Don't forget that if your rental property is located in a homeowners association like Blue Mountain Lake or Penn Estates, you most likely have to register your tenants with them as well.
This is probably a good time, too, to make sure your properties are properly marked with the new 911 addresses issued last year.
If you own rental properties in other municipalities in the Poconos, you should check to see if there is a tenant registration requirement. Here is contact information for all municipalities in Monroe County, PA.
Whether you are looking for wide open vistas or prefer a wooded creekside setting, you may be able to find your perfect home or weekend getaway in Saw Creek. Prices here are pretty reasonable, with properties available in the low $100's and even less. Additionally, Saw Creek's location in Bushkill allows easy access to Bushkill Falls, Shawnee Mountain, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and lots of other Pocono attractions.
Saw Creek Estates boasts amenities that rival any available in the Pocono region, with well-maintained resort-style facilities dispersed throughout the community: several pools, tennis courts, a ski hill, and playgrounds, and more, as well as indoor pools, tennis, raquetball, and weight training facilities. Saw Creek is a fantastic value when you compare association fees and what you get for them.
Saw Creek Estates is a private residential subdivision of nearly 3,000 properties, conceived and developed as one of the premier, four-season recreational communities in the Pocono Mountains. Construction of roads, common area facilities and amenities was begun in the mid 1970’s by Lehman-Pike Development Corporation. Sales of year-round and vacation homes continued at a brisk pace throughout the 80’s and 90’s.
Saw Creek Estates Community Association, Inc. was formed for the purpose of managing the rapidly growing community and transitioning full control from the developer to the property owners. All property owners are members of the Association, which is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership, and managed by an experienced staff of professionals. The transfer of control was completed in the year 2000 and since that time, the community has continued to grow and flourish.
Today Saw Creek Estates is one of the largest, best managed and most financially sound private communities in the region.
Sunset view from Top of the World Restaurant
One of the coolest things about Saw Creek is that it has its own restaurant, Top of the World, which allows owners and their guests to enjoy casual dining, fine wines and beverages, and weekend entertainment like live music and karaoke. How convenient is that?
Many homes in Saw Creek have beautiful scenic views
Interested in finding out more about Saw Creek? Contact me!
No matter where you live or stay in the Poconos, you aren't far from outdoor adventures. And now that the weather is breaking, it's time to get out and enjoy it! This weekend I checked out Tumbling Waters Trail, one of six trails at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Getting there is easy as it is a short and lovely drive north on 209 toward Dingman's Ferry from Bushkill. My hiking partner and I have been slowly building up the difficulty of our hikes, using the rich outdoor resources of the Poconos as our personal gym. This is one exercise I actually look forward to doing and do regularly! Had to take a break about half-way through the three mile excursion though:
If you're interested in seeing the route, check out the PEEC Trail Map. Tumbling Waters is the orange trail, and offers a little bit of all of the best Pocono scenery: breathtaking views of the mountains, ponds and streams, waterfalls, woods with foliage and wildlife, and even some ruins:
Chimney ruins: Quite an amazing homesite, no?
Old and weathered but still standing!
Beware, though...there is one section of the trail called Killer Hill, aka Cardiac Hill. Luckily, you can rest up before you tackle this climb and take in some negative ions at the spot that gave the trail its name, Tumbling Waters Falls:
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS, so I thought a little shout out to this document and to my fellow professionals was appropriate. I am so proud of what we stand for as stewards of our industry, our communities, and our Country.
The Code has gone through many iterations over the last hundred years, it’s relevancy ever critical to how we REALTORS conduct ourselves in the world. It really is not just a Code, it’s a way of doing business and living our lives. Every REALTOR has pledged to uphold the standards set forth in the Code and be professional in their dealings. The history and tradition of the Code has as it’s first priority protection of the public and it outlines our duties to clients and customers, as well as to each other. The Code of Ethics existed before any real estate licensing laws and has been the standard that state lawmakers and regulators strive to match. The Code of Ethics guides us in how we conduct ourselves and the commitments we represent.
Take the Preamble to the Code of Ethics for example. It is quite inspiring, presents a big picture vision of our obligations to society, and outlines a lofty ideal. To me, this Preamble is paramount, as it directs us to accept the responsibility of being actively involved in the protection of the rights of home ownership, being stewards and teachers in our industry, and continually striving to be better at what we do. I believe these things to be the foundation of real estate agent professionalism, being committed to all things real estate, in our lives and in our communities:
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. REALTORS® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 1/00)
Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.
The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.
In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below. (Amended 1/07)
This is why you see may see many of us taking active roles in all levels of government and our communities, whether it is actually running for office, attending meetings, offering counsel, supporting candidates and causes, etc. Organizations like homeowner associations, school boards, planning commissions, and city councils, in the Poconos and in every other area in the country, all benefit from REALTORS actively participating.
Sure, we are all in business to earn a living, but the most professional of us, those dedicated to upholding the ideals in the Code of Ethics and the tenets of a thriving, healthy marketplace, continually work to stay current on issues, educate ourselves about our industry, and embrace every aspect of the business. This is not a ‘what’s in it for me’ business. It’s the business of shoring up the foundation of our country by being an actively participating citizen REALTORS. After all: “Under all is the land.”
I-80 and the Delaware River from the Appalachian Trail, Delaware Water Gap
The decision to buy a house is a major one and there are a lot of things to think about when selecting where to live and what kind of property to buy. There are obvious things like personal style preferences, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc, but anyone who has been in the real estate market lately knows that it's much more complicated than that. Especially for people considering a move to a new area. Here I will outline some of the things that may help you decide if the purchase of a vacation home here or a full-blown relocation is right for you. And if you find that a conversation via phone or email would help get some of your concerns answered, feel free to contact me anytime.
Why come to the Poconos to buy real estate?
This is a key question in my interviews with potential buyer clients when I meet with them to evaluate their needs. Creating the real estate consumer's perfect-home profile is an important step to get us focused on the right properties, as this question really helps hone in on priorities. Answers obviously vary but there are a few answers that come up all the time, and they just might help you make the decision to dive in to the Pocono real estate market:
Location, location, location
Whether they are looking for a primary home to live in full time, a weekend getaway place, or a potential retirement home, people are drawn to the Poconos' location because of its ideal proximity to New York City and Philadelphia, being less than two hours to either city. Those who work in or around either of these places find that commuting from here to their job in their own car or via the commuter bus is very manageable. I find that business owners, entrepreneurs, and self-employed people who need access to the major metropolitan areas only a couple of times a week, especially, appreciate our location and access to major routes such as I80, the Northeast Extension of the Turnpike, and I78 via Route 33.
Living in an apartment in a city has its benefits: close proximity to public transportation, walkability to stores and other conveniences, the energy, the nightlife...lots of pluses! Sometimes people get to a point, though, where they want to spread out. "Space" is one of the most often mentioned priorities of potential homebuyers as they describe what they need in their new home, whether it's living space inside, or space between houses outside. Privacy and space to spread out are very available here in the Poconos. Property sizes here are very attractive to purchasers used to postage stamp sized, or smaller, yards. A quarter, half, or one acre property is normal here. As for inside space, I can't tell you how many times I've showed homes here and buyers look at a closet and say,"that would be called a bedroom in the city!"
Price, value, and affordability
Prices may have come down all over, but the fact remains that a real estate purchase in some areas, such as Upstate New York, is still out of reach for some home buyers. Even if the prices are within reach, many buyers have trouble justifying spending more money somewhere else when we have such values available here. And as prices begin to increase in other areas, we remain affordable. Granted property taxes are not as affordable as they used to be, but our prices reflect that and a bit of savvy shopping with the right professional help can go a long way in finding a good value.
What are YOUR priorities?
Each real estate purchaser has his or her own priorities when it comes to selecting where to buy. The considerations listed above are usually the ones that push buyers to investigate the real estate market in the Poconos, but there are many other considerations in narrowing things down to a specific area, neighborhood, or school district, and in eventually selecting THE house. Your financial situation, the type of mortgage you qualify for, the size of your household and your lifestyle, and myriad other things will determine where you look and what kinds of homes you look at. When the time comes to select a real estate agent to help you, make sure they understand what is important to you and how to guide you toward your perfect house. A keen understanding your needs along with industry and market expertise and local knowledge are invaluable traits of the professional you'll select to help you.