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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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CENTURY 21 Covered Bridges Realty, Inc.
Bloomsburg: 570-784-2821

Benton: 570-925-0210

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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
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

Buyers Entering the Market Solo Struggle

Accumulating a down payment is a struggle—and even more so for singles, according to a new report.

Singles are facing more than 10 years of saving, assuming they make a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced property, an analysis by Zillow reveals. Conversely, couples can do it in half the time: 4.6 years.

In addition, buyers have limited options when solo: 45 percent of inventory, compared to couples, who can afford 82 percent of supply.

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans agree that buying a home is a central part of living the American Dream, but for unmarried or un-partnered Americans, that dream is increasingly out of reach,” says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “Single buyers typically have more limited budgets, which means they are likely competing for lower-priced homes that are in high demand. Having two incomes allows buyers to compete in higher-priced tiers where competition is not as stiff.”

The challenge is intensified in markets with rising values, the report shows. Couples face 14 years of saving in San Jose, Calif.—already a haul—but for singles, that span stretches over 30 years. In San Francisco, Calif., couples can amass enough for 20 percent down in 12.6 years, but singles have a longer road, at 27.8 years.

A handful of markets are more realistic for singles: Indianapolis, Ind. (7.5 years of saving); Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. (8 years); and St. Louis, Mo., and Pittsburgh, Pa. (8.1 years).

Across the largest metros:

Zillow_Down_Payment

Analysts assumed buyers are portioning off 10 percent of their income each year to savings. According to 2016 Census data, annual earnings were a median $80,800 for couples and $34,500 for singles.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Buyers Entering the Market Solo Struggle appeared first on RISMedia.

Automation and Customization: Renter Wishes

Apartment dwellers’ preferences are shifting…toward what owners want, new research shows.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), an apartment industry organization, convenience, personalization and smart home technology are high on renters’ wish lists. In the NMHC’s 2018 Consumer Housing Insights Survey, 92 percent of respondents believe convenience and ease are important in a rental. Further necessitating the need are the 63 percent of respondents who say they are busy with a “hectic” life.

Homeowners have similar tastes—in fact, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) found that two generations of homeowners are looking for walkability, and Coldwell Banker Real Estate research reveals 32 percent have incorporated smart technology, including smart locks and thermostats.

The ability to customize is also in-demand, according to the NMHC survey. Ninety-four percent believe personalization is significant, and 60 percent believe their home is indicative of who they are.

Seventy-eight percent, meanwhile, are after a rental that can be altered easily to meet their needs, whether in the future or the present. Tellingly, 40 percent expect to remote-work, highlighting interest in office space, or, at the very least, reliable cell reception and internet.

Source: National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Automation and Customization: Renter Wishes appeared first on RISMedia.

Amazon Closes In: What HQ2 Means for Housing in the Top 20

Amazon is a step closer to finalizing its HQ2 plans, having narrowed its sights on the top 20 contenders after receiving over 230 proposals from across North America. While the winning city could be any one of the short-list nominees, Amazon has made one thing clear: It is looking to build HQ2 away from the West Coast, which currently houses its principal headquarters in Seattle, Wash. Although Los Angeles is still in the realm of possibility after making Amazon’s top 20 list, most of the other locations are closer to the East Coast, with a few others scattered across the country.

Here are the cities Amazon is zoning in on:

  • Toronto, Canada
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Mass.
  • New York City, N.Y.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Northern Virginia, Va.
  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Miami, Fla.

“Amazon will bring thousands of high-paying jobs to one of these cities and will boost overall local economic growth—all of those highly-skilled engineers will need doctors, real estate agents, barbers, babysitters and baristas, too,” said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, in response to the top 20.

With new job opportunities, the chosen city can expect a surge in relocations or commuters from those seeking employment.

“We would pull from other big cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati and even outside of the state,” says Lee Ritchie, REALTOR® and team leader of the Ritchie Realty Group at RE/MAX Metro Plus in Columbus, Ohio. “We are already pulling in people from outside of the community.”

Daniel Evenchen, REALTOR® with the Mike McCann Team, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach REALTORS®, believes Philadelphia’s prime location nearby other massive metro areas is one of the biggest reasons Amazon has short-listed it.

“Of a location perspective, we’re very close to Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York, but, comparatively, we have a lot of room for growth,” says Evenchen.

If Amazon attracts more individuals willing to relocate rather than commute, the winning location will need to prepare for an influx of incoming buyers and renters. The top 20 cities are already making plans for the possibility of HQ2.

“It is affecting the decisions of buyers and sellers right now,” Evenchen says. “I have a lot of clients who are thinking of selling and brought up Amazon. They are kind of holding off on selling and are thinking of renting their homes instead so that the value of their home appreciates if Amazon comes through. Buyers are thinking this is a great time to buy, as well.”

However, adapting to a flood of new buyers will not be easy. Many of the top 20 cities are currently dealing with tight inventory, a problem that will only be exacerbated if Amazon moves in. The proof is in Seattle.

“…Accommodating growth on this scale will be a challenge for any city,” Terrazas said. “As Amazon grew from a startup bookstore into the nation’s dominant retailer, Seattle grew alongside it—which caused some growing pains. Seattle home values have almost doubled and rents have increased by half, straining affordability.”

Evenchen foresees a challenge in the new construction market. Since the rental market in Philadelphia is moving quickly, any incoming buyers who are looking for new housing may be met with few options.

