PA Turnpike toll hike

PA Turnpike toll hike impact on Real Estate

The PA Turnpike toll hike – toll fares up 6%  in 2018

It’s become customary to find yourself paying more for the same every year with the PA Turnpike. Back in July 2017, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) took it upon themselves to increase yet again the rate for travelers on the PA Turnpike. The new PA Turnpike toll hike is set to take effect Jan. 7, 2018 @ 12:01 AM and will have a longer term impact on real estate.

New 2018 PA Turnpike Toll HikeWhy 2018 is so important is due to the commission approving a rate hike not only in 2018 but EVERY YEAR for the next 27 years. That’s right – 27 MORE YEARS of increasing fares – through the year 2044. The PA Turnpike Fare Hike is not only to pay for maintenance and subsidize mass transit, but pay interest on more than $11 billion in toll-revenue bonds financing previous payments for road maintenance and mass transit. The debt the state is carrying created a need to fund increasing debt service levels.

Yet in the region, as the new PA Turnpike rate increase hits the wallets of consumers, it also hits impacts truck travel through the state. The PA Turnpike traffic levels only grew 0.3 percent over the last year – well below the Federal Highway Administration’s national average of 1.79%. This has also created increased competition and use of free PA interstate highways such as RT I-80 that runs across the northern part of the state and for region roads including I-78 and I-81. In the Lehigh Valley alone, there’s great competition for warehouse space from Advance Auto, Amazon, Uline, Walmart and dozens of other companies. There’s also a bid fora Lehigh Valley Amazon HQ2 that is expected to be announced this year with Bethlehem in the running alongside Philadelphia.

What the free interstate competition creates are the following scenarios that impact real estate buyers in the Philadelphia region:

1) The yearly new PA Turnpike toll hike impacts the commenting budget for homeowners in the Delaware and Lehigh Valley.
2) The increase in transportation also impacts the costs of goods & services putting a further dent into homeowners and renters budgets.
3) The increase traffic on free interstates creates more traffic and congestion, increasing travel time to work.
4) The increase in suburban traffic and congestion will also lead to higher use of public transportation and help fuel migration back into the cities including Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton.
5) Transportation concerns by a home buyer are top on their list of issues they consider when buying a home including the location of their home (proximity to work) and what they can afford (their budget).

“Rail and bus rapid transit provide all kinds of benefits—reduced cost, time, and stress for commuters; cleaner air; more walkable neighborhoods—that can be translated into dollars and factored into property values.” Transport Reviews

These trends will impact home pricing / property prices and availability in the next decade throughout the region. Any new PA Turnpike toll hike and toll fare increase does more than fund debt and repairs of the roads. It also has a direct impact on homeowners alike.


REVISION TO ARTICLE:
There will be no 2018 increase for E-ZPass or Toll By Plate customers at the Delaware River Bridge westbound cashless tolling point in Bucks County. January 17, 2018


If you’re looking for a good realtor to list & sell your home, contact us today. We’d appreciate your business.

Delaware Valley Real Estate Market Trends

Fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market Update

Delaware Valley Real Estate Market Trends

The Fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market is up but also down.

Sales in the Delaware Valley Real Estate and Lehigh Valley Real Estate market exceeded last November by 4.7% and are now up 7.8% Year-To-Date. Sales have cooled a bit after a very strong start to 2017, but are still exceeding last year every month. The Fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market is up but also down.

The median sold price is up just 1.4% this year, below the expectations of most housing market experts however, the median sold price in Pennsylvania is up 4.4% Year-To-Date. Delaware median sold prices are the same as in 2016 while New Jersey has seen a slight decline of 0.6% due primarily to an increase in foreclosure sales.


Fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market Update

Delaware Valley Real Estate: Settled Listings
Category November 2016 November 2017 Change
Residential Real Estate 6,760 7,078 4.7%
Lots, Land and Farms 111 129 16.2%
Multi-Family 223 234 4.9%
Commercial 169 145 -14.2%

Sales in the Fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market Update region were up 4.7% compared to last November, while Bucks County sales were down 12.9%. Year-to-date sales in TREND are up 7.9% year-to-date.

