Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 4, 2020

Home Selling Costs Explained

One of the most important things to know when selling your home is how much it is going to cost you. Many sellers find themselves shocked when they get to closing because they didn’t research all of the costs properly, or have an experienced real estate agent guide them through the process. Are you interested in putting your home on the market? Do yourself, and your finances, a favor and find an experienced realtor that you can both trust and rely on for your fiduciary success. From closing costs to appraisals, this will help you navigate all expenses that selling your home entails, without any upsetting surprises at the close.

Closing Costs

When you close on selling your home, you are paying off what’s left of the title you have on the home and transferring all documents and money with the buyer. There will be various parties involved in this process from beginning to end, including the title company, the buyer’s agent, the new lender and possibly an attorney. All of these parties are there to guide the closing process and make sure that the money and legal documents are handled properly. There are many different factors that go into closing costs and they vary depending whether you choose to sell with a trusted agent or choose a for sale by owner. As the seller, you can expect to pay anywhere from 1% - 3% (after agent commissions).

Guaranteed Costs

  • Paying the agents – Upon closing, expect to pay both your agent as well as the buyer’s agent 2% - 3% each. This might be lower if you choose for sale by owner because there would only be one agent (the buyer’s agent) to compensate.

  • Transfer Tax – This ranges depending on location but you can count on paying tax when your title is transferred from yourself to the buyer. Depending on where you’re selling, you could pay anywhere from $100 - $10,000. This should be something you make a point in researching before you list your home so you aren’t sticker shocked on closing day!

  • Prorated Property Taxes – Even if you sell your home in the beginning of the year, you are still expected to pay the prorated amount that you owe on the property taxes up to the date of the close.

  • Closing Cost Credits – If you find yourself in a buyer’s market, you might need to offer a little extra to the buyer to entice them to purchase your home. This could range from covering some of their closing costs to including a one-year home warranty.

  • Escrow Fees – Both the seller and the buyer are responsible for putting down an escrow that will be held until closing day. For a seller, this is typically 1% of the sale price. This money will go toward covering various fees and costs contingent with the close.

  • Any Remaining Amount Owed – This could range from HOA fees, insurance, outstanding maintenance payment and utility bills. You are still responsible for any costs you have accrued while you lived in the home until the closing day. This is another wonderful reason to have a trusted real estate agent at your side because questions often come up about this topic.

Possible Costs

  • Attorney Fees – This is contingent on your location and the situation of the sell. Some states require an attorney be hired to oversee the selling process but it’s often encouraged, regardless. For whatever the circumstance, if you have an attorney representing you, plan to pay them anywhere from $400 - $1,200.

  • HOA Fees – If you live in a home or a condo that has an HOA, you might be responsible to pay a prorated amount or a transfer fee to the buyer.

  • Appraisal – This is typically handled by the buyer but every once in a while, a circumstance arises where the seller covers this cost. Whether it be due to a closing cost credit or you are trying to sell in a rush so you have the home appraised yourself, expect to pay an appraiser $300 - $450.

  • Title Insurance – This is typically the buyer’s responsibility but there are rare circumstances where the seller will be responsible. The average cost for this is insurance is $1,000 but it does depend on the final price of the home.

Miscellaneous Costs

  • Cleaning – This can obviously be done by you but if you’re planning on have open houses it doesn’t hurt to hire a professional to make sure the house is looking as good as new. This will also take a little but of stress off of you!

  • Home Improvements – Think of improvements as the steps you take to get your home ready to sell. This could be anywhere from painting the interior of your home to updating your kitchen. Before you take action on any improvements, talk with your realtor to make sure they are financially beneficial and will actually increase the value of your home.

  • Home Repairs – Think of repairs as the maintenance that is done to your home due to an inspection. Whether you hired an inspector before you put the house on the market (which would be another $200 - $1,000) or you wait for the buyer to bring their own inspector, repairs will likely be required in order for the sale to go through. This could be anything from getting rid of mold and radon to fixing the roof.

  • Moving Costs – This is often overlooked! Is the purchase of your new home contingent on selling your current one? Is there a contingency for the buyer? If you have to put your things in storage while you’re waiting to move into your new home or you are moving out of town, always take into account how much it will cost to move into your new home.

