RE/MAX 440
Tim Lugara

Tim Lugara
423 North Main Street  Doylestown  PA 18901
Phone:  215-348-7100 1632
Office:  215-348-7100
Toll Free:  800-360-7100
Cell:  215-917-8673
Fax:  267-354-6961

Tim's Blog

How to Make Working at Home Work

August 1, 2013 1:48 pm

(BPT) - Working at home is a growing popular trend. The 2010 U.S. Census reports 9.5 percent of the population spends at least one day a week working at home - an increase of more than 2 percent since 1997. Technology is making it easier for employees and self-employed workers to set up a home office and conduct business.

When deciding to set up an office at home, one challenge many workers face is determining what computer to use - or purchase. Apple and Windows-based PCs are the two staples, and everyone has a preference on which system they prefer. Sometimes it's the user interface of one over the other that's preferred, and in other cases, how chosen programs perform on each platform determines what type of computer workers purchase. And often, workers just want to seamlessly blend in with the office environment, and purchase the same system for home.

With Parallels Desktop for Mac, the difficulty of choosing between the two platforms is obsolete. This software enables users to run all operating systems like Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Mac OS X, Google Chrome OS and more on a Mac without rebooting. This allows an at-home employee to easily switch between the system provided on work computers and the home computer, even if they're running different operating systems.

This allows at-home workers several benefits:

• If you have a Mac and a PC, then Parallels Desktop software can simply move your entire PC onto you Mac so you have everything on one computer. If you don't have a PC, its wizard lets you simply add Windows and other operating systems to your Mac so you can do everything on one computer.

• Save money because there is no need to repurchase software you already own. All of the PC applications you invested in can simply be moved to your Mac and run in Windows via Parallels Desktop.

• Run both Windows and Mac systems at the same time, allowing you to work in a Mac program while using a Windows platform.
Copy and paste between documents running in both operating systems easily - which is not possible if you must reboot your Mac to change between OS X and Windows applications.

Another challenge working-from-home employees face is taking the business on the road. Those who are self-employed often don't have the luxury of bringing business into the home office, and have to make the office mobile. This requires updating technology so email, documents and files can all be accessed from either a smartphone or tablet.

Another option is to access your computer remotely, allowing you to do everything you'd be doing at home while away. Parallels Mobile for iPad and iPhone lets you remotely access and run all of your Mac and Windows files and applications when you're on the go.

One final challenge is being able to handle the business errands without having to leave the office - or home. Banking, setting up conference calls or ordering supplies can all be done electronically using websites and downloadable apps. This technology allows a home-worker to make business deposits, connect with clients and have supplies delivered to the door - without having to leave.

Seamless connection is key to working at home, because any interruption in getting technology to work is lost time, and potentially lost business. Apps, using the same computer programs you've always used through Parallels Desktop for Mac and mobile devices will help any at home worker to keep all connections with the office and clients going strong.

Source: http://www.parallels.com/desktop

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Seven Small Changes with Big Impact

August 1, 2013 1:48 pm

(Family Features) Ever envy those beautiful homes that seem to get redecorated with every new season? The latest and greatest looks are easy to incorporate if you keep your furnishings neutral and the décor uncluttered. From there, it’s just a matter of bringing in a few simple touches that create a big impact.

Start with one or two easy projects and you will quickly transform your house into a place you’re proud to call home.

1. Transform With Paint
– Every interior designer will tell you the quickest way to transform a home is with a fresh coat of paint. Greet guests with a beautiful new door color. It will give your entire home a facelift with very little time and effort.

2. Warm Things Up – The look of hardwood brings warmth to every room in the house. Even kitchen and bathroom spaces can benefit from the addition of wood-look tiles, which are easy to clean, water resistant, and durable, but with the beauty and ambiance of traditional hardwood. Throw rugs are a great way to accent a wood-look floor and are easy to swap out with the change of season or style.

3. Keep it Clean – Kitchens are prime gathering places and just keeping them clean and uncluttered will transform the look and feel of an entire house. Leave just one or two appliances on the countertops, add fresh flowers and hang a pair of colorful kitchen towels to brighten the space.

4. Make a Space Pop – Add a pop of color and texture with new tile, such as American Olean’s Garden Oasis featuring Oceanside Glass Tile. The tiles, which can be seen at www.americanolean.com, come in various shapes, sizes, colors and patterns, so you can easily show off your own creative style anywhere.

5. Throw on Some Pillows – Filling a room with furnishings in neutral shades is actually the simplest way to embrace new decorating trends. Give a monochromatic room an instant makeover with pillows, artwork and tchotchkes. It’s an inexpensive way to change things up whenever the mood strikes.

6. Be Neighborly – Even if you only have room for a small pot of flowers, make your front porch welcoming. If possible, set out some chairs for neighborly chats, place a small table between for refreshments and add plenty of cushions for comfort.

7. Let There Be Light – Instantly change the look and feel of a room just by changing the lighting. Simply change your bulbs to one offering more natural light or swap out the entire light fixture for instant beauty.

Whether you update one room or transform your entire house, these simple changes will turn your home into a sanctuary that truly reflects your own personal style.

Source: Daltile

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Create Budding Home Updates

May 10, 2013 7:38 am

(Family Features) Bring the garden inside to add a romantic and softer touch to your home décor. Though real flowers are always a gorgeous addition, they can be costly and, unfortunately, they will expire. Due to their permanent and authentic nature, more decorators are turning to their faux counterparts when glamming up interiors.

Boasting an incredibly realistic look and feel, faux flowers are available in many varieties and colors. So, no matter what type of décor appeals to you – from contemporary to colonial – you can find the perfect petals to match your look and style.

Here are tips for using artificial flowers in your home:

• When shopping, choose the best you can afford within your budget. You’ll be happy you spent the money on quality blooms that you’ll treasure for years to come.
• In doubt of your decorating skills? Simply tuck one stem of your favorite variety in a glass vase for a classic, chic look.
• Faux petals are easy to care for and clean with the use of a handheld vacuum, a steamy shower or a soft, dampened cloth.
• Add one or two accent pieces that feature artificial flowers. From pillow cases to lamp shades, this look is everywhere and will add a cheerful glow to any room.
• Stay away from colors that don’t naturally occur. For example, a rose in a bright blue shade will not convey the same amount of charm as a dusty pink.

Floral Lampshade

Some experience necessary
Approximate Crafting Time: 3-5 hours

Supplies and Tools:

Scissors
26” Hydrangea Sprays
Jolee’s Jewels Bicone/Pearl Combo: White
Offray 1/8” Black Ribbon
Offray 7/8” Oatmeal Ribbon
Black Tassel
Fabric Lampshade: Cream
Sewing needle
Thread

1. Remove individual blooms from hydrangea sprays.
2. Sew crystals and pearls to centers of blooms.
3. Hot glue blooms onto lampshade, slightly overlapping to cover the entire surface of shade.
4. Add a ribbon bow and tassels, if desired.

Source: www.joann.com/projects

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Is That Driver On The Road Next To You Asleep?

May 10, 2013 7:38 am

Driving with untreated sleep apnea is equivalent to driving with a .06-.08 blood alcohol level. Recent studies have shown that truck drivers are at high-risk for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders—affecting 28 percent of Commercial Truck Drivers. In the aviation industry, alternating shifts and rapidly changing time zones present unique obstacles when it comes to sleep apnea and safety in the air. Eighteen percent of train operators attribute "near miss accidents" at work due to their sleep apnea. Over 100,000 vehicular accidents and 1,500 deaths annually are caused by sleep deprivation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. According to the CDC, sleep quality, duration, behaviors, and disorders need to be monitored in order to show its health impact on Americans. One of the many concerns with sleep deprivation is driving and flying sleepy especially for those in the transportation industry. Disturbance of sleep compromises mood, performance, and alertness which can result in the inability to pay attention and react to signals, which then can lead to injury or death.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 100 million people worldwide have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or sleep apnea. In the U.S. alone over 23 million Americans (approximately 25 percent of OSA sufferers) have been diagnosed with OSA and an estimate of millions more whom have not yet been diagnosed; so many of these people are pilots in the air, engineers on the railroads, or commercial truck drivers on the interstates. With these staggering numbers, the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is growing exponentially.

Most with sleep apnea use CPAP therapy to manage their sleeping disorder. The transportation industry is now recognizing the importance and need for their workers to comply with their prescribed CPAP usage, but for those transportation specialists, CPAP therapy is much more difficult to manage while on the road. Maintenance and keeping the equipment clean and sanitized comes with its challenges, especially for those who are traveling.

It is critical to ensure those Americans who are in the transportation industry are experiencing proper sleep apnea treatment and therapy coupled with an effective, effortless, and transportable way to clean their equipment on the road. This will help to better protect the traveling public from the dangers associated with those in the public transportation industry who suffer with sleep apnea.

Source: www.betterrestsolutions.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Consumers Tip Scales of Home Price Change Expectations

May 10, 2013 7:38 am

More than half of Americans now expect the country’s home prices to climb within the next year, illustrating a growing optimism toward the health of the housing industry. The share of respondents to Fannie Mae’s April 2013 National Housing Survey results who expect home prices to go up rose another 3 percentage points in April to 51 percent. By comparison, at the same time last year, only 32 percent expected an increase in home prices.

“For the first time in the survey’s three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Crossing the 50 percent threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country. Reflecting that increased optimism toward housing, the share of Americans who think it is a good time to sell has doubled during the last year. Many homeowners who have been underwater are gradually returning to positive equity, and selling is now becoming an available and attractive option again.”

The share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell climbed 4 percentage points in April to 30 percent, compared to 15 percent at the same time last year. Americans’ increasing optimism toward the selling market may bode well for continued improvement in housing activity, as recent market data suggest that five out of eight people who buy a home first have to sell.

Findings:

Homeownership and Renting


• The average 12-month home price change expectation held steady at 2.7 percent.
• The share of people who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months hit a survey high of 51 percent, while those who believe home prices will go down remained at the survey low of 10 percent for the fourth month in a row.
• The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up fell 3 percentage points to 43 percent, while those who say they will go down increased slightly to 7 percent.
• At a survey-high 30 percent, the share of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a house increased 4 percentage points over March.
• The average 12-month rental price change expectation held steady at 4.1 percent.
• Forty-eight percent of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next year, a 2 percentage point decrease from last month’s survey high.
• The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move increased slightly to 65 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

• At 39 percent, the share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased 4 percentage points over March.
• The percentage of people who expect their personal financial situation to get worse over the next 12 months fell 5 percentage points to 16 percent.
• Twenty percent of respondents say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, holding steady from last month.
• Eleven percent reported significantly lower household expenses compared to 12 months ago, a 3 percentage point increase over March.

Source: Fannie Mae

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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New ‘Treat Obesity Seriously’ Effort Encourages Treatment of Obesity as a Serious Health Condition

May 10, 2013 7:38 am

With two out of three adults in the United States considered obese or overweight, obesity scientists and clinicians are asking that obesity be treated as a serious health condition, such as heart disease and cancer, to bring us closer to combating the epidemic. The Obesity Society (TOS), the leading professional society dedicated to better understanding, preventing and treating obesity, is launching the Treat Obesity Seriously campaign to encourage a shift in the way Americans look at the disease. The effort is aimed at educating policymakers on the need to recognize obesity as a serious condition and providing clinicians the tools to diagnose and treat obesity.

"Obesity is one of the most complex, chronic medical conditions," said Harvey Grill, PhD, TOS President. "Successful treatment often requires the support and guidance of professionals. Unfortunately, the way many people look at obesity in the U.S. is limiting the treatment approach, which often means lower standards of care, inconsistent communication of treatment options, and disjointed care coordination. Multidisciplinary care is necessary to treat obesity, particularly given the complex nature of the disease and its impact on both physical and mental health."

It is widely accepted that obesity puts individuals at risk for more than 30 health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Obesity also has a strong correlation to depression. However, evidence increasingly shows that it is harder for some people to take effective steps on their own to lose weight. For example, brain activity studies show that obese people get a smaller "reward" when eating than people of normal weight and each year more genetic factors are found to be associated with obesity.

As part of the effort, TOS is looking to policymakers to improve access for obesity treatment so those affected can get the same necessary medical care and treatment coverage that's available to all others who suffer from other chronic diseases. Some members of Congress are already working to improve access to weight-loss counseling and new prescription drugs for chronic weight management through Medicare. Legislation is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.

In fact, a 5–10 percent weight loss alone can have significant benefits for a patients' health and new research shows that preventing obesity can have substantial long-term cost savings for the entire healthcare system.

"Obesity treatment is a smart strategy to improve public health and clinician engagement is an important factor," said Grill. "Patients are three times more likely to lose weight if their healthcare provider talks to them about the variety of options available for managing and treating the disease."

