Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Common Fixes for New NOVA Homeowners

You've found your new home in Northern Virginia and are anxious to settle into homeownership. But after investing in your own piece of NOVA real estate, you may notice some flaws in the home that weren't immediately apparent to you. Maybe a squeak in the floor, a door that sticks— whatever your NOVA home's oddity may be, you can fix it! Here are some common fixes for new homeowners:

Squeaky Floor
Floors that squeak most likely mean the sub flooring isn't properly anchored to the joists, Ethan Hagan, the editor of One Project Closer, a home-improvement website, told MSN Real Estate.

"To address squeaky floors, homeowners need to add more anchors, preferably screws, to eliminate the movement," Hagan said. With a kit from a hardware store, one that includes screws, and a power drill, you can have this situation handled in about thirty minutes.

Clogged Drain
A clogged drain, or slow draining sink, is a common problem and one that's quite easy to fix. Locate the P-Trap under the sink and clear out any blockages. You may simply need pliers to remove this section of the pipe— and a bucket to catch the water inside— after which you can put everything back together.

Sticky Door
Doors that are difficult to open or close can be attributed to something as little as faulty screws or humidity. Sometimes all you need is to tighten the screws in the hinges or to sand down the door itself to better fit in the doorway. If you need to do any sanding or cutting, this could take up to several hours.

Cracked Floor
A crack in your Northern Virginia home's floor can mean a problem with the foundation if it's severe enough— but smaller ones can be fixed by the homeowners themselves. A self-leveling crack-sealing compound and a caulk gun are all you'll need for this project in addition to a few hours of labor.

Ready to buy a home in the NOVA area? Let me help you find the home of your dreams!

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Housing Price Gains Mean for NOVA Homebuyers

Housing prices have been on the rise for months now and Northern Virginia homebuyers are taking notice. In many parts of the country, buyer demand and lagging new home construction continue to push prices upward at near double-digit paces and now, how the gains will affect the area economies may be a worry for many in the local real estate markets.

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors suggested that too many buyers are chasing too few sellers— a statement that amplified the problem of low inventory in local markets this year. Because of the high buyer demand, and lack of inventory, housing prices are said to continue to rise for the rest of 2013 and into next year.

For those on the other side— the sellers— housing price gains are a good thing. However, increases that exceed income growth are detrimental for both buyers and the area economies. Even still, it's important to note that demand from homebuyers continues to push forward in spite of rigid lending standards now adopted by many banks as nearly one-third of all buyers are using cash, reported the NAR.

What does it all mean for local NOVA homebuyers? It is suggested that banks will soon loosen their tight standards, making the home buying process all the more enjoyable for both first-time buyers and current homeowners. While prices continue to surge, they are said to increase even more as time moves forward in the market. In short, if you're looking to buy in the NOVA area— the time is now!

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

No More Downsizing for NOVA Homebuyers

It seems downsizing your NOVA home may now be a thing of the past, according to Realtor Magazine. Mortgage rates and housing prices have been rising, but so has the average size of the home Northern Virginia homebuyers are searching for. 

For the past three years, the average size of new homes has been increasing— to the tune of 8 percent since 2009. "The median new-home size in 2012 reached a record high at 2,306 square feet according to a newly released data from the Census Bureau," stated Realtor Magazine.

The interest of homebuyers in smaller homes stemmed from the recession, but now recent data shows that period is recovering in addition to the real estate market. Americans are upsizing again, looking for homes that are larger than the ones in which they currently reside.

Why are they buying homes with more space? It could mean they are living with more people, a college graduate has moved back home or older parents have moved in.

If you're looking to upgrade your current Northern Virginia home in Arlington, Fairfax, or Alexandria City, let us help you find the right property with just the right amount of space. 

Earle Whitmore