Buying your first home can be both exciting and intimidating. It’s a major investment, and there’s a lot to consider. However, keeping certain things in mind can make it easier to navigate the process.
To start, it’s important to understand that there’s no such thing as the perfect home. Most buyers prioritize price, size, and location, but you’ll likely need to compromise on at least one of those things. Make sure you distinguish between your wants and needs and remember that renovations can be an affordable way to make a home more to your liking.
Before you consider compromising on your wish list, however, you need to know what you can afford. As a general rule, your housing expenses (mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance) shouldn’t exceed 30 percent of your monthly gross income. You also shouldn’t put all your savings toward a down payment.
For an accurate assessment of your financial situation, it’s best to apply for a mortgage pre-approval. Alternatively, a loan from the Federal Housing Administration can be a great option for first-time homebuyers, as the qualification requirements aren’t as strict as for a traditional mortgage.
Finally, remember that a trusted real estate agent who knows the local market can be an invaluable partner in buying a home. To find a good match, do your research and interview at least two or three realtors before you hire one.
5 reasons you may be struggling to get home insurance
Insuring your home gives you peace of mind and may be required by your mortgage lender. However, sometimes insurance companies are reluctant to cover your property. Here are five of the most common reasons.
1. Claims history. Your personal claims history has a major impact on your home’s insurability. For instance, the more claims you’ve made in any of your homes, the less likely an insurance company will want to take on the risk of insuring you.
2. Criminal record. Did you know that having a criminal record can jeopardize your eligibility for home insurance? This is especially true if the crime is relatively recent and involves property damage.
3. Poor home condition. The condition of your home can impact its insurability. For example, insurers don’t like to take a risk on homes that have foundation issues, bad plumbing, old electrical systems, or inadequate insulation. You may also be denied home insurance if your property is in an area with a lot of crime.
4. Old home. Older homes are often more difficult to insure. This is especially true if the house is over 25 years old and hasn’t been updated.
5. Vacant home. Homes that sit vacant for an extended period are at a greater risk for theft, vandalism, and water infiltration. Therefore, some insurance companies don’t offer coverage for these properties.
If you’re having trouble insuring your property, contact an insurance broker. They can analyze your situation and recommend solutions.
Virginia’s housing market sees sharpest drop in sales since May 2020
According to the June 2022 Virginia Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, there were 13,324 homes sold in Virginia in June 2022. This is 3,208 fewer sales than last June, a slowdown of more than 19%. This is the sharpest drop in Virginia’s housing market since the beginning of the pandemic.
Sales activity edged up slightly between May and June, up slightly over 2%, which is much lower than a typical May-to-June jump in sales. “The slowdown we’re seeing in sales is due to more buyers pressing ‘pause’ on their home search,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2022 President Denise Ramey. “The lack of inventory paired with the rise in interest rates have created a more challenging environment for home buyers.”
Even as the market slows, many localities across the commonwealth are still experiencing an increase in home prices. Statewide, the median sales price in Virginia in June was $397,315, nearly a 7% price gain over the same time last year.
“Buyers have limited options to choose from right now, and the low inventory levels are putting upward pressure on prices,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Ryan Price. “There are still more buyers in the market than there are active listings. This supply shortage will likely keep prices rising, but as the market continues to cool, we expect price growth will ease in the coming months.”
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full June 2022 Virginia Home Sales Report.
3 reasons to buy an intergenerational home
Intergenerational homes can take many forms, from a building where each person has their own unit to a large residence with shared common spaces. The idea is to bring together more than one generation under the same roof. Here are three reasons why this concept has been gaining in popularity.
1. Care for elderly parents
Many people are increasingly questioning the standard model within western society in which seniors live apart from their families. Stories of loneliness, neglect, and even abuse have prompted more people to take their elderly parents or grandparents under their wings.
2. Assist with everyday life
Living with your parents or grandparents comes with responsibilities. However, it also offers significant benefits. Young families can benefit from the experience of their elders, both in terms of practical knowledge and life lessons. Grandparents can also participate in the family dynamic by babysitting and helping with daily chores.
3. Ease family finances
As real estate prices continue to rise, intergenerational homes are an appealing option for young families who want to own their own place. In fact, cohabitation can be financially beneficial for both parties. For example, the mortgage payments and other expenses like groceries and transportation can be shared.
Of course, opting for this type of shared living arrangement can also lead to conflict. It’s therefore essential to think it through and establish rules to govern daily life.
Are you interested in buying an intergenerational home? Contact a real estate broker to discuss the possibilities.
Real Estate and Community News (June/July 2022) with Jen Avery, REALTOR
House of Hope
- 2 Rotary Grants Awarded:
- $1,500 Rotary Club of Front Royal – Computer systems to be installed and built for the men at the House of Hope.
- $500 Rotary club of Warren County – Graduation Baskets for the men at the House of Hope to include: Air Mattress, Sheets, Pillow, Laundry Basket.
- As an extra bonus, the following items have been donated by local businesses and individuals:
Free Scoop of Ice Cream (C&C Frozen Treats), Free Coffee (Daily Grind), 2 Movie Tickets (Royal Cinemas), Free Haircut (Mattie the Barber at Blake & Co), Bracelet (Beth Waller/SPACE & What Matters), Inspirational Cards, Taxi Ride (Front Royal Taxi), Golden Ticket (I Want Candy). Thank you to all of the local businesses who are donating these passes to help brighten the men’s day after graduation!
Humane Society of Warren County
- Waggin’ for Dragons
- August 6, 2022 – River Access at the Front Royal Golf Course
- Please join us in supporting three local non profits again this year at the Waggin for Dragons boat race on Saturday, August 6!
- Fierce competition is shaping up. Come join in the fun!! There is space for you to organize your own boat or join one of the existing boats. You don’t have to be an expert to have a good time. There is coaching and practice!
- Do explore teams and donate to your favorite: hswcevents.org/campaign/waggin-for-dragons
Warren County Market Report for July 2022 with Jen Avery, REALTOR
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for July 2022.
In general summary:
- New Listings are DOWN -20.8%
- New Pending DOWN -19.5%
- Closed sales are DOWN -26%
- Average Median Sold $363,000
- Average Days on Market 16
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: June 2022 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated June 2022.
Jennifer Avery, REALTOR® “Your Happy Home Expert!”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790 | www.jenaveryrealtor.com
CRUM REALTY, INC| 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
3 golden rules for painting your house before selling it
Repainting your home can increase its selling price. However, before you get out the rollers and brushes, here are three rules to keep in mind to optimize your investment.
1. Consider the entire property. Don’t forget to redo the outside of your home if the paint is peeling or faded. After all, this is what potential buyers will see first. You may also want to touch up the paint on your patio, fence, and shed.
2. Use neutral shades. Although you may love your yellow kitchen because it gives your home a Tuscan feel, remember that everyone has different tastes. Play it safe and stick to neutral shades that appeal to most people.
3. Be prepared. Don’t rush your paint job. Make sure you have enough time to complete the work before your house goes on the market. A sloppy paint job could deter potential buyers instead of drawing them in.
If you’re considering hiring painting professionals, do some research to gauge the quality of their work and consider how the additional cost could affect the return on your investment.
3 tips for paying off your mortgage faster
Paying off your home can seem impossible, especially if you’ve recently been saddled with a substantial mortgage. Here are three easy tips for paying off your mortgage faster.
1. Increase your payment frequency
If you initially chose to pay your mortgage monthly, contact your lender and ask if you can switch to weekly or bi-weekly payments. This simple change is equivalent to paying one extra monthly payment each year. For example, an additional $1,500 per year means you’ll pay off an extra $30,000 over 20 years.
2. Add to your payments
If your current budget allows you to make larger payments toward your mortgage, don’t hesitate to make the adjustment. You’ll pay off your loan faster and save on interest. Check with your creditor to find out what terms and conditions apply.
3. Make prepayments
Did you get a generous bonus or sell your classic car? You can use this influx of cash to pay off your mortgage faster. Be aware that your contract may stipulate a maximum lumpsum amount. If you go over this threshold, you may have to pay a penalty. Therefore, check with your lender to determine how much you can put down.
Contact a mortgage broker or financial advisor for personalized advice.