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  • 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

    • Home Safety Hacks for Winter Weather--and Decor

      Decking the halls and watching the snow fall can be fun and festive, but winter weather brings a slew of unusual safety risks for you and your family. Below, Mister Sparky® offers the following safety tips to help ensure homeowners and house guests stay safe this holiday season.

      Check holiday decorations for flammability:
      - Water and electricity don't mix! Be sure all outdoor illuminations like light strings are rated for outdoor use or are properly protected. Never exceed the recommended wattage and plug outdoor electrical equipment into ground-fault protected circuits.
      - Avoid plugging too many lights into one outlet; overloaded circuits can easily start fires.
      - Make sure to turn off the lights when you go to bed and to take your decorations down after the holidays--they can deteriorate over time and cause problems in the future.
      - While most decorations are flameproof, treat all decorations as highly combustible and keep away from holiday candles. Keep your holiday trees watered; dry trees are a fire hazard.

      Prep your house for winter weather:
      - If you need to use a space heater to stay warm, consider the safety features of the unit, the size of the area you want to heat and the energy efficiency of the heater. Finding a heater that fits your space is critical to safety.
      - Never leave a space heater on when you're not home, and unplug the device when you're not using it. It's also important to keep combustibles at least three feet from the heat source. This can include holiday decorations and curtains.
      - Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, or install new ones. Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings. It is recommended that one smoke detector be placed on every floor of the home, including basements and attics, as well as in every bedroom of the house.
      - Consider upgrading your outdoor lighting on stairs and walkways, in advance of dark and icy weather, to protect your family and guests during the winter months.

      Call in the experts before the holiday rush:
      - Your local electricians are available to ensure your house is ready before decorations go up and guests arrive. Professional installation of safe and convenient electrical outlets for your holiday lights will help defend your home from surges.
      - Getting a full home inspection, including GCFI protection for all wet areas in your home, can highlight the problems that will cause a headache during your celebrations.

      Source: www.mistersparky.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Surprising Ways You're Hurting Your Teeth

      Hopefully, you engage in healthy oral care practices, like brushing and flossing your teeth. But is some of your behavior actually harming your teeth? Heed the following advice from Oral Health Expert Dr. Sanda Moldovan.

      Ice. Chewing on hard substances, such as ice, can damage tooth enamel leading to an array of dental problems.

      Bottled Water. Bottled water lacks fluoride, and this absence can cause the teeth to decay a lot faster.

      Dried Fruits. The sticky consistency of dried fruit causes it to adhere to your teeth's nooks and crannies, and the concentrated sugar found in the dried fruit invites bacteria that causes cavities.

      Pickled Foods. Pickled foods use vinegar which has a high acid content. Acid wears down enamel making teeth more vulnerable to problems.

      Popcorn. Popcorn is very difficult to remove from your teeth and, if it stays in there, it can lead to infection and even an abscess.

      Avoid these items--or be sure to have an extra careful brush and floss session post-snack.

      Source: Dr. Sanda Moldovan.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • What’s Good for Us is Good for Our Pets

      As the bond between people and their pets continues to grow stronger, it’s no wonder that key lifestyle trends are trickling down to our furry friends as well. In a recent survey commissioned by the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a survey of 1,000 dog and cat owners found that as humans become more tech-connected and embrace alternative health practices and diets, they’re getting their pets on board with these same practices.

      Smart pets. Intrigued by pet technology and its ability to give pet parents a better grasp on a pet's health and wellness, many are gravitating to features such as nutrition apps (47 percent), vet telemedicine (46 percent) and fitness trackers (31 percent) to help maintain their pet’s health. More than half (53 percent) are interested in getting a pet tracking device or a microchip (52 percent) and four in 10 (40 percent) are interested in pet monitoring cameras. With one in four pet parents admitting they spend more on tech for their pets than for themselves, the future of pet tech is very bright. In fact, more than half (56 percent) of pet parents say they have special tech just for their pet.

      Alternative treatments. Pet owners who have tried alternative therapies themselves, are likely to use them on their pets as well. Of those who have used alternative treatments like hemp-based products, 74 percent have also used them on their pets. More than a quarter of pets (26 percent) have experienced mobility-related therapies like massage, physical therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture.

      Clean eating. As people's growing awareness of food's effect on health and wellness leads them to try new diets and eating plans, it’s trickling down to their pet’s diet as well. Of those surveyed, 45 percent admit to personally following a diet and 70 percent of those admit to putting their pet on a special diet too; for example, almost half of pet parents who eat organic, feed their pets organic too (47 percent vs. 12 percent average).

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • What to Look for in a Daycare for Your Baby

      (Family Features)--Between coordinating childcare, figuring out a new schedule and beginning to feel like a normal person again, life with a newborn can be a lot to handle. Finding the right daycare center on top of it all can seem like a nearly impossible task.

