Raise Your Home’s Value Instantly

If you are planning to put your home on the market this spring, your real estate agent may be telling you to declutter, or work on your home’s curb appeal or even stage your home. Some of the things on your to do list may seem tedious or downright expensive, but it turns out that you’re actually receiving sound advice.

HomeGain, an agent referral site, has identified the top 10 home improvements under $1500 that add the most value. We’ll break it down your returns on investment (ROI).

  1. Cleaning and decluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI)
  2. Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase  / 313% ROI)
  3. Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI)
  4. Landscaping ($540 cost / $1,932 price increase / 258% ROI)
  5. Repairing electrical and plumbing ($535 cost / $1,505 price increase / 181% ROI)
  6. Kitchen and bathroom ($1,265 cost / $3,435 price increase / 181% ROI)
  7. Replace or clean carpets ($647 cost / $1,730 price increase / 169% ROI)
  8. Paint interior ($1,012 cost / $2,112 price increase / 109% ROI)
  9. Repair floors ($931 cost / $1,924 price increase / 107% ROI)
  10. Paint exterior ($1,467 cost / $2,222 price increase / 51% ROI)

Some of these items on this list could even be done for cheaper if you’re enterprising and do it yourself, making an even larger return on investment!


How to Prepare to Sell in the Social Media Age

Liking, sharing, commenting – the way homes are being marketed in 2017 is different than it was in the past and it’s important to know what buyers are looking for online before you put your home on the market. Even more important is picking an agent with the knowledge of how crucial your home’s digital presence is. You only get one shot with buyers to make a solid first impression online. Once your home is uploaded to the MLS, it’s syndicated to dozens of websites and (hopefully) shared again and again. Be prepared for your listing to go VIRAL!

Small things matter. Make sure your home looks ready to sell and not in the process of getting ready. You want to wow your buyers with polished photos and a home they can see themselves living in. So touch up the paint in the bathroom, clear out the clutter and make sure surfaces are cleaned off.

That being said, you can’t go wrong with going minimal. Counter tops should be free of appliances, papers, anything! Put it away for the photos (and the showings!). Buyers are easily distracted by all of the “extras.” A clean slate where a buyer can imagine his or her personal i

It’s crucial to connect with an agent who understands the importance of marketing your home online. At Coldwell Banker Realty Corp, we understand the way to connect with buyers. We will use our web presence to get your home out there and implement the latest online tools to do so. To hear all about our digital marketing plans for your home, call us at (215) 855-5600!


Tips to Downsizing With a Little Less Hassle

People downsize their homes for various reasons. They could be empty nesters, whose children have all moved on to their own homes, seniors who are realizing a need for less space and maintenance or people moving from the suburbs into a city apartment where the space decreases drastically.

Regardless of what the reasoning may be for downsizing, one thing remains true in all of these situations; not only will you be downsizing your home but your possessions as well. People who have lived a majority of their lives in a home now must take the 20 plus years worth of pots, pans, dishes, holiday decorations, furniture etc. and decide what is essential to their new lifestyle and what is not. Parting with these items will in no way be easy but we’ve got some tips and tricks to make downsizing your life a little less of a hassle.

  1. Plan ahead: In most cases, this move will not be a surprise to anyone involved, so having a plan going into the moving process will provide some guidance. Make a list of things you either A) will not need or B) definitely want to bring with you. This is going to give you a starting point.
  2. Evaluate Your Soon-To-Be New Lifestyle: Think of a few questions, write them down even, to ask yourself before you begin to pack. Consider what your new home and new lifestyle will bring. Do you really need lawn decorations if you won’t have a lawn at your new place? Consider this and other factors when packing. You’ll want to do this before you make the move as to avoid clutter and over-crowding at your new home.
  3. Everything Should Have a Use or Purpose: All of the items you are selecting to bring should have a purpose in your new home. You should never bring something because “you might need it.” Chances are, if you’re not 100% positive you will use it or can’t remember the last time you used it, you won’t ever have a need for it. In regards to sentimental items, anything that holds an important memory to you or your family and/or pictures of your old home should be brought along.
  4. Keep Clutter Out: Manage your small space by using organizational bins, hangers etc. Try utilizing a certain space or item for more than one purpose.
  5. Quality Over Quantity: When downsizing, it’s unlikely you will be able to keep all of your furniture from your previous home. When deciding what to keep, or buy, think about what will be most functional in your new living space. Instead of keeping the giant coffee table, maybe find an end table with storage space underneath and a pullout stand to keep your drinks on. While the giant coffee table may have worked great in your last home, it may not be an easy fit or the best idea to have something that takes up so much space when it’s sole purpose is to hold drinks or serve as a place to put the Sunday paper.
  6. Don’t Throw Anything Away: Well then how are you supposed to get rid of all your unwanted stuff? Never throw away items that are in good use but you no longer have a need for. Yard sales, making donations or recycling unwanted items are a great way to downsize without feeling like you are simply “throwing something away.”
  7. Measure & Plan: Get measurements of each room in your new house. Draw out a rough sketch of each room on paper with dimensions in order to better visualize what will fit in terms of furniture, TV etc. This way, you won’t have to guess as to which items will fit and be surprised on the day of move-in when they don’t.
  8. Tackle the Job in Pieces: Trying to accomplish this huge task all at once will surely end in defeat. Instead, do it room by room for a few weeks leading up to your move. This will avoid you feeling overwhelmed on top of all the other feelings that come with moving.
  9. Get an Objective Opinion: If you’ve followed the steps above and are still finding yourself with a small pile of “Not Keep” and large pile of “Keep” then perhaps it’s time to get a second opinion. Bring in a friend or relative who will be able to provide some brutally honest truth when sorting through your things. They might have the “Oh please you’ll never use that” you’ve been looking for.

The true first step in downsizing is finding the right home. If you’re looking for some advice or guidance, contacting an agent is a step in the right direction.

Community Overview

Community Overview: Lansdale

Welcome to our Community Overview series!

When considering a move to a new area, it is often important to consider not just the home you will be purchasing but the town in which you will be living as well. Do you have kids? You may want the inside scoop on the school district or recreational programs offered. Consider yourself a foodie? It might be important to you to move into an area with a bustling restaurant culture. You won’t just be residing within the 4 walls of the new home you’re purchasing but you will also be moving, playing, walking and living in the community.

First up, we will touch on the Borough of Lansdale, the home base for our office.Selected as one of the “Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia,” Lansdale Borough is a part of Montgomery County, which is about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. With several SEPTA train stations nearby, commuting into the city for work or leisure is a breeze. Are you a sports fan? Grab an early train and head down to the sports stadiums located in South Philadelphia where all 4 of the city’s major sports teams play within walking distance from one another.


If you have children then one of your main concerns is probably education and the schools your children could potentially be attending. Lansdale Borough falls within the North Penn School District boundaries. The North Penn School District is known for the academic achievement of its students and the knowledge demonstrated by its faculty. In 2012, North Penn was ranked 33 out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Times.The district also prides itself on the percentage of graduates each year. In 2011, the District saw a 96% graduation rate. North Penn School District has 13 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and one high school. To learn more about what the school district has to offer, visit the district website here.

Things to Do & See:

Montgomery County itself offers tons of things for people to see and do. There are numerous historical parks and museums, theaters, golf courses, the Philadelphia Zoo and a family fun center all within 30-40 minutes from Lansdale. Within the borough limits, you can find an abundant amount of activities. Throughout the year, Lansdale Borough hosts several events such as Lansdale Day, Founders Day, Oktoberfest, the Mardi Gras Parade and Farmers Market just to name a few. There are 21 parks in Lansdale for members of the community to walk, run, play with kids or your dog. Looking for ways to keep kids entertained? The Parks and Recreation department offer programs for kids ranging from Science Camp to T-Ball to Summer Camp.There are also several aquatic programs along with adult programs offered. The Lansdale YMCA is also another outlet for programs and activities. There truly is something for everyone to do in Lansdale.

