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Ask the Expert

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I am 35 and I’ve never owned a home. Now that I am paying attention to mortgage rates, I see an increase. Should I wait — or worry?

Simply put: It’s a fantastic time to buy (and with home prices rising it is a great time to sell, too).

You are at exactly the right age, on the high end of the millennial generation, to buy a home.

It’s true that in the last couple of years, a string of incremental rate increases by The Federal Reserve has put the focus on the housing market, where mortgage rates reflect those rate increases. Some assume that, as The Fed raises short-term interest rates, mortgage rates also rise and buyers are scared off by higher monthly payments.


While payments do indeed rise, how serious is it? Sometimes it’s not as much as you might think. If you are not paying cash for your house, you have to get a loan anyway. It’s not unreasonable to ask how much a slight raise in rates actually affects your payments.

Online mortgage calculators let you plug in your purchase price, down payment, length of loan, and interest rate. A 30-year fixed loan for $200,000 at 4.5 percent results in a payment of $1,013. Here we aren’t factoring in a down payment, taxes, or insurance, which vary. (As you move along in your home purchase, you will have all that information.)

But compare that rate to the same loan for the same amount at 4.75 percent. The monthly payment is $1,043 — a difference of $30 a month. When you find the right home, a jump of $30 probably won’t be a deal killer.

Right now, The Fed has signaled that interest rates may not rise in the near term, since inflation is low. But remember, rates do rise and fall over time. In 1999, the mortgage rate was 6.98 percent. In the 1980s, rates were a catastrophic 18 percent. A rate of about 4.5 to 4.75 percent isn’t the lowest historically but it certainly is affordable and nowhere near the highest.

Have no fear about buying today. Inflation is low and even if it rises, your mortgage payment won’t.

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Real Estate

How long does it take to build a house?

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If you’re thinking about buying a piece of land and building the home of your dreams, it’s important to consider how long the project will take. While most houses can be built in four to 10 months, there are a variety of factors that can influence this timeline.

Common reasons for delays
The first thing you should know is that it can take quite some time to obtain the necessary construction permits. Another factor that can extend a build by several weeks or more is the location. The topography and type of soil, in particular, can slow things down. Plus, certain weather conditions and shortages in building materials may also cause delays. Any last-minute design changes will like¬wise result in a setback to the timeline.

Tips to stay on schedule
Proper planning is the best way to prevent delays and keep a build on schedule. Among other things, preparation will help ensure materials such as windows and doors are delivered on time. You should also make sure you schedule service calls with plumbers, electricians, and other professionals in the right order to keep things on track. By staying on top of the project’s progress, you can greatly reduce the risk of delays.

In all cases, the experience of your contractor will have a major impact on how fast the work gets done. Be sure to meet with several professionals and select someone who has the right credentials.


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Real Estate

Pros and cons of buying a home near a school

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Have you found a home that meets all your needs but is located near a school? To determine if you should make an offer, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of living next to this type of institution.

Benefits
Your neighborhood will probably have a number of safety features if it’s in a school zone. Among other things, the speed limit is likely to be more restricted than it is on other streets, and there may be crosswalk guards posted at busy intersections.

If you have children who are the right age, they can attend school. What’s more, they can easily walk to and from the building, and your family may be able to use the schoolyard as a playground on evenings and weekends.

Another major advantage of living near a school is that your home is likely to have a higher resale value than comparable properties located elsewhere.


Drawbacks
If you live near a school, you may have to put up with a fair amount of traffic at times when children are dropped off and picked up. Similarly, events such as recitals and parent-teacher meetings are likely to lead to an increase in traffic and parked cars in the area.

In addition, the sound of the bell and noise coming from the schoolyard might be annoying. Also, keep in mind that living near a school means there’ll often be children near your property. This can hinder your privacy and make the neighborhood feel more hectic.

To determine if living near a school is right for you, carefully weigh these pros and cons.

 

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Mature Living

Selling your home before you move: pros and cons

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If you’re planning to move into a seniors’ residence, you may be wondering whether you should sell your home before you make the change. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of doing so that you may want to consider.

Pros
If you sell your home before you move, you’ll save yourself the stress and pressure of trying to complete the transaction quickly once you’re settled into your new abode. In addition, you’ll get the money sooner and can use it to decorate your new place.

In addition, you’ll avoid needing to pay the mortgage and maintenance fees on your old home while also covering the cost of the rent.

Cons
If you sell your home before you move, you may have to live there during any renovations that are needed. In addition, you’ll likely have to adjust your schedule to accommodate showings.


