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



CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF (Full Version)

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

2009 Trends in Housing Year-End Report (MRIS)

Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS), the company that runs the multiple listing service for the D.C. metropolitan area, has released the Trends in Housing Year-End 2009 Report.  The report includes an analysis of the of the regional economy, an examination of regional housing data and a review of trends, and discussion of the housing sector’s impact on other industries.

They found that the number of houses sold in the Washington D.C. area in 2009 was up 11.4% from 2008 and that over that span average home sales prices were up 3% in Alexandria, VA and 14% in Arlington and D.C.  D.C. was also shown to have the lowest rate of unemployment, at just 6.1% compared to the national average of 10%.  Low mortgage rates and the $8,000 federal tax credit ushered many new home buyers into the market.  While many home sellers are offering concessions to buyers in order to facilitate sales, those tactics are shrinking.

The report also made several predictions.  The researchers believe that renewed demand in 2010 will continue to yield yearly price gains, first becoming apparent in the outer suburbs but extending to other areas in the near future.  Also, the National Association of Homebuilders estimates that the extended and expanded tax credit will generate 180,000 additional home sales nationally.  And it is believed that the first half of 2009 saw the D.C. regional economy hit bottom and that it is now in the beginning stages of recovery.

The report states, “The Washington area housing market is in the early phases of the recovery cycle.  Of note, most major market indicators have improved compared to one year earlier.”

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Homebuyer Tax Credit FAQ’s

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the changes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?

 

Answer: No. Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and am within the new income limits. I will go to settlement on November 20. If President Obama has signed the bill by the time I go to settlement, will I qualify for the new $6500 tax credit?

Answer: Yes. The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment (when the bill is signed). There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The provision looks solely to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.

Question: I am a firsttime homebuyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered, however, by the new income limits. If the new rules have been signed into law by the time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?

Answer: Yes. The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill. The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase, which is the settlement date. So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement, you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you’re within the phaseout range).

Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I have found a home with a nonnegotiable price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any of the $6500 tax credit?

Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any amount above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an absolute ceiling.

Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the other eligibility tests?

Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000 and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible for the credit because he owned a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The keyword here is “consecutive.” As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight what he did since 3 years doesn’t impact eligibility.

Question: I am an eligible firsttime homebuyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on November 1, 2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the extension date affect me?

Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30 (or July 1, worst case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit.

NAR Frequently Asked Questions: Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mike Webb Team: www.northernvirginiahouses.com

 

 

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Stormin’

With the weather being what it has been all week long, I decided today I would put together a listing of songs about rain, storms, bad weather, etc.  A playlist of sorts, entitled “STORMIN” and it goes as follows:

Rain When I Die (Alice in Chains); Soulshine (Allman Brothers Band); No Rain (Blind Melon); Shelter from the Storm (Bob Dylan); Comin’ in from the Cold (Bob Marley & the Wailers); Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival); JTR (Dave Matthews Band); Let it Rain (Eric Clapton); I’m Only Happy When it Rains (Garbage); November Rain (Guns ‘n’ Roses); Fire and Rain (John Denver); Fool in the Rain (Led Zeppelin); I Can’t Stand the Rain (Missy Elliot); Purple Rain (Prince); Naked in the Rain (Red Hot Chili Peppers); Riders on the Storm (The Doors)

***For Optimal Listening Pleasure, Listen During Rainstorm On a Covered Porch***

www.northernvirginiahouses.com

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate