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family standing in front of their new home with SOLD sign

House Hunting Tips to Find Your Dream Home

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life, and you don’t want to go into it unprepared. Knowing what you’re looking for and what’s most important to you can make this often stressful process much easier. Get a sense of the Suffolk real estate market and surrounding areas by researching community information (crime rates, property taxes, flood zones, and school ratings, etc.)  Knowing your price range and anticipating future needs (growing family or downsizing, for instance) can make  a huge difference in how much you invest now and can possibly sell for later. Work with a mortgage broker to have your preapproval, price range, and down payment ready, so you’ll be prepared to make an offer in this competitive market.

Not sure if it is good time for you to buy or sell? An experienced REALTOR® from Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. can tell you whether Suffolk real estate is a buyer or seller’s market right now. A buyer’s market is when available properties exceed the number of buyers. That offers you (as a buyer) more leverage and flexibility in negotiations, like requesting upgrades as part of the contract. Currently, in March of 2021, we are seeing a seller’s market scenario, where the available inventory does not meet the demand. Considering a move this spring? You’re in luck! Our team of professionals is here to help you every step of the way.

land for sale

Buying Land to Build Your Dream Home – Things to Know Before You Purchase

You’ve been planning and saving for years, and now you are ready to make a real estate investment. Congratulations! If you are considering purchasing land to build your dream home, there are some things you will want to seriously think about before making a commitment to a particular parcel. It’s a big decision to make, so let us help by providing information about purchasing land for sale in Suffolk, VA, and surrounding areas.

You want to build your home in a place you love and eliminate the stress of unforeseen issues in the process. Doing some homework beforehand can help prevent potential problems before you begin construction. These are some things to think about as you begin your property search:

Financing: What type of loan will you need? Are you financing the land AND the construction of your home? Let your real estate professional connect you with an experienced loan officer who can give you the best options based on your particular circumstances and goals.

Flood Zone:  Here in Southeast VA and Northeast NC especially, you will want to know if the property you are buying is in a Flood Zone. This can make a significant difference in building and insurance costs.

Survey: A completed survey is a must for determining boundary lines and helping you with placement of driveways, fences, etc. Without a survey, you can potentially be setting yourself up for legal disputes down the road.

Utilities: Does the property currently have any utilities? There can be significant costs in adding them if none are in place. Check with your local city or county planning commission and utility companies to help you clarify answers to questions concerning these matters.

Perc Test: Some parcels of land cannot connect to city sewer and make a septic tank a necessary addition. In this case, a “perc test” needs to be done to determine if the land can handle a septic system. Testing and a septic system can be expensive additional costs. A failed “perc test” determines the site is unsuitable for building.

Zoning and Restrictive Covenants: Know of and review any zoning and/or legal restrictions in place that could dictate future building and usage plans for the property. A Realtor, Title Company, or attorney can provide this information to you.

Lot Prep to Build: Don’t overlook expenses if your lot of choice needs to be cleared or there are existing structures that will need to be demolished. This can add up quickly and needs to be considered in overall cost if applicable.

These are just a handful of many details to consider when buying land to build your home. With that in mind, have a look at available land for sale in Suffolk, VA, to find your homesite! Our real estate professionals can guide you through the process of finding what’s right for your needs. We have REALTORS® on our team with decades of experience in land transactions. Put our knowledge to work for you.

2020-2021 THOUGHTS FOR THE SUFFOLK AND SURROUNDING AREA REAL ESTATE MARKET

2020 has proven to be a banner year for both buyers and sellers in the Suffolk area! I would have never guessed when C-19 was “announced” back in Feb/March, that the housing market would take off as it has done in this area.   For buyers, the catalyst came from the extraordinarily low mortgage interest rates available to them and for sellers, the “cause and effect” by those incredibly low rates (less than 3.5%) generated an unprecedented demand for those houses.  With that avalanche of buyer demand, came an increase in sales prices, as suddenly buyers were “bidding” on homes such as what happened in the insane 2005-2007 cycle, but this bidding scenario came under different circumstances.   Buyers benefited by locking in interest rates close to 3% for 30 years, and sellers benefited by getting top values for their homes!!
 
Local statistics have shown the above to be true as home inventory in Hampton Roads is 32% lower than it was at the same time last year, and prices have increased almost 13% compared to the exact same time last year, according to the local MLS system. 
 
The good news is that most local economists fully expect the same trend to continue into 2021.  Just last month, according to the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association, the 30-year mortgage rate is expected to average 3.075% which is slightly down from the current rate of 3.125%!  What that means in layman’s terms, is for every $1,000 a buyer borrows for a mortgage, the principle and interest payment is ONLY $4.26!    In other words, if a buyer borrows $250,000, his P and I payment would only be $1,065, which is probably much lower than the monthly rent one would expect to pay for a similar dwelling unit!!!   PLUS, buying gives the tax benefits of interest deductions and the property increasing in value (remember the 13% increase in value of homes from just one year ago!)
 
I’ve been in this business now going on 45 years, and I quite frankly have never seen anything like it where a market is so mutually beneficial for BOTH buyers and sellers.  At some point, I’m sure it’s going to end, but in near term foreseeable future, I see it continuing and I encourage those who are even contemplating a move, whether one is buying or selling, that NOW is the time…………Don’t wait as I fear you may regret it!

 

 Billy Chorey, Owner/Broker

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

 (757) 539-7451

bchorey@choreyrealty.net

 

 

AVOID THESE MISTAKES THAT DELAY LENDER APPROVALS

If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you’re realizing that one of the most important parts of the process is getting approved for a mortgage that works for you. To get the best rate and avoid losing your deposit, keep away from these common mistakes.

Leaving out details from your financial profile.

The best way to avoid doing this is having a great mortgage lender. Making sure you include not only your basic information, employment and living history, income, assets and debts, but also ensuring you answer every single question. Leaving details out of your profile can throw off the entire process, so having someone who is meticulous enough to make sure all your information is made available is key.

Assuming pre-approval is equal to actual approval.

Pre-approval for a mortgage means that you’ve talked to a potential lender or maybe even provided some documentation that gave the impression that you will be approved for a certain amount. Don’t be confused – this is not an actual approval. You need to make sure your loan is approved by an underwriter before making any offers to buy a home. When you are “underwriting approved” you will be able to get a formal loan commitment. Without this document, there is no proof of actual approval, meaning that your profile has been evaluated but nothing official to show approval.

Failing to provide every single piece of documentation needed.

Your lender is going to want very detailed documentation of your financial profile, including the following:

  • Pay stubs covering 30 days
  • 2 of tax returns & W-2s
  • YTD business financial statements (if you’re self-employed)
  • 2 months of statements for all your asset accounts
  • Explanations and paper trails of all deposits or withdrawals over $1,000
  • A home insurance quote with adequate coverage
  • Full financial information on any other homes/businesses you own

You will need to provide all these documents, and if you have a commissioned or variable income, you will need to give permissions to your lender to verify that income. Your credit will be run, which can expose any information you didn’t disclose.

Not knowing enough about mortgage rates.

Once a seller accepts your offer, you will be in contract on that home and you will be ready to lock in your mortgage rate. You cannot lock your rate until you’re in contract, which means that any rate market movement can impact you until then. Rates change throughout each day, and they are priced based on how long they are locked. A shorter lock, about a month or less, will have a lower rate than a lock of 60+ days. If you want to avoid any surprises, talk to your lender and ask them to use your closing timeline to quote rate locks.

 

Ivon Portellez, REALTOR®

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

(757) 998-0575

ivon@choreyrealty.net

 

 

 

RENOVATIONS & HOME REPAIRS – WHICH ONES YIELD THE MOST VALUE? – August 2020

KitchenWe have all been spending A LOT of time at home recently during this pandemic. Many people are utilizing this time to tackle home updates or repairs with the idea of future resale in mind. However, many homeowners make a common mistake when it comes to remodeling or renovating. They incur costs through a home equity loan or overspend, expecting to recoup the costs when they sell the home!
Unfortunately, most of the time only some renovation investments are partially recouped at the time of the sale. So, which improvement projects offer the highest return on your investment? Check out the latest. If ever in doubt, please call or message me before investing your valuable time and money in extensive home improvements. We can talk about your timetable for resale and how your projects will impact the value of your home.

1. THE KITCHEN (That’s right, you guessed it!)
A minor kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make in your home. Keep it simple! Don’t spend too much on high-end products, stick with the standard granite or quartz countertops. Consider painting your cabinets, changing out hardware, and updating those outdated fixtures. Change out those old window coverings and go for ones that allow for an abundance of natural light.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, the kitchen remodel has an average 80.5% return on investment.

2. MINOR BATHROOM REMODEL
Re-caulking around your tub and the floor is a simple repair to the dingy outline you may stare at every day taking a shower. If your tub is old but overall, in good condition, try deep cleaning and re-glazing. Add a fresh coat of paint and replace your dated light fixtures/fans, towel racks and shower doors with a more modern style.

3. LANDSCAPE & CURB APPEAL
First impressions matter! When someone drives past your home, this is what they see. Get rid of the overgrown shrubs, flowers, and weeds. Many local garden centers offer free services or have friendly, knowledgeable employees who are willing to answer your questions about plants and design. You may ask about choosing a focal point such as specific trees/plants, walkways, or fountains.

4. WINDOW/SIDING REPLACEMENT
You could recoup around 70% of the cost of installing replacement windows. Not only will this update the appearance of your home, but you will increase energy efficiency reducing the heating and cooling costs.

5. EXTERIOR REPAIRS (MINOR)
Give your exterior a boost! These are the items that many individuals don’t think about but make your home pop and some fresh curb appeal! Paint your front door and/or purchase a new storm door (one of my favorites). Select new garage doors that match your trim and/or siding. Remove old awnings and replace them with a fresh, new selection. Paint railings or change out wood with fiberglass composite railings that are low-maintenance and longer-lasting.

Resources:
https://www.bankrate.com
https://www.hgtv.com

This blog post has been brought to you by:

Leigh Anne Parks, REALTOR®Leigh Anne Parks, REALTOR®

HRRA Board of Directors, 2020-2021

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

Contact her today to have your real estate questions answered!

 (757) 676- 9790 cell

 (757) 539-7451 office

 leighanne@choreyrealty.net

Reflections On Our Local Real Estate Market – May 2020

When I started my real estate career with Chorey & Associates Realty over 40 years ago, little did I know the “ups and downs” and dramatic changes the Suffolk, VA real estate business would have and now as I look back, I realize that the one thing that has remained consistent has been the fact that real estate values have continued to go up over those years!!!   How well I remember going door to door in the various neighborhoods off of Bennett’s Pasture Road, Wilroy Road, Holland Road, and “introducing myself”, literally house to house ringing doorbells, and simply inquiring if the homeowner “knew anyone who may be wanting to buy or sell their homes in the future”.  I remember like yesterday the homes in Nansemond Shores were selling for mid-upper $’20s, the homes in Lakeside were selling for $’40s, and those were the “fair market prices”. The average price of a home in this area was just over $38,000 and the average interest rate was 10% when I started my career in 1975. NOW, the average mortgage rate for a home mortgage is 3%, and the average price of a home in Suffolk is $290,000!

 

Concerning the “downs part” of the “ups and downs”, how well I remember the year 1981 when the 10 year Treasury bill, (which reflects on the home mortgage rate) was 15.8%, and mortgage rates were 18 ½% (no, that is NOT a typo!!). By the grace of God, I was still selling houses and staying as busy as I could be.  I recall a young couple who had just purchased a home in Oak Ridge here in Suffolk and they were using Home Federal Savings and Loan on N. Main Street (no longer in business). They were closing on the home I sold them, and they brought champagne with them to the closing to CELEBRATE buying a home at an interest rate LESS than the rate on their MasterCard!

 

The point I’m trying to make is to first acknowledge that these days with the COVD-19 virus scenario are scary for everybody and we are looking at a “new normal” for the foreseeable future and perhaps longer.  There will be ups and downs, and the real estate market is no exception, BUT the good news for buyers and sellers, is that interest rates are at a historic LOW, (the latest 10-year treasury rate was just under 7/10 of one percent), AND home values in Suffolk continue to go up, with MLS statistics showing almost a 7% increase of the median home price in April of this year vs April of last year!

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO BE BUYING AND SELLING

Billy ChoreyBilly Chorey, Owner/Broker

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

(757) 539-7451

bchorey@choreyrealty.net

 

Best Home Remodels to Get a Higher Sale Price

Home RemodelsThe Hampton Roads and Isle of Wight, VA, real estate markets are competitive, so anyone planning to sell their home in the near future needs to ensure their property will stand out. Spring is just around the corner and a few easy upgrades can help you attract buyers and fetch a higher sale price, but which improvements are most cost-effective? Industry experts recommend focusing on the following projects:

 

Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades

Often, the kitchen or bathroom is the room that “sells” the home. You need to ensure these high traffic spaces will impress potential buyers, but you don’t have to sink too much money into frivolous projects. Real estate professionals recommend focusing on the countertops and cabinets since they are highly visible and frequently used. Whenever possible, reface, repaint, or upgrade fixtures rather than entirely replacing if that is an option.

 

New Paint

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a home. With well-chosen neutral hues that follow interior design preferences, you can completely transform any property. In particular, choose bright colors that reflect more ambient light; these shades photograph better and make the property appear more substantial. No matter what colors you choose, remember that you are appealing to the tastes of the modern real estate market, not your personal preferences.

 

Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Energy efficiency is also an important item to consider when evaluating your home for selling. Do you have attic insulation? Are there leaky spots around windows and doors? Even though these items are not as highly visible, they are still important selling points. If you are replacing appliances, consider purchasing energy-efficient models.

 

Curb Appeal

Evaluate your exterior! Give it a good cleaning with a power washer if needed and repair any loose wood, vinyl, or shingles. Consider giving your front door a fresh coat of paint! Do you need to update the numbers on your mailbox? And, don’t overlook your landscape. Trim shrubs and trees, and add some fresh mulch to landscaped beds. These exterior details will be some of the first things a potential homeowner will notice during a showing. Little things make a big difference overall and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

REALTOR®, Broker or Real Estate Agent: What’s the Difference?

You have probably heard the terms REALTOR®, broker and real estate agent used interchangeably and perhaps never even given a thought to there being a difference between the terms.  While they all can assist you in buying or selling a home there are a few differences that clients should understand:

  1. Real Estate Agents must work for a broker and are a representative of the broker. Brokers have extensive education to be able to own and/or run a brokerage while having other agents work for them.
  1. A REALTOR® is an agent or broker that is held to an extensive Code of Ethics, with an immaculate professional conduct record holding them to a higher standard than a real estate agent. The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in the United States and part of its mission is developing standards for efficient and ethical real estate business practices.

So, next time you are thinking about contacting a real estate professional, make sure you are contacting a REALTOR®!  As a client, you can feel at ease knowing that here at Chorey & Associates Realty LTD, our licensed real estate professionals in Suffolk, VA, are all members of the Hampton Roads Realtor Association (under the NAR umbrella) vetted and sworn to uphold professional standards that we will not compromise. We are proudly continuing a tradition of excellence in our profession.

This blog post has been brought to you by:

Leigh Anne Parks, REALTOR®Leigh Anne Parks, REALTOR®

HRRA Board of Directors, 2020-2021

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

Contact her today to have your real estate questions answered!

 (757) 676- 9790 cell

 (757) 539-7451 office

 leighanne@choreyrealty.net

Selling Your Home Without the Stress

Selling Your Home

Suffolk real estate sales don’t have to come with drama. When you’re ready to list, there are a few simple steps to reducing stress and making the process as smooth as possible. As local professionals in the industry, the team at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. knows how to help you sell your home without worry. Here are a few of our top tips:

 

Understand Your Reasons — People decide to sell for a wide range of reasons. Whether you simply need the money, are relocating for work, need more space or want to downsize, the important thing to remember is why you started the process in the first place. This helps you set attainable goals and keep your focus on the results you want.

 

Know Your Price — Property markets are often in flux, and starting out with the wrong expectations is an easy way to end up frustrated by an inability to sell at the price you want. A little research beforehand helps you understand realistic pricing options, and that’s where our knowledgeable team of professionals can go to work for you.

 

Take Advantage of the Web — Today, the majority of home buyers shop around online. A property professional and our marketing coordinator can help you figure out how to best market your home.  We have a consistent web, social media, and digital marketing presence to increase the visibility of your new listing, any status changes with the listing, and events such as open houses. You can count on our team to make your selling experience as smooth as possible.

Preparing to Buy or Sell a Home this Winter?

Ready to BUY or SELL a HOME this winter?

A welcoming first impression is essential when marketing your home to potential buyers, no matter what season. Winter can be a more challenging time to sell a house, but with some attention to details, you can be certain to set the stage for an inviting experience. Likewise, if you are looking to buy during the winter season, take note of some things to watch for if you are touring properties in the colder months.

 

Exterior Checklist:

  • Make sure your outside spaces are neat and well-maintained. Be sure tree limbs are not in need of trimming or removal. Clear any debris from flower beds and freshen up the mulch.
  • Are the gutters cleared and in good shape? Make any repairs necessary!
  • Touch up any paint, repair any damaged wood or siding, and be sure the roof is in good shape.
  • As the winter days are shorter, some potential buyers may visit during darker hours. Are your exterior lights in good working order and properly illuminating walkways and entryways?
  • In the event of snow or icy weather, be sure to clear walkways and steps so visitors can easily access the property.

 

Interior Checklist

  • Keep the temperature comfortable and cozy. Even if you keep the inside temps slightly cool during the winter, be sure to bump it up when you know potential buyers are coming.
  • Has your heating/cooling system been professionally serviced/maintained? Keep records handy.
  • Are there drafty areas in the house? Pay attention to weather strips around doors and windows. Repair or replace in areas that need it and be sure all windows and doors open/close properly.
  • Winter is a great time to show off your fireplace if the property has one. Be sure to have it professionally maintained prior to using and keep a record of the date of service.

 Decluttering your Home

Additional Tips for Preparing to Show your Property:

  • Declutter is the magic word! This applies to the exterior and interior spaces of your property. Too many personal items and decorations are a distraction to potential buyers. While it is OK to have a wreath on the door and a few festive touches throughout the home, this is not the time to pull out all your lighted lawn ornaments or fill every corner of your house with “stuff”. If needed, put some of it in storage to help reduce the clutter.

 

If you are looking to make a move this winter, the experienced professionals at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. are here for you! We are the Suffolk, VA, real estate specialists and we serve all of Hampton Roads, VA, and Northeastern North Carolina. Contact us today! (757) 539-7451.