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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

    • How-To Improve Indoor Air Quality

      (Family Features)--More efficient, tightly built homes than those constructed in previous generations are generally well-regarded, for the most part with good reason. However, when you consider people spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such airtight environments raise some concerns.

      All that efficiency cuts down on airflow, effectively trapping allergens and toxins inside. According to estimates from the EPA, the air inside the average home may be as much as five times more polluted than the air outdoors, even in a bustling city.

      "We know instinctively that spending so many hours in stuffy places isn't good for us," says Peter Foldbjerg, head of daylight energy and indoor climate at Velux. "According to research, living in damp and moldy homes increases our risk of asthma by 40 percent and leaves us vulnerable to developing other ailments."

      Limited fresh air and light during the day can negatively impact mood, sleep and performance. Air pollution can also pose a health risk through irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; headaches, dizziness and fatigue; and respiratory conditions, heart disease and cancer. To help alleviate some of these concerns, consider these tips.

      Bring the outside in.
      Even a small step like adding some potted plants, which are known to purify air, can improve your indoor environment. In addition, think of how you could create a better view to the outside through smart use of windows, skylights and doors that bring in fresh air and daylight.

      Rely on natural air flow.
      Open your windows 3-4 times a day, at least 10 minutes at a time, to allow fresh air in. To complement natural light and fresh air from vertical windows, consider adding skylights to rooms you use most often. Skylights that can be opened contribute to greater indoor comfort and ventilation by removing excess heat, moisture, odors and other indoor pollutants. They can also help reduce the need for air-conditioning due to the chimney effect, which occurs when skylights and vertical windows are both opened, allowing warm, stale air to rise and escape through the roof, replaced by fresh air drawn in through traditional windows.

      Eliminate potential obstacles.
      Avoid blocking fresh air with drapes, blinds and other hindrances, like heavy furniture placed too close to windows. Also consider other aspects of your home that could be thwarting your efforts to improve air circulation and quality, such as dust, dirt and mold. Regular and thorough cleaning can help keep those irritants at bay and make your quest for cleaner air easier.

      Source: Family Features Editorial Syndicate

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • How-To Build the Perfect Playlist

      (Family Features)--Music can set the mood, no matter the occasion. Whether you're playing jazz classics to give your dinner party a sophisticated ambience or blasting the latest dance-pop tracks for motivation on the treadmill, music is able to provide the soundtrack to different aspects of people's lives.

      These days, playlists are one of the most convenient ways to organize music, and there's no limit to the number of playlists you can create. It can also be surprisingly simple to make the perfect playlist to match your music needs. These tips can help you on your way:

      Tailor the Playlist to Your Audience

      Crafting your playlist based on who you're playing it for, like guests at a house party or family barbecue, can help you select the proper vibe, tempo, length and theme. The goal should always be to include songs the majority of your guests will enjoy. Just keep in mind that if you're relying on a single playlist for an occasion, you'll want to ensure that it's long enough to last until the end of the party. A good rule of thumb is at least 30-40 tracks.

      Make It Personal

      Because different genres and styles of music are available in abundance, your songs and playlists can reflect who you are and the way you feel. A music streaming service allows listeners to build personal playlists as well as listen to expert-curated playlists on-demand using its free mobile app.

      When taking advantage of those custom features, be sure to clearly identify your lists with ultra-personal names. For example, instead of naming a list "Summer 2018," go for something like "Favorite Poolside Beats 2018."

      Mix It Up

      Keep people interested with a wide variety of slow and fast, new and classic, and various musical styles. Don't be afraid to combine genres or decades. This ensures you strike chords among listeners of various ages and backgrounds. When in doubt, add classic crowd-pleasers and chart-topping hits of today.

      Update Often

      If you're creating a playlist that you plan to keep going back to, like a workout playlist, keep in mind you can update it whenever you like to keep it fresh. Switching out songs from time to time can make the listening experience more enjoyable.

      Collaborate with Others

      Allowing friends or guests to have access to your playlist and make their own additions ensures that everyone's music tastes are represented. Another plus: it's a fun way to discover hot new tracks and artists your friends and family are listening to.

      Find Inspiration

      If you're short on time or just looking for some new ideas, check out pre-existing playlists that are already curated for your occasion. For example, on Spotify you can find options like "Afternoon Acoustic" for relaxing or "Songs to Sing in the Car" for a long road trip to the beach with friends.

      Music is both universal and personal, so let your playlists tell a story about you. If you'll use the list for entertaining, sprinkle in some extra flavor with tracks that appeal to the broader group or specific guests, and just like that, you have a winning playlist for your next party.

      Source: Spotify

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Keep the Bugs at Bay...Safely

      As the warm weather descends upon us, so do the bugs, and from the mild annoyance of a mosquito bite to the more nefarious health issues associated with insects like ticks, protecting yourself from pests should be priority one as you enjoy the outdoors.

      Here are some common-sense safety reminders for using insect repellent, and some creative ways to stay bug-free.
      - When using an insect repellent, always read the entire label carefully before using, and follow all directions. This includes restrictions for use on children and the maximum number of applications allowed per day.
      - Keep in mind that insect repellents are proven to work against only the insects listed on the label.
      - Apply only a small amount of repellent on exposed skin or on top of clothing. (You don't need a lot for it to be effective.)
      - Never spray insect repellents directly into your face. Spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.
      - Keep all insect repellent containers out of reach and sight of children and pets and supervise the application of insect repellents on children. Avoid applying repellent to children's hands to reduce the chance of their getting repellent in their eyes and mouths.
      - If you are concerned that you might be sensitive to a product, apply the product to a small area of skin on your arm and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.

      If you’re looking for a chemical-free way to keep bugs away, try some of these natural repellants:
      - Put a dryer sheet in your pocket when hiking or at the lake.
      - Mix cinnamon in the kids’ sandbox.
      - Mix vanilla extract in a jar of water and add in some lemongrass, lavender or mint essential oil for a lovely smelling repellent at your outdoor gathering.
      - Switch to unscented toiletries. All those nice-smelling lotions, soaps and hair products are attractive to bugs. Consider using unscented varieties at least for peak insect season.
      - Wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes, in particular, are attracted to darker colors.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • ​5 Tips to Take Pets on Trips

      (Family Features)--If your next big excursion is on hold until you can make arrangements for your four-legged friend, a solution may be closer than you think. Pet-friendly accommodations can be easier to find than ever, making it possible to simply take your pet along for the ride.

      According to a survey by travel website Orbitz, almost one-third of pet parents say they skipped a trip to stay home with their pet. In fact, 40 percent of survey respondents said they would travel more often if they had convenient, affordable pet sitting or boarding.

      If you can't find someone to watch over your furry friend, or you just don't want to, rely on these tips to travel with your pet in tow.

      Opt for Travel by Car

      Although several airlines now offer pet-friendly fares, traveling by car is often less expensive and allows you to keep your pet with you at all times. That puts you in control of necessities like food and restroom breaks and lets you create a comfy resting place for your pet to snooze while on the road.

      Seek Pet-Friendly Destinations

      According to the survey, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Chicago and Houston top the United States for locations with the most pet-friendly hotels.

      Travel websites make it easy to find hotels that will happily accommodate your pet.  

      Consider Nearby Attractions

      Not only is a pet-friendly hotel a necessity, you'll also need to consider local attractions. A dog is likely to appreciate nearby parks and lakes for exercise and fresh air, but there may also be pet-friendly restaurants and venues in the city you choose to visit.

      Pay Attention to Reviews

      Fellow travelers have become one of the most valuable resources in contemporary travel. Their insight often helps set realistic expectations. Reading reviews and learning from others' experiences then adjusting your plans accordingly prior to your trip can help you plan a rewarding vacation for both you and your pet.

      Take Time to Call Ahead

      Even pet-friendly facilities have specific guidelines and expectations, so it's a good idea to call ahead to ensure everyone is on the same page. This also allows you to inquire about the availability of special amenities you may require, such as a litter box for a feline traveling companion.

      Source: Orbitz

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • What’s Your Neighborhood Vibe?

      We all know that what makes a home perfect goes way beyond four walls and a roof. In fact, according to a survey from Ally Home, the majority of respondents believe a neighborhood's vibe is a critical component of calling somewhere home.

      But picking a neighborhood involves more than pinpoints on a map or statistics such as median home price. It encompasses a look and feel, or vibe. According to survey results:

      - Almost nine in 10 Americans surveyed (88 percent) say the vibe of a neighborhood is important in deciding where to live, with half of those respondents (49 percent) saying it is very important.

      - Four in five U.S. adults (80 percent) say their neighborhood has to fit their personality. In fact, more than four in five (82 percent) say if they didn't like their neighborhood, they would consider moving.

      - Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents also said they would be willing to settle for a smaller house and/or pay a little more for a house in their perfect neighborhood.

      But what is America’s preferred neighborhood? Is it still the classic tree-lined street with white-picket fences? Not necessarily, says the survey:

      - More than one-third of Americans (36 percent) want that "Quiet and Quaint" life similar to the neighborhood depicted in the popular TV show "This Is Us": one with curb appeal, lots of friendly people, and no urgent need to lock the doors.

      - The rising participation of millennials in the home-buying market was reflected by nearly three in 10 (28 percent) survey respondents identifying with more of a "Modern Millennials" vibe: they prefer a neighborhood where they can walk to everything, with reasonably priced bars, restaurants, and coffee shops nearby.

