The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Neighborhood Spotlight: Woodlake, Midlothian

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 02:11 PM

I73A0928.jpgHave you ever dreamed of life on a lake? The Woodlake Community in Midlothian, VA is a suburban neighborhood located close to the city of Richmond. While it is nearby popular dining and entertainment options, Woodlake maintains the serene lifestyle that accompanies lake-front living. Woodlake is home to over 7,000 residents, and provides quick access to local schools, playgrounds, trails, and activities for the entire family.

The Woodlake Community Association is a board tasked with maintaining the community and providing programming to engage residents.

I73A0850-1.jpgWoodlake features unparalleled amenities and facilities for its residents that distinguish the community above others in the area. Not only are there recreational spaces always available for use, Woodlake residents can rent or reserve different facilities throughout the community. The Woodlake Community Clubhouse is located at the Swim & Racquet Complex, and the clubhouse, patio, and pool can all be rented for events. The Woodlake Community Association also facilitates a boat rental program where individuals can rent out paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and more. Another unique feature of the boat rental program is their famous Pontoon boat rentals that hold up to 14 adults. This program is exclusive to Woodlake residents and can be reserved for anytime during the day or evening. No other community in the area provides such an extensive list of recreational options, rental facilities, water activities, and more.

East West Legacy Park is one of the finest locations within the Woodlake community. It boasts some of the best views of the lake, and offers a pavilion with picnic tables perfect for any gathering! The Pavilion itself can be reserved but is otherwise open to community members to relax, enjoy the views, and spend time with loved ones. East West Legacy Park is one of many facilities and amenities that make Woodlake an incredible community to live in.  

For more information, click here to download our Woodlake neighborhood guide.

Download Our Woodlake Neighborhood Guide

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Tags: Buyers, Woodlake, Midlothian

It's Back...The Liz Moore Summer Open House Extravaganza!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, May 23, 2017 @ 02:10 PM

Calling all house hunters!  Visit a Liz Moore open house between May 26th and August 26th, 2017 and you'll be entered into a drawing to win some amazing prizes.  

LMA_open-web-banner.jpg

House hunters can register for the drawing at every Liz Moore open house.  The more you visit, the better your chances are of winning!
 
Click below for a list of open houses and to view complete contest rules.
 
Summer Open House Extravaganza Participating Properties

Tags: Buyers

Where Did Buyers Find Their Home in 2016?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 @ 03:09 PM

The 2016 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports on where buyers found the home they purchased.  

Click Here to Download Our Free Home Buyer's Handbook

Internet - 51%
The number has consistently increased year after year, starting at just 8% in 2001.

Real Estate Agent - 34%
Ranging between 38% and 33% since 2004, this number was at its highest in 2001 (48%) and its lowest (33%) 2013-2015.

Yard Sign/Open House Sign - 8%
This number stayed between 15% and 16% from 2001-2008, and started to drop in 2009.

Friend, Relative, Neighbor - 4%
Jumping back and forth from 7% to 8% from 2001-2008, this number dropped to 6% in 2009 and is now at its lowest.

Home Builder or Their Agent - 2%
This number stayed the same for the last few years and is now at its lowest.

Directly From Sellers - 1%
This number has remained between 2% and 3% since 2005 and dropped to 1% in 2016.

Print Newspaper Advertisement - 
This number started at 7% in 2001 and has consistently dropped year after year, currently being too low to calculate.

Where Buyers Found Their Home_Flyer.jpg

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

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Tags: Buyers, Sellers

Eight Tips for Buying Your First Home

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 03:11 PM

Buying-a-Home-Keys-1.jpg

By Virginia Lascara, TowneBank Mortgage

1. Check your credit.
A homebuyer’s credit score is a crucial factor when it comes to qualifying for a loan. Before starting the mortgage process, scour your credit reports for mistakes, unpaid accounts or collection accounts. If you find a mistake, write to the credit issuer and the credit reporting bureau and tell them what information you believe is inaccurate, and include copies of documents that support your position, and request a deletion or correction. If your credit isn’t so stellar, you should be sure to start making all your payments on time. Your credit utilization, or how much credit you’re using relative to your available balance, is important to your credit score as well. Keep your utilization score low, only using and only using up to 30 percent of your available credit. Realize that it could take several months to get your credit score back in order.

2. Get your finances together. Keep track of how much money you have coming in each month, and how much is going out. Once you assess your monthly cash flow, you’ll have an understanding of how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. If you don’t like the number you’re left with, think about how you can change your spending habits. Gather all the necessary financial documents, such as your two most recent pay stubs, the previous 2 years’ W-2 forms, tax returns and the past two months of bank statements.


3. Calculate all costs and determine how much you can afford. A lot of first-time homebuyers forget to factor in added expenses to their mortgage payments. Your monthly mortgage payment will include principal and interest, real estate taxes, insurance, and private mortgage if you put less than 20 percent down. Don’t forget to factor in homeowners association dues, maintenance, and higher electric and water bills.

4. Get preapproved. After you’ve discovered what your comfortable spending on a home, talk to a TowneBank Mortgage loan officer to see how much you’re qualified to borrow. By obtaining a letter of preapproval, you can start the home buying process with confidence that you can obtain financing. Plus, you won’t waste time shopping for houses out of your price range. Just remember, just because you’ve been preapproved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you have to spend that amount.

5. Don’t spend all your cash on the down payment. Although a big down payment can help slash your monthly mortgage payments, it’s important to not deplete your savings account. When something breaks, you need to make sure that you have enough funds to fix it. There are also additional costs associated with buying a house, such as moving costs, utility down payments, or the purchase of maintenance items such as tools or lawn movers.

6. When you’re looking at houses, focus on what’s important. Come up with a checklist of must-haves, and another checklist of nice-to-haves. Make sure you don’t sacrifice a must-have for a nice-to-have. Maybe you’ll have to live without the granite countertops to achieve your perfect location.

7. If you’re buying into a homeowners association, know the rules. Ask the homeowners association for their contract before you make a decision. Your HOA can govern how many or what type of pets you have, what type of alterations you can make, or the color of your home’s exterior. Take a look at their finances, insurance policies, fees, rules and fines, and meeting minutes to gain some insight. If your neighbors fail to pay their fees each month, you could be on the hook for their payments. Ask neighbors about their opinion of the HOA and any concerns they have.

8. Don’t finance any new purchases. Once you’ve been approved for a loan, you should not take out any new loans or open new lines of credit. You might be tempted to finance a new dining room table or leather sectional for the living room, but doing so could result in higher interest payments or even the loss of your loan. Wait until your loan closes before making these purchases.

Are you thinking about starting the home buying process? Talking to a local lender is a great first step! Contact McKim Beale, with TowneBank Mortgage, at mckim.beale@townebankmortgage.com and he can help get you started.

Tags: Buyers

10 Popular Home Decor Trends for 2017

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 01:49 PM

pattern-tile-bathroom-vintage.jpgIs a home remodel on your list of new year's goals for 2017?  Or, maybe your new year's plan is to update your home to get it ready to sell? Better Homes and Gardens has put out a list of what they predict to be the top ten trends in home design and decor in 2017.

1.  Matte Black
Matte black makes a sophisticated statement in the kitchen, and we expect to see a lot more of this bold look on cabinets and appliances everywhere.

2.  Intergalatic Spaces
This is a step up from those sticky glow-in-the-dark stars you had in your childhood bedroom. Galaxy-themed accessories are flooding the decor aisles, and we are definitely hyped about it. Let your imagination soar with this cool DIY faux geode that we think looks a bit like intergalactic stone.

3.  Copper Accents
tep aside, rose gold. The new metal trend is warm copper. Play it safe by putting your copper pots and pans on display in the kitchen, or go bold with a large copper light fixture in the living room. You'll love this look!

4.  Bohemian Style
We used to think kilim rugs and other fabrics were strictly for Bohemian spaces. But we are happy to find out these wild prints can be incorporated anywhere! If you really want to make a statement, hang a kilim rug on the wall that'll be a pop of color enough for the whole space.

5. Patterned Tile
The new wallpaper is... tile? Indeed, it is! You better get used to this look, because bold, beautiful patterned tiles will be everywhere the coming year. We are seriously crushing on this black and white accented wall made entirely of tiles.

6.  Velvet
If you're looking to add some warmth to your living room, consider a smooth, velvety couch. This statement piece will have you looking luxurious and cozy all at the same time. Fun pops of color are especially popular in this fabric.

7.  Jewel Tones
Instantly bring your walls to life with a fresh coat of deep, rich jewel tones. Dark blues, purples, greens, and gold make the rising pallet this year. If you're not looking to do a total paint job, scatter your home with a few jewel-toned accessories.

8.  Faux-Stone Surfaces
Stone walls, granite, and marble will all be making appearances in homes this coming year. We love the look but aren't enthused about the price, so we are determined to find the best faux-stone surface for your home.

9.  Nature-Inspired
Hold onto your succulents, because 2017 is going to see a lot more greenery indoors. Start with small desk plants and work your way up to large houseplants that command attention in a room. Just be sure to do your research on watering and sunlight before committing to a plant!

10.  Smart Homes
Get ready to live like it's the year 3000. Smart homes come decked out with all the coolest gadgets including voice-activated bots, hands-free faucets, and more. However, we are most excited about high-tech showers with programmed spray sequences for your relaxing pleasure.

If you’re a seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell this winter, 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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Tags: Buyers, Sellers

9 Things to Consider Before Making an Offer on a Home

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Dec 23, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

There are many things to consider when buying a home, in addition to things like number of bedrooms and overall square footage.  REALTOR.com has a list of topics you should do your homework on before you sign on the dotted line.167447516.jpg

1. Search for neighborhood information online.
If you already live in the community, you may be able to skip this step, but it’s always a good idea to find out as much as you can about the neighborhood.

2. Check the crime report.
Your local police station will have statistics on crime and you can also go to www.crimereports.com to find information according to a particular address or ZIP code.

3. Check on the schools.
Even if you don’t have children, buying a home in a good school district is an important way to make sure your home maintains its value. You can find information on each school district website or go to www.GreatSchools.com for ratings.

4. Check for local amenities.
You can go to Google Maps for a Street View of a community to see what’s nearby, or visit www.WalkScore.com to find out what is within walking distance of the home. If you have a particular activity that you enjoy, such as tennis or golf or swimming, find out how far you’ll have to go to get to a facility.

5. Check for neighborhood amenities.
If you’re buying within a homeowners association, you can usually find information online about community activities, but even in areas without an association some neighborhoods have frequent community-wide gatherings or sports leagues.

6. Visit the home at different times of day.
If you want to know what it will be like to live somewhere, visit on a weekday, a weeknight and a weekend to see how quiet or active the area will be.

7. Test your commute.
If you only visit a home on a weekend you’ll have no idea what the traffic pattern is like during rush hour, which could have a big impact on your enjoyment of the property.

8. Talk to the sellers.
If the sellers are willing to share information with you, they’re the best resource of all to learn about the community and the house. You can ask the sellers about renovations they’ve done and even talk to them about whether your plans for the house are possible.

9. Ask about taxes, homeowner association dues, homeowners insurance and utility bills.

Are you looking to start the home buying process?  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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Tags: Buyers

Happy 13th Anniversary, Liz Moore & Associates!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 @ 12:04 PM

In honor of our 13th anniversary as a company, here's a little "Monday Morning Mojo" from Liz!

Good morning, LMA!

It’s not every year that December 19th, our Company’s anniversary, falls on a Monday so that I can take advantage of the special occasion for a Monday Morning Mojo!  Hard to believe that we are celebrating our 13th year in business.LMA Logo HIGH RES.jpg

It seems like yesterday that we were opening our doors at 11801 Canon Boulevard in Newport News for the very first time!  With 32 agents and a handful of staff, all eager to begin reinventing real estate, we jumped into a fast paced market not really knowing what to expect.  We enjoyed the real estate glory days until late 2006, when the market began to shift.  We were fortunate to shift with it, and we actually grew our market share and our team by leaps and bounds, despite the economic downturn between late 2007 and 2012.  The last 3 years have been our best yet, as the market and economy have rebounded, and we have been blessed to outpace the market, and enjoy a remarkably high % of repeat and referral business.  Because you all are Rock Stars!!

I am so excited about 2017 and the years ahead.  Richmond is off to an incredible start – 18 amazing agents on board since September 1st, and a wonderful team spirit and momentum in the new office.  Property management added 109 new management agreements this year, which is truly incredible performance for only 4 property managers.  We’ve ramped up our support teams considerably in the past few years to ensure that we deliver the same level of service as we grow – and that new energy has opened many new doors.  Both Newport News and Williamsburg have enjoyed healthy sales years, and welcomed some fabulous new talent to our team, teeing us up for record levels of performance in 2017 and beyond.

From mannequin challenges to wine label design to angel trees, you all are living proof that real estate can be *FUN* as well as profitable, and that we can deliver an extraordinary experience to our community as well as to our clients.  For that, I am truly grateful.

You all inspire me to look forward to coming to work each and every day, even after 13 years.  That’s 676 Monday Morning Mojos – whew!  Ok, I may have missed a few :-)

A special 13th anniversary wish to Brian, Donna, Dewey, Ingrid, Debi, Teresa, Janet, Phyllis, Joanna, and Erik!

- Liz

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, Locals - 101 Reasons, Home Page

Are You Ready to Purchase a Home?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 @ 08:54 AM

By Virginia Lascara, TowneBank MortgageReal_Estate_Buy_or_Rent_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Jim_Neal.jpg

So you’re ready to stop making your landlord rich, and start building your own equity through homeownership. But are you ready for the responsibility of homeownership? Despite what some may think, buying a home isn’t just a financial decision. Buying a home needs to make sense for your specific financial, professional, and personal situation.

Here are five signs that you’re ready to become a homeowner.

1. You’re prepared to stay in one place for a while. Purchasing a home is not a good idea if your work is thinking of relocating you across country in the next few years. You should feel confident that you’ll be living in the area with a secure job for the next four to five years in order to recoup the costs of buying and selling.

2. You’ve been preapproved. It’s not likely that you’re going to purchase your house without financial help. Before house hunting, you should obtain a letter of preapproval from TowneBank Mortgage to insure that you’ll be able to secure financing. A preapproval is a written statement from a lender stating the maximum amount its willing to lend to a borrower. To become prequalified, a lender will have to verify your credit score, information and documentation. Important documents in this process include pay stubs, W-2 forms, federal tax returns, and bank statements. This will help you know exactly how much house you can afford.

3. You’ve saved up. Saving up money for a house is important for your down payment and an emergency house fund. Owning a home is a full time responsibility, and it requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep. If you were previously renting, your landlord likely took care of issues such as a leaking pipe or a broken AC system. When you’re a homeowner, you’ll need to have money saved up in a rainy day fund to take care of these issues and maintain your home.

4. You’re willing to put in the time, effort and money. There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into finding a home that fits your needs and wants, and is within your budget. Don’t forget about the stress and hassle that you’ll experience when you hit a bump in the road. For these reasons, it’s important to have experienced professionals on your side, who will help guide you through the process. Even after you’ve settled into your new home, you need to be prepared to put the time, effort and money into maintaining your home.

5. Its good timing. Timing is everything, and that’s especially true when buying a home. If you still have 11 months left on your current lease, it might not be a good time to actively look for a home (but that shouldn’t stop you from researching and exploring your options.) The same rule applies if you only have 30 days left on a lease, and need to find housing immediately.

Are you thinking about starting the home buying process? Talking to a local lender is a great first step! Contact McKim Beale, with TowneBank Mortgage, at mckim.beale@townebankmortgage.com and he can help get you started.

Tags: Buyers

How to Shop for a Mortgage, Part 4: Rate Lock

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 @ 10:11 AM

n54nfnkx-1410829307.jpgWhen purchasing a home and applying for a mortgage, you will often hear the term "rate lock".

Your Loan Estimate may show a rate that has been “locked” or a rate that is “floating,” which means it can go up or down. Mortgage interest rates change daily, sometimes hourly. A rate lock sets your interest rate for a period of time. Rate locks are typically available for 30, 45, or 60 days, and sometimes longer.

Click Here to Download "How to Shop for a Mortgage"

The interest rate on your Loan Estimate is not a guarantee. If your rate is floating and it is later locked, your interest rate will be set at that later time. Also, if there are changes in your application — including your loan amount, credit score, or verified income — your rate and terms will probably change too. In those situations, the lender gives you a revised Loan Estimate.

There can be a downside to a rate lock. It may be expensive to extend if your transaction needs more time. And, a rate lock may lock you out of better market pricing if rates fall. Be sure to explore rate locks in depth with your chosen lender.

Are you thinking about starting the home buying process?  Talking to a local lender is a great first step!  Contact Nina Efird, with Fidelity Bank Mortgage, at nina.efird@lionbank.com and she can help get you started.

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Tags: Buyers

Parade of Homes Starts This Weekend in Founders Pointe!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 @ 03:27 PM

FP_Parade_of_Homes.jpgJoin us for this year's PHBA Parade of Homes in Founders Pointe, October 1st - 16th, 11am - 6pm daily.  

Overlooking the Batten Bay, with creeks and tributaries flowing to the James River, there’s never a shortage of breathtaking vistas and outdoor activities at Founders Pointe, located in Carrollton, Virginia. Residents enjoy resort-style amenities including a Residents’ Club and pool, a 112′ water slide, a children’s playground, leisure trails for walking and biking, an Observation Pier that overlooks the Hampton Roads and Batten Bay, and more. 

Liz Moore & Associates and Jenny Edgerton is proud to represent Edgerton Contracting, whose home will be featured during this year's parade.

Click below to download the flyer for more information on Edgerton Contracting's home.

Download Our Flyer

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Tags: Buyers, New Homes