The Importance of Using a Professional to Sell Your Home

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When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the percentage of buyers who used the internet in their home search increased to 94%.

However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

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Virginia Beach Homes

First Comes Love… Then Comes Mortgage?

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2016 at 58% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 14% of all first-time buyers last year.

If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 8% of buyers. One recent article pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their home, rather than rent.

Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2016 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:

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Find Your Virginia Beach Home

January 2017 Housing Report: 4 Things to Know

Home sales finished strong in December, helping make 2016 the best year for U.S. home sales since the recession, according to the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report, an analysis of MLS data from 53 metro areas. In fact, home sales in 2016 were the highest in the housing report’s eight-year history. Here are key points from January’s report:

1. Homes are still selling fast

In December, homes spent an average of 62 days on the market. That’s the shortest time of any December in the report’s history.

2. Prices are rising

The median sales price of a home sold in December was $216,000. That was nearly 5 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2015.

3. Inventory continues to shrink

The inventory of homes for sale dropped nearly 18 percent between last December and December 2015, continuing a year-long streak of double-digit declines. Given the current pace of home sales, the inventory equals 4.2 months of sales. To put that in context, a supply of six months is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. In December, 47 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a supply of less than 6.0 months. That’s usually considered a seller’s market.

4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred

The overall average number of home sales fell 1.8 percent compared to December 2015. However, almost half of the 53 metro areas showed an increase in sales year-over-year. Growth in markets across the country was in the double digits. Home sales in the Wilmington/Dover, Delaware market shot up by about 21 percent. Sales in Honolulu, Hawaii grew by 19.7 percent and sales in Augusta, Maine, rose by about 16 percent.

What’s the upshot of all this research? “Much like 2015, we saw a mostly healthy housing market in 2016 that posted steady growth in sales and prices,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, chairman of the board and co-founder. “We’re back to pre-recession levels in many markets, with 2017 forecast to be another solid year. We’ll have to wait and see what impact rising interest rates will have.” In December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time since 2006.

Dig into the details of the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report in the infographic below. You can also read more on the RE/MAX Newsroom.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Using an Agent When Selling Your Virginia Beach Home

Virginia Beach Homes

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When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

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What Is a Tiny House? A Huge Trend Explained in Simple Terms

Unless you’ve been living in a sensory deprivation tank, you’re probably familiar with the tiny-house movement invading all corners of the U.S. If nothing else, you may have hit upon one of HGTV’s three—count ’em, three—ongoing tiny-home series. But wait a minute: What exactly is a tiny house?

Sure, they’re cute, but just how small are these diminutive dwellings? How did the whole concept come about, and why is it continuing to explode in popularity?

If you’re considering this dramatic downsizing, let’s break down some of the basics to see if a small-scale setup is really for you.

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Just how tiny is a tiny house?

Typically, tiny homes are between 100 and 400 square feet. While there isn’t a set standard, tiny homes rarely exceed 500 square feet. Beyond that size, they’re merely, um, small. For reference, the median size of a new single-family home sold in 2015 was 2,520 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Need a visual? You could fit 144 tiny houses on a football field. Yes, we did the math.

How did the tiny-house movement start?

Multiple factors fueled the growth of the miniature-house movement. As thousands of people lost their homes due to unemployment or foreclosure during the 2007–08 financial crisis, many turned to tiny homes as an affordable alternative to traditional housing.

Those looking to shrink their carbon footprint also found these cozy quarters to be energy-efficient, saving them a bundle on utilities. Others, hoping to streamline their lives, were lured by the prospect of shedding most of their belongings and living simply.

While it might have originally seemed like a passing fad, the tiny-home trend is actually growing. While the exact number of tiny homes is unknown, in 2015 alone more than 30 microcommunities—established or under development—sprouted up across the U.S., according to Tiny House Community, a website for owners.

How much does a tiny house cost?

Just like regular-size homes, costs vary depending on the materials used and customizations added. And, just like their bigger counterparts, the price spectrum is wide. Tiny homes can cost as little as $15,000 if you’re salvaging materials and putting your DIY skills to the test. They can also set buyers back as much as $80,000 to $100,00 depending on how tricked-out you’d like your tiny home to be. Made-to-order tiny homes from Tumbleweed Tiny House Co., the nation’s leader in tiny-house construction, average between $57,000 and $70,000—still cheaper than the median contract price for a new, contractor-built single-family in 2015, which was $271,300, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Is tiny-house living for you?

Who doesn’t want to save money, right? Research from TheTinyLife.com, in partnership with TinyHouseConference.com and TinyHouseCraftsman.com (no, we’re not kidding), found that 68% of those who own a tiny home don’t have a mortgage, compared with 29% of all homeowners in the United States. But deciding to swap your sprawling home for a significantly smaller abode is big decision you shouldn’t enter into lightly.

The idea of reducing your mortgage, utility costs, lawn maintenance, and every other expense associated with owning a larger home is appealing, but there are a few factors that can make moving into a tiny home more challenging:

  • Where will you put it? If you think you’re going to build it on a vacant piece of land, check with your local zoning board first. Putting it on wheels and parking it in an RV park is another option.
  • What about utilities?  How will you access sewage disposal, water, power, and internet access?
  • How will you manage in the winter when it’s too cold to spend time outdoors and your indoor space is limited?
  • Does it really fit your lifestyle? It’s tough to host your annual New Year’s Eve bash when you can fit only five people in your home.

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Virginia Beach Homes

Virginia Beach: Protect Your Home In A Lightning Storm

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When you hear that first clap of thunder, take note! Lightning is a powerful force and could cause serious damage to your home.

Check these three quick tips to make sure you’re covered during that next thunderstorm.

Check Your Surge Protectors

First you need to own surge protectors and have your electronics being powered through them. This will help protect your outlets from far-away lightning strikes or lightning that hits main power grids. We recommend a surge protector like this one from Amazon to handle swells or spikes in voltage.

Unplug Your Appliances

Even if you have a surge protector, lighting that is in close proximity can be strong enough to “jump” or go through this protector. For this reason it’s a good idea to unplug any electronics to keep them from getting fried. This is the safest way to protect your major appliances like stereos, televisions and desktop computers.

Keep the Water Off

Electricity follows wiring and metal pipes in your home, and water conducts electricity. This means you are actually at risk of getting electrocuted if you’re using your home’s water during a lightning storm. If you can, wait until the storm passes before washing the dishes, washing your hands or taking a shower.

Virginia Beach Homes

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