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Welcome to the Susquehanna Valley situated on the border of central and northeastern Pennsylvania and this area's most comprehensive real estate web site. Here you will be able to find all sorts of useful information within one easy source so take your time and enjoy!
We are a strong, vibrant and global real estate family. We strive every day to deliver unsurpassed market intelligence and insights, and use our strengths to help you successfully buy and sell real estate. We embrace your goals and are committed to achieving them. The award winning company and agents of CENTURY 21 Covered Bridges Realty, Inc. offer the most complete real estate service to our clientele with a truly visionary approach to high tech marketing and skills. We have served the real estate needs of Columbia, Montour, and lower Luzerne counties and surrounding areas for 34 years and look forward to providing you with the finest quality service unmatched by our competitors. Browsing through this site will allow you to explore our region along with community information, demographics, schools, medical facilities, area attractions plus much, much more. 
With our search the MLS, we give you direct access to all the properties available in a five county area, as well as new listings, featured properties, single property websites, and virtual tours. Upon e-mail request, we can also send you all new listings within your search criteria immediately as they become available with e-mail alerts so you won’t miss the "right" property.
Also available are valuable articles and information regarding buying, selling, home improvement, free reports, tax planning, as well as up to the minute news and weather from various media sources. In addition, the real estate resource center and blog are updated daily with real estate articles and answers to thousands of consumer’s questions about the buying and selling process.
If you are a first time buyer, experienced investor, or anything in between, you will find priceless information on our site about how to choose the right property, making an offer, negotiating, financing, mortgage rates, moving, and everything involved in making an informed decision in today’s real estate marketplace. 

In addition to all the information we have available for buyers, we also provide up-to-date information for sellers. If you are considering selling your property, this site offers dozens of articles about preparing your home for sale, choosing the right agent, appropriate pricing, effective marketing, the inspection process, and the importance of a market evaluation.
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Did a fantastic job staying on top of things and keeping me informed. Answered questions day/night. Very easy to work with. Knowledgable of every aspect of purchase. Recommend to anyone. Brandon - Bloomsburg
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Real Estate News

Latest in Housing News and Tips for Home Ownership

13 Metros with the Most Real-Life Haunted Houses

In 2016, a visit to a haunted house is on the Halloween agenda for about one-fifth of Americans, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Kids and adults alike will be shelling out millions of dollars to snake their way through haunted attractions with names like House of Torment and 13th Gate.

“From locations in creepy old industrial districts to country farms and hayrides under the stars, each location has a unique approach to interactive horror, but all deliver the thrills and excitement that Halloween fans are seeking,” says James Olmsted, a spokesman for HauntedHouses.com.

We get that these attractions are fun and frightening, but they’re just temporary, Hollywood-inspired spots. They’re not real haunted houses. So we went looking for the metro areas in the U.S. where you’re most likely to find real haunted houses that’ll give you a real scare.

Old and Vacant
To come up with the list, we sifted through two sets of data for the 100 largest metro areas: the number of homes built before 1940 and the number of vacant homes. LawnStarter pulled the data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey.

Why did we pick these two sets of data? Because older homes and vacant homes have a perceived, if not actual, chance of being haunted. In our ranking, we assigned 75 percent of our score to the percentage of homes in a metro that were built before 1940 and 25 percent to the percentage of homes in a metro that are vacant.

Tragedy and Trauma
Paranormal investigator Sharon Day says that the older a home is, the more residents it’s probably had and, therefore, the house has more of an “emotional and traumatic history” tied to any number of tragedies. Furthermore, she says, older homes might have been used in the past as hospitals, morgues, TB clinics and retirement homes—all of which are associated with death.

“Whether you believe in ghosts or not, one thing is certain: an old house has so many little quirks and creaks that the thought of ghosts definitely messes with your head,” writer Shannon Lee says on Old House Web.

‘Reclaimed by Ghosts’
As for the likelihood of a vacant home being haunted, Sarah Petruno, a shaman who serves as an intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, says “something interesting can happen” when homes, apartments and other structures don’t have human inhabitants. Petruno says vacant homes can be spiritually “reclaimed by the land” and then ghosts can freely take up residence.

“Abandoned and mostly abandoned homes can become inhabited by ghosts forever if they remain mostly vacant indefinitely,” Petruno says.

In those situations, you might come across some uninvited guests, she warns.

“If you own a vacation home or are considering buying or renting a mostly vacant or abandoned home, do consider the spirit inhabitants that are almost assuredly present in the space. It may take considerable work to get them to leave,” Petruno says.

Here, for your Halloween pleasure, are the 13 metro areas that potentially have the most real-life haunted houses, based on their mix of old and vacant homes. For purposes of this ranking, LawnStarter included houses, apartments, condos and other dwellings.

  1. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.


Credit: Scranton Ghost Tours

Number of homes: 259,918
Number of homes built in 1939 or before: 96,993
Percentage of homes built in 1939 or before: 37.3 percent
Number of vacant homes: 38,718
Percentage of vacant homes: 14.9 percent

  1. Albany, N.Y.


Credit: Discover Albany

Number of homes: 398,555
Number of homes built in 1939 or before: 118,984
Percentage of homes built in 1939 or before: 29.9 percent
Number of vacant homes: 55,789
Percentage of vacant homes: 14 percent

  1. Syracuse, N.Y.


Credit: The Daily Orange

Number of homes: 290,445
Number of homes built in 1939 or before: 74,858
Percentage of homes built in 1939 or before: 25.8 percent
Number of vacant homes: 36,444
Percentage of vacant homes: 12.5 percent

  1. Toledo, Ohio


Credit: HauntedHouses.com

Number of homes: 273,783
Number of homes built in 1939 or before: 69,616
Percentage of homes built in 1939 or before: 25.4 percent
Number of vacant homes: 31,142
Percentage of vacant homes: 11.4 percent

  1. Cleveland, Ohio


Credit: HauntedHouses.com

Number of homes: 957,518
Number of homes built in 1939 or before: 232,103
Percentage of homes built in 1939 or before: 24.2 percent
Number of vacant homes: 108,043
Percentage of vacant homes: 11.3 percent

View the full list of top 13 real-life haunted houses on Housecall.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a New Neighborhood

Whether you are looking for a hip enclave of bars or a quiet suburban street filled with families for your kids to play with, choosing a new neighborhood requires a lot of consideration. There are many things to think about when making the leap to new surroundings. From creating a helpful checklist of must-haves to uncovering crime statistics, the more information you can ascertain about a neighborhood, the better. This article will take a step-by-step look at what to consider, what to avoid, and what you may have to compromise on.

Step 1: Assess Your Needs
First, assess what you and your family want out of a neighborhood. Start by making a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves and won’t-haves. The must-haves and won’t-haves should be non-negotiable, but the nice-to-haves can be where you compromise. Create these lists together before you even look at new neighborhoods so everyone is clear on each other’s preferences from the start.

Step 2: Lifestyle Matching
A small town may sound appealing when you want a break from the city, but if you’re thinking about a neighborhood that varies greatly from where you currently are, take a look at your lifestyle before you make any decisions.

If you’re the kind of person who buys groceries once a week, then being in a remote neighborhood shouldn’t be too much of a problem. But, if you regularly drop in to the store, make sure your new neighborhood has one. Similarly, if you enjoy a quiet way of life, ensure there aren’t too many late night bars around. On the other hand, if you are looking for a busy and stylish lifestyle, you might want to take a look at America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods.

Step 3: Think about Budgets
You may have found the perfect neighborhood for you, but can you afford the properties in it? The perfect neighborhood won’t remain perfect if you don’t have the cash to enjoy it. Use a budget calculator to work out just how much money you will have left in your pocket.

It’s also worth considering if a new area is going to cause additional expenses. If it’s far from your workplace, work out how much of a dent the extra gas will put in your wallet. Also, think about where you need to get to and how often—you may dream of a peaceful town, but if you’re going to have to drive one hour every week to the nearest store, then take that added cost into account.

Step 4: Think Ahead
So you have your list, you’ve thought about a neighborhood that would suit your lifestyle, and you have a budget in mind. Now, you need to think ahead and work out if any of this is going to change.

Perhaps you’re planning to start a family in the next few years, or your kids might be ready to move out. Consider if the neighborhood would have enough amenities to entertain a teenager or if the town’s nightlife will make it too noisy when you have young children. Nobody can predict the future, but it’s worth thinking about it before you make any major decisions.

Step 5: Look into Safety
By now you should be narrowing down your selection of potential neighborhoods, so now is the time to research the crime rate of an area. If it’s high, then perhaps consider another neighborhood. If it’s average, don’t rule out the area because it’s not perfect.

Unfortunately, crime can happen anywhere, but the good news is neighborhoods can change their reputation. Check out these five steps to building a safer neighborhood, which gives some really easy things you can do to immediately make your area safer. Don’t let yourself get put off if you hear bad rumors about a neighborhood.

Step 6: Do Your Research
Now it’s time to think about the little details. Go and visit your prospective neighborhood at different times of the day to get an all-round perspective. You may discover rush hour traffic is terrible or that you can hear trains passing early in the morning. Go on a hunt for For Sale signs; if there are a few in the same area, then find out why. This could be a warning sign.

Step 7: Talk to Neighbors
You may have found the dream neighborhood, but bad neighbors could ruin that. There are some telling ways you can spot a bad neighbor: one way is to look out for how they keep their house and yard. For more ways to spot bad neighbors, have a read-through of this useful guide.

Even if you don’t suspect your neighbors will be a problem, it may be worth chatting to them to get their thoughts on the neighborhood. After all, they will know it better than any guide.

Step 8: Don’t Forget about the Aesthetics
This guide has given you a lot of steps to think about but finally, ask yourself if you actually like the neighborhood. It’s easy to get hung up on budgets, neighbors and local schools, so take a moment and think about the feeling you get from the place. Don’t worry about being petty. Ask yourself if there are enough trees. Do you hate the windows? What does your gut tell you? The little things will make a huge difference.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends.

Seniors Are More Social Media-Savvy than You Might Think

(TNS)—New research shows seniors might be more savvy at tweeting, Facebook posting, emailing and Skyping than they get credit for.

A study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking shows there may be portions of older adults who use technology as often as younger adults, and that it might have some health benefits.

It counteracts the popular perception that seniors aren’t interested in social media or have difficulty using email, instant message, Facebook, Twitter or video calling.

William Chopik, a researcher at Michigan State University, studied survey responses from 591 older Americans, with the average age being 68, and found that more than 95 percent were either “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with social technology. And 72 percent said they were not opposed to learning new technologies.

“Despite the attention that the digital divide has garnered in recent years, a large proportion of older adults use technology to maintain their social networks and make their lives easier,” Chopik said in a university news release.

Chopik also found that social technology use was associated with less loneliness, which was tied to better physical and mental health. Seniors who used social media also tended to be more satisfied with life, had fewer symptoms of depression and fewer chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Nonetheless, the study did not prove that social media use improved their health.

©2016 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

5 Tips for Buying Foreclosed Homes

(TNS)—Despite increases in home prices and a stabilizing housing market, many experts say the foreclosure crisis is far from over. But buying a foreclosed home is different from buying a typical resale. In many cases:

— Only one real estate agent is involved.
— The seller wants a preapproval letter from a lender before accepting an offer.
— There is little, if any, room for negotiation.
— The home comes as-is, and it’s up to the buyer to pay for repairs.

On the upside, most bank-owned homes are vacant, which can speed up the process of moving in.

