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Warren County Market Report – March 2020

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The COVID-19 situation has been a challenge to the real estate industry, but so far so good.  Extra care has been taken when showing properties.  Virtual tours are more valuable than ever to help sell properties before a purchaser even steps foot into a property.  Thankfully, real estate is still moving.

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

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 28.4%.
  2. New Pending DOWN -11.9%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 12%.
  4. Average Median Sold $261,525
  5. Average Days on Market 63

*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 April 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

Mortgage Rates at Near Historic Lows!

The combination of low mortgage rates and rising prices in most areas can create great opportunities. At the very least, this is a great time to ask questions and access potentials. Range of possibilities include – purchasing a new home, refinancing, or accessing cash from the equity in your property.

Jim Gordon, Loan Officer
NMLS ID# 1728615

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


Insurance Tip: The Shocking Facts on Lightning, and How to Strike Back

Lightning can be destructive, but most damage can also be prevented with these steps.

  • Install surge protection devices.
  • Hire a professional.

Installing a lightning protection system is not a do-it-yourself task due to all of the intricacies involved in completing the job accurately.

  • Seek certification.

Make sure your professional installer uses only products that bear proof of UL certification. This ensures the equipment complies with national industry standards.

  • Get a second opinion.

If you move into a home with a lightning protection system in place, or you have structural repairs done to your home’s exterior that could compromise your current system, it’s wise to have your system checked out by a third-party independent follow-up inspector to ensure it still properly stands up to strikes.

  • Safeguard yourself.

During a lightning storm, the inside of your home or office is the safest place to be — but you still need to practice precaution, says VanSickle. Don’t touch anything that can conduct electricity, such as:

  • Electrical appliances
  • Metal surfaces, such as a sliding door
  • Anything connected to your plumbing system
  • Anything served by gas lines, such as water heaters, ovens, furnaces and fireplaces
  • Take action in an emergency.

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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Real Estate

Ask the Expert: How to read a mortgage loan estimate

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When applying for a mortgage, one-and-done is not your best approach. You stand to save money if you shop around for the best loan for you, and this means you should know how to decipher the documents that come your way.

A mortgage loan estimate is a three-page form you receive after applying for a mortgage. A lender must provide you with a mortgage loan estimate within three business days of receiving your application — however, be aware that they have not yet approved or denied your loan application.

The form shows you what terms the lender expects to offer if you move forward. If you do move forward with your mortgage application, the lender will ask you for additional financial information. The document includes the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs, as well as information about the estimated costs of taxes and insurance.

It will also indicate whether the loan includes things like a prepayment penalty (for paying the loan off early) or whether the balance could increase even if payments are made on time (negative amortization).



Here are some components to which you should pay close attention:

* Check loan term, purpose, product, and loan type: Located near the top of the form, this information spells out the number of years (term), the purpose of the loan (i.e. purchase), product (such as fixed or variable rate), and loan type (i.e. Conventional, FHA, VA).

* Rate lock. Check whether the rate is locked or whether it can change between now and your closing.

* Prepayment penalty. Note whether the loan includes a penalty for paying it off early. This can cost you thousands.

* Balloon payment. A balloon payment is often considered risky. It’s a large one-time payment made at the end of the loan term. This type of loan usually includes lower payments during the life of the loan, but you need to be financially prepared to make that large payment at the end.

* Estimated monthly payment and estimated taxes, insurance, and assessments. Make sure everything adds up to a number you can pay. Sometimes taxes, insurance, and assessments are held in escrow for you. If not, make sure you have a plan to pay these bills when they arise, because they can be large lump-sum amounts.

* Estimated cash to close. This is cash you’ll need on hand at closing.

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Real Estate

Virginia’s median home sales price jumps nearly 10%

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According to the March 2021 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, the statewide median sales price was $335,000 in March, up 9.8% from a year ago.

Home prices have been rising quickly since last summer, and year-to-date home prices are up in nearly every local market across the commonwealth. This growth has been fueled by strong demand, limited inventory, and extremely low mortgage rates. Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD says, “In the current competitive market, many buyers are engaging in bidding wars, offering over list price, and making a range of concessions to improve their offers.”

There were 11,518 home sales in Virginia in March, about 1,000 more sales than in March 2020, an increase of 9.6%. However, Virginia’s dwindling inventory of available homes could cause a cooldown in the spring market. Supply is very limited across local markets—at the end of March 2021, there were just 15,787 active listings statewide, more than 13,000 fewer active listings than a year ago, a decline of 45.8%.

Going forward, comparing monthly home sales between 2020 and 2021 will be challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic upended the housing market last spring, and low mortgage rates fueled extraordinary demand through the spring and fall. Last year, in March 2020, home sales activity had not yet slowed.


The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full March 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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How to sell your home in a post-pandemic market

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The best way to understand how the real estate market in your area has been affected by the pandemic is to work closely with a realtor. Additionally, if you want to sell your home during this unprecedented time, the following three tips are a good starting point.

1. Market your home online
Showcasing your home on the internet is a must. Here are a few ways you can virtually bring buyers into the space:

• 3D tours. A virtual rendering of your home in 3D allows potential buyers to explore the property at their leisure.
• Video walkthroughs. A pre-recorded video allows you to take buyers on a guided tour. You can attach it to the listing and share it on social media.
• Showings by proxy. A live online showing of your home will give buyers an opportunity to ask questions and revisit rooms as needed.

In addition, your listing should include quality photos and an expertly written description that highlights the property’s assets.


2. Anticipate buyers’ needs
Since many people now permanently work from home, having or staging a home office can help you attract buyers. Additionally, home gyms are increasingly popular, which makes them another good staging option if you have unused space.

Furthermore, you should be prepared for possible disclosures or amendments to purchase agreements. Some buyers will be hesitant to make an offer without contract protection specific to circumstances related to the pandemic.

3. Maximize outdoor spaces
Outdoor areas to entertain are more important than ever, and homebuyers are increasingly interested in houses with beautiful backyards. Consider installing or updating a deck, putting in a fence, and adding features like a porch swing, fountain, or fire pit. Lastly, draw more attention to your home by boosting its curb appeal with landscaping and upgrades to the driveway, garage, and front door.

Keep in mind that your real estate agent is available to answer any questions and help you make the right moves.

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Warren County Market Report – March 2021 with Jen Avery

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Spring is in action. Buyers are still struggling to ratify contracts, up against bidding wars on many properties. Prices continue to be at an all time high. Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for March 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are DOWN -9.8%.
  2. New Pending UP 24.3%.
  3. Closed sales are DOWN -5.4%
  4. Average Median Sold $291,000
  5. Average Days on Market  31

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

Resource: March 2021  Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated April 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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How tech makes real estate easier

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If your real estate agent flipped through a printed copy of the Multiple Listing Service the last time you bought or sold a house, you might be surprised at how things have changed. Namely, advances in technology have completely upended the market.

Consider this: Most potential buyers have already done a virtual walk-through of a property before ever setting foot in the house. Today’s listings are all online and often include not just photos, but videos and 3-D walk-throughs. And it’s easy to browse online via sites like realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and others.

Here are some other ways that tech has influenced the real estate market:

Offers are made faster. Today’s offers are sent in and negotiated via email, and don’t even require a paper-to-pen signature. E-sign and other software mean you can communicate and make changes to contracts in minutes.


Apply for a mortgage online. Gone are the days of making an appointment to fill out reams of paperwork. Today, the entire process can be done online. Granted, you can’t plead your case to a loan officer in person, but on the flip side, you don’t even have to brush your hair.

Do your research online. Your real estate agent will probably still visit the town hall to check records, but a lot of your research can be done online. More and more public records are digitized each year, making it easier (and faster) to research property from the comfort of home.

The tech inside of homes themselves. Today, high-speed internet is a need instead of a want. So homes that have easy access to strong broadband are large — though not always — more attractive than those without. More homes are outfitted with smart technology as well, meaning everything from security cameras to garage doors and refrigerators is high-tech and can be controlled from mobile devices.

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3 tips for savvier furniture shopping

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When furnishing a room, a little planning goes a long way. Most importantly, it helps you avoid making impulse purchases and selecting furniture that’s the wrong size. Here are some tips to help you make the right home decor choices.

1. Identify your priorities
Before you start furniture shopping, list everything you need in order of importance. This will help you determine how much of your budget to put toward each item. For instance, if you have trouble sleeping, you may decide to splurge on your mattress rather than on a dresser or vanity. Or, if you work from home, you may want to spend a little extra on an ergonomic office chair.

2. Look for deals
Once you’ve planned your purchases, it’s time to bargain hunt. Be on the lookout for sales and promotions, but keep in mind that sometimes you need to be patient to take advantage of the best discounts. If the item you’ve set your sights on is unlikely to drop in price, see if your local retailers can suggest solutions. For example, you may be able to get a deal on display models or pieces that have slight imperfections.

3. Think long-term
Make smart investments by choosing styles that have a timeless look and don’t merely reflect the current fad. If you want to indulge in a few trendy pieces, opt for inexpensive items that you can sell or donate in a few years.


Finally, consider making an effort to buy locally. You don’t have to go far to find talented furniture makers and well-curated furniture stores.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
37°
Fair
6:25am7:56pm EDT
Feels like: 30°F
Wind: 12mph WNW
Humidity: 53%
Pressure: 30.01"Hg
UV index: 0
ThuFriSat
52/36°F
63/39°F
64/50°F

Upcoming Events

Apr
20
Tue
all-day Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department Mad Science Kit contains experiments that focus on fun, interactivity, and entertainment. Participants ages 6-12 will be able to perform four (4) experiments, including Dyed Carnations, Lava Lamps,[...]
Apr
24
Sat
10:00 am Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
On this Earth Day, celebrate safely by doing your part to restore our earth and joining the Great Global Cleanup. Stop by one of our tables at the Explorer Outpost, Picnic Area, or Lost Mountain[...]
12:00 pm Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Come out to enjoy our favorite fundraiser to benefit the House of Hope, the Empty Bowl Supper “TO GO”! DATE: Saturday, April 24 from 12noon-3pm Ticket Link: eventbrite.com/empty-bowl-supper LOCATION: Main Street & Downtown Market Check in near the[...]
12:00 pm SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Join us for an afternoon of golf at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal! 1 pm Shotgun, Registration from 12pm – 12:45pm. $85/Player $340/Team Help us celebrate Skyline High School Band’s success while[...]
12:30 pm Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Apr 24 @ 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Save Our Children Front Royal is hosting a Color Run/Walk to raise money for The Child Safe Center, located in Winchester, Virginia. The Child Safe Center is a local non-profit who supports sexually abused victims[...]
Apr
25
Sun
4:00 pm Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
$30 per painter or 4 painters for $100. Bring the whole family and save! Join us for a special Paint with a Superhero event! Be sure to dress up as your favorite hero or villain[...]
Apr
27
Tue
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 27 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 27 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
May
1
Sat
8:00 am 2021 Apple Blossom Wine & Hard C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
2021 Apple Blossom Wine & Hard C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 1 @ 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
2021 Apple Blossom Wine & Hard Cider Challenge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Come enjoy the challenging routes at Sky Meadows State Park and Valley View Farm, home of the Gnarled Orchard. These courses are knotty, knot nice at the farm as they are a mix of cross[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 1 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]