Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., would like to welcome Samar Jafri to our Realtor sales team!

Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., would like to welcome Samar Jafri to our Realtor sales team!

Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., would like to welcome Samar Jafri to our Realtor Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., would like to welcome Samar Jafri to our Realtor sales team!sales team! Samar (pronounced “Summer”) comes to Winchester, VA from Toronto, Canada. She is a vibrant client-focused professional who makes sure the needs of her clients come first.

Samar has as Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from York University, Toronto. Her economic background, along with her real estate investor experience, make her uniquely qualified to give clients the best attention possible for their real estate buying and selling needs. Like many of the Cornerstone team, she has been a real estate investor for many years. She uses that ability for her clients advantage, and she knows how to look at a property from an investor point of view.

When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA area, give her a call and expect great things. She will not disappoint, and she brings the Cornerstone values of excellence and client-focused results to your real estate needs. Welcome to the team. We’re happy to have you on board.

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

If you’re selling your home, home inspections can be a challenge. It is important to know what to look for before a home inspection on your listed home. A little insight before a home inspection can save a lot of money in last-minute home inspection repairs. There are certain areas that are common home inspection problem areas that can be spotted before you have a ratified contract. For instance,

What to look for before a home inspection: Wrong Wiring

Check the wiring. Any home can have electrical issues, but there are a few electrical What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electricalissues that are common problems in home inspection repair requests. An inexpensive plug-in tester can give you all the information you need to make a simple check of the electrical wiring at the receptacles in your home.

Receptacles with reversed hot and ground, or reversed hot and neutral wires are simple fixes. It is common when replacing a wiring device to get the wires backward. When that happens, the tester will show an

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

 anomaly with lights lit differently than correct wiring. The photo above shows the correct wiring. If the lights are lit in another format, the wiring is incorrect and can damage sensitive electronics.

 

Make sure to turn the power off on receptacles that are incorrectly wired and reverse the wires. A simple rule is that black wires go on brass colored screws and white wires go on silver-colored screws. The bare copper wire goes on the green screw. Simple enough?

What to look for before a home inspection: Non-grounded Receptacles

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: ElectricalAnother electrical issue, that I see often, is when non-grounded receptacles are replaced with receptacles designed to be grounded. In older knob and tube wiring or in wiring where the Romex wires only contain two conductors (early 1960s), a ground wire is not present. Changing the receptacles from a two slot device to a three slot device does not make it grounded. It can also create a situation where sensitive electronics can be damaged.

 

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

There is a way to fix this problem without re-wiring the house. A ground fault receptacle can be placed at the beginning of a line of receptacles and everything down-line receives an element of protection. The GFI must be the first device in the line. The What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electricalwires still need to be on the correct sides of the GFI receptacle and the down-line receptacles need to be on the “LOAD” side of the GFI. That one change can make a huge improvement in an non-grounded circuit. It is radically less expensive than a full re-wire, and it gives an element of protection to an non-grounded circuit. The receptacle cover-places on that line should have a sticker that indicates that the device is non-grounded. The GFI provides protection, but it is not the same as a grounded receptacle.

It is important to know what to look for before a home inspection on your listed home. Being ready for the inspection will make you less stressed and more ready to move on to closing your home sale. When you’re ready to list your home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros, and we are Virginia state contractors. We can help point out areas that need attention before your home hits the market.

 

 

 

Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Made Simple

Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home

Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, Virginia home can be exhilarating and Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Made Simplehorrifying at the same time.  It’s the single largest expense most people will accept in their lifetime.  That alone could make you want to run the other way, but STOP!  I can help you buy your first home, and we’ll have fun doing it.

There are a few things you can do to get prepared for buying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA home.  These simple guidelines will make the process simple and less stressful.

Buying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home: Bullet Points

  • Decide what kind of house you “need” or “want” before you start looking.  How many bedrooms do you want?  How many bathrooms will you need?  Do you need a basement, fenced yard, garage or a family room?  Have this information ready before the search.
  • Drive around the area and see what neighborhoods look like. Find an area where  you would like to live.  Which ones can you scratch off your list? Which ones will you keep?
  • Do a few web-searches on Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, Homes.com, FranklyMLS.com.  That will give you a little sense of what to look for when reviewing listings.
  • Call Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. You will need an experience Realtor to help you gain access to the homes that you ultimately want to look at, and your Realtor can help you see things you may not have enough experience to see.
  • Ask your CBG Inc. agent for recommendations on Lenders and make an appointment.
  • Have the lender do a summary of your financial situation and qualify you for a purchase of $XXXXXX.  That will help you know what price range you should be looking in.
  • Link up with your CBG Inc. agent and start the search in the local MLS, pick your favorites and go take a look.
  • Have your CBG Inc.agent explain the process from contract through loBuying a Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Made Simplean to closing.  You will have a time-line to work out details.  Your CBG Inc. agent can get your ready to take that journey.
  • Move in and recommend CBG Inc. to all your friends. 

Buying a Winchester, Virginia home can be a great experience if you follow a few simple guidelines.  Let’s get together and make it happen today!

 

This post was originally published at http://activerain.com/blogsview/5126474/buying-a-winchester-frederick-county–va-home.

 

What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?

What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?

If there is one question I hear from home sellers over and over it is, “What changes can What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?I make to get more money for my home at resale?” I’ve had some say they were going to add a pool, do a major kitchen remodel, completely gut and remodel a bath, and I always say, “STOP!”

You definitely don’t want to add a pool. There is a narrow market of home-buyers who would want a pool. If you’re going to do a major kitchen remodel, do that while you live there so you can enjoy it, and why would you want to do a radical bath remodel? What is wrong with the current bath? Here again, if it needs a remodel, do it while you’re there and can enjoy it.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Minor remodeling gives more bang for the buck.

The kitchen

Minor remodeling of some of the key areas can give more bang for the buck much of the time. Paint, flooring and good lighting can make a major difference in a bath or kitchen. Painting kitchen cabinets can bring them new life, and that has become a thing today. Rather than a $50,000 cabinet replacement, a couple cans of paint and a little patience can go a long way.

Counter-tops are always a plus, but granite counters can run into the thousands quickly, and you may not recoup your costs. Also, granite is porous and can collect permanent stains. A less expensive alternative (not radically less) is quartz. Quartz will not hold on to stains like granite, but it will give the same appeal.

The bathrooms

The bathrooms are another buyer hot-spot. If the bath appliances are dated, you may want to have them replaced, re-glaized or have them repaired. There are companies that can place a cover over an outdated pink tub and make it look brand new. It’s a less expensive option and it accomplishes the same goal. You can also pick up new bath appliances at Habitat for Humanity Restores for a song.

Simple things like a new sink, toilet, toilet seat, towel racks, light fixtures and even a great shower curtain can make a bath look completely different. Paint and flooring are always a plus. Always make sure the caulk around the shower, sink and toilet are fresh and clean. Simple changes can give an 80%-100% return on your efforts.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Throughout the house

There are a few areas that improve your homes appeal with a small investment.

  • New lighting – Consider LED rings for recessed lights, and swap out other light bulbs with more efficient whiter light LED bulbs.
  • New flooring – replace worn and stained carpet.
  • Hardwoods – if you have worn hardwood floors, having them sanded can add a lot of appeal to buyers.
  • Keep everything clean and put away – it makes the house look larger when it is not wall to wall stuff.
  • Make sure the windows can let the light in. Light is your friend.
  • Paint the walls with a neutral color.
  • Better insulation (one of the highest returns)

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Outside

Curb appeal is always a good thing to concentrate on when preparing your home for sale. Landscaping is an inexpensive plus. Make sure your mulch is fresh and spread What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?well. Add a pop of color throughout the flower beds and keep the flower beds weeded throughout the sale period.

Another often overlooked option is the front door. Bankrate.com rates a new entry door as a 90.7% return on the investment. That’s a pretty good return if it causes your home to sell, and it can make a great first impression to your entry.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? What doesn’t return the most money?

  • A major kitchen remodel
  • A basement remodel
  • A family room remodel
  • A major bath remodel
  • An addition
  • New Windows – lower sale return, but a good investment if you’re going to live there.

These are all things that will make the home more enjoyable while you live there, but if you’re doing them to increase your home’s value for resale, you may be giving money away. For instance, a family room addition may not return more than 69% of your investment. A basement remodel is nearly the same at 70%.

Spend your money where you can get the most for the effort and you will be sure to walk way from the closing table happy. Sometimes, less really is more. Always make sure you do your homework before selling your home and find out  where the best return is for the sale. When you’re ready to sell your home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.