A Look Back at 2013

As this short week draws to end, families from everywhere will unite for what should be the happiest time of the year. Here at S&A Homes, we simply want to use this time at the end of the year to thank our fellow team members, our vendors and, most importantly, our customers for a successful 2013 year.

2013 was an important year for our company thanks to our continual commitment to building high-quality, energy efficient floor plans without sacrificing our customer-focused attitude.

Here is a look back at a few of the year’s highlights:

•    S&A earns a 98 percent Customer Referral Rating, one of the highest in the entire home building industry.
•    Chris Schoonmaker, president of S&A’s housing division, is awarded “Builder of the Year” from the Pennsylvania Builder’s Association, one of the most prestigious awards that can be earned. Read More


Cottage Premiere Receives Housing Excellence Award

They don’t call them the Housing Excellence Awards for any old reason. Excellence, by definition, refers to a standard that is pretty tough to beat. That’s why we are more than a little proud of the 2014 Housing Excellence Award we received from the Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh. The award was bestowed upon our Cottage Premiere Model home that is featured in Venango Trails, part of Marshall Township’s most sought after community,  for Best Green/Energy Efficient Home of the Year over $500,000.

It’s a big enough honor just to receive the award in any category. But, the “Green/Energy Efficient” category comes with extra criteria that can be pretty tough to meet if you aren’t used to building every house every single day to exceed ENERGY STAR™ criteria the way that S&A Homes does. Read More


Help Us Help the Salvation Army

support the Salvation Army in downtown State CollegeThe Salvation Army – its name is synonymous with the holidays, goodwill and reaching a hand out to our neighbors. At S&A Homes, we are a big supporter of the Salvation Army, and today until 7:00 p.m. we will be braving the elements to man the pot at the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street in downtown State College.

Although most of us have slipped a dollar or two into the red Christmas kettle during the holiday season, how many really know where that money ends up?  Many of you may be surprised to learn just how many important causes the Salvation Army supports. From its humble roots in San Francisco in 1891 to its national presence in 2013, the Salvation Army extends itself far beyond just helping the poor. Read More


Win $100 with our Home for the Holidays Decorating Contest

Holiday Home Decorating ContestHow much do you love holiday decorating?  This is the time of year to go all out and put your decorating skills on display for friends, family and neighbors. Whether you focus on a glitzy tree, a Griswold-inspired front yard or some simple holiday accessories, we want to see how you decorate for the holiday season!

That’s why we created the S&A Home for the Holidays contest. Now through December 26th, we want to see pictures of your home decorated for the holidays! On December 27th, we will announce the winner, who will receive a $100 gift card simply for posting a photo or two.

There are just three easy steps! Read More


State College, Pittsburgh Earn Top Marks as the Best of the Best

State College and Pittsburgh Ranked Best of BestWhat goes into ranking a town or city as one of the best in America? According to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), there are 12 main factors that need to be taken into account to determine such a thing. For cities and large towns, everything from cultural opportunities to professional development to low unemployment rates play a role in the rankings. For college towns, degree attainment and even academic research and development are taken into account.

And for 2013/2014, we are excited to announce that two of our biggest markets are featured on this newest list. For Top College Towns, State College, PA landed an enviable third spot on the top five list, meaning it is ranked in the top three college towns nationwide! The town scored high in areas like low unemployment, a variety of cultural opportunities as well as entrepreneurial opportunities.  Read More


What Makes 55+ Communities Tick?

Amesbury Stonefield ModelAs the baby boomer population continues to “mature,” more and more individuals who are 55 and older are seeking out innovative, yet affordable, age qualified communities. The 55 and up market is not small by any means. According to the NAHB, 45 percent of home purchasers will be over 55. With so many age qualified buyers in the market, we were curious – what exactly is this segment looking for?

According to an NAHB study released in 2011, most 55+ homeowners were generally satisfied with their homes. While only three percent of the study group lived in an age-qualified community, that same three percent reported the greatest satisfaction with their home, reporting an average score of nine out of 10 with 10 being the most satisfied. Why is that? Read More


New Home Sites and New Savings at Willow Estates

Willow EstatesDating back to 1773, Westmoreland County is steeped in American history. Once the first county to be settled west of the Allegheny Mountains here in Pennsylvania, it is now home to state-of-the art hospitals, award-winning universities and boasts a convenient location just east of Pittsburgh.

This area is anything but suburban feeling. Heavily wooded mountains surround these connected communities, providing a spectacular backdrop for anyone living here. Route 30 provides an array of modern dining and shopping options, while the nearby Pennsylvania Turnpike serves as a desirable artery for commuters into Pittsburgh. Read More


Get a FREE Fireplace this November!

Free FireplaceLooking for a better way to get cozy now that the cold and crisp weather is settling in for the weekend? How about with a FREE fireplace? At S&A Homes, for a limited time, we invite you to take advantage of our exclusive offer.

In most of our communities, purchase a to-be-built home between November 1 and November 30, 2013 and receive a FREE fireplace in your new home! One of our most popular features, a fireplace offers more than comfort on a cold day. Read More


What’s On Your Wish List?

Buying TrendsOnce you’ve handed out the last of the candy tonight, treated yourself to Charlie Brown’s Halloween Special and collapsed with exhaustion after tucking the little ones in, the inevitable reality will sink in that the holiday season is upon you (and us).

We want to know – is a new home on your holiday wish list this year? If so, what do you want in that brand new home? If you aren’t sure, here is a list of top five buying trends for 2013 according to Zillow:

1.    Man Caves & Smart Homes
2.    Custom Designed Closet Systems
3.    Home Offices
4.    Hardwood Flooring
5.    Urban Homes with Amenities Read More


Want a Better Way to Know if You Should Buy?

Pittsburgh skylineIt’s been an interesting economy for the last several years. A bit of a “two steps forward, one step back” methodology to our country’s growth has made it confusing for potential home buyers about whether or not to jump into the market or stay on the fence.

If we’ve learned anything about the last seven years, it’s that national trends, “growth forecasts” and interest rates tell a very small part of the story. Rather than analyzing Wall Street’s opinions to death, having knowledge of where you want to move often proves the best strategy.

At S&A Homes, we are confident that the neighborhoods we build in contain the best value in the best housing markets. Pittsburgh, PA, for example, is consistently listed as one of the healthiest real estate markets in the nation. Year after year this metropolitan area allows home buyers in any price range to purchase a brand new home in the best school districts for an affordable price.  Read More