Do you want to convert your basement into an apartment? If so, you should know this is a major renovation project that requires proper planning. Here are four factors that are important to keep in mind.
1. The legal aspect
The first step is to contact your municipality to determine whether this type of renovation is permitted and, if so, what standards you’ll need to meet. Among other things, you may be required to have a minimum ceiling height, a fire separation between the units, and a certain number of windows and exits. You should also find out what permits you’ll need.
2. The basic comforts
In order for a basement to be truly livable, you need to make sure the space has proper ventilation and that dampness isn’t an issue. You should also maximize the amount of natural light that enters the apartment, and make sure the space is adequately insulated and soundproofed.
3. The division of space
If you’re converting an unfinished basement, it might be more cost-effective to design a studio apartment. If your basement already has rooms, consider which walls to keep or remove in order to create a functional kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. You should also incorporate sufficient storage space and, if possible, a laundry room.
4. The finishing touches
Since basements tend to get less natural light and have lower ceilings than the rest of the house, it’s a good idea to favor light colors and materials for the walls, flooring, and cabinets. This will help make the space feel bigger, brighter, and airier.
Finally, be sure to work with certified professionals to ensure your renovation is a success.
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.
Ask the Expert: We want to buy a house, but home prices are very high. Will prices come down in 2022?
No one can predict the future, but analysts continue to say home prices will stay high, and probably rise higher in 2022.
It’s a great time to sell a home, with prices up 20 percent nationally.
To understand this, consider the principle of supply and demand.
When people want to buy houses, that is called demand. When there are houses to sell, that is called supply. Prices are currently high because there are lots of people who want to buy houses and not enough houses for sale. So the supply of houses is low compared to demand.
What happens then is that buyers offer high prices for the houses that are available and sellers also ask for higher prices. If there were more houses for sale, prices could go down, especially at the current affordable interest rates on mortgages.
But many things affect this supply and demand tradeoff.
In the current market, one reason for low supply is that the home building industry has been unable to build as many homes as they could sell. They can’t get the building materials and they are short of workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction employment in October was still 201,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
Laws can affect supply. Strict zoning laws and construction regulations make it difficult or impossible to build apartments and homes in some states and areas, so housing stock becomes tight.
On the other hand, prices that stay very high for a long time can, in fact, lower demand as buyers become discouraged. Then, more houses go unsold and sellers lower prices to entice buyers.
Meanwhile, rents can go up because it costs more to buy a rental property and there is more demand for a rental property if people can’t afford to buy houses.
All that said, here’s a good rule of thumb: The best time to buy a house is when you are ready.
How to set up your home as a short-term rental property
Are you interested in listing your property on a website like Airbnb or Vrbo? While this can be a great way to meet people and boost your income, there’s a considerable amount of planning and preparation required. Here’s what should be on your checklist:
• Find out if you’re allowed. Depending on the zoning in your area, you might need a special permit to rent out your home, or it might be prohibited altogether. If applicable, you’ll also need to get permission from your landlord or condo association.
• Ensure the property is safe. Firstly, you’ll need a secure way for guests to enter and leave the space. If renters will have access to appliances, they should be safe and in good working order. You’ll also need to clean the place between guest stays.
• Make the space inviting. When you create a listing for your home, be sure to include a complete inventory of the amenities you of¬fer and plenty of photos so guests know what to expect. Details about the surrounding area are also helpful.
• Respond to concerns quickly. As the host of a rental property, you’ll need to be available to answer questions and address any problems that may arise. Make sure you’ll have time to manage the property or hire someone to do it for you.
Once you’ve set up your home as a rental property, you’ll be ready to welcome your first guests.