Category Archives: Real Estate Advice

111 Green St, Lake of the Woods Virginia Home now UNDER CONTRACT!!!

Welcome to 111 Green Street! This meticulous, move-in-ready home will wow you! From the moment you pull into the driveway, you will know it’s the one! The incredible gourmet kitchen with upgraded stainless steel appliances, gorgeous quartz countertops, amazing cabinetry, island, and beautiful lighting are sure to please. Off the kitchen is the dining area that opens to the living area for entertaining ease, with cathedral ceilings and that is only the beginning! The owner’s suite is spacious, full of light, with walk-in closet and an en-suite bath that boasts custom backsplash and tile floor. Second bedroom is off the owner’s suite so it would make a great nursery or home office. Relax in your sunroom enjoying the sounds of nature and a private premium golf course lot. Close to golf pro shop and Fareways cafe and front gate! Get your lake life started today!

A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550-acre main lake and a 35-acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, water skiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from the mid $100,000s to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

1324 Lakeview Pkwy NOW UNDER CONTRACT in Amenity-rich, Lake of the Woods VA 22508!

Welcome home to 1324 Lakeview Parkway! This immaculate home in Lake of the Woods truly has it all. From the moment you pull into the driveway, you will love the inviting curb appeal and the beautifully landscaped yard. Once you enter, you are greeted by gleaming hardwood floors, a cozy fireplace, fine finishes, and a sought-after open floor plan. The cathedral ceilings with skylights and ample windows allow the sun to shine into this well-maintained, move in ready home. The large living space opens to the kitchen and breakfast room which allows plenty of dining space. There is also a separate room with double glass doors that could be used as a formal dining room, sitting room, or office. The desirable split bedroom design is sure to please with two bedrooms and a full bathroom down a separate hallway on the other side of the home from the primary bedroom. The fourth bedroom, which could also be a bonus room or office, is upstairs above the garage. The owner’s suite is spacious and offers an en-suite bath with double vanities, remodeled shower and a big walk in closet with built-in shelves. The recently added sunroom with shiplap siding is so inviting and will certainly be one of your favorite spots, with its own heating and AC it can be enjoyed year- round. The sunroom has doors through both the owners’ bedroom and living room. The sunroom also leads out to the deck, patio, and backyard which is an entertainer’s dream. The roof was replaced in 2020, the Trane HVAC and water heater in 2015, and upgraded Anderson windows, there are so many upgrades and advantages to this home, come see for yourself before it’s too late!

A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, water skiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from $150,000+ to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

609 Stratford Cir, Lake of the Woods Virginia- Under Contract!

You will absolutely fall in love with 609 Stratford Circle! You are welcomed by gleaming hardwood floors, formal dining room with columns, a living room featuring cathedral ceilings, a gas fireplace for those cool nights, and an abundance of natural light. Enjoy cooking in the spacious kitchen with breakfast bar, as well as a dining area with access to the screened porch. The open floor plan will make entertaining a breeze! The sought after split bedroom design with an incredible, expansive owner’s suite featuring a double closets, the large en-suite bath features a soaking tub to melt the day away. Imagine quiet evenings in the screened porch with your favorite beverage, reading a book or enjoying cookouts with spacious outdoor living areas and spending time with family and friends.

A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, water skiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from $150,000+ to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

market stats

March 2021 Lake of the Woods Market Stats

In March, 26 homes sold in Lake of the Woods.
1 sold between $130-199,999;
3 sold between $200-249,999;
8 sold between $250,000-299,999;
6 sold between $300-349,999;
5 sold between $350,000-399,999;
2 sold between $400-599,999;
1 home sold over $600,000.

18 Active Listings for Sale
56 Homes Under Contract
70 Homes Sold since January 1, 2021.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata

What Makes Today’s Real Estate Market So Competitive?

Key Takeaways

  • This year’s housing market is shaping up to be the most competitive on record, but the pandemic isn’t the only thing influencing the national real estate boom.
  • There are actually quite a few factors contributing to today’s hot market, including unfettered buyer demand, historically low supply, and steady interest rates.
  • Have questions about buying a home in 2021? Get in touch with us for even more personalized advice.

3 Factors That Make 2021’s Real Estate Market More Competitive Than Ever

If you’re planning a move, you might be wondering how the real estate market will change this year—and the predictions are pretty eye-opening. Existing home sales are expected to increase by 9%, home prices could rise by a whopping 8%, and mortgage rates should stay well below 4% for the foreseeable future.

For buyers, this means you may have to work harder than usual to find the perfect place. However, this extra effort will pay off if you have a home to sell or want to take advantage of extraordinarily low interest rates.

Need help making sense of today’s market? Here are a few reasons why real estate is more competitive than ever in 2021.

The ongoing pandemic

Buying a home during the pandemic

A year ago, real estate experts had no idea how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact the housing market. While many predicted a crash akin to what we saw in 2008, we actually saw the opposite: a pandemic housing boom.

During last year’s lockdowns, many renters and homeowners grew unhappy with their living situations and wanted a change. This caused demand for homes to spike—and as panicked sellers pulled their listings, prices rose higher and higher.

The pandemic might slowly be coming to an end, but we’re still seeing remnants of 2020 in today’s market. And while more sellers are finally warming up to the idea of listing again, available housing supply is still at its lowest point ever.

Record-low interest rates

Dice changing rates

In late March, interest rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages hovered around 2.5% and 3.3%, respectively. Although these numbers aren’t quite as low as they were in 2020, buyers can still score a once-in-a-lifetime deal by moving now.

To put things into perspective, let’s say you’re thinking about buying a $300,000 house with a 20% down payment. Back when rates were nearing 4%, you could expect to pay around $1,200 per month for your mortgage. However, if you were to buy that same home with a 3% interest rate, your payment would drop to just $1,012—and that difference can save you tens of thousands of dollars over time.

Low inventory & unprecedented buyer demand

Sold sign

Real estate is all about supply and demand. And in today’s competitive market, an inventory shortage and swelling buyer demand have created perfect conditions for sellers. In particularly popular areas, it’s not uncommon for homes to sell just days after they’re listed, sometimes in bidding wars that go above the original asking price.

If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, be prepared to act fast. Many agents recommend getting pre-approved, limiting your contingencies, or even setting an escalation clause to automatically outbid other buyers.

Bottom Line: Now Is the Time to Move

Navigating 2021’s one-of-a-kind real estate market may seem like a daunting task, but the right agent will help you through every step of the process. Today’s buyers can capitalize on shockingly low interest rates, while sellers stand to make an impressive profit should they decide to list soon. And if you ever have any questions, we’re always here to help!

Buying or Selling Soon? Let’s Talk!

Don’t let the market keep you from making a move. If you’re ready to achieve real estate success in no time at all, drop us a line to get started. We’d love to offer you one-on-one buying or selling advice that’s tailored to your unique needs.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market

Right now, the housing market is full of outstanding opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Whether you’re thinking of buying your first home, moving up to a bigger one, or selling so you can downsize this spring, there are perks today that are powering big moves for people across the country. Here are the top two to keep on the radar this season.

The Biggest Perk for Buyers: Low Mortgage Rates

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market | MyKCM

Today’s most compelling buyer incentive is low mortgage interest rates. The 30-year fixed-rate is now averaging just over 3%. While that’s slightly higher than the record-lows from 2020 and earlier this year, it’s still way lower than historic norms, making purchasing a home an ongoing perk for hopeful buyers (See graph below):This is a huge advantage for buyers and helps to make owning a home attainable for more households – and there’s good reason to strive for homeownership. The latest Homeowner Equity Report from CoreLogic shows how homeowners saw major gains in their net worth last year, all thanks to owning a home. Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogicexplains:

Positive factors like record-low interest rates and a booming housing market encouraged many families to enter homeownership. This growing bank of personal wealth that homeownership affords was noticed by many but in particular for first-time buyers who want a piece of the cake. As a result, we may see more of those currently renting start to enter the market in the near future.”

Low mortgage rates are a plus for buyers right now, but experts forecast we’ll see them continue to rise as the year goes on. If you’re ready to purchase a home, it’s wise to get started on the process soon so you can secure today’s comparatively low rate.

The Biggest Perk for Sellers: Low Inventory

Today, there are simply not enough houses on the market for the number of buyers looking to purchase them, and it’s creating a serious sellers’ market. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:

“Total active inventory continues to decline, dropping 50 percent. With buyers active in the market and sellers still slow to put homes up for sale, homes are selling quickly and the total number actively available for sale at any point in time continues to decline.” (See map below):

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market | MyKCM

The lack of houses for sale continues to challenge the market, and with low mortgage rates fueling buyer demand, homes are hard for buyers to find today. According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average house is now receiving 4.1 offers and is on the market for only 20 days.

Buyers are clearly eager to purchase, and because of the shortage of inventory available, they’re often entering bidding warsThis is one of the factors keeping home prices strong and giving sellers leverage in the negotiation process.

Homeowners who are in a position to sell shouldn’t wait to make their move. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for today’s inventory shortage, so listing this spring will get your house on the market when conditions are most favorable. With low inventory and high buyer demand, homeowners can potentially earn a greater profit on their houses and sell them quickly in the fast-paced spring market.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, there are major perks available in today’s housing market. Let’s connect today to discuss how these favorable conditions play to your advantage in our local area.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Finding an Ideal Home When Starting or Growing A Family

When you decide to have kids, your housing priorities change. A small and cozy apartment may be perfect for a single person or a couple, but life with kids in a minimal space is more than challenging. Growing families will often outgrow their previous homes and decide to move to a better one for their needs. Searching for your dream house is exciting, but be ready to make many important decisions about the next chapter of your life. Here’s what you need to know about finding an ideal home when starting or growing a family.

Timing

There is no universally right timing for buying a home. Many millennial homebuyers are currently searching for homes for their families. Some decide to buy before they have children, while others wait. Everything has some pros and cons:

  • If you buy a family home before having kids, you’ll have room to grow, and maybe you’ll be more relaxed. You won’t have to move while expecting a baby and going through a rollercoaster of emotions that all parents-to-be face. The downside to this timing is that you might not know all your parenting decisions yet, which may affect the home buying process.
  • If you wait until your baby is on its way, you may have a better picture of what you want for your kids. However, finding a home at that time and organizing a relocation may be very stressful for a pregnant woman.
  • Waiting until you have one or more kids will give you time to better understand the family’s needs and priorities. However, looking at homes while your kids are young can be overwhelming.

Whether you find yourself in any of these situations, just have in mind that finding an ideal home when starting or growing a family isn’t easy, but it’s worth any trouble.

When you already have kids, you know your family’s priorities, and that will impact
your home buying process.

Set your budget

Set your price range and know what you can afford. Think carefully about many factors. For example, if you’ll have more kids, will both parents be able to continue to work, and you’ll still have two incomes? What is your usual monthly budget? A large home will require more investment and more maintenance. The bigger the house, the higher the electrical bills and other utility bills will be. That’s why you need to consider energy-efficient appliances when home-hunting.

Location

No matter the timing, the budget, or the location, moving to a new home while having to juggle family and all other responsibilities will be challenging. What is important is that you choose a good long-term investment and consider all the factors before deciding. Probably some compromises will have to be made, so discuss everything together with your partner.

The main thing you want for your kids is a safe neighborhood with a family-friendly community and amenities. Research and check the quality of schools in the potential neighborhood, crime rates, and demographics. Then, drive around that area. Make a visit after school hours and on weekends. Do you see families with children? Are there many playgrounds, swing sets, or basketball hoops? Are there kids playing outdoors? Check nearby recreation and entertainment options – parks, recreation centers, pools, fitness centers, museums, etc.

Search for a family-friendly location with lots of parks and playgrounds, good schools, and a low crime rate.

Home size

When deciding on the home size, first create a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. If you know for sure that you’ll only have one child, a home with two bedrooms is desirable. However, if you’re expecting a second or a third child, look for a home with at least three bedrooms. Your children can share a room, but while one of them is still a baby, it may disturb the older brother/sister’s sleep. Think about all aspects, the present and future.

When your kids grow and become teenagers, they’ll probably need separate bedrooms and a place where they can hang out with friends. Furthermore, more and more people work remotely, so many young professionals are looking for a home office in a house. Think if you will need a guestroom. Pets are also members of a family and have needs. So consider the outdoor space too. A garden will also be crucial for your family gatherings during the summer, such as barbeques, birthday celebrations, family dinners, etc.

Location and home size are crucial for finding an ideal home when starting or growing a family.

Kid-friendly features

Finding an ideal home when starting or growing a family includes finding as many possible kid-friendly features. When looking at houses, you need to answer all of these questions:

  • Are the doors, windows, and stairs safe enough? Will your family be safe from break-ins or possible accidents? Stairs must be safely gated for the security of your baby and toddler.
  • Is there enough storage space? More kids – more stuff. As kids grow, they’ll have more and more clothes and toys, not to mention bicycles, various requisites, and sports equipment. You need as much closet space as possible to be able to store all their items.
  • How big is the yard? Kids need to spend time outside in the fresh air. A house with a big, fenced yard will ensure they have a safe place to play.
  • Is there a bathtub?  Look for a house that has at least one spacious bathtub; children love them.
  • Will you have a laundry room? A laundry room is actually one of the top home features for 2021. Everybody who has children needs to deal with lots of dirty clothes. Your washer and dryer should be conveniently placed in a laundry room that isn’t adjacent to the children’s room. They might wake each time the washer and dryer are on.
  • Is there an open-floor space? A kitchen should overlook the living room, so you’ll be able to cook while your kids are playing. Open spaces are great for family bonding, game nights, and movie nights.
  • Is a home kid-proofed? When expecting a child, baby-proofing is necessary. Install outlet covers and cabinet stops and replace outdated electrical systems.
  • Will you have enough space for parking? Is there a garage? This will all influence your everyday life.

Relocation to your dream home

Once you find all (or the majority) of these features in a home that you can afford, you can start the homebuying process. When the home is yours, the only thing left is to hire relocation experts that are right for you and prepare for a move. Pack your stuff carefully and methodically, and rely on a babysitter if necessary. It will make the situation easier for all of you.

Final thoughts

With all of this in mind, we hope that finding an ideal home when starting or growing a family will be successful and as quick and easy as possible. Once you move in, you’ll have countless happy moments and make thousands of happy memories together.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-couple-sitting-with-a-baby-3995921/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/family-making-breakfast-in-the-kitchen-4259138/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-family-walking-on-park-2880897/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-building-city-clouds-259593/

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Exposing the 4 Factors Agents Use to Price Your Home Right

Key Takeaways:

  • Before you list your home, it’s crucial to understand how much a buyer would be willing to pay for it.
  • Your agent will use a variety of factors to determine a competitive list price—and some of them might be a little unexpected.
  • If you’re looking for a fast and accurate way to price your home, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a complimentary estimate!

4 Surprising Factors That Go Into Pricing a Home

Pricing your home to sell quickly—even in today’s hot real estate market—is all about balance. You want to price low enough to attract potential buyers, but high enough to profit from your equity. And while it may be tempting to use automatic estimators, it’s best to leave the number-crunching to your agent.

Need help determining the perfect price? Here are a few factors your agent will take into consideration when valuing your home.

Your home’s size and condition

House with coin stacks

This may seem like a given, but a home’s size, condition, and features play a huge role in how much it’s worth. Before you list, your agent will perform a walkthrough of your home to thoroughly evaluate its saleability. If your space is move-in ready and well-maintained, you’ll have more luck setting a higher asking price.

Many sellers are under the impression that big-ticket upgrades will drastically increase their home’s value, but this isn’t always the case. Before you make a significant change, ask your agent for their professional opinion. Believe it or not, smaller touches (like updating hardware or repainting) can have a better return on investment than a full-scale renovation.

Location

Map with pin

Real estate is all about location, and there are a few general factors that tend to boost property values. Typically, agents will price a home based on local schools, nearby employment opportunities, and proximity to amenities. Houses in more desirable neighborhoods or communities also tend to command a higher list price.

Above all, most buyers are looking for homes that offer the perfect blend of privacy and convenience. Being close to (but not right next to!) highways or public transportation is another huge plus.

Other recently sold homes

Sold home sign

One of the best indicators of your home’s value is the sale price of other listings in your neighborhood. Your real estate agent should conduct a comparative market analysis—abbreviated as CMA—to see how your home stacks up against the competition. By looking at recently sold homes that are similar to yours, they can calculate a fair and accurate price.

After your agent has assessed your home, they’ll likely send you a CMA report that contains their projected price, along with data from other comparable homes. A great agent will also be available to answer any questions, too!

Current market trends

Houses on a graph

Even if your home is in perfect condition, in the best location, and boasts quite a few upgrades, the current state of the market can have a huge impact on its overall value. And in today’s seller-driven market, homes are now worth more than ever before.

Just last year, home prices surged by 15%. To put those numbers into perspective, that’s a $45,000 increase for a $300,000 home. If you want to take advantage of these unbelievable conditions, now is the time to list—and we’d love to help!

Get Your Updated Home Value

Whether you’re just curious or are ready to sell, you can trust our team to calculate your home’s true market value. Request a free home valuation today, or reach out to us to learn more about 2021’s hot real estate market. There’s never been a better time to list!

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Take These Steps on the Path to Homeownership

Homeownership is undisputedly the Great American Dream. There is a good reason for that, especially as interest rates have dropped. And while the pandemic has changed the landscape of buying a home, with patience and the help of great real estate professionals like The Licata Group, you can make this a reality. If you’ve never walked this path before, there are a few steps you can take to help your dream come true. 

Step 1: Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a number that gives lenders a good idea of whether you’re financially responsible. Ideally, you’ll have a score of 720 or higher. You may be able to get a loan with a credit score of 580, but the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. It’s always a good idea to know what’s hiding on your credit report before you contact the lender.

Step 2: Know What You Can Afford

Knowing your credit score is only part of the puzzle. You also have to figure out how much you can reasonably afford for your mortgage. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most lenders will also consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Generally speaking, you are more likely to repay your loan if your DTI is 43 percent or less. Your credit score and DTI may also determine which types of loans you are eligible to receive. 

If you have very little credit, as many homebuyers do, you might want to consider an FHA loan. Often, you can put less money down and still walk away with a reasonable monthly payment. If your goal is the lowest mortgage possible, plan to put 20 percent down and stick to a 30-year loan. Fifteen- and 20-year loans are also available, and they can help you pay your house off faster, but they’ll cost more money each month.

Step 3: Find the Right Realtor

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start shopping for a reliable real estate agent. This is the person who will represent your best interests throughout the home-buying process. While it is technically possible to buy a house without this kind of assistance, keep in mind that a buyer’s agent does not charge you. Instead, barring a few exceptions, their time and expertise are compensated by the commission offered by the seller.

Step 4: Begin Your Search

Now that you have a handle on money, you can start your home search. First, determine how much home you actually need. Plan for the future and look for a home that will provide enough room to accommodate your lifestyle and space needs for the next five to 10 years. This is where the affordability factor comes into play, and your realtor will be able to steer you in the right direction. Note that on average, homes in Lake of the Woods currently sell for $335,000.

Step 5: Found It! Make an Offer 

When you think you have found the perfect house, put your game face on and make an offer. Depending on your local climate, you may want to offer close to the asking price – your agent can help you make that determination. Keep in mind, however, that even after they accept the offer, things may change depending on the home inspection and appraisal.

In a normal scenario, when your offer is accepted, things will move quickly, usually between four and six weeks. However, the pandemic could have an effect on how long you wait to close. Regardless, during this time, you’ll be contacted by your lender for additional information, and you will be in close contact with your agent. If everything goes off without a hitch, you’ll find yourself sitting at the title company on closing day, holding the keys to the next chapter of your journey.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

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