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Archive for the ‘Homeowners’ Category

One of the things I often hear from people I meet is that real estate and mortgage professionals should have seen the current housing crisis coming and done something to prevent it. We should have realized that easing lending practices would lead to millions of families buying a home they could never afford. We should have warned our neighbors not to use their homes as ATMs. We should have realized that the economy could never withstand such growth and was about to crash.

Maybe these people are correct. Looking back, perhaps we could have been better stewards of the home buying process. We are committed to not making that same mistake again. Keep in mind, Real Estate is a great investment, it was never meant to be short term.

Fear

13,780 Homes Sold Yesterday
To all those who have declared the real estate market dead, we want you to know that over 13,780 houses sold yesterday, 13,780 will sell today and 13,780 will sell tomorrow.

That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales had increased 7.7% over the month before and 18.6% over the year before. According to the report, annualized sales now stand at 5.03 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, well over 13,000 homes sell every day.

We realize that these numbers are below the record for homes sold in 2006. We also know that we may never see those numbers again (and that is probably a good thing). But to say that the current real estate market is dead or that houses are not selling is totally inaccurate. We have over 13,000 pieces of evidence to prove that.

I’d like to share a few visuals to help you with understanding where we are today.

What you can expect to see

Let’s look at the return on an investment in real estate verses other investments, none of which you can enjoy and use unless it is a home!

Also, keep in mind interests rates are around 4%. What happens if they go up ( and we know they will, it is just a matter of time.)
Today, the prices homes have fallen nationally to a level of 2003 home prices.

 Here in Northern Virginia, home prices have stabilized and have even gone up in most areas.

Sales Price in 2003 vs. Now

Rents have gone up and will  continue to do so!

Rent or Own?

Do you agree with the majority of folks who still think home ownership is a great investment?

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How appropriate for this Real Estate Market…..  Brian Buffini helps me to make lemonade out of lemons.  My clients have been the greatest this year and not only helped me with my success, but referred  others to me so they could take advantage of selling and buying homes when so many people are full of fear.  Winning is when confidence outshines fear and negativity.

Thank you for helping make this a great year. Yes, several hurdles with appraisal  issues, lending got tighter, inventory was less ( a good thing), and sometimes multiple offers made, but all in all, we all made it happen to our benefit.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

– Rudyard Kipling

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I thought this was worth passing to your since kitchens are usually the places which help to sell a home.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends

by Phoebe Chongchua

If you’re shopping for a new home, chances are, whether you cook or not, the kitchen is an area of great interest. The bathroom is also likely high on the list to inspect. That’s because we spend a lot of time in both of these rooms, socializing and taking care of the, ahem, important stuff.

These two areas of homes are so vital that there’s even an association to educate, certify industry professionals, and promote ideas for these rooms. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), founded in 1963 as The American Institute of Kitchen Dealers, has nearly 40,000 members. Earlier this year it released its top trends for kitchens and bathrooms for 2010.

Finding what you like in a home is most important but if you’re considering a resale in the future, understanding what appeals to the masses can help. Here, then, is a look at some of the top trends from NKBA.

Concealed Kitchens. This doesn’t mean that you walk into a home and can’t find the kitchen. Instead, the kitchen area blends with other areas of the home. Formal dining spaces often aren’t used much. But when a home has a kitchen that opens to a great room, it allows far more flexibility for people’s lives. What may be concealed are items such as commonly used appliances. Ultimately, the harmonious blending of color, design, and functionality make kitchens aesthetically pleasing and useful. NKBA writes in a press release that, “Clean structural lines coupled with sleek color palettes enable the space to establish a distinctive identity, without overpowering the surrounding rooms.”

Thirst-Quenching Stations. NKBA writes that beverage stations, complete with under-counter refrigerators that hold beverages and wine, are a new element in many kitchens. Exemplifying our attachment to our morning ritual, many of these beverage stations include a coffee station (“simple single-pot coffeemakers to larger units capable of espresso, latte, and cappuccino”), states NKBA. The design typically includes space for stemware, beverage mugs and glasses, and condiments. This setup allows people to gather to quench their thirst while being out of the way of the chefs.

Rounding Out the Edges. Think soft geometry. Countertops, islands, archways, and even light fixtures, are being designed with soft, round edges. According to NKBA, “The introduction of rounded islands and countertops carves a smooth-flowing traffic pattern throughout the room, while an appropriately placed arch will bring an overall softening to the more angular fixed features that are typical in kitchens and baths.”

Varied Heights. No more monotony. Kitchen countertops, islands, and even walls are being designed for specific purposes and that means their heights are varied. The various heights create “a beautiful counterbalance.”

Asian influence. There has long been a fascination with Asian countries and now it seems that the impact of Japanese design is showing up in subtle ways such as “clean lines, open spaces, and neutral color palettes with bold splashes of color in select areas,” according to NKBA. The association says oftentimes there will be “one strong anchor piece of Japanese origin” that designs are built around.

Whether you’re shopping for a new home or thinking of remodeling your current home, remember that trends do change. However, those that tend to stick are the ones that combine pleasing looks with highly functional features.

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