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Top 3 Reasons to Love A Mid-Century Ranch

Mid-century ranch homes are more popular than ever, and it’s no surprise why! Popularized in the 1950s and 1960s in California by architect Joseph Eichler, mid-century ranch homes are influenced by Scandinavian style and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.  These homes are often relatively affordable, tucked away in beautiful wooded areas, and feature stunning architecture.  Here are just three more reasons to consider a mid-century home:

Mid-Century Ranch
  1. Oversized windows. Mid-century ranch homes are known for their sprawling windows (often floor-to-ceiling!) which “bring the outdoors in” and allow for plenty of natural light.
  2. Chic, modern style. Furnishing a mid-century home is an opportunity to further cultivate your home’s unique aesthetic. We love incorporating Scandinavian accents from Ikea and West Elm.

    Mid-Century Ranch
    Image via Ikea
  3. Convenience.  Not only do mid-century homes offer easy one-floor living, but they’re also known for being exceptionally well-built.  The floor plans are typically spacious and feature an open-concept, with high ceilings, and modern kitchens.
Mid-Century Ranch

We’ve found some stunning mid-century homes for sale in Exton, Narberth, Phoenixville, and Meadowbrook. Interested in seeing one in person? Be sure to give us a call at (215) 699-5555!

Mid-Century Ranch


 

Easy & Fun DIY Chandelier with Stephanie Newcomb

Stephanie Newcomb is EveryHome’s expert of all things creative, so it’s no surprise that she managed to take an old chandelier from drab to fab in a couple of easy steps. If you don’t have one of these brass chandeliers in your basement or your parents’ attic, be sure to head to your local thrift store (we love Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore) to pick one up for $5.  Stephanie explains the rest:

Chandelier

Step One: Take the light down and place it on a sheet or tarp. Make sure painting is done outside due to fumes. I read other peoples’ tips to cover the light sockets with tap or something. Getting paint down in that space could prevent the light from working. Make sure you clean off all that dust and dirt. I used a wet papertowel. No need to use chemicals if you don’t need to {my theory anyway}.

Chandelier

Step Two: I purchased Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch (2x cover) Black Flat spray paint. I should have primed it but I forgot to get it at the store and honestly didn’t feel like going back. A chandelier doesn’t get touched a lot so I figured I was safe to perhaps put some extra coats on and call it a day!

Chandelier

We’re in love with Stephanie’s finished product! We think matte black is the perfect touch for a modern dining room with cool accents. What do you think?


 

No Tricks When You List With EveryHome!

If you’re thinking about selling your home this fall, you’ve likely been spooked by the fees charged by local real estate agencies — and we don’t blame you!  After all, who really wants to give up 6% of their hard-earned equity?  Well we have a treat for you: we offer full-service listings for just 4.5% when you list with EveryHome!

List With EveryHome

This gorgeous home SOLD in October 2015 in less than a week!

No tricks here! Our listing program is even sweeter than your pumpkin spice latte. When you list with EveryHome, you’ll receive every great service that other local agencies offer, PLUS we’ll film a professional video tour of your home to be featured on the front page of EveryHome.com. EveryHome also offers an “easy-out” listing contract, which allows you to cancel for any reason with just 7 days notice (because signing a contract for 6 months or a year is just frightening!).  We’ll even attend settlement on your behalf.

Learn more about selling with EveryHome here, and be sure to enter your email address and home address to get a free, no obligation Comparative Market Analysis to determine your home’s worth!


The Top Trends in New Home Construction

New home construction is hot, hot, hot! Builders across the country are reporting higher levels of home sales and we can expect to see even more new communities in the spring of 2016.  Here’s what we’ll likely see:

Brand new homes are actually getting (slightly) smaller. This one seems hard to believe, but the average new single-family home dropped about 10% from its peak in 2010 to the current size of 2,152 square feet. This is still quite a bit bigger than 1800 square feet, which is the average of all single-family homes for sale.  Experts believe that this small shift toward smaller spaces may be accounted for by an aging buying population, and a greater emphasis on eco-friendly cooling and heating costs.

It’s all about the bathrooms! Homes may not be getting much larger, but they’ll certainly be adding bathrooms. Builders are reporting adding more and more bathrooms in their new communities.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for a home to have as many full bathrooms as it has bedrooms! Greater privacy is the goal for many families. You can also expect to see more elegant, freestanding tubs — or no tubs at all!

-

Warm and cozy kitchens are the new trend.  Remember the ultra-chic, contemporary kitchen that was recently en vogue? They’re so 2013, according to the latest reports. Instead, builders are swapping clean, white cabinets and sleek fixtures for Shaker-style cabinets, and plenty of eating space for the whole family.  Warm colors are expected to rise once again in popularity, and the breakfast bar will be more prevalent than ever.


3 (More!) Home Selling Myths

Not only is Joe Santoro a successful EveryHome listing agent, but he’s also the founder and owner of Personal Property Managers! He was kind enough to chat with us about his top three home selling myths:

Open-House1

Myth #1: Sell your house on your own and save money. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It’s not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you’ll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It’s not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you’d get with an agent, but it’s not easy.

Myth #2: Hold out a little longer…the market will go up. In recent years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline during the economic downturn and now another period of increasing values. Most seller think that the market only goes up; who can predict when a correction will come? The recent recession should have reminded everyone that real estate prices can indeed fall, and fall a lot.

Myth #3: Definitely renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don’t want to redo something that has just been renovated. In many cases you are better off adjusting your price accordingly.  Additionally you may only get back 20 cents on the dollar if anything at all. Most buyers want to put their own spin on things.


Why We Love East Norriton, PA

Looking for an affordable new home in a friendly neighborhood? You’ll love East Norriton!

East Norriton

Map of East Norriton within Montgomery County

Nestled in the heart of Montgomery County, East Norriton is a vibrant community with plenty of restaurants, shops, and parks. We especially love Norristown Farm Park, which regularly hosts 5k run/walk events, and great community events!

The township is also an excellent spot for commuters, who love the easy access to the turnpike and 76. Plus, it’s just a few minutes from King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Norristown, and Blue Bell!

804 Pierce Rd in East Norriton, PA

804 Pierce Rd in East Norriton, PA

East Norriton real estate is relatively affordable, charming, and pretty! The majority of homes for sale are single-family homes between $150,000 and $300,000, although a variety of prices and styles are available. It’s also not uncommon to find beautifully-maintained single-family homes for closer to $500,000. Most homes in the township are located on quiet, tree-lined streets.

If you’re looking for a home in the area, be sure to give us a call at (215) 699-5555! We have knowledgeable and friendly agents serving central Montgomery County.


 

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Decrease Again!

Mortgage rates dipped down once again! The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage currently stands at 3.79% according to government mortgage giant Freddie Mac. This is a bit  lower than last week’s average of 3.82%.
freddie mac
Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, explains that the housing market continues to benefit from these continued low rates, with September sales beating expert predictions. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index registered a ten-year high in October!

julie-2B2

Additionally, the average 15-year mortgage (a popular choice for people refinancing) dipped down to 2.98% from 3.03% last week.


3 Things to Remember When Searching for a Home Online

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that over 90% of people begin their home search online. After all, you can check all the latest listings, browse through photos, and schedule a tour — all while in your pajamas and drinking a glass of wine! Here’s what to keep in mind:

steph

  1. If you’re on a website that offers search criteria, carefully consider the information you’re providing. It’s common for buyers to miss out on a lot of really great homes because their search criteria is too narrow. If you only search for homes priced up to your budget of $250,000, for example, you could be missing out on a home priced at $255,000 — which you could likely negotiate to well within your budget anyway.  Instead, we advocate browsing through all homes in your general location and price range to ensure that you’re not missing out on a great new place.  Everyhome.com is a great place to look for homes in this manner.
  2. Be skeptical of certain websites, as their information may be outdated. It’s not uncommon for Trulia & Zillow to be a week or two behind with the latest listings, and unfortunately it’s not uncommon for these sites to be a bit delayed.  But here’s the good news: some websites are really, really good about keeping information accurate and reliable. Everyhome.com updates with accurate information every single day, so you can be sure the home you love is actually available!
  3. When you see a home that interests you, be sure to schedule a tour at your earliest convenience.  We’re currently in a “seller’s market” and home buying remains competitive. The easiest way to schedule a tour is to click on the link alongside of every listing on EveryHome.com.  You’ll hear back from Katie or Emma within just a few hours, and you’ll be introduced to a friendly, local agent who can schedule a tour and answer any questions that you may have!

Julie & Bonnie's latest listing sold in just a couple of days!

Julie & Bonnie’s latest listing sold in just a couple of days!


 

Understanding Your Good Faith Deposit

When you submit an offer on a home, you’ll likely include a good faith deposit with the agreement of sale. This deposit is typically in the form of a personal check and often ranges from $500-$2,000 for homes under $300,000.  Pricier homes often require a bit more.  There is a lot of variability (and flexibility!) in this amount, so be sure to consult your EveryHome agent.

Good Faith Deposit

Kristin’s newest listing at 126 Milbob Dr in Ivyland

Most home buyers provide two good faith deposits: one with the offer, and one approximately 15 days later. This second deposit is typically provided after inspections are completed.  Additionally, this second deposit is usually larger than the first.

The check for the deposit is held by the seller’s real estate company in a non-interest bearing escrow account until the day of settlement. On the day of settlement, the total sum of your good faith deposits are subtracted from the amount you owe.

Good Faith Deposit

If you decide to not purchase the home after signing a contract and providing a deposit, you may or may not be eligible to receive your deposit back.  This depends largely on the contingencies that you signed, including the home inspection, appraisal, and wood infestation (termite) report.  If you choose to not purchase the home due to an issue with one of these elected contingencies, you’re likely to receive your deposit back.  Be sure to ask your EveryHome agent for more information.


 

Downsizing Your Home Easily and Painlessly

Looking to downsize or clean out your current home? Look no further!

Downsizing Your Home

EveryHome agents Joe & Nick Santoro are the proud owners of Personal Property Managers, a local company designed to help families, estates and homeowner’s transition and move from their current living environments. They offer a one-stop solution, for downsizing your home, home cleanout, de-cluttering, estate sales, full service Real Estate / home sales and moving services. Personal Property Managers currently serves Pennsylvania and New Jersey!

Learn more about Personal Property Managers here, and be sure to give Joe and Nick a call for a personalized, easy consultation about how they may best be of service.


 

Choosing an Agent:The Most Important Factors

The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2015 Home Buyer & Seller Generational Trends Report, and its chock full of interesting info and data.

choosing an agent

Here’s what homebuyers (ages 18 to 89) considered to be the three most important factors for choosing an agent:

  1. Agent is trustworthy and honest (we agree!)
  2. Reputation of agent
  3. Agent is a friend or family member

Curious about the least important factors? Less than 5 percent of homebuyers cared about their agent’s accessibility (via iPhone or tablet) and their association with a particular real estate broker. Only 1% of respondents cared about the agent’s professional designations and memberships.

Choosing an Agent

Buyers reported that the number one benefit of using an agent was to help the buyer understand the home buying process.  We were also glad to see that the vast majority of respondents said that they would use their agent again, and recommend him or her to family and friends!


