News & Updates

Alex Deacon’s Property Management Series (Audio): Challenges (Single family vs. Multi-family)

DHREA 19/12/2018

In the latest edition of Alex Deacon’s Property Management Series, “The Deacon of Real Estate” breaks down challenges you may encounter, both on single family or multi family properties. Does one style of rental carry more baggage than the other? Tune in and find out!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
591 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

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#TaraMTG Tuesday: Buying Versus Building a Home: Which Is Cheaper?

DHREA 18/12/2018


(Every Tuesday we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

Is it less expensive to buy or build a house? That’s a question that many homebuyers have –whether their first-time buyers or looking for toward their next move. Considering that “buy-and-flip” investors are less active and many developers have slowed down a bit, you’ll soon realize that you have more home buying options than ever.

Here’s what you need to know about buying an existing home versus building a custom home.

The Upfront Costs

Existing Home: The price of a home vary widely as it depends on the area, the square footage, the condition, the amenities, as well as many other factors.

Building a New Home: All things being equal and generally speaking, building a new home costs about $60-$70k more than buying an existing home with similar attributes. But that is not always the case. There are some instances where the cost per square foot comes out significantly less in a custom built home than in an existing home.

Here’s something else to consider –when you build, you also have the advantage of only paying for what you want. While an existing home may have additional perks, like a basement or hardwood floors, it may not be something that you want or are willing to pay for.

Home Maintenance

Existing Home: Older homes require more maintenance because they have more wear and tear. Some homes may even need a big-time overhaul! As with any home purchase, never skip the home inspection and understand that even with well-maintained homes, repairs are inevitable.

Building a New Home: Maintenance on a new home is very little, and it’s one of the central benefits of building a new home. Since everything from appliances to the HVAC system is new and under warranty, you’ll enjoy several years of worry-free living. Some contractors even offer a whole the home warranty that protects the house for up to 10 years!

Outdoors

Existing Home: A mature garden with large trees and well-established landscaping is a big plus of buying an existing home. Mature trees and landscaping not only add value to the property but can even help to reduce energy costs by providing shade and efficient drainage.

Building a New Home: Professional landscaping can cost thousands plus many years to come to fruition. The benefit, however, is that you’ll be able to design your outdoor precisely to your liking and it very little time. Depending on the project, you can have a custom-designed yard in two weeks or less.

Energy Efficiency

Existing Home: Older homes that have had little to no-updating use more energy. Appliances that are older than ten years, single-pane windows, and poor insulation are some updates you’ll want to consider if you buy an existing home.

Building a New Home: When it comes to energy efficiency, new construction can’t be beat. On average, new homes use about 21% less energy than older homes. However, this saving comes mostly from high-efficiency appliances. Meaning that if you purchase new HE appliances for an existing home, you can save just as much money on energy with an existing home as you would with new construction.

Appreciation

Existing Home: With an existing home, you make your purchase with some context. You can see the home’s previous sale prices, the cost of similar homes in the area, and have a good idea of what the market value of your home will be in the future.

Building a New Home: New homes, especially those in up-and-coming neighborhoods, can be more of a gamble. Without any sale history or comparables to reference, you have very little to go on when thinking about the future value of your home. Of course, if this is your forever home, which is often the case with custom-built homes, then not having a history to predict the future may not matter.

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
591 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

Congratulations to The Rookie Sean Sabina on his first DHRE Closing!

DHREA 16/12/2018

This single family home at 845 Gearing is officially off the market…which means one of our newest Advisors, Sean Sabina – Realtor has just closed his first property! Congrats, Sean! Here’s to many more in the future!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
591 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

UPDATE! Cashflowing FourPlex in Crafton now Contingent!

DHREA 16/12/2018

This fantastic fourplex with a great location at 66-68 Bradford is now CONTINGENT! Special thanks and Congrats to Josef Super for securing this fantastic addition to his portfolio! Click the link below for full property details, and contact Chris Ciccarelli for your next investment opportunity!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
591 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

NEW LISTING! Renovated Home in Baden Priced to Sell!

DHREA 14/12/2018

Newly renovated cape cod in Baden! Hardwood floors. Generous room sizes. Off street parking. Great view of the river valley. First floor master and half bath. Easy access to route 65, Cranberry, Pittsburgh, and the Shell plant. Also includes a home warranty! Click this link for full property details, and contact Jeremy Taggart about this aggressively priced home today!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
591 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

NEW LISTING! Great Investment/Starter Opportunity in Sheraden (Montour School District)

DHREA 13/12/2018

🎈 NEW LISTING! 🎈

Currently rented to long term tenants who have taken great care of the property, this would make a great addition to any portfolio! The property has three bedrooms, with the attic currently being converted into a 4th bedroom. The property also has a decent sized yard, and is in the Montour school district. Check out the slideshow below, and click this link for full details on this great opportunity for investors or anyone looking for their starter home!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
592 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

OpenListings.com Featured Blog: Avoid being “house poor” by taking these 4 steps!

DHREA 12/12/2018
Avoid being “house poor” by taking these 4 steps

We’ve all heard cautionary tales of new homeowners who have ended up “house poor.” Yes, their homes may be gorgeous and enviable, but that asset is all they have. But in reality, they’re struggling to afford their homes and live their lives comfortably. And, if there’s one thing you don’t want to do as a buyer, it’s to find yourself in a similar position.

Here are the steps you can take during your home search to ensure you find a home that works with your wallet and keeps you comfortably in your budget:

1. Shop below your maximum pre-approval amount

Once you go through the process of getting pre-approved, you’ll receive a letter that states how much money the lender is willing to loan you. Many buyers, especially those who haven’t bought before, make the mistake of shopping for homes up to that amount.

In reality, this figure is not a suggested price range. It’s the absolute maximum you’re allowed to borrow.

You don’t have to spend that much, and in fact, we suggest that you don’t.

A smarter plan, especially if you’re concerned about taking on a mortgage, is to work backwards.

First, find a monthly payment that makes sense in your budget. Then, see how big of a loan that payment will allow and use that as your maximum. To do this, you can use a mortgage calculator to play around with different loan amounts, down payments, and loan terms until you find a scenario that works best for you.

After you’ve found your sweet spot, don’t forget to see how a payment of that size affects your monthly budget as a whole. Ideally, you’ll land on an amount that allows you to become a homeowner while still being able to fund the other aspects of your life.

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2. Don’t forget closing costs

Remember, your monthly mortgage payment and initial down payment aren’t the only costs that you have to shoulder as a buyer. There are also closing costs to consider. These fees account for all of charges incurred during the course of the transaction and cover anything from the cost of inspections, to title insurance, or the cost of retaining an attorney.

Traditionally, these fees will amount to around 1%-2% of the home’s purchase price and will be split evenly between the buyer and the seller. However, in some cases, the seller will agree to take care of the upfront costs and allow the buyer to tack his or her portion onto the mortgage, which means repayment can occur over time.

In either case, it’s still an additional cost to consider as you budget for your new home.

1%-2% of the home’s purchase price may not sound like a lot at first, but it typically ends up amounting to a few thousand dollars. It all adds up.

3. Be realistic about renovations

When you’re shopping for a home, buying a home that needs a lot of work can seem like a great idea.

For one thing, properties in need to TLC often come with a much lower – and more attractive – sale price. For another, undertaking these projects offers you the chance to put your own personal stamp on the home. However, be aware that renovations often come with a much bigger price tag than you might think.

If you’re not particularly handy, you’ll likely need to hire professionals to handle both of the work. That alone will inflate the cost. Not to mention that any estimates you get are just that: estimates. Often, extensive renovations will come across an unexpected detail that ends up costing more. When all is said and done, renovations can sometimes end up costing more than just buying a turn-key home in the first place.

To keep yourself from getting in over your head, it’s important to be realistic about the size and scope of renovations that you’re prepared to handle.

Ask yourself: Do you have the funds to start these projects immediately or does it make more sense to find a home that’s livable and renovate over time. Then, search accordingly.

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4. Factor in upkeep & maintenance costs

Realistically, settling into your new home is just the start of the costs. As you live in it, you’ll undoubtedly encounter recurring costs for its upkeep that you’ll have to pay.

If your goal is to avoid becoming “house poor”, your best bet is to think long-term and account for these costs from the start.

In this case, you should focus on both annual fees like property records and monthly ones like utilities. Here, the seller is your best resource. He or she should be able to provide you with estimates of these costs to factor into your budget.

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
592 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

#TaraMTG Tuesday: “What Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Actually Cover?”

DHREA 11/12/2018


(Every Tuesday we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

There’s quite a bit of misunderstanding about homeowner’s insurance and how much protection it offers you, the homeowner. Depending on the type of loan you have, whether conventional or government funded, you’ll be required to insure your home in case of a disaster.

Before we break down the details of what homeowner’s insurance covers and who it benefits, it may surprise you to know that you’re likely under-insured. Here’s why:

Your Mortgage and Homeowners Insurance

When it comes to insurance requirements, the amount of the needed is determined by how much you own on the mortgage. That way, in case of a total loss, your lender will be able to recoup the remaining balance on your mortgage.

This may seem unfair but remember that one way that lenders keep rates low is that they minimize their risk. So when you think about your current homeowner’s insurance coverage, consider how much will be left over after the mortgage is paid off.

Would it be enough to start over if you had to? 

Remember that coverage isn’t just for replacing the financial value of the items lost, but it also protects your assets should you be sued or provides emergency funds for temporary housing.

Types of Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Just like health or car insurance, there are premium and minimum levels. Use this as a general guideline but contact your insurance broker for more details.

Property Damage

This insurance covers damage to your home from disasters like fire and severe weather. Note that earthquakes, mold damage, termite damage, and some flooding (even if caused by the weather) may not be covered. There are also limits as to what physical aspects of the home are insured.

For example, your cabinets, flooring, roofing, and appliances will be protected, but the cabinets, flooring, roofing, and appliances in your detached garage may not be.

Additional Living Expenses

A disaster may leave your home uninhabitable and you may need other living arrangements while repairs are underway. The purpose of this insurance is to, as closely as possible, help you maintain some normalcy in your life while you rebuild.

There are guidelines that determine whether your home is truly uninhabitable as well as how long you can make this claim and how much you can claim. For example, if you typically spend $500 on groceries monthly, but are now spending $800 because you’re living in a hotel, the insurance will only cover up to $500.

Personal Liability

This coverage protects you against lawsuits that involve injury or property damage, including damage that you cause to someone else’s home.

Medical Payment Coverage

This coverage is specifically for medical expenses should a visitor get injured on your property or in an area adjoining your property such as the sidewalk. Coverage is limited to accidents and does not cover the residents of your home.

As you can see, there’s much more to homeowner’s insurance beyond “paying off the mortgage.” If you haven’t done so recently, look over your policy to see what’s covered and call your insurance agent to see what they recommend.

Not a homeowner yet? We can help! Contact us Tara Mortgage Services today to learn more about first-time home loan programs.

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
593 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

UPDATE! Remodeled starter/investment home in Washington REDUCED!

DHREA 08/12/2018

🎈 PROPERTY UPDATE! 🎈

Fully rehabbed inside and out, this home would be great for a first-time homebuyer or as a rental property in your portfolio! Watch the slideshow below, and click this link for full property details!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
593 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More

UPDATE! 1672 Hillsdale in Dormont has been REDUCED!

DHREA 07/12/2018

🎈 PROPERTY UPDATE! 🎈

This beautifully renovated brick home in the heart of Dormont has been REDUCED! Click below for a slideshow preview, click this link for full property details, and click this link to conctact Ashley Johnston today!

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
593 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Read More