While closing costs for a seller might seem overwhelming, there is no need to go into it unaware or blind. An experienced, local realtor, like Jeff Martin, will be able to tell you from the beginning how much it should cost you to close on your current home. He will prepare you from day one on expectations for the process, timeframes and possible cost you’ll incur.

Thinking of selling your Berks County Home? Start with an instant PROPERTY EVALUATION HERE.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Home Sellers
July 27, 2020

Make Your Move to Your New Home in Berks County Go More Smoothly

Now that you've bought a home in Berks County, it's time for the big move. As we all know, moving can be stressful. But there are ways to minimize that stress. You just need some planning and coordination to make it all come together. When you take it all one step at a time, your move will go much more smoothly.

Here are some things to consider doing to make your move into your new home in Berks County a success.

Where to Start

As soon as you know you're moving, go through your home and make a list of all the furniture and decor that you are not taking with you. This will help you decide what you can do without. Then take those items to a donation center or sell them. If there are items you may use occasionally, you might want to keep them and see if they'll fit in your garage or shed in your new home. If not, you may want to look into renting storage.

Now you need to hit areas like closets, the office, and utility room. As you go through your items, apply the 1-year rule. If you haven't used it in a year and don't plan to use it in the near future, do you really need it? Every item you get rid of is one less item you have to pack and move with you. And if you do need it down the road and it's not expensive, just buy it again later if you must. 

Next, you need to consider if you're hiring a moving company or handling the move on your own. If you're moving on your own, do you need to rent a truck? Either way, do your research and make sure to read reviews. Once you have a list of 3-4 moving companies, make some calls for direct quotes. Try to schedule your moving day for a weekday and closer towards the middle of the month. Most moving companies will charge more for moving at the end of the month and especially on the weekend. Also ask the company about insurance, liability, and the details of their service.

Packing

Start collecting as much packing material as possible. Pick up more supplies than you need so that you don't have to make multiple trips to the store, including items like boxes, packing tape, padded blankets, scissors, and trash bags. 

Do not forget to complete a change-of-address form with the postal service and notify your utility services. Also, contact all of your subscription services to remind them of the change of address. Make sure you are receiving all of your bills at your new home.

When you start packing, pack the fragile items first. You can pack heavier items in rolling luggage that you can roll behind you. Don’t risk getting costly valuables like laptops, jewelry, and tablets lost during the move; instead, carry these items with you in a bag during moving day.

For the rest of your items, pack them according to the room that they’ll end up in at your new home. Stick labels onto each box so you know exactly where the box goes on moving day. If possible, take the labels once step further by listing the items within the box on the label. This way, if you’re not unpacking everything at once, you won’t have to sift through three boxes marked “kitchen” just to find your soup ladle.

These tips don't cover every detail of moving, but if you follow them, it should help the process go much smoother. 

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Home Buyers
July 20, 2020

What You Need to Know About Renting a U-Haul Truck

Are you planning to buy or sell your home in Berks County and are renting a moving truck? No doubt you've already thought about renting a U-Haul, as they are by far the most recognized moving truck rental in the nation.

Even though they're the most convenient choice for renting a moving truck, there are some things you need to know before you make your reservation. It's easy for things to go south on moving day if you don't know some of the ins and outs of renting from U-Haul.

Here are a few things you should know about renting a truck from U-Haul.

Finding a Local U-Haul Truck

Finding a local U-Haul truck is easy enough. In Reading alone, there are about 9 U-Haul centers. You should read reviews and get recommendations from family or friends who have used one in your area.

Getting the Right Size

One of the most vital things to figure out when renting a U-Haul truck is choosing the right size vehicle. If you pick a truck size and then find you don’t have enough space for all of your things, you will find yourself in a bind. It is better to have space and not need it rather than the other way around.

U-Haul offers lots of different truck sizes to meet your requirements. If you are moving the contents of a one or two-bedroom home, the ten or 15-foot box truck should offer enough space. Two or three-bedroom houses may need the 17 or 20-foot trucks.

For larger homes, or people with more possessions, the 26-foot moving truck and the largest in their fleet should provide enough room. U-Haul has an online guide to help you make the right choice.

