Re/Max Melissa Gulla

I made real estate a category here from the very beginning because I think it is a very interesting topic. Not only is it something that concerns everyone living in Beaver County, it is one of those things where I think a lot of people (myself included) think they know a whole lot more than they actually do, and completely overlook the things they don’t know….but we can change that.

Your Beaver County gives me the unique perspective to sit down with people in all different types of fields and pick their brains on a wide variety of topics. It also gives me the cover to ask the types of questions that I might normally avoid because I want the person I’m talking to to think I’m smarter than I actually am. It lets me use the cover of an “interview” to find out things that I am actually curious about while still looking like I might have known what I was talking about from the very beginning……pretty cool, right?

Beaver County Real Estate

Perhaps I spend too much of my time in local bars, but it seems to me that everyone in Beaver County thinks that they know a whole lot more about real estate than they actually do. My friend Kari Happold, a local realtor, made the same observation once (also in a bar). In order to get a real education about local real estate, I needed to find people who actually knew what they were talking about.

When I decided that I needed to find someone to help me learn more about Beaver County real estate, the first person I reached out to was ReMax agent Melissa Gulla. I’ve known Melissa for about as long as I can remember, so she was a natural fit for this series. While she insisted that she was not a “real estate expert,” you have probably seen her name on just as many signs as I have, so let’s just say she knows a whole lot more than I do.

Melissa then suggested that we include her fellow ReMax agent, Amy Logan, to provide even more perspective on local real estate. With over $50,000,000 in real estate sold since she started in 1997, Amy certainly brings plenty of experience to the table. Having the opportunity to listen to and learn from these two women was an awesome experience for me.

What Makes Real Estate in Beaver County Unique?

For my first meeting with Melissa and Amy, I wanted to cover some broad, general topics with respect to local real estate. I figured that the best place to start would be covering what makes real estate in Beaver County unique from the rest of the country. Melissa had a simple answer that she said came from a class she recently took:

We never went to the party, so we didn’t suffer the hangover.”

I spent much of 2009 curious as to why so much of the national media was focused on collapsing home prices when I never really felt any impact on my own home value. That explains it pretty well.

Melissa elaborated a bit, explaining that we just didn’t experience the crazy bubble in home prices here the way that the rest of the country did, so the collapse that followed also wasn’t as dramatic.

As for other aspects of what makes real estate in Beaver County so unique, Amy pointed out that home buyers here are able to get “more bang for their buck.” For the most part, both home prices and taxes here are very affordable. When you combine that with interest rates as low as we have seen recently, there are some really great deals to be had in this area.

While Beaver County offers very affordable real estate options, it is also within a short commute to Pittsburgh, Robinson, Cranberry, the airport, as well as areas of Ohio and West Virginia. When real estate experts talk about “location, location, location” they are talking about Beaver County.

Where Should Buyers Start Looking?

My next question for Melissa and Amy was, “Where do you tell out-of-town buyers to start looking for a home?”

As it turns out realtors aren’t really allowed to tell buyers where to look, but that isn’t really a problem in Beaver County because most of the buyers Melissa and Amy deal with already know exactly where they want to live.

It was surprising to me, but makes perfect sense now, that most people prefer to live in the same communities that they grew up in. Melissa and Amy told me stories of clients who grew up in Center and then just didn’t feel right living in Chippewa, or clients who grew up in Hopewell and couldn’t make the transition to Center.

When it comes to real estate in Beaver County, most buyers are originally from the area that they are looking to buy in, and those buyers also tend to know what they want. In the event that buyers are from out of town, school districts are usually the biggest guide in finding the right community.

Re/Max Amy Logan

How to Get the Best Price for Your Home!

Another question that the HGTV junkie in me was dying to ask Melissa and Amy was, “How can I be sure that I am getting the absolute best price for my home if I decide to sell?”

I was shocked at how obvious their answer was. They simply said that it had to be clean.

Both Melissa and Amy agreed that houses that were immaculately clean were able to sell faster, and sell at the absolute top of the price range of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. On the flip side, homes that are dirty or have issues with pet odors tend to sit longer and sell at lower prices compared to similar homes in similar neighborhoods.

Another simple bit of advice that they gave was to listen to your listing agent for suggestions. Melissa commented that a friend of mine was able to get a great price for his house quickly because he followed every suggestion she made when she walked through the house. It sounds pretty simple, but apparently isn’t all that common in actual practice.

One interesting fact that Amy added was that if 8-12 people look at your home and none of them bother to make an offer, it is probably priced too high.

Beaver County Real Estate Sales

Amy was kind enough to forward me the following statistics:
In 2013, there were 1,577 single family homes sold in Beaver County. These homes sold for an average price of $138,300 and were on the market for an average of 86 days.

From the beginning of 2014 through December 2, there were a total of 1,354 homes sold in Beaver County. These homes sold for an average of $136,909 and were on the market for an average of 79 days.

We’re Going to Have to Continue This Conversation!

At this point in our conversation, I realized that there was just no way that I was possibly going to be able to fit all of the information these two ladies were giving me into one article. Lucky for me, they have agreed to continue our conversation over the course of the next few months and cover a wide range of real estate topics from a Beaver County perspective.

Some of the ideas we have already come up with include “How to Determine a Listing Price,” “What Happens at the Closing Table,” “Classic Beaver County Real Estate Mistakes to Avoid,” and “Flip or Rent: How To Evaluate an Investment Property.”

Feel free to add any suggestions to our list in the comments below!

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Beaver County Real Estate

Andrew is a professional freelance writer and lifelong resident of Beaver County. He created Your Beaver County to promote and showcase all of the positive aspects of our incredible local culture! You can find more of Andrew’s professional information at Brooklyn Content, or you can also follow him on his personal twitter account, @theAndrewSelby.