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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier, REALTORS is a full-service real estate company that makes it a tradition to extend our hands to our customers in a manner of quality and honesty. We provide a complete and experienced team effort to bring your transaction to your desired outcome when you buy or sell real estate of any kind.  We proudly provide our services to our community, who has trusted us now for for over a quarter of a century.


Real Estate News

Report: Same Old Story for Inventory

Housing inventory hit a new low in the first quarter of 2017, bottoming out from the early days of the recovery from the recession, according to Trulia’s recently released quarterly Inventory and Price Watch. Supply overall fell 5.1 percent year-over-year, dragged down by an 8.7 percent decrease in starter home supply and a 7.9 percent decrease in trade-up supply. Premium supply dribbled down just 1.7 percent.


“Recovering home values have proven to be a double-edged sword,” says Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. “While homeowners across the country are thrilled to regain equity in their homes, many have not been in a hurry to trade up. This has added to the inventory gridlock that ties up would-be starter home inventory from ever coming on to the market, further constraining supply and decreasing affordability.”

The starter home squeeze is being felt by first-time homebuyers, who, given the current supply, have to spend more of their monthly earnings to afford an entry-level home: 38.8 percent. The median list price of a starter home in the first quarter of the year was $166,015.

“Saving up for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles to homeownership for first-time buyers,” McLaughlin says. “In markets plagued with tight inventory and decreasing affordability, millennials who make up most of these first-time buyers may find homeownership increasingly out of reach. However, there continues to be an uptick in new construction, which should help increase supply in some inventory-constrained markets.”

Source: Trulia

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Finding Success With an Open and Honest Approach

Andrew_RatnerIn the following interview, Andrew Ratner, vice president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach, Del., discusses his firm’s approach to working with homebuyers, and the local market.

Region Served: Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach, Sussex County, Del., and the ocean resorts of Maryland
Years in Real Estate: 22
Number of Offices: 3
Number of Agents: 85
Best Way to Stay in Touch with Agents: Email and face-to-face
Favorite Vacation Spot: Spain

Please describe what you like most about the region in which you work.
There are so many things to love. Our Delmarva region is a scenic oceanside resort area with charming historic towns surrounded by rural scenery. We are just two to three hours to the major East Coast cities of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. We also enjoy a moderate climate with mild winters.

What strategies do you have in place to successfully reach out to first-time buyers?
When it comes to working with first-time buyers, our No. 1 strategy is to have our agents work closely with their buyers during the mortgage process, as this seems to be the trickiest part. We also maintain strong relationships with local banks and mortgage brokers, who thoroughly educate our first-time buyers in the multi-faceted financial aspects of buying a home.

When it comes to closing a transaction, what is your top strategy?
Our ultimate goal is to create client relationships for life; therefore, maintaining honest, open communication with our client is tops on our list. If a deal isn’t beneficial for our client, it wouldn’t be in either of our best interests to “close it.” I believe that is why our firm is one of the most trusted and respected real estate companies in our region.

What is your best tip for dealing with a picky buyer?
When dealing with a “selective” buyer, I always ask them to try and put themselves into the seller’s shoes…how would they respond to the issue if they were the seller? I also counsel them so they understand that negotiations are never one-sided. As a broker, it’s important to look at things from both sides and come up with the best strategy that allows both sides to feel satisfied with the results of the transaction.

What are two fundamentals you feel are essential to your company’s continued success?
Continual education and training related to technology, prospecting and the changing market is the constant factor that contributes to our success. We recently contracted with a nationally recognized training program for new and established agents, which we are so excited about. In addition, we are constantly monitoring the industry, not just our individual market, in order to anticipate trends and market stability to create strategies for our continued success.

For more information, please visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at paige@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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FHFA: January Home Prices Flat

Home prices stayed flat month-over-month in January 2017, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) recently released House Price Index (HPI). The minimal movement of the HPI—based on prices for homes with Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages—mirrors what was observed in November 2013. Home prices year-over-year, at the same time, were up 5.7 percent.

Per the Index, month-over-month home price changes ranged from -2.0 percent in the East South Central Census division to +0.6 percent in the Pacific division. Home price changes year-over-year ranged from +3.5 percent in the East South Central division to +8.3 percent in the Mountain division.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)

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How to Prepare Yourself for Becoming a Landlord

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

If you own some property that you are not actively living in, you might be thinking about renting the property out and becoming a landlord. Renting usable property is a great way to make some extra money, but if not done carefully, it can turn into a disaster. Here is a list of some of the most important things to learn before taking the plunge.

Study Local Laws
Since shelter is a basic human need, a large body of legal rules and regulations apply to the process. Rental laws vary a great deal from state to state, so you’ll need to find a good resource for researching these laws, unless you are already a lawyer yourself. While looking around online is a good start, you’ll probably also need to consult a legal professional, or at least some books on the subject. Your local library is an excellent resource to find any of the information without spending an arm and a leg.

Set Up Your Maintenance Team
As the rental owner, for the most part, you will be legally liable for keeping up the property in terms of basic maintenance. Between electrical, gas, water, HVAC, and other systems, a home is a bundle of potential maintenance issues waiting to explode in your face. Hiring good people to keep everything working properly is important to staying ahead of the curve, especially if you are renting out multiple properties; the more locations you are leasing, the more maintenance hours you will log. Of course, sometimes the problems will go beyond what a maintenance team can cover. For those cases, you’ll want a working relationship with a good local contractor.

Get the Proper Insurance
However many steps you go through in your tenant screening process, the fact remains that problems can and will occur. Whether from unruly and careless tenants, freak accidents that cause serious damage, or simply from regular wear and tear, your property is at risk when you rent it out. You can protect your investment by making sure you are covered by the best home insurance possible, so you can recover against any losses. Protect your home further with a home warranty that can keep your pricey appliances covered in case of expensive damages.

Set Up Your Lease Properly
With all the knowledge you’ve acquired in the previous steps, you should be well prepared to put together a strong lease at this point. This document is hugely important to beginning your time as a landlord right, since it outlines the rights and responsibilities of both you and your tenant. As such, it protects both people in the relationship from problems, intentional and otherwise. You’ll definitely want to get a lawyer involved in at least one draft of the document, and ask him or her how to make sure you aren’t put in a dubious legal position.

Whether you are renting out a single property or operating multiple rental properties, the basic requirements for success are fundamentally the same. With a little work, you can turn that property into money in your pocket.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Prepare Yourself for Becoming a Landlord appeared first on RISMedia.

New-Home Sales Heat Up to Seven-Month High in February

New-home sales heated up to a seven-month high in February at 592,000, a 6.1 percent increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The average new-home sales price was $390,400, while the median was $296,200. New-home listing inventory was 266,000—5.4 months supply.

New-home sales sizzled compared to a tepid January, when activity was stifled by limited new supply.

“This growth was likely spurred by several factors, including a warm winter that allowed builders to stick to construction schedules, last year’s strong home construction starts, and a gradual shift from building apartments to individual homes,” says Joseph Kirchner, senior economist at realtor.com®.

“While this growth is encouraging, it’s important for house hunters to keep in mind that builders have been focusing on the more pricey part of the market; affordable options are still in short supply. That’s a key reason why existing-home sales dropped in February while sales of new homes went up—existing home sales include both affordable and premium homes. During that month, sales of existing homes under $100,000 plummeted 15 percent and sales of homes in the $100,000 to $250,000 range fell 2 percent, while sales of more expensive existing homes soared.”

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post New-Home Sales Heat Up to Seven-Month High in February appeared first on RISMedia.

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©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.  Roanoke, VA  Licensed in Virginia.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier, REALTORS
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Phone: 540-343-5000
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