Real Estate Market

Central Pennsylvania Real Estate Report

Mortgage Rates

mortgage rates

Freddy Mac reports that mortgage rates staying low. Here are the national averages for mortgage rates during the week ending Oct. 6:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.42 percent, with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.76 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.72 percent, with an average 0.5 point, also unchanged from last week’s average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.99 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.80 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 2.81 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.88 percent.

With rates like this, is it time for you to buy a home? If so, just hit reply to get started!

Fall: Best Season For Planting Trees That Boost Home And Community Value

planting a tree

Planting a tree is an investment in the future, according to a Greek proverb: "A society grows great when old men plant trees under whose shade they never expect to sit." But did you know planting trees around your home is also an investment in your real estate value and the value of your neighborhood? Or, that it's one best made not in the season of new life, spring, but in the fall as winter approaches?

Most Americans say they would - and in fact do - pay more for a home with trees in the yard, according to a Wakefield Research survey sponsored by the Alliance for Community Trees, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation. On average, Americans pay 18 percent more for a house with trees in the yard, and 79 percent say they feel trees define their neighborhood's character. Nearly three quarters say they would never move to a neighborhood that didn't have trees.

"The presence of trees in a neighborhood is as important to homebuyers as proximity to good schools, accessibility to shopping and entertainment, and commutability to work," says Dana Karcher, Alliance for Community Trees program manager. "But the value of trees goes far beyond beautifying a neighborhood. Planting trees helps on a local and global scale by reducing air pollution, controlling storm water runoff and even mitigating climate change."

If you're considering planting a tree or two this fall, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • While spring may be the best time to plant flowers and vegetables, fall is the optimum season for planting trees. In spring, trees don't have enough time to grow deep roots before summer heat hits. Fall means warm soil, wetter weather and cooler air that promote root growth, helping a newly planted tree get established before the weather turns cold and the ground freezes.
  • Mid-August through mid-October is the best time to plant a tree in northern and cooler locations. In warmer areas, like the south, you may be able to plant well into November. Talk to your local nursery or an arborist to determine the best planting window where you live. Planting these types of trees in fall means they'll be well established when next spring's growing season arrives.
  • Some types of trees need longer to become established, while others need less time. Look for trees that don't require a lengthy growing period before they can withstand harsher temperatures. Options include ash, crabapple, hawthorn, elm, linden, maple, sycamore, pines and spruces. Not sure what to plant? The Arbor Day Foundation offers an online tree selection tool to help you understand what trees will grow best in your region.
  • Trees are prepared for planting in three ways - bare root, containerized and balled and burlap. The best methods for planting trees will be based on how the roots look. Bare root trees have completely exposed roots, and you'll need to soak the roots before planting. Bare root trees tend to grow faster than those in containers. Plants from nurseries often come in containers that need to be removed before you plant the tree. Root balls are typically wrapped in burlap, which must also be removed when you plant the tree.

To learn more about the benefits of planting trees and how to care for your trees, visit (BPT)

The Smart Traveler's Guide To Affordable Autumn Travel

fall travel

Are you in need of a vacation but would rather skip the cost and the crowds during the busy travel months? You're in luck; fall is considered the shoulder season at destinations across the country, which means you can relax and enjoy America's beauty without breaking the bank.

Shoulder seasons are travel enthusiasts' best-kept secret. Autumn, falling right between the busier summer vacation period and end-of-the-year holidays, offers plenty of affordable options. So give into your wanderlust and start planning with these travel tips for an amazing fall getaway.

1. Watch the weather

When deciding on a destination for fall travel, be sure to research the weather. In some locales, fall is the rainy season. In others, fall is simply an extension of summer. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is the perfect example. Temperate weather and warm ocean water, paired with fewer travelers, makes this a prime destination for autumn adventures.

If you're craving fall colors, explore regions with sunny days and crisp nights. National parks are a wonderful option, as they're celebrating the centennial of the National Parks System throughout 2016. Check out Yosemite or Arcadia National Park, both well-known for fantastic fall foliage. Wherever you go, remember fall weather can be fickle. Be sure to select a location with a reliable climate.

2. Analyze accommodations

The shoulder season brings fewer crowds, which means not only a less stressful trip, but also less costly accommodations. Researching location-specific websites, like, you will discover many great options, from beach-side bungalows to chic city condos.

Resort costs often drop during autumn months, but so do the costs of private accommodations. House rentals may be the right home-away-from-home for you. Bonus: You might even have some negotiating power during the slow months.

3. Explore eateries

The fall provides a bounty of fresh flavors in regions throughout the country, making this time ideal for foodies or anyone who simply enjoys a scrumptious meal. Some destinations offer "stay and dine" deals to highlight local cuisine at an incredible price, so do your research and make reservations early.

If you want the food to be a central theme throughout your trip but don't want to battle for a table every night, seek destinations with a new or revitalized culinary scene. Underground foodies are flocking to Myrtle Beach, home to many up-and-coming chefs offering diverse flavors that will awaken and surprise your palate, such as liquid nitrogen tuna at The Chemist, Low Country egg rolls at 2nd Avenue Pier, or mango gazpacho at Chive Blossom.

The secret's out: fall may just be the ideal time for a vacation. Because you'll get more for less, you may just make it an annual tradition. (BPT)