Tag Archives: information

Explaining the Buzz Around iBuyers—and the Buzzkill

Key Takeaways:

  • Some sellers have turned to iBuyers for instant cash offers on their properties, but they have consequently sacrificed the personalization of their home sale.
  • iBuyers use outdated algorithms to value properties, whereas real estate agents use to-the-minute statistics to generate accurate, competitive prices.
  • Work with our team of local agents to expertly price your property—and we can even start crunching the numbers for your updated home value today!

Here’s What You Need to Know About iBuyers

An iBuyer is a company that makes an offer on your property by using automated value-estimating technology. Rather than partaking in the traditional home sale process, some of today’s sellers are relying on iBuyers to make all-cash offers on their properties. And since iBuyers use automated estimators to price your home, these companies are able to make their offers almost instantly.

Sellers have varying considerations when it comes to their home sales—some prioritize earning top dollar, while others just want to sell as quickly as possible. So depending on your home-selling goals, iBuyers could be a valid option for you. However, no matter what you want out of your home sale, you should always have an expert real estate agent by your side to guide you through the process.

When pricing your home, you want accuracy—not algorithms

Realtor showing home

As the local market starts showing signs of a shift, there’s never been a more critical time to know your home’s true value. In the real estate industry, agents price your home through a process called a comparative market analysis (CMA). This process compares your property to recently sold listings in the area that share similar features to your own home. Based on the CMA results, our agents are able to generate a competitive price that will have buyers flocking to your door.

On the other hand, iBuyers use a software they refer to as an automation valuation model, which essentially uses an algorithm to quickly process a property’s data and compute an offer price. When setting a list price for your property, you don’t want to rely on automatic estimators that promise instant (but not accurate!) results—entrust a local agent instead! And when you work with us, one of our pricing experts will evaluate your property in-person to pinpoint its value-boosting features and deliver you an accurate price in real-time.

The ideal timeline of your home sale should be top of mind

couple planning their moving timeline

This is when your home-selling priorities come into play—if selling your home quickly is your absolute top priority, then working with an iBuyer might best fit your needs. Many iBuyers can make you a cash offer within two days of when they receive your property’s information. Then, if you accept the offer and schedule a home assessment immediately, you could close on your house anywhere from two weeks to two months later, depending on any necessary repairs.

Although the extraordinarily quick timeline of selling your home to an iBuyer may seem compelling, you also have to consider our local market—it’s still skewed towards sellers. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 87% of properties sold in August 2021 were on the market for less than a month. So with the ball still clearly in sellers’ courts, working with an iBuyer might not guarantee moving any sooner.

Need Selling Advice? We’re All Ears!

Ultimately, determining whether you should sell to an iBuyer is a personal decision based on your priorities. And as your local area experts, our agents are here to guide you through the home-selling process no matter which option you choose. Whether you need to sell your home this week or crave a competitive list price that will earn you a profit, you can count on us to accomplish your home-selling goals.

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 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, 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.

an image of landscape in Orange County, VA

All you need to know about the lifestyle in Orange County, VA

Living in a big city is fantastic. Such a lifestyle brings many benefits when it comes to job opportunities, social life, and entertainment. However, city life also brings high costs of living, limited housing options, and a lot of everyday stress caused by commute and other factors. Not to mention the financial burden, because it’s never enough no matter how much you earn. Being in the center of the happening has a high cost. And as we grow older, we realize that relocation to a healthier and more affordable location is a game-changer. Unlike fast city pace, the lifestyle in Orange County, VA, is a different story. Here, you can slow down, enjoy nature and the people around you without losing essential location amenities. If you’re considering turning your life for the better, here is all you need to know about life in this charming county.

County location amenities

When choosing your future home, it is essential to know what you are looking for in a place. For instance, the location is one of the most critical factors of relocation because it will often dictate the job opportunities and other amenities the town provides. Thus, living near industry hubs and city centers is relevant, especially for working people. That is why many professionals have chosen Orange County as their new home in the past few years. Surrounded by Washington D.C. to the north, Richmond to the south, and Charlottesville to the southeast, this county has some great opportunities in business and educational fields.

Yet, since it is a growing county, some work on providing more gainful employment for the youth could be useful. The primary industries lay in agriculture, manufacture, and commercial services. However, recently a tourist and investors influx has given a boost to the development of this charming community. Thus, we can expect many more entrepreneurs and startup industries to choose Orange County as their base.

