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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Tuesday, 28 May 2013

If you've decided to move to another WV property and placed yours up for sale, you're probably intrigued by the different offers that may come in from West Virginia homebuyers. However, do not be distracted by cash-only offers and high-priced numbers— there's much more to consider when selling your Eastern Panhandle home

Now that bidding wars are more common, you may find yourself sifting through the offers for those that seem to have the most sparkle or rather, those with the highest number. But what home sellers really need to consider are the actual homebuyer's abilities, including loan vs. cash

The Cash Only Offer
What the Eastern Panhandle seller needs to pay attention to is how strong the buyer's finances are and their ability to close on the deal. If the homebuyer offers cash, be aware that may mean a failure to obtain financing. In some cases, it does mean the buyer may not have qualified for a mortgage or an appraisal fell short of the purchase price. The lender is eliminated in the cash deal, but it does not mean it's a guarantee the home will close with no problems and may in fact, be a buyer looking for a discount on the property.

The FHA Loan
Many West Virginia home sellers have a stigma associated with FHA or VA loans. These come from the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs and both require the seller to pay for certain repairs. But the loans do not deserve the stigma, according to experts. The fact being that most states require sellers to disclose and, in some cases, repair defects of their home regardless of the buyer's financing choice. Many sellers fail to look at FHA or VA offers simply because they do not know the facts.

The Pre-Qualification Letter
These letters are written by lenders to state that the homebuyer is able to obtain financing, yet not all pre-qualification letters are the same. Sellers should do their background research to ensure both the lender's and the letter's credentials are valid. To do so, a seller can always call the lender to chat about the buyer's strengths and their true level of qualification— on a scale of poorly qualified to well qualified.

When selling your Jefferson County or Berkeley County home, be wary of all offers and be certain that you know the facts when it comes to each offer and how it will affect your home sale. For instance, cash offers aren't always best and FHA loans do not deserve the stigma they've acquired. Either way, the Eastern Panhandle home seller has the upper hand in the sale and should weigh each offer accordingly to ensure they are taking the best deal.

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 06:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The recent changes in the real estate industry make now the time to act on decisions concerning your current or future Eastern Panhandle property. Home prices are on the rise, with experts projecting their appreciation by 5.4% in 2013, which means a delay in purchasing your home in Jefferson County or Berkeley County, West Virginia by just one year could cost you. 

This infographic by the crew at KCM shows just how much money an increase in home prices can ultimately cost you in just one year. For instance, with a listing price on your future Eastern Panhandle home of $100,000, the price will increase by $5,000 in twelve months at the rate experts are expecting. An increase in home prices is a great sign of the real estate recovery, but at the same time illustrates why you will not want to delay your home purchase this season. 

Our next factor involves refinancing. If you were thinking of refinancing your West Virginia home this season, now is the time to act. According to Yahoo, the government may soon stop backing and influencing mortgage and homebuyer programs which will in turn cause rates to rise.

"At some point the government is going to be peeling back its money-pumping programs, and that's just going to cause rates to climb," said Paul Needels, senior vice president of lending products division at Informa Research Services, a leading financial industry information provider.

Also on the books are new escrow account rules that could affect potential homebuyers and current homeowners with low credit scores. Having a low score may classify you as a high-risk borrower and only allow you to qualify for a type of loan with higher-than-average interest rates. New escrow rules affecting this type of loan, called sub-prime loans, will force borrowers to put five years of property tax and homeowner's insurance costs into an escrow account with their lender.

Increases in both home prices and interest rates are just two factors that should motivate you to act on your real estate decisions before summer rolls around. As these two are projected to continue rising as we move forward into 2013, there are no better indicators that timing is everything. So don't delay— now is the time to act on your Eastern Panhandle properties.

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 02:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 14 May 2013

In today's real estate market, many of the buyers are younger than past generations of homebuyers. Today's homebuyer is tech savvy, extremely familiar with smartphones, apps, and Google. And now, according to Zillow, homebuyers not only want to use technology in their search for a home (much like you are in reading this blog) but want to use technology throughout the home as well. 

The new generation of homebuyers on the Eastern Panhandle are rewriting the rules and that begins with what is on their home search list— what they want in their future homes. So what does the new homebuyer want in their home? The following are four new features in homes that are peaking this generation of homebuyer's interests.

1. The Man Cave and the Smart Home
The "Man Cave" or man's media room has been around for the past few years, but now, more than ever, buyers are interested in how well-equipped these rooms are. They want surround sound, large TV's, and more technology than homes have in the past. But you might have also seen or heard of homes who are incorporating technology throughout their homes— the new "Smart Home." These features of a smart home include touch screens to unlock and lock doors, turn on lights, and even monitor their home from smartphones.

2. Elaborate Closets
Who doesn't want more closet space? Movies and home improvement shows are raising the bars for closets and how they can be transformed with multiple organization systems. A walk-in closet is on many Eastern Panhandle homebuyers' wishlists. Some homeowners are now even taking a spare bedroom and turning it into even bigger of a walk-in closet. A large closet will never go out of style and is likely a great investment on the market today.

3. Home Office
As more companies allow their employees to work from home, a home office space is becoming increasingly valuable. Some will create one with built-in desks and shelving all in the name of having an isolated place in their home for their laptop and work essentials. While built-ins are appealing, it may be best to always keep the option of changing the space back to a bedroom.

4. Hardwood Floors
If a home has sat idle for a while, you will probably notice carpeting from wall to wall. Carpeting may have been appealing to the past generation of homebuyers, but our new buyer is looking for hardwood. Giving their space a clean and updated feeling, hardwood floors are becoming a staple on home search wishlists. If you see a home you love and it does in fact have carpeting, ask what might be underneath— you might be surprised to find great floors hiding.

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 05:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 07 May 2013

This weekend includes Mother's Day on the Eastern Panhandle and it's time to treat mom to a special day. The following events in our West Virginia area, including both Jefferson and Berkeley counties, will help you make a decision on where to spend a memorable day all in the name of mom. 

Mother's Day Dinner and Pie Auction
May 8, 2013; 6 PM to 9 PM
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Epic Buffet
Charles Town

This Mother's Day event will be held at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in the Epic Buffet. Tickets are $40 per person, with parties of two or more at $35 per person. Come enjoy live and silent auctions of delicious pies and other handmade goodies. Pies and plates come from the ovens and kilns of notable Eastern Panhandle bakers and potters! Special surprise auction item! Contact 304-262-4424 for tickets.

Harper's Ferry Women's Club 25th Anniversary Herb Fair and Bake Sale
May 11, 2013; 9 AM to 2 PM
Town Gazebo on Washington Street
Harpers Ferry

The GFWC Woman's Club of Harpers Ferry will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the annual Herb Fair and Bake Sale this weekend in the Town Gazebo on Washington Street. Come peruse the large variety of herbs, vegetable plants, many unusual perennials, garden books and many homemade goodies. It's best to visit early to shop the best selections.

Harper's Ferry Half Marathon
May 11, 2013; 6 AM Packet Pick-up, 8 AM Race Start
Harper's Ferry

Is mom all about fitness? Perhaps you can join together in this race in Harper's Ferry on Saturday. Or even make it a family event— children 10 and under are free for the 1 mile fun run at the Half Marathon and children 10-18 are free for the 4 mile trail run. What's the catch for a free event? Nothing, although children are encouraged to run with a parent. For adults, register for the Half Marathon at www.harpersferryhalf.org/Registration.html

Early Morning Bird Walk
May 11, 2013; 7 AM to 10 AM 
Yankauer Nature Preserve in Berkeley County
The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will offer a special early morning birdwalk for families with children at the Yankauer Nature Preserve on Saturday. The event will be called "Bagels and Birds," and help children and their parents learn about the birds that live and breed in our Eastern Panhandle area. The walk will also give families an opportunity to hear the bird's morning songs. Bagels and juice will be provided. Enrollment is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, visit www.potomacaudubon.org or call 304-676-8739. What a great way to spend Mother's Day weekend with your family!

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 01:26 pm   |  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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