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Alan Wells' Blog

By Alan Wells REALTOR® CDPE RE/MAX of Lebanon County | Agent in Lebanon County, PA
  • Home Sales Up In Lebanon County

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  February 24, 2011 5:08 PM  |  236 views  |  No comments

    Sales results have been released for Lebanon County for Jan 2011. Accoring to the report, 62 single-family homes were sold which is a 32 percent increase from 47 in January 2010. The average sales price increased from $148,457 in January 2010 to $163,782 this year. The averagesales figure was boosted by five homes which sold in the Elco School District at an average price of $232,160, and seven that sold in the Northern Lebanon School District, with an average price of $204,298.

    This is a good way to start 2011 as 2010 showed a decline of 16% over 2009. We all look forward to a rebound in 2011.

  • Buyers Market? New Gallup Poll Results Suggest It May Be!

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Financing  |  February 17, 2011 1:18 PM  |  215 views  |  No comments
    A Gallup poll conducted Jan. 7-9, 2011 shows that 67% of Americans feel now is a "good time" to buy a house. The results are similar to the 72% of April 2010 and the 71% of April 2009. The Gallup poll suggest Americans are holding on to perceptions of a " buyer's market ".

    There are good reasons for most Americans to think now is a good time to buy a house. Home prices are down sharply, providing many incredible buys. Interest rates remain near historic lows.  Also there is a large supply of unsold homes and more to come as foreclosures continue to hit the market. With all the inventory bargains could get even better as the year unfolds.
    Overall this may not be the best time to buy a home as an investment, however given the current conditions this could be a great time to buy a home to "live in"

  • Buy using a land contract

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lancaster County, Home Selling in Lancaster County, Financing in Lancaster County  |  February 8, 2011 11:15 AM  |  293 views  |  No comments

    A land contract or sometimes called a contract for deed is an agreement between a seller and a buyer to sell a property by having the seller finance the purchase for a set time. These run 5 to 7 years with a balloon payment at the end. The idea is that by the time the balloon comes due the buyer can obtain regular financing. These also tend to require anywhere from 10% to 20% down depending on the property and the credit of the buyer. In these arrangements the buyer get equitable title however the seller retains legal title.

    These can work well for someone who may have the cash for a sale but has credit issues for what ever reason. These can close fast, many in less than a week. They do however need to have a real estate lawyer review it for both the buyer and the seller.

    It is just one more way to think out of the box when it comes to buying or selling. Just make sure you have a agent that is versed in them and you get the proper legal advise.
  • Don't Go Overboard On Pre-Sale Renovation

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Lancaster, Financing in Lancaster, Remodel & Renovate in Lancaster  |  February 7, 2011 8:14 AM  |  378 views  |  2 comments
    Don't be drawn in by the TV shows that have high price designers redoing a kitchen or bath with all new cabinets and fixtures. Maybe in the hot market this would work but remodels done in 2010 will only recoup 60% of their price when the house is sold. This is according to Remodelingmagazine’s 2010 Remodeling Cost vs. Value survey, done in partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). This survey can be found on line and has been completed by region. So if a home owner spends $20,000 updating their kitchen with all the latest design fashions they will be lucky to get $12,000 back when they sell. And maybe many of the buyers don't even like the appliances they chose or the floor tile color any more than the ones that were already there.

    It may be better to do the basics.....Declutter, clean, refinish the cabinets in the kitchen, paint etc. It's these things that in the end may help find a new owner for the home
  • Some Military members still eligible for up to $8000!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lancaster County, Home Selling in Lancaster County, Financing in Lancaster County  |  February 6, 2011 1:00 PM  |  276 views  |  No comments

    Any military first time home buyer that has been deployed outside of the US from Dec. 2008 to May 1st 2010, and have served 90 days or more, are still eligible for the first time home buyer tax credit. That means they may be eligible to receive up $8,000 home buyer credit. With low home prices and very low mortgages rates this a great opportunity to spread the word. You would need to be under contract by March 31st 2011 and settle by June 30th 2011.

  • A little good news now and again

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lancaster County, Home Selling in Lancaster County, Financing in Lancaster County  |  February 5, 2011 6:39 PM  |  298 views  |  1 comment
    Every now and again it is nice to hear a positive news story about the housing market. Recently Donald Trump told Newsmax he sees one bright spot in the still struggling U.S. housing market I can’t guarantee it, but I’m pretty sure this is right now a great time to go out and buy a house. And if you do, in 10 years you’re going to look back and say, ‘You know, I‘m glad I listened to that interview with Donald Trump,’” he says in his exclusive Newsmax interview. “The good news is you get a good price.

    Clear Capital reported Data Index shows that U.S. home prices stopped declining in early January and have posted their first uptick since mid-August 2010.

    Good news doesn't hurt.
  • Compare before you buy

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lancaster County, Home Selling in Lancaster County, Financing in Lancaster County  |  February 5, 2011 4:25 PM  |  296 views  |  No comments

    You always hear this when you are buying an appliance, a car or even real estate. But make sure you do the same when you go for your mortgage. I always advise my clients to shop around before they decide on a company to write their mortgage. You may find that between lenders there are different fee costs and even interest rates. Not all loans are created equal and it could be in your best interest to shop around. And you do not need all of them to run your credit, just ask what the fees are up front. Dare to Compare.
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