How many people ask this question when they buy or sell a home?

Here is a great article that I thought had great information for anyone buying or selling a home.

Real Estate News-Diedre Wollard

When you are getting ready to sell your home, dealing with inspections and appraisals is part of the process. Your home is now a product that is being sold and needs to be evaluated. Many people think that appraisals and inspections are essentially the same thing but there are some key differences. If you’ve ever watched “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, you’re already familiar with the concept of an appraisal on personal property. The idea is similar in the realm of real estate valuations. Each property is unique, and the appraiser relies on his or her general expertise and specific research to arrive at an opinion of value.

An appraisal provides valuable information for the buyer and the seller, but the appraiser’s primary mission is to protect the lender. Lenders don’t want to own overpriced property and that’s why the appraisal takes place before the lender grants final approval of the buyer’s loan.

The Appraisal Process

Appraisers use a variety of factors in their decision making. They weigh the location of the home, its proximity to desirable schools and other public facilities, the size of the lot, the size and condition of the home itself and recent sales prices of comparable properties, among other factors. Appraisers aren’t interested in whether or not the house is clean but they do notice signs of neglect such as cracked walls, chipped paint, broken windows, torn carpets, damaging flooring and inoperable appliances.

Federal law requires states to establish minimum standards and licensing practices for real estate appraisers. In California, for example, trainees must take several courses, pass an examination and complete 2,000 hours of supervised experience.

If the buyer is applying for a mortgage that will be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the appraiser must survey the physical condition of the home and disclose potential problems to the buyer. No such obligation exists for non-FHA mortgages.

If a home receives an appraisal lower than the purchase price there are some ways the purchase can still go through. The seller can reduce the purchase price, the buyer could make a bigger down-payment, or if it’s a question of needed repairs, a separate escrow account can be set up to fund those repairs.

How Is An Appraisal Different From An Inspection?

An appraisal isn’t a substitute for a professional home inspection in fact they have some key differences. The appraiser formulates an opinion of the property’s value for the lender, while the inspector educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components. The appraiser is primarily focused on the value of the home whereas the inspector keys in on the home’s condition with an eye toward both existing and potential future problems.

2010 Trends In Housing of Northern Virginia



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source: mris.com

Northern Virginia Homes For Sale In Today’s Market

Northern Virginia Homes For Sale In Today’s Market

By: Robert Earl The Earl of Real Estate

Just because the credit market is suffering doesn’t mean you have to. You can still buy Northern Virginia luxury homes despite the decline in housing markets. Northern Virginia homes for sale are being sold at affordable prices in various counties.

While searching for an ideal Northern Virginia homes for sale you should look something which is just above your price range. Quoting a reasonable price which is slightly lower than what you had budgeted for the home will benefit you as well as the seller. There is nothing wrong in making an offer which you believe as fair. Later in you may find that your instincts were correct after all.

Typically the seller will appreciate the fast offer you made and chances are, the offer will be accepted at the suggested price. This strategy will benefit you because you will be able to stay with in your budget, and get a better house with more features then you had expected to get. As long as you have a clear picture of the things you want in your head, searching for Northern Virginia homes for sale is very simple.

There are hundreds of real estate agents throughout Northern Virginia that would be glad to help you find Northern Virginia homes for sale. There are many Northern Virginia luxury homes that are also for sale at bargain prices. Loan agents will be glad to help walk you through the purchasing process and get you pre-approved for a mortgage, at which point you can focus on finding the right home for you in Northern Virginia.

Virginia is a beautiful state with endless gifts to offer. Stunning mountain vistas and charming cities make this area truly feel like home. For this reason, more and more people are rushing to buy in Northern Virginia. However, because the market is continually fluctuating, the benefits are with the buyers. Now is the time to buy an affordable and spectacular house that you and your family will cherish.

Values of Northern Virginia houses may be temporarily falling, but will soon rise again. Wouldn’t you like to invest in an amazing house that is guaranteed to make you money down the road? A good way to determine how much your house is worth is to do a search online for housing prices in your area. This way, you will know exactly what price to offer for the home in which you are interested.

source: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Northern-Virginia-Homes-For-Sale-In-Today-s-Market/210959

Louisville Real Estate Trends Compared to the Rest of the Country

Louisville Real Estate Trends Compared to the Rest of the Country
By Jim Powell

Beginning with home sales on a national basis, sales of existing homes are up 36 percent as of November 2009 (the most recent real estate figures available) from their lowest point in January 2009. Home sales in Louisville are up a more modest 17.4 percent over the same period. It’s important to note, however, that while Louisville’s real estate market had suffered setbacks consistent with many other areas of the country, these setbacks were mostly not as deep or severe. This puts Louisville’s realty market recovery in a much more favorable and accurate light.

Median sales price is another barometer of the local and national housing market that real estate professionals and economists use to determine real estate trends. Nationally, median selling prices of existing single-family homes are down 4.3 percent year-over-year from the previous November with an average selling price of $171,900. The median selling price of Louisville homes for sale is up 1.1 percent or $1,350 to $126,750. Again, Louisville’s gains are modest but with so many housing markets across the country reeling from the housing crisis, Louisville real estate is outperforming many other markets, at least for now.

Another important indicator of a market’s health is the number of foreclosures. Foreclosures negatively impact housing values and create a host of other problems and some neighborhoods across the country have whole streets with abandoned homes with only one or two occupied. Nationally, the news on foreclosures is grim with another wave of foreclosures expected in mid-2010 as another round of adjustable-rate mortgage rate increases is due. In the third quarter of 2009, foreclosure filings, which include bank repossessions, default notices and scheduled auctions, rose 5 percent from the second quarter to 937,840 properties repossessed. This increase in foreclosures was up a very discouraging 23 percent from the third quarter in 2008.

Louisville foreclosures are not as dire as the rest of the country, but still a serious problem for homeowners, lenders and others. In the latest report available, the Louisville real estate market suffered 1,496 foreclosures from September to November 2009. That is still a very high figure for the Louisville metropolitan area; however, compared to comparably sized cities across the country, Louisville is faring far better than most. Part of the reason for this is Louisville real estate values didn’t escalate as steeply over the previous years as many other markets around the country did, so when they fell, they didn’t fall as hard.

Overall, the market isn’t great, but very few markets across the country are at the moment. Louisville real estate prices have stabilized for now and are showing modest appreciation. Whether the Louisville realty market will continue to improve in the coming year is difficult to forecast for now, but some Louisville insiders are confident that it will.

Jim Powell is a Louisville real estate agent and the owner of Louisville Properties LLC, a experienced company offering a complete line up of realty services in and around Louisville, KY.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jim_Powell

Northern Virginia Real Estate

USA Hockey Upsets Team Canada

The United States hockey team, competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, upset tournament favorite and home side Canada on Sunday night, in a 5-3 thriller of a game.

A young American squad, led by three olympic veterans all scoring goals on the great Canadian goaltender Marty Brodeur (New Jersey Devils) including defenseman Brian Rafalski (Detroit Redwings), Chris Drury (New York Rangers), and Jamie Langdenbrunner (New Jersey Devils), fought off a Canadian side that tied the game twice and stayed close throughout the game.

Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) made 42 saves in a lights-out performance that included a bevy of incredible stops, including the save of the tournament in flurry of the dying minutes while the Americans were hanging on to a 4-3 lead before Phil Kesler (Vancouver Canucks) whacked in the game-clinching goal on the empty net.

The Canadians seemed to be cruising through the first two periods, content with turning on the burners when they had to in order to tie the game through Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) and again through Danny Heatley (San Jose Sharks), who leads the tournament with 4 goals along with USA’s Rafalski, who netted two in this game.

The Americans led at every intermission, 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after the second, but the viewer always felt that the depth of talent on Canada’s roster suggested they could turn on the pressure whenever they wanted to.  Unfortunately for them, it came too late.

Canada began the third period needing to kill off three consecutive penalties and the U.S. capitalized making it 4-2 with just under 13 minutes left.  The Canadian’s finally kicked into gear and the firing squad escalated on U.S. goalie Miller.  While one goal by Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) did slip by, Miller was up to the task, however, and made several amazing saves to preserve victory for the red, white, and blue.

This border matchup was sure to be a bruiser and it didn’t disappoint as the two squads made up entirely of NHL players left it all on the ice.  There was hard skating, huge hits, and immense passion on display as the teams battled for the top slot in Group A.

The spoils of the game for USA, are a first round bye in the playoffs where they will meet the winner of a game between Switzerland and Belarus.  Canada will face Germany for the right to face another arch-rival; the Russians.

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Tax Credit Deadline for Home Buyers Extended

The deadline for the federal tax credit to first time home buyers has been extended.  The federal government has also included an expansion for prospective buyers that already own a home.
The federal government has extended the $8,000 tax credit to new home buyers, and those who have not owned a home in the last three years, when they sign a contract to buy a home before April 30, 2010.  Congress also added a $6,500 tax incentive to those buyers who currently own a home and have lived there for the last five years.

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate

12 Days of Jennerette

The Buffalo Sabres play the Washington Capitols tonight at the Verizon Center.  As I told you yesterday I would have something special for you Caps fans.  Here it is, from the greatest hockey commentator in the business, Rick Jennerette’s 12 Days of Christmas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLUwsd4rd98

By: David

The Mike Webb Team: www.NorthernVirginiaHouses.com

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate