Gettysburg, PA Real Estate News

By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
In the current economic client many ready, willing, and able home buyers are petrified to "pull the trigger" and commit to a house purchase.  The goal behind this blog is to show the low to middle income buyer how to purchase a home that will eventually be an income producing asset.  My motivation behind a lot of properties I consider buying is the ability to live CHEAP while living in the property, and make money when you save enough money to move on to the next property.  The largest benefit to purchasing your first property is that fantastic financing options are available.  USDA rural housing loans, and FHA loans require little to no money down so it's a great way to invest early on without needing boat loads of cash.  (USDA loans are area specific) The key is to find a property tha...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
The David Wills House-Gettysburg Pa   On February 12, 2009 the boro of Gettysburg unveiled its newest gem. The collaboration of Main St Gettysburg, a local non profit organization, and the Gettysburg National Military Park has produced Gettysburg Pa’s Wills House Museum.   The David Wills house is famous for it’s most famous and important occupant. During one of the darkest moments in our countries history then President Abraham Lincoln came to the sight of the bloodiest battle in our young nation’s history to honor the men that lost their lives over those three days in July 1863. Lincoln was in Gettysburg to give a “few opening remarks” at a dedication ceremony for the newly created Soldiers National Cemetery. David Wills invited the President to stay at his home conveniently located o...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
Robert E Lee’s Headquarters – Gettysburg Pennsylvania   Heading west on route 30 from the square in the center of Gettysburg Pennsylvania just as you hit the crest of Seminary Ridge there is small stone house on your right. That nondescript little one and one half story home has quite a bit of history to share. Many people are not aware of the additional history that house holds. During the Civil War the house was headquarters to Confederate General Robert E Lee during the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States. Casualties of the combined armies both Confederate and Union during the three day battle were upwards of 45,000.   The home at the time of the battle of Gettysburg was occupied by a 69 year old widow by the name of Mary Thompson, the stone house was owned at the ti...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
The Tax Credit is set to expire April 30th.  This means you have roughly 70 Days left to get a home under contract.  The credit also applies to home owners who have lived in their homes for 5 of the last 8 years.  Those current home owners will receive 6500.00 dollars to trade up or downsize. The qualifications are the following: The $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers has been extended through April 30, 2010. Current homeowners are eligible for a $6,500 tax credit, provided you have lived in the home you are selling as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight years. Income limits for eligible buyers were increased from $75,000 to $125,000 for single buyers and from $150,000 to $225,000 for married couples. Time has been added to allow for closing the h...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
  Thought I would just let my fascination with icicles speak for me today.      The one thing that I love about winter are the icicles, these are a particularly nice grouping on one of my listings.   Notice the double layering, pretty creative that mother nature, gotta hand it to her It is always a challenge however maneuvering below these babies, some of these are big enough to cause major injury.
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
In 2006 I bought my first rental property, followed by another about 3 months later.  It was not only my first year in real estate, but these were my first properties.  If I could start over I think I'd do things differently.  I'd like to share with you a few things that I learned. When purchasing verify expenses so that you have a predictable net operating income (income after expenses are paid).  This way you know what you are able to pay toward a mortgage and hopefully have some profit left over. Expenses I didn't calculate into my purchase price: 1.) not enough money toward maintenance 2.) I didn't take into account the cost of an accountant for my LLC 3.) Want to pay yourself a little? Build in a fee for management 4.) Advertising expense It's easy to add a few thousand dollars of ...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments                                Many consider the equestrian memorial to Gen. John F. Reynolds an engineering masterpiece. The statue is perfectly balanced on just two horse hooves.     The Monument to the 44th NY atop of Little Round Top was designed by Gen. George Meade’sChief of Staff Gen. Daniel Butterfield and is 44 feet tall.    The 20th Mass monument marks the spot where the regiment repulsed Confederate forces during Picketts Charge. Ironically, the 20th was commanded by Col. Paul J. Revere, grandson of Paul Revere of Revolutionary War fame.    The image George Washington is visible in the Alabama Memorial.                              The four cannons at the base of the John Buford statue represent Battery A of the 2nd U.S. artillery. Cannon #233...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
The Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill on January 7th that now allows the state Casinos to allow table games.  This bill legalizes games like roulette, blackjack, and so forth.  The state has reopened the application process for the final "slots resort" license.  Local Businessman David LeVan and business partner David Lashinger plan to submit an application for the remaining license.  Their plan is to transform the current Eisenhower Inn, into a Casino resort.  There are 5 other groups competing for the license.  If you're a Gettysburg, PA resident and are concerned about the Casino we should have a pretty good idea of the final outcome in the next 5-6 months.  The application deadline is in April.  Once all applications are received a final decision will be made. I'll continue to ...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
I'm not one to shy away from a loan product that I'm not familiar with.  I like to dive in head first and see if there is any possible way I can get my client into the house they want to buy.  This means learning a new loan or at the very least taking the initiative to learn about a loan product.  This year alone I've closed deals with the following loans - Conventional, FHA, USDA Rural Housing, and USDA direct.  I also got about 3/4 of the way through a 203k Loan.  We didn't get to settlement because we realized we were up the creek with no paddle....read and it will make sense. You might first wonder why, as a Realtor, I'm talking about learning loan products, well, I'll explain.  Each loan has associated standards, expectations, and processes associated with it.  The Realtor has to u...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
What you need to have in order to claim your first time homebuyer tax credit.... Disclaimer: I am not a CPA   In addition to Form 5405, all eligible homebuyers must include with their 2009 tax returns one of the following documents in order to receive the credit: ·         A copy of the settlement statement showing all parties' names and signatures, property address, sales price, and date of purchase. Normally, this is the properly executed Form HUD-1, Settlement Statement. ·         For mobile home purchasers who are unable to get a settlement statement, a copy of the executed retail sales contract showing all parties' names and signatures, property address, purchase price and date of purchase. ·         For a newly constructed home where a settlement statement is not available, a copy...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
Between my house and the Prudential Bob Yost - Sites Homesale real estate offices rests Brother's Pizza. Frank, the owner has a great sense of humor and will always take time to sit down and chat with his regular customers. I suppose you could say even if you go to Brother's Pizza alone you'll eat with company. Oddly enough one of the best selling Items at Brother's Pizza is his Grilled chicken salad with house dressing. Frank makes his own house dressing and it's just got this unique flavor. The chicken is cooked in it as well. I can't remember how much chicken he told me they go through in a week, but it's a lot. They run specials for 2 large pizza's for $16.99, but that deal is to go only. If you're in Gettysburg, PA and staying at one of the local camp grounds (a few located near th...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
Lake Heritage is Gated Community just miles away from the heart of Gettysburg.  The community features over 1000 home sites a number of which are located on the water.  The community also features a pool, community center, and tennis courts that are open to all residents.  In 2009, 22 homes sold in Lake Heritage, Gettysburg, PA.  As of Today (1/20/2010), there are zero pending sales, and 22 active listings.  The average number of days a home stayed on the market was 160 days.  This number is artificially inflated due to a few listings that have been listed for over a year.  Homes listed for this length of time are usually overpriced "to see what will happen."  A more realistic figure is the median number of days, which came in at 98 days.  Average Sale Price = 289,000 Median Sale Price...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
Interesting Facts about the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battlefield   In 1963 President John F Kennedy was invited to attend ceremonies that were scheduled for November 22. Kennedy was unable to accept as he was making a trip to Dallas, Texas that day. Of course we all know that Kennedy was assassinated on that date in Dallas.               The first official monument on the battlefield is the 2nd Massachusetts, dedicated in 1879.                          The first unofficial monument is the Minnesota Urn erected in 1867                                                                                                                                                                                                               The yungest monument is the Delaware Memorial dedicated in Apri...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
It is a common misconception that if you want to sell your home you need to have an appraisal first.  An appraisal is conducted by an licensed appraiser using comparable sold properties that are both similar and proximate to the subject property (your house).  Realtors price a property similarly using similar and proximate properties as well.  What we do is called a CMA or comparative market analysis.  We use the same process that the appraisers use to determine the most accurate value for your home.  If you are considering selling you will not NEED to have an appraisal done, but you will need to have a licensed Realtor do a CMA to determine the proper price for listing your home. I do CMA's for free, so if you are wondering what the market value of your home is, give me a call.  A good...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
In this world of omnipresent government and highly influential banks, every facet of the housing industry has been flipped upside down, turned inside out, or some of it's even facing the wrong way.  There is an acronym for everything, and if there isn't one yet, there will be soon.  No stone has been left untouched.  Most people will admit that they hate change because we don't like the new and the unknown.  At this point real estate professionals are no strangers to change.  There is no point is learning the current due to a hurricane of change.  The housing industry is hanging by rope that is swinging on a sharp rock.  With each swing the rope get a little thinner and that chance of breaking increases ever so slightly.  The Government and Big Banks are the force that is causing the ro...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
Gettysburg College: A Vibrant Neighborhood within Gettysburg PaWhen discussing neighborhoods in Gettysburg Pa one would be remiss not include the neighborhood that is Gettysburg College. While the campus boasts 200 acres of academia, it is also a neighborhood in itself here in the Borough of Gettysburg. The College which was founded in 1832 as Pennsylvania College and later renamed Gettysburg College in 1921 houses approximately 2,600 students. It's the challenge of housing those students that gives Gettysburg College it's neighborhood feel.              The college long ago ran out of campus dorm space and began buying up some of the large Victorian homes for conversion to dorm use, it even purchased some of the motels across the street from the campus. In doing so the college has turn...
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By Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida
(Glasswork Media Arts)
Live the Good Life at Lake Heritage Gettysburg Pa You too can live the good life at Lake Heritage in Gettysburg, Adams County Pa. Lake Heritage is a gated community that was founded in 1965 and is chartered as a non-profit corporation under the Pa Uniform Code for Planned Communities.     The community has over 1000 home sites, with 252 of those being water front sites. All home sites within the community have lake access privileges. It boasts full time security at the gate house entrance as well as full security patrols for the entire community. Lake Heritage sits on 750 acres with a154 acre lake for fun, recreation and swimming. Additionally the community offers a swimming pool, meeting rooms, as well as a fully equipped kitchen. There are number of clubs and organizations that one ma...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
As expected we were all slow over the holiday season.  My business certainly slowed down after the first week of December.  I did a few showings between then and now, but all the sudden people seem to be getting into the action mode.  The reason I'm saying this is because I've had more showings on my listings this weekend than I did the whole month of December.  I think there are a few factors here.  Rates moved up a bit.  Don't get me wrong they are still fanfreakintastic, but still up a bit from what was becoming the comfort zone in December. If I was a buyer I'd be concerned about procrastinating.  The best homes in each price range are going to be the ones that go first...pretty simple concept.  If you're sitting back waiting for price drops or interest rate drops, you're going to b...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
We have been hearing about changes to FHA loans for a while, and according to the information we received at our company meeting today these changes will be coming into effect before too long.  Many of your readers out there might not know much about FHA loans.  The basics of the loan are that it's a loan that is available with little money down.  In this day and age when nobody seems to have cash, this loan is pretty much the bread and butter of the housing market.  Currently an FHA loan requires 3.5% down.  The only loan that requires less down is a USDA rural housing loan, which is harder to qualify for and requires the home to be located in an area deemed rural by the USDA.  FHA loans also have regulated mortgage insurance premiums, which make them more appealing than a 5-10% down c...
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By David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com
(Keller Williams Keystone Realty)
$6500.00 isn't nearly enough incentive for existing home owners. When you look at the costs associated with selling even an average priced home I just don't see how this is enough money to entice anyone to sell and trade up, or downsize. Consider the costs associated with the sale of a house. In Gettysburg, PA you'll pay 1% transfer tax, 6% commission (could be more or less) at minimum to sell your house. This doesn't even take into consideration anything that might arise on a home inspection. What if you need a survey? I suppose many of you are starting to see my point. So, lets say you're saying well I could afford to spend 7% to trade up into a house considering the rates are still down. Hey great but don't forget you'll be paying closing costs on your new home as well. If you're bu...
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