Where:STEPS Inc. 225 Industrial Park Farmville, VA 23901
Time:5 PM to 8 PM
This is annual event is a delicious way to get to know your community. The Ruritan club hosts the event and
local businesses, organizations, clubs, etc. sign up to provide a treat for event goers. The food offerings vary and
are always a fun aspect of the event.
State Wide Realty Weighs In: 2018 Housing Market For South Central VA
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South Central VA 2018 Housing Market
There is a lot of 2018 yet to come and as we look ahead to this New Year it will be exciting to see how our
area will evolve. Over the past two years South Central VA has seen an increase in the number of sales going
from 874 sales in 2016 to 945 sales in 2017 about a 7% increase. This increase comes as a number of new businesses
have been opening and an upswing in the economy has made folks feel more comfortable about buying real estate.
For 2018, we will likely see more of the same with a continued increase as the growth in this area continues
and more and more people are coming to this area to work and live.
State Wide Realty Co. has been selling real estate in South Central VA since 1972
and number 1 in Sales for over a Decade and counting! Call 434-392-6163 today and let one of our agents, with over 370 years of combined experience, help you
find your property here in South Central VA.
311 East Third St.
Farmville, VA 23901
Top 5 Reasons State Wide Realty Co Can Help You Buy
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The colder weather usually puts a slower pace on the market here in South Central VA. The inventory of houses and properties are at their lowest point of the year after a busy selling season. So what about those that are wanting to buy during the winter months? Are they forced to have to wait until spring to find a home or property that suits?
OF COURSE NOT!! Here are the top 5 Ways that State Wide Realty Co. can find you that diamond in the ruff no matter what season you are looking to buy.
1. Experience: We have a total of over 370 years of experience in Real Estate so our agents know how to tract down just the right property for you and your family.
2. Multiple Listing Services: This gives us first crack at new listings in the South Central, Lynchburg, Richmond and Charlottesville Area.
3. Number 1 in Sales: State Wide Realty Co has been the top selling real estate agency for South Central VA for over a decade and Counting!
4. Dedication: State Wide Agents are dedicated to their customers and finding them just what
they want in a property.
5. Hardwork: State Wide Realty Agents work hard for their customers and will find time to meet with them at their convenience. They make appointments based on your schedule to make the process easiest for you.
When cold weather strikes there is a threat of your pipes freezing and/or bursting. The expansion of the water when it freezes iswhat causes the pipes to eventually burst. There are several things you can do to PREVENT your pipes from freezing.
1. Make sure all your pipes under the house, in the garage, outside are properly insulated or
covered with a weatherproofwrap or sleeve. Consult your plumber or home improvement
expert for the best types to use.
2. When temperatures are going to be well below freezing outside keep a faucet dripping inside.
The movement of the water throughthe pipes will help keep the pipes from freezing.
3. Make sure any outside pools or fountains that have a water source running to it have been drained.
Hope these tips help to keep you from having to deal with frozen pipes!
Looking for a realtor? Call State Wide Realty Co and let one of our agents with a combined 375 years of experience help you with the process of purchasing property. Call Us Today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
The Snow is Coming! Don’t get Snowballed by High Heating Bills: Tips to keep the Bill Down
Make sure that any sunlight that can come in DOES! Don’t pull the shades on the amount of heat that
the winter time sun can provide that your heat pump won’t have to.
Check unlikely sources to save costs. This could be asking an expert if you could turn down your water heater settings
or if you could install a switch to turn your water heater off when no one will be there utilizing it.
Make sure your Insulated. Check with a professional on if you have enough or the right type of insulation in the areas you need
to heat the most. This will ensure your heat is not LITERALLY going out the window.
Set Temperature Times. When no one is home or during the night the temperature can be set lower than when you are
awake and needing it warmer.
Hope this helps and if we can help you with Any of your Real Estate Needs Call State Wide Realty Company at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
Well it is YOUR year to host the family, friends, etc. for the holidays. What do you do? No; don’t start
drinking…Yet. First take care of some business and there will be plenty of time for the drinking
(non-alcoholic of course) part once the guests arriveJ.
Break out the Decorations. Do as little or as much as you want but having something that reminds
you and your guests why you are gathering will set the tone for the occasion.
Get Ready by Taking Inventory. Look at how much dinnerware you have, table space, chairs, etc
to accommodate your invitees. Knowing well ahead of time will allow you to borrow or purchase what is lacking.
Plan Ahead. Have the menu items, time and eating arrangements set.
The holidays are known for chaos so whatever you can do to avoid this will make your guests
and your own life A LOT easier.
Shop Early. Everyone is going to be looking for the same items such as turkeys, ham and such so shop
early for what you can freeze or store to avoid it being sold out when you go to get it last minute.
Make it Fun. Remember you are there to CELEBRATE and not exasperate!
So what if you forget to set out the cranberry sauce, it makes for good memories to talk
about next year!
Need to Find a House to Host Your Holiday Events? Call State Wide Realty Co. at 434-392-6163 to have one of our agents with a combined experience of 375 years help you find your HOUSE for the Holidays!! Visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com to see all of our current listings.
State Wide Realty wants to take this opportunity to say thank you to the men and women that have
served or are serving in the armed forces and their families. Being a veteran owned small business it is
an honor for us to recognize all the others that have made this sacrifice for us to be FREE.
This week the Virginia Children’s Book Festival will be held October 19-21, 2017 at Longwood University and Downtown Farmville Businesses and Attractions. The Festival was started in 2015 and as stated on their website its purpose is to “bring together prominent children’s authors and illustrators and the general public in an annual event designed to foster the enjoyment of children’s literature.”
The event is FREE to any and all that want to come and enjoy what they offer. Many schools from around the area will be attending this event so there may be limited space for some events during the week. Saturday’s events are focused on families and will provide interactive workshops.
This is one of the great events that this area has to offer. Let State Wide Realty Co. find you just the right place here to call HOME! Call State Wide Realty Company today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
The change in the season has also brought in changes to our area. If you live around here then you are aware of the amount of construction and grand openings happening in Farmville, VA. For those of you that aren’t here day to day, Farmville has welcomed several new things recently.
First, was the opening of Third St. Brewery, located in a renovated warehouse space, which offers a wide variety of craft beers, live music, food vendors & more. Visit their Facebook page for updates and what they are up to at https://www.facebook.com/ThirdStreetBrewing/
Uptech, an IT store, located at Midtown Square, offers handheld device repair, website design, computer repair, business IT and security. Find out more about them on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/uptechnowservices/
There are even more ventures that are in the works and scheduled to open soon in our community. This growth is a sure sign that we are a strong and vibrant place to live.
Let State Wide Realty Company, a locally owned and operated company, help you find just the right property in Farmville, VA. Call 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
Located at the Meadow: 13191 Dawn Blvd. Doswell, VA 23047
This is the time of year when you get excited knowing that the sound of the farris wheel and the smell of funnel cake will be consuming the air. The State Fair of VA at the Meadow is kicking off on September 29th and will run until October 8, 2017. There are plenty of games, events, contests, and more for the whole family to enjoy. Make time to go and see the birthplace of Secretariat and enjoy the beginning of Fall. For more information about the State Fair please visit http://statefairva.org/.
State Wide Realty Company
311 East Third St. Farmville, VA 23901 434-392-6163 www.VaStateWideRealty.com
This Fair serves the counties of Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, & Prince Edward. They focus on agricultural education, provide amuzement rides, games, food vendors, pageants, and Professional Wrestling to name a few. They offer discounted times for children and senior citizens and different events each day. Visit their website at http://www.fivecountyfair.com/ or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fivecountyfair for more information.
Want to see more of this great area we call South Central VA? Why not let the #1 in South Central VA Sales State Wide Realty help you find just the right place for YOU! Call State Wide Realty today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
Farmville Virginia: Junior Woman's Club Celebrates Good Neighbor Day 2017
Wednesday September 13, 2017
8 AM till 5 PM
(or Run out of Roses)
This annual event allows us to be kind to one another and pass it on to the area youth in need by making donations to the Heart of VA Christmas Mother Program. This organization has teamed up with community businesses and through their donations we can all be Good NEIGHBORS.
Stop by Rochette's or Carter's flower shop, both in Farmville, to pick up a dozen free roses! Keep one rose for yourself, and hand the remaining 11 out to "good neighbors"!
Any donation given that day, will go towards the Heart of Virginia Christmas Mother program, which will help support Christmas for 200 kids in our local community this December!
State Wide Realty Answers: What is A Study Period?
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State Wide Realty Answers:
What is A Study Period?
When purchasing land, there is a section in the contract that allows for the buyer to have a study period. This is a set number of days that will have to be agreed upon by both parties that allows the purchasers to study things about the property such as if it will perk or not. If during this period the purchasers find out something about the property they don’t like then they are free to walk away without penalty. You do not have to have a study period when purchasing land it is an option to discuss with your State Wide Realty agent whether it is necessary or not.
For more information on buying or selling land call State Wide Realty Co. at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
This type of agreement between you and the real estate agent and brokerage means that they are the only ones authorized to list your property for sale and that it is not available For Sale By Owner. This type of contract puts the pressure on the agent and the agency they work for to do everything they can to sell your property for you. Each agency is different in what they offer as means of advertising your property.
At State Wide Realty Co. we value each of our listings and we advertise each property in multiple venues to gain the most exposure. This is in contrast to other agencies that make the agents pay for the advertising of their listings. If an agent’s budget is low there may not be much advertising done.
State Wide Realty Co. is proud to be number 1 in Sales for South Central VA and we believe in putting our combined 375 years of real estate experience behind each and every one of our listings to get the job done. So if you want to sell or are in the market for a property in this great area, call State Wide Realty Co at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
This annual event at Buggs Island lake was voted by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast. There is no lack of things to do and the fun is for the whole family. Events include but are not limited to miles
of vendors to buy local crafts, good food, & more! There are musicians, hot-air balloon rides,
antique car show, and fireworks. There is a list of activities, times, and dates on the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce site.
Summer Décor: How to Make the Most Out of Patriot Pride!
Summer is filled with times to celebrate how GREAT it is to be an AMERICAN with the unofficial start of Summer being Memorial Day, then Fourth of July and lastly Labor Day. Here are a few ways to get your home and yard looking ready for these holidays.
Use denim in your design: A through pillow or table cloth in denim is the perfect background or accent piece for accentuating your patriotic side.
The American Flag: There are plates, cups, napkins, placemats, etc. that have an American flag picture on it. Small flags can line your drive or walkway and even be arranged in flowers inside or out.
Red , White, & Blue: These colors can be placed throughout your home in pictures, flowers, pillows, covers, blankets, etc. Use these colors when picking outdoor arrangements and for accents on patio furniture or porch chairs.
Get Creative: Your décor doesn’t have to be bought pieces but maybe items you found that you can put together, paint, glue or whatever to make it an original. A popular homemade piece like this last year was the American Flag painted on wood pallets that you display outdoors.
The great thing about decorating in this style is that it will apply ALL Summer long and you won’t have to worry about changing it again, unless you want to, until after Labor Day!
Looking for a NEW Home to Decorate?
State Wide Realty Co.agents have a combined 200+ years of experience selling real estate in South Central VA and will guide YOU through the WHOLE purchase. We have been #1 in sales in this area for over a decade and counting! Call State Wide Realty Co. today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com for more information.
Every year on the 1st Saturday in May, Main St. in Farmville VA is transformed into an array of arts, crafts, food, vendors, games, and lots of music. This year is no exception. There are several stages that will be set for various musicians of all genres; there will be events throughout the day starting with a 10K starting at 8:30AM. Don’t miss this opportunity to buy local, eat local, and enjoy local talents.
Looking for a HOME or LAND in this great area? Call State Wide Realty Co. and let one of our 15 experienced agents help you at 434-392-6163. Visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com to see our listings.
Farmville VA Wine Festival to Benefit Meals on Wheels
When: April 15, 2017
Where: Riverside Park Farmville, VA 23901
Time: 12pm to 5pm
Why: To Benefit Meals on Wheels
This event is held annually and provides participants with an opportunity to taste several different wines from a variety of wineries. There is also music, food, and goods being sold. Tickets can be bought in advance or at the event.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail…Local Egg Hunts in Farmville, VA
This community likes to hunt and not just four-legged animals but those little plastic eggs that are filled with sweet treats. We did a little “hunting” of our own and found out where there will be some community Easter Egg Hunts coming up.
Saturday April 8th, 2017:
Farmville VA Recreation Department’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt:
Fireman’s Sports Arena
1328 Zion Hill Rd
Farmville, VA 23901
Gates Open at 10AM and Egg Hunt (kids 12& under) Starts at 11AM. They will have Prizes, Easter Bunny, & More!
Bojangles’ of Farmville & Farmville Junior Woman’s Club Easter Jamboree:
1501 South Main St.
Farmville, VA 23901
8AM to 10AM Pictures with the Easter Bunny-Easter Egg Hunt 10:30AM to 12PM
Saturday April 15, 2017:
Oakwood Homes of Farmville:
2650 West Third St.
Farmville, VA 23901
10 AM to 3PM: Open House
12:30 PM Easter Egg Hunt (kids 10 & under)
They will have the Easter Bunny, Refreshments, & 92.9 Kickin’ Country Radio Station
Also the local churches have Easter Festivities to enjoy.
If you have thought about making South Central VA your hometown then call State Wide Realty Co. at 434-392-6163. We have the most experience with over 300+ years combined working and living in this area and we are #1 in Sales in South Central VA for over a decade.
Centra Southside Hospital March of Dimes Fundraiser
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Local Events: Centra Southside Community Hospital Hosts:
Wine Tasting to benefit the March of Dimes Farmville VA
March 24, 2017
Virginia Tasting Cellar
201 C Mill St.
Farmville, VA 23901
5pm to 7 pm
About the event: Centra Southside Community Hospital is sponsoring a special wine tasting to benefit the March of Dimes in Farmville’s new riverside wine tasting room. Admission is $12. You’ll receive a glass and 10 tastings from the vineyards of Virginia; $5 of each admission goes directly to the March of Dimes to help premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.There also will be a special-priced menu upstairs at Charley's Waterfront Cafe on the night of the wine tasting, with proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes. Come enjoy a taste of Virginia wine and support your March of Dimes!
*Information obtained from Centra Southside Community Hospital's Facebook Event Page at:
This is a great local event to help a very worthy cause. State Wide Realty Co. is honored to be a part of this great COMMUNITY! Call us today to find your perfect place here in South Central VA at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
Spring Fever: How to respond when the market is in full bloom.
Spring is what we realtors like to think of as the beginning of a prime selling season. This is great for those that are listing their properties and hoping to sell them quickly. There can be a down side for those that are jumping in the market to purchase.
There are a lot more fish trying to buy in the market pond. Listings will not be around as long or for as low compared to slower market times.
What can you do to be prepared?
First talk to a lender and find out what you are pre-approved for so that you can use this information when working with a realtor to search for a home or land. This will also help you if you choose to make an offer on a property to look more appealing to a seller than someone else who has not been pre-approved for that price range.
Next make sure that you are sure about what you are willing to accept and not accept about a property. Any deal breakers and must haves should be told to your realtor at the beginning to save time and not miss out on the home you really want.
Last but most importantly make sure your realtor is a State Wide Realty Co. realtor. Our agents have a combined 300+ years of experience selling real estate in South Central VA. We live and work in the areas we serve and can help you find the home or land that is just right for you.
Call us today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com for more information and see why we have been #1 in South Central VA Sales for over a decade and counting!
Every March 17th we celebrate St. Patrick's Day by putting on our greenest outfit, pinching those that do not wear green, maybe enjoy a few "green beers" but here are somethings you may or may not know about St. Patrick's Day.
5. St. Patrick's real name is Maewyn Succat- imagine saying that all day long -happy Maewyn Succat Day- lucky for us he changed his name when he became a priest to the name Patrick.
4. St. Patrick was a slave in Ireland- he escaped after 6 years when he stated that God told him he would be able to escape safely- Later God would tell St. Patrick to go back to Ireland as a priest and when he did he converted many Irishmen to Christianity and therefore after his death he became their patron saint.
3. It is believed that St. Patrick used shammrocks to teach the pagan Irishmen about the Holy Trinity.
2. The color green for St. Patrick's Day came from the association of green with Ireland by its use by the Irish Catholic confederation and the United Irishmen.
1. When St. Patrick's Day was first started drinking was strictly PROHIBITED- It was a religous festival celebrated by church services and a feast.
We hope you all have a great St. Patrick's Day
Let us know if we can make your life a little "greener" with land or a home of your dreams. Call Us at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
Friday March 3, 2017
Fuqua Lower School 605 Fuqua Dr. Farmville, VA 23901
The Farmville Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is a group committed to raising funds for wetlands and waterfowl conservation throughout North America.
Sponsor tables and individual tickets ($65) are available at Ayers Building & Supply Co., Inc. and State Wide Realty Company. Please contact local Chairman,Jimmy McDilda for more information at 434-315-3435.
Is Your Home Ready to Sell? What you should do to be prepared.
We all have fond memories of the home or homes that we have lived in and that can make it hard to let go when selling. So how do you let go? There’s a time when you have to remind yourself that your memories go where you go they aren’t stuck in a room or closet in the house. This will make leaving easier when you think of the new memories to be made and shared in your NEW home.
Make sure your home is clean and clutter free. Take down as much décor that is personal to you and your taste as possible so potential buyers can envision their things in each room and how they would decorate to make it their own. You don’t have to hide little Johnny’s picture in the closet but make sure he isn’t prominent in EVERY room so buyers won’t feel like they are taking little Johnny’s home away from him.
Staging your home is important when selling so that buyers can get a sense if there furniture will fit or if they will have to buy new stuff. Small touches such as flowers, accent pillows, or a mantle display can highlight your home’s best features. Ask your Realtor what their customers usually look for when buying and go from there.
Focus on the details such as having the carpets clean and free of stains, the floors free of dust, and windows clean. These things can reflect negatively on the home if you not taken care of and draw attention away from the true features of the home.
Looking to LET GO of your Home?
State Wide Realty Co.agents have a combined 200+ years of experience selling real estate in South Central VA and will guide YOU through the WHOLE Sale. We have been #1 in sales in this area for over a decade and counting! Call State Wide Realty Co. today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com for more information.
311 East Third St.
Farmville, VA 23901
12th Annual Taste of Farmville:
January 26, 2017
5PM till 8PM
This charity event highlights the culinary talents of those in and around Prince Edward Co. VA. Vendors come with tasty treats of all kinds for event goers to enjoy. Held at the Steps, Inc. building located at 225 Industrial Park Rd Farmville, VA 23901, the number of vendors and people increase year by year! Tickets are available for $10 in advance or $15 dollars at the door.
This is a great time to meet community members and see where you can eat and buy locally.
IF you want to move to this great area call State Wide Realty Co. at 4343-92-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
Tired of Renting? How Owning A Home Benefits YOU!!
There are certain cases where renting is a necessity for the individual or family. On the other hand there are many people that are renting when they could be paying a mortgage instead. Individuals that rent can be surprised at how much less they would have to spend per month on a home they are buying rather than renting. This brings us to benefit #1 of home ownership: Your money goes toward YOUR home and not to pay for someone else’s. This helps your credit and your home will produce equity for you for the future.
Another great benefit of owning a home is tax benefits. The interest paid on a mortgage and most of the property taxes are deductible. Consulting a tax professional to guide you on this would be a wise thing to do.
The next benefit of owning versus renting you can customize the home however you like without having to get permission first or be denied because the homeowner won’t allow it.
The last benefit we will discuss is the feelings of stability and comfort you have knowing that the home you are in is yours and that you have this place to come to everyday. Owning a home is a something to be PROUD of.
For Information on Homes Available in South Central VA Call State Wide Realty Co.
at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
Here is the video of our home and commercial listings that were SOLD in 2016! We were BLESSED to have had a total of 272 SALES this past year and are so GRATEFUL to ALL of our CUSTOMERS for allowing Us to help with THEIR real estate needs.
Friends of the NRA Annual Fundraiser 2016: Farmville VA
The Friends of the NRA will be hosting their annual banquet/auction fundraiser to raise money to donate to local organizations. Last year donation recipients included :
Paralyzed Veterans of America Hampden-Sydney College Appomattox 4H Shooting Education Club Holiday Lake 4H Center (2 donations) Patrick Henry Boys & Girls Plantation Brookneal 4H Shooting Club Nottoway Regional 4H Shooting Club Prince Edward 4H
You have made the decision to purchase a home or to buy a new home, so what do you need for the house hunt? Just as you need the right gear to hunt animals there are things you can take on the house hunt to make it easier to find “just the right one.”
In your house hunting arsenal you could pack pen and paper. The more properties you see the more likely it will be that specific details of a single property will be lost amongst the crowd. Taking notes while you at the property on key features you like or dislike will help you when narrowing the list of potential winners.
The next item that would be handy is a camera. Capture how the house is laid out, the yard, certain items you find important. ALWAYS ask before you take pictures of any property, RESPECT the fact that it is NOT yours, YET.
Another handy tool would be a tape measure especially if you have a large piece of furniture that has to be in a certain room. Taking a quick measurement will let you know if your furniture will fit or if you need to purchase new items, to know what sizes will fit in the spaces.
Carry your must have list and check off what each house has on your list. This is a great way to narrow the list down when making the final decision.
Most IMPORTANT TOOL-A STATE WIDE REALTY AGENT- Our agents have the experience with over 200 years in the real estate and the knowledge of the area they serve being locally owned and operated since 1972. Any of our agents can and will make the home buying the celebration it should be!
Call State Wide Realty today at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com.
#1 in South Central VA Sales for Over A DECADE and Counting!
Home Staging and Decor is a major part of selling your home. We have come across many good ideas on how to make small spaces feel bigger and therefore make the best impression on potential buyers. Here is a short list of the tips we have seen.
