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Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for December 2017

by Scott Darling

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for December 2017

Chester County PA single family homes saw pending sales decrease by 9.0% in December 2017 when compared to December 2016. 513 homes sold in December with a median sales price of $330,000, a 6.5% increase from December 2016.  The average sales price increased by 8.2%, and homes were on the market 10 days less.

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Saving Money For Your New Home Down Payment

by Scott Darling

With the new year here, many people are thinking about resolutions.  If you’re seriously considering buying a new home, you’ll definitely need to be thinking about having your down payment ready when you find the perfect house.  Follow these ideas for saving as much as you possibly can. 

 

  • - First and foremost, know your house-purchasing budget, and estimate needing 20% of that budget. 

  • - Set up a hands-off down payment high-yield savings or money market account. 

  • - Start cutting out expenses, or find ways to make extra money.  Every little bit counts. 

  • - If you plan on getting an end-of-year bonus or income tax refund, set aside that money to begin your new nest’s egg. 

  • - Sign up with your employer to deposit a portion of your pay into a down payment savings account if you’re not great at putting money into savings.  Most of the time, if you don’t see it, you don’t miss it. 

  • - Receiving gifts from family members towards your down payment require documentation so your  lender, as well as the IRS, knows where the money is coming from, and that the money doesn’t require re-payment.  More information about down payment gifts are here from The Mortgage ---Reports website. 

  • - Start paying off your credit card debt by paying more than the minimum payment.  Lowering and/or eliminating your card balance also lowers your interest rates, so you can start taking what you’d normally pay on credit cards and depositing it towards your down payment fund. 

  • - If you have investments in stocks or bonds, plan on liquidating those assets when it’s time to purchase your house.  Make sure you document these sales. 

  • - A pay raise at work is great, but if you happen to get one, stay on your old budget, and have the extra pay direct deposited into your down payment account. 

  • - You can always borrow from your 401k or IRA, but make sure you’re not having to pay penalties. Talk with your account holder before you make any withdrawals. 

 

A down payment, especially at twenty percent, can look daunting.  If it just looks impossible, do your research.  There are many first-time buyer programs available, as well as lower down payment options through the USDA, the VA and state-specific programs.  Zillow has a terrific guide on low down payment guidelines and opportunities. Planning ahead and keeping your eye on your goal will get you well on the way to home ownership. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Photo credit: finder.com.au

Making Your Living Space Appear Larger

by Scott Darling

If the furniture in your living space looks like it’s just stuffed in the room, there are ways to make your space seem larger.  Check out these tips to create more space in your home: 

 

  • - Use mirrors to fool the eye, because they reflect light and images. Hang one larger mirror on the main wall, several small ones, (gallery style), or even an oversized mirror leaned against the wall.   

  • - Painting walls a light color automatically opens up the space to the eye, because it reflects light.  Going all one color is a great way to make the room appear larger, too. 

  • - Get rid of clutter.  The more you have sitting around--mail, books, work, kids’ school things--the fuller your space looks.  Baskets, files or paper organizing gadgets, decorative storage containers, or furniture pieces that double as storage are the best way to hide necessary things.  Get rid of, (in other words, throw away or recycle), junk mail and unnecessary paper as soon as you look at it. 

  • - Draw an imaginary diagonal line across your room and place your furniture at an angle.  You even get a bonus storage area behind anything that covers a corner! 

  • - Pieces that are the same color as the walls blend in, making the room appear larger. 

  • - Either skip window coverings, or use sheer drapery or curtains and blinds that are the same color as your walls.  If you have to use drapes, hang them either at ceiling height, or just inside the window so the framework is visible. 

  • - If you want bookshelves, consider a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling unit.  Draw the eyes horizontally and vertically. 

  • - Speaking of bookshelves, the less you have on these open spaces, the roomier it looks.  Cramming every collection, book, or “trinket” just fills up the space in a similar way that clutter does. If you must display sentimental pieces, display a few at the time.  Switching them out on occasion will also give new appreciation for them. 

  • - Choose sofas and chairs with exposed legs to allow to light to pass through underneath them.  The more light in your room, the better. 

  • - On that note, light is your friend.  If you can’t get more natural light into the space, use a few lamps instead of an overhead light, as it draws the eye to look around the room. 

  • - Keep patterns small.  Use a punch or two of larger patterns on pillows or throws, but not too many--remember--less is more. 

  • - If you need an area rug, don’t settle for a small rug under the coffee table.  Purchase a rug that extends out from the furniture, as it will draw the eye out. 

  • - Create a focal point with framed pieces on one wall, especially behind a sofa, and extend the arrangement to the ceiling, and it will make the space appear taller.  It will also add pop and take away from the room’s size.  

  • - Drop-leaf tables or dining tables with the extra leaf removed work best in small areas, and if you need more tabletop space for guests or for workspace, simply add the leaf. 

 

Small spaces can still mean big living--we just have to make a few adjustments to maximize the space and create a few illusions for our minds to think big.  Better Homes and Gardens has multiple ideas for small spaces, from apartments to living areas, as well as those awkward spaces. 

 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Photo credit: livingroomideas.eu

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Photo of Scott Darling Real Estate
Scott Darling
RE/MAX Action Associates
403 W. Lincoln Highway #101
Exton PA 19341
(610) 594-SCOT
610-363-2001
Fax: (610) 363-5275