Winchester, VA Real Estate News

By David Burrows, No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate
(Classic Realty)
A Must Read For Anyone Securing A Mortgage.First of all and most important - I am NOT a Mortgage Professional. I am a Realtor®...Having stated the above,  I listen intently to Mortgage Professionals and my clients describing what it is like to secure a Mortgage these days. One thing that comes up again and again is in the area of Personal Bank Accounts and deposits. In fact, many clients have expressed their frustration to me and I simply remind them that rules are rules and that their Loan Officer is, in all probability, just doing his/her job.One of our local Mortgage Companies in Winchester, Virginia - Success Mortgage - sent me this excellent article about securing a Mortgage and Cash Deposits. If you are presently purchasing or in the near future believe you will be buying a home, ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Hurricane Sandy left the Shenandoah Valley wet and soggy today.  She also left a lot of people without electricity.  One resident had her electrical service turned off because water was running into her electrical service panel.  The fire company responded to a distress call and found water running into her electrical service and shut it down.  Then, they called me. I went to see what we could do to get her back up and running.  During the inspection of the problem I talked to the electrical company about turning her off at the electric pole, but they were too backed up.  They gave me permission to remove the meter and see if I could find the source of the water.  I've taken hundreds of meters off in the past 40 years.  So, it wasn't a concern.  I took the cover off the meter-base, and ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Sandy has come and gone, but she did leave a few things behind.  The Winchester/Frederick County area was soaked with rain most of Monday into Tuesday morning.  High winds and downed trees have been seen throughout the area.  Both Shenandoah Valley Electric Coop and Rappahannock Electric Coop had reported approximately 3000 customers without electricity as of 8:00 pm Monday night.  Many of those customers have had their power restored as of 9:00 am Tuesday morning. The areas west and south of Winchester are looking at the possibility of snow Tuesday.  Most of that snow is expected to be concentrated in the Shenandoah and Warren County areas, but the mountains surrounding Winchester are not exempt at this point.  Current temperatures in the lower elevations are hovering around 39 degrees...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
What makes one person a great success and another less successful or even a failure?  There is the theory that some are just born with the ability to be successful and others are not.  There is also the theory that success if born out of the substance of a person.  It can be learned, but the seed of success is already there waiting to be watered. The first option gives the masses an excuse to avoid success or to explain away their inability to be successful, but it is farcical in realty.  Many of the greatest men and women who ever lived were not well educated, from rich families or exceptionally brilliant.  What they did have was desire.  When they coupled their dreams with their desire they became a formidable force for success.  When failure loomed, though their emotions were tested,...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Distressed properties in the Winchester, VA area are holding steady at 17.3% of total active listings for the month of October 2012.  The number has barely moved since May 2012. The biggest difference in the October and January numbers is in the "what kind of distressed property" category.  The beginning of 2012 was still showing the effects of the REO wave that passed through the community.  As the year has progressed, REOs have declined and short sales have increased. Winchester, VA currently has 494 active properties.  Of that number, 85 are distressed properties.  The distressed properties break down into 55 short sales and 30 REOs.  The volume of distressed properties has changed less than 1% in 5 months.  That's a good indication that market has stopped progressing vertically and ...
Comments 7
By David Burrows, No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate
(Classic Realty)
If you live in the Winchester area or wouldn't mind taking a short drive through the country to Winchester, then this event could be for you and your family. The Pumpkin Patch and The Crop Circle Corn Maze is running strong through October. The event takes place at the Hill High Farm, a working farm and owned by the same family for over 100 years. There will be Hay Rides, a Petting Farm for the children and much more. By the way, for the little ones, there is also a Round Bale Maze.You can go here to learn more: The Pumpkin Patch & Corn MazeAn October Family Outing that is rated: FF for Family Fun!!!
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
This week, I stopped by a local phone store to buy a tablet, and the salesman said, "We don't sell that one."  I said, "Really?"  Then he looked it up and proceeded to tell me it's really a phone and not a tablet.  I held up my iPhone, which had a picture of the tablet on it, and said, "No, it's a tablet. Here it is."  He was shocked that he didn't know anything about it, and yet his company markets all types of communication devices. A couple of hours later I was online searching for struts for the front of my Volvo.  I found them.  Then I searched for a "how-to" guide for replacing my struts.  I found it.  A couple days later, I needed new business cards for my electrical contacting company.  Again, I went online and within 15 minutes, I had my cards ordered.  While I was there, I ord...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I've had a number of situations recently where I had to step in as an advocate for my clients, and I realized in the process that we are advocates for our clients.  We're not just selling houses, we've been enlisted to make sure our clients get across the finish line successfully. Yesterday, I received a HUD prior to closing that had numerous errors.  My attorney and I responded to the closing attorney asking for corrections. He corrected a few mistakes, but then he actually added new ones.  It would be easy to read over the HUD to make sure the original mistakes were corrected and then sign off on it. The returned HUD added expenses to my clients side of the closing.  The expenses belonged to the buyers.  It was sent back for corrections, and in a little while it came back with mistake...
Comments 41
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
The Winchester, VA real estate market has made great strides in 2012, but it is still recovering from the real estate market collapse of 2008.  There are currently 504 properties activity listed in the $30K-$600K range.  Eighteen percent of the current available listings fall into the distressed market.  That number has held constant since May 2012. The market breaks down like this:                                              The majority of distressed properties reside in the $100,000 - $300,000 range.  In that price range, there is plenty room for investors or home buyers to find good opportunities at discount prices.  The upper end of the current available listings are mostly fair market listings.  The range of available listings makes sure that there is something for everyone.  No ...
Comments 5
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Oakdale Crossing in Winchester, VA is on the mend.  This very desirable subdivision was hard hit by foreclosures and short sales after the 2008 real estate market collapse.  The homes in the subdivision are beautiful spacious homes with wonderfully landscaped lots. The 2008 market decline caught a lot of Oakdale Crossing homeowners off guard.  The local market found an average of 33% of home values collapsed during those early days.  That put a lot of homeowners underwater.  The declining employment market drove some families into foreclosure and others into short sales.  The tragedy of some became an opportunity for others.  The prices in the neighborhood have not returned to the pre-2008 numbers, but that has provided great buying opportunities for buyers. The number of listing in the...
Comments 2
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Out of town landlords are at a great disadvantage when it comes to dealing tenants.  Some tenants can do a lot of damage to a property long before a landlord ever knows.  The tenant moves and requests his security deposit back, and too often, the landlord returns it without knowing the condition of the property. What if the tenant damages the property?  I'm amazed when some tenants think they deserve their security deposit back when they leave a house trashed.  I recently took on a new rental management opportunity for a client.  He had a tenant whose lease was about to expire and he wanted us to take over the management side of things. The tenant knew a company was taking over the management, and he also knew I'd be stopping be just before he left the property.  I did, but he refused t...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I tend to be a high intensity, high energy person.  If you've read my blog over the past year you know that I'm a take no prisoners never say never kind of business person.  Business can be like that sometimes, and you've got to meet it head on without hesitation. With that said, you've also got to do things away from the business arena that you do for pure relaxation and fun.  I did that today.  I had three minor real estate stops today, but for two hours of my morning I joined two very dear friends to teach a two hour indoor cycling event.  Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center in Winchester, VA, had its fourth birthday this month.  I was one of the original group exercise instructors.  Victoria Egnew, Adele MacMahon and I had a great time leading a full class of adreniline junkie...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Everyday brings a series of choices.  You can choose to stay in bed.  You can choose to try something new.  You can choose to do the same thing you always do.  You can choose to learn something.  You can choose to ignore something.  You can choose to be engaged.  You can choose to disengage.  You can choose to close your eyes.  You can choose to see. No matter what you choose each day, it's your choice.  You can choose to be a victim, or you can choose to be a victor.  You can choose to conqueror, or you can choose to be conquered.  You can choose to be a success, or you can choose to be a failure.  You can choose to be in charge, or you can choose to be controlled.   Everyday is a day of opportunity.  You will always choose which one you will take.  You might choose by default, or a pe...
Comments 42
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
My company has a motto that says we are, "Making things happen everyday."  That means, if there is anyway we can get a deal through the process, we'll do it.  We will always give 100% for every client every day.  This past week was a perfect example. The first distress call came in from a seller whose water test came back with bacteria that needed to be dealt with.  No problem.  It's normally as simple as shocking the well that provides the water supply.  Have I ever done that before?  No.  Does that matter?  Not really.  I called a friend.  He couldn't bail me out, but he told he how to do it.  Today, we received the new water test.  Clean! Then, a rental that is supposed to be done today was in need of a few things.  It had five damaged doors and more painting issues than time would a...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I've been working with a wonderful couple since early June of this year.  We ended up together after they had a failed short sale contract on what they thought was the house of their dreams.  The deal fell through, and their hearts sank with it.  Some deals turn dreams into nightmares. Well, tomorrow they close on a phenomenally better house that they are buying for less than the previous house.  It is also a short sale.  I was a little surprised that they even went down that path again, but I did explain to them that not every short sale goes the way their first attempt did, and they took plunge. While doing the walk through this afternoon, I couldn't help but smile watching the wife fighting back the temptation to burst into laughter.  She is so excited, and elated, and relieved and o...
Comments 35
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I'm approaching the end of a short sale that has gone moderately well.  That alone is a miracle, but there is another aspect of this one that has surprised me.  I inherited this couple from another agent who didn't have the stomach for short sales.  He tried to get them through the process, but he just didn't like the battle a short sale can be.  It doesn't bother me that much.  The wife dropped by the office late this week to ink one more signature before it goes to closing.  We sat around and chatted briefly, and then I walked her to her car.  While we were walking she said, "So, this is it?  I mean, once this goes to closing you'll go your way and we'll go ours.  Does that mean we won't see you anymore?"  I was a little taken back by her heartfelt question.  She continued asking how ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
As we approach the anniversary of September 11, 2001, I have to reflect a bit.  On that morning, I had just returned from the gym and turned on the TV.  The first tower had just been hit and there was a lot of confusion about what had just happened.  Reporters were just starting to broadcast, and there were more unknowns than knowns. I was telling my wife that it looked like a small plane had crashed into one of the twin towers and it was on fire.  Then I saw the second plane circling around to make impact.  Within seconds it hit the tower, and I followed that with the comment, "We're under attack."  As a Christian, I'm familiar with the voice of God, and instantly He said, "It's not over!"  That started a day of phone calls and prayer at our house.  Two of my good friends were commerci...
Comments 25
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
While much of the country vacillates between economic hope and hopelessness, there is one segment of the country that hasn't gotten the "things are tough" memo.  I received a text message today from a young man that gives me hope for the future of our youth. It went something like this: Hi, Mr. Cooper.  This is Jack.  I was outside doing my parents lawn and I was wondering if you needed someone to cut the lawn next door? Me: Absolutely.  I was going to buzz you.  When can you do it? Jack: Just tell me when.  I'm outside doing my parent's lawn right now. Me: As soon as possible. Jack: OK, I'll get on it. Me: Thanks.  You can text me the fee. Jack: No problem.  $50.00 for front, back and edging.  It would need every week or every other week. Me: Sounds good.  Would you clean up the heat p...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I married the farmer's daughter nearly 30 years ago.  When we were first married, the farm was an active busy farm.  My father-in-law grew apples, peaches and raised cattle.  During those early years our marriage, I was at the farm a lot so I had a pretty good view of the farming life.  Apples were the primary crop on the Snapp farm.  At the beginning of each picking season, large groups of migrant apple pickers would arrive at the farm and pick the apples.  The local farmers were required by law to place advertisements in the local papers each year to encourage area residents to seek employment as apple pickers.  It didn't happen. Today, Buffy and I were riding down a county road that still has orchards.  The trees are full of apples, and they look like they're about to fall over from ...
Comments 22
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
August 2012 home sales in Winchester, VA are showing a new trend in short sales and foreclosed properties.  The total number of closed sales in August 2012 was 117.  Of that number, 25 were foreclosures and 16 were short sales.  Distressed properties made up 35% of the total closed sales for the month. The trend is heading in the wrong direction from earlier this year.  The clearest evidence of this is in the active/pending properties.  The year started out with a nice declining trend of distressed homes.  The March 2012 numbers only contained 17% active/pending distressed properties.  As of August 31, 2012, distressed active/pending properties are up to 27%.  The ten percent climb in distressed properties is an ominous trend. Available properties are up 22% since the mid-year inventory...
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