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Add Flair To Your Kitchen With These Pendant Lights

Check out these green pendant lights from IKEA. It’s only $14.99! Pendant lights are like earrings, they can add a little sparkle or personality to a room. And you don’t have to spend a ton of money to accomplish a ton of style!

Pendant Lights

Use these pictures as inspiration, and see for yourself. It’s good to be green!

Pendant Lights Pendant Lights Pendant Lights

This is a guest post by EveryHome agent Jennifer Kuznits.  Jen has been flipping homes for over 10 years, is a licensed Realtor and also a design consultant. 


 

What’s a Real Estate Agent’s Schedule Really Like?

If you are wondering whether or not becoming a real estate agent is right for you, you might be wondering whether or not you have enough time to sell homes, or what the hours tend to be.

As with many careers, the answer is that it really depends.  Here at EveryHome, we have agents who routinely work 40-50 hours per week, and we have agents who only work 5-10 hours per week or just in the summer.  We even have agents who take off from showing homes for months at a time, and that’s okay too!

Schedule

Ultimately, you really get to choose your own hours, and decide how many clients you’re comfortable working with at a time.  At EveryHome, we’re really lucky to have so many new clients from the website, and one major perk here is that the office here provides agents with these new clients.   As an EveryHome agent, you never have to waste your time and spend grueling hours cold calling or advertising just to get in front of homebuyers.

Schedule

All of this flexibility does come with one caveat, though, and that’s that when you’re actively working with clients, it’s really important to be accessible, and you’ll want to accommodate their schedule.  The majority of showings tend to be during early evening hours and weekends, so if you work a 9 to 5 schedule at another job, real estate might be a feasible second career.  There are also a good number of clients who like to see homes during business hours, sometimes during their lunch break, so having daytime flexibility is helpful, too.

In addition to showing homes, you’ll also be working closely with other real estate professionals, like lenders, title companies, home inspectors and attorneys – especially after a new client’s home is under contract.  Most of this communication occurs through phone calls and emails, but it can be time consuming and often occurs during regular business hours.

Schedule

Not every real estate agency is created equally, though, and at EveryHome, we’re lucky to have no mandatory meetings or floor time.  Many agencies have this mandatory floor time, meaning that an agent is required to sit at a desk in the office and wait to see if a new client will stop by. In fact, at EveryHome we don’t have floor time at all, because over 99% of homebuyers search for homes online, and contact an agent that way.  (PIC 7) And here at EveryHome, we have a lot of fun parties, informational meetings, and informal get-togethers, but attendance is never required, and you’re always welcome to bring your kids and family.

If you’re interested in an exciting career in real estate, or you’re at another agency and would love to learn about EveryHome, give EveryHome co-owner and co-founder Katie Kennedy a call at (215) 699 – 5555.


 

Mortgage Update: Offset Your Home Loan With Rental Income

Good news for homeowners who are underwater on their current home and unable to easily sell!  New conventional mortgage guidelines now allow borrowers to more easily rent (not sell) their current home and use the rental income to offset their new home loan.  Under these new rules, borrowers may count 75% of the rent from their current lease agreement as income, regardless of their level of equity in the home and experience as a landlord.

Rental Income
Image via Housingwire.com

In order to count this rental income, you simply need to have a signed lease agreement, first and last month’s rent checks, and a bank statement showing their deposit.

These new guidelines are expected to make home buying much easier for homeowners who are hoping to avoid a short sale because they owe more on their current home than it’s worth. Now, these borrowers may be more likely to qualify for a new loan without selling their first home.

Rental Income

Interested in learning more? Give EveryHome a call at (215) 699-5555 for a list of helpful, reputable lenders who would love to provide you with more individualized assistance.

Please note that only selected lending agencies may be offering this program. Conventional financing only.  Individual investors may not qualify. 


 

Should You Consider a 15 Year Home Loan?

The 30-year mortgage is currently the preferred type of home loan for the vast majority of buyers across the nation.  In fact, nearly 95% of EveryHome’s borrowing clients obtain a 30-year loan.  However, some financial advisors warn that 30-year loans aren’t in every buyer’s best interest, as they can lead to high levels of debt into the years of retirement.

15 Year Home Loan

In a recent article published by Forbes, respected industry financial expert Edward Pinto called for the discontinuation of the 30-year loan and stated that it “fails to build up wealth” and “mortgage debt should not be a burden as homeowners approach their 50s and 60s.”

Instead, the 15 year home loan may be a wiser alternative.  Of course, monthly payments are considerably higher on a 15 year home loan, which repels many buyers.  However, the amount of interest shrinks considerably (interest rates are well under 3%!) and buyers will enjoy free-and-clear ownership in half of the time.  

15 Year Home Loan

To determine if a 15-year loan is right for you and your family, be sure to check out EveryHome’s Closing Cost Calculator and adjust the loan length to 15 years.  For more individualized assistance, be sure to speak to your EveryHome agent and trusted lender.


 

The Revitalization of Norristown and Bridgeport

Did you know that Norristown and Bridgeport were recently named “Towns on the Brink” by Main Line Today? It’s true! The neighboring towns are poised to take off as popular places to live, and we’re excited to share with you a few of the recent revitalization projects.

revitalization

Separated by the Schuylkill River, Norristown and Bridgeport are located in Central Montgomery County, and near King of Prussia, Conshohocken, and Collegeville. Both enjoy rich histories as civic and industrial hubs, and Norristown has proudly served as the County Seat of Montgomery County since 1784!   Today, both towns are undergoing extensive revitalization efforts, including the addition of beautiful new homes, shops and eateries.

revitalization

Many of Norristown’s streets are lined with elegant and historic mansions once owned by local industry leaders. While some of these homes are beautifully maintained, others have fallen by the wayside and builders and developers are working hard hard to reclaim and renovate them. In fact, one of these communities, Arbor Mews, was recently awarded by the prestigious Urban Land Institute for their innovative transformation of these historic estates into affordable and attractive housing.

New construction is also thriving in Bridgeport Borough, and it’s becoming a popular spot for restaurants and bars. Taphouse 23 is a recent addition to Bridgeport, and is already becoming popular with a nice outdoor area and a great menu.  We’re also excited that Conshohocken Brewing Company is officially opening up a Bridgeport location, right along the Schuylkill River, and conveniently walkable across the bridge in Norristown.

revitalization

O’Neill Properties are also considering a major townhome and apartment community to be built overlooking the water. And if you’re in Bridgeport, be sure to stop by Franzone’s Pizza for a slice – it just might be the best we’ve ever had!

revitalization

Just across the bridge in Norristown, Five Saints Distilling is opening this spring along Main Street in the historic firehouse.  We’re looking forward to taking a tour and checking out the micro-distillery’s spirits!

Plus, Norristown and Bridgeport have a lot to offer aside from all of the renovations and new businesses.  We especially love the nearby parks and trails, including the flat and scenic Schuylkill River trail, as well as Norristown Farm Park. The Elmwood Zoo is also located in Norristown and offers tons of events for kids and adults year-round.

revitalization

Plus, homes in both towns are affordable – you can typically find a move-in ready townhome in Norristown Borough for around $100,000-150,000, and a move-in ready townhome in Bridgeport Borough for under $200,000!   Both are conveniently located near major roadways, including 76, 276, 476, and 202.

Be sure to watch EveryHome’s video on the exciting revitalization efforts, too! 


 

What You Can Buy for $ 300000 in Greater Philadelphia

Looking for a new home in the Philadelphia ‘burbs? Check out these seven great towns to get a snapshot of what you can expect with a nice budget of $ 300000 in Greater Philadelphia, and give us a call if you see a home you like!

300000 in greater philadelphia - $294,900
27 E Greenhill Rd, Broomall PA – $294,900

Broomall is a popular place to live in the heart of Delaware County.  Served by the award-winning Marple Newtown School District, this friendly town is conveniently located and just minutes from major shopping centers and eateries.  Here’s what you can expect: A nicely maintained 3-4 bedroom brick home with hardwood floors, one-car garage, and a quarter of an acre.  

300000 in greater philadelphia - $310,000
1116 Columbia Ave, Towamencin – $310,000

Towamencin Township (in between Lansdale and Harleysville) offers quiet streets, established neighborhoods, and the award-winning North Penn School District. Plus, Towamencin is just five or ten minutes Here’s what you can expect: A well-built 3-4 bedroom, 2 bath single-family home with a garage and nice backyard, but in need of a little aesthetic TLC

300000 in greater philadelphia - $299,900
266 Live Oak Dr, Quakertown PA – $299,900

Quakertown offers serene and semi-rural peaceful living in Upper Bucks.  While the quiet area is located nearby Lake Nockamixon and offers plenty of wooded privacy, it is also near plenty of things to do, including theaters, eateries, and shopping plazas.  Here’s what you can expect: A move-in ready newer Colonial with a sizable backyard, 3-4 bedrooms, and in a friendly, established neighborhood.

300000 in greater philadelphia - $299,900
122 W 7th St, Media PA – $299,900

Media is nestled in the heart of Delaware County, and is one of the most popular walkable neighborhoods in the region.  With award-winning restaurants, boutiques, and easy access to public transportation, it’s no surprise that so many people love Media.  Here’s what you can expect: A petite and charming 2 bedroom, 1 bath home in need of some updates and walkable to all that Media has to offer.

300000 in greater philadelphia
903 E Pleasant St, Wyndmoor PA – $298,999

Springfield Township, Montgomery County is home to the village of Wyndmoor, with quaint homes, pretty streets, and proximity to Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill. Here’s what you can expect: A charming and historic 4 bedroom Victorian home in need of some renovations, with a smaller backyard and walkability to parks, shops, and eateries.  

300000 in greater philadelphia - $302,000
855 W Chestnut Ct, Coatesville PA – $302,990

Coatesville is nestled in Chester County along Route 30.  With plenty of new construction, Coatesville is a growing community with easy access to Downingtown, West Chester, and Exton.  Here’s what you can expect: A stately new home with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, luxury features, 2 garages and a nice backyard.  

300000 in greater philadelphia
512 Central Avenue, Feasterville Trevose PA – $299,000

Feasterville Trevose is nestled in lower Bucks County and just a few minutes from everything! The popular town is on the border of Philadelphia’s Somerton section and near major employers.  Here’s what you can expect: A well-maintained but somewhat dated 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch or bilevel with hardwood floors, a garage and nice backyard. 


 

Three Ways to Celebrate Earth Day This Weekend

There’s no shortage of things to do in Greater Philadelphia, and Earth Day weekend is no exception!  Learn, volunteer, and honor Earth Day with one of these great local events.  Not able to make it out this weekend? Celebrate Earth Day in your own backyard with these three easy plants to grow right now!
Earth Day

Learn all about gardening at Morris Arboretum’s “Arbor Day Family Day” from 11:00am until 3:00pm on Saturday.  This event is free with garden admission (ranging from $9-17)

Earth Day

Upper Merion Township will be hosting an Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 23rd from 10:30am until 1:30pm.  The exciting event features local food vendors, “Make and Take activities” (last year they created bird feeders!), live demonstrations, kite flying, and more.  This event is free and open to the public.

Earth Day

Head to the Schuylkill River Trail this weekend, where Sly Fox Brewing Company is teaming up with the Schuylkill River Heritage Area for a weekend of fitness events, cleaning up the Pottstown section of the trail and a party.  The weekend of kayaking and running will end at St. Michael’s Field in Mont Clare for a celebration.  Be sure to register ahead of time — volunteers are still needed!


 

A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent: Jason Higley

Where should I begin? First, I would have to say that I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my family. I am a father to a great little girl and have had the pleasure of being a husband for almost 13 years. They help keep me focused on what I want to achieve. They always bring me full circle and keep me grounded when things seem to be spinning around like a hurricane. I have to thank them for allowing me the time to be able to do the things I love to do.

Jason Higley
Being a real estate agent is something that can draw you in and make you want to do more for people. The process of buying and/or selling real estate can be a trying time for first time buyers and sellers. My goal is to make it as seamless as possible for people to find the home of their dreams. Making clients comfortable and confident in my abilities is also a goal I strive to achieve.

So with all that being said, I will give you a day in the life of a real estate agent from my perspective. I hope that I can hit all the key points, but if there are still questions feel free to email or call me. I will answer any additional questions and address any concerns at that time.

Jason Higley
7:00am: Ring-Ring, the alarm goes off and already the little one is in the bed and wants to go downstairs for breakfast and get her day going. Ten more minutes would be great to have in bed. So my wife and I convince her that ten more minutes would be good for her (as we laugh inside to think that we just fooled our four year old to stay in bed).

7:30 – 9:00am: Now it’s off to the races, and time to make a few phone calls and emails. I spend this time returning messages to answer questions about current market availability. Are there any new properties that might align with the area and price range for my clients? This takes a lot of time, so this continues later in the day after working my other job as the assistant manager of The Landing restaurant in New Hope.

9:00am – 4:30pm: I have worked at The Landing for over 20 years and it really is my home away from home. I have met many friends through the restaurant, including Katie Kennedy, along with broker Paul Heck, who own EveryHome Realtors. Through this relationship I began my real estate career.

4:30 – 7:30pm: Time to hit the MLS once again to see what’s new and interesting out there for my clients. Some seek open land to build a home and some are looking to make a fresh start in a new area. Others choose to move to a better school district in hopes of giving their children a finer education. I set up target areas so when new properties are listed I can jump on them as soon as possible. Property in my area doesn’t stay on the market long. I try to schedule my showings during this time, but it really is based on the convenience of my clients.

Jason Higley

6:00-7:30pm: Multitasker might be my middle name because at the same time my wife and I try to straighten out the little ones schedule up for the week.  She’s a busy little girl with many activities, so we need to ensure they are all organized and easily managed. Then it’s dinner, bath time, and bedtime for my little one.

7:30-8:30pm: Once the house is quiet, I hit the computer, check out a few properties, make a call or two to keep clients apprised of current offers, new properties, or set up meetings for future closings. I review my schedule for the following day to alleviate any stress and off to spend time with my wife!

Jason Higley newest EveryHome agent
Constant and consistent communication is very important to me, both personally and professionally. It helps eliminate unneeded stress and confusion. Clients can depend on me to be a reliable and hard-working real estate agent that will work endlessly to help them find what they are looking for in a home.

I hope my narrative helps you understand what my life is like as a real estate agent with EveryHome. There is a great quote that I found. I feel it cuts to the heart of a buyer and/or seller interested in me helping them in the real estate process:

“There are ten things you need to know about Buying or selling a home.
1. Finding the phone buried in your sofa.

2. I’ll worry about the other Nine”


 

A Dining Room Makeover For Less Than $200!

We love nothing more than a home renovation project, especially when it’s affordable! A recent EveryHome client purchased a classic brick row home with tons of potential, and took the dining room from drab and dated to pretty and polished for under $200:

Dining Room

Dining Room

Oh, what freshly-painted walls can do!  We love the transformation made by this cool, calm gray shade (Lazy Gray by Shermin Williams) for a dramatic change without breaking the bank.  A gallon of interior paint typically costs between $30-35 at Home Depot.  Other trendy colors for 2016 include soft shades of lilac, bold aubergine, milky blues and neutrals paired with jewel tones.

Dining Room

Other easy upgrades include swapping out old light fixtures and upgrading to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), installing a gallery photo wall, and adding a new rug.  And of course, fresh flowers and a couple of houseplants top everything off (we especially love Trader Joe’s bountiful bouquets for just $4.99).

Dining Room

Plus, you can bring your hardwood floors back to life for under $100!  Staining is a relatively easy DIY project, and requires just a few inexpensive materials from Home Depot.  We recommend a top coat of glossy polyurethane for a gleaming, durable finish.


 

Three Easy Plants to Grow Right Now

It’s finally feeling like spring! With temperatures in the 70s and plenty of sunny days ahead, we’re finishing the plans for our garden and getting ready to plant our seedlings outdoors.  Here are three easy plants to grow right now:

three easy plants to grow right now

1. It’s time to plant those kale, spinach, and lettuce seedlings! These hardy, leafy greens prefer the cooler springtime weather, so be sure to pick up a few small plants at your local nursery within the next week or so.   They’re just a couple bucks each and you can throw a handful in your smoothie each day!  (Note: It’s a bit too late to start them from seed – usually it becomes too warm for them by June 15th or so)

three easy plants to grow right now

2. If you’re feeling ambitious and plan to start your garden from seeds, it’s time to get your tomato, cucumber, and onion seeds in Jiffy Pots! These plants will thrive in the most sunshine possible, and be sure to keep the seeds extra moist until they germinate.

three easy plants to grow right now

3.  No room for a garden and not enough sunshine? No problem! Consider an indoor herb garden packed with soft, leafy herbs like chives, peppermint, cilantro, oregano, and lemon balm.  They can handle more shade than most other herbs, but be sure to place partitions between them – some of these herbs (peppermint!!!) are known to spread and become invasive.


 

How To Buy a Home With No Money Down

Generally speaking, you’ll need to put down at least 3.5% when you purchase a home using an FHA loan.  If you’re obtaining a conventional loan, you’ll need at least 5%.  However, there are some creative ways to buy a home with no money down:

buy a home with no money down

The most common way to pay less (or nothing at all!) at the settlement table is to secure a seller’s assist.  A seller’s assist refers to the seller paying a portion of the buyer’s closing costs and is negotiated when the offer is presented.  In fact, more than half of EveryHome buyers use a seller’s assist!  If you’re interested in learning more, click here.

If you’re looking for a home in a semi-rural or rural suburb of Philadelphia, you may wish to consider a USDA loan.  These types of loans are subsidized by the Department of Agriculture and offer mortgages for 0% down! Be sure to check this website to determine if your area qualifies.  Much of northern Montgomery and Bucks counties are eligible, as well as western Chester County and Berks County.

buy a home with no money down

If you or your spouse is a United States military veteran, be sure to consider a Veteran Affairs (VA) loan. Available for just 0% down, they offer tremendous assistance to our veterans and active-duty service men and women. Plus, private mortgage insurance isn’t required.

buy a home with no money down

Plus, if you’re working with an EveryHome agent, you’ll be receiving “Cash @ Closing” — a portion of our commission that WE pay YOU at settlement!


 

List of Open Houses on Sunday, April 17th

Thankfully, the weather this weekend is expected to be beautiful! What better way to spend a 70 degree sunny day than driving around looking at different neighborhoods? Be sure to stop by one of EveryHome’s open houses on Sunday!

open houses on Sunday

35 Earl Drive, Pottstown PA – Sunday, 4/17 1-3pm

 

open houses on Sunday

701 E Philadelphia Ave, Boyertown PA – Sunday, 4/17 1-3pm

 

open houses on Sunday

217 Plymouth Court, Quakertown PA – Sunday, 4/17 1-3pm

 

open houses on Sunday

248 Washington Place, Telford PA – Sunday, 4/17 1-3pm

 

open houses on Sunday

144 Weedon Court, West Chester PA – Sunday, 4/17 1-3pm

 

open houses on Sunday

312 Francis Avenue, East Norriton PA – Sunday, 4/17 1-3pm


 

Three Things to Look For in a Starter Home

If you’re in the process of shopping for your first home, the options can become overwhelming! Whether you’re looking to buy a quaint condo in an up-and-coming area, a fixer-upper on a tree-lined street, or a dated Victorian with loads of potential, be sure to consider these three tips:

w broad

1. Focus on kitchens and bathrooms, but don’t worry about carpet and paint. Some homes are just plain ugly (yep – we said it!) and it’s likely due to stained, ratty carpet and yucky, gaudy paint or wallpaper.  Try your hardest to look past these easy-to-fix items, and focus instead on the stuff that’s expensive to fix, like kitchens and bathrooms.  While we try not to focus much on the appliances (these things are relatively affordable and you can upgrade after saving for a year or two), pay attention to the countertops, cabinets, and bathtub.  Not surprisingly, updated kitchens and bathrooms are the #1 thing that first time buyers look for in a home, according to Realtor Magazine!

kitchen2

2. Location! It’s no secret that you’ll need to compromise on a few things unless your budget is sky-high, but location isn’t the place to skimp. After all, this is one of the only aspects of your home that you can’t change!  While it’s unlikely your first home will be in an established neighborhood on the Main Line, you can likely afford a walkable neighborhood close to parks, restaurants and shops.

eh client

 

3. Check the roof and the HVAC system. Ask your EveryHome agent for a copy of the Seller’s Property Disclosure to determine the age of these big-ticket items, as they have a fairly predictable lifespan.  And of course, we always recommend obtaining a quality home inspection.  Concerned that they’re too old and could break down, but don’t have the cash to renovate? Consider a home warranty — they’re surprisingly affordable and offer excellent coverage.


 

Designer Bathroom Trends On A Budget

Go bold or go home! One of the hottest trends in tile right now are tiles that make a graphic statement! These tiles can make a huge impact when it comes to your kitchen or bathroom.

Bathroom

Like most things, they can be very costly, ranging in price from about $10.00/sq. ft. up to $100/sq ft. BUT you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make a bold statement or to stay right on trend! Check out these tiles:

Bathroom

You can find them at the Home Depot in Plymouth Meeting or Montgomeryville. And the price is right! $2.79/sq. ft.

Bathroom

Bathroom

In this case, I’ve used them for the master bathroom floor, in our latest flip project. This tile goes perfectly with the marble tile I selected for the feature wall in the shower. Marble tile can get expensive, but since I was able to save a ton of money on flooring, I was able to splurge elsewhere. Add a grey vanity with a white counter top and some cool rustic wood framed mirrors, and you’ve got a really expensive, custom looking bathroom, for a fraction of the price!

Bathroom

(Jennifer Kuznits is a licensed Everyhome realtor, stager, flipper, home renovation consultant)


 

Is That Home Really Available? Understanding Pending and Active-O

When a home is on the market and being advertised on websites, you may see that it’s listed as Pending or Active-O.

A pending home simply means that it is under contract and awaiting settlement.  As a result, it’s not available to any other buyers.

1141 Titan Street in Philadelphia is Pending Active-O
1141 Titan Street in Philadelphia is Pending

Active-O (sometimes known as Active With a Contingency) is a little trickier, though.  Most simply explained, Active-O means that the home is under contract with a buyer, but that there are contingencies in place that have not yet been met. Most often, these contingencies include home inspections and getting the home appraised.

While another prospective buyer may be allowed to tour the home, an Active-O home isn’t available for sale – and that’s where things can get sticky. The seller is already in a binding contract with a buyer, so they can’t accept any other offers. Plus, the vast majority of homes that go under contract do end up making it to the settlement table, which makes it unlikely that the home will ever be back on the market.

Active-O

At EveryHome, we’re pretty weary of using this “Active-O” status, because we feel like it’s a bait and switch tactic. After all, if we were buyers, we would be heartbroken if we kept finding great homes online that we can’t even buy!

If you find a local home that may be listed for sale on another real estate website but it’s not on EveryHome.com, it’s pretty likely that this Active-O status is in the reason.  At EveryHome, we update our website every single morning to ensure that you receive the most accurate information, and we only list homes that are truly available for sale.

bg-logo Active-O

If you have any questions about a home’s status, be sure to give us a call at (215) 699-5555 or shoot us an email at theoffice@everyhome.com


 

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© EveryHome Realty . 1741 Valley Forge Road . Worcester, PA  19490  215-699-5555
EveryHome Realty is licensed by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission (license RB066839) and the New Jersey Real Estate Commission (license 0901599)