Saturday, February 25, 2017

Buying a New Construction Home - How can your Realtor add value?


I have often been asked how I can add value in a new construction Purchase.  I decided to make it a blog post  here goes.  Trying to sort thru my thoughts into bullet points.

Representation
The sales rep you see when you visit a new construction community is the Builder's sales representative.   Someone who has the ethical and fiduciary responsibility to represent, and protect the best interests of the builder.  Which means, essentially you, the buyer, are unrepresented unless you have a Buyers agent.

Price
It has been argued that if there is no Realtor, the builder is likely to negotiate the purchase price better. That is simply not true.  The Realtor fees are a separate budget item and considered regular cost of doing business. The Builder is never passing on the savings to the unrepresented buyer.  In some instances their own Sales rep makes a higher commission on the sale. 

Market assessment
Buyers who are thinking of buying in a particular location, would like to evaluate the resale options in that area as well.  In fact, those showings which you do with a Realtor, educate you on the market, local neighborhoods, pricing etc and help you decide on the "right" house for your family.  If that happens to be new construction, its only fair that the Realtor should get paid for putting in all that effort, sometimes over a long period of time, helping you arrive at that conclusion.  In some instances, there are 2-5 yr old resales in the same neighborhood, which may be better values...

Negotiations
Realtors can pull information on the other recent sales in the neighborhood.  They know when builders typically announce incentives.  They know how builders negotiate, on which lots, upgrades, lot premiums, quick deliveries etc. etc.  Often those savings far exceed what a buyer can negotiate for themselves directly.  I have an email from a client who said this Thanks Bela for all the help in getting this home and for all the conversations you did with the builder. I probably wouldn't have bargained to the price we finally got it forThanks, Anil Sirimisetti

Timeframe
For a To-Be-Built home, your timeframe can be as high as 6-8 months.  A lot of things can happen to the house and neighborhood over that time.  There could be construction issues, mortgage issues, (check out a related success story here) builders go out of business, upgrades you have chosen may be discontinued, environmental, health issues and so on.  The Builder is not going out of their way to keep you informed, your Realtor will.

Building Process decisions
I have many instances of helping my new construction buyers pick the right lot, making the right upgrade selections, reviewing paperwork with them, pointing to terms of the contract when needed. A good Realtor know which upgrades will add resale value and which won't, Here is a success story example.   In fact,  have seen many instances, when just knowing that the buyer is represented by a good local Realtor puts the construction team on notice.  

Advice
Apart from the decisions, there are many other aspects for the new construction process when advice is needed.  Are new construction appraisals a 2 step process?  what does a retention basin mean? What is Grading? What is a walk up basement and how will the yard slope look like as a result?What does basement waterproofing include? Can basement bath rough-ins be done later? Is the Settlement date flexible? Are inspections necessary?  Does proximity to electric poles, cell phone towers affect home values?  Should I use the builder's title co?  What is Mechanics Lien?  Does my title policy cover it? Your Realtor can be a resource for all these answers and more.

A huge disclaimer -
All the arguments made above are based on what I do for my buyers.  I accompany buyers to walk thrus, I make time to run to the design center for selections if needed, I point out issues at inspections (in some cases things that the home inspector missed) I review all paperwork, I follow up with the builders lender if needed, I discuss numbers on settlement sheet, I follow up with the builder team as needed.....
I acknowledge that there are Realtors who simply drop off their buyers at the new construction site, and are seen next only at settlement to collect their check.   Well, not all Realtors are the same, you have to distinguish between the two.  You will always be better off interviewing a couple of Realtors before selecting one, even if they come highly recommended by friends and family.  Ask them how often they do new construction sales - or discuss any of the points mentioned above.  And then decide who will help you with your purchase.

My last post on new construction communities in the area.

Here's my Promise - I cannot tell you exactly how I will make a difference to your real estate transaction, because each transaction is unique, with different set of players and circumstances.  But I will confidently tell you, I am customer service oriented and fiercely loyal to my client's interests, so there will be a noticeable difference.  Read about my other Success stories here.

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin

Friday, February 24, 2017

411 Prescott Drive, Chester Springs, PA 19341


This home was just listed and went under contract over the weekend.  Situated in the popular Reserve at Eagle Community in Chester Springs, PA 19341 in the award winning Downingtown School District including the STEM Academy. This community offers a pool, club house, park and walking trails. This property was situated on a premium lot with a beautiful view backed up to open space.  Excellent location with easy access to all major roads, restaurants, shopping, library and only minutes from Marsh Creek State Park.                                                                                                                                  


#loverealestate #belavora #cbchesco 


Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Success Story! Love these...

