Why do you need a real estate agent to buy a home?

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Just like you have an attorney by your side in court and a doctor to set the leg you broke, it makes no sense to go it alone or do it yourself when purchasing what is likely your largest single investment.

Consider this:

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Staging don’ts when preparing your home for sale

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Unless you’ve been living in East Jibip, you’ve probably heard how staging your home can positively impact the sale price and shorten the marketing time.

There’s been plenty written about what to do when staging your home, but consider a few things NOT to do:

  1. Exercise restraint! Keep it simple and don’t overdo it. Staging should enhance, not overwhelm. The objective is to create space a buyer can imagine themselves living in with their stuff. Set the stage, but don’t paint the entire picture, as it could be one they’d never buy.
  2. Furniture doesn’t always belong up against the wall! Configure furniture so it promotes conversation in the living and family rooms whenever possible.
  3. Pay attention to details. The goal is to provide a blank canvas for the Buyer to work with, but create some interest with small details. Things like fresh flowers in the master bedroom and kitchen, plush towels and pretty soaps in the bath, a soft blanket draped across a bed, colorful pillows or nice glassware at the bar are all special touches that don’t overwhelm.
  4. Not every room must be staged. All areas should be immaculate and uncluttered, but focus on the kitchen, living and/or family room, master bedroom and the baths. Again, the goal is for the Buyer to imagine their stuff in your space, which is hard for most Buyers to do when a house is over decorated.
  5. Conventional wisdom dictates that you should remove yourself as much as possible, which means your personal photos have gotta go, especially those bad wedding pictures from the 80’s, your kids’ school pictures with the newly cut bangs, and the bear rug glamour shot that hangs over your bed. A baby photo in your child’s room or a picture of your spouse on your bedside table tells a story of love and happiness in your home, which can’t be a bad thing.

Above all, be brutal on yourself when de-cluttering, and clean like your life depends on it. Of course it doesn’t, but the successful sale of your home does.

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How dentists can alleviate dental anxiety

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

Treating a person with dental anxiety is always a challenge to the conscientious dentist. Luckily, dentists have some tools that they can use with these patients.

Anxiety about going to the dentist can range from a mild feeling of nervousness to an almost paralyzing fear of walking into the office (or making that first call). It is important for the dental practitioner to recognize the anxiety and address it in order for the patient to achieve good oral health.

One option is to prescribe a mild relaxing medication (i.e. valium) for the patient to take before leaving home. This is good for dealing with mild to moderate anxiety. The negative, however, is that the patient will need a driver to get to the appointment and home again.

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How you handle money is critical to your well-being

submitted by Joan Reading, President of the Credit Counseling Center

Do you find yourself asking where your money goes at the end of each month? Do you worry that you won’t have enough money to pay for car repairs or to fix your washing machine if it’s on the blink?

According to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, three-quarters of people in households making less than $50,000 a year and two-thirds of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill.

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Medicare now covers conversations about end-of-life care

submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com

Did you know that 40% of people over age 65 have not written down their wishes regarding life support and other end-of-life treatment? One reason for this may be that people have not had a conversation with their doctor about the options that are available.

In the past, Medicare did not cover these doctor-patient conversations – except during the patient’s initial “Welcome to Medicare” visit, a time when the topic might not seem very relevant. Under new regulations, however, Medicare will cover these conversations at any time.

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The reality of a dream home

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Everyone has their idea of a “dream” home. The problem occurs when it has no basis in reality. Budget constraints, differing priorities, limited inventory and unrealistic expectations can all influence the home buying experience.

While buying a new home is never without its stressors, there ARE steps you can take to make sure your experience is as fun as it should be.

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Consider ‘fast food dentistry’ as a viable option

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

Good dentistry can be likened to fine dining. Just like a meal in a fine restaurant is prepared specifically for the individual, allowing time to prepare with great attention to detail and service, so also is good comprehensive dentistry. There are times, however, where an individual might need, or want, that fast food burger and fries.

In the world of dentistry, the same concept exists. Sometimes fast food is just right. When a patient is approaching a big event, he may decide that he would like to improve his smile – without investing a lot of time or money. The dentist can work with the patient to determine the cosmetic issues and offer some suggestions that fit the time and money criterion.

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How dentists help you maintain healthy gums

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

The goal of good and ethical dentists should be to help their patients maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime. Because teeth are attached to the gums, it is necessary to maintain healthy gums in order to hold on to those teeth.

The dentist has many procedures and tools at his disposal to aid in achieving this goal. One of them, gum grafting, has proven to be very successful. Gum grafts are routinely performed by specialists (periodontists) and also general dentists who have taken advanced training. Several issues indicate that a gum graft may be in order.

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Low inventory and high demand of homes in Bucks County

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

The trend in our local Bucks County market of low inventory and high demand is continuing. The gap between ready, willing and able buyers and available homes to sell them is continuing to widen.

In many cases where homes are priced properly and in good condition, we’re consistently seeing multiple-offer situations, buyers paying above appraised value and/or asking price, and homes selling in less than 10 days in our local market.

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Tongue-tied? Maybe you need a frenectomy

submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design

Occasionally a patient will show up at the dental office needing a frenectomy. This procedure is not a cause for alarm, but a fairly simple solution to a potentially troublesome condition.

A frenectomy is the removal (surgically with a scalpel or with a laser) of a frenum in the mouth. The lingual frenum connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth while the maxillary labial frenum connects the inside of the upper lip to the gums, just above the upper two front teeth.

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