June Croissette
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RE/MAX 440   June Croissette
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309  Quakertown, PA  18951
Office Phone: 215-538-4400    Phone: 215-538-4400 Ext. 1210  Fax: 267-354-6834  Cell: 215-872-4966
jcroissette@remax440.com

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Fountain of Youth: 7 Foods for Longevity

June 24, 2016 1:27 am

The average American can expect to live until just shy of 80 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though physical activity contributes to a long, healthy life, food also plays a role, says longevity researcher Dan Buettner, who recently partnered with National Geographic to match local food norms with populations who consistently live the longest.

Their report suggests seven food choices common to those who live well into old age:

Avocados – The fat in avocados is mostly monounsaturated fat—10 grams in just half. Regularly eating avocado can boost nutrient absorption, support eye health, and even contribute to weight loss.

Berries – Fruit satisfies the craving for sugar, and berries, which contain lower amounts of sugar than most fruits, are among the best choices. Regular consumption of whole berries has been shown to reduce the risk for disease.

Fish – Not surprisingly, populations that eat a lot of fish almost invariably live longer lives. While salmon has the rep for lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, most seafood contain the healthy fat and protein.

Garlic – Apart from adding flavor to food, garlic contains nutrients that can boost your immune system. Chop it yourself—pre-minced garlic has too many preservatives.

Nuts – Most varieties contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber, a combination shown to improve cognitive health. They are high in calories, so munch in moderation.

Olive Oil – Like avocados, this staple of the Mediterranean diet is a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which, according to dozens of studies, reduces the risk of heart disease even more so than a low-fat diet.

Whole Grains – New research suggests obesity can occur because a lack of fiber negatively affects intestinal bacteria. Whole grains are filled with important nutrients, particularly fiber, that can counteract this effect, staving off later-in-life conditions.

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Need Roof Work? 5 Tips to Avoid Scams

June 24, 2016 1:27 am

Replacing or repairing a roof is a costly undertaking—one that for many homeowners has been marred by disreputable roofing contractors. To avoid roofing scams, follow these tips, courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Home & Business Safety (IBHS):

1. Research roofing contractors diligently before hiring one. Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and search for reviews and ratings online. Avoid contractors who have generated complaints, lawsuits, etc.

2. Confirm all credentials before hiring a contractor. A reputable roofing professional will be licensed, insured and bonded, and will be able to provide locally-based references. Request to review their license number, federal tax identification number, and certificate of insurance—a qualified professional will provide them. Fact-check this information with the appropriate authorities.

3. Get detailed estimates (in writing!) from contractors you’re considering hiring—more than one is best.

4. Do not enter into an agreement with a roofing contractor who solicits business at your doorstep, particularly after a storm. This could be a sign of an imposter.

5. Exercise caution when dealing with contracts. Be sure to read and re-read all documents, or have a third party review them with you, before signing them. Do not sign a contract with missing information—a fraudster may fill these blanks with inaccurate information. Do not feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot.

Most importantly, never pay upfront in full for roofing work. Scammers will make off with the money, never to be seen again.

Source: IBHS

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Staying Put? How to Prepare to Age-in-Place

June 24, 2016 1:27 am

​Many older homeowners are set on staying in their homes as they age—“aging-in-place.”

To stay put successfully, preparation is key, according to Corey Carlisle, executive director of the American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation.

“Older Americans make up the largest share of homeowners in the country,” said Carlisle in a statement. “In order for them to stay in their homes as they age, families and caregivers must plan ahead to ensure the elderly have all the resources they need to be safe, independent and financially secure.”

To start, Carlisle and the ABA Foundation recommend recruiting loved ones, or even a banker, to assess your finances. How long can you comfortably afford your current home? Will you need to budget for aging-in-place improvements? Will you require in-home care? Consider these questions as you evaluate your financial longevity.

A reverse mortgage is an important consideration—one that must be researched thoroughly. The ABA Foundation suggests visiting ReverseMortgage.org to comparison-shop for lenders and rates, and visiting HUD.gov to locate a reverse mortgage counselor in your area, before committing to a loan.

Size up your current home to see what modifications will likely be needed, and financially prepare to make them. Aging-in-place upgrades can include anything from handrails and no-slip flooring to a stair lift or ramp entrance—and, they can be as simple as placing an emergency contact list in plain view at home, according to the ABA Foundation.

After you’ve established a viable aging-in-place plan, conduct six-month check-ins going forward, the ABA Foundation advises. Revisiting your plan periodically will help you better adapt to the inevitable changes of aging.

Source: ABA

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How to Stay Safe While on Summer Vacation

June 23, 2016 1:27 am

Summer vacation is the time to unwind—but that doesn’t mean we should overlook safety.

Incidents can and do happen on vacations, says Jeffrey Pellegrino, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council.

“Prevention is the key to avoiding accidents or illness while on vacation,” Pellegrino says. “It's important to know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Know what injuries are life-threatening and understand that small injuries can lead to bigger issues if they are not properly cared for.”

Dehydration, for instance, can happen no matter where you’re traveling, Pellegrino explains. Sprains are one of the most common incidents on cruises, whereas those traveling to the mountains may be more prone to falls. In general, Pellegrino advises travelers to tote remedies like a first-aid kit, bug spray, medications and tweezers.

If a loved one on vacation with you experiences a non-life-threatening allergic reaction, administer an oral antihistamine, Pellegrino recommends. For life-threatening reactions, epinephrine is essential.

If you’ve spent too much time in the sun, move to a cooler area as soon as possible. If needed, apply a topical to abate pain, Pellegrino says. If you’ve been bitten by an insect, use an over-the-counter medication to curb the sensation of burning or itching. If you’ve been stung by a jellyfish, wash the wound with vinegar or baking soda and water for at least 30 seconds.

It’s worth considering becoming first-aid- or CPR-certified, Pellegrino adds. Red Cross provides both in-person and online training. Sign up at RedCross.org/TakeaClass.

Source: American Red Cross

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8 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Summer Party

June 23, 2016 1:27 am

Celebrations are moving outside for the summer. Green your next outdoor gathering with these tips, courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP):

• Rent reusable tablecloths, tables and other event supplies to reduce your impact.

• Use reusable plates, cups, and cutlery if possible—or look for disposable plates or napkins made from recycled content. Avoid polystyrene foam products. “Compost-able” dinnerware is only “greener” if you compost it!

• Serve locally-grown foods whenever possible. This reduces the carbon output of transporting goods to supermarket shelves.

• Serve finger foods to minimize the use of plates and utensils.

• Serve drinks from pitchers or bottles, rather than buying individual drinks.

• Provide separate, clearly marked containers for trash and recycling.

• Do not release helium balloons into the air. This protects wildlife, particularly marine animals living inland and in coastal areas.

• Choose edible or plantable items as centerpieces or favors. These are less likely to end up in the trash. Buy local plants from farmers markets or stands, or, source from a pick-your-own location near home.

Enjoy your next party—the environmentally-friendly way—with these tips. The Earth will thank you! 

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Millennials: Buying a Home Top Priority over Next 5 Years

June 23, 2016 1:27 am

Millennials may differ from generations before them, but they share at least one aspiration: buying a home.

That’s according to a recent study commissioned by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), an association of financial professionals, exploring the priorities of millennials. Close to half of millennials in the study, conducted by Harris Poll, are prioritizing buying or renovating a home in the next five years, topping a list that includes paying off student loans and getting married. The study found:

• 48 percent are prioritizing buying or renovating a home;
• 45 percent are prioritizing advancing in a career;
• 41 percent are prioritizing having a financial plan;
• 33 percent are prioritizing paying off student loans; and
• 30 percent are prioritizing getting engaged or married.

Notably absent from milllennials’ priorities is retirement. Millennials in the study expect to retire, on average, at 62 years old—younger than the expectations expressed by other generations—but just 22 percent are saving for it.

“Millennial expectations to retire at a younger age than their predecessors do not match with their lack of financial action,” observes Brian D. Heckert, president of MDRT. “While most say it's a priority to focus on planning, less than 10 percent have actually started doing so. What they may not realize is that having a plan now can give them greater retirement savings and increased financial security during those golden years.”

Source: Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)

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What to Buy (and Not to Buy) in June

June 22, 2016 1:27 am

With graduations, weddings and Father’s Day to celebrate, you may find your wallet takes a hit come June. Looking for some relief? Here’s the scoop on bargains—and what can wait—from the shopping mavens at DealNews and NerdWallet.

Carpeting/Flooring – June is typically a slow season for flooring retailers, so be on the lookout for low prices—and don’t be shy about negotiating for installation discounts.

Fishing, Gardening and Hardware Equipment – June historically offers deals on fishing equipment and home-related items, like gardening and hardware tools.

Gym Memberships – Gym memberships tend to fall in June (when many exercise outdoors), so take advantage of discounted rates for the fall.

Laptops – School may be out, but many electronics retailers kick-off back-to-school sales in June. Expect deals at Apple stores, Best Buy and online on Amazon.

Lingerie – June is semi-annual sales month at Victoria’s Secret and other lingerie retailers. Gift yourself or a soon-to-be bride with an affordable set.

Outdoor Gear – In June, many outdoor retail chains offering fitness- and sports-wear and accessories slash prices up to 50 percent.

Swimwear – Expect early-season sales on swimwear in June—or, wait until just after July 4 for real blow-out savings.

Hold off on:

A/C Units – The hotter the summer, the higher the prices. Wait for end-of season discounts if you can.

Bicycles – Prices are highest in early summer. Wait until fall for the best buys.

Grills and Patio Sets – Prices are at a premium once summer starts. Delay buying a grill or patio furniture until August, when retailers reduce stock.

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Critics' Picks from the 2016 Architectural Digest Show

June 22, 2016 1:27 am

Trends in architecture and interior design come and go. For residential design, it’s important to note the trends that have real staying power—ones that will serve the needs of homeowners well beyond the year-long design cycle.

