Best Cocktail Bars in Berks County

BerksLuxury.com is going to take you through some of the best cocktail bars in Berks County. There are hundreds of bars around Berks, but these places are some of the sexiest places to grab your cocktail dress and socialize. We have the bars, the drinks, and the recipes!

 

Winedown Cafe and Wine Bar

The Winedown Cafe is located at 645 Penn Ave and features a hip and stylish setting for patrons to mingle. Winedown Cafe is almost always busy with the stylish crowds after 5 pm. They serve a host of delectable finger foods to pair with your vino or cocktail. Outdoor patio seating is available during the summer months. The Windedown Cafe General Manager RG Kreider recommends the Smoked Manhattan:

“Our signature smoked manhattan adds a smokey twist to a classic. Using rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters we create a whiskey forward cocktail with a smooth smokey finish.”

Picture of Winedown Cafe's Smoked Manhattan
Smoked Manhattan

Smoked Manhattan

  • 2.5 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • cocktail cherry, for garnish
  • ice

Combine the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake or stir Fill your smoking gun with the wood of your choice. Turn the fan on and light the wood with a lighter. Place the hose end of the smoker gun in a martini glass with a cocktail cherry. While the smoke is filling the glass, strain the cocktail into the glass. Cover the glass with plastic wrap and fill the top of the glass with smoke. Remove the hose and seal the plastic wrap to trap the smoke. Let sit for one minute. Remove the plastic wrap.

The Winedown Cafe is located at:

622 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA         (610) 373-4907           www.winedowncafe.net  

 

Sly Fox Taphouse

The Sly Fox Taphouse is Berks County’s newest entry into casual dining and craft beer, which is located in the new Knitting Mills complex. This is a full-service restaurant with a modern feel. They provide a number of their own craft brews along with some great cocktails! Sly Fox Taphouse’s General Manager, Randy Mckinley recommends the Orange Crush:

“Orange Crush is a timeless classic that a lot of people forget about, we’ve got two large juicers at the front of our center bar and folks can’t miss them.  On a busy Friday / Saturday night…our bartenders get a great workout using the juicers.”  

Photo of the Sly Fox Taphouse's Orange Crush
Orange Crush

Orange Crush

1 whole Valencia Orange
2 ounces FABER Orange Vodka
1 ounce Triple Sec
– SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE
– top with sprite
– garnish with an orange slice and a mint sprig
 
The Sly Fox Taphouse is located at:
 
820 Knitting Mills Way, Wyomissing, PA       (484) 878-2154         www.slyfoxbeer.com

 

Belly @ the GoggleWorks

Belly @ the GoggleWorks Belly is the newly raved about restaurant and bar located inside the GoggleWorks main complex. If you are craving the art bar experience there is nowhere better to dress a little sexy and look good next to some great art. Belly’s Owner, Jim Churchman recommends Viva la Vida:

Photo of Belly Kitchen & Drinkery's Viva la Vida
Viva la Vida

“Viva la Vida is inspired by Frida Kahlo’s work, this cocktail featuring Boyd & Blair Vodka is sweet with fresh watermelon agua fresca, crisp and refreshing with sparkling cucumber water, slightly spiced with fresh ginger, kaffir lime leaf, and bright flavorful pickled watermelon”.

According to Karen Delp Loveless who recommended the bar to us, the best time to go is for their Saturday Brunch DJ Sessions around 4-7pm on Saturdays.

Belly Kitchen & Drinkery is located at:

201 Washington Street Reading, PA          610.374.4600             bellykitchen.com

 

Willoughbys On Park

If you are into the luxury dining experience then you are familiar with Willoughby’s. We were chatting with Sabrina Grande-Cirandine, the Owner of Russo’s Market, and she suggested Willoughby’s.

Willoughby’s originally started as a steakhouse concept which, they seem to have mastered, but over the last few years it has evolved into so much more. Live entertainment, DJ night on Wednesdays, and a host of events have given Willoughby’s a fantastic social atmosphere for those looking for cocktails.  Willoughby’s GM, Erika Shifflett recommends the Classic Martini:

Willoughby's On Park's Classic Martini with Lemon Peel Rose
Classic Martini w/ Lemon Peel Rose

Classic Martini

  • 2 ¾ oz Pennsylvania Blue Coat American Dry Gin
  • ¾ oz Dry vermouth
  • Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with lemon peel rose

 

Willoughby’s on Park is located at:

305 N Park Rd, Wyomissing, PA           (610) 816-7473               willoughbysonpark.com

 

Beverly Hills Tavern

You can’t seem to talk about after-work drinks without mentioning Beverly Hills Tavern.  This beach themed venue is probably one of the largest in Berks County and the owner keeps the entertainment coming all week long. Stop by and enjoy live music, DJ’s, barbecue’s corn hole tournaments and they even have a pet-friendly Sunday afternoon. Beverly Hills Tavern’s Owner, Jimmy Guifrida gave us two recommendations:

Photo of Beverly Hills Tavern's Lava Flow
Lava Flow

Lava Flow

  • 1 oz. coconut rum
  • 1 oz. Bacardi Superior
  • 1/2 oz. banana liquor
  • 1 banana
  • Coconut cream
  • Pineapple juice
  • 4-6 Strawberries
  • Whipped cream
  • Ice
  • Pineapple slices
  • Orange

Mix coconut rum, Bacardi, and banana liquor in a blender with 4-6 fresh strawberries. Pour into 16 oz. glass. Clean the blender, then add ice, pineapple juice, coconut cream and 3/4 banana and blend. Pour on top of your mixer in 16 oz. glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with pineapple slice, rest of your banana and orange slice.

 

Photo of Beverly Hill's Tavern's Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

  • 2 oz. Bacardi Coconut Rum
  • 2 oz. Bacardi Superior Rum
  • 1 oz. Blue Caracao
  • Sour mix
  • Lime
  • Pineapple juice
  • Lemon lime soda

Mix ingredients together and garnish.

Beverly Hills Tavern is located at:

710 Old Fritztown Rd, Reading, PA            (610) 777-4516             beverlyhillstavern.biz

 

About the Author – 

photo of Joe DiRosa
Joe DiRosa

Joe DiRosa is the Founder, Publisher & Editor of BerksLuxury.com. I am an Entrepreneur, own several brands, 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

 

The Top 5 Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Berks County: Summer Edition

BerksLuxury.com is taking you through a tour of the top 5 most expensive and luxurious homes in Berks County!  Each of these homes is currently priced at $2,000,000+!

 

140 Evans Hill Rd, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 – $2,790,000

 

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Professionally restored & renovated. Every inch of this 8400 square feet historic 1736 circa stone manor has been upgraded or restored by the seller’s crew of four craftsmen. Interior surfaces have been stripped, refinished, replastered (wet plaster) and brought to life! 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 5 fireplaces, a new 340 SF sunroom added and 3rd-floor library created. The summer kitchen has been transformed into an art studio. Cottage with walk-in fireplace has been restored & upgraded as caretaker residence or rental. Carriage barn completely rehabilitated to include a 1,000 SF-1 BR and 850 SF 2-floor home office with powder room, plus 5 car garage on the lower level. Bank barn features 12,000 SF of heated, finished gallery space; 9-stall horse barn completely restored with equipment room, tack room, feed room and heated wash bay; shavings shed, hay shed, equipment building and powder room; new roll-up barn doors, a storage building for lawn equipment and a 3-BR groom’s quarters. New exterior fenestration, lighting, paddock & 4 adjacent turnout fields with fresh fencing. Indoor riding arena/multi-purpose building provides 11,250 SF with a new exterior & lighted riding arena with composite surface fencing. Water features include stream with walking/horse bridge, pond behind home & in-ground pool aside of home! **Full furnishings, including over 1.3 million dollars worth of historic American period antiques, can be purchased for an additional $800,000.**

 

1081 Grange Rd, Leesport, PA 19533 – $2,425,000

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This 4 bedroom, 5 1/2 bath property features nearly 7,000 sq. ft. of luxury living located on nearly 53 acres of conserved land. It features and beautiful 30′ x 50′ pool with waterfall spa, pool house, tennis court, and a horse barn. Plenty of luxury amenities add to the charm of this beautiful estate, also known as Emerald Green. 

 

479 Imperial Dr, Mohnton, PA 19540 – $2,425,000

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This magnificent home features 6 bedrooms, 9 full baths and 2 half baths on 9.3 acres in Berks County. This 20,000+ sq ft. home features nearly every amenity you can ask for including a full basketball court, a gym, an incredible man cave game room with a pool table, poker table and full bar.  The highlight of this property is the 3 level indoor saltwater pool and hot tub. This house is truly luxury living!

 

20 Miller Dr, Kutztown, PA 19530 – $2,100,000

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Talk about a view!! This  8 bedroom, 10 bath, 10,000+ Sq. ft. home with 6 fireplaces is built on top of a hill with magnificent views overlooking the whole valley while sitting on 3.67 acres in the Kutztown area. The outdoor patio is made for mint juleps during the Summer while the game room features a full bar, billiards table and blackjack table. The home was built in 2005 but 75% of the home was constructed within the last 5 years!

 

325 Huntzinger Rd, Wernersville, PA 19565 – $1,950,000

 

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Perfect property for the experienced Equestrian or the avid hunter. Words cannot describe this amazing 176 acre one-of-a-kind property. Amazing, the restored stone farmhouse offers original charm with updated details & amenities-Great for entertaining/Stone bank barn with stalls & custom workshop/Large Garage with Apartment or Full Guest Suite/Multiple pastures/ Scenic spring-fed pond/Many wooded areas/Large outdoor riding ring/ Multiple decks & patios…This incredible property has something for everyone!!!

 

About the Author – 

photo of Joe DiRosa
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

Night Lights Lantern Festival @ Maple Grove Raceway (2019)

BerksLuxury.com was at the Night Lights Lantern Festival at Maple Grove Raceway and over 8,000 people showed to enjoy the night and participate in an incredible spectacle of lights. See all the photos from the event!

 

This page is still being edited. Thanks for your consideration!

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

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 – 

photo of Joe DiRosa
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

Halloween Party & Art Show @ 505 Penn St. Loft

BerksLuxury.com has all the photos from the Halloween Party & Art Show @ 505 Penn St. Loft. The party featured DJ Evolution and was produced by Pollen Consolidated. Artwork by Albert Ciervo, Andrew Pochan, Katie Trainer, Fadi Acra, Jake Bullock, Kevin Schroder, Matthew Mazurkiewicz, Mavis Pepperwhite and Kelsi Windmiller.

Photo Credit: Dan Roberts & Karyn Delp Loveless

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:

photo of Scott Li - Owner, RateWinner.com
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