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If Cars Ran Like PCs... - 05/29/07 09:52 PM
If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics: 1) For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a week. 2) Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car. 3) Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. 4) Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause you car (5 comments)
Think You Really Need the Spell Checker? - 05/29/07 09:09 PM
This is for those of you who depend on your spell checker to catch errors. I think this came from the RealTalk listserv a few years ago. Thank you to the one who originally shared it. Eye halve a spelling checquer It came with my pea sea It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. Eye strike a key and type a word And weight four it two say Weather eye am wrong or write It shows me strait aweigh. As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long And eye can put the error rite. Its rare lea ever wrong. Eye have run this (4 comments)
Preparing Your Home For Sale - 05/29/07 07:08 PM
You all know the old maxim: "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Not surprisingly, the same goes for your house! Whether you want to get the best best price for your home, or want to sell in the least amount of time, it's important to prepare your home properly for its first exposure to the public. If you do nothing else, keep it clean! Remove clutter, and make sure everything smells as good as it looks. This is no time for pet odors. Consider having a garage sale to get rid of unneeded things, or store excess at (0 comments)
Nine Deadly Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Your Next Home - 05/28/07 09:26 PM
Here are nine mistakes that can cost you time, money and stress! 1) Purchasing contingent before your own home is listed or sold. Contingency contracts often don't settle. This will cause you undue stress and may lead you to take a lower offer on your property as an act of desperation. Additionally, the seller will be free to shop other offers and call for your release, but you will be tied to one property. 2) Failure to plan. What if you found the perfect home at the perfect price the first time you looked, and while you were thinking it over, (0 comments)
This Month's College Graduates - 05/28/07 05:01 PM
This month we watched luminaries address the graduating college classes across the nation, giving them advice and wisdom to take with them as their careers and adult lives begin. What we may not be fully appreciative of, however, is how different a world they grew up in as opposed to ours. Some food for thought: The people who are graduating college this spring were born in 1986. They are too young to remember the first space shuttle blowing up on liftoff. Their lifetime has always included AIDS. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic. The first CD player was (0 comments)
Perspective of Time - 05/28/07 03:46 PM
This post is only for those whose level of maturity qualifies them to relate to it - ;o) 1967: Long hair 2007: Longing for hair 1967: KEG 2007: EKG 1976: Acid rock 2007: Acid reflux 1967: Moving to California because it's cool 2007: Moving to Arizona because it's warm 1967: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor 2007: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor 1967: Seeds and stems 2007: Roughage 1967: Going to a new, hip joint 2007: Receiving a new hip joint 1967: Rolling Stones 2007: Kidney stones 1977: Disco 2007: Costco 1977: Parents begging you to get your hair cut 2007: Children begging you to get their heads shaved 1977: Passing (6 comments)
Steven Wright Musings, Chapter 2 - 05/28/07 03:18 PM
Apparently I'm not the only one here who gets a kick out of Steven Wright's offbeat sense of humor. I had some positive feedback from the first collection of Wright quotes that I posted. Here are some more: I had to stop driving my car for a while.. the tires got dizzy. I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world... perhaps you've seen it. I have an answering machine in my car. It says, I'm home now. But leave a message and I'll call when I'm out. I installed a skylight in my apartment. The (0 comments)
Things to Ask About BEFORE You Sign That Purchase Agreement! - 05/28/07 12:00 PM
A good Realtor(R) will answer your questions, and even give you information you may not have thought to ask about. However, you should be aware of some good questions to ask, and know the answers to, BEFORE you sign that purchase agreement. You don't want to find out things you didn't know about after you're already committed to a contract. Are there features in the area that may affect the future value of the property you're considering? A new highway route? New school? New commercial enterprises? What are the neighborhood and the neighbors like? What have the utility costs for the (0 comments)
Musings From Steven Wright - 05/27/07 09:53 PM
As something of an aspiring wordsmith myself, I like to read the thoughts of writers who pay attention to words that other people use without much thought. Comedian George Carlin is certainly a humorous observer of language. Norm Crosby creatively butchers English. One of my personal favorites is Steven Wright. Here are some of my favorite quotes: A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me. I'm afraid of widths. Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks? When they asked George Washington for I.D., do you think he just whipped out a quarter? Don't you hate when your hand falls asleep and you know it (6 comments)
Forrest Gump Goes to Heaven - 05/26/07 11:29 AM
Forrest Gump finally died and went to Heaven. He was met at the Pearly Gates by Saint Peter himself. However, the gates were closed as Forrest approached the gatekeeper. Saint Peter said, "Forrest, it's good to see you. I must tell you that this place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance examination to everyone. The test is short, but you'll have to pass it before you can get into Heaven." Peter continued, "The test has only three questions. First, what two days of the week begin with the letter "T"? Forrest quickly answered, "That's easy! That would be 'today' (8 comments)
Sales Tale - 05/26/07 07:20 AM
Young Michael Riley went to confessional one day and said, "Forgive me, father, for I have committed hanky-panky." The priest wanted to grant Michael absolution, but first asked the name of the woman involved. "Was it Mary at the bakery?" "No, father." The priest persisted. "Was it Susie at the library?" "No, not her either," Michael responded. "I'm sorry, father, but I just can't bear to tell you." "Very well, my son," said the priest, "But I'll want to see you next week." As Michael was leaving the church, he ran into a friend who knew of the situation. "Hi, Michael, did you get absolved?" "No," said Michael, "But (6 comments)
"Lancaster City Living" Makes Its Debut! - 05/22/07 09:10 PM
A new non-profit group is making its presence known in Lancaster! The goal of Lancaster City Living is to boost homeownership in Lancaster City, and to encourage the recent trend of suburbanites to move back into the city. A new website has been launched in cooperation with the Lancaster County Association of Realtors(R) so that the MLS can be searched. (You can also search the Mult-List for homes at http://findlancasterhomes.com/). You can explore Lancaster neighborhoods, and find interesting articles on local events and attractions. Lancaster City Living is building on the success of similar groups in other cities. Many young people as well (0 comments)
Two Investment Districts Join Forces in Lancaster - 05/21/07 11:31 PM
With all the recent publicity about the new Lancaster Convention Center, there has been some concern that putting such a huge $170 Million project in the middle of downtown, without making concurrent improvements in the overall environment, might not be the best recipe for long term success. Political uncertainty about whether the Convention Center and hotel would ever actually be built put other plans on the back burner. Now new retailers will have to be brought into the area; more police will be needed to provide a safe environment. Simple things like neglected trash cans and lamp posts with peeling paint (0 comments)
The Toy Train Museum, Strasburg, PA - 05/20/07 11:09 AM
The Toy Train Museum, Strasburg, PA As a member of The Train Collectors Association since 1982, I feel privileged to live nearby the focal point of the TCA, the Toy Train Museum. The museum is located at 300 Paradise Lane, in Paradise Township near Strasburg, PA. It was built as a replica of a Victorian train station, and houses some of the finest collections of toy trains, buildings and accessories in the world. The museum is open to the public for a small admission fee (free to TCA members).
Collections of Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, Ives, Marklin and many (2 comments)
The Amish of Lancaster County - 05/20/07 12:54 AM
The Amish of Lancaster County Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is home to the oldest Amish community in the world. William Penn (1644-1718) first established the Pennsylvania colony in 1680 to provide sanctuary for persecuted religions. Penn himself had been granted the charter to all of Pennsylvania (which means "Penn's Woods") to settle a debt that King Charles II owed to Penn's father. The Amish took their name from Jacob Amman, who in 1693 split from the Mennonites. The Mennonites were an anabaptist goup formed in 1536 by a priest from Holland named Menno Simons. Part of the Protestant Reformation, anabaptists were persecuted (3 comments)
Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County: King's Cottage - 05/18/07 10:58 PM
Lancaster County, PA has an interesting and diverse selection of Bed & Breakfasts to stay at when you visit here. If you'd like a change from the sameness of the modern chain hotels, why not try a Bed & Breakfast? One elegant choice would be King's Cottage, located at 1049 East King Street, Lancaster.
A 1913 Spanish-style mansion just east of the city, this B&B is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been charmingly restored, and some of its rooms boast whirlpool baths and fireplaces. There is also a sunroom for guests, and even a honeymoon cottage on (0 comments)
Long's Park, Lancaster PA Gets a Makeover - 05/18/07 06:43 PM
Long's Park, Lancaster PA Gets a Makeover Long's Park was created at the beginning of the last century from farmland bequeathed to the city of Lancaster by Judge Henry Long. In recent years there had been some problems with an ever-increasing population of ducks, geese and other water fowl polluting the pond and the surrounding area. Last year a concerted effort to reduce the paddling polluters has made the center of the park much more inviting.
This year the park is undergoing an additional makeover, largely due to help from the Sertoma Club of Lancaster. The Sertoma Club, named as an acronym for Service (0 comments)
The 1719 Hans Herr House, Willow Street, PA - 05/17/07 10:57 PM
The 1719 Hans Herr House, Willow Street, PA Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was originally part of Chester County, the westernmost of the three original Pennsylvania counties. In 1711 the first Mennonite settlement was established, the Mennonites having passed through Germantown on their way west. One of the homes built in the "Conestogoe" Mennonite Settlement, named after the Conestoga Indians, was the Hans Herr house. By 1733 a "king's highway" had been completed, connecting from Philadelphia through Chester to Lancaster. The original Mennonite settlement, once having been on the main route for anyone passing west, was now isolated. The Hans Herr house, (8 comments)
Lancaster Square Anticipating a New Look - 05/17/07 06:35 PM
Lancaster Square has never quite come up to the expectations of city planners. Located in the 100 block of North Queen Street between the Bulova Technologies Building on Orange Street and the Hotel Brunswick on Chestnut Street, it seems disconnected from the shops and restaurants of the first block of North Queen, and a bit uninviting. Lancaster City now plans to search for a developer to propose a new master plan for the Square. It will be a complex proposition, involving the cooperation of public and private interests. The city owns the sidewalks and the open spaces. However, The Bulova Technologies Building, (0 comments)
Hampton Chase in Penn Manor, Lancaster PA - 05/16/07 08:17 PM
Hampton Chase in Penn Manor, Lancaster PA Hampton Chase is a pleasant neighborhood of townhouses located west of Lancaster off Columbia Avenue. Close to shopping at the Wheatland Shopping Center plus the restaurants and services of Columbia Avenue, Hampton Chase is a quiet and private enclave away from the main road.
Just a few blocks up Temple Avenue from Columbia Avenue, Hampton Chase abuts scenic Greider Park, which has landscaped walking paths, a pavillion, baseball field, and restroom facilities.
Hampton Chase is part of the Penn Manor School District. (0 comments)
Hotel Brunswick Ready to Match Lancaster's Revitalization - 05/16/07 06:43 PM
The historic Hotel Brunswick is once again getting ready for a major renovation, in order to be ready for the expected hotel demand brought on when the nearby $170M Lancaster Convention Center project comes on stream. The Brunswick, at 151 North Queen Street, is undergoing its own $6M upgrade. Three floors of newly upgraded hotel rooms will be opening by the end of May. The hotel is hoping to attract business travelers and leisure tourists coming to see the many new and established art galleries, shops, restaurants and cultural events that make up modern Lancaster. The first stage of the project will be 68 refurbished (0 comments)
Lancaster City is "Hot"! - 05/15/07 07:12 PM
Exciting things are happening in Lancaster City. Construction seems to be everywhere. The new Clipper Magazine Stadium is ready for another season of Lancaster Barnstormers baseball. The construction for the new Convention Center on Penn Square is going full steam (refer to my post of May 4, 2007).
Just as important, whereas almost 900 city properties were available during the slow market of the mid 1990s, fewer than 140 single family homes are now available! Often the city homes in cood condition and competitively priced will have multiple buyers bidding for them. 63% of homes in the city currently are occupied by their owners. Neighborhood improvement projects (3 comments)
Fulton Theater, Lancaster PA: "The Grand Old Lady of Prince Street" - 05/15/07 05:30 PM
Fulton Theater, Lancaster PA: "The Grand Old Lady of Prince Street" The Fulton Theater, also known as the Fulton Opera House, is thought to be the oldest continuously operating theater in the USA. It first opened in 1852 as Fulton Hall, named after Lancaster County's Robert Fulton, the renowned steam engine pioneer. Fulton Hall was built on the site of Lancaster's former pre-revolutionary jail, the site where the infamous Paxtang Boys gang had massacred the last of the Conestoga Indians, who were being held there for their own protection. The exterior wall of the old jail's courtyard was built into the rear wall of the (5 comments)
HUD Homes Are Different! - 05/14/07 07:14 PM
When a homeowner with an FHA mortgage defaults on a loan and it becomes foreclosed, it goes through a different system of being re-sold to the public than does a conventional mortgage. Conventional mortgages (those that are not backed by government guarantees or insurance) go back to their lenders' Real Estate Owned (REO) departments. After being processed and possibly with necessary repairs made, they usually get listed with a local Realtor(R) and marketed and sold in the normal manner. FHA loans are federally insured loans. When an FHA buyer defaults, the lender receives insurance to compensate for its losses. Instead of going through the (0 comments)
Musser Park Undergoing Renovations - 05/13/07 08:11 PM
Musser Park, located between North Lime, East Chestnut, North Shippen and East Marion Streets in Lancaster, has been closed for renovations since November, 2006. The park has been fenced off during the renovation work. The $550,000. project is being financed through a combination of public and private money, with about three quarters of it being funded by the city. For sidewalk curbstone, the Musser Park Civic Association will be using Belgian block found at the location of the Clipper Magazine Stadium. This same type of stone was used in some of the early stone houses of colonial Lancaster. The landscaping will include new walkways across a (0 comments)
Historic Marietta, PA - 05/12/07 09:44 PM
Historic Marietta, PA Marietta, PA started out in colonial days as Anderson's Ferry after a service established in the late 1720s by James Anderson, crossing the Susquehanna river to York County. Marietta got its name from Anderson's two daughters, Mary and Henrietta. After the Erie Canal was built between 1825 and 1830 along the river, a thriving lumber trade from the virgin forests of north central Pennsylvania brought wealth to Marietta, and many fine architectural specimens of the homes built during that period still remain. A combination of lumber, lumber mills, and iron furnaces fueled the Marietta economy through the Victorian era, aided (2 comments)
Historic Manheim, PA - 05/11/07 09:13 PM
Historic Manheim, PA The town of Manheim dates back to before the American Revolution. In 1734 a tract of land was given to William Penn's secretary, James Logan, by William Penn's widow Hannah and sons. The tract, in Donegal Township, which in 1741 became part of Rapho township, was purchased by Henry Stiegel in 1762. Stiegel, who was a successful ironmaster, laid out the plan for Manheim, with an open space in the center of town which is now known as Market Square. On the square Stiegel built a mansion, and also a manufacturing plant where he experimented in glassmaking.
Lancaster, PA Firsts and Bests, Vol. 2 - 05/10/07 06:05 PM
Refer to my first article on firsts, bests, biggest, and oldest for some interesting tidbits on the long and colorful history of Lancaster County, PA past and present. To continue... Lebzelter's, on the 300 block of North Queen Street, Lancaster, is the oldest Goodyear Tire dealer in the world! (Established 1854, and a Goodyear representative since 1900.) The Sertoma Club annual Chicken Barbecue at Long's Park in Lancaster is the largest in the world! (Over 35,000 chickens barbecued and sold each year.) Incidentally, Pennsylvania has the fourth largest printing market in the U.S. - after California, New York and Illinois. And little old Lancaster is the (0 comments)
Lancaster 1950 Townhouse - 05/10/07 05:22 PM
SOLDThis 1120-square foot brick townhouse has 3 bedroons and 2 full baths. Although built in 1950, it has some updates. In a quiet part of Lancaster just south of the city, on an all-residential street, with woods across the street. Call Brian Schulman at 717-951-5552 for details on why this town home is less expensive than you think it will be!
Brookwood Estates, Lititz, PA - 05/09/07 04:33 PM
Brookwood Estates, Lititz, PA Just outside the Boro of Lititz, you will find the wonderful community of Brookfield Estates. Nestled between Newport Road and Market Street, Brookfield boasts a nice mix of townhouses, semi-detached and detached homes. What makes this community outstanding is that it is bordered on one side by farm land, and on the other side by a community park run by the township.
Linear Park has a playground for the children, soccer and baseball fields, paved walkways, and a small creek. In the winter it is home to many snow geese, and in the summer months ducks thrive (0 comments)
Crossgates Golf Community in Millersville, PA - 05/09/07 06:39 AM
Crossgates Golf Community in Millersville, PA You don't have to be a golfer to live in Crossgates Community in Millersville - but it doesn't hurt! Built by William Murry & Sons, Crossgates is nestled among rolling hills surrounding the Crossgates Golf Club. Crossgates Golf club is open to the public. The clubhouse overlooks the eighteenth hole, manicured grounds, and a beautiful pond with a fountain. On warm days you can get a reasonably priced meal or refreshments at the restaurant and eat outside on the deck overlooking the pond. There is also a nicely stocked pro shop.
Crossgates has an (7 comments)
Renters' Insurance: Replacement Value vs. Market Value - 05/08/07 03:47 PM
Renters' Insurance: Replacement Value vs. Market Value For years I was a rental property manager. One of the things my leases specified was that the tenants must have insurance on their personal possessions, as the landlord's insurance only covers the buildings and not their personal property. I used to make a point of advising renters to get replacement value insurance for their things, rather than actual cash value (ACV). The example I would use was: let's say you lose your television in a fire. Let's say the TV was 6 years old. You will have to get a replacement - and you'll (4 comments)
Lancaster County Average Home Prices Top $200k! - 05/08/07 02:52 PM
In a report for April, The Lancaster County Association of Realtors(R) noted a $200,996 average sale price in Lancaster County, an 8.9% increase over April 2006! This was despite a 3.4% decrease in the number of homes sold during the month (457 in April 2007 versus 473 in the same month last year). The April 2006 average price was $184,521. New residential listings increased 16% to 906, although this indicator can be misinterpreted. While on one hand, new listings in the spring can indicate a robust market, it can also be a leading indicator of a high level of competition, which may minimize the (0 comments)
Nissley Vineyards and Winery in Bainbridge, PA - 05/07/07 07:01 PM
Nissley Vineyards and Winery in Bainbridge, PA If you're looking for a beautiful location to visit this spring or summer, why not plan a trip to the Nissley Vineyards and Winery in Bainbridge, PA? As you ride down Vintage Drive, off Route 441, you'll feel like you're entering a different century, with rolling hills and farmhouses. As you near the vineyards, neat rows of grape arbors begin to take over from the farmland.
Wind in past the ancient stone farmhouse to the manicured grounds and you'll see the stone winery and wine shop. Nissley has a great reputation in Pennsylvania for a variety (0 comments)
Makeover of a Historic Lancaster PA Log Home - 05/07/07 05:22 PM
Makeover of a Historic Lancaster PA Log Home I have always been enthusiastic about historic architectural styles and American history. In my career, I have personally restored 12 historic homes in Lancaster County, saving two from demolition. So it was was with great excitement that I showed this eighteenth-century Lancaster log home to one of my best clients, whom I have helped to purchased four previous investment properties.
My client was as enthusiastic as I was, and together we put together an offer. After some negotiation, we got the property under agreement. It needs to be restored, as there are (2 comments)
History of Mount Hope Estate and Winery, Manheim PA - 05/06/07 01:49 PM
History of Mount Hope Estate and Winery, Manheim PA The Mount Hope Estate and Winery is located off Route 72 just south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Home of the well known Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, its scenic grounds were once home to five generations of the Grubb family.
Peter Grubb established an iron furnace in 1784. His son, Henry Bates Grubb, built the original Federal style mansion in 1800. The estate's name was inspired by nearby Hopewell. Daisy Elizabeth Grubb enlarged and remodeled the mansion in 1895, giving it its present Victorian look. She was the last of the Grubb family to live in the (0 comments)
Make Sure You Get a Decent Deposit! - 05/06/07 09:11 AM
The Question: We have a house on the market for $19O,000. What can we ask for money down for a deposit of good faith? The agent said only 1,000.00 is typical and the broker will get half if the buyer cancels. The buyers decided they did not want the house. This is after the contract was signed by both parties and the bank approved the loan and the house passed inspection! My Answer: You have the right to accept or reject any offer (for legal reasons, of course - i.e., you can't discriminate). The more a buyer puts down in earnest (10 comments)
Remodeled City Townhome Available For Lease-Purchase! - 05/04/07 09:16 PM
This Lancaster City 3-bedroom townhome has been totally remodeled and is now available for lease-purchase! Brand new kitchen and bath, new carpet and flooring, replacement windows, new high efficiency gas furnace - and all for only $59,900!
For more information or your own personal showing, call Brian Schulman at 717-951-5552 or click the email link at the right. (0 comments)
As part of the Lancaster Revitalization Project of 1997, the Convention Center might as well have been called the CONTENTION Center for all the political wrangling that has been going on - but for all the obstacles that needed to be overcome before starting the $170M project, it's finally under way!
The facade of the Watt & Shand department store, an 1898 terra cotta and marble Beaux Arts masterpiece on Penn Square designed by the famous architect Emlen Urban, has been preserved and will continue to be an iconic landmark of Lancaster.
The Convention Center, including a Mariott Hotel, is scheduled (0 comments)
Beautiful Lancaster Township Bilevel End-of-Row Townhouse - 05/04/07 04:05 PM
SOLD Check out this most attractive end-of-row bilevel in Lancaster Township! It has two bedrooms and two full baths, central air conditioning and a built-in garage. You can see how nice tne landscaping is! Only $129,900.
There is a very reasonably priced homeowners association that mows the grass and shovels snow. A finished family room with its own full bath is on the lower level. This room could also be used for a third bedroom or even in-law quarters with its own separate entrance and bath. For more information or your own showing, contact Brian Schulman at 717-951-5552 or through the (0 comments)
Tax-Deferred Real Estate Exchanges - 05/03/07 08:04 AM
Many real estate investors hold onto income properties that are no longer a good fit for them, because they don't want to have to pay a big capital gains tax. Perhaps most of the depreciation has already been taken. Perhaps they have moved to a different area. Perhaps the property is of a type that they no longer feel capable of managing easily. Did you know that the IRS has a procedure for exchanges of income-producing property that can totally defer capital gains taxes? Yup - it's called the IRS Code 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange. In effect you can trade property (2 comments)
Lancaster County Housing Market Still Healthy, Strong, Stable - 05/01/07 04:51 PM
The Lancaster County Association of Realtors(R) has released their housing market report for the first quarter of 2007. While the 1,164 homes sold and settled in January, February and March is a 3.2% decrease from the first quarter of 2006, the average price of $186,754 is an increase of 3.6% over the first quarter of last year. The problems that have been widely reported about the subprime mortgage industry do not seem to have had too much of an effect on our market. While these loans formerly made up to about 17% of the total mortgage market, they may shrink to about (0 comments)
What Would YOU Do With This Property? - 05/01/07 11:34 AM
SOLDImmediately available: a great building for professional offices, day care center, church use, medical/dental, or could be converted into apartments! Central air conditioning, security system, cheery interior with skylights, possibility for 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor which already have individual heat and hot water. There's a large storage area in the basement with separate entrance to the parking lot. 4,010 SF finished; 5,518 SF total. $399,000. Owner may consider secondary financing.
The 20-car parking lot provides safe, landscaped parking. On three bus routes, this great property is within walking distance to shopping, schools, and a park in Lancaster, PA. I'm sure (0 comments)
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