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Real Estate

Ask the expert: We are going to sell. Should we pay cash or finance at least part of the new house?

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Your decision depends on your financial and life circumstances.

If you are retired and the kids are gone, you might be one of the millions of people who want to downsize.

When you bought your last house, the house and location probably made a ton of sense for raising kids. But, now a different home makes sense.

With your mortgage paid off and retirement at hand, you now have a pleasant problem you may not have considered 30 years ago: Should you pay cash or finance?


Part of the answer depends on what you think about homeownership. Owning a home outright is satisfying and seems very secure. No more mortgage payments.

A study by Redfin found that one-third of U.S. home purchases were paid with cash. That is the largest share of cash buyers since 2014. According to HousingWire, some of these moves are because remote work has allowed people to live in less expensive areas. If you sell your house in Seattle, you can buy twice the house at half the price in Boise, for example, and walk away with cash to invest.

On the other hand, if you are retired, you might want to invest some cash. After all, mortgages are at 3 percent while the markets continue to dish out good returns.

Plus, you can use the cash for anything you want, including travel or just life.

If the cash from your house represents all of your savings, paying cash for another house might not make sense, since real estate prices don’t rise as quickly as stocks. You’ll want the home proceeds to be easy to access to help finance retirement. So at these low-interest rates, taking a mortgage could make sense, especially if you finance just part of the purchase.

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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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Real Estate

How to maintain your home’s curb appeal in winter

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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.

 

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Real Estate

Market still sweet for sellers, but slowing

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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.’

Or not.


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.

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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

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jan
26
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jan 26 @ 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[...]
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[...]