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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Tuesday, 24 April 2012

West Virginia's Eastern PanhandleIn honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd focus in on a local organization that is protecting the environment in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.  The West Virginia Conservation Agency works hard here and throughout the entire state to promote conservation efforts.  Many of their efforts involve protecting and restoring water sources and educating children and teens on issues related to the environment.  Last month the conservation agency partnered with local and federal government agencies to help residents dealing with flood damage after severe storms hit in other parts of the state.

The West Virginia Conservation Agency has a West Virginia Eastern Panhandle district that is active.  They recently hosted an Earth Day 5K run and 1-mile walk in Berkeley County.  The purpose of the event was to bring people together on Earth Day and raise money for high school students wanting to attend the Conservation District's "Envirothon" event.  Environthon workshops are held in each district, and their stated purpose is "to help young people develop the skills, knowledge, and desire necessary to achieve and maintain a balance between quality of life and quality of the environment."

The Conservation Agency offers many educational events and opportunities.  The Eastern Panhandle Conservation District posts updates of local events and opportunities on their page.  Their next board meeting is on Wednesday, May 16th at 7 pm in the Martinsburg USDA Service Center at 151 Aikens Center.  This meeting is open to the public and citizens living in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties are encouraged to attend.  Attending a board meeting is a good way to learn how the District operates and what sort of work they do.

If you decide to get involved in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle conservation efforts, I would love to hear about it.  Also feel free to contact me with information on any other environmental efforts you know about in the area.  As your West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle real estate agent, I understand how important having a healthy natural environment is to local residents.  Happy Earth Month!

The Kable Team
RE/MAX 1st Realty
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Posted by: AT 08:39 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
So it's settled.  You're either ready to move or buy your first home, and you've decided on Jefferson County or Berkeley County.  The buying process can be overwhelming.  What should you do first?  How do you make sure you pick the perfect home?  How do you make sure you pay a fair price?  As realtor who is an expert on West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle real estate, I can help.

1. Clean up your credit

Home buying is easier if you're pre-approved for a loan.  It's easiest to get pre-approved when you have good credit.  Better credit also results in better interest rates.  Anyone may order a free credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com.  Look over these reports and make sure there aren't any outstanding bills you forgot you had.  Take care of anything in collections.  Even if you think your credit is great, it's still worth checking.  Even parking tickets can go to collections these days!  It's also good to check for safety's sake--to make sure your identity has never been stolen.

2. Know what you can afford

Sometimes buyers (especially those buying for their first time) think they can afford more than they actually can because they haven't stopped to do the math.  Don't do rough estimations.  Sit down with a pen and paper and calculator and list out each and every monthly expense you currently have.  Don't forget about emergency expenses that arise, such as car repair and medical care costs.  If it's your first time buying a home, remember that there is more to it than just the sticker price.  Factor in property taxes, utilities you might not have been paying as a renter, home repair, and lawn maintenace costs.  You want to know the maximum you can afford before you start shopping, so you know not to look at houses outside of your price range.

3.  Set aside some cash

Hopefully you've already started doing this, but you'll need a fair-sized sum of money to pay for the mortgage down payment and closing costs.  The general rule is that you want to put down 20% of the total mortgage cost.  These days, however, many people are putting down a smaller down payment.  Agencies such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide low down payment mortgages.

Once you've taken care of these main steps, you're financial prepared to start home shopping.  This is a great time to find a local realtor you trust.  I help buyers find their ideal homes all over West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, so if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: AT 08:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 10 April 2012

 

There are many fun events coming up in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle this month!  Because I am your Jefferson County real estate agent, I enjoy keeping track of local events and sharing them with you.  There are good reasons so many people want to live here and the vibrant community is part of it.  

Annual Potato Drop

This is a wonderful opportunity to do something different, have fun, and meet new people--all while helping others!  A truck will drop off over 40,000 pounds of potatoes and volunteers will sort and bag them for drop-off at shelters and food pantries.  For more information, check the Shepherdstown Visitor Center website.

When: April 14th, 2012, at 7 am
Where: King Street in Shepherdstown (in front of Knutti Hall)

Puttin' for Panhandle Home Health


Here's another fun event for a good cause.  "Putt" in this miniature golf tournament as a fundraiser for Panhandle Home Health Inc.  Panhandle Home Health Inc. provides nursing services, physical therapy, speech therapy, and more for those in need.  Visit their website for more information.

When: April 26th, 2012
Where: JayDee's Family Fun Center in Inwood

57th Annual House and Garden Tour


Now this is one you don't want to miss.  Have an opportunity to see the beautiful history homes in Jefferson and Berkeley counties, as well as the blooming flowers that are so pretty this season.  The Shenandoah-Potomoc Garden Council has more information.

When:  April 28th & 29th, 2012
Where: Throughout Martinsburg, Charles Town, and Harpers Ferry


If you have any questions or need helping buying or selling a Jefferson or Berkeley County home, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Happy Spring!

Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: AT 08:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 03 April 2012

 

Selling a home can be difficult and confusing, especially if it is your first time.  As your Jefferson County Real Estate Agent, I'm here to make things a bit easier for you.  Here are some tips that will help make the sale of your home smoother:

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Did I mention that you need to prepare?  A lot of sellers don't realize that they can't just put their house on the market and expect it to sell.  Usually preparation takes a few months and involves making repairs and home improvements.  Buyers are more likely to buy a home that they think looks nice, so painting walls, rearranging furniture, and redecorating might be necessary.  Unsure of where to begin or what needs to be changed?  Realtors can be very helpful with this step since they have a trained eye for what works.  

Pick your price

Next you must decide the price for which you want to list your home.  A realtor will help immensely with this.  Home owners often let emotions get involved and feel tempted to mis-price the home because of it.  Unfortunately, your home's worth is not affected by how much money you need, or how many memories you have attached to living there. It's best to start off looking at similar homes in your own neighborhood.  Don't forget that the same exact home could be worth much more or much less depending on where it is located in town.  I cover many Jefferson County neighborhoods and am definitely willing to help.  Your preparation also influences your price.  Maybe you don't want to fix certain repairs, but you'll offer a "seller's contribution" to cover those costs.

Market

Each home is marketed slightly differently based on what it has to offer and where it is located.  A realtor can give great tips on your specific situation.  Generally you'll want to advertise both online and off-line, and of course hold open houses.  Online marketing will work best when you have good, clear photos (and possibly video) that clearly displays how your home looks.  You also want to include neighborhood information and details about nearby amenities for those who are not familiar with the area.  When a potential buyer tries to communicate after seeing marketing efforts, it is important that you or your realtor respond quickly.

Sell and close

The final step!  There are many things to take into consideration when you receive an offer.  You don't want to accept one too soon, or too low.  Negotiation is part of the process, and if you're uncomfortable with doing that, determine how low you'll go and let your realtor handle it.  The buyer will make an offer, and the seller will make a counter-offer, back and forth until an agreement is made or someone walks away.  Ask yourself how many offers you've received, and how long it has been since you've had an offer.  Because there are costs associated with keeping the house longer (mortgage, bills, upkeep), it might be best to lower a price of a house that has been on the market for a long time.  It is ideal to find a buyer who is pre-approved for a loan to ensure that things run smoothly.  In addition to deciding on a final number, selling and closing also involves taking care of final details like inspections.

Congratulations, you've sold your house!

Once the house is sold, do your part by moving out by the agreed-upon date and making any final repairs outlined in the contract.  Once that's done, you can rest easy knowing that you obtained the best price for your place.  

Hopefully these steps are helpful to you.  If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me.  There is also more information on selling your Jefferson County real estate on my website.  Or, if you're looking to buy, you can check our Jefferson County real estate listings.  Happy selling!

 Kable Team Realty
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Posted by: AT 08:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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KABLE Team Realty

Tracy Kable, Broker
873 E Washington St, Suite 200
Charles Town, WV 25414-1520
Phone: (304) 725-1918
Email: TheKableTeam@TheKableTeam.com

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