Furthermore, if you find a buyer for your home before the unit in your residence becomes available, you’ll need to either temporarily pay rent to stay in your old place or secure an alternative living arrangement in the interim.

Selling a property involves many steps and a lot of paperwork. To simplify the process, be sure to enlist the help of a real estate agent.

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Real Estate

How to avoid buying a house that might be haunted

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If horror movies aren’t your cup of tea, you might not want to move into a house that’s rumored to be haunted. Here are some tips to help you avoid unintentionally buying a property with a reputation for paranormal activity.

Ask if the property is stigmatized
Depending on the state, the seller might be required to disclose certain information about the property’s history. A house can be considered stigmatized if death or crime occurred on the premises. In some cases, the seller is only required to disclose this information if asked by a potential buyer.

Do your own research
Use the property’s address to search online for newspaper articles, historical documents, and other local records. These sources might reveal information about a suspicious death that occurred on the property. You might also be able to find out if the house was built on an old cemetery or battlefield.

Talk to the neighbors
If you see any of the neighbors outside during your visit to the home, ask if they’d be willing to answer a few questions about the property. They might be able to give you some information, especially if they’ve lived in the area for a long time.


Look into the history of the house
Has the property been bought and sold several times in the past few years? Has it lost a lot of value during that period? These types of changes could indicate that something strange is going on with the home, so be sure to make inquiries if this is the case.

Finally, don’t hesitate to talk to your real estate agent about your concerns. A realtor can help you find out what you need to know to make an informed decision.

 

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Real Estate

3 myths about green homes

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Are you interested in buying an eco-friendly property? If so, it’s important to have all the facts. Here are some common misconceptions about green homes.

1. Only new homes can be green
Older homes can be made more eco-friendly by replacing the plumbing and electrical systems, upgrading the windows and doors and improving the insulation. Purchasing Energy Star certified appliances is also a good idea.

2. Eco-friendly homes are in the middle of nowhere
While you might prefer to live off-grid, there are plenty of eco-friendly homes located in cities that use municipal electric, water and gas servi¬ces. What makes these homes more sustainable is that they consume less energy than their counterparts.

3. Green homes are utilitarian
If you want to buy an eco-friendly home, you don’t have to choose between beauty and sustainability. In fact, many green homes are quite attractive due to their thoughtful design and use of natural materials.



To find out more about the eco-friendly homes in your area, contact a local real estate agent.

If you can’t afford to move right now, consider making small changes to your current home to make it more eco-friendly. Even simple modifications like replacing your shower head and light bulbs with greener alternatives can make a difference.

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Real Estate

Warren County Market Report – October 2021

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Happy Thanksgiving, Warren County! Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for October 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play.

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are DOWN -23.6%.
  2. New Pending DOWN -11%.
  3. Closed sales are DOWN -15.7%
  4. Average Median Sold $300,950 September / $327,000 October
  5. Average Days on Market 20 September / 32 October

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

Resource: October 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated November 2021.


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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Upcoming Events

Dec
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4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Dec 5 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sunday, December 5, 2021 4:00pm First Baptist Church of Winchester 205 West Piccadilly St. | Winchester, VA 22601 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church[...]
6:30 pm Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Dec 5 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Riverton Church Symphonic Winds present their Annual Christmas Concert at Riverton UMC on Sunday, December 5, 2021, at 6:30pm. Donations collected to benefit local homeless ministry.
Dec
8
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 8 @ 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[...]
Dec
10
Fri
7:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]
7:00 pm Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christmas Story @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
GLORY BEA: A Shenandoah Christmas Story, by Rich Follett and Larry Dahlke, set in the 1930’s in the Shenandoah Valley and the Depression has hit the valley residents. This story is being presented by Selah[...]
7:30 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church 1 West Main Street | Front Royal, VA 22630 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108[...]
Dec
11
Sat
2:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]
7:00 pm Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Dec 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christmas Story @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
GLORY BEA: A Shenandoah Christmas Story, by Rich Follett and Larry Dahlke, set in the 1930’s in the Shenandoah Valley and the Depression has hit the valley residents. This story is being presented by Selah[...]
Dec
12
Sun
2:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]
3:00 pm Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christma... @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
Dec 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Glory Bea: A Shenandoah Christmas Story @ LFCC's William H. McCoy Theatre
GLORY BEA: A Shenandoah Christmas Story, by Rich Follett and Larry Dahlke, set in the 1930’s in the Shenandoah Valley and the Depression has hit the valley residents. This story is being presented by Selah[...]