Real Estate Trends in Media PA

My photo
Media, PA, United States
Direct: 610-420-0498 Office 610-627-4937 BHHS Fox and Roach Realtors Email: Visit my website:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Buyers - First Three Steps before you start your home search.

 Home Buyers: follow these three steps to save time and potentially a great deal of money when looking for a new home:
1. Find a qualified buyers representative - this professional will be your trusted advisor, valuable guide and a resource through the process of purchasing a new home –
2. Choose a qualified mortgage representative – a reputable and knowledgeable consultant who will help you assess your credit and finances and prepare a pre- approval, find the right mortgage and explain financing options
3. Assess your wants and needs – At the beginning you may not know all that is truly important to you, start small with the things you know and ask your buyers representative for help and guidance
Some important questions you may wish to ask yourself at this time: what kind of a neighborhood do you wish to be in? Are schools important to you? (home page of this blog) Do you wish to be in a community or do you prefer a secluded, private setting? Do you know how far are you willing to travel to work? Are you familiar with the all areas? Is it important to be close to shopping and major routes, is transportation important to you? More about this to follow shortly.
Additional important questions: Ideal price range, type of neighborhood, style of a home, type of a home ( are you open to all - condo / flat, townhome, twin home in some areas called duplex or a single/detached home), age of the house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size… than add to it as you go along items such as: basement or a garage, do you need an eat-in kitchen or a separate dining room, finishes basement, family room, yard, porch or a deck…? Rate these items from 1-10.
For a great free form with no obligation email me. Best of luck in your home search.

Cost vs. Value - Big-Impact, Low-Cost Remodeling Projects

When planning for your remodeling budget or for sale of your home here is some good information to have:

cost vs. value and how to get big impact with low cost remodeling projects

Monday, December 28, 2009

Interest Rates Predicted to Reach 6%

Valuable information for Buyers and sellers, as you plan your 2010 financial strategy this is a need to know: the interest rates are predicted to reach 6% in 2010. For additional information visit Realtor magazine click  here: 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Delaware County taxes to increase by 7.5%

Sellers and Buyers beware:   Suburban West Realtors Association reports that Delaware County Real Estate Taxes are going to increase by 7.5% and that Montgomery County is still undecided. Chester County Board of commissioner has approved County budget for 2010 without any cuts and without any increases in taxes. Further details.

Friday, December 11, 2009

IRS Sets New Rules for Tax Credit

The IRS has spelled out guidelines for eligibility for the home buyer credit when co-borrowers purchase a property.
When a home-owning parent of an adult child co-signs for a mortgage and both names appear on the note, the IRS says that under some circumstances, the first-time home buyer can qualify for the whole amount.
The IRS says the parent doesn’t qualify for any portion of the credit, but if the child hasn’t owned a home during the three years preceding the current purchase and can qualify based on income, he or she can be allocated the entire $8,000 credit.
When unmarried individuals co-purchase a home and only one of them is eligible for the credit, then the full $8,000 can be allocated to the eligible buyer.
Source: Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth R. Harney (12/04/2009)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bank Forclosures.

Here are some resources about Bank Forelosures and frequently asked questions

NAR Field Guide on Foreclosures

Making Home Affordable Program

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling

December 10 is Human Rights Day!

Human rights are "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled." Wikipida states.

This makes me pose and reminds me of how grateful I am for how far we've come, but with further thought just the first page of Google search speaks of how long and steep the road is ahead of us!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't Let An Over-priced Home Be a Humbling Lesson

Perhaps the greatest influencer in getting your home sold is entering the market with a home that's priced correctly.

Over-priced homes won't get favorable attention; they lose out to the ones that are reasonably priced.

All sellers are looking for the highest price for their home. That's why some sellers want to start at the highest point, maybe even asking a higher price than what they really believe they can get -- the continued readjustment of price can be a humbling ride down to finding the reasonable price to sell the home.

Still dropping the price sounds like an okay strategy, some sellers think.
Here's the problem, especially in today's current market conditions where numerous sellers are competing for fewer buyers -- adjusting price down may come too late and cost the seller less in gain than if the home were priced correctly from the start.
The majority of buyers use buyers' agents to assist them with purchasing a property. Buyers' agents will help the buyers find a home that's right for them. If their buyers are interested in a particular home and it is priced too high (based on comparable properties sold) then the buyers' agents will find their clients similar more reasonably priced homes to view in the same area.
As a seller's property that's over-priced continues to sit on the market the listing loses its newness. There are typically fewer new listings than existing listings. Agents pay a great deal of attention to what's new on the market. Homes that are priced correctly generate attention, activity and a sale; over-priced homes, on the other hand, sit for long periods, are passed over, and ultimately result in a price reduction.
If a seller has an over-priced home on the market and then chooses to drop the price it sometimes goes overlooked. Because it's not a new listing it'll need a little more attention to get agents and buyers to notice that this same home is now being offered for less.
Flyers, emails, ads, etc. have the challenge of enticing buyers and agents who wouldn't give it a look at the higher price -- to come see it now. Not an impossible battle, but again, the listing is no longer new and may be less appealing even with the price reduction.
Obviously, the longer an over-priced home sits on the market, typically the more financial stress the seller begins to feel. If the seller has purchased a new home or must move to another state, suddenly the desperate seller syndrome sets in and lowball offers may have to be accepted due to financial circumstances.
Pricing a home correctly initially is vital -- otherwise the "we-can-always-drop-our-price" strategy could become a costly and humbling lesson in the end.
Written by Phoebe Chongchua

