Great Tips for Saving for a House, Courtesy of Investopedia

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Saving for a house is never easy, but Tim Parker’s article on how to start saving money today makes it seem easier. He gives you six ways to start squirreling away some money now for the house you’ll want to buy down the read, and they’re all simple and effective!

Read all about it here:

How To Start Saving for a House

 

 

Beautiful Family Home in Award Winning School District!

Just $139,000!

Owner financing available!

Architectural details, a prime location near downtown Pittsburgh, PA and the right price combine to make this lovely home  at 917 Harkness Way a hidden gem in the Quaker Valley School District.

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Relax on the front porch or entertain in the spacious, eat-in kitchen with breakfast bar. Three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths mean everyone has space to spare. You’ll love the architectural details, including a lovely staircase with carved spindles. Lots of light and a back patio with French doors complete the beauty of this affordably priced home in an upscale, family friendly neighborhood.

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Quaker Valley Schools Ranked #2 in Pittsburgh Area School Districts for 2016 and 6th in the State by U.S. News and World Report!

 Call 724-333-4114 to schedule a viewing of this property or log on to http://www.lookatmyhomes.com to see more pictures of this beautiful Sewickley home.

 

 

Making Sure Your House Bid is the Winning One

Sometimes you find the ideal house for you and your family only to find out that there are other parties interested in purchasing it. If this happens, you may become embroiled in a bidding war, which can quickly drive the price of the perfect home up. If you’re worried about being the winning bidder, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your offer is the winning one:

Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage at a price higher than the current listing on the house is a great way to get an edge over the competition. Sellers are always wary of buyers with bad credit, and pre-approval takes care of that. It also means you can close more quickly on the house because you won’t have to wait as long to get your mortgage in place.

Keep in mind that pre-approval and pre-qualified are two different things. Pre-qualification isn’t as strong and doesn’t guarantee that the lender will give you the full mortgage amount you want, it just means they will consider making the loan. If you want to be pre-approved, you’ll need to fill out a complete mortgage application and provide extensive documentation.

Offer A Strong Down Payment

The larger your down payment, the more seriously the sellers will take you. If you come in with a lower figure on your down payment, the sellers may assume that you’re struggling financially or they may fear that you won’t be able to come up with the funds when the time comes to close. This can be particularly helpful if the seller needs to close on the house quickly because they are in financial difficulties.

Understand the Sellers and Help the Sellers Understand You

Regardless of whether the seller is putting their home on the market for personal or financial reasons, you can tap into their feelings with the right letter. If you know they’ve raised their children in the house and you have young children of your own, the personal connection can make a real difference. Having a career as a doctor, firefighter, nurse or some other altruistic pursuit may also help.

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You may need to make a strong offer to get the house you really want in today’s market.

If money talks, however, skip the warm feelings and aim straight for their wallet. If you find out that the seller is in foreclosure or is behind on their own mortgage payments, they will want to close as quickly as possible so that they can move on with one less debt to worry about. If you have the means to make a cash offer to a homeowner in foreclosure, you could make an offer that’s up to 20% less than other buyers who have to take out a mortgage.

Be Willing to Negotiate on the Details

If you’re in a bidding war for a house, you’ll need to be extremely flexible on the terms of the offer. Don’t put in any clauses that will slow down the sale of the house. Stating that you’ll only close once your own house sells is a recipe for losing your dream home. You may have to carry two mortgages for a short time, but it may be preferable to losing out on the home you’ve dreamed about. Also don’t include a mortgage contingency clause that allows you to back out of the sale if you don’t get the financing you need. (If you’ve been pre-approved, this won’t be a problem.) Sellers hate losing potential home buyers because the current deal falls through.

Bid High

In the past decade, houses have mostly sold for less than their asking prices, but that’s changing. It’s now a sellers’ market, which means the days of offering a low-ball figure and getting a counter-offer from the seller are over. Make a strong offer from the start. This might mean

Respond Quickly

It’s usually a good idea to “sleep on it” when you’re buying a house, but if there are multiple bidders or the seller wants to close as soon as possible, respond quickly to any counter-offers. Don’t ask for a few days to think it over; the seller may move on to the next buyer while you’re mulling over your options. Try to respond by the end of the day (or sooner if possible).

Don’t Fester Over Small Details

Five years ago, a home buyer could ask the sellers to do minor repairs before they would sign. This gave buyers a move-in ready home and put the expensive of minor facelifts on the seller. Today if you ask the current owner to cut down a few trees, repaint the exterior or fix the leaky faucet in the sink, the seller will probably move on to a seller who is willing to buy the house “as is.”

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Being ready to sign and having all the documents you need in place will help you close on the house you love sooner.

Finally, be ready to close as soon as possible and make the closing itself as painless as possible. Have all your documents ready in advance, schedule a time that is convenient to the seller, and make the process as smooth as possible for everyone.

Packing Your Moving Truck Efficiently

EZ Move has several moving trucks you can rent in order to move your furniture and belongings locally if you want to handle the move yourself. One of the most difficult challenges to moving your stuff yourself is that it’s hard to estimate how much truck you’ll need, and if you don’t pack things efficiently, you’ll be wasting a lot of space on the moving truck. It would be a shame to have to make two or more trips from your current residence to your new one when one trip could suffice. EZ Move has put together some great tips for properly packing your moving truck so that you’ll get the most from your truck rental:

Get the Biggest Items Out of the Way First

Large appliances, sofas, washing machines, etc. should be packed first and should be put at the very back of the truck (so that they are sitting directly behind the truck’s cab). Shove them clear back and put them in so that they’re upright. While it may be tempting to put a refrigerator in on its side, don’t. This can damage the internal parts. Also balance the items so that weight is distributed relatively evenly.

Pack the Longer Items Next

Longer items include mattresses, box springs, headboards, sofas and other furniture items. By pushing these to the walls on either side of the truck, you’ll save space and you can keep them upright so that they are less likely to break or fall over in transit.

Don’t Forget the Padding

Using blankets, dollies and other moving equipment will help protect your belongings during your move
Using blankets, dollies and other moving equipment will help protect your belongings during your move.

No matter how tightly packed your EZ Move truck will be, you’ll still want to put padding around wood furniture, glass and any sharp corners so that nothing gets scratched or damaged while you’re moving. A bonus is that placing heavy items on padding will make them easier to slide into and out of the truck.

Keep Pieces Together

Some items such as floor lamps, desks and bedframes should be disassembled so that they take up less space. A bedframe, for instance, would take up a large portion of the center of the truck if kept intact. Take it apart and you can put all the pieces along one wall. When you take these pieces apart, make sure you keep all the pieces together. Put nuts, bolts, screws, etc. in plastic bags, then tape them securely to larger pieces.

Consolidate When You Can

Skis? Floor lamps? These long, slender items can be rolled up inside a rug. Just tape the ends of the rug so that nothing slides out when you get to your new home. Can you nest bowls, boxes, and other items together? Wrap smaller items in towels or other linens? Great!

Boxed Items

Before you rent your EZ Move truck, be sure to box up all of the miscellaneous stuff like clothing, books, silverware, dishes, etc., wrapping fragile items in newspaper or bubble wrap. Stack the heavier ones on top of the large appliances and heavier furniture. Where you can tuck smaller boxes into empty spaces around or beneath what is already packed. You’ll want to put in the lighter weight boxes last so that they aren’t crushed by heavier ones.

If you can, stack the boxes in rows right up to the ceiling in order to maximize space. If there is space between the top of the boxes and the ceiling of the truck, stuff it will soft items that you need but that aren’t delicate. Trash bags filled with clothing, towels, sheets, curtains, etc. are ideal for this and will prevent your boxing from shifting too much in transit or falling down onto other items. If you’re using linens and other soft materials, put them in bags to protect them from dust and dirt.

Awkward Items

Some of your belongings such as boots, hangars and small appliances such as mixers can be tucked into any empty spaces remaining such as between the legs of a coffee table.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll minimize not only the amount of space you’ll need in your EZ Move moving truck, you’ll minimize your stress. Or, if you’d rather have the experts take care of packing the truck for you, contact EZ Move today at 724-752-5551 or visit the website at www.EZMove.org.

Ready to Move Into Your New Home? These Packing Tips Will Minimize the Stress

Moving into a new house or apartment is always a great adventure – you’re starting a new phase of your life in a new location. But it can be very stressful to try and pack all of your worldly possessions without either breaking some things or misplacing others. Our packing tips can help you keep things organized, safe and secure.

Don’t Start Packing Until You Have ALL the Packing Supplies You Need

It’s better to overestimate than underestimate how many boxes you’ll need. It’s easier to return the empty boxes than discover you don’t have enough on moving day. On that last moving day, you’ll need several boxes to corral all the last minute items such as cleaning supplies, the clothing you still have at your old location and any other items.

You’ll also need:

  • Packing tape
  • Packing paper or bubble wrap to cushion breakables
  • Sharpie markers to number each of the boxes

Be Like Santa Claus – Make a List, Check it Twice

Keeping a checklist of items you need to pack with your packing supplies will make things easier.
Keeping a checklist of items you need to pack with your packing supplies will make things easier.

Randomly throwing things into boxes may be faster now, but it will cause huge headaches at your new location. Write everything down – everything! Create a spreadsheet or numbered list. If you’re old school, use a notebook. Number every box as you pack it, writing down everything you put in it on the list or spreadsheet. Be specific about every item. Don’t write down “bathroom stuff.” List each item (toothbrushes, bath towels, first aid kit…).

Use The Right Boxes

There are some items that you’ll want to pack into smaller boxes; books, for instance, are very heavy. It may be tempting to toss them all into one big box, but it would be difficult to move and you could injure yourself trying to carry it. Also pack delicate items into smaller boxes so they won’t get jostled against harder, larger objects that could damage them. Bed linens, pillows and other lightweight items can be packed down into larger boxes.

Wardrobe boxes are a great help because you can hang your clothes up and simply take them out and put them directly into your new closets with less wrinkling. You can also bundle up sweaters, shoes and accessories into shopping bags and drop them into the bottom of the wardrobe boxes before you hang up the rest of your clothes in the boxes. Don’t be afraid to hang your clothes tightly together – it will keep them from falling off the hangers.

Keep It Together

Try to keep similar objects together as you’re packing. Keep small appliances with extension cords and toiletries with your wash cloths and towels. Put small items like keys and picture hooks into small baggies and tape them to the items they go with.

Pack 80% of Your Stuff Ahead of Time

Packing a few days or even a week ahead of your move is essential. Most people can pack 80% of their stuff and survive comfortably using the remaining 20%. You don’t need three TVs or all your cooking utensils. Keep out only what you absolutely need for that last week.

Don’t Forget to Pack Your Suitcases

It seems obvious, but many people don’t use their luggage when packing up their house or apartment. These are great for taking your clothes and last minute items to your new abode. Suitcases are also great for transporting your sensitive paperwork and files. You can easily spot them among a sea of boxes and move them to a secure location in your new home.

Make A Cleaning Kit to Take With You

A bucket with cleaning supplies will be essential at your new location
A bucket with cleaning supplies will be essential at your new location

When you move into your new house, you’ll inevitably want to wipe down the kitchen counters, clean the bathroom and vacuum and dust after all the moving boxes are gone. A plastic bucket is the ideal way to corral cleaning supplies so that when you’re ready to clean you have everything you need at hand.

Pack A “First Night” Kit

Be sure you take a set of sheets, a towel set, toiletries, an alarm clock, MP3 player and other essential items for your first night in your new home. Let each family member pack their own tote bag or box with the items they will need for the first night in your new home so that everyone has what is important to them.

By following these packing tips, you can make the transition from your old home to your new one relatively stress free and more enjoyable. And don’t forget to call EZ Move at 724-752-1310 to schedule a moving truck or arrange for EZ Move’s professional movers to do the heavy lifting for you.

Family-Ready 5 Bedroom House With Architectural Details

OWNER FINANCING IS AVAILABLE!

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816 Western Street

You’ll fall in love with the details in this house. A spacious layout and completely finished attic bedroom gives you lots of flexibility and storage. An eat-in kitchen with oak cabinets, updated countertops and beautiful architectural details throughout are just a few of the reasons you’ll want to move right in.

New laminate flooring with the look of hardwood and a neutral color palette mean you can move right in. It even has central air to keep you cool on those hot summer days. You won’t find a five bedroom house in this great condition anywhere else that’s priced to sell at $89,900!

Call 724-333-4114 to schedule a viewing of this property or log on to http://www.lookatmyhomes.com to see more pictures of this newly renovated home!

 

 

270 Kindale Has Room to Spare Inside & Out

It also has a two-car garage connected to the house, a rarity in the Ellwood City area at this price point.

 

This four bedroom, one bath house sits on a spacious lot with mature landscaping, giving you lots of room for picnics, play and just relaxing and enjoying the surroundings, but the interior is the star of the show. The first floor features a large family room, eat-in dining room with built-in cabinetry, three bedrooms and a newer kitchen. The island between kitchen and dining room is perfect for serving or setting up a buffet when you have guests.

Casement windows let breezes through and plenty of closet space means you’ll never lack for storage. A large room on the second floor could be your master bedroom but is large enough for a pool table or media room. Plenty of outlets, recessed lighting and track lighting are just a few of the thoughtful details you’ll appreciate. Lots of windows means loads of natural light in every room, and the newer carpet and fresh paint make this house move-in ready.

270 Kindale Street also has a two-car garage connected to the house, a rarity in the Ellwood City area at this price point. The garage has a remote control door and pegboards all around to hang tools, craft supplies or sporting goods. The open rafter ceiling adds lots of overhead storage as well. Finally, an enclosed porch leads to the oversized yard.

Call Look At My Homes at 724-714-9758 or email Joey@lookatmyhomes.com to schedule a time to see this lovely home listed at just $93,000.