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For Everyone

A Tidy Home In No Time

We all want a tidy home with no clutter, but most of us don’t have the hours to dedicate to deep clean-outs. The solution: finding moments in your daily life for a few minutes of organization. 

  • Waiting for water to boil- go through your kitchen utensils and decide what to keep, donate, or throw away. You can also wipe down your microwave, counters, or clear out any old leftovers in the fridge. 

  • Grabbing a Tupperware container with no lid- time to admit defeat and throw it away. Same goes for any lids without a match!

  • Brushing your teeth- clear out your medicine chest and vanity of expired medications and cosmetics. 

  • Breaking down an Amazon box- keep it as a donation box! Give Back Box allows you to donate and ship your unwanted clothing and household goods to charity, for FREE!

  • Putting away laundry- throw out any lone socks or other item of clothing that’s past its prime.

  • Letting your conditioner sit- sort through body washes, shampoos, conditioner, old razors, bath poofs, and anything else that’s taking up real estate in your shower.

  • Watching TV- go through junk mail, magazines, and circulars

  • Putting clean sheets on the bed- if you’re avoiding another set of sheets, ask yourself why. Are they scratchy? Ugly? Decide whether to donate or throw away! Keep in mind that animal shelters will happily accept bedding and towels!

  • On hold with customer service- go through your junk drawer!

  • Hanging up your coat- are there any that could be donated? Thrown away? Sold?

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your house won’t be clutter free tomorrow, but chipping away bit by bit is manageable and adds up!

Source: houselogic.com

Looking to buy or sell in Central PA? We can help ! Reach us at (717) 371-0557

Your Friends in Real Estate, Jason Burkholder Real Estate Team

——————

Jason Burkholder

Kelly Burkholder

Adam High

Jaci Hoosier

717-371-0557 direct or text

Welcome Home Real Estate

717-298-8040 office

57 E Main St, Lititz, PA 17543

2023 Home Trend Predictions

Is it time to say goodbye to all-white bathrooms and chevron tile? NAR released their home design trend predictions for 2023 and what trends are fading out.

Dark Purple

Brittany Farinas, creative designer with House of One in Miami has been seeing dark purple in draperies and accent walls.

Stone Furniture

Bathroom vanities, dining tables, side tables, and more- natural stone is trending.

Smart Lights

We’ve all seen the LED light strips- you can control them with your phone, change the color, brightness, and animate them to no end. You can completely change the vibe by placing a strip or bulb anywhere in your home ! And change it again by adjusting the colors and patterns !

Philips Hue is a popular option, but Govee is more affordable and offers extensive customization. Read here to see which one is best for you !

Fluting and Reeding

These two trends add a ton of texture to furniture, whether that be just the doors, sides, or the entire thing.


Mix & Match

Vy Truong and Han Dang of Very Handsome Studio note that contrasting colors and metals continue to add visual interest in a space. You can use bright monochromatic color schemes alongside a bold metal such as gold or silver to pull a design together.

Vintage Touches

Rather than perfectly matched furniture, lighting, and artwork, vintage pieces are being added to create a truly unique space. That could be a knick knack, rug, lighting fixture, or piece of furniture.

Slab Backsplash

April Grandy at Alluring Designs Chicago says, “Slabs of quarts or marble are perfect for any design aesthetic and help to create a clean, seamless look in any kitchen.” Bonus- no grout makes them easy to clean !

Home Office Upgrades

Level up your WFH space with a feature wall for video calls, new desk, accent decor pieces, rug, new (or vintage?) furniture, or fresh paint.

Is it the end for these trends?

Amy Younglood of Amy Youngblood Interiors reports the following:

  • All-white bathrooms: “All-white is hard to keep clean and, honestly, it’s a little boring. People are leaning towards more unique, colorful, and textured spaces that don’t feel so sterile.” In comes fluting, reeding, and unique vintage pieces !
  • Chevron tiles: “It does not fit the organic and calming vibe that is on trend currently.”
  • Red and orange paint:  these heavy, warmer paint colors “make small spaces feel closed in and stressful.”

 

Looking to buy or sell in Central PA? We can help ! Reach us at (717) 371-0557

 

Your Friends in Real Estate, Jason Burkholder Real Estate Team

——————

Jason Burkholder

Kelly Burkholder

Adam High

Jaci Hoosier

717-371-0557 direct or text

 

Welcome Home Real Estate

717-298-8040 office

57 E Main St, Lititz, PA 17543

 

Winter Home Maintenance

No heat, pipe bursts, or falling gutters- the joys of owning a home in the winter! Let’s go over how to prevent the above and more so you can hopefully have a hassle-free winter at home.

 

Furnace- Sears Home Service suggests the following:

  • Change the air filters behind vent grills or the single filter in the HVAC system.
  • Cover the AC condenser to protect it from falling icicles. A board or large trash can lid with bungee cords will work, but do not use a tarp that will trap moisture. If you have a heat pump, you don’t have to worry about this !
  • Inspect the chimney and test carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Angi suggests filling gaps around windows and doors with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent drafts and save you on heating costs.
  • Change the air filters behind vent grills or the single filter in the HVAC system.

Some benefits of furnace maintenance include lower heating costs, less risk of a breakdown, and longer service from your furnace (https://www.nationalheatingandac.com/blog/furnace-inspection-before-winter/)

 

Sump Pump- If everything is functioning as it should, water that collects around or under your house, think rain and melting snow, will drain into the sump pump pit, then be directed away from your foundation. An annual inspection is suggested- you can hire a professional or consult with the sump pump owner’s manual.

 

Gutters- everyone’s favorite chore ! It’s suggested you clean your gutters twice a year to prevent clogging, which can “lead to issues like water damage, loosened gutters, ice dams, and issues with insects, and rodents.” (Allstate.com)

 

Pipes- cold temperatures + water in exterior pipes = a pipe burst. Allstate.com suggests you disconnect garden houses from outdoor faucets, use shutoff valves if your exterior faucets have them, then open and close the outside tap to release any leftover water.

If you’re leaving your house for an extended period time, such as going on vacation, be sure to set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you may come home to a pipe burst. You can read more on preventing that here !

 

Reverse Fan Direction- Allstate.com recommends you “flip your ceiling fans’ reverse switches so that the fans move in a clockwise direction. ENERGY STAR says this creates an updraft that pushes the warm air that rises toward the ceiling back down into the room.” Another way to save on heating !

If you’re looking for a handyman or HVAC professional recommendation, call or text us at 717-371-0557 and we’ll be happy to help you!

Your Friends in Real Estate, Jason Burkholder Real Estate Team

——————

Jason Burkholder

Kelly Burkholder

Adam High

Jaci Hoosier

717-371-0557 direct or text

 

Welcome Home Real Estate

717-298-8040 office

57 E Main St, Lititz, PA 17543

 

Popcorn Is Better In A Bowl Than On A Ceiling

Do you know what a popcorn ceiling is?  Love it?  Hate it?  Most people hate it.  After all, ceiling popcorn is about the most useless (not to mention ugliest) decoration ever.   Want to get rid of it?  Well.  Normally that involves scraping it off, or demolition.  Tear it down.  As effective as that tutorial is, some of you might not want to get that messy.  Or if your house was built in the 1950’s, scraping off popcorn means dealing with potential health hazards like asbestos. Not fun or safe.

Well, I have some great news! Imgur user, makesomething, chose a different way to handle the ceiling popcorn in a room in his 1950 home. Here’s the thing, they didn’t even bother removing the popcorn at all!


Their ceiling popcorn had been painted over three times beforehand, so they decided to handle things differently.

Removing all those layers would be too much of a hassle.

The original ceiling. We wanted to do something with it, but didn’t want to spend too much money. The reason we chose not to scrap off the ceiling is because the popcorn ceiling in this room has been painted over at least 3 times. To avoid the hassle, we decided to just install the planks.

They bought some wooden planks from Lowes, spending about 9 dollars per six pack.

They also bought 2 inch brand nails, which they used to nail some planks to the joists in the ceiling.

The planks we used cost about $9 per pack of six at Lowes in California. These are extremely thin. They are nailed in with 2 inch brad nails onto the joists in the ceiling.

They used a stud detector to find the joists and chalk to mark the spots.

The planks fit together as they have v shaped grooves.

The planks they chose had V-shaped grooves in the ends, making them blend seamlessly.

Almost done.

Altogether, the wood planks cost about $250, which they had some left over.

Complete! It took about 2 days and $250 dollars.

Next came the moulding, which cost about $120. It’s a beautiful method for covering the edges of the outer planks.

Moulding around the vent. We built around the vent because we didn’t want to cut into the moulding. We are also thinking about changing the vent later on.

Two days and $370 dollars later, a brand spankin’ new and far more stylish ceiling!

However, if you want to save money, you could always use wooden pallets!

Moulding done. The moulding cost about $120. So the entire project was about $370.

They even had extra planks to decorate one of the walls. All that’s left for them to do is stain the wood.

We had extra planks left over, so we decided to cover the wall next to the fireplace. It’s an empty wall that we always felt like needed something.

As with most good DIYs, this one has been puppy approved.

Obligatory dog photo. She would walk in every once in a while to check on the progress.

This method would be awesome for old, cracked plaster ceilings too!  Not exactly a DIY kind of person and need a professional to help you pull this off?  Call me, I can connect you with a contractor!

Have questions?  Do you want to buy or sell a property?  Call me or text at 717-371-0557, I’ll be happy to help you!  You can always email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041 as well!

Your Friend in Real Estate,  
Jason Burkholder
Realtor, e-Pro
Associate Broker
Certified Marketing Specialist
Weichert, Realtors – Welcome Home
717-291-1041 office
717-371-0557 direct or text

PS – As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please feel free to let me know, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!

Buying Vs Renting – The Same Old Debate

Why would someone write another article on buying versus renting a home? What’s in it for the author of the article? Why would you read one? What is it you want to hear?

Do you just want confirmation and justification for what you already believe and want to do? Or, are you looking to be convinced otherwise? or simply just trying to “figure it out”? These are all good questions to ask if you find yourself reading an article on whether it makes more sense to buy a home, or to rent.

There are “reasons” to buy, and “reasons” to rent. Which is good, people want to make choices based upon reason. So, if you start reading about whether to buy versus rent a home, you’ll certainly be given “reasons” like:

  • When renting you’re just paying someone else’s mortgage.
  • You’re throwing your money away when you rent.
  • You have nothing to show for it. If you buy, you’re at least building equity.
  • Many of the richest people built their wealth through real estate. Real estate is a great long-term investment. Values always go up in the long-term.

Those are all real and valid reasons to some degree. But if you start reading articles bent on renting a home, versus buying, you’ll be given opposing “reasons”, like:

  • When you rent, you aren’t tied down to an area. You have freedom.
  • You aren’t responsible for the upkeep and maintenance when things break.
  • Real estate values are not guaranteed to always go up.
  • Your house could be less than you bought it for if the economy changes.

Again, all valid “reasons” to some degree. Regardless of whether the article is pro-buying or pro-renting, the “reasons” cited tend to ALWAYS be the same, decade after decade, regardless of the market. They are overused, and honestly, pretty useless to anyone in particular. There is no absolute answer that is right for everyone.

In the end, it shouldn’t be a DIY diagnosis.

You can find plenty of “sources” to formulate your opinion on what makes sense for you. There are online calculators to help you figure out if renting or buying makes more sense for you. But that’s kind of like looking up health information online. It’s good to get some thoughts and perspective. Educate yourself. But it’s not necessarily proper for you to diagnose and treat yourself.

Same when it comes to financial and real estate decisions. Certainly educate yourself. Become informed. But truly assessing whether or not it makes more sense for you to buy a home or rent a house warrants getting some professional help. Professional help can cost less than self-help (At least in real estate…). While you can certainly sift through all the information you want online for free, and come to your own conclusion, you can also get the advice of someone who is a real estate expert for free, one thats actually applicable to your situation.

All you have to do is reach out to a real estate agent. A good real estate agent will give you advice. A great one will help you figure out if buying or renting makes better sense for you. They’ll help you assess your situation lend you their thoughts and insight based upon their knowledge and experience. And most of them will do this for free. They get paid if and when you end up buying or renting a place.

Now, certainly, you might question their motives… Will they push you to buy versus rent to make more money? Will they push you to rent because it’s quicker, easier money? Why would they help me for free? There’s got to be a catch. Sure, there are some agents who are in it just to make money. But most real estate agents are more caring and concerned about their clients’ best interests, than their own self-interest.

That doesn’t mean every real estate agent will necessarily be able to give you the best advice, even if they are caring, concerned, and not pushy. Finding an agent who knows the local area and has experience makes a huge difference in the quality of the advice. So, make sure you find not just an agent, but a great agent when you ask for advice. (If they’re all offering their advice for free, you might as well choose the best, right?)

Who’s the best agent to talk to? Where should I go?

Considering this is my article, of course I feel like I’m the best agent for you to talk to. Maybe I’m the best agent for you to talk to… maybe not. The best way to find out for sure if, or how, I can help is for us to have a quick chat.

I work all throughout Central PA, primarily in Lancaster County, Lebanon County, York County and Berks County. But in all honesty, I am not an expert on buying a home everywhere in the State of Pennsylvania. There are some parts I am not as familiar with. So if I’m not the best agent for you, I’ll tell you and I almost always know another agent who may suit your situation better.

So why not give me a call at 717-371-0557, or send me an email, and let’s schedule a time to talk. No obligation. I never push people to do one thing over another. If buying makes more sense for you, we’ll figure that out. If renting does, we’ll figure that out. I just want to make sure you’re able to make the best and most objective decision possible.

Have questions?  Do you want to buy or sell a property?  Call me or text at 717-371-0557, I’ll be happy to help you!  You can always email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041 as well!

Your Friend in Real Estate, 
Jason Burkholder
Realtor, e-Pro
Associate Broker
Certified Marketing Specialist
Weichert, Realtors – Welcome Home
717-291-1041 office
717-371-0557 direct or text

PS – As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please feel free to let me know, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!

1 in 4 Homes In America Are “Equity Rich”

When the housing bubble burst in 2007/2008, many Americans found themselves underwater or, in other words, with a home worth significantly less than what they owed on their mortgages.

But that’s all changed now.  According to recent studies, more and more Americans are finding themselves in the opposite situation—with a home worth far more than what they owe on their mortgage.

According to the a recent Equity Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, which curates a well-known nationwide property database, as of Q2 2018, nearly 14 million properties in the US are now what’s known as “equity rich”—meaning the balance of loans on the property is worth 50% or less than the current estimated market value. That’s approximately one in four homes in the US that currently holds a mortgage!

But what, exactly, is the advantage of being “equity rich”? Homeowners that are equity rich can sell their homes and walk away with a significant chunk of cash in their pockets—cash they can then use to make a down payment on a new property.  The market is beginning to shift.  Now might be the perfect time for you to use that to your advantage!

The Takeaway

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home and upgrading to a larger and/or pricier property, let’s check the balance on your mortgage against the current market value. If you’re one of the equity rich, you can use that equity to get into the home of your dreams.

Have questions?  Do you want to buy or sell a property?  Call me at 717-371-0557, I’ll be happy to help you!

As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please feel free to let me know, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!

If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041!

Your Friend in Real Estate,  Jason Burkholder

Realtor, e-Pro
Associate Broker
Certified Marketing Specialist
Weichert, Realtors – Welcome Home
717-291-1041 office
717-371-0557 direct or text

The One Thing that Always Helps Sell a Home

True or false…

When you’re selling a house, you should bake cookies before a showing or an open house.

I guess you could say the answer is a hard and fast “true” because, after all, it can’t hurt. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies?

But it’s also kind of false…

Do you “make enough money” to buy a home? Probably yes!

Have you thought about owning but didn’t think you “made enough money” to buy a home?

Simple Steps to Begin Staging a Home

When you’re selling your home, one of the keys to successfully finding a buyer – and getting the best price for your home – is effectively staging. Staging refers to setting up your home in a way that maximizes its sale-ability to potential buyers and can involve everything from minor repairs to a complete overhaul on your home decor.

Staging is an incredibly important part of the selling process, and effective staging is a key to fetching top dollar for your home. If possible, you should consider hiring a professional stager. But, in case you want to DIY and stage your home on your own, here are 4 staging secrets to make sure you get the most out of the staging process:

1. A little paint goes a long way.

One of the quickest, easiest, and most cost effective ways to update your space and make it more appealing to potential buyers is with a coat of paint. Painting a room can completely change the feel and make the space feel more open and inviting.

If you haven’t painted your home in a while, you’ll definitely want to repaint before you start showing your home to potential buyers. You’ll also want to repaint if you have a number of colors on the walls of your home; the purpose of staging is to showcase your home in a way that allows potential buyers to picture themselves purchasing the home and living there. If they don’t agree with your color choices, it can create a roadblock to them being able to see themselves in the home.

When you paint, choose neutral colors, like an off-white or beige. These colors are universally appealing and will also make your rooms appear more open and spacious.

2. You only get to make a first impression once.

One of the biggest secrets of effectively staging your home is that you only get to make a first impression once. Your potential buyer is only going to see your home for the first time once, and during that initial viewing, they’re going to make snap judgements on whether or not your home is right for them. You don’t want to get off on the wrong foot and lose them before they’ve even had a chance to see the entire house.

When it comes to making a first impression, curb appeal is critical. If your potential buyer drives up to your home and is immediately turned off by an unkempt lawn, a cracked driveway, or peeling paint, it’s going to be hard for them to overcome that initial impression, even if they love the rest of the home.

Before you start showing your home, make sure you do some work on the exterior so that the first impression is a good one. Have your lawn manicured, fix any issues with the driveway, refresh the exterior paint, and add plants and flowers on the path leading up to your front door in order to make your property seem more inviting.

3. The less stuff, the better.

The last thing that potential buyers want to see when they’re viewing a home is a ton of clutter and personal items. Again, the point of staging is to create an environment in your home where potential buyers can picture themselves living there. But if you have your children’s sporting gear spilling out of the closets, your family portraits lining every available surface, and an entire room you’re using for storage, it’s going to be hard for your potential buyers to separate your stuff from the space.

When you’re showing your home, remove as many personal effects as possible. It’s ok to have a photo or two, but try to make the space feel as neutral as possible. You’ll also want to declutter; clean out closets, cabinets, and the garage to make everything feel more spacious.

You’ll also want to get rid of any unnecessary furniture or decor that makes your space feel cluttered. When you’re staging, taking a minimalist approach to furniture and decor will have the most positive impact on potential buyers.

4. Clean until it sparkles.

This should go without saying, but before you stage your home, you need to make sure every inch of your home is thoroughly and properly cleaned. This is not a time to cut corners; if a potential buyer comes into your home and sees dust bunnies under the bed or a ring of grime around your bathtub, it’s going to be a major turnoff and could potentially cost you the sale.

Spend an entire day cleaning your house from top to bottom. Or, if cleaning isn’t your expertise, hire an expert from your local cleaning business or a site like Handy.

With these 4 staging secrets, your house will be staged and ready to sell in no time.

Still have more questions?  Do you want to sell a property?  Call me at 717-371-0557, I’ll be happy to help you!

If you want to search Sell a Property in Central Pa or find homes for sale Lancaster County or Central PA , visit www.JasonsHomes.com to access an MLS home search that shows you all the homes for sale in the Central PA Multiple Listing Service (MLS) !

As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please feel free to let me know, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!

If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041!

Your Friend in Real Estate,

Jason Burkholder

Realtor, e-Pro
Associate Broker
Certified Marketing Specialist
Weichert, Realtors – Welcome Home
717-291-1041 office
717-371-0557 direct or text

Photo courtesy of 

Yoann Siloine

Ground Hogs and Real Estate, Neither One Have Anything To Do With Spring

Do you believe whether a groundhog sees its shadow or not is a true indication of when Spring will come?  A lot of people aren’t sure, and no matter what the groundhog sees, it means we’re going to have more winter.