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Dorothy B. "Dot" Rhone
Broker/Owner
Century 21 Covered Bridges Realty, Inc.

ABR, CRS, CRB, GRI, e-PRO, SRS, SFR, One America
Office:  570-784-2821 x 19
Cell and Text: 570-204-0279
Email: Dot@DotRhone.com
Licensed in PA # RM421649

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Welcome

Welcome to the premier resource for all real estate information and services in the area!  I am Dorothy B. "Dot" Rhone, Broker/Owner of Century 21 Covered Bridges Realty, Inc. in Bloomsburg, PA.  I hope you enjoy your visit and explore everything my website has to offer!  Here you will find everything you need to know when buying or selling a property in Columbia, Montour, or lower Luzerne county in Pennsylvania in one place!  To get familiar with our local real estate values, here you can view all the current homes on the market in our multiple listing service, as well as see properties that have recently sold. 

Looking for a new home? Use Quick Search or Map Search to browse an up-to-date database list of all available properties in the area, or use my Dream Home Finder form and I'll conduct a personalized search for you.

If you're planning to sell your home in the next few months, nothing is more important than knowing a fair asking price. I would love to help you with a FREE Market Analysis. I will use comparable sold listings to help you determine the accurate market value of your home.  

Whether the circumstance is marriage, a new job, a growing family or retirement, most people move as a result of a major life change.  This is a potentially stressful and exhilarating time for a buyer or seller.  Buyers and sellers need a trusted friend in the real estate process, “Because Life Changes.”  I am responsible for guiding them through the details of the technical and, at times, emotional side of their real estate transaction, give them all the facts, then let them make the decision that works best for their lifestyle.  Ultimately, they ask me to help them manage this major change for them—to be their “Agent of Change.”   With 30 years experience, I am ready to help!  Contact Dot Rhone today!

 

Testimonials Page

My wife and I were real estate novices before buying our first home. After 20 minutes with Dot we knew everything we needed to know! She was professional, helpful, patient, and an excellent advocate when the seller was not acting in our interest. At every stop along the way to homeownership Dot thoroughly explained our options, and every referral she offered us, from mortgage broker to inspection company, was as professional and thorough as she was. We are truly grateful that we had Dot on our team! Mike and Eleanor Vogt
While Dot was handling my home purchase here in Columbia County my mom was selling her home in Snyder County with another agent from a different realty company. I was in the unique position to compare my experience with Dot to that of my mom's with another agent. My mom's experience was a nightmare for her. I came very quickly to appreciate Dot's consummate professionalism, strong sense of values and ethical conduct, knowledge and expertise, and genuine care for me as a client. I will never live to see the day when I can thank Dot enough for helping me sail through the purchase of my first home with ease and peace of mind. She is the best, in my opinion! Matthew Swinehart
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Latest Realty News from NAR

7 Steps to Stress-Free Spring Cleaning

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Congratulations: you’re still in time for some spring cleaning!

Was that a groan?

Come on! There’s still weeks left before the end of the season, which means you can still to get your act together and whip your house into shape.

Spring cleaning is a hassle, you say?

Yeah, it is.

If all you’re going to do is dust and scrape, store and organize, then for sure, the finished product won’t be as enticing. Who cares about a clean kitchen? It’s just going to get dirty the next time you don’t get take out.

Then again, what if we turned spring cleaning into a whole journey? Cleaning can do great things for your stress levels, just as not cleaning can drive you crazy. I’m not making this up! Ask the good people of Psychology Today. They know what I’m talking about.

Trust me: if you follow this simple checklist, you’ll not only wind up with an impeccable house, but also with lifted spirits and an augmented sense of worth. Money back guaranteed! (Good thing this advice is free.)

Who’s ready for some spring cleaning?

Set the scene. A surefire way of knowing that you grew up in a Latin American or Hispanic household was the sound of music roaring across the living room while the house was getting cleaned. It’s the same concept as a “workout playlist.” You need music you can dance to, sing along to, or even cry to if that’s the kind of purifying cleaning experience you want to have. (In college, my roommates and I used to blast Disney soundtracks. We surely got down to business to defeat the grime, if you know what I mean.)

Enlist help. I don’t know how big your house is—maybe you live in a shoebox like me, or you live in a mansion bigger than Selena Gomez’s. No matter how big or small, cleaning with company is always better than cleaning alone. In some cases (like Selena’s), cleaning by yourself is simply not possible, so gather the able children, your partner, your roommate, your dog if you’ve trained him well, or just trick your friends into visiting you for a cleaning frenzy. (Once you’ve trapped them, you can offer to return the favor if you want to be a decent person).

Have an action plan. Divvying up work is good. “You take the bathroom; I’ll take the kitchen” kind of thing.

Beyond that, you need more aspirational plans. Once you clean x, y, and z, what are things going to look like? If you’re going to go through all the trouble of deep-cleaning your whole house, take advantage of the hassle to retouch, redo, or reorganize anything that had been bothering you throughout the year. Perhaps your shelving unit is falling apart, or you’ve discovered the well-intended storage drawer has gotten a bit out of control. Invest in cheap dividers for your drawers, or ingenious storage boxes or hangers to keep everything organized. Carpe diem, my cleaning friends!

Don’t take long breaks. Feed yourself, for sure, but don’t watch an episode of Twin Peaks while you’re at it. The minute you relax, all the motivation will leave your body, leaving you with a half-destroyed room. To make matters worse, it’ll only look like it was on its way to being organized to you—everyone else will think you’ve gone a little crazy with the experimental feng shui. Stay hydrated and well fed, and take it easy to not over-exhaust yourself, but be relentless with your mission.

If it takes more than a day, it takes more than a day. This goes hand in hand with having an action plan. Don’t dismantle every room in your house at the same time. Go room by room (or several rooms if each person is taking on one). It’ll be much better if you have half a clean house than a completely destroyed house that is driving you crazy until the next weekend.

Continue envisioning the big prize. Again, aiming for “just cleaning” won’t be enough to carry you through the whole ordeal. You might reach the finish line, but you won’t really feel the payoff. Keep the “before” image close to your heart, and continue picturing the “after” look in your mind’s eye.

Celebrate when you finish. Pat yourself on the back—you just cleaned a whole house! Let yourself enjoy that comfort. Take a hot shower in your pristine bathtub, snuggle in bed with your clean sheets, order takeout and eat at your polished kitchen island. Congrats—you’ve just earned yourself another year of kicking back and letting the house suffer what it may suffer. We’ll see you again next spring.

Housecall is filled with useful tips and guides to help you make the most of your spring cleaning. Check out our Life@Home and DIY Ninja verticals for more ideas!

Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 7 Steps to Stress-Free Spring Cleaning appeared first on RISMedia.

10 Ways to Save on Utility Bills This Summer

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about ways to save on utility bills and energy costs before you’re shocked by your first big bill this summer. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to prepare your home (and your wallet) for the summer heat without sacrificing comfort. So, before you crank up the AC, take a look at our top ways to save on utility bills this summer. Your budget will thank you!

1. Get Your HVAC System Ready
Is there anything worse than a broken HVAC system in the summer? The good news is you can avoid this nightmare by taking precautions and getting your HVAC ready for summer. First, you’ll want to clean or change the air filters, as dirty or clogged filters force your air conditioning system to work much harder, which in turn causes more wear and tear in the long run. You’ll also want to inspect your outdoor unit for any visible signs of damage such as warped panels, torn insulation or rust. In the colder months, small animals may nest inside the insulation so you’ll want to inspect the inside, as well. Taking these steps to ensure your AC unit is working efficiently will help keep your energy bills low this summer.

2. Clean Air Filters and Vents
Many homeowners make the mistake of closing off vents in rooms that are not being used, but closing vents causes more pressure in the ducts causing your air conditioner to work much harder. Before you turn the AC on this summer, open all the vents and give them a nice cleaning.

3. Keep Blinds Closed
Did you know that keeping your blinds closed during the day can drastically reduce the heat in your home? Keeping them open causes a greenhouse like effect—sunlight and heat pour in all day and can’t get out, making your home much warmer and causing your air conditioning to work overtime, which, in turn, will spike up your power bill.

4. Lower Your Utility Rates
Do you live in a deregulated energy region? If so, you have the power to choose your energy provider and can shop around for the lowest energy rates. If you haven’t researched your options in a while, summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your current energy provider and find out if there is a cheaper rate out there. Many deregulated energy providers offer special promotions in the summer, like “free nights,” so you should definitely check out what else is out there. To see if you live in a deregulated area, just enter your address here.

5. Time Your Thermostat
If you want to be cost-conscious this summer, you shouldn’t blast your air conditioning at all hours of the day. A lower temperature setting at night and a higher setting during the day is recommended for optimal cost savings. If you’re forgetful or aren’t always around to change it, we recommend installing a programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule your temperature changes even when you aren’t home.

6. Switch to LED Bulbs
While incandescent light bulbs are cheap, they use more energy and produce quite a bit of heat compared to LED bulbs. LED bulbs tend to be a little more expensive than incandescent lights, but they last longer, produce less heat and create great energy savings in the long run. So, consider making the switch the LED lights, at least in the rooms you use most, to help lower your utility bills this summer.

7. Buy a Water Cistern
If you don’t know, a water cistern is a device that captures rain water and stores it for you to use to water your garden or lawn, to wash your car, etc. Your water bill can get out of hand in the summer as you spend more time outdoors, so a water cistern is a great investment if you want to keep your garden and lawn green all summer long without paying for extra water use.

8. Use Your Ceiling Fan
In the warmer months, you should run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise. Since heat rises, the counter-clockwise motion will help pull the cold air up toward the ceiling. Running your ceiling fan efficiently will help cool your rooms, allowing you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature, ultimately reducing your power bill.

9. Invest in Smart Power Strips
Connecting multiple appliances to a smart power strip that can be turned off with only one flip of a switch at night when the devices aren’t being used is a quick and easy way to help reduce energy waste. When you don’t have to unplug all your devices individually, saving energy suddenly becomes much easier!

10. Don’t Use an Irrigation Schedule
Irrigation schedules, or timers that you can set to schedule when your garden or lawn will be watered, sound nice in theory, but they actually produce quite a bit of water waste. You can’t control when it rains, and you may not be home to stop your irrigation system from going off when it does. Watering manually may seem like a chore, but when you think about all the money you can save from reducing water waste, manual watering becomes more appealing.

Don’t let the first utility bills of summer sneak up on you. Be proactive and implement our tips. We promise they’ll help you save big on your utility bills this summer!

Rob Caiello is vice president of Marketing at Allconnect. Since 1998, Allconnect has simplified and expedited the purchase and set-up of home utilities and services (like internet, TV, and electricity) for millions of movers relocating across the United States.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 10 Ways to Save on Utility Bills This Summer appeared first on RISMedia.

6 Tips to Spring Clean Your Bills

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Ah, spring. A time of renewal. A time to put out the old and bring in the new. Many people have spring cleaning rituals they go through each year, tidying up their homes and cycling out old stuff that doesn’t get used. Why not do the same for your bills?

Spring cleaning your bills can be as simple as turning the thermostat up a few degrees to save on electricity or switching cable providers. Let’s look at a few great ways to get those monthly bills down.

1. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Heating and air conditioning can be a major source of wasted electricity. Programmable thermostats can help keep your home at the right temperature when you’re there and reduce energy use when you’re not. They’re also just plain convenient.

Max Robinson, a writer for Turnbull & Scott Heating, says, “Investing in a programmable thermostat is one of the simplest ways to save money on your heating, as you set your heating to turn on and off at specific times throughout the day.”

You could also take it a step further and go for a smart thermostat that learns your temperature preferences and automatically adjusts when you’re away from home. These thermostats may save you quite a bit in monthly energy use, though some models are a bit pricey up front.

2. Keep Your Fridge Running at Peak Performance
Refrigerators and freezers are another big source of energy use. To curb that waste, make sure to keep the doors open for the shortest amount of time possible and always double-check that you’ve closed them completely. It’s easy to have something inside the fridge prevent the door from sealing, which can lead to a lot of wasted electricity as the appliance struggles to keep your food cold.

Lauren Haynes, a home cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners, has a few more tips: “Regular defrosting is a must, as well as avoiding putting hot food in it or exposing the appliance to a direct sunlight…These things will help your fridge or freezer maintain [a consistent] temperature, which will lead to smoother energy-efficient work regardless of the season.”

3. Shop Around for Cheaper Energy Providers
If you happen to live in a deregulated area, you may have a choice of several different energy providers, so shop around. Don’t stick with a company simply because you’ve always used it—you could save a significant amount of money every month after a switch.

“You can easily save 25 percent or more on your monthly energy costs just by shopping electric suppliers,” says Kelly Bedrich, co-founder of ElectricityPlans.com. “Customers can reduce their rates from as much as 15 cents/kWh to as little as 7 cents/kWh. Changing electricity providers requires almost no effort and zero change in lifestyle.”

You can’t go wrong with this one. Again, though, only certain areas will be eligible. Check out this map of deregulated states to see if this is an option for you.

4. Negotiate a Lower Rate on Your Cable Bill
If you like your cable provider but wish the prices were just a little lower, you’ll love this tip. Many people never think to negotiate with their current cable company, but it’s always worth trying.

“Nowadays, with competition from other cable, satellite, and fiber providers—as well as consumers being able to cut the cord and leave cable altogether—providers are needing to be more accommodating,” says Rob Caiello, vice president of Marketing at Allconnect. “When it comes to negotiating a cable bill, a kind request will go a long way in helping you get a better deal…The representatives usually have more flexibility than they initially let on.”

5. Switch to a Different TV Provider
If your cable company just won’t budge on pricing, it might be time to consider switching. No matter where you live, there will almost always be another option for getting television. Many people don’t realize that satellite TV providers aren’t as tied to the boundaries drawn up by cable monopolies. These providers can often get you service even in remote or very rural areas that only have one main cable provider.

“You’d really be surprised how much you can save by shopping around, especially if you let the representative know that you’re looking at competitors,” says Paul McHardy, a representative from USDish. “And, often, you don’t have to give up any of your favorite channels in the switch. Although there may be slight programming differences, most providers will have the most common channels covered.”

6. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Many of us have old subscriptions we no longer need. Maybe you get a magazine every month and immediately toss it. Or maybe you subscribed to a service like Hulu to watch one show and just never canceled. These unused subscriptions could be adding up to a big expense.

“People spend an average of $512 a year on unwanted subscriptions, often because they don’t even realize they’re signed up to those services,” according to a representative from Truebill. That’s a big chunk of change. As part of your spring cleaning, look at the services you subscribe to and decide which ones you really want to keep.

These tips will get you off to a great start with spring cleaning your bills and getting your expenses under control. Make it a regular part of your spring routine and see just how much you can save.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 6 Tips to Spring Clean Your Bills appeared first on RISMedia.

How-To Guide: Kitchen Appliance Care

Your kitchen appliances may just be the most used in the house—make sure you’re giving them the TLC they need in order to keep them running efficiently!

Microwave

  • Keep it clean.Whether you realize it or not, food and liquids spread across the inside of the unit and actually absorb heat later on, leading to burns and damaging the inside of the machine. By periodically wiping down the inside of the microwave, you can prevent that from happening and lengthen the lifespan of your appliance.

Oven/Stop Top

  • Clean the hood!Locate your vent hood’s filters and remove them from the vent hood. Fill your sink or a large basin with hot water and a large squirt of degreasing soap and several shakes of baking powder. Add your stove hood filters to the soapy water and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Next, remove the vent hood filters from the water and use your sponge to remove the rest of the debris. Once your filters are clean, let them air dry, and after they’re fully dry, put the filters back into the vent hood.
  • Check your oven’s control panel.Be sure to test all the buttons on your key pad control panels—even the ones you don’t use every day. And, avoid using sopping wet sponges or rags to clean your appliance’s keypad control panels. You may be slowly damaging the control panels on your appliances during your routine cleaning, which could eventually short-circuit the panel.
  • Don’t forget the seal.If your oven door doesn’t seal properly, you could be losing over 70 percent of its heat. Inspect the seal for breaks, tears or abnormalities and look for possible leaks. If you spot a problem, replace the seal, which is available for purchase at most home improvement stores.

Refrigerator

  • Organize and optimize.A clean, tidy refrigerator and an organized freezer will help with airflow and keep your fridge running efficiently. Foods that can safely freeze should go closer to the back of the refrigerator, where the cold air duct is located. Place foods that should not freeze closer to the door, where the air will be warmer.
  • Clean the coils!Keeping coils free of dust, debris, and pet hair really does help the refrigerator operate more smoothly and efficiently. You can purchase a special coil-cleaning tool for the job, but a vacuum cleaner attachment or a stiff brush can also do the trick. Just run the vacuum or brush over and under the coils, removing dust as you go. The coils should be cleaned in this manner once or twice a year and more often if you have pets that shed.

Dishwasher

  • Prevent a flooded kitchen. Check for deterioration in the rubber seals around your dishwasher—a minor crack can quickly lead to flooded kitchen.

For more information, please visit www.ahs.com.

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