Coldwell Banker Realty Corp Blog

First Time Buyer in Montgomery County? Consider Lansdale!

The notion of buying your first home may be a bit overwhelming - from getting approved for a mortgage, saving money for a down payment, thinking of the type of home you'd like - it’s a lot to take in! The first thing to do after you’ve decided with your mortgage broker about what you can afford is to decide where you want to be. If you’re leaving Philadelphia for the suburbs, a great place to consider is Lansdale. Right off the old R5 line (now Lansdale-Doylestown Septa line), it’s easily accessed by both public transportation and highways, including the Schulkyll, 474, 309 and numerous scenic back routes. It’s a great commuter town, or, alternatively, a great place to live AND work with places like Merck a short ride away. What seems to drive most first timers to Lansdale is affordable price point. With the average cost of a home in town being about $245,000, it’s roughly $50,000 beneath the national average. Smaller rowhomes in Lansdale Borough go be priced as low as $175,000 (although they are few and far between and disappear rather fast!)

One of the greatest things about Lansdale is the opportunity to play a part of the revitalization in town. There are some great spots to eat and hang out (think Starr alumni Justin Weathers’ Stove & Tap, Round Guys Brewery, Lansdale Tavern, Main Street Pizza and even a new coffee spot/underground music scene from Backyard Beans, aptly called The Underground, among others!) We have acres of green space and parks to get some fresh air and get some exercise. Lansdale Borough is even progressive enough to be in the beginning stages of a skatepark!

The charm of Lansdale Borough, especially the West Ward, won’t be lost on many. The 100+ year old brick homes vary in style but offer a solid structure and character you just don’t find many places. The renovations and remodels over their 100 years of life make every home different and exciting. You’ll be hard-pressed to find two alike! But if antique charm isn’t your forte, Lansdale still has something to offer. Townhomes are now being constructed currently across from the sought-after Cannon Square properties. And if you’re still looking for something a bit more urban with all of the benefits of living outside the city, look no farther than the Turbo Loft at Main Street and Valley Forge Roads!

Truly a town for all!

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The Lansdale area is such a great time for families in the autumn. Looking for local fall fests or fun October activities? We've compiled all of the happenings for you so you can make the most out of this busy time of year!
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Getting Started With Airbnb

Do you have some extra room in your home and want to make a bit of extra cash? Airbnb is a hot, new hotel alternative that anyone with a spare bedroom can take advantage of! Some investors are even setting their sights on Airbnb over rental properties. It can be quite a lucrative venture!

On average, renting out a private room in Lansdale, PA nets $193 a week! If you are going to be out of town, you can expect to take in about $270 a week. What a nice bit of extra money while you're on vacation!

First, you’ll need to sign up to be a host. It’s fairly self-explanatory and you’ll have to provide information, like your full name, email, address, etc. Airbnb does some preliminary screening of both guests and hosts. This provides a level of trust and comfort between both parties.

Second, you’ll need to personalize your listing. Add photos, let your guests know what you’ll be providing (basics like toilet paper, towels, sheets, etc are expected, but you can stand out a bit by providing coffee in the morning or a bottle of wine upon arrival!)

Airbnb takes a 3% service fee but handles all payments for you. You’ll have to sort out getting the keys and any relevant information to your guest, but Airbnb makes it as painless as possible!

If you’re looking for a bit of extra income and to meet some travelers, this may be the perfect opportunity for you!

Getting Your Home Ready in Fall for a Spring Sale

 
Although the temperatures may be starting to cool off, it’s never too early to think about what it takes to get your home ready to sell for next spring. To lighten the burden later down the line, consider tackling a few simple tasks this autumn!

Meet With a Reputable Realtor

A licensed expert is key in helping you target what is of importance in getting your home ready for sale. A real estate agent knows what buyers will hone in on and what tasks are best to not waste your time on. A good agent will be a part of the local MLS, be tech-savvy and know the local real estate market. Find someone now you have a rapport with because you’ll be spending a lot of time together when it comes time to list your home! At Coldwell Banker Realty Corp, we are experts in the local market and can guide you about what small upgrades make a big difference!

Consider Some Fall Planting

Nothing is more inviting than colorful blooms to greet potential buyers and fall is just the time to tackle that task! Head down to the local garden center, pick up some bulbs and get them in the ground! Potential buyers will be delighted to see cheerful daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and more!

Start to Declutter

Depersonalizing your home can be arduous but it’ll give buyers a positive view of your home if you can make it appeal to any and everyone! Pack away anything unnecessary now and you’ll thank yourself when the holidays roll around – less mess to clean up when the relatives come by!

Update Your Paint

No other upgrade is quite as quick and easy as a fresh coat of paint. Think of something on trend and neutral like a gray tone. You’ll see quite a difference and your home will look fabulous at holiday parties this year!

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Prosperity Mortgage Back to School Promo
Prosperity Mortgage is holding a “back to school” promotion for home buyers! For applications from today through the end of September, anyone that applies for a mortgage with our mortgage partner, Al Colacello to purchase a home will get a $1,000 lender credit towards their closing costs. Prosperity already offers a low rate/fee guarantee…now coupled with an additional $1,000 credit - this makes for an unbeatable combination! Please reach out with any questions!
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    Come join us in partnership with Salfid Rescue on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 9 am to 1 pm to find HOMES FOR DOGS! Coldwell Banker is holding a nationwide event this weekend to encourage people around the country to make their house a home. All that takes is a bit of love and sometimes it's the smallest things that add the most love! We hope you'll join us and consider helping a four-legged friend in need find their FURever home!
Things to Consider if Your Home Isn't Selling
 
So your home has been on the market for some time. You've had showings and maybe a few low offers, but nothing you'd consider. If your home has been on the market for 6 weeks or more without a bite, it may be time to think about what is putting buyers off.  
 
If you haven't done so before listing your home, it's time to depersonalize your home. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space, and too many personal items and photos can turn them off. Make sure the color scheme in your home is neutral, as well.
 
Try to also declutter your space. Buyers like clean, open spaces. Visual clutter can make buyers believe you don't have enough storage space. Debunk that by getting out the moving boxes and packing up what you don't need on a daily basis.
 
Freshen up your space! Smells can really have an effect on a buyer - both positive and negative! Don't allow buyers to associate a negative scent with your home! Open windows, invest in some subtle air fresheners or buy an essential oil diffuser you can leave running during showings. Scents like lavender, lemon and cinnamon all offer a refreshing, subtle smell.
 
Make showings easier. If you have any restrictions as to when your home can be viewed, you're potentially missing out on sales. Be as flexible as possible and allow buyers to see your home on their time.
 
Ask your agent about pricing. If you've exhausted all other options, it may be time to consider reducing the price of your home. Knocking the price down to the next price point may be all it takes to draw in new buyers and get your home sold! 
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North Penn School District Ranks #11 Overall in Pennsylvania!
 
According to a new study by Niche.com, North Penn School District Ranks #11 out of nearly 500 districts in the state of Pennsylvania. North Penn School District lies in Montgomery County, about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia. It is made up of the towns of Lansdale, North Wales and Hatfield. It's one of the larger districts in the state, comprising of 13 elementary schools (K - 6th), 3 middle schools (7th - 9th) and Northbridge Alternative School and North Penn High School for 10th - 12th grades.
 
Niche rated North Penn as having an A+ in academics, teachers, clubs & activities, college prep, health & safety and sports. It gave NPSD an A rating in administration, diversity and resources & facilities and an A- rating in food.
 
This comes on the heels of Penn Live ranking North Penn High School's sports program as 17th of the top 50 in the state!
 
Yet another reason why the North Penn area is such a fantastic place to live! 

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Restaurants to Try in North Wales
 
North Wales is a historic community in our area, first built as a summer retreat for wealthy residents of Philadelphia. Now, it's a thriving town comprising of both old homes and new, big and small. It's proximity to shopping, restaurants and businesses make it a fantastic place to live and visit!
 
With the plethora of new eateries opening in North Wales, we decided to highlight a few of the many great ones!
 
The Green Fork & Local Roots Market
This gem tucked into a beautiful, historic building on Main Street, this mostly brunch spot caters to all sorts of food preferences - vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and carnivore alike! Kids are always welcome and the prices are reasonable.
 
Alice Bakery & Confectionary
Another hot spot for those with dietary restrictions, Alice is just a few steps away from The Green Fork. From breads to coffee to pastries to chocolates, cakes and more - Alice is a treasure trove for both sweet and savory treats alike! 
 
Tex Mex Connection
A staple in North Wales since 1984, Tex Mex is well known for their infamous margaritas. Their menu is full of their fun spin on Mexican classics. From tiki parties in the summer to acoustic music nights, Tex Mex is the place to go for fun and fabulous food at a great price!
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Thinking Ahead: The Benefits of Selling Your Home in the Fall

When people think of selling a house, they usually think springtime - and for good reason! It’s the busiest time of the year for home sales and many parents want to move while the kids are out of school. But did you know that fall is the second busiest season in the real estate market?

