Tag Archives: #pgh

Insulate Your Windows and Cut Your Heating Costs Down!

DHREA 24/09/2018

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Winter is coming, and so are cold drafts and high energy bills. One area that often goes overlooked in preparation for autumn/winter is making sure your windows and doors aren’t leaking in cold air.

If your leaking problem is from loose fitting window sashes or a poor fitting door, the simplest and cheapest method would be to purchase some self-adhesive foam weather stripping. This rolled product can be easily installed at the bottom of a window or around the outside edge of the door frame. Select the smallest size that will help seal the gaps, then just peel and stick. Too large and you may have difficulty closing the door etc.

Another good window treatment is the clear plastic window film that mounts to the frame of the window. Use a hair dryer to “stretch” the film, thus sealing any air leaking in around the sides or through poorly glazed panes.

Get a window insulator kit. It is made of a clear, plastic material that goes over the window, with double-sided tape around the edges to seal it. It’s easy to set up and helps a lot with drafty windows.

If you can actually see the gaps in the windows, a can of “Great Stuff” or something similar would probably do the trick. It’s an expanding foam that you spray into gaps.

Or you could use a squeeze tube of “DAP Silicon II” and run a bead of it around the window. This is perfect if you either don’t have a caulking gun, or don’t want to buy one. Instead, you can use a “squeeze it yourself” tube of Silicon II.

As for doors, a great short term fix is just rolling up an old bath towel and put it along the bottom of the door as a draft blocker! Old school? Absolutely. But, amazingly effective and inexpensive.

 

 

 

We have an announcement regarding October’s Workshop coming VERY SOON! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Workshop group on MeetUp.com today for the latest updates, and the chance to network with over 500 other real estate professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
527 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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Real Estate Investing w/ Alex Deacon: Out of State Investing Pros and Cons!

DHREA 19/09/2018

 

In this segment, “The Deacon of Real Estate” Alex Deacon discusses the pros and cons of out-of-state investing. There can be tremendous upside, but is the juice worth the squeeze? The Deacon breaks down how you should be preparing, if planning to invest outside of your state!

 

 

Like what you hear? Join Alex Deacon’s Workshop group on MeetUp.com, and start attending his FREE monthly workshops! It’s a great way to network with over 500 real estate professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
520 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: The Trick to Winning a Home Bidding War

DHREA 18/09/2018

 

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

 

There’s more than one way to win a bidding war. If you find yourself competing with multiple offers on the same house, know that there are others ways to sway favor in your direction other than offering more money.

The trick is to make your offer stand-out and to encourage the seller to make an emotional connection with it. You can think of it as a way to “sell your offer” to the home seller, and, in our experience, an offer letter is a perfect way to do it.

An offer letter is pretty simple, just like any other letter or email you write, and it accompanies your bid on the home.

Here’s a quick overview of key points to include in your offer letter:

1. Talk about what you love about the house

The seller likely spent years in the home and possibly raised a family in it, so they will probably have a strong emotional attachment to the property. Highlight the memories you hope to create in the home and acknowledge the hard work put into it. You can also mention any specific upgrades they’ve recently included and how much you admire the improvements.

2. Make it (just a little) personal

It’s helpful to reveal a little about yourself to the seller –but not too much. You can provide a short explanation of why you chose this particular house over other homes such as because it reminds you of your childhood home or you grew up in that community and want the same for your children. Whatever the reason, share it with the seller and let him know you’re the right buyer for the home.

3. Don’t mention any plans to remodel the house

While the sellers may realize that certain upgrades are necessary, most of the time, they don’t want to hear about it. The seller may have invested thousands of dollars to fix up the property, so they certainly don’t want to hear about plans to undo their work. Keep renovation plans to yourself.

4. Discuss your ability to afford the house

Include a pre-qualification letter with your offer and offer letter, so the seller knows you can afford the property. If the buyer is looking to make a quick and no-fuss sale, your pre-qualification letter may be just the thing to convince them to choose your offer.

5. Do you have anything in common with the seller?

You might also want to mention anything you have in common with the seller. Look for clues as you walk through the house and take mental note of any commonalities you have with the seller. Sometimes, it’s the little things (like both having a German Shepherd) that make a big difference.

6. Promise to take care of the home

A seller who invested to much time and effort into the home will prefer a buyer who will take care of the legacy. Include a promise to maintain and keep the house in excellent condition—whether you follow through on not making any changes is up to you. It may seem like a trivial thing to include in your letter, but it can have a tremendous impact on sentimental sellers.

7. Keep it short

Your letter should be both compelling and thorough but keep it brief. You want your letter to stand out, but you certainly don’t want to seem pushy nor do you want to overwhelm the seller with several pages of pleading. Keep your letter short, sweet and, optimally, a page or less in length.

Money isn’t the only way to compete in a competitive housing market. An offer letter and pre-qualifying letter can sometimes be more convincing than adding a few thousand to your bid.

Ready to get a pre-qualifying letter? Or maybe you’re just curious as to how much home you can afford? Contact Tara Mortgage Services with your questions today!

 

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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Here Comes the Rain. Be Prepared for Flooding!

DHREA 17/09/2018

Here are flood tips from the Department of Homeland Security. GIve it a read so that, no matter where you may be, you will know what to do in case of an extreme event. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

FLOODS

Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.

Where

Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.

When

Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

BASIC SAFETY TIPS

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

FLOOD WATCH

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” (Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.)

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio/phone. Sounds comical, but you will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.Prepare Your Home
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

FLOOD WARNING

Flood Warning = “Take Action!”  (Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.)

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

AFTER FLOODING

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.

MAKE A FLOOD PLAN

  • Know your flood risk.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
  • Make a flood emergency plan for the relevant type/s of local flood risk with plans such as evacuation, shelter, locations for high ground.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a minimum of 3 days of food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Consider buying flood insurance.
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

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Get the latest updates on Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Workshops, and network with over 500 real estate professionals in the process! Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
517 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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NEW LISTING! Great duplex in Scott Township!

DHREA 13/09/2018

 

Ready to live in one side and rent the other, or be your next cash flowing duplex! This side-by-side at 202 Boroview in Carnegie (Scott Twp.) features 2 bedrooms on the right side, and 3 bedrooms on the left. Both units have separate gas & electric, along with central A/C! Garage in rear could be rented out for additional income and potential for more off street parking in rear.

Click this link or the pic above for full property details!

 

 

Connect with over 500 other real estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Workshop group today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
514 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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Contingent! 209 Augusta St in 15211!

DHREA 10/09/2018

Sitting only 2 blocks from Grandview and another great flip opportunity for the client, this fantastic ranch on Augusta St in Mt. Washington is now contingent!

Join Alex Deacon’s Workshop group on MeetUp.com for the latest updates on his free workshops, and the chance to connect with over 500 real estate professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
510 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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The Ultimate Autumn Preparation Checklist

DHREA 10/09/2018

 

FallChecklist

 

Well…the weather turned on us quick, didn’t it? Since we’ve skipped straight to feeling like it’s the end of October, we thought it would be best to start preparing early.

Taking care of your home heading into the fall season can reduce short and long term home improvement costs, heating bills, and improve the overall quality and sustainability of your home. This list should cover most, if not all, of your bases. As always, please do not take on a project you may not be able to handle! 

 

  • Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. It will save energy and prevent them from freezing.
  • Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free.
  • If you use a hot water system for heating, drain the expansion tank, check the water pressure, and bleed your radiators.
  • Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed incorrectly (with the vapor barrier facing up) then the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape. To install attic insulation, unroll the insulation with the paper side out. Install small pieces of insulation between the joists on the attic floor. Be careful not to step between the joists.
  • Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
  • Lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it’s time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
  • To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
  • The change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed.
  • Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. Remove dead annuals and mulch hardy perennials. Annuals typically die when temperatures drop below freezing. But perennials often appear as though they too have bitten the bullet. That’s because their top growth dies back, although in most cases the root ball is hardy enough to survive even extreme temperatures, especially if it’s covered with a layer of mulch.
  • The best time to mulch perennials is after the first hard freeze. Just make sure you don’t cover the crown or center of the plant, because that can lead to rot.
  • Clean garden tools before storing for the winter.
  • Trim dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a winter storm.
  • Rake up the thick layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. Large leaves in particular, especially when they get wet, can compact to the point where they suffocate the grass below and lead to all kinds of insect and disease problems. So it’s a good idea to routinely rake or blow them off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.
  • Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Whatever you do, don’t waste fallen leaves because they’re an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter. You can also add them to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden.
  • Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn; it will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. When you’re done, spread fertilizer then grass seed.
  • This will be the ideal time to sow cool-season grasses such as fescue and rye – it will give them the opportunity to germinate and develop a good root system before freezing temperatures arrive. It’s also the right time to fertilize turf grasses, preferably with slow-release, all-natural fertilizer. When given adequate nutrients, turf grasses have the ability to store food in the form of carbohydrates during the winter months. That will mean a better-looking lawn come spring.
  • Pests love attics because they are full of nice warm insulation for nesting, and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. With gable vents that lead into the attic it is a good idea to install a screen behind them to keep those critters out.
  • Even after closing off those entryways, pests can still find a way in. The first place to check for any unwanted guests is under the kitchen cupboards and appliances.
  • Each fall, check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarm can save lives in a house fire. A carbon monoxide detector can also save lives if a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater.
  • Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless byproduct of burning oil or natural gas, and it can be deadly. For just a few dollars, a carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if the levels get too high.
  • Always install carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer’s instructions. Generally they should be installed near each potential source of carbon monoxide, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.

 

 

If you haven’t joined Alex Deacon’s Workshop group, what are you waiting for? Connect with over 500 other real estate professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
510 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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5553 Black St in East Liberty under contract without hitting the market!

DHREA 10/09/2018

This property on Black Street in East Liberty will be a great flip for the clients, and went contingent without hitting the market! Contact Chris Ciccarelli or one of our other great Advisors today to find your next investment or dream home!

 

Network with over 500 real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click the box below to join today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
510 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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#UnderContract: Multi-Unit/Grand Home at 307 2nd St in 15139!

DHREA 08/09/2018

This wonderful property with enormous upside in Oakmont is now under contract! Click the above picture for full property details!

 

We’re officially over 500 real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Workshop group!!! Click the box below and network with like-minded individuals, and be the first to gain access for information on Alex’s next workshop! 

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
510 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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Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Workshop is this Saturday! Large crowd for Zero Money Down!

DHREA 05/09/2018

 

Saturday’s workshop is trending to be the largest one yet! Not a surprise when the subject matter is buying with ZERO MONEY DOWN!!!

We still have seating available, but don’t wait too long. Come out this Saturday and network with over 40 other investors, while we share some common practices and welcome our special guest speaker, Mark Wolper!

We did mention this event is FREE, right? RSVP at Alex Deacon‘s MeetUp link below, and hope to see you this Saturday!

 

Zero Money Down is not Impossible

Saturday, Sep 8, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

37 Members Attending

I know it sounds too easy to be true and I often preach that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. In this case I am confident saying that this can be done regardless if you have been in the business as long as I or if you are new to the business of Real Estate Investing. I am going to show you the step by step process to start your…

Check out this Meetup →

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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