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Real Estate

8 essentials allies in any real estate transaction

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Are you planning to buy or sell a home? If you want to make sure everything goes smoothly, rely on these professionals.

1. Lawyer
In any real estate transaction, protecting your legal interests is a must. A lawyer will review contracts before you sign them, draft key documents, manage financial transactions and keep you informed about all important legal matters.

2. Real estate agent
A realtor’s role is to advise and guide you through every step of the real estate transaction. An agent will arrange visits, answer your questions and direct you to trusted professionals as needed.

3. Appraiser
Using a variety of proven methods, an appraiser will formulate an objective opinion as to the true value of a property. This is important to know if you want to price a home or make an offer on one.


4. Land surveyor
This professional will issue an improvement location certificate, which includes a plan or illustration of the property’s physical features and a written analysis detailing the surveyor’s concerns. This document provides an accurate representation of the property.

5. Home stager
If you want to quickly sell your home, presenting it in the best light possible will ensure the property gets noticed. A home stager will provide you with invaluable advice about how to make your home appeal to potential buyers.

6. Mortgage broker
Acting as an intermediary between you and various lenders, a mortgage broker will help you secure a loan that provides advantageous terms and meets your needs.

7. Mortgage lender
If you want to buy a home, you’ll probably need to get a mortgage. Banks, trust companies, credit unions, and other institutions offer this type of loan. Additionally, getting pre-approved for a mortgage allows you to know what you can afford.

8. Insurer
A home insurance policy protects your investment by providing you with compensation in the event that your property gets damaged or destroyed. In this way, your insurer can offer you peace of mind.

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Real Estate

Features to ignore when house hunting

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If you’re perusing listings online or visiting a property in person, there are a lot of red flags to watch out for. However, there are also several features that shouldn’t affect your decision to make an offer on a home.

Paint colors and wallpaper
Painting a home is easy and affordable, even if you need to remove a bit of wallpaper first. In fact, you shouldn’t let any of the seller’s questionable decor choices distract you from seeing the potential of each room.

Carpets and popcorn ceilings
With so many attractive low-cost flooring options, there’s no need to be dissuaded by ugly carpets. Similarly, an expert can take out a popcorn ceiling in no time. For the sake of convenience, just be sure to have both removed before you move in.

Privacy and curb appeal
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not wowed when you first see a property. Landscaping the yard and repainting the front door can make a big difference. And you can always add hedges as fencing for more privacy.


Finally, don’t judge a home by its age. In many cases, an older property will have higher quality materials — not to mention more charm and character — than a new build.

 

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Real Estate

ASK THE EXPERT: We are wondering — is it possible to refinance our home and take money out of it?

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We really need to replace the flooring and we think this could be the way.

It’s absolutely possible and this kind of loan is called cash-out refinance. Many people are doing just that.

In the second quarter of 2021, U.S. homeowners withdrew $63 billion in equity from their homes in more than 1.1 million cash-out refinances the largest quarterly volume since mid-2007.

A cash-out refinance lets you take some of your equity out of your home and get a new mortgage. Right now, if you’ve had your mortgage for a while, you might also be able to get a lower interest rate, although cash-out rates are usually slightly higher than traditional mortgages.


Whether your lender will do a cash-out refinances depends on your credit profile and how much you want to take out. It is possible to take out up to 80 percent of your home equity.

Suppose your home is worth $350,000. Your current mortgage balance is $250,000. If you need $30,000, you can refinance your loan for $280,000 and take the $30,000.

The funds you take out can be used for any purpose but most people spend the money on something that will improve their home or consolidate higher-interest debt.

To do a cash-out refinance, you must:

– Have more than 20 percent equity in your home.

– Get a new home appraisal to verify the home value.

– Credit score of at least 620.

– Loan-to-Value Score of 80 percent or less.

– Verification of income and employment.

With FHA and VA loans, the credit score or Loan-to-Value requirements might be slightly different.

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Real Estate

2021 was a record-breaking year for Virginia’s housing market

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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.

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Real Estate

What new and future parents should look for in a home

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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.

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Community Events

Real estate and community news with Jen Avery, REALTOR

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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!

COMMUNITY NEWS

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

Warren Coalition

  • 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

REAL ESTATE

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:

  1. New Listings are UP 17.8%.
  2. New Pending UP 1.9%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 12.9%
  4. Average Median Sold $333,450
  5. Average Days on Market 31

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.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
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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Real Estate

4 expenses homeowners pay that renters don’t

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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.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Ole Timers Antiques

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Jan
28
Fri
12:30 pm Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Jan 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ ONLINE
Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, in conjunction with Northwestern Community Services Board, will offer a free, virtual REVIVE! Training on January 28th from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The one-hour online class provides an overview of how[...]
Jan
31
Mon
3:00 pm Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
Jan 31 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
People Incorporated is cohosting a virtual financial services workshop for small business owners to learn about business loans, technical assistance, training, and other services provided by the agency. The workshop is scheduled for Monday, Jan.[...]
Feb
2
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 2 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
4
Fri
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 4 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
Feb
5
Sat
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 5 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
9:00 am Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Feb 5 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Women's Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop – Virtual via Zoom Webinar – Key Note Speaker Dr. Neema. Registrations will begin January 5: frontroyalwomenswellness.com
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Feb 5 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
Feb
9
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 9 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
12
Sat
10:00 am Winter Tree Identification Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Winter Tree Identification Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Winter Tree Identification Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Winter Tree Identification Workshop: Botany and Bloom Series Historic Area Even after the chilly breezes of autumn have stripped them of their leaves, trees provide clues to their identification by way of their bark, leaf[...]