Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog
Tuesday, 04 September 2012
Fall is coming upon us quickly! If you are planning on putting your Berkeley County home on the market, know that there are special considerations to think of depending upon the season. Staging your house to sell is very important and can help you sell your Berkeley County home faster and for more money. Staging with the season in mind is even more helpful. Here are tips for staging your Berkeley County home this fall:
Beware of leaves!
Maintaining a well-kept front yard is always an important part of home staging, but in fall the yard requires even more of your attention. Even on days that you aren't having any showings, make sure the yard is freshly raked. You never know what potential buyer might decide to drive by and check out the looks of the place! Also, be sure to clean out the gutters periodically. Gutters over-stuffed with leaves are not a good look, and signals to buyers that the place is not well-maintained.
Make the most of natural light.
Fall and winter do not provide as much natural light as the other seasons so you really need to do your best to make the most of what you have. Repaint dark rooms with a lighter, more reflective color of paint. Swap out dark, thick blinds or curtains for light and airy fabric that lets in more light. Trim trees and bushes that block windows. Try to hold open houses and showings during the day time or early evening, prior to when the sun sets.
Use seasonal decorations.
While you don't want to go overboard or put up any potentially gaudy-looking or offensive Halloween decorations, you can use seasonal decor to your advantage. Place a pumpkin on the front step and use gourds on the kitchen table as an eye-catching centerpiece.
Make it smell like fall.
Do not overlook scent when staging. People will like your home more if they feel comfortable in it, and they'll feel more comfortable if it smells pleasant and familiar. In fall months, take advantage of pumpkin or cinnamon-scented candles. These are generally comforting scents that bring up positive memories for people.
I hope these tips help as you stage your Berkeley County home. If you have any further questions about home selling, do not hesitate to contact me. Happy Autumn!
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
The Charles Town, WV Heritage Festival is coming up! If you are a Charles Town, WV home owner, you dont want to miss this. The purpose of the festival is "to promote the awareness, preservation and celebration of our local heritage in an engaging family-oriented environment."
The festival has a lot of fun activities. One is the Charles Town Heritage Quest. This is a scavenger hunt that will take place on Saturday, September 22nd in downtown Charles Town, WV. You can take part in the scavenger hunt as an individual, an adult team, or a family team (with members under twelve years old). The first fifty participants will receive a Heritage Quest String Bag and the winners will receive a trophy.
This year will also mark the first annual Charles Town, WV Heritage Festival Pie Bake-Off. To RSVP to the Facebook event for the pie bake-off, click here. Register and bring one of your homemade pies for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a customized, hand-painted Heritage Festival ceramic pie plate. The judging will happen at noon on September 22nd.
Heritage Festival will feature a "Corn hole" (or bag toss) competition if that is more your speed. People can register independently or as a team, and there are games available to players of all ages.
In addition, there will be many vendors on hand. If you want to apply to be a vendor or to help out as a volunteer, there is still time! Find more information at the event's Facebook page.
Stay tuned for more blog posts about local community events! And do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about buying or selling real estate. Have a great week!
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Now that you've decided to buy Eastern Panhandle WV real estate
, you might be interested in a short sale. A short sale can be a fantastic deal for the buyer, but you also want to know how it differs from a regular sale, and what you can expect. Here are the basics of what you should know about buying an Eastern Panhandle WV real estate
What is a short sale?
A short sale is when a lender will accept a discounted payoff of a borrower's mortgage. This could be because the borrow is in default, but that is not necessary. It could also be because the house's value has fallen to below what the borrower owes.
Are short sales cheaper than regular sales?
Many times they are, but not always. Be sure to do your research. The price of the Eastern Panhandle WV home
could very well still be within the current market value if the value has fallen. Be sure to look into what other similar homes have recently sold for nearby. Don't just assume that because it is a short sale you are receive a deal.
How do I know what to offer on a short sale?
This is where a real estate professional with short sale experience can help you. Before making an offer, definitely do your research and make sure someone experienced is giving you advice. Try to find out the sellers situation--how much they owe on the loan, how much they owe in taxes, how long they've had financial hardship, etc.
Will the sale go through more quickly?
Actually, no. The term "short sale" is a bit of a misnomer. Short sales can take three or four months to be approved. Unlike other sales, the seller does not have the final word on whether or not the sale is approved. The lender has to approve the short sale. Be sure to have a pre-approval letter prepared to send to a lender in order to help speed up the process as much as possible.
What else do I need to know?
