Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The role of a realtor

I'm on the run today yet wanted to reach out to all of you that are checking my lately (post-less) blog.  Apologies extended, I haven't quite gotten back from the power outages etc that threw off my schedule.  And, as I'm sure you've read in your local papers, the real estate market has been in full throttle this year so I must take care of first things first!

 In any event, I just read the current post on the KCM Blog this morning and as usual the information was very relevant to real estate and great information for buyers and sellers to absorb.

The topic of conversation is the difference between excellent and perfect.

Here is the post: The KCM blog

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the day!

If you'd like to make the most of your real estate experience call me today!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scenes in Virginia 1861

Ever wonder about the visual scenes in Northern Virginia and Washington around the breakout of the Civil War?   Constance Cary Harrison recounts her observations in an article in the Century War Book:

Her family was the first family in the state to "manumit" slaves.  (I had to look this word up) It means to "free from bondage".  Her family lived in the same neighborhood as Colonel Robert E Lee.  In the holiday season of 1860, friends and neighbors were very reluctant to accept the notion of war breaking out in the Union. Holiday parties were scheduled as usual.

The annual Holiday (Christmas) get together in the neighborhood at Plantation Vauclause was held and the reality of impending war was observed yet the celebrations proceeded as planned.  Egg nog and apple toddy's were in ample supply and enjoyed by all.    All the youth attending the party eventually became a part of the Confederate forces.  A year later, Vauclause Plantation did not exist. Surrounding trees were cut down and used to construct a fort to defend Washington.

Once the war was declared imminent, the women and children were relocated to Manassas for safekeeping.   Constance observed one neighborhood family burying their family silver in boxes in their yard for fear the possessions would be stolen by looters.  After the war, she observed the silver lying loose in the soil, the boxes having long rotted away.

 The women and children that were relocated to Manassas, recalled saluting each passing train as the rail cars moved soldiers from one point to another in preparation for battle with Union troops.

On 7/18/1861 the first guns at Manassas were heard at Blackburns Ford.  As the day wore on no word arrived until the slow trickle of wounded soldiers began.  Some wounded soldiers were treated on site, others were taken to the hospital in nearby Culpeper.  Some soldiers appeared with notes attached to their clothing explaining the status of various soldiers to their loved ones.  One mother heard, in regards to her 15 year old son, that due to extreme fatique he lay sound asleep on the battlefield with guns blasting all around him.

Constance and her cousins were summoned to make the first 3 battle flags for the Confederates.  One flag was for General Johnston, one for  General Beauregard and the last for General Van Dorn.  When the latter died in Tennessee, the battle worn flag was returned to Constance.  Today the flag rests in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

The Maryland Historical Society @ 201 W Monument Street, Baltimore MD (410-685-3750) has a 5000 square foot exhibition describing the three phases of the Civil War. (http://www.mdhs.org/)  $6 admission ($5 seniors, $4 3-18, free for those 2 and under

If you would like to make the most of your real estate experience call me today.  I am here to earn your trust and I will treat your transaction as if it were my own.


Short Sale versus foreclosure

According to the latest business news, charts and graphs, the real estate market in Northern Virginia is on the road to recovery.  Sales are up and prices are up.

Still, there are many homeowners who owe more than their home is worth.  Even though the sales prices of homes have moved upwards, they are still not at the pricing levels of 2005, 2006 and 2007.  Some homeowners are prepared to wait out the storm and hold onto the property for as long as it takes.

Some homeowners, on the other hand, cannot afford to wait out the storm and are truly in distressed situations.  They need to sell their homes and they do not have the cash to bring to the settlement table to cover the difference between the sales price and the liens on the property.  What to do?

There are two options: Foreclosure on the courthouse steps or a bank approved "short sale".

Going through a foreclosure is a serious and credit-damaging event.  The foreclosure on the credit report will most likely prevent homeowners from purchasing homes anywhere from 5 to 7 years in the future.  The foreclosure is also an expensive procedure for the banks.  They will incur attorney fees and trustee fees.

In a  "short sale", the bank agrees to approve the sale of a property for less than the mortgage(s) owed by the homeowner.  The "short sale" will damage the homeowners credit yet for a shorter period of time.  In fact, some homeowners will be able to purchase a home within 2-3 years from the date of the short sale. The "short sale" will most likely not be as costly to the bank as the foreclosure in terms of attorney fees and trustee fees.  A win win for all concerned.

If you are a buyer in the market for a home, short sales should not be overlooked as possible properties to purchase.  Unless, of course, your particular situation will not allow you to be at the mercy of the banks time table for settlement.

If you are in a distressed situation call me today for information on the short sale process.