Tag Archives: HUD

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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First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Loans

Information was recently released about first time home buyers being permitted to use their tax credit as a a down payment. I had a recent discussion with a loan officer in our office. He discussed with me that in order for this to happen, HUD would need to approve the use of short-term bridge loans.  This has not happened yet.

If a loan is approved for the buyer, the buyer would need to repay the  loan when he received the funds from the tax return.  One item that may be an issue is if the buyer owes money, then the full $8,000 would not be refunded to repay the loan.

The loan officer in my office, said he is seeing a lot of buyers receiving gift money with intention to repay the source after their return comes in.

Check with your loan officer for further details.

Quoted from Realtor Magazine

“Under the guidance that’s under development, state agencies and other HUD-approved entities would be able to provide short-term bridge loans that households could use to help with their down payment. The loans would be repaid with the proceeds from the households’ federal tax credit.

The loans were announced on the opening day of NAR’s 2009 Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., last week. In his announcement, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said guidance would be issued shortly.

When the guidance is released, it is expected to cover eligible lenders and set parameters for loan terms and repayment. ”

What or Who is HUD?

“Housing and Urban Development, a cabinet of the United States. It has existed since 1965 and is charged with ensuring smooth policy for housing and city development. Since the mid-1970s, its focus has shifted primarily to housing, leaving urban planning more in the hands of individual cities.

One of the main functions of HUD, and certainly that with which most people interact, is its role as a lending facilitator. HUD helps people of low- and mid-level incomes acquire loans to purchase housing. HUD itself is not a lending institution, but it approves lenders and supports them materially.”   Read More

Related Posts:

First-Time Homebuyer Federal Tax Credit Info

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Details

Great News! Tax Credit Can Be Used for Down Payment


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!