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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Tuesday, 31 March 2015

We're just about through with March Madness, but the name has so much more to it than basketball. It's also the time when many Eastern Panhandle home sellers list their properties in order to get top dollar and sell in the quickest amount of time. 

You've heard it's best to sell early in the year, but there is a magic window of opportunity in which West Virginia homeowners would be wise to make a move. From mid-March to mid-April, homes tend to sell around 15 percent faster than usual and for 2 percent more than the average listing. Of course, it's important to have prepared your home to sell and know how to gain an edge this spring before listing. 

Why does this window of opportunity make such a difference for home sellers on the Eastern Panhandle?

The majority of homebuyers in today's real estate market begin their search first online and listings can quickly become old news as they are refreshed. When selling your home, the biggest competition is a wave of new homes coming to the market in Jefferson and Berkeley County— just think of these newer listings pushing an older one down in the lineup. To avoid this surge, you'll want to list your home after the last one which tends to happen in late February and early March. 

In other words, the time to list your Eastern Panhandle home is now!

Another reason to list during this magic window of opportunity is the amount of motivated homebuyers in the real estate market. Homebuyers tend to reach out to mortgage lenders and real estate agents—to begin that next step in the process—in early to mid-April, so listing during this time is a great way to pique serious buyer interest

The final and perhaps most important reason to list your home this time of year is all about the final sale price of the property. As it seems, how much you can sell your home for and the amount of time in which it sells go hand-in-hand. The first sign of a drop in the time listings spend on the market is in late March and also during this time, homes tend to sell at their highest. 

Kable Team Realty can help you maximize the success of your home sale this spring, so do not hesitate to reach out with questions or for more information on the real estate market in Martinsburg, Charles Town, Ranson, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville, Inwood or Shepherdstown

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 March 2015

With the weather warming up this spring, more West Virginia residents will begin to spend more time outside. Exploring Jefferson and Berkeley County, attending events in the Eastern Panhandle and tending to their home's landscaping that may have dwindled down during the winter. The garage also comes into play! Not only is the garage the one area that holds all of the winter pile-up, it's also a West Virginia homeowner's main storage space.

The garage is a great place to house all of your garden tools, patio furniture, storage and bicycles— but it only works well if it's organized! Follow the tips below for organizing your Eastern Panhandle home's garage this spring.

Toss out the old
The best approach to cleaning and organizing your garage is to divide it into sections— the "Use" section and the "Don't Use" section. Toss out anything you no longer use in your Charles Town, Ranson, Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, Inwood, Hedgesville, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry home and make storage piles. Sports equipment should be kept together, garden tools together and so on. If they are used together, it's best they are stored together. If you have odds and ends, place them in clear bins with lids and label them— you'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for this way. 

Create a system
Items from your "Use" section should be placed near the door so you can quickly and easily access them. Be strategic! Cleaning supplies, tools, toys and such should be kept out. Seasonal items like holiday decorations and your rarely used belongings can be placed in a harder to reach spot simply due to their amount of use.

Make the most of space
One of the best ways to organize the garage in your Eastern Panhandle home is to get things up off the floor. Make the most of the space on the walls and the ceiling.

  • Use pegboard (inexpensive and easy-to-install) with hooks, clamps, bins and shelves to store anything so long as it isn't too heavy.
  • Use cabinets to keep all of those paint cans and bags of potting soil out of sight, especially if you park your car in the garage.
  • Use the ceiling! You can install sliding shelves and pulley systems to keep infrequently used items out of the way.

Organizing your home in Charles Town, Ranson, Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, Inwood, Hedgesville, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry can help you kick off the new season with much less stress! Start with the garage this weekend and enjoy that nice weather that is soon to come our way!

As always, Kable Team Realty is here to help with all of your home buying and selling needs, feel free to contact us with any questions or for more information about the real estate market in Jefferson and Berkeley County!

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 11:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 17 March 2015

More homebuyers are returning to the real estate market in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle this spring which means more mortgage applications. There is a planning process involved prior to applying— including saving for a down payment, getting pre-approved and house-hunting to see what is available in your price range. However, there are a few factors that could get in the way of your mortgage being accepted. 

It is wise to start by getting a handle on all of the costs involved with buying a home in Jefferson and Berkeley County. Next, consider the following factors that could compromise your mortgage application and if applicable, amend them before you complete the process:

A Poor Credit Score
This is one of the most important factors in applying for a mortgage as your lender will be hesitant with a low score. But remember, a low credit score is not permanent. You can check your free credit report to make sure there are no errors— if you do spot errors, correct them as soon as possible. You can also work toward paying down balances and paying each month on time to give your score a boost.

Too Much Debt
When applying for a mortgage in Charles Town, Ranson, Harpers Ferry or Martinsburg, lenders will look at your DTI ratio or debt-to-income ratio. Applicants who have too much debt can oftentimes be rejected. If you fall into the category of applicants with large debts, begin paying that down and potentially increasing your income prior to applying for the mortgage.

False Expectations
As an Eastern Panhandle homebuyer, you may have already started your home search. But do you know your price range? It's important to have an idea of the amount of mortgage you will qualify for and also, the amount of a mortgage you should realistically take on. Use a mortgage calculator to estimate how much your payment could be each month and work with your Kable Team real estate agent to find homes that will fit inside your budget.

We're here to help you have a successful homebuying journey, so do not hestiate to reach out with any questions! We can provide recommendations for local finance experts and other resources, getting pre-approved and provide a list of available homes in your price range. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 08:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Spring is commonly hailed as the busy "homebuying season" in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. It's a time for a change in scenery, a time to take advantage of great moving weather and low mortgage rates. And while the busy season is a popular time to purchase a new home in Jefferson County or Berkeley County, it can be tricky to navigate for first-time buyers.

As your local real estate experts, Kable Team Realty can walk you through the process this spring and explain every step of the way— just give us a call! We're here to make your homebuying process as enjoyable as possible and help you avoid the following common first-time buyer traps:

Mistake #1: Not knowing how much you can afford
Pinpointing how much home you can afford is a crucial step in the homebuying process and yet, it's one that first-time homebuyers often confuse with how much they should borrow. Remember that the amount you qualify for is not necessarily the amount of mortage you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to factor in all costs, including utilities and maintenance, and be sure to take into account the lifestyle you'd like to maintain.

Mistake #2: Overlooking the extra costs
As a homebuyer in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, the mortgage is not the only cost you will have. You may also be required to pay closing costs—which include loan origination fees, appraisal and inspection costs—in addition to any necessary repairs and moving costs. Loan origination fees can be rolled into your monthly mortgage, but repairs and moving costs are something you should budget for now.

Mistake #3: Not getting pre-approved
The pre-approval process is important for homebuyers as it not only shows you are serious about buying a home, but you have the funds. Getting pre-approved can also help you determine the price range in which you can begin your home search. This is different than getting pre-qualified and in fact, carries more weight.

These three mistakes are common traps first-time homebuyers can easily fall into in the chaos of buying a home in Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Shepherdstown, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville. For more tips on buying a home this spring and what to do as a new buyer in Jefferson or Berkeley County, please contact us!

The Kable Team
Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 10:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 03 March 2015

You may have picked up that the spring marks the beginning of the busy "homebuying" season in the Eastern Panhandle real estate market. However, this year will be just as much about home sellers as it is about buyers. Our last blog post touched on how you can gain an edge when selling your home this spring and now we're here to share when you should start the process.

For years, homeowners in West Virginia have had to compete with distressed properties—foreclosures and short sales—but 2015 will be different. For the most  part, the inventory of these properties has fallen drastically in just about every market. These so-called bargain properties are no longer competition among home sellers and in turn, this has pushed up seller timelines for listing.

Now don't get ahead of yourself— that doesn't mean the spring real estate market is free and clear. The new competition for existing home sellers is new construction! The National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reported that 16% of all homes sold last year were newly-constructed properties. 

So why would a Jefferson or Berkeley County homebuyer choose new construction over an existing home? These four reasons may give you an idea of how to play to buyer interests when selling your home:

  • Avoiding renovations and existing home problems
  • Ability to choose and customize design
  • Amenities offered by the new construction home community
  • Lack of inventory among existing homes

Listing your home now can help address the tight inventory issue and our last blog post gives tips on addressing home improvement projects to catch homebuyer eyes. As always, Kable Team Realty can provide information on how to attract homebuyers to your home in Charles Town, Ranson, Inwood, Shepherdstown, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Hedgesville this spring. 

Do not hesitate to contact us and get a jump on listing your property to beat the competition!

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 11:14 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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