For a complete list of all events click here

For a complete list of all Parks and Rec programs click here


Restaurants & Entertainment:

Lansdale is a bustling area full of flavor! If you love trying new things or you really enjoy a nice night of good company and even better food, you’re in the right place. There are an abundance of chain restaurants all across town for go-to meal such as Applebee’s and Margarita’s but if you want to dive deeper into the local spots you will not come up short handed. There is everything from Asian to Italian to European to Mom & Pop pizza shops and there is even a vegan restaurant. Check their calendars because there is a good chance of live music on the weekends as well. Planning a party? Check out Marjeane Caterers, Panico’s Grille or Smokerack BBQ & Grille for a variety of catering or banquet services. All of these options within minutes of your new home.

Lansdale Borough is a gem in Montgomery County, perfect for individuals and families alike. Our agents are ready and willing to help you find your next Home Sweet Home.


Heading In The Right Direction: Steps For Good Credit


For homeowner hopefuls, getting approved for a mortgage can seem like a daunting task. One reason for this potential looming cloud is an unimpressive credit score that a potential buyer feels is holding them back. Most buyers worry about the actual number of their credit score and what it means to mortgage companies. In reality, what buyers should be focused on is the direction of their credit score.

There are several ways to get your credit score going in the right direction and improving your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

1) Apply for a credit card: For people who do not have one yet and are looking to build some sort of credit, a credit card is a great way to begin laying the foundation. However, use the credit card sparingly as to avoid over-spending. Perhaps designate certain purchases for the card like filling up your gas tank or buying groceries every week. This will allow you to build manageable credit that can be easily paid off at the end of the month.

2) Pay your bills and pay them on time: It may seem obvious but perhaps you became insanely busy this month or it simply slipped your mind that your electric bill was due 5 days ago. Even a few days late on a payment can send your credit score heading in the wrong direction. If you find yourself being overwhelmed by due dates, consider signing up for online bill-pay which allows you to set up automatic payment. This way, the funds simply come out of your account and there is no chance of a missed or late payment. If you are not a fan of paperless billing, that’s fine too. Consider getting yourself a calendar and marking down when payments are due or marking a few days in advance to ensure the payment gets in the mail on time.

3) Check Your Credit Score: You can’t fix something when you don’t know what is bringing you down. Make sure you are getting your report from a credible source to ensure it is correct. Once you have a chance to look it over, figure out what items on your report are affecting your score the most and set a goal to handle those areas first.

4) Clean Up Your Credit Score: Usually, old information is taken off your credit report after 7 years but there are some cases where you can request to have the information removed before the 7 years is up, if it’s damaging to your current credit. Be sure to look over your report carefully and report any differences between your records and those of your credit report.

With that being said, your credit score does play a role in your ability to be pre-approved for a mortgage or any other loan for that matter. However, if you are dissatisfied with your current score, you must learn what can be done to push that number in a positive direction. If you follow these simple steps, you will see your number start to change for the better. It may not shoot up 50 points right away but you are building a better foundation for your future credit, which your future self with thank you for.


Getting to Know CBRCA

Coldwell Banker Realty Corp. Associates boasts over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry. We have served the Delaware Valley for just as long which allows us to bring a wealth of knowledge about the market to the table. We are dedicated to bringing our clients technology and information that is ahead of the curve in order for them to make the most of their buying and selling experience.

Tips for better curb appeal? Home improvements on a budget? ? We will have all of that here and more. Our goal is to educate our followers with the same knowledge we provide our clients.

Let us know what you think! That’s right; we want to hear from you, our audience! Have a real estate question or comment? Don’t hesitate to subscribe and ask away.