October 2015 -Allegheny Twp, PA
Photo by Amy S Myers
This Friday, starts off the holiday season in Pittsburgh in festival of lights.Â This yearly celebration event includes tree lighting, Santa Spectacular, and the PPG Place ice rink opens officially.Â The night ends with a fireworks finale at Point State Park – starting at 9 pm.
I have been in the Pittsburgh area for 20 years now and every year I hear of light up night.Â For one reason or another, I never get to make it.Â And yes, I am still hoping to do so.Â Maybe this year will be the year.Â It is a great time for fun with family and friends.Â For photographers this is a great opportunity to get the city at its brightest.
Pittsburgh Light Up Night details (Friday, November 21, 2008)
If you get to go tell me about it.
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: