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Homeownership

Posts on living and owning a home in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Get the latest advice from our real estate professionals and learn tricks to simple homeownership.

Found 109 blog entries about Homeownership.

Save your friends the hassle and nightmares from the aftermath of working with "whatever agent" they found on Google!   Tell them BEFOREHAND that the real estate agent you choose MATTERS... Because it absolutely DOES.   Buying or selling home is often the LARGEST financial transaction that you will deal with in your lifetime. THAT IS A HUGE PART OF YOUR LIFE, financially and emotionally. Don't settle for the first name you see on Google, the jingle on the radio, or the business card you pulled at the Chinese restaurant on your way out with your weekly crab rangoon order (we're not judging!)... We won't knock on those big marketing budgets, but we do want people to know that the biggest names don't always get there because they…
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One of the biggest names out there can tell you some tall tales... and they have a MASSIVE marketing budget that means they seem like a really trustworthy place to get information.

And because Zillow lies, we make sure our clients know to make sure information is VERIFIED through the proper channels.

Take Donna Laurens' clients, recently. Living in a particular school district was a really important wicket for them to check off on buying their Perfect House. The home they were convinced was the perfect one for them had their specified school district listed as the one for that home in particular. Awesome, right? Except we (as agents) know that Zillow LIES. They may not "mean to" but they do! The information available on such a massive database is

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  • By Steve Rockefeller 

The most recent National Association of Realtors profile shows that 40 percent of repeat buyers and 66 percent of first-time homebuyers are putting less than 10 percent down. Understanding all of your low-down-payment mortgage options may aid you in obtaining a mortgage while helping to save money.

Different types of mortgages can be tailored to purchase a home. If you’re looking to use a conventional loan and you made a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home’s value, you’re probably going to need mortgage insurance, commonly known as PMI. If using, for example, a government FHA loan, you’re going to need mortgage insurance, known as MIP. Confusing I know.

With the lowest of

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You've probably thought about these things before, but we'll pull them all together in this quick list for you.

Spring is right around the corner, so if you're planning on having one, now's the time to start planning!

So here goes...

6 FANTASTIC TIPS For Your Garage/Yard Sale:

1.) Make sure ALL of your signs LOOK the same! Obviously, the arrow may change, but if a prospective shopper is driving around your neighborhood LOOKING to find your house, they are subliminally looking for the SAME sign--- thus one is neon, make them all neon. If you put a balloon on one, put a balloon on ALL of them. That way, as they are driving through a neighborhood and trying to find the "next" sign marker, your next sign will stick out to them. Remember... the

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Tis' the season for porch deliveries... and thieves!

Thank you to our friends at VECTOR for this fantastic write up on tips to protect your home deliveries.

How to Protect Your Home Deliveries

Packages and deliveries are often left during the day while homeowners are out. These easy snags are almost too good to be true for thieves.

Below are tips to protect your package from being taken from your doorstep.

Give Extra Instructions

Specify delivery instructions when you place your order to prevent your package from being left alone.

  • Send your package to a friend, your workplace or a UPS access point for safe keeping until you can bring it home.
  • Require a signature for an item to be delivered. This way you can ensure your package won’t be left alone.
  • Add a
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Wait. That has to be a typo, right?

Ha. No, it's not! As usual, our friend over at Keeping Current Matters came up with an excellent piece on this reality that so many aren't even aware of. Read more, then let us know what you think! 

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There is no doubt that it is easier to sell your house when using the services of a local real estate professional. The agent will provide:

  • Greater exposure to more buyers
  • The skills of a professional negotiator
  • A layer of protection from possible legal liabilities
  • Professional guidance in navigating any pitfalls that may arise
  • A level of safety while showing the home

There is no doubt that these services are valuable to any family that decides to sell. The only question is – how

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Do you or someone you know have a change in lifestyle looming on the horizon? It's a huge step, but one that can come with some ease if you may be willing to try a few of these great tips from 55Living:

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We can all agree that change is hard. Even when we’re making a change for the better – such as moving to a carefree senior living community – nervousness, sadness about leaving your old home, and feeling out of place can make it difficult to transition smoothly into your new lifestyle. However, with a bit of perseverance and a positive attitude, you can start to feel at home in your senior living community in no time.

TRANSITIONING FROM ONE HOME TO ANOTHER 

By the time we reach retirement age, most of us have

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Everyone seems to have an interest in something.

This often leads to collecting, a past time of what seems like generations past, but is actually still prevalent!

But is what you are keeping a collection, or just keeping some clutter?

Marie Kondo, a #1 New York Times best-selling author of both Spark Joy and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up , approaches whether or not items give you joy, in deciding whether to keep them or send them on to another place in their life. 

Some items in your home may truly bring you joy; others, you may have forgotten the reason of why you have them in your home.

Some may have been gifts you accepted on a memorable holiday, others may be something that was passed down by someone else who had a hard time

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It is highly likely that the home you currently own (or will buy some day) won't be your forever-home. Families change, from size to dynamics, jobs change from pay to location. Needs change from large yards to extra bedrooms. Thus it is a wise thing to consider... What is important to the NEXT person who buys that home (from you!) may be different from what was important to you (and your family). 

Are you buying a FOREVER home... or a FOR NOW home? Most of us buy a FOR NOW home... which means you DEFINITELY need to put on a seller's cap at some point- why not try it on, now?

Here's a few just to get the thought process started:

1.) You: Schools really aren't that important to us (we don't have kids/aren't planning on having kids/ we plan on home

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Mortgage Matters: Is an approval an approval?

  • By Steve Rockefeller 

Historically low mortgage interest rates have continued to spur home sales in Hampton Roads. If you’ve been thinking about buying a new house, or perhaps your first house, this may be the time to commit and jump into the marketplace. The key, however, is gaining loan approval.

Just when you thought the “F” word was a four letter word, when applying for a mortgage loan it is a five-letter word spelling “FRAUD.” Because of the sins of the housing industry’s past, along with what appears to be a constant mountain of foreclosures, every lender in the nation at every level of their company is charged today with preventing mortgage fraud. If you

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