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Found 45 results

  1. Katherine Farber

    Lynchburg VA Events Feb 1-7th 2018

    Springtime Barrels, Bottles & Casks Tasting Tours AVAILABLE EVENT DATES: 3/23/2018, 3/24/2018 TIMES: 6:00 PM TO 7:00 PM PRESENTED BY: THOMAS JEFFERSON'S POPLAR FOREST LOCATION: THOMAS JEFFERSON'S POPLAR FOREST EVENT ADMISSION: $25 PER PERSON 1542 BATEMAN BRIDGE ROAD FOREST, VA 24551 Acoustic Open Mic RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON THURSDAY TIMES: 7:00 PM TO 9:30 PM LOCATION: BAINES BOOKS & COFFEE 205 MAIN STREET APPOMATTOX, VA 24522 (434) 352-3711 Live Irish Music RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON THURSDAY TIMES: 8:00 PM PRESENTED BY: KEGNEY BROTHERS LOCATION: KEGNEY BROTHERS 1118 MAIN STREET LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 Thursday Salsa Nights RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON THURSDAY TIMES: 8:00 PM TO 11:00 PM PRESENTED BY: LYNCHBURG SALSA LOCATION: GLASS HOUSE, THE EVENT ADMISSION: $5 1019 JEFFERSON STREET Academy Center of the Arts RECURRENCE: RECURRING MONTHLY ON THE 1ST FRIDAY TIMES: 5:00 PM TO 8:00 PM LOCATION: ACADEMY CENTER OF THE ARTS EVENT ADMISSION: FREE 600 MAIN STREET LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 First Fridays Art Reception RECURRENCE: RECURRING MONTHLY ON THE 1ST FRIDAY TIMES: 4:00 PM TO 8:00 PM PRESENTED BY: RIVERVIEWS ARTSPACE LOCATION: RIVERVIEWS ARTSPACE EVENT ADMISSION: FREE First Fridays Lynchburg RECURRENCE: RECURRING MONTHLY ON THE 1ST FRIDAY TIMES: 5:00 PM TO 8:00 PM LOCATION: LYNCHBURG DOWNTOWN MAIN STREET LYNCHBURG, VA Lynchburg Museum First Friday RECURRENCE: RECURRING MONTHLY ON THE 1ST FRIDAY TIMES: 5:00 PM TO 8:00 PM PRESENTED BY: LYNCHBURG MUSEUM AT THE OLD COURT HOUSE LOCATION: LYNCHBURG MUSEUM AT THE OLD COURT HOUSE EVENT ADMISSION: FREE 901 COURT STREET LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 (434) 455-6226 Virginia Distillery 1st Friday RECURRENCE: RECURRING MONTHLY ON THE 1ST FRIDAY TIMES: 12:00 PM TO 5:00 PM LOCATION: VIRGINIA DISTILLERY COMPANY EVENT ADMISSION: FREE 299 EADES LANE LOVINGSTON, VA 22949 (434) 285-2900 Forest Farmer’s Market RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON SATURDAY TIMES: 8:00 AM TO 12:00 PM LOCATION: FOREST RECREATION CENTER 1088 RUSTIC VILLAGE ROAD VA 24551 Saturday Market Day RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON SATURDAY TIMES: 8:00 AM TO 2:00 PM PRESENTED BY: MATTHES-HOPKINS TRACK COMPLEX LOCATION: LYNCHBURG COMMUNITY MARKET EVENT ADMISSION: FREE 1219 MAIN STREET LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 Sunday Brunch Buffet RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON SUNDAY TIMES: 11:30 AM TO 3:30 PM PRESENTED BY: PEAKS OF OTTER LODGE LOCATION: PEAKS OF OTTER LODGE EVENT ADMISSION: $18.95 - ADULTS; $9.95 - CHILDREN (12 YEARS & UNDER) 85554 BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY BEDFORD, VA 24523 Sunday Classics RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON SUNDAY TIMES: 8:00 PM LOCATION: THE GR8 PL8 CAFE & LOUNGE EVENT ADMISSION: COVER CHARGE $5.00 AND FREE FOR THE LADIES BEFORE 9:00PM 1415 KEMPER STREET LYNCHBURG, VA More Music Mondays with Daniel Kepel-Young at Jimmy's on the James RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON MONDAY TIMES: 6:00 PM TO 9:30 PM PRESENTED BY: JIMMY'S ON THE JAMES LOCATION: JIMMY'S ON THE JAMES 610 COMMERCE STREET LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 Naked Monday RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON MONDAY TIMES: 11:00 AM TO 2:00 PM LOCATION: FAVORED FLAVORS 912 MAIN ST. LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 (434) 238-0801 Green Market Wednesdays RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON WEDNESDAY TIMES: 10:00 AM TO 2:00 PM LOCATION: LYNCHBURG COMMUNITY MARKET 1219 MAIN ST. LYNCHBURG, VA 24504 (434) 384-3190 Line Dancing RECURRENCE: RECURRING WEEKLY ON WEDNESDAY TIMES: 6:30 PM TO 9:00 PM LOCATION: MADISON HEIGHTS RURITAN CLUB EVENT ADMISSION: $6.00 270 MAYS STREET MADISON HEIGHTS, VA 24572
  2. Katherine Farber

    Lynchburg Home For Sale - Only $135k 201 Alta Ln

    WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN OWN THIS HOME FOR LESS THAN YOUR RENTAL PAYMENT!? For a detailed website about this property to be sent automatically to your phone via text message text 305564 to 434.363.3899 Listing ID: 305564 Price: $135,000 Status: Active Address: 201 Alta Lane City: Lynchburg State: Virginia Postal Code: 24502 Bedrooms: 4 Total Baths: 2 Square Feet: 1,978 Acres: 0.450 County: Lynchburg All brick construction with the rare level front and rear yard. Spacious well loved home with beautiful hardwood floors, spacious bedrooms and a partially finished basement complete with a 4th bedroom and great room. Tons of storage including a shed for your lawn equipment.
  3. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS GORGEOUS HOME TEXT 305134 TO 434.363.3899 FOR A PROPERTY WEBSITE TO BE SENT VIA TEXT MESSAGE TO YOU AUTOMATICALLY. Listing ID: 305134 Price: $469,900 Status: Active Address: 1551 Lejack Circle City: Forest State: Virginia Postal Code: 24551 Bedrooms: 5 Total Baths: 5 Square Feet: 3,850 Acres: 0.400 County: Bedford Gorgeous custom built one level home in Farmington Views. This spacious 5 bedroom, 5 bath home offers many selective upgrades & distinctive styling. A grand two story foyer opens to a formal dining space featuring hand crafted mill work & spacious great room with vaulted ceilings, hardwoods, and a decorative fireplace. The gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances, exotic granite, & beautiful Custom cabinetry features a serving bar, walk-in pantry & breakfast room w/a bank of large windows for an abundance of natural light. The main level master suite offers trey ceilings, huge walk-in closets and a huge on-suite luxurious spa bath with double vanities, whirlpool tub and walk-in shower. Three additional bedrooms, full bath, laundry room, oversized garage with additional storage is all inclusive on the main level. Terrace level offers a huge den/game room, and extra bed and bath. Screened porch & large deck is perfect for outdoor entertaining. Shentel Cable & internet. Community Pool.
  4. Text 303585 to 434.363.3899 for an automated text message to be sent with property website with details and images for your convenience. Listing ID: 303585 Price: $389,900 Status: Active Address: Helmsdale Drive lot 25 Unit Number: lot 25 City: Forest State: Virginia Postal Code: 24551 Bedrooms: 5 Total Baths: 3 Square Feet: 2,596 Acres: 0.190 County: Bedford Rock River's Main Level Master New Construction home in the Farmington Community, just minutes from shopping & schools. This new floor plan offers an open floor plan w/ vaulted ceilings and an abundance of natural light. Gourmet kitchen boasts Wellborn cabinetry, stainless appliances, granite counters, tile backsplash, pantry, & HUGE prep island w/ ample seating. Continue entertaining in Dining Area adorned w/ coffered ceilings backing up to a wooded preserve area for privacy with mature trees & small creek. Main level master suite w/ trey ceiling & ensuite bath featuring double sink vanity, walk-in shower, whirlpool tub & HUGE 11X8 WIC. Office/flex space allowing 5th bedroom potential. Level 2 hosts 3 spacious beds & full bath. Full basement w/ 1850 unfinished Sq. Ft. & roughed in bath for future growth. Large laundry/mud room off of 2 car oversized garage. Farmington clubhouse theatre & gym ($400 fee for Pool) as well as nature trails.
  5. For more information about this property, you can text 300642 to 434 -363-3899 Price: $388,900 Status: Active Address: 201 E Colonial Trail Highway City: Burkeville State: Virginia Postal Code: 23922 Bedrooms: 4 Total Baths: 5 Partial Baths: 1 Square Feet: 3,290 Acres: 21 County: Other Nestled on 21 Acres of Farm Land this 3300 Sq Ft. Log home provides country living, while offering true luxury. Horse lover? The property is backed up to the famous RAILS FOR TRAILS. 4 acres of pasture with 2 paddocks & 2 springs on the property. Southland Log Homes presents the Lawrenceburg featuring an elegant foyer that greets you into the 2 story great room, complete w/ gas log fireplace & custom windows. Gorgeous Pine hardwoods throughout! Kitchen provides stainless appliances, tons of counterspace, pantry & eat-in dining area. Continue entertaining outdoors on a 12X47 back deck w/ spectacular country views! 2 Main Level Master Suites, gives the new homeowner potential for an in-law suite. Ensuite features dual copper sinks, clawfoot tub, & walk-in slate shower. Upstairs hosts an all purpose loft which overlooks the Great Room, & 2 additional spacious bedrooms w/ custom baths. Home is 1700 Ft off the road for complete privacy. Only 10 minutes to Farmville, 1 hour to Chesterfield.
  6. CHECK OUT THIS LAKEFRONT LOT AND START BUILDING YOUR DREAM LIFE TODAY: FOR MORE INFORMATION TEXT 300647 to (434) 363-3899 http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/300647/Lakepointe-Drive-Lot-19?widgetReferer=true Price: $110,000 Status: Active Address: Lakepointe Drive Lot 19 City: Forest State: Virginia Postal Code: 24551 Acres: 2.670 County: Bedford Waterfront Lot that backs up to Ivy Lake, located in the sought after community of Lakepointe! The 2.67 Acre parcel is mostly wooded, providing privacy & shade. Perfect lot for building your dream home! Contact agent for available floor plans, visual tours, & premiere Forest builders. Convenient to Forest schools, dining & shopping.
  7. Katherine Farber

    Interest Rates - what are they doing?

    Preferred Rate Update January 12, 2017 *HB: High Balance from $424,100 to $636,150 available in only high-cost areas as defined by the FHFA. Contact me if you are not sure if your area is a high-cost area. This rate update is not intended for consumer distribution. **Lender paid mortgage insurance through a company selected by McLean Mortgage Corporation. All programs except FHA, VA and Mortgage Insurance Payment Eliminator Plus assume no mortgage insurance which may be required based upon loan-to-value. Stated rate may change or not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. This is not a commitment to lend. Need to schedule a free consultation with a lender and/or Realtor? Let me know - also we can schedule showings for homes you are interested in seeing at the same time!
  8. Katherine Farber

    Interest Rates - what are they doing?

    Preferred Rate Update January 12, 2017 *HB: High Balance from $424,100 to $636,150 available in only high-cost areas as defined by the FHFA. Contact me if you are not sure if your area is a high-cost area. This rate update is not intended for consumer distribution. **Lender paid mortgage insurance through a company selected by McLean Mortgage Corporation. All programs except FHA, VA and Mortgage Insurance Payment Eliminator Plus assume no mortgage insurance which may be required based upon loan-to-value. Stated rate may change or not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. This is not a commitment to lend. Need to schedule a free consultation with a lender and/or Realtor? Let me know - also we can schedule showings for homes you are interested in seeing at the same time!
  9. For more information about this property, you can send a text message to 54561 and put P37707 in the message field Listing ID: 297949 Price: $439,900 Status: Active Address: 1711 Lejack Circle (Lot 27) City: Forest State: Virginia Postal Code: 24551 Bedrooms: 4 Total Baths: 4 Partial Baths: 1 Square Feet: 2,924 Acres: 0.400 County: Bedford New Home Underway in Farmington Views! Featuring 4 Beds, 3.5 Baths with a gorgeous hardiboard, stone exterior. Inside an elegant foyer greets you into the great room with vaulted ceilings & a gas log fireplace. Rich hardwoods throughout. Kitchen boasts custom white glazed cabinetry with seamless granite, subway tile backsplash, stainless appliance package & oversized work island. Bay window breakfast nook & formal dining room are available for family gatherings. Continue entertaining outdoors with a covered porch & open sun deck combo. Large main level Master Suite features trey ceiling, walk-in closet & ensuite bath; including a double sink vanity, whirlpool tub & walk-in shower. 2 additional bedrooms, laundry room, mud room & adjacent 2 car garage conclude level 1. Upstairs hosts a bonus, 4th bedroom with a full bath. Full terrace level is unfinished, fulfilling any expansion or storage needs. Contact agent for more information & visual tours! t
  10. What is Foreclosure? Foreclosure is a process that allows a lender to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by selling or taking ownership (repossession) of the property securing the loan. The foreclosure process begins when a borrower/owner defaults on loan payments (usually mortgage payments) and the lender files a public default notice. The foreclosure process can end one of four ways: The borrower/owner pays off the default amount to reinstate the loan during a grace period determined by state laws. This grace period is also known as pre-foreclosure. The borrower/owner sells the property to a third party during pre-foreclosure. The sale allows the borrower/owner to pay off the loan and avoid having a foreclosure on his or her credit history. A third party buys the property at a public auction at the end of pre-foreclosure. The lender takes ownership of the property, usually with the intent to re-sell. The lender can take ownership through an agreement with the borrower/owner during pre-foreclosure or by buying back the property at the public auction. These are also known as bank-owned properties. The foreclosure process presents three bargain-buying opportunities. Pre-Foreclosure (Notice of Default, Lis Pendens): Buying a property in pre-foreclosure involves approaching the borrower/owner and offering to buy the property. The borrower/owner can walk away with something to show for any equity in the property and avoid a bad mark on his or her credit history. The buyer has time to research the title and condition of the property and can realize discounts of 20-40 percent below market value. More about pre-foreclosures Auction (Notice of Trustee Sale, Notice of Foreclosure Sale): If the loan is not reinstated by the end of the pre-foreclosure period, potential buyers can bid on the property at a public auction. Buyers often are required to pay in cash at the auction and may not have much time to research the title and condition of the property beforehand; however, a public auction often offers some of the best bargains and avoids the unpredictability of dealing directly with the borrower/owner. More about auctions Bank-owned (Real Estate Owned): If the lender takes ownership of the property, either through an agreement with the owner during pre-foreclosure or at the public auction, the lender will usually want to re-sell the property to recover the unpaid loan amount. The lender will probably make sure the title is clear for any buyer, but the potential bargain is typically less than a pre-foreclosure or auction property.
  11. Katherine Farber

    Traditional Style Ideas for Your Home

    Traditional Style Ideas for Your Home Home Design By Natalie Wise on 2/10/2016 Share A traditional home evokes a sense of place and history. The style stands the test of time, hence its name, and brings feelings of contentment, order and comfort to any home. With elements drawn from the 1700s and 1800s, this style has transcended the decades and is still relevant today. A traditional entryway highlights simplistic elegance. Photo via home on Zillow. Classic furniture with carved legs and arched backs will fit well in a traditional home. Oriental rugs, Blue Willow chinaware, sweeping drapes, upholstered furniture and other fine finishes are hallmarks of traditional style. Mixed woods, neutral colors and detailed finish work, shown in the stunning entryway above, showcase the simple beauty of traditional design. Soft colors with interesting detail are hallmarks of traditional style. Photo via home on Zillow. While utilizing potentially ornate furnishings, traditional style does not allow itself to be overwhelmed by them. It is unpretentious. It features a simple and often neutral color palette that is very livable. The mix of a rustic centerpiece, classic turned-leg table, upholstered chairs and soft furnishings reflect the traditional style perfectly in this dining room. A traditional kitchen gets a kick of color while still staying classy. Photo via home on Zillow. Simple, stunning, quality pieces are the basis of the style. Invest in well-made furniture and accessories that will stand the test of time, or already have. Antiques are at home here, either as usable or decorative items. Family photographs and artwork, heirloom china and antique books on display complete the sense of history. A cozy library with a place for everything. Photo via home on Zillow. In traditional style, everything has a place and a purpose. That purpose may be beauty, but all decorative items are chosen for their character and quality. While everything in a traditional room has its say, the overall feel is not ostentatious. The room is there to welcome guests, not entertain them with its flourishes. This library is welcoming and functional, while also displaying the owners’ personal treasures. Traditional design elements define this bedroom without overwhelming it. Photo via home on Zillow. Architectural details may include arches, chair rail, tray ceilings and crown molding. Again, these flourishes enhance the lines of the room and do not overwhelm. The molding and arch in this traditional bedroom balance the softness of the comfortably upholstered furniture. A classic color palate livens up a beautiful traditional living room. Photo via Style on a Shoestring on Zillow Digs. Soft lighting, particularly candlelight or firelight, is wonderful in a traditional home. In addition to bringing warmth and depth, it adds a level of welcoming familiarity to the space and its inhabitants. A mirror helps reflect this light into the space as well. The use of a classic gray, blue, white, and black color palette complements this traditional interior. There is always room for your special four-legged friend. Photo via Sunrise Building on Zillow Digs. Traditional style can lend itself to design outside the box, too. Think, for instance, of a traditional dog house right in the kitchen, so family pets feel part of the environment in their own cozy nook. This garage avoids the pitfall of boring concrete by incorporating traditional style aspects. Photo via home on Zillow. Or even further outside the box: The garage finished and filled with traditional cabinetry and real flooring. Traditional style embraces the best of years past to create a cozy home for the present and future. Classic materials, craftsmanship, comfort and warmth combine to create a style everyone will enjoy.
  12. Katherine Farber