Your professional should make sure the seller is indeed qualified for a short sale. This involves looking at tax records, their hardship letter, payroll stubs, and more. Many short sales do not go make it to closing. Doing as much research as possible and involving an expert can help you avoid putting time and energy into a house that you will not be able to close on.
Hopefully these tips will help as you look for the Eastern Panhandle WV real estate
that is best for you. If you have any other questions about short sales or would like to enlist my help, do not hesitate to contact me. Have a great week!
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
People buy Harpers Ferry, WV homes
for many reasons, and one of them is all of the fun things that go on in this area. Owning Harpers Ferry, WV real estate
means you will be in close proximity to many family-friendly events year-round. One of those events is apple picking!
Although you might be thinking, "It's August. Isn't it too early for apples?," the truth is, we don't get to decide! Nature is a force of its own and this year the apples came early. If you want to go apple picking, you may do so right now!
Harpers Ferry home
owners know the place to pick apples is Ridgefield Farm and Orchard
. Ridgefield Farm and Orchard is open to the public Thursdays through Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm. The minimum requirement is 1/4th of a peck, and you may pick up to a couple bushels if you'd like. Right now, both Ginger Gold and Gala apples are open to be picked. As other types become ripe, they will be open for the public to pick as well. Check their website
for updates to find out which apples are available at any given time.
At Ridge Farm and Orchard, the apple trees are dwarves. They are grown on trellises in rows, which makes it easy for all ages and types of people to pick apples. There are no ladders needed!
In addition to apples, Ridge Farm and Orchard has flower picking open to the public as well. This feature will continue until mid-September. A "reasonable" bunch of flowers is $9.99 and you may pick the flowers you want yourself. They provide scissors to cut the stems, and there are usually many butterflies flying about.
Apple picking is a Harpers Ferry, WV
tradition that is fun for everyone. It is perfect for a romantic date or a family affair. The wide variety of apples make them useful for many purposes, whether a mid-day snack or an apple pie.
If you have any questions about this or any other Harpers Ferry
events, do not hesitate to contact me! This is a fantastic place to live, and I'd be more than happy to discuss buying or selling property in the area.
Tuesday, 07 August 2012
Once you've found the perfect Ranson, WV home for you, it is time to make an offer. Home buying can be a difficult and frustrating process, which is why I suggest enlisting a professional to make things go smoothly. That said, here are five tips for negotiating the price on a Ranson, WV home.
1. Learn as much as you can about the seller
How long has the house been on the market? Has it always been listed at the current price, or did they lower it at some point? Have their been any other offers, and if so, why didn't they pan out? Does the seller live in the house, or have the occupants already moved out? These are all important things to know. You can gauge how quickly the seller needs to sell, and from that, how much they will be willing to negotiate.
2. Make a connection
Sometimes sellers make the mistake of letting their emotions into the home selling process. Instead of viewing the sale as purely a business transaction, they want to make sure the house that holds all of their memories will be in good hands. Sending a letter with a bit of information about everyone who will live in the house can be a good selling point. It makes this more personal and gives you the opportunity to display why the house would be perfect for you and why you would be perfect for the house. Sellers want their homes to go to someone they feel is worthy.
3. Offer to buy "as-is"
Find what repairs need to made through a thorough inspection. Offer to buy the home as-is. Some buyers insist that the seller make certain repairs during the negotiation process. It could very well be cheaper for you to instead use that as a bargaining chip for a lower price, and then make the repairs yourself once you own it. Often times the amount knocked off is quite inflated compared to what the actual repairs will cost.
4. Use a good professional
You need a great professional who knows what they are doing to really nail negotiations. Most people only buy homes a few times over their entire lives, if that. Professionals negotiate housing prices each week! Find someone you trust that is knowledgeable about Ranson, WV, and let the expert take over and utilize their time-tested techniques for getting clients a good deal.
5. Get everything in writing
Do the washer and dryer come with the house? Is the seller going to clean up the scrap pile in the backyard before you move in? If these things aren't written down and signed on, they aren't guaranteed. None of your negotiating matters if it isn't in writing. Make sure every single thing--big or small--is put on paper. Do not feel embarrassed or guilty for asking for this. It isn't weird or selfish. It is how you will protect yourself.
I hope these tips help you as you begin the negotiation process on your future Ranson, WV home. If you want to enlist a professional or have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
The Berkeley County
Youth Fair is coming up in less than five days! The Youth Fair officially begins on Saturday, August 4th and wraps up on Saturday, August 11th. The location of the fair is 2419 Golf Course Road in Martinsburg, West Virginia of Berkeley County
. The opening ceremonies of the Youth Fair are at 6:30 pm on Saturday, August 4th. Entry to the Fair is free that day, making it a good one to attend for those wanting to check it out. Miss Youth Fair 2012 will be crowned at the opening ceremonies.
Throughout the week, there are many exhibits open to the public. This Youth Fair is a great place for families to come for entertainment and involvement in the local community. Kids will love watching the tractor contest, dog show, or sheep show on Sunday. There is also a carnival at the fair that will open Sunday evening.
On Monday, there will be rabbit judging and swing judging. A beef barbecue will make for great dinner, and begins at 4 pm. That evening there is a tractor pull and 4H showings. Tuesday brings goat judging, horse showmanship, poultry judging, drill team, an ice cream eating contest, "Livestock Jeopardy," "Cow Chip Bingo," and more. Wednesday the fun continues with a chicken barbecue, a donut eating contest, a wood carving competition, and an evening concert. Thursday there is dairy judging, a horse show, a watermelon eating contest, the drill team, a "pretty" animal contest, and more. Friday features Barnyard Olympics, a horse costume contest, a livestock sale, and many awards.
Even though Saturday is the final day of the Berkeley County
Youth Fair there are many fun events that day too that will not disappoint. The carnival is open, there is a kiddie pedal pull, a band ("Mark and the Country Bunch") will play, and there is a demolition derby.
to see the full Berkeley County
Youth Fair schedule of events. This event is an annual tradition that delights adults and children alike. There is something that will capture the interest of all ages.
If you have any questions about other local happenings, or would like to talk to me about local real estate, please contact me. I hope to hear from you soon!
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
There are many mistakes sellers commonly make when selling their houses, particularly if they have never sold a house before. Selling a home can be a difficult and emotional process. Knowing what not to do ahead of time can make a big difference in how smoothly the selling process unfolds. Read this before selling your Jefferson County real estate
so you know which mistakes not to make.
Setting too high of a price
Home owners develop an emotional attachment to their homes. This is why it is generally best to seek outside help when setting a price for your home. You will be thinking of how much you paid for it, how much money and time you put into renovating it over the years, and the memories you have when you set the price of the house. A professional will kindly remind you that selling the house is a business transaction and none of those things really matter when it comes to setting the price. You want the listing price of your house to be based on the location, the size and amenities of the house, and the current market. That is it.
Not making needed repairs
Many home sellers make the mistake of not making needed repairs. You might think that a minor repair is no big deal and can easily be taken care of by the buyer. It probably can, but that will cost you. Buyers will use any needed repairs are bargaining chips for negotiating a lower price. Making the repairs yourself will most likely net you the most money in the long run. Not only will you be able to sell the house for more, it will most likely sell faster, which saves you the costs associated with having it on the market longer.
Not hiring a professional seller
Enlisting an experienced professional will help the entire process run more smoothly and help ensure you get the most you can for your home. Do your research and find someone who is experienced in your area. Find out what they sold other nearby homes for and have a frank discussion upfront about how much they think you can get for your house. Research the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor in order to determine who you should hire.
Not advertising the house properly
The way you advertise your for sale home matters big time. Photos are of utmost importance. The rooms should be clutter-free, already staged, and very well lit. If you have a good eye, photos you take yourself might work. Ask a professional and others for their opinion on the photos. It is often best to have someone else take them. Putting up a sign in your yard is also important. Print advertising and online advertising are both good options. Open houses can help draw people in.
These tips should help you sell your Jefferson County real estate
more quickly and easily. If you have any further questions about home selling, or Jefferson County real estate
in general, do not hesitate to contact me.
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Although not all local residents take advantage of it, Harpers Ferry
is a very good place for kayaking, canoeing, and other types of boating and paddling. Events are available weekly at River & Trail Outfitters
. They offer a variety of affordable events for all ages and levels of experience. Here are Harpers Ferry
paddling and boating events coming up in July:
Paddle to the Hooch
This event takes place on Saturday, July 21st. Paddlers can canoe or kayak and the ride will be 3 to 7 miles depending on the water levels. Paddlers will wind down the Shenandoah River to the local Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charlestown where they may taste limoncello among other liquors. Animals often seen on this route include beavers, deer, otters, egrets, and blue osprey. The price is $87 per person. This price includes a tour of the farm as well as samplings of several Italian dishes.
Civil War Kayaking Tour & Brunch
This is a recreational kayaking trip on Antietam Creek, a creek that was named one of the top sixty paddling streams in North America by Canoe & Kayak Magazine. Paddlers will pass Antiem Battlefield, one of the most well-known cites from the Civil War. An instructor will give historical information about the site. Brunch will be had at Cookie's Cooking Company. The total cost for the entire event is $110 per person.
Boating & Beer
This July 28th event is in partnership with Barley & Hops Brewery. Paddlers will enjoy a relaxed guided tour down the calm Monocacy River. The ride will end up at the brewery where participants will go on an educational tour and sample handcrafted brews. Snacks such as mozzarella sticks, veggies, and onion rings will be provided for free and other food can be ordered. The total cost is $86 per person and that includes the cost of renting a kayak or canoe.
I hope you're enjoying the Harpers Ferry
area to the fullest this summer! If you have any questions about the local community or real estate in general, please contact us!
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
When selling your West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle house, taking your emotions out of the equation is absolutely necessary if you want to obtain the most money possible. Your West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle house probably holds a lot of special memories for you and is near and dear to you. Maybe this was your first home purchase, or the first place you lived after getting married. Maybe you raised children here. Although those memories will always remain special to you, it is time to detach them from the property. You have made a decision to sell the house and move somewhere else. Don't let your emotions get in the way of your best sale possible.
Distance yourself from the house mentally
Real estate agents often refer to a property as a "home" when talking to home buyers and as a "house" when talking to sellers. There's a reason for this and you should start doing the same. This house is property of yours that you are selling and want to make a profit on. Wherever you are moving is now your new "home." Making the distinction mentally can help you deal with buyers calmly and rationally, which will help the selling process move more smoothly.
Depersonalize the house
It will be easier for you to distance yourself from the house mentally and emotionally if you depersonalize. An added bonus is that it might also be easier for you to sell the house after depersonalizing it. Home buyers want to imagine what the house would look like as their home. When all of your things are in it, it's hard to do that. Depersonalize by putting all unnecessary personal items in storage while the house is on the market. This includes framed family photos, your kids' craft projects, books, DVDs, magazines, and more. You want the house to look clean, nice, and also neutral--the way a hotel looks.
Do not attend open house events
Enlist a professional and allow that person to handle the open house. Having the home seller at the open house events can make things uncomfortable for both the buyers and seller. You might feel offended if you hear them calling the carpeting ugly or saying they have to tear down the wall you remember building. They might feel awkward if you're watching or listening to them, and it could keep them from openly discussing things. It's best to have a neutral party such as a real estate agent handle the open house.
Do not directly negotiate prices
Most people start off bidding low. A home seller that is offended by an initial offer and reacts in an unfriendly manner can color the entire negotiation process. Be involved in the negotiation process in the sense that you have final say on how much you will accept, but do not be the one that directly discusses prices with the buyer. That's what real estate agents are for!
Hopefully these tips help make selling your West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle home go more smoothly. If you would like my professional help with your home sale, do not hesitate to contact me. Have a good week!
Tuesday, 03 July 2012
Tomorrow is the day we celebrate our country's independence. If you are looking for something fun to do with your family, look no further. There are many fun things going on in Shepherdstown, WV. Check them out!
Dedication of the Beeline Marker
This event is a celebration of our nation's and local history. A marker will be placed to commemorate the "Beeline March." The march occurred during the Revolutionary war and soldiers walked over 600 miles in 24 days. The ceremony starts at noon and will take place in front of town hall.
Concert by 249th Army National Guard Band
This free concert will last 45 minutes and is open to the public. It will take place in front of McMurran Hall in Shepherdstown at 1 pm, immediately after the Beeline Marker dedication.
Fourth of July Parade
The event all the kids have been waiting for! This 4th of July parade is special because it will also celebrate the 250th anniversary of Shepherdstown. The parade will begin at the top of German Street and end in Rumsey Memorial Park on Mill Street.
Fourth of July Picnic
Immediately following the parade will be a picnic in Rumsey Memorial Park. It is perfect for families with children. There will be many activities, including games and crafts. Burgers, soda, and other foods and drinks will be available for sale. Live music will provide entertainment. The picnic is free, but donations will be accepted.
I wish you a fantastic Independence Day in Shepherdstown, WV! As always, feel free to contact me with any questions about the local community or buying or selling real estate.
Happy Fourth of July!