 

The Top 4 Can’t-Miss Haunted Attractions

In the mood for something spooky this weekend? You’re in luck! The Philadelphia area is jam-packed with haunted houses, mazes, hayrides and more. Here are our favorite four:

haunted

  1. Spring Mountain transforms into Scream Mountain for the month of October! The Schwenksville ski area’s Haunted Hayride ($18) is one of the spookiest in Montgomery County, plus they offer a “Starter Haunted Hayride” ($10) for the younger set. And the best part? You can grab a beer from the on-site Brewsky’s Bar by the fire pit afterwards and enjoy live music.
  2.  Take a trip to Bates Motel in Glen Mills, PA for one of the scariest attractions in the nation. In fact, they were recently named the #1 haunted attraction by USA Today and Hauntworld Magazine! Be sure to grab tickets in advance, and if you’re going Sunday-Thursday, be sure to bring the $10 coupon found on their website.
  3. It wouldn’t be a list of haunted attractions without mentioning Terror Behind the Walls! The Philadelphia favorite has been spooking visitors in its real prison for decades. Our tip? Skip the line and pay the few extra bucks for Quick Pass tickets online — you won’t believe how crazy the line can get on the weekends.  Tickets range from $20-40.

haunted

4. For a horrifying corn maze, hayride, and haunted house, head to Sleepy Hollow  in Newtown (Bucks County). A bit more affordable than most of the other attractions, you can experience multiple events for a total of just $25. We can’t wait to check out “Field of Fright” — their spooky corn maze!

Looking for something local? Be sure to check out your neighborhood haunted house. They’re especially great for kids, and we’ve heard about them in Bridgeport, Tylersport, and you can find the nearest to you by clicking here.


 

Formal Dining Room: Don’t Call it a Comeback!

Think Millennials don’t care about having a formal dining area? Think again! More and more young buyers are requesting a separate dining area to entertain family and friends, despite industry experts who predicted that the formal dining room would become functionally obsolete.  In fact, you would probably be surprised to know that many buyers in their 20s and 30s would like a big backyard. Mid-century ranch style homes are often on their wish list, too!

Formal Dining Room

But don’t call it a comeback! Builders have been integrating these dining areas into spacious, open-concept kitchens for years, and we don’t expect that to change. EveryHome agent Jen Kuznits and her husband Tamir are expert home flippers and renovators in the area; just wait until you see how much entertaining space they included in this beautiful 4 bedroom home in Upper Dublin. Not only does it offer a separate, formal dining room (pictured above), they also have an expansive eat-in kitchen and kitchen island seating for up to 6!

Formal Dining Room

Formal Dining Room


 

Fewer Americans Are Delinquent on Their Mortgage

More and more Americans are paying their mortgage on time, according to credit-reporting agency TransUnion. In fact, mortgage delinquency dropped an astonishing 20% in the past year alone! Mortgage delinquency is defined as a borrower being more than 60 days past due on his or her payment.first-choice-loan1

This is the lowest mortgage delinquency rate that the nation has seen in several years. Approximately 2.7% of borrowers are behind on payments, as compared to 7% in 2010.

Additionally, mortgage originations increased nearly 40% since last year. This growth is largely attributed to low interest rates, making it easier for buyers to purchase and owners to refinance.

Read the full story here.


 

Should You Finish Your Basement?

We love finished basements, and it’s not uncommon for clients to question whether or not a basement is “finish-able.”  After all, this extra square footage can add a ton of living space and increase your home’s value (but please note that some finished basements count towards your home’s official square footage, and some do not. Ask your Realtor for details). While not all basements are created equal,  many have great potential.

Here are a few things to consider:

-Is it a walk out basement, or is any part of it above ground? Many township codes require egress windows for a finished basement.
-What are the basement’s moisture levels? Will it need to be dehumidified?
-If you have fuel-burning equipment in the basement, be sure to have a pro check the ventilation system. A carbon monoxide build-up could be dangerous.
-There is no such thing as too many back-ups when it comes to sump pumps! Carefully consider the home’s history of water issues before finishing a basement.
-Many codes call for 7′ or 7’6″ of headroom in the basement in order for it to be finished. Older homes tend to have basements with lower overhead, so be sure to consider your municipality’s code.
A great finished basement at 493 Millwrighter Way in Lansdale
A great finished basement at 493 Millwrighter Way in Lansdale

Your best bet is to meet with a reputable contractor to discuss options and compare prices. He or she will be an expert in understanding township requirements, ensuring that your basement meets all necessary standards, and pulling permits (when applicable).


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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)