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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Wednesday, 31 December 2014

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, obtaining a mortgage will soon be easier for Eastern Panhandle homebuyers. New 3% down payments from Fannie and Freddie will allow first-time homebuyers back into the market and expand the opportunity of homeownership to more residents in Jefferson and Berkeley County.

However, there are many benefits to making a larger down payment when purchasing a home in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville. If you can afford it, consider these reasons for putting more money down up front:

Faster, easier approval
A larger down payment is often a strong sign that a homebuyer knows how to save and is financially responsible. The down payment is also one of the biggest signals of creditworthiness and homebuyers are likely to get approved faster with a larger amount.

Better interest rate
When a homebuyer has a lower loan-to-value ratio, banks and lenders are more likely to offer you a better interest rate. Not only will your larger down payment lower your ratio, but it lowers the lender's initial risk. Your credit score is also a big indicator of the interest rate you will receive, so be sure to do your research on your own number before you begin the homebuying process

Lower monthly payments
Keep in mind that putting more money down on your Eastern Panhandle home does mean lower monthly payments. A lower mortage amount, and thus lower payment, means less money paid in interest over the life of your loan.

No mortgage insurance
A down payment of less than 20 percent typically requires homebuyers to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). With a larger down payment, you can avoid this additional expense altogether.

2015 is looking bright for both homebuyers and sellers in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. If you plan to buy a home in the new year, you may have questions about the process— The Kable Team is here to help! Contact us today!

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 09:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 23 December 2014

2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Eastern Panhandle real estate and judging by recent homebuyer wish lists, buyers are not necessarily looking for larger homes, but those with special rooms and features. If you're a homeowner in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville with one of the following must-have features, they could prove to be a definite selling point in the new year.

Large closets
Like I mentioned, West Virginia homebuyers aren't looking for larger homes, but those with a more efficient use of space. The National Association of Home Builders reported that walk-in closets in the master bedroom are the most requested feature for buyers. In fact, many homebuyers would give up other amenities just to have more closet space.

Better laundry rooms
Homebuyers in 2015 will indeed like a laundry room, but one with more space for folding and upgraded appliances. These updated spaces aren't the focal point of a home, but they do help an Eastern Panhandle household to run better.

Energy efficiency
For many homebuyers, any features already in place that can help to lower utility costs can make that West Virginia property a must-have. Everything from energy efficient windows to appliances to programmable thermostats rank high on homebuyer wish lists.

Higher ceilings
Homebuyers may not be searching for larger homes in terms of square footage, but seemingly larger rooms can be achieved with higher ceilings. These not only help to open up living and dining rooms, but keep can keep your home in Jefferson and Berkeley County cooler in the summer months. 

Do you have a homebuyer wish list this year? Or have one of these must-have features in your Eastern Panhandle homeThe Kable Team can help you find the best property for your wants and needs or the right homebuyer looking these items.

And remember, as your local real estate experts, we know the market and are happy to answer any questions about your particular community, from Martinsburg to Harpers Ferry to Charles Town and Ranson.

Contact The Kable Team today!

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 03:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

With Christmas just a week away, Eastern Panhandle residents are wrapping up their holiday shopping this week. You've probably been buying for friends, family, coworkers and even local businesses to share your appreciation, but what about the new homeowner? The holidays are a great time to surprise your new homeowners in Jefferson County and Berkeley County with everything they need to start off on the right foot.

Below are a few gift ideas to set under the tree for those who've just settled into a new home in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville.

Home Improvement Books
Think of when you first moved into your Eastern Panhandle home, what do you wish you would have had? New homeowners will have their share of repairs to put up with throughout the year and home improvement books could come in handy. From plumbing to electrical to system maintenance, a Homeowner's Guidebook would be the ideal holiday gift.

Comfort Basket
Put together a basket with cozy throw blankets in a neutral color scheme. These would be a welcome addition to any guest room, living room or bedroom this time of year.

Tools
Along with the homeowner's manual, tools are always essential for a new Eastern Panhandle homeowner. An all-in-one tool can help with those little fix-it projects and won't take up too much space in their new Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville home.

Holiday wreath
If the new West Virginia homeowners have moved in this month, holiday decorations may not be high on their to-do list. Give the gift of a holiday wreath, one made of long-lasting materials like boxwood or even an artificial decoration, that they can hang on their door to give it a more welcoming appeal.

Are you dreaming of a new home this holiday season? The Kable Team knows the real estate market in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and can help you too settle into a new home in time for the new year. 

Contact us today!
 

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 09:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 09 December 2014

If you're a first-time homebuyer in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, good news will be coming your way in the form of new mortgage programs. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are rolling out new mortgage programs that will allow for as little as 3% down on a home purchase

According to HousingWire, Fannie's program will begin as soon as December 13, 2014 and and Freddie's shortly after on March 23, 2015. 

"The new lending guidelines by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down," said the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. "These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices."

These new programs could help Eastern Panhandle homebuyers who have not been able to save for a 20% down payment on their home purchase. And as 2015 has been called the "Year of the First-time Homebuyer," here are a few ways to get started on your down payment savings, no matter which mortgage program route you take:

The new year is an excellent time to start fresh with a new home. The Kable Team is happy to help find the property that fits your wants and needs! Contact us today for more information about the current real estate market in Jefferson and Berkeley County and mortgage programs in the area.

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 09:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 02 December 2014

When temperatures start to fall, energy costs for your Eastern Panhandle home can start to rise. Winter can be a fantastic time of year for residents in Jefferson and Berkeley County, so long as your home isn't prone to air leaks, drafty windows or old insulation. Here are some great ways to keep energy costs low this year and keep that extra money in your pocket for holiday spending!

  • ​​Take advantage of the sun's heat. Open up your blinds and draperies to allow the heat into your Eastern Panhandle home
     
  • Add an area rug to your living room to insulate the floor, especially if you have hardwood floors that can get a bit chilly in the winter.
     
  • Ceiling fans are not just for the warmer months! A clockwise fan can help push heat back down to circulate all over your home
     
  • Turn your themostat down at night. Simply lowering your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours can save you around 10 percent on your heating bills per year. 
     
  • Invest in your insulation. A well-insulated home will keep the warm air inside and ensure it doesn't escape around gaps in windows or out of the attic. Repair your outdated insulation, even weather stripping around doors and windows to keep costs down.
     
  • Replace your furnace filter and schedule rountine maintenance or service for your heating system this winter. The Kable Team is a wealth of knowledge for local experts in both Jefferson and Berkeley County. Feel free to contact us for recommendations!
     
  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting. You will save on water heating costs, but also ensure you don't scald yourself with high water temps!
     
  • Decorating your home in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle for the holidays? Why not use LED lights? LED lights don't just last longer (some up to 25 times longer than regular lights), but use 75 percent less energy. They also emit much less heat and are less likely to break. Remember to unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house as they can still draw energy when not in use.

These energy-saving tips should help you keep costs low this winter and if you're in need of local recommendations to make the season easier on you and your home, the Kable Team is happy to help! And when you're ready to buy or sell a home this year, consider us your go-to team for information on the real estate market in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville.

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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See Homes for Sale in Eastern Panhandle
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 02:09 pm   |  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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