What Does U-Haul Charge

Truck rental rates can be confusing, perhaps even misleading. Those $19.95 ads you see on the trucks are rarely the price you'll pay, as the extras add up fast. Those charges are also for local moves only. So make sure you pin down the exact cost before you begin your move to make sure what you're paying.

What to Know About Your U-Haul Quote

  • The quote only reflects the base rate of your rental.
  • The price does not include an environmental fee ($1–$5).
  • The cost does not include taxes which can add a decent amount of money.
  • The quote may not have an allowance for mileage or gas on some rentals.

One thing you may not know about pricing with U-Haul is that it might be possible to negotiate a better rate.

U-Haul Reservations Are Not Guaranteed

One mildy annoying fact about renting a U-Haul is that your reservation is not guaranteed. Even though you pick out your destination, truck size, and pick up time, your reservation is not complete and locked in until you pick up the truck. Make sure you call the day before to make sure the vehicle is available. If not, you may need to go to a different location unless you want to wait.

The Passengers

If you are moving a long distance, do you need to carry passengers on your journey? Most of the trucks available will only be able to seat two or three passengers, and putting people in the back isn’t an option. If you need to usually use a child seat for your kids, they aren’t generally considered safe to use in trucks.

If you are looking to rent the 10-foot cargo van, you will have a problem with more than two passengers; other sizes should accommodate up to three, however.

U-Haul Truck Rental Insurance

U-Haul has insurance plans that will cover you and your possessions, as well as their truck, in the event of an accident. These include:

  • Safemove
  • Safemove Plus
  • Collision Damage
  • Safetow®
  • Safetrip®

Hopefully this information will help your moving experience using U-Haul go more smoothly.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

July 13, 2020

Enjoy Outdoor Fun in Berks County Parks

Now that summer is underway, you don't want to miss the opportunity to enjoy some quality time outside with your family. The parks in Berks county offer a perfect setting for your next family outing. There's a park that fits just about any outdoor activity, as well as offering an opporunity to learn about the history of the area.

Here's a few of the best parks in Berks County for you to enjoy.

Gring's Mill Rec Area
2083 Tulpehocken Rd, Reading, PA 19610

Spend a few hours enjoying the natural surroundings and the scenic bridges, including a covered red bridge. You can walk along the river and look at barns, historic architecture and the beauty of trees and nature. They don't allow dogs in order to protect the area.

Jim Dietrich Park
4899 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Rd, Reading, PA 19605

Previously a farm, this dog-friendly park has soccer fields, a paved jogging path, trails, fitness park, 3 separately fenced dog walking areas, baseball/softball fields, pavilions, and easy access to the Little Schuylkill River.

Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
108 Clubhouse Rd, Pine Grove, PA 17963

There's a little bit of everything in this beautiful park, with a waterfall, a trail, a wooden bridge over a ravine, and a bat colony that comes out after sundown during the warmer months. It's also a great place to go out on your boat for some fishing.

And there's more outdoor fun waitng for you in Berks County. Here are a few links to help you find more things to do outside:

Maidencreek Park and Recreation Board
Berks County Park
French Creek State Park
Neversink Mountain & Hiking Trails
Schuylkill River Trail
Mount Penn Preserve Trails
Crystal Cave
Sacony Creek
Lake Ontelaunee
Fleetwood Parks
Kutztown Park
Kutztown Dog Park
Sacony Creek Trail Head
Sacony Family Campground
Kutztown Campground New Dutch

Have fun and stay safe in Berks County parks!

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Reading Community
July 6, 2020

Selling Your Home in Berks County During the Pandemic

Even though we are enduring this pandemic, life still must go on, but admittedly with modifications. People are still buying homes in Berks County. Yet the way we sell homes is changing, as the process normally involves contact with a number of strangers.

Are you planning to sell your home in Berks County? No doubt you've already made adjustments in your life to protect yourself and your family. And the same principles can be applied to selling your home in a way that protects everyone. Here are some tips that will help you prepare your home to sell in this new era,

Staging

Try to set aside time to stage your home for a faster sale. Staging a home means that you clean it from top to bottom and remove all unnecessary items, such as personal effects and decorations. You can adjust the layout of your furniture to give your home a larger feel, as well as make it more welcoming to buyers. You can so most of this yourself. Make sure that you make your home look as neutral as you can so that buyers can picture themselves living there.

