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Retirees: 5 Reasons to Choose Pittsburgh

by Jim Dolanch

When choosing a location for retirement, there are many important factors to consider, some that you might not have necessarily thought about when choosing a location for working or starting a family. And when starting to research that perfect retirement spot, you might notice that the city of Pittsburgh pops up quite a bit, even beating out cities in Florida, South Carolina, and California, for top places to retire. At first glance, it might seem surprising, but with the wealth of perks presented by this thriving city, it’s really no surprise that Pittsburgh is rated the #21 City to Retire by Forbes Magazine and #1 by Zippia.com. So, just what makes Pittsburgh such a great retirement community?

1. Low Cost of Living & Affordability

All else aside, might be one of the most important factors to consider in top retirement locations. After all, one of the downsides to retirement is decreased income, which means paying more attention to just how much living costs. Fortunately, the cost of living index for Pittsburgh falls 16% lower than the national average, with a median home price at just $140,000.

2. Rich Culture & Things to Do

Steeped in history and surrounded by top universities and colleges, Pittsburgh enjoys a strong sense of culture and plenty of unique attractions, districts, and cultural sites. From the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to the Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh spans a true wealth of interests. Unique districts such as The South Side, The Waterfront, or The Strip District provide entertainment, restaurants, shops, and nightlife, while history buffs and art critics flock to the Warhol Museum or the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. And don’t forget about cheering on Pittsburgh’s four major-league sports teams!

3. Ways to Stay Active

Big-city living doesn’t have to mean all skyscrapers and sidewalks. Pittsburgh offers plenty of interesting ways to stay active, from paddling the waters of the Allegheny River to hiking at Point State Park or Phipps Concervatory. Bike trails wind throughout the city, and the famous Duquesne Incline offers one of the best cityscape views around.

4. Amenities

Active seniors having fun and relaxing in natureEverything you need, within easy reach. Whether it’s shopping, dining, healthcare, or services, it’s never more than a quick drive—or walk—away. Pittsburgh is home to twelve hospitals, many of which are nationally renowned, and enjoys a high number of doctors per capita, making it particularly ideal for aging residents.

5. Transportation

How will you get around in your retirement? Will you walk? Bike? Take the train? If you live in Pittsburgh, you’ll have options for all three easily at your fingertips! High walkability, plenty of bike trails, and a large mass transit system make traveling throughout the city a breeze. Pittsburgh is also home to a new International Airport, making top destinations worldwide just a few hours away.

Ready to Retire to Pittsburgh?

What more could you want in your retirement city? Pittsburgh truly is the ideal location—from affordability to amenities. So if you’re considering retirement, now is the time to learn more about Pittsburgh and its many charming suburban communities, and perhaps explore some homes for sale here. Then, contact us and let’s talk about living in Pittsburgh!

8 Actions To Avoid When Buying A Home This Spring 2016

by Jim Dolanch

So you’ve been preapproved for a mortgage and your real estate agent (hopefully also known as The Jim Dolanch Team) has found you your dream home and you’ve made the offer! The offer has been accepted or has been accepted with a few contingencies; either way you are well on your way to the American Dream of homeownership. It should be smooth sailing from here on out right? Wrong! The following actions could still put the chances of owning that dream home in jeopardy so it’s best to steer clear of them:

  1. Don’t Open OR Close Credit Accounts

Applying for a new credit card and being forced to wait for the application to be approved can look bad on your credit score, not good and can also delay your mortgage approval. Also, while you may think it’s a smart idea to transfer balances and cancel unused accounts it will actually look bad on your credit score, according to our source.

  1. Don’t Buy Extravagant Purchases

            The main example of an “extravagant purchase” here is a car, but really anything with a big price tag should be avoided. Just because you secured the down payment on your dream home, doesn’t mean there aren’t other expenses you’ll need to save for, like: closing costs, home repairs, and utilities to name a few.

  1. Don’t Furnish The Home In Advance

We know decorating the home might be the most enjoyable part of the process for some, but wait before you do so! Some pieces of furniture like large TVs or couches could even be considered as an extravagant purchase. You should wait to purchase these for the reasons listed above in the previous action, but also because you’ll need to see how everything looks in the house. Just because the sellers decorated it a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to keep each room as they had it. You’ll need some time to make measurements of different areas and decide what you need to purchase for each room.

  1. Don’t Change Jobs

            Even if the job pays more and is closer to your dream home, don’t accept it, at least not until after you purchase the home. Changing jobs will delay the home buying process for you and the sellers could move on to a new buyer with a more secure financial situation.

  1. Don’t Skip Bills

            These bills include credit card bills, but also your basic utilities and anything that could affect your credit score. Again, just because you’ve already been pre-approved doesn’t mean that skipping bills won’t affect your score – because it will!

  1. Don’t Skip The Paper Trail

            It’s important to keep track of all documentations throughout the entire process. Our source even says that documentations of your transactions will be needed for your lender. A good tip to keep track of these when you decided to start saving for a home is to create some file folders for each one of your regular bills – car payments, vet visits, health insurance, etc. Then when you are ready to buy a home create an additional folder about the home buying process. In here you should keep all documentations of the process from your pre-approval to homes you are interested in, to the final agreements.

  1. Don’t Spend Your Savings

This ties in to actions 2 and 3 but we can’t stress it enough – don’t spend your savings! The old cliché “Don’t spend it all in one place” certainly applies here. As mentioned while this might be one of the biggest purchases you make there are still some extra expenses you’ll need to save for like closing costs, home maintenance repairs, utilities, and furniture to name a few!

  1. Don’t Wait

Finally, perhaps the best piece of advice is – don’t wait! Once you’ve found that dream home, the longer you wait on it the less of a chance you have of purchasing it. If you see it on a Monday, it could be sold by the weekend. At most, only “sleep on it” and make an offer the next day because it could be gone before you get another chance to!

We hope this blog has you even more ready to buy your dream home. If so we encourage you to take a look at our featured listings and contact us to assist you in the process. Remember – don’t wait!

Happy Home Buying!

Your #1 Pittsburgh Real Estate Resource

I pride myself on being your number one resource with everything ranging from real estate news and information, local Pittsburgh area events and statistics to do’s and dont’s like this blog post!

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any more advice on listing your Pittsburgh home.

Until Next Time,

How To: Get Your Home Ready For Spring

by Jim Dolanch

While of course we hope you’re reading this blog to get your home ready to sell for the Spring Real Estate market, we know that not everyone is ready to sell his or her home. Perhaps you’re just looking to update your home décor like you update your wardrobe. If that’s the case then here are 10 great ways to swap out your cozy winter stylings for some fresh breezy spring and summer home styles!

  1. Breezy Fabrics

            Fabrics that are great for the colder months might include things like velvet silk and tweed; but fabrics that are perfect for the spring and summer months, also described as “light and breezy fabrics” include ones like linen or printed cotton. Housebeautiful.com suggests swapping the winter out for the spring fabrics with your pillows, but you could also swap them out for curtains, rugs, and even tablecloths!

  1. Bright Beddings

            Not only can you change the fabrics to brighten up your rooms, but you can also change the colors – especially in your bedrooms! You might have a heavy duvet or comforter with thick blankets for the winter and colder months; replace them with something lighter and with a lighter color scheme. You could swap something simple like a dark purple for a light/pastel purple; or you could completely switch from cool colors to all pastels and/or lighter colors. It really depends on your own personal taste!

  1. Add Some Greens

            While of course we mean adding the color green, we also mean adding some foliage to your home décor. While adding flowers, as we’ll mention later is a classic way to make your home feel like spring, adding some foliage is something unique that works just as well. Housebeautiful.com suggests adding things like banana leaves, philodendron leaves, or even palms and papyrus. Just like flowers, if the water is monitored and they are trimmed regularly they can last for a while!

  1. Color Accents

            If you don’t have the time or money to change all of your décor, simply add some color accents. This could come in the form of pillows or curtains as mentioned previously, or even just with different knick-knacks like vases and centerpieces with bright spring colors that pop! Check out what the popular color and design trends for 2016 will be with our old blog, and see how they compare to that of 2015!

  1. Spring Cleaning

            Of course this probably was the first thing that came to your mind with the title of our blog, about getting your home ready for spring! We have some great tips from our blog about Spring Cleaning including:

  1. Spring Scents

            Of course flowers and foliage will add some great natural scents, but don’t forget to swap out those air fresheners and candles. You may have had scents that go with the holidays like cranberries or holly; for spring you might want to find something lighter like a nice citrus or the popular “breezy laundry” scent. While your swapping your air fresheners, it might be a good idea to clean out your fireplaces, chimneys and ceiling fans, since you’ll probably be using your fireplaces less and your ceiling fans more!

7.Don’t Forget The Walls!

If you want to make a dramatic change to your home décor, then changing your wall colors are a great way to do that. A common trend is creating an “accent wall” by just painting one wall in a certain room a color that matches some of your other accents in the room. You can also completely change it with some bright wallpaper or painting the whole room! It really depends on how much time you have, or how dramatic you want the change to be.

  1. Indoor Flowers

       As we mentioned earlier adding some foliage is one great way to get your home ready for spring but so is adding some fresh flowers. You’ll likely already be getting your outdoor garden ready for spring with our blog – How To Prepare Your Garden For Spring, so you might as well find some great indoor flowers to add to your shopping list as well. Housebeautiful.com suggests night-blooming jasmine as having a great scent and a beautiful flower for spring!

  1. New Art Pieces

            While you’re looking for new wallpaper or a new color to paint the walls as previously mentioned, you might want to look for some new art pieces as well; Think breezy and summer like nice dogwood blossoms or even some nice beach scenes. Again, it should match your other décor and be your own personal preference.

  1. Bold Color

Finally if you can’t decide which way to go with your accent colors or fabrics, try painting the entire room (of a small room like a laundry room or powder room) a bright, bold color.

Hopefully between this blog and the other blogs we mentioned, you’ll have a ton of great ideas of how to get your home ready for spring. After all nobody wants to be reminded of the cold wintery months all year round! Just remember when considering these tips, only use the ones that A. you have the time for B. you have the budget for and C. are your own personal taste!

Happy Decorating!

Follow and Like The Jim Dolanch Team!

The Jim Dolanch Team is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Yelp. Be sure to follow us to get more information about Pittsburgh area events, and information about the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market! Or visit my website and let my team and I assist you in finding your next Pittsburgh home!

 

Until Next Time,

Jim

February 2016 Events in Pittsburgh

by Jim Dolanch

Happy February Pittsburgh!

Though February may be the shortest month of the year this blog, combined with the accompanying informational graphic designed for adults only, make it clear that the number of days doesn’t keep it from being a busy and exciting time for Pittsburgh. Here we offer a number of events that you can experience with your family and the informational graphic gives you some great date nights for your Valentine, or even nights out with friends! We hope these events will show you how vibrant of a city Pittsburgh is and will encourage you to make it your next home, if it isn’t already!

5 Family Friendly February Events in Pittsburgh

  • What: Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Monkey
  • Where: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  •                10 Children’s Way
  •                Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • When:   February 7, 2016
  • Contact: 412-322-5058
  • If you’re family is looking for an alternative to watching the Superbowl on February 7 then this is a great event for you! Family of all ages will enjoy learning about the Chinese culture and New Year through making art, live music, and even a Steel Dragon Lion Dance Team at the finale!

 

  • What: Cadillac Ranch Valentines Weekend Feature
  • Where: Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grill
  •                1060 Settlers Ridge Center Drive
  •                Pittsburgh, PA 15205
  • When: Friday February 12, 2016 – Monday, February 15, 2016
  • Contact: 412-788-0777
  • For only $39.95 you can impress your whole family or your Valentine’s date with a three-course dinner!

 

  • What: 31st Annual Allegheny Sports, Travel, & Outdoor Show
  • Where: Monroeville Convention Center
  • When: Wednesday February 17, 2016 – Sunday February 21, 2016 – 3:00 PM
  • Contact: 412-373-7300
  • If you have a family full of sports or outdoor enthusiasts then this is the perfect event for you! This even is one of the largest ongoing outdoor events ever and will feature dozens of live demonstrations and exhibits ranging in everything from hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and even vacation planning and off-roading!

 

  • What: 10th Annual Father Daughter Dance
  • Where: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  •                10 Children’s Way
  •                Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • When: Sunday, February 21, 2016 – 6:00 PM
  • Contact: 12-322-5058 ext.274
  • This night is sure to be one that both fathers and daughters will remember! From the dance itself, to the buffet dinner, a photo booth photo, and even an enchanting horse drawn carriage ride it’s sure to be a fantastic evening.

 

  • What: Youth Make: Larger Than Life
  • Where: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  •                10 Children’s Way
  •                Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • When: Friday, February 26, 2016 – 5:00 PM
  • Contact: 412-322-5058
  • Children between the ages of 10-15 years old can explore a number of unique activities with this event! Let their imaginations soar by letting them use recycled materials to build structures, see what virtual reality is with a green screen, and even sew a sleeping mask! This unique event is sure to be one your child will remember!

Surely one of these great events from VisitPittsburgh.com will get you and your families, or your Valentine, falling in love with February in Pittsburgh!! The Jim Dolanch Team and Century 21 Frontier Realty sincerely hope you have a fantastic February with your friends and family and we hope you’ll consider us for any future real estate needs you may have in 2016!

Happy Valentine’s Day (in advance)!

Resolve To Save Money For a Down Payment in 2016!

by Jim Dolanch

Are you still searching for the perfect New Years Resolution for 2016? Sure there are the old clichés – exercising more, eating less, trying to get or stay healthy…But why not try a more creative resolution that you can actually achieve? Make 2016 the year that you become a homeowner, or at least start heading in that direction. The best way to do that is to (1)-clean up your credit score (or start one if you’ve been using a Debit card your whole life) and (2)-start saving money for a down payment! The rest of this blog will give you some tips on how to do that – by cutting out the following common money-wasters:

  • Skip the Starbucks

            Whether it’s Starbucks, McDonalds, or some other place you routinely get coffee every morning – skip it! Chances are your office has a kitchen it offers its own FREE coffee, or better yet make your own and bring it from home! Yes you might miss out on the fancy lattes and frappes that your favorite coffee places has, but if you Google it you might be able to make it on your own, and even make it healthier. Realtor.com says that the savings you could rank up from skipping the store-bought coffee could add up to $876 (plus taxes!)

  • Create Your Own Exercises

            Maybe one of your new years resolutions WAS to get healthy, as mentioned above – that’s great! We aren’t discouraging it by any means. But don’t join a gym January 1st and then go once a week. If you join a gym, you should commit to it because an average gym membership could cost you approximately $58 a month. Many people forget to cancel and the gym will keep charging you even if you don’t go. Instead of spending that much money when you only use the treadmills and a few machines – create your own exercises. There are tons of apps and websites that can help you if you do a simple Google search for exercises you can do at home. Or better yet, go on a walk on your lunch break or after work! Because canceling that gym membership could save you approximately $696 a year!

  • Cancel Cable

            Yes we know it’s easy to get sucked into your favorite TV shows. But did you know that almost every channel has it’s own app? There’s also Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and a host of other streaming channels that you can subscribe to that are way cheaper than cable. Plus some of those streaming channels (Netflix for example) have a ton of original shows that aren’t on cable networks. Canceling cable could save you up to $1,189 a year!

  • Limit Streaming Activity

            While there are a ton of streaming channels for you to choose from, don’t go crazy with them. You don’t need Netflix, Hulu, AND Amazon Prime. Pick one and you should be fine. Or better yet if you have friends and/or family members that also use streaming services, chances are you’ll be able to share them with at least one other person. Limiting your streaming activity could save you nearly $100.

  • Lower Your Cell Phone Plan

            Since you’ve already been cutting a ton of things down or out of your life, you should add your cell phone bill to that list.  While it’s great to have unlimited data with 430 minutes – how much of that plan do you actually use? Do you text more than you call? If so, then you’re probably better off choosing a lower cell phone plan that has less minutes and maybe 2GB of data instead of unlimited.  Even though you have your favorite apps, chances are you’ll still be able to keep them because they probably don’t use that much data. Lowering your cell phone plan could save you up to $300 according to Realtor.com.

  • Limit Eating Out

            Of course it’s a good idea to bond with your coworkers by going out with them – and that often includes going out to lunch or even ordering food in. But maybe suggest to your group of friend/co-workers that you all tart packing lunches instead of eating out all of the time. This includes when you get dinners out with your own close group of friends as well.  Sure going out to new restaurants is fun and exciting, but cooking dinner with your girlfriends can be just as much fun and rewarding! After all if you go out to lunch or dinner every day it could add up to as much as $56 a week or $2,674 a year according to realtor.com.  This compared to making your own lunches or dinners adds up to only $960 a year, making the total annual savings about $1,714 according to realtor.com.

  • Drink in Moderation

            As mentioned, going out with co-workers and/or friends is always a great time, especially if alcohol is involved. But did you know how much it adds up to? Say you go out three times a week that could add up to as much as $66 a week, or $264 a month, and $3,168 a year! So while yes going out with friends and co-workers for drinks can be a great time, maybe limit or completely quit the alcohol if you join them.

  • Do Your Own Laundry

            Finally, how often do you take your clothes to the cleaners? And how close do you live to your parents or a friend that has a washer and dryer and is willing to help you out. If you’re lucky enough to have a family member or friend to help you out you could save up to $1,354 a year by doing your own laundry instead of taking your clothes to the cleaners.

If you follow all of these tips on saving money for a down payment this year, you could save nearly $9,400! While you’ve still got a few years to go if you want to save the traditional 20% of a an average priced US home (which in 2010 was $221,800), you’d need to save approximately $44,360, according to Businessinsider.com. Still, saving almost $10,000 a year by cutting these things out of your life might get there a lot faster than the estimated 10-12 years that it takes save for a home according to BusinessInsider.com. That may seem like a long time, but you can do it especially if you start now! We hope this blog gave you some great motivation and tips on how to keep your new years resolution of resolving to save money for a down payment in 2016. If it has got you curious on what homes are on the market, feel free to browse my website where you can have access to our great featured listings as well as all the homes in Pittsburgh real estate market. We hope you follow these tips and to see you in the Pittsburgh marketplace real soon.

Happy Saving!

Your #1 Pittsburgh Real Estate Resource

I pride myself on being your number one resource with everything ranging from Pittsburgh Real Estate to how to tips about saving money for a down payment on a home like this blog post.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any more advice on listing your Pittsburgh home.

Until Next Time,

Jim

National and Pittsburgh Real Estate Predictions for 2016

by Jim Dolanch

2016 Pittsburgh Real Estate Predictions

Since the Pittsburgh Business Times and the West Penn Multilist saw these numbers increases in 2015, they are predicting that the following stats will continue to increase in 2016:

  • New listings increased 6.3% compared to 2014.
  • Home Sales increased 8.1% compared to the previous year and
  • Home Sale Prices increased 3.5%

Also, similar to the 2016 national real estate predictions, our source predicts that Pittsburgh will be the #2 go to market for Millennials! This prediction is in large part to Pittsburgh’s strong job outlook and general affordability!

While mortgage rates are also expected to increase, rents are expected to skyrocket according to our trusted source. Realtormag.com reports, “more than 85% of the nations markets have rents that exceed 30% of the income of renting households.” That combined with the above real estate statistics, and the fact that home values in Pittsburgh are expected to rise 3.3% over the next year, make 2016 a great time to buy in Pittsburgh!

Your #1 Pittsburgh Real Estate Resource

I pride myself on being your number one resource with everything ranging from design tips and trends to how to tips to national and local real estate updates like this blog post.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any more advice on listing your Pittsburgh home.

Until Next Time,

Jim

How To: Get Your Home Ready for 2016

by Jim Dolanch

As 2015 comes to a close, we end on another great year of real estate tips and tricks for the homeowner or potential homeowner. If you’re a regular blog reader of mine then you should be up to date on the basic, but important facts and figures of homeownership such as:

All of the above blogs have very useful information, especially if you’re planning on selling your home in the New Year. But whether your planning to sell or not, you should definitely follow the tips below to get your home ready for the new year of 2016!

  • Go Green

            With the New Year many people resolve to get in shape or get healthy. Another way, that people often overlook, to do that is by turning your home into a “green” or energy-efficient home. Doing these assists with your get healthy resolution by making the planet you live on an overall healthier place to live. While you can always splurge by investing in solar roof panels or energy-efficient toilets, if you also resolved to save money you can do something simple like switching to LED light bulbs, according to our trusted source.

  • De-clutter

            The holidays are usually a time for giving, and you can do that by cleaning out closets and getting rid of things you no longer use. Who says you have to wait until spring-cleaning to do this? If you just acquired a whole bunch of new things from family and friends that you’ll use more than your old things, then follow the old cliché of “Out with the old and in with the new!” You can go with the spirit of the season and donate them or give them away to those in need, or if your bank account is hurting from the holidays you can always sell them to get some extra cash! Either way one great way to make sure your home is ready for 2016 is to get rid of junk!

  • Repair, repair, repair!

            Of course everyone wants to upgrade to an eco-friendly, clutter-free home but it’s important to repair what you already have as well. If you’ve been putting off fixing that leaky pipe or broken dishwasher, resolve to do it in 2016! Make a to do list of repairs as you’re doing the early spring-cleaning and de-cluttering mentioned in the previous step. Once the to do list is created, resolve to get it done!

  • Upgrade or Convert Garages and Extra Spaces

            While you’re reading this list you might already be planning to move your junk or broken appliances into your garage – DON’T DO IT!! In fact you might want to upgrade your garage before doing the steps above to keep yourself from being tempted to just hiding it all away in there. You probably need to clean your garage and/or basements of unused junk that’s been piled there as well. Some other great ways to upgrade your garage could be to add some new lighting, new flooring, new shelving space, or even fixing that garage door opener. While you’re fixing up the garage you might want to fix up any spare rooms you have as well like your guest bedroom, office, or basement.

  • Add Curb Appeal

            While it’s been a mild winter so far, the harsher temps are sure to come soon so this step might be best saved for the spring or warmer months. But there are even things you can do to fix up your curb appeal like making sure your walkways and driveways are always shoveled and salted so people don’t slip or bring slush into your home. Also making sure there is adequate lighting in these shorter days makes a huge difference. Then once it gets warmer out, you can add a fresh coat of paint and spruce up those flowerbeds and windowsills with some new flowers and plants!

If you think you deserve a fresh start in 2016 then your home should deserve one too. The tips listed above, combined with tips and tricks from previous blog posts are sure to rejuvenate your home for a great 2016. And if you are thinking about selling your home in 2016 I hope you don’t hesitate to contact me to assist you in the process. But in case I don’t hear from you I hope you have a very happy and prosperous 2016!

Happy New Year!

Your #1 Pittsburgh Real Estate Resource

I pride myself on being your number one resource with everything ranging from Pittsburgh Real Estate to tips about how to rejuvenate your home like this blog post.

 

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any more advice on listing your Pittsburgh home.

Until Next Time,

Jim

Can Home Sellers Be Successful in the Winter?

by Jim Dolanch

While Pittsburgh has been unusually lucky with warm weather so far during the fall season, the snow and other bad weather is sure to come. It always does! I’ve already given you a blog on WHY you should sell your home during this time of year, and even touched a little on How To Make Your Home POP This WInter, but let’s go into more detail. Below are some ways that home sellers CAN be successful in the winter!

  1. Be Social.

            Social in this circumstance refers to social media marketing. Don’t get us wrong, direct mail, signs, and print ads are still a productive means of marketing, but social media will be a huge help in the colder months, especially if a sign is covered in snow or trips to the mail box are less frequent. Realtor.com suggests increasing how much you spend on targeted ads on Facebook, or Pinterest, and even posting in different Real Estate groups in your area. The Jim Dolanch Team is very active on social media; make sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Yelp!

  1. Be Proactive.

While it’s obviously better to fix any problem areas of your home (a leaky roof for example) before putting your home on the market, it’s also important to be proactive about these types of issues (Realtor.com gives the examples of grading and drainage issues in your yard.) If you’ve had experiences with these types of things in the past and can tell that any buyers might experience it in the future, get some quotes about how much it would be to fix them and then determine with your Realtor how much you should contribute in the closing costs.

  1. Picture It.

            While the snow and rain can be beautiful at times, they are not great advertising tools. Make sure your home listing online and brochures and print ads all have the photos of your home when it’s sunny and warm out. This way your prospective buyers can picture how nice it will be when the weather is better.

  1. Be Safe.

            If your home has been marketed correctly with the previous tips and has gained enough interest it’ll surely bring some prospective buyers! But they’ll need a safe way of getting in the home without worrying about slipping and falling or getting stuck in the snow! It’s just better to be safe than sorry in this instance. Make sure your walkway and driveways are shoveled regularly and covered in salt to prevent falls. The last thing you’ll need during these stressful winter months is a lawsuit from a prospective buyer that slipped and broke something while trying to see your home!

  1. Be Cozy.

            The successful completion of all the previous steps will finally lead to the most important one – the tour of the home. With this step’s title of “be cozy” we don’t mean that you should be cozy with buyers, but that your home should be cozy! Make sure there is lots of lighting and your home is nice and bright both on the outside and the inside. If you have a fireplace, of course you’ll want to put a log in it just to create some warmth. Realtor.com even suggests providing some booties or slippers of different sizes for your buyers to wear so they don’t track slush or mud through the home!

So, to answer the question in the title of this blog – YES, home sellers can be successful in the winter with these tips and the help of The Jim Dolanch Team! If you had any fears about selling your home during this time of year, hopefully this blog, combined with the other two mentioned above has eased them.

Happy Selling!

Follow and Like The Jim Dolanch Team!

The Jim Dolanch Team is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Yelp. Be sure to follow us to get more information about Pittsburgh area events, and information about the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market! Or visit my website and let my team and I assist you in finding your next Pittsburgh home!

Until Next Time,

Jim

6 Reasons Why October Is The Best Month To Buy A Home!

by Jim Dolanch

6 Reasons Why October Is The Best Month To Buy A Home!If you’re a regular blog reader of mine then you know I’ve given you a number of blogs recently about why the fall season is a great time for the real estate market including;

Those blogs might have you ready to sell your home during this fall season, but are you ready to buy as well? Maybe you put your home on the market and are staying with friends or family until the spring or summer hits; or maybe you’re selling your home and looking to rent an apartment instead. Whatever your reasons, this blog should convince you of this one very important fact – October is the best month to buy your new home! Here are some reasons why:

  • According to a survey done by RealtyTrac, the average sales price was 2.6% BELOW the full market value of the 2.7 million October sales over the last 15 years!
  • February, July, December, and January were also recorded as great months to buy (notice that they are all winter months except July!)
    • April is considered the worst month to buy a home (over the past 15 years, the average premium was 1.2% ABOVE the market value of the sale)
  • Home prices are predicted to rise between 10.5% and 25.5% over the next five years according to another trusted source.
    • According to the same source, 30-year mortgage rates are predicted to rise later this year.
  • By the end of next year a number of trusted sources (including Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) predict the rates will rise almost a full percentage point.

In addition to these great statistics it’s important to remember some tips from the blogs above including:

  • Less Competition – Many people that might be thinking about buying often get busy around this time of year because school is starting and the holidays are around the corner as well. With the colder weather and shorter days prospective buyers are also less likely to go out searching, giving you top choices!
  • Motivated Buyers – While some people might not be searching for a home because of the busy time of the year and the holidays coming up as previously mentioned, these reasons are also likely to create more motivated buyers. People that are coming to your Open Houses and touring your home are much more likely to be buyers than those in the summer that are just browsing a number of different homes. A lot of buyers that are looking will want to get moved in and settled before the really bad weather and the holidays hit.

With all of these reasons and statistics and previous blogs about the fall season being so great for real estate hopefully you’ll be more ready than ever to put your home on the market or search for a new one! Feel free to browse our featured listings where we hope you’ll find your dream home and contact us soon!

Happy Browsing and Happy October!

Your #1 Pittsburgh Real Estate Resource

I pride myself on being your number one resource with everything ranging from Pittsburgh Real Estate to DIY home projects to seasonal real estate tips like this blog post.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any more advice on listing your Pittsburgh home.

Until Next Time,

Jim

Why The Holidays Are An Excellent Time To List Your Home

by Jim Dolanch

With Thanksgiving only a few days away and the Christmas season right around the corner, you may use these holidays as excuses to procrastinate selling your home. Of course we want you to cherish these times and make great memories with your families, however we also want to encourage you to finally take that plunge and put your home on the market if you’ve been thinking about it. If you have been thinking about putting your home on the market but have been procrastinating because of the myths that the holidays are a bad time to sell, we’re here to debunk that myth! After all, according to Tom Ferry, the #1 Real Estate Coach and Speaker, the holidays are no excuse to slow down:

“The holidays are a time of clear separation…separation between the agents who slow down, and the agents who ramp up to book a ton of appointments to set themselves up for success and start the New Year off right.”

Top Reasons To List During The Holidays:

  • Serious Buyers

As mentioned, some people will be busy spending this time of year with their families, enjoying the holidays and not thinking about buying. That’s how you know that the buyers that do come to your home or your Open House are serious about buying now!

  • Less Competition

            Because of the myth mentioned above that the holidays are a bad time to sell, there will be fewer homes on the market for yours to compete with. This means you are likely to get offers closer to what you are asking for! (Less competition equals more money in Tom Ferry’s words!)

  • High Demand

Because there is less competition, it means there is high demand. There will be much more competition after the holidays when it starts to get warmer. This step is the opposite of the previous step because “more competition equals less money.”

  • A Cozy Feeling

            While we encourage you to minimize your decorations during the holidays to not turn certain buyers off, the ones you do have should make your home feel cozy and inviting. For example, you can add a simple winter wreath to your door and have a fire going in the fireplace to give a very welcoming and warm feeling to your prospective buyers.

  • You Are In Control

Because there is less competition you can restrict when you want your home to be shown. Since the buyers that are looking during this time are more serious they will have to respect your schedule and see your home when it’s most convenient for you.

  • More Showings

            Of course this varies depending on peoples’ work schedules and how much time off they are provided for the holidays, but you are likely to get more showings because of this time off. Normally people like to see homes during daylight hours and if the prospective buyer works until 5:00, seeing homes during the daylight can be tough around this time of year. But with their days off work for the holidays they have more opportunities to see the homes they desire.

  • Sell Now But Wait To Move

This ties in with the previous step about you being in control. Maybe you want to spend one last holiday in this home, or maybe you have to wait to move because there are so many businesses closed during the holidays. Whatever your reasoning, you can sell your home now and make an agreement with your buyers that you won’t physically move from the home until January or February.

Hopefully this blog has eased any fears you had about putting your home on the market during the holidays. While we value family and encourage you to spend time with them during this holiday season, we also hope that this list will invite you into the real estate market during the holidays as well.

Your #1 Pittsburgh Real Estate Resource

I pride myself on being your number one resource with everything ranging from home décor tips to DIY home projects to seasonal tips about the real estate market like this blog post.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any more advice on listing your Pittsburgh home.

Until Next Time,

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 91

Contact Information

Jim Dolanch
Century 21 Frontier Realty - The Jim Dolanch Team
4121 Washington Rd
Mcmurray PA 15317
Direct: (724) 288-8800
Fax: info@JimDolanch.com