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Frank Dolski's Blog

By Frank Dolski Associate Broker | Agent in 18901
  • Historic Bucks County, Rich In History

    Posted Under: General Area in Quakertown, Parks & Recreation in Quakertown, In My Neighborhood in Quakertown  |  July 1, 2014 5:59 AM  |  115 views  |  No comments

    So you’re thinking about moving or visiting the Bucks County area?  Perhaps you’re looking for something to do.  There are many historic sites to see in Bucks County, because it is located in the heart of colonial America.  Buildings still stand where George Washington slept, and Bucks County gives you the opportunity to visit these locations. Below are just a few of the historic sites in Bucks County.


    Washington Crossing
    George Washington and men of the Continental Army “crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 and marched to Trenton, New Jersey.”  This surprise attack ultimately is what led America to achieve victory.  Today, you can visit this historic landmark, where George Washington and his army stood, or come to see the reenactment of Washington’s crossing that occurs every on Christmas day at 1:00pm.  Visit http://www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/index.htm for full details of this historic park.

    Bowman’s Tower
    Bowman’s Hill Tower is opened Tuesday- Sunday 10am-4pm.  Bring family and friends for a guided tour at only $6 per person.  “This grand observation tower offers an expansive view of the Delaware River area…. Beyond the landmark, Bowman's Hill Tower offers much more to those interested in learning about the Park's history and the origins of the Tower's construction.”

    Covered Bridges
    Today only 12 covered bridges remain in Bucks County, and you can take advantage of the unique opportunity to coast through each one by taking a covered bridge tour. This tour will take you back in time as you circle through beautiful scenery and cross bridges that range from 56 to 150 feet long and have been around since the 1800’s. For information about touring the bridges, visit http://www.visitbuckscounty.com/things-to-do/driving-tours/covered-bridge/.

    Pennsbury Manor
    Constructed between the years of 1682 and 1684, Pennsbury Manor is famously known as the home of William Penn. Located on the Delaware River, this building was reconstructed after it fell to ruin in 1707. However, the house still contains many pieces from its original structure and holds true to the representation of an English gentleman’s home. From its open-hearth kitchen to its family parlor, Pennsbury Manor is truly a historic site to see. Visit http://scenicbuckscounty.com/Pennsbury/Pennsbury.html for full information.

    Summerseat
    Interested in the history of America?  Take a tour of Summerseat, a Georgian mansion that housed some of the most historic people.  Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Robert Morris and George Clymer, were homeowners here, along with George Washington who used Summerseat as his headquarters for his famous crossing of the Delaware River.  Visit http://www.scenicbuckscounty.com/Summerseat/Sumrseat1.html for full information of this historic mansion standing in Morrisville, PA.

    Please contact me for additional information if you are considering settling down in Bucks County. I am here to help guide you on your journey in buying Real Estate, and I hope to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible. Whether you are moving to or already live in this general area and have not yet visited these historic sites to see, I highly recommend you start planning your unforgettable trip today!

    Frank Dolski   MBA, ABR, e-PRO
    Associate Broker
    Certified Relocation Specialist
    Previews Luxury Home Specialist
    Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors 
    215-803-3237 (mobile)
    215-794-1070 x-103
    f.dolski@cbhearthside.com
    www.FrankDolski.Com

    2006-2013 Top Producing Agent and Agent of the year for Coldwell Banker Hearthside in Lahaska Office!
    2013 Coldwell Banker President’s Circle Recipient – Top 6% of all Coldwell Banker International Realtors.
    Ranked in the top 1% of all Bucks County Realtor in 2013!

  • What Is Radon? Should You Be Concerned?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Quakertown, Home Selling in Quakertown, Home Ownership in Quakertown  |  July 19, 2013 5:19 AM  |  668 views  |  No comments
    Radon - what is it?
    Radon is a naturally occuring, colorless, orderless, tasteless, and chemically inert radioactive gas. It is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil and water.


    How Does Radon Enter My Home?
    Every home has its own unique pressurization signature that is created when the heating, ventilation, plumbing and drainage systems work together. This pressure is typically less than that of the soil around your home's foundation. This difference in pressure acts like a vacuum and pulls the majority of the radon into the home through cracks in the foundation and other openings. Other, lower risk points of entry can include well water and certain building materials, including granite and concrete products. Radon can be found in both new contruction as well as older homes. 

    Should I be Concerned?

    Radon has been identified by the US Surgeon General as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every year, nearly as many as those that result from drunk driving. It is important to note that this threat is completely preventable through adequate testing and remediation.



    Above is a map of Bucks County, broken down by zip code that displays potential exposure to Radon.  Each zip code is color coded based on the percentage of homes that are at or above 4.0 pCi/L, a level as established by the U.S. Congress as being equal to that found in the outdoor environment.  The dark green areas have 10-20% of the homes above this benchmark, whereas 80-90% of homes in the dark red areas are outside of this established level. The Enviornmental Protection Agency recommends fixing your home if one long-term Radon test, or the average of two short-term tests show levels above 4.0 cCi/L. While there is no "safe" level of Radon, as even one particle can theoretically begin the chain of events that leads to lung cancer, it's best to reduce this level as much as possible.

    How Do I Assess My Risk?

    Several types of tests are available to assess the Radon levels in your home; a short term test can take as little as 48 hours or up to 90 days, and a long term test lasts 90 or more days.  Radon levels can fluctuate in your home over time.  Many factors can play a role in your Radon levels including the seasonality (winters are worse), time of day, even the present weather conditions.  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with the American Lung Association to promote public awarenes, testing & mitigation.  In doing so, they are providing a limited number of FREE radon test kits to Pennsylvania residents who have not yet tested their homes. Click on the link above to order your free test.

    Remediation Options

    On average a remediation system will cost between $800-$1200 depending on the type of home and the services that are required.
    Many recently constructed homes are equipped with a passive radon system, a 3-4 inch PVC vent pipe that is sealed either below the basement slab or into the sump pump, and runs up through the home where it vents out the attic.  Often, this type of system is not sufficient in reducing the levels below 4.0 pCi/L. The addition of a "radon fan", or vent pipe can often remedy this situation by lowering the radon to an acceptable level. Below is a list of additional mitigation techniques that can be performed by a licensed remediation technition.

    Radon Reduction of Various Mitigation Techniques

    TechniqueTypical Radon ReductionComments
    Subslab Suction
    (Subslab Depressurization)
    50 to 99 percentWorks best if air can move easily in material under slab.
    Passive Subslab Suction30 to 70 percentMay be more effective in cold climates; not as effective as active subslab suction.
    Draintile Suction50 to 99 percentCan work with either partial or complete drain tile loops.
    Block-Wall Suction50 to 99 percentOnly in homes with hollow block-walls; requires sealing of major openings.
    Sump-Hole Suction50 to 99 percentWorks best if air moves easily to sump from under the slab.
    Submembrane Depressurization in a Crawlspace50 to 99 percentLess heat loss than natural ventilation in cold winter climates.
    Natural Ventilation in a Crawlspace0 to 50 percentCosts variable
    Sealing of Radon Entry RoutesSee CommentsNormally only used with other techniques; proper materials and installation required
    Home (Basement) Pressurization50 to 99 percentWorks best with tight basement isolated from outdoors and upper floors.
    Natural VentilationVariable/
    Temporary
    Significant heated or cooled air loss; operating costs depend on utility rates and amount of ventilation.
    Heat Recovery Ventilation, or HRVVariable/
    See Comments
    Limited use; effectiveness limited by radon concentration and the amount of ventilation air available for dilution by the HRV. Best applied to limited-space areas like basements.
    Private Well Water Systems: Aeration95 to 99 percentGenerally more efficient than GAC; requires annual cleaning to maintain effectiveness and to prevent contamination; requires venting radon to outdoors.
    Private Well Water Systems: Granular Activated Carbon, or GAC85 to 99 percentLess efficient for higher levels than aeration; use for moderate levels, around 5,000 pCi/L or less in water; radioactive radon by-products can build on carbon; may need radiation shield around tank and care in disposal.
    NOTE: Mitigation costs vary due to technique, materials and the extent of the problem. Typically the cost of radon mitigations are comparable to other common home repairs.
    Frank Dolski   MBA, ABR, e-PRO
    Associate Broker
    Certified Relocation Specialist 
    Previews Luxury Home Specialist
    Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors 
    Ranked #1 In The State of PA in 2012 For Affiliated Coldwell Banker International Realtors
    2012 Coldwell Banker International President’s Elite Award
    2010-2011 Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle Award
    215-803-3237 (mobile)
    215-794-1070 x-103
    f.dolski@cbhearthside.com
    www.FrankDolski.Com
  • Beating the summer heat in Bucks County, Pennsylvania!

    Posted Under: General Area in Quakertown, Quality of Life in Quakertown, Parks & Recreation in Quakertown  |  July 7, 2013 10:48 AM  |  977 views  |  No comments
    Bucks County, PA is a lot more than scenic pictires and covered bridge. It also offers a plethora of outdoor activities.  When better to take advantage of all that Bucks County has to offer than now with summer upon us and the weather heating up? Below are a sampling of the many ways in Bucks County to stay cool. 

    For Adults

    Bucks County Riverboat Company offers private and public cruises from Keller's Landing on their picnicking-pontoon boat.  Public cruises include a one hour narrated sunset cocktail cruise for $28, detailing some interesting facts about the river and the surrounding area. 

    New Hope Boat Rides, also known as Wells Ferry, is located behind the Landings Restaurant in the heart of New Hope. They offer guided scenic tours of the the Delaware River Friday through Sunday. Friday night fireworks parties are especially popular so you better book early!

    Delaware River Sojourn is an eight day guided paddling trip on the wild and scenic Delaware River. Paddlers of all skill levels and ages are welcome to participate in this event which runs from June 22-29th. You can choose to go on the entire eight day adventure, a segment of, or a specific day of your choice.


    For Families

    The Delaware Canal State Park offers year round activities for the whole family but in the summer, activities include hiking, biking, picnicking, pan fish, fishing and hunting. 'The Delaware Canal is the only remaining continuously intact canal of the great towpath canal building era of the early and mid- 19th centuries'. Check their calendar for many great activities throughout the summer including a two hour morning paddle called Kayak the Canal as well as a two hour educational paddle called the Giving Pond Paddle Program. For children ages 7-12, the park offers a four day summer camp called Canal Camp that runs 7/29-8/1.


    If you're looking for even more adventure, check out Bucks County River Country, the "only Delaware River outfitter'. This Point Pleasant based business hosts thousands of visitors each year as they enjoy the many tubes, rafts, canoes & kayaks that they have to offer.


    Lake conveniently is the jewel of the large mouth State Park, a 5000 square foot park
    that is a water destination for boaters and anglers. At Lake water slides Boat Rental you can rent a variety of motorized as well as non motorized watercraft including sailboats, pontoon boats and kayaks. Lake Nockamixon is a warm-water fishery and has fish habitat structures have been installed throughout the lake.  Common species include walleye, muskellunge, pickerel, smallmouth and largemouth bass, striped bass hybrids, channel catfish, carp and various types of panfish. Additionally, the park has a public swimming pool with two waterslides and a shallow end with fountains. The Lifeguards even teach swimming lessons and water aerobics.

    Peace Valley Park is conviently located just minutes from scenic Doylestown.  The park is a popular destination for families due to the wide variety of activities including hiking and biking the 14 miles of maintained trails, viewing local wildlife in the nature center, as well as fishing and boating on the 365 acres of Lake Galena. Boats can be rented by the hour or by the day. Children can take advantage of the Junior Boating Camps and Junior Fishing Camps offered throughout the summer.


    Sesame Place, located in Langhorne, is more than just theme park rides and shows, they also offer much in the way of keeping cool. With 13 water attractions including a multi-level, interactive, water-play attraction (Counts Caste), a Rambling river, chutes, slopes and slides, you will be sufficiently worn out and cooled off by days end.  

    What are some of your favorite ways to cool off in Bucks County?

    Frank Dolski   MBA, ABR, e-PRO
    Associate Broker
    Certified Relocation Specialist 
    Previews Luxury Home Specialist
    Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors 
    Ranked #1 In The State of PA in 2012 For All Affiliated Coldwell Banker International Realtors
    2012 Coldwell Banker International President’s Elite Award
    2010-2011 Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle Award
    215-803-3237 (mobile)
    215-794-1070 x-103
    f.dolski@cbhearthside.com
    www.FrankDolski.Com
  • Why Sould You Use A Realtor When Considering To Purchase New Construction?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Quakertown, Home Buying in Quakertown, Financing in Quakertown  |  February 6, 2013 5:05 AM  |  376 views  |  No comments

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has indicated that new construction increased in 2012 and will only continue to increase in 2013. So as a buyer, what is the process and how are you represented in the purchase of new construction?

    In the state of Pennsylvania, the Consumer Notice clearly defines agency which includes the definition of a buyer’s agent, a seller’s agent, a dual agent and a transactional licensee.  In the case of new construction, the builder is represented by a seller’s agent. They only represent the builder and do not represent the buyer as clearly defined in the Consumer Notice.  My recommendation is that anyone who is considering buying or even looking at new construction strongly consider employing the services of a buyer’s agent, who is typically “free” to buyers! You should do this prior to your first visit to a any new construction site and your Realtor® should also accompany you.

    What are the benefits of buyer representation? My name is Frank Dolski and I am an Associate Broker/Realtor with Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors located in Bucks County, PA. I represent buyers in areas such as Buckingham, Doylestown, New Hope, Newtown, Furlong, Jamison, and many areas in Bucks and Montgomery counties.  There are many reasons why I encourage buyer representation on new construction and I will site a few reasons to do so:

    A buyer’s agent will represent you from start to finish in every aspect of the transaction. That means from the signing of the agreement of sale to settlement. They will help you to negotiate the best possible price for the property including options, lot premiums, and overall price.

    I review all contract verbiage to insure that there is no “hidden verbiage” and insure where applicable that some be added where warranted. Keep in mind most new construction contracts are written by attorneys who represent the builder and these contracts are therefore heavily weighted in favor of the builder. A Buyer's Agent with assist in evaluating alternatives to a particular new construction development (may include showing other homes, visiting other new construction sites, gathering info on other options).  Also included is evaluating the selection of building lots, especially for future resale value. Some options can be deferred until after construction and some are critical which may not able to be done at a later time. All this helps buyers to make an informed and confident decision.

    A buyer's agent can assist the in directing you to the appropriate Township to look at plans regarding  easement restrictions and future development surrounding the area. This is critical because you may want to put in an in-ground pool on a lot that will be restricted by the township or you may own wooded areas where you may never be able to thin out the trees to expand your yard. Builders are required to disclose plot plans, easements and other disclosures, but it is always best to have a Realtor represent you to review all of these documents as you are executing the contract or better yet, prior to execution..

    As a buyer’s agent, I also recommend that at a minimum, a pre-drywall home inspection is down to insure that there are no obvious defects which could not be seen after the drywall goes up. I also
    recommend a final inspection as any new home purchase is a huge investment.

    Assist the buyer in attaining financing and a review of the financitng paperwork, settlement charges on the HUD1 settlement sheet. I also help the buyer to select a title company with various options.

    Attend a pre-settlement walk-through to help determine a punch list and the give a second opinion for any obvious defects.

    My objective as a buyer’s agent for new construction or resale is to help the buyers make informed decisions during every step of the process.  Again, I strongly encourage all buyers to consider using a Realtor® to represent them when purchasing a newly constructed home. Most if not all builders rely on Realtors to help to sell their inventory. It is our responsibility as a "Buyers Agent" to get you the best possible deal and represent you every step of the way!


    Frank Dolski
       MBA, ABR, e-PRO
    Associate Broker
    Certified Relocation Specialist
    Previews Luxury Home Specialist
    Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors
    2012 Coldwell Banker International President’s Elite Award
    2010-2011 Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle Award
    215-803-3237 (mobile)
    215-794-1070 x-103
    f.dolski@cbhearthside.com
    www.FrankDolski.Com

 
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