Please Help EPBR Support this Great Event. On Oct 17,18, and 19th the Ruby Tuesdays in Ranson and Martinsburg WV will be Participating in the Dine to Donate Program to Benefit Local Back Pack Programs. To Join in just take the appropriate flyer, have dinner, give the server your flyer, and a percentage of your bill goes to help local kids! If you forget your flyer please stop by Long & Foster Charles Town or Martinsburg, we will have a flyer box outside both locations. I look forward to seeing you!
A common question that I hear from buyers that are looking for a new home is “Do I really need my own agent if I am purchasing a new home from a builder?” It is a common thought that it isn’t like a traditional transaction and the new home sales person is there to help them. It is true that most new home sales people are very helpful, but they work directly for the builder, by law they cannot represent the buyer too. In most cases builders already have compensation worked out for buyer’s agents, and it will not cost the buyer any more to have one. Below are a list of items that having your own agent can benefit you while you’re purchasing new!
• Most builders use their own contracts. A buyer’s agent can review and advise if there is anything out of the ordinary that an attorney should review.
• During the building process there will be several meetings and inspections of your new home. Agents have been through these meetings many times and know what to expect, and know if something isn’t being handled correctly.
• Buyer’s agents that sell new homes will know what all the builders in the area are offering. This is beneficial when you are negotiating, to ensure you are getting the Best Deal!
• Do you need a home inspector? An agent will be able to tell you if this is necessary, and if it is they can know which local inspectors specialize in this area.
• Is there special financing needed to purchase new. Some builders require large nonrefundable deposits to build, some require the purchaser to get the construction loan.
• How much Earnest Money Deposit should you put down? Is it more or less than a traditional sale?
• Are there any hidden costs, fees with building new? Is it more or less than buying a resale?
Why should you chose ME as your buyer’s agent? The answer is Experience. I spent over 13 years as a new home builders myself. I am still a licensed general contractor. I know what I am looking at during the inspections and can help explain the process, from start to finish. I have also worked directly for the builders as a new homes sale person. I have been on the other side representing the builder and I know their process, how they operate, and how to negotiate with them. I have earned the highly regarded CSP Designation (Certified New Home Professional) from the National Association of Home Builders.
If you are considering the largest investment of your life; a new home. Give me a call, I will give you the insight to make the best decisions throughout the process.
I am excited to give this update about two bridge replacements in Berkeley County. The first is on North Tennessee Avenue over Tuscarora Creek. The second is the most significant to this area is the replacing the Van Metre Ford Bridge on Golf Course Road. Van Metre Ford Bridge is one of the oldest bridge’s in West Virginia, and is very unique in its arched stone design. They will build the new bridge upstream and keep the old bridge for foot traffic. Check out the Herald Mail article below or follow the link at the bottom for the full article. Thanks Aaron
Work to replace a small North Tennessee Avenue bridge over Tuscarora Creek in Martinsburg is scheduled to begin within the next two weeks, Troy M. White, an area construction engineer for the West Virginia Division of Highways, said Friday.
Highway officials have estimated the bridge replacement would take about three months if the road is completely closed during the work, requiring detours.
North Tennessee Avenue provides a connection from West King Street past War Memorial Park to Berkeley Medical Center.
The new structure, slated to replace one that was built during the Great Depression, meets the criteria to qualify for federal funding, officials have said.
The bridge is on state-maintained county Route 13.
Among other projects, construction of a new Golf Course Road bridge east of Martinsburg in Berkeley County is in the design phase and work to acquire approval for utility relocations continues, White said Friday in an email.
The new bridge will replace one of West Virginia’s oldest spans, the one-lane Van Metre Ford Bridge that was built in 1832, according to state transportation officials.
The new bridge is to be built upstream from the historic one-lane, stone-arch structure, which officials have said is the second oldest in the state.
The bridge spans the creek on what was the old road from Alexandria, Va., to the Warm Springs.
Although the older structure will be closed to vehicles, transportation officials have said it will remain open to foot traffic.
In the Past few years we have dealt with an oversupply of homes. So many foreclosures and short sales, at any given time you could find a dozen homes that fit your criteria; but that has all changed. I found this great article at Inman News that explains why this is happening. Check it out, Clink link at the bottom for the full article. Thanks Aaron
An excellent report published by Zillow’s Svenja Gudell documents the large number of U.S. homeowners who are still underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. While down from the peak of 31.4 percent in 2012, 18.8 percent of homeowners are in a negative equity positionEqually problematic, as the report points out, is that many homeowners who have escaped from being underwater are barely treading water: 36.9 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are “effectively underwater,” according to Zillow, since they simply don’t have enough equity in their homes to consider selling the property and moving up to a new, larger house.
New-home construction hasn’t recovered
New-home inventory has improved marginally since bottoming out in 2012, but is still nearly at the lowest levels in the 40 years that this information has been reported, according to NAHB data compiled by Calculated Risk.
Current inventory levels are roughly half of what there would be normally, and about a third of what they were at the peak in early 2007. Builders overbuilt as the housing boom passed its peak, and stopped building almost entirely when faced with the daunting task of trying to compete with their own recently built inventory that had been foreclosed on and was now available to buyers at a significant discount. Builders shifted their strategy towards building fewer new homes, but larger and more expensive ones.
Foreclosure activity has slowed
Distressed homes made up a significant part of the home sales inventory, peaking with the sale of over 1 million lender-owned properties in 2010. But foreclosure activity has been slowing down for the past few years.
A recent report from RealtyTrac notes that foreclosure starts have declined for 22 consecutive months. Foreclosure activity, while still between two to three times higher than normal, is at its lowest levels since 2006, and running at about 50 percent of where it was at the peak.
Here is a very interesting article that came out this week in the Martinsburg Journal. Lots of local experts were consulted and quoted in the article, including myself. Gives a great overview of where the local real estate market came from, is currently, and where it is headed.
“In today’s market … it’s still a buyer’s market, but we’re close to a normal market. You always want to strive for a normal market,” said Aaron Poling, president of the Eastern Panhandle Board of Realtors.
“The reality for homeowners was that it was confusing. The reason it was confusing was, for homeowners, one of their largest investments is their home. Even though they could sell and make a decent sum of money, it was confusing in that people, as with the stock market, try to time the real estate market,” Bartles said.
“I’m a lifer, done it for 35 years, and for someone even like me, and I pride myself on giving consumers the best advice I can so homeowners can make a prudent decision, (and) it was extremely hard to give advice to consumers,” she said.
“There were some tremendous numbers in 2004 to 2007. From 2004 to 2013, there were 40,000 lots put through to sketch plan. 21,000 of those went to preliminary, but out of preliminary, only 12,000 have been final platted, and most of those were during the first four years when (developers) thought stuff was going to happen,” said Mike Thompson, Berkeley County planning director.
During the housing bubble, Thompson said average subdivision plots would consist of 300 to 400 units, to all be plotted simultaneously, with infrastructure bonds around $2 million.
“One of this area’s selling points has been the price of housing compared to other areas; we’re on the lower side of the scale, especially in Berkeley County. Even though Jefferson County has impact fees, their housing is still affordable compared to Loudoun County and parts of northern Virginia,” Hartley said.
Here is an article in the Harold Mail about some of my buyers from Ridges of Tuscarora. The full article focuses on buying trends in the surrounding area’s and how many buyers are moving to WV, to take advantage of the great value we offer here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow the link at the bottom for the full article.
Sean and Ashley Carroll wanted a new home last year, but seemed trapped by the economy — until they gambled on a financial escape route this past fall.
The Carrolls, having bought a town house in Boonsboro in 2007 just before the nation’s recession began, had paid tens of thousands of dollars more than the home now was worth. And in 2013, with the market beginning to strengthen, their alarm intensified.
“We were worried that if we waited ’til the time came where the appraised value went up on the town house, where we could get away clean, then we wouldn’t have the ability to buy anything else,” Sean Carroll said in a recent interview.
So after careful planning, the couple, both 28, accepted the responsibility of paying two mortgages at once by keeping their townhome and renting it, while buying a new house in Martinsburg, W.Va.
“If something happens with our jobs or with our renters, that’s the big risk of this whole thing,” Sean Carroll said. “That was the thing we spent the most time talking about — if something happens.”
With him a firefighter and her a teacher, “luckily, both of us have fairly stable jobs, being government employees,” he said. “If, for some reason, we lost renters, that would put us in a pretty significant bind, and then we’d have to make up both mortgages. That’s a huge risk.”
Check out this article in the Herald Mail, “Is this a good time to sell”. I was quoted in the article, and was asked about the local real estate market in the eastern panhandle. Check out the full article by following the link at the bottom of the page!
“Real estate, regardless where you’re at, is very, very local,” said Aaron Poling, president of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle Board of Realtors. “So you want to go find the Realtor that knows the most about your community, get their advice, get them to do a market analysis.
“Overall, I think it’s a great time to list, but it always comes down to your very specific situation. My default answer is: Talk to the Realtor that knows your very specific area.”
“They might know about some foreclosures that are out there or other properties” that are depressing prices in your area and that could affect the appraisal of the home you’re trying to sell, he said.
“They may know very specific things, like trends of when the majority of folks list or buy in your community,” he said. “There’s trends in every specific area.”
Great article from msn.com, The Five Rules for Real Estate. I would recommend these tips to buyers and sellers looking to get into the real estate market. These are some common sense rules that often get overlooked.
1. Don’t make an offer without pre-approval
Getting pre-approved means a lender has vetted your credit and financials and is so far willing to continue the mortgage dance. Pre-approval letters detail your purchasing power and provide sellers and real estate agents a degree of confidence they won’t get anywhere else.
2. Use a real estate agent
For many consumers, buying a home is the single biggest purchase they’ll ever make. It’s something you’ll do maybe a handful of times. It can pay to have an expert in your corner.
3. Put down earnest money
It’s customary, if not legally required, to provide a deposit when you make an offer on a home. Known as earnest money, this deposit is typically 1-2% of the purchase price, although the amount can vary by location and other factors.
4. Sell yourself
Don’t just submit a solid offer and cross your fingers if you’re shopping in a competitive real estate market. Take every opportunity you get to tell your story and sell yourself.
5. Tour homes in person
Mobile video technologies like Google Glass are ushering in a new era for home tours. Cool tech and new apps can be a huge help for consumers moving to new states or service members purchasing homes during a deployment.
My name is Aaron Poling and I am a Realtor with Long and Foster, located in Martinsburg W.V. I have lived here in Berkeley County West Virginia for most of my life. I went to Musselman High School, have attended Shepherd University, and Blue Ridge CTC, you can probably tell I love this area!
What got me to where I am today?
I spent the first twelve years of my professional life working in the construction industry, where I owned my own company; developing real estate, building homes and commercial buildings. I transitioned into real estate sales working general brokerage with Long & Foster about five years ago. I enjoyed the switch to sales, where I could work one on one with buyers and sellers to help guide them through the real estate process
What is the purpose of my blog?
I want to be a resource about the local area, the real estate market, the ins and outs of purchasing a home, and about real estate in the Eastern Panhandle. With my experience in Construction & Real Estate experience I can be your trusted local resource! I will blog about area events, attractions, benefits of purchasing new, communities, etc… If you have questions about any certain subject, just let me know!