RE/MAX 440
Patty Jo Anzivine
pattyjovine@gmail.com
Patty Jo Anzivine
4550 W. Tilghman Street
Allentown  PA 18104
PH: 610-390-0415
O: 610-398-8111
F: 267-354-6902 
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6 Plumbing Tips for Turkey Day

November 26, 2015 2:45 am

The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest of the year for many plumbers. Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen drain and garbage disposal. Also, holiday house guests who require additional clothes washing, showers and toilet flushes put a strain on household plumbing.

"Often, the case is that a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed, until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system," said Paul Abrams, Roto-Rooter representative. Hectic houses full of people and frantic hosts quickly and easily lead to plumbing problems throughout the holiday season. "Even more problematic is that virtually every traditional Thanksgiving dish is a supreme drain clog culprit," Abrams continued.

Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend by following these clog-preventing tips:

• Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash.

• Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit & potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.

• Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don't wait until it's full to turn it on.

• For homes hosting weekend guests, it's a good idea to wait ten minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.

• Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or wet wipes down a toilet. They don't dissolve and will cause clogs.

• Try to address any plumbing problems before the holiday and before guests arrive. However, in holiday emergencies, don't hesitate to ask up front about extra holiday service fees. As always, know your DIY limits. Often, minor plumbing problems turn into plumbing catastrophes if not handled properly.

Source: Roto-Rooter

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Safely Prepare a Thanksgiving Meal

November 26, 2015 2:45 am

(Family Features) One of the most memorable moments at any holiday dinner is when the turkey is brought to the table. Make sure your holiday meal is a special one by following these simple tips for preparing your turkey safely.

• Don’t unwrap a frozen turkey before thawing.

• Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours per 5 pounds in weight. For example, a 20-pound bird takes four days to thaw. Thaw it faster by covering with cold water in the sink and changing the water every half hour per pound of turkey.

• Refrigerate the turkey as soon as it has thawed or cook it immediately.

• Lay a tent of foil loosely over the turkey to prevent over-browning.

• Never partially cook a turkey. Always cook it completely once started.

• The turkey is done when the meat thermometer is 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the stuffing is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a meat thermometer, look for the red stem to go up on the pop-up timer. Press a thumb and forefinger into the thick part of the drumstick to see if it feels soft or wiggle a drumstick to see if it moves easily.

• For easier carving, let the turkey stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Source: Rhodes Bake-N-Serv

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Solutions for One-Room Living

November 25, 2015 2:45 am

(BPT)—The desire for small-space living—even one-room living—seems more attractive than ever. But whether you're ready to join the tiny house movement or just want to get the most out of a compact space in your home, there are simple steps you can take to make a small space look, feel and function like a larger one.

"There's no need to sacrifice great design if you live in a small space,” says Jackie Jordan, director of Color Marketing with Sherwin-Williams. “A few simple changes are all you need to make it feel bigger, more beautiful and a reflection of your personality.”

Jordan’s recommendations include:

Overhead and Underfoot – Consider using every conceivable space to please the eye—even the ceiling. "I love the idea of reflecting the shape of your dining room table with a bold accent color on the ceiling above it," says Jordan. Another idea: define a space at the floor level with an area rug beneath a couch and side table.

Lofty Ambitions – Consider creating a sleeping loft. It's not only cozy, but leaves extra living space below. A Murphy bed that folds up discretely into the wall is another space saver.

Focal Point – Find a focal point. It can make a space feel larger. Try painting a corner, such as a reading nook, in a bright, bold color for a mini-room effect. Or paint a piece of furniture or picture frame and elevate it to something special.

Creative Cabinetry – Take advantage of cabinetry with built-in storage features, from pullout racks that create added pantry space, to bathroom cabinets equipped with laundry hampers, hairdryer hooks and bins for grooming items.

