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5 smells home buyers hate

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An unpleasant smell can dissuade potential buyers from making a reasonable bid on your home. Here are some odors that are best to eliminate or avoid creating.

1. Smoke
Many people in the market for a home are put off by properties that smell like cigarette smoke. They may be worried about needing to pay for cleaning, odor removal or restoration services. As a result, they may ask you to factor these costs into the sales price or simply choose to purchase a different home.

2. Pet smells

You probably can’t smell your pets, but visitors and potential buyers certainly can. Ask your real estate agent if they have any recommendations for good odor removal products and, if you can bear it, consider having your pets stay somewhere else until you sell the house.

3. Cooking odors
While the aroma of freshly baked cookies may help you sell your home, not all food smells are welcome. Avoid cooking strong-smelling foods like fish or cabbage shortly before people visit, and try to get any such smells out before the next showing.

4. Bleach and other cleaners
Never go overboard when using cleaning products. It could give the impression you’re trying to hide something. This also goes for air fresheners, which can be overpowering.

5. Mold or mildew
Musty smells conjure up images of rot and water damage and are sure to deter potential buyers. Check that there are no leaks anywhere in the house and that rooms are well ventilated. In addition, bad smells coming from sinks or drains could mean you need to call a plumber.

If you notice unpleasant smells anywhere in your home, try to locate the source, as they could indicate a problem that needs to be dealt with before putting your house on the market.

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Cost comparison: should you buy or build a house?

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When deciding whether to build or buy a house, the cost is a key factor to consider. Here’s a look at the expenses associated with each option.

Upfront costs
Though housing prices vary significantly, an existing home tends to be less expensive than a new one. And since construction takes an average of 10 to 16 months, you’ll also need to consider interim housing expenses.

However, a major perk of building a house is that it can be designed according to your exact specifications. This means you’ll only pay for what you want. In contrast, the price of a resale home might include features you’re not interested in such as a finished basement or pool house.

Ongoing expenses
It might take more time and money to build a home from the ground up, but the end result is a house-made with new materials covered by warranties. This allows you to avoid costly repairs for years to come. Plus, most new builds meet the latest energy efficiency standards, which leads to additional long-term savings.

In contrast, a resale home requires more frequent maintenance and repairs, especially if the roof, plumbing, or HVAC system will need to be replaced soon. You might also have to invest in renovations if the house isn’t up to code or doesn’t meet your needs and style preferences.

To help you make the right decision for your family, consult with a local real estate agent. A knowledgeable professional can provide you with information about the housing market and new development opportunities in your area.

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3 home buying tips for military families

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If you or your spouse serve in the military, here are a few tips that can help you buy a home and put down roots, even if it’s just for a few years.

1. Take advantage of incentives
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several home loan programs intended to help service members buy a house without a down payment or by securing a mortgage with a low-interest rate. Plus, many home improvement companies such as landscapers and interior designers offer discounts for service members and veterans.

2. Think about resale value

Since you’ll likely need to relocate again soon, try to avoid neighborhoods with a high turnover rate. Too many houses on the market in your area will make it hard for yours to stand out. You should also opt for a home with timeless features rather than extensive customization to ensure it appeals to a wide variety of buyers.

3. Look for places to connect
It can be hard to start over in a new city, especially if you have children. To facilitate the transition, seek neighborhoods with plenty of gathering places and amenities that bring people together such as public pools, community gardens, dog parks, and outdoor fitness classes. These spaces also provide great opportunities for quality family time.

Finally, since you’re likely moving to an unfamiliar city, consult with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of the area and can help you find a property that meets your needs.

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What to do if you inherit a house

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If you inherit a house, there are different tax implications and financial responsibilities to consider depending on what you do with the property. Here’s a look at your options and their associated costs.

Move-in
If you want to live in the inherited home, you’ll need to assume the cost of property taxes, upkeep, and insurance. You might also have to take over mortgage payments, depending on the loan terms.

If you sell the property later and it was your primary residence for at least two of the five years before the sale, you won’t need to pay capital gains tax.

Rent it
Depending on the house’s location, it can be a good source of passive income. Keep in mind the cost of landlord insurance and maintenance. Additionally, be sure to check municipal regulations for short- and long-term rentals before you make a decision.

The biggest downside to renting out your inherited property is that you’ll be subject to capital gains tax if you sell it since the property wasn’t being used as your primary residence.

Sell it
While any profit from the sale will be subject to capital gains tax, this is often the simplest course of action if the property has more than one heir. You’ll also be free from the legal and financial responsibilities of owning the property. Keep in mind the costs associated with selling a home including real estate agent fees, closing costs, and renovation expenses.

If you’re having trouble deciding what to do with your inherited property, a trusted local real estate agent can help you assess the market and determine the best course of action.

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5 musts of buying a house sight unseen

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If you’re considering bidding on a property without first seeing it for yourself, you should take precautions. Here are five things you need in order to minimize your risk if you want to buy a house sight unseen.

1. A reliable realtor
If you can’t visit the house yourself, you’ll need to rely on a real estate agent to assess the property on your behalf. Take the time to find someone you trust and who knows the market well.

2. A concrete wish list

Without an in-person impression to tell you if the house feels right, you need a clear and detailed list of what you want in a home, from the floor plan to the finishes.

3. A live video walk-through
Schedule a video chat with your realtor at the house so you can ask about creaky floors, dampness, odors, signs of wear, and other features that don’t show up in photos.

4. A general idea of the area
Use Google Street View to scope out the neighborhood. Also make sure to research local schools, public transit, and other amenities.

5. A full home inspection
A thorough assessment provided by a reputable professional is crucial if you want to buy a house sight unseen. Make sure to add a contingency clause to your offer if you plan to make your bid before the inspection.

Once you’ve found a house that checks all the necessary boxes, speak with your real estate agent about the option of having a virtual closing.

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Warren County Market Report – October 2020

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An incredible sellers market continues in Warren County. Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for October 2020. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 41.3.%.
  2. New Pending UP 18.8%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 31.7%
  4. Average Median Sold $280,000
  5. Average Days on Market  24

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com.

Resource: October 2020 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated November 2020

Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”

BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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Multi-generational living: tips to make it work

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Multi-generational living is making a comeback. As more retirees choose to stay in their homes as they age, and economic trends make homeownership less accessible, an increasing number of families are choosing to live together. Here are some tips if you’re considering living in a multi-generational household.

Privacy
Everyone has the right to expect a certain degree of privacy in their home and respecting it is a matter of establishing ground rules and choosing a home with the right layout.

If you’re looking for a new property for your multi-generational family, make sure to discuss the situation with your realtor. A good agent will be able to help you find the right type of house. Properties with laneways are often a good idea, as they offer built-in privacy.

Chores and upkeep
It’s a good idea to ensure every member of your household is clear on what responsibilities they have in the home. The advantage of more people living under the same roof is that upkeep tends to be easier when the work is shared.

Finances
Financial matters should be discussed sooner rather than later. Whether grownup children are moving back in with their parents or the entire family is looking for a new home, there’s an opportunity to pool resources. However, conversations about money should be had prior to the move so that everyone’s on the same page.

With a little planning and compromise, a multi-generational household can fulfill your entire family’s needs.

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all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Dec 5 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
7:00 pm Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Dec 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
It’s that time of year for Rotary Club of Front Royal’s annual Cash Fair, and we are going virtual this year due to COVID. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and[...]
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all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
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2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 6 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
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all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 13 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 13 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
19
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11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 19 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
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all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 20 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 20 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
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all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 27 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]