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Gail Hoover
4789 Route 309
Center Valley  PA 18034
 Phone: 610-791-4400
Office Phone: 610-791-4400
Cell: 610-217-8136
Fax: 267-354-6890 
gailhoover@aol.com
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Gail Hoover

Gail's Inspirations

How Overwatering Your Lawn Can Cost You

August 28, 2014 12:57 am

Overwatering your lawn is not only detrimental to your water bill, but can also disrupt the ecosystem, advises the Environmental Protection Agency. Healthy lawns are inhibited by too much saturation, so skip the daily sprinkler and water only when necessary. Here’s why:

Root damage
- Your lawn only needs one inch of water a week in growing season, and overwatering can encourage growth of root systems that are shallow, not strong.

Weed growth - Weeds thrive in moist conditions, and an overwatered lawn prevents oxygen from reaching the roots, which leaves the grass vulnerable to insects and plant diseases.

Environmental effects
– Overwatering can lead to runoff, which carries fertilizers and pesticides into storm drains and larger public waterways.

If you notice your lawn is turning brown in color, don’t panic. This signals the start of a natural dormant period, which is not at all harmful to your lawn.

To cut back on watering, consider scaling down the size of your lawn by planting trees, shrubs and other ground coverings. In addition, richer soil holds water for longer stretches of time, so add mulch or compost to conserve even more.

Source: Consumer Reports

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Five Steps to Building a Better Credit Score

August 28, 2014 12:57 am

According to a recent survey by BMO Harris Bank, the majority of Americans (80 percent) across all ages say they are knowledgeable about how to achieve a good credit rating. Half check their score once a year, while 30 percent check it every few years or less. One fifth do not know their score.

On average, Americans believe a good credit score is 660. Among millennials, that number drops to 625, and those aged 35-54 and 55 and older believe a good score is 675.

Overall findings indicate that while most Americans believe they have a solid understanding of what a good credit score is, there is confusion around attaining it. Harris offers a number of basic tips to manage and improve a credit score, including:

Check your credit report. This should be done at least 60-90 days before applying for a loan in order to make sure that the report is correct. If it is incorrect, notify a credit agency before you apply for a loan. Checking your score will not change the number.

Pay your bills on time.
When a bill is paid late, or is even 30 days past due, it can show up on your credit report for up to seven years.

Use credit when needed.
If you never use credit of any kind, it doesn't mean that you'll have a great credit history. Lenders generally prefer to see some type of satisfactory payment history.

Use your cards lightly. Racking up big balances can hurt your scores, regardless of whether you pay your bills in full each month. You often can increase your score by paying the balance off and keeping it low.

Consider that credit needs to be built up. A credit score is something that can take time to improve, so don't expect immediate changes and plan ahead. Your credit behavior can take months to be reflected in your score.

"The good news here is most Americans are not far off in what they believe is considered a good score, which we generally tell customers is in the 680-720 range. However, there's some room for improvement," notes Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, Head of Retail Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "Encouraging education around credit scores is a major focus for us. A credit score stays with you as you go through your financial life, and can impact major decisions.”

Survey results cited in this report are from interviews with an online sample of 1,004 Americans conducted between July 2nd and July 4th, 2014. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Source: BMO Harris Bank

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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What Can Happen If Your Child Skips School?

August 21, 2014 1:42 am

With the new school year starting soon, school districts are reminding parents that truancy isn't just the student's and school's problem, but may have serious ramifications for parents as well.

Truancy is the legal name for skipping school. In most states, truancy occurs whenever a student a certain age or under (17 in most states, 16 in some) is absent from school without an excuse from a parent or guardian. Although skipping school is often romanticized in pop culture, according to U.S. News & World Report, school districts are cracking down on both truant students and their parents.

So what can happen if your child skips school?

Discipline for 'Truant' Students

Though truancy refers to skipping school in general, a "truant" is generally a child who has skipped school more than the number of times allowed by a particular school district.

Students who are considered truant will be subject to discipline by the school district, which can include being barred from participating in sports or other activities, suspension, or even expulsion from the school. Increasingly, however, schools are getting tough on truancy by also referring truancy cases to juvenile courts.

In Arizona's Pima County, for example, a student who has three unexcused absences from school is referred to the Center for Juvenile Alternatives, which works with the county's juvenile court system to offer the student, and the student's parents, the choice of a diversion program or court-ordered sanctions.

Criminal Charges against Parents May Be Possible

An increasing number of states are also filing criminal charges against the parents of truant children.

For example, dozens of parents in Baltimore were sentenced to jail for their children's chronic truancy. And one California mother was sentenced to 180 days in county jail after her two kids missed a total of 116 days of school in 2011.

A couple in Virginia even faced criminal charges after their kids were repeatedly tardy for school. The couple faced up to $3,000 in fines under Virginia's truancy laws after their children were late to school 85 times over the course of several months.