Multitasking Solutions – If you're always multitasking, your furniture can do the same. Place an ottoman with a hidden storage compartment or flip-top serving tray beside a comfy chair. Move a twin bed next to the wall and add big patterned pillows to create seating space by day, and sleeping space by night. The pillows can also provide extra floor seating for entertaining.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The List: Black Friday Sale Predictions

November 25, 2015 2:45 am

Black Friday sales may have expanded to include early bird specials and Cyber Monday deals, but most shoppers still expect the deepest discounts on Black Friday itself. And according to a recent report by FatWallet.com, this year’s Black Friday day sales will not disappoint. Among their list of predictions and price points:

Under $100

• 40-inch LED TVs
• Laptop “doorbuster” deals
• Amazon Fire HD 7
• Beats Solo 2
• T-Mobile family plans (per month)

Under $200

• 50-inch LED TVs
• Touchscreen laptops
• Wii U bundles

Under $300

• 50-inch 4K TVs
• 2-in-1 hybrid laptops
• Xbox One bundles

Under $400

• 60-inch LED TVs
• PS4 bundles
 
Source: FatWallet 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Think the Meal Is the Best Part about Thanksgiving? Think Again

November 25, 2015 2:45 am

What do you love most about Thanksgiving? If your answer is “the food,” you’re in line with the majority of respondents (nearly 80 percent) to a recent Harris Poll, who peg leftovers as their favorite part of the holiday. This might also explain why just over 70 percent of respondents would rather cook Thanksgiving dinner than go out to a restaurant, according to results from the poll.

And when it comes to what’s on the table, the turkey rules the roost. Almost 40 percent of respondents to the poll look forward to turkey the most, followed by stuffing (23 percent), pumpkin pie (12 percent), mashed potatoes (9 percent), sweet potatoes (6 percent) and cranberry sauce (3 percent).
 
But although the turkey remains a Thanksgiving staple, its preparation may vary. According to the poll, 52 percent of respondents show an interest in grilling turkey, and 49 percent show an interest in deep-frying. Nearly 30 percent are interested in trying a turducken—a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey—this year.

Source: The Harris Poll®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Installing a Standby Generator? 5 Questions to Ask

November 24, 2015 2:45 am

Standby generators, backup electrical systems that automatically operate after a power outage, can aid homeowners tremendously in the wake of a severe storm. Considering installing a standby generator in your home? Consult a professional dealer first—and ask them these five questions before purchasing—say the experts at Briggs & Stratton.

1. What size generator is right for my home?
The best generator size for a home depends on what the homeowner is hoping to power when the utility power is knocked offline. Generator sizing calculators, like the one at www.powernow.com, can help give homeowners an idea of the best size for their home before meeting with the installer.

2. Where should the standby generator be installed?
A homeowner's dealer will help determine where on the property the generator's placement will be, and whether any custom installation work will need to be done. That could include burying wires underground or adding a concrete pad on which the standby generator will be installed.

3. What installation and permit requirements does the home need prior to installation?
To start the home generator installation process, your local dealer will conduct an on-site visit to determine your home's specific installation needs and what local permits are needed before starting.

4. What kind of fuel do standby generators run on?
The dealer will also discuss which fuel option—natural gas or liquid propane—is available and will work best for your home's generator system. In almost all instances, the generator will use the fuel option that is already being used in the home.

5. What financing options are available?
Financing deals like zero monthly interest or low APR and fixed monthly payments are available through the dealer from the manufacturer. This gives homeowners immediate access to backup power without needing to save to make a larger one-time payment. The installer will know the latest financing options available for the unit being purchased.

Source: Briggs & Stratton

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6 Safety Tips to Remember This Thanksgiving

November 24, 2015 2:45 am

Whether your home is playing host on Thanksgiving or you’re gathering elsewhere with family and friends, safety hazards do exist. The most common risk? Fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In fact, three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than on a typical day.

“A combination of factors collectively increases the risk of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “People are often preparing multiple dishes with lots of guests and other distractions, which can make it all too easy to forget what’s on the stove. That’s when cooking mishaps are most likely to occur. A little added awareness about potential fire hazards and taking a few basic precautions in the kitchen can go a long way toward keeping your Thanksgiving fire-free.”

