Tag Archives: buy

Interesting Stat Regarding Staging

“According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell in 73% less time than homes that are not staged (RESA, 2012). This means that while buyers may say that home décor does not matter to them while shopping for a home, stats show that it does. ”  – Mckissock CE

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Why I Love My Job

Always appreciate a happy customer. This is why I like my job. Thanks to Chris and Faith L of Apollo

See more: REALTOR.com

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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.

Condo Living at Its Finest

Fabulous New Condo in Murrysville that is ready to move into. The community has a club house with a Kitchen, Gym, and Pool. Contact me to set up a showing. Amy 724*448*0085 cell/text

Click here to view listing

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Fall In Allegheny Twp, PA

October 2015 -Allegheny Twp, PA

Photo by Amy S Myers

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Should I Buy a Home Warranty?

I usually suggest that my seller’s get a home warranty. A Home Warranty is a great thing to have because:

1) It sets your home apart from other seller’s in a crowded market place today.
2) It gives a perk to the buyer to have a warranty on the property for one year after purchase.
3) It protects the seller until the home is sold.

Keep in mind, there are various home warranty companies and they all work different. The one our company uses, covers the buyer until the home sells. The warranty is paid at closing so you do not have to put funds out ahead of time. You are covered while the home sells. If the home does not sell or is taken off the market, you are not charged even if you have a claim. Wow, so how can you beat that?

You really cannot go wrong offering a home warranty. Chances are that the buyer is going to ask for one anyway with their offer, so why not be covered for the time you are selling your home. What a deal.

Here is a great article from CNN on home warranties.

Pittsburgh Stays Strong With Healthcare and Technology

Every day I continue to read great things about Pittsburgh. After the steel industry went out years ago, focus was put into education centers and that blossomed into a city with great strength in healthcare and technology.

“Unemployment is 5.5 percent, far below the national average. While housing prices sank nearly everywhere in the last year, they rose here. Wages are also up. Foreclosures are comparatively uncommon.

A generation ago, the steel industry that built Pittsburgh and still dominated its economy entered its death throes. In the early 1980s, the city was being talked about the way Detroit is now. Its very survival was in question. ”

Quoted from the New York Times

Read more about what they have to say.

Mortgage Rates Still Historically Low

Great news with this new year ahead. Mortgage rates still Historically Low. Take advantage of the low rates before they disappear.

“RISMEDIA, Mortgage rates remained low last week and many states saw sub-5.00 percent rates for the first time in recent history. The weekly average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages declined to 4.96 percent, down from 5.15 percent the week prior, according to the Zillow Mortgage Rate Monitor, compiled by leading real estate Web site Zillow.com(R). Rates for 15-year fixed mortgages decreased to 4.91 percent, down from 5.00 percent and 5-1 adjustable rate mortgages decreased significantly to 5.54 percent from 5.94 percent.”

-Quoted from RISMEDIA

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Also, Todd Fletcher, a Pittsburgh area mortgage broker agrees and give tips below on how rate locks work:

“Rate Lock Duration Lock durations can vary for mortgage financing, but most lenders lock in the interest rate for 60 days from the date the loan application is submitted. As long as the loan is closed within that lock-in period, the lender honors the agreed upon interest rate.

Some consumers are misled by advertising that quotes unrealistically low rates based on 15- or 30-day lock durations. This is called ‘short-pricing.’ The lender basically knows the borrower doesn’t have time to meet their conditions and have all the necessary paperwork in order within that brief time period. As a result, the lender is not obligated to honor the low rate that was listed in their advertising.

For simple refinance transactions, a 45-day lock-in period is more realistic. For purchase transactions, which are typically much more complex, you’re much safer going with a 60-day lock, even though the interest rate might be a little higher than the rate you see quoted on billboards and the Internet.

Borrowers should make sure they have a written rate lock agreement, and allow themselves a reasonable amount of time to close their loan. I prefer to lock in all my clients as soon as their application is filed, rather than gamble with predicting short-term interest rate movement. My team and I focus more on assisting clients with long-term goals and management of their mortgage debt to secure a strong financial future.”

Todd Fletcher
Mortgage Advisor
Equity Lending Group
Phone: 724-453-0335
Fax: 724-453-0463
tfletcher@equitylendinggroup.com

Great News for Pittsburgh Area Home Buyers

Get ready to jump in to the housing market as this is a great time to buy.

“Amid all the bad news about the housing market, there is some good news—for buyers. Plummeting prices have made homes more affordable. And a new tax break could provide a federal income tax credit of as much as $7,500 for qualified first-time buyers.”

Pittsburgh again noted as top city for affordable housing.

“Other big towns were much more affordable; among them, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Washington, and Las Vegas, where 60 to 80 percent of homes were within reach of median income families. ”

Read more from the article quoted here.

Is this a Good Time to Buy?

That is a question that that I hear a lot in today’s market. The first things someone says when they find out that I am a Real Estate agent is; “How is the Market?” and “What are the interest rates?”


Really it is an excellent time for buyers to sweep up on properties that have lost value or foreclosures, other bargains properties, or properties that have been sitting a while.


Best of all an affiliate Mortgage company just sent me the rates for today:


30 Year Fixed – Conventional, 5.375%, O points
(Keep in mind rates are subject to change based on market conditions, credit score and LTV).