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Dan Golden's Blog

By Dan Golden | Agent in Bucks County, PA
  • Bucks-Mont travelogue, Horsham

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Horsham, Home Selling in Horsham, Property Q&A in Horsham  |  July 8, 2014 9:46 AM  |  12 views  |  No comments
    Horsham is my hometown, and I love it.  It is located about 10 miles north of Philadelphia in Montgomery County, right along the border with Bucks County. The township was incorporated way back in 1717. The township is 17.3 square miles and is home to 27,147 residents, according to the 2010 census.

    It is served by the Hatboro-Horsham School District, an outstanding school district with reasonable taxes. It consists of Hatboro-Horsham High School, Keith Valley Middle School and five elementary schools, two in Hatboro and three in Horsham. 

    Library

    Five things I like about Horsham:

    1. The Horsham Library (above). Beautiful building, great library in a central location. The library hosts programs for the entire family.

    2. The Little League complex at Carpenter Park and Deep Meadow Park. A great place to play baseball and softball on well-maintained fields, complete with a snack stand. In addition, there is a walking-running trail the connects the two parks. The township also has nice soccer fields as part of Kohler Park and a football field on Lower State Road.

    3. A great road department: We had a really tough winter. And all through the winter and its numerous storms (both snow and ice), I noticed something surprising. The roads in Horsham were cleared of snow and ice more completely and more quickly than the roads in adjacent townships. And if you remember back to last winter, that’s no small accomplishment.

    4. The Power Line Trail: More than four miles of running-walking trails from Blair Mill Road out to Limekiln Pike. Great place to run, walk or bike. It begins at Blair Mill Road and crosses Dresher, Norristown and Babylon roads.

    5. Location, location, location: It’s minutes from the Willow Grove Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Hatboro train station. The Willow Grove Park mall is about fiv e to 10 minutes away, while Montgomery Mall is about 15 or 20 minutes away.

    Three things you probably did not know about Horsham.

    1. The western tip of Horsham crosses over Route 309 to include the movie theater and some of the shopping center at Welsh Road and Route 309.

    2. As a young man, Benjamin Franklin walked to Horsham from Philadelphia in an effort to see Sir William Keith, the provincial governor, about a loan to purchase a printing press. Franklin did not get the loan. Keith lived on his property near County Line Road and Keith Valley Road.

    3. Horsham has been recognized on more than one occasion by national publications as one of the top places to live in nation.

    Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties. Call, email or text me.

     Dan Golden

    Coldwell Banker Hearthside

    d.golden@cbhearthside.com

    267-626-3890

    Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117

  • The next threat to real estate

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Philadelphia, Home Selling in Philadelphia, Property Q&A in Philadelphia  |  June 11, 2014 10:07 AM  |  53 views  |  No comments
    I read an interesting article recently, I think it was in the New York Times, about the adverse effect that burgeoning student loan debt is having on the housing market. That’s right, student loan debt could be having a rather significant negative impact on the housing market.

    At first, it seems like a bit of a stretch, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Consider all of the young adults who graduate from college owing $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 or even more. Many of them are having a difficult time finding good jobs.

    When they do, they have to start repaying the money they borrowed to attend college. As those young adults are paying off their loans, which for some probably approaches the amount they would pay on a mortgage, they are not purchasing houses. That means the pool of prospective first-time homebuyers is significantly reduced, which means in turn that there will not be as many people in the market for those homes.

    Fewer homes that would attract first-time homebuyers get sold, which means the people who own those homes wait while their homes sit on the market for a longer time, sell for less money or don’t get sold at all. That in turn puts a crimp in their buying power and their ability to purchase more expensive homes, which in turn reduces the pool of prospective buyers for those more expensive homes, well, you get the idea. The ripple effect is not good.

    My wife and I purchased our first home in our mid-20s. We bought our second home two years later, our third home seven years after that. But times have changed. Young people in their 20s are not buying homes. And that will have an adverse effect on the real estate business, which in turn will have an adverse effect on the rest of the economy.  

    Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties. Call, email or text me.

     Dan Golden

    Coldwell Banker Hearthside

    d.golden@cbhearthside.com

    267-626-3890

    Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117

  • The top municipalities in Bucks and Montco are…

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Buckingham, Home Selling in Buckingham, Property Q&A in Buckingham  |  January 23, 2014 10:14 AM  |  249 views  |  No comments
    The statistics are in for 2013 and the top municipality for sales volume (monetary) in Bucks County is Northampton Township with sales of $155,190,562. In second place was Buckingham with $138,574,230, followed by Middletown with $124,179,629, Newtown Township with $115,443,284 and Solebury with $111,037,900. The only other Bucks municipality to break the $100 million barrier was Warrington with $100,921,150 sold.

    The top seller as far as units sold in Bucks was Bristol Township with 536, followed by Middletown with 432, Bensalem with 412, Northampton with 406 and Newtown Township with 315.

    In Montgomery County, some very telling statistics. The No. 1 municipality in sales volume was Lower Merion Township with monetary sales of $514,092,986. That is not a typo. No. 2 on the sales chart was Abington with $159,266,540, followed by Montgomery Township with $106,343,250,  Upper Providence at $102,868,374 and Upper Merion with $94,701,250

    As for units sold, the top spot goes to Lower Merion with 852 homes sold. In second place was Abington with 589 solds, followed by Cheltenham at 348, Montgomery Township at 335 and Upper Providence at 309.

    Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties. Call, email or text me.

     Dan Golden

    Coldwell Banker Hearthside

    d.golden@cbhearthside.com

    267-626-3890

    Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117

  • The top municipalities in Bucks and Montco are…

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Doylestown, Home Selling in Doylestown, Property Q&A in Doylestown  |  January 23, 2014 10:11 AM  |  258 views  |  No comments
    The statistics are in for 2013 and the top municipality for sales volume (monetary) in Bucks County is Northampton Township with sales of $155,190,562. In second place was Buckingham with $138,574,230, followed by Middletown with $124,179,629, Newtown Township with $115,443,284 and Solebury with $111,037,900. The only other Bucks municipality to break the $100 million barrier was Warrington with $100,921,150 sold.

    The top seller as far as units sold in Bucks was Bristol Township with 536, followed by Middletown with 432, Bensalem with 412, Northampton with 406 and Newtown Township with 315.

    In Montgomery County, some very telling statistics. The No. 1 municipality in sales volume was Lower Merion Township with monetary sales of $514,092,986. That is not a typo. No. 2 on the sales chart was Abington with $159,266,540, followed by Montgomery Township with $106,343,250,  Upper Providence at $102,868,374 and Upper Merion with $94,701,250

    As for units sold, the top spot goes to Lower Merion with 852 homes sold. In second place was Abington with 589 solds, followed by Cheltenham at 348, Montgomery Township at 335 and Upper Providence at 309.

    Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties. Call, email or text me.

     Dan Golden

    Coldwell Banker Hearthside

    d.golden@cbhearthside.com

    267-626-3890

    Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117

  • Who pays in a real estate transaction?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Mercer County, Home Selling in Mercer County, Property Q&A in Mercer County  |  November 12, 2013 9:44 AM  |  315 views  |  No comments

    Often, people who are starting the process of purchasing real estate have little or no idea how their agent gets paid. Do the buyers pay the agent? Does their pay come out of the selling agent’s pockets? Are agents paid by the agencies? If so, which one, buyer’s or seller’s? Just how are those people compensated for all the time and effort they put in to find you the perfect house?

    It is a great question. And the answer is relatively simple.

    Generally speaking, both the agent for the seller and the agent for the buyer are compensated from the commission paid by the seller when a home is sold. Here’s how it works.

    The owner of a home contacts a real estate agent, asking that agent to list and sell this home. The agent and the seller agree to list the home at a certain price, and also agree that when the home is sold, the seller will pay the agent’s brokerage (the agency affiliated with the agent) a commission for selling the home. That commission is a percentage of the sale price, usually 5 or 6 percent, though it can be more or less, depending on what the seller and the agent agree to.

    Say the home sells for $200,000.The sellers agreed to pay the brokerage 6 percent of the sale price when the home is sold and title is transferred at settlement. Six percent of $200,000 is $12,000.

    Of that $12,000, the agent and broker who list the house have agreed to split or share that commission with the agent who represents the buyer and that agent’s broker (the agency for which the buyer’s agent works). That split is generally 50-50. Half of the $12,000 would go to the seller’s broker and half would go to the buyer’s broker. Each broker would then get $6,000

    Each broker or agency would then pay a predetermined share of the $6,000 commission to the agent for the seller and the agent for the buyers.

    As you can see, the commission paid by the seller at settlement is divided four ways, between the seller’s agent, the broker for the seller’s agent, the buyer’s agent and the broker for the buyer’s agent.

    If the home does not sell, nobody gets paid.

    Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties call, email or text me.

    Dan Golden

    Coldwell Banker Hearthside

    d.golden@cbhearthside.com

    267-626-3890

    Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117

  • No gas drilling in Bucks County

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Staten Island, Home Selling in Staten Island, Property Q&A in Staten Island  |  October 26, 2013 8:58 AM  |  232 views  |  No comments

    The long effort to begin drilling for natural gas in Bucks County has ended.

    Earlier this week, Arbor Resources LLC and Passadena Oil and Gas Wyoming LLC informed Nockamixon Township that they will no longer try to begin exploratory drilling for natural gas in Bucks.

    A good part of Bucks County is located in what geologists call the South Newark Basin, which contains tremendous reserves of natural gas. Ever since the advent of a drilling method called hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the 2000s, gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of the Mid Atlantic states has exploded, especially in Pennsylvania. This method of horizontal drilling uses a chemical mix to break up the shale and rock formations and release the natural gas those formations contain. But the drilling method, and the industry, are not without their critics.

    When the oil companies came knocking in northern Bucks County's Nockamixon Township, about 300 homeowners signed leases giving the company permission to drill on their land. The township, after hearing of environmental concerns from other parts of the state that included water-well pollution, fought the effort by trying to restrict the drilling to its industrial zone. The gas companies challenged those restrictions in court. The companies also faced other legal difficulties over their attempt to set up a drilling operation in the township’s residential zone and the enactment of a moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed by the Delaware River Basin Commission.   Additionally, the state Legislature established its own moratorium on drilling in the South Newark Basin.

    Evidently, facing those legal hurdles appeared a bit too costly and time consuming for the companies. They will access the South Newark Basin elsewhere.

    Have a question about real estate in Bucks or Montgomery counties. Call, email or text me.

     Dan Golden

    Coldwell Banker Hearthside

    d.golden@cbhearthside.com

    267-626-3890

    Office 215-794-1070 Ext. 117

  • Check out those schools

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Delaware County, Home Selling in Delaware County, Property Q&A in Delaware County  |  October 4, 2013 9:16 AM  |  261 views  |  No comments

    One of the big reasons people move into a certain area is the schools. If a community has good schools, it is a desirable place to live.

    And how do you find out about how the schools in a certain area stack up against those in a different area? Well, the state of Pennsylvania has made that process a bit easier by starting its new $2.2 million accountability model that went  live this morning. Schools will be assigned an overall rating based on a 100-pont scale and will be grouped into color-coded categories, with the highest performing schools (those that receive a rating of 90-100) getting dark blue, with light blue next (80-89.9), then green (70-79.9), yellow (60-69.9) and red (under 60). The scores are a combinations of formula that weighs test scores and closing the achievement gap (50 percent); indicators of academic growth (40 percent) and other indicators such as rates of promotions and  attendance (10 percent).,

    Parents and prospective residents should find the site helpful. Some of the results you will be able to find on this new site are the PSSA test scores for students in grades three to eight, results from AP testing, graduation rates, student poverty levels and number of English language learners.

    To view the website, go to paschoolperformance.org,

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