SIGN UP LOGIN

Articles Tagged "real estate"

Old Dominion Realty Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Augusta County | 13 Posts
Bridgewater, VA | 1 Posts
Burlington WV | 1 Posts
Buy a Farm | 3 Posts
Buy a Home | 30 Posts
Buying a Condo | 2 Posts
Buying a House | 30 Posts
Curb Appeal | 1 Posts
Franklin WV | 1 Posts
Grottoes VA | 1 Posts
Hardy County | 3 Posts
Harrisonburg VA | 45 Posts
Home Buyers | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 24 Posts
Home Insurance | 1 Posts
Home Value | 2 Posts
Homeownership | 6 Posts
LeadingRE | 2 Posts
Lost River, WV | 1 Posts
Luray, VA | 4 Posts
Monterey VA | 1 Posts
Moorefield WV | 7 Posts
Moving Tips | 5 Posts
Myers Corner | 1 Posts
Open Houses | 3 Posts
Petersburg, WV | 4 Posts
Sell a Home | 52 Posts
Staunton VA | 23 Posts
Waynesboro, VA | 2 Posts
real estate | fiscal cliff | real estate market | housing industry | Old Dominion Realty | Virginia Subdivisions | Old Dominion Realty Subdivisions | Ginny Joseph | Mill View Estates | Crossroads Farm | Magnolia Ridge | Gail Mitchell | Harrisonburg Subdivisions | The Springs at Osceola | Bea Miller | Courtney Crummett | staunton virginia | West Virginia | West Virginia real estate | Bridgewater Virginia real estate | Waynesboro Virginia real estate | Rockingham County Virginia real estate | title insurance | architecture | Shenandoah Valley | home owners insurance | home maintenance | government shutdown | foreclosure | overpriced homes | home safety | energy efficient homes | foreclosures | real estate career | real estate class | real estate license | find a home | buy a home | property search | homes for sale | sell a home | sell my home | selling a home | landscaping | kitchen | ktichen | home staging | staging a home | vacation home | second home | Springs Lakes | Tim Armentrout | subdivision | moving with pets | moving with kids | Shady Creek Homes | Grottoes VA | Harrisonburg | Harrisonburg VA | things to do | moving to Harrisonburg | living in Harrisonburg | Ana Marie Estates | Lillian Boutros | become a real estate agent | buying a home | buy a house | build a house | relocation | Leading RE | Staunton | Staunton VA | Staunton Virginia | living in Staunton | moving to Staunton | Betty Reese | Community Association Management | sales incentive | Charlottesville | Charlottesville VA | Charlottesville Virginia | selling a house | home security | home security tips | Rockingham County | Rockingham County Public Schools | top rated schools | home buyers | home sellers | technology | customer service | community events | area information | Augusta County | fall maintenance | home improvement | green living | schools | school districts | Harrisonburg restaurants | home buyer preferences | become a real estate agent | become a realtor | join old dominion realty | home saving tips | energy saving | Real Estate Agents | REALTORS | John Bowman | Ward Team | Brian Ratliff | Barry Pugh | Karen Rodgers | Charitable Organizations | Associate Brokers | Renee Whitmore | Travis Bowman | Micah Branson | Pam Estes | real estate agents | REALTORS | Julie Slayton | Alicia Farmer | Jennifer Cline | Casey Nelson | house for sale | home for sale | home cleaning tips | Forbes Center Performing Arts | James Madison University | Realtors in Harrisonburg | Augusta Expo Home & Garden Show | sell a house | first-time home buyers | farmland | farm property | agricultural land | farmland | farm | agricultural property | buying farmland | Sell a House | Downsizing | buying a house | home selling tips | curb appeal | home value | homeowner tips | moving tips | open house | Vicky Harrison | Condos for Sale | Sharon Wood | As Is House | Shady Creek Townhomes | Cedar Point Townhomes | Waynesboro | Down Payment | Financing | Mortgage | Home loan | Loan | Pre-approval process | Moorefield WV | Franklin WV | Hardy County | Grant County | Pendleton County | Holidays | Area attractions | Local Businesses | FSBO | Charlie Ward | Neighborhoods | Subdivisions | Best Neighborhood | Professional photography | List a Home | Festivals | Family fun | Community information | Local information | Hardy County Public Library | Home renovation | Spring | Declutter | Pack | Move | Purge | Page County | Woodstock VA | Music and Entertainment | Colby Shifflett | College Park | Bryce Resort | Edinburg | Grottoes | Mount Jackson | Timberville | Woodstock | Bridgewater | Elkton | New Market | Shenandoah County | Broadway | Dayton | Fort Valley | Luray | Weyers Cave | Franklin | Lost River | Petersburg | Garden | outdoors | summer | pets | decor | interior design
August
1

Old Dominion Realty

As an independent real estate firm, our goal is to provide the best possible service to you and provide comprehensive assistance in achieving your real estate goals. This is true whether you're moving to a Virginia/West Virginia community from across town or across the world. One of the ways that we provide that level of service is through our affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a worldwide network of top independent real estate brokerages.

Click Here to Read More...

January
27

Old Dominion 60 Years

This year, we are happy to celebrate our 60th anniversary and mark a milestone in our commitment to servicing our local community. Join in on the celebration and discover more about our 60 years and plans for the future below.

196260 Years of History

Click Here to Read More...

August
16

Real Estate Agent Tips

A combination of low-interest rates, limited nationwide inventory, and pent-up demand has made this year's real estate market one of the hottest in history. In a competitive seller's market, buyers often lose some negotiating leverage and are forced to enter into bidding wars.  

However, if you're looking for a home in today's real estate market, all hope isn't lost. The key to finding the right home for the right price is a combination of patience, dedication, and working with an experienced real estate agent. 

Click Here to Read More...

September
28

Staging

As you prepare to show your home, our real estate agents suggest that you and your agent take an afternoon to evaluate the entire house once more to ensure that everything is as presentable as possible. Unless you've hired a professional staging company, you may want to consider these easy last-minute staging suggestions that will showcase your home.

Click Here to Read More...

November
5

Moorefield, WV Community Revitalization
The town of Moorefield, WV,  founded in 1777, is an example of the historic, family-friendly communities that you will find throughout West Virginia. From locally owned businesses operated by the same families for generations to structures standing the test of time since we founded the community, you'll often find evidence of the past blending with the present in Moorefield.

Of course, Moorefield residents focus on the city's future, and there's exciting news to share about what to expect for our community. Moorefield has been selected to participate in a community revitalization project, backed by the West Virginia Community Development Hub's "Cultivate WV" program, and our Moorefield real estate agents have more information on how this opportunity will help create an even brighter future in the community.

Click Here to Read More...

October
26

Open House Weekend
Don't forget to grab your umbrella when you head out to visit our open houses on Sunday.  The weatherman is predicting a 70 percent chance of precipitation with a high of 48 degrees; no better time to be inside getting an up-close look at what could possibly be your new home.

Our local real estate agents know the local Virginia and West Virginia real estate markets inside and out and are ready to show you homes in the area and to answer the questions you may have. Visit our open houses this weekend to find the home you've been dreaming of.

Featured Open Houses

158 Fairfield Dr, Staunton, VA 24401

Spring Lakes Subdivision

$445,000

Sq Ft: 2,250 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 2 (full) 

Open House: Sunday, October 29 from 2PM - 4PM

Open House - 158 Fairfield Drive, Staunton

 

166 Fairfield Dr, Staunton, VA 24401

$415,000

Sq Ft: 2,000 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 

Open House: Sunday, October 29 from 2PM - 4PM

166 Fairfield Drive, Staunton VA


14 Spring View Dr, Staunton, VA 24401

$247,500

Sq Ft: 1,610 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) /1 (partial)

Open House: Sunday, October 29 from 2PM - 4PM

14 Spring View Drive, Staunton, VA

July
3

Shenandoah Valley Draws Local Attraction

Virginia Shenandoah Valley

The unparalleled beauty of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley attracts thousands each year.  From rolling hills and mountain vistas to stunning wildflower meadows, the landscape throughout the Shenandoah National Park System offers sights that simply should not be missed.  Include a drive along the area's picturesque Skyline Drive at the top of your list of things to do  Virginia list this summer.

Not Your Typical Sunday Drive

Skyline Drive stretches for 105-miles through the Shenandoah National Park.  A drive along the Skyline evokes a different time, when life moved at a slower pace, and people commonly took drives for sheer pleasure.  Families trying to decide what to do in Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, should consider a cruise down the park's only public road.  Running north and south through the park, Skyline Drive travels along a crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering unique views of the park and the surrounding region. 

Explore Nature's Beauty

Shenandoah Valley Black Bears

Animal lovers need to look no further for things to do in Virginia.  Skyline Drive is frequently visited by the park's wildlife, especially during dawn and dusk.  The Shenandoah National Park is home to one of the country's largest populations of black bears.  In addition to bears, use Skyline Drive's vantage points to spot white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and gray fox, river otters, woodchucks and over 200 species of birds.

Shenandoah Valley Views

Bring Your Camera 

For photographers and artists, the Shenandoah Valley's  natural beauty brings new inspiration. Scattered along the drive are 75 scenic overlooks  providing plenty of photo opportunities for residents and visitors alike.  Of course, you do not need to be a professional artist to find inspiration along this drive.  Skyline Drive varies greatly in width as it curves along the mountains, offering varied and stunning views.

Go For A Hike 

Shenandoah Hiking Trails

Along Skyline Drive, you will find plenty of opportunities to get out of the car and stretch your legs.  Hiking often tops the list of what to do in Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley National Park for many nature and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.  The Appalachian Trail, one of the East Coast's most famed and challenging hiking trails, runs parallel to Skyline Drive.  Overall, you have access to more than 500 miles of hiking trails from various points along the drive. Additionally, horseback riding and cycling are allowed along the Skyline. 

Drive Safely 

Keep in mind, animals frequently dart into the road, so please adhere to the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour.  A cruise along Skyline Drive is a ride meant to be savored; slow down, take your time and do not forget to stop and smell the wildflowers.   You are welcome to tow campers and trailers along Skyline Drive.  Just be prepared to shift into low gear. Make sure your trailer will clear Mary's Rock Tunnel, which features a 12'8" height limit.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

Old Dominion Realty to Find Homes for sale in the Shenandoah Valley

Claim a piece of the Shenandoah Valley for yourself. Contact Old Dominion Realty to begin your home search today and discover the many, picturesque communities dotting the region. 

June
10

Best-kept Secrets for Selling a Home in Record Time

Seven secrets for selling a house


Rarely is selling a home a simple decision. Once you've determined an asking price, found a real estate agent, and listed your home, you may think the hard work is over. Taking a little more time to properly prepare your home can help you up the chances of selling a home quickly and for top dollar.
 

Click Here to Read More...

October
13

6 Tips for Adding Value to Your Home


Renovating any house requires a homeowner to make a host of difficult decisions as they go. No matter how you plan on retooling an existing home, your modifications should add to the cumulative value of the domicile rather than subtract from it. The following upgrades are sure to bump up the resale value of any house.

1.  Jazz Up the Kitchen

As a focal point of the modern home, the kitchen is an obvious renovation target. Update your existing layout with a multi-purpose island, some custom fixtures or a few unique storage options such as hanging racks. If you feel like going all out, you could always put in a granite or marble countertop.

Click Here to Read More...

September
17

Smooth Move: Making the Move Easy on Your Family

Moving with children is one of the hardest tasks that parents face. Kids are used to familiar people and places, and they may not be old enough to understand adult reasons for why a move needs to happen. Here are some helpful tips on talking to your children to make moving with your family a little easier.

How to explain movings to kids

 

Click Here to Read More...

August
1

Making the Family Pooch Feel Right at Home

Moving to a new home can be hard for anyone, but it is especially challenging when you are moving with pets. Pets can get excited easily and may be put in physical and mental danger during the course of the move. To help you and your animal friend move to a new home as smoothly as possible, follow these helpful tips:

 

Moving with the family pets 

Click Here to Read More...

July
1

Buy a vacation homeBuying a second home (or vacation home) can be a very smart decision if you have the financial means to do so. However, owning multiple houses is also a huge financial commitment. You must make several important considerations if you want to successfully choose and purchase another home.

 

What Kind Of Vacation Home Will You Buy

People commonly buy a second home as a rental property, an investment to sell later, or a vacation home. When buying a second home it is important to know what you will use it for because the home's purpose will influence the place that your new home is located. For example, if you are buying property to be used as a vacation home, you will want to choose a property in an enjoyable location. On the other hand, if you want to choose an investment property, you should choose one that is in an up-and-coming neighborhood.

Understand The Tax Implications of Owning a Second Home

When you buy a second home you are subject to several different kinds of taxes. Nolo reports that people buying a second home will not only have to pay property taxes, they also have to pay income tax. Be sure to consider the local taxes in the place that you are buying a home so that you are prepared to deal with these costs.

Protect Your Home

Owning property that you do not live in full-time means that you have to invest in keeping your home safe from harm and damage. You should decide as soon as possible what kind of protection you want to get for your home. Getting a home alarm system, regular home inspections, and hazard insurance are all important parts of keeping your home safe from both burglary and damage from the forces of nature.

Thinking about these three concerns when buying a home is very important. There are plenty of other factors to consider depending on where you are buying a second home and how far along in the process you are. If you have any questions about buying a second home, contact the real estate specialists at Old Dominion Realty to get them answered.

June
2

The kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. The kitchen is where people get together to enjoy food in the presence of friends and family members. Trends in kitchen design are always changing based on current styles and tastes. Here are a few popular trends in kitchen design for people that are thinking about a remodel or want some inspiration to spruce up their kitchen.

Modern white kitchen cabinets
Photo courtesy of Kitchen-Design-Ideas.org

White Cabinets

This popular neutral color will go well with almost any other kitchen design scheme. Karin Beuerlein and H. Camille Smith wrote in an HGTV article about kitchen trends that while white cabinets are still the most popular, gray is another very desirable color for kitchen cabinets and may soon overtake white's top spot. Many tasteful homeowners will choose to contrast their lighter color cabinets with a dark backsplash or darker appliances. 

Lighting Fixtures

Although hidden lighting was stylish for a long while, modern trends in kitchen design are shifting back towards sconce and other types of exposed lighting fixtures. A large chandelier-style light in the center of the room will serve as an elegant focal point. Be sure that lighting is also set up in a way that makes it easy to complete work that needs to be done in the kitchen.

Sophisticated Appliances

Today's appliances are very high-tech: it is common to see a refrigerator that can play music or a sink that turns on and off automatically. Many new kitchen design trends incorporate technology. At This Old House Online, Kristen Mucci shows readers a multimedia ventilation hood that includes a 17" LCD display that can be used for television or DVDs.

Expressive Backsplashes

Like an accessory in a trendy outfit, backsplashes allow homeowners the ability to express their unique tastes. White tile is a common material, but many people decide to accentuate other colors in the room with their backsplashes. Other homeowners add flair by using bright oranges, greens, and pinks for their backsplash.

A kitchen should have the right balance of sophistication and comfort. People that want to remodel their kitchen to sell their home or those that are buying a new home and are curious about trends in kitchen design should research consistently to find out about trends as they change. At Old Dominion Realty, we help our customers use kitchen trends and other information to quickly sell their home or find their ideal residence.

May
15

Landscaping is often the first element of a home that a person sees. If it is done properly, home landscaping can have a significant positive impact on the value of a home. There are several things to remember if you are a seller that is interested in landscaping your home to help it sell more quickly on the market.

Landscaping

Come Up With A Plan

Instead of haphazardly adding plants, flowers, or other landscaping elements to your yard, come up with a strategy to landscape the entire yard. Consider where your doors and windows are and how you want people to walk up to the property. The more time you spend planning the way that your yard will look, the easier landscaping your home will be.

Be Aware Of Your Time Constraints

The amount of effort you invest in landscaping your home sometimes depends on how long you plan to be in your home. For example, if you are planning on being in your home for a number of months or even another year, you may have time to incorporate plants that take a while to mature. On the other hand, if you are going to be landscaping your home with the goal of selling it in the next few weeks, you may want to invest in plants and flowers that are more temporary in nature.

Types Of Plants

The kinds of plants that you choose to landscape your home with will also affect the value of your home. Remember that many people prefer to see landscaping with plants that are mature. Some popular plants to use for landscaping your home include tulips, rose bushes, and apple trees.

Consider Hiring A Professional

Although not everyone wants to spend the money that is required to hire a professional landscape designer, the investment makes sense for some people that anticipate a sufficient profit on the sale of their home. Landscaping your home is much easier with the help of a landscaping company. These experts take care of all the tough parts of landscaping your home after you give them direction based on your preferences.

Landscaping can be a difficult endeavor for a homeowner looking to sell their home. However, there are things you can do to make it easier. For help with all aspects of selling a home in Virginia or West Virginia, get help from the experts at Old Dominion Realty.

February
5

The In's and Out's of Becoming a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Virginia

To obtain a License to sell real estate in the state of Virginia an individual must attend an approved required 60 hour pre-licensing course called Principles of Real Estate.  This course is offered in several different formats.

1) Community Colleges and Universities such as Virginia Tech and New River Community College have offered this class in a semester long format.

2) Correspondence courses provide printed materials for self-study and are available through Moseley Real Estate School and other providers.

3) Online study is available through McKissock and other providers.

