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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My Blog

Is Home Flipping for You?

April 5, 2017 12:39 am

While you may think that home flipping went the way of the dinosaurs after the real estate bust, flips actually rose 3.1 percent from 2015 to 2016, with gross profits averaging $62,624, according to research from ATTOM Data Solutions.

Home flipping enjoyed a boost last year thanks to low inventory in many areas of the country and an infusion of foreign and domestic capital, says ATTOM, who reported that roughly 6 percent of condo and single-family home sales in 2016 were flips - the highest share in three years.

Hot markets in California - like San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco - along with cities such as Baltimore, Md., Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y. and Seattle, Wash. earned more than $100,000 in profits. The most flipping took place Florida and Tennessee, where it comprised 11.7 percent of all sales in Memphis, Tenn.

Are you ready to get into the flipping game? Consider these pros and cons from The Balance:

Pro: Home flipping can be very lucrative, earning you a sizable sum of money within a very short period of time

Con: Conversely, when a flip becomes a “flop,” you can lose money. This can happen when unexpected expenses for home repairs or taxes arise, or when holding costs accrue from paying the mortgage and other expenses for a longer than anticipated period of time.

Pro: Home flipping is a great learning experience and will sharpen your skills on all things real estate, including construction, related finances and the local market.

Con: The process can be very stressful. There will be bumps along the way and there is always a risk involved, so make sure you’re ready for the roller coaster ride.

If you’d like more detailed real estate information about your market, please contact me.

Source: ATTOM Data Solutions

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How to Tackle the 5 Peskiest Carpet Stains

April 5, 2017 12:39 am

Most homeowners know what it’s like to find ketchup or nail polish on your favorite carpet. The following quick tips from Rainbow International can help save your area rug or wall-to-wall carpet from the peskiest stain culprits.

Gum: The most crucial ingredient when removing gum from carpets is patience. Scrape away as much of the gum as possible, using a dull object like a spoon, and apply a dry-cleaning solvent such as Goof Off. After allowing time for the solvent to soften the gym, use a white cotton cloth to pull or wipe away the gum from the carpet and repeat this process until the gum is completely removed.

Ketchup: If there are large amounts of ketchup (whether fresh or dried-on), remove it by scraping lightly with a spoon, and use a white cotton towel to blot any residual ketchup. Next, mix a solution of one teaspoon dishwashing detergent and one cup of water, and apply the mixture to the stained area. Starting at the outer edge and working inward, work the solution into the stain and rinse by dabbing with water. If the stain remains, you can attempt to remove it with a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution, but be sure to first test it in an inconspicuous part of the carpet to ensure it's safe to use.

Nail Polish: Whatever you do, don't rub the stain, as rubbing will not only cause the stain to be driven further into the carpet, but it could also cause damage to the carpet's fibers. Wipe or blot the stain from the outside in using a non-acetone nail polish. If the stain remains, you'll need to call a cleaning professional.

Lipstick: Start by removing any excess lipstick by lightly scraping it with a dull object. Then, working from the outer edges of the stain and moving toward the center, apply a dry solvent to the stain, blotting with a white cotton towel. This may take multiple attempts but the dry solvent should do the trick. Once the stain is removed, rinse by dabbing the area with a dampened cloth and blot with a dry cloth to remove as much moisture as possible. To speed up the drying process, you can use an electric fan.

Crayon: First, as with most of the previously mentioned stains, scrape away residual crayon with a dull object, and then cover the remaining crayon mark with a white paper towel. Next, heat the area with a blow dryer, which should melt the crayon and help it absorb into the paper towel.

Source: www.rainbowintl.com 

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10 Tips to Minimize Driving Distractions for Your Business

April 5, 2017 12:39 am

When you’re on the road, nothing inhibits your safety—and the safety of others—like distractions, especially from cell phone usage. According to CNA, using the phone while driving is akin to driving while intoxicated, and puts the driver and others at risk of injury - or even death. However, if you have a business with company-owned vehicles, it’s even more vital to drill auto safety into the forefront of your mind.

CNA recommends these 10 tips can help businesses minimize auto distractions:

- Issue a written policy on avoiding all distractions and cell phone use while driving for the company.

- Prohibit the use of cell phones when operating any vehicle on company business.

- Use cell-blocking technology for cell phones in company-owned vehicles.

- Require drivers to be legally parked if they want to use a cell phone from their vehicles.

- Implement a discipline program for violation of in-vehicle behavior and cell phone policies.

- Allow voicemail to handle calls.

- Allow a passenger in the vehicle to handle calls.

- Notify callers via voicemail if a driver is unavailable or behind the wheel and that the driver will return calls when it is safe.

- Have drivers inform regular callers of their driving schedules and when they will be able to talk.

- Tell drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes and mind on the road.

Source:  www.cna.com

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Tips From ‘the Cheapskate Next Door

April 4, 2017 12:39 am

Author Jeff Yeager met with hundreds of self-described skinflints for his bestselling book, “The Cheapskate Nest Door: Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means.”

He recently shared with Kiplinger Magazine editors the tips and incentives that motivate serious money savers:

They are not misers. While they are careful about how they spend money, they do not spend their waking hours thinking up ways to save a nickel. Some are motivated by religious or environmental concerns and others simply see no reason to live any other way but frugally.

They run the gamut of lifestyles. Some are millionaires and some have such limited income that they could qualify for public assistance if they chose to. The commonality is that they spend less than they make and they determine to live debt-free. Only five percent of those surveyed had any consumer debt other than a mortgage, and among those who had a mortgage, 85 percent said they were working to pay it off early.

They splurge selectively. They make certain they really want something before they buy it. When they do splurge, it is more likely to be on an activity rather than on a possession – not surprising, since social science points out that possessions often disappoint over time, while experiences, such as sports or vacations, appreciate in value in our memories.

They offer some practical advice. They typically stay away from yard sales because you tend to buy stuff you didn’t set out to buy. They like thrift stores, which they see as department stores full of perfectly good used merchandise. They barter or negotiate to save on goods and services – and they’re generally tuned in to worthwhile cyber tips for saving money, checking websites like freecycle.org for freebie giveaways and accidentalwine.com for good wines discounted simply because the label is damaged.

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New Study Tells You Where to Retire

April 4, 2017 12:39 am

Whether you’re thinking of retiring next year or within the next two decades, it never hurts to brush up on retirement trends, especially if you plan to relocate. A recent Bankrate study on retirement locations noted that half of non-retired U.S. adults would move to a different city or state when they retire. The percentage is greatest among millennials (58 percent) and falls to 46 percent of Gen Xers, 37 percent of Baby Boomers and 12 percent of the Silent Generation.

The report examined eight key factors which were weighted in line with a nationally representative survey of non-retired U.S. Adults. The categories of focus were: cost of living, healthcare quality, crime, cultural vitality, weather, taxes, senior citizens’ well-being and the prevalence of other seniors.

The results may surprise you; Florida—long considered a retirement hot spot—didn’t even make the top five. According to the report, New Hampshire is the best state to retire, with Colorado, Maine, Iowa and Minnesota following suit.

Florida came in 17th. Although it has the nation’s highest percentage of residents age 65 and older, it surprisingly didn’t score high in any other area.

Source: Bankrate.com

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Getting Ready to Rent? Buying Might be a Smarter Choice

April 4, 2017 12:39 am

Between down payments and closing costs, buying a home is a big financial commitment that may seem out of reach for those who ultimately choose to rent instead. However, in today’s market environment of rising rents, the difference in cost between renting and owning is actually narrowing, making this a favorable time to buy a home in most U.S. cities.

According to a recent national index from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty, the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, 15 of the 23 cities covered are solidly in buy territory, while another five are only marginally in rent territory.

Want to know if buying is a better than renting for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

How stable is my employment situation? Lenders will take the length of time you’ve spent at your current job into consideration, so if you’ve jumped around a lot or just started a new position, that may work against you.

Are you ready to settle down for awhile? Buying a home is an excellent long-term investment, not usually a quick flip. So if you’re still testing out different cities or interested in seeing the world, renting may be a better option.

What shape is your credit in? Your credit score weighs heavily in securing a favorable mortgage loan. If yours is not in the best shape, it may be better to rent while you work at building a better credit profile.

What’s your true financial picture? While your salary may seem more than sufficient to make your projected mortgage payments, keep in mind that homeownership involves many different costs, from property taxes to repairs. So run the numbers carefully before deciding to buy.

The best way to decide whether to rent or buy is to consult a real estate professional in your area. If you’d like more real estate information, please contact me.

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You Can Still Save for Spring Break 2017

April 3, 2017 6:39 am

If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, you’re not alone. Hotwire recently announced the top five last-minute spring break travel destinations, and some ways you can save big with your late purchase.  

Where should you go?

Well-known for tequila and mariachi music, Guadalajara, Mexico is perfect for Spring Break travel and prices are 15 percent lower than last year. You can grab a 4-star hotel for $56 a night.

You can never go wrong with a little sunshine. Phoenix, Ariz. has 15 percent savings relative to last year, and 3-star rooms for less than $100 a night.  

Looking for sand and margaritas? Head down to San Jose del Cabo for 10 percent savings compared to 2016. Book a 3.5 star room for $166 a night.

Head to Boston, Mass. for a family-friendly trip and enjoy 10 percent savings relative to last year. Grab a 3.5-star hotel starting as low as $153.

Book a trip to Colorado Springs and see some of the most beautiful iconic red-sandstone formations in the world. With 10 percent savings relative to last year and 3.5 rooms starting at $66, it's a great place for the whole family.

So now you know where to go. But how can you save?

Buying in bundle can help you save significantly. If you buy your plane ticket first, you can unlock even better car and hotel deals.

Traveling during off-peak days and times usually will lend you the best savings. Instead of leaving on Friday, travel Saturday to Monday. Sunday nights are usually the least expensive nights for hotel stays and everything is less crowded.

If you're flying, try to schedule an early morning flight or book the redeye for the best savings.

Source: Hotwire

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Lifestyle Tips for Those with Diabetes

April 3, 2017 6:39 am

For those with diabetes, every day can be a bit more complicated. Recently, USA Medical released some healthy lifestyle habits for people living with diabetes.

"If you, like more and more people, have been diagnosed with diabetes, it's important to arm yourself with ways you can better manage the disease,” says Jordan Sessler, Co-Founder and President of USA Medical.

Maintain a diet of whole grains, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.  Dairy should be nonfat and meats should be lean.  Limit high fat and high sugar foods.  Don't overeat.

Keep an active lifestyle to help bring down blood sugar and lower chances of getting heart disease.  Exercise will also help ease stress and shed excess weight.   Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily cardiovascular activity.

Stop smoking. Combined with diabetes, smoking raises the chances of health problems such as eye disease, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and nerve damage.  Smoking can also make exercise more difficult.

Consume alcohol moderately because excessive amounts will negatively impact blood sugar.  According to The American Diabetes Association, women should not have more than one drink a day while men should not consume more than two.  Those who take diabetes drugs or use insulin should have food when drinking.

SOURCE: USA Medical

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3 Tips to Clean up Your Workspace

April 3, 2017 6:39 am

Navigating the work day can be stressful enough. But when you’re trying to work in a messy workspace, it can be even more stressful, not only for you but for those working around you.

More than half of senior managers (54 percent) interviewed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization. Interestingly, one in 10 respondents acknowledged a desk that's too clean or bare raises a red flag.

OfficeTeam offers three tips for creating a workspace that leaves a good impression:

Clean up your act. Spend a few minutes every day clearing out old documents, food wrappers and dirty dishes. Reduce clutter by organizing files or going paperless.

Keep it simple. It's OK to have a few things in your workspace that are inspiring or fun to look at, but covering your desk with too many knickknacks can be an eyesore.   

Don't be offensive. Remember, items in your work area aren't always for your eyes only. Ditch the political posters, risqué photos and anything that might be too controversial.

Source: www.officeteam.com

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How to Have a Healthier Smile

March 31, 2017 12:36 am

You take care of your body by staying active and maintaining a balanced diet – but do you ever give a thought to the health of your teeth? Read the following tips, courtesy of dentalplans.com, for a healthier smile.

Be gentle. Brushing teeth roughly can weaken enamel, causing cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Use a soft brush, and take it easy.

Brush Properly. Hold the brush is at a 45° angle against the gum line and sweep the brush up and away from your gums.

Floss. From dental hygienists and dentists to the Department of Health and Human Services to the American Dental Association have, for decades, recommended daily flossing to keep mouths and teeth healthy. But a recent report from the Associated Press (AP) indicated that there may be no medical benefits associated with flossing. Regardless, removing food debris and bacteria caught between one's teeth is helpful and recommended until truly proven ineffective.

Go to the dentist. Removing tartar is not something that can be done at home, without risking the chance of causing dental damage. Dental hygienists are trained to remove tartar that causes decay and gum infections safely.

Do not wait. People tend to pay out of pocket as dental problems arise, waiting until a costly dental crisis occurs before purchasing a plan. And, dental insurance imposes waiting periods, sometimes of six months to a year, before coverage for expensive dental treatments kicks in. Dental savings plans, an alternative to traditional dental insurance, make dental care more affordable, saving members 10 percent - 60 percent on most dental care procedures.

Source: dentalplans.com

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