Here's a small sample of what's happening.

Jul 30th, 2013

Morgantown Ranked Among America's 10 Great Places to Live!

Kiplinger Magazine ranked the top 10 cities in America. What makes a city a great place to live? By our definition, good jobs, reasonably priced homes, decent schools, great health care and manageable size are all essential parts of the mix. We started with metro areas that have a population of 1 million or less and came up with a list of cities that met those criteria Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T006-S003-10-great-places-to-live-2013/index.html#XPVWVE15AOuSmk6h.99

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May 8th, 2013

Top 4 Questions Buyers Need to Answer

Top Homebuyer Questions 1. Where do we want to live? The first step is to help you narrow down a location and style of home. Help determine what factors are most important when it comes to choosing a neighborhood such as schools, commute to work, shopping, entertainment and how quiet or peaceful the neighborhood is versus a hustling and bustling urban area. Knowing the answers to these questions before hand will save everyone time and frustration by eliminating developments and neighborhoods that are of little to no interest. If you are out viewing homes in a specific area, stop and talk to homeowners. 2. How much money do we need to have saved? The mortgage product that you select will assist in determining down payment requirements. This is why it is so important that you speak with a licensed mortgage representative to discuss down payment and mortgage options prior to viewing homes. However, there are additional costs associated with a purchase: Make sure you have enough money set aside for closing costs and other related expenses You will need to prepare for the cost of a property assessment, lender appraisal and home inspection Moving costs including the transfer of all utilities and services such as heat, water, TV 3. How much would we like to spend monthly? Unfortunately, many people bite off more than they can chew when purchasing a home because they look at the total purchase price instead of the monthly payments. Keep in mind that what you qualify for isn’t always the same as what you can afford. A pre-approval letter is something you should get at the front-end to ensure you are looking within the right price range and you are comfortable with your mortgage options. A licensed mortgage loan officer can provide a total monthly payment including principal and interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance and monthly mortgage insurance if applicable. Keep in mind that there may be additional expenses when purchasing a home, townhouse or condo: Heating/Gas/Oil Electric Water Homeowners Association Fee Landscaping Cable/TV Sewer 4. Why should I work with a buyer’s agent? While traits such as honesty, integrity, knowledge and experience are all very important, it is also vital that you feel comfortable with the real estate professional you choose. A buyer’s agent works as an advocate, providing guidance as well as open lines of communication. Explaining the purchase process and keeping you informed along the way is a way to work together through the buying process. For more information go to: www.klmproperties.com

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Feb 22nd, 2013

What is the Best Day and Month to List Your Property!

Friday is the best day of the week to sell a home. Homes listed on Friday sell for 99.1 percent of their original asking price, a higher percentage than homes listed on any other day of the week, according to a study by real estate broker Redfin, which analyzed more than 500,000 home listings and sales records. The best month to sell? April, according to the analysis. Homes sold in April tended to sell closer to their asking price. In April, homes were found to sell for a 99.2 percent sale price-to-list ratio, compared to a 97.3 percent ratio of homes listed in December. Springtime is still a good time to sell for a higher price and also in the fastest time too, according to the study. Homes tended to sell within 90 days of being listed during March through June, according to the study. Redfin also found that pricing the home competitively from its debut is critical because that’s when it’ll receive the most traffic. During the first week a listing debuts on the market, it receives nearly four times more visits on real estate Web sites than it will a month later. Source: Redfin

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Jan 16th, 2013

Four Legal Tasks To Do When You Move

Moving is a big job. There are countless checklists available on the internet for packing timelines, directions on how to pack your boxes and lists of packing supplies. But planning a move is more than getting rid and organizing your personal belongings. There are legal tasks that you need to consider as well: Read your lease: Review your current lease to make sure you have a clear understanding. If you need to move before the lease term is expired, are you allowed to sublet to a new tenant? How far in advance do you need to let the owner know you are vacating the property. These are all issues that you need to cover. Protect yourself with insurance: Carefully read the contract with your moving company, what insurance do they provide and should you obtain additional insurance? Notify your creditors: Update your address with your creditors to ensure you do not miss any correspondence. Be sure to complete a change of address with the United States Postal Service and request that your mail be forwarded to your new address. Keep receipts if you are relocating for a job: You may be able to write off your expenses if you are required to relocate more than 50 miles due to a job change. Review the IRS requirements or check with your accountant to see if you qualify for this tax break. If you are thinking about a move, or would like more information, contact KLM Properties at (304) 296-1533 or consult with one of our knowledgeable agents at www.klmproperties/agents.

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Nov 12th, 2012

Tips for selling your home during the Holidays

Get Your Home Sold During the Winter Months: The winter season in Morgantown usually sees a dip in real estate activity. Less people are looking at homes and less people are buying. The holidays have a lot to do with it, as does the cold weather. Cold weather can make homes seem less inviting. So, if you’re someone who has their home on the market during this time, what can you do to make your home stand out? We offer a few tips: Create a Cozy Atmosphere: This is especially true during the holidays. There is something cozy about entering a house and smelling baked cookies, warm cinnamon, or apple cider during the cold months. These types of smells resonate with buyers. Remember, people are evaluating your home using all five of their senses. If you want to take it a step further, play some seasonal music at low volume. Maintain Your Yard/Sidewalks: With fall and winter comes the inevitable falling of leaves and snow. If you’re in an area plagued by leaves, rake them up and remove them from your yard to create a cleaner look. If there is a snow day, it is certainly a good idea to clear sidewalks and walkways so that buyers don’t have to walk through the snow to get to your home. This prevents accidents and buyers from tracking snow throughout your home. In one instance, a buyer stepped in snow with his muddy work boots and proceeded to track mud all over the home! Decorate: With the shortening of the days, a lot of buyers will be looking at homes at night. If you’re into the holidays, decorating will add some nice touches to your home. Consider leaving some exterior and interior lights on to create a welcoming feeling. Or putting your lights on a timer is another good idea. Taking advantage of these ideas by adding more of a homey feel to your property can go a long way in getting it sold during the winter season. For more tips or ideas, contact one of our knowledgeable agents.

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Jun 20th, 2012

Buy Low, Sell High: How to flip that house the right way!

Some REALTORS® look at the short sales market and see the Wild, Wild West. But there’s no denying that short sales, foreclosures, distressed homes and flipped houses make up a good percentage of the real estate landscape in 2012. In an effort to stabilize housing prices and unload some of the foreclosures flooding the marketplace, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) extended a waiver of its anti-flipping regulations through 2012, suspending regulations that prohibit agencies from insuring mortgages to purchase homes that are bought and resold in less than 90 days. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) also announced a new directive that directs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to align their guidelines for servicing delinquent mortgages they own or guarantee. These regulations, as well as current economic conditions, have led to a steady quantity of distressed and foreclosed homes. In the first quarter of 2012, sales of homes that were in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned accounted for 26% of all U.S. residential sales – up from 22% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 and up from 25 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2011. The price of bank-owned homes is stabilizing or even increasing in some cases where a restricted supply of bank-owned homes. Real estate flippers aren’t bad for the market, if they do it the right way. Buyers often rehab distressed homes before reselling, improving conditions in neighborhoods where foreclosures and distressed properties make up a higher percentage of the retail market. In major metro areas like Atlanta, Detroit and Sacramento, these purchases are helping rehab neighborhoods, making areas more attractive to live in, work in and raise a family. Patience is one of the most important things when buying foreclosed and real estate owned (REO) properties. Don’t depend on a tight closing schedule and pre-plan for mix-ups with paperwork or administrative delays. Short sale transactions can take 30 days, but sometimes the process can extend for months, so stay in it for the long haul. It’s also important to know who you’re dealing with when you purchase. Many times low-level bank employees will be involved in the day-to-day operations and they won’t have the experience or the motivation to make a sale work. Get to know higher-ups at the banks you’ll be dealing with, make some relationships and then make your case. If the bank declines an offer, counter with confidence. The Realtors Property Resource™ can help REALTORS® in the information gathering process, providing current and historical information, including the largest database of foreclosure information by county in the industry. It’s of paramount importance that you tally up all the costs involved in these transactions and factor those in when projecting potential return on investment. Incidental fees like unpaid utilities and survey fees can add up, and a surprise finding during a home inspection can tilt the ledger into the red. Since buyers will also sink money into a property before flipping, make sure to also factor in costs of everything from some pretty flowers for the backyard to potentially a new roof. REALTORS® specializing in short sales and REOs need to work in volume. Some REALTORS® juggle 20 listings at a time due to the lengthy procedures involved, and they always keep their purchase and sales funnels full to avoid long gaps in work. The short sales market can be tricky, but if you arm yourself with the right tools and ride a fast horse, you’ll find that the benefits outweigh the hardships. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® offers Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®) certification to lend REALTORS® training in the market and help manage tricky transactions Article from REALTOR.ORG

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Feb 20th, 2012

Don't Skip a Home Inspection for New Construction

The truth is…there is no such thing as a perfect house, not even a brand new construction…so hiring an inspector the do a complete inspection of your home is a critical step that should not be overlooked. This one simple step can save you money and prevent headaches down the road. Some of the items an inspector will check: Foundation/Drainage Roof/Siding Windows and Doors Damaged systems and finishes Mechanical Systems/Plumbing/Electrical and appliances Possible code violations Incomplete work and safety concerns Taking a proactive approach can prevent costly problems in the future. All new home should be inspected for your peace of mind and to insure that you home will provide you with many years of enjoyment!

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Aug 25th, 2011

Five Inexpensive Home Updates to Consider Before Listing Your Home.

RISMEDIA, August 11, 2011—There is no perfect formula for selling your home efficiently, but by following these five tips prior to listing you can increase your chances to close quickly at a higher price. 1. Update your old garage door(s). Garage doors seem like a non-issue, but many times they make up a significant percentage of the front of a home. Because of this, they are one of the first things that buyers notice when they pull in the drive way. Replacing, or even just painting, these central fixtures will do wonders when it comes to instantly impressing perspective buyers and standing apart from your competition. The market has changed drastically since many of us purchased our homes here in town. I frequently hear buyers say that they have taken a house off their list because of the lack of curb appeal. This issue is especially important to people on busier streets, corner lots, or near a neighborhood eyesore. 2. Replace old windows. Outdated windows age a home significantly, and you can often upgrade standard windows to vinyl for a reasonable $300 per window. The average home has 8 windows, so this upgrade doesn’t cost nearly as much as you might think and it will make a huge difference to the value perceived by prospective buyers. Key point to remember is that when buyers view a home they love, if they see it has older windows, they consider it a time consuming and costly headache. First time buyers have never replaced windows and often dramatically overestimate the cost to cure this issue. By replacing pre-listing you an actually save money. A well priced, move-in condition home will sell for far more than one with windows in need of repair. 3. Assess your floors. If you have hardwood flooring, it’s worth the investment to have them refinished considering buyers put an extremely high value on them; you’ll get the most bang for your buck if they are refurbished. Carpets should be shampooed and replaced if they are stained or look worn. You don’t need to spend large amounts of money on the highest grade or most modern name but something inexpensive and neutral will certainly bring you a return on the investment. Even the smell of new carpet will make buyers set your home apart from the comparables. 4. Paint the trim. If you can’t afford the daunting task of painting your entire house, painting just the trim will still make a big difference when it comes to curb appeal. Painting the whole house can be expensive, time consuming, and delayed by weather conditions; painting just the trim will give your home a fresher look. Interior trim is equally as important. 5. Update fixtures. Keep an eye out for sales at home improvement stores and replace outdated lighting, plumbing and hardware fixtures. Simple replacing lighting fixtures and knobs in the bathroom or kitchen can update the entire look of the room. You can find many modern brand name fixtures online on contractor supply websites by just searching for terms like sale faucets, sale plumbing fixtures etc.

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