Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Relocating to Philadelphia

Relocating to a new region, state, or city can be tough. As a child we moved 4 times to 4 different states. We made our way from St. Louis Missouri and ended in Royersford, Pennsylvania over a 20 year span.  Before the internet, I'm impressed how my parents made such a big decision with little research or knowledge. They did a great job though- each town was a wonderful place to grow up!

How do you choose where to live? Where do you begin?
Unlike the 70s, 80s and 90s when my parents moved us around, today we can do so much on the internet to learn about areas, schools and even utilize virtual maps to see certain things.

Here are some tips on how to begin:

First, figure out what's important to help narrow down areas. For example:
School Districts and/or specialty schools
How close (or far) do you want to be to shopping, grocery stores, parks, church, etc
Finalize your Price Point and annual Taxes. This will help narrow down towns you can/want afford

Second, talk to your new colleagues to get "real" opinions. Keep in mind, they are most likely bias opinions, but at least it can offer some advice!

Thirdly, do your online homework,
Here are some helpful websites to check out:
http://www.schooldigger.com/stateuserrankings.aspx
http://www.greatschools.org
http://www.realtor.com
http://www.walkscore.com
http://www.city-data.com/forum/

Check out township websites once you've narrowed those down. A lot of towns have Facebook pages too!

Lastly, do some leg work. Once you've determined a few towns, drive around, go to grocery stores, visit coffee shops, etc. This is the only way to get a good sense of the area. It takes time, but it's worth it.

Even with this accessible information, it's still essential to work with a Realtor. They will provide more details about what's happening in the area in terms of prices, parks, statistics, etc. They usually live and work throughout the area and can provide professional opinions and guidance.

If you know someone moving to the Philadelphia region, I can help! I have my NJ and PA real estate license which comes in handy when helping Philly work based individuals and families. Contact me today! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Get your Fall Cleaning Started

We all know what "Spring Cleaning" may entail, but what about "Fall Cleaning?" Every season you really should perform a deep clean inside and outside your home. It's a good way to purge junk too! Personally, in the colder months I work on cleaning and organizing my basement. There's not much to do outside, so I might has well work on the inside!

The colder months bring all sorts of things to a property; cobwebs, mice, frozen pipes, etc. Preparing in September will help you enjoy Fall so more much!

Inside:
Replace your window and door screens with storm windows.

Check for drafts and seal them up- replace weather stripping & caulk around doors and windows.

Clean out your pantry: Throw out spices and herbs more than 6 months old or no longer fragrent & stock up on staples such as flour and sugar.

Get your heating system checked & tuned up. Also, remember to change your filter (which I know you do every 1-2 months anyway!)

Outside:
Remove garden hose from outdoor faucets. Leaving them attached could cause water back up in pipes and potential freezing. 

Prune Plants at least 3 feet from your home and wires. This is so moisture won't drip onto roof or siding and prevent damage in high winds. 

Clean and store away patio furniture.

Check and clean out the gutters and downspouts.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Healthy End to the Spring Market

According to Realtor.com, for the first time in 3 years we had price appreciation and inventory increases. This is not only a national trend, it's a local trend in Philadelphia area too. I saw first hand the slow start to the year and then it pick up again once the snow melted!
Here's a snippet from the article:


Montgomery County had a 6.92% decrease in closed units as of July 2014 compared to same timeframe last year, but a 1.24% increase in sale price.
Philadelphia County had a 7.03% decreased in closed units so far, but a 4.49% increase in sale price.
Year to date sales are slightly lower than last year, but again a lot has to do with the slow start. July pending sales are higher than last July so I feel we'll end up similar to 2013.
Berks County had only a 2.22% decrease in closes units and 2.50% increase in sale  price. Personally, I've done more deals in Berks county this year than previous years so this makes sense to me!

This is all county data, we must narrow is down to towns for even more accurate information. Are you curious what's happening in your area, neighborhood or county? Email me and I would be happy to send you the stats.