Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Year in Review – 2016

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Year in Review – 2016

Canter Estates is on the east side of Stephens City, VA. It’s a highly desirable Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Year in Review - 2016neighborhood with a variety of housing styles. Custom builders, such as, KHovnanian and Ashbrooke Homes have shared in the construction of many, if not most of the homes built there.

The neighborhood boarders Rt 522 which is a connecting highway between Rt 66, Rt 50, I81, Rt 55 and Rt 340 which makes Canter Estates a commuter’s dream. Within a few minutes, a homeowner who commutes into the DC Metro area can be on a highway leading to their destination. It also gives southern and northern commuters the same advantage.

Canter Estates by the numbers

Canter Estates saw an incredible jump in home sales in 2016. Homes sales were up 142% from 2015 with 29. The previous year saw 12. Distressed properties have not had a major market impact over the 2015-2016 market years.

In a unique phenomenon, 18 of the 29 homes sold in the first 6 months. Eleven homes were sold from July through December. March and November saw no home sales. There is no simple explanation for those stats.

More good numbers

Canter Estates real estate did see some similarities with 2015. The average days on the market were 28 in 2016 and 32 in 2015. Also, the average sale price for 2016 was $304,732, and the average for 2015 was $302,383. These numbers show no real change.

The average sale in 2016 was a 4 bedroom – 2.5 baths home. Two of the 29 sales were homes constructed in 2016, but the average year of construction was 2004. New construction continues to appear on the Canter Estates landscape. Canter Estates gives buyers the advantage of feeling like they are living in a quiet comfortable rural area while having access to all city amenities within minutes.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell in this great neighborhood, give Mike Cooper a call. Mike is your local real estate sales pro.

Reduce your mortgage by pre-paying principal and eliminate interest.

Homeowners know that a mortgage is a great way to buy a house.  But, too many don’t realize just how much a mortgage can run the price of house up over the course of a loan.

If I told you that I would sell you a $200,000 house for $364,813.42 you would never do it, but a 30 year mortgage can run the purchase price of a house up $164,813.42 in interest at 4.5% over a 30 year mortgage.

There are ways to cut that number that are simple and within reach.  Anytime you take out a mortgage, make sure you have the privilege of pre-paying principal without penalties.  Let me show you how this works.

Let’s start with a $200,000 mortgage with the first payment beginning January 1st.  Interest is loaded on the front of your mortgage, so your early payments are predominately interest.  Let me give you an example.  Payment one is $1013.37.  Of that fee, only $263.37 is paid on the principal.  The remaining $750.00 is interest.  On month 2, your second payment is $1013