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 Eastern Panhandle WV Real Estate Blog 
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Being that it's almost August, it's a safe bet that many West Virginia residents have been enjoying the summer sunshine, relaxing in the warm weather and maybe even heading off for a vacation. However, the summer season does also bring a few storms along with it. It's important that your home in Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville, Ranson, Shepherdstown, or Charles Town be prepared in the case of bad weather and it all starts with a routine check-up. 

Here are a few tasks you can cross off your home maintenance checklist this week and at the same time, ensure your home is as ready as can be to handle a summer storm.

Eastern Panhandle Home Maintenance Checklist

  • Inspect the outside of your home— check the roof for signs of wear and existing damage, check your home's exterior and siding, looking for loose shingles or signs of necessary repairs.
     
  • Stabilize any loose items around your Jefferson County or Berkeley County home— bring in bikes, lawn tools, decorative items, pots and plants. Move your vehicles and park them in the garage if possible.
     
  • Double check all windows for leaks or cracks and repair as soon as possible. It's important to be proactive during storm season to avoid any water damage inside the property.
     
  • Inspect the basement— follow along the ceiling and walls for signs of cracking or previous water damage. It's also necessary to do the same with your home's foundation to ensure water is being directed away from the home and not toward the foundation.
     
  • Make sure your homeowner's insurance is up to date and that it covers the necessities for homes in the Eastern Panhandle. If you're unsure of how accurate or extensive your policy is, it's better to inquire now rather than after a storm.
     
  • Keep digital photos of your West Virginia home (both the interior and exterior) off-site, including photos of your home's contents, valuable items, cars, boats, etc. for insurance purposes.
     
  • Take note of your home's "safest" room or where your family will meet during cases of bad weather. If your home doesn't have a basement, identify the next safest room where you will take shelter, perhaps a closet, bathroom or bedroom with minimal windows.
     
  • Prepare a storm safety kit. Purchase a flash light, extra batteries, bottled water, snacks, a weather radio, blanket and first-aid supplies to store inside the safety kit. Keep the kit where you plan to meet during bad weather.

There is still plenty of sunshine left to enjoy in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and with these easy steps you can rest assured, knowing that you and your home are prepared for a storm. If you've just moved to Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry, Hedgesville, Ranson, Shepherdstown, or Charles Town and are in need of local recommendations or if you're ready to purchase a new home in the area, contact the Kable Team today!

We'd be happy to hear from you!

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 08:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Historic Shepherdstown, WV will once again host its annual Dog Days Dog Fest the weekend of August 9-10. The event includes a wide variety of activities for pet owners and their furry friends, as well as pet lovers and offerings everyone can enjoy, running from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday and 11 AM to 4 PM on Sunday. 

All activities in this year's Dog Days Dog Fest will be free and all are welcome to attend. As in the past, the Dog Days event will bring music, dance, drama, arts and crafts and fun of all kinds to the residents in the Eastern Panhandle. Some highlights of last year's event included a Dog Day 5K, dog training tips, a hot dog eating contest and a red carpet dog show with awards like Biggest Heart and Most Talented. Local Bistro 112 even offered hush puppies and French Poodle martinis to celebrate!

Kicking off the event on Saturday will be a local dog show, open to dogs owned by both Eastern Panhandle visitors and residents alike, as well as Border Collie sheep herding demonstrations by the Virginia Border Collie Association, other trainers and Collie owners. On Sunday, the main feature will be a "Look and Learn" show with more than 20 rare-breed dogs. Sunday's festivities will also include a presentation by widely-known trainer and author Pat Miller, operator of the Peaceable Paws Dog and Puppy Training Center in Maryland, among other dog-centered presentations.

The Dog Days Dog Fest event, though just in its second year in downtown Shepherdstown, also plans to include blessings of the dog attendees, children's arts and crafts, movies, numerous exhibits and trainer demonstrations, rescue organizations and more. Local restaurants and stores are planning to join in the August Dog Days fun by allowing dog owners to bring their pets inside and indulge in their special dog-themed food, drinks and items for sale. And as this is an event hosted in the heat of August, pools and misters will be set up so this year's dog participants can stay cool.

The Dog Fest weekend this August 9-10 is sponsored by Greensburg Bed & Biscuit, the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Shenandoah Veterinary Hospital, the Shepherdstown Visitors Center and the Shepherdstown Business Association.

Last year's event was such a success and this year's is set to be just as memorable— so if you have a dog, are simply a dog lover, are visiting the Eastern Panhandle or are lucky enough to call our community home, mark this summer event on your calendar and come out to support the local Shepherdstown businesses that will make this event another home run.

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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 10:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 16 July 2014

As of late, the Millennial generation has been a hot topic in the real estate industry. Many homeowners are looking to cater to their interests when selling their homes and they've been pegged as the largest category of individuals that will be buying real estate in the next five years. But according to a new report, it seems their buying will come in the later years of that time frame. 

"It's principally the economic factors: jobs and student debt," said the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, citing the difficulty of saving for a down payment while paying down student loans. 

For many, not just Millennials, buying a home in Jefferson County or Berkeley County is a process— one that requires much preparation, paperwork and strong finances. If you too are saving up to buy Eastern Panhandle real estate, consider the following:

Mind Your Credit Score
Your credit score will be studied by lenders when you apply for a mortgage, so take the time to clean up your score. Consult your credit report and correct all errors before you take your finances to a lender as your first step in purchasing a home on the Eastern Panhandle. Remember, the higher your score, the lower your down payment and monthly fees.

Know Your Budget
Find a home in Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, Ranson, Shepherdstown, Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters or Hedgesville that is financially comfortable for you. As a potential homebuyer, knowing your budget will make your search for properties that much easier. Before you even begin house hunting, it's important to use a mortgage calculator to determine the payment you may be taking on when you purchase a home.

Save for a Down Payment
Even for Millennials, saving for a down payment is a crucial step in the Eastern Panhandle homebuying process. There is never a bad time to begin putting money away for your next home— afterall, the larger the down payment, the smaller your monthly mortgage payment will be. "Depending on your credit and financing, you'll typically need to save enough money to put anywhere from 3.5 percent to 20 percent down," reported Bankrate.

No matter what stage of preparation you're in, the Kable Team is here to help! We're happy to answer all of your homebuying questions and help you start off your journey to homeownership on the right foot. Contact us today!

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 08:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 08 July 2014

When you purchase a home on the Eastern Panhandle, or even as you prepare to buy a property, the costs associated with owning can sometimes be overlooked. It's an exciting time—packing up one home and moving to the next— and without seeing a written breakdown, it's quite easy for homeowners to simply flag the mortgage payment (noting what they'll be paying toward the loan) and move on. But there are more costs associated with owning a home in Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, Ranson, Shepherdstown, Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters or Hedgesville and homebuyers in West Virginia this summer should keep them in mind:

The Cost of Moving
Certainly homebuyers understand what their new home in Jefferson County or Berkeley County will cost them, but what about the costs of physically moving from one home to the next? No matter if you decide to rent a truck and equipment or do the lifting yourself, these costs can add up for a new homeowner. Be sure to keep these figures in mind when you decide how much down payment you can afford— it may be wise to crunch these moving numbers ahead of time to ensure you can actually make it to your new home.

Taxes and Insurance
These two figures are often factored into your mortgage payment, so make sure you know how much you're paying. Many things affect the cost of insurance, like construction materials and location, and this number is not always set in stone. If you're still mulling over purchasing a home in Jefferson County or Berkeley County, plan out the costs of taxes and insurance so you can adequately configure your potential mortgage.

Utilities and Upkeep
Now these are two costs that will not be factored into your Eastern Panhandle home mortgage, so do your research. "Even when you consider household appliances, furniture and landscaping, basic upkeep can be the most expensive aspect of owning a home," says Credit.com. Water, trash, gas, electric and more will also require a monthly payment and depending on your lifestyle, they can get pretty pricey. Take a lay of the land of your potential new home in Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, Ranson, Shepherdstown, Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters or Hedgesville and decide how much in upkeep costs the home will demand.

This summer, it's important to take all precautions before you jump on the busy real estate wave on the Eastern Panhandle. Many homebuyers can be quick to overlook such figures before they make the purchase and find a world of surprises later on. If you have questions about what goes into a home purchase in West Virginia, contact the Kable Team today!

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 09:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Both Jefferson County and Berkeley County are gearing up for their Fourth of July celebrations in just a few days! This year, fireworks and festivals are planned for Martinsburg in War Memorial Park and Jefferson County in Sam Michael's Park. Eastern Panhandle residents are sure to find something for everyone to enjoy at these Independence Day celebrations as each event will include fireworks, food, entertainment and fun. Below are the details for these great Fourth of July events in Jefferson and Berkeley County:

Martinsburg Annual 4th of July Celebration
July 4, 2014; 12 PM to 9 PM
War Memorial Park
Martinsburg, WV

The City of Martinsburg will hold its annual Fourth of July event in War Memorial Park this year on July 4 from 12 PM through its fireworks display after 9 PM. The fireworks are set to launch from the same location in Townsend Field and will be visible for all to enjoy throughout the park. Picnic areas are available as well as public swimming from noon to 5 PM at the War Memorial Pool. The concessions and mini golf course will also be open from 11 AM to 9 PM. The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 PM. 

Jefferson County Fireworks
July 5, 2014; 2 PM to 10 PM
Sam Michael's Park
Shenandoah Junction, WV

The Jefferson County Fireworks will go on this year at Sam Michael's Park in Shenandoah Junction. Gates for the event will open at 5 PM and the fireworks show will kick off at dusk, approximately 9 PM. This year the event will also include live music, great food, local vendors, family fun and business alley. With the help of supporters and donations throughout the year, the event's organizers are confident this year's display will be bigger and better than the last. If you're searching for a Fourth of July event to attend with your family, be sure to mark this on your calendar!

The Fourth of July on the Eastern Panhandle offers residents and visitors alike the chance to participate in the community and support local vendors, not to mention enjoy highly-anticipated fireworks displays. The communities of Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, Ranson, Shepherdstown, Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters or Hedgesville come together each year to put on events that make Jefferson County and Berkeley County wonderful places to live.

If you're already a resident on the Eastern Panhandle but are looking to move to a new home this year, the Kable Team would love to help! Contact us today for more information on the current real estate market in our area. 

The Kable Team
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Posted by: Tracy Kable AT 01:30 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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