Manassas May Raise Property Taxes 29%!!!

According to an article in the Washington Post, the Manassas City Council is proposing raising property taxes 29% in order to fund a new fire and rescue department and additional police positions.   Residents will have a chance to comment on 4/21 at 7:30PM at the city council meeting.

The proposal is to raise the real estate tax rate from 85.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to $1.015.   The new tax rate would fund the city’s proposed $309.4 million budget, which is 6.4% higher than this year’s budget.   Next year’s budget also cuts $115,000 that would have gone to bike trails, crosswalks and playground equipment.

Buyer’s Beware of “I WANT A Foreclosures/Shortsale Deal” Mentality!

If you are buying, do not make the mistake of ignoring traditional sellers.   All we hear in real estate from our buyers now days is…show the foreclosure or short-sale deal.   By doing this, you are selling yourself short.   The majority of the traditional homes that are for sale are beautiful, clean and   attainable without the high risk of a foreclosure and short-sale.   Our sellers are more than willing to negotiate for the most part, and you don’t have to wait weeks to get a response.   There are some great deals on the market right now, that are for sale by traditional sellers.   Don’t hold out for that deal…It might never come, and sooner or later things will turn around and you will find yourself left behind.

Buyer’s Are Here!!!Why Is Your Home Not Selling?

I know I have said this before, but if your home is for sale and you are getting little to no traffic….. your home is NOT priced to Sell.  

We are now seeing multiple offers on not only single family detached homes but now w/ townhomes.   Not LOWBALL multiple offers, but LIST PRICE OR BETTER.   (Don’t believe me….give me a call,   I will show you the proof, or let’s schedule an appointment and I will take you out and actually show you what is going on in today’s market.

I went out with 3 different buyers this week.   The majority of homes that my buyer’s wanted to look at had offers or multiple offers on them.   So instead of showing them 10 to 15 homes…They only ended up seeing 3 to 5 on average! Almost all of the homes with offers were for full price or more!

It is a tough market especially for traditional sellers.   If you price it correctly you will get a buyer.   (When I say this my clients always say or think…Candice that means price it low.)  

Now let’s think about this.   If your price is too high and you are getting little or NO traffic and you are LUCKY enough to get an offer, it will probably be LOW and on top of that they are going to ask for 3% closing and then expect YOU to pay for every little thing at home inspection time.   Now if you have it priced WELL…..you will get lots of traffic and probably get multiple offers at the price you have it listed at….Not a low-ball offer.   You the seller are now in the driver’s seat and your buyer feels that he has gotten a deal….That means your buyer is less likely to ask for closing costs or repairs.   Why, because they are getting a “deal”

In the end, you, the seller, are saving the money.

Open House on April 19, 2008 at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir.

On April 19, 2008 at 13:00 PM, you are invited to an Open House at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir. in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at http://www.candiceskoby.com. Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

Prevent Foreclosure….

*A short sale occurs when the net proceeds from the sale of a home are insufficient to pay off the 1st lien.

Short-Sales is a term that is being used more and more in real estate these days.   For the seller it is away to avoid foreclosure, if they qualify.   But, for the buyer these can be risky!   Why?   (This is my biggest question!)   In my opinion these are the three biggest risks the buyer takes when becoming involved in a short sale:

*You have to wait for an answer on your offer for 2 months sometimes.   No short-sale is the same, and while you are waiting other buyers can usually put in other offers, that might be more attractive than yours!  

*In a typical transaction there is the Agents, the Seller, the Buyer and the Buyer’s Lender.   IN A SHORT SALE, THERE ARE 11 DIFFERENT PLAYERS INVOLVED.   All eleven have a say in YOUR offer that you presented to the seller’s agent.

 *The buyer is buying the home AS IS.   That means the buyer could be buying the home’s problems too!

 There are some good short sale homes out there.   Just make sure you know the risks.   Always feel free to call me if you have any questions.  

Meeting with Freddie Mac

Last Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to meet with the Manager of Loss Mitigation for Freddie Mac.   We discussed foreclosures, short sales, and how to help our clients   find REALISTIC options to avoid foreclosure.   Why is this important?   Look at the statistics below provided  by Freddie Mac:

-Nationwide, 300,000 loans are 30 days delinquent or greater.

-75,000 loans are are delinquent 90 days or greater, nationwide.

-Freddie Mac conducts over 2,000 foreclosure sales a month.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE….If you  know you will not be able to make your payment on your loan call your bank or give me a call.   We can go over all of your options.   There  ARE options.   I have to tell you, I could not believe all of the options individuals  have access  to, when trying avoid foreclosure.   But the KEY is to act quickly.    

Existing home sales increase unexpectedly

According to a recent article in the Prince William Pulse newspaper, after six months of declining home sales, sales increased in February.   The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes rose by 2.9% in February.   This was the first sales increase since last July.   The median price for single family homes was down 8.7% from a year ago.   The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, stated that he is not expecting a notable gain in existing-home sales until the second half of this year.

Open House on April 05, 2008 at 14500 Swordale Lane

On April 05, 2008 at 13:00 PM, you are invited to an Open House at 14500 Swordale Lane in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at http://www.candiceskoby.com. Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

Open House on March 30, 2008 at 14500 Swordale Lane

On March 30, 2008 at 13:00 PM, you are invited to an Open House at 14500 Swordale Lane in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at http://www.candiceskoby.com. Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

Open House on March 29, 2008 at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir.

On March 29, 2008 at 13:30 PM, you are invited to an Open House at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir. in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at http://www.candiceskoby.com. Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

Mortgages Drop Below 6%

For the past month, mortgage rates have climbed up above the 6% mark.   But now that the Federal Reserve has taken strong action to help the American economy, thirty year fixed home loans averaged 5.87 according to Freddie Mac. This time last week rates were at 6.13%.  

I was also doing some reading today and found it very interesting that the majority of Americans  feel that 2009 will be a better year for the economy.    

Open House on March 25, 2008 at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir.

On March 25, 2008 at 11:30 AM, you are invited to an Open House at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir. in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at http://www.candiceskoby.com. Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

How You Can Help Your Realtor

Every time we list a home, we are asked, “Should I spend more money to have my home staged?”

We are living in a real estate market in which sellers must take steps to make their home stand out from the competition, including low priced foreclosures and short sales.   There are some ways sellers can make their home stand out and do some “staging” of their own.

*Declutter as much as possible.   (Clear off your kitchen and bathroom sinks.   Get rid of old newspapers. Clean out the garage.)
*Lighten Up.   Try to make your home as light and bright as possible.

*Keep everything clean!

*PUT AWAY THE SWORD COLLECTION.

*Remove all unpleasant smells.

*Use FRESH flowers throughout your home.

*Think Spacious!   Try to have closets only half full.

Tax Time=Deductions!?

Another reason it is a great time to BUY is because of long-term investment opportunities.   Make sure to  ASK your accountant  about the tax advantages below, to see if they apply to your situation.

****Ask About Mortgage Interest Payments: If you own your primary residence your mortgage interest should be a deduction.  

****Ask About Mortgage Insurance Payments: Mortgage insurance deductions can be taken for an additional 3 years, thanks to our Congressional Men and Women.

****Ask About Points: The points that you  pay to your lender when you purchase a home may be deductible.   In addition, points that are paid by the seller for the buyer may be a deduction as well.  Of course, this prepayment of interest must meet certain basic requirements.

****Ask About Property Taxes:   Annual taxes that are based on your homes assessed value may lead to another substantial deduction.  

****Ask About Home Equity:   The amount you pay in interest on your home equity loan,  might  entitle you to other  tax benefits that aren’t available by other credit sources.