    8 Surprising Ways To Prep Your Home For Winter

    8 Surprising Ways To Prep Your Home For Winter A little bit of shoveling can go a long way — especially when paired with these helpful cold-weather tips Get your home in working order before temperatures start to drop. Oh, winter. You really do have a habit of showing up each year. But it’s not just those of us who deal with constantly brisk temperatures (think Fairbanks, AK, or Fargo, ND) who should consider winterizing their homes. Even those of us in warmer spots could stand to boost our home’s ability to withstand the cold. Regardless of your location, cold temperatures and increased precipitation can bring about a whole host of problems, such as burst pipes, and sky-high utility bills — if you haven’t properly prepared for the season. Before the really harsh weather hits, take the following steps to protect your abode. Then you can relax by the fire with a warm beverage and enjoy the coziness of the colder months, worry-free. 1. Have your boiler serviced You don’t want to realize there’s a problem with your heating system when it stops working — on the coldest night of the year. “When you have your boiler cleaned, any accumulated soot gets removed, which allows the boiler to absorb more heat and run more efficiently,” says Bob Horstmann, owner of Marlande Heating Group in New York, NY. Before you hire a service company, check your local gas or oil associations to make sure they’re properly licensed. Your state’s government website will often have links to this information. 2. Reset your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise According to a study done by AM Conservation Group, a supplier of professional-grade energy-saving products in Charleston, SC, clockwise-spinning fans will help trap heat inside rooms and reduce the work of your heating unit. This will save you money, since the average ceiling fan uses only about 75 watts of energy, a fraction of the thousands of watts it takes to fully run the heat. 3. Protect your pipes According to Energy.gov, insulating your pipes can raise water temperatures by 2 to 4 degrees, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting and your heating bill. For tips on how to do this, check out DIYZ, a free mobile app featuring how-to videos on a variety of home projects. Additionally, be sure to turn off all outdoor faucets and disconnect and drain your hoses. 4. Clean your gutters Leaves and other debris left in gutters can cause leaks and ice dams, the latter of which can cause water to backflow into your house. Also, add extensions to your downspouts, which will divert water runoff away from your home. 5. Hire a home energy auditor If icicles or the aforementioned ice dams were a problem last winter, it might be worth it to hire an expert who can find and fix your home’s air leaks or insulation issues. “A good local engineer will often do that type of work or recommend someone who can,” says Horstmann. 6. Upgrade your garage door opener More than 70% of U.S. households use the garage door as the main entry point to their homes, according to the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association. “Snow, ice, and windstorms frequently disrupt electrical service, which can impact opening the garage door,” says Michael Welk, a senior marketing manager at Chamberlain, a manufacturer of garage door openers. “A simple solution is installing a garage door opener with battery backup, which provides peace of mind and vital access to the garage even when the power is out.” And, be sure your garage door opener has a motor with 1¼ horsepower, which will provide enough capacity to lift the door when snow has piled up against it. 7. Winterize your AC window units “Air conditioners have ducted openings, which allow air to flow through,” says Horstmann. This is fantastic in the summer, but not so much in the winter when you’re trying to keep the hot air indoors. If you leave your units in year-round, remove any debris from the unit, then cover it with burlap or a tarp or purchase a cover (for both the outdoor and indoor parts of the unit). While you’re at it, break out the caulking gun and tackle any drafty doors or windows. 8. Stock up on winter-weather essentials Make sure you have enough shovels (within easy access, not in the back of your storage unit or hidden in your garage), a working snowblower, if necessary, and salt or ice melt. Pro tip: Get this done before the first snowfall. Michelle Hainer Michelle Hainer is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger whose work has appeared in Country Living, InStyle, People, Teen People, and The Washington Post. Read about her family’s adventures in eating locally and seasonally on her blog, Made By Michelle.
  13. Katherine Farber

    The No. 1 Biggest Change For Housing In 2016

    The No. 1 Biggest Change For Housing In 2016 Whether you’re a homeowner, homebuyer, or home seller, you’ll be interested in this top change in the 2016 housing market. By Laura Agadoni | Dec 05, 2016 1:34PM Two words describe the 2016 real estate market: low inventory. When you analyze the housing market at the end of a year, you can often spot trends — and 2016 definitely had a big one: a lack of inventory, or supply, of homes for sale. Once you couple low inventory with strong buyer demand, which we also saw in 2016, you’ll probably see home prices rise. Using research from Trulia, here’s a look at the year in review to explore how low inventory affected the real estate market, from homes for sale in Sarasota, FL, to Portland, OR. 1. What home types had the lowest inventory? There are three main price-range segments — starter homes (lowest price range), trade-up homes (middle price range), and premium homes (highest price range) — and homebuyers are mainly interested in homes within their particular segment. For example, if you’re in the market for your first home, you probably don’t care too much about what the market is like for premium homes; you’re quite likely focused on those starter homes. Trulia’s research shows that in 2016, starter homes saw the biggest decrease in inventory of all homes on the market, dropping by 10.7% from 2015. Trade-up homes dropped almost as much, 9.2%, for that same period. Premium homes dropped as well, but only by 3.6%. Low inventory often contributes to whether we have a buyer’s or seller’s market. The Denver, CO, market provides a good example. “There was bifurcation in the market for homes less than $600,000 and more than $700,000,” says Denver agent Matt Vos. “For homes below $600,000, it was definitely a seller’s market. For homes more than $700,000, it was more of a buyer’s market.” The group most affected by lower inventory in 2016? First-time homebuyers. They paid 1.7% more for a home than they paid in 2015. Because this group paid more, a larger portion of their income went to housing. And that put first-time buyers close to (or over) the 36% debt-to-income limit many mortgage lenders allow. “The low inventory made transactions much harder to accomplish,” says Vos. He found that buyers often needed to put intangibles in their offers to get deals done, such as offering to pay with cash, closing quickly, waiving the inspection or appraisal, or including a heartfelt letter. 2. Where did starter homes inventory decrease the most? Although 2016 was a difficult year overall for buyers to find starter and trade-up homes for sale, some areas had bigger decreases in starter homes on the market than others. Leading the pack was Salt Lake City, UT, which saw an 87.9% decrease in starter homes from the period between 2012 and 2016, according to a Trulia Inventory and Price Watch report. San Antonio, TX, was close behind, with an 86.2% decrease, and Austin, TX, was third, with an 82.9% decrease. 3. Which markets had the most unaffordable starter homes? Inventory is one factor that affects prices but not the only one. Demand also plays a part. According to the same Trulia report, the most unaffordable starter homes of 2016 were largely in California, which has both low inventory and high demand — contributing to high prices — in many areas. First-time buyers in the metro areas of Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose used between 23% and 29% more of their income to buy a home in 2016 than they did in 2012. High prices often mean that many people who would have bought a trade-up or even a premium home in other, less expensive markets buy starter homes instead. 4. Did some markets experience an increase in real estate inventory? Not every market in 2016 followed the national trend of low inventory. Trulia’s research reveals some markets experienced a rise in inventory for the period between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016. Florida had the biggest increases in housing inventory: The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area led the field, at 36.7% more homes for sale. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach and also saw housing inventory increase. Several California cities experienced increases in housing inventory as well: Fresno, CA, at a 24.4% increase, topped the list. Bakersfield, San Diego, and San Jose also saw housing inventory increase. Oklahoma City, OK, experienced an inventory increase as well. 5. Why the discrepancy in markets? Trulia’s analysis shows that the Southwest and Southeast regions have, for the most part, been meeting buyer demand, keeping prices affordable. But the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast haven’t been meeting buyer demand, causing prices to rise. So what’s the reason for this regional difference? In a word: elasticity. Elasticity (the tendency of housing supply to move up or down in line with price changes) is measured by the gap between home prices and housing stock. For example, Las Vegas, NV, an area with increased housing inventory, is considered to be elastic — it saw a 75.2% increase in home prices over the past 20 years, but also had an 87.8% increase in housing stock over that same period. Compare that with low inventory in San Francisco, an inelastic city, which saw a 290% increase in home prices over the past 20 years with only a 12.3% increase in housing stock. 6. How does demand impact low inventory? If there’s little demand to buy in any particular area, low inventory doesn’t necessarily mean higher prices. In fact, prices could drop in low-inventory markets if demand drops even more. Trulia’s research uncovered several markets where demand has dropped more than inventory during the period between the second quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016. The two areas with the biggest drops in inventory that also experienced falling prices (for starter homes) were Columbia, SC (with a 22.2% drop in inventory), and Charleston, SC (with a 21% drop in inventory). The two biggest drops in starter home prices where inventory also fell were in Charleston, SC (with a 5.1% drop in home prices), and Louisville, KY (with a 4.3% drop in home prices). Richmond, VA (with a 4.1% drop in home prices), was a close third. Laura Agadoni Laura Agadoni is a landlord and a journalist whose articles appear in various publications such as The Houston Chronicle, The Motley Fool, San Francisco Gate, Zacks, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, and Arizona Central. Visit her website at www.lauraagadoni.com.
  14. Katherine Farber

