2nd Annual Cup-Cake Wars by HBA Restoring Hope Foundation

BerksLuxury.com visited the HBA Restoring Hope Foundation’s Second Annual Cup-Cake Wars at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. There were great people enjoying thousands of incredible cupcakes! This event was fantastic! Check out all the photos from Cup-Cake Wars and see who was there!

Photo Credit: Joe DiRosa

Award Winning Wines at Berks County’s Vineyards!

Berks County traditionally isn’t known for impressive vineyards but perhaps it should be. BerksLuxury.com explores several vineyards in Berks County where you can pick up some award-winning wines!

 

Pinnacle Ridge Winery

Pinnacle Ridge Winery

Located in Northern Berks County is Pinnacle Ridge Winery which has a bevy of award-winning wines produced right here in Berks County. Pinnacle Ridge Winery is run by the husband and wife team of Brad and Leoni Knapp who have put together one of the most delightful winery experiences around.

Pinnacle Ridge has a plethora of activities for those looking for good wine and eclectic experience. Stop by any of their hours and enjoy their tasting room which allows 6 samples for only $5. For those looking for a more engulfing experience then check out their Summer Concert Series which features a different band each week. If you like the wine make sure to check out their Case Club which offers discounts on case purchases of wine and gives members access to invite only tasting events. 

I spoke with Brad and he recommends some of this year’s award-winning wines Pinnacle Ridge has 

produced:

  • Brut Rose – Gold Medal 2019 Farm Show
  • Cuvee Chardonnay – Silver Medal 2019 Farm Show
  • Blanc de Blanc – Best in Show Sparkling Wine and Gold Medal 2019 Farm Show

Pinnacle Ridge Winery   407 Old 22, Kutztown, PA 19530    T:610 756 4481    www.pinridge.com

 

Folino Estate

Folino Estate

Folino Estate is another beautiful vineyard and restaurant run by another husband and wife team, Marco and Andrea Folino. Folino Estate’s restaurant features some of the best re-imagined and classic Italian cuisines in Berks County. The tasting room is filled with wonderful wines, enough for any connoisseur to spend the whole afternoon tasting. Folino also hosts a number of events each such as wine classes, live music on Sundays, special tastings and even a couple Summer festivals. 

Folino is a must visit for those looking for Berks County wines. We spoke with Folino Estate and they recommended:

  • Lorenzo Forte, is our award-winning, boldest red wine. A Bordeaux-Style, rich blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, & Merlot. Lorenzo Forte is named after the Folino’s eldest son, Lorenzo, and ‘Forte’ meaning ‘Strong.’ Winemaker’s pairing suggestion: Pairs well with a hard-cheese, robust meat dishes like beef or lamb, or dark chocolate.
  • Luca Forte, our award-winning dry white, is named after the Folino’s youngest son and is an elegant Burgundian style white blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, & Chardonnay. There are additional notes of citrus, guava, & fresh herbsWinemaker’s pairing suggestion: Pair with smoked white meats like pork, chicken, and grilled seafood.
  • The Limited Edition Black Label Collection features handcrafted wines representing the age-old Italian style traditions and skills of passionate winemaking. Artfully oaked in French barrels, each wine is an exclusive, limited release and will age perfectly for the oenophile’s collection. The higher tannins present allow each variety to pair well with rich dark meats & game, earthy foods and herbaceous cheeses. Decanting is recommended to bring out the characters hidden in every bottle. Wines include: Sangiovese, Barbera, Tannat, and L’Amore di Lidia.

“We also offer three different sparkling wines, perfect for celebrations and entertaining. Wines include: Frizzante Rosso, Frizzante Moscato, and Frizzante Rosato. Best paired with salty or fried foods, and excellent to use for unique mimosas!”

A wonderful selection of wines, a truly beautiful winery and inspiring collection of events for entertainment, all make Folino Estate a must-visit destination!

Folino Estate  340 Old Route 22, Kutztown, PA 19530    T:484-452-3633    FolinoEstate.com

 

Calvaresi Winery

Calvaresi Winery

Calvaresi Winery is a smaller winery located in the Bernville area of Berks County but their wines have collected nearly three dozen awards from various competitions over the last decade. They are only open Thursdays – Sundays but they should definitely be on the list of anyone looking for delicious wines. 

Calvaresi has several tasting and live-music events each year. If you stop by you might want to try their Riesling, which took home a gold medal at the 2018 PA Wine Show, as well as the Cabernet Sauvignon and Baco Noir which both took home bronze medals.

Calvaresi Winery  107 Shartlesville Rd, Bernville, PA 19506   T:(610) 488-7966    calvaresiwinery.com

 

Berks County Wine Trail

The Berks County Wine Trail is a group of ten of the local vineyards and one meadery, in Berks County, who have grouped together to market their wineries as well as their group tastings and events.

The wine trail includes the previously mentioned Calvaresi Winery, as well as the Deerfoot Winery, Kog Hill Winery, Long Trout WineryManatawny Creek WineryRidgewood WinerySetter Ridge WineryStone Barn Cellars WineryStonekeep MeaderyStoudt’s Winery, and Weathered Vineyards.

Visit BerksCountyWineTrail.com for a list of wineries, more information on their events and even a downloadable wine trail map!

 

 

About the Author – 

Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands and web properties, and am a Licensed Real Estate Agent with RealtyTopia in Wyomissing PA.  I have experience as a Mortgage Loan Officer and have been previously licensed as a Real Estate Agent in the State of New York as well.

If you have any questions or are looking for a property you can call me at 610-390-1331 or email me at Joe@BerksLuxury.com

Taste of Berks 2019 @ the Crowne Plaza Hotel!

Taste of Berks was absolutely amazing! Over 700 attendees were treated to delectable bites from over 40 different vendors and live music by Eric Cawalla & Friends. The event was produced by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance and hosted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. 

The music and stage were sponsored by the Matt Wolf Team at ReMax.

 

Photo Credit: Joe DiRosa

3 Asian Restaurants in Berks County You Need to Try!

BerksLuxury.com takes a look at some of the best Asian restaurants in Berks County you really need to try! These Asian establishments provide some of the best food Berks County has to offer!

 

Rice Modern Thai

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Rice is located in a small brownstone building in West Reading and features some of the most delectable Thai food in Berks County. You can see by the photos each dish is impeccably designed with lots of color and incredibly fresh ingredients. For starters try the Four Season Shrimp Dumplings or the Coconut Galanga Soup. For true foodies, the Thai Holy Basil Duck with sauteed organic carrot, king oyster mushroom, organic asparagus and topped with spicy Thai basil sauce is a must try, while others should enjoy the Shrimp in a Claypot with glass noodle, broccoli, carrot, ginger, bacon, sesame oil, and cilantro. True to its name Rice offers 5 different types of rice to choose from with each of your dishes! 

Rice Modern Thai – 615 Penn Ave  West Reading, Pennsylvania 19611  www.ricemodernthai.com

 

Mikura

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Mikura is technically an Asian restaurant that serves Japanese, Chinese and Thai all in one location. The Chinese is excellent but the real secret to this place is it’s specialty sushi rolls. The decor is lovely and they even offer hibachi for parties who like a little bit of a show. For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on the Japanese menu. If you do visit the Mango Delight Roll with fresh salmon, snow crab, crunch inside, topped w. fresh thinly sliced fresh mango; the Red Lips Roll with spicy tuna, lobster, salad, crunch and asparagus wrapped in pink soybean sheet, served with spicy mayo sauce; the Tiger Roll with salmon & tuna, topped w. salmon, tuna & eel, crunchy, masago & scallions, served w. eel avocado sauce; and the Cherry Blossom Roll with fresh red snapper, white tuna, asparagus inside sushi rice cover with crunch BBQ tuna with special sauce is all highly recommended.

If you are a couple, the Love Boat for Two is a great meal for any date night. To start the Beef Negamaki, Kani Mango Salad, and the Wasabi Shrimp Shumai are all highly recommended. Whether you are looking for Japanese, Chinese or Thai, Mikura is an excellent choice. 

Mikura – 840 N Park Rd  Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610   www.mikurarestaurant.com

 

Thai Cuisine

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Tucked away in a little corner just across into the Muhlenberg area is Thai Cuisine. Looking like a true Thai house with intricate landscaping the experience begins. Step inside to find some of the best food in Berks County.  For starters try the combination platter which includes Thai Spring Rolls, Chicken Satay, Shrimp Tempura, and more delights. If you like spicy starters you might try the Silver Shrimp Noodle Salad with Lemon Chili Dressing or the Pork Ginger Salad with fresh ginger, peanuts and lemon dressing.  Can’t-miss entrees include the Seafood Curry with shrimp, crab meat, tuna, scallops, mussels and clams in a coconut cream sauce, Grilled Salmon with Shrimp Panang, and the Salmon and Crab Basil with jumbo lump crab meat with garlic chili and basil. If you like traditional Thai food from a restaurant with over 30 years experience then definitely check out Thai Cuisine! 

Thai Cuisine – 502 Eisenbrown St. Reading, Pennsylvania 19605  www.ThaiCuisineBerksPA.com

 

About the Author – 

Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands and web properties, and am a Licensed Real Estate Agent with RealtyTopia in Wyomissing PA.  I have experience as a Mortgage Loan Officer and have been previously licensed as a Real Estate Agent in the State of New York as well.

If you have any questions or are looking for a property you can call me at 610-390-1331 or email me at Joe@BerksLuxury.com

Best Commercial Investment Properties in Berks County!

BerksLuxury.com is going to take a look at 5 of the best commercial investment properties in Berks County for 2019! Some of these properties may require some negotiation on price but there are certainly some great opportunities in Berks County!

 

249 Penn St. Reading PA 19601 – $575, 000

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This property is the current Reading Bus Terminal which a new owner could opt to renew the agreement or develop the property. This is prime real estate right on 3rd & Penn St. which features two open lots. The building has an additional upper level which houses buses currently. One idea might be developing the parking lot with Penn St. frontage while creating a new agreement with the bus companies for the additional lot and building. Regardless of what your plans are this is a large property with good traffic in a prime commercial area in downtown Reading. Overall it looks like an opportunity for a developer to cash in while helping the foudnation of downtown Reading. I would even look for incentives and help from the Reading Downtown Improvement District and other organizations focused on redevelopment.

 

10 Stonehedge Rd. Fleetwood, PA 19522 – $4,900,000 

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This Golf Course represents an opportunity for the savvy entrepreneur or experienced operator. Dividing the Golf Course and the restaurant-catering-events business could be a profitable and rewarding experience for the right person. The wedding catering business is always a great way to turn a profit and the restaurant on the property provides an eclectic opportunity for high-end food and entertainment. The ability to subcontract the operations of the golf course out might be an option to reduce operating responsibility and bring in revenue for someone without as much experience in the field.  The price may need to be negotiated but there is certainly some great opportunity here. The demographics are good and the area lacks attractive entertainment options. 

 

801 Lancaster Ave. Reading PA 19607 – $1,500,000

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This property has some real potential. It is a particularly high traffic area right on dealership way on Lancaster Avenue. The property has a large amount of frontage on the avenue, is 3.37 acres, has an additional 1.61 acre attached lot available for purchase, and the building’s structure is unique and well designed for an auto business. Multiple bay doors, a big showroom, and many other features make this building attractive for an incoming auto business. I would double check but I am sure the zoning would be in place and the only issue is Reading’s slightly higher taxes which for an incoming business might be balanced with an abatement for new businesses. The building could surely be renovated for an updated look but there is a lot to like about this property. 

 

401 Main St. Oley PA 19547 – $349,900

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This Bed & Breakfast is the perfect opportunity for someone interested in rental income at an affordable price. This property is situated squarely in the town of Oley and would be a perfect opportunity for many reasons. The property has six lovely boarding rooms which could be rented out and even includes an additional two bedroom “Owner” or master suite with a private bath featuring a jacuzzi tub.  The professional kitchen could be rented out to a catering company or baker for additional revenue.

There is plenty of space on the ground floor for the property to be used for society dinners, meetings or small special events.  

If each of the 6 bedroom rents for an average of $600 a month, the master suite rents for $1,000 and the kitchen rents for $1,000 then the property would gross $5,600 a month plus any additional revenue generated from the ground floor event space rentals. That looks to be a great deal on a $349,900 asking price!

 

500 George St. Reading, PA 19605 – $1,000,000

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This property is known as Fantasy Skating Center and I like this property for a number of reasons. This property could be updated and combined with a local restaurant liquor license to create a skating rink and entertainment complex that catered to children during the day and adults at night. With an updated feel and interior this space would be great for kids events during the day and would provide a unique alternative for adults in Berks County at night. Disco skate nights were all the rage back in the day and with an updated look this space would be a hit with both kids and adults for birthdays and special events. A groovy nightclub feel with a DJ would make this place pop at night.

Keep in mind the neighboring mall is being redeveloped with residential housing and the Reading Phillies stadium is right across the street. This property is in a high traffic area and this structure would be easy to tear down should the new owner decide to develop the property for a different use. 

 

About the Author – 

Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands and web properties, and am a Licensed Real Estate Agent with RealtyTopia in Wyomissing PA.  I have experience as a Mortgage Loan Officer and have been previously licensed as a Real Estate Agent in the State of New York as well.

If you have any questions or are looking for a property you can call me at 610-390-1331 or email me at Joe@BerksLuxury.com

WEEU vs WFMZ Charity Softball Game

WEEU took on WFMZ for a charity softball game to benefit The American Red Cross on Sept. 2nd, 2018 at Lyons Ball Field. WFMZ took the game but we are pretty sure everyone was a winner!

 

 

 

About the Author – 

Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands and web properties, and am a Licensed Real Estate Agent with RealtyTopia in Wyomissing PA.  I have experience as a Mortgage Loan Officer and have been previously licensed as a Real Estate Agent in the State of New York as well.

If you have any questions or are looking for a property you can call me at 610-390-1331 or email me at Joe@BerksLuxury.com

Jumbo Mortgages: All You Need to Know

If you are looking at buying a luxury home valued over a half million dollars then you are likely going to need a Jumbo Mortgage. BerksLuxury.com is taking a look at Jumbo Mortgages to give you all the information you need to know!

 

JUMBO MORTGAGES

To understand Jumbo Mortgages first we need to understand why they exist. Fannie Mae, which buys most bank and mortgage company’s home loans has a limit to the amount of the loan they will acquire. For most areas, that number is $453,100 but in areas with higher home prices that number can go as high as $679,650. Depending on your area, any loan over the loan amount designated for that area is considered a Jumbo Mortgage. 

Since Fannie Mae will not buy loans over that amount the banks are responsible for either holding the jumbo mortgage or finding investors to purchase the loans themselves. This means there is a slightly greater risk for the banks and that they must tie up their own capital over longer periods of time. 

As we all know with greater risk comes higher costs. Jumbo loans often have higher qualification standards such as higher interest rates, larger down payments, increased capital reserve requirements and higher credit score requirements to qualify. Often on jumbo mortgages banks can require two separate appraisals on the property as well.

Historically lenders have required 20% down, anywhere from .5% to 1% higher interest rates and a 700+ credit score to qualify for a jumbo mortgage. More recently banks have been leaning towards attracting high net worth clients and their banking business so recently it has been easier to find rates similar to existing FHA rates and with down payments as low as 5%.

I recently spoke with Scott Li the Owner of RateWinner.com, who handles Jumbo and Super Jumbo Mortgages and he said:

Scott Li – RateWinner.com

“Wholesale lenders (lenders that work with brokers) have definitely noticed how competitive retail banks have gotten with jumbo mortgage rates. For banks, it’s not just about providing their client with just a low-interest rate. Like Joe DiRosa from BerksLuxury.com said, they want all of that high net worth individual’s business, be it banking, retirement account, unsecured loans etc… Wholesale lenders have responded with not only low rates of their own but also have adopted special programs to qualify self-employed individuals or W-2 earners who don’t fit the retail banks’ strict guidelines.”

Another aspect of qualifying for a Jumbo Mortgage is your capital reserves. Most conventional and FHA loans do not require capital reserves to qualify, but with Jumbo Mortgages lenders generally, are looking for 6-24 months of capital reserves to approve the loan. 

Today with all the lender options and the competitive loan programs buying a luxury home is easier today than it has likely ever been.  Be financially responsible and do your homework but the terms offered in today’s market are certainly favorable to consumers. 

 

About the Author – 

Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands and web properties, and am a Licensed Real Estate Agent with RealtyTopia in Wyomissing PA.  I have experience as a Mortgage Loan Officer and have been previously licensed as a Real Estate Agent in the State of New York as well.

If you have any questions or are looking for a property you can call me at 610-390-1331 or email me at Joe@BerksLuxury.com

Reading United PDL 2018 Championship

BerksLuxury.com visited the Reading United’s first ever appearance at a PDL Championship. The game was held at Gurski Stadium. Reading was up 2-1 with 12 minutes left in the game but ultimately Calgary prevailed 4-2 by scoring twice in the second overtime period. Congrats Reading United, you still finished Eastern Conference Champions and Runner-Up in a 74 team league!

 

Photo Credit: Joe DiRosa

Beverly Hills Tavern 4th of July Celebration Photos

BerksLuxury.com swung by Beverly Hills Tavern pre 4th of July blowout and grabbed a few photos! The place was packed!

Photo Credit: Joe DiRosa

3 Great Spots for Outdoor Summer Dining

BerksLuxury.com did our homework and we are here to bring you three of the best spots for dining outdoors in Berks County. If you are looking for great wine, your own pool party or the biggest outdoor entertainment venue in Berks we got you covered!

 

Beverly Hills Tavern 

Beverly Hills Tavern has been a staple of Berks County going back the two decades I can remember, and possibly longer. Their outdoor dining area is legendary and their Summer crowds always pack the place. It is a huge outdoor venue with a huge cabana bar and plenty of seating for all those who wish to enjoy a little staycation while still in Berks County. The atmosphere is relaxing, they usually have bands or DJ’s like Berks’ s own Koolie Kirk keeping people in a good mood through their Happy Hour, and the real treat is their daily Summer Specials. They keep people happy with their Prime Rib Weekends, Smokehouse RIbs & Pulled Pork every Wednesday during the Summer, they have their Sunday’s Seafood Fest and even a Taco Bar. If you are a Sunday afternoon Brunch person then definitely stop by for their Brunch Buffet on Sundays where you can get bottomless mimosas! 

Beverly Hills Tavern – 710 Old Fritztown Rd Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania 19608

610-777-4516

www.beverlyhillstavern.biz

 

Folino Estate 

If you are looking for an epic Summer dining experience you may want to check out Folino Estate Winery. This gorgeous rustic winery has all the feel of elegance and one of the best outdoor dining patios to match. Drink wine straight from the vineyard and dine on their array of fantastic dishes. If you are there for Brunch try the tiramisu waffles which are dipped in espresso topped with sweet ricotta cheese and drizzled in syrup. For Dinner try the Prosciutto-Wrapped Filet ($32), the Roasted Grape Pork Tenderloin ($24) or the Italian Crab Cakes ($26). If you are there more for the wine fear not, they also make a delectable array of paninis, pizzas and other finger food. Don’t forget to grab a couple of bottles of wine on your way out!

Folino Estate & Winery – 340 Old Route 22, Kutztown, PA

484-452-3633

www.folinoestate.com

 

Pool @ The Inn at Reading

The Pool @ the Inn at Reading is one of Berks County’s best-hidden treasures. The venue has recently been updated by the new owners and is the only bar with an outdoor pool in Berks County. You can order drinks and food from their outdoor cabana bar and sit poolside and lounge in the sun! Enjoy the ambiance while working on your Summer tan. New management is promising a new name and a new series of events once the venue is completely finished. Until then their cabana bar is open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays!

Inn @ Reading – 1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

610-372-7811

www.innatreading.com

 

About the Author – 

Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands and web properties, and am a Licensed Real Estate Agent with RealtyTopia in Wyomissing PA.  I have experience as a Mortgage Loan Officer and have been previously licensed as a Real Estate Agent in the State of New York as well.

If you have any questions or are looking for a property you can call me at 610-390-1331 or email me at Joe@BerksLuxury.com