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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Tuesday, 08 December 2015

This time of year tends to get pretty hectic— with the holiday hustle and bustle, visiting friends and family, holiday events, last minute catch-up to prep for the new year and of course, holiday shopping. What's more, the chaos can double if you're also planning to buy a home during the holidays! Now while the holiday season can be ideal for finding a great deal on a home in the Eastern Panhandle, frazzled homebuyers also run the risk of ruining their pre-approval with all of their gift buying. 

As you navigate the holidays and prepare to purchase a home in Jefferson or Berkeley County, be sure you're aware of the following ways to steer clear of any hiccups with your pre-approval:

Don't acquire new debt or apply for new credit
When you arrive at the cash register, opening a store credit card may sound like the easy option, but not for your credit. Opening this new card triggers a "hard credit" inquiry and one that could ultimately ding your credit in the end. The new credit card could also have an impact on your debt-to-income ratio or DTI that the lender uses to determine if you are a high risk borrower. If your DTI fluctuates, your lender may decide you are a bigger risk than they thought.

You'll also want to avoid racking up more debt on your existing credit cards. This, as you can imagine, affects your DTI regardless of how long you have had the credit card. Keep your spending to a minimum on credit cards as you prepare to buy a home and you'll sidestep any hassles.

Pay all of your bills on time
With holiday spending in West Virginia, homebuyers can allow bills to go unnoticed or pay them later than usual. During this early stage of the buying process, you'll want to make sure all of your bills are paid on time and in full to keep up your clean payment history. Afterall, payment history accounts for as much as 30 percent of your credit score! Just one late payment of over 30 days can take a toll on your credit score anywhere from 60 to 100 points.

Avoid moving around sums of money
Lenders need to be able to track the movement of funds from account to account when assessing your ability to take on a home loan in the Eastern Panhandle.  If they can't track the movement, it will raise a red flag in the pre-approval process.

Buying a home is a big step and Kable Team Realty is here to answer any questions you have about making a move in Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville and Sheperdstown. Let us help you make the process as seamless as possible!

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 05:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 01 December 2015

With Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to start making your list and checking it twice, decking the halls and relaxing by the fire. Lucky for Eastern Panhandle residents, there are dozens of events to get you in the holiday spirit! Starting as early as this weekend, you can find holiday-themed performances, displays, tours and more from Martinsburg to Inwood to Shepherdstown and the surrounding communities!

Christmas in Colonial Times at General Adam Stephens Home
Where: Adam Stephens House, 309 East John Street Martinsburg WV
When: December 5 and 6, 4 PM to 8 PM; December 12 and 13, 4 PM to 8 PM

Imagine you're back in time as you see how the holidays were celebrate in during the late 1700s in a Virginia home. Light refreshments will be provided and admission is free.

Annual South Berkeley Parade and Tree Lighting
Where: Musselman High School, Inwood WV
When: December 5, 6 PM to 7 PM

This annual holiday event has been running since 1995 and kicks off with a parade featuring floats, Santa and local organizations. The event comes to a close with a tree lighting to officially open the season in Inwood WV

Shepherdstown Christmas Celebration
Where: German Street, Shepherdstown WV
When: December 5, 11 AM

Shepherdstown began its annual Christmas Celebration the day after Thanksgiving, but the festivities continue throughout the month! For instance, the parade will begin at 11 AM on German Street, followed by a band concert directly after in front of Town Hall. The activities will proceed all day long with carriage rides in front of Town Hall, a Civil War Christmas celebration at Reynolds Hall, roasted chestnuts until 5 PM on King and German Streets, ornament making at Ferry Hill Plantation, a Christmas Comedy Marathon from 4 PM to 11 PM at the Shepherdstown Opera House.

Events continue Sunday with the annual Christmas Sing-a-Long at O'Hurley's General Store from 2 PM to 4 PM and the Holiday Gala Concert at the Frank Center for the Performing Arts on Shepherd University's campus from 3 PM to 5 PM.

Consider the Kable Team your one-stop resource for all things real estate on West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle! Relocating? We're happy to help! Ready to sell and move on for the new year? Give us a call! We'd be happy to hear from you!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 08:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 23 November 2015

As we've mentioned in our past blog posts, the fall and winter are not the seasons to stop searching for your dream home in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. In fact, you may have more luck in finding the perfect home at the perfect price this time of year! So as you begin to tour potential properties in Jefferson and Berkeley County, it's important to mind these key steps, especially if you're mulling over whether or not to make a move

If You Love the Home

  • Determine your best offer
    One of our experienced real estate agents will be able to find comparable properties in the area and help you formulate your initial bid. It is always wise to proceed with an agent as we can help you find how long a home has been on the market and how many repairs the home may need.
     
  • Remember the inspection
    Your offer is just the beginning of the process. If the home inspection reveals major issues that the seller is not willing to address, you may find yourself having to walk away or revisit your plan. 

If You're Unsure About the Home

  • Sleep on it
    Housing demand may be increasing, but you should never let a sense of urgency push you into a West Virginia home purchase you're not prepared for. Give it a good night's sleep and evaluate your feelings about the property in the morning. If the thought of waiting and losing the home to another buyer gets you down, you may already have the answer you're looking for!
     
  • Factor in the upgrades
    Very few homes will have every feature you want— newly-upgraded appliances, the right light fixtures, a new kitchen or bath. Factor in the costs of upgrades, regular maintenance and any items that need repair before you move forward on a home in Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville and Sheperdstown. If it still seems like a good deal with all costs considered, then you can act!

As your local real estate experts, the Kable Team can help you determine if a home is for you and how to proceed with the buying process. Give us a call today for a list of available properties or for more information about purchasing a home in the Eastern Panhandle.

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 04:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Are you hosting Thanksgiving in your Jefferson or Berkeley County home this year? It's can be fun to decorate each room with the colors of the season, start planning your holiday feast and spend time with friends and family from near and far. But before you can kick back and enjoy your turkey, it is wise to take a few preventative measures to avoid holiday blunders like a cold oven, warm refrigerator or broken furnace. 

If you're opening your Eastern Panhandle WV home to guests this year, now is the time to look into the following issues that could pop up during the holiday season. 

Holiday Hassle #1: The Heat Is Out
Thanksgiving does tend to bring cooler temperatures to West Virginia and we've grown so accustomed to reaching for the thermostat. However, when you have a house full of people, a lack of heat can be a major party problem. The best way to avoid your heat going out is to have your HVAC system inspected prior to the holidays. Regular maintenance like replacing the furnace filter and inspecting insulation really helps this Eastern Panhandle home element to run smoothly. 

Holiday Hassle #2: The Refrigerator Is Warm
Can you imagine placing your holiday dessert in the refrigerator the night before Thanksgiving only to find it un-set and warm in the morning? Your fridge will be working overtime during this time of year, so place a thermometer inside to ensure each shelf remains below 40 degrees. If the temperature dips below, you will be able to tell before the feasting begins.

Holiday Hassle #3: The Oven Is Cold
There's nothing like a warm refrigerator and a cold oven to bring down your holiday party in Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville and Sheperdstown. Avoid this problem by self-cleaning your oven after the holidays! Self-cleaning has been known to blow the thermostat or fuse on an oven and that is the last thing you want on Thanksgiving Day.

The Kable Team is happy to provide tips for enjoying the holiday season in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle as well as information about buying or selling a home this time of year. If you're thinking over a move before the new year, do not hesitate to give us a call! 

We look forward to hearing from you and happy holidays!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 02:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Let's face it, life gets hectic during the holiday season. Schedules fill up with holiday parties, winter sports, family gatherings, gift shopping and traveling both near and far. With all of this in mind, if you've been thinking about selling your home in the Eastern Panhandle, you may be tempted to push it off until after the holidays to get one more thing off of your plate. But is it a good idea?

West Virginia homeowners may be surprised to learn that the holiday season can be an ideal time to sell your home and waiting until after the holiday season is over can cause you to miss out on the advantages of this time of year.

People are Relocating
The holiday season is a popular time for families to relocate! Many buyers are looking for a home to move into before the first of the year and the next two months are when they will be looking. Particularly if these buyers have school-age children, they will be motivated to purchase a home in the Eastern Panhandle as quickly as possible. 

There Is Less Competition
Just as you may have been thinking it's best to wait until after the holidays to sell, so do other homeowners. Listing your home in Jefferson or Berkeley County now will allow the property more "air time" simply because there are fewer homes for sale. Buyers looking during this time of year may place your home on the top of their list now but keep in mind there is a chance thye may not after the holidays when the supply of listings grows.

The Holiday Mood
Homes show better during the holidays due to the decorations and overall cozy feelings the season evokes. Many home stagers argue that the holiday season is the best time to help a buyer to feel more welcome and "at home" in the property.

Spring Marks the Busy Season
When spring rolls around, more listings will hit the market and more homes in Charles Town, Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, Hedgesville, Ranson, Harpers Ferry, Inwood and Falling Waters will start to be built. As we mentioned above, this will lessen the demand for your home in the Eastern Panhandle, so don't wait!

With our experience in the local real estate market, the Kable Team can help you sell your home no matter the season, but the holidays do have their perks! Give us a call today for more information about selling this time of year!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 03:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 November 2015

It may be hard to believe this week, but colder weather will soon make its way to West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. The time to turn up the heat, light a fire and settle in for the holiday season is almost upon us and homeowners in Jefferson and Berkeley County would be wise to start preparing now while the temperatures are still on the warmer side.

Kable Team Realty is happy to provide these five tips to get your Eastern Panhandle home ready for winter and help you avoid any hassles during this busy time of year.

1. Tend to the furnace
During the colder months, your furnace will see a lot of use, so it's important to have the system inspected before the weather demands you turn it on. Call your local HVAC technician to schedule a check-up and ensure all parts are in working order.

2. Seal any gaps
One major (and common!) woe for homeowners in Martinsburg, Ranson, Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, Hedgesville Inwood, Charles Town and Falling Waters is a higher energy bill in the winter. Walk around your home looking for typical energy loss spots, like baseboards, windows or doors and seal any gaps or cracks. Weather stripping, window film and caulk can take care of this problem and help you keep any energy loss at bay.

3. Tend to the chimney
Blockages and buildup in your chimney can pose a fire risk and an experienced chimney sweep can eliminate that. Have your chimneys cleaned if you plan to use your fireplace this year and relax this holiday season knowing you have taken the proper precautions.

4. Reroute your ceiling fans
Setting your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise can push rising warm air back down and allow you to keep your heating bill down.

5. Clean gutters
When all of the leaves have fallen, take to the roof of your Eastern Panhandle home and clean the gutters. Water cannot drain properly when these are blocked and instead, it can drip into your home or basement causing major problems. All eaves and downspouts should route water away from your home and be free of debris.

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions about selling your home this year or purchasing a new home in West Virginia! We look forward to hearing from you!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 09:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 27 October 2015

So you're ready to sell your Eastern Panhandle home, but have an idea that spring and summer are the best times to list. Think again! The majority of homeowners believe the same— the yard will look better green, the weather is prime for moving and buyers will be out in droves—but a new study has shown this is just always the case!

Listing your home during the fall and winter months, September through March, has its own set of advantages for West Virginia homeowners. If you are on the fence about selling your home now, consider the following reasons to get a jump on things!

Serious Buyers
While it is true that motivated homebuyers flock to the real estate market in the spring and summer, those who are out and about this season likely have a motivating factor behind them. Buyers shopping for homes in Berkeley and Jefferson County now may be doing so for relocation purposes, a job change or the need to upgrade quickly. 

Asking Prices
A real estate study found that December through March gives homeowners a better chance of selling above their asking price than any other time from June through November. In addition, listing during these four months produced high percentages of above-asking-price sales for the past three years than listing during any other month.

Less Inventory
By listing your home now, you have less competition! As a result, your Eastern Panhandle home is able to shine on a smaller list of available properties. A longer list of properties in a home search can allow yours to blend in or be pushed lower as new properties are listed. But during the fall and winter, your home has a chance to be in the spotlight!

Lower Moving Costs
Movers and other home-related services like painters or carpet cleaners can be significantly less expensive during the fall and winter months. You may also be able to book these services right away versus weeks (or months!) out during the height of the spring and summer.

There's no need to be deterred from listing your home in Martinsburg, Ranson, Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, Hedgesville Inwood, Charles Town or Falling Waters this fall or winter. With Kable Team Realty on your side, we will work together to sell your home successfully, no matter the season!

Give us a call today!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 04:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 20 October 2015

We're just ten days away from Halloween here in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and the events are starting to pile up! There is no shortage of festive fun this year with trick-or-treating, old-fashioned cider making, fall festivals and scary tours in the surrounding communities and as your local real estate experts, we're happy to share some of them with you!

Take a look at these events planned for the upcoming week in Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville and Martinsburg WV:

Shepherdstown Halloween BooFest
When: Friday, October 23 through Saturday, October 31, 2015
Where: Downtown Shepherdstown WV

This is the 3rd year for Shepherdstown's BooFest and it is set to kick off this Friday with a variety of spooky events! Most events are free to attend and will conclude on Halloween night with trick-or-treating.

The lineup this year will include— Ghost tours, Creepy Cocktail Crawl at local restaurants and haunted walks on Friday; Historic walks and carriage rides, arts and crafts and a costume parade for adults and kids on Saturday afternoon; a Halloween make-up clinic, Thriller dance party and "Vampire's Ball" on Saturday evening. There will be more events planned on weeknights until Halloween, including a Halloween double feature at the Opera House, ghost story readings and another costume competition. 

Drink Your Apples: Cider Making, 1860
When: Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25, 2015; 11 AM to 4 PM
Where: Roeder's White Hall Tavern on Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry WV

Join the Living History staff for this demonstration in cider making in Harpers Ferry. Cider making is a long-standing tradition that produced the most popular 19th century beverages and you can learn the history behind it! 