Tips to making your small space feel bigger.
Keep it Light. The wall color should be light and if there is any natural light that can come in, let it. If you are a fan of the dark colors than accessorize with it and keep the main canvases (walls, floors) light and neutral. Don’t Over Do It. In a small space everything stands out so make sure that you don’t overcrowd the walls with pictures or knickknacks.
Choose the right furniture. There are pieces that can perform multiple functions such as seating and storage. This will help you to make the most of the space you have and not have to cram in multiple items.
For All of Your South Central VA Real Estate needs Call State Wide Realty Company at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
Here is Our Annual "Sold But Not Forgotten" Video for the Houses and Commercial Properties we Sold in 2015. This is just a sample and not all but to everyone that allowed us to help them with their real estate needs in 2015 or in the past we THANK YOU!
2015: A Year in Review:State Wide Realty Company Part 2 Land & Farms
As warned here is Our second part to the "Sold But Not Forgotten" of 2015. These are just some of the Land and Farms that we were blessed to have this year. We Thank EVERYONE for allowing us to help them with their real estate needs.
Happy New Year and to Bigger and Better Sales for Us ALL!
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will make in their life. It involves a long-term commitment financially and emotionally, but it can also be a very exciting and rewarding experience.
When buying a new home, there are a few things to consider:
· What monthly payment can I afford?
· What am I looking for in a home?
· Once I find a home to purchase, what do I need to do next?
· How much cash do I need at closing?
· How do I obtain a mortgage loan?
Before You Begin Your Search
Before you actually begin the process of looking at homes, you should complete the following:
Get Pre-Qualified: Unless you are able to pay cash for your home, most buyers will need to go through the process of applying for a mortgage. By contacting a mortgage loan specialist before you begin your search, you are able to determine the amount of loan for which you qualify. Typically, a borrower is pre-qualified for a loan that amounts to 28%, or less, of their gross monthly income. In addition, if you know the amount of the monthly payment you would be comfortable paying, a mortgage specialist can calculate the price range for your home search. Getting pre-qualified for a loan also increases your chances of your offer being accepted. A seller is more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who already has funding versus one who still needs to get a loan.
Prior to getting pre-qualified, you should obtain a copy of your credit report so that there are not any negative surprises when you are ready to apply for your loan. Correct any errors that you may discover on your credit report. Also, you will want to reduce your consumer debt as much as possible by paying down credit card balances.
By going through the pre-qualification process, your mortgage specialist can provide you with an estimate of how much cash you will need for the sales transaction. Cash is needed for the down payment, earnest money, and closing costs of the transaction.
Make an Amenities List: Decide what features are most important to you in a home. By establishing your criteria, you will save time shopping for homes that do not meet your needs. Also, consider what locations you are interested in. When making an amenities list, determine which criteria you absolutely cannot live without and which ones you are willing to budge on.
Some typical criteria may include:
· Price range
· Neighborhood or subdivision
· School districts
· Proximity to work
· Proximity to shopping, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
· Number of Bedrooms
· Number of Bathrooms
· Storage space
· Lot sizes
Choose An Agent: Your State Wide Realty agent will research property listings for potential matches to your criteria and schedule showings for you at a convenient time. In addition, they will provide guidance to you during the contract negotiation phase of the selling process. Many times, they will also coordinate and schedule the home inspection, appraisal, and closing for you, as well as provide you with referrals for mortgage lenders.
Beginning Your Search
Once you have selected a State Wide Realty Agent and determined what you are looking for in a home, it is time to begin your active search for homes that interest you. Based on your criteria that you provide your REALTOR®, he/she will be able to search their listing database for homes that meet your needs.
While visiting properties that are on the market, compare homes. Every home is unique! Even if every home you visit has all of the main criteria you are looking for, each will have different characteristics. Bring your Amenities Checklist with you to all homes that you visit. Check off which features each house has. Make notes on each home of what you like and dislike.
Additional things to consider when touring homes:
· Cost of upkeep and utilities
· Amount of maintenance required
· Cost of updating or decorating
· Homeowner’s dues
· Traffic patterns in the neighborhood
Taking notes and using your checklist will help you later when you can sit down and compare properties. By comparing notes, this will help to prevent you from making an emotional and impulsive decision.
Making an Offer
Once you have found your dream home, it is time to prepare an offer to purchase. Your State Wide Realty agent can provide guidance to you on the price you should offer to pay for the property. Have your State Wide Realty agent compare prices for similar homes that have sold in the area recently. This will help you to determine a reasonable price to offer.
In addition to the selling price, the other items to include in the terms of the Offer to Purchase include:
· The amount of earnest money (deposit) to offer.
· Concessions that you want the seller to make, such as a carpet or paint allowance, or payment towards the closing costs.
· Home inspection contingencies.
· Financing contingencies.
· A clear definition as to what is to be included with the home, such as appliances or window treatments.
· A closing date.
Don’t be surprised if your initial offer is not accepted. Your State Wide Realty will represent you in all contract negotiations until an agreement is reached between the seller and you.
Closing the Deal
Once your offer has been accepted, it is time to work on the final details of purchasing your home. There are several tasks that will need to be accomplished during this phase of the sales transaction:
Home Inspection: Arrange to have a professional come out to inspect your home. They are able to spot electrical, plumbing, and structural problems that may not be noticeable to you at first glance. The home inspection is not required, but it is in your best interest to have one done on the home so that you do not receive any surprises once you move in. This is an expense incurred by the buyer and is included in your closing costs.
You may also need to get a pest inspection on the property to make sure there is no structural damage to the property caused by termites. Your State Wide Realty agent can usually make a recommendation of a reputable inspector.
Apply For A Loan: Once an offer has been accepted, you will need to contact your mortgage specialist to officially apply for a loan.
Items that you will need for your loan application include:
· W-2s and/or tax returns from the past 2 years.
· Proof of gross monthly income for the past 30 days.
· Proof of investment income, including rental incomes.
· A list of creditors, including account numbers, balances, and monthly payments.
· Two months worth of banking statements.
The Final Walk through: Prior to closing, you should be given access to the house so that you can walk through and give it a final inspection. This should be done as close to the closing date as possible, preferably on the morning of the closing proceedings. When you go to do your final walk through, your home inspector will not be with you. It is your responsibility to inspect the home and ensure that everything meets your approval.
Things to look for during your walk through:
· The seller has repaired items included on the purchase agreement.
· The house is in "as-was" condition (everything is in the same condition as it was when you signed the purchase agreement).
· The house is vacant and clean. The home does not have to be spotless, but there should be no remaining trash or junk left behind in the house or in the yard.
· Tenants have moved out prior to your closing unless you have agreed for them to stay.
Closing: Usually at the time an offer is accepted, or after you have a commitment from your lender, a date and time will be arranged for your closing. The closing procedures will be handled by an attorney of your choosing. The day before, you will be told the total dollar amount you will need to bring to closing by the closing attorney. They will also provide you with any additional information you may need to prepare yourself for the proceedings.
On the day of closing, remember to bring:
· A certified check for the total amount of your closing costs.
· A picture ID, such as a driver’s license.
· Your personal checkbook.
· Evidence of mortgage insurance (if this information has not already been requested).
During the closing, details of the sales contract will be explained to you. If everything meets your approval, you will sign the contracts to finalize the deal. Congratulations! You are now a new homeowner!!!!!!
Home For Sale-Charlotte County VA-New Listing at State Wide Realty
Well-maintained brick cape cod situated in a beautiful grove of hardwoods surrounded by a multitude of flowering plants and overlooking its own 1/4 acre orchard. Plenty of room for a vegetable garden, pets and kids. Located in the rolling Virginia countryside but convenient to shopping, churches and schools. Country living at its best.
3 Bedrooms~2 Baths~1,645 square feet
Full Basement~3 Acres
For More Information on this listing or something similar contact State Wide Realty Company at 434-392-6163 or visit our website at www.VaStateWideRealty.com
Part of the American dream is to be a Home Owner. We have helped this dream come true for so many in our area. We wanted to provide some information that may help others prepare to realize their home buying dream.
10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
1.Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income. 2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list. 3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety. 4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price. 5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you. 7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
10. Contact a REALTOR® at State Wide Realty.There you will find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.
Small Business Spotlight-Whitefall Farm-
Gretna VA 24557
Whitefall Farm offers a variety of activities for the whole family such as a corn maze, petting zoo, and their AMAZING hay bale slide. They have general admission on the weekends and will do weekday appointments (such as fieldtrips,etc.) by appointment. Don't miss out on the FUN of the season that Whitefall Farm can deliver. Visit them on Facebook or at www.whitefallfarm.com for more information.
Charlotte Co: Reenactment of Staunton River Bridge Battle
This weekend the Historic Staunton River Foundation and theStaunton River BattlefieldState Park are hosting a reenactment to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of this historic event. Come enjoy a Tour of Mulberry Hill, view living exhibits and camps, watch tactical demonstrations and the actual reenactment.
Cost: Saturday - $12 , Sunday - $8 , Kids 5 and under are FREE
Schedule of Events
Saturday - June 21, 2014
8:00 am Park Opens 9:00 am Camps open to visitors 9:30 am Wreath laying at Fort Hill 12:00 pmTour of Mulberry Hill begins 2:00 pm Tactical Demonstration (beginning lining up for demonstration) 3:20 pm Reenactment of Battle (scheduled to last approximately 45 minutes) 5:30 pm Camps close to spectators 8:00 pm Civil War music 9:00 pm Night Cannon demonstration 10:00 pm Park closes to spectators
Sunday - June 22, 2014
8:00 am Park Opens 9:00 am Camps open to visitors 9:00 am Church services (visitors welcome) 12:00 pm Camps close to visitors 1:00 pm Reenactment of Battle (scheduled to last approximately 45 minutes) Dusk - Park closes to visitors
Fore more information visit Staunton River Battlefield'swebsiteor call 434-454-4312
Cupid will be visiting Downtown Farmville, VA early this year. Longwood Center for Visual Artsis helping the community transform their "love" into art with their free Valentine Workshop. Families around the area are invited to make Valentines and participate in other art activities. There will be helpers on hand to assist the kids in completing these projects. There will also be refreshments available.
Where: Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, 129 North Main Street Farmville
Date: Saturday, February 8, 2014
Time: 10 a.m - 12 p.m
Who: This event is free and open to the public. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information on this and other family workshops hosted by LCVA, please visit their website or call 434-395-2206.
Donnie is a hillbilly, from way back. His family may not have been on the Mayflower, but they weren't far behind. Whether they were Pilgrims, Puritans or just in a hurry to get out of town is not known. What is known is that they have been working the hardscrabble life here since the mid 1600's. Even though he came from the flat tidal county which bears his name in Maryland, he got down here as soon as he could.
Donnie bought his homestead some years back, a rough piece of wooded heaven ripe for the lifestyle he was searching. Donnie literally hacked out a homesite from an overgrown hillside and then began what would become a two year endevour collecting rocks. Rocks, thousands of rocks. One rock at a time. From any roadside ditch, plowed farmers field, old abandoned foundation or creek bed he could find. Most were carried in the saddlebags along side his old Harley.
