Blog Archive for August, 2017

Tuskes Homes Story: The #Lot8ers

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 17, 2017


Tuskes Homes presents… The #Lot8ers

If there’s one thing you learn after three generations of building homes, it’s that a home is made from more than brick and stone; it is also made from memories and laughter. It’s our homeowners that make our communities what they truly are: a place for your journey to unfold.

Anyone can build a house, but to build a home takes heart. When we handcraft our homes, we do it with one thing in mind—you. We know that home is where your story begins. We know it’s not just where you’ll hang your hat, but it’s where you’ll make and share memories for years to come. It might be messy or clean, modern or classic, big or small—no matter what, it’s a place that reflects your personality inside and out. After all, home is where the heart is, and we believe your new home should be crafted with as much care as you’ll put into it when you’re there.

We take the time to get to know our homeowners so we can learn more about your needs and can craft a home that fits your lifestyle. The Walter family, lovingly known as the #lot8ers, chose our Hanover Oaks community in Bethlehem. We’ll take you through their journey from breaking ground to moving in, so stay tuned to learn more about their Tuskes Homes Story!



Are you ready to go from renter to homeowner?

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 17, 2017

For the past few years, you might have been watching the real estate market with interest, but didn’t feel ready to make the leap from renter to homeowner. You can still take advantage of low interest rates.

Why are you hesitating?

Here are some telltale signs you might be more ready than you think.

You’ve been paying rent on time for years. That monthly payment shows you’re responsible, and that you’re used to committing a sizeable sum each month to your living expenses. When you consider that your monthly mortgage payment could be even less than your rent, then you should feel confident that you can handle it.

You have a secure job. You’re getting good performance reviews and your employer is in a solid position, possibly even growing. If you like your job and see your future there, you have the job security that’s important when you commit to a mortgage.

Your credit is good. A good FICO score is 700 or higher, but you can get a loan with a lower credit score, as long as your debt-to-income ratio is within the acceptable range (e.g., your total debt is less than 30% of your annual income). The higher your credit score, the better you will do, both in terms of how much you can borrow and at what rate. Talk to a lender about mortgage pre-approval so you know where you stand before you start your new home search. Many lenders can give you direction for improving your credit score to qualify for the home you want.

You know what you want in a home—and it’s probably not roommates (or parents). You’re becoming more aware of home designs, wandering through home centers, and exploring neighborhoods. You’re imagining yourself as a homeowner, instead of seeing it as a distant reality.

Seeing is believing. That image of homeownership could be closer than you think. Talk to a real estate professional and a lender to explore your options. You’ll never know if you’re ready to buy a home if you don’t make the move!

The right time to sell: Lehigh Valley homes going for 98.3 percent of list price

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 16, 2017

If you’ve been thinking about selling your house to build your brand-new dream home, you’re in luck!

At a time when the Lehigh Valley is being recognized as one of the best places to live in America, a low supply of housing inventory has made this a strong seller’s market. According to WFMZ, housing inventory is down almost 40 percent from the previous year, with the average home taking just 41 days on the market to sell.

In addition to the short listing time, sellers should be most excited by how much of the list price they’re receiving: on average, homes in the Lehigh Valley are selling for 98.3 percent of the list price, the highest number seen since 2007.

For buyers, the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors Association recommends acting fast. Scheduling appointments and knowing what you’re approved for can help potential buyers make an offer right away. With some homes selling in a matter of mere hours, waiting even a day can sometimes mean losing the perfect home.

Here are some tips for buyers and sellers to make the most of the current housing market:


  1. Don’t try to outsmart the market. The housing market is cyclical, and no trend ever lasts too long. Don’t wait for good weather to put your home on the market. The best time to list is now—a seller’s market won’t last forever, so don’t wait for the right season or a specific day of the week to sell your home.
  2. Be prepared to move. In a market that’s selling so quickly, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan for your living situation. You don’t want to have to reject a good offer just because you have nowhere else to go. Whether you’re building a new construction or buying a move-in ready home, have a plan in mind in case the offers come quickly.
  3. Know your buyers. Read up here and here on the newest generation of homebuyers to understand what they look for in a home, so you can make yours as millennial-friendly as possible. No matter how good the market is for sellers, you should always keep your home clean and ready to show for last-minute appointments.


  1. Schedule appointments. Planning a visit with the home specialist will make you a priority client and ensures that the specialist gives you the time and attention you deserve to see your potential new home.
  2. Get pre-approved. While not required, knowing what you’re approved for prior to visiting homes can help you make a decision more quickly. With homes selling so fast, putting in an offer right away is the best way to guarantee that you don’t lose your dream home.
  3. Scope out the community. When you choose a new home, you’re also choosing the community that comes with it. Make sure your ideal home is also in the ideal location. Neighbors are like in-laws—you need to love your whole community, not just your home.

With opportunities for recreation, booming industries, a rich culture and history, shopping, dining, and more, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and the surrounding towns are some of the best places to live in the world—at least, in our entirely biased opinion. But one thing that’s indisputable: with such exciting developments in the region, there’s never been a better time to buy or sell your home in the Lehigh Valley.

Looking to buy a new home? We have move-in ready and customizable new construction options available in several amazing communities all across the Lehigh Valley. Click here or call Martha at 484-626-1616 to learn more!

Home Design Trends Taking Bethlehem by Storm

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 4, 2017


We are loving some of the classic, yet modern, home designs that the Tuskes Homes design team and homeowners have been bringing to the table in Bethlehem recently. If you’re thinking about investing in a new home, or simply looking to upgrade your current home’s style, check out a few of these trends that have caught our eyes.


This yoga loft in our Hanover Oaks model home is looking good!


    1. Add a touch of tranquility with a yoga loft. If you have an extra bedroom or other space you’re not using, take a few easy steps to transform it into a serene room for yoga. Just add a yoga mat, a speaker for some peaceful music, and set up a small table for your favorite scented candles or aromatherapy. For a little extra décor, visit some of the shops in Historic Downtown Bethlehem and look for antiques, sculptures, or wall art to add to your personal sanctuary.

We can’t get enough of these Saratoga Farms homeowners’ gorgeous black and white design concept for their new home.


2. Keep it simple with classic black and white. Having trouble deciding on a color scheme for your new home? Black and white is a classic combination that never goes out of style. Plus, if you decide to add colorful decorations later on, it’ll be easy to find something to go with this neutral color scheme.

Brightly colored shutters add a unique touch to this home in Bethlehem’s Maple Shade community.


3. Give your shutters a pop of color. Bethlehem is a colorful city, so to give your home an equally vibrant personality, consider opting for colorful accents. Bright reds or blues look amazing against more a more neutral background. Choosing unique shutters is a great way to add some character to your new home!

Add a few rocking chairs and you can sit and admire this stylish blue door all day long!


4. Or, pick a colorful front door. One popular trend in Bethlehem right now is a pop of color on the front door. Choose a shade that stands out from the rest of your home and expresses your personality, rather than a color that matches your shutters. A colorful front door will make your home’s exterior as individual as you are, and your new home will feel uniquely yours!

These homeowners in Hanover Oaks added incredible landscape lighting to their home’s exterior.


5. Light up your landscape. You’ve worked hard for the home of your dreams, so why not show it off day and night? Add some lighting around the outside of your home to highlight the landscaping and facade even after the sun goes down. Not only does the extra lighting look fantastic, but it’ll also make pulling into your driveway late at night much easier and safer.

This two-story stone fireplaces adds a rustic, warm charm to this Maple Shade home.


6. Add a stone fireplace for a rustic, chic flair. Everyone loves to curl up by the fire on a cold winter’s night, and Bethlehem certainly has its fair share of those. Give your fireplace a bit of style with a stone surround. Mount your television above the hearth, or simply place candles or vases on top of the mantle. Stone fireplaces look especially beautiful extending to the ceiling of a two-story great room.

This farmhouse sink is the perfect combination of functionality and style.


7. Upgrade your kitchen with a new sink/faucet combo. Especially trendy in Bethlehem right now are farmhouse sinks, which feature a deep basin with an apron front, making cooking and cleaning a breeze. When paired with a modern, classy chrome or stainless steel faucet, this is a kitchen design choice you’re sure to love. Add some under-cabinet lighting to accentuate your beautiful new sink!

Pendant lights complement the spectacular island in this open-concept kitchen.
8. Bring in some elegant pendant lighting. Bethlehem homeowners love putting pendant lights above the kitchen island in their homes. Not only does it add some sophisticated style, but it makes your kitchen warm and welcoming, perfect for entertaining–and we know Bethlehem likes to entertain! From modern to rustic, there are endless styles and several beautiful metallic finishes from which to choose.

Choosing the Right School District – Before Your Move.

Categories: Blog | Posted: August 3, 2017

Finding the right home in the right neighborhood is always a challenge for a homebuyer. Parents with school-age children have even more to consider when it comes to picking “Location! Location! Location!”

When you’re moving within your own region, you already have knowledge of the school district’s reputation. If you’re moving farther, you need to take the time to consider various factors when choosing a school. Here are some questions to ask yourself and the schools.

  1. What type of learning environment is best for my child? No one knows your child better than you. Determine whether she will thrive in a small or large classroom, needs a particular type of curriculum (structured versus non-structured, liberal arts, faith-based), or would benefit from a school that offers bilingual education.
  2. Does the town support the school? The town’s annual report will show how much of the tax dollars are spent on education. Look at the spending per pupil to determine how deeply the town is committed to education. A properly funded school will have up-to-date computers and technology, a library of diverse resources, proper sporting equipment, and a well-maintained campus.
  3. What services are offered? A school that employs a full complement of staffing—including on-site nurse, resource officer, librarian, and guidance counselors—is better equipped to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment.
  4. What extra-curricular programs are available? The classroom is just one part of the overall education experience. Extra-curricular programs, like clubs and sports teams, provide valuable learning for young people. If your child is an avid lacrosse player, for example, and the school you’re considering doesn’t have a team, then you might want to look elsewhere for the right school.
  5. Does the district offer school choice? Having the ability to choose from more than one school for your child is a benefit. Some districts have a lottery where a certain number of students can attend a different school that better suits their needs. If you have a child who is musically inclined, the possibility of enrolling him in a magnet school for the performing arts may be just what you want.
  6. How does this school’s rating compare locally, regionally, and nationally? Visit to view a detailed report on the schools in the area you’re considering, including parent reviews. Keep in mind that all schools whether they are rated highly or not as a whole often have tracks for either highly skilled students or those that have special needs that are excellent. Don’t let a single score scare you from making the best choice for your children.

Once you have done all of this advance research, you can take the extra step and schedule a tour of each school to see and sense the environment for yourself.

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