Monday, November 10, 2014

Owners of rental property...are you a discriminatory landlord?

We all believe we are fair and could never discriminate, so it is often a revelation to understand what could be considered discriminatory.  Also, it may be understood that licensed professionals like Realtors have to worry about laws, but if you own rental property and advertise for a tenant - on the internet or print media or even a flyer posted at a local grocery store - the Fair Housing Laws apply to you - the landlord.

Find the National Association of Realtors Fair Housing guideline here.  
Here is a pdf of - The Responsibilities of Owners of Real Property under the PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS ACT of October 27, 1955, P.L. 744,

Your local townships and counties may have zoning ordinances - for example, some require Certificate of Occupancy before every rental....some may have  a maximum number of people that can occupy the premises, some require permits to rent to students etc etc.  Please check with your local authority for more information.  

The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors official lease document also reflect the laws.  Landlords need to read and understand the lease.  It has details like - Maximum allowed security deposit is 2 months rent in the first year (including pet deposit).  The deposit is held in escrow by landlord, but belongs to tenant and must be returned within 30 days of the end of the lease term.  Or rules related to handicap requirements or service animals.  Please pay special attention to early termination of lease since that comes up all the time.   

As always, reach out if I can be of assistance.  

Bela Vora, R3ALTOR
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog 

Monday, October 27, 2014

10 Southfield Dr., COtesville, PA 19320

A really well maintained immaculate home for sale!



Immaculately maintained home awaits new buyers. Desirable cul de sac location, large lot and open welcoming floor plan.  For more information visit 10 Southfield Dr., Coatesville.

Bela VoraREALTOR®, 
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Federal Trade Commission needs more info on the Zillow Trulia Merger

The much talked about Zillow Trulia merger awaits FTC's decision.  Many feel, it will depend on how the real estate advertising market is defined.  If online advertising is considered a separate category, then it appears to be a monopoly, inspite of Spencer Raskoff 's claims about the long tail (the fragmented market).  However if all real estate advertising is the entire pie, where online is only a piece of the pie, according the Wall Street Journal article,  then there are no antitrust concerns.

I believe Internet will change the way real estate will be done in future, however HOW is the key question.

Will it do away with the brokerages?  
While the traditional brokerage model may be in jeapordy, the brokerages will have to reinvent themselves using technology.  Redfin is an online company that focuses on technology and also has agents on the ground that bases their model on commission kickbacks to buyers and sellers.  There are other startups that tweak this model and compete on the technology platform or flat fee structure or a la carte services.....   Realogy, the parent company for Coldwell Banker Preferred, is launching its own combined website  (it owns multiple brokerages) consolidating web traffic.  There are talks about Zillow becoming a brokerage as well.  I am anxious to see how this evolves over the years.

Will it do away with the Multiple Listing Services (MLS)?
Data accuracy remains key to success, and it boggles me why there is so much data inaccuracy on Zillow, Trulia and other real state websites, when they feed directly from the MLS?  Theoretically, if consumers start uploading their own data and pictures on these sites, then MLSs can potentially get redundant.  Until then, Zillow will need the information from the local MLSs.

Will it do away with Realtors? 
Yes there will be a shake out and restructuring,  There will be category of tech savvy Realtors who have created a local  network thru value adding services, those will always be successful.  There will be another group of volume based Realtors, who will have a client base thru online advertising or commission kickbacks, who will do well, if they control the business end of things. The third category of "part timers", those relying on friends and family for business and working with traditional brokerages, may be the ones in jeopardy.

There are legal implications for how real estate transaction are done in every state and ofcourse major local considerations to every real state sale.  There is huge competition for the online web traffic and a wide variety of new models being tried by various startups. The chane in this industry is bound to happen slowly.

Moe thoughts on this Zillow Trulia merger.

Next article about what is Zillow's value proposition? Stay tuned.

Bela VoraREALTOR®, 
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some thoughts on the Zillow Trulia merger

As the leading real estate sites Zillow and Trulia combine forces, the industry is abuzz with the ramifications of the merger. The official word is, that there are no plans to merge the websites and they will continue to operate as separate sites.

Consumers have total access to real estate data online. As with everything else online, how will the real estate industry progress along the continuum of ...Noise - Data - Information - Knowledge - Wisdom... remains to be seen.  Having said that, here is my take on how this merger will affect the industry.

Combined resources may mean better data for the consumer. 
The biggest criticism of these real estate websites has been incomplete and inaccurate data. In the long run, this acquisition is good for the industry, because it will consolidate some of the offerings and lead to better all-around data, which will lead to a better consumer experience. If accuracy can be significantly increased, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that was so far the domain of Real estate agents, may be in danger of becoming redundant.

