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.


Keep Your Filthy Hands Off My Money

View from House enrolled in Clean and Green

One common theme I hear is how people don't like where their money is going when they pay taxes. Well how about if you paid less Real Estate Tax? Got your attention?

The Clean & Green Act allows you to receive a preferential tax assessment. In other words, the county's assessed value of land and home will be reduced. This will equal lower taxes.

If your land is devoted to agricultural use, agricultural reserve, or forest reserve ---- and you are on 10 or more acres ---- you might qualify.

A good example is a home I have for sale. I just put it on the market for $265,000 and the taxes are right around $2,000 a year. In York County that is CHEAP. York County has their revised appraisal value at only $103,660. That's how it's done.

Do you qualify? Call me and I can point you in the right direction. If you like to read, here is some more info.

Want to live on my road? Here is that house I was talking about.


Go Green and Feel Good About It

Do you have any green features in your house? If so, you are part of a trend.

Having systems in place that are eco-friendly isn't anything new. But using these as a marketing tool is gaining popularity in Central Pennsyvlania.

Case in point --- just today I noticed that there is a new section on the form I fill out when putting a home in the local Multi-List database that Realtors use. These items are added when there is a demand --- and people have been asking about solar panels, programmable thermostats, and rain barrels. The photo above is a snapshot of what I ran across today. Unfortunately I couldn't check any of those items off!

On a side note, I'm not sure how a radon system or gutter guards are "green", though they are certainly important :-)

It's Cold Outside ---- Check Your Pipes!

The more things change, the more they stay the same. One thing that has been consistent over the years is that I always happen upon a few homes with burst pipes in the winter.

As you can imagine, this isn't a big selling point. Most of the time I see this in vacant homes. One time the person had the heat on, but there was a malfunction with the thermostat. They weren't home and one of my business associates noticed water on the living room floor --- which is just below the bathroom. Ooops!

It's not always a vacant home. Another culprit are hoses still hooked up to an outside spigot. Here's a little tip I learned when I got into this business: Having a frost free spigot doesn't mean water won't find a way to freeze and expand --- leaving you with a wet house.

Thanks to David Kelley of Golden Rentals in Dillsburg for sharing this link from Popular Mechanics. The article is timely. If you don't check your pipes, you can always rent a pump from Golden Rentals to get that water out of your basement :-)