It’s Inevitable, Three Real Estate Trends We Can Expect Heading Into 2017

Heading Into 2017Heading Into 2017

I get the sense that we’re on the verge of having a superb year in real estate in 2017.  Yet when faced with low listing inventory, rising home prices and a first-time homebuyer market which is bogged down by student loan debt; something has to give in order for it to be a stupendous year.  These are three real estate trends which we can expect heading into 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading Into 2017How Low Can We Go?

Real estate inventory has been low and we shouldn’t expect that to change much until the heat of summer returns.  Perhaps this trend sounds obvious as we approach the holidays, the hustle and bustle, hot cocoa and frigid temps.  But what are some of the factors affecting inventory levels?
 

  1. Sellers are staying put and upgrading their homes
  2. Sellers are faced with increased pressure, not having other homes to move into
  3. Construction of new homes is anemic
  4. Renting, in many markets, is still a viable option

Lower interest rates often provide sellers with more buying power – consumer spending, the ability to save or the potential to remodel.  Furthermore, frequently in the higher-priced home market, home prices haven’t experienced significant increases, yet upgrading the home (as long as the seller isn’t over-improving it) remains a productive hobby.

With a competitive 2016-2017 market, too often sellers have a fear of moving from their homes when they don’t necessarily have another home to move into right away.  This pressure causes them to stay put.  Many attempt to avoid contracts containing contingencies such as this, where a seller in the act of purchasing another property, needs to close on his/her property at the same time.  Naturally, this can create more headaches (just ask any real estate professional).

New construction throughout much of the country has limited options for first-time home buyers as well as those looking to move-up or down in the market.  We’re seeing demand outpacing the supply of new construction.

The affordability of renting in some regions has negatively impacted the pool of buyers and this can go both ways: While this means there are less buyers searching for homes to purchase, there are also landlords who don’t feel compelled to sell their investments, but rather reap the benefits of their revenue stream.

These are some of the key factors disturbing housing inventory levels.  During the third quarter of this year, inventory began falling steadily – there are 4-to-6% fewer homes on the national market than there were earlier in 2016 (Zillow September Real Estate Report).  According to a September report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), there’s been a 7% drop, year-over-year, in homes on the market.  In our market, we’ve experienced inventory hitting its lowest levels in a September month in over four years [year-over-year stats from the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® (GSBR)].

 

Heading Into 2017Median Home Sale Prices Up

So with inventory being down, but demand increasing we have the housing phenomena of rising home values.  The average sale price for a house in the Greater Scranton area is $142,436, which is up 4.1% year-over-year according to GSBR data.

Lately, there has been a fear of rising interest rates.  If prospective homebuyers are truly worried about losing money via interest rates, they have a higher probability of entering the market.  This trend coupled with lower than normal inventories drives up home prices.  The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index has reported its highest index level since October 2007.  It’s actually quite fascinating.  Some other factors which are motivating buyers are economic expansion, falling unemployment, rising pay and the prospect of deregulation over the next year or so (something president-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump has been a proponent of).  This is all great news for real estate despite some mounting buyer frustrations in this seller’s market.

Recently, the Citizen’s Voice ran this feature on home prices in the Greater Scranton area – Home prices up in several regional population centers.

 

(via GIPHY)

Income-To-Debt Ratios Are Shrinking

For many home buyers, especially millennials, student loan debt has really been a barrier of entry into the real estate market.  As a college post-graduate myself, I know the challenges that can arise in purchasing a home with student loan debt.  NAR’s Student Loan Debt & Housing Report, which was released in June of 2016, cited student loan debt as a major hurdle to home buying for 71% of non-homeowners who were surveyed.  Think about how this debt is affecting millennial buyers and our housing market – rising debt, falling homeownership rate.

With millennials now being the largest generation in our nation, superseding baby boomers, they’re essential for a healthy economy and a flourishing real estate market.  The demand for homeownership is obviously there.  This inflow of first-time homebuyers into the market will continue, but with income-to-debt ratios shrinking, other measures need to be deployed to add a stimulus to our economy.  “The NAR estimates that one job is generated for every two home sales.”  With that being said, I believe it’s imperative that our legislators find solutions that will prevent a “college-bubble” from bursting and alleviate some of this student loan debt as it relates to mortgage lending restrictions, and perhaps more importantly, survival in today’s America.

 

So as we’re faced with near historical lows for homeownership in our country (63.4% homeownership rate in Q3 of 2016); inventory, home prices and millennial debt present challenges for the upcoming year.  Yes, there’s a healthy demand for real estate amidst low inventory levels, which is a great sign for the future.  And yes, momentum at year’s end has been weaker than the beginning of 2016, but the potential for housing market growth in the months and years to come looks fairly promising.

 

Other resources:

http://www.nationalledger.com/real-estate/real-estate-home-values-growing-291096.shtml#.WCJE2C0rKM8
http://realestate.cleveland.com/realestate-news/2016/11/experts_point_to_headwinds_for.html
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/marketplace/real-estate/2016/11/04/student-loan-debt-affecting-millennial-homebuyers/93199606/
http://rismedia.com/2016/11/08/four-trends-to-shape-real-estate-in-2017/#close

Making An Offer On A Home? Stop… Here’s Five Things You Need To Do First

Making An Offer

Making an offer? Recently, we came across an article from Vogue Magazine underlining areas where buyers should concentrate their efforts prior to purchasing a home. In my experience, many take these lightly while pursuing a home purchase. Spend some time considering how the following will save you grief through the real estate process.

The 28% Rule

I wish I knew about this rule when I was seeking preapproval for purchasing my first home. At the time, my wife and I’s credit scores coupled with our income painted a false picture of a mortgage payment beyond our reach and definitely left us out of our comfort zone. So be cautious here. What’s this 28% rule? Simply put, it states that you should cap your monthly housing payment at 28% of your pretax income.

The Haves & The Have Nots

No, I’m not referring to Tyler Perry’s show on OWN TV. I have yet to watch the program either, so I can’t really comment on it, but what I can comment on is the article’s suggestion for creating a list of what you don’t want in the property. The ‘have nots’ can be likened to a chisel, beginning to chip away from the confusion which is your ideal home. This is a great strategy for discovering your ‘almost-perfect’ home and cross-referencing it with listings currently on the market for sale.

Become A Private Investigator

The most prepared home buyers grab the reigns and attempt to uncover as much information on the property, its location, its condition and the like, prior to making an offer. If this means parking your car outside the listing, rolling down the windows and reading a good book (might as well be efficient with your time), then that’s what it takes. This would certainly give you a better idea of what the neighborhood is like. Of course, your real estate professional can assist you greatly in this area of discovery. Have questions about the sellers? Ask your REALTOR®. Any defects to the property? Have your REALTOR® dig into the property disclosure statement.

Is It Even Possible?

Unfortunately, some buyers have grand notions about how to remodel a home without having the proper professionals being involved in steps along the way, prior to the real estate purchase. Will the township/municipality even allow an addition whether it is a deck or additional living space? Can I knock out that wall? Is it load-baring? These are critical questions to find the proper answers to before making this huge investment.

Put Your Buyer’s Agent To Work

Piggybacking on the heels of what we already touched on, the article from Vogue likewise emphasizes the importance of your real estate agent’s involvement. Not only should he/she be included through the process, but the agent should also be front and center when any offer is presented to a seller. This includes providing a comparable market analysis (CMA) to the buyer to verify a home’s fair market value in addition to negotiating the price, terms and conditions of a deal on the buyer’s behalf with the listing agent and seller. As a prospective home buyer, you need to put your REALTOR® to work – it will only benefit you more in the end.

Those five items are important to the process for buyers in today’s real estate market. Did we miss anything? Please share your thoughts with us.

To read the full Vogue article, click here.

3 Ways Pokemon Go Changes How You Purchase Real Estate

Pokemon Go Real Estate

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new game in town – Pokemon Go.  Whether or not you agree with the premise of the game or you’re still trying to figure out what’s with all the fuss, it has quite the following.  According to Similarweb, this game has more active users on Android devices than Pandora Radio, Twitter or Netflix.  And the Pokemon Go app is set to dump about $3 billion into the hands of Apple over the next two years, as projected by Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin.

Pokemon Go Real Estate

Have you played the game?  Have you lost your mind yet?

In all seriousness, arguably the world’s most popular app/game has incorporated augmented reality (AR) in new and exciting ways.  We’ve written about AR before and its impact in the real estate arena – trust me, like text messaging, it’s not a fad.

Pokemon Go Drives Attention To A Seller’s Home Or Business

While it may surprise you, it shouldn’t – Many businesses are already capitalizing on a millennial population that is vital to their profits.  This generation dominates mobile as well as Pokemon Go usage.  Attracting these users means drawing parallels between their Pokemon Go obsession and options for restaurants, recreation, entertainment and the like.  So in other words, as a Fox Business article points out, if you can position points of interest from the game into a brick-and-mortar environment, you can drive attention to your business.

Logically, the next step is the four bedroom, two bath colonial on the corner lot just down the street from a PokeStop!  It’s a brilliant merger of two worlds, especially for real estate companies who are attempting to reach out to first-time home buyers.

Hosting A “Poke-hunt” Showing

A wonderful way to bring potential buyers to an agent’s listing would be to host a Poke-hunt.  Poke-hunts originate and end at various locations.  Why not make it your home, which you’re REALTOR® is attempting to sell?  A group of people in front of your property doesn’t sound like a terrible idea, does it?!  Sure, maybe those thirty people aren’t interested in buying at this time, but they might know someone who has been looking for a home in your neighborhood.  Yes, this would be more effective for the area bar/restaurant, but I believe it has its benefits for connecting buyers and sellers as well.

Pokemon Go Real Estate

Pokemon Go Accelerates AR Ideas

The success of this game already has developers testing exciting ideas for creating new ways of merging the augmented world with what we experience around us.  What you can touch and what you can’t have implications for real estate sales over the next decade.  We’ve already experienced apps that allow you to envision what a window treatment would look like in your home before you purchase it (i.e. Hunter Douglas).  There are apps that allow you to overlay digital information/content on top of what you see through your camera on your phone (i.e. Layar Reality Browser).  Redecorating a room can also be done effortlessly without having to worry about if you’ll love how furniture will look in a room after you’ve purchased it (i.e. SnapShop Showroom).  These are some of the options available for home owners and buyers to use, but this is only the beginning… AR will eventually make “for sale” signs obsolete!

Are you a Pokemon Go user?  In what other ways do you believe this game or the technology blooming from it will affect the future of real estate and how customers consume it?

Beyond Baby Boomers – Not All REALTORS® Have This

Beyond Baby Boomers: Life-long resident to Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA), Christina M. Keller, who is originally from the Green Ridge section of Scranton and who grew up in Clarks Summit, is transplanting herself into the wild world of real estate.  She’s Realty Network Group’s most recent addition to their firm.  Her diverse skill set with companion care, personal property appraisal as well as a distinct knowledge of NEPA, among other things, led her to pursue a new career in real estate.

Beyond Baby Boomers

Beyond Baby Boomers

Assisting seniors with their daily needs and affairs, through companion care, allows Christina to broaden possibilities for them.  Chief among these opportunities is the ability to offer her clients down-sizing, transitional solutions through real estate.  Similar to REALTORS® who earn their SRES designation, she has a better understanding of the challenges seniors face day-to-day and how those challenges affect their lifestyle.  Furthermore, lifestyle directly impacts real estate decisions.

Realty Network Group & Christina

When asked why she chose our firm, she stated: “Realty Network Group is the perfect fit for me.  Through this firm, I have discovered a small network of ‘blue collar,’ dedicated professionals who get things done!  Experience and a personal touch are of utmost importance and this company has it.”  She will find success building upon that experience and adding her own touch.  Undoubtedly, she’ll even find it beyond baby boomers.

Christina possesses other unique strengths that she’ll be bringing to the table.  Some of them include being a certified appraiser of personal property in addition to having experience with antiques and collectables in the home.  Also she has experience with staging, being the co-owner of Taney’s Costume and Novelty Shop in Scranton, PA.

Reaching Christina

If you need someone who’s eager to work for home buyers and sellers alike, helping you to realize the possibilities of owning a home or investment property, contact Christina M. Keller today at ckeller@realtynetwork.net or 570.871.2500 (cell).

4 Indispensable Coffee Shops In NEPA

4 Indispensable Coffee Shops In NEPA

4 Indispensable Coffee Shops In NEPA

I’ve always cherished tea and coffee, especially at night (I know that’s a strange time of day to unleash caffeine).  The earthiness of my teas always spoke to me, thanks to companies like Harney & Sons.  With coffee, it was always the aroma and like my tea, I enjoyed it black as night.  I understand I’m bucking the trend there as well, most enjoy their flavored creams and sugars.  Besides the flavors and smells though, there’s another whole element to enjoying a darjeeling or cup of joe — the setting.  If you find yourself in Northeastern Pennsylvania, specifically the Greater Scranton region, here are 4 indispensable coffee shops in NEPA.  If we missed your favorite spot, please let us know in the comments section below.  Enjoy and share.

Adezzo: Scranton’s Best Kept Secret?

Adezzo

[photo courtesy of Adezzo]

Last year, this venture was started by two doctors.  The name has an unique genesis derived from two Italian words (adesso and intermezzo).  In short, it roughly translates to take a short break in the moment.  This coffee spot is located at 515 Center Street in downtown Scranton, next to Marquis Art & Frame.  Adezzo is a great spot to stop and recharge your battery!

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Duffy’s Coffee House: Perfect Start To The Abingtons

Duffy's Coffee House

[photo courtesy of Duffy’s Coffee House]

If pressing pause is exactly what you need, then Duffy’s has the remedy!  It’s a great place to connect with the community (in person or networking through social), listen to a band perform, enjoy a pastry or just relax with a fresh roasted cup of coffee (I could be mistaken, but I believe they roast their beans right on site).

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Northern Light Espresso Bar & Cafe: Study Their Choices

Northern Light

[photo courtesy of Northern Light]

I have fond memories of Northern Light from my University of Scranton days – study, tea, read, tea, study… (you get the idea).  It’s has an interesting layout featuring a quaint loft to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the inside traffic.  This coffee hotspot is located on Courthouse Square (Spruce Street) and features some scrumptious snacks. Oh, and the coffee/tea options are a plus too!

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Zummo’s Cafe: For The Rest Of Us

Zummo's Cafe

[photo courtesy of Zummo’s Cafe]

Zummo’s is a great alternative for a delightful breakfast and some of the best coffee money can buy.  Under new ownership since 2014 and powered by the Electric City Roasting Company, this cafe offers a wide variety of menu selections for those with a sweet tooth or those watching what they eat (or both!).  Here’s some little known trivia: Their name was inherited by the business that occupied the space before them — which was shoe repair shop.

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How do you like your coffee?  We hope you enjoyed this post – 4 Indispensable Coffee Shops In NEPA.  Please share and let us know your thoughts.

Awarded Designation – SRES: Dianne Montana

SRES – Dianne Montana

SRES - Dianne Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SRES – Dianne: Ms. Montana, an Associate Broker with Realty Network Group, has been awarded the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) designation by the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).

Local REALTOR® Achieves National Recognition

Dianne joins more than 16,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES® designation.  All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations, and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older.  With a decade of experience in connecting buyers and sellers through real estate sales, she looks forward to assisting many others in discovering their “forever” home.

SRES Council, founded in 2007, is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing senior clients in real estate transactions. There are more than 16,000 active members of the organization world-wide.  The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Are you prepared for the future of real estate? Earn NAR’s SRES® Designation.

Seniors Real Estate Specialists® or SRES® designees are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+.

By earning the SRES® Designation, you have demonstrated the necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50+ through major financial and lifestyle transitions in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home.

If you’re a REALTOR® and have interest in signing up for the Seniors Real Estate Specialists®, click here.

SRES® Program Information

The SRES® designation course seeks to instill knowledge and understanding of and empathy for 50+ real estate clients and customers.

Develop the business building skills and resources needed for specialization in the 50+ real estate market. The SRES® designation program provides professional training and development suitable for continuing education credit.

SRES® Designation Course Learning Objectives:

  • Learn distinguishing characteristics and trends of the 50+ market so that you can discern them in your own market area
  • Evaluate your market area attractiveness to the 50+ market
  • Master the vocabulary of the range of housing options for the 50+ market
  • Learn the application of federal laws for Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA)
  • Develop business building outreach methods for communicating and gaining 50+ market share
  • Adapt methods for counseling the 50+ buyer and sellers
  • Stay focused on the transaction and avoid inappropriate involvement in family matters
  • Develop sensitivities to 50+ issues and priorities when counseling buyers and sellers, showing properties, and managing transactions
  • Develop services that win and sustain client and customer relationships and position you as a trusted real estate advisor
  • Assemble a team of experts to help you serve 50+ clients and customers
  • Learn about the uses, benefits, procedures, and issues involved in reverse mortgages
  • Learn about uses of pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions
  • Gain an understanding of how Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security impact 50+ real estate decisions
  • Recognize mortgage finance and loan schemes and scams that victimize 50+ borrowers
  • Identify key life stages, viewpoints, and transitions in relation to housing choices
  • Recognize how a home can be adapted for safety, comfort, and aging in place
  • Help clients integrate disposition of real property into estate plans

[The above is taken from the SRES Website.]

4 Ways To Squash Your Next Deal

Like cooking, in real estate if you’re not keeping an eye on the ingredients at play, your menu can fall apart pretty quickly. That’s why having a REALTOR® who understands the process and what to keep tabs on is crucial. There are some things that can derail your real estate transaction pretty quickly. If you’re looking to purchase a home soon, these are four ways that will squash your next deal… Avoid them at all costs.

4 ways to squash your next deal

Water Problems & Then Some

water problems in real estate

The root of evil is water. In all my years of real estate as well as being a homeowner, I know this to be true. Dampness can often be water in disguise just waiting to pounce on buyers when they move into their new home. My intention isn’t to scare anyone, but diligence or at the very least some more investigation can sometimes go a long way. Water can cause issues from the roof down to the foundation. If they come to the surface, water problems can drown your deal pretty quickly.

Appraisal Comes In Very Low

waiting for real estate appraisal

In many situations, buyers don’t have additional funds available to bring to the table and bridge any gap between the purchase price of a home and what the appraiser says a home is currently worth. And here we’d have the case when sellers wouldn’t be willing to take less for their home, but under most circumstances who would be willing to do that? This is arguably the worst hurdle home buyers and sellers face in completing a real estate transaction; and to some degree it’s really out of their control.

(photo courtesy of www.funnysideofrealestate.com)

Make A Big Purchase

car purchase

Whatever you do (and a mortgage advisor will stress this as well), resist the urge to make a large purchase after you prequalify for a mortgage, especially if you’re purchasing a home at the upper echelon of your mortgage pre-qualification. You don’t want to be financing other things such as jewelry, cars, furniture and the like; while a lending institution is scrutinizing your accounts. Another point to note: Refrain from making a career change. Changing jobs during your real estate transaction is sure enough to squash it.

Don’t Be Greedy

scrooge mcduck greed

Nobody likes a greedy buyer, nobody! Other greedy buyers don’t even like greedy buyers (or greedy sellers, for that matter). Part of the problem, and maybe it’s partially an entitlement issue, is we had a buyer’s market in Northeastern Pennsylvania (and many other markets throughout the country) over roughly the last decade. As we climb out of it into the third year of an already improving market, we still experience some of those residual effects. A demanding buyer can really turn off a seller and turn the deal sour fast. After all parties come to agree on terms, price, condition and reply to inspections, more fanatical demands will send the seller over the edge and the deal to the grave.

These are 4 ways to squash your next deal, but keep in mind these are not exhaustive by any means. There are other ways to kill a deal, terminate a transaction and send everyone in opposite directions. When reasonable minds meet, when the seller is rational with respect to fair market value and the present situation of the buyer, when the buyer isn’t “low-balling” the seller and making reasonable requests as he/she works with their REALTOR® looking to close the deal; then fruitful real estate happens. Fruitful, not squash!

Full-Time Investment

Full-Time Investment: For the past twenty-five years, Realty Network Group’s newest addition, Thomas A. Lynch, has been involved in commercial real estate.  Previously functioning from the sidelines, he’s now ready to operate on behalf of his clients from a position where he better understands the trends of businesses, commercial investments, local market conditions and the like.

Thomas Lynch

“I believe there are different mindsets and various hats a REALTOR® needs to wear to effectively service his/her clients,” expresses Thomas. “Goals for homebuyers are completely different from that of sellers.  What’s more, each client and the circumstances they presently face are dissimilar from the next.  It’s exciting, to say the least!  I’m comfortable wearing my various hats: Buyer, seller, residential, commercial, for sale, for lease…”

Thomas brings passion and hard work to Realty Network Group.  Not only his past experience with commercial real estate ventures, but also managerial experience in the commercial industry will serve him well as he looks toward connecting buyers and sellers with their short-term and long-term goals.  Banko Beverage Company provided him with numerous experiences, which will be invaluable to his future clients, especially those immersed in commercial businesses, sales and leases.

“Scott Weiland, the VP of Sales for the Commercial Real Estate Group within the firm, got me interested in numerous aspects of the real estate market,” expresses Thomas. “The agents at Realty Network Group are exceptionally welcoming, a sure sign of somewhere I would love to work.”

As we kick off 2016, Thomas is officially on board and ready to assist homebuyers and sellers with their needs.  If you or someone you know is looking for a real estate agent in the hopes of finding a home or commercial opportunity, contact Thomas A. Lynch today at 570.840.4117 or via email at tlynch@realtynetwork.net.

From Binge-Watching HGTV To Selling Real Estate…

From binge-watching HGTV to selling real estate, Realty Network Group’s newest addition, Joshua Frank, enjoys learning within the ever-changing world of real estate.  With his extensive background in homes, construction and design, he’s a great match for this firm and our local marketplace.

From Binge-Watching HGTV To Selling Real Estate

As a graduate of Marywood University with a B.F.A. in interior architecture, Joshua continues to utilize his strengths working as a sub-contractor and picking up freelance work through interior decorating and designing custom furniture.  He’s put himself in the right spot: “I’ve had an interest in real estate as a teenager,” emphatically states Joshua.  “I used to dream of that day when I could design and sell, and that day is finally here!”

That day is surely here and he’s eager to support his clients in realizing their home buying and selling potential in the Northeastern Pennsylvania housing market.  He emphasizes: “My experience in construction would allow me aid a potential purchaser to identify strengths, weaknesses, quick-fixes and the like to an existing home; whereas my expertise in interior architecture/design would permit me to provide a vision to my clients of what their investments could become.”

This Clarks Summit native hopes to fit right into this expansive world of real estate, while he continues to learn in the process.  He also desires to discover the needs of his clients and gain the respect of the community.  If you or someone you know in NEPA is looking for a real estate agent in the hopes of finding or selling a home, contact Joshua Frank now at 570.780.4695 or via email at jfrank@realtynetwork.net.

7 Things You Will Miss When You Leave NEPA

These are 7 Things You Will Miss When You Leave NEPA…

Heynabonics

You would miss Northeastern PA slang.  Heyna or no?  Hehe.  If you live here long enough, it will begin to creep into your vocabulary.  It might only be a syllable or two, but it will always bring back memories of NEPA.  For those not familiar with heynabonics, you can learn to speak like a NEPA native by watching the following video.

What? gif

“Mom-&-Pop” Places To Eat

We have a tremendous number of great restaurants in our region, which are also very affordable.  And whether or not you can agree on a must-eat venue, everyone seems to have at least one “must-stop” spot.  Some of my personal favorites are Casa Bella, Rossi’s, State Street Grill, Twigs.  Of course, there are other fan favorites like Russell’s, Palazzo 53, Stirna’s and many others. What are some of your favorites?

Stirna's

photo courtesy of Stirna’s

Pizza & Pierogies

NEPA is a hotbed of old world heritage. We have the Irish, Italians, Polish, you name it… Jessup is called “Little Gubbio” for a reason!  Hehe.  Our area is famous for its pizza – I recently wrote a post about the Top 7 Pizza Spots In NEPA.

We Like Pizza gif

We also love our pierogies.  Some call them Polish dumplings.  The key is these need to be homemade.  Obviously, you can land a pierogi in other parts of America, but they’re just not the same unless you have Polish or Ukrainian culinary artists making them locally.  No offense, Mrs. T.

Skiing

Sure, Colorado, Vermont and many other mountains through our country are superior for skiing to what you may find in Northeastern PA, but few places offer the crisp, clean Appalachian air as does Elk Mountain Ski Resort or even Montage Mountain.

Skiing gif

Church Picnics, Festivals & Parades

If you’re leaving the area, you’re leaving La Festa Italiana, Saint Ubaldo’s Festival, the Saint Patrick’s Parade (one of the best in the country), numerous church picnics and what else did we miss?  These are stables in the area and have really shaped who we are and where we’ve come from!

Saint Patty's Day gif

High School Football

Certainly there’s much to do in other regions of our great nation by week’s end, but few others do high school football like Pennsylvania and specifically Northeastern PA football.  The coverage is great.  Alumni from all over flock to see their team play each weekend.  For the best coverage in the area, check out NPF Sports.

Scranton Prep vs. Abington Heights

photo courtesy of the Times-Tribune

Fall Is Fantastic

I hear it time and time again.  Many who have left our area, miss the fall foliage in Northeastern PA.  Yes, there are many wonderful places up and down the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast parts of America to enjoy this special season, but NEPA bursts with colors, sights, smells and sounds you have a hard time experiencing in other places.  There’s Roba’s Family Farms, Ritter’s and many great walking/biking trails to take in during autumn.

Winnie The Pooh Fall gif