New Rules Allow Fences In Penn Estates

Scotts dog picPhoto Credit: Scott Ryan, Penn Estates


Let’s face it, our pets are important to us, and keeping them happy, healthy, and safe is a huge factor when we decide where to live. The Board of Directors of the Penn Estates Property Owners Association wisely decided to address the concerns around fences within the community and have approved a new set of regulations which allow property owners to erect fences for whatever reasons, including their precious doggies’ comfort :)

The fencing of your entire property is still prohibited because of aesthetics and safety of the wildlife, but now you may have a fenced in area of your yard as follows:

Fences in the community must be constructed of wood or vinyl in a natural wood or color that matches the house or trim. Chain link, stone, wire, and stockade fencing are all prohibited in order to preserve a natural aesthetic. Fences can be no more than four feet high and have slat separation between two and four inches.

The fence footprint shall only be located in the rear of the house, and shall extend no further than five feet into the side yard. Fence lines shall be generally straight, and shall be adjusted to avoid trees. Tree removal for the purpose of fencing will not be approved.

These are the basics of the new fence rules. I highly recommend you contact the Administration office for the official rules on fencing before you plan your project. And don’t forget that a permit is required to ensure your fence meets the guidelines.

Free Penn Estates home search here via the MLS/IDX

Ok, one more cute dog enjoying the Pocono lifestyle....

Scotts doc pic2Photo Credit: Scott Ryan, Penn Estates


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.


How Did Pocono Home Sales Fare in 2012?

Monroe_county_poconos_home_sales_average_sale_prices_by_year

Contrary to what we've been hearing about home prices nationally, the average sale price of residential homes in Monroe County fell again in 2012 by about 4.5% from the previous year. As you can see from the chart above, we are still at about a 10 year low county-wide. Individual neighborhoods, communities, and municipalities vary from this general number, with some areas faring better, or worse, than others. If you are interested in data specific to a particular area in Northeastern Pennsylvania, message me and I'll be happy to gather what you need.

There is some good news though. The pace of the value decline is slowing. You may remember that 2011 saw a 6.6% decrease from 2010, and the years before that saw even bigger numbers going the wrong way. 

Another bright spot in the data for this part of the Poconos is the number of transactions that are closing, 1669 in 2012, the most we've seen since 2008!! See the chart below for historical data on this. More transactions is great news and will hopefully lead us out of this slump that we've been in. As more positive real estate news circulates and pumps up buyers' confidence, we should see this trend continue. Also, as sellers get more realistic in pricing, inventory continues to be somewhat tight, and we cycle through the distress sales that have been holding prices down, things will improve. Slowly.


Number_of_sales_in_monroe_county_poconos_with_average_sale_prices_since_2000


**Information gathered from the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service on 1/31/13**


Penn Estates Market Statistics

PE_statistics_july_2012 for harmony


Penn Estates sales data gathered from the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS’ Multiple Listing Service on July 17, 2012.

         

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  Active Listings Pending Sales* YTD Sales

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Total 64 14 26

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Lowest List Price $49,900 $41,600 $25,999

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Highest List Price $224,500 $210,000 $215,000

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Average List Price $125,883 $103,995 $107,520

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Average Square Feet 1,935 1,936 1,963

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Average Price/Square Foot $68.30 $52.30 $51.70

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Average Days/Market 195 251 275

*Pending Sale information reflects only list prices as sold information is not available until the sale is final. YTD Sales are sales that closed since 1/1/12.  Average Sale Price of these sales is $99,258, which is 92.3% of the Average List Price. The Average Price/Square Foot indicated for these closed sales is based on the sale prices.

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THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS: Year to date sales plus pending sales equal the total sales that occurred last year, so 2012 sales are set to outpace 2011. If this trend continues, it stands to follow that prices should recover. Still, we probably have a few years before we feel any real relief in this regard as the downward spiral reverses itself.

RENTALS: Homeowners have had a couple of good years in the rental market, but this is softening a bit. Average lease prices here in Penn Estates are down about 8% since 2010, and it’s taking about twice as long to find tenants these days. We can hope that this means more tenants are becoming homeowners, right? Search for home rentals in Penn Estates by clicking here.

Check out some of the great home buys available in Penn Estates below. This is a direct Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS MLS/IDX link, so it is the most current information available.


About the Author: Lisa Sanderson, a 10 year resident of Penn Estates and Past President of PEPOA and the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS, is Vice President and Sales Manager of Ritter & Company, a real estate sales and property management company located at 730 Milford Road (Strawberry Fields Plaza) in East Stroudsburg.