Broken Record: Homes Still Selling Fast

Here we go again. Spring is a month away. February isn't usually when I see a big influx of buyers, but here they are. Inventory is low, but not low enough that you can't find a house.

Case in point: I put a home on the market less than 1 week ago. We had 22 appointments. Why, you ask? Well, it wasn't priced too low (the market analysis & buyer feedback confirmed that). The reason for so many appointments? There are more buyers than there are homes for sale.

We did receive an acceptable offer :-)

Advice for Buyers in the market: 

 - get pre-approved NOW. Do not wait until you find a home. It will be too late

 - use a Realtor you trust. If you are serious about finding and buying a home now, make sure they understand that. There are plenty of "tire-kickers" out there and if you should make it clear to your Realtor that you are ready to roll

Advice for Sellers in the market:

 - prepare your home for sale. Just because the inventory is low doesn't mean you will get a good offer. If your home has obvious problems, the offers will not appear or there could be a major price adjustment. A good Realtor can suggest how to best get your home ready


This Just In: Homes Are Selling Fast

I love stats. And maps.

I took a snapshot of the past 12 months or so, and the homes listed on the map in yellow are ones that I sold. The ones listed in red are homes I have listed for sale right now.

You can put away your calculator. That is ONE active home on the market!

No, I didn't retire. Homes are selling fast. Real fast.

But here's the thing. Buyers who are ready (pre-approved, knowledgeable about the process, etc ..) are getting these homes. The market is good for the informed. It's really stressful for those "winging it".

My point being, don't wing it. Find a Realtor you like. It would also help if you trusted them :-)

There are about to be a number of red dots on that map.

  - Anyone interested in a Dillsburg home with a horse pasture for in the 250k range?

 - How about living in the super-hot Carlisle market for under 150k?

 - CV School District w/ a fenced yard for under 200k?

Snooze, you lose!

Is My Home Assessed Properly For Tax Purposes?

Is My Home Assessed Properly For Tax Purposes?

That is a question I hear quite a bit. Understandably so.

Depending on where you live, property taxes might be a big deal

Here in Central PA, part of the taxes a homeowner pays (property tax) goes to the local government and part of it goes to the school district.

There has been talk about reducing or eliminating school tax from the burden of homeowners.  There are strong arguments for AND against that idea. I won't get into that here. Let's talk about your tax assessment value.

For now, we pay taxes on property we own. The amount we pay is based on the assessed value of the home. Where I live (York County) it is the Department of Assessment that determines the assessed value. Every county is different, so check with your local government for details. Or call me and I'll find out for you!

Back to the original question: What if you disagree with their value? 

For those of you living in York County, you would need to file an appeal. You have to use their official form and provide proof showing why the current assessment is wrong. The information on doing that is on the York County website.

It's a fine line. When selling your home, you may want the assessed value to be as much as possible. For tax purposes, most people would rather that number be lower.

I would suggest that before filing an appeal or calling an appraiser, call a Realtor. They don't all do this service, but I will for my clients. I can give you my opinion of the fair market value. Maybe your home is worth MORE than you think. It happens, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing :-)


Live in the City, Preserve the Wilderness

One of my goals is to help get some prime Real Estate *off the market*, out of the hands of developers, and into a nature conservancy status. 

I know what you're thinking.

I make a living getting people into homes and selling them when they want to move. Sometimes it's in a city where you can walk to everything (smart move!). 

I find myself in the suburbs much of the time. It's where I grew up for most of my childhood. 

Then there are the farms. The wooded lots on the creek. The chalets on top of the mountain. Those are fun too -- and I have some great stories about many crazy homes!

But to be honest --- nature is what keeps me going. It's not as easy to absorb myself in the natural world as it used to be. I blame smart phones --- but it's my own fault.

So when I heard about 353 acres just outside of Harrisburg that The Nature Conservancy purchased I was ecstatic. Honest.

I hope people use it. Lightly, please. 

Bring your kids. Don't forget your Peterson Field Guide to the Birds. You'll need it, because the birds are there. And the trees. I suspect some of this has been logged over the years, and it will be interesting to see how much old growth forest remains on Cove Mountain. 

The trails will stretch for 10 miles or more. There are views of the Rockville Bridge. My goal is to find the endangered Allegheny Woodrat. The what? Yeah, I never heard of it either! 

I'll see you there in the fall.

More information on the Cove Mountain Preserve on ABC TV 27 News here.