Pittsburgh, PA Real Estate News

I wanted to write a blog about a great project in the area called The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project.    The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project, in partnership with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, collects gently used and new tote bags to lend dignity to the participants in the region's food pantries.   The project works with existing food drives, identifies permanent "drop off spots" and seeks out larger corporate donors to contribute excess promotional bags. In partnership with the Food Bank, bags are distributed to pantries and food distributions throughout the region.   I am trying to help them out.  If you are anything like me, you probably have more than enough at home or stuffed into the back of your car!  If you are selling your home in Pittsburgh, now is a great time to give away...
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Relocating to Pittsburgh A move anywhere can be tough.  If you are moving to Pittsburgh, let your local top Pittsburgh Real Estate Agent help with some simple steps. 2 MONTHS PRIOR Keep, Give Away, Throw Away Research your moving company Create a Moving Binder Organize school records   1 Month Prior Confirm Moving Company & Arrangements Begin Packing and Label Do a change of address Notify important parties Medical records   1 WEEK BEFORE Contact your utilities Pets Refill Prescriptions Pack your suitcases   A FEW DAYS BEFORE Double-check the details Defrost your freezer Plan payment arrangements   MOVING DAY Verify Take inventory Keep expensive and personal items Planning your route Last walkthrough Final Items   For more detail on the above information read my full moving tips at Who ...
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Pittsburgh Home Search Tips during winter months. Now is the time of year we should be preparing for winter.  If you are out looking for homes for sale in Pittsburgh or driving to visit a family member over the holidays, you should be prepared for roads to get a little slick with rain, snow, or ice in the winter.  Weather can change from bad to worse in an instant, everyone can benefit from preparation.  Here are a few safety tips for your Car Emergency Kit. Check your tires and make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm and check tire pressure during cold weather. Remember, tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms. Get a vehicle winter maintenance check-up. Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/def...
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
I recently came across a great video about Pittsburgh that I wanted to share with anyone who is thinking this would be a great place to live, or already knows it...    
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Yes those two words…October and snowing shouldn’t be allowed in the same sentence.   However in Pittsburgh, we are accustomed to wild swings in weather.  While some of us might still be hoping for that last burst of warm weather, it is inevitable that winter has now arrived.  Here is the great thing about living in Pittsburgh, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like.  Pittsburghers alike will complain about cold yet we relish in the chance to tailgate in the snow.  Families no longer feel obligated to go the park and enjoy our last few warm weather days. We can go to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, the Carnegie Science Center , BounceU in Warrendale or Lilliput playhomes in Peters Township without any guilt that we are spending it indoors.  The winter sports season is here with Sev...
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
Passing this on if you are interested, a really cool idea, I hope to check some of them out myself this weekend... Pittsburgh Solar Tour   Featuring Solar Homes in   Beaver, Butler, Cranberry, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Oakmont, Cheswick, North Hills, Gibsonia, Mt. Lebanon, Erie, and Johnstown.   Also featuring a live solar installation in Wilkinsburg, see the online guide for more details.   Saturday, October 29   Noon - 4:00 p.m.   Free   www.pghsolartour.org   Three Rivers Solar Source ( a prject of PennFuture) is your host on this self-guided open-house tour of homes that use solar energy. You will find many homes from Pittsburgh and surrounding communities. All of the owners of these homes have graciously invited you to stop by, see, learn, and ask questions about their solar instal...
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
I wanted to write today about a subject that is dear to me, our environment and the ongoing attacks against the EPA. Recently congress and many in the Republican party (sorry, I hate to take sides but this one has to be called out) have taken to making the Environmental Protection Agency enemy #1 for their perceived role in limiting economic growth through regulation. I feel strongly that their attacks are misplaced and believe that the EPA's work has led to a much higher quality of life which is a major driver of economic growth. Case study #1: Pittsburgh! This is what Pittsburgh looked like in the 40's when it was ok for industry to pump anything it wanted into the air and the water. This is what the city looked like when my grandmother was a young girl. She told me about having to du...
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By Bonnie Wisniewski
(Market Real Estate, Inc.Pittsburgh Home Staging Experts L.P.)
Because I am privileged to be both a licensed Realtor and certified Home Staging professional in Pittsburgh, photography not only sells my listings -  it sells my services.  Here are a few tips to create a selling tool that won't break your budget. Plan your project by finished size. I like 11x17 landscape for the overall impact of the before and after shots for staging. Itoya art profolios and Florence Art porfolios are a bargain for this type, with most under $ 30.00        Benefit: change out the photo pages as you wish allowing custom presentations, tuck in your biography, copies of certifications, etc.  A lesser expensive permanently bound version can be created online or in any number of stores with a digital photo department. Benefit: design a custom cover in your own color brand...
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By Steve Warrene, Pittsburgh Realtor North and East Pgh.
(Your Town Realty)
                                                           Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts A rich kaleidoscope of music with unexpected twists opens the season! Dreamwaltzes is American composer Steven Stucky’s fantasia on Viennese composers Schubert, Brahms and Mahler. Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Special Prize winner Rudolf Buchbinder makes a rare performance in America and interprets Gershwin’s jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in F. The New York Times describes Buchbinder’s style as “fierce yet controlled excitement.” Mussorgsky’s much-loved Pictures at an Exhibition closes this concert in a grand fashion. Brought to you by:Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra412.392.6070
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
I want to thank a friend who passed this link on to me. I thought the LiveRoof Green roofing systems was so cool I wanted to pass it on. LiveRoof is the first modular green roof system designed to grow plants on a rooftop environment. The plants arrive at the job site fully grown and once installed the dividers are removed to create a fully contiguous instant green roof. For builders or homeowners that are looking for a green roof this could be a nice option. The photo is from their website of a roof here in Pittsburgh.
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
  These days it seems like every time you turn on the news you get the “sky is falling” perspective on the economy and the real estate market. I’m happy to say that hasn’t been my experience this summer. Sales have been strong and some of our local industries are doing quite well, so I thought I would start today with a glass-is-half-full perspective.   Pittsburgh’s real estate market continues to do well. In fact, during the first quarter of 2011 the average home price was up 3.5%, compared to a 3.6% drop in the average home price during the same period nationwide. In June 2011, Clear Capital® Reports ranked Pittsburgh the #3 Highest-Performing Major Housing Market in the country. Interest rates are amazingly low. If you have good credit and a down payment you can get rates in the 3%’s...
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By Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent
(Solid Source Realty GA)
Kindergarten is where I learned my left from my right, and a few other important lessons. I clearly remember my 1st day of school – a half day of kindergarten at Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in the Elliott neighborhood on the West End of  Pittsburgh, PA.  I remember the excitement of the weeks leading up to that first day – sitting at my mother’s elbow, watching raptly as she pinned patterns and cut  out pieces from  lovely calico print and glen plaid fabrics which we’d gone downtown to Murphy’s five and ten cent store to pick out together. While Mom skillfully stitched those pieces together on her Singer sewing machine into the most beautiful, grown-up, lace-and-ribbon trimmed dresses that any 5-year old girl could ever have wished for, I chattered on incessantly about what Real ...
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By Elizabeth Caplan, REALTOR, Pittsburgh, PA
(Piatt Sotheby's International Realty)
An interesting article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette focuses on a growing demographic that is attracting an increasing number of 20-something home buyers.  According to the recent article, Census numbers show that Pittsburgh’s median age dropped from 35.5 to 33.2 percent between 2000 and 2010. Here’s what else recent Census data shows: While Pittsburgh’s median age decreased between the 2000 and 2010 Census, other cities such as Cincinnati, Cleveland and Minneapolis, saw increases in their median age. The number of Pittsburgh residents between the ages of 20 and 24 increased by 22.1 percent between the 2000 and 2010 Census. The percentage of Pittsburgh residents who are 65 and older decreased by 23.4 percent between 2000 and 2010 – or from 55,034 to  42,151 Pittsburgh residents who are...
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By Elizabeth Caplan, REALTOR, Pittsburgh, PA
(Piatt Sotheby's International Realty)
According to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, home sales decreased by nearly 19 percent in June when compared to June 2010. One possible reason for the drop in home sales year-over-year is the absence of the first time home buyers credit. The federal tax credit, which gave homebuyers an $8,000 rebate if they bought a home by the end of June, caused a lot of activity on real estate markets last year. Here’s what else the newspaper recently reported: Home values in the Pittsburgh region increased from $154,748 in 2009 to $170,351 in June The median home price increased from $125,500 to $134,250 during that same time. Butler County had the highest average home price with $231,831. Washington County’s average home price is $186,231 Allegheny County’s average home price is ...
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
Last year, Pennsylvania was given $105 million in federal money to help homeowners that may be in jepordy of losing their homes, but to date only 1,400 people have applied and $27 million has been used. With plenty of people in the state still facing forclosure the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency has teamed up with the United Way to get the word out that this money is available to homeowners that are facing tough times. The deadline is September 30th and the loans are available to people who are at least 3 months behind on their payments and had at least a 15% decline in their income due to job loss, hour reduction or illness. If you find yourself in need of help, call the United Way just by dialing 211, or if you are outside of the area by calling 1-800-552-4171. Buying or sell...
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
Part bike shop and part museum, Bicycle Heaven, opens July 2nd off the North Shore bike trail in the RJ Casey Industrial Park. It features the worlds largest collection of Schwinn Stingrays and the oldest bike is a 1862 Bone Shaker, made entirely of wood. I can't wait to check it out. For more information click here.
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By Elizabeth Caplan, REALTOR, Pittsburgh, PA
(Piatt Sotheby's International Realty)
  The Carlyle Condos of 4th Avenue offer one of the newest luxury Downtown Pittsburgh Condominiums for sale in Pittsburgh.  If you’re tired of the long rush hour commute to and the many time-consuming tasks that living in the suburbs brings, then perhaps it’s time you considered downtown living at The Carlyle, new custom condos in the heart of the Golden Triangle. The Carlyle offers a low maintenance life-style, elegant designs pared with old world craftsmanship. The Carlyle is the best value for luxury urban living Downtown.The newest project offered by respected developer E.V. Bishoff Company, The Carlyle in Pittsburgh Condos are unparalleled in value and quality all with a surprisingly affordable price tag. The Carlyle’s 21 floors contain some of Downtown Pittsburgh’s most sought-aft...
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
Temple University School of Medicine has announced a new campus to be housed at Four Allegheny Center on the North Side in conjunction with the West Penn Allegheny Health System. This should be good news for the North Side with a high profile program and residents coming to the area for 3-year stints looking for convenient housing near the hospital. The program is scheduled to begin in 2013. Read more >> Looking to buy or sell a home on Pittsburgh's Northside? Get more information on the Northside here or Call Christa Ross from RE/MAX Select Realty, at 724-933-6300 x214 (office) or 724-779-1437 (direct) or visit my website at www.bestpittsburghhomes.com.
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By Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
(RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist)
Each summer Pittsburgh Citiparks hosts movie night in parks all around the city. You can find a flick playing almost any night of the week for free. So grab your blanket and picnic dinner and make a night of it. All movies begin at dusk and on Wednesday nights bands perform at Flagstaff Hill prior to the movie, starting at 7:00pm. The schedule is below, for a list of what's playing go to the Citiparks website. Sunday Night - Schenley Park, Flagstaff Hill Tuesday Night - West End/Elliott Overlook Wednesday Night - Schenley Park, Flagstaff Hill Thursday Night - Brookline Memorial Park, Oakridge Street, Brookline Friday Night - Arsenal Park, 39th & Butler Streets, Lawrenceville Saturday Night - Grandview Park, Bailey Avenue, Mt. Washington Saturday Night - Riverview Park, Observatory Hill ...
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