Real Estate Information Archive


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Tips For A Successful Open House

by The Pilgrim Team

When it comes time to show your home to potential buyers, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Holding an open house will draw potential buyers and allow them to see all of what your home has to offer. You should of course take care of all major repairs before you have an open house, but below are some things you can do to help prepare and make the most of your showing. 

  • Be sure to leave the home during the showing.  Potential buyers tend to  feel uncomfortable with the sellers hanging around. You want buyers to get a feel for the home, not feel like they cannot look around.
  •  When you leave be sure to take your pets with you. Barking or agressive dogs even confined to a garage will make buyers feel restricted as to where they can look.
  • Depersonalize your home. It may feel strange but by removing your personal treasures and photos from the home can help with the sale. You want potential buyers to focus on the best features of your home and you want them to envision their family in the home.
  • Remove all vehicles from the driveway. Ask your neighbors to help out by not parking in front of your house.
  • Be sure that the home is spotless and free of unpleasant odors prior to the open house. You may want to bake a fresh batch of cookies an hour or two before the open house begins. Not only will the aroma mask any unpleasant smells, but it will create a warm and inviting ambiance.
  • Remove all private, and personal/fnancial documents from view. Be sure to also take all medications and valuables with you. While it is rare that you will have a problem it is better safe than sorry. You want to focus on selling your home not worring about a theft.
  • Create a bulletin board of seasonal house photographs so buyers can see what the home would look like at another time of the year. This is especially helpful to showcase gardens during the winter.
  • Set out all documents pertaining to the house: Inspection reports, appraisals, major repairs and warranties, blueprints for additions etc.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

by The Pilgrim Team

As a homeowner, once you have purchased the perfect home, you dream of the day you make the final Home Financing payment and truly own your home. Paying off your Home Financing if you are able to is a good idea for the obvious reasons, one being that you will save thousands of dollars in interest. If you obtained a 30 year loan you will most likely pay more than twice the purchase price of the home before you actually own it.

Of course paying off your Home Financing gives you the satisfaction of actually owning your home. In addition, the mortgage payment is typically the highest of a household's monthly expense, so not having to worry about that each month can bring peace of mind, especially in the case of a loss of a job or retirement. 

Some financial advisors do however advise that paying off your Home Financing is a bad financial move. Some arguments that the money should be invested as to gain a  higher return in the long run. While this advise might sound good in theory there is no guarantee that a higher return can be achieved. 

Paying off your Home Financing has many benefits, but the question many homeowners ask is "How?", especially in a difficult economy. Below are some strategies you can use to help you get to your payoff goal!

  • Keep an eye on interest rates and, if they fall, consider refinancing. If you can reduce your interest rate, shorten the term of your loan or both, refinancing can be an excellent strategy. 
  • Overpay a fixed amount every month. Even if you can afford to pay an 5-20% of your total payment, it can add up to be 1-2 extra payments a year.
  • Biweekly Home Financing payment plans. By paying half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks, you end up making the equivalent of an extra payment every year.  Instead of making 12 monthly payments, you’ll make 52/2 = 26 biweekly payments — the equivalent of 13 monthly payments. This will shave years off your mortgage. Moreover, if you’re paid on a biweekly basis, this approach might match your budgeting process better than monthly payments.

In a difficult economy paying your regular monthly obligations can be difficult, and it can be very challenging to try to make any additional payments. They key is to make an attempt, every little bit counts and gets you closer to your goal!

Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate

by The Pilgrim Team

The government is helping homeowners this year who are wanting to buy new energy efficient appliances with a rebate. More than 70% of the energy used in our Homes for sale in york pa is for appliances, refrigeration, space heating, cooling, and water heating. Replacing old appliances and equipment with those that are ENERGY STAR® labeled can help American families save significantly on their utility bills. Each state and territory may select its own set of ENERGY STAR qualified products to rebate. The Energy Star Appliance Rebate program,is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is aimed to give rebates to consumers who replace certain home appliances with energy-efficient models. The new program is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to make American Homes for sale in york pa more energy efficient, while helping to support the nation’s economic recovery.

Under this program, the U.S. Government has set aside $300 million and each state will have the authority to handle most of the details separately.  It provides rebates for qualifying energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. These appliances may include:

  • central air conditioners
  • heat pumps (air source and geothermal)
  • boilers
  • furnaces (oil and gas)
  • room air conditioners
  • clothes washers
  • dishwashers
  • refrigerators/freezers
  • water heaters

Only purchases of qualified products made during the specific time period established by each state will be eligible for a rebate. The rebate program will continue as long as the states and territories have money to support it. While they have until February 2012 to spend the money, it is likely that the money will go quickly. States and territories must indicate how they intend to notify consumers when the funding for rebate program is exhausted. The U.S. Government has given each State the authority to develop their own government appliance rebate program using the government’s guidelines. Individual states can decide the amounts of the appliance rebates up to $200 (reported) per selected appliance that is Energy Star qualified. Each state develops it’s own rebate program and may choose which appliances to include as long as it is on the list of approved Energy Star appliances that the U.S. Government listed. States will receive formula-based funding in order to start or continue an already established ENERGY STAR appliance rebate program

Locating The Right Neighborhood

by The Pilgrim Team

When searching for your new home , the Neighborhood that it is in is just as important as all the other requirements that you are looking for in a home. There are some things to look for and add to your list that can help you locate the perfect neighborhood for your needs and family.

Even before you begin your York MLS Listings, you should compile a list of what you are ideally looking for in a Neighborhood. . Perhaps you are looking for a neighborhood that has young families with children or a neighborhood that has local shops and restaurants near by. Keep in mind that you'll probably have to make compromises, so put the "must-haves" at the top and the "would- like-to-haves" at the bottom. Here are some things to consider:

  • If you have children or are you planning to have children, considering a Neighborhood that has a good school system will be something to consider. Also parks and recreation is important items to consider when researching neighborhoods.
  • If you need to commute to work, you may want to search for a Neighborhood that has access to public transportation.
  • Are you looking for a particular vibe or amenity in an area? 
  • What type of building do you like?  Single family home, high rise condominium, villa?
  • Are you looking for a Neighborhood that has shops and restaurants within walking distance?

In addition to thinking about what you do what, you should also be certain of what you do not want as well.  For example, if you are looking for a more family orientated area you will probably want to pass on neighborhoods that are close to nightlife or noisy areas. Or if you are wanting to avoid Construction you will probably want to pass on historical neighborhoods that are rebuilding or new construction areas.

The Escrow (Closing)Process

by The Pilgrim Team

Once the buyer and seller have agreed on price and terms for the sale of a piece of real estate, the escrow process begins. This can be a confusing process, especially for Homebuyers Tax Credit. Below are some key points that can help answer some questions about the escrow process.

What exactly is an escrow ?

An escrow is an arrangement in which a disinterested third party, called a escrow holder, holds legal documents and funds on behalf of a buyer and seller, and distributes them according to the buyer's and seller's instructions. In Useful Information about York PA the Listing Broker typically is the holder of the escrow funds that will be distributed at settlement.

How does the escrow (Title) process work?

The escrow is a depository for all monies, instructions and documents necessary for the purchase of the home, including funds for the down payment, lender’s funds and documents for the new loan. The duties of an Title Company include: following the instructions given by the principals and parties to the transaction in a timely manner; handling the funds and/or documents in accordance with instructions; paying all bills as authorized; closing the escrow only when all terms and conditions have been met; and, distributing the funds in accordance with instructions.

What documentation is required?

Receipt of your deposit is generally included in your copy of your purchase contract. Your funds will then be deposited in your separate escrow or trust account and processed through your local bank.

What information will I have to provide?

Typically you will be asked to complete a statement of identity as part of the necessary paperwork. Because many people have the same name, the statement of identity is to identify the specific person in the transaction through such information as date of birth, social security number, etc.

How long is the escrow (closing) process?

The entire escrow process can vary and is typically determined by the terms of the purchase agreement. It can range from a few days to several months. Typically an escrow often takes an average time of 30 to 45 days. The escrow process ends when you actually close on the home, during the closing procedure. This is when all funds are transferred accordingly, when all documents are signed, and when you get the keys to your new home.

For more information contact Pilgrim Team at Professional Realty Associates or go to


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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The Pilgrim Team
Professional Realty Associates
16 Leader Heights Road
York PA 17403
Office: 717-757-5955
Fax: 717-757-2887