Tag Archives: buying

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.

 

 

Are Colors Important When Selling a Home?

Today I received the following questions from a college friend:

“Got a quick realty question for you for my wife, please, if you don’t mind. Looking to put our house on market soon. Living room with open floor plan has a red wall (tomato red, 8ft wide x 12 ft high), behind seating area that’s only visible when walking through or dining. Every other wall is pale yellow. Would you recommend painting the red wall before showing (go to a mocha color), or leave it and hope the buyers go for it?

Thanks! -Tom”

Here is my response:

Hi Tom!

Red is a great color for an accent wall but not for selling a home. Neutral tones are the best. So a Mocha sounds great. You want the buyer to be able to picture living in your home with their own things and feeling comfortable and cozy. Using neutral colors you have more of a chance at doing that. You can blend more furnishings with neutral tones rather than the red or other accent color. Yes, I would say paint before you show.

Remember the first 30 days are the most critical. In most cases you will have the most buyers come through in the first thirty days being of having your home on the market.

Amy

Awesome Interest Rates Today!

If you are thinking of buying a house – Wow! I could not believe it when I got the rate quote from our in house lender for today. This rate is amazing. Shop the rates and see what is out there. This is probably one of the best times to buy a home ( interest rate being the key ) in the last 40 plus years. Take advantage of it while you can, you don’t know how much time will be left to take advantage of this buyers market.

Here is an good article about these historically low rates.

30 Year Fixed – Conventional, 4.875%, 0 points (Keep in mind rates are subject to change based on market conditions, credit score and LTV).

Why Rent: Advantages of Home Ownership

It’s staggering when you think about the cost of living, especially if you’re a renter and not a home owner. If you are currently paying $1,000 a month for rented housing, over the next three years your property management company will effectively have reaped $36,000 of your hard earned cash. In most cases, you know your rent will go up every year, even if you live in an area that has rent control regulations. You’re paying the mortgage for the property owner, when you could be building equity in your own real estate investment.

The tax deductions available to homeowners vary, but there are solid rules the IRS lines out for us. Real estate taxes, mortgage interest, pre-paid interest, and interest on construction loans are all things to take into consideration as tax benefits.

Author: Todd Fletcher
Todd Fletcher
Mortgage Advisor
Equity Lending Group
Phone: 724-453-0335
tfletcher@equitylendinggroup.com
Published with Permission

If you or someone you know is currently renting, inquire about the many low- and no-down payment loan programs that are currently available to prospective home buyers.

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If you are renting seriously think about buying don’t give up. I have many people come to me and think their credit scores or too poor or they don’t have enough money. I suggest that they talk to their mortgage agent or suggest a few for them to speak to. Sometimes it is true and sometimes it is not. I closed a house this month, and the buyer had a 581 credit score. A score like this does not mean a loan will definitely go through, but you – never know. There are many things that go into getting a loan approved. – Amy

Great Mortage Rates – Get Them While They are Still Around

Have you found that special house and are not sure if you should go for it or not? Today’s rate at our in house lending company is:

30 Year Fixed – Conventional, 5.125%, 0 points (Keep in mind rates are subject to change based on market conditions, credit score and LTV).

Should I pay for a Home Inspection? What You May Not Know.

A Pittsburgh area home inspector gives his insight on home inspections. Questions, may be directed to Ed Lampl. (Article published with permission)

Consider a home inspection prior to purchasing a home, condominium or commercial property. This can bring peace of mind when you sign the sales contract. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the building and the future upkeep.

An ASHI home inspection accomplishes two important goals. First, it gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its structural soundness, and the condition of its mechanical systems. Second, it brings any problems to the seller’s attention at a time when they can be resolved before closing a sale.

If you sign a contract before inspection, consider including a clause that the sale is contingent upon a satisfactory ASHI certified inspection, and specify when the inspection is to be carried out. That way, you are protected.

A comprehensive inspection includes a visual examination of the structure from top to bottom, including the heating, air conditioning systems, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure.

Following the examination, the inspector will provide a report that not only points out possible defects or areas of concerns, but also the positive aspects of the structure as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep the home in good shape.

Even the most experienced homeowners lack the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspection firm. For example, watermarks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem, toxic mold or simply may be a result of a single incident. Consider using an inspector that a certified with mold testing/indoor air quality.

A professional assessment will provide complete information about the condition of the property you are considering and will help avoid any unpleasant surprises after the sale. In addition, a home inspector can remain totally objective, while you, as a prospective home buyer, may be emotionally involved.

A decision to have a home inspected is a good investment.

You might save many times the cost of inspection by being aware of defects, maintenance requirements, and upgrading requirements

Good decorating alone should not sell you on a house. Remember, you’re also buying structural and mechanical systems. Walk through a house twice before you hire an inspector. The first time, look at the rooms, the floor plan, and envision your own decorating ideas for the house. The second time, go back and look at the condition of the walls, doors, appliances, and plumbing. If the home still looks good after two visits and you’re getting serious about the purchase, hire an ASHI certified inspector.

Currently, in many states home inspectors are not regulated by any federal government agencies but in Pennsylvania must adhere to the Pennsylvania Home Inspector Law – ACT 114. Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania Announces a new “Start with Trust” initiative to alert consumers and real estate professionals as to how to identify compliant home inspection businesses. This program is being promoted in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Regional Organization of the American Society of Home Inspectors (PRO-ASHI).

A home inspection usually lasts about three hours. Professional inspection companies will be happy to answer all your questions. Avoid firms that issue only a verbal report. The report should be in narrative form, not just a checklist of items inspected. The home inspector should also issue a written report and adhere to the ASHI standards of practice.

You may find it valuable to accompany the inspector as they goes through the house.

Property inspections are not limited to residential properties. Many inspectors help homeowners with analysis and solutions to specific problems such as energy conservation, wet basements or cracked foundations. Inspectors also inspect work upon completion to ensure that a contract has been properly fulfilled.

If you are considering purchasing a home in Pennsylvania, Ed Lampl, certified ASHI Inspector advises that you invest in an inspection by a reputable inspector that is ASHI verified and compliant with the Pennsylvania law.

When hiring any contractor to come into your house you should consider asking if they have child custody clearances.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Know what you are buying and what your future upkeep obligations will be. Make sure that your inspector is certified in areas such as mold testing, radon and pest.

For questions contact – Ed Lampl (412-222-5968) ASHI certified – PRO-ASHI verified State compliant – inspector –servicing –the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding counties –

Home Inspections + Environmental Testing – Sick Building Syndrome Specialist

ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) #246381

CMI & CMA (Certified Mold Inspector & Assessor) #2033

Pesticide Applicator #402710 + DEP PA. Radon Certified #2569

www.HomePlusIsUs.com – take a virtual inspection at our website

“We provide a superior level of service unmatched in the Testing and Building Inspection Industry”

For 2009, Pittsburgh comes in as one of the Best Places to Raise Kids

For 2009, Pittsburgh comes in as one of the Best Places to Raise Kids in the state of Pennsylvania. BusinessWeek just released their second annual list of best places to raise your kids and Pittsburgh made it.

BW worked with OnBoard Informatics, a Manhattan-based provider of real estate analysis, and concluded each state’s most affordable towns when raising children. The analysis was compiled with cities containing 50,000 residents and family median income of $40K to $100K. Other factors came into play as well but affordability came in weighing strong.

Check out the article and see if you have friends and family in some of the other ranked cities.


Photo Copyright 2008, By Amy S. Myers

Attractive Financing Programs Are Still Out There

You know with all the things going on in the financial markets I was quite surprised to get an email from the financing company in our office informing me that 100% financing is out there. Sure there may be some qualifications but wow that is great!

It is available for Select Buyers and Properties through USDA Rural Development Programs.

– 100% Financing Off of the Appraised Value

– No Monthly Mortgage Insurance

– No Cash Reserves Required

– No Limit on Gift Money or Seller Concessions

– There is Flexible Credit and Qualifying Guidelines.

Check the USDA site for eligibility.

Pricing a Home

You know I visit seller’s and everyone has their own reason’s and needs for selling their home. Did you know that the number one thing that sells a home is the price.  Of course, we all want a great price for our home but a seller does need to be realistic. You need to ask your agent to get comparable homes in the neighborhood that have recently sold. Right now it is certainly a buyer’s market.

Your home should be priced properly to avoid getting stale on the market. The most important time for a listing is the first 30 days. If you listed your home at a higher price to start don’t leave it that way too long. If you have it competitively priced, you can increase your changes of getting multiple offers, especially if this is done right when first going on the market.

Interest Rates Fall!

Interest rates fell today. There are home loans available as low as 5 3/4 % 30 year fixed with zero points. Jumbo rates are great too. These are the best rates in the last 4-5 months. If you are sitting on the fence thinking of buying, it is a great time. You don’t know how long the rates will stay this way. If you or anyone you know needs a pre-approval, let me know. Enjoy your day!