Tag Archives: #pgh

House hunting for first-time homebuyers: is there a right way?

DHREA 15/11/2018

 

A lot of buyers, especially first-timers, worry about whether or not they’re going about their home search the right way.

On the one hand, buyers fret that if they find their “dream home” too early, they might be missing out on something better. But, on the other, if the process takes a while, they worry that they’ll never find a home that works for them. The FOMO is real.

Keep reading to find out if you’re on track with your home search and what you should do if you find that you need to go back to the drawing board.

How many homes should you see?

Honestly, that depends. While we understand the impulse to try and rely on hard-and-fast statistics, homebuying is a truly personal experience rather than a science.

Trust your intuition. You know your needs, likes, and dislikes better than anyone else. You’ll know when you’ve landed on the property that makes the most sense for you to call home.

That said, though, there are a few things you can do to help speed your search along:

If you’ve been looking for a while and haven’t really found anything that meets your needs, it might be time to redefine search criteria. Sit down and take some time to think about which features you really need to have in your new home versus which are more nice-to-have, wishlist items.

Narrowing your search

Sometimes, narrowing search criteria can get tricky. If you’re unsure of where to start, try using the following as a starting point.

Neighborhoods

Focusing in on a particular area is one of the easiest ways to refine your search. You can start by doing research into different neighborhoods by you. Think about what you commute to work will look like, if the area has amenities that you enjoy, the quality of the school district, and home values.

With that in mind, though, you getting too hung up on a particular zip code can also limit your criteria. The key is keep an ideal location in mind while still staying open to possibility.

Bedrooms & bathrooms

When searching for a house, you should have a firm idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’re after. Whether you’re just looking to accommodate yourself and the occasional guest, are thinking about starting a family in the near future, or want the option to convert a spare bedroom into an office, this information will surely help narrow your search.

We advise against compromising on this feature because, while it is possible to put an addition on later, doing so takes a substantial amount of time and effort. More often than not, homeowners find that they would rather put their home on the market than go through the hassle of trying to renovate it to fit their changing needs.

Sale price

This is the big one. Once you have the above two details settled, it’s time to narrow your search results further to only those homes that you can truly afford. If you’ve already applied for a pre-approval, that number can be a good place to start. However, remember that a pre-approval shows the maximum amount that you can ask for in a loan. You may not want to borrow up to that amount once you factor in the rest of your monthly expenses.

To find a more comfortable sale price, we recommend using a mortgage calculator to get a sense of what your monthly payment could look like at various loan amounts and interest rates. Then, once you’ve landed on a number that works for you, try plugging that into your monthly budget to get a sense of how the payment will feel in addition to your other costs.

Now what?

The good news is that once you’ve narrowed your search down, your pool of available properties will likely be much smaller than it was before – and much more targeted to meet your needs. From here, your search will be about zeroing in on your perfect match on the basis of which property was the best fit for your personal tates.

You’ll know when a property feels like it could become home versus when you’d be trying to make the best of an imperfect situation. Keep hunting until you find the former.

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.

 

 

 

Join nearly 600 other real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
586 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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DHRE DIY Blog: Make A Home A Home!

DHREA 14/11/2018

welcomehome

 

The key to any living situation is making “a home feel like a home”. Whether you own or rent, a little elbow grease and creativity can go a long way. Here’s some quick and easy examples of how to make your home feel more like a home.

1. SHOW YOUR STRENGTHS

If you are someone who is crafty and clever, don’t take for granted your skill. If you own a staple gun, update you bedhead, armchair, or dining chairs at the cost of the fabric only. Competent sewers should consider recovering lampshades, cushion covers and whipping up some curtains. You might have a knack at photography or be a gifted artist. Here again, don’t undervalue your skills. Instead, consider creating some pieces for your wall. You will be updating your space at a low cost and can also have the satisfaction of knowing it is the result of your own handy work.

2. PERSONALIZE

Displaying photos in the house is a no-brainer for personalizing your home, but how you do it can make or break your space. Group photos together to create a gallery wall for an effective contemporary look. Avoid using small photos which can get lost on the wall and create clutter. Similarly, your book collection is uniquely yours so empty your books out of their storage boxes and display them in your home. Whether stacked on bookshelves, piled in a tower on the floor or plumping up a vignette, books are an ideal way to personalize your space.

3. GO GREEN

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times: Greenery in the home provides life. While some will argue this, we all need more plants in our interiors. A large plant is an ideal way to fill out a corner and there’s no reason to stop at one. A collection of different plants in varying heights and in varying pots creates interest, lushness, and vitality.

4. BE A SOFTY

A home to me should be a like a big fuzzy bear hug – a place you feel comfortable and at ease. Pay special attention to the soft furnishings in your home to simply soften up your space. Cushions, rugs, curtains, bed quilts, and towels, are those pieces that create a layered, welcoming, and homely look and feel. And strive for diversity in your materials and patterns to create added interest.

5. HAVE FUN

When styling any space be willing to play around with your furnishings until you can stand back and feel a sense of pride and satisfaction. There are interior styling ‘rules’ which you can apply to help you in the process, but it is largely intuitive and requires a lot of play. Add, delete, shift, delete, shift, add, shift, delete, delete, delete! I suggest waiting until you’re home alone, playing your favorite tunes, getting in the zone, and then play the day away.

6. LOOK FOR UNIQUE BARGAINS

It might be time to step out of your comfort zone and seek out some fun and interesting furniture and homeware retailers. Not only can discovering new suppliers provide a fresh source of inspiration, but often the more diversely you shop, the more diverse your space becomes. And don’t be afraid of second hand stores and antique dealers…sometimes the most obscure find can really satisfy your taste for unique decor.

 

 

Join nearly 600 other real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
586 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 Tuesdays: Five Quick Ways to Estimate Your Home’s Value!

DHREA 13/11/2018

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

 

Home values change pretty quickly, which makes it tricky to get an accurate home value estimate without a professional. Whether you’re thinking about selling in the future or just curious, there are ways to find out the value of your home in a less official manner.

5 Methods for Calculating Your Home Value Without an Official Appraisal

Ask a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent familiar with your neighborhood can give you a reasonable estimate of your home’s value. You may even consider getting several estimates from various agents for an even more accurate assessment.

Hire an Independent Appraiser

If you’re selling, buying or refinancing, an appraiser has likely come out to review your home. But did you know that you can hire one independently?

As an independent, they can calculate a fair value without any outside pressures. Although not typical, banks sometimes put pressure causing appraisers to have an overly critical eye. With this unbiased outside opinion, you can feel more confident about how much they say your house is worth.

Compare Recent Home Sales

One of the ways that appraisers determine the value of a home is to review sales of similar properties sold recently. These are called “comparables.” We recommend comparing the prices of properties that have sold within the past six months and within one mile of your home.

Use the Internet

The internet is a great place to see what homes are selling for in your neighborhood or what they have recently sold for. Some real estate sites even have online tools for assessing your property’s value by just inputting your address.

Cruise Your Neighborhood for Open Houses

Take a Sunday afternoon to check out your local open houses and see what they are going for. You can also ask the real estate agent questions about what other homes have sold for in the neighborhood or their opinion of the demand for housing in that area. They can also give you insight into the recent upgrades that the current homeowner did to help raise the value of the home.

If nothing else, you’ll get ideas for ways you can upgrade your home either for reselling or just for personal satisfaction.

Combine several of these methods, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what others are willing to pay for your home. Thinking about selling? Besides knowing how much you can get for your home, it’s also important to know how much you can afford for your next one.

Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for a no-obligation home loan pre-qualification!

 

 

Join nearly 600 other real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
585 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 Condo in Scott Twp’s King’s Grant community!

DHREA 09/11/2018

 

🎈 NEW LISTING!🎈

Welcome to this charming condo located in the desirable King’s Grant Community!

This unit has been meticulously maintained and is located on the top floor with no noise above. Perfect OPEN FLOOR PLAN with neutral paint and carpet. Great size living room with a beautiful exposed brick wall which really does add so much character to this cozy unit. Enjoy some time relaxing out on the balcony with a fresh cup of coffee in the mornings or catch the incredible sunsets regularly in the evenings.

The kitchen offers a ton of counter space perfect for all your holiday prep, an abundance of cabinetry for all of your storage needs, and has beautiful dark hardwood flooring.
The Spacious master has an Awesome walk-in closet and the 2nd bedroom also offers a huge double closet.

A Spectacular bathroom renovation- Large bathroom(seller had wall in bathroom removed making this area much more functional) with ceramic tile flooring(which continues into the laundry room), newer toilet, vanity, beautiful light fixture, and lovely tile work with mosaic accents in the shower. THERE IS A WASHER/DRYER IN THE UNIT with a ton of built in shelving THAT GIVES YOU ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES AND SO MUCH CONVENIENCE.
This condo has everything you could want or need its just waiting for you to make it your own HOME!!!

Such an IDEAL LOCATION!!!! Close to downtown, airport & 79. Walking distance to shops, restaurants & public transportation.

Condo fee INCLUDES heat(gas), water, sewage, trash, roof, gutters, snow removal, grass cutting, exterior maintenance. Contact me Ashley Johnston for details, or click this link!

 

 

 

 

We’re nearing 600 Real Estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Workshop group! Click the box below, join, network, and be the first to receive updates on Alex’s workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
583 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 …

Next Meetup

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM
44 Attending

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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UPDATE! 109 Crescent Hills Rd now CONTINGENT!

DHREA 08/11/2018

 

This wonderful home in a quiet neighborhood of Crescent Hills is now CONTINGENT! Contact Megan Clancy today at 412-939-SOLD with your questions! Click this link for full property details!

 

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

 

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

40 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

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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Reminder! Alex Deacon’s November Real Estate Workshop is this Saturday!

DHREA 07/11/2018

 

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past, but we’ve had really strong turnouts, I don’t like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. At our next workshop on November 10th, we will do a virtual tour of current and past projects!

This workshop will show you where to spend your money wisely, and where you can and can’t cut corners in order to stay profitable but still supply a quality product and reduce liability. Regardless if it’s a flip or a buy and hold, it’s important to know where you can save money in labor and materials.

We are going to go through current and past rehabs. Before and after pictures and go over budgets room by room. Looking at medium to high end finishes and lower end finishes.

We will discuss flip budgets and repair strategy versus buy and hold rehab strategy. A good solid 1 hour and 45 minutes and a lot of Q and A. Feel free to invite we have plenty of seating this month!

 

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

40 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

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

 

Read More

NEW LISTING! Recently gutted and rehabbed gem in Washington, PA!

DHREA 06/11/2018

 

🎈 NEW LISTING! 🎈

Recently gutted and fully rehabbed inside and out. NEW ROOF 2017. Open concept with high ceilings and recessed lighting. Click the the pic above or this link, or contact Corey Drexler about this property today!

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

34 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

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

 

Read More

NEW LISTING! Gorgeous remodel in Pleasant Hills

DHREA 05/11/2018

🎈 NEW LISTING!🎈

Gorgeous remodel in a friendly neighborhood on a very quiet street. Contact Chris Ciccarelli today or click this link for full property details!

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

34 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

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

 

Read More

New listing! Brick home with a fantastic location in Dormont!

DHREA 05/11/2018

 

🎈 NEW LISTING!!!🎈

A very well maintained 2 story brick home located in the heart of Dormont with a fantastic location! Click the picture above or this link, or contact Ashley Johnston for more details on this wonderful home!

 

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

34 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

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

 

Read More

Think you’re ready to buy a house? Here’s 4 signs.

DHREA 02/11/2018

 

“Am I ready to buy a house, or should I just keep renting?”

It’s one of the questions that we hear most often and something to which first-time homebuyers often spend months, if not years, trying to figure out the answer.

Below are a list of four tell-tale signs that you’re ready to bite the bullet and take the leap into home ownership:

Sign #1: You’re ready to settle down

The first sign that you’re in the right mindset to become a homeowner is that you’re ready to stay put — at least for a little while.

Conventional wisdom states that in order for your purchase to make financial sense, you’ll want to plan on staying put for at least the next five years. When you sit down to think about house hunting, you’ll want to use that timeframe as your reference point.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you see yourself staying at your job for that long, or will you be looking for new opportunities?
  • If the right position came along, would you be willing to move for it?
  • Do you like the area you’re living in, or would you like to explore other options?
  • Do you see your living situation changing soon?
  • Are you planning on moving in with a significant other or expanding your family?

If these questions make you squirmy, the idea of looking five years into the future still feels a little too far ahead for you to grasp, or you still want to see where life life takes you, you may want to consider renting for a bit longer or thinking about a for-a-few-years home vs. a forever home.

2. You’re done living paycheck-to-paycheck

Let’s face it, becoming a homeowner is expensive.

Not only is there a monthly mortgage mortgage payment to consider, which will likely be more than your current rent check, but prospective homebuyers need to be prepared to come up with a sizable down payment, shoulder a portion of the closing costs, and have the dough to take care of any necessary repairs.

Luckily, there is a way that you can prepare for the added financial pressure before the big day comes and understand how much house you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to estimate what a monthly payment could based on the type of home you’re looking to buy. Then, subtract the amount you pay in rent each month, and aim to put the the remainder into savings.

Start by working towards a down payment that could be worth 3%-10% of a home’s sale price, and then move onto a seperate emergency fund.

3. You’re ready for more responsibility

Once you find a home and actually buy it, that’s really where all the fun begins.

Yes, owning a home means that you have a lot more freedom to improve the property as you see fit — whether that means putting in an entirely new kitchen or redoing the hardwood floors.

However, in addition to that creative freedom comes an added layer of responsibility. As the homeowner, you’re the one who is responsible for any necessary maintenance and upkeep on the property.

Think about what you’re like as a tenant now.

Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and help with small tasks or are you relieved to know that you have someone to call? If you’re less handy, you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with common home maintenance tasks before committing to buying anything. It always helps to have a fair idea of what you’re getting into.

4. You know what you’re looking for

Last but not least, though it may sound self-explanatory, when you’re trying to determine whether or not you’re ready to buy a home, it’s useful to have an idea of what you’re looking for.

You don’t have to have every single detail set in stone. (In fact, it’s preferable if you leave some room to flexibility in your home search.) That said, though, having a basic set of parameters in mind will make the homebuying process go much easier.

Here, you’ll want to think about the most important factors that you absolutely must have in a home. These will be the things that you would not feel comfortable buying a home without. This may include details like your preferred location, an ideal number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a target sale price, or any specific must-have features like that perfect picture window view.

If you have a strong idea of your must-haves and can’t see that changing in the near future, and the above signs sound like you, you may just be ready to take the plunge into home ownership. If not, there’s no shame in the game waiting.

 

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.

 

 

Don’t miss the final Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!

Virtual Bus Tour of Current and past rehabs

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

28 Members Attending

We have done a few actual bus tours in the past but with the strong turnout I dont like to have to turn down folks due to the high volume of requests. Our next workshop in November we will do a virtual tour of some current and past projects and show you where to spend your money wisely and where you can and cant cut corners in order to stay profita…

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

 

 

 

 

Read More