Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ew! Dahling, you don't want to live THERE!

Recently, there was a question posted on where the poster asked about the safety of a certain neighborhood.  Typically rbrb_0862a post will generate several replies by REALTORS.  This one?

<<crickets chirping>>

One brave soul, named Joe the Builder ventured a reply as to his opinion on the safety of the neighborhood, and then questioned why REALTORS didn't rush to answer.  It engendered a great discussion (and slight thread hi-jack) between us, and you can read about it here.

Here's the thing...REALTORS are bound to uphold the Fair Housing Laws, and one of those has to do with something called steering.  Steering is when a REALTOR will try to guide someone to a neighborhood, school district, area, price range, etc, based on their own personal opinions.  It can range to overt discrimination (only showing a Russian Buyer homes in an area with a large Russian population) to more subtle "opinion" based steering (encouraging a Buyer to buy in one school district over another).

Because of Fair Housing Laws, REALTORS are not supposed to give an opinion on the quality of neighborhoods, school districts, or areas.  Now, I've got an opinion, all right.  Trust me - I always have an opinion!  But, I'm not allowed to spout those opinions off to you as they relate to "better" neighborhoods, school districts, etc.  The best I can do is point you in the direction to find the information you need:  police stations, websites, data sources, etc. 

It's important for you to realize that no matter how much you trust your REALTOR, and how much we WANT to tell you what we think, we just CAN'T, and that's a limitation that may be frustrating for all involved, but ultimately serves the higher good.

For more information on Fair Housing Laws, click here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where do Adults Go to Run Away From Home? This Bucks County Retreat

P1010984 Remember when you wanted to run away from home? Go to a place far away from nagging parents (bosses), chores (housework), or school (work).

Now you can.

This amazing Bucks County Retreat allows you to run away from it all and enjoy your weekends in peace and tranquility. Listen to nature, not traffic. Sip coffee leisurely, not on the go. Explore the river towns of Bucks County, rather than navigating the concrete jungle.



Situated high up on a hillside in bucolic Bucks County, this 2 BR/1 BA 1920'S restored bungalow has been featured in Country Home magazine, on the cover of Life magazine and in the pages of Philadelphia magazine as one of P1010990 America's ultimate country retreats. Just 90 min away from NYC it's the ideal weekend home or perfect for full-time living. Surrounded by old-growth Japanese maples, ferns and evergreens, the bungalow manages to meld vintage features with modern amenities, including C/A & high speed internet. A new kitchen features stainless steel appliances w/convection oven, DW, washer & dryer, GE Profile refrigerator, KITCHEN custom Italian cherry cabinets, terrazzo-inspired countertops and handmade glass tile backsplash. Upstairs, a large loft-like BR features exposed beams and views of the Delaware River. Downstairs, a blue and white ticking fabric padded guest room has built-in cabinets for extra storage. A screened-in porch and separate outbuilding for office, workshop or artist studio round out the property.

Ideally located amidst the PA River towns of New Hope, Lumberville, and Point Pleasant, and only 5 miles from their NJ counterpart, Frenchtown, this weekend retreat is only 90 minutes from New York, and an hour from Philadelphia.

Visit our website for additional information and photos.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bucks County Open House - May 17th from 1-3 in Newtown

48 Brecknock Court

Wiltshire Walk

Council Rock School District


Find more information at:

I wrote about this stunner of a home in Wiltshire Walk, just outside of Newtown Borough, late last week, and I promise it delivers. Every single piece of feedback we've gotten from agents says that the home shows beautifully.

So, what is there to love?

  • Upgraded Gourmet Kitchen with Premium Appliance Package

  • Granite counters and a custom tile backsplash

  • Hardwood Floors throughout the 1st Floor

  • Upgraded molding package with shadow box molding in formal living and dining rooms.

  • An amazing 2 story family room with a wall of windows and built-in TV niche above the fireplace.

  • An ENORMOUS media room in the finished basement that is wired for home theater surround sound.

  • Finished basement also includes a playroom/office and exercise room - oh and you still have storage.

All this within 1.5 miles of Historic Newtown Borough and 1-95, this premier Bucks County location offers small town living with an easy commute to NY, Philadelphia, and Trenton.

Please join me for my

Open House Sunday May 17th from 1-3 p.m. and take your own tour of this beautiful home. Hope to see you there!

Want to see all the open houses in Bucks County this Sunday?

Go to and look for this button:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Moi? You Want Advice from ME?

I've been working with Jennifer Allan for about a year now. She's a wonderfully cool Real Estate Agent/Trainer/Speaker who speaks out about all those icky sales tactics REALTORS are encouraged to use. I like to call it the "Hungry Realtor" syndrome - you know that "I've got you now, and I'm going to call, email, and drive by your house until I get my commission! I'm the best! Hire meeeeeee!"

I've participated in a few of her training programs, and have met some wonderful REALTORS who have similar business philosophies.

I presented at my first webinar last year, which was tremendously nerve wracking, but fed that little ego that I have :) For some reason, Jennifer thinks I've got my stuff together, and I'll be part of a panel discussion "Realtor Moms - How DO you do it?" I know the other women participating, and it should be a really great discussion with some really smart ladies.

So, if you're a REALTOR Mom, I really encourage you to sign up and listen, and check out Jennifer's site and forum for fantastic advice on how to run your business without losing your self-respect.

See you there!

Home for Sale in Wiltshire Walk, Newtown Township , Council Rock Schools

How great is this home???

48 Brecknock Court
Newtown Township / Council Rock Schools

This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome in Wiltshire Walk has all the goodies: hardwood floors throughout the main floor, gourmet kitchen with premium appliance package and custom tile backsplash, upgraded trim package with shadowbox molding in the formal living and dining room...

Not to mention, the drop-dead gorgeous finished basement with huge media room wired for home theater, private office/playroom with french doors, exercise room, and you still have plenty of storage.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Heather's Helpful Hints for Sellers in Bucks County, PA - Links to Love

My husband and I just spent the day getting our fix and flip investment property in Warminster, PA ready to be put on the market. There is the inevitable list of piddly little "to-do" items that take forever to complete: cabinet hardware on the kitchen cabinets, grills on the A/C vents, toilet paper holders and towel racks in the bathroom. We spent about 5 hours today doing a multitude of tiny things that add up to mean big money in the end. Of course, I played washer woman - nothing like cleaning toilets in a house that was inhabited solely by workmen. G-ross!

I was going to write a blog about how to prepare your home for market, but quickly realized I've talked about this ad nauseum on this blog (you might have noticed my obsession with cleaning kitchens and baths). So, rather than reiterate, I've decided to just link those babies up!

Heather's Links to Love for Sellers in Bucks County, PA

The 10 Minute Staging will tell you how to quickly get your home show ready (and you'll see my messy kitchen).

5 Things That are Sure to Run Off Buyers will tell you the five quickest ways to get a Buyer out of your house (which should NOT be the goal here :)

Find out How a Plate of Cookies can beat out hardwood floors.

The Quickest Fixes for Your Kitchen and Baths illustrates my obsessive nature regarding these rooms.

When Does it Make Sense to Rehab an Estate? Find out my criteria...

Look for more hints here in the very near future. Every time I put a flip house on the market, I remember how difficult it is to get a property ready to market. These investment properties keep me in tune with my Sellers frustrations :)