No Down Payment? No Problem. You Can Buy A House With A Down Payment of $0

Most potential homeowners believe that in order to purchase a home they’ll need to come up with at least 20% for the down payment. And with the median price of homes in the US at $240,900, that’s a whopping $48,000. For many, coming up with that kind of cash just isn’t possible. But while you […]

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7 Expert Moving Tips To Make Your Winter Move Fast and Easy

Winter is a great time to buy a home — there’s less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday!

But moving in the winter? Not so great.

There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather.

But it’s not impossible! Here are seven expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it):

focus photography of snow flakes

1. Keep an eye on the forecast

This one should go without saying, but if you’re planning on moving during the winter months, it’s extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day.

If there’s a significant amount of snow forecasted – the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe – consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck.

2. Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)

One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it’s a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services.

But if you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it’s super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there’s no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned.

You don’t want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.

3. Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter

Moving in winter is tough.

But you know what makes it tougher?

Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around.

If you’re a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.

wooden house near pine trees and pond coated with snow during daytime

4. Start your move as early as possible

Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter.

Because there’s fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you’ll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out.

Even if you’re not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.

5. Protect your floors

If there’s snow on the ground, that means when you move, you’re going to get snow on your shoes. And, eventually, that will mean snow (and water) all over your nice, new floors.

You don’t want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day (or the ground is wet from a previous storm), lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.

6. Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place…

Before you move, make sure you’ve switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat!

7. But turn it off during the move

That being said, turn your heat off during the actual move. As you move things in and out, all the heat will escape through the door, which will not only make it cold inside, but will also stick you with a hefty energy bill.

Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you’ll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time!

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The BEST Way To Be Superdad For Your Children During Their Home-Buying Experience

So your kid is out there looking to buy a house. You think to yourself, “I know she’s not a ‘kid’ anymore…” But…she’s still your kid. It’s hard to just stand by and watch. You want to step in and make sure she doesn’t make a mistake or spend too much. You can’t believe the prices of houses she’s […]

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Do You Believe In Any Of These Real Estate Superstitions?

Tons of people think the number 13 is unlucky. Some don’t. But pretty much everyone has at least heard that the number 13 is unlucky. With Friday the 13th upon us, I thought it’d be fun and interesting to send along some superstitions we come across in the real estate industry, which you may have never heard about…

Lucky numbers

Real estate agents sometimes find themselves working with clients who have superstitions based upon lucky (and unlucky) numbers.

This is often a cultural superstition. And the lucky or unlucky numbers are different from culture to culture.

This can affect whether or not someone will buy a house, if the street address is an unlucky number, or even adds up to an unlucky number.

It can also affect the specific dollar amount they will offer or accept for a house…

What direction a house faces

Does your house face East? If it does, that’s great… for some potential buyers.

But others may not see it that way, and would never buy a house unless it faces South.

Again, these superstitions are typically cultural, and no one direction is right for every culture.

So, don’t worry what direction your house faces…there’s always someone who will be fine with whatever direction it is facing.

Mercury in retrograde

This is less cultural, and more a matter of whether someone is into astrology…

It is believed that when the planet Mercury is in “retrograde” (backward), it is a bad time to enter a contract.

So, if a client is sensitive to this, there is a good chance there isn’t a deal good enough to get them to buy or sell a house while Mercury is in retrograde.

Smudging

Ever hear of smudging? That’s when you burn a sacred plant (often sage), and walk around the house wafting the smoke, in order to get rid of negative energy in a house.

Does that sound crazy? Sound like someone’s been smokin’ the smudge!?

As a real estate agent, I wouldn’t call it crazy…

While an agent may not believe in a client’s superstition, or even understand it…they won’t consider it crazy.

It’s a real estate agent’s responsibility to represent their clients’ best interests.

So I wouldn’t consider any of the above examples (or anything else you could throw at me) crazy…because if it is a concern for my client, it is a concern for me.

Wishing you nothing but luck this Friday the 13th.

P.S. Out of curiosity… do you have any superstitions when it comes to buying and selling a house? Let me know, I’d love to hear!

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Announcing NextHome Realty Select in Front Royal, VA!

Hello Front Royal!

Announcing the opening of our third location at 210 E Main Street in Front Royal, VA.

We are SO excited to announce that the doors are open at our third office in Front Royal, VA. Get a sneak peek and meet a few of our team members in this fun video. You will realize from the orange door that we are different than other real estate firms.

We will be handing out treats Halloween night during the Hometown Halloween festivities, so grab a coffee at The Daily Grind and head across the street to take a look at the office, meet our mascot Luke (the orange Frenchie) and the NextHome Realty Select Team. We are excited to be in the neighborhood.

Luke-Small-Web

Why Rent If You Can Buy?

Why Rent If You Can Buy

Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. Yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer’s lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn’t true. With countless down payment assistant programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move.

With interest rates at an all time low, home ownership in today’s market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage’s lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That’s more money in your pocket today. Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home a pay a monthly rate that is the same, and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard?

There is also a fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to selling is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place.

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn’t be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you’d be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into.

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An Open Letter from an Agent to Anyone Considering Selling Their Home

So you’re thinking about selling your home? I realize you didn’t arrive at this decision lightly, and that you might be nervous or scared. There are so many things that are probably going through your head right now. I’d like to help you by offering some advice, and hopefully putting your mind at ease. First, […]

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