Great Watch For Anyone Looking for Ideas for Home Remodeling Projects

I really enjoyed this season of This Old House, a hefty undertaking renovating a beautiful Victorian Italiante.  The general contractor makes the crown molding look too easy!

House Project OverviewFor the 2013-2014 season of This Old House TV, the crew, led by general contractor Tom Silva, will renovate an 1872 Italianate in the historic Boston suburb of Arlington

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Daffodil Days Still Underway in Shamokin & Mount Carmel!

Area Businesses Revive Daffodil DaysSHAMOKIN – For the past 40 years, the American Cancer Society held a fundraiser called “Daffodil Days.” But last year was the organization’s final year of selling flowers. According to the American Cancer Society’s website, Daffodil Days was not a cost-effective fundraiser. Beverly’s Flower Shop in Shamokin participated in the fundraiser all 40 years.

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Mortgage Rates Hit 3 Month Low according to WSJ

Mortgage Rates Hit Three-Month LowAverage mortgage rates fell to the lowest level since mid-November last week as unease over economic growth in the U.S. and market turmoil abroad prompted investors to load up on government bonds, pushing down long-term interest rates. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.47% last week, down from 4.52% the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

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via Wsj

Lewisburg Ice Festival is Coming Up This Weekend!

Hopefully the weather warms a little for the upcoming Lewisburg Ice Festival!  Enjoy a splendid array activities from the Polar Bear Plunge, chocolate tasting, wonderful music, beautiful ice sculptures and tons more!

Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival Brings New DelightsLEWISBURG – The Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival, held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, brings new delights – even more chocolate, art to buy and to make, and a life-size bison in ice. Chocoholics can purchase wristbands that will get them chocolate treats in 13 downtown locations at two separate chocolate festival tours on Friday and Saturday.

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Shamokin & Coal Township Get Help in Fighting Blight

Fighting the Blight in Northumberland CountySHAMOKIN – Several communities in Northumberland County are cracking down on blight thanks in part to $500,000 in state grant money. Take a walk down Bear Valley Avenue in Shamokin and you’ll see several rundown buildings. It’s something that upsets Louise Gotaskie and other neighbors. “I take pride in my house.

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Preparing For a Home Appraisal?

Often when I speak with clients or borrowers, it seems as though they are unsure of what the appraisal process entails or what to expect.  Here are a few general tips to help prepare for an appraisal

1) Plan Ahead On Projects – Lenders typically look for appraisal reports to be completed as-is.  That means if you have just gutted your kitchen and now decide you need a loan to complete the project, you might encounter more difficulty.

2) Avoid ambitious last minute projects – I run into situations from time to time where the borrower knows I am coming so they quick, try to replace the flooring in the living room, the ceiling in the back bedroom, etc.  Sometimes it turns out just fine, but other times there might be a hiccup involved that makes the project more difficult than initially anticipated, thus leaving the project unfinished at the time of inspection.

3) Room to Move – For interior inspections, the appraiser will be walking through your house top to bottom.  The home certainly does not need to be squeaky clean, however the appraiser should be able to freely move around and adequately view flooring, walls, etc. to gain an accurate assessment of the condition of the structure.  Additionally for interior inspections the appraiser will be measuring the dwelling to determine GLA and to sketch.  To avoid problems it is best to have each room accessible.

4) Anticipate Photos – Lenders require photos and photos are crucial to an appraiser’s work file.  For lending assignments appraisers will typically take photos of all main living areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, basement, attic) and usually outbuildings or garages as well.  The photos taken or required vary by lender and by appraiser.  For lending assignments I always inform borrowers of what photos will be taken when scheduling the inspection.  The photos provide evidence of the condition and amenities at the time of inspection, this can be beneficial to both the appraiser and borrower.   The photos are kept securely in the appraisers work file, not distributed online.

 

Recent Real Estate Scams To Watch Out For

Heed warning signs of real estate scamsNews As housing recovers and technology evolves, real estate scams have not decreased. Despite government initiatives on both and federal and state levels, they’ve flourished into more elaborate cons. Homeowners have been scammed out of an average of $4,000 to $5,000 from scams, according to NeighborhoodWorks America, the nonprofit organization behind the Loan Modification Alert campaign.

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