PSA Foundation Spotlight: UnLocke the Light’s Sean’s House

This month’s PSA Foundation Spotlight is on Sean’s House of Newark, Delaware. Created by the local nonprofit SL24: UnLocke the Light, Sean’s House is located within walking distance of the University of Delaware campus and offers a mental health safe haven for young adults ages 14-24.

Sean’s House was developed in the hopes of reducing the rate of youth suicide by providing a place for young adults to feel safe, welcomed, and supported, and by promoting mental wellness through access to trained peer support specialists and assistance connecting with community mental health resources. Guests can use the space to do schoolwork, relax with friends, or simply pick up a hot cup of coffee.

Kate Bianchino of the Patterson-Schwartz Greenville sales office has been involved with UnLocke the Light and Sean’s House at various levels since its inception in 2018 through weekly volunteer work and contributions to annual fundraisers and special events.

“Mental health programs and support is something we all know is much needed,” says Kate. “The programs at Sean’s House and the community outreach that UnLocke the Light provides is removing stigmas and creating a safe and welcoming space for students and young adults on their path to health and wellness.”

At this time, many of our community’s charitable partners are suffering from the inability to hold large, in-person fundraisers, so they need our support now more than ever. To learn more about Sean’s House, the story behind the SL24: UnLocke the Light Foundation, and how you can get involved, please visit their website.

Together we can light the way to a better tomorrow.

The PSA Foundation was created in 2001 and supports numerous local charities and organizations whose causes are close to the hearts of the Patterson-Schwartz family of sales associates, employees, and friends. We invite you to learn more about how Patterson-Schwartz is giving back to the communities where we live, work, and play, and to connect with us when you’re ready to partner with a local real estate expert.

Why Low Inventory is a Win for Sellers

Real estate continues to be called the ‘bright spot’ in the current economy, but there’s one thing that may hold the housing market back from achieving its full potential this year: the lack of homes for sale.

Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes, looking to capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates, but there just aren’t enough houses for sale to meet that growing need. Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist & Director of Forecasting for the National Association of Realtors(NAR), explains:

“These ultra-low mortgage rates make homebuying more attractive, boosting activity to the highest level since 2006…Nevertheless, inventory continues to fall, widening the gap between housing demand and supply.”

According to NAR, right now unsold inventory sits at a 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace. To have a balanced market where there are enough homes for sale to meet buyer demand, the market needs 6 months of inventory. Today, we’re nowhere near that number. If this trend continues, it will get even harder to find homes to purchase, and that may slow down potential buyers. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

Read more

Source: “Things to Consider When Selling Your House” Winter 2021 edition, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

This Old House

Contributing blogger Charlie Schwartz, II, shares real estate insight steeped in family tradition in the January 2021 Schwartz Report

My father was fond of dispensing real estate bromides in the form of little parables that more often than not had snappy punch lines.   They often left the receiver scratching their head trying to winnow out what he was intending.  For example, take these two which are particularly appropriate to today’s inventory starved seller’s market:  “You can’t sell fruit from an empty wagon”; or, “You wouldn’t go to Happy Harry’s if Happy Harry didn’t have anything on the shelf.”  By which he meant to charge us with the need to urge more sellers to put their homes on the market NOW! For a buyer’s market when prices were too high and showing activity stagnant, there was this one: “Too much weight stops the freight.” That generates images of a little steam engine struggling to pull a heavy load up an impossible incline much like a seller trying to get more for his property than the current market will bear.

To a buyer, most appropriately to a first time buyer, there’s this gem:  “Never buy a home on a road with a line down the middle of it.” This gets at the three most important things about residential real estate, location, location and location. Highway departments put lines on roads with significant traffic counts, don’t they? So stay away from them. Here’s one that will need some explaining. It gets to the subject at hand:  “Never buy a home that is older than you are.” This seems like the most improbable dictate of them all. It might be difficult to follow especially in our three state market area where many homes date well into the last century and beyond.

photo scanned from “Houses, The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and Systems” by Henry Harrison

Here he was advising that you not take on more of a fixer upper than your age, finances, temperament and or experience will allow. A historic home, one full of “character”, which may have been the former residence of some important family, might just be a project that you take on at your peril, a bridge too far. The illustration above is one of 56 that appear in the first reference book that I bought after starting in the business. Houses, The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and Systems by Henry Harrison was published in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors in 1973 and many sections, particularly those dealing with classic home architecture, are still valid today. Want to know the difference between a Cape Cod Colonial and a Cape Ann Colonial or a Dutch Colonial and a Salt Box Colonial; it’s in there. You will find a Swiss Chalet and a Spanish Villa as well.

Read more

Content by Charlie Schwartz, II ©2021. Visit charlieschwartz.com for more Schwartz Report content.

