It's November, the unofficial start of the holiday season! We're grateful to have you all in our lives and hope you're able to get together with your friends and family this Thanksgiving. We're looking forward to the next couple months and the start of the New Year. Meanwhile, if you'd like to give yourself a new house for Christmas, give us a call. ~Tarasa
We're continuing our annual PIE GIVEAWAY. Previous and active clients were already sent an order form, but anyone is invited. So come on and register for your free PIE.
Your choices are Apple, Dutch Apple, Cherry, or Pumpkin. Below is a digital order form (click the button). Please submit your order by Friday, November 10 at midnight (but the earlier the better!).
Second, Mylasia Sherrell joined our team. We'll have a more official announcement soon, but we're so excited to have her south hills expertise with us on our team!
Finally, I promised pictures from Halloween closings. Here we go!
Brief real estate update
Where did "Mid-Century Modern" style come from?
November Home Maintenance | November Quiz
"What happens if my home purchase falls apart?"
Lifestyle News & Curiosities | Just for Fun
Team Lead: Tarasa Hurley
Transaction Coordinator: Laurie Pfaff
Client Care: Reba Salinas
Buyer’s Agent: Michelle Rabe
Buyer’s Agent: Renee Pitrelli
Buyer's Agent: Michelle Ayala
Buyer's Agent: Mylasia Sherrell
Team Stats (Year to Date)
Volume Closed: $15.6M
78 transactions complete so far this year!
PITTSBURGH MARKET UPDATE
As of Nov 1st 2023
Number of Listings: 5,906 (up 5.1% from September) Number of Sales: 1,982 (down about 5.1% from September) Days on Market: 22 (2 days more than September) Sales Price to List Price Ratio: 99% (down 1%) Median Sales Price: $225,000 (down about 2.2%) Price Per Sq Ft: $162 (down $3)
If you’re a buyer Our advice to buyers has been consistent throughout 2023 and it doesn’t change now. This is a strong buying opportunity if it makes sense for you to buy. Rates are high, but prices are lower than you will likely see again in Pittsburgh. You can buy now and refinance later and ultimately accomplish a lower monthly payment than you will be able to in the future.
If you’re a seller If you’re currently on the market, it’s important to identify your “Plan B”. The real estate market goes into hibernation over the winter and demand is already sluggish. Pricing in 2023 is critical if you must sell in 2023. Otherwise, you can expect a better market in the spring of 2024, the only question being, “How much better?”
As always, real estate is hyperlocal and hyper-situational, so please reach out to us to discuss your specific situation. We’d love to help you and strategize what’s in your best interest!
The average interest rate was 7.79% at publication. Click above to see today's rate.Housing market activity remains slow in the US. Interest rates are at a 23-year high, which is slowing the market. Despite that, there are still tens of thousands of deals going on every month, with people using creative financing, special deals with sellers, and simply people accepting that higher rates aren't going away any time soon. If you’re ready to move, let's get started. It may take longer, but together, we'll make it happen. ~Tarasa, (412) 475-8008
According to an article by Laura Fenton in Curbed Magazine online, the mid-century modern "look" is everywhere. "If you dine in a contemporary restaurant, there's a chance you'll be seated in a chair that was designed in the 1950s."
The term "mid-century modern" stems from author Cara Greenberg, who says she simply made up the phrase for the title of her 1984 book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.
The book sold more than 100,000 copies, and once people heard the term "mid-century modern," it made simple sense to them. Mid-century literally means the middle of the century, or the 1950s, so there was no explanation required. Furniture of that era had an iconic style, slightly Scandinavian, with slanted angles rather than straight up and down lines.
Consumers then and now are attracted to its clean, organic lines, as opposed to the over-stuffed furniture of the 1990s. Today’s new décor tends towards curves combined with straight-lined earthy furniture that isn’t exactly Mid-Century but is derived from it.
Check CO and smoke detectors
With all the cooking and activity going on in your house over the holidays, and having your windows generally closed all winter, now is a good time to test your smoke and CO detectors. A simple test and fresh batteries can ensure your main home defenses are working.
Burn in a Clean Fireplace
A fireplace is a vital part of having a cozy warm home for many of us. If you have a fireplace, now is a good time (if you haven't already) to clean it. Wood burning, electric, and gas fireplaces all need maintenance. Here's a guide from Home Depot to help you do it yourself. Or you can call a specialist.
When spelled out as a word, only one number has the same number of letters as the number itself. Which is it?
Send your answer for a chance to win a $5 coffee card! Last month's Q&A: What kind of clothing does a house wear? A-dress (address).Congratulations to last month's winner!
"What happens if my home purchase falls apart?"
As much as we try to make real estate transactions go smoothly, they sometimes don’t go according to plan. There could be un-solvable flaws in the condition of the home, the appraisal might be low, the bank could refuse to fund the loan, or any of a hundred other strange situations. Any of these could delay or even cancel your closing.
When that happens, buyers suddenly find themselves having to revise their carefully laid plans. They might have to rearrange movers, renegotiate with a landlord, get temporary housing, change lenders, find a place to store their furniture, and more.
As a real estate consultant, I don’t ever want a transaction to fall apart…but if it does, I want my clients to be prepared. For that reason, I suggest creating back-up plans based on likely scenarios for your situation. For instance, if you are buying a fixer, think about the kinds of problems can you prepare for in the inspection. Or if you won a bid by going over the asking price, what will you do if the appraisal comes in low?
When you're ready to buy a home, call to set an appointment where we can discuss these things and more. I'm at (412) 475-8008 or [email protected].
Is It the End of Airbnb?
You might have heard that New York City has banned most short-term rentals (STR), like Airbnb. Many large cities across the world are considering similar bans.
The primary reason? Loss of housing units for residents. If you have a portfolio of properties you've built up for the short term rental (STR) market, you will understandingly be upset if this happens to you. You'll need to either sell your properties or rent them long-term. If you were counting on STR income in your retirement, you’ll need to pull out your spreadsheet and refigure your plans around long-term tenants. If you own property in a city that hasn’t yet banned STRs, you’ll want to keep your eye on that ball. While STRs offer a fantastic investment strategy, so does buying and holding long-term rental property. Need help locating local rental property, or selling a STR? Let's check out some properties in the area. (412) 475-8008
Double king-sized beds, called Alaskan Kings, are 9x9 feet (2.7 square meters).
The time between when T-Rex lived and Stegosaurus lived is greater than the time between T-Rex and now.
What's your dog made of?
If you're like many dog parents, you've shelled out $80 to $140 for a genetic test to find out. Out of curiosity about her own dog, Michelle Leininger bought and compared DNA tests from three companies. Surprisingly, she got very different results from each. What's worse, Leininger also sent in her own cheek swab as a sample, which came back as part Bulldog, Collie, and Cane Corso. The point is that dog DNA tests might not give you the answers you think they will.
Story: The Kids Are Coming!
An elderly man living in Texas calls his son in New York and says: "I hate to ruin your day, but your mother and I are divorcing."
The son cries out, "Dad, what are you talking about? You can’t divorce Mom after all these years. That’s crazy. You love her."
"It may be crazy,” says the old man, “but I’m going to tell her this Thursday, on Thanksgiving Day. It will be the last one we spend together."
Frantically, the son calls his sister, and she explodes. "They are not getting a divorce! You and I are flying to Texas tomorrow to talk sense into Dad! I don’t care if it is Thanksgiving week.”
She hangs up and calls her father, demanding "Don’t you dare tell Mom a thing until we get there tomorrow.”
The old man agrees, then hangs up his phone and turns to his wife with a smile. "OK,” he says. “They’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way. Now what do we tell them for Christmas?"