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Friday, April 11, 2014

Renters, Listen Up. You Can Save Money by Buying!

Looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia? Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price  Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call us at (703) 636-3588 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

5 Reasons to Buy Rather than Rent in Washington, D.C. area


I am often asked whether someone should rent or buy when they move here to the Washington, D.C. area. My answer is always to tell people that purchasing a home is the best option, especially if you will be here for more than 3 or 4 years. I have 5 great reasons why it's more beneficial to purchase rather than to rent.

1. Mortgages are cheap: Interest rates are historically low right now, and even with the fluctuations in the market they have remained very, very affordable. Instead of pouring money into a rental property, why don't you put it towards a long term investment like a home?
2. You can Live the Way You Want: When you own your home, you will not need permission to have pets, remodel, or repaint your property. You can live the way that you like, and this is important to us as realtors because we like to help you achieve your goals.
3. You can Build good Credit: When you rent, the only information that gets reported to a crediting agency is if you missed a payment or not. If you're looking to build your credit, then renting will only allow your score to stagnate or drop even further. Buying a home will help you bolster your credit.
4. You can Build Equity: Paying your mortgage is like paying into your savings account for long-term equity. Home values go up and down, but around here in the Washington, D.C. area, home values have increased 3-4% every year, so this is a good area to purchase in.
5. Tax Advantages: The primary advantage here is that you get to write off the mortgage interest. You would have to talk to an accountant to get all the details, but the tax benefits more than offset what you would be paying in rent.

Be sure to check out this article that further proves my point: http://money.cnn.com/gallery/real_estate/2014/03/03/buy-vs-rent/8.html

It is 34% cheaper to buy in Washington, D.C. than to rent, so this statistic alone should help to convince you!

Also, don't forget to contact me with any questions, concerns, or comments you might have about real estate in the Washington, D.C. area. I am always here to help you!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Find Out What You Need to Know About Tax Assessments

Looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia? Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price  Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call us at (703) 636-3588 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Explaining County Tax Assessments

I'm certainly glad that spring is here in Fairfax County, but that also means that tax season is here. While it's not fun paying taxes, you should know that these payments go towards funding all of the community services that we love and need most like schools, street maintenance, and having firefighters and policemen.

So, what are Tax Assessments?

These are assessments carried out on your home by a county assessor to gauge what you should be paying in property taxes. The value of your home will be used to determine your property taxes owed on it, which is calculated by the tax rate.

Here in Fairfax, these tax assessments have been:
   - 5.8% higher for single family homes
   - 8.4% higher for town homes.
   - 10.5% higher for condos.
   - Tax rates are only allowed to rise a certain amount over a certain period of time, so don't worry if you think your taxes are high this year, they should be around the same amount in coming years.

Click here to find out more information regarding tax assessments in the Virginia area!

What does this mean for you?
This means that you may be paying more in taxes, or it means that you might not be experiencing any increase in taxes, it all depends on your tax base. Also, keep in mind that a tax assessment does not correlate to a true market value for your home. Sometimes assessments are only carried out every few years, so do not rely on a value from a tax assessment to determine the market value of your home.

Whether you're buying or selling a home in Fairfax county, please contact me because I am your #1 resource for real estate. The spring market is here and things are certainly warming up, so don't miss out on all the action!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Title Companies: Crucial to Real Estate Transactions

Looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia? Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price  Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call us at (703) 636-3588 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Title companies are often misunderstood by consumers, but don't be frightened by what you don't understand. They're here to help you!
 - Title companies dig up information about a property such as: finding all former owners & sellers to ensure a 'clean' property without any unpaid mortgages, or unpaid taxes or bills that would affect a sale.

 - They interact with lots of different parties, like title insurance companies to ensure coverage against hidden defects not found in the title search. Realtors, buyers, sellers, loan officers, surveyors, and homeowner's associations are coordinated with to ensure that all fees have been paid off.

