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Date Archives: January 2020

House Talk with Toria Home

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Buy a Farm | 2 Posts
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Sell a Home | 27 Posts
Staunton VA | 15 Posts
Waynesboro, VA | 1 Posts
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January
27

5 Reasons You Were Denied a Mortgage Loan--And How to Fix Them

Buy a House Home Loan Approval
Getting denied for a mortgage loan may put a temporary halt to your dream of buying a house, but it doesn't have to be permanent. When you find out why your loan application was denied, you can correct any issues and reapply. Here are five common reasons your loan application can be denied as well as suggestions from our REALTORS® on how to fix them:

  1. Check your credit score.
    Your credit score is based on your credit history and is supposed to represent your creditworthiness. If you've failed to make payments or have made them late, you may have a credit score that's too low to qualify for a mortgage loan.

    What to do: Check your credit reports to make sure they don't contain any errors, and if they do, work with the credit reporting agency to correct them. If you've been denied a mortgage loan because of accurate information, start making all your bill and loan payments on time, every time. Also, you can check with a different lender.

  2. You don't have enough money for a down payment and closing costs.
    You'll need to make a down payment as a condition of most mortgage loans. In addition, you'll need to be able to pay closing costs, which are fees that are due at the closing of a real estate transaction. The down payment and closing costs can't be included in the mortgage loan, so if you don't have the money to pay them, you may be turned down.

    What to do: A relative may be willing to give you money for a down payment as a gift. You can also ask the seller to pay some of the closing costs.

  3. You have too much debt compared to your income.
    Your mortgage lender will look at your debt-to-income ratio, which calculates how much of your monthly income goes to debt payments. If your lender thinks you won't be able to cover the monthly mortgage payment in addition to your debts, you may not be able to get a mortgage loan.

    What to do: Pay down more of your debt and also avoid taking on any more debt. You can also try to reduce the interest rate on some of your debt by, for example, transferring your credit card balance to one with a lower interest rate.

  4. You recently changed jobs.
    Lenders prefer it if borrowers have held their current jobs for at least two years. This represents stable employment and gives the lender confidence that your income will allow you to make your mortgage payments. If you've recently changed jobs, a lender may deny your mortgage application.

    What to do: Ask your employer to provide documentation such as your job offer letter or contract and several pay stubs.

  5. Your home appraisal is too low.
    A condition of your mortgage approval will be an appraisal of the property. If the appraisal is higher or in line with the purchase price, you won't have any trouble. But if it's lower, your mortgage loan application may be denied.

    What to do: Try to get the seller to accept a lower price, or pay the difference between the appraisal and the purchase price in cash.

Buy a House with Old Dominion Realty
Contact us today to find out more about how to qualify for a mortgage loan, even if you've been previously denied. We're very familiar with the mortgage loan process and can suggest lenders that have helped others buy Harrisonburg homes for sale.

January
20

Five Smart Home Upgrades to Sell Your Home

Sell Your Home Smart Home Upgrades
Are you thinking about selling your home soon? You're not alone!

There are many beautiful Harrisonburg homes for sale right now. If you want your home to sell quickly and for a great price, you'll need to put some effort into making it stand out from the crowd.

Almost all sellers will spend time sprucing up their curb appeal and making small upgrades like adding a fresh coat of paint. However, our REALTORS® know that today's homebuyers want more than that.

Luckily, one of the most popular upgrades among buyers is both easy and relatively inexpensive. We're talking about smart home technology! However, not all smart home features are created equally. Here are five upgrades that are definitely worth the investment.

  1. Video Doorbell
    Video doorbells are all the rage lately. Since they're easy to install and only cost a few hundred dollars, this is an upgrade you'll want to consider. Look for models that record high-quality video, contain motion sensors, and will communicate with smartphone apps.

  2. Smart Thermostat
    Reducing our carbon footprint isn't just great for the environment; it can also save a ton of money on utility bills. This is one of the reasons why smart thermostats are one of the most desirable features among homebuyers.

    Some higher-end thermostats come with voice activation and geo-fencing that allows the system to detect when people are in a room. Depending on your budget, these additional features may also help to differentiate your home from others with a standard smart thermostat.

  3. Upgraded Smoke Detectors
    Smoke detectors have also gone through a renaissance, making the smart versions far more desirable. The latest smoke/carbon dioxide detectors will communicate with your smartphone when there's a problem or when the battery life is running low.

    At the cost of about $100 each, this is a great investment. Adding this feature to your home will give buyers extra peace of mind that they're sure to appreciate.

  4. Smart Lighting
    Smart lighting isn't just cool; it's also another upgrade that will save the new buyers some money over the long term. Consider purchasing a starter kit with several smart bulbs and a hub. Simply swap out some of your existing bulbs with these new WiFi-enabled bulbs. Doing so will seriously improve your home's "wow" factor. 

  5. Motorized Shades or Blinds 
    Motorized shades or blinds make a big impact that can significantly improve your bottom line. The best models allow you to open and close your shades or blinds with a push of a button or a voice command. Some even allow you to pe-set opening and closing times each day. 

    Admittedly, this is a larger investment, as the cost is often upwards of $1,000 per window. However, in the right type of home, it can be an excellent selling point.

Not sure whether a smart home upgrade is worth the investment for your specific home? Consult with one of our REALTORS® before you make the purchase. We're happy to give you an honest assessment and help you choose the perfect upgrades based on your home's value and the current market.

Sell Your Home with Old Dominion Realty

Selling your home doesn't have to be a hassle! Our real estate professionals at Old Dominion Realty have the knowledge and expertise to make the entire process a breeze. Whether you're ready to list or you're just starting to think about it, contact us today. 

January
13

How Farms Grow a Community

Home is where the heart is — and it's the compassion, honesty, and integrity that's inside our hearts that truly brings us together as a united community. Our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty believe that home is more than a place where we live. It's a place where our food, our children and our community grows. It's a space where we come together to support each other and pass along our values. Home is where we give back to our community and our local farmlands are vital resources that foster the growth of each and every one of us.

Farming is the largest private industry in the state. There are over 45,000 farms within state lines that give back to our communities and our planet. Farming is also a personally rewarding experience, as many of the Virginia farms currently operating are small, manageable spaces that farmers tend to for enjoyment rather than generating their primary income.

There are numerous ways that farming helps our community grow in every sense of the word. Large and small farms alike make substantial positive impacts in our daily lives, often affecting us in ways we're unaware of.

  • Farms create jobs for our community.
    Whether it's tending to the soil, harvesting the crop or selling the goods at the market, every farm creates occupational opportunities for the men and women of our community.

  • Farms also stimulate our economy.
    Just as they provide jobs, local farmers also stimulate our local economy by encouraging us to keep our income flowing within our region. Proceeds from every local purchase are more likely to be reinvested into the community compared to money spent at corporations or chains.

  • Farmers educate us about food culture and agriculture.
    Knowing where our food comes from is the first step to understanding the importance of sustainable, local food systems. By educating us on how and why certain foods are grown, we gain the knowledge needed to make everyday decisions that positively impact our environment.

  • Local farms reduce carbon emissions.
    Urban agriculture keeps our cycle of food within the community. Instead of selecting mass-produced foods that often result in increased industrial pollution, choosing to do business with local farms cuts down on fossil fuel usage.

  • Local foods nourish our community.
    Across the country, many adults and children do not get the nutrition they need from quality foods. Locally grown foods preserve biodiversity and food security which enables the community to get the nutrition their bodies desperately need.

We invite you to visit one of these area farms to show your appreciation, gratitude and learn more about how these farms are helping our community grow year after year.

  • Back Home on the Farm Adventures — 2915 Willow Run Rd., Harrisonburg, VA 22802
    A fun-filled farm hosting family-friendly events throughout the year.

  • Harrisonburg Farmer's Market — 228 S. Liberty St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Stop by the Turner Pavilion and meet many of our local producers who bring fresh food to the market each week.

  • White Oak Lavender Farm — 2644 Cross Keys Rd., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    A farm specializing in lavender plants and products, you can pick your own plants or choose from their wide variety of lavender goods.

For help finding a home in one of the Virginia or West Virginia communities we represent, contact us today.
Buy a Home with Old Dominion Realty

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