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Easy Ideas for Going Green in Your Home

by Scott Darling

Going green in your home!

Everyone these days is talking about “going green” and making the world a cleaner place for our children and grandchildren.  You may not think that you can do much towards this green movement but the truth is in fact you can.  There are many ways that are simple and easy to go green inside your own home.   Below is a list of a few of the ways in which you can make your home green, and I don’t mean in color. 

  1. Most homemakers don’t love doing laundry and this little tidbit is going to be music to your ears!  By letting your clothes pile up a bit you are doing the environment a favor.  Running small loads of laundry through your washing machine and dryer is a waste of energy and a waste of water.  In fact one load of laundry used 25 gallons of water regardless of how full the load is.  Why not do your part in going green by only run your washing machine when you absolutely have to.  
  2. Do you enjoy raking up grass cuttings after you mow?  My guess is that you just answered with a loud “no”!  There is great news for you then my friend; leave the trimmings on your lawn and let them do their job of being a natural fertilizer!  This is a great way to go green that doesn’t cost you a dime! 
  3. By adding a lot of live plants around your home you are doing your part towards helping the world be a cleaner place.  Live plants help get rid of some of the pollutants in the air and therefore make the air cleaner for everyone to breathe.  Adding some live plants on the inside of your home is also a great way to help the air be more fresh and appealing. 
  4. Microwave ovens use 50% less energy than your oven.  The next time your family asks for a meal to be prepared, why not zap a meal into the microwave to help save energy.  If your family objects, tell them you are doing your part to make the world a better place for everyone by “going green” and saving as much energy as you can. 
  5. Whenever you purchase sprays and soaps for the house, buy unscented.  This will not only make a difference in the environment but will also be beneficial to your own health as well. 

Hopefully these few easy ways of going green have got you thinking in the right mindset so that you can begin to make your own home a bit greener.

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for August 2016

by Scott Darling

homeowner

Being a homeowner means that your home is yours – even the things that need fixing. Is a faucet leaking? Are floor boards squeaky? Is a light-switch not working? Those issues are all yours to tackle. But what projects can you do yourself and what ones require the help of a trained professional? Taking on projects yourself can save you time and money. But taking on the wrong projects can lead to unending amounts of stress or end up costing you more money than if you had hired someone in the first place. NAR’s consumer website, HouseLogic.com, lets you know which projects need a seasoned hand and a beginner can undertake.  

Take a look at how many families decided to become homeowners in our local market in August…

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for August 2016

2,641 Chester County PA single family homes were for sale in August 2016 which is an 8.42% decrease from August 2015. 687 homes sold in August with a median sales price of $351,000, a 8.00% increase from August 2015.

The supply of inventory was 5.0 compared to 5.6 in August 2015 and the Sales vs List Price was 96.3%.

Date Homes For
Sale
Months Supply
Inventory
Homes
Sold
Median Sales
Price
Sales Price vs
List Price
August 2016 2,641 5.0 687 $351,000 96.3%
August 2015 2,884 5.6 683 $325,000 95.1%

 

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

4 Tips For Hiring a Moving Company

by Scott Darling

moving company

You have finally found the home of your dreams and you are ready to pack all of your belongings up so that you can move into that home.  Moving doesn’t have to be a dread, rather if you hire the right moving company it can actually be somewhat fun.  Heed the following tips when hiring a moving company  and you are more likely to have a nice experience. 

  1. Check the moving company’s reputation before you hire them to help you move from your old house into your new house.   You can do this by asking your friends and family and/or by checking with the Better Business Bureau.  If folks have had a bad experience with a moving company or any company for that matter they are going to be sure to spread the word. 
  2. Make sure to get any estimates on moving your belongings in writing.  You don’t want to be scammed with the old bait and switch that so many moving companies are getting a bad rap about.  If you have an amount in writing you will be able to dispute if the company tries to change the price for no reason and hold your belongings until you pay the new price. 
  3. Make sure that your belongings are covered in case they get harmed in transit.  It is worth it to get insurance  to cover your belongings if they mean anything to you at all.  Full value insurance is a good idea if you have a lot of valuables that you won’t be able to replace easily if they are damaged during the move.  It may cost a bit more than other insurance but it will be worth it in the long run.
  4. If you want to make sure things are done right by the moving company you can always get in there and help out when they are packing your items up.  You can watch to make sure they do things right if you don’t want to help. 

Again, moving doesn’t have to be a huge hassle, it can be a good time and an exciting time in your life, especially if you are moving out of an old home into your dream home.  Don’t let hiring a less than stellar moving company be an issue for you.  Do your homework and hire a moving company that will do things right the first time. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling!

 

A+ College Moving Tips

by Scott Darling

moving

Across the country thousands of students are packing up their childhood rooms and heading off to a new adventure at college. The transition is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. The move itself, however, shouldn’t cause unneeded stress.

While college students usually don’t have a lot of belongings that need to be moved, the process can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially if they're moving across the country. Rather than relying on guesswork, take some tips from the moving experts at Penske Truck Rental:

1. Condense and store.
College apartments are small and dorm rooms are even smaller. Leave nonessentials at home and pack only what you'll use on a regular basis. Photo albums, fine jewelry and fragile knickknacks will be safer there anyway. As for what you'll need, colleges typically provide a checklist of essential items that can be used as a guide.

2. Be prepared.
Start packing early and create a running list of items you need to bring but are unable to pack until it’s time to leave. Get sturdy boxes in a variety of sizes plus bubble wrap to protect your fragile items. You’ll also need packing tape and bold markers for labeling and securing boxes. Moving blankets and hand trucks will make the process easier.

3. Mark and group.
Label the outside of boxes as you pack and add a generalized list of what's inside for easy reference upon arrival. Remember to label the box with both your name and a symbol that will help you recognize what's yours. When thousands of students are moving at once, this simple trick can cut confusion quickly.

4. Plan ahead.
When renting a moving truck, reserve it at least two weeks in advance. Because summer and fall are popular times for moves, delaying could leave you without available transportation. Most college students find the 12- or 16-foot truck perfect for moving a few large items or the contents of a small apartment.

5. Drive safe.
When driving, remember that trucks are taller, wider and require more stopping distance than a standard vehicle. Use caution particularly when the truck is packed full. Watch out for low-hanging tree branches and building overhangs, and use extra caution when turning.

6. Stay secure.
To protect your belongings, park in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door, especially if stopping for the night. If possible, back the truck up tight against a building wall to prevent access to the storage area. Unfortunately, thieves take advantage of students on the hectic moving days leading up to the start of the academic year.

7. Keep a document bag.
Keep important documents like registration information and dorm confirmations in a bag in the car with you for easy access. This should also include credit cards, your driver’s license and any other essentials. (BPT) 

Election Update: Americans Want Action On Housing and Credit

by Scott Darling

Decisions made by the next President and Congress could change the way Americans buy and sell homes for generations to come. Rising prices are making it more difficult for working families and young adults to become homeowners. Government control over the vast majority of mortgages through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae unnecessarily exposes taxpayers to risk and continue to stifle the innovation of new lending products that responsible borrowers need and want.

More business as usual?

Depending on who is elected this year’s presidential election could either deliver a mandate for Washington to act on far-reaching reforms integral to our system of housing finance or bring more business as usual.

Here are the priorities Americans want the next President and Congress to address, according to a new research conducted for loanDepot, the nation’s second largest nonbank consumer lender: 

* Make homeownership more affordable for middle- and lower-income families (37 percent).

* Keep interest rates low, especially during the first 100 days of the new presidency (34 percent).

* Make more credit available to small businesses (11 percent).

Few see the election improving their pocketbooks

Most Americans expect their personal financial situation to either stay the same or get worse when new leaders take over the White House and Congress. Only 6 percent think that they will be better off as a result of the election.

Each vote counts

One out of every five Americans said the candidates’ housing and finance policies will influence their vote. Another 40 percent have not yet made up their minds. That is because only 9 percent think the candidates have done a good job articulating their positions on the economic issues that affect peoples’ daily lives.

Perception doesn’t match reality

Some 77 percent think it is just as hard or even harder to get a loan today than during the Great Recession eight years ago. Young adults may be more discouraged than most; they worry about not making enough money and nearly half (46 percent) fear the election outcome will make it even harder to get a loan.

In fact, while guidelines have tightened since 2008, applications for purchase mortgages were more likely to be denied in 2008 than in 2014, the most recent year for which Federal Reserve data is available. Denial rates for home purchase loan applications hit 18 percent in 2008, while denials in 2014 topped out at 13 percent. Denial rates for home refinance applications in 2008 were 38 percent and dropped to 31 percent in 2014.

Find out if you qualify for a home loan

Getting into the home of your dreams may be easier than you think. All you have to do is get pre-qualified by the local lender of your choice. Don’t know a lender? Contact us and we’ll be glad to recommend someone.

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for July 2016

by Scott Darling

houses

Fifty-two percent of home owners say now is a good time to sell in their neighborhood. This is up from 34 percent who said so last year, according to a survey conducted by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

What’s more, 58 percent of home owners believe sellers have more power than buyers in the market right now. Redfin researchers note this is nearly the highest level of seller confidence they’ve recorded.

Take a look at how many sellers successfully sold their homes in July…

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for July 2016

2,977 Chester County PA single family homes were for sale in July 2016 which is a 6.54% increase from July 2015. 781 homes sold in July with a median sales price of $345,000, a 1.47% increase from July 2015.

The supply of inventory was 5.8 compared to 5.3 in July 2015 and the Sales vs List Price was 95.6%.

Date Homes For
Sale
Months Supply
Inventory
Homes
Sold
Median Sales
Price
Sales Price vs
List Price
July 2016 2,977 5.8 781 $345,000 95.6%
July 2015 2,794 5.3 683 $340,000 95.7%

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

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

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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