Area Real Estate News, Local Events, & Market Trends

I hope you find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from Wayne and Pike County PA market statistics and home values to community happenings all across the Lake Wallenpaupack region of the Poconos.  I care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

April 20, 2022

Lake Wallenpaupack Lakefront Home For Sale

NEW WALLENPAUPACK LAKEFRONT LISTING!

1146 Salem Park Ln, Lake Ariel PA 18436

$675,000

Call Karen Rice 570-647-5170 (direct/text) or at the office 570-226-0500

OPEN HOUSE DAYS & TIMES

Saturday April 23, 2022  11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Sunday April 24, 2022  11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

 

Check out this Lake Wallenpaupack lakefront home that sits on a gently sloped lot with 75' of frontage on Lake1146 Salem Park Ln Lake Ariel PA Wallenpaupack! 

Located in Parkside, 1146 Salem Park Ln, Lake Ariel, PA, this home features 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, and views of the water.

The main level has an open layout with a spacious living room, brick fireplace, dining area, and kitchen. 

An enclosed sun porch and deck are easily accessed via the sliding doors by the dining area and are the perfect place to relax and enjoy the lake views. 

There are two bedrooms and a full bath on the main level as well.  

The lower level would be a perfect in-law suite since it has a kitchenette, family room, full bath with laundry, and two bedrooms.  Sliding doors lead to the lower enclosed porch and offer easy access to the yard.

There is a paved driveway plus a parking pad, and a storage shed with a garage-style door for easy access to your tools & toys!

1146 Salem Park Lane Street View

Living Room, Lake Wallenpaupack Lakefront Home

Lakefront Lot, Gently Sloped 75' on Lake Wallenpaupack

75' Frontage on Lake Wallenpaupack Lakefront Home

If you've been dreaming of your own lake house but can't afford a million dollars, this is your golden opportunity, it's only $675,000! Since it is so affordably priced, it will not last long.  

Can't make the OPEN HOUSE on Sat & Sunday April 24 & 25 (11-2)? Check out the 3D VIRTUAL TOUR:

 

 

Feb. 5, 2022

Realtor Tips for Home Renovation

Home renovation is a major undertaking, whether you just bought a fixer-upper and are ready to transform it into a beautiful dream house, or you have decided to update and renovate your current home.

In 1996, my husband and I bought our home with the full intention of renovating, selling, and upgrading to a newer, bigger house.  (We're still here...in our little Cape a few minutes from Lake Wallenpaupack...but the transformations have made us less anxious to move up, especially now that the kids are grown.)

Renovating your home can be a stressful, time-consuming process—and if you want to keep your peace of mind (and sanity!) during your renovation, you need to take conscious steps to manage the stress.

But what, exactly, are those steps?

A recent article from realtor.com outlined strategies homeowners can use to keep stress at bay throughout the home renovation process, including:

  • Track your progress. When you’re in the midst of a renovation, it can seem like your home has been (and will be) under construction forever, which can feel demoralizing. That’s why it’s so important to acknowledge and celebrate the progress being made. 

  • Take before and after pictures of each room! Write down all the different renovation-related tasks that need to be completed—and every time one of those tasks is finished, cross it off the list. Having a visual representation of the progress being made will remind you that, even when it doesn’t feel like it, you are getting closer to the end of your renovation—which can provide a much-needed mood boost mid-renovation.

    Bathroom Before
    Before - yes, quite the gross bathroom!

    After Bathroom
    After - now that's pretty! :)


  • Don’t fall into the “decision fatigue” trap. When you’re renovating your home, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made—and the bigger the renovation, the more decisions. But trying to make too many decisions at once can feel overwhelming—so, instead of trying to decide everything at once, spread your decisions out (for example, choosing paint colors one day, light fixtures the next day, etc.), which can help you avoid decision fatigue.


  • If you're thinking of selling, make smart choices. Not all renovations will give a good return for the money. When it's a hot seller's market, very little may need to be done in order to sell at a profit.  Obvious maintenance issues and repairs should be attended to (i.e., roofs, rotting wood, foundation issues).  

  • Finally, focus on one area at a time. If you’re renovating multiple rooms, you may be tempted to dive in and get everything done at once. But having every area of your house under construction is a recipe for stress! So instead, consider focusing on one area at a time. Then, when that area is complete, you can move on to another area—and not compromise too much of your living space at once.  

 

Jan. 29, 2022

Poconos Home for Sale: New Listing Pike County PA

153 Split Rock Rd ~ Newfoundland PA

NEW POCONOS HOME FOR SALE

Sneak peek - more photos and video coming soon of this awesome Pike County home for sale!

ATTENTION PLEASE! 2+ acres cradles this well maintained, 3 bed 2 bath ranch, sheltered in the quiet, private, & small sub-division of Split Rock in Pike County.

Nature lovers will appreciate the wooded setting in one of the best spots in Northeast PA. Built in 2012, the home has an open floor plan & desirable layout.

Electric heat is supplemented by 2 pellet stoves & a wood stove to keep energy bills low! A convenient laundry area is by the sizeable eat-in kitchen; no dragging laundry baskets up and down the basement stairs! The kitchen features a new, upgraded, extra deep stainless steel farm-style sink.

The dining & living rooms feature premium quality laminate flooring and provide a comfortable place to entertain & relax. In addition to the woodstove, there is a new Harmon high-efficiency pellet stove on the main floor.

The master bedroom suite features a private bathroom w/shower & a jetted tub with a beautiful tile surround.

The full basement w/Superior wall foundation & a pellet stove could be finished for more living space, or turned into a fantastic workshop.

Outside there’s a 20'x12' deck, 2 sheds, a new gravel driveway & a parking pad as well. The property is zoned for horses.

The Split Rock homeowner subdivision charges $350 per year for road maintenance, and that's it. Total property taxes are cheap cheap cheap at $2,700 a year.

Contact Karen Rice for more information. Direct: 570-647-5170. Office: 570-226-0500.

Posted in Homes for Sale
Jan. 29, 2022

Radon In My Home: Should I Worry About It?

Radon: Do I Need to Worry About It?

As a Realtor in Northeastern PA, one of the most frequent inspection issues that arise during the sale of a home is radon.  Radon is very common in Pennsylvania and here at Lake Wallenpaupack, due to the geological makeup of our region.  What is it? Should you be concerned about it?  Since January is Radon Awareness Month, I thought it would be helpful to talk about it before the month is completely gone! 

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas. It occurs naturally, due to the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It can enter structures in various ways (cracks or openings in foundations, sump pits, openings around pipes, etc.)  Radon can also be present in well water.

radon in the home

Approximately 1 in 15 homes in the US has an elevated level of radon. Radon is a Class A carcinogen and is the #2 leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking.

According to the DEP, Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the United States. Approximately 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency's recommendation of 4 picocuries per liter.

Click here to see average radon levels by zip code!

Routine testing for radon in homes wasn’t actually a thing until sometime after 1984. It’s actually a pretty amazing story! A man named Stanly Watras and his home inadvertently set this whole "radon thing" in motion.

Stanley worked at the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pottstown PA. The plant had safety measures in place to test workers to make sure they were taking radioactive contamination with them as they left the plant. Stanley, however, set off the alarms when he came IN to work…so an investigation was launched. Stanley was radioactive thanks to his HOME!

Testing revealed that the Watras home had 2,700 picocuries per liter - 700 times above the safety threshold of 4.0 picocuries! One approximation puts that at the equivalent of smoking 200 hundred packs of cigarettes a day.

The Watras family was evacuated and their home was turned into a laboratory for some time while the EPA studied the long-term measurement of radon and the evaluation of radon mitigation techniques. Eventually, mitigation successfully lowered the radon to a safe level and the Watras family was able to return home.  According to this post, as of 2015, the Watras' were still living in their home and the radon mitigation system has done it's job beautifully.

By 1993, the National Association of Realtors began recommending routine radon testing for all residential homes. 

Even though it’s odorless and colorless, it’s easy to detect with radon testing. And even though it’s a dangerous carcinogen, there is no need to be worried if you find elevated levels during an inspection since it’s relatively easy to mitigate. Radon mitigation involves the installation of a venting system that takes the radon out of the home. This must be done by a certified technician.

radon mitigation

The radon mitigation system will have a gauge on it to continuously monitor the level of radon in the home, so you can rest assured, once your system is installed, that you and your loved ones are protected from the threat of radon.

In the case of radon in well water, mitigation may be as simple as installing an aerator or possibly a charcoal filtration system.

A common myth that I have come across from time to time is that only homes with basements need to be tested for radon; some are under the impression that a home that is on a crawl space does not need radon testing, since crawl spaces are vented and allow radon to escape.

While this may be true for many homes on crawlspaces, I have seen elevated radon more than once in a home on a crawl space. It can be a bit more expensive to mitigate radon when there’s a crawl space involved. I strongly recommend that every home buyer tests their home for radon, whether it’s on a full basement or on a crawl.

Professional, electronically monitored radon tests range from $100-$175. Additionally, homeowners can purchase radon kits themselves, but they may not be as accurate as a professional test.

How much does it cost to mitigate radon? Typically around $1,000 - $1,500 depending on the home and how many suction points are needed.  Obviously, with extremely high radon levels, multiple suction points will be needed to effectively mitigate, and that will cost more.

In my experience, the most common levels of elevated radon I've seen range from 5.0 - 15.0 picocuries, but I have occasionally seen it as high as 42! One local home inspector told me he had a reading of over 100 in Greentown! (Still nothing compared to the Watrus family home, though!)

Radon is a serious problem, but thanks to testing and mitigation, it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you always get a radon test with your home inspection!

Jan. 28, 2022

Savvy Buyers Shouldn’t Wait for the Spring Market to Buy a Home (If They Want to Beat Their Competition)

Savvy Buyers Shouldn’t Wait for the Spring Market to Buy a Home (If They Want to Beat Their Competition)

Savvy Home Buyers Won't Wait Till Spring

Whether you were actively trying to buy a lake house in the past year or two, or just keeping an eye on the real estate market around Lake Wallenpaupack and the surrounding areas, you know it’s been tough for buyers to even buy a house, let alone get a deal on one.

If you’ve been hoping things would finally loosen up and swing in the favor of buyers, it doesn’t appear to be any time soon. According to this Fortune article, it’s going to be another “brutal” spring real estate market.

That probably doesn’t sound hopeful, appealing, or inviting if you’re thinking about buying, which is why you shouldn’t wait until spring to get serious about buying a house.

Many buyers will want to wait until spring because they believe that’s when there will be more (and possibly better) options to choose from. They’re not wrong that there will most likely be more listings to choose from, but they probably won’t be better, or a better deal. And no matter how many more listings hit the Poconos real estate market, there will be more buyers competing for them than there are homes to buy.

Avoid the herd mentality and at least start your home search in earnest now. In the least, you’ll get a better feel for values and how one house compares to another before your competition even steps foot in a house this spring. That’ll make you more prepared and confident when competing against all of the other buyers who enter the market in the spring.

But, ideally, there’s a good chance that between now and then you’ll actually find a home you love and can go after with less competition than you would if you waited until spring.

There are always homeowners listing their home for sale for one reason or another. And, if they’re listing before the spring market, that’s a good sign that they need to sell and are motivated, rather than just trying to capitalize on the spring feeding frenzy. You may even find ones that have been lingering on the market due to winter weather, family issues, or the holidays, and the owners are more willing to negotiate because they haven’t seen the market react the way they keep reading about and expected.

The Takeaway:

If you’re planning on buying this spring (or even just in the next year), get started as soon as possible. You don’t have to jump on the first house you see, but at least be ready to!

Posted in Home Buyer Info
July 11, 2021

Tips on Buying A Poconos Lake House Summer 2021

Tips on Buying A Poconos Lake House Summer 2021

At Lake Wallenpaupack, summer is always one of the most popular seasons for lake house and vacation home buying. This probably comes as no surprise, since summer is the season of fun in the sun and lake activities.  If you’re planning on buying a home this summer, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to be a savvy and successful home buyer.

This video from realtor.com offers useful tips buyers need to know if they’re planning to buy a home this summer. 

Summer 2021 is the most competitive real estate season in recent history.

This is true all across the United States; not just in Northeastern PA and the Poconos.  The competition is very stiff not only for waterfront and lakefront homes on Lake Wallenpaupack, Roamingwood Lake, and other lakes in Pike and Wayne County...but any lake house seems to be in high demand.

Indian Rocks Lake House Sold Summer 2021I listed a home in Indian Rocks; within three days we had multiple offers, some as high as $25,000 over the asking price.  The story can be repeated with every community from The Hideout and Hemlock Farms to Wallenpaupack Lake Estates and Wild Acres. 

Three tips to keep in mind when buying a Poconos lake house in 2021:

  • There are fewer choices—and higher competition. Inventory is at an all-time low in markets across the country, and that is especially true in Pike County and Wayne County. There are fewer homes to choose from and higher competition for the choices that are available.  Have your proof of funds lined up, and get pre-approved before you start looking. (side note: ask me about zero-fee mortgage options from Keller Mortgage! You could save thousands in closing costs!)
  • Flexibility is a must. With low inventory and high demand, you may have to be flexible with the conditions of your home purchase. You may need to allow sellers a longer time to close, or have as few contingencies as possible.  You may have to adjust your expectations when it comes to updates in the home.
  • Make the first offer your best offer. Most sellers are getting multiple offers on their home. So if you’re going to make an offer, make sure to put your best foot forward—and make your initial offer as high as you’re willing to go.  Throw in some other incentives such as paying some of the seller's closing costs or waiving certain contingencies. 

 

Final Note

Bottom line? If you want to buy a lake house in the Lake Wallenpaupack and the surrounding area this summer, you need to be prepared for what’s happening in the 2021 market. These tips will help you position yourself in a way that will increase your chances of successfully buying a home.

 

Hey, In Case You're Interested in Market Reports...

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active, and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in the neighborhood of your choice. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search any way you wish. As you notice price and size trends, please contact me for clarification or to have any questions answered.

I can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home and/or neighborhood in Northeastern PA for you.

If you have a home in Pike or Wayne County and are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out my INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, I hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our lakes, neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Home Buyer Info