Real Estate Information Archive


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House Hunting Homework

by Scott Darling

There is plenty to do to prepare for buying your new home, and once you’re actively touring homes or stopping into an open house, you can draw a blank when it comes time to ask specifics.  Have some questions ready to prepare yourself so you won’t forget! 


Open House and Walkthrough 

  • - How long has the house been on the market, and are there any current offers? The length of time it’s been for sale can mean savings for you, or you may not want to bother if there are already multiple offers. 

  • - Why is the current owner selling?  This may seem like prying, and you may not get the exact answer, but it can add flexibility to price negotiations if the owner is ready for a fast sale. 

  • - Ask for a seller’s disclosure before you think about making an offer. Check this list for your state’s info about what the seller must tell you before buying the house. 

  • - How old is the roof? An older roof that has issues can either cost in the long run, or give you a discount on the sale price if it need replacing. 

  • - If it isn’t obvious, ask when the house was last updated.  With people living longer, some could have lived in the same home for fifty years and done nothing else besides redecorating. 

  • - Condition of the home’s systems are important, so inquire about the age of the water heater, electric, plumbing, security and climate control systems. 

  • - How is the home heated and insulated, including the attic?  You need to have a good idea of what your utilities will cost, and heating can be expensive, whether it’s propane, electric, or geothermal if the insulation needs improving. 

  • - Has the house been treated for pests on a regular basis?  This can keep a lot of headaches at bay in the long run. 

  • - What is included in the sale price, and are any warranties still active?  You don’t want to be surprised when you start moving in and find out you have to buy all new appliances. 

  • - You may be moving in the same general area, but a different city or county.  Property taxes vary per location, so make sure you know how much you will be paying if you eventually purchase the home. 

  • - If your prospective new home is in a historic district or homeowner’s association, there will be restrictions on how you renovate or build an addition, and fees for HOA.  Ask your realtor for these details. 


Pay Attention 

  • - While you’re on your walkthrough, pay attention to traffic and nearby surroundings.  Spend several minutes outside in the front and back yards and listen for any traffic noise, or a noisy possible neighbor. 

  • - Is your prospective new home on a busy shortcut street in the mornings and evenings?  Make time to discover for yourself and drive through on your way to or from work. 

  • - Look closely at fresh paint jobs for cracks or possible mold.  Sometimes, that new paint is covering up a problem. 

  • - Check your mobile phone for signal strength.  Different areas can be dead zones. 

  • - Drive through the area one evening after most people are home from work.  Is there plenty of parking available? 


Using these opportunities to find all the information you can about a potential new home is imperative when you know you’ll be looking at many different homes on the market.  Do your homework--keep a list of questions on your mobile phone’s notepad app so you won’t forget anything, or use a clipboard if you’re looking at multiple houses, keeping this information better organized. Since buying a home will most likely be your biggest investment, you want to be certain your money will be spent wisely. 


Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling

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Before You Remodel

by Scott Darling

Depending on whether you are planning to sell your home in the next year or if you are in your forever home, remodeling is a great way to get what you want out of your home, or what buyers want.  There are things to consider before you jump into remodeling. 


  • - Decide on a budget, and how you’ll pay for the upgrade.  Consider hiring a financial planner who can help you choose which way is best. 

  • - If you decide to do this project yourself, and you’re not in the construction business, plan on taking much longer than a professional.  Be realistic about your skills and hire help if you need it. 

  • - Acquiring an architect or designer is a good idea if you’re making major changes.  You don’t want to run into major structural or electrical issues and not know what to do. 

  • - Think about how long you want to stay in your home before you invest in big ticket items, like a six-burner range for the kitchen, or expensive hardwood flooring throughout the house.  If your sole plan is to make money from a sale, or if you want and can afford the upgrades, go ahead. But if you’re not going to enjoy those items while you’re living there, consider a simple refurbishing or using what you have if it’s in good working order and won’t look out of place. 

  • - When looking for a contractor, price isn’t necessarily the important thing.  Ask for references, check their license numbers, and call the former clients and ask to see the work that was done, either in photos or in person. The research will be worth it in the end.  

  • - Once you hire your contractor, start getting your paperwork in order.  The contractor has their own responsibilities, and the homeowner has to take care of other items--check this list from to see who is responsible for what. 

  • - Planning a timeline with your contractor is especially important, and make sure you leave room for possible unexpected issues. 

  • - Sit down with your family and figure out logistics, especially if you’re remodeling the kitchen or one of the bathrooms in your home.  Remodeling can cause a lot of stress, but if everyone knows what to do before it all happens, things can flow better. 

  • - As with moving, clean out the room before the renovation, giving away, selling or throwing out what you haven’t used in months.  Wrap and store any items you’re keeping in a spare room. 

  • - Before the construction team comes in to begin the project, sit down with your contractor to set location boundaries for the crew and your family, along with other logistics. The crew doesn’t want your children playing around with tools, and you don’t want your good bathroom towels used for grimy hands.  Everyone needs to know what is okay, and what isn’t.   


home remodel is a big undertaking; watching renovation shows on television can give the idea that everything goes off without a hitch.  It takes planning, communication and good all-around management to make the process go smoothly, even if you hit a few bumps along the way.   

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

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141 Park Lane Classic Home Situated on 2.9 Acres!

by Scott Darling

What an amazing property! Tucked in the Village of Glenmoore this classic home offers so much for every kind of buyer. Are you an outdoors person? Then this 2.9 acre lot with both wooded and open areas as well as a creek will allow you to enjoy every season and all the wildlife that goes with it from deer to fox to birds and even salamanders. You’re also located just a couple minutes to the Marsh Creek State Park, the Brandywine Creek, Springton Lake Park and the vast trail systems covering Chester County. The outdoors could also mean ball fields, playground equipment and tennis courts too. Well, look no further than across the street to the Wagenseller Park which has these amenities and a large picnic pavilion. The home itself will amaze you just like the property does. This was a traditional 3-bedroom home in the “old days” but along came the in-law suite. Whether you need the in-law suite or not, it would make a large and very wonderful master suite. It also has its own separate entrance. Maybe your “at home” college student could make this their apartment “away” from home. Typically, you wouldn’t think of older homes as having much storage space but this one is not your ordinary “old home”. There are plenty of closets, storage rooms, basement space as well as a walk-up attic. It even comes with a couple sheds for your outdoor lawn equipment. No more taking away from that garage space like before. Now you’ll have use of a full 2 car garage. Some of the upgrades and features of this lovely home include beautiful hardwood floors, updated kitchen, windows, roof, heater. When asked what the seller loves the most, these words instantly came out… “Privacy, Quietness, Serene, Comfortable”. This home, property and amenities far exceeds its asking price so you will want to take a look at it quickly so it doesn’t get scooped up by someone else. As they say, “The nicest ones go first”. Hurry!

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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