The Front Yard : September

Real Estate News from the Ground Up

Improvement & DIY Zone

Thinking About Finishing Your Basement?

A finished basement is a desirable feature for homebuyers, and can add to the value of a home. In addition, it expands the livable space of a home by adding room for children to play, an extra bedroom and/or a recreation area for all ages. While finishing your basement sounds like a great idea, not all basements lend themselves to a remodel.

The first things to consider are the requirements laid out by the International Residential Code (IRC). Specifically, a basement living space must have a clear, floor-to-ceiling height of at least 7 feet (6 feet for bathrooms). There is also a requirement that the staircase leading from the home’s main level to the basement include a handrail and stairs with proper width, tread and riser dimensions. Lastly, there must be at least one door or window large enough for people to get out and for help to get in during an emergency.

If your home does not meet these requirements, it may still be possible to finish the basement; however, it will involve added expenses. For example, if the ceiling is not high enough, it is possible to raise your house and build up the foundation around it, or lower the floor, to gain the ceiling height you need. If the stairway isn’t wide enough or the steps aren’t to code, the staircase may need to be rebuilt.

Other considerations to make a basement a usable living space include heating and cooling, as well as controlling moisture. A contractor can tap into the existing HVAC system and then add vents or upgrade the system as necessary to comply with building codes. Any moisture problems can be solved by waterproofing walls and floors, grading the yard so water falls away from the foundation and/or installing a sump pump or drains around the foundation.

Game Day Recipe

Football season is here and that means enjoying some good food with friends and family while you watch your team.

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My Featured Listing

Welcome to 122 Sycamore Court, Allen Township PA! This lovely home is situated on a culdesac in the desirable Atlas Terrace. This home boasts a beautifully landscaped .31 acre yard and very private backyard retreat with a koi pond, gazebo, and deck! Enjoy a crisp night around the outdoor fire pit too! In addition to the 2 car garage, you’ll find a detached 24x24 garage that is a great space for any hobby! It has above radiant heating & piping for dust collection for woodworking! Inside you’ll find 3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. The bright living room has high vaulted ceilings and the formal dining room off the kitchen is great for entertaining family and friends. Gleaming hardwood floors from the foyer to the kitchen and dining room are also a plus! Next to the kitchen you’ll find a spacious sunken in family room. Upstairs is the spacious master bedroom with an ensuit bathroom and walk-in closet 2 other spacious bedrooms. The 2nd floor laundry adds to the convenience of this home. This home is not to be missed!!

Money Talks

Buying a Home? 10 Financial Things You Shouldn’t Do

You’ve decided to buy a house, and you need financing. Even if you have good credit, you should keep your finances shipshape until closing so that lenders won’t think twice.

Here are 10 things to avoid while you’re buying a home:

1. Don’t change your job before applying for a home loan.Also, now is not the right time to become self-employed or to quit your job. You want to show lenders stability, which means you’ll be less likely to default on the loan.

2. Don’t change banks. As with your employment, you want your banking history to show stability.

3. Don’t buy a car that you have to finance. Buying a vehicle or any other form of transportation through a loan increases your debt-to-income ratio, and loan officers don’t want to see that.

4. Don’t buy furniture on credit before buying your house. Charging big-ticket items increases your debt-to-income ratio. Save your money for the down payment.

5. Don’t be late on your credit card payments or charge excessively. You need a track record of responsibility that shows you can manage your money.

6. Don’t make large deposits into your bank accounts. Lenders like it when the money for your down payment has been sitting in your account for at least two months – what they call “seasoning” – so that the funds don’t just appear out of the ether.

7. Don’t lie on your loan application. Sounds simple, right? But don’t leave out any debts or liabilities or fudge your income. It’s fraud.

8. Don’t co-sign a loan for anyone. Even if you’re not making the payments on that loan, co-signing increases your debt-to-income ratio.

9. Don’t apply for new credit cards or prompt any other inquiries into your credit rating. Looking for new credit translates into higher risk for lenders. If your inquiries are related to your mortgage search, that usually doesn’t affect your credit score, because lenders assume that you’re rate-shopping. But opening credit accounts within a short period of time represents some risk, and your credit could take a hit. Inquiries are probably not a huge factor in calculating your ability to repay a loan, but why take a chance?

10. Don’t spend money you’ll need for closing costs. Part of the price of financing a loan is closing costs, and you’ll likely have some responsibility for paying them. Make sure you have enough for your share


Curb Appeal Corner

The air is getting crisp and fall is fast approaching. Give your home a mini update that matches the new season! Check out the below front door-scapes for ideas. Then watch the video on some fall lawn care tips.

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Simple Fall Curb Appeal

About Me !

Why select me as your real estate agent? I genuinely listen to you and will work tirelessly on your behalf. I am a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley and absolutely love it. I am familiar with all of the neighborhoods, and have the ability to assist you in selecting the best one for your family’s needs. I also use the newest Internet marketing tools to depict your property to the broadest possible range of qualified buyers.

*12 years in Sales & Marketing

* Full-time Real Estate Professional

* Member of the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors & PA Association of Realtors

* Member of the National Association of Realtors

* Specializing in the Lehigh Valley

Feel free to contact me anytime, whether it's to get started on helping you realize your goals and dreams, or just to ask a question. I would welcome the opportunity to make a difference for you.

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