Donnie would have a stone house. And he would build it himself, one stone at a time, alone. Two years went into collecting the stones while Donnie camped out on the property, living in a tent. When asked why he used stone, Donnie says, "Its a lot more bullet proof and hard to burn". The amazing thing is, Donnie can tell you where each and every stone came from, whose property it originated and the circumstances of how they came into his possession. An incredible amount of work and talent went into construction of Donnie's stone house.
Rocks and stones were collected from as far away as New York and along the Chesapeake Bay. Some of the Bay stones have fossils of prehistoric fish and crustacia, permantly on display in the walls of Donnie's house. He says there are over 1000 block and stones just in the chimney, "the safest place if that tornado comes".
Refusing to be a nine to five serf shackled to the expectations of modern day society, Donnie takes odd jobs now and then to make ends meet. But mostly he lives off the land however he can, just like his ancestors before him.
Donnie became an expert at foraging. As the seasons pass, so does natures bounty. From creasys salad in the spring to berryies and gardening in the summer, Donnie is content to live the simple life. Fall was a time for game and not all game was obtained with the use of a hunting license.
Donnie is good at finding roadkill. And the bigger the better. Up in the hills, bigger means deer or bear. Deer are plentyful but the timing must be right to get a quality eating experience. Winter roadkill has a much longer shelf life than Fourth of July roadkill. And it was one Christmas a few years back that Donnie offered me some roadkill deer he had picked up in Buckingham County.
Buckingham is known for its fine roadkill but I had actually seen this particular deer lay on the side of the road for a day or two before Donnie picked it up. The end was quick and mercyful for this deer as it was laying at the end of an impressive red streak with scattered pieces
of headlight, grill and front quarter panel strewn around. A very un-Bambi like scene for sure, but an opportuity none the lest.
Now, two weeks later, Donnie was offering me the last of the poor, unlucky beast. To say it was gamey would be the understatement of the year. This stuff could curl bark off a hickory tree. Donnie said it was much better if you didn't chew, just quickly swallow a chunk followed a big swig of ice cold moonshine from his quart mason jar nestled over in the snow bank.
The simple, basic life of a modern day hillbilly suits Donnie right down to the ground. His stone house is finished and he has lived there comfortably for many a year. Now that Donnie has past that half century mark, he has struck up a relationship with a mountain woman. He says things are going pretty good, "She's only shot at me twice".
So, if you are in search of your own inner hillbilly, visit our web page and check out the variety of country properties available. There's a place in the hills waiting.
Chuck Benhoff, Realtor State Wide Realty Co. Farmville VA 434-392-6163 office
Jack is a hillbilly, though he would prefer "mountain man". Jack and his family moved to their homestead here some years ago, coming from flat land back up north somewheres. They carved their building site out of dense forest by hand, mixed mortar and cement, laying a strong foundation for years to come. Jack finished up the house just in time to get the family in for the winter, then went to work on chicken coops, hog lots, dog pens and all the other amenities required for a first class hillbilly homestead. The old wood stove was stoked hard that first winter and the family came through more determined than ever.
Months went by, then years. The family grew up and the kids moved on to their own properties, all nearby. The homestead grew quiet and Jack got restless. Cousin Dave came down and he and Jack decided to look for some more hill country up near the Mighty James. They found the steep, rugged country more to their liking. Cousin Dave went home and dug up some of those mason jars out of the yard, just enough for a downpayment.
Twenty some acres perched above the James River along with the remains of an old mill. The 16 foot high stone mill pond dam still stands guard over the creek, backing up a pond with a couple acres of standing water. It's the perfect spot for catfish, muskrat, 'coons, 'possoms and all the important critters in a hillbilly's life. One small problem, the millpond creek was a might tricky to ford with the old pickup. Not to worry, Jack's eyes were a gleaming as he imagined a bridge, the bridge he always dreamed of building. It could cross that mill pond creek over to wheres he could make a switchback in the cutbank and drive right up to the campsite on top of the ridge. A hillbilly project of a lifetime lay in front of him.
Where to start? Jack scrounged some old power poles from a friend and got ol' Dwight to move them up there with his fancy "low boy" trailer. It was a snowy, cold winter day but Dwight backed that low boy over half a mile down into that holler and got them poles where they needed to be. Then Jack made a deal on some thick oak timbers down at the sawmill, just right for the bridge bed.
In no time at all, there across the mill pond creek spanned no less of an accomplishment than Davince's Mona Lisa, Micle Angelo's cathedrial, the Empire State Building or, well, you get the idea.
The bridge was in and the only thing left was to test it out. Jack didn't want to risk his pickup so he borrowed his old buddy, Chuck's truck for the maiden voyage. But there was no real risk, that bridge carried the load without a budge or sag and has carried many a heavier load since.
The bridge is finished but a hillbilly's mind is never idle. Huntin' seasons over (well, for most folks) and the fish aren't biting, so Jack's been eyeballin' a knoll up above the old mill pond. Looks just right for that log cabin he's always wanted to build. "I just need to find some trees just the right size, some stone for the foundation, maybe some timbers for the roof and then with a little help from......................." Oh boy, his eyes are all gleamed over again.
So, if you are in search of your own inner hillbilly, you might as well just give us a call down here in South Central Virgina. We have properties right in the heart of the hills. And you never know, you could end up with Jack and Cousin Dave as neighbors.
Charles W. Benhoff, Realtor State Wide Realty Co. Farmville VA
Folks, let me tell you about one of our neighbors -Appomattox River Co. who's main outlet is located on North Main Street in Farmville VA, with 2 other stores in Hampton and Richmond.
Upon visiting Appomattox River Co. you will notice many things that you won't encounter at one of the big box stores that happen to have a few boats and Bubba (a so called expert) to sell them. First, of all how about 1,000 canoes and kayaks in stock, plus any and I mean any accessories that you could want. They have a staff that not only sells boats but paddle themselves and know the boats inside and out. And should you need service or repair they have a complete shop right on sight.
Come visit them on Demo Day June 8th at Wilck's Lake here in Farmville.
For additional information, visit their website or for personal contact call Sarah, Mary or Tom at 800-442-4837
Bill Benhoff - State Wide Realty Co. - Realtor (A proud owner of several boats from Appomattox River Company)
Financing a homeis the largest transaction most Americans will make in their lives. The first time buyer can have lots of questions about themortgage process.Choosing a lenderis one of the most important aspects of this decision. There are manylending optionsavailable to buyers - online lenders, national banks, credit unions and more, it can be overwhelming.
Our office recommends that youdeal with a local lender. Not only are they friendly and accessible but most of their policies are designed for rural real estate. It may surprise you that many of the above options will not even consider a loan on land. So, if you're going tobuy rural real estate in South Central Virginia- borrow locally. Here's alist of the local lenders, based solely in South Central Virginia.
Farmville VA: Local Business Highlight - Main Street Bagels & Bistro
Nestled in the corner of Main Street Plaza, you will find a treat for locals, studentsand tourists alike.Main Street Bagels & Bistrobrings the taste and traditions of New York to Farmville VA. This local shop carries Boars Head lunch meats and cheeses that create a wide variety of delicious sandwiches. They have fresh baked bagels, hard rolls and subs. Plus, each day features a homemade soup of the day! Our favorites from here are the Turkey and the Pizza Bagel but I've heard people from the North rave about their Pork Roll.
This charmingFarmville VA bagel shophas a delightful staff that aims to please! Stop by and you'll be hooked by the warm atmosphere and yummy food.
Buckingham Co. VA - Horsepen Lake Wildlife Management Area
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries maintains 39 managementacres across the state. These areas offer a variety of outdoor recreation for the public.
Located inBuckingham Co. VA, Horsepen Lake Wildlife Management Areaconsists of 2,910 acres. This area has a diverse variety of hardwoods that offer forested habitats and a numbers openings that attract a wide range of wildlife. These habitats make this the perfect place for hunting, hiking or nature study. The18-acre Horsepen Lakeis the main attraction of the area offering a wide range of fishing including large mouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and more!
The facilities at this management area include:concrete rampfor boat access to the lake,a shelteroverlooking the lake for picnics, and mulipleparking lots throughout.
They have a wide variety of the finest carpet and rugs in the world based on their beauty and superior quality. However they can buy from any mill you choose. They also offer installation to most of Virginia and can drop ship carpet and rugs all over the country.
Their design workroom can turn your inspiration into a custom carpet. I've seen their work for years, but even I was amazed at the variety as I browsed their website this morning. They have designed rugs for sports teams, celebrities, company logos, patternsbased on china and even works of art. Many aspects of their rugs are still hand-sew, but I'll let the experts explain more of those fine details.
Throughout the years, Rug Rats has kept their focus on three areas: high-end carpets, competitive prices, and their unique ability to turn inspiration into reality. So whether you're inFarmville, VAfor the day or just in need of a unique custom carpet to transform a room - check outRug Rats.
Who Pays For It? Top 10 Real Estate Transaction Fees
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Who Pays For It?
Top 10 Real Estate Transaction Fees
With everyreal estate transactionthere are costs for both buyer and seller. Many people new to real estate can be caught unaware by these fees as a deal progresses towards closing. The best way to make sure a sale runs smoothly is for all parties tobe aware of the costs involved. With this in mind, we've compiled a list of some costs that could come up during the purchase process.
1.Home Inspection: BUYERHome inspections are not required but can be an important part of the home buying process. But unless otherwise agreed upon, it is the responsiblity of the buyer to pay for these inspections.
2.Well & Septic Inspection: SELLER Most lenders require both well and septic tests to be done on rural properties. It should be noted that a seller should wait for a contract as the test must be done with 30 days of closing.
3.Termite Inspection: SELLER Most lenders require termite tests to be done on a property. It should be noted that a seller should wait for a contract as the test must be done with 30 days of closing.
4.Lead Based Paint Tests: BUYERIn 1978 the federal government banned the use of lead based paint in housing. Due to heath concerns, some buyers prefer to have older homes tested for lead based paint. It should be noted that this test is not required but a personal preference.
5. Radon Tests: BUYER Radon is a gas that can be released by the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. Some home buyers choose to have the property tested for radon. It should be noted that this test is not required but a personal preference.
6. Surveys - BUYER or SELLER Many times a property will need to be surveyed to improve marketablity, in which case the seller would pay for the survey. At the time of purchase, a buyer may request a survey but it is up to both parties to determine who will pay for it.
7. Attornies - BUYER & SELLER Both parties are generally represented by an attorney at closing. To give a brief overview: The seller's cost are usually lower, as the primary function of this office would be to prepare the deed. The buyer's attorney will do the title work and perform the actual closing.
8. Recording Fees - BUYER Once the real estate closing has completed, the sale must be recorded at the court house. The fees involved with this process are usually included in the closing costs of the buyer.
9. Grantors Tax - SELLERThis is a tax imposed when property is transfered from one person to another.
10. Realtor's Commission - SELLER The commissionof any agents involved is generally paid by the seller. The amount is determined by the listing contract which will have an agreed percentage to be paid by the seller. If there is more than one agent this percentage is split between all agents involved.
Fun In the Trees- Prince Edward Co. VA - The Outdoor Adventure Park
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The Adventure Parkat Sandy RiverRetreat
Opening June 15, 2012
We're excited to announce the opening of a new local attraction,The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreaton June 15,2012. This tree-top adventure park is the first of it's kind in the State of Virginia.
There are47 obstaclesincluding 11 zip lines, separated into four different course/trails (the easiest suitable for ages 7-9), similar to those found on a ski mountain. Each trail consists of elements like rope bridges, logs, cargo nets, swings, ladders, and zip lines.
Safety is their highest priority;trained staff provide fitted harnesses and an instruction session before participants start the course. Allparticipants are provided with a new state-of-the-art, safe permanent belay system that attaches to a life-line with two carabiners that cannot be simulteously opened. This allows guests to act individually, try and fail and try again, overcome their fears and build self confidence, all withlittle to no risk.
For more information about park guidelines and requirements please visit the website forThe Outdoor Adventure Park.Advanced online reservations are recommended but call to find out more about packages for churches, clubs, team building groups or birthday parties.
In 1909, the small town of Victoria was established as a railroad community. Although the railroad is gone, the citizens are still deeply tied to their railroad heritage. One of the ways the remain connected is The Victoria Railroad Park, which displays historical Virginian Railroad cars caboose and equipment.
Located near downtown in the central business district is this 21 acre community park. The pride of the local community is shown here. With playground equipment and restroom facilities it's a great place to bring the kids. But it's also fun for grown-ups as well with 2 pavilions for group gatherings, sand volleyball court, and horseshoe pits, as well as paved and gravel walking trails.
So, when thinking about moving to the small town of Victoria - don't forget the The Victoria Railroad Park - there's fun for the whole family!
This summer the Virginia Museum of Radio Entertainmentis hosting a concert series in Hooper Park in Crewe VA. For this small town community this has been hot news for weeks but if you're not from here....you might want to come down this weekend because the first concert will be Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Date: Friday May 11, 2012
Venue: Hooper Park 2000 West Virginia Ave., Crewe VA 23930
Gates Open: 6 pm (on site parking starts at 3pm)
Music Begins: 7pm
Ticket Prices: General Admission - $25 in advance (Children 8 and under are free) Gold Circle Seating - $45. (Children 2 and under are free)
Over 88% of real estate buyers will use the internet during their property search. This is no secret, in fact most people in real estate use the internet asa resource these days. Thereal secretis how much agents and buyers understand the information we gather - for examplewho really understands the Zestimate??Zillow does a pretty good job of explaining this feature on their site, but let's be honesty who really looks?
If, you have ever searched for property on Zillow.com you've probably seen their home details pages. Did you notice in the left hand corner, just under the price theZestimate??
Chances are if you're like most buyers, you might think this is what the property is worth. Not quite. This is the "Zillow's estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula". Zillow recommends this value as a "starting point in determining a home's value".The site goes on to recommend consulting a real estate agent, getting an appraisal and visiting the home to determine their own opinion of value.
How do they determine the Zestimate value?
Well, I don't work for Zillow so I'm not privy to all the ends and out of the process but they do give us the gist. Basically, they take "zillions of data points" from public information....plug them into the formula .....andpresto you have their Zestimate.
How accurate is a Zestimate value?
According to Zillow,the answer depends on your location.The accuracy of their Zestimate is dependent upon the data they are able to obtain from the localities. To help aid the buyer in determining the reliability of the information Zillow has achartwith star classification. Be sure to click over and check out your area to determine how reliable the data is before you try to base an offer on a Zestimate.
What does this mean in South Central Virginia?
As for my areawe rated one starwhich on Zillow's scale means "tax assessor's value, or unable to compute Zestimate accuracy" or more simply put poor.
It is my understanding that Prince Edward Co and as well as the surrounding counties do not submit enough information to enable Zillow to compute an accurate value....so they rely predominately on tax assessments. Resulting in wildly varying Zestimates (as displayed in photos).
My advice,if you're interested in a property on Zillow.....check the reliablilty of the Zestimate before giving it much consideration or better yet,take Zillow's advice and consult your local Realtor.
Last week was due day at our house.....at least for our dog, Elin. So when the day arrived,my son rushed to the barn to check for puppies. When he came back in, he said she had seven puppies but only four are living. Being cautious, I asked how he knew they weren't alive...he told me they were cold and stiff.
The family went out to greet the new puppies and take care of the mama. My wife decided that we should take them into the kitchen, to keep them warm. So, I began to remove the unfortunate pups but as I picked one up I heard -more of a exhale or a peep than yelp but a noise none the lessand I thought to myself, could it be that these puppies were still alive??
Years ago, I heard how a friend had saved a puppy in similar condition. So I picked up the "dead" puppies and carried them to the kitchen,placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in our warm stove with the door open. Strange and gross as it may sound, I thought it just might work.
After a few minutes,my family and I watched as the puppies legs began to move. By the time I left for work, they were moving around with the other pups.
my son rushed to the barn to check for puppies. When he came back in, he said she had seven puppies but only four are living. Being cautious, I asked how he knew they weren't alive...he told me they were cold and stiff.
The family went out to greet the new puppies and take care of the mama. My wife decided that we should take them into the kitchen, to keep them warm. So, I began to remove the unfortunate pups but as I picked one up I heard -more of a exhale or a peep than yelp but a noise none the lessand I thought to myself, could it be that these puppies were still alive??
Years ago, I heard how a friend had saved a puppy in similar condition. So I picked up the "dead" puppies and carried them to the kitchen,placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in our warm stove with the door open. Strange and gross as it may sound, I thought it just might work.
After a few minutes,my family and I watched as the puppies legs began to move. By the time I left for work, they were moving around with the other pups.
Shop Local for Christmas: Farmville Chirstmas Show
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Shop Local: Farmville Chirstmas Show
This year many people are trying toshop localand support the local economy. I read somewhere that for every dollar spent locally, sixty cents stays within the community.
So with that in mind, stop by this year's32nd Annual Farmville Chirstmas Show. There will be over 50 local vendors there with homemade crafts, books and retail items. When I attended last year, they had fun activities for kids and food as well. This isthe perfect spot to pick up unique gifts for your family and friends.
Plus the best part, it is a fundraiser to help fundSTEPS Centre, that helps the community with job training and employment.
Where:STEPS Centre, 100 Industrial Park Rd. Farmville, VA When:December 3, 2011 Time:10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Admission: $3.00 Adults
The Christmas season is here, there will be cooking, shopping, parties and lots of family. But many families inFarmville VA, are also buying and selling homes this time of year.
People come from out of town to visit or need to make a quick move over the holiday break, so it's important for homes on the market to be ready to show throughout the holiday season.
Here are a few tips to decorate your home to sell during the holidays.
Curb Appeal: A festive wreath is very inviting to guests. A home beaming with lights can be very attractive to those driving by but they don't look nice during the day. So it's important to find a balance of greenery and lighting.
Suggestions: wreaths, candles in the windows, and potted evergreens.
Appeal to the Senses: During the winter months it's important to keep your home warm and toasty - buyers won't stay to look if they are freezing. Also, open the windows and turn on the interior lights, buyers love light. Last, Christmas is a great time fill your home with holiday scents that appeal to the masses.
Suggestions: Bake cookies before a showing, burn a few holiday scented candles, turn on the Christmas lights, play soft Christmas music and have your agent turn the gas fireplace on for an extra flare.
Deck the Halls:Holiday decorations are a great way to make you home feel warm and inviting. A few well placed items can enhance features of a home but make sure that the decorations are simple and tasteful. Remember you want them to notice your home not the decorations.
Suggestions: Choose a tree that fits your home - if you have tall ceilings and a big room large trees are great but if not don't overcrowd the room. Swags and candles are also great accents.
Hang Your Stockings With Care: Stockings and greenery can be great decorations for your mantels and stair rails but be sure to use caution when hanging them. Nails can leave the wrong impression. Also, people will be moving around the house so keep their safety in mind whiile decorating and don't leave gifts out in the open.
Remember nothing says "home" like the holidays, so embrace the season and start decorating....someone is looking for their next home.
If you're in the real estate business long enough, you will meet a wide variety of people. Your life becomes a sea of people all day long some that just talk the facts and some that want to tell you their hopes and dreams. But every once in a while, a client washes ashore that has a dream that's based on facts. A hope that you can't help but do you best to grab hold of and work towards. I recently met such a client when Lt. Colonel Tim Maxwell called.
You see Tim is a Warrior that was wounded in Iraq. He had numerous injuries but the brain injury has had the most devastating effects. He has undergone surgery and is recovering, but every day is a challenge. The day I spent walking property with him was the day I realized I had met a true HERO in every sense of the word.
The fact is Tim is a Marine! He was taught to fight and pull for the team at all costs. He did this through six deployments in Irag since 9/11 and is continuing to do so today. He can't fight on the battlefield any longer, but he has new fight for all of the Wounded Soldiers out there. He has established SemperMax which is a corporation devoted to supporting, employing and advocating our Wounded Warriors and their families.
He came to me with the dream of opening a camp that will allow Wounded Warriors to come together to and support each other as the Team they were trained to be. He has been accomplishing this through conferences all throughout the country but wanted a place to establish a Retreat. He believes he has found that spot.
I hope you will watch this video and learn more about Tim's noble cause. With 18 Veterans a day taking their own life, we should all sit up and take notice....They Answered Our Call....Will We Answer Theirs?.
Submitted By Brock Robinson of State Wide Realty Co.
This week started out with the Town of Farmville, The Tree Planting Foundation, Zynga (Virtual Game FarmVille) and Edy's Fruit Bars joining together to plant a community orchard next to the Wilck's Lake Boat Ramp.
Top players from the FarmVille game were brought in from around the country to help plant a real orchard consisting of the very same trees they plant so often on their virtual farm. Volunteers of all ages came out to join in the fun of creating this orchard, including our own Brock Robinson.
After planting a tree volunteers were given a BBQ lunch, refreshing Edy's products and enjoyed some Bluegrass music.
I'm this orchard will only add to the charm and character of our town, but it might also let everyone know, that yes Farmville is a real place.
Bed & Breakfast Near Farmville VA: The Henry House
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The Henry House,
a charmingand affordable18th-centuryBed & Breakfastin downtown Charlotte Court House, 15 minutesfromHampden-SyndeyCollege and 30 minutes from Longwood University and downtown Farmville.
They have rooms full ofantiques and collectiblesfor sale and can steer you to 12 other antiques store in the area. So there is not reason why your trip toview property in South Central Virginiamust be dull and boring, when you can spice it up with a B & B stay and antiquing.
They offer three well-furnished bedrooms.All have queen beds and sharetwo full bathrooms. One has an additional half bath.
A fourth bedroom, the Virginia Room on the top floor, has a three-quarter bed and romantic fireplace. After all, Virginia is for lovers.
When you stay at the Henry House, in-house Chef Paul will be pleased to prepare dinner for you and a loved one, from authentic Colonial fare to gourmet specialities. (B.Y.O.B.)
Chef Paul is a survivior of the Swiss Apprenticeshop Program at Cafe-Restaurant Du Theatre in La chaux-de-Fonds, and graduated third in his class from Les Ecole des Arts et Meitiers, the Swiss Culinary Arts Institute, in 1971.
Gatherings, Reunions, or Weddings
For large groups you may bring your own food and drinks, and they will supply the rest, including clean-up.
Convenient parking on the street or off through the side road entrance.
Pets welcome. Fenced-in backyard. (You pay for any damages) Sorry but we are just not set-up for children.
If you are interested in visiting this delightful Bed and Breakfast we recommend you visittheir siteto gather more information and make a reservation or simply give the owners Avon & Paul Masselin a call at 434-391-4192. We hope you enjoy your stay in South Central Virginia, be sure to stop by our office and see us.
Let's be honest, in today's market even seasoned investors are unsure of the best way to invest and are skeptical of many former mainstay parts of a portfolio. People invest their money in stocks, gold, themoney market
and all sort of other ventures, all with thegoal of obtaining financial independence. But I have a very stable suggestion,LAND...LAND...and more LAND!
Recently, The Virginia Land Forum was held which focused onfarmland
and timberland as a very solid stable investment. They revealed the importance of farm and timberland as a component of any diversified portfolio because land provideshigher returns with lower risks.
Surprisingly, LAND is not a new investment secret. Land has increased 3% in value every year over inflation. I think of it like a silent sleeper. When you go to bed at night and rise the next morning, your land is more valuable than the day before.
So, if advice from experts, past increases and the rising costs of food and timber aren't enough to convince you of themerits of LAND investment....let's look at the numbers for timberland.
Average Yield per Acre in Dollars
1St Thinning 16 yrs. $300-400 (Cut would be about 50% of the trees)
2nd Thinning 25 yrs $350-$450 (Cut would be about 50% of the trees)
3rd and Final Cut 33 yrs $1350-1550 (Saw Logs)
Total Profit per acre $2000-$2400
We'll stay conservative and use $2000 profit per acre on a planted pine cycle. Allowing time for spraying and replanting it will take about35 years for a mature crop.
Now, having established these figures we only need one more number to figure out how many acres of pine forest you need in your inventory.How much money do you want to yield annually?
So let's do the math, for our example we'll say we want to yield $100,000 per year.
$100,000 x 35 yrs = $3.5 million
Knowing you can expect $2000 per acre over 35 years lets divide.
$3.5 million / $2000 = 1750 acres.
You'll need 1750 acres of pines to yield $100,000 per year.
Now, these numbers are fairly reliable for Central Virgina but may vary with time and location. This still gives you a clear idea how timberland can be quite a profitable investment.
We all know the price of pine will increase and that's a good thing, but so will the cost of land.That's why experienced investors advise to buy as much land as you can "uncomfortably" afford.
The sooner you start, the less you'll have invest. Stay tuned for more tips as you look for land as an investment.
For those unfamiliar with Ducks Unlimited, this organization is the "world leader in wetland and waterfowl conservation". Their conservation projects are "designed to maximize the amount and quality of migration and wintering waterfowl habitat as well as improve conditions for waterfowl production". Feel free to visit their website and learn more about this great organization!
State Wide Realty Co. is proud to support this organization by sponsoring this event. We enjoy this event every year and hope you will come out and join us in supporting this worthwhile cause!
** All quotes are from the Ducks Unlimited website.
Waterworks Players of Farmville, VA presentPaintingChurches!
For over twenty-five years, the local group of Waterworks Playershas been thrilling Farmville area residents with their live theater performances. While these performances never fail to impress, what is truly amazing is that all of these productions are done with a cast and crew completely made up of local volunteers!
Their latest production isPainting Churcheswritten by Tina Howe, which is "an unexpected figurative family portrait; a comic drama that is in turn heartwarming and heartbreaking, a the family struggles to cope with the vagaries of ages". Director, Dudley Sauve points out that this play was written years before the vast public awareness of Alzheimer's disease and points out that "Howe does a masterful job capturing the sadness of declines and the humor and love with which a family copes".
I'm fully expect this production will be outstanding as always. So if you're looking for ataste of culture, enjoy the theater or just want to add a little variety to your life in Farmville, VA call 434-392-3452 or go to theirwebsite to order tickets. The performances are scheduled for 8:00 pm on March 11,12, 18 and 19.Tickets are just $10. Hope to see you there.
**All quotes are from the website of the Waterworks Players in Farmville VA
Nestles inJesses Ridge of Farmville VA, this like new home was built in 2007 and is conveniently located seconds away from restaurants, schools, churches, and work. Turn the key and move right in to spacious rooms and freshly painted wall. Check me out, I can't wait long!
Moving to Escape HIgh Taxes - Come To South Central Virginia
Recently Forbes.com posted an article aboutthe"States People Are Fleeing".The gist of the articlepointed to expensive lifestyles,increasingly high property taxesand high unemployment as some of the main reasons people were deciding to move from a few states. In fact, according to the article the country as whole is at it's "lowest mobility rate in a century" but there are states "expected to lose more residents than they gain this year".
After reading this article it became a reality in my office the very next day. We had a couple from New Jersey in our office and they stood in our lobby and laughed gleefully when they realized the tax they would pay on a property they were considering would be less than $1,500. That's right, less than some people's monthly rent!
The same article said that many of these transients are headed southfor a variety of reasons. the "temperate climate, affordable cost of living, good health care and pretty scenery". As I read these requirement I found myself reading a check list of requirements that fit our area perfectly
temperate climate - CHECK
affordable cost of living - CHECK
Good Health Care - CHECK
Beautiful Scenry - CHECK
plusLOW PROPERTY TAXES!
While many locals are upset about thefew property tax increasesthat have occured in the last few years, they are nothing compared to the high rates found in the some states. So if you're a potential escapee check out these real estatetax rateswhen you begin your search. With rates like these, you just can't afford not toflee to South Central Virginia.
One of the best things about living in Farmville, VA is the lifestyle it offers. People from near and far come to Farmville just for the shopping....why you ask?
Shopping in Historic Downtown Farmville VA is a unique and exciting experience. From the moment you step into the beautiful showroom of The Sleeping Bee, you know you'll find something unique. The Sleeping Bee offers many "frivolous necessities" and fresh gift ideas.
So whether your designing your new home or looking for the perfect Valentine gift...they have it all! But you don't have to take our word for it, click over to their site for a touch of their class and uniqueness!
Items they carry include a variety of
Bath & Beauty
Books & Stationary
The best part for local ladies...The Sleeping Bee has all the latest Vera Bradley products. And the spring collection of colors has just arrived!
So,when your looking for a great shopping experience in Downtown Farmville, stop by The Sleeping Bee and be sure to tell them State Wide Realty sent ya!
When is Moving Day?.....AFTER your property records
A question almost every client ultimately asks....what exactly happens on "closing day" and can we move in that day? I usually tell my clients:
Your closing agent will be in touch with you a few days prior to closing letting you know the exact amount of money you will need to bring to closing, usually in the form of a certified bank cashier's check.
The closing attorney will go over all of the documents with you answering all of your questions along the way. After signing all that is needed, the closing agent will give you a copy of everything except the deed. This will be recorded in the County Clerk's office where the property is located, offically transferring ownership from the seller's name into yours.
The deal is truly closed, only after it has been successfully recored. Most Clerk's offices in South Central VA end their business hours 4:00-4:30 in the afternoon. If your closing is scheduled late in the day, it may not be recorded until the next morning. You may gain entry to the home only AFTER it records.
This usually answers their questions sufficently but I also let them know that they can call me with any additional questions and I will be there at the closing to offer any assistance they may need. So, are there any questions you may have about getting ready for closing day?
Written By: Brock Robinson of State Wide Realty Co.
Photo is a modification of picture taken by ibm4381 on Flicker.com
One of the "Puzzling" Questions for Buyers in Real Estate:
The Earnest Money Deposit
After weeks of driving around looking at homes, a client came to my office ready to sign a contract to buy their very first home. But first they had a question that was "puzzling" them...What happens to my earnest money deposit if I decide not to go through with buying?Well if you're like me I saw three questions in one.... I needed to explain what happens to the deposit before closing,what qualifies them"not go through with buying"and then how theyget their deposit back.
This was my response was as follows:
When you sign a contract your earnest money deposit is placed into a none interest bearing account called an escrow account, where it will stay until closing, this is to protect both you and the seller.
We have contingencies set into your contract. The sale is contingent on you being able to get a loan and it is also contingent on a home inspection.
If for some reason theloan is not approved, all you need to do is provide aletter of declinefrom your lender andsign a release of the purchase contract.
We have 10 days to get an inspector out to the property. If the inspection report has items that need attention, we have several options to explore. First, you can accept the home in it's current condition and proceed to close. Second, you can ask the seller to fix the problem or ask for a reduction in the sales price. If we are unable to come to an agreement, you can walk away from the deal by simplysigning a release of contractin which case your deposit is then refunded.
This was my response to this question, do any of you have any questions or advice about theearnest money deposit?
Post Written By: Brock Robinson / State Wide Realty
Photo is a modification of a picture taken by Jonathan Gibson
Yesterday, March 17th, the Appomattox River turned green & Leprechauns were seen paddling a canoe downstream while some State Wide Realty agents were drinking green beer & eating corn beef & cabbage at Charlie's Waterfront Cafe. Warm weather is here & so will soon be First Friday's & Heart of Virginia Festival. Don't Miss the Fun!
*The above information is based on the residential sold in Prince Edward Area during the month of February.
Average Days on Market
Average List Price
Median List Price
# of Solds
Average Selling Price
Median Selling Price
*The above information is based on the land sold in Prince Edward Area during the month of February.
If you are interested in viewing market reports for Prince Edward and the surrounding areas please sign up for our Market Report Newsletter. Areas included are Amelia, Charlotte, Nottoway, Lunenburg, Buckingham or Cumberland. I plan to begin sending these once a month in March.
**This report is compiled from data obtained from the South Central Association of Realtors MLS
Whether you're wanting to escape the city or find the perfect retirement spot – rural land can have an appeal as being peaceful and reasonably priced. However, for the average person buying land can be a confusing process with many hidden expenses. So here's how to get your dream spot but avoid some of the pitfalls.
Buying Rural Land: Benefits -Privacy -More Open Space -Lower cost per acre -Cleaner Air -Scenic and Peaceful -Low crime rate Drawbacks -Lack of Convenience -Longer commute to schools or work
Purpose: First define what you plan to use the land for. Once, you have this settled then the search can begin.
Size and Shape: Obviously the amount of acreage is important. But don't forget to focus on the shape of the tract. Irregular size may be good if it offers more road frontage or a large backyard. But having odd shapes could prevent you from building your dream home.
Zoning: Make sure that the tract you're interested in is zoned for your purpose, some of these may include A1: Agricultural w/single family home, C: Commercial Business, R1: Residential Single Family. R2: Residential Multifamily. Of course, your agent can assist you in determining the zoning for a tract.
Soil & Elevation: The type of soil and elevation can affect the cost of building a home on a tract. For hillsides you may want to check if you have the potential of a landslide. Expansive soils can cause foundations to crack…you want soil that is a balanced mixture of clay, sand and some organic matter….don't worry your agent can help…just ask to be sure you get what you're looking for.
Utilites: Determine if there is already a water connection if not you will need to determine water availability and water depth for a well. Check for other services as well that could create hidden cost such as electricity, telephone, natural gas and cable.
Waste Removal: Determine if the tract has a sewer connection. If not, a perculation test should be done to determine if a septic system can be installed.
Surface Water: Rivers, streams and lakes can have big appeal when purchasing a tract of land; however, be sure to check your flood zones to make sure you will be able to insure any home you may build.
Easements: Make sure you clearly understand any easements that are attached to the property and make sure there is a legal right of way giving you access to the property.
Restrictive Covenants: These guidelines are set up to protect your property value but restrict usage.
By now, you may be ready to back away from buying land but rest assured real estate agents can walk you through the process just make sure to ask questions. Most important of all, make your contract contingent upon any condition that you feel uncertain about.
Let's face it selling a home in today's market can take something many of us don't have - Time. While you're anxiously awaiting that call with an offer, you may be feeling helpless and stressed, wondering what can I do?? Well the answer is simple…HOME IMPROVEMENT!
Now wait, I can hear you thinking … I'm not spending one more dime on this place. There are A LOT of homes on the market, and you want yours to sell right??? If you're like most of us you have a mortgage payment and every month you don't sell is payment. So the question is not if you can afford to fix up your home to sell but if you can afford NOT to fix up your home to sell.
Now that you're with me, lets talk about quick or cheap fixes….NO big spending because you won't recoup that money!! Take a honest walk around your house and make a list of minor repairs, if you don't see anything ask your realtor.
Improvement ideas for your list:
Broken Fixtures – Light switch and outlet covers are CHEAP!!
Change Light Bulbs – Really, how much is a light bulb (even if you don't use that room).
Fix leaky faucets –Just fix it, it costs you little to nothing!
Doors that stick or won't shut - Better to fix it than leave a negative impression.
Cracked caulking – Re-caulking sinks and tubs give a crisp clean look. Locks & Door Knobs - Tighten existing knobs…or splurge on an upgraded door knob and deadbolt for the front door.
Paint Interior Walls – We all have our own taste in colors; now that you're ready to sell change the paint to neutral colors to attract more buyers.
Paint trim and doors –Give your home a fresh clean look from the curb.
Tidy up the Yard - Trim the bushes, weed the flowerbeds and cut the grass. Pick up the kids toys and make your yard look inviting. Most of this will just take time and not cost a thing!
Pressure wash the house and windows - Let's face it nothing makes a house look cleaner than cleaning it!
Just keep thinking if it sells your home faster and doesn't cost much...you may not get your money back but think of all the money you won't spend on mortgage payments!!
On November 6, 2009 The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extended the existing first time homebuyer tax credit.The information below has been updated accordingly. Please feel free to use the links included for more information.
Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?
ØFirst time buyers of any kind of home are eligible for up to an $8,000 tax credit.
ØA buyer that owned and used the same home as a principal residence for a least five consecutive years of the eight year period
Who qualifies as a "first-time buyer"?
ØAccording to the law, anyone that has not owned a principal residence in the 3 years prior to the purchase date qualifies as a "first-time buyer".
ØFor married buyers, both the home buyer and / or spouse must not have owned a home during this time period.
ØFor unmarried joint purchasers, the credit may be allocated to either buyer that would qualify as a "first time buyer" under the previously stated guidelines.
What are the effective dates of the tax credit?
ØA home must have a contract signed between November6, 2009 and April 30, 2010 to qualify for the tax credit.Under the new law home buyers will have until June 30, 2010 to close on their purchase to qualify.
ØUnder the new law homebuyers will have until June 30, 2010 to close on their purchase to qualify.
What are the income limitations for the tax credit?
ØSingle Taxpayers who earn less than $125,000 are eligible.
ØMarried Taxpayers are eligible if they make less than $225,000.
ØPartial Tax Credits are available for others that do not meet these restrictions.
How is the amount to be received from the tax credit determined?
ØThe tax credit is 10% of the home's purchase price.
ØThe maximum allowable credit is $8,000.
Is the tax credit refundable? What does this mean for me?
ØYES, the tax credit is refundable
ØThis means that if your tax credit is more than you owe in taxes, you will receive a check for the difference.
Are there any payback provisions?
ØThe main difference between the 2009 and the July 2008 tax credit is that the 2009 tax credit does not have to be paid back!
ØThe exception to this is if you sold the home within 3 years of purchase.
What types of homes qualify for the tax credit?
ØAny type of home qualifies for the tax credit, provided that it is used as a principal residence.
ØSingle Family Homes
ØTownhouse or Condominiums
ØManufactured Homes or Mobile Homes
What if I have a home built by a contractor do I qualify?
ØYes, but in this case the purchase date is the date you first occupy the home. This date would have to be within the time frame explained above.
How do I claim a tax credit?
ØYou simply claim the tax credit on your taxes using Form 5405, following the detailed instructions.
ØFor your convenience use this link for a copy of Form 5405.
Do and Don't during the Mortgage Process....GET APPROVED!!
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Getting through the Mortgage Process....APPROVED!!
You've found the perfect home, you've made an offer, and you've completed your loan paperwork….you're almost there! Just don't drop the ball now – follow these rules to ensure a touchdown for your entire family!!You know your credit has been alright to this point, but now let's talk about keeping it that way throughout the mortgage process.
1.Don't apply for new credit of any form:And when I say any—I mean ANY!!Most, banks pull your credit just before closing and every credit inquiry pulls your credit score down or you could change your debt to income ratio.
·Don't continue mortgage shopping – in some cases people have looked so long for mortgages they disqualified themselves.
·Don't lease or buy a car
·Don't go furniture shopping and take advantage of those no payments for 12 month programs (Guess what, they'll pull your credit too)
·Don't get any new credit cards – even the ones that say "pre-approved" (they will pull your credit!!)
·Don't cosign for anyone else's lease
2.Don't change your financial practices: Unusual activity can raise red flags. So keep it normal and safe. Meaning:
Do keep all of your existing accounts current – including your mortgage or rent!!
Don't switch banks
Don't over-use your credit cards – keep 30% availability
Don't consolidate debt onto 1 or 2 cards – this could make it look like you have maxed out 1 or more cards.
Don't enter into credit counseling
Don't close existing credit cards – this could change your debt ratio
Don't pay off old collections accounts – this could lower your credit score.
3.Don't change employers – mortgage companies consider length of employment, so try to delay any career changes.
4.Don't move - mortgage companies consider the amount of time you have lived at a residence.
5.Don't pack important documents - the lender will need information from you such as bank statements and W-2, make sure they are accessible.
6.Don't spend all your money – many lenders require that you have a certain amount of money in the bank after closing costs and will verify this before closing. Check with your lender before you start spending.
7.Don't avoid your lender– this means providing them with requested information and any and all changes made to your contract throughout the mortgage process.
8.Do ask questions and stay informed- lenders and your real estate agents can answer many questions to help you understand the process. Suggested questions:
·Can I see my credit report?
·Can you help me understand the Good Faith Estimate?
·Has the property been appraised?
·Did the appraiser point out any problem areas?
·When will the underwriter have my paperwork?
·When will the closing agent/attorney have my file?
·Can you explain the closing statement?
To sum it all up, remember that they don't just pull your credit report and then you're free and clear. Keep your credit as normal and clean as possible throughout the process and stay informed. You're almost done, just a little more diligence and you'll have the home of your dreams!
So, autumn is here and you're ready to sell?Well I have good news and I have bad news.Bad news is fall is the shortest selling season of the year, with the holidays as your deadline –no one wants to move then.But the good news is, fall buyers are serious buyers – so chances are you could get your house solder faster and at a better price than if you had started selling in the summer.So now that you know serious buyers are coming your way….here are tips to grab their attention all through the fall.
Curb Appeal – Landscaping is key to attracting attention
·Keep the lawn mowed, seed and fertilize if necessary.
·Rake the leaves.
·Trim trees and prune the bushes.
·Plant a few fall annuals like mums to add color to your landscape, if not make sure you clear out any dead or dried up flowers that may remain from the summer.
Exterior – Appearance and Upkeep
·Clean the gutters.
·Repaint trim or house if needed
·Keep patio and backyard clutter free and inviting.
·Hang an attractive fall themed wreath on your door.
·Put out a seasonal door mat to welcome buyers.
Interior - Bring Autumn in.
·Keep the house a comfortable warm temperature. Cold is uninviting to your buyers.
·During the fall, it will get cool enough to open the windows and freshen up the house.
·Keep adequate artificial light in every room, because your house may be shown later in the day or early evening - remember it's getting dark earlier now.
·Bring in a few logs to stack by the fireplace – accenting your fireplace.
·Avoid scary decorations for Halloween, focus instead on the fall.
·Use squash, baby pumpkins, acorns and pine cones to accent around the house or porch.
·Bring in fall colors with a vase of dried branches or leaves and fall colored flowers.
Paying attention to the demands of the season can help you add that special touch that just may make all the difference. Let us know of any suggestions for autumn selling you may have.
Okay, you've decided to sell…but for how much. Yeah, you want to make as much money as possible but beware…don't overprice it could cost you in the long run! How you ask?
Top Problems of Overpricing
Limiting prospective buyers – Buyers usually know their price range and most buyers and their agents don't search out of the price range they can afford.
Miss out on the big splash – Homes get the most traffic in the first 30 days. So if you price high, planning to drop later you will lose out on the initial demand…and once it's gone…no price reduction will duplicate that new listing potential.
Attracting the wrong buyers –Buyers have some idea the type of house their money will buy. To illustrate this point let me ask you, would you buy Geo Metro for the price of a BMW….well neither will the potential homebuyer.
Delay, Delay, Delay – By overpricing your house you are wasting your time and money….it may cost you more in mortgage payments to start at a higher price and leave your house on the market for a long period of time….and you may end up selling for less after price reductions. Plus, you may need to move and ultimately be stuck with two payments waiting for that high price.
Mortgage Turn Downs – Overpriced houses will not appraise enough for a loan. No loan – No sale.
Raising Suspicions - The longer a house stays on the market the more potential buyers wonder – What is wrong with that house?
Could help sell your competition- Overpricing your house will only make properly priced homes look like more of a deal to most buyers.
Realtors don't show your home - They will know the market and recognize that your house is overpriced. They want to SELL and their buyers want a good price, so they have no motivation to show your home….especially in today's market when there is plenty to show.
Pricing to Sell
Don't start out by stating what you want….you or your realtor do not set the price it is set by one thing ….what a buyer is willing to pay. So, how do you determine what a buyer will pay?