“Buying a foreclosure is definitely a bit of a grind. It’s not easy,” says Robert Jensen, a broker in Las Vegas. “You’re getting fantastic pricing, but sometimes it takes going through a lot of houses and writing a lot of offers to get the home you want.”

Get a Broker and Lender
The first two steps in buying a foreclosure should happen almost simultaneously: Find a real estate broker who works directly with banks that own foreclosed homes and get a preapproval from a lender.

Elaine Zimmerman, a real estate investor and author, recommends that shoppers first visit any site with a database of foreclosed homes. You also could look at a local real estate website that lets you filter the results to see only foreclosures. You might find the acronym REO, which means “real estate owned” (by a bank, that is). This signifies that a home has been through foreclosure and the lender is selling it.

Get a Broker on Your Side
The goal of combing through foreclosure listings is not to find a house; it’s to find an agent. Banks usually hire a few real estate brokers to handle their REO properties in a market. In a lot of cases, the buyer works directly with the bank’s broker instead of using a buyer’s agent. That way, the commission doesn’t have to be split between two brokers.

“A lot of these realtors have a long-term relationship with these banks, and they know of listings that haven’t even come on the list yet,” Zimmerman says. “Call them about the listings that you’re interested in, but also ask them about listings that may be coming up because sometimes it may take a day or two or even a week before a listing actually comes onto the database.”

In places where thousands of foreclosed properties are for sale, you might not get much one-on-one attention from overloaded agents. To prove that you’re serious about buying, says Jensen, “right before or after you meet with the agent, meet with the lender.”

Get a Preapproval Letter
Unless you plan to pay cash, you’ll need a recent preapproval letter from a lender. The letter will describe how much money you can borrow, based upon the lender’s assessment of your credit score and income.

“The problem is, buyers want to find the house first, and then they think they’ll work out the financing,” Jensen says. “But the problem is, the really good deals on these bank-owned, they go quick — and the buyer doesn’t necessarily have time to try to work out the financing afterward. They need to work that out first.”

Zimmerman says some first-time buyers make the mistake of assuming that the bank selling the home will also finance the mortgage as part of the deal. “Don’t expect to get financing from the bank that foreclosed on it,” she says. “That’s a totally separate transaction, and they view it that way. The people in the (bank’s) REO department are not loan officers. They are getting rid of bad assets.”

Pricing Depends on Sales Pace
There’s no rule of thumb on what the bank’s bottom line is on price. Just as with any other real-estate purchase, you have to look at the recent sales prices of comparable properties, or “comps.”

Jensen says: “You really have to look at the comps in today’s current market conditions and write a competitive offer based on that. Sometimes the bank prices the homes really low, and the home will have multiple offers over list price within hours. Sometimes it’s priced too high, and you can come in lower. A lot of times, buyers will come to me and say, ‘We want to write offers for half price.’ It just doesn’t work that way.”

Don’t Expect a Repair Discount
Keep in mind that foreclosed houses generally are sold as-is. Jensen says: “Let’s say the house is listed for $200,000, all the comps are $200,000, and so the client comes in and said, ‘Hey, look, I want to buy this house but I’ve got to do paint, carpet and fix some mold damage, so I want to take $15,000 off the price.’ You know what? All the other ones were in the same condition, and they sold for $200,000.”

Jensen further counsels to look at the “absorption rate for your product class.” That means you should find out how quickly comparable houses are selling. In foreclosure, a 3,500-square-foot house with a pool in a gated community might sell within days or hours, whereas more modest homes might sit on the market for weeks.

If homes in your product class are selling swiftly, “the best advice on a bank-owned property is to come in at your highest and best, unless the property has been sitting on the market forever with no activity,” Jensen says. “If you’re going to be upset because you would have gone $5,000 more, but you lost the property, just bid the higher price in the first place.”

Jensen and Zimmerman recommend getting to know tradespeople who can assess and repair damage from pests, mold and leaks.

©2016 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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CENTURY 21 Covered Bridges Realty, Inc.   |   570-784-2821   |   570-925-0210

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