    The No. 1 Biggest Change For Housing In 2016

    The No. 1 Biggest Change For Housing In 2016 Whether you’re a homeowner, homebuyer, or home seller, you’ll be interested in this top change in the 2016 housing market. By Laura Agadoni | Dec 05, 2016 1:34PM Two words describe the 2016 real estate market: low inventory. When you analyze the housing market at the end of a year, you can often spot trends — and 2016 definitely had a big one: a lack of inventory, or supply, of homes for sale. Once you couple low inventory with strong buyer demand, which we also saw in 2016, you’ll probably see home prices rise. Using research from Trulia, here’s a look at the year in review to explore how low inventory affected the real estate market, from homes for sale in Sarasota, FL, to Portland, OR. 1. What home types had the lowest inventory? There are three main price-range segments — starter homes (lowest price range), trade-up homes (middle price range), and premium homes (highest price range) — and homebuyers are mainly interested in homes within their particular segment. For example, if you’re in the market for your first home, you probably don’t care too much about what the market is like for premium homes; you’re quite likely focused on those starter homes. Trulia’s research shows that in 2016, starter homes saw the biggest decrease in inventory of all homes on the market, dropping by 10.7% from 2015. Trade-up homes dropped almost as much, 9.2%, for that same period. Premium homes dropped as well, but only by 3.6%. Low inventory often contributes to whether we have a buyer’s or seller’s market. The Denver, CO, market provides a good example. “There was bifurcation in the market for homes less than $600,000 and more than $700,000,” says Denver agent Matt Vos. “For homes below $600,000, it was definitely a seller’s market. For homes more than $700,000, it was more of a buyer’s market.” The group most affected by lower inventory in 2016? First-time homebuyers. They paid 1.7% more for a home than they paid in 2015. Because this group paid more, a larger portion of their income went to housing. And that put first-time buyers close to (or over) the 36% debt-to-income limit many mortgage lenders allow. “The low inventory made transactions much harder to accomplish,” says Vos. He found that buyers often needed to put intangibles in their offers to get deals done, such as offering to pay with cash, closing quickly, waiving the inspection or appraisal, or including a heartfelt letter. 2. Where did starter homes inventory decrease the most? Although 2016 was a difficult year overall for buyers to find starter and trade-up homes for sale, some areas had bigger decreases in starter homes on the market than others. Leading the pack was Salt Lake City, UT, which saw an 87.9% decrease in starter homes from the period between 2012 and 2016, according to a Trulia Inventory and Price Watch report. San Antonio, TX, was close behind, with an 86.2% decrease, and Austin, TX, was third, with an 82.9% decrease. 3. Which markets had the most unaffordable starter homes? Inventory is one factor that affects prices but not the only one. Demand also plays a part. According to the same Trulia report, the most unaffordable starter homes of 2016 were largely in California, which has both low inventory and high demand — contributing to high prices — in many areas. First-time buyers in the metro areas of Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose used between 23% and 29% more of their income to buy a home in 2016 than they did in 2012. High prices often mean that many people who would have bought a trade-up or even a premium home in other, less expensive markets buy starter homes instead. 4. Did some markets experience an increase in real estate inventory? Not every market in 2016 followed the national trend of low inventory. Trulia’s research reveals some markets experienced a rise in inventory for the period between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016. Florida had the biggest increases in housing inventory: The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area led the field, at 36.7% more homes for sale. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach and also saw housing inventory increase. Several California cities experienced increases in housing inventory as well: Fresno, CA, at a 24.4% increase, topped the list. Bakersfield, San Diego, and San Jose also saw housing inventory increase. Oklahoma City, OK, experienced an inventory increase as well. 5. Why the discrepancy in markets? Trulia’s analysis shows that the Southwest and Southeast regions have, for the most part, been meeting buyer demand, keeping prices affordable. But the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast haven’t been meeting buyer demand, causing prices to rise. So what’s the reason for this regional difference? In a word: elasticity. Elasticity (the tendency of housing supply to move up or down in line with price changes) is measured by the gap between home prices and housing stock. For example, Las Vegas, NV, an area with increased housing inventory, is considered to be elastic — it saw a 75.2% increase in home prices over the past 20 years, but also had an 87.8% increase in housing stock over that same period. Compare that with low inventory in San Francisco, an inelastic city, which saw a 290% increase in home prices over the past 20 years with only a 12.3% increase in housing stock. 6. How does demand impact low inventory? If there’s little demand to buy in any particular area, low inventory doesn’t necessarily mean higher prices. In fact, prices could drop in low-inventory markets if demand drops even more. Trulia’s research uncovered several markets where demand has dropped more than inventory during the period between the second quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016. The two areas with the biggest drops in inventory that also experienced falling prices (for starter homes) were Columbia, SC (with a 22.2% drop in inventory), and Charleston, SC (with a 21% drop in inventory). The two biggest drops in starter home prices where inventory also fell were in Charleston, SC (with a 5.1% drop in home prices), and Louisville, KY (with a 4.3% drop in home prices). Richmond, VA (with a 4.1% drop in home prices), was a close third. Laura Agadoni Laura Agadoni is a landlord and a journalist whose articles appear in various publications such as The Houston Chronicle, The Motley Fool, San Francisco Gate, Zacks, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, and Arizona Central. Visit her website at www.lauraagadoni.com.
  15. Katherine Farber

    Preferred Rate Update December 1, 2016

    Preferred Rate Update December 1, 2016 This rate update is not intended for consumer distribution. *Lender paid mortgage insurance through a company selected by McLean Mortgage Corporation. All programs except FHA, VA and Mortgage Insurance Payment Eliminator Plus assume no mortgage insurance which may be required based upon loan-to-value. Stated rate may change or not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. This is not a commitment to lend. Worried About Rates? McLean Mortgage Corporation’s exclusive RateFlex™ Program is designed to remove all doubts from the home buying process. Only RateFlex™ gives purchasers protection against rising rates AND gives them a lower rate if rates decrease before closing. Why not experience a true win-win scenario for everyone involved in real estate transactions? Talk to me about how easy it is to have peace of mind with RateFlex™. LoanFirst™ The LoanFirst™ program is designed to give homebuyers an edge in a competitive purchase market. LoanFirst™ is the first step in purchasing a home. More Low Down Payment Options McLean Mortgage has more options to help your clients become homeowners. Ask us about our low down payment options which include government no-money down programs. About Us McLean Mortgage Corporation has become a Mid-Atlantic regional powerhouse by building a team focused upon helping customers realize their real estate financing needs with minimum stress and maximum results. Realtors and customers know they can count on us to close their loans on time. Paula White Branch Manager NMLS ID: 258408 Direct: (571) 405-2544 pwhite@mcleanmortgage.com www.paulawhitemortgage.com
  16. Katherine Farber

