Devon, PA Real Estate News

By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Old Forge Crossing sales so far this year stand at twelve, one of these a one bedroom unit is a pending sale, nine are for one bedroom or one bedroom with a den units, one is a two bedroom unit and one is a two bedroom townhome with two and a half baths on two floors. These sales tell a story of owners who have bought at high prices and todays buyers looking for bargains. Like elsewhere in Chester County, prices have been under pressure, especially condominiums. Last year there were few sales as buyers needing FHA financing could not obtain it. However, as the Old Forge Condo association worked at and got each and every unit approved for FHA financing sales have picked up, especially for one bedroom and one bedroom with den units. Old Forge Crossing, set on forty plus acres has some won...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
It is said it takes people about ten seconds to size up another person and decide if they will like and or trust them. Often when out with buyers, it can seem they make a quicker decision than that about a home you take them to see. Walking through my own neighborhood, with many homes built at the same time and being a similar model, one home can be appealing another not so much. If you ask me what it is about a certain property that attracts or repels I can probably tell you some specific things, but many times it is how a property makes you feel and that is hard to quantify. I asked several friends recently what they thought creates curb appeal and the responses whilst varied, were pretty consistent. Lawn mowed Flower beds edged Weeds pulled Pet "land mines" cleaned up Front door pain...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Buyers are out in force, new listings are coming on every day this Spring along the Main Line and when a buyer finds a home that meets their list of requirements the next question is "To offer or not to offer". Some buyers don't want to compete with others feeling it will encourage them to pay too much. Some don't want to offer because it is the first home they have seen. Some want to just wait, in case they reduce the price. Several times in the last few weeks I have heard of properties that have received multiple offers, some have not gone under agreement as buyers have not made an offer enticing enough even in a multiple offer situation to encourage the seller to say "Thank you, yes I will accept your offer." Some have sold for over the asking price, if their Realtor is smart these ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
In the last week along the Main Line I have made an offer on a home for a client, and visited two other listings where I learned that each had multiple offers. These were different townships and different price points. Buyers are out and active. But, what I am noticing from homes that are settling is that buyers are not offering full price, even where multiple offers are happening. Sellers have definitely got a better handle for the market and are pricing their homes accordingly, but buyers are very wary still of making full price offers and are holding firm on price offers, preferring to walk away and wait for something else than be forced to pay full asking price in this market. So if you want that coveted SOLD sign in the front yard, be willing to negotiate, however well priced your ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
What do you do when you see one of THOSE bathrooms along the Main Line? You know the ones, they date from the 50's and 60's, they are well tiled, but the colors? What were they thinking? Even if you choose a retro look, most people want black and white, not grey and pink, or yellow and turquoise, or pink and turquoise. There are other combinations as well, some work better than others, what horrendous color choices have you seen? They can be so embarrasing that you just don't want people to even use them if they come over. Some color combinations are usable, yellow and black, for example, but if you just can't accept the colors you got in that Main Line home that meets every other item on your wish list, and you don't have the funds to remodel the bathroom in question an easy fix might ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Are you thinking of living on The Main Line? I wrote this blog as a guest writer for Dale Siegel on her blog Diaries of a mad mortgage broker Devon is part of the Main Line to the west and north of the city of Philadelphia. Perfectly located with easy access to many major road and train routes, both north and south, and east and west with a well developed International airport it has become home to many National and International Corporations. Before the 1600’s Lenni Lenape Indians called this area their home. In the 1600s William Penn sold land to a group of Welsh Quakers for ten cents an acre, not a price we see today. The Main Line proper is a line of communities extending northwest from the City ofPhiladelphia. TheMain Lineoriginally referred to a water line which serviced particula...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Old Forge Crossing in Devon a condominium development of one bedroom, one bedroom and a den, two bedroom and some two bedroom townhomes is a highly desirable place to live. Located on forty plus acres it has some wonderful views, an active social community and is also located in Tredyffrin Township, part of Tredyffrin Easttown School District. I just listed a one bedroom home in here for rent and was there yesterday enjoying the beautiful weather and took some photos around the reflection pond. Hope you enjoy these as much as I did taking them of some of the hidden spots around Old Forge Crossing in Devon.   