Take Action Against Radon

January’s designation as National Radon Action Month serves as a reminder for you to check your own home for unsafe levels of radon.

image courtesy of RISMedia

Homeowners should make sure they and their families are safe from the dangerous effects of radon. The EPA encourages everyone to have their homes tested – here’s why.

The EPA defines radon as a gaseous, toxic radioactive element that comes from the natural decay of uranium in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

Your home can trap radon inside, where it can build up. New and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements can be affected.

You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates, and overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The EPA recommends that you have your home tested, which is easy and inexpensive. Find a professional in your area or purchase your own test kit. You can find a radon test kit order form online along with a coupon. Some home improvement stores also sell radon test kits. Follow the directions on the package for where to place the device in your home and where to send it to receive your reading.

If you’d prefer to have a professional inspect your home, find out who your state radon contact is and the particular requirements for your state. Your state may also be able to provide you with a list of certified contractors.

If you’re considering a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction. The National Association of Home Builders says building techniques to prevent radon from entering a home are practical, straightforward and an inexpensive way to offer families a benefit that could reduce their risk of lung cancer.

Visit www.epa.gov/radon for more details on radon and how to prevent it from risking your family’s health.

Source: By John Voket. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017; updated for 2021. All rights reserved.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Spring to Buy a Home

The housing market recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. Many experts agree the turnaround from the nation’s economic pause is playing out extremely well for real estate, so it’s framing up to be an ideal time to buy a home for those who are ready to make a purchase. Here’s a dive into some of the biggest wins for home buyers this season.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Low

In 2020, mortgage rates hit all-time lows more than a dozen times, falling below 3% for the first time ever. Continued low rates have set buyers up for significant long-term gains. realtor.com notes: “Given this means homes could cost potentially tens of thousands less over the lifetime of the loan.”Essentially, it’s less expensive to borrow money for a home loan today, a huge opportunity for buyers to capitalize on right now, before rates start to rise.

2. Buying Is More Affordable Than Renting

This trend toward low mortgage rates has made the typical monthly payment (including principal and interest) less expensive for buyers. According to realtor.com:“Over the past year, many counties have seen the difference between the cost to purchase a home compared to the cost to rent a home improve toward favoring buying a home.”Buying a home versus renting one may be a game-changer, as it amplifies long-term savings for homeowners. When paying a mortgage, as opposed to paying rent, that money is reinvested back in your favor. Instead of contributing to your landlord’s savings, you’re contributing to your own net worth. This is a term called equity, and it is one of the biggest financial benefits of owning a home.

Read more

Source: “Things to Consider When Buying a Home” Winter 2021 edition, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

PSA Turkey Drive

Jennifer Jamieson of PSA Greenville

We are so thankful for our office admins who not only keep our day-to-day running smoothly but help spearhead many of our fundraising efforts. Hats off to Jennifer Jamieson in the Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate Greenville Center for coordinating our PSA “Fill the Freezer” Turkey Drive benefitting the Sunday Breakfast Mission. This 2 day collection effort resulted in donations of 28 turkeys and over $25 from the PSA family.

The Sunday Breakfast Mission, a local charity based out of Wilmington, Delaware, provides care and support to many homeless, hurting, and hungry men, women, and children. Active fundraising provides shelter, meals, clinics, and many more services for these individuals.

Learn how you can help SBM this holiday season by visiting their website.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide generosity movement and a reminder that non-profit organizations need your support, especially during a year that has brought a number of challenges to in-person fundraising.

Patterson-Schwartz has a long history of supporting Toys for Tots, ramping up donation efforts during our annual company holiday party where a new, unwrapped toy was collected as guests enter the event space. This year, in lieu of a large gathering, we spread the word to our agents, staff, and friends who made sure the collection bins at each of our offices were full to overflowing over the weeks of our donation effort.

Overflowing Toys For Tots box!

In early December, Santa’s helpers from Toys for Tots Delaware arrived bright & early to pick up the toy collection that was so generously donated by the PSA family. This year we honored Giving Tuesday by finding a different way to support our neighbors in need over the holiday season.

Click here to see how Patterson-Schwartz is making a difference in the community

59 years and a few additions later…

What started with a staff of just 10 people in a semi-detached house at 1013 Washington Street in Wilmington, Delaware, has grown into a home for over 400 strong with nine locations that stretch from Brandywine Hundred to the Delaware Beaches. Today we are thrilled to be entering our 60th year of serving the area’s real estate needs. Happy Anniversary PSA! 🎉

7 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Winter

All seasons affect your home, but perhaps no other season impacts it more than winter. The cold temperatures, wind, snow and freezing rain combine to make it a season not to be ignored.

To ensure you do not have any unnecessary repair costs this winter, follow these seven simple steps while preparing for winter. They are short and sweet—and can save you money in the long run.

Read more

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2020. All rights reserved.