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 shanna@yorkadamssmartgrowth.org 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 http://www.yorkpa.org/. 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!