5 Sizzling Reasons To Buy A Home During Housing’s Hottest Season

The Heat Is On: 5 Sizzling Reasons to Buy a Home During Housing’s Hottest Season
By Rena Behar | Jun 15, 2017
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flammulate/iStock; stevanovicigor/iStock
The days are getting longer. Ice cream truck jingles echo up and down the block. But the surest sign that summer is here? It just might be those “For Sale” signs popping up like dandelions in your neighborhood.

Yep, we’re smack dab in the middle of the most popular time of the year to buy and sell a home. If you’re thinking of starting your home search, your first instinct as a savvy shopper might be to stay away and wait for the weather—and the market—to cool down. Why battle the crowds and bidding wars if you’re in no rush to move?

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But there’s no reason to sweat the idea of buying in the summer. In fact, there are some distinct advantages to making your way into the marketplace during housing’s hottest season—as long as you can stand the heat of a little competition.

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1. Prices aren’t necessarily higher

“A huge myth about the real estate market is that homes sell for more in the summer and less in the winter. This is simply not true,” says Dippy Chhina of Dippy Real Estate.

Let’s be clear: Home prices do usually peak in June–August. And it’s a seller’s market in most areas. But other forces beyond the summer sun play a major role in a home’s asking price, Chhina notes. They include the number of similar homes also for sale in a given area, interest rates, and the job market.

“What is true, however, is that there are more homes on the market in summer than in the winter, and there is also a higher number of sales in the summer than the winter,” Chhina says.

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Which leads us to our next summer-buying advantage.

2. Inventory is broader

You wouldn’t buy a car from a dealer with only two models for sale, so why limit your options when it comes to picking a house? The open-plan kitchen you’ve been yearning for or a home in a stellar school district is much more likely to pop up in a busier marketplace.

“The large inventory offers significantly more opportunities for purchasers to identify specific floor plans, amenities, and locations,” says Sarah Lilly of Five Star Lakeshore Real Estate. Buyers “feel more confident in their search because additional properties hit the market every week.”

In some less competitive markets, knowing that there are plenty of homes for sale can give you more leverage for price negotiation, and peace of mind knowing that if you have to walk to away, another home will be just around the corner.

3. Buying and selling at the same time could be easier

If you need to sell your current home before you can buy another, you’ll likely have an easier time with the balancing act during the summer. Rather than getting trapped with two mortgages, you could have a more seamless transition in a busier market.

“If the client needs to sell a home before buying, the home will be more likely to sell, and potentially at a good price, allowing the client to purchase their new home sooner,” says Joe Lopez of Connect Realty.

But remember, these transactions take time, so if you’re planning on pulling off a double act, get ready as soon as possible so you can capture as much of that golden season as you can.

4. School’s out for summer

Any beleaguered parent can tell you why this factor is crucial. By waiting until summer to make your move, you can minimize disruption to your kids’ lives. Plus, their schedule is clear to bring them along to showings. (Beware, though, not all agents appreciate young kids underfoot.)

“House hunting during the summer break from school means that kids can more readily attend showings— important when offer time is of the essence and parents want each member to approve of the new family home,” says Orlando Regional Realtor Association President Bruce Elliott, of Regal R.E. Professionals.

And if the sellers have kids, they might also be trying to cement a sale in time for the new school year—and will likely be more motivated toward the end of the season.

“Sellers who find their properties still on the market as summer draws to a close and the ranks of buyers thin out may be more open to price negotiation,” Elliott says. “In addition, those buyers who were unable to secure a home after months of looking and making offers may become fatigued and drop out of the hunt.”

5. You’ll get to know the lay of the land

It’s easier to do a little detective work on your potential home when the weather’s nice and the days are longer. Trees and flowers are in full bloom, so you’ll get a better idea of your prospective new yard. You can step out on that back porch and envision what it will really, truly be like to live there and host your long-anticipated Margarita Mondays. Plus, everyone’s more active, so you’ll get a better feel for the community.

“Summer brings people out of their homes, so while you are home shopping with your agent, you will get the chance to take the pulse of the neighborhood and see your potential neighbors,” says Kyle Springer of South Central Homes.

“Families can often get a feel for the neighborhood’s kid population during the day in the summer,” Elliott says. “Here in Orlando, where daytime temperatures reach the high 90s and so many homes have pools, buyers listen for sounds of shouting and splashing.”

But beware! Sometimes the romance of summer can distract you from some red flags.

“It is fine to stop and smell the roses, but also pay attention to what lurks behind them,” says Jerry Grodesky of Farm and Lake Houses Real Estate.

For example: the eyesore of a junk pile in your neighbor’s yard. Or the giant cellphone tower you didn’t see through those beautifully full trees—that now you can’t unsee. And make sure that foliage isn’t blocking any potential problems with the home, such as foundation issues or peeling roof tiles.

You should also use this opportunity to test how the property holds up in warm weather. See how well the air conditioning works when it’s pushing 100 degrees outside, and open all the windows to see if any stick or simply won’t open. Of course, your home inspector will check these things, but it never hurts to get a jump-start.
Rena Behar is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She’s contributed to The Wirecutter, Groupon, Texas Monthly, and other publications. Follow @renadb

Could Paint Be an Energy Source for Homes?

Could Paint Be an Energy Source for Homes?

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2017
The paint on the wall may soon be a source of energy for a home. Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, say “solar paint” will be available to homeowners in the next few years.

It’s a sunlight-absorbing paint developed by RMIT researchers that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air. Even a brick wall could potentially be turned into an energy-harvesting form of real estate, says lead researcher Torben Daeneke.

“Our new development has a big range of advantages,” Daeneke told Science Daily. “There’s no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapor in the air—even remote areas far from water—can produce fuel. … This system can also be used in very dry but hot climates near oceans. The sea water is evaporated by the hot sunlight, and the vapor can then be absorbed to produce fuel. This is an extraordinary concept, making fuel from the sun and water vapor in the air.”

Source: “Solar Paint Offers Endless Energy From Water Vapor,” Science Daily (June 14, 2017)

The 10 Biggest Regrets People Have About Buying A Home

The 10 Biggest Regrets People Have About Buying a Home

Megan Elliott MORE ARTICLES
June 14, 2017

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A still from The Money Pit
Shelley Long and Tom Hanks in The Money Pit have a few regrets about buying a home. | Universal Pictures via YouTube
Your home might be the biggest purchase of your life, but there’s a good chance you’re not going to be completely happy with the way the transaction went down. Half of people financial website NerdWallet surveyed said if they could repeat the home-buying process, they’d do something differently.

Some people wished they’d saved more money. Others regretted not learning more about mortgages. And a few realized they should have shopped around for a loan. Generation Xers were the most likely to wish for a home-buying do-over, with 61% saying they had some regrets about purchasing their house. Fifty-seven percent of millennial homebuyers had regrets. But more than half of baby boomers said they didn’t have any second thoughts about buying their home, perhaps because they were either more financially savvy when they bought their home or because they had more time to come to terms with their decision.

Many of people’s home-buying regrets had to do with a lack of financial preparation. People who bit off more than they could chew financially sometimes wished they’d done things differently. To avoid second thoughts when buying your next place, check out this list of 10 of the biggest regrets people have about buying a home.

1. Spent too much money
In 81% of U.S. counties, home-price increases outstripped wage growth in 2016, according to Realty Trac, putting homeownership out of reach for millions of Americans. Those who do take the plunge might end up spending way more than they expected, and some come to regret it. Overall, 4% of homebuyers NerdWallet talked to said they’d bought a house that was too expensive. Millennials and Gen Xers were more likely to say they’d spent too much money on a house than baby boomers.

Spending too much money on a house can have serious economic consequences. More than half of Americans say they’ve had to make sacrifices in order to afford their mortgage or rent, a 2015 MacArthur Foundation survey found. A fifth took on an extra job, 17% stopped saving for retirement, and 14% racked up credit card debt.

2. Bought the wrong house
Couple shakes hands with real estate agent
A couple shakes hands with a real estate agent in front of their new home. | iStock.com/lewkmiller
When you buy the wrong pair of shoes, you can take them back to the store and get a refund. But there are no take-backs when you’re buying real estate. Unfortunately, 5% of homeowners said they regretted buying their house, a share that was relatively consistent across generations.

Once you’ve bought the wrong house, there’s not a lot you can do to fix the problem short of putting it on the market and going through the whole process again. To avoid regrets, make sure you avoid common home-buying mistakes, such as forgoing an inspection, ignoring the realities of a long commute, or picking the wrong neighborhood.

3. Bought a house with the wrong features
Man cleaning pool with a dog
A man cleans his swimming pool and potentially regrets having one. | iStock.com
You thought you wanted a house with a chef’s kitchen, backyard pool, and home theater. Now that you’ve moved in, you’ve realized you don’t cook that much, the pool is a pain to maintain, and you’d rather have a guest suite for your in-laws than a room dedicated to watching movies.

Seven percent of homebuyers said the amenities and features they valued most when buying home later changed. Millennials were the most likely to have a poor fit between their home’s actual features and the ones they realized they wanted, perhaps because they’re younger and still figuring out what they need in a house.

“Look at houses based on the lifestyle you have not the lifestyle you aspire to have. … We’d have loved a large green lawn but realistically we’d never maintain it and probably wouldn’t spend on a gardener,” a first-time homebuyer advised in the Personal Finance sub-Reddit.

4. Should have waited longer to buy
Couple meeting with real estate agent
A young couple meet with a real estate agent. | iStock.com/gpointstudio
“Renting is like throwing money away,” some people say. But pressure to stop wasting money and get started building wealth could lead some people to jump into homeownership before they’re really ready. Five percent of people felt they rushed into the home-buying process sooner than they should have.

Ten percent of millennials and 6% of Gen Xers felt they jumped the gun on buying a home. (Only 1% of baby boomers felt they bought a home too earlier.) It’s hardly surprising that younger buyers might come to regret their home purchases. While owning your own home has advantages, it can also make it difficult to move around for new job opportunities. Younger buyers also might not be financially prepared for the costs of homeownership or not have had time to save enough for a big down payment, which can lead to a more costly mortgage.

5. Bought a too-small house
Santana house in Portugal, tiny house
Some people might come to regret the tiny-house trend. | iStock.com
Tiny homes might be popular on TV, but most Americans are still looking for McMansions. The average new house in the U.S. is 2,467 square feet, according to the Census Bureau. And that’s still not enough space for some people. Thirteen percent of buyers said they wish they’d bought a bigger house, including 19% of millennials and 20% of Gen Xers. Baby boomers were far more likely to be satisfied with their home’s size, with only 6% wishing they had a bigger place.

If you’re feeling cramped after you buy, home additions and renovations can add more space, provided you can come to terms with the price. The typical home addition costs $40,942, according to HomeAdvisor, while renovating a basement into livable space costs $18,810 on average. If you can’t afford a major renovation, tricks such as furniture that doubles as storage, using mirrors to make a room look larger, and even cleaning windows to let in more natural light, can make a petite home look more like a palace.

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6. Didn’t save enough for a down payment
monopoly houses on dollar bills
More than 25% of millennial and Gen X homebuyers wish they’d saved more for a down payment. | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Millennials in many U.S. cities will need to save for 10 years or more before they have accumulated enough for a 20% down payment on their home, research by ApartmentList found. Rather than wait, many are forging ahead with home purchases anyway, sometimes putting as little 3% or 5% down.

Low down-payment options can turn renters into buyers, but some regret the rush to homeownership. Twenty-eight percent of millennials and 27% of Gen Xers who NerdWallet surveyed wished they’d saved more before purchasing their house. Although it’s difficult for many first-time buyers to come up with the traditional 20% down, there are still good reasons to try to do so, including avoiding private mortgage insurance, paying less interest over the life of the loan, and making smaller monthly payments.

7. Wasn’t organized enough
mortgage paperwork
A person completes a mortgage application form. | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Newbie homebuyers often underestimate exactly how much paperwork is involved in getting a mortgage and buying a home. Twelve percent of millennials NerdWallet surveyed said they wished they’d kept their paperwork better organized from the start.

Depending on your source of income, you might need to provide W-2s or tax returns, profit-and-loss statement for any business you own, brokerage statements, proof of Social Security income, or evidence of child support paid to you in order to get a mortgage. You’ll also need proof of your assets, including documentation of down payment gifts and copies of bank statements, as well as information of outstanding debts.

Gather all your paperwork in advance, and develop a system for keeping it organized to prevent hiccups in the application process. Once you buy your house, continue to stay organized. Keep documents related to your mortgage, taxes, insurance, and home improvements in one place, so you know where to find them when you need them.

8. Didn’t do enough research
meeting with loan officer
A woman meets with a mortgage loan officer. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Hindsight is 20-20, and many homeowners wished they’d spent more time educating themselves about the realities of the home-buying and mortgage-lending process before they purchased their home. Gen Xers were most likely to wish they’d done more research, with 19% wishing they’d been better informed about the mortgage process and 16% regretting they didn’t learn more about buying a home in advance.

A lack of knowledge about how home buying and mortgages work makes it more likely that a buyer will make a rookie mistake. Some might not realize they can negotiate closing costs, underestimate how much money a lower interest rate will save them on their mortgage, or not pay close attention to the terms of their mortgage (such as whether it’s a fixed- or variable-rate mortgage). Starry-eyed buyers might fail to consider the true costs of homeownership, neglect to consider the neighborhood, or skip crucial steps, such as the home inspection.

9. Should have shopped around for a loan
wells fargo home mortgage sign
A Wells Fargo Home Mortgage branch | Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A half of a percent might not sound like a lot, but it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars of savings over the life of your mortgage. Yet half of borrowers simply take the first mortgage that’s offered to them, a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found. Some come to regret that hasty decision, with 18% of Gen X homeowners wishing they’d spent more time shopping around for a loan.

Taking the time to apply for a mortgage from several different lenders can yield a better loan offer. But make sure you’re not shopping based on interest rate alone, notes the Federal Trade Commission. You’ll also want to ask about fees, whether you’ll need private mortgage insurance (and what the cost will be), and what the loan’s APR is. (The APR includes the interest rate as well as points, fees, and other charges expressed as a yearly rate.)

10. Got the wrong type of mortgage
husband and wife working on finances with calculator and laptop
A couple stress about paying their mortgage. | iStock.com/Tomwang112
If there was one big lesson to take from the housing crisis of 2008, it’s that choosing the wrong mortgage can be disastrous. Some homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages found they could no longer afford monthly payments once interest rates reset, leading them to default. Others had interest-only or negative-amortization loans (where your loan balance actually increases every month because your payment is less than the interest that accrues every month). Even a standard fixed-rate 30-year mortgage could be a bad choice if you didn’t shop around for the best rate or misunderstand the terms of your loan.

Overall, 4% of homeowners said they’d chosen the wrong mortgage, including 7% of millennials and Gen Xers and 2% of baby boomers. Researching the mortgage process before you start looking for a house, shopping around for a mortgage, and making sure you understand all your mortgage terms can help you get the loan that’s right for your situation and avoid a potentially expensive mortgage mistake.

More from Money & Career Cheat Sheet:
9 Tax Breaks That Can Make Owning a Home More Affordable
10 Inexpensive Ways to Increase The Value of Your Home
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5 Most common Home Buyer Regrets

5 Most Common Home Buyer Regrets

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2017
Half of recent home buyers say that if they could repeat the homebuying process, they’d do something differently, according to a survey by financial website NerdWallet.com. Respondents indicate that their biggest source of regret when buying a home was not preparing enough financially for homeownership. Here are some of the most common reasons for buyer regret, according to the survey.

Purchasing a home that’s too expensive. Millennials and Generation X members were more likely than baby boomers to say they overspent on their home purchase, according to the NerdWallet survey. A 2015 MacArthur Foundation survey also found that more than half of consumers had to make sacrifices in order to afford their mortgage or rent. About 20 percent said they took an extra job, 17 percent stopped saving for retirement, and 14 percent accumulated credit card debt, according to the MacArthur survey.
Purchasing a home that doesn’t fit their needs. About 5 percent of respondents to the NerdWallet survey say their home didn’t align with their homeownership goals. Housing experts recommend avoiding common homebuying mistakes like forgoing a home inspection, ignoring commute time, or choosing the wrong neighborhood. Also, consumers need to know what amenities they need. That’s not always easy: 7 percent of buyers say the amenities and features they valued most changed after buying a home.
Not putting enough money down. Low-down-payment loans can help buyers without robust savings get into a home, but some may later regret not saving more before taking on the costs of homeownership. Twenty-eight percent of millennials and 27 percent of Gen Xers say they wish they had saved more before buying their house, according to the NerdWallet survey.
Not being organized. Many home shoppers say they wish they had gathered paperwork before the mortgage application process and developed a system for keeping it organized. That includes W-2 or tax return forms, profit-and-loss statements for business owners, brokerage statements, proof of Social Security income, and evidence of child support payments. Home shoppers also need proof of their assets, such as documentation of down-payment gifts and copies of bank statements, as well as information on outstanding debts.
Not shopping around for a loan. Half of borrowers take the first mortgage that’s offered to them, according to a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But shopping around for a mortgage with an interest rate that is even half of a percentage point lower can result in tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the mortgage. Home buyers should compare more than interest fees, including the cost of private mortgage insurance and the loan’s APR (which is the interest rate, points, fees, and other charges all rolled into a yearly rate).
Source: “The 10 Biggest Regrets People Have About Buying a Home,” CheatSheet.com (June 14, 2017)

241 S Banana St Mount Carmel PA For Rent

 

For Rent or For Sale – 241 S Banana St Mount Carmel PA 17851

BrokersRealtyPM.com to fill out an application for this home.

Boost Your Credit Score to Buy a home

credit scorePromises of loans for bad credit borrowers, while common amid the housing boom in the early 2000s, are now rare. If you’re interested in buying a home today, know that lenders will carefully check your credit and will rarely approve a loan for someone with seriously bad credit.

For that reason, it’s important to check your credit report and your credit score. Many consumers are surprised (pleasantly or unpleasantly) by their credit score and many find errors on their credit reports. Carefully review your credit report and focus in particular on negative items to see if there are ways you can address them and improve your credit profile and your access to a mortgage.

Credit Scores and Lenders

A lender can be a great source of advice about your particular credit issues and can tell you what minimum credit score is needed for a particular loan program. Different lenders have different loan standards, so while one lender may reject you if you have a credit score of 640, another could give you a loan approval.

In general, FHA-insured loans have lower credit score requirements than conventional loans. In addition, the FHA has loan programs that make it easier for some people who lost a home in a short sale or a foreclosure to get a new mortgage faster. While FHA loans can be easier to qualify for if you have damaged credit, the downside of this loan program is that you must pay mortgage insurance on the loan, usually for the life of the loan. FHA mortgage insurance is typically higher than private mortgage insurance that you must pay for conventional loans if you make a down payment of less than 20 percent. Private mortgage insurance is automatically cancelled when your loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent.

Conventional lenders base their interest rates on your credit score, among other factors, so if your credit score is above 740 you’ll pay a slightly lower interest rate than someone with a credit score of 700.

Lenders look at many factors when evaluating you for a mortgage loan, including your debt-to-income ratio, your income and assets, how much your down payment will be and your job history. These compensating factors can sometimes help you overcome a slightly low credit score, but your best chance for a loan approval is to improve your credit score.

Boost Your Credit Score

While there’s no quick fix for bad credit, taking steps to improve your credit profile can raise your score over time:

  •  If you have any collections or judgments against you, pay them off as quickly as possible.
  • Bring your over-the-limit and past-due accounts up-to-date.
  • Pay all bills on time.
  • Try to reduce your credit card debt to 25 percent or less of your credit line on each card.
  • Don’t open new lines of credit.
  • Don’t close your credit card accounts because then you’ll be using more of your overall credit limit.
  • If you have an old credit card that you haven’t used in awhile, you can use it and then pay the bill in full to show that you can responsibly handle credit.

A reputable lender can suggest specific actions such as which credit card bill to pay off if you can’t eliminate your debt, so it would be a wise move to visit a lender as soon as you’re considering buying a home.

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5 Traits to Look for in Your Agent

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BUYERS + SELLERS:  How did you find your agent? Any advice for those still looking for one?

AGENTS: What traits do you think are important for buyers and sellers to look for? Why?

In this internet era, we’ve gotten to a place where we require all of our information in bite-sized, white-and-charcoal grey pieces. But when it comes to creating interpersonal and professional relationships that really work, lists of interview questions and “what to Google” articles can fall short of fully fleshing out the factors that make us mesh with someone.

So let’s go a little deeper. Picking a real estate agent is a business and a relationship challenge – one which has a potentially massive impact on your finances and future enjoyment of the place you and your family live. If you take that seriously, here are a handful of characteristics I recommend you look for as you evaluate prospective agents.

1. Creativity. Some transactions go precisely as planned, clicking right along on schedule. Others – many others – get messy:

  • the loan underwriter issues bizzaro, last-minute document demands

  • the appraisal comes in low

  • the buyer backs out

  • you see 50 homes without any winners, or

  • the inspection reports reveal issues that make you wonder whether the home is a diamond in the rough or a money pit.