Labor reports and some ways that they influence real estate

Labor department reports that 11,000 jobs were lost in November. Some expected 125,000 jobs to be lost. Chart below shows least number of jobs lost since December of 2007. Unemployment Rate has improved to 10.0% from expected 10.2%

This is actually not a favorable news for Bonds, unlike stocks, therefore the home loan rates are worsening overall.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How Mortgage Management Affects Credit Scores

Your credit score, a numerical rendition of your creditworthiness - or lack thereof - should be at 760 or above if you want the best interest rate, according to FICO, the leading credit scoring system provider.

Mortgage lenders as well as other creditors take a hard look at your credit score when you want to borrow against your home, refinance or buy anew.

If you are struggling financially as a homeowners you may be considering some of the new ways to make your mortgage more affordable, but beware.

Look beyond the savings you can net on a mortgage modification, workout or short sale and carefully consider how those savings could affect your credit score.

According to FICO, if you:

Get a mortgage modification or short sale, expect some negative impact. There are many variables here: how the lender reports the deal; what's already on your credit report (negatives compound), etc. A loan modification or short sale are certainly less damaging than a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Consumer Reports' Money Advisor suggests that before you enter a mortgage modification or short sale, ask how the lender will report it so you can weigh your priorities. If you need the break, take the deal sooner rather than later, even if it will hurt your credit score. Negatives on your credit file are removed after seven years. The sooner you get the clock ticking, the better.

Are rejected for a loan several times, expect a small negative. It's the inquiries the credit scoring model sees, not the rejections. Too many rejections may indicate you are trying to pile up a lot of credit in a short time and that's deemed risky behavior. Consumer Reports advises loan shop within a 14 to 30 day period. FICO counts all mortgage inquiries within that period as one inquiry. Also consider applying for credit in person so you can ask about the lender's requirements and your chances for approval. If one lender's underwriting standards are too tight, seek a more lenient lender, Consumer Reports also advises.

Have a subprime or adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) on your credit report, expect zero impact. The FICO scoring system isn't privy to the underwriting terms of your loan. Keep making payments on time and or refinance to a lower fixed rate if you can and you'll keep your score intact or boost it over time.

Get debt relief from a credit counselor, expect a ding. That's because you aren't living up to the original terms of the credit agreement. Get the help if you need it, again, the sooner you begin to correct credit problems, the sooner they leave your credit file.

Consumer Reports advises working with certified counselors from the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. For housing issues, see counselors certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Get a "goodwill correction" from your lender, expect a positive effect on your credit score. If, say, you were late once on your mortgage and never again in several years, it can't hurt to ask your lender to remove the one ding.

Pay the mortgage but fall behind on other bills, expect black marks that negatively effect your credit score. FICO doesn't weigh your payment history on one type of loan more than another.

Consumer Reports says there are no "less important" creditors when it comes to your credit score. Call creditors before you get into trouble and try to work something out.

Written by Broderick Perkins

For addtitional help contact Trident Mortgage

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday

It's hard to believe, but according to Robert Lilienfeld, co-author of the book, "Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are," between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week. During the season of giving, it sure seems like we're taking a lot from Mother Nature. Here are some suggestions of ways to go green this holiday season, and you just might save some green in the meantime.

Start with your gift giving. You may not have ever thought about it before, but some gifts are certainly more eco-friendly than others. Giving an experience, like tickets to a ballgame or an art exhibit, create much less waste than complicated toys and gadgets. And some of the best gifts can be homemade like cookies and cakes, or having guests over for a full home-cooked meal.

As you do begin warping up those presents for family and friends, consider recycling gift wrap. You can easily reuse gift bags, tissue paper, bows and even wrapping paper. For gift wrapping alternatives, think about using reusable items like scarves, handkerchiefs or bandanas. And if you just look around the house you'll probably find old posters, maps, sheet music, wallpaper scraps, magazine and newspaper cutouts, and comic pages which all work very well as wrapping paper.

If you need to ship your presents this year, avoid Styrofoam packing peanuts and try the biodegradable kind instead. You can also use crumpled up newspaper, or even dry, popped popcorn (insert a note inside the box letting the receiver know that they can later treat birds to it).

For many folks, the holidays just wouldn't be the same without a live, fragrant Christmas tree. As you search for that perfect tree, keep in mind that if you purchase a tree from a tree farm you're not damaging forests. Another option is purchasing a potted plant that can be enjoyed year round such as a Norfolk pine, fig or fichus. Artificial trees are also a good choice since they are reused every year and that saves on the gas you would spend driving to the tree farms.

To ignite your family with holiday cheer, be sure to purchase Christmas lights made with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. These lights have been around since 2001 and are ninety percent more efficient than traditional Christmas lights. They also release little heat and last about 200,000 hours. According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if all families replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. The savings alone would be enough to power 200,000 homes for a year.

Once you've chosen your tree, get creative with the decorations. Give it your family's personal touch by decorating it with memorabilia such as a child's first shoe or grandma's hankie scented with perfume. There's no need to go out and purchase pricey ornaments when cookie cutters, pinecones, stuffed animals and toys, and miniature toy cars work just as well.

And start the New Year off on the right foot try treecycling. By recycling your fresh tree you can make a huge difference in reducing holiday waste. Instead of ending up in a landfill, Christmas trees can be ground into wood chips and be reused as mulch gardens, or to prevent erosion. If you visit, you can search your zip code to find the nearest Christmas tree recycling center near you.

Written by Tara Darby

Should I Take My Home Off the Market During the Holidays?

When you look at your calendar you may find the months already overloaded with seasonal obligations -- shopping, entertaining, children's pageants, charity work, decorating the house, and so much more. If you are also trying to sell your home, you are under extra pressure to keep your home in "showtime" condition. And that could be the last thing you need before the holiday spirit is broken.

It is understandable why you would be tempted to take your home off the market during the holidays. And the list of justifications is long. If you are too busy, buyers may be also, and you may find your efforts unrewarded with not enough showings. And what if you do get an offer? You may be faced with the possibility of packing and moving during the busiest time of the year. Besides, you can give your house a rest, and it will have better momentum after the holidays. Better to just pack it in and start fresh in January, right?

But wait! Most top Realtors agree that taking your home off the market during the Christmas season is a mistake. The house surely isn't going to sell off the market! What is the advantage of that? So you're busy. Let your Realtor do the work. You can leave in the morning, go to work, go shopping, and let your Realtor take care of things.

The holidays are a wonderful selling period. Why? Because most people take off work sometime during the season. The husband and wife are both off and want to see houses. Most agents like the holidays because the buyers have more time, and they can look at homes together.

Before you take your home off the market, consider the following points:

Although buyer activity may appear to slow down, the buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are that much more serious. Agents believe the home market is no more affected at Christmas than during other "busy" periods. If that were so, the market would shut down throughout the year as families concentrate on spring weddings, June graduations, summer vacations, and autumn back-to-school activities.

Many buyers deliberately choose to shop for a home after the busy spring and summer rush. They know that it will be easier to look, and that negotiations will be less stressful. They may not have children, or they may have grown children, so moving to accommodate the school year isn't a consideration. Finding the right home at the right price, however, is.

Relocating families often don't have a choice when they can leave for their new destination. Although 68% of transferring families have children, many families have to transfer during the middle of the school year. These families are that much more motivated to get their families settled in before either the January semester begins, or to arrange for the move during spring break in March. If you sign a contract by New Year's Eve, the timing couldn't be more perfect.

At Christmas time, our culture focuses on family and the home. Preparing for the indoor activities of winter is one of the most enjoyable periods of family life. Allowing buyers to view your home during this most hospitable of seasons lets them better picture their own family life in the attractive environment you have created.

When is your home ever more beautiful and inviting? You have cleaned and decorated, and your home looks like a picture postcard. If the results are good enough for family and friends, they will surely be good enough to impress your buyers. Get the family team on board to do a five-minute blitz pick-up every morning to keep holiday messes to a minimum.

With many motivated buyers in the marketplace, you may find you have more showings than you would if you sold your home during a busier time of the year.

If you do get a contract, you can arrange the terms to suit your needs. If moving during the holidays isn't an option, you can put in the closing date of your choice. Most people can close 30 to 60 days after a contract is written, so there is plenty of time. Possession and closings are very negotiable.

Written by Blanche Evans
Additional valuable information visit my monthly market review

How to Tell Mortgage Rates Are Rising?

What are some of the signs that mortgage rates, now at historic lows, are about to go up?

One way is to monitor two important factors in our economy, they are:

• Declining unemployment:

The unemployment rate is sitting just under 10 percent. If lots of Americans go back to work, an increase in interest rates is likely to follow.

• Rising discount rate:

The rate the Fed charges banks that borrow from it directly stands at 0.5 percent. If it rises or the spread between it and the Federal Funds rate widens, then mortgage rate increases won’t be far behind.

For artichles like these go to my monthly market update 
for a mortgage pre-approval contact: Kenton Davidson at Trident Mortgage