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June 2009

Things To Do Over The Fourth Of July Holiday

Fourth of july fireworks in the poconos

There's always plenty to do here in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, in every season, rain or shine. And if you are watching your budget, there are even many things to do that cost very little or are free! Enjoy your holiday!!

Fireworks in the Poconos

There are fireworks displays happening all over the Poconos on July Dansbury Park (American Freedom Festival) in East Stroudsburg, Lake Wallenpaupack, Camelbeach/Camelback in Tannersville, Mount Airy Casino, Shawnee Mountain and Fernwood Resort in Bushkill. Visit the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau for a full calendar of events for the 4th of July holiday and beyond.

Note: As you may know, the weather in the Pocono Mountains has been very rainy this summer, so be sure to check the calendar for rain dates!

My family usually keeps the Fourth low key - the last couple of years we picked up some Rita's (mmmm mango!) and found a spot in the vicinity of North Fifth Street in Stroudsburg with a decent view of the fireworks display. That way we beat the crowds home afterwards!

What About The Rest Of The Holiday Weekend?

What are you doing this summer in the Poconos? Please leave your suggestions in the comments!

Higher Down Payment Requirements For Vacation Home Mortgages

Vacation home mortgage pocono

Breaking Mortgage Financing News!

The minimum down-payment required for second homes or investment properties is now 20% of the purchase price. The reason for this is that PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is no longer available for 2nd / vacation homes, or for properties purchased for investment purposes. This information was given to me by Andy Williams of Abacus Regional Mortgage 610.837.1616, who has checked with 5 major PMI companies to find one that offers the insurance to lenders, to no avail.

This is breaking news...remember, you heard it first here on The Poconos Real Estate Blog! I have tried to locate some websites to link to about this, but have not found anything useful. As more information becomes available on this change, I will post it. And if you know anything about it, please share what you know in the comments!

What Is PMI?

Private Mortgage Insurance premiums, commonly referred to in the real estate business as PMI, are a mandatory part of mortgage payments for loans made with less than 20% down, and insures the lender against default. The idea behind it is that the less money that borrowers put in to a transaction via their down payment, the more likely they are to default on their mortgage payments. So PMI is there to alleviate the risk and allow these lower down payment loans to occur.

Since summer homes and investment properties are not 'owner occupied' or 'primary residences', the risk to a lender is even that much greater, as borrowers are more likely to default on a mortgage that is not their main home. Combine this with low personal investment on the lower down payment loans, and it makes for just too much risk for the PMI companies to take on.

Another bit of credit tightening as a result of the recent mortgage foreclosure problem....

No New Sewer Hook-Ups At Arrowhead Lake


Bad news if you haven't received a sewer hook up permit for your property in the Arrowhead Lake community yet: No new sewer permits will be issued until the the sewer company satisfies the DEP and gets their proper permitting in place. The Administration Office at Arrowhead Lake did not sound interested in divulging many details when I called them today, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that it has to do with the recent expansion of the sewer service area that the community had undertaken in the last several years. You may or may not know that they had been offering sewer tie-in rebate incentives to spur applications and, I assume, revenue. Now it could be a year before things are squared away, the permit moratorium is lifted and lot owners are able to hook in.

I found a few more details on another real estate blog but have not confirmed any of it. I recommend that potential lot purchasers and affected property owners contact the Arrowhead Lake Administration Office to find out exactly where they stand with all this. Obviously those trying to sell property or considering a new build in this Pocono Lake community will be most put out.

A hat tip goes out to Bradley for posting a question on Trulia and bringing this to my attention.

The Experts Say: Vacation Home Bargains Are Found In The Poconos!


The Poconos is a Top 5 Summer Home Bargain!

Don't take my word for it, check out the article on AOL Money & Finance and read why they think now is the time to buy your getaway place in the mountains.

A hat tip goes out to Meg Hamberg, a real estate agent in Horsham, PA, for sending me the article. Thanks, Meg!

For more information on buying a 2nd home / vacation home in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, contact me via email [email protected], or call 570.421.8950 ext. 394.