As we adjust our clocks for Daylight Saving Time this weekend…

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Every Hour in the US Housing Market:

  • 624 Homes Sell
  • 347 Homes Regain Positive Equity
  • Median Home Values Go Up $1.13


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JUST LISTED! Top Floor Condo in Stafford VA! Great Amenities! Affordable Pricing!

Near Quantico, this brightly lit, westward facing, top floor condo with a balcony was fully remodeled in 2015. New blinds, new refrigerator with ice-maker, newer dishwasher, well maintained. Currently rented with a stable tenant. lease expires in February. Community offers pool, community and fitness centers as well as a playground. Not financeable due to high investor ratio. Cash buyers only. Call 540-710-4205 today for a showing!

View The Slideshow HERE!


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Affordable Handyman Special in Lake Anna!!

Handyman special in Lake Anna! Comes with a boat slip! Renovations were begun, but halted. This is a great opportunity to customize a home on Lake Anna at an affordable price! Call Michelle today for a showing at 540-710-4205!

Click HERE for a slideshow!

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Lake Anna Handyman Special

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Just Listed!! 219 Bailey Drive, Louis VA 23093

Awesome opportunity to own in Lake Anna! Sold as is and priced right! This is a renovation in progress with enormous potential! Come put your finishing touches on this home! Two septic systems on the land, and a boat slip is included! Listed as 1 bedroom, but can easily be finished as 2! Garage on first level has been converted to living space, with a kitchen area & full bath. Must see!! Perfect for a 203K renovation loan! Don’t miss this one! An additional 1.29 acre lot on Paddock Lane is also offered under LA9984016! Call for a private showing: 540-710-4205.

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3 Reasons the Housing Market is NOT in a Bubble

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With housing prices appreciating at levels that far exceed historical norms, some are fearful that the market is heading for another bubble. To alleviate that fear, we just need to look back at the reasons that caused the bubble ten years ago.

Last decade, demand for housing was artificially propped up because mortgage lending standards were way too lenient. People that were not qualified to purchase were able to attain a mortgage anyway. Prices began to skyrocket. This increase in demand caused homebuilders in many markets to overbuild.

Eventually, the excess in new construction and the flooding of the market with distressed properties (foreclosures & short sales), caused by the lack of appropriate lending standards, led to the housing crash.

Where we are today…

1. If we look at lending standards based on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index released monthly by the Mortgage Bankers Association, we can see that, though standards have become more reasonable over the last few years, they are nowhere near where they were in the early 2000s.

3 Reasons the Housing Market is NOT in a Bubble | Simplifying The Market

2. If we look at new construction, we can see that builders are not “over building.” Average annual housing starts in the first quarter of this year were not just below numbers recorded in 2002-2006, they are below starts going all the way back to 1980.

3 Reasons the Housing Market is NOT in a Bubble | Simplifying The Market

3. If we look at home prices, most homes haven’t even returned to prices seen a decade ago. Trulia just released a report that explained:

“When it comes to the value of individual homes, the U.S. housing market has yet to recover. In fact, just 34.2% of homes nationally have seen their value surpass their pre-recession peak.”

Bottom Line

Mortgage lending standards are appropriate, new construction is below what is necessary and home prices haven’t even recovered. It appears fears of a housing bubble are over-exaggerated.

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What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process

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Some Highlights:

  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.


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Millionaire to Millennials: Buy Now!

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First Time Home BuyersFor BuyersMillennialsMove-Up Buyers

Self-made millionaire David Bach was quoted in a CNBC article explaining that “the single biggest mistake millennials are making” is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth.”

Bach went on to explain:

“If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none. The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter.”

In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” Bach does the math:

“As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1,500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000), and in the end wind up just where you started — owning nothing. Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning your own home free and clear!”

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show appearing more than 100 times, has been a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS, and has been profiled in many major publications, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

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Why Pre-Approval Should Be Your First Step

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach. 

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” 

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well.

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JUST LISTED!!! GORGEOUS home in Celebrate Virginia!

Welcome to 92 Scott’s Ford Ln, Fredericksburg VA 22406


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Well priced, GORGEOUS home in Celebrate Virginia! Come see this one! Energy Star Version 2 Qualified Home, closest one to the Cannon Ridge golf course! Gourmet kitchen, hardwoods, master suite with sitting room and dual walk-in closets, gym in basement conveys with full price offer. 80k in upgrades when built! So many amenities! Great location, yet private cul-de-sac! Honey start the car!!


  • Very near the Cannon Ridge Golf Course!
  • Very near the new Rocky Pen Run Reservoir – bring your canoes and kayaks!
  • Near 24 hour fitness facility and new Starbucks!
  • Master suite includes a sitting room, double sided fireplace, and dual walk in closets!
  • Master bath has large jetted tub, glass enclosed shower, enclosed water closet, separate linen closets and sinks!
  • Guest bedroom with private full bath and two more guest bedrooms with dual sink Jack & Jill bathroom!
  • Fully Finished basement with 5th bedroom, full bath, and bonus room!
  • The following conveys with a full price offer: Entire home gym, extra full size side by side refrigerator/freezer, extra stand-up frost-free freezer, 16 cubic ft floor standing safe!
  • Family room wired for surround sound!
  • Double wall electric ovens and efficient propane gas stove top!
  • Large gourmet island kitchen with granite counters and hardwood floors!
  • Gleaming stainless steel appliances!
  • Dual staircases and Cherry hardwood floors!
  • Custom window treatment blinds and curtains!
  • Whole house fire suppression sprinkler system!
  • Energy Star Version 2 Qualified Home!
  • Front lawn in ground sprinkler system!
  • Fully fenced back yard, elevated deck with stairs to tiered patio with fire pit!
  • Alternative routes for your DC or Richmond commute!
  • HOA includes snow removal and landscaping of the common areas and the streets!

Contact: Michelle Smith, eXp Realty, 540-710-4205 for a private showing!

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Top 3 Things Second-Wave Baby Boomers Look for in a Home

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According to data from the U.S Census bureau, there are approximately 76.4 million baby boomers living in the United States today. Contrary to what many think, there are very different segments within this generation, and one piece that sets them apart are their housing needs.

John McManus, editorial director of Hanley Wood’s Residential Group says his company “is focusing on the preferences of the younger half, or second-wave baby boomers, as they exhibit different needs than the older boomers.”

What are ‘second-wave baby boomers’ looking for?

McManus says, “They are seeking a fun, dynamic lifestyle with a home that can also adjust to their changing needs in the future. Living space should either include accessibility features, such as doorway space, lower shelves, and nonslip surfaces, or be easily adjustable when the time comes.

In a homebuyer study performed by The Farnsworth Group, the participants revealed their reasons for purchasing a new home. The top three factors that influence their purchase include area/location (50.2%), price/affordability (37.4%), and the layout of the home (19%) (as shown in the graph below).

Top 3 Things Second-Wave Baby Boomers Look for in a Home | Simplifying The Market

The report also found that when buying a new home, there were other concerns like quality of construction (9%), a safer neighborhood (8.4%), better floor plans (8.25%). The most important rooms or areas are the kitchen (82.8%), master bedroom (59.2%), and great room (36%).

Technology also plays an important role! Second-wave baby boomers prefer wireless security systems (7.1%), lighting that senses and adapts to them (6.3%) and integrated home technology, including “smart” thermostats and lighting controlled by a smartphone (6.2%).

Grey Matter Research and Consulting points to a sense of community as a major factor in wanting to purchase:

The first impressions are important when entering a new community, as is feeling welcome in the community. Amenities such as clubhouses, pools, and walking trails featured prominently in the decision to purchase in a community. Location was key, as residents want their new homes to be near shopping, dining, medical services and entertainment.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many ‘second-wave’ baby boomers who is starting to feel like their current homes no longer fit their needs, take advantage of the low inventory of existing homes in today’s market by selling your current home and moving on to one that truly fits your new lifestyle.


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