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Home renovations that offer the best resale value

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Homeowners can use renovations to improve their quality of living, but not all improvements will provide the same return on investment at sale, according to USA Today.

Often, the best returns will come from bringing a substandard home in line with other homes in the area rather than making further improvements to ones that are already the biggest and best.

Basic projects like attic insulation can recoup 116 percent of the cost and more expensive ones like installing a new HVAC, water heater, or windows could be strong choices as well. Importantly, current homeowners will also enjoy the benefits of lower heating and cooling bills before selling the house.

Refreshing the exterior of a home is one of the best ways to improve the curb appeal for a potential buyer. Inexpensive pressure washing and painting projects can remove the aging effects of dirt and mold and make focal areas like the front door shine.

Landscaping, meanwhile, carries over 100 percent return on its cost and can include planting seasonal flowers as well as trimming shrubs and mulching beds. Adding stone veneer or replacing the garage door will both demand over 90 percent return as well.

Inside the home, painting is one of the best bang-for-your-buck improvements that a home seller can make with an estimated 109 percent return. Choose neutral colors that will go with anything, such as gray, to appeal to a broader group of prospective buyers.

Minor updates to bathrooms can have a 102 percent return and can be as simple as regrouting tile, replacing toilets, updating sinks and fixtures, and recaulking the shower. These projects are often simple enough to do without professionals for an even more significant return.

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Real Estate

Warren County Market Report – December 2019

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Start preparing NOW for the spring market. These numbers are incredible!

Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for December 2019. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary – UP UP UP:

  1. New Listings are UP 34.1% in December 2019.
  2. New Pending UP 36.1%.  We list them and they are going under contract fast. 157 Active Listings.
  3. Closed sales are UP 42.9%.
  4. Average Median Sold $239,500 dipped compared to this time last year.  However, after a closer look, the sold price only leveled back out to our July/August 2019 numbers.  I predict they will climb back up in January.
  5. Average Days on Market 56.  In my opinion, anything under 60 days is great!

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

Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated January 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

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Real Estate

6 creative ways to use your attic

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Are you thinking about converting your attic into usable living space? If so, here are six things you may want to do with it.

1. A master suite
The sloped ceiling is perfect for creating a comfy bedroom you’ll love to curl up in.

2. An office
If you work from home, the attic is likely isolated enough from the rest of the house to provide you with a distraction-free work space.

3. A playroom
If you don’t have a basement, let the kids use the attic as their space to hang out, study and play.

4. A luxurious bathroom
Do you need another bathroom in your busy household? If so, converting your attic may be the solution.

5. A yoga or meditation space
If you yearn for a quiet space to call your own, use the attic to create a relaxing at-home studio.

6. A guest suite
Give your guests a quiet space to relax when they come to visit. If you have the room for it, you could even install an adjoining bathroom.

In short, with a little imagination, your attic can be used to create almost any type of room. Just make certain to adequately insulate the walls and to install a staircase. This ensures that the space will be comfortable and accessible for the entire family.

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To bid or not to bid: red flags homebuyers shouldn’t ignore

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If you’re buying a house, getting a home inspection before signing on the dotted line is a must. But even before the inspector arrives, there are several things that should give you pause. Here are some potential problems to look out for.

Water damage
Fresh paint and carpeting can easily mask signs of water damage. Try to spot bubbling or irregularities in the paint, as these can be indicators of a problem.

Rot and mold are other signs but may also be hidden. A moisture detector is therefore a must when inspecting a home.

Infestation
There aren’t always obvious signs of a pest infestation as animals and insects can hide inside walls, under carpeting and even beneath floorboards.

Inspectors will check the exterior of the home as closely as possible for any potential entrances.

Roof issues
Issues with the roof may be missed if simply viewing it from the ground. Prior to the home inspection, it’s a good idea to ask the seller how old the roof is, as an old one is likely to have issues that need fixing.

HVAC issues
Inspectors may not run a full test of the HVAC system. The age of the system, however, is usually a good indicator of its state. In addition, inspecting visible air ducts will usually give you a good idea of the system’s overall state.

While inspectors tend to provide very thorough evaluations, there are things that should give you pause even without one. While not all of these things are deal breakers, they’re all worth being aware of when negotiating a price for your new home.

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How millennials are changing the housing market

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Millennials are increasingly looking to become homeowners. Here are four trends that are gaining in popularity as more of them enter the housing market.

1. Intergenerational living
It’s increasingly common for millennials to live with their parents, even after they’ve started a family of their own. Laneway homes and basement suites are very popular as they allow kids to buy into the home and eventually take over the main living area. This has the advantage of letting parents downsize without moving.

2. The sharing economy
Renting out part of their homes allows millennials to maintain their quality of life while making it possible for them to invest in real estate. Houses with areas that can be rented out easily are thus in high demand.

3. Move-in ready homes
Millennials approach the housing market with limited financial resources and with a concern for their work-life balance. Many of them aren’t willing to spend time or money on renovating a house or buying new appliances.

4. Accessible neighborhoods
The importance of location isn’t new, but millennials tend to value living in areas that are within walking distance to their place of work. The proximity of shops and public transit are also important.

Developers, investors and anyone intending to buy or sell a home should keep these trends in mind, as they’re likely to become more influential in the coming years.

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3 times you don’t need a 20% down payment

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Saving up for a 20 percent down payment, while preferred, isn’t always the best strategy for buying a home. Here are three times you shouldn’t bother with it.

1. Prices are going up fast. You’re interested in a house selling for $500,000, but you only have $50,000 saved up. You can wait until you’ve saved the full 20 percent or buy now and pay insurance on the mortgage. The problem is that if prices go up, that 20 percent down payment will also increase. In these cases, it may be more advantageous to buy now.

2. You need the cash. Sometimes a problem with the house only becomes apparent after the purchase is finalized. Or, you may have planned to make some repairs or update the appliances. In such cases, putting down less than 20 per cent lets you deal with these expenses instead of having to take out an additional loan.

3. You don’t want to wait. If you’re starting a family, it may be worth it to pay insurance on your mortgage to ensure that you don’t miss out on a great home.

Being flexible with your down payment could pay off. It’s a matter of considering the market, your future plans and your current needs.

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3 reasons to live in your new home before renovating it

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If you’ve recently bought a fixer-upper, you may be eager to start renovating right away. However, while basic plumbing and electric upgrades should be made as soon as possible, here’s why you may want to hold off on any non-essential improvements.

1. You could change your mind
Your decision to remodel should be informed by day-to-day experience. This is because living in your new house is likely to provide you with additional information about it, thereby altering some or all of your original plans.

2. You should take a break
Starting a renovation project involves hiring contractors, securing permits, choosing materials and more. Plus, some projects can take over a year to complete.

Given that buying a home can be as demanding as a part-time job, it may be better to give yourself time to recuperate your energy before you make any upgrades.

3. You should plan carefully
As you continue to live in your new home, you’re bound to discover additional things that need work. It often makes more financial sense to complete a large number of renovations at once rather than working through them one by one.

Taking the time to live in your new home before upgrading it will help you make better choices, save you money and allow you to better plan your renovation projects.

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Upcoming Events

Jan
18
Sat
11:00 am Kooky Chefs Cook the World @ Samuels Public Library
Kooky Chefs Cook the World @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Kooky Chefs Cook the World @ Samuels Public Library
Alaska. What do people eat in the snowy, frozen state of Alaska? Come to Kooky Chefs to find out and help prepare some Alaskan dishes. For ages 8 and up. Registration begins December 18.
12:00 pm Peter Muhlenberg Commemoration @ The Historic Court House in Woodstock
Peter Muhlenberg Commemoration @ The Historic Court House in Woodstock
Jan 18 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Peter Muhlenberg Commemoration @ The Historic Court House in Woodstock
Program Moderator: The Rt. Rev. Larry W. Johnson Call to Order: Larry Johnson Posting of the Colors: James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard Pledge of Alliance: Dale Carpenter,[...]
3:00 pm Open a Book @ Samuels Public Library
Open a Book @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Open a Book @ Samuels Public Library
The award-winning team at Rainbow Puppets has created a new musical review that shares the joy of reading through music, dance, puppetry, and story-telling. It’s a travelling early reading program designed around our new children’s book. And thanks[...]
Jan
20
Mon
9:00 am Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast @ Esbie Baptist Church
Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast @ Esbie Baptist Church
Jan 20 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast @ Esbie Baptist Church
Monday, January 20, 2020, starting at 9:00am, Esbie Baptist Church will be having their annual MLK Prayer Breakfast. The speaker of the hour will be Rev. Dr. Donald Reid, Pastor of Mt. Parah Baptist Church[...]
Jan
21
Tue
2:30 pm Inspiring speaker Rodney Smith t... @ Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy
Inspiring speaker Rodney Smith t... @ Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy
Jan 21 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Inspiring speaker Rodney Smith to visit R-MA @ Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy
On Tuesday, January 21st, at 2:30 pm, in Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), the public is invited to be inspired by Rodney Smith, a man who has chosen to make a difference in the[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 21 @ 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, January 7 – Based on books about Balto, we will learn more about service dogs this week. For ages[...]
Jan
22
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 22 @ 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, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
23
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 23 @ 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, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
24
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Services Meeting at Able Forces @ Able Forces
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
Jan
25
Sat
11:00 am Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
A Story Ballet. Join us in a celebration of classic literature through dance! The whole family will enjoy this ballet performance, presented by the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet.