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!

Sept. 22, 2020

Celebrate Fall With These Fun Berks County Events

Now that the fall season has begun, it's time to plan for fun in Berks County! As always, there's something for everyone to do. Here's a look at some of the great evens planned for the next few weeks here in Reading PA and the surrounding area.

Mast Farms Corn Maze
Mast Farms
2705 Main St, Morgantown, PA 19543

Fridays 3 pm- 9 pm and Saturdays 9 am- 9 pm

19th annual corn maze and pumpkin picking. 2 corn maze in 13 acres, activities include tube slide,, barrel train rides ,hayride, zip lines, hay mountain, pedal carts, hay jump, jumping pillow, animal exhibit.

5th Annual Ride for the River
Schuylkill River Greenways NHA

Saturday, September 26

Ride 16 or 40 miles along the Schuylkill River Trail from Pottstown to Reading, beginning and ending at Sly Fox Brewery’s Can Jam Festival, where all participants can enjoy a FREE beer and eight hours of live music. Proceeds benefit the Schuylkill River Trail.

Live music at The Other Farm and Forge

September 25, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Have dinner and drinks under the stars in our beer garden while listening to live music every Friday and Saturday 6-9 pm weather permitting.

Renninger's Kutztown Antiques & Collectors Extravaganza
Renninger's Kutztown Antiques
740 Noble Street, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

September 26, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Since 1975, Renninger’s Kutztown has hosted the Antiques & Collectors Extravaganza. The Extravaganza is a meeting place for hundreds of sellers and buyers to gather and sell, buy and trade antiques, collectibles, vintage and repurposed items among themselves and to the general public. Held in the showgrounds of Renninger’s Kutztown, vendors set up under large pavilions, under tents and open air in the field. The indoor Vintage Market and the Farmers Market are also open.

Autumn Migration Hawk Watch Begins
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, Pennsylvania

9:00am - 5:00pm

The Annual Autumn Hawk Watch begins August 15 at the Sanctuary’s famed North Lookout and is conducted daily, weather permitting, through December 15. Visitors should bring binoculars (or rent them at the Visitor Center), something soft to sit on, and a daypack with water and snacks. Plan to relax at the lookout and spend at least an hour. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn more about hawk migration and enjoy this spectacle of nature! 

Jefferey Martin has the experience you need to sell your Berks County Home fast. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the right buyer 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. 

Sept. 15, 2020

Why You Should Hire Professional Movers

Moving in and out of a home is always a stressful event. No matter how much you plan, it always takes longer than it should. But if you hire professional movers, you can greatly improve the experience. Whether you're moving to the other side of Berks County, or across the country, here are 4 reasons to use professional movers the next time you move.

Health

No matter how you slice it, moving can potentially lead to injury. If you use professional movers, you'll be protecting yourself from injury.  Professionals know all the tricks to staying safe and know their limits. Many times when we move, we push ourselves too far, thinking we need to get the job done no matter what. 

Not only can you aggravate a pre-existing injury, but you can acquire new injuries which can linger and become chronic. Strained backs and broken fingers or toes are just a few of the most common injuries people get while moving. Hiring professional movers will nearly eliminate the likelihood of getting these types of injuries.

Save Time

Saving time is also another obvious advantage of professional movers. Movers commonly have large enough trucks that the process of moving is usually completed in one trip. Without a large enough truck, you may have to make several trip. And if you have a deadline to move out, the efficiency of the movers will ensure you get out by that time. If planning ahead isn’t your thing, invest in professional movers for a day and rest easy knowing time won’t be an issue.

(Potentially) Save Money

You might think that hiring professional movers is far more expensive than doing it all yourself. But if you add up all the costs of moving yourself and compare it with hiring help, you might find out they come out even. Professional movers have an hourly rate and don’t require any supervision. So, rather than taking off work and moving yourself, you can have them move while you work and bring in a paycheck, resulting in a lower overall cost.

Also, professionals have the equipment necessary for moving, which you probably don't have. Renting dollies or trucks can cost a lot, and it isn’t always a given that everything will work.

Ease of Mind

Moving isn’t just stressful because of the physical moving, but the entire process altogether. Coordinating friends to help you, dealing with busy traffic, and wasting tens of minutes trying to fit furniture through a door all add up to one of the most stressful events a human can go through. Professional movers help with so much more than just moving heavy objects. They are the ones who coordinate with each other, deal with traffic and the troubles of fitting furniture. They also, almost always, have insurance policies which protect your items in case they get damaged, something that isn’t the case when you move by yourself. 

In the end, hiring pros to help you move makes sense. It saves you time, stress, and possibly even money.

Jefferey Martin has the experience you need to sell your Berks County Home fast. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the right buyer 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. 

Sept. 7, 2020

Here's Why Your Home Is Not Selling

When it comes to selling your home in Berks County, waiting is never fun. Your home is on the market for a while, but you're not getting many offers, if any. What's the problem? There can be many reasons why your home is not selling.

Here are some reasons why you home is not selling. And the good news is that you can fix most of these issues.

You Lack Marketing and a Good Agent

Simply listing your home on the internet is not enough to sell a home. You need a marketing network that can put your home in front of the most buyers. You need photography that makes your home stand out. And you need an agent who understands the Berks County real estate market and has the experience and track record of selling homes to make sure your home sells quickly.

Your House is Priced Too High

Pricing your home too high will not make you more money. It will just chase away potential buyers, as it won't be in their budget. Plus, buyers can tell if your home is not worth the price. An experienced agent can help you set the right price for your home bases on the local market.

Your Home is In Serious Need of Repairs

Most home buyers want a turn key home. The last thing they want to do is make huge repairs after moving in. Have a professional inspect your home to find issues that may be chasing away buyers, then fix those issues. It will help you sell your home faster.

Your Home Isn’t Prepared For Showings

First impressions are lasting impressions. If you haven’t done it yet, get an expert to set up or make suggestions to switch things up so your house shows better. You might have to move furniture around. But it is entirely worth it. Also make sure your home is tidy and clean. If you have pets, clean up after them. Pay attention to the temperature. If it’s winter, make sure it feels warm and inviting. If it’s summer, make sure you have the A/C on and working.

Your Location is Anything But Ideal

This is a tough one to fix. If the location isn’t exactly sought-after, be prepared to play the waiting game. It might just take more time to find that perfect buyer.

It Smells

We get used to the smell of our own home. And unfortunately, it can be hard to detect. Some of the most common odors that throw buyers off include cigarettes, pets, food, and moisture. Do a smell test. Have a friend or neighbor come by to make sure there are no bad odors.

You Aren’t Flexible

You need to be flexible with your asking price and when it comes to accepting offers. You also need to be flexible when it comes to making repairs.

Go through the above reasons and be honest with yourself. Determine why your home isn’t selling, then find ways to fix the problem. Or at least come to terms with it. Don’t make selling your home more of a hassle or process than it has to be.

Jefferey Martin has the experience you need to sell your Berks County Home fast. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the right buyer 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 Home Sellers
Aug. 31, 2020

9 Easy Ways to Revive Your Berks County Home

Most of us have probably spent more time in our homes in Berks county this year than in the past 5 years combined. Maybe more. If that's the case with you, you're probably getting a bit tired of your surroundings. Maybe your home is in a rut, with an ugly living room, a cluttered kitchen, or just outdated everything. It may be so bad that you want to move.

But before you throw in the towel on your haggard home, why not take a second look at your abode and think about making some easy changes that will bring the love back. And when you're done making things more appealing, if you're still not satisfied, you're home will be more ready to sell to Berks County home buyers.

Here are 9 easy ways to make you love your home again.

1. Rearrange your furniture.

This is an easy one, but has a big impact. Maybe you can use a home deisgn app to help you before you lug your furniture around. Sometimes, all a tired living room needs is a little refresher, and that can often be achieved without spending a dime. Check out HGTV for some tips.

2. Clear up the clutter.

Clutter is so easy to let get out of control, and it can make a huge difference in how you feel about your home and life. Organizing can help to bring order to your space and your mind, reducing messes and stresses.

3. Get a new TV.

If you still have an old tube TV because you thought flat screens were too expensive, your day has arrived. If you haven't been shopping for flat screen TVs lately, you'll be surprised by how inexpensive they are now. You can get a larg screen for only a few hundred dollars these days. Do a little comparison shopping and you'll be watching HI-Definition movies and TV in no time.

4. Pick one room to overhaul per quarter.

Pick one room every few months to overhaul. Schedule a weekend scrubbing, swapping out linens, painting, changing light bulbs or whatever else is needed for an easy and cheap update. By the end of a year, you're whole home will be overhauled.

5. Use your spare change.

Change out your throw rug, window coverings, or accessories. Designating a special spot to collect leftover coins at the end of the day will give your family purpose, and before you know it you'll have a "Freshen Up Fund."

6. Change out your wall art.

Do you have a decent printer? Why not change out your wall art with some new masterpeices. With a computer and a printer, the options are limitless.

7. Clean it up.

Organize the gang on a Saturday morning to clean the baseboards, light fixtures, and ceiling fans. Sprucing up these often-dusty and grimy areas can really freshen up a space. 

8. Take care of little issues that you've been ignoring.

Fix little issues like toilet paper holders that have come out of the wall and crooked pictures that raise your ire every time you walk by them. Take a good look at your whole house and make a list of the things you've been overlooking.

9. Paint your old kitchen cabinets.

Painting your kitchen cabinets may be a lot of work. But you won't regret it when you're done. And you may just love your kitchen so much again you'll choose to fix up some other stuff.

It doesn't take a fortune or an army of contractors to make your home feel new again. 

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
Aug. 24, 2020

Smart Home Upgrades That Can Save Money

With the constant evolution of modern technology, looking for new ways to upgrade your Berks County home can be daunting. Smart housing upgrades have become very popular, but how do you tell what’s flashy and what’s going to help you in the long run? Sure, fancy gizmos and gadgets are fun at first, but what happens when they lose their appeal?

Here are a few smart upgrades that you can add to your Berks County home that will not only stand the test of time, but also save money. Plus, they can help you sell your home faster to tech-savy buyers.

Adding Smart Lighting

Did you know the lighting in your home can increase or decrease the overall value? It’s one of the easiest and least expensive upgrades you can make. You may be wondering “How does adding new lighting save me more money?” Most lighting inside homes comes from incandescent light bulbs, which are filled with mercury and argon. These are very toxic chemicals to humans and can cause serious health problems if they shatter.

To prevent this from happening, consider switching to CFL or LED, because not only is it safer, it’s going to save you a lot of money. In addition, if you have a bad habit of leaving the light on while you’re gone, you can turn off the light with your phone.

Install Remote Outlets

While on the subject of remote control, your lights aren’t the only thing that can be controlled from afar. You can install a wifi enabled socket that allows you to switch off your electrical appliances when you are out. Some people scratch their heads and wonder how this is significant. However, have you ever had that feeling as you’re out shopping and you start wondering if the coffee pot was left on? The fear that soon overtakes you probably forces you to drive back home, only to find that you did indeed turn the coffee pot off.

With a smart outlet, you’ll be able to shut off the power in a mere instant. Not only will you end up saving money, but you'll also alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress. You’ll be able to enjoy your time outside without having to worry about leaving the oven on, or the iron for that matter!

Beat The Cold by Having Smart Heating

In most homes, there are usually two kinds of people. The first is someone who sets their to thermostat to the specific temperature and will rarely touch it afterward. The second type of homeowner is someone who constantly adjusts the thermostat, trying to get that perfect setting. Regardless of which type of person you are, you may be losing money.

Should you be the person who sets it once, you should still consider adjusting the thermostat at least once every season change. The Department of Energy recommends all homeowners to set their thermostat to 68 to 73 degrees during the holiday season. It's worth noting that if you're the type of person that constantly adjusts the thermostat, you're more likely to cause damage and waste money on repairs.

Without working your HVAC into overdrive and running up your bill, consider installing a smart thermostat. You can set up a program where the smart thermostat will adjust the temperature throughout the day that maximizes savings.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start getting more bang for your buck with these upgrades. If you’re looking for more ways to upgrade your Berks County home, conduct a more thorough research to find an abundance of home upgrades.

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. 

Aug. 17, 2020

Get Ready For Fun This Weekend in Reading

Is your family feeling a bit restless? Then make plans for this weekend to enjoy one of these family-friendly events here in the Reading PA area. There's music, comedy, and bugs all waiting for your discovery. And if you can't leave the house, then try a virtual event. Here are some events coming up this weekend.

Comedy Under The Stars
August 20 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Headlined by Tim Krompier, Featuring Lori Palmintieri, Hosted by Joel Richardson (Owner of SoulJoel's Comedy Club and Lounge in Royersford, Seen on NBC, and heard on SiriusXM Radio). Plus LIVE music starting at 6pm by Jacob Currie. Guests are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets for seating. There will not be food or drink available for sale at the event. Tickets are $20.

Summer Concert Series
August 21 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Jim Dietrich Park
4900 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Road
Reading, Pennsylvania

The Muhlenberg Arts Board presents the Summer Concert Series outside at Jim Dietrich Park. The stage will be located in front of the farmhouse with the river as the background for the band. Concerts will start at 6PM and last until about 8:30PM. On August 21 the band will be Stupak Gallagher.

Incredible Insects
August 22 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
1700 Hawk Mountain Road
Kempton, Pennsylvania

$5 for Members. Learn all about incredible insects inhabiting the sanctuary. Using nets and bug boxes, families will discover a vast array of insect life. The focus of this program will be to find, identify, and observe an amazing variety of insect lifestyles and adaptations.

Berks Sinfonietta Virtual Concert
August 22 | 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Berks Sinfonietta brings you a virtual concert series this year. August's repertoire features works by established masters and those who deserve to be better known: Four Novelletten – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Mother of God, Here I Stand – John Tavener, Le Tombeau de Couperin – Maurice Ravel, arr. Mason Jones, Fantasia in F minor (K. 608) – W. A. Mozart (trans. Frans Vester). Visit www.berkssinfonietta.org and www.facebook.com/Berkssinfonietta to learn more and to watch.

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. 

Aug. 10, 2020

What You Need to Know About Buying a New Construction Home in Berks County

Imagine living in a newly-built home in Berks County. There's no bad smells left from the previous owner, no marks on the walls, there's nothing to repair, and everything is fresh and new. All you need to do is move in and relax.

There are many reasons you may want to buy a new home instead of an older home. Let's take a look at the process of buying a newly-constructed home so you know what to expect.

The Real Estate Agent

When looking at new home communities, you want to make sure you have your own agent representing you, such as Jeff Martin.  Many new home communites are set up so that you are led to the buulder's office before you get to view any homes. And the person who will likely greet you in that office will be the builder's real estate agent. Read that again: the builder’s real estate agent. There may be nothing wrong with this agent, per se, but they are there to represent the builder, not you.

If a new home community agent tries to recruit you as a client, all you need to do is say that you are already working with an agent. The builder's agent will hopefully back off and not try to pressure you.

The builder pays the real estate commissions, so there is no reason not to have your own representation during the purchase process and many reasons to have it. Real estate agents have what are known as “fiduciary” duties to their clients. The duties for the buyer’s agent are different from those of the seller and they do conflict.

Working with the buyer's agent alone without your own agent would be like being represented in divorce proceedings by the same attorney that is representing your spouse. Not a good idea.

The Lender

The builder may also have a lender that they want you to use. In this case, there may be nothing wrong with using thier preffered lender, as long as they offer a good deal. But as with buying any home, make sure you do your research and compare rates. Getting pre-approved for a loan is also an important step, as it lets you know how much you can afford before you start looking at new homes.

The advantages to using the builder’s lender include the fact that it may have appraisers who are familiar with the new community.

Never feel that you have to use the builder’s in-house lender. You have the right to use any lender you prefer.

The Builder

As in most professions, there are good builders and there are those that take short cuts or do a lousy job.

If you aren’t familiar with the builder, do some checking on his or her background. Start with the Better Business Bureau in Berks County, and then check public records for lawsuits against the builder.

There is a lot more to buying a newly-constructed home than an existing home. Carefully choosing your real estate agent and then investigating the builder will go a long way to helping the transaction run smoothly. Jeff Martin has the experience you need to help you find the right new-construction home and to get the best deal.

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
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.

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