Repairing Your Credit Score

If you are applying for a mortgage, loan, or credit card, your credit score will play a key part in determining if you will be accepted or not.

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[Info-graphic provided by Cashnetusa.com]

Find out more about a mortgage quote from one of many programs so that your mortgage is custimized to fit your needs. Our knowledgeable mortgage consultants will work with you every step of the way to navigate today’s mortgage environment and get you to the closing table.

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Repairing Your Credit Score

FLOOR WARS

If you’re wavering between installing new wood floors or new carpeting in your home, it may seem like a simple decision based on cost, but that is not the case. When choosing flooring for residential homes, it is important to consider design, comfort, price and sustainability. Keep in mind that whichever new flooring you choose will look great when it’s first installed, but even a few weeks of use can require enough sweeping, vacuuming and polishing to make you reconsider your choice.

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Here are some things to consider when choosing flooring: wood versus carpet:

Advantages of Carpet:

  • Cushions slips and falls
  • Reduces noise throughout the house
  • Natural insulator – providing warmth during the winter season
  • Holds onto allergens and keeps them out of the air (vacuuming frequently will remove them)
  • Should last about 10 years
  • Faster and cheaper to install

Disadvantages of Carpet: 

  • Collects dust very easily
  • Needs to be professionally cleaned with hot water extractor (1-2x a year)
  • First is more easily tracked onto carpets
  • Shows walking patterns where foot traffic is heaviest
  • Liquids can seep into the carpet quickly
  • Might be outdated

Advantages of Hardwood:

  • Does not collect as much dirt and allergens
  • Can be repaired if damaged – does not have to be entirely replaced
  • Simple and quick to clean
  • Spilled liquid is easy to wipe up
  • Can be easily professionally repaired
  • Resale value due to popularity
  • Warranty on the “finish” typically ranges from 25-30 years
  • Sustainable, renewable and natural material

Disadvantages of Hardwood:

  • Can be dented – may have to be completely replace board(s) if something heavy is dropped onto it
  • Easily scratched due to moving heavy object, furniture and pet nails
  • Needs to be cleaned more often than carpet because dust/spills/crumbs are more visible

 

Flooring is a big decision, some homeowners prefer the plushness of carpet beneath their feet, while others believe hardwood adds a touch of elegance to their home and that it remains that “new” look for decades. Although in the end, the decision is up to you.

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

FLOOR WARS

INNOVATIVE COOKING

shutterstock_54580285If you thought gas and electric were the only option for your stovetop, it is time to think again. Induction cooktops are the next wave of unique stovetops. This type of cooking technology is the master of the quick change—delicate enough to melt butter and chocolate, but powerful enough to bring six cups of water to a boil in just three minutes.

The innovative technology is already popular in Europe, but is still being introduced into the U.S. market. However, it seems falling prices and ever-growing consumer awareness might finally help the superior technology to be adopted into U.S. homes.

WHAT IS INDUCTION?

Induction is unique, it uses electromagnetic energy to directly heat pots and pans. In comparison, gas and electric cooktops heat indirectly, using either a burner or heating element to heat cookware from underneath. That radiant energy is then passed on to your food.

Induction cooktops don’t use heating elements or burners underneath the pan. Instead, they employ a series of magnets that excite the iron atoms in a pan to generate heat.

It is far more efficient to heat cookware directly, rather than indirectly. Induction is able to deliver roughly 80 to 90 percent of its electromagnetic energy to the food in the pan. Compare that to gas, which converts a mere 38 percent of its energy, and electric, which can only manage roughly 70 percent.

That means induction cooktops not only heat up much faster, but their temperature controls are also far more precise. Induction cooktops can achieve a wide range of temperatures, and take far less time to boil than their electric or gas counterparts. Additionally, the cooktop surface itself stays cool. You don’t have to worry about burning your hand on a burner that’s cooling down, and it’s even possible to put a paper towel between a hot frying pan and an induction burner to keep oil from spattering on a cooktop.

 

WHY IS IT SO RARE?

Induction is all the rage in Europe. In some areas—particularly Scandinavian countries—induction cooktops command more than 60% of the market. (Sweden takes the cake, with a 75% market share for induction.) It’s no coincidence that these are countries with high electricity costs, where energy-efficiency is a must. In the U.S., energy prices are lower and, gas and radiant electric still reign. But, interest in induction cooktops is rising.

Cookware is one major reason Americans have been slow to adopt induction. Since induction relies on electromagnetism, only pots with magnetic bottoms; such as steel and iron, allow the transfer heat. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy all-new cookware. If a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pots and pans you already have, they’ll work with induction.

 

 

source: reviewed.com

 

INNOVATIVE COOKING

Holiday Recovery

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AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices inBaltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing, Chambersburg,Gettysburg,Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Holiday Recovery

New Year’s Eve in Lancaster

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There are many celebrations throughout the county to take part in. With the numerous amount of live bands, street performers and games for kids, you won’t be at a loss for what to do come New Year’s Eve. The festivities begin early enough for the whole family to enjoy, so even the little ones who won’t be awake to count down to midnight can partake in the excitement and fun of New Year’s Eve in Lancaster. Here are a events to ring in the new year!

 

What: New Year’s Eve Party
Where: SKY ZONE LANCASTER
Bring the whole family to SKY ZONE where the children can jump and dance the night away. Relax and enjoy a sparkling cider toast at midnight! For every ticket purchased, the parent will receive a voucher for a free glass of champagne at The Brasserie! ($30 per child)

What: NYE Glow Bowl Celebration
Where: Rocky Springs Entertainment Center
Celebrate the New Year in style at Rocky Springs Entertainment Center. While you glow bowl, make sure to enjoy some drinks at our On The Rocks Pub. Call to reserve your lane and time.


What: NYE Fireworks Package
Where: The Hotel Lancaster
Enjoy free overnight parking, breakfast for two and free WIFI. Stay overnight here and choose to either watch the fireworks outside or inside your room. Visit the website for pricing.


What: All-Inclusive New Year’s Eve Package
Where: Fulton Steamboat Inn
Cruise into the New Year aboard a Steamboat with the all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Package. The package includes: overnight accommodations with a 12:00 PM checkout, three-course dinner for two, Champagne, live piano entertainment, breakfast for two, and all taxes and gratuities.


What: A Night in Vienna
Where: American Music Theatre
Join the Lancaster Symphony and Lancaster School of Ballet for a New Year’s Eve celebration!


What: Downtown Lancaster
Where: Binns Park
Downtown Lancaster features a free concert, lowering of the Red Rose and fireworks at Midnight. Make sure you bundle up!


What: New Year’s Eve Party

Where: Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center
Join the Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center and Stitches Comedy Club for their New Year’s Eve shows with Brian McKim (brianmckimcomedy.com) and Louis Ramey (louisrameycomedy.com) and hosted by Tracie Skene.

 

Other events throughout PA include:

What: Yuengling Beer Bottle
Where: Garfield Square, Pottsville
Start the year off by the raising of the Yuengling© beer bottle to the top of the flagpole at Garfield Square. Toast the night away to the oldest brewery in America.


What: Bologna
Where: Lebanon
It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve in central PA without a famous Pennsylvania Dutch treat descending from the sky. Join the excitement in Lebanon as you count down the seconds with the famous 16 foot Lebanon Bologna coming to a stop at the stroke of midnight. Make sure you come hungry!


What: “Sweetest Place on Earth”
Where: Hershey, PA
This well-known chocolate town brings in all the stops for its New Year’s Event in Hershey. The Hershey Kiss raise is ranked second by USA Today for great places for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. At 11:59 pm, a Hershey Kiss is raised amongst a sweet toothed crowd and a midnight firework display completes a family friendly night in this beautiful town.

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyershome sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg,Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

New Year’s Eve in Lancaster

2015 REAL ESTATE PREDICTIONS

What does this year have in store for you? If you’ve been waiting to sell your home, 2015 might be the perfect opportunity! This year (2014), was the best year in the U.S. economic recovery since the 2008-2009 recession. With the economy accelerating; fueling jobs and income growth, the outlook on prospects for homeowners and would-be home buyers is positive.

2015 Houising Market

 

Mortgage Rates Will Head Back Up
An improving economy means that mortgage rates will unavoidably increase again. Freddie Mac, the now-government controlled corporation that buys and sells mortgage securities, conducts a weekly survey of mortgage rates being offered by lenders in the U.S. They also make various forecasts relating to the housing industry. Their long-term outlook calls for gradually rising rates over the next 12 months. They expect the average rate assigned to a 30-year loan to rise gradually, perhaps reaching or exceeding 5.0% by the end of next year.

Granted, this is only a real estate prediction for 2015 — not an assurance. But it is based on some of the best data available, analyzed by economists who specialize in mortgage and housing trends. So it probably won’t be far off. Think of it as a well-educated guess.

 

Mortgages Will Be Easier to Obtain
According to the Federal Reserve results of its July “Senior Loan Officer Survey on Bank Lending Practices,” mortgage lenders are relaxing their standards in several key areas.

To briefly explain, lenders are allowing lower credit scores and higher levels of debt, where mortgage borrowers are typically concerned. This trend is an industry-wide reaction to lower loan volume. Traditionally, when application volume goes down, lenders try to compensate by relaxing their standards and putting more loans into the pipeline. This happened in 2014, and it will likely continue into 2015 to some degree.

 

The Impact of Millennials
Some millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, are no longer living with their parents as they struggle to pay off student loan debt. Although the job market has been a challenge, employment is improving, and older millennials are planning for the future.

Millennials between the ages of 25-34, represent about 65% of first-time home buyers. This means that older millennials (young adults) are at an age when many are getting married and starting their own families. In the next 5 years, millennials are predicted to have a major impact on the growth of the housing market.

 

Closing Out the Foreclosure Crisis
It’s been seven years since the housing bubble burst and foreclosures skyrocketed, but in 2015 we’ll see the end of that era. Already this year has seen fewer foreclosures and short sales in the mix. With foreclosure inventories down more than 30%, it is predicted that there will be a slightly greater drop in foreclosure levels in 2015.

However, the situation will differ in every market, neighborhood and individual home, which is why most people prefer working with a Real Estate professional.

Information provided by: Homebuying Institute & Realtor.com

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

2015 REAL ESTATE PREDICTIONS

8 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Traveling

Since it is the holiday season, many homeowners may be traveling to relatives or taking vacations. If you are planning on leaving your home for a significant amount of time you should really take a few moments to go through a few extra steps to ensure that your house is well cared for while you are away. Installing a home security system may be the first thing that comes to your mind, but there are plenty of smaller, less expensive steps you can take that are just as (if not more) effective in preventing theft.

Breaking in

So here is a list of things you can do to bring peace mind while you are on vacation.

 

1. Tell your neighbors you’ll be away.

Even if you are not close with your neighbors, it is important to give them a heads-up when you are leaving town for a week or more. If you are good friends with your neighbors, you should consider leaving a copy of your house key in case of an emergency, or at least a way to contact you while you are away.*Think twice about sharing specific details of your trip on social media. It is better to be safe than sorry.*

 

2. Use light timers and motion sensors.

Giving the impression that your home is occupied is one of the surest ways to deter theft. Pick up a basic light timer at the hardware store and program your interior lights to turn on for several hours each evening. You can even program your TV to turn on as well.If you don’t have outdoor motion-sensor lights, you should consider installing them before you go away. If you do have them, double check the bulbs before you leave.

 

3. Hire a pet sitter or house sitter.

Instead of creating the illusion that someone is home, hire or ask someone you trust to actually stay in the house. You could also hire a pet sitter to come by your house once or twice a day to make sure your animal is okay, as well as your house. You can even ask your pet sitter to bring in your mail and water your plants.
If you don’t have a pet, you could do a swap with a neighbor or family member in the area; they watch your house this time, you watch theirs when they go away.

 

4. Lock it up

It may seem obvious, but sometimes it is easy to forget about windows and doors that are rarely used when you are rushing to the airport. Make sure you leave enough time before you leave to make sure all your windows and doors are securely shut and locked.

 

5. Secure sliding glass

Sliding glass windows and doors require special care to be really secure. Luckily the fix is a simple one; just cut a wooden pole or thick dowel to fit in the groove of the tracks when the door is shut, and lay it in before you leave. This won’t stop someone from shattering the glass, but it will make your home a less desirable target if a thief can’t easily slide the door open.

 

6. Keep up the appearance of routines.

If you will be away for more than a week, see if your house sitter/neighbor (etc..), can bring your garbage and recycling bins out for you and back in the next day. Also don’t let mail pile up on your porch or in your mailbox. You can either have someone bring your mail inside or have the postal service hold your mail (for up to 30 days) instead. You can fill out a form online, so you don’t even have to step foot into a post office during the holiday season.

 

7. Maintain snow or lawn service.

Not only will it be a relief to come home to a neatly shoveled path and tidy yard, but maintaining a normal level of care will help give your house a lived-in look while you are away.

 

8. Move valuables away from windows. 

You may want to leave a few shades open, since it can look rather off to see a house all closed up if that’s is not your normal routine. However, do be aware of what is visible from the open shades when someone is peering in from the outside. Laptops, flat-screen TVs and other pricey gear within reach of a window make an easy mark for an easy burglary.

 

 Source: Houzz.com

 

8 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Traveling