Ask Kathe

An Ongoing Column Offering News, Advice, and Observations: All About The Real Estate Market in Pittsburgh, PA.

Downsizing Options

We are thinking of downsizing, but can’t find a place to go.  Any ideas on how to approach this transition?If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines this spring waiting for your downsizer to come on the market, you may be feeling disappointed right now.  We continue to...

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The Basement Tells More than You Know

After renovating our home, all that remains is our basement. How important is it (or worth it) to clean this space up and how far should we go?  Would I get the return on my money? A basement often reveals more about a home than any other part of your home. It is...

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Inspection Expectations

What kinds of items would be viewed as “hot buttons” for home buyers on inspections? If you are a home seller, there is an ever increasing list of items that you will be expected to address if any are discovered on your home inspection.  Given that, if you are...

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Demystifying the Inspection

We find the inspection process confusing – do we have to fix everything in the inspection report before we sell our home or just the repairs the buyer requested?The home inspection report is the document from which your buyer works to make their repair requests of...

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Using an Appraisal Contingency

With all of the bidding wars happening in this hot market, should we put an appraisal contingency in our offers?  Appraisal contingencies are added to agreements when buyers are concerned that their offer may be over market value.  If you are getting a mortgage, they...

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Understanding the High-End Market

It seems that high end home sales continue to lag as compared to the rest of the market.  Thoughts? Our high-end market in the Quaker Valley School District is moving more slowly than the rest of the market, and this is particularly apparent when homes under $1...

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Protecting Against Overpaying

How do you guard against overpaying in this competitive market? You have a good reason to worry about prices in the market that we are in.  Currently it seems that prices have risen at least 10% in some price brackets since the new year.  That’s an incredible amount...

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Impact of Interest Rates

How are rising interest rates impacting home sales? Rising interest rates are definitely impacting buyers.  Many buyers are having to step down their affordability levels and focus on homes that are less expensive homes than those they might have considered three...

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Waiving a Home Inspection

The market is so hot right now and we aren’t having any luck getting a home – should we waive home inspections? You are correct –the market under $1million is very fast paced right now, and in many instances, the winning bidder has waived home inspections.  That does...

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Don’t Make a Stink About Sewer Inspections

Our neighbor just had to replace their sewer line – is that a common home inspection repair? Sewer lines have become as radon was 20 years ago – today’s hot button for home buyers. In some boroughs (Mt Lebanon, for example) the borough now requires that before a home...

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Security Camera Do’s & Don’ts

We have security cameras in our home – is it ok to leave them on when we show our home?Video recording is permitted, except in areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom. In those areas, you may not record.  Audio recording is much...

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The Effects of Rising Interest Rates

 What impact do you think rising interest rates will have on the real estate market? I can’t tell you how many years the Fed has been warning us that they are going to raise the interest rates, and then nothing happened. But now, it looks like it is finally happening....

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Sensible Repairs

Sometimes it seems like everything is breaking around our house and we get behind on repairs. Isn't there some level of wear and tear buyers of “previously enjoyed” homes are expecting to have to accept? The process of selling and buying a home involves many fine...

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Investment Properties

We are interested in diversifying our portfolio and purchasing rental properties – any thoughts? The first thing to keep in mind when considering a rental property is how you intend to pay for it. Rental properties are investment properties and subject to different...

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Buyer Trends to Consider When Remodeling

We are in the middle of remodeling and want to make sure we create a home the market will embrace on resale.  Any suggestions? The number one requested item from buyers nationally is a dedicated laundry room – a place where they can spread out and get laundry done...

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I’m ready to answer any questions you have regarding your real estate needs.
Kathe Barge, CRS, ABR, CNE, SRES
Associate Broker
401 Broad Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
Cell: 412-779-6060
Office: 412-741-2200 x238

About Kathe

As a full-time realtor, specializing in residential real estate. With a proven track record of selling properties, I am able to provide in-depth knowledge of property values and trends for the future as well as tailor the marketing of each property on an individual basis.

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