“The Philadelphia real estate market is probably going to experience a very sharp increase,” says Evenchen. “Right now, the market is extremely soft. We are seeing tenants and renters really negotiating in a tough market. At this point, vacant land is extremely difficult to come by. It’s highly sought-after. [Amazon] would probably just reinforce what’s been going on.”

Ritchie believes Columbus will face similar challenges.

“Our struggle would be that we wouldn’t have enough inventory,” Ritchie says. “We need builders to construct more houses, and prices on existing homes would go up for sure. The Downtown Columbus market—the urban market—is very hot, and a lot of people want to work here. There will be plenty of rentals, but, at this juncture, we may have difficulty in this market.”

Regardless of challenges, these cities made Amazon’s top 20 list for a reason. Ritchie believes Columbus caught Amazon’s eye because of its ability to attract millennials, and its talented workforce, moderate housing costs and standard of living. Terrazas agrees.

“Columbus may be a surprise to some, but it has long featured a dynamic combination of size, affordability, access to higher education and room to grow,” said Terrazas, stating that the top 20 list is made up of well-established cities.

“Boston is home to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, and clearly fits Amazon’s requirement for ready access to top-tier tech talent,” Terrazas said. “Austin has been among the nation’s hottest markets for several years now, and is also home to Whole Foods, which Amazon recently acquired. Atlanta and Pittsburgh have the benefit of being incredibly affordable markets, with some of the lowest median home values and rents among the top 20 list. Amazon clearly has a tough job choosing between these 20 unique communities, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the coming months.”

As for Philadelphia, Evenchen believes the location’s potential is in its diversity.

“It’s very much a big little town,” Evenchen says. “It’s a city of neighborhoods. It’s extremely walkable and bike-able. Our public transportation is pretty robust and there has been a great deal of investment in parks and recreation. They just dedicated $90 million to connect the Delaware River to the hub, making it a little more accessible to the waterfront.”

Meanwhile, other cities, such as Los Angeles, are already dealing with more severe challenges.

“With very dense buildings, there are only a few places in Los Angeles where there are walkable areas,” says Natalya Shcherbatyuk, broker/owner of Flat Rate Real Estate. “At the same time, traveling around the city by car is a nightmare. The streets and freeways are overloaded all day, and not only during rush hour.”

However, with every challenge comes an opportunity. Shcherbatyuk believes one of the city’s biggest obstacles may turn out to be an advantage.

“Right now there is a construction boom in L.A.,” Shcherbatyuk says. “There is an acute shortage of housing for rent [at an affordable price] and the expensive apartments are empty, so maybe it will not be necessary to build a lot of new housing for high-salaried Amazon employees.”

Over 85 percent of the cities that submitted proposals didn’t make the cut, and many feel Amazon is losing out on their location’s advantages.

“Obviously, we are all disappointed Amazon did not name Detroit as one of the 20 cities they will be further evaluating for their new ‘HQ2,'” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, in response to the top 20. “We are not deterred in any way, shape or form. Detroit is the most exciting city in the country right now, and the momentum continues to build every single day.”

Cities that were not chosen should not discount the possibility of other major tech giants making their way over. With the new tax bill in place, various companies have announced they are putting their tax cuts to good use.

“We have no doubt our best days are ahead of us,” Gilbert said of Detroit. “There are numerous large and small deals you will continue to see develop into reality in the months and years ahead.”

Apple, for example, announced its plans to build a new major campus stateside; however, the New York Times reports that Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, will not be following in Amazon’s footsteps, and instead using a different strategy to find Apple’s ideal location, rather than relying on a public bidding process.

Regardless of how these companies decide on new ventures, the winning cities can expect a bustling local economy that creates new jobs and a busy real estate market.

“It would be good for everyone,” Ritchie says. “For jobs, for new inventory, and, of course, for sellers whose home values would increase.”

Dominguez_Liz_60x60_4cLiz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Amazon Closes In: What HQ2 Means for Housing in the Top 20 appeared first on RISMedia.

Home Laundry: To Vent or Not to Vent

I once believed it was a forgone conclusion that when adding certain laundry appliances to a home, it would mean installing exhaust ducting and cutting a hole to the outside for venting.

However, a recent report from Michele Weaver at Design Basics, LLC highlighted a growing trend in ventless dryers that can be easily located and relocated within a home because vent piping, exhaust holes and venting to the outside are not needed.

The mechanics of a home dryer can cause energy and safety problems if lint becomes trapped in the vent. This demands more energy use and frequent cleaning. Weaver believes one of the major trends consumers will be seeing in these key appliances will be the further refinement of ductless technology.

She says vent hoses snaking through a home’s framing have become a leading cause of the 2,900 (average) home clothes dryer fires reported annually, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

J.D. Wollf at HomeSteady.com recently explained that a ventless or condenser dryer— also known as a Heat Pump Clothes Dryer (HPCD)—doesn’t need a vent because instead of expelling the hot, moist air, a heat exchanger removes the moisture from the hot air and “recycles” it, passing it back through the drying clothes. The excess water is then drained away or caught in a container that is later emptied.

The trade-off for energy savings and safety is a requirement for slightly more maintenance than vented dryers. Wollf says the condensing unit must be cleaned about once a month to remove any lint.

A study at the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida states that while an unvented HPCD uses less electricity than a standard resistance dryer, it was found to release significantly more heat than a conventional dryer during operation, demanding additional cooling energy that may compromise overall savings.

However, the study points out that with a current retail cost of $948, there is only a small premium on the HPCD dryers, making them cost-effective when chosen at time of replacement.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Home Laundry: To Vent or Not to Vent appeared first on RISMedia.

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