Delaware Valley Real Estate: Median Home Price
Category November 2016 November 2017 Change
Residential Real Estate $212,500 $215,000 1.2%
Lots, Land and Farms $60,500 $122,000 103.3%
Multi-Family $150,000 $138,950 -7.4%
Commercial $150,000 $110,000 -26.7%

The median sold price throughout the Delaware Valley and Lehigh Valley market was up 1.2% from last November, while Bucks County was down 0.3% compared to last November. The fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market Update reveals that the year-to-date the median sold price in the local real estate market is up 1.4% while Bucks County is up 5.5%.

Click here for Bucks County Home Sale Data Fall 2017 Report.

Real Estate Market Trends

Fall 2017 Bucks County Real Estate Market Trends

In November 2017, the Fall 2017 Bucks County Real Estate Market Trends show that sales in Bucks County were up 2.6% in November 2017 vs November 2016. While some view sales as strong, there were also two other main driving forces at work in the local bucks county real estate market.
  • Bucks County Sales: UP 2.6% in November 2017 vs November 2016
  • Bucks County Home Prices: DOWN 0.3% from last November.
  • Bucks County Home Inventory: DOWN by 7.0% during the month
For the year, inventory of homes for sale in Bucks County is 13.4% below last year.

Real Estate Market TrendsFall 2017 Bucks County Real Estate Market Trends

Bucks County Residential Sales activity

Bucks County Inventory For Sale:

Total Inventory
Nov. 2017: 2,389
Nov. 2016: 2,759

Inventory Accumulation

Nov. 2017: 3.5
Nov. 2016: 4.2

The inventory of homes for sale decreased by 7.0% in Bucks County during November and is down 13.4% (370 listings) compared to last year. That one statistic alone is driving up sales because the limited inventory is causing those in the market to chose a property based on what is currently available.  The Months Supply of Bucks County Inventory dropped to 3.5 months, while the number of new listings in November was down 10% (63 listings) compared to last November. So if you’re looking for a new home for sale in Bucks, you found fewer homes to chose from and therefore to purchase the end of 2017.

Settled Listings

November Settled Listings
Nov. 2017: 569
Nov. 2016: 653
Year-to-date Settled Listings
Nov. 2017: 7,471
Nov. 2016: 7,281

Sales in November were down 12.9% compared to last November but are up 2.6% year-to-date. The Property Marketing Period decreased from 42 days in November 2016 to 27 days.

Median Price

November Median Price
Nov. 2017: $292,000
Nov. 2016: $293,000
Year-to-date Median Price
Nov. 2017: $299,000
Nov. 2016: $283,300

The median sold price in November was down 0.3% ($1,000) from last November but is up 5.5% year-to-date, a $15,700 increase per sale.

Settled Price / Original Price

November Settled Price / Original Price
Nov. 2017: 97.0%
Nov. 2016: 96.3%
Year-to-date Settled Price / Original Price
Nov. 2017: 97.2%
Nov. 2016: 96.6%

The sold price compared to the original list price in November was 97.0%, slightly above the normal range of 94-96%. The Sold Price to List Price ratio was at 98.5% compared to 97.9% last November.

Average Showing Appointments Per Listing by Price Range

During the Fall 2017, all showings in the Delaware Valley Real Estate Market were 2.2 showings per listing for properties for sale during the fall.
All Listings:2.2
$0k – $99k: 11.2
$100k – $199k: 2.5
$200k – $299k: 2.8
$300k – $499k: 2.3
$500k +: 1.1

Note: There were some showing reservation issues with the MLS during November however all appointments in November were down from the previous year and month.

Compare Fall 2017 Bucks County Real Estate Sales against the Fall 2017 Delaware Valley Real Estate Market.


RECENT LISTINGS IN BUCKS COUNTY

  • 983 SCARLET OAK DR, CHALFONT - Listed at $434,900, CHALFONT, BUCKS County

    983 SCARLET OAK DR
    CHALFONT, PA 18914

    Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial in the highly desirable Prescott Farms section of Warrington Township. Enter to … read more.
    Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial in the highly desirable Prescott Farms section of W
    Homestarr Realty
    $434,900
  • 3 SHAKESPEARE CT, WARMINSTER - Listed at $800,000, WARMINSTER, BUCKS County

    3 SHAKESPEARE CT
    WARMINSTER, PA 18974

    Classic colonial meets refined elegance. At last, a home befitting your fine taste. From the stunning stone front and gl… read more.
    Classic colonial meets refined elegance. At last, a home befitting your fine taste. From t
    BHHS Fox & Roach-Newtown
    $800,000
  • 00 BIRCH RD, UPPER BLACK EDDY - Listed at $559,000, UPPER BLACK EDDY, BUCKS County

    00 BIRCH RD
    UPPER BLACK EDDY, PA 18972

    Get away from it all on this secluded 28 acre lot well back off a paved road with beautiful hardwood trees and boulders.… read more.
    Get away from it all on this secluded 28 acre lot well back off a paved road with beautifu
    Keller Williams Real Estate-Montgomeryville
    $559,000
  • 765 STEPHEN RD, WARMINSTER - Listed at $382,500, WARMINSTER, BUCKS County

    765 STEPHEN RD
    WARMINSTER, PA 18974

    Quiet Neighborhood! Great Location! Welcome to 765 Stephen Rd. This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom colonial home is 2000 square… read more.
    Quiet Neighborhood! Great Location! Welcome to 765 Stephen Rd. This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroo
    Keller Williams Real Estate – Newtown
    $382,500
  • 4267 YORK DR, DOYLESTOWN - Listed at $459,900, DOYLESTOWN, BUCKS County

    4267 YORK DR
    DOYLESTOWN, PA 18902

    BeAuTiFuL Stone Ranch-style home surround by an acre on a quiet Cul-de-sac street in Prime Central Bucks School District… read more.
    BeAuTiFuL Stone Ranch-style home surround by an acre on a quiet Cul-de-sac street in Prime
    RE/MAX Centre Realtors
    $459,900
  • 2393 S WHITTMORE ST, FURLONG - Listed at $372,000, FURLONG, BUCKS County

    2393 S WHITTMORE ST
    FURLONG, PA 18925

    The Villages at Buckingham! 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Home Includes: Beautiful Layout, 9′ Ceilings in first Floor; Granite Kit… read more.
    The Villages at Buckingham! 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Home Includes: Beautiful Layout, 9′ Ceilin
    Sell Your Home Services
    $372,000
  • 40 CHRISTINA CT, YARDLEY - Listed at $500,000, YARDLEY, BUCKS County

    40 CHRISTINA CT
    YARDLEY, PA 19067

    Tucked away in a cul-de-sac, this well maintained rare home offers 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms on over a one acre lot s… read more.
    Tucked away in a cul-de-sac, this well maintained rare home offers 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bath
    BHHS Fox & Roach-Newtown
    $500,000
  • 595 LINTON HILL RD, NEWTOWN - Listed at $1,295,000, NEWTOWN, BUCKS County

    595 LINTON HILL RD
    NEWTOWN, PA 18940

    If you are seeking a home close to all the action and liveliness but still value your privacy, then Hidden Acres is the … read more.
    If you are seeking a home close to all the action and liveliness but still value your priv
    Jay Spaziano Real Estate
    $1,295,000
  • 2410 DIANES WAY, WARRINGTON - Listed at $524,900, WARRINGTON, BUCKS County

    2410 DIANES WAY
    WARRINGTON, PA 18976

    Positively Gorgeous Decorator Designed Home (largest in development with additional basement space and first floor morni… read more.
    Positively Gorgeous Decorator Designed Home (largest in development with additional baseme
    RE/MAX Action Realty-Horsham
    $524,900
  • 841 MINSI TRL, PERKASIE - Listed at $725,000, PERKASIE, BUCKS County

    841 MINSI TRL
    PERKASIE, PA 18944

    Welcome to this well constructed builder’s own home. As you enter the front door you are greeted by the Belgium Block wa… read more.
    Welcome to this well constructed builder’s own home. As you enter the front door you are g
    RE/MAX Action Realty-Horsham
    $725,000
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See recent properties just listed in Bucks County.

See all homes for sale in Bucks County.


PA Act 113

Pennsylvania Act 133 Building Inspection & Municipal Code Ordinance

As we previously covered in our Pennsylvania Building Codes and U&O issues article, an important part of any home purchase is the property inspection. We also did a series called Buyer Beware (Caveat Emptor) that explains what to look for when buying a home for sale in PA. Things just changed for the new year and the new Pennsylvania Act 133 Municipal Code & Ordinance Compliance Act just went into effect. Here’s what it means for you when you buy or sell your home in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Municipal Code and Ordinance Compliance Act (PA MCOCA) sets forth procedures which must be followed by municipalities that require property maintenance and other code inspections upon the sale of a Pennsylvania home or residence. MCOCA was recently amended through Act 133 of 2016 to address situations in which municipalities were not following the Act, leading to some real estate transactions being postponed or cancelled due to minor property maintenance violations. The amendments in Act 133 clarify the rights and responsibilities of both municipalities and property owners so these issues don’t occur in the future. As of the new year, the act is now officially live – effective January 2, 2018. This doesn’t just impact PA home buyers, but also home sellers too.

Pennsylvania Act 133

Pennsylvania Act 133 Municipal Code & Ordinance Compliance Act just

Pennsylvania Act 133
Municipal Code & Ordinance Compliance Act

Municipalities are not required by Pennsylvania Act 133 Building Inspection & Municipal Code Ordinance – Pennsylvania Act 133 to inspect existing homes that are being sold. However, municipalities that do require such inspections must issue a Use and Occupancy Certificate, prior to the date of purchase, in the following manner:

1) USE AND OCCUPANCY PERMIT:

The U&O will be given if there are no property maintenance or other code violations are found. An official Use and Occupancy Certificate must be issued by the municipality, borough or township allowing the property to be used or occupied as intended.

2) TEMPORARY USE AND OCCUPANCY PERMIT: If the municipal inspection reveals at least one violation, but no substantial violations (see definition below), the municipality shall issue a Temporary Use and Occupancy Certificate. The purpose of a temporary use and occupancy permit is to authorize the purchaser to fully utilize or reside in the property while correcting code violations.

3) TEMPORARY ACCESS CERTIFICATE: If the municipal inspection reveals a substantial code violation which renders a building “unfit for habitation,” a Temporary Access Certificate must be issued. The purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to access the property for the purpose of correcting substantial violations.  No person may occupy a property during the term of a Temporary Access Certificate, but the owner shall be permitted to store equipment that is related to the proposed use or occupancy of the property or is needed to repair the substantial violations during the time of the Temporary Access Certificate. While this is the most extreme case, it is also important to move it from this status back to the complete U&O.


Pennsylvania Act 133 Building Inspection & Municipal Code Ordinance Definitions

SUBSTANTIAL VIOLATION: A Substantial Violation is a condition which makes a building “unfit for habitation.” Unfit for habitation is defined as: “A condition which renders a building, structure, or any part thereof, dangerous or injurious to the health, safety or physical welfare of an occupant or the occupants of neighboring dwellings. The condition may include substantial violations of a property that show evidence of: a significant increase to the hazards of fire or accident; inadequate sanitary facilities; vermin infestation; or a condition of disrepair, dilapidation or structural defects such that the cost of rehabilitation and repair would exceed one-half of the agreed-upon purchase price of the property.”

ESCROWS AND BONDS PROHIBITED: A municipality may not require the escrowing of funds or posting of a bond, or impose any similar financial security as a condition of issuing a certificate. But before accessing the property, a property owner is still generally required to follow all the applicable rules for permits, fees, escrows, etc., under existing building, property maintenance and fire codes or other health or safety codes.

COMPLIANCE PERIOD: A new owner will have 12 months from the date of purchase to either bring the property into compliance with codes or demolish the building. At the request of the property owner the municipality may negotiate a longer time period, but may not shorten it.

REINSPECTION OF PROPERTY: (1) At the expiration of the 12 month time period or before that time, if requested by the property owner, the municipality shall reinspect the property to determine compliance with the cited violations. (2)  If a temporary access permit has been issued and reinspection indicates that the noted substantial violations have been corrected but other cited violations have not yet been corrected, the municipality shall issue a temporary use and occupancy permit to be valid for the time remaining on the original temporary access permit. (3)  If the reinspection indicates that all noted violations have been corrected, the municipality shall issue a Use and Occupancy Certificate for the property.

FAILURE TO COMPLY BY OWNER: If the property owner fails to correct the code violations cited by the municipality, the following actions may occur: 1) Revocation of the temporary certificate; 2) The purchaser will be subject to any existing municipal ordinances or codes relating to the occupation of a property without a Use and Occupancy Certificate; 3) The purchaser will be personally liable for the costs of maintenance, repairs or demolition sufficient to correct the cited violations, and a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000.

