4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home in Hampton Roads today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

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5 Tips When Buying A Newly Constructed Home

The lack of existing inventory for sale in Hampton Roads has forced many homebuyers to begin looking at new construction. When you buy a newly constructed home instead of an existing home, there are many extra steps that must take place.

To ensure a hassle-free process, here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you are considering new construction:

1. Hire an Inspector

Despite the fact that builders must comply with town and city regulations, a home inspector will have your best interests in mind! When buying new construction, you will have between 1-3 inspections, depending on your preference (the foundation inspection, the pre-drywall inspection, and a final inspection).

These inspections are important because the inspector will often notice something that the builder missed. If possible, attend the inspection so that you can ask questions about your new home and make sure the builder fixes any problems found by the inspector.

2. Maintain good communication with your builder

Starting with the pre-construction meeting (where you will go over all the details of your home with your project manager), establish a line of communication. For example, will the builder email you every Friday with progress updates? If you are an out-of-state buyer, will you receive weekly pictures of the progress via email? Can you call the builder and if so, how often? How often can you visit the site?

3. Look for builder’s incentives

The good thing about buying a new home is that you can add the countertop you need, the mudroom you want, or an extra porch off the back of your home! However, there is always a price for such additions, and they add up quickly!

Some builders offer incentives that can help reduce the amount you spend on your home. Do your homework and see what sort of incentives the builders in your area are offering.

4. Schedule extra time into the process

There are many things that can impact the progress on your home. One of these things is the weather, especially if you are building in the fall and winter. Rain can delay the pouring of a foundation as well as other necessary steps at the beginning of construction, while snow can freeze pipes and slow your timeline.

Most builders already have a one-to-two-week buffer added into their timelines, but if you are also in the process of selling your current home, you must keep that in mind! Nobody wants to be between homes for a couple of weeks.

5. Visit the site often

As we mentioned earlier, be sure to schedule time with your project manager at least once a week to see the progress on your home. It’s easy for someone who is not there all the time to notice little details that the builder may have forgotten or overlooked. Additionally, don’t forget to take pictures! You might need them later to see exactly where that pipe is or where those electrical connections are once they’re covered up with drywall!

Bottom Line

Watching your home come to life is a wonderful experience that can sometimes come with hassles. To avoid some of these headaches, keep these tips in mind!

If you are ready to put your current home up for sale and find out what new construction is available in your area, call our office at 757-456-2345 and one of our agents can help you with the sale of your current home and the search for your new one.

 

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Buying A Home? Do You Know The Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process.
  • To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.
  • The best way to ensure that your home-buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate professional who not only puts your family’s needs first, but will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher.’

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8 Ways to Extend Your Patio Season This Fall

Cooling temperatures and the arrival of pumpkin spice everything doesn’t mean that you need to head indoors just yet. Using your outdoor living space is a great way to enjoy the changing of the season and enjoy some outside time. Consider these 8 ways to extend your patio season into the fall.

  1. Add Some Warmth

Making sure that your outdoor living space is still enjoyable and comfortable will encourage you to use the space more often. Consider adding a patio heater that can easily radiate heat in a large of area for you and your guests. Choose from a variety of sizes and styles that fit your budget and the overall look of your outdoor patio area.

  1. Hang Some Lights

You’ll need some extra lighting with the sun setting sooner than it was earlier in the summer. Hang a few strands of lights around the perimeter of your outdoor space in order to add a touch of sparkle to prolong those after-dinner conversations. Choose from different styles that cater to your unique tastes and personality.

  1. Cuddle Up with Throws

As temperatures continue to drop, make sure to always have a stack of fresh, cozy throw blankets ready for friends and family so they aren’t scared back inside by the crisp fall air. Consider storing blankets in a weather-tight box outdoors to keep them dry and ready for use.

  1. Add Some Ambience

To create a truly enjoyable outdoor ambience, consider adding a popular fire pit to your patio to encourage those guests to stay awhile. Not only does a fire pit add an extra layer of warmth but it provides a point of interest to an outdoor living space. Invite friends over to roast some hot dogs over the fire and indulge in gooey s’mores for dessert.

  1. Sip Some Tea

Wrapping up in a cozy blanket to read a book and enjoy a hot cup of tea, or hot chocolate, is the epitome of fall that many homeowners love. Make sure to provide enough side table space next to outdoor chairs for ultimate comfort while diving into a good book. Use a simple outdoor tray to carry sweeteners and sugar cookies to enjoy with your warm beverage.

  1. Leave the Leaves

You may want to immediately rake up fallen leaves on your patio, but consider letting them fall where they may to really set the scene of your outdoor space. The colors of fallen leaves provide those seasonal scents that remind of autumn-and they can be mulched for your fall lawn careneeds.

  1. Add Fall Color

Pumpkins are a welcome addition to any outdoor space this time of year. Pick up a few different shapes, colors and varieties of the orange gourds to add a pop of instant seasonal color to your patio. Stack and store pumpkins on your patio before carving them later in the season.

  1. Have A Game Center

Fall is a great time to enjoy lawn games that carried over from the summer. Many homeowners find that fall is the better season to enjoy a quick game of horseshoes or croquet in the comfortable, cooling temperatures. Create a game center on your patio that is easy for guests to access and invite your friends and family to join you outdoors for a friendly competition.

Extending your patio season is easy with these eight tips to help your patio pop well into the fall.

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REALTOR® Safety Month Tips

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The National Association of REALTORS® has dedicated September as REALTOR® Safety Month.  The goal is to educate and promote safe precautions to members so that they have the knowledge to protect themselves in any situation.  We have compiled a list of tips that we think every REALTOR® could benefit from knowing.

Tip #1: Use the 10 Second Rule

Take 10 seconds upon arriving at each new destination to do a quick scan of your surroundings.  If you notice anything out of the ordinary, do not get out of your car.  This is also a good time to plan an escape route in case of an emergency.  Taking 10 seconds to do this quick scan is a great rule of thumb for showing properties.

Tip #2: Bring Up the Rear

Always allow clients to walk in front of you.  When showing a home, follow this rule in each room you enter.  Direct your clients without necessarily leading them from a position slightly behind them.

Tip #3: Check Your Cell Service

There are cases when you may be in a remote location or in a home with thick walls or generally bad cell service.  Do a quick check in each room to find out if your cell phone has service so you know where to go to make a call in case of an emergency.

Tip #4:  Nothing Personal

It’s great to have a personal relationship with your clients when working together, but keep information like where you live, when you are home, you family dynamic, and any vacation plans to yourself.

Tip #5: Go With Your Gut

If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe, chances are that something is off.  Be prepared to have an excuse to leave any situation and go somewhere that you feel safe.  Have a friend that you can call or go to your office where you are safe.  Sometimes it may just be a feeling about a person or place, but other times your gut is telling you to get away and get away fast.

Virginia Beach Homes For Sale

 

Santa Legacy Lives On – RE/MAX Alliance

RE/MAX office embodies spirit of late Broker/Owner 

By Lisa A. Beach

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No matter how much you’re helping others, you can always do more. That was the philosophy of RE/MAX Alliance Broker/Owner Mick Hoff.

Back in 2004, staff at his Virginia Beach, Virginia office had already been taking annual tours of nearby Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD), were regular volunteers at the hospital’s fundraising telethons, and agents participated in the Miracle Homes Program – donating a portion of their commission from the home’s sale to support the hospital.

But Mick, his wife/business partner Trudy, and real estate agent Traci Lewis Vancamp, wanted to do more. The trio talked with CHKD and decided that a visit from Santa would be a welcome sight for the children staying at the hospital during the holidays. So in 2004, Mick donned a Santa suit for the first time. It was the start of an annual tradition.

Delivering Magic Moments

With his long white beard and soft heart for children, Mick was a natural to play Santa. He made a lasting impact on hundreds of CHKD children and families over the years.

