Condos can be more difficult to finance than single family homes, but the key to getting a conventional loan is in the building itself.
Remember that when you buy a condo, your mortgage company (and you) are placing trust in the whole building, not just your unit.
For this reason, buildings must meet some standards. Here are a few:
– Common areas must be completely finished and owned by the unit owners or the Home Owners Association.
– The building must maintain an adequate budget to run the property.
-At least 90 percent of the units must be sold and currently owned by unit owners.
– A single entity can’t own more than a certain percentage of the building.
– Unit owners must be keeping up with their association dues.
– The condo project must be covered by adequate insurance.
If the condominium project is established and known to meet guidelines, and you are a credit worthy borrower, you will probably have little difficulty getting a conventional loan.
Keep in mind that in calculating your debt-to-income ratio for the loan, lenders will count your HOA fees as part of your total monthly expenses.
As usual, you can save on mortgage insurance by putting at least 20 percent down.
When you buy a condo, you are buying into the HOA and you are sacrificing some privacy for convenience. It’s a good idea to take a look at the minutes from the HOA meetings to see the sorts of issues being discussed.
When the building qualifies and you find the property suitable, financing a condo should be much the same as a conventional home.
Four key questions to ask during an open house
To get the most out of open houses, always ask the listing agent these four questions:
- When was the house last updated? Ask the listing agent about recent upgrades and how long ago features like the roof and electrical system were updated. You don’t want to have to pay for major repairs once you move in.
- What issues does the home come with? No matter how recently renovated, all houses have their issues. Find out in advance what the home’s biggest problems are so there are no surprises during the home inspection — or worse, after you move in.
- How much do utilities cost? Knowing the average cost of utilities will give you an idea of how energy efficient the house is. Keep in mind that older homes can be more costly to heat and cool.
- Was there a change in price? If a house’s asking price was lowered, proceed with caution—there may be a reason why it’s not selling. However, sometimes a new asking price simply indicates that the owner’s getting impatient to sell.
Can’t make the open house? No problem. Simply email or call the listing agent to get answers to the above questions.
Local real estate agent earns e-PRO® Certification
Jennifer Avery of NextHome Realty Select successfully completed the e-PRO® Certification Program and was awarded the e-PRO® Certification, the official technology certification program offered by the National Association of Realtors® in early February 2015.
Jennifer joined more than 30,000 real estate professionals who have earned NAR’s e-PRO® certification and dedicated their time and effort towards learning how to use the latest social media technologies to create an online presence and reach today’s hyper-connected consumers.
Working together with the Social Media Marketing Institute, NAR redesigned the e-PRO® curriculum to better meet the challenges of today’s real estate market. The new e-PRO® program expands an agent’s real estate technology skills and helps them connect with consumers online via social media, email marketing, and web site promotion.
“Over nine out of 10 recent buyers began their real estate search online,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “With an increasing number of consumers turning to social media and online technology throughout their home search, it is essential for today’s agents to have the knowledge and training necessary to connect with these consumers online.”
Social media is evolving every day so it is vital that Realtors embrace the new technology and online resources that have become an integral part to the home buying and selling process. Agents who earn e-PRO® are dedicated to making the most of today’s social media and technology to help consumers with their real estate needs, whatever they may be.
“This online technology has proven to be an amazing tool and differentiator for me in the real estate industry. It has really helped set my marketing apart from the rest and bring added value to my sellers and buyers,” exclaims Jennifer.
For more information about e-PRO®, visit ePRONAR.com or contact Jennifer Avery of NextHome Realty Select.
Terrazzo making a comeback
Even if you’ve never heard the word, you’ve probably seen terrazzo before. A popular flooring material in the 70s, this composite material is usually made from scraps of marble, glass and granite that are set into resin.
No longer relegated to hospital and school floors, terrazzo is making its way into modern homes. Because it’s manmade, this versatile material can be found in almost any color, and depending on the size of the chips of stone, can be as subtle or audacious as you want.
If you want to integrate terrazzo into your home, consider using it as a countertop in lieu of granite, or for a shower wall instead of the standard ceramic tiles. If you’re tentative to fully embrace the trend but still want to try it out, terrazzo prints are popping up on all sorts of decorations and furniture, from lamps and coasters to coffee tables and barstools.
If you’re looking for an interesting way to update your home, terrazzo may be the ticket.
The numbers are in: Beth Medved Waller, founder of WHAT MATTERS, remains Warren County’s #1 listing agent in 2018
Warren County, VA — Beth Medved Waller’s new year’s goals for the past decade have always been to remain the top listing agent in Warren County and to spread the word about her favorite nonprofits. She never imagined that in 2018 she would be able to sell the most Warren County listings while also starting her own global 501(c)(3) nonprofit that took her out of the country seven times. “I believe we are all on a journey in life, and if we follow our hearts, even when it means taking leaps of faith that don’t make sense, our lives will be blessed beyond measure and most importantly we’ll be able to bless others in the process.”
Initially worried that people would think she couldn’t be an effective realtor with her nonprofit work and traveling, she laughs when people question her ability to serve her sellers. “Before I head overseas, I tell my clients that I’ll be faster responding to their emails and calls while abroad. When I’m away, I’m not on back-to-back appointments like I used to be the past decade, so I can return calls and emails faster. My phone works better in the remote village that has no electricity (where the new school is located) than it does in Browntown, VA!” Beth also works with a fantastic transaction coordinator based out of the Keller Williams Solutions main office in Manassas, VA to keep her organized and always connected. Both her real estate and nonprofit work are headquartered in the former “Team Waller” office at 27 Cloud Street in downtown Front Royal, which she has converted into a nonprofit center. The building provides office space for the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She also hosts a free community meeting space beside the Daily Grind on Main Street which is a WHAT MATTERS initiative to support downtown Front Royal and residents by providing a comfortable and well-appointed place for groups large and small to meet (or host fundraisers, presentations or networking events) at no cost.
To learn more about how Beth can help with your real estate goals, or to discover more about WHAT MATTERS, please visit her website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give her a call at 540-671-6145. She’d love the opportunity to share her passion for real estate and her gift of negotiating and outside-the-box marketing/strategizing. Her passion for nonprofit work is also a topic she’d love to discuss with anyone interested. She can also be reached by email at email@example.com to start a conversation about you joining in her support efforts to help Light up Life Foundations in Uganda, to book a time to utilize her free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss another current or future WHAT MATTERS Initiative.
BETH Medved Waller
Associate Broker, KW Solutions, Keller Williams Realty
Director, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit
Can you spare $1 to change a life of one of the children in the lyric video below?
Download “What Matters is your Heart” on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon or Google today for $0.99-$1.29. YOU can become a part of dollardreamdownload.com and change lives — one song, one dream, one download at a time! Help me reach my 1 million download goal to support children in Uganda!
Song performed by Herbie Skarbie Kawuma, Lyrics by ME
27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630 | 540-671-6145
Northern Virginia Office:
8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas, VA 20109 | 703-330-2222
Warren County Market Report – December 2018
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for December 2018. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- Volume is down.
- Values are up. (Median Sold Price up at $267,450.)
- Homes are sitting on the market 10 days longer than 2017.
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please just send your request to Jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com.
Resource: 2018 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated December 6, 2018
Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
BPOR, SRS, CNE, ASP, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
firstname.lastname@example.org | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
Climate gentrification: rising temperatures and the urban housing market
Is climate change affecting the real estate market? Without a doubt, the answer to this question is yes. Due to an increasing number of wildfires in the west and major floods along our nation’s coasts, homes in areas affected by climate-related disasters are losing their value. While coastal properties were once worth a fortune, many people no longer want to invest in real estate that could literally end up underwater.
A study by researchers at Harvard University, however, illustrates that climate change is affecting the urban real estate market in a different way. As coastal homes become increasingly vulnerable to flooding, wealthy people are selling waterfront properties and moving into low-income areas that are less susceptible to flooding. As properties at higher elevations appreciate in value, low-income families are priced out and forced to seek more affordable housing elsewhere.
The researchers call this phenomenon climate gentrification and identify a few pathways through which it occurs:
• Superior investment pathway: since waterfront property is no longer a sound investment, property values in wealthy, coastal areas like Miami Beach drop as people invest more in poorer neighborhoods like Little Haiti, thereby driving out existing residents.
• Cost-burden pathway: the cost of making homes resistant to flooding becomes so high that lower-income people move out of coastal and water-locked cities altogether (for instance, people leaving Venice for Italy’s mainland).
• Resilience investment pathway: as cities invest in making housing more resilient to climate-related disasters, property values go up and lower-income households are forced out.
Overall, the study reveals that climate change affects not only our weather but also the values of our homes and the demographics of our cities.