Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NAHB News - The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Buying New



Prospective home buyers have the choice of two types of houses on the market: resale or new.

Home buyers planning to buy a brand-new house or condominium often cite energy-efficiency, open layout,a warranty, and being able to select appliances, flooring, paint colors and other design elements as factors driving their choice.

But builders say that buyers can be drawn to a new house for reasons that aren’t so obvious. Below are a few more benefits of a brand-new home that you may not see in the sales brochure.


Building a Community Together

A brand-new community is one of the built-in benefits of many new homes. When families move in to a subdivision at the same time, often lasting bonds of friendship and neighborliness are formed right away. Nobody is the “new kid on the block,” and many home builders host community block parties in new developments to help owners meet and connect. Popular amenities like pools, walking trails and courts for tennis and basketball offer additional opportunities for interaction among neighbors of all ages. Often new communities are comprised of home owners in the same stage of life, such as young families or active retirees, so neighbors can get to know each other through carpools, PTA meetings, tennis matches or golf games.

Entertaining

Throwing a party in an older home can be a challenge because smaller, distinct rooms make it difficult to entertain guests in one large space. Builders are responding to today’s home buyer preferences with layouts featuring more open spaces and rooms that flow into each other more easily, like the popular great room. While you are in the kitchen preparing dinner, you can still interact with guests enjoying conversation in the family room without feeling closed off. The feeling of spaciousness in today’s new-home layouts often is enhanced by the higher ceilings and additional windows that bringing in more light than you would find in an older home.

A Clean Slate

For some buyers, parking the car in a sparkling-clean garage or being the first to cook a dinner in a brand new kitchen is part of the appeal of new construction. In addition, you won’t have to spend time stripping dated wallpaper or repainting to suit your own sense of style. You can create your own home d├ęcor from the get-go!

The advantages of being the first owner of a home extend to the outdoors. Instead of inheriting inconveniently or precariously placed trees, or having to tear up overgrown shrubs, you can design and plant the lawn and garden you want.

Outlets, Outlets Everywhere!

Homes built in the 1960’s and earlier were wired much differently than houses today. Builders had no way of anticipating the invention of high-definition televisions, DVRs and computers that we enjoy today — and the very different electrical requirements they would introduce. New homes can accommodate advanced technologies like structured wiring, security systems and sophisticated lighting plans, and can be tailored to meet the individual home owner’s needs.

Anyone who has ever lived in an older home can also attest to the fact that there are never enough outlets, inside or out! New-home builders plan for the increased number and type of electronics and appliances used by today’s families, so you can safely operate a wine cooler, Christmas lights or your computer.

To find new homes for sale in your area, contact your local home builders association at www.nahb.org/findanhba

Monday, June 27, 2011

People In Action - Susan Hargadon

Susan Hargadon is the Controller at Pohlig Builders

Susan Hargadon is the Controller at Pohlig Builders. She manages all of the company’s accounting and financial matters, including overseeing all the details behind your home settlement. Prior to joining Pohlig Builders in January 2000, she was Vice President of Finance at Corporate Interiors of Delaware.

Susan is an avid reader who also loves Westie’s, vacationing with husband Ed and playing pinochle on Friday nights (not necessarily in that order!) Daughter, Cristin, and son-in-law Brian graduated from West Point and have served our country. Daughter Alison graduated from the University of the Sciences with a Pharmaceutical Doctorate.

Many thanks to Susan for her outstanding work at Pohlig Builders.

Friday, June 24, 2011

NAHB News - Top Reasons To Buy A Home


1. LOW INTEREST RATES.
    Rates remain low; lock in a payment that fits your budget.

2. AVAILABLE LOANS.
    Borrowers with good credit can get loans with attractive rates.

3. COMPETITIVE PRICES.
    You can afford more home than you could a few years ago.

4. GREAT SELECTION.
    With lots of homes on the market, get the features you want!

5. BUILD FINANCIAL SECURITY.
    Even in down markets, over the long term home prices still appreciate more than the stock market.

6. CREATE FAMILY MEMORIES.
    You’ll remember the holidays and family milestones forever.

7. ENERGY EFFICIENCY.
    Environmentally-friendly features in new homes can help you save money.

8. MODERN FEATURES.
    Open floor plans, home offices, outdoor living spaces—new and renovated homes fit your family’s lifestyle needs.





 

For more information visit www.nahb.org


Thursday, June 23, 2011

NAHB News - Selling Tips for Home Buyers


There are incredible opportunities to buy a home in today’s market. Interest rates are near historic lows, prices are more competitive than they’ve been in years, and there is a large selection of homes available for sale to choose from. Whether you would like more space to accommodate a growing family or less to better suit an empty-nester lifestyle, the current buyer’s market makes it an ideal time to make a change.

But what if you have to sell your current home before you buy a new one? While the buyer’s market means when you buy your new house you will be able to get more for your money than a few years ago, it also means you will have to make sure your existing home is presented in its most attractive light in order to attract bids from potential buyers.

Here are some tips to help you improve your chances of attracting a buyer:

  • Start with a realistic price. Thoroughly research what homes comparable to yours have sold for in the past year, as well as what the asking price is for the homes that are currently for sale. If you are working with a Realtor, they can do this for you. A price that’s too high may keep your home on the market so long that buyers will assume there are problems.
  • Curb appeal is critical. Some prospective buyers never get out of the car before deciding that a run-down house is not for them. Keep your lawn neatly mowed and seed bare spots, mulch all the garden beds and plant colorful annuals, and paint or touch up fences, trim and the house itself, if it needs it. Fix anything sub-par that’s visible from the street.

  • Clean, clean, clean. From the minute buyers arrive at your front door, make sure that everything they see is super clean. Put out a new welcome mat. Thoroughly clean carpets, floors, baseboards, curtains, windows, and especially all the surfaces and appliances in your bathrooms and kitchens. Repaint the walls if they are scuffed or stained.

  • Don’t forget odor. The home should both look and smell clean and welcoming. Open windows in good weather to encourage fresh air to circulate. Use scented cleaners or air fresheners. Some sellers even pop a batch of cookies into the oven or simmer spiced cider on the stove if they know a potential buyer is coming.

  • Make sure everything works. Fix everything from the merely cosmetic such as burned-out light bulbs, to things that could raise red flags with buyers such as broken sink disposals and leaky faucets. If you don’t fix it, their home inspector will find it.

  • Clutter kills sales. Make sure beds are made, toys are put away, bookshelves are neatly organized, and counters are cleared of personal items. If your house is too full—and that includes attics and basements—prospective buyers will have trouble visualizing their furnishings and possessions fitting in the space. Consider temporarily moving some furniture or boxes to the homes of friends or family, rent a storage facility, or even have a yard sale.

Prospective buyers can see that buying a house that’s already attractive and in good working order will make their lives easier—and could help you get into the home of your dreams that much sooner.


For more information about selling homes in your area visit your local Home Builders Association website.  In southeastern Pennsylvania, visit http://www.builderpa.com/consumer-info/resource-center.html

Monday, June 20, 2011

NAHB News - Opportunity Knocks for Home Buyers - Part 2: Benefits for Buyers



Tax Benefits:For Home Owners Only


Unique tax benefits that apply only to housing help lower the cost of homeownership. Both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible. Moreover, for married couples, profits of up to $500,000 on the sale of a principal residence ($250,000 for single taxpayers) are excluded from tax on capital gains.




The Advantage of Leveraging

Leveraging is another advantage of homeownership. A buyer can purchase a home and receive the full benefit of homeownership with a cash downpayment that is only a fraction of the total purchase price. This is called leveraging, and it makes the rate of return on a home purchase greater than on other purchases with the same value, such as stocks, where the buyer must put up the entire price.

Building Personal Resources

For most Americans, homeownership is a primary source of net worth and an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term. Although property values have declined in many markets, Americans currently have a total of more than $6 trillion in equity in their homes, and for most families, home equity represents the largest share of net worth.

There Really is No Place Like Home

Although there are many positive financial aspects to homeownership, a home cannot be valued in monetary terms alone. Not only can homeownership be a steppingstone to greater financial well-being, it provides a permanent place to call home and great personal satisfaction. Academic research also shows that homeownership provides a wide range of social benefits and strengthens the nation’s people and its communities. Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

People In Action - Kevin Schrader

Kevin Schrader Quality Assurance Manager-at Athertyn at Haverford Reserve
Kevin Schrader is Quality Assurance Manager at Athertyn at Haverford Reserve

Kevin Schrader began working for Pohlig Builders in August of 2003. He joined the Quality Assurance team taking care of custom homeowners’ needs. As the first Athertyn condominiums were completed, in the Spring of 2010, Kevin became the full time Quality Assurance Manager at Athertyn, making sure that the homeowner residences and common areas are in ship-shape order.

In his spare time, Kevin enjoys farming with his Granddaughter, vacationing with his family at Cape Hatteras, and boating. In addition, Kevin enjoys cliff diving, bungee jumping and skydiving… in his mind that is!



mockup of Kevin Schrader skydiving
Kevin enjoys cliff diving, bungee jumping and sky diving when he gets the chance… not!





Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NAHB News - Opportunity Knocks for Home Buyers

Homeownership is an important part of the American way of life, and there may never be a better time to buy than today.



Outstanding Opportunities

Now that the tax credits for first-time and repeat home buyers have expired,* many people are wondering if this is a good time to buy a home.

The answer is easy: Yes.

It’s a very good time to purchase a home. The recession is in retreat, and even though housing is on the mend, it’s still a buyer’s market. Moreover, Congress has made it clear that the home buyer tax credits are gone for good and will not be renewed. Even without the tax credits, there are many opportunities in today’s market including affordable prices, low mortgage rates and great new homes. But market conditions can change, and these opportunities may not be around for long, so home buyers shouldn’t wait.

Great Selection

An excellent selection of homes on the market makes today a very good time to buy. A plentiful inventory provides a great choice of homes, and many builders have brand new homes that are "move-in ready." Additionally, many owners of existing homes who postponed trading up or downsizing due to market conditions are now ready to sell. And as employment improves, the number of relocations will increase, bringing more homes into the market.

Attractive Pricing

If there’s a silver lining to the recession and the housing downturn, it’s that homes in many markets are more affordable. Prices in some areas have moderated significantly, especially in major markets where they increased the most during the housing boom that occurred in most of the country.





* Qualified buyers who had a binding contract in force by April 30, 2010, have until June 30, 2010, to complete their purchase.

Qualified members of the military, foreign service and intelligence communities who were on official extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days between January 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010, may qualify for a one-year extension of the tax credits. Go to FederalHousingTaxCredit.com for more information.


Low Interest Rates

Like inventory and pricing, mortgage interest rates are still at very favorable levels, but rates are sensitive to market forces and can change quickly. There’s no indication that rates will suddenly surge upward, but even a slight rate increase can push monthly payments to the point that a buyer might miss out on their first choice for a new home.

Prospective home buyers also should be aware that lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having financing in place before shopping for a new home. Buyers also may find that some home builders have arranged favorable financing for their customers or offer financial incentives.

Greener and Better

With energy costs near the top of consumer concerns, it’s good to know that new homes can be more energy efficient than ever. Innovative materials and construction techniques mean that today’s new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than homes constructed a generation ago. Not only can they be more affordable to operate, new homes also are significantly more esource-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Designed With Buyers in Mind

Designed to accommodate today’s busy lifestyles, new homes feature open floorplans, flexible spaces, improved safety eatures, low-maintenance materials and other amenities that make them more appealing than ever before. And in many areas, prospective home buyers who wish to live in age-qualified communities for those 55 and older will find a large selection of homes tailored to the evolving lifestyles of the baby boom generation.









Learn more at www.nahb.org

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Pohlig Organization Hosts a Greek Glenti for Past and Present Homebuyers

On June 1st, the Pohlig Organization hosted a Greek Glenti, thanking its past and present home buyers for 36 years of friendships.  The gala was held at the Athertyn Clubhouse at Haverford Reserve.  



The evening was filled with food, drink, music and dancing as some of the crowd showed their best moves on the floor.  As the guests dined on exceptional Greek cuisine by Mediterranean Catering, live music was provided by Seizmos at the poolside casual event.



Greek food abounded at the Glenti thrown at the Athertyn Clubhouse
The cuisine available at the Greek Glenti thrown at the Athertyn clubhouse was not only delicious, but wonderful to look at!

An evening of fun filled dancing was led by one of the Athertyn residents who demonstrated the finer aspects of Greek dance such as the syrtos as the other party guests joined in.

 

Pohlig principal Todd Pohlig gets into the dancing act Greek style at the Glenti hosted by the Pohlig Organization at the Athertyn Clubhouse

The Pohlig Organization’s own Todd Pohlig even got into dancing with the crowd at the Greek Glenti.  The dancing carried throughout the Athertyn Clubhouse for a wonderful evening of fun and excitement!


The dancing at the Greek Glenti hosted by the Pohlig Organization throughout the Athertyn Clubhouse for an evening of fun!


Monday, June 13, 2011

How to Rightsize

For many empty nesters the question isn't whether or not they want to "rightsize," it’s about whether or not they know how to begin this seemingly-daunting process. Who's better to offer their expert advice than Ciji Ware, who has provided baby boomers with a simple seven-step program for rightsizing your life?


Athertyn at Haverford Reserve will liberate you from many real life burdens


•   Step 1: Decide on Your Space
The decision to "age in place" or relocate when you rightsize is deeply-rooted in the personal desires and needs of the baby boomer. Your new rightsized environment needs to be able to fulfill both your emotional desires as well as your functional needs in the long-run. While most adults stay in place due to the comfort of their location in terms of its agreeable climate, convenient facilities, and nearby friends and family, the truth of matter is many lifestyle communities offer homeowners a new living space without the sacrifice of location. Pohlig at Haverford Reserve offers lifestyle housing right in the Main Line so that baby boomers can enjoy new rightsized living without disrupting their existing careers, friendships, or other local connections.


•    Step 2: Identify Your Favorite Things
This step involves asking Ciji’s worthwhile questions, "What of all the things you own do you love the best?" and "What aspects of a particular possession are vital, in your view?" It's important to recognize that we carry emotional ties with all of our personal possessions, because they bring about some form of happiness and satisfaction to our lives. Yet, in order to rightsize, you need to prioritize your belongings to determine which of your property is most valuable and why. You may endure a continual desire to keep hold of things, because you feel as though your possessions define your self-worth. However, in order to properly rightsize and embrace this new stage in age, you must take note of those belongings which still hold meaning and significance and those belongings which, as Ciji Ware describes it, "don’t work for us anymore, don't make sense to keep anymore, and take up too much room."

•    Step 3: Edit Your Possessions Room by Room
Though one of the most intimidating and overwhelming phases in the process, this step holds one of the most liberating outcomes for those empty nesters looking for true, simplified living. You’ve already identified the things you love, so this next step is meant to jump-start your progression in de-cluttering your property. It's all about developing a system for organizing your belongings to once and for all get rid of all that clutter. To better help baby boomers to identify those items deemed "clutter," Ware references author Karen Kingston who defines clutter as,

  • Things you do not use or love
  • Things that are untidy or disorganized
  • Too many things in too small a space
  • Anything that is unfinished

    •    Step 4: Fine-Tune
    Here, the focus is on collections- the assortment of objects you have enjoyed gathering at one point or another in your lifetime. This is the time in your life when you realize that collections, while significant at some period in your past often represent an unnecessary accumulation of objects and things that no longer hold value to you at this stage in age. As Ciji Ware puts it, an evaluation of these collections, will allow you to "decide if you absolutely must find a place for the entire collection or for just a representative sample of what you have amassed." It’s really about sorting through your "treasures" to keep hold of those genuine "gems."


    •    Step 5: Pare Down
    Nothing is more overwhelming to the average baby boomer than sifting through those masses of clothing and paper you have lying around, but the truth of the matter is- they're major sources of unnecessary clutter and chaos in your life. How to address this one? Ciji Ware turns to fashion expert Linda Daniels for her advice on how to perform "wardrobe rehab" to your closet. Daniels' 3-step program to send, mend, or blend your apparel items, offers an organizational system for establishing that "right," "perfectly blended" wardrobe that functions for you at this time in your life. As for those piles of papers, they represent an entirely new battle to conquer. In this case, Ciji Ware offers up her own, personal 7-step system for sorting through that mess of documents, as well as her own little bit of advice- "Many of the top reasons we’re drowning in paper revolves around guilt, and in most cases, guilt is a wasted emotion."


    •    Step 6: Call in the Professionals
    There may have been a lot of battles won in the past five steps, or maybe you’re still struggling to sort out that mess of a wardrobe. In that case, Ciji Ware says it’s perfectly reasonable to seek out the professional help you may need. While rightsizing proves to be a very self-liberating process, the truth is- sometimes you just need that extra, little bit of help that’s worth paying for. Hiring experts might be the perfect guidance you need for making rightsizing-progress, and Ciji says "one of the best ways to determining what kind of outside help you need is first to ask yourself what problem or problems you are trying to solve."


    •    Step 7: Stay Sane During Your Rightsizing Move
    Moving is never easy on anyone but Ware couldn’t be more right when she said "…regardless of circumstance, if you do your part and create and execute a reasonable plan to the best of our ability, you have a much better chance of having things go well." In this case, procrastination is man’s worst enemy, you need to confront this obstacle and come to realization that nothing’s going to get done until you go ahead and do it yourself. Creating a system for moving and organizing all of your material possessions, is the best way for ensuring that your move goes as smoothly as possible.




