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

Word of the Day

September 17, 2012 5:34 pm

Tax credit. An allowed deduction that can be subtracted from your income tax. If you are entitled to a $1,500 credit, and your income tax would otherwise be $10,000, the credit would reduce the tax due to $8,500.

Q: What Are Some of the Legal Considerations Relative to Remodeling?

September 17, 2012 5:34 pm

A: There are many, including those surrounding zoning, permits, variances, and building codes. All of these regulations are the government’s way of controlling the physical development of land and public-safety standards for such things as building design, construction, alteration, repair or demolition. The regulations vary from one state, county, city, and town to the next and can result in fines or serious consequences. There are also often engineering approvals and requirements related to grading, site drainage, utility connections, wells and septics, and sometimes fire regulations. Another area of legal considerations involves contractual issues tied to responsibilities for permits and approvals, code and regulations compliance, insurance, financing, and warranties. If construction financing is to be provided by a lender, there will often be requirements relative to progress inspections, construction draws, lien waivers, title insurance, holdbacks, etc. It may be worthwhile to hire an attorney to provide guidance on these issues and to assure the completeness and fairness of the remodeling contract.

Word of the Day

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

Subletting. The leasing of premises by a lessee to a third party for part of the lessee’s remaining term.

Question of the Day

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

Q: What Are Allowances and What Should I Know about Them When Planning with a Remodeling Contractor?

A: Rather than price specific products or materials, many contractors prefer to use product allowances, an amount included in the contract to be used toward the purchase of these products and materials as they are selected by the consumer. Typical categories where allowances might be used include flooring, cabinets, and lighting fixtures. Allowances allow homeowners more time to finalize exact selections as the project progresses, and they can simplify the cost control process. The disadvantage, however, is that the cost of final selections can easily exceed the amount of money allowed, resulting in significant extra charges to the homeowner. Shop for each allowance category before you finalize the allowance amounts provided in the contract. This way, you can budget for additional funds or adjust allowances to better reflect the actual monies required.

Needs and Wants: It's Important to Know the Difference

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

With the summer behind us and the official start of fall just around the corner, many are looking at their credit card bills and wondering what on earth they did with their money this summer. Wondering why you can't seem to manage your spending? One reason may be a tendency to confuse what you need with what you want, which can lead to unwise buying decisions.

While there's nothing wrong with buying things that aren't exactly life's necessities, doing this too often could get you into financial trouble.

Here are a few tips that can help you gain control of your spending.

Before you buy, pose the "want versus need" question
Each time you go shopping, ask yourself whether the item you're considering is something you really need or something you just want. You'll be surprised at how often you end up putting something back on the shelf because, let's face it, did you really need another black sweater or that new set of high-tech golf clubs?

Learn to delay gratification
All right, so you've decided that you need to take that one-week getaway to the Bahamas. Your job is extremely stressful and you're at the breaking point. But before you book your flight and hotel, sleep on it. You may still feel the same way in the morning, but it's good practice to take some time to think before you buy instead of constantly making impulse purchases.

Make a shopping list
Before you head out to the supermarket or shopping mall, make a list of the things you want to buy and the approximate cost of each item. Then add everything up. If the total exceeds what you can afford to spend, go through the list and put each item through the "want versus need" test. Highlight the "want" items and take them off the list one by one until you reach a more reasonable total.

Don't forget to reward yourself
While managing your spending is critical to a sound financial future, it's also important to enjoy your money. So if your budget allows it this month, go ahead and treat your family to dinner at that ritzy new restaurant. Or buy that mobile phone with all the bells and whistles you've been dying to play with. By keeping your indulgences within a reasonable limit, you'll enjoy them more knowing you've got your spending under control.

Source: BMO Harris Bank

Tips for Buying a Used Vehicle

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

With budgets tight, many Americans are choosing to buy used vehicles instead of new ones, and approximately 3.3 used cars are sold for every one new car sold. This makes understanding the buying process an important skill.

Below are a few tips from and OnStar about what to know and do when shopping for a used car:

Consider purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle: Certified pre-owned vehicles usually come with extended warranties and have been thoroughly inspected before being sold.
Make sure the potential vehicle is functional for everyone who will be traveling in it: If searching for a used family vehicle, bring the whole family on an extended test drive to make sure everyone is comfortable with the vehicle. If you have small children, use this time to make sure child safety seats fit and can easily be installed in the vehicle.
Purchase a vehicle history report and have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic: Taking both of these actions can reduce the chance of unexpected issues later.
Ask about promotional programs: Many manufactures offer incentives to purchase their used vehicles.
Secure your financing in advance: Because used vehicle loans can vary when it comes to interest rates, visit your local bank or credit union before making a final decision so you can be sure you're receiving the best interest rate.
Don't negotiate price based on what you want your monthly payment to be: Monthly payments can always be lowered to fit your budget by extending the length of the loan. But extending the length of the loan makes the car more expensive. Negotiations should be made based on the price of the car, rather that the monthly payment.
Remember the sale process continues past the acceptance of an offer: After both parties agree upon an appropriate price, dealers usually will offer extra accessories and services you might not be interested in. Be sure to stand firm and make it clear that you are not interested in paying more than the previously agreed upon price.


No Short Cuts to Healthy Aging

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

In recognition of September as healthy aging month, the Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA) is encouraging seniors to embrace an active and wellness-based approach to life.

"There are simply no short cuts" states MCA President, Dr. Christian Kollar. "An active, engaged and wellness approach to everything we do is essential to a high quality, functional life as we get older," Kollar explains.

Dr. Kollar who has seen the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle first hand, practices with his active 73-year old father in New Brighton, Minnesota. He says, "The earlier you take care of your body, the longer it will continue to take care of you and it's never too late to start."

Daily Anti-Aging Tips:

  • Make sure to keep your body moving every day, even if it's just walking at the mall, up and down stairs at work or taking a stroll around the block. Exercise is key to living a long and healthy life.
  • Hydration is important for cellular functioning, so make sure you drink liquids regularly throughout the day.
  • The nutrients in plant-based foods are essential for health and wellness. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits every day.
  • Incorporate a diet that is rich in fiber which can help slow the aging process.
  • Don't under estimate the fun factor. Take time to have fun with your friend and loved ones. Social support and positive experiences have been seen in studies to be beneficial to health.
  • Rest is necessary for your body to run optimally.

Word of the Day

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

Tax basis. The price paid for a property plus certain costs and expenses, such as closing costs, legal counsel, and a commission paid to help find the property.

Q: What Should I Know About Mechanics’ Liens?

September 14, 2012 6:36 pm

A: A mechanic’s lien is a “hold” against your property that provides contractors and suppliers legal recourse to assure payment for services. The liens vary from state to state and allow for a cloud on the title of your property and foreclosure action. Also, if you paid the contractor, but he failed to pay the subcontractors and laborers – who do not have a contract with you – then the workers may file a mechanic's lien on your home. This could result in a double payment by you for the same job. You can protect yourself from unwarranted liens by selecting your contractor carefully and managing your construction project responsibly. Also, most construction lenders will specify a payment distribution process that involves the securing of lien waivers. The remodeling contract should address this as well, assuring that the general contractor is responsible for all payments as well as any costs required to remedy lien disputes that may arise.

Protect Yourself with The Latest Consumerfed Data (Part3)

September 14, 2012 5:06 pm

In our last segment we started drilling into the cache of data available in the latest federal Consumer Complaint Survey Report (, compiled by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI).

Several of the top complaint categories involved homeowner, finance and mortgage issues, so we'll continue looking at some specific concerns to help protect you, your home and finances from unscrupulous schemes.

After one of the owners of a New Jersey furniture store embezzled money and assets from the business, forcing its abrupt closure, the Somerset County Division of Consumer Protection received 21 complaints from consumers who paid in full but never received their orders.

The cumulative loss was more than $60,000, while other customers were left with no recourse for damaged delivery, partial deliveries, and repairs that were promised but never made. And wouldn't you know it - the business filed for bankruptcy, offering little recompense to the consumers.

This story out of Jersey prompts the reminder: if you are paying in full for household goods or services that will be delivered at a future date, pay with a credit card, which gives you the right to dispute the charges if the merchandise never arrives or the services are never performed, or if what you get is not what you were promised.

Debit cards aren’t required to provide that protection, though some do voluntarily. Check with your card issuer before using it for that kind of purchase. And if you’re using a check or cash, pay only a small deposit, not the full amount - only pay the balance when the goods are delivered or work is completed.

If you do pay for purchases on installment against a debit card (versus a credit card) remember, businesses must have your express consent to take money from the account. Check your bank statements carefully and notify your bank immediately if you spot any unauthorized withdrawals.