Want to Restore An Older Home?
A labor of love! Chris and Tiffany of Northampton, PA were the perfect couple to restore an older home nestled next to the tranquil creek and 170-year-old Kreidersville Covered Bridge in Northampton PA. The charming home deserved special attention, and Chris and Tiffany provided just the TLC it deserved.
Chris is a talented and detail-oriented woodworker and Tiffany is a creative DIY-er with vision! The newlyweds spent a couple of years restoring the home to perfection. Just two months after they moved in, Chris & Tiffany got married in their beautiful backyard and hosted their reception at the covered bridge.
Perhaps the largest project was the kitchen. Chris crafted all of the cabinetry and wood work over eight long months. The finished kitchen is incredible — and they won a well-deserved award, prize and front cover on the Wood-Mizer magazine!
Congratulations, Chris & Tiffany! Image via www.woodmizer.com
A front porch with a view! The swing overlooks the 170-year-old Kreidersville Covered Bridge and creek.
Home Inspections aren’t generally required, but we highly recommend them. It’s a responsible way to ensure that there are no major structural or systems defects that could really cost the new homeowner down the road. Upon receiving the home inspection report, the buyer has the option to negotiate with the seller on how any issues may be handled.
Home inspections are paid by the buyer and usually cost between $300-1000 dollars, depending on the size and type of home.
Learn a bit more about a home inspector in the area by checking out www.spotlighthi.com!
Typically, these home inspections are conducted within two weeks of a buyer’s offer being accepted by the seller. Sometimes the seller will help make some of the repairs found on the home inspections, although if a home is bank-owned it will often be sold “as-is”. “As-Is” homes won’t prevent you from conducting home inspections, but they will not make any repairs or compensate the buyer for any issues.
Perfect Outdoor Dining Improvements
We have to brag. One of EveryHome’s newest listings was featured on HGTV for their Top Twelve Outdoor Kitchens in the USA! (Check it out here and in the photo below)
Entryway to the Outdoor Kitchen at 31 Harrison Drive in Newtown Square
It provided us with the perfect amount of inspiration to get our own patios and outdoor dining areas summer-ready. If your budget allows for a full outdoor kitchen (lucky you!), be sure to check out the rest of HGTV’s swoon-worthy kitchens here! Otherwise, be sure to check out some of these more affordable and easy ideas for dining alfresco:
1. Brighten up with a few well-placed accent pillows. I’m especially obsessed with the ones from Pottery Barn this year. Actually, my fiance will tell you that I’m always obsessed with everything from Pottery Barn 🙂
2. If you have the space, consider a pretty canopy or pergola for shaded outdoor dining. They’re affordable at Lowe’s and make a great space for entertaining a few friends.
3. My favorite purchase last year was my fire pit. Perfect for roasting marshmallows with my nephew or just for feeling cozy on a Saturday night. I snagged mine for only $119, but prices range from $79-500.
4. If your outdoor dining furniture is looking a bit worn, be sure to replace it with quality furniture designed to last! We love Alfresco Home for their fresh and fashionable designs. And the best part? They’re local!
5. In addition to bright and fun dining ware (found at Home Goods, Pottery Barn, and Target), be sure to pick up a few accent pieces. I especially love the rustic-inspired lanterns and printed doormats.
Memorial Day Weekend Fun Near You!
As always, there are a ton of events in the Philadelphia area!
One of our favorite website for Philadelphia happenings, U Wish U Nu, offers a comprehensive list of festivals, fireworks, fairs and more in honor of Memorial Day Weekend. Check it out here!
Here’s a great guide to show you all the fun activities taking place in Philadelphia this Memorial Day Weekend! With events taking place from Thursday to Monday there is bound to be something for everyone!
And of course, be sure to check out our hometown blogs (links located on the right hand side of this page) for even more local events.
Happy Memorial Day, from the EveryHome team!
I Cant Find A Home to Buy!
In the past few months, we’ve heard this concern expressed by clients across the region. Many folks are interested in selling their current home, but they’re too afraid to put it on the market because they’re afraid that they cant find a home to buy in time. This fear is only complicated by the fact that we’re in a “Seller’s Market,” meaning that the nice, well-priced homes are selling very quickly and for top dollar.
While we understand that this can be a frustrating process, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first important thing is to remember is that you will need to sell your home by the time that you purchase a new one (unless your lender will allow you to hold two mortgages at once).
Because many nice homes are selling quickly and it is a competitive market, it is unlikely that many sellers will consider accepting an offer that is contingent upon your current home selling. For this reason, we are strongly encouraging our potential sellers to put their home on the market and require a longer settlement date (3 or 4 months, for example).
This will give you ample time to find a new home once their current home is under contract. And remember – even if a buyer is willing to pay a billion dollars for your current home, you are not obligated to sell it to them.
The good news is that inventory is climbing back up, and we expect to see more and more houses on the market in the coming months.
If you’d ever like to speak to a professional about your specific situation, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help!
Switching to A New School Districts With Kids
Making a big move can be stressful on the whole family, especially if you have school-aged children transitioning into a new school district. If you’re planning on making a big move, consider these helpful tips from the pros on how to make the switch as smooth as possible:
1. Sensitivity is important. Since children spend the majority of their day in school, this is a major change. In order to provide your kids adequate time to prepare, talk to your children as early as possible and listen to their fears and concerns. It’s natural for children to experience a “grieving” process.
2. Get them involved! Empowering your child to make choices about the new home and area is likely to get them excited about their new home. Ask your kids about any features they’d love in a new home (maybe a big backyard, a pool, room for a basketball hoop in the driveway), and consider taking them with you on tours of potential homes. You can also ask for input about the decor of their new bedroom. Click here for HGTV’s affordable kids room ideas!
Your Kids will love the freedom to decorate and design their new room! Keep your budget in check with HGTV’s affordable room ideas in the link above. Image via projectnursery.com
3. Plan a Goodbye Party. When it’s actually time to move, consider hosting a goodbye party for your children and their friends, neighbors, and nearby relatives. Make a scrapbook with photos, and be sure to have everyone’s address, phone number, and e-mail.
Keep in touch with guidance counselors. Be sure to contact both old and new guidance counselors as soon as you know that you’ll be moving, as it takes time to prepare and transfer all transcripts and records. If possible, consider asking the new guidance counselor to provide you and your child with a tour of the new school well in advance of moving. Guidance counselors may be able to help set up a few friendly students to sit with your child at lunch and introduce them to others.
Additionally, after the move, you may want to check up with your guidance counselor periodically to ensure a smooth transition.
Do Pets Make It Hard To Sell A Home?
Some of our clients are curious if their four-legged friends will make it tougher to sell their home. The answer isn’t super straight-forward, but we believe that many real estate articles overstate the issues and problems that pets may cause.
Typically, a well-behaved, house-trained pet will not affect your ability to sell. In fact, some dog lovers might enjoy seeing Fido playing in your beautiful fenced-in backyard while they tour your home.
We love our pets, and we know you do too! Here are just a few things to look out for when you’re getting ready to sell:
1. Funky odors. Whether or not we like to admit it, litter boxes can be stinky. Hiding the litter box in a bathroom or basement isn’t a bad idea, but remember that buyers will be walking through all parts of your home. The best bet is to thoroughly clean a litter box just moments before your home will be shown. While it might seem intuitive to spray Febreze in this room, it typically just masks the scent poorly and may make it worse.
2. Fido’s shedding can cause serious allergies. Be sure to thoroughly clean all carpets and regularly vacuum…especially during shedding season! Pet hair is not attractive to any buyer, and especially not to their allergies. Consider repainting any wood trim that might have been damaged, or touching up any flooring that might have been damaged.
3. If possible, take Rover for a walk during showings. This is especially true if your pup is known to bark or jump. Consider checking www.care.com for a dog walker in the area who you can call if you won’t be home.
How to Get Restoration Hardware Style for Less!
I love Restoration Hardware. I mean, I really love Restoration Hardware. The quality furniture chain evokes early 20th-century New York with sophisticated neutrals and rustic elegance…and I can’t get enough! While their galleries are the perfect place for inspiration, the price tag can be daunting if you don’t shop during a sale (which, unfortunately, is rare).
A few of our very favorite pieces from RH – on sale, of course!
We love LampsPlus.com for all of our lighting needs. Their chandeliers are particularly affordable AND great quality — we got the chandelier pictured below for under $250! Compared to RH’s average price of $800-2500, that’s quite a steal.
Have you heard of One Kings Lane? The flash sale site offers unique décor and furniture, including artisan and vintage pieces, for up to 70% off retail prices. Check it out here — they’re one daily email that you won’t want to miss!
For larger pieces, consider Ikea. While the popular furniture chain may not exude the elegance that you’re always looking for, keep in mind that added details can really make it stand out. Consider purchasing the furniture in various shades of white and grey, so that you can mix and match with unique accent pieces.
Don’t forget the details! Accent pieces can often be picked up from your neighborhood Home Goods. We scored the small arrangement below for under $15, and we especially love their kitchen items and candles. West Elm is another great store for accent pieces and kitchen items. While their prices aren’t typically quite as low as Home Goods, their quality is wonderful.
And of course, don’t forget to DIY! Check out your local thrift store (or Mom’s attic!) for an unused piece of furniture. A little sanding, elbow grease, and a can of paint can go a long way. Check out The Frugal Girl’s tips for DIYing here!
I especially love the idea of a bookcase painted ivory and filled with a bunch of old 25 cent books from the thrift store.
Why are Home for Sale on some Real Estate Websites, but not another?
|If you’re in the home hunting process and utilizing various real estate websites, you may have noticed that there are a few discrepancies between them. Here’s how it works, and how you can be sure that you’re getting the most up-to-date information:
|The multiple listing service (MLS) is typically the most accurate source of information, as real estate brokers and agents update their own listings directly. Generally, the general public does not have direct access to the MLS, so various companies extract the data and publish it on their own website. The frequency with which real estate websites update the data varies widely.
|The problem is that some real estate websites (such as Trulia and Zillow) rely on real estate agents to create accounts and update their sites with any price changes or information changes. If the real estate agent doesn’t directly update each site individually, the website may never reflect whether or not the home is actually for sale. And when the home sells, the website may still show the home for sale. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a lot of broken hearts for our clients looking for homes!
|So, how does EveryHome.com work? We pull data directly from the Multiple Listing Service, and we update every single day. If you see that a home is for sale on our website, you can be 99% sure that it’s still for sale and that the price is accurate (of course, the 1% is if the home was updated within a few hours). If you ever have a question about a specific home, shoot us an email or click our “Request More Info” button.
Celebrate Mothers Day
Celebrate Mothers Day in Philadelphia with plenty of events this weekend, and there is sure to be something for every Mom out there!
For all of the art-loving mothers, be sure to make reservations for Philadelphia’s own Mural Tour and Lunch! The two-hour tour will conclude with a three course prix-fixe dinner at Positano Coast. For information, click here!
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be back in the City of Brotherly Love to raise money for breast cancer research in an inspiring, supportive, and popular 5k run/walk! Check their website here for more information and details.
Pennswood Winery will be hosting a Mothers Day Weekend with live music, tasty food, and of course… wine! We especially love the yoga and wine pairing class on Sunday. Visit here for more details!
Writing Winning Offers!
It’s the busy season in real estate, and it’s not uncommon for multiple buyers to compete for the same home. While these multiple-offers can be great for the sellers, they can lead to “bidding wars” and quite a bit of stress for the potential buyers involved! Here’s how to beat out the competition if you’re shopping for a well-priced home in a popular neighborhood:
1. Get your financial ducks in a row. Before getting serious about any homes, be sure to secure a pre-approval letter from a qualified lender. You’ll need a pre-approval letter to submit any offers. Plus, getting pre-approved is easy—it just takes a few minutes over the phone. We know lots of great lenders, and we’re happy to refer you and stay with you every step of the way.
2. Don’t wait to see a home! Instead of waiting for the open house, be sure to check new listings every single day. (We make this easy for you on our “New Today” section!) If you’re working with an agent, he or she will scour the new listings every market, too. The best homes will often sell before an open house, so time is of the essence.
3. “Cash is king” can be true…but not always! Unfortunately, buyers that are getting a mortgage can be beat out by all-cash offers, but there are ways to edge your cash competition. Consider shortening the loan and appraisal contingencies, and have your home inspection immediately. While we understand that it’s not ideal, you might want to consider paying a little extra if you know you’re up against cash offers.
4. Be sure to work with a highly communicative and accessible agent. You’ll want to trust that he or she is in contact with the seller’s representative and that he or she knows what other offers (if any) are already on the table. Your agent will be guiding you through the whole process, and he or she should be experienced in the local market and help give you an edge in the competitive environment.
|Kitchen upgrades return their value better than nearly any other room in the home. Here’s how to get started:
Fresh, neutral colors at 1519 Conestoga Rd in Chester Springs, PA
|1. As always, a fresh coat of paint should be number one on the list. There is no easier way to dramatically change your home’s appearance…all for under $100! As long as your cabinets are in good condition, prime & paint ‘em! Current trends are pointing towards lighter, rustic color. If you’re selling, we highly encourage neutral tones (no bright colors, please!).
Beautiful tile countertops. Image via networx.com
|2. Let’s talk about countertops. Everyone loves granite and quartz, but for 1/10 of the price, you can get ceramic tile countertops in nearly any color. They’re pretty easy to install, too.
|3. We know hardwood and tile floors are popular, but we were floored (get it?!?) to see how far laminate flooring has come. Just Google Image search “Laminate flooring” and you’ll see what we mean! For as little as $1 per square foot, you can choose from a variety of beautiful styles that simulate hardwood. Bonus points? It resists wear way better and it’s easy to install.
|4. It’s the little things! Head to Home Goods and pick up a few budget-friendly accessories to provide a pop of color. Consider switching out any window treatments and dated fixtures (faucets, lighting, etc).So what are you waiting for? Get those kitchen upgrades started and wow everyone with your new renovations!