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  • Sellers: See what is your home is worth

  • Sign up for Monthly email showing listings/sales near your home

  • Selling Q&A

    • What are the advantages of owning a home?

      There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help put children through college, purchase a second home, or make home improvements.

      The mortgage interest paid on a home loan is tax deductible, as is the local property tax. If you get a fixed-rate home mortgage loan, you also can invest more wisely knowing your monthly mortgage payment, unlike rent, will not change substantially.



    • What is the first step to buying a home?

      Make sure you are ready - psychologically and financially. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have steady income? Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough to improve bad credit?

      A house needs constant care and attention. Also ask yourself if your budget will allow for unexpected repairs and upkeep. Once you can honestly answer "yes" to these questions, you are several steps ahead of the game and that much closer to becoming a homeowner.



    • How much can I afford?

      The general rule of thumb is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good REALTOR® or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance and other expenses.



    • Is it best to save for the ultimate dream home or begin with a less expensive starter home?

      It can take a long time to save for that perfect dream home. Meanwhile, the market has been flooded with some of the most favorable mortgage interest rates in years. Low rates make housing more affordable, which is why so many buyers have jumped on the home buying bandwagon.

      Home-price appreciation has also been strong, making very solid gains in communities across the country. In fact, home prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent to 3 percent annually over the next five years.

      If you purchase a starter home today, you can potentially begin to build value that can lead to the purchase of a larger, or more desirable, trade-up home in the future.



    • How do you decide whether to add on to an existing home or purchase a new one?

      There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home. As designer and builder Philip S. Wenz, the author of Adding to a House: Planning, Design & Construction, notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a "new" home without the heartache of moving.

      Other considerations:

      • Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will you need a loan?
      • How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.
      • Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition?
      • What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements.
      • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?
      Explore your options. Make sure your decision is one you can live with - either under the same roof or under a different one.

  • Monthly Help Videos

  • Monthly Home Ownership Tips

    • Is it true you never really stop fixing up a home?

      From the day you move in to the day you sell your home, there will always be something that will need to be repaired or remodeled. You may want to undertake some changes simply to elevate your comfort level - like installing central air conditioning - or spruce up the home's aesthetics, such as adding a few stained-glass windows.

      But other work will need to be done to maintain the property and minimize problems later on. For example, replacing a hazardous roof, fixing broken windows, and repairing leaky pipes. These are all necessities. Left undone, they can lead to major problems and damages within the home.

      If you decide one day to sell, other improvements will likely be made to increase the home's value and appeal to potential buyers.



    • Is there anything I should pay special attention to?

      From the very beginning, get in the habit of taking an inventory at least once every year of every nook and cranny of your home to check for potential problems. Examine the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical wiring - basically everything. Try to fix trouble spots as soon as you uncover them. This proactive approach will help you avoid larger expenses later on, so leave no stone unturned when taking your inventory.



    • What about the unseen problems like toxic gases?

      Problems with your chimney, mechanical devices on your heating appliance, and pressure within the home can all cause combustion spillage, the unwanted flow of combustion gases into your home. Present in these gases are toxic elements such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

      The best way to prevent spillage is to hire a professional - preferably one who specializes in building inspection, indoor air quality, ducting, chimneys and heating equipment - to do a yearly maintenance check of all your combustion appliances. These appliances include a gas-fired furnace, boiler, or water heater, an oil-fired furnace, boiler, or water heater, and a fireplace.The service professional can check for heat exchanger leakage, evidence of start up spillage, and condensation in the chimney. Maintenance normally includes a tune-up, or in the case of a chimney, clearing it of debris and fixing cracks on the inside wall.



    • How much, on average, can I expect to spend on maintenance?

      Expect to spend one percent of the purchase price of your home every year to handle a myriad of tasks, including painting, tree trimming, repairing gutters, caulking windows, and routine system repairs and maintenance.An older home will usually require more maintenance, although a lot will depend on how well it has been maintained over the years.

      Tell yourself that the upkeep of your home is mandatory, and budget accordingly. Otherwise, your home's value will suffer if you allow it to fall into a state of disrepair. Remember, there is usually a direct link between a property's condition and its market value: The better its condition, the more a buyer will likely pay for it down the road.

      Also, adopt the attitude that the cost of good home maintenance is usually minor compared to what it will cost to remedy a situation that you allowed to get out of hand. For example, unclogging and sealing gutters may cost a few hundred dollars. But repairing damage to a corner of your home where gutters have leaked can potentially cost several thousands dollars.



    • What are the main reasons why homeowners remodel?

      There are many reasons. Home remodeling can improve the appearance of your home, enhance its value, add to your quality of life, and appeal to future homebuyers. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, the top four reasons homeowners remodel is to obtain more space, avoid buying a new home, enjoy more amenities, and adjust to lifestyle changes.



  • Want a Market Analysis on your home: Request more Information

  • Glossary of Terms

    • Acceleration clause

      Stipulation in a mortgage agreement that allows the lender to demand immediate payment of the entire loan balance if any scheduled payment is missed.

    • Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)

      Mortgage loan on which the interest rate falls and rises with changes in prevailing rates. The mortgage rate is tied to a selected index and may be adjusted annually. Also called a variable rate mortgage.

    • Agent

      Person authorized to act by and on behalf of another.

    • Air rights

      Right to occupy and use the open space above a parcel of land or property, such as in the leasing of air space over existing buildings or highways.

    • Amortize

      Pay a debt in monthly or other periodic installments until the total amount, along with the interest, if any, is paid.

  • Daily Consumer News

    • Toying With Holiday Travel? Commit Now

      The hustle and bustle of the holidays may seem a long way off, but if you're planning on traveling for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year's, the time to book your travel is now, say the experts at Expedia. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the busiest travel periods each year, and in 2016, Expedia data revealed more than 85 percent of holiday travelers missed out on locking in the lowest fares.

      Even though you probably haven't given it much thought, you probably already know if you're planning on traveling during the holiday season, so make the commitment and book now before prices get so high it becomes unaffordable. Start looking at airline and hotel prices now and if you find a good deal, don't wait—grab it. Chances are very high it won't be there even just a couple of weeks from now.

      When to Book for Thanksgiving

      According to Expedia flight data for 2016, the sweet spot for booking Thanksgiving travel is 61-90 days out. Travelers who booked during that timeframe saw savings of up to 10 percent, while those that waited until the last minute—zero to six days out—paid more than 20 percent above the average ticket price. For 2017, the optimal window to book and save runs through September 23.

      When to Book for Christmas

      For Christmas, the cheapest time to book travel is 14-20 days out, where travelers saw savings of around five percent in 2016. Like Thanksgiving, last-minute bookers are in danger of paying a premium—more than 15 percent above average ticket prices.

      A Great Time to Go Global

      In the meantime, many travel deals on global destinations can be had this fall. From September to November, look for savings on international hot spots like France, Greece, China and the Philippines.

      Source: Expedia

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Benefits of Personalized Dog Food

      (Family Features)—For dog owners, your pet is often your world and there are few things more special than the bond you share. From playtime to mealtime, you never settle for "good enough," and your dog's health is no different.

      When it comes to nutrition, every dog has specific needs, and you know them best. Each dog is unique and his or her food should be, as well.

      When deciding which dog food works best for your pet, keep personalized foods like Just Right by Purina in mind, which can help address your dog's unique needs. It combines your firsthand knowledge with nutritional expertise to create the best dog food blend for your dog. By answering just a few questions about your pet's breed size, eating habits and more, you can create a personalized blend of food that includes your dog's name, photo and feeding recommendation that gets shipped directly to your door.

      "Every pet is an individual and that includes how we feed them," says veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, a 17-year veteran of "Good Morning America" and founder of Fear Free. "A highly personalized diet tuned to their specific needs and combined with plenty of exercise and regular veterinary care can dramatically impact their nutrition, health and wellbeing."

      Feeding your dog personalized food could help yield these five benefits:

      Healthy Skin and Coat

      By providing important details about your dog's skin and its needs, certain ingredients can be included in order to avoid dry and itchy skin. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, along with vitamin A and linoleic acid, can help keep your pup's skin refreshed and can give your dog's coat the nourishment it needs to be shiny and healthy.

      Ideal Body Condition

      Being the right weight can contribute to a lot of different health factors, but having an ideal body condition can be about more than just the amount of food you feed your pet. The right amount of fats and proteins can help keep your dog right where he or she needs to be. Choosing a formula with chicken, salmon or lamb as the first ingredient can help your dog's body feel strong and healthy with their high amounts of protein. Just as important, each dog has different metabolisms and different caloric needs, so personalized feeding instructions can help your dog reach his or her ideal body condition.

      Joint Health and Mobility

      Many dogs are often on the move—walking, running and playing. Having healthy bones and joints can support your dog's overall health, especially in developing puppies, large breeds and senior dogs. Choosing a formula with proper amounts of calcium and phosphorus can help support joints and bones.

      Brain Development

      Puppies need all the help they can get when it comes to growing and supporting lifelong health. Giving them foods that include nutrients like DHA that support brain and vision development can inspire your puppy's curiosity about the world.

      Active Lifestyle

      Overall, diet has a big impact on providing the nutrients needed to energize your dog every day, all day long, and ingredients in their food can provide the complete and balanced pet nutrition that helps promote an all-around active lifestyle.  

      Source: justrightpetfood.com

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Get the Family off and Running With a Healthy Start

      At the risk of sounding like your mother, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.

      Not only does it provide the chance to fuel your body with the best possible nutrients, but taking a few moments to convene as a family can put everyone in the right frame of mind for the busy day ahead at work or school.

      Some of the best reasons for breakfast include:

      Breakfast gives you energy to start your day. When you wake up in the morning, your body has been fasting during the hours you were asleep. Eating breakfast gives your body (and brain) the energy needed to function—very important for school-aged children.

      Breakfast improves concentration and school performance. Studies suggest that eating a healthy breakfast can improve brain function, stimulating a child's memory, recall and learning, and helping them to perform better academically. Studies also show marked improvements in attendance and behavior and fewer incidences of problems such as depression, anxiety and hyperactivity when breakfast has been part of a child's morning.

      Breakfast leads to a healthy weight. Breakfast kickstarts the body's metabolism and starts the calorie burn. Avoiding breakfast can actually slow your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories throughout the day.

      Who would want to miss out on the above benefits? Unfortunately, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics estimates that 12-34 percent of children and adolescents regularly miss breakfast, with lack of time serving as the usual culprit. There are super simple ways to create a healthy morning routine, however, by making sure your fridge and freezer are stocked with the right ingredients.

      Try these quick, nutritious ideas from The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA):

      - Fill toasted waffles with peanut butter and jam for a breakfast version of a classic sandwich.
      - Create a yogurt parfait by layering your favorite yogurt, fruits and granola.
      - Make a tasty shredded cheese and veggie omelet and serve with precooked turkey sausage.
      - Top pancakes with bananas, drizzle with honey and serve with a glass of milk.
      - Mix yogurt, frozen berries, milk, juice and bananas in a blender for a delicious smoothie.
      - For quick grab-and-go meals, have readily available hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, a variety of yogurts, frozen bagels, waffles, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches and a selection of fruit juices.

      Source: National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • How to Protect Your Credit From a Security Breach

      Recently Equifax, one of our nation's three major credit reporting bureaus, announced that it had been breached. This means millions of consumer credit reports were made available to hackers, including their credit card numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver's license numbers. To help, Equifax has created a website ─ https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com ─ where consumers can check to see if their personal information may have been exposed.

      In addition, below are additional steps that consumers should take.

      Obtain your credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus ─ Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. All consumers are entitled to obtain a free copy of their credit report from each of these companies every 12 months. You can do this by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, or by calling each of them by phone (Experian at 888-397-3742, TransUnion at 800-680-7289, and Equifax at 800-525-6285).

      Consider placing a "credit freeze" on your credit reports with these companies. In most states, including Illinois, each credit bureau may charge you up to a $10 fee for a credit freeze. (Equifax announced on Sept. 12 that it will no longer charge $10 for a security freeze.) A credit freeze prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit information, making it much harder for someone to open a new account of any kind in your name ─ only your current creditors will be able to access your credit report. Also note that you can tell the credit bureaus to lift your credit freeze if you need to apply for new credit, which you can do for a particular credit application or temporarily for a chosen period of time. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won't prevent your creditors from reporting your payments on existing accounts to the credit bureaus.

      Pay close attention to credit card and bank account statements for any unauthorized charges.

      Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report files. This alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim, and they should take extra steps to verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you!

      Consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service. Equifax is offering one free year of credit monitoring to all consumers, regardless of whether your personal information may have been stolen. You can find many other reputable companies that offer this type of service by conducting an Internet search for credit monitoring services.

      Source: Equifax
       

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Easy Ways to Make Better Food Choices

      (Family Features)--Maintaining a healthy diet can be easier than you think if you make your eating habits a priority and know how to make smart food choices.

      For the best results, choose foods from all five major food groups with help from these tips:

      Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and contain necessary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Rather than serving fruits with cream cheese or sugary sauces, opt for nut butters or organic honey, and toss raw, steamed, boiled or baked vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper instead of buttery sauces.

      Protein. Select low-fat, lean cuts of meat and season them with herbs, spices and low-sodium marinades. Baking, broiling, grilling and roasting are the healthiest preparation methods. Try swapping ground beef for a lean or extra-lean cut, or opt for ground chicken or turkey instead. Non-meat protein options such as dry beans, peas and lentils can even be swapped for meat in recipes such as lasagna or chili.

      Dairy. Choose skim or non-dairy milk, like soy, rice or almond milk, and use low-fat or part-skim cheeses in recipes. Nonfat or Greek yogurt can replace sour cream in many recipes and options like sherbet and soft-serve frozen yogurt are lower in fat than ice cream.

      Grains. Choose products that list whole grains as the first ingredient, as they are low in fat and high in fiber. Some easy swaps include whole-grain flour, pasta and rice, as well as bypassing doughnuts and pastries for English muffins or bagels and opting for unsalted pretzels instead of potato chips.

      Fats, oils and sweets. Too many high-fat foods can add excess calories to your diet, which can lead to weight gain and obesity, or increase your risk for certain health issues. However, a small amount of heart-healthy fat is actually good for you. When it comes to sweets, fig bars and gingersnaps make for healthy alternatives to cookies. Also beware of calorie-laden condiments and opt for nonfat and light mayonnaise and salad dressings instead.

      Source: Family Features, Nice!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Buyers: Ck out our featured Properties

    • 611 MORRIS RD EAST GREENVILLE, PA 611 MORRIS RD, EAST GREENVILLE, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $150,000 
    • 902 FAIRHILL RD SELLERSVILLE, PA 902 FAIRHILL RD, SELLERSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $275,000 
    • 718 MINE HILL RD SCHWENKSVILLE, PA 718 MINE HILL RD, SCHWENKSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $310,000 
    • 909 RIDGE RD TELFORD, PA 909 RIDGE RD, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $295,000 
    • 2952 FUNKS RD HATFIELD, PA 2952 FUNKS RD, HATFIELD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $1,850 
    • 2984 FUNKS RD HATFIELD, PA 2984 FUNKS RD, HATFIELD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $1,575 
    • 120 N 9TH ST QUAKERTOWN, PA 120 N 9TH ST, QUAKERTOWN, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $220,000 
    • 748 JACKSON ST LANSDALE, PA 748 JACKSON ST, LANSDALE, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $184,500 
    • 2109 DEEP CREEK RD PERKIOMENVILLE, PA 2109 DEEP CREEK RD, PERKIOMENVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $350,000 
    • 922 SEQUOIA RD PHILADELPHIA, PA 922 SEQUOIA RD, PHILADELPHIA, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $548,500 
    • 150 ORCHARD LN HATFIELD, PA 150 ORCHARD LN, HATFIELD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $274,900 
    • 122 LAUREL CT QUAKERTOWN, PA 122 LAUREL CT, QUAKERTOWN, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $152,900 
    • 1549 MOSELEM SPRINGS RD HAMBURG, PA 1549 MOSELEM SPRINGS RD, HAMBURG, PA Lot/Land for sale. $300,000 
    • 226 COUNTRY CLUB DR TELFORD, PA 226 COUNTRY CLUB DR, TELFORD, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $395,000 Price reduced from $415,000 (-$20,000)
    • 1000 N GRAVEL PIKE SCHWENKSVILLE, PA 1000 N GRAVEL PIKE, SCHWENKSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $1,100 
    • 286 PARKVIEW DR SOUDERTON, PA 286 PARKVIEW DR, SOUDERTON, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $190,000 
    • 611 MOYER RD FRANCONIA, PA 611 MOYER RD, FRANCONIA, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $310,000 Price reduced from $324,900 (-$14,900)
    • 232 PARKVIEW CT HARLEYSVILLE, PA 232 PARKVIEW CT, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $424,900 Price reduced from $436,900 (-$12,000)
    • 602 GREENTREE LN NORRISTOWN, PA 602 GREENTREE LN, NORRISTOWN, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $195,000 Price reduced from $200,000 (-$5,000)
    • 2700 SHELLY RD HARLEYSVILLE, PA 2700 SHELLY RD, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $2,800 
  • Search the Mls for Houses for sale

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    City or Township Devon, PA
    Postal Code 19333, PA
    Neighborhood Neighborhood, Devon, PA
    School District School District, County, PA
    Listing Service Area Area, PA
    Address 123 Main St, Devon, PA
    Street Main St, Devon, PA
    Listing ID #123456
  • Search for School information on a home you like

    Before you purchase a new home it is always a good idea to research the schools in the surrounding area. The quality and/or proximity of the schools surrounding your home may significantly impact its resale value.

    Select a city to view a comprehensive list of all public and private schools that are available in the area.


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  • Buying Q&A

    • What are the advantages of owning a home?

      There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help put children through college, purchase a second home, or make home improvements.

      The mortgage interest paid on a home loan is tax deductible, as is the local property tax. If you get a fixed-rate home mortgage loan, you also can invest more wisely knowing your monthly mortgage payment, unlike rent, will not change substantially.



    • What is the first step to buying a home?

      Make sure you are ready - psychologically and financially. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have steady income? Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough to improve bad credit?

      A house needs constant care and attention. Also ask yourself if your budget will allow for unexpected repairs and upkeep. Once you can honestly answer "yes" to these questions, you are several steps ahead of the game and that much closer to becoming a homeowner.



    • How much can I afford?

      The general rule of thumb is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good REALTOR® or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance and other expenses.



    • Is it best to save for the ultimate dream home or begin with a less expensive starter home?

      It can take a long time to save for that perfect dream home. Meanwhile, the market has been flooded with some of the most favorable mortgage interest rates in years. Low rates make housing more affordable, which is why so many buyers have jumped on the home buying bandwagon.

      Home-price appreciation has also been strong, making very solid gains in communities across the country. In fact, home prices are expected to increase 2.5 percent to 3 percent annually over the next five years.

      If you purchase a starter home today, you can potentially begin to build value that can lead to the purchase of a larger, or more desirable, trade-up home in the future.



    • How do you decide whether to add on to an existing home or purchase a new one?

      There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home. As designer and builder Philip S. Wenz, the author of Adding to a House: Planning, Design & Construction, notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a "new" home without the heartache of moving.

      Other considerations:

      • Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will you need a loan?
      • How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.
      • Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition?
      • What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements.
      • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?
      Explore your options. Make sure your decision is one you can live with - either under the same roof or under a different one.

  • Financing Q&A

    • What is a mortgage and how does it work?

      A mortgage makes homeownership possible for most people. In the simplest terms, it is a loan that is secured by real property. The lender holds title to the home until the loan is completely repaid. If you fail to pay up, the lender has a right to take the property, sell it, and recover the money that is owed.

      The amount of a mortgage will vary greatly depending on the down payment you make to reduce the amount of money that is needed to finance the home. You may put as much money down as you like, or you can sometimes pay as little as 3 to 5% of the purchase price, or sometimes nothing at all. The more you put down, the more you reduce the amount that is financed, thereby lowering your monthly payment.

      The monthly payment consists of both principal and interest but also typically includes additional amounts to cover property taxes and insurance-specifically hazard insurance and private mortgage insurance, the latter of which is required for down payments less than 20% of the purchase price.

      Home buyers in the U.S. have access to several different types of mortgage loans.



    • How do I qualify for a home loan?

      Top 5 Members have information on lender loan requirements and will be able to calculate a rough monthly figure you can afford based on the maximum monthly payment for the loan, taxes, insurance, and any type of maintenance fees. This pre-purchase evaluation by the agent can save you a lot of time spent looking at properties you cannot afford.

      Lenders also routinely calculate what you can afford and can pre-qualify you for a loan even before you begin your home search. This way, you know exactly how much you can afford to buy.

      Lenders generally stipulate that you spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on a mortgage payment or 36% on total debts.

      Ultimately, the price you can afford to pay for a home will also depend on other factors besides your gross income and outstanding debts. They include the amount of cash you have available for the down payment, your credit history, current interest rates, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender, and the type of mortgage you select.



    • What's the best way to choose a home loan?

      A lot will depend on the length of time you plan to live in the home, other financial obligations, and potential savings gained from comparing the monthly costs of a home against the upfront costs and closing costs involved with a particular loan.

      Also, you will need to be comfortable with whatever choice you decide to make. Trust your instincts and do not be pressured into signing for a loan that will not really work for you.



    • Where can I get a mortgage?

      You can get a home loan from several different sources-a credit union, commercial bank, mortgage company, finance company, government agency, thrift (which includes savings banks and savings & loan associations), mortgage broker, and even the seller.

      Note, however, that most lenders have tightened their credit standards in light of increasing foreclosures and higher delinquency rates. Begin your search by calling at least half a dozen lenders to inquire about the types of financing available, current rates on each loan type, loan origination fees and number of points, other loan features and their credit requirements for borrowers.

      Once you actually apply for a mortgage, the lender will pull a recent copy of your credit report. That inquiry and any and all others are recorded and become a part of your credit file. Normally, several inquiries during a short period are viewed negatively, as a sign you are trying to open several new accounts. Such a move lowers your credit scores; and lower credit scores mean you will be offered a higher mortgage interest rate.

      However, there is a caveat. Credit scoring software generally detect that you are shopping for a single mortgage, if you shop within a short, 30-day window. So multiple inquires pulled roughly within this time frame will only count as one inquiry and should not affect your FICO or credit score.

      Checking your own score also will not lower your credit score.



    • What does a mortgage broker do?

      Much like a stockbroker helps you buy stocks, a mortgage broker can help you purchase a home loan. Because the broker has access to many lenders, you will be able to select from a wide variety of loan types and terms that fit your specific needs.

      Note, however, that brokers are not obligated to find the best deal for you. Of course, if you agree in writing to have one act as your agent, that is an entirely different story. This is why it is important when looking for a broker to contact more than one, just as you would any other lender.

      Compare their fees and ask questions, particularly about how they will be paid. Sometimes their fees appear as points paid at closing or the compensation is factored into the interest rate, or both. In any event, haggle with the broker and the lender for the best deal.

      Real estate agents normally maintain contact with several brokers. Ask your Top 5 Member for recommendations.



  • Home Matters Articles

    • In this Edition: Insurance Claims

      Our lead story in this month’s Home Matters examines six tips to keep in mind when filing an insurance claim after a storm. Other topics covered this month include what not to do after purchasing a home and how to safely use your portable generator. We hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Home Matters and as always, we welcome your feedback. Email us anytime!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 6 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim After a Storm

      Whether reporting storm damage to your property over the phone or through your mobile device, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) offers the following tips on how to file an insurance claim:

      1. Contact your insurer as soon as possible to begin the process. Provide your insurer with your policy number and the best phone number and email address at which to reach you. After a major storm, insurers visit those with the most severe damage first. Be prepared to provide an accurate description of the extent of the property damage. Explain any special needs of your family, particularly if personal circumstances require that you get priority. Ask your insurer when you can expect to be contacted by an insurance adjuster so you're ready for the visit. Since adjusters may be in areas in which cellphone towers are damaged, it's also a good idea to get the phone number of your adjuster's supervisor so you have an additional contact. If you have a flood insurance claim, contact the agent or broker who sold you the policy to start the claims filing process.
      2. Document your loss. The insurance adjuster will most likely inspect the damage to your home, auto and possessions in order to write a check to help you replace, repair and rebuild. It's a good idea to take photographs and document the details of damaged items, including the date of purchase and approximate value—and collect receipts, if you have them. Many companies will ask you to submit an inventory of the items.
      3. Check with your insurer before discarding damaged items and materials. You will generally need to show storm damaged items to your adjuster. If, however, you're required by your local municipality to discard them for safety reasons, take photographs to help with the claims process.
      4. Sign up for SMS/text alerts. Many insurance companies use SMS/text message alerts that will notify you of the status of your claim. You will receive text messages on your phone when you first report your claim, when your estimate is available, and when a payment has been sent.
      5. Know what emergency services are available. In the event you need emergency services, such as removing water from your home, covering your roof, or boarding up windows or doors, many companies will dispatch an approved emergency services company to protect your home from further damage. If your home has sustained severe damage, making it unlivable, your homeowners insurer will provide you with a check for additional living expenses.
      6. Keep a claim diary. Good record-keeping is important when filing a claim. Make a list of everyone you speak to about your claim. Note their name, title and contact information. Also, keep track of the date, time and issues discussed. The more organized you are, the simpler and easier the claims process will be. 
      Source: Insurance Information Institute

      If you’d like more homeowner information, please contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Just Bought a Home? Here's What Not to Do

      Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, putting you on the path to a smart financial future. There are certain traps you can fall into as a new homeowner, however, that can put your financial well-being at risk. Avoid doing the following too soon:

      • Remodeling. Unless there’s something in need of serious repair, hold off on any remodeling projects. This will give you time to assess the cost vs. value of the project, ensuring that the money you put into it actually increases the value of your home. Waiting will also give you time to research and secure the best professionals to work with.
      • Furnishing the whole house. You don’t have to have every room perfectly outfitted at once. Take your time and settle in to your new home. This will give you time to make better furniture choices. It will also allow you to budget over time as opposed to a big financial hit all at once.
      • Taking out an equity loan. Let your equity serve as a cushion for future needs. As homeownership plays out, there are countless needs and issues that will arise. If you’ve already exhausted your equity, you won’t have that emergency fund at the ready.
      • Moving up. You might be on a mission to get to your next bigger and better home as soon as possible, but wait it out a bit. You want to make sure you have the finances to do so comfortably, and you want to make sure you choose the right location. Living in your current home will teach you a lot about your likes and dislikes.
      • Making major aesthetic changes. Don’t go crazy with paint, wallpaper or any other bold design statements just yet. You’re still in the getting-to-know-you phase, so feel your new home out for a while before you start changing its look.
      If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Renters Want High-End Amenities and Sense of Community

      According to a nationwide survey of residents regarding their attitudes toward the rental market, renters are becoming more selective and amenity-driven, especially if those amenities make residences feel like true homes. In fact, only price and location were mentioned as more-important factors in housing decisions.

      The results of the First Annual National Renters Index, a nationwide survey of residents regarding their attitudes toward the rental market from Village Green, also show that trends like micro-units and co-living housing are growing in popularity. Forty-eight percent of millennials stated interest in paying more for "high-end property amenities." More specifically, millennials said they were willing to spend more for properties outfitted with smart-home technologies (45 percent) and high-end facility amenities such as concierge service and/or a coffee bar (49 percent).

      The Index also provided insight into where renters are looking for referrals and reviews as part of their search. Notably, 45 percent of renters said using third-party rental websites was important for their search, while 40 percent of renters mentioned online review sites as key resources and influencers for their housing hunt. This highlights the increasing importance of effective social media strategies, both proactive and reactive.

      If you’d like more information about homeownership, please contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Living Paycheck to Paycheck a Way of Life for Majority of U.S. Workers

      Are you counting the hours to pay day? You're not alone. More than three-quarters of workers (78 percent) are living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet—up from 75 percent last year and a trait more common in women than men—81 vs. 75 percent, according to new CareerBuilder research. Thirty-eight percent of employees said they sometimes live paycheck to paycheck, 17 percent said they usually do, and 23 percent said they always do.

      The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder this past spring, included representative samples of 2,369 full-time employers and 3,462 full-time U.S. workers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

      Having a higher salary doesn't necessarily mean money woes are behind you, with nearly one in 10 workers making $100,000 or more (9 percent) saying they usually or always live paycheck to paycheck and 59 percent in that income bracket in debt. Twenty-eight percent of workers making $50,000 -$99,999 usually or always live paycheck to paycheck, 70 percent are in debt; and 51 percent of those making less than $50,000 usually or always live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, while 73 percent are in debt.

      Meanwhile, a quarter of workers (25 percent) haven't been able to make ends meet every month in the last year, and 20 percent have missed payment on some smaller bills. Further, 71 percent of all workers say they're in debt—up from 68 percent last year. While 46 percent say their debt is manageable, more than half of those in debt (56 percent) say they feel they will always be in debt. And it should be noted that 18 percent of all workers have reduced their 401k contribution and/or personal savings in the last year, more than a third (38 percent) do not participate in a 401k plan, IRA or comparable retirement plan, and 26 percent haven't set aside any savings each month in the last year.

      Less than a third of workers (32 percent) stick to a clearly defined budget, and a slight majority (56 percent) save $100 or less a month:

      • None: 26 percent
      • Less than $50: 15 percent
      • $51 to $100: 16 percent
      • $101 to $250: 14 percent
      • $251 to $500: 11 percent
      • $501 to $750: 5 percent
      • $751 to $1,000: 4 percent
      • More than $1,000: 10 percent 
      Still, despite financial woes, there are certain things employees aren't willing to give up. When asked what they'd absolutely not give up, regardless of financial concerns, employees cited:
      • Internet connection: 54 percent
      • Mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.): 53 percent
      • Driving: 48 percent
      • Pets: 37 percent
      • Cable: 21 percent
      • Going out to eat: 19 percent
      • Traveling: 17 percent
      • Education: 13 percent
      • Buying gifts for people: 13 percent
      • Alcohol: 11 percent
      Source: CareerBuilder

      If you’d like more homeowner information, please contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Office Location: 418 Main St, Harleysville

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  • Patricia O'Herrick

    Vice President / Associate Broker Harleysville Office

    (215) 256-6543

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    Patricia has been in real estate over 20 years. She has lived and work in this area her whole life. She is actively involved in her church and volunteering in her community. She has a heart for serving her clients and giving back.  Her background has always been in management and sales. She has several real estate designations, both state and nationally recognized, that give her the expertise she needs to represent her clients successfully.

    - Sellers love her dedication, marketing plans and pricing that gets their house sold.
    - Buyers appreciate both the time, energy and care that she puts into finding just the right home for them.
    - Her certified negotiation skills aide in all areas, giving her clients the most for their money.
     
    Patricia's experience and expertise is joined by her caring and fun personality. Her clients love her and continue to come to her for all their real estate needs.