Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Pop. 302,407) – known for many things, including steel, yellow bridges, Andy Warhol and of course, you can’t mention this city without validating its football team in the same breath. But, what you may not know about ‘The Burgh’ is within its rolling hills lies some of the oldest homes to be found in the United States. Among the largest metros in the country, Pittsburgh is home to the oldest housing stock with 75 percent of homes built prior to 1960. For comparison, the housing market in Austin, Texas is entering its later teenage years with a quarter percentage of its homes built after the year 2000.
Aging homes coupled with stagnant new construction isn’t just bound within the city limits. A 25-minute drive (Pittsburgh traffic can be unpredictable) north along I-279 and I-79 takes you to Cranberry Township (Pop. 30,762) on the southwestern most tip of Butler County. A popular retail destination and once home to the very first Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop in all of Western Pennsylvania, Cranberry, PA has become a hotbed for technology startups along with an emergence of corporate, industrial and research organizations. In fact, of the Cranberry Township’s 20,500-member workforce, more than 18,500 commute from other communities. So, this economic development should have spurred new or newly renovated homes, right?
Age Catches up with Everyone, Including Homes
Homeownership in Cranberry, Pennsylvania is at an unprecedented level with 82 percent of residents in the township owning a home. However, three-fourths of houses in cities like Cranberry, Wexford, Warrendale and Zelienople, Pennsylvania were built prior to 1980. That’s important info for buyers and sellers – it means that the majority of the homes available on the market today are likely in need of more than a little TLC.
No matter how an owner treats their own home, all structures deteriorate over the course of time. Things always need maintained, fixed, updated, or replaced over the typical life of a house. The older the home, the more work may be needed if it’s been deferred by the previous owner. Not to mention the cosmetic updates that one may also desire. Bell bottom jeans are no longer a hit, neither is shag carpeting even if it is still in good condition! Fixing serious issues or choosing a contemporary cosmetic update both can cost homebuyers a huge chunk of change before ever moving the first box in.
FHA 203(k) Home Renovation Loans: What You Need to Know
This sounds overwhelming and expensive, but the good news is it does not have to be. Home renovation loans can give buyers in cities like Pittsburgh and Cranberry Township, PA the ability to breathe a sigh of relief. A renovation loan provides a buyer with funds to purchase a property as well as the funds needed to fix or update it afterwards – all in one easy loan. In particular, the FHA 203k is a home renovation loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is quite attractive to Buyers in today’s marketplace. It has a reasonable down payment, competitive interest rates, and can be used for as little as a few thousand dollars’ worth of repairs up to hundreds of thousands for a transformative renovation. It’s up to the Buyer and what each personally desires.
FHA 203k Home Renovation Loan Requirements
• One-to-four family home that was built at least one year prior
• House cannot be co-op, but some condos are eligible
• Home that you want to move, to a new location
• Home that’s been torn down, provided that some of the existing foundation is still in place
Homeowners can borrow up to 96.5 percent of the appraised value, based on the value when the improvements or repairs are completed. So, where do you begin? That’s where AmeriFirst Home Mortgage comes in. We’ll talk with you and determine what price range you can go house-hunting, explain the different types of renovation loans we offer and work towards getting you pre-approved.
*Not intended as accounting or investment advice. Contact your financial representative for more information.