4) Classroom format is available at our Old Dominion Harrisonburg Office. We have partnered with Moseley Real Estate School to offer this service.  Visit the Career page at ODRVA.com for more information.

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation webpage identifies all approved providers for the Principles Class at this URL:

http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/Boards/Real_Estate/A490-02PRE_LIC_CRS.pdf

Once the classroom work is complete, a candidate must schedule and sit for 2 portions of a PSI examination and pass the National and State portions of that exam.  When both portions of this exam have been passed an applicant can then apply for a license at DPOR (Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation) or REB (Real Estate Board).

 

Cost:  Note*-these figures are based on estimates and average costs of fees to get started.

Fee

 Cost

Pre-licensing Course

 $                           350.00

Examination Fee

 $                              60.00

HRAR New Realtor Application Fee

 $                           125.00

Initiation/Orientation Fee

 $                           100.00

VAR New Member Fee

 $                           100.00

New MLS User Fee

 $                           150.00

Lockbox Card Issuance Fee

 $                              50.00

Total Investment

 $                           935.00

 

*These costs are an estimate. Actual costs may vary according to area.

Author of this blog article: Micah Branson

 

January
31

Buying a foreclosure is a great way to get a deal on a home, but it can also come with some challenges. Many prospective buyers might think about the option of getting a foreclosure, but it is not right for everyone. People in the housing market should choose the right property based on their specific needs so that they can live in a place that they can afford and appreciate.
Foreclosure real estate button

Pros Of Buying A Foreclosure

There are several reasons why some consider a foreclosure a great investment into housing:

  • Price: in many cases, a foreclosure can be purchased at a price that is much lower than market value. This is excellent for a buyer that has a small budget.
  • Transaction speed: if a homeowner is in distress, they may have an interest in selling the property quickly so that they can get into a better financial situation.
  • Flip value: Many people get a foreclosure so that they can put some work into the home and then "flip" or sell it at a higher price. Buying a foreclosure is especially logical for this reason, since most of them can be purchased at such a low price.

Cons Of Buying A Foreclosure

Unfortunately, there are some negatives involved in choosing to buy a foreclosure. Buyers must be able to account for these challenges if they are thinking about a foreclosure:

  • "As is" condition: Most foreclosures require the buyer to take the home "as is." Often, these homes are in need of serious repair, which can get expensive.
  • Hidden fees: these costs include survey fees and taxes for transfers, which are not often involved in a normal housing transaction. You also have to do your own research to be sure there are no leins against the property.
  • Competition: foreclosures tend to be competitive, especially in popular neighborhoods. This means buyers might have to deal with other buyers or changes in the price throughout the deal.

A foreclosure can be an excellent way to get a good price on a home. However, there are certain drawbacks that must be planned for. To get help with buying a foreclosure in Virginia or West Virginia, get in touch with the real estate professionals at Old Dominion Realty.

December
10

A close up of a gorgeous Christmas treeWith all of the other things going on, protecting your home during the holidays can be a challenge. However, holiday home safety is even more important because of the increased frequency of break-ins and accidents this time of year. There are several things to consider to ensure that your house is safe from the forces of nature, burglars and other things that could cause harm during the holiday season.

Put Deadbolts On All Doors

Deadbolts are some of the best locks available to withstand a break-in. They cannot be picked or opened using a credit card like spring-latch locks. It is wise to have deadbolts on front and back doors for an extra layer of security against burglars that sometimes increase the amount of homes they target during the holidays.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

Holiday home safety does not end with securing your home from external threats. During the holiday season, there is often a large amount of cooking and baking going on, which means increased risk of fires. Smoke detectors need to be in working order to ensure maximum holiday home safety.

Do Not Advertise Holiday Plans

If you are going out of town to visit family, do not post this information on social media networks. Do not tell any strangers or people that you do not trust about your holiday travel plans. This will tip off burglars that your home is an easy target.

Keep Holiday Lights On A Timer

Many people like to have lights around their house for traditional holidays. However, these lights can be a fire hazard if left on too long. Ensure that you use timers to keep these lights from staying on for too long and causing problems in your yard.

Be Careful How You Dispose Of Gift Packaging

It is great to receive new gifts during the holidays, but you should not advertise to others that you have an expensive item in the home. Cut up large boxes so that they can be concealed in a can. It is also a good idea to throw them away at night to avoid burglars that may be surveying homes in the neighborhood.

Old Dominion Realty is happy to provide you with these suggestions to keep your home safe. Holiday home safety is crucial because of unique risks during this time of the year. Follow these easy tips and your home will be more protected from accidents, thieves, and other holiday risks.

November
14

Selling a house can be challenging, especially if for sellers that are new to the real estate world and have never before attempted to list a property. These sellers may be tempted to price a home high and try to get as much for it as they can. Unfortunately, there are many problems that can result from overpriced homes, for both the seller and the general market.
Overpriced image

Time Investment

Those that are selling a home and list it too high will find that it may linger on the market, which drags out the selling process. The longer a house is for sale, the more time must be invested with showings, cleanings, and negotiations with potential buyers. This also means that a home will lose out on the newness factor that often helps property on the market get sold.

Less Chance Of A High Final Sell Price

Overpriced homes do not generate as much interest in the market as similar homes that are priced reasonably. For this reason, they tend to stay on the market longer. The longer a home is on the market, the further down the price will go. This means that people that price their home too high initially will often wind up getting below market value because the house has been listed for such a long period of time.

Impact On Local Markets

If several houses in a single area are listed for sale for a price that is too high, it may cause issues for the housing market in a given region. The combined effect of many overpriced homes can lead to the creation of a bubble in that market. While overpriced homes may lead to more profits up front, they are not good for the future and long-term sustainability of the market. After buying a new home for a high price based on the profits they made from the sale of an overpriced house, some sellers may find that the next place they move to goes down in value. When this happens on a widespread basis, it has serious economic repercussions.

