Help
  • Why Choose Berkshire Hathaway as an agent.

  • If interested in being an agent with us & you want to set up a confidential appointment or want more information, click below:

    I'd like to be an agent in the best company and want to learn more.

  • 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

    • 5 Tips to Get Ready to Run That Race

      (Family Features)--You've made the decision to get in shape, and whether your goal is a full marathon or simply a few laps around the neighborhood, there are a few steps to consider taking before you strap on those shoes and head toward the finish line.

      Here are a few tips to help get you ready for the big race:

      Seek quality sneakers. Feet come in a variety of widths and sizes, so visit a specialty running store to find perfect-fitting sneakers. These may come with a hefty price tag, but there are no shortcuts for comfort and support while running long distances.

      Make a schedule. Try to aim for at least 10 hours of training per week, including three days where you run and two or three days of other physical activity, such as cycling or strength training. To avoid exhaustion, be sure to include at least 1 - 2 "rest" days per week.

      Stick with water. Avoid sports drinks that are loaded with preservatives and sugars. You can't go wrong with the hydrating power of water. As a rule, try to consume at least 6 - 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes you run. Proper hydration after a run is also vital.

      Go online. Many websites have training guides for various skill levels or different types of races. If you have a smartphone, look for apps that can take you through day-by-day workouts to get you marathon-ready.

      Nutrition. Filling your body with the proper amount of fuel can help ensure finish-line success. Load up on quality carbohydrates, such as beans, peas, whole-wheat pastas, whole-grain cereals, apples, brown rice and root vegetables. Protein also plays an important role in a runner's nutrition, so fill up on lean meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, peanut butter and soy protein sources, as well.

      By following these general rules, you'll be able to focus on achieving your goal and enjoy the thrill of finishing the race.

      Source: eLivingToday.com

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Top Tips to Make Your Home More Green For Earth Day

      If you have earth day plans, they may be to dig into your garden, plant a tree or spend time volunteering to pick up trash at your local park. But have you thought about turning your green efforts inwards? How about to your own home? Below are a handful of earth day tips to improve the efficiency of your home both inside and out, courtesy of Ply Gem.

      Inside

      Window efficiency. Check for signs of drafts and seal any air leaks. If windows are extra drafty, consider adding weather-stripping around the frame. Time for new windows altogether? You will want to look into energy-efficient options to help improve thermal insulation and save energy.

      Idling electricity. Unplug small electronics like computer monitors, cell phone chargers, lamp fixtures and other small appliances around the home while they are not being utilized.

      Right lights. Make sure the lightbulbs in your home are halogen, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED). According to energy.gov, energy efficient lightbulbs use 25 percent -80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last 3 - 25 times longer.

      Outside

      Roofing. Check your roof for leaks, ponding water and damaged shingles, as those issues may lead to needed maintenance or a roof replacement. If you need to replace your roof, consider a green option, like roofing made from recycled materials.  

      Siding. If your home feels drafty, check your siding for any vulnerable areas where air may enter, such as loose or detached siding pieces. Siding that lays flat against a home’s exterior adds a continuous blanket of insulation and helps to improve a home’s thermal protection and preserve energy.

      Learn your materials. If you are looking to make some outdoor updates, be sure to go with eco-friendly materials, such as vinyl siding, fencing, railings, windows and shutters. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, vinyl is one of the most durable and cost-effective construction materials. It offers a long life with little to no maintenance and can save on energy in the long run.

      Source: Ply Gem

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Ways to Keep Your Basement From Flooding

      Heavy storms can wreak havoc on our homes, especially if you have a basement that’s in danger of flooding. New York-based T. Webber Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers the following tips to protect your basement from water damage when foul weather strikes:

      1. Look for Signs of Water – Do a walk-through and search for any signs of water damage, especially under basement stairs. Keep an eye out for moisture on walls or floors.

      2. Act Quickly – If you discover water stains or standing water, call an expert right away. If it isn't resolved quickly and professionally, you risk more significant damage, as well as possible mold contamination.

      3. Be Proactive – Check the operation of your sump pump, if you have one, to remove excess water. Also make sure the drain and catch basin are clean. If you don't have one, but have a history of basement flooding, consider having a sump pump installed to prevent future damage.

      4. Clear Gutters and Downspouts – Inspect for clogs and make sure that water is flowing away from your home and foundation.

      5. Turn off Electricity – If you do encounter flooding in your basement, turn off all power sources by switching off the main breaker. Do this before entering the basement any time there is standing water. It's best to get help from a professional to reduce electrocution risk.

      The most important step a homeowner can take is to be proactive. This will save you from the stress and expense of more severe water damage.

      Source: www.twebber.com

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Ways to Eat More Veggies

      Looking to add more veggies to your diet, but sick of salads and steamed sides? Below are a handful of ways you can up your veggie count with ease.

      Blend them. If you're a smoothie fan, you'd be thrilled to know adding a handful or two of baby spinach to your morning blend won't alter the flavor or texture of your favorite drink. It will, however, give you an added vitamin punch and a bright color.

      Juice them. Dust off that unused juicer and aim to make a fresh juice at least once a week. Enlist the help of your family to prep veggies and wash the juicer when you're done. Unsure of what blend to go with? Try green apple, spinach, cucumber and fennel.

      Chop them. Skip the chips! Keep chopped celery, peppers and carrots in the fridge for dipping into salsa and hummus.

      Shred them. Shred carrots, broccoli or cabbage and toss them into soups, stir fries, salads or casseroles, or toss them together with your favorite herbs and dressings for a savory slaw. To make this easier, shred up a bag at the beginning of the week and get to sprinkling.

      Cream them. Colorful carrots with a dash of ginger, chopped onion, salt, pepper and veggie stock can make an easy, creamy, low-fat soup. Just boil the ingredients up in a pot, then blend with an immersion blender for an easy, filling meal.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • How to Build the Best Deck

      If you're planning to add a deck to your house, don't break ground before considering the following factors:

      Location, location. If you're lucky enough to have multiple places your deck could go, then consider important environmental factors like what area gets the most sun, the direction of the wind, and so forth, when choosing the placement of your deck. This will not only help your deck last longer, but can allow you to dodge some unexpected surprises, like sideways rain all spring that renders your covered deck almost unusable,

      Mull over material. Talk to a professional about what material would be best for your area and the positioning of your deck. Wood is gorgeous, but if you live in a rainy area and your deck will be uncovered, you may be begging for rot.Other options include composite materials, which often come with 25-year warranties.

      Collect several bids. Don't go with the first contractor to offer a bid, even if the bid is reasonable. Multiple bids help you get a good feel of what the project is worth, and chat with a handful of different competent professionals, who can offer insight and ideas.  

      Pull a permit. Sure, it may seem easier and cheaper to skip the permitting process, especially if you live in a remote area; however, acquiring a permit not only makes your deck more valuable when it comes time to sell, but also the professional whose job it is to review your building plan may have some insights on best practices and code requirements, and are usually happy to share their expertise.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Buyers: Ck out our featured Properties

    • 228 COUNTRY CLUB DR TELFORD, PA 228 COUNTRY CLUB DR, TELFORD, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $419,900 
    • 764 HARLEYSVILLE PIKE TELFORD, PA 764 HARLEYSVILLE PIKE, TELFORD, PA Commercial for sale. $1,400 
    • 327 MAIN ST HARLEYSVILLE, PA 327 MAIN ST, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $2,500 
    • 430 MAIN ST #A HARLEYSVILLE, PA 430 MAIN ST #A, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $2,000 
    • 664 PARK RD LANSDALE, PA 664 PARK RD, LANSDALE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $524,900 
    • 350 ALEXANDER DR TELFORD, PA 350 ALEXANDER DR, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $659,000 
    • 133 LEVERING ST PHILADELPHIA, PA 133 LEVERING ST, PHILADELPHIA, PA Condo/Townhome | RowTwnhsClus for sale. $1,500 
    • 126 LENNON CIR TELFORD, PA 126 LENNON CIR, TELFORD, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $225,000 Price reduced from $230,000 (-$5,000)
    • 1036 HAYCREEK RD BIRDSBORO, PA 1036 HAYCREEK RD, BIRDSBORO, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $174,900 
    • 175 FAIRWAY DR HARLEYSVILLE, PA 175 FAIRWAY DR, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $480,000 
    • 458 DORCHESTER LN PERKASIE, PA 458 DORCHESTER LN, PERKASIE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $289,900 
    • 28 CENTRAL AVE #D SOUDERTON, PA 28 CENTRAL AVE #D, SOUDERTON, PA Condo/Townhome | Condo for sale. $100,000 Price reduced from $110,000 (-$10,000)
    • 123 ACORN LN SELLERSVILLE, PA 123 ACORN LN, SELLERSVILLE, PA Mobile Home | Mobile for sale. $130,000 
    • 1105 SCHOOL HOUSE LN QUAKERTOWN, PA 1105 SCHOOL HOUSE LN, QUAKERTOWN, PA Single Family | Semi-Detached for sale. $200,000 Price reduced from $209,000 (-$9,000)
    • 1141 GROSSTOWN RD POTTSTOWN, PA 1141 GROSSTOWN RD, POTTSTOWN, PA Lot/Land for sale. $325,000 
    • 701 ANTIETAM DR DOUGLASSVILLE, PA 701 ANTIETAM DR, DOUGLASSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $274,900 
    • 910 MOYERS RD LANSDALE, PA 910 MOYERS RD, LANSDALE, PA Residential Income | SingleBldg for sale. $235,000 
    • 564 KIMBERTON RD PHOENIXVILLE, PA 564 KIMBERTON RD, PHOENIXVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $550,000 
    • 1445 SAINT PETERS RD POTTSTOWN, PA 1445 SAINT PETERS RD, POTTSTOWN, PA Lot/Land for sale. $165,000 
    • 564 KIMBERTON RD PHOENIXVILLE, PA 564 KIMBERTON RD, PHOENIXVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $2,000 
  • Search the Mls for Houses for sale

    Sorry! We could not find a location to match your search criteria. Please try again.
    Search Tips
    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.


    Sorry! We could not find a location to match your search criteria. Please try again.
    Search Tips
    City or Township Devon, PA
  • 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: Put Your Tax Refund to Work for You and Your Home

      Our lead story in this month’s Home Matters examines how to wisely spend your tax refund by investing it back into your home. Other topics covered this month include simple tips to use water wisely and what you need to know before undertaking a DIY home improvement project. 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.



    • Tax Refund? Spend It on Your Home

      According to CNN Money, about eight out of 10 people filing their taxes this year are getting a refund, with the average amount being about $2,800. While it may be tempting to put that money toward an island getaway, an even better way to spend your tax refund is by using it to grow one your biggest investments: your home.

      "While some people may choose a spontaneous purchase with their refund dollars, smart homeowners choose to pay down their debt or invest in a project with solid payback,” says Roger Murphy, president of Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company. “Using refund dollars to enhance your living experience in the kitchen or bath pays off every day. Whether it’s purchasing a much-needed appliance, fixing plumbing issues or replacing an old window, these are enhancements you’ll enjoy continually throughout the year.”

      While Murphy’s company specializes in decorative glass privacy windows, there are many improvements that instantly up your home’s value. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, which measures the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects and their average resale value one year later, garage door replacement has the highest ROI at 98.3 percent (up from 85 percent year-over-year). Backyard patio jobs garnered the lowest ROI, at 47.6 percent (down from 54.9 percent year-over-year).

      Nationally, when it comes to renovation ROI, curb appeal still wins. Here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's "midrange" cost category:

      Manufactured Stone Veneer (97.1 percent ROI)
      - Average Cost: $8,221
      - Average Resale Value: $7,986

      Entry Door Replacement (Steel) (91.3 percent ROI)
      - Average Cost: $1,471
      - Average Resale Value: $1,344

      Deck Addition (Wood) (82.8 percent ROI)
      - Average Cost: $10,950
      - Average Resale Value: $9,065

      Minor Kitchen Remodel (81.1 percent ROI)
      - Average Cost: $21,198
      - Average Resale Value: $17,193

      Siding Replacement (76.7 percent ROI)
      - Average Cost: $15,072
      - Average Resale Value: $11,554

      Before you go on that shopping spree with your check from Uncle Sam, think about how you might spend it on your home instead. You’ll be the beneficiary in the long-run!

      If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Financial Stress? It May Be Time to Get Smarter About Money

      Money woes are a reality even for the gainfully employed, say the results of the 2018 Purchasing Power® Financial Stress Survey conducted by Harris Poll. According to the research, over 4 in 5 (87 percent) of those who are employed full-time or have a spouse employed full-time are at least somewhat stressed about their current finances.

      "Although the U.S. economy is healthy and the stock market continues to rise, employees are still stressed about their finances. Many struggle to pay their household bills because financially-fragile employees don't necessarily benefit from these trends," explains Purchasing Power President Scott Rosenberg.

      The survey also revealed that 39 percent of full-time employees feel that their financial stress level increased over the past 12 months; 46 percent said it stayed the same; and 16 percent report that it decreased.

      Of those who reported their stress level had declined in the past 12 months, 57 percent said an increase in their household income contributed to that decrease; 50 percent indicated they had decreased the amount of their expenses (such as paying off balances and eliminating unnecessary services/activities) and 20 percent revealed they had used financial tools to help better budget their money.

      For those experiencing financial stress, a lack of financial literacy and poor financial habits is often at the root of the problem. Check out the following survey results:

      Main Causes of Financial Stress

      • Household bills are the major reason cited for causing financial stress:
      • Household bills (e.g. mortgage/rent, utilities and transportation) - 47 percent
      • Lack of funds to cover unexpected expenses (e.g., car repair, home repair) - 43 percent
      • Retirement planning (e.g., little or no retirement savings, no post-employment plan) - 37 percent
      • Healthcare expenses (e.g., deductibles, prescription costs, medical bills) - 34 percent
      • High credit balance - 30 percent
      • Accumulating credit card debt - 29 percent
      • Lifestyle changes (e.g., loss of/decrease in household income, family addition, increase in household occupants, elderly care) - 25 percent
      • Education (e.g., tuition, daycare fees, student loan payments) - 21 percent 
      Unexpected Expenses
      Respondents also pointed to stress caused by unexpected expenses in the past 12 months. Some of the most common ones included:
      • Vehicle repair/replacement - 57 percent
      • Medical - 43 percent
      • Home repairs (such as roof, boiler, siding) - 40 percent
      • Replacing/upgrading major home appliance that stopped working - 29 percent
      • Travel (funeral, visit sick relative, unexpected move) - 18 percent 
      These employees were also asked how they paid for the unexpected expense they incurred in the past 12 months. They reported using the following methods:
      • Credit card - 49 percent
      • Emergency savings - 31 percent
      • Money they planned to use for other household bills - 30 percent
      • Cash - 23 percent
      • Borrowed from family/friends - 13 percent
      • Took out a loan (payday, title, home equity) - 13 percent
      • Debit card - 13 percent
      • Sold something (jewelry, electronics, car) - 9 percent
      • Borrowed from retirement savings (401K, IRA) - 7 percent
      Of course, one of the best ways to start reducing financial stress is to start or increase your savings, no matter how small. Talk to a financial advisor to come up with a plan for reducing expenses and adding a nest egg to help alleviate the pressure.

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

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Wise Ways to Water Your Yard

      Whether you’re in a community with watering restrictions or not, it’s common sense to look for ways to maximize efficiency when watering your lawn and gardens. Rain Bird, a supplier of irrigation products for residential, commercial, golf, and agricultural applications, offers these steps to help you use water wisely:

      • Understand your soil. The soil type in your yard will greatly affect your watering schedule and influence the type of sprinkler you choose.
      • Determine your water pressure. Water pressures vary greatly. If you have high pressure, make sure you install products equipped with pressure-regulating devices, which can save you up to one gallon per minute, per sprinkler.
      • Design a smart landscape. Use drought-tolerant plants when possible. Reserve your use of grass for areas with high value, visual prominence or frequent physical use.
      • Divide your yard into separate zones so groundcover, shrubs and trees can be watered separately and less frequently.
      • Use a rain sensor to automatically shut off your sprinkler system when it rains.
      • Maximize performance by regulating water pressure. Pressure regulation can save up to one gallon per minute, per sprinkler, by delivering the right amount of water to get the job done, without any waste.
      • Prevent puddles. Use sprinklers with pre-installed check valves and low precipitation rates to prevent soggy areas, which can kill landscape or encourage fungus to grow.
      • Use drip irrigation for flower beds and shrubs to deliver the water directly to the base of plants, saving up to 80 percent over watering with traditional sprinklers. Drip irrigation also prevents weeds and encourages healthier plants by watering each plant's root zone, eliminating overspray and evaporation.
      • Use mulch. Applying mulch helps drainage, encourages root development and improves soil by making nutrients more available to plants, while conserving water.
      • Water between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cool. This minimizes water loss due to evaporation and windy conditions, and helps avoid fungus growth on leaves. Check with your local water provider to see what days and times you’re allowed to water.
      • Break up watering times into shorter segments. Applying more water than the ground can absorb leads to excess runoff.
      • Water less frequently. Deep, infrequent watering will train the plants' roots to grow deeper and more robust.
      • Water only when your plants demand it. If your plant leaves are beginning to curl and your footprints are staying longer than usual, it's time to water. 
      • When in doubt, consult with a landscape professional to come up with the right plan for a water-efficient yard and garden that will stay green and colorful all season long.
       If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Taking on a DIY Home Improvement Project? Read This First!

      From painting the den to remodeling the bathroom, many an ambitious homeowner will be embarking on a DIY home improvement project in the coming months. In fact, according to the recently released Coinstar® Do It Yourself (DIY) Home Improvement Survey, 65 percent are tackling a home improvement project on their own in order to save money, and nearly three in five respondents believe it will increase the value of their home.
       
      Projects homeowners plan to take on range from painting a room to a major remodel of a bathroom or kitchen. Regardless of the type and magnitude of the project, nearly nine out of 10 homeowners agree that they feel a sense of pride when completing a DIY activity, and three in four see their home as an extension of their personality. What’s more, nearly half said fulfillment in doing it themselves was the main motivating factor in initiating the project.

      If you’re among the ranks taking on a project yourself, follow the example of the majority of survey respondents, 70 percent of whom will create a budget and use cash on hand to pay for projects, as opposed to the 30 percent who say they've left a project incomplete due to running out of money. According to the survey, 61 percent of respondents plan to spend $500 or more on a home-improvement project this year.

      More than two-thirds of homeowners typically perform DIY projects with someone else in the household, like a family member or significant other. If you’re also teaming up with a partner, beware—65 percent of respondents say they got into a disagreement related to the project.

      Maybe those disagreements arise over how to get the job done—more than one quarter of homeowners surveyed consider themselves unskilled or under-skilled when it comes to home improvement projects. Regardless of skill level, the majority of DIYers learn how to tackle a project by learning online through YouTube videos and using search engines to locate how-to answers. Nearly half (45 percent) report they teach themselves through trial and error, and owner's manuals are still a viable tool with nearly 60 percent of homeowners saying they always read the manual.

      Before you embark on your home improvement project, make sure you’ve budgeted correctly and you’re well prepared on the ins and outs of your project.
       
      If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Office Location: 418 Main St, Harleysville

  • Find us on Facebook

  • 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.