Monday

Location, Location, Condition?


Everyone has heard of Location, Location, Location. It's true, certain communities or even just a great view help sell a home quicker or for more money than other similar homes. However, I see Sellers these days not worrying about the condition of their home. In other words --- some paint and little elbow grease may get you some more $$$ and should definitely help you find a willing buyer faster than if the home was in shambles.

A good start would be to ask your Realtor for suggestions. One service I provide, if the situation warrants it, is a Home Staging report from a local company that specializes in prepping homes for sale.

The home listed above is in a neighborhood that past clients have told me they would like to move to. So -- the location part is in order. The owners have also taken great care of the home, which is evident as soon as you step foot inside.

Tuesday

Interest Rates

When's a good time to buy a home? I always tell people to buy whenever they want to move. That should be the most important question you have: Do I want to move? If the answer is "no", then it really does not matter what "type" of market it is.

Once you get beyond that, talk to your Realtor about the buying process. Right now, Interest Rates are pretty low. Historically, the last few years have been GREAT times to get a low interest rate. Bet you don't hear that on the news, do you?

Wednesday

Charm and Character




Like the charm and character of an older home? You're not alone. A number of people buy homes with the intention of fixing them up. I have to be honest with you. Many times, the fixing up part never happens. Ha!

If you are looking for a home, and do like the early to mid-20th century architecture and style, you will want to check out this home on Welty Avenue in Dillsburg. Every room has been updated. There are 5 garage bays and a carriage house on almost 1/2 acre. It's fantastic. Honest.

If you live in an older home now, and have some ambition -- here is my suggestion: Update the bathrooms and the kitchen.

It's true that it will cost you more money to update those rooms. It's also true that if those rooms aren't updated, your home probably won't sell for as much or as fast. Besides, it's a good thing to have nice updated rooms for reasons other than selling. I guarantee you'll smile the first time you eat dinner in your new kitchen!

Saturday

Land, Views, and Garages




In today's hectic world, a number of people are looking for some room to breath and relax. This might mean a house on a couple of acres. It might mean mountain views. It might mean a giant detached garage w/ it's own furnace. Sometimes, with a little luck, you can find all of those things in one location.

Monday

Small Towns With Character

If you live in Dillsburg, you may have never been to the park that is pictured here. That's a shame. It's simplicity is its beauty. This is Quay Park, and I recommend you stop by for a stress-free break.

All across the 717 there are towns with little parks, hiking trails, mom and pop stores, and smiling faces. Sometimes I get busy and don't see these things. Today, on a walk for a slice of pizza, I found my town again.

Commercial Property

Owning your own business is a challenge, and finding a place for your office or store can be intimidating, to say the least. As with residential real estate, you'll want to find a good location for your business. Location, location, location. It may be well-worn advice, but it's true. Not only should the site make sense for your customers, employees, storage, etc .... , you have to make sure the zoning fits the bill.

Use a Realtor. Ask them to explain the different types of leases you may have if you will be leasing a suite or office. There are many types of leases, but generally speaking, there are two common types of leases in the 717 area code. In a triple net lease, the lessee pays taxes, insurance, and maintenance in addition to the rent. In a gross lease, the lessee pays the rent and the lessor (normally the owner) pays the rest. Each situation is different, so make sure you understand all of your options. The building in this picture has two Suites available for lease. It's in a brand new place on Tristan Drive in Dillsburg (more info).

Friday

Commuting to Baltimore from the 717


A number of people find it practical to live in Pennsylvania and commute to the Baltimore area. Two good examples of towns with a large number of commuters are York and Dover, PA. Depending on where you are going, it may not take an hour to get from your house to the office. Plus, there is the light rail you can catch before you drive into the city which will knock off some of those extra miles on your tires and your wallet.

The house pictured here is a 4 Bedroom 2 1/2 Bath home with over 2,500 square feet. It's beautiful, and it's only $241,900 (more info).

Besides Baltimore, York County is close to a number of other cities and the highways to get you places. Give me a call or email and I can have a packet of local information mailed to you.

Tuesday

Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs


About the truck: That's Big Blue. It's the best darn vehicle in the whole world, let alone Dillsburg. It was free.

I don't mean to sound so bland and ultra-conservative. I'm pretty sure I'm neither of those :-)

I like to have nice things (just look at my truck!), and some of those are clearly wants and not needs. However, as a Realtor I see a number of people bite off a bit more than they can chew. This is especially true for some of the first time home buyers I have talked to.

Look, if you can afford a $450,000 5 bedroom home .... that's great (I'd be happy to sell you one!). But before you commit to that big mortgage, think about what you really need. What will work for you? Do you like to have one big party a year? How about spending $800 less a month and putting a fraction of that money towards renting out a park, an Inn, or even the Pride of the Susquehanna?

Now, let's face it. Part of being happy is liking where you live. Buy a nice home. Update it. Love your neighborhood. Just don't buy over your head, or you may end up living in something like Big Blue.

Friday

Fixer Upper


Have thoughts of buying a home, tearing up the carpet to expose the wood floor in that 1952 rancher and then selling it for $20,000 more? If you don't, you are one of the few.

I love watching the various Real Estate shows on TV where they "flip" houses and make tons of money in a couple weeks. The truth is, remodeling a home may add value to the property. Does it always translate into a quick sale and big profit? Nope. You have to do it right. It generally takes money, time, work and a good understanding of the market.

To start, you'll want to know what comparable homes in the area (size and style) have sold for in the past 6 months to 1 year. The best way to do this is with a Realtor®. Find someone who knows the area you are targeting. Also, ask them for their resume and/or referrals. With a big investment, make sure the people on your team are competent. I can help you or refer you to someone in your area that will work with you.

Thursday

There's Something About Camp Hill

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania is special. It just is.

This classic Camp Hill home with the white picket fence is special too. Move in this Spring for under $200,000. Honest.

Camp Hill is known for many things, including their popular neighborhoods. Located only 2 miles southwest of Harrisburg, with both small independently owned shops and big stores, Camp Hill is a fine place to visit and live.

Visit me at the Open House on Saturday April 5th from 12-3pm. Contact me for details.

Wednesday

Springtime On The Way


Springtime is here. Oh, maybe not officially, but it's here.

Pennsylvania is a beautiful place. Living in the 717 Area Code is a beautiful thing.