HarrisonburgHousingToday.com :: Market Updates, Analysis and Commentary on Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Real Estatehttp://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/index.phpThis file is an RSS 2.0 file, please see: http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/index.php for more info.I Just Sold My House. Should I Buy A House This Year Or Wait Until Next Year?Buying or Renting

Let's say you just sold your house –– and you're wondering –– should you go ahead and buy the next house now?  Or wait a year?  After all, home values seem quite high right now –– maybe you'd be better off waiting a year?

Let's check –– from one very narrow scenario...

Buying Today for $300K and Financing 80% of the Purchase Price

Mortgage Payment = $1,259 per month (2.78% mortgage)

$427 per month in principal reduction
$832 per month in interest, taxes and insurance

A year later you will have paid $15,108 for housing –– but $5,124 of that will have gone towards principal reduction.  Thus, you will have "paid" a net of $9,984 during the year.

Renting For A Year and Then Buying The Same House

We will (generously) assume that interest rates will be the same a year from now.  They'll probably actually be higher.

We're going to assume you'll pay around $1,200 per month in rent for a year, which won't get you as nice of digs as your $300K purchase, but perhaps you keep the rental budget low to minimize your rental costs.

A year later you will have paid $14,400 in rent as compared to $9,984 if you went ahead and bought now.

Thus, your housing costs would be $4,416 higher for the coming year if you rented now instead of buying now.

Now, let's fold that into how home values might change over the next year...

Same Increase In Home Values As The Past Year (+10.9%)

The $300K home you did not purchase will now cost you $332,700.  As such, you will have paid an extra $4,416 in rent and you'll now pay an extra $32,700 in a purchase price.  Ouch.  That makes it $37,116 more expensive to wait a year,.

This scenario is not necessarily very likely to occur as the 10.9% increase in our local median sales price was well above any long–term norm.

Same Increase In Home Values As The Average Of The Past Five Years (+5.8%)

The $300K home you did not purchase will now cost you $317,400.  As such, you will have paid an extra $4,416 in rent and you'll now pay an extra $17,400 in a purchase price.  Still relatively painful.  That makes it $21,816 more expensive to wait a year.

Same Increase In Home Values As The Average Of The Past Ten Years (+3.2%)

The $300K home you did not purchase will now cost you $309,600.  As such, you will have paid an extra $4,416 in rent and you'll now pay an extra $9,600 in a purchase price.  That makes it $14,016 more expensive to wait a year.

No Change In Home Values

You pay the same ($300K) price for the same home a year from now and you just lose the $4,416 in extra housing costs that you paid by renting for a year.

Home Values Drop 1.5%

If home values drop 1.5% over the next year –– then you'd basically break even.  You would pay $4,500 less in a purchase price after having paid $4,416 more in rent during the intervening year.

Home Values Drop 3% or 5% of 10%

If you get above a 1.5% decline in home values over the next year –– then, yes –– it would have made more sense to have waited a year after selling to buy your next house.

So, What Do You Conclude?

In the end, you'll need to decide which of these scenarios seems the most likely to occur in the next year...
  • Home Values Increase 10.9% (buy now!)
  • Home Values Increase 5.8% (buy now!)
  • Home Values Increase 3.2% (buy now!)
  • Home Values Do Not Change (buy now!)
  • Home Values Decline 1.5% (buy or rent)
  • Home Values Decline > 1.5% (rent)
But... don't forget... I'm leaving out a few factors that would probably cause most people to buy now (after selling) rather than waiting a year...
  • mortgage interest rates are likely to go up, meaning it would cost more to finance your purchase price a year from now
  • there are costs to moving twice
  • it's no fun to move twice
  • living in your rental won't be as enjoyable as living in a home you buy
Yes, this analysis had a lot of detail –– but there is plenty of nuance in any scenario where you are thinking about buying or renting.

Feel free to touch base with me if you want to think through or talk through your scenario and options.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/i-just-sold-my-house-should-i-buy-a-house-this-year-or-wait-until-next-year_1627492478/index.php?f=1Wed, 28 Jul 2021 17:14:38 +0000Scott Rogers
Now Can Be A Great Time To Sell An Investment PropertySelling a Rental Property?

Do you own a residential rental property?  Or two?  Or five?  Or 10?

Would you consider selling one or all of them?

There are plenty of reasons why you might NOT do so...
  • you might enjoy having a rental property as a part of your financial portfolio
  • you might enjoy having your tenant paying down your mortgage on the rental property
  • you might enjoy having a property that is appreciating in value
  • you might enjoy the income stream provided by your rental property
  • you might not enjoy the tax consequences of selling the property
But... if you are open to selling your residential rental property... it might be a GREAT time to do so, because...
  • there are very few townhouses (a typical residential rental property) for sale right now –– so you'd have very little competition when selling
  • there are a LOT of buyers in the market so you'd likely have competing offers to buy your property
  • many buyers are offering to pay over asking price for such properties
  • some buyers are waiving inspections and other contingencies
If you own a rental property and the end of the lease is coming up, let's take a few minutes to chat about your options and whether it might make sense to sell that property instead of finding a new tenant.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/now-can-be-a-great-time-to-sell-an-investment-property_1627384398/index.php?f=1Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:13:18 +0000Scott Rogers
Are Inventory Levels Slowly Starting To Increase?Inventory Levels

We may (finally?) be seeing inventory levels creep up a bit in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.  

As shown above, after having dropped all the way down below 100 homes for sale –– inventory levels have increased over the past two months.  We're still at basically all time lows other than what we've seen in the past six months –– so don't get to excited about the inventory levels rising –– but it's nice for the inventory levels not to be heading down even lower.

Stay tuned as we see how inventory levels continue to adjust as we make our way through the rest of the summer and into the fall.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/are-inventory-levels-slowly-starting-to-increase_1627301870/index.php?f=1Mon, 26 Jul 2021 12:17:50 +0000Scott Rogers
I Should Definitely Sell My House Right Now To Take Advantage Of This MarketSelling?

Yes.  For sure.  You should definitely sell your house right now to take advantage of this market.




Where will you go?  Where will you live?

I have had this conversation (maybe I should sell my house!) with quite a few folks over the past few months.  They are seeing homes sell in their neighborhood at prices that seem unrealistically high.  It causes many neighboring property owners to say –– wow, maybe I should sell!!?

And, indeed, it can be a great time to sell your home right now...

...if you have a plan for where you will go next and what you will do next!

If you thought your home was worth $300K a year ago and now it seems like it could sell for $350K, that's exciting!  It might make you want to just go ahead and sell and capture all of that equity that you now apparently have in your home.

But... are you going to upgrade to that $400K house you were dreaming about a year ago?  That house is likely now selling for $450K or higher.

So, as exciting as it may be to think about selling your house to take advantage of the current market, we need to thoroughly examine what you will do (where you will live) after you sell to make sure that you are comfortable with the overall game plan.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/i-should-definitely-sell-my-house-right-now-to-take-advantage-of-this-market_1627038283/index.php?f=1Fri, 23 Jul 2021 11:04:43 +0000Scott Rogers
Why In The World Are You Buying A House Without A Home Inspection??Inspection?

Yes, sometimes buyers these days are making offers on houses without a home inspection contingency.

As Paige asked yesterday...

Is everyone else in the world significantly more handy, a better gambler, or just have that much cash laying around?

Good question, Paige!  :–)

Here are some of the reasons why buyers are making offers without home inspection contingencies...
  1. FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – They have missed out on buying several houses in a multiple offer situation when they included a home inspection contingency, so they are making an offer without that contingency to try to improve their odds of beating out the competition.  This is probably the main reason why buyers decide not to include an inspection contingency.
  2. Handy Buyers – Indeed, some buyers are handy, and wouldn't find many home maintenance issues that would be identified via a home inspection to be that big of a deal.
  3. Calculated Risks – If you can observe the interior foundation walls of a home, and if you know the age of the roof and the age of the heating/cooling system – and none of that information gives you pause, you have eliminated many of the largest issues that could be identified during a home inspection. 
  4. Cash Reserves – Some buyers think of it as a question of how much it might cost to cure issues discovered during a home inspection.  If it might cost $5,000 to cure the issues on a particular home some buyers conclude that they would rather not miss out on buying a home over that $5,000 so they make sure they have $5,000 set aside to cure any issues that they might discover later.
A few more thoughts and observations...
  • I always recommend that a buyer conduct a home inspection as a part of the home purchase property to best protect themselves from future risk or harm –– but I do understand why some buyers choose not to do so.
  • Whether you include a home inspection contingency in any particular offer should likely depend on how much you love that particular house and how risky that house seems based on its age and condition.
  • If you do not include a home inspection contingency as a part of your offer, I would highly recommend that you consider conducting a home inspection after you close on your purchase of the house.  That will give you the opportunity to identify any property deficiencies or safety issues that you should attend to in the first few days, weeks or months of owning the home.
Home buyers have some difficult decisions to make these days as they formulate a plan for pursuing a house in a housing market with very low supply levels.  Deciding whether to include a home inspection contingency is just one of those difficult decisions.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/why-in-the-world-are-you-buying-a-house-without-a-home-inspection_1626954132/index.php?f=1Thu, 22 Jul 2021 11:42:12 +0000Scott Rogers
I Will Offer You ONE MILLION DOLLARS For Your House... Oh, Contingent On An Appraisal... Are You Serious?

I've seen buyers use this strategy quite a few times lately... and sellers usually aren't interested, or fooled, or entertained.

Here's the scenario...

A house is listed for sale, priced at $250,000.

Three offers come in, each one higher than the last, as is typical in this market...
  1. Offer of $255,000 contingent on an inspection and appraisal.
  2. Offer of $260,000 contingent on an appraisal, but not an inspection.
  3. Offer of $265,000 without a home inspection and the buyer is willing to pay $10,000 over the appraised value.
Then, the fourth offer comes in.

Offer #4 is an offer of $350,000.  Contingent on the property appraising at or above the contract price.

I'm exaggerating a bit to make my point here –– but not by much.

Basically, a buyer offers WAAAAAY above the asking price –– well beyond what anyone would think would be a reasonable offer for the property –– but makes their offer contingent on an appraisal.

I suppose the thought is that surely a seller would pick an offer of $350K instead of an offer of $255K, $260K or $265K, right!?

Maybe not.

I have had the chance to see several sellers respond to these absurdly, unrealistically high offers and again, sellers usually aren't interested, or fooled or entertained by such offers.

Almost every seller I know would happily take Offer #3 as described above before they'd even start to entertain Offer #4.

Clearly, buyers can attempt to negotiate however they'd wish to do so, but this particular strategy does not seem, to me, to be a winning strategy.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/i-will-offer-you-one-million-dollars-for-your-house-oh-contingent-on-an-appraisal-_1626864122/index.php?f=1Wed, 21 Jul 2021 10:42:02 +0000Scott Rogers
If Your Property Needs Improving, Do Not Price It As If It Does NotPricing Your Home

Buyers are tripping over themselves to buy houses these days. 

They'll pay a price higher than you'd expect for just about any property, regardless of condition, right? 

Well, maybe not all the time.

If your property (where you live... or your rental property) needs painting, and flooring, and general repairs, and landscaping help...

...maybe you shouldn't price it as if it does not need those improvements.

Again, in this market, anything is possible –– but if ten buyers come to see your house in the first week and they all would have liked the house at your list price if those improvements had been made –– but not without the improvements –– then you will probably find yourself needing to make a price adjustment.

So, when you are pricing your home –– compare not only the specs (size, age, location) to other recent sales –– but also the condition!

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/if-your-property-needs-improving-do-not-price-it-as-if-it-does-not_1626779730/index.php?f=1Tue, 20 Jul 2021 11:15:30 +0000Scott Rogers
Over 4,000 New Homes Are Under Construction Or Being Planned In Harrisonburg, Rockingham CountyNew Homes!

From time to time I post information here on my blog about new neighborhoods or communities that are being developed.  I thought it might be helpful to compile all of that information in one place.

