WV Real Estate Offices Staying Busy This Summer

Local Housing Market Gains Traction

015 wv real estate market

wv real estate market on the upswing

From Teays Valley to Charleston, Parkersburg to Huntington, and everywhere in between, local Real Estate agencies are seeing a strong demand from buyers and fast success from sellers.

Recently, we asked some local Real Estate professionals to weigh in on the current state of our area’s housing market. Most agree the increase in buyer activity has spurred the perfect time to sell a home.

Josh McGrath, Broker of Real Estate Central, llc. believes increased buyer activity has infused competition and demand: two ingredients that spell a “Seller’s Market.”

“There seems to be more buyers active in the market as opposed to last year, however, with the lack of decent homes to choose from there is not a huge increase in pending transactions,” he explained.  “Buyers are dominating the market at the moment, and the lack of inventory is making it difficult for them to find a home.”

McGrath and his agents are seeing most activity in Hurricane and Charleston, WV.

Craig Allison, Broker of Property Elite, llc. agrees that Summer 2015 has brought a “Seller’s Market” to the Kanawha Valley.

“This is a seller’s market, and there’s not enough inventory on the market for the droves of buyers currently looking for a home,” he said. “If a house is priced properly, it’s going into contract very quickly, and after multiple offers.”

Allison and his crew are seeing strong activity coming from Teays Valley, Hurricane, Winfield, South Charleston and Cross Lanes. The broker said he is also seeing Ripley and Jackson County  rising as the “best-bang-for-your-buck” area.

Speaking of the Jackson County market, Melissa Morris, Broker of Jackson County Realty, llc. and Exclusive Realty, llc. agrees that 2015 has brought with it a great local market. She has seen increased activity from both buyers and sellers.

“Spring 2015 has been great,” Morris said. “The market has improved tremendously…Interest Rates are low, and if they continue, this will spur additional activity.”

Mike Callaghan, Broker of Great Expectations Realty, llc. agrees with Morris. His agency saw a strong market begin as soon as Spring arrived.

“Across the board there is more activity this Spring than last Spring,” he noted. “When a quality house is placed on the market at an appropriate price point, it usually will go into contract very quickly.”

The Real Estate professionals all agree a long, cold winter, combined with low interest rates and a buyer surge is helping fuel the strong local market we’re seeing. They’re looking forward to a successful summer.

If you’re looking for a home, take advantage of low interest rates. If you’re needing to sell a home, take advantage of buyer competition.

By: Justin Waybright
Marketing Associate, Boggs & Associates, Inc.

4 Cheap & Simple Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Home Value DIY

One of the greatest things about owning a home is the equity it brings and the return of investment and value it can yield.

It’s your home.  Adding some personal touches today could increase value later.

However, not everyone is hands-on.  We get that.  That’s why we put together 10 ideas simple enough for anyone to tackle.

#1) Kitchen DIY

kitchen-cabinet-refinishing-before-after

kitchen-cabinet-refinishing-before-after

Your kitchen is the most important area of your home.  It’ll either drain value or cook it up.  Let’s start here.

We understand installing, new cabinetry, floors and counter tops may not be in your budget.  But check out what is:

  • Paint or stain your cabinets. This is a simple job you can tackle in a matter of hours and for under $50.  Darken them, brighten them, it’s your choice.
  • Replace old handles and knobs with new ones. Depending on the amount of cabinets you have, you can probably get away with spending under $100 and an hour or so of labor to tackle this job.  Be as creative as you’d like but stay uniform.
  • Paint your kitchen walls, or at least paint one wall to be your accent wall. This is self-explanatory.  Expect to spend about $25 or less on a gallon of paint.
  • Lastly, clean your floors and dust your appliances and counter tops. Most of us have the cleaning supplies necessary to do this.  So, do it.

#2) Bathroom DIY

bathroom diy home value

bathroom diy home value

Your bathroom is almost as important as your kitchen when it comes to your home’s value.  Most bathrooms in older homes become outdated, neglected and forgotten.  Why not breathe some life back into that space.

Even if your bathroom is small, we’ve got some simple tips for you try:

  • Replace the fixtures on your vanity, tub and shower. Go with something a bit more custom, shiny and uniform.  You can probably replace the fixtures on your vanity, for instance, for under $65 with items purchased at your local home improvement store.
  • Replace old, boring toilet paper holders and towel racks with something more modern. Bonus points if the style matches the vanity and tub fixtures.  You can probably find towel racks for under $20 depending on the style.
  • Paint the walls and ceiling. Water moisture and condensation from your shower can over time fade the colors on your walls and ceilings.  Painting them with a durable, water resistant paint will breathe life back into a tired space.  Grab a gallon for around $25.
  • Replace the knobs or handles on your vanity to something more custom and modern. Many folks match the style of their kitchen when they do this.  Feel free to do this or develop your own style.  Depending on the amount of drawers or cabinets, expect to spend $50 or less for this project.

#3) Entrance DIY

diy front door entry home value

diy front door entry home value

First impressions are important when it comes to a person’s home.  Why now have a “wow factor” with yours?  For a bit of cash and a bit of elbow grease, you can do just that:

  • Revive your front door. Re-Paint your door or re-stain it.  Check the weather stripping to make sure it’s intact.
  • If you have a covered front porch, hang a couple flower baskets from the beam or ceiling. Just make sure you secure them to a stud, not the ceiling soffit itself.
  • Purchase a new “welcome mat” for under $25 and place it in front of the door.

#4) Landscaping DIY

diy landscaping flower bed increase home value

diy landscaping flower bed increase home value

Curb appeal is the buzz word in the real estate world, and rightfully so.  When pulling up to a home for the first time, appearance is everything.  The best thing about curb appeal is anyone with limited knowledge, experience and budget can tackle it.  Check this out:

  • Mow the grass. This is obvious, but routinely mow the grass every week or two depending on your location.  In addition to mowing, spread grass seed in bare spots.  You can grab an average size bag of seed for about $25-$30 at your local home improvement store.
  • Add some color with flowers. Build some simple flower beds around your house, near the entrance by adding some landscaping fabric (to block weeds and grass) then cover it with red or black mulch.  Next, dig some holes and plant your favorite annuals or perennials, and water as needed.
  • If your home’s foundation is basic cinder-block, add a little life to it by painting it. You can paint it to match the shutters or exterior of your home.  A gallon of weather resistant exterior paint should cost you less than $30.

The above contains some simple ideas to inspire you to revive your home and increase value.  But by all means, don’t stop there.  This is just a starting point for you.  For more ideas, be sure to check out our Pinterest page.

Good luck,

By Chuck Boggs & the staff at Boggs & Associates, Inc.

First Time Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyers

The Market is Calling Your Name

So, you’ve just gotten married or planning to get married, start a family and begin your future, but there’s one thing missing…A home of your own.

Good news.  This Spring and Summer just happens to be great times to begin your hunt for that “perfect home.”

For years, the sketchy, up-and-down, predictable-yet-unpredictable housing market seems to have found its sweet spot.  First Time Home Buyers, are you ready for this?

Return on Your Investment

Home prices nationwide are expected to rise by 4.9% this year, according to stats from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Higher home prices are great for sellers, but not buyers.  You want to act now before prices rise.  Once you’ve purchased your home, if prices rise, hey, you’re good.  That just means your investment is yielding a return.

Zillow is forecasting an increase in houses and condos for sale this year as builders pick up the pace and more homeowners cash in on their rising equity

Field’s Ripe for the Harvest

It was a long winter, and now sellers are flooding the market to list their homes.  Who can blame them?  The sun is out, the grass is green and the flowers are sprouting.  It’s beautiful out there.  More than just the weather, we’re seeing a more confident outlook.

The number of flipped homes has dropped for the second year in a row, while the foreclosure rate is less than half of what it was two years ago. These are healthy signs for all of us.  With the numbers supporting them, expect to see more homes to choose from this spring and summer.

The American Dream to Become Reality

The percentage of first time home buyers on the market hit its lowest level in decades last year, at just 33% of sales vs. 40% historically.  However, according to a recent survey by BMO Harris Bank, 74% of Americans, ages 18 to 34, plan to buy a new home during the next five years.

No More Wars

Bidding wars should dwindle due to plenty of choices in your local markets.  If another potential buyer does make an offer on a house you’re interested in, simply move on to another house.  It’s always great to have a few options, anyway.

Time’s Running Out

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize we’re it’s a great time to buy and sell.  Interest rates are under 4% for the popular 30-year fixed-term mortgage, compared to 4.34% last year at this time.

However, no good deed goes unpunished.  Representatives from the National Association of Realtors predict the rate for this typical home loan will rise to 4.7% by autumn and 5.3% by 2016.

Bottom-line: If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, now may be the time to lace up the Nikes and get out on the field.  It’ll all be worth it when you turn the key in the door knob of the house of your dreams that you saved money on and are finally able to call “My Home.”

By Chuck Boggs, Jr.

Owner, Boggs & Associates

 

Charleston WV Housing Market Heating Up

Excitement is Building

The Charleston WV Housing Market is Coming Alive

As the sun continues to light the ground, agents across the Kanawha Valley are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting buying and selling season.

Into the first quarter of 2015, and we’re seeing the foundation laid for a seller’s market in the Charleston WV area, just as we predicted in our last article.

We are currently seeing a build up of new construction of single and multi-family homes in Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties.  We anticipate this continuing through the remainder of 2015, unless a change in economic conditions occurs.

Low interest rates, lower down payments and home price increases are just a few of the building blocks constructing the potential for a busy spring and summer for realtors and the home sellers and buyers they serve.

The inventory of existing homes on the market appears to be declining.  If this continues, we can expect to see price increases in our marketing area.

Sellers should consider listing with local real estate offices in an effort to take advantage of the potential for higher home values.

According to Fannie Mae’s March 2015 National Housing Survey, 46 percent (all-time survey high) of those interviewed believe now is a good time to sell.

And guess what local market is in the top 10 best in the nation.  Charleston WV!

According to Realtor.com, the Charleston area is expected to be a market to watch this Spring and Summer.  It ranked #9 on a list with the likes of New Orleans, Boston and Pittsburgh.

This may be a surprise to many.

“These markets should see plenty of activity in the next few months as the home buying season gets underway,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.

Smoke noted, housing demand is surging and median list prices are rising faster.

“We are now firmly in the time of the year when peak demand and peak inventory levels typically occur, through spring and early summer,” he said. “Buyers should expect substantial competition, especially in the hottest markets, and for affordably priced homes within most markets.”

Hey home buyers!  Interest rates for 30-year mortgages are hovering around 3.5-4 percent and most banks and credit unions are advertising down payments of 3.5 percent or less for these in-demand loans.  The feds aren’t going to keep such low rates forever.

Remember, if home prices continue to rise, an investment now can turn into a big return over time.

Spring’s finally here and she brings all the ingredients for a great local housing market.  What are you waiting for?

 

 

 

WV Housing Market: Your Time is Now

WV Housing Market: Your Time is Now

west virginia real estate and wv housing market

Flowers push through the dirt, stripes of green blanket the ground and orange rays of warmth reach down.

This could only mean one thing: Spring is here.

With the season only days away, there’s a buzz in the air, not only from honey bees, but from real estate agents, bankers and construction crews. The days of snow and artic chill are over.

Now’s the time to buy. Now’s the time to sell.

Here’s why.

#1: A Faster Loan Process

If you’re looking to buy a home, one of the biggest challenges you’ll often face is the loan process at the bank or credit union. It’s no secret that financial institutions are requiring more paperwork and red tape before approving a mortgage loan.

Why not take advantage of that?

Homes continue to overwhelm Kanawha County. The Planning Commission received 127 more residential building permits last year than it did in 2013. Putnam County has already brought in nearly 20 residential building permits since January, and it’s been one of the coldest Winters to date!

If these trends continue, expect local mortgage loan officers to have their hands full during the heavy buying seasons of Spring and Summer.

Instead of waiting until the housing market floods with buyers and sellers, get a jump start on the demand, and reap the benefits of faster, smoother service from your loan officer.

While others are waiting on loan approval, you can already be picking out the furniture for your new home.

#2: Rates That Can’t be Beat

According to Bankrate, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage loan sits at 3.6%. Remember, good news can only last so long. Market leaders expect rates to rise by at least 1 percent by the end of 2015.

So, take advantage of great rates while they still exist. If not, you could be sorry and so could your wallet.

#3: A Seller’s Platter

If you’re wishing to sell a home, now’s your time. Homes will flood the market within a month, according to banking professionals. This means more competition.

Plant some flowers, spread some mulch, open up the curtains and market the house now. Blast the home on social media, Craigslist, the local newspapers and more. Hold your open house before the Spring rush and enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Remember, it’s been a long, cold winter. Prospective buyers have been cooped up for the past 4 or 5 months and they’re itching to buy. One way to success is staying ahead of the competition. So, get your home on the market now and have it sold weeks before others even begin their first open house.

#4: Time’s Running Out

If you’re looking to upgrade your living conditions, do it now. Home prices are projected to appreciate by more than 23% from now to 2019, according to recent reports. This spells great news for investors, developers and home sellers.

However, this puts a crunch on homebuyers.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to buy or sell a home, that time is now!

By: Charles Boggs, Jr. & Justin Waybright

 

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