Through the newly launched campaign website, clinicians can sign up to receive the following tools by mail:

• BMI prescription pad: Clinicians can record and share information with patients about BMI and waist circumference, two of the primary measures of obesity. The pad also includes information about obesity-related risks and provides links to find out more information about the disease.
• Physician office poster, "Obesity is a serious disease": As they wait to see the doctor, patients can learn more about obesity, such as related health conditions and the significant impact moderate weight loss, as little as 5 percent, can have on these conditions.
• BMI wheel calculator: Technology is not necessary to determine BMI. This simple, circular paper tool allows for a quick calculation of BMI by matching height and weight.

Source: The Obesity Society

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

May 10, 2013 7:38 am

To celebrate National Home Remodeling Month in May, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers recommends that homeowners consider the safety risks, time delays and hidden costs before attempting do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements.

According to the 2011 American Housing Survey (AHS) from the HUD/Census Bureau, home owner do-it-yourself (DIY) projects accounted for 37 percent of all home remodeling projects performed nationwide from 2010-2011 but only 18 percent of all remodeling spending. DIY home improvement projects tend to be smaller, require less technical training and expertise and cost less, with 50 percent of homeowners spending less than $950 on these projects. At the same time the median spending on professional remodeling projects is close to $4,000.

One of the most expensive remodeling projects is a kitchen addition, with half of these projects costing more than $27,000. Very few homeowners attempt or manage to add a kitchen on their own. The AHS data show that more than 80 percent of kitchen additions are done professionally. Replacing roofing is also largely outsourced to professional remodelers, 82 percent of these projects are completed by professionals. Homeowners also tend to hire professionals when it comes to home improvement projects that require technical training and, often, a professional license. Close to 90 percent of all remodeling projects that involve adding or replacing a HVAC system are done professionally. Almost two thirds of projects that replace internal water pipes, electrical system, major equipment and appliances are completed by professionals. Not only that homeowners might not have the right tools and knowledge to complete these projects, but many warranties become void by improper installation.

Homeowners are more adventurous and successful in finishing smaller projects. About half of all plumbing fixture replacements are completed with no professional help. More than half of all bedroom and recreation room renovations are completed by homeowners as well. These tend to be smaller projects, with half of them costing less than $1,500 and $1,600, respectively. Professional bedroom and recreation room renovations are bigger in scope with median spending of $5,000 and close to $7,000, respectively.

Source: NAHB Eye on Housing

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Valuable Pieces of Wisdom from Mothers across the Country

May 10, 2013 7:38 am

A Place for Mom® (APFM), the nation's largest senior living referral service, released results from its second annual Mother's Day survey to shed light on maternal relationships, including valuable pieces of wisdom from moms across the country. Leading themes of wisdom were shared on topics including life and happiness, kindness and compassion, career and money, love, strength and coping, humility and morality, and family and children.

"As we celebrate Mother's Day, we are inspired by the valuable advice and insights received from the moms and daughters we help each day," said Sean Kell, CEO of A Place for Mom. "Our Senior Living Advisors provide strength and guidance to families in need, and this survey was a wonderful opportunity for us to benefit from the wisdom of those we serve as they care for their loved ones."

A sampling of the wisdom shared from mothers across the country, according to the survey were:

• You cannot control what life gives you, but you can control how you handle it.
• Seek first to understand, not to be understood.
• Work hard and always have something for yourself.
• Don't give up. Remember your roots. Stay strong, and if all else fails, have a good cry (but privately)!
• Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it's easier than the alternative.
• It is important to be kind to your family, because you are stuck with them forever.
• No matter what obstacle you are facing, no matter how difficult, daunting or terrifying, if you attack it with everything you are made of you will always prevail.
• Surround yourself with people that lift you up and make you laugh!
• Love is what matters most in the world.
• Always have a good pair of red heels and red purse.

With over 300 Americans ages 18-65 polled, survey results showed that many Americans describe their mothers positively and state relationships have grown closer over time.

Words used to describe mom were:
o Inspirational (90 percent)
o Loving (29 percent)
o Strong (27 percent)
o Caring (22 percent)
o Hard-working (22 percent)
o Unselfish (20 percent)

Mothers have positively influenced key areas of their children's lives including:
o Relationships with others (40 percent)
o Decision-making (34 percent)
o Self-esteem (24 percent)
o Career (12 percent)

Over time, more than half of adults surveyed have strengthened their relationship with mom and have:
o Become closer friends (54 percent)
o Become each other's support system (39 percent)

Moms (45 percent) and sons/daughters (40 percent) seek each other's advice before making major decisions

Source: A Place for Mom

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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