In this local area highlight, MortgageCS CEO Ben Stucker visits the bustling main strip with a small-town feel in the Borough of Ambler! Along with Realtor Darcy Scollin of Keller Williams Real Estate – Blue Bell, we’ll take a look at the local housing market, unique neighborhood features, and more.
Darcy gives us a firsthand look into this up-and-coming, walkable downtown area with highly sought-after homes and schools. Hear what she has to share as both a real estate agent and resident in the area! If you’re searching for a home in the Ambler, Blue Bell, or Montgomery County, check out this video and see what this popular area has to offer!
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Ben Stucker, MortgageCS: (267) 391-7425
Darcy Scollin, Keller Williams Real Estate – Blue Bell: (215) 285-6198
All About Ambler (Video Transcript)
Ben Stucker (00:30)
Hey, guys. Ben Stucker here from MortgageCS with Darcy Scollin. Darcy, thank you for joining us. We’re here in Ambler, Pennsylvania, today to learn a little bit about this area and explore some of the real estate and other facts. So, Darcy, tell us a little bit about Ambler.
Darcy Scollin (00:47)
So we are in the borough of Ambler, which is in Montgomery County. We are 16 miles north of Philadelphia, and Ambler has a ton of history. It was named after Mary Ambler, who lived in the town with her family two years after they died – after she died – they named the town after her. There’s also Mattison Estates, which was actually a home that was built after Richard Mattison, and he came here. He’s from Bucks County, and he started like a tile factory here, and the castle that he built was actually modeled after the Windsor Castle, which is kind of cool.
Ben Stucker (01:32)
Darcy Scollin (01:33)
Yeah. So there’s just a ton of history here.
Ben Stucker (01:36)
That’s awesome. Great. So what are some of your favorite places around here?
Darcy Scollin (01:40)
So, From the Boot is a great Italian restaurant here, Bridget’s Steakhouse is here; the Fireside, which is a great place to get a burger and some fries. And it’s really up and coming. So I feel like there’s always like a new restaurant kind of popping up around here.
Ben Stucker (01:57)
That’s great. And we’re here positioned where the main street is sort of running behind us. And we were just talking about an auto show that’s coming soon and other events that were they sort of shut down the main street. We’ve got the community sense coming in.
Darcy Scollin (02:10)
Exactly. Like on Sunday, May 15, it’s the auto show where they shut down all of Butler Pike and all these cool old cars come out and you kind of walk around and there’s like eateries and yeah, it’s really cool. It’s a very family-oriented area, and there’s the Christmas parade. They have First Friday, the first Friday of the month, so there’s a lot of cool things to do in Ambler.
Ben Stucker (02:35)
That’s great. Thank you. Alright, so Darcy, tell us a little bit about what it’s like to be… or what a homebuyer could potentially find here in Ambler. What sets it apart from the surrounding community? What is it like? What are some of the things that make it a great spot for buying a home?
Darcy Scollin (02:48)
Okay, so in Ambler Borough, there are a lot of older homes, a lot of Victorian-style homes. So Ambler is the borough, and the zip code is 19002. So that encompasses a lot of local townships in the area. So Horsham Township, Lower Gwynedd Township, Whitpain Township, Upper Dublin Township, all encompass 19002. So when you look at the stats in those townships and the borough, the homes are priced well and it’s very competitive. So there are single-family homes, some twins like you’ll find in the borough, some ranch-style homes in Lower Gwynedd, and Whitpain anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000. And homes will go fairly quickly because people like being close to the town and the schools and that kind of thing.
Ben Stucker (03:41)
Cool. And it is Spring 2022, for the record in case you look back on this haha. So it’s still a seller’s market here as much as anywhere, it sounds like. Competition is high… Any difference in competition for those people looking at a $400,000 home versus a $700,000 or $800,000 home?
Darcy Scollin (03:58)
So right now there’s more buyers in the $400,000 range, so there certainly would be more competition there, but let’s just say in Lower Gwynedd, which is also part of Ambler 19002, the price point there is a little higher. So that could be a million to 3.5 million. Yeah. So we’re definitely in an area where depending on even if you just go like a mile this way kind of thing, you’re going to experience higher-priced homes and not as many buyers because of the price point.
Ben Stucker (04:29)
Alright, Darcy, so tell us a little bit about what a first-time home buyer would find attractive here in this particular community.
Darcy Scollin (04:36)
So I would say a lot of people like to be in an area where they can walk. So who doesn’t want to be in an area where you can walk to a restaurant and come home or walk to go to the grocery store? Ambler has a great Weaver’s Way here, and they also have a local library. They have their own bank, Ambler Savings Bank. The schools in the area are highly regarded, so people do like this area due to the schools, and in the borough itself, it’s very affordable. So you could find a twin or a home that’s $300,000 to 400,000 in the area – might be a little smaller, but a great starter home. Yeah.
Ben Stucker (05:14)
And how are the real estate taxes compared to other areas?
Darcy Scollin (05:16)
So in the borough, the taxes are very low. In Lower Gwynedd, very low. Whitpain Township, very low. Upper Dublin, a little bit higher, but again, we’re in an area where the taxes are nice and low.
Ben Stucker (05:30)
And if you haven’t yet bought a house, the reason why you want your taxes to be low is because you’re going to pay them every year whether you have a mortgage or not.
Darcy Scollin (05:37)
Ben Stucker (05:37)
So a low amount of real estate tax is a good thing.
Darcy Scollin (05:40)
Ben Stucker (05:41)
Great. Alright, Darcy, so we talked a little bit about what a homebuyer might expect because if want to live in the house. Talk to us about investors. If I’m a real estate investor, what might I find attractive about this area?
Darcy Scollin (05:53)
There’s definitely a lot of people in here that do rent in this community because again, you can walk and it’s affordable. But if we talk about even Spring 2022, the rents, they’re increasing and they can be high and the rent market is very competitive. But again, there’s also like newer homes being built; Mattison Estates, which is not far from here, we can walk there, they’re carriage homes and townhomes. They wouldn’t necessarily be geared towards the investor. It seems like a lot of people moving in there would be downsizing, but I think this area is great for investors if you can find the right spot.
Ben Stucker (06:38)
So, Darcy, tell us about some of the community support, right? Transportation, maybe schools, public transportation. What can you tell us about those things here for someone considering buying?
Darcy Scollin (06:48)
Okay, so transportation. There’s a lot of train stations around here. We have the Amber train station, we have the Fort Washington train station, which is not far, the Lower Gwynedd train station. I do feel like a lot of people in this area, if they work in the city specifically, they will drive to a local train station and take the train in. So it’s really easy to get into the city from here because of all the train stations that are around. In regards to schools, we live in an area where there are a ton of schools to choose from. The public schools are really highly regarded in this area -Wissahickon School District, Upper Dublin School District. Then there’s also – some other local schools would be Germantown Academy, which is a high school and elementary school. We have La Salle High School, which is an all-boys high school in the area, Gwynedd Mercy, which is not far from here, which is in Lower Gwynedd. So we do live in an area, honestly, where if you do send your kids to any of these local schools, they’re going to get a great education.
Ben Stucker (07:46)
Sounds like there’s a ton of options, which is great.
Darcy Scollin (07:48)
Yeah, there are a ton of options, yes.
Ben Stucker (07:49)
Alright, Darcy. Well, thank you for your time and telling us all about Ambler! Let’s talk about you for a little bit.
Darcy Scollin (07:54)
Ben Stucker (07:55)
What are some of the things that you do today for first-time buyers, and give us a little bit of history for you: how long have you been an agent in this area?
Darcy Scollin (08:03)
So I have worked in real estate for a little over 18 years.
Ben Stucker (08:07)
Darcy Scollin (08:08)
That’s it! Haha. I’ve seen the highs and the lows of this great market and worked with a lot of great people. Honestly, that’s why I love this business is meeting all the wonderful people that I meet. And when I work with buyers, specifically even first-time homebuyers, first I will consult with them and we’ll have a little conversation about what they are looking for and kind of set the expectation. I do think in this very competitive market, it’s really important that you understand that if you find a house and you make your first bid on it, you may not get that, but you learn from that. And it’s really about setting the expectation and getting as much information as you can about the house and the area and what are we up against. Are there ten offers or are there only five? And how are we going to make our offer the best that it can be for the seller? Because when you’re in a seller’s market, you want to present an offer that is the most appealing to the seller so that they will pick yours.
Ben Stucker (09:08)
Alright, Darcy, so tell us what is it that drives you? You’ve been at this now 18 years like you mentioned. What is it that drives you to perform so well for your clients? Because we’ve had the pleasure of working with you on a few different instances; clients love you. So what is it that gets you going every day to get up and work with those clients?
Darcy Scollin (09:28)
I do feel really fortunate that I meet so many amazing people. I don’t know, I don’t know if I just have the best clients or what, but I do. I meet so many great people, and I really kind of get to know them and a lot of times get to know their family, get to know their parents, their kids. And when they’re looking for a house, they’re really anxious and passionate about finding something, which kind of – I’m passionate about finding something for them. And there really is nothing better than calling your client when they won and they get their offer, and you’re so excited for them. They’re super excited, but I’m just as excited, so. Honestly, that’s just such a great feeling, and I think that’s really one of the things I just love about this business.
Ben Stucker (10:09)
So if you have all great clients and great people, then if you’re a great person, you should call Darcy.
Darcy Scollin (10:15)
Yes, exactly haha, thanks Ben.
Ben Stucker (10:15)
Because that’s where you belong. Alright, and give us the one tip, the single most important thing that you would tell a first-time homebuyer in this market, specifically a first-time buyer, right? So we’ve got a crazy market here in 2022. It’s the middle of May, and we’re in the height of purchase season. What would be your single piece of advice for a first-time buyer?
Darcy Scollin (10:37)
I would say to be realistic, to really look at your finances. I know everybody wants to buy, especially when you’re a first-time homebuyer, that great, big house, single home; but based on the rate and your price point to be realistic in regards to let’s just see what’s out there and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get that first offer, because I always tell my buyers – and I’ve said this for years – that your next house? That wasn’t meant to be. You know, your next house… there is something better. And that is true, and most of the time, I’d say 95% of the time when I do work with the buyers and they end up getting that house, they’re like, you’re right. You were right. This was the house. We love this house. So it’s about setting expectations and being realistic.
Ben Stucker (11:23)
And it’s hard. It’s an emotional purchase. Right?
Darcy Scollin (11:25)
It is, it is.
Ben Stucker (11:27)
Well, that’s great. Well, thank you so much for your time, Darcy.
Darcy Scollin (11:29)
Thanks for having me, Ben.
Ben Stucker (11:30)
Yes, I really appreciate the opportunity. So we’re here in Ambler, it’s May 2022, just in case we didn’t say that yet, because we want to make sure this video ages well, and thank you, Darcy Scollin from Keller Williams – Blue Bell. So if you’re interested in working with Darcy, Darcy where can we find you? How can someone reach out to you so they can get in touch with you and they can be one of those great happy clients that you work with all the time?
Darcy Scollin (11:54)
So I do have a Facebook page – Darcy Scollin Team. Also Instagram, I do have a big following on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there. I’m always trying to give helpful tips on the market and kind of what to expect and hopefully, I have found a lot of people found that to be helpful in the market, so yes.
Ben Stucker (12:17)
Alright. Thank you for the time, everybody. Thanks for watching and we’ll catch you at our next site.
Darcy Scollin (12:22)
Great, thank you!