Tips for Buying a Home

Home Buyers: Stop Searching For Houses!

Yes, It Is The Fun Part!

It is so easy to be mesmerized by the prospect of shopping for your house. It's an exciting time in your life. You've made the decision to finally make the move, down the street, to the Poconos, across the country, or wherever. And these days the availability of information makes it seem like self-service real estate is a no-brainer. Why contact pesky real estate agents when all of the info is right there on your computer? There are home listings available in every corner of the internet, so why do you need to bother with an agent? Many potential home purchasers decide they'll call an agent in after they find the houses they want to see, usually the day before they are ready to make the trip to look, or even the day of.

Stop Looking For Homes

Yes, that's what I said. Stop looking for houses. Despite what you may think as you scour the inventory of property listings for the perfect home, finding 'the house' is the easiest part of the entire process. The hard parts, and there are many of them, are not immediately discernable from your current idealistic vantage point. The home buying process is a complex one and you'll need the guidance of a trusted real estate agent.

Sure, you say, of course I want to promote the importance of using a real estate agent, I am one after all. To that I say this, something I say to every potential home buying client I meet:

"You need an agent you can trust to guide you through the process. Find an agent you are comfortable with, whether it's me or someone else, and hire them to be your Buyer's Agent. If I, as an experience agent who knows her way around a Pocono real estate transaction, were to move to Florida or anywhere else for that matter, I would interview and hire a Buyer's Agent very early on in the process. It's that important!"

Home Buyers Tell Their Stories

Twice in the past couple weeks I had very similar conversations with two different home shoppers. Both of these buyers shopped online for houses and then called an agent when they were ready to 'come up'. Both ended up unhappy, citing mistrust, sales tactics they didn't appreciate, poor service and more, as reasons why they were now calling me. The first experience taught them to take some time to properly vet some real estate agents before committing to an appointment this time around. Fortunately, neither one got too far in before realizing they needed more than just an agent to 'let them in' to houses. One went so far as to make an offer with the agent they called by 'accident', but quickly surmised the need to get out of the contract and find quality representation in order to ensure their interests were served. These people quickly learned that Trust is a major factor in a real estate transaction.

My Best Home Buying Advice?

  1. Find an agent you relate to, one that you feel you can trust, and hire them to be your buyer's agent. The process is too long, involved and stressful to not have confidence in your agent.
  2. Contact your Buyer's Agent well in advance of your anticipated arrival for your home shopping trip. Do not assume they will be able to make themselves available because you are ready, and you don't want to decide which agent to use based on who isn't busy when you happen to be ready. Especially here in our area, certain times (like weekends, for instance) are in high demand for appointment scheduling, and most good agents are not available at the last minute. And even if they are, there is lots of preparation to be done in advance of 'touring a buyer', so please give plenty of notice.
  3. If you have specific concerns or fears about the home buying process, bring them up at your first meeting. Heard rumors about the tricks agents pull on people to get them to buy or other horror stories? Bring them up. A good agent has probably heard it all before and will be able to address them, without being offended. Airing these concerns up front allows you to concentrate on your goal of homeownership and will make you that much more comfortable when issues come up and your agent needs to advise you.

First thing's first. The house will come.

Related Reading

First Time Home Buyer Tax Incentive
5 Biggest Myths of Real Estate
Info on Buying a Pocono Foreclosure

Neighborhood Market Data for the Poconos


Pocono Listing & Sales Updates

Are you a homeowner who is interested in what houses are selling for in your neighborhood or community these days? Looking to keep tabs on what homes are on the market near yours? Your Pocono real estate education begins with data and I can provide you with it easily, right to your computer.

Or are you a potential buyer, not quite ready to make the move but interested in keeping tabs on your favorite areas in the Pocono Mountains? It's very easy to gather all of the important market data you need to make smart decisions about your future real estate purchase. Additionally, you can be among the first to know when the 'good listings' come on the market. As things get busier and prices begin to shift upward, this becomes increasingly important.

Personalized Neighborhood Portal

With just a few pieces of information from you, I will create a personalized neighborhood portal that will continually update you on listing and sales activity in the areas you specify. This is real-time, accurate MLS data, not the stale and out-dated information found on so many of the 'big' listing aggregator sites out there. Real estate markets are local, and real estate statistics are much more meaningful when they come directly from the local source. So if you are looking for information on property values in areas of Monroe, Carbon & Pike (ie Tannersville, Stroudsburg, Brodheadsville, Saylorsburg, Pocono Lake, Bushkill, Albrightsville, etc) let me help you by setting up one of these great tools according to your personal search criteria.

To get your Personalized Neighborhood Portal, simply send me an email requesting one! [email protected]

Alternatively, you can create a home or property search yourself and save your favorite listings by checking out my Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS MLS / IDX Property Search.

As always, feel free to call me at 570.421.8950 ext 394 to discuss real estate in the Poconos!

Open To Preview This Saturday: A Starter Home With Style!


Check out the details for the Penn Estates Community Open House, and put this beauty on your must-see list! (Open House Saturday, 4/18/09, 11am - 4pm) Whether you are a first time buyer looking to take advantage of this year's stimulus tax credit , or just want a modestly sized home that doesn't need any work, you'll appreciate the care and detail of this contemporary home.

Pocono Home Sweet Home!

