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!

Jan. 20, 2020

Save Money Eating Out at These Cheap Eats in Berks County

The Best Cheap Eats in Berks CountyHave the holidays left you a little cash-strapped this month? Or maybe you're trying to save money for a down payment on a home for sale in Berks County? If so, there's no reason you have to cut eating out from your budget. There are plenty of great places to eat in Berks County that are easy on the pocketbook, yet big on taste and service. Here's a few of the top places to eat in Berk's County that will help you save a few dollars.

Taste of Crepes

617 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611-1003

Not only will you enjoy the tastiest crepes in the county, you'll get a great meal for less than $10. They have a wide range of crepe flavors that are made fresh to order, from sweet fruit-filled crepes, to meat-filled crepes, and breakfast varieties. Taste of Crepes is a fun dining experience and one of the most popular restaurants in Reading.

Route 61 Diner

3455 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19605

This classic diner is a great place to get a square meal for under $10. Yet with their tasty menu, you may be tempted to spend a little more than that. Their generous portions and friendly service make Route 61 a solid deal.

Mi Casa Su Casa

320 Penn St, Reading, PA 19602-1010

Almost every item on Mi Casa's delicious menu is under $10, so you can feel free to dig in even if your wallet is thin. They have a homely feel and great service that adds to the experience. Mi Casa Su Casa is locally owned, and the owners actively give back to the community. So your hard-earned money does more than just fill your stomach.

Let's Taco Bout It

616 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611-1004

For a fun taco eating experience on a budget, Let's Taco Bout It's name says it all. You'll be pleased with the quantity and the quality of their servings. You can even get a cactus taco! Or you can try their delicious corn on the cob. It all adds up to an affordable and tasty taco experience.

Larry's 9th and Union V&S

1558 N 9th St, Reading, PA 19604-1804

For affordable and delicious sandwiches and pizza, Larry's has what you want for a great price.  You can get a large sandwich for only $6.50 and burgers for as little as $3.65. Or you can grab a slice of pizza for only $1.85, or 1 dozen jumbo wings for $7.99. You certainly won't break the bank eating at Larry's.

Make 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
Jan. 13, 2020

Make Your New Berks County Home Safe

Make Your Berks County Home SafeNow that you've moved into your new home in Berks County, one thing you need to focus on is how safe your new home is. You no doubt carefully inspected the home and neighborhood before you bought it. But there are a few other things to consider now that you've moved in to make sure you keep your family safe and sound.

Change the locks

You may have been given the keys to your new home, but are there other keys on the loose somewhere, perhaps with family or close friends of the previous owner? Even if it's a brand new home, the builder could have handed out a key to workers during the construction. To be 100% sure, change the locks.

Install a security system

It no longer costs a ton of money to have a security system in your home, especially with smart technology. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood in Berks County, it's a good idea. You can start with a basic system that has a couple of cameras and lights, and then add more cameras or lights as needed.

Get to know your neighbors

Knowing your neighbors can be a big protection against crime. Since you're new to the neighborhood, it's good for them to know who you are, and vise versa. A good neighbor can spot potential threats to your home, and you can return the favor.

Case the joint

Pretend that you're trying to rob your own home and find the weak points where an intruder can get in easily. Make sure to fortify any of these weak points to keep intruders out.

Give it a once over

Check all through the house to make sure door and windows work as they should. Check for any loose wires or other hazards. Make a list and get these items fixed as soon as you can.

Outdoor safety

Check your property for things that can cause injury, such as a rusty gate or fence, or other things left by the previous owner that could be tripping or stabbing hazards.

Check smoke detectors

You can't be sure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good condition unless you check them. They could be old and need fresh batteries.

Dryer vents

Make sure that all the vents to stoves, gas pipes, and dryer vents are all clear and working properly. This is something that should be checked regularly to prevent dryer vent fires.

Light it up

Burglars love the dark. So don't give them any. Make sure that all of your entrances are well lit, and that you have other areas light up with motion detectors. If there's an emergency, your house number should be clearly visible to emergency responders. You can also put timers on lights in some of the rooms to make it look like someone is home, which is a good idea if you plan to go on vacation.

Make 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
Jan. 6, 2020

Affordable Tweaks to Help Sell Your Berks County Home Faster

Affordable Tweaks to Help Sell Your Berks County Home

Getting your home ready to sell in Berks County can be stressful. You may think that you're going to have to spend big money to get your home up to par to appeal to the most buyers. So here are a few simple and affordable ideas to get your home looking its best without spending too much time and money.

Landscape and Exteriors

We all know the saying about first impressions. If the outside of your home looks neglected, then the buyer may assume that the rest of the home is neglected as well. With just a few hours of work, you can dramatically improve the look of your home by hosing down the exterior, replacing old hardware, and painting the garage door. Also check your downspouts and gutters and replace them if needed. Make sure your yard is mowed and trimmed, along with trimming the hedges. 

The Front Door

How does your front door look? If it has cracked or peeling paint, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way. Also make sure your doorbell works and replace or repair if needed.

Interior Doors

Are your interior doors dated or have old hardware? You can replace your doors for just a few hundred dollars. But if you need to save more money, you may be able to just replace the doorknobs and still make a huge improvement.

Clean Carpets and Floors

Cleaning carpets and floors is fairly easy. Carpet cleaners and floor polishers can be rented at a fairly reasonable rate.

Tone Down the Scents

This tip costs nothing. Stay away from using air fresheners and odor eliminators. Buyers may think that you're trying to cover up something, plus they may be allergic to the scent. Try baking cookies. Everyone loves that fragrance.

Fix Wall Blemishes

Taking care of blemishes and marks on your walls will make your home look like it's been cared for. You can paint your walls in a neutral color and cover up any nail holes to make them look new again.

Fix Cabinets and Drawer Tracks

Most buyers will check the kitchen and open drawers and cabinets. If you oil the tracks, tighten screws on the handles and knobs, and replace worn hinges, you can avoid any turn offs that will detract from the appeal of your kitchen. You may want to replace any older knobs and handles, which will not be expensive.

Clean the Appliances

Another cheap fix is to just make sure your appliances are clean. Even older appliances can be appealing if they're not covered in grime. 

If you follow these tips, you can make your Berks County home shine in no time and have a better chance of selling.

 

Need to learn other ways to sell your home faster in Berks County? Make 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
Dec. 30, 2019

Have a Happy New Year 2020!

Have a Happy New Year 2020

I hope the New Year in 2020 brings you good health, much happiness, and plenty of prosperity. Thanks to all of my valued clients for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and for helping make this a truly enjoyable, successful, and fulfilling year. 

If you need some help thinking of a new years resolution, here's a few ideas:

  • Give one compliment a day
  • Do Random Acts of Kindness
  • Read a book a month
  • Go someplace you’ve never been
  • Clear out the clutter
  • Volunteer
  • Travel on a small budget
  • Drink more water
  • Talk to yourself with kindness
  • Walk to a coworker’s office instead of emailing them

Above all, I hope you resolve to make 2020 the best year ever!

Have a Happy New Year!

Are you planning to buy a home in Berks County? You can rely on our expertise to help you find the perfect home for sale. Visit our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. And always feel free to contact us for expert help with your home search. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home in Berks County.

Dec. 23, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays

I'd like to wish all of you a very happy holiday week. I hope you have a great time this week with family and friends.

If you're in need of further Christmas cheer, here's a few events in the Berks County area that will help you stay in the spirit of the season.

Berks County Colonial Candlelight Holiday Reception

Tue, Dec 24, 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM
Beidler House | 1130 Old River Rd, Birdsboro, PA

Bethlehem By Night Christmas Tour

Thu, Dec 26, 3 – 9 PM - Sun, Dec 29, 7 PM
Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center | 505 Main St, Bethlehem, PA

Visit the famous star atop South Mountain, historic highlights in north and south Bethlehem. See the holiday lights, sights and sounds of Bethlehem Historic District. Rides run every 20 minutes.

Holiday Lights at Gring's Mill

Sun, Dec 29, 6 – 9 PM
Gring's Mill Recreation Area | 2083 Tulpehocken Rd, Reading, PA

Walk around the beautiful grounds of Gring’s Mill park to view a spectacular light display highlighting the historic buildings and landscaping around the park. A $5 per car parking donation is requested at the park entrance.

Happy Holidays!

Are you planning to buy a home in Berks County? You can rely on our expertise to help you find the perfect home for sale. Visit our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. And always feel free to contact us for expert help with your home search. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home in Berks County.

Dec. 16, 2019

Can You Buy a Home in Berks County That's Not for Sale?

Can You Buy a Home in Berks County That's Not for Sale?Have you ever driven by a home in Berks County and wondered if it was for sale, even if there's no sign placed out in the yard? Maybe you checked the listing on the internet, and still found no evidence it was for sale. So you just went on your way in disappointment, hoping that it might go on the market before you run out of time to find the perfect home.

Did you know that there is a way to buy a home that's not technically on the market in Berks County? It may not be easy, and it depends on if the owner wants to sell or not. But if you tread carefully, there are ways to buy a home that's not on the market. This can be done by looking for listings that were for sale in Berks County at one time, but were cancelled, withdrawn, or expired that can be an option. The best way to find these listings is by working with an agent. Jeff Martin is familiar with the real estate market in Berks County and has experience helping home buyers find these types of listings.

Check for Cancelled, Expired, or Withdrawn Listings

Looking for homes that were previously on the market, but were removed for one reason or another, is going to be the most promising way to find a home you can potentially buy that's not currently on the market. Working with a Berks county real estate agent who is familiar with the local market is the best way find these listings:

Cancelled: These are listings in Berks County that were taken off the market by the seller and cancelled with the selling agent. In many cases, this happens because the home seller has decided not to work with the agent after a certain amount of time on the market. In this case, they may relist the home with another agent. 

Expired: When a home is for sale, there is a contract period that is set between the seller and the agent. If the home doesn't sell during that period, it expires. There is a good chance the property will be renewed and come back on the market, perhaps with a different agent or for a lower price so that it will sell more quickly. We can help you find these listings.

Withdrawn: A home seller may decide to withdraw their home from the Berks County market, but keep the contract open with the selling agent. There are many reasons this may happen. This is kind of like hitting the pause button. You or your agent might be able to contact the selling agent to see if you can talk the seller into making a deal.

If you do find a home that fits into one of the above categories, make sure you and your agent make sure it's worth buying and what offer you should make for it. Sure, the home may look great from the curb, but do you know what it looks like inside or if there are any potential issues? You can also look at when the home was last sold or when it was last put on the market. You may be able to find recent information and photos to help you get a better idea of the condition of the home before you contact the seller or seller's agent.

And don't be afraid of rejections. Remember, you may be coming to them unexpectedly, and they may not want to sell right now. But don't let that deter you. It may just be a deal that's right for both you and the seller.

Are you planning to buy a home in Berks County? You can rely on our expertise to help you find the perfect home for sale. Visit our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. And always feel free to contact us for expert help with your home search. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home in Berks County.

Dec. 9, 2019

Top Reasons to Buy a Home in Berks County

Top Reasons to Buy a Home in Berks CountyIf you plan to buy a home in Berks County, you've made a smart decision. Berks County is a great place to live for a lot of reasons.

Location, Location, Location

For those who seek the quiet life, Berks County is the place to live. There are plenty of farms and country homes to settle in. And if you prefer to live in the city, Reading is a great place to live, with plenty of ways to stay entertained. Plus, you won't be too far from Philadelphia, just over an hour away.

Changing Seasons

New England is famous for it's beautiful seasons. If you love a change of scenery every season, then Berks County is the ideal place for you to buy a home. In the summer, you can head to the beach, go swimming, and sunbathing. You'll enjoy festivals in the fall, bonfires, and the gorgeous change of colors in the trees. Then in winter, you can enjoy all the snow sports and the peace of the falling snow. Then you can enjoy the explosion of color of the blooming flowers in the Spring. There's a season for everyone in Berks County.

Wildlife Abounds

Animal lovers especially appreciate the wide range of wildlife here in Berks County. There's all sorts of birds, deer, foxes, and more just waiting to meet you. Some might even visit you at home if you live in the country. And you won't be far from all these critters if you live in the city. It's an ideal place for photographers and nature lovers alike.

History

For you history buffs, you won't find a more historic area in America to live, with plenty of historic sites to visit and explore, including museums, landmarks, statues, historical homes and more. Plus, it gives you plenty to talk about with friends and family who come to visit.

Activities

If you love to stay busy, you won't have any problem finding fun things to do in Berks County. There's amusement parks, sports venues that feature concerts and shows in addition to the home teams. You can shop at Berkshire Mall, play a round of mini-golf, or see a movie. And there's plenty of great food to be found in Berks County.

Affordable Homes for Sale

The median home value in Berks County is $177,700, making it easy for first-time home buyers and those looking to retire to find a great home. That's one of the reasons people choose Berks County as a place to spend their retirement years.

Are you in the market for the perfect home in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. Visit our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. And always feel free to contact us for expert help with your home search. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home in Berks County.

Posted in Home Buyers
Dec. 2, 2019

Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays in Berks County

Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays in Berks CountyPets and the holidays - a festive, but sometimes dangerous time for our furry friends. There can be quite a few things that our curious pets will want to explore in our homes during the holidays. What can you do to make sure you don't have to rush Fido to the emergency vet this Christmas?

Here's a few tips to help you keep your pets safe during the holidays:

Anchor the Christmas Tree

What cat or dog can resist all those shiny things dangling and tempting them with a fun time? It's not hard to tip that tree over when it's jumped on by a playful pet. Make sure that it's anchored securely so that it doesn't fall on your pet. This will also prevent tree water from spilling which may contain fertilizers that aren't good for animals to digest.