Withdrawing Your Child from School

If you're dissatisfied with your school's curriculum, treatment of your child, or rules regarding truancy, one option is to withdraw your child from public school altogether.

Although withdrawing your child from public school will allow you to homeschool your child, you may still be responsible for adhering to any state laws regarding truancy as they apply to homeschooled children.

Source: Findlaw.com. 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Top Six Most Useful Kitchen Additions

August 21, 2014 1:42 am

Modern kitchens are generally built with space and convenience in mind. But if you’re living with an older kitchen, there are easy additions you may want to consider to maximize available space and cooking area.

The Wall St. Journal’s home and living editors provide their top six suggestions:

  • Kitchen island – A kitchen island can double or triple both food preparation and storage space. An inexpensive portable island can give you space and flexibility.
  • Wall oven – It’s a lot easier to baste a turkey at eye level than it is when it’s below the stove – and there’s something to be said for the extra elbow room it will give you when you are multi-tasking in the kitchen. Lastly, a wall oven with two compartments gives you extra baking space and the availability of convection or rotisserie options.
  • Cabinet organizers/lazy susans/pullout shelves – Easy access to pantry items and pots and pans make food preparation easier and faster. Consider having lazy susans, pull-out shelves and other organizers built into your kitchen cabinets.
  • Pot and pan racks – If cabinet space is an issue, think about wall-mounted racks to keep you most-used pots and pans within easy reach. A trip to the home store or a look online will yield plenty of options.
  • Dishwashers – Today’s large capacity and energy-efficient dishwashers are a boon to the family cook. Install one if you don’t already have one built in – or replace the one you have if it’s more than seven or eight years old.
  • Ventilation system – Experts say that cooking churns out airborne contaminants like nothing else in the home – and even food that smells great while it’s cooking doesn’t smell so good hours or days later. With the right ventilation system, odors and contaminants will become a thing of the past.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Giving Thanks & Helping Others

November 30, 2012 11:56 am

As Thanksgiving 2012 approaches, we have just survived the largest storm to hit the Lehigh Valley in our lifetime. Fortunately, most of us locally only lost power, a few trees, shingles and maybe a car – not our homes. As we deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I’ve been looking for the positives in this experience. (Read More)

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February Open House Schedule

February 10, 2012 8:43 pm

February 19, 2012  Doors open at 1 pm till 3.

106 Center Dr., Hamilton Twp $199,900
Brand new on the market. Be one of the 1st to tour this great home.

114 Quaker Dr., Bethlehem Twp $153,900
New Price - Owners are serious and willing to look at serious offers.

February 26, 2012  Doors open at 1 pm till 3.

37 N. 17th St., Allentown $159,900
New Price - We've made special financing available that will allow you to finance any improvements you'd like to make. Details at Open House.

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Home sales continue to improve.

January 22, 2012 12:26 pm

Since real estate is one of the leading indicators of the economy, you might be interested in this article.   http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/20/real_estate/home_sales/index.htm

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FREE Home Seller Seminar

January 20, 2012 4:47 am

FREE Home Seller Seminar! Sunday, Feb. 12th, starting 1pm till 2:30.
Get all the tools you need to “Be Prepared” when entering the real estate process. Learn how to sell your home in 30 days for Top Dollar, hassle free. We created this seminar because we saw how Home Sellers were losing money day after day when selling their home because they were not prepared. We will give you all the tools you need so you can make sure that you keep every penny you can in your pocket. Attending a seminar is a must! Learn from an expert.

Stunning West Park Historic home - Open House 1/15 Sunday from 1-3

January 13, 2012 7:46 pm

Do you love antiques and old world charm? Do you believe "They just don't make them like they used to"? You will absolutely fall in love with 37 N. 17th St., Allentown.  Natural woodwork, pocket doors, stained glass windows, duel staircases, gas fireplace and the list goes on.
Open House this Sunday, 1/15 from 1-3 pm. We've made some special financing options on this home. Details will be available at the Open House.
See you Sunday.

January Open House Schedule

December 27, 2011 7:55 am

Open Houses are Sunday 1-3pm

Jan. 8 - 114 Quaker Dr., Bethlehem Twp $159,900 This is one of the largest units in Penns Farms.  3/2.5 townhouse condo with family room is in need of paint and carpet. Well worth your sweat equity. Jan. 8 is also Elvis' birthday! Give us your best Elvis impersonation and there may be a door prize in your future. 

Jan. 15 - 37 N. 17th St., Allentown. $169,900 West Park Historic District.  This gorgeous West Park single home has been featured in STYLE magazine because of it stunning stained glass, natural woodwork, pocket doors, fireplace and the list goes on.

Jan. 22 - TBD

Jan. 29 - TBD

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