FHA Program- Helps People who Lost Homes

This may be an important new program for those who suffered the most during the downturn in the real estate market, those who lost their home in a short sale or foreclosure. FHA has announced a program for qualified buyers to re-enter the purchase market.  Many lenders will not be able to help buyers for 36 months after a distressed sale.  Apparently FHA will offer a program to some buyers who could become buyers again after 12 months.  Those buyers would qualify by documenting at least a 20% loss of income that caused the loss,and will now have to demonstrate how they have been able to improve income and credit worthiness.   READ MORE

FHA Program for Distressed Sellers

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What Does a Settlement Agent Do?

A recent article by Court Square Title shared this information.

What does a settlement agent do?  Does it matter who you or your client uses?  The simple answer is that the settlement agent coordinates the services of the Realtor, lender, homeowner’s insurance agent, surveyor, appraiser, seller’s settlement agent, and numerous others to ensure that the closing occurs when you expect it to, and without any problems.  Sounds simple, but hours of phone calls, emails, and faxes are required in preparation for the actual closing.

click.jpgTake a sneak peek into what defines a great settlement agent, and read some recent feedback from Court Square Title customers on this month’s CST Blog.

Court Square Title of Charlottesville, Inc.

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Home Equity for Home Owners Improving?

The worst case scenario for most homeowners came in the winter of 2009 when more than 12 million home owners owed more on their mortgages than the value of their homes.  Those mortgages were said to be underwater.  REALTOR Magazine in its March issue reports improving numbers.  As home prices begin to rise, home owner equity is being restored.  READ MORE.

Amount of Owner Equity Improving

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3rd Place Award for Interactive Media at Leading RE Convention

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Montague Miller & Co wins the 3rd Place Award for Interactive Media at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® convention in Las Vegas!

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Famous Real Estate Around Us

Realty Times, on-line , caught my eye today with a story about Famous Homes.  Not the Famous Homes you are thinking about, but the ones made iconic by movie fans.

It is almost Groundhog Day so all eyes will be turned toward Punxsutawney, Pa. on Sunday, February 2.

Punxsutawney, PA’s “most famous resident” is Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog said to predict the weather annually on Groundhog Day (February 2),” said Wikipedia. But there are approximately 6,000 other full-time residents who make their home in this 3.4-square-mile city.  As noted in the Realty Times Article:

Punxsutawney is filled with “pre-World War II architecture,” said Neighborhood Scout, “making it one of the older and more historic boroughs in the country.” Properties for sale range from a one-bedroom, 733-square foot home for $24,000 to a five-bedroom home on a 53-acre ranch priced at $425,000.  Realty Times

Bet you did not know that the movie Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois-not far from Chicago. During the filming there, the local towns people helped by serving warm beverages.

Our own Central Virginia has been home to many film companies over the years.  Every time I watch GIANT I love to watch the “Virginia” scenes filmed right here in Shadwell.

Giant (1956)

Scenes from THE FOUR SEASONS were filmed here too-Keswick Hall.  Weren’t we the Fall portion?

1 sheet movie poster

Oh well.  It is fun to think about movie making.  A very Happy Groundhog Day to you and yours.

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Year End Market Report for Central Virginia

The Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORs has just released its year end report for 2013 and as expected, the numbers were encouraging.  The number of home sales in the area increased by 10% and median sales price was 6.1% higher than 2012.

CAAR YEAR End market Report

Year End Highlights

Montague Miller & Company is ideally positioned to serve all of the local markets in Central Virginia.  With offices in Culpeper, Madison, Orange,  in Charlottesville, and in Amherst ,our agents can and do specialize in their market area.  Our Montague Miller and Company web site features monthly reports on Fluvanna, Louisa, Culpeper, Orange, Albemarle, Charlottesville, Greene, and  Nelson Counties. You may depend on us for information which is updated the 10th of each month.

Regional Market Reports

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Why a Tenant Background Check Is So Important.

Great article this morning in Realty Times. A good property manager is always looking for a “good tenant” and different landlords are looking for different criteria but what are the main attributes of a good tenant?  Our Rental Division at Montague Miller & Company serves many different landlord-clients, all of whom are looking for tenants who have the ability to pay the rent and pay it on time, and tenants who use the property “gently”.

A full tenant background check including a credit check and a criminal background check is a must.  Read the full story.

Realty Times Article. 1/6/2014

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What will Home Prices Look Like in 5 Years?

Steve Harney, author of Keeping Current Matters, often shares interesting reports in his monthly newsletter. In the November edition he poses the question, “What will home prices be like in 5 years?”  Pulsenomics reports on home prices every quarter in their expectation survey.  The survey asks over 100 economists , investors, and real estate professionals what prices will look like in 5 years.  Take a look at the charts below.  The Boom to Bust to NORMAL chart is what I expect to be our local trend.  We expect Central Virginia to return to a rate of appreciation between 3-5% a year.

Boom to Bust to NORMAL

Pulsenomics predictors

Interst Rates are a Big Factor

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And The Farmer’s Almanac Says….?

With our first winter weather on the way I turned to the tried and true weather source, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, for a prediction of the weather for winter 2013-2014. After all, it is North America’s oldest continuously published periodical-so they must be right,  The almanac was first published in 1792 and it is said their reports are 80% accurate.  I am not sure how that number is calculated, nor am I sure how they make their predictions-but I always like to hear what they have to say.  (Maybe because my father is an “Old Farmer”)

The Almanac says:  Get ready for colder than usual and more precipitation.  We shall see.  If you don’t believe in the Farmer’ Almanac then wait because Groundhog Day is coming.

The Old Farmer's Almanac

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Ghost Houses? Fact or Fiction?

Halloween is upon us once again and as they say, “I don’t believe in Ghosts but I sure am afraid of them.”  Believe it or not, Virginia does not permit its real estate licensees to discuss whether a house is haunted.  Word that a house is haunted could stigmatize it and reduce the value.  Or maybe it would increase the value? In a Continuing Education class I met a broker whose client insisted the house was haunted and instructed him to have Open house from Midnight to 3am! Happy Halloween.  Want to enjoy more REALTOR Ghost Stories?  Keep Reading.

REALTOR Ghost Stories

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