    The Secret Way To Save Money On Your Home Sale

    The Secret Way To Save Money On Your Home Sale Before signing on with your listing agent, considering negotiating their commission rate. By Blake Miller | Oct 04, 2016 10:35AM Want a more profitable home sale? You may be able to save some dough on your agent’s commission. Reduction! Rebate! Discount! Sale! Who doesn’t love it when you save a little cash? And when it comes to a major purchase like buying a home, a discount can mean thousands in savings. One of the main places to find them? Your real estate agent’s commission rate: Industry standard for commissions is 6% of the home price, with 3% going to the seller’s agent and 3% to the buyer’s agent. But scoring a rate cut from your real estate agent doesn’t always come easy — after all, it means your agent takes the hit at the bank. But there are a few reasons your agent may be willing to take a pay cut, leaving you with more money in your pocket (and more money for the down payment on your next home). Here are three main factors to consider. Your agent is generous Frequently, an agent will be the one to bring up a discount on commissions when selling a home. “I set my fees at about what the average agent charges,” explains Bruce Ailion, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Town & Country in Atlanta, GA. “Occasionally, I will feel I made too much money in a transaction and will offer a client a refund. Occasionally I will be doing multiple transactions with a client and charge less.” This was the case when Afton and Chad Davis were trying to sell their home in Spartanburg, SC. “Chad had gotten a new job, and we put our home on the market,” says Afton. “At that point, the market in Spartanburg was dead. Houses took months to sell. But we got lucky! A young couple wanted our house and needed to close in three weeks because of a new job. Our agent knew we had so much going on and another offer probably wouldn’t come through, so she crunched the numbers and dropped her commission to make it work. We really didn’t even have to ask. She was just that awesome.” You’re a loyal client Real estate agent Keith Thompson often offers a customary reduction for his longtime clients. “It depends on your history with that client,” says Thompson, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate in Charlotte, NC. “I have one client who refers an incredible amount of business to me and has been loyal for the 10 years I’ve known her. When her father went to sell, I told her I’d do it for a discount. I made one-third of what I normally would. It just really made good business sense for me long term. Take care of us and we’ll take care of you.” You ask — with a justification Not all agents are quick to offer a discount, though, so if this is a deal-breaker for you, it’s best to ask. One seller, Sarah, who asked that her name be left out of this story, had commission reductions in mind when she and her husband listed not one but two homes (one was their primary residence and the other was a rental home) for sale before moving to their current home in St. Petersburg, FL. “Homes were selling fast in our neighborhood at the time, so we knew both properties would go fast,” says Sarah. “We figured it was worth asking our agent for a commission reduction.” He ended up cutting his commission by 1% on both sales, resulting in a savings of several thousand dollars for the couple. The first home was under contract within three days of listing and the other was under contract before in an off-market sale. The biggest lesson learned is that it truly never hurts to ask for a discount. Had Sarah and her husband not brought up a discount on their real estate agent’s commission, there’s a chance it wouldn’t have been offered. But because they listed two homes with him, and the market was hot, their real estate agent knew the sales would be easy wins for him. The bottom line on real estate agent commission rates A fast-moving real estate market paired with low inventory sometimes prompts real estate agents to offer to trimmed commissions in order to encourage a homeowner to list their home for sale. But that doesn’t mean lower commissions are becoming the industry standard. “Giving discounts to your existing customers, repeat customers, referring customers, and high-volume customers makes business sense,” says Ailion. “Working for a cut-rate fee just to have some business, any business, is a one-way ticket to a starvation diet.” Blake Miller Blake Miller is a Charlotte, NC–based freelance writer. The self-described wannabe foodie and fitness freak has covered travel, interior design, and health and fitness for ElleDecor.com, Four Seasons Magazine, Redbook, Self, US Airways Magazine, and Women’s Health, among other national and regional publications.
  17. Katherine Farber

    Charming Farm House in Bedford VA For Sale

    Listing ID: 299178 Price: $189,900 Status: Active Address: 748 Peaks Street City: Bedford State: Virginia Postal Code: 24523 Bedrooms: 3 Total Baths: 2 Square Feet: 2,016 Acres: 0.630 County: Bedford Farmhouse charm located in the heart of Bedford City! The true gem to this home is the backyard oasis, featuring a HUGE multi-level deck, which overlooks the spacious 0.63 acre yard, full of wildlife & backed by mature trees for privacy. Sip morning coffee on the rocking chair front porch, with pastoral views. The foyer greets you into the cozy living room with fireplace & original pine floors. Functional kitchen with full appliance package, breakfast area & separate dining room. Main level den boasts natural light & access onto the back deck. Main level master bedroom with 2 additional bedrooms on Level 2. Main level laundry. 2-car detached garage for workshop/storage needs. This home has so much potential & character. Call agent for a private showing!
  18. By Kayla Albert | Nov 02, 2016 10:34AM Heed these tips to get started on the right financial path (and stay there). While money can certainly buy plenty of things, it offers something far more valuable than tangible stuff: freedom and choice. The more money you acquire and properly pour into channels that can support you now and into the future, the more freedom you have to make choices based on desire — not financial obligation or necessity. If you want the option to trade in cubicle life for self-employment, kick your roommates to the curb, or maybe even afford oceanfront real estate in Naples, FL, financial freedom clears a space for you to seriously consider your options. But getting there means ditching all the not-so-great money habits you’ve acquired and picking up the good ones you’ve been avoiding. Here are a few things that could be inadvertently stripping you of your ability to grab financial freedom by the horns. - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/money-sabotage-5-things-holding-you-back-from-financial-freedom/#sthash.qyncaW6w.dpuf 1. Not knowing your cash flow Money management can seem complicated and, in some respects, it is. But one of the most important steps to taking control of your finances is actually quite simple: mapping out and understanding your cash flow. Without this, you’ll never be able to formulate a stable financial plan. “Once you understand the flow of money, you can better control the expense side,” says Eric Roberge, certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock. “The goal here is to consistently have ‘extra’ money at the end of the month that can be put toward your goals of saving, paying down debt, traveling, investing, et cetera.” 2. Not treating your savings like a bill If you’ve ever been told to “pay yourself first” and been puzzled at the prospect, here’s the gist: Contribute to your savings goals (both short- and long-term) just as you would any other bill. Treating your savings as a holding ground for monthly leftover funds means your discretionary spending will likely be far higher than it should be and your savings rate far lower than it could be. Removing money from your available spending bucket at a predetermined rate on a predetermined day each month ensures your impulse spending doesn’t get the extra padding your savings should be getting. 3. Not taking a big-picture view There’s a reason fad diets don’t lend themselves to sustainable weight loss: Extreme action plans require more willpower than most of us have. Lifestyle changes with a big-picture view — in weight loss and money management — are more likely to result in lasting change and better overall results. Pam Capalad, a certified financial planner and founder of Brunch & Budget, sees this as one of the biggest hurdles people face in achieving financial freedom. “Because you didn’t put in the time or work to change your habits gradually, you are constantly fighting your willpower to maintain the lofty goals you set for yourself,” she says. “That’s why it’s better to start small when it comes to habit change.” 4. Not seeking financial knowledge The personal finance world is complex and filled with lots of opinions. Unfortunately, most of us weren’t schooled on how to get a mortgage or how to create a sustainable budget — these are things we must learn, either through expensive trial and error or by seeking out information on our own. If you aren’t a regular knowledge seeker, it’s easy to resort to inaction or act in a way that is harmful to your finances in the long run. “By having a basis of financial knowledge and a clear understanding of your goals, you’ll be able to navigate through all the noise and choose the advice and knowledge that works best for your situation,” explains Capalad. 5. Not setting financial goals You probably wouldn’t jump in a cab without knowing your desired destination. Establishing a financial plan without goals in mind is the same thing. Roberge is a firm believer in financial goal setting. “It’s amazing how writing down specific financial goals can act like a compass for the actions you take,” he says, and adds that saving a certain amount per month towards a target down payment is a great example. “You may or may not achieve the goal by the date you set, but I guarantee you will be further along the path to financial freedom if you take the time to create the goals in the first place.” How are you finding your way to financial freedom? Share your journey in the comments below! - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/money-sabotage-5-things-holding-you-back-from-financial-freedom/#sthash.qyncaW6w.dpuf Kayla Albert Kayla Albert is a social media specialist, wordsmith, and proud Colorado native. Her work has appeared in The Denver Post, Lifehacker, Tiny Buddha, and more. She believes in empowering others to create their best life possible — whether that’s through positive thinking or taking steps to build a solid financial foundation. You can find her at kaylaalbert.com. - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/money-sabotage-5-things-holding-you-back-from-financial-freedom/#sthash.qyncaW6w.dpuf
  19. By Robyn Woodman | Nov 14, 2016 10:38AM While others deck the halls, you can get the jump on buying a home. The holidays might not be the most popular time to buy a home, but with lower buyer competition, motivated sellers, and year-end tax benefits, there are some good reasons to consider hitting “Pause” on decking the halls and high-tailing it to some open houses in San Francisco, CA, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and all spots in between! So, if you’re in the market, take note of these seven benefits and then call your agent. December just might be the most wonderful time of year … to be house hunting! 1. Bargain prices The final month of the year is known for frantic shopping and countless holiday parties but not necessarily for purchasing a home — and this can work in your favor. With fewer buyers in the marketplace, the available homes for sale are priced to sell. Plus, with fewer active buyers, there’s less likelihood of multiple offers, bidding wars, and escalator clauses. 2. Flexible schedules There’s no need to wait until Saturday or Sunday to cram eight house showings into your schedule. Rather than using up your precious weekends, take an end-of-year vacation day on a weekday to check out the available inventory (especially if your company has a “use it or lose it” policy). Chances are, your agent has some time on their hands as well and would appreciate staying busy throughout December. 3. Motivated sellers If a home is on the real estate market in December, there’s usually a specific reason the sellers are looking to move: It could be job relocation, financial hardship, or personal change of circumstance. Regardless, it gives you an opportunity to negotiate a sweet deal — lowball the listing price and ask for a closing date that works with your schedule. 4. Tax benefits Purchasing a home in 2016 is good for your bottom line when tax time rolls around. If you close by December 31, you can deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points on your loan, and interest costs — all while building equity in your home. These deductions can be huge money savers, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off interest. 5. Lending lull With everyone off celebrating the holidays, December is traditionally a lean month for mortgage brokers. That gives you an advantage in building the best possible mortgage you can. Since there are fewer real estate transactions, loan officers may be motivated to offer special incentives and possibly waive or reduce origination fees. With so few loans in the pipeline, underwriting turnaround times will be quick. You may be able to negotiate a better price with the seller if you’re able to close the purchase in under 30 days. 6. Vendor availability A moving company’s December calendar usually resembles a ghost town. Not only will you be able to secure movers on short notice, but with competition for prime time slots (weekends) nonexistent, you could probably score a deal as well. Ask the movers to consider throwing in a couple of moving hours for free or additional packing materials and boxes at no cost. The same tactic may also work with contractors, repairmen, and home inspection services. 7. Builder incentives If you’re building a new home, ask about holiday incentives — builders typically roll them out to finish the year with a bang. If upgrades such as custom cabinets, quality carpeting, and designer paint colors are on your holiday wish list, December may be the ideal time to purchase a new-construction home. With fewer units sold throughout the month, the last few days of the year are particularly important for sales. New to December home buying? Share your experiences in the comments! Robyn Woodman spent several years as a real estate broker in the Seattle area, helping investors build their residential property portfolios. Based in the Pacific Northwest, she is an independent consultant; her writing has been featured on Refinery29, All Things Real Estate, and Modern Loss. You can find her on Twitter at @robynwoodman. - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/when-to-buy-a-house-reasons-to-buy-a-house-in-december/#sthash.08iXbeXE.dpuf
  20. By Blake Miller | Nov 17, 2016 10:00AM Why the bloggers behind a popular home design blog say homeownership is a must. Buying a home can be a scary milestone, especially when you’re somewhat new to town. For Kim and Scott Vargo, buying a house was less about investing and more about putting down roots. After packing up all of their belongings into a moving van in 2006, the Vargos were ready to make a change and headed from Cincinnati, OH, to Chicago, IL. Fast-forward a year (and one yearlong lease), and the husband-and-wife duo jumped headfirst into homeownership, purchasing a 675-square-foot condo in an adorable, yellow brick building. The self-described DIYers remodeled and renovated every inch of their new home, which they documented in their popular and aptly named home decor blog, Yellow Brick Home. Today, the couple have moved on from the condo in the yellow brick building. They’re just a few blocks away in a new home where they’ve put their DIY talents to work once again. Here, Kim explains why owning a home was the best decision for them and why they’ve never regretted it. - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/owning-a-home-smart-decision/#sthash.MpO5BsuC.dpuf What was your first home-buying experience like? The first home that Scott and I purchased together was a small, two-bedroom condo in our favorite Chicago neighborhood, Logan Square. It was right around the corner from the apartment we were renting at the time, and it was everything we were looking for in a starter home: compact size, space for a home office, and no yardwork to maintain! It was our little gem in the big city. The experience was relatively easy; the only downfall was that it was right before the real estate bubble burst in 2008 (and we were on the wrong side of the bubble!). Getting the loan and moving forward was no problem, but I feel fortunate that despite the loan we were approved for, we still purchased a home at a price point below our means. As a result, we were able to spend the next several years making it our own. Why did you decide to buy a home as opposed to renting one? We rented in Chicago, IL, for one year before we knew we wanted to stick around for a good while. At the time, home prices in our neighborhood were still very, very reasonable, and a good gut check told us that the time was right. After renting, we lived in the Logan Square condo for almost seven years before moving on to a much larger house down the street, our current home! It’s a fixer-upper, and we couldn’t be happier to put our stamp on this space, something that we may have been limited with in a rental. Why do you think it was a great decision for you and your family to buy a home, regardless of some of the challenges you may have faced along the way? We knew we wanted to stay in Chicago for the long haul. Knock on wood, but with our neighborhood being such a desirable area in the city, we look at these properties as investments in our future! Although renovating a home has had its challenges — and that would be an understatement! — we take so much pride in knowing that this is our forever home. What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a first-time homeowner? I don’t always think purchasing a home is a great decision for everyone. Living in Chicago, we have a lot of friends who rent apartments that fit their lifestyle, but we have just as many who have bought a home they love. For us, we wanted to buy a home to put down roots. Being a homeowner is a huge privilege, and with that comes a lot of responsibility. At the same time, we’re able to make our own rules, so to speak, and rather than pay down someone else’s mortgage, we chose to make an investment in us. All that said, when we became first-time homeowners, it was a day we celebrated and still talk about! What are some things you absolutely love about being a homeowner? The best part of owning our home is making it our own. From painting walls to moving walls to every other change we’ve made along the way (and there have been a lot!), it’s been so rewarding to know that we’re creating a space we love. My heart swells thinking about the memories we’ve already made and the ones to come. What’s your number one reason for owning a home? Are you DIY fans like the Vargos? Share in the comments! - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/owning-a-home-smart-decision/#sthash.MpO5BsuC.dpuf Blake Miller Blake Miller is a Charlotte, NC–based freelance writer. The self-described wannabe foodie and fitness freak has covered travel, interior design, and health and fitness for ElleDecor.com, Four Seasons Magazine, Redbook, Self, US Airways Magazine, and Women’s Health, among other national and regional publications. - See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/owning-a-home-smart-decision/#sthash.MpO5BsuC.dpuf
  21. Joanna Gaines of HGTV's 'Fixer Upper' Reveals 5 Top Home-Staging Mistakes By Judy Dutton | Oct 18, 2016 HGTV Few home renovation reality show hosts are as enjoyable to watch as Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” And for good reason: One, let’s face it, they’re a cute couple. Two, as the show’s before-and-after pics make clear, Chip (a contractor) and Jo (a designer) are a potent combo when it comes to transforming humble hovels into gorgeous homes. And now fans craving more about this pair can get their fill with their first book, “The Magnolia Story,” out Oct. 18. This biography reveals how they first met (at an auto repair shop), the highs and lows of raising their “babies” (four kids and their home remodeling business, Magnolia Homes in Waco, TX), and plenty of lessons learned along the way about renovations, real estate, and relationships. One of the keys to a successful home sale, says Jo, is home staging, where you arrange your furniture and décor (or some rented stuff) in a way that entices buyers to make an offer. Yet home staging is a highly misunderstood practice, one where home sellers can easily make missteps that can undermine these efforts. Related Articles Behind the Scenes: Stage Your Home Like a Hollywood Star 10 Home Renovations That Offer the Best (and Worst) Return on Investment Fixer-Upper Secrets From HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new book, “The Magnolia Story” Photo Courtesy of W Publishing Group Here, Jo reveals the top five home-staging mistakes she’s seen, so you’ll know to avoid them when selling your home. Mistake No. 1: Purging all your family photos “You’ll hear staging experts say to take down your family photos, kids’ artwork, and anything personal, so that a potential buyer can picture their family in your home, rather than seeing yours everywhere,” says Jo. “Personally, I love knowing that a house is well-loved, and seeing those personal touches displayed reminds me that my family would be happy there, too.” Mistake No. 2: Including too much furniture “Trying to put too much furniture in one space makes it look smaller than it really is,” Jo explains. “Try to stick with three large pieces at most per room to keep the house feeling big and open.” Mistake No. 3: Not cleaning up “It’s true that leaving your house a mess can keep a potential buyer from seeing how beautiful your space really is, so a quick cleaning blitz before a showing can do a lot of good,” says Jo. “When the house is clean, buyers can see you love your house—and know they will, too.” Mistake No. 4: Stuffing clutter into closets On the other hand, “if you’re scrambling to clean up when a real estate agent schedules a last-minute showing, don’t stuff your closets full of laundry, toys, odds, and ends,” says Jo. “Potential buyers will definitely want to know how much storage space your home has, so no closet will be safe for concealing messes. If you’re in a pinch, a last-ditch effort to hide a mess is under a bed.” Mistake No. 5: Ignoring your home’s exterior “Simple touches like making sure the lawn is freshly cut, power-washing the driveway, or putting a few freshly potted plants on the front porch can make a big impact,” says Jo. “It’s all about reminding them that your house is cared for, so they won’t worry that you’re also ignoring what they can’t see.”
  22. Katherine Farber

    6 Essential Steps for Selling a Home With Pets

    6 Essential Steps for Selling a Home With Pets By Lisa Gordon | Oct 25, 2016 RalchevDesign/iStock We love our pets, whether they be dogs, cats, hamsters, capybaras, hedgehogs, or pygmy goats—but that doesn’t mean that they want to see said pets (or any evidence of them) when looking at a home they’re thinking of buying. “Pets are either an attractive distraction, so cute they distract prospective buyers from looking at the real estate, or completely the opposite—smelly, frightening, or otherwise off-putting,” says Diane Saatchi, an East Hampton, NY, real estate broker with Saunders & Associates. Don’t want your precious property to be known as “that dog house”? Well, you need to pet-proof your place when preparing and showing it for sale. Here’s how, in six simple steps. Related Articles 6 Ways Your Yard Can Kill Your Pets How Pets Can Help You Sell Your Home How to Pet-Proof Your Home So It Doesn’t Look Like It’s Gone to the Dogs 1. Check your insurance Although you know your pets would never hurt anyone, they could scratch or bite a potential buyer whom they mistake for an intruder on their territory. You could be held liable for any harm your pet causes, so make sure your homeowners insurance covers you for incidents like these. However, some insurers will not cover anyone who owns what they deem vicious or aggressive breeds, such as pit bulls; and if they do provide coverage, it could be expensive. If you have such a dog (and even if you don’t), it’s best to keep him out of the house during a showing. 2. Prepare your yard Buyers will walk around your yard, a stroll that will be ruined if they step in poop or turn an ankle where your dog likes to dig. Perform a poop patrol before each showing. Double-bag the waste before disposing, so your garbage cans don’t smell when buyers walk by. Fill all holes and sprinkle grass seed on top. Before putting your house on the market, make sure your yard is a green oasis—not a brown-and-yellow dustbowl created when pets pee on grass. You can try to aerate and seed bare spots. But if that doesn’t work fast enough, you can replace ugly patches with new sod. Then, train Travis the Titan Terrier to use an out-of-the-way spot for his business. Or take him for very long walks. 3. Remove the odors Removing the odors pets leave behind is one of the biggest challenges. It’s easy to clean and tuck away kitty’s litter box. But it’s way harder to erase years of piddle from rugs and hardwood. If a bacteria-eating pet odor remover doesn’t banish all traces of cat or dog urine, you might have to hire a professional service to clean carpets or rugs. (Perhaps you should consider this whether you are selling your home or not.) Often, however, the odor returns, so if a carpet continues to reek, replace it before buyers trek through. Clean turtle, hamster, and guinea pig cages frequently, to prevent odors. And make fish tanks sparkle; a daily swipe with an eraser sponge will do the trick. 4. Clean up the hair Not only does a layer of pet hair on floors and sofas make your home look messy, it can trigger allergies and send potential buyers sneezing and wheezing out the door. Before each showing, vacuum and dust to remove any settled hair or dander. Or, consider buying a vacuuming robot (such as a Roomba) that you can schedule to suck up hair several times a day. They actually work. If your pet sheds, brush him frequently outside, so the hair doesn’t fly around the house. Bathing can help minimize shedding, too. 5. Hide the evidence Like kids, pets (or rather, their caretakers) tend to accumulate lots of stuff—leashes, collars, toys, water bowls, food, cute sweaters, and costumes for Christmas and Halloween (ladies and gentlemen: It’s canine Ken Bone!). But no matter how adorable you may think it all is, to buyers, it’s just clutter. Make sure you stow pet paraphernalia in a cupboard or closet. Put dry food bins in a laundry or mud room. Wash pet beds to remove odors and dirt, and only display them if they’re attractive. 6. Say goodbye to your pets (just for a while!) If you decide to leave your dogs or cats at home, either crate them or confine them to a special area of the house, and make sure your real estate agent knows where they are. Keep them busy with interactive toys or long-lasting treats, says Chris Rowland, CEO of Pet Supplies Plus, based in Livonia, MI. “Even purchasing a new exciting toy or treat just prior to company coming may keep them more preoccupied,” he says. But it’s best for everyone if you can find a playdate for your pet before a showing, or to send him to Grandma’s for an extended stay. But remember that pets have emotions, too—especially when it comes to change in their routines. When you stow their toys, move their water bowl, or put them in a crate when strangers inspect their home, some pets will feel confused and anxious. So before making any major changes in the life of a dog or cat, talk to your veterinarian, who can help you ease your pet’s transition to a temporary new home.
  23. 4 Terrifying Home-Selling Disasters and How to Keep Them From Happening to You By Jennifer O'Neill | Oct 26, 2016 KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock Selling a home is a long, adventure-filled journey—a twisty, tortuous road, filled with potential potholes. Maybe you’ve fallen into one or two yourself. But there are potholes—and there are sinkholes. We’re betting that your own home-selling mistakes are nothing compared to the truly extraordinary real estate fails that we’ve rounded up. Read on for some horrifying home-selling disasters so that you can learn from their mistakes—or just feel a little bit better about your own “Oops!” Disaster No. 1: The neighbor from hell When homeowners in Brighton, CO, put their house on the market in 2011, their angry neighbor, Titus Terranova, let buyers know what they’d be in store for if they moved in. “Loud parties. Loud music. Loud cars,” Terranova spelled out in large red letters plastered onto the side of a motor home parked on his property facing the home for sale. Yes, there’s something to be said for truth in advertising. But he might just have posted a billboard saying “Get the hell away” instead! Not surprisingly, potential buyers who saw the home—and this sign—weren’t eager to make an offer. Related Articles Bad Neighbors, and Other Nightmares You Might Need to Disclose to Buyers The Worst Home-Selling Advice People Actually Believe The Biggest Regrets of Real-Life Home Sellers Lesson learned: “Very often, sellers have neighbors that they don’t get along with,” says Marianne Leonard Cashman with William Raveis Real Estate in Andover, MA. “If you know you’ll be listing your home, is there anything you can do in advance to repair the relationship? Barring that, can you create a physical barrier between you and your neighbors?” She suggests planting trees or putting up a fence to block out brouhaha. If those tactics don’t work—and your neighbor is seriously messing with your ability to sell—“I recommend talking to law enforcement and your local government,” says Cashman. In the above case, the homeowner contacted County Code Enforcement officers, who ticketed Terranova for an illegal sign. Eventually, this nasty neighbor lost steam, and the homeowners were able to sell … two years later. Disaster No. 2: The curse of the ‘empty’ house Who knew a “For Sale” on a front lawn would double as an invitation for teens to party? At least, that’s what happened to the owners of a four-bedroom home in El Dorado, CA, after they moved out in February 2016. One local 16-year-old, spotting the pad’s party potential, broke into the house with 100 of his closest friends and threw a BYOB and BYOW (bring your own weed) bash that caused $1,800 in damage. Neighbors heard the noise and called the cops, who broke the party up and detained 14 of the revelers. No, their parents were not amused. Lesson learned: Post-party, the homeowners began paying a friend $40 a night to stay in the house to prevent trespassing. Smart move, according to the Ceres Police Department. In a Modesto Bee story about the party news, the cops advised that homeowners to keep their home security systems active even after they’ve moved on, and to notify local law enforcement that the home is empty. Also check your home insurance policy: Some insurers offer “vandalism and malicious mischief coverage’” that protects a vacant home. Disaster No. 3: We’ll take the house … and your jewelry, too In 2012, a San Diego Realtor® was closing up an $8 million estate after an evening showing, when a pistol-brandishing robber confronted her at the front door and ordered her back inside. From there, he forced the Realtor to show him “where the jewelry was” as he rummaged through drawers and closets, grabbing furs and other valuables. Then things got worse. When the home seller arrived home in mid-robbery, the bad guy fired two shots at him while making his escape. One bullet grazed the homeowner. Cops eventually arrested the thief, who was connected to a string of other home robberies. Lesson learned: If you’re selling a home, keep one simple fact in mind: You will have many strangers walking through your place. So take the good stuff out before anyone else can. “Before your home hits the market, think about what might be of value to someone,” advises Cashman. “Everything from jewelry, precious artifacts or art, and even personal prescriptions should be removed from the property.” Disaster No. 4: The panda sales pitch Frustration over weeks of fruitless showings of her client’s Spring, TX, home earlier this year turned Realtor® Jessica Arnett into a bear. Literally. The real estate agent embraced a rather loony marketing tactic, posing in the listing photos dressed in a panda costume. At first, when the seller suggested the idea to Arnett, she wasn’t sure. “I told the sellers, ‘It’ll make it seem like I’m not serious,'” she told realtor.com®. “And it might draw negative attention.’ But the seller was adamant. He said, ‘We’ve had our house on the market for three weeks already; we need something different.’” And while this marketing tactic did result in more home showings, it may have been more a matter of freak appeal then anything else. The home is still on the market, nearly four months later—and the updated photos online do not include a panda. Lesson learned: We admire this seller’s creativity, but other agents say you should skip the stunts. Sure, they may bring in more eyeballs, but not necessarily more serious offers. “If a new listing doesn’t generate showings or interest, it’s time to review the data on the local market again,” says Cashman.” In my experience, playing games doesn’t get the job done.”
  24. 4 Terrifying Home-Selling Disasters and How to Keep Them From Happening to You By Jennifer O'Neill | Oct 26, 2016 KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock Selling a home is a long, adventure-filled journey—a twisty, tortuous road, filled with potential potholes. Maybe you’ve fallen into one or two yourself. But there are potholes—and there are sinkholes. We’re betting that your own home-selling mistakes are nothing compared to the truly extraordinary real estate fails that we’ve rounded up. Read on for some horrifying home-selling disasters so that you can learn from their mistakes—or just feel a little bit better about your own “Oops!” Disaster No. 1: The neighbor from hell When homeowners in Brighton, CO, put their house on the market in 2011, their angry neighbor, Titus Terranova, let buyers know what they’d be in store for if they moved in. “Loud parties. Loud music. Loud cars,” Terranova spelled out in large red letters plastered onto the side of a motor home parked on his property facing the home for sale. Yes, there’s something to be said for truth in advertising. But he might just have posted a billboard saying “Get the hell away” instead! Not surprisingly, potential buyers who saw the home—and this sign—weren’t eager to make an offer. Related Articles Bad Neighbors, and Other Nightmares You Might Need to Disclose to Buyers The Worst Home-Selling Advice People Actually Believe The Biggest Regrets of Real-Life Home Sellers Lesson learned: “Very often, sellers have neighbors that they don’t get along with,” says Marianne Leonard Cashman with William Raveis Real Estate in Andover, MA. “If you know you’ll be listing your home, is there anything you can do in advance to repair the relationship? Barring that, can you create a physical barrier between you and your neighbors?” She suggests planting trees or putting up a fence to block out brouhaha. If those tactics don’t work—and your neighbor is seriously messing with your ability to sell—“I recommend talking to law enforcement and your local government,” says Cashman. In the above case, the homeowner contacted County Code Enforcement officers, who ticketed Terranova for an illegal sign. Eventually, this nasty neighbor lost steam, and the homeowners were able to sell … two years later. Disaster No. 2: The curse of the ‘empty’ house Who knew a “For Sale” on a front lawn would double as an invitation for teens to party? At least, that’s what happened to the owners of a four-bedroom home in El Dorado, CA, after they moved out in February 2016. One local 16-year-old, spotting the pad’s party potential, broke into the house with 100 of his closest friends and threw a BYOB and BYOW (bring your own weed) bash that caused $1,800 in damage. Neighbors heard the noise and called the cops, who broke the party up and detained 14 of the revelers. No, their parents were not amused. Lesson learned: Post-party, the homeowners began paying a friend $40 a night to stay in the house to prevent trespassing. Smart move, according to the Ceres Police Department. In a Modesto Bee story about the party news, the cops advised that homeowners to keep their home security systems active even after they’ve moved on, and to notify local law enforcement that the home is empty. Also check your home insurance policy: Some insurers offer “vandalism and malicious mischief coverage’” that protects a vacant home. Disaster No. 3: We’ll take the house … and your jewelry, too In 2012, a San Diego Realtor® was closing up an $8 million estate after an evening showing, when a pistol-brandishing robber confronted her at the front door and ordered her back inside. From there, he forced the Realtor to show him “where the jewelry was” as he rummaged through drawers and closets, grabbing furs and other valuables. Then things got worse. When the home seller arrived home in mid-robbery, the bad guy fired two shots at him while making his escape. One bullet grazed the homeowner. Cops eventually arrested the thief, who was connected to a string of other home robberies. Lesson learned: If you’re selling a home, keep one simple fact in mind: You will have many strangers walking through your place. So take the good stuff out before anyone else can. “Before your home hits the market, think about what might be of value to someone,” advises Cashman. “Everything from jewelry, precious artifacts or art, and even personal prescriptions should be removed from the property.” Disaster No. 4: The panda sales pitch Frustration over weeks of fruitless showings of her client’s Spring, TX, home earlier this year turned Realtor® Jessica Arnett into a bear. Literally. The real estate agent embraced a rather loony marketing tactic, posing in the listing photos dressed in a panda costume. At first, when the seller suggested the idea to Arnett, she wasn’t sure. “I told the sellers, ‘It’ll make it seem like I’m not serious,'” she told realtor.com®. “And it might draw negative attention.’ But the seller was adamant. He said, ‘We’ve had our house on the market for three weeks already; we need something different.’” And while this marketing tactic did result in more home showings, it may have been more a matter of freak appeal then anything else. The home is still on the market, nearly four months later—and the updated photos online do not include a panda. Lesson learned: We admire this seller’s creativity, but other agents say you should skip the stunts. Sure, they may bring in more eyeballs, but not necessarily more serious offers. “If a new listing doesn’t generate showings or interest, it’s time to review the data on the local market again,” says Cashman.” In my experience, playing games doesn’t get the job done.”
  25. Katherine Farber

    6 Reasons To Invest In Multifamily Real Estate

    6 Reasons To Invest In Multifamily Real Estate Thinking about buying an investment property? Consider buying in that hot new building downtown. By Laura Agadoni | Oct 20, 2016 11:40AM Learn why investing in a multifamily dwelling — a condo, duplex, or townhouse — can be a smart choice. With interest rates at historic lows and a strong rental market encompassing much of the country, people are investing in real estate. Many investors automatically think “single-family home” when they set out to buy a property, and while this may be a smart move in cities where the rental market is hot, like Austin, TX, or Provo, UT, there are definite advantages to buying multifamily real estate that should not be overlooked. Here are six tips from real estate pros on why buying a condo, duplex, or townhouse can be a wise decision. 1. There’s less maintenance with condos and townhouses If you’re buying a property with a homeowners’ association (HOA) that takes care of the exterior, you’ll have fewer landlord responsibilities on your plate. With condos and townhouses, everything outside your own walls is typically considered a common area, which your HOA takes care of using the dues you pay. These common areas usually include the landscaping around the building, the roof, parking garage, and amenities such as a pool and clubhouse. Remember to factor in the monthly HOA dues before you invest: Dues in condo and townhouse communities could run you hundreds of dollars per month. “HOA fees often cause rental property to be a net loss every month,” says Lucas Machado, president of House Heroes in Florida. If you can still come out ahead after crunching the numbers, the next step is to make sure the HOA has adequate reserves. Do this by “requesting financial statements from the HOA,” says Machado. If the HOA is poorly run, you could be charged a special assessment fee to pay for a major expense. Finally, make sure you even can rent out the unit. “Renting out a condo or townhouse may not be possible under HOA rules,” says Machado. 2. You can save on taxes and insurance with a duplex Think of buying a duplex as snagging a deal at a BOGO sale. A duplex is really one structure, but one that has been divided into two apartments, either side by side or upstairs/downstairs. As such, when you buy a duplex as an investment property, you can rent out one of the units and live in the other, or you can rent out both units. Maryland resident Maria Moser owns a duplex and reaps the benefits. “It is deeded together, so I have a single county/state tax payment and a single city payment as well as a single insurance payment,” she says. And there’s another bonus: “With two rents coming in, one [unit] can be vacant without any issues.” 3. It’s easier to get started in investing with a duplex You typically need a bigger down payment to buy investment property than you do when buying a property you will live in. “When buying as an owner-occupant, a buyer may only have to put 3% or less down, while investors usually have to put at least 20% down,” says Mark Ferguson, a Colorado real estate agent and creator of InvestFourMore, a real estate investment website. If you don’t have the down payment funds to buy investment property, you can still get in the game by buying a single-family home and living in it for at least a year (or whatever the lender requires) and then renting it out. “But most banks will not count rental income right away,” says Ferguson. “This can make it tough for investors to buy another house right away — their debt-to-income ratios will be high due to two house payments.” To put this owner-occupant practice to work for a duplex purchase, you’d live in one half of your duplex and rent out the other. “When buying multifamily, rent is coming in while the buyer lives in the property, which will cause the rental income to be counted sooner and make it easier to buy another home,” says Ferguson. 4. You could make more money with a multifamily unit The potential to earn more money — otherwise known as having “greater cash flow” in investor lingo — can be greater when you buy multifamily homes for sale. “The rent-to-purchase price ratio is almost always much better with multiunit investments,” says Casey Fleming, author of The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage. “I own a four-plex in Albuquerque [NM] and a condo in Rio Rancho, a suburb. They provide cash flow much better than a similarly priced single-family would have.” 5. Your odds of being on the “corner of Main and Main” are greater with a condo To be successful in the landlord business, you need to own property in an area where people want to be. “Proximity to universities, colleges, and urban areas will always provide a steady stream of people who want to rent,” says Shawn Felker, a New York, NY, agent. Typically, you can get the best location, particularly in a big city, when you’re buying real estate in a building. By being in a building or complex, you may also be able to snag a condo with unique views or other appealing amenities, like a community pool, that will attract potential renters. This is where buying a condo can be a great choice — and the home’s value can appreciate significantly over time. 6. You’re looking for retirement income Baby boomers have always broken new ground, so as this group approaches (or is in) their retirement years, they’re redefining the way they live. Many boomers choose to live in age-55-plus retirement communities. Others prefer to rent, so a shared-housing arrangement can present a great investment opportunity for homeowners. Empty nesters who have plenty of spare bedrooms can rent out one or all of them to fellow retirees, creating a sort of Golden Girlssituation. If you do this, make sure you have a lease and specify house rules, such as a laundry schedule, which food will be shared, and who pays for which utilities. Have you invested in multifamily real estate? Share your experience in the comments! Laura Agadoni Laura Agadoni is a landlord and a journalist whose articles appear in various publications such as The Houston Chronicle, The Motley Fool, San Francisco Gate, Zacks, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, and Arizona Central. Visit her website at www.lauraagadoni.com.
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