Garages are versatile spaces that can serve multiple purposes. Here are a few ways you can use this part of your home.
1. As a workspace
If you plan to use your garage as a workshop, you’ll need plenty of storage. Consider installing shelves along the walls to give yourself enough floor space to work on various projects. In addition, you should invest in a large workbench as well as sturdy hooks that can hold heavy tools.
2. As a storeroom
If your garage will be used to house all your odds and ends, it’s a good idea to invest in a variety of vertical storage solutions including shelves, racks, and pegboards. Just make sure you leave enough space to move around a parked vehicle. In addition, you can install magnetic strips to hold your tools and ceiling hooks to hang bikes and ladders.
3. As a living space
If you don’t have a car, you can turn your garage into a living room, crafting area, rehearsal space, or home gym. Keep in mind that you’ll need to insulate, light, and heat the space.
Before you decide to make upgrades to your garage, it’s a good idea to set a budget. For a complete makeover, consider hiring a professional contractor.
2021 was a record-breaking year for Virginia’s housing market
According to the December 2021 Homes Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, the commonwealth’s competitive housing market broke numerous records in 2021.
Last year, there were 154,340 home sales statewide, a surge of 10.2% over 2020. Nearly every local market across Virginia had more home sales in 2021 than the previous year.
Much of Virginia saw rapid price gains. The commonwealth’s annual median sales price was $350,000, a $30,000 jump from 2020, which is a 9.4% increase. This is the largest annual price gain the state has had in years. This strong price growth was fueled by historically low mortgage interest rates, record sales activity, and the tight inventory of homes available.
The inventory shortage continues to be a major challenge in Virginia. There were just 13,469 active listings throughout the state at the end of December, a 24.2% drop from a year ago, which is nearly 4,300 fewer listings. “Virginia’s housing market is very strong. The biggest challenge in the market is a lack of inventory. Sales are slowing down a bit because buyers are having a hard time finding homes to consider,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2022 President Denise Ramey.
Driven by climbing prices and strong demand, Virginia’s sold dollar volume also swelled to record levels in 2021. There was about $66.8 billion of total sold volume in 2021, more than a 22% increase from 2020—an increase of about $12.1 billion through the course of the entire year.
2021’s strong demand for homes led to a major decrease in the number of days homes remained on the market. Statewide, the average days on market for 2021 was just 25 days, more than two weeks faster (-16 days) than 2020’s average.
While these numbers are staggering, the majority of home sales activity took place early in the year. Starting in the fall, sales activity began to cool in many markets around Virginia. “At the end of 2021, home sales activity slowed compared to the very fast pace of last year at the same time. Nevertheless, demand remained very strong over the year,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD.
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full December 2021 Home Sales Report.
What new and future parents should look for in a home
If you’re a new or expectant parent, buying a family home may be on your to-do list. While you can’t anticipate everything you’ll need in the coming years, here are some essential features to keep top of mind as you shop for your dream home.
• A home on a quiet street in close proximity to a playground. Ideally, the route to the park should have sidewalks the entire way.
• A mudroom with plenty of storage to keep jackets, dirty shoes, and other clutter from spilling into the main li¬ving space.
• Bedrooms on the same level. This is practical for nightly feedings and gives both you and your kids peace of mind.
• A bathtub, preferably one that’s easy for kids to access and has an extra hand-held shower head.
• Stairs that are easy to baby-proof. Avoid wide staircases that won’t fit a safety gate and railings with large gaps between the rungs.
• A powder room on the main floor. This is helpful for potty training so your child has quick and easy access to a toilet.
To ensure you find the right home for your family, work with a real estate agent who’s familiar with the area where you want to live.
Real estate and community news with Jen Avery, REALTOR
This year I would like to add community news to the Warren County Market Reports every month. We have several upcoming events to put on your calendar!
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
- Women’s Wellness Workshop – February 5 from 9am to 1pm | Virtual
- Visit this link to register: frontroyalwomenswellness.com
- YOU MUST RSVP to receive the Zoom Link
- Presented by Front Royal Women’s Resource Center & The Phoenix Project
- Sponsored by Valley Health and Friends of Samuels Library.
- Virtual event jampacked with amazing presenters/workshops from 21st Century Investing to Movement, Creativity, Nutrition and so much more. Goodie bags with information, tools and of course goodies for the first 50 who sign up.
House of Hope
- Empty Bowl Supper
- date to be determined soon!
Humane Society of Warren County
- Polar Plunge – January 15 at 11am | 4H Center Lake
- Interested in sponsoring a plunger? Please help our local animal shelter care for all of our animals needing a forever home. Visit this site for all details: hswcevents.org/polar-plunge
Rotary Club of Warren County
- Ride With Rotary – April 5 starting around 9am with staggered start times | Rockland Park
- New fundraiser brought to you by the Rotary Club of Warren County. Beneficiaries for the ride are Reaching Out Now and Cars Changing Lives. 4 ride routes, all ages and all riding experience levels.
- Event link: https://fb.me/e/1ngbJweEg
- Registration will begin early February.
- Sponsorships are needed. Contact Ellen Aders for more information on sponsorship levels. Great way to get a little exposure for your company!
Logan Maiatico Foundation
- Alfredo Birthday Dinner Fundraiser – January 29 from 5:30-8:30 | Front Royal Volunteer Fire Hall
- The Logan Maiatico Foundation has been established to continue the legacy of Logan Maiatico, Logan was loved by all of his friends, family and community and was known for spreading love to everyone he interacted with.
- Enjoy alfredo birthday dinner, Logan’s favorite meal! Ten dollars per person paid at the door. All proceeds will go to the Logan Maiatico Foundation in memory of Logan. Interested in swag? Visit: thestitchesandbows.com/live-like-logan
- We See You, Warren County – sign up (free) online to join this “movement” to help bring our community together. Follow on Facebook! You are going to love it! #WeCUWC
Warren County Market Report for December 2021 with Jen Avery, REALTOR
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for December 2021. We are back in the green. Numbers have climbed during December. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- New Listings are UP 17.8%.
- New Pending UP 1.9%.
- Closed sales are UP 12.9%
- Average Median Sold $333,450
- Average Days on Market 31
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to email@example.com.
Resource: December 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated January 2022.
Jennifer Avery, REALTOR® “Your Happy Home Expert!”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
firstname.lastname@example.org | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
4 expenses homeowners pay that renters don’t
Do you want to become a homeowner? While there are many benefits to owning property, there are also numerous costs. In addition to the price of the home, here are just some of the expenses you’ll need to factor into your budget.
1. Property taxes
If you own a house or condominium, you’re responsible for paying taxes to your local government to fund services such as garbage collection, road maintenance, policing, and more.
2. Homeowner’s insurance
Although tenants typically pay for renter’s insurance, it’s important to be aware that homeowner’s insurance is a lot more expensive. This is largely due to the fact that if you own the property, you need to insure the actual structure of the home, not just its contents.
3. Mortgage interest
This is an expense you’ll have to pay for the duration of your mortgage. The amount required will depend on the time over which your mortgage is amortized, the frequency of your payments, and the rate and type of interest.
4. Maintenance and repairs
Gone are the days of simply calling the landlord if an appliance stops working or there’s no hot water. From simple electrical repairs to replacing the roof or flood-proofing the basement, all home maintenance tasks are the homeowner’s responsibility.
Before you decide to buy a home, it’s a good idea to consult a financial adviser to ensure you’re making the right choice based on your needs and circumstances.
How to maintain your home’s curb appeal in winter
Do you want to put your house on the market this winter? If so, you’ll need to make sure the cold, dreary weather doesn’t detract from your property’s curb appeal. Here’s how to give potential buyers a great first impression.
• Paint your front door. This is a simple way to make your home stand out. A bold color like blue, red, or yellow is sure to pop against a snowy landscape.
• Update your number and mailbox. Replace peeling sticker numbers and a rusty mailbox with quality pieces that match the style of your home’s exterior.
• Spruce up your outdoor lighting. Since the days are short in winter, illuminating your home should be a top priority. The warm glow of light from wall sconces or a porch chandelier will improve your home’s appearance and visibility.
• Add color to your yard. Plant evergreens, frost-resistant flowers, and shrubs with colorful stems and berries to liven up your winter landscaping and make your property more inviting.
• Clear a path to the door. You’ll want to ensure your property is safe for buyers to visit. Remember to keep surfaces free of snow and ice, especially before an open house.
For more expert tips on selling your home in winter, consult a local real estate agent.
Market still sweet for sellers, but slowing
Two years ago, the real estate market was sweet and hugely profitable for sellers.
Record-low interest rates made buying homes attractive, but there weren’t a lot of homes on the market, so buyers were paying more and sellers were getting great prices.
In 2022, the market is still great for sellers but the picture is beginning to change, market watchers say. The market is said to be ‘normalizing.’
Realtor.com predicts that 2022 real estate prices will continue to rise, but not as quickly as the last two years. Economists predict a slower rise of just 2.9 percent, compared to 12 percent in 2021.
Meanwhile, they think mortgage rates will rise, and though there will be plenty of buyers, there still won’t be very many houses on the market. Homes for sales will still be at record lows, with a barely perceptible rise of .3 percent. Again in 2022, this is good news for sellers.
Suburban home demand will continue as buyers leave cities and look for bigger spaces as they spend more time at home.
Mortgage rates may rise from an average of 3.3 percent to 3.6 percent by the end of 2022, according to Freddie Mac data.
Meanwhile, Zillow expects home values to rise by 13.6 percent, ending in October 2022.
The end of 2021 showed higher than expected sales of existing homes. Zillow predicts those sales to continue to rise.
Zillow analysts also expect mortgage rates to rise, driven by inflation. Slightly fewer people are refinancing, but home-buying remains strong, along with retail sales, even in the presence of price increases.