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Home Buying in Johnstown : Real Estate Advice

  • All72
  • Local Info5
  • Home Buying21
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 21
Wed Mar 30, 2016
Barrylampel answered:

I am also looking, but to retire back in the Johnstown area. What I've found is Richland/Geistown/Windber area are supported by industry/commercial, while Johnstown is losing business to the suburbs, again Richland area. I'm told by contractors that new homes are at a premium cost and don't seem too interested in building medium priced residential, but focus more in commercial building/retirement.

Westmont seems to carry old money homes that are dated and falling into the hands of their offspring, and are typically selling for much less than in the Richland area. The reason I see is the double to triple tax base in Westmont school district. While an upscale home in Richland may sell for $300k and taxed at $3700., the same home in Westmont will carry close to $11,000 in taxes and sell in the neighborhood of $230k. Overall tax bases seem to range $1850 to $3700 in Richland area, while Westmont ranges from around $5000 to $12,000. And those opting for the least home price may soon realize the longer range impact in accumulated excess taxes over the years, or any necessary increase by Westmont associated with the need for future additional tax dollars.

The bottom line is Westmont offers a much wider variety and quantity of seemingly quality, although dated homes, over Richland (Which I've also seen as dated in part). This might pose the question on how you are set on finances to support the tax base. Don't lose sight of this.

Also, from my view Lower Geistown towards Johnstown has a very dated highway and infrastructure system. Sewage systems are requiring basements in some cases to be ripped up to inspect and correct any deficiencies to satisfy codes.

Again, just a point of view/findings from someone still looking over the past year (2015 - 2016).

Good luck
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Tue Nov 10, 2015
Kick24_2 answered:
I have a 3 bedroom house on bedford street with nice back yard 960 Sq feet would like to rent to own call 814288746 or email kick24_2@
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Sat Jan 4, 2014
Sunny Sekely answered:
This homes' taxes of $3,491 is about average for all well maintained homes in the Westmont Hilltop school district. This home boasts lots of amenities, including efficient gas heat with a gas fireplace, cherry kitchen cabinets, stone/vinyl maintenance free exterior and 1 car attached garage which all makes this home priced very reasonable. Please give me a call if you need more information about this or any other home. Your business is my pleasure!

Sunny Sekely
American Dream Real Estate, Appraisal & Mgt, Inc
Office: 814-262-7293
Direct: 814-243-0987
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue Jul 16, 2013
Bill Eckler answered:
Banks are not in the rental business, so it's likely a wasted effort to follow this path with foreclosures. On the other hand, there may be "rent to own" opportunities in the regular real estate market that would fit your needs.

You probably should adjust your housing target to eliminate distressed sales and include regular ones.

Good luck,

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Mon Jun 17, 2013
Jhoanna Jones answered:
Wed Jun 5, 2013
Kelly Smit answered:
township and county websites will help with the tax record. Some areas require you to pay a fee to get information.
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat Apr 27, 2013
Fran Pletcher answered:
I am an agent in the Johnstown PA area. Please contact me if I can be of assistance with your home search. I have access to any home currently listed on the market for sale, or I may be able to suggest some rental agencies in the area.
Fran Pletcher
Howard Hanna Heritage Real Estate
814-266-9521 x110
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Sat Apr 27, 2013
Fran Pletcher answered:
Taxes are $5107 per year. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Fran Pletcher
Howard Hanna Heritage Real Estate
814-266-9521 x110
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon Oct 22, 2012
Fran Pletcher answered:
In most cases you are able to request seller assist as part of your offer, asking the seller to pay a percentage or a dollar amount towards your closing costs. In most cases the total requested can't exceed 6% of the sales price which depends on your lenders guidelines. Normally 3.5% down payment needs to be your own funds and then the seller can contribute towards the additional closing expenses. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. The bank who issued the preapproval should also be able to help clarify eligibility and guidelines
Fran Pletcher
Prudential Speicher Select Properties, LLC
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Mon Jul 30, 2012
Jim Socks answered:
If you are locating to Johnstown than hopefully you are retired, since you won't find any job locally that will allow you to live a decent life. You will find yourself having to commute to DC/VA or Pittsburgh in order to find any employment that pays over $40K.
Currently NDIC is shut down and with other companies like CTC reducing their labor force weekly, the abundance of homes on the market will continue to increase. We have had a home for sale there for over 2 years and keep dropping the price. The homes in the area were overpriced by the realtors 10 years ago and people moving there for jobs foolishly paid the overpriced amounts. Fortunately the taxes have been low there so keeping the house there while enjoying our new life in North Carolina (better weather, LOTS More jobs, better homes for the $$, and low taxes). However as another poster suggested, the county and city are desperately trying to find ways to keep the corrupt politicians employed, thus raising property and school taxes is their justification.
The town will soon be a nice ghost town or retirement community, so just be patient and you can pick up Westmot and Richland priced homes for that of Moxham or Westend pricing. Likewise if you are looking for area to live in the current mid-range, def consider Southmont, Westmont, Richland, Giestown, Lorain, Oakland, and parts of Ferndale. Avoid Moxham, Westend, and any part of the city itself as there is very high crime rate, low-income housing (where most of the drugs and prostitution happen). Though it appears part of Richland might also become infested with low-income housing as friends still living there inform me that a company is trying to put in more "projects" now in Richland area.
Good luck, but as I stated you would better consider other areas of the country that are now in such a rapid downward spiral.
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Wed Sep 14, 2011
John Juarez answered:
If you presented an offer on my client’s home framed in the way that you suggest I would advise my client to turn your offer down.

Why would a buyer take their property off the market in the hope that you could come up with cash that you do not have in another two months? I would fully expect that there would be a request for an extension of the contingency at the end of those two months because you are oh-so-close to having the down payment. I may appear cynical to some, but I think I am being realistic. ... more
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Mon Jul 11, 2011
Denise Phillips answered:
I bought a home in Jacksonville for $45,000 and 9 months later sold it for $90,000.
I bought another in Maysville for $41,000 and 5 months later sold it for $109,900.
Homes under $100,000 sell fast in Jacksonville, NC because there are 3 Marines Bases
and this price is easy for young Marines to afford on their BAH. I can email you homes for
sale under $100,000 that are good investments. Regards, Denise, Century 21 American Prop.
Jacksonville, NC 860-917-0778 cell
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Tue May 17, 2011
Justin Peck answered:
Hello Jamie,

It is always appropriate to ask such questions! Situations may have arisen that makes it more suitable for the current seller to rent the home!

As a buyers agent, we always recomend that anyone interested in renting that is having trouble finding rentals, to look to current listings for possible rentals.

Some agents may know right away if their seller would be willing to rent, while others may have to make a quick call to see if the sellers may do so.

I am not from the Johnstown area, but would suggest searching the areas with regards to pricing, size, etc....then making a list and get to calling. You may get lots of no's, but that one yes may have you feeling pretty satisfied in the end!
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Thu May 12, 2011
Shannan Yarnick- Louder answered:
Which house are you interested in? You can contact me @ 814-244-4281.
Shannan Yarnick-Louder
Coldwell Banker Prestige Realty
2305 Bedford St., Johnstown, PA 15904
Office: (814)269-4411
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sun Apr 24, 2011
Dan Tabit answered:
T Melotti,
You didn't include a home or link to the home to be able to answer your question. Tell us the property and someone will answer your questions.
1 vote 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Jan 7, 2011
Sarah Montes answered:
You will also need a 640 minimum credit score to get financing through a regular bank, we on the other hand do not have a credit score requirement.
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
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