Tag Archives: Real Estate

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Fall In Allegheny Twp, PA

October 2015 -Allegheny Twp, PA

Photo by Amy S Myers


New Changes for Home Buyers

Yesterday I was at a meeting regarding new changes in the home buying industry. There is a lot to know for all parties involved in the process and starting October 3, 2015 (unless it is delayed again), there will be new waiting periods in the buyers paperwork for the mortgage due to the requirement to re-disclose new or updated information to the consumer.

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), has initiated new waiting periods to protect the consumer/home buyer. If a loan is originated before October 3, 2015, it will fall under the current rules.

So basically why is this important? Because it can affect your closing date. This is really MY main concern for both my buyers and sellers. I will tell you that if you have all your life’s belongings in a truck and you are thinking you are driving it right over to the next house, hmmm, maybe not. This can and does happen now (on occasion for various reasons) but the risk from what I am seeing may be higher.

Ok, my point is if you are buying a home after October 3, 2015, (and you are not paying cash) you need to have good people working with you can keeping up on paper work. Buyers and sellers also need to diligently participate with the process. A buyer needs to get info and paper work to the lender as soon as possible. Do everything they tell you to do and what they tell you NOT to do. ( Don’t go buy new furniture on your credit card before you close or anything else large for that matter like a new car – it will change your debt to income ratio if you are right on the edge – just don’t do it!) You can buy the furniture or whatever after you close. Your credit and employment is checked again before closing.

So one of the things that can trigger a re-disclosure: If the fees to the buyer changes more than 1/8 of a percent at a certain point, it can trigger a re-disclosure. If this re-disclosure is with in 3 days of closing, hmmm, your are not closing on your scheduled date. This is one example of a re-disclosure scenario. Now I was also told that all banks do not do 3 days some may make it as late as 7 days. If the buyer does not have access to email then it will be the later time period.

One of the lenders that I work with is trying to make this process as smooth as possible for the buyers and everyone involved.

Attached are a few videos to explains some of the process. If you have bought a home before, then you may be familiar with terms and paper work that is mentioned already. If not you will be seeing it, if you are buying a home. Make sure you surround yourself with good, efficient, and knowledgeable people. You will be fine.

I do not necessarily endorse the companies providing information in this video.  The buyer is free to choose their own lender and closing/title company.  These video were made with the original deadline date of August 1, 2015 which has since been delayed to October 3, 2015 of of this blog entry.



Pricing Your Home Properly

The number one reason a home sells is for the price.  How can pricing come into play when selling your home?

1)Â Compare other homes in the neighborhood by gathering data on recent homes sold generally in the last 90 to 180 days.

2) Consider Short sales and Foreclosures when pricing. Sometimes these are sold below market value but can bring comparable prices down.

3) Negotiate with Decisiveness. Buyers are not interested in negotiations where talks go back and forth.   They are more savvy and willing to walk away if things get to picky.

4) If your house is not selling it could be the price so know when to drop the price.  Buyers will not even look and even loose interest if the price is too high.

Remember your first 30 days on the market are the most critical. That is when you home gets the “most” attention because it is a new listing. So if you have it priced very competitively and it is a great house, you may command list price. I have seen it happen.

Real Snowflakes

Hope you are keeping warm this season. This is the most snow that I have seen in my life over the Christmas season living in the Pittsburgh Area (or NJ where I grew up). It was so cold last night and the snow was glistening out the back door. So before heading up to bed I had to shoot some snowflakes. They did not come out too bad considering a macro lens was not used. The photos are only cropped. No color editing was done. Happy New Year!




photos copyright 2010, Amy S Myers

The Missing Toilet

Well I went back to the interesting old home that my investor was considering. So it was my chance to get a photo of this unique situation. Check out the photo. I had to squeeze in.

Ok so sellers here is a tip:Â Always make sure you have a toilet in your only bathroom, because bathrooms and kitchens with the right features are key selling points of the home.

Refer to my previous post:Â The House That was Missing Something


Rural Housing Loans

Mortgage programs have become more strict in the last year. Something that you do not see as much is programs with no down payment. But there is still good news if you live in a rural area and do not have much cash to put down. Here is a great site where you can find more out about the housing program for the USDA’s Rural Development. If you are living in an area that qualifies, you may have a great opportunity at hand.

The USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site

See if you can qualify for no money down – talk to your local mortgage representative.

Many Buyers Check Out Schools and Neighborhoods

Many times, buyers ask me about about schools and neighborhoods. In the state of Pennsylvania, Licensed Real Estate agents are not permitted to speak their opinions about neighborhoods and schools. If you have children, of course, evaluation the schools will be important.

There are several ways that you can evaluate a neighborhood. One is to talk to the neighbors. You can actually find out more than info about the neighborhood by talking to the neighbors. You can also find out things about the previous owner and even some history and facts about your home your are thinking of buying. Another suggestion is to visit your local police station or look online for crime statistics and check registered sex offenders.

One thing I know my father did when I was a kid, when moving across town, was go and sit on the front step for an hour (the house was vacant) and listen for traffic patterns and different activities in the area. Try visiting at different times of the day and week to get a good sampling of neighborhood activity.

You can evaluate the schools online or even go to the school itself. I had a buyer actually go to several school districts and observe. A good thing to do is check out the school test scores, class size, special education opportunities and student-teacher ratios. Also, see if you can talk with other parents about the school district’s strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some resources to help you with your research.

Pennyslvania School Rankings

Five Top Points Buyers Dislike About a Home

Smell is the first thing that buyers will complain about when Looking at home. Dog smell, pet odors and odd cooking aromas or some the main reasons that they will turn around and leave. The home owner tends to not be always aware of the smell because when they are living around it daily. Often times you do not smell the odors in your own home because you are so used to it.

Cleanliness is the next big thing. I have had many buyers look around and disgust and shock that some sellers did not even bother to clean up. This does not mean home staging, it is more about the dirty dishes in sink.

You know I had a buyer once that often would say they thought a home we were viewing was dirty, but I had the hardest time convincing them to clean up their own while trying to sell it and theirs was dirtier. I received constant comments about this seller’s home. It is a great idea listen to tips that your agent gives you. Most of the time is it coming from the buyers feedback.

Another thing is try to not be in the home when buyers are viewing it. It is the third thing that buyers complain about. Buyers are just not comfortable with the seller in the home. Most of the time the buyer will be quick to view the home and not take the time to see all the features.

The fourth complaint is cleanliness. Try putting the clutter pile in a cubard and picking up the laundry. This is not just because it looks neater, but also because they can then see all the things that might have been covered up. If you have a storage issue that is going to be easily detected. Many sellers will move less used items to a storage facility.

The fifth spot goes to unfinished projects. The last thing buyers want to see is a home-improvement project not completed. It just gives a bad impression when a wall may be half painted. If you did not finish painting, what else may not be done or done correctly?

These things are not so much that important though if your home is priced above market value. Buyers do not like to see a house that is not reasonably priced. It makes the seller look as though they are not that reasonable to deal with and are unrealistic. If you have your home over priced for the market, it will sit longer, and cost you and your agent a lot of extra time.

If you have a home that is priced properly for the market and follow these suggest items, it will stand out among the crowd.