Tag Archives: Housing

Energy Efficient Upgrades in Your Home Can Have Tax Benefit

The New American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 does not just encourage buyers to buy but also provides tax incentives to make your home more energy efficient.

See below what the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) had to say on its site:

“Home Energy Investments in Stimulus

Among many provisions, H.R. 1, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” invests significantly in making housing and buildings more energy efficient. It provides:

  • $6 billion in state energy efficiency and conservation grants for energy audits and financial incentives,
  • $5 billion for a modern electricity grid and home smart meters that save money on power bills, and
  • $5 billion for weatherization assistance and $2 billion for federally assisted housing (section 8).

Through 2010, homeowners will be able to claim a 30% tax credit (up from 10%) for purchases of new furnaces, windows and insulation. The energy efficiency grants, new funding for Brownsfields redevelopment, and Energy Department Loan guarantees to develop on-site alternative energy sources will especially benefit commercial real estate. ”

Quoted From NAR

Consult your Tax Advisor.

Town Home Living at it’s Best!

This three bedroom 2 1/2 bath home is approximately one year young. Immaculate – Ready to move in! The home has a huge lot going back 380 feet with a meandering pathway. You can cozy up to the gas fire place when it snows. The gas bills are low. There is a large full basement for all your storage needs. Things that have been recently added that were not included by the builder is new front storm door and cement front walk-way.

Excellent starter home or great for downsizing. Inquire about possible owner financing.

For more details click here.

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
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.


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 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.

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

Pittsburgh Lands Spot for Top Bargain Market

It is great to hear that Pittsburgh comes in on various lists for top cities in the country for affordable and favorable living. It is a opportunities in healthcare and technology continue to strengthen the area. I recently read an article by Melinda Flumer of MSN Real Estate that ” Pittsburgh has shaken off its steel-town image to be an attractive and desirable location for families and retirees. In addition to housing many major corporations, it is home to Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon universities. The employment picture is solid . . . ”

Read more and be proud to be a part of this area.

Pittsburgh in Top Six Safe Haven US Cities

Kiplinger’s News reports that Pittsburgh makes the list for top Safe Haven Cities in the US.

We found six cities with slow, steady growth,” the article says and also says, ” . . . the properties have retained their value. This “Pittsburgh paradox,” as it’s called by locals, is attributed to the city’s steady population growth and the construction of new, high-value homes.”

See all the cities and their strong points in this full article. Interestingly enough, Lancaster, PA is among them.

Photo Copyright by Amy S. Myers, 2007

Pittsburgh and Suburbs Remain Stable

It is always an encouragement to hear that our area has good housing news. The housings prices in the Pittsburgh market have not had a severe depreciation or appreciation and this has kept us stable. Brandy Fabry, President of the Greater Allegheny-Kiski Area Board of Realtors, was quoted as saying, “Generally speaking, this is one of the more stable markets in the country.”

It is a buyer’s market still, lots of inventory, great prices and the mortgage rates are still attractive. Things are a little slow for sellers and new home construction, as there is a lot of inventory but experts expect that to pick up late next year. If you are on the fence and are thinking of buying, jump off into that great house. Great opportunities are out there.

Published Photo

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one of my photos was used in an ad. As a photographer this is an honor to know. I sell many photos through stock companies but most of the time to not get to know where the photos are used. The funny thing is the story behind how it was found. The mother of the girl in the photo saw the ad at a soccer tournament. Apparently it got some attention.

Here is a copy of the letter. For privacy reasons, I am leaving full names out.


How are you? We are all doing well.

We were at a soccer tournament this weekend at Turner Valley (Irwin). In the registration packet, we received advertisements from the sponsors. One of them was forcefield headbands. I was in the process of throwing the advertisements away, but looking at them as I did so, and the picture looked like “my daughter’s” (on the headband ad). I looked again (because I knew that she never wore a headband like that) and it was her! I couldn’t believe it. They added the headband to her and removed the “soccer” logo from her shirt and the Puma logo from her shoes. Everyone got a kick out of seeing her on this ad. She was even signing the ads. When her team took third place and they announced the name of the winners, the announcer even mentioned that she was the girl in the ad.

Thanks again for taking all the pictures of her and everyone else on the team. She really enjoys seeing herself like this. This was a nice surprise. Maybe the company should give us a free headband so she can wear it to the competitions. Attached is a copy of the ad.

Hope all is well for you and your family.



Another Wild Surprise

Looking out my back kitchen window this morning, I saw something odd in the yard. It was very big. I thought it might be a large piece of bark or a dead animal. I could not really tell. My husband thought it was maybe a rabbit. So he went out in the light rain about at least 50 feet from the house to check it out. Then to his surprise he hollers that it is a turtle. I sure did not expect that. We have had some unusual creatures in my opinion for living in a housing plan.

So being the photographer that I am, I immediately ran to gather up my camera bag. I shot a bunch of photos while he stayed sheepishly in his shell. I then shot some from the house while he had his head extended out pretty far. A black bird came along and was eyeing him for a few minutes and kept walking around him checking him out. About an hour after all the commotion he decided to get up and start booking. I thought it was pretty fast for a turtle. He then hung out for a little bit along the neighbors fence stopping and starting. A squirrel came along to check him out. We later looked him up online to find out he was a snapping turtle as we were thinking he might be. We thought he was lost. He was headed out the back yard. I suspect he headed back to the pond that is at least 100 feet from my back property line.

Read more about the snapping turtle.