Real Estate Information Archive


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Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for November 2017

by Scott Darling

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for November 2017

Chester County PA single family homes saw pending sales increase by 10.3% in November 2017 when compared to November 2016. 520 homes sold in November with a median sales price of $340,000, a 6.3% increase from November 2016.  The average sales price increased by 3.5%, and homes were on the market 16 days less.

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End-Of-Year Giving!

by Scott Darling

With a little less than a month left in the year, many begin to think about charitable donations.  Once you’ve decided on an amount to give, there are a few things to keep in mind: 


  • - Did you give last year?  Do a quick check of the organization’s website, or give them a call to see what sort of strides they’ve taken.  If you’re not satisfied, or don’t see progress, consider another charity. 

  • - As difficult as it can be to narrow your donation to one organization, a larger gift can be more beneficial as one gift, instead of spreading your donations around. 

  • - Keep in mind that there are thousands of charities who don’t have it in their budgets to advertise.  Consider giving to a local charity, or a national one that’s lesser known. 

  • - Once you’ve narrowed down your list, call the charities if you can’t find their mission statements online, and ask questions.  It’s the best way to get the information you need. 

  • - Although there’s nothing wrong with giving to your alma mater or the hospital that took such great care of a family member, find out if your local homeless or domestic violence shelter needs help.  These kinds of organizations usually struggle to make ends meet in providing services.   

  • - Make sure your charity is legitimate, and it’s very important to check their finances. Charity Navigator’s website will let your search a charity’s name and get feedback. 

  • - Because donations are tax-deductible, the IRS has a search tool that allows you to see what organizations are eligible for tax-deduction gifts. There are other handy options, such as seeing what organizations are no longer allowed to be considered exempt. 

  • - Avoid scams--charitable giving is at a high at the year’s end, and crooks abound.  Use the above IRS search tool to make sure your charity is legitimate charity. 

  • - Keep receipts, check stubs or letters of thanks for when you’re filing taxes.  If your donation isn’t monetary, but something valued at over $5,000, the IRS requires an appraisal for your deduction. 

  • - Do you volunteer? Any out-of-pocket directly related expenses--even mileage--are tax deductible.  

  • - Keep in mind that last-minute online donations made December 30-31 are eligible for a tax write-off.  


Deciding who should benefit from your generosity can be a tough or easy decision, depending on what you already know. Just look for charities that depend on your generosity to keep their doors open, or who need your physical presence to be successful.  Giving isn’t always about money.  

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.


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Safely Decorating with Outdoor Lights!

by Scott Darling

It’s time to get the holiday house decorating in high gear, and you may have bought new light strands, but plan on mixing them with ones you have, or adding LED lights.  Safety is important this time of year, and making the days merry and the nights bright means taking a few precautions. 


  • - Check your old lights for frayed wires, nicks or cuts along the outer cord, and broken bulbs. Broken bulbs can be replaced, but toss the frayed strands, or those with cuts. 

  • - Decorating the exterior of your house means the lights you use must be made for outdoors.  Check the packaging or tag on the string to make certain. 

  • - Use clips or hangers that are UL-approved--do NOT nail, tack, or staple lights to any fixture. 

  • - If you’d like to light a tree in your yard, make absolute certain no power lines run through the branches, and keep any lighting at least ten feet from power lines. 

  • - Make sure your extension cords are specifically made for outdoor use, and have a three-pronged ground plug.  Your receptacle should be a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet in case of electrical overload, it will shut off power.  Portable outdoor GFCI’s are available for very little cost at Amazon. 

  • - Read and heed all labels when it comes to connecting strings of lights.  If the label says only three can be connected to one another, start a new chain of lights after the third strand is in place.  Also keep in mind that only strands with the same number of bulbs should be connected--in other words, don’t connect a 100-strand with two 25-strands. 

  • - Keep extension cords away from high-traffic areas, and out from under welcome mats or pavers. 

  • - Many people start decorating long before Christmas, but be aware that most non-commercial light strands are only safely exposed to the elements for 90 days.  Any longer, and deterioration to the insulation will begin.   

  • - Avoid using a metal ladder if you’re having to get up high with your lights--use wooden or fiberglass instead. 

  • - Never leave lights on when you’re not at home, or asleep.   

  • - If you’re considering adding LED’s to your holiday display, make sure you don’t mix connecting with incandescent.  Going all-LED will be costlier upon start-up, but will save money on your power bill, as well as in replacement costs--LED’s can last up to twenty years. 


You don’t want a friendly neighborhood competition to turn into disaster, nor do you want a classic Clark Griswold power outage at home.  Know your home’s electrical limits, and use common sense and care while you’re decorating. 


Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.


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Contact Information

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