What Sellers Need To Know About Basements


Here’s what you need to know about basements in Pennsylvania. 


Today I have a tale of two basements in otherwise comparable houses. One

is a finished basement with a den, bedroom, and full bathroom. The other

basement has some drywall, an exposed toilet, and a painted floor. The listing

for the first house reflects the basement and number of bedrooms, including

the one in the basement space, in its total square footage and price. The

second house only includes the square footage of the main floors and does

not count a 200-square-foot bedroom in the basement. Which listing correctly

shows the square footage for a basement? The short answer is both. 


In Pennsylvania, listing agents and appraisers must distinguish between

above-grade square feet and below-grade square feet. This basement

space, whether finished or unfinished, would not be included in the total “gross

living area.” One of the questions I am most often asked is why a basement or

level that is partially below grade is not counted in the gross living area. There

is a value given to below-grade space; it’s just included in the total. 


"If a home with a finished basement wows a buyer, it probably will obtain a higher price."


Fannie Mae considers a level to be below-grade if any portion of it is

below-grade, regardless of the quality of its finish or the window area of any

room. Therefore, a walk-out basement with finished rooms would not be

included in the above-grade room count. This would be given value as a

finished basement. The overall square footage will factor into the financing of

a house. Your appraiser must generally appraise the house for the sales

price or higher for the lender to provide the funds. They must follow the

rules of Fannie Mae. 


Unlike commercial real estate, homes are generally not priced strictly on

square footage. Whether a basement is included in square footage or not, a

nicely finished basement will add to the value of a home. While the price per

square foot for a swanky basement is not as high as main-level upgrades, an

appraiser or potential buyer will certainly appraise the home’s value as higher

with the additional living space of a basement. This is true whether the

basement is a walk-out or below ground.


If a home with a finished basement wows a buyer, it probably will obtain a

higher price! We will help you determine the value of your finished basement.

Just call (717) 695-3177 or email info@joydaniels.com. Our buyer and seller

specialists are on standby and ready to help you!

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving


We have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.


With all of the holiday noise and Black Friday messages flooding your inbox,

I wanted to take this opportunity to say Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful

for the fall weather, the beautiful trees, and the support of my family and

amazing husband.


All of us at Joy Daniels Real Estate Group want to thank you, our clients,

friends, and customers. We had an unusual but amazing 2022, and we

could not be more thankful for all the support and blessings given to us

in this market. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your

friends and family.


We are here to serve your needs and help you realize your real estate goals.

If you have any questions for us, please call (717) 695-3177 or email

info@joydaniels.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sellers Commonly Make These 4 Mistakes


Avoiding these four common mistakes is the key to a successful sale.


Selling one of the biggest investments in your life, your home, can be challenging. However, this process doesn’t have to be full of missteps and mistakes. That’s why today I’m sharing four common things you should avoid when selling your home:


1. Don’t get emotional. This can be hard, and selling the place where you’ve lived and created memories is very bittersweet. Perhaps you are moving for inherently emotional reasons. Maybe you just don’t like change. However, do your best to put your emotions on the shelf and be realistic. You want to be as businesslike as possible when selling your home.


2. Don’t set an unrealistic price. The first and most important thing you’ll do when listing your home is set the price. If you aren’t considering the “what-ifs” then you might set your sights too high and list it at an unrealistic price. This can cause your home to sit on the market longer and might cost more money in the long run.



"The selling process doesn’t have to be full of missteps and mistakes."



3. Don’t hide major problems. A qualified home inspector will find any major issues with your home, even if you try and hide them. If you aren’t forthcoming about known issues, you will slow the whole process down. You could even have a deal fall through if you fail to disclose something.


4. Don’t wait until the last minute. There are many documents that you will be required to have in hand before you can list and sell your home. Don’t delay making sure you have all of these ready to go. The whole process will go faster and smoother if you are prepared beforehand.


