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A Real Estate Tradition Continues

Sarah ArndtShe’s lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her whole life and brings an incredibly diverse skill set to the table. She graduated from Penn State University with a Liberal Arts degree and has experience in various fields of study – everything from customer service to manufacturing to design to advertising to product development to real estate investments to equestrian trade, you name it! These abilities have helped her develop tools necessary to succeed in connecting buyers and sellers in today’s market.

“My family has a history in the realty business,” claims Sarah. “My father was a top-producer in the Ocala Florida market and my brother has multiple real estate investments in Maryland. My husband and I likewise manage and invest in NEPA properties. I suppose you can say, my family has a passion for real estate.”

Being immersed in real estate as not only a sales professional, but also an active participant, enables Sarah to more fully comprehend the setbacks of her buyers and sellers. “Sarah has a knack for seeing things through to settlement for her clients,” asserts Amy Kiesinger Bohenek, an Associate Broker with Realty Network Group. “She acts with honesty and integrity. Having worked with her in the past, I can affirm her sweat equity will benefit her clients well as she’ll work tirelessly for their needs.”

Sarah is looking forward to working with the network of professionals at Realty Network Group: “They show their agents appreciation and that speaks volumes,” attests Sarah. “The atmosphere doesn’t feel corporate, but rather family-oriented and very positive. They have a great support staff and promotion to help expose their agents to the marketplace.”

She and her husband have three children. They love the beach, including destinations such as Key West, Daytona Beach and Cabo Frio (Brazil). She also enjoys target shooting, creating stained glass suncatchers and driving fast cars. If you’re thinking about making your move this spring, contact Sarah today at 570-762-8048 or via email at sarndt@realtynetwork.net.

Empowering Her Clients, One Transaction At A Time

Ann SherodaRealty Network Group is pleased to announce the addition of Ann A. Sheroda, Associate Broker and multi-million dollar real estate producer who’s been in the business since 2005. “I have forty years of sales and sales management experience with some of the largest companies in the country,” declares Ann. “I’ve really enjoyed working for my real estate clients over the past fourteen years. It’s what I’m passionate about. It’s who I am. I find it both challenging and rewarding.”

Ann was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania and has a great handle on the market in the Greater Scranton area. The majority of her experience, time and dedication has been poured into serving clients in NEPA, connecting buyers and sellers. She’s also knowledgeable of other regions as well. Not only is she licensed in Pennsylvania, but is also licensed in New Jersey, servicing those interested in investing in rentals and vacation homes at the NJ shore (Margate, NJ).

“Ann loves this business and she welcomes working incessantly for both homebuyers and sellers,” asserts Dianne Montana, Managing Broker of Realty Network Group. “She’s a tremendous asset to our brand and our network of agents!”

“I chose Realty Network Group because they offer the reputation and professionalism I need from a brand to service my clients,” responds Ann. “Working as a full-time professional, I pride myself on making sure buyers, sellers and cooperating agents have the proper information at their fingertips, and have it in a timely fashion.”

If you’re looking to work with a top-notch real estate professional, connect with Ann A. Sheroda today at 570-498-4990 or via homesanns@aol.com.

Knowing Is Half The Battle

jeff-davisRealty Network Group is pleased to announce that Jeffrey E. Davis, REALTOR® and business professional, has joined their firm. “Jeff is a great fit for us and he’ll provide great direction and service to our clientele,” remarked Dianne Montana, Managing Broker of the company. “His attention to detail is one of his many strengths. It will greatly benefit his clients as well as us.”

Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Jeff knows the area well. He’s extensively familiar with NEPA. The majority of his work experience required significant travel throughout the Greater Scranton area, the tri-county area of Lackawanna, Pike and Wayne counties to towns as far north as Towanda, Athens and Sayre. Furthermore, his past experience as an insurance professional, in the capacity of a claims adjuster and appraiser, has enabled him to build effective relationships, develop leadership skills and fortify negotiating strategies. He continues to establish worthwhile relationships through his real estate connections.

This former graduate of Pennsylvania State University has discovered that each path in his professional career has been rewarding beyond measure, and real estate has been no different. “I recently came onboard Realty Network Group because they’re a highly recognizable brand in NEPA that offers regional presence with friendly, professional sales associates and a positive environment,” emphasized Mr. Davis. “I specialize in residential real estate, but I’m further growing my business in other areas of real estate too.”

Jeff is looking forward to connecting buyers and sellers in the upcoming months. He loves real estate, meeting new clients and assisting them achieve their real estate goals of homeownership or building their investment portfolio. He also has a love for Northeastern PA and his family.

Get honest, experienced help selling or buying your home and contact Jeff Davis today at 570-877-9732 or reach out to him via jdavis@realtynetwork.net.

An Added Perspective In Selling

Added Perspective In Selling

He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by designing and building a hot and chilled water production and distribution system currently used for the Steamtown National Historic Site. He worked for the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad (previously known as the Lackawanna & Western Railroad). Gene Barrett, Realty Network Group’s newest addition to their network of professionals, has always had a love for Northeastern Pennsylvania and a knack for utilizing his skill set to enhance our region.

Gene’s impressive resume includes, most recently, his post as Business Development Manager for Pennsylvania American Water and prior to that serving as the Executive Director of the Scranton Sewer Authority. His track record speaks for itself, he’s worked exceptionally well with people in our community and now as he continues exploring real estate, he’s excited about further providing for the needs of his family, friends, business associates and the like.

“Since their inception, I’ve always admired Realty Network Group’s diverse portfolio of professionals and their reputation for meeting the needs of their clients,” asserts Gene. “Their diversity mirrors many of life’s experiences.” Gene looks forward to infusioning his real estate transactions with compassion. A quality that’s often missing or lacking in so many business deals today. “I recognize the gravity of today’s real estate consumer, who makes one of the most dramatic and difficult decisions in his/her lifetime,” proclaims Gene. “My past experience has also given me perspective – an awareness of local real estate trends and a practical knowledge in being a business and personal property owner.”

He knows the area well, being born and raised in Scranton, while also getting a sense of what other communities offer. He spent time away from Northeastern PA for seven years on active duty with the United States Army. He’s a husband and father of two children. His hobbies include hiking, cross-country skiing, foreign car restoration and European travel.

Call Gene Barrett today at 570-687-5332 for all your real estate needs, whether you’re selling, buying or even just looking for a home.

You Had Me At Merlot! 5 Pit Stops On NEPA’s Wine Trail

NEPA Wine Trail

 

 

 

 

Did you know Northeastern Pennsylvania has a wine trail? With autumn upon us, there are several hotspots in NEPA that you need to visit if you’re a wine lover. Though all the varieties may not be to your liking (and let’s face it, most of us have a preference!), you’re bound to discover some wines to enjoy.

Blue Ridge Vineyard & Winery

A great place to start is Blue Ridge Vineyard & Winery located in the Poconos.  This wine tasting facility overlooks the vineyards as well as a Christmas tree farm.  Born only eight years ago, this winery has more of a veteran-feel than that of a rookie in the region.  I love its mission: “to simply add value to people’s lives.” Good wine, sights, sounds and friends will do that!

Visit them here: 239 Blue Ridge Road, Saylorsburg, PA 18353

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NEPA Wine Trail

Wood Winery

Heading closer to the Greater Scranton area, we discover Wood Winery located in the North Pocono region.  This establishment boasts smaller batches through the use of Pennsylvania-grown products. You get a sense of the love and dedication of family and craft here at their winery and rustic tasting room.  They even feature the one-of-a-kind Chambourcin grape here.

Visit them here: 3491 Hornbaker Cemetery Road, Madison Township, PA 18444

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Lucchi Family Wine Cellars

This winery located in Scranton’s West Side is the best Scranton has to offer!  Three generations of vinters with over thirty-five different varietals, produced in an old-fashioned, homemade style.  The original vines were planted by the family in the 1970s. They also feature PA brewed beers on site and pride themselves on great customer service.

Visit them here: 134 North Main Ave Scranton, PA 18504

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Case Quattro Winery

This winery, established in 2015, is expanding fast.  Recently, the Sebastianelli family opened a second location in Dunmore (its original location is in Peckville).  The name of the winery is derived from their four family homes in Italy. To the best of my knowledge, they also host DIY wine glass craft nights at their locations.  Check out this family-operated winery in the Greater Scranton area.

Visit them here: 1542 Main Street, Peckville, PA 18452 or 702 North Blakely Street, Dunmore, PA 18512

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Maiolatesi Wine Cellars

Enjoy this private, tranquil setting with some great views of the sunset and countryside, from Maiolatesi’s extended deck.  Much of wine tasting is about the experience, and this family has elevated that experience for wine-lovers over recent years.  Looking to have a private event/party? Have this winery host it.

Visit them here: 32 Cabernet Drive, Scott Township, PA 18447

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NEPA Wine Trail

Honorable Mentions

I can talk about wine forever.  Personally, I love many of the Chairman’s Selections that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board offers, but there’s something mystical about visiting wineries and having a taste for yourself (especially in the autumn season).

I would also like to bring your attention to these three wineries on the Endless Mountains Wine Trail, in the north and western parts of NEPA:

Bartolai Winery

Grovedale Winery & Vineyard

Nimble Hill Winery & Brewery

If you’re up for a drive and day trip, I highly recommend the following. They are some of my absolute favorites:

Blue Mountain Vineyards

Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery

Maria Muchal Berta Earning Associate Broker for Realty Network Group

Maria Muchal Berta Associate Broker

Maria Muchal Berta, an ambitious REALTOR® for over five years with our firm, has earned her Associate Broker’s license in the state of Pennsylvania.

“I always have a strong determination to succeed in anything I do,” emphasized Maria. “I’m a leader and always have been.”

This Northeastern Pennsylvania native, born and raised in Jessup, is driven by working and succeeding in the real estate. She has an affinity for learning more about the business, something that certainly benefits her clients along the way.

In the past, Maria attended post-secondary school at NYC’s Parsons, The New School for Design, where she landed an internship with Sony Music Group doing marketing and graphic design. During her school years, she worked at Express as a fashion expert and spent a summer assisting local designer, John Mackey. Over eight years ago, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business majoring in Design and Management. Her passion for design pointed her toward real estate. While studying to become an appraiser, she earned her license to practice real estate. In 2016, she became a Certified Residential Appraiser and currently works for O’Hara Appraisal Group as an appraiser.

Maria loves to set goals for herself and then achieve them. She loves helping her clients succeed as well. “Besides the fact I love houses, my favorite part about this job is getting to know my clients,” remarks Maria. “Believe it or not but most I still keep in touch with and I consider them my friends.”

She’s also heavily involved in the community: Chairwoman of the Jessup Hose Company Wine Fest, Citizens for a Healthy Jessup, Ronald McDonald House, St. Joseph’s Center, among others.

Contact Maria here – profile | Facebook

Lackawanna County Home Values Since The Great Recession

Lackawanna County Home ValuesRecovery of home values across the nation since the Great Recession has been uneven to say the least.  Roughly half of the markets have recuperated. Of the major metros, the top 5 to nearly recover all their value over the past decade are Denver, CO (99.6%), San Antonio, TX (98.8%), Austin, TX (98.7%), San Jose, CA (98.7%) and Nashville, TN (97.9%).  Whereas, the bottom 5 major metros to experience only a small fraction of their pre-recession values are Baltimore, MD (8.7%), Riverside, CA (6.5%), Orlando, FL (5.4%), Hartford, CT (3.7%) and Las Vegas, NV (0.8%). From a quick glance, one discovers these rebounds and severe deficiencies aren’t specific to a particular area of the country.  Instead, the numbers are geographically sporadic at best.

The same goes for Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Markets in the Greater Scranton area have fluctuated since the Great Recession.  As a whole, Lackawanna county has been stable, similar to those top five major metros, rebounding roughly 98.2% of its pre-recession value.

Within our county (Lackawanna), here are how the school districts stack up against one another in either exceeding or falling short of those pre-recession home values:

School District % change in closed sales % change in average sales price % change in days on market
Lakeland 71.4% 14.2% -1.4%
Carbondale Area -2.3% 8.5% 11.5%
Dunmore 41.8% 5.7% -7.1%
Mid Valley 11.8% 5.3% -4.1%
Old Forge 5.6% 4.7% E
Valley View 46.0% -3.0% -36.3%
Abington Heights 33.9% -3.9% -12.8%
Lackawanna Trail E -5.1% -11.5%
North Pocono 38.9% -5.8% 1.0%
Scranton 27.4% -13.1% 32.1%
Riverside 8.2% -19.7% -21.5%
Forest City Regional -33.9% -29.6% -19.2%
Lackawanna County Home Values – All data from the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® (GSBR).

 
Since a decade ago, Lakeland has exhibited the best bounceback in home values: $143,397 (June 2007-June 2008) to $163,735 (June 2017-June 2018).  It also had 40 more closed sales: 96 sales (June 2017-June 2018) versus 56 sales (June 2007-June 2008). Valley View experienced the most significant drop in market time: 58 days on market (June 2017-June 2018) versus 91 days on market (June 2007-June 2008).  Lakeland, Dunmore and Valley View all appear to be very good shape in relation to where they were ten years ago.

New Broker Of Record Leads Real Estate Firm Through Unique 2018 Market & Beyond

New Broker

Dianne Montana Named Managing Broker of Realty Network Group

Ann E. Cappellini, former President and managing Broker of Realty Network Group, officially turned her leadership responsibilities over to Dianne Montana, formerly an Associate Broker with the same firm. “I’m looking forward to working closely with Dianne to help grow the company. Dianne has the experience and creativity to move Realty Network Group forward through a very challenging market,” Cappellini said. “She has been an invaluable company resource and brings a fresh perspective to our firm.”

“This is a unique time to enter the real estate market, whether you’re a homebuyer, seller or real estate professional,” revealed Mark DeStefano, CEO and an owner of Realty Network Group. “We’re lucky we have the experience and dynamic leadership we do, here at Realty Network Group. Though Ann Cappellini is stepping down as the managing Broker of our agency, her ongoing presence through our network is invaluable. She’s a top-notch executive with thirty-seven years experience in our business. Dianne Montana likewise brings experience to our firm with a tremendous understanding of today’s players in the marketplace – homeowners, homebuyers and REALTORS®. She also has a skill for connecting with her colleagues as well as other professionals in the field. We’re excited about her leading our agency into the future.”

Dianne Montana has been with the company from the beginning and was previously acting as both an Associate Broker and the Director of Finance and Accounting Services for the firm. With a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and several real estate designations, she’s always looking to further her education. “Working with Ann over the past five years has been a constant learning experience,” reflected Montana. “Every transaction in this business is different and having a mentor like Ann has made this a natural transition for me. I love being part of this company and I’m excited about what’s to come.”

Northeastern Pennsylvania shares a challenge not too different from other areas of the country, in that housing inventory levels are some of the lowest observed in sixty years (according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City). There’s an inventory shortage as active listings in the Greater Scranton area are down 10.7% year-over-year, calculated through June 2018. Locally, new listings coming on the market over the past year have been down by over 6% year-over-year.*

* market statistics from the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®

Summer Time: Is Your Yard Ready?

Summer is almost here!  The official start of summer, that is.  I’ve never been more excited for summer time as I am this year: Weddings, summer fun with my children, parties, yard work, pool relaxation, escapades and the like.  Alright, maybe I’m embellishing the yard work! You might even have a summer vacation planned soon as well.

Whether you’re seeking to update your yard for personal enjoyment, to entertain or to list your home on the market; we’ve put together five ways to help you achieve your summer goals.  Planning a party or selling your home are night and day, so we’ve put together a simple starter list which will cover both.

Be mindful that after a long winter, which bled into spring (like the one we just had), it’s important to attend to some basics first before enhancing your property’s exterior.  Observations such as foundational cracks, chipping paint, improper drainage and tree/shrub maintenance should all be addressed prior to giving your yard a facelift. Are your downspouts diverting water at least three feet away from your home’s foundation?  Are your gutters free and clear from debris? Are your roof and foundation leak-free? Is there a safe distance between tree limbs on your property and powerlines? Is your family’s swingset still safe? These questions can easily be addressed and hopefully, if any of them pose an issue, they can be resolved ASAP over the summer months, depending on its severity.

Summer Time
So without further ado, here are five ways to achieve your summer goals:

Curb Appeal

Welcoming guests to your home can excite many of us.  Repainting shutters, front door, side door or garage door can certainly accentuate curb appeal.  It can provide a much needed facelift for potential homebuyers or put party goers in the mood to celebrate.  If you’re selling, let this be an important idea you don’t soon forget: “[A] home’s first impression is its curb appeal, so when it comes time to sell, a well-manicured yard can be just as important as any indoor remodel.” (NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall)

Don’t Underestimate Mulch

When you’re planning to enhance your grounds, mulch is perhaps your #1 go-to.  You’ve weeded, now what? You’ve edged, now what? Mulch, of course. It deters weeds from springing back into action and help your flower beds retain that much needed moisture.  It’s make-up for your yard, if you ask me! Even out your old mulch and add more or go with a completely different look this season (cocoa mulch anyone?).

Summer Time

Score Huge With Plants

Plants and flowers can really add color and life to the “palate” of your neighborhood.  Yes, a well-kept lawn is ideal, but even that can lack flavor and diversity. For that you can lean on a burst of color, which vibrant summer blossoms can provide.  Wherever your main entry space is, grab attention with two large planters showing off purple wave petunias, marigolds, coneflowers or something of your choosing. Plants, like other outdoor furnishings, are a wonderful way to hide potential eyesores while adding color to your setting.

Powerwash It

Whether you’d like to brighten and/or clean your siding, deck or patio; power-washing can go a long way in making others notice you care about your property.  Though it shouldn’t be thought of as restoration per say, a pressure washer can transform the exterior of any home. This is a great option to invest in, especially if you’re seeking a budget-friendly one.  You can even power-wash your outdoor or poolside furniture.

Add Lighting

Finally, another great way to cover up blemishes around the exterior of your home is lighting.  While having the right balance of lighting is important (you don’t want guests stumbling around in the darkness), it can hide some of your home’s less desirable exterior features, especially when summer entertaining.  And while interior lighting might be more important than exterior when placing your home on the market, exterior lighting has the ability to set the ambient tone for prospective homebuyers during the late afternoon/evening hours.

 

Summer Time

We hope this list of five is straightforward enough for you to approach this summer season, whether you’re hosting a barbecue, placing your home on the market (shameless plug – we can do that for you!) or simply enjoying your yard.  These points can help you transform your outdoor space in no time and provide you a sigh of relief this summer.

Attentively Listening To Your Needs

Attentively Listening To Your Needs

At Realty Network Group, we’re very excited to announce that Michael Joseph Sipsky III will be joining our network of real estate professionals.  Michael comes to us with extensive knowledge in the field of behavior mental health, graduating from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut with a Masters degree in Applied Psychology.  His experience and education have bolstered his ability to actively listen to the needs of others and help them achieve their goals.

What’s Trending

Though real estate is a newer career path for Michael, he’s been interested in real estate trends for many years now.  “I’ve always been fascinated with assessing a home’s value, discovering how location, trends and factors affect its value,” indicated Mr. Sipsky  “Being mindful of ways to increase a home’s value for resale purposes or to enhance one’s enjoyment have also piqued my interest.” He has the skill set which will enable him to produce results for his clients.  Active listening is often downplayed in our business, but as many a real estate professionals will tell you, it’s vital in today’s market. The bottom line is this business is about the people, not the agent.

Familiarity

In his free time, Michael enjoys hiking and landscaping.  He was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania and is very familiar with the surrounding communities as well as the resources and perks they offer.  He’s looking to grow his business by using his knowledge of the region to find his clients neighborhoods and homes that are suitable for both their needs and desires.

Why choose Michael as your REALTOR?  Considering that consumers need someone who will work tirelessly on their behalf in this unique market, while actively listening to their situation, he’s an asset to our firm and its clients.

For more agent information, listings and more, click here.