Real Estate Investing

Stroud Landlords: Register Your Tenants

Stroud township logo
All landlords with residential rental properties in Stroud Township are required to register tenants with the Township every year by May 31. You must also report any tenant changes or vacancies within 30 days. There is no fee for this. Read more about the Tenant Registration Ordinance #5 - 2010 here, and print the required form here.
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.
Looking for a property manager? Contact us at [email protected]

Take A Cue From Investors And Vacation Home Buyers

2013 vaca home buyer survey cover

It’s no surprise that the share of homes sold to vacation home buyers and to real estate investors is up. Housing affordability and low interest rates have combined to make investing in real estate a no-brainer for the well-informed purchaser. According to the 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey published this month by the National Association of REALTORS, the share of homes sold in 2012 to investors remained at the second highest level since 2005, and slightly more vacation home buyers made the move to buy a getaway over previous years.

Further, the report found that seventy-eight percent of these buyers agree that now is a good time to purchase real estate and around half of them found the mortgage process to be not difficult or easier than expected.

Granted, these buyers, generally speaking, tend to be financially savvy and have lots of spare cash, but their confidence in real estate as an investment should bolster yours. If you are able to buy, don’t wait. Reports of low housing inventories in some areas, multiple offers, and rising rates mean the the tide is turning.

Here in the Poconos it’s no different. Foreclosures are getting snapped up at a fast pace, with buyers competing for the real ‘steals,’ inventory of the ‘nice stuff’ is low, and rentals are hard to find. It won’t be long before we start to see home prices inch up.

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Wanna chat about whether the time is right for you to get in the real estate market? Give me a shout!

Just wanna check out houses? Try my Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS MLS/IDX Search.

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....

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.

The Financial Times They Are a'Changing...Just Like Always


Uncertain Times For Investing Your Money

Ok, I know this isn't news. I am not here to beat a dead horse about the state of the economy, wall street, stocks, the Dow, main street, 401Ks, foreclosures, lending, fat-cat CEOs, or any of those subjects which bombard us every day online, on tv, in the paper and everywhere.

What I am here to say is, we've been here before. Sure, now might seem worse because we are seeing a combination of several unpleasant factors, which are scaring the beejeesus out of everyone and therefore making our economy a little 'unpredictable', but we have been here before. Change is the only thing we can count on in the financial and real estate markets.

What Have We Learned in Previous Rough Times?

Simple. Real estate investing makes a comeback when the stock market gets too unpredictable. Folks start to realize just how worthless those stock certificates seem in comparison to a piece of real estate that you can see, touch, feel, walk on, improve, rent, divide, sell and leverage. Times like those we are seeing now bring us all back to the reality of slow, steady, safe investing of our hard earned money in real property. Real estate makes the world go 'round!

The Poconos is an Investment Mecca

The real estate boom in the late 80's and early 90's is a perfect example of how a crappy stock market feeds a hungry real estate market. Here in the Poconos we saw a nice brisk real estate market coordinating with the stock market crash in 1987. Second homes and vacation homes became very much in demand, and development here exploded.

Again, the dot com bubble bursting in 2000 preceded another big boost in the real estate market here. That, combined with the events of 9/11/01, ensured us here in the Poconos of a solid reputation as the place for real estate investing. We have enjoyed a continuous flow of investors, primary home buyers and vacation home buyers over the years and, despite the problems occuring in other areas of the country, our values have held relatively steady (relatively :) ).

And now? The calls have begun to trickle in. People are regrouping. It's time to put that money elsewhere.

So Now What?

Bawldguy, one of my online real estate buddies from California, calls this the perfect storm for real estate investors. He's right...price, selection and favorable interest rates all combine to create a real no-brainer situation for those looking to invest wisely. I encourage you to read his article and peruse his website for all kinds of great insight in to building wealth through real estate investing. Other recent articles I found interesting include one with a really long title that I will shorten to Stocks vs. Real Estate and Where Would You Be If..., which examines investment scenarios involving 401Ks and what coulda been if money was put in to real estate instead. Check out Bawldguy, he is extremely knowledgable and a really fun read!

Then, once you are convinced, contact me at [email protected] to find some Pocono properties to invest in.