Things To Do Near State College, Pennsylvania – October 2013

Looking for something to do in State College, Pennsylvania?

Check out the upcoming events in October…

State College Farmers Market

When: October 1st – October 29th [1130am-530pm]

Where: Locust Lane, Downtown, State College

Price: FREE

What: A producer only Farmers Market featuring 14 vendors selling fresh produce, meats, dairy products, baked goods, soaps, flowers, crafts, perennial, annual, herb, and houseplants, and more.

For more information click here!

 

Beaver Stadium Tours – Parents & Family Weekend

When: October 4th – October 6th [Fri. 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM; Sat. 11:00 AM. 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM & Sun 9:00 AM , 11:00 AM]

Where: Penn State All-Sports Museum

Price: $15 for adults, $10 for Museum friends, students, children, and seniors

What: The Penn State All-Sports Museum has announced its Beaver Stadium tour schedule, which includes Alumni Weekend, Arts Fest weekend and Parents Weekend. Beaver Stadium tours include the media room, home locker room, tunnel and field, as well as recruiting and club areas.

For more information click here!

 

Penn’s Cave Flashlight Tours

When: October 4th – October 25th [6pm]

Where: Penn’s Cave

Price: Reservations are not required, but are recommended.

What:  We’re excited to offer our NEW “Friday Fall Flashlight Tour” of Penn’s Cave (this will replace our Halloween Glow Tour), which will be offered every Friday evening in October at 6:00 p.m. (Beginning October 4th).  This tour will include a ride out onto Lake Nittanee (weather permitting).

For more information click here!

 

Cycle-Thon & 5K

When: October 5th [10am]

Where: Chambers Building

Price: $15-25

What: The College of Education at Penn State University is organizing a Cycle-Thon and 5k Run/Walk to benefit our Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (SCOPE). This is Cycle-Thon’s seventh year and all proceeds go to the SCOPE program. The 5k and 9 mile bike race will start and end at Chambers Building at University Park campus. We hope to see you there!

For more information click here!

 

Oktoberfest

When: October 4th – October 5th [Friday from 1 pm to 11 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm]

Where: VFW Carnival Grounds

Price: FREE
What: Mifflinburg’s Oktoberfest will begin Friday, October 4 with a Volksmarch at noon with the festival officially opening at 1 pm lasting until 11 pm. Saturday, October 5, Oktoberfest will be from 11 am to 10 pm. German beer, German style wine, German food and American festival favorites, German dancing and music and competitions. See website for schedule of events.

For more information click here!

 

Lincoln Caverns 30th Annual Haunted Cave & Trail

When: October 4th – October 26th [Fridays 6:00pm – 10:00pm & Saturdays 11:00 am – 10:00 pm]

Where: Lincoln Caverns

What:  With 26 years of haunted tour experience and expertise behind them, Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks, near Huntingdon, is busy with preparations for their 30th Annual Ghosts & Goblins Tours.  “Pennsylvania’s most unique haunted house and trail” provides scares, laughs, and even some cave education to thousands of visitors each year.

For more information click here!

Penn State Vs Michigan

When: Saturday October 12th 5PM


Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park PA

CRPR Scarecrow – STUFF IT!

When: Sunday October 20th 2PM

Where: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

Price: $20 Per Scarecrow

What: Gather your supplies (old clothes) and let your imaginations soar as you plan to build the best Guardian of the Garden! We provide straw, string and bags only; you provide the rest! Bring your crew & create your scarecrow. Event rules: (to be posted)
• Entry Fee: $20 per scarecrow. All proceeds will benefit the nature center.
• Each team leader should pre-register their family, company or group:
Program #34030 by 5 PM on Fri. Oct. 11. Registration Options
• Held in the Picnic Pavilion area at MMNC.
• Open to all ages! Spectators are also welcomed!
• Rain Plans: (TBA)

For more information click here!

Fall Harvest Festival Featuring Children’s Halloween Trail

When: October 26th – October 27th [10AM]

Where: Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

What: Come celebrate autumn with Shaver’s Creek at the Fall Harvest Festival! Enjoy great music and storytelling, fun nature activities, delicious local food for sale, and the ever-popular Children’s Halloween Trail. Members may purchase tickets for the Children’s Halloween Trail beginning September 18th by calling 814-863-2000. Non-member ticket sales begin September 25th.

For more information click here!

2013 Halloween Costume Parade

When: Sunday October 27th [630PM]

Where: N Burrowes St Off W College Avenue

What:  A FREE fall family tradition . . . the 2013 Centre Region Halloween Costume Parade. Centre Region Parks & Recreation and the State College Lions Club will cosponsor the parade through downtown State College.

The parade forms on N. Burrowes St. off W. College Avenue (beside the PSU steam plant) starting at 6:30 PM with step-off promptly at 7:00 PM. Costume judging takes place at Memorial Field by the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. Treats will be provided by the S.C. Lions Club.

Please choose from one of the following costume categories: • Halloween Tiny Tots (ages 2 & under) • Cartoon Characters • Witches & Monsters • Fairy Tale Characters • Ghosts & Goblins • TV / Movie Characters • Animals on Parade • Halloween Twosome • Groups (3 or more) • Open Class. Watch for the group signs as you walk up Burrowes St., then join in!

For more information click here!

Trick Or Treat Night in the Centre Region

When: Thursday October 21st [6pm-8pm]

Where: Centre Region

What: The official Centre Region Trick-or-Treat Night is proposed for Thursday. Oct. 31, 2013 from 6-8 PM. Once approved by each municipality, this official designation will apply to the Borough of State College and the Townships of College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton. The “Trick or Treat Night” schedule is coordinated regionally and annually set by an action of each municipality.

Way Fruit Farm Fall Festival

When: October 12th & 13th [9am]

Where: Way Fruit Farm, Port Matilda PA

What: Every year Way Fruit Farm hosts a Fall Festival on the 2nd and 3rd Saturday’s of October, from 9am-4pm. The Festival is a great time to come out with family or friends and take a free wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch and pick just the pumpkin you want. There is also numerous other things to do at the festival. There is an apple slingshot, over a dozen crafters, a petting zoo and other activities to enjoy. Food is provided by a local Lions Club and baked goods including apple dumplings are available. The best part of it all is that 10% of all the earning’s on both Saturday’s will go to an orphange in the Dominican Republic. So come in join us this October in this annual tradition and have a great time with your family and friends.

For more information click here!

 

3rd Annual Fall Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival

When: October 19th [10am-5pm]

Where: Bald Eagle State Park

Price: FREE

What: The Howard Volunteer Fire Company will hold the 3rd Annual Fall Punkin’ Chunkin” Festival on October 19,2013 at the Bald Eagle State Park, Howard, Pa.  The Festival will run from 10am to 5pm.  Planned events include food vendors, craft vendors, bands, square dancers, a pie-eating contest, hayrides and Punkin’ Chunkin’ !!!  Trebuchets will launch pumpkins through the air at speeds of nearly 100 mph!!!  The Pumpkins will try to hit targets which will be floating in the Park lake.  Free Admission…Free Parking.  Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the day!

For more information click here!

Fall Fest As Wassom Farm

When: October 12th & October 13th

Where: Wassom Farm, State College PA

What: This years Fall Fest will take place on October 12th and 13th. Come out for a day of family fun! Like in the past you can take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, navigate your way through our corn maze, sit down and enjoy a bowl of our homemade soups, and pick up a jar of apple butter to take home with you.

 

Philipsburg Harvest Fest

When: October 26th [10am-6pm]

Where: Philipsburg Towers, Front Street, Philipsburg

What: Parade at Noon, Events 10am – 6pm, Downtown Philipsburg

For more information click here!

8 Questions To Ask Your Realtor Before Selling

Before you sell your home, there are a few things that you need to go over with your real estate agent. Selling a home is not an easy task, so it is important to make sure that you have a competent real estate agent, who is familiar with the area, and who has a good plan for marketing and selling your home. Here are eight questions to ask your real estate agent before you list your home for sale…

 

  1. Why should I list my home with you? The real estate market these days is much different than it was even 10 years ago, so it’s important to make sure that your real estate agent is competent, understands the market, and knows how to sell a home in today’s world.

  2. What is your company’s track record and reputation in the marketplace? Some of this research you can do online, but it is very important to figure out what their record is for selling homes that are comparable to yours in your area. This is a very specific piece of information that you will need to talk to an agent about. Basically, you want to find out whether or not they will be able to sell your home for a fair price.

  3. What are your marketing plans for my home? Figure out where your agent will be listing your home for sale. Top real estate listing websites such as Trulia, Zillow, and RealBird are almost a must for successful listings. Additionally, your home should be marketed by a “for sale” sign in your yard as well as in print, such as in local newspapers.

  4. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price? Again, this is specific information that you will have to get from the agent. Ask how often their homes have to undergo a price reduction before selling, and whether or not previous clients have been happy with the price their home sold for.

  5. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell? You want to make sure that your agent can sell your home in a timely manner, or by a certain deadline if you have one (for work purposes, etc.)

  6. How many buyers are you currently working with? Typically, agents who work with buyers will have a better chance of selling your home quickly, but you want to make sure that the agent isn’t overloaded with too many clients.

  7. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact? It is important that your agent provides you with a reference list so that you can talk to previous clients and get a good idea of what working with this agent will be like.

  8. What happens if I’m not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold? If, for some reason, you are unhappy with the real estate agent’s attempts to sell your home, what are your contractual obligations to him or her?

Advantages To Buying A Home With Cash

 

Making a cash offer on a home eliminates the need for bidding wars and gives peace of mind to the buyer and the seller. Here’s why:

If you’re in the market to buy a new home, you may have heard about some of the advantages of buying a home outright with cash. According to research by the National Association of Realtors®, almost a third of all residential sales are cash transactions and more than 70% of properties bought by investors and international buyers are cash transactions as well. So, you may be wondering, what exactly are the advantages to buying a home with cash and how can I make a cash offer?

Preparing yourself to be able to make a cash offer on a home requires patience and self-control. Follow these tips to increase your chances of being able to purchase a home with cash:

  • Set aside any unexpected money that comes in (inheritances, bonuses from work, etc.).

  • Lock your money in a long-term CD to earn interest.

  • Look for homes that you can afford with the money you have (the goal is to not have to borrow).

  • Homes outside of the city limits are likely to be cheaper-look there.

  • Manage your spending habits; don’t make impulse purchases.

  • Ask your family and friends for support and help to keep you spending smart.

Here are just some of the advantages to purchasing a property with cash:

  1. Most sellers favor buyers who can offer cash payment. Sellers don’t have to worry about a cash buyer being approved for loans, so it’s a very reliable choice for the seller. Plus, a cash transaction means a quicker and smoother sale. So, cash buyers have greater negotiating power on price, closing time, repairs, and more.

  2. Some sellers will discount the cost of the property if the buyer pays in full, upfront, with cash.

  3. When using cash, and not a loan, the home-buying process is quickened and becomes much easier for both parties. Without loans, there are no stacks of paperwork to fill out and you don’t run the risk of being delayed for approval.

  4. Cash buyers can save money on closing costs, bank appraisals, mortgage applications and fees, title insurance, and more.

  5. There is no risk of loan denial with cash purchases.

  6. Mortgage interest on a typical 30-year loan can double or even triple the original purchase price of a home. Cash buyers don’t have to pay interest on any loans, so they end up paying much less for their homes in the long run.

  7. Cash buyers are able to save valuable time by eliminating the need to search for the optimal lender (which can be hard to find) and gather the necessary documents for the lender.

  8. Cash buyers have a better sense of security about their home. Paying in full and upfront eliminates the chance of losing your home if you can’t afford to repay mortgage loans. Losing a job, becoming injured, or facing other hardships doesn’t affect the cash buyer’s sense of security-no matter what the circumstances, there is never the risk of losing the home to foreclosure.

  9. Cash buyers gain full, immediate, excellent equity in their home. In the case of any type of financial emergency, homeowners can draw on that equity for quick cash.

  10. Cash buyers are able to avoid mortgage applications, which can often prevent a buyer from being able to afford the home. This can happen when a low appraisal of the home causes the lender to reduce the loan amount offer to the buyer, making it impossible for the buyer to afford the home.

When a buyer purchases a home up front with cash, both they and the seller benefit. Financially and emotionally, cash transactions are beneficial to everyone involved in the transaction. Cash transactions save time and money and allow homeowners to be more secure in their purchase. Cash transactions can, in many cases, take away a lot of the uncertainty associated with buying and selling a home.

For more information on the advantages of buying a home with cash, read the original article from Realtor.com here.

Things To Do Near State College, PA – August 2013

As the summer comes to an end, you’re trying to make the most of the weather before it turns cold again. With the plethora of events this month, you won’t find yourself with a shortage of events to attend or participate in. Here are some things going on in State College this month.

 

2nd Annual FarmFest

When: August 2, 4:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

Head out to the Grange Fair Grounds for this fun, free community-building event. Soak up the educational opportunities, local foods, lively entertainment and interactive family activities.

 

Boot Camp for Kids Registration

When: August 3, 8:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Admission: $30

This summer day camp is designed for boys and girls ages 8 to 13. There will be three training stations that the kids will experience throughout the day: marching/military etiquette, land navigation and physical training. The camp will be lead by prior service soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

 

Family Fun Night at Park Forest “Pool-o-Ween”

When: August 7, 5:00 p.m.

Admission: Free with a season pass

This event is perfect for the whole family! There will be games, prizes and theme music, so come out and enjoy the fun. The Park Forrest Pool will stay open until 9:00 p.m. on event nights.

The Chatelaine, Perfect for Ag Progress Visitors

When: August 13th – 15th

Happy Valley’s rich agricultural heritage and its leadership role in ag innovation are on full display August 13-15 at Ag Progress Days. In addition to more than 350 exhibitors, livestock, and machinery demos, there’s fun for the whole family with children’s activities, food booths , mini-golf and a talking robot! If you’re visiting for this unique event, reserve your accommodations at The Chatelaine B&B, located right on State Route 45 in Pine Grove Mills. The vintage farmhouse built in 1841offers beautiful simplicity on the inside and all the natural wonder of Happy Valley outside, where the closest neighbors are the free-grazing cows and the wild turkeys who emerge from the woods at the base of Tussey Mountain. Reserve your room today for Ag Progress Days, Penn State football weekends or any time of the year.

 

 

State College Spikes vs. Mahoning Valley Scrappers

When: August 14, 7:05 p.m.

Admission: Starting at $12

You can either bring the whole family, your friends or your special someone to enjoy a ball game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Head out to watch America’s greatest pastime and hopefully bring home a win!

 

State College Brew Expo

When: August 17, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Admission: $40-$60

This is the perfect way to spend a date night or just a night out with friends. The Tussey Mountain Resort is hosting over 50 brewers with VIP sessions and educational seminars. The event will also feature food vendors and live music.

The Grange Fair

When: August 22nd – 29th

Admission: General Admission Season Ticket $15.00 (Ages 11 and under FREE), Single Admission – One Day $6.00 (On sale starting Aug. 22). Vehicle – Day (On sale starting Aug. 22) $6.00, Vehicle – Weekly $16.00

“A Family Tradition” — The Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair, better known as “The Grange Fair,” is Aug. 22 – 29, 2013. The Grange Fair is a city within a town, as campers “move into” the Grange Park in Centre Hall, PA to live for more than a week. Come for the concerts, the rides, the amazing food, the games, and the competitions. But you’ll come on back for the experience of being in one of the most uniquely friendly “hometowns” in America…at the Great Grange Fair!

 

For more information on events that you can attend this month, visit here.

 

Hiring A Home Improvement Contractor

Home improvement projects tend to be ones that linger over time.  When your budget is tight, they get put on the back burner and aren’t seen as a necessity.  Because of this, there are a lot of contractors out there who are hungry for work; however, finding the right one for your project may be difficult.

Here are a few tips to remember in your process of finding the right home improvement contractor.

Ask for Referrals from Friends and Family

Personally asking your friends and family is probably the easiest way to find a home improvement contractor.  You will be able to hear their honest opinions and see the work of the contractor first-hand.

Using social media is also a really easy way to find a contractor.  Take your search to Facebook and ask for referrals and images of projects completed.  Who knows, you might find great options without having to look very hard.

Check the Contractor’s References

If a potential contractor has a list of references that is miles long, that is a good sign.  Depending on how long they’ve been in the business, they are bound to have a number of happy customers.  Contact a few of the references on the list to see how their home improvement projects went and if they were happy with the outcome.

Come to an Agreement

Come to an agreement with your contractor and have it in writing.  Having a formal agreement can prevent a big issue if something goes wrong down the road. For example, if the contractor doesn’t complete the project on time or doesn’t pay for supplies, then you will have a signed document to refer to that states whose responsibility it is to cover the fees.

When to Avoid a Home Improvement Contractor

The abundance of contactors is great for homeowners interested in improving their homes.  But how do you distinguish between the good and the bad?  If a contractor wants to skip the process of obtaining a permit, that’s a red flag.  Any major home improvement project legally requires a building permit, and inspectors will check the work throughout the process as well as at the end. Hiring a contractor who doesn’t want a permit just shows you that he doesn’t want his work inspected by someone else.

Also avoid a contractor who sought you out or demands to be paid in cash, this sounds like an obvious statement; however, when people are excited to improve their home, this isn’t something that is considered.  Ultimately, the most important thing you can do is use your best judgment; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Home improvement projects can bring a lot of value to your home.  It should be exciting and rewarding; so find a contractor you love to make your project a positive experience.

For more information on finding a home improvement contractor that you will love, visit here.

Who Pays Closing Costs?

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are a mix of fees from the lender, title company, real estate agent, etc. Depending on your situation, what is included in your list of closing costs might be different. In some cases you can add these fees into your purchase offer, asking the seller to pay some if not all of your closing costs. Talk to your real estate agent about how this will work in your specific situation.

When purchasing a home, there are many costs you might not be prepared for…

  • Home Inspection

  • Appraisal

  • Loan Application Fee

  • Down Payment

  • Closing Costs

  • Moving Fees

  • New Furniture

  • Paint and Updates to the new home

The list goes on, right? So what costs can be covered by someone else? In most real estate markets, closing costs are part of the negotiation process. When you write an offer, you might be able to negotiate part or all of your closing costs to be paid for by the seller. How? It just depends on the situation, the terms of the offer, the amount you are asking for, etc.

So do sellers always pay closing costs for the buyer?

No, not always. But what it typically comes down to is the bottom line number. This means the seller takes your offer and all of the conditions, plugs it into a formula that will tell them what they will net or in some cases what the will owe. If that number is where they need to be and you asked them to pay for your closing costs, you might get them paid for by the seller. Again, it just depends on the situation, the market, the seller, your offer, etc.

So, now what?

Talk to your real estate agent about closing cost. When you go to write an offer make sure you think about closing costs. Do you want that to be something that is negotiated in? Having more money in your pocket after purchasing a home can be great to update, decorate, and fix things in your new home.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.