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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 Know If Mold Has Made Its Way Into Your Home

      If you’ve been a victim of recent flooding or have a leakage problem in your home, you could be susceptible to mold. Here are some ways to tell if mold has infiltrated your home:

      A musty smell. If mold is hidden away in your house somewhere, a moldy smell might be your only clue. Don’t ignore the odor just because you can’t see the mold, as the problem may get worse.

      A patch of ‘dirt.’ You might mistake mold for soot or grime, so carefully inspect the ‘dirt.’ Even a small patch of mold should be handled right away before it spreads; or it could be a sign of a larger, hidden area of mold somewhere else.

      An odd discoloration. You might overlook a discolored area as something harmless when it's actually mold. Some mold can appear white and thread-like; other variations can be gray-brown or gray-green. Mold that grows behind wallpaper made of vinyl can even be orange, pink or purple.

      Chronic water issues. If you have recurring leakage problems in your home, there’s a good chance you have mold. So if you have water stains on walls, floors or ceilings, or bubbling, peeling or cracking paint, be sure to check for mold.

      Use a mold test kit to accurately check for mold or call in a professional if you’re unsure. Mold can cause a range of health issues from mild to serious, so be sure to treat it expediently.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Texas Travel: Go Exploring for These Hidden Travel Gems

      (Family Features)--Discovering a region's secret treasures is one of the greatest rewards of travel. When you embrace an adventurer's spirit, there's no telling just where you'll go. From an uncharted journey back in time to new ways to appreciate unconventional art, a vacation that celebrates the unexpected is an ideal way to uncover hidden travel gems.

      Though it can be tempting to schedule every moment of your trip, a better way to capture the most exceptional travel experiences is to leave ample time for exploration and see what delightful sights you can happen upon by chance. A destination like the Texas Panhandle Plains offers a wealth of opportunities for excitement and adventure.

      Great grapes: A growing movement of casual wine enthusiasts has wineries popping up all over the country. Regional variances in climate and soil make for some tasty twists on your favorite varieties, so take time to explore and sample the local wine scene. World-class quality wine can be found from coast to coast, and a winery is the perfect place to relax and unwind while taking in the ambiance of a vacation destination.

      History lesson: In a place like the Texas Panhandle Plains, history is as much a part of the landscape as the canyons and plains. Frontiersmen and settlers encountered the Comanche nation, which led to the rise of the Frontier Forts throughout the region. Later the area became home to a great part of the American ranching industry. For example, Frontier Texas!, the Texas Forts Trail, Fort Concho, The Texas Plains Trail and the National Ranching Heritage Center are a few places where history comes to life.

      Off the beaten path: You may be surprised by what you can find when you venture away from more populated areas. In state parks, you can take adventure into your own hands and get up close and personal with a destination's rugged natural beauty. The scenic outdoors are the perfect backdrop for you to marvel at the native wildlife, hike, ride horses or bikes, camp, geocache or take a scenic drive. Similarly, local parks or lakes might also offer opportunities for boating, fishing and swimming.

      Local legends: Visiting a city with ties to an internationally acclaimed celebrity is almost like entering the screen of a self-directed documentary. You can see where he or she lived and ate, and travel the same roads, marveling at the lifestyle and environment that shaped a bigger-than-life persona. In Lubbock, visitors can do all that and more at the Buddy Holly Center, which pays tribute to the uniquely interesting life of the iconic music legend.  

      Artistic license: Art can be enjoyed in many places far removed from a traditional gallery or museum. You can even find artistic displays in an empty field, including one located on Route 66 west of Amarillo: Cadillac Ranch was created in the 70s by a group of California hippies. Originally a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin, today the 10 vehicles protruding from the earth are scarcely recognizable as automobiles. The iconic attraction is ever-changing, as visitors add their own interpretations to this piece of public art.

      Source: Texas Tourism Board

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Swimming Pool Maintenance Errors--and Solutions

      Pool owners understand how delicate swimming pool maintenance can be, and even the most seasoned pool owners can have a misconception regarding pool maintenance. To help, LOOP-LOC has compiled 5 common swimming pool plunders many pool owners make, below, along with how to avoid and fix them.

      Letting a robot vacuum up algae is becoming a more common mistake as pool automation systems grow in popularity. However, these robotic vacuums are equipped with a mesh bag to push debris through, and when that debris includes algae, it clogs the bag and takes the algae gunk around your pool. Essentially, even though it seems like it's helping your algae issue, letting a robot vacuum it up really doesn't remove it at all.

      What to do instead: It's time to fish out your manual vacuum from the shed and put it to work to fully remove the algae out of your pool.

      Skipping a good pool scrub is not only inviting algae to spring up in the darkest corners of your pool and spread, but also letting your pool and its liner look dull and drab instead of sparkling clean. Many experienced pool owners become increasingly complacent when it comes to pool maintenance, but don't let the laziness talk you into deciding you can go another few weeks without brushing your pool.

      What to do instead: A thorough pool scrubbing will make your pool look brand new, along with keeping any unwanted invaders at bay.

      Shocking your pool in the daytime, while the sun is shining on your pool water. Shock works effectively to clean your pool of any chloramines and balances chlorine levels. However, shock is unstable, concentrated chlorine, and burns off at 1 ppm every hour it's under the sun. So, while you think getting your shock done in the day will free up the rest of your day, it's actually making your shock less effective.

      What to do instead: Clearly, the solution is obvious: shock your pool in the evening and let it work all night long for cleaner pool water.

      Pouring shock directly into your pool water is a common mistake made by new pool owners. Shock is a super concentrated chlorine, which is great for sanitizing your water, but chlorine is also a strong bleaching agent. Pouring shock directly in the water leaves your precious vinyl liner victim to bleach staining and deterioration. Besides not being a good look, the increased brittleness of the liner could possibly cause tears or leaks, two repairs you don't want to face mid-summer.

      What to do instead: Dissolve the shock in a bucket of water prior to putting it into your pool to protect your liner's integrity and beauty.

      Over-backwashing your pool may seem like you're just keeping things clean, but in reality, you could be doing more harm than good, on top of wasting money. Backwashing cleans the media inside your filter, but if there's little to clean, you could be reducing the life of your filter media.

      What to do instead: Keep an eye on your pool's pressure gauge; when it's 10 PSI over the normal pressure, proceed with the backwash.

      Source: LOOP-LOC

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Voice Command Craze Continues

      It’s no surprise. We're more in love with our smartphones than ever, with an estimated 270 million Americans viewing our mobile devices about 14 billion times per day. And according to Deloitte's U.S. edition of the "2018 Global Mobile Consumer Survey," smartphone penetration rose to 85 percent in 2018, up 3 percent from 2017, with the strongest growth among U.S. consumers aged 45 and over.

      According to the survey, we’re looking at our phone an average of 52 times a day...even though 39 percent of us say we would like to cut back. But turns out what we’re most interested in are voice-assisted technologies, the next big movement in the world of human-computer interaction.

      Here are some interesting findings to consider:

      - Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents have used the voice assistant on their smartphones, up 11 percent from last year.

      - Nearly half (46 percent) have used the voice assistant within the last week, if not in the last day.

      - Market penetration of voice-assisted speakers has nearly doubled over the past year (growing from 12 to 20 percent).

      - Sixty-nine (69) percent of respondents who own voice-assisted speakers report using their voice-assistance capabilities weekly, and 47 percent do so daily.

      Of course, as Americans demand and expect their mobile devices to do more, they’ll also want it done faster, so expect a rise in 5G-enabled devices. Consider the following survey results:

      - Overall, 60 percent of respondents indicated that 5G is either "fairly" (34 percent) or "very" (26 percent) important to them now, compared with 55 percent who felt that way a year ago.

      - That interest rose across all age groups over the past year—even among those aged 65 and over, who saw a 9 percent jump to 31 percent.

      - The perceived importance of 5G is highest among the 25 - 34 age group (77 percent believe it's either fairly or very important).

      - Interestingly, 29 percent of respondents said their current 4G/LTE network speed at home is either a little or much faster than their home WiFi, compared to 27 percent in 2017.

      Of course, if you’re among that growing percentage trying to reduce smartphone usage, there are ways to make it happen! Try leaving your phone in the kitchen when you go to bed at night or scheduling a phone-free outing once a week. .

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 3 Common New Parent Questions

      (Family Features)--Almost every new parent knows the feeling: It's 2 a.m., you're bleary-eyed and you want nothing more than everyone to get some sleep. However, you're up, and so is your new baby.

      Though most parents wish their little one could tell them what's keeping him or her awake, sometimes there's no clear answer.

      To help parents who are looking for answers to the questions that keep them awake, including those regarding poop, sleep and tummy time, the experts at KinderCare, who've been caring for new babies for almost 50 years, offer this advice.  

      1. Why is my baby's poop a weird color?

      Flashback to before your baby was born: You probably never imagined you'd be searching the internet for answers to questions about poop. Yet here you are, and many new parents know how you feel.

      When you have questions about poop, however, you may find there's an app for that. Many apps also track sleep, feeding, pumping, weight and more, making them useful tools to add to your new-baby starter kit.
      If you see a change in your baby's poop, track it. It might be no big deal, but it's easier to remember what happened a week or even a day ago when you have all the data right at your fingertips. Also remember, if you see anything out of the ordinary, it's worth a quick call to your doctor's on-call nurse hotline to make sure it's nothing to worry about.

      2. What's the big deal about tummy time?

      You've probably read how important tummy time is for developing your baby's muscles to get ready for all of the crawling, rolling, scooting, sitting and walking ahead. While your baby's back is still the safest place for him or her to sleep, awake and supervised tummy time is important, too.

      Tummy time doesn't have to be long to be effective. Talk to your doctor to see what's recommended for your baby. Though tummy time can be any time, you might be more successful right after a nap or diaper change when your baby is well-rested and comfortable.

      If your baby just won't take to tummy time, try making it fun with toys and make sure you're getting down on the floor to play, too!

      3. What if my baby just won't go to sleep?

      It's never easy to hear your baby cry, but Dr. Elizabeth Super, a pediatrician and children's sleep specialist with the pediatric sleep medicine program at Oregon Health & Science University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital, has some advice for sleep-deprived parents.

      According to Super, by around 6 months of age, many babies no longer need a middle-of-the-night feeding and are ready to start learning how to self-soothe. However, about 25 percent of 1-year-olds still have problems waking up in the middle of the night.

      "They should be sleeping through the night and can be doing it, but it's very common that they're not," Super says. "Know that lots of kids have sleep issues, and sleep issues will come and go as they grow."

      In other words, if your baby has trouble sleeping, you're not alone. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, and it's important to choose an approach that fits your family. That might mean adjusting your schedule to accommodate an earlier baby bedtime (Super recommends 7-8 p.m.) or coming up with a simple bedtime routine like taking a bath, brushing teeth, reading a book, and going to bed.

      Source: KinderCare

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



  • Buyers: Ck out our featured Properties

    • 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. $370,000 Price reduced from $399,900 (-$29,900)
    • 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. $328,000 
    • 701 E MAIN ST LANSDALE, PA 701 E MAIN ST, LANSDALE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $295,000 
    • 2048 MILL RD NORRISTOWN, PA 2048 MILL RD, NORRISTOWN, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $370,000 Price reduced from $399,900 (-$29,900)
    • 130 HAMPSHIRE DR CHALFONT, PA 130 HAMPSHIRE DR, CHALFONT, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $314,500 
    • 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. $295,000 Price reduced from $309,500 (-$14,500)
    • 623 FAIRWAY DR TELFORD, PA 623 FAIRWAY DR, TELFORD, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $599,000 Price reduced from $620,000 (-$21,000)
    • 2650 KRIEBEL RD HARLEYSVILLE, PA 2650 KRIEBEL RD, HARLEYSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $655,000 
    • 924 PINELAND RD BIRDSBORO, PA 924 PINELAND RD, BIRDSBORO, PA Lot/Land for sale. $579,000 
    • 924 PINELAND RD BIRDSBORO, PA 924 PINELAND RD, BIRDSBORO, PA Farm/Ranch | Detached for sale. $579,000 
    • 837 W MAIN ST LANSDALE, PA 837 W MAIN ST, LANSDALE, PA Commercial for sale. $1,950 
    • 357 N MAIN ST SOUDERTON, PA 357 N MAIN ST, SOUDERTON, PA Commercial for sale. $850,000 
    • 72 HALDEMAN RD SCHWENKSVILLE, PA 72 HALDEMAN RD, SCHWENKSVILLE, PA Single Family | Detached for sale. $599,900 
  • 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

    • Americans See Housing Market 'Cooling' but Becoming More Balanced

      Seventy-five percent of Americans believe their local housing market is "cooling off" following five consecutive quarters where most viewed it as “overheated,” according to the results of ValueInsured's Q4 2018 Modern Homebuyer Survey.

      In those states where homes are selling at a rapid-fire pace, 22 percent of residents in California, 19 percent in Colorado, 36 percent in Texas and 22 percent in Washington say their local market is not cooling; so keep in mind, the market may not be cooling in your particular area. As the saying goes, all real estate really is local.

      The fluctuations in market activity are most likely the reason why the ValueInsured Housing Confidence Index ticked down slightly, registering at 63 on a 100-point scale for all Americans in Q4, down 4.7 points in one year. Homeowners, historically the most confident segment on the Index, produced a score of 71.6 in Q4, the second-lowest level recorded in 30 months. These indexes, however, are still bullish overall when it comes to homeownership.

      As the market levels off and shifts a bit more to the buyer’s advantage, keep these tips in mind if you’re putting your home on the market:

      • Work with an experienced real estate agent who is skilled in local market knowledge, negotiating and marketing.
      • Make sure your home is exposed to the widest audience of prospective buyers online; ask your agent which listing sites they’re affiliated with and how your listing will be distributed.
      • Get creative with the presentation of your home, using videos, virtual tours, drone footage, social media, and more.
      • Bring in a professional home stager to make sure your home is shown in its best possible light. What you think looks good might not be the case with the general public.
      • Most importantly, follow your agent’s advice on how to price your home. In a buyer’s market, choosing a price that’s neither too high nor too low is essential to moving your home as quickly as possible at maximum profit.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • 5 Ways to Have a Safe and Sound Home This Winter

      While our home chores this time of year tend to focus on fertilizing the lawn for next spring and battening down the hatches for energy savings, we should also be thinking about safety, especially for the seniors in our lives. Here are five steps to take, courtesy of Consumer Reports, to make your home a safe haven in the winter months.

      1. Prepare for ice. Reduce the risk of falls by stocking up now on snow melt, and putting a plan in place for shoveling. If no one at home is healthy enough to take on the shoveling chore, set up a standing arrangement with a snow-removal service or a neighborhood teenager to automatically come to your home when bad weather hits.
      2. Service your heating system. Hypothermia can occur in older adults even when the temperature is between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so have your thermostat checked and furnace serviced to make sure they’re functioning properly.
      3. Inspect space heaters. While they can be necessary in case of a heating system failure, space heaters are also a fire hazard, so be sure to check the cords and test them in advance to make sure they’re in good working order.
      4. Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Put new batteries in and make sure there are enough units throughout the home.
      5. Be smart about generators. If you have a generator or are thinking about getting one, know how to use it. Never operate it in an enclosed space and make sure it’s at least 20 feet from your home, windows and doors, with the exhaust pointing away from your home.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Data Security Concerns on the Rise

      With an estimated 270 million Americans viewing their smartphones about 14 billion times per day, it’s no surprise that we’re getting more concerned about the safety of our data online.

      Consider these findings from Deloitte's U.S. edition of the 2018 Global Mobile Consumer Survey:

      • 85 percent of consumers have concerns about companies using, storing and sharing their personal data with third parties.
      • 85 percent of respondents now believe that companies with which they interact online use their personal data "all" or "most of" the time.
      • Consumers are 14 percent less likely this year to share their photos and address books with companies they interact with online, marking a substantial change in behavior from last year.
      • With regard to mobile in-store payments, only 31 percent of respondents indicated they have ever used their mobile device to make an in-store payment, and only 14 percent do so on a weekly basis. Security concerns (42 percent) and lack of perceived benefits (42 percent) were cited as main reasons by respondents. 
      To help protect yourself online:
      • Never store usernames and passwords.
      • Don’t use the same password across multiple sites.
      • Create passwords based on phrases that only you would know.
      • Avoid using WiFi in public places, such as shopping malls and airports.
      • Use double authentication as much as possible.
      • When shopping online, use a credit card as opposed to a bank card to avoid compromising a checking or savings account.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • DIY Tree Clean-Up? Think Again

      Has a storm come through and taken down branches or entire trees in your yard? You may think you’re able to whip out the chainsaw and take care of the clean-up yourself, but think again. Unless you have experience working with this equipment—potentially high off the ground at that—it might be wise to call in a professional.

      According to the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), there’s a wide range of hazards to look for when it comes to downed trees and branches:

      • Overhead and/or nearby electrical wires can create potential hazards and limit the options for tree cutting.
      • Torn, hanging limbs overhead could make it extremely dangerous to cut downed limbs underneath them.
      • Wood under tension (one or both ends of the fallen tree or branch pinned under other branches or debris) can have different types of binds at different places. Releasing that tension with chainsaw cuts is extremely dangerous and can seriously, or fatally, harm the chainsaw operator.
      • Uprooted root plates or root balls are unpredictable. Cutting the trunk of a fallen tree from an uprooted plate releases the pressure holding the root plate. The roots are still anchored and may have enough tension that they’ll pull the stump and root ball back into the hole. It could suddenly sit back into the root hole, trapping anything nearby underneath it.
      • Slope and uneven footing surfaces are dangerous while operating a chainsaw.
      • Cutting branches on the ground can cause you to bury the saw bar in the dirt or hit hidden obstacles, causing chainsaw kickback. 
      If you do decide to take on the task yourself, don’t go it alone. According to the TCIA, many homeowners injured doing their own tree work were working alone at the time, significantly lengthening emergency response time and hospital stays. Always have at least one other person work with you to call for help, if necessary. And remember, removing large fallen trees should always be done by an experienced professional.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.



    • Dealing With Small Businesses Online

      While you may be among the growing movement to boycott Black Friday, or are one of the many left cold by Cyber Monday, you may want to consider the charm of Small Business Saturday, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, that encourages shoppers to step back from the frenzy of massive franchises and e-commerce websites, and celebrate independent "Main Street" businesses.

      In 2017, 108 million shoppers spent nearly $13 billion at indie retailers on Small Business Saturday. According to a recent survey of 1,000 adult respondents, 40 percent said that smaller, independent businesses still offer the best customer service.

      And Small Business Saturday happens online, as well. However, for some shoppers, dealing with independent retailers on the web can be a hassle. Genesys offers some tips for getting better, faster customer service from small businesses online:

      1. Use different communication options. Contacting customer service isn't limited to a phone call. Instead, make use of other communication options like texting and web chat to interact with businesses. And, social media works, too. Simply log onto Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to connect with your favorite retailer.
      2. Embrace AI. Take advantage of recent strides in artificial intelligence (AI) by talking or messaging with a chatbot to access support and resolve routine issues efficiently. Today, chatbots are smarter and more capable than ever to help you quickly check order status, find product information or process a return.
      3. Skip the hold line. When trying to access customer service over the telephone, ask for a return call instead of waiting on hold. More and more contact centers are offering a 'callback' option—so take it!
      4. Honey, not vinegar. Embody the spirit of Small Business Saturday in your interactions with support agents and business owners. During the holiday season, customer service agents deal with hundreds of anxious consumers day-in and day-out. Have patience. If you can take a few deep breaths before unleashing your frustration, it’ll make the experience happier for both you and the agent.

      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.