Welcome! This blog tracks the real estate market in the Central Shenandoah Valley, featuring market data and analysis, an exploration of common buying and selling questions, and candid commentary on all things real estate.
If you are interested in discussing any of the topics on this blog, or the details of your specific real estate situation, call or e-mail me!
Click here to watch this video that tells the story of Funkhouser Real Estate Group.
Funkhouser Real Estate Group was founded on the principles of Honesty, Integrity and Professionalism. We understand real estate is most likely the largest investment our clients will make in their lifetime. This is why our associates are equipped with the latest real estate tools and quality education to help our clients make the best decisions and guide them through a successful real estate transaction.
Some property owners associations and neighborhoods are more (or less) strict about the enforcement of their restrictive covenants than others.
Click here to read a story from yesterday's Daily News Record about townhouse owners in Harrisonburg that are being asked to remove a Marine Corp garden flag from in front of their home because of their restrictive covenants.
You can find Restrictive Covenants for most of Harrisonburg's townhouse communities on HarrisonburgTownhouses.com.
A few snippets buyers should be aware of....
Aside from working hard to provide lots of real estate resources for my clients and our local community, I also spend some of my time running a web site that simplifies meal coordination, TakeThemAMeal.com.
TakeThemAMeal.com has teamed up with the Sandy Hook School and A Bowl of Good to coordinate an effort to show Sandy Hook that they are still close to our hearts .
Click here to learn more, and to consider sponsoring a meal to be taken to Sandy Hook.
This upscale, four-story, custom-built Highland Park home on a level lot with mature trees was built in 2000 and a three-story addition was added in 2005. The spacious first floor features a dining room, living room, eat-in kitchen, and a large family room that opens up to the backyard and stunning outdoor living spaces. All bedrooms in this home are of generous size, and the master wing features his and her custom walk-in closets, a fireplace and laundry room. The basement offers an additional family room and exercise room. Enjoy high quality features such as a full brick exterior, hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, three fireplaces, built-in speakers, an irrigation system, large closets, a golf cart garage and 339 SF of storage over the garage.
Click here to view a video overview of this beautiful property.
Click here for high resolution photographs of this home.
Click here to learn more about the property at 4121TravelerRoad.com.
Thanks to Jim Duncan for pointing out OpenSignal as a resource for checking cell coverage....
The heat map above shows the strength of cell coverage in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. The map as shown shouldn't be too surprising, as it mirrors main roadways and dense residential areas.
Here's how the cell carriers stack up in this area, with Verizon Wireless being the clear winner....
You may have driven by this new complex (corner of Port Republic Road and Neff Avenue) but have you seen the full scope of it?
I had driven by University Park countless times, but until my son participated in a soccer camp earlier this month with Shenandaoh Valley United, I had never seen the facility in person.
This is an amazing multi-field complex, offering both grass and FieldTurf practice field as well as a finely-manicured game-playing surface of natural grass. JMU Women's Lacrosse, Women's Soccer, Men's Soccer and Women's Cross Country/Track & Field programs compete at this location.
Click here for a map of the complex.
Not so often, it would seem, as shown above. There have only been six such sales in the past 12.5 years. View details of the six $1M+ sales.
But even though it's been a few years since a buyer has paid more than $1M for a house in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County doesn't mean sellers aren't hopeful. View currently listed $1M+ homes for sale.
Trying to keep your budget under $1M? Here are a few great options....
At least for now, mortgage interest rates seem to be stabilizing around 4.4%. These rates are an entire point higher than the all-time lows seen in late 2012 and in May 2013......however, they are still lower than than any mortgage interest rates seen anytime other than in the past two-ish years.
If you are purchasing a property to renovate and the list for sale again, you should wait at least 90 days (from the date you closed on the purchase) to put the property back on the market.
If you only waited 30 days to put the property back on the market (kudos to you for a speedy renovation job) and if a buyer then comes along and writes a contract on the property before 90 days have passed, then the transaction will be flagged as a flip via the appraisal property.
Once flagged as a flip, by Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac guidelines, there will be a variety of implications for the transaction:
The third item above (20% down payment requirement) is what can quickly make a deal backfire, especially if you have purchased and renovated a home that will be appealing to first time buyers.....many of whom will not have a 20% down payment available.
So, as an investor, or someone considering purchasing a property to renovate and then list for sale, it is highly advisable that you wait to list the renovated property for sale until at least 90 days after you closed on the purchase of the property.
If you have moved out of your house, and it is currently vacant, you should likely talk to your insurance company about Vacant Home Insurance.
Here are some things you should know before you make the call....
It is best to have these conversations with your insurance company before you move, but regardless of where you are in the process of moving out of your home (and thus leaving it vacant) you need to understand what your current insurance policy will and will not cover so that you can make the appropriate decisions about your insurance coverage into the future.
Please note that I am not endorsing Farmers Insurance, American Family Insurance or Foremost Insurance Group --- I do not know much about any of these companies --- but these are some companies that seem to offer this type of insurance coverage. Please do your due diligence in making any changes to your insurance coverage or company.
Make sure to enjoy some of these dining specials in Downtown Harrisonburg this week....
The video above (or click here) explores many of the trends we are seeing in our local housing market.
Click here to watch the video OR click here to download the full August 2013 Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Real Estate Market Report.
I have just released my August 2013 monthly market report covering the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County housing market. Click here to download the full report as a PDF, read on for some highlights, or click here to view more details on the cover home, 1032 James Place.
The big picture indicators in our local market are all positive when we look at January through July home sales in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County....
As shown above:
Assuming you are hoping for a strengthening local housing market, these are all great news for our local area.
Below you can see the reason why the year-to-date home sales figures are so strong....
As you can see, above, the past four months of home sales (Apr, May, Jun, Jul) have been much stronger than any of the previous three years --- with the one exception of June 2010 when the federal home buyer tax credit expired.
What, you might ask, should we expect for the next few months?
Based on the trend in signed contracts, shown above, I believe we will continue to see strong home sales over the next several months.
It is also important to note that it's not just the short term indicators that are positive in our local housing market....
Each of the data points on the graph shown above takes 12 months of data into account --- thus these trends take a long time to show any substantial change, but they are excellent indicators of the overall shifts in a housing market. As can be seen, above, we are seeing steady growth in the pace of home sales, and stability in home values.
There is a LOT more in my full report, including....
Google Maps now offers imagery of the Harrisonburg area from a 45 degree perspective, as shown above. Compare the image above (45 degree perspective) to the same area below (aerial view)....
As you can see, this 45 degree perspective provides a much more interesting view.
To view this imagery, just keep zooming in on a Google Map until you get to a zoom level where Google automatically flips you over to the 45 degree perspective instead of the aerial perspective. You can also adjust this setting in the upper right corner of the map....
Thus far this year, 60% of all home sales have been under $200K......and 90% of all home sales have been under $325K in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
107 properties in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County went under contract in July 2013, ranging from a low list price of $39,900 to a high of $549,900.
Click here to see which properties went under contract in July 2013.
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