Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Timely Tuesday Title Tips...Gimme Five...!!!




Ok it is Wednesday but here are Tuesdays title tips from Fran The Title Man but its worth the read.
Via Fran 'The Title Man' Gaspari Title Insurance-PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.):
From time to time I like to pass on some practical suggestions that we glean from seeing a number of Real Estate closings pass through our system...
Keeping in mind 'Real Estate is local', and as such, real estate transactions are subject to local laws and customs...thus, practices may differ from region to region even within a State...!
1. If you hire an attorney to guide you through a transaction, be sure to employ them BEFORE you sign any legal documents, especially an agreement of sale...!!!
2. Be prepared to document all funds required in a transaction...'mystery' monies often will negate a transaction from closing...so providing bank statements detailing recent deposits will expedite greatly your closing time...!
3. When shopping for a mortgage, please don't use 'quoted interest rates' as the sole determinant of your final choice of lenders...interview loan officers until you find one you trust...then stick with him/her...!
4. Select your own choice of settlement service providers...don't buy into that 'one stop shopping' ploy...if someone wears more than one hat in a real estate transaction, chances are they have multiple agendas, which may not place you at the top of their 'care list'...!
5. In real estate transactions, where so much of your time and money are invested, there are no such thing as 'dumb questions'...there are, however, 'dumb answers', so don't be afraid to ask questions of the many real estate professionals involved in a typical real estate transaction...and don't wait until the last minute...if something is bothering you that you don't fully understand, raise a flag and get an answer...
Finally, use these tips and be assured that in spite of what you may read or hear about real estate professionals, the majority are concerned consumers just like you and me...!!!
From Fran the Man
Brought to you buy, Dee Dee Jones The Hampton Roads Real Estate Lady!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 Reasons That You Should Wait to Buy in this Market

My AR associate JL Boney III, from South Carolina gave 10 reasons that are great for anyone who is on the fence to read. This message forwarded by The Hampton Roads Real Estate Lady, http://DJonesSellsHomes.com with a little humor the point is well made so I am sharing his post with you.
Via JL Boney, III Columbia, SC Real Estate (Russell and Jeffcoat):
With all the posts out there about how now is the best time in history to run out and buy a home, I thought it only fair to show you the reasons that you should not do so. The last thing this economy needs is for consumers to start spending money, that would actually cause the great deals to go away. Mainly due to the fact that it would cause the economy and the real estate market to recover, and at this point that's the last thing we need.
10- Rent is fun to pay. I mean it's not at all like having to pay your own mortgage, why do that when you can pay a mortgage for someone else. If you went out and bought a home, there would be one less investor out there getting a free house with your money.
9- The amount of homes for sale on the market. There is no need to running out there when you have a ton of homes for sale at your disposal. You should certainly wait for the numbers to dwindle so you will have less of a choice you decide to buy. This will keep you from having to be so picky.
8- The great deals will be the first to go. This will be your indicator that you are getting close to time to start looking. All the good homes will be taken and then you can go sift through the left overs for what you can salvage.
7- Low Interest rates. Low interest rates will cause your mortgage payments to be lower, and this may make you feel like you are not doing your fair share. You should definitely wait around for those rates to rise so you can make a higher monthly payment. Then you won't have to deal with the guilt of saving money.
6- The price of homes for sale. Currently many homes for sale are on the market at very competitive lower prices. If you can manage to hang in there a little longer without buying a home, then you can catch market during or after a recovery. This means that you will get to pay more for the home than you would today.
5- With today's rates and prices, mortgages on many homes for sale are actually cheaper than rent on the same homes. Again this would possibly save you money, and that's not what you want to do. You need to wait for the prices to rise so you're not getting as good of a deal.
4- A 10% of the sales price tax credit up to $8,000. If you were to buy a home now,and you are a first time home buyer, then you would receive this tax credit. If you can hold out until next year, then you will be able to avoid this tax credit all together. This will save you the aggravation of trying to decide what to do with the extra money on next year's tax return.
3-Builder incentives. At present, in addition to the competitive prices, many builders are offering other incentives on new homes. Incentives like a percentage of of the home for sale depending on your employment and reduced pricing on upgrades. Some are even offering free upgrades and tossing in little extras that they normally do not offer in order to sweeten the pot. This would mean that you could get a great deal on a brand new home in your area, and that's the last thing you want. Wait for these deals to be snatched up other buyers before you even consider looking for your new home.
2- Lack of competition for you. Right now with many would be buyers sitting on the fence trying to make a decision, you would have your pick of the litter as far as the homes currently available are concerned. You need to wait until many more buyers are on the search, that way you can possibly end up in multiple offer situations and have to fight another buyer over the home you really want.
1- The pride of home ownership. There is no reason to come home to a home that actually belongs to you. Why not constantly come home to a house that you are buying for someone else.

I hope that in some way this has helped anyone reading to figure out why you should stay on that fence. There are really too many great deals and incentives out there to subject yourself to making a decision as to which one you want. So hang in there and stay on those sidelines. With a little discipline and a little luck you'll be able to avoid all the great deals that this current market has to offer. Best of luck to you.

http://www.jlboney.com/

Monday, April 6, 2009

09 Hampton Jazz Festival



If you have never gone to the Hampton Jazz Festival, this year the line up is one of the best. Hampton, VA is home to the Hampton Colisuem. Every year many people travel to visit the Colisuem to check out great music for all ages. Do not miss this event.



Friday, June 26 at 7:30 pm

Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, George Benson, Ledisi, Jazz Attack featuring Rick Braun, Jonathan Butlerand Richard Elliot.






Saturday, June 27 at 7:00 pm

The O'Jays, Michael McDonald, Fantasia, The Forte Jazz Bandfeaturing Brian Pinner






Sunday, June 28 at 2:00 pm

Patti Labelle, Robin Thicke, Chuck Brown, Keiko Matsui



Tickets to the 42nd Annual Hampton Jazz Festival are priced at $52.50 per seat, per performance, plus service charge and handling fee where applicable. Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, March 28 at 10 am online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/, at all VA, MD, and DC Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at the Hampton Coliseum Box Office. Group rates are available for groups of 45 or more. Additional Festival information is available online at http://www.hamptonjazzfestival.com/

Thinking of selling this Spring ? -- NOW is the time to start the PREPARATION !




Its that time of year time to declutter, spring clean, put your house on the market and get it Sold. If you are thinking of selling a home in the Hampton Roads area this year the time to get started has come. Looking for great home selling tips and Real Estate advice, then look to my fellow Active Rainer - That British Agent from Maywood, NJ Sheldon Neal- Sheldon recently shared the following Active Rain Blog. This is great real estate advice for even Hampton Roads Sellers to follow so I am passing it on. The Hampton Roads Real Estate Lady.





Via Sheldon Neal -- That British Agent -- (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited):


If you are planning to put your home up for sale this upcoming Spring, don't be surprised if it creeps up on you, and that you find Spring is here before you know it !!



It is already more than a week into February and the Groundhog has already seen his shadow - but these next six weeks will probably fly by, and you may find yourself faced with the less desirable scenario of being forced to RUSH your home onto the market, so that you don't miss the Spring Buying Season - the season which historically sees the most buyers out there looking for homes out of all times of the year.



Selling in this current market can be stressful enough, but adding a last-minute-preparation-panic to the mix, will almost certainly make it that much more difficult for you and your family to deal with.



So to help you prepare your home - and yourself ! - for the Spring Season, keep the following points in mind, and they should give you the best chance for success with selling your home over the next months.




1) Start Now ! -- The more time you have to implement some of the following items, the more likely you can fit it all in along with your current daily schedule.


2) Get A "Home Sale" Notebook. You can pick them up for a dollar or two from Staples, CVS or similar stores, and make it RED, or another color that stands out - this way it will be hopefully be easier to spot when you need it ! The purpose of the "Home Sale" Notebook, is so that you always have a central place to refer to as your home sale progresses. When you have questions that you want to ask your Realtor, write them in the notebook so you dont forget them, when you have things to add to your "To-Do" list, add them to your notebook so you can always refer to it and stay on track. You will collect various papers along the way too, tuck these in the back of the notebook, again, this way you keep all thing related to your "Home Sale" in one central place.


3) Have a Family Meeting ! Selling your home will affect everyone under your roof in different ways. It is important that you are all together for support and assistance. There will certainly be packing, moving, & cleaning, & possibly painting and other tasks, so rally the troops and make sure everyone is on the same page. (Pizza or chinese food are often good incentives for jobs well done !!) ... and if there are children in the family, they may need a one on one chat in private just to check-in and make sure they are doing OK - moving house, possibly away from their friends, their school, and their comfortable neighborhood, can often be particularly scary for kids - and a friendly check in from time to time from mom or dad, letting them know it's all going to be OK, can often ease that anxiety.






4) Choose a Realtor NOW ! -- Don't wait until the week that you want to list your home. Here's why. Typically your local, knowledgeable Realtor can help you with your preparation, and make sure you are focusing your energy on the most beneficial tasks to get your home in ship-shape for listing ! There are sometimes decisions that homeowners make, which actually hurt the desirability of their home to most potential buyers - so set up your Realtor interviews now, find out how they plan to market your home, and once you select a Realtor, schedule a time to sit down with them as soon as possible to go over a PRE-LISTING Gameplan !




5) Take a Deep Breath ! -- You are just taking the first steps, but starting out on the right foot can often lead to a smoother, less stressful journey though your real estate transaction.




6) Do a 'Home Walkthrough' - with your Home Sale Notebook ! -- Go room by room, and jot down things that you feel need to be done before you can list your home. These things may include removing and storing excess clutter or un-needed furniture, fixing or replacing broken blinds, light switches, closet doors, noting rooms or furniture that need to be painted, jot down which rooms may have carpets that need cleaning, or even replacing. Hardwood floors are a desired floor covering for many buyers right now, so it is important that even if you have carpets, that you know whether there is hardwood underneath the carpet or not. Note your findings down in your notebook and go over them with your chosen Realtor at your PRE-LISTING Gameplan meeting !



7) Do a Repair Cost Analysis-- This is often overlooked by sellers. But all the items that you note down from your walkthough, (or that are recommended by your Realtor) have a cost associated with them. Sometimes a lot of repairs or improvements can be done relatively inexpensively, but if you wanted to give your kitchen a 'boost' by installing a new granite countertop for example before putting it on the market, then you will need to know exactly how much that estimate will be, so you can confirm that it is within your budget to install. Keep track of all your desired improvements and their costs.




8) Plastic Tubs are your FRIENDS! -- These 18 gallon containers that you can pick up from Target, Wal-Mart or similar stores, can make your life a whole lot easier - and if you check the Sunday Newspaper supplements, you can often find them on sale for just $3.99 or $4.99. Now cardboard boxes can be OK, but the plastic tubs are extremely durable, they stack well, and the most important thing, is that if for some reason the boxes are stored in a basement or place that may get a water leak of any description, the plastic tubs will almost certainly protect all your belongings inside - in that situation, a cardboard box will simply soak up the water and your belongings may be ruined.... this I can attest to from personal experience many years ago ! Now, I use plastic tubs without question





9) Consider PODS or a Storage Unit -- Many sellers that understand the need to remove a lot of items or furniture from their home to give the best 'first impression' to anyone who walks through the front door, choose to store the excess items in a storage unit, or in PODS (Portable On Demand Storage).





10) Divide and Conquer ! -- It's much more difficult to do all the preparation on your own, so take that list of To-Do items and see who in your family, or which friends can help you. Again, it's often good to have an offering of lunch or dinner at the ready ! - especially for the extra time consuming chores like room painting or packing a mountain of boxes !





11) Confirm and keep track of your next home. -- Whatever your plans are for your next home, whether you have already secured a home to move into, or if you have to coincide the sale of your current home, with a purchase of a new home, make sure you stay in tune with the availability and timing.



12) PRICE IT RIGHT ! -- When all your improvements are completed, and you are ready to list your home, sit down with your Realtor again and spend a significant amount of time digesting the market analysis your agent will provide. It is the single most important factor right now in positioning your home to sell as fast as possible. If you price it incorrectly, it can be a lost cause from the start. Determine the market value, and if you have the ability to list it a small cut below that price, you will draw the most attention possible right out of the gates !



13) Remind yourself that selling your home is a good thing ! -- It may be easier to say this to yourself now, but it's important to remind yourself of this periodically, even if the road becomes challenging at times. A way to keep focused and positive is to choose the right Realtor. They will be by your side from start to finish, so it is critical that you choose the best fit for your family and your intentions.




These thirteen tips will get you started on the right foot, and will help you organize your weeks leading up to putting your home on the market !



Contrary to many media reports out there, homes are selling right now !!!



... just make sure you do everything in your capabilities to make sure your home is one of them !



And remember your Realtor is there by your side, every step of the way !



Good Luck !



Friday, April 3, 2009

Did you know you can challenge your tax bill?

Did you know you can challenge your tax bill?


In Hampton Roads cities many homes are being appraised for less than there tax value for the first time in years. If you are in an area of declining value and you have proof or believe your tax assessment is to high you can call your city real estate assessor's office to point out the discrepancy and challenge the assessment.


We all know lower taxes and lower interest rates can give us the lowest possible payment and many are taking advantage of refinancing their homes. In the past year, the median price for homes in South Hampton Roads has dropped 7.4 percent, according to our mls, Real Estate Information Network REIN, the Virginia Beach-based multiple listing service. Sales of existing homes also have fallen to unusually low levels.


For those of you looking to save money, after finding a qualified loan officer to assess whether you can or should refinance your home, do not forget to consider reviewing your tax bill and home owners insurance policy. Reducing these costs can save you hundreds more dollars a month. Or often times error such as wrong room sizes, square footage adjustments, and additions can be updated to make the bill more accurate.


To contact your local assessor in the seven cities click your city link;


CHESAPEAKE


NORFOLK


HAMPTON


PORTSMOUTH


NEWPORT NEWS


SUFFOLK


This info brought to you by


The Hampton Roads Real Estate Lady!


Dee Dee Jones


Wainwright Real Estate


http://DJonesSellsHomes.com