Many people go on vacation in the summer so you won’t experience the same foot traffic as you would in the spring or fall. The heat can be a deterrent as well. By the fall, people are ready to be out and about again, instead of sitting by the pool or enjoying the air conditioning!

In the fall, kids are back in school. House hunting can be a lot easier without the little ones in tow! As a seller, it’s also much easier to keep your house tidy with your school-aged children out of the house all day.

Another great benefit is using the general “homey” feeling of fall to your benefit. Capitalize on the scents, smells and colors of the season to stage your home. Baskets of fall fruits, a pumpkin out front and anything cinnamon scented will bring an immediate cozy feeling to a room!

Lastly, you’ll be in your new home by the holidays! Your home will be sold and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you’ll be unpacked and decorated!

Get in touch with one of our agents today if you're considering selling and we'll let you know what you can do to prepare to list your home!

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Tips to Sell Your Home in the Summer
 
If you've heard one thing about selling a home, it's that spring is best, but there are advantages to selling in any season, especially summer! To get the most for your money, play up the parts of your home you enjoy most in summer.
 
1) Focus on your outdoor areas. Clean up the garden, plant some fresh flowers, trim the hedges. Make sure your the grass is always cut nicely! A well manicured lawn and garden will give potential buyers a good first impression. 
 
2) Make outdoor repairs. Fix those screens, paint your outdoor trim. Chances are buyers will be spending more time examining the exterior of your home in warm weather.
 
3) Don't skimp on air conditioning! Greet buyers with a cool, comfortable home. You want buyers to linger in your home and see all it's great qualities!
 
Advice about when the "best time" to sell is outdated (the desire or need to sell make strike a buyer at any time) and inventory is still very low in Montgomery County so don't put off selling your home!
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Market Trends: Montgomery County, May 2017

May sales were up 7.2% compared to last year and inventory increased 5.6% with 184 more listings for sale in Montgomery County. Despite the inventory increases in the last 3 months, inventory still remains well below previous years for May.
Although inventory increased during the month by 5.6% (184 listings), the number of homes for sale is 16.4% below the May 2016 level. The Months Supply of Inventory rose to 3.8 months, but is still a sellers' market in Montgomery County.
 
The median sold price in May was 10.2% ($26,250) higher than last May and is up for the year by 2.6%. 
 
May sales were 7.2% above the level last May and are up 5.4% year-to-date. In May, the Property Marketing Period declined from 27 days in May 2016 to 22 days this year. That means that half of all homes sold in May were on the market in 22 days or less. 
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New Giveaway Alert - Lansdale Beer Fest Tickets!
 
Back Home
Coldwell Banker Realty Corp is a staple in the Lansdale community and we love participating and sponsoring local events! To celebrate the kickstart of another great summer in Lansdale, we have decided to run a Facebook contest to giveaway two tickets to the event on Saturday, June 24th. Entering is simple - just head on over to our Facebook page (and give us a like!), share the post about our giveaway and tag a friend you'd like to bring along with you!
  
In addition to being a fun day of trying new beers with friends, Lansdale Beer Fest is a charity event, supporting those in need locally. To see just a few of the beneficiaries of the 2017 Lansdale Beer Fest, click here
 
Good luck to all those who enter - it's sure to be a fun day!
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Prosperity Mortgage - VA Home Loan Advantage
Coldwell Banker Realty Corp's mortgage partner, Prosperity Home Mortgage, has just unveiled an exciting new mortgage program for some of America's bravest - our vets! This exciting new VA Loan program offers some fantastic discounted services for veterans interested in buying a home with some much-needed savings. Prosperity Home Mortgage is offering to qualified VA Home Loan borrowers the following exclusive incentives:
  • No loan origination fee (up to $1,085 value) through Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC
  • $200 off settlement fees through any participating settlement services company
  • Complimentary appraisal (up to $450 value)
  • 10% discount off home inspection fee through US Inspect (Purchase only)
To take advantage of this great program, get in touch with us today!
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Community Spotlight: Montgomery Township!
 
Montgomery Township is a large suburb of Philadelphia, located in the North Penn School District. Homes either have a Lansdale (19446) or North Wales (19454) mailing address, but are distinct from the respective boroughs. Businesses located in the township are given the Montgomeryville zip code (18936). 
 
The average listing for homes in Montgomery Township has steadily increased since the beginning of 2017. As you can see, homes are now, on average, being listed for about $50,000 more than in January! If you're thinking of selling in Montgomery Township, now is the time!
 
Montgomery Township has a thriving entertainment and restaurant scene. Home to two movie theatres (AMC 309 Cinema 9 and Frank Theatre), dinner and a movie in the area is a snap! From chain restaurants (Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, TGI Friday's, Applebee's, Olive Garden, Bonefish Grill, Texas Roadhouse, etc) to more boutique dining experiences (Village Tavern, the Metropolitan, OOKA Japanese Sushi & Hibachi, DiNic's Roast Pork and more!) you won't be without a new place to eat in the area.
 
If you're more of an outdoorsy type, Montgomery Township has a lot to offer! If you're a dog lover, the Bark Park  is located conveniently off Welsh Road. If you're looking for a fun, free activity for the kids on a summer day, try the Splash Park at the Montgomery County Community & Recreation Center. While you're there, check out the fitness center, boasting low monthly rates and great classes! If you're just looking to take in some fresh air, there are plenty of options available. Check out of all the facilities available locally here.
 
Coldwell Banker Realty Corp is located conveniently in Lansdale and all of our agents are very familiar with all of Montgomery Township. If we can assist you in buying or selling a home in the area, please call us today at (215) 855-5600!
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Business is Booming in Lansdale!
 
Lansdale is a town in motion. Homes are selling quickly and people are eager to be part of the revitalization. Once a town that was generally overlooked or labeled as sleepy and boring, Lansdale is quickly becoming a hot destination with award-winning restaurants, breweries (Round Guys, Prism) and even a distillery (Boardroom Spirits). Lansdale has a lot to offer!
 Image result for lansdale pa
Arguably the hottest corner in Lansdale is at Main and Wood Streets, home of Stove & Tap, Round Guys Brewery and the brand new Backyard Beans (and don't forget The Underground, located below said coffee shop!) The closeness of these new businesses to homes in the borough makes these neighborhoods even more desirable! According to Bankrate.com, more and more home buyers (especially young, millennial first-time homebuyers) are looking for walkability when purchasing a home. A good location close to restaurants, shops and a thriving downtown are key components when selling a home to this demographic and Lansdale definitely ticks off those boxes!
 
If you walk down Main Street just a bit, you'll find the newly opened Scent & Sip, a charming fragrance lab (and don't forget - it's BYOB!) and Green Street Luxuries' new boutique location, just across the street.
 
Many residents were quite sad to see Corropolose close it's doors last year, but fear not - Amici Italian Market and Deli will be opening in the same location at the Pavilion on Broad Street in late June! And the best part? They'll be serving up Corropolese's signature tomato pies! 
 
There's no time better than now to be a part of this thriving community! 
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Simple Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell
 
  • Get Repair Estimates. If there are lingering issues you've never gotten around to fixing, take the time to get professionals in to give you estimated repair costs. This will help buyers be more prepared to know if they can afford to make the repairs on your home. Try to hunt down any warranties or manuals on your appliances, as well.
  • Make Minor Repairs. All repairs are not created equal and making small repairs like caulking, holes in screens, dripping faucets, etc. These sorts of things give the buyers reassurance that you've kept up with maintenance. 
  • Declutter! Clear your kitchen counters of anything you don't need. Pack away anything you don't need (you'll be packing it away soon, anyway!) Try to put at least a third of your furniture in storage to create more space. Put family photos and knickknacks away so buyers can visualize themselves in your home.
  • Do a Thorough Cleaning. A clean home gives the impression that your home is well cared for. Wash windows, open them to air out rooms, clean carpets and fixtures, wipe down baseboards and mop floors. Pay attention to details! If you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaning service. 
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Setting the Stage to Get Top Dollar for Your Home This Spring!


Selling your home in a hot market may be easy, but selling for top dollar is a whole other ballgame! So what can you do to improve your chances of a larger profit when selling? Besides a deep cleaning and decluttering, staging is the simplest, cheapest option.

Nine out of ten buyers search for a home online and a good visual presence online is extremely important. Start off by clearing off counters and shelves. A clean slate helps buyers visualize their own belongings in your home! If you’re feeling ambitious, a fresh, neutral coat of paint goes a long way.

A fresh set of eyes can really make all the difference in giving a room a new look. Recruit a friend to help change furniture placement to give your home a better flow.

Another quick and easy option – hire a stager! A stager is a professional who knows what works in a room visually and how to present a home in a way to attract the maximum value. On average, a staged home fetches 7-10% higher price than an unstaged home, so if you’re looking to maximize profit, staging may be worth your while!

