NEW Real Estate App for your Smartphone

As times change…Realtors such as myself must keep up with the times.  I am happy to introduce a new app for your smartphone.

This app will allow you to have direct access to listings on Virginia’s Eastern Shore…including, but not limited to, Chincoteague Island, the Community of Trails End, and Captain’s Cove.

Click or type this link https://mls-client.com/637AF742 to download the new app.

If you have the Zillow app or any other app on your phone…you need to try this app instead if your interested in property on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  If you follow my blog…you know that Zillow is usually inaccurate and out of date.  This app is up to the second current and directly connected to our local MLS!!!

You can still visit my website at http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net for use with your personal computer.

 

Why rent your campsite…when you can own it!?!

In 2015 and now again in 2016 some folks who were renting their yearly campsite were giving some unsettling news.  Have your camping property move out by the end of the year.  YIKES!

Now for some folks, that may be easy…just hook up to your camper and take it home.  But for a lot of other folks…it is not so easy.  They may have a permanent set up that can’t be moved.  That means they will lose this property and the money invested into it.

So if your in a rental campground and your in this situation now, or afraid it might happen to you in the future…I have an option for you.  Consider Trails End Campground!  In Trails End, you own your site.  And usually, it is just for the cost of a couple of years worth of rent.  On average, the lot you own is larger than the lot you can rent.  And in most cases…there are as many, if not more amenities to enjoy.

Trails End offers an Olympic sized pool, playground, clubhouse, marina dock and boat ramps, crabbing pier, 24hr security, Ocean Deli II Restaurant, general store, pavilion, basketball court, volleyball court, Laundromat, miniature golf, and lots more.  All for a modest HOA fee.

Trails End is located in Horntown, Va.  And whereas it will slightly increase your commute to the beach…many who have taken advantage of what Trails End has to offer feel it is well worth it.

Take a minute and visit http://www.trailsendforsale.com or http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net and see a current price list of lots in Trails End.  Camper sites and even sites with cabins built on them are also available.

Email or call today to find out more about Trails End what it has to offer.  Make sure you ask for Robert “Bob” Faith when you call.

rmfaith@intercom.net
(757)894-1479
(757)336-3200
http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net

 

Is it time to list your property?

One of the most common questions to a Realtor is “when is it a good time to list my property?”.

The answer can be very different from market to market, and property to property.  Considering the Eastern Shore Virginia, the answer may be very different if you’re talking about Chincoteague Island or Trails End, which tend to have a lot of second home purchases and seasonal owners, versus some of the other towns further south, such as Parksley and Onancock.

Some properties it’s OK to list any time during the year… Especially if they are homes that you or your Realtor feels a year-round occupant (or a local) may be interested in. However if your home is going to be a vacation home, or second home for your buyer… you may not want to list your home during months when there’s less buyer activity.

In my professional opinion, if your property is located in an area that the number of buyers is affected by the weather and warm temperatures, such as Chincoteague Island or Trails End, then the spring is the best time to list your property.

But spring in this case, does not mean when the calendar says spring starts. In my opinion it can be whenever temperatures tend to start getting warmer and warmer each week. This is often around Easter time, but can be as early as Valentine’s Day or as late as Memorial Day.

Considering this year, 2016, it appears like Easter weekend may be a good time to have your property on the market. But you do not want to wait until the Friday before Easter to list your property. Buyers are looking on the internet now, and planning their trip now to look at the houses and properties they are interested in seeing in a few weeks.

So with that being said, if you’re considering listing your property on Chincoteague Island, the community of Trails End, or anywhere else in Accomack or Northampton County… Give me a call so we can discuss what options and what timing will work best for you.

Direct: 757-894-1479

Office: 757-336-3200

http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net

Selling real estate with trailers and other personal property

If you are getting ready to sell real estate with a trailer or camper on site…then this blog is for you.

This conversation will include anybody whose building is considered personal property. It could be a single wide trailer, a travel trailer, park model, or a camper. It could even be a Doublewide trailer, if the Doublewide has not been converted to real estate. Basically if you still have a DMV title for your building…then please pay attention.

There is been a growing problem in the real estate world with sellers trying to sell their property when they do not have a proper DMV title in their possession. Maybe it was never put in their name… Maybe it was lost or misplaced.  

In many cases this does not come to light until the buyer and the seller go to the closing table.  If the seller does not have a proper DMV title to convey to the buyer it will most likely hold the deal up. Most buyers are not willing to go to closing without the DMV title… And a bill of sale is not usually enough to make the buyer comfortable. In addition, most lawyers and title companies are no longer willing to let the transaction go to closing if the DMV title is not available and in proper order.  And the very few that will allow the property to go to closing will often hold a significant amount of money in escrow until the seller can resolve the issues with the title.

So what can you do to make sure this problem does not affect your sale?

1) When you purchase a building that has a DMV title… You are required by Virginia law to place that title in your name within 30 days of ownership. If that is not incentive enough… Consider this, if you do not put the title in your name, and then you lose the title… DMV will have no way of issuing you a replacement title.  Even if you inherited the personal property, were widowed, got married, or divorced.  Make proper updates to the title.

2) Keep your title in a safe place.  I personally recommend a fire box or a safety deposit box.

3) When you decide to sell your property, go find your title.  Put your eyes and hands on it.  Look it over and make sure everything looks right.

4) Once you list the property…consider sending your Realtor a copy for their file.  That way they can show a buyer or settlement agent that you have it and can provide valuable information, such as the VIN number…which is required for the settlement and other documents.  If you don’t take this step…consider at least sending a copy to your settlement agent as soon as you get a buyer.  This will give them time to review the form in case corrections are needed.

5) Do not sign the title until settlement.  Most settlement agents want to witness the signature.  Plus, if the transaction is cancelled…you don’t want a signed title floating around.

It is in your best interest to follow these steps.  Don’t wait until settlement and realize there is an issue.  Plan ahead and ask your Realtor for help.

If you selling or buying on Chincoteague Island, Va; the community of Trails End or anywhere else in Accomack County…give me a call.

757-894-1479 or http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net

Why Owner Financing and NOT Rent to Own…

Some of my blogs are written based on ideas I’ve had.  And some are in direct reaction to a concern I have after an interaction with a client or customer.  This is a blog from the latter option…and one I hope folks learn something for future reference.

There are several differences between the two.  The biggest difference is that in rent to own the property ownership is retained by the seller until payments are complete. In owner financing…the property transfers quickly and the seller becomes the lienholder.

Some folks say…I want to retain ownership in case some thing goes wrong. But this does not outweigh the risks you are taking.

In rent to own, the seller owner not only retains ownership…but also remains responsible for the tax bill, any HOA fees, or any other property invoices.  If during the process these bills are not paid it affects the seller owner and not the person purchasing the property.  In owner financing, the purchaser owner is responsible for these fees and it is part of the owner financing requirements that these are paid current at all times.

Let me pause and give an example… I spoke to a customer that had a friend (husband and wife) that had gone into a rent to own deal to sell a property.  After several years of payments the last payment was made.  After the last payment and before a new deed was recorded, the husband passed away.  Now, the husband’s children needed to sign the deed in his place.  And even though the children knew the father’s intent, they would not sign the deed.  Now the wife can’t sell the land, and if she can’t get the children to sign, she can’t uphold her end of the contract to transfer the owner to the person who has been making payments for years.  Of course that makes for a very happy buyer who won’t own the property they have been paying on and the seller may owe a large portion of the funds received over that time back to buyer(which my quess would be that those funds were already spent).  And the buyer may need to move.  If the children will not sign there will likely be legal action taken and costly court costs and lots of time.

Before you say that situation would not happen to you… Keep this in mind…there are several other situations and scenarios that can cause a rent to own agreement to go bad.

Here is another scenario.  A property cannot be done through owner financing if the seller has a lien on the property. However, rent to own can be done if the seller has a lien on the property.  Why does this matter… You could be renting to own a property for years… And if the seller stops making the mortgage payment, and the property is foreclosed on, the person renting to own will be removed from the property and will then need to take legal action against the seller.

In owner financing the buyer OWNS the property and the seller has a lien, just like a bank.  It is safer for both parties and for the seller, you just collect checks.  And it is actually easier to foreclose on a property in owner financing than it is to evict a rent to owner.

There are lots of scenarios, please talk to your attorney about what legal advice they would give.  I will end with this…in all my years as a Realtor I have never recommended rent to own, but I have been brought in to try and fix a rent to own gone bad on too many occasions.  The opposite has not occurred.

For all you real estates needs on Chincoteague, in Trails End, or anywhere in Accomack County…call me at 757-894-1479 or 757-336-3200.  Online at http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net .

Real Estate Auctions…the Pros and the Cons

From time to time I get questions about whether it is a good idea to buy property from a real estate auction.  First we need to identify why the auction is happening to begin with.

In most cases…an auction is happening because the owner of property owes money against the property and one of the lienholders is taking action to get the money owed to them.  It could be a foreclosure sale, a tax sales, a sale by an HOA, or even an auction by the owner themselves to try and sell the property.

There is one obvious reason, as a buyer, to buy at an auction…to get a property cheaper than the current market value.  Getting a property significantly below market value only happens about 50% of the time.

As for the cons…there are a number of reasons why there could be a negative.  The biggest reason is a buyer not doing adequate research on the property prior to bidding and getting surprised by unknown details after they own the property.  In many cases it could be additional liens on the property that the buyer did not know about.  Just because the property is going to auction, DOES NOT mean the lot is debt free!

Every auction, jurisdiction, and area are different…But if you are going to a tax auction…also called a tax sale…taxes may be the only lien cleared off the property.  Liens from banks, HOAs, or anything else may still be attached to the property.  If you goto an HOA sale…HOA fees may be the only debt cleared off.  And if you are the new owner…that debt is now yours!

Another issue is personal property.  If you are buying real estate and there is ANY personal property located on site.  You usually do not get the personal property.  And you can’t just trash the previous owners stuff.  You now need to work with the previous owner to “evict” their stuff off the lot.  This could include furniture, cars, campers, single wide trailers, etc.  Or in rare cases…maybe the previous owners themselves.

The last big negative to buying a property at auction is the sale is not always final.  Just because you goto an auction and win the bid…does not mean the property is yours.  Usually, the winning bid needs to be approved by a third party…someone who is not at the auction.  Don’t be surprised if you get a call a week or so after the fact telling you that your bid was not high enough and you need to pay X dollars more to get the property.  Or even a call to say that as they did the final research to accept your bid, the governing body found and issue and the property could not goto auction after all.

Investors who attend several auctions do well at auctions.  The “average joe” usually does not.  There is usually a lot of concerns and worry both before, during, and after the auction by the bidder who may be looking for properties for their family to use or live in.

So in summary…you can get a deal at an auction.  But BE PREPARED.  Research the property, don’t get into bidding fever, and be ready for anything!  If you can’t be 110% prepared…I do not recommend auctions.  Buying a property through the mainstream market (such as through a Realtor) is much safer, there are little or no surprises, and in many cases…through negotiations…you can still get a good deal on a property you like.  And if any “surprises” come up…there is usually a legal way to resolve it or you don’t need to continue with the purchase.

If your looking to buy or sell property on Chincoteague Island, Va., in the community of Trails End, or any where else in our area…please give me a call.

Direct: 757-894-1479
Office: 757-336-3200
http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net

Realtor.com profile updates…find out more.

Well, no matter what profession you are in or what your interests are…there are probably a ton of websites for that profession/interest.

Being a Realtor is no different.  Trulia, Zillow, REALTOR.com, hot pads, the list goes on and on.  As it turns out…in a lot of occasions, you have a profile on a site whether you know it or not.

So, I just updated my REALTOR.com profile and whereas I would say it is more reliable then Zillow, Trulia, and others…there is no replacement to going directly to the Realtor you want to work with.  Which I hope is me!!! <G>

If you would like to visit my REALTOR.com profile and leave a recommendation, that would be great!

http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/Robert-Faith_Chincoteague_VA_2152607_712444951

This would help me, help you…especially if your a seller client of mine.  And don’t forget, the best source of listings for Chincoteague or Trails End is my direct site of http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net .

Call or email anytime.  757-894-1479.  I am here for you!

