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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).

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


 

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:
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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

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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


 

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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How to Determine Your Property Lines

There are a variety of reasons that homeowners need to know their exact property lines, including building a fence, adding a swimming pool, or simply being concerned that a neighbor is encroaching on their yard.  Regardless of the reason, there are a few steps that homeowners can take to determine the boundaries of their yard.

Property Lines

If you have your home’s deed handy, you’ll find a written legal description of your property’s location. Some are written in an easy-to-understand way that will assist you in determining your property lines, whereas others might require more in-depth knowledge and will need to be interpreted by a surveyor.

If you don’t have your deed or if it isn’t helpful, you can also check with your county’s recorder’s office for any public maps that include your neighborhood and street.  Many will show clear dimensions of your property lines, as well as helpful landmarks to determine the boundaries.

Property Lines

And of course, the most comprehensive way to determine your property lines is to consult a licensed land surveyor. A surveyor will be able to provide you with the exact boundaries of your yard and retrace your property line. Land surveys aren’t required in the state of Pennsylvania when buying or selling real estate, but they can be helpful, and some buyers opt to purchase them for additional protection.

The price for a survey can vary greatly depending on the size and characteristics of your property, but many homes in Greater Philadelphia will cost between $400 and $900.

Property Lines

If you’re interested in obtaining a land survey for your home, you can find a licensed surveyor on the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyor’s website, www.psls.org.


 

This is What $200,000 Will Buy You in the Phila Suburbs

This picturesque town of Kennett Square in southern Chester County offers plenty of modest, move-in ready two or three bedroom townhomes.  The majority of single homes start around $300,000, but occasionally a fixer-upper will hit the market for a more affordable price – and they tend to be a great value!  Pictured: 183 Cambridge Circle, Kennett Square

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183 Cambridge Cir, Kennett Sq PA
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183 Cambridge Cir, Kennett Sq PA

 

The bustling town of Drexel Hill in Delaware County was recently ranked the top suburb for young buyers in Greater Philadelphia.  Affordable, diverse, and easily accessible to Center City, you can expect to find plenty of quaint Tudor-style homes and Colonials (but note that the property taxes are high!).  Pictured: 828 Turner Ave, Drexel Hill

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828 Turner Ave, Drexel Hill PA
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828 Turner Ave, Drexel Hill PA

 

Glenside is located in the heart of Montgomery County, and offers plenty of nearby shops, restaurants, and parks.  For $200,000, you’ll find modest single homes on a quarter acre (and likely in need of updating), or a move-in ready 3 bedroom townhome.  Pictured: 240 Logan Ave, Glenside PA

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240 Logan Ave, Glenside PA
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240 Logan Ave, Glenside PA

 

Spotlight On: Central Bucks School District

One of the most popular school districts in the region, Central Bucks is a large, award-winning district serving nearly 20,000 students!  Central Bucks routinely scores in the top ten districts in the state for achievement-based test scores, and it’s powerhouse athletic program has even produced a number of professional athletes.

Central Bucks South High School
Central Bucks South High School

The district serves the Doylestown area and operates fifteen elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools (West, East, and South).

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Most of the homes in Central Bucks School District are priced at or above the Bucks County average.  The majority of single homes are priced between $500,000 and $800,000, although it’s not uncommon to find luxury estates valued over $2 million!  If you’re interested in living in a more affordable home in the district, you’ll be sure to find plenty of townhomes under $250,000, especially in the towns of Warrington, Warwick, and Chalfont.

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How Long Will it Take to Sell Your Home?

If you’re planning on selling your home in 2017, you might be wondering how long the process is expected to take. Currently, the average home across the nation is on the market for approximately 65 days before going under contract with a buyer, although this length of time can vary greatly!  In general, homes sell quickly in the spring and slower in the colder months.

In Greater Philadelphia, the average number of days on the market tends to be pretty similar to the national average, but with significant variation between neighborhoods.  If your home is located in a closer suburb and an award-winning school district (think Abington, Ardmore, or Media), it’s likely to sell quite a bit faster — especially if it’s moderately priced.  Homes located in more rural areas (including Barto, Plumsteadville, or Coatesville) tend to take a little bit longer.

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Additionally, homes that are particularly unique or expensive — especially over $800,000 — tend to take longer to sell.  In fact, homes valued over $2 million tend to take three or four months longer to find a buyer than the average property.

Of course, it takes more than finding a buyer and agreeing on a price.  Once your home is under contract, it takes approximately 45 days until it closes.  Buyers who are paying cash for the home tend to settle more quickly (often in just a couple weeks) whereas some buyers prefer not to settle for three months.  Either way, the buyer and seller must come to a mutual agreement when signing the Agreement of Sale.   And the good news? You’ll typically receive your proceeds on settlement day!


 

Mortgage Rates Tick Slightly Higher

Lenders across the nation reported a slight increase in mortgage rates on Monday, January 17th.  The average 30-year fixed rate loan jumped 4 basis points this week to 4.04%, while the average 15-year fixed rate loan climbed to 3.19%.  Following November’s election, mortgage rates surged nearly half of a percent higher, but appear to have stabilized in the last three weeks.

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Each week, Bankrate.com surveys loan officers across the country to determine whether they believe rates will rise, fall, or remain unchanged in the following week.  The majority of experts (54%) weighing in believed that rates will remain relatively stable in the upcoming week, whereas 18% believe they will increase and 27% expect for them to decrease.  The Rate Trend Index is a popular resource for borrowers to determine when to “lock in” their mortgage rate.

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Interested in learning more about loan options?  We’d love to introduce you to local, helpful, and knowledgeable lenders.  Just give us a call at (215) 699-5555 or email us 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)