This two bedroom charmer has plenty of extra room to accommodate guests or your craft/hobby room or home office - in the lower level family room or the upstairs loft, take your pick! Shining hardwood floors accentuate the main living area, and rich sculptured carpeting is the perfect comfortable accent downstairs. Many other fine details will surprise you throughout.

Living room   Family room

Enjoy the wooded setting outside from the deck or the screened porch, a must-have feature in the Poconos!

180 Academy Drive Listing Details

  • Master Suite with private bathroom & walk-in closet
  • 2nd Bedroom (main floor) also has attached bathroom
  • Kitchen appliances only 2 years old
  • Brick fireplace & a separate woodstove downstairs
  • Almost 1700 square feet of finished living space
  • Garage with automatic door opener

For more information on this house or other fine Penn Estates properties, please contact me via email [email protected] or by phone 570.421.8950 ext 394.

Open House This Weekend: 5 Bedrooms Under $200k

Multiple Homes Open For Viewing This Weekend

In case you haven't heard, the Penn Estates Community Open House is happening this weekend. Bring your friends along for this trip to the Poconos because there are upwards of 15 homes available to tour during this day-long event...there's something for everybody!

Don't Miss 161 Overlook Drive in The Highlands

The Highlands, the fancy-schmancy name for Section A of Penn Estates, is an excellent location. The first section on the left after you enter the gate at the main Hallet Road entrance, The Highlands is conveniently located to the main amenity complex which includes the pools, the Community Center and the Country Kitchen. This section also abuts Highland Lake, the most popular of the community's three lakes and home to our beautiful beachfront amenities.

The property at 161 Overlook Drive is very close to this lake and overlooks a lovely stream, which provides a peaceful soundtrack to outdoor gatherings on the 30 foot deck.

One of the other special things about this home is that it offers one level living...and then some! Three of the bedrooms, including the privately situated master suite, are on the main level with the kitchen and other public living spaces - the perfect ranch style floor plan! But then there is the bonus of two more bedrooms on the second floor creating another 'wing' for extended family, hobby areas or home office space. All of this artfully arranged space accommodates every need: privacy where necessary & enough rooms to allow for unique lifestyles. The sparkling white kitchen isn't the only room that welcomes you...there is lots of light thru-out! As a matter of fact, the entire home and property are lovingly maintained and warm & inviting.  Featuring many extras found in more expensive properties, this home is a great value for those who need a lot of space on a small budget.

Big Upgrades & Low Price

  • Cozy stone fireplace in the living room
  • Efficient pellet stove supplements the electric heat
  • Storage basement for seasonal items and yard tools
  • Sun room off the living room adds another gathering place
  • Complete appliance package is included
  • Recent neutral paint throughout
  • Master suite with walk-in closet and private bathroom
  • And much much more!

Visit the community open house on April 18, 2008 from 11am to 4pm, or contact me by email [email protected] or phone 570.421.8950 ext 394 for a private showing. I am also happy to address any questions you may have about real estate in Penn Estates or other amenity communities in the Pocono Mountains.

Penn Estates Community Open House 18 April 2009

Penn estates open house

By popular demand, Penn Estates Property Owners' Association is hosting its community open house event just in time for the Spring home buying season. There will many homes available to see, hosted by various real estate agents from around the Poconos.

When: Saturday, April 18, 2009 11am - 4pm

This is the perfect opportunity for people thinking about buying real estate in the Pocono Mountain area this year to get an overview of the market and view all of the different styles and price ranges that the Penn Estates community offers. Also, you will be able to check out the neighborhood and see why so many of us residents LOVE where we live. (Yes, I live in Penn Estates!)

First time home buyers looking to take advantage of this year's $8,000 tax credit incentive will find that there are many affordable options available for them here.

Even if you are not in the real estate market at this time, I encourage you to come out and see what our community is all about. Part of the reason the community hosts these events is to reach out to our neighbors outside our gates and offer them a glimpse of our neighborhood that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to have.

Penn Estates is a gated, amenity community located in Stroud and Pocono Townships of the Monroe County Poconos, offering an exceptional quality of life to its residents. With a proud corps of Volunteers whose mission it is to create a true neighborhood environment complete with all of the support, activities and interactions that is so rare in today's communities, Penn Estates is able to offer so much to the potential homeowner that just cannot be found anywhere else. Come and give us a look!!

Where: Penn Estates Community

PLEASE NOTE: Many GPS systems guide travelers to the Rear Gate at Cranberry Road and Penn Estates Drive, but entrance through that gate is restricted to gate card holders. If you must use a GPS to find us, please use your system's map feature and select the Hallet Road entrance area on the map so that your trip is planned effectively.

(Bring your driver's license and car registration to gain access to the community.)

From I-80: Take Exit 309 Marshalls Creek. At 1st traffic light, turn left onto Route 447 North make a right by Wendy’s and continue to Route 191 South. Left onto Route 191 South 1/10 mile and turn right onto Hallet Road for 1.5 miles. The entrance to Penn Estates is on the left.

From Tannersville: Cherry Lane Road (behind Tannersville Inn) to a right on BOG ROAD to end. Make Right onto Hallet Road and continue to gates of Penn Estates.

From Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazelton: Follow your closest route to 80 East and follow above directions.

View Penn Estates in a larger map

For more information on Penn Estates in general, homes & lots available for sale in the Penn Estates community, or information on this open house event, please contact me via email [email protected] or call 570.421.8950 ext 394