Thursday, July 22, 2010

Average Sold Price for Homes in Bucks County, PA and Council Rock School District - June 2010

We continue to see stable pricing for homes in Bucks County, PA, as indicated by both the Median and Average sold home prices year - over -year for June.

Below are the home price statistics for Bucks County:

Median Price is UP 3.4% to $299,900
Average Price is UP 1% to $339,820.

Council Rock School District home prices also remained stable:

Median Price is UP 1.4% to $388,000
Average Price is UP 0.5% to $433,595

Would you like to know your numbers for your school district, township or neighborhood? Give me a call or shoot me an email, and I'll be happy to send over your numbers!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tax Appeal Process - Bucks County, PA

As home prices have declined, many homeowners in Bucks County, PA are appealing their tax assessment with the Bucks County Board of Assessment. The deadline to appeal your Bucks County Tax Assessment is August 2, 2010.

Bucks County Tax Appeal

How do you determine if your home is over-assessed?

The STEB ratio handed down by the state for 2011 fair market calculations is .109. To determine the fair market value of your home, take your tax assessment and divide it by .109. For example, let's say your tax assessment is 64,000, to determine your fair market value, you would perform the calculation below:

64,000 / .109 = 587,155

Therefore, the fair market value indicated by your tax assessment is $587,155.

What if you think your home is work only $450,000?

You would submit a Residential Appeal to the Bucks County Board of Assessment, no later than August 2, 2010. Submit a Bucks County Residential Appeal Form with a check for the $25 filing fee. With this form, you will need to include some sort of documentation to support your opinion of fair market value of the home. It could be an appraisal, a HUD-1 from a recent sale in the last 18 months, or simply a list of similar homes that have sold in the past year.

Once the county receives your appeal, they will schedule a hearing in which you appear before the board with your evidence. Once you have your hearing, they will notify you by mail of any changes made to your 2011 tax assessment.

Need some help finding out just what your tax assessment is? Give me a call or shoot me an email! I'll be happy to provide you with your tax assessment, as well as give you a list of recently sold homes in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How I Won a $50,000 Jackpot by Re-Financing My Home (And how you can too if you have a 5-7 year old mortgage)

c184051_m I just won $50,000 today!  (‘Kay, not really, but I did SAVE myself $50,000 over the next 15 years)

15 year mortgage rates are at 4% today. 

I was shocked at how low they were and decided to do a little investigating “just to see” if I could manage converting my 30 year loan to a 15 year one.  If you’ve been in your loan for 5-7 years, and are at an interest rate of 6-7% you should run your numbers and see if a 15 year mortgage can save you a boatload of interest and knock significant years off your loan.  Bet you it can!

Check out the tables below:

For a loan amount of $250,000

Years Rate Monthly Payment Interest over Life of Loan
30 Fixed 6% $1498 $290,000
15 Fixed 4% $1849 $83,000

Now, lets take a look at these numbers if you’ve had your mortgage for 5 years…

By remortgaging the remaining balance, you’ll have a monthly payment of $1720, save $134,000 in interest, and pay off the original loan in 20  years as opposed to 30 years.





I seriously expected you to follow all that?





Let’s do it again for a loan amount of $150,000:

Years Rate Monthly Payment Interest over Life of Loan
30 Fixed 6% $900 $173,000
15 Fixed 4% $1109 $49,000

 If you’ve had your mortgage for 5 years…

By remortgaging the remaining balance, you’ll have a monthly payment of $1035, saving $73,000 in interest, and pay off the original loan in 20 years as opposed to 30 years.

If you really study these numbers, the difference in the monthly payment really isn’t too enormous when compared to the amount of interest you’ll be saving, as well as the years you’ll knock off your loan. 

If you’d like me to run some numbers for you, feel free to shoot me an email, call me out on Facebook, or hit the mortgage calculator yourself! 

Our in-house Mortgage Rep, Tom Fullen, hooked me up today, and always does a great job.  I used Tom even before I started to work for Prudential and he always gets me a great rate, and gets the loans done.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Send me the Good Deals" Why Foreclosures and Short Sales in Bucks County Aren't Always Good Deals

Although I haven't been as active on Trulia, Zillow, or even ActiveRain as I have been in the past (Baseball season is a killer when you have two boys!) I do keep an eye on them every day. I may not be participating, but I'm watching. Something I see pop up all the time is "How do I buy a foreclosure in Bucks County?" or "How do I buy a short sale in Bucks County?"

I also regularly have clients email me, "Where are the really good deals? The short sales and foreclosures?"

I think it's important to point out that these two phrases "good deal" and "short sale" or "foreclosure" are not synonymous in Bucks County.

The first hurdle is that short sales and foreclosures may have some lending issues. Many of the foreclosures that we are seeing, unless they are in the higher price point, are wrecked. As in, someone has ripped all the copper out of the house and you have no heat. We are also seeing the investors come back into the market at the lower price points. It's extremely difficult for an owner/occupant to compete with an all cash/no inspection offer, which is typically what investors throw out there.

At the higher price points, typically the homes are in fine shape, and investors aren't the problem. However, the scarcity of foreclosures above the $350,000 price range will make it a waiting game for you.

Short sales in Bucks County? Ugh. Another post for another time. Are they "good deals?" Sometimes. Not all the time. And you never really know if that short sale is going to pan out. If a short sale doesn't happen, it's not a "good deal."

So, I would encourage this:

Look for a good deal. Period.

They're there. There are plenty of people who are sitting on an vacant home as part of an estate, or have already re-located, or are sick of showing their house, or (gasp!) are just reasonable about their sale price. Don't limit yourself to a foreclosure or short sale. Bucks County has plenty of deals to go around, don't get hung up on a specific type of sale.

Some ideas for finding "deals:"

  • Run a search of homes that have been on the market 120 days or longer
  • Look at homes that may be estate properties (typically outdated, but not trashed)
  • Look at homes that have relocation addendums posted to the MLS
  • Look at homes that have "motivated seller" in the comments

Or, give me a call or shoot me an email and I'll let you know when I see a really good deal come on the market.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bucks County Open House in Warrington, Central Bucks School District 6/13!

Ahhhhhhh....Such a joy to relax at this prime location/yard this summer! This 4 bedroom, 3 full bath home in Warrington, in the Central Bucks School District will be held open this Sunday June 13th from 1-3. Here's the open house deets....

512 C Taylor Avenue
Warrington, PA


Open House Sunday 6/13
1-3 p.m.

Need more info? Ok, here goes...

  • Nestled at the end of a dead end street
  • Close to shopping and major roadways
  • Almost completely remodeled
  • Lighted horseshoe pits (whoot! whoot!)
  • Large family room
  • Beautifully remodeled eat-in kitchen
  • Full finished basement
You really need to visit to truly appreciate this home. Come visit us on Sunday at the open house and take a look!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bucks County and Council Rock School District Real Estate Market Update May 2010

Ok, ok...I missed two months. Mea culpa. Forgive me. I have, however, been posting to my facebook fan page, which can be found here. Hit the "like" button and get more frequent updates on happenings in Bucks County.

Here are our median and average price ranges in Bucks County and Council Rock School District as of May, and it's still good news overall:

Bucks County real estate has an increase in both the median price range, and average price range. Because the chart is a bit difficult to read, here is the year to year average and median pricing:

Average +5% (from $311,000 in 5/09 to $327,000 in 5/10)
Median +6% (from $260,000 in 5/09 to $275,000 in 5/10)

Council Rock School District, specifically, did not enjoy as much of a recovery. My thoughts on this is that we do not enjoy a large percentage of first time homebuyer properties as compared to other school districts. Let's see if that first time homebuyer credit really does trickle up to the more expensive price points over the next few months.

That being said, Council Rock remains a very stable market without significant fluctuation in the average or median price as of May 2010.

Here is the breakdown of the Council Rock School District median and average pricing:

Average +1% (from $433,000 in 5/09 to $438,000 in 5/10)
Median -1% (from $355,000 in 5/09 to $353,000 in 5/10)

As always, if you would like to see what your own little corner of Bucks County is doing in terms of average pricing, median pricing, months supply of inventory, etc, please don't hesitate to contact me via email or cell. I'll be happy to run your numbers and email you your report!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Open House in Warrington, Bucks County, Central Bucks Schools – 4/11 from 1-3

Join me for a fabulous open house in Bucks County, Warrington Township, Central Bucks School District on this Sunday from 1-3 pm.  Actually, this Sunday is National Open House Weekend, so there are going to be a lot of open houses in Bucks County on April 11th.  However, the most rocking open house is definitely going to be at my 4 bedroom/3 FULL bath listing in Warrington:


512C Taylor Ave.

Warrington, PA





What’s so rocking about this home?

The yard, definitely.

The location, certainly. 

The spaciousness and condition of the home itself, ABSOLUTELY. 


The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, and maybe I can convince my Seller to crank up his outdoor speakers and let you enjoy a few games of horseshoes while you visit!


For more information about National Open House Weekend, Warrington, or Bucks County, shoot me an email.  I hope to see you at the open house!


In the meantime, check out the virtual tour by clicking here.