 - Choosing a good title company is important, so be sure to communicate with your realtor often about making the right choice. Title companies with attorneys are ideal if something blows up during the settlement, and as always, be sure to pick an experienced team of real estate agents and Title processors.

The Gresh Group works only with the best title companies, lenders,law firms and all parties involved in the process to ensure that your transaction will be as smooth and stress-free as possible. Be sure to talk to me about choosing the right title company. It will make all the difference!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Can We Expect for Our Northern Virginia Real Estate Market in 2014?

Click here to find out what your home is worth or to search all area homes for sale.

Welcome back and Happy New Year! The real estate market had a great 2013. With low inventory and low interest rates, homes were flying off the market. Toward the end of the year, though, we saw interest rates increase a bit and home sales slow. So what can we expect from 2014?

2014 will bring about a stable market. We don't expect to see the increase in prices as we did in 2013. The Federal Reserve is also expected to pull back on it's bond purchasing which means interest rates will increase. While we don't know when exactly, we do predict they will hit 5%.

Mortgage rules have also changed. It's important to talk to a lender today and find out how those changes affect you. Also, get a pre approval letter, this will help strengthen your offer.

2014 is a year of new construction. This means more competition for sellers. If you want to sell this year, your home needs to be in good condition and priced aggressively.

Give me a call today at 703.636.3588 and let's talk about your situation. The Gresh Team is dedicated to helping you make the best decision for you.

Monday, January 6, 2014

3 Commitments We Promise You

Whether you're buying your first or your fifth home, the loan process can always be stressful. At Movement Mortgage we understand that. We treat each situation as our top priority. We do this with three commitments.

1. Lots of detailed communication through regularly scheduled updates.
2. To close accurately, you will know every penny you spend.
3. Close on time, every time.

We only work with the industry's best. Janet Gresh is one of the top agents. Together with these three commitments we promise your mortgage process will be smooth and stress free.

If you have any questions, please give me a call today at 703.463.8250.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Warm Holiday Greeting and Happy New Year from Janet Gresh with The Gresh Group

It’s hardly believable that we are at the cusp of yet another year – and it’s almost 2014! With a fantastic year behind us, we look ahead toward a great future in the coming months. I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it has been serving our community members with the expert advice, one-on-one care and guidance with real estate endeavors in our communities.

Here’s a warm, resounding “Thank you!” to all our current and past clients. We believe you are more than just clients; you’re our friends and neighbors. We cherish that special relationship we have with each and every one of you.

Whether you have engaged in the purchase of a new home, sold a property or just needed advice and counsel on your real estate transactions – we have enjoyed being a part of the journey with you.

Once again, thank you for trusting us with one of the most important aspects of your life and we wish you a warm, wonderful holiday season – with many happy times to come in the New Year and beyond!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Do I Really Need to Hold an Open House to Sell My Home?

The simple answer is “no.” Putting an ad out and installing signs typically notifies noisy neighbors and unqualified buyers “who are just curious” to tour your home. Agents who like to hold them this way, are going after making relationships with these people to get more business.

The reality is, qualified buyers don’t typically show during open houses. Most others go through with their agent for a private showing at a different time to avoid the crowd.

But that doesn’t mean ALL open houses are just a lead generating pool for agents.  A successful open house includes sending invitations to agents along with qualified buyers. Then afterwards, following up with them and asking for offers or feedback. This way targets qualified buyers and their agents by highlighting the best features of your home. This is especially important if your home has some very unique features.

Another open house that typically gets less spotlight is a Broker’s open. Unlike public open houses, this is held on a Tuesday just for brokers and agents to do a preview tour for their clients and is typically held just before or just after going on the market.

In our current market of low inventory, this is especially a great idea to get the serious buyer’s agents through before going public. In the Northern Virginia area, I’ve seen more houses sell this way with great, solid deals then with a public open house. On that note, the same invitation and follow up rules apply. A great, active agent outsells the passive agent who just advertises. If you’re curious where buyers come from, check out this chart from our local real estate board, NVAR (Northern Virginia Association of Realtors).