Yardley, Newtown, Upper Makefield Township, Lower Makefield Township, local events.
Had a fabulout time, earlier this week, heading into Philadelphia to see an amazing singer songwriter, Neko Case at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Neko Case is played on the radio station that I most often listen to, which is WXPN. WXPN is a public radio station at the University of Pennsylvania. It is found in our area, at 88.5. They play an extremely diverse, ecclectic array of music, which I really enjoy.
I have both of Neko Case’s recent records on my ipod. There was a great article about her music and lyrics in the New York Times magazine, a couple of months ago, which is when we purchased our tickets to the show in Philadelphia.
The concert was fabulous. She played a number of songs off her recent 2 records, and our seats were great.
Before the show, we had dinner at a great, little Italian BYOB, called La Viola. The restaurant is an easy walk to the Kimmel center , and the food is fabulous. I actually wrote a brief review of the restaurant on my Yelp page.
Hope this gives you some idea of how I enjoy spending my time away from real estate.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Yardley, Newtown, Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County tax appeal update
Just a very short post, for today, regarding an upate on the property tax appeal process for Bucks County. I really appreciate the calls and emails, regarding the previous posts that I have done, about how to file an appeal of your proprety taxes.
I wanted to let everyone know, that the deadline for filing, is August 3rd. The only thing that is required to meet the deadline, is to go to the tax assessor website, and download the form. Complete the form, and indicate that information will follow. You don’t have to have all the information together, at this time. You just have to file the form on or before the 3rd.
You will then get a hearing date.
Another important note, you must attend the hearing on the date scheduled. As far as I know, they will not continue the hearing if you are not present.
Another observation, after speaking with many people, is that perhaps the easiest way to get detailed information for the appeal, is to hire an appraiser. An qualified appraiser will generate a very detailed report, that will substantiate a current value that will be lower than your current assessed value, assuming you have a valid case. It generally costs about 400 for an appraisal. Please contact me, if you need to find an appraiser.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Yardley, Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, do you know what the market is doing?
I recently subscribed to a wonderful statistical reporting service, that allows me to follow, from a statistical perspective, the area real estate market. I can create reports for all of the market areas I serve.
For today, lets look at the Yardley, Lower Makefield areas, which are included in 19067.
Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, has its own farmers market!
If you are new to the area, and even if you are not, you may not be aware that Lower Makefield Township , now has it’s own farmers market. The market is open every Thursday, from 3:30-7:00, starting in June. It will remain open until September.
My wife and I were there last week, and there were a number of local farmers, and vendors, offering all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables and other assorted goodies.
It is a wonderful addition to the Township, and is a great place so sample local, fresh foods, of all sorts. The market is located off of Edgewood Road , in what is called, the Edgewood Village Park, in Lower Makefield Township.
Property tax appeals in Yardley, Newtown, Upper Makefield, Buckingham, Bucks County
I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago, about the process of filing a property tax appeal in Bucks County . I know that the post struck home with a lot of people, as I received a lot of calls and emails from home owners in Bucks County, looking for some help with the process.
I noticed that there was a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this morning, that talked about the same issue, from a national perspective.
The article pointed out that tens of thousands of home owners, from all parts of the country are trying to get their property taxes reduced, as a result of the decline in real estate values. In one county in Ohio alone, nearly 23,000 property owners applied for relief.
The article suggested that it is possible to file the appeal yourself, or you can hire an attorney to handle the process for you. As I mentioned in my previous post, attorneys who handle tax appeal cases, generally do so on a contingency basis. They will take as their fee, a negotiated percentage of the first years savings.
The Journal article mentioned a couple of on-line, automated property valuation models that home owners have used to assist with the process. The sites mentioned were EasyTaxFix.com, and LowerMyAssessment.com. I put my own address in Yardley, in both of the sites, and both said they did not have data for my area.
I think the most important advice that I can offer anyone looking to file a tax appeal, is to be absolutely sure that you are prepared. You will need to find properties of comparable size, and value, whose assessment is lower than yours. If you are filing the appeal on your own, it won’t hurt to take pictures, to support your case.
There is a brochure available for 6.95, from the National Taxpayers Union, that explains how to file an appeal. I have not seen the brochure, so I am not sure how valuable it is.
If you want more information about filing an appeal, or want some help in finding tax values or re-sale values, please feel free to contact me.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Are people getting mortgages in Yardley, Newtown, Washington Crossing, Bucks County?
I saw an interesting article in the New York Times, late last week, regarding the challenges that some people are facing, obtaining mortgage financing. This article focused on the plight of a young dentist, who had a strong credit score , six figure income, and a substantial down payment, yet could not qualify for a mortgage.
As one mortgage bank owner commented, “the credit pendulum is stuck at stupid”.
Although my recent experience has been that qualified applicants in our area, can obtain financing, there is no question that the process is more difficult and complicated than it has been in the past. Lenders require much more documentation, and will require explanations and follow up for any questionable items regarding income, debts, etc.
The other issue that I have faced recently in a couple of transactions, is very conservative appraisals. For those not familiar with the appraisal process, if you are applying for mortgage financing, your lender will order an appraisal. This is a formal evaluation of the value of the property you are either buying or refinancing. The appraisal will search for comparable properties, that have recently sold, and will compare those homes to the subject that is being appraised.
The lender will lend to the borrower, a percentage of the sale price, or appraised value, whichever is lower. What that means is, if you are putting down 20% to purchase a home, so that you are looking for a loan value of 80%, you will be able to borrow 80% of the sale price or appraised value, whichever is lower. So what happens if the house appraises for less than the sale price?
That’s where it gets complicated. One of 3 things will generally happen. First, assuming that the buyer has made the purchase of the property contingent on a mortgage, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract based on not being able to obtain the required loan amount. Second option would be for the seller to lower the sale price to match the appraised value. If that happens, the buyer is now able to obtain an 80% loan, and could proceed towards closing. Finally, the buyer and seller can agree to a combination of the above. That means the seller can partially lower the price, and the buyer can agree to put in more cash, to make it work. The 4th option would be for the sale price to remain unchanged, and the buyer to put in enough cash to make it work. If you have any questions, about how this works, please feel free to contact me.
I have had 2 transactions within the past few months, that did not appraise. In both cases, the seller reduced the price a bit, and the buyer increased the amount of cash they were willing to put into the transaction, so that we were able to get to closing. It is never good news to the seller, to hear that their house didn’t appraise. It takes persistance, and creativity, to get beyond the initial emotional resposnes, to get to the closing table.
This represents another challenge, in getting mortgage financing, and ensuring that properties go to closing.
Feel free to search for homes, at your convenience, using the search tools on this site.Continue Reading > Add a Comment