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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.
 
Thank you for visiting our online real estate website. We hope you enjoy our site and find everything you are looking for and more. We will look forward to hearing from you, so we can help you with all your real estate needs. Be sure to visit us often!

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Testimonials

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
Kim was very helpful with the process as we had just left for vacation when negotiations ended. Everything was handled through email and went smoothly from start to finish. My husband and I were able to relax and enjoy our vacation. Sylvia R. (Seller)
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Real Estate News

Latest in Housing News and Tips for Home Ownership

Real Estate Top Investing Choice, Survey Finds

(TNS)—Given the recent record highs in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average, you might think Americans would feel excited about the future of the stock market. But you’d be wrong, a Bankrate national survey has found.

When we gave people a few choices and asked them to pick the best way to invest money they wouldn’t need for more than 10 years, the most popular answer was real estate. Next were cash investments, such as certificates of deposit and savings accounts.

The stock market was a distant third, tied with gold and other precious metals.

These preferences don’t match up with investing strategies that experts say will deliver the best returns over the long term.

Stocks Remain Unloved by Many

The bull market that started in 2009 and continues today is the second longest in U.S. history, but has yet to make a dent in Americans’ perceptions of the market, according to Bankrate’s polling data.

Back in 2013, relatively early in the bull market, 14 percent of Americans told us stocks were the best long-term investment available. Now, 16 percent feel that way.

Michael Weinfeld, a retired journalist living in Herndon, Va., is one of them.

He says that while he has experienced his fair share of market volatility — including losing half of his daughter’s college fund to the stock market crash of 1987 — he has enjoyed big gains over the long term by holding on tight.

“I’ve been riding the stock market up and down since the middle ‘80s, and I’ve learned a lot about how to weather all of these disasters,” Weinfeld says. “As long as you diversify and just wait it out, history shows that the market will eventually bounce back.”

Many Still Smarting From Market Bumps

Brad Barber, a professor of finance at the University of California at Davis, chalks up the relative unpopularity of stocks to leftover suspicion from the dot-com bust of the early 2000s and the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

“If you come of age in a period when you view the market as being tumultuous, that probably makes you less likely to invest in the stock market,” Barber says.

But those who stay out of the stock market on principle are probably doing themselves a disservice, says Avani Ramnani, a financial planner and the director of financial planning and wealth management at Francis Financial.

“You need to have a very well-diversified portfolio that should include stocks, bonds, some alternatives and real estate,” Ramnani says.

“Over the long period of time, we’ve seen that the stock market returns between 6-7 percent from a diversified portfolio,” she says — which beats many of the investment options that proved more popular in our poll.

Financial Security Improving

Americans may not be bullish on the future of the stock market, but their present is looking pretty good. For the 26th consecutive month, the Bankrate Financial Security Index — based on survey questions about how people feel about their debt, savings, net worth, job security and overall financial situation — shows Americans’ sense of financial well-being continues to improve.

That’s even though feelings of job security dropped a bit this month, despite a strong June employment report that was released the week our survey was conducted, says Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

While Americans’ sense of job security is still improved from a year ago, the reading was not as glowing as those seen in recent months.

Put Your Money Where Your House Is

The most popular long-term investing option in our survey was real estate, favored by a quarter of Americans.

That makes sense to Sterling White, co-founder of Holdfolio, a real estate investment firm.

“Houses are tangible. You can physically see and feel the product. So you know where your money is going: It’s going into that house,” White says. “With stocks, you have no clue where your money is going.”

White also sees real estate as a sanctuary from the disruptions and volatility of the stock market.

But Ramnani, of Francis Financial, says it has some clear downsides.

“It is an illiquid asset. It’s not something you can turn around overnight. It takes a while to sell,” she says. “When you need the money, you don’t know what the real estate market is going to do.”

And unlike intangible investments such as stocks and bonds, owners can’t just leave an investment property in an account online somewhere and forget about it.

“There is the cost factor,” Ramnani says. “You have to maintain it.”

Cash and Carry

Millennials were the generation most likely by far to value cash investments above the others, with 32 percent of those between ages 18 and 35 endorsing cash, including a whopping 43 percent of younger millennials ages 18-25.

Ramnani says she’s “concerned that so many people think that’s such a good investment for such a long period of time.” Because while deposit accounts do protect investors against losses, they don’t protect them from the inflation that will eventually make the invested money worth less.

“Right now, especially, you’re getting practically no interest from cash investments like savings accounts and CDs,” she says.

UC Davis’ Barber thinks what’s driving Americans toward cash is pessimism over the economy.

“My hunch is that in periods of high uncertainty or risk, that cash is a preferred safe haven,” he says.

Golden Touch

Gold’s tie for popularity with stocks in our survey is another powerful signal of investors’ uncertainty about the future, Barber says.

“Gold has always been viewed by many people as a safe haven,” he says.

Still, that doesn’t make it a good thing to put your money into. The glittery precious metal has a poor long-term track record for creating wealth for investors.

“Gold probably has no real place in a traditional investment portfolio,” Barber says. “It’s really not an investment, it’s a commodity. So I think this is more folklore than it is good economics.”

Claes Bell is a chartered financial analyst who writes for Bankrate.

©2016 Bankrate.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

5 Road Trip Mistakes That Cost You Money

(TNS)—Lower gas prices in 2016 are motivating more Americans to hit the road for a vacation. In fact, 69 percent of American families who are planning a vacation this year are taking a road trip, reported AAA.

If you’re planning to take one of the best summer road trips in the country, be careful not to offset those gas savings. Do a little trip planning, and make sure your chosen form of transportation won’t end up being a major travel expense. Here are five common road trip mistakes to avoid this travel season.

Letting your gas tank drop below half-full

As you go about your busy week, you might have a routine of filling up when your car’s low gas light goes on. However, when you’re en route to that vacation destination, you’ll want to keep your gas tank at least half-full, says Erin Gifford, family travel blogger for Kidventurous.com.

She also recommended stocking up on snacks and water bottles in the car, since you might not know how far the next gas station or convenience store will be.

“When you’re in West Texas and you see a gas station, you stop and fill up,” she says. “You may not see another gas station for 200 miles.”

Relying on GPS

Not taking the time to map out your route before you hit the road is a major road trip mistake, says Gary Flom, a car and driving expert, and president and CEO of automotive retailer BNF Partners. Even if you have a GPS system, there’s a chance it might not work when you need it most — or give you bad directions.

“Always bring along printouts of the necessary maps to have for references throughout the trip,” he says. “You never know when you will need to take an alternative route because of unforeseen road construction or an accident. It can be very expensive to get lost.”

Driving with under or overinflated tires

Neglecting to properly inflate the tires can affect your vehicle’s maneuverability and put you at a higher risk of an accident on slick roads. Also, the summer heat can make your tires expand, so it’s important to avoid overinflating, according to CAA South Central Ontario, a Canadian auto club. Overinflated tires can wear out your tire tread unevenly and might increase your chances of getting a flat. Periodically check the air levels in your tires, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specifications.

Taking your own car

If you’re taking a particularly long road trip, you might want to look into renting a car.

“Everyone loves a road trip — except your trusty family vehicle, which bears the brunt of all that extra mileage,” says Jonathan Weinberg, CEO of car rental comparison site, AutoSlash. “Consider renting instead, and save the depreciation.”

Forgetting to service your vehicle

If you decide renting a car is not for you, and you do end up taking your own car — or a family member’s or friend’s car — take it to the dealership or mechanic for basic service well ahead of time. A quick vehicle inspection, inflating the tires and checking the breaks and car fluids is enough to determine whether you’re fit for the road. Then, you can reduce the chances of breakdowns en route, according to Samarins.com, a car advice website.

© 2016 GOBankingRates.com, a ConsumerTrack web property
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Confessions of a 20-Year Homeowner

My oldest son turned 20 this year. In addition to realizing I’ll no longer be able to say, “I have two teenagers,” and that I’m probably not going to be his number-one concert buddy anymore, something else hit me on Jack’s birthday—the realization that we’ve now lived in our home for 20 years. Our first home had quietly turned into our only home.

Working at RISMedia for more than 12 years now, I’m well aware that my same-home longevity is not the optimal homeowner path. I’ve unwittingly bucked the move-every-seven-years trend, the move-up to a bigger home trend, and the second-home trend. And since I’ve skipped the move-up trend, there’s a good chance I’ll also skip right over the downsizing trend. Having too much space never became a factor.

The decision to stay in the same home long-term was never our plan—it just gradually unfolded before us.

My husband and I started out as your classic first-time homebuyers: parents-to-be who wanted more space and more stability for our forthcoming family. We loved our home the second we saw it but bought it fully expecting to move on to a larger home in a few years. Keep in mind we were in the midst of the McMansion era and in Fairfield County, Conn., where bigger obviously meant better and was the goal of every young homeowner at the time.

Although we were happily nesting in our new home and spreading roots in the community, the intent to move onward and upward remained steadfast for several years. One time, we even toured listings with a REALTOR® in Maine, thinking a more rural lifestyle was the way to go. That exercise, however, only made us appreciate our home even more. When we pulled into our driveway after a silent, six-hour ride home, our mutual feeling was, “What were we thinking!?”

After that, the reasons to stay put mounted. The biggest one of all? Location, of course.

Our dead-end street and lovely neighborhood were hard to beat. Both of our jobs were within two miles of our home. I was less than an hour from my aging parents. Norwalk had both suburban and urban components, and as a native New Yorker, tapping into a city vibe was really important to me. We increasingly realized that we had it all right where we were—culture, convenience and community.

We also fell more in love with our home itself every year. Sure, we could’ve used more closet space and a proper guest room, but were those really reasons to leave? Was a finished basement an attractive enough trade-off? Instead, we chipped away at improvements, both in terms of square footage and aesthetics, until our starter home actually became our move-up home.

For real estate professionals, here’s the lesson in this story.

I still clearly remember the real estate agent who helped us buy our home in 1996—to this day, I carry a tremendous debt of gratitude. She was a sage guide to two people who knew zippo about real estate. She helped negotiate a lower price with the seller and convinced her to leave behind a couple of items we had fallen in love with. She connected us with her mortgage professional and her lawyer for the closing. She informed us, calmed us down, and made us see that we really could afford to become homeowners. She gave us a gift certificate to an awesome lighting store as a closing gift. I remember it all vividly—the connection was real.

Yet, we never heard from her again.

Had she kept in touch, perhaps she was the one person who could have convinced us to move at some point. And if not, we still would’ve built a relationship that resulted in infinite referrals flowing her way. I know you’ve heard it a gazillion times before, but please… stay in touch after the sale.

As my husband and I confront an empty nest this fall, the waves of nostalgia and the general malaise of feeling old are tempered by happy thoughts of being able to finally relax and really enjoy our home. After all, if the stats about kids moving back home after college are correct, it may not last long. We’d better seize the moment while we can.

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

An Entire United States Spy Town Is Up for Auction

It’s not the first time that an entire American town has gone on the auction block, but it might be the most unusual.

Sugar Grove Station, W.Va. was originally a United States Navy military base to support part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operation. Though the array of giant parabolic dishes that continue to track location and content of international telecommunications activity is still in operation and not part of the sale, they are completely obscured from view behind a thick forest one mile away.  When it became unnecessary to house related analytical staff at the base, it was retired in the fall of 2015 and put up for auction to the highest bidder.

Built between 1960 and 2014, the fenced and gated town has private full-service utilities to support as many as 500 people on over 120 acres. Included are 80 homes on tree-lined residential streets in like-new condition, a swimming pool, bowling alley, youth daycare center, a community center with a fireplace (which was designed to function as a restaurant/bar), a gym, full-sized indoor basketball court, tennis and racquetball courts, a football field, a large playground with kiddie pool, and 12 guest cabins for visitors. There are also several large buildings for multiple use as well as a four-section hobby building for working on cars, woodworking shop and other creative pursuits.  For community safety, a police station and fire station are already in place.

Sugar Grove is surrounded by the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests between the Allegheny Mountains and the south fork of the Potomac River. It is located within a 13,000-square-mile area known as the National Radio Quiet Zone, so cell phones, WiFi and any equipment operating on radio frequencies are restricted from use. The Quiet Zone was established in 1958 by Congress so as not to interfere with the operation of the nearby parabolic dishes or the National Radio Astronomy Observatory 30 miles away.

Sugar Grove Station is perfect as a corporate retreat, (cult headquarters), academic campus, (cult headquarters), or corporate training center (cult headquarters). (Listen, I saw “Big Love,” and I know a cult community when I see one. No WiFi!? That can only be an academic campus…..on a cult compound!)

Nevertheless, the area’s now up for auction with a minimum bid of $1 million.  The auction end date is to be determined.

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

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