Those precautions include the following:

1. Remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking, and keep a close eye on what you fry! Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that’s simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

2. Keep items that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area.

3. Be alert when cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

4. Double up on disposable aluminum pans if using to cook a turkey. This will help avoid puncture and dripping liquid, which can cause an oven fire.

5. Avoid using a turkey fryer. The use of turkey fryers can potentially lead to devastating burns and other injuries and the destruction of property due to the large amount (and high temperature) of oil used. If you prefer a fried turkey, look for grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep-fried turkeys.

6. If necessary, smother small fires with a lid. If you have a small (grease) cooking fire on the stovetop and decide to fight the fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Source: NFPA

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Mortgage Delinquency Rate Falling

November 24, 2015 2:45 am

The mortgage delinquency rate, or the rate of borrowers 60 days or more delinquent on their mortgages, is sliding downward as housing continues to move toward a more balanced market, according to a recent TransUnion Industry Insights Report. In fact, the mortgage delinquency rate has declined nearly 30 percent in the last year alone, and 65 percent from its 2010 peak.

“The decline in serious mortgage delinquencies is continuing and even ramping up, with steadily increasing absolute drops over the last year,” says Joe Mellman, vice president and head of TransUnion’s mortgage group. “We believe this is due to a combination of factors, including strong performance by recent vintage mortgage loans, improving home prices and the continued funneling of delinquent accounts through the foreclosure process.”

According to the report, the rate is dropping across all age groups, with millennials and those aged 60 and older at least risk for delinquency, and every state across the board is experiencing yearly declines.

“This is now the third straight quarter where we’ve not only seen year-over-year mortgage origination growth, but also significant increases in the higher risk populations of near prime and subprime—hinting at a loosening of credit and/or a change in the mix of borrowers seeking mortgages,” adds Mellman.

Source: TransUnion

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tips to Steer Clear of Pothole Damage

November 23, 2015 2:45 am

Over the last five years, half of car owners experienced damage to their vehicles as a result of potholes – and poor road conditions have cost the insurance industry and consumers at least $27 billion over the same period, according to a recent survey by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and Trusted Choice®.

To help motorists avoid costly pothole damage this winter and beyond, the organizations recommend:

• Keeping an eye on traffic patterns. A number of cars that slow down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.

• Avoiding the urge to swerve out of the way of a pothole at the last minute. You may swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Risking damage to your car is wiser than risking the loss of your life or that of another person.

• Pulling over as soon as it is safe if you hit one. If you notice damage, record details and specific damage—just as you would in the event of a collision with another motorist—in case you need to file an insurance claim.

• Reporting potholes to your state or local transportation department. Some states and localities have pothole hotlines.

Motorists who think their state or local government will pay for damage to their cars may be out of luck. Laws in this area vary by jurisdiction and, even where such remedies are available, conditions may apply, such as a requirement that the jurisdiction had notice of the pothole.

Source: IIABA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Credit Scores Nationwide Make the Grade

November 23, 2015 2:45 am

Confidence abounds nationwide as the country moves toward a more balanced economy, with the overall national credit score registering higher in the last year, according to the Experian® State of Credit study.

“If I were to give a grade to the overall picture of credit in the United States, I would give it an A minus,” says Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and new business development at Experian. “I’m optimistic about the state of credit as we are seeing more loans being extended, late payments are decreasing and consumers are continuing to gain more confidence in originating loans. There definitely is growth and momentum—we’re back to prerecession levels in nearly every category, which means lenders are in a prime position to capitalize on this market and foster business growth.”

Per the study, the national VantageScore® credit score moved up by three points in the last year, from 666 to 669. Instances of late payments, including bank card and retail, decreased by 4.4 percent in the last year and 17.3 percent since the height of the recession in 2010. Average debt is up 2.1 percent to $29,093 per consumer.

“Knowing where you stand from a credit perspective is critical to improving or maintaining your financial well-being. Everyone should understand the value of having positive credit references,” says Rod Griffin, Experian’s director of public education. “Reports like this one provide an avenue to build awareness and help consumers across the nation think about how they can make positive changes in how they manage credit.”

Source: Experian

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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