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RE/MAX 440
Janine VanLuvanee
701 W. Market Street
Perkasie  PA 18944
 Phone: 267-259-2810
Office Phone: 215-453-7653
Cell: 267-259-2810
Fax: 267-354-6259 
jvanluvanee@remax440.com
Janine VanLuvanee

My Blog

How To Hire a Mover

June 2, 2017 12:57 am

When moving, there’s a million small details to juggle. Hiring a moving company can save you a bundle of stress, but it’s important to note that not all moving companies are the same, and you want to make sure your items are safe and secure in the hands of your movers.

Below, Two Men and a Truck® has compiled a list of tips to protect consumers looking to hire a moving company:

Hire a licensed company – Be sure to only use a licensed moving company and check for a valid U.S. Department of Transportation number on the main DOT website.

Find reassurance in valuation – Even if movers are bonded and insured, verify if belongings are covered during the move. Some states require a valuation of 60 cents per pound of coverage but in many cases additional valuation can be purchased for the move

Avoid imposters – Visit the official site of the moving company and ensure there is a local address and the office is staffed

Get a real quote – Inspect the website to ensure they will not sell personal information to other movers to provide the quote and avoid sites that feature multiple quotes from different companies. Never pay for an estimate and consider an on-site estimate to ensure accuracy for larger moves.

Inquire about the movers – Be careful if choosing to move forward with a company that employs temporary or day laborers and does not have Workers' Compensation coverage should anything happen.

Research options – The Internet is filled with reviews and comments on social media pages, so take the time to read about pros and cons of a potential company. Learn from customers' experiences and look into complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, as well. Understand, not every move can be perfect, but if the company is taking time to respond to customers comments and work toward resolution, it is a good sign.

Don't fall for a too good to be true price – If the price seems like it is too good, it probably is going to cause headaches and problems down the line. Moving is expensive – even if completed without movers – be sure to look at all of your options as it's best to go into the process prepared. Also, never move forward with a company that only accepts cash.

Check for hidden fees – When asking about pricing, be sure to understand what is included and if there are cancellation fees or a nonrefundable deposit. Most companies will refund a deposit if within a certain amount of days before the move, and see if there are extra fees for stairs, mileage or large items. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® includes complimentary padding and stretch wrap to protect furniture, but not all companies will.

Reputation is important – Many reputable movers belong to the American Moving and Storage Association. Identify if a prospective company is a member before booking a move.

Ask for references – Get advice from friends and family who have had a good experience with movers. Did they feel like they were communicated with throughout the process and were told a window of time for the movers to arrive? Don't forget to ask questions to feel confident with booking a company.

Source: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Prep Your Car for That Summer Road Trip

June 2, 2017 12:57 am

Hitting the road this summer? You’re far from alone. Summertime is the No. 1 season for road tripping, so it’s important to make sure your car is up for the drive.

Below are several tips to make sure your car is road-ready:

Check fluids. Never head off on a long trip without first checking your oil levels.

Pack an emergency kit. Make sure you have a first aid kit, water and a change of clothes in your car before heading off.

Bridgestone recommends drivers of cars, pickup trucks, crossovers and SUVs remember these three easy tips to help maintain their tires:  

Inflate. Drivers should use a tire pressure gauge to check tire pressure at least once per month, as well as before long trips or when carrying heavier loads. Tires can lose one psi (pounds per square inch) per month under normal conditions. To determine proper inflation pressure, drivers should refer to their vehicle owner's manual or the information posted on the placard located in the driver's side doorjamb of their vehicle.

Rotate. Tires should be balanced and rotated according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations, or every 5,000 miles, in order to help prevent irregular wear.

Evaluate. Drivers should get into the practice of regularly checking their tires for damage or signs of tread wear that could impact traction. The penny test is a simple way for drivers to check tread depth. By placing a penny upside down into the tread, drivers can easily determine if it's time to replace their tires. If Lincoln's head is visible, it is time to consider purchasing a new set of tires.

Source: Bridgestone

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Family Safety During Hurricane Season

June 1, 2017 12:51 am

When a hurricane hits, it’s important to stay connected to your loved ones. But when the power goes down, this can be difficult. To help prep for potential hurricanes, keep the following tech tips in mind, courtesy of AT&T:

Keep your mobile phone battery charged. In case of a power outage, have another way to charge your phone like an extra battery, car charger or device-charging accessory. Applicable sales tax holidays are a great time to stock up on cell phone accessories.

Keep your mobile devices dry. The biggest threat to your device during a hurricane is water.  Keep it safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering, like an Otterbox phone cover.

Have a family communications plan. Choose someone out of the area as a central contact.   Make sure all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.

Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.

Forward your home number to your mobile number in the event of an evacuation. Call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office. This means you will get calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted. If the central office is not operational, services such as voicemail and call forwarding may be useful.

Track the storm and access weather information on your mobile device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. You can stay up to speed as a DIRECTV customer, by streaming local weather channels using the DIRECTV application on your smartphone. If you subscribe to mobile DVR, you can also stream every channel directly to your phone.

Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos and video clips of damage to your insurance company.

Use location-based technology. Services like AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you find evacuation routes or avoid traffic from downed trees or power lines. They can also track a family member's wireless device if you get separated.

Limit social media activity. Keep social media activity to a minimum during and after a storm to limit network congestion and allow for emergency communications to go through.

Source: At&T

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Leadership Lessons for the Up and Coming

June 1, 2017 12:51 am

Those just entering their careers have a long road ahead of them. With the average American now working well into their 60s, young college graduates and interns have decades to fine tune their leadership skills.

Randy Rupp, CEO of Rehmann financial services firm, has 35 years of business behind him. Rupp first started at Rehmann as an intern in 1981, and steadily worked his way to the top. Reflecting on his accomplishments, Rupp shares suggestions for today's interns and young professionals.

Believe in yourself, and in change

Rupp’s first piece of advice: when someone tells you "You can do anything you set your mind to," believe it. Foster these three characteristics:
- A willingness to learn;
- A "can-do" mentality;
- An acceptance of change.

"If I could advise students of anything, it would be that you really have to capitalize on change," says Rupp. Although it may be absolutely terrifying, do not fear the unknown. "Change is becoming normal. Don't become delayed or frustrated by it — plan for it, capitalize on it and accept it."

Reverse engineer successful colleagues

Try to identify the elements of successful firm leaders so that you can emulate them. "It's rare to find a person unwilling to talk about their climb to the top," Rupp says. But rather than simply emulating influential people, you must also integrate those habits into your lifestyle. "Someone who's achieved success can probably tell you something about how to get there. Learning from them is good, but adding your own twist will help you plot a course of action for your own career."

Look for extra leg room

Finally, Rupp suggests students and young professionals look for internships or full-time positions that offer multiple paths. "You really want some leg room, professionally speaking," Rupp said. "Some studies suggest young professionals will change jobs four times before they reach 32 years of age. It's not surprising: there are many exciting fields out there." As an intern, Rupp had the opportunity to work in audit and tax, and was consistently included in client meetings and presentations. The variation prevented him from feeling stagnant. "Variety is the spice of life," he said. "But no one ever said that variety couldn't come from within the same firm."

SOURCE: Rehmann

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Prepare for Entertaining Inside and Out

June 1, 2017 12:51 am

(Family Features)--With warm weather comes an overwhelming urge to get outside and enjoy it. From barbecues and cookouts to ice cream parties and poolside hangouts, summertime is a popular excuse to kick up your feet and invite your friends and family over to celebrate together.

Now is the perfect time to give your deck or patio area a little TLC before inviting the masses. Follow these tips to revamp and refresh your home's exterior and interior ahead of hosting your next summer event.

Get your gardening gloves on. A little color goes a long way for a bed of plants and flowers. Plant some bright flowers along your patio or consider growing functional, edible plants that look and taste great. Gardening is a fun summer project that can add beauty to your home's exterior lounging areas. If gardening isn't your thing, fresh-cut flowers in a vase as a centerpiece can do the trick.

Ready the deck and home exterior. Fungus on the deck isn't appealing, nor are mildew stains, dirt or weather-beaten patches. Pressure wash your deck then re-stain it with a matching color and finish, and apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration. In addition, it might be time to give dull shutters and doors a fresh coat of paint to prevent them from looking washed out.

Remove mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can form on the exterior siding and trim of your home, as well as on patio furniture, flower pots and swimming pools. It's important to regularly clean the outside of your house as well as your outdoor furniture and accessories that may have been stored away all winter. It's easy to remove mold or mildew with a garden hose, a long-handled brush and a mixture of a 1/2 cup of Clorox Regular-Bleach per each gallon of water.

Stop the spread of fungal disease in gardens. Fungal diseases can be deadly to plants and wildlife. When used as directed, bleach is a simple but powerful tool that can be used to help stop the spread of fungal diseases. It can also keep cut flowers alive longer when you add a few drops to a water-filled vase.

Clean up the bathroom and kitchen. Don't forget about indoor spaces. When hosting friends, it's likely that you or a guest will need to visit the kitchen to prepare a side dish or grab another drink and bathroom visits are inevitable. Clean up any loose items and use a disinfecting wipe on hard surfaces like countertops, door handles and light switches.

When it comes to summer entertaining, all you need is a quick refresh before you kick back with loved ones in a clean, relaxing space.  

Source: Clorox

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Top Tips for Cleaner Air Every Day

May 31, 2017 12:51 am

We all work hard to keep our home clean, right? But how often do you think about the cleanliness of the air you breathe? One of the top culprits of dirty air is your car, but there are many things you can do to ensure you’re having the smallest negative impact on air quality as possible. Below is a roundup of rules from Georgia's Clean Air Force.

The 30-Second Rule. Nearly four million gallons of gas are wasted each year by unnecessary idling. Idling can allow harmful deposits to form inside of an engine, damaging vital components. Turn your engine off if you will be idling for 30 seconds or more.

It's Cool to Pool. Telecommuting or carpooling to work is an effective way to contribute to cleaner air and to save money. The average vehicle releases 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Teaming up with some colleagues and carpooling to work can cut down on harmful emissions. If you have a shorter commute, pledge to walk or ride your bike to work once a week.

Get Pumped About Cleaner Air. Underinflated tires produce more drag, requiring your engine to work harder. Underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency and can produce harmful emissions. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage up to 3.3% annually and extend the life of your tires, according to U.S. Department of Energy.

Refuel in the Cool. Hot temperatures combined with gasoline fumes create harmful ground-level ozone. Experts recommend that motorists refuel in the evening when temperatures are cooler and gasoline evaporates at a less rapid rate. Also, don't forget to tighten your gas cap. Each year, 147 million gallons of gasoline vaporize due to loose, damaged or missing gas caps.

There's an App for That. There are many smartphone apps to help motorists find the most efficient travel routes, including apps that help motorists avoid left turns, which can be a major source of idling.

SOURCE: Georgia's Clean Air Force

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Tips for Easing Spring Migraines

May 31, 2017 12:51 am

Nothing kills your spring like a throbbing migraine. Thousands of Americans suffer from these debilitating headaches, which can keep you out of work, dampen your social life, and more.

Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic and USA Medical to help lessen migraines:

Routines matter. Try to keep the same sleeping and eating schedule every day.

Eat fresh. Avoid foods that are processed because they may contain nitrates, too much salt and other ingredients that trigger migraines.

Skip the bar. Limit your alcohol intake.

Ohhhhm. Make a habit of muscle relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation.

Headache hitting? Stay in the dark. Rest in a dark, quiet room and apply gentle pressure to pain points.

Source: USA Medical

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Advice for Grads: Act Like a Leader

May 26, 2017 1:36 am

Newly minted college grads usually have one overarching goal: find a job. While most are understandably consumed with where to work and what kind of salary they may be able to score, some say that those first entering the workforce should also be thinking about how to become an exemplary leader.

"When you're looking for that first job, keep in mind that 97 percent of employers believe that leadership development should begin by age 21," says Jim Kouzes, coauthor along with Barry Posner of the sixth edition of The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (www.leadershipchallenge.com). "If you haven't started your leadership development by now, you should. You probably won't be in an 'official' leadership position immediately, but from your very first day, you can set the example for others, inspire others, challenge yourself to improve, collaborate with others, and encourage others to do their best."

Kouzes and Posner emphasize that leadership is not about a title and delegating to others - it’s about relationships, credibility, passion and conviction, and ultimately about what you do.

"Everyone has the capacity to be a leader," says Posner. "It's not some mystical inborn quality. It's an observable pattern of practices and behaviors, and a definable set of skills and abilities. As one young leader told us, 'You never know where one step will take you. And you never know where the next one will lead. The difference in being a leader is that you take that step.'"

Kouzes and Posner’s research led them to develop the following Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®:

Model the Way. Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Eloquent speeches about common values, however, aren't nearly enough. Leaders' deeds are far more important than their words, so words and deeds must be consistent.

Inspire a Shared Vision. People talk about their personal-best leadership experiences as times when they imagined an exciting, highly attractive future for their organization. To enlist in a shared vision, people must believe that leaders understand their needs and have their interests at heart. Leaders forge a unity of purpose by showing constituents how the dream is for the common good.

Challenge the Process. Every single personal-best leadership case involved a change from the status quo. Not one person claimed to have achieved a personal best by keeping things the same. Leaders venture out. They also know that innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks. One way of dealing with the potential risks and failures of experimentation is to approach change through incremental steps and small wins. Try, fail, learn. That's the leader's mantra.

Enable Others to Act. Achieving greatness requires a team effort. Leaders foster collaboration and build trust. The more people trust their leaders, and each other, the more they take risks, make changes, and keep moving ahead. When leaders enable people to feel strong and capable, they'll give it their all and exceed their own expectations.

Encourage the Heart. The climb to the top is arduous and steep. People become exhausted, frustrated, and disenchanted. They're often tempted to give up. Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward. Recognizing contributions can be one-to-one or with many people. It can come from dramatic gestures or simple actions. It's part of the leader's job to show appreciation for people's contributions and to create a culture of celebrating values and victories.

"There are many opportunities to make these five practices part of your life, while you're working at a temporary job, before you get a position in your desired field or even before you have a paying job at all," says Kouzes. "You can inspire others right now. You can encourage others. You can shake up the status quo and take some risks. These are the hallmarks of exemplary leaders."

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Cheapest (and Priciest) Places to Live

May 26, 2017 1:36 am

Strapped for cash and struggling to live in your current locale? You may want to consider making a move. A new study from GoBankingRates.com shook down the most and least expensive cities across the country. Below are the results.

Top 5 Cheapest Places to Live

- Virginia Beach, Va.
- San Antonio, Texas
- Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Omaha, Neb.
- Arlington, Texas

Top 5 Most Expensive Places to Live

- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Oakland, Calif.
- New York City
- Anaheim, Calif.

Looking for a bit more info? The study shows that Virginia Beach, Va., has the highest median income ($66,634) of the 15 best cities for saving money. Of the cheapest cities to live, Wichita, Kan., has the lowest median list price ($137,250).  

At $4,500, San Francisco, the worst city for saving money, has the highest median monthly rent of any city included in the study. San Francisco also has the highest average gas price ($3.16) and highest median home listing price ($1,195,000). Bakersfield, Calif., has a 10.9 percent unemployment rate, the highest of any city in the study.

Of all the cities examined, Honolulu, Hawaii, has the highest average monthly cost of groceries ($490.53).

Source: http://www.gobankingrates.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Avoid a Home Robbery This Summer

May 26, 2017 1:36 am

Nothing will stunt the joy of summer faster than a home robbery. But as homeowners head out on daytrips or long vacations, their homes are ripe for robbers casing neighborhoods for empty houses.

"According to the FBI, summer is the peak season for burglaries as people head outdoors and on vacation," said Melina Engel, vice president of marketing with SimpliSafe.

SimpliSafe offers the following tips to help keep your home secure all season long.

Have someone mow your lawn. There's nothing like bushy grass to flag that you're out of town.

Put a "stop" on your mail. Skip the online shopping before you go away. If something slips through the cracks, have a friend or neighbor keep an eye out for packages and mail piling up. Packages on doorsteps are ripe for the picking and can clue that you may be away.

Put your lights on an automatic timer, and not just one light. Rotate them so it gives the impression that someone is home.

Install a motion-sensitive floodlight to scare off critters and potential burglars alike.

Be careful about open windows. As warm weather arrives and windows fly open, don't forget to close and lock each one, especially on the ground floor, before you hit the road.

Get to know your neighbors. If you're not already on a friendly basis with your neighbors, now is the perfect time to dust off your tollhouse cookie recipe and swing by with a sweet treat and your contact info, in case they spot something suspicious.

Source: SimpliSafe

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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