Housing Market

  1. 7 Excellent Reasons to Buy A New Construction Home

    It’s a great feeling to buy a new house. Even if it’s not your first. But purchasing a brand new home, not just one that’s new to you, is even more exciting. You get to customize it just the way you like. It’s modern, safe and has all the walk-in closet space you could want.

    The best part? You won’t be painting over marks on the wall from when Cindy was 4 feet tall or replacing ceiling fans from the 60s. Oh, no. These rooms aren’t filled with another family’s memories. They’re waiting to collect your memories.

    Of course, there are many more reasons you might want to consider new construction.


    Everything is under warranty

    This is the best thing about buying a brand new house! You know that everything is under warranty and that you won’t have to replace a single thing for years. You’re guaranteed to be moving into a home that’s decked out with the latest appliances and building materials, making your new abode a low-maintenance paradise.


    Energy efficiency

    New construction homes are much more energy efficient than homes build just a few years ago. If you buy a home that’s 10 years old, you might be saving money with the purchase but will probably even out with the utility bills. But a newly built home will have thick double-, sometimes triple-paned windows that will keep your home from getting drafty and help you save money over the years. You can also use the time you would’ve spent on maintenance doing more exciting things, like golfing, traveling or shopping.


    Customize it

    When you work with a custom builder, you get all of the features you want in a home. You don’t have to home shop for months to find what you want. Interested in marble counter tops, hardwood flooring, and Delta satin nickel bathroom faucets? Done. You get to customize all of the important areas the way you want them.



    Buying a brand new home is safer for three reasons:

    1. A safe neighborhood. The newly developed community is designed for you to take daily strolls or sit and enjoy the greenery.
    2. Equipped with State-of-the-art circuit breakers, alarm systems and environmentally friendly paint and carpet.
    3. Always built to conform to the latest code regulations.


    Modern design

    modern home design

    You won’t have to worry about replacing shag carpet or vintage wallpaper. When you find a builder to design your house, you’ll get the most contemporary layouts like open floor plans and high ceilings, which are perfect for family nights or entertaining guests. New houses also have three times the closet space and twice the bathroom space of an older home. Decks and porches are also built into the living design to ensure you have all of the space you need to live comfortably.


    Extra rooms

    Forget about an additional dining room! In a new house, you’ll get useful extras like game rooms and office space. Some of these rooms can even be dual-purpose. For example, your office can also double as a guest room.


    Outdoor space

    ourdoor activities

    When you buy a newly constructed home, you’re also buying extra space. Housing developments are typically built in the suburbs, so you have room for a garage big enough for your boat and 2 cars, a back yard big enough for a pool and space to play with your kids. You no longer have to worry about listening to busy streets and fighting traffic to get to the grocery store. You’ll only be driving into the city when it’s necessary.


  2. 7 Things to Expect When Buying An Old House in Pittsburgh

    Old Cabin at PittIt’s been over 250 years since Pittsburgh was founded in 1758. This city is old, and so are its structures! If you’re in the market to buy a house in Pittsburgh, you’ve probably browsed or even visited several old houses for sale in the area. Depending on their upkeep, some are in better shape than others. How do you know what to expect when you’re buying an old house in Pittsburgh? As local homebuilders, we have a few ideas… (more…)

  3. Pittsburgh Named Most Livable City, Again

    Trolly_SkylineFor the second time since 2009, the Economist rated Pittsburgh the most livable city in the continental United States, based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

    The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.

    “It’s great to celebrate the accolades that were made possible through the spirit of innovation here, fueled by the passion of Pittsburgh residents and decision makers,” said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH.Communities

    Pittsburgh has been popular with the top ten lists lately. Pacific Standard and New York Times recognized Pittsburgh as a place for upward mobility, The Daily Beast highlighted our–how to say this–love of food.  In 2012, Men’s Health listed Pittsburgh as one of the top ten most dog friendly cities in the US.In short, Pittsburgh is a great place to be for everyone.  In addition, the real estate site Zillow, says Pittsburgh has a healthy residential market.

    Full Report by The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/08/daily-chart-13


  4. Financial Advantages of Home Ownership

    Everyone has their own reasons for becoming a homeowner. A house is something to call your own. It provides families with extra space to grow or play. Plus, homeownership can be a great financial move, too.

    There are some universal financial advantages of owning a home that you should consider when deciding to buy. Here are few reasons that you can enjoy your new home and the improved financial portfolio and outlook that goes along with it.

    That’s something every family can appreciate.


    Scheduled (Forced) Savings

    Have you or a spouse ever had trouble setting money aside? Getting a mortgage is one way to force yourself to channel money into an investment. Your monthly payment acts as a scheduled savings plan in which you’re building equity (the difference between the current market value of the property and the amount the owner still owes on the mortgage). Renting property builds no equity, which means that you’re not building wealth for yourself, either.


    Build Equity Every Month by Paying Your Mortgage

    This is seen as one of the primary financial advantages of homeownership. Any payments you make that go towards the balance of your loan, and not the interest, increase your equity. Your equity is essentially your ownership of the home. The more equity you have, the more cash you’ll receive when you sell the home. Additionally, as the value of your home rises because of a favorable market or home improvements, your equity increases, too.


  5. 5 Green Staging Tips You Can Apply This Weekend

    Home buyers have returned to the market early this year, likely eager for spring after a long winter, and green has been a popular color. If buyers want green homes, sellers must find ways to provide.

    There are some green home certifications, but the best advice for any seller is to highlight a home’s greener side with features and fixtures that are cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

    Green staging should not lead to excessive green spending. There are simple and effective ways to furnish an environmentally smart home without spending a fortune.

    Green Staging Lessons

    It is best to begin with the little things and work your way toward the larger and more complicated tasks. We recommend starting with the light bulbs.

    Swapping incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lights (CFL) is a 10-minute task, depending on how many family members it takes to change a bulb. CFL bulbs are a fantastic way to conserve energy and save money over the long run. While CFL light bulbs initially cost more than incandescent light bulbs, they use 25% of the energy of a regular incandescent bulb to deliver the same amount of light. Plus, they last 10 times longer. Compact fluorescent light bulbs also emit less heat, while incandescent bulbs spend 90 percent of their energy giving off heat and 10 percent giving off light, so incandescent bulbs actually waste more energy than necessary.  Showing potential buyers a low electric bill might be enough to inspire an offer.


  6. New Home Trends for 2014 Looking Up for Pittsburgh Real Estate

    Homes for sale outside of Pittsburgh, PA

    People turn to Google five billion times each day to ask for help finding a slice of pizza, comparing prices on digital cameras and discovering the name of that one actor on New Girl. They use it for everything, including buying a new home.

    It has been an exciting year for home builders around the country, especially Heartland Homes in Pittsburgh, so we became curious about what Google witnessed during the renewed real estate optimism. Using Google Trends, we were able to graph the frequency that people shopped for homes in 2013.

    The results are not surprising, but very encouraging as each summer since 2011 had a higher trend than the prior. This should make both buyers and sellers excited for the 2013 season, which looks from the graph to begin as early as January. See what we mean by examining the search volume graphs for the entire United States, Pennsylvania and Greater Pittsburgh. The search term that we tracked was “Homes for sale.”

    Homes for Sale Around the US

    real estate trends around the US

    Homes for Sale in Pennsylvania

    real estate trends in Pennsylvania

    Homes for Sale in Pittsburgh

    Real estate trends in Pittsburgh

    See what we mean? This is exciting for the real estate and hopefullly a sign of great things to come in 2014. Luckily, these are not the only favorable signs for home buyers in Western Pennsylvania. We used housing data from several sources to construct a real estate infographic about trends in the area.

    And it’s not confined to Pittsburgh. A MoneyWatch story echos the same ideas illustrated in the graphs. What they refer to as “Second Tier Cities,” which we call “Amazing Places Like Pittsburgh,” are poised to experience the most housing growth. Part of that interest comes from younger home buyers, who waited out economic downturn in rental properties.

    If you and your family have moving on the mind this year, it might also be helpful to review the best Pittsburgh suburbs as voted by area citizens. There are lots of great communities for families in the Pittsburgh area.






  7. Best Suburb of Pittsburgh to Raise a Family?

    Update: It’s been a few years since our last poll, so we’re refreshing our data. Want to weigh in on the best Suburb in Pittsburgh to raise a family? Click the image below to cast your vote!

    raising a family in Pittsburgh

    Finding the right suburb of Pittsburgh to raise a family can feel like a lot of pressure. Unless you know someone from every borough and township around the city, how are you to really know what it’s like there?

    This article makes that decision a little easier. We have set out to determine the best suburb to raise a family by asking the residents of the communities themselves. Who better, right?

    Which Greater Pittsburgh Township is the Favorite?

    We had 499 people from around the city participate in a survey to determine the favorite suburb for families and asked township staff for their opinions, too. Their specific comments are at the bottom of the page.

    Everyone else’s vote was cast through an online form. Here are the survey results as well as some information about each community.


  8. Best Time to Buy or Sell a House in Pittsburgh

    Timing is everything. The old saying is especially true when it comes to selling a home, especially in Pittsburgh, where weather sways from furnace to frigid depending on the time of year.

    This guide provides the best time for sellers to sell and buyers to buy. If you plan to play both roles, there is a time for that, too. We highly suggest reading the whole guide to find the best time for you and our home, but feel free to skip around using the buttons below.

    Spring Season Winter_Season Summer_Season
    Pro: Slower season Pro: Lots of buyers Pro: Less competition
    Con: Switching schools mid year Con: Busiest season Con: Patio is less appealing

    If selling one home also means building another, please visit our new home guide for tips on beginning that process.

    Selling in the Spring

    Spring might be everyone’s favorite season, but for realtors, builders, and anyone with their house on the market Spring is by absolutely the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Sorry Christmas!)

    The weather is usually perfect, not too hot or not too cold. And everyone is full of energy and ready to relieve their cabin fever- often through visiting open houses and taking community tours!

    There are also many non-weather related reasons to sell a home in the spring. See why we think spring is a great time to list a house.


  9. INFOGRAPHIC: Pittsburgh Real Estate At A Glance

    Searching for a new or used home in Pittsburgh should be a piece of cake, right?  Even though we may be floating above water in the housing market statistically, it still can be quite a process determining which location to vacate to especially with so many options in Western PA.  Having to search for commute times to listing prices or even home values based on county can be a hassle.  With this guide you will get a chance to see Pittsburgh homes at a glance and hopefully save some time deciding where makes you feel most at home.

    Heartland Homes


    How’s that for an overview of real estate in Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh region? Let’s examine the findings and what they mean for home buyers and sellers in the area.


  10. Where In PA Is The Best Place To Raise A Family?

    Where In PA Is The Best Place To Raise A Family

    With 2013 well underway, there has been a lot of buzz in regards to the recent release of Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Rankings’ “Best Places to Raise a Family” in each state.  According to Bloomberg Businessweek, over 3,200 places nationwide with populations from 5,000 to 50,000 were evaluated during the process – as well as housing costs, public school performance, commute time, safety, share of households with children, poverty, diversity and adults’ educational attainment.  They also weighed median income and unemployment to assess the local job market.

    Cranberry Township SignComing in first place for Pennsylvania’s best place to raise a family was none other than Cranberry Township!  This achievement seems to be more proof that Butler County is becoming a host to the best small towns in America.  For those that don’t know why Cranberry is so appealing and cream of the crop in our state:  Thanks to their outstanding school system, low housing costs, presence of WestinghouseCranberry Community Park Electric’s headquarters, Alcoa and Verizon and the region’s unemployment rate to name a few.  Cranberry Township offers convenient commuter access to I-76, I-79 and Route 19.  In addition to Cranberry Highlands Golf Course and Cranberry Township Community Waterpark, Cranberry Commons is a popular destination holding a plethora of high-end shopping, fine­­­ dining and entertainment attractions.

    Throughout the last few years of deflating home prices and the great news of home values rising in 2013 across the country – countless young, working parents are turning to more family-friendly locations for raising their children to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.  We are honored to be a custom home builder in this recognized place many are now calling home.  Our premier communities in Cranberry Township include:

    Mystic Ridge CommunityOrchard Park Community

    ­­­­* Nearby communities to Cranberry Township comprise of Amherst Village (Adams Township), Myoma Woods (Adams Township) and Venango Trails (Marshall Township).



    “The Best Places to Raise Kids 2013” in Bloomberg Businessweek  http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/2012-12-17/the-best-places-to-raise-kids-2013

    “Bloomberg Names Cranberry One of Best Places to Raise a Family” in Cranberry Patch  http://cranberry.patch.com/articles/bloomberg-names-cranberry-one-of-best-places-to-raise-a-family


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