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!

July 15, 2019

How to Get Rid of Overhead Guests in Your Berks County Home

The last thing any homeowner in Berks County wants is attic pests, such as  mice, rats, bats, and squirrels. But how do you keep them away? It seems like they just come right back as soon as you get rid of them.

The good news is that you can keep those pesky critters away for good if you understand how they get into your attic in the first place. You also need to understand your options for keeping them away.

Here's a few tips to help keep your home in Berks County pest-free.

Know thy Enemy

Wild animals living in your attic can cause all sorts of mayhem. They love to chew on things such as electrical wires, and insulation. You may hear a knock in the night, but you may not be able to see what's making all that noise.

How can you tell what pests have made your attic their home? It's what they leave behind that tells all.

Here's a little cheat sheet on pest droppings.

  • Mouse: 1/8 inch long, pellet-shaped
  • Rat: ¼ inch long, sausage-shaped
  • Squirrel: ½ to 1 inch long, sausage-shaped
  • Raccoon: Up to ¾ of an inch wide, 2-3 inches long; sausage-shaped
  • Bat: ½ inch, pellet-shaped, found in piles

Once you identify the droppings, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s advice on how to clean it up. Here are a few tips:

  • Open windows to air out the infested area for at least 30 minutes before cleanup. Don’t hang around during this part.
  • Wear protective gloves and masks so you don’t touch or breathe the urine- and feces-contaminated dust.
  • To disinfect, spray the area with a bleach solution (1 part bleach; 10 parts water).
  • Use paper towels to clean up the area, and then dispose of trash in a sealed plastic bag.

Mice

Mice are very good at multiplying. One or two mice can turn into dozens in a short time. As soon as you suspect mice in the attic, set out the traps immediately. Set out several traps. You might think that using cheese to bait the traps is the right move, but peanut butter actually works better.

Check the traps daily for dead mice. Other mice will be deterred from the traps if they see what those traps did to their friends.

If you prefer a pro to remove them, it typically costs about $500 for trapping, removal, and follow-up.

Rats

You can't catch rats with regular mouse traps. Unlike mice, which are curious critters, rats shy away from new items in their environment. So scatter traps around the attic for a week before you bait and engage them.

If you find traps are disappearing — larger rats are known to take off with traps clamped around their bodies — screw the next traps into floor boards, or place them in rattrap covers, which will block escape.

If a pro removes them, it will cost around $600 to $700 for trapping, removal, and follow-up.

Raccoons and Bats

Don’t attempt to get rid of raccoons or bats yourself. Raccoons can be aggressive when cornered or separated from their young. And bats are difficult to round up and escort out.

Professional fee: $300 to $500 per raccoon; $600 to $2,000 for bat infestations.

Make sure to visit our blog for more helpful real estate articles and local articles about life in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities. Find the perfect home for sale with our convenient and powerful home search tool

Posted in Real Estate Advice
July 9, 2019

Packing Hacks That Make Moving in Berks County Easier

Nobody ever said that moving was easy. That's why there's an entire industry devoted to helping people move.

But sometimes we can't always afford professional help when we move, so we have to take it on ourselves.

How can you cut down on the stress when you move in Berks County? Here's a few pro tips that can help during your next move.

Do a Pre-Pack Photo Shoot

We can't always remember where all the cords go after we unpack, so why not take a few photos on your phone to help you when you set up your electronics in your new home?

With photos in hand, you’ll be able to recreate it all in record time.

Corral Cords With Toilet Paper Rolls

"Where's an extension cord?" Finding extension cords can really be frustrating during a move. Sure, you saw one laying around somewhere, but where?

When you pack, wind up each cord in a 6-inch coil, then insert it in a toilet paper roll. You’ll have lots more room in the box, and no tangled mess to unpack later. Just remember to clearly label the box!

Create a "Moving Toolbox"

Make up a moving toolbox that has all the essentials - Sharpies, packing tape, box cutter and so forth. Then you can take it from room to room as you pack. This will keep you from misplacing small essential items when your house is full of boxes.

Tape Appliance Cords to Their Homes

You could be exploring your new neighborhood, but you're too busy trying to find the right power cord for your appliances.

You can save more time by taping the plug to the appliance it belongs to. Then go get a taco on the corner with your reclaimed time.

Use Your Towels, Blankets as Packing Materials

Another way moving day gets frustratingly extended? Your third trip to the store to buy more bubble wrap.

Kudos on treating your breakables with care, you don’t need the store-bought stuff. Pot holders, oven mitts, and even those old paper and plastic grocery bags you were planning to recycle make great packing materials. Also consider towels, pillows, blankets, the kids’ stuffed animals — whatever’s soft!

Color-Code Boxes

If you’re paying movers, really get your money’s worth by making it easy for them to deposit every box in the right room.

Assign a color to each room, then mark that color on the outside of each box. Before movers arrive, add the correct color label to each room’s door. They’ll love the simplicity, and you’ll love not having to haul everything that was supposed to go in the office out of the playroom.

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities, along with helpful real estate advice. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

July 1, 2019

Have Fun This 4th of July in Berks County

The 4th of July holiday is almost here, and it't time to celebrate our freedom in Berks County. If you live in Berks County, there are a number of great ways to celebrate the 4th of July with your family in the area. Here's a few events you can plan for happening in or near Berks County next week.

Star-Spangled Spectacular – July 4th Concert
Thu, Jul 4, 8 – 10 PM | EnerSys, 2366 Bernville Rd, Reading

Come hear your favorite patriotic melodies in a free concert in a park-like setting. Bring your picnic baskets, maybe a bottle of wine, and sit back, relax, and enjoy your RSO in a unique outdoor concert experience. The event features fun and food trucks, and concludes with a dazzling fireworks display.

Independence Day Celebration
Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 12:00pm | West Reading Pool

Enjoy the day with food, music, swimming, dancing on the pool deck and games! Swimming pool events will be held from Noon to 6:00 p.m. Music on the field will be available from 6 - 9:00 p.m. with the firework display beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Independence Day Prep and Parade
Tue, Jul 2, 6 – 7 PM | Wyomissing Public Library

Show your patriotism and support the library by marching in Wyomissing Borough's annual Independence Day parade. Come on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. to make tee shirts, then assemble on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. for the parade.

Free Bubble Festival at Pottstown's GoFourth Celebration
Thu, July 4, 2019 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Memorial Park

Pottstown GoFourth Festival will sponsor Grandpop Bubbles™ and his amazing "Free Bubble Festival" at their 4th of July celebration. Grandpop Bubbles will bring his bubble wands, poles, basins, buckets, and plenty of gallons of SPECIAL BUBBLE JUICE for as many kids as possible to enjoy bubbling with #GPOPB.

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities, along with helpful real estate advice. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

June 24, 2019

Celebrate Summer in Berks County With These Events

Summer is here and it's time to get the most from the warm months here in Berks County. These events feature great food, music, and the celebration of local Berks County culture. Here's a few upcoming events that are sure to make summertime in Berks County fun for the whole family.

2019 Reading Fair Wine Festival
Sat, Jun 29, 11 AM – 5 PM EDT
Reading Fairgrounds

Celebrate the tastes of Berks County and beyond at the Reading Fair Wine Festival. Outside snacks and Hors Devours are permitted.

BCL Burger and Beer Bash
Sun, Jun 30, 1 – 4 PM EDT
Reading Public Museum

Introducing the first-annual Burger & Beer Bash to bring the pages of the Berks County Living magazine to life. Sip and sample burgers and brews highlighted in the June edition & vote on the Best of the Bash.

70th Annual Kutztown Folk Festival
Jun 29, 10 AM – Jul 7, 6 PM EDT
Kutztown Fairgrounds

Celebrate the PA Dutch culture at the oldest continuously operated folklife festival in America. The festival also houses the largest quilt sale in America. There's plenty of fun for all ages as you learn about the traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Maidencreek Old Time Music Festival
Sun, Jul 14
Maiers Grove Park | 115 Grove Rd #69, Blandon, PA

Maidencreek Old Time Music Festival is an unique event to teach old-time music to musicians who play fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer and other instruments appropriate to the music.

2019 Berks Celtic Festival
Sat, Jul 20, 11 AM – 9 PM EDT
Willow Glen Park

A celebration of Celtic heritage with food, drink, Irish entertainment and various vendors to raise money for the Berks County Irish-American Fraternal Association.

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities, along with helpful real estate advice. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

June 17, 2019

Berks County Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

If you plan on remodeling your home in Berks County, keep in mind that not all home improvements bring the same return on your investment when you sell your home.

So where do you start in your improvement endeavors so that you get the most return for your home in Berks County? Let's start with some numbers.

Here are the best home remodeling projects that can build equity:

New Roof

If you have leaks in the ceiling, a new roof should be a top priority.

The cost: $7,500

The return: 109% at $8,150

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

  • Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.
  • Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout.
  • The sun’s shining through your attic.
  • You notice stains on ceilings and walls.
  • Your energy bill is sky high.

Hardwood Floors

It's hard to go wrong with hardwood floors. Refinishing your current hardwood floors is a must. And if you add a hardwood floor, that's also a winner.

The cost to refinish: $2,500

The return: 100% at $2,500

The cost to buy new: $5,500

The return: 91% at $5,000

New Garage Door

A new garage door is also a great way to add values to a home as it boosts curb appeal and is relatively inexpensive.

The cost: $2,300 (for a two-door)

The return: 87% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality.

Better Insulation

Insulation can also add value to a home, especially if it's older.

The cost: $2,100

The return: 76% at $1,600 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

New Siding

New vinyl siding is a great way to change your home's color and never have to paint again.

Home buyers in Berks County might not like the idea of vinyl siding, especially if they had vinyl siding a long time ago.

But today’s vinyl is far better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties.

The cost: $13,350

The return: 75% at $10,000

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 83%. Although it’s the pricier option at about $18,000 with a payback of about $15,000, it's a higher quality option.

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities, along with helpful real estate advice. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

Posted in Real Estate Advice
June 3, 2019

Remove Wallpaper Without Removing Your Sanity

Do you enjoy removing wallpaper? Of course not! It's a task that never reaches the top 10 "fun things to do" list for most people.

But if you're planning to sell your home in Berks County, then removing old wallpaper really is a must. So how do you remove it without removing your sanity as well?

Check to See If Your Walls Were Primed

Hopefully your walls were primed when the wallpaper was applied. This will certainly speed up removal.

This was a more common practice in the 1990s, as it kept the glue from forming too strong of a bond with the plaster.

It's easy enough to check if your walls are primed. Just loosen a corner or seam with a putty knife and pull. If it comes off in one sheet, success!

With well-primed walls, dry stripping should work for the entire job and you could finish a room in a couple of hours at most.

Water Works Miracles

Wallpaper glue is water-based, so you can still remove it if your walls are not primed.

It's a technique the pros use, it works so well.

Here’s what to do with water:

  • Score or perforate the paper and its backing in sections so water can soak through and loosen the glue. The pros recommend a scoring tool called the PaperTiger (under $20) because it doesn’t harm the wall.
  • Douse the perforated paper with hot water using a pump or compression sprayer. The big mistake most people make is using a regular old spray bottle or damp rag to wet the paper. This leads to hours of fruitless scraping because the paper and its backing don’t get sufficiently saturated. The sprayer, on the other hand, gives you the firepower to really soak the glue.
  • Let the paper soak for about 15 minutes and scrape it off with a putty knife.

This process will take about 6 hours for an average room, but it's better than how long it would take if you didn't know how to do this.

Avoid Chemical Strippers Because of the Fumes

Pros will use chemical strippers, as they work even faster than water. But the downside is the fumes, and it costs more than using water (of course).

Don't Try the Fabric Softener Trick

There's a rumor going around that fabric softeners, diluted with water, is a great way to remove wallpaper. Yet, no expert agrees with that method.

In fact, fabric softener makes removing wallpaper even more complicated and messier than just using water, as it ends up mixing the glue with the fabric softener. The fabric softener can also harm drywall. 

So when it comes to removing wallpaper, the happiest journey (assuming your walls aren’t primed) involves water — and patience.

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities, along with helpful real estate advice. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

Posted in Real Estate Advice
May 29, 2019

Use Our Website to Buy or Sell Your Home in South-Eastern Pennsylvania

Do you plan to buy or sell a home in the Pennsylvania communities of Blandon, Boyertown, Douglasville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Oley, or Reading? If so, you've come to the only website you'll need to make that happen. As real estate experts, we know the market in these communities and can help you find the perfect home, or sell your home quickly and for the most money. Our website is designed to help you begin that journey.

Here's a few of the main features of our website to help you buy or sell a home in the South-Eastern Pennsylvania area:

Interactive Map Search

Our interactive map search is updated every 15 minutes with the latest properties for sale in Blandon, Boyertown, Douglasville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Oley, and Reading. You can instantly find homes for sale in the exact area you want to move to. With the polygon search, you can even draw a shape around the area you want to search to pin down the exact homes for sale in that area. And it's fun! If you don't find a home right away, you can save your search for later.

Advanced Search

If you need to base your search more on a specific type of home or property, the Advanced Search makes it easy to find the exact features you're looking for in a home. You can set all types of parameters to narrow your search, including price range, beds, baths, square feet, school district, and much more.

Market Reports

You can keep on top of the latest listings and market reports based on your search criteria. You can sign up to get a market report to keep up to date of properties currently on the market and being sold in the area you chose. When you create an account, you can then get the following:

  • Create property searches to get additional alerts
  • Choose frequency of the emails (daily, weekly or never)
  • Save multiple searches
  • View all detailed property information
  • Virtual pictures
  • Save favorite properties to track
  • Quick responses to questions

Community Pages

Find out more about the communities of Blandon, Boyertown, Douglasville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Oley, and Reading so that you can decide which area is best to buy your next home. You'll also see properties currently for sale in those communities.

Property Evaluation

If you plan to sell your home, this is a great place to start. You can find out how much you home is worth compared to other homes for sale in your neighborhood.

Our website is only the beginning of your home buying or selling experience. Call 610-779-2500 or use our contact form to let us know how we can help you further.

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

May 23, 2019

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend is almost here! No doubt you've already made plans for the unofficial start of summer, as we remember those who gave their lives for us. But just in case you need some ideas for ways to remember our fallen heroes and enjoy the weekend, here's a few Memorial Day events in the Southern Eastern Pennsylvania area that might help. 

Boyertown Memorial Day 

The Boyertown Memorial Day Parade starts at 9:15 am at Boyertown High School's Monroe Street entrance and is hosted by American Legion Post 471. The parade will travel west on Philadelphia Avenue to Fairview Cemetery. A ceremony honoring those who served our country in the military will start about 10 a.m. in the cemetery.

39th annual Memorial Day Parade and Service

The 39th annual Memorial Day Parade and Service is hosted by the American Legion Post 934 of Exeter Township and starts at Monday at 9 a.m. The parade will begin at Exeter High School and conclude with a service at Forest Hills Memorial Park.

Please arrive by 8:30 a.m. and enter from Route 422 on 37th St., where marchers will be directed to spots by volunteer fire and police. The service will end at approximately 11:15 a.m.

Fleetwood Memorial Day Parade

The Fleetwood Memorial Day services begin at 9 am with a parade starting at Fleetwood Cemetery on North Laurel Street between East Main and East Arch streets.

Following a brief ceremony at the cemetery, the parade proceeds west on Main Street, and a portion of the parade will end upon reaching Fleetwood Community Park. 

At 10 a.m. in the bandshell on West Main Street, the borough's “Hometown Heroes” banner program will honor local veterans, in addition to a dedication of the expanded memorial honoring local fallen heroes. 

Kutztown Memorial Day Parade

The Kutztown Memorial Day Parade is hosted by American Legion Post 480 and VFW Post 560. It will take place from 8 - 11 am on Monday and will start at the North Whiteoak Street entrance to Kutztown Fairgrounds at 8:30 a.m. The parade will travel south along Main Street to Fairview Cemetery for a tribute to veterans buried there.

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Check back every week on our blog for more local articles about living in Reading PA and the surrounding communities. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

 

May 16, 2019

Top Places to Dine in Reading

There are many great reasons to buy a home in Reading, PA. One of those reasons is all the great restaurants in Reading. Residents enjoy a wide variety of dining choices, offering something for every taste and budget. Here's a list of the top 10 places to eat in Reading.

Frank & Diannah's Arbor Inn

This fine dining establishment on S Bingaman St. offers fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Owners Frank and Diannah give diners their personal attention to make sure they have an unforgettable fine dining experience. They also offer alternatives for those with dietary restrictions.

Judy's On Cherry

Located in Downtown Reading, this Mediterranean-inspired fine dining restaurant features unique dishes such as Cheese Ravioli with Lobster, Tomato Vodka Rosa Sauce and Casuela Roast of Scallops over Caramelized Onions. With an eye for presentation and service, Judy's is an ideal place to go for a romantic dinner in Reading.

Stokesay Castle

What can be better than feasting like a king in a castle? Step back into the 13th century in one of the two restaurants in Stokesay Castle.  The Knight’s Pub is an American Pub with an international twist. The Lord's Dining Room menu features contemporary American fine dining cuisine in a beautifully decorated room that's perfect for special occasions. You can also rent private rooms for your own royal events.

Chatty Monks Brewing Company

If you love craft beer, Chatty Monks is the place to go in Reading. Chatty Monks was named one of the Top 50 brewpubs in the nation and Top 10 in the Northeast by CraftBeer. Of course, you'll also need great Gastropub fare made with fresh, local ingredients to go with that amazing beer.

The Ugly Oyster

Of course, no list of great restaurants would be complete without an authentic Guinness Irish Pub. They stock the bar with more than 80 beers from around the world and stick to the strict specifications of Arthur Guinness for their Guinness beer. Along with the great seafood, burgers, and veggie dishes, you'll enjoy the lively atmosphere and service.

Check back every week on our blog for more local article about living in Reading PA and the surrounding communities. You can use our convenient and powerful home search tool to find the perfect home for sale in Reading. And make sure to read more about the communities in Southern Eastern Pennsylvania to find the perfect neighborhood to buy your next home.

 

 

 

Posted in Reading Community
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates