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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Tuesday, 30 July 2013

This news comes at a great time as we approach August and Back to School! In the current housing market, homebuyers are facing competition, multiple bids, low housing inventory, and rising mortgage rates— but a new survey reports homebuyers are willing to compromise their bidding price if the Eastern Panhandle real estate is located near a good school system.

Think of your home wish list when you began looking to purchase a home in West Virginia. Chances are you wanted a property located near your work, with a short commute time, located near great shopping, community locales like parks, and probably situated in a great school district. According to this new real estate survey, Jefferson County and Berkeley County homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home depending on its proximity to good schools.

"More than 44 percent of home buyers who plan to buy a home within the next two years said they would be willing to go over their budget by up to 10 percent in order to buy in their preferred school boundaries," according to a new survey by Realtor.com®.

In fact, 3 out of 5 homebuyers surveyed said one of the greatest influences on their purchasing decision were school boundaries. The survey found "nearly 9 percent of buyers indicated that they’d be willing to pay 11 to 20 percent above their budget to get a home in a desirable school district." In addition, the survey reported around 17 percent of buyers said they want to live within a mile of a school so their children can walk there.

Schools are so important to homebuyers in the current real estate market that many are willing to trade amentities and features for location. Close to 62 percent of homebuyers said they would give up a spa or pool, 50 percent would give up distance to shopping, and nearly 44 percent said they would give up an extra room.

Are good schools a priority in your West Virginia home search? If you're planning a move to Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters, Ranson, Sheperdstown, or Hedgesville, let the Kable Team help you meet your criteria for homes for sale located near great schools. 

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 06:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Now that it's summer and the nationwide heat wave has passed, it's time to make sure your yard at your Eastern Panhandle home is looking its best. Whether you have a small yard or a large, majestic outdoor oasis, there are always little steps you can do to make it that much more relaxing and a great place to spend your summer downtime.

Amp up the Privacy
What is the privacy factor like at your Jefferson County or Berkeley County home? With no privacy from neighbors or traffic, spending time outdoors to relax can seem troublesome. An easy fix is to plant some tall shrubs or hedges along the border of your yard or even use boards and stanied wood planks to create a fence to keep out unwanted visitors. By bringing in greenery to heighten privacy, the relaxing, eco-friendly factor also increases.

Furniture Friends
Don't love your outdoor furniture? It might be time for a change! Bring in a dining table if your space is big enough for dinner parties and dining al fresco with family. Oversized pillows also make great seating for guests when placed next to an outdoor coffee table or around a fire pit. Don't want to spend big bucks on the upgrade? No problem! Simply change out the cushion covers on your chairs or sofa. It's a quick fix and will instantly transform the feel of your patio and yard.

1 Space, Many Rooms
Bet when you decided to purchase a West Virginia home you didn't count the yard or patio as an additional room, did you? Well, consider the space as more living area. You have one space, but can divide it into "rooms" to give it more purpose, flow, and function. Separate your seating area from the garden, create another vibe around a water feature or fountain, and another space will function as your eating area or grilling space. When you break up the yard and outdoor living quarters, it will instantly feel bigger. 

If you're not yet an Eastern Panhandle homeowner and don't have the opportunity to spruce up a summertime getaway in your own backyard, don't worry! It is still a great time to buy your piece of local real estate and the Kable team can help! Contact us today to get started on your home search.

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 03:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The housing recovery has returned stronger, and despite West Virginia mortgage rates as well as Jefferson County and Berkeley County housing prices rising, conditions are improving for household formations. According to a recent report on housing demand, "children are moving out of their parents’ homes, and college graduates are stepping out on their own, helping to fuel demand for housing."

Homebuyers looking to purchase a home on the Eastern Panhandle have increased— illustrating that buyer demand has been high during the recent months, while inventory has been hovering around low. "The growth in household formation has caused an increase in demand over the last two years for all types of housing, including multifamily and single-family ownership and rentals," reported Realtor Magazine. And according to the housing demand report, the noted improving conditions of household formations will only increase buyer demand as we move further into 2013. 

