Housing Market

  1. VIDEO: Pittsburgh Real Estate at a Glance

    Pittsburgh Homes at a Glance | Pittsburgh Real Estate

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    Have you heard? The Pittsburgh housing market is changing, for the better!

    In the past year alone, many areas have seen over a six percent increase in home value. That’s because demand is going up! And, over the last ten years, the Greater Pittsburgh region has seen a boom in population; just look at Butler and Washington counties!

    The Pittsburgh region ranks as the eighth most affordable city out of the twenty-five biggest metropolises in the nation. There’s affordable housing all over western Pennsylvania, so it’s no wonder that people are eager to move in and move up, especially with convenient travel times to work from wherever you live, saving you time and money.

    And that’s not all; Pittsburgh is the thirtieth most livable city in the world and second in the US.

    According to Forbes magazine, Pittsburgh is the sixth most recession-proof city in the nation and one of ten cities ripe for real estate to rebound, not to mention it’s one of the best places to raise your kids. At Heartland Homes, we’re ahead of the curve, having sold more than 458 homes in 2012.

    This has been Pittsburgh Homes at a glance, brought to you by Heartland Homes.

    Heartland Homes. Dream it. Build it. Love it!

     

    To examine the findings further and what they mean for home buyers and sellers in the area, click here for a static infographic and more details.

     


  2. Real Estate Trends in Pittsburgh for 2013

    Housing Market

    Pittsburgh Real Estate

    Selling your home can be an exciting process. It’s the end of one chapter and beginning of another. But it can also be stressful. Trying to meet buyer expectations can be difficult (and sometimes impossible). Here is a snapshot of what home buyers in Pittsburgh tend to be looking for in 2013.

    For Sale Home Trends

    • Come In, We’re Open!  You saw it in 2012 and should expect to continue to see this must-have appear on homebuyer wish lists: open floor plans.  An open plan helps any space, big or small, feel grander than it might actually be.
    • The Man Cave.  How many times have you seen home shows where a gorgeous house was vetoed because the husband wouldn’t have a place to call his own?  Offices, dens, and “man caves” have topped the wish lists of modern men for many years.  Whether he wants a place to concentrate or a spot to blow off steam, men are demanding—which sounds a lot like pleading—for a space of their own.Hardwood Floors
    • Wood is Good.  Ladies, admit it—you want the elegance of hardwood floors, right?  Home buyers these days have an affinity for wooden floors, whether it’s laying down new ones or peeling back carpet to reveal the hidden.
    • Stainless.  In addition to the obvious desire to have everything in the home as up-to-date as possible, there has been a trend toward these appliances being stainless steel.  Stainless, when kept in good shape, presents a rather sleek and clean look in the kitchen.
    • Ready-made.  It used to be fun to imagine what you could do to your new house.  Knock out a wall to make a bigger room, change the countertops to something that is just right, you name it.  But if you’ve paid even the slightest attention to home buying shows these days, you’d realize that people don’t have time for huge home improvement projects. People want a house that is ready to be lived in.Stainless-Steel-Appliances

    Pittsburgh Living Trends

    The revitalized city proper is attracting a lot of attention, and for good reason.  Every top 10 list that it leads is another reason to live within a short distance of it. People aren’t quite selling their 3-car suburban garages for lofts in the city, but there is a desire to be within easy driving distance of the city while maintaining enrollment in the school districts that surround Pittsburgh, which are some of the finest in the state. Here are some top trends that we have seen in the area.

    Like you might have seen in our Greater Pittsburgh real estate infographic, the numbers suggest that people that counties with access to the city are growing faster, both in terms of population and home value. Butler and Washington counties, shown in the graphic, have seen citizenship and average home listing price boom in the past few. These are the places to be and people are flocking to them.

    Cranberry Township in Butler has witnessed a 8.8 percent increase in home value over the past year. Adams Township, also in Butler, is just behind at 6.9 percent.

    Location, location, location is just one of the things that Pittsburgh home buyers demand in 2013.  There are lots more so we would like to know which are most important to you. Let us know what you want on Facebook.

    Happy home selling and buying!


  3. Home Staging: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil

    By Andrew Hill @ http://NewHomes.Move.com/

    We’ve all learned about the five senses- touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. And chances are you’ve heard the old phrase, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” While these are good things to know and understand for everyday life, when it comes to staging your home, the most important senses you must appeal to are sight, sound and smell. By providing an experience that engages these three senses, you are sure to stage your home in a way that will attract many buyers to make an offer.

    The first rule is see no evil. By this we mean that your house must always be well kept when you are staging. This essentially means that all of your typical cleaning must be accomplished to the best extent possible. That means the lawn needs to be cut, the broken window replaced and the front porch swept. The interior should have mopped and vacuumed floors, dusted furniture and shelves and no clutter to be found. And although not necessarily evil, you are advised to keep family pieces to a minimum. Have enough items to show that someone lives there, but not so many pictures of your family that it inhibits those touring from imagining themselves living there.

    Next on the list is hear no evil. If you have animals, please don’t put them in the garage and expect them to stay quiet. Chances are they will make noise and on a chilly or warm day it’s uncomfortable for your animals. Likewise, make sure your kids are out of the house so they won’t be making too much noise either. Finally, do your best to allow buyers to visit at their own pace. You can provide answers if they have questions, but you shouldn’t feel a need to give them a guided tour. When buyers visit homes it is important that they imagine themselves living there. And while you know the house better than anyone else, most buyers will prefer touring the home without your guidance.

    Finally, and most importantly, is smell no evil. While this may seem like a strange requirement, smell is a very powerful sense that can ruin even the best staged homes. If your carpet or upholstery has pet smells, strongly consider replacing them. If you are a smoker, chances are your walls have also absorbed the smoky scent. Luckily, a fresh coat of paint will quickly fix this problem. Whatever you do, go the extra mile to make your home smell as pleasant as possible. It will go a long way when it comes to sealing the deal.

    As you begin to stage your home, be sure to keep these three senses in mind and you will greatly increase your chances of selling your home. Once you’re done selling your home, you can move on to the next step: getting excited about enjoying your newly built home from Heartland Homes!


  4. Pittsburgh Home Sales Jump 14.7 Percent

    Heartland Homes Summit at Cheat Lake

    Anyone who has tried to sell their existing home already knows this (so many of those moving up to a Heartland have sold their existing home in less than two weeks!) – but the housing market is really doing well. Don’t take our word for it though. Sam Spatter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote the following:

    Home sales in the five-county Pittsburgh region jumped 14.7 percent in February compared with a year ago, rising above 1,300 during the month for the first time in three years.

    There were 1,311 new and existing homes sold last month compared with 1,143 a year ago, according to RealSTATs, a South Side-based real estate information company. This year, February had one more selling day because of leap year. “We expect an increase in all sales this year,” said George Hackett, president of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh. He is optimistic that the local and national housing market will experience a robust year. And Pittsburgh will continue to see sales and prices outpace other areas of the nation, Hackett said.

    All five counties had double-digit increases, with Allegheny County leading with 762 homes sold compared with 691 a year ago. Westmoreland County had sales of 199 homes versus 160 a year ago, followed by Washington County with 131 compared with 108. Beaver County had 111 sales against 92, and Butler County had 108 compared with 92, the report stated. Sales of existing homes alone were up 15.9 percent, with 1,219 compared with 1,052 a year ago. New homes sales totaled 92 in February, up one from last year.

    You can read the full article on PittsburghLive.com


  5. DOW Diamond High Performance Builder

    DOW Chemicals have honored Heartland Homes with a very prestigious award.  The DOW Diamond High Performance Builder Award –  In Recognition of our Leadership in High Performance Home Construction.  It is truly an honor, and we would like to reach out to all of our customers and say Thank YOU.  If it weren’t your high standards, home builders would continue building the same old houses the way they have for the past 1,000 years.  Thank you for raising the bar with us!

    DOW Diamond High Performance Builder Award


  6. The Housing Market is Improving

    The National Association of Home Builders released its first NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index, a new economic index revealing metropolitan areas that have shown improvement for at least six months in three key economic areas – housing permits, employment and housing prices.

    A total of 13 metropolitans showed signs of economic improvement. Among that list of 13 cities, sits Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

    Bob Nielsen, Chairman of the NAHB had this to say about the promising economic growth:

    Despite the challenging conditions in the national economy and housing sector, there are areas throughout the country where we are seeing pocket of improvement.  Housing conditions are local, and do not always reflect the national picture.  We created this new index to shine a light on those housing markets across the country that have stabilized and have begun to show signs of recovery.”

    For additional data, tables and a list of 2011 future economic release dates visit – www.nahb.org/imi


  7. Steel City Resilience

    Forbes.com released their list of Recession Resistant Cities for Real Estate and it comes with no surprise that a town made of steel is atop the list.  Consistently ranking as the Best City to Relocate, Most Affordable and Best Places to Live, Pittsburgh’s strong real estate market is no stranger to national rankings.

    Real Estate data company, Zillow.com, compiled the list of 154 U.S. Metropolitan Areas.  Zillow assessed median homes prices, list prices vs. final sales prices on homes sold, price cuts on for-sale homes, tax assessment records, and local rental prices.

    Click Here to read the full article


  8. From Steel to Steal

    Turn on CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, and any other major news outlet and you are constantly reminded of the national housing crisis.  But this week the Wall Street Journal reminds us that invariably what you hear from the media only takes into account national statistics and is not a good reflection of our neighborhood.

    WSJ’s David Crook recently wrote an article explaining that home values are actually rising in Pittsburgh, one of the few big metropolitan areas that have emerged virtually unscathed from the real-estate bust. Indeed, since 2000, home prices in the Pittsburgh area have risen about 42%, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which tracks home sales throughout the country.

    Crook attributes Pittsburgh’s resistance to the housing crisis to the city’s metamorphosis from a nitty gritty, blue collar metro to a hub of technology, medicine, finance and education over the last two decades. Pittsburgh already experienced its personal crisis in the mid-1980’s as the steel industry collapsed.  We did not experience a housing bubble like almost every city in America. Instead Pittsburgh’s growth remained consistent (1-5% increase per year) and constant.  Now Pittsburgh receives almost every accolade for Best-Places for this or Best Places for that, including America’s Most Livable City.  Combine everything all of the above with an unemployment rate below the national average and you have the best place on Earth. (Okay maybe we are a little biased)

    Read David Crook’s full article from The Wall Street Journal: Housing Bust? What Housing Bust?


  9. Home Values on the Rise for Some Cities

    Housing Market Rising Graph and HousesWith home prices expected to fall in nearly every city in America, CNNMoney.com reported some promising news for local homeowners.  Pittsburgh is one of only a handful of housing markets expected to see a rise in home values through 2012.  It is forecasted that Pittsburgh homeowner’s could see a gain as high as 5% through September of 2012.

    The Pittsburgh Housing Market has seen very little movement in home values during the housing boom and bust cycle over the last couple of years, but now it appears that things will be on the rise as a glimmer of a national recovery sits on the horizon.  (Far on the horizon, but still on the horizon)

    Pittsburgh’s stable market is directly related to the conservative mortgage lending by banks during the housing boom, unemployment rates lower than the national average, fewer foreclosures than many cities across the country, and an affordable housing market compared to median income.  Out of the ten cities mentioned in CNNMoney.com’s report, the Pittsburgh Housing Market has shown the lowest drop in home values since the housing market peak.  Pittsburgh home values have dropped less than 1% since the market peak, and now show promising signs of a significant return on homeowners’ investments.

    You can read the full article here: Housing Markets: Best Recovery Bets


  10. Pittsburgh: Best Place to Buy a Home

    Good Morning America and real estate listing website, Zillow.com have reported the Best Cities to Buy a Home in 2011.  And the Steel City has made another “Best’s List”!

    Pittsburgh comes in at 4 on the list closely following Utica, NY, Oklahoma City, OK, and Rochester, NY but who would want to live in any of these places?

    Pittsburgh was one of very few markets that showed increasing home values at an astonishing pace! Pittsburgh Home values are increasing on not just a yearly basis, but on a quarterly basis. So they’re climbing upward fast enough to see the progress in three-month chunks

    Each city and housing market was graded on their Affordability Index, Unemployment Percentage, Number of Foreclosures, and Price Increases.  You can watch the story below, or read the full article at: Calling All Home Buyers: How You Can Bag a Real Estate Bargain in 2011

     


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