Posts


NO Property Ownership without Heroes

Thu, May 23rd 2019 5:50 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

This is the time of year when we as Americans remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom.
 

What we now celebrate as Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day. It was established just after the civil war to commemorate the lives lost in that bloody battle.

 

Memorial Day gives us all a chance to remember and thank our real heroes. The day also allows us to reflect on the freedoms these brave, selfless individuals sacrificed their lives over. One of these freedoms is the right to own Property.

 

The right to own Property is instrumental in our ability to pursue our unalienable rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence;

 

"We hold these trut...



No comments

Berks County Real Estate ~ A Tale of Two Markets

Thu, May 9th 2019 9:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Is it a buyer's market or a seller's market? In Berks County, the answer to that question depends on price range and property taxes.

I am often asked about the state of the real estate market here in Berks County -"Is it a Buyer's or Seller's market?". It's a good question that has several answers. In this article, I will attempt to answer the question using home sales analysis going back ten years. Are you ready?

 

The Present State of Affairs
Through April 2019, the real estate market here in Berks has been chugging along quite nicely. So far we have seen 2,057 homes listed, 1,941 pending sale, and 1,346 sold at a median sale price of $164,250, up 8% from the same period in 2018. The ...



No comments

Home Buyers Should Embrace Mortgage Prequalification

Fri, Apr 19th 2019 11:35 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Mortgage prequalification has become an essential part of the home buying process, yet many buyers fail to consider this step. Here are some reasons to get prequalified before you start your home search.
 

As the spring home-buying season evolves one thing is clear, available home inventory is low. The lower than average housing inventory is creating quite a demand for homes in popular price ranges and areas. It is imperative that serious home buyers are well prepared for the experience of competing for their desired dream home.

 

The Common Scenario
Most home buyers pursue homes in a kind of backward fashion. They start by looking at homes online and then going to preview them in person...



No comments

Zoning ~ The Not Sexy Part of Real Estate

Thu, Apr 4th 2019 4:10 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

How a property is zoned may be one of the most overlooked factors of a real estate transaction. What may be more overlooked is how neighboring properties are zoned. Both could have a significant impact on value.
 

Not many people like to be told what they can and cannot do with anything let alone the property they own. At the same time, if there are rules, it is best that all play by them and most expect it to be that way. That is where zoning comes in. In short, zoning is how the government controls the physical development of land and the kinds of uses to which each individual property may be put. Like the title says, not very sexy but very important.

 

Highest and Best Use - Zoning a...



No comments

Consumer Misunderstandings About the Real Estate Industry

Fri, Mar 22nd 2019 9:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

The real estate industry has never been great at transparency. Some of the misunderstandings about the real estate industry are by design, and some stem from the sometimes complicated process of buying and selling a home. Let's look at some of the differences.
 

Recently Inman, the leader in real estate industry news, ran an article about a survey that was done by a company called Clever Real Estate. Clever surveyed 1,000 homeowners in February that plan to sell in the next 12 months and found many didn’t understand how real estate commissions work. According to the survey, 45 percent of home sellers understood they would pay a commission to their brokerage and agent but were unaware they...



No comments

Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Tightens the Home Inspection Trap

Thu, Jan 24th 2019 10:35 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Real estate contract documents are created to serve as a neutral starting point in a real estate deal. Why the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Standard Forms Committee would want to make changes that may upset the balance is beyond me.

Back in October 2014, I wrote an article entitled "Don't Get Caught in the Home Inspection Trap." The article explained the process and practices undertaken relative to home inspections associated with a residential real estate transaction. The article focused on a condition of the sales agreement that requires the buyer to provide inspection reports to the seller if requested or with a written corrective proposal.

 

The practice, or the trap, as I ...



No comments

Reading Berks Real Estate Insights for 2019

Tue, Jan 8th 2019 8:25 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Let's take a look at the year that was 2018 and see if it offers insight into what's in store for 2019 as it relates to real estate here in Reading and Berks County.

Yes, it is that time again! Time to reflect on the year that was and time to dust off the crystal ball and see if it can foretell what the future holds. It is my humble opinion that the big real estate story here in Reading and Berks for 2019 was the low home inventory. Yes, I believe it is even a bigger story than the ever-rising property taxes that plague our area year in and year out.

 

Home Inventory ~ Supply and Demand

With just four calendar days left in 2018, there have been 6,344 residential homes listed for sale....



No comments

How to Deal with Homesellaphobia

Tue, Dec 18th 2018 7:25 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Homesellaphobia is my self-proclaimed way of labeling the fears some homeowners' experience when it's time to list their home. Following is a list of those fears and ways to combat them.
Over the many years, I have served home buyers and sellers here in Reading and Berks County, I have observed various emotions. Needless to say, there is a lot of emotion in the buying and selling of homes. The one emotion I am contracted to diffuse is fear.

 

Most of us have heard the term "Cold Feet" and know it relates to a buyer changing their mind about a purchase. The closest phrase we have for a seller who changes their mind is "Seller's Remorse." In either case, the emotion that best describes the...



No comments

Home is Where the Heart is ~ Giving Thanks

Wed, Nov 21st 2018 9:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

The term "Home is Where the Heart is" can be interpreted in two different ways. Firstly, it can mean that wherever our loved ones are, that is our home and Secondly, it says our family home is the focus of our love or heart. In either case, the proverb very much reflects our love and thankfulness for those in our lives and the familiar places we gather. And there is no place more familiar to most of us than home.
We Americans can trace the Thanksgiving celebration back to the first settlements in Plymouth and Jonestown in the early 1600's. The new world settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season giving thanks for their new home and bountiful harvest that would sustain ...



No comments

Reading and Berks Housing Trend ~ Is there Change in the Wind

Thu, Nov 8th 2018 10:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Reading and Berks home sales were on fire throughout most of 2018. Will fall and winter bring a cool to the real estate market? Let's see if the latest home sale statistics can help us better anticipate the near future.
 

It is the time of year when I am often asked if it is wise to sell a home with the holidays fast approaching. Most that pose the question have already surmised that trying to sell a home in winter is less lucrative and more difficult. While perception is often reality, I like to see what the numbers say. Let's take a look.

 

Reading and Berks Housing Trend - The Numbers
Inventory of available properties in Berks County remains at historic lows. As of November 8, 2018, t...



No comments

Is That Home For Sale or Not? Coming Soon Home Listings

Thu, Oct 18th 2018 10:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Do "Coming Soon" or "Pre-Marketed" home listings better serve the real estate industry or the real estate broker? The question depends on an understanding of the practice and how it affects the clients home selling and buying goals. Let's get to it.

If you've been searching for a home, you may have run across properties with the headline Coming Soon. You call your agent to inquire about the property, and they tell you the seller is not accepting showings at this time. The logical next question is "when can I see it?" Good question! Scenarios like this play out more and more adding speculation about the real estate business, and it's fairness to consumers.

 

While Coming Soon home adver...



No comments

Who Are You Contacting About That House For Sale?

Thu, Oct 4th 2018 1:15 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

There was a time when real estate agents advertised houses for sale to attract interested buyers. Now houses are advertised by internet companies to attract real estate agents. The focus of real estate marketing seems to have shifted from listings to leads.


That was Then ~ Boots on the Ground

When I started selling real estate some 25 years ago I had to be on my toes when it came to marketing homes. I had to consider which publications outside the normal local real estate magazines would expose the property to the most likely buyer. It made more sense to advertise a property that allows for horses in an equestrian magazine than a culinary publication. I also had to creatively craft pr...



No comments

Should You Sell Your Home As Is?

Thu, Sep 20th 2018 3:10 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

A simple term like As Is can have many meanings. When used in the world of real estate, it goes to a different parallel. The ambiguity of the statement may not be what you want when selling your home, or maybe it is! Here are some things to consider when you sell your home as is.

The real estate business is always full of intrigue and surprise. Often I am presented with situations that, not just require but demand deep thinking. Sometimes that deep thinking finds it’s way into the articles I pen. This happens to be one of those times.

 

After negotiating a homes price and moving your stuff, the home inspection process may be next in line for things a home seller dreads the most. Not ma...



No comments

What's Your Home Saying to Prospective Buyers?

Thu, Sep 6th 2018 8:25 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

When a home buyer enters a property they have never been to before their physical senses are hard at work. They walk more slowly, look harder, and have a heightened sense of smell. Everything needs to feel just right, and yes, they are listening to every sound the home makes. This article's focus is on how to enhance the sounds that encompass a house, in other words, what's your home is saying to prospective buyers.


There are some things a homeowner can change about their home and some they cannot. Examples would be someone who lives close to a highway, airport, or railway. There is little chance the road and airport will close while you are trying to sell your home so the sounds that ...



No comments

Thoughts About the Berks Property Tax Appeal Process

Thu, Aug 30th 2018 9:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

The glaring property tax issue seems to shine more brightly in Berks than almost anywhere else in Pennsylvania. Is it time we start thinking of ways to help ourselves. Could that help begin by revisiting how the process of property tax appeals are handled?

Virtually everyone who owns property in Berks and many that do not are aware that property taxes are out of control. Our Pennsylvania State Legislators cannot seem to agree on a fix. For this and other reasons, I have long been a proponent of not waiting for someone else to help our great county out of its property tax misery and take action unilaterally.

 

Each year many home buyers and sellers ask me about the property tax appeal p...



No comments

The Value of Great Home Photos

Thu, Aug 2nd 2018 8:25 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

What we see influences our purchase and life decisions. In the case of online marketing, it is essential to present any product accurately and favorably. Great Home Photos are a way of getting the point across as long as they are a good representation of what you are selling.

Fifteen years ago when a friend told you he or she was dating online, you may have thought they were desperate or worse. Today many take the plunge into online dating without a second thought as it is considered a mainstream way of meeting that special someone.

 

I have never personally dated online. I found my "Special Person" before it was the in-thing. Curiously, I have asked my single friends about their exper...



No comments

Berks House Deals Falling Apart at Higher Rate Than Normal

Tue, Jul 10th 2018 9:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Why are there so many homes in Reading and Berks County going from pending sale back to active? Is it possible that the rush to buy a house in a fast paced low inventory market is causing the issue?

There's always some speculation that arises when a home with a "Sold" or "Pending" sign on it gets replaced with a "For Sale" sign. Unfortunately, this scenario is playing out far too often in Reading, PA, and Berks neighborhoods. According to Trend MLS records, over the past seven days, 14 homes went from Pending Sale to Back to Active status. In contrast, 133 homes during the same period went from Active to Pending Sale status. If we divide the number of homes that went back to active (14) ...



No comments

Home Pricing Strategy in a Fast-Paced Real Estate Market

Tue, Jul 10th 2018 8:25 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

It is essential to have a solid home pricing strategy in any real estate market. A fast-paced real estate market presents some exceptional opportunities for home sellers that stretch beyond price alone.

The Old Way
For most of my twenty-five-year real estate career, there was one home pricing strategy that seemed exceptionally popular with home sellers; "Price it higher than what it is worth, so we have room to negotiate it lower." This plan of action was often swiftly followed by the old venerable statement; "We can always come down in price but cannot go up."

 

Pricing a home higher than what it is worth may never have been a good strategy but more of a hope, kind of like hitting the ...



No comments

Berks House Deals Falling Apart at Higher Rate Than Normal

Tue, Jul 10th 2018 2:05 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Why are there so many homes in Reading and Berks County going from pending sale back to active? Is it possible that the rush to buy a house in a fast paced low inventory market is causing the issue?

There's always some speculation that arises when a home with a "Sold" or "Pending" sign on it gets replaced with a "For Sale" sign. Unfortunately, this scenario is playing out far too often in Reading, PA, and Berks neighborhoods. According to Trend MLS records, over the past seven days, 14 homes went from Pending Sale to Back to Active status. In contrast, 133 homes during the same period went from Active to Pending Sale status. If we divide the number of homes that went back to active (14) ...



No comments

What's Moving the Reading-Berks Real Estate Market

Thu, Apr 26th 2018 8:25 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

If the weather gets as hot as the present real estate market here in Reading and Berks County, you better make sure your Air Conditioner is in good working order. Here is a look at some statistics on what's moving the Reading-Berks real estate market.

People often ask me when is the best time to sell a home here in the Reading-Berks area. My sarcastic answer is "When the market is hot." My seasonal answer is somewhere between April and July. Right now both scenarios are in play.

 

The Stats

As of this writing, there have been 1,277 homes sold and settled in Reading-Berks according to the Trend MLS statistics. Over the same period last year, there were 1,377 sales, a drop of 7.2% While...



No comments