Richmond, VA Real Estate News

By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
Depending upon what state and municipality you live in there may be some laws that require your newly sold home to be in an “acceptable” condition when the new owner takes occupancy. Often the wording in these laws is quite ambiguous but many times it is stipulated that the home be “broom clean”. Not exactly the most specific description to say the least. Although some states do not have this type of legislation they do require that the home be in essentially the same condition as when the seller(s) first accepted the buyer’s offer. It is usually expected that the seller remove all personal property and debris before the new owner moves in. The purchase contact may also provide some guidance as to what is expected of the seller. Legalities not withstanding it’s fair to say that the cour...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
The debate as to whether marijuana should be legalized or not is an old one. While some people feel that this drug is quite “mild” and no different than drinking a beer, others feel that it is a “gateway” drug that eventually leads to the abuse of much more dangerous substances such as strong opiates or heroin. Regardless of your opinion of marijuana use over time the laws have changed dramatically and some states are now treating it as little more than a minor traffic offense. The use of marijuana is nothing new and dates back much further than most people realize. In California the first law to ban the use of marijuana was passed on August 10th, 1913 and was added to the state Poison Act and referred to as “locoweed”.  In the 1960’s and 70’s the drug became extremely popular and its u...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
We’ve all been told that walking is a great form of exercise but a new study reveals just how beneficial walking can be to our health. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) recently completed a lengthy 12 year study into the benefits of being active versus being completely inactive. 1/3 of a million people participated in the survey making this a very comprehensive and in depth study.   It was discovered that not exercising caused twice as many deaths as obesity. That’s an amazing result and it means that overweight people that are active are less likely to die prematurely than inactive people that are not obese. The study not only took into account each person’s physical activity level but also their age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and whether they...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
I discovered this website quite by accident the other day while surfing for an innovative blog idea. I think I found it. Did you know that for a onetime fee of $11.99 you can discover if someone has ever died in your house, or one that you’re thinking about buying? I’m not quite sure what I think about that. Do you really want to know if someone died in your home before you bought it? Would you feel differently about your home if you suddenly discovered that someone had passed away in your child’s bedroom, or yours? What if your home is for sale and an interested party suddenly changed their mind because they discovered that someone died in your home at some time in the past?This is a difficult topic to form an opinion on. How much information is too much information?  While some states...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
This is a question that many distressed home owners often ask but the answer is not always a simple one. It is very difficult to predict with any accuracy exactly how much damage a short sale or foreclosure will have on any given person’s credit rating because each circumstance is unique and a person’s credit history will have a bearing as well. I always tell people that our personal credit histories are a bit like fingerprints; each is unique. As an example, 2 people may be experiencing a foreclosure at the same time but their circumstances are quite different and will determine just how much of a “hit” they will take on their credit rating as a result. Perhaps person #1 has been late numerous times on many of their credit payments including their home, car and several credit cards. Pe...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
The first thing you need to know is if in fact the traditional lenders (such as credit unions and banks) consider your credit score to be “bad”. Bad doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t obtain a home mortgage loan but it does mean that the mainstream lenders will not provide you with one. As a general rule, a credit score of less than 620 can make it difficult to obtain a “standard” home loan.   If you find yourself in this position it is possible to obtain a loan from a mortgage lender that specializes in “less than perfect” credit. Be aware, however, that you will probably be charged a higher interest rate and higher discount points than you would with a prime lender. People with credit problems do this all the time.  If you have just completed a short sale it may be better to wai...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
If you’ve noticed we are constantly asked for our social security numbers for a variety of reasons. Whether applying for a credit loan, opening a new bank account or filling out a job application it’s a sure bet that we need to include our social security number. But did you know that when someone has access to your SS# they are able to conduct a background check or a credit check with little to no additional information? The truth is that this is not the correct use of one’s social security number. It is, in fact, an abuse of your private information. Upon its inception in 1936 the only purpose of this number was to track the working history of U.S. workers to determine what benefits (and how much) they were entitled to upon retirement age. Although that is still the primary reason for...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
As you already know, our salary (if not self employed) is comprised of much more than just how much money we see in our paycheck. Various benefits and other perks must also be considered when trying to decide exactly how much we make at any given position. As of January 1, 2001, the president’s annual salary was increased to $400,000 per year along with a $50,000 allowance for expenses. To many of us that seems like a very low salary considering what some of the top paid executives in the private industry are capable of pulling down each year but the president enjoys benefits unlike any private CEO can ever hope to enjoy. One example would be the White House Medical Unit that was created in 1945. This unit is tasked with providing "worldwide emergency action response and comprehensive m...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
Sometimes we just don’t know how good we’ve got it! Each and every one of us has complained when we’ve hit a big pot hole in the street or road construction is killing our drive to work but nothing can compare with the Anzob tunnel in Tajikistan.  The tunnel was constructed to make the trip between major cities easier and safer. Before it was built drivers had only a dirt road to travel between the capital city of Duschanbe and the 2nd largest city of Khujand. Year round avalanches made this trip extremely dangerous and at times the only way to travel between the two cities was by plane. The solution? A 5km long, $4 billion dollar tunnel, or so it was thought. Although the tunnel was opened in 2006 it is still unfinished to this day and has proven to be just as treacherous as the dirt ...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
The residential housing market has been hot. Home sales have bounced back solidly and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007. Demand remains strong going into the winter. Many real estate professionals are reporting that multiple offers are occurring regularly and listings are actually selling above listing price. What about your house? If your house hasn’t sold, it is probably the price.  If your home is on the market and you are not receiving any offers, look at your price. Pricing your home just 10% above market value dramatically cuts the number of prospective buyers that will even see your house. (See Chart)   Bottom LineThe housing market is hot. If you are not seeing results you want, sit down with your agent and revisit the pricing conversation. http://www.sel...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
It’s no secret that there are many laws on the books that should have been eliminated a long time ago regardless of where you live in the U.S. I have a friend that lives in Baltimore city and he told me that a law that was written when the city was first established pertaining to women drivers was still enforceable today. I don’t remember all of the details but basically it stated that a woman driver can drive only on a Sunday during daylight hours, must have the headlights of the vehicle turned on at all times and must tie a yellow cloth in a visible location of the vehicle to “warn” other drivers that a female is driving the vehicle! Obviously no police officer in his/her right mind would attempt to enforce such a law but I find it quite amusing that the possibility even exists. My fr...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
When I saw this news report on the internet I was shocked, truly shocked. If you are like me than you thought that the bubonic plague had disappeared a long time ago but this simply isn’t the case. Here in the U.S. there have been 1,006 confirmed cases of the plague between 1900 and 2012 and 5 out of 6 of them were of the bubonic type. (Bubonic is named for the characteristic feature of buboes (painfully enlarged lymph nodes) in the groin, armpits, neck, and elsewhere.)  If you remember your history than you remember the plague known as the “black death” that killed 60% of the entire population of Europe during the Middle ages. The disease was carried by rats but spread to people that were bitten by fleas that contracted it from those rats. Well, this is still true today and flea bites...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
William Merideth decided that a drone flying over his property had no right to be there and took a rather decisive and aggressive action, he shot it down! Although the police arrested him for firing a weapon within city limits trial judge Rebecca Ward dismissed all charges against Mr. Merideth and he left court a free man.  Mr. Merideth stated that he felt the drone was spying on his family and was flying below the tree line but the owner/operator of the drone said this was not true. According to Judge Ward however there were two additional witnesses that agreed with Mr. Merideth’s testimony and in her words, “He had a right to shoot at this drone, and I’m going to dismiss this charge”.   Legally speaking, I find this to be a very interesting situation. Although Kentucky law clearly st...
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By Marcus Rice, Richmond, NOVA, Virginia Beach Area Realtor/Broker
(Equity First Realty )
Home Buyer Rebates Give You Cash Back in Innsbrook VAWant more money in your pocket for closing? How about being able to afford a bigger/nicer Innsbrook VA home? You can with Equity First Realty! Now Equity First Realty Gives YOU Cash Back Buyer Rebates at Closing.Buyer rebates give you cash back at closing. If you have ever wondered how cash back rebates work for real estate? Here is the inside scoop…When real estate agents sell a property, they usually collect a commission between 2.5% and 3% of the property's gross sales price. So, on a $400,000 house, that would mean a commission of $12,000.00 to the selling broker. Out of that $12,000 commission you would receive $6,000 at closing (rebate check). Equity First Realty offers rebates of 1.5% on most new construction and between 1% to ...
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By Marcus Rice, Richmond, NOVA, Virginia Beach Area Realtor/Broker
(Equity First Realty )
Home Buyer Rebates Give You Cash Back in Short Pump VAWant more money in your pocket for closing? How about being able to afford a bigger/nicer Short Pump VA home? Now Equity First Realty Gives YOU Cash Back Buyer Rebates at ClosingBuyer rebates give you cash back at closing. If you have ever wondered how cash back rebates work for real estate, here is the inside scoop…When real estate agents sell a property, they usually collect a commission of between 2.5% and 3% of the property's gross sales price. So, on a $400,000 house, that would mean a commission of $12,000.00 to the selling broker. Out of that $12,000 commission you would receive $6,000 at closing(rebate check). Equity First Realty® offers rebates of 1.5% on most new construction and between 1% to 1.5% for pre-owned homes for s...
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By Marcus Rice, Richmond, NOVA, Virginia Beach Area Realtor/Broker
(Equity First Realty )
Home Buyer Rebates Give You Cash Back in Glen Allen VAWant more money in your pocket for closing? How about being able to afford a bigger/nicer Glen Allen VA home? Now Equity First Realty Gives YOU Cash Back Buyer Rebates at ClosingBuyer rebates give you cash back at closing. If you have ever wondered how cash back rebates work for real estate, here is the inside scoop…When real estate agents sell a property, they usually collect a commission of between 2.5% and 3% of the property's gross sales price. So, on a $400,000 house, that would mean a commission of $12,000.00 to the selling broker. Out of that $12,000 commission you would receive $6,000 at closing(rebate check). Equity First Realty® offers rebates of 1.5% on most new construction and between 1% to 1.5% for pre-owned homes for s...
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By Marcus Rice, Richmond, NOVA, Virginia Beach Area Realtor/Broker
(Equity First Realty )
Home Buyer Rebates Give You Cash Back in Henrico County VAWant more money in your pocket for closing? How about being able to afford a bigger/nicer Henrico County VA home? Now Equity First Realty Gives YOU Cash Back Buyer Rebates at ClosingBuyer rebates give you cash back at closing. If you have ever wondered how cash back rebates work for real estate, here is the inside scoop…When real estate agents sell a property, they usually collect a commission of between 2.5% and 3% of the property's gross sales price. So, on a $400,000 house, that would mean a commission of $12,000.00 to the selling broker. Out of that $12,000 commission you would receive $6,000 at closing(rebate check). Equity First Realty® offers rebates of 1.5% on most new construction and between 1% to 1.5% for pre-owned hom...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
Most of the time the majority of us are satisfied with the company that we have chosen to provide us with internet access. There are times, of course when we may not be satisfied with the service that we receive. For me there are only 2 criteria that must be met by my ISP; they are consistency and speed. I must have reliable access to the internet whenever I need it and I simply don’t have the time to deal with slow connection speeds. Without this access my business would be seriously affected.   Have you ever wondered if you have chosen the right ISP for your needs? Last November Netflix compiled data from all of their 30 million customers in an effort to determine the best ISP’s available to consumers in the U.S. Keep in mind that over 1 billion hours of content is viewed every month...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
Determining just how fast of an internet connection you need really isn’t  very difficult. It all depends on what you use the internet for and how many people will be using it at the same time. If surfing the net and checking emails is your main goal than you don’t need lightening quick speed. However, if you have a house full of game playing teenagers and movie lovers than your requirements are going to be much different. Keep in mind that multiple users are sharing your internet connection and that will definitely slow things down.One thing you need to know is that the advertised download speed that your local ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) brag about is only half the story. Yes, maybe you do have a lightning fast 50Mbps connection but how does that help you if the server you are ...
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By Valorie L. Easter, Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
(eXp Realty)
I guess that most of us use hugs to greet long lost friends or to comfort someone that’s feeling down but when’s the last time you had a really good hug? You might be surprised to find out that hugging is actually very therapeutic and can even improve your health! Have you ever heard of oxytocin? Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone that is made in the hypothalamus and is stored and released by the posterior pituitary gland in the brain. When released it produces a feeling of love and satisfaction and a good hug is a great way to get it flowing throughout your body! But more important than just feeling good, oxytocin is proven to lower blood pressure and to reduce the amount of cortisol that is released into your body. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and reducing its lev...
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