a view of the creek running through Old Forge Crossing.   One of the bridges across the creek One of the willows around the lake and creek.  Plenty of spots to sit and enjoy the bir...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Once again, national sales data is not truly reflective of local real estate markets. Plus these reports lag the market, so when the reports are made they are already behind what is happening in the market today. The Case Schiller Report referenced above is based on sales back in the fall, not even winter. All I know is that in the last two weeks as I call to make appointments I am hearing often, "Sorry, that went under contract this morning." Now, prices have definitely dropped, but as I have mentioned before, you can have prices falling on one street and rising on another one block over because of things happening in a neighborhood which have nothing to do with the national market. The same goes for developments, there are some locally where the home owner association fees have risen ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
For those who live here, the condo association fee at first seems high but it covers lots of things. Gas for the dryer, gas for cooking, gas for hot water, water, pool fee, tennis courts, exterior maintenance, trash collection, a club house and snow clearing, a host of social activities arranged for homeowners and those who rent here. What it does not cover is the cost for the sewer, this is billed separately and this year it is $250, bills go out during February and are due March 1st, if you are later than March 10th there is a late fee. Like most places sewer bills are always in arrears, so you are actually paying for your 2011 fee. Your other utilities cable either Verizon or Comcast are available is extra, gas for your heating and electricity are not included in your condo fee and a...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
  We love a fire over the winter months, when it starts to get chilly, there is nothing better than warming the house with a nice cozy fire. We installed a wood stove a couple of years ago and it has helped us to reduce our heating bill quite substantially. But whether you have a wood stove or are lighting a fire in the fireplace you need to take some safety steps to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk. I was just reading about a fire in the chimney that destroyed a local home this past weekend and our local fire chief has actually posted some safety tips that are worth looking over. It seems redundant to say have your chimney inspected regularly, but so much advice today is ignored, but this can cost you your life. So please read it over and take the time to get your chimney...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
One of the best stores in the Devon area, especially in Gateway Shops close to Chesterbrook is Trader Joe's, people love our Trader Joe's, it is always busy as is Gateway shopping area which is full of other shops and lots of restaurants.  Staples, TJMaxx are two of the bigger stores, but you can find all sorts of things, we have a cigar shop, beds, vacuum shop, pet store, Five Below and if you need a coffee, close by is a Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble or you can stop by Panera Bread which sits in the corner of Gateway Shops, a great place for a quick lunch or early dinner. There are lots of other restaurants in Gateway Shops from the Gateway Diner, Kabab Cafe, Salad Works, Five Guys, Mannys including Outback Steakhouse and others as well. Just outside of Gateway Shops in Devon is Ca...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Most buyers ask for a Colonial Home when they look for a home. It is probably the most popular home for buyers today regardless of size. It is also the most enduring, the name is not all smoke and mirrors, really the first colonial homes were built back in the 1600's, and even today the style is popular. This photo of Stourhead House shows a little of the symetrical layout, although the two wings were added later and you can see they are slightly different. The style was brought over from Europe with the first settlers, people when they build a home pretty much stick with what they know. Many of those original homes reflect where the first immigrants came from be it Wales, Germany, England or France for example. In our area of Pennsylvania you see home styles from Cornwall and Wales in ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
What do you know about Old Forge Crossing? Today this well maintained 508 unit condominium plus one cottage complex in Devon on just over 40 acres is well known as a great place to live, well located for access to center city Philadelphia and just minutes away from major restaurants and shopping centers along the Main Line and King of Prussia Mall. As many businesses open offices in the suburbs and out of center city, Old Forge crossing is well located with easy access to Route 202 both North and South. Old Forge Crossing was originally part of the land grant given by King Charles II in 1681 to cover a debt of sixteen thousand pounds sterling owed originally to Penn's father. He soon set up two offices selling parcels of land and sent his cousin William Markham over to Pennsylvania to ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Sales in Old Forge Crossing for 2011 amounted to 15 homes being sold through realtors on the MLS. 10 of these were one bedroom units which on average were on the market for 109 days and achieved a price of $155 per sq foot. Five two bedroom units sold of which one was a town home and these took slightly longer to sell  being on the market for 124 days on average, however they achieved a price of $188 per sq foot on average. Fifteen homes being sold over the year is not very many in Old Forge Crossing and sales only picked up once the development renewed it's FHA approved status allowing buyers to use FHA financing. Several sales were either of estates, or distressed sales pushing prices down in the development overall, however bear in mind that prices in the region have decreased and C...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
T/E school district announced to day that New Eagle Elementary School has been selected as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School, one of 304 schools from across the nation, and one of 14 in Pennsylvania. This award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress. The U.S Department of Education will honor the entire 255 public and 49 private schools with their National BlueRibbon School awards at a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C.   The process of review began last school year when the state ofPennsylvania nominated New Eagle Elementary School for this recognition. A committee of New Eagle staff members completed an application that was sent to the U.S. Department of Edu...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
We recently have had several clients decide to rent their units rather than try to sell them in the current market at Old Forge Crossing in Devon. Prices this year have really come under pressure, with one bedroom units now selling in the low to mid $130's, one bedrooms with dens selling for high $130's or low $140's and few if any two bedrooms selling at all, although there is one currently under agreement with a listing price of $210,000. Rents are all over the place, depending on how updated the units are, the more updated the higher the rent. If you are thinking of renting you might want to consider buying, Old Forge Crossing just got approved by the FHA for mortgage financing as a condo development, making it easier to purchase a home here with an FHA loan that allows a 3.5% down p...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
SOLD IN 46 days. It is really hard for buyers today to know whether to list first or buy first if they can afford it. Our sellers of this home were getting ready to list when they came across the home of their dreams. We ended up putting in an offer that was accepted and the pressure was on to get their home ready for sale and on the market. These are dream clients and the home at 122 Devonwood Lane in Devon was a delight to list, well decorated rooms with good colors on the wall and a great lot as well. We held several open houses and our buyer came from the very first publ;ic open house we held, coming back three times to open houses and once with her agent before writing an agreement of sale. With the advent of buyers looking on line many buyers prefer looking on their own and like ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Sunday brunch is something as Realtors we don't get the opportunity to enjoy too often as most Sundays we will be running around preparing for an open house in the afternoon. But this weekend we have guests visiting from Alberta Canada and after showing them Valley Forge National Park we decided to visit Cafe Winberie on Rt 252 running up to the park right by Chesterbrook and Gateway Shopping Center. This restaurant has a really nice feel, tiled floors, dark woods and and enough light to allow you to see without blinding you. Brunch was fabulous with lots of great choices and excellent food, lots of staff who were attentive without being in your way. There was a good number of people there, but food was always being re-stocked. So if you are looking for somewhere to have brunch next we...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
Many condo owners are finding it hard to sell their condos because the condo is NOT FHA approved, however sellers and buyers in Devon Pennsylvania can relax because Old Forge Crossing condo association has gone through the rigorous process to get themselves approved by FHA to streamline the process for buyers of obtaining an FHA mortgage. Remember, FHA also offers the 203K loan that allows the borrower to obtain a mortgage based on the improved value of the condo after repairs, allowing funds for modernizing, updating and general improvements. Improvements do need to be carried out by a licensed contractor and not by the owner on odd weekends, but this is a great product in older developments where maybe the unit you are interested in has some need updating to bathrooms or kitchens. We ...
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By Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
(Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400)
The Main Line to the West of Philadelphia is a prime area for real estate, and even in today's challenged market. Many home owners in these western suburbs have owned their homes for may years and whilst their equity has reduced they are still in what many call an "Above Water" situation, owing less or nothing on their homes compared to what is due if anything to a mortgage company. What is important for many of these seniors is making sure that the mortgage company has filed a letter of satisfaction that shows not only that the mortgage was paid off but that there is no lien against the home anymore. This type of owner has many options ahead, remaining in their home, if the costs of upkeep are manageable and the size of the home makes senses, down-sizing, or moving to an active life-st...
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