The value of climate control in an unoccupied house while on the market…

I hear it time and time again.  A seller does not want the A/C run in the summer or the heat in the winter because the do not want the utility bill.

Of course, every situation is different…but if you own a vacation home that is for sale or an unoccupied homes for sale…there are several benefits to keeping the heat and air on versus being off.

The first, and probably most important reason, is mold control.  I’ve heard the argument made over the years that every home has some mold particles in the air.  Whether that is true or not, we as Realtors are more likely to see mold issues in homes that are not occupied year round.  Just for the simple reason that once the mold starts…no one is present on a regular basis to catch it.  If a home is vacant and not shown for 3 or 4 weeks, mold can spread quite a bit.  That can be a costly repair and give your house a “reputation” that especially if you live in a small area (like the Eastern Shore) can spread to potential buyers or buyer agents and reduce the amount of showings your home will receive.

Another reason to keep the A/C on in the summer and the heat on in the an unoccupied home is the comfort of the buyer.  If your home is 90+ degrees (and usually stuffy) in the summer or freezing cold in the winter…the buyer will be in and out of your home very quickly.  They will be very distracted by their discomfort, and they will not pay attention to important details of the home.  This means that as they finish their tour of 3, 4, 5, or more houses…they will remember more details of the homes they were comfortable in.  And the buyer may not come right out and say…”it’s too hot in this house, so I do not like it”.  We hear more of “I just did not like that house as much” or “there was just something about that house that didn’t feel like home”.  The buyer may not even realize climate control (or them being very hot or very cold) is what made them not like the house.  And with local MLS rules, guidelines, or practices…it is not always practical for a Realtor to goto the house before the showing to adjust the temperature.  Any Realtor who assists sellers will tell you…”we always try to plan for showings…but we have to assume that the showing will be last minute…and the home should be ‘show ready’ at all times.”

So, here is what the seller needs to do.  In the summer…keep your A/C set at 80-85 degrees.  The A/C will only come on during the hottest times, keep the house at a max temperature of say 85 degrees, keep air circulating, and when the Realtor arrives…they can adjust the temperature 5-10 degrees during the showing and the buyer will be comfortable and more likely to appreciate the space they are in.  During the winter, keep the heat on say 50 degrees.  The principle is the same, the Realtor can adjust the temperature a few degrees when they arrive and the buyer will be warm and happy.  If the home is hotter (in the summer) or colder (in the winter) than it is outside…that is not a good situation if the buyer is preferring to be outside, rather than in the home you want them to buy.

Another point to add for the winter months…depending on where you live…if you could get freezing temperatures…keeping the heat on at say 50 degrees during the winter will help keep your pipes from freezing.  This opinion may vary, but I always prefer for everything to be operational during the showing.  The less concerns a buyer has about the function of the house…the more likely they will be to make an offer on it.  If the electric and water are off in a house…the buyer will walk out of the house with more questions about your house than another and that may influence which house they make an offer on or if the offer is on your house…they will be more likely to add contingencies to the contract (like a home inspection) to handle their concerns.

If I have not convinced you yet…maybe this will work.  I will be the first to say that in the Chincoteague and Eastern Shore Real Estate markets…most of what you see on real estate shows on TV (such as those on HGTV) will not help you much in an area like the Eastern Shore.  Spending a ton of money on the wrong kind of curb appeal or updates to a house are a waste of money in a lot of cases.  BUT, when any house goes on the market…there should be some money put into touching things up.  Cheaper updates like fresh paint, fresh mulch, etc. goes a lot further.  But on our topic of climate control…think of it like this, if your going to invest in paint, mulch, new facets, etc…invest in your climate control as well.

Obviously, each house is different and the larger the house the more it will cost to keep the A/C or heat running.  But if getting a $75 or even $100 utility a month helped sell a house…that is a good thing to do.  Even if your house was on the market for a year…that is say $1,200 (in my example) and that is a small price to pay to sell the home faster or perhaps for more money.  It is all worth it in the long run!!!

If you are a buyer or seller in the Chincoteague, Trails End, or any where else in Accomack County…give me a call so I can help you in your real estate goals!!  757-894-1479 or http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net .

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