Spring is Inching Closer

The weather has been quite pleasant over past couple of days in Chester County. After an extraordinary series of snow falls, the county is starting to thaw and the snow is melting.

Our good friends at Brandywine/Springfield Waterproofing offers the following great advice to avoid flooding problems and keep your basement dry through the spring thaw.

WATERPROOFING PREVENTIVE MEASURES AFTER HEAVY SNOW FALLS and BEFORE HEAVY RAIN

Sump Pump Discharge Line – check for no snow/ice blockage (especially if discharging into the downspouts)

Pump Electrical outlet – fuse may have blown if pump discharge was blocked and the pump overheated

Window Wells – clear Snow build up as House heat causes fishbowl effect which collects water causing window leakage

Sill Plate leakage – clear away high snow which allows water to spill over the Sill Plate

Base of house – Clear and Trench drainage for roof melting/heavy rain run off

Brick Veneer Walls - high snow blocks the low drainage ports and heavy winds blow water into the higher ports dropping water down on the sill plate

Outside Basement Door Drains – remove snow/ice blockage  which allows water entry under door and causes rotting

Internal Sump Pump – install to help relieve upward hydrostatic water pressure from flooding the floor

Battery Backup systems – should be considered depending on content risk and especially if a finished basement

Brandywine/Springfield Waterproofing is a preferred vendor of The Chester County Chronicles. If you have signs of a wet basement or leaking foundation, give Bill or Sean Worthington a call at (610) 280-7775. They are the best in the business!

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The Pursuit of Happiness

3931122112_3f5583d358 I had coffee with a friend the other day and we were discussing those things that motivate us. I was trying to put into the words what it is about the real estate business that makes me get out of bed each morning.

The technical nuts and bolts of the real estate transaction is interesting at times but it certainly is not very inspirational. If it was the hope of accumulating a vast fortune, I’d have been better off picking a different vocation, especially considering the recent market conditions. No, my “why” goes much deeper than that.

After considering it for a while, I was able to put into words where my passion comes from. It is the pursuit of happiness. I get really charged up when I am in the midst of happiness. Probably the most important ingredients to one’s happiness is the establishment of a safe and secure home for themselves and their family. It is only natural that my pursuit of happiness would take me to an activity that results in the happiness of those I help to achieve that goal.

I love helping others achieve happiness. It is what makes me the happiest.

Now, I am not a Pollyanna. I have no delusions that life is just one big Disneyland. But, I have chosen to focus on the happy occasions and to provide the service to my clients so they might pursue their own happiness.

I am a real estate professional. I will continue to provide information that will help explain what is going on in the real estate world both locally and nationally. I will answer questions you might have, feel free to ask them. I will respond to your comments. And if I earn your trust, I will help you pursue your happiness.

You will also find here the things that are making happy. Hopefully some of them will lift your spirits too. I hereby dedicate this blog to my passion: The Pursuit of Happiness!

I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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Current Weather Conditions – No. Chester County, PA, USA

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Sunrise

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Chester County Real Estate Statistics – November 29, 2009

As of this November 29, 2009

What do these statistics mean?

  • Inventory Units = Total homes for sale in Chester County, PA
  • Average Sold/Month = Average number of homes sold over a 12 month period in Chester County, PA per month in the corresponding price range
  • Months of Inventory = Inventory Units divided by Average Sold/Month

When Months of Inventory is greater than 6, it’s a buyer’s market.

When Months of Inventory is between 3 and 6, it is a neutral market.

When Months of Inventory is less than 3, it’s a seller’s market.

 

Active Listings

Listings sold last 12 months

Average sold/month

Months on Hand

0-200K

479

971

80.92

5.9

200-300

802

1631

135.92

5.9

300-400

733

946

78.83

9.3

400-500

463

527

43.92

10.5

500-600

245

245

20.42

12.0

600-800

296

177

14.75

20.1

800-1000

179

64

5.33

33.6

1000-1250

74

29

2.42

30.6

1250-1500

70

18

1.50

46.7

1500-2000

68

14

1.17

58.3

2000+

71

4

0.33

213.0

All

3480

4626

385.50

9.0

Overall Inventory decrease of 39 units and an increase in sales of 36 units account for an overall improvement on inventory velocity by .2 months over last week. Net decrease in inventory in the 0-400K account for most of the improvement. My outlook for this range of inventory is positive but I expect the market to slow through the holiday season.

With the extension of the federal tax credit and weakness in prices I expect a moderate to strong spring market.

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I love red delicious apples.

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The Personal Side of the Real Estate Business

3148690493_1bffcaaaeb Today is Thanksgiving day, and as I have been doing for the last 35 years or so, I will go to visit my Mother. This year, we won’t be having Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s house, we’ll be going to a relatives home and enjoying the feast with the extended family. For all but a handful of my 54 years, Mom put the Thanksgiving feast on the table. The clan converged on that tiny little house and 20 of us would squeeze around the table that was only designed to seat 10. Of course, the kids would sit at the card table in the living room and their mom’s would keep an eye on them. I sat at that card table myself when I was a boy.

I lost my Dad in May of this year. My sister and I are trying to help my Mom decide what to do with that tiny house that they lived in since I was 6 months old. Still in the door jambs are the pencil marks that measure our height as my sister and I grew up. Inside of the closet door of the back bedroom is my sister’s crayon masterpiece. The outside of that door was repainted a long time ago but no one looks at the inside of the door, right? That cabinet door under the kitchen sink still comes off the hinges when you pull it open. It’s done that for over 40 years, since I was a 12 year old running through the kitchen and ripped it off it’s hinges because I wasn’t watching where I was going.

And there, in the dining room, is that rickety old dining room table, where so many thanksgiving dinners had been served in years past.

Is selling a house personal? You betcha it is.

I urge my colleagues to remember their own family histories when they visit their clients. Yes, one must be rational, one must offer the home at a price that will allow the seller to reach what could be a very difficult conclusion. Just do it with tact, love, and sensitivity. It may be a business to you but that house is somebody’s living, breathing home. All those little defects don’t add any value to my Mom’s house but they make that it priceless in her (and my) eyes.

Please, remember where you came from.

Peace.

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Trusted Advisors

 

imageIn the course of my real estate practice, I have come in contact with many excellent service providers and tradesman, people who I have referred to my clients with the full confidence that they will do a great job. In order to become a trusted advisor on my team, there are a few requirements:

  • You must always put the needs of the client first.
  • You must charge a fair price for your services.
  • You must be dependable.
  • You must not be influenced by any outside factors.
  • Did I mention you must put the needs of the client first?

I have found that most people are happy to work with professionals that I recommend to them. You will make very important decisions about your real estate transaction based on the advice you receive. Here are some things you can do to help you choose a trusted advisor.

  • If your real estate pro recommends an advisor, ask for more than one referral. Your agent should have several to choose from.
  • Call them and ask them what you can expect from their service.
  • Ask them for references and check them if you feel it’s necessary.
  • Raise any concerns you may have with your real estate professional. A good agent has your interest first and will reconcile any issues.

I wish you the best of luck. If you wish to contribute to the conversation, please feel free to comment here.

Peace.

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Timely and Prescient advice as the Debate Begins

Great advice this morning from Seth Godin

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Chester County Real Estate Statistics

As of this November 22, 2009

What do these statistics mean?

  • Inventory Units = Total homes for sale in Chester County, PA
  • Average Sold/Month = Average number of homes sold over a 12 month period in Chester County, PA per month in the corresponding price range
  • Months of Inventory = Inventory Units divided by Average Sold/Month

When Months of Inventory is greater than 6, it’s a buyer’s market.

When Months of Inventory is between 3 and 6, it is a neutral market.

When Months of Inventory is less than 3, it’s a seller’s market.

Price Range Inventory
Units
Average Sold / Month Months of Inventory
$0 – $200K 484 80.58 6.0
$200K – $300K 805 133.58 6.0
$300K – $400K 743 78.67 9.4
$400K – $500K 475 43.50 10.9
$500K – $600K 247 20.42 12.1
$600K – $800K 302 15.00 20.1
$800K – $1M 174 5.25 33.1
$1M – $1.25M 74 2.42 30.6
$1.25M – $1.50M 74 1.50 49.3
$1.50M – $2.00M 71 1.25 56.8
$2.00M + 70 0.33 210.0
       
Total 3519 382.50 9.2

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