Apollo Civic Haunted Theatre
When: October 23, 24, 31, 2015; 7 PM to 11 PM
Where: Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 Main Street, Martinsburg WV

The perfect spooky tour to top off your Halloween season! Walk through the haunted Apollo Civic Theatre and enjoy live movies, food vendors and more!

Trick or Treat at Martinsburg Mall
When: October 29, 2015; 5 PM to 7 PM; Costume contest from 7 PM to 7:30 PM 
Where: Martinsburg Mall, Martinsburg WV 

1st Annual Hedgesville Trunk or Treat
When: Saturday, October 31, 2015; 6 PM to 8 PM
Where: Rankin Physical Therapy & Fitness Center, Hedgesville WV

Come along and decorate your trunk, purchase candy to hand out and watch all of the costumes parade around! Trunk decorating begins at 5 PM and trick-or-treating from 6 PM to 8 PM. 

Do not hestiate to contact us if you're dreaming of calling the Eastern Panhandle your home! Kable Team Realty is here to help!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Purchasing a home in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle comes with many responsibilites— upkeep like landscaping and repairs, your new monthly mortgage payment and making sure you are covered by homeowner's insurance, to name a few. While it is an exciting experience, it can also be an overwhelming one if you are not fully prepared at the time of the sale.

Buyer's remorse does exist among homebuyers, but more often than not, it is felt over home features or choices that could have easily been avoided. Below are three tips to help you bypass any feelings of remorse after becoming a new homeowner in Martinsburg, Ranson, Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, Hedgesville Inwood, Charles Town or Falling Waters this year:

Don't buy too big of a home
As you shop around for homes in the Eastern Panhandle, pay attention to the sizes of the properties. You may think you desire a home three times the size of your current home, but consider all of the costs involved. Cooling and heating bills, cleaning and even furniture should all be factored into your decision to buy a much larger home.

Look at what the property is lacking
Many homeowners will remove a certain home feature to cater to their personal preferences— a shower versus a bathtub, for instance. Look carefully at what a home for sale in Jefferson or Berkeley County may be lacking as you house-hunt this year. Remorse can occur later if you find yourself needing to purchase the extras that the home is currently lacking.

Look past the "trends" in a home
Cement countertops, brass hardware and unique light fixtures may speak to you as you tour the property, but you may not feel the same way years from now. Purchasing a home just for the "trend" factor can be a huge mistake since styles change and you will be left trying to sell the "outdated" home.

There are many factors and home features to take into account on your house-hunting journey in Jefferson and Berkeley County this year, but Kable Team Realty is happy to help point them out! Contact us today for a list of available properties or with any questions you have about buying a home in the Eastern Panhandle!

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
Check Out Our Website
See Homes for Sale in Eastern Panhandle
Learn About The Kable Team
Find us on Facebook
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 03:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 06 October 2015

In a previous blog post, we shared what is necessary to qualify for a mortgage in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. The good news? None of that will change. The other good news? The next step, the mortgage closing, is about to get easier for homebuyers.

New mortgage closing rules recently went into effect on October 3, with a goal of simplifying the process of understanding your home loan. Two new mortgage disclosures will replace the previous four that were issued and include much more streamlined information to help buyers feel more comfortable with the documents they are signing.

So what does this all mean for you as a homebuyer in Martinsburg, Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Ranson, Inwood, Shepherdstown, Hedgesville and Falling Waters? Here are the updated mortgage closing rules outlined in the new "Know Before You Owe" initiative:

  • Loan Estimate
    The loan estimate is included in one of the two sets of disclosures in the TRID or TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule, totaling eight pages in all. Once your loan is approved, the estimate will outline the exact terms, with clear answers to homebuyer questions like "Is there a pre-payment penalty?" or "Will the amount increase after closing?" The loan estimate will also list your projected monthly mortgage payment, including taxes, insurance and other assesments, estimated closing costs you will owe and how much to bring with you at the time of closing, as well as the services you can shop around for like the appraisal.
     
  • Closing Disclosure
    This document replaced two previous statements and will now be available three days before your scheduled closing. This disclosure provides information from your loan estimate—like how much you will pay at closing—in its final form. At this time, you will want to examine it closely to look for any changes. 

While these changes are expected to lengthen the closing process, from the typical 30 days to around 45 days, homebuyers in Jefferson and Berkeley County are less likely to experience last-minute drama or worry in signing stacks of paperwork with terminology they may not be familiar with. At the same time, remember that it is wise to stay in contact with your lender to help your closing move along as smoothly as possible and avoid any roadblocks that may arise.

As always, feel free to reach out to Kable Team Realty with any questions about the homebuying process! We are here to help!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 08:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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KABLE Team Realty

Tracy Kable, Broker
873 E Washington St, Suite 200
Charles Town, WV 25414-1520
Phone: (304) 725-1918
Email: TheKableTeam@TheKableTeam.com

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