Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Final Inspections: What you should look for

Whether you are settling on a home purchase or moving into a rental property under a lease, there will be a final "walk through" so to speak.  You may be wondering what this will entail.

Here is a link to a very informative article on final walk throughs.  Once a deal has settled or a lease signed, you will be responsible for the property as it stands.  Why not get the best for your money?

Thank you for visiting and call me if you would like to buy or sell a home.  Experience Counts!

                                                    Carla Brooks

PS photo is a courtesy of Free digital photos

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fairfax County Tax Assessments have arrived!

If you live in Fairfax County then you have most likely received your 2015 Tax Assessment.  I was surprised to see that the assessment on my personal residence had gone up 7.11%.  While it is good news to see real estate values increase, no one welcomes a larger tax bill!  How bittersweet is that?

News on the 2015 Fairfax County Tax Assessments can be found here

I generally receive 5 calls a year from elderly residents in Fairfax County who are struggling to pay their real estate taxes.  Yes, they have homes of value yet they do not have CASH.

There are classes offered by the county to educate the residents on the path to real estate tax relief.  Even if one falls into the "low income" category (<$52,000), one must also have personal assets below a certain threshold ($340,000) to qualify for real estate tax exemption.  A synopsis of these rules can be found here.

Examining the history of real estate taxes in Fairfax County is a real eye opener in terms of budgeting for retirement years.  Even if your home is paid off, there will be a monthly payment to Fairfax County for real estate taxes and chances are it will increase over time.

Interestingly enough, once one leaves the Northern Virginia area of Virginia, things are a little different so to speak.  The residents of Southwest Virginia are very protective of budgets and make it clear to the lawmakers that increasing taxes is a definite "no no".  There is something to admire about these Virginians!  They are budget conscious and hold their elected officials accountable.  I have spoken to several retirees that have joined the battle to keep real estate taxes at bay in Franklin County.  They found areas where money was being frivolously spent and corrections were made in procedure.  It takes time and energy to preserve our freedoms yet so worth it.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you have a nice day.  Remember, if you want to buy or sell a home, call me today.  I am here to help.

                                                                    Carla Brooks

Monday, February 16, 2015

Eight Renovation projects that will pay you back!

Want to spruce up your home over the long run?  Pick the improvements that will pay you back when its time to sell.  Ris Media's Housecall blog has a great post on home renovations on February 5th, 2015.  Check it out today.

Enjoy the coming snowstorm.  Its always interesting to see how much precipitation we receive (versus the predictions)...

                                                          Thank you for visiting,

                                                                 Carla Brooks

Happy Presidents Day!

                                                                 Enjoy the day.

                                                                 Carla Brooks

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day

One of my favorite Christmas ornaments,  I keep it around till after Valentines Day:)

Have a great day,

Carla Brooks

Thursday, February 12, 2015

January 2015 Fairfax County Real Estate Statistics for Single Family homes

Here is the Link to the January 2015 Fairfax County Statistics from Mris MLS.

For interpretation purposes, let go through the report together:

New listings are up 6.9 % compared to January of 2014 ( no surprise since most homeowners do not want to market their homes during the Holiday season) and the 5 year average listings are around 591 which is exactly what January depicts.  Some of this inventory is a "hold over" from 2014 since the market "softened" during the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014.

New Pendings are up 28.9% from the previous month (December ) and up 18.9% from January 2014.

Closed sales is an interesting statistic.  I attribute the 7.8 % rise to pent up demand from a "softer" 2014 market and a milder winter than 2013-2014.

Interestingly enough, the Median sold prices are up 4.6% from January 2014.  Amazing that the median sold price can be higher after a period of slower sales.

As it stands today, the market is very much a sellers market in the lower price ranges ($600,000 and under) and the upper price range properties are moving in the buyer's favor.  Interestingly enough, the average days on the market is 85.  Just about the time one thinks they can offer a bit lower than asking price on a property, other offers can appear on the table as well!

Hope this makes sense.  Call me anytime with questions.

If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today for expert advice.  I keep track of the market statistics and inventory so I can point you in the right direction!

                                                             Thank you,

                                                            Carla Brooks

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Winter Update from Dulles Metro Rail Construction

I will not be able to post the Fairfax County Statistics for January 2015 today, due to technical issues.  Hopefully, I will get to that tomorrow.

Let's talk instead, about the Silver Line....

Its always interesting to read what is happening with the Silver Line Metro Project which is now in Phase 2.  The newsletter is the best way to understand the latest in the construction project and to get a read on the ridership progress at Tysons Corner the Reston/Wiehle stations.

The newsletter can be read here.

If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today.  I am here to help with the latest in real estate technology and information.

                                                         Thank you

                                                        Carla Brooks