It has been said March "comes in like a lion" and "goes out like a lamb". The phrase originates from early US Settlers who forecasted weather without the use of a weather radar system or even access to Weather.com. Early March weather has been marked with cold winter storms, but within a few short weeks turns to warm, spring-like weather. But, not always … as Pennsylvania homeowners can attest.
Whether you own a home in Pennsylvania, Maryland or sunny California, prepare it for the spring season with these homeowner tips from Prudential Homesale Services Group.
• Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms
• Clean the garage and organize storage areas – Hold a yard sale, or organize a community yard sale.
• Old chemicals – Dispose of old, unused chemicals; paint thinners, household cleaners, pesticides. Check with your local public works department for their next scheduled collection of hazardous materials.
• Clean the refrigerator – Throw away items beyond their expiration date, clean the outside and inside with a mild detergent. Remove all trays, drawers, shelves, etc. and clean as well, allowing to dry thoroughly before replacing them. Remove any old ice from ice trays and re-fill.
• Medicine cabinet – Check all medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) for expiration dates. Some can be harmful if used after this date! It's also a good time to make sure that any meds you keep are out of the reach of small children.
• Heavy spring rains – Check your basement walls for any sign of moisture. If you detect any, run a portable dehumidifier. If it persists, contact a professional contractor to discuss home repairs and home improvement projects. Also test your sump pump to be sure it is operating properly.
• Water heater – Test the pressure and temperature relief valve by opening it and allowing some water to flow out. If little or no water flows out or it does not shut off, it is time to replace it. Bad valves can cause explosions!
Plan ahead for summer fun by tackling this list of homeowner tips today.
New single-family home sales rose in 2012 by 20 percent, indicating the US housing industry turned a corner. The Commerce Department stated home sales hit a three-year record high in November, 2012 while slowing somewhat in December. The National Association of REALTORS® recently reported total homes sales were well above those in 2011.
Sandra Troccoli, Director of Information Technology & Website Services, for Prudential Homesale Services Group commented, "Prudential Homesale Services Group has seen a definite upward trend in listings and home sales in Lancaster, PA as well as homes for sale in York, PA. The Harbor East area of Baltimore, MD has also experienced an increase in both buyer and seller housing activity."
With new and existing home sales up and home builder confidence on the rise, statistics suggest the real estate revival will continue in 2013.
Experts predict home sales will continue to be on the rise. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Brian Bethune, president Alpha Macroeconomic Foresights in Wenham, MA, estimates 2013 home sales to increase 10 percent to 15 percent to around the 400,000 level as potential real estate buyers become more encouraged about the economy.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, stated the current real estate market is being sustained by pent-up demand. "Record low mortgage interest rates clearly are helping many home buyers, but tight inventory and restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are limiting sales. The number of potential buyers who stayed on the sidelines accumulated during the recession, but they started entering the market early last year as their financial ability and confidence steadily grew, along with home prices. Likely job creation and household formation will continue to fuel that growth. Both sales and prices will again be higher in 2013."
A survey by RealtyTrac asked more than 100 real estate investors about their outlook for real estate investing in 2013 as well as their primary investing strategies in 2012. RealtyTrac reported investors were very optimistic about their local real estate market in 2013 with 87 percent having a mostly positive or extremely positive outlook.
Contact a Prudential Homesale real estate professional for information regarding current real estate trends in the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area and South Central and Southeastern PA. Prudential Homesale Services Group features homes for sale in Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and Schuylkill County, PA as well as homes for sale in Baltimore City, MD and Baltimore County, MD.