Thank You for Voting for Us as “Simply the Best”


Our team has been blessed to win several prestigious awards and recognitions recently, and we couldn’t have done it without you.
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


I’m proud to announce that the Joy Daniels Real Estate Group won one of Harrisburg Magazine’s Simply the Best awards for Real Estate Agency in 2019, and we want to thank you for voting for us. We value and appreciate your confidence and support, and we’ll continue our mission to deliver world-class service to our community, past clients, neighbors, friends, and their families.
When you work with us, you work with an entire group of professionals dedicated to your satisfaction.     
We’ve also gained several other prestigious recognitions recently that wouldn’t be possible without you, including:

  • Being named one of Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in 2019”
  • Being ranked 51st in REAL Trends’ “1000 Top Teams in the Nation” (as advertised in The Wall Street Journal)
  • "Best of Zillow" 2019

When we created the Joy Daniels Real Estate Group in 2010, we made a team of specialists to meet our clients’ needs, and we’re still dedicated to providing you first-class service. Just as doctors and attorneys specialize their practice, so does each member of our team. When you work with us, you work with an entire group of professionals dedicated to your satisfaction. 

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the near future, feel free to give us a call today at 717-695-3177, email us at info@joydaniels.com or you can visit us online at www.joydaniels.com.

                                                                   

4 Ways to Get Rid of Unwanted Items When Decluttering


When decluttering your home, there are four ways you can get rid of items you no longer need.
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


Today I want to give you some ideas on how to declutter by selling, donating, recycling, or disposing of your unwanted items. We all have items in our home that we no longer want. Perhaps it’s a consequence of living in a society where speed and efficiency are of the essence. Everything has to be quick so we can try and grab some relaxing time. This is perhaps why the trend of decluttering has become so popular—it’s a response to the acknowledgment that we tend to own too many things. Decluttering is good for both you and your home for a variety of reasons, but the foremost is that it gives you the chance to use everything you own. There’s no point worrying about storage for items you have no use for, so getting rid of them gives you access to more room in your house for the things you actually will use. However, this isn’t just another blog post about how to declutter your home. Instead, we’re going to focus on what happens with the “not needed” pile that you have decided can exit your home. What can you do with these things? You have four options: 1. Sell. For the items that are still in a usable condition but also just a surplus to your requirements, you can sell them. There are a variety of different ways to sell, but here are a few ideas:
  • Use auction websites like eBay. Clear photographs and a well-written description will catch people’s eye, so spend time creating your listing where necessary. The more effort you put in, the more likely you’ll find a buyer.
  • Consignment stores. If you don’t want to go through auction websites, these stores sell items on your behalf and then give you a cut of the profit, usually at a 50:50 ratio. You might not get as much, but it’s still easier than selling yourself.
  • Sell items on social media sites like Facebook. Join local groups and explain what you have to offer—there are lots of options for hosting a virtual stoop sale!
  • Hold a garage sale
It’s always worth spending the time thinking about these things, as it helps to clarify the way you organize your life from this point on.     
2. Donate. Some people have the wrong impression of what donations actually entail. They round up all of their unwanted items, dump it at the door of a charity shop, and tell themselves they have done their part. If you want to donate, then it’s important you avoid this. 

Charities want these items, but they need to be usable items. This means you need to wash any clothes you donate and make sure anything you hand over is fit for purpose. What you give away will hopefully be sold at a profit to the charity. Donate items that have a real second-hand value and find another method of disposal (such as listed below) for everything else.

3. Recycle. If you no longer use an item, it might still have a use in some capacity. Recycling items into separate containers and finding somewhere to take them can be time-consuming. If you’re as pressed for time as most of us are, then consider using a home organizer for the project. Be thorough if you have small amounts that you can sort through yourself. Clothes can be recycled or reused. As for furniture, it’s worth a cheap online ad to see if there’s anyone who is interested in buying it.

4. Repurpose. For example, if you have an old set of shelves that no longer works with your decor, rather than removing them from your home, you could find a new purpose for them. Perhaps you could move them into the garden to hold pots of plants or be chopped down to create wall shelving? Finding ways to repurpose old items is a trend, often referred to as “upcycling.” You’ll have to dedicate the time, but you could give a new lease of life to an item otherwise destined for a landfill. 

Hopefully, by following one of the above options, you will find a solution that works for you. It’s always worth spending the time thinking about these things, as it helps to clarify the way you organize your life from this point on. Unless you want to have to run through these decisions again in a few months’ time, perhaps it will be worth focusing on what you bring into your home and make sure it’s something you really need!

If you are going to start the process of selling things online, I have several ideas for websites that you might want to consider, so do not hesitate to email and ask about a specific need. If you’re thinking of buying a home, we have a team of qualified, experienced listing partners and buyers specialists who are ready to work with you to make your transaction a positive experience.  

If you have any real estate needs or questions, feel free to give us a call today at 717-695-3177, email us at info@joydaniels.com or you can visit us online at www.joydaniels.com.

                                                                   

Items to Check Off Your Summer Maintenance Checklist


Today I want to talk to you about everything you need to do to keep your home and yard in tip-top shape this summer.
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


With the change of each season comes a new set of maintenance tasks for your home. Now that summer's here, you'll want to prepare your home and yard for the onslaught of summer heat. From air-conditioner upkeep to hanging a clothesline, these simple chores will help keep your home happy and healthy:
  • Check detectors. Check your home's smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they're working properly.
  • Inspect air conditioners. If you haven't already, prep your air conditioners and fans for their busiest season. With the help of your spouse, install window air conditioning units. Also, remove and clean the filters before firing up the AC. If you have central air conditioning, consider a professional servicing. And be sure to clean all ceiling fans and other fans with a damp rag. If you have high ceilings, a ceiling-fan duster can help you de-grime hard-to-reach blades.
  • Enjoy a dry spell. Install an outdoor clothesline to dry your laundry in the summer sun; you'll save money and energy by skipping the dryer. Plus, who doesn't love the smell of air-dried sheets?
  • Clean your outdoor cooker. Give your grill a deep cleaning. 

Deadhead both perennial and annual flowers to keep them productive.     

  • Polish your porch. Thoroughly sweep painted porch floors; then mop them with an all-purpose cleaner. If there's a lot of built-up dirt on the floorboards, you may need to scrub them with a brush.
  • Analyze your deck. Look over your deck for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up. Then, determine if your deck needs sealing. Sprinkle water on the deck's boards. If the water beads up, you're in good shape; but if it soaks right in, it's time to reseal it.
  • Wash your windows. If you didn't tackle exterior window washing in the spring, now's the time to get your glass clean.
  • Make much ado about mulch. Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture in the heat. It'll give your plants a chance to grow.
  • Be a leak detective. Check your hoses and exterior faucets for leaks—even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be covered up by winding regular electrical tape around the (dry) hose in overlapping layers.
  • Primp your plants. Deadhead both perennials and annuals to keep them productive. If you have visible dead foliage from spring bulbs, pull it out to maintain a tidy look, but if the daffodil or tulip leaves are still green, leave them alone; they're busy nourishing the bulb to bloom again next year.
  • Plan your watering schedule. Train your garden to endure dry days by watering deeply a couple of times a week, instead of watering lightly daily. This style of watering will promote the growth of deep, strong roots.
  • Stop dirt at the door. Keep summer's mud and muck outside with not one, but two doormats at your main entry door. Place a coarse mat at the exterior and a softer, cloth one on the interior to catch the most dirt. Better still, instruct family members to remove their shoes upon entering. If you live near a beach, a tub of water for sandy feet placed by the door works wonders for keeping sand outside where it belongs.

I am sure you have already completed many of these projects, but I hope that I was able to share and encourage you with other projects you may not have remembered. 

If you are thinking about a new home this summer, at Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, we have a team of qualified, experienced listing partners and buyers specialists who are ready to work with you to make every real estate process a positive experience. If you or someone you know is ready to buy or sell a home, give us a call today at 717-695-3177, email info@joydaniels.com or you can visit us online at www.joydaniels.com.
                                                                                                            

What Else Should FSBO Sellers Know Before Listing?


