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Gary Mast's Advice

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  • 14 Contributions
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Gary Mast wrote:

2007 150k Addition

Answer
Without having any additional information I'll be willing to give you some general parameters to help you answer your question. I agree get a Realtor to give you a CMA to establish todays market value; until then here are some general thoughts. I guess the cost of the addition & changes had a cost of around 40K. Add that to your pre value basis of 284K, you were comewhere around 325K. From'06 till the present assume a 25% decline in value, your area could be more, could be less. That would put you in the area of 243K at the present time.
September 27 2012
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What percentage at resale can you resonably expect when installing an inground pool?

Answer
I believe the safe answer is zero, nothing. If there ever was one home improvement that was as risky for resale value as a pool, it would have to be a home elevator. If the buyer needs it or wants it, it is a great addition. Otherwise, in PA, its a roll of the dice. A large plot of land, in an upscale location might be a reason to add this option; take your que from homes in your neighborhood, if they are similar is size & price.
September 04 2012
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Does a laminate floor take away from the value of a home's price?

Answer
I think the important consideration is what type of room is the laminate flooring installed. There are currently trends in housing, hardwoods in living areas, tiles in bathrooms, etc. Laminate flooring can be an excellent choice in laundry rooms and some other areas. Without knowing precisely which area of the house that you have laminate flooring installed, it is difficult to answer your question. Also laminate flooring can be described two ways, vinyl laminate flooring and the newer wood laminate flooring. My use in the laundry room was for vinyl; wood laminate would not be my choice in a laundry room, kitchen possibly, bedrooms yes, or a family room. Laminate flooring is a better choice when being applied over concrete, as in a finished basement.
September 04 2012
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What moving company do you recommend and trust ?

Answer
I believe that the best source for a mover recommendation is people you know, family, co-workers or neighbors. Based upon whom you receive a recommendation from you can value the recommendation accordingly. As a Realtor, I know many people whom have moved. I don't always know how satisfied they were with the moving experience. I also don't know what were the important aspects of their move. Therefore, I hesitate to give personal recommendations, unless I have used the mover personaly. Tap into the first hand resources that are out there, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors.
September 04 2012
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Is this deal destined to fail?

Answer
I agree with those that have said you really have to wait till the inspection contingency time frames expire. Still, consider this, just because they don't cancel before the inspection contingency expires, if your thoughts that they are still shopping other homes, you can be certain they can and will find another reason to default on the contract (if they find a "better home"). A $500 escrow, or earnest deposit is very small. I understand your concern that the lose of this buyer has a very significant impact on your family's future; either way there are some valuable learning experiences here. Given you position, I believe your advocate, your Realtor, should have a better handle on what is going on, the buyers motives and said Realtor should have suggested a larger escrow deposit. To take a home off the market for $500 is poor judgement in my opinion, even without knowing the sale price. Why not allow for the home to continue to be marketed  with the contingency disclosed? I also sense that you are not pleased with your Realtor's response to your concerns; I believe all of these factors led to you making a re-evaluation of your Realtor. If this transaction closes, no problem, but if it doesn't I think you owe it to yourself to rethink your selection. I don't like to throw other Realtors under the bus, but ineffective representation, poor communications and less than stellar professional performance give all Realtors a bad wrap.
August 29 2012
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Bathroom remodel. Single or double sink?

Answer
I'm going to go against the grain and say a single sink, a large single. Why, if this is the main bathroom in the house, more often than not it only has one user at a time, secondly, counter space can be heavily used depending on the needs of the users. If we had a better idea of the overall size of the bathroom and the remaining layout, I might consider a double sink setup. But for the typicial 8 x 8 main bathroom, with vanity, toilet and tub/ shower combo the extra counter space is invaluable.
August 29 2012
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what are houses going for in my area?

Answer
Excellent question, excellent answer. Your phrase, "what are houses going for in my area?", is one of those misunderstood questions. Many people will be quick to tell you what they got in the past, or what the house selling down the street is asking. My take on that phrase is at what price do they sell. That's a net price, selling minus any seller assist's or seller's credits. Talk with a Realtor, but ask questions to fully understand what the property "went for". Remember, even armed with a market analysis, what your house will sell for is, what a buyer will pay for your house.
July 24 2012
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In Pennsylvania, what are the disadvantages for a seller of providing a 'sellers assist'?

Answer
The offering of a Seller assist in many cases is viewed as a trade-off with lowering the sale price. While this may be true, in my experience I have seen the assist have a more dramatic impact. After location and house size most Buyers will shop in their mortgage approved or price comfort zone. Based on the Buyers cash resources some homes may not fit that zone. Whether it is due to need of repairs/ upgrades, or just not a willingness to empty their pockets to make the purchase, the seller assist may help them over the tipping point. This can be of value to the right Buyer. The Seller needs to understand this concept before pricing their home. Most seller Assist's are limited to 4% of the purchase price. Always insist as the Seller that the commission paid is on the net sale price. Gary Mast RE/MAX Action Realty[Contact information removed by Zillow moderator. Please see About Zillow Advice and our Good Neighbor Policy for guidelines]
March 27 2011
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Historical Conflicts

Response
Matthew that's a great question. It's also a question that depending on one's outlook of "historic" can bring vigorious debate. In Bucks County, PA we have several communities which strive to maintain historical neighborhoods. Many times the need for contemporary function runs up against historic display. The good news that I have seen is that many new materials allow for a building to be dressed in a historical style but enables the building to benefit from new or contemporary design. I will admit that many of these options are above the normal range of common building materials and the workmanship to incorporate is also expensive. A second method I have seen involves the "streetscape". The front exterior of the building, the sideways & curbing, the streetlights are all period proper with the building. The roofs, the rear yards and the internal features are as contempoary as the owner desires. Think of a movie set. It looks right by the camera's eye, but go thru that door and its a different story. I also realize that there are some folks that feel the historic proportions need to be maintained throught the house & property. This is a much tornier issue which I will leave to others to comment upon. Good luck.
February 24 2011
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Best approach for estate

Answer
Usually with an estate, the IRS requires an apprasial, value at time of death. Obiviously this is for tax purposes. Many times I have found that this value is conservative, imagine that. In any event I would review that value with several area Realtors to confirm the number or adjust it accordingly to a true market value. Also discuss with the same Realtors the scope of changes, repairs, updates, etc. Get a before and after market value. Then you have to determine if the price difference is in line with your financial abilities. If you explore differnet options of retaining the property with some type of passive or active income potential, ask yourself, "do I want to be a landlord". The answers to most of the questions usually depend on your personal abities and interests, so whats best for you may be different from what others may think. Its good to get input from others, but at the end of the day, what works for one person may not work for another.
February 22 2011
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