CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
first time Pocono home buyer

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

first time Pocono home buyer

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

first time Pocono home buyer

Now is the time to buy a home in the Poconos

Buyers Who Wait May Lose a Lot
Potential home buyers who delay have a lot to lose.

First-time home buyer and move-up tax credits worth $8,000 and $6,500, respectively, expire April 30. Buyers who qualify get a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes or a cash payment if they don’t pay enough taxes to cover the credit.

Other factors that should spur buyers:

Low mortgage rates. If the Federal Reserve stops buying mortgage-backed securities at the end of March, 30-year rates will almost certainly rise to more than 6 percent.

Rising prices. About 30 percent of markets are already experiencing price increases. Prices are falling in 12 percent of markets, says Fiserv (but that only helps if you want to live there).

Source: Money Magazine, Beth Braverman (03/02/2010)
If you have been considering Purchasing your first home or A larger home, get out this weekend and take a look at all the great homes for sale in the Stroudsburg ,Mt. Pocono, Blakslee and all of the surrounding Pocono Region. Home prices, interest rates tax credits are the best ever.

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

first time Pocono home buyer

Realtors Take Action to Extend Homebuyer Tax Credit

September 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

REALTORS® from all around the country (including Commonwealth’s Pocono Realtors) recently sat down in front of cameras to send Congress an important message: the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit is working. But with the credit set to expire soon, it’s not enough.

Watch this video (video link click here – http://bit.ly/zs5fB) to learn more, and then send your own message to Congress telling them to extend and expand the tax credit.

How to send to your letter:

Subject:
Homebuyer Tax Credit: Extend and Expand

Dear [ Decision Maker ],

As a Realtor and a constituent, I can assure you that the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has definitely been a success. Homebuyer interest and housing sales increased almost as soon as the ink was dry on the tax credit legislation. Today’s lower prices and interest rates appeal to consumers, but it’s been the tax credit that has attracted people to open houses and to homeownership.

That progress could grind to a halt sooner than you think. Congress must act NOW to extend the credit through 2010. Otherwise, uncertainty will return and the market might again be frozen — possibly as soon as October.

A homebuyer is eligible for the tax credit only if the home is “purchased” before December 1, 2009. That means that buyers have to find a house, complete a contract, satisfy any contingencies, secure financing and go to closing by November 30. Accomplishing those tasks by November 30 will become more difficult with every passing day. In today’s market, it generally takes between 45 and 60 days to go from contract to closing.

The market has improved, but it has not yet fully corrected itself. The credit needs to be extended for an additional period of time and expanded in order to build upon the progress that’s been made. Uncertainty about the future of the credit will dampen consumer demand. The best way to assure continued housing activity is to extend and expand the credit and to do that NOW.

We can’t wait until late in the year to see what happens. Consumers will drop out soon if they can’t predict what’s in their future. Please act NOW to extend and expand the credit through 2010.
Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your address]

first time Pocono home buyer

First Time Homebuyers – Don’t Miss the Deadline

August 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS – Don’t miss your chance to become a homeowner because you missed the deadline

Time is running out – November 30, 2009 is the Cut-Off

By now, everyone knows about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the $8,000 tax credit available for first-time homebuyers. It’s the best incentive to buy a home in decades.

It’s important to note that the deadline for who qualifies is fast approaching. While November 30, 2009 seems ages away, it will be here before you know it. And that date is the deadline for closing. To qualify for the tax credit, your purchase must close by the November 30, 2009 cutoff.

So, if purchasing a new home to take advantage of the tax credit is on your “To Do” list — Get moving!!!

Currently, there is so much activity in the marketplace — appraisal requests, lots of refinancing and regular home purchases because of great mortgage rates. Closings are taking longer than ever and are even being pushed back every day.

Call any of our agents at Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way today to help get started in buying your first home in the Pocono real estate market.

More Tax Incentive Info

  • You are considered a first-time homebuyer if you, and your spouse if you are married, have not owned any other main home during the three-year period ending prior to the date of purchase.
  • In June it was announced that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax credit of up to $8,000 could be used as down payment or for closing costs on FHA-insured mortgages.

Find more info at www.IRS.gov or www.realtor.org

first time Pocono home buyer

PA First Time Home Buyers – Get an advance on your tax credit to use for closing

June 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Now there are even more reasons to buy homes in Pennsylvania.

We blogged recently that the federal government gave first-time home buyers incentive to buy a home because they added an opportunity to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax credit of up to $8,000 by first-time buyers to use the tax credit as a down payment or for closing costs. (Check out our recent blog post from June 8th – More reasons to buy Pocono Real Estate)

Then, today, the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS announced that Gov. Edward G. Rendell created a plan to award a portion of the $380 million in federal economic recovery funds to assist Pennsylvania home buyers. According news from PAR, nearly 1,000 families will receive thousands of dollars to help make down payments on new homes, more than 5,000 families across Pennsylvania will find affordable housing and jobs will be created for some 3,000 workers.

These down payment and closing cost assistance programs will come in the form of advances on the tax credits and will be administered through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Tax Credit Advance Loan Program (TCS) and Keystone Assistance Loans (KAL).  Borrowers can use a portion of the tax credit in the form of a second, short-term, low to no interest loan to fund the down payment or closing.

There is plenty of Pocono real estate available. If you have always wanted a home of your own and have never had a chance before, now might be the perfect time.

first time Pocono home buyer

Why use a REALTOR for the first time home buyer

April 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Recent news from the National Association of REALTORS® is that first-time buyers are responding to low mortgage interest rates and tax credits and that first-time home buyers are driving the market.

The best advice for individuals with real estate needs (particularly the first-time home buyer) is this: Find a REALTOR®.

Using a REALTOR® is a homeowner’s best bet when it’s time to buy or sell their home or other property.  Especially in today’s Pocono housing market, REALTORS® help manage the complex legal issues of real estate transactions as well as the security challenges of dealing with strangers to properly staging a house for sale using effective marketing.  And when you choose a REALTOR®, you’ve chosen the best of the best.

REALTORS® adhere to a strict code of ethics, they are constantly updating their skills, they understand the marketplace and use specialized tools to help properly price a house, they are experts in preparing a home for sale and already know active buyers that can be matched with sellers. I encourage individuals with real estate needs to look for the REALTOR® logo and only work with individuals who are professional REALTORS®.

In Pocono real estate, the name to trust is Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way. Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way has 12 seasoned and professional REALTORS® on staff to serve customers. We have at least one, and in some cases several, specialists in each area of real estate including:

Certified Buyers Agent
Sellers Representatives (Certified Residential Specialists)
Relocation Specialists
Foreclosure Specialist
Luxury Home Specialist
Commercial Specialist

Let the experienced Pocono REALTORS® of Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, who serve the entire Pocono area, help with your real estate needs.



CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville