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Four Home Repair Projects Best Left to the Pros


Contributed post by Ray Flynn | 


In today’s age of YouTube and DIY tutorials, it can be exciting to choose projects in your home to tackle and make new again. However, before biting off more than you can chew, check your potential projects and be sure you can safely complete it at home. There are certain groups of projects that should be saved for professionals no matter how tempting or doable the internet makes it seem. The national average cost for a major home repair is $11,030 — though this price can range anywhere from $3,987 to $18,723, depending on the project — so be sure to do your homework and know what you can and cannot achieve on your own.


Architecture and Construction


If HGTV has inspired people to do one thing, it is to take a sledgehammer to their walls. The danger of this, however, is that you risk injury to yourself as well as your home. And without the proper tools or training, there is no way to be certain that the wall isn’t load-bearing. If you were to take this wall out, you may end up with sagging beams, a collapsed ceiling, and even severe roof damage. What’s more, there are tons of rules and permits required to do large-scale renovations or changes to your property. Architects are trained to see the big picture as well as keep you out of trouble with your local government, so don’t try to cut any important corners. Even though architecture software is out there for the layperson, that doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes about things we don’t know.


Plumbing and Gas Lines


Fixing a toilet that isn’t flushing properly is within the wheelhouse of most, but more intensive or detailed plumbing repairs can require a trained eye. If you begin a plumbing project, your family’s life will be put on hold until the project is finished, a level of pressure that will only increase as time goes on. Plumbers are practiced in finding the issue and resolving it, allowing your family to get back to their day-to-day lives. What’s more, improperly channeled water causes damage. Leaks, burst pipes, and flooding can all result from shoddy plumbing work, putting your home at risk. So, do some research to find the best plumbers in your area.


When repairing gas lines, plumbers are again the right people to call. Working on gas lines requires great care and training; the risks of improper gas connection include explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning, so bringing in a professional will keep your house and family safe.


Electrical Dangers


Much like plumbing, there are small electrical repairs that can be done handily in-house, but when larger projects loom, hiring a professional is the only real option. Electricians know how to mitigate the danger of high voltages and crucial connections. Even minor mistakes can lead to electric shocks or even fires! What’s more, by trying to fix the issue yourself, you may create more issues and end up calling an electrician anyway, wasting your time and money. Again, check reviews and find the right professional to do the work for your home and budget.




No matter how simple the fix is, if your roof needs repaired, hire a professional. Very few households have ladders tall enough for the job, and even if you do, working on a roof is dangerous. Those trained to work on roofs have the right tools, experience, and resources to do the job quickly, safely, and cost-effectively. No roof repair is so expensive that you should attempt to do it yourself; you could cause yourself more damage if you fall off of the roof.


While we all love a good project, there are many tasks that require the help of a professional. Don’t let the cost keep you from hiring the right person; the risks to your personal safety and the integrity of your home are in the balance.

Our Favorite Media Pizza Joints


No matter how you slice it, we can all agree some of the nation’s tastiest pizza comes from the greater Philadelphia region—more specifically, Delaware County.


Since our hometown, Media, is “Everyone’s Hometown,” we decided to breakdown our top 5 Media-based pizza restaurants for the world to enjoy. This was tough. We have some INCREDIBLE options. So, here they are in no particular order.


  1. Pinocchio’s Restaurant
  2. Pappone's Pizzeria
  3. Apollo Pizza
  4. Little Anthony’s
  5. La Porta

Holiday Events in Media, PA


There's always something happening in and around Media, PA. Here is a list of our favorite Delco holiday events taking place.

December 4 - January 12 - Elf the Musical at the Media Theater 
December 6 - Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rose Tree Park
December 7 - Home for the Holidays & Frosty 5K Race at Swarthmore Town Center
December 8 - Holiday Wreath Making Workshop at Terrain at Styer's
December 8 - Newtown Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 12 - Tinsel of the Town in Historic Kennett Square
December 14-15 - Photos with Santa at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Santa’s Village; bring your pet on December 15
December 15 - Brunch with Santa at Spasso to support the Delco Children's Advocacy Center
Saturdays and Sundays through December 15 - Wassailing Caroling Hayrides at Linvilla Orchards
All December - Holiday Hayrides at Arasafa Farms
All December - A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Are November & December the best months to sell?


Did you know November and December might be the best time to sell your home? Why?

  1. Buyer motivation: As the sun sets earlier and the chill grows stronger, a winter buyer means business if he or she is willing to search for homes in November and December. The motivated buyer is searching online regularly, knows the market, and is ready to make a move. Homes sell for a bit less in the winter, so let your real estate agent help you find the best listing price. 
  2. Less competition: Many buyers wait for Spring to make a home purchase, but a savvy buyer who is serious about moving, will want to get ahead of competition. This also means less competition for you, the seller. You can list your home confident you will stand out and be seen.
  3. Tax breaks: Some buyers may want to close quickly to take advantage of tax benefits and avoid capital gains taxes.

You can read more about selling advantages in November and December here.

As you decide to sell, look for a real estate agent who can help you create a great online marketing campaign to get your home in front of the most motivated buyers. Let your agents also help you with home staging and curb-appeal suggestions that will attract year-end buyers.

Selling your home this fall


Fall is a great time to sell your home. Buyers are motivated to move quickly and there is less competition on the market. If you are thinking of listing soon, here are a few useful tips from our team:


  1. Make your home feel warm and cozy. Make sure the interior of your home is bringing in plenty of light during showings and open houses. Play up the scents and colors of the season with décor and candles.
  2. Clean up the exterior. Ensure the leaves are raked, there are fresh mums or Heleniums planted for added color, and fresh mulch has been added to garden beds.
  3. Know your audience. Since school is already in session, your buyers are likely to be families with babies, empty nesters, or folks without children. It’s wise to stage a bedroom as an office or a multi-function guest room.
  4. Make sure your heater is working, rain gutters are clear, windows and doors are free from leaks, and home is properly insulated. There’s nothing less inviting than a cold, drafty home.


An expert realtor will help stage your home to attract fall buyers. He or she should also provide you with the best listing price to motivate buyers to move before the winter. Ask for comps from last fall and most recent homes sales in your neighborhood. Good luck! 

Real estate predictions for the second half of 2019


The local housing market has been strong in 2019 so far, but will it remain this way? Here are our real estate predictions for the second half of the year.


  1. Home values will continue to rise: Limited inventory plus increased demand means sellers can turn a great profit on the sale of their home.
  2. Homes for first-time buyers will drive the market: Great news for Boomers looking to downsize—Millennials will account for the majority of home sales. Homes with great online appeal and easy access to the city will prove to be the most attractive.
  3. It may take weeks to sell your home: We’re seeing young buyers take some time to make a decision. Sellers, be patient. Your buyers are out there. They are really immersing themselves in the full market and weighing pros and cons before committing.
  4. Winter will still be a great time to sell: The colder weather does not mean the market will cool. While other states may see a dip toward the end of the year, we’re seeing enough buying interest in Delaware & Chester Counties to keep the market strong throughout the winter.


Next steps for sellers: Talk to a Shirley Booth Team agent and we can provide local comps and determine your home’s value.

Next steps for buyers: Make a list of your next home’s “must haves” and call us to find out what listings on the market meet your criteria. You can end the year with a warm home to call your own.


Buying a home in a seller’s market


It seems the real estate market is changing daily. In the greater Philadelphia area, we’re veering toward a seller's market. Home buyers need to apply different techniques and trust their real estate agents who are paying careful attention to current market conditions.


Here are some tips for home buyers in this seller-oriented climate:


  1. Time: Inventory will move quickly in a seller’s market. It’s important to know what you want in your home, have those 3-5 “must-haves secure,” and be prepared to make an offer without too much hesitation.
  2. Price: It’s unlikely you will be able to make an offer too far below asking price. If you are in love with a home, get in the mindset that you may have to make an offer above asking price.
  3. Showings: If you love a home you see online, be early to attend the first showing. Don’t delay or your dream home could be gone in 24 hours.
  4. Preparation: In a seller’s market, listing agents are incredibly busy. If you have all your ducks in a row – mortgage pre-approval letter ready; a good offer on the table; not asking for a number of contingencies in order to buy – the seller’s agent is more likely to take your offer seriously and consider your offer over another. This is also when the relationship-building prowess of your agent comes into play. Your agent’s ability to communicate effectively with the seller’s agent could make a huge difference.


The Media, PA real estate market is competitive right now. Average home prices have increased and are selling at a quicker pace than last year. Your real estate agent will guide you through this seller-leaning market and help you find your dream home.

What's happening across Delaware County this Spring?


The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the Delaware County event calendar is building up. Here is a list of some of our favorite "happenings" in the region.

              - April 4-6: Media Film Festival
              - April 7-12: Media Restaurant Week
              - April 13: Great Easter Egg Hunt in Providence Park
              - April 14: Media Spring Super Sunday
              - May 5: 6th Haverford Spring Fest for Music and Arts 
              - May 10: Rocky Run YMCA Kids Fun Run & Food Fest
              - May 18: Chadds Ford Historical Society: Valley Jamboree
              - May 19: Linvilla Orchards Antique Car Show
              - June 1: Linvilla Orchards Strawberry Festival


Three things to ask your realtor before listing your home


Moving, in general, can be pretty daunting. That’s why finding the right real estate agent to help you sell your home is so important. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, so you want to choose the most qualified agent with a communication style compatible to yours.

Here are three important questions to help you with your vetting process:

  1. What are the listing rates and comps in my area?It’s your agent’s job to list your home at the most appropriate price so that it will sell. She should do her homework and not just tell you what you want to hear. Make sure the agent isn’t inflating your list price just to get your business, then will reduce it once you are under contract. 
  2. How many sales has your company had in my area?The best real estate agent for you should know your local area inside and out. Your home may have some nuances that make it a stand-out within your neighborhood, and your agent should know how to capitalize on this to sell it at the best possible price.
  3. What will you do to market my home?Once hired, your agent will likely begin by adding your home to the multiple listing service (MLS), a massive database of home listings, and scheduling open houses. You want to choose an agent who will go the extra mile to sell your home. Will he or she promote your listing on social media? What other digital and traditional marketing efforts will take place? Ads, brochures, signage? Before signing a contract, ask about the agent's plans to spread the word about your property.


The ideal realtor is an experienced professional who knows your market very well, is honest and ethical, answers your questions and concerns promptly, and will truly be your teammate.

Four things you must do to sell your house this Spring


When the snow melts and the weather warms, it becomes the perfect time to consider a move. Before you put your house on the market, there are four key things you should do to prep your home. 

  1. Deep clean and organize - Wash the windows, baseboards, door knobs, and remove any finger prints from surfaces. Create a space that allows potential buyers to envision their own lives in your home. Minimize the number of family photos and leave just enough that buyers can see your home has been loved. Give some extra TLC to the front door and foyer where buyers will step in and make their first impressions.
  2. Fix plumbing issues - Leaky faucets, running toilet? Now's the time to make those repairs. If a buyer is serious about your home, he will look for plumbing concerns during the walk-through. Make sure you call a professional for larger issues; don't make the mistake of DIYing and creating a big problem for yourself.
  3. Repair cosmetic damages - Holes in walls, cracked tiles, dingy rugs--these are things that can deter potential buyers. Making minor cosmetic fixes will make your home more appealing to buyers.
  4. Spruce up the exterior - Enhance your home's curb appeal by removing fallen branches, weeds, and replace dead plants. Some light landscaping can go a long way. Also look at any broken concrete on your sidewalk and driveway and make necessary repairs. If you have a deck, it should be structurally sound with code-compliant guardrails.

Making the right home improvements will result in a faster sale for a better price. Working together, we can advise you on which home improvements will be the most advantageous to accomplish your real estate goals. 

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