Lehigh Valley Real Estate News

Check out the latest news and interesting articles about what's going on in the Lehigh Valley!

Harbor freight is opening at Westgate mall

May 2, 2023

Top 10 PA Towns You Need To Visit

Top 10 PA Towns You Need To Visit!


We know all about the big cities in PA, like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Hershey, and even Harrisburg... but have you heard about the cities that are just attractive with things to do or see, or history around them? Check these out. 


1. Lititz, PA

This town has one-of-a-kind shops to visit. Head over to the first commercial pretzel bakery in the USA, Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. You can grab a bite to eat and have a drink at Collusion Tap Works. Want to get out and explore? Head over to the Wolf Sanctuary of PA or take a stroll in the Lititz Springs Park. 


2. New Hope, PA

A historical town that only a few thousand people live in. This is a place that lies across the Delaware River from New Jersey. This is a testing spot for Broadway shows quite often. This is also located only 6 miles north of where the great George Washington crossed the Delaware. You can find other historical things to do here by taking a covered bridge tour or an underground railroad tour.


3. Jim Thorpe, PA

Just over 30 minutes north of Allentown sits a charming town amongst the mountains, also known as the "Switzerland of America." Downtown is filled with mnay unique shops and restauratunts. It's a town for the sports lovers due to being able to white water raft and kayak along the Lehigh river and Lehigh Gorge. Vist Mauch Chunk lake and D&L trails to explore the great outdoors. Make sure you get to take a trip on the Scenic Railway in a vintage coach pulled by a diesel engine, exploring the scenery along the river. 


4. Manayunk, PA

A National Historic district that is nestled 15 minutes from Center City Philadelphia. It sits along the Schuylkill River and is home to the country's first canal from construction. It's renovated with Victorian storefronts and is home to the StrEAT food festival that happens in April. 


5. Emmaus, PA

Quaint town outside of Allentown located in the Lehigh Valley, is a gorgeous town that was listed as one of the top 100 places to live in the US. It's home to festivals, music and arts in the parks, and the famous Emmaus Farmer's market which is held every Sunday from May to November. Enjoy the outdoors by going to the South Mountain Preserve and the Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, covering over 400 acres and more than 10 miles of walking and hiking trails. This is home to many breweries and great places to eat and enjoy some social life. 


6. Ligonier, PA

This town is known for its proximity to the best amusement and water parks in the state, Idlewild Park and SoakZone. It is said to be one of the prettiest cities to visit during the fall time. You can visit the bandstand in central square or just stroll along Main street and visit its quaint store and restaurants. 


7. Farmington, PA

A very charming, small, stop-through town just outside of Ohiopyle Park and for those visiting bigger towns like Fort Necessity and Fallingwater. It's home to the Laurel Caverns and the Fort Necessity National Battlefield. There are great places to eat such as Stone House Restaurant and Bittersweet Cafe. 


8. Foxburg, PA 

Not far from Pittsburgh, this small town lies along the Allegheny River. That being said, enjoy some of the tours along the river and trails located in town as well. You can enjoy the Foxburg Golf Course and American Golf Hall of Fame. Ever experience a house full of buttons? Head over to the Button House to view a 25yr collection of antique and vintage buttons. 


9. York, PA 

Nicknamed, "White Rose City '' is also the 11th largest city in the state of PA. Home to the Weightlifting Hall of Fame, showing off the heritage of strength sports. Also home to the famous Martin's Potato Chips, where you can tour the factory and try some delicious snacks. Take a stroll in the historic downtown and enjoy some food and shops along the way. Explore the trails of Nixon Park Nature Center or the Heritage Rail Trail and get a breath of fresh air. 


10. Grove City, PA 

Located about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, this town is known for manufacturing and locomotive engines. Enjoy the Keystone Safari where you can drive through and see all types of animals. Take a stroll through Grove City Memorial Park and get some shopping done at the Grove City Premium Outlets.


Feb. 6, 2023

Bethlehem PA 18107 Named Hottest Market

Bethlehem 18107 Named Hottest Market

Bethlehem PA 18017

Realtor.com recently released a list of the hottest ZIP Codes in America. These are the hottest real estate markets sought after by homebuyers. Most of the ZIP Codes are in the New England area. But the Lehigh Valley, in particular Bethlehem PA 18017 made the list!

Part of the criteria that is used is how quickly the homes are sold, and in Bethlehem that was just over one week on the market. Another criteria is how often this ZIP Code was searched for on realtor.com. Bethlehem 18017 along with the other top contenders were searched four times more than the typical area. 
The average sold price for homes in Bethlehem 18017 was approximately $371,000. The average cost per square foot was $205. This data is current as of February 2023 and pulled from the last six months sold transactions. 
2023 is the fourth consecutive year of inclining home prices in Bethlehem and the greater Lehigh Valley. Even with higher interest rates demand is still very strong, inventory is low, and prices are continuing to rise, though at a slower rate. Is a crash coming soon? Unlikely, too many economic factors are pushing growth and demand. Though prices are continuing to incline, it’s not at the level seen in 2020 and 2021. 
18017 is one of several ZIP Codes in the city of Bethlehem. Bethlehem PA is part of Northampton County, as well as Lehigh County. Other ZIP Codes in Bethlehem include 18018, 18020, and 18015.
Posted in Bethlehem PA News
Jan. 15, 2023

December 2022 Lehigh Valley market report

Decmeber 2022 Lehigh Valley Real Estate Market

As we prepare to enter the 2023 real estate market, it’s important to examine the current market trends based on the December 2022 market data.


Do we have Ali real estate market remains strong, as available home inventory levels dropped over 18%, which caused pending sales to drop 23%. Despite higher interest rates, buyer demand still seems strong. The fact remains there still plenty of buyers looking for homes, but the supply of homes is still not enough to keep up with demand.


The median sales price of homes in the Lehigh Valley for December 2022 was $290,000 up about 3.6% from $280,000 just one year ago. Prices are stabilizing, but still rising.


The average days on market was 25 days, which is still a relatively short time. With most homes selling at or near the list price. 99.2% of sales price.


Many sellers still seem, reluctant to list their home, in many cases because of the higher interest rates, it will cost them to buy another, and the lack of available homes. However, homeowners who don’t need to buy another home in the area have a very good opportunity to sell quickly and a high price.


For more information on what options you may have as a buyer or seller, please feel free to contact us.

Posted in Lehigh Valley News
Jan. 13, 2023

South Whitehall Township January Real Estate Market Update

The South Whitehall Township real estate market is heating up!

The second half of 2022 saw a slight decline across Lehigh Valley due to the sharp rise in interest rates heading into the holiday season. However, even though the rates are higher, they seem to be stabilizing, and now that the new year is here buyers are very active in South Whitehall Township.


As of January 2023, there are currently only 22 homes listed for sale in South Whitehall and, with median sale price being approximately $355,000 with the average days on market right around 90 days. But that number is a little skewed by some of the higher and lower priced homes that have been on the market longer than normal.


For most homes, in good condition and priced correctly the average days on market across the Lehigh Valley remains around 25 days and the average sold price still hovers around 99.2% of this price. we are still very much in a strong sellers market, not a lot of inventory, but a good supply of buyers looking for competitively priced homes.


In contrast to the 22 available homes, there are currently 24 homes under contract in South Whitehall Township. The median sales price for all homes currently under contract is $381,000 and the average days on market for these homes is 39 days. Again that time frame is skewed by a few properties that remained on the market longer than others. 


South Whitehall Township remains a popular destination for home buyers in the Lehigh Valley. Many buyers are attracted to Parkland school district, lower property, taxes, and the more suburban. Feel that South Whitehall Township offers.


Click here For more information or to view available homes in South Whitehall Township

Jan. 12, 2023

Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying or selling a home in the Lehigh Valley, the right real estate agent can make all the difference. Choosing the right agent can be the key to finding your dream home or getting the best price when selling your current one. However, with so many agents to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right real estate agent for you.

Northampton Real Estate Agent

Look for an agent with experience and expertise in your area. The best agent for you will be someone who knows the Lehigh Valley market and has a proven track record of success. They should be able to provide you with data on recent sales in your area and give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of price and timeline.


Check for credentials and professional affiliations. Agents who are members of professional organizations and have earned certifications or designations demonstrate a commitment to their craft and have a wealth of knowledge and resources at their disposal.

Look for an agent who communicates well and is responsive to your needs. This is number one complaint we hear! The agent should be able to explain the process of buying or selling a home in a way that is easy for you to understand and should be always available to answer any questions you may have.


Make sure that you are comfortable with the agent. Buying or selling a home can be a stressful process, and you want to work with someone you trust and feel comfortable with.


Finally, does the agent have the resources - for example a site like Lehigh Valley Just Listed, to help you find homes as soon as the hit the market, and also to see the activity in your area?


Please feel free to met our team and learn a bit more how we can help you! Meet The Team

chros Hoffman Real Estate Agent


Jan. 8, 2023

Understanding Different Styles Of Homes

There are many different styles of homes available to suit a wide range of tastes and budgets. In this blog, we will explore four common types of homes: ranch homes, bi-level homes, condos, and townhomes.


ranch style homes
Ranch homes
, also known as rambler homes, are a popular style of single-story home found throughout the United States. They are characterized by their long, low profile and are often popular with families with children or older homeowners who prefer to have all of their living spaces on one level. Ranch homes typically have a spacious, open floor plan with large windows and sliding glass doors that allow for plenty of natural light. They may also feature a patio or deck for outdoor entertaining. Search Ranch Style Homes


Cape Cod Style Home
Cape Cod Homes
, this a a traditional style of home very common in the northeast. A cape cod style home is a 2 story home, were the second leve is in the roof structure. Typically ther eis 1 or 2 bedrooms on the 1st floor, and 2 bedrooms on teh second floor. Cape Cods are smaller in size and are very common the Lehigh Valley region, especially Allentown and Bethlehem. Find Cape Cod Style homes here


bi level style home
Bi-level homes
, also known as split-level homes, are a type of home that is built on two levels, with the main living areas on the upper level and the bedrooms on the lower level. They are characterized by a split-level design, with a staircase leading to the upper and lower levels. Bi-level homes are often popular with families who need extra space and like the idea of having separate living areas for adults and children. Search Bi Level Homes


condo style home
, short for condominiums, are a type of housing in which residents own their individual units but share common areas with their neighbors. Condos are often found in urban areas and are popular with people who want to live in a city but don't want the responsibility of maintaining a single-family home. Condos can range in size and style, from small studios to spacious multi-bedroom units. Search Condo Style Homes


townhome style house
, also known as townhouses, are a type of housing that is similar to a condo but is usually attached to other homes in a row or block. Townhomes are often found in urban areas and are popular with people who want the convenience of a single-family home but don't want the maintenance responsibilities that come with it. Townhomes can range in size and style, from small, cozy units to large, luxurious homes. View Townhomes For Sale


Victprian Style Homes
Victorian Style Homes
, Victorian homes refers to a style that was very common in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Typically a three-story home, first floor, second floor, and a full-size attic. These homes typically also have a large front porch with columns.   Victorian homes also  feature a very ornate style with larger windows, a slate roof, and a distinct roofline. Inside the home, you will find a lot of detailed woodwork, hardwood floors, wood, trim, and crown molding. Browse Victorian Homes


Each of these types of homes has its own unique features and benefits, and the right choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a ranch home, the extra space of a bi-level home, the convenience of a condo, or the charm of a townhome, there is a style of home out there that is perfect for you.

For  more information on understaing and choosing the righyt style of home for you, give us a call 610-533-4549

Jan. 8, 2023

The Lehigh Valley: A Great Place to Live and Work

Located in eastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley is a thriving region that offers a mix of urban and rural living. With its convenient location, affordable housing, quality schools, recreational opportunities, and a wide variety of shopping and dining options, the Lehigh Valley is a great place to call home.


One of the standout features of the Lehigh Valley is its strong economy. The region is home to a diverse mix of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and technology. The Lehigh Valley is also home to several major employers, including Air Products, Lehigh Valley Health Network, and Lafayette College.


In addition to its strong economy, the Lehigh Valley is home to a wide variety of recreational opportunities. The region is home to several parks and recreational facilities, including the Lehigh Parkway, which offers walking and biking trails, playgrounds, and sporting fields. The Lehigh Valley is also home to several golf courses, including the Bethlehem Golf Club and the Allentown Municipal Golf Course.


Shopping and dining options in the Lehigh Valley are diverse and abundant. The region is home to several shopping centers, including the Lehigh Valley Mall and the South Mall, offering a wide variety of retail and dining options. The Lehigh Valley is also home to several locally-owned businesses, offering unique shopping and dining experiences.


The Lehigh Valley is home to several highly rated school districts, making it a great choice for families with children. The region is also home to several colleges and universities, including Lehigh University, Moravian College, and

Search All Lehigh Valley Homes For Sale

Oct. 14, 2022

What is an FHA home loan and how does it work?

FHA Home Loans and How To Get One

If you're considering buying a home it's important that you understand all of your different financing options. Most people don't realize that there are a few different types of Home loans. So let's start with an FHA mortgage and go through what that actually means to you.

What is an FHA Home Loan?

FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration. An FHA home loan is a federally insured mortgage. What does this mean? Well it means that the federal government will guarantee that Mortgage to the bank in case the borrower has trouble repaying a loan.

The purpose is the FHA home loan is to help people to qualify to buy a home or otherwise might not qualify. FHA is much more lenient with your credit scores, and much more flexible when it comes to your debt to income ratios. The guidelines for an FHA mortgage make it easier for the bank to approve you so that you can buy a home. 

Is it hard to get a FHA loan?

A common misconception is that most people think FHA is a first time homebuyer loan, but it's not. Anybody can Purchase a home with an FHA home loan, as long as they do not already have another FHA loan. You can only have one at a time. But you do not have to be a first time homebuyer.

Whats the difference between a convetional loan and an FHA Loan?

With a traditional or conventional mortgage, typically you're going to need a credit score closer to 700 and you're typically going to need between 10 and 20% down or, but with an FHA mortgage some banks will actually go as low as a 600 credit score and they will be much more lenient when calculating your debt to income ratios, meaning that you can have a higher debt level with an FHA home loan. 

What are the benefits of an FHA Home Loan?

The other benefit of an FHA loan is that if you do have a lower credit score you can still qualify for a competitive interest rate. For example if your credit score was maybe 640 or 660, it would be very difficult for you to qualify for a conventional mortgage, and even if you did you would get a much higher interest rate than what you would get with an FHA loan. 

How much is the down payment for an FHA mortgage?

OK that's another one of the nice features, with FHA you only need to put down 3.5% of the purchase price, whereas traditionally you might put down 10 or 20% with a conventional mortgage.

Which homes qualify for FHA?

That is a very important question, most people don't realize that the property itself must also qualify for FHA. It's all about the condition of the home. It's OK if the home is dated may need some TLC, however everything has to be safe and functioning. Some of the things that FHA may look for or peeling paint, they do not wanna see any peeling paint in the home. Missing handrails, that's a safety issue smoke detectors, grounded electrical outlets, FHA will also look at the condition of the roof to make sure it still has a few years of life left in it. 

How do you qualify for an FHA mortgage?

As with any mortgage, the basics still apply. Get togther your banks statements, paystubs, pay down your debt as much as you can, get together as much money as you can, then, like we said in some of our other articles about getting qualified, the first step is to choose a good real estate agent who has knowledge and experience working with buyers who purchased using an FHA home loan, and that agent will connect you with a reputable local lender who again is also familiar with the process. 

Here in the Lehigh Valley housing market there are many homes that may qualify for an FHA mortgage, if you'd like more information please feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to help!

Search FHA Homes For Sale

Oct. 13, 2022

How do I qualify to buy a house?

If you are a first time home buyer you're probably wondering how do you get qualified to buy a home?

For this artice, we're going to focus strictly on getting prequalified to buy a home. Will do another article later that outlines more steps in the homebuying process. 

OK, so really the first step that I would recommend is to find a good real estate agent to work with. If you're a first time home buyer you're going to want to find a buyers agent. Somebody you're comfortable with, somebody who seems knowledgeable, somebody who seems experienced and somebody who can genuinely guide you through the process and more importantly direct you to a local lender that they would recommend.

When you're getting prequalified and trying to buy a home it's very important that your lender and your real estate agent are in sync, as they will need to work together to help you through the process. The right agent will have good relationships established with local lenders and based on your situation should be able to connect you with the best lender to help you specifically.

What kind of credit should you have?

So let's get to it how do you actually qualify? Your credit score is very important. You may see a lot of headlines and articles that say you don't need a score or that you can get qualified with a low score, but to be perfectly honest it's simply not true. In the real world, if you're talking to a bank and you're trying to get prequalified for a mortgage to buy a home, you are generally going to want to have a minimum credit (FICO) score of 620

Now before I talk a little bit more about that number let me explain credit scores a little bit. A lot of websites are going to give you what's called a vantage score, that is a consumer credit score and it's not your actual credit score the banks use. The score that banks will use is called a FICO score. If you already have a credit card most times when you log into your account you'll be able to see that score.

