June 2018 Newsletter
The median home value in Pittsburgh is $139,400. Pittsburgh home values have gone up 14.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 7.8% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Pittsburgh is $141, which is higher than the Pittsburgh Metro average of $119.
The median price of homes currently listed in Pittsburgh is $219,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $160,600. The median rent price in Pittsburgh is $1,350, which is higher than the Pittsburgh Metromedian of $1,200.
Foreclosures will be a factor impacting home values in the next several years. In Pittsburgh 0.6 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). This is lower than the Pittsburgh Metro value of 1.1 and also lower than the national value of 1.6
Mortgage delinquency is the first step in the foreclosure process. This is when a homeowner fails to make a mortgage payment. The percent of delinquent mortgages in Pittsburgh is 1.6%, which is higher than the national value of 1.6%. With U.S. home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their trough in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth.
The percent of Pittsburgh homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 8.9%, which is higher than Pittsburgh Metro at 7.9%.
Porches are wonderful spaces to relax and unwind, all the while enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors. Here are some quick tips and tricks for creating the perfect porch!
Pick a Theme
Selecting a theme for your space will help when choosing furniture and other pieces in the future. Your porch can be an extension of your home’s interior decoration or a completely different theme on its own. Consider using your home’s exterior to select the theme to help keep a sense of flow.
Even if your porch has plenty of natural light, adding lighting can turn your space into a great nighttime spot. Light citronella candles or torches for a romantic feel while also helping to keep away the bugs. Overhead fixtures offer more light for those who wish to read or simply enjoy brighter spaces. A fireplace can provide both light and heat on chilly summer nights.
Every great porch has one thing: furniture! Start by adding ample seating to your porch, be it a swing, benches, outdoor couches, or simple chairs. Next, bring in tables for people to set drinks, food, reading materials, etc. A rug can provide relief from cold floors and add decoration. Make sure anything you bring onto the porch can withstand the outdoors!
Accessories and Decorations
Add final touches with accessories and decorations. Install outdoor speakers to listen to music and provide ambiance. Bring nature onto your porch with potted or hanging plants. Throw pillows and a basket of blankets allow for porch dwellers to cozy up. Art pieces and sculptures placed on tables, benches, and walls can further establish the theme and fill space that furniture can’t.
Your porch has great potential to become a private outdoor oasis perfect for a moment of relaxation. Looking for a new home with a porch? Give me a call and I will be happy to set up a home search for you.
As you begin your home buying process, you may have heard the terms “starter home” and “forever home” thrown around in conjunction with the question, “What type of home are you looking to buy or live in?”
It can be hard to answer this question when you don’t even know what starter and forever homes are, so let’s define each of these terms first.
STARTER HOME; nounDefinitions:
What is a Starter Home? Most real estate experts use the term “starter home” to indicate that a house is a buyer’s first, and that they will live in it temporarily. This means that the buyer intends to buy another house in another location at a later date when their particular needs have changed. For example, they’ve started a family and require a fenced-in backyard or a specific school district, etc.
Why a Starter Home? If you don’t know where you’ll be in the next five years, or if you want to change careers somewhere down the line, or if you currently live in a different state from your parents and eventually want to move back into the same city as them—or the opposite!—then a starter home as your first house may be the right choice for you. It all depends on your particular needs.
Some questions to ask yourself before you make the decision:
FOREVER HOME; nounDefinitions:
What is a Forever Home?“ Forever homes” don’t have as many definitions as “starter homes” because the meaning is implied in the name: it’s a house that lasts forever. It’s a house that you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever in a bajillion years move out of.
It used to be that there was no differentiator between the two: the first house you built with your own two hands on your first plot of land in America was your house, and your children’s house, and your children’s children’s house, forever. Because you built it.
But with technological advancements and globalization, it’s easier for people to move around, and so we have the two different terms: a house in a neighborhood where you intend to stay in for a long time and raise your children (“forever home”) versus a house where you are staying for a shorter period of time and that you will likely move out of (“starter home”).
Because our needs are forever changing and we don’t actually know for certain what we will need more than ten years down the line, a “forever home” can also mean, more loosely, “a house you live in for more than ten years.” So not really “forever,” but close enough.
Why a Forever Home?There are many reasons to get a “forever home”: you intend to stay in the area for more than 10 years and raise children there, you don’t experience extreme bouts of wanderlust encouraging you to uproot to another country, the neighborhood where you want to live is absolutely perfect and you know you’ll never want to leave it, you don’t want to deal with the headache (or heartache) of buying another home after this and are perfectly content to get one house and be done with it, you want to build the house that will meet your particular needs, etc.
Some questions to ask yourself before you make the final decision are:
Buying a home doesn’t have to be stressful or headache-inducing. At Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, our goal is to help you make Home Happen Here. With our one-stop shopping, we offer real estate services, mortgage services, title and escrow services, and insurance services, taking the worry out of moving by guiding you through your entire home buying or selling experience.
And if you’re thinking of listing your home, there’s no better time than during a seller’s market. Receive a free home estimate at what is your home worth and get started on listing your home today!
The 2018 real estate market has been forecasted to be a seller’s market. What does a “seller’s market” mean, exactly?
In short, a seller’s market is when the demand for homes exceeds the current supply, giving the seller the upper hand. With homes in low supply, a seller could expect multiple people interested in a property and a possible bidding war. Properties can sell in a matter of days or even hours after hitting the market.
A seller’s market can come about in numerous ways, such as a drop in interest rates, allowing more people to qualify for purchasing properties, or increased employment opportunities bringing more people into the market.
Sellers can take advantage of the market by working with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent. The agent can properly price your home and help you sift through offers to find the ones to follow up on. Don’t always jump on the first offer you receive, however. You might receive a better one.
So here is the important question.....What is my home worth? By doing a comparative market analysis, touring your home, having seen dozens of houses this spring and having made several deals during 2018, I can help guide you to pricing your home correctly. This can be done in as little as 20 minutes.
Cooking doesn’t need to be limited to the kitchen. Revamp your outdoor grilling area to create a space where you’ll want to spend every spare moment!
If your grill is outdated, old, or simply not what you want, upgrade! Invest in a good appliance that suits your grilling needs. Grills come in various sizes and with different features, so choose one that does all you need it to do. Also consider the fuel: charcoal, natural gas, and propane are the main choices. Additional appliances, like a small fridge, pizza oven, wine cooler, or even another grill, can take your outdoor grilling area to another level.
Add a Prep Space
A designated prep area will turn your outdoor grill area into an outdoor kitchen. This can be an island with a sink or just an extension of your grill. Include storage space for grilling utensils and spices. Don’t forget to make your prep area easy to clean and use!
You’ve spent hours outside cooking the perfect meal, so why not enjoy it there, too? Add an outdoor table and chairs near your grilling area to indulge in your meal without having to go far! Picnic tables or an outdoor bar with stools are some of the more popular options.
Sometimes the little touches make all the difference. A hanging rack or utensil holder keeps grilling gear out of the way and less likely to be knocked to the ground. Bowls and plates can bring in the feel of a true outdoor eating space while also being readily available for use.
The question of whether one should first buy or sell is analogous to the question of which of two vials of poison one should consume. Okay, maybe not quite so dramatic… However, I would venture to guess that almost 95% of all of our clients come up with the same response. Buy first, sell later. Let me walk you through it…
On the one hand, if you buy first, there is the possibility that you may end up owning two properties for an extended period of time. And by extension, you may be required to pay two mortgages. Not ideal. The good news is that in the 28 years that I’ve been selling real estate, I can’t actually recollect any instance in which I had a client that had to make mortgage payments on two properties for more than, perhaps, a month. The reality is, by the grace of some god, our clients are able to purchase their new home and transfer title on their existing residence on the same day. In order to accomplish this, there are some strategies that one should consider.
You may be thinking, why risk it and purchase a property before selling? Well, the obvious difficulty that comes about as a result of selling first is that, unfortunately, you may be metaphorically shooting yourself in the foot. (Dramatic, again… I know) In other words, selling your home first greatly reduces the amount of time that you might have to find your next dream home – a property that you may end up living in for the next 10 or 20 years.
However, if the thought of moving into an apartment/temporary housing and moving all of your belongings twice doesn’t bother you, then perhaps this is the strategy that you should employ. The benefit of selling first is that it helps you to understand exactly how much cash you will have to purchase your next residence. And, if you don’t qualify for a bridge loan, it allows you the opportunity to write a non-contingent offer when you find the property that you’re hoping to call your next home.
Our Guest Blogger, Mark Siwiec, is an agent with over 28 years of experience.
If you are in the need of an experienced, full time agent, then give me a call to discuss your real estate needs.
Howard Hanna Real Estate
Direct Phone: (412) 889-6661