BUYING A HOUSE IN THE POCONOS, 10 KEY ITEMS TO CONSIDER*
Here in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, The Poconos, as with any area, there are “specials” (special characteristics of the area) that you need to take into consideration as you shop to buy a house in the Poconos. Do your research on these before you buy a home in the Poconos, whether it be a vacation home or a primary home.
1) THE POCONOS has a high water table. Therefore, one of the most important items for you to consider and remember is keeping the water away from your home as much as possible. Gutters and downspouts are a very important aid to keeping the water away from your foundation and out of your house. If not already installed, you should have them installed as quickly as you can. To find a reputable Contractor for assistance try your local Better Business Bureau (http://nepa.bbb.org/). Also, if you are installing new ones, aim for sealed or screened gutters so keeping debris out of them is not such a chore.
Have you seen those houses where a tree or weeds has started growing in the downspouts?
2. Crawl spaces - if you purchase a home in the Poconos with a crawl space you NEED TO KEEP YOUR CRAWL SPACE DRY ! You should run a dehumidifier in the summertime to keep condensation under control. You should have a sump hole with a sump pump. Your sump pump should have an alarm. Most people cannot hear their sump pump running so if your sump pump should burn out you have the alarm to alert you. You should have a heater to keep the crawl space warm in the winter and protect your pipes from freezing. A vapor barrier is critical if you do not have a concrete floor in your crawl space. New ideas for really keeping your crawl space dry is ENCAPSULATING your crawl space.
Buy your knee pads! Some of these crawl spaces are only 3-4’ high.
3. Basements - homes with basements in the Poconos, finished or unfinished should have a sump pump hole with sump pump also. Even if they seem dry now there is always the chance that someday that may change so it is better to be safe than sorry. Keep your basement heated and keep that dehumidifier running in here too.
You know those concrete walls that look like they have white dust on them - the beginnings of too much dampness. Maintain your investment - keep them dry!
4. Carpenter ants, carpenter bees, termites, and other creepy crawly critters. We do get carpenter ants quite frequently here in the woods of The Poconos and so you should keep on alert for them or have your home treated regularly by a pest company.
That little pile of sawdust you saw on the side of the house - could be carpenter ants. Check it out.
5. Our deer eat just about every landscaping plant you have. Personally I have only found two plants so far that they will not eat. Daffodils and Boxwoods. Usually you need to worry about this the most in the winter and spring however during the summer they will almost always eat off all my hostas too. It is highly suggested that you do not feed the deer. It has happened that once the food is taken away from them they will come through sliding glass doors to get to the food that they are accustomed to receiving.
Lovely creatures and in the spring the fawns are so darling, love to watch them run and play across my backyard but, doggone it I wish they hated tulips.
6. Bears - Never, ever feed the bears! They will forever come back and get into everything they can find around your home. If you see a mother bear with cubs, stay away. Mothers become very vicious when protecting their cubs. Always keep your trash in bags in garbage cans with lids and even that will not prevent them from spreading your trash across your lawn but it may hinder them a little.
Now there is nothing cute about these big babies. The Poconos has their share of Bears. They can shred a six hole plastic bird feeder in just a few seconds. I know, I lost my favorite Bird Feeder to a very large bear a few years back - woke in the middle of the night to this weird tearing sound - and there he sat, just shredding my beloved feeder. BIG STINKER! Which reminds me, bring those feeders in unless you want them torn all apart especially in the spring when they come out of hibernation (their HUNGRY) or in the fall just before they hibernate.
7. Taxes - The State of PA charges a 2% transfer tax. This 2% is usually split evenly between the buyer and the seller however with foreclosures you are sometimes required to pay the full 2% as a Buyer.
Oh sure, the government has to get their share.
8. Communities - Many of our homes are located with Communities (otherwise referred to as Subdivisons or Planned Unit Developments). Each Community has its own set of rules and regulations and deed restrictions. Do your research on the Community that you are considering purchasing within. Their website usually provides access to written copies of each of these but in case it does not, you will receive a document referred to as a RESALE CERTIFICATE once you have an accepted offer on a home. This Resale Certificate advises you of the deed restrictions and the rules and regulations of the Community . Read this over carefully to be sure you fully understand. Some Communities do not allow fences, others do not allow tree cutting, etc.
Communities help protect your investment. Their guidelines are there to protect everyone.
9. Utilities - these can vary by area. If you are in an area with central sewer or central water plan on paying fees for these on a regular basis as well as the “typical” utilities.
Not that long ago very few areas of the Poconos had central anything so this is a new one for many. We’re moving up!
10. Septic Sytems - Most properties of The Poconos have to be able to support their own septic system. Septic systems require maintenance and you should do your homework on the best way to maintain them as repair costs can be expensive. For example, do not pour grease down your household drains - it can cause a clog when it hardens. The tanks of the septic system have to be emptied by a professional on a regular basis and there are some Communities where this required maintenance is monitored and you are required to submit receipts for proof that you did do your maintenance.
You know that large mound out in front of your house or the one that makes up your backyard which some people refer to as Turkey Mounds, these are our septic systems.
Buy a home in the Poconos, begin your search here
*The items stated here are “professional opinion” of what most of my clients have pointed out as different about our area and are not to be misconstrued as the only differences you may find or that you will find all these differences in each and every area of our Region. The links presented here are for reference only, sites I found that might be helpful in your quest for information. You should find and select your own sites and companies to use. Thank you.
When looking for a Realtor© in the Poconos that will listen, assist and guide you without "pushing" you, contact Bobbie Smith. I would love to help.
Bobbie Smith, CRS
(Certified Residenial Specialist-CRS)
570-242-1891 Cell Best (Call or Text)
Email me now: firstname.lastname@example.org
All pictures, text, etc. stated within is the exclusive property of Bobbie Smith and cannot be copied or duplicated without written consent from Bobbie Smith. All statistics and data contained herein are obtained from reliable sources and are deemed reliable however each individual should always do their own research on each topic and derive their own conclusions. Any statements of opinion are just that, the opinions of Bobbie Smith. *Realtor is a registered trademark of NAR*