Archive for Real Estate

Home Prices Bounce Back

A new report from Zillow indicates that home prices have really rebounded since 2007. According to the study, more than half of U.S. homes are worth as much or more than they were at their 2007 peak. The study revealed several interesting points:

  • The share of U.S. homes worth more than they were prior to the recession reached 52.6 percent in August.
  • Less than half (47 percent) of homes valued in the bottom third nationally were worth the same or more than their prior highs, while 52.5 percent of the middle third and 53.8 percent of homes valued in the top third were.
  • The U.S. Zillow Home Value Index grew 6.9 percent year-over-year in August to reach $201,900, while the U.S. Zillow Rent Index climbed 1.9 percent to $1,430.

Another interesting note shows that inventory continues to drop. This, in addition to buyer confidence, could be contributing to the value increases.

Source: Zillow

Featured Listing: Virginia Recreational Property

Considering that United Country has been promoting “recreational properties” in Colorado and Mississippi, here’s one from our neck of the woods. Call me at 540-229-7760 for more information. Click here for the listing.

114 acres in two separate parcels located in Virginia’s northern Piedmont. Research of the Fauquier County land records for this historic land date back to 1723 when the original patent was issued to Thomas Furr from the Lord Fairfax Estate. The western and southern boundaries are the original 1723 patent lines. The old house site, where the remnants of the chimney are today, is circa 1780. There is a significant spring, Moses Cummings Spring, that is referenced in numerous deeds located on the eastern boundary. The land been painstakingly rehabilitated it to it’s current state, with 2.5 miles of perimeter fence, several new farm out buildings. Hunting and recreational opportunities abound, deer and turkey take advantage of the fields, wooded glades and beautiful streams and springs. Close to commuting routes to Northern Virginia, including VRE in Manassas VA.

Virginia Home Sales, Prices Continue to Rise

A surge in Virginia’s home sales and prices has pushed sales volume up 20 percent to more than $13 billion in the second quarter of the year, according to a new report form the Virginia Realtors Association.

“Buyer motivation remains very high, and the relatively low financing rates offer great opportunity for market entry,” said Claire Forcier-Rowe, president of Virginia Realtors.

Most areas of Virginia saw an increase in numbers, including Northern Virginia at 5.1% and the Shenandoah at 3.3%. Central Virginia had the largest increases 8.2%.

If you’re looking to sell your home or Virginia horse farm, it’s a good time to start thinking about a fall listing. And if you’re looking to buy, it’s a good time to get into the market before the prices get too much higher.


The Best Time of Year to Inspect Your Roof

Even though Virginia is not considered a “northern” state, we do experience cold winters, especially near the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges. Therefore, a new article from United Country is still relevant for homeowners in our area, or those looking to list a home in for sale in Virginia.

I list plenty of horse farms in Virginia, so for those clients there is more than one roof to consider, including barns, outbuildings and guest quarters.

Here are some of your roofing options from the United Country article:

Asphalt Shingles. The most popular of them all, asphalt shingles are one of the least expensive options and are available in a variety of colors. They are also guaranteed to last for 20-30 years. However, if you want a unique look for your ranch home, asphalt is probably not your best bet.

Wood shingles. If you are looking for a beautiful and unique look to add to your home, wood shingles provide just that. They are smooth and cut to a uniform thickness, but they do tend to fade over time, especially in bad weather.

Metal roofs. This material is very common in barns, sheds and other agricultural buildings. It is cheap, rugged and will last a long time. This material can be very beneficial in northern climates due to its strength and longevity.

Ceramic tile. Ceramic tile roofs are expensive, but could be worth the investment since they last up to 80 years. They can be great in northern climates due to their ability to lock out moisture that could damage the tile when frozen. However, these roofs are also heavily used in warmer climates as well.

Essential DIY Fixes for Your Home

For those looking to list in the fall, or if you listed in the spring and weren’t able to find a buyer, summer is a great time do a few little things to fix problems around your house. Either way, it makes you much happier to live in a home that works for you!

Some of these you won’t want to leave on for a listing (like the rubber band on the door) but the rest are good pointers (like the many uses of WD-40!)

The Virginia real estate market is expected to have a good remainder of the year, so this extra effort is worth it.

Read more here from Lighter Side of Real Estate.

It’s Now a Sellers Market in Virginia

According to new data from the Virginia Association of Realtors, limited inventory is turning the Virginia real estate market into a very positive one for sellers. It’s also making some buyers feel an urgency to buy as soon as possible.

Home sales across the commonwealth totaled 9,844 in April, down 3.6 percent from a year before due to constrained inventory.

“Virginia’s market is showing a trend that’s nationwide – there aren’t enough homes for sale,” said Claire Forcier-Rowe, president of the state Realtors’ group. Add in relatively low interest rates, and sellers are able to list at “premium prices,” Forcier-Rowe said.

Click here to read the full article from InsideNOVA.


Surviving the Summer Real Estate Season

Spring gets all the attention and hoopla in real estate, but summer can be just as hot. Northern Virginia real estate is always a good market, but it could be very active this year.

Inman has a new article directed at REALTORs offering advice on how to take advantage of this market. There are four big tips, and they are pretty smart, including leveraging technology and creating a relationship with a builder.

For the full article, click here: 4 tips for surviving the summer real estate market

Helping the Kids Buy a House

United Country Real Estate has been creating some good, useful content for real estate buyers and sellers. I’ve been sharing these articles lately on my Facebook page and the blog here.

Here’s an article for people out there whose children are ready to buy a house. There are a number of ways parents can help kids with this big purchase.

Parents helping their children invest in their first home is certainly not a new idea. We see a variety of choices being made in the marketplace. Some elect to co-sign on the mortgage with the children. It doesn’t cost Mom and Dad
any money, but it may help the children qualify for a loan. Others either give or lend money for the down payment.

A few even decide to put enough money to “buy down”
the mortgage interest rate, allowing for the rate to be
lower in the first few years, making it easier to qualify for the loan by lowering the monthly payment.


Read more from United Country.

How Photos Can Sell Your Farm

United Country Real Estate has been creating some very helpful content for home sellers and buyers lately. This recent one explains why it’s important to use visual methods to showcase farms for sale. Virginia farms for sale have a particular beauty, too.

Here’s an excerpt of the article from United Country:

Whether you’re trying to sell your farm, attract visitors or sell some of your produce, marketing will play a big part in accomplishing your goal. Putting your farm in the best light will require taking interesting and beautiful photos. You’ll be surprised how much good lighting and the right angle can make your farm shine to potential viewers.

Taking photographs on a farm will expose you to a variety of interesting subjects from the landscapes and animals to the architecture and produce.  You know your farm better than anyone else so get started by making a list of everyday processes like planting, harvesting, birthing, and other events. This will help you plan better for timing and lighting purposes. Here are some more tips to help you get the perfect shot to showcase your farm.

Click here for the rest.

And if you’re looking to buy or sell a Virginia farm, we’re happy to answer your questions.


What It Takes to Effectively Market Your Home

What do Realtors do exactly? One of our most important responsibilities is marketing your home to cast the widest net possible to find a buyer. United Country has put together this helpful article that explains the best approach to marketing real estate, whether in Virginia or any part of the country. Here’s an excerpt, focusing on how important SEO is.

One of the most important parts of real estate marketing is the wording. Most searches for real estate are done on the internet. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. An experienced real estate marketer understands how to use effective keywords in their listing information. In addition to utilizing SEO, an agent who has expanded marketing capabilities to include newsletters, press releases, postcards and social media is important to be able to reach more buyers.

Read the full article here.