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Real Estate

The seller’s inspection: Inspecting a home before listing can be a good move



You take good care of your home and when you are ready to sell, why have it inspected? After all, the buyer will have an inspection before the deal.

Should you save the $350 to $500 it costs to have an inspection and hope for the best?

Maybe not. It might well pay for a seller have a home inspection before they list.

Sellers who have owned a home for some years might not recognize problems that have cropped up. If they were to keep their home, they would eventually discover and fix these issues. But, during the sale process, home issues can be a nasty surprise and delay or even kill a deal.

The business of selling a home and buying a new one is tricky enough but when a good offer is on the table, at just the time they are buying a new home, sellers don’t want the deal to fall through. Since most deals are contingent on inspection, a potential buyer can always opt out if their own inspection uncovers issues. That starts the sale process over in a big way, with the seller being forced to address problems and the buyer potentially moving on.

Inspectors take a close look at the home’s inner health in 10 areas: Interior and exterior, structure, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and fireplaces.

These detailed evaluations can identify the kind of problems that are easily fixed, but might cost the seller money and delays after the buyer’s inspection.

On roofs, for example, inspectors study shingles, flashings, roof drainage, skylights and chimneys. A seller might not want to put on a new roof, but repairing the flashings and roof gutters puts your house in a solid light. Buyers might not expect a new roof, but they don’t want to find leaks.

There are a variety of specific things that a home inspection can look for, depending on individual concerns. For example, a radon inspection checks a home for levels of radioactive gas and takes between two and seven days to complete. Termite inspection looks for damage to the wood structures of a home. With homes that have a well for water, well water testing is another option; for homes with a septic or oil tank, examination of those structures may be part of an inspection as well.

A general inspection should consider the condition of the roof, the water pressure and plumbing, electrical outlets and switches, and the crawl space and attic, according to HGTV.


Warren County Market Report – November 2018



Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for November 2018. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. Volume is about the same as last year.
  2. Values are slowly going up.
  3. Homes are selling slightly quicker. (79 DOM)

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please just send your request to

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 | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA |

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Real Estate

Can solar panels increase your home’s value?



You’ve probably heard solar panels can reduce your electricity bill and lead to major savings over time, but can they also increase your home’s resale value? Over the last few years, researchers have discovered that in fact, they do.

While installing solar panels may seem like a costly investment, a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (the Berkeley Lab) found that Americans are willing to pay more for homes that have solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The study estimates that buyers typically pay about four dollars per watt of solar power installed, meaning that a five-kilowatt system can lead to an added value of $20,000. Even given the costs of solar panel installation, the study suggests homeowners end up making money when selling their homes.

It’s less clear whether solar panels add value when homeowners rent solar power systems instead of buying them outright. Because of the upfront costs associated with solar panels, many Americans choose to rent PV systems. These leases often last for 20 years and can make selling your house more complicated. Nonetheless, a 2016 survey by the Berkeley Lab found that leased solar energy systems don’t reduce a home’s overall value and in some cases add value. Overall, real estate experts are finding that in an era when homebuyers are looking to go green, investing in solar panels — whether you buy or lease them — is likely to make your home more valuable.

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Real Estate

Tips for getting your house ready to sell



Decided to sell your house? Before it’s listed, you’ll need to get it in tip-top shape. Here are some tips for making your home appeal to potential buyers so that you can sell it quickly.

Think about curb appeal
First impressions are important and you only get one. Check that the light fixture nearest your door works and is clean so that visitors always have a good view of your home, even in the evening. Keep your grass cut and plants tidy and well maintained.

Remove personal touches
While you may love bold walls, they won’t help you sell your home. Paint every room a light, neutral colour to appeal to the greatest number of people. Remove personal photos and cute pictures your kids drew for you. The goal here is to make your home a blank slate so potential buyers can picture themselves living in it.

Get rid of excess stuff
No matter how long you’ve lived in your home, chances are you’ve acquired stuff. Too much clutter can make even the biggest room feel cramped, so before you list your house, take the time to pack up anything that you won’t need before you move. Clean and organize all your closets to make them look bigger and emphasize storage space.

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Real Estate

Things to disregard when house hunting



When you’re shopping for a house, it’s easy to be distracted by things that won’t make a difference in the long term. Here are a few things that you can easily disregard in your search for the perfect house.

Bad decor: don’t worry if the house has dusty pink walls or orange shag carpeting. Look past the cosmetics and make sure the house has what you need — the right number of bathrooms and good-sized rooms. Everything else can be changed.

Chic features: instead of a high-end kitchen or bathroom, look for a house that has a solid foundation with no cracks, a roof that’s in good repair and a heating and cooling system that works efficiently. Once you have all of these things, you can make the kitchen look as fabulous as your budget allows. After all, wouldn’t you rather be choosing your new kitchen counter than shopping for a furnace?

A trendy neighborhood: living within walking distance to your favorite bars and restaurants may sound like the ideal situation, but you shouldn’t buy a house based on this. Instead, find a location in a good school district — a good selling point even if you never plan on having kids.

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Local News

Welcome Next Home Realty to Main Street



The Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce has welcomed another new business to our community. Next Home Realty is located at 210 E. Main St. Front Royal.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, you’ll find useful information about how to choose the “right” property, making an offer, negotiating, financing, mortgage rates, moving, and everything involved in making an informed home buying decision in today’s market on their website.

If you currently own property and are thinking about selling it, their website contains information about preparing your home for sale, selecting the right agent, pricing your home appropriately, marketing it effectively, going through the inspection process, and receiving a timely market evaluation. Check out Next Home Realty if you need more information on anything, please feel free to contact their office at 540-667-9097.

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Real Estate

National Association of Realtors economic/research specialist to be speaking at LFCC



WHAT MATTERS Warren – Mark your calendars for THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29th, to hear from a National Association of Realtors economic/research specialist at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown (173 Skirmisher Lane Middletown, VA).

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from one of the country’s TOP REAL ESTATE EXPERTS as he answers “How’s the Market?” at the Shenandoah Valley Real Estate Market & Economic Summit sponsored by the Blue Ridge Association of Realtors.  Learn insight from speaker Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®.

Yun will present a 12-24 month economic forecast of the national level in addition to a hyper-local forecast of the Shenandoah Valley real estate market.  Anyone who is thinking of buying/selling, investors, and members of the real estate industry are encouraged to attend.

Doors Open at 8:00AM for registration and the presentation runs from 9:00 to 11:00AM.  Following Dr. Yun, leaders from our local Economic Development Authorities will present updates from Frederick County, Warren County, and Winchester City (including commentary on Amazon’s recent announcement).

Cost is $15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door, with FREE admission for BRAR Members.  For Reservations or more information, call 540-667-2606. This is a nonprofit event and all proceeds will benefit the United Way and the Blue Ridge Association of REALTORS Scholarship Fund.


Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®. He oversees and is responsible for a wide range of research activity for the association including NAR’s Existing Home Sales statistics, Affordability Index, and Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. He regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1.3 million REALTOR® members.

Dr. Yun creates NAR’s forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, among them the Blue Chip Council and the Wall Street Journal Forecasting Survey. He also participates in the Industrial Economists Discussion Group at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. He appears regularly on financial news outlets, is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States, and has testified before Congress. Dr. Yun has appeared as a guest on CSPAN’s Washington Journal and is a regular guest columnist on the Forbes website and The Hill, an “inside the beltway” publication on public affairs.

Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.


Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event?

Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren/Town Tip videos post on Facebook and YouTube. They are also shared with Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for Royal Examiner Email Alerts HERE and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”

Visit “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit,  WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or


WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that she started this year to enable people to have the benefit of a tax deduction for their donations through her fundraising matches.

Here is the Current Match Campaign for the children of Bunyade school project.

WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by her real estate business (THANK YOU CLIENTS AND SUPPORTERS for making that possible!).  Every cent donated goes to the cause.

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit

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