You’ve made decisions in your personal life and career; you’ve worked hard and now consider yourself established. The time has arrived where you are ready to own a home, and make that dream a reality.

But now you’re faced with the option of creating your own home from the floor up or purchasing a pre-existing home in your preferred town/city. Either buying or building a house will get you into a place to call home, but they are two very different paths with pro’s and con’s that need to be addressed. Here is a guide to weigh your options.

Buying a home can be as simple as contacting your local Realtor, going on showings, finding the right home for your life and having your offer be accepted. However, when it comes to purchasing a home there are numerous details and steps to consider during the buying process.

Building your own home gives you the flexibility to have things just the way you would like, to your own individual specifications. Building new means starting with a blank canvas, but even with the added conveniences, there are some drawbacks.





* Convenience* Cost – Best value, usually able to negotiate better price on the home.* Appliances and fixtures are typically included, desired upgrades can be negotiated into the purchase.* If your offer is accepted, you can likely close and move into your new home in 30-45 days.

* Less stress – Much less considering during the buying process, less decisions to be made and/or negotiated. Don’t forget to consider home inspections.

* Already in an established area – easier to consider the character of the home and the area it is located in.

* Landscaping is usually complete and matured.

* Tremendous sentimental value and personal pride in making it ‘your home’.* Everything is able to be customizable from the carpet in the living room to the countertops in the kitchen and everything in between; structurally and design-wise.* Everything is brand new and up-to-date.*Construction materials and building code will be up to the latest standards.

* Energy efficient – better building standards, new quality materials and efficient appliances and systems.

* Deferred maintenance – you will not have to replace a leaky roof or water heater for many years. Unforeseen issues will most likely be covered by a warranty.

* New communities offer incentives such as recreational facilities, community maintenance and locations close to stores.





* Older floors plans do not have the same fluid traffic flow and opening feeling that most new homes possess.* You will most likely have to make compromises on your list of wants and needs.* Existing homes are often in need of some maintenance or renovations.* Less energy efficient – might need updates on wiring and other major systems depending on the age of the home. * Usually take s 6-7 months to build, and you may even have to wait 1-2 more months depending on unforeseen issues; bad weather, builder’s schedule, material defects.* New construction typically has higher costs and most initial estimates are not accurate. A lot can change during the building process.* Might have to live with the noise and construction vehicle traffic if you are located in a new community, which could go on for months.* The personal time commitment can be draining emotionally and financially.

*Must also purchase the land for your house to be built on.



The decision to build or buy is not an easy one and each has its own set of advantages and problems that need to be carefully weighed against one other. There is no wrong or right choice; only your personal preference.  The best thing you can do is to plan ahead; review the pros and cons of each choice thoroughly; determine your budget and stick to it; consider job security and long-term plans for being in the area; and last, but not least, don’t forget about maintaining your own sanity!




Helping Pets Adjust to a New Home

pets-moving-new-homeMoving to a new home can be stressful for every member of the family, including the beloved family pets.  Don’t forget about their wants and needs during this hectic time, it can be rough on them too.

Transitioning to new surroundings is difficult for many pets.  The stress and worry can cause out of character behavior, as well as lowered immune responses.  Here are a few suggestions to help keep them happy and healthy!

  • Keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible.  Be consistent with feedings, walks, playtime, and bedtime.  Keep accommodations consistent; if your dog is used to using a doggy door, install one in your new home right away.  If your cat likes outdoor time, arrange for it, using a leash initially for safety and to prevent him from running away.
  • If you will be traveling long distances with your pet, plan on making frequent stops so they can stretch, eat, and for bathroom breaks.  Confirm that hotels you will be staying in allow pets.  Make sure they are secured safely in your vehicle using either crates or restraining harnesses.  Practice on short trips, before moving day, to help them become familiar with traveling in the car if they aren’t accustomed to it.  For fish or smaller pets, visit a local pet store for suggestions on transporting them.
  • Bring along favorites; this is not a good time to introduce new items.  Bring your pet’s favorite bed, toys, food and water dishes, treats, and other familiar items.  Put them in places that are similar to your previous home.  This helps your pet feel more in control and at home more quickly.
  • If you are moving out of the area, visit your Vet to make sure your pet is current with all vaccines and treatments, to refill prescriptions, and maybe even consider micro-chipping your pet.  Moving is a common time for pets to get lost.  Obtain an updated copy of your pet’s medical records as well.  Since your Vet is familiar with your pet, ask for their advice on making this move easier.
  • Get a new pet ID tag as soon as you know your new address and phone number.  This improves your pet’s chances of getting back home if they take off.  Do this before traveling should they decide to wander off at a rest stop.  Having a recent photo of your pet is also a good idea.
  • Be patient while your pet sniffs around their new digs.  Let them explore.  If they decide to hide for a little while, this is ok, as long as they know where the litter box or doggy door is located.  Their behavior may change for a little while, including eating, barking, pacing, or being protective.  They will need time to adjust, just as you do.  If bad behavior persists, talk to a professional.
  • Find a dog park, local veterinarian, and other pet resources in your new hometown to aid in the transition.

Be sure you give your pet the attention they are used to and maybe even a little extra during this tough time!

Moving in to our out of Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our online relocation guides.

Central Pennsylvania Relocation Guide
Berks / Schuylkill Haven Pennsylvania Relocation Guide

Baltimore Maryland Relocation Guide

Metro DC Relocation Guide


Helping Pets Adjust to a New Home

Live in Your Dream Home Forever.


To most, the phrase dream home brings to mind a home filled with fantasy amenities, custom trims, top-of-the-line appliances, the latest in home technology, swimming pools, and much, much more.  For smart homeowners, it now means a home that you can live in forever!  A home that can accommodate you and your young family, through a hectic mid-life, and finally to coping with the physical limitations that can sometimes accompany getting older.

Universal design, sometimes called lifespan design, is a term used to describe this type of home design. This design combines the best of accessible, ergonomic, and green design.  It creates spaces that can be used by everyone and are also appealing to all.  It doesn’t stigmatize any particular group of users.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics of universal design, breaking it down by rooms in your home.

Entry and General Living spaces

  • A 3’-wide gently sloping, no-step entry – allows entry for wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, etc.
  • Lever-handled Front Door – easier to grip and open
  • No changes in floor levels through main area of the home – increases safety, eliminates tripping
  • Pocket doors where possible – Provides privacy and gives sense of extra space
  • Handrails on both sides of staircases
  • Open, spacious floor plan with 5 ½’ hallways (4 ½ ft. standard)
  • Rocker panel light switches are easier to “flip”

Bedrooms / Baths

  • One bedroom and full bath located on main floor – Can serve as a study or office until later in life
  • Mirrors – placed to been seen from sitting or standing positions
  • No-slip flooring material in bathrooms
  • Curb-less shower prevents tripping and allows wheelchair access
  • Securely anchored grab bars in shower ensure safe mobility, can double as towel bars
  • Molded shower seat looks attractive, can be handy for children and seniors

Kitchen / Utility Room

  • Paddle-handle faucet – easier and more convenient to use
  • Pull-out work boards at varying heights to accommodate standing or sitting positions
  • Main floor laundry room
  • Small rolling cart for workspace and to eliminate unnecessary walking
  • D-shaped drawer pulls are easier to grasp and pull open


  • Keyless locks use a remote control or keypad that is user-friendly
  • Smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide alarms that provide both audible and visual signals
  • Circuit breaker panel on the main floor rather than basement or garage is easier to access
  • Universally designed appliance controls with obvious symbols and colors to help clarify written instructions
  • Switches and controls are placed at easy-to-use heights, more convenient to more people

Consider these design ideas when you are contemplating building a new home or buying your dream home, or even if you choose to remodel your current home.  A few simple design choices now can make life a lot easier later; for you, your children, aging parents, even house guests. 

Live in Your Dream Home Forever.

Buying vs. Building


buyingvsbuildingNumerous decisions are involved in the purchase of a home.  The most important decision, which will impact the rest of the process, is whether to build your own home or buy an existing home.  Each strategy has its own advantages as well as disadvantages.  Owning a home is a great experience, but can be a stressful event; be prepared for what lies ahead of you.





  • If your reasonable offer is accepted, you could live there within 30-45 days.


  • Tremendous sentimental value and personal pride in making it “your home”.
  • Usually not part of a Homeowner’s Association, giving you more personal freedom and more choices.


  • Personalize everything from the floor plan, to carpets, to fixtures, to appliances, paint colors, etc.
  • Already in an established area – It’s easier to consider the character of the home and the area it is located in.
  • Energy Efficient – Better, current building standards, better materials, and the most efficient appliances and systems; very important with the continually rising energy costs!


  • Better value – Usually able to negotiate a better price on the home.  Appliances and fixtures typically included, desired upgrades can be negotiated into the purchase.
  • Deferred maintenance – You know moving in that you will not need to replace the roof or any larger systems for many years.  Unforeseen issues should be covered by a warranty.


  • Less stress – Much less to consider during the buying process, less decisions to be made and/or negotiated.  Don’t forget to consider home inspections!
  • Many new communities offer other incentives such as recreational facilities, community maintenance, and locations closer to new stores, etc.


  • Usually have complete and mature landscaping. 
  • Latest technology built-in, from wiring to high speed internet, to the latest architectural trends, etc.





  • Older floor plans do not have the same good traffic flow and open feeling that most new homes possess.
  • Usually takes 6-7 months to build, but you may want to count on another 1-2 months for unforeseen issues that may arise; bad weather, material defects, builder’s schedule.


  • Most likely will not have everything you want.  You will have to be willing to make some compromises on your list of wants/needs.
  • New construction typically has higher costs and most initial estimates are not accurate.  A lot can change during the building process.
  • Immediate maintenance or renovations may be necessary to personalize the home or even make it livable.
  • Might have to live with the noise and construction vehicle traffic if you are located in a new community; it could go on for months.
  • Less energy efficient!  Might also need updates on wiring and other major systems depending on the age of the home.

There is no wrong or right choice; only your personal preference.  The best things you can do are to plan ahead; review the pros and cons of each choice thoroughly; determine your budget and stick to it; consider job security and long-term plans for being in the area; and last, but not least, don’t forget about maintaining your own sanity!


Let us help you follow the path that best suits you!

Buying vs. Building

“Won’t you be my neighbor?”

homesThe familiar, famous words sung over and over again by Mr. Rogers. They make all of us want to be part of a friendly and inviting neighborhood. Pulling up your roots and moving to a new community can be an adjustment, but more than 43 million Americans do it every year and meeting your new neighbors does not have to be difficult.

It’s really not as tough as you may think to meet people in your area. Here are some great ideas for breaking the ice and fostering the beginning of many great, new friendships.

First Impressions – Remember the saying “First impressions count”? This still holds true. Be a good neighbor from the very first day and people will remember you! Be considerate of where you park your car and moving truck, so you don’t block another’s driveway or mailbox. Check on the local trash pick-up date before you line your curb with the remnants of your move. Though you may be busy unpacking and exhausted…expect the unexpected. Some neighbors will drop by to introduce themselves, bring a casserole or other welcoming gift. Always be courteous, thank them and even invite them in, if possible. And don’t forget to send thank you notes as soon as you are unpacked and settled.

Use your kids – This is one instance where it is acceptable. Keep an eye out for neighboring children who appear to be close to the same age as your own kids. Introduce yourself, suggest a play date to get them acquainted (adults too!). During the school year, make a point to go to the bus stop or join parent organizations to meet others.

Hot Spots – One of the best ways to meet people is to find out where they like to gather. It may be the local pool, community center, coffee shop, or farmer’s market. Make a point to get out to those places and mingle. Pay attention to the patterns in your own neighborhood…do people like to sit on their front porches in the evening or take morning walks? If so, get outside during these times and use the opportunity for introductions.

Be Bold – Take the initiative and knock on their doors to introduce yourself. If you need an excuse to make this situation less awkward, you can always ask to borrow a tool, inquire about lawn service, or request a local restaurant recommendation.

Volunteer – Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for opportunities in the area. What better way to meet people than to support a cause that obviously means something to them as well as to you?

Throw your own party – This could be a simple drop-in at your home (be careful to include all neighbors)…or it could be on a much larger scale such as a neighborhood block party. If you are ambitious and love to organize this type of function, then go for it! If it is well planned, this can be loads of fun for all ages and will be remembered for a long time.

With a little perseverance, maybe even a little courage, you’ll be able to meet many of your neighbors and make a smooth transition into a new homes community.

Relocation and Moving Information

“Won’t you be my neighbor?”

How to Avoid Potential Deal Breakers

It is highly beneficial to work with a knowledgeable real estate professional who can advise and guide you through your home buying or selling experience. Since the unexpected is still a possibility, below are steps on how to avoid potential deal breakers.

Foreclosure date falls before buy date: With the high number of foreclosures in today’s economy, this is all too common. You find the perfect home, sign the papers, and then the home is foreclosed before you can secure your funding and seal the deal!
How to avoid: Find out the foreclosure date in the beginning and work hard to get everything done as quickly as possible!

Credit problems: The amount and type of debt you have can influence your ability to get a mortgage. Lenders do not like to see delinquency on loan payments, arrears on child support, or a high debt to income ratio.
How to avoid: Prepare ahead of time and take the steps to clean up your credit. Do your best to make timely and full payments on all your debts. Another thing to avoid…do not make large purchases (appliances, new car, etc.) until after your mortgage has been funded!

Who owns what? A home buyer thinks they are getting a 6000 sq. ft. lot, only to find out otherwise. Lot lines, shared driveways, and fences can be big stumbling blocks in a real estate transaction.
How to avoid: Review the title report carefully! They are not always easy to read, but take the time to do so carefully. Still not sure, have your real estate agent review it with you!

Proposed property use: Planning to run a business from your new home? Your dream may fizzle, if the home is not zoned for a particular use or if a homeowner’s association has the ability to deny your request.
How to avoid: Be sure to check into the zoning requirements and review any by-laws that may exist for the home.

Personal property and fixtures: Disputes over fixtures and personal property are common. It’s important to know the difference. Wall-mounted TV’s have become a frequent issue! Property that is permanently attached or fixed to real property which once removed will cause “permanent” damage to the real property is considered a fixture. Fixtures remain with the property!
How to avoid: Home sellers – if it is something special to you, remove or replace it before you list your home. Also make sure it is excluded when the offer is written.

Unexpected inspection findings: On a purchase of this size, home buyers should know what they are getting. Inspections can be deal breakers when an agreement cannot be reached on who will pay for repair costs, should a problem be discovered.
How to avoid: Sellers can have inspections done prior to putting the home on the market and can have problems fixed in advance. Home Buyers still have the option to get their own inspections performed. Repairs almost always cost the seller less if the buyer knows about if before making an offer.

Being an educated consumer and being “prepared” for the unexpected
goes a long way with holding a deal together!

How to Avoid Potential Deal Breakers

Tips to Help You Save Money NOW!

Saving money can be a constant challenge, so having the right impression is important. keep in mind that a budget is not a form of punishment, but a key step in helping you improve your financial well-being. When you are ready to make a large purchase such as a new home, you’ll have the financial resources at your very own finger tips. Follow these simple tips and before you know it you will be well on your way to saving money for the things that are important to you!

Don’t know how much money you need to save in order to buy a new home? Try our mortgage calculator to help you find out how much you will need to purchase a new home. Have you already saved up enough money for a new home? Search homes for sale on our real estate website today. Prudential Homesale helps home buyers and sellers through Maryland & Pennsylvania find the new home of their dreams!

Tips to Help You Save Money NOW!