Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Think about the new Years Eve party you could host in this gorgeous bed & breakfast in Victorian Bellefonte. Located on Linn Street amid the splendor of historic B & B's, the stately "Garret" is awaiting its new owners with measured excitement. The new owners may want to continue the profitable operation catering to a loyal clientele built over the past thirty years or return it to a private residence and host private parties for friends and family.
No matter what you choose to do with the elegant residence, call me now to schedule a private tour of the residence and a review of the books. Seldom does an opportunity present itself that can satisfy your dream of owning a part of Bellefonte history.
Call me directly at 814-280-0054.
Visit for many additional photo's and details relating to this beautiful home.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The For Sale by Owner Conundrum

I've been talking to quite a few For Sale by Owner property owners recently and I thought I would provide some interesting information and a quick story from the past year. First the statistics taken from the NAR database so they are not tainted by my possible bias as a Realtor.

Average sales price w/Realtor - $247,000

Average sales price FSBO - $187,200

Realtors obtain an average 32% higher sales price than a FSBO on an identical property.

FSBO Methods used to market home

* Yard Sign....................51%

* Friends/neighbors....53%

* Newspaper ad...........31%

* Open house...............29%

* Internet.....................22%

Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers

* Getting the right price.....................11%

* Understanding paperwork..............16%

* Preparing home for sale...................18%

* Attracting potential buyers............. 9%

* Time management relating to sale...9%

So what does it all mean? I suppose it depends on your viewpoint and my guess is that if you asked a hundred people you would get a hundred different viewpoints.

Now the story. I was representing a buyer earlier this year and he wanted to buy a FSBO property. So I happily scheduled a meeting with the seller and we visited her home. She greeted me at the door and quickly explained that she didn't need a Realtor because she had an attorney. I thought that was a great idea and told her that I was acting as a buyers agent on behalf of my buyer and that my interest was that of my buyer and I would do everything in my power to get the best deal possible for my buyer. She agreed that I would be a buyers agent and she would be a FSBO with a local attorney as her counsel. She agreed to pay me a buyers agent fee and we signed a statement outlining our roles.

We then sat down at the kitchen table and started to negotiate the sale of her house. Of course her attorney wasn't present (it was 7:30 in the evening) and I continually reminded her that I was representing my buyer quite possibly at her expense. She kept telling me not to worry that she had a great local attorney that would handle everything on her behalf. We kept negotiating until we had hammered out a very favorable contract filled with numerous items to help my buyer. She very happily signed the offer and asked for 24 hours for her attorney to review it. I granted the 24 hours knowing that the contract would come back drastically changed after the attorney's review.

The next day the attorney called me and asked me to pick up the executed contract that he had approved with her consent. A bit surprised I headed over to the office and picked up the contract without a single change to it.

I called the buyer and told him it was time to implement all of the items we requested in the contract. To shorten the story a bit, we did as we promised in the contract and the seller kept calling me asking why we wanted or needed to do a variety of things that she thought we shouldn't address. I reminded her that she had signed a legally binding contract that allowed us the options we were requesting, and oh by the way, she would get to pay for some of it as well. She called her attorney about the matter and the attorney explained to her that we could do the things requested, and in fact, we were not asking for anything unethical or illegal. We were simply asking for things that any excellent buyers agent would ask for on behalf of his client.

I'll never forget the final walk-through the day before closing. The seller was present and pulled me aside as the proud new buyer walked through the house prior to closing. She said to me and I'm paraphrasing but the point was very clear, "You have cost me more in this transaction than if I had hired a Realtor to represent my interests. I really think that you asked me to pay for items that you shouldn't have and I wished I had retained the services of a sellers agent but I didn't know you would cost me so much money."

The truth is I did an excellent job representing my buyer and her attorney didn't really pay attention to much of the detail nor did he explain things to her as they were happening. She ended up spending more than she would have saved on commissions with a sellers agent. I love attorney's and have several that are very good friends but they don't do this every day and it cost the seller real dollars.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Keller Williams Realty wins Stevie® Award for Real Estate Sales Organization of the Year
Could this be the best company in America? Recently, Keller Williams innovative business model was added to the core MBA curriculum at both Yale and Stanford. The company has donated $5.0 million dollars to Baylor University to fund a center to advance the study of residential real estate. “The goal of the Keller Center will be to study the issues that are pressing for real estate companies and agents in today’s marketplace,” Keller says. “For all the awesome research that is already out there, there is an equal amount that is still not being done.”

Keller Williams Realty was recently honored with a Stevie Award in the Best Run Sales Organization category as the Real Estate Sales Organization of the Year at the second annual Selling Power Sales Excellence Awards in Las Vegas, Nev.

The awards were jointly presented by Selling Power magazine, the leading sales management publication with 145,000 subscribers in 67 countries, and The Stevie® Awards, which have been hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” (the New York Post, April 27, 2005).
More than 400 entries from companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration in more than 40 categories this year.

I can't imagine a better place to work and I can't imagine a buyer or seller finding a more dedicated company of trained professionals to represent them in a real estate transaction.

Don't miss the best buy in Penns Valley and it may be the best buy in all of Centre County real estate. The home features 3 br 2.5 baths located in a picturesque valley with views of the adjacent Amish organic dairy farm. There are 2.3 acres to call your own. Enjoy Spring and Summer on the sprawling decks that offer more than 1,000 sq. ft. of outdoor relaxation. A finsished basement offers additional opportunities and if you are a sportsman, there is a self-contained luxury gun safe that will house your collection of firearms or other collectibles in a fireproof room. There is a brand new septic system, a Koi pond, and for those looking for additional space don't miss the detached garage with office and workshop.
Santa's elves told me you could wrap this home up and put under the tree for Christmas for $229,000. Yes, that is not a mistake. $229,000 if you get to it before the Grinch does.
As the saying goes, "Call me now."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Here is the headline in today's Centre Daily Times, "Rules may raise housing prices." The subheading state's, "County looks at easing ordinances to create more affordable dwellings."
I have blogged on at the mouth about my perspective relating to Affordable Housing in the Centre Region. The speech police want us to call it "work force housing" and I will bring that to the attention of Anne Danahy before the rath of the work force housing god's descend upon her and threaten to move her into a palatial Centre region abode.
The government wants to come up with a game plan to adjust, tweak, reduce or eliminate any number of encumberances on affordable housing. What are the reigns holding back Affordable Housing (Work Force housing) in the Centre region? According to the experts they may include regulations such as zoning, land development, park land and street standards. Maybe we should mandate a wind farm in each AH development to help reduce electric bills (oops, I forgot, we all love that stuff just not in the Centre Region or in our backyard--I'm sure we can arrange some carbon offsets to make us all feel better). I didn't notice they were mandating a Starbucks in every new affordable housing development but what is a worker to do without one down the street from his/her house? The answer in some people's eyes is to ship off taxpayer dollars ($35,000 of them to be exact) to their friends that live somewhere else, maybe even in another state, to study the dilemma for twenty-four months.
Again, I know I am a simple minded country boy that resides in the hillbilly country of Penns Valley, but allow me to offer a better solution for the $35,000. Let's create a vehicle whereby those in need can meet with and discuss their options with those of us that actual place people in affordable housing every day as a vocation. We are Realtors in the local community and some of us don't limit our practice to those professionals with a minimum income of $200,000 per year. I know of a Realtor in our town that won't even talk to a buyer unless they are willing to spend a minimum of $200,000 on a home.
I have placed buyers in homes as low as $14,500 and currently I have three properties that can be purchased for under $130,000. If we use the USDA rural housing guide that tells us that low income (they didn't get the memo from the speech police either because that is what they call the loans) mortgages can be used on a property priced at $179,900 or less, there are currently as of December 5, 2007, 121 homes that meet this guideline. That represents 26% of all the homes currently for sale in the State College, Penns valley, Bald Eagle, and Bellefonte school districts meet the low income (there it is again) guidelines as set forth by USDA. Not all of the homes will qualify because they won't make loans in several of the elite neighborhoods of the Centre Region, however, almost one in four houses currently for sale would work for those considered Work Force (I'm getting it) housing.
Now the dirty little secret. Not all of the homes are across the street from University Park. You can't walk to the mall or Wegmans from most of the houses. And this is where the esteemed leadership comes in. Another simple minded idea from that hick Realtor in Penns Valley. Let's ask our government to provide for mass transportation to some of the areas where the housing is available but the commute is a burden. Maybe they could work on infrastructure improvements in some of those areas so the $10,000 septic tanks and the soon to be imposed septic tank taxes and inspection wouldn't burden the homeowners. More public water would help alleviate the $4,000 water well costs associated with building homes in those areas. Just a couple ideas. I have many more but we will save them for another day.
One final comment before we revisit the CDT headline. One of those organizations mentioned in a recent CDT article that is so interested in assisting people with "work force housing" has enacted some of the most ridiculous regulations on those same people when they want to take advantage of the grant money. They actual increase the costs to the buyer for using the money but I don't want to point fingers at anyone in particular. I've had two clients use this money this year and those stories will be re-capped in another post.
So, back to the headline. The county wants to ease ordinances to create more affordable housing. Haven't the cumulative effect of a hundred years worth of ordinances helped to get us into this situation? I want to attend the meeting when the elected officials explain to their campaign contributors exactly why the ordinances won't apply to them. Now that will be a fun blog post to write about.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Successful day spa operation with eleven year history of growth and profitability. An entrepreneurial individual will find a thriving business with an opportunity to grow sales and profits.
You are buying the business, contents and supplies, and the existing client base numbering more than 300. The existing lease can be continued with a new owner.
Call me for an exclusive showing on this business.

Thought for the week!

As a student of history, I always admired and respected Winston Churchill. He said,

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

If we only had the courage to believe that when faced with life's difficulties.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mifflin County
Liquor License
Don't miss this opportunity to buy a Mifflin County liquor license to start or add to your business. Call me at 814-280-0054.

I certainly have much to be grateful for in this season of Thanksgiving. A healthy and happy family including all three children. A new business venture that is growing daily. A great group of clients to work with this year and in the coming years. The many new friends that I have met through the real estate business.

God has blessed us and I am very grateful for all of his blessings.

Friday, October 12, 2007

DNM Contracting, KSM Log Homes & Tim Rogers of Keller Williams...

will feature a joint marketing and sales event at the auction of recreational properties in Clearfield County on Saturday, October 13, 2007 starting at 8:00 a.m. There will be 40 tracts of recreational use property to be sold and the event is the perfect opportunity to review and discuss your potential log home that you have always dreamed about building.

Call me for directions at 814-280-0054.


Searching for a new home? Need comparable sales for your home or neighborhood? Just curious about the sales price of your neighbors home?

It's all there so use it as a tool to increase your local real estate knowledge.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

August Surprise Impacts September Mortgage Rates!
Just when mortgage rates had ticked down a bit and it appeared they would remain in the low 6% range the Labor Department played a trick on the mortgage market. Last week the Labor Department released the September jobs report showing an increase of about 110,000 jobs for the month. No surprise there. The surprise came in the next paragraph when the LD announced a revision of the August jobless numbers. A huge revision.
In August the LD reported a loss of about 4,000 jobs (the first negative trending in years) and a trend that caught the attention of the mortgage market and led to lowering of 15 and 30 years mortgage rates. The revised August numbers reflected a 93,000 job swing since the real number was 89,000 new jobs created in August. This large number took the financial markets by surprise and immediately long term interest rates jumped.
30 year fixed rate mortgages rose to a national average of 6.5% versus 6.2% four weeks ago. National averages for this week's rates are as follows:

30-year fixed - 6.5%
15-year fixed - 6.18%
5 year ARM - 6.37%

If you need information about current rates in the local market feel free to give me a call.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Construction Log Cabin
30 Minutes to Penn State
New construction log cabin on 20 acres in Northern Centre County and close to Penn State University. Adjacent to Sproul State Forest and surrounded by woodland with several acres of open fields offering beautiful views of the surrounding valley, the new log cabin is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.
Wildlife abound and the location is known for excellent hunting. There are snowmobile trails and miles of ATV trails right out the front door.
The log cabin features one bedroom on the first floor and an open loft on the second floor. There is a fireplace and a beautiful front porch built for relaxation. This is a turnkey build and includes gas refrigerator and range, Bosch endless hot water, gas heat and electric generators. There is a new well and new septic system.
Just bring the kids and the toys and enjoy the best in outdoor recreation. Visit

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

According to a just published report on top retirement towns to live in, State College, PA was ranked the 5th best place for retiree's. Following is a preview of the article or go here for the complete story.
The following recap is taken from the article and are not my words.
State College, Pa.

The flagship campus of Pennsylvania State University dominates this central Pennsylvania city. Retirees can enroll in Penn State classes free of charge without worrying about exams or grades.
Total Pop. 38,720
Med. Home Price $195,000
Med. Income $38,799 Avg.
Jan./Jul. Temp 25.4° / 71.2°

State College has a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons and rapidly changing weather.

Cultural Attractions
Retirees can enroll in university classes free of charge, and the Penn State Center for the Performing Arts presents music, dance, and theater.

The university has helped make the town an attractive place for families and retirees.

The town is located in the Nittany Valley.

The town’s recreation is centered on Penn State's sports teams.
Of course those of us living here already know what a great town this is. Don't wait. Move to State College, PA. and give me a call to assist in the relocation.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Garbrick Rd. Features

* 4 BR 2 Bath

VISIT for all the details and photo's. This is a completly updated home in a great location adjacent to the Payne Soccer Fields and minutes to Bellefonte schools, Nittany Mall, and Penn State University. Perfect setting for entertaining with the large wrap around decks and lush landscaping. Large country kitchen with warm oak cabinets.

Take the chill off crisp Fall evenings with the gas fireplace surrounded by custom built-in Oak mantle and cabinets.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


One more satisfied client and another RAVING FAN. I try to live my life in real estate as reflected in the famous quote by Vince Lombardi:

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen profession"

-Vince Lombardi

Dear Tim,

We can't begin to express our gratitude for all of your help during what can only be described as a difficult transaction. We firmly believe that your unending patience, negotiating expertise, communication skills, and professionalism were often the only things holding this contract together. You never pressured us at any juncture, and you were always willing to intelligently discuss issues with us instead of telling us exactly what we wanted to hear. Both of those qualities are difficult to find in a buyers agent, and they distinguish you as an honest and outstanding Realtor. We won't hesitate to recommend both you and Keller Williams to everyone within earshot.

After all, we love telling the story how you turned a potentially nightmarish transaction into a successful home purchase!

To thank you , we were going to include.....with this card.

Enjoy and Thank You,

Sara & Jasun

I edited the information that describes the gift the buyers wanted to bestow upon me. Certainly an unnecessary action on their behalf. I must say that you were probably the most educated buyers I have ever worked with and Sara knows more about real estate than most agents in this town.

I do look forward to working with all of your friends in the coming years and I will be honored to receive any referrals from you.

Friday, August 17, 2007


(In the words of Dierks Bently) WHAT WAS I THINKIN'?

So there we are squirming at the closing table at 10:45 a.m. on a Friday morning. The sellers are anxious because they must step into their U-Haul and drive three hours to a walk-through and the closing of the new house they are purchasing. The closing company told us we could pop in at 10:00 a.m. and sign the HUD-1, drop off the deed, collect the proceeds from the sale of the clients existing home, and have them off in time for them to attend the closing of their new home hours away.

A funny thing happened on the way to the triple closing. No, that is not a new sport in the upcoming Olympics. It is a daring high wire act performed by Realtors, attorneys, and closing agents when there are three contingency contracts in play and all scheduled to close on the same day.

The single overriding important factor in maintaining your balance on the high wire and not tumbling to earth in agony in this situation is HONESTY. A secondary factor in this performance is for the type A personalities to take a chill pill and allow the professionals do their jobs. Unfortunately in the real estate business, the population of successful pros seem to be littered with overbearing type A's. I'm not sure the cause but that will be a post for another day.

A quick description of the choreography involved in our high wire act is as follows. Client A is relocating 3 hours away and agrees to a contingency purchase offer from client B. Client B must sell their existing home prior to purchasing client A's home. The contingency is removed in a week and client A places a contingency offer on a property hours away owned by client C. Of course the flaw in the performance exists because all three homes must close on the same day. Another problem arises with the Client C property 3 hours away. Since the Realtor representing client C does not know any of the actors in the first two transactions, and because she is an overbearing type A personality that treats other Realtors she doesn't know as school children, she constantly harasses and complains to the parties involved in the first two transactions.

For all of you type A Realtors out there I offer the following. Just because they do "IT" a certain way in your market, and just because certain lenders, attorneys, Realtors, and mortgage brokers are oily in your market, does not make it "SO" in my market. So, in an effort to improve our professional image I suggest that you take a chill pill and allow the pros to do their jobs. Enough of the editorial and back to the main feature: the high wire triple closing on a single day.

After awaiting the HUD-1 that turned out to be 45 minutes late, the broker walks in with the correct documentation and a big fat check for my sellers. They happily jump into an overstuffed U-Haul truck and head down the highway to the final closing of the day.

A successful triple closing pulled off by a group of professionals in State College, PA. with a bit of static coming three hours away. It is incredible to think how real estate transactions are so connected and what a web they weave.

The pros pulled off a triple contingency closing on a single day without any difficulty and at a total value of more than $700,000. Of course some of us never doubted the outcome.

Friday, August 10, 2007


That is not a headline I created but it dovetails with my last post relating to the source of buyers in a real estate transaction. A recent article ( ) detailed the emerging trend in advertising. The headline was in the industry periodical, ONLINE MEDIA DAILY, and the article describes the trend of advertising dollars flowing away from printed media and traditional television and into the new media relating to the internet.

The most important point to remember for sellers of real estate is quite simple. By 2011, spending of advertising dollars will reach $61.98 billion dollars and overtake newspapers as the number one medium for advertising dollars.

Sellers, please remember this point. If you want to reach buyers for your homes you will continue to reach them via the internet rather than in the printed media. Find a Realtor that has the best internet strategy and have them detail the strategy to you. If they tell you their internet strategy is a listing on run quickly away.

Of course you can find an internet savvy Realtor by calling Tim Rogers at Keller Williams Realty in State College, PA.

Saturday, August 04, 2007





A recent AP story ( highlights the trend of real estate advertising away from print and classified advertising in newspapers. This comes as no suprise to those of us at Keller Williams but I know it may be a shocker to sellers in the local market.

Full page real estate print ad's in the Sunday paper sure look nice and provide sellers with an insurance policy, but the truth is the printed "BLING" does little to actual sell houses. In fact it is little more than comfort food for sellers. They open the paper and feel comforted to know that their Realtor is doing everything they can to sell their home.

The truth is sellers need to start ordering their comfort food from a different menu and the menu is the internet. Statistics show that more than 80% of buyers begin and continue their home search online. Yes, that's 80%. Sellers, the big question you need to ask your Realtor is, "What is your internet strategy and how will the internet sell my house?"

For those sellers that take comfort in opening the Sunday paper to see a photo of your residence, I would hope that photo doesn't lead to a nasty case of indigestion and an unsold home.

Of course, cutting edge Realtors interested in selling homes quickly will be spending advertising dollars in places where the buyers will be spending their time; online. So, don't be too concerned when you open the Sunday CDT and you don't see a full page ad sponsored by Tim Rogers or Keller Williams. Rest assured that we are ahead of the trend and we are selling houses on the internet.

We will leave the printed indigestion to the competition.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Several days ago I was driving through Georgia when I stopped to run in Savannah. I found a nice subdivision on the run and as I ran around the lake I had a chance to read many of the real estate for sale signs. Most of them had a sign rider stating: PRICE REDUCTION. No great surprise in the current real estate market. You could say it is a sign of the times in real estate.

The sign that grabbed my curiousity and would not let go for the balance of the sultry run (humidity had to be 100%) was the FOR SALE BY OWNER. Not the FSBO sign itself; that would be unremarkable. The note scribbled on the bottom of the sign pleading for a buyer and prohibiting realtors-that grabbed my imagination and held on tight. The hand-written note on the bright red FSBO sign stated, "MUST SELL IMMEDIATELY, ABSOLUTELY NO REALTORS!"

My first thought:

defined by Wikipedia as - An oxymoron (plural oxymorons or more rarely oxymora) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms.

That sounded about right to me but (in full disclosure) I'm a licensed Realtor in Pennsylvania. So as I continued to pound the pavement and have the blanket of humidity squeeze my lungs, I wondered what may cause a rational person (probably a professional) to be desperate to sell a house but prohibit Realtors from assisting him? That would be akin to needing a root canal but refusing the services of all dentists. Heart surgery but declining the help of all physicians, etc., etc, you get the point.

The story gets better. It bothered me so much I drove back to the house after my run and caught the owner at home. He saw my PA plates and Penn State Nittany Lion Club sticker and thought it was safe to talk to me. Long story short. He is facing foreclosure but had a bad experience with a Realtor once so he thinks we are all evil. He is going to show us (Realtors). He would rather lose his house to foreclosure than seek out the assistance of a professional Realtor that may just bring him the buyer he so desperately needs.

So, I continue to ponder the original question, "ARE THEY CRAZY OR JUST UNEDUCATED?" I have my own biased opinion of course but I've never filled one of my own cavities.
What do you think?

Friday, July 27, 2007


Keller Williams Advantage Realty
State College, PA.
Last month Keller Williams opened it's newest Pennsylvania office in State College, PA. Keller Williams, a Texas based franchisor is the 4th largest and fasting growing real estate company in America. More than 70,000 agents have joined the company in the past dozen years and KW is on track to become the largest real estate franchisor in the next three years.
The growth and business model have been noticed by corporate America as well as some of the best business schools in Academia. Yale has just announced it's intention to include the KW business model in it's business school and Stanford will do so next year as well. Both schools will teach the business model in addition to studying the phenomenal growth generated by the business model.
I am proud to have affiliated with the local Keller Williams office and look forward to growing the KW franchise into the number one company in Centre County.
To learn more about the KW business model and how it can help buyers and sellers please feel free to give me a call.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007




There is no greater compliment in business than an unsolicited "YOU ROCK" from a satisfied customer. Following is an e-mail I recently received from a satisfied client. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent (or guilty).


I just wanted to let you know that you are the man.
I really appreciate all the time you have given us with this move. I am sure we were a little more high maintence then the usual buyer.
I can't thank you enough for going to bat for us with ***** homes. Your email definitely got the job done. S***** has not responded so quickly since we have started this whole process!!
I will make sure to tell EVERYONE I come in contact with what a fantastic real-estate agent you are and can't thank you enough for all your time and effort.( I don't know if M*** told you but I have a really big mouth!).

Thanks again!!!!!

J***** and M***

M*** and J*****

I must say it was a pleasure working with you and I will donate a percentage of my commission in your name to a local school library in Bellefonte to support literacy in your community.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Several Sobering Market Statistic's
2001 - Q1
224 - Total closed transactions in the first quarter 2007.
2001-Q1 - The last quarter that total closed sales in MLS recorded a smaller number.
24 - Total number of quarters that exceeded the number 224.
Is there anything else to say about the current market?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


We appreciate the following markets or....


Market 2006 Appreciation (%)

  1. Salem, OR. 19.8

  2. Virginia Beach/Norfolk 19.4

  3. Spokane, WA. 17.7

  4. Salt Lake City, UT. 16.7

  5. Eugene/Springfield, OR. 16.7

  6. Baton Rouge, LA. 15.9

  7. Gainesville, FL. 15.9

  8. Ocala, FL. 15.5

  9. Dover, DE. 14.7

  10. Portland/Beaverton, OR. 14.7

Source: NAR Existing Home Sales Report

It's interesting to note that 4 of the Top 10 markets are home to large universities. Only one market is in the northeast (barely) and half of the hottest markets are in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps the stampede is on as California "Goldrushers" abandon ship for the tranquility to the north.

Compare the winners with the previous list of losers. 6 of the top 10 losers markets were in Ohio and Michigan and 9 of the 10 biggest losers are in the rust belt. So as things rust in the upper midwest, the boom is on in the Pacific Northwest. Or so it appears for at least one year;2006.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007



TOP 10 MARKETS w/ Greatest loss in home value


Metropolitan statistical area
One-year loss (%)

1.Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. -7.4

2.Toledo, Ohio -6.2

3. Sarasota-Braden-Venice, Fla. -5.6

4. Akron, Ohio -4.9

5. Youngs-War-Brdman, OH/Pa. -4.8

6. Bloomington-Normal, Ill. -4.4

7. South Bend-Mishawaka, Ind. -4.0

8. Indianapolis -3.6

9. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio -3.2

10. Lansing-E.Lansing, Mich. -3.2

Isn't it interesting that three or four of the markets are home to large universities? I think that should help put the Centre County market in perspective. Although we are home to a large Big 10 University, we are a small market removed from the metro areas and insulated from the huge price fluctuations of larger metro areas.

Monday, April 16, 2007


First Time Homebuyers

1.51 acres surrounded by woodland

Great starter home! Cute 2 bedroom 2 bath house on 1.5 acre wooded lot - perfect for first time buyers. New windows, new hot water heater.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007



Gorgeous saltbox style 3/2.5 on 3+ acres in the Penns Valley School District but minutes to State College and Penn State University. Located on a quiet country cul-de-sac and surrounded by a thriving fruit orchard and lush perennials, the spacious interior lends itself to a growing family. First floor master bedroom, dining room with french doors and woodburning fireplace, and a beautiful country kitchen with cherry cabinets and an island, make this home the perfect country farmette. Post card views of the surrounding countryside and breathtaking view of Egg Hill. $269,900

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What’s selling in Millheim?

The data reflect primarily E. Main St. and not the entire town for calendar year 2006.

$953,700 is the value of the property sold in your neighborhood in 2006.

$125,564 Average selling price

$69,000 Low Price

$146,500 High Price

– Average Days on Market


Monday, March 05, 2007


An overview of the real estate market in Steeplechase.

What's selling in PARK VIEW HEIGHTS Real Estate?
$2,154,500 is the value of Property sold in your neighborhood in 2006!
AVG PRICE-$239,389
Low Price - $161,000 High Price - $319,000
923 Woodland Dr. - $161,000 951 Tanney - $178,000
1239 Shady Ln. - $219,500 1239 Sylvan Cr. - $222,500
901 Woodland Dr. - $220,000 1308 Laura Ln. - $262,000
1316 Joanna Dr. - $285,000 1316 Joanna Dr. - 287,500
1209 Sherwood Ct. - $319,000
Note: 1316 Joanna Dr. sold twice in 2006.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Large 4 bedroom center hall farmhouse w/impressive country kitchen w/fireplaces in kitchen and dining room. Large rooms make for comfortable living. Perfect setting with 1 3/4 acres set on a hill and surrounded by several large shade trees.

This is a must see home - don't be fooled by a dreary winter exterior photo. Call me now before it is SOLD.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


With apologies to all of the landlords in the Centre Region and you folks graciously paying them...


Even if you don't aspire to be rich, you should still make financial decisions that will benefit you and your family today and in the future. I promise you that paying rent on the first of every month is not good for your financial future.

Did you know that the average homeowner is 34 times RICHER that the average renter? I'm talking about the average. I'm not comparing renter's to the owners of the million dollar McMansions that are quickly polluting suburban America. I'm telling you that the average tenants net worth is LESS THAN $5,000 and the average homeowner is worth almost $172,000.

Step off the renter treadmill and launch your financial future. You don't need much money and you don't even need great credit. You simply need the desire and the assistance of an expert.

Don't think you can fire your landlord?

I challenge you to call me and fire your landlord.


Friday, February 02, 2007

NEW LISTING - Bellefonte, PA
Affordable Housing in Bellefonte
3br/1.5 bath
$155,500 List Price
*Monthly Payment P & I - $912.39
$56,000 Annual Joint Family Income Needed#
Don't miss this cozy home on a quiet dead-end street in Bellefonte. Huge 1/2 acre fenced yard. Snuggle by the wood burner on crisp winter evenings or soak in the hot tub on the screened-in porch on cool spring mornings. New wood laminate in the kitchen and new roof 2 years ago. Close to schools, shopping and the historic district in downtown Bellefonte. Don't wait long on this very comfortable home.
*Based on 30 yr fixed with $5,000 dp and 6.125% interest rate. #Based on Mortgage101 calculator.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


And you thought it would be related to Love and Cupid. There is lot's of love behind this word in a strange kind of way.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The word jumper has many meanings:
A jumper is a garment.
In the United Kingdom and Australia, it is similar to the US sweater or a jersey.
In the US, it refers to a sleeveless collarless dress; see jumper dress.
A jumper is a type of horse, used in the sport of show jumping.
A jumper in computer electronics is a conductor used to connect two pins.
A jumper is also a slang term for someone who commits (or attempts) suicide by jumping from a great height.
A jumper is a parachutist; a smokejumper is a firefighting parachutist.
Jumper (novel) is a science fiction novel by Steven Gould.
Jumper (film) is the film adaptation of the novel.
Jumper (band) was a swedish pop band during the late 90's.
A jumper in basketball terms means a jump shot.
A song by Third Eye Blind on their first album.
The Citroën Jumper (Relay in the UK)
The word as it refers to garments comes from the Quechua language in which chompa means "a loose, outer jacket". It was first applied to a sailor's jacket.Jumpers may refer to:
Jumpers is a satirical play by Tom Stoppard
"Jumpers", a song by Sleater-Kinney from their album The Woods
Jumpers, a nickname for a member of the Welsh Methodist revival

Wikepedia did not inlcude the meaning that I was looking for or the one real estate brokers would understand.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

7 For '07 - 7 Selling tip's for selling a home in 2007

So the market has been in correction mode the second half of last year and I'm continually asked when the market will pick up. The market is self-correcting as is the high risk mortgage market. The market correction in Centre County will be more about a softening in price, longer days on market for sellers, and educated buyers having more power in negotiating than in the giant price swings into negative territory that other markets are experiencing at the moment.

1. Market timing - When should I put my house on the market?

There is no time like the present. The market is heading in the direction of increased activity and will build every month into June and July. If you can picture a bell curve with early July the zenith and January and December representing points at the bottom of the curve on either side of July, you have a visual. What this means to sellers is that to reach the maximum number of buyers they should have their home on the market by the end of April. Sellers must realize that there will be more competition at this time, so I counsel sellers to list just ahead of the peak season in hopes that your property will be "sale pending" just prior to the onslaught of properties coming into the market.

2. Pricing

This is always the most important factor when selling your home no matter what the market. Please remember this; the market establishes the price of your home. The economics of home buying/selling mirror that of the commodities market in that sellers come to market with pricing based on availabilty and demand for their product and buyers purchase offers are based on the same knowledge plus the intrinsic value they place on the home

3. Home Inspection

Bite the bullet and pay for a home inspection prior to listing your home. In a competitive market it may come down to the minor details and the easy negotiations to get a home sold. If the buyer has the inspection in hand when considering an offer, it could save valuable time in the negotiation process and eliminate needless delays after a purchase offer is accepted.

4. Offer a Home warranty

When a buyer has narrowed the selection to one or two homes it may be something small like providing a one year home warranty to push the buyer to write on offer on your home and not the one down the street.

5. Prepaids

Be willing to offer buyers assistance with closing costs, inpsections, and interest rate buydowns. Maybe you will prepay the first years real estate taxes and insurance. Don't be afraid to tell them in the marketing material that you are offering items that your competition may not. Remember, you are competing with a limited number of savvy buyers that are aware of market conditions.

6. Negotiate
Sellers that have a serious interest in actually selling their home must be willing to engage buyers when they present an offer. I have been on both sides of the negotiation process when a seller reacts with disdain when presented with an offer that they consider to be insulting. If you simply bury your emotion and engage the potential buyers in a negotiation process, you may be surprised with the ultimate result. If you react like a teenager and refuse to respond, it will be the sellers loss. Remeber, almost 80% of the first offers are the best offers so at least take the time to counter-offer no matter how upset you may be with the initial offer. This is a business transaction. Remove the emotion and treat it as such.

7. Stay another year
If there is no urgent need to sell you may want to stay another year as the market bottoms out and completes the correction. What are your motives for moving? Do you want to trade up to a larger home? Are you empty nesters? You may find a more friendly market next year than you do at the moment. If selling this season is a luxury more than a necessity, you may want to re-think your strategy.
The trick is to get a great realtor, price the property well, and eliminate in advance as many potential problems as you can without spending a fortune.
For help in selling your home feel free to give me a call directly at 280-0054.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


1. Prices have exploded so we should wait until they come down next year to buy.

Fact: Prices for closed sales rose 5.0% in 2006. They rose 3.0% in 2005.
Prices have appreciated in Centre County but not at the rate of certain "hot" markets across
the country. Our market over the past 30 years has averaged about 1% appreciation per
year. If you wait until next year hoping prices will fall you will be disappointed. Prices may
level off or drop a bit this year and next but any savings you may realize in waiting will be
offset by the increasing cost of mortgage money as rates are certain to be higher in 2008.
The important point to remember is that higher rates next year will negate any savings realized by price fallback.

Fact: The differences in a 30 year 200K mortgage comparing the current rate of 6% versus a potential rate in 2008 of 7.75% is $234 a month and $84,139 over the life of the loan. (P&I only). Will you save 84k on a $200k home by waiting until next year? NOT!

2. The market in Centre County real estate is slow so we can get a great deal from a seller.

Fact: Days on market or the average time it takes to sell a home was up 18.4% in 2006.

It did take longer to sell homes in 2006 but the market hardly slammed into a brick wall.
The market in Centre County could be described today as it could years ago; nice and steady and not too heady. It will take longer to sell a home in 2007 but the homes will sell. You may get a great deal from a seller but you may simply pay a fair price for a home that meets all of your search criteria and you can't live without.

3. I should contact the listing agent

Fact: Seller agency law in PA. states that the listing agent owes the fiduciary responsibility to the seller to get them the best price and overall deal. That will be at the expense and best interest of the BUYER.

Many buyers think they should call the listing agent of the property they want to preview. Buyers agents work with buyers to get them the best possible deal in the transaction. They owe the fiducuary responsibility to the buyer and not the seller. If you work with the listing agent on a transaction they will not have your best interests in mind as they are legally bound to the seller. Buyer agency was intended to negate the old adage; "let the buyer beware." When you call the listing agent you are by default renewing the "old adage."

Don't put yourself in that position by dealing with the listing agent.

4. As a buyer I need to pay a fee to my buyers agent before searching for homes.

Fact: Sellers brokers pay the fee for both sellers agents and buyers agents.

Only pay a fee to a buyers agent if they will entertain you by performing in a Mardi Gras costume while singing the Macarena and drinking green beer on St. Patricks Day morning. Otherwise, buyers agents work on your behalf and are paid at closing via funds provided through the selling broker.

5. Can we just go look at houses today?

Fact: The law requires agents in Pennsylvania to have signed buyer agency agreements in place prior to previewing homes.

The answer to the question is possibly. You are required to sign the PA Disclosure and buyers agency agreement. If you are serious about buying you should have your buyers agent get you prequlaified with a mortgage professional. Many sellers request 24 hours notice to view their homes. So, yes, you can go look at a few homes today if:

A. You have signed the required paperwork as requested by the state of Pennsylvania.
B. You have prequalified with a mortgage professional.
C. The sellers agree to a short notice showing.

If you need answers to other buyers myths or help buying or selling a home call me. I will give you the facts and the truth.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fourth Quarter 2006 sales data for the Penns Valley School District.

4th Quarter 2006
Penns Valley Overview
16 Homes Sold Avg. DOM - 110
Avg. Price - $196,564

Low Price - $69,000 High Price - $336,350

259 E. Main - $69,000
144 E. Main - $142,500
165 Penn St. - $148,050
Spring Mills
689 L. Georges Valley - $78,000
105 Fieldstone Court - $217,000
173 Ayva Ln. - $295,000
132 Bilmar Ave. - $310,000
296 Harter Rd. - $366,350

134 W. Main - $92,000
277 White Deer Rd - $269,000
Centre Hall
123 Schaeffer Ave. - $146,000
128 Pennsylvania Ave. - $159,000
411 Pennsylvania Ave. - $162,000
100 Water St. - $150,000
113 Charles St. - $221,000
209 Whitetail Rd - $167,000
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