When you are selling your Harrisonburg home, it only makes sense you want the sale to close successfully. But, how do you define success? It's simple—maximizing your profits and minimizing disruption to your daily life. For nearly 90 percent of homeowners that means enlisting the services of experienced real estate agents like our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty.
Yet, there is a small percentage of homeowners who choose to list their homes for sale by owner (FSBO), perhaps hoping to save money by avoiding commissions. Unfortunately, FSBOs have a reputation for failure. We have created this list of five reasons why homes for sale by owners fail.
Contact Old Dominion Realty to sell your home in the eastern West Virginia and central Virginia real estate markets.
Sometimes, buying a home can be a long process. You search to find the perfect place. You bid, make a deal, and finalize the details. When your closing is on the calendar, the reality of actually owning a home finally begins to sink in. Before you sign on the dotted line, your mortgage company could decide to check your credit one more time. If they find an unanticipated problem, that last-minute credit check could derail your dreams of owning a home.
Our REALTORS® feel it's important to warn you. Last-minute credit checks are a real thing. If the mortgage company uncovers an issue, your final approval might not be final at all. To help you avoid surprises before your closing day, we offer our home buying help.
Maintain your debt-to-income ratio
Your debt-to-income ratio--your total monthly debt compared to your monthly income--is critical to your mortgage loan approval. If your ratio strays above the recommended 43%, your mortgage company may consider your debts less manageable. You may no longer qualify for your loan. To avoid this:
Don't apply for anything
Of course, you'll need new furniture, accessories, and other household items to fill your new home. Your mortgage approval is evidence that you can get the credit to make these purchases, but that doesn't mean you should.
Credit applications create a trail of information. Even if you decide not to open a new account, your application will generate an inquiry that becomes a part of your credit record. If your mortgage company runs a second credit check just prior to your closing, the evidence of your activity may lead them to question your debt-to-income ratio and possibly revoke your mortgage approval.
Maintain your cash cushion
Even if you have enough cash on hand to buy the furniture you need, resist making major purchases before your closing. Your mortgage decision is based on an evaluation that takes into account every facet of your financial life. Many mortgage companies require you to have a financial cushion that's large enough to pay your mortgage and other incidental expenses. If you reduce your cushion, it changes your financial outlook.
Don't change a thing
Your mortgage company takes a careful look at your financial picture before they approve your loan. If you change jobs, deplete your savings, or take out even a small loan, you change that picture. If possible, leave everything exactly the way it was when you were first approved.
Talk to your mortgage company
It's easy to get comfortable once you've weathered the mortgage approval process. You might not realize that the same loan officer who reviewed and approved your credit might take a second look just to make sure. If a change in your financial status makes you less creditworthy, your mortgage company might reverse the decision or offer a mortgage with a higher interest rate.
It's best to discuss these concerns with your mortgage company. Ask about their final approval steps and whether or not a last-minute credit check is a part of the process. Find out what you should and should not do to maintain your approved status.
Our real estate professionals can guide you through the home-buying process. Contact us when you need help buying or selling your home or if you need more information about avoiding last-minute credit surprises.
Located two miles south of Washington D.C. right between the beautiful Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, Harrisonburg attracts new residents every year. It's a great place to move: Up-and-coming professionals, growing families, and retirees all find their way here.
As one of the three top Virginia cities in the area, Harrisonburg is noticeably less expensive than its neighbors Richmond and Alexandria--while still offering truly amazing homes.
Of course, you'll want to start enjoying everything Harrisonburg has to offer as soon as you can. That means taking care of the preliminaries so you'll be comfortable in your new home.
Here's how to navigate some of the most common issues when moving to Harrisonburg:
You'll find the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) right on Rt. 11 at 3281 Peoples Drive, Harrisonburg, VA. To get your Virginia driver's license or ID, be sure you can bring multiple forms of identification (such as a passport or valid out-of-state ID.) You'll also need some mail and bills that include your local address, such as utility bills.
Vehicles must be inspected each year to be compliant with state rules. Any local auto servicing center approved to perform auto inspections can get this done for you. An inspection is necessary to accelerate the process of getting your local license plate and registration.
For electricity, you'll need an account with Harrisonburg Electric Company.
Residents moving from out of state may be surprised to see how common natural gas and fuel oil are in Virginia. It's good to be familiar with natural gas services at Columbia Gas of Virginia and propane gas services at AmeriGas. Some popular fuel oil providers include Columbia Gas of Virginia, Rockingham Petroleum Cooperative, and Quarles Energy Service.
If your home has existing water and sewer service, all you need to do is drop by the billing office and pay a deposit to switch the service to your name. When you make your deposit on the morning of a business day, you'll usually have service by the end of the day.
Trash pickup begins immediately for all Harrisonburg residents living on public streets. The city uses an "all-in-one" approach for its waste and recycling collection. Trash pickup schedule depends on your home's location. It's a good idea to review the local trash collection fees.
The local area provides a wide range of public transit options. In particular, Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation is known for its clean and efficient buses. Bus schedule and route information can help you plan your trip. Also, take a look at Harrisonburg bus fares.
Dogs, cats, and other pets are welcome in Harrisonburg. All animals, regardless of species, must be on a leash while in public. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after pets while on walks. Animal bites should be reported to Animal Control at (540) 437-2670.
Virginia law requires current rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats aged 16 weeks and up. You can have this performed and get a certificate verifying vaccination status at any licensed veterinary office. Dog licenses are also required for any dog aged 16 and up – a dog license tag should be affixed to the pet's collar any time he or she is not on the owner's property. Dog licenses are available from locations throughout the city.
Will 2018 be the year you get fit? If you're one of the many Americans who made a fitness resolution on New Year's Day, congratulations! You're heading toward a healthier, happier life, and fitness goals don't have to be ridiculous to make a big impact. Instead of holding yourself to a grueling gym schedule, you can start with small, manageable goals – like attending a weekly class. Staunton is full of coaches and classes that make working out fun.
Our REALTORS® have plenty of experience helping people transform their lives, and our local businesses can help you transform your body too. Here are ten gyms and fitness centers in Staunton that are sure to help you stick to that New Year's resolution:
Is your new year going to include a new home too? If you're looking at Staunton homes for sale, make sure you have an experienced agent on your side. Contact us for help buying or selling your home in the Staunton area.
Whether you're searching for a home in Harrisonburg, Staunton or Franklin, West Virginia, there's something you should know--wintertime temperatures can get pretty chilly in our area. When snow and cold temperatures keep you inside, turning up the thermostat is only one way to keep your home comfortable.
Our REALTORS® have a few simple projects for you to do to stay warm until the spring weather arrives. These projects can restore your home's functionality, cut energy costs, and protect your household's health.
1. Spend a day with your windows and doors
It's nice to have lots of beautiful windows and doors. You can stay inside and watch snowflakes flutter to the ground. Unfortunately, windows and doors are the primary avenues for warm air to escape to the outside and cold air to enter. You can minimize the problem with these DIY fixes.
2. Keep your fireplace safe and warm
National Fire Protection Association research shows that heating equipment mishaps are a leading cause of home fires. Dirty chimneys are responsible for 30 percent of those fires but don't stop using your fireplace, just maintain it.
3. Take care of your furnace
If you haven't had your furnace inspected this season, it probably needs a little TLC to perform efficiently all winter long.
4. Insulate cold spaces
It's difficult to insulate an entire home without professional help. You can still perform a few insulation tasks to prevent heat from using its favorite escape routes.
5. Cover your hot water heater
When you insulate your hot water heater with a specially made "jacket," you can save up to 16 percent on your annual hot water heating bill. See Energy.gov for hot water heater insulation tips.
Contact Old Dominion Realty to buy and sell homes in eastern West Virgnia and central Virginia.
This past week my son was invited to a Birthday party at Lex Lynx mini-golf. We were really excited to go, because
A. Celebrating a sweet friend
B. It got us out of the house after all this Chill has had us cooped up
C. I love mini golf and couldn't wait to watch my little give it a go
I was totally imagining this uncoordinated discombobulation of 500 swings from my little for him to get the ball in the hole. And do you know what? He did great, but I was right. The coordination just isn't there yet, but he had a fantastic time. I'm also not judging because my efforts are not much better.