October 2015 -Allegheny Twp, PA
Photo by Amy S Myers
For 2009, Pittsburgh comes in as one of the Best Places to Raise Kids in the state of Pennsylvania.Â 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.Â The analysis was compiled with cities containing 50,000 residents and family median income of $40K to $100K.Â 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.
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.Â 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.
Interest rates fell today.Â There are home loans available as low as 5 3/4 % 30 year fixed with zero points.Â Jumbo rates are great too.Â These are the best rates in the last 4-5 months.Â If you are sitting on the fence thinking of buying, it is a great time.Â You don’t know how long the rates will stay this way.Â If you or anyone you know needs a pre-approval, let me know.Â Enjoy your day!
Congratulations Pittsburgh!Â The Worldwide ERC(R), the association for workforce mobility, and Primacy Relocation(R) has announced that the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metro area is the number one Metro Area (with the population of over 1.3 million) of best cities to relocate to.
Information quoted from: reuters
Yes, the housing market is having a national crisis but the Pittsburgh area has remained stable.Â While yes there are foreclosures, they have fallen in numbers for the five-county area (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland) by 29.1 percent comparing to July 2007.Â These statistics were reported from RealSTATs, a real estate information company.
Amazingly, Allegheny County was down to 138 foreclosures from 231 in July 2007.Â According to RealSTATs Allegheny County’s peak foreclosure year was 2006.
Were you aware that there is a home buyer tax credit for buying a first home.Â It is part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 that was signed into Law this past July.Â Individual’s earning less than $75,000 and couples up to $150,000 can qualify for the full $7,500.Â Buyers with income of $95,000 to $170,000 may be eligible for partial credit.
If you have not owned a home in the past three years, you can take a tax credit worth 10% of the home’s sale price up to the amount of $75,000 (whatever is the lower amount).Â What is this program really is is a no interest loan.Â If you would owe $8,000 for a tax bill then after this credit of $7500, you would only owe $500 but in future years this amount would be paid back on your taxes over a period of years.
This program does not give you cash up front and is not free money but may be of assistance to many new homeowners.
See the following article for more details.
Preparing a vacant home is more than just making sure that the property is clean.Â It goes beyond cleanliness.Â If there are competing homes in your neighborhood, this is just another way for you to stand above them all.
1. Curb Appeal – The first thing the buyer sees is the curb appeal.Â I even knew of a buyer who would not even go in a house because of the lack of curb appeal.Â It was a great house inside but could not get him in the door.
– Make sure your bushes are under control and trimmed, pull weeds, and even add some new mulch if needed.
– Your front door should be clean.Â Even repainted it, first impressions are important.
– Place a new doormat at the front door
– Keep your grass trimmed and maintained and clean up all clippings
– Add some plants that give color.Â It will ad some punch to the landscape.
2. Cleaning – don’t stress out your buyer’s, have a clean house.
– Clean the driveway and sidewalks. Try using a pressure washer.
– Make sure windows are clean inside and out.
– Clean your decks and patios with a pressure washer.
3.Â Make sure you have neutral colors.Â While your red wall may be your favorite, buyers react better to walls that will fit with their decor.Â If they have to repaint that makes the home more work.Â Try creams or light grays.
4.Â If your house is vacant the buyers eyes will go right to the carpet.Â Not to mention buyers see it is unsanitary.Â Replace with an low cost neutral tone.
5.Â If you can, stage your home.Â Give the buyer something else to look at besides floors, walls and ceilings.Â They will not be able to see the flaws as easily.Â If they see flaws, they are more likely to make a lower offer.
Here are some energy saving tips for your home:
There are many people that try to sell their own home themselves, but many are not successful. About 80 percent of “For Sale By Owners” end up selling with an Real Estate Professional, believe it or not. Marketing and other chores can be a burden. Seller’s often are not sure how to price their home.Â Selling Real Estate is a full time job.Â An important aspect to consider when hiring an agent is always ask if an agent is full time in the real estate business. A good number of agents are not. The agents who are not full time quite often have other jobs. They are not there for you to answer questions and give you the high quality service.
Another interesting thing is that statistics show that you will, on average, receive 16% more for your home using a Real Estate Professional. Wow! That is great! Even though you pay a fee for these services you will be coming out with more money in your pocket. Not bad – and you don’t have to do any of the work except for having your house ready to show. Sounds like a good deal to me.
One of the top complaints that I have heard from sellers that have tried selling their own home is that they had a buyer but the financing fell through. One thing a Real Estate professional does is pre-approve buyers. This helps from wasting your valuable time. I don’t know about you, but I would not want to let just anyone in my house to show them my home – consider security.Â Just something to think about.