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What to do if you inherit a house

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If you inherit a house, there are different tax implications and financial responsibilities to consider depending on what you do with the property. Here’s a look at your options and their associated costs.

Move-in
If you want to live in the inherited home, you’ll need to assume the cost of property taxes, upkeep, and insurance. You might also have to take over mortgage payments, depending on the loan terms.

If you sell the property later and it was your primary residence for at least two of the five years before the sale, you won’t need to pay capital gains tax.

Rent it
Depending on the house’s location, it can be a good source of passive income. Keep in mind the cost of landlord insurance and maintenance. Additionally, be sure to check municipal regulations for short- and long-term rentals before you make a decision.


The biggest downside to renting out your inherited property is that you’ll be subject to capital gains tax if you sell it since the property wasn’t being used as your primary residence.

Sell it
While any profit from the sale will be subject to capital gains tax, this is often the simplest course of action if the property has more than one heir. You’ll also be free from the legal and financial responsibilities of owning the property. Keep in mind the costs associated with selling a home including real estate agent fees, closing costs, and renovation expenses.

If you’re having trouble deciding what to do with your inherited property, a trusted local real estate agent can help you assess the market and determine the best course of action.

 

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What every first-time homebuyer should know

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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.

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Ask the Expert: Should we wait and save more money for a down payment, or buy now while interest rates are low?

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There are a lot of variables to consider when purchasing a home, and the size of a down payment is just one of them.

But to start there, the down payment amount can vary considerably. Traditional guidelines recommend putting 20 percent of the purchase price down, but in practice, that doesn’t always happen.

So if you are in the market to purchase a $250,000 house but don’t have access to $50,000, you still have plenty of options. If you do have 50k to put down, however, it can make your path faster and easier.

Some loans, particularly those aimed at first-time home buyers, allow for down payments of less than $1,000! Other products also allow a buyer to put down less than 20 percent — in that case, you’d pay a small additional cost via private mortgage insurance, or PMI. PMI is calculated as a percentage of the overall loan, usually between a half and one percent, and can be removed when the buyer pays down enough of the principal or accrues enough equity in the property.



Of course, interest rates are an important factor, and it’s true that interest rates on mortgages are at historic lows. A 30-year fixed rate is right around 3 percent, while a 15-year fixed rate is about 2.25 percent.

There has also been less inventory and a lot of competition lately, which drives prices up. This is not positive or negative; as a buyer, you want to make sure you get a good deal and also that you can afford your monthly payment. If more properties come onto the market, even more foreclosures, you may still wind up with a similar monthly payment if interest rates rise. So the decision on timing is uniquely yours, and it’s important to ask yourself what you’re looking for as well as how long you plan to stay.

If you’re renting, consider how much your rent is expected to increase in the coming years. Are rents high in your area or are they more affordable? These factors affect your ability to save money for that down payment.

Each person’s situation is unique, and a professional can help you decide on the best timing and strategy.

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3 effective tactics to win a bidding war

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It’s not uncommon for properties to receive multiple offers and sell above the asking price, particularly in a sellers’ market. If you’ve found your dream home, but the competition is fierce, here are three strategies that can help you win a bidding war.

1. Make a cash offer. If you have the means, offering to pay for a property in cash shows the seller that you’re serious. It also promises the seller a quick, smooth transaction since a lender won’t be involved.

2. Waive the financing contingency. A seller will be more likely to accept your offer if it doesn’t hinge on loan approval. This is why getting a fully underwritten mortgage pre-approval is a smart first step for prospective homebuyers.

3. Submit a personal letter. This can help you stand out from a crowd of potential buyers and create an emotional connection with the seller. Briefly explain what you love about the property and why you think it’s a perfect fit for your family.


Depending on the situation, you might want to use a combination of these tactics. Keep in mind that working with a local real estate agent to craft a strong offer can significantly increase your chances of success.

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Warren County Market Report – April 2021 with Jen Avery

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Number of sold properties is high and values are up, but we still need more inventory. Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for April 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 11.9%.
  2. New Pending UP 45.7%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 37.5%
  4. Average Median Sold $312,000
  5. Average Days on Market  19

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

Resource: April 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated May 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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8 essentials allies in any real estate transaction

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Are you planning to buy or sell a home? If you want to make sure everything goes smoothly, rely on these professionals.

1. Lawyer
In any real estate transaction, protecting your legal interests is a must. A lawyer will review contracts before you sign them, draft key documents, manage financial transactions and keep you informed about all important legal matters.

2. Real estate agent
A realtor’s role is to advise and guide you through every step of the real estate transaction. An agent will arrange visits, answer your questions and direct you to trusted professionals as needed.

3. Appraiser
Using a variety of proven methods, an appraiser will formulate an objective opinion as to the true value of a property. This is important to know if you want to price a home or make an offer on one.


4. Land surveyor
This professional will issue an improvement location certificate, which includes a plan or illustration of the property’s physical features and a written analysis detailing the surveyor’s concerns. This document provides an accurate representation of the property.

5. Home stager
If you want to quickly sell your home, presenting it in the best light possible will ensure the property gets noticed. A home stager will provide you with invaluable advice about how to make your home appeal to potential buyers.

6. Mortgage broker
Acting as an intermediary between you and various lenders, a mortgage broker will help you secure a loan that provides advantageous terms and meets your needs.

7. Mortgage lender
If you want to buy a home, you’ll probably need to get a mortgage. Banks, trust companies, credit unions, and other institutions offer this type of loan. Additionally, getting pre-approved for a mortgage allows you to know what you can afford.

8. Insurer
A home insurance policy protects your investment by providing you with compensation in the event that your property gets damaged or destroyed. In this way, your insurer can offer you peace of mind.

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What all homebuyers should know about flooding

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It’s not hard to find out if the home you’re interested in buying is located in a flood zone. Simply ask your realtor, or visit the online Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Map Service Center and enter the property’s address in the search bar. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you decide whether to buy a particular home.

Flooding can happen anywhere
You don’t have to live in a designated flood zone for your home to be at risk of flooding. In fact, flooding can be the result of melting snow, burst pipes, tornadoes, hurricanes, construction issues, blocked storm drains, or problems with municipal sewer lines.

Maps don’t tell the whole story
Even if the home you want to buy isn’t in a designated flood zone, it might still be affected by seasonal changes to water levels in the area. Furthermore, these maps don’t necessarily account for trends driven by climate change such as rising sea levels and extreme rainfall.

Mortgage lenders may require flood insurance
If a property is in a FEMA flood zone that’s considered high-risk, homeowners may need to get flood insurance coverage before their lender agrees to grant them a mortgage. This is true of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA, and VA loans.


If you’re applying for a non-government loan or the home is in a low-risk area, you probably won’t have to purchase flood insurance to secure a mortgage. Nonetheless, getting this type of coverage might be recommended.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by FEMA, provides most residential flood coverage in the United States. In places where the NFIP is unavailable, homebuyers may be able to purchase flood insurance from a private insurer.

All homebuyers should be aware of the potential risks of flooding. The best approach is to do your research, ask pointed questions of the sellers and their neighbors, and spend time in the area. Additionally, working with a local realtor is a huge asset.

 

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May
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12:00 pm Tap into Your CEO Power @ Online Event
Tap into Your CEO Power @ Online Event
May 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Tap into Your CEO Power @ Online Event
Many business owners struggled with the consequences of COVID-19 in 2020. Now, more than a year later, many of those same business owners have turned chaos into creativity finding new opportunities for growth. The Fauquier[...]
May
22
Sat
10:00 am Backcountry Basics: Earth Connec... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Basics: Earth Connec... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Backcountry Basics: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Carriage Barn in Historic Area. Connect with the park’s landscape and get a taste of the skills you need to thrive in the backcountry. Participants will join experienced outdoor skills instructor Tim[...]
10:00 am Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Six-Button Mess - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the Six-Button Mess as they perform daily tasks of the Confederate soldiers. See[...]
May
23
Sun
10:00 am Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 23 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Six-Button Mess - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the Six-Button Mess as they perform daily tasks of the Confederate soldiers. See[...]
May
30
Sun
10:00 am Stroll Along the Stream: Riparia... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Stroll Along the Stream: Riparia... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 30 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Stroll Along the Stream: Riparian Buffer Exploration @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at Backcountry Trailhead. Explore the Gap Run’s unique ecosystem called a “riparian buffer,” the zone of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation alongside waterways. Discover the amazing ways our native plants protect water quality and[...]
Jun
5
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10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park. Stop by our Explorer Outpost table along the Boston Mill Road Trail where kids[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the intersection of the Boston Mill Road and James Ball trails. Get your hands dirty as we work to improve the hiking experience on James Ball Trail. Discover how uncontrolled water erodes topsoil,[...]
11:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 11:00 am – Jun 6 @ 11:15 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 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[...]
Jun
12
Sat
11:00 am VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 12 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
VA State Parks History and Culture: Water Powered Mills @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Over 50 streams and waterways crisscross Fauquier County, once powering nearly 300 mills and providing an important service to local farmers such as Abner Settle. Located in close proximity to Sky Meadows, along[...]