Avoid Mistletoe & Holly

Mistletoe and holly are not good for pets to eat. They can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Artificial plants made from silk or plastic are a safer choice.

Stay Away From Tinsel

Cats just can't resist shiny things that they can bat around and carry in their mouth. But they can easily swallow tinsel and end up with an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.

Candles

Never leave candles unattended with pets. They can easily knock them over and get burned or start a fire.

Sweets 

We all know to keep pets away from chocolate. But during the holidays, it can be easy to leave sweets laying out. And our opportunistic friends can get into trouble. Be extra vigilant about putting sweets away when you're done eating them.

Cocktails

If you enjoy holiday beverages with alcohol, don't leave them unattended. They can make your pets weak, and they can even go into a coma and die from respiratory failure.

Give Them Special Treats

Of course you want to include your pets in the holiday fun. Buy them treats and chew toys that will keep them busy and less likely to get into harm's way.

With some simple precautions, you can make sure your holiday season in Berks County is filled with joy for both you and your beloved pets.

Visit our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. Are you in the market for the perfect home in Berks County? Our convenient and powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. And always feel free to contact us for expert help with your home search. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home in Berks County.

Posted in Real Estate Advice
Nov. 25, 2019

Have a Happy Thanksgiving in Berks County

Happy Thanksgiving in Berks County

Here's wishing all our family, friends, and clients a very happy Thanksgiving week!

If you're not in the mood to cook a big meal this week, there are a number of great places to grab your Thanksgiving Day feast in Berks County. Here's a few restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving and offering special menu choices for the holiday.

Exeter Family Restaurant

Exeter will have a special Thanksgiving menu along with their regular menu. Plus they're open 24 hours. 

Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery

Offering a Thanksgiving Buffet that will feature Turkey with all the trimmings, along with Pineapple ham, seafood, fried chicken, and a dessert table. Adults $24, Seniors (60+) $21, Children $12.

Crossroads Family Restaurant

As part of the regular menu, Crossroads serves us a home cooked roast turkey with filling and cranberry sauce for only $11.95.

Queen City Family Restaurant

Queen City is open regular hours on Thanksgiving Day, where you can enjoy a roast turkey over filling w/ gravy for $12.99. Or you can select from a large selection of regular menu items and desserts.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Check back on our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. Looking for the perfect home in Berks County? Our convenient and powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. 

Nov. 18, 2019

Fun Events For the Whole Family in Berks County

The holiday season is almost here, and there's no better place than Berks County to have fun with the family this month. There's plenty of ways to bring in the holiday cheer in Berks County. Here's a few upcoming events in Berks County to put on your holiday fun calendar.

Santa's Trolley

Wednesday, November 20
Colebrookdale Railroad at 3rd & Washington Streets, Boyertown, PA 19512

Join Santa on an adventure into Christmas past on a 1930 Philadelphia-built Brill Motorcar. Cocoa, cookies, a free souvenir, and a visit with Santa are included on this roughly 40-minute excursion.  Santa visits with each child and reads a story with all on-board. 

Reading's Christmas on the Mountain

Friday, November 22
Hillside Playground at 459 North 14th Street, Reading, Pennsylvania

This free to enter, free to park display now has over 1 million lights, inflatables and vintage and modern Christmas decorations. An extended light show spectacular set to your favorite classic and modern Holiday music, a completely new 'Frozen on the Mountain' area, beautifully crafted replica of Santa's Workshop along with many other new additions for 2019.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Friday, November 22
Colebrookdale Railroad at 3rd & Washington Streets, Boyertown, PA 19512

These special evening trains bring the storybook magic of the season to life Join us in your pajamas and sip complimentary hot cocoa as we read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Enjoy Christmas music and the comfort of our Edwardian-era cars, look for lights as the Secret Valley rolls past your window.

Koziar’s Christmas Village

Friday, November 22
Koziar's Christmas Village at 782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, Pennsylvania

New decorations and displays with over a million lights! Visit the “Greatest Christmas Display in the U.S.A.”  A Top 10 PA Attraction and an ABA Top 100 Attraction in North America.

Holiday Parade

Saturday, November 23
Downtown Reading at Penn Street, Reading, Pennsylvania

The Annual Holiday Parade features holiday-themed music, floats created by local organizations, and live entertainment. It's a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

Looking for more fun things to do in Berks County? Make sure to visit our blog every week for more local Berks County articles and real estate advice. Looking for the perfect home in Berks County? Our convenient and powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams.