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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The Fastest Growing, Top Paying Temp Jobs

August 11, 2014 4:21 am

What are the fastest growing and best paying temp jobs? From manufacturing and transportation to business and healthcare services, companies all over the country are in high demand for temporary employees across various industries and job-types.

According to an annual forecast by Careerbuilder, 42 percent of private sector employers plan to hire contract or temporary workers in 2014; that's up 36 percent from last year alone. Of these companies, 42 percent plan to offer some of their temporary workers permanent, full-time work.

The following list is comprised of occupations in the temporary help services industry that are projected to grow by at least three times the projected rate of all job growth, have more than 20,000 projected temporary workers employed by year end, and pay more than $16 per hour:
  • Registered Nurses (59,632)
  • Human Resources Specialists (58,016 jobs available)
  • Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses (37,895)
  • Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks (26,154)
  • Maintenance and Repair Workers (26,021)
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers (24,276)
  • Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (21,264)
  • Machinists (20,277)
  • Sales Representatives, Services (19,861)
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. 2013.4 Class of Worker Dataset; Temporary Help Services Industry

Many of these fast growing opportunities not only offer higher wages, but also substantial career growth. Due to the tight labor market and hard-to-fill positions, many HR departments are outsourcing temporary staffing companies to fill these positions for them.

Source: Link Staffing Services

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Smartphone Technology Makes Homes Smart, Too

August 11, 2014 4:21 am

(Family Features) With apps that offer comfort, convenience and security, homeowners are getting more out of their smartphones to make their homes better, smarter places to live. Smart home apps link various home devices together to bring peace of mind, control and energy savings to homeowners.

These handheld, portable gadgets allow users to do everything from setting the thermostat to a comfy temperature to ensuring the garage door is closed. The best part is all of these helpful functions can be performed away from home, so homeowners can monitor their most valuable investment — even while out of town.

Here is a guide to new technologies that make homes smarter than ever before:

Make temperatures just right – Imagine coming home from a trip to learn your town is experiencing extreme weather conditions. There’s no need to worry about how hot or cold your home will be. Special apps allow you to control the temperature settings on the thermostat from your smartphone or tablet, so your home’s temperature will be just the way you like it when you arrive. These capabilities are also eco-friendly, allowing users to regulate the temperature while the home is unoccupied, which can mean big savings on energy bills.

Let a little sunlight in – Until recently, motorized window shades were a luxury only the rich and famous could enjoy — that is until smartphone technology came into play. With the touch of a finger, homeowners can now adjust their curtains and the natural light streaming into their rooms with one of several applications. These special systems even allow you to set a schedule for opening your shades, so you can wake up to natural light every morning.

Program favorites with ease – Have you ever misplaced your television’s remote control? Do you have a hard time remembering to record your favorite television programs before leaving the house? Both of these problems can be solved with your phone. By downloading an app to connect to your smart TV, you can instantly turn your phone into a remote control. This allows you to schedule your favorite show and film recordings from anywhere.

Save time in the kitchen and beyond
– Standard kitchen appliances are getting a technological upgrade. Cooks can now save time with apps that allow them to preheat, monitor food as it cooks and turn off the oven all from their phone. Many other appliances, such as washers and dryers, are also on board with connectivity. New apps allow homeowners to check laundry cycles and receive alerts when their clothes are clean and dry.

Keeping an eye on things
– Frequent travelers and businesspeople will love the remote monitoring capabilities available from various home security providers. With a few taps on your device, you can monitor your home from any location. This can even mean checking on Fido while out running errands.

Flip the switch
– When traveling, many people leave lights on inside their homes to deter thieves. Some smart apps allow you to control various lighting sources within your home through your smartphone or tablet. Now you won’t have to beg your neighbor to house sit while you’re away. Do you have a forgetful family member who always leaves on the lights? Save energy and money with the ability to turn off those lights from anywhere.

Source: Chamberlain

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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New Kitchen Floor Choices: Is One Right for You?

August 11, 2014 4:21 am

The kitchen floor, besides being practical, has become a major design statement—with a bigger choice of colors, styles and textures available today than ever before.

“You need to consider practicality first,” said Home and Garden TV’s Katie Allison Granju. “How much time do you spend in the kitchen? What’s most important to you?”

Granju offers a brief description of the newest flooring options to help you make the right decision:

Porcelain tile
—Porcelain tile is very durable, and is available in a wide range of colors, designs and prices. It is tough enough not to chip, crack or discolor under most circumstances – and more affordable than natural stone. Limestone, slate and travertine lend character to the room, but they are absorbent enough to stain to an extent and they tend to scratch more easily than porcelain.

Wood—Wood flooring is making a major comeback. Wood adds charm and comfort to the kitchen and is easily continued into adjacent rooms. Properly installed and maintained, wood floors are durable and easy to clean – especially if factory pre-treated with a polyurethane sealer, which eliminates the need for anything more than regular sweeping or mopping.

Cork—Soft, comfortable, and remarkably resistant, a cork floor “remembers” its shape, preventing furniture dents and scuffs. Dropped dishes and glasses probably won’t break on a cork floor – a bonus if you have small children – and cork is extremely water-resistant.

Brick—Brick flooring pavers come in many colors and textures, and they can be laid in interesting patterns. Like tile, they require some grout maintenance, but they are practically indestructible and offer a homey look reminiscent of the vintage farmhouse kitchen.

Rubber—Today’s manufacture rubber flooring is environmentally friendly, often made from recycled tires, and offers a dazzling array of colors. They are durable, easy to clean, and easily withstand busy kitchen traffic while offering busy cooks an easy-on-the-feet surface.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Give Your Home an Annual Checkup

August 8, 2014 3:45 am

(BPT) - There's no better time than now to give your home the attention it deserves. Give your windows and doors an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.

Inspect interior and exterior finishes. Over time, paint and stain can weather away. Flaking or peeling may mean that it's time to refinish or replace the unit. When replacing windows or doors, consider factory prefinished wood, fiberglass or vinyl options that don't need painting or staining.

Look for damaged exterior surfaces or signs of leaks.
Check your sprinkler system to make sure it's watering your lawn and landscape, not soaking your windows or doors. Cracked or deteriorated wood may be a sign of water penetration. Leaks can linger and affect interior walls, floors or ceilings, so look closely for discoloration or other moisture signs.

If you spot a problem, track its trail. For example, discolored trim around a window might actually be caused by moisture entering a ways away. With a leaky roof, water may run down inside the wall and appear at the window. Contact a professional for help in making home repairs.

Clear windowsills and tracks of dirt and debris. Sand, leaves, insects or pine needles stuck in weather-stripping can affect the performance of your windows and doors. Open the windows and clean the opening with a soft brush, like a dry paint brush or vacuum attachment. Do the same for sliding patio doors.

Try opening and closing.
Open your windows and doors to make sure moving parts work, and units close properly. Replace worn or broken parts.

Inspect weather-stripping.
Re-attach loose weather-stripping around windows or doors, and replace material that's ripped or torn.

Replace or repair broken locks. If locks feel loose or don't work smoothly, replace them. Keep windows and doors locked when not in use. Locks help hold doors and windows tightly, to lock out rain, wind, snow and insects.

Inspect weep and breather holes.
Weep holes on the exteriors of windows allow excess moisture to escape, while breather holes allow air exchange within certain components. Clear blocked holes of dirt or debris with a wire or toothpick.

Check exterior sealants and caulk on and around windows and doors. Pay attention to areas susceptible to rain, water and extreme sunlight. Remove damaged material and reapply sealant.

Feel for signs of air leakage around the window or door. Improperly installed windows or doors can be drafty, decrease energy efficiency, and allow unwanted moisture into your home. To help save on utility bills and keep your home more comfortable year-round, replace drafty old, leaky windows with new, ENERGYSTAR-qualified versions.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Five Questions to Ask before Buying a Tablet

August 8, 2014 3:45 am

Whether you need a tablet for business or pleasure, buying one requires some leg work. With so many varieties available, it’s important to invest in a model that meets your needs and budget. Before buying a tablet, prepare by asking yourself these five questions.

What’s my budget?
First, decide whether to stick to a budget or splurge on a higher-end version. Some tablets are more expensive because they come loaded with features you may not need, or add-ons like a stylus or office software. Think about how you’ll purpose your tablet before spending too much on a product you won’t use.

Which operating system is right for me?
There are three operating systems available on tablets: Apple’s iOS, Android or Windows. If you already have a desktop or laptop with one system, it may be a no-brainer to keep things consistent. By using the same system across multiple devices, you can use all of the same apps and sync your documents and photos seamlessly.

What size do I need?

Many tablets come with pint-sized alternatives, such as the iPad and iPad Air or iPad Mini. Most tablet users opt for 7- to 9-inch screens, but it’s important to choose the correct size for your viewing pleasure. If you plan to use the tablet to take photos, for example, you might buy one with a smaller screen. On the other hand, if you’re using it to enjoy books or magazines, you may want to get one that’s large enough for reading.

How will I connect to the Internet?
Depending on your needs, you can purchase a tablet that is Wi-Fi only or one that is 4G-enabled. 4G capabilities cost more, but might be an option for those who need Internet access on the go. With a Wi-Fi version, you won’t have to pay a 4G bill every month.

Will I need a keyboard?

If you plan to use your tablet to type, you may want one that connects easily to a keyboard stand. Some tablets are actually detachable parts of a laptop whole, while others have keyboards as an added expense. Whichever you choose, take time to factor that, as well as protective cases and accessories, into your budget.

Source: Consumer Reports

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Know Your Rights: Mortgage Servicing Deadlines

August 8, 2014 3:45 am

The first step on the path to homeownership is deciding which mortgage company to work with. With so many lenders and loan options, it’s important to research each contender thoroughly before borrowing.

Consider selecting a lender that abides by these deadlines:

1. The lender credits on time. The lender must credit the payment the day it is received. In addition, make sure you are set up with periodic billing statements that indicate not only the payment due, but the balance on your loan and the escrow balance.

2. The lender contacts you on time. If you default on your mortgage, the lender is required to contact you no more than 36 days after the missed payment. They must also provide you with loss mitigation options in writing by the 45th day of delinquency.

3. The lender evaluates on time. Your modification application must be reviewed within 30 days. If the application is incomplete, the lender must inform and advise as to the best course of action.

4. The lender processes on time. If your home faces foreclosure, the lender cannot begin or complete that process during a loss evaluation (unless you’ve submitted an application 37 days prior to the scheduled foreclosure.)

5. The lender informs on time. If your lender thinks you did not keep your homeowners insurance, the lender must send you two notices before charging for force-placed insurance. If you send evidence to the contrary, your lender must cancel the insurance within 15 days of receiving it.

Source: Bankrate

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Relocating for Work? Small Communities Offer Big Opportunities

August 7, 2014 3:33 am

Folks looking to relocate to hot job markets may think they have to aim for major metropolitan areas with their higher than average housing markets. But the latest survey I reviewed from the U.S. Census bureau may be surprising.

It was oil- and gas-rich areas in and near the Great Plains that boasted many of the fastest-growing communities in the U.S. last year, with areas along and near the Gulf Coast also featuring several high-growth communities. In fact, all of the 10 fastest-growing micro areas between 2012 and 2013 were west of the Mississippi River.

The Census Bureau survey shows that of the nation's 10 fastest-growing metropolitan markets during the year ending July 1, 2013, six were within or near the Great Plains, including Austin-Round Rock, Odessa, and Midland, Texas; Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota; and Casper, Wyoming.

The nation's other fastest-growing metro areas between 2012 and 2013 were The Villages, Florida, whose population rose by 5.2 percent in that brief period. The Gulf Coast metro areas of Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala., and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., also made the top 10 list.

U.S. metro areas with populations of 1 million or more in 2012 grew 1.0 percent, compared with 0.5 percent for those with populations of less than 250,000. While the bureau survey says the 1,335 counties not inside either a metro area or micro area had a collective population decline of 35,674 between 2012 and 2013, with more than six in 10 of these counties losing population.

The nation's metro areas contained 269.9 million people in 2013, up about 2.3 million from 2012.

New York continued to be the most populous metro area, with 19.9 million residents on July 1, 2013, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. While Houston had the largest numeric increase between 2012 and 2013, gaining about 138,000 people.

Conversely, the Census Bureau survey says its "Micropolitan Top 10" are Williston, N.D., (first in growth at 10.7 percent), followed by Dickinson, N.D.; Andrews, Texas; Minot, N.D.; and two areas in western Oklahoma (Weatherford and Woodward) along with Hobbs, New Mexico.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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8 Ways to Update Your Living Room without Spending a Lot of Cash

August 7, 2014 3:33 am

If you’re tired of looking at the same old living space, but can’t afford new furniture, California room designer Erin Pedersen suggests eight ways to give your living room new life without spending a lot of money:

Rearrange it
– Simply repositioning the furniture can make a huge difference. Cut out paper pieces to scale and waltz them around a sheet of paper cut to match your room until you find a new arrangement that works.

Paint it – A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to change the look of a room, especially if you contrast your chosen wall color against white baseboards and woodwork.

Add a rug – Whether your floors are wood or carpeted, an inexpensive area rug can liven up a space with little cost or effort.

Swap out artwork and accessories
– Changing out a few of the knick knacks in the room – and/or the prints hanging on the walls – can breathe new life into the space. Accessories are among the least expensive pieces in a room, so start over when you tire of them.

Make it seasonal
– Speaking of accessories, set a bowl of seashells on the mantelpiece in summer, and accessorize with beach or pastel pieces. In winter, switch to baskets of pine cones and candles in autumn’s deeper hues..

Throw in the pillows – Adding splashes of color is another great way to liven up a room. Comb the home store for pillow colors you want to live with.

Light it up
– If you have an overhead fixture, think about replacing it with something more contemporary. If you’re happy with the fixture, help bounce light around the room with a couple of new table lamps or wall sconces.

Paper it
– Wallpaper, out of fashion over the past few years, is now making something of a comeback. Try papering one wall for accent. Try one of the new repositional papers you can peel off and toss if you tire of it.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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3 Tips for Choosing an Assisted-Living Home for Your Parent

August 7, 2014 3:33 am

Seventy percent of people age 65 and older will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to a 2014 study by CareScout, a division of Genworth Financial Services.

“But that doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice their quality of life,” says Peder Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living, www.concordisseniorliving.com, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.

“In fact, a person who needs some assistance with day-to-day living will often find he or she is much happier in a good assisted-living community with an atmosphere that reminds them of their former home.”

And it doesn’t have to be outrageously priced, notes Johnsen, a third-generation ALF operator whose family pioneered the contemporary congregate community model.

The median price for a private, one-bed home in an ALF community is $42,000, he says, citing the CareScout report. By contrast, a semi-private nursing home bed costs a median $77,000 a year.

But it’s up to prospective residents and their families to ascertain the quality of the community and whether it’s a good match for the person who will be living there.

“ALFs are not federally regulated and states vary widely on the breadth of oversight they provide, so you can’t necessarily rely on the law,” Johnsen says. “And don’t rely on salespeople either – that’s the biggest mistake people make.”

There are, however, a number of easy ways to see if a home has a truly caring atmosphere and well-trained staff.

Johnsen offers these tips:

•  Ask to see the home’s state licensing survey, an assessment that usually includes inspections, audits, interviews with residents, etc. Every state has an ALF licensing agency and all have some form of survey system for ensuring that certain standards of quality are met, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America.

“Requirements vary from state to state about how often the surveys are conducted and how the public can access the reports, but no matter what state you live in, you should be able to ask the ALF for its most recent report, or obtain it from the licensing agency,” Johnsen says. 

The surveys will tell you if problems were found – or not – and what the ALF did to address them.

•  Visit the ALF during non-business hours. Go before breakfast or after dinner – times when the administrators aren’t around. What’s the atmosphere? How do employees behave with the residents?

“That’s a good time to talk to residents, too,” Johnsen says.

Be a “mystery shopper,” he suggests. Pretend you’re just visiting the community – not scouting it out as a prospective customer.

•  Ascertain how truly “homelike” the community is. In your own home, if you don’t feel like eating breakfast at 7:30 a.m., you don’t have to. You can have breakfast at 10. You can get snacks when you want them.

“Depending on what’s important to your loved one, there are potentially many rules that can affect how ‘at home’ a person feels,” Johnsen says. “Some communities allow residents to have pets, others don’t. Some provide lots of activities. At some, residents can quickly and easily arrange for transportation or a service like hair styling.”

Not every community can offer everything, he notes. That’s why it’s important to look for those features that are especially important to your loved one.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Study Finds Young Adults More Likely to Attend College

August 6, 2014 3:21 am

American young adults ages 18-24 are more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, and less likely to smoke than previous generations, according to a report by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.

The study examined several key themes, including education, civic, social and personal behavior, and health and safety.

According to the report, more young adults are graduating from high school and earning college degrees today than in 2000. In addition, the report found that among Hispanics in this age group, college enrollment during this time increased from 21.7 percent to 37.5 percent, the largest increase among all racial and ethnic groups.

Among other findings:
  • The overall college enrollment rate for 18- to 24-year-olds increased from 26 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 2012. Continuing a trend since the early 1990s, females are enrolling in college in greater percentages than males.
  • Fifty-eight percent of young men and 51 percent of young women lived with their parents in 2013.
  • Like the rest of the population, young adults are less likely to vote in congressional election years than presidential election years. In the 2012 presidential election year, 38 percent of young adults voted, compared with 20 percent in the 2010 congressional election year.
  • In 2012, 20 percent of young men and 15 percent of young women smoked cigarettes, a decline for both groups. However, young White adults are still more than twice as likely to smoke as Hispanic and Blacks this age.
Source: National Institutes of Health

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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