Tag Archives: house

Fall In Allegheny Twp, PA

October 2015 -Allegheny Twp, PA

Photo by Amy S Myers

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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.

 

 

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

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

Curb Appeal Top Priority in Competitve Market

Curb appeal is more important then ever in this competitive housing market. With so much inventory, how can you make sure that a buyer will make it in your house?

This week I went to meet an agent that was working with me on another house. I met her at a house she was just listing so we could exchange some original documents. As we approached the house she asked me what I thought of it for the price she had just listed it at. It was a big house in a town, ok yard, and I thought, hmmm . . . that is kind of high. It looks like they put a new front door on the place and they want that much for it ??? . . . I proceed inside to take a tour since I was there. It was gorgeous. New carpet, refinished hardwood floors that looked amazing for being original -especially in a home that could be about 100 years old. There was a large updated eat-in kitchen. There was a huge new deck out the back and a great yard for being in town. The rooms were large through out the house, the main bath was enormous for the age of the home and it had beautiful ceramic tile. The fourth bedroom on the third floor had all new carpet and was bigger than any room in the house, spanning from back to front, which is a typical size for these type of homes.

The thing that is now sticking in my mind is the though of when I first got here. This house is so awesome with how it has been remodeled but how is anyone going to know this from the outside. It has old white siding that is very dirty and brown drip marks staining the house from rusted gutters. The yard looks like no one had done a thing to it in years and that no one cared a bit about it.

If the house was painted or sided and some modest landscaping put in and maybe a flower box on the large homey porch, it surely would stand out among its competitors. I am sure you would capture the emotion of the buyer as soon as they got there, and after seeing the inside, they probably would not have a problem getting a nice price for the home. But the key is getting them in there, if all they see is the outside.

Realtor.org has some interesting things to say about curb appeal as well.

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).

Lots of Fun Things Going on in Pittsburgh

I was delighted to hear that fun things are happening in Pittsburgh. Did you know that Pittsburgh has a large working population which has increased by 28,000 since 1996? Large companies have announced moving headquarters downtown bringing even more jobs in. Read more exciting news about shopping and restaurants.

“In the face of gloom and doom spreading across the country, Pittsburgh’s Downtown is enjoying a bit of a building boom in housing, office development and retail.

The former Lazarus store is being converted into condos, shops, restaurants and offices.” and there is more.

quoted from:Â http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08341/932158-65.stm