PRE-EXISTING VIOLATIONS: This Act generally applies to violations that are found as a part of the municipal inspections done for property resale. But these rules do not apply to violations of a local code or ordinance that are already the subject of a fine or some other judicial action against the current owner, or to properties that are subject to certain other statutory provisions. In those instances, the violations must be addressed under the other applicable rules, whatever they may be.

Click here to read the full Pennsylvania Act 133 Building Inspection & Municipal Code Ordinance – Act 133.

Cost vs Value 2017

2017 Cost vs Value Home Remodel Project Report

2017 Cost vs Value
Home Remodel Project Report

Every year we try to bring you the most current information possible about your home or property. This includes an annual look at our updated 2017 Cost vs Value Home Remodel Project Report. In years past, the cost vs value report shows a variety of factors

you’re shared are important to you. This year, we’ve attempted to keep the information to more of a list view so you can help answer the question that matters most to you: what can I do to improve the value of my home?

2017 Cost vs Value Home Remodel Project Report

The first group of projects are those small to medium size projects.

Cost vs Value: Small to Medium Size Projects 2017

Small to Medium Size Projects (National Average)Job CostResale ValueCost Recouped
Attic Insulation (fiberglass)$1,343 $1,446 107.70%
Backup Power Generator$12,860 $6,940 54.00%
Backyard Patio$51,985 $28,546 54.90%
Basement Remodel$71,115 $49,768 70.00%
Bathroom Addition$43,232 $23,283 53.90%
Bathroom Remodel$18,546 $12,024 64.80%
Deck Addition (composite)$17,249 $11,252 65.20%
Deck Addition (wood)$10,707 $7,652 71.50%
Entry Door Replacement (steel)$1,413 $1,282 90.70%
Family Room Addition$89,566 $62,055 69.30%
Garage Door Replacement$1,749 $1,345 76.90%
Major Kitchen Remodel$62,158 $40,560 65.30%
Manufactured Stone Veneer$7,851 $7,019 89.40%
Master Suite Addition$119,533 $77,506 64.80%
Minor Kitchen Remodel$20,830 $16,699 80.20%
Roofing Replacement$20,664 $14,214 68.80%
Siding Replacement$14,518 $11,093 76.40%
Two-Story Addition$176,108 $125,222 71.10%
Universal Design Bathroom$15,730 $10,766 68.40%
Whether it’s a small or large project, consult the small to medium size project list to compare what you can plan to recoup from the remodeling job before you begin. These values tend to charge slightly year over year depending on the price of materials and labor.

Next, we tackle the larger projects.

Cost vs Value Medium to Large Size Projects 2017

Medium to Large Size ProjectsJob CostResale ValueCost Recouped
Bathroom Addition$81,515 $46,507 57.10%
Bathroom Remodel$59,979 $35,456 59.10%
Deck Addition (composite)$39,339 $22,171 56.40%
Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass)$3,276 $2,550 77.80%
Garage Door Replacement$3,304 $2,810 85.00%
Grand Entrance (fiberglass)$8,358 $5,855 70.10%
Major Kitchen Remodel$122,991 $76,149 61.90%
Master Suite Addition$250,687 $150,140 59.90%
Window Replacement (vinyl)$15,282 $11,286 73.90%
Window Replacement (wood)$18,759 $13,691 73.00%
Before you start your next medium to large project, compare what you can plan to recoup from the remodeling job before you begin. And remember, it’s hard to put a price on the enjoyment the update, upgrade or replacement will bring to you and your family – whether or not you plan to sell your home in the future.
Cost vs Value Remodeling Mid Atlantic Region

Homes throughout Pennsylvania, NJ, DE and Maryland closely align to national remodeling prices.

Cost vs Value Remodeling Mid Atlantic Region

Homes and properties in the Mid-Atlantic region closely follow the national average for recouping your investment in your next project. No matter what you plan to do to your home or property, such as sell vs repair, be sure to get multiple detailed bids from licensed contractors with strong references from sites like porch.com. At the end of the day, when you come home from work, your home is your palace. Enjoy what these projects can do to your home and for your family.

While this year’s 2017 Cost vs Value Home Remodel Project Report analysis may only make you wonder IS THIS IS THE HOME I WANT TO INVEST IN? … then maybe you need a second opinion. Home Marketsite agents are ready, willing and available to help you determine what you can get for your home on the market. We can also help determine a solid return on investment from your home. And if you’re looking for a good realtor to list & sell your home, contact us today. We’d appreciate your business.