Visited a past client yesterday. The food was great, the drink and the company excellent - however, the highlight of my evening....when she said, "Bela, I LOVE this house! It makes me so happy! I want to just come home and enjoy it everyday" To think that I helped facilitate this - 
Priceless! 

The house they bought was a multiple bid with 7 offers, and we had to handled the entire transaction gently, yet aggressively at times, to maintain my client's best interests inspite of the competition.   Also the process of selling their older home was a challenge, due to the coop agent we were dealing with and some really persistent, unfair buyers. Anyway, all ended well - both transactions were done smoothly after all.

I cherish this special handmade gift she had given me after settlement.



#loverealestate #belavora #cbchesco 
Read the review she wrote for me on Zillow -

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Construction Homes in Chester County - Nov 2016


 New construction communities in the 400k+ range in Chester County categorized by school districts.

Downingtown Area School District
Hideaway Farms - Southdown Homes
Bright Glade Farms - Southdown Homes
Marshalton Walk - Cal Atlantic Homes Formerly Ryland Homes
Reserve at Chester Springs - Toll
Applecross - Pulte
Fox Meadows - Bodine Dev Inc

Great Valley School District
Altwater - NV Homes
Linden Hall - Pulte Homes of PA
Pickering Crossing - Southdown Homes
Spring Oak - Jpo Spring Oak LP
Willistown Acres - Renehan Building Group Inc
Willinghouse Preserve - Hellings Properties LP

Owen J Roberts School District
Creekside at Byers Station - Toll PA Ii LP
Byers Station - Lennar 
Reserve at French Creek - Toll PA XV LP
Wetherhold - Remington Investements Partners LP
Chester Springs - Rotelle Dev Co


Buyers please remember to visit the properties with your Realtor the first time, so they can be registered with the builder.  Realtors add value to a new construction purchase - they help you  compare the neighborhood home values, help you pick options and upgrades that add resale value, help with inspections, provide closing assistance and a lot more.

Call me so I may assist you with the purchase of the ideal new construction home for your family.


Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How will the Trump Presidency affect Chester county real estate?


The media is abuzz with articles on how the Trump Presidency could affect the housing market. The A Realtor.com article talks about different home buyer sentiments in the blue vs red states especially in the short term.  A Forbes article speculates on fewer banking/building regulations, and tax reform. A Marketwatch article assumes increased investments in infrastructure, leading to possible job growth.  

Overall, a lot of questions are raised, and the jury is still out on the answers.  Will the rural and inner city middle class be affected the same as the million dollar coastal listings?  Will Dodd Frank, which imposed wide regulation on the mortgage industry, be cut back? Will Fannie and Freddie survive? Will the job growth escalate?  Will the Fed increase interest rates? Will tax reform leave more money for home purchase? 

To me, all real estate is local.  Below is a map of all Chester county Home Sales.  The trend as we can see, is steady improvement since the recession years.  I believe this trend is due to a wave of population growth in northern Chester county areas.  This growth is due to more jobs, good and better schools, incoming immigrant population and investment in infrastructure.  The unemployment rate in Chester county is 3.9% - compared to State of PA which is 5.4% according to Labor Force Statistics so we are doing relatively better than the rest of the state.

Chester County Home Sales 

I have my own sets of questions that affect the local real estate market.  Will the popularity of the local schools continue to attract buyers?  Will the recent rise of new construction by top builders like Toll, Lennar, Pulte, Ryan, NVR, Southdown...continue? Will the millennials want to buy suburban homes or will they prefer condo living in Philadelphia? Will the expansion of the train station in Coatesville, give the city a much needed boost?  Is the coming of Whole Foods, popularity of Wegmans, expansion of the King of Prussia Mall ...a sign of more jobs and affluence? With the widening of Rt 202, and the new turnpike access from Rt 29, will local traffic congestion be relieved? Will Chester county employers like Vanguard, Bentley, Shire...continue to attract the immigrant population? Is the increasing diversity in the area a cause for interracial relations concern?  Will the Pharmaceutical industry growth in neighboring Montgomery county continue?

The answer to these lies in the new President's immigration policy, tax reform, infrastructure budgets and spending, deregulation of mortgage industry, transfer of power to states and local officials, international policies and war on terrorism, and the trickle down effect of these policies.

I am cautiously optimistic.  Growth and prosperity will benefit all, regardless of their politics.  Even with the recent significant spike in Interest rates to 4%, (the highest jump in 3 years) this is still a historically low rate, which should encourage home ownership.  I predict slowing down of the rental market, and a continued steady growth in Home Sales in the near future.  No crystal ball for long term yet.

Take a few minutes to share your views.

Thank You.

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Home for Sale - 2861 Westerham Road, Downingtown, PA 19335






Lovingly maintained move-in-ready home awaits your finishing touches. Peaceful quiet neighborhood within walking distance of the SEPTA train station. Come check out this 3 bedroom single family home in a lovely community. As you enter the 2 story foyer with hardwood, with the formal living and dining room on either side. Move on to the family room with fireplace, which is adjoining the kitchen, allowing an open flow. Garage access and laundry room, with a sink, are tucked away round the corner. There is a no maintenance composite deck accessed thru the sliding door, in the breakfast area of the kitchen. Walk up the stairs to a landing, which has a great view of the 2 story foyer area. The owners house plants catch some lovely sunlight there and add cheer to the space. 3 spacious bedrooms upstairs. All bedrooms have ceiling fans and recessed lights. The entire house is flooded with plenty of light and sunshine. The location has very good access to the local public, private and charter schools. Reserve at Bailey Station includes 100 acres of open space, natural walking trails, has really scenic views and is conveniently located near the R5 Thorndale Train Station on business RT. 30. Easy access to Rt. 322, Rt. 340.


Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NEW CONSTRUCTION - 3530 Augusta Dr., Chester Springs, PA


Move right in to this wonderful new home built by Lennar.  It has hardwood, granite, tile, glass, stainless steel, upgraded lighting, an amazing mudroom with built-ins, which happens to be my favorite part of this property. Home is already built waiting for a luck buyer to call this place home!

https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/pa/chester-springs/3530-augusta-dr/pid_14455399/


Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin

Saturday, October 29, 2016

International Sale - Seller in Europe, Home in Chester Springs, PA.

During the real estate recession from 2009-2013,  when prices dropped, instead of selling, many homeowners became landlords.  Relocating homeowners, who could afford to hold on to their home, ended up renting it.  The rental market in the meantime was really strong and renting was a great idea, because the rent covered Mortgage+insurance+taxes+HOA fees...essentially your tenant was building equity for you!

Fast forward to 2016, when the market, especially in this part of Chester county, went back to being a sellers market.  Now, is a great time to sell, since home prices have mostly recovered.  The key to getting a premium price for a home is location, local demand/supply and condition of the house.

The home has now aged, and no matter how well the tenant has maintained it, the home shows wear and tear.  Lets face it, homes require constant maintenance and upkeep, and buyers are very very discerning when it comes to walking into a house and seeing how well it was maintained.  A home which has been rented for about 4-5 years, will never show the same level of maintenance as an owner occupied home.





Friday, October 28, 2016

Making it a Win Win for both Homebuyer and Seller

Anyone who knows me knows what a fierce advocate I am, for my clients.  I negotiate strong, always looking out or their best interests and giving them advice based on my experience.

I am also respected as a professional among my peers since I am fair and responsive.  I will return calls, respond to queries in a timely manner, accommodate requests and generally try to make it a win win for both sides.

Once in a while I get to hear the opinion of the other party - home buyer or sellers.  I know I have made an impression, when about a year after the transaction I get this email from Buyers of a house I listed for Sale.  They has their own real estate agent  representing them, but as all Realtors are aware - sometimes, to hold a deal together, we do the cooperating agent's work as well.

You are so kind to check in on us!  

We are doing fantastic, thank you!!  We absolutely love Williamsburg.  Our house is great, the neighbors are awesome, they just redid the pool this year (it's a salt water pool now :)  ) and we love it.  I run on the Struble all the time.  We belong to the YMCA and go every day, the kids are in tons of activities, we love the school (we decided on St. Joseph's for our kindergartner so he'll go there again next year for 1st grade).  I mean really, we couldn't be happier with this amazing location and town.  A million thanks for everything you did for us last year!

Now just in case you start wondering what my own clients thought of my service ...
This gorgeous bunch of flowers arrived in the mail after settlement.  And below is their review on Zillow...



Very happy to recommend Bela as an excellent realtor. She is very responsive and tuned in to our interests, goes way and beyond in keeping us informed and guiding us in the process. A very responsible person who takes accountability, owns the process along with us. She made the process of selling  our home very smooth and her recommendations for staging and fixing were all relevant. Thank you Bela! Best wishes to you! 

I cannot tell you exactly how I will make a difference to your real estate transaction, because each transaction is unique, with different set of players and circumstances.  But I will confidently tell you, I am customer service oriented and fiercely loyal to my client's interests, so there will be a noticeable difference.  Read about my other Success stories here.

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website - Search Homes
Read my Reviews on Zillow  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin