Key things to Consider when searching for your Dream Home


Purchasing a home is a big decision and is often time the largest purchases you will make in your life. It can sometimes be overwhelming.   I have seen buyers not consider a lot of things even not anticipating future needs. Everyone has different criteria of wants and needs.   I would like to give you some key things to think about when looking for your next home.

1. Who will be living with you and how many persons?

  • Will you need or want a space for aging parents? If so is there, enough parking, and a private area for them, etc . . .
  • If you have a current relationship that may change soon, will you have room for that person or persons?
  • Do you want to rent out any rooms to help pay for the mortgage?
  • A lot of my clients today need an office even if they are not working from home. Often times this needs to be a separate room.

2. What is the estimated time you plan to own the home?

  • The average person stays in a home 5-7 years.
  • I have had clients not consider soon in the future events and have to quickly upgrade causing the expense of another new purchase.

3. How far away is your work, church, schools, shopping?

  • Some buyers prefer being further out from the city with more opportunities for privacy and land and others are the opposite.  How much are you willing to travel for your important tasks, sports, and work?
  • Then being more in the suburban area offers an array of shopping and medical facililites and more at your fingertips.
  • Any then there is the city often with a high price, but then you may not need a car and have a more ability to have an urban live style with walking and even some sought after restaurants.

4. What are your physical needs or lifestyle preference?

  • In western Pennsylvania I see many many homes with garages in the basement. This can be difficult when looking for one floor living. Often times there are ranches with this type of set up. Many often consider the laundry level.

5. What are services are available?

  • Don’t forget cell and cable service in with what utilities are there. Some houses don’t have very good cell service. That can be a problem for someone working at home. Some remote areas do not even have cable.
  • Check to make sure that your services are available and acceptable.

Consider some of these items if you have not. There are many others but thinking ahead about key points such as these may save you the expense of an unnecessary future move.

 

705 The Gardens – New Video

Check out this New Video for 705 The Gardens in Fox Chapel.  Has over 50 Slides.

Fabulous entertaining home! Welcome to “The Gardens” in the private and prestigious Fox Hall Neighborhood. What a great opportunity to have the condo live style in a full single family home. Home has three large garages. Includes stone patio with two gazebos and walks right out form the huge finished basement. Chefs will love the large eat-in kitchen with gas stove, two ovens, two dishwashers, and a second sink for veggie prep and wine fridge. Easy access from the garage to kitchen for unloading groceries. Super large Laundry room with walk-in pantry. Large master bedroom with double walk-in closet and Luxury Master Bath wspa tub & walk-in shower. Large open floor plan on all three floors with cathedral two-story ceilings. Second floor has theater with tiered flooring, floor lighting and screen, fridge and equipment cabinet. Basement has an exercise room, fireplace, additional kitchen, bedroom with full bath (in-law suite).

Home is ready to install your elevator. Other home sites available in the community. Bring your own builder with HOA approval. More than one lot can be purchased to build on – pending HOA approval. Options for pools – pending HOA approval.

Realtor.com Listing Details

Not All Home Improvements will Help Your Homes Property Value

Chairs on patio and porch at luxury hotel

If you want to prepare your home in thoughts of selling in the near future or making the right choices for resale even further down the road, think twice about doing the following home improvements:

1) TURNING YOUR GARAGE INTO A MAN CAVE – Believe it or not, that awesome hide-away for the kids or the football game can hurt the value if you are loosing your garage. It did happen to one of my sellers in the past. First they took away the garage for more living space (even though they left the door in). This change took away value mostly because it no longer conformed to the neighborhood even though the living space increased. The garage was in the basement and sometimes below grade finished living space does not always get a return on its cost (according to an appraiser I know). This property took a hit on the appraised value and my clients actually had to lower the price for the buyer to cover it. Not to mention the price hit but not having a garage is less attractive to buyers. So so many people want a garage, especially in Pennsylvania.

2) INSTALLING A DECK OR PATIO (This is something that you are better of doing) – If all your neighbors have a deck and you don’t that is typically a reason for the appraiser to give you a hit in value. You don’t confirm to the neighborhood comps. Who does not love outdoor space, anyway? I had a house that had trouble selling and I can tell you a buyer bought the neighbors listing because it was cheaper and had a deck. It was the same square footage. Ouch!

3) DONT REMOVE OR COMBINE BEDROOMS – If you have gone from 4 to 3 and have the same space, keep in mind you would be comparing to 3 bedroom homes which are typically lower in price thus loosing value. Square footage does not always matter. It has been my experience that buyers want a 4 bedroom rather than a 3. Alway keep that extra bedroom if you have it. It will generally give you more value.

4) DONT REMOVE CLOSETS – If you can make more or make a walk-in closet. If you remove a closet, the room may not always be considered a bedroom. Women today have so many clothes, and even some of those men do. Closets are always a perk!

5) REMOVE WALLPAPER – Wallpaper may not decrease the value on an appraisal but it will make the buyers walk 99 percent of the time and the home harder to sell. Wall paper is an immediate check list for work and it is a bear to get off no matter how you do it. It is very hard to change and get to the popular neutral colors . I have literally had people refuse to go into a house because the every wall in the home was wallpapered. There have been sellers that have issued credits to have wallpaper removed and have removed it all. Be wise.

6) POUR A NEW FRONT WALK – I have sold new construction homes and one builder in particular gives the buyer temporary pavers to start for the front walk way. The pavers can look nice if they are cared for. After a couple of years they often need to be reset and adjusted if you are keeping them. I asked an appraiser if the value increased if the seller poured new walk way for $5000. The answer was no. There is still a walk way just made of something else or replaced with different material. If it was a high end finish then maybe an increase in value.

Talk to your real estate agent before you do anything major if you are even considering moving. You will be glad you did.

Leena’s Greek Food

The snow was a little treacherous last tonight so my husband drove me to my Home showing in Murrysville, PA.  So after we decided we would try a new restaurant.  One of our choices on the list was Greek Food at Leena’s.  We had read reviews that it was amazing food and that it was in a gas station and I said ” mmm . . .  I don’t think that sounds so great”  He said that other reviews said don’t be turned off by it.  So I agreed to go and we were not disappointed.  So you basically pull up to a gas station and it is inside a convenience store like a subway.

My husband and I got the gyro salad and it was amazing.  The owner is very generous in his portions and even let us sample the Falafel.  Don’t forget to take some baklava with you.  It is a hidden gem.  Don’t miss it if you love Greek food.  The address is:  4180 William Penn Hwy, Murrsyville, PA 15668

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What is a Short Sale?

SP_EWP_029-300LA short sale is when the lien holder bank takes less than the debit owed on the property. Often times better than a foreclosure (but not always). When a homeowner can no longer pay their mortgage for reasons such as job loss, divorce, health status or death of an adult family member, or even a job transfer with the housing market not baring a sale price to cover what is owed on the property. These are the same reasons you run into foreclosures.

The seller usually has to call the bank and request to go through this process. This can be before the home is listed or while it is listed. The home owner often times has to prove hardship and explain reasons for needing to do this.

A short sale will effect your credit, but from what I have been told from mortgage lenders that I work with is that a foreclosure hits your credit worse and for a longer time than a short sale. Many sellers want to get the challenging situation behind them. Often times you can recover quicker in a few years and go on to re-purchase a new home if you get things cleared up and work on your credit.

In the transactions that I have processed, the some of the banks often want to get 85% of the appraised value at minimum for the home. There is also a lot of paper work for the sellers and the buyers need to be patient. I have had short sales take 6 weeks and even up to 5-6 months. The processing time can depend on the co-operation of the buyers and sellers and even the bank processes. The larger the bank the more red tape.

If a seller is going into bankruptcy, it is advised to speak to your lawyer. Often times, a short sale is not worth the effort if the property is going to be included in a bankruptcy.

If you are considering a short sale, you need an agent that has the patience to work through the process with you. One of the nice things about the short sale process is that some banks have actually paid my seller’s to close as a short sale rather than let the home go into foreclosure. It was not the case with all situations and all amounts were different. So the bank is rewarding the seller to avoid foreclosure.