel in the can and buy fresh fuel.

Inspect your equipment. Check for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. Replace any parts needed or take your equipment to a qualified service representative.

Clean your equipment. Remove any dirt, oil or grass stuck to it. A clean machine will run more efficiently and last longer.

Source: www.opei.org

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8 Ways to Optimize Your Sleep

March 11, 2017 12:30 am

(Family Features)--While a healthy lifestyle requires a balanced diet and exercise, sleep is another pillar of overall wellness that is both essential to your health and success, and often overlooked.

By simply making small changes to your daily routine you can improve your quality of sleep. Follow these tips from Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm's sleep health consultant and director of Duke University's Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, and get on your way to better rest and a healthier life.

1. Manage your sleep time. Rather than trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list at the expense of sleep, reverse your approach. As the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, make sure to set aside the time needed for a full night of rest.

2. Stay on schedule. Try to keep your bedtime and wake time consistent on both weekdays and weekends. With time, your brain and body will acclimate to these set times, but until then, rely on an alarm - not only to wake in the morning, but to keep you from staying up too late at night, too.

3. Find a routine. A routine performed 20-30 minutes prior to bed every night can subconsciously ease your brain into sleep. Unwinding with a book, taking a warm bath or meditating are all ways to slow your mind and transition toward peaceful rest.

4. Brighten up the morning. Getting plenty of bright light in the morning helps keep your sleep timing on track, particularly if you wake up early. Make opening the drapes and blinds your first task each morning.

5. Ditch the clock. Fixating on the time can create stress and keep you up at night. Instead, set your alarm, turn your clock around and forget about the time.

6. Get moving. Research shows that exercise can act as a natural sleep remedy, often leading to a more sound slumber. However, if you exercise late and have difficulty falling asleep, consider moving your workout earlier in the day. The increase in body temperature from exercise tends to be prolonged, sometimes making it hard to fall asleep.

7. Kick the caffeine habit. Morning caffeine can linger in your system until it's time to sleep. Coffee, tea, dark sodas and dark chocolate are the main offenders for most people.

8. Pay back debt. If you are chronically deprived of sleep, allow your body extra sleep time to make up for the loss. In these cases, even 8-9 hours each night may not be enough. Allow your body to catch up then commit to more consistent sleep patterns in the future.

Source: DailyDoze.com.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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7 Tips for a Better Spring Garden

March 11, 2017 12:30 am

It’s never a bad idea to plan for that spring garden. Whether you like to plant edibles, like veggies, or gorgeous florals, planning ahead of time for that garden can equate to a better growing period, and a heartier bounty.

OPEI encourages homeowners, gardeners and commercial facility managers to keep these smart landscaping tips in mind when planting this spring:

- Plant a living landscape that breathes. It creates the oxygen we need and sequesters carbon.

- Follow the "right plant, right place" rule. Put in living trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants that are right for your climate zone. Once established, Mother Nature will weather climate changes.

- Remember wildlife in your planting choices. Add flowering plants to support pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies. Our yards, parks, schoolyards and other green spaces connect and form wildlife corridors.

- Plant for your lifestyle. If you have kids and pets, remember our yards are safe spaces for families, kids and pets. 

- Put in a mix of adaptive and native plants that can handle people traffic as well as provide food and habitat for wildlife.

- Don't overwater. Plants and trees will grow stronger and work harder, creating deeper, vertical roots, if they need to seek water.

- Let plants go dormant in drought conditions. They will "green back up" when the rains come.

Source: www.OPEI.org.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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City vs. Suburbs: Families Spend $9,000 More for Urban Living

March 11, 2017 12:30 am

It’s no real shocker that living in a city is pricer than living in the suburbs. But a new Cost of Living analysis from Zillow and Care.com details exactly how much pricier your city life is—especially if you have kids.

According to the analysis, families spend an average of $9,073 more per year to cover basic housing and child care costs in the city than in the suburbs. This is no small chunk of change.

But where is the biggest variance? New York, Chicago and Dallas have the highest variance between urban and suburban living, with city dwellers paying as much as $71,237 more a year, or nearly $6,000 extra a month. However, city living is not always more expensive. In Philadelphia and Baltimore, families could pay up to $14,000 more a year to live in the suburbs. 

Nationally, families living in the city spend $43,652 a year on housing and child care. Yet, in the suburbs they spend just $34,579.

While high property taxes and rising home prices are usually the reasons why city living is more expensive, child care can also play a part. In Minneapolis, child care is nearly $4,119 more a year in the city, but housing costs are actually $189 cheaper.   

"Deciding whether to live in the city or suburbs is a personal choice, but when you do the math, it's easy to see why moving to the suburbs is about more than just a bigger yard – it can also save you a lot of money," says Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist. "More than a third of families exceed their initial budget when buying a home, according to the Zillow® Group Consumer Trends Report, so before embarking on a move, consider the cost of living beyond just the home's sticker price."

In addition to potentially cheaper living costs, the median suburban home is nearly 280 square feet larger. Meanwhile, reported commute times are roughly the same between urban and suburban residents.ii

"Figuring out where your family will live and grow is arguably one of the most exciting and daunting times in a parent's life," adds Joyce Hodel, data scientist at Care.com. "While moving to the suburbs often brings significant cost savings, city living can still be the right choice for some families and is less expensive in certain metro areas. The Care.com and Zillow Cost of Living Report aims to help families understand how their family's housing and child care costs may change before making that big family move."Source: Zillow, Care.com
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Do You Know About the Top New Products for Your Home?

March 10, 2017 12:30 am

Are you up with the latest new home products? A national representative survey of 40,000 consumers conducted by Kantar TNS, a global leader in consumer research, helps determine the Product of the Year winners each year so that consumers can best identify the top new products.

The 28 winners of the 2017 Product of the Year Award were announced at a recent New York City soiree hosted by "Saturday Night Live" alumnae Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer.
Mike Nolan, CEO, Product of the Year USA. says this year's winners will be "able to utilize the distinctive red Product of the Year logo on packaging and in brand advertising to show shoppers that 40,000 consumers recommend their product against the competition."

Now in its 30th year, Product of the Year takes entries from new consumer products launched within the previous year that demonstrate innovation within their industry.

Product nominations are then placed into categories such as beauty, personal care, household essentials, food and beverages, and are assessed on seven key measures. One product is then named the winner of each category, based on the results of the consumer survey.

The top winners of the 2017 Product of the Year Award for the home are:

- Home Care: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
- Bathroom Cleaner: Lysol Power & Fresh 6 Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Bath Tissue: Charmin Essentials Soft
- Liquid Laundry: Tide PurClean
- Laundry Pacs: Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defense
- Fabric Conditioner: Snuggle PLUS SuperFresh Dryer Sheets
- Laundry Booster: Downy Fresh Protect with Febreze Odor Defense
- Air Care: Air Wick Bloom Scented Oil Warmer

For additional information about the 2017 Product of the Year winners, visit productoftheyearusa.com and follow #POYUSA2017.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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