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Chester County Real Estate Market Trends for February 2015

by Scott Darling

Take a look at February​’s real estate sales broken down by school district.

Downingtown School District

The number of homes selling in the Downingtown school district in February 2015 dropped by 23.26% when compared to February 2014. The average selling price decreased by 4% to $368,749. The median selling price dropped by 10.95% while the average market time decreased by 8 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 33 $368,479 $305,000 63
Feb 2014 43 $382,272 $342,500 71

 

West Chester School District

The number of homes selling in the West Chester school district in February​ 2015 decreased by 3.7% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price increased by less than 1% to $329,940. The median selling price increased by 2.08% while the average market time increased by 13 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 52 $329,940 $295,000 70
Feb 2014 54 $328,245 $289,000 57

 

Coatesville School District

The number of homes selling in the Coatesville school district in February 2015 increased by 26.67% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price decreased 2.23% to $222,607. The median selling price decreased 4.2% while the average market time grew by 2 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 38 $222,607 $216,500 97
Feb 2014 30 $227,679 $226,000 95

 

Great Valley School District

The number of homes selling in the Great Valley school district in February 2015 increased by 18.18% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price decreased less than 1% to $497,492. The median selling price dropped by 15.58% to $369,450, while the average market time decreased by 12 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 26 $497,492 $369,450 53
Feb 2014 22 $501,952 $437,625 65



Unionville School District

The number of homes selling in the Unionville school district in February 2015 increased by 50% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price increased 5.72% to $451,083. The median selling decreased 2.52% while the average market time dropped by 45 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 15 $451,083 $327,500 67
Feb 2014 10 $426,680 $335,950 112



Tredyffrin-Easttown School District

The number of homes selling in the Tredyffrin-Easttown school district in February​ 2015 increased by 20.83% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price decreased by 9.54% to $496,004. The median selling price rose less than 1% while the average market time increased by 12 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 29 $496,004 $450,000 79
Feb 2014 24 $548,323 $447,500 67

 

Owen J Roberts School District

The number of homes selling in the Owen J Roberts school district in February 2015 increased by 53.85% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price increased by 20.73% to $385,152. The median selling price increased 49.79% while the average market time decreased by 9 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 20 $385,152 $362,500 96
Feb 2014 13 $319,008 $242,0000 87

 

Phoenixville School District

The number of homes selling in the Phoenixville school district in February​ 2015 decreased by 28.57% when compared to February​ 2014. The average selling price decreased 8.49% to $261,651. The median selling price increased by 4.45% while the average market time decreased by 35 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Feb 2015 15 $261,651 $272,500 58
Feb 2014 21 $285,937 $260,900 93

 

Curious about the value of your home? Get your home's value here!

Information provided by Chester County Realtor Scott Darling.

5 Ideas to Help You Avoid Common Remodeling Errors

by Scott Darling

Whether you are remodeling your home to get it ready to go on the market or you are making some changes to the home you just moved into, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.   In this blog post I will give you a few tips on how to make your next remodeling project a good experience.

  1. remodelingGet hold of a set of plans for your home so that you will be able to take accurate measurements  of doorways in small areas such as the bathroom.  This will insure that you don’t end up with a door that is positioned in a way that is inconvenient for everyone.
     
  2. Make sure that you place outlets in areas in which they will be easily accessible.  Also be sure not to place outlets in wet areas where you may be at risk for electric shock. 
     
  3. When remodeling your kitchen be sure to place your appliances in an area that will have adequate clearance.  There is nothing worse than opening the dishwasher and realizing that you cannot open it all the way because there is a wall in the way. 
     
  4. When moving light fixtures over to make them fit in the center of your table, be sure that you have enough excess chain to make it look pretty and that it won’t end up looking like it was not intentional.  If you are a little OCD, this kind of thing will bother you immensely if you do it wrong.
     
  5. Test your new paint color on the wall before you paint an entire room.  Paint is not always the color on the swatch once it is dry.  If you can get away with only purchasing one color and stick with that one color you will save yourself a lot of money and time. 

Keep these helpful tips and ideas in mind for your next remodeling project and you should come away from it feeling as if you have accomplished something great rather than feeling like you never want to tackle that type of thing ever again. 

Information courtesy of Chester County Realtor Scott Darling.

New Homebuyers Checklist to ID Costly Repairs

by Scott Darling

When you're about to buy a house, it's easy to get excited about its great location, spacious floor plan or beautifully decorated interior. Yet the old saying, "beauty's only skin deep" can apply to any home, especially if you're considering an older, previously owned property. Before signing on the dotted line, use this checklist to help avoid some potentially costly surprises and anticipate repairs or upgrades that may be needed.     

home buyersStart at the top: the roof

Ask when the current roof was installed. Is it the original roof, or has it been replaced, repaired, or covered over with new shingles in certain spots? Are there known leaks, and if so, where are they? Have any of the leaks caused damage to the attic or interior? Also look at the chimney to see if it's properly sealed around the edges and whether the gutters need repair.

Windows and doors

Next, take a look at the windows to see if there is any condensation between the glass panes. If so, it could mean window replacements are in order. Once you get inside the house and close the front door, see if any light is coming through between the edge of the door opening and the wall. This gap is an indicator that the door may need to be replaced since air can escape through it and cause higher energy bills. 

Lighting and electrical

Throughout the interior rooms, many homes are "staged" to appeal to buyers with attractive lighting that shows off the space to its best advantage. You may love the way the lamps look in the bedroom, office or kitchen, but more importantly, check out how many electrical outlets there are and whether they are in convenient locations. Also, make sure you check to see if the lamps are masking the fact that there are no ceiling fixtures in each room. Will you need to rig up extension cords or invest in electrical work in order to support all the lamps, ceiling fixtures, appliances and electronics you wish to use?

Get to the bottom of furnace efficiency

At the basement level, be sure to check out the heating system. If the current furnace is more than 10 years old, it may be operating at a much lower level of efficiency than the latest manufacturing standards require, resulting in higher energy costs. Newer models can operate at nearly 20 percent higher efficiency than the government minimum standard, for the ultimate in energy efficiency.

Know what you can't see: indoor air quality

One thing you can't see is the quality of the home's indoor air. Nearly 72 trillion particles enter a home every day, making the air inside up to five times more polluted than the air outside. (BPT) 

Information courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

 

Changes to Know Before Filing Your Federal Income Tax Return

by Scott Darling

Owning a home is part of the American Dream, yet standards on income, credit and debt are making it tougher to buy a home than it was 10 years ago. Even though requirements are relaxing, only three out of five borrowers get approved.

home ownerWhile stricter standards make it tougher for young families to qualify for a mortgage, millennials said they understand why these standards exist and think the tougher requirements won't stand in their way of buying a home.

Most tax law changes don't affect the average taxpayer. That's fortunate news, considering the U.S. averaged at least one tax law change per day every day between 2000 and 2012. 

Some tax changes generally happen every year, such as inflation adjustments to standard deduction and exemption amounts. Others happen every few years, like expiration or renewal of credits and deductions, new taxes and tax increases.

What can you do to ensure you maximize the benefit or minimize the negative impact of tax law changes each year? It's quite simple, says TaxACT spokesperson Jessi Dolmage.

"Do a dry run of your federal income tax return each fall," Dolmage recommends. "DIY tax programs are updated with the latest tax laws every fall so you can get an estimate of your refund or liability as it currently stands. The Q&A also reviews credits and deductions you can still take advantage of in the next few months."

You can do tax planning and calculate your 2014 taxes with a DIY tax return preparation solution (most are free to try) or with a tax calculator like TaxACT's.

Whether you start your taxes early or wait until the April 15, 2015, deadline, here's a list of key changes that could impact your 2014 tax return:

  • Personal and dependent exemptions increase to $3,950 per person.
  • The 2014 standard deduction is $6,200 for a single taxpayer and $9,100 for a head of household. The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly also increased to $12,400.
  • Several benefits have expired, although Congress may extend them for 2014 returns. Those include the tuition and fees deduction, educator expense deduction, deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, cancellation of some mortgage debt, nonbusiness energy property credit, and state and local sales tax deduction.
  • Did you purchase health insurance from the federal or a state-sponsored marketplace in 2014? If so, your marketplace will send Form 1095-A by Jan. 31. Simply enter the form information when your tax program asks for it.

If you qualified for the premium tax credit toward marketplace insurance, the information you need to report on your return will also be on Form 1095-A. Your credit amount, which was based on your best estimate of your household income at the time you applied for insurance, will be reconciled with your actual income reported on your tax return. If your income or household size changed since applying for insurance, so can your credit amount. You may receive a larger refund if your income was less than estimated, or you may have to pay some of the credit back if your income was more than estimated.