There are so many different issues that can arise when selling a home FSBO. Here are four more of them.
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


Welcome back to part two of my discussion on why you should not sell your home on your own. A For Sale By Owner represents a lost opportunity for Realtors and sellers. The agent misses out on the chance to sell a home and build their portfolio, but the seller loses out too. If you didn’t watch last week’s video, take a moment now to watch it here. We covered four FSBO issues there, and we’ll cover four more today: 1. There are too many people to negotiate with. Some of the many people with whom you will need to be prepared to negotiate with include the buyer, the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s attorney, the home inspection companies (who also work with the buyer), the buyer’s lender, the appraiser, the title company, the town or municipality, and more. 2. Let a skilled negotiator handle the negotiations for you. Having an experienced negotiator on your side could save you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way, from the original offer to the possible renegotiation after the inspection, you need someone who can keep a deal together until it closes.
With an agent by your side, you’ll be able to maximize the three P’s of selling: preparation, pricing, and presentation.     
3. What is your home worth in today’s market? There is so much information out there about home sales, prices, and market demands. How do you know what affects your specific situation? Real estate values and demand from homes are hyperlocal, and an experienced, local real estate agent should be your primary resource to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process. Hiring someone who has their finger on the pulse of the local market will enhance your selling experience and increase your final sale price.

4. Security issues. Have you considered how you will keep your home and family safe when showing it to strangers? How are you going to vet prospective buyers when they call for an appointment? When you agree to show your home as an FSBO, you are letting strangers into your home. With an agent, you have the comfort of knowing that the buyers who come see your home have been vetted, not only just for safety, but also to ensure that they are serious about buying a home.

Don't be one of the many FSBO homes that receives lower offers, isn’t well negotiated, and fails to sell due to lack of expertise in the transaction. I don't want you to find yourself in a mess. We are experienced in selling homes and know and understand all the details involved in a successful transaction. 

If you have any questions for me or you’re ready to sell your home today, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call at 717-695-3177 or email me at info@joydaniels.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


To vote for "Simply the Best 2019" click here
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FSBO Series, Part 1


In the first of my two-part For Sale by Owner (FSBO) series, we’ll explore whether or not going the home selling process alone instead of working with an agent is worth it.
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


Selling your home is a massively important financial decision—one of the biggest of your life, in fact. With an agent by your side, you’ll be able to maximize the three P’s of selling: preparation, pricing, and presentation. Beyond the three P’s, a Realtor will give you greater exposure to prospective buyers. Did you know that 94% of buyers start their search online? In light of this, it’s critical to have an internet broad-based marketing strategy for your home, and an agent will expertly devise a plan to reach as many buyers as possible. This includes everything from professional staging and photography to handling marketing materials. Professional agents spend more than $15,000 a month purely on marketing homes. 50% of buyers find the home they end up purchasing on the internet. Another 28% find theirs from an agent, 7% from yard signs, and the remaining 1% of buyers find their home from the newspaper. It goes without saying that having a strong marketing strategy is crucial for selling your home quickly and for top dollar these days. Another benefit to using an agent is that you’ll net more money from your sale. Many homeowners believe they’ll ultimately save money by not paying a commission to an agent. What they fail to account for, however, is the primary reason buyers look at FSBO homes in the first place: They’re also looking to save by avoiding commission costs. Of course, both parties can’t save on commission, so the buyer’s offer will be low.
With an agent by your side, you’ll be able to maximize the three P’s of selling: preparation, pricing, and presentation.     
In a study by Collateral Analytics, it was revealed that FSBO sellers don’t save any money whatsoever, and in some cases, they might even leave money on the table by not enlisting the help of an agent.   

Counterintuitive as it may seem, other studies have shown that, by and large, homes sell for more money when handled by an agent. The National Association of Realtors’ research found that the median sale price for FSBO homes was $200,000. Contrast that with the median sale price of those sold with an agent’s assistance, which was $640,000. 

Choosing to go the FSBO route has become increasingly complex—the paperwork involved as it pertains to industry disclosures and regulations have grown more and more stringent. The increase in potential liabilities home sellers face is likely to blame for the declining number of FSBO sellers. Over the last 20 years, that number has dropped from 19% to just 7%. 

On top of all of this, there are 230 possible steps that need to be taken over the course of any successful real estate transaction. When you take that into consideration, don’t you want the help of someone who’s been there before? And don’t you want guidance every step of the way to prevent any missteps?  

All in all, if you’re thinking of selling your home soon, it’d behoove you to talk to a real estate professional. We at Joy Daniels Real Estate Group can produce the best possible results for you. Just give us a call at 717-695-3177 or visit us online at JoyDaniels.com. We’re really excited to work with you! Stay tuned for the second part of our FSBO series!


To vote for "Simply the Best 2019" click here
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Join us at Our Upcoming Seller Seminar?


Our seller seminar is just around the corner, and you won't want to miss this helpful (and free) event. REGISTER HERE
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


I’ve got some exciting news to share: You’re invited to our free upcoming seller seminar! The event will take place at the Giant Supermarket Community Center (3301 Trindle Road, Camp Hill) on Thursday, June 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Navigating today’s dramatically changing real estate market can be challenging, especially when it comes time to try to sell your home. Listing these days can lead to a lot of confusion, and that’s why my goal for this seminar is to help you overcome this. This seminar will give you the tools, resources, and information you need to make the best decisions for one of your biggest investments.
This seminar will give you the tools, resources, and information you need to make the best decisions for one of your biggest investments.
I’ll explain the necessary steps it will take to achieve your selling goals, and also shed some light on current market conditions. 

We will also have a panel of expert speakers at the seminar, including a stager, a home inspector, and a mortgage lender—each of whom will offer invaluable insight into their role in the real estate process.

Ultimately, I want to set you on the path to success as a seller in today’s buyer’s market. 

Also, if there are any questions left unanswered at the end of the seminar, I will give you an opportunity before we wrap things up to ask me about them. 

If you have any other questions, would like more information, or are interested in attending, give my team and me a call at (717) 695-3177 or send us an email at info@joydaniels.com. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming seminar.

Your Vote Could Make All the Difference


If you didn’t already know, Harrisburg Magazine’s annual “Simply the Best” survey is underway for 2019! What’s not to love about this competition?

VOTE HERE
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


I’m coming to you from Al’s Pizza in Mechanicsburg, where the pizza is great, and so is the beer. I simply love Central Pennsylvania. Another reason to love our hometown is Harrisburg’s annual competition called “Simply the Best.” What makes this survey so special is that it gives residents of Pennsylvania the opportunity to showcase the local attractions and businesses that they love. We’d love to have your help—with your support, we’d be honored to win the title of Simply the Best Realtor of 2019. After all, without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

You can cast your vote here, at HarrisburgMagazine.com

Where will you find us on the list? We’ll be in the category labeled as “Realty" representing "Joy Daniels Real Estate Group". 

Voting is today, April 15th through June 15th. 
We’d love to have your help—with your support, we’d be honored to win the title of Simply the Best Realtor of 2019.     
Our mission is to deliver world-class service to our communities, past clients, neighbors, friends and their families. We look forward to serving our local community here in 2019. Please contact us with any Real Estate questions you have. Our office number is 717-695-3177 or send us an email at info@JoyDaniels.com. We would love to help you!

Where Sellers Get the Biggest Bang for Their House-Prepping Buck








Friends and Clients —

Home shopping season is quickly approaching, which means home sellers are busy cleaning, painting, decluttering, landscaping and deciding which other projects might reap the greatest reward given limited time and money. Their best bet – once the curb appeal projects are done, tackle the bathrooms.

The key is making smart decisions about what to upgrade because home-improvement projects don’t necessarily pay for themselves — and some improvements actually cost more than they return in value.

1. Dive into the “curb appeal” projects first. That said, do them smartly. New paint inside and out and basic landscaping and yard care typically runs about $3,000, according to recent research by Zillow and Thumbtack, and are typically the most common and necessary improvements. And choosing the right eye-catching colors can increase a home’s value far beyond just the appeal of new paint. A Zillow analysis found that yellow homes sell for nearly $3,500 less than expected, while the right color door can lead to an extra $6,000 in a seller’s pocket.


2. Upgrade the bathrooms (but not too much). A mid-range bathroom remodel, such as replacing the toilet, tub and light fixtures, adding a double sink, tiling the floor and hanging some wallpaper, typically results in a $1.71 increase in home value for every dollar spent, if the bathroom is at least 25 years old. But an upscale bathroom remodel with top-end features, full-body-wash shower wall, bidet could actually cost a seller, adding 87 cents of home value for every dollar spent.

3. Install new windows. New mid-range windows can return $1.15 for every dollar, but get too fancy and you’ll end up breaking even.

Until next time, make it a great week!


Joy Daniels

How to Prepare Your Home for the Spring Market


If you want to ensure your home stands out in the upcoming spring market, there are a few things you should do. Here’s what they are.
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


Spring is just around the corner, so now’s the time to get your home prepared for the year’s hottest selling season. Here are the steps you should be taking now so that you’ll be ready by the time the spring market arrives: 1. Complete a pre-inspection. By knowing what needs to be worked on in your home, you can take the necessary steps to ensure your home is completely fixed up and ready to go. 2. Prepare your home. Commit to completing a deep clean of your home, decluttering your living spaces, and staging your home so that it’s ready for some beautiful spring photography.
With a little attention to detail and an early start, we can help you get the results you want this spring.
3. Find the true value of your home. Meet with our listing specialist and find the best pricing strategy for your property. We understand that a home is an investment, and we’ll give you everything you need to ensure it sells for top dollar.

On top of this, we have a great “Coming Soon” program that we can use for your home listing. This program gives us the ability to market your home before it even hits the market. It’s a great way to build some buyer buzz and showcase your home, and it also gives you time to make sure it’s ready—inside and out!

With a little attention to detail and an early start, we can help you get the results you want this spring. If you have any questions or need further information, call 717-695-3177 or email Info@JoyDaniels.com. We look forward to working with you! 

Join us at Our Upcoming Seller Seminar?


Our seller seminar is just around the corner, and you won't want to miss this helpful (and free) event. REGISTER HERE
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


I’ve got some exciting news to share: You’re invited to our free upcoming seller seminar! The event will take place at the Giant Supermarket Community Center (3301 Trindle Road, Camp Hill) on Thursday, February 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Navigating today’s dramatically changing real estate market can be challenging, especially when it comes time to try to sell your home. Listing these days can lead to a lot of confusion, and that’s why my goal for this seminar is to help you overcome this. This seminar will give you the tools, resources, and information you need to make the best decisions for one of your biggest investments.
This seminar will give you the tools, resources, and information you need to make the best decisions for one of your biggest investments.
I’ll explain the necessary steps it will take to achieve your selling goals, and also shed some light on current market conditions. 

We will also have a panel of expert speakers at the seminar, including a stager, a home inspector, and a mortgage lender—each of whom will offer invaluable insight into their role in the real estate process.

Ultimately, I want to set you on the path to success as a seller in today’s buyer’s market. 

Also, if there are any questions left unanswered at the end of the seminar, I will give you an opportunity before we wrap things up to ask me about them. 

If you have any other questions, would like more information, or are interested in attending, give my team and me a call at (717) 695-3177 or send us an email at info@joydaniels.com. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming seminar.

Answering a Few Common Questions About Septic Systems


There are plenty of homes in our area that aren’t connected to their respective town’s septic system. Here are a few things you should know about these homes. 
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


Today I am joined by Lee Ann Grajales, a listing specialist on the Joy Daniels Real Estate Team. Lee Ann is a bit of a “road warrior” in our office and often travels to some of the more northern locations of our traditional marketing area to service clients. She’s joining me to answer a few questions about the differences between selling homes with septic sewer systems versus the more common public sewer system. When would a home have a private septic sewer system instead of a public sewer system? Basically, cities, towns, and surrounding areas will be on sewer systems that are maintained by the local public works department. If a neighborhood is outside the area serviced by the local public sewer system, these homes will generally use a private septic system to handle their sewage and wastewater. What are some of the things sellers and buyers should be aware of when selling and purchasing a home with a private septic system? First off, I would say that buyers should not be frightened away by homes with septic systems. Most buyers have never had any experience with them. If properly maintained, septic systems can last the life of the home. Also, it is very important that the seller is aware and discloses whether they have a traditional septic system, which should be pumped every three years, versus a “holding tank” septic system, which has no drain field and may need to be pumped monthly. Another critical factor is knowing exactly where the system is located to avoid accidentally drilling into the covering of the system.
Buyers shouldn’t be frightened by homes with their own septic systems.
What are some best practices for properly maintaining a septic system?

At a minimum, do NOT flush paper towels, baby wipes, cigarettes, coffee grounds, cat litter, medications, or hazardous materials. Avoid dumping grease, oils, or fats down the drain, as they may solidify and contribute to blockages. A neat trick I picked up at a seminar was flushing a dime sized piece of baker’s yeast every three months to maintain healthy bacteria growth.

When selling a home with a septic system, what should the buyer and seller keep in mind regarding inspections?

Normally, the buyer pays for all the inspections.  However, per the agreement of sale, if it is required by the inspection company, the seller must pump the septic tank at their own expense. Buyers want a clean tank! When a property has been vacant for longer than a few weeks, a hydraulic load test is often needed. This test verifies that the system can efficiently receive and filter a volume of liquid that would normally pass through the tank on a “peak flow” day.  

I want to thank Lee Ann for all the great information she had to share with us today. Speaking from personal experience, I had a septic system in every home I lived in up until last year. Lee Ann was right on the money when she said that a well-maintained septic system should last the life of the home. If you want to download a copy of “Tips and Care for the Health of Your Septic System,” compliments of Trimmer Home Inspections, click on the link below or call our office at 717-695-3177 and ask for a copy to be sent to you.

At the Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, we have a team of qualified, experienced listing partners and buyer's specialists who are ready to work with you to make every real estate process a positive experience. If you or someone you know is ready to buy or sell a home, give us a call today at 717-695-3177, email info@joydaniels.com, or visit us online at joydaniels.com. Until next time, make it a great week!

7 Winter Home Care Tips for You


Winter is right around the corner. Here are seven tips to make sure your home is ready for the cold. 
There are a variety of opportunities in the Central Pennsylvania real estate market for both buyers and sellers.
If you're a prospective buyer click here for a full home search, or if you're considering placing your home on the market, get a free home value report, right here.


Winter is coming and now is the time to prepare your home for the colder months. I have seven winter preparation tips to share with you that will you save you time, money, and hassle: 1. Tune up your heating system. For about $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure it’s clean and able to achieve its intended efficiency. Change your filters every month since your heating will be running constantly throughout the winter. 2. Protect your pipes. Pipes near outer walls can be susceptible to freezing in extreme temperatures. Be sure to add extra insulation to exposed pipes in your attic, basement, or crawl spaces. 3. Windows. If you don’t have double-paned windows, remove the screens and install storm windows to ensure that the heat stays in and the cold stays out! Caulk anywhere you feel cold air seeping into your house. 4. Fireplace. Burning firewood is another way to save energy costs. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox or open the nearest window about one inch and close doors leading into the room. That will prevent the fire from drawing warm air out of the rest of the house and replacing it with cold air.
Pipes near outer walls can be susceptible to freezing in extreme temperatures.
5. Reverse your ceiling fans. If your fans have a reverse switch, turn it clockwise to create an updraft that will push warmer air down from the ceiling. This is especially helpful for those with high ceilings, and it may even allow you to turn the thermostat down a degree or two. It also gives you a chance to dust those ceiling fans! 

6. Check your gutters. If they are full of leaves, water will back up against the house and damage roofing, siding, and gutters, causing leaks and ice dams all over the house. Also, make sure water isn’t draining from the gutters directly next to your foundation. Add extensions to your downspouts to divert water four feet or more away from the foundation. This is an inexpensive and easy fix that could prevent water entry in your basement.  

7. Last but not least, be ready for an emergency! Blackouts and snow-ins can occur during the winter months, so take a moment to prepare yourself and your family for such emergencies.  Having the following items ready will help you make it through safely:

• Flashlight
• Bottled water
• Nonperishable food items
• Blankets
• Battery backup for your computer and other important electronic equipment
• First-aid kit
• If you have an emergency generator, make sure you have gasoline stored and available to fuel it!

At Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, we have a team of qualified, experienced listing partners and buyer specialists who are ready to work with you to make every real estate process a positive experience.  If you or someone you know is ready to buy or sell a home, give us a call today at 717-695-3177, email info@joydaniels.com, or visit us online at joydaniels.com. We hope to hear from you soon.