So, what’s hot, what’s not, and what trends are most practical for homeowners? We look to some of the critics’ picks from the recently-held annual Architectural Digest Design Show:

• Architects-ToyBox.com was among many exhibitors highlighting Sony’s Life Space UX, technology that provides “transformative sensorial impact” of lights, sounds and visuals applied in unexpected ways. On-trend products include:

- LED Bulb Speaker ($239), combining a dim-able LED light and speaker into an ordinary light bulb;

- Glass Sound Speaker ($799), a wireless speaker with ambient LED illumination; and

- Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector ($999), capable of throwing a 22- to 80-inch image onto walls, tables, or any adjacent surface.

• Luke Lamp Co. displayed its sought-after rewired industrial light fixtures, which are currently endorsed by the likes of Twitter and Urban Outfitters.

• Jenn-Air also earned top marks from critics for its Wi-Fi-enabled wall oven and Obsidian refrigerators.

Based on critics’ takeaways from the show, interior design is generally gravitating toward dark, saturated shades (eggplant, navy blue), light finishes (blond wood, copper), and rounded elements (arc-shaped sofas, circular lamps). As expected, eco-friendly products remain top-of-the-heap.

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How-To: Start a Container Garden

June 22, 2016 1:27 am

Container gardening is ideal for inexperienced gardeners, or those who have limited space to plant (or inexperienced gardeners with limited space to plant!).

Container gardens add life to a landscape without requiring extensive care, says Claire Watson, spokesperson with Wave Petunias.

Wave and Watson recently teamed with HGTV star Kelly Edwards (“Design on a Dime”) to offer up container gardening guidance. Their top tips:

Look for “personality” planters. Whether you appreciate bold patterns, textures (think ridges) or zingy colors, select planters that suit your personal style—and with adequate drainage!

Remember the one-inch rule. No matter the sizes of your planters, leave one inch of space between the potting soil and the top of the container before planting. If you’re using oversized planters, pad the bottom with plastic water bottles before adding soil.

Mix-and-match plants. Before planting, plan which coordinating species will fill which container. Break up the container visually with plants of varying colors, heights and textures.

Avoid water-logging. Overwatering can stunt growth. To determine when it’s time to water, place your finger into the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time!

Keep in mind, also, that container gardens are just one component of an outdoor space, adds Watson. Your new container garden may complement an existing outdoor space, or inspire a whole new design.

Source: Wave Petunias

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How to Have a Stellar Staycation

June 21, 2016 1:27 am

(TNS)—Finding your finances have fallen short of your vacation goals, but still want to have fun during your time off from work? Don't worry. Staycations don't have to be dull or dreary. By strategically balancing day trips and a few overnight splurges, you can still enjoy your down time and return to work feeling refreshed. Here are some of my favorite ways to do so.

Hikes

Easy-to-moderate day hikes are a great way to grab some quality family time, especially if the trails are acceptable for four-legged children to be included, as well. Recently, while staying at an exotic wildlife sanctuary outside of Tampa, we were invited on a day trip with the sanctuary founder and several seasonal college interns majoring in biology, zoology and other fields related to animals and the outdoors. Our destination? The Circle B Bar Reserve in the town of Lakeland for a day of trail hiking and wildlife spotting.

With the majority of the group being on a college budget, we pinched pennies by packing a picnic lunch and collecting digital photos as our chosen souvenir. The reserve has no entrance fee, and plenty of restroom options and covered pavilions. We were there for hours, spotting birds, turtles, snakes, alligators and more in their natural habitat. It was refreshing to see a group of young people so thrilled with a nature outing that they couldn't stop talking about it for the entire drive, especially since the only costs associated with the day trip were gas and picnic supplies, such as ice and bottled drinks.

History

It's always fun to learn a little something while you enjoy a day trip. Within striking distance of the house we recently sold in Florida, a number of historical tourism options exist for interested travelers. For example, St. Augustine's Castillo De San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monument are each worthy of a day trip in their own right. Similarly, the Tampa Bay History Center and the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park in Homosassa offer fun day outings for the whole family, as well. Hanging close to home for reasons of school schedules or air fare budget constraints doesn't mean you have to sit home every day. Period mansions, battlefield sites and historical re-enactments all make great excursions for enthusiastic staycationers.

Hotels

Overnights or multi-day getaways can easily be incorporated into a staycation, particularly if you book your accommodations midweek to avoid weekend price hikes. The money saved by traveling on less expensive days can be redirected for fun splurges such as spa treatments, happy hour snacks or even outlet shopping. By carefully choosing a hotel with plentiful amenities, breakfast service and evening manager's receptions, you can easily maximize the value of your expenditure for greater wow factor. During a two-week vacation, even one brief trip out of town can be incorporated for less than the cost of a single plane ticket. This splurge, combined with a few day trips and at-home indulgences, can help even the most modest budget feel more luxurious.

TrekHound.com founder Myscha Theriault has sold her home, all her furniture and most of her other belongings to travel the world full time with her husband. You can follow her adventures on Twitter via @MyschaTheriault.

©2016 Myscha Theriault
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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