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How Do I Know if an Investment is a Good Deal?

  
  
  

Q: How Do I Know if an Investment is a Good Deal?

A: Great question! To some extent, it depends on what your investment objectives are. Ifinvesting in real estate your goal is to flip the property for a profit, for instance, then you will need an experienced realtor to be able to give you a market analysis showing what you realistically can net after fixing up the property and re-selling it. If your goal is long term appreciation, that's a little more difficult to predict.

You can find a great deal analyzer calculator at www.TheSavvyRealEstateInvestor.com, that calculates return on investment.

Interested in learning more about real estate investment strategies?  Download our free eBook!

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Staging the Outside of Your Home in the Dead of Winter

  
  
  

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but how do you make a home look inviting in a photograph when the ground is frozen, the tree limbs are bare, and the sky is overcast?  REALTOR Mag gives some tips for staging the outside of your home in the dead of winter.selling your home

1.  Follow the sun.
Capture the home’s exterior when the sun is lighting the front of the house, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., suggests Tony Calarco, owner of Jump Visual, a real estate photography company. You can use mobile apps—Sun Seeker (iPhone), Focalware (iPhone), or The Photographers Ephemeris (iPhone, Android, or desktops)—to tell you the sun’s direction by time of day.

2.  Add some color.
Add hearty potted plants such as mums, poinsettias, or ornamental cabbages around the front entrance.

3.  Tidy up the landscaping.
Even in the colder months, home owners need to make sure the lawn is well-manicured. Make sure to put away hoses and seasonal items and to remove fallen leaves. Pay careful attention to the front porch. too. 

4. Use snow to your advantage.
If your area gets snow, the best time to capture a home in the winter is following a fresh snow. Be sure to have walkways and driveways cleared so that the photograph leads the eye to the home’s front door.

(side note - make sure you get new photos taken of the exterior once the snow melts so the listing doesn't look dated.)

Have you thought about selling your home this season but decided to put it off until the spring?  Winter is actually a great time to sell!  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised. 

How Much is My Home Worth?

 

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55+? Check Out These Senior Friendly Homes!

  
  
  

We are excited to bring you the latest issue of the Liz Moore Savvy Senior Magazine!  Click the image below to flip through the magazine featuring our newest "Senior friendly" homes for sale.

Senior DigitalMagazine resized 600

Check out the rest of our digital magazines - Hampton HomesWilliamsburg HomesWaterfront Property, and more!  You can subscribe to one or more of our magazines, and they will be delivered FREE to your inbox once a month, dynamically uploading the latest issues.

 Check Out Our Digital Magazines

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Where are Home Buyers Looking?

  
  
  

If your house is currently on the market, or if you are thinking about selling, one very important piece of the puzzle is knowing where buyers are looking for homes.  After all, isn't that where you want to be?  Every year, the National Association of Realtors puts out a report showing where buyers found the home that they ended up purchasing.  

These numbers have changed greatly over the last 10-15 years, mainly due to the growth of the internet, proving that it is very important to stay on top of industry trends.

At the top of the list in 2014 was internet, followed by real estate agents, and down at the bottom with just 1% of the buyers was print media.

where are home buyers looking

Are you thinking of selling your home?  We'd love to show you the many marketing components we can use to get your home sold quickly for top dollar, AND save you time AND money!  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below to fill out our Seller Interview. 

 

Complete Our Seller Interview

  

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Walk Through the Southern Living Showcase Home with Us!

  
  
  

Walk through “Harrison Place“ with us, a 3,540 square foot Southern Living Custom Builder Program Showcase Home built by Wayne Harbin Builders. This home boasts three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a spacious media room, beautiful outdoor kitchen and countless other breathtaking features.  

Come see this home for yourself – open every Friday through Monday from 1-4pm.

(Video by Chris Conway

For more information on the Southern Living Showcase home, email us at showcasehome@lizmoore.com, or click below to download the brochure and floorplan.

 Download the Harrison Place Floor Plan & Brochure

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Hampton Roads Restaurants and Inns Make Virginia.org's Luxury List

  
  
  

Virginia.org recently compiled "A Luxury List: 25 Places To Stay And Eat In 2015" and a few Hampton Roads locations made the cut! 

Included in "Luxury Stays":

The Williamsburg Inn - Regarded among the world's great hotels, the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Va., is the crown jewel of Colonial Williamsburg's Resort Collection. For many, it is a destination in itself. Fine dining, an outdoor pool, clay tennis courts, award-winning golf and The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, featuring a full menu of services with historicalHampton Roads luxury roots spanning five centuries, are among the amenities of this world-class resort. Enjoy afternoon tea or try your hand at lawn bowling or croquet. The Williamsburg Inn hotel is decorated in elegant English Regency style. Renovated in 2001, the Inn offers 62 rooms and suites.

Wedmore Place at the Williamsburg Winery - Situated near the 1607 settlement of Jamestown Island and minutes from Historical Colonial Williamsburg, Wedmore Place is an area of history, art, and culture. Imagine arriving at an old European estate and settling yourself in one of 28 individually designed rooms and suites that are themed in the style of a different European wine province-not only in the selection of colors and furnishings, but also in the wall hangings and decoration. All guests will enjoy a sumptuous retreat with period antiques, European bedding and luxurious linens. All rooms have a fireplace, individual floor designs from Spanish tiles to walnut parquet, 10’ ceilings and king size beds. HD TVs, telephones and wireless Internet service provide the link to the modern world. All rooms and bathrooms have a view of the vineyards, the surrounding woods and meadowlands.

Kingsmill Resort - Kingsmill Resort boasts 54 holes of championship golf. Located on 2,900 acres along the historic James River, the resort features 425 guest rooms and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, the full-service Spa at Kingsmill, a 15-court Tennis Center, a full-service marina, five restaurants and lounges, and a sports club. Kingsmill Resort is one of the Xanterra Parks & Resorts properties and a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a global association of the world's finest independent luxury hotels.

Included in "Notable Dining":

Circa 1918 in Newport News - Circa 1918 Kitchen + Bar, serving the best in creative American cuisine in Coastal Virginia. Enjoy creative American cuisine from Executive Chef/Owner Chad Martin & his culinary team in the heart of Historic Hilton Village in Newport News!

Fat Canary in Williamsburg - The most profound memories and lessons of life are often shared over a meal. In our family it begins in the kitchen, where you'll find family and friends cooking, telling stories, and reconnecting with a glass of wine in hand. These have been our moveable feasts, our most memorable occasions, when the fruits of our labor are enjoyed all the more as a result of the joy and cooperation that went into them. We invite you to our table at Fat Canary to create your own memories.

The Cellars in Virginia BeachWhere in the mainstream of today's high tech world do diners have the opportunity to be served in the cellar of an authentic 1860's farmhouse? A landmark, superior of its kind, The Cellars of Church Point Manor is tucked away in a serene, upscale Virginia Beach neighborhood and successfully blends high quality elegance with leisurely well-savored fare.

The Cellars' unique style and ambience offer a window to another place and another time. Relish in the allure of exposed brick, low ceilings and multiple fireplaces; A nationally recognized romantic tempo prevails.
The Cellars' diversified menu is best defined as French Country with a Southern flare, using only the finest quality standards and the freshest local ingredients. Guests are sure to enjoy a culinary experience that will linger long after the meal has ended.

Interested in finding more things to do in and around the Historic Triangle? Subscribe here to our blog as we post ideas frequently.  You also can purchase a copy of Liz’s recently published book, 101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle, in either paperback or e-book version by clicking the button below.

Purchase "101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle"

  

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What can I deduct on my tax return if I purchased a home last year?

  
  
  

If you bought a home last year, you may have a few new deductions!tax

Obviously, mortgage interest is a major deduction. Additionally, if there were “points” paid in connection with getting your loan (even if they were paid by the seller), then you may be able to claim a deduction in the year they were paid. This affects your cost basis, and you should discuss it with your CPA.

If you paid “PMI” (private mortgage insurance, which is required by lenders when a borrower makes a down payment less than 20%), you may be able to deduct the payments along with your mortgage interest. There are several restrictions to this – it must be in the acquisition year, and there are income caps when your adjusted gross income exceeds six figures. Check with your CPA for details.

Your settlement agent or REALTOR can get you a copy of your HUD settlement statement, which is handy for a detailed report of the transaction, and a copy should be made for your CPA when he or she prepares your taxes, to make sure no potential deduction is overlooked!

Are you looking to start the home buying process this year?  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, we'd love to help! Or, click below to download our free Home Buyer's Handbook.

Download Our FREE Home Buyer's Handbook

 

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What does "As Is Where Is" mean in a real estate contract?

  
  
  

Q:  What does "As Is Where Is" mean in a contract?

A:  Great question! It means that the buyer should definitely beware!! It may simply be thatbuying a house the current seller doesn't want to invest the money or time in repairs, and it may be as straightforward as holes in a wall or a leaky roof. Or, it may mean that there is termite damage or mold - things not so visible to the untrained consumer. Worse, it could mean liens or encroachments or other issues that may affect marketable title.

We're running into many "as is" issues with short sales and pre-foreclosures on the market. Often, the seller is either unaware, or unable to correct these issues prior to the sale.

As a buyer, it is critical that you complete your due diligence in advance - before you are committed in a contract. Thorough home inspections and pre-contract title searches are invaluable tools to be sure that you aren't buying more than you bargained for.

It is important to work with a REALTOR who is familiar with, and has expertise in, the home buying process.  There are many things that can be done to protect your interest and work through "as is where is" on the contract.  We'd be happy to connect you with an agent who can help you!

Help Me Choose An Agent

  

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Alternative Financing For Real Estate Investors

  
  
  

By Brian D. Lytle, Esq.

If you are looking to buy investment property and are unable, or unwilling, to obtain new financing, or if you are looking for ways to sell property you now hold and want to openinvesting in real estate the market to non-traditional buyers in order to get it sold, then the savvy investor should consider alternative financing options, these are as follows:

Land Sale Contract

A land sale contract is an agreement, or contract, between the buyer and the seller whereby the buyer agrees to pay the purchase price for the property over a period of time. The buyer does not receive title to the property until such time as the purchase price is paid in full, but the land sale contract gives the buyer exclusive use and possession of the property (i.e. it can be rented, renovated, etc.) and the right to sell it while the buyer makes the payments. When Lytle Law handles these transactions for investors we have the seller execute a deed to be held in escrow in order to minimize the buyer’s exposure, and of course, one can record the land sale contract to protect against future liens and encumbrances (and having it sold out from under the buyer).

WRAP Deed of Trust.

A wrap-around mortgage, or deed of trust, is a seller-held second deed of trust that subsumes the first mortgage. In other words, you as the purchaser receive title to the property and your agreement to pay is secured by a deed of trust (a second mortgage if you will) in favor of the seller. The well-drafted WRAP deed of trust will require payments to be made on the first, etc.

Assumption.

While we have not seen many assumptions over the last several years because of low interest rates, an investor does have the ability to assume many loans. Moreover, even those loans that are not thought of as being assumable may well in fact obtain the consent of the mortgage company if the buyer is at risk of defaulting or foreclosure is imminent. In other words, under those circumstances where there is no other option than it simply does not hurt to make this effort.

Seller Financing.

There is always the opportunity for traditional seller financing. That is, you as the purchaser execute a note in favor of the seller that is secured by a deed of trust against the property, and you receive title in exchange. Of course, this option may not always be available because in most cases the seller will need to pay off a loan secured by the property, but there may be ways to help a seller accomplish that goal.

Each of these options can trigger a potential due-on-sale clause in an existing deed of trust. Both the purchaser and the seller of the property need to understand the risk of the due-on-sale clause, and that is something we would need to discuss in person.

If you are interested in finding out if any of these alternative financing options are the right fit for you, email us and we'd be happy to help! 

Download our FREE eBook, Field Guide to Real Estate Investingand find out what every investor should know!

 

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Get Ready for Liz Moore & Associates' Annual Cupcake Wars Fundraiser!

  
  
  

Mark your calendar – our Annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser will be held on Friday, February 13th from 11am – 2pm in both Liz Moore offices!  Get creative and donate your prize winning treats, or stop by and pick up some baked goods for your sweet tooth.  All proceeds will go to CHKD.

chkd fundraiser

For more information on how you can contribute to this event, email Lynnette at lynnettetully@lizmoore.com.

Help us spread the word by inviting your friends and sharing the Cupcake Wars facebook event on your wall!

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