Time For the Blooming Flowers and Open Houses!

As I have been adding monthly, the following are the Open Houses that I will be hosting through the month. It has many reasons. First, it is to inform of the homes that are on the market and how you can tour them without an appointment. Another reason, is to debunk the myth there is nothing to buy and finally, to increase the number of listings I personally market. As a buyers agent, I do not charge you for my services for the number of homes we see or the amount of time it takes to find the home that makes you glow in love with.

All of the following Open Houses are open from 1:00 to 4;00

The first Open House for the month of April is this coming weekend at 2000 Haflinger in North Huntingdon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This roomy home has an open family room and a eat in kitchen that features granite counter tops and a large island. The first floor also crafted with a dining room and a roomy den. The den is currently being used as an office since it is a bit off the entry area and is enclosed with French doors. The upstairs has three bedrooms and a large owners bedroom with a walk in closet. There is a full bathroom off the hallway and an upgraded tile bathroom for the owners room. The awesome part is the of the upstairs is the laundry room is located upstairs where the dirty cloths are! No more dragging the baskets downstairs. There is a back entry two car garage and another room on the basement level.

 

The next Open House will be April 9th in Irwin at
717 Pennsylvania Avenue !

This magnificent 3 story home with major renovations but kept the Old World charm throughout. The glorious estate has gleaming hardwood floors, French doors, 5 authentic fireplaces (2 decorative and 3 gas). The home is equipped with 3 bedrooms and full bath 2nd level (w/new walk in shower+ tub). bedroom and den (5th bdrm) on third level with full bath. There is a Powder Room on The main level. New kitchen is finished with granite counter tops and ceramic floors. The laundry/mud room is on the first level. Main level sun room is sculptured with arched stained glass windows. Arch entry. Built in bookcases and sconces and loads of other charm throughout this fabulous home.

 

The following weekend is Easter so it is time to celebrate and spend time with families!

images

 

We pick it up right the following weekend, April 23rd, at 4063 Stratford Drive in the Irwin/West Hempfield area.

This wonderful brick ranch home is located in established neighborhood with great flowing floor plan. The updated and well lighted kitchen has light oak cabinets. New roof has been installed. The home is presently a two bedroom but can be converted back to a three bedroom. The lower area has a finished 12X8 room which is located next to the game room. A gorgeous Family Room is located in the back of the home and is equipped with skylights for extra light!

If you have any questions about these Open Houses, please contact me at 724-691-7220. If you have more direct questions about the listings, I can direct you to the agent responsible for the home.

Thinking of selling your home or need to upsize or downsize? Please let me know and over a cup a coffee or tea, we can chat about options and a marketing plan for a positive experience! Just send me an email to start the conversation TomSullivan@HowardHanna.com !

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Utimate Mother’s Day Present

Is it too early to start thinking about Mother’s Day presents? I don’t think so! Even if you need a little extra time to close, we can do it together! You can tell I have been watching the Sweet 16 college basketball coachs interviews.

The Spring Market Open House Tour this week and next weekend is at my listing at 2000 Haflinger in the Dartmoor Plan of North Huntingdon. 

This brick and siding home is one of the newer homes in the plan at only a year and a half old. The home has a roomy two car garage and leads to the open room waiting for your touches to make it a game room or an office or as a workout room as the current family is utilizing.

 The main floor has a large family room which is openly connected to the kitchen which could handle at least two chefs! The upstairs has four bedrooms which have closets to get all of your seasonal fashions. The owners bedroom is very roomy and accompanied by a walk in closet. The owners bathroom is designedwith a double sink and an upgraded tiled shower. 

Please stop by on Sunday the 26th or April the 2nd from 1:00 to 4:00 for the Sunday Open Houses. The April 2nd will be a Showcase of Homes Open House and can be previewed during the Showcase of Homes TV Show from 11:30 to Noon on Channel 4 WTAE on the April 2nd.

If you can not make the Open Houses, please contact me at TomSullivan@HowardHanna.com to set a personal showing of 2000 Haflinger! 

Thanks for reading and if you have any comments, please leave them or email me! 

Spring Market Tour lands in Penn Township 

This Sunday on the 2017 Spring Market Open House Tour takes me to 118 Irene Drive in Penn Township,  MLS #1262532, $179,900. I will be hosting the open house from 1:00 to 4:00 this Sunday March 12th. 

If you are looking for a convenient place to call home, this is close to perfect. This split level home which is on  a cul-de-sac is located off of Sandy Hill Road between Rt. 130 and Rt. 30. You will be located between the shopping centers of Penn Township and North Huntingdon/ Irwin.

Inside, you have a fully equipped eat in kitchen which opens up to the dining room. When you pass through the sliding glass doors in the dining room, you will arrive to the large covered porch with views of the fenced in yard which holds your shed, pool and deck .

Dining room with walk out to porch

The downstairs has a finished game room and is tapped off with a social center area for parties! Since the party or March Madness Basketball Center is in the game room, there is another bathroom located close by! For quieter times, there is a wood burning fireplace to set the mood. There is also another room on the lower level that could be used as a 4th bedroom or a den. This room was the second garage bay and can be easily converted back.

Game room with wood burner

Social center and wet bar

And one of the most important rooms are the bedrooms. The bedrooms run in sizes of the owners bedroom of 12×15 , the second bedroom of 13×10 , and the third one of 11×13.

Owners bedroom

If you have any questions about this open, please feel comfortable to contact me at 724-691-7220 or at TomSullivan@HowardHanna.com for any questions or comments. 

Open House on the Mount

This week I have the honor of doing Teresa’s listing in the city of Pittsburgh located in the Mt Washington neighborhood. The home is located just blocks from bus stops and a 5 minute walk to Grandview Drive. The address is 303 Labelle, Mt Washington and the hosting time will be from 1:00 to 4:00pm on March 5th this weekend.

Upon entering your new home, you are greeted by charm and style. The open staircase travels up to the large four bedrooms and get to enjoy the view of the stain glass windows!

The 14’x13′ Living room has an ornamental fireplace and lots of natural light. If carpets are not your liking, the hard wood floors underneath will surely be a favorite. 

The kitchen has been completely remodeled to be a model kitchen. With the modern wood cabinets and subway backsplash, it bring the old and new styles together nicely.

The main bathroom on the second floor has also has been updated with modern textures and colors. 

If you have any questions about the open house, please contact me at 724-691-7220. Thanks for reading and if you would like me to market your home for sale, please call me so we can chat over coffee and share ideas!

Coffee, coffee, and treats


Cheesecake Cafe, Irwin

If you are looking for break from the crazy day or need to celebrate with a custom made treat , this is the place. This coffee shop has a great selection of hot coffees and steamed varieties of the soothing lattes and more. As the name also suggest , they have cheesecakes, cheesecakes, and more cheesecakes ! My favorite one is the triple chocolate cheesecake! The really nice treat of the cafe’ is it is hosted in a Victorian parlor like room and if the weather allows, there is outdoor seating !

Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, Irwin

One of the newer shops in the area but has been around the Pittsburgh area for awhile. When you get bored with the regular circled breakfast treats, you can have a donut that has toppings as unique as you. My favorite donut is the maple bacon donut followed by the coffeecake donut. So good! All of this joy is followed up by a fresh cup of coffee and we are talking a love fest! This center of the peace and love of donut perfection is located on Rt. 30 in the Irwin Plaza. I can only end this stop with , Peace Out!

White Rabbit Cafe, Downtown Greensburg

This has become my new hangout in Downtown Greensburg! This cafe is located on Main Street and up from the courthouse . It is a more of a homey cafe with different sized and made tables with unmatched chairs. Enough about of the furniture! The baked goods are out of this world! I am a simple person so when I bit into the half inch thick , warm chocolate cookie, I felt like I fell into a hole surrounded by chocolate and friendship . My vanilla cappacino was so crafted! It wasn’t squirted out of a machine or hot water and mix. You won’t be treated to that. No, no, no! It was brought to life! And it was a first for me, my cup of art had a leaf design in the foam . So cool! Just wish I could get there more often !

Colonial Grille, Downtown Irwin

“The Grille” is the reason why I live in the Irwin area. My first trip to the area brought me to Downtown Irwin and just wanted to grab a quick but non-wrapper breakfast . It looked like a place that I used to go to in my hometown in Illinois. The short story is that I sat at the counter on a swivel stool and had a ‘Rasher” of bacon, dippy eggs, home fries, and rye toast. I caught up with the local politics and I believe the man next to me was the mayor! I have already mentioned my favorite breakfast which I have enjoyed for the last 27 years, but. if you come for lunch or dinner, you have to try the brosted chicken meal. You may not be able to have chicken anywhere else. The also have a Taproom in the back and watch for the nights they have Jazz Nights !

The Manor Grill,  Manor

This gem of Manor on Harrison City-Manor Road is the place for breakfast and coffee. If you walk away hungry from here, you forgot to open your mouth! So good! And if you are looking for a lenten place for fish, my mom-in-law used to say that they must have gotten confused and fried a whale! That says it all. Another reason to support this wonderful place, The owner and staff supply Thanksgiving dinners to people who can not have one due to need. It is a great thing they do! Enjoy this gem!

Hermine Diner, Downtown Hermine

I am including the Herminie Diner even though I have not been here yet. I have had lots of business recently in the Riltton and Herminie area and I ask where is a good place for coffee and breakfast. The only place I get told is this diner. I have found out that the breakfast are under the control of a local lady who has had a much missed breakfast place across the street.Then I found out that the owner is one of the associates of the legendary ANDROS of White Oak. That means high quality of service and mouth demanding gyros! I can’t wait to make it there and enjoy some time filling up on the specials ! I’ll let you know how it goes .

Do you have a favorite? Let me know where and what I should try.

Thanks again for reading

Breaking the Lead for Fun

I came across a new web site that made it easier to enjoy time with your furry family members. And I am not talking about Uncle Harry! The name of the web site is www.Bringfido.com and if you would like to travel with your pet, the hotel reviews and pricing are easy to find. I am going to mention to a couple friends who have pet centered businesses to jump on. Seems like a great site! The following is just a small sample of the information that can be found there.

Are you and your canine support getting tired of walking around the same side of the street, around the same blocks, seeing the same pet friends. Well, it is time to break out and see the world from a different view. Our Pittsburgh area has a great selection of Dog Parks so you can make new friends and so can your human friends! Make sure you remind them to bring a snack and cool water for the both of you. With all the fun you are going to have, it will make you thirsty and builds an appetite! 

Here are just a few of the local parks just for you!

Riverview Dog Park, Pittsburgh

Hartwood Acres County Dog Park, Pittsburgh

Frick Park Off the Leach Exercise Area, Pittsburgh

White Oak Park, White Oak Pa

Penn Hills Dog Park, Penn Hills Pa

Penn Township Municpal Dog Park

 

Need to get away!

Tired of being tied up in the house in the house and need to get out to the big city!

I have found a couple of local places to travel with your provider and give them a day off or two with you. The following are highly rated pet friendly and human convienent hotels! Most are not to far from home so you won’t have to beg for a bathroom break on the side of the road. Enjoy!!!

Here are the hotels in the area with readers reviews

Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Greentree, Rated five bones out of five

The Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh , Rated five bones out of five

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, Rated five bones out of five

Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, Rated five bones out of five

Residence Inn Pittsburgh Monroeville, Rated five bones out of five

The main advice is to call ahead to see what the policy is for the hotel that you want to stay at. Many hotels have no fee for a pet but some require an additional fee for your furry family member to travel with you. 

If you have any more pet articles you would like me to check into or have comments, please leave a comment or a like. That would be like giving me a bone and keep me going. Thanks and have a dog gon good day!

Thanks for reading!

Historical buildings in the Norwin area

The following properties are located in the Irwin area and are priceless treasures of our roots living here. The treasures are also homes to private residences so don’t trespass on the properties!

John Irwin House

The John Irwin House on the corner of Main Street and Pennsylvania Ave was built in 1836 by John Irwin. He was the nephew of the Colonel John Irwin who gained notarity while fight along General George Washington The brick home served as a stagecoach inn for weary travelers on the Greensburg to Pittsburgh run. In case you noticed, he has the same last name as the town. He was the person who laid out the plan for the land from his place to the railroad tracks of the Penssyvania Railroad. 

Brush Hill House

The house was the home to John Scull and his wife Polly. Mrs. Polly Scull was the daughter of the known local American Revolutionary veteran Col. John Irwin. To help with some of the confusion which I had, he was the nephew John Irwin that set up the town of Irwin. The home is not the original Brush Hill home that was built there. The first one was burnt down by the local Indians. They rebuilt to only have the home it by lighting. So, when he rebuilt again, he built it with fieldstone so it could stand up the weather and man!

The Brush Creek Church

This historic building is located in the Hempfield area. This church was originally built for the Reformed Church. The church started to be built in 1816 and was completed in 1820. It is a two story building with a gabled roof and has a second floor gallery. 

Fullerton Inn

There has been a couple of names for this building but the Fullerton Inn as stayed for this historic North Huntingdon place. It is located on Old Trail Road and was built in 1798. The Inn which also operated as the Jacktown Inn, Jacksonville Hotel, and the Fullerton-Sverdup House operated as an Inn into the late 19th century. The building was constructed as a Federalist style stone building. 

Andrew and Jennie McFarlane House

aka The Larimer Mansion

This wonderful home is located on Maus Drive in North Huntingdon. The home of the McFarlanes and the Larimers is a 2 1/2 story “L” shaped dwelling with a log and frame built with cedar siding. The original log home was built from 1790 and 1798. The rear wood section was added on in 1870 as a wood frame construction. As the addition was put on, the home was remodeled in the Italianate style. The Italianate was considered to be a 19th century phase of Classical architecture.

 For more information on the historic areas and buildings, either contact the Norwin Historical Society at 724-000-000 or the Larimer Mansion for a tour in the summer of the Larimer History Room at 724-863-9150. 

10 Anti-Burglary Tips for Your Sellers

When your clients are opening their doors to the public for showings, they need to take extra precautions. Share these suggestions to help them keep their belongings safe.

  December 2016 | By Tracey Hawkins
After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”
That’s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If those owners are sellers opening their doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put them in even greater danger. The above example is a good warning to give to your clients now, since we’re in the holiday season. But use it as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety — and to show that your safety knowledge is an asset to sellers.
Consider using this checklist (you can request it as a customer handout on my website) during listing appointments to better prepare prospective sellers and show your value as a real estate professional. We spend a lot of time telling sellers how we’ll market their home, and while that is obviously important, we rarely address their true concern: how to keep their home safe while it’s open to the public. Touch on these 10 anti-burglary tips so your clients will know that you have their best interest at heart.
National Snapshot of Burglaries

A burglary is committed every 20 seconds, with nearly 1.6 million such crimes nationwide annually, according to the FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report. That’s down 7.8 percent from 2014. Total property crime, which includes arson, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft, reached nearly 8 million instances in 2015, down 2.6 percent from 2014.
– Maintain your property. Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it’s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Shoveling your walkways to clear them of snow and debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.
– Know your neighbors. Many people don’t really know their neighbors; it’s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time (especially your agent). Then they’ll know who is and isn’t supposed to be at your home and can better assess when there may be a threat while you’re gone.
– Assess your home’s vulnerability. Walk to the curb and face your house. Ask yourself, “How would I get in if I were locked out?” The first thing you think of, whether it’s the window with a broken lock or the door that won’t shut all the way, is exactly how a thief will get in. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind.
– Respect the power of lighting. Criminals are cowards, and they don’t want to be seen. The house that is well-lit at night provides a deterrent because thieves don’t want the attention and the potential to be caught by witnesses. It’s wise to invest in tools that make nighttime light automation easy. That includes dusk-to-dawn adapters that go into existing light fixtures and motion detectors. But beware of leaving your exterior lights on at all times, which signifies the occupant is gone for an extended period of time.
– Use technology to make your home look occupied. In addition to lighting, smart-home technology has made it easier to make it appear like people are home, even when they’re not. Systems that remotely control lighting, music, and appliances such as a thermostat can help you achieve this. Though not considered smart-home tech, simple lamp timing devices available at hardware stores are also good for this purpose.
– Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors. It’s amazing how many people think they live in a safe-enough neighborhood not to have to lock their doors when they leave. Some facts sellers should know: In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
– Reinforce your locks. A good door lock is nothing without a solid frame. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate first, and then invest in good locks. Know the difference between a single-cylinder and a double-cylinder deadbolt. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended because they require a key to get in and out. For safety and emergency escape purposes, you must leave the key in when you are home. But double-cylinder locks are against regulations in some places, so check with your local police department’s crime prevention office.
– Blare the sirens. Burglars are usually in and out in less than five minutes, and they know police can’t respond to an alarm that quickly. Their bigger concern is witnesses to their crime. For that reason, an external siren is invaluable, whether as part of a monitored security system or a DIY alarm. Even if you don’t have an alarm, it’s not a bad idea to invest in fake security signs and post them near doors.
– Consider surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Police Department started a program encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what’s outside their door on their smartphone, in a neighborhood that was a target for burglaries. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, the burglary rate dropped by 55 percent, according to reports. Most state and local regulations require posting a warning that people are being recorded. (But again, this can be effective even if you don’t actually have the cameras installed!)
– Mark your valuables and record details. Use invisible-ink pens or engravers to mark identifying information (driver’s license or state ID numbers) on items. Log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings. Check to see if your police department participates in the Operation Identification program. They will have stickers for you to place on doors or windows warning would-be thieves that your items are marked. These steps may prevent them from pawning or selling stolen items and can help you reclaim recovered belongings.
Tracey Hawkins

Tracey Hawkins, founder and CEO of Safety and Security Source, is a former real estate agent who, for 21 years, has been a national speaker and educator on real estate safety issues. She has created the country’s only real estate safety designation, the Consumer Safety and Security Specialist (CSSS) program.