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Market Report: Millennials become buyers as market normalizes

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Eleven years after the real estate crash that triggered a recession, there’s good news: the market appears to have normalized in recent years.

Sales prices have rebounded but are not extreme, and loans are more readily available than in those first few panic-stricken years. Meanwhile, the Millennial generation (ages 22 to 36), are aging into home buying range just as baby boomers age into retirement sales — although that tradeoff has not been fully realized.

Even a steady stream of interest rate increases since 2015 hasn’t dampened the mood — 30-year fixed rates are still in the historically low to average range, hovering between 4 and 5 percent.
Lower inventory of homes for sale and the higher cost of materials and labor means sales prices have risen and conditions have favored sellers; additionally, many homeowners have opted to remain in place, finding it cheaper to renovate or add on rather than sell and find a replacement home.

In fact, in November 2018, the National Association of Realtors said that year-over-year contract signings — an indicator of pending home sales — had dropped for 10 straight months. At the same time, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a rise in rentals, which it expected to continue.

But that doesn’t mean home buying has stalled, either. In fact, opportunities are still plentiful, as are the number of buyers, especially millennials seeking their first homes.

According to Trulia, 21 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 said they plan to buy within the next 12 months.

And in the end, a quarter of a percentage point here or there doesn’t equate to a big difference in the monthly payment — it can be as little as $20 in many cases. According to some forecasters, home prices adjust to accommodate the change. In other words, prices could actually come down a little.

So if you are considering a purchase, 2019 is expected to provide plenty of opportunity.

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Real Estate

Why overpricing your home could be a costly mistake

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Listing your house for a price that’s above its market value is rarely a good idea. Here are three ways overpricing your home can backfire.

1. It scares off potential buyers.
Many buyers will never see your home if your price is too high. Real estate agents won’t bother bringing clients to see your house if they think they have no chance of selling it, and your property won’t show up in online searches if the price is outside the desired range of most buyers.

2. The listing stays up for too long.

The longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original price. Once a listing has been up for a couple months, buyers start to suspect something is wrong with the property. Even if you lower the price, it may be too late to attract interest, and you could end up getting less than the home’s market value.

3. Buyers may have trouble financing the purchase.
Even if you do find interested buyers, they may not get the loan they need for the mortgage if the appraisal shows your home is worth less than the selling price. Under these circumstances, the buyers may not be able to go through with the sale.

Before putting your house on the market, have your agent do a comparative market analysis of your property and use the results as a basis for your asking price.

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Warren County Market Report – April 2019

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

In general summary:

  1. Closed sales are UP by 18% compared to this time last year
  2. Average Median Sold $250,000.
  3. Average Days on Market 84.

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

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

Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
www.jenaveryrealtor.com 

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Real Estate

Interior designer vs. interior decorator: what’s the difference?

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You’ve probably heard the terms interior designer and interior decorator used interchangeably. However, they actually describe two different but similar professions.

Interior designers complete two- or four-year degree programs that involve studying subjects like color theory, architecture, computer-aided design and spatial planning.
They work with architects and contractors to plan and renovate spaces and can be involved in every step of the remodeling process, from drawing up floor plans to adding the final touches.

Interior decorators focus on esthetics. They help transform spaces that are already built by making recommendations about paint colors, furniture styles, lighting and accessories. They’re not required to complete professional training (though many decorators do), and they usually work directly with businesses and homeowners.

Should I hire a designer or a decorator?
If you need help with designs during a renovation, it’s best to go with an interior designer. They’ll help you create a space that serves your specific needs and aligns with your particular tastes. However, if you’re mainly looking to update the appearance of a space, a decorator can help you achieve a whole new look by rearranging and redecorating.

In the end, what matters most is not the job title, but the skills of the designer or decorator in question. Choose a company or professional with a reputation for high-quality designs and expertise in the type of work you’re looking for.

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Real Estate

Common new homeowner mistakes to avoid

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Now that the papers are signed and you’ve finally moved into your new home, it’s time to think about the responsibilities that come with owning property. Here are three mistakes to avoid when you first become a homeowner.

1. Ignoring maintenance and repairs. When you’ve rented for a long time, you may not realize all the work that goes into property upkeep. Be sure to stay on top of routine maintenance tasks — checking smoke alarms, changing furnace filters, inspecting the roof, etc. — from the moment you move in.

2. Making changes too quickly. Give yourself time to get used to your new home before making major renovations or even smaller alterations like painting the walls or redoing the floors. Living in the space will help you figure out what changes need to happen to make it feel more like a home.

3. Taking on repairs yourself. Don’t DIY repairs and renovations that you don’t have professional experience with. Trying to do major repairs on your own — especially ones that involve pipes or wires — can have disastrous results.

Avoiding these pitfalls will help you get the most out of your new house and prevent many headaches down the road.

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Real Estate

Ask the Expert: Buying bank-owned house

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Q: I want to buy a bank-owned house but it needs major work. Do I really have to buy it as-is?

Typically, when you purchase a bank-owned home and the listing says “as-is,” the bank means it. From their perspective, you’re getting a great deal and should expect to have to spruce the place up or make repairs.

But what if the septic system has failed or you find some other major issue?

Rule of thumb: you can ask, but don’t expect much.

If you discover an issue that the bank was previously unaware of, you’ve got a better chance of them either fixing it or giving you a price reduction. In those cases, the bank understands that it’ll have to disclose the issue to other potential buyers and that the bids will likely come in lower as a result.

If everything was disclosed prior to you seeing the property and you simply want to haggle, know that you may be gambling a bit. The bank’s willingness to negotiate will depend on how long the property has been on the market and its location. You won’t find much give for desirable locations that haven’t been listed long.

The good news is that you can truly find some deals. And if you are the owner occupant, meaning that you intend to live in the property, you often get first dibs. Banks often offer properties to owners first and make investors wait about 15 days before they can jump into the bidding.

So don’t be afraid of as-is properties. Consult with your Realtor and contractor to determine the type of work it might need, and if you factor the cost into your purchase price — you might even be able to finance certain repairs in your mortgage — you can find a gem.

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Real Estate

Kitchen cabinets that aren’t white

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For years, many kitchen renovations have focused on white cabinets. While popular, this choice can be uninspiring and often difficult to keep clean. Here are three ideas for your kitchen cabinets that will stand the test of time but have a bit more personality than white alone.

1. Blonde wood
Naturally pale wood combines the fresh, airy feel of white cabinets with the warm, homey feel of a cottage kitchen. Think light-colored Nordic influences rather than the dark, lacquered stains from decades past.

2. Gray

Gray cabinets are great for kitchens because they’re neutral but add the kind of visual interest that you can’t get with white. No matter your style, there’s a gray that will work for your kitchen. Go for an almost-white tone for an unexpected twist or try a charcoal hue for a more dramatic, elegant look.

3. Two-tone
There’s no rule that says all cabinets have to be same. Double down on the gray trend by painting the lowers charcoal and the uppers a pale gray to make your ceilings look higher. Or experiment with color by pairing a bold-hued island with natural wood cabinets.

Choosing one of these stylish options will add character to your kitchen in a way that white cabinets alone can’t.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

May
18
Sat
10:00 am 33rd Annual Virginia Wine & Craf... @ Downtown Front Royal
33rd Annual Virginia Wine & Craf... @ Downtown Front Royal
May 18 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
33rd Annual Virginia Wine & Craft Festival @ Downtown Front Royal
Wine and craft lovers unite!  The 33rd Annual Virginia Wine & Craft Festival, presented by Jack Evans Chevrolet, will be held on Saturday, May 18th in historic downtown Front Royal, Virginia from 10 am –[...]
10:00 am Clay House Planter Workshop @ Explore Art & Clay
Clay House Planter Workshop @ Explore Art & Clay
May 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Clay House Planter Workshop @ Explore Art & Clay
Come in and build a House Shaped Planter with us! Arline J. Link will provide all instruction. $35 all supplies included.
May
19
Sun
all-day Local 5K for Lyme Awareness Month @ Anytime Fitness
Local 5K for Lyme Awareness Month @ Anytime Fitness
May 19 all-day
Local 5K for Lyme Awareness Month @ Anytime Fitness
It’s Lyme Awareness month and one of your local Lyme patients has organized a 5K to support Lyme awareness and research! Lauren Nicole is no stranger to Lyme disease. She has personally dealt with Lyme[...]
May
20
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
May 20 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]
May
21
Tue
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes: In and Ou... @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes: In and Ou... @ Art in the Valley
May 21 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes: In and Out of the Studio @ Art in the Valley
This four week course will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance. During the first class[...]
May
22
Wed
6:30 pm Rose Wine Class @ Element
Rose Wine Class @ Element
May 22 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Rose Wine Class @ Element
Join us for Rose’ Wine Class & Tasting at Element on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:30pm led by our own Caitlin Love! APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY ROSE! Come join us as we celebrate the[...]
May
23
Thu
9:30 am Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
Explore your painting potential by creating unique compositions. We’ll find out what motivates you to paint and how to express your point-of-view on canvas. Learn methods of developing a composition and how to best use[...]
1:30 pm Portraits for Beginners: People ... @ Art in the Valley
Portraits for Beginners: People ... @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Portraits for Beginners: People and Pets @ Art in the Valley
Learn to create realistic portraits of people and pets. Students will practice drawing and painting techniques used in portraiture. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Students are required to bring their own reference[...]
3:00 pm The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
May 23 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
Have you been thinking about a career change? Are you nearing graduation and not quite sure what you want to do, or what your next step should be? Are you a parent of a student[...]
6:00 pm Painting the Landscape with Oils... @ Art in the Valley
Painting the Landscape with Oils... @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Painting the Landscape with Oils: Late Spring @ Art in the Valley
This class provides a hands-on experience for painting with oils. Students will focus on techniques for painting landscapes. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Students are recommended to bring their own reference photos[...]