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Dan Golden's Blog

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

    Posted Under: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, Home Selling in Hunterdon County  |  July 8, 2014 9:35 AM  |  40 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

  • Keep an eye on those deadlines

    Posted Under: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, Home Selling in Hunterdon County  |  July 1, 2014 11:19 PM  |  27 views  |  No comments

    One of my great fears as a real estate agent is missing one of the time sensitive requirements listed in the agreement of sale. There are a number of them, and missing any one of them could cause serious problems for the buyer or the seller and might even cause the deal to fall through.  

    To that end, after every executed agreement of sale, I send the other agent and my client a checklist that includes all the time sensitive requirements in the agreement and their dates. I ask the agent to look them over closely and to inform me of if he or she sees any mistakes. If they don’t, we proceed with the dates as agreed upon.

    It works like this. The date of execution is the day all of the papers are signed and delivered to both parties. Say the execution date is June 30. The clock on the time sensitive activities begins the next full day. Here is an examply of my list, with a 15-day time frame for the second deposit, a 30 day time period for the mortgage commitment, a 10-day inspection period, a five-day reply period, and a two-day waiting period for the seller to get back to the buyer, a 25-day period for the home appraisal and a settlement of Aug. 20.

    Completed written mortgage application      July 7

    Inspections completed                                     July 10

    Negotiations on reply to inspections               July 15

    Second deposit                                                July 15

    Seller consideration period                               July 17

    Appraisal                                                         July 25

    Mortgage commitment                                  July 30

    Settlement                                                      Aug. 20

    This allows myself, my client and the other agent to keep track of when things should be done and helps ensure smoother sailing toward settlement.

    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: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, Home Selling in Hunterdon County  |  June 11, 2014 10:13 AM  |  51 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

  • Top dollar better than bottom dollar

    Posted Under: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, Home Selling in Hunterdon County  |  June 3, 2014 10:03 AM  |  85 views  |  No comments

    I am convinced that the difference between sellers receiving top dollar for their homes or sellers getting bottom dollar for their properties, and a ton of headaches attempting to sell it, depends on how much updating has been done to the house.

    It is a real estate reality that most buyers want a house that they can move into without doing a laundry list of upgrades. For them, stripping wallpaper, painting, re-doing hardwood floors, upgrading the kitchen, whatever the project, makes the property less appealing for prospective buyers.

    That has obvious repercussions for the seller. First, it limits the number of people who will actually see the house, because when they look at the photos of the home and see the amount of work they would have to do to get it where they want it to be, they are going to say ‘no thanks.’

    Second, if you shrink the pool of prospective buyers who come to see your house, you are actually shrinking your chances of selling the property. There aren’t that many people out there who are willing to tackle those do-it-yourself projects. The longer your house sits waiting for a Mr. Fixit  type to come see it, the less valuable it becomes.

    Third, the better your house looks, the more people will come to see it and the better chance you will have of selling it. If a buyer walks into a house that is upgraded, that buyer can see himself or herself enjoying the property because he or she won’t have to do any work to get it where they want it.

    And finally, the more you do, the easier it will be to sell the property. You won’t have to deal with the anxiety of nobody coming to see the house, no string of price reductions to entice buyers, and fewer headaches all around for you.

    So get some work done before you put the house on the market. You don’t have to do everything. But do something. It will make it easier to sell.

    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

  • Horsham's 862 acre opportunity

    Posted Under: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, In My Neighborhood in Hunterdon County  |  May 28, 2014 9:16 AM  |  65 views  |  No comments

    Change is coming to Horsham, and it will be here before you know it.

    The planning for the redevelopment of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in the township is gaining momentum. The list of potential developers has been whittled down from 10 to five. The Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority, which is made up of local officials, will be listening to proposals over the summer on each developer’s vision for the 862 acres of the base.

    The five finalists are Toll Brothers of Horsham; The Hankin Group of Exton, Pa.;  K. Hovnanian of Edison, N.J.; Lennar of Hamilton, N.J.; and Catellus Development Corp. of New York City.  The authority has set an Aug. 4 deadline for hearing all of the redevelopment proposals.

    The redevelopment of all that acreage is going to fundamentally change Horsham and its enviorns. If you doubt that, drive down Street Road to Jacksonville in Warminster and take a look at what now occupies the land of the former Naval Air Warfare Center. Ann’s Choice, Costco and various other businesses have sprouted. I think the change will be even more dramatic in Horsham when plans for homes, businesses, parks, schools, etc., are unveiled in the future.

    How far in the future? We’re talking long haul here, five or 10 years. When you are dealing with the federal government, things move slowly. But even though the pace is glacial, redevelopment is on the horizon.

    A meeting of the Willow Grove Air Station Restoration Advisory Board is slated for 2 p.m. on June 4 in the community room of the Horsham Library on Babylon Road . Environmental issues at base will be the topic of discussion.

    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

  • Borders, boundaries, brain-busters

    Posted Under: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, In My Neighborhood in Hunterdon County  |  May 19, 2014 11:51 AM  |  93 views  |  No comments

    I’ve always been fascinated with borders and boundaries. I've always enjoyed spending of time looking at maps for the dividing lines between cities and boroughs, townships, counties, states and countries.

    My fascination was rekindled this weekend when I saw in The Intelligencer that the Tile Festival held this past weekend at Fonthill and the Moravian Pottery Works was actually in Doylestown Township. I had always thought it was in Doylestown, a separate municipal entity from Doylestown Township.

    How could it be in Doylestown Township? There are no parts of Doylestown Township that are contiguous with that part of Doylestown bordered by Court Street, East Street, North Street and Swamp Road (Route 313) that holds Fonthill and the Pottery Works. I had always thought it was in the borough of Doylestown. It sure looks as though it should be in the borough of Doylestown, but it is not, even though 99 percent of the people who live in the area believe it is in Doylestown.

    So I called the zoning office at Doylestown Township and asked two questions. Are Fonthill and the Pottery Works located in Doylestown Township instead of Doylestown? I was told they are located in Doylestown Township. The second question I asked was how did that happen?

    The woman at the zoning office explained that Henry Chapman Mercer, the man who built the Mercer Museum, Fonthill and the Pottery Works, preferred not to be located in Doylestown. So, as a man of influence, he used that influence to have his home at Fonthill and the Pottery Works located in Doylestown Township.

    The woman was unsure of the issue Mercer had with the borough, but next time you drive down Court Street, just remember that you are driving past a parcel that belongs in Doylestown Township. You can view Doylestown Township’s official street map at http://www.doylestownpa.org/information/maps/

     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

  • Where the dog parks are

    Posted Under: General Area in Hunterdon County, Home Buying in Hunterdon County, In My Neighborhood in Hunterdon County  |  May 5, 2014 11:16 AM  |  152 views  |  No comments

    There are a number of municipalities in Bucks and Montgomery counties that have dog parks affiliated with the township or boroughs, which is pretty cool. They seem to be a big hit with dog owners and their pets. Here they are.

    In Bucks County, there are dog parks in Doylestown Township and Perkasie.

    The Perkasie Dog Park is located in Lenape Park on Park Avenue (Route 152) in Perkasie. The park is open to the public. You can check out the hours of operation, rules and regulations at http://www.perkasiedog.org/

    The Doylestown Township Dog Park is located at on Almshouse Road between Route 611 (Easton Road) and Turk Road in Doylestown Township at Turk 3 Park. It is across the street from the Bucks County Prison at 1260 Almshouse Road.  Registration and an orientation class are required. You can find out the details at http://doylestowndogpark.com/

    In Eastern Montgomery County, there are two dog parks, one in Horsham and one in Montgomery Township.

     The Horsham Park is located in Kohler Park off Horsham Road near the township building and is open to the public. The parking lot off Horsham Road is undergoing work and is now closed, but pet owners can use the parking at the soccer field off of Limekiln Pike and walk down the path to the dog park. You can check out the hours of operation, rules and regulations at http://horshamdogpark.com/

    The Montgomery Township Bark Park is located is at 224 Welsh Road on Route 63 in Montgomery Township. The name of the Plaza has changed from Bell Run to Assi Plaza. Directions: Take Welsh Road (Route 63) west,  go past the intersection with Route 202 and turn right into Assi Plaza. The park is behind the plaza. The flag is gone. Only a wooden post marks the trail leading to the park. https://www.montgomerytwp.org/department/board.php?structureid=64

    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

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