Whether your transaction will be easy-peasy or uber-messy, you cannot know until you’re in it. When you’re agent-hunting, it behooves you to look for someone who has the experience and creative problem-solving skill to help you methodically think through the facts, surface alternatives, propose solutions and engineer obstacle workarounds – just in case the going gets tough.

2. Deep, varied expertise. Buying or selling a home is much more of a lifestyle design experience than it is a financial transaction, truth be told. To do it with results that work well for yourself, your family and your finances for the duration, you need an agent that’s an eager partner with you. One that will deep-dive into all the nooks and crannies of your aesthetics, your psychology, your life plans, your financials and even your relationship dynamics.

You also need an agent with deep – not surface – understanding of homes, neighborhoods and local real estate market metrics, practices and contracts, and someone who deeply *gets* the home buying or selling process itself – so they can brief you on it and fruitfully coach you through it.

Have you ever taken a class from a novice teacher vs. a class from an experienced professor? The difference is nuance: a deep, mature understanding of a complex subject allows the more experienced instructor to give you insights into patterns they’ve spotted over time and repeat transactions. Same goes for your real estate pro: you want to make sure that either your agent or someone that will be working with them on your transaction (like their manager or broker) has deep knowledge and understanding in most or all of these areas, so they can share the nuanced insights and patterns they have spotted in the past which you can harness to your advantage in the present.

3. Calm resilience. When you lose out on a home to other offers, it can feel like the end of the world. When you list your home, stage it to the nines, and not a single offer is forthcoming, feelings of discouragement, frustration and even depression can easily arise.  In both cases, it’s easy to delve into fear (fear that you’ll never get the home you need, or will never be able to move on to the next stage of your life) or paralysis (freezing up because you just don’t know what to do – period).

A great agent – and there are thousands and thousands out there – can bring a massive, game-changing dose of calm resilience to the table. They’ve been through this before. They know that there are lots of homes and lots of buyers out there, so losing out on any one is not a death knell to your dreams. They also know how to tell the difference between a normal delay in receiving an offer or an acceptance on your market and when your approach requires some serious course correction (see #4, below).

A great agent will be able to receive the news that you’ve lost out on a home or take in negative feedback from a prospective buyer, call you and deliver it calmly and right along with some smart, constructive suggestions for action items you should work on next, to keep the process moving forward.

4. Frankness and optimism. You want – no – you need your agent to be frankly honest. You need them to be frankly honest with themselves and with you about all facets of the reality you’ll face as you proceed through your transaction. Sellers, you cannot afford to have an agent who will let you persist in fantasy-land beliefs about what your home is worth – contrary to all evidence as to what homes in your area are actually selling for and feedback (read: silence) from prospective buyers who have seen your home – without challenging you to look at the data and adjust your pricing strategy. Buyers, by the same token, you can’t afford to work with an agent who encourages or allows you to make 5, 10, or 15 lowball offers on a home without urging you to face the truth that you need to house hunt at lower price points or make higher offers in order to be successful.

You need an agent who is willing to tell you the truth and have these sorts of hard conversations with you even when you won’t like it.

That said, you want an agent who possesses both this frank integrity and an ultimate optimism that, with right thinking and strategic action, you can and will ultimately succeed at making a great buy or sale.

5. Bandwidth. This one might sound strange, but the fact is that it can be difficult to get the advantages of having the best agent in the world if the agent is wildly over-subscribed and so busy they struggle to respond to calls and emails. This is why I don’t always say a great agent will necessarily have years and years of expertise. Some agents who have wonderful experience and wisdom are simply too busy to do the time-intensive guidance your situation may require. And some agents who are new to real estate bring highly relevant expertise and skills they’ve developed in other careers, have ample time to devote to your transaction and can enlist the real estate-specific insights of an experienced team leader, manager or broker.

If you know you’re going to want to meet up weekly for a house hunting session or debrief with your agent, tell them this up front and ask them flat-out how much time they can devote to your process. Make sure you’re comfortable with their response or solution (example – their listing specialist or partner can meet with you when they can’t) before you make your pick.

My advice for agent-finding is to engage in a multi-step process:

  • First, make sure you get referrals from your friends, colleagues and relatives to the agents they have worked with and love.

  • Also get a few names from our Agent Finder on Trulia, which allows you to get incredibly specific about what sort of homes, areas and transactions your ideal agent will have worked with.

  • Then, check all of your prospective agent candidates out online. Narrow them down a bit by what you see in terms of reviews and style of advice you see them providing on channels like their blog, website or social media pages.

  • Reach out to all the people on your short list through whatever medium you prefer to communicate – phone, email, etc. – and note how quickly you get responses.

  • Then book appointments to meet with a handful of agents and let them present their method to you.

  • Get references and check in with those past clients – ask them to tell you about their transaction experience, warts and all.

By the end of this process, you’ll likely find someone who fits just-right with your own personality, timing and transactional needs and possess these five traits.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 Home Sellers

time

Some people like resolutions, others hate them. And according to one recent survey, as many as 80% of people who set them fail at them.

But I’ve found that many people – maybe even most people – love a challenge. Getting your home sold is one of those experiences that ranks as a complex business challenge and a series of emotional, logistics and financial challenges all rolled up into one.

If you plan to sell your home in 2014, you might be inventorying your action items or drafting your action plan as we speak. (If not, you should be – here, we’ll give you a kickstart.)

Beyond the basics tasks and actions involved in pricing, preparing, marketing and selling your home, there are a number of umbrella approaches and perspectives you can choose whether or not to take – each of which has the power to make or break your deal and make or break the angst or awe with which you experience the year ahead. If you’re not the resolution-setting type, or you are and you’re open to new approaches, consider challenging yourself to start and finish your home selling process with these next-level resolutions:

1. Resolve to do your own due diligence – cutting no corners.Here’s the thing no one tells you about selling your home: it’s exhausting. You have to:

  • spend hours interviewing agents

  • review all the neighborhood sales and try to figure out where your home fits among them

  • nitpick everything that’s wrong about your home

  • figure out what you can afford to fix and what makes sense not to

  • source contractors or gear up to DIY

  • have a bunch of little projects – and maybe a few big ones done

  • deal with staging and decor projects

  • then clean your home to within an inch of its life every single day, in some markets, sometimes for weeks or months on end.

And that’s all before you get offers.

Knowing that other sellers find this list daunting, too, helps. You are definitely not alone. But the sheer scale of this list causes some sellers to take shortcuts at some or all points along the path. They don’t meet with more than one agent, or they don’t check references, and end up with an agent they less than love. They don’t pay attention to the detailed questions the disclosure forms ask them and end up omitting some crucial detail that comes back to bite them later, in the form of a lawsuit. They fail to tidy up before showings and buyers report back that the place smelled funny or was so cluttered during the viewings that they were too distracted to seriously “try on” the home in their mind’s eye.

Make it your resolution not to be that shortcut-taking seller. Decide up front that if you’re going to do this, you’re going to do it right and pass your home onto the next buyers with pride. That might seem silly, but I can assure you that the sellers I’ve known who took exactly that stance almost always received the reward of a fast sale at top dollar. Buyers can sense the pride you take in your home and your disclosures. It’s a good look.

2. Resolve to keep your eye on the prize – and the priorities. What is your mission for moving?  What is the vision you’re trying to create? When you decided you wanted to sell, you were in some state that motivated you to make a change – your home had grown too small, too large, too costly, too old, too new, too fancy or not luxurious enough for your life, or because the location no longer worked for you. But that’s only one side of the vision equation.  On the other end, there’s an ‘after’ picture: some state you want to be in. Maybe it’s another neighborhood or a new-and-improved set of amenities or a totally different look of a home.  Maybe it’s a totally different school district, city or state, or a chic condo when your last home was a sprawling ranch house.

Whatever it is, get very clear on the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of your vision for this life change you’re trying to create by selling your home, and resolve to stay that way until escrow has closed. Focusing on your vision will force you to focus on your priorities. In turn, that will help you resist the urge to overprice your home, underprepare it or bicker with the buyer over silly small issues and amounts. It becomes much easier to let things that would normally irritate you roll right off your back when you realize that doing so will serve your own personal priorities of getting your home sold quickly for a great price, so that you can move on to the next exciting stage of your life.

3. Resolve to think things through from the other side of the table. By definition, a first-time buyer has never been in the seller’s shoes. But as the seller, chances are good that you have been in the buyer’s position before. It is to your strong advantage to hearken back to those days when you were desperately seeking a home of your own. That perspective shift is the closest you’ll be able to get to momentarily detaching emotionally; you can walk through your home, view it’s marketing and even think about how it is priced from the perspective of the very buyers you want to attract.

Remind yourself of how you felt when it seemed like you’d never wade through all the mortgage paperwork, when you felt like the lender wanted to know your mother’s shoe size, when you were frustrated with what you saw on the market in your price range or when you couldn’t access the information or get into the property you wanted to, at a time that was convenient for you. Don’t let your home be the listing that causes these frustrations for your target buyers. Instead, from the time you start looking at comps to price your home to the time you start reviewing offers and buyer’s requests for repairs, try to think things through from your perspective and then to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.

Even if you don’t slash the price or give them everything they ask for, chances are good that you’ll end up creating more win-win situations if you take the other side’s wants and needs into account.

4. Resolve to keep your head out of the sand. The truth hurts, the saying goes. I think that’s misleading, in the context of selling your home and in life. You see, sometimes the truth does hurt, the way a shot of penicillin or getting a tooth filled hurts. But even when it does hurt a bit, the truth never harms you. On the contrary, avoiding the truth about what your home is worth or the truth of buyers’ and agents’ feedback about it is akin to avoiding a shot if you need it, or avoiding the dentist if you have a cavity. It causes something much worse than hurt: real harm.

Confronting the truth that the comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for lower than you’d hoped to get might hurt, but once the sting is gone that knowledge empowers you to make an appropriate pricing decision, stage your home to the nines or even decide to stay put for awhile longer.

Facing the truth that your home needs a lot of repairs and upgrades compared to the nearby Open Houses you’ve toured might hurt. But after the hurt, you’re in the power position, with the knowledge about either what to do to your home or to its price to get the leg up on the competition.

Acknowledging the truth that you have borrowed so much against your home that you won’t be netting as much cash on the sale as you’d hoped to definitely hurts. But after the pain passes, you have the power to make wise decisions about how much to put down on your next home and to avoid overleveraging it the next time around.

In all of these cases, avoiding the truth poses the potential for real harm: the harm that you’ll overprice your home, underinvest in its preparation for the market or commit the same financial errors with your next home. Make it your resolution to keep your eyes wide open, head above the sand and boldly face the truth throughout the course of your home’s sale, no matter what might happen.

ALL: What are your real estate-related New Year’s Resolutions?

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3 Costly Cases of Hot Market Wishful Thinking

“Oh, how I wish. . .” started no wise real estate decision ever. There’s a reason they call it real estate, folks. That’s because we’re dealing with the most tangible type of property around – land – and the buildings that, formally speaking, represent improvements to that land.

Attempting to apply fantasy-realm wishes to real-life, real land situations is never a setup for success. But when the market is hot and you have a goal or a timeline, engaging in wishful thinking is not just foolhardy – it can be costly.

As evidence, here are three common, costly cases of wishful thinking that tend to arise in areas where the market is hot, offers are plentiful and prices are rising. Consider these red flags and take heed in the event you find yourself engaging in any of them:

1. Wishing the house you’re seeing was in a different neighborhood.You’ve seen 2 dozens houses, and put in offers on a dozen. No dice. And your agent keeps pushing you to look in a lower price range, assuring you that you can find what you want. And then they show it to you: safe neighborhood, good school district, good commute to work, just the house you wanted, really – but not in the tony hills or hot downtown district you’ve been trying to get into.

Wishing that you could “pick the place up and set it back down” in your desired neighborhood will not make it so, no matter how many times you say it. The reality is that when you have been outbid a double-digit number of times, something about your approach is not working. You either have to downgrade your specs in terms of the property you seek, maybe looking for something smaller, a condo instead of a single-family home or something in less-pristine condition or you need to shift your location criteria – and that can mean a neighborhood change.

Part of the reason this wish is dangerous is that the white-hot markets in many towns are hyper-localized in the Most Desirable Neighborhood in Town. That’s where the competition among buyers and bidding wars are the most intense. If you’re not prepared to house hunt for homes quite a bit lower than your top dollar to set yourself up for success, or if there simply are no homes in that neighborhood listed below your top dollar, you might need to face the reality check that you simply can’t afford to buy there now.

Stop wishing the home you can afford were in a different neighborhood, because if it were, chances are good you wouldn’t be able to afford it, either! Understand that you’ll be able to level-up your neighborhoods as time goes on and you buy your next home – and the one after that – and don’t let your inflexibility paralyze your house hunt so long that prices all over town rise even more.

2. Hoping that perfect house gets no other offers, even though every other house you’ve bid on has had 54. There’s a fine line between wishing something were true and denying the reality of what actually is true. Facing reality, even when it’s painful or means you can’t have what you want, allows you to make your own action plan for getting the best possible results with the resources you have – or a plan for getting more resources, whichever route you choose to go.

As a buyer in a seller’s market, actually as a buyer in any type of market, it’s ultimately up to you and only you how much you offer on a home. Your mortgage broker can try to get you qualified as high as your income will allow, your agent can get you the comps and give you strategic advice on the average list price-to-sale price ratio, but you are the be-all and end-all decision-maker on offer price, and that’s as it should be.

But if you wield your weighty decision-making power to make lowball or at-asking offers in situations where you are virtually guaranteed to run into high levels of competition, that’s a poor use of your powers. Not only do you set yourself up for failure, you do so at the near-certain likelihood of adding to the demotivating, depressing, discouraging momentum of the times when you get overbid despite giving it your legitimate best efforts. That frustration often leads to analysis and calling a house hunting time-out. And that, in turn, often leads to buying at a time when prices are even higher, and getting ultimately even less home for your money.

3. Wishing prices weren’t going up so fast. Here’s the deal: when prices were flat or falling, buyers were (understandably) stressed at the prospect of buying a depreciating asset. Now that they’re ascending, it’s not at all uncommon to hear buyers bemoan that, too. The fact is, the moment escrow closes and your Facebook status changes from house hunter to home owner the fact that prices are rising, and fast, will shift in your mind’s eye from curse to blessing, quick-like.

Rising prices and a recovering market might be what emboldened you to buy, empowered you to sell a formerly underwater home, and certainly have been inextricably intertwined with the increase in jobs. If prices weren’t rising, many of these other things might not be materializing, either, and that wouldn’t be so great.

Wishing prices weren’t going up so fast contributes to a costly form of denial – denial of the reality that they are. This can cause buyers to persist in making lowball offers and wasting their precious time on homes they can’t compete for within in their budget range, all while their smart targets are appreciating rapidly – and that’s how people get priced out of the market, right under their noses.

Don’t let your home buyer dreams fall prey to this costly wish-based pitfall. Work with your agent to stay in the loop about how prices are trending throughout your house hunt, and use that knowledge to power your decision-making about what price range to house hunt in and what price to offer for target properties.

ALL: What are your real estate wishes, and how do you ground yourself in reality?

 

See more info at http://stormteamrealestate.com

Dover Area School District Homes for Sale

Dover Area School District

We are growing into York County check out homes for sale and stop back from time to time to see updated lists of homes for sale in Dover Area School District.
Location: Dover Area School District
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Homes for Sale in Dover Area School District
Homes for Sale in Dover Area School District

Homes for Sale in Dover is a growing page that provides homes for sale in the Dover Area School District.

[schoolsearch city=”dover” state=”PA” groupby=”gradelevel” output=”table”]

Eastern Lancaster School District Homes for Sale

We have the home for you. Homes for Sale in Eastern Lancaster School District.

Let us help you with buying and selling your next home.

Homes for Sale Eastern Lancaster School District

For a list of all homes for sale in Lancaster please look at our new website at http://stormteamrealestate.com

Find all homes for sale in Eastern Lancaster School District

Eastern Lancaster School District
Eastern Lancaster School District

Check us out for your next home purchase. We can help you find a home for sale or help you sell your home.

We are a local team of REALTOR’S working all parts of Lancaster County call us now and let us earn your buisness.

 

 

Home for Sale 1111 S 19th Street Harrisburg

1111 S 19TH STREET HARRISBURG, PA 17104 MLS# 210668 $49,000 Home For Sale, Short Sale

3 beds  |  2 baths  |  1177 sqft

  


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Property Description
Newer roof & newer hot water heater

Details
Maps
Documents
Contract Information
List Price: 49000Status: Active
Existing/New: E
Property Information
Type of Property: ResidentialRealtor.com Type: Residential – Single Family
Total Acres: 0.11Total Bedrooms: 3
Total Full Baths: 1Total Half Baths: 1
Total Bathrooms: 2Fin SqFt Above Grade: 1177
Year Built: 1900
Location, Legal and Taxes
County: DauphinStreet Number: 1111
Directional: SStreet/Road Name: 19TH
Street Suffix: STREETState/Province: PA
Zip Code: 17104Franklin Map Page: 0000
Franklin Map Row: 00School District: Harrisburg City
APN #/Tax Parcel ID: 010060040000000Municipality/Townshp: Harrisburg City
Deed/Ref #: xxxxxxxDeed Record Date: 1990-01-01
Directions & Remarks
Directions: Rt 83 to 19th Street, house on left.Public Remarks: Newer roof & newer hot water heater
Bank Owned/REO: NoCondo/HOA/PUD: No
Miscellaneous
# Off Str Prking Spc: 2Electric Amps: 100
Property Features
Stories: 1.5 Story
Design: Traditional
Type: Detached
Construction: Masonry; Stick Built
Exterior: Brick
Roof: Composite Shingles
Lot Description: Level
Lot Size: Less Than .25 Ac
Zoning: Res/Multi-Family
Age: 51 – 99 Years
Dining Area: Dining Area
Items Incl in Sale: None
Interior Features: None
Misc Exterior: None
Fencing: None
Basement: Concrete
Heat: Oil
Auxiliary Heat: None
Cooling: Window Unit(s)
Water: Public Water
Sewer: Public Sewer
Hot Water: Electric
Parking: 1 Car Garage; Off Street Parking
Access/Limitations: Public Road
Condition: Average
Documents Available: Sellers Disclosure
Room Information
RoomFlooringRoom LevelLengthWidth
Living RoomHardwoodMain1512
Dining RoomHardwoodMain149
KitchenVinylMain1012
Bedroom 1HardwoodUpper189
Bedroom 2HardwoodUpper1011
Bedroom 3HardwoodUpper108

Listing Office: Coldwell Banker Select Profs. Home for sale, Short sale

Office Phone: 717-735-8400

Last Updated: October – 09 – 2013

All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Participants, and their affiliated licensees, shall indicate on their websites that IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Copyright 2005 Keystone MLS Network, Inc.

Wednesday 9th of October 2013 10:09 PM

Home for Sale 83 Wild Cherry Lane Marietta PA

83 WILD CHERRY LANE MARIETTA, PA 17547 $140,000 MLS# 212874 Home for Sale

3 beds  |  2 baths  |  1280 sqft


  


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Property Description
Well maintained townhome, spacious kitchen w/ large island & tile backsplash. Large master bedroom w/ walk-in closet. Ceramic tile floor, fenced yard w/ storage shed.

Details
Maps
Documents
Contract Information
List Price: 140000Status: Active
Existing/New: ELand Use Code: AG-824
Property Information
Type of Property: ResidentialRealtor.com Type: Residential – Condo/Townhouse
Total Acres: 0.4Total Bedrooms: 3
Total Full Baths: 1Total Half Baths: 1
Total Bathrooms: 2Fin SqFt Above Grade: 1280
Year Built: 1994
Location, Legal and Taxes
County: LancasterStreet Number: 83
Street/Road Name: WILD CHERRYStreet Suffix: LANE
State/Province: PAZip Code: 17547
School District: DonegalElementary School: Riverview
Middle School: DonegalHigh School: Donegal
APN #/Tax Parcel ID: 1500049000000Assessment: 93300
Municipality/Townshp: East DonegalDeed/Ref #: 05072247
Deed Record Date: 2013-09-26Annual County Tax: 348.48
Annual Municipal Tax: 349.88Annual School Tax: 2000.85
Total Taxes: 2699.21
Directions & Remarks
Directions: Rt 441 to Rt 743 through Maytown, Right on Rosewood,Right on Thornapple, Left on Wild Cherry. Home on the left.Public Remarks: Well maintained townhome, spacious kitchen w/ large island & tile backsplash. Large master bedroom w/ walk-in closet. Ceramic tile floor, fenced yard w/ storage shed.
Bank Owned/REO: NoShort Sale: No
Condo/HOA/PUD: No
Miscellaneous
Electric Amps: 200
Property Features
Stories: 2 Story
Design: Traditional
Type: Row Home/Townhouse
Construction: Stick Built
Exterior: Brick
Roof: Composite Shingles
Lot Description: Fenced
Lot Size: Less Than .25 Ac
Zoning: Residential
Age: 11 – 20 Years
Dining Area: Eat-in Kitchen; Dining Area
Miscellaneous Rooms: None
Fireplace: None
Items Incl in Sale: Refrigerator; Satellite Dish
Interior Features: Built-in Dishwasher; Garbage Disposal; Gas Oven/Range; Kitchen Island; Cable TV Available; Ceiling Fan(s); Smoke Alarm
Misc Exterior: Screens; Deck; Shed; Insulated Windows
Fencing: Vinyl
Basement: Full
Heat: Natural Gas; Forced Air
Cooling: None
Water: Public Water
Sewer: Public Sewer
Hot Water: Gas
Parking: Off Street Parking
ASC/Condo Fee Incl: None
Condo Amenities: None
Condition: Very Good
Room Information
RoomFlooringRoom LevelLengthWidth
Living RoomCeramic TileMain1911
KitchenCeramic TileMain1912
Bedroom 1Wall to WallUpper1412
Bedroom 2Wall to WallUpper109
Bedroom 3Wall to WallUpper1010
Bath 1Ceramic TileMain
Bath 2Ceramic TileUpper

Listing Office: Coldwell Banker Select Profs. Home for sale.

Office Phone: 717-735-8400

Last Updated: October – 03 – 2013

All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Participants, and their affiliated licensees, shall indicate on their websites that IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Copyright 2005 Keystone MLS Network, Inc.

Wednesday 9th of October 2013 07:08 PM

Home for Sale 504 High St Lancaster, PA

$79,900 504 HIGH STREET LANCASTER, PA 17602 MLS# 212847 home for sale Lancaster, PA 17603

4 beds  |  1 baths  |  1975 sqft


  


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Property Description
Fabulous very large well kept city home. Newer gas heating system. Newer AC, large open flowing rooms. All windows are caped with aluminum. Very low maintenance.All new floors on first floor. Insulated basement, new bathroom sink, cabinets, toilet and flooring, newly repainted 1st and 2nd floors, New roof over porch, New roof boots around all roof vents, all new locks with matching deadbolts

Details
Maps
Documents
Contract Information
List Price: 79900Status: Active
Existing/New: ELand Use Code: C-540
Property Information
Type of Property: ResidentialRealtor.com Type: Residential – Condo/Townhouse
Total Acres: 0.05Total Bedrooms: 4
Total Full Baths: 1Total Bathrooms: 1
Fin SqFt Above Grade: 1975Year Built: 1860
Location, Legal and Taxes
County: LancasterStreet Number: 504
Street/Road Name: HIGHStreet Suffix: STREET
State/Province: PAZip Code: 17602
School District: LancasterElementary School: Verify
Middle School: VerifyHigh School: McCaskey
APN #/Tax Parcel ID: 3389396600000Assessment: 68000
Municipality/Townshp: Lancaster CityDeed/Ref #: 00000
Deed Record Date: 2013-10-01Annual County Tax: 253.98
Annual Municipal Tax: 886.72Annual School Tax: 1762.72
Total Taxes: 2903.42
Directions & Remarks
Directions: E on King Street; R on Strawberry; R on High StreetPublic Remarks: Fabulous very large well kept city home. Newer gas heating system. Newer AC, large open flowing rooms. All windows are caped with aluminum. Very low maintenance.All new floors on first floor. Insulated basement, new bathroom sink, cabinets, toilet and flooring, newly repainted 1st and 2nd floors, New roof over porch, New roof boots around all roof vents, all new locks with matching deadbolts
Bank Owned/REO: NoShort Sale: No
Condo/HOA/PUD: No
Property Features
Stories: 2.5 Story
Design: Traditional
Type: Row Home/Townhouse
Construction: Stick Built
Exterior: Brick; Stucco
Roof: Composite Shingles
Lot Description: Clear; Fenced; Level; Not in Development
Lot Size: .25 Ac to LT .50 Ac
Zoning: Residential
Age: 100+ Years
Dining Area: Eat-in Kitchen; Breakfast Bar; Formal Dining Room; Dining Area
Miscellaneous Rooms: 1st Floor Family Rm; Den/Office; Foyer; Laundry Room
Fireplace: None
Items Incl in Sale: Dryer; Refrigerator; Home Warranty; Washer; Window Treatments
Interior Features: None
Misc Exterior: None
Basement: Concrete; Drain; Unfinished
Heat: Natural Gas; Forced Air
Auxiliary Heat: None
Cooling: Central Air
Water: Public Water
Sewer: Public Sewer
Hot Water: Gas
Parking: On Street Parking
Access/Limitations: Public Road
ASC/Condo Fee Incl: None
Condo Amenities: None
Room Information
RoomFlooringRoom LevelLengthWidthRoom Remarks
Living RoomWall to WallMain1210Hardwood floors under carpet
Dining RoomWall to WallMain1412Hardwood floors under carpet
Family RoomCeramic TileMain1513
KitchenVinylMain1513
Bedroom 1Wall to WallUpper1212
Bedroom 2Wall to WallUpper1610
Bedroom 3Wall to WallUpper1112
Bedroom 4Wall to WallUpper1616
Bath 1VinylUpper148
Laundry RoomVinylMain1413

Listing Office: Coldwell Banker Select Profs.

Office Phone: 717-735-8400

Last Updated: October – 03 – 2013

All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Participants, and their affiliated licensees, shall indicate on their websites that IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Copyright 2005 Keystone MLS Network, Inc.

Saturday 5th of October 2013 12:03 AM

1170 Forest Drive Abbottstown PA Foreclosure home for sale


$105,600

This home is under contract in less then 48 hours!

1170 FOREST DRIVE
Abbottstown, PA 17301
MLS# 212672 Foreclosure
3 beds  |  2 baths  |  1512 sqft



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Contract Information
List Price: 105600Status: Active
Existing/New: N
Property Information
Type of Property: ResidentialRealtor.com Type: Residential – Single Family
Lot Size(Dimensions): 174.5X314.8X92.1X305.7Total Acres: 1.02
Total Bedrooms: 3Total Full Baths: 2
Total Bathrooms: 2Fin SqFt Above Grade: 1512
Year Built: 1996
Location, Legal and Taxes
County: AdamsStreet Number: 1170
Street/Road Name: FORESTStreet Suffix: DRIVE
State/Province: PAZip Code: 17301
School District: OtherElementary School: Verify
Middle School: VerifyHigh School: Verify
APN #/Tax Parcel ID: 0117L09013000000Assessment: 150100
Municipality/Townshp: Out of RegionDeed/Ref #: 2968 0221
Deed Record Date: 2013-09-25
Directions & Remarks
Directions: Abbottstown Square turn onto N Queen St/Pa 194 immediately slight left onto Brough Rd.1 mile to left on Forest prop on RBank Owned/REO: Yes
Short Sale: NoCondo/HOA/PUD: No
Property Features
Stories: 1 Story
Design: Ranch
Type: Mobile/Mfg + Land
Construction: Stick Built
Exterior: Vinyl
Roof: Composite Shingles
Lot Description: Level
Lot Size: 1 Ac to LT 2 Ac
Zoning: Residential
Age: 11 – 20 Years
Dining Area: Breakfast Bar; Formal Dining Room
Miscellaneous Rooms: Florida Room
Interior Features: None
Misc Exterior: Above Ground Pool; Deck
Fencing: None
Basement: None
Heat: Propane
Auxiliary Heat: Wood/Coal Stove
Cooling: Central Air
Water: Well
Sewer: Public Sewer
Hot Water: Propane
Parking: 2 Car Garage; Detached; Off Street Parking
Access/Limitations: Public Road
ASC/Condo Fee Incl: None
Condo Amenities: None
Room Information
RoomFlooringRoom LevelLengthWidth
Living RoomWall to WallMain12.519.8
Dining RoomWall to WallMain9.712.2
KitchenVinylMain10.812.5
Bedroom 1Wall to WallMain13.912.45
Bedroom 2Wall to WallMain12.511.8
Bedroom 3Wall to WallMain108
Bath 1VinylMain
Bath 2VinylMain
SunroomWall to WallMain9.8815.3

Listing Office: Coldwell Banker Select Profs.

Office Phone: 717-735-8400

Last Updated: September – 26 – 2013

All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Participants, and their affiliated licensees, shall indicate on their websites that IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Copyright 2005 Keystone MLS Network, Inc.

Thursday 26th of September 2013 10:48 PM

Home for Sale York Pa 616 S Pershing Ave York Pa 17403

Home for sale York PA Seller is offering 6% seller help. With the Money you could qualify for from the city you could by this home no money down. Total remodel move in ready seller is also including washer dryer stove large garage great home.

Living Rm
L-
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Den
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L-
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L-
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L-
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L-
L-
Bdrm 5
L-
L-
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Home Owner Fee Includes:
Assoc/Condo/Park Amenities:
Tax and Expense Data
Home Own Fee:
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MLS #
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Bdrm 4
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2195 3180
$69,200
08 Ward-York City
616 S Pershing
york
PA
17403
2.5 Story
1729
1729
0
0.0551
William Penn
3
2
Drive S on S. George,turn R on W.Cottage Pl,R on S.Pershey, Home on L
N
67081640400050000000
0
1729
Remodeled home with hardwood flrs,2 full BA. 6% seller help with acceptable offer. Home has a full Attic with a ceder Closet. This is a Restored home like in the 1930’S. Old world charm splashed with modern updates. Move in ready. Seller is motivated to sell this home this week. Bring your offer. Seller is also offering a $500.00 Gas Credit.
For Sale
$258
$1,161
1924
$1,922
No
End Unit
Semi-Detached
This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. ©2013 REALTORS® Association of York and Adams Counties.
Map
ACT
York City
DESIGN
End Unit
CONST.
Stick Built
EXTERIOR
Brick, Cedar/Redwood
ROOFING
Asphalt Shingles
LOT DESC
Level, Clear, Fenced
PARKING
2 Car Garage, Oversized,
Detached, Off Street, On Street
HEAT
Natural Gas
WATER
Public Water
SEWER
Public Sewer
FIREPLACE
Living Room, Family Room
ITEMS INCL.
Washer, Dryer, Refrigerator,
Oven/Range
MISC. EXT.
Storm Windows
AUX. HEAT
Fireplace w/Insert
BASEMENT
Full, Outside Entrance
DINING
Separate Dining Room, Dining Area
LOT SIZE
Less Than 1/4 Acres
ROAD FRONT
Municipal Road
POSSESSION
Immediate, Settlement,
Negotiable
POSSIBLE FIN.
FHA, Conventional, VA
ZONING
Residential
ACCESS/LIMITATION
Public Road
OWNERSHIP
Fee Simple
CONDITION
Excellent
AGE
51+ Years
Jesse A Storm
jstorm@cbsp.com
Conta: (717) 735-6284
CB SELECT PROFESSIONALS
1000 N PRINCE ST
LANCASTER PA 17603
Office: (717) 735-8400
FENCING
Board

BING MAP VIEW
Num
Thumbnail
MLS #
Address
Schl Dist
Price
BR
FB
SqFt
D Center
1
21306529
616 S Pershing
York City
$69,200
3
2
1729
0
This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. ©2013 REALTORS® Association of York and Adams Counties.
ALL FIELDS DETAIL

MLS #
21306529
Status
ACTIVE
Type
Residential/Farms
Address
616 S Pershing
City
york
State
PA
Zip
17403
School District
York City
Class
RESIDENTIAL/FARMS
List Price
$69,200
Sale/Rent
For Sale
IDX Include
Yes
Approx Tillable Acreage
Approx Wooded Acreage
Road Frontage
Total Fin SQFT Abv Grade
1729
Tot Fin SQFT Below Grade
0
Total Unfin SQFT Bel Grd
1729
Total # Bedrooms
3
Total Full Baths
2
Total Half Baths
0
Total Finished Square Ft
1729
GENERAL
VOW Comment
No
VOW Include
Yes
VOW Address
Yes
VOW AVM
No
REO/Bank Owned (Y/N)
No
Condo or Townhouse (Y/N)
No
Agent
Listing Office 1
Listing Agent 2
Listing Office 2
Listing Agent 3
Listing Office 3
Sub Agent Comm
3%
Buyers Agent Comm
3%
Transaction Licensee Comm
3%
Variable Commission
No
Listing Date
1/10/2013
Expiration Date
4/10/2014
Agent Hit Count
93
Client Hit Count
89
To Be Built
No
Stories/Levels
2.5 Story
County
York
Neighborhood/Subdivision
Elementary
Intermediate School
High School
William Penn
Lot Dimensions
Lot/Unit #
Franklin Atlas
ADC Atlas
York Co Parcel ID#
67081640400050000000
Adams Co Parcel ID#
Other County Parcel ID#
Municipality
08 Ward-York City
Clean & Green
N
Total Acreage
0.0551
SQFT Source
Sellers Name
Paul DeCaro
Living Room Level
Living Room Dimension
Living Room Description
-NOT USED-
Dining Room Level
Dining Room Dimension
Dining Room Description
-NOT USED-
Family Room Level
Family Room Dimension
Family Room Description
-NOT USED-
Den Level
Den Dimension
Den Description
-NOT USED-
Kitchen Level
Kitchen Dimension
Kitchen Description
-NOT USED-
Bedroom 1 Level
Bedroom 1 Dimension
Bedroom 1 Description
-NOT USED-
Bedroom 2 Level
Bedroom 2 Dimension
Bedroom 2 Description
-NOT USED-
Bedroom 3 Level
Bedroom 3 Dimension
Bedroom 3 Description
-NOT USED-
Bedroom 4 Level
Bedroom 4 Dimension
Bedroom 4 Description
-NOT USED-
Bedroom 5 Level
Bedroom 5 Dimension
Bedroom 5 Description
-NOT USED-
Other Room 1 Code
Other Room 1 Level
Other Room 1 Dimension
Other Room 1 Description
-NOT USED-
Other Room 2 Code
Other Room 2 Level
Other Room 2 Dimension
Other Room 2 Description
-NOT USED-
Other Room 3 Code
Other Room 3 Level
Other Room 3 Dimension
Other Room 3 Description
-NOT USED-
Basement Full Baths
0
Basement Half Baths
0
Level 1 Full Baths
1
Level 1 Half Baths
0
Level 2 Full Baths
1
Level 2 Half Baths
0
Level 3 Full Baths
0
Level 3 Half Baths
0
Level 4 Full Baths
0
Level 4 Half Baths
0
Total Baths
2
Directions From
Drive S on S. George,turn R on
W.Cottage Pl,R on S.Pershey, Home
on L
Search By Map
Update Date
9/20/2013
Open House Date
7/14/2013
Open House Time
1-3 pm
Off Market Date
GENERAL
Status Date
6/13/2013
HotSheet Date
9/20/2013
Price Date
9/20/2013
Input Date
6/13/2013 10:18:00 AM
Tax ID
Associated Document Count
0
Days On Market
253
Price/Ttl Fin SF
$40.02
Days On MLS
99
FEATURES
CATEGORY/USE
Semi-Detached
DESIGN
End Unit
CONST.
Stick Built
EXTERIOR
Brick
Cedar/Redwood
ROOFING
Asphalt Shingles
LOT SIZE
Less Than 1/4 Acres
LOT DESC
Level
Clear
Fenced
PARKING
2 Car Garage
Oversized
Detached
Off Street
On Street
ITEMS INCL.
Washer
Dryer
Refrigerator
Oven/Range
MISC. EXT.
Storm Windows
HEAT
Natural Gas
AUX. HEAT
Fireplace w/Insert
WATER
Public Water
SEWER
Public Sewer
BASEMENT
Full
Outside Entrance
DINING
Separate Dining Room
Dining Area
FIREPLACE
Living Room
Family Room
SHOWING INSTRUCTIONS
Lockbox
POSSIBLE FIN.
FHA
Conventional
VA
POSSESSION
Immediate
Settlement
Negotiable
ZONING
Residential
LISTING TYPE
Exclusive Right to Sell
AGE
51+ Years
ACCESS/LIMITATION
Public Road
ROAD FRONT
Municipal Road
CONDITION
Excellent
OWNERSHIP
Fee Simple
FENCING
Board
FINANCIAL
Original Price
$69,900
Assessment Value
$57,000
Deed Reference #
2195 3180
School Tax
$1,922
County Tax
$258
Municipal Tax
$1,161
Year Built
1924
Leased/As/Con/Pk Fee
Fee Frequency
Annual Heat
Annual Water
Annual Sewer
Annual Refuse
Annual Electric
Agent View Remarks
$1,000.00 Selling Bonus. for Selling
Agent House must sell and sell now
PUBLIC VIEW REMARKS
Remodeled home with hardwood flrs,2 full BA. 6% seller help with acceptable offer. Home has a full Attic with a ceder Closet. This is a Restored home like in
the 1930’S. Old world charm splashed with modern updates. Move in ready. Seller is motivated to sell this home this week. Bring your offer. Seller is also
offering a $500.00 Gas Credit.
SHOWINGASSIST INSTRUCTION
go and show combo lock box
ADDITIONAL PICTURES
DISCLAIMER
This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. ©2013 REALTORS® Association of York and Adams Counties.
MLS NUMBERS
MLS #
21306529
This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. ©2013 REALTORS® Association of York and Adams Counties
Home for sale in York brought to you by http://stormteamrealestate.com Another quality home for sale in York pa

Home for Sale Lancaster PA Price Reduced for Fast Sale

Home for Sale: 303 N RESERVOIR STREET LANCASTER , PA 17602

List Number207232List Price$ 99,000
Type of PropertyResidentialStatusActive
CountyLancasterTotal Bedrooms3
Total Bathrooms1.00Total Acres0.06
Total Full Baths1Year Built1937
Total Half Baths0Existing/NewE
Land Use CodeZoning (Free Form)
Loc/DevMun/TwnLancaster City
School DistrictLancasterFin SqFt Above1650
Fin SqFt Below0Unfin SqFt Above Grd
Lot SizeAssessment$ 89,700
Total Taxes$ 3,829.93County Tax$ 335.02
Municipal Tax$ 1,169.68School Tax$ 2,325.23
Elementary SchoolWickershamMiddle SchoolLincolnHigh SchoolMcCaskey
Franklin Map Page3173Franklin Map ColumnCFranklin Map Row04
APN #/Tax Parcel ID3362658600000Deed/Ref #5643262Short Sale
Bank Owned/REONo
Directions: East on Chestnut, L on to N Reservoir, Home on R.
Public Remarks: Home for sale with Hardwood Floors throughout, Fireplace, Formal Dining Room, 3 Bedrooms, C/A, 1 Car Garage, Move in Ready or Rent. Has Backup Heating System. Renter is moving out the end of Sept. Buy this home now at a rock bottom price. After Renter moves house Owner is going to rehab home if not sold. But owner will not sell for this price after Rehab.
Design: Traditional
Stories: 2.5 Story
Type: Semi-Detached
Condition: Very Good
Interior Features: Built-in Dishwasher
Dining Area: Dining Area; Formal Dining Room
Basement: Concrete; Partially Finished; Unfinished
Fireplace: Living Room
Items Incl in Sale: None
Heat: Electric; Forced Air; Hot Water/Radiators; Oil
Auxiliary Heat: Fireplace
Cooling: Central Air
Water: Public Water
Hot Water: Electric
Sewer: Public Sewer
Lot Description: Clear; Level
Lot Size: Less Than .25 Ac
Fencing: None
Parking: 1 Car Garage
Access/Limitations: Public Road
Age: 51 – 99 Years
Construction: Masonry; Stick Built
Exterior: Brick
Roof: Composite Shingles; Slate
Misc Exterior: Balcony; TV Antenna; Storm Doors; Storm Windows
Zoning: Residential
ASC/Condo Fee Incl: None
Condo Amenities: None
Miscellaneous: # Fireplaces: 1; # Off Str Prking Spc: 4;Electric Amps: 100
Financing: Conventional; Installment Sale; Lease Purchase; VA
Documents Available: Sellers Disclosure
Room NameRoom LevelDimensionsFlooringRoom Remarks
Living RmMain18 x 15Hardwoodfireplace
Dining RmMain18 x 12Hardwood
KitchenMain15 x 7Vinyl
Room NameRoom LevelDimensionsFlooringRoom Remarks
Bedroom 1Upper16 x 11Hardwoodlarge walk in closet
Bedroom 2Upper13 x 12Hardwood
Bedroom 3Upper18 x 15Hardwood
Bath 1Upper9 x 6Vinyl
 Home for sale in Lancaster PA
 Foreclosures for sale in Lancaster PA
Provided as a courtesy of
Jesse Storm

Coldwell Banker Select Profs.
1000 N. Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Office Phone – (717) 735-6284
Fax. – (717) 735-2207
Cell – (717) 917-1537
jesse@stormteamrealestate.com
http://www.stormteamrealestate.com

 

Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. © 2013 MLS and FBS. Prepared by Jesse Storm on Friday, September 20, 2013 12:40 PM. The information on this sheet has been made available by the MLS and may not be the listing of the provider.

The ASHI Experience When You Have WIN Home Inspection At Your Side

When you call WIN Home Inspection, you get

 

Matthew Steger, Owner/Inspector, is an ASHI Certified Inspector meets the rigorous requirements to be a provider of “The ASHI Experience”, a professional home inspection that combines the highest technical skills with superior customer service. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction and we measure this via a customer satisfaction survey provided to the client. Matthew has more than 10 years experience inspecting thousands of homes in Lancaster, Dauphin, and Lebanon Counties. He is also an engineer. We take the time to fully and clearly explain any issues with the client.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is North America’s oldest and most respected professional society of home inspectors. ASHI sets the mark for the highest inspection standards among national home inspector organizations and also is the only national home inspector association with an accredited certification program.

 

WIN Home Inspection provides:

1. A thorough & complete home inspection that’s easy to read & understand (w/ digital photos);

2. A Free 90 day limited Home Warranty and a Free Appliance RecallChek;

3. The proper perspective for each home inspected (non-alarmist);

4. Preventive maintenance recommendations to help the buyer better protect their new investment;

5. After-hours ordering and phone support to answer your questions, and;

6. Risk-Free Referral (your liability is lowered since you are covered under our E&O insurance).

 

Give WIN Home Inspection a try and find out why “We See More. Clearly.”

 

Print this email and give it to your next client to save them $40 off a Home Inspection/Termite Inspection Combo! (offer expires 31 December 2012)

 

Call 717-361-9467 or check us out at www.winhomeinspectionelizabethtown.com


Matthew Steger
Owner/Inspector
WIN Home Inspection – “We See More. Clearly.”

Phone: 717-361-9467
Web: www.winhomeinspectionelizabethtown.com
Email: msteger@wini.com
2133 Andrew Avenue
Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Check out our Facebook page at:

www.facebook.com/winhomeinspectionelizabethtown

Copyright 2012 WIN Home Inspection

Help Your Seller Clear Out The Clutter

Jesse Storm Realtor

In a perfect world, every home seller would be a neat freak and have their house in immaculate condition. Sadly, that’s rarely true. So here are a few ideas you can use to help your seller improve the overall look and feel of their home, which will help it sell even faster.

KitchenThere’s nothing worse than watching a buyer opening a kitchen drawer that’s cluttered and seemingly dirty. Thankfully, drawer organizers offer a simple solution that will help make silverware and other items look much more appealing.You might also want to consider having your home seller attempt to tame the mess created by unorganized plastic containers. As for those random items cluttering open shelves, try stashing them in rattan baskets.

Kid’s room.

Fight the urge to remind parents how important it is to teach their kids to clean up their room and suggest putting those toys strewn across the room into something like a wicker or canvas basket with lid. While you’re at it, consider storing out of season clothing underneath the bed to make the closets spacious.

Living room.

Despite good intentions, covering a coffee table with magazines and other items rarely has the desired effect. Instead, it can come across as unkempt and become a turnoff for potential buyers. The good news is a simple ceramic or wicker tray can be a great home for items like this and provide eclectic appeal.

Master bedroom

Besides the obvious tips like making the bed, opening the blinds for natural light, and cleaning the floors, keep an eye out for things like cluttered dresser or night stand surfaces. Hanging organizers are a great solution for this particular plight as they can store plenty of items while remaining out of sight.

Be sure to also take a look inside the closets. If you’re staring at an unsightly pile of mismatched shoes of every style imaginable, suggest an expanding tiered shoe rack. This simple step will keep the closet looking organized, and more importantly, expansive.

American Home Shield is providing the information for general guidance only. Due to the general nature of the property maintenance and improvement advice in this material, neither American Home Shield Corporation, nor its licensed subsidiaries assumes any responsibility for any loss or damage which may be suffered by the use of this information.

4 Reasons to Write a Real Estate Love Letter: When, Why and How to Express Your Emotions About A Home

In a world where an ”XO” text message or Facebook relationship status change signifies deep emotion, the long-form love letter seems to be a dying art. So it is somewhat surprising that the seemingly cut-and-dry, numbers-and-negotiation-riddled realm of real estate is one of the last bastions of the love letter.

Many agents advise both their buyers and sellers to keep a calm, cool and collected demeanor throughout the transaction, out of concern that demonstrating emotion will spark greedy sentiments and advantage-taking desires in the hearts of the folks on the other side of the table. And there’s truth in this: walking into a house and salivating is never advisable.  But there are some times when putting your heart on your sleeve – and your pen to paper to express your love for a home you’re buying or selling – is just what your transaction needs to bring things together and get you the results you want.

1.  Seller → Buyer: Video Love Letter. Your agent might be telling you that video is THE NEXT BIG THING in marketing a home. And you know what? They’re right. In a recent survey of house hunters, 70 percent cited “touring a certain home” as their reason for viewing videos in the course of their search for a home – and 86 percent said their purpose for watching a video was to learn about a particular area. Fifty-one percent of them pointed to YouTube as their primary video source.

Many home marketing videos are simple tours of the property. But what makes a video a love letter expressing why you love the house (and why a buyer will, too) is ensuring that the swoon-worthy features of the home actually make it into the video!  If you have a delightful backyard, have the videographer shoot it alight at night, as well as during the day. If there are custom built-ins, high-end appliances or secret spaces with smart organizers inside – there should be shots of these things, rather than just a couple of broad sweeps of the camera across the room.

If your neighborhood is the epicenter for local shops, farmer’s markets and such, have the videographer incorporate and label shots of these things – ideally after the footage of the house – to paint the fuller picture for the viewer of the full experience of life in your home. If you’d like to do some sort of personal narration about how much you have loved living in this home, and expressing heartfelt best wishes for the next owner, that can be a nice touch – but keep it uber-short.

Work with your agent to be sure the YouTube description of your video includes a link to the home’s Trulia listing, and vice versa.  Also make sure the name of your town, neighborhood and “home for sale” appear in the YouTube description of your video love letter about your home, to make it more likely that the right folks will find it when searching the web.

2.  Buyer → Seller:
 Multiple Offers.  So, you finally found the one.  Perfect porch – swing included. Coffee shop downstairs in the building. Gingerbread-laden Victorian ready for fixing. Whatever floats your boat, as they say. The only thing is, there are about 5, 15 or 50 other people who think this property is their one – and all of them are making offers to buy it.

As a buyer, there’s no better time to write the seller a love letter about their home than when you are competing in earnest with other offers. (Logistically, this is something your agent will include when they submit your offer and loan approval documentation.)

In fact, the love letter should briefly explain why you like their home, but it should also go into more detail about your love for your family, your life, your career, your town, etc. and why you think their home is the perfect launching pad for the next stage of all of these relationships.  It is not overkill to humanize yourself or your family by including a photo – pics of babies and dogs go over well, though some agents feel that photos can work against you in cases of an ornery or biased seller.

That said, it’s essential to think through the multiple offer love letter in the overall context of the fever-pitched negotiations.  Will a love letter help you beat out offers of tens of thousands of dollars more than yours? No, it won’t – so it’s essential that even if you do write a love letter, you still make your most competitive offer, price-wise, in light of the comparables, your budget and your level of desire to secure the place.

So what, then, is the advantage you gain from writing a love letter?  It might get you a counter-offer when you would normally have gotten an outright rejection.  It might get you the leg up on a buyer offering the same amount of money, when the seller is already aware that that dollar is the most the place will appraise for (so countering for more is not a great option).  And it might get you some seller graces and above-and-beyond cooperation later in the transaction, like furnishings thrown in or time extension requests granted, if you are the victorious winner.  So, for something that costs nothing, it might just be worth it, even if the chances it will help you best a buyer offer thousands more than you are between slim and none.

3.  Seller → Buyer: Written Home/Neighborhood Love Letter.  It should be clear at this stage of the game that your house will need to speak for itself – it’s location, condition, price and even staging create a holistic package that buyers will scrutinize in evaluating whether or not it’s a love match.  But when you have a beautiful home in a fantastic neighborhood, it can still be a powerful thing to have a love letter about your home and neighborhood, with a few other extras, sitting in a binder on your counter.

Buyers fantasize about how happy their families are and will be in the property – so letting them know about the years of joy your family has experienced there only adds to the good vibes.

Buyers might not know all the charming, fun or convenient amenities your neighborhood has to offer. I have lived and run in my neighborhood for almost four years, and just stumbled across a new secret staircase into the park by the lake last week!  If your home is otherwise likely to be sought-after by hikers, dog-walkers, foodies or film buffs and your neighborhood has amazing offerings for those types of folks, say so in your love letter. I’ve seen an amazing binder filled with a family’s love letter about their home, their neighbors and their neighborhood, complete with a list of all their favorite neighborhood vendors, restaurants, the names and numbers of their housekeeper and gardener – and even some menus from the restaurants that deliver to the address!

Many listing agents are starting to include any pre-listing inspection reports and disclosures in a binder that remains in the property during showings, as well as being emailed to buyers’ brokers in digital format upon their request. These “disclosure packets,” which tend to increase the chances of getting an as-is offer up front, and reduce the chances that the buyer will try to renegotiate mid-stream, are a great spot to include your love letter and any supporting materials. If there’s something that needs major fixing in your home, and you want to explain anything about it, this might be a good place. If you’ve invested thousands in upgrading it, this is a good place to brief the buyer on that, too.

Work with your agent to create a strategy about what details to include, and make sure your agent signs off on the final version before you put it out for the world to see.

4.  Buyer → Seller: Unlisted Home.  Did you ever see the War of the Roses, with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny deVito? At the beginning of the Roses’ ill-fated marriage, they found a storybook home that wasn’t on the market by stalking it, writing a note to the seller and ultimately, being in the right place at the right time when the elderly seller passed away.

This sort of thing does actually happen, on occasion, in real life – a buyer actively pursues a home that is not for sale, simply because they love it, and the seller agrees to sell. This is tricky territory, as often:

  • buyers seeking an unlisted home can be seeking to get an infeasibly low price or seller-financed deal, which the seller has no reason to accept (i.e., before accepting a lowball offer, the seller would put it on the market)
  • sellers simply have no interest in selling the place, or they would have it on the market
  • some scam artists send seemingly handwritten letters to sellers en masse, making them skeptical of the occasional legitimate buyer who writes them a love letter
  • sellers might have unrealistic expectations about what they should get for the home, or only be willing to sell for top dollar
  • there are legal restrictions in some states on making proactive approaches to home sellers who are behind on their mortgage or in some state of foreclosure, which wanna-be buyers should take care to observe (a quick consult with your own broker or a real estate attorney is in order, before you send a seller a love letter on an unlisted home).

That said, if you’re looking for a very unusual type of property in a market where few are sold (e.g., an equestrian property near the city) or there are only a few homes in your area that fit your specifications, it’s not a bad idea to submit letters putting sellers on notice that you are interested in their property and would love to discuss buying it. If the seller does bite, you would be well-advised to bring a broker, attorney or title/escrow professional into the transaction to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected and responsibilities are met in the course of the transaction.

Buyers (Past and Present):  Have you ever written a love letter about a seller’s home? Did it work? Have you ever read one?  Did you find it compelling?

Sellers (Past and Present): Do you have a success story about using a love letter – written or video – to help sell your home?  Do tell!

3 Ways Real Estate Goes Rogue – and How to Weigh the Risks and Rewards of Rogue Behavior

Sometimes in life, going rogue is what you do when you have an independent spirit or when coloring inside the lines isn’t getting good results.  Other times, to go rogue is to veer into the danger zone, beyond the boundaries of what is safe or will get you to your desired goal.

Some things are so high stakes, the potential for massive rewards motivates people to go rogue, but the potential for massive risk cautions the wise person not to. Things that fall into this high stakes group, in my humble opinion, include cosmetic surgery, base jumping and, yes, real estate.

Let’s take a deep dive into some of the ways real estate can and does go rogue, and help you understand just when the risk is worth taking – and when safety is the better bet.

1.  The “rogue” buyer’s agent.

The rogue agent is the one who is constantly going entirely off the charts from what you’ve laid out as your criteria for a home. The one who shows you a house in Parkview when you said you wanted to live in Oakview; the one who shows you a 2 bedroom when you insist you need 3; the agent who shows you condos when you’ve asked to see single family homes – and vice versa.

Sometimes, a rogue agent can frustrate a buyer, especially when there is urgency to finding a new home, when your time for house hunting is tight, or when the homes they are showing seem to have nothing that would cause the agent to reasonably expect that you might be inclined to make a compromise. Working with a rogue agent can also be frustrating when you feel like you’re simply not being heard.

But in my experience, more often than not, there’s method to a so-called “rogue” agent’s madness.  Some agents go rogue when there’s a real disconnect between a client’s asks and their budgets, in which case they aren’t going rogue at all but, rather, reality-checking you on what you can get for your money in your market (whether you are inclined to shoot the messenger).  Other agents go rogue when they’ve really listened deeply to the picture you’re painting of the lifestyle you want to live ‘after’ you buy, and they have reason to believe the homes they are showing you can create that better than what you’ve asked for.  Still others go rogue when they come across a unique opportunity they think you might love –  frankly, part of the advantage of working with an agent in the first place is to have someone watching aggressively for opportunities that come on the market that you might miss for one reason or another.

Risk vs. Reward:  

The risk of working with a truly rogue real estate agent is really the opportunity cost – all the homes you might be missing out on if your agent just won’t listen to what you have to say. But there is incredible potential upside to working with a “rogue” agent if they fall into the following categories:

•    who is willing to break the truth to you, no matter how hard;
•    who is willing to think creatively and draw on their own experience to bring you creative solutions to your housing needs; and
•    who always has you in mind as they see unique opportunities in the market and will surface them to you when they come up.
Before you get upset with an agent you think has gone rogue, make sure they’re not actually just trying to do one of these things.

2.  Disclosure debacles. 

Some sellers, given the traumatic nature of the market over the past few years, get worried that a laundry list of little fixes, nicks and all the “minor” repairs that have been done over the years they’ve owned the home will scare off a good buyer or will otherwise ruin the deal.  Occasionally, one of these sellers goes “rogue” by deciding not to mention a few “little issues” they have had with the home.

Reality check: 

a disclosure you might see as minor could be the trigger that makes a buyer’s inspector dig deeper into a particular item – it could even cause the buyer to order an inspection they wouldn’t have otherwise. And, yes – this does increase the chances that a buyer will find something wrong with the place during escrow, and maybe even increase the chances that they will ask for a price reduction or repair credit to close the deal. But most buyers just want full information so they can make a decision about whether and how to move forward – so, chances are also good that the buyer will find nothing wrong at all, or will find something wrong with the place and move forward on the original terms – or maybe will offer to split the difference on the repair costs; the potential outcomes are many.
But you know what? Giving a buyer true, full disclosure also vastly decreases the chances that they will come back and sue you years down the road, when something goes wrong that they might have been able to find if you had disclosed your little plumbing peccdilloes up front. What’s way more expensive than splitting the difference with your buyer on a sewer line replacement?  Paying court fees, arbitrators and attorneys to sort it all out five years down the road.

Risk vs. Reward.

When your grandmother taught you that honesty was the best policy, she was unwittingly giving you the best real estate advice there is. There’s simply no contest here – the risks of non-disclosure so far outweigh any possible reward from skimping on the house history that smart sellers err on the side of overdisclosure every single time. 

3.  HOA hijinks.

The potential for drama within a homeowner’s association (HOA) is a specter that looms large in the nightmares and worst-case scenarios of every condo-considering house hunter and many owners of townhomes, condos and even standalone dwellings in HOA-managed subdivisions. And because an HOA is simply an organization made up by real homeowners, the hijinks and rogue behavior can flow in both directions!  
HOA’s themselves can go rogue, so to speak, by:
•    failing to appropriately budget for upcoming repairs and expenses
•    levying unexpected assessments
•    increasing dues beyond what an owner might think is reasonable
•    failing to enforce regulations – or being overly restrictive in enforcing regulations – about any subject from paint colors, to flooring materials, to pets allowed and noise controls.

And home owners can – and do – go rogue on their HOAs, as well, including when they:
•    default on their HOA dues
•    default on their mortgage payments  or
•    intentionally or egregiously violate the same sorts of regulations described above, terrorizing their neighbors and fellow HOA members.

Risk vs. Reward:

The risks of defaulting on your obligations to your HOA are steep – namely, your HOA can – and many will – send your past due dues to a collection agency, impairing your credit, and after prolonged non-payment, they can even foreclose and repossess your home. Similarly, violating your HOA’s formal rules, even if you think they are unfair, is foolhardy – it can result in a range of issues from a daily fine for having an impermissible pet to a court order requiring you to pull out the hardwood floors that were barred by the HOA guidance and which made a thunderous sound in your downstairs neighbors’ place with every single step.
How can you minimize the risk of a rogue HOA? By vetting the Association completely before you buy, which includes a complete reading and review of the lengthy HOA budget documents, account statements, insurance certificates, board meeting minutes, newsletters, regulations and other documents every HOA home’s seller is required to show to a buyer, by law.  Talking to the unit or home’s neighbors, and understanding how many units are delinquent on their dues or in a state of foreclosure doesn’t hurt either.

Your better bet, if you disagree with the fairness or wisdom of your HOA’s rules, is to apply for an exception or contest the rule, publicly, via your HOA Management company or an appeal directly to the board. Truth be told, your best bet in avoiding HOA Hijinks overall is to read the newsletters and board meeting minutes, attend board meetings, stay in touch with your neighbors and even run for a board membership.

Stop by the Storm Team at http://stormteamrealestate.com for more info on this and other topics

Most Important Things to Do Before and After Closing

To Do ListYou searched for homes over the course of months or even years. You endured a series of offers and counter offers, property disclosures,inspections and reports. Finally, after so much excitement, stress and anxiety, the house hunt has come to an end.

But the story isn’t over yet. Here are some next steps to consider before you actually move in.

Plan any work well in advance

Rarely does a buyer get a place that is truly in “move-in” condition. By the time you’ve signed a contract, you have lots of ideas about how you’ll live in this home, how you’ll customize it and what work needs to be done.

If the place needs work, don’t wait until you’ve closed to engage a painter, a floor refinisher or a general contractor. Either at your final walk-through or during a private appointment after you’ve removed your contingencies get the proper contractors in the house. Start getting bids for necessary work. If possible, have floor sanding, painting or small fix-it work done before you move in. Real estate agentswork with all kinds of tradespeople, so they’re often a great resource for referrals 

Set up the utilities

Some people assume the utilities will work once they walk in on day one. While many utility companies have grace periods (the days between when the seller cancels service and the new ownercalls), you can’t always assume this will be the case. If you have an out-of-town seller, they may have cancelled services the day they knew all contingencies were removed. In this instance, the grace period likely lapsed, and you may be stuck dealing with the electric company, waiting for an appointment or just being without power when you really want to start painting, fixing or cleaning.

The best plan is to call the utility companies and get service set up well before closing. If they haven’t received cancellation notice from the seller, let the seller know to take care of that.

Got the keys? Great, now change the locks

Assume that every one and his brother has a set of keys to your new home. The seller’s real estate agent likely gave copies to his or her assistant, a painter, stager or even another agent at some point during the marketing period. That’s why the first person you should call after getting the keys is a locksmith.

A new homeowner was shocked when a painter walked into the house at 7 p.m. The painter had a punch list of to-do items from the listing agent, but nobody had told him the house had closed two days early. He assumed it was vacant. Don’t let this happen to you. Spend the money to get all the locks changed right away. You’ll sleep better at night.

Hire a cleaning crew

There’s nothing worse than showing up with the movers, dozens of boxes and your personal belongings only to discover the seller hadn’t had the place cleaned.

Assume the worst and get a professional cleaning crew in there the minute after the closing. Even if the seller did clean, they may have done a poor job. You want to start life in your new home with a clean slate. The movers might make a mess while moving in. But the bones of the place will be sparkling clean and you won’t be scrambling to get cleaners in while the home is in a state of disarray as you unpack.

Have a handyman, small contractor or designer on call

Moving in can take days, if not weeks, and is made up of the kind of stuff you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Things like aligning your framed artwork, centering the couch in the living room or getting the large rug set up in the master bedroom can drive you crazy. Nailed multiple holes in the wall in an attempt to get your family photos lined up on the staircase? Not all of us are cut out to do this kind of stuff. Imagine doing all this throughout an entire 3,000-square-foot house, and you’ll probably feel overwhelmed.

While it may seem like a luxury, investing a few hundred dollars in hiring someone to take orders, help with setting up and take over some of these mindless tasks will save time and potentially relieve you of a giant headache.

Thinking ahead is the way to go

The journey to home buying could have been anything from fun to stressful and emotional. When the closing date draws near, you’re probably exhausted. But taking a little extra time to plan ahead will save you time, money and a lot of hassle. And it will make the move into your new home so much more satisfying.