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How to choose a home inspector

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While most prospective homebuyers know not to skip the home inspection, finding the right person for the job can be a challenge. Here are some tips to make the process simpler.

Confirm you can attend the inspection
Hire an inspector who’ll agree to have you with them throughout the inspection. This way you can ask questions as they come up and you can point out areas you’re concerned about.

Ask for a sample report
Looking at previous reports will give you a sense of how thorough and clear the inspector is. Make sure the reports clearly identify the defects, explain why they matter and how to fix them. If they refuse to provide samples, move on.

Ask for references and find reviews
Contact their references and look up the inspector on review websites. Talk to friends and relatives to get recommendations and visit local forums to see what consumers are saying about the inspectors you’re considering.


Check certifications
Home inspectors are unregulated in 18 states as well as in the District of Columbia. However, national organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) provide nationwide certification, as does the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

Ask what isn’t included
What’s involved in an inspection varies between jurisdictions, so find out what won’t be included and ask the inspector how to assess the condition of the things they won’t be looking at. Some may offer ancillary inspections, for a fee.

Finally, make sure to thoroughly read the report. Ask the inspector to clarify anything you don’t understand, as this could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

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Big bargains lurk in ghostly properties

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If you think Lizzie Borden with her ax is scary, imagine you are the real estate agent trying to sell her house. Haunted houses can be a tough sell, but some buyers can make a killing on a home with a creepy past.

According to a 2019 poll by YouGov, 45 percent of people they interviewed believe in ghosts and the same number believe in demons. While you do have to disclose a leaky roof, you may not have to disclose a ghost when selling. The law firm Kious, Rodgers, Barger, Holder & King, PLLC writes that in Minnesota and Massachusetts, it is unnecessary to disclose if the house is haunted by paranormal activity or the supernatural; in New Jersey, a seller must disclose it only if asked; and in New York, a seller is not obligated to share the information with a buyer unless they have already shared the opinion with the public at large.

Nonetheless, if confronted with a nice home with an icky history, would you buy it?

What if a great townhome was on the California market in a fantastic neighborhood at a stunningly low price with a highly motivated seller? But there is a reason the price is so low–this is the townhome of Nicole Brown Simpson, whose gruesome murder was tried in the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. Would you buy it? Someone did and the house sold for $200,000 off the asking price.
It’s not just violence and spirits that can stigmatize a home. In some states, it must be disclosed if a house for sale once had a methamphetamine lab, mainly because former customers could drop by or chemicals could remain. Even homeowners in a lot of debt can cause some stigma when they sell because the new owners could be targeted by debt collectors.


Some stigma can be enduring. Homeowners around one stigmatized property actually changed the name of the street. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult killed themselves awaiting an alien spacecraft. You won’t find their notorious address anymore and you won’t find the $1.6 million home either. The landlord tried to sell, but could not. The lender finally sold it for less than $700,000 and it was bulldozed.

According to real estate consultant Bell Anderson & Saunders, a buyer of a stigmatized home can expect from 10 to 25 percent off-market prices.

Some buyers make a name on homes with a creepy past. The legend of Lizzie Borden lives on in her home at 92 Second St., Fall River, Mass., now a bed and breakfast. And you’ll feel very cozy when you read the motto: Where everyone is treated like family. Oh, wait…

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Virginia’s housing market inches closer to more “normal” conditions 

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According to the September 2021 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, for the first time in more than a year, sales activity in Virginia slowed in September compared to the prior year.

There were 13,079 home sales in Virginia in September 2021, down 2% from September 2020, when sales were surging due to pent-up demand from the abrupt market slowdown during the spring. “While sales are down year-over-year, it’s important to remember that the market last September was unusually active,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. “Slower sales activity does indicate a cooling in the market, but it also suggests that we’re seeing more typical seasonality in the market.”

The cooling of the market can also be detected in the moderating price growth. While home prices continue to rise in Virginia, the pace of price increases has slowed down from the frenzied growth of the past year. At $350,000, the September median sales price in the commonwealth was about $20,000 higher than last September, a 6.1% increase.

There was about $5.6 billion of sold volume throughout Virginia in September, up 3.4% from last year, an increase of about $200 million statewide. September’s growth in sold volume represents a notably smaller increase compared to the prior 14 months. Virginia’s inventory of available homes also saw a shift, rising 1.8% from August to September. This is the first uptick between these two months in more than five years.


“It would be impossible for the housing market to keep up the frantic pace we’ve been seeing over the past 12 months,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2021 President Beth Dalton. “What we’re seeing is a slow return to a more ‘normal’ housing market, and not a big change in home buyer demand.”

The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full September 2021 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate-related industries through the organization’s website.

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Warren County Market Report – September 2021

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

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are DOWN -0.0%.
  2. New Pending DOWN -20.9%.
  3. Closed sales are DOWN -27.1%
  4. Average Median Sold $300,950
  5. Average Days on Market 20

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

Resource: September 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated October 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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Virginia REALTORS® releases 2022 Economic & Housing Market Forecast 

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Virginia’s largest trade association has released its 2022 Economic & Housing Market Forecast, which looks at what is ahead for the commonwealth.

Overall, the job and unemployment forecasts reflect the fact that our economy is still being driven by COVID. By the end of 2022, it is expected that job totals and the statewide unemployment rate will be back close to pre-pandemic levels.

“While home sales activity in 2021 will surpass even the strong performance of 2020, next year will be a little different, due primarily to rising affordability challenges, continued low inventory, and a slight uptick in mortgage rates,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. Prices will continue to rise in 2022, though the rate of price growth will slow as demand softens a bit and inventory expands, making it a more typical year for price appreciation.

  • Total Jobs in Virginia: In 2022, we forecast 2% more jobs will be added than in 2021. The pace of job growth will accelerate next year, and total employment is expected to hit pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
  • Unemployment: Virginia’s unemployment rate is expected to continue improving in 2022, falling to 3% by the end of the year, half a percentage point lower than 2021.
  • Home Sales: Our projections are for a total of about 148,600 home sales statewide in 2021, which is up 6.2% from 2020. We are forecasting that sales activity will be down by just about a tenth of a percent in 2022.
  • Home Prices: While we predict the 2021 median home price in Virginia to increase by 9.2% over 2020, the rate of price growth will slow in 2022, with prices up by about 4.1%.
  • New Housing Permits: We are forecasting that a total of about 37,000 new housing units will be built in Virginia in 2021, up 10.3% compared to 2020. We predict a modest 0.5% rise in 2022, reflecting longer-term constraints to new housing construction.
  • Mortgage Rates: It is expected that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate will be 3.1% in December of 2021 and will rise to 4.0% by the end of 2022.

“As Virginia’s economy continues to improve, Virginia REALTORS® members continue to provide professional expertise to home buyers and sellers that are navigating this changing housing market,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2021 President Beth Dalton.


Click here for more details on the Virginia REALTORS® 2022 Economic & Housing Market Forecast.


About Virginia REALTORS®

Virginia REALTORS® (previously known as the Virginia Association of REALTORS®) is the largest trade association in Virginia, representing 36,000 REALTORS® engaged in the residential and commercial real estate business. Virginia REALTORS® serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners and represents the interests of property owners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginiarealtors.org or follow Virginia REALTORS® on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

NOTE: The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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Some furniture does more than one thing

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The kitchen table serves as both a workstation and a Lego table. But that’s not really multipurpose furniture.

Multipurpose or multifunctional furniture are pieces that can be used in multiple ways.

Whether you live in a small apartment or simply want to maximize your space to get more use out of it, multipurpose furniture could be the way to go.

What does it look like? Consider wall beds and fold-down desks, for starters. A rotating wall bed can pivot out from behind a bookshelf, allowing the items on the shelf to remain in place.


A drop-down table attached to a wall in the kitchen can provide shelf space when down and an eating area when extended out. The sections of a modular sofa can be placed about the room.

In the living room, multifunctional furniture can be a simple sleeper sofa or something more exotic, like a sofa that transforms into a bunk bed.

It might look like a coffee table that can transform into a dining table. Consider a home cinema unit that doubles as wall art when not in use. Or a console table that can become a desk.

It also includes clever storage ideas, like a storage bed — not storage shoved underneath the bed, but actual space under the mattress, like a big padded trunk. Or a mirror with hidden storage. Of course, storage benches and footstools are still popular as well.

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Virginia’s housing market begins seeing some “typical” patterns after an upended year

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According to the August 2021 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, Virginia’s housing market has begun to exhibit the seasonality that characterizes a typical housing market, a pattern that was upended last year during the pandemic.

Home sales were up over last year’s strong August totals, while sales dipped slightly between July and August, which is typical of a late summer market. In total, there were 14,443 home sales in Virginia in August 2021, a 5.1% increase over last year. The dip in sales between July and August was 4.2%.

Virginia’s statewide median home sales price in August was $355,000, a 7.6% increase over the August 2020 median price, a gain of $25,000. In total, there was approximately $6.2 billion in sold volume in Virginia last month, an influx of about $700 million from a year ago, representing a 12.6% gain.

“As housing markets around the state begin to return to somewhat normal seasonal cycles, we should expect activity to cool this fall,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD.


One of the biggest challenges in the market continues to be a lack of available inventory. However, the rate of inventory declines has begun to slow. At the end of August 2021, there were 20,363 active listings statewide, which is 10.6% lower than the supply level at the end of August 2020. This represents the smallest year-over-year supply drop Virginia’s housing market has had in more than two years.

“Inventory has expanded somewhat in recent months, which has offered buyers more options,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2021 President Beth Dalton. “However, supply is still at historically low levels and is far below what is needed.”

The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full August 2021 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate-related industries through the organization’s website.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Oct
28
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
29
Fri
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 29 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
6:00 pm Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Oct 29 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 30 @ 9:00 pm
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club TRUNK OR TREAT, in Front Royal, on October 29th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
30
Sat
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 30 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
1:00 pm Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club FEED THE HOMELESS/TRUNK OR TREAT on October 30th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as Crown[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]