CAAR Third Quarter Market Report Just Released!

There were some awesome highlights this time around! Charlottesville Area 3rd Quarter 2013 Highlights: Overall sales in Greater Charlottesville were up 25.9% over the same quarter last year and represented the highest 3rd Quarter sales total since 2007. The median sales price of $267,612 in the 3rd Quarter was up 11.6% from Q3-2012, the highest year-over- year price gain of


Real Estate Provisions in the Fiscal Cliff Bill

For those of you wondering about what the fiscal cliff means for real estate, what is going to happen with the mortgage interest deduction, and what will happen with capital gains taxes and estate taxes, check out this very brief summary of the fiscal cliff provisions regarding real estate.  These are current as of January 1, when both the Senate and


Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for 2011-2012 Released

Before you spend thousands of dollars on a home renovation that you hope will add value to your house (and not just enjoyment), take a look at Remodeling Magazine’s annual list of remodeling cost vs. value for the mid-atlantic region first!  This list provides a national survey highlighting which improvements are the most valuable and will produce the highest return


But Zillow says my house is worth…

It is actually quite often that people I run into have been completely misguided about their home values.  With the incredible technology and information online about real estate and home searches, people often feel that real estate websites are getting to the point where they are extremely accurate and reliable.  In some large cities, evidently this is true.  In Charlottesville,


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


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!


Before beginning a new home improvement project- Check this list!

Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 10.27.37 PM.jpgBefore choosing which home improvement project you will take on next, check out this list for a national survey on which improvements are the most valuable and will produce the highest return on investment. The survey is broken down region-by-region and then parsed into large metropolitan areas; the closest to us in terms of size, location, and economy being Richmond. Take a look, you may be surprised at what you find! 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report


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 ]


Answer these questions to determine if purchasing a bank owned home/foreclosure is right for you…

All during the time that we are awaiting closing, mortgage rates will be fluctuating, and if the loan lock deadline passes, you will have to re-apply for the loan and incur any related charges. … It is very unlikely that we will be allowed to occupy the property prior to closing, so you would need to have a backup residence in mind, in case of any delays. If this is your primary home, some sort of temporary living arrangement would need to be made, and it may include moving twice- from your current home to the temporary residence, and the temporary residence to your new home. … Some of the changes that are often arranged in the addenda; tougher restrictions on the Purchaser, shorter timelines for the Purchaser to secure a loan, conduct a home inspection, etc, a larger deposit, deposits to be held in the escrow of the lenders choice, and very few provisions that will allow for the Purchaser to get out of the contract and many ways for the lender/seller to walk. … You will also want to make sure that any liens that may have been held against the previous owners (who may have had difficulty paying many bills, aside from their mortgage) have been released and you will have the ability to purchase the home free and clear of liens and encumbrances.


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.


100 Abandoned Houses

It is undeniable that Charlottesville has suffered far less than many other parts of the nation throughout the housing crisis. I just came across a website that is truly fascinating- 100 Abandoned Houses. This site documents photographs of homes all throughout Detroit that have been abandoned due to hardship. The homes are truly fascinating, some of them beautiful. We are