All new listings in Lancaster County

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See the new listings in the market here first.

If you take the time and scroll over all the listings on this page you will see that these are all new listings. We update this 3 times a day for your enjoyment. You will be able to see any home that comes on the market for sale in one location. You can check this site through out the day and see if that home you’re looking for has hit the market yet. Then give us a call to help show you through the home.

We are here to help you buy and sell homes.

We are the Jesse Storm Team. The great thing about working with a team is we can make it when your free. You will not have to wait around for a week to have some one show you a home on their schedule. We think home buying and selling is about your schedule. So we are here to work for you and your best interest.

Give us a call any time at 717-735-6284 or text 717-917-1537. Let us know what house you like.

Also take a second and call our lender Dixie Colson with GMH she can help you get a pre-qualification letter ready. This way when we see the home you like we can write the offer. Dixie Colson’s phone number is 717-314-2000. This is her cell so leave a message and she will call you back ASAP.

If you’re a Veteran we are part of the Thank A Vet Program. We can help you get your Veterans benefits when most other Agent’s just don’t care about your cash back up to $5,050 buck. We think you deserve it and we are here to help you get ever dollar that we can. You could possible even get up to $2,500.00 bucks of your closing cost paid for at the min. you will get 125.00 why not get that cash.

But just one more thing remember buying or selling a home is just not a house. It’s your home and we are here to help make it as smooth as possible.

Thanks for stopping by the website. Check out more at http://stormteamrealestate.com

Real Estate Market is HOT HOT HOT!!!

HOT HOT HOT Market for Real Estate in Lancaster County PA

Jesse Storm smallerThe Market has really been heating up! Nov. and Dec. ended out 2012 with the highest levels of homes sold for those months in years. Jan. 2013 has started out the year with large volumes of homes being sold for a Jan. If this trend keeps going we could see a seller’s market come summer.

 

Our inventor of homes on the market in the past few years could have carried home sale for up to 15 months at times without listing a new home for sale. Now if we did not take a new listing we would only be able to hold out for 3-4 months with the low inventory we have today. Back when the market was HOT we would enough inventor on the market for 4-5 months at any given time. With inventory low, prices are going back up. Sellers are seeing offers in the first few days of listing. That is if they are using a full-time agent with a proven track record for listing and selling. Any Joe can put a sign in a yard and on the MLS and wait. Good Agents spend money to get buyers in the door. That is what sellers are paying for.

We have been seeing homes go from listing to pending in under 3 wks, if they are in good shape and price right. Any one can over price a home and not sell it. Remembering that most time when you over price the home you will sell it for 10-15 % less than the amount you would have sold it for if it was price right from the start.

We are seeing people looking for their next home and then putting their home on the market for sale again. This means that they know their home will sell fast. Knowing your home will sell fast with a Full Time Agent is always a good sign.

Buyers are very plentiful at this time. With the low interest rates in today’s market home buyers can buy much more home for less then what they are paying for their current home, with a higher interest rate. We are seeing pickier buyers then ever before, since they have been in control of the market for over 4 yrs. Most buyers are looking for homes in nice condition at a fair market value. We are seeing less and less buyers asking for full seller assist in buying. This means they have cash on had for closing cost. With USDA loans providing 100% financing with a supper low-interest rate many home buyers are neg. a good price for the home and using their money to pay the closing cost. With FHA changing there rules a little more and more buyers are trying to buy a home prior to the rule change.

As you know in the past with a FHA loan once you have the loan for 5 yrs and have less than 80% loan to value out standing on the home you can have your PMI (Principle Mortgage Insurance) removed from your loan this in some cases can lower your monthly payment over 100.00 dollars a month. Very soon FHA will no longer allow you to remove your PMI insurance. You will have to refi into a new loan to drop it.

For this reason people are starting to use Conventional loans more and more again. Interest is a touch higher but you can avoid the PMI issue.

What does this tell us. The market is coming back to the sellers. Property values are going back up. We are seeing multiple offers on homes once again. Sellers are moving back into the driver seat. If you’re looking to sell now is the time. Your getting great prices and no one knows what tomorrow will hold. But if this keeps going as it has for the past 3 months sellers will start seeing even better numbers on the offer sheets.

Why is now a good time to buy. Well if you’re a Seller looking to move into a larger or smaller home. You will be able to seller your home for a fair price. When negotiating your purchase you will still have a little negotiating power when buying your home. If you wait to long you will starting seeing even less negotiating price will go higher and that means the interest rates will start to climb to even higher levels.

If you get an interest rate of today and sell your home for 15k less than what you might get waiting 2 or 3 more years to get it. You will have lost more money in the long run. When the interest rates get to 5% it will cost you more money to buy the new home in the long run paying the higher interest rates than if you would have sold the home for 15,000 dollars less and locked into today’s low-interest rates.

 

For more information stop by our website at http://stormteamrealestate.com

 

Why use a real estate agent to purchase a home?

2 days ago – US

Profile picture for psihiart
To Karen : Because some people don’t need advice, handholding and calendar for Christmas for 10 000 if you buy 400 k home.I’d rather pay fee for making offers and showing and get rebate I can use toward closing.
Interesting to imagine why anyone who NOT use a Real Estate Professional to assist in the Buying process.  A Buyer needs representation and guidance thru the contract process. Risks are numerous to go through the process alone !
Real Estate agents can show you the ins-and-outs of the process, ensure that buyers are not paying over market on what the home is worth, tell the buyers if the terms of the loan sound within par, ensure the transaction goes to closing, … and an hundred more reasons.

It comes down to value from the service, if you can buy a home on your own, you will not need this service, if you want to protect your investment, and do not know exactly what you should subscribe to the services.

Hilarious, but – true.
Profile picture for psihiart

It’s  hilarious when agents say the service is  free for buyer .Buyer is the one who pays for everything.Follow the money.
As an agent who has helped clients buy and sell over 650 homes…I can tell you that there is something to be said about experience.  Most buyers may purchase 2-4 homes in a life time, therefore the experience a Realtor can bring to the table is invaluable!

You may be fortunate enough to have a smooth transaction, although I can tell you that most sales have issues and you would hate to hear I told you so following a few of the simply obvious situations:

You paid to much for the property! Or,  No one told me about the tax assessments! Why didn’t You hire a home inspector? My lender won’t call me back…I can’t get the seller to supply me with the disclosures…I paid the closing costs…and they could have been negotiated! The seller is demanding that I increase my deposit…Why did the seller not respond to my requests for repairs?  Shall I go on? I think you see there is more to this than just writing an offer.

The point is, as realtors we deal with the common situations daily and this makes us experts in our field.  Because sellers have already agreed to pay a set fee (and the Listing office has agreed thru MLS to share the commission) then the buyer has no ‘Agent’ fees and simply has enrolled the help of a professional advisor to do all the negotiating and follow-up in order to get you the results you desire.

Do yourself a BIG favor and interview a few agents before you commit to one strong agent.  Your agent will act in your best interest, so be sure to look for the qualities that represent you the best.

Scott Cary-Broker

You do not need a real estate agent to purchase a home, if you know what the process is all about.  If this is your first home and you are not sure what to expect then I suggest you seek the assistance of an expert.
Buying a house is often the biggest financial trasaction in your life.  Why not use the experience and advice of a real estate agent.  We have access to a variety of informational resources, we can guide you through the buying process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

Best of Luck,
Maria Cipollone

Hi,

When you buy a property there is no out of pocket for the buyer only the seller, so it would be FREE for you to have a professional help you.  Usually, you work with agent with a lot of market experience so they will be hable to help you find the great house and negotiate a great price for you on your behalf.  Buyers agent only get paid when they find you a perfect property so buyers agents are motivated to help you find the perfect home.  Hope that helps!

This is an easy question to answer. There are many reasons to use an agent to buy a home. We know the area and you might not, so we save you loads of time showing you places you might never even know where there. I have been told dozens of times, “WOW, I never knew this was back here” or things like that. We can answer questions about the area, schools, hospitals, shopping, etc. We can show you homes online, decide which to see on your schedule and haul you over in our car with our gas. We can set up a closing, get inspectors, hook you up with the best lenders and lawyers and …… here is the best part ……  It’s All Free To You !!!!!!

Plus we send you a Christmas card each year after.

From http://lancasterparealtor.com
This is a very funny question. Why would you use a dentist you can pull your own tooth. Why would you hire an Attorney you can represent your self. In Real Estate you can do it your self. But make sure you know all the state laws that Realtor’s have to learn prior to practicing. Learn all the doc you need to have to cover your self. Learn every thing about buying and selling Real Estate and do it a few hundred times for practice.
As a buyer when you sign that contract and close the deal the seller is done your not getting a second chance so make sure your protected from the start. That is why people hire a Realtor. Last some one said follow the money the buyer pays for every thing. Well if a does not have an agent and the buyer does not have an agent and the price of the home is 200,000 then you pay 200k if the seller has an agent and the buyer does not the number 200k if both parties have an agent and the fair market value is 190 then your agent is going to nego. fair market value for you at 190k and if you have a good agent they might even get your 6% seller help now you only paid 178600 wow what a savings on that 200k home.

9 Futuristic Real Estate Apps That Already Exist

Remember the Jetsons? When you think back on it, it’s uncanny how many of the so-called space age technologies that George, Jane, Judy, Elroy (and the inimitable Rosie) had in their 2062-era home exist right now – 40 years ahead of schedule! Video phone calls, mobile devices with video and phone capabilities, flatscreen “televiewers” with scrolling news updates (à la the internet), digital diaries, even robotic cleaners like Roomba: all Jetson gadgetry, and all of it exists as we speak.

The light-speed at which web and mobile applications, or apps, are being developed and launched today means that it’s easy to find yourself pining away for an app that could work a particular sort of futuristic wizardry in your house hunt or home sale – when, in fact, that app already exists!  Don’t get stuck in a real estate time warp – instead, tap into this list of 9 futuristic real estate apps that already exist.

1. Trulia.I’m obviously partial, but I’m not the only one that loves the Trulia mobile app suite. Here’s why: wherever you find yourself – at your pal’s baby shower or lost in a strange town – you can pull out your phone or tablet, open the Trulia app and it will instantly detect your location and serve you up everything you’d ever need to know about the homes for sale in that area. How’s that for futuristic?

But there’s more! As the New York Times raved, “Trulia includes a well-designed search feature, where users can find homes for sale or rent according to a specified price and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or homes that have recently posted price reductions, for instance.  Trulia users can also contact a home’s real estate agent from each listing, and scan a list of nearby amenities and institutions, like gas stations or schools.”  The app also allows you to send listings to your agent and save favorites to the same My Trulia dashboard you can access from your laptop, desktop, or other device from home or work. Plus, you can use the Trulia Mortgage Calculator app for iPhone and iPad to help see how much you can afford and compare personalized loan quotes.

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

2.  Home Snap. HomeSnap is an augmented reality app that gives you access to all sorts of information about a home, by just taking a photo of the property. In fact, some folks have deemed it the ultimate form of tech-empowered voyeurism, but what’s cool about it is that taking a photo is the key that unlocks the information from public records or listing websites.

Available for iOS. Android version coming soon.
Price: Free

3.  House Hunter. I have a practice of asking my home buyer clients to track what’s good, bad and ugly about individual properties as we tour them, and to select/rank their top couple from every tour. The House Hunter App represents a high-tech upgrade to that useful, but old-school, exercise of tracking homes’ attributes and comparing properties against each other. Because it’s a digital experience, it’s quicker; it’s easier to share with your co-buyer, your parents or your agent; and it’s simpler to execute, as the app actually provides a list of over 80 property attributes you can choose from to describe any given home you see on tour.

Available for: iOS
Price: $3.99

4. Houzz. My friends and colleagues have raved about this app – on iPhone, iPad, Android and on the web – since it first came out a couple of years back. But not until I was actually embarking upon a home remodeling project of my own, could I fully appreciate its value in terms of delivering a seemingly endless number of photos of well-designed rooms, and the ability to favorite and track them to help organize your own redesign plans and, even better, to communicate them vividly to your designer or contractor. What’s more, house hunters can (and should) tap into the app to compile images that depict their stylistic leanings and aesthetic preferences better than they can do verbally, for the purpose of helping their agent understand their vision.

Availble for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

5. Photo Measures and My Measures.  If I have one tape measure I have a dozen – yet I never seem to have one handy when I need them the most. Whether you’re the type of house hunter who wants to account for the precise dimensions of an heirloom dining table or a seller who is trying to do as much DIY property preparation as you can, both of these apps equip you with the high-tech capability to simply take a pictue of a wall, room, floor or door and use your fingers to get an accurate measure of any given distance on the image.

Photo Measures available for iOS
Price: $4.99
My Measures available for Android
Price: $4.99

6. DocuSign Ink.  Sign any contract document, disclosure, offer or counteroffer – in a moment’s time – with your mobile device. This app is also integrated with the basic boilerplate contract forms used by agents in most areas. DocuSign Ink is so convenient and makes signing so easy you’ll have to exercise some serious discipline to actually read through things before you sign them.

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

7. Color Capture/ColorSmart/ColorClix/Wall Painter.  All of these paint apps are brought to you by individual paint brands, and they’re all great – I say, use the one that maps to your favorite paint brand. They all empower you to snap a photo of anything in the world around you and find the company’s matching paint color.  And for those with futuristic design desires, you can use any of these apps to virtually “paint” the walls of your house and preview the results before you even buy a single bucket of paint, using  computer vision and intelligent object detection.

Color Capture available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
ColorSmart available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
ColorClix available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
Wall Painter available for: iOS
Price: $.99

8.  Airbnb Neighborhoods.  With functionality provided by the site NabeWise, the web-based application Airbnb Neighborhoodsis a program that futuristic house hunters can use to power the ultimate decision-making experience: trying a neighborhood on for size, whether for a night, a weekend or a couple of weeks.  Though it’s currently limited to major world cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C., Airbnb Neighborhoods allows you to click on a city, click on the area “flavor” you want in your future neighborhood (options include “Nightlife” “Loved by Washtonians” “Stunning Views” and more) and it will not only surface the neighborhoods that have been tagged with these characteristics by the folks who live there, it will also pull up available Airbnb homes you can rent on a very short-term basis in those areas, if you want to give the area a whirl before you launch your house hunt in earnest.

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

9. Karl’s Mortgage Calculator.  When I think of futuristic gadgetry, I envision things that are simple and uncomplicated, yet flexible and powerful when you put them to use. This is precisely how I’d describe Karl’s Mortgage Calculator. Not only does it calculate payments from a purchase price and interest rate, it also will calculate any one of those items from the other two – uber-helpful for buyers who know how much they can spend, but not how much that will buy them, and for folks who are trying to evaluate the different payment scenarios of loan programs with several different interest rate levels.  Karl’s Mortgage Calculator instantly produces very easy-to-understand graphs and charts, and is really helpful for folks considering various scenarios for paying their home loan(s) off early.

Available for: Android

4 Ways to Hater-Proof Your Home, Before You List It

In my experience, there’s one fundamental truth about haters:  you can never fully escape them. The only way to live a 100% hater-free life is to never stick your neck out, and never do anything because, as the saying goes, you simply cannot please all of the people all of the time.

And this is particularly true with real estate and putting your home on the market – because homes, locations, aesthetics and such are so much a matter of personal preference, some people will find something to criticize about even the most perfectly staged, priciest properties on the market.

As a home seller, your job is not to try to make your home be all things to all people.  That said, you don’t want to be the house that nearly every buyer and broker sees, rolls their eyes and utters the same few, predictable deal-killing criticisms. Fortunately, what is predictable is avoidable. Let’s explore the most common things buyers hate about listings they see. In the process, you’ll get equipped to sidestep those issues and, in large part, hater-proof your own home.

House Hater Complaint #1:  Odors.

Some of you might think I’m beating a dead horse, here. But as long as house hunters keep emailing me to ask why, in the name of all that is sacred, they keep seeing homes that smell like all sorts of madness and mayhem, I’m going to keep repeating this message.

Viewing a home sounds like it’s all about the visual of the experience. And visuals are critical – your home should be in its Sunday best, so to speak, when it’s being shown, in terms of being spruced, staged and clutter-free. But when a buyer comes to see your home, they don’t turn off the rest of their senses. And there is nothing that can turn a buyer off from a home, they’d otherwise like, quicker than a powerfully bad odor – in particular, cigarette and pet odors in a house that seems to have been well-cleaned create the concern that they might be permanent and that the buyer might not be able to get rid of them without dropping some serious cash on cleaning or even removing wall, window and floor coverings.

If you are a seller and you know that someone has been habitually smoking in your home or that you have had a “challenge,” let’s say, with pet accidents, do not ignore the problem. And do not think that because you had the carpet shampooed or the drapes cleaned, or because YOU can’t smell anything, that the problem is gone.  The fact is that the human sense of smell very quickly gets used to smells that it lives with or is surrounded with on a regular basis.  So it’s critical to get your agent, stager or even your friends and family members – who don’t live with you and love you enough to be honest! – to help you detect bad smells and odors, and make sure they are eradicated by any means necessary, before you place your home on the market.

House Hater Complaint #2:  Glaringly extreme overpricing.

There’s the kind of overpricing that makes a buyer say, “Hmmm – seems a bit high. Let’s go see it, but we might have to offer a little less than the asking price if we like it.”  Then there’s the kind of overpricing that makes buyer say “I’ll wait until a price reduction” or worse, hold their sides from laughing.

When overpricing is glaring, many buyers and buyer’s brokers will comment on it or inquire about it. What they are less likely to do is actually come out and see the place – especially if they weed it out online after comparing its specs to all the other homes in the area and the price range.  Often, homes this severely overpriced simply don’t sell, or not until after they’ve had some serious price cuts or have been on the market so long buyers begin to feel confident about making lowball offers.

In fact, the goal is the opposite – you want your home to stand out as a property that is not dirt cheap, but does present a good value for the money – that’s what motivates buyers to get out of their chairs and into the property for a viewing.

Here’s how to hater-proof your home’s listing against this issue: fixate on the comps. Smart sellers deactivate their emotional attachment and very human tendency to overvalue their precious homes by poring over the sales prices (not list prices) of similar, nearby homes that have recently sold. Your agent will be happy to help you walk through this data and will almost certainly recommend a list price, but ultimately you make the decision about the price point to list your home at.

Also, consider using your broker’s first Open House as an additional hater-proof measure: if the agents overwhelmingly comment that they think the home is significantly overpriced, listen.

House Hater Complaint #3:  Dirt and messes.

Possibly the single largest source of House Hater Complaints I’ve ever heard are the dirt, messes, piles and personal belongings that buyers find so distracting, when they walk into a home for a viewing or Open House. Obviously, homes that are filthy from floor to ceiling are fertile fodder for haters, but often those homes are bank-owned or otherwise distressed so that the sellers aren’t likely to do much.  What is underestimated is how often even savvy home buyers are distracted (and disgusted) by relatively clean homes that just have a few outstanding messes, like piles of dirty dishes in the sink, piles of dog poo in the yard or even piles of papers, mail, books or clothes lying out in plain view.
Will one or two such items ruin the sale of your home? Perhaps not. But a few of them (or more) can certainly distract a buyer enough that they fixate on your messes and, in the process, fail to see what is so great about your property.  And as I see it, cleaning up, meticulously, before every single showing is free – so it makes no sense to even run the risk of turning off a prospective buyer by letting messes get in the way of their ability to visualize themselves and their families flourishing in your home.

House Hater Complaint #4:  Lots of little malfunctions.

All of us tend to think our homes are in fantastic condition.  After all, you have the furnace maintained regularly, you’ve got granite and dual paned windows – maybe you even had the floors refinished or the walls painted in preparation for putting your place on the market.
That’s all fantastic – all the non-cosmetic work you’ve done to maintain and improve your home should be trumpeted in your marketing materials, and the cosmetic items will (or should) speak for themselves. But here’s the thing: buyers who visit your home won’t be running your dishwasher or testing the furnace (at least not until inspections).  What they will do – almost unconsciously – is:
•    flick light and fan switches
•    open or close window coverings, closet, room and entry doors,
•    open and close drawers, cupboards, gates and fences and
•    hold the handrails as they walk up and down the stairs.
They will hear leaky faucets and point out water spots from long-ago repaired leaks, and they will notice (or potentially trip on) uneven exterior tiles, paths and walkways. And even though these items might be vastly less expensive to fix than the roof or sewer line you had replaced, they are much more visible and noticeable to a buyer.  In fact, buyers don’t always even know that the little malfunctions and repairs that need doing are little or inexpensive. And when they notice a bunch of these sorts of things in a single property, they can jump to the conclusion that the whole place is rickety.

Since these little fixes are inexpensive to make, have them completed before you list, if at all possible. You might even ask your agent to walk through the property with you and to give you a handyperson reference for someone they know works efficiently.

Agents and Buyers: 
 What things have you encountered in multiple listings that make you cringe, eye roll or otherwise immediately dismiss a house?

6 Hefty Questions that Block Buyer Offers

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“The right home for the right price” – If only finding it was as easy as saying it. To do so these days, you can’t be just a good salesperson or property hunter.  Now buyers expect you to play  builder, designer, and financial expert all at the same time.

Clients need you to tackle their biggest questions, no matter how closely (or loosely) related to your real estate license.

So, which questions do you need to be ready to answer?

Here’s a list of 6 you want to be ready to respond to to move your clients toward an offer and a few helpful tools for tackling each one.

1. “Will my Grandma’s antique table fit here?”

When touring a home, it’s usually not the total square footage that keeps clients from stepping toward closing. Many times there’s one wall, nook, or doorway where the feet – or inches – cause buyers to question whether a home is right.

It’s likely that you (and your clients) won’t know exactly how their favorite furniture will fit. But, if you’re serious about closing the deal, you can get your hands on the answer.

The apps for answering furniture fit:

Not too many agents keep a tape measure on hand. Here are two apps that allow you to simply take a photo of the space you want measured and calculate an accurate measure with your fingers.

Photo Measures for iOS My Measures for Android
 Price: $4.99 Price: $4.99

2. “I wonder what we could do with this space?”

Whether you want to admit it or not, there are certain homes with designs that are, well, let’s just say “interesting.” Your goal is to get buyers thinking outside the box (or whatever shape you’re dealing with.)

Offer suggestions of rooms you’ve seen in the past. The more personal you can make it for the client, the better. If you know that their huge movie buffs, why not suggest turning that odd-shaped office into a mini-theater with just enough seats for the entire family.

The apps for instant room ideas:

Check out this interior design database right from your phone to help clients get the decorative juices flowing and generate ideas for how they could use those “interesting” spaces.

Houzz for: iOS and Android
 
Price: Free

3. “What were they thinking with these walls?”

Ok, so maybe the floral wallpaper or the do-it-yourself sponge-painting wasn’t the previous owner’s best choice ever. Don’t let your clients dwell on the current look. Instead, ask “What are you thinking for these walls?”

The more you can your clients imagining themselves living in the home, the better. It helps get them one step closer to purchase.

The apps for seeing past the ugly wall:

Selling potential is easy when you can show potential. Help take your clients painting ideas a step further with virtual “paint” features that them visualize their take on an existing space.

 Color Capture available for iOS and Android ColorClix available for iOS and Android Wall Painter available for iOS
   
 Price: Free Price: Free Price: $.99

4. “What’s nearby?”

You know as well as we do that clients aren’t looking just for a home. They’re looking for a neighborhood and lifestyle. Be prepared to answer the neighborhood questions with tips and insights to share on the surrounding area.

Tools for looking like the neighborhood know-it-all :

Have your iPad or laptop? Get all the information you need withTrulia Local, recently nominated as a top 5 finalist for SXSW’s 2013 Interactive Awards.

Only traveling with your home? We hope you’ve got the Trulia for Agents App to manage your business, but make sure to use the great “nearby” features on our Trulia app that bring Trulia Local right to your handheld device.

Available for iOS and Android

Price: Free

5. “What will our mortgage on this place look like?”

Even if your clients love the home you’re showing them, the ultimate question is: can they afford it? Just like a bedroom, if buyers can’t visualize how a monthly payment is doable, they won’t offer.

Don’t make them wait to run the numbers. Help them estimate their cost commitment on the spot with one of these free mortgage calculator apps for your smartphone.

Apps for estimating monthly mortgage payment:

There are lots of mortgage apps out there, so make sure you choose one that’s simple and actually works. Here are a few of our top picks:

Karl’s Mortgage Calculator for Android Simple Mortgage Payment for iOS Trulia’s Mortgage App for iOS.
   
 Price: Free Price: Free Price: Free

6. “Can we make an offer?”

Cue the hallelujah chorus. It’s time to make an offer. You’ve helped your clients find the perfect home, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop wowing them – it’s your time to really shine.

Keep the transaction moving forward smoothly and quickly through the offer, contract, and other paperwork sign-offs that can seem overwhelming. Take advantage of document signing tools to avoid being slowed down by a pile of paperwork.

Apps that help get an offer signed from anywhere:

 Docusign Ink for iOSand Android HelloSign for iOS
 Price: Free Price: Free

Docusign Ink for iOSand Android

Price: Free

HelloSign for iOS

Price: Free

Keep these tips and smartphone tools in mind when you’re out with clients on the go. When it comes to buying, your answer could be the difference between a closed deal or a ‘so close’ deal.

Estate Acutions

Hello every one. We have had a lot of requests for info on Estate Auctions.

We are reaching out to you. Who have you used? How did you feel about them.

Did they come to the home for the Auction or did you have to box it all and take it to them.

After it was done how did you feel about the service you received. Would you use them again.

We are looking to find one or to that we can make a VIP Estate Auction. For those who lost a loved one and need to sell the items from the house with as little issue as possible. This is always a hard time for the family so we are looking to make this a little easier to recommend a good Estate Auction Company.

 

Available Rentals at Select Property Management

 

All: Here is a listing of all of our current available rentals. Please let me know if you have anyone interested. Thank You.
 
 
 
56 Stonewyck Hill Rd, Wrightsville, PA Listing56 Stonewyck Hill Rd Wrightsville, PA Rent: $1500.00 3BD, 3 BA (TV and surround sound included with unit)
 
863 Wynonah Dr, Auburn, PA Listing863 Wynonah Dr. Auburn, PA Rent: $1500.00 3BD, 2BA, Deck, Jacuzzi tub, fireplace
 
12 Farm Ln, Lancaster, PA Listing12 Farm Lane Lancaster, PA Rent: $1200.00 2BD, 2BA, 2 car garage, patio
 
 
2415 Lomara Dr, Pottstown, PA Listing 2415 Lomara Dr. Pottstown, PA Rent: $1900.00 3BD 2BA
 
23 Summer Ct, Lancaster, PA Listing 23 Summer Ct, Lancaster, PA Rent: $1450.00 3BD, 2BA, 2 car garage
119 Townhouse Ln, Lancaster, PA Listing119 Townhouse Lane, Lancaster, PA Rent: $1200.00 3BD, 2BA, garage and all appliances.
Stephanie Yerger
Rental Division Manager
Select Property & Association Management
1000 North Prince Street Lancaster, PA 17603
Main: 717-735-8407
Direct: 717-735-6295
Mobile: 610-621-8380

341 Pleasant View Drive Willow Street, PA 17584

home for sale Rancher in willow street
Rancher for sale Willow Street, PA

Home for Sale 341 Pleasant View Drive Willow Street, PA 17584
This is a great home. It looks small from the front but with the edition in the rear this home is very large. This home has 3-4 bedrooms with a full master including master bath, his and her closets. This is a must see for a Willow Street home. Updated heating and AC. Fire place in master. Updated Kitchen the updates don’t end. One car garage with a max size 300sq foot shed out back. Look at all the photo’s online athttp://lancasterparealtor.com/
or call for a showing today 717-735-6284

 

Home for sale, Great Rancher in Willow Street, PA
Home for sale, Great Rancher in Willow Street, PA

DSCN1137 DSCN1140 DSCN1141 DSCN1143 DSCN1148 DSCN1150 DSCN1151 DSCN1161 DSCN1169 DSCN1171 DSCN1173 DSCN1174

236 Calvary Rd Oxford PA New Listing

$107,300

Back of home
This is a great home for sale with 3.7 acres of and it is a short sale. 

 

This is a great home with 3.7 acres of land in Oxford PA. It is a new listing with that said as of today Jan. 23 we are asking for every one to bring there highest and best offer by 6 pm tonight on this listing. Home was listed for just a short time and we have recieved multiple offers on the home.

Come out and see this great home in the country. There is a horse stable for 2 horses. The home has 3 bedrooms and could be build out for another 5-10 bedrooms. The home has 3 bathrooms at this point and could be build out for many more also. Home has a hickory kitchen in it.

The property does need some work and updateing, the hot water heater does not work, the AC unit does not work. The heating unit is unknown thus it is an AS IS purchase.

You could park 4 cars in the lower level of the home. You would have your own pond on the property. Great country view. set on the enclosed deck and watch the wild life run free over your land. This home does have a well and septic system.

There is a propane tank in the ground. feel free to stop by and take a look at the home if you like it please bring us an offer.

If you have a home to sell call us. We are leaders in selling homes fast in Lancaster County. Use a team with a proven track record of selling homes. We bring buyers to the table all the time for our clients.

Many times it’s the little things that get done that make the big difference. Target marketing is what we call it. You have see those adds on Facebook, google, yahoo with the picture of the home and short description of the property. We started that in Lancaster County. We attract those people looking for homes in your area. Why market to 100,000 thousand people that are not looking for a new home. Spend the same or more money on marketing to the 2,000 people that are in the area and that are looking for a home just like yours.

For a fee home evaluation please stop by our website at http://lancasterparealtor.com

Why hire one person to sell your home. Pick up the entire team for the same money while your at it get the Largest Real Estate company on your listing in the Country. You know that you will pay the same money for any company why not have the best company working for your from the start.

Call us the Jesse Storm team at Coldwell Banker Select Professionals at 717-735-6284 and get your home sold fast.

How can I sell my home faster?

Homes.comEliminate Stale Listings

In today’s market, some real estate agents are finding that listings are staying on the market for longer than anticipated. The increased time on market may have left some agents looking for creative ways to move their listings faster. So, what are the factors contributing to the lack of sale? What can agents do to revive a listing that’s been on the market for awhile?

While price, location and amenities are some of the primary reasons, there are a few simple things an agent can do to move those stale listings off the market.

1. Expose your listings – everywhere! Millions of home buyers search  every month for homes for sale; however, no two home buyers search in the same manner. That’s why it’s so important for an agent to reach home buyers in multiple sort criteria on Homes.com.

The two most popular sort criteria on Homes.com include:

• Number of photos. Home buyers want to see photos. The more photos an agent shows of a listing, the better the chances become of capturing the attention of prospective home buyers. Remember, it may take just one photo to convince a home buyer to see the home.

• Price Reduced. Enough said! Home buyers want to feel like they are getting a deal on a home. Make sure to note each and every time a price is reduced on a listing. Not only will the listing appear in the “Price Reduced” sort on Homes.com, the reduced amount will also draw the home buyers eye no matter what sort criteria your listing appears in.

Remember, what’s important to one home buyer may not be important to the next. Make sure your listing appeals to more than one type of home buyer.

2. Get more listing views! Have you noticed the listings that appear above each of your city’s search results on Homes.com? Those listings are called Featured Listings and they appear on each and every search results page of your city, no matter how many pages a home buyer views.

Featured Listings are designed to draw a home buyers attention. When rolled over with a mouse, the photo enlarges to nearly 9 times it’s original size. That’s why Featured Listings average up to 10 times more clicks than basic listings on Homes.com. As an agent, you can feature as many of your listings as Featured Listings as you’d like. You can sign up online too!

3. Update your listing photos . Did you know that the average home buyer searches online for up to 9 months before they even contact an agent? With today’s home buyers, it’s become increasingly important for agents to stay up-to-date with each of their listings, especially the listings that have been on the market longer than expected.

One easy tip is to update your photos, especially as the seasons change. A home buyer is less likely to get the best feel for a home covered in snow when she is starting her home search in July. Another quick tip is to start your picture slide show with a picture that sets the home apart from others. If the best quality of the home is it’s 2 story screened it porch, show it first!

4. Respond Instantly . We live in a world where consumers seek answers to their questions immediately. Once a home buyer takes the initiative to contact an agent, that agent is on the clock. Typically, a home buyer who does not hear back from an agent immediately will move onto the next agent on their list, which in some cases, is that agents closest competitor.

Return calls, emails and text messages immediately, even if it’s just to say hello and to setup a future time to chat. Fulfilling an immediate need shows you are available and easily accessible to the home buyer. Remember this approach for each and every lead you receive.

5. Shorten, but spice up your listing descriptions. How many times have you received an email from a client that included multiple paragraphs of inquiries requiring your response? Didn’t it seem like a chore for you to read such a long, exaggerated email?

Think of your listing description in the same manner. Be short, and straight to the point. No one wants to read line after line of detailed description. Instead, use your photos to tell the story. In your description, use attention grabbing adjectives to describe the homes most important, but still unique features. Updating your listing copy frequently is a great idea too.

How to Reduce Real Estate Taxes

taxesProperty taxes are most likely the most despised taxes that one has to pay. These taxes, based on the value of a property, are often incorrect; especially since property values have dropped in recent years.

However, one can petition the tax authority to lower taxes based on the current values of a property. There are steps that must be taken to petition the tax authority to have a property reassessed and the taxes adjusted accordingly.

Steps to reduce property taxes:

  1. Make sure taxes are current. Before one can appeal to the tax board to have a property reassessed, they must have all past taxes paid in full, even if they are at a higher rate.
  2. Know the cut off dates for filing an appeal. Most taxing authorities will only allow appealing a tax bill for a specific amount of time once the bill is issued. On average, it is 25 days from the date that the bill was issued. It is also important to read the rules for the appeal, including the amount of time to submit evidence to the board before an appeal is heard.
  3. Understand the assessment date. Your assessment date can be any given day of the year. In most cases, the date is either Jan. or Oct.1. The value of your property must have dropped before that date for you to make an appeal. Any decrease in value after the assessment date cannot be adjusted until the following year.
  4. Assessment cycles can determine taxes. Some locations will reassess property values every year, while others will do in in multi-year cycles. If your property was assessed several years ago, you will have a better chance of being awarded a reduction now. However, you should note that if your request is at the end of a cycle, you might have to repeat the process very soon.
  5. Review the percentage. When you look at your assessment, make sure that you understand what the percentage of the fair market value the home is taxed at. It is easy to assume that the home is assessed at 100 percent of value, when in fact the figure is only 50 percent of fair market value. If it is assessed at only 50 percent, chances are you are paying more for your taxes than you should.
  6. Review your tax information. Many property tax offices now have information online that will provide you with how the office taxes your home. This will include square footage, number of bathrooms, and additions to the home and driveway space. Look over the information to make sure that it is accurate. Many mistakes can be found in transposed numbers, which leads to additional taxation.
  7. Look at comparable properties. Property values for comparable homes in your area are a great indicator of what your property should be valued at for taxing purposes. If other homes are selling for less than what your home is assessed at, there is a great chance of lowering your tax bill.
  8. Look into an expert. If you are not sure how to go about lowering your taxes on your own, many services are available to help. Most services charge a small flat fee or a percentage of your first year savings.
  9. Look for exemptions. Many localities have tax breaks available to homeowners that meet certain criteria. For example, in Florida you can receive a homestead exemption on the property that you claim as your main residence. Additionally, many tax breaks are given to seniors or the disabled.
  10. Look for local exemption programs. Additional tax breaks can often be found from local authorities for seniors or the disabled that can be applied to county or state taxes.

HUD and Census Bureau Release Nation Housing Stats

houses - real estateThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), along with the U.S. Census Bureau, has released the newest housing report for 2011. This extremely detailed report includes information not contained in previous reports and provides a more intimate look at the U.S. housing market.

Information contained in this report includes the following data:

  • Nearly 20 percent of all people who have made a recent move did so out of convenience for their job.
  • When asked how they found the house they moved into, 20 percent responded that they used a realtor, 17 percent cited the Internet, and 16 percent stated they heard about it from a friend. Renters found their new home 34 percent of the time by seeing a sign outside the building, followed by advice from a friend and the Internet.
  • The median sized owned home is 1,800 square feet. The median size for a rental is 1,300 square feet. Homes that were newly built averaged 2,200 square feet.
  • The average year an owned home was built was 1976. The average rental home was 1972.
  • 64 percent of all homes have over three bedrooms. 74 percent of all newly built homes have over three bedrooms.
  • 66 percent of all homes now have central air and heat. 30 percent have window units for air conditioning.
  • The most common Energy Star appliance found in a home is the refrigerator. This is followed by the washing machine and dryer.
  • 83 percent of all households have a washing machine in their home. 81 percent of all homes have a dryer.
  • On average, a home owner pays out 21 percent of their income in housing costs. The median housing cost is $927. New home owners will pay about 24 percent of their wages to housing expenses.
  • 21 percent of all home owners have seen an increase in their monthly housing expenses in the previous calendar year. These expenses are generally due to increased local taxes or insurance premium increases.
  • 16 percent of all households have a permanent swimming pool.
  • Four percent of home owners reported finding mold in their home. The most common place to find mold was the bathroom, followed by the bedroom and the basement.
  • The average amount of money spent on simple maintenance was $33 for the year.
  • The average cost to remodel a kitchen was $5,000. However, to renovate the kitchen costs over five times that amount, averaging at $27,000. The average cost to remodel a bathroom was $2,400.
  • Nearly half of all households added a major appliance or piece of equipment to their homes in the previous two years.
  • This report provides a comprehensive look at what is really taking place in the housing market. Experts in the field can look at these figures and anticipate how the housing market will fare in the coming year.

Information about housing costs and repairs are also an indicator on how the economy will move. As housing expenses decline, the economy will increase due to the extra available cash. Additionally, real estate agents can determine what is important to consumers and how to market any properties they have for sale.

Foreclosures in 2012 Showed Positive Signs for 2013

foreclosure homeFinal reports have been issued for 2012 concerning foreclosure activity, with the resulting data showing both positive and negative trends. Thankfully, the positive news far outweighs the bad, leading experts to believe that 2013 will be a very positive year for the housing market.

During 2012, banks finalized foreclosures on 671,251 homes. This is a decrease of 17 percent from 2011, which saw 894,423 finalized foreclosures. Homes that received at least one foreclosure notice at least once during the year dropped by three percent. This figure translates into 1.8 million homes receiving notices during 2012, down 36 percent from the 2.9 million that received notices in 2010.

However, twenty-five states saw a significant increase in foreclosure activity during the year. Coincidentally, these same states are judicial foreclosure states where foreclosures take an extended period to process. Most of these states have had significant backlogs, which are keeping foreclosure rates high in these areas.

Florida, a judicial foreclosure state, had the highest amount of foreclosures in the country during 2012. Florida foreclosures accounted for one-fifth of all foreclosures that took place during the year. Florida is also the top three states for the largest increase in finalized foreclosures during 2012, followed only by New Jersey and Illinois.

In places like Florida, New Jersey and New York, all judicial foreclosure states, the foreclosure process can take in excess of three years to complete. Florida, at this time, has brought judges out of retirement and established “foreclosure courts” in strip malls to clear their backlog as quickly as possible.

Market experts believe that stepped up efforts in these states, however, will allow them to catch up with back log cases by mid-year, allowing for foreclosure rates to begin decreasing in the second half of the year.

The three states to see the largest decline in foreclosure activity during 2012 was Nevada, Utah and Arizona. This is wonderful news in the housing market because two of these states, Nevada and Arizona, have been considered hard-hit areas where housing prices plummeted and foreclosures were rampant at the beginning of the housing crisis.

Laws passed in Nevada, Oregon and California has made it much more difficult for lenders to foreclose upon a home in these areas, which may cause foreclosures in these areas to linger throughout the coming year.

Overall, market experts believe that the foreclosure crisis has finally reached a point that there will be less new foreclosures entering the market. New policies by lenders have made short sales and loan modifications a preferred choice over pursuing foreclosure.

It should be noted that while finalized foreclosure figures dropped during the year, the number of homes that were in some stage of foreclosure actually rose by nine percent. This is equal to 1.5 million homes.

Experts have forecast that between 500,000 and 600,000 homes will enter complete foreclosure this year. On average, half of all new foreclosure starts end up going into final foreclosure. With that in mind, it is anticipated that between 1.1 and 1.2 million homes will be in some phase of foreclosure during 2013.

December 2012 Housing Scorecard

home - sold - real estateThe December Housing Scorecard was just released by the Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Treasury. Released monthly, this report creates a picture of the current housing market.

The latest report indicates that the housing market crash has finally hit bottom and begun to bounce back. Many indicators, across several different areas, show improvement throughout the country for the housing market.

The housing market crash of 2007 was the worst housing market event since the Great Depression in 1929. In response to this crisis, the Obama administration along with the Department for Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Treasury established mortgage relief programs and created the monthly scorecard so that the housing market can be effectively tracked.

Details from the December Scorecard:

  • The FHFA housing price index showed an increase of 5.6 percent from the previous year.
  • The Case-Shiller Index is showing a 4.3 percent increase in home prices for the same period.
  • Between April 2009 and November 2012, over six million loan modifications and other forms of mortgage assistance were started.
  • In October 2012, 81,000 homes were refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
  • HARP has refinanced 790,600 loans since January 2012.
  • Making Home Affordable Program has helped 1.4 million homeowners with various types of mortgage assistance.
  • The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has offered 1.5 million loss mitigation actions to stop delinquencies.
  • HOPE Now has now offered more than 3 million mortgage modifications to date.
  • November marked 1.1 million permanent loan modifications granted through HARP.
  • The average savings per month on a modified loan in this program is $544.
  • In November, 77 percent of qualified loan modification applicants also received a principal reduction on their mortgage.
  • 87 percent of all applicants in the last 30 months have received a permanent modification.

Significant Information

The most important information contained in the report is the increase in home values across the nation. This small increase in values has been enough to boost consumer confidence and increase the desire for home ownership. Additionally, the increases that are being seen across the country have also helped many homeowners move from negative equity to positive equity in their homes.

It is anticipated that the government backed refinancing programs will continue to help homeowners recover from the housing market crisis for at least another year. The U.S. Treasury and HUD have approached Congress for continuation of funding for these programs until the housing market has fully recovered.

Additional reports released about the housing market from non-governmental agencies are confirming the findings in this report. Many reports released for the end of the year show a continued increase in home prices, along with a large drop in the amount of homes entering into foreclosure. New home starts have also increased, leading many to believe that the housing market will play a much larger role in the GDP next year. In 2012, this was the first year that the housing market contributed to the Gross Domestic Product since 2005 and the subsequent housing market crash.

Come see what the sellers see at http://lancasterparealtor.com

Tips for Gen X and Gen Y Home Buyers

According to a recent survey, people who belong to the Generation X and Generation Y demographics haven’t been deterred by the housing market downturn at all.

A Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey found that 75 percent of Gen X and Y respondents believe owning a home is a key indicator of success; 69 percent said the recent housing downturn made them more knowledgeable about homeownership than their parents were at their age.

And it turns out that Gen X-ers and Y-ers are more motivated than some older generations give them credit for. The survey revealed that Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers are willing to take second jobs (40 percent said they would) or move in with their parents (23 percent) in order to buy into the American Dream of owning a home.

The real estate market during the past five years was certainly scary, especially for younger and less experienced home buyers. And so, a lot of people in Gen X and Gen Y sat on the sidelines. But the market has definitely bounced back, and many believe that now is a great time to buy. You just have to be savvy about it.

Here are five tips to help Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers buy into the American Dream.

Have a five-year plan

Unlike the boom years, don’t assume a home purchased today will appreciate in value within five years. If you’re unsure about your five-year plans, it’s better to rent.

Use technology creatively

It’s well-documented that Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers start their home search online. Real estate listingssites, mortgage calculators and valuation tools such as Zillow’s Zestimate® home value are typically places a buyer starts. But, once you’re in the market, there are tons of online resources. Less obvious tools, such as Google Street View, can help, too. It once helped a client realize that the home she wanted to buy in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood may not be as safe as she thought. Google Street View revealed that there were previously bars on the windows of the ground-floor apartment.

Beware of information overload

Using the Internet and apps, home buyers today have an unprecedented amount of data available. Sometimes, however, it’s too much and can cause the buyer to shoot themselves in the foot. For example, a buyer might learn that the seller stands to make a 10 percent profit in a short amount of time. Even though the profit is in line with current market values, that information might cause the buyer to make a low offer and kick themselves a month later for missing out on a great house.

Don’t assume you don’t need a real estate agent

Because so much information is online, many Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers might think they can buy a home on their own. However, the role of the agent is no longer about finding the listings. It’s about presenting the offer and getting it accepted, getting through inspections and getting the deal done. A real estate transaction can go 50 different ways now. A good agent will steer a buyer on the right path. A savvy agent will know the ins and outs of any local market better than an uninformed buyer with a full-time job and family. It’s their business to be in the know, and it’s what they do all day long. Experienced agents will have a strong network in the local market that can give you the added edge. Good agents like to work with other good agents. Finally, keep in mind that a listing agent might not even consider working with an unrepresented buyer.

Look for opportunities to increase the home’s value

Baby boomers and preceding generations could more or less count on staying in their homes for many years and, in turn, their homes’ steady increase in value over time. After the market downturn, however, that’s not the case. Because they’re so mobile, Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers in particular should steer clear of buying the best home on the best block. Instead, look for ways to add value. Look at homes that don’t show well, are marketed poorly or are outdated. Don’t be afraid of doing light remodeling or making smart improvements that will add value. If you have to sell your home sooner than you’d planned, you’re covered.

Check other topics and Real Estate help at http://lancasterparealtor.com

5 Cheap and Easy Fixes Before You List Your Home

Thinking of listing your home? Of course, you’ll want to get the best possible price. Before you call a major renovation squad for a TV-style home makeover, try these cheap and easy fixes to increase your home’s appeal.

Declutter

Start with the easiest fix of all. Pack up and hide or store some of your possessions. Stash your collections of porcelain dolls or “Star Wars” figurines; the less of your stuff potential buyers see, the more likely they will be to envision themselves — and their stuff — in the home.

Add curb appeal

Next, take a look at your home from the street. Could it benefit from a little landscaping? Clear away any dead plants, trim back limbs and bushes, and check out your local home improvement store’s garden section. Small flowering plants and other foliage is very affordable and easily adds instant charm.

Deep clean

The next easy fix is to clean. No, really clean. Pressure wash the driveway, and have your tile and carpets professionally cleaned. Clean your window treatments and remove scuff marks around the baseboards. All the little things that may go unnoticed from day to day will make the home look much better when they are all sparkly-clean.

Go neutral

Watch about 20 seconds of any real estate reality show and you’ll surely hear a prospective buyer lament about the owner’s poor choice in color. “Oh, it’s so … blue.” This is like nails on a chalkboard to real estate professionals because it is literally one of the easiest things to change. The solution: Repaint some of your boldest walls a good old off-white or beige neutral. It will also help you start to detach emotionally from your home as you enter the sale process.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms that really sell a home. Give them a quick mini-makeover by making a few inexpensive hardware changes; towel racks, accent shelves, even light switches and utility plate covers are cheap and easy to fix. Also, refer to No. 1 and stash your family photos on the refrigerator and deep-six the extensive pile of magazines in the restroom.

With these five tips, you can give your home a major makeover on a budget in the hundreds versus the thousands and get it ready to list for top dollar.

Bob Vila’s 5 ‘Must-Do’ Projects for January

KCPLkids.com

By Bob Vila

Happy New Year! January is the month to take stock and plan ahead. That’s why my five “must-do” projects for January include everything from adopting some home-focused resolutions to storing holiday decorations and getting snow-ready.

Make ‘energy savings’ a resolution to keep

This year, as you make your New Year’s resolution to spend less, go on a diet, join a gym, learn a new skill or perhaps find more time for yourself, consider adding another goal for 2013 — putting your house on an energy diet.

Just like taxes and death, you can be sure that energy and utility costs will continue to take a bite out of your home operating budget. How big of a bite is within your control. That’s why it pays to do everything you can to keep your home as trim and fit as possible. After all, sometimes even a seemingly modest change in your home (or change in your personal habits) can make a dramatic difference over time.

For example, there’s been plenty written about energy-efficient light bulbs, but have you put that information into practice? If not, make it a goal this year. If every American home replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an Energy Star-certified variety, we would conserve enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year (equivalent to the amount produced by about 800,000 cars), according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

And if you’ve turned a deaf ear to that dripping faucet or runny toilet, you can be sure that your water company hasn’t. If you know that there’s a leak, fix it. It may require something as simple as tightening a valve or replacing a worn washer or ineffective flapper, all simple repairs you can take care of yourself. If the leak requires replacing the faucet or toilet altogether, call in a professional and choose a fixture bearing the WaterSense label. And the next time you flush, consider this: If everyone in the U.S. flushed the toilet just one time less per day, we could save the equivalent of a lake full of water about 1 square mile and 4 feet deep every day, according to Green Living Ideas.

Looking for more ways to conserve and save this year? Seal those drafts, make sure your home is well-insulated, install low-flow shower heads and change furnace filters. You can find out more — and take the Bob Vila 2013 Energy Diet Pledge — here. One simple change will make a big difference for you and all of us!

Pack up the holiday decorations

As fun as it is to unearth boxes of holiday decorations in November, there is nothing enjoyable about packing them all away again in January. Big-box stores will be happy to sell you bins and containers geared specifically toward holiday-related storage, but with a little planning and ingenuity, you can create your own DIY solutions that will work just as well. A piece of cardboard with slots at both ends is ideal for wrapping string lights, while those inexpensive, 6-ounce plastic party cups are the perfect individual holders for fragile ornaments. And if you have a real tree, consider bringing it to atreecycling location, where it will be chipped into mulch for beneficial use.

Get snow-ready — before the snowfall

If you live in parts of the country where snow is likely, take time now to make sure you are prepared for its arrival. Snow shovels, snow blowers, salt or sand should all be at the ready. If you haven’t fired up your snow blower since last winter, you might want to do so now. Consider some routine maintenance like changing the oil; replacing frayed or cracked belts; tightening nuts, bolts, and screws; and lubricating drive and chassis. Also, watch for the formation of icicles along the eaves as snow begins to melt. They can create ice dams and serious damage to the roof if left unattended. A roof rake is a great way to pull the snow from the eaves to lessen the problem.

Employ some countertop TLC

Perhaps never before have there been so many enticing countertop options to fit every budget, decor and culinary need. But all countertops are not created equal. So what’s the best way to keep yours in peak condition? You can start with some pretty basic “do’s and don’ts,” such as cleaning often with a sponge or soft cloth and mild, non-abrasive detergent, or by practicing caution when using sharp knives and hot cookware. If you have granite or marble, be sure to use a good sealer, which will help prolong the life of the stone and provide a barrier of protection against staining. Wood countertops should be rubbed with tung, linseed or mineral oil anywhere from monthly to quarterly, depending on usage. The same mineral oil can be applied to soapstone to provide a protective coat and rich, dark color. For stained laminate, try a homemade paste of baking soda and water. For tips on caring for concrete, stainless steel, quartz, solid surfaces and ceramic tile, visit Countertop Care 101.

Make a better fire

While many of today’s homeowners opt for the convenience of a gas fireplace, the traditionalists among us may always prefer the smokey smell, crackling sound and tactile ritual of fire building. While there is an art to making a fire, it all begins with the right choice of wood. Every species has its own set of burning characteristics. Some species — oak, for example — offer a very slow burn and hot fire, while other species like fir provide medium heat with less ash. You’ll also want to make sure the wood you use is properly seasoned and stored in a well-ventilated outdoor area, protected from the elements.

See more info on homes for sale at http://lancasterparealtor.com

Need someone to inspect your home contact Matt at http://wini.com

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Ticks Upward After Fiscal Cliff Resolution

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 3.31 percent, up from 3.24 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.18 and 3.25 percent for the majority of the week, jumping to the current rate this morning.

“Last week, rates remained fairly flat until Congress approved a plan to avoid fiscal cliff tax hikes, pushing mortgage rates up slightly,” said Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. “Even though Congress still has to work out a plan on spending cuts, we expect rates will continue to drift upward for the next few weeks as markets refocus on economic data instead of fiscal cliff deliberations.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 2.63 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.54 percent.

What are the rates right now? Check Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for up-to-the-minute mortgage ratesfor your state.

*The weekly rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals.

Get help buying or selling your next home with the RIP Agents from http://lancasterparealtor.com for all your home hunting needs.

or stop by http://wini.com to set up a home inspection with an inspector that top rated in Lancaster County by his clients.

High Energy Bills? Fix Air Leaks in These 4 Offending Areas

Before you turn the thermostat up another notch or pile another blanket on the bed, it may be time to figure out how and where your house is losing heat.

Whether you’re the victim of a poorly insulated basement or drafty windows, those heat losses add up in the form of big — sometimes enormous — energy bills.

To determine exactly how much energy your house is losing, you may want to hire a home energy auditor. This individual will use an infrared camera and other fancy gadgets to determine where your heat is going. If you prefer, you can do an audit on your own by going through your house and feeling for drafts. These four spots are the most common places to check to heat loss:

Doors

You have to use it to go in and out of your house, so it’s understandable some heat will escape each time you open the door. That said, heat shouldn’t be leaking out from around the door when it’s closed. Door seals and weather-stripping are available at most home improvement stores. Replacing torn, worn or just plain ill-fitting seals is a do-it-yourself job that requires little to no experience.

Windows

Heat escapes both through glass — especially single-pane windows — and around casements and trim. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates a third of a home’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors. Insulated blinds or curtains can help keep some of the heat inside; so can plastic film kits available through home improvement stores.

For basement or attic windows you don’t need to see through, cover the panes with a piece of foam board glued to 3/8-inch drywall. Cut the pieces so they fit snugly inside the window frame; the foam can be popped out whenever you want to let in sunlight.

If you have single-pane windows, consider installing storm windows or replacing them with more efficient thermal windows.

Fireplaces

Hot air travels upward. When you have a wood fire, more heat escapes through your chimney than enters your house. Even when the fireplace is not being used, closed metal dampers tend to leak air.

Fireplaces that are never used should be plugged and their flues sealed. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going; if you leave the damper open while you’re not burning a fire, your heating bill can increase by as much as 30 percent.

If your flue doesn’t seal tight, have it replaced or repaired. Also, consider installing glass doors and a heat-air exchange that circulates warm air to make your fires more efficient.

Look high and low

Warm air flowing upward from your heated house to your cold attic is a large waste of heat. Additionally, this warm air is often damp and can cause condensation damage to your roof.

If floors on the main level of your home are cold, chances are your crawl space or basement is poorly insulated. A common area of air leakage in the basement is along the top of the basement wall where cement or block comes in contact with the wood frame. Also check for cracks in brick, concrete or stone basement walls, and make repairs with premixed cement or other filler.

Sealing leaks and installing insulation will help keep the heat in and the cold out.

For more information take a look at our site http://lancasterparealtor.com

For a home inspection and to check out how your house is schedule a home inspection with http://wini.com/

Matt is one of the best home inspectors in Lancaster County see for your self let him do your next inspection.

3 Best Practices for Making Reverse Offers

Selling a home swiftly is about smart and strategic decisions. And while most selling strategies can make a
seller feel like a sitting duck, the reverse offer can be a great tool for sellers to take a more active role in moving
their home with the help of the right agent.

What is a reverse offer?

In more typical transactions, buyers make an offer for a certain price and terms. A reverse offer goes in the opposite direction: from seller to buyer.

When is a reverse offer right?

Anxious sellers shouldn’t just go offering their home up
around town. The first step in a successful reverse offer is
contacting your agent. He or she will know if it’s ultimately
right, but here are a few instances where a reverse offer
may be the right move:

The Quiet Open House Crowd –

In cases where a seller’s home has been on the market for ages with lots of viewers, but no offers, a seller can enlist their agent to go back and approach several, or even all, of the buyers who have come to see the property, and make an offer to those buyers.

Frequent Foot-Traffic –

In this scenario, the seller’s agent extends an offer to a particular buyer who has come to see the property multiple times and seems very interested, but has been hesitant to make an offer.

Crucial Competition –

If your home is nearly identical to neighboring homes for sale at the same price, or you are struggling to position it competitively with foreclosures and short sales in the area, a proactive reverse offer differentiates your house in the minds of homebuyers.

Why would someone accept a reverse offer?

Reverse offers generally offer a home. In addition, some sellers opt to sweeten the pot by throwing in added incentives
like paying some or all of the buyer’s closing costs, buying down the buyer’s interest rate, paying for HOA dues
or fees or even throwing property like flat-screen TVs, cars or other valuables into the deal.

Get Expert Help

Like all things in real estate, the best reverse offers are local and take into account your local sales climate, buyer motivation, property specifics, and a number of other factors. In some markets reverse offers are seen as “desperate” and in others they’re seen as a great tool for a less complicated sale and negotiation. The only way for a seller to be sure about whether a reverse offer ultimately fits is to talk with an experienced local professional.

Best Practices: How to Reverse Offer the Right Way

Drive It By Deadline

Reverse offers should create urgency.

That means the deal should only be good for a day or two, to
push the buyers into moving quickly. Similarly, if
you have extended the reverse offer to multiple
buyers, let them all know they’re not alone and that
the first buyer to bite takes the house.

Target Your Traffic

To find the best candidates for reverse offers, ask your listing agent to contact the broker for any buyers who have made more than one visit to your home. These individuals are your best candidates for the reverse offer because they’ve shown repeat interest in your property.

Research the Resistance

Before you reverse offer, be sure your agent has researched your target buyer’s hesitations. Knowing the buyer’s impression or hesitation about purchasing can help you develop incentives that address their issues and motivate them to make a purchase.

Weekly Mortgage Update

Newsletter-January 7th, 2013

Provided by
Robin Gamby

Robin Gamby
VP
M&T Bank
2270 Erin Court
Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone: (717)391-8082
Fax: (866)439-8254
Cell Phone: (717)575-9032
E-Mail: rcgamby@mtb.com
Website: http://www.mandtmtg.com/rgamby

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week sharply lower pushing rates higher. The market was negative early last week in reaction to the deal that was struck to avert the “fiscal cliff.” Many analysts view the deal as a stop-gap solution and point to the fact that spending cuts were delayed for 2 months and debt ceiling limits still loom. Higher than expected weekly jobless claims gave a temporary reprieve to the negative trend early Thursday morning but that was short-lived. The Fed minutes caused panic selling Thursday afternoon and indicated a large divide among policy setters on continuing the asset purchases also known as QE’s. Some members thought the program should end this year. The Fed is the major player in the MBS market and a move away from that support will cause rates to rise. Mortgage interest rates finished the week worse by about a full discount point.LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator

Release
Date & Time

Consensus
Estimate


Analysis

3-year Treasury Note Auction

Tuesday, Jan. 8,
1:15 pm, et

None

Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Consumer Credit

Tuesday, Jan. 8,
3:00 pm, et

$9.3b

Low importance. A significantly large increase may lead to lower mortgage interest rates.

10-year Treasury Note Auction

Wednesday, Jan. 9,
1:15 pm, et

None

Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Weekly Jobless Claims

Thursday, Jan. 10,
8:30 am, et

368k

Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.

30-year Treasury Bond Auction

Thursday, Jan. 10,
1:15 pm, et

None

Important. Bonds will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Trade Data

Friday, Jan. 11,
8:30 am, et

$43b deficit

Important. Affects the value of the dollar. A falling deficit may strengthen the dollar and lead to lower rates.

Trade Data

In the distant past the US economy tended to be viewed as relatively unaffected by economic activity in other countries. However, increased trades with other countries and an increased reliance on foreign purchases of US debt have generated a market awareness of trade-related issues. The exchange rate of the dollar and foreign trade flows are interrelated. One must buy dollars to purchase US exports, and sell dollars to buy imports. Likewise, foreign investment in US debt requires the purchase of US dollars, and is thus affected by exchange rates.

Each month the Commerce Department gathers an enormous amount of detailed data on exports and imports. The data is broken between goods and services trade. The overall trade balance is the dollar difference between US exports and imports on a seasonally adjusted basis. The report also highlights trade flows between the US and various partners. Since the mid-1970’s, US imports of consumer and capital goods have exceeded exports, so a merchandise trade deficit has existed. The US has always maintained a service trade surplus, and because this surplus is not enough to offset the merchandise trade deficit, a net export deficit has resulted.

Due to the overwhelming amount of data considered, trade is difficult to forecast, and can present surprises. For a variety of reasons, the financial markets will often be unaffected by surprises in trade data. However, the data still has the ability to cause mortgage interest rate volatility.

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Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved. Mortgage Market Information Services, Inc. www.ratelink.com The information contained herein is believed to be accurate, however no representation or warranties are written or implied.

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