Winchester, VA Real Estate News

By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Don't wait too long to buy a house. It may cost you more than money.One of the most common questions Realtors deal with is related to "how much house" a buyer can afford. The first place to start when you want to buy a house, is the lender's office. A lender is a great resource in the home buying process because the lender can determine what buying power a home buyer is capable of. Then, with that information in hand, a buyer knows what price he/she should be shopping in. It would be terribly frustrating to shop for a $400000 house if a buyer's buying power is $232000.Don't wait too long to buy a house: The cost of waiting.There is second issue buyers should also consider when they start the process to buy a house. That is time and interest. Time and interest rates can work for you, or ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point - 2017 Real Estate ReviewThe Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing and Raven Pointe neighborhoods had a good 2017 in real estate. All three neighborhoods show year over year improvement in sales numbers, distressed property sales and average sales price. They also show a drop in distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures). The five-year sales have increased over 32% from 2013, but the years between 2013 and 2017 were a roller coaster. In every area, these neighborhoods have been up and down.Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point: The ups and downsIn 2017, total sales for the three neighborhoods were 37. That was a 131% increase over 2016. Ironically, 2016 saw a -40% drop in sales over 2015, but 2015 saw a 23% increase in sales over 2014. Fina...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                                                     Why do FSBOs often fail to sell?As a real estate professional, I've seen my share of FSBOs. Most of the time, they end up with a Realtor's sign in the yard after months of languishing on the market with a "For Sale By Owner" sign. I just passed a former FSBO yesterday. As usual, it has a Realtor sign in the front yard.Why do FSBOs often fail to sell?Why do they fail at a higher rate than a professionally listed property? Homeowners seldom really know the current market. That leads to an overpriced home that savvy buyers would never buy. I showed one last year that was 62% overpriced. I guess the seller assumes there is always a buyer with more money than brains out there. What you want, and what a home will sell for may be light years...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                     Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review - 2017The Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market ended 2017 with solid numbers and evidence that the trajectory is continuing up. Every sales number is positive, and the view for 2018 is upbeat and bright. The only negative number in the year in review is the inventory. Inventory as of December 31, 2017 stands at 254 now available homes in the Winchester-Frederick Co., real estate market. That is about 300 below the needed available homes necessary to keep the market healthy.Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review: Positive NumbersThe average sales price in 2017 was $269,724. That is a 3% increase from 2016. Historically, the 2017 numbers are 14% above 2013, 11% above 2014, and 8% a...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                                 What's a good home-buying timeline?When you're buying a home, there is a timeline of events that will happen. So, what's a good home-buying timeline? On rare occasions, you may get the itch to buy a home, and start and close in 30 days. That is not the norm. From the time you have a need to buy a home until you close, you're most likely looking at 45 days or more. What's the time-line?What's a good home-buying timeline? Financial - Pre-approval Realtor Search Home Search Contract Home Inspection Appraisal Contact Insurance Provider Financing Approval Title Search and Document Preparation Closing Date Set Closing Document Review Contact Utilities Confirm That Funds Are Wired to the Closer Closing  What's a good home-buying timeline? - Finance & Realtor Se...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                                                   Low housing inventory. What changes it?Low housing inventory. What changes it? The simple answer is to add more houses to the inventory, but the real answer might be more complicated. The housing market is cyclical. The market shifts from a seller's market to a buyer's market and once in a while a market will be in balance, but that is rare.Low housing inventory. What changes it? - Seller's MarketWhen more buyers are in the market than sellers, the housing market is a seller's market. Seller's have more opportunity to generate higher sales prices. Good to great homes that hit the market are quickly gobbled up and they often receive multiple offers. Many times, those offers can exceed the list price.Buyers will forgo some contingencies t...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                                            Should I list my home in the Winter months?Should I list my home in the Winter months? Absolutely! There is a mistaken idea that homes sell better in warmer months, but there is plenty of evidence that homes sell at anytime, but Winter has some advantages that other months may not have.Realtytrac's longitudinal study of when is the best time to buy a home found that October is the best month followed by February, July, December and January. Four out of five of the top months are Fall or Winter months. The best day of the week to buy a home is Monday, and October 8th is the best day of the year. That one study blows a huge hole in the "Spring is the best time to list" theory.Should I list my home in the Winter months? Why?: Inventory is lowerFo...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                         Low Real Estate Inventory Isn't Always a Sign of Bad NewsLow real estate inventory isn't always a sign of bad news. It can actually be masking really good news. In the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market, an inventory of 550 available homes tends to be the listing sweet spot. Everything is in balance at that point. At 550, there are enough properties to meet the demand, but there aren't so many that market movement slows down.The market slows when the number of real estate listing exceed 600. At 600 and beyond, buyers have so many options that they can be paralyzed by volume. Instead of looking at 3-4 homes and then buying one, they will look at 10-20 before making a choice. It takes a lot of time to look at 20 houses. If the one that a buyer fell...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical 2It can be very helpful to have a home inspection before listing your home. That way, you know what a home inspector is likely to point out when a buyer puts a contract on your home. There are some areas where home inspectors will focus their attention when going through your home, and one of the most critical ones is the electrical system.A buyer may panic if he/she receives a home inspection report with electrical issues. My electrical company does a lot of electrical repairs on home inspection reports. Most of the time, the buyers are in a near panic that their potential new home is going to burn down while everyone is sleeping. The reality is, most home inspection electrical issues are not that dangerous, but ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
November 2017 Real Estate Report - Winchester-Frederick County, VAThe Winchester-Frederick County, VA November 2017 real estate report is not sexy. Actually, it's down right boring, but this is one time when boring is a good thing. The market saw 126 sales in November 2017. Of those sales, 8% were distressed properties. November 2016 saw 7% distressed properties. In comparison, 2015 was 18.4%. The current number is a far cry from 2015, and it is more consistent with a much healthier market.November 2017 Real Estate Report: By the numbersThe average days on the market were down to 59. Again, that's a good number when compared to 2016, which was 111. But, if you factor in 2015, at 64 days, the market is slightly below average in days on the market, but this is one time when below average ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, Virginia home can be exhilarating and horrifying at the same time.  It's the single largest expense most people will accept in their lifetime.  That alone could make you want to run the other way, but STOP!  I can help you buy your first home, and we'll have fun doing it. There are a few things you can do to get prepared for that first home purchase.  These simple guidelines will make the process simple and less stressful. Decide what kind of house you "need" or "want" before you start looking.  How many bedrooms do you want?  How many bathrooms will you need?  Do you need a basement, fenced yard, garage or a family room?  Have this information ready before the search. Drive around the area and see what...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
        What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?If there is one question I hear from home sellers over and over it is, "What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?" I've had some say they were going to add a pool, do a major kitchen remodel, completely gut and remodel a bath, and I always say, "STOP!"You definitely don't want to add a pool. There is a narrow market of home-buyers who would want a pool. If you're going to do a major kitchen remodel, do that while you live there so you can enjoy it, and why would you want to do a radical bath remodel? What is wrong with the current bath? Here again, if it needs a remodel, do it while you're there and can enjoy it.What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Minor remodeling gives more...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Winchester-Frederick County, VA Third Quarter Real Estate Market Report - 2017The Winchester-Frederick County, VA third quarter real estate market for 2017 showed continued growth and stability. The numbers that need to be up are up and the numbers that should be down are down. That's good news for buyers and sellers.Winchester-Frederick County, VA Third Quarter Real Estate Market Report - Up NumbersFor sellers, the average price of a three bedroom 2 bath home has climbed consistently for the past five years. The current average price is $279290. That is a 17% increase from the 2013 average sales price of $233113. For sellers, that's a welcome change from the difficult days of the recession.The number of home sales is consistent with the past five years. The number of home sales in the ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Winchester/Frederick Co., Housing Market - September 2017The Winchester/Frederick Co., housing market slowed slightly in the third quarter of 2017, but the numbers are still good. The third quarter statistics followed the same pattern as September 2017.Winchester/Frederick Co., housing market by the numbersSeptember saw 135 homes sold in the Winchester/Frederick Co., housing market. Of those 135 homes the average home sale was $279,955. Compared with the past five years, that is a 20% increase in sale price. The September 2013 average home sale price was $221,605.The average days on the market has stayed consistent during that same five-year period with minimal changes. Three of the past four years experienced 64 days on the market for listings. The summer months typically see a slight ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) continues to make housing affordable for first-time home buyers.The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) continues to make housing affordable for first-time home buyers in Virginia. VHDA is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to making home-buying education available for first-time home buyers. They also offer mortgages, grants and down-payment assistance. VHDA is the number one home-buying education and assistance program in the United States.Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., has been hosting home-buyer education seminars for the past six years. The seminars cover a host of topics, including personal finance, credit and credit reporting, working with a lender, the role of the real estate agent, home inspection and the ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
There are so many crazy things we, as Realtors, do for our clients. I've seen agents paint rooms, carry away garbage, mow grass, help move, fix meals and the list goes on and on. That's a wonderful way to show clients that Realtors really are in this business for more than a commission check. This is a people business, and helping people reach their goals is the icing on the cake. This week, I had another one of those "that's a first" moments. One of my contracts is on a land listing I have on the west side of my community. It's very rural and most homes will have their own well and septic. Before a house can be built, a perc test has to be conducted to see what type of septic system the land will accommodate.The process of a perc test is digging holes on the property about three feet d...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Northern Shenandoah Valley Real Estate Market Update - January - July 2017The northern Shenandoah Valley real estate market update for January through July 2017 shows where real estate is moving and where it is booming. It's moving in all sectors, including, Frederick County, Clarke County and Warren County, VA. Where it's booming is just across the Virginia state line in Berkeley and Jefferson County, WV. Frederick County saw 792 homes sold in the first seven months of 2017. That was followed by 426 in Warren County, and then 123 in Clarke County. Move that view a few miles north and numbers run off the chart. Berkeley County, WV saw 1204 sales during that same period and Jefferson County, WV left all the neighboring counties behind with 1707 homes sold. The Frederick, Clarke and Warre...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
As a licensed real estate professional, I've seen my share of FSBOs. Most of the time, they end up with a Realtor sign in the yard after months of languishing on the market with a "For Sale By Owner" sign. I just passed a former FSBO yesterday. As usual, I chuckled when I saw the Realtor sign in the front yard.Why do they fail at a higher rate than a professionally listed property? Homeowners seldom really know the current market. That leads to an overpriced home that savvy buyers would never buy. I showed one this past Monday that was 62% overpriced. I guess the seller assumes there is always a buyer with more money than brains out there. What you want, and what a home will sell for may be light years apart. Showing a FSBO can be challenging. When an agent sets up a dozen showings in o...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Don't panic; it's July. Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market ReportDon't panic; it's July. The Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market for July 2017 shows a considerable drop in sales from June 2017. Real estate sales dropped 24%. That might sound worrisome to some, but in reality, it's a seasonal decline that happens year after year.July of 2016 dropped 9% from June 2016. July of 2015 dropped 23% from June 2015, and July 2014 dropped 37% from June 2014. What causes these mid-year anomalies? Vacations and summer, mostly. Home buyers are less likely to buy a Winchester-Frederick County, VA home in July than most other months. Buyers are on vacation, kids are out of school, and college students are doing what college students do during the summer. You get the poin...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Selling Homes in the Shenandoah Valley of VirginiaSelling homes in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is a blast. There are never two days in a row that are the same, and just about the time you think you've seen it all, something comes along that amazes you. The homes you sell can be in subdivisions surrounded by other homes and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, or they can be in the mountains, by the river, on a large lake, or wherever they are, they are often exciting to view. The scenery is beautiful and the friends you make along the way are often four-footed.On a recent home inspection, I came across a beautiful valley scene with a rainbow popping up above the mountains. It was so peaceful and relaxing that I found myself sitting on the front porch just taking in the environment....
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