Harrisburg News & Events

Published by matt on 17 Apr 2012

First Quarter Home Sales Up 18.6% in Harrisburg Tri-County Area

Harrisburg area Realtors have been witnessing a positive turnaround in the local real estate market and now we have the statistics to substantiate what we’ve been experiencing over the past four months.  After four years of market decline, buyers are ready to  finally commit to buy as mortgage interest rates continue to be at historic lows and a generous inventory of homes to choose from.

For more information about the 18.6% increase in home sales for first quarter 2012, please read the attached article published by the Central Penn Business Journal.

Harrisburg Area Q1 Home Sales Up 18.6%

If you are a potential buyer, come to our FREE Home Buyers Seminar on April 25.  For more information, please contact Michelle Leo at 717-623-8508.

Published by matt on 25 Aug 2011

Ask A Realtor…

Realtors can be a valuable resource when you are looking for a professional to assist with home ownership needs. During the course of a real estate transaction, we come in contact with a variety of experts that make an impression on us and our clients. Below is a brief list of experts from the Harrisburg area that I would be happy to refer you to should the need arise.

- home inspectors
- appraisers
- lenders (home purchase or refinance)
- roofers
- plumbers
- electricians
- wood pest inspectors or treatment
- asbestos testing and removal
- radon testing and installation of mitigation system
- general “handy man” services
- painters
- landscapers
- general contractors for remodeling/additions
- HVAC services
- septic inspectors
- real estate attorneys and/or title companies

Personally, I would trust a referral from a friend than simply picking a name that I see listed on the Internet. Also, if you know of anyone who provides top-notch service and is reliable, please pass along their contact information to me. I’d love to add them to my referral list.

As always, I’d like to be the one that you refer your family and friends to when they are looking for a real estate professional. I am NEVER too busy to accept a referral from you.

Published by Michelle on 23 Feb 2011

Social Media Safety…Beware Buyers and Sellers!

We’ve all heard the saying “do as I say, not as I do.”  As parents, we are constantly reminding our children of the potential dangers of the internet and to practice safe computing while visiting social media websites.  If this is true, then why don’t we take our own medicine?   

Our innocent posts and information that we share on social media websites can be used against you and could even place your family in danger.  A few examples include:

- “I’m counting down the days to Saturday when we leave on our two week cruise to Alaska.  Can’t wait to get out of here!”

- Including your home and/or work address in your profile.

- Posting photos of children with their school’s name visible in the photo.

More specifically, Buyers and Sellers also need to beware of the information they share.  Buyers tend to get very excited once they found “the one” and sometimes share too many details of the transaction in a public forum.  By doing so, it can compromise their negotiating position by indicating how badly they want to buy the house or even how much they are willling to pay.   

For Sellers, it is required by law that you must disclose what you know about the property (via the Seller’s Disclosure).  However, public posts that include your opinion of the neighborhood, your impending divorce, or how you would do anything to sell your home so you can move to Florida where it’s warm will compromise your negotiating position. 

Human are very curious creatures.  I’m guilty of looking up people on social media sites or “Googling” someone’s name to see what I can learn.  It’s my responsibility as a Buyer’s Agent or Seller’s Agent to provide all the information that I find to my client so we can make an informed decision.  If it’s out there for the world to see, those words can be used against you in the future. 

Before you hit “share” the next time you create a post, re-read it to make sure the content is truly for the public to know. 

Safe computing everyone!

Published by Michelle on 19 Nov 2010

Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors Feeding 659 Local Families

This year, I had the pleasure of chairing the Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Committee through the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors (GHAR).  I am thrilled to report that we successfully concluded our efforts this morning for the 24th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive by supplying a Thanksgiving dinner (turkey and GIANT gift card for all the trimmings) for 659 local families. 

The Food Drive started in 1986 and in the first year they collected 78 boxes of food.  The goal from day one is to help the less fortunate families in our area and give back to our local communities.  Each year our recipient list increases and we do our best to help everyone that we can.  We knew going into this year that the slow economy was going to be a challenge however we pulled together and reached out to our peers and affiliates and made it happen!

Although my responsibilities as Committee Chair ends today, I will continue to support this cause going forward.  If you would like to make a donation for next year’s Thanksgiving Food Drive, please contact me at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net.  Every dollar counts…Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Published by Michelle on 18 Nov 2009

Expanded Home Buyer’s Tax Credit – What You Need to Know!

There are a lot of questions surrounding the expanded home buyer’s tax credit.  One of the questions I receive most often is “Do I qualify to receive the tax credit?”  To better understand the eligibility requirements and some of the other most frequently asked questions, watch the attached video.

RE/MAX Agents Know the 2009-2010 Tax Credit:

Even if you don’t live in Central PA or want to buy a home here, I can still help! Feel free to contact me at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net or 717-623-8508.

Published by Michelle on 18 Nov 2009

Local Realtors Giving Back to the Needy in Central PA

For the past 22 years, the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors Foundation has run a Thanksgiving Food Drive to raise funds to purchase turkeys and food to present to needy families at Thanksgiving.  Despite the challenging economy, we surpassed our goal and collected enough money to support 630 local families within Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties. 

Turkeys and GIANT gift cards will be distributed on Friday, November 20 starting at 8am.  For more information, please read the attached Media Advisory. 

Thanksgiving Media Advisory 2009.pdf

Published by Michelle on 05 Nov 2009

Become a Fan of “Michelle Leo Realtor” on Facebook!

I’ll be posting my listings and other pertinent real estate information on my Facebook fan page.  Feel free to dialogue with me about what you heard on the evening news to see if it applies to our local market.  Real estate is local and just because home values in Las Vegas are down 50% doesn’t mean that the same is true for the Harrisburg area.   

If you want to be “in the know”, become a fan of “Michelle Leo Realtor”.  See you on Facebook!

Published by Michelle on 09 Oct 2009

Harrisburg Buyers, Get In The Game Before It’s Too Late!

According to the National Association of Realtors, 45% of home sales from January to July 2009 were first time buyers between the ages of 25 – 45.  These first time buyers took advantage of the tax credit (up to $8000), low interest rates, and high inventory levels. 

If you’re credit is 620 or higher, it’s time to get into the real estate game – especially if you’re a first time buyer!  Why pay off somebody else’s mortgage when you can build up your OWN self worth?  For more information, please contact me at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net or 717-623-8508.

Published by Michelle on 12 Jul 2008

“Staycation” in Central PA?

With soaring gas and food prices, many of us will be experiencing a “staycation” during the summer of 2008.  A “staycation” is a vacation spent at or near home.  If you’re home is currently for sale, it’s a good idea to create a staycation atmosphere throughout your home and especially in the backyard.  Stage your home so that when buyers walk through that they can picture themselves hanging out and relaxing in their new paradise.

Several of the major retailers are jumping on the band wagon by running major ad campaigns surrounding this concept.  The whole idea is that you don’t have to leave your home to have an enjoyable and relaxing vacation.  What do you need to have the perfect staycation?  Think of a resort and some of the amenities they offer to their guests - comfortable outdoor furniture that is perfect for an afternoon siesta, backyard toys (anything that makes a backyard more fun), a lush flower garden, perhaps a fire pit to take the edge off of a chilly evening and definately some great food! 

Here are some suggestions as to how to plan your staycation to make it a success:

- Schedule start and end dates.  Make your vacation official by scheduling time off.  

- Plan daily activities.  Don’t let yourself and your family sit in front of the television all week.  Schedule activities (at home and within your community) so you get out and have fun.

- Forget the chores!  For your time off, forget making the bed and doing laundry.  After all, you are on vacation!

- Ignore email and voice mail.  It’s hard but try to forget about work demands.  You’ve worked hard all year and deserve the time off so take it.  If you must check in with the office, limit it to an hour a day and when the hour is over then go back on vacation. 

An added benefit of a staycation is that after it’s over you will feel more refreshed and rejuvenated than if you traveled to a destination.  Face it, the logistics of travel are not fun and often very draining on the family.  If I don’t have to wait in line, strip down in front of strangers and take off my shoes to go through airport security, I’m all for it!

Published by Michelle on 01 Jul 2008

2008 MSN Real Estate Best Bargain Markets – Harrisburg Rounds Out the Top 3!

MSN recently published an article that lists the nine best, livable cities.  The criteria used to determine the “top nine” include:  affordable and appreciating housing, low unemployment, short commute times and availability of entertainment. 

In the final report, the Harrisburg-Carlisle area ranked #3 out of 9.  We know that Central PA is a great place to live and work and now the rest of the world will know as well.

To read the article in its entirety, please visit http://realestate.msn.com/Buying/Article2.aspx?cp-documentid=3863709>1=9226

Rock on Harrisburg! 

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