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How to Be Energy Efficient This Fall

How To Be Energy Efficient This Fall

Summer has been over and Fall is really here, temperatures in Hampton Roads are beginning to drop, and you’re dreading having to turn the heat on for the first time. Firing up the furnace can burn a hole in your pocket, but there’s something you can do about it. Consider these tips to help lower your heating bill.
Replace Your Air Filters

Get new air filters for your central heating and cooling. The filters get clogged and it takes more and more energy to keep your house warm. Be sure to clear out any dust bunnies or cobwebs from behind the filter. Use a vacuum if necessary.
Does Your Attic Need Insulation?

Heat rises, and if your attic is not adequately insulated, then your central heating system will be stuck sending all your hot air (and your heating bill) straight through the roof. There are three options for attic insulation: roll on insulation, spray on insulation, or polyurethane foam. Roll on insulation is the best option for the do-it-yourselfers out there, but you might consider using polyurethane foam if you plan to turn that attic space into a bedroom.
Caulk Up The Windows

Cold air is constantly sneaking into your house through the cracks in your window. Use a temporary silicone caulk to seal up your windows during the winter. When you’re ready to open them up again in the spring, the silicone caulk will crack right off without damaging the paint.
Wrap Your Pipes

Wrapping your pipes will insulate them from the cold to prevent freezing, as well as saving you money on energy bills. Use a special insulation sleeve from the hardware store or do it the old fashioned way with heat tape. This is especially important if you have pipes in a crawlspace or basement that isn’t insulated.
Let The Light In

You don’t have to buy special panels to take advantage of solar power. Open the curtains on south-facing windows, and heat up your house the natural way. With the sun’s help, you won’t need to bump your thermostat up as often.
Be Smart With The Thermostat

Don’t be afraid to turn your thermostat down a little bit. If you’re leaving the house for a while, bump it down a few degrees and give your system a rest. Try throwing an extra blanket on the bed and dropping a few degrees before bed. You’ll only see a difference on your bill.
Look for more real estate and household tips upcoming on our Blog, and be sure to like our Facebook page to stay up to date with current listings and market trends! https://www.facebook.com/southerlandrealestate

Why You Need a Real Estate Agent

With the housing market recovering from the recent decline, home prices have increased more than 11% just in 2013. Home sales have also increased since the market crash, due hugely to the comparative low mortgage rates now being offered.

Because of the previous market crash, the housing market can be tricky. With foreclosures, short sales, and tighter lending standards, buying a home without a real estate agent can cause potential homeowners to loose the house of their dreams without the proper guidance.

There are many reasons why having a real estate agent is a good choice when purchasing any kind of real estate. With such a large investment, it is important you have the proper guidance and expertise. Below are just a few reasons why you should you have a real estate agent:

Reason 1: Good real estate agents have contacts with local lenders, who can often offer low interest rates and will act in your best interest. On your own, it can be difficult to navigate the financial world and therefore leave you with a higher interest rate and higher mortgage payment.

Reason 2: It is a real estate agents role in life to help you find your dream home. They have a large database of resources and homes, as well as up to date information on the surrounding marketplace. Having a real estate agent who is familiar with the areas you are looking to purchase in can save you valuable time and money. Without an agent, you will have to navigate the housing market on your own, potentially loosing out on your dream house while you search countless others.

Reason 3: With a real estate agent, you have the power to negotiate a better and fair price based on the current market trends, as well as obtaining qualified financing that fits your needs. Having a real estate agent as your negotiator can help you complete an easy and stressless real estate transaction. The initial agreement is only the beginning step in the purchase process. The required paperwork alone with appraisal, inspection, and financing can be overwhelming without the proper guidance.

Reason 4: An experienced agent will understand the closing paperwork and knows what errors to look for regarding closing costs, title insurance, and other fees at closing. Would you want to be left without proper title insurance and closing paperwork with your home investment?

With Real Estate Purchases being on of the bigger financial transactions most people will experience in their lifetime, having a professional that has years of experience and knowledge can be one of your most valuable resources!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End of Foreclosures?

As the end of the year grows closer, Foreclosure Sales rapidly diminish. The Real Estate Market is steadily continuing to grow as the economy has begun to hit its highest peak in years. Subsequently, the number of foreclosed homes is steadily decreasing, and are projected to possibly even vanish by next year.

As of August, the number of Foreclosed homes is down from nearly double digits last year, bringing the percentage of foreclosure sales to a record low of 6% as compared to the last few years. With mortgages taken in the last four years performing with very little defaults, the number of foreclosures is essentially back to normal at only .04%. Considering the downturn of the economy over the last several years, there appears to finally be an end in sight for struggling homeowners.

While seriously delinquent mortgages still do exist, and some states vary on the length of time before foreclosure commences, the statistics are clear that Foreclosures are rapidly decreasing and the Real Estate Market is steadily increasing. Home values are beginning to rise and the reality of owning a home is becoming easier for more families. As the number of foreclosures decline, changes in market values also occur, commonly increasing the market values of other homes in a previously distressed community.

 

Easing of Distressed Homes Inventory Bright Spot on

Exhibiting both losses and gains for the month of April, the Hampton Roads real estate market is

off to a relatively neutral start for second quarter 2014. While residential listings for sale and residential

pending sales are up, residential settled sales and distressed home activity have seen slight drops.

Residential active listings increased 8.91% when compared to April 2013. Of the region’s seven

major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach)

Hampton was the only city to experience a year-over-year decrease in the number of homes for sale,

down 2.58% from last year. Newport News and Chesapeake were the two key influences to the region’s

uptick in residential active listings, with increases of 13.44% and 13.41% respectively. The months’

supply of inventory of residential homes for sale is currently 6.69 months, up 3.24% from April 2013’s

6.48 months.

The Roar of March More Kitten Than Lion

(Virginia Beach, Virginia – April 2014)

First quarter 2014 closes out mildly, with March producing marginal statistical fluctuations yearover-
year for Hampton Roads’ real estate market. Overall, residential active listing and pending counts
are up, as settled sales are on the decline. Meanwhile, the distressed market makes solid improvements.

Residential active listings in March increased 5.42%
when compared to the same time period in 2013. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake,
Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach) all but Hampton experienced a
year-over-year increase in the number of homes for sale.

The region’s residential pending sales increased a slight 2.15% when compared to March 2013.
Suffolk saw the most substantial year-over-year increase at 45.87%. Norfolk and Virginia Beach were the
only two major cities to experience year-over-year drops in the number of homes under contract, flagging
10.89% and 5.91% respectively.

Distressed homes, those that are either short sales or foreclosures, had a considerably smaller
impact on the region during March 2014. Distressed homes accounted for 19.5% of the area’s residential
active listings, a 5.69% decline year-over-year.

March 2014 Summary

All Categories March 2014 March 2013 Percent Change
Total Property Active Listings 13,889 13,109 5.95%
Total Residential Active Listings 11,180 10,605 5.42%
Total Property Pending Sales 2,072 2,055 0.83%
Total Residential Pending Sales 1,997 1,955 2.15%
Total Property Sales 1,630 1,778 -8.32%
Total Residential Sales 1,557 1,677 -7.16%
Total Residential New Construction Sales 204 210 -2.86%
Median Residential Sales Price $198,000 $199,000 -0.50%
Months’ Supply of Inventory 6.30 6.38 -1.25%