This March, I am celebrating 20 years of being a real estate agent. I have learned a lot in this business about real estate, finance, and more importantly, about people. One thing that is clear; real estate agents are a different type of animal. For the most part, I have met and been able to cooperate with many fine individuals in this industry who have also become my friends. However, with the perception that TV shows portray, and the thinking that this career path is easy & lucrative to anyone who can get their license, there are a few agents that I have come across that just seem to give the rest of us a bad name. Here are a few examples of what I am referring to. [Read more...]
When you are clicking through real estate web sites, real estate magazines, flyers and other ad mediums looking for Montgomery County homes for sale, I am sure you have come across many different styles of homes. Single family, town house, row home, twin home, carriage home, condominium, etc. You may have even come across town homes listed as condos, or even single homes as a condo. So what exactly is the difference? [Read more...]
Another common question that that is asked by home buyers is whether or not you need an attorney when buying a home in Pennsylvania. There are many states that require an attorney and sometimes, it is just common practice. In Pennsylvania, we are special: we are one of only 5 commonwealth’s in the country, our local and school taxes have the most bizarre billing and payment schedules, and we have some crazy stupid laws. But do you need an attorney? [Read more...]
I think that we can all agree that this is the best time in history to buy a home. However, one of the main stumbling blocks in being able to do so is coming up with some savings for a down payment and/or closing costs. Although there are ways to buy a home with no money, the restrictions of these programs may not fit your needs. So here are some great ways to get your hands on the funds you need. [Read more...]
It was 1994, gas was $1.09, Tonya Harding won the figure skating championship after attacking Nancy Kerrigan, interest rates were 8.5%, and I was just starting my career in real estate. Without having any idea of what I was doing, I walked into my first sales meeting at the beautiful Manor House in the village of Skippack, PA. With my new briefcase in hand, I find a seat in the conference room. My broker starts the meeting by announcing that the FBI was coming in to seize all of the files in the office!
I just got done showing a home to a first-time home buyer, a single father and his three little girls. There are many things that we take for granted, and this one little girl helped me to remember those thing in order to appreciate them again. In an economy where many are complaining about their home values declining, this 6 year old little girl can really put things into perspective. [Read more...]
In my humble opinion, real estate is a much better investment than the stock market. One of the reasons has much to do with taxation. A wise man once said, “It is not how much you make, but how much you keep.” This phrase is very true and therefore, I would like to introduce you to a way that you can buy and sell real estate, without ever having to pay capital gains taxes, yet still utilize the profits! [Read more...]
I am sure you have heard the radio, television, and internet ads stating you can buy a foreclosed home for as little as $199. Not $199 down, just a total of $199 and you own the home. I actually received an email yesterday from a lead source asking to find such homes for them. In the words of Flavor Flav of Public Ememy, Don’t Believe the Hype…
The “Bridge From Nowhere To Nowhere”. We have all heard about his at some point over the years. A few years ago, PENNDOT widened Forty Foot Road to be 4 lanes wide with a center turn lane. During the process, they constructed a huge pedestrian bridge that was very controversial in the Township because it did not connect anything! It currentlygoes from field to field and no one uses it. Many people saw this as a waste of money and the village of Kulpsville, right off of Exit 31 of the Northeast Extension of Route 476, was up in arms. Well, that will soon be changing. [Read more...]
So you went out looking at houses today, hopefully with me! You saw a bunch of homes and all of the features are getting jumbled together in your head. Although it would be nice to take your favorite amenities an create your perfect home, I could not find an app for that, sorry. However, I did find an app to help you keep track of everything right on your iPhone!
How many detours can one person take? It seems that everywhere you go, there is some type of road construction going on. 309, Sumneytown Pike, the Turnpike, 202, etc. I am sure that this is all being done to increase traffic flow and ultimately, increase time home with our families. However, WTH is going on? Well, here are some highlights of area projects that are temporarily clogging up the roadways and forcing us to use “the backroads”.
Remember that beautiful brick home featured in the 1990 classic, Home Alone? The actual house has just hit the market on Chicago’s North Shore in the historic town of Winnetka for just $2.4 million. Don’t worry, the tarantula has been removed. However, the staircase that “Kevin” went sliding down is still there. There is a video tour and interview of the current owners, who have lived there for 25 years, talking about the movie. Check out the full listing here.
If you wanted to buy 1000 shares of $100 stock today, how much would you lay out of pocket? For most non-savvy investors, this would cost $100,000. Now, lets say you want to purchase a property for investment purposes. To make it easy, let’s say the property is $100,000. How much money would you need to lay out of pocket? Well, if you obtained a mortgage, you could put 20% down on the property making it $20,000 out of pocket. You just leveraged a $100,000 asset with only $20,000, score one for real estate. [Read more...]
OK, so you are thinking of putting off buying a home. WHY? Here are some changes coming to mortgages that may make you think twice. [Read more...]
There are so many people that think that they cannot get a mortgage to purchase a new home. They want to, but lack the proper guidance to overcome what they think their obstacles are. Below are some of the most common excuses and how to overcome them. [Read more...]