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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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.

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5 Reasons Why To Sell This Spring!

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Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory has declined year over year for the last 32 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enoughhomes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 45 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

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

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

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93% Believe Homeownership Is Important In Attaining The American Dream

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Americans continue to believe that homeownership is important in achieving the American Dream. A recent survey by NeighborWorks America reported that:

“Owning a home remains a core element of the American Dream.”

When asked “How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?”

  • 18% of those surveyed said it was the most important part
  • 53% of those surveyed said it was very important
  • 22% of those surveyed said it was somewhat important

Homeownership and Financial Stability

The survey also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that owning a home leads to a family being more financially stable. This feeling was reiterated by Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas who, in a recent press release, explained:

“After about a two-year slowdown, rent growth is starting to pick back up across the nation…Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining.

More widespread rent growth could mean home buying demands stay high, as renters who can afford it move away from the unpredictability of rising rents toward therelative stability of a monthly mortgage payment instead.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

Owning a home always has been, and always will be, a crucial part of attaining the American Dream.

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Hampton Roads Homes

Multigenerational Households May Be The Answer To Price Increases

Multigenerational homes are coming back in a big way in Hampton Roads! In the 1950s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a roof with their grown children or parents. According to an article by Realtor.com, “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is now living in a multigenerational household – a household with two or more adult generations, or grandparents living with grandchildren – a level that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since 1950.”

Another report that proves this point is the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers which states that 13% of home buyers purchased multigenerational homes last year. The top 3 reasons for purchasing this type of home were:

  1. To take care of aging parents (22%, up from 19% last year)
  2. Cost savings (17%)
  3. Children over the age of 18 moving back home (16%, up from 14% last year)

Valerie Sheets, Spokesperson for Lennar, points out that,

“Everyone is looking for the perfect home for any number of family situations, such as families who opt to take care of aging parents or grandparents at home, or millennials looking to live with their parents while they attend school or save for a down payment.”

For a long time, nuclear families (a couple and their dependent children) became the accepted norm, but John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living,” says, “We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”

This shift can be attributed to several social changes over the decades. Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living; “Data suggest that multigenerational living is more prevalent among Asian (28%), Hispanic (25%), and African-American (25%) families, while U.S. whites have fewer multigenerational homes (15%).”

Additionally, women are a bit more likely to live in multigenerational conditions than are their male counterparts (12% vs. 10%, respectively). Last but not least, basic economics.

Valerie Sheets brings to light the fact that home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. She says that, “As home prices increase, more families tend to opt for living together.”

Bottom Line 

Multigenerational households are making a comeback. While it is a shift from the more common nuclear home, these households might be the answer that many families are looking for as home prices continue to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory.

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