Realtors will continue to be integral to the process of buying and selling a home. 
I feel, Realtors who add value and are tech savvy, will always be sought after. In an industry where barriers to entry are low, this will create a shake out and the agents who do not provide good service, or are part time and fail to update their skills, will have to drop out.

Combined sites will lead to Advertising Price Increases 
Zillow's CEO has maintained that the sites sell ads, not houses. It is not a brokerage but an advertising tool. With the two largest websites merging, their advertisers (Realtors, Brokers and Mortgage lenders) fear that a law of supply and demand will certainly have an impact on prices. A Monopoly may be created because arguably the combined sites have over 75% consumer traffic. Ofcourse there is a viewpoint that the long tail adds up to a lot more consumer eyeballs - so 75% is a highly exaggerated number.

Big real estate corporations will partner with Zillow-Trulia
It will be easier and more cost-effective for the big franchisors to work with these websites, than to fight them. Their “strategic partnerships” will solidify the legitimacy of Zillow-Trulia in the consumer’s mind. Realogy - the parent company that owns the Coldwell Banker franchise (my broker) already has a Fab Plus package in place which gives their agents heavily discounted packages.

More remains to be seen.  I am completely fascinated and feel this will turn into a series of articles for this blog.  Stay tuned.

Bela VoraREALTOR®, 
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Research schools before you buy your home.

Schools are an integral part of the buyer's criteria for home purchase.

The Daily Beast has identified America's Top High Schools 2014.  Follow the link below and find the school district that you want to research.
They have used 6 indicators from a large survey, to compare Public High Schools in the US and have emphasized graduations and college acceptance rates.

More info on schools and links in my blog.

More Information Here


Bela Vora, R3ALTOR
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Home for Sale - 268 Flagstone Rd. Chester Springs, PA

268 Flagstone Rd., Chester Springs, PA #Home for Sale #R3ALTOR

268 Flagstone Rd., Chester Springs, PA #Home for Sale #R3ALTOR
 New Listing in coveted Byers Station!

Immaculate, bright and airy three bedroom end unit. Excellent location within neighborhood with wide open parking lot views, no adjacent tall buildings.
268 Flagstone Rd., Chester Springs, PA #Home for Sale #R3ALTOR

3 Bedrooms 2.1 Baths
Downingtown East Schools

More Information Here


Bela Vora, R3ALTOR
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tips for Home Buyers in a Sellers Real Estate Market..

In Chester county this past few months, we have seen a sellers real estate market, low inventories and a strong buyer demand for homes.  Great news for home sellers.  However, a little tough on home buyers fighting off competition to buy their dream house.

Here are some tips for Home Buyers in a Seller Real Estate Market 

1. Hire the right Realtor -  Sit down with your Realtor for an initial consultation to understand location, school districts, work commutes, home values, mortgage options etc.  Cannot emphasize how crucial this is.  You don't just want a Realtor who has a key to all homes you want to want a professional who gives good advice, who takes time to understand what's right for YOUR family.

2. Know your 'Must haves' and 'Like to Have' in your new home - Not easy to distinguish between the two, but very important.  You will not recognize the perfect home even if it is in front of you, unless you have this clarity.  Often the home features one wants are contradictory and no home will have everything,  If it does, it comes with a price tag that may be prohibitive.  Writing it down helps.

3. Understand the paperwork and process - Whether you are a first time buyer or have been a homeowner multiple times, the real estate process differs from state to state, and even within the state, the contracts are continually updated.  Home buyers should read and understand what they are signing. When documents are signed electronically, pages flip fast and it is difficult to stay focused.  What is an escrow deposit? What should the amount be? What is an 'Escalation Addendum' and when is it used?

4. Research neighborhoods - Local tours are not just for relocating buyers.  Have your Realtor give you a tour and explain pros and cons of local neighborhoods.  This is why a Realtor friend who lives and works 20 miles away is not the person you want to hire. Work with a local Realtor who knows home values and even local news like "Builder of this neighborhood is being sued for ...."  or "that house backs up to the highway ... or there is a mushroom farm behind that neighborhood which smells..."

5. Be financially prepared - Speak with a mortgage advisor and get a preapprvoal.  Yes, I understand that you know your finances and have tried the online mortgage calculators, and have friends who give you good advice. Mortgage underwriting requirements get updated constantly, an offer may be submitted in a hurry and your lender may be unavailable to give the pre-approval, the estimate of closing costs given by the lender may include items you were unaware of (eg. HOA cap contribution)...many reasons why it helps to do this in advance.  Yes your credit score will get "dinged" if there is an inquiry - but by how much?

6. Be a strong buyer - A buyer with the fewest contingencies is a strong buyer.   Do you need a mortgage? Do you need to sell your home before you can buy? Do you have the down payment and closing costs or will you need a sellers assist or will you borrow from family?  Do you have a good credit score? Can you settle quickly or need to wait until schools are over, or lease runs out?  Are there any penalties for breaking your lease? Sellers will look at not only the purchase price being offered, but also the other terms of the contract and the Buyers Financial Information (BFI) before they decide, and may even opt for stronger buyer over a higher purchase price.

7. Understand Inspections - Whether you will buy a new construction home or resale, understand the anatomy of a house and what the big ticket areas of fixing something in a home could be.  Know and understand what to negotiate and don't sweat the small stuff.  How expensive are stucco inspections? Onsite septic and well inspections?  How much does radon remediation cost?

Hope this was helpful.  Did I miss anything?  Please share your experiences below.

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Firework schedule for areas in Chester County - 2014

July 4, 2014 fireworks are not only on July 4 but a few weekends before and after as well.  Here is a list of some in this area of Chester county.  Enjoy!

June 21, 2014 – Saturday
East Goshen Township Community Day – Events start at 5PM, Fireworks at Dusk. FREE,

July 4, 2014 – Friday
Wawa Welcome America 4th of July Jam – Party goes noon-7:00, fireworks 7:00-11:00. FREE.

Longwood Gardens* – Celebrate America, 9:15 PM. Entrance Fee,

Downingtown Good Neighbor Day - Fireworks at Dusk (9:30ish PM), with entertainment all day at Kerr Park, Pennsylvania Avenue. Part of Downingtown’s Good Neighbor Day festivities. A full day of family goodness. FREE,

Phoenixville Annual Fireworks – Held at Friendship Field (corner of Fillmore St and Franklin Ave. FREE,

Tredyffrin Township Annual 4th of July Celebration. Wilson Farm Park. Fireworks at dusk. Live Music 7:00-9:15 PM Chesterbrook, PA. FREE,

Parkesburg Fair Sponsored by KVFD – Parkesburg PA Fireworks – Fair runs Tuesday June 30 thru Saturday July 5, 2014. Fireworks are Friday night (Rain date Saturday July 5 2014). FREE ,  | Discounted ride tickets :

July 5, 2014 – Saturday
Freedom Fest - Nottingham County Park: (Herr’s fireworks) An Independence weekend concert, children’s entertainment, activity & food vendors, and fireworks display, 6-11 PM. $10 Parking Fee,
North Coventry Fire Company Fair - More details coming. FREE,

July 6, 2014 – Sunday
Celebrate Coatesville - Fireworks at dusk following a day of kids’ events, 3PM to 9:30 PM, FREE.
Exton Independence Day Celebration – Fireworks at 9:30PM following concert at Exton’s Miller Park. FREE,

July 11, 2014 – Friday
Malvern Fire Company Fair – Runs July 8 through July 12 with fireworks Friday July 11 (rain date Saturday July 12). Fireworks at 9:30 PM, FREE.

July 12, 2014 – Saturday
Uwchlan Community Day – Lionville Park, 4-8PM, Fireworks at dusk. FREE, details presently unavailable.

July 19, 2014 – Saturday
Longwood Gardens* – Tchaikovsky, 9:15 PM. Entrance Fee,

July 25, 2014 – Friday
Kimberton Community Fair – Annual fair runs July 21-26. Fireworks Friday night 10:30 PM, Most attractions are free, but a paid wristband is needed for rides, and visitors have to pay for games.

Map of all fireworks in Chester County:

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog  

Monday, June 9, 2014

823 Dover Court Place, Downigntown, PA 19335

Welcome to Williamsburg!  
One of the most sought after neighborhoods in Downingtown!  

Highlights of this Home for Sale include
- Location Location Location! Close to all major roads, shopping, restaurants, children's activitis and more....
- 3500 sq ft + including a finished basement.
- Great sought after neighborhood - seasonal activities, swimming pool, playground, access to Struble trail...
- Extremely low HOA fees!
- Nice yard, a premium in Chester county
- Bright open and airy floor plan
- Above all, Priced to sell! $458,000.  Compare to local comps - it is a great buy!

Call me for more information.

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog