Home Buying

Something to keep your eye on…Having a home within a mile of Trader Joe’ s or Whole Foods will make your home more valuable.

Trader JoesSo many factors can affect the value of your home in today’s real estate market. When you are looking to purchase a new home you always look for the neighborhood, schools, shopping, and transportation. As I read the below linked analysis by Zillow I truly found this very interesting, that this will be something to watch over time. I personally own a home within this radius of a Trader Joes, and I have not seen this effect on the market. Maybe with the remodel of the Starbucks within the same distance, and the introduction of the Latte Macchiato (My new favorite drink) we will see this become a reality.

And according to analysis by Zillow, an online real estate marketplace, one of the increasingly important factors is the presence of a high-end grocery stores.

“Zillow found that homes grow more rapidly in value if they are closer to a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods,” the company said in a release.

“Between 1997 and 2014, homes near the two grocery chains were consistently worth more than the median U.S. home. By the end of 2014, homes within a mile of either store were worth more than twice as much as the median home in the rest of the country.”

The analysis is included in the new edition of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Zillow Group Chief Economist Stan Humphries’ book Zillow Talk. In the release, Humphries offered an explanation for the phenomenon.

“Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the stores may actually drive home prices,” Humphries said. “Even if they open in neighborhoods where home prices have lagged those in the wider city, they start to outperform the city overall once the stores arrive.”

For example, the analysis found that 2 years after a new Trader Joe’s opened home values within one mile went up by 10 percentage points more than homes in the rest of the city.

“It says something about the way people want to live – in the type of neighborhood favored by the generations buying homes now,” Rascoff said.

“Today’s homebuyers seek things in neighborhoods that weren’t even in real estate agents’ vocabularies a generation ago: walkability, community, new urbanism – and maybe we should add words like sustainable seafood and organic pears.”

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Toolkit to Help Consumers Shopping for a Mortgage “Owning a Home”

Today, as part of the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe initiative, the Bureau is releasing Owning a Home, a suite of tools to inform and empower consumers shopping for a mortgage. It takes the consumer from the very start of the home-buying process, with a guide to loan options, terminology, and costs, through to the closing table with a closing checklist.

CFPB’s report is based on results from new data in the National Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, a voluntary survey jointly conducted by the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Bureau analyzed responses from consumers who took out a mortgage to buy a home in 2013. Among the key findings:

  • Almost half of consumers fail to shop around before applying: Almost half of consumers who take out a mortgage fail to shop prior to filling out an application for a mortgage. This means these consumers are seriously considering only a single lender or mortgage broker before choosing where to apply.
  • Three out of four consumers only apply with one lender or broker: While half of consumers shop around to see who advertises lower rates, fewer than one out of four borrowers actually end up submitting a loan application to more than one lender or broker. These consumers are not filling out applications with multiple lenders to see which one can offer them the best deal.
  • Most consumers get their information from lenders or brokers, who have a stake in the outcome: The survey asked recent mortgage borrowers whether they used different information sources. Respondents were asked to report whether they used each source a lot, a little, or not at all. Consumers could pick multiple categories. Among the findings: 70 percent of consumers report relying on their lender or mortgage broker a lot to get information about mortgages. While lenders and brokers can be valuable resources, they have a stake in the selling of the mortgage, so what is best for the lender or broker is not always best for the consumer.
  • Borrowers who prioritize the terms of the loan over the characteristics of the lender are more likely to shop: The survey asked borrowers whether characteristics of lenders or mortgage brokers were “very,” “somewhat,” or “not at all” important in their selection. The survey found those who listed lender characteristics as important, instead of the loan terms, are less likely to shop. Specifically, the survey found that among all borrowers – those who shopped and those who did not – 42 percent said having an established banking relationship with the lender is “very important.” Since most borrowers likely only have a few banking relationships, this likely inhibits shopping.
  • Informed consumers are twice as likely to shop: Consumers who are confident in their knowledge about the mortgage process are more likely to shop around. For instance, consumers who are confident about their knowledge of available interest rates are almost twice as likely to shop as consumers who are unfamiliar with available interest rates. The survey found that 55 percent of shoppers said they were very familiar with mortgage rates, while 30 percent of shoppers said they were not at all familiar.

 

Link to Owning a Home Toolkit:  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home

A great recourse for the current homebuyer.

New Homeowner on your list…Linens or Furniture make a Great Holiday Gift.

3889509_sBuying a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person’s life. It also can be one of the most stressful.

New homeowners are faced with many expenses after buying a home, and the holiday season is a great time to help them out with a thoughtful gift for the place they now call home. The following are some great gift ideas for the new homeowner on your holiday shopping list.

How-to books: Owning a home presents many opportunities for repairs and renovations. Oftentimes, this is a homeowner’s initial foray into do-it-yourself projects, so consider giving a library of instructional books that walk homeowners through some basics, like plumbing, electrical work or basic construction.

• Personalized key chains: A new home means a new set of keys to the front door. Have key chains monogrammed and gift with a bottle of champagne to toast the new residence.

• Welcome mat: Welcome mats can be customized with the owner’s last name, and some customizing services also can print an image on a door mat or a quirky saying.

• Door knocker: Although door bells have replaced door knockers for practical use, a nice metal door knocker still makes a decorative statement on the front door. Have the door knocker engraved with the family name.

• Gift certificate: A new home means new projects large and small. Homeowners will be making frequent trips to the home improvement center, and such trips can get costly. A gift card will help lessen that financial burden.

• Portrait: Give the gift of memories by setting up a photo session with a photographer that enables the new homeowners to have a print made that can be hung up and enjoyed.

• Tool gift basket: Homeowners can always use nails, screws, hammers, picture-hanging kits, painter’s tape, and the other odds and ends that go into making repairs.

• Furniture: Ask the homeowner what room needs furnishing and offer to purchase one or more pieces for the space.

• Linens: Guests might be stopping by to see the new house, so a gift of sheets for the guest room or hand towels will ensure the place is stocked for anyone who drops by.

• Dining out certificates: People who have just moved into a home may be so busy with projects that they don’t have time to make sit-down meals. Therefore, a gift card to a favorite restaurant can provide a welcome respite from takeout.

• Security system: Homeowners who want to protect their new asset may appreciate a home security system.

• Money: Buying a home is an expensive endeavor, and new homeowners may be feeling the pinch of an overextended budget. Sometimes cash makes the most thoughtful gift.

New homeowners are faced with many situations that can be both exciting and stressful as they move into new homes. Many gifts can make the process of settling in that much easier.

Happy Holidays to the New Homeowners!

 

Support and Guidance for Homeowners

Today I was doing a little research on organizations to help Military Families with the current housing market I came across. HOPE NOW is an alliance between counselors, mortgage companies, investors, and  other mortgage market participants. This alliance will maximize outreach efforts  to homeowners in distress to help them stay in their homes and will create a  unified, coordinated plan to reach and help as many homeowners as possible. The  members of this alliance recognize that by working together, they will be more
effective than by working independently.

I Recently had a Short Sale In Williamsburg, VA When Can I Get a Mortgage Again?

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

The chart below is a great tool to give you a basic guide when you might qualify for a mortgage again, if you have had a Short Sale. With a conversation with Nina Efird of Suntrust bank if you had a VA Compromise Sale, the VA is requiring you to pay back the delinquency if you would like to have full eligibility.

The specific wording on the VA official site includes the following;

“…although the veteran’s debt was waived by VA, the Government still suffered a loss on the loan. The law does not permit the used portion of the veteran’s eligibility to be restored until the loss has been repaid in full.”

If a VA loan applicant is notified that a debt to the government exists, or was aware of the debt prior to applying for the loan, it’s a very good idea to contact the VA directly to work out the details of repayment before trying to apply for a new VA mortgage.

Another important fact to remember–you may still be able to take advantage of any unused VA loan eligibility. If a borrower did not use the full entitlement on the previous VA mortgage, any remaining entitlement may be allowed.

A borrower’s debt to the government for a compromise claim could be factored into the debt-to-income ratio unless the lender feels the compromise claim debt is too large compared to other financial factors. Such debt might result in the need for a down payment, or a larger down payment than usual–requirements will differ from lender to lender.

 http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/faqelig.asp

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Want to Buy a Home in Williamsburg, VA … Now is The Time!

Congratulations to Clinton and Jessica, who closed on their new home in February! We had a great time house hunting for their dream home on 4 acres in New Kent where they can have horses and plenty of room for kids to roam. They got a deal on the house and a great interest rate (only 4% on a VA loan!). It’s a great time to buy!

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Saluting Our Military Community in Hampton Roads….on Real Estate Market Watch Talk Radio

Listen live this Wednesday March 14, at 4pm for “Saluting our Military Community” On the Real Estate Market Watch…the Power Hour of Real Estate Talk Radio! Liz Moore the host has myself, Alan Johnson, and Jim Baldasare as guest.  We are going to chat  about how our military clients can buy a house for a dollar in Hampton Roads, a VA Mortgage and may be able to win an opportunity to sell a house for free!  You will not want to miss this!

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Ever Thought of New Home Construction With a Premier Builder Between $155k -$250k in Williamsburg? Don’t Miss The Ironbound Redevelopment Project.

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

Wayne Harbin Builder has partnered up with James City County to bring affordable new homes to the Williamsburg area within the Ironbound redevelopment Project.  Imagine having a new home within walking distance of New Town and High Street; enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment.  These wonderful homes range from $155,000-$250,000.00.  View the Amenities and Available plans.  You will not want to miss this opportunity to have a New Construction Home by Wayne Harbin homes who builds certified EARTHCRAFT homes to ensure an energy-efficient home that will save you money in the years to come. Ready to Purchase? Contact Jennifer Hernandez at 757.651.3763 and we will get the ball rolling.

James City County also offers a First-Time Homebuyer Program, click here for details.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Kiplinger-BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families.

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

The 2012 Kiplinger-BBB Financial Field Manual is out! I was very humbled to be interviewed for the section on Home-Buying Resources. The Guide helps with financial strategies, rules and resources for military families are often very different from those for civilians. The 20-page guide provides comprehensive guidance on a wide range of timely personal finance topics, including:

Special Home-Buying Resources. Military families, who tend to move frequently and sometimes with little notice, have been hit particularly hard by the housing downturn. But they also have access to special mortgage programs and tax breaks. The guide addresses these valuable resources and some key investing decisions to protect them from housing troubles that can jeopardize their financial situation.

Investing for the Future. Members of the military have access to special investing plans that can help them save for the future, but they’re also frequent targets of scam artists and identity thieves. The guide shows them how to make the most of their special savings plans, make smart investing decisions, and avoid the new generation of scams

Protecting Investments and Family. Military families have some unique risks–especially when they’re deployed–but they also have access to special programs to help them protect their savings and their families. The booklet guides them on how to make the most of these resources in areas such as insurance, estate planning, and new tax rules.

Protecting Investments When Leaving the Military. Service men and women need to make some key investing decisions after leaving the military. The booklet provides guidance to help ensure that the savings they have built throughout their service lasts through retirement – which is particularly timely as they enter a challenging civilian job market.

Special Benefits for Military Families. Members of the military have special legal rights and access to other valuable benefits, such as a GI bill that can help service members, their spouses and their children pay for college. The guide shows them how to make the most of those benefits to help protect their savings.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

The White House Announced a Plan to Help Underwater Homeowners Refinance on Their Mortgages; Do You Think This Will Help Active Duty in Hampton Roads?

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

The president announced his “Plan to Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal the Housing Market” initiative saying it would “give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low rates.” Basically a plan yesterday to help underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages — which they can’t do currently — and take advantage of historically low-interest rates. The $5-10 billion plan would be paid for by a fee levied on large banks. What do you think? Should the government be helping underwater borrowers? Would you utilize this program in order to get your head above water? Curious to hear your thoughts and reactions.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com