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Home Buying in Pittsburgh : Real Estate Advice

  • All972
  • Local Info81
  • Home Buying391
  • Home Selling65
  • Market Conditions28

Activity 297
Sat Jul 7, 2012
Virginia Stump answered:
To fix credit problems, go to a reputable organization such as Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service: Stay away from consolidation loans (unless the interest rate is very low) and shaky companies that are advertised on daytime TV or the internet. Start out by making sure your rent or mortage is paid on time, followed by your car payment. Those are the two most important bills to pay because they provide a roof over your head and a way to get to work. Follow that by paying down credit cards--especially the ones with the highest interest rates. Some credit cards charge you 15 to 25 cents for every dollar you borrow! The best way to use a credit card is to pay it off in full every month. Once your credit score is above 640, then you might consider a home purchase since current rates make buying a better deal than rent. ... more
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Thu Jan 12, 2017
Ron Thomas answered:
We do not know the terms of your Contract.
We do not know the Seller, or his despiration.

When you have this happen, there are three options:

You negotiate with the Seller,
You accept the house As-Is and do the repais yourself
You walk away.

It sounds like you have a good Realtor advising you; what do you need us for?
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Sat Jul 14, 2012
Blair W. Cohen answered:
Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, Friendship, Regent Square. Also Shadyside and Point Breeze but it's hard to find property under $200,000 there.
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Sat Jun 23, 2012
Blair W. Cohen answered:
Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, Friendship, Regent Square. Also Shadyside and Point Breeze but it's hard to find property under $200,000 there.
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Mon Oct 22, 2012
Tracy R Robinson answered:
Go to the courthouse or ask an real estate agent like myself to help you. Call me if you need help

Tracy Robinson-Realtor
62 S. Main Street
Yardley, Pa 19067
Office Ph: 215-493-0200 ext 1087
Direct: 267-395-0251
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Thu Jun 21, 2012
Crystal Alfonsi answered:
There are PLENTY of buyers and inventory of houses for sale is low...
Where is your house? What are the details about it? What improvements have you made? If you put your house on the market and market it to buyers, it will sell! ... more
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Thu Jun 7, 2012
Jacques Ambron answered:
It may not be worth the penalty that you have to pay. You can take a short term mortgage as an alternative
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Thu Jun 14, 2012
Virginia Stump answered:
There is not a simple answer to your question. In every situation, you have to do the math. But generally speaking, considering that interest rates are near 4%; the ability to take tax deductions; and long-term appreciation in value; buying a home is probably a better deal than renting, especially if you will hold for up to 10 years and the home you purchase is an affordable one. There is also the intangible value--being able to do what you want with your property for your own enjoyment. You should first get pre-qualified for a loan. Once you are prequalified, a real estate agent can inform you what the property taxes are for each home you look at. ... more
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Tue May 15, 2012
Blair W. Cohen answered:
You should contact a good mortgage lender and ask to be pre-approved for a mortgage as there are different types of mortgages with different qualification and downpayment requirements. I suggeset you coantact Jim Franco owner of Welcome Home Finance at 724-772-3333 extension 2114. ... more
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Tue May 15, 2012
Virginia Stump answered:
That depends on the type of loan that you are going for (government subsidized or non-subsidized), how much other debt you have, and what the taxes/maintenance are on the dwelling, etc. It is best to get pre-qualified by a lender to get an amount that is right for you. Consider what you currently pay for rent and if you feel you could afford more or less. At 4% for 30 years, the mortgage payment on $100,000 would be about $478. Figure about $250-$300 more for taxes and insurance. Some lenders want no more than about 29-31% of your yearly income going toward a house payment and no more than 41-43% of income going toward all debt. These are called debt-to-income ratios. If you have more questions, you can email me at ... more
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Wed May 29, 2013
Adam Valeriano answered:
Which taxes are you looking for and in what area or zip code?
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Mon Apr 23, 2012
Frances Earman answered:
This question needs to go immediately to the mortgage banker or bank you are working with on your loan.
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Tue Jul 10, 2012
Tim Moore answered:
If you are buying with cash all you need to do is contact a real estate attorney and have a deed change from them to you and you exchange the money. If a loan is involved there are more steps but you won't need a Realtor, a lawyer and a loan officer are what you would need. ... more
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Thu May 3, 2012
Terence Young answered:
Yes they can. You can also learn how to get real estate yourself. We have some free trainings this week.
Register now at
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Fri Mar 9, 2012
Steve & Gail Carpenter answered:
203k is a great program for home buyers looking to include improvements into the purchase loan. Please call us for more information. 412-585-4460
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Wed Apr 11, 2012
Christa Ross answered:
I think the best answer is to look at areas in the city that are in the midst of significant redevelopment, many of these are seeing appreciation now and will likely continue to see that in the next several years. These would include areas like East Liberty, Highland Park, Lawrenceville, the Northside and Friendship.

In addition several neighborhoods have historically done well and there is no reason to think they will not continue to do well, such as Squirrel Hill and Shadyside.

Finally I think there are a number of neighborhoods that border many of the ones listed above where homes are inexpensive now, but are well positioned for the next few years of growth in the city, those are places like Greenfield, areas of Point Breeze and Wilkinsburg, Swissvale and areas around the Northside. Those are a few of my thoughts on the subject.
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Wed Apr 11, 2012
Sandra Woncheck answered:
A great buyer's agent is one who listens to his/her client's needs and wants and then works tirelessly to find a home that will fulfill that wish list. The great agent will react to each new listing as it hits the market, making sure that the client will be first in line to see it--and not miss out (the "good" ones go quickly). In short, the agent will work to get the buyer the best possible property at the best possible price, in a timely fashion. ... more
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Tue Mar 6, 2012
x answered:

I recommend talking with a real estate attorney about setting up an option contract between you and your landlord.
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Mon Mar 5, 2012
Terence Young answered:
The Correct Process of a Short Sale

It is very easy to understand the overall approach to a short sale- what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. But what about all the more intricate details? How do you, the short sale specialist, go about performing all of those tasks? What are the details that you need to pay special attention to?

When it comes to actually doing everything and performing all the steps of a short sale; you’ll need to make sure that you heed the smaller details to make sure that your short sale progresses smoothly. This is intended to reveal all of the more minute details and outline the short sale process more clearly so that you, the short sale specialist, can sit down and feel comfortable doing a short sale.

The steps for a short sale can be broken down into those listed below:

Step 1 Fax authorization to foreclosing lender
Step 2 Follow up to make sure your authorization is on file
Step 3 Compile short sale documents
Step 4 Fax short sale package to lender
Step 5 Follow up to make sure your short sale package is received
Step 6 Talk with the loss mitigator to set up a BPO/Appraisal
Step 7 Meet and influence BPO/Appraisal
Step 8 Negotiate with loss mitigator
Step 9 Short sale accepted!

Starting the Process

Step 1: Fax in Third Party Authorization and requests for a short sale package, payoff, and reinstatement figures (see the end of this chapter for an example). Make sure that your authorization form has the homeowner’s name (signed and printed), address of the property, lender name, loan number, social security number, and is dated).

- Call in to Customer Service, explain that you are working with a client in default, and check to see whether the authorization needs to be on file with customer service or with the loss mitigation department, or both.

- Ask for the phone and fax numbers for each department.

* Note: the customer service representative that you are speaking to may not give out the loss mitigation department’s phone and fax numbers until authorization is on file. Payoff and reinstatement figures for the foreclosing lender may need to be obtained from the lender’s attorney. Once authorization is on file, check on the status of your payoff request and if those figures do need to be requested from the attorney, the representative you speak to can provide you with the attorney’s contact information.

- When you receive the correct phone and fax numbers for the loss mitigation department, ask how long it takes for the authorization to be on file.

- Make sure you have the correct fax number and that your cover page is thorough and explicitly clear.

- Specify the date you want your payoff and reinstatement figures good through, your phone number, your fax number, your name, and homeowner’s name.

Step 2: Follow up to make sure your authorization is on file.

- Make Sure the Bank is On Your Schedule! Various documents, including authorizations, are frequently lost and may need to be refaxed. By constantly following up, you will make sure that if anything needs to be refaxed, it can be done immediately so that no time is wasted.

- Once authorization is on file, make sure to order a short sale package if it hasn’t already arrived. When doing short sales, lenders prefer to receive their own short sale packages, not a generic one.

- Check to make sure authorization is on file. At this time it is good to ask some additional questions such as: Is there a strict foreclosure or foreclosure sale date set? Who is the investor behind the loan? What type of loan is this? (Ex: conventional, adjustable rate mortgage, balloon, etc.) This additional information all factors in to how you’ll approach negotiations.

Step 3: Compile Short Sale Package

- Gather all the needed documents required by the foreclosing lender. Make sure to stay on top of the homeowner or real estate agent or whoever sent over the property originally so that you’ll get the needed documents as soon as possible.

- For any documents that cannot be obtained from the homeowner (i.e. tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, etc.) make sure to have the homeowner write a brief explanation of why they cannot provide them and have them sign and date them. Other documents, such as the hardship letter or financial worksheet, must be included.

- Make sure that the hardship letter addresses three things specifically: what occurred in there life to put the homeowner in default, when did it occur and/or how long they have been in their current situation, and what they have done to try and correct the situation

- After all the documents have been received from the homeowner, call again and ask for the number it should be faxed to. Make sure that the package is 100% complete.
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