Curb Appeal

The outside of your home is the first thing home buyers in Berks County will see, either in person or online. You can look at listings on our website to see what we mean. Since you're no doubt looking for a home to buy, think about what appeals to you as a buyer. Then you can apply those ideas to your home exterior to make it more inviting.

There are some great ways to enhance your curb appeal, even on a tight budget. You can power wash your front porch and siding, install a new mailbox, hang modern house numbers, and do some basic lawn maintenance. 

When it comes to your front yard, make sure your lawn is lush, freshly mowed, and free of weeds and dead spots. Consider planting new flowers and remember to weed and mulch the beds to keep everything looking neat. You may even want to hire a professional to give the trees and shrubs around your yard a good trim.

Safer Showing Alternatives

Open houses are basically on hold for now. We will still be able to show your home with precautions in place to make sure you and your guests are protected. With high resolution photos and video walkthroughs, we can give potential buyers a better overview of your home before they come to view it in person.

Selling a home in the age of the coronavirus is bound to be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, the real estate industry has been quick to adopt virtual alternatives to open houses and buyers are happy to continue their housing hunt online. With some special attention to staging and a solid virtual presence, you’ll have no problem closing a sale during the pandemic.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Home Sellers
June 29, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Home Warranties

When you buy a home in Berks County, you'll need to be able to take care of it as the years go on. One way that you can make sure that your home's systems and appliances are kept up is through a home warranty. Yet home warranties are not necessarily the right choice for every home owner. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if buying a home warranty is the right choice for you.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is not the same as insurance. Insurance will protect you if there's any damage to your home from something like a fire or windstorm.

A home warranty, on the other hand, is a policy that protects your home's major appliances and systems as they age. It's there to save you money when your water heater breaks unexpectedly or your dishwasher suddenly stops working.

How a home warranty works

A home warranty does have one similarity to insurance in that you pay an annual premium. Usually, homes of up to 5,000 sq feet in size are covered under the standard warranty. Above that, you have to pay for additional coverage.

If something that's covered by the warranty breaks down, you pay a deductible that will range from $50-$125 to have the item fixed or replaced.

The benefits of a home warranty

With a home warranty, you're paying for peace of mind. If something expensive breaks, it will get fixed by a professional or replaced. So for people who aren't handy with a tool, a warranty is a good idea. It can also be beneficial to new homeowners who may not be as familiar with how their new home's systems work.

Having a home warranty also helps avoid unexpected costs, making it easier to budget your finances. You'll know what your premium costs upfront and you'll know what your deductible is for any repairs that are covered under the warranty, making it much easier to handle the unexpected.

The drawbacks of a home warranty

Not everything in your home is covered by a home warranty. This is why you need to go over the details to make sure the right items are covered.

However, one major pain point of most warranties is that they won't cover items that have not been properly maintained. This is a very subjective clause, and often leads to disputes with the warranty company. This is particularly the case if the previous owner did not take care of the appliance and the new homeowner is left hanging.

Another issue, for some, is that each year money is paid upfront under the assumption that repairs will eventually need to be made. However, that may or may not be the case. Some years, everything may work fine, but you'll have paid the premium, regardless.

Making the decision

A home warranty certainly can be a help for some of your maintenance issues, but it's not the perfect solution. In the end, you're the one who needs to decide if it's right for your home.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Real Estate Advice
June 22, 2020

What You Need to Know About Refinancing Your Berks County Home

Home owners in Berks County and around the nation are taking advantage of incredibly low mortgage rates and refinancing their homes. If you're thinking about refinancing your mortgage, what should you expect in this current market?

It takes time

Typically, a refi can be completed in as little as 21 days, and it's possible it may happen that fast right now. But there is a huge increase in loan applications, so you should expect it to take a bit longer. Even last year, it was taking as long as 35-45 days to complete the process. Be patient and allow for time for the process to complete.

Rates may fluctuate

As low as rates are now, they could go even lower. But it's hard to tell exactly where they will go in this market. That's why you should talk to your lender about when you should lock your rate.

Locking in your rate means that your interest rate won't change between the offer and the closing, as long as you stick to the closing date on your application. Rate locks are typically available for 30, 45, or 60 days, and sometimes longer. If your rate is not locked, it can change at any time.

You might not get the lowest rate 

The rate you get depends on your credit, so that means you may not get the lowest rate. You need a credit score of at least 700 to get the lowest rates. If you have a rate lower than that, check your credit history to see if you can clear up any discrepancies to try to raise your score.

You might need an appraisal

Depending on the type of loan you're getting, you may need to get an appraisal. If you’re refinancing from one FHA loan to another, you’ll probably only need an exterior appraisal. In this case, an appraiser will come and measure and take pictures of the outside of your home only. 

If you are refinancing to a conventional loan from an FHA loan, then you should plan on having an appraiser to do a thorough examination of your home, both inside and outside. A streamline refi will not usually require an appraisal.

You may get money back

In some cases, you may get some cash back in hand. Talk to your lender to see what your options are if you want cash to make home improvements. You may also be able to skip a couple of payments instead of getting cash back directly.

Even though we live in turbulent times, there are ways we can restructure our lives to make things a little easier to handle. Refinancing your home in Berks County may just be what you need to ease your financial burdens.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Real Estate Advice
June 15, 2020

Keep Your Berks County Home Cool Without AC

Summer is almost officially here in Berks County, and already the temperatures are beginning to climb. The forecast this week for Reading shows temps in the low 90s by the end of the week!

What can you do to keep your home cool if you don't have AC? Here are a few tips to keep you from roasting this summer.

Close the drapes: Line them with light-colored fabric that reflects the sun, and close them during the hottest part of the day. Let them pillow onto the floor to block air movement.

Add awnings: Install them on south and west-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain by up to 77%, says the U.S. Department of Energy. Make your own by tacking up sheets outside your windows and draping the ends over a railing or lawn chair.

Install shutters: Interior and exterior shutters not only reduce heat gain and loss, but they also add security and protect against bad weather. Interior shutters with adjustable slats let you control how much sun you let in.

Apply high-reflectivity window film: Install energy-saving window films on east- and west-facing windows, which will keep you cool in summer, but let in warming sun in the winter. Mirror-like films are more effective than colored transparent films.

Open Those Windows: Be sure to open windows when the outside temperature is lower than the inside. Cool air helps lower the temps of everything - walls, floors, furniture - that will absorb heat as temps rise, helping inside air say cooler longer.

To create cross-ventilation, open windows on opposite sides of the house. Good ventilation helps reduce VOCs and prevents mold.

Turn Up the Fans

Portable fans: At night, place fans in open windows to move cool air. In the day, put fans where you feel their cooling breezes (moving air evaporates perspiration and lowers your body temperature). To get extra cool, place glasses or bowls of ice water in front of fans, which will chill the moving air.

Ceiling fans: For maximum cooling effect, make sure ceiling fans spin in the direction that pushes air down, rather than sucks it up. Be sure to turn off fans when you’re not in the room, because fan motors give off heat, too.

Whole house fans: A whole-house fan ($1,000 to $1,600, including install) exhausts hot inside air out through roof vents. Make sure your windows are open when you run a whole-house fan.

Power Down Appliances

You’ll save money and reduce heat output by turning off appliances you’re not using, particularly your computer and television. Powering down multiple appliances is easier if you connect them to the same power strip.

Don’t use heat and steam-generating appliances, such as ranges, ovens, washers, dryers, during the hottest part of the day. 

With these tips in play, you'll be ready to tackle the summer heat in Berks County without the costly addition of air conditioning.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Real Estate Advice
June 8, 2020

Simple Ways to Get a Higher Home Appraisal

Getting a home appraisal is a necessary step when selling your home in Berks County. To get the highest appraisal, you'll want to make sure your home is looking good. If you don't have the money or time for a major renovation, what are some more basic ways to get a higher appraisal?

A Little Spackle

You no doubt have been hanging things on your walls since you moved into your home, so there's bound to be holes and other blemishes from years of living. A little spackle and paint will cover all those blemishes and give your walls a fresh look. This won't necessarily raise your home's value, but it will keep the appraiser from deducting for the damage.

As Long as You're Painting

Since you're touching up the walls, you might as well freshen up the paint in other spots. You can paint worn borders and moldings to give your home a new look. The trim outside could also probably use an update. This has the added benefit of enhancing your curb appeal. Check around the outside of your home and fix any area that has worn, peeling, or chipping paint.

Do a Deep Clean

Deep cleaning your home may require a lot of effort, but little money. Clean you home from top to bottom, and do your best to get rid of pet odors. Appraisers will notice those scuff marks on the floor and strong pet odors, so you may want to think about having professionals wax the floors, shampoo the carpets, and do a deep clean of your home, especially if you have several pets.

Other Repairs

Make sure to tour your home and look at it from the viewpoint of a home buyer. This may help you see issues that you may have overlooked. Is there a loose handrail, shorted outlet, or other things you've got used to over the years?

Get an Early Home Inspection

Even after you think you have done everything that can be done to boost your home's appraised value, consulting an expert is wise. Getting a home inspection at this time will help you uncover issues that you may not have the expertise to notice. This gives you the time to get these items fixed ahead of putting the home on the market, while also ensuring you can ask a more competitive selling price. It's better to uncover these problems now than to have them affect the sale of the home in the future.

When selling your home in Berks County, you want to be sure you get the highest value possible, including the money and time you invested in updating its features. By taking the time to spruce up the home ahead of the appraisal, you may be able to increase the value by thousands of dollars.

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Posted in Home Sellers
June 1, 2020

Steps to Keep Your Berks County Home Pest Free

When the weather gets warmer and more humid here in Berks County, it makes for the ideal condition for pests to thrive in the summer, such as termites and cockroaches. Once your home is infested with pests, it can be difficult to get rid of them, even with professional help. This not only can cause issues now, but especially if you decide to sell your home later.

What can you do to help prevent pests from invading your property and causing damage?

1. Repair your roof

Pests can gain access to your home through damaged roof tiles. If any are damaged on your roof, fill in cracks with roofing cement, or replace broken tiles. Also check your drainpipes, as debris can cause water to build up and create a breeding ground for many types of insects. Also check the overhang of the roof and in between roof tiles for signs of nests.

2. Clean your air vents

Termites can also get into your home through the air vents. When the climate in Pennsyvania changes in spring and summer, termites will begin to swarm to establish new colonies. You can install mesh airbrick covers to prevent them from making a nest under your home.

3. Keep an eye on your attic

Pests love to make nests in roof spaces and attics. Termites will feast on exposed wood beams. And other items are subject to attracting cockroaches and rodents. You should store items in plastic containers to prevent pests from making your stored items a buffet. Also regularly check beams for termite damage. Press your thumb on the timber to test if it is soft and spongy.

4. Rethink your bedroom

You aren't the only one who thinks your bedroom is comfy. Pests, such as bedbugs, love to turn bedrooms into places to take refuge. To prevent and kill bed bugs, you should  wash bed linen at a high temperatures regularly. Check beds, pillows, mattresses, bed frames, and carpet for signs of bugs. Check skirting boards and ensuite bathrooms for signs of termite activity, such as damp patches on the walls. Keep furniture away from the walls and shut doors and windows at night.

5. Maintain your garden

Pests also love gardens. Remove unwanted tree stumps and keep piles of wood away from your home to prevent termites. Use mulch made from plastic, rubber, and gravel instead of wood and seal compost in a container that has a tight lid. Also, remove standing water from buckets and containers and keep shrubbery to a minimum.

6. Don’t forget your garage

Keep you garage kept up to keep pests away. This means you should take steps to make sure your garage is free of moisture. Store items in plastic boxes, and ideally off the floor and check corners for wasps and hornet nests.

7. Keep your kitchen clean

Avoid your kitchen turning into a buffet for pests. You need to keep on top of this as pests in your kitchen can contaminate your food and make you ill. Empty bins daily and keep work surfaces clean. Always store food in airtight containers and don't leave pet food out in hot weather. Finally, check pipes for leakage, and repair if them if you need to. 

Make sure to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles. Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams.