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Spotlight on: Cape Cod Style Homes

Looking for a cozy, character-filled home?  Look no further than the Cape Cod! Originating in the New England town of the same name, Cape Cod homes are low, broad homes with steep roofs, a large chimney, and a classic design.  Many Cape Cods offer a bedroom or two on the main floor, and a smaller bedroom or two on the upper floor, although a variety of styles are available in the region.

As HGTV explains, “most of the Cape Cod homes you see today were built after World War II, when thousands of returning soldiers and their young families needed inexpensive housing. The Cape Cod style fit the bill, and it was used to build some of the first major housing developments.”

Typically a bit smaller in size than Colonials, Cape Cods are a nice alternative to ranch homes for those folks looking for an extra floor. Plus, they tend to be fairly affordable and located in more established neighborhoods with nice backyards.  We love them for their cozy character as well as the convenience and privacy afforded by the first floor master bedroom!

EveryHome’s Open Houses the Weekend of February 17-18th

Stop by EveryHome agent Jennifer Bryan’s newest listing this weekend! Located in the award-winning Owen J. Roberts School District, this 3200+ square foot home is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac and the big backyard overlooks a spring-fed pond.  517 Tiffany Lane, Spring City PA  – Saturday and Sunday, 1-3pm

EveryHome agent Jill Barbera’s latest Collegeville home for sale features 3500+ square feet of living space and one of the most incredible finished basements we’ve ever seen (complete with a home theater and gym!).  30 Brookside Rd, Collegeville PA – Sunday, 1-3pm


 

Mortgage Rates Crawl Higher Week of Feb 17th

The average 30-year fixed rate loan jumped 8 basis points this past week, and currently stands at 4.35% according to Bankrate.com.  Other popular home loan choices, including the 15-year fixed and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) also increased 2 and 7 basis points, respectively.

When shopping for home loans, it’s important to note that the advertised rates may or may not include additional fees and points.   Sometimes referred to as “discount points,” points are an upfront fee paid to the lender in exchange for a reduced mortgage rate.  When government mortgage giant Freddie Mac reports the nation’s average home loan rates, for example, they typically include points which can artificially deflate the rate.  As a result, it’s important to carefully consider the total costs required for your home loan, which a lender can provide for you on a Good Faith Estimate (GFE).

Home Design Trends of 2017

The newest take on the ever-popular white kitchen is butcher block countertops.  Warmer shades of the white-and-wood trend evokes a clean and modern country vibe, whereas darker gray butcher block can create a rustic, industrial theme.  And the best part? They’re some of the most affordable countertop options!

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Image via Inman News

Unique and creative bathroom vanities are making a comeback this year!  Instead of a pre-manufactured piece from your local home improvement store, homeowners are getting crafty by upcycling vanities and antique items into statement bathroom pieces.

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You may have heard that Pantone’s Color of the Year is “Greenery,”  a zesty citrus color making waves on the runways.  But for home design, many stagers are suggesting Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, a deep and sultry neutral hue that would be great on an accent wall or furniture.

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My Home’s Story with EveryHome Agent Carla Giordano

When EveryHome agent Carla Giordano purchased her most recent home, she actually wasn’t even a Realtor yet — in fact, she was using EveryHome’s co-founder, Katie Kennedy, as her buyer’s agent!  Carla enjoyed working with Katie and her team so much that she decided to get her real estate license and work for EveryHome, too!  Here’s her story of how she chose her home:

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Having two kids that were established in their elementary and junior high schools in Abington School District dictated where we started our home search. However, we weren’t sure what we were looking for. In hindsight, I feel like we looked at a million houses. When we first saw our house on the EveryHome website, I have to admit that I was not convinced. I did not think I wanted to live in a ranch style house. Katie Kennedy took us inside. As we looked past some obvious cosmetic issues, we realized how much space, light and charm it offered. I quickly became convinced and started visualizing our family living there. Katie and EveryHome helped us make that visualization a reality.

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It has been two years since we settled and we have made huge strides in making the house our home. We still have much to do, but it’s fun watching everything take shape. As I take my clients around to different houses, I try and help them see past the knick-knacks and existing décor to the real bones of the home and picture themselves there with their loved ones and their own style.

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The Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale in Greater Phila

Love is in the air!  We’ve scoured homes for sale across the Delaware Valley and found the three most romantic homes for sale — just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Be sure to take a look at their gorgeous photos, and give us a call at (215) 699-5555 if you’d like to see any person!

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Situated on 12 quiet acres among the rolling hills of Upper Bucks, this hidden Italian Villa home is perfect for those looking for a little privacy. You’ll feel as though you’ve been whisked away to Tuscany when you enter the formal living room and romantic master bedroom, filled with elegant and architecturally-rich details! 3265 New Hill Way – Offered for $1.125m

 

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

This elaborate manor home is one of the most historically significant properties in the region!  Built in 1756, this home was actually George Washington’s residence for a short time in 1778, and many of the original architectural details remain.  We love the gorgeous millwork, bay windows and exterior pillars – plus, it’s affordably priced at just $395,000!  224 Orchard Lane, East Norriton PA

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale Three Most Romantic Homes For Sale

Nestled into a hill alongside the Delaware River, this Central Bucks home offers some of the most gorgeous views in the region! Featuring four elegant balconies, you’ll be able to enjoy the home’s manicured gardens and scenic, flowing river from anywhere in the home.  4386 River Road – Offered for $985,000


 

Mortgage Rates Drop as Spring Selling Season Heats Up

Despite the heavy snow blanketing much of Delaware Valley, the busy real estate selling season is heating up.  Traditionally, the market picks up following Super Bowl weekend, and this year is no exception!  More and more new homes are hitting the market each day, and loan applications have increased due to borrowers buying new homes and refinancing their current one.

Selling Season

The most traditional loan for homebuyers, the 30-year fixed, decreased 6 basis points this week to 4.27 percent.  The 15-year fixed rate loan, a popular choice for homeowners refinancing, also fell to 3.49 percent from last week’s average of 3.53 percent.

Selling Season

Mortgage rates are typically reported in terms of national averages, and rates from our network lenders in Greater Philadelphia tend to reflect the same pattern.  It’s important to note, however, that rates can fluctuate significantly depending on the borrower’s credit score; buyers with credit scores under 700 may have to pay more in interest.

Selling Season


 

The Top 5 Factors that Impact How Quickly Your Home Sells

Homes are expected to sell quickly in 2017, as the demand for homes continues to outpace the number of listings on the market.  As a result, competition is expected to be fierce among buyers in most areas, but many homes are still taking 3 months or longer to find a buyer.   Here are a few things that could affect how quickly your home sells:

How Quickly Your Home Sells

1. Value.  This one is probably obvious – if your home is listed for a fair price, it’s much more likely to sell quickly.  In order to determine your home’s fair market value, be sure to consult your EveryHome agent’s Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and you may also wish to consider obtaining a third-party appraisal.

2. Price.  Generally speaking, the more expensive the home, the longer it takes to sell.  This is simply because there is a much bigger market for budget-friendly homes, whereas fewer people can afford pricier properties.  Homes above $500,000 tend to take an additional month or two to sell, and homes above $1,000,000 often take an additional 3-6 months.

How Quickly Your Home Sells

3. Neighborhood.  Suburbs that are closer to Philadelphia and located in strong school districts tend to sell more quickly, whereas more rural areas (including Berks County, eastern Chester County, and northern Montgomery and Bucks Counties) tend to take longer to sell.

4. Online presence.  Homes that are marketed well tend to have more showings and go under contract more quickly.  This includes things like clear, attractive photos, a well-written description, and visibility on top real estate websites (like EveryHome.com!)

How Quickly Your Home Sells

5. Condition.  Move-in ready homes tend to sell more quickly, as the majority of buyers prefer to avoid doing significant work to the home prior to moving in.  If you’re selling a fixer-upper or a home that otherwise needs to be updated, it may take an additional couple of months to sell.


 

Spotlight on: SpringFord Area School District

Did you know that The Washington Post named Springford “One of America’s Most Challenging High Schools” in 2015?  It’s true!  The prestigious award was given to the high school for the high participation rate in Advanced Placement (AP) courses among graduating seniors.

SpringFord

The award-winning district, which is located in western Montgomery County and northeastern Chester County, serves approximately 7700 students in Limerick and Upper Providence townships, as well as Royersford and Spring City boroughs.

SpringFord

SpringFord Area School District is a popular choice for families because it offers relatively affordable homes in a great public school system.  Plus, the suburban neighborhoods are quiet and friendly (plus many of homes have big backyards!) but offer the convenience of nearby shops, restaurants, and fitness studios.  Many single homes in the district cost between $250,000 and $450,000, although there are plenty of budget-friendly condos and townhomes for sale as well.

SpringFord

Interested in moving to the area?  We’d love to welcome you to the neighborhood!  Be sure to give us a call at (215) 699-5555 or shoot us an email at theoffice@everyhome.com to be introduced to a local, friendly, and no-pressure EveryHome agent


 

The Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Greater Philadelphia

Curious what a cool $25 million dollars will get you in Greater Philadelphia?  Be sure to check out these splurge-worthy local homes currently for sale:
maple hillmaple hill 3 maple hill 2

The Estate at Maple Hill is a stately stone mansion nestled in prestigious Gladwyne and boasting over 16,000 square feet.  But even if you win the lottery, be sure to note that the taxes on this 32+ acre property will set you back over $100,000 each year. 100 Maple Hill Rd – $25,900,000

walnut

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walnut2

Interested in the convenience of Center City, but crave the privacy of a tranquil suburb?  This premiere home in Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborhood offers incredible gardens (complete with a koi pond), as well as an ultra-luxe chef’s kitchen and mahogany wine cellar.  232 Walnut Street – $16,795,000

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Tucked away on a private 4 acre lot in the elite suburb of Villanova, this Normandy-style estate boasts marble floors, an 8-car garage, and quite possibly the most luxurious pool that we’ve ever seen!  733 N Spring Mill Rd – $17,500,000


 

Mortgage Rates Dip, Defying Expert Predictions

Mortgage rates slid down this past week, despite 94% of Bankrate.com’s industry leaders predicting that they would remain unchanged or increase. The average 30-year fixed rate loan currently stands at 4.04% nationwide, although it’s important to note that mortgage rates can change significantly depending on the borrower’s credit score, and whether or not they purchase points (points are fees paid to the lender upfront in exchange for a lower interest rate.)

Mortgage planning

The 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage also slid by 15 basis points to 3.19%.   While the most popular home loans for buyers decreased this week, the most popular loan for refinancing homeowners actually increased by 4 basis points to 3.22%.

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Interested in buying a home this spring?  We’d love to introduce you to a local, friendly real estate agent and loan officer.  Just give us a call at (215) 699-5555!


 

Recent Report: Home Values Continue to Climb

Good news for homeowners: November’s real estate market data was recently released by the S&P Case-Shiller Index and home prices climbed 5.6%.  That’s a slight increase from October’s gain of 5.5%.

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It’s important to note, however, that the biggest gains were made in the West (namely in Seattle, Portland, and Denver), while home prices in the Mid-Atlantic region grew moderately.  Still, home prices are rising faster than inflation and rising mortgage rates could squeeze out the vulnerable first-time homebuyer market in 2017.

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Economists point to a number of factors driving up the average home value.  Low rates of unemployment, an improving economy, and fierce competition among buyers are three of the biggest factors.  While mortgage rates remain relatively low from a historical perspective, they’ve jumped approximately 50 basis points (0.5%) since November, and industry experts predict that home price growth may stabilize in 2017 as a result.


 

How Much Do Tiny Homes Really Cost?

Tiny homes are having a big moment!  With their budget-friendly price tags, smaller carbon footprint, and cozy appeal, it’s no surprise that more and more home buyers are looking for tiny homes.  But how much can you expect to really spend?

Tiny Homes

First, it’s important to mention that “tiny homes” can be super diverse!  One of the most popular types are 150-500 square feet houses that are built on wheels, like a trailer.  Other small styles include “micro apartments” (typically found in major cities), and petite single-family homes, often around 700-900 square feet.  There’s no official square footage size for a home to be considered “tiny”, but they’re often under 1000 square feet.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes that are built on wheels can vary in price, but many models start around $20,000-$30,000.  The more custom and quaint styles (like the ones you see on the popular tv shows) often range from $60,000-$100,000.  If you’re interested in doing much of the work yourself, you may be able to build a simple tiny home for under $15,000 – although experts warn that this option may only be feasible for the experienced DIY-er!

Tiny Homes

While tiny apartments and single homes are typically eligible for a mortgage, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to secure a conventional home loan on a home built on wheels.  Some buyers have had luck with personal loans or even a car loan (this option also works for traditional mobile homes), but most tiny homeowners recommend saving up and paying cash if possible. For more information, visit thetinylife.com


 

This is Why Your Home’s Photos Are So Important

If you’re currently in the market to buy a new home, you probably know how important it for a listing to have clear, realistic, and well-lit photos.  After all, 98% of all buyers begin shopping for a home online and first impressions matter.  As one real estate agent said, picture appeal is the new curb appeal!”

listing photo4

Photos that are too dark, cluttered, or pixellated don’t give you a good sense of what the home is really like and they’re simply not attractive.  And while having nice photos might seem like common sense, we bet you’re bound to come across a few poor quality photos as you browse through homes today – even for high-priced homes!

If you’re listing your home this spring, here’s how you can ensure that your home is showcased beautifully online:

1. Choose a real estate agent with strong visual marketing or uses a professional photographer.  While not all agents will hire a pro to take photos, this tends to be the norm in the $800,000+ market.  If they’re not planning on hiring somebody, ask to see samples of their past listings to get a sense of the photo quality.  If you’re bound to working with a real estate agent who is a family member or close friend and you worry about their photos, be sure to speak up!  Consider asking them to work with a photographer, or team up with another agent who takes better photos.

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2. Help your agent by decluttering ahead of time.  How many times have you seen house photos with “stuff” strewn around the room? Whether it’s dishes in the sink, shopping bags in the corner, or kid’s toys scattered on the floor, it can be distracting to homebuyers and even suggest that the owners aren’t maintaining the home well.

3. Speak up!  If you don’t like the photos and don’t feel like they represent your home well, be sure to let your real estate agent know.  He or she wants you to be satisfied with the way your home is marketed, and they should have no problem editing them or retaking them to suit your preferences.

listing photo


 

The Nation’s Mortgage Rates Are Back on the Rise

The average mortgage rate jumped ten basis points during the week of the presidential inauguration, and prompted some lenders to speculate that rates will hit 5% by the summertime.  The current 30-year fixed rate home loan stands at 4.19% with an average of 0.4 points (points are fees paid to a lender that are equal to 1 percent of the loan amount).  A year ago, the same loan was just 3.79%.  The 15-year fixed rate mortgage also increased to 3.40%, up 6 basis points from the previous week.

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Bankrate.com’s popular Rate Trend Index predicts that rates will continue to rise in the following week.  Polling a panel of experts in the mortgage field, Bankrate found that half of all lenders believe that mortgages will become more expensive in the upcoming days, whereas only 8% believe they will fall (42% predict they will remain unchanged).

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EveryHome Realty is licensed by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission (license RB066839) and the New Jersey Real Estate Commission (license 0901599)