Vineyard in Orange County, VA
Orange County is famous for its vineyards and wine tasting tours

Pace of life

Orange County community is surrounded by farms and rich agriculture, with plenty of wineries where residents can enjoy some of Virginia’s best vines. That, and being the birthplace of James Madison, the founder of the U.S. Constitution, attracts many tourists to these parts. The residents are proud of the rich history of the place, which is incorporated in every part of the town.

Taking a stroll in downtown Orange County, you can see the cutest local shops and venues. And you will be surprised by the culinary mastery of the local chiefs. You can be sure to have some of the best dining experiences visiting town restaurants. Still, unlike in big cities, you won’t have to wait for meal reservations or get annoyed by the crowd and noisy streets. The town is a haven of enjoyment and relaxation, perfect for a retiree and family life. But, according to Virginia’s moving experts at Po’s Moving & Storage, in the past two years, a lot of their clients have been young professionals working remotely. Affordable costs of living, and a healthy lifestyle in Orange County, lately make many city people re-consider their living conditions.

Leisure opportunities in the area

Even for lovers of outdoor recreation, the O.C. has a lot of fun opportunities. Golf lovers can enjoy some of the numerous courses, while Lake Anna, Lake Orange, and Angler’s Landing are known to be a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. For more active nature lovers, especially those in water sports, kayaking tours on the Rapidan waterways will provide an unforgettable experience. And if you’re into more extreme outdoor activities, you can skydive with the help of the local experts. However, wine tasting tours, farm visits, and historical and nature trails are available for those who fancy a slower pace.

Family on a kayaking tour, representing lifestyle in Orange County, VA
The lifestyle of Orange County can provide some of the best outdoor activities for people who are into water sports

What makes people move to Orange County, VA

Due to a slow life pace, the O.C. is a common moving destination for the retiree community. But also, it is popular with people who want to live a quality and peaceful life while growing their family. Unlike high-priced housing markets in Northern Virginia, this place provides more comfortable and bigger homes at affordable costs. Whether it comes to better housing options or the desire to switch to a more eco-friendly way of living, the number of new homeowners in Orange County is growing lately.

Nowadays, we connect to the World Wide Web and often disconnect from the people and the world around us. That could make it hard to meet new people after the move. The quality traits, where people are friendly and traditions matter, are getting harder to find every day. It is the close-knit communities where you can easily make new friends and have a fresh, healthy lifestyle that restore the true values.

Woman with a child in nature
Virginia is famous for its stunning nature and agricultural potential. Thus, many young families move when switching to an eco-friendly way of living

Local festivities

Even though a relatively small community, Orange County enjoys celebrating numerous year-round festivals and sporting events.  At Downtown Orange Street Festival, you get to challenge your senses with some of the best cuisines, music, art, and beverages. As a community awareness promotion, the festival draws over 5,000 visitors from all over Virginia, especially families with kids. However, that’s not all. People in Orange County love to celebrate and have a good time. Thus, they use it to throw many other festivities, such as Office Costume Contest, Liberty Ride, Fallapalooza, Town Scavenger Hunt, Sunflower Orange Festival, Restaurant Week, and other cultural, music, and social events. 

Montpelier horse race
The state-renowned event, the Montpelier horse, and Jack Russell terrier races are making people flock here every November

Conclusion

If you are tired of city hustle and financial burden and want to take a slower pace, the lifestyle in Orange County could be a perfect choice for you. Here, you don’t have to sacrifice visits to your favorite shops and city amenities. The town itself has some of the most charming shops and local businesses in Virginia. From numerous town festivals to exquisite outdoor recreational opportunities, there is something for everyone’s taste. Still, when the nostalgia hits, big cities such as Richmond, Washington DC, and Charlottesville are just a short ride away.

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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 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, 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.

Here’s How Shopping Small Can Earn You Big Profits

Key Takeaways:

  • When it comes to selling your home, supporting local businesses is one of the most profitable decisions you can make.
  • Local businesses love to give back to their communities, which can increase your home’s value over time.
  • We’ve worked with the most reputable businesses around—contact us today, and we’ll pass along our professional recommendations!

Use Local Businesses as Your Home-Selling Sidekicks

When it comes to selling your home, supporting local businesses can be one of the most profitable decisions you make. Instead of calling upon big-name chains, you can utilize homegrown service providers to save money and make sure the job gets done right. Investing in local businesses has been proven to increase a community’s real estate values—besides, there’s no better return on your investment than a genuine “thank you” from a neighbor!

For every $100 spent at small businesses, this much stays in the community…

Local service provider

Small businesses tend to reinvest in their local economies more than chains do, which is great news for homeowners and potential sellers. Plus, small business owners typically work, play, and live in the same communities as their storefronts—so they care more about seeing their hometowns thrive.

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies found that communities with successful small businesses see property values increase by 50 percent on average. And with home prices appreciating, neighborhoods can benefit from attracting new business investments to spark economic growth. According to research done by The Alliance, $68 stays in the community for every $100 spent at local businesses.

Shopping small provides hyper-local services

Working at the office

Think of shopping local like a community-wide networking event—you strengthen your connections by spreading the word about your positive experiences at businesses in the area. And if you want to know the best providers around, you can just ask your real estate agent. Your local agent doubles as your go-to reference for the most reputable nearby businesses.

Selling your home is a hyper-local experience, one in which you can benefit from partnering with the most convenient local business of them all: your real estate agent. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of supporting local and giving back to the community, which is why we only recommend our best business partners to our clients.

Here’s why hiring local service providers is the strategic choice

Laying sod

When you decide to list your property, there’s most likely going to be some projects that need to be completed—things like renovations and repairs, staging for showings, and general maintenance should all be at the top of your to-do list. Hiring homegrown service providers is the strategic choice when it comes to selling your home. Not only will you be guaranteed great service, but you may even receive discounted rates. When real estate agents repeatedly refer their clients to local businesses, companies sometimes provide lower rates in return.

Invest in small businesses to increase your home value

Florist preparing a bouquet

Wondering which local businesses you should take advantage of when listing your home? Hire a landscaper to spruce up your curb appeal, use a local painter to incorporate a more neutral color palette, or contact a local handyman for repairs. Want to get the inside of your home showing-ready? Your agent can recommend a top-notch florist for a bouquet of local blooms. That’s the thing about shopping small—the owners have local expertise and will go the extra mile to make sure their clients are happy!

Want to Increase Your Home Value?

It’s simple—when you invest in local businesses, those companies turn back around and invest in your community, which increases your home value! It’s hard to fully understand the positive impact of shopping local, but it becomes easier when you see your property value rise over time.

We’ve worked with the best businesses in our community, and we know they would love to play a part in your real estate dreams. Just tell us what services you need, and we’ll send our professional recommendations your way!

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 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, 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.

Basket Weaving 102 in Culpeper, Virginia

Join Nancy Kochli on Saturday, August 21st as she provides instructions on how to weave a FUNCTIONAL market basket. Customize your basket to stand out at the farmers market, your next picnic, or just to showcase in your home. In addition, you will learn how to modify your basket pattern to create other baskets of various sizes and even how to stain it. You will leave with the ability to apply your newly learned skills to future basket-weaving projects! It is recommended that you wear comfortable old clothes, as there will be soaking of the reeds, and you may get wet during this process.

This event will begin at 10AM and be over by 3pm and will take place at the CCPRD Community Room at address 303 N. Main St, Culpeper VA 22701.

This beginner-level class does not require prior weaving experience, although it can be helpful. Materials will be provided, but you will be required to bring some tools with you to class. Tickets are $65 per person, along with the required tool list, can be purchased and found here.

Hurry and RSVP your seat because as of 08/13/21, there were only 5 openings remaining for this class! The last day to register will be August 19th or when tickets are sold out, whichever occurs first.

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 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, 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.

A modern house covered in windows with wooden elements and a beautiful green lawn in front of it.

How to Boost the Selling Price of Your Condo

Buying a property is both a big hassle and excitement, but selling one is too. If you’ve been thinking of selling your home and upgrading to a larger place, it’s essential to make arrangements and have a prepared checklist to follow. Since buying a house is one of the most important steps in one’s life, you should look for ways of getting a higher profit moving forward. After all, the goal of any property investment is to increase its value if you eventually decide to sell. So, if you are wondering how to boost the selling price of your Condo, stay tuned.

What are things that increase the value of homes?

Fortunately, there are a variety of home improvements that help in boosting the value of the property you want to sell. In addition, you can follow simple and low-cost tips and tricks to sell your house for a more significant profit. For example, you can use your social media to attract potential buyers. Engaging and creative social media content is low-cost or free (if you get self-educated), and can bring in many viewers to your property.

On the other hand, some serious investments and upgrades will definitely pay off. Therefore, we covered both areas to help you choose which improvements work best for you and your Condo.

