If you’re a new or expectant parent, buying a family home may be on your to-do list. While you can’t anticipate everything you’ll need in the coming years, here are some essential features to keep top of mind as you shop for your dream home.
• A home on a quiet street in close proximity to a playground. Ideally, the route to the park should have sidewalks the entire way.
• A mudroom with plenty of storage to keep jackets, dirty shoes, and other clutter from spilling into the main li¬ving space.
• Bedrooms on the same level. This is practical for nightly feedings and gives both you and your kids peace of mind.
• A bathtub, preferably one that’s easy for kids to access and has an extra hand-held shower head.
• Stairs that are easy to baby-proof. Avoid wide staircases that won’t fit a safety gate and railings with large gaps between the rungs.
• A powder room on the main floor. This is helpful for potty training so your child has quick and easy access to a toilet.
To ensure you find the right home for your family, work with a real estate agent who’s familiar with the area where you want to live.
Virginia’s median home price jumps $100k in four years
According to the April 2022 Virginia Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, the statewide median home sales price was $390,000 in April. This is $100,000 higher than April of 2018, just four years ago. Compared to last year at this time, Virginia’s median sales price is up just over 9%, a gain of $32,500.
In Virginia, the steady upward trajectory of home prices has not been hindered by the slowdown in sales activity or the recent spike in mortgage rates. In April, homes sold for 3.4% higher than list price, on average. In all price segments, the average sold-to-list price ratio was at least 100%.
In total, there were 11,991 home sales in Virginia in April 2022, down 11.6% from a year ago. Sales have been down year-over-year for five consecutive months. This slowdown reflects the very busy 2021 market but is also indicative of buyers pulling back due to high home prices, elevated inflation, and rising mortgage rates.
In the coming months, Virginia could see a change in the speed of price growth. “As the Federal Reserve continues targeting inflation by raising rates, it is likely that mortgage rates will keep increasing over the coming months,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2022 President Denise Ramey. “In turn, housing demand will cool in the year ahead, slowing down price growth. However, higher mortgage rates and home prices will continue posing a challenge to buyers.”
Regarding the stability of Virginia’s housing market, Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Ryan Price says, “While higher mortgage rates and prices will have a dampening effect on housing demand in the months to come, underlying economic and demographic fundamentals—such as strong job growth and low unemployment rates—will support a stable housing market here in the commonwealth.”
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full April 2022 Virginia Home Sales Report.
How to spot hidden defects
When you buy a house, you naturally expect the seller to tell you the truth about the quality of the construction. However, you also have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions before signing the contract. Otherwise, you could face unpleasant surprises and have no legal recourse to remedy the situation.
A visual examination of the property is crucial to ensure a seamless transaction and protect you from possible hidden defects. Be on the lookout for any clues that arouse suspicion. Rather than relying on your own judgment, trust a building expert to conduct a thorough inspection to confirm your suspicions and alleviate your concerns.
Hidden flaws may become apparent only after the purchase. In this case, the seller could refuse to take responsibility. If the matter goes to court, you’ll have a better chance of winning your case if you’ve shown that you practiced due diligence before the sale. Therefore, it’s essential to find out about the consumer laws in place to know your duties and legal recourse.
Warren County Market Report for April 2022 with Jen Avery
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for April 2022. Is the market starting to balance back out again as interest rates begin to climb? I can share an observation or example from a listing perspective: The buyers who are offering are asking to please lock in their rates ASAP vs. previously buyers who would allow a 60-day close if it were the seller’s preference.
Buyers were willing to do anything to win the bid. Buyer desperation is not as severe now, in my opinion. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
1. New Listings are DOWN -15.9%.
2. New Pending DOWN -15.7%.
3. Closed sales are DOWN -26%
4. Average Median Sold $350,500
5. Average Days on Market 25
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: April 2022 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated May 2022.
Now some Community News
House of Hope
Empty Bowl Supper 2022 – Was a success!
Thank you to all of the businesses and supporters who sponsored the Empty Bowl Supper this year. You helped make it a great success bringing in about $13,000 for the House of Hope.
Click here to view video from event.
We See You, Warren County – sign up (free) online to join this “movement” to help bring our community together. Follow on Facebook! You are going to love it! #WeCUWC
Sign up here.
Rock & Stroll Event – May 10
Warren Coalition organized the Rock N Stroll
Healthy living for kids 4-13. Drug prevention week.
Rock & Stroll helps to address that by educating children about how to handle their emotions and about healthy choices regarding food and exercise.
