Category Archives: Regional News & Events

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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Forbes Says: Pittsburgh Is the Place to Buy a Home

Time and time again the statistics are putting Pittsburgh in the top affordable places to live. There are a lot of things to do and see and Pittsburgh has strong technology and healthcare jobs. As a photographer, the city is a great place for a wide range of subjects. You could spend the day there – possibilities are endless. If you are from out of state, consider the benefits of this city and the stable housing market.

“Families in the market for a house are shopping at the right time: Nationally, homes are near the most affordable they’ve been in 18 years. In the fourth quarter of 2009 housing was 62.4% more affordable than the same time a year earlier, according to the Housing Opportunity Index, published quarterly by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. The best place to buy right now: Pittsburgh.”

Quoted from Forbes Article Feb 19, 2010

Related Blog Entries:

Pittsburgh Ranks Number One

Pittsburgh in the Top 5

Vandergrift, PA (NE Pittsburgh Suburb) Gets Ranked a Top Town in the Nation to Purchase a Home

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New McDonald’s on Hyde Park Rd, Leechburg, PA – Opens Today!

Today was the big day in Leechburg, PA near my office. The newly built McDonald’s opened. As I drove by later in the afternoon today, the place was packed (not an open parking spot) and people were lined up around the building for the new double drive-in. On September 1, 2009 the old McDonald’s on Hyde Park road was torn down along with a vacant Long John Silver’s building. From start to finish in less than three months.

As I stopped to get get photos last night, the freshly new place was perfectly lit up. There were young kids hanging out already by the door and some had duffel bags. I thought rather strange. Later after talking with some locals, I heard unconfirmed reports that the first 100 people in the door would get free Big Macs for a year. Rumor also has it that it is one of the most high tech McDonald’s in the area.

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Photos Copyright, 2009Â Â Amy S Myers Photography

McDonald’s
451 Hyde Park Rd
Leechburg, PA 15656
(724) 845-2035

Pittsburgh Comes in at Number 4!

Pittsburgh and the Metro Area proves time and time again a great section of the country to live. Â Home prices and Mortgages are stable and affordable in the region. The days on market are lower than other cities.

Top Cities that were least effected by the Recession from Forbes:

“To identify these cities, Forbes magazine ranked the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas by employment rates, the conventional mortgage home price index, and the average days on the market for properties currently for sale.

The top cities on Forbes list were:”

* Omaha/Council Bluffs, Neb.
* San Antonio, Texas
* Austin-Round Rock, Texas
* Pittsburgh
* Harrisburg/Carlisle, Pa.
* Dallas/Fort Worth
* Rochester, N.Y.
* Houston
* Raleigh/Cary, N.C.
* Baton Rouge, La.”


Quoted from Realtor.org
and Forbes, Francesca Levy (11/19/2009)

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Heinz Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

Photo Copyright, 2009 Amy S Myers

Veterans Day

We are truly blessed by the men and women who have fought for our freedom we have today. Here are some photo of Veteran War Memorials in downtown Leechburg, PA and next to my office in Allegheny Twp, Leechburg, PA 15656 that were taken today.

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Above photos in downtown Leechburg, PAÂ Painted mural on the side of a commercial brick building in Market Street

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above photos (Allegheny Twp) Leechburg, PA

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above photo is the driveway to The Allgheny Twp Municipal Building, Allegheny Twp, Leechburg, PAÂ (All photos copyright 2009, Amy S. Myers)

Vandergrift, PA Gets Ranked a Top Town in the Nation to Purchase a Home

Vandergrift, PA tucked away NE of Pittsburgh, PA (founded in 1895) was the first town of its kind. This town was a planned industrial town and created to be sold to the workers of a Steel company that was founded at the time. George McMurtry, who was president of Apollo Iron and Steel (located in Apollo across the river from Vandergrift) needed to room to grow his company. Vandergrift was a large 650 acre farm that was picked to be the place for this new town. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the town and after being approached by George McMurtry at the 1983 World’s Fair.

Lots in the town were offered to the workers of the mill so they could have their own homes. The town was built with paved streets and sidewalks. The homes included water, natural gas, electric and sewer lines. The town was actually built in advance and control turned over to the workers. At this time in history, this was a unique idea in America.

Today, Vandergrift is getting reborn. Buildings in the town are being renovated and updated with the help of the V.I.P (Vandergrift Improvement Program). Washington Avenue boasts of its large Victorian Homes with some on the National Register. There are lots of cute shops and on holidays and special occasions and Kiski Area football games residents and visitors line the streets for parades.

Read more about how Vandergrift was recently recognized nationally:

“A real estate Web site has determined Vandergrift ZIP code 15690 — which includes portions of Allegheny, Parks and Gilpin townships — is among the best places in the country to buy a home.

Using a system that considers home values and school performance, cyberhomes.com ranked the Vandergrift area as the fourth-best community in the country to live in its “2009 Home Value-Schools Ratings Report Card.”

In addition, businessweek.com created its ranking and put Vandergrift at the top. The site used Cyberhomes data in building its list.

What makes Vandergrift’s appearance on the lists notable is the relatively low value of homes in the area.

The median sales price in the Vandergrift area, according to Cyberhomes, is $65,600.

Median sale prices for the three communities ranking higher on the Cyberhomes list range from $260,000 to more than $725,000.

“(We) selected Vandergrift as an example of an area where home values are relatively affordable — as compared to the national average and Pittsburgh area — and schools performance is very highly rated,” said Sarah Weissman, Cyberhomes product manager.

The median sales price in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is about $125,000, according to Cyberhomes.”

Quoted from TibLive News

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Photos Copyright – Amy Myers, 2001-2009

Will The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Be Extended?

Many recent transactions and potential transactions that I have dealt with have been buyers who were enticed by the first time home buyer tax credit. Since you must close by November 30, 2009, the window is no longer open.  The market has changed this month. I believe buyers are holding out to make their next move.  It appears that the tax credit has done its job by pumping up the economy and reducing inventory. The National Association of Realtors is pushing for an extension of the tax credit.

Here is some information from the National Association of Realtors:

“The data on the present home buyer tax credit show that the credit has had its intended impact—sales have jumped in recent months to a projected 5.1 million for the year and housing inventory has been trimmed, thus stabilizing home prices noticeably,” Phipps said. He also pointed out that each home sale generates approximately $63,000 in additional economic activity, providing a tremendous economic boost to the national economy.”

Read more . . . .

Quoted from Realtor.org

Additional Tax Credit Info

Will The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Be Extended?

Times are Historic to Buy a Home

Use Tax Credit Down Payment?

Homebuyer Tax Credit Window is Ticking Away

Record Lows for Mortgage Rates Still Exist

Homes are Being Swept Up Quickly

Home Buyers Don’t Miss the Opportunity For Your $8000

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit to Rise?

More Tax Credit Info Surfacing

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Question

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Loans

Great News! Tax Credit Can Be Used for Down Payment

First-Time Homebuyer Federal Tax Credit Info

Home Staging Makes a Difference

Staging is a very import process in selling a home. Some are more talented than others and some have larger budgets than others. Recently, I sold a home that was staged very well by an investor. We were quite surprised at the closing when my buyers and I met the home owner. This young single woman in her mid to late 20’s was quite the investor with 300 rentals and close to 10 house flips in the process. One of her special talents was staging her properties. She has the man power to do the renovations and then she runs out and picks some a few pieces of furniture, throw rugs and some accents. She does such a great job with the cosmetic items, fresh paint, flooring and decor, it makes the place hard to resist. The staging really brings out the buyers emotions and draws them in. I must say it might make some people jealous being able to go out shopping each time she flips a house – which she pretty much does. She does not always use the furnishings over because most of the time the buyers ask her to include her furniture and accents with the sale of the house. It sounds like a win win situation for the buyer and the seller.

So sellers out there, are your walls and carpets dirty? I had a seller that was not able to see this even after potential buyers made comments. If you don’t have extra funds for special accents, at minimum make your home squeaky clean and clutter free. You need to be competitive in this buyers market.

Times are Historic to Buy a Home

It is a great time for people to get into the housing market as I have mentioned over the last few months.  There is still time to take advantage of the market conditions but don’t wait too long. Things will change.

Believe it or not but I have had different buyers bidding and buying properties less than $20K and some that do not need that much work. It is an amazing deal and some did not need always need a major overhaul. As the market begins turn turn around there are going to be less opportunities like this. The deals that are there will be more competitive. Some houses such as these can have mulitiple bids on them (as many as five or ten bidders or more). If you see a deal move fast and bid competitively whether for investment property or for owner occupied.

It appears that first time home buyers have really taken advantage of the tax credit.   “”First-time homebuyers, most between the ages of 25 and 45, accounted for about 45 percent of home sales from January through July 2009, according to the National Association of REALTORS®”.


“This is a historic time,” says George Jaramillo, a 35-year-old business analyst in Atlanta, who recently bought three homes, two of them foreclosures. “It’s a great opportunity to make some great gains in the future.” – Realtor.org, Associated Press