    Rightsizing at Athertyn will allow you to  pursue your passions
    Related posts:
    People In Action - Ciji Ware
    How to Know Rightsizing is Right for You
    Rightsizing Without Compromise



    Credits for these excerpts: Ciji Ware, author of Rightsizing Your Life®: Simplifying Your Surroundings While Keeping What Matters Most


    Ciji Ware's book, Rightsizing Your Life®: Simplifying Your Surroundings While Keeping What Matters Most can be found at Amazon.com

    You can learn more about Ciji Ware at www.rightsizingyourlife.com

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Historic Highlight: Former Eagle Vince Papale Heads Weeklong Series of Grand Opening Events at Athertyn at Haverford Reserve

    Former Eagles' pro football player Vince Papale greeted guests on a welcoming weekend at Athertyn at Haverford Reserve.  Vince was the subject of the movie "Invincible" detailing how Papale, coming from a college that had no football team, while teaching and coaching at Interboro High School, tried out for a position on the World Football League's Philadelphia Bells and won.  His stellar performance on that team earned him a position on the Philadelphia Eagles becoming the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL.




    Papale participated in the weekend Meet the Builders event and shared the excitement of the Main Line's most exciting new lifestyle community, Athertyn at Haverford Reserve, during the weekend of September 26 & 27 2009.  He joined guests in watching the Eagles play the Chiefs on the Athertyn Clubhouse big screen television.

    Joining Papale in welcoming guests for the weekend was golf pro Jeff Lockman.  He provided pointers while leading guests in trying out the Athertyn Clubhouse putting green and the indoor high definition golf simulator.




    Golf Pro Jeff Lockman


    Don Pohlig of The Pohlig Organization tries out the indoor golf simulator at the resident's clubhouse at Athertyn at Haverford Reserve

    Guests also enjoyed refreshments and tours of the decorated models, as well as the stunning clubhouse with pool, and tennis court.  Athertyn at Haverford Reserve is set in a beautiful park side setting in the heart of the Main Line.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    People In Action - Cassie Barnes

    Cassie Barnes is the selection manager at Athertyn at Haverford Reserve

    Cassie began working in the building industry shortly after completing her Marketing degree from Penn State University six years ago. She has also completed an Interior Design Certification from Temple University and is in the process of obtaining her Real Estate license. Cassie joined the Pohlig Team in February of 2008 and was brought on specifically for the Athertyn project.

    When she is not working on Selections, she can be found behind the bar, serving up beer and wine at Athertyn's monthly "Meet Your Neighbor" gatherings.  In her free time, she loves to join her husband in the kitchen, cooking meals for family and friends. She also enjoys taking her 3 year old Puggle, "Lady", on neighborhood walks and trips to the dog park.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Community Recreation and Environmental Center at Haverford

    There is a great deal of excitement around the development of the new Community Recreation & Environmental Center at Haverford Reserve which is now under construction.


    The proposed Community Recreation & Environmental Center at Haverford Reserve scheduled to open Spring of 2012

    The new center will feature two full gymnasiums which will host basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer as well as craft shows and flea markets. The center will contain a full sized indoor track as well as multi-use rooms to host civic, scout, and sports meetings in addition to a fitness and wellness center, senior lounge, nature and environmental labs.

    The 7.8 million dollar structure is being built on the community park area of Haverford Reserve.  The reserve contains 120 acres of preserved open space and is home to several new athletic fields, an enclosed dog park, the Freedom Playground for children and adults of all abilities, five miles of walking and nature trails, as well as carriage homes and the new 55+ lifestyle condominium community of Athertyn.



    Athertyn is a 55+ lifestyle community in the park-like setting at  Haverford Reserve

    Ground was broken for the project in February 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2012.  Designers for the project are planning to implement a geothermal system to power the center to make it a green, environmentally friendly facility. The Community Recreation and Environmental Center at Haverford Reserve is scheduled to open to the public in May of 2012 for all to enjoy.


    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Athertyn Enrichment Series - S'Wonderful Evening with Porter and Gershwin

    As part of the on going Enrichment Series, the Athertyn team and the Pohlig Organization are inviting folks to be their guest on an exciting journey to adventure, self-discovery and learning.  Members of the Delaware Valley Opera Company will delight the audience with a musical playlist composed by two of the greatest contributors to the Great American Songbook.

    The Athertyn team, the Pohlig Organization, and The Delaware Valley Opera Company present "S'Wonderful Evening with Porter and Gershwin"


    This event will be held Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at the Athertyn Clubhouse, 7700 Parkview Drive, Haverford, PA.  Those interested in attending this event can R.S.V.P. to Carrie Sullivan at 610-647-4700 or send an email to info@athertyn.com to reserve seats.