Pricing a home can be a tricky challenge. For those that are selling a place in the Virginia or West Virginia area, the seasoned team at Old Dominion Realty is readily available to help. The experts at Old Dominion will keep any property from becoming one of the overpriced homes in its market.

October
23

The government shutdown has impacted people in all states and industries. In the housing market, the shutdown has caused serious issues when it comes to processing loans, verifying buyer information, and conducting transactions for housing purchases. The state of Virginia has specifically been hit hard because of its large number of federal workers and members of the military.

The Shutdown's Impact On Housing

Government shutdown

Throughout the country, the government shutdown has caused some serious challenges for people that are looking to buy a new house. Loans that were going to be approved by the FHA or Federal Housing Administration are backed up because of the shutdown. Even private mortgage market companies that are not government entities were impacted by the shutdown because their pending loans could not be researched properly: the IRS was unavailable to verify the income of someone trying to purchase a house or get information about them by researching their social security number through the Social Security Administration.

Effects Felt By Virginia

Virginia in particular has seen drastic impacts on its economy and housing market because of the large impact the government has in the area. According to the Vienna, VA Patch, Virginia is one of the five states with the most federal workers per capita, the most federal contract money per capita, and the most veterans per capita. Without income from government contracts or benefits from the Veterans Administration, even those that are not directly employed by the federal government felt the sting of the shutdown. And while many government employees that were furloughed will get what they were owed during the time that the government was shut down, many contractors saw pending awards simply vanish because of the government shutdown. Without these valuable federal dollars it is difficult, if not impossible, for many in Virginia to purchase a home.

Although it is now over, the government shutdown had a ripple impact on markets in all areas of the country. In Virginia, the real estate market was hit because of the state's huge presence of federal workers and contractors. Buyers or sellers that are interested in navigating the post-shutdown housing market should get help from specialists like the ones at Old Dominion Realty.

October
9

Owning a home is a great accomplishment for any person or family, but it does come with some responsibility. Homeowners that want to ensure that they keep their house in top of the line condition for when they need to put their home on the market must take several home maintenance measures to get as much value as they can from their property.

Routine Maintenance

Keeping a home in good condition requires some routine home maintenance procedures so that property does not deteriorate from situations that could have been prevented. For example, regularly cleaning the gutters of a home or changing the air filters on an air conditioner will prevent bigger problems from coming about with a residence. Lawn care is also important: shrubs should be trimmed regularly, and grass should be kept at an acceptable level.

Use Quality Materials

Try to always ensure that the materials used to repair your property are of the best quality. Use components that will last as long as possible and will be very durable so that potential buyers will face less ownership costs. These points can be highlighted when selling a home so that people that are on the market for a new place will understand the home maintenance benefits of the home they are considering.

Interior Upgrades

If a home is lacking in its interior aesthetic, it will be more challenging to sell. Try to ensure that a home has cabinets, countertops, and flooring that is as up to date as possible. Investing in these areas of a home might seem unnecessary when getting ready to sell, but they can make the difference between a home selling or not selling.

Home maintenance should never be neglected, especially for those selling their residence. Keeping a home up to date, ensuring that it is repaired with quality components, and performing regular maintenance will contribute to a home's ability to be sold. For more information or assistance selling a house in Virginia or West Virginia, visit the professionals at Old Dominion Realty to leverage their expertise to help a home get sold. 

September
19

Being a homeowner is a tremendous gift that brings with it a feeling of independence, prosperity, and accomplishment. There are few things that can compare to the uniquely satisfying experience of coming home to one's own residence. However, houses need to be looked after properly and protected against any problems that may occur. This is where homeowners insurance becomes extremely important.

Why Get Homeowners Insurance?

There are a multitude of reasons why homeowners insurance is a good idea. For those that live in areas where natural disasters often occur, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, homeowners insurance is especially important. These policies will help a homeowner get back on their feet after possessions or their entire home is lost in a storm. Beyond natural disasters, a policy may protect property owners in other ways. Some insurance policies can cover dog bites, while insurance policies that have off-premises' coverage will protect belongings anywhere. Certain types of insurance will even cover totally random accidents, such as a satellite dish falling over and damaging part of a home.

How To Get Homeowners Insurance

To pick a policy that fits the bill for property requirements, an insurance search should be performed cautiously. While price can make a difference when it comes to picking a policy, it is also important to work with a credible agent and firm. Homeowners would do well to get in touch with people that they know that have policies that they are pleased with and see which companies or agents they insure with.

It is also important to carefully read a policy to understand what type of reimbursements a homeowner can receive. Common types of coverage are actual cash value, which covers the worth of the items at the time they were destroyed, replacement cost, which is the value of items lost or damaged without depreciation, and extended replacement cost, which covers the entire amount to rebuild a home or replace belongings. Extended replacement costs do have ceilings, so homeowners should be aware of these limitations.

Choosing insurance for a home is one of the most important steps that a homeowner needs to take to safeguard their property and the people that live there. For other questions about homeownership or real estate in West Virginia or Virginia, visit Old Dominion Realty. The professionals at Old Dominion understand how to help anyone through the complicated process of buying and maintaining property.

August
30

With rich history and lush surroundings, the architecture of Virginia features beautiful, robust styles with enough variety to please any homeowner. When perusing the many housing styles in the Shenandoah Valley, you can find centuries-old historic homes, contemporary homes with mid-century design influences, and everything in between.

Explore the architecture of our area with these housing styles in the Shenandoah Valley.

Colonial

The austere but decorated styling of colonial homes features elements from old English home architecture. In either antique or new homes with colonial design, expect beautiful chimneys, darling wood frame exteriors, and classic floor plans.

Federal

This pre-revolutionary style draws inspiration from classical architecture from England, France, and Germany. Popularized in the 1700s and 1800s and continually one of the most beloved of the housing styles in the Shenandoah Valley, the Federal style features Greco-Roman elements like columns and arched windows. Enjoy a stately and timeless beauty in Federal homes.

Victorian

Victorian architecture takes its name from Queen Victoria, who ruled over England when this highly decorative style became popular. Still one of the most popular home styles in the South and throughout the country, Victorian homes feature classic floor plans and details inside, and flowingly ornate designs on the exterior. Elegant bay windows and handsome porches are common features of Victorian homes.

Farm House

Among the truly local design styles, the farm house has a treasured place in our area's architectural history. All housing styles in the Shenandoah Valley work naturally with the surrounding landscape, but the classic farm house looks especially perfect around here. Look for both historic working farm houses and new homes inspired by the design, with large faces and windows. These can vary from a traditional log cabin style to the very Southern hall and parlor design.

Contemporary

Modern homes in our area range from striking mid-century designs to the contemporary brick and stone homes popular among families across the country. Explore modernist designs to see how elements of classic architecture and fashion-forward artistry can combine to craft a home with form and function. Many subdivisions also feature the exciting contemporary trends and community design sought after by families today.

The Experts at Old Dominion Realty are accustomed to matching buyers with an architectural style that meets all their expectations.  Contact one of them to find your ideal home in the Shenandoah Valley.

August
27

Real estate title insurance helps to protect the most valuable piece of property most people ever own: their home. Just like with other types of insurance, the policyholder receives protection from potential financial loss.

Title Insurance photo courtesy of titlehub.com

What is a Title?

When an individual purchases a home, what they are purchasing is the title to the property. The title is what provides them with the right to occupy the property. If they do not own the title, they do not own the property. There are various hazards that can affect an individual's right to title and thus their investment.

Title Hazards

These include:

  • Forged deeds or mortgages.
  • Deeds signed by people who were not of legal age.
  • Deeds signed by mentally incompetent people.
  • Deeds procured fraudulently or under duress.
  • Deeds that contain the wrong wording or wrong names.
  • Pending legal actions against the property.
  • An heir to the property who was presumed dead.

If a homebuyer's right to title is challenged, they could spend a lot of money defending their ownership of the home; they also run the risk of losing the home itself.

How Title Insurance Provides Protection

Real estate title insurance will pay the attorneys' fees and court costs a homeowner will incur as they attempt to defend their ownership; it will also cover their losses should they lose the home. Lenders will make the purchase of title insurance a condition of the home loan, but that will only cover their interest in the property so homeowners should ensure that they have their own policy as well. Title insurance is essential because even with the most thorough examination of public records there still remains the potential for hidden risks. Additionally, there are some problems that cannot be uncovered in a search and which may only emerge after closing.

How is Title Insurance Purchased?

The homeowner will pay a premium once at closing. The policy they purchase will provide protection for the duration of their ownership of the property. Prior to insuring the property, the records will be examined by a professional examiner, verifying that the title is clean; after this step will the insurance company provide protection to the homeowner against challenges to title.

Real estate title insurance exists to provide peace of mind for the homeowner; with it, they can rest assured that their investment in their home is safe. If you have questions about title insurance contact an Old Dominion Realty expert today.

 

August
19

Rockingham County in northwest Virginia is a hidden jewel of the state where residents can enjoy some amazing attractions. Homes for sale in Rockingham County are in close proximity to wonderful natural parks, beautiful mountain scenery, as well as a friendly local atmosphere and community. Those trying to make their life in an area that embodies the wonder of Mother Nature in a friendly community with reasonable prices should place Rockingham County high on their list of places to live. Rockingham County Virginia

Rockingham County offers many attractions for residents that are passionate about the outdoors. The Endless Caverns located at the base of the Massanutten Mountains offers guided tours of one of the most fascinating underground treasures in all of Virginia. For winter sport enthusiasts, nearby Wintergreen is a mountaintop resort that provides exciting skiing and snowboarding for all ages. The county is also home to many hiking trails and areas of remote wilderness, such as the George Washington National Forest, which altogether boasts over a million acres of park area.

Real estate pricing is competitive in Rockingham County, yet the market is still showing signs of growth. The price per square foot in Harrisonburg, a flagship city of Rockingham County, went up to $139 this year, a 32.4% jump since the same time last year. Homes for sale in Rockingham County also come in a wide array of different kinds of properties: homebuyers can choose apartments, condominiums, or single-family dwellings to reside in. As the home of James Madison University, a top public school in the southern United States, Rockingham County has residents of all ages and backgrounds, contributing to a diverse culture that is completely unique from other parts of the state of Virginia. Rockingham County is an excellent representation of the ideal of southern hospitality.

Not everyone is familiar with Rockingham County, but everyone that wants to make a serene life in a beautiful and enjoyable area of Virginia needs to be. There are some wondrous sights to be seen and excellent memories to be made for people that buy one of the homes for sale in Rockingham County. To get started with your realty search, call upon an expert agency like Old Dominion Realty so that you can obtain guided help to match you with the perfect residence for you and your family in Rockingham County.

August
12

Waynesboro Virginia real estate is perfect for the home buyer that wants to enjoy endless skies, picturesque mountains, and plenty of great recreation. Waynesboro residents get to live in close proximity to some significant historical sights as well as cultural attractions. There are some excellent advantages of deciding to live in the city of Waynesboro for those that appreciate the splendor of Mother Nature as well as the legacy of American history, yet still want to make a sound investment in a home.

Strong Property Values

Many statistics show that real estate in the Augusta County area is trending upwards. In January 2013, it was reported that overall annual sales for residential Augusta County homes increased almost 8.5% compared to similar 2011 statistics. However, the Waynesboro Virginia real estate market still offers reasonably priced homes and condominiums for a variety of different types of residents that need a space that fits their unique lifestyle.

Historic Landmarks

Waynesboro is in the heart of an area of Virginia that was of great importance during the American Civil War. At the Waynesboro Heritage Museum locals will get a chance to relive some of the high drama of Civil War conflicts that took place around the area. There are also many historical markers in the area, such as Early's Last Battle where Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early was defeated, which ended the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

Exciting Recreation

Outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and camping are some of the most popular for Waynesboro denizens. At one of the many campgrounds in and around Waynesboro locals can bond with the outdoors as well as close friends and family members. Residents can also access portions of the Appalachian Trail, which makes for wonderful hiking excursions that provide physical as well as spiritual refreshment.

Modern Culture

Waynesboro offers much more to enjoy than just historic locations. At the Shenandoah Valley Art Center residents can see the latest pieces from current artists or take classes on artistic techniques. Waynesboro Virginia real estate is also close to some excellent theaters like the Blackfriars Playhouse and the Wayne Theater, the latter of which is currently being renovated.

Living in Waynesboro is an experience like no other. To buy a home effectively in Waynesboro, it is wise to call upon an experienced and knowledgeable realty company. Pick Old Dominion Realty to fulfill any property needs in and around Waynesboro.

August
8

Bridgewater, Virginia is a small town in northwestern Virginia that is home to a unique mix of historical attractions and modern delights. For people that want to be near beautiful scenery as well as exciting recreation and culture, Bridgewater is the ideal place to live. Bridgewater Virginia real estate is perfect for those that want to make a life in an idyllic town that is alive with the voices of both past and present.

Historical Landmarks

Bridgewater was first settled around the 1740s under the name McGill's Ford, but was renamed Dinkletown in the early 1800s. In 1835, the name Bridgewater became official, derived from the nearby North River Bridge, which was built in 1820. During Civil War times, Bridgewater and other areas in the Shenandoah Valley were the home of many pivotal battles. Residents are free to examine some of the rich history of the town by visiting the Bridgewater Marker or one of the other areas of town where Confederate troops marched through on their way to do battle with the Union.

Hiking And Natural Recreation

Bridgewater Virginia real estate is in close proximity to some excellent mountains that provide amazing views as well as great places to go hiking, biking, or camping. The Massanutten Peak trail located to the east of Bridgewater is one of the most significant mountains in all of the Shenandoah Valley. In Grottoes, located about 15 miles south of Bridgewater, locals can explore the Grand Caverns, known as the oldest show cave in America.

Dining And Culture

Bridgewater itself is home to some excellent restaurants such as Sergio's, Anita's, and Bob-A-Rea's. In nearby Harrisonburg, residents can access even more dining options in a variety of cuisines and styles. With local colleges such as Bridgewater College, James Madison University, and Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater and its surrounding cities are home to a diverse array of people from all different backgrounds. There are also some great museums located just a few minutes from Bridgewater, including the Virginia Quilt Museum and the Artworks Gallery in downtown Harrisonburg.

Life in Bridgewater will be equal parts tranquil, adventurous, and refreshing for all sorts of different people. Bridgewater Virginia real estate needs to be chosen carefully in order to get the most out of life in Rockingham County. The experts at Old Dominion Realty specialize in matching locals with the ideal home, townhouse, or condo for their requirements.

August
6

Moorefield WV photo courtesy of takemytrip.com(Photo courtesy of takemytrip.com)

Whether you're in the market for a new home in the city or tucked quietly into the mountains, West Virginia has what you're seeking. 

Whether you're looking for a starter house, a place in a quiet community to raise your kids or a place to relax and enjoy your retirement with plenty of land, West Virginia has a lot of homes for sale right now that can meet your needs. 

One of the nice things about living in one of West Virginia's towns is that they're not too big and not too small. They're just right. The schools are community-based, so you know your son or daughter will get individualized attention. They all offer plenty of parks and trails, so finding something fun to do outside is always easy. There's a sense of community that can't be recreated in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh or even Lexington, Ky. The quality of life is great.

And so is the housing. 


Right now in Franklin and Moorefield, for example, there are great homes for sale at all price ranges. Need an affordable home with three bedrooms? You can get into one for less than $165,000. In fact, you can find a nice little rambler with just enough room for you and your kids for $130,000.

Just getting started with your career and want to find a place in a thriving business area? You can't go wrong in Morgantown, which has been listed among the best "small places" for careers by Forbes magazine. You can land a job in Morgantown, as well as a sweet deal on a nice house that's near more than a dozen recreational parks and some really great golf courses.

But maybe living in a city isn't your thing. Maybe you want to be tucked back into the hills where you can take things a little slower. If that's the case, West Virginia has many homes for sale that meet your needs, too. 

Just outside of Moorefield, there are homes in the country and in the hills that include acreage. There are homes with property lines that butt up against some of West Virginia's famed state forests and national parks. How cool would it be to live near the Monongahela National Forest or the Thorn Creek Wildlife area?. You can! There are homes at all price ranges that will provide you the privacy you desire. 

West Virginia offers something for everyone. 

August
1

Staunton, Virginia is a beautiful, modern area which still retains its historic charm – Southern Living calls Staunton "one of the prettiest and most progressive towns in the South" – and there are plenty of homes for sale in the area at all price levels. Staunton is a strong area for arts and theater, is eco-conscious, offers strong education, is close to both Richmond and Washington, DC, and offers excellent restaurant choices. Here are a few more benefits of Staunton for the potential home-buyer to consider:

  • Beautiful Architecture, New and Old – Throughout Staunton's history, many architectural trends were embraced by local architects and builders, leading to a great variety of homes in both design and aesthetic beauty. Whether the home-buyer is looking for the simplicity of the Early Vernacular style, the sturdy attractiveness of the brick-heavy Federal style, or the classic Southern beauty of Folk Victorian style, Staunton has homes for sale to offer.
  • A Price to Fit any Budget – No matter what price range one is shopping within, there is a home available in Staunton City or its suburbs to suit the home-buyer's needs. Staunton offers upscale, historic homes in both city and suburbs, along with affordable contemporary construction in all manner of styles. The historic look and feel doesn't have to come with a high price-tag, either, as there are classic homes available which fit any budget. For reference, the average home price in Staunton is less than half of that in Washington, DC.
  • Close to Action, Close to Nature – Staunton is a highly walkable city with a spectacular array of architecture and culinary delights. The city also boasts a thriving arts and music scene, which combined with its historic beauty makes it an ideal place to live for artists and art-lovers alike. For a change of pace, Staunton is also a short drive from the mountains, and homes in the suburbs offer the tree-lined beauty of nature at one's doorstep.
  • Business-Friendly – In 2012, CNBC rated Virginia as the number three state in which to do business. Staunton offers incentives and programs designed to help new business owners develop and implement fresh ideas.

No matter what the home-buyer is searching for, chances are they will find it in Staunton. The start of one's search for a new or historic homes for sale in Staunton is just a few clicks away.

June
11

Mill View Estates Bridgewater's Newest Residential Community

In the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, in the town of Bridgewater, is a new residential community named Mill View Estates.  Mill View Estates is a neighborhood featuring single-family and duplex lots.


A three-phase development on a 40-acre tract of land north of Dry River Road, Mill View Estates consists of single family homes and upscale duplexes starting at $229,000.

Mill View Estates


The developers of Mill View Estates, JCM Development LLC, is a building and development company specializing in developing and building custom and speculation residential housing. JCM partners, JM Snell, Chad Branson and Michael Pugh, bring a wealth of experience to the Mill View Estates development.


Mill View Estates Construction


JCM Development LLC recently completed several homes and duplexes in Mill View Estates. The company was recognized by the Shenandoah Valley Builders Association Parade of Homes for their Mill View Estates duplex. The company's duplex design received awards for best interior, exterior and overall in the multi-family category.


JCM Development LLC homes in Mill View Estates feature single family homes with 2,566 square feet, four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a spacious and open floor plan, hardwood floors, two-car garage and a covered front porch. The duplexes featured one-level living space, attached garage, open floor plan, hardwood floors, tile, carpeting, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and paved driveways.


Mill View Estates Home


Mill View Estates streets are cared for by the town of Bridgewater and the town provides water, sewer and garbage collection services. Residents in Mill View Estates will not pay home owner association fees and will still enjoy parks and walking trails.


Old Dominion Realty serves the greater Harrisonburg, Virginia, area. For more information about lots in Mill View Estates, call Pam Estes at 540-820-1323 or Gail Mitchell at 540-810-2983 or Judy Linhoss at 540-820-1402.  For more information on duplexes and single family homes contact Chad Branson at 540-478-5798.

 

December
27

The strange sound you hear coming from the TV is not a problem with reception, but perception.  It's the media's opinion regarding the "impending doom" certain to hit the nation as the fiscal cliff deadline quickly approaches. 

Since none of us has a remote control that fast forwards our lives like Adam Sandler's character in Click, we can only guess on how the fiscal cliff will impact our lives—especially for those in the real estate market.

As Washington's lawmakers meet for negotiations, media reports abound about increased taxes, higher unemployment, decreased business spending, debt ceiling doubts, and expiring unemployment deadlines.  If you listen (and read) carefully, terms like "could," "possible" and "might" are sprinkled throughout the reports. The truth is none of us knows for sure what is going to happen. 

Many Old Dominion Realty customers have voiced concern regarding the fiscal cliff and future real estate transactions.  Let's take a look at the facts surrounding the fiscal cliff and its impact on the US housing industry.

Bipartisan cooperation is lacking during these Washington summits, allowing each side to create its own agenda for scaling different sides of the cliff instead of working together.  Regardless of how politicians deal with the fiscal cliff, real estate markets — now seeing a boost in activity — will be influenced.  The question is how?

Much will depend upon how the combination of government spending reductions and tax cut expirations are handled. If Washington takes a moderate approach (extending tax cuts and the mortgage interest deductions), financial experts feel the results on housing would be positive.

If elected officials opt for allowing tax cuts to expire, cutting government spending, and eliminating mortgage interest tax deductions, the outcome for the now-healing housing market would have an opposite effect.

In a recent article on Investors.com Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.com, stated, "The best-case scenario is a deal that avoids sharp tax increases and spending cuts next year.  With that kind of deal, you would avoid stalling or reversing the economic recovery while at the same time creating a long-term path for getting the government budget more in balance."

There are three possible scenarios:

  1. No agreement is reached.  Tax cuts expire, taxes increase, and deep government spending cuts are applied. The overall real estate market would suffer negative consequences. From a homebuyer's standpoint, this would mean higher tax rates and less take home dollars.  Potential homebuyers would have less money to spend and have no choice but to purchase a lower priced property or even to postpone their home purchase entirely.

Some experts feel a combination of spending cuts and tax increases would catapult the country's economy back into a recession—never a positive sign for the real estate industry.

  1. Democratic Party's Answer to Fiscal Cliff.  Under this proposal, tax rates are increased on households earning more than $250,000.  This option leaves tax deductions and mortgage interest deductions unscathed for the most part except for the luxury real estate market.
  2. Republication Party's Answer to Fiscal Cliff – The Republication party's answer involves generating $800 billion in new revenues.  Bush tax cuts would be extended for one year with revenue being raised in other areas including ending tax breaks.  The elimination of which tax breaks have not been detailed, but experts feel the mortgage interest deduction would definitely be "on the chopping block".

The primary worry for most homeowners is how Washington will handle tax deductions for home mortgages.  On one side, Washington appears to be considering reducing it or eliminating it because it represents about a $100 billion loss in annual revenue for the government.  On the other side, the mortgage interest deduction supports the US housing market by making home ownership more affordable.  Its elimination would be like kryptonite to the real estate industry. Real estate groups continue to lobby to keep the deduction in place.

Even if Washington arrives at a mutually beneficial agreement on reducing spending and raising revenue by the end of 2012, the real estate market won't be off the hot seat until specific details are released.

The moral of the story is every news report will put a different spin on the fiscal cliff and its impact on the real estate market.  Unless you own a crystal ball, the only thing to do is to wait and see what 2013 brings.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder