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Thinking To Move? Know This Before You Buy A House In Pennsylvania!

Posted by techceptionpk_admin on April 18, 2022

Are you planning on moving to a new state? You’re probably thinking to buy a house in Pennsylvania to start a new chapter with your family. It can be difficult to take the actions necessary to end one chapter and begin a new one. However, knowing that your new life in a beautiful Pennsylvania house is about to begin will provide you with the motivation you need to take those first steps.

1- Know The State’s Basics:

Before you buy a house, you need to know about the state’s basics. It’s better to do your homework and know a little background about the place you plan on moving to. Keep reading to find out more. 

i- A Little Overview Of The Keystone State

For both geographical and economic reasons, Pennsylvania is known as the “Keystone State.” The state serves as a sort of link between the Southern states, the Northeastern states, the Atlantic coast, and the Midwest. Hence, Pennsylvania was and continues to be extremely vital to the United States and has earned it the nickname “Keystone State.”

ii- Keystone State Has A Lot Of Firsts

Pennsylvania is a state of a lot of firsts. That means it is home to a lot of inventions. The first automotive service station, the first computer, the first piano in America, the first daily newspaper, the first zoological garden, the first American flag, the first radio broadcast, the first police officer… you get the picture. The list could go on indefinitely.

iii- Pennsylvania Is A Commonwealth

Although Pennsylvania is not formally a state, there is little difference in how states and commonwealths operate in the United States. The word refers to a focus on the general welfare of all citizens. Pennsylvania is a jumble of counties, cities, boroughs, and townships, whatever you choose to call it. 

iv- Don’t Expect Everything To Be Taxed.

In Pennsylvania, most items are subject to the state’s 6% sales tax. However, a lot of major items are exempt from it. These include clothes, food products, parking services, recreation businesses, and parks.

The city of Philadelphia adds another 2% to the sales tax, which brings the total to 8%. In and around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County charges an additional 1% sales tax, bringing the total rate to 7%.

v- The State Offers A Good Quality Of Life To Its Residents

If you’re worried about the quality of life in this state… don’t. The state offers high quality to its residents in all aspects. The health industry, education industry, breathtaking landscapes, pleasant seasons- the state offers it all. 

vi- Less Cost Of Living

People can make a decent living in the keystone state when compared to other expensive places like Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii, etc. Compared to the US national average, Pennsylvania has a lower cost of living. It has a 92.5 percent cost of living as of 2022. The goods and services are 2.5 percent cheaper than in other states. 

Healthcare and rents are generally cheaper and affordable in the state. Utilities and transportation, on the other hand, are a bit expensive. 

2- Know What Goes Into Buying A House In Pennsylvania:

So far, we have discussed the state’s basics so you can get prior knowledge about the lifestyle, costs, and taxation. Let’s dive into what housing basics you should know when you buy a house in Pennsylvania. 

i- The Real Estate Industry Of Pennsylvania

Before you buy a house in Pennsylvania, you probably want to take a look at the real estate market in the state. 2021 and 2022 are indeed sellers’ years. The demand is high, housing prices are high, and supply is short. As a buyer, this can be a disadvantage for you. 

According to the Pennsylvania Association Of Realtors, home prices have increased 15.9 percent this year. However, when compared with other states, it is still relatively cheaper to buy a house in this state

ii- Best Time To Buy A House In Pennsylvania

Summer and spring are known as the best times for selling houses. Prices are high, and competition is tough. In our context, you’re the buyer. It’s advisable that you opt for the winter season instead. The winter and fall seasons are the best seasons for buyers. They offer lower prices as sellers want to sell their houses asap. 

iii- Finding The Right Real Estate Agent In Pennsylvania

One way to buy a house is by yourself, i.e., without a realtor. Many find that more comforting and cheap. But that’s only half the picture. Finding a good real estate agent to buy a house for you has its own perks. For starters, you’ll have more access to listings. Agents have more knowledge and experience in finding the right home and scoring the best deal for you. 

Don’t worry about commissions. Most of the time, it’s the seller’s headache. Generally, the commission ranges between 5%-6% which is taken out of the sale price of the home. 

iv- Take Your Time To Know Seller’s Disclosures Requirements

The law of the state requires sellers to let buyers know a clear picture of the house’s physical condition. Before you buy a house in Pennsylvania, make sure you pay attention to all sellers’ disclosure requirements.

  • Take a look at the contents of the property. These include appliances that may ask for repairing or replacement.  
  • Look out for the flaws in the technical aspects of the house. These include electrical, plumbing, and safety systems such as smoke detectors, etc. 
  • Know all the homeowner’s association fees, deed restrictions, and any other applicable charges.
  • If you go for a vintage-style house, i.e., built before 1978, look out for the lead disclosure section. 

v- Get Home Inspections To Be On The Safe Side

Sometimes sellers refrain from telling you all the nitty-gritty of the house or maybe simply blind to some of the house’s faults. Make sure to add a home inspection clause to your purchasing contract. Following are some basic things to look out for in your home inspection process.

  • Termites and pests
  • Chimney
  • Heating and cooling are provided by electricity.
  • Encroachments and easements
  • Basement and foundation
  • Roof
  • Septic tank or sewer system
  • Stability of the soil
  • Vegetation and trees
  • Plumbing and water systems
  • Mold
  • Methane gas or radon
  • Asbestos
  • Zoning and permits

3- First-Time Homebuyer Programs To Buy A House In Pennsylvania

If you’re a first-time homebuyer looking for viable options, congratulations. You’re in luck. The state of Pennsylvania has some good home-buying programs to offer. There are different mortgage programs offered by the PA Housing Finance Agency, aka PHFA. Each program caters to users differently on the basis of their income and credit score eligibility. 

i- PHFA’s New K-FIT Program

The Keystone Forgivable in Ten Years Loan Initiative is a new program that the state offers to its residents. This program provides:

  • A second loan 
  • A ten-year forgivable rate of ten percent.
  • A zero percent interest concept that allows you to pay off the balance when you sell the home
  • It helps you gain assistance up to 5% of the purchase price. 

However, a strong minimum credit score of 660 is required, along with some income limits. Approval varies from individual to individual. 

ii- First Front Door Program

First Front Door assists those looking to purchase their first home by covering closing expenses and down payments. FFD is more of an award-based program. Participating FFD universities will match three dollars for every dollar one donates. The maximum can be up to $5,000. You need to contact an FFD provider to ask about the First Front Door award to find out if you qualify.

iii- Keystone Home Loan

The Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan Program is similar to the K-FIT and K-Gov programs. The program provides:

  • A second loan 
  • Loans might be up to 4% of the home’s value or $6,000 in total.
  • An income cap

 The key distinction between this scheme and the other is the income cap. This platform enables purchasers to obtain a second mortgage right away to assist with a down payment or closing costs.

iv- PHFA K-GOV Program

The K-Gov program provides home buyers up to 4% or $6,000 in financial aid. The loan is unforgivable, so keep that in mind. The help comes in the shape of a second loan. The loan has to be repaid over a ten-year period with no interest. The aid portion of the program is interest-free. Anyone looking to buy their first house in Pennsylvania is eligible to apply.

v- Home Modification ACCESS Program

If someone with a disability is in the household who also happens to be a first-time homebuyer, they can apply for this program. The ACCESS Home Modification Program also offers mortgage loans for accessibility improvements. Using this application, you can create an ideal home with your distinct rooms, doors, and hall requirements. 

Contact Regentology Today To Buy A House In Pennsylvania

Regentology is a platform that connects buyers and sellers with the right real estate professionals. We simplify buying a house for you by removing the complexity. Regentology will assist you in finding a home in Pennsylvania that meets your unique requirements. We’ll put you in touch with the best local agents that can assist you throughout the process. To receive a free consultation, simply fill in the form.

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