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Utilize Your Space

by Scott Darling


The large dining room, family room or bonus rooms was one of the things that sold your house to you.  Despite
 our good intentions, though, those rooms sometimes end up being used for storage, folded laundry, or just not being used altogether.  Use these ideas to inspire you to get these rooms ready to spend more time in: 

 

Extra Bedroom 

Most extra bedrooms end up being the guest room, whether you have guest often or not.  Turn that room into a dual-purpose room; use a daybed with trundle or a wall bed so you’ll have more space in the room for other things. 
 

  • - Set up a home office or study space for the kids. 

  • - Add a small double-leafed or card table, use stackable or folding chairs, install some shelving, and have the room serve as the game/play room.   

  • - If your children like to invite friends over for video games, hang a flat screen on the wall, a small shelf for their game console, lay a cushy area rug on the floor, and purchase bean bag chairs, slip chairs are large floor pillows for seating. 

  • - Create a reading room with a small bookshelf, a comfy chair, blanket, small side table and lamp. 

 

Bonus/Flex Room 

You couldn’t wait to start decorating and using your extra room, but you’re stumped on exactly what to do. 
 
 

  • - Get the television out of your living space, get some affordable seating, and create a home theater.  

  • - Do you have a musician in the family?  Soundproof the walls, add extra electrical outlets, and clear the floor for your own concert hall. 

  • - Give your workout equipment a home in the extra room, use a small television for workout entertainment, install a comfortable bench, hooks for small towels, and include a small fridge for water and smoothies when you’re finished with exercising. 

 

Not Just for Dining 

Busy families don’t always have time for a sit-down meal at the dining table, but there’s no need to use it for special occasions. 
 

  • - Use one end of the table for office space.  A dining room is less busy than other rooms, and you can get more done there without distractions.  Use a laptop for the space, take advantage of wireless printing, and use part of a china cabinet for supplies so you won’t fill the room with office clutter. 

  • - Consider using a smaller table or remove the leaf from a large table.  Place some comfortable seating at one end of the room, add a sideboard to use for a coffee/tea bar, and have an after-dinner seating area. 

  • - If your home lacks an extra living area, why not use it for family time instead of a dining area?  Treat the space as you would a den, and furnish it with sofa, chairs, and television for a cozy family room. 

 

There are no rules that say a room must be used for what the blueprint says.  Your home is just that--your home.  You know best how you and your family can use a space.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot; shop thrift shops and tag sales, or use what you already have.  You can add extra space to your home without picking up a hammer and nail!

 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

 

Photo credit: livingroomideasq.blogspot.com 

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for November 2018

by Scott Darling

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for November 2018

Chester County PA single-family homes saw pending sales decrease by 18.7% in November 2018 when compared to November 2017. 526 homes sold in November with a median sales price of $347,000.  The average sales price decreased by 1.0%, and homes were on the market 15 days more.

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Keeping Your Packages Safe

by Scott Darling


With online shopping having become so popular, this time of year brings stories on the news about package thieves, as well as new gadgets to help deter someone from walking away with packages delivered while someone isn’t home.  There are several options w
e have that can help keep our deliveries secure, as well as help from online retailers.   

 

  • - Talk to neighbors that may be home during the days you’re expecting a package, and ask them to be on the lookout for a delivery to your home so they can hold it for you or stash it somewhere out of sight. 

  • - There are simple ways to hide an unattended package: have a large plant to hide boxes behind, or use a lockbox at your doorstep, with key instructions for the carrier in your delivery details. 

  • - Most large retailers will give you a “ship to store” option, and all you have to do is pick it up at the Customer Service desk.   

  • - If your package is coming via USPS, there are several ways to divert package delivery, as well as ask a carrier to leave it somewhere out of sight. 

  • - When you place your order, if you know you’re going to be at work, make sure your boss doesn’t mind if you have your items delivered to your workplace, and use that address for shipping. 

  • - Your local pack-and-ship store will receive deliveries for you for a fee.  

  • - Installing a visible security camera at your front door can deter some thieves, and some cameras come with motion-sensor options to set off a siren or other alert if someone gets too close to your front door. 

  • - Amazon is offering several delivery options:  Amazon LockerKey Smart Lock KitKey In-Car Delivery, and Hub by Amazon. 

  • - UPS offers My Choice to customize your deliveries. For FedEx deliveries, go to their Delivery Manager, create and account, and manage your deliveries. 

 

The best way to prevent “package Grinches” from stealing your deliveries is to be proactive.  Use text message and email alerts, as well as specific delivery company smartphone apps to notify you when a package is left at your door. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Photo credit: huffingtonpost

Real Estate Disclosures and You

by Scott Darling

Zillow.com defines the term disclosure as “...the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s experience in it.”  In most states, this simply means that the seller must let the buyer know about problems that they are aware of.  Whether you’re selling or buying a house, disclosing issues with the house is an extremely important part of the process.  

 

What Disclosure Means for the Seller 

  • - Your listing agent will provide a form for you to fill out, answering questions with either yes, no or I don’t know about different aspects of the house.  This form should be filled out truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. 

  • - Items that most states ask you to disclose to the buyer:  lead paint or asbestos, previous repairs or additions, mold or water damage, pest issues, drainage problems, foundation cracks, problems with HVAC and other appliances, and if the roof is leaky. 

  • - If you think there might be a problem, say possible mold in the crawlspace, have an inspector come and have a look.  It’s better to be safe than sorry here. 

  • - While you’re going over the disclosure form, if you’re not sure if you should report something, report it anyway.  It’s best to err on the side of caution. 

  • - Have the disclosure ready before you’ve accepted an offer for your own protection. 

  • - Your listing agent will be aware of all government disclosure requirements--federal, state, and local--so be prepared to report all that these laws ask of you. 

 

Disclosure and the Buyer 

  • - Once you receive the disclosure statement, go over it carefully and ask questions if you’re not sure about anything listed, because you must sign the disclosure. 

  • - The extra expense of having an official inspection done on the house is vital to this part of the sale.  Have the disclosure form information with you when you meet the inspector at the house, so you can go over the problem places with a pro. 

  • - In the case of any additions to the home, check the local government building permit and zoning information to make sure the addition was done the legal way by licensed people. 

  • - If you have any issues with the seller’s answers on the disclosure statement, and don’t want to make the repairs, and can’t come to an agreement with the seller, it may be best to walk away and look for another house. 

  • - Once you are satisfied with the disclosure and have the peace of mind that the sale should go through, sign off on the disclosure. 

 

A disclosure should be a seller’s protection plan, and smart sellers will be completely honest, and maybe even over-disclose.  Also, be aware that some states even ask sellers to disclose things like traffic noise, and even paranormal activity!  Your Realtor will know everything you need to provide to buyers, so the sale of your home goes smoothly.

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Photo credit: nestiny.com

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