Gunning Real Estate Team
Gunning Real Estate Team
1110 North Broad Street  Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone: 267-236-5416| Office Phone: 215-362-2260
| Fax: 267-354-6837
Cell: 267-236-5416
RE/MAX 440

Gunning Daily News

How To: Sleep Better Tonight

March 4, 2013 6:00 pm

A good night’s sleep can aid your productivity, allow you to feel fresh and alert, and even keep you healthier in the long run. To improve your sleep, try the following tips:

  • Exercise regularly. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  • Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
  • Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
  • Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
  • Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a "worry book" so you can address those issues the next day.
  • If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
  • If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or "stop breathing" episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.


Word of the Day

March 4, 2013 6:00 pm

Joint tenancy. Property owned by two or more persons with equal and undivided interest and ownership and the right of survivorship. If one owner dies, the property automatically passes to the others.

Q: Are Home Improvements Deductable?

March 4, 2013 6:00 pm

A: Yes, but only after you have sold your home. According to the IRS, home improvements add to the basis, or value, of your home. A tax-acceptable improvement is defined as one that adds value to your home, "considerably" prolongs your home's useful life, or adapts your house to new uses. Examples include installing new plumbing or wiring or adding a bathroom. If the work done on the home is purely for maintenance, the cost cannot be deducted and generally cannot be added to the basis, or value, of your home. However, repairs done as part of an extensive remodeling or restoration of your home are considered improvements and therefore pass the deductible test.

Avoid These Costly Central Air Mistakes

March 1, 2013 5:32 pm

Air conditioning is almost a necessity for homes in very warm climates – but considering that the cost for running the unit amounts to almost 70 percent of your summer electric bill, it’s wise to avoid the costly mistakes that can lead to excessive outlay.

If a new air conditioning unit is in your future, take these tips from professional installers to help reduce usage and trim costs to a minimum:

  • Buy the right size – An oversized unit will not cool any faster, but will run far less efficiently. A too-small unit will not properly cool the space. Don’t guess. Consult with a professional to determine the proper size needed for your home.
  • Place it properly – A unit placed on the southwest side of the house will almost always work too hard. Install the air conditioner in a shady spot on the east or north side of the house, where there is less direct sunlight.
  • Don’t surround it with plants – Sure, the unit is not pretty, but trying to hide it behind shrubs or other plants will hinder ventilation, clog condenser coils, and make the unit run less efficiently.
  • Use a programmable thermostat – Despite rumors to the contrary, it cheaper and more efficient than letting the unit run all day.
  • Be careful about closing off unused rooms – Closing the vents and doors of unused rooms can decrease the efficiency of central air conditioning. Consult an expert before you do.
  • Use ceiling fans wisely – The air conditioner should be used in tandem with ceiling fans. Make sure the fan Is switched to push air downward (typically counter-clockwise.) The downward airflow creates a ‘wind chill effect,’ which makes you feel cooler.
  • Don’t ignore maintenance - Clean or replace filters every two months – more frequently if there is a lot of dust or pet hair in your home. Check and clean the evaporator coil once a year. Run a stiff wire through the drain channels regularly – and check the window seals each year to be sure the cool air is not leaking out.

Time Is Ticking on Taking Certain Energy Credits

March 1, 2013 5:32 pm

According to a report by Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology - part of the recent “fiscal cliff” legislation provided certain tax credits for home energy efficiency improvements. These tax credits, coupled with financial incentives available for energy efficiency improvements, are available right now to qualified applicants in various states.

In Illinois for example, applicants could receive an instant rebate of up to $1,750 from Energy Impact Illinois and their local utility. According to the report, homeowners can also claim another credit of up to $500 for the very same improvements, so long as they are eligible under a state tax extension.

The Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (EEBC) reminds builders and homeowners that certain energy-efficient home products must be “placed in service” before December, 31, 2013. And remember - taxpayers, who claimed $500 or more of this credit in prior years, particularly 2009 and 2010, can no longer participate.

A credit of $2,000 is available to builders who develop site-built and manufactured homes projected to save at least 50 percent of heating and cooling energy based on standards in the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code.

A $1,000 credit is available to manufactured home producers for models that save 30 percent or that qualify for the federal Energy Star Homes program. These credits are available for buildings or systems placed in service before December 31, 2013.

See a state-by-state breakdown of energy efficiency programs courtesy of the nonprofit ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy) by clicking visiting

Soul-Lifting Home Improvements That Are Good for Your Wallet, Too

March 1, 2013 5:32 pm

(BPT) - No matter how value conscious a homeowner may be, few people ever make a home improvement simply to increase their house's resale value. People also undertake home improvements to enhance their enjoyment of their home - or to fix a problem, which, in its own way, is good for the soul, too.