Household formation has not always been on the up— in 2009 and 2010, formations hit bottom, staying around the mid-to-high 300,000 range. The normal average was reported to be about 1.2 million, with annual household growth rising to 1.1 million in 2011 and 2.4 million in 2012. 

Real estate and economic analysts also state in the report that they expect household formation to continue to rise, given that job growth remains at or above its current level. 

"You’re just seeing a lot more people getting reengaged," said Sterne Agee analyst Jay McCanless. "Housing demand, whether its rental or ownership, is a positive indicator."

And much to Eastern Panhandle homebuyers benefit, job growth and housing recovery are expected to continue to improve through the next few years. McCanless anticipates housing starts remaining positive at least through 2015.  

Ready to upgrade your current West Virginia home? Moving out on your own or simply looking for a change of scenery? The Kable Team can help!

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 05:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 09 July 2013

Rising mortgage rates have been a cause for concern in the current real estate market, in addition to rising housing prices and low inventory. However, have you considered how the increasing rates could potentially help the you to purchase a home on the Eastern Panhandle? It seems the rising rates could actually cool down the rapid rise in housing prices and begin to ease Jefferson County and Berkeley County homebuyer fears about purchasing at this time.

Rates are at their highest level in two years— a factor that has had quite the effect on home affordability. According to the Wall Street Journal, "A rule of thumb holds that every one percentage point increase in interest rates reduces affordability by 10 percent, so the recent move in rates just made homes about 10 percent more expensive to buyers who need to finance their purchase."

Judging by historical standards, some economists still find mortgage rates at 4.5 or 5 percent to be affordable. Merrill Lynch analysts suggest home prices would have to rise by 20 percent or mortgage rates would have to soar to around 6 percent to chip away at housing’s affordability, as reported by Realtor Magazine. 

In fact, not all economists find the rapidly rising rates to be alarming for West Virginia homebuyers. As mortgage rates rise and home prices are deemed unsustainable, there is only one direction for them to go— down. It turns out the rising rates may potentially cool down the housing price increases and make the real estate market a more enjoyable environment for Eastern Panhandle buyers to purchase a home.

“I don’t think it’s the end of price increases," John Burns, chief executive of John Burns Real Estate Consulting told the Wall Street Journal. "But I think they’re going to moderate significantly."

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 04:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 02 July 2013

With the housing recovery speeding up and more Eastern Panhandle homebuyers and sellers jumping into real estate, it's helpful to know how the many different offers on West Virginia homes for sale affect the market. But investors are also pouring into the market with all-cash offers that seem to be barring traditional homebuyers from reaching their homeowner goals.

"People are worried about the returns on alternative investments," Karen Dynan, vice president and co-director of economic studies at the Brookings Institute, told AOL Real Estate. "There is still a lot of uncertainty about bonds and the stock market, which makes the housing market look good."

All-cash offers account for 33 percent of home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors May 2013 Confidence Report. And with Jefferson County and Berkeley County homebuyers already experiencing— albeit now recovering— low housing inventory and rising home prices, the experience of purchasing a home is made more difficult with this new influx of investors providing competition.

These all-cash offers are typically made from investor pools, rather than individuals who intend to actually live in the homes. "These are investment pools paying cash for houses to hopefully get returns," one investment strategist said. "It's not necessarily a trend among individual homeowners because most people going to buy houses don't have that kind of cash sitting around."

All-cash deals are less likely to have complications and bypass the process of being approved for a home loan. But do these offers help the real estate market or hinder it? Experts say cash-buying gives the economy a boost, but only short-term. This increasingly popular method of buying a home boosts asset values for homes and is especially helpful for current homeowners who already own properties. There's also a benefit for government at the state and local levels due to the taxes that come with the cash deals. 

Cash purchases for local real estate may be beneficial in the short-term, but overall will subside as more homebuyers move into the market. With the housing recovery well on its way back to normal levels, these investor deals will not be around for long as housing prices rise and affordability continues to be affected. 

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 10:00 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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