Market Research – Before setting a price, you need to know the market. No one knows that better than Realtors. So speak with three realtors before choosing one. DO NOT pick a realtor just because they suggested the highest price. Rather examine the data they used to provide the suggested price….this should be comparable sales pending and expired listings they provide. Comparable sales are the most important because these will show what houses like yours have sold for recently…remember to check and make sure they are comparing houses that are like yours. Once you have inspected the data you should know which Realtors are giving you the most accurate value. There are of course many factors that go into choosing a realtor but the price suggested should not be the only one. Many agents price high just to get the listing but this doesn't sell your home the fastest and may hurt you in the long run.
Remain Objective - Buyers do not have the memories and time vested in your home. Plus, they see the scuff marks, overcrowded closets, stains on the walls and ceiling that you don't notice anymore. Price on what's there not on what you feel.
Visit other houses – Visit other houses on the market. Compare what your house has to each of them and price accordingly. Also, this may give you tips on what to do or not to do when preparing your house for showings.
So, in a nut shell don't sell for what you want, what someone tells you or what your neighbor is asking for their house…..do the research and price for the market. If you notice there is little to no interest, be flexible in dropping the price. Pricing a home is not an exact science, only you can determine the price….after all you know what you owe on your mortgage and you know your house better than anyone…so have experts help with the research and then come up with a price that both you and a buyer can live with.
Feel free to share more tips on how to price a house to sell.
Seller's Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts of Selling Your Home
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Seller's Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts of Selling Your Home
In today's market buyers have more of a selection than ever!This means homeowners that want to sell need to be ever vigilant of their home and the actions they take to prepare for their house to be shown. Not preparing properly can be viewed not only as rude but can actually keep people from viewing or buying your house. So what is the social etiquette needed for today's seller you ask…here are some Do's and Don'ts to follow to sell your property.
·Be accessible – setting unrealistic times to show can make the buyer eliminate your house from their list…remember they have plenty to look at, don't put your house at the bottom of the list by not having it available to be seen.
·Keep electricity on - Buyers want to be able to "see" the house when they get there, so they will need the light. On a cloudy day sunlight might not be enough and leave your house looking dark and dreary.
·Remember light sells – so open the blinds and let the light in when you know someone will be stopping by. The brighter the house the better!!
·Clean your house – Keeping your house clean is IMPORTANT!! No further explanation is needed.
·Be conscious of smells – don't cook strong / offensive smelling foods, take out the trash, clean pet boxes and burn soft scented candles.Making the buyer wonder if the smell is permanent is a definite draw back.
·De-Clutter – Knick-knacks, paperwork and other personal items can make your house look cluttered. Put away everything you can or buyers may question if there is enough storage room in the house. Plus, this will also protect private information.
DON'TS ·Leave Safety Hazards – Shovel the snow and put down salt in bad weather, if a buyer pulls up and there is snow on the walk way they may simply drive away. Remove cords that may be trip hazards, not only are they dangerous but it may draw attention to a lack or awkward placement of outlets in the room. There are many safety hazards that can be in a home and you as the homeowner are in the best position to know them and secure them from people visiting. Don't depend on the agent because they may never have been to your house.
·Don't leave pets – Pets can have unexpected reactions to strangers and buyers may inadvertently let them out. So try to lock them up or take them with you when your house is being shown.
·Show your house – Buyers may not know they need to make an appointment and approach your house for a viewing. DON'T SHOW IT- politely give them the name and number of your agent. There are many reasons for this but the most important is safety – you don't know the person you are letting in. Another important one is that you may give information away about your situation that could prove to be to your disadvantage in the bargaining process.
·Offer to sell other things – Buyers are there to look for a house, don't try to push your business or property on them – they may feel pressured and leave to avoid the situation.
·Stay for the showing - Although it is not always possible to leave, it is better if the owner is not present during the showing. This helps to create a more comfortable environment for the buyer because many people are uncomfortable opening cabinets and such with the owner there. Also, you being there will give them an opportunity to ask you questions you are not required to disclose….you may not want them to know your neighbor plays music loud every night but you don't want to lie when they ask the question.
Have you ever been to home when something the homeowner did prevented you from buying....let us know...help others sell!!
Think back to the first house you ever looked at. Now, were you comfortable or were you constantly wondering about how to act in a stranger's home? In a new environment, we all study others to see how they interact, but guess what - when you're looking at a home you're typically the only prospective buyer around. Don't think it really matters? Well imagine you're selling your home and someone gives you a lower offer than you want – now imagine the same buyer let their child spill Kool-Aid on your new white rug- would you accept that offer? So, here's the dos and don'ts for prospective buyers.
·DO chose one agent and stick with them.
·DO tell other agents you may speak with that you are working with another agent.
·DO plan ahead and make appointments with your agent to view houses of interest. Agents and homeowners have schedules too, so don't expect to be shown a house without an appointment.
·DO wipe your feet before you enter a home
·DO open cabinets, closets and appliances – you have to look to make an informed decision.
·DO ask your agent questions about the home and neighborhood.
·DO ask before using the restroom, many vacant houses have the water turned off. Also, make sure that the toilet does not continue to run, should you use the facilities as this could be costly for the owner.
·DON'T approach a house for sale without contacting the agent. This may seem harmless but many homeowners find this offensive.
·DON'T bring small children along when viewing a home. Try to find a babysitter, as the houses you are viewing may not be child proof SO they could get hurt or break something. You will have a hard time giving the appropriate attention to viewing the house if your attention is on your children. If you do decide to bring the kids make sure they understand they will be visiting someone's home.
·DON'T open drawers to dressers and other personal property that does not convey with the property.
·DON'T eat or drink while viewing a house.
·DON'T smoke when viewing a house.
·DON'T take food or drinks from the refrigerator & cabinets
·DON'T leave lights or appliances turned on
As you can see, there are lots of dos & don'ts but the most important thing is to respect other people's time and property and you'll never go wrong. Let us know if you have a story about how poor buyer's etiquette ruined a sale or a tip of your own.
After a unsuccessful turkey hunt with my twelve year old son, Trent. I dropped him off at school. I did not have any appointments so I then continued my hunting in the tradition rich Prince Edward County.
I was fortunate enough to find an "ole tom" gobbling in search of a mate. As the bird was responding to my calls and coming straight to me in "full strut", I knew my son would be jealous if I killed this bird. He was beautiful, 21 lbs with a 12 inch beard. And yeah, my son was ticked.
Two days later in a slight drizzle my son and I were hunting another farm very close to where I killed my bird. It is another school morning and the first turkey we heard was not very responsive. Starting back to the truck we heard another gobbler. It is decision time. Be late for school or make the same mistake I made two days earlier. We were late, and Trent bagged a 19.5 lb bird with a 12 inch beard and more importantly Dad was off the hook. HAPPY HUNTING!!!
Hunting is an abundant pastime here in Prince Edward, so if you're looking for your own hunting or recreational land - let me help!!
Everyone is anxious to close their first home but many are amazed when they run into delays - first the lenders and the inspections, then the holidays roll around…..you find yourself thinking what's next….TIME, it can kill a deal like nothing else!
1. Problems with the lender – This can happen for a number of reasons, ranging from underwriter delays and appraisals not coming in as expected. Find out up front, anything that you may need to provide to your lender to avoid delays.
2. Inspections not completed – Many homeowners think that the home inspection covers it all. Don't make this mistake, although home inspections are important, lenders may require termite, well and / or septic inspections as well. If you wait until closing to find out, you then have to find an inspector, get scheduled and then wait on their report.
3. Holidays - Avoid scheduling your closing around a holiday. Many people forget about the minor holidays that close down city and county offices. Having your closing around such a holiday can delay the recording of your deed, which allows the seller and other parties involved to be paid. So, if the seller says "No check – no key", you may not get into your home for three or four days if you close around a holiday.
4. Property not ready – Keep in mind when the writing your contract if repairs that you have put in as conditions are not completed the closing will not happen. Also many times homeowners will not complete other tasks requested by the buyer, so stay on top of any details that need to be completed by the sellers to close this may hold things up.
5. Time Kills Deals – the longer it stretches out the more likely the deal will never close!! If it doesn't kill it, time can still be costly. Many lenders charge the buyer a fee for every day past the closing date that a deal doesn't close….be aware of these clauses and make sure you meet the deadline or are ready to pay.
So don't be a sitting duck, watch for delays and push things along….ask questions and plan - it's the best way to keep a deal on track. You can rely on your agent to take care of many of these things but make sure you are aware of the details too. Need more advice before you decide, let us know. We'll be glad to help.
Several years ago when my youngest son, David was a "Rat" at VMI and my oldest son, Chuck was a hunting guide in Montana we took off on a Spring Bear hunt in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
We hunted hard on horseback in the Elkhorn Mountains for about 4 days. To give the horses & ourselves a little rest, we decided to drive the Suburban over to the Lewis & Clark National Forest for a look see.
Somehow Chuck acquired a bad case of the "green apple quickstep" so all of a sudden he started drivin' very rapidly sliding around curves, eyes buggin' out and sweatin' to beat the band. Upon inquiring as to what the H#$%* was going on, he informed me he needed an outhouse in the worst way. Shortly thereafter we slid to a stop at two campsites and wonder of wonders a Johnny house.
The door flew open and off he went - no pun intended.
So here we are just a sittin' and a listenin' to Hank Jr. and I look over and see some nice green grass along a small creek. So I hop out and stroll over to see if I can find some bear sign & after about 200 yards at 8000' elevation I hear a loud WOOF and up stands a very, very large blond black bear. He went East and I went West, got to the car gasping for air and grabbed my 308. Dave asks "What's up" and through the flakes of blood eminating from my lungs I gasp out "BEAR!!" --off he goes with his '06 and I stumble after him. As I cross the creek my right boot pulls off in the mud so I'm hopping around trying to get it back on & Chuck comes out of the Johnny house (no longer a shade of purple) and sees what's going on, grabs his 338 mag & hot foots it over -- Now I know I'm havin' a heart attack from sprinting 400 yards and dancin' in the creek on one foot. Somehow I get it out that Dave is following the bear up the mountain on an Elk Trail. So Chuck goes straight up, bumps into another Cinnamon Bear & Bang - down it goes - hence the outhouse bear.
Oh yes, I killed a large Cinnamon Bear later in the Elkhorns but that's another story.
Late in the afternoon I drove my jeep over to my son's farm adjacent to the Featherfin WMA.
It was hot as hell but a slight breeze kept me from expiring!!
The hunters were my son Chuck and my two grandsons Will, 15 and Carl, 11. Will and I hunted together and both of us used Remington 1100 shotguns in 12 Ga. Chuck was using a Remington 11-87, 12 Ga. and Carl a 20 Ga. Charles Daly.
We started about 4 pm and leaned against round hay bales for about an hour before the birds started flying. For some reason I couldn't hit a bull in the butt with a base fiddle & Will was knocking them down and razzing me to beat the band.
The first bird I killed the dogone lab ate for a late lunch and my day went downhill from there, of course a bad day hunting near Farmville, Virginia beats a good day at work so all in all I had a great Day