If you are serious about selling your home you want to avoid any mistakes by failing to prepare your home for a quick and hassle free sale. Now that you are aware of some common mistakes to avoid when selling your home you can be more confident even when something doesn't go as planned. Give our listing specialists a call at 717-695-3177 or email info@joydaniels.com so we can help you achieve your home selling goals.

Sellers: Check Out These 4 Great Tips


These four tips will make selling your home a breeze.


I have talked in the past about mistakes to avoid when selling your home. Today, however, I’m talking about four things that you definitely should do when selling your house:

 

1. Film video walk-throughs. This is especially necessary as virtual home buying becomes increasingly popular. This is a sure way to increase the number of views and interactions for your home. Video tours can usually be filmed by somebody who works with your real estate agent, and they are a compelling way to add value to your listing.


2. Make minor repairs. You might have learned to live with squeaky hinges or broken railings, but these can turn homebuyers off. It’s much cheaper to fix them yourself before your home is inspected rather than negotiating them after the sale.


3. Make cosmetic improvements. It may be hard to view your lived-in home objectively, but potential buyers will be the first to notice worn-out carpeting or scuffed walls. A little bit of paint or carpet cleaning can go a long way to making sure your home gives the right first impression.


4. Stage your home. Now that even more buyers are checking out your home virtually, it’s more important that your house appear bright, light, and updated. It might be worthwhile to pay for a professional stager, have a friend with a good eye take a look, or consider virtual staging.


"This is a sure way to increase the number of views and interactions for your home."


Remember that preparation is key! Not properly preparing or pricing your home

is a surefire way to make the home-selling experience an uphill climb. Today’s

homebuyers are well-educated, and since they are able to shop online,

they’re savvy about if a home is competitively priced. 


Selling a home can be stressful and tricky, even for a home seller who has sold half a dozen homes. We can help! Call us at (717) 695-3177 or email us at info@joydaniels.com. Our listing experts are experienced and ready to help you get a huge advantage over other sellers.

Check Out My Selling Seminar!


If you need to sell your home soon, this event will be perfect for you.


Are you looking to sell a home in Central Pennsylvania within the next year? If your answer is yes, you have to attend my home-selling workshop at the Colonial Country Club on October 26. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be chock-full of essential selling information.

 

The theme of this event is how to get top dollar during the fall and winter selling seasons. Traditionally, people think these seasons are not as good for sellers, but if you prepare your home the right way using the tips from this seminar, you’ll be sure to get the most money possible for your property.


Some of the questions I’ll answer include:

  • Can I purchase a home before selling my current one?
  • Is now a good time to sell?
  • Are home prices dropping?
  • What mistakes should I avoid?
  • How do I attract buyers?
  • Should I pre-inspect my home?


If you have a specific question, reach out to me, and I’ll answer it at the event. Click this link to reserve your spot, or give me a call at (717) 695-3177. You can also email me at info@joydaniels.com. I look forward to seeing you there!

The Simply the Best 2022 Awards Gala



Thank you for voting for us in three Simply the Best 2022 categories!


Recently, we had the chance to attend the Simply the Best Awards Gala, and we wanted to say thank you for choosing us as Simply the Best 2022 in the following categories: Best Real Estate Agent, Best Real Estate Agency, and Best Real Estate Team.


There is nothing more thrilling than being voted simply the best in these three categories, except for one thing—it's happening two years in a row! According to Jennifer Hollister, one of our agents, “These awards hold so much meaning because they represent the relationships we've built over decades. Plus, it's not just about how many sales we had, it's about how we make people feel, and that's what's most important!”


Our team thanks you for making these coveted awards possible. We look forward to serving this community for decades to come. As always, if you have any real estate questions, call us at (717) 695-3177 or email info@joydaniels.com. We’d love to connect with you!

How To Get Top Dollar for Your Home


Here's what you'll learn at my home-selling seminar on September 21.
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.

Are you thinking about selling your Central PA home in the next year? If your answer is yes, join me with our industry experts for an in-person home-selling workshop on September 21st, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Colonial Country Club, 4901 Linglestown Road in Harrisburg.


The seminar is titled “How to Get Top Dollar in the Fall and Winter Home-Selling Market”. We'll answer all of your home-selling questions, including thow to prepare your home in today's market. A mortgage lender, home inspector, organizer, and RJ Harris will be joining us.


If you have any specific questions, please submit them in advance so we can try to answer them during the event. Here are some starter questions that we're going to discuss: 


  • Can I purchase a home before selling my current one?

  • Is now a good time to sell?

  • Are home prices dropping?

  • Are buyers motivated right now? 

  • What mistakes should I avoid? 

  • How do I get rid of my stuff? 

  • How do I attract home buyers now? 

  • Should I pre-inspect my home? 



A lender, home inspector, organizer, and RJ Harris will be joining us as well.  

 

If you're thinking about selling your house and want to know the answers to these questions and more, reserve your spot today. Sign up for the seminar here.

If you have any questions about the event or real estate in general, don't hesitate to reach out via phone at (717) 695-3177 or email at info@joydaniels.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Start Your Fitness Journey at Power Train


Power Train can help an athlete or a beginner with their fitness goals.
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.

Christy Hartwick, our Senior Listing Specialist, joined me at Power Train Sports and Fitness to learn what they do and how they can help with your fitness journey. Today we’re at the location on Linglestown road in Harrisburg. We spoke with Alexa Campbell, Power Train’s senior director of performance, to hear why Power Train is so successful at helping you achieve your fitness goals. Whether that goal is to finish a half marathon, lose weight, or just be able to chase your grandchildren around, Power Train is here to help you reach it. Power Train is completely focused on the individual person. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete trying to get better at your sport or an adult just looking to start your fitness journey, they’ll help with your particular needs. If you’ve been injured or there’s a part of your body that has been sore for years, they can help you rehabilitate it and become pain-free. The fitness experts at Power Train will show you how to do everything and ensure you’re being safely pushed to get results. 


Power Train is completely focused on the individual person.


Christy is a Power Train client, and they’ve given her the confidence boost she needed, both physically and mentally, to be more productive during the day. She loves the results, and her body feels stronger than it ever has. The staff is wonderful to work with and will develop a custom plan for your needs. Exercise benefits people at every age. At Power Train, you’ll start to see and feel positive results from your very first session. The staff will track your improvements through each session so you can monitor your progress. Each Power Train membership provides personalized assessment, guidance, and the ongoing performance measurements you need for sustainable results. They have 10 locations throughout Central Pennsylvania, so there’s likely one near you. If you’d like to learn more and experience Power Train yourself, they’re offering a complimentary session! Click here to get started. As always, if you ever have any questions about real estate, call us at (717) 695-3177 or email info@joydaniels.com. We would love to help you not just buy or sell, but also discover other excellent services in our area like this one!

How To Make Your Own Home Office


How you can make a home office that helps you stay focused on work.
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.

Do you have a home office? According to recent statistics, 56% of companies worldwide offer telework options to employees, and those numbers are expected to grow. More people can work from home than ever before, but if you’re one of them, you might be anxious about creating a space where you can be efficient and productive. Your house is your comfort zone, so how do you make it double as an office?

The key is designating your workspace. Create a distinct workspace and ensure you have all the equipment you need. That way, you can shut out distractions while you’re working and leave work behind when the day is over. If you don’t have a separate room, consider using a room divider. You might also want to customize your home office because the more comfortable your space, the more productive you’ll be.



Major life changes require adjustment.


You also may simply want to find a new place to live. Your studio apartment might have been perfect when you left for work every morning, but now that you’re cooped up in it all day, it feels cramped. Major life changes require adjustment. If your living quarters no longer suit you, it may be time to move on. If you’re interested in buying a new home, we’re ready to help you start your search. Call us at (717) 695-3177 or email us at info@joydaniels.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


Buyers: Be Prepared to Strike


Here’s why all homebuyers in today’s market need to be prepared.
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.

Although lending rules have eased up over the past three years, lenders still have the recent recession on their minds. Your mortgage loan officer may ask you for more documents and information.

Keep good records of your checking, savings, and investment accounts. If you have any unusually large transaction, whether it is a sale or purchase, be prepared to explain it. An unusually large transaction is normally classified as a transaction that is bigger than one of your regular paychecks.


For example, if your normal paycheck is $2,078 every two weeks and you suddenly have a deposit of $4,800 from the sale of a motorcycle, then you need to be prepared to show documentation for the sale. If you have changed jobs, you may have to give details of the benefits package or potential commission to explain why the new job was a better option for you.



Sellers are in the driver’s seat for negotiations.


Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage and your real estate agent firmly understands your needs, be ready to make an offer on a home. We are currently in the midst of a seller’s market. This means that the number of people attempting to buy a home far outnumbers the available homes for sale. This puts the seller in the driver’s seat of the negotiations.


If your agent calls and states that they have something for you, don’t make an appointment for four days later. Adjust your schedule and look at the home as soon as you can. The quicker you see the home and find out what the seller is looking for in the way of a contract, the quicker you can act.  


If you are considering purchasing a home, take advantage of a buyer specialist. Our team is waiting to assist you with your home purchase goals. Email info@joydaniels.com or call (717) 695-3177 if you have any questions at all. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Visit Your Potential New Home Before Buying


Here’s why you should be visiting a home multiple times before buying 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.

Many would-be homeowners only visit their potential new home right after work or on a Sunday afternoon, and they often make a quick decision about the house and neighborhood. However, there is a better way to investigate a home. You should take time to visit a potential home in the morning, late at night, and at various times on the weekend. Take note of what you see, and keep an eye out for the following items:

  • Children playing in the yard

  • People working on projects outside

  • The number of cars parked on the street

  • The level of noise

  • People congregating at a particular home




Be sure that what you want and need are viable at your prospective property.


All of these things can give you a better feel for your neighborhood and indicate if it’s a good fit for you. 


That leads me to my next point: The location of your home is often just as important as the home itself. Do some research online about the area and investigate the presence of various shopping options for food, clothes, and fuel for your car. 


Finally, look at the entertainment options in the area. Maybe you’re the kind of person who enjoys losing themselves in a lavish museum or expansive library. Maybe you'd like to meet friends at a nearby pub for happy hour. Whatever your preference, be sure that what you want and need are viable at your prospective property.


If you have any questions about buying a home, selling a home, or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone at 717-695-3177 or email at info@joydaniels.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Home Sellers: Mark Your Calendars for June 15


Here’s what you’ll learn at my home-selling seminar on June 15.
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.

Are you thinking about selling your Central Pennsylvania home in the next year? If your answer is yes, please join me for a virtual home-selling workshop with industry experts on June 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

The seminar is titled “How to get top dollar in the summer and fall home-selling market.” We’ll answer all of your home-selling questions, including how to prepare your house for today’s market. We’ll have a lender and home inspector join us as well. 


If you have specific questions, I encourage you to submit them in advance so we can try to answer them during the event. Here are examples of a few of the questions we’ll answer:


  • Can I purchase a home before selling my current one?

  • Is now a good time to sell?

  • Are home prices dropping?

  • Are buyers motivated right now?

  • What mistakes should I avoid?

  • How do I get rid of my stuff? 

  • How do I attract homebuyers now?

  • Should I pre-inspect my home?




A lender and home inspector will be joining us as well.


If you’re thinking about selling and want to know the answers to these questions and more, reserve your spot today. Space is limited to 25 homeowners, so don’t delay. Sign up for the seminar here! 


If you have any questions about the event or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone at (717) 695-3177 or email info@joydaniels.com. We look forward to hearing from you.