Here are the new communities where dirt is moving for a combined total of over 1,800 new homes...
  • Cobblers Valley
  • Shady Creek
  • Preston Lake Apartments
  • Senior Living Facility
  • Bridgewater Fields
  • The Townes at Congers Creek, Phase 2
  • Crescent Ridge
  • Locust Grove Village
  • Congers Creek Apartments
  • South Peak
  • Preston Lake Townhomes
  • Preston Lake Duplexes
  • The Crossing
  • The Townes at Congers Creek
Here are the new communities currently being planned with a combined total of over 2,300 new homes...
  • Stoney Ridge
  • Wingate Meadows
  • Epoch
  • Overbrook
  • Crownpoint Independent Living
  • Peak Mountain
  • Two41
  • The Ponds of Island Ford
  • Stoney Ridge
  • Crossroads Farm
  • Boyers Crossing
  • Highview Estates
  • Vine Street Townhouses
  • Juniper Hill Commons
I have compiled an overview document that includes all of the communities listed above as well as...
  • how many apartments, townhomes, duplexes and/or detached homes are being built in each of the communities
  • a link to additional information if I have it available
  • a link to a map of all of the new communities
You'll find all of this information by visiting HarrisonburgNewHomes.com.

If you have information about other new communities not currently on my list, let me know. 

If you see something on my list that is incorrect –– please email me with additional information so that I can make the list more accurate.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/over--new-homes-are-under-construction-or-being-planned-in-harrisonburg-rockingham-county_1626697267/index.php?f=1Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:21:07 +0000Scott Rogers
Special Saturday Edition: Home Sales, Prices Flying High In Harrisonburg AreaMonthly Market Report

Happy Saturday morning to you! 

I hope you had a wonderful week.  I am still unwinding a bit from a great time at the Red Wing Roots music festival last weekend.  I enjoyed seeing many of you there, and if you missed it this year, you should consider attending next year!

Red Wing!

Back to the here and now, though –– I'm not sure what your weekend looks like –– but thus far mine has involved sipping coffee while my daughter and I have been drawing on our iPads.  Admittedly, Emily is creating art, and I'm doodling on graphs and charts as included below – but fun times nonetheless.  :–) 

Regardless of whether your weekend will include relaxing at home, traveling out of state to see family, heading to the beach for a week, or working in the yard –– I hope it is a weekend that includes at least some moments of fun and relaxation.  When you get to a few free moments in your weekend, take a look through the remainder of this market update to learn more about what is happening in our quickly moving local real estate market.

First, the full PDF of my market report can be found here, second, the featured home shown above is located at 261 5th Street in Broadway and you find details of it here, and now, let's dive in...

Monthly Market Report

Quickly glancing through the numbers above, you might find your eyes opening wider than normal and your eyebrows rising higher than normal.  There are some rather surprising things going on in our local housing market.  Anyone who is selling their home, or trying to buy their home, knows about these dynamics –– but it's good to put some numbers to it...

[1]  There were 171 home sales in June 2021, which was 28% more than last June!

[2]  Thus far this year (we're halfway through it) there have been 736 home sales, which is 19% more than the first half of last year!

[3]  The median sales price in the first half of this year was $260,000 (!!) which is 11% higher the median sales price during the first half of last year which was only $235,000.

[4]  Over the past 12 months it has taken a median of six days for houses (that sold) to go under contract –– compared to a median of 15 days during the 12 months before that.

So, yeah, lots of homes are selling, at much higher prices than a year ago, and much more quickly!

Breaking it down between detached homes and attached (duplexes, townhouses, condos) homes reveals a few other details...

Monthly Market Report

Above you might notice that...

[1&3]  There have been a 19% increase in the number of detached homes that have sold in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County over the past year –– but a much higher 37% increase in the number of attached homes that have sold!

[2&4]  The median sales price of detached homes ($285,000) has risen a bit more (14%) over the past year than the median sales price of attached homes ($200,000) which has only (haha) risen 11% over the past year.

Those (above) are the long term trends.  When we dial in a bit and look at things on a monthly we find that this strong increase in the number of home sales thus far in 2021 has been a month after month after month occurrence...

Monthly Market Report

I have highlighted each of the first six months of 2021 in yellow above, and the corresponding month last year in gray.  Now, it certainly bears noting that home sales during some of the months in the first half of last year were likely a bit lower than they would have been otherwise because of Covid, but regardless –– each month of home sales in 2021 has been head and shoulders above the corresponding month of 2020.

And now, let's see how this first half of the year stacks up against the first half of the past few years... look for the dark blue bars...

Monthly Market Report

As you can see, with over 700 home sales (736) in the first half of 2021 this year is well ahead of the pace of home sales in the first half of each of the past three years.  Looking ahead, it currently seems quite reasonable to think that we would see 1500+ home sales in 2021, with one significant exception.  Home sales were tilted towards the second half of the year last year due to Covid, so while we are seeing stronger sales in the first half of 2021 (compared to 2020) things might level out a bit when we get to comparing the second half of 2021 to an abnormally strong second half of 2020.

The next visualization is still shocking to me each time I update it with another month of data...

Monthly Market Report

A year ago, 1300–ish buyers were buying homes a year –– now that has risen to 1600+ buyers per year!?!  Indeed, it feels like EVERYBODY wants to buy a home... because, keep in mind, this 1600+ per year figure does not include all of the would–be buyers who made offers on houses in the past year but were not successful in securing a contract to buy a house!?!  Imagine if there had been enough houses on the market for all of those buyers to have bought as well...

The price change (orange line above) over the past year is also somewhat of an eyebrow raiser.  The median price has risen $25,000 in the past year.  Thus, if you own a home, the value of that property may have very well increased $25,000 over the past year!  Admittedly, this varies based on property type, location, price range, etc., –– but suffice it to say –– home values have increased quite a bit in the past year!!

Now, just to keep you levelheaded this morning, the next two graphs might make you (and me) say "hmmm..." and "well, let's see what comes next"...

Monthly Market Report

Above, it would appear that the pace of buyers signing contracts has dropped off considerably in June 2021!?!?!  ;–) 

But don't worry too much –– I don't think!? 

The pace of contract signing in any typical March / April / May is usually quite (!!) active.  Last year, buyer activity was significantly suppressed during those normally active months because of Covid –– we didn't know what was happening, what was going to happen, whether the housing market was going to slow down, etc.  Then, buyer activity exploded in June of last year and remained quite strong throughout most of the remainder of the year. 

So, as you look at the decline in June 2021 as compared to June 2020, keep in mind that it was a very unusual June 2020.  So, wait and see –– but I don't think June contract numbers mean that our local housing market is slowing down.

And now, the second graph to make you say hmmm.....

Monthly Market Report

Inventory levels have risen over the past month –– to the highest level in almost six months!  This is somewhat interesting and surprising –– but I do also wonder whether it is temporary.  I should also point out that this increase in inventory levels only takes us from super–super–super–super low inventory levels up to super–super–super low inventory levels.  In the end, most buyers in most price ranges will still find very few choices of homes on the market at any given time. 

So, I think this is a wait and see –– as to whether we'll start seeing inventory levels rising again, or if this is a one month blip.

Lastly, just to remind everyone of at least one of the reasons why so many buyers would LOVE to buy a house right now –– mortgage interest rates are phenomenally low right now...

Monthly Market Report

Interest rates have been up and down over the past year, falling as low as 2.67% and rising as high as 3.17%.  Clearly, though, anything under 4% still has to be described as absurdly low from any sort of a long term perspective.  The cost of financing your home purchase will be very, very low if you are fortunate enough to secure a contract to buy a home in 2021.

OK, that's all of the charts and graphs I have for you this morning.

A few short takeaways from a big picture perspective...

BUYERS:  Get prequalified now, see new listings quickly, and carefully consider each contract term of your offer to make it as strong as possible.

SELLERS: Prepare your home well, price it reasonably, enjoy a short period of time when you have to put up with showings, and enjoy likely being able to select from multiple offers with favorable terms.

HOMEOWNERS:  Enjoy knowing that your home value is increasing.  :–)

If you have questions about buying, or selling, or just want to tell me about the exciting plans you have for the weekend ahead –– drop me a line via email or call/text me at 540–578–0102.

Otherwise, enjoy the weekend! 

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/special-saturday-edition-home-sales-prices-flying-high-in-harrisonburg-area_1626525420/index.php?f=1Sat, 17 Jul 2021 12:37:00 +0000Scott Rogers
Just Because Home Prices Are High Does Not Necessarily Mean You Should Sell Your HomePrices Are High!

Yes, clearly, home prices are quite high right now!

The median sales price of properties sold in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County increased 10% in the past year.

The median sales price increased 21% over the past three years.

So, yes, your home is likely worth a good bit more than it was a year ago... or three years ago... or seven years ago... and so on.

But, that doesn't necessarily mean you should sell your home.

Let's assume you can sell your home quickly AND at a higher price than you thought.

Where will you go?

Are you planning to buying again?  You'll probably pay a higher price than you thought.

Are you planning to rent for a while?  Are you hoping to buy when (more likely if) the market cools off a few years from now?

Before we rush right into getting your house on the market for sale because prices are so high, let's think through where you will live next –– to make sure it is the best overall financial decision to sell your house now.

We might very well conclude that it would best for you to NOT sell your house right now –– and I am happy to talk things through with you to figure out whether to sell –– or stay!

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/just-because-home-prices-are-high-does-not-necessarily-mean-you-should-sell-your-home_1626350337/index.php?f=1Thu, 15 Jul 2021 11:58:57 +0000Scott Rogers
All The Right Spaces In All The Wrong Places!?Spacious Home Office

Layout and room size is so important.

It's delightful to have 2500 square feet –– but that amount of space could present itself very differently in a variety of homes...
  • 2500 SF split amongst two floors with three bedrooms and an open great room with kitchen, living room and dining area
  • 2500 SF split amongst three floors including five bedrooms, a living room, family room, dining room, sitting room, den and office
As you can likely gather from these two exaggerated descriptions above...
  • the first house would likely feel open and spacious with large rooms and would likely provide great opportunities for gathering together in common living spaces with family or friends
  • the second house would likely feel very cramped and chopped up with small rooms and there likely wouldn't be many spaces where you could have more than two or three people comfortably gathered together
Each house is probably "the perfect house" for some buyers, somewhere –– but I'm guessing that both houses aren't perfect for you.  Most buyers would find themselves gravitating towards one of the houses at the exclusion of the other.

As such, it is vital that we walk through houses to see how the floor plan and layout of the house will or will not support your needs and typical life activities.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/all-the-right-spaces-in-all-the-wrong-places_1626260029/index.php?f=1Wed, 14 Jul 2021 10:53:49 +0000Scott Rogers
Drive By New Listings To See What Might Have Been Cropped Out Of The PhotosCreative Cropping

It's almost always helpful to do a drive by of a new listing to see what might not have quite made it into the photo you're seeing online.

Oftentimes, you won't find any surprises.

But plenty of times, you will...
  • a neighboring house that is super close to the house you like
  • many neighbors who do not seem to own lawn mowers
  • high voltage power lines behind the house
  • a super steep driveway leading up to the house
You get the picture.  ;–)

When marketing a house, a seller or seller's agent or photographer are rarely going to accentuate those "just outside the frame" features that might make you a bit less excited about the house.  When you drive by, you'll be able to pick up on many more of those details that may affect your interest level.

This is not to say that you should drive by a house before we schedule a time to go see the house –– it is merely to point out that driving by will often show a fuller context of a house than just what is presented in the photos!

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/drive-by-new-listings-to-see-what-might-have-been-cropped-out-of-the-photos_1626172503/index.php?f=1Tue, 13 Jul 2021 10:35:03 +0000Scott Rogers
Yes, We Need More Townhouses To Be Built!New Townhouses

When you see more townhouses being built –– or when you see plans being discussed for more townhouses to be built –– you might be thinking...

What!? More townhouses!? Don't we have enough townhouses!?

But if you ask nearly any local Realtor who has represented the seller of a townhouse in or near Harrisonburg in 2021 they will tell you...

Yes, We Need More Townhouses To Be Built!

Whenever a resale townhouse comes on the market it is almost always overwhelmed with showings in the first few days on the market –– and then the offers start coming in, fast and furious.

Buyers are offering over asking price.  Buyers are waiving inspection contingencies.  Buyers are desperate to find a townhouse to buy.

But yet, when there are 12 offers on a townhouse, the seller is only able to accept one of those offers.  As a result, there are still 11 would–be townhouse buyers circling the market waiting on that next townhouse to become available.

As quickly becomes evident, demand for townhouses FAR exceeds supply –– so...

Yes, More Townhouses Need To Be Built!

If I dialed in a bit further on this issue, I suppose I should point out that...
  • Many or most resale townhouses receiving excessive buyer interest are priced under $200K.
  • Most new townhouses for sale are being offered over $200K and often over $250K.
So, while it would be great to continue to see options over $250K, it would also be amazing to see new townhouse options much closer to $200K.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/yes-we-need-more-townhouses-to-be-built_1625749178/index.php?f=1Thu, 08 Jul 2021 12:59:38 +0000Scott Rogers
155 Single Family Homes Proposed In New Neighborhood, Peak Mountain, In McGaheysvillePeak Mountain
   view a larger plat here

We might see up to 155 detached single family coming to McGaheysville soon, located between McGaheysville Road, Power Dam Road and Three Leagues Road.

Four tracts of land totaling 41.99 acres are currently zoned A–1 and A–2 but the owner is proposing that the County rezone them PSF–C... Planned Single–family Residential with Conditions.

This neighborhood of detached homes is planned to include 155 homes...
  • (38) homes on 45 foot wide lots without garages
  • (117) homes on 60 foot wide lots with a garage
The neighborhood would also include a shared–use path.

View all of the details in the Rezoning Case Report here.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/-single-family-homes-proposed-in-new-neighborhood-peak-mountain-in-mcgaheysville_1625569239/index.php?f=1Tue, 06 Jul 2021 11:00:39 +0000Scott Rogers
225 Townhomes, 175 Single Family Homes or Duplexes Planned For Cobblers ValleyCobblers Valley
   view a larger jpg here

A new neighborhood is under development on the south side of Harrisonburg, straddling the City / County line.  As shown on the site plan above, this development will potentially include 225 townhomes and 175 single family homes or duplexes.

Details are still scarce as to what exactly will be built on these lots, but if you drive by, you'll note that dirt is moving – presumably for the construction of roads and installation of water lines and sewer lines.

Download the site plan here.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/-townhomes--single-family-homes-or-duplexes-planned-for-cobblers-valley_1625480400/index.php?f=1Mon, 05 Jul 2021 10:20:00 +0000Scott Rogers
It Is Not Possible For You To Ask Too Many Questions When Selling Or Buying A HomeAsk Questions!

Most people do not buy or sell a home every year – or even every few years.  Oftentimes, when buying or selling a home, you haven't done so in 5+ or 10+ or even 20+ years.  Thus, it is natural to have some questions about how things work when buying or selling your home.

Your likely lack of recent personal experience with buying or selling is also compounded by the fact that laws and contract documents continue to evolve over time AND market conditions at any given time can affect how transactions typically flow.

So, when you are buying or selling a home OR when you are thinking about buying or selling a home –– feel free to ask questions –– a LOT of them!

But they're silly questions...

There aren't any silly questions when it comes to buying or selling a home.  You are getting ready to buy or sell what may be your most valuable finance asset –– it's a big deal –– so if you have a question, as the question.  I won't laugh or snicker or smirk.  Promise. 

But maybe you don't have time for all these questions...

Sure I do.  Feel free to email me if that's how you prefer to get a bunch of questions out there and I can provide you with some detailed feedback by email.  Or maybe you prefer to process things aloud, in which case we can sit down at my office or over coffee and talk things through.

I want you to be well informed and to feel confident as you approach and make your way through the home buying or selling process.  I can't always anticipate all of the questions you might have –– so please do ask the questions as they pop into your mind –– all of them!  ;–)

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/it-is-not-possible-for-you-to-ask-too-many-questions-when-selling-or-buying-a-home_1625222765/index.php?f=1Fri, 02 Jul 2021 10:46:05 +0000Scott Rogers
Pretend The Seller Is With You When Touring A House As A BuyerSecurity Camera

As a buyer, when you are walking through a home, keep in mind that the seller might be listening

These days, there are plenty of ways that a seller could be monitoring their home, with a security camera, or other recording device that could allow them to hear every word you are saying while you are in their house.

And, these cameras (or other listening devices) are less and less obvious and less and less expensive!

1.  Don't insult their house.  It won't help during negotiations.

2.  Don't discuss negotiations.  You might be revealing your strategy.
One way around this is to pretend (as a buyer) that the seller is walking through the house with you.

By the way, sellers, it may not be legal for you to record conversations in your home while you are gone.  You should likely either NOT record conversations, or disclose that it is taking place.
P.S.  I am not an attorney.  Consult one if you want an actual legal opinion.  Ask me if you need a recommendation.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/07/pretend-the-seller-is-with-you-when-touring-a-house-as-a-buyer_1625155785/index.php?f=1Thu, 01 Jul 2021 16:09:45 +0000Scott Rogers
June Is Shaping Up To Be A Crazy Month For Local Real EstateJune Home Sales

Yes, I know it's the last day of June –– but it takes a few days after the last day of the month for all of that month's home sales to show up in the MLS.

So, until then, you'll have to live with this snapshot of the first 28 days of June.

As shown above, there were 115 home sales in the first 28 days of last June –– and 136 home sales in the first 28 days of this June!

Again, this is just the first 28 days –– give it another week or so and we'll be able to get a clearer look at the entire month –– but so far it seems June will have been an exceptionally strong month of home sales in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

The change from 2020 to 2021 shown above marks an 18% increase in the pace of home sales in (the first 28 days of) June.

Stay tuned in early July for a full analysis of the first half of the year in our local real estate market.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/06/june-is-shaping-up-to-be-a-crazy-month-for-local-real-estate_1625069120/index.php?f=1Wed, 30 Jun 2021 16:05:20 +0000Scott Rogers
Sometimes, Appraisals Are Reining In High Contract Prices, And That Can Keep Sales Prices From Getting Out Of HandNot So Fast

Let's say there's a house that comes on the market for $300K.  Every Realtor and buyer that looks at it agrees that it is worth $300K because three identical houses sold the prior day for $299K, $300K and $301K.  ;–)

The house immediately has LOTS of interest, LOTS of showings and LOTS of offers.

The house ends up going under contract for $335K.


Now, a few things can happen from here...
  • If the buyer is paying cash, there usually won't be an appraisal, so it doesn't matter that the buyer is potentially paying $35K above market value.
  • Maybe the winning buyer agreed to pay $335K regardless of the appraised value.  In such an instance, the house will sell for $335K even if the appraisal comes in at $300K or $305K.
  • Perhaps the winning buyer agreed to pay $10K over the appraised value, so if the appraisal comes in at $300K or $305K they will be paying $310K or $315K, not $335K.
  • But quite possibly, the contract is contingent on the property appraising at or above the appraised value, in which case a $300K or $305K appraisal is likely to rein in that high $335K sales price –– bringing it down to $300K or $305K, unless the buyer and seller negotiate towards meeting at some price between the appraised value and contract price.
So –– even if buyers are willing to (per their offers) pay higher and higher and higher prices for houses –– regardless of what other buyers recently paid for similar houses –– the appraisal process is still, often but not always, keeping things in check and preventing prices from skyrocketing too quickly.

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/06/sometimes-appraisals-are-reining-in-high-contract-prices-and-that-can-keep-sales-prices-from-getting-out-of-hand_1624969709/index.php?f=1Tue, 29 Jun 2021 12:28:29 +0000Scott Rogers
Is The Housing Market Still Crazy? Is The Sky Still Blue On A Sunny Day?Market Status

So, yes...  the housing market is still crazy... and the sky is still blue on a sunny day.  Speaking of sun... and heat... looks to be a scorcher this week!?!

A client asked me this weekend if the market was still pretty crazy / busy / active.  Indeed, it is.

Will it slow down sometime? I'm not thinking it will anytime in the foreseeable future.  Maybe in November?

I think there is a good chance that homes will keep selling as quickly as they are right now (median of 4 days on the market thus far in June) for the rest of the summer and into the fall.

Which is GREAT if you are going to be selling your home and is AWFUL if you are trying to buy a home.

But yes, you can buy a home –– it will just likely take a bit longer to find a home you like (given very low inventory levels at any given time) and to secure a contract amidst a likely multiple offer scenario which we are seeing on most property prepared, priced and marketed new listings.

So, yes, the market is still crazy – and I'm not predicting that to change in the near term.  What about you?  Do you think things will slow down at all this summer or fall?

Have Any Questions? Contact Scott Rogers at 540-578-0102 or scott@funkhousergroup.com]]>
http://www.harrisonburghousingtoday.com/blog/archives/2021/06/is-the-housing-market-still-crazy-is-the-sky-still-blue-on-a-sunny-day_1624877367/index.php?f=1Mon, 28 Jun 2021 10:49:27 +0000Scott Rogers