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Meet Scott Darling Chester County PA Realtor

by Scott Darling

Meet Scott Darling Chester County PA Realtor

Check out my new introduction video. Be sure to watch all the way to the end...

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!

 

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.

4 Ways To Save During Back-to-School Shopping

by Scott Darling

school shopping

Back-to-school shopping can come with plenty of sticker shock, if you don't plan ahead. This year, parents said they plan on spending more this year than last, with totals exceeding $900 to outfit and supply, according to a survey by Rubicon. To shave some dollars off that total, here are a few savvy strategies to save while preparing for school.

1. Watch for extreme deals

This is the key time of year to follow the cardinal rule of the extreme saver: Keep an eye on the ads for rock-bottom prices on school essentials. In the weeks leading up to the start of school, it's your time to save big.

2. Take advantage of price matching

A traditional frugal shopper will tell you not to settle for anything but the lowest price. If you have to make six lists and drive all over town, being a penny pincher costs dearly in time. Instead, compare those weekly ads and save yourself some time by taking advantage of price matching. Staples, for example, offers a 110 Percent Lowest Price Guarantee, meaning all you have to do is show proof of a competitor's lower price, and Staples will not only match it, they tack on another 10 percent off.

3. Stock up
If you find some unbeatable deals, stock up for next year. And don't overlook this opportunity to replenish your home with art supplies to keep your child's creative flow moving along. Either way, if Junior springs a due-the-next-day project on you, you'll won't have to go the store on an already busy weeknight. A great resource to stock up is the Less List for School offered by Staples, which features season-low prices on the essentials, such as pencils, composition books, notebooks, crayons, batteries, glue and more.

4. Don't forget the thrift store

Make more room in your budget by looking at secondhand options for big ticket clothing items like shoes, coats and jackets. Choose the basics in solid colors for a timeless look. Sometimes, you'll find a like-new, high-quality item hiding in the rack, and at a fraction of the price.

At this level of spending, it's smart to capture savings where you can. Even if you save 10 percent across the board, it's worth it because you're still going home with a handful of $10 bills in your pocket. (BPT)

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

4 Ways To Make Your Home Comfortable and Safe for Your Pet

by Scott Darling

pets

For millions of Americans, pets are a member of the family. They provide companionship and countless memories that last a lifetime. Having a pet-friendly home increases the likelihood that these memories will be positive.

These tips can make pet ownership simpler, and create a safer, healthier environment for your four-legged companion.

1. Pet-friendly flooring

Carpeted flooring can be a challenge for pet owners. Carpet traps unpleasant odors and is difficult to clean. Hardwood, bamboo, laminate and other alternatives - when properly maintained - offer a surface that's easier to clean, doesn't trap allergens and doesn't hide fur or other debris.

2. A space to call their own

Many pets seek shelter when startled by loud noises. Whether it's the clap of thunder or a boisterous guest, an unexpected noise can send your animal fleeing (or peeing). Having a dedicated space for your pet, be it a mudroom, door-less closet or comfy bed, provides a safe place for your animal during times of stress.

Also, pets need a little down time every once in a while. A cozy nook away from direct sunlight provides a perfect place for them to relax and recharge.

3. Picking the best paint

Even the cleanest of pets can leave marks on your walls. Choosing the right paint can make the difference between a permanent stain and one that's easily removed. Lower sheens can be difficult to clean, so opt for semi-gloss or satin.

Also, depending on your climate, you may prefer a light or dark paint color. Light colors can help keep your pet cool by reflecting the sun, while darker colors absorb the sun's heat and can warm the home environment.

4. Protect your curious pet

Pets are inherently curious. If it's within reach, chances are it will be investigated with a detective's attention. Even if the food is safe for pets, the packaging may be harmful. Medications, cleaners and cosmetics should also be kept on high shelves or behind a latched cabinet.

Most pet owners know to keep food and toxins off accessible surfaces, but it's easy to forget something on a bedside table or the edge of a counter.

Pets require time, attention and love. They will return the favor more naturally in an environment that's comfortable and safe. Consider these tips for creating a pet-friendly home. (BPT)

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

What to Renovate When Selling Your Home

by Scott Darling

renovate to sell

It can be hard to set a budget and stick to it when it comes to renovating your home.  If you are planning on selling your home soon, you should go ahead and do a few renovations that may need to be done but do the ones that don’t cost a lot of money.  Of course if your home has some issues and you feel you can get a lot more money out of your home if you make those renovations now, you may want to go ahead and do so.  Below are a few tips on what exactly you should consider when renovating your home to prepare it for sale.

  • One of the best ways to prepare your home to sell is by renovating your walls and floors.  You can add paint to the walls of your home for a quick “pick me up” that will help your home appear newer than it is.  Refinishing hardwood floors or pulling up carpet to reveal hardwoods is also a great way to spruce things up around your home.  Be sure if you are painting to do so with neutral colors that will be pleasing to everyone’s pallet.  Likewise if you are putting down carpet, be sure to choose a neutral color.  If you are refinishing hardwoods, be sure to stay away from any dark stains that may turn some buyers away.  Stick with the natural light wood floors that seem to be so popular these days.
  • Doors are another place you may want to consider during your home renovations.  Replacing your front door with a steel door adds a great deal of value to your home.  Adding some new garage doors may help to add value as well.   Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a ton on these types of things, just replacing old with new will likely be enough.
  • If you don’t have the money to redo your entire kitchen, try upgrading by replacing old worn out drawer pulls or cabinet knobs.  You may also want to put a little paint on your old cabinets to lighten and brighten things up a bit.  Keep in mind if money is not an issue that kitchen renovations  can sometimes make or break the sale of your home.  If you need to” bling it out” and you have the funds to do it, go for it. 

Any and all renovations you do to your home in an effort to get more money out if it during a potential sale is a good thing.  Don’t go crazy spending a lot of money for cosmetic fixes but ‘DO’ do your best to make your home look like a shiny new penny!

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling!

Preparing Your Home For Your Summer Vacation

by Scott Darling

summer vacation

Summer is just around the corner!  Many families plan for their summer vacation months in advance but did you know that you need to prepare your home for your vacation as well?  Below are a few tips on what you should do to prepare your home for your summer vacation.   

  • Mow your grass before you leave for your vacation.  I would suggest that you set the mower on the shortest cut you can get so that you don’t have to worry about it growing up while you are gone.  If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time you may want to arrange to have a family member mow your yard at least once while you are gone.  Mowing your yard before vacation makes it look like you are still at home and therefore may keep away potential intruders. 
  • Another thing you should do before you leave on vacation this coming summer is to contact the post office and have your mail canceled while you are gone.  You can pick your mail up at the post office once you arrive back home and start your service back up.  This may sound like a huge ordeal but it really is an easy way to keep things neat and tidy while you are away from home.  This simple act will also deter intruders.
  • If you don’t want your house to stand out as if no one is home, you may need to install a flood light that is activated by motion outside of your home.  This way if someone walks up to your house that is not suppose to be there the neighbors will be able to see them and can report anything out of the ordinary.  Another thing you can do with lights is to set a few inside lights on a timer so that it looks like you are home.
  • Some water heaters have a VAC mode otherwise known as a vacation mode. If you have this setting on your water heater it’s a good idea to use it while you are away.  Doing this is not only a good way to save on your bill but it is also a good way to avoid any type of flooding that may occur while you are gone.  The last thing you want to come home to is a flooded house due to a broken or burst pipe.

Hopefully these tips will get you started in the right direction before you set off on your summer vacation and you’ll be able to relax and have fun without worrying about your house! 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

5 Hacks To Childproof Your Home

by Scott Darling

childproof

You may or may not have small children living in your home but even if you don’t you might have a family member or a friend who does, so tips on how to childproof your home may be advantageous to you.  There are several ways in which you can make your home child friendly so that you don’t have to worry about any little ones getting hurt or any of your stuff being destroyed. 

  1. The first and most important tip to make your home childproof is to cover your electrical outlets.  For some reason electrical outlets are very interesting to little hands and fingers.  The best way to keep the kids from exploring your electrical outlets is to buy covers for them.  Make sure to get the electrical outlets that are not that hard for you to pull out so that you don’t constantly have to try so hard to remove them when you want to use an outlet. 
  2. This may sound silly but get on your hands and knees and travel around your home looking for things that might be dangerous.  You may find that you see much more clearly by getting down to a child’s level when it comes to childproofing your home.  Fix any issues you deem to be hazardous to kids while you are in this position.
  3. Put glass items and valuables up high out of reach of children.  This will not only help keep children safe in your home but it will also keep your valuables from getting broken.
  4. If you have anything sharp such as a fireplace with edges made from stone or brick you may want to buy covers for those edges to use when you will have small children around.  If you have little ones who live in your home you may want to keep these areas covered at all times. 
  5. If you have a swimming pool, always make sure that someone is outside watching the children if they want to play in the back yard.  Even if you have the pool surrounded by a fence you need to make sure the kids are looked after if they are anywhere near a pool. 

Hopefully some of these ideas for childproofing your home will be helpful to you and will prevent an accident from happening.  Once you feel as if your home is childproof then you will no longer have to worry about little ones getting hurt and you can enjoy your new or existing home. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

Home Improvements That Will Help Sell Your Home

by Scott Darling

home improvement

Now is the time to get started on some home improvements so that you can get your house ready to put on the market in the spring!  Below are a few ways you can get started on home improvements both inside and out.

  • A fresh coat of paint inside your home is a great way to improve the way your home looks and get it ready to put on the market.   Try to keep a neutral theme if you can when painting because you want others to be able to see themselves living in your home and not the other way around.  You will likely be amazed at just how much difference a fresh coat of paint will make to your home. 
  • Panting your front door a color that pops is a great way to get awesome curb appeal.  Many folks will love your home simply because it has a red door and it stands out above all the others in the neighborhood.  Use a pop of color on your front door to your advantage when trying to sell your home!
  • Pressure washing your home is a great way to make it shine if your home is vinyl siding.  You may have lived in your house so long that you forgot what color your siding actually is until you pressure wash it.  This is another way to have great curb appeal when you put your house on the market. 
  • If your house has columns at the front it may be a good time to replace them or at least give them a fresh coat of paint.  Over the years columns tend to expand and crack and make the house look older than it actually is.  Give your home a facelift by taking care of issues like these before you put it on the market.
  • Refinishing your hardwoods is another way to make your home look its best.  You can do this yourself or you may want to choose to hire someone to do it for you.  Either way, refinishing your hardwoods is a great home improvement idea!

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

2016 Cost vs Value Report

by Scott Darling
cost vs value

The 2016 Cost vs Value Report shows that home improvement projects relating to curb appeal and energy efficiency had the highest rate of return.

The report compares the average cost of 30 popular remodeling projects against the value of those projects at resale in 100 US markets. The average cost and average return at resale for the 30 projects in this year’s report resulted in an average of 64.4% of a project’s investment dollars getting recouped if the home is sold within a year. That’s up from 62% in the 2015 report and the second-highest return in the past eight years.

Many of the biggest percentage gains were for higher-dollar upscale projects (jobs that are more expansive and complicated than midrange projects). Four of the top five gains in cost recouped were for upscale projects. Topping the list was:

  • fiberglass entry door (energy efficiency project) up 21.2%
  • two-story addition, an 8.1% higher recoupment than in the 2015 report
  • the master suite, up 6.5% and
  • major kitchen remodel, 4.2% higher 

The report is broken down into national results and then regionally. Click here for the full 2016 Cost vs. Value Report and here to view the data specifically for the Philadelphia region.

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