One little girl, in particular, epitomized the sheer delight brought to the hospital by a visit from Saint Nick. Dressed as Santa, Mick delivered a dream-come-true gift: a ballerina outfit and slippers. She quickly put on the slippers, tip-toed into the hallway, and began pirouetting down the corridor. “I knew you would come, Santa!” she exclaimed. “I even told my dad you would come.” The staff, patients, and visitors could hear the awe, gratitude and hope in her voice. She, in turn, lifted everyone else’s spirits with her joyous, impromptu dancing.

The Norfolk and Virginia Beach area is home to a large military population, which is another reason CHKD held a special place in Mick’s, a retired Navy captain with the Civil Engineer Corps, heart. He knew many of the children treated at the hospital came from military families.

“Because CHKD is close to our office, we have agents, staff, and clients who’ve had children in the hospital for lengthy stays,” explains Trudy. “We think this is a fantastic way to honor those families.”

Keeping the Spirit Alive

When Mick passed away in 2013, the RE/MAX Alliance team was faced with the dilemma of whether or not to continue this treasured holiday tradition. After all, Mick embodied the generosity of Santa – even growing out his beard for months so he could look the part in December.

The entire office decided to keep the spirit of Christmas alive at CHKD in Mick’s memory.

Enter RE/MAX Alliance agent Christian Phillips, who agreed to play Santa and fill Mick’s shoes to continue the beloved tradition Mick started years ago.

“I love being able to bring a brief moment of joy to these families during terrible times,” Phillips says. “When I come into the room, it seems to calm stress levels and put smiles on people’s faces. My favorite part? It’s all done in complete anonymity. Being part of this program is the greatest privilege of my life!”

The tradition has now been going on for 14 years, growing bigger each year.

Preparing for Santa

This company-wide tradition begins long before December, with agents bringing in gifts and dropping off monetary donations months in advance. Trudy and Traci use the donations to shop for more gifts, ensuring they have presents for all ages. They even buy gift cards for the parents of children staying in the hospital. Finally, the RE/MAX Alliance staff gathers for a party to sort the gifts by age range, wrap them, and load them into cars.

At the hospital, a small RE/MAX Alliance team hand-delivers candy canes to patients, staff and families in the lobby and hallways. Then they pile the presents into wagons and visit children room by room, usually spending the entire day at CHKD.

“We usually visit 200 children in their rooms, and many more throughout the hospital,” Trudy Hoff says. “We bring about 1,000 gifts each year. Whatever we don’t deliver, CHKD keeps for birthday presents, for the playrooms, or the ER.”

In addition to Santa 2.0, the program continues to grow and change. Last year Trudy and Traci bought more expensive gifts for the newborns, like swings and playpens, because they wanted to give families something to use at home. They also want to boost community involvement in this feel-good tradition.

“We’ve received more donations of larger sums by a lot of our agents or their clients the last few years,” says Carrie Webber, marketing coordinator for RE/MAX Alliance. “We hope to continue to see the donations rise each year.”

Mick Hoff is missed, but the spirit and generosity of the original Santa lives on.

“Mick liked the nurturing part of the visits,” Trudy recalls fondly. “He always tried to get the children to smile. And for a few minutes while he was there, they were not in pain.”

No matter how the program evolves, it continues to tap into the heart of the tradition — making kids smile.

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Virginia Beach Homes

RE/MAX Alliance VB Makes a Difference as ‘Miracle Office’ for CHKD for the 22nd Year

CMN_REMAX_4colorHorizontal_WebVIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia, May 24, 2018 – RE/MAX Alliance has made a difference in Virginia Beach and the overall Hampton Roads community by receiving the Miracle Office designation by fundraising over $166,000. Primary funds are generated by the Miracle Home and Miracle Property programs, RE/MAX Associates can make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® after each residential and commercial transaction that the company has streamlined to make it an easy process for their agents. All donations benefit Virginia’s only free-standing children’s hospital, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD), the local CMN Hospital. Miracle Office is a designation awarded exclusively to RE/MAX brokerages through their national partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network organization. The Virginia Beach office has successfully achieved this designation for 22 years, ever since the launch of the Miracle Home program and partnership. This office is to join just two other offices total with this privileged designation for 2018.

The second major source of support to this local hospital is an internally-initiated ‘full service’ Holiday Toy and Gift Drive hosted at the real estate office, complete with personal gift wrapping (wearing ugly holiday sweaters of course), followed by hand-delivering to the patients with their very own Santa. After over 14 years of participating in this annual staple, they now collect 1,000+ gifts per year- truly spreading holiday cheer throughout the four hospital floors. Due to their large presence, the RE/MAX Alliance VB-provided Santa is now the only Santa, replacing what was three that would share duties.

Holiday Gift Drive organizers Trudy Hoff (Co-Owner and REALTOR®, RE/MAX Alliance VB), the late Mick Hoff (Co-owner, RE/MAX Alliance VB), and Traci Lewis VanCamp (REALTOR®, RE/MAX Alliance VB) initially started this venture with the wish to support local terminally ill children, which progressed naturally from hospital tours by inviting their colleagues and friends, turning into an annual Christmas visit, ultimately advancing to the now mega 1,000+ gift collection annual event.

RE/MAX Affiliates across the U.S. and Canada have raised more than $165 million for 170-member hospitals across the country to support children’s services. In 2017 alone in Hampton Roads more than $37,000 was raised to support CHKD. RE/MAX Miracle Agents, Offices and Teams are dedicated supporters who pledge to donate after each closed property sale and take the time to personally thank their clients for choosing them and that a donation was made in their honor, known as Honor Cards.

The immense participation in both the commission program and the gift drive have resulted in value and connection to the Hampton Roads community out of the natural need to support their personal friends, colleagues, and clients who need this hospital at difficult moments in their lives. The Miracle Office and Miracle Home program is a simple yet impactful way to help raise awareness for the local CMN Hospital.

With the goal to continue to make a difference in the lives of kids such as “Ironman” who pens thank you notes to Santa via the real estate office, the little girl who dreams of ballet shoes, and the 16-year-old with depression who have had a lasting impression on their team and who serves as their ongoing motivation to continue to expand their program. “The few minutes Mick was there as Santa they were not in pain, as Mick was completely immersed in helping these special children” says Trudy Hoff. Per RE/MAX corporate, 62 children enter a CMN Hospital for treatment every minute. As Ms. Hoff continues to explain, as leaders in the Virginia Beach business community, “it’s vital that we show our support for the kids and their families”.

RE/MAX Miracle Agents, Offices and Teams help make a significant impact on the lives of sick and injured children treated at CMN Hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. Over the years, their support of CMN Hospitals has helped provide life-saving treatments, advanced medical equipment and valuable research and education. And the local hospitals determine the best way to allocate those funds based on local need. At CHKD this year, the funds raised support specific programs for Child Life (patient and family support), Buddy Brigade (pet therapy), pastoral care, social work, and more.

The Child Life program is particularly close to the heart of Trudy since her personal creation of her Santa Mick Memorial Fund, to honor her late husband Mick, is the only endowment for Child Life at the hospital. Mick Hoff retired as a Navy Captain for the Civil Engineer Corps. in the Navy, where “supporting military children and families” was a true calling and purpose they shared in together, says Trudy, as they continued to build their relationships and real estate business in Virginia Beach since being stationed here for Mick’s Naval career. One of the hospital’s primary focuses this year is “seeking approval to build a pediatric mental health facility here in Norfolk to improve access to critically-needed inpatient psychiatric care for children and adolescents in our community”, as Kate Ryan in Development for CHKD explained.

As co-organizer of the Annual Christmas Gift Collection event, Traci says, “over time we have developed a system to fully categorize the gifts by gender and age so the donated gifts can be distributed throughout the year”. The future goal of this program is to turn it into a Foundation to be able to receive more outside donations so they can impact even more families year-round.

This office truly proves that that they are actively engaged and remain consistent with their stated mission “To be the Hampton Roads real estate leader, achieving our goals by helping others achieve theirs. Everybody wins.”

Many homes on remax.com are flagged as a Miracle Homes with a CMN Hospitals yellow and red balloon icon. For more information about the Miracle program or RE/MAX Alliance office, please visit www.remax-alliance-virginiabeach-va.com or call 757-456-2345.

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