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May 2007

How is the Pocono Real Estate Market?

People (friends and family, anyway) always ask this question with a look of concern on their face or in the tone of their voice over the phone, expecting me to break down in sobs at my lack of business and, therefore, income.  However, I am busy!  Granted, inventory is up and I am always pretty busy listing homes, but there are lots of buyers out there right now too.  The phone is ringing pretty steadily at my office and traffic on my websites is definately up.

And as an even more telling example:  I have two buyers I am working with right now who both lost properties to other buyers last week.  Granted, the properties in question were in hard to find locations and priced aggressively, but the fact that there are still multiple offer situations occurring should convince you that the market is not as soft as one might think from listening to the media.  There are alot of buyers out there, still...they just seem to be taking their time and considering all of their options right now.  With inventory up (more on why later) and all the alleged 'bad news' out there, buyers are in no rush to make their purchasing decisions.   

So, to answer the question...the market is STEADY.

NEWS: Act 1 Soundly Defeated

The voters have seen through to the reality of the school tax situation and have spoken!  A tax shift will not do it and the funding formula for the whole state needs to be re-worked. This is not the solution that the lawmakers want to address because it is not an easy fix, but all of these other 'solutions' are merely bandaids.  I keep thinking back on an editorial I read in the Pocono Record some time ago calling for a true leader to step up and take on this issue, even if it means suing the you think that it will take something so drastic?

Here's the report on the referendums, in case you missed it:

Act 1 tax shift soundly defeated in area districts, across state

Staff and wire reports
May 16, 2007

Pennsylvania voters said “no deal” to lower property taxes in return for higher local income taxes. The Act 1 ballot question asked voters in each school district whether they wanted to shift their taxes, meaning they would increase or impose a new tax on their income in exchange for a reduction in property taxes. The ballot measure failed resoundingly in all four local school districts, with votes against the measure garnering more than two to three times the number of votes in favor. 

Mortgage Financing for Firefighters, Police Officers & Teachers

There are plenty of loan programs still available that benefit home buyers.  One in particular is especially helpful to certain types of civil service employees.  If you are a firefighter, teacher or police officer, there are programs for you.

You may be entitled to less stringent credit criteria.  They lessen the credit score requirements to enable more of you to purchase a home.  You may qualify to buy a more expensive home due to higher allowable qualifying ratios.  This may make a home , previously thought to be out of reach, affordable.  With an assistance toward closing costs from the potential seller of the property, you may be eligible to buy a home with as little as $500 out of pocket.

There are so many different kinds of incentives offered for buyers that it is hard to know where to look or what lender to choose.  You may contact me anytime for more information at

Andy Williams
Abacus Regional Mortgage (formerly EHJM)

Electing Stroudsburg School Board Members

Don't forget, this coming Tuesday, May 15 is election day!  For those of you who haven't seen it, here is a link to Candidate info as found at  Below you will find my take on 3 of the candidates, the only three which I have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face.  I wish I had been able to attend the Forum that was held a couple weeks ago to meet more of them, but it didn't work out for me.

So, I will tell you what I found out about these three, and invite any and all readers out there to click the 'comment' button at the bottom of this article and tell us all about your picks and why.  Please limit your comments to 'why I'm voting for so and so' - I have a personal aversion to negative campaigns and I do not wish to encourage any candidate- bashing here.  As a matter of fact, any negative comments will be deleted immediately.  Please educate us on who deserves to be elected, not who should not be elected.

So, as promised, here is my take on some of the candidates:

Rachel Cardelle:  I was very impressed by Rachel's ideas on changing the attitude of the Board and taking a closer look at its relationship with staff and others with whom it interacts.  These ideas reminded me, alot, of issues related to a certain other organization I am involved with, and the idea of infusing new ideas and new blood in to any Board is a great idea, IMHO.  Only after meeting her did I get a chance to read her biography, and I am impressed by what I read.

Richard Pierce:  We really need someone with Richard's construction experience on this Board to keep watch over our money while our schools are expaning or being rebuilt.  Hopefully we can, under Richard's watch, avoid some of the problems we encountered, and are still dealing with, with the last build.  The fact that he has children in the District and that he will be a new member of the Board are big pluses too.

Ray Williams: I like the fact that Ray is an educator and that his number one concern, according to his responses to the newspaper's questions, is the educational welfare of our children.  With all the talk of money and new schools and taxes, it concerns me that this basic idea is not spoken about more often.  Hopefully Ray will keep the Board's eye on the main objective of the District, providing an excellent educational experience to our kids.  And, as much as I like new blood coming in, I think Ray's experience will be valuable to the new Board.