Showed an old quaint home in Oakmont, PA recently. Â This was the kitchen sink.Â Yes, a bit out dated but so cute.Â The basement had a field stone foundation.
Mobile Phone Photo, copyright 2011, Amy S Myers
Consumers who are building a new single family home in Pennsylvania are now not required to install a sprinkler system.Â This just came in from the PA Association of Realtors:
“Sprinklers no longer a mandate in Pennsylvania!
Governor Tom Corbett today signed his first bill, House Bill 377 which removes the sprinkler mandate on all newly constructed one- and two-family homes. The new law is Act 1 of 2011.
Now that sprinklers are a consumer choice, builders must offer a buyer the option of installing sprinklers. Builders must also provide the buyer with information made available by the State Fire Commissioner on the possible benefits of installing a sprinkler system.
Among other things House Bill 377 will also change the codes adoption process in Pennsylvania and require increased standards for fire protection of flooring.
As of January 1, 2010, sprinklers are mandated in newly constructed townhomes. Act 1 will not change this requirement.”
This morning the agents in my office visited a few new homes that cameÂ up for sale.Â Â It is an older home great shape but needs some updating and would make a great starter home.Â It has two full baths,Â brick, and is cape cod style.Â There is another home on the property that has two bedrooms, block building, real cute, would make a great rental.Â Both are located on a 1.6 acre lot.Â The property has plenty of level area for picnics or playing but over in the corner is . . . . a cemetery.Â It is aÂ quite interesting.Â Would that keep you away or give you interest in buying?Â There appears to be about maybe about twelve grave stones.Â The stones date as far back as the 1700’s.Â It is surprising that you can even read some of the stones. Â I was able to snap a few with my cell phone. This property is only maybe about 2 miles from our office.Â It comes with a cute stove too.
So in summary:Â Two homes (a two and a three bedroom) on 1.6 acres and a cemetery for a little over $100K.
We are truly blessed by the men and women who have fought for our freedom we have today.Â 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.
Above photos in downtown Leechburg, PAÂ Painted mural on the side of a commercial brick building in Market Street
above photos (Allegheny Twp) Leechburg, PA
above photo is the driveway to The Allgheny Twp Municipal Building, Allegheny Twp, Leechburg, PAÂ (All photos copyright 2009, Amy S. Myers)
I must say I see some strange things when I show homes.Â Take a look at this shower from a Penn Hills, PA home that I showed recently. Â Many times you can see where flippers just did not go the whole way to make it nice – some do and some don’t.Â I really laughed when I saw this bathroom shower.Â The owners appear to have added a tub surround but left the shower nozzle on the ceiling.Â Well, or maybe, they put it there on purpose.Â Â Very unique and somewhat bizzare if you ask me – not a selling point. Â Â Check out another interesting bathroom and the photo to go with it.
Lawmakers are hoping for an expansion of the tax credit helping first-time home buyers and current home buyers that have a home to sell.Â First time home buyers make up about 40% of the current home purchases.Â This statistic, lawmakers feel, is not stimulating the housing industry enough.
Here are some key points of what lawmakers would like to see happen:
*Â Changing the top Tax Credit amount from $8,000 to $15,000.
* Extend the purchase deadline from November 30, 2009 through to mid year 2010.
*Â Extend the tax credit from first-time home buyers to all home buyers
* Offer another tax credit of up to $3,000 for home owners who refinance.
Remember there are income caps and you do have to stay in your home for 3 years to avoid paying back the tax credit.
Little green tomatoesÂ are what I have popping up in my garden already this week.Â I was in touch with a friend from South Carolina and her tomatoes have not even shown themselves yet.Â Â With that comment, I thought I must be doing a good job with my first garden ever.Â It isÂ a modest one with (of course) a variety of tomatoes, green and yellow peppers, some cucumbers and pumpkins.
Some how I ended up with two packages of onions – white and red.Â I decided to plant them all.Â They ended up taking up half of my gardening space.Â Â They started growing immediately.Â I thought it was really amazing that I would check them out in the morning and come back later that day and veggies were already increased in size.Â I did not expect to see that noticeable growth in such short of a time.Â Â I have quiteÂ a large onion patch so if anyone needs some, let me know.Â I hope I have as many tomatoes coming as onions.Â Â I am open for gardening tips.
Information was recently released about first time home buyers being permitted to use their tax credit as a a down payment.Â I had a recent discussion with a loan officer in our office.Â He discussed with me that in order for this to happen, HUD would need to approve the use of short-term bridge loans.Â Â This has not happened yet.
If a loan is approved for the buyer, the buyer wouldÂ need to repay the Â loan when he received the funds from the tax return.Â Â One item that may be an issue is if the buyer owes money, then the full $8,000 would not be refunded to repay the loan.
The loan officer in my office, said he is seeing a lot of buyers receiving gift money with intention to repay the source after their return comes in.
Check with your loan officer for further details.
“Under the guidance that’s under development, state agencies and other HUD-approved entities would be able to provide short-term bridge loans that households could use to help with their down payment. The loans would be repaid with the proceeds from the households’ federal tax credit.
The loans were announced on the opening day of NAR’s 2009 Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., last week. In his announcement, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said guidance would be issued shortly.
When the guidance is released, it is expected to cover eligible lenders and set parameters for loan terms and repayment. ”
“Housing and Urban Development, a cabinet of the United States. It has existed since 1965 and is charged with ensuring smooth policy for housing and city development. Since the mid-1970s, its focus has shifted primarily to housing, leaving urban planning more in the hands of individual cities.
One of the main functions of HUD, and certainly that with which most people interact, is its role as a lending facilitator. HUD helps people of low- and mid-level incomes acquire loans to purchase housing. HUD itself is not a lending institution, but it approves lenders and supports them materially.”Â Â Â Read More