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Four key questions to ask during an open house

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To get the most out of open houses, always ask the listing agent these four questions:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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For Baby Boomers, it is time to make a profit, save headaches

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Baby Boomers (aged 54 to 74) are holding on to their beloved homes, but selling and downsizing now could not only save a lot of headaches, it could also make a tidy profit.

Interest rates are low with the national average rate hovering around 3.6% to 3.9%. Buyers are plentiful. In most areas, there are more buyers than houses for sale. That means a great house for sale could snag a great price.

One option for downsizing is condo living, which can bring a host of benefits to retired Boomers.

Condo retirement communities offer a community where people interact and make new friends.

Some have parties and even social events for people from the same area. And, you can admire the landscaping without having to mow and trim.

A condo in the city brings the excitement of shopping and entertainment within walking distance. Or, an Uber is just a click away. No more commutes.

Selling that big home and buying a smaller home can add to your nest egg and, if you want, bring you closer to the kids. It’s also a good way to bring the pets along. Along the way, downsizers save big on smaller utility and maintenance bills.

One other consideration: It is always easier to finance a home before retirement. If you have the will and the way, make your move while the market is perfect.

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Real Estate

Warren County Market Report – February 2020

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New this month we are adding some industry tips from the experts! Enjoy real estate market update from Jen Avery, lender tips from Jim Gordon, closing & title tips from Jennifer Gordon, and insurance tips from Ellen Aders!

Market Update

February was yet again a very strong month. Closed sales up 100%, sellers are closing their sales at higher dollar values than last year, and the closings are happening faster than last February as well! Weather and interest rates have definitely been positive influences.

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

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are DOWN -3.6%.
  2. New Pending UP 39.1%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 100%.
  4. Average Median Sold $265,000. 26.1% increase over last year.
  5. Average Days on Market 57 compared to 85 last year.

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

Resource: 2020 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated March 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


Lender Tip

DOs & DON’Ts For Borrowers During Loan Processing
You want your loan approved. So do we. Here is a list of tips to improve your chances. While it’s usually best to avoid the actions below, we understand everyone’s circumstances are different. Please contact your loan officer with any questions about what is best for you.

Generally, DON’T:

  • Quit or Change Your Job
  • Allow Inquiries on Your Credit Report
  • Taking on Additional Debt
  • Co-Signing on Loans
  • Changing Bank Accounts or Transferring Money

Make Sure you DO:

  • Keep Paystubs
  • Pay on Time
  • Contact Your Loan Officer with Questions

Jim Gordon, Loan Officer
NMLS ID# 1728615

Alcova
Phone: 540.542.6133  | Cell: 540.729.3645
jgordon@alcova.comalcova.com/jgordon


Closing & Title Tip

Even if a survey isn’t required for closing, it’s always a good idea as a new home buyer to get their own survey. It will show you your land’s corners & boundary lines in case you want to do improvements like a deck or add a pool for fun or put up a fence for the kids or dogs to enjoy their new home and yard.

Jennifer Compton
Blue Ink Original

Phone: 540.635.9845 |  www.blueinkoriginal.com
425 North Royal Avenue
Front Royal, VA 22630


Insurance Tip

Spring is here and for those of us who live in the Shenandoah Valley, we love the budding trees! But, trees cause some of the biggest frustrations when it comes to insurance and claims. That’s because if your NEIGHBOR’S tree falls on YOUR property, causing damage to YOUR house or YOUR fence, the damage is covered by YOUR homeowners insurance, not your neighbor’s. That’s right! Your deductible applies and the claim is filed under your policy. So, be a Good Neighbor and maintain your trees!

Ellen Aders, CLU, LUTCF, LTCP
State Farm AGENT

Phone: 540.635.3336 |  ellen.aders.r5ef@statefarm.com
23 Church Street
Front Royal, Virginia 22630

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Town Talk: Meet Chad Pangle, Whitetail Properties

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Chad Pangle was born and raised in northwest Virginia in the small town of Strasburg. Hard work, hunting, and outdoor life have always been a way of life for him.  He grew up fishing the Shenandoah River and hunting along the Blue Ridge Mountains. As a boy, he spent summers on his grand-parents small farm. He has lived and worked in this area for over 35 years.

For the past 12 years, Chad owned and operated a concrete construction business as well as a real estate investment company. He is passionate about my relationship with God, his family, the real estate business, and hunting trophy deer. He is blessed to be supported by his fiancé, Jaclynn and fifteen-year-old son, Cayden. Chad believes God clearly led him to this opportunity with Whitetail Properties and he is eager to help people find their dream property.

Watch this Royal Examiner video and get to know Chad Pangle.

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How to spot a walkable neighborhood

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Walkable neighborhoods are increasingly popular, especially as more millennials enter the housing market. These communities can be safely and conveniently navigated by foot and are often located close to transit and bike paths. Here’s how to spot one.

Walkability checklist
When determining if a neighborhood is walkable, first and foremost, be on the lookout for the following:

* Walking room. Look for wide and well-maintained sidewalks. These typically indicate that people in the area frequently walk.

* Ease of crossing. Confirm that crossing the streets is safe for pedestrians. Is it easy to see oncoming cars? Are there traffic lights or signage?

* Local driving habits. Evaluate the flow of traffic in the area and how drivers respond to surrounding foot traffic.

* Clear safety rules. Confirm that the area is safe for you and your children. School crossings with plenty of signage are a good indicator.

* Pleasantness. Do you enjoy walking in the area? Is there sufficient greenery? Is it clean, safe and well lit?

Places to walk to
The second component of a walkable neighborhood is that it has places to walk to. At a minimum, there should be access to basic necessities like grocery stores and pharmacies. The presence of retail stores, restaurants and other services is also key, as it indicates that there’s an active community and strongly suggests that the area is pedestrian friendly.

Finally, proximity to public transit means you’re likely to get to work easily and may be able to forgo using your car entirely.

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Meet Perry and Holly Leach from A&P Builders

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Mike McCool, our publisher, stopped by the offices of Perry and Holly Leach on Friday, February 28th, to thank them for their support and to get a sneak peek at the Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Company.

A & P Builders, LLC is a diversified Class A remodeling company and was established in March of 2000, serving the Shenandoah Valley.

Perry and Holly are committed to providing you with the highest level of service, so you’ll always choose them for your remodeling needs. Remodeling can be intrusive and inconvenient in your daily life, so they want to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible for you. They genuinely care about your project and your experience, and it shows.

Watch this short video with Perry and Holly; find out about their company A&P Builders and what they do:

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DIY or don’t: tips for your next home renovation

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While a number of home projects can be completed by the average DIYer, others should be left to the professionals. When deciding whether you should do it yourself or delegate, ask yourself these questions:

Do I have the skills?
If you can’t confidently say that you know what you’re doing, hire a professional.

Do I have the tools?
If the job requires special gear, think twice. Purchasing equipment is expensive and certain power tools and machines may not be easy to use for a novice.

Do I have the time?
You may be capable of completing the renovation, but if it takes too much of your personal time, it may not be worth it.

In general, cosmetic upgrades can be successfully completed by those without much experience. However, any renovation that involves plumbing, electrical work or the structure of your home, should be left to the professionals.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Mar
31
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Mar 31 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
1
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 1 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
Apr
2
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 2 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
3
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
4
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
2:00 pm Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
7
Tue
10:00 am Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Apr 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Focus on Health Employment & Education Fair @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Two sessions: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Different vendors at each session. Held in the Science and Health Professions Building at LFCC’s Middletown Campus. Contact Taylor Luther for more[...]