  • If you didn't have minimum essential health insurance for three or more months in 2014 and don't qualify for an exemption, you may pay a shared responsibility payment. The penalty is the higher of 1 percent of your 2014 income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per uninsured dependent under 18, up to $285 per family. Your tax program will ask simple questions to calculate your payment.

If you qualify for an exemption, keep in mind some exemptions require you to submit an application and supporting documentation before filing your tax return. Only paper applications are being accepted by marketplaces, so processing can take weeks. Once accepted, your marketplace will issue an exemption certificate number (ECN) that you report on your tax return in order to avoid the penalty.

Learn about more tax law changes at IRS.gov and TaxAct.com. Visit HealthCare.gov and HealthCareAct.com for premium credit and exemption information. (BPT)

Information courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Chester County Real Estate Market Trends for January 2015

by Scott Darling

Even though most people start their New Year’s resolutions on January 1, some people add resolutions as the year progresses. For some, that goal is realizing the dream of homeownership. Beginning the process of buying a home can be daunting, but it is easy enough to begin working on the first step – saving for a down payment. According to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 65 percent of home buyers utilize their savings account for a down payment; however, buyers find many other ways to finance a down payment, including selling stocks or bonds, relying on gifts from friends or relatives, retirement funds or using the proceeds from another home sale.

Beginning to build savings should be a priority for potential buyers because it can take some time. According to NAR’s report, it took half of buyers a year or less to save for a down payment, while another 19 percent said it took between one and two years to build their savings account. Additionally, 29 percent said they needed more than two years to save.

Take a look at January’s real estate sales broken down by school district.

Downingtown School District

The number of homes selling in the Downingtown school district in January 2015 dropped by 1.85% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased less than 1% to $355,000. The median selling price increased by 2.94% while the average market time increased by 15 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 53 $355,000 $350,000 66
Jan 2014 54 $354,439 $340,000 51

 

West Chester School District

The number of homes selling in the West Chester school district in January 2015 decreased by 15.71% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased by 1.05% to $347,531. The median selling price decreased by 2.88% while the average market time increased by 7 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 59 $347,531 $320,000 66
Jan 2014 70 $343,909 $329,500 59

 

Coatesville School District

The number of homes selling in the Coatesville school district in January 2015 dropped by 7.5% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased 3.51% to $223,125. The median selling price decreased 6.6% while the average market time grew by 14 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 37 $223,125 $200,875 102
Jan 2014 40 $215,565 $215,069 88

 

Great Valley School District

The number of homes selling in the Great Valley school district in January 2015 decreased by 19.05% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased 8.1% to $474,719. The median selling price increased by 7.9% to $437,000, while the average market time decreased by 19 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 17 $474,719 $437,000 64
Jan 2014 21 $439,151 $405,000 83



Unionville School District

The number of homes selling in the Unionville school district in January 2015 increased by 41.67% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased 19.76% to $499,500. The median selling rose 37.4% while the average market time increased by 47 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 17 $499,500 $450,000 115
Jan 2014 12 $417,083 $327,500 68



Tredyffrin-Easttown School District

The number of homes selling in the Tredyffrin-Easttown school district in January 2015 increased by 7.69% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased 2.16% to $435,893. The median selling price dropped 5.59% while the average market time increased by 10 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 28 $435,893 $380,000 58
Jan 2014 26 $426,673 $402,500 48

 

Owen J Roberts School District

The number of homes selling in the Owen J Roberts school district in January 2015 increased by 5.26% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price decreased by 4.72% to $308,095. The median selling price dropped 10% while the average market time decreased by 1 day.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 20 $308,095 $256,500 116
Jan 2014 19 $323,373 $285,000 117

 

Phoenixville School District

The number of homes selling in the Phoenixville school district in January 2015 decreased by 21.21% when compared to January 2014. The average selling price increased 2.74% to $279,169. The median selling price increased by 14.19% while the average market time decreased by 5 days.

Date Sold
Listings

Average
Selling Price

Median
Selling Price
Average
Days On Market
Jan 2015 26 $279,169 $244,375 64
Jan 2014 33 $271,718 $214,000 69

Curious about the value of your home? Get your home's value here!

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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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