When it comes to deciding how to spend your renovation dollars, some home improvements can boost both your spirits and your home value. Here are some soul-lifting home improvements that also add value to your home:

Install a skylight
The health benefits of natural light are well known. Not only does sunlight stimulate the body's production of Vitamin D, it also boosts brain levels of serotonin. Lower serotonin levels have been associated with depression, decreased physical energy, increased appetite and elevated desire for sleep. A lack of sunlight has long been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder - something your dear old grandmother might have simply called "the winter blues."

And there's another consideration with today's tightly built and heavily insulated homes - indoor air quality. According to the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (, most of our exposure to environmental pollution occurs by breathing the air indoors.

Adding a traditional or tubular skylight - to virtually any room in the house - brings more mood-boosting natural light into your home. It's also a smart money decision. Energy-saving, solar-powered fresh-air skylights, like those made by Velux America,-can be opened-to bring much-needed outside air into your home, providing passive ventilation to reduce humidity and stale air, and reduce heating, cooling and lighting costs. Energy Star-qualified solar powered fresh-air skylights and accessories like solar-powered blinds, plus the installation, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit - now that's good for the soul.

You can learn more about energy-efficient skylights and calculate your tax credit for a new or replacement model at For more on skylights and other home energy saving tips visit

Add a sunroom
While you're thinking about the benefits of more natural light in your home, consider adding a sunroom. One of these light-filled retreats returns more than 46 percent of the initial cost when it's time to sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report. In a 2012 survey by the National Association of Home Builders, 52 percent of builders rated sunrooms as "desirable" or "essential" - ranking them higher than other specialty rooms like workout rooms, dens or even media rooms.

Sunrooms can be a great way to make your small home feel much larger, without the expense of a bigger, costlier addition. They also speak to our natural affinity for the outdoors, allowing you to enjoy nature year-round, even when it's too cold to be outside.

Upgrade your bathroom

The trend of bathrooms as a restive oasis doesn't show any signs of disappearing. If you doubt the popularity of luxury bathroom fittings, just visit the showerhead aisle in any home improvement store. Options include everything from rainfall shower heads to multi-jet contraptions that promise a spa-like experience in your own shower stall. Add in jetted tubs, towel warmers and amenities like under-floor heating, and it's easy to understand why real estate pros continue to cite a great bathroom as a must-have for many buyers.

Even if you don't have the space or budget for a major bathroom renovation - which Remodeling Magazine says returns more than 65 percent of its value on resale - even making modest improvements can boost your mood. Replacing old fixtures with newer more luxurious models, such as a touch-free faucet or multiple shower heads, can be an easy, cost-effective way to enhance your enjoyment of your bathroom.

Word of the Day

March 1, 2013 5:32 pm

Interim financing. Short-term loan usually made during the construction phase of a building project or until a permanent, long-term loan can be obtained. Also called a construction loan.

Q: How Can I Make Energy Efficient Improvements to My Home?

March 1, 2013 5:32 pm

A: Begin by focusing on those small cracks and crevices around doors and windows. According to Lowe’s, a 1/8” space between a standard exterior door and its threshold is equivalent to a two square inch hole in the wall. Close those gaps to save up to 15% in heating and cooling costs and also reduce the demand on your heating and cooling system. Other energy efficient steps: lower your water heater’s thermostat setting; blanket or insulate the water heater to reduce the amount of heat lost by the unit, particularly if it is located in an unheated area; insulate water pipes, at least the hot water pipes to prevent heat lost that can cause your water heater to work harder; change furnace filters to prevent reduced airflow through the heating/cooling system and overheating that can lead to premature compressor damage in the A/C systems; and install water-saving shower heads.

Staying Safe When Lightning Strikes

March 1, 2013 4:02 pm

While the chances of being struck by lightning are slim, with stormy weather coming our way in spring, it’s good to be prepared. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an average of 54 people are reported killed each year by lightning. Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of symptoms, including memory loss, dizziness and other ailments.

Although lightning can happen during anytime of the year, most lightning strikes and lightning fires occur most often in the summer. Michael Pruitt, fire safety expert, presents the following safety tips:

  • Look for shelter inside a home or large building.
  • Stay away from windows or doors.
  • Do not hide under tall trees for shelter.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, like computers and electronic equipment.
  • Avoid washing your hands, doing laundry or washing dishes.
  • If a person is hit by lightning, call 911 and get medical care immediately.

As we know, no safety tip is 100 percent safety proof, but being aware can help increase your safety during severe weather come summer.

Michael Pruitt, a veteran firefighter, has served as a Deputy Chief and Fire Chief in Texas. He is one of a handful of executives worldwide who holds the distinguished Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation. He is CEO of Michael Pruitt and Associates, a firm specializing in fire safety.

Adding Technology—and Style—to the Bedroom

March 1, 2013 4:02 pm

(Family Features)--When it comes to adding technology to your home, the bedroom might not be the first place you would consider. But the reality is that high tech is becoming an integral part of every living space -- including the bedroom.

A survey by the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) looked at what designers expect to see in American homes by the year 2020. The report predicts that:

Master bedroom suites will get busier, sharing time as a home office, media center or exercise room.
97 percent of respondents believe that by 2020 many home furnishings will be activated by means such as voice and sensor. Primary candidates for remote control/motorized operation include lighting, entertainment gear, environmental controls and window treatments.

"High-tech is here to stay," says Emily Henderson, HGTV "Design Star" winner and designer on "Secrets from a Stylist" on HGTV. "Technology can make your life easier in so many ways. And with so much activity centered in the master suite, it makes sense to add useful tech devices into that living space, too."
Here are a few of Henderson's favorite ways to modernize the master bedroom in style:

Bed control

"It shouldn't take a lot of work to get comfortable enough to relax," said Henderson. "Traditional beds only have one position, and that's not going to be a good fit for everyone or every activity. That's why I love Leggett & Platt's adjustable bed bases. With a wireless remote I can easily change my position to be comfortable no matter what I'm doing."

Henderson says that today's adjustable base beds are not only more functional than old models, but they're more attractive, too. "You can find a style to fit your room and a model that offers the level of technology that you're comfortable with," she said.

Motorized window treatment control

"It's such a luxury to be able to lie in bed and use a remote to open your curtains or shades in the morning," said Henderson. "I think it officially means you are a grown up, but in a good way."

Henderson recommends that you get shades or curtains that have blackout lining, and ideally two settings -- one for privacy and light control, which would be lighter and thinner, and one with the blackout lining for that perfect dark room that you can sleep in. Blackout curtains also muffle outside noise. "I'm a big fan of The Shade Store motorized window treatments, which are all custom made. They are super high quality so less likely to break down and are still very attractive."

You can find motorized shades or shutters with a timer, which lets you program them to open and close whenever you like. Some have wall switches, while others have a remote control so you can operate them from anywhere.

Remote control TV mount
"Wall mounting your TV isn't anything new, but being able to lie in bed and control the exact placement (right, left, tilt up, tilt down) is a total luxury," says Henderson. "Many companies are starting to do this so you don't have to have the TV across from your bed, instead you can put it on a side wall and have the long extendable arm bring the TV to you -- by remote."

Make sure that your wall mount is compatible with your television.

Check the weight rating on the mounts and brackets to make sure they can support your TV.
Some mounts have different shapes to fit different screen sizes. Check the specification on the packaging to be sure.

Hide ugly cables with a cord concealer. You can find low-profile paintable flat screen cord cover kits at your local home improvement stores. Paint them to match your wall and they'll blend right in.

Heat control

Sleeping at the right temperature is crucial for a wakeless night's sleep, but finding an attractive thermostat can be tricky. "There are thermostats which you can control with your iPhone even if you are traveling, so that when you are headed home you can make sure it's warm enough without wasting a lot of energy," said Henderson.

These thermostats are intended to save you energy and money by automatically learning your patterns and behavior and adjusting itself accordingly.

You can also create your own personal comfort zone within the bedroom with temperature controlled pillows and blankets. And there's nothing quite like waking up and putting your feet down on heated flooring.

Music control

You want to listen to music on good quality speakers, but you don't want a huge speaker in your bedroom; nor do you want to have to get up and turn the stereo off. "Also, I don't always like the music right next to my ear, on the nightstand," says Henderson, "so instead I recommend a Bluetooth or wireless speaker that plugs into your wall. You can find speakers that are small and attractive with a great sound and can be controlled by your smartphone next to your bed."

When choosing a speaker, keep a few things in mind:

  • Bluetooth reach is limited to about 30 feet. Some speakers use Wi-Fi wireless network technology, which has wider coverage.
  • Some models have a dock for smartphones or other devices, as well as additional audio inputs for connecting other devices such as your TV. Make sure the model you choose is compatible with your devices -- some only work with iOS or Android systems.
  • Some wireless speakers come with remotes or voice recognition controls, but the quality varies. Read user reviews before making your decision.