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Real Estate Advice

Hampton Roads real estate advice for buyers and sellers! Discover how you can sell quickly or buy the perfect home.

Found 130 blog entries about Real Estate Advice.

"It's a tug of war, we expected more"... Tug of War, Paul McCartney
  Home loan rates bounced around this week, due to volatility in the U.S. Bond market, but went into the weekend still near three-month lows.

There are push/pull items that continue to limit how low and high rates can go. Here is what home shoppers should know:

Factors currently limiting how low rates can go:
 
  1. Tight U.S. labor market.
  2. Rising wages, fastest pace in a decade.
  3. Soaring business and consumer confidence.
  4. Solid economic growth.
  5. Tough technical barriers.
Factors currently limiting how high rates can go:
  1. Slowing economic conditions around the globe.
  2. Low global bond yields – German 10-year Bund yield is 0.28% and the U.S. 10-year Note yield is
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We always love when great information lands in our inbox, that we can in turn share with our community here on the blog. Thank you so much to Patrick Steele, one of our trusted "mortgage dudes" for sending this one our way! :)

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Mortgage rates technically hit their lowest levels in exactly 2 months yesterday.  Today merely takes them deeper into that territory.  The size of the improvement is less impressive and less meaningful compared to that "lowest in more than 2 months" talking point.   That said, taken in conjunction with the last 4 business days, the average lender is roughly an eighth of a percentage point lower.  That comes out to $7/mo for every $100k financed (or $21/mo on a $300k loan).

On a somewhat frustrating note,

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The VA Loan is a FANTASTIC benefit to having served in the military. Our agents have extensive experience helping our clients navigate the home buying process that include the VA Loan.  Also, the VA Loan is not just of interest to those buying, but also to those selling, as the VA Appraiser (mentioned below) will be a part of the sales transaction. So this is great information for anyone on either side of the transaction.

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For many borrowers, applying for any kind of mortgage may seem daunting. But, when broken down, this rundown of 6 steps to getting a VA loan is easy to understand.

1. Select a VA-approved Lender

On the surface, it might appear that any lender will do. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may discover that

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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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A few quick notes:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

Got questions on that? Be sure to reach out to one of our premier lenders, Patrick Steele of Tidewater Mortgage, or Steve Rockefeller of George Mason Mortgage. Both are incredibly knowledgeable on everything you could want to know about the mortgage process and are willing to help out with any questions you may have.

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Thank you to KCM for a great writeup!

Got questions? We've got answers! Hit us up in the comments

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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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  • 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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Do you think that FSBO, or "For Sale By Owner" sounds easy?

Or even if it's just a bit of work on your end as the seller, it will TOTALLY be worth the money you save.... right?

Not so fast... check out this honest writeup from the National Association of Realtors:

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You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse; but without your market expertise and sales skills to back them up, sellers who choose to sell their home on their own just may experience “seller’s regret” when they see how much less they get for their properties.  Some may want to avoid paying an agent's commission—but even factoring that in, FSBOs still stand to make less on their home sale. “Talk to an agent and find out what they suggest for the commission, and then do the math

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We have over 100 years combined living experience in the Hampton Roads area. As such, we thought to poll our agents and see who stayed and went with Hurricane Florence coming in.... and what they did to prepare their homes. Turns out everyone actually stayed in the area, thus their preparation was for hunkering down to weather the storm (if it came this way)!

Here's what some of them had to say:

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We picked up the standard stuff, except I bought some junk food that I normally don’t get. 

  We bought extra gas, fired up the generator to make sure it was good to go, froze a dozen bottles of water to help use as ice to keep things cold if power goes out. I turned the refrigerators & freezers to the coldest settings. 

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Monday and

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