      - Ample outdoor space is important to one-quarter of Americans (25 percent) who value being close to organic farms, farmers' markets and hiking trails, while 21 percent prefer a "Family Centric" neighborhood where families live in close proximity to one another and are close to schools and playgrounds.

      - Less important neighborhood characteristics included cultural attractions (15 percent of respondents); a tech-friendly neighborhood with good cell phone coverage and electric vehicle chargers (12 percent of respondents); or an upscale urban setting (9 percent of respondents).

      Does one of these neighborhoods sound ideal to you? Or maybe a place that combines features from each? Whatever your preference, when buying a home, make sure the neighborhood has a vibe that suits your lifestyle.

      Source: Ally Financial

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Buyers: Ck out our featured Properties

    • 26 INDIAN VALLEY LN TELFORD, PA 26 INDIAN VALLEY LN, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $315,000 
    • 2936 FUNKS RD HATFIELD, PA 2936 FUNKS RD, HATFIELD, PA Commercial for sale. $4,063 
    • 3031 RAINER RD CHESTER SPRINGS, PA 3031 RAINER RD, CHESTER SPRINGS, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $455,000 
    • 310 W WALNUT ST PERKASIE, PA 310 W WALNUT ST, PERKASIE, PA Single Family | Semi-Detached for sale. $234,900 
    • 271 HUNSBERGER LN HARLEYSVILLE, PA 271 HUNSBERGER LN, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $399,900 
    • 271 HUNSBERGER LN HARLEYSVILLE, PA 271 HUNSBERGER LN, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $399,900 
    • 111 ALLENTOWN RD SOUDERTON, PA 111 ALLENTOWN RD, SOUDERTON, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $239,900 
    • 111 ALLENTOWN RD SOUDERTON, PA 111 ALLENTOWN RD, SOUDERTON, PA Commercial for sale. $239,900 
    • 884 MAIN ST HARLEYSVILLE, PA 884 MAIN ST, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $339,900 
    • 305 MANOR RD HARLEYSVILLE, PA 305 MANOR RD, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $292,500 
    • 884 MAIN ST HARLEYSVILLE, PA 884 MAIN ST, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Commercial for sale. $339,900 
    • 3699 APPLEBUTTER RD FOUNTAINVILLE, PA 3699 APPLEBUTTER RD, FOUNTAINVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $280,000 Price reduced from $310,000 (-$30,000)
    • 515 SUMMIT LN RIEGELSVILLE, PA 515 SUMMIT LN, RIEGELSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $624,900 
    • 958 BETHLEHEM PIKE COLMAR, PA 958 BETHLEHEM PIKE, COLMAR, PA Commercial for sale. $298,900 
    • 160 W BROAD ST TELFORD, PA 160 W BROAD ST, TELFORD, PA Condo/Townhome | Townhouse/Row for sale. $185,000 
    • 3021 MAIN ST GREEN LANE, PA 3021 MAIN ST, GREEN LANE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $325,000 Price reduced from $329,999 (-$4,999)
    • 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 
    • 350 ALEXANDER DR TELFORD, PA 350 ALEXANDER DR, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $619,000 Price reduced from $659,000 (-$40,000)
    • 123 ACORN LN SELLERSVILLE, PA 123 ACORN LN, SELLERSVILLE, PA Mobile Home | Mobile for sale. $126,500 
  • Search the Mls for Houses for sale

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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

    • In this Edition: Long-Term Benefits of Homeownership

      Our lead story in this month’s Home Matters examines the long-term benefits associated with homeownership. Other topics covered this month include simple tips to keep your neighbors on your good side as you tackle home improvement projects and how to update your outdoor space. 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.



    • The Benefits of Homeownership

      June is National Homeownership Month, “a time to celebrate and promote the modern American Dream of owning a home,” says National Association of REALTORS® President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation REALTOR® from Columbia, Mo., and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. "Homeownership changes lives and enhances futures, and many Americans see it as one of their greatest hopes. These individuals are counting on the nation's 1.3 million REALTORS® to champion and protect homeownership and help make it more affordable, attainable and sustainable.”

      In addition to the obvious benefit of providing shelter, owning a home has a far-reaching ripple effect for owners and their families. Here are just some of the many long-term benefits of homeownership:

      • Owning a home is a secure long-term investment. While markets fluctuate over the short-term, provided you stay in your home for an extended period of time, it will most likely increase in value and yield a substantial return on your investment, making it one of the safest ways to invest your money.
      • You’re building equity. As the experts at discover.com explain, when you subtract the amount you owe on your home loan from the total value of your house, the amount left over is your home equity—the dollar value that actually belongs to you. You build equity by reducing the amount you owe on your loan with each monthly mortgage payment, and also as your home increases in value.
      • You benefit from tax deductions. Even though certain tax deductions were at risk during this year’s tax reform bill, homeowners still benefit come tax time. Talk to your accountant to find out exactly if and how the new tax laws might affect your deductions.
      • Aside from the financial benefits, homeownership has a wide range of positive effects on families. According to reports from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the children of homeowners tend to do better in school and are less involved in crime, as homes provide a stable environment for families. 
      With credit criteria loosening, and the recent roll-back of lending restrictions imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, there are many options to pursue homeownership. Talk to your local real estate expert about the best way to get on the path to owning a home.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • From Construction to Yard Work, How to Be a Good Neighbor

      Summer brings us out from inside to embark on a wide spectrum of projects, from those as simple as trimming the hedges to the more ambitious like replacing the roof. No matter what your plans are for home improvement over the next few months, be sure to take the neighbors into consideration and follow proper safety and etiquette practices, including the following:

      1. Provide advance notice. Neighbors will be much more understanding about the disruption of a big construction project if you provide advance notice, advises Josh Bowman on his blog for The Good Men Project. He suggests simply knocking on the door and letting neighbors know what you’ll be doing and what hours you’ll be working; doing so will instantly put them at ease.
      2. Don’t start too early or work too late. This is especially true on the weekends. While we’ve become accustomed to the drone of weed wackers and leaf blowers in the background of our Saturdays, no one wants to hear them at 7 a.m. or 8 p.m. Ditto for drills and skill saws. Make sure your projects take place during reasonable work hours.
      3. Clean up after yourself. In addition to noise, mess is the other factor that can really rub neighbors the wrong way. Whether it’s dirt and leaves from your landscaping project or debris from the deck you’re building, be sure to clean as you go, leaving things as tidy as possible at the end of each day.
      4. Don’t let things stall. Before you embark on a project, make sure you have the time and funding to see it through to completion in a reasonable timeframe. Nothing is worse than an unending display of Tyvek or caution tape in the neighborhood, so be sure to bring things to conclusion as quickly as possible.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • A Heat Wave Predicted for Summer Hiring

      If you or a loved one is on the hunt for a summer job, the prospects are high. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, 41 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, and one in four plan to pay them $15 per hour on average—double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Better yet, 88 percent of those employers expect to transition some summer hires into permanent roles, up a whopping 79 percent from last year.

      Who are employers targeting for their summer workforce? Seventy-three percent say they plan to recruit college students; 39 percent, high school students; and 26 percent, retirees. Additionally, 41 percent are looking to hire veterans for their summer positions.

      Meanwhile, salaries are on the rise, too. The majority of employers hiring this summer (87 percent) plan to pay $10 or more per hour on average, 56 percent expect to pay $12 or more per hour and 25 percent plan to pay $15 or more per hour— well beyond minimum wage.

      The survey also revealed the following in terms of the types of jobs available for summer employees:

      • Customer Service: 25 percent
      • IT: 25 percent
      • Office Support: 25 percent
      • Engineering: 18 percent
      • Manufacturing: 16 percent
      • Sales: 15 percent
      • Construction/Painting: 10 percent
      • Research: 10 percent
      • Banking: 9 percent

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Just One Change to Your Outdoor Space Can Make a Big Difference

      You may be looking around your yard or patio with lots of big ideas to spruce things up, but not enough time or dollars to make it all happen. But don’t get discouraged. Sometimes, one significant change can impact the entire look and feel of your entire outdoor space. Here are five one-off wonders to try:

      1. String lights. Buy several sets, get a ladder, enlist a partner, and map out a canopy of light that runs between trees and your roof. Just plug it in as the sun sets for instant atmosphere. Or, better yet, buy the solar variety and have the light show commence automatically.
      2. A water feature. Whether you purchase a fountain or have a landscaping expert create a mini waterfall, a water feature adds both a visual and sound feature to your outdoor space—an enticing focal point and soothing element for both you and your guests to enjoy.
      3. A fire pit. A fire pit also offers multiple benefits to your outdoor area: an attractive stone and lighting feature, and an instant social gathering spot. Fire pits also bring the added benefit of four-season functionality, which is as welcome on a summer night as it is after a snowfall.
      4. Cozy furniture. Outdoor furniture has risen to a whole new level, so if comfort is what you’re after, invest in an outdoor living room set where you can relax and entertain all summer long.
      5. A vegetable garden. If you’re overwhelmed by all the planting possibilities, but know you don’t have the time to properly maintain a variety of garden beds, plant a small vegetable garden and focus your efforts there. Plant a variety of veggies and herbs so you can harvest throughout the season.

      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.