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Steve Sisman's Blog

"Keeping Real Estate Simple"

By Stephen E. Sisman | Agent in Media, PA
  • Market Statistics - Delaware County – 3rd Quarter 2014 (Jul. - Sept.)

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, Home Selling  |  October 15, 2014 8:02 AM  |  37 views  |  No comments

    Market Statistics - Delaware County – 3rd Quarter 2014 (Jul. - Sept.)

    The following is 3rd Quarter statistics provided by TREND on sales and pricing data in Delaware County.  Note that additional information on Delaware County housing, including data for each zip code in the county, is currently available in the 3rd Quarter Marketwatch Report posted on TREND's website. (NOTE: you must be a TREND member to access report).

     

     

     

     

     

    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!

  • Homeowner Tax Breaks Unlikely To Pass Before Midterm Elections

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, Home Selling  |  October 9, 2014 8:53 AM  |  55 views  |  No comments

    Stephen Sisman

    Stephen Sisman

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238
    877.614.2401 ID# 0
    steve@stevesisman.com
    1400 North Providence Rd
    Suite 1000
    Media, PA 19063


    My Website

    Homeowner Tax Breaks Unlikely To Pass Before Midterm Elections


    Millions of U.S. homeowners lost two important tax benefits this year and Congress is unlikely to renew them before heading home for midterm elections.

    The federal tax deduction for private mortgage insurance (PMI) lets you deduct the cost of PMI premiums if you itemize your deductions. It phases out when your adjusted income tops $100,000.

    The mortgage debt forgiveness tax provision protects homeowners who lose their home via foreclosure and those who sell for less than they owe on their mortgage (a short sale). Without it, any debt forgiven by your mortgage lender is taxable income.

    For example, if your lender loses $100,000 on your short sale, foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, you could end up owing tax on that $100,000 because money a lender “forgives" is taxable income. A.law that set aside the mortgage debt forgiveness tax ended in 2013.

    National Association of Realtors officials say it’s unlikely Congress will act to extend either the mortgage debt or the PMI deduction tax provisions before the midterm elections.

    “The [mortgage debt forgiveness] tax relief expired on Dec. 31 of last year and unless Congress acts to extend it, every person who has already sold or plans to sell a home in a short sale in 2014 will pay taxes on nonexistent mortgage debt, which is money many don’t have,” NAR President Steve Brown said.

    Congress probably will pass legislation at some point later this year and make it retroactive, NAR lobbyists say.

    That’s happened in past years, but there are no guarantees in politics, particularly in an election year when those who lost and those who are retiring return for a Lame Duck session along with those who were re-elected.


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    Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
    Powered by
    Copyright © HomeActions, LLC All rights reserved.
    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!

  • 3 Things To Do Now If You Want To Stay In Your Home As You Age

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, Home Selling  |  October 9, 2014 8:50 AM  |  61 views  |  1 comment

    Stephen Sisman

    Stephen Sisman

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238
    877.614.2401 ID# 0
    steve@stevesisman.com
    1400 North Providence Rd
    Suite 1000
    Media, PA 19063


    My Website

    3 Things To Do Now If You Want To Stay In Your Home As You Age


    Most of us want to remain independent in our homes as long as we can. Making some simple changes as you remodel through the years can help you continue to live comfortably in your home as you age.

    The same changes can also make your home more marketable if you decide to sell because your home will appeal to buyers who need accessible homes as well as those who don’t.

    What The Data Says

    A recent study from AARP and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies found much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features that help older people, especially those with disabilities, live safely and comfortably in their homes.

    While you may not currently have a disability, chances are pretty good you eventually will. The Centers for Disease Control says that 56.5 percent of women and 45.3 percent of men age 65 and older have a disability.

    3 Things You Can Do

    Here are three things you can do as you remodel your home over the years:

    1. When you replace door knobs and faucets, opt for lever-style handles. Arthritis and rheumatism are the most common causes of disability and lever-style handles are easier to use than round knobs.

    2. Considering knocking down walls to open up your kitchen or remodeling your bathroom or owner’s suite?

    Ask your architect or home improvement contractor to widen doorways and hallways to make them more wheelchair friendly.

    If you remodel the master bath, replace that giant jetted tub you never use with a luxurious roll-in shower you can use now and years from now.

    Then, add a Moen grab bar disguised as a towel rack. Or a toilet paper holder strong enough to use to lever yourself up.


    3. As you make exterior improvements, look for ways to remove steps. A no-step entry can be beautiful as well as practical if it flows naturally with your landscaping.

    Want More Ideas?

    Want to know more about universal design and aging in place? Try these resources:

    You can always contact me if you need help making home improvement decisions. I know what home features buyers in our market are seeking and can also help you find a reliable contractor.


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    Your Privacy
    Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
    Powered by
    Copyright © HomeActions, LLC All rights reserved.
    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!

  • House Democrat Wants Big Changes In Credit Reporting

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, Home Selling  |  October 9, 2014 8:49 AM  |  46 views  |  No comments

    Stephen Sisman

    Stephen Sisman

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238
    877.614.2401 ID# 0
    steve@stevesisman.com
    1400 North Providence Rd
    Suite 1000
    Media, PA 19063


    My Website

    House Democrat Wants Big Changes In Credit Reporting


    Citing the countless Americans who have experienced heartbreak, frustration and devastation as a result of incomplete or erroneous information on their credit reports, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA),wants to make sweeping reforms to the U.S. consumer reporting system.

    “Credit reports are no longer just used exclusively by lenders in making a credit decision," Rep. Waters said. "More and more, credit reports are used in a variety of ways, from employment decisions, to determining a consumer’s ability to rent a home, buy a car or purchase insurance.”

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, one in five, or roughly 40 million consumers, have had an error on one of their credit reports.  About 10 million consumers have errors that could increase the cost of credit available to them.

    What Waters Wants

    Waters' proposed bill, The Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014, would:

    • Remove adverse information about late mortgage payments if your loan is found to be unfair, deceptive, abusive, fraudulent or illegal.
    • Remove most adverse information from your credit report after four years.
    • Force credit reporting agencies to retain all records for as long as adverse information about you remains on your credit report.
    • Remove fully paid or settled debt from credit reports, including medical debt.
    • Remove adverse information when delinquent private education loan borrowers make nine consecutive on-time monthly payments for a certain period of time on their loans.

    The draft proposal also restricts the use of credit reports for employment purposes. Employers are increasingly using credit reports to screen job applicants despite a lack of adequate data to show that a person’s credit is predictive of their job performance. 

    It also sets a dollar amount that a consumer can be charged to buy their credit score from credit reporting agencies (CRAs), while also requiring CRAs to provide consumers with a free annual credit or educational credit score upon a consumer’s request.

    Free Credit Report

    Wondering what's in your own credit report? You can order a free copy from AnnualCreditReport.com.

    Need advice on improving your credit score so you can refinance your mortgage or qualify to buy a new home? Contact me and I'll put you in touch with a mortgage loan officer who can work with you to improve your credit so you qualify for the lowest possible interest rate.


    Your Comments

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    Your Privacy
    Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
    Powered by
    Copyright © HomeActions, LLC All rights reserved.

    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!

  • Experts Predict Where US Home Prices Are Headed

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, Home Selling  |  October 9, 2014 8:46 AM  |  53 views  |  No comments

    Stephen Sisman

    Stephen Sisman

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238
    877.614.2401 ID# 0
    steve@stevesisman.com
    1400 North Providence Rd
    Suite 1000
    Media, PA 19063


    My Website

    Experts Predict Where US Home Prices Are Headed


    Home prices have risen in most U.S. markets this year, with most states reaching price levels not seen since the real estate boom year of 2006. How long will they continue to rise? Check out these predictions from four top housing economists:

    National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun

    "We are in a multiyear housing recovery. For the next five years, we think four of those next five years will be an improving year in terms of home sales given the size of the pent-up demand, provided mortgage rates rise in a modest way."

    NAR’s price prediction: Home prices will rise 5 to 6 percent in 2014 and 4 and 5 percent in 2015.

    CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi


    "Most states are reaching price levels not seen since the boom year of 2006. Our data indicates that this trend will continue, with more states hitting new all-time peaks this year and into 2015 as the recovery continues."

    CoreLogic’s price prediction: Prices will rise by 5.7 percent from July 2014 to July 2015.


    Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan

    "On the demand side, there appears to be a conservatism among consumers and their willingness to take on big-ticket purchases, such as homes. We currently estimate that 2014 will finish lower in total sales figures than 2013 – and that 2015, while stronger than 2013 and 2014, will not be the breakout year some are expecting."

    Fannie Mae’s price prediction: Prices will rise 5.6 percent in 2014 and 4.3 percent in 2015.


    Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft

    "House price growth was very strong in 2013 but we don’t expect a repeat performance. Instead, we see housing prices moderate over the next couple of years before settling into its long-run average of about a 1 percent real house price growth per quarter."

    Freddie Mac’s price prediction: Prices will rise 5.0 percent in 2014 and 4 percent in 2015.

    Wondering what your home is worth in today's market? Contact me and we can discuss it.


    Your Comments

    Update Your Information
    Saved Articles
    Comments and Feedback
    Refer A Friend
    Your Privacy
    Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
    Powered by
    Copyright © HomeActions, LLC All rights reserved.

    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!

  • L'Shanah Tovah

    Posted Under: General Area, Quality of Life, In My Neighborhood  |  September 24, 2014 10:45 AM  |  75 views  |  No comments
    Wishing you and yours: a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 5775!!


    L'Shanah Tovah


    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!
  • Consumer Advocates Say Auto Insurers Punishing Loyal Consumers

    Posted Under: Quality of Life, Home Selling, Property Q&A  |  September 13, 2014 9:46 AM  |  87 views  |  No comments
    Stephen Sisman

    Stephen Sisman

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238
    877.614.2401 ID# 0
    steve@stevesisman.com
    1400 North Providence Rd
    Suite 1000
    Media, PA 19063


    My Website

    Consumer Advocates Say Auto Insurers Punishing Loyal Consumers


    Insurance companies are using data analysis to figure out who’s likely to shop when premiums rise and that makes it critical to shop around each year or risk overpaying for coverage, say insurance experts at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

    CFA Director of Insurance J. Robert Hunter, a former Texas Insurance Commissioner, says you can’t assume your company isn’t overcharging you just because you’re given a “loyalty discount.” Your company may be increasing your premium by far more than your loyalty discount, precisely because you have been so loyal.

    “Even if you have a perfect driving record, many insurance companies are raising rates on people just like you – people who do not shop around,” Hunter says. “Newly revealed insurance practices show that reasons you might be vulnerable to price increases are such things as staying with one insurer for many years, never calling the company with complaints or simply buying your insurance through an agent rather than online.”

    The practice, called price optimization (PO), combines personal consumer data and statistical models to predict how much of a price increase you’ll tolerate before you shop around for a better price. The company then uses the calculation to raise your premium even if you’ve never caused an accident or gotten a ticket.

    To avoid being PO-ed by your insurance company you have to shop around. Research shows:

    • 24 percent of drivers never shop for auto insurance
    • 34 percent rarely shop
    • 16 percent only shop every few years

    That means three-quarters of policyholders are sitting ducks for price optimization, Hunter says.

    “Even before the advent of price optimization it was very important to shop for insurance since prices vary so widely. But now, to avoid being PO-ed, shopping is critical,” he concluded.
     


    Your Comments

    Update Your Information
    Saved Articles
    Comments and Feedback
    Refer A Friend
    Your Privacy
    Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
    Powered by
    Copyright © HomeActions, LLC All rights reserved.
    Courtesy of: 

    Stephen E. Sisman


    CSP, e-Pro, REALTOR,

    Designated Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource,

    Certified Short Sale Master Default Intermediary,


    Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist,

    Associate Leadership Counsel Alumnus,

    a member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce,

    a member of the Delaware Small Business Chamber,

    PA Lic# RS218928L DE Lic# RS-0016238

    Keller Williams Real Estate
    1-877-614-2401 toll free
    610.565.1995
     main 
    610.357.6101 mobile
    1400-1000 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 * 610.565.2001 fax
    steve@stevesisman.com * www.SteveSisman.com A caring professional helping friends, neighbors and family achieve stress free real estate transactions...Oh and by the way, I'm never too busy for your referrals!
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