CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
East Stroudsburg

Spring is in the Air and we in the Poconos are getting ready.

March is always the time of year when we get those few warmer days and everyone starts to get excited and ready for the coming beautiful weather. It is also a time when more buyers come out to look at homes and when sellers list their homes in anticipation of the onslaught of buyers. This year because of the extended tax credit which expires on April 15, the next 30 days will be super-busy with buyers wanting to close before the expiration and sellers who want to showcase their home to those excited buyers.

With the spring season close at hand and the anticipation of the tax credit coming to an end, it’s a great time to share some home ideas for spring cleaning and prepping and staging a home for sale.

The agents at Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way pooled their ideas learned over decades of real estate selling along with some Pocono area home staging experts for our three-part series to help you clean and fix your home, inside and out.

CLEAN UP THE DIRTY
The first step and the best way to prepare a home to sell is a thorough cleaning.
• De-clutter, purge and organize first
• Clean rooms to spotless
• Empty and wipe closets
• Shine Appliances
• De-clutter counter tops in kitchen and bathrooms
• Clean leather furniture to remove scratches
• Polish wood furniture
• Clean windows to sparkle
• Find the dust in places you have forgotten – refrigerators tops, under sofas, inside bookshelves
• De-gunk kitchen cabinets, microwave, oven, tile, inside refrigerator
• Dust drapes, mattresses and bed frames
• Dust framed art and ceiling fan blades
• Wipe window panes and home baseboards
The whole house presents better when wiped, vacuumed and mopped.
Some projects will require a little more time but will have big impact especially cosmetic touch ups:
• Professional carpeting cleaning (or, in high-impact area, a new, neutral carpet
• Wipe and touch up paint throughout the home (or put a full fresh coat everywhere)
• Install crown molding
• Install a new kitchen or bathroom countertop

THE QUICK FIX
Other items that might not bother you but would indicate poor home maintenance to a potential buyer are the little maintenance problems that you always want to get to, but never do. Now is the time to really pay attention to those little annoyances.
• Fix leaky faucets
• Lubricate windows and doors
• Fix loose handles
• Repair nail pops in dry wall
• Fix weather stripping in doors and windows
• Re-caulk tile near tubs and sinks, windows and doors

GET OUTSIDE
You’ve heard the saying “Curb Appeal” – well, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and that impression starts outside of your home.
In early spring:
• Throw the windows open to get the spring smell indoors
• Neaten and trim any damaged winter landscaping
• Add fresh mulch
• Plant some pretty spring flowers already in bloom
• Clean up and arrange patio furniture
• Spray paint chipping planters (even if empty)
• Spray down driveways
• Sweep and clean cement pathways
• Clean and stain decking
• Clean gutters

Now take an objective walk in and around your home. Be a potential buyer. What would you think of this home?

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

East Stroudsburg

Here we grow again in Monroe County

COMMONWEALTH REAL ESTATE YOUR WAY, LLC, NAMES NEW AGENTS

Mt. Pocono, Pa., — (March 4, 2010) – Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC., with offices in Stroudsburg and Mt. Pocono, Pa., has named three REALTORS to its team of real estate experts. They are: Marie Burkey, Agnes Diehl and Diane Hinson. Two agents are rejoining former broker, Vickie Brockelman, who had previously owned the Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate franchise before their sale in 2008.
Burkey has been a real estate professional and top performer for more than 10 years earning awards including Sterling Society for 2002 and 2006; Million Dollar Producer for 2002, 2008 and 2009; Solid Service Referral for 2002 and 2003; Above and Beyond Award for 2003; Multi Million Dollar Producer for 2003 through 2007; Company best listing sold volume and sold in units for 2006; and Accredited Seller Representative for 2006 – all major awards when she was with Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate. She specializes in Monroe, Carbon and Pike counties as well as all of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She knows the markets expertly including primary and vacation homes, investment properties, lots and land and can serve as an Accredited Seller Representative and Negotiation & Relocation Specialist.

Also a former Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate agent, Hinson has been a Realtor in the Poconos for nearly 9 years. While an agent with CBPRRE, Diane earned an award for being a Million Dollar Producer in Listings and Buyer Controlled Volume. In addition, she won an All Star Award for Exceptional Productivity. Diane was also designated as a speaker for Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate Agents on the subject matter of Professionalism and Expertise as a Listing Agent.

Diehl has been in the real estate industry for more than 2 decades and has sold properties in the New Jersey region and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
While living in New Jersey, she was an agent with Weichert Realty in Roxbury and sold property through the state. When she moved to the Poconos she was in client services with Shawnee Development assisting Shawnee owners to upgrade to a Wyndham resort. With personal achievements including highest in-house sales and other company successes, she was offered employment with Wyndham World Wide and became one of the highest ranking sales people in the Pocono region assisting vacation owners and new customers to purchase Wyndham properties throughout the United States.
All three are members of the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS, the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS.

For more information, watch for the Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC, Web site launch coming soon at www.creYourWay.com or call or call 570-839-0411 or toll free at 1-888-333-0464.

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

East Stroudsburg

First-Time Homebuyers Need Guidance, Expertise

Just two weeks into the Chinese Year of the Tiger — many are wondering…Will this be the year that First-Time Home Buyers ROAR and purchase their first homes.

According to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, the answer is Yes, Yes, Yes. He says there will be 1.84 million homes sold to first-time home buyers in 2010, compared with 1.73 million in 2009. That’s good news for the economy and good news for buyers.

A few tips to those new to real estate who want to purchase a home:

1) From the National Association of RELATORS:
a. In order to take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, you need to close by April 30, 2010. You can apply the credit to your 2009 taxes if you close and file your taxes on or before April 15 or you can file an amended 2009 return or apply the credit to 2010.

2) From the REALTORS at Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way with offices in Mt. Pocono and Stroudsburg, PA:
a. Find a REALTOR to work with. Do not try to purchase a home without the expertise, knowledge and guidance of a REALTOR. Using a REALTOR makes sense when its time to buy (or sell) a home. Particularly with the deadline for a major tax credit looming, many new to real estate will rush to judgment and make mistakes. For first time home buyers, REALTORS can look out for your interests and have experience negotiating and walking those in a real estate transaction for the first time through the process. REALTORS adhere to a strict code of ethics, they are constantly updating their skills, and they understand the marketplace.

It’s time to buy. There’s no doubt about it. The inventory is high, the prices are right and it you qualify as a first-time home buyer, the tax incentives are incredible.

Let this Year of the Tiger be your time to ROAR!

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

East Stroudsburg

The history of Valentine’s Day.

History of St. Valentine’s Day

St Valentine’s Day was supposedly started in the time of the Roman Empire. In Ancient Rome, the date of February 14 was a holiday to honor the Queen of Roman Goddesses and Gods, Juno. Juno was known as the Goddess of women and marriage. The next day February 15 was the first day of the Festival known as the Feast of Lupercia.

On February 14 is was said that the young boys and girls of the villages would write down the names of every girl and place these names in a jar of which each young man would have to draw a name of a girl and this particular maiden would be their partner for the duration of the festival. Sometimes these parings would last a year and end up in marriage.

These rituals under the laws of Claudius were banned as the Emperor believed that the reasons why men would now go to war were because they did not want to leave their lovers or families. As a result all marriages and engagements were canceled as a result Saint Valentine a Roman priest was said to have married these couples in secret and for this he was executed on the 14th day of February.

While St Valentine was in jail it is said that he fell in love with the jailers’ daughter. By a miracle or some say by the prayers of Valentine she gained her sight and as a last farewell in a note he was to “From Your Valentine”.

Another story as to the origins of Valentine’s Day was that he was a priest who was also a physician and would cure the sick. He was also said to have tried to cure the jailers blind daughter, but, was arrested and on the day of his execution he wrote a note as a final farewell saying “From your Valentine” which some say is what caused her to gain her sight.

It is also said whilst he was in jail awaiting execution that he was sent little notes and flowers from the children whom he had helped when they were sick. This also may have been one of the reasons why he sent a farewell note to the jailers’ daughter and why we send valentines.

St Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 of each year; the reason why it is celebrated on this day is because this was the day that the Patron Saint of Lovers “St Valentine” was supposedly executed on. On this day lovers all around the world mark this occasion as a day for sending poems, cards, flowers or candy, etc. They might also be a social gathering or ball to mark the occasion.

Another Interesting origin is that St Valentine was the patron Saint of Epilepsy reason was that he was supposedly a sufferer and took a keen interest in those who suffered from this affliction and also that those who suffered this disease were suffering from Valentine’s sickness.

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

East Stroudsburg

Keith Gilpin Spirit Award

Keith Gilpin

Keith Gilpin

Three years ago a friend and real estate colleague, Keith Gilpin, passed away.
At first, it seemed like such a horrible time to go. It was right before Christmas. But on reflection, we realized that Christmas seemed the most appropriate time for Keith to pass – a time of great giving, joy and peace. When better to celebrate a life lived for giving, joy and peace?

Not long after his death, I renamed what was then known as the Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate Spirit Award (I was broker of the region’s Coldwell Banker offices) to the Keith Gilpin Spirit Award. The award recognizes professionalism, positive attitude, a willingness to serve the community and the customer and make them the priority each and every day. It also recognizes excellence, team spirit and creativity.

Although we didn’t call it the Platinum Rule three years ago, the Keith Gilpin Spirit Award recognizes efforts of working within the Platinum Rule, which is one of the founding principles of Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC. The Platinum Rules says to treat the customer (and everyone else) the way they wish and need to be treated……It’s amazing to me how far ahead of his time Keith was. He personified the Platinum Rule long before it became a popular business and lifestyle model.

Keith taught us that life is to live and embrace every day, and most importantly, he taught us being a real estate agent and helping people find the place where they will lay deep roots and live is humble and important work.

Keith had an amazing passion for life. He would start projects and assignments strong — with creativity and fresh ideas, intent and energy and he would finish strong – - getting things done, delivering what he promised, giving more than was expected and he did it with energy, integrity and professionalism. For all that he was …. Keith remains the embodiment of the Award.

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC, will continue to recognize an agent each year at this time with the Keith Gilpin Spirit Award.
We are honoring this year’s recipient on December 21, the anniversary of Keith’s death. This individual is always on, always at the ready to serve, whether community, customer, friend or colleague. This individual is diligent in the practice of real estate; will try new ideas with gusto and courage; always chooses to see the positive and understands that to accomplish great things, we must act, dream, plan and believe. With a great attitude and passion to serve, this individual has “Keith Gilpin’s style”; is a strong finisher and is the living personification of the Keith Gilpin Spirit Award.

This year’s recipient is Karen Wagner.

Karen Wagner
Karen Wagner

Karen Wagner has been marketing residential real estate in the Pocono region since 1995. She is an award-winning, full-time realtor whose specialties include e-marketing and new construction. Her customer focus includes first-time and single home buyers and older adults. Karen puts the needs of her clients individuals first and applies the Platinum Rule to all her real estate relationships making her a perfect fit for Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, and the Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors.Karen is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, where she graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis. She and her family moved to Pennsylvania from Pensacola, Florida. Prior to real estate, Karen had a successful career in advertising and marketing.

Karen’s free-time passions include people, joy, life… and Indianapolis Colts football!

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155



CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville