CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
Stroudsburg real estate

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.

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

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

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

Stroudsburg real estate

Spring Forward, we are ready in the Pocono Mountains

March 14th, 2010 spring your clock forward.
Wondering why? Read on…Saving Time, Saving Energy
Daylight Saving Time: Its History and Why We Use It by
Bob Aldrich, Webmaster
California Energy Commission

Spring forward…Fall back….

It’s ingrained in our consciousness almost as much as the A-B-Cs or our spelling reminder of “i before e….” And it’s a regular event, though perhaps a bit less regular than the swallows coming back to Capistrano. (Though that may even change with the impacts of global climate change.)

Yet in those four words is a whole collection of trivia, facts and common sense about Daylight Saving Time.

Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time is extended one month and begins for most of the United States at:

2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March

and lasts until

2 a.m. on the First Sunday of November.

The new start and stop dates were set in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Change Your Clock & Change A Bulb!
The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend that consumers change the battery in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when we change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time.

While you’ve got the ladder out to check your smoke detectors, why not change a bulb?

Switching to energy efficient bulbs in your ceiling fixtures could save you $30 a year per bulb on your electricity bill.

Energy efficient lighting is particularly important in the fall when Daylight Saving Time ends and the days are shorter.

The latest generation of energy-saving lighting includes compact fluorescent bulbs that fit in standard light sockets and provide pleasant, uniform light.

Low-energy halogen or LED lighting is also becoming widely available.

Visit or for information on lighting rebates and discounts.
Daylight Saving Time – for the U.S. and its territories – is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and by most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona).

Indiana, which used to be split with a portion of the state observing DST and the other half not, is now whole. In the past, counties in the Eastern Time Zone portion of the state did not observe DST. They were on standard time year round. A state law was passed in 2005 that has the entire state of Indiana observing DST beginning in April 2006.

Indiana isn’t the only state that wanted to change daylight saving time. California asked for federal “approval” to move to a “year-round” Daylight Saving Time in 2001-2002 because of its energy crisis. (See below.)

According to Mining Co. Guide to Geography, DST is also observed in about 70 countries:

“Other parts of the world observe Daylight Saving Time as well. While European nations have been taking advantage of the time change for decades, in 1996 the European Union (EU) standardized an EU-wide “summertime period.” The EU version of Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. During the summer, Russia’s clocks are two hours ahead of standard time. During the winter, all 11 of the Russian time zones are an hour ahead of standard time. During the summer months, Russian clocks are advanced another hour ahead. With their high latitude, the two hours of Daylight Saving Time really helps to save daylight. In the southern hemisphere where summer comes in December, Daylight Saving Time is observed from October to March. Equatorial and tropical countries (lower latitudes) don’t observe Daylight Saving Time since the daylight hours are similar during every season, so there’s no advantage to moving clocks forward during the summer.”

Daylight Saving Time Saves Energy
One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it reportedly saves electricity. Newer studies are being done to see if that long-held reason is true.

In general, energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.

In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.

Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country’s electricity usage by about one percent EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time “makes” the sun “set” one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means that less electricity would be used for lighting and appliances late in the day. We may use a bit more electricity in the morning because it is darker when we rise, but that is usually offset by the energy savings in the evening.

We also use less electricity because we are home fewer hours during the “longer” days of spring and summer. Most people plan outdoor activities in the extra daylight hours. When we are not at home, we don’t turn on the appliances and lights. A poll done by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because “there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings.”

While the amounts of electricity saved per household are small…added up they can be very large.

In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset by the morning’s need for more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is less than one hour. So, Daylight Saving Time saves energy for lighting in all seasons of the year except for the four darkest months of the year (November, December, January and February) when the afternoon advantage is offset by the need for lighting because of late sunrise.

A report was released in May 2001 by the California Energy Commission to see if creating an early DST or going to a year-round DST will help with the electricity problems the state faced in 2000-2002.

You can download an Acrobat PDF copy of the staff report, Effects of Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Use, Publication # 400-01-13, (PDF file, pages, 5.2 megabytes).

The study concluded that both Winter Daylight Saving Time and Summer-season Double Daylight Saving Time (DDST) would probably save marginal amounts of electricity – around 3,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) a day in winter (one-half of one percent of winter electricity use – 0.5%) and around 1,500 MWh a day during the summer season (one-fifth of one percent of summer-season use – 0.20%). Winter DST would cut winter peak electricity use by around 1,100 megawatts on average, or 3.4 percent. Summer Double DST would cause a smaller (220 MW) and more uncertain drop in the peak, but it could still save hundreds of millions of dollars because it would shift electricity use to low demand (cheaper) morning hours and decrease electricity use during higher demand hours.

The Energy Commission has also published a new report titled The Effect of Early Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Consumption: A Statistical Analysis. Publication # CEC-200-2007-004, May 27, 2007. (PDF file, 592 kilobytes)

In May 2001, the California state legislature sent a Senate Joint Resolution (SJRX2 1) to the White House and Congress asking that states be allowed to extend Daylight Saving Time year round. Congress and the White House did not act on the request because of the world-changing events of September 11, 2001. No new legislation has been passed in California since then.

A more recent study – in draft form as of February 2008 – by Matthew Kotchen and Laura Grant of the University of Santa Barbara concludes that Daylight Saving Time in Indiana actually increases residential electricity demand. That study titled “Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Indiana”. (PDF file) looked at the electricity use when portions of the state finally started to observe DST. Before the new extended DST, portions of Indiana did not observe DST.

Some have wondered whether this study would be true for the entire United States. Initial analysis by staff of the California Energy Commission says a similar study may not yield the same results for California because:

The use of residential air conditioning is relatively low in Indiana, and the saturations are low. Where as California has high usage of air conditioning in the summer.
Heating use is relatively high in Indiana, while it is relatively low in California.
The diurnal variation in temperature is low while California is very high.
Indiana is located in western edge of the same time zone as Maine and Florida, but the sun actually comes up at an earlier time than those other two states.
Indiana’s north-south location will affect how long the days are in the summer and might very well lead to different results in different areas.
So, while the analysis is of interest to Indiana, it’s conclusions may not be totally correct for California or the rest of the country. Additional studies on electricity savings, the first national study since the 1970s, are being done by the U.S. Department of Energy, and more definitive results on DST on electricity use will be coming in the next year or two.

But why do we have Daylight Saving Time to begin with? Who created the laws and regulations that we follow?

History of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time is a change in the standard time of each time zone. Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules. According to the The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus by McClelland & Stewart Inc., Canada’s “[Sir Sandford] Fleming also played a key role in the development of a worldwide system of keeping time. Trains had made obsolete the old system where major cities and regions set clocks according to local astronomical conditions. Fleming advocated the adoption of a standard or mean time and hourly variations from that according to established time zones. He was instrumental in convening an International Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 at which the system of international standard time — still in use today — was adopted.”

In 1918, the U.S. Congress made the U.S. rail zones official under federal law and gave the responsibility to make any changes to the Interstate Commerce Commission, the only federal transportation regulatory agency at the time. When Congress created the Department of Transportation in 1966, it transferred the responsibility for the time laws to the new department.

The American law by which we turn our clock forward in the spring and back in the fall is known as the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law does not require that anyone observe Daylight Saving Time; all the law says is that if we are going to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must be done uniformly.

Daylight Saving Time has been around for most of this century and even earlier.

Benjamin Franklin, while a minister to France, first suggested the idea in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.” The essay was first published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784. But it wasn’t for more than a century later that an Englishman, William Willett, suggested it again in 1907.

Willett was reportedly passing by homes where the shades were down, even though the sun was up. He wrote a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight” because of his observations.

Willett wanted to move the clock ahead by 80 minutes in four moves of 20 minutes each during the spring and summer months. In 1908, the British House of Commons rejected advancing the clock by one hour in the spring and back again in the autumn.

Willett’s idea didn’t die, and it culminated in the introduction of British Summer Time by an Act of Parliament in 1916. Clocks were put one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during the summer months.

England recognized that the nation could save energy and changed their clocks during the first World War.

In 1918, in order to conserve resources for the war effort, the U.S. Congress placed the country on Daylight Saving Time for the remainder of WW I. It was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. The law, however, proved so unpopular that it was later repealed.

When America went to war again, Congress reinstated Daylight Saving Time on February 9, 1942. Time in the U.S. was advanced one hour to save energy. It remained advanced one hour forward year-round until September 30, 1945.

In England, the energy saving aspects of Daylight Saving were recognized again during WWII. Clocks were changed two hours ahead of GMT during the summer, which became known as Double Summer Time. But it didn’t stop with the summer. During the war, clocks remained one hour ahead of GMT though the winter.

From 1945 to 1966, there was no U.S. law about Daylight Saving Time. So, states and localities were free to observe Daylight Saving Time or not.

This, however, caused confusion — especially for the broadcasting industry, and for trains and buses. Because of the different local customs and laws, radio and TV stations and the transportation companies had to publish new schedules every time a state or town began or ended Daylight Saving Time.

By 1966, some 100 million Americans were observing Daylight Saving Time through their own local laws and customs. Congress decided to step in end the confusion and establish one pattern across the country. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 U.S. Code Section 260a) created Daylight Saving Time to begin on the last Sunday of April and to end on the last Sunday of October. Any area that wanted to be exempt from Daylight Saving Time could do so by passing a local ordinance. The law was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April.

Embargo Changes Daylight Saving Time
Following the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, Congress put most of the nation on extended Daylight Saving Time for two years in hopes of saving additional energy. This experiment worked, but Congress did not continue the experiment in 1975 because of opposition — mostly from the farming states.

In 1974, Daylight Saving Time lasted ten months and lasted for eight months in 1975, rather than the normal six months (then, May to October). The U.S. Department of Transportation — which has jurisdiction over Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. — studied the results of the experiment. It concluded:

Daylight Saving Time saves energy. Based on consumption figures for 1974 and 1975, The Department of Transportation says observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day — a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years. California Energy Commission studies confirm a saving of about one percent per day.
Daylight Saving Time saves lives and prevents traffic injuries. The earlier Daylight Saving Time allowed more people to travel home from work and school in daylight, which is much safer than darkness. And except for the months of November through February, Daylight Saving Time does not increase the morning hazard for those going to school and work.
Daylight Saving Time prevents crime. Because people get home from work and school and complete more errands and chores in daylight, Daylight Saving Time also seems to reduce people’s exposure to various crimes, which are more common in darkness than in light.
The Department of Transportation estimated that 50 lives were saved and about 2,000 injuries were prevented in March and April of the study years. The department also estimated that $28 million was saved in traffic accident costs.

A brand new study in 2007 seems to confirm that DST helps prevent accidents. The study was published in February 2007 in The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (Vol. 7, Issue 1, Article 11) and is titled “Short and Long Run Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Fatal Automobile Crashes.”

The abstract of the study by Neeraj Sood with the RAND corporation and Arkkadipta Ghosh of the Pardee RAND Graduate School’s says:

“Prior literature suggests that Daylight Saving Time (DST) can both increase the risk of automobile crashes in the short run and decrease the risk of automobile crashes in the long run.

“We use 28 years (1976-2003) of automobile crash data from the United States, and exploit a natural experiment arising from a 1986 federal law that changed the time when states switched to DST to identify the short run and long run effects of DST on automobile crashes.

“Our findings suggest that:

DST has no significant detrimental effect on automobile crashes in the short run;
DST significantly reduces automobile crashes in the long run with an 8-11% fall in crashes involving pedestrians, and a 6-10% fall in crashes for vehicular occupants in the weeks after the spring shift to DST.”
Congress and President Reagan Change Daylight SavingTime
Daylight Saving Time was changed slightly in 1986 when President Reagan signed Public Law 99-359. It changed Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. No change was made to the ending date of the last Sunday in October.

This was done ostensibly to conserve energy during the month of April. Adding the entire month of April is estimated to save nationwide about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.

Changed Again in 2007
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005. Under the new law, Daylight Saving Time begins three weeks earlier than previously, on the second Sunday in March. DST is extended by one week to the first Sunday in November. The new start and stop period began in March 2007.

The original House bill would have added two full months, one in the spring and another in the fall. According to some U.S. senators, farmers complained that a two-month extension could adversely affect livestock, and airline officials said it would have complicated scheduling of international flights. So, a compromise was worked out to start DST on the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.

Enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 did not alter the rights of the states and territories to choose not to observe Daylight Saving Time.

The question remains, however, whether the earlier DST will save additional energy. The California Energy Commission’s Demand Analysis Office published a report titled The Effect of Early Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Consumption: A Statistical Analysis, Commission publication # CEC-200-2007-004, in May 2007. (PDF file, 592 kilobytes).

It concludes that, “The extension of Daylight Saving Time (DST) to March 2007 had little or no effect on energy consumption in California, according to a statistical analysis. The most likely approximation is a 0.2% decrease during these three weeks. Given the natural variation in consumption, however, the margin of electricity use change associated with early DST could have been one and a half percent of increase or decrease without such effects showing up statistically. Formally, weather- and lighting-corrected savings from DST were estimated at 0.18% with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.5% savings to a 1.4% increase.”

Seize the Daylight
A book all about DST was published in 2005 called Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time by Dr. David Prerau.

It’s published by Avalon Publishing / Thunder’s Mouth Press – ISBN: 1-56025-655-9.

There’s also a website about the book at:

Two fun quotes from the book:

“An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.” -Winston Churchill

“It seems very strange . . . that in the course of the world’s history so obvious an improvement should never have been adopted. . . . The next generation of Britishers would be the better for having had this extra hour of daylight in their childhood.” -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

More About TIME
Many countries observe Daylight Saving Time. But the beginning and ending dates are often different than those used in the United States.

The book, The Official Airline Guide, is one of the best sources of information about whether or not Daylight Saving Time is observed in another country.

You can find out more information about Daylight Saving Time by writing TIME, c/o Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C. 20590.

Another Web site about DST can be found at:, which is a public service of the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA) by WebExhibits as a compliment to

The U.S. Naval Observatory’s Web site gives the current time for all time zones, and it’s free. Go to:

Note, however, that with Internet traffic and delays on servers and browsers, that the correct time may be off a few seconds or more.

For the correct time of the day, you can call the Department of Transportation at 900-410-TIME. There is a charge for the call. Or check with your local phone company to see if there is a local dial up time service such as “POP-CORN.”

Some phone companies also have a local number you can call for the current correct local time. Call directory assistance in your area for the number to call for the correct time.

One question people always ask about Daylight Saving Time regards the time that restaurants and bars close. In many states, liquor cannot be served after 2 a.m. But at 2 a.m. in the fall, the time switches back one hour. So, why can’t they serve for that additional hour in October?

The answer: the bars do not close at 2 a.m. but actually at 1:59 a.m. So, they are already closed when the time changes from Daylight Saving Time into Standard Time.

Final observations:
It is Daylight Saving (singular) Time, NOT Daylight SavingS Time. We are saving daylight, so it is singular and not plural.
Daylight Saving Time differs in other areas of the world. Consult a good encyclopedia for additional information about DST in your own country. Or check out the “World Time Zone” or the “WorldTime” Web pages at:

