RE/MAX 440
Peter Cerruti
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309
Quakertown  PA 18951
 Phone: 215-429-7273
Office Phone: 215-538-4400
Fax: 267-354-6992 
petecerruti@yahoo.com
Search for Properties
Peter Cerruti

My Blog

Clean-Up Tips Following Tornadoes

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

In the wake of the tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma this week, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips for individuals struck by tragedy in the wake of these or future tornados. To begin the clean-up and damage assessment process:

-Notify your insurance company of the loss.
-Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to your claim.
-Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc.
-Take photos for future reference and insurance claims. This provides a digital inventory of some contents and damage.
-Homeowners with appropriate insurance coverage may hire any restoration company they choose and are not limited to those suggested by an insurer.
-If electrical appliances such as televisions and computers were damaged by water, do not turn them back on when power is restored. This can result in electric shock and further damage to the appliance. Electronics can often be cleaned & restored by knowledgeable contractors.
-Drywall, insulation and carpeting/padding impacted by rain will probably need to be removed and replaced.
-Wear heavy rubber gloves or work gloves and thick-soled shoes, preferably not tennis shoes, since there can be exposed nails, glass and other sharp objects.
-Wash your hands frequently -- especially before touching your face or eating.
-Avoid cross contamination -- don't wear dirty clothes or shoes to a clean or undamaged part of a structure.
-Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
-Don't use bleach to disinfect since it is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants.
-Open drawers and cabinets for interior drying, but don't force them open.
-Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
-Hard surfaces can be disinfected as well as some soft goods, depending on washability.

Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website -- www.restorationindustry.org -- to find a contractor.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

8 Summer Must Haves to Keep Kids Safe

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

Summer is right around the corner and June is National Child Safety Awareness Month. Summer is full of fun, travel, going to the beach and more. Here are eight summer must-haves to keep kids safe this summer:

1. Parking Pal Magnet: Safer unpacking

This is a super safety product; unpacking the car at the beach can be challenging -- beach chairs, coolers, beach umbrella, towels, toys, kids, etc. The Parking Pal Magnet is a magnet to place on a safe part of the automobile and a child places their hand on the magnet to stay in place safely while the car is unloaded. Parking Pal makes trips to the beach and anywhere else this summer easier and safer.

$8.99
www.parkingpalmagnet.com

2. SwimZip Swimwear: Safer swimwear

We are all aware of the dangers of exposure to the sun. SwimZip Swimwear offers super cute swimsuits in UV50+ protection. SwimZip blocks 99% of the UVA and UVB cancer causing rays from your little ones skin! We all might as well purchase SwimZip suits because it offers safety from the sun for kids so simply.

$17.99 - $29.99
www.SwimZip.com

3. The Noblo Umbrella Buddy: Safer beach umbrella use

Invented by two moms to stop fly away beach umbrellas (and the injuries that can result from this), the Noblo is a simple to use beach umbrella anchor. Three easy steps: 1) Fill noblo with sand, 2) velcro to beach umbrella, and 3) relax at the beach. Noblo will take care of your beach umbrella.

$14.99
www.thenoblo.com

4. Zoe b organic Beach Toys – Safer toys

Zoe b organic beach toys are made from corn, not petroleum. They’re safer for our kids, containing no toxic chemicals like BPA or phthalates. They’re also safe for our oceans: if washed out to sea, these toys will fully break down in two-three years (not 500 years, like ordinary plastic). They’re the world's first biodegradable beach toys. They come in a five piece set: bucket, sifter/lid, shovel, and two cups, and come in turquoise/lime or pink/orange.

$22.00
www.zoeborganic.com

5. Eye Cream Shades - Safer eyes

Eyes Cream Shades is a leader in providing quality sunwear for kids ages six months and above. All Eyes Cream frames are fashion forward, comfortable, as well as durable; and all lenses are polycarbonate and provide 100% UVA & UVB protection. As everyone knows, sunglasses are not "toys" or novelty items, but serve an important health function -protecting precious eyes.

$22.50
www.eyescreamshades.com

6. S'well Water Bottle -- Safer days with proper hydration

S'well is a fashionable, reusable, sustainable water bottle company. Their bottles are double walled in stainless steel leaving liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Not only will you have a great water bottle for the beach, but you will help in S'well's effort to bring clean water to the world's poorest communities. Water is essential for life, but one billion people (one sixth of the world's population) do not have safe access to it. To address this crisis, S'well is a proud to partner with WaterAid.

$35
www.swellbottle.com

7. Dr. Robin All Natural Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30+ - Safer sun protection

With all the information about sunscreen/sun exposure, a safer choice is Dr. Robins. It’s made in California and specially formulated by a Pediatric Dermatologist. Believing less is more, Dr. Robin created this broad spectrum mineral sunscreen without irritating chemicals, phthalates, parabens, or fragrance. Dr. Robin's special formula is: Gluten-free, water resistant, formulated to minimize allergic reaction, and coral reef safe.

$24
www.drrobin.mdt

8. Little Toader AppeTEETHERS - Safer teething toy

While adults and children have fun this summer, so can babies with AppeTEETHERS by Little Toader. AppeTEETHERS are fun, safe and effective teething toys that look like real food. While BBQing this summer, baby can enjoy a Chompin' Chicken Wing or Baby-Q Ribs…coming soon are fruits, veggies and sweets. These patented silicone teething toys are free of BPA, phthalate, PVC and lead providing the perfect amount of resistance to soothe babies' sore gums and best of all they are fun.

$9.99
www.littletoader.com

"One super important safety necessity at the beach is to show your children where the lifeguard stand is and tell them to go to the lifeguards if they are lost. It’s easy to get disoriented at the beach and children do not always think to go to the lifeguards," shares Kathleen Pisano, inventor of Noblo.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Outdoor Home Solutions

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

(Family Features) In the warmer months, we find ourselves outside more often, enjoying nature while playing with the kids and maintaining our lawns. But this additional time spent outside means more home and garden tools and more opportunity for a mess.

Here are some simple tips to keep your outdoor spaces cleaner and more organized:

Storage Bench – Use a storage bench to keep your gardening gloves, tools and children’s outdoor toys. Available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, you can find the bench that fits your décor. Plus, they offer an extra seating area when you have company.

Bundle Cords – No one likes the unsightly appearance or hazard of cords. Before your gatherings, bundle together stereo and electronic chords that are exposed, as well as any cords that run across the lawn.

Paver Pots – Use old pavers to create plant containers. Simply stack the pavers together making a square shape. The heavy weight of the pavers keeps the dirt and plant contained together.

Deck Space – Use the space under your deck for additional, out-of-sight storage. Tuck plastic lidded storage containers underneath for easy access to children’s sporting goods and toys.

Mesh Bags – Pool toys, rafts and inner tubes need a space to dry off. Use mesh bags so these summer toys properly are properly dried, preventing mildew or molding.

Proper Plant Care – Stock up on essentials for a healthy garden, including the tools to make plant seedlings thrive.

Repurpose Furniture – Turn old furniture pieces, such as old filing cabinets, into instant garage storage solutions. Take out the drawers of the cabinet and turn it on its side. Each empty drawer area provides a spot for large items like brooms, shovels and rakes.

Fence Storage – Turn old coffee or paint cans into storage bins for smaller gardening tools like hand shovels and pruning shears. For easy access while in the garden, cut holes and use rope to hang around a close-by fence post.

Tires – Stack old tires on top of each other for an outdoor toy container that kids can easily access. Paint the outside to match the color of your house or whatever color you fancy.

End of Season Storage – Keep your garage area tidy by organizing similar tools together. Use One-Wrap ties to keep gardening tools grouped together, or to keep hoses tightly coiled and out of the way. This product also comes in a variety of colors and sizes so that you can keep everything neat and organized.

Source: www.velcro.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Home Buyers Undeterred by Looming Seller's Market

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

According to a recent survey of home buyers, buyers are undeterred by the recovering market and seem to be willing to pay more for what they want. Respondents cite low inventory and rising prices as key concerns when shopping for a home, but while the percentage of people worried about inventory has remained steady throughout 2013, concern about rising home prices has more than doubled year over year. Despite this, homebuyers are accepting the reality of a seller's market and expressing a willingness to pay more. Notably, unease about the overall economy continues to recede.

• Moving toward consensus that this is a seller's market: Sixty-seven percent see now as a good time to sell, up from 48 percent last quarter.
• Home buyers anticipating further price increases remained unchanged: The percentage of homebuyers who anticipate further price increases in their neighborhood remained virtually unchanged from last quarter. Both quarters, 79 percent indicated a belief that prices will increase in the next 12 months. This quarter, 23 percent think prices will rise "a lot," up just slightly from 22 percent last quarter.
• Rising prices are an increasingly common concern: Forty-eight percent of buyers listed rising prices as a major concern, up from 40 percent last quarter. Sixty-five percent cited low inventory as a major concern in the first quarter, down slightly from 66 percent last quarter.
• Increasingly willing to pay more: Forty-one percent of buyers indicated that low inventory has caused them to consider paying more for a home, up from 34 percent in the first quarter and just 26 percent in the fourth quarter.

Source: Redfin

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Protect Yourself from Mortgage Fraud

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

Mortgage scams can occur when desperate borrowers are struggling to keep their homes or when uneducated first-time buyers agree to outrageous terms. The people who perpetuate mortgage scams promise to help, but prey on the weak, doing little to no work, charging excessive fees, and using tactics that often put homeowners at greater risk of losing their homes.

Predators can come in the form of lenders, appraisers, mortgage brokers or even home improvement contractors. These frauds have been known to do the following: sell properties for much more than they’re worth using false appraisals, encourage borrowers to lie on applications, charge high interest rates based on factors that are not credit history, charge fees for unnecessary or nonexistent services, knowingly lend more money than a borrower can afford to repay, and use high pressure tactics to sell home improvements and then finance them at high interest rates.

Every year, misinformed homebuyers become victims of lending or loan fraud. In order to avoid these types of fraud and become a smarter consumer, it’s important to understand the home-buying process. Keep these words of advice from HUD and Fannie Mae in mind and prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

• Interview several real estate professionals, and ask for and check references before you select one to help you buy or sell a home. The more background you know about an agent, the safer you will be.

• Know about the general pricing of houses in the neighborhood to prevent yourself from paying too much.

• Shop for a lender and compare costs. If someone is trying to steer you toward just one lender, be suspicious.

• Never, under any circumstances, let anyone convince you to make a false statement on your loan application, such as overstating your income, the source of your downpayment, failing to disclose your debt, or lying about the length of your employment. Lying on an application for whatever reason may result in criminal penalties.

• Don’t let anyone convince you to borrow more money than you know you need or can afford to repay. If you fall behind on payments, you could lose your house and all the money you already put in.

• Don’t sign a blank document or one containing blanks. If information is added after you sign, you could still be held responsible for the terms. Insert “N/A” or cross out any remaining blanks.

• Ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand. Never sign if you are unsure of something. Have your contract and loan agreement read over by an attorney skilled in real estate law. You can also take your documents to the HUD-approved housing counseling agency nearest you for further assistance, recommendations or free counseling.

A good rule of thumb: If a deal to buy, repair or refinance sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

Source: HUD, Fannie Mae

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

5 Tips for Lighter, Brighter Summer Eating

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

(BPT)—Simple, fresh and delicious - that's summertime eating at its best. Less time in the kitchen means more time to enjoy the bright delicious flavors of just-picked berries, peaches, greens and other vegetables.

"It makes sense to eat lighter in the summer," says Chef William Tillinghast, culinary academic director at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. "Hot weather slows down the digestion and heavy foods are harder to digest."

Chef Tillinghast got together with Chef Jeffrey Floyd, culinary academic director at The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, to offer these five tips for enjoying summer's gastronomic delights.

Buy local and seasonal - or grow it yourself

Summer brings locally grown specialties - berries of all types, melons, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sweet onions and more. Visit farmers' markets and ask what's in season. Consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program to explore eating seasonally. And nothing tastes better than tomatoes from your own garden.

Process produce as little as possible

The fresher the produce, the less preparation needed. "The longer the time between preparation and consumption, the more flavor is lost," says Chef Tillinghast. Try cutting up peaches and a honeydew melon, add fresh blueberries and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Serve immediately for an instant refreshing dessert.

Cook veggies quickly by stir frying. Cut vegetables small. Cook briefly with olive oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat (or put the wok on your grill). Add a little coarse salt and freshly ground pepper - it's the perfect side dish for a simple roast chicken, grilled steak or swordfish.

Keep flavors simple

Allow the flavor of fresh summer produce to shine. Chef Floyd loves this summer salad, adapted from "American Regional Cuisine," by The Art Institutes system of schools. Cut zucchini into matchstick strips. Combine with wedges of ripe tomato, finely sliced fresh basil, thin slices of sweet or green onion. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve on a bed of lettuce, spinach or other greens. Add feta or bleu cheese crumbles if you like.

Use that grill

Grill eggplant, zucchini, onions and peppers. Brush with olive or walnut oil if you like. Put veggies directly on the grill, use a griddle or wrap in a single layer in foil. Grilled peach halves and pineapple rings are also delicious.

Soup is for summer, too

"Cold soups like gazpacho, vichyssoise, avocado and cucumber, or various fruits, are refreshing," says Chef Tillinghast. For a delicious cold soup, peel and chop pears and apricots (or hull and cut up strawberries). Add a sprinkling of sugar and perhaps a little cinnamon or cardamom. Mash lightly with a fork and add sour cream or yogurt, half and half or milk - even champagne.

Beat the heat with lighter, simpler meals - you'll feel better and have more time for summertime fun.

Source: www.artinstitutes.edu

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

2013 Hurricane Season Activity Predicted to Be Above Average

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

This year's hurricane season is predicted to be a busy one with above-average activity, according to a recent report released by Colorado State University. Sponsored by the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Preparedness Week aims to increase public awareness of emergency preparation and the upcoming season that runs from June 1 through November 30. Beginning on May 26, the week-long emergency preparedness event provides a good opportunity for those living in hurricane-prone areas to take steps to help ensure their family and home is safe before a storm hits.

After a 2012 hurricane season that produced twice as many storms as projected, forecasters anticipate 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four intense Category 3 or stronger hurricanes for 2013.

"Taking the right precautions and planning ahead are especially important this year as families think about how to mitigate the damage of a hurricane affecting their home," said Amanda Grandy , marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Corporation. "An ideal way for homeowners to prepare for a power outage is to install a standby generator system."

Fueled by liquid propane or natural gas, standby generators automatically keep the power on when a home's primary power source goes out, allowing homeowners to run appliances like air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, sump pumps, clothes washers/dryers and lights.
In addition to preparing a home to maintain power following a storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready campaign offers ways for families to prepare their home for a hurricane, including:

• Cover all of the home's windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect windows from high winds and further secure the home by closing shutters.
• Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
• Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed to increase wind resistance.

Source: Briggs & Stratton

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Top DIY Tips to Protect from Ticks and Mosquitoes

May 28, 2013 3:36 am

Welcome to the unofficial start of summer with outdoor parties, barbeques, parades and celebrations under the stars. However, a perfect storm of weather conditions over the past months have made conditions ripe for what is being predicted to be a powerful crop of mosquito and tick populations to wreak havoc on outdoor plans.

Reported cases of Lyme disease continue to rise with more than 280,000 Americans being diagnosed since 2002, with an additional 30,000 diagnoses just last year. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An illness that can have lifelong debilitating effects such as arthritis, fatigue and even neurological deficits, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged or deer ticks.

In addition to performing a daily tick check, there are specific actions a homeowner can take to reduce the tick and mosquito population in their yards, thus reducing exposure for themselves, guests and pets:

The 6 Cs to Tick-Proof Your Yard

1. Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don't position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.
3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
4. Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
5. Care for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.
6. Call the pros. Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill live ticks on the spot as well as "tick tubes." Strategically placed, "tick tubes" prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

When outdoors away from home, the CDC recommends wearing long-sleeved, long-legged, light-colored clothing. Tuck pant legs into socks to refuse ticks an entry point. Spray clothing and any exposed skin with a product containing 20 percent DEET. Clothing and other gear, but not skin, can be treated with Permethrin, which will kills ticks and mosquitoes on contact and should last through several washings. Check carefully for ticks after being outdoors.

5 Ts to Control Mosquitoes
1. Tip. Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats, including those in children's sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots include tarps, gutters, and flat roofs.
2. Toss. Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.
3. Turn. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children's portable sandboxes or plastic toys.
4. Remove tarps. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment and grills aren't taut, they're holding water.
5. Treat. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad's treatments eliminate up to 90 percent of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.

Source: Mosquito Squad

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Finish Your To Do List During National Home Improvement Month

May 20, 2013 1:56 am

May is National Home Improvement Month and the perfect time to tackle those home repairs or improvements that you have been putting off. Consider the following home improvement ideas or home repair projects during National Home Improvement Month:

Fix leaky faucets
• Not only can leaky faucets be extremely annoying, they can waste up to 750 gallons of water during the summer!
Address potential moisture problems

• Water-stained walls can be the early signs of a greater moisture problem in your home that can lead to damaged drywall and toxic mold. Get on top of this problem before it costs you thousands of dollars to make replacements.

• Investigate the attic for leaks and you could save yourself up to $5,000 on drywall and roof repairs.

Reinstall weather stripping
• If you want to save some money on your energy bills, reinstalling weather stripping could help by reducing the amount of air leaks in your home. This can help you save an average of $80 on air conditioning alone!

As far as your home's exterior is concerned, here are a few projects that you should look into:

Painting
• A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to refresh the look of your home and protect it at the same time. But if these two reasons aren't enough for you, repainting your home can do wonders for increasing your home's market value. May temperatures are often ideal for exterior painting.

Repair damaged window or door frames
• As with the weather stripping, replacing broken door and window frames can help seal your home and provide better insulation. This is also important for keeping out seasonal moisture, which can lead to toxic mold growth.

Repair deck
• Making repairs to your deck is crucial before the onset of summer. The last thing you want is to have a party in your backyard only to have someone crash through a rotted deck plank or fall down the stairs due to a weakened railing!

Clean out gutters
• Get rid of all the debris that winter deposited into your gutters to avoid water damage and repairs that could cost you up to $10,000.
May is the perfect month for general home repairs and home improvements because it is generally the time of year when the weather is most conducive to exterior home repairs. It is right after the severe winter and the rainy spring, and before the high temperatures of summer.

The items listed above are general home repair ideas that should be made to your home every year, or few years in the case of painting.

Source: Handyman Connection

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Freddie Mac Announces Immediate Availability of Streamlined Modification for Delinquent Borrowers

May 20, 2013 1:56 am

Freddie Mac announced it is making its new Streamlined Modification program immediately available to all eligible borrowers nationwide in order to expedite financial relief for potentially thousands of distressed families. Freddie Mac's Streamlined Modification program had originally been scheduled to start on July 1, 2013.

"Freddie Mac is giving a green light to its mortgage servicers to speed up financial relief for potentially thousands of families with delinquent mortgages across the nation. Now mortgage servicers can send eligible borrowers their Streamlined Modification trial period terms as soon as they are ready and borrowers can modify their loans by making the three trial period payments on time. No borrower documentation is needed. Freddie Mac is focused on adding momentum to the housing recovery by giving distressed borrowers more options to avoid foreclosure."

• The announcement extends to the entire country Freddie Mac's decision to make the Streamlined Modification immediately available to eligible Hurricane Sandy victims.
• Under the Streamlined Modification program, servicers are required to send modification offers to borrowers who are at least 90 days, but no more than 720 days, delinquent on mortgages that are at least 12 months old and meet other eligibility criteria.
• Eligible borrowers are not required to submit documentation for a Streamlined Modification.
• The modification becomes permanent after the borrower demonstrates their ability to pay making on-time payments during the three month trial period.
• The Streamlined Modification offers the same mortgage terms as Freddie Mac's Standard Modification, which enables servicers to reduce monthly mortgage payments by adjusting interest rates, extending payment terms to 40 years, and, in certain cases, provide principal forbearance.
• Since 2009, Freddie Mac has helped more than 830,000 distressed borrowers avoid foreclosure and more than 6.7 million families refinance into more affordable mortgages through Freddie Mac's refinance options, including the Relief Refinance Mortgage(SM) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
• More information about the Streamlined Modification can be found at FreddieMac.com.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: