Tag Archives: buy a home

Change Flooring on a Budget

Today buyers are really paying attention to the flooring in homes. You would not believe how many buyers want to rip out all the carpet (even if it is nicer carpet). I had one buyer who was able to replace all the flooring in their home and it looked amazing. But not all buyers can afford this, especially first time home buyers.

So I was searching around and found some great options if you have vinyl or linoleum or even a beat up floor that needs refinished but really is at the ends of its life.  There may be this fabulous estate but very dated, you want it but don’t have the money to change out (right now) that old vinyl that is in great shape but from the 70’s or 80’s.   Why not try paint? It sounds crazy but check out this article, I came across.

 

 

Pittsburgh – A Top City

Again Pittsburgh is getting attention for being a top city to reside.  Housing prices are very reasonable and it is still a buyers market with plenty of inventory. Here another article . . .

“Pittsburgh is quickly emerging as one of the top cities in the United States overall, with the largest number of green buildings, nationally high ranked museums and schools and even one of the best airports it truly aims to pull in top marks in all aspects and areas of life. As you can see Pittsburgh is a great choice to explore when you are looking to move, look at the prices, the culture and even the lifestyle and you are sure to fall in love with the city.”

Heinz Stadium 2009, Photo by A Myers
c 2009

Never Think you Have Seen It All


Last evening I showed a couple a home. It sounded so wonderful. The home is probably about 3500 square feet or more on 4 acres on a dead end road in the country. Very few neighbors. It has a pool and about 2 acres are grass. The house had been added on to at one time. It appeared to have an in-law suite on the side. There were three kitchens in the house. The third being in what appeared to be a basement apartment. Lots of work needed to be done but maybe the place had some potential. The floor plan was so chopped up but looked so awesome from the outside.

So when we got to the upstairs the master bedroom, we found out that it had two bathrooms and one it shared with what the another bedroom connected to it (being captured). One things that did not make a whole lot of sense to me was that it had laundry hooks-ups in the middle of the master bedroom and the washer was still there. Now keep in mind the home had first floor laundry and there were no doors to the outside as if this was an apartment. Then we go into the next room connected to the master (that shares the second master bath) and there is a working, built-in, jacuzzi tub in the corner of this caputured bedroom.

I have included a rough sketch of the floor plan and some photos.

Pittsburgh Makes Headlines Again

Pittsburgh has been making headlines especially in the last two years. The city has done it again. Pittsburgh also has a strong university presence. There are over 12 Universities here in Pittsburgh. This equates to great employment opportunities and livability as these schools are large employers.

The following is quoted from Forbes.com

“Pittsburgh has a really great cultural scene. We have a great ballet and a great symphony that travels the world and performs to packed houses, and there’s a restaurant scene that’s much more diverse than it ever was when I was growing up,” says Wendy Hermann, director of student services for master’s programs and a Pittsburgh native. “And it’s an easier sell, now that the Steelers and Penguins won their respective titles.”
Article Controls

Indeed, Pittsburgh’s art scene, job prospects, safety and affordability make it the most livable city in the country, according to measures studied.

Tax Credit Expiring – Two Weeks Left

You have two weeks from today to get a home under contract to get up to that $8000 and close by June 30th.   Houses are going fast, especially if they are good buys. Don’t hem and haw if you want some of the $8,000 tax credit. I have been experiencing many homes already under contract when a buyer wants to see them. Not just one but several on their list. Then if you get the chance to look, there are also multiple offers.   One of my buyers was lucky last month. An agent in my office announced she was listing a home in a couple of days. I got my buyer in the day it was listed (under market price) and he make an offer and it was accepted all in one day. I advised him to move on it, if it was a house he liked because it would not last long. He was happy he did and all went well.

Tax Credit Details

Additional Tax Credit Details from Realtor.org

Frequently Ask Tax Credit Questions

AKHome.info Tax Credit Archives

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

Ever Heard of a Door Air Conditioner?

Have you ever heard of an air conditioner in a door? I had not since I saw this listing over the weekend. There was one in the kitchen and one in the basement. The one in the basement did not even vent to the outside. The unit vented to a storage room. Interesting set up I must say. My buyers comment on the kitchen door unit was, that you had to leave the door open to use the unit because it was in the storm door . . . .??

Another oddity in the last few weeks was a garage (at another property). There was a garage that was behind the house. The house had a single integral one car garage in the front. But a few feet behind the house was the detached garage.  Ok well that sounds somewhat normal you might think but not so. The garage door was facing the house only a few feet from the house. My question is how do you get the car in there???

Photos are below . . .

door-ac-2-450l

door-ac-450l

Another Property below . . .

funny-garage-450l

The Market is Changing

The housing market is changing everyday. As things change a new approach is needed on how to proceed. It is a buyers market, or a sellers? How are the rates? When should I buy? What is the next step in the process . . . etc . . .

Here are some good tips for first time home buyers to get you started. Be conservative and use wisdom in each step you make. Find a good agent that will be patient with you.

Remodeled Refrigerator

Well, it was an interesting night this evening. I showed two fun homes. The second not as good as the first. Both ranch and great yards. The second one had a massive master bedroom of 19 X 15. Very cute but needed too much work for the price. It was also somewhat taste specific. Whomever had owned this estate liked wood. The bathroom looked like something you would find in a log cabin. Really it was nice and not too bad. The kitchen was updated at some point (maybe the 70’s to 80’s) and additions made to the home. There was really a lot of wood accents in this place. I had to run and get my camera out of the car (I always try to keep one handy). Ok, so have you ever seen someone cover their refrigerator with wood to match the kitchen. Well there is a first for everything. So funny. . . . . I guess you could called it a remodeled refrigerator. LOL . . .

p8310093-450l

What Does Not Attract Buyers?

I have been extremely busy with buyers. Buyers are getting ready to purchase something knowing that they only have a limited time to take advantage of the tax credit opportunity. Due to this activity, I, of course, get to see a ton of homes – more than the norm. The more homes you see the more strange and interesting things you see as well as some really beautiful homes.

Well, yesterday, I showed a very nice two story colonial. An older couple owns it. Every inch of it is cared for. It is immaculate and for the most part move-in ready. My buyers loved this home looked on the outside. Then walking in we discovered (but we kind of new from the photos) . . . . there was wall paper everywhere. Eeeek . . . My buyers said “forget it”, even though it was a wonderful home. They were disappointed because they would have to tear off all the wall paper. Most of the wall paper was very nice. This kind of decor is very personal and makes it very hard to sell because there is a great cost in changing it all. So, even though it was move in condition, it really was not due to strong personal decorating. I told the listing agent about this and she said the owners would be willing to negotiate having all the wall paper removed by a contractor. My buyers were not the ones to say the wall paper was an issue.

Wow, so wall paper can kill the deal. Sellers keep in mind when investing in your home with decorating. Choose something that is appealing to the masses but tastefully done. Keep in mind neutral, neutral, neutral. This consideration will save you headaches when you go to sell. Do you really want a contractor to have to come in and strip all the walls in your home just to get it to sell or yet alone have to do it yourself? The buyers will turn away because it just looks like too much work to make it their home.