Archive for the ‘Homeowner Tips’ Category

How to Keep Your Home Safe During an Open House in Harrisburg PA

How to Keep Your Home Safe 
During an Open House in Harrisburg PA

 

How to keep your home safe during an open house in Harrisburg PA: Letting complete strangers tour your home is a little unnerving. Along with dealing with lots of unknown visitors, you may also fear judgment for hoarding unfinished Pinterest projects in your Laundry Room!  Most things that can cause social embarrassment are easy to hide, but it is worth putting some thought into keeping your home and belongings secure throughout the process of finding a buyer.

Here are some safety and security tips that protect your home and your peace of mind.

How to keep your home safe during and open house in Harrisburg PA:
Preparing for Your Open House…..

The moment you decide to put your home on the market is the moment that you prepare to host strangers. It’s a normal part of the selling process, and you can make yourself feel more comfortable by thinking through the following.

Check with your insurance carrier so you know what your policy covers. Do you have enough insurance to cover any potential property damage? Do you have enough to cover valuables?

Let your neighbors know that you are planning an open house and ask them to keep an eye out for anything unusual.

How to keep your home safe during open houses in Harrisburg PA:
Twas the Night Before The Tour….

The night before your open house, start putting away valuables. If you aren’t sure what that might be, consider what the FBI considers valuable. According to the FBI the most commonly stolen items include money, jewelry, office equipment, clothing/furs, electronics, and firearms. As you start to put away these valuables, create a checklist that will help you organize the process for future open houses, and ensure that you don’t overlook anything in the rush.

Hide your family calendars: guests really don’t need to know when your family plans to be away nor do they need to know where you plan to be.

Put away pictures of your children.

Lock away passports, extra keys, financial statements and social security cards.

Stow wine, liquor, cigars, and prescription drugs.

How to keep your home safe during an open house in Harrisburg PA:
On the Day of the Open House…..

If your Agent arrives while you are still home, be sure to walk through the home and orient them as needed. After you return, check all areas of your house including closets and your backyard. Double check all of the locks on windows and doors to make sure they are secured as they were before the open house started. You can feel great knowing that you are protecting your home and belongings but also helping keep your agent safe.

You just learned how to keep your house safe during an open house in Harrisburg, PA! You are now an open house safety graduate. May your house show well and sell quickly!

 

I look forward to helping you when you’re ready to sell… or buy!

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Halloween Events in the Harrisburg PA Area 2011

Halloween Events in the Harrisburg PA Area 2011

Here is a list of Trick or Treat nights in the Harrisburg PA area, along with Halloween parades, Corn Mazes, Haunted Forests, etc. Such a fun time of year!

Happy Halloween!

Harrisburg Area Halloween Events

            Trick-or-Treat:
                               
Camp Hill              Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                East Hanover      Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm

                               
Hershey                  Monday October 31 from 6-8pm
                                Hummelstown  Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                Lower Paxton     Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                Middletown         Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                Palmyra                  Monday October 31 from 6-8pm
                                Paxtang                   Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                South Hanover  Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                Swatara Twp        Thursday October 27 from 6-8pm
                                West Hanover     Thursday October 27 from 6-8

            Halloween Parades:
                                BOILING SPRINGS       Thursday, October 20 @ 7PM
                                CAMP HILL                       Tuesday, October 25 @ 6PM
                                CARLISLE                           Monday, October 17 @ 7PM
                                EAST PENN/ ENOLA    Wednesday, October 26 @ 7PM
                                HERSHEY                            Tuesday October 25 @ 7pm
                                HUMMELSTOWN           Monday, October 31 @ 7PM
                                DAUPHIN                             Saturday, October 15 @ 1PM
                                DILLSBURG                        Saturday, October 15 @ 8PM
                                GRANTVILLE (East Hanover) Thursday, October 20 @ 7PM
                                LOWER SWATARA         Thursday, October 20 @ 6PM
                                MARYSVILLE                    Monday, October 24 @ 7PM
                                MECHANICSBURG         Tuesday, October 11 @ 7PM
                                MIDDLETOWN                 Monday, October 17 @ 7PM
                                MILLERSBURG                 Wednesday, October 19 @ 7PM
                                MT. GRETNA                      Friday, October 28 @ 7PM
                                MT. HOLLY SPRINGS   Wednesday, October 19 @ 7PM
                                NEW BLOOMFIELD       Saturday, October 29 @ 10:30AM
                                NEW CUMBERLAND     Tuesday, October 25 @ 7:30PM
                                NEWPORT                            Tuesday, October 25 @ 6PM
                                NEWVILLE                          Monday, October 24 @ 7PM
                                PAXTANG                             Tuesday, October 25 @ 7PM
                                PENBOOK                              Thursday, October 20 @ 7PM
                                S. HANOVER TWP           Tuesday October 25 @ 7PM

Lancaster Halloween Events

Reading/Berks Halloween Events

York/Adams Halloween Events

These are just a sampling of some of the fun Halloween Events in the Harrisburg PA area in 2011 that are going on! Be safe… and have a Happy Halloween!

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is the premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years’ experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793                                               Email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

Buying a House in Harrisburg PA – 6 Reasons to Google the Address

Buying a House in Harrisburg PA –
6 Reasons to Google the Address

With virtually any type of information imaginable online, it makes sense when buying a house to do regular internet searches for the home’s address.

If you are considering buying a house, there are at least six compelling reasons it makes sense to do so, especially if it’s an address you’re thinking of renting, buying or selling. Smart homeowners would do well to search for their addresses, too, and here’s why:

Buying a House in Harrisburg PA - Google the Address

1. When Buying a House:  See If Megan’s Law Registrants Live Nearby

There is plenty of information available to the public when buying a house regarding registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods. Nearly every state that has a Megan’s Law-­type sex offender registry has an online version that serves up the names, addresses, sex-offense history, and even photos in many cases, of convicted sex-offenders.

So, when considering buying a house, Googling the address and “Megan’s Law”-or even the city or ZIP code and “Megan’s Law”-­will turn up a quick list of nearby registrants.

2. When Buying a House: Find Crime Reports and Data For The Home and Environs

When buying a house, consider that City, County, and State law enforcement agencies all post crime data online, but a Google search for the address or city and “crime reports” is most likely to turn up the local police office’s crime map. Or, you can check out Trulia Crime Maps when buying a house for a crime map of recent incident reports for the whole city, ZIP code or neighborhood. The map is color-­coded to represent the intensity of crimes in each area.

3. To Detect Scammers Trying to Rent or Sell Your House

Internet scammers have taken to ripping off home information and putting together fake listings offering other people’s homes for rent, or lease­to­own. They often list the home on extremely cheap and easy terms, and then ask the would-­be-­buyer or tenant to please wire or send the deposit money overseas. These scams often come to light only after the homeowner or current resident notices bargain-­hunters checking out the place.  If you start getting an inordinate amount of foot-traffic to your home, or someone knocking on your door asking if they can see the place, you may want to Google your address. If you find a fraudulent listing, identify yourself as the home’s rightful owner and ask the offending site to take the scam posting down stat!

4. When Buying a House:  See What the Neighbor’s Place Sold For and Possibly Lower Property Taxes

In real estate, the value of a home is largely driven by what is similar or how much nearby homes have sold for. When buying a house, search the address.  Trulia will first surface some sort of image of the home, a map, the basic property details from the public records (see No.5, below), and recent sales data for the home before listing out the comparable homes with similar numbers of beds, baths and square feet near yours, and what they recently sold for. When considering buying a house, if you see a pattern of homes selling for lower than the home’s assessed value, you can use those comps to petition the county to lower the property taxes!

5. When Buying a House:  To See the Home’s Property Records (attn: Homeowners, too!)

When buying a house, did you know that the home’s records online are populated from the public records? However, some of these are either so old they don’t include upgrades and additions, or they’re just flat-out wrong. If you Google the address, or search for it on Trulia, and find that the home’s description is riddled with errors, contact your county public record agency to correct them and edit your home facts on Trulia. This is particularly important if you’re planning to sell your home anytime soon.

6. When Buying a House or Selling a House:  See Your Home’s Google Street View

When you’re selling your home or buying a house, it’s especially critical to see everything that prospective homebuyers will see. That means checking out how your home’s listing looks on all the online real estate sites (yes, even on Trulia), checking out the flyer,  even stopping by to check out any staging your broker or agent did if you’ve already moved out.  One thing even the most savvy sellers don’t check out is the way Google Street View depicts your home. If you’re about to sell your home and you notice that the street view is outdated, mention it to your agent, and ask them to make a note of that fact in the listing information.

© 2011 Trulia.com · All Rights Reserved.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793                                                 Email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

 
Presented by KensHomesales.com

Spring Maintenance Tips

Spring Maintenance Tips

Spring ahead with our helpful home maintenance tips
Spring is the perfect time to prepare your home for warmer weather. Please take a moment to review this important spring home maintenance checklist.

  • Inspect your smoke detectors. Make sure that there is one on each floor of your home. Test them and change the battery every three months or as needed.
  • Replace all high-intensity bulbs (such as halogen) with fluorescent bulbs that don’t produce as much heat.
  • Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible that is filled and ready for operation.
  • Have your air conditioning system inspected by a professional as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating.
  • Check your water heater for leaks and corrosion.
  • Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material or cloth.
  • In your yard, remove all dead trees and keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed and away from utility wires.
  • Safely store oil and gas for lawn equipment and tools in a vented, locked area.
  • Repair driveway and walkways that are cracked, broken or uneven to provide a level walking surface.

Enjoy longer days and warmer nights while protecting your investment
As temperatures begin to rise, we want to help you reduce the risk of a loss to your home and ensure the safety and well-being of your family and friends. Please take a moment to review this important summer home maintenance checklist.

  • Check deck or patio for possible deterioration and safety hazards such as loose boards and protruding nails.
  • Check electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
  • Check all windows and door locks to ensure correct functioning. Make sure all locks are secure and there are no holes in any of the screens.
  • Inspect recreational equipment for proper operation and possible dangers (e.g., are swing sets secure with no rusty bolts?).
  • Carefully inspect your toilet. Look for erosion of plastic floater valves, and check all pipe connections.
  • Clean and/or replace furnace filter.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust and pieces of material.
  • Inspect washing machine hoses periodically and replace hoses that show signs of leaking.
  • Have roof inspected by a professional once every few years to identify potential leaks.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

Projects that Offer Return on Investment (ROI)

Projects that Offer Return on Investments

 

Interior Projects

When deciding on what home improvement projects you should invest in, look toward your neighbors! You should only expect to invest in improvements that will help your home reach its maximum level of potential. If you spend too much on renovations, you could price yourself out of the neighborhood and see little to no return on your investment. Also, compare your home to others in the area. If you have one bathroom and most other homes have two, a good investment would be in another bathroom. Use the homes in your area to judge your next project. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Kitchens

Kitchens are the best area of your home to invest money in. You will see a great return on investment in this area, but you should be careful not to overspend for your neighborhood. Before getting started, be sure to talk to your Realtor. They will be able to tell you if a kitchen remodel will help add value to your home. If the price is right, you can expect to see almost 100% return on your investment.

Bathrooms

Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the best option for remodeling. Bathrooms have a high return on investment since they cost less than kitchens, but more than most other rooms. The costs to remodel a bathroom vary from one extreme to another. Simple touch ups and replacing small fixtures, like the faucet, are definite improvements. Full bathroom renovations can start at a couple thousand dollars and quickly escalate beyond $20,000. When deciding to remodel the bathroom, be cautious that you don’t price yourself out of the neighborhood or sabotage your return on investment.

Courtesy of About.com

Exterior Projects Return On Investments

The exterior of your home is the first thing people see when they drive past. Whether selling your house or doing minor improvements, curb appeal is a major feature that should be considered during these projects. First impressions are everything when it comes to your home. Here are a few ideas for improving your landscape and gaining the attention of all who pass by.

ROI

The exterior of your home will yield a high return on investment since it is the first thing buyers see. This allows you to get more traffic through your home which could mean more offers.

 

Green Healthy Lawn

A dead lawn stands out like sore thumb. If your grass is beyond saving, you can consider having the yard re-sodded which provides immediate results. Once the grass is green again, make sure the edges are clean and straight. This makes the lawn look well manicured.

Nice Landscaping

Don’t be afraid to use a little color in your landscape. Colorful annuals draw the eye in to the house from the street. Once the attention is caught, some larger plants are excellent for covering up the foundation. A house without any landscaping appears to be uninviting.

Touch of Paint

Peeling paint on the entry door screams “go away”! Make sure your front door has a fresh coat of paint to ensure that your guests feel invited into your home.  Any trim around the house should be painted crisp complementary colors. The paint on the outside should be inviting and yet personal. Again, this is your chance to make a first impression!

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

 

 

Interior Projects that Offer Return on Investments

Interior Projects that Offer Return on Investments

When deciding on what home improvement projects you should invest in, look toward your neighbors! You should only expect to invest in improvements that will help your home reach its maximum level of potential. If you spend too much on renovations, you could price yourself out of the neighborhood and see little to no return on your investment. Also, compare your home to others in the area. If you have one bathroom and most other homes have two, a good investment would be in another bathroom. Use the homes in your area to judge your next project. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Kitchens

Kitchens are the best area of your home to invest money in. You will see a great return on investment in this area, but you should be careful not to overspend for your neighborhood. Before getting started, be sure to talk to your Realtor. They will be able to tell you if a kitchen remodel will help add value to your home. If the price is right, you can expect to see almost 100% return on your investment.

Bathrooms

Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the best option for remodeling. Bathrooms have a high return on investment since they cost less than kitchens, but more than most other rooms. The costs to remodel a bathroom vary from one extreme to another. Simple touch ups and replacing small fixtures, like the faucet, are definite improvements. Full bathroom renovations can start at a couple thousand dollars and quickly escalate beyond $20,000. When deciding to remodel the bathroom, be cautious that you don’t price yourself out of the neighborhood or sabotage your return on investment. Courtesy of About.com

Exterior Projects that Offer Return On Investments

The exterior of your home is the first thing people see when they drive past. Whether selling your house or doing minor improvements, curb appeal is a major feature that should be considered during these projects. First impressions are everything when it comes to your home. Here are a few ideas for improving your landscape and gaining the attention of all who pass by.

ROI The exterior of your home will yeild a high return on investment since it is the first thing buyers see. This allows you to get more traffic through your home which could mean more offers.

Green Healthy Lawn

A dead lawn stands out like sore thumb. If your grass is beyond saving, you can consider having the yard re-sodded which provides immediate results. Once the grass is green again, make sure the edges are clean and straight. This makes the lawn look well manicured.

Nice Landscaping

 

Don’t be afraid to use a little color in your landscape. Colorful annuals draw the eye in to the house from the street. Once the attention is caught, some larger plants are excellent for covering up the foundation. A house without any landscaping appears to be uninviting.

 

Touch of Paint A

Peeling paint on the entry door screams “go away”! Make sure your front door has a fresh coat of paint to ensure that your guests feel invited into your home. Any trim around the house should be painted crisp complementary colors. The paint on the outside should be inviting and yet personal. Again, this is your chance to make a first impression!

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

 

What Exactly Determines the Value of Your Home?

What Exactly Determines the Value of Your Home?

You have a beautiful home, and perhaps you’ve put lots of improvements into it. You know it’s worth more than many of the other homes surrounding it. So, why do Realtors insist on comparing your property to others in the neighborhood?
Basically, a home’s worth is determined by its market value. How is “market value” determined? Most often, it’s figured by a comparison (“comp”) with homes similar to yours in the surrounding area. So, if the homes in your neighborhood average, say, $250,000, then it’s likely that the value of your property will fall in the same range. But market value is also determined by a number of factors including the following: 

External Factors 

There can be several external factors influencing the value of your home. One is “curb appeal”, or the first impression your property makes upon prospective buyers. A home that’s in excellent condition on the outside will make a great first impression; a home in poor repair instantly loses its appeal to buyers. Other factors can include lot size, popularity of an architectural style of property, water/sewage systems, paved roads, sidewalks, etc. 

Internal Factors  

The condition of a home’s interior also has a huge influence on prospective buyers. When you’ve demonstrated “pride of ownership” and kept up the maintenance (quality paint, trim, molding, etc.), a buyer’s interest will immediately perk up for the simple reason that they know your care and concern will result in less cost and maintenance for them. Other internal factors include construction quality, condition of appliances, size, and number of rooms, heating/cooling type, energy efficiency, etc.


Supply and Demand 

“Supply and demand” simply refers to the number of homes for sale versus the number of buyers. When there are more homes than there are buyers, prices tend to be lower. When there are a lot of buyers chasing few homes, then prices tend to rise. In effect, supply and demand affects how quickly your home will sell. Location More than likely, you already know the old saying, “There are three main factors in real estate – location, location, location.” While that’s not the whole story, desirability is a big factor for home buyers. They may want to live in particular school district known for its education excellence…a great and safe neighborhood with rising property values…etc. 


But I Know My Home Is More Valuable Than a Lot of Comparable Homes in My Neighborhood
  

Aren’t Allowances Made for This? Definitely! Sometimes, it can be difficult to find homes exactly comparable to your own. So, dollar adjustments are made for the differences between your home and comparable properties. 


Where Do I Find Sales Comparison Information? 

The easiest source to access is your Realtor. After all, it’s his or her business to know such information! But, there are also other sources you can tap into in order to get a complete picture of your home’s value in comparison to others in your neighborhood. Here’s an overview of them:


1. ) The Local Assessor’s Office
  

It’s very likely that your local assessor will be able to provide the sales history of a particular house, neighborhood, or style of architecture. Many assessors also provide lists of recent sales which you can browse and compare to the assessment roll. Today, many municipalities provide local sales and assessment information online making it very easy to access. Check with your local government agency to find out if they provide this service. 


2.) Online Private Companies
  

You can search for these companies using the Google search engine and the keywords “comparable home sales” or “comparable sales.” Some companies offer free information; others charge a nominal fee. If you wish to get more specific, you can Google “real estate database” and type in the name of your particular state to get additional property information. 

3.) Your Local Newspaper  

It’s likely that your local newspaper is a great source of specific real estate information. Look for quarterly sales reports in the real estate or business sections.

The Key to Getting the Price You Want (or Close To It) for Your Home 

The key to getting the best value is finding and matching the right buyer to your home. And that’s the job of the Realtor! He or she should work hard to qualify those buyers upfront so the right people are viewing your property! In other words, the Realtor should weed out “lookers” and other unsuitable buyers as a first step in working with you. See how I do that for you by calling me today!

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com