Regardless, any time you can see your credit score that's a good thing because it's going to be an indicator. At the end of the day it's almost impossible to see the exact same score that banks will see. Because there are just so many different scoring models and so many different factors. But again if you can see your credit score it's gonna be an indicator and it's gonna give you a good idea of where you stand.

As a first time home buyer 620 FICO Is usually going to be the bare minimum and with that you should be able to qualify for an FHA home loan. But here's a tip, your credit score, it's almost like a video game with different levels. 620 will give you certain options, 640 will give you certain options, 660 will give you more options, 680 or higher will really open doors to many programs. The bottom line is the battery score, the better options the bank is going to offer you, the better interest rate they're going to offer you, and the more opportunities you're going to have to buy the home that you want

What do banks look for?

So, besides your credit score what else do banks look for when they pre-qualify you for a mortgage to buy a home? They're going to look at your debt to income ratio and they're going to look at how much money you have saved to buy a home.

Let's take these one at a time. So what is your debt to income ratio? The bank will look at your total gross monthly income from all sources, when they pull your credit a list of all your debts will come up, any credit cards that you have any loans that you have, each one of these accounts will have a minimum payment. The bank uses an automated underwriting system to subtract all of your debts and obligations from your gross monthly income. That is how they determine your debt to income ratio. In most cases your total monthly debt should not exceed 40 to 50% of your total monthly incomein most cases your total monthly debt should not exceed 40 to 50% of your total monthly income.

Now the other thing the bank will look at is how much money do you have saved up? This is important because no matter what your situation, the bank will look at is how much money do you have saved up. This is important because no matter what program you may qualify for you're always going to need to have money to buy a home

How much money will you need to buy at home?

The easy answer for that is going to be about 10% of the purchase price. with FHA home loans and low down payment home loans, you're typically going to need between 3 to 5%, but what most people don't realize is that you also have a closing cost when you buy a home and they generally run around 6% of the purchase price. The down payment and the closing cost can vary. So an easy estimate to be safe is to say that you will need 10% of the purchase price to buy a home. So if you want to buy a home for $200,000, it's best that you have a minimum of $20,000 cash on hand.

Another thing that banks will look at when you were trying to be qualified for a mortgage is your job history and stability. They are going to want to see a consistent two year work history. They don't want to see any large gaps in your employment and they don't want to see that you switched jobs frequently. They want to see stability and consistency. Same thing with your residence, your address, they want to see a consistent two-year history for your home address.

if a bank is going to lend you hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a home, and count on you to make the monthly payments, they are going to want to see that you are a consistent, reliable person, with a good job history, a stable home address, enough funds to buy the home, and sometimes they like to see you have some extra money in the bank those are called cash reserves

I know it may sound like a lot but it's generally not that difficult to apply and qualify for a mortgage. As I stated at the beginning of this article, in my opinion this journey starts with finding the right real estate agent, to represent you, and guide you through this process.

if you're looking to buy a home anywhere in the greater Lehigh Valley, Allentown Bethlehem region, please feel free to reach out to myself or my team here at Lehigh Valley Just Listed, and we will definitely be happy to guide you through the prequalification process, connect you with a local lender, and advise you with all things involved in buying your first home

Best of luck in your home search

Aug. 23, 2022

Lehigh Valley home sales July 2022

Lehigh Valley home sales July 2022

The average sales price for homes sold in the Lehigh valley in July was $300,000. In July 2021 the average sales price was $275,000, so the price increase continues, right now we're sitting at a little over 9% more than last year for July.

The average days on market is now 13, that's still a very short time. Even with rising interest rates, the Lehigh Valley housing market continues to thrive. The pace may be slowing but it's still a much more aggressive market than any pre-Covid Seller Market..

Main problem still seems to be lack of inventory. The number of new listings hitting the market was down almost 20%, close to sales or down about 18%, however the demand is still strong as there are many buyers looking for homes.

Across the country other metropolitan areas do seem to be slowing, however that we have Ali as one of the few markets still being driven by increased buyer demand, despite rising interest rates.

Posted in Lehigh Valley News