How to boost the selling price of your Condo low-cost

Although the tips you are about to see are low-cost, they will make a massive difference in how your property looks. Therefore, following these tips will increase its value. Some of our top budget-friendly home improvements that increase the value of a home are:

  • deep cleaning
  • painting
  • adding a curb appeal
  • fixture changing
  • staging the property

Do a proper cleaning

A clean and tidy home will get you the best possible price. This step counts for both inside and outside.

Firstly, focus on all the commonly used and visible places, but remember to pay attention to the hidden corners you can’t always see. For example, get behind the fridge or stove and move the furniture to clean what lies underneath.

Another thing to count in this step is decluttering, which also goes a long way. Remove your personal possessions and family photos, remove the keys and medicine from the counters and make everything depersonalized and tidy.

Add a fresh coat of paint

Painting your walls is an easy DIY project that you can do on a limited budget. A fresh coat of paint makes any place look modern, fresh, and appealing.

how to boost the selling price of your apartment is by giving it a fresh coat of paint while having the right painting equipment
You will be amazed by what difference a fresh coat of paint can make.

In addition, before giving your walls a new look, you should examine them for any visible signs of damage. These small improvements will make your Condo look brand new without many innovations.

Change the fixtures

A simple and sometimes neglected house innovation that definitely counts is the fixtures. You will add a new dimension to the place by replacing the doorknobs and cabinet handles, light switch covers, and light fixtures. 

Stage your Condo

This step includes decluttering, which we mentioned earlier, and proper furniture arrangements. Don’t forget the amount of furniture is also crucial since you don’t want the place to feel cramped. Also, remember to make each room functional, which helps potential buyers imagine themselves in their new home.

Moderate and high-cost tips

Since the number of homes for sale is increasing, you want to make sure you make yours stand out. Investing a moderate or high sum of money in some of these renovations will undoubtedly add significant value to your property. So, if you are wondering how to boost the selling price of your Condo, these are the tips:

  • windows or door change
  • change of flooring
  • kitchen or bath updates
  • property renovation

Change doors or windows

Apart from the stylish looks, new doors and windows can make your home more energy-efficient, eventually leading to affordable household running costs. 

Installing new doors or windows can help reduce noise, allow more natural light to come in, and help lower heating and cooling bills.

Replace the flooring

Another thing buyers will look at is the flooring, even if it sounds strange. 

a kitchen with an island table in the middle and high chairs on a wooden flooring
More carpets are being replaced with wooden flooring.

Hardwood floors are the all-time favorite. Any potential buyer will expect the flooring to be contemporary, durable, clean, and stylish. Therefore, it would be a good investment if you have the finances and time. 

It would also be a good idea to use the renovation period for your own relocation. After all, you don’t want to be living in a home you are trying to sell while having to pack and having repairmen in it. To avoid the chaos every moving season brings, it would be good to plan your relocation process and find the best crew for the job. This way, seasonal movers will ensure everything goes smoothly and nothing is slowing down your relocation.

Kitchen or bath updates

The kitchen and bathrooms are known to leave the biggest impressions on home buyers. After all, these are the most widely used rooms and should create a good impression.

A clutter-free white kitchen with a large white island
How to boost the selling price of your Condo is by investing in kitchen renovations.

You can change the hardware, the countertops, and the flooring in your kitchen to make it look flawless and brand new. Of course, buying new appliances would also be a good idea.

In the bathroom, you can change the toilet, the sink, or the bathtub. If the place allows, you can consider adding a shower too. Even changing the room layout will spruce up any bathroom.

Complete renovation

The step that requires the most significant investment and will definitely help increase the selling prices is a complete renovation of your Condo. By completely redoing it, it will have a modern design and materials, which will definitely be more appealing to your buyers.

Conclusion on how to boost the selling price of your Condo

When the time comes to sell, these home improvements will definitely answer your question of how to boost the selling price of your Condo. Remember to do your research, get answers to any of your questions, and invest in a way that will ensure you profit.

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 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, 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.

Photos used:
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https://www.pexels.com/photo/kitchen-and-dining-area-1080721/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/kitchen-island-and-barstools-534151/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/wood-art-creative-wall-5799100/

shanandoah national park

Life in Orange County, VA

Orange County is one of Virginia’s most spectacular and desirable places to live, work, and play. This makes it a true hidden gem. Many of its industries are fueled by the abundant and diversified natural resources it possesses. These natural resources also inspire and cultivate many of the recreations and arts. Its illustrious past is widely displayed and cherished all around the county. Overall, there are numerous aspects of Orange County that appeal to residents and people considering relocating to the area. The peaceful way of life and friendly hometown feel – with its combination of modern conveniences, easy accessibility to work, health and public services, education, recreation, holiday destinations, and areas of interest – locally and nationally – is generally what people are drawn to. But before moving here, you should learn what life in Orange County, VA is really like.

The story of OC

Established in 1734, OC’s story is a very authentic American tale. Since it’s so rich in intellectual and agricultural gifts, its natives and immigrants have found a way to sow the seeds of sovereignty and innovation all the way from their niche in the Blue Ridge foothills. Life in Orange County had blossomed. It’s now a cradle of American patriotism. It has been so from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and the creation of the Constitution. 

The sense of belonging in Orange County is incredible. It’s a community where the past is abundantly present, whether you’re strolling down tree-lined boulevards in the downtowns or visiting Montpelier to learn about America’s foundations.

Is Orange County a good place to live?

The question of whether living in Orange County will be a good experience for you or not is an important one. However, it’s a really subjective one as well. You need to be the one to call the shots and see what feels right. Nevertheless, there are always some facts that you can take into consideration. Something that people often wonder about before relocating to OC is whether there are any fun things to do there. Let’s see.

Alt-tag: A wine rack symbolizing how you can go wine tasting if you live in Orange County.
If you live in Orange County, wine tasting is a must!
  • You can stay in period cottages.
    This isn’t only a great way to spend your time during your life in OC; it’s also an opportunity to get to know it before moving. Staying in one of the many available period cottages is a great way to get a true sense of the country’s rustic spirit.
  • Try the local brews and wines.
    Of course, one of the most enjoyable things to do in Orange County, Virginia, is to sample the local drinks.
  • Historical sights.
    There are plenty of incredible historical sights you’ll be able to visit once you relocate to OC. To name a few, there are Christ Episcopal Church, Barboursville Ruins, James Madison’s Montpelier, and many more.

Moving here to experience life in Orange County, VA

If you’re making the decision to relocate to Orange County, there’s a lot that you need to think about. Especially if you’re leaving behind a great place like DC, hiring a long-distance moving company and taking the planning process seriously is a must. However, if you really want to leave DC to live here, a bit of hard work shouldn’t stop you. Dive into this process all in, and you’ll be ready to enjoy your new life in Orange County in no time.

Look for the best spot

A great way to make your life in OC interesting, enjoyable, and satisfactory is to choose the perfect neighborhood for you. Luckily, finding the best neighborhood in a place like Orange County is rarely a problem. You have various choices to go through. These are some neighborhoods you must check out!

  • Gordonsville
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Orange

Once you’ve settled on a choice, make sure to do more thorough research and visit the place a couple of times before deciding to live there.

Alt-tag: A woman typing on her laptop researching neighborhoods to live in Orange County.
There are some great neighborhoods in Orange County that you can research and move to.

Find suitable movers

Of course, there can’t be a proper relocation without a trustworthy moving company. Before you even start to plan the move, make sure to find movers that will make your move go smoothly and without fuss. Pairing up with A2B Moving and Storage or similarly reputable companies would not only mean having partners that’ll help you relocate and store your items, but you’ll also have trustworthy advisors.

The climate in the OC

Orange County has four different seasons. The residents and visitors enjoy it alike. Orange County is located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is part of Virginia’s Piedmont Climate Region. The average January temperature is 27-47 degrees, and the average July temperature is 68-88 degrees. At around 43 inches per year, the average precipitation is the second highest of Virginia’s five climate areas. Mid-late October is when the nice weather is at its greatest. The region’s growing season is long enough, at 182 days, to allow a variety of crops to mature properly.

Alt-tag: Clouds with sunshine passing through them.
The weather in Orange County can be pretty multifaceted, so be careful and always check the reports.

Purchasing a house in OC

If life in Orange County, VA sounds exciting, make sure to organize everything that’s supposed to wait for you there before you make the relocation. For example, one of the most important aspects of living somewhere is having a roof over your head. Luckily for you, purchasing a home in Virginia is often a very positive experience. There are many advantages to buying a house here. This makes life in Orange County even more desirable. Because of their popularity, most vacation properties have maintained their value and will most likely continue to do so. The taxes to income ratio is a pretty positive one if compared to surrounding places. Buying a vacation home in Orange County is also a great investment, especially if you’re planning on retiring there.

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 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, 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.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Picking the Perfect Neighborhood

Key Takeaways:

  • If you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s important to choose the right neighborhood, especially if you care about resale value.
  • Certain neighborhood features can increase your home value—and make you feel right at home in your new community. 
  • When it comes to your home search, we have some features to keep in the forefront of your mind to make sure you pick the perfect (and most profitable) community! 

Here’s What Affects Your Home Value Every Time

When it comes to your home search, finding a house in the ideal neighborhood is half the battle. Your future community is going to decide how close you are to nearby conveniences, what qualities your home possesses, and the people who are going to be your neighbors. 

A home’s value is determined by how much prospective buyers in the market are willing to pay for your property, but we understand that each buyer is unique. While one buyer may prioritize nearby employment opportunities, another might place more weight on local entertainment or neighborhood amenities. However, property values are always impacted by one component—where they’re located. 

If you’re on the hunt for your next neighborhood, consider this your step-by-step guide on how to pick the perfect community!    

Location, location, location

aerial view of neighborhood homes

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s so important that we have to repeat it—location is everything when it comes to making a good investment in your next home. Think about it: typically, all the homes in a neighborhood, regardless of size or condition, fall within the same price range. Therefore, when it comes to valuing a property, location matters more than even the home’s characteristics.

When an appraiser is assigning a value to a property based on its location, they look at three primary factors—the reputation of local schools, employment opportunities, and proximity to entertainment. In addition to these factors, a home’s distance to everyday necessities, such as highways and public transit systems, play a crucial role in increasing its value.     

Neighborhood amenities are must-haves for more value 

enjoying an outdoor dinner

What could be better than having a host of amenities available right outside your front door? Neighborhood niceties such as community clubhouses, golf courses, and pools are often at the top of buyers’ wishlists when searching for a new home. All these features and more foster a fun, inclusive environment of community involvement. Plus, a spacious clubhouse serves as the prime venue to host events that are sure to bring the neighborhood together! 

In addition to a neighborhood’s current conveniences, you can research any future upgrades your community has coming through its digital planning documents. These documents should outline what improvements are planned for your neighborhood—like nearby shopping centers, schools, or parks—and when they’re going to be completed. Plus, it’s always a good idea to check and see if a neighborhood has a homeowners association. Your HOA will have a hand in maintaining and enhancing the community’s value over time. 

Other conveniences you should consider…

woman smiling on phone

At this point, you’ve probably considered some basic factors like nearby attractions, commute times, and all the amenities a neighborhood has to offer—but what about the everyday conveniences? To take your home search to the next level, you have to think about the seemingly small details. When evaluating your neighborhood’s location, cover your bases by mapping out the distances to the nearest medical centers, airports, and grocery stores—believe us, you’ll be thankful for this when you forget to buy eggs. 

In terms of expenses, everyone has to pay utility bills, so you can save money by looking at who your local providers will be ahead of time. And speaking of planning, we recommend working with your agent to determine how your area’s property taxes will fit into your home-buying budget. 

Ready to Find Your Perfect Fit?

All these features are things you should be on the lookout for during your home search—and remember, the surrounding community is equally as important as the individual home when it comes to finding your perfect fit. As your local real estate agents, we’d be happy to help you find your dream home in just the right neighborhood—all you have to do is give us a call! 

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 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, 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.

buy a second home in Virginia in the woods

Does it Make Sense to Buy a Second Home in Virginia in 2021

After settling down in your home, you start thinking about how to spend your time when you’re away. Spending days traveling is great, but sometimes we wish for a base. Somewhere we want a place to come back to any time we want and relax away from our daily routines. A home away from home seems like a perfect solution. Picking a favorite location and purchasing a second home there is the dream of many families. However, it’s not easy to make this decision – it’s a costly investment and takes time and effort to maintain. But, buying a vacation home surely has its benefits, and we’re here to help you decide if you should go for it. Let’s see if it makes sense to buy a second home in Virginia in 2021 and provide your family with a fantastic place to spend future vacations. 

What are the factors that may stop you from buying a second home?

Every purchase has its pros and cons. When it comes to buying a second home, the factor that worries most buyers are the costs. Making your dream of having a second home come true possibly requires a  new mortgage, but also maintenance costs. Second homes need regular maintenance, furnishing but also paying unexpected costs whenever they come up. Finally, if your first house is located far away, visiting the second home frequently comes with increased travel expenses. 

Remember: Make sure you evaluate your budget carefully before purchasing a second home. Even though this investment comes with additional costs, it shouldn’t be a heavy burden on your budget. Include all the factors and expenses, including taxes, which apply differently to owners of vacation homes. 

 beachfront vacation properties

Even though they have a lot of benefits, vacation properties can cost a lot.

It’s a permanent holiday destination 

Another reason why people hesitate to buy a second home is related to traveling. When owning a vacation home, you hardly ever decide to go somewhere else, which may become monotonous over the years. However, families who love peaceful vacations and a homey base will surely love having a place to go whenever possible. 

Reasons why buying a second home in Virginia makes sense

If you decide to buy a second home in Virginia in 2021, you need to consider all the pros and cons. However, we feel that all the advantages will win over. Let’s go through all the benefits that will show that this decision actually makes sense. 

It’s a home away from home

Even though this seems like just a phrase, owning a second home means heaving a retreat from daily tasks – any time you want. If you decide to buy a second home, pick a location where you can truly enjoy your days off – and Virginia has a lot of them to offer. This way, you can be sure you can have a weekend getaway or a longer vacation in your favorite location where all the daily chores, work stress, and other problems simply disappear.

a road in the woods in Virginia

With just a short ride away, you can have a home away from your home.

You can save on vacations 

Having somewhere to go anytime you need a vacation can save you money, too. You don’t need to spend a lot on hotels, flights, etc. This way, you can have a great vacation – on a budget. Furthermore, the previous year and the global pandemic have prevented people from traveling abroad, so many of them decided to buy a second home within the same state. This is usually far enough to change your environment, but not travel too far away from your home.

Father and son on the beach

If you plan on renting it as a vacation home, it makes sense to buy a second home in Virginia.

Second-home can become a source of income 

Another budget-related advantage of owning a second home is earning from rentals. This investment can become a steady source of income despite some additional expenses that rentals have. However, what worries buyers is the global pandemic that stopped travel and reduced rental revenues. Hopefully, the pandemic is coming to an end, which is why it makes sense to buy a second home in Virginia in 2021. 

Ready for the big purchase?

Buying a second home in Virginia is so exciting, but picking the best location may be challenging. Many interesting nature spots can be a perfect retreat for your family. Do some research and choose the place you will enjoy the most. The next step would be purchasing the property and moving in. 

With both of these, make sure you trust the professionals. Local real estate experts will ensure you find the best property, as they are knowledgeable about the market. Also, an experienced agent will guide you through the buying process and make it a lot simpler. The next step is moving in. Again, trusting a professional to handle your relocation to the new home is essential if you want to minimize the stress and save time. Browse only trusted moving pros at bestcrosscountrymovers.com so you can be sure your items are safe. Unfortunately, the moving industry is filled with low-quality companies, so be sure to do your best to avoid them. 

Prepare for the stay 

If you plan on staying in your second home longer, make sure you prepare your first home first. This means you should turn off the water, get rid of perishable food, take care of your plants or find someone to do it for you. Now you can stay on vacation as long as you want. However, you need to prepare well for a more extended stay.

Pack your vacation items safely 

Once you buy your vacation home in Virginia, you can transport all the vacation essentials there. This way, you won’t risk damaging them when you pack every time you travel. For example, if you love fishing, you will want to pack your fishing equipment so it can travel safely. If you want to bring fishing gear with you, explore the main packing guidelines to keep the items protected during transport and enjoy your favorite hobby without any problems.

Take your time to feel at home 

As you can see, it makes perfect sense to buy a second home in Virginia in 2021. And once you do, remember that settling in a new property is not always fast. Take your time adapting your second home just the way you want it, so you can make it a true oasis for your family.

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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 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, 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.

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble

With home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a closer look at the market data indicates this is nothing like 2006 for three major reasons.

1. The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans.

Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is an indicator of the availability of mortgage money. The higher the index, the easier it is to obtain a mortgage. The MCAI more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869). Today, the index stands at 130. As an example of the difference between today and 2006, let’s look at the volume of mortgages that originated when a buyer had less than a 620 credit score.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, reiterates this point:

“There are marked differences in today’s run up in prices compared to 2005, which was a bubble fueled by risky loans and lenient underwriting. Today, loans with high-risk features are absent and mortgage underwriting is prudent.”

2. Homeowners aren’t using their homes as ATMs this time.

During the housing bubble, as prices skyrocketed, people were refinancing their homes and pulling out large sums of cash. As prices began to fall, that caused many to spiral into a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of the house).

Today, homeowners are letting their equity build. Tappable equity is the amount available for homeowners to access before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio (thus still leaving them with at least 20% equity). In 2006, that number was $4.6 billion. Today, that number stands at over $8 billion.

Yet, the percentage of cash-out refinances (where the homeowner takes out at least 5% more than their original mortgage amount) is half of what it was in 2006.

3. This time, it’s simply a matter of supply and demand.

FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) dominated the housing market leading up to the 2006 housing bubble and drove up buyer demand. Back then, housing supply more than kept up as many homeowners put their houses on the market, as evidenced by the over seven months’ supply of existing housing inventory available for sale in 2006. Today, that number is barely two months.

Builders also overbuilt during the bubble but pulled back significantly over the next decade. Sam Khater, VP and Chief Economist, Economic & Housing Research at Freddie Macexplains that pullback is the major factor in the lack of available inventory today:

“The main driver of the housing shortfall has been the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes.”

Here’s a chart that quantifies Khater’s remarks:

Today, there are simply not enough homes to keep up with current demand.

Bottom Line

This market is nothing like the run-up to 2006. Bill McBride, the author of the prestigious Calculated Risk blog, predicted the last housing bubble and crash. This is what he has to say about today’s housing market:

“It’s not clear at all to me that things are going to slow down significantly in the near future. In 2005, I had a strong sense that the hot market would turn and that, when it turned, things would get very ugly. Today, I don’t have that sense at all, because all of the fundamentals are there. Demand will be high for a while because Millennials need houses. Prices will keep rising for a while because inventory is so low.”

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 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, 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.

new construction

Do You Know the Hidden Costs of New Construction?

Key Takeaways:

  • New construction homes can have hidden costs, which is why you have to pay attention to the details when deciding on a new build. 
  • When touring model homes, always ask the builder about what’s standard and what’s considered an upgraded feature with additional costs.  
  • Buy on your terms and work with our team to navigate the ins and outs of purchasing the new construction home of your dreams!

Don’t Mistake “New Construction” with “All-Inclusive” 

There are many advantages of buying a new construction home—low-maintenance living, brand-new appliances, and minimal repair costs are just a few. Plus, a new build provides a blank slate for buyers to begin making sweet new memories! 

While buyers should be excited about all these benefits, they should also be aware of the potential hidden costs associated with purchasing a new build. We’re here to ensure you know exactly what is included in the overall cost of your new construction home. 

Protect yourself before there’s a problem

Just like an existing home, a brand-new home can have hidden issues that could require repairs. Something as simple as inadequate plumbing or roofing could result in sizable amounts of damage—this is why you have to protect yourself by being proactive in the home-buying process. All builders have their own nuances, which is why you should take the time to research different options before deciding on the right one. If you want some tried and true recommendations, your agent can provide valuable insight. Every home, including new builds, should be checked by an independent home inspector who isn’t affiliated with the builder. 

Before you commit to purchasing a new build, make sure to read the fine print of the home warranty. You may have to rely on your warranty if any issues arise that aren’t covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. And remember, not every warranty is the same, so it’s important to determine exactly what your warranty covers and the length of the coverage. 

Stay true to your non-negotiables

Newly-built homes aren’t guaranteed to include all the necessities, so you need to know what to expect from a standard model. It’s quite common for new builds to come without certain interior items, such as appliances and window treatments, plus exterior fencing and landscaping. 

Before you make an offer, talk to your builder with your agent present and ask about the features included in your future home. Everything from drawer handles to light fixtures could cost extra, so be sure to compile a list of non-negotiables to budget for things you can’t live without.   

Don’t be duped by the mesmerizing model home

The model homes you’ll tour often have all the available upgrades the builder offers—we’re talking gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and open-concept floor plans with beautiful hardwood flooring. However, these top-level features could cost you thousands of dollars more than the builder’s grade basics. 

You can work with your agent to figure out which features are included in the standard model’s base price. Be sure to focus on what originally made you fall in love with the property, not all the bells and whistles you see in the showy model. When contemplating which upgrades are worth the cost, think about the home’s future resale value—will the upgrades increase your return on investment and appeal to a variety of buyers? This is a prime opportunity to lean on your agent’s expertise to determine which upgrades will add the most value to your home.   

Ready to Buy a New Build?

When you buy a new construction home, you always want to have a trusted real estate agent by your side. Remember, the builder’s sales agent has the builder’s best interest in mind—not yours. We have the new construction experience needed to guide you through the negotiation process and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Contact us to learn more about new construction properties in the area, and we’ll get the ball rolling on buying your new home today! 

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 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, 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.