Category: Home Buying

How To Buy A Home

You’re buying a home. Maybe it’s your first, maybe it’s your second, maybe it’s your tenth. Regardless, the process is almost always the same – but what, really, does the whole thing look like? It’s different for everyone, of course, but one of the biggest hurdles in every transaction is getting the mortgage loan. Dan Green of TheMortgageReports.com put together this awesome infographic on the financing side of buying a home, including 5 Popular Sources To Find A Mortgage, Affordability, and Closing Costs. Check it out. Homebuyer assistance via The Mortgage Reports. Want to start searching for your next home? 

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What’s the Luxury Market Like In Radford, VA?

Last week I was at a conference, and the question was asked by a presenter “what’s the luxury market in your area?” I had an idea, but it was simply based on a gut feeling, and not rooted in stats. So, Alma helped me pulled the numbers for 2012 YTD in Radford VA, which you’ll find below. For disclosure, we looked at the top 10% of sales in the market, and are considering the “luxury” component to be the least expensive home in the top 10% of sales in Radford. In Radford VA in 2012, the luxury real estate market …

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Sara Belkowitz – The Wish List

Part 1 brought us the introduction of the characters – the chef, the fiance, Agent B – and Part 2 starts to build the story, as our stars create their Wish List for buying their first home. Will the chef get the kitchen of his dreams? Will the romantic comedy fan find that awesome place to watch “When Harry Met Sally” … for the eighteenth time? Stay tuned … __________________________________________________________________________________ When it comes to compromise, the chef and I are old hands. He’s a social butterfly; I’m more of a homebody. He likes scary movies. I’m strictly a rom com …

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What’s It Like To Buy Your First House in the New River Valley?

This is a series of posts I should have written years ago – and truthfully that I started, but never finished – but time and again I’ve wished I’ve had a narrative surrounding what it’s like to buy your first house. Depending on your project, long distance movers may schedule pickups and deliveries of goods for a coordinated flow of materials. Thankfully, the folks at our office in Charlottesville have gotten the ball rolling by having Sara Belkowitz (our AWESOME Brand Manager) talk about the process as she and her fiancé – referred to as “the chef” – search for their …

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Getting a Mortgage in the New River Valley Without Pay Stubs

  You’ve been accepted to your new job at Virginia Tech, or at Radford University, and you want to buy a house, but you don’t have two pay stubs to show your lender that you really ARE gainfully employed! No problem.  This happens a lot in the New River Valley. From Dan Green’s blog: Get an Offer Letter To use “offer letter income”, all that an applicant must do is to meet these 5 criteria : Provide a non-contingent offer letter, signed by the applicant and the new employer Provide evidence that the job start date is within 90 days …

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The Roanoke Times – Rise in Real Estate Activity

The New River Valley real estate market is shifting – no doubt about that – and buyers and sellers will need to adjust. We still have some challenges, but things are improving. Sarah Cox of The Roanoke Times wrote about it in this past Sunday’s real estate section. _______________ Agents report rise in activity – Sarah Cox, The Roanoke Times, 6/10/12 Several New River Valley REALTORS say consumer confidence is growing Representatives of the National Association of REALTORS announced at the end of April their belief that the beginning of a recovery in the U.S. housing market is evident. Sales …

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How Accurate Are Auto-Valuation Sites?

Okay, Zillow doesn’t suck, per se, but it was a catchier title than “Why Automated Valuation Sites Are Bad For Real Estate”. You can read the post here, but for the visual, here you go.  Below are six randomly selected properties in the New River Valley, along with their “value” on Zillow, Trulia, and what they actually sold for. Address    Zillow    Trulia    Sold Price 210 Ardmore St, Blacksburg $237500 $264100 $265000 101 Woodbine Dr, Blacksburg $192800 $172800 $175000 1200 Cambria St, Christiansburg $162000 $194500 $175500 690 Walters Dr, Christiansburg $218200 $193600 $179000 501 Sixth St, Radford $217400 …

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The Paperwork You Need To Apply For a Mortgage

You’re getting a mortgage … what kind of paperwork do you need? The answer?  A lot.  But not as much as you might think, and it’s somewhat dependent upon (1) the lender you’re using, (2) the type of loan you’re getting, and (3) some unknown force of the universe. Getting a mortgage isn’t terribly hard, it’s just tedious.  So when you’re preparing to make a loan application with a lender, it’d be a good idea to have all documentation related to your income, your expenses, and your assets, at hand – ’cause they’ll want to see everything.  Have: at least …

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Can I Fire My Real Estate Agent?

Last week, I had asked on Twitter and Facebook “what’s the one thing you expect most from your real estate agent?”  The responses varied in general, but one specific thing that came up was that people wanted their real estate agent to listen.  A novel concept, really … we all want to be heard.  Out of that question, someone on Twitter followed up by suggesting that when you have a contract with a listing agent, you can’t fire them, even when that agent isn’t listening. @NRVLiving How can you fire someone with the contract? You either wait out the listing …

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Why Zillow Sucks

I don’t hate Zillow, I swear.  In fact, I advertise with them.  And as Alma suggested, maybe the title was a little harsh.  You know, I use Zillow from time to time to estimate rents, since I don’t track the rental market and sometimes I need a little help there.  But if you’re going to rely on Zillow – or any online pricing site – for accurate numbers, reconsider.  They’re just not accurate, yet.  So in reality they don’t suck, they just provide a product that’s become seen as truth when it’s really just the result of a proprietary formula. …

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