There’s an excellent history of time-keeping at Walk Through Time – The Evolution of Time Measurement through the Ages
Thanks for all your e-mail! We are amazed that this page gets so much attention, usually twice a year. While we appreciate the e-mail, we can not answer a lot of your specific questions. For example, we do not have the ability to tell you whether DST was practiced on a specific date or by a specific region/state/city/town in the past. Check out microfilm or old printed copies of your local newspapers around early April and late October of the years you are interested in. They will usually have stories or reminders about setting your clock. Those papers are a good indicator. Your local libraries should be able to help you with the microfilmed or printed copies of the old newspapers.
If you are interested in changing DST, either abolishing it or having it extended year-round….please do not contact the California Energy Commission. We have no jurisdiction over DST. Instead, contact your state’s elected officials or your Congressional representatives. You can also contact the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.
A final note, especially in that one of my uncles was a fire chief in Connecticut, my step son is a firefighter, and one of my colleagues has a family member who is the former fire chief in Sacramento…with the change of Daylight Saving Time, it’s a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detector(s). Changing the batteries twice a year will make sure that the detector(s) will be working in case there is a fire. Some inexpensive detectors also need to be replaced completely about every five years or so. Also make sure you dispose of the old batteries and alarms properly. Check with your local solid waste disposal company or waste management board to find out the best way to dispose of old batteries and the alarms.

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

Stroudsburg real estate

Here we grow again in Monroe County


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 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

Stroudsburg real estate

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, 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

Stroudsburg real estate

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

Stroudsburg real estate

Teach the Children


As the holiday season approaches and the activity begins of baking cookies, shopping , trimming the tree I wonder do we teach our children the real meaning of the season. I found this story and wanted to share it with my friends and clients in the Pocono region, and my sales associate in Mt. Pocono, Stroudsburg as well as folks thought-out the world that happen to come upon our website. May the blessings of this season be many. Vickie Brockelman

Teach the children…
Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn’t help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn’t long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.
I don’t know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn’t alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the “jolly old elf” of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.
“Santa, what’s wrong?” I asked, “Why are you crying?”
“It’s the children,” Santa replied sadly.
“But Santa, the children love you,” I said.
“Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them,” Santa said, “but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It’s not their fault. It’s just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children.”
“Teach them what?” I asked.
Santa’s kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. “Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent.”
Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. “Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind’s thoughts should turn heavenward as well.”
Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. “The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him.”
“Red,” said Santa, “is the first color of Christmas.” “He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God’s greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave his life and shed his blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful gift.”
Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. “Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep.”
Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. “The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God’s son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ’s foot steps…to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkle lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God’s precious children, their light shining for all to see.”
Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. “The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God’s promises. The candy cane is in the form of a “J” to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd’s crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life.
“Teach these things to the children.”
Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. “The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children.”
I asked, “But where does that leave you, Santa?”
The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa’s face. “Why bless you, my dear,” he laughed, “I’m only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I’ll ever be forgotten.”
“I think I’m beginning to understand.”
“That’s why I came,” said Santa. “You’re an adult. If you don’t teach the children these things, then who will?”
(Author Unknown)

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

Stroudsburg real estate

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way Promotes Agent

September 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


Mt. Pocono, Pa., — (October 2, 2009) –REALTOR Connie Foland of Stroudsburg, Pa., has been named office manager of  Commonwealth Real Estate  Your Way, LLC’s newest location at 606 Main Street in Stroudsburg in the JJ Newberry Company Building.

As associate broker and office manager of the new location, Foland will be responsible for operations management as well as hiring and training of agents.

Foland is a certified buyer’s agent and e-marketing specialist. She specializes in relocation, corporate and foreclosure properties and has worked for some of the top names in Pocono real estate. Foland earned her real estate license in 1986 and since then has earned numerous awards and accolades including membership in the International President’s Elite, the International President’s Circle, the Six-Million Dollar Club, and the Diamond Society for and area franchise organization she served for 12 years.

In addition, she has been recognized for highest company totals for listings taken, listings sold by volume and also by units and buyer controlled sales by units and she was presented with the Positive Income Growth Award recognizing outstanding production increases.

She is a member of the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS, the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS.

For more information, visit Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC’s website at or call locally at 570-839-0411 or toll free at 1-888-333-0464.

CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville