Tag Archive for: Northeastern Pennsylvania

Summer is the best time of the year to explore Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA)! Alright, I lied, my favorite time of the year in our region is early autumn with cider donut runs, changing foliage and high school football back on the menu, but summer is easy on the eyes too. There’s plenty to see and do in the Greater Scranton area and we hope you can set aside some time to get busy and explore.

NEPA has diverse environments with everything from hiking trails to city streets and commercial businesses in the downtown areas of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Dickson City, to name a few. You can explore much of this region from our “search by city” page.

Over the past two years, homebuyers have looked at their purchase slightly differently. Now, some buyers desire spaces where they can work-from-home. They want living spaces without open floor plans to allow for remote work in addition to having areas for their children to complete their homework and other ways to escape. Are open floor plans going out of style? Maybe, but the pandemic brought us here and we’ve taken notice of this trend in recent months. A modification in purchasing habits certainly happens from time-to-time. That’s why there are trends in the first place, but this one came on rapidly. Solitude in the home is welcomed and some buyers need walls for crying out loud. But if you can’t break from an open-concept home, perhaps living in a walkable community will help ground you and alleviate some of that stress.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, walkable communities are slightly harder to discover, because after all, we have many rural areas. On the other hand, you can get just about everywhere in Scranton. While various parts of the city are certainly walkable and unique to the area (Green Ridge, North Scranton or the Hill Section immediately come to mind), car traffic has its day too. Is Scranton walkable? Yes, but it didn’t make our list. 

The tiny town of Jessup is nestled between Mount Cobb and the Lower Valley (Blakely) with a good mix of dwellings. There’s a rich heritage here, especially from those of Italian-American descent. The town is laid out well with the Casey Highway (Route 6) cutting through/above town, yet not obtrusive in any way. Jessup has a few parks for its residents to frequent, including Jessup Memorial Field Park & Kids Korner and Eales Preserve (a nature conservancy). Another bonus for inhabitants is the ease of access to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, in the north section of town. Shops and restaurants are within walking distance and most sit on Church Street or Hill Street. One drawback is walking access to grocery stores. For instance, the nearest one is approximately 1 to 2.5 miles depending on where you live. While some errands require car use in Jessup, the town does feature tourists at various times of the year and has access to public transit. Is Jessup walkable? Yes, but it didn’t make our list either.

Nonetheless, here are NEPA’s four most walkable communities:

Pittston

Location – Northeast of Wilkes-Barre, southwest of Scranton, in Luzerne County
Access – Route 11 and within close proximity to Interstate 81 and the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Walk Score – 76 
Highlights – Campbell’s Ledge is close to Pittston and for those who love to walk/bike, hop on the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail
Parks – Riverfront Park, Sullivan Park, Jefferson Park, James Clark Park, Albert West Park
Amenities – Restaurants and shops fill in Main Street as well as across the bridge in West Pittston (on/off Route 11)

Dunmore

Location – Neighboring Scranton on its east side
Access – Ranks very high with the ability to connect to Interstates 81, 84, 380/80 and the Casey Highway, all directly from town
Walk Score – 74
Highlights – Walking and biking around town is relatively easy with the wonderful sights of the Dunmore Cemetery and Marywood University. Scranton is relatively close too.
Parks – McHale Park (Dunmore Community Center), Sherwood Park, Saint Anthony’s Memorial Park
Amenities – Restaurants and shops along South Blakely and East Drinker Streets

Tunkhannock

Location – Northwest of Scranton in Wyoming County
Access – Route 6 and Route 29
Walk Score – 61
Highlights – Some of the cutest shops you’ll find outside of Clarks Summit and Honesdale, businesses are coming back into town and if you visit, you’ll see why
Parks – Riverside Park, McCord Park, Lazybrook Park
Amenities – Wonderful access to stores, restaurants and more on Tioga Street or Bridge Street; the Bypass has also helped keep much of the business/commuter traffic away from town

Old Forge

Location – Southwest of Scranton
Access – Quick ability to connect to the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 81 and Route 11
Walk Score – 59
Highlights – Pizza is a favorite here, but you probably already knew that
Parks – There are nearby parks, which are worth the trip, but other than softball and little league fields, there are no parks in this borough
Amenities – Superb access to restaurants, stores along Main and Oak Streets, grocery stores would need to be accessed by car

There’s more uncertainty in the national real estate market than we’ve seen in some time. We’re two years beyond the onset of COVID and while we’re past many of the main health concerns of the virus, obstacles still remain. Remote work is likely here to stay, thus there are adjustments to housing post pandemic, which continue to unfold and impact the market. Is time running out for sellers to take advantage? Will buyers have a better chance of acquiring real estate being that their purchasing power has somewhat diminished? What’s in store for our market in the Greater Scranton area?

The future of real estate isn’t as dark as some would have you believe. The chance of a housing crash, the likes of 2007-2010, lacks much supporting evidence. In fact, the exact opposite might be true. Many experts are calling for a busy spring market this year and even Zillow projects home appreciation to hover around 9% for 2022. Many of the conditions, which existed prior to the housing bubble, simply aren’t present. When the market began to tank fifteen years ago, there was a surplus in housing inventory, mortgage lending resembled the Wild West and foreclosures occupied their fair share of the market.

Today, the narrative is quite different. There are shortages in markets throughout the country. Here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, our month’s supply of homes continues to unimpress buyers: year-to-date we sit at 1.29.* A magnifying glass would be required if the inventory got any smaller. In the four years, which consisted of the housing bubble, the market was heavily in favor of buyers and saw surpluses of housing between 7.3 and 9.6 month’s supply, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Furthermore, lending restrictions are much tighter than those that existed fifteen years ago. In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became law with its eye toward consumer protection and a reform of the lending industry, especially riddance of predatory lenders. In general, those who are approved for a mortgage in 2022 are much more qualified than those approved even a dozen years ago. Finally, negative equity in the national housing industry has reached its lowest level over this same period of time. Much fewer homeowners are underwater than were during the housing bubble.

The future of housing post pandemic is not scary. Actually, 2023 will probably resemble 2019 more than it will last year. Inventory will bounce back, but that might take a year or two. The immediate future for sellers does pose a threat to them receiving top dollar for their investment. “There’s a little insanity in our market right now,” maintains Amy L. Kiesinger Bohenek, an Associate Broker with Realty Network Group. “Listing agents are faced with multiple showings and offers, sometimes over asking price. The appraisal process can be cause for a headache from time-to-time too. When a home doesn’t appraise, where does that leave both parties, especially the seller?” Despite this, the window for bidding wars and high price appreciation is closing. Despite climbing mortgage rates, demand for housing remains strong. Price appreciation will continue to trend up, albeit home prices shouldn’t be in the neighborhood of 18%, like much of last year. Sellers in our region should act sooner than later if they want to take advantage of this market they find themselves firmly entrenched.

Buyers must hang in there if they have a desire to pursue real estate anytime soon. The question remains, how can you sit tight when your purchasing power appears to be vanishing? Homebuyers have seen the average thirty-year fixed mortgage rate increase to roughly 5.3%, which is about 2% higher than it was at the beginning of the year. Many first-time buyers are already struggling to get their foot in the door and compete with others, including investors. Higher rates, for those who require a mortgage, generally mean they’ll have less to contribute toward a monthly payment. That’s why it’s important for buyers to have a plan, stick to a budget and know what they can afford.

In addition to the factors listed above, real estate in Northeastern Pennsylvania continues to have affordability as its ally. Year-to-date, the median home sales price is $179,000 (up 7.7% from the previous year).* New listings are down slightly, but inventory is expected to pick up. The groundwork for homes to appreciate at a slightly slower pace with small improvements in inventory is being laid. With an increase in buyer and seller competition that’s sure to come this spring and summer, being too conservative, will surely impact homeowners thinking about selling.

 

* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®

Homeowners are incentivized to sell, if they’re in a position to do so, as we set sights on the spring housing market. It’s no surprise that last year was a stellar year for homebuying and selling. Unfortunately, many were left on the sidelines, especially first-time buyers who only had FHA loan approval or were relying on a more limited down-payment as they pursued homeownership. Often investors beat first-timers to the punch, swooping in and snatching up available homes for sale. The challenges still exist. You need only ask those who are still looking to buy.

Persistent low supplies, even locally, have driven up home prices. Fueling the fire was 2021 with its record-breaking growth in the housing sector. Appreciation in home prices was high at the start of the year and accelerated even higher by year’s end. “Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021,” which was more than double the prior year.

Sellers who can afford to sell, and we use that term “afford” loosely, should do so. If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling, is there a better time of the year to put your property on the market? Is there an optimal time to sell? Is there a month or a very specific time of the year where a seller would be in a better position than if he/she waited? These are great questions. New and sold listings in our market will shed some light on this discussion.

New Listings in the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®
2021 2019 2018
February 172 244 228
March 267 324 320
April 330 400 364
May 387 432 448
June 374 381 434
July 368 360 387
August 397 331 353
September 329 329 313

*GSBR statistics 2018-2021

Sold Listings in the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®
2021 2019 2018
February 157 159 138
March 243 180 187
April 248 203 168
May 262 250 258
June 312 240 214
July 294 270 240
August 313 265 285
September 298 228 225

*GSBR statistics 2018-2021

The COVID-filled year of 2020 was a tale of two markets, an extremely silent one as well as a vigorous one beginning in June of that year, and therefore, we skipped it for obvious reasons. But the patterns of three of the last four years show a trend. New listings entering the market peaked in May/June and sales hit their highs in July/August. And this correlation between sales and listings is logical with an estimated forty-five to sixty days to close for properties in our market.

It might be advantageous for prospective sellers to circle the month of March on their calendars. Next month you say? Yes, March is the perfect time to list! ATTOM data would also suggest March or perhaps even April is the best time to put your home on the market. May and June experience the highest returns for those looking to make a profit in selling their property. But don’t sweat it, if you’re not ready to go in March or April, you might be able to catch some of that buyer activity during the summer months.

We would caution anyone looking to sell though as home price appreciation may begin to taper as this year comes to a close. The median home price was almost 12% higher than it was a year ago and that should continue short-term, according to realtor.com’s chief economist. But many forecasters believe a plunge in home prices is coming by year’s end. Sellers who are on the fence, should act soon. In fact, next month might just be the perfect month!

Give a warm welcome to our newest real estate professional, Valerie Altier! She brings into our market a wealth of knowledge from the business and accounting fields. As a graduate of Penn State University, Valerie managed an accounting firm and also worked as the chief administrative officer at a local tech company. Her background in this field coupled with her passion for real estate, has our company, Realty Network Group, even more excited for connecting buyers and sellers in 2022.

Though this is the start of something new, Valerie has always found real estate interesting and has been involved in the ebb and flow of the industry through her husband’s investments, home construction and sales over the past twenty-five years. “We’re excited to welcome an agent who is both a true professional, who loves our region, as well as someone who’s dedicated to her family,” expressed Mark DeStefano, CEO of Realty Network Group.

Valerie enjoys spending time with family and friends. She loves to travel. Her work ethic, business skill sets and life experiences position her well for what she’ll encounter in real estate. “One thing I’m looking forward to the most in this business is its uniqueness,” proclaims Valerie. “Each client is one-of-a-kind. Every home is different. Each day is extraordinary.” Having lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her entire life, Valerie can point her clients in the right direction, navigating them through various neighborhoods and school districts available to them. “Seeking out that feeling of comfort or home is paramount to buyers and it is important to me as well,” exclaimed Valerie. “I certainly discovered that feeling at Realty Network Group. It’s reputation, size and support were some of the things that attracted me to this firm.”

Are you looking to buy or sell? Valerie Altier will listen to your needs and help you achieve your objectives by discovering properties that may even surpass your expectations. Get started by calling Valerie today at 570-702-1104 or via [email protected].

Theresa DeMario Plisko becomes the newest addition to join Realty Network Group. As someone who has more or less lived her whole life in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Theresa knows the communities and markets well within this region. Though she excels in areas such as Moosic, Taylor and Old Forge, she looks forward to assisting homebuyers and sellers throughout the Greater Scranton area as well.

Over the past five years, Theresa has grown into her role as a successful REALTOR®. Prior to that she worked with her husband’s construction company for over twenty-five years. Through this experience, she understands how to coach sellers to effectively list and buyers on what to look for when searching for a home. “The reward in this business comes when my clients discover what they’re looking for,” exclaims Theresa. “The timetable varies from person to person, but the important thing I like them to remember is we’ll achieve our goals if we take it one step at time.” To her buyers, she reviews the pros and cons of homes presently on the market. To her sellers, she’ll have candid conversations about pricing, staging, among other things, even if it’s not what they want to hear.

Theresa’s approach to real estate over the years has defined her together with how she cares about her clients and their investments. She has many other strengths, including an understanding of market trends, effectively pricing a home, curb appeal, home construction, home staging and design. “I sought out a company with a strong reputation, who is respected among my peers,” underscored Theresa. “This was one of the reasons I became part of Realty Network Group. They’re a smaller company, which has similar camaraderie to the real estate business I first worked with, The Agency Real Estate Group.”

Real estate is the perfect match for agents like Theresa, who truly enjoy pairing buyers with properties that make sense for them and their families. Buying a home is a huge investment and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, choose a real estate professional who is easy to work with and who has the expertise to deliver the results you’re seeking. Contact Theresa DeMario Plisko today at 570-851-8511 or via email at [email protected].

Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR®, Lisa Armetta, looks forward to the demands of today’s real estate market. Lisa has lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her whole life. She understands the region, the culture, but most especially its inhabitants. “Our community is loaded with hidden treasures, including its people,” attests Lisa. “Locals need an advocate who will act (when need be) and guide them through the real estate search, transaction and beyond.”

With over thirty years experience in all facets of the restaurant and bar industry, Lisa understands firsthand how to treat clients well. Repeat business has always been extremely important to her! When customers come back, time and time again, it says something about your business: your product and your personal brand. Leaning upon her achievements in managing thriving area businesses, her focus now has shifted. Running a successful real estate business is her goal.

It’s important to work with professionals who understand how daunting the purchase of a home or business can be — it’s a large investment, to say the least. Lisa recognizes how vital it is for those involved to be comfortable with their purchase. Her wish is for her clients to not only see the property for what it is, but also be able to experience it for what it could be, its potential, a reflection of them.

“I chose Realty Network Group because it’s a small business, who’s very involved in our community,” asserts Lisa. “They have a wonderful reputation for supporting their agents and their clients. I’ve spent most of my career building small businesses, where people are family. I desired a company who was inline with that philosophy. My hope is to help prospective buyers find the right property to build their ‘family,’ even if it’s a business one, and help sellers find the right buyer.”

Being involved in real estate over the years, Lisa has a good understanding of potential setbacks for buyers and sellers. Forward-thinking is essential in this business. When Lisa sees opportunity for her and her clients, she acts. She’s an achiever, who will work tirelessly for her clients’ needs. She’s ready for the challenges that lie ahead in this market as well as the next one.

Seeking the services of a professional, but you’re hesitant because of a prior bad experience? If you’re thinking about making a move in 2021, call Lisa Armetta today at 570-840-1793 or via email at [email protected].

Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR® is a native of the Scranton area and currently resides in Eynon. “I understand that where you live and who you represent are most important,” describes Michael Turlip. “These values have been instrumental in my life and continue to guide my endeavors.” Mike Turlip graduated from the University of Scranton in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. From there he served in the U.S. Army for four years as a Military Policeman. In January of 2002, he was deployed to Afghanistan following the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Upon returning, he completed an overseas tour in Europe, serving as a member of NATO at the Supreme Allied Headquarters in Belgium. His experience in the military has instilled in him what it means to sacrifice and serve others. In 2005, he was accepted to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey, Pennsylvania. For the past sixteen years, Mike has continued to serve the public as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

“My experience in public service has embodied the principles that we as Americans should strive for every opportunity we can,” emphasizes Mike. “I’m thankful for my experience and wish to utilize this drive, which has developed from my military background, in order to be successful. My success will translate to success for my clients and that’s my priority.” Mike understands how central buyers and sellers are to real estate in 2021. He grasps the connection between homeowners, investors and tenants far greater than most real estate professionals who are beginning to grow their business.

Mike has always had an affinity for real estate. Eight years ago, he purchased his first investment property. “I think real estate has always offered me a challenge that intrigues me,” asserts Mike. Whether it’s buying a fixer-upper and transforming it back to a neighborhood treasure or investing in rental properties that provide affordable, well-maintained housing to those in the community, the growth of his portfolio has meant more to him than sheer assets. Investing in our community is foremost, and coupled with his passion to serve others. As a real estate professional, Mike fully intends to provide his clients with knowledgeable service, based on his experience, while taking into consideration their real estate goals.

For the past two decades, Mike has served in some of the most prestigious organizations in the country. The principles conveyed through them, led him to Realty Network Group. This company takes pride in serving its clients well and adheres to the highest standards in the real estate community. Loyalty and service to those we represent coincide with his values as a veteran and a State Trooper. He looks forward to applying these same principles to assist and meet all of his clients’ real estate needs.

If you’re seeking the services of a real estate professional who is dedicated to finding your forever home or selling your current one, contact Michael Turlip today directly at 570-290-4421 or via email at [email protected].

More than five years ago, we featured our top five pizza destinations in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And while much has changed since then, many of the same staples remain within our region. (Sauce, cheese and crust… It’s not that complicated, right?!) Actually, there are many styles and flavors of pizza in our area. If you don’t believe us, ask locals what their favorite pizza is and you’ll be amazed by the responses you’ll receive.

Northeastern Pennsylvania is home to some of the best pizza. Is there better pizza in America than what you’ll discover in the Pizza Capital of Pennsylvania? Absolutely (maybe New Haven, Connecticut?), but NEPA has a distinctly unique taste and variation to their pie (or trays as some may describe them) that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Barstool Sports founder and notorious pizza aficionado, David Portnoy, even made the trip into NEPA last year to give his opinion on Old Forge style pizza in addition to some well-known pizza spots in Wilkes-Barre, Exeter and Scranton.

Tour some of our favorites, especially during Lent, and let us know which ones we missed.

NEPA Pizza Hotspots (in no particular order):

Pizza L’Oven – Exeter
Colarusso’s Coal Fire Pizza – Dickson City
Arcaro & Genell – Old Forge
Angelo’s Pizza – Wilkes-Barre
Pizza Perfect – Trucksville
Maroni’s Pizza – West Scranton
Sabatini’s Pizza – Exeter
Gerry’s Pizzeria – Wilkes-Barre
Cebula’s Pizza – Dupont
Senape’s Tavern – Hazleton
Andy’s Pizza – Peckville
A Little Pizza Heaven – Scranton
Shelley’s Pizza – Luzerne
Rosario’s – Clarks Summit
Mariano’s La Puccia – Exeter

Check out NEPA Pizza Review. They do a fantastic job of reviewing some of the best and new pizza our region has to offer.

Honorable mentions:

Cali’s Don Tomaso – Dunmore
Two Guys From Italy – Factoryville
Cusumano – Old Forge
Pizza By Pappas – Scranton
Duke’s Pizza – Dunmore
Colarusso’s Cafe – Clarks Summit
Brick Oven Pizzeria – Scranton
Calabria Pizza – Dunmore
Germana’s Pizzeria – Nicholson
Amadeo’s – Moosic
Mary Lou’s Pizza – Old Forge

 

[Updated June 10, 2022]

 

See out latest pizza post here.

Alice Manley is the newest agent to join forces with Realty Network Group. She infuses thirty years of sales expertise with an interest and passion for matching up buyers and sellers. Connecting both parties in a real estate transaction is more than a science. There’s an art to marketing homes or leading buyers in pursuit of theirs. Alice’s vast experience in media and hospitality are added advantages for her and her clients.

Alice will be a valuable asset to the firm as she brings a strong work ethic and a motivation to succeed into the field. She has a desire to work hard for her clients understanding that sometimes you don’t get a second chance to sell for the best price, terms and conditions as trends change. She’s also committed to homebuyers as they begin what will be a remarkable journey toward homeownership! She’s driven to succeed, realizing her successes will be victories for her clients too. Another strength for Alice is her problem-solving abilities. She has an uncanny sense for stopping issues in their tracks and moving toward a resolution that’s acceptable to everyone involved, especially her buyers/sellers.

“If it doesn’t feel right, we’ll search until it does,” expresses Alice. Her words to buyers never ring truer than they do now in a seller’s market. “Your ‘forever home’ wraps you in comfort like an old blanket, gives you refuge during difficult days and is always waiting for you after a long journey. Everyone deserves this and I look forward to bringing this experience to others.”

Alice has lived her entire life in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She loves all the area has to offer, including its seasons, natural landscapes and close-knit communities. She hopes those moving into the region or growing into it can have these experiences as well. “It’s an exciting time in real estate in NEPA,” underscores Alice. “I chose Realty Network Group because of a working relationship I had with one of its owners. It was knowing this person that attracted me to the company. I was certain of the value, integrity and respect I would find there. Furthermore, they train each new REALTOR®, like myself, which was incredibly important to me.”

Are you seeking the services of a real estate professional who’s extremely motivated and will work hard for your interests? Contact Alice Manley now at 570-954-3701 or via email at [email protected].

It’s another first for our firm: RealtyNetwork.net is the first real estate website in the Greater Scranton area to be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

Our company is making finding your next home even easier! Those who have visual, auditory, mobility or cognitive impairments will find our website, with its new accessibility menu, of huge benefit. Access to this menu is found on every page along the right edge of our site (see image below).

“[W]hile technology has the potential to create a more inclusive future, it has also created further barriers. With technology so embedded in our lives, digital accessibility isn’t something that would be nice to have, but is a right for everyone.”

These barriers (i.e. homebuyers not properly being able to access information in real-time) are what Realty Network Group is seeking to eliminate for each and every individual who enters our platform. Furthermore, the ADA accessibility menu could even be utilized by consumers who don’t have any impairments. “This new tool on our website affirms we’re committed to easing concerns for buyers and sellers, who are actively pursuing real estate,” emphasizes Greg Solfanelli, Director of Marketing & Consumer Experience at Realty Network Group. “It’s another reason why I believe our clients continue to trust us. We understand how important compliance is in our business, not only for our professionals, but also for our clients and their assets.”

Realty Network Group’s website continues to lead the way in Northeastern Pennsylvania. ADA compliance is another step in the right direction.

 

 

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. It was created in an effort to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and ensure accessibility to all individuals, regardless of their physical limitations. Now, thirty years later, our world has changed tremendously, especially in regard to technology. Now more than ever, ADA compliance expands far beyond a simple handrail or parking space. It encompasses all public-facing entities, which includes most websites.”