Tag Archives: Realtor

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.

11125 Clara Barton Dr, Fairfax Station VA

11125 Clara Barton Dr, Fairfax Station VA 22039 Coming Soon for $799,000!

Welcome to 11125 Clara Barton Drive, where location is everything!! This amazing brick home, nestled perfectly among the trees on almost 3/4 of an acre, boasts approximately 3600 square feet on three finished levels. You’ll discover custom features such as a European crafted style bar and wine cellar as you tour the generously sized rooms and flex space. Priced to provide you the opportunity to make this home your own, your creative updating will be creating built-in equity! A win-win!! Close to George Mason University, metro, Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax City and easy commuting.

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.

Housing Supply Is Rising. What Does That Mean for You?

An important factor in today’s market is the number of homes for sale. While inventory levels continue to sit near historic lows, there are indications we may have hit the lowest point we’ll see. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, recently said of our supply challenges:

It looks like inventory may have hit a bottom (we’ve seen this in the higher frequency data as well). Unsold inventory in May was at 2.5 months supply, up from 2.4.

To put it into perspective, the graph below shows levels of inventory rising since the beginning of the year:

We’re still not close to a balanced market, which would be a 6 months’ supply of homes for sale. However, we are seeing a slow but steady increase in homes coming up for sale. And that leaves many buyers and sellers wondering the same thing: what does that mean for me?

Buyers: More Options Are Arriving, so It’s Time To Act

If you’re a buyer, more inventory coming to market is a welcome sight. More supply means more options and less competition, which could mean fewer bidding wars.

According to the latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report, supply levels are continuing to increase, which is different from the typical summer market:

“In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.

If you’re having trouble finding your next home, this news should give you the hope and motivation to keep your buying process moving forward. Experts project mortgage rates will begin increasing, which will make purchasing a home less affordable as time passes. You can still capitalize on today’s low interest rates, so stick with your search as more homes come to market.

Sellers: Our Supply Challenges Aren’t Over Yet, so Now Is the Time To Sell

If you’ve been putting off selling your house, you shouldn’t wait much longer. The year’s month-over-month gains in homes for sale have helped buyers, but we’re still very much in a sellers’ market.

As the graph below shows, even with the number of homes for sale rising, we’re still well below the supply levels we’ve seen historically:

Of course, more homes are coming to market now, and more are expected in the coming months. Selling your house this summer gives you the chance to get ahead of the competition and maximize your sales potential before more homes are put up for sale in your neighborhood.

Bottom Line

More homes for sale means more options for buyers and more competition for sellers. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, let’s connect today to discuss your options and why it’s still a good time to make your move.

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.

Beautiful Townhouse For Sale in Leesburg, VA! 18236 Cypress Point Ter Now SOLD!!

This stunning, stone town home, just steps from the Potomac River, Over 3,800 sq. ft, including a 2-Car Garage, open floor plan with walls of windows, high ceilings, and gleaming hardwood floors. The main level features an inviting foyer, a family room with floor to ceiling stone fireplace and a french door to a lovely deck with amazing views. The family room opens into the gourmet chefs kitchen with center island, breakfast bar, breakfast nook, pantry, granite, custom backsplash, stainless steel appliances. The angled staircase leads to the upper level with Owner’s Suite with a wall of windows, gas fireplace and an en-suite bath with dual vanity, separate shower, soaking tub and walk in cedar closet. The lower level features an incredible great room with gas fireplace with access to a beautiful patio and another bedroom and full bath. You will love River Creek and all the Amenities – Golf Course, Clubhouse with restaurant and fitness center, pools, tennis courts, walking trails along the Potomac River, Kayaking, Basketball Courts, Tot Lots and more!

 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.

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

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 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

Stunning Home For Sale in Alexandria, VA! 8134 Keeler Street Now SOLD!!!

Welcome to 8134 Keeler Street! This beautiful classic Cape Cod is fully updated and move in ready! You will love the light filled family room with a gas fireplace for those cool nights, spacious kitchen with upgrades, oodles of cabinet and counter space, and a large formal dining room perfect for entertaining family and friends. Also, on the main level is a bedroom and full bath. In the Laundry/Mud room there are built in cabinets and room for storage. The upper level boasts two more large bedrooms and a full bath. The deck, located off of the laundry/mud room leads to a private, level backyard perfect for gardening and enjoying outdoor activities. An oversized one car garage and partially fenced backyard are a bonus. Close to Ft. Belvoir, Franconia/Springfield Metro, Hilltop Shopping Center, MGM Grand, Tanger Outlets, parks and so much more! For more information on 8134 Keeler Street, Click Here!

 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

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

When selling a house, most homeowners hope for a quick and profitable transaction that puts them in a position to make a great move. If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring. Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to sell your house if you’re ready.

1. There’s high demand from homebuyers.

Buyer demand is strong right now, and buyers are active in the market. ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, recently announced that buyer showings are up 51.5% compared to this time last year. Daniil Cherkasskiy, Chief Analytics Officer at ShowingTime, notes:

“As anticipated, demand for real estate remains elevated and continues to be affected by low levels of inventory…On average, each home is getting 50 percent or more requests this year compared to January of last year. As we head into the busy season, it’s likely we’ll push into even more extreme territory until the supply starts catching up with demand.”

When your house is positioned to get a ton of attention from competitive buyers, you’re in the best spot possible as the seller.

2. There aren’t enough houses for sale.

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available houses for sale. Recently, realtor.com reported:

“Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale in February decreased by 48.6% over the past year, a higher rate of decline compared to the 42.6% drop in January. This amounted to 496,000 fewer homes for sale compared to February of last year.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also reveals that, while home sales are skyrocketing, the inventory of existing homes for sale is continuing to drop dramatically. Houses are essentially selling as fast as they’re hitting the market – in fact, NAR reports that the average house is on the market for only 21 days.

It’s this imbalance between high buyer demand and a low supply of houses for sale that gives sellers such an advantage. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is low. That’s exactly what’s happening in the real estate market today.

3. You have a lot of leverage in today’s market.

Clearly, many more people are interested in buying than selling this spring, creating the ultimate sellers’ market. When this happens, homeowners in a position to sell have the upper hand in negotiations.

According to NAR, agents are reporting an average of 3.7 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars. As a seller, this means the ball is in your court – so much so that you can use your leverage to negotiate the best possible contract. Demand is there, and now is the perfect time to sell for the most favorable terms.

4. It’s a great way to use your home equity.

According to the latest data from CoreLogic, as of the third quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained $17,000 in equity over the past year, and that number continues to grow as home values appreciate. Equity is a type of forced savings that grows during your time as a homeowner and can be put toward bigger goals like buying your next dream home.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, notes:

“As homeowners gain equity in their homes, they are more likely to consider using that equity to purchase a larger or more attractive home – the wealth effect of rising equity. In today’s housing market, fast rising demand against the limited supply of homes for sale has resulted in continued house price appreciation.”

5. It’s a chance to find a home that meets your needs.

So much has changed over the past year, including what many of us need in a home. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many of us to re-evaluate homeownership and what we find most important in a home.

Whether it’s a house that has the features suited to working remotely, space for virtual or hybrid schooling, a home gym or theater, or something else, selling this spring gives you a chance to make a move and find the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market belongs to the sellers. If you’ve considered making a move but have been waiting for the right market conditions, your wait may be over. Let’s connect so you’ll be positioned to win when you sell your house this spring.

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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