Don’t neglect the front of your home, either! It’s the first thing buyers see! Go to your local nursery or garden center, find some brightly colored flowers and mulch, and freshen up your garden a bit. Curb appeal can make all the difference.

For a free market analysis of your home and tips on how to get the highest value, give me a call today and we’ll be happy to assist!

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 Community Spotlight - Ambler
 
The Philadelphia suburbs have no shortage of diversity. If it's a quiet cul-de-sac you crave, a new townhouse or a charming stone home right off Main Street, Ambler may just be the place for you!
 
Image result for ambler 
 
Ambler is a great town because it's a mix of homes - from construction type to price. The walkability of Main Street offers a strong sense of community and no lack of activities! Main Street and Butler  is home to a slew of restaurants, coffee shops, quaint retail spaces and bars. Locals and out-of-towners alike flock to places like Bridget's Steakhouse, Deterra Wine Bar, From the Boot, Fireside Bar and Grill, Forest and Main Brewing Company and Gypsy Blu just to name a few of the fabulous restaurants the town has to offer. Act II Playhouse is proud home to plays and live musicals and hold themselves to the highest of standards. And no need to drive out of town to see something on the big screen! That's right - Ambler has it's own movie theater, too!
Image result for ambler
If you have kids or are looking for green space, Ambler has plenty to offer. From parks to baseball fields - even a skatepark! Ambler has it all.
 
If you're commuting from Philadelphia, Ambler situated on the old R-5 line (now Lansdale-Doylestown) or hop on 309 and get to the city in a flash!
Image result for ambler
With homes in Ambler and Lower Gwynedd ranging from just over $100,000 to the multi-millions, there is something for everyone in Ambler! And our agents are equipped to guide you through the home buying and selling process. We know the town backwards and forwards and are confident we will find you exactly what you're looking for, whether it be in Ambler or anywhere else in the Philadelphia suburbs! 
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How Big a Mortgage Can You Really Afford? 

Whether you're a first-time home buyer, you've grown out of your current home or maybe you're looking to downsize after the kids have left home, you may be scratching your head and wondering just how much home you can afford. Home ownership should offer you a feeling of security, not leave you feeling destitute!

So why not just go by lenders guidelines and borrow what they deem appropriate? Well, a mortgage lender won't take into account your current and future financial goals. Do you plan to have children? You'll need to factor in childcare costs or maybe the loss of income of one spouse. Maybe you want to return to school eventually. All of these things must be considered!

Old rules generally said you can afford a house 2-3 times your income. So if you earned $100,000 annually, you'd be able to afford a $200,000 - $300,000 home. But what if you have $1,500 a month in car payments, student loan payments, credit card bills? The best way to break down those sort of expenses that are of utmost importance is to make a detailed budget. Factor in things like mortgage payment, homeowners insurance, taxes, HOA fees, utilities, etc.

Now, a huge part of how big of a monthly payment you'll have is how much of a down payment you can afford. The larger the down payment, the lower the monthly expense. Many lenders also require private mortgage insurance (PMI) on loans with less than 20% down. You also have to factor in what sort of market it is - if you wait around trying to save, you may end up paying more for a home.

Take into account your monthly debt. Most lenders play by the "43% rule." So using the $100,000 scenario above, we come to $43,000 in annual income. Divide that by 12 and we get $3,583. That means all bills, mortgage included, shouldn't exceed that number.

Use your monthly rent as a guideline. Tax benefits of home ownership allow you to spend about 1/3 more than your rent. So if you're currently spending about $1,500 a month on rent and you're not struggling to make ends meet, you should be able to comfortably afford about $2,000 a month on a mortgage payment.

What are Millennials Looking For in a Home?

We’re used to thinking of “home” as a universal concept, but the younger generation is turning that notion on it’s head a bit. Home-buying millennials typically fall into the 18-35 year old range and are known for being tech-savvy and knowing exactly what they want in a home. As a seller, it’s important to know what this generation is looking for, because it’s expected they’ll make up about HALF of the first time home buyers in 2017!

Many millennials are moving from renting in an urban environment but as they get older and start thinking about having a family, they prefer to leave the city for a suburban setting with easy access to public transport. This is good news for sellers in the suburban Philadelphia area – homes in Montgomery County are just a quick Septa ride away from the city!
 

Now, let’s think about what exactly these buyers are looking for. Since most are using almost all of their savings on a down payment, they want something move-in ready, generally. That’s not to say there aren’t millennials looking for fixer-uppers, but the majority don’t want to have to spend money they don’t have getting their home up to par! Things like updated kitchens, baths and hardwood are crucial. If your home is carpeted, be sure to specify if their is or isn’t hardwood underneath.
Staging is also a crucial element to attract these buyers. They want to be able to look at your home (and they’ll be looking online first – so it’s important to get your home ready to go viral!) and imagine what it’ll be like when they’re living there.
Something that’s fairly new in the real estate game is smart home technology. This is essential for young buyers. They want to be able to come inside and control the lights, the heat, even open the front door with their smart phones! This may seem a bit confusing or overwhelming, but fear not! Coldwell Banker, a leader in innovation, has you covered with our Smart Home Staging Kit. You can learn all about Smart Home technology there or contact one of us at Coldwell Banker Realty Corp. We can talk you through the ins and outs and get your home “millennial ready” painlessly!
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Preparing to Sell in the Social Media Age

Liking, sharing, commenting – the way homes are being marketed in 2017 is different than it was in the past and it’s important to know what buyers are looking for online before you put your home on the market. Even more important is picking an agent with the knowledge of how crucial your home’s digital presence is. You only get one shot with buyers to make a solid first impression online. Once your home is uploaded to the MLS, it’s syndicated to dozens of websites and (hopefully) shared again and again. Be prepared for your listing to go VIRAL!

Small things matter. Make sure your home looks ready to sell and not in the process of getting ready. You want to wow your buyers with polished photos and a home they can see themselves living in. So touch up the paint in the bathroom, clear out the clutter and make sure surfaces are cleaned off.

That being said, you can’t go wrong with going minimal. Counter tops should be free of appliances, papers, anything! Put it away for the photos (and the showings!). Buyers are easily distracted by all of the “extras.” A clean slate where a buyer can imagine his or her personal items can make all the difference.

It’s crucial to connect with an agent who understands the importance of marketing your home online. At Coldwell Banker Realty Corp, we understand the way to connect with buyers. We will use our web presence to get your home out there and implement the latest online tools to do so. To hear all about our digital marketing plans for your home, call us at (215) 855-5600!

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Feeling the Itch to Buy Your First Home?

Maybe spring fever has hit you. The temps are (slowly!) climbing, the poor tulips and bulbs are trying to peek through under the late-season snow we had last week and all you can think about is the warm weather and entertaining guests in a home of your own. But, where do you start?

STEP ONE

First things first, get your credit sorted. Most lenders require a credit score of 620 or above, so know your number. Check your credit history for any issues before contacting a mortgage broker. It’s free to check once a year!


STEP TWO
Save money! In all likelihood, a home purchase will be the biggest purchase you’ll make. You’ll need to factor in a down payment of some sort, closing costs, various inspections, etc when you’re buying, so keep that in mind.
STEP THREE
Find a mortgage broker you trust and figure out your budget. Tell him or her what you’re willing to spend and be prepared to delve into the nitty-gritty of your finances. But don’t fret – this is his or her job, so no need to be shy! Be prepared to fax or email a few recent pay stubs, 2 years of W-2s, 2 years of tax returns and a few recent bank statements.
STEP FOUR
This crucial step ties into step three. You’ll need a preapproval from your lender before you can get to the fun part – seeing homes with your agent! This letter states that your lender has received all of your documentation and is comfortable lending you the amount of money you’ll need to see aforementioned homes.

STEP FIVE
Decide where you want to live! Are you a city person or do you need a bit more space? If you’re moving to a new neighborhood, drive around! Check out street view. Get comfortable with the area.
STEP SIX
Find an agent you connect with at Coldwell Bank Realty Corp. No one knows the area like we do! Our team works together to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. You’ll be settled in your new home and have a new friend to invite over – your agent!
And fear not! The experienced agents in our office are happy to help guide you through the process and help you learn along the way. We understand the uncertainty that comes along with buying your first home and we’d love to be the ones to make the experience of finding the home you’ve always imagined a wonderful one!

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Spring Has Sprung!
 

As we embark on a new season, many wonder - is spring really the best time to sell your home? Conventional wisdom says so, but let's delve a little bit deeper.

 The drive to buy in the spring comes from warmer weather, more daylight, and the desire to get settled into a new home before the start of a new school year. All of this means more inventory on the market, and unlike other industries, more inventory in real estate means a higher price for the seller!

More homes on the market also equates to better comps. With more properties sold, an appraiser will better be able to value your home appropriately.

Another advantage to selling in the spring is curb appeal. Think of how welcoming your home looks with flowers in bud or your bulbs in bloom! The longer daylight hours also gives buyers more time to come out and see all of the beauty your home and garden has to offer this time of year!

With all of this being said, you may be thinking – more inventory, more curb appeal for all sellers? Buyers can be picky then, right? Well, the same holds true for sellers! A seller can be pickier and wait until just the right offer comes along with the influx of buyers during this peak season.

So if you’re on the fence about finally putting your home for sale, or if you’re in the market for a new home, get in touch and we can discuss what’s best for you.

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Tips to Downsizing With Less Hassle


People downsize their homes for various reasons. They could be empty nesters, whose children have all moved on to their own homes, seniors who are realizing a need for less space and maintenance or people moving from the suburbs into a city apartment where the space decreases drastically.

Regardless of what the reasoning may be for downsizing, one thing remains true in all of these situations; not only will you be downsizing your home but your possessions as well. People who have lived a majority of their lives in a home now must take the 20 plus years worth of pots, pans, dishes, holiday decorations, furniture etc. and decide what is essential to their new lifestyle and what is not. Parting with these items will in no way be easy but we’ve got some tips and tricks to make downsizing your life a little less of a hassle.

  1. Plan ahead: In most cases, this move will not be a surprise to anyone involved, so having a plan going into the moving process will provide some guidance. Make a list of things you either A) will not need or B) definitely want to bring with you. This is going to give you a starting point.
  2. Evaluate Your Soon-To-Be New Lifestyle: Think of a few questions, write them down even, to ask yourself before you begin to pack. Consider what your new home and new lifestyle will bring. Do you really need lawn decorations if you won’t have a lawn at your new place? Consider this and other factors when packing. You’ll want to do this before you make the move as to avoid clutter and over-crowding at your new home.
  3. Everything Should Have a Use or Purpose: All of the items you are selecting to bring should have a purpose in your new home. You should never bring something because “you might need it.” Chances are, if you’re not 100% positive you will use it or can’t remember the last time you used it, you won’t ever have a need for it. In regards to sentimental items, anything that holds an important memory to you or your family and/or pictures of your old home should be brought along.
  4. Keep Clutter Out: Manage your small space by using organizational bins, hangers etc. Try utilizing a certain space or item for more than one purpose.
  5. Quality Over Quantity: When downsizing, it’s unlikely you will be able to keep all of your furniture from your previous home. When deciding what to keep, or buy, think about what will be most functional in your new living space. Instead of keeping the giant coffee table, maybe find an end table with storage space underneath and a pullout stand to keep your drinks on. While the giant coffee table may have worked great in your last home, it may not be an easy fit or the best idea to have something that takes up so much space when it’s sole purpose is to hold drinks or serve as a place to put the Sunday paper.
  6. Don’t Throw Anything Away: Well then how are you supposed to get rid of all your unwanted stuff? Never throw away items that are in good use but you no longer have a need for. Yard sales, making donations or recycling unwanted items are a great way to downsize without feeling like you are simply “throwing something away.”
  7. Measure & Plan: Get measurements of each room in your new house. Draw out a rough sketch of each room on paper with dimensions in order to better visualize what will fit in terms of furniture, TV etc. This way, you won’t have to guess as to which items will fit and be surprised on the day of move-in when they don’t.
  8. Tackle the Job in Pieces: Trying to accomplish this huge task all at once will surely end in defeat. Instead, do it room by room for a few weeks leading up to your move. This will avoid you feeling overwhelmed on top of all the other feelings that come with moving.
  9. Get an Objective Opinion: If you’ve followed the steps above and are still finding yourself with a small pile of “Not Keep” and large pile of “Keep” then perhaps it’s time to get a second opinion. Bring in a friend or relative who will be able to provide some brutally honest truth when sorting through your things. They might have the “Oh please you’ll never use that” you’ve been looking for.
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Community Overview: Lansdale

 
Welcome to our Community Overview series!

When considering a move to a new area, it is often important to consider not just the home you will be purchasing but the town in which you will be living as well. Do you have kids? You may want the inside scoop on the school district or recreational programs offered. Consider yourself a foodie? It might be important to you to move into an area with a bustling restaurant culture. You won’t just be residing within the 4 walls of the new home you’re purchasing but you will also be moving, playing, walking and living in the community.

First up, we will touch on the Borough of Lansdale, the home base for our office. Selected as one of the “Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia,” Lansdale Borough is a part of Montgomery County, which is about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. With several SEPTA train stations nearby, commuting into the city for work or leisure is a breeze. Are you a sports fan? Grab an early train and head down to the sports stadiums located in South Philadelphia where all 4 of the city’s major sports teams play within walking distance from one another.

Schools:

If you have children then one of your main concerns is probably education and the schools your children could potentially be attending. Lansdale Borough falls within the North Penn School District boundaries. The North Penn School District is known for the academic achievement of its students and the knowledge demonstrated by its faculty. In 2012, North Penn was ranked 33 out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Times.The district also prides itself on the percentage of graduates each year. In 2011, the District saw a 96% graduation rate. North Penn School District has 13 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and one high school. To learn more about what the school district has to offer, visit the district website here.

Things to Do & See:

Montgomery County itself offers tons of things for people to see and do. There are numerous historical parks and museums, theaters, golf courses, the Philadelphia Zoo and a family fun center all within 30-40 minutes from Lansdale. Within the borough limits, you can find an abundant amount of activities. Throughout the year, Lansdale Borough hosts several events such as Lansdale Day, Founders Day, Oktoberfest, the Mardi Gras Parade and Farmers Market just to name a few. There are 21 parks in Lansdale for members of the community to walk, run, play with kids or your dog. Looking for ways to keep kids entertained? The Parks and Recreation department offer programs for kids ranging from Science Camp to T-Ball to Summer Camp.There are also several aquatic programs along with adult programs offered. The Lansdale YMCA is also another outlet for programs and activities. There truly is something for everyone to do in Lansdale.

For a complete list of all events click here

For a complete list of all Parks and Rec programs click here

Restaurants & Entertainment:

Lansdale is a bustling area full of flavor! If you love trying new things or you really enjoy a nice night of good company and even better food, you’re in the right place. There are an abundance of chain restaurants all across town for go-to meal such as Applebee’s and Margarita’s but if you want to dive deeper into the local spots you will not come up short handed. There is everything from Asian to Italian to European to Mom & Pop pizza shops and there is even a vegan restaurant. Check their calendars because there is a good chance of live music on the weekends as well. Planning a party? Check out Panico’s Grille or Smokerack BBQ & Grille for a variety of catering or banquet services. All of these options within minutes of your new home.

Lansdale Borough is a gem in Montgomery County, perfect for individuals and families alike. Our agents are ready and willing to help you find your next home sweet home!

Heading in the Right Direction: Steps for Cleaning Up Your Credit

 For homeowner hopefuls and first time home buyers, getting approved for a mortgage can seem like a daunting task. One reason for this potential looming cloud is an unimpressive credit score that a potential buyer feels is holding them back. Most buyers worry about the actual number of their credit score and what it means to mortgage companies. In reality, what buyers should be focused on is the direction of their credit score.

There are several ways to get your credit score going in the right direction and improving your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

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1) Apply for a credit card: For people who do not have one yet and are looking to build some sort of credit, a credit card is a great way to begin laying the foundation. However, use the credit card sparingly as to avoid over-spending. Perhaps designate certain purchases for the card like filling up your gas tank or buying groceries every week. Find a credit card with low or no interest and pay off a third of the bill over the course of three months. This will show lenders you are responsible and can handle covering payments over a period of time, as well as improving your credit score dramatically!

2) Pay your bills and pay them on time: It may seem obvious but perhaps you became insanely busy this month or it simply slipped your mind that your electric bill was due 5 days ago. Even being a few days late on a payment can send your credit score heading in the wrong direction. If you find yourself being overwhelmed by due dates, consider signing up for online bill-pay which allows you to set up automatic payment. This way, the funds simply come out of your account and there is no chance of a missed or late payment. If you are not a fan of paperless billing, that’s fine too. Consider getting yourself a calendar and marking down when payments are due or marking a few days in advance to ensure the payment gets in the mail on time.

3) Check Your Credit Score: You can’t fix something when you don’t know what is bringing you down. Make sure you are getting your report from a credible source to ensure it is correct. Once you have a chance to look it over, figure out what items on your report are affecting your score the most and set a goal to handle those areas first.

4) Clean Up Your Credit Score: Usually, old information is taken off your credit report after 7 years but there are some cases where you can request to have the information removed before the 7 years is up, if it’s damaging to your current credit. Be sure to look over your report carefully and report any differences between your records and those of your credit report.

With that being said, your credit score does play a role in your ability to be pre-approved for a mortgage or any other loan for that matter. However, if you are dissatisfied with your current score, you must learn what can be done to push that number in a positive direction. If you follow these simple steps, you will see your number start to change for the better. It may not shoot up 50 points right away but you are building a better foundation for your future credit, which your future self will thank you for!

 
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