Click here for full album.
Chamber of Commerce – May 21
34th Annual Wine & Craft Festival 2022
Watch this video with locals who became movie stars for a day!
Get your tickets here today!
Humane Society of Warren County
Rough Tough & Scruffy – DATE RESCHEDULED June 18
Grab a friend and sign up for a canoe race!!! Vendors, music, and food for all to enjoy. $10.00 entry fee. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Warren County. Enjoy the gorgeous venue at Hazard Mill Farms, Bentonville.
Yard Sale & Bake Sale – June 2 & 3
Stop out at the Humane Society of Warren County for a two-day yard sale! Pay by donation! Proceeds from the yard sale go to the Humane Society of Warren County.
Looking for BAKERS!! The Humane Society is pairing up with the House of Hope and has invited them to run the bake sale this year at the yard sale. Let’s donate some delicious goods for the sale!!
As mortgage rates spike, Virginia’s housing market shifts
According to the March 2022 Virginia Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, while the spring market is off to a strong start, there are some indications of changing market conditions.
Statewide, there were 11,446 home sales in March 2022, down 6% from a year ago. This decline is due to last year being an exceptionally busy market and also to the very low inventory which has provided buyers with very few options.
In March, Virginia’s median home sales price was $375,000—nearly 12% higher than in March of last year. While year-over-year sales slowed, Virginia did see a significant jump of more than 40% in sales between February and March 2022. This uptick reflects typical seasonal housing market patterns; however, this year, it was also likely fueled by the recent spike in mortgage rates.
Over the past few weeks, rates have risen faster than they have in nearly 30 years. In the second week of April, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 5% for the first time in 11 years.
“Mortgage rates are rising more quickly than anticipated and will likely rise further during the year,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Ryan Price. “Many buyers are eager to purchase a home before rates increase further.”
In Virginia, supply remains historically low; inventory is now less than a third of what it was five years ago. Intense competition resulted in homes selling for 2.6% higher than list price, on average, in March. This is the highest monthly average sold-to-list price ratio in at least a decade.
While these numbers may be daunting to potential buyers, there is some indication that supply is expanding. In March, Virginia’s inventory expanded with an uptick in new listings and a slight slowdown in buyer activity. At the end of March, there were about 1,500 more active listings statewide across Virginia, a 12.1% increase from the end of February.
“It is likely that Virginia’s inventory of homes for sale will expand over the coming months,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2022 President Denise Ramey. “Many sellers are feeling pressure from increasing mortgage rates, which will lead some to list their home for property now, before higher rates lead to less buyer interest.”
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full March 2022 Virginia Home Sales Report.
How to decide if you should buy a home in the city or suburbs
The location where you choose to live will impact your lifestyle and financial situation. Here are six things to consider before deciding if you should buy your new home in the city or the suburbs.
Homes are generally more affordable in the suburbs. However, you’ll likely spend extra money on transportation. Make sure you do the math before making a decision.
Libraries, restaurants, stores, and hospitals are often within walking distance in the city. However, this typically isn’t the case in the suburbs. Nevertheless, some municipalities have small shops.
If you live in the suburbs and work in the city, you may spend a lot of time driving back and forth. If you live close to where you work, however, your commute will likely be shorter.
Homes and yards are generally larger in the suburbs. This can be a major advantage if you have children. However, a big home requires considerable maintenance.
Unless there’s a large factory nearby, air quality tends to be better in the suburbs. There’s also considerably less noise.
If you like the hustle and bustle of the city and frequently go out, you may not be happy living in the suburbs.
Do you know where you want to live? If so, contact a real estate agent to help you find the perfect home.
10 signs you’re ready to own a home
Do you often think about buying a home but aren’t sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? Here are 10 signs you may be ready for homeownership.
1. You have a good credit score and enough money for a down payment.
2. You’re willing to make sacrifices and change your spending habits to pay off your mortgage and cover the costs of buying a home.
3. You’re already looking at real estate ads, staying on top of market trends, and talking about buying a home.
4. You have a stable job with a regular income and want to settle down in a particular area.
5. You’re tired of being dependent on a landlord to maintain your living space.
6. You can’t stand hearing your neighbors and want more privacy.
7. You’re resourceful and hard-working and don’t dread the responsibilities of maintaining a home and yard.
8. You’re expecting a child and want to have enough space for them to play.
9. You’d like to get a pet, and very few rental properties in your area allow animals.
10. You really want to own a home and can afford it.
If you agree with the above statements, it may be time to start shopping for a mortgage.