      Consider these suggestions to find the right daycare for your little one.

      Look for safety first.
      One of the most important things to look for is evidence that your potential daycare follows safe practices, including at nap time.

      "When you first walk into the infant classroom, check for see-through cribs," says Naomi Lennis Hicks from the Park Avenue KinderCare. "Teachers should be able to see your baby every moment of every day, even when they're sleeping."

      You should also ask how teachers at the daycare put babies to bed and what's allowed in cribs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, babies should sleep on their backs on a firm surface without pillows, blankets or toys in bed with them.

      Find a place that follows each baby's schedule.
      Although babies' schedules are never 100-percent predictable, an accommodating daycare may work with parents to follow their children's routine as closely as possible.

      While some daycares enforce naps at certain times, you can look for an option that takes into account each baby's sleeping needs. Teachers should know how to watch each child closely for signs of tiredness. Eye-rubbing, sucking on hands or fingers and heavy-headed nodding are all signs that it's time for some shut-eye.

      Whether baby likes rocking, singing, being held or using a pacifier, a daycare that partners with parents to learn what works best for each baby can be a more comforting option.

      Make sure the center is clean and tidy.
      When classrooms are spick and span, it's typically a sign that a daycare and its teachers are paying attention to the details, while also likely employing a dedicated cleaning staff to ensure the space is safe for babies to crawl and play.

      In infant classrooms especially, keep an eye out for shoe-free policies and disposable booties for visitors to use.

      "We have a bootie- or sock-only policy, and many of our teachers even bring their own slippers just for the classroom," says Sheila Silveria with the Mercantile KinderCare Learning Center. "As soon as babies are ready to start crawling, it's important to give them freedom to explore. A shoe-free policy is the best way to keep their little hands and mouths away from germs and dirt while they discover the world."

      For many parents, the most important thing is that their babies are safe and happy, meaning they can rest assured they made the best decision for their family.  

      Source: KinderCare

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • How to Map Out Your Garden Goals for Next Spring

      Advanced planning is a good idea in all cases, even when it comes to your outdoor space. Don’t wait until spring arrives to create the backyard of your dreams - map out your goals now by following these steps from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and TurfMutt:

      Call a family meeting. Discuss ways everyone in the household, including kids and pets, can embrace time spent outdoors and make better use of your yard. From stress reduction to promoting exercise, getting outside is key to a healthy life.

      Sketch out your current yard and its available green space. Make note of existing trees, bushes, structures, and flower and gardening beds so you can identify what needs to change and what is currently working for you, your family and your pets.

      Visualize you and your family in the space. What are the outdoor activities you’d like to do more of, such as al fresco family dinners, entertaining, yoga, or simply relaxing in a hammock or comfortable lounge chair? Or perhaps you’d like to create a play zone for your children and/or your pets so they can get more outdoor activity?

      Develop your improvement and maintenance goals. List the play and work areas that will make your dreams a reality. What would enhance this space for your family? What do you need in the yard to provide a safe and welcoming place for families to gather and for kids and pets to play? Enhanced landscaping, play structures and areas for specific activities, such as patios, decks, outdoor kitchens and fire pits, need to be identified.

      Determine which plants are best for your climate. Selecting the right plants, trees and shrubs for your climate zone is important for keeping maintenance to a minimum and maximizing benefits to the environment. Figuring this out now will make shopping at your local nursery more productive later.

      Map out a timeline and plan for your yard. Mark the areas where improvements and maintenance are needed, and where you might need more landscaping. Develop a timeline, based on your needs, the climate zone and weather for your community to identify when certain tasks should be completed. There are better times to plant than others, depending on where you live and your goals.

      Take stock of your lawn and landscape tools. Does your outdoor power equipment need to be serviced before the spring season? Or maybe you have recently moved to a home with a yard and need to purchase a lawn mower, trimmer, edger, leaf blower or other equipment for your home. Now’s a good time to take stock of the equipment and tools you’ll need so you’ll be ready for seasonal changes.

      Know when to call in a pro. Be realistic about what you can and can’t handle on your own. If you think you need professional assistance, now is the time to line up consultants and obtain bids. This will put you a step ahead of the spring rush.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Buyers: Ck out our featured Properties

    • 1652 S ASH CIR JAMISON, PA 1652 S ASH CIR, JAMISON, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $449,900 
    • 512 DERSTINE AVE LANSDALE, PA 512 DERSTINE AVE, LANSDALE, PA Single Family | Semi-Detached for sale. $1,200 
    • 338 MAIN ST HARLEYSVILLE, PA 338 MAIN ST, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $395,000 
    • 1160 SCHOOL HOUSE LN QUAKERTOWN, PA 1160 SCHOOL HOUSE LN, QUAKERTOWN, PA Single Family | Semi-Detached for sale. $214,900 
    • 23 W 4TH ST POTTSTOWN, PA 23 W 4TH ST, POTTSTOWN, PA Single Family | Semi-Detached for sale. $78,500 
    • 0 HARLEYSVILLE PIKE HARLEYSVILLE, PA 0 HARLEYSVILLE PIKE, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Lot/Land for sale. $135,000 
    • 2048 MILL RD NORRISTOWN, PA 2048 MILL RD, NORRISTOWN, PA Residential Income | MultiBldgs for sale. $360,000 Price reduced from $370,000 (-$10,000)
    • 2898 UPPER RIDGE RD PENNSBURG, PA 2898 UPPER RIDGE RD, PENNSBURG, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $265,000 
    • 105 BRITTANY DR CHALFONT, PA 105 BRITTANY DR, CHALFONT, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $319,500 Price reduced from $328,000 (-$8,500)
    • 701 E MAIN ST LANSDALE, PA 701 E MAIN ST, LANSDALE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $285,000 Price reduced from $295,000 (-$10,000)
    • 2048 MILL RD NORRISTOWN, PA 2048 MILL RD, NORRISTOWN, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $360,000 Price reduced from $370,000 (-$10,000)
    • 130 HAMPSHIRE DR CHALFONT, PA 130 HAMPSHIRE DR, CHALFONT, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $308,500 Price reduced from $314,500 (-$6,000)
    • 1443 PERKIOMENVILLE RD PERKIOMENVILLE, PA 1443 PERKIOMENVILLE RD, PERKIOMENVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $500 
    • 27 MELVINS RD TELFORD, PA 27 MELVINS RD, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $259,000 
    • 205 W RELIANCE RD SOUDERTON, PA 205 W RELIANCE RD, SOUDERTON, PA Commercial for sale. $1,698 
    • 430 MAIN ST #C HARLEYSVILLE, PA 430 MAIN ST #C, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $1,000 
    • 139 W BUTLER AVE CHALFONT, PA 139 W BUTLER AVE, CHALFONT, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $285,000 Price reduced from $295,000 (-$10,000)
    • 623 FAIRWAY DR TELFORD, PA 623 FAIRWAY DR, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $599,000 
    • 924 PINELAND RD BIRDSBORO, PA 924 PINELAND RD, BIRDSBORO, PA Farm/Ranch | Detached for sale. $579,000 
    • 924 PINELAND RD BIRDSBORO, PA 924 PINELAND RD, BIRDSBORO, PA Lot/Land for sale. $579,000 
  • Search the Mls for Houses for sale

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    Postal Code 19333, PA
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    School District School District, County, PA
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    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

    • Yes, You Can Sell Your Home in Winter

      No doubt, you’ve heard that the best time to put your home on the market is spring. And while there is certainly a lot to be said for selling your house in the springtime, there are, in fact, many benefits to selling your home right now. That’s right—in winter! Here are some tips for putting your market on the home this season.
       
      Pay attention to holiday décor. While a few tasteful and neutral holiday decorations such as glowing white lights, fragrant evergreens and elegant metallic touches can really make your home glow and sparkle, remember that less is always more. And be sure to pack up those decorations as soon as the holidays have passed. Marketing your home with holiday lights on Feb. 1 will not play in your favor.

      Price it right. While there might be a smaller pool of prospective buyers in winter than spring, you will most likely be dealing with more motivated buyers. If they are looking for a home during the holidays or in the dead of winter, there is a compelling reason for doing so, which makes your pricing strategy critical. Talk to your agent about arriving at a price that factors in fewer (but more serious) buyers.

      Make accessibility a priority. If snow and ice is a factor for you in winter, you will need to be fastidious about removal. Make sure driveways and walkways are clear at all times. Invest in a plow service and stay stocked up on salt.

      Keep things warm. Nothing will turn buyers off faster in winter than walking into a cold house, so make sure your heating system is operating at full capacity. And make sure that’s the case for every room in the house. If there’s one bedroom that tends to be drafty, now’s the time to find out the cause and resolve the issue.

      Provide visuals of your home in summer. One thing buyers might not be able to get an accurate picture of in winter is your outdoor space, so make a poster board with photos of your backyard, patio, porch, pool, garden beds…whatever you feel is worth highlighting. Or prepare a slideshow for your agent to display on his/her iPad. This could really seal the deal for winter-time buyers. 

      Following these strategies will help you take advantage of the market right now and beat the competition to the punch come spring.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Meet Pantone's Beachy Color of the Year

      Drawing inspiration from the underwater ecosystem of the deep sea, Pantone’s 2019 color of the year is a vibrant shade of orange with a golden undertone called Living Coral.
       
      Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546) reflects the sustenance and shelter provided by the coral reef by exuding energy and warmth with its vibrant yet mellow tone. According to Pantone, the shade is also intended to add some counterbalance to the cold detachment often experienced in today’s digital technology and social media world.

      “Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities, and this is particularly true for Living Coral,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in an article for HFN. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”
       
      That said, expect Living Coral to add a dose of warmth and comfort to home décor, especially when it comes to rugs, blankets and upholsteries. It will also show up as a dramatic pop of color in decorative accessories, tabletop items and wall art.

      “Color enhances and influences the way we experience life,” says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energizing and nourishing, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral reinforces how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 4 Unique Holiday Gatherings

      While your dance card for the holidays fills up quickly, there are plenty of good reasons to get together with family and friends this time of year so that you can spend time with everyone on your list. Here are four creative ideas for fun and relaxing get-togethers:

      1. A post-shopping party. What’s better after a long, hectic day of shopping then heading straight to a festive gathering for some laid-back food and fun? According to Martha Stewart, keep the décor and mood low-key, with simple finger-food, holiday lights and paper plates, and in the spirit of shopping theme, make a gift exchange part of the event.
      2. A gift-wrap gathering. Hours of gift-wrapping can often turn into a chore, so why not infuse it with the spirit of the season and do it together with friends? Clear out your living room or dining room, or kick the kids out of the basement for an evening. Have everyone bring a finger-food, a stack of presents, a roll of gift wrap and a pair of scissors. You can provide beverages, music, tape, ribbon and other fun accessories to decorate wrapped gifts with. Before you know it, the chore of wrapping will turn into a fun and creative time spent with loved ones.
      3. Movie night. Sometimes during the thick of the holiday season, what you need most is to do something decidedly non-holiday. Organize a group of friends to go see the latest thriller or comedy—something that takes you away from the stress that often builds during this time of year. Afterwards, grab some relaxed comfort food at the local diner or pizzeria to cap off a memorable holiday evening out.
      4. A holiday hike. Most of us neglect our exercise regimen during the holidays, so there’s no better way to get together with friends and family than to organize an event around an outdoor activity, such as a hike or snow-shoe. Make sure your trek ends with some mulled cider and cookies around a warm fire.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • A Safe Season for Your Pets

      While we go to great lengths to make the holidays merry for our friends and family, it’s important to make sure that our pets are well cared for amidst all the hustle and bustle. Petco advises pet owners to take the following precautions to minimize potential health and safety hazards for our four-legged friends during the season.          

      • Be mindful of décor: Decorate with pet safety in mind. Glass ornaments, ribbons and tinsel can be harmful to pets if broken or ingested. When it comes to lights, cover electrical cords to prevent possible shock or electrocution.
      • Plants: Pine needles are sharp and difficult to digest for pets. Other harmful plants that should be placed out of reach include mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias.
      • Festive foods: Avoid feeding pets table scraps and human treats like chocolate, turkey skin, grapes and raisins, caffeine, bones, onions, sweets and spices. If you suspect your pets have accidently ingested any of these foods, contact your veterinarian or a pet poison helpline immediately.
      • Parties: Unfamiliar guests and lots of noise can be stressful to your pets, so you may want to consider keeping them in a quiet place, away from people and dangerous foods.
      • Travel: Be sure to make the necessary arrangements for proper pet care if you’re traveling. Have all the necessary items for them if you’re traveling, or have the proper care in place if you’re leaving them at home.
      Provide your sitter with a detailed checklist, including feeding and treating schedules, habitat cleaning instructions, emergency contacts and general care and maintenance information for each animal to help them take the best care of your pets.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • How to Donate Safely This Season

      At this time of year, the giving spirit of the holiday season often motivates us to increase our donations to charitable organizations. Unfortunately, your good intentions can quickly be taken advantage of unless you do your homework and take some precautions before you donate. Follow these tips from the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) to help protect yourself and your generous gift:
       
      Pay careful attention to the name of the charity. When charities seek support for the same cause, they often have a very similar name, so before you make a donation, make sure you know the exact name of the charity you wish to donate to. Do a quick search online to verify. Otherwise, you could be unwittingly supporting the wrong organization.
       
      Stay away from on-the-spot donations to unfamiliar groups. With the holidays comes an increased occurrence of organizations asking for donations, often setting up outside busy public locations. It’s easy to feel pressured and give in to the pressure of donating on the spot, but don’t. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today, says the BBB.
       
      Don’t let them play on your emotions. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
       
      Find out if your charity has disclosed information. Although participation is voluntary, you can gain peace of mind by knowing that your charity has disclosed requested information to the BBB WGA. Visit Give.org to find out.
       
      By taking these simple steps, you can make sure your hard-earned donations are going to help the cause that’s important to you, and not ending up in the wrong hands.

      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

    (267) 718-0202

    Email Me

    AB-067879

    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.