Jeffrey Hogue Realtor

Real Estate home sales, new home construction sales, commercial real estate sales, all iin the Berks County area. Realtor since 1993. Top producing Realtor in Berks County 2012. Over 22,000,000 sold. Instead of telling you what I do, how many homes I have sold and all the awards I have achieved simply read my customer REVIEWS on Zillow.com and Trulia.com. My customers will tell you more about me than I could ever say. I am truly humbled by their comments. Please see my web site at www.jeffreyhoguerealtor.com for more on this subject.

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Berks County, PA ~ Are Our Lawmakers Baking a Blight Cake

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Berks County, PA and Reading were once the shining star of the mid-20th century. Even during the depression years Reading stood as a haven of prosperity compared to other cities around the country. In fact the population of Reading during the 1930’s topped 110,000. There has never been more inhabitants in the city before or after that time. Why? Simple, affordable housing and jobs. From the 1920’s through the 1950’s the textile industry was booming. Reading was a leader in the industry and also had steel, railroads and many other blue collar opportunities. The homes in Reading were well suited for the growing families who migrated to our city. Many who remember those days tell stories of how areas of the city were home to ethnic groups of all races who took residence together in the neighborhoods. Whole families and their friends desired to live close to each other. They worked together, played together and lived together. Things have changed but our traditional economic think … [Read more...]

27 Home Features Business Owners Think About Before Buying

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My husband and I have started, owned, and grown four businesses in our 24 years of marriage and are starting a fifth. In that time, we have owned four homes. Although the majority of our business has been conducted outside the home, most were started at home or involved the use of our home in numerous ways. If you are a business owner or ever think you’ll be one, here are 27 home features to think about when buying a home. 1)     Is there potential “regular and exclusive” office space? Home-based business tax deductions are based on the square footage area or ratio of rooms used, but must meet the regular and exclusive test set by the IRS. While I do not do taxes and this is not tax advice, the amount and size of your home office deduction can be a huge money saver at tax time for small business owners. 2)     Is the house suitable for client visits? Will any clients who come to this house feel comfortable? Even if you have another place where your business is located, it is not unc … [Read more...]

I Don’t Really Need to Sell My Home

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There are certain things a home seller says that can cut their real estate agent to the core. “I don’t really need to sell my home” may be tops on the list. It even trumps “I don’t need a REALTOR® to sell my home”. To understand my logic let’s look more closely at the two statements. Let’s start with a home owner who is thinking about, or going to, sell their home. They may either contact a real estate agent or be contacted by one. In either case a meeting between the parties seems imminent. On average that appointment may last between one and two hours. After careful evaluation the home owner may choose to do nothing, interview other REALTORS®, choose the agent they are speaking to or, the dreaded, decide they don’t really need a REALTOR® to sell their home and try it themselves. Now we will move to the home owner who has decided to use a real estate agent to sell their home. The REALTOR® works with the home seller to price the home, lists the home, takes photos, describes the a … [Read more...]

Risk Management is Important When Selling Your Home

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Risk management is a term we most likely hear in the world of investing. However, it’s a term that you should hear when selling your home. When you decide to sell your home, there is a tremendous amount of risk that you are trying to manage. How so? Let’s start with the single most important factor, you and your family’s future. When you choose to hire a Real Estate agent to sell your home, you are looking for representation, plain and simple. This agent must have your best interest in mind at every critical step along the way. Every decision that is made is an endeavor to minimize your risk. What is at risk? Most importantly, your family’s security as it relates to your real estate.  There is nothing more important than the happiness and security of your family. Whether you are a family of ten or a family of one, your financial future, and large portion of what determines the level of stress in your life at this time may very well hinge on selling your home. If you could remove … [Read more...]

When Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Doesn’t Pay Off!

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The allure of paying off your mortgage is a dream that many Berks County residents share. I've been there; I had no mortgage and it felt great! I reduced my monthly expenses by thousands of dollars, I owned my home and bid my bank loan a fond ‘fare-well’.  Before I paid off my mortgage I felt trapped in my business by that monthly nut, but without the mortgage I felt so much less stress as a business owner.  It was a guaranteed rate of return – what could be better than that? There is no doubt that the satisfaction of having no debt is better than birthday cake with no calories! But be aware that there are things to consider about being mortgage debt free: Credit Card and Student Loan rates are high! Do you have higher interest rate debt that should be paid first?  These days, credit card and even student loan debt may be a higher interest rate than your mortgage.  Why pay off a 3.5% home loan when you owe 9.99% credit card and 6.5% student loans?  Most people’s rates are even h … [Read more...]

Middle Class Americans are Negatively Affected by Government Housing Policies

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The dream of home ownership traditionally meant that anyone could get ahead using their ability and working hard. Over the past several decades, the United States government created housing policies that created incentive laced housing programs and the tax code that changed the dream for many American citizens. Families began to think of their home as an investment, not just shelter and a place for their families to grow up. When the housing market crashed in 2007, many suffered, homeowners, investors, the working middle class and taxpayers. Creative robust housing programs initiated by the government have not always helped the poor and middle class. The median net worth of American adults has become one of the lowest among developed nations. It is less than $45,000, according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data book report. That compares with approximately $220,000 in Australia, $142,000 in France and $54,000 in Greece. Almost one third of American adults have a net worth of l … [Read more...]

Don’t Get Caught in the Home Inspection Trap

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In Berks County and Reading, Pennsylvania most buyers consider hiring a home inspection company to review the condition of the home they are about to purchase. The home inspection can include a Home/Property Inspections and Environmental Hazards (mold, etc.), Radon, Wood Infestation, Water Service, On-Site Sewage (if applicable), Property and Flood Insurance, Property Boundaries, Deeds, Restrictions and Zoning, Lead-Based Paint Hazards (For Properties prior to 1978 only), and almost anything else one can think of. These inspections are listed in Paragraph 12 of the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR), STANDARD AGREEMENT FOR THE SALE OF REAL ESTATE, (Form ASR). The inspections are chosen by the buyer and presented to the home seller as part of the purchase proposal. If agreed to, by the parties, these items become a contingency of the Agreement to purchase. This means that if the buyer has the chosen inspections completed by a certified home inspector they are granted the … [Read more...]

Should You Trust a Free Credit Score?

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When I find a services that might benefit my clients, I try them out. As a committed financial planner, I don’t recommend anything to my clients that I haven’t tried first and found benefit especially a free credit score app. Many of my clients including myself are annoyed that our credit scores are not FREE.  It’s our information after all.  Yesterday I found an article listing free credit scores, so I checked out CreditKarma.com to see for myself. What resulted was a wild ride of fury, confusion and finally satisfaction! MyCreditKarma.com report was clear, colorful and easy to understand.  Initially it seemed quite informative and gave Grades A, B, C and D for things like payment history, credit inquiries, credit use ratios and negative remarks.  I was proud of my A’s and also satisfied with my B’s.  But wait, there was a D!  Aghast, what dastardly thing had I done to deserve that? And wait. Look. They reported that my TransUnion credit score had gone down by more than 50 points t … [Read more...]

Buying a Home in Berks County PA? Great Reasons to Consider a 20% Down Payment

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When you purchase a home there are many challenges that come into play. Trulia.com recently did a survey called the “American Dream Survey”. Home buyers who took the survey stated that the number one obstacle of owning a home was saving enough for a reasonable down payment. The down payment is the amount of money a prospective home buyer will bring to the transaction. The remainder will be brought by the mortgage lender. But exactly how much do you need to, or should you, put down up front? The best way is to have at least 20 percent down or more. It’s the gold standard that so many prospective home buyers forgot about when the banks made mortgage money more available than the air we breathe. People were able to achieve their dream and needed zero percent down to do it. What looked like the American dream became the American nightmare and all in the name of Wall Street greed. The following are some good reasons for Berks County PA home buyers to strive for that magic figure of the … [Read more...]

Luxury Housing Market Smoking in Some Areas of the Country

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The real estate market is starting to bounce back in select locations throughout the United States. But the luxury housing market is downright smoking in several areas. Barring a drastic stock market correction, which is less likely given investors positive reaction to the Federal Reserve’s reduction in bond purchases in December of 2013, the trend means the upcoming spring home buying season could be a good one, especially for REALTORS® and upscale home sellers who are fortunate to have their high-end properties listed for sale. House sales throughout the United States increased by more than 25% in October of 2013 compared to the same time a year prior, according to the latest figures released by the Commerce Department. This was good news especially after a disappointing September that might have reflected unease over slightly rising interest rates and home settlements taking longer than expected. Things seem to be positively different in the luxury home market. The Nat … [Read more...]

Recent Study Finds That the Housing Recovery Varies Across America

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How is the housing recovery progressing in your area? Where is the housing recovery? It is possible that by 2018, the median price of residential single-family homes will be close to the peak that was reached in 2006. As many are aware, the national housing market imploded under the weight of some questionable accounting and lending dynamics at that time. While it is likely that the market will move upward, there will be winners and losers. Among the 50 largest metropolitan areas where housing prices are expected to appreciate between 2012 and 2018, Memphis, Tampa, Jacksonville, Milwaukee and St. Louis (top five) will see rises on average of 32 percent, while Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City, Denver, Minneapolis and Phoenix (bottom five) will average gains of only 11 percent. That is quite a disparity. Louise Keely, chief research officer at the Demand Institute and co-author of the report stated the following, "The strength of the local housing market is among the most telling … [Read more...]

Referral vs Review ~ Which is Better When Hiring a Realtor

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You are going to to buy or sell a Berks County or Reading, PA home and decide you may be hiring a Realtor. Do you ask friends, relatives or neighbors who they know or used, and if they were satisfied with their service? This is better known to real estate agents as a referral. To me, a referral from a past client, friend or anyone who knows me, is one of the highest forms of gratitude I receive. This means that the referrer trusted me and was happy enough with my performance that they were willing to put their reputation on the line and pass my name along to someone else who is in need of the same. It is truly a high honor. Before the advent of the internet, this was a primary way Berks County home buyers and sellers connected with an agent. Even today, it is estimated that around 40% of all home buyers depend on an agent referral from friends or relatives to choose their real estate agent. During this same time, the percentage of people who choose a real estate agent online is at … [Read more...]

Berks County Manor Home Story

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Greenfields, Berks County, PA 1930’s Many times when you think of a Tudor or manor styled home and picture wood timbers, stucco and brick cladding and steeply pitched roofs is envisioned. The home presented for sale, and referenced in this tale,  was built in 1932 in the newly formed community of Greenfields, Bern Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was built in Tudor style but without the timbers and stucco. The Berks County area is rich in limestone so it became the material of choice for this home. Even today, the limestone has a unique glimmer when the light bounces at just the right angle. The location for an estate home of this quality was just right for the adjoining Berkshire Country Club and its championship 18 hole golf course which is still in operation to this day. At the time this home was being built the country club was just 30 years old. It was founded in 1899 and moved to its present location in 1902. Prior to 1902 it was located in Wyomissing, PA. Some i … [Read more...]

Unpacking The Boxes

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So the furniture may now be in a few rooms.  You have started to map out the best drawers in the kitchen for utensils versus the silverware.  You may have even figured out a few of the lights switches.  These are all part of the moving experience.  Over the years, millions of people have similar experiences to share.  As much fun as it may be, we also know it can be frustrating.  Much of the frustration starts in the beginning and knowing the reality you are going to move.  Then we begin the packing process which can be just as much fun as unpacking, however, it is all on the order of the packing that determines if you are going back through boxes time and time aging to get daily items you should not have packed so soon.  We get moved and the unpacking begins.  Along the way we meet new neighbors, discover new shops and stores, and get a feel for the new community we will now call home. It may be weeks, it may be months, there have even been cases of years for the last box to be u … [Read more...]

Berks County Real Estate History ~ Wyomissing Hills

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Wyomissing Hills history is brought to life in this community sales brochure from 1915. Berks County real estate history is rich in style and architecture. Berks County has a rich tradition of creating quality housing for its residents. On July 2nd, 1906 Wyomissing, Pennsylvania was established as a Borough of Berks County. Not long after Wyomissing Hills was established. In January of 2002 the Borough of Wyomissing and the Borough of Wyomissing Hills merged to become one Borough. Presently, there are around 10,500 people living in the community. I am always in search of Berks County and Reading, PA real estate memorabilia. I was fortunate enough to locate and purchase the original 1915 marketing brochure for Wyomissing Hills. It is in fantastic condition which allowed me to scan the original illustrations and photos featured in the brochure and present them here. It is unique to see how the real estate practitioners of the past demonstrated their product. The brochure is … [Read more...]

Your Home Should be Revered by House Buyers

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On the eve of April 18th 1775 two men set out on, what would become, a historical journey. Both men had great intentions and failure was not an option. One was better prepared than the other and thus history remembers him best. William Dawes mounted his steed and rode into the night, combing the countryside, warning everyone he came upon that the battle was at hand and they should prepare. The second man did the same but was armed with a well thought out plan. Prior to that eve, he mapped out a route that would lead him to the most influential people throughout the town. He knew that having the right network of affluent and eager souls would give his home a better chance of survival and freedom. He was a networker. The second man’s plan was precise and he reached the town first, alerted the townspeople of Lexington, Massachusetts and the legend of Paul Revere was born. His counterpart and countryman, William Dawes, is not more than a sidelight to the brave tale. Even though b … [Read more...]