Dec 28, 2010

year end

Well as 2010 winds down and as the numbers come in there are definitely signs of improvement in the real estate market: the general public has come to understand the "short sale" process and that it is not as easy a process as all had thought and that buyers sometime don't get what they thought they would, leading many to search for new homes in the traditional market especially with the values that are available. Sellers and buyers realized that they are not going to sell their house for as much but they also were or are not going to pay as much for their new property. When the interest rates went up slightly that also created a little surge as the "fence sitters" realized rates were not going to go lower they got into the market, also a great time to refinance : AS LONG AS YOU USED A TRUSTWORTHY LENDER.... now the bad part: banks , under pressure from our government, still have not realized they have swung too far the other way, yes we were way too easy a couple years ago but now as typical the pendulum went to the far other side. costs have gone up since the government created appraisal boards, and they are hurting values by using appraisers not familiar with the area they are going into. and of course sprinklers... but we will work on...

Nov 29, 2010

time to buy

Well here we are just finishing black Friday and heading into the home stretch on the year 2010. The sprinklers will go into effect for how long who knows, the talking heads say we will try to repeal!! the other talking heads " we will fight" the little guy gets screwed again not sure what this will do to the housing market but builders have placed big incentives, existing home are priced so attractively, rates are lower than ever we have people locking in legitimate 3.75 and 4% rates with zero points, for 15 and 30 years. I cant imagine rates going lower because who will buy the bonds and instruments that create these rates, will rates go up in spring as is usual? I have always heard " he ain't making no more of it" meaning land, tough for someone to "cook the books" on real estate you own and hold the deed to. are we not procreating anymore? if you need a house or want to upgrade you may not be getting as much for your old house but you are not going to pay as much for a new one either. seems like the perfect storm to buy regular old housing not short sales and foreclosures that take forever or don't turnout as good as they sounded but regular resales and new houses.

Nov 10, 2010

Sprinklers & laziness

Well even though there seemed to be support for backing off on the sprinkler code, it passed the house, the senate has determined they will not be voting anymore this year... so it looks like in January we will have to deal with sprinklers. So the average new house cost will rise by approx 6-10K, further slowing the home industry, there by putting more people out of work, more suppliers will sell less, and sink us deeper in to the funk which has been so over reported. AS things have started to get better this comes along and through the efforts of a lot of people it was fought and passed the PA house but someone decided to take their ball and go home. seems funny that we cant end our year in November I thought these guys were working for the people.

Oct 5, 2010

are we stupid

Are we stupid? you may ask why would I ask this ? because I can't believe what is going on and we let it. This January 1, 2011 Pennsylvania the first state in the nation will require sprinklers in single family and duplex properties. And the chorus of "but it's for your own good" rises to a crescendo.. it amazes me how many people don't even know that this is going into effect. The cost of this along with some other "no value to the buyer" added requirements is going to add approx $10,000 to the cost of a new home. Some buyers think well our insurance is going to go down, my first hand experience with investment properties that we own was the same units with sprinklers cost us an additional $100 per year over the same unit without sprinklers. This theft of your hard earned money came about because of the sprinkler industry getting the right lobby to yell loud enough. Most don't even understand that the sprinklers are not designed to save your home but give you an additional 7-9 minutes to get out of your house. York County also has the hardship of having properties on wells which will require additional pumps etc. I have yet to see facts or figures on how this will save anymore lives than smoke detectors. why do we not get to choose? I guess we are just too stupid.....

Aug 25, 2010

It amazes me how the media only wants to cover the negative, they lead with housing sales down 27%, I don't not see it, we are actually up significantly, I am seeing more of what i call the educated smart buyer getting back into the market, the buyers with lots of equity, the people who are putting money down. we are seeing more people taking advantage of the lowest interest rates we have ever seen and we are not new to the real estate industry. while it is true you are not selling your house for as much as you would have a ways back but you are not going to pay as much for what you are buying either. I am seeing developers buying development land and builders buying inventory again but the media does not want to hear this stuff even when we tell them they only go with the negative...

Aug 11, 2010

Just a point

Would $122 extra dollars each month make a difference in your budget?
-A night out on the town?

What would you do with an extra $1,466 per year?
-A nice vacation?

Does a savings of nearly $44,000 over 30 years sound appealing?

Well, that is the difference between a 4.5% interest rate and a 5.5% rate on a $200,000, 30 year loan.

An upswing of just one percentage point can make a difference in not only the monthly principal and interest payment, but also impact your buying power.

The payment on a $225,000 loan paying 4.5% over 30 years is less than $5 per month more than what you would pay on a $200,000 loan at a 5.5% rate.

Rates are currently at or near historic lows. Don't miss this opportunity!

Aug 2, 2010

Tax Credit Still Available for Military Personnel

If you (or someone you know) were serving overseas between January 2009 and May 2010, you are still eligible for the $8,000 first-time homebuyer and the $6,500 move-up tax credits. Don't miss out on these opportunities if you are eligible. Talk to your real estate professional today!

Jul 27, 2010

So Long, Sunbelt

Older Baby Boomers (aged 55-64) are not just prolonging retirement plans. They are also changing their housing preferences. Boomers who can afford to moving are choosing to go closer to children and grandchildren instead of heading south for the Sunbelt. A recent survey conducted by real estate advisory firm, RCLCO, found 75% of boomers were interested in mixed-age and mixed-use communities. Walkable, suburban town centers seem to be a popular solution for these Boomers.

It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out over the next decade. Could this create an increase in time spent with family? With greater economic strain placed on parents, perhaps they will lean on grandparents to take care of the kids? This could also be good news for Pennsylvania, which has witnessed a great deal of residents leaving the "Ironbelt" for the "Sunbelt" over the last two decades.

Other interesting generational trends:
  • Younger Boomers (46-54) are feeling "stuck" in their homes due to flat incomes, lost home equity, and children moving back home. This segment is the largest, which means less younger homebuyers are available to "move up" into these larger homes. Instead, these homes might become an attractive option for immigrant families, who are seeking larger homes for their larger household.
  • Generation Y (teens-early 30s) are an emerging force in the home market. This segment of the population values community above all. However, this generation is much more unpredictable than others. It will be interesting to see the behavior of this segment unfold over the next decade.

Jul 22, 2010

Electric Rate Caps

Our goal is to alert the public of what is going on in real estate land. I am sure you have all heard about the rate caps expiring the end of 2010 which will mean a significant increase in the cost of electricity. PPL has already started raising their rates some of our client are reporting seeing 20% increases thus far. One way you may want to leel the field is shopping rates for different providers, on August 3rd from 6-8 pm York Adams Smart Growth Coalition will be hosting a service provider fair at Heritage Hills Resort. There will be specialists on hand to answer questions. It is a free event but registration is required. You can contact Shanna Wiest at or call 870-1230. This should make it easy to compare and hopefully make this change less painful,

Jul 19, 2010

Getting Your Home Ready for Photos

I handle a lot of the marketing for The Sold Team of Century 21 Heritage Realty. One of my most frequently asked questions is "What do I need to do to get ready for photos?" First impressions are by far the best impressions and when selling a home, first impressions are especially important. "First" photos are uploaded to the MLS system and a ton of websites feeding off the MLS system. Some websites are harder to maintain, so getting them right the first time, is extremely critical. Sellers can help the process by having homes lightly cleaned, pillows fluffed, blankets put away, papers collected, beds made, and toilet seats down. Virtual tour photos pickup everything in a room, so it is very important to have all rooms tidy and free of debris. Toys should be put away in a closet. Kitchens and bathrooms should have counters free of objects. If possible, hang accent towels, in decent condition, to add color.

Don't forget the exterior! The most important photo taken of your home will be the front elevation, so please give your exterior special attention. Mow the yard, pull weeds, plant pretty flowers, freshen up mulch, store toys, have driveways free of vehicles. Look at your house from the curb. Put yourself in the mind of a buyer, and make sure it is a home you would still want to purchase. Professional stagers are available to assist homesellers with their questions, but most of the time, all a home needs is some extra TLC.

Jul 13, 2010

Thinking about Building a House?

Ever dream of building a home? Why not make that dream a reality? Now is the perfect time to build a new home. Builders in the area are offering great prices and incentives and interest rates are still low. We are your new construction experts. If you are thinking of building a home in York County, we can help. In a neighborhood or building a custom home, put the experience of The Sold Team of Century 21 Heritgage to work for you!

Check out some of the builders we work with here.

Jul 11, 2010

Looking for Something to Do?

York County is affectionately know as the "Factory Tour Capital of the World" because of the many local businesses that offer a tour of their production facilities. If you are looking for something to do and you don't want to break the bank, check out There you will find a link to all of the factory tours available. Take advantage of these local gems and maybe learn something new. York County is a great place to live, work and play!

Jul 2, 2010

Introduction from Chris

I love looking at houses. It’s why I became a Realtor. My husband thought it was great I combined something I like to do with a career. Surely, when you love what you do, you don’t work a day. (Was that a Sam Adams or Yuengling commercial?) Anyway, what he wasn’t anticipating was the number of homes I get to see on behalf of my clients and some of the wonderful ideas in home decorating and remodeling I come across that I think would be great for our home.

What was to be a simple bathroom update, basically just a new vanity and cabinet, became a tear down of the tile on the walls, which was replaced with bead board, and a new ceramic tile floor. He stopped short of allowing me to retile the shower.

Our kitchen remodel is still in the planning stages. His idea is to tear down the 1960s era wallpaper and paint the cabinets, which is a plan I have suggested to clients. It is an efficient and economical way to update a kitchen. Add some modern door pulls and voila – updated kitchen. After looking at many kitchens; however, I came up with a little different plan for ours. “I was in a similar home to ours today and they knocked out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. It made the kitchen look so much larger.” “Let’s move the fridge over to that side to optimize the workspace.” “Recessed lights would be fantastic over our table.” “The home I just listed has a floor-to-ceiling pantry closet with pull-out shelves. We need one of those.” You can see where I’m headed here and can probably understand why we are still in the “planning stages.”

I’ve also purchased some wonderful furniture as a result of being a Realtor. As a representative of EG Stoltzfus, I regularly host an open house in the Eagles View model home, which is, as I’m sure you can imagine, beautifully furnished. The model is now sold and I have done my part to lighten the load of the move out by purchasing a gorgeous gateleg coffee table and a beautiful mirror. The mirror doesn’t quite fit where I initially intended, but looks great over the desk in my family room.

So, if you’re looking for a new home or have real estate questions, it would be my pleasure to help you because I love looking at houses, I love helping families find just the right home and I love (although my husband isn’t quite so crazy about it) getting decorating ideas.

-Chris Shemeta
The Sold Team of Century 21 Heritage Realty

Jul 1, 2010

Good News in the Housing Market

Good News! New home sales were up 14.8% in April, and 50% higher from April the previous year. New jobs are being created, which is also expected to raise demand for housing.

Some economists remain a bit skeptical, citing the high volume of homes currently on the market as a hindrance to recovery. However, the House recently passed an extension in the federal homebuyer's tax credit, which could stimulate demand if it is passed by the Senate. Interest rates are still at record-low rates, which is another great incentive to buy real estate.

We have been seeing a higher level of activity this month, with plenty of settlements and new listings to keep us busy. However, we love to hear good news about the housing market, and look forward to an economic recovery!

Jun 25, 2010

Updating Your Home

Looking to spruce up your home, but not sure how? Here are some tips:

1. Reface, don't replace. If you don't have the money to completely remodel your home, that's okay. Consider minor changes, like re-painting, or removing wall paper.

2. Neutrality and Simplicity Sell. You might love the intricate paint job in your bedroom or the bright bold carpeting in your living room, but not every buyer will. Consider beige, white, pale yellows, and other neutral tones when re-painting or re-carpeting.

3. Don't invest in fancy, personalized features. If your home is designed to match your personal tastes, interests, or furniture, you might be in trouble. Remember that buyers do not necessarily have the same furniture, interior design, or personal tastes as you.

4. Hardwood Floors are "In." If you are removing carpet, consider keeping the hardwood floors. It might cost only $500 to refinish hardwood floors, compared with $1,000 to re-carpet. If you don't have hardwood floors, consider putting them in certain rooms to add value.

5. The Sold Team is here to help. Don't forget you always have us. If you are worried about what to do to improve your home's selling potential, talk to someone from our team. We have represented thousands of buyers in York County, and we know what they are looking for. We have also sold millions of dollars of real estate in York County. We know what sells and what doesn't. We have your interest at heart.

Seller Tips

1. Cost does not equal value. While every home seller wants to realize a gain on their investment, this isn’t always possible. It’s important to price your home according to its value and not cost. The same goes for improvements. Spending $20,000 to remodel a kitchen does not guarantee a $20,000 increase in property value. Talking to a knowledgeable professional is a great way to determine how to maximize the gain on your real estate investments.
2. Look at Your Competition. If your home is priced higher than all the others in your neighborhood, you better have a good reason why. Unless it has better features than the other homes, it’s going to be the last to sell. Look at similar homes and price yours accordingly.
3. Maximize Curb Appeal. Give your buyers a reason to get out of the car and get into your home. If your home isn’t looking clean and well organized, buyers will wonder what else you let slide…
4. Stay Fresh. The longer your property sits, the less attractive it becomes to buyers. Keep your property fresh by updating photos. A snowy picture in June signals to buyers your home has been on the market for some time. Also, consider changing up pricing to attract new buyers. Don’t blame your agent. Agents don’t create the market. If they did, houses would sell every day with ease. They are doing their best to assist you, and they want your home to sell just as much as you do. All they can do is give their advice about what they think your home is worth and what price they think it will sell at. They can’t change the market to get your home to sell at the price you want.

For more tips, check out:

Jun 23, 2010

For Home Sellers

Here is how we help you sell your home:

  • We do your homework for you. It's our responsibility to know what price your home will sell for. We examine your home's features extensively and compare them with similar homes in your neighborhood and throughout York County. We look at recently sold homes as well as currently listed properties to find what prices are working and which ones are not. We leverage our experience and knowledge to find a price that gives you the most value while still attracting buyers.
  • We help you stage your home. Working in real estate for over 30 years, we know what home buyers are looking for. Some features you can't change, but minor details, like vacuuming the living room or clearing off the kitchen counters, can make a huge difference!
  • We market your home. From taking pictures that capture the most floor space and most appealing features of your home to making sure your listing gets on every single real estate search engine prospective buyers are looking at, we are there. We work hard to get your home the most possible exposure, and we invest an enormous amount of time and money to establish strategic relationships with valuable real estate marketing channels. For more on this, check out our e-marketing brochure.
  • We negotiate for you. You are selling a home. Whether you've lived there all your life or only a couple years or months, you probably have some good and bad memories with your home. We make sure your emotions stay out of the negotiation process. We do our homework to understand what potential buyers might be willing to pay for your home. Our efforts help get you the best possible deal on your home.
  • We get you to closing. Our seven person team works tirelessly to get you to closing. We have close relationships with mortgage companies, closing companies, and other real estate professionals in York, County. We work closely with these people to ensure your transaction is completed in a timely and stress-free manner.
  • We are here to serve you. Have any questions throughout the entire process? Need to store your furniture until you find a new home? Worried your home isn't getting enough showings? We are here to answer your questions. We have seven knowledgeable team members working to ensure your questions are answered quickly and accurately.

Seller Tips: Negotiating

The negotiation process is just one step of the real estate process. It might be one of the best reasons to have the help of an experienced, knowledgeable real estate professional on your side. Whether you choose to work with a Realtor or go through the process alone, these tips are important for helping you get the best deal!

1. Don't Get Emotional. Let go of the emotion you've invested in your home and approach negotiations in a detached, business-like manner. You'll find the process to be a lot less painful, and will have an advantage over prospective buyers who do get caught up in the emotion of the situation.

2. Know your buyer. Your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. The more you know your buyer, the more easily you can maintain control. Maybe your buyer needs to move quickly? Maybe your buyer can't afford the price you want? Knowing information like this puts you in a better bargaining position. It's especially important to know what prospective buyers can actually afford.

3. Don't Constrain Yourself. Flexibility is an invaluable asset in the negotiation process. You don't want to sign a deal on a new home or move out before you close the deal on your current home. This might signal eagerness (or desperation) to sell, which is not going to help you in the negotiation process!

4. Don't take low offers seriously or personally. The first offer is low for a reason- the buyer is trying to get you to fixate on that low number. Don't fall into this trap. Understand what your home is worth and what you are willing to accept. Low offers might scare you into thinking your home is worth less than it really is. In reality, a low offer might indicate a buyer is unable to afford a home like yours.

5. Make sure the contract is complete. As with any contract, you want to have the terms, costs, and responsibilities all spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include the date it was made, the names of all parties involved, the address of the property being sold, the purchase price, where deposit monies will be held, the date for loan approval, the date and place of closing, type of deed, any contingencies that remain to be settled, and whether there's any personal property included (or not) in the sale, among other things.

6. Don't deviate from the contract. Resist the temptation to diverge from the contract. Don't take any chances of the deal falling through!

Jun 10, 2010

Market Got You Down?

We don't have to be victims of the current economic crisis. Falling home prices and overall worries about the stability of the global economy have home buyers and sellers worried. However, now these tough economic times provide an example of why a Realtor is essential in any home transaction.

In your busy life, you don't have the time to keep up with current events in the community and home market. That's where a Realtor comes in handy. An experienced, knowledgable, and conscientous real estate professional can give you all the information you need. Realtors are service providers, and knowledge is their #1 value proposition. These tough economic times make information infinitely more valuable. With volatility in the home market, the help of an experienced professional, who actually understands what is going on, is priceless.

These are tough times for people all across the county (...unless you have a huge stake in Apple, Inc.). Don't let the home buying or home selling process stress you out!


The Sold Team just wanted to say congratulations to all the grads in York County, PA! Hope for beautiful weather this weekend!

May 25, 2010

Why York?

Whether you are looking for a convenient commute or enjoy taking the occasional day trip, York is an awesome hub on the East Coast.

A forty-five minute drive down I-83 puts you in Baltimore, where you can explore the Inner Harbor, shop and dine in the city, or play all day in ESPN Zone. One more hour south, and you find yourself in Washington, D.C. Enjoy all the historical and cultural sites in the nation’s capital. According to a member of The Team, a trip to Washington is not complete without a stop to. Georgetown Cupcake. Don’t worry, they are less than 200 calories!

Philadelphia lies just two hours east of York. Go shopping at King of Prussia mall or head into the city to explore the historical and cultural sites. Also in Pennsylvania, you can enjoy an exciting day at Hershey Park (just forty-five minutes away). Immerse yourself in the chocolate making process at Chocolate World or spend a day riding roller coasters and other attractions. Also in Pennsylvania, don’t forget to visit the State Capital, Harrisburg, for great shops and restaurants. Or, explore the rich heritage nearby Lancaster has to offer.

York is also only four hours from New York City. Take a bus or drive up and spend a day in the big city for shopping, site-seeing, and delicious food. Looking for great food? Check out Chocolate By The Bald Man– a Sold Team favorite.

In the warm summer heat, you might want to get away for a week or two. A three to four hour drive puts you at your favorite beach– whether that’s Wildwood (New Jersey), Ocean City, or Virginia Beach.

May 20, 2010

An introduction

Welcome to Real Estate Info. from The Sold Team.

The purpose of this blog is to provide interested people information about the York, PA real estate market. Our team has dedicated over 20 years of service to the York community. Some of our team members have been real estate agents for over 30 years, and others have spent their entire life in York, PA.

The Sold Team has a wealth of knowledge about real estate, especially in the York, PA home market. This blog was established to help provide people with information about York real estate, the York Community, and to give people a way to communicate with real estate experts.

Please feel free to call us or e-mail any questions!

Phone: 717-757-9487