Is Buying Your First Home Within Your Grasp?

Are you an “old millennial”? Despite the terrible name chosen for this generation, you might be a good candidate for home ownership! Based on the infographic below, you will see that those that have been categorized as “old millennials” are dominating the first time home buying market.


7 Reasons to Own a Home

A quick run down of just 7 of the MANY reasons to own a home. 7 Reasons to Own A Home Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in


Is Now a Good Time to Buy?

Time Magazine’s September 11 cover story attempts to make a strong case against homeownership in the article found here; but I have actually found my recent conversations with clients (current and pending) to present a story that is quite the opposite. Are you still debating whether or not it is a “good time to buy”?  It is never a good


Trying to Utilize FHA Financing? Check this List of Condo Communities to See if They’re Approved!

If you’re planning to utilize FHA financing to purchase your next home, you have to use a little bit of caution when considering condos in Charlottesville, as not all of them are approved for FHA financing. Check out the link below to see whether or not the condo you’re considering is approved for FHA; HUD.GOV Condos with FHA Financing If your the condo community you’re considering is not on this list, you may need to check with your mortgage lender to see if you will be able to come up with an alternative type of financing. Additionally, if you live in one of the condos that is not able to provide FHA financing, you should be aware that it may limit the potential number of Purchaser’s who will have the ability to buy your home on the resale market! Please give me a call if I can help connect you with a lender who may be able to help you find alternative financing orget you qualified!


New Forms to Claim The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

The new forms to submit when claiming the first time homebuyer tax credit have finally been released! Form 5405 will now be needed when submitting a tax claim, and this is likely mainly due to the large numbers of tax fraud we were experiencing in response to the First Time Homebuyer tax credit. Please be sure to file this along with your claim, so you don’t experience any sort of delay in claiming your credit!

…New-home buyers who don’t have a HUD-1 settlement statment must send in a copy of the certificate of occupancy.

…I hope that this will continue through the extension of the credit in 2010, but I would love any feedback you may have!


January is National Radon Month!

As described on the EPA website; Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste.

… In Charlottesville, the standard is to test for radon when you purchase your home during the inspection period (and some people will opt not to test at all) but for most people, that is the first and only test for radon that they will do on their home. There are many areas in Charlottesville where radon gas is present in homes, so if you’ve never checked- now is a great time! Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, and the EPA Radon site has lots of local and national links to help connect you with how to purchase a self-test, connect with someone locally to administer a professional test, and find people to mitigate a radon problem should you have one. Locally, one of my preferred home inspectors, John Handloser with Pillar to Post Home Inspections , will be happy to administer a professional radon test in your home- call him a few days in advance to schedule him to come out.


According to NAR, 4 out of 10 Recent Buyers Used FHA Loans

FHA loans used to evoke lots of negative connotations, a few of which were; lots of extra requirements, much longer time to process, and stringent and difficult home inspection standards. … According to the most recent REALTORS® Confidence Index, 39 percent of recent buyers purchased a home with a Federal Housing Administration-insured loan. REALTORS® who took part in the November survey also reported that the number of first-time home buyers continued to climb to 51 percent. “FHA helps provide affordable mortgage financing to home owners, particularly first-time home buyers who are so important in drawing down inventory to help stabilize the current housing market,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder. “These recent survey results reaffirm that, despite its current challenges, FHA is a critical part of the American housing fabric.” —NAR [From REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-4 out of 10 Recent Buyers Used FHA Loans ]


An interesting thing about interest rates and value…

I have spoken to many of my clients about this previously, when saying that often a 1/4 point increase in interest rate can result in a higher monthly mortgage payment than would a 5% increase in sales price. What this means, is that the buyers out there who are waiting for the market to “hit bottom” may end up finding that their dream home becomes more expensive, even as the price drops. … Second, the last time the long-term trends reversed from low to high, it took more than 20 years (1970 to 1992) for the rate to get back to where it was, and 30 years to actually start trending below the 1970 low. … While different in each region, for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that the average person is putting $40,000 down and borrowing $200,000 to pay the price of a typical home nationwide.

…If you could use a recommendation to a good local lender, who can walk you through all of the stipulations of your financing and help you determine if now is the right time for you to buy, please don’t hesitate to call.


Purchasing a Short Sale

Charlottesville is currently seeing a handful of short sales, and for every short sale that we can successfully achieve, we are avoiding a foreclosure hitting our market. Short sales, however, are not for the faint of heart! They are highly unpredictable, and while they can result in an incredible deal on a home, they can also result in frustration and


What is a Zestimate?

Just today I was in a class where we were discussing the different online resources for home buyers and sellers that are often perused prior to enlisting the help of a Realtor. You will find that several of these websites are not yet able to provide any sort of accurate information about Charlottesville whatsoever, but it is moving our way


Appealing Your Tax Assessment

I have had several clients and friends ask me about their most recent Albemarle County Tax Assessments (just sent to home owners yesterday) and if there is any way to fight the numbers.  I found a really great article that summarizes everything you need to know about this subject and then some.   Many thanks to Sellsius Real Estate Blog! Some