Thursday, November 30, 2006


So I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Bergen County, New Jersey and since I'm an addicted runner I logged about six hours running the neighborhoods of Leonia and Glen Ridge, New Jersey. In all of those miles I didn't see a single For Sale By Owner sign in either town. I did see many houses for sale all represented by licensed real estate brokers. So, the more I ran the more time I had to consider the FSBO paradox.

In the State College/Centre County market one couldn't run down two streets in one neighborhood without seeing a handful of FSBO signs in front yards. As I put one foot in front of the other my mind drifted off into that place where runners minds go when the breathing gets hard and the miles pile up and I pondered the possible differences that lead one market to have many FSBO's and another market to have almost none. What are the differences? Are they cultural? Maybe. The neighborhoods reflect a much greater diversity in New Jersey than in Central PA. Are they financial? Maybe. The average list price for the NJ homes is over $600,000 and the average list price in Centre County is a bit over $200,000. Is it a safety issue? Certainly I would think that the safety issue would play a larger role in New Jersey than in Central PA. Is it convenience? Perhaps sellers in New Jersey value their time more than those in PA. and don't want to be bothered with all of the inconveniences associated with selling their own property.

So the question is; what do the affluent people of New Jersey know about professional real estate representation that the people of Centre County don't know, or do the people of Centre County reflect the pioneer spirit of forge ahead, self-reliance and oh, by the way, look at all of the money we put in our pocket by doing it ourselves? Or do they save huge money? That is a topic for another day.

So, as my mind wanders back to the task at hand I'm running up a tough hill of a historic tree-lined street in Leonia but I really haven't solved the FSBO paradox. Maybe you can help solve it or perhaps it is unsolvable.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Attention all listeners to Top Gun Tim's "Ask the Realtor" show:

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Top Gun Tim's "Ask the Realtor" show will not air during the normal time slot from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Be sure to tune in next week on 970 AM WBLF to catch the latest in real estate news and information featuring special guests and timely topics relating to Centre County real estate.

I, for one, am thankful for so many blessings and I ask you to keep all of America's armed forces in your prayers this holiday season.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tim Rogers and Prudential First Choice Realty were the proud sponsors of the Rock Solid Performance Awards given to outstanding high school football players every week during the football season. All five Centre County high schools participated in the awards; State College, Bellefonte, Penns Valley, Philipsburg Osceola, and Bald Eagle High School. Players were selected by their respective coaching staff's each week and we had the opportunity to present the award at halftime of the following weeks game. The awards ceremony included the award winner, his parents, and the head coach. The players were honored during a fifty yard line ceremony minutes before the start of the second half of each game.

I had the opportunity to attend the Penns Valley High School banquet with the awards co-sponsor, Tom Broeren, of Mortgage Advisors Group. We had the opportunity to speak at the banquet and honor all of the kids for their dedication and the excellence they displayed on the field.

The Rock Solid Performance Award is held in high esteem by the players and several former award winners are now playing in the NFL including Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson.

Photo's will be posted shortly on my web site at To learn more about the awards or to consider adding another Centre County sport for next year feel free to contact me via e-mail at

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kaboom! Is that the sound of the real estate market imploding? You've heard the stories. You may have seen the numbers. Sales of previously owned homes plunged over the summer to the lowest level in more than two years. The supply of existing homes for sale reached a new record high and is at its highest level since 1993. New home inventory is at a record level of 132,000 unsold homes. New builder optimism is at its lowest level in fifteen years and earlier this week several national home builders announced disappointing results; There is a huge spike in foreclosures up more than 25% this year. The numbers and the stories keep coming and it isn't a pleasant picture.

What are home buyers and sellers to do?

First, and most important to remember in Centre County is that our market highs are never as high and our lows are never as low as the national market (thank you Penn State). The fact remains that homes are still selling in Centre County, albeit, at a slower rate than in previous years. Reasonably priced homes in good condition will sell in good and bad markets. Home sellers, listen to your listing agent when discussing price. The professionals do know what they are talking about and by heeding there advice you won't be disappointed. Buyers, I can’t imagine a better time to buy than right now. The seasonal selling cycle is winding down. Sellers are facing long days on market and many are anxious to sell. But foremost in the decision process is the cost of money. Current interest rates are still very good and provide buyers with the opportunity to buy a nice home at a reasonable cost. Although, in the face of inflation pressure with low unemployment and rising wages, I can’t be certain how long the rates will stay in the low 6% range so now is the time to act. The longer you wait the more expensive it may become.

Buyers, when faced with the decision to wait the market out in hopes of seller price cuts or buy now while rates are still good, I encourage you to buy now. Seller price reductions are occurring almost daily. The most frequently appearing sign in Centre County yards is “Price Reduction.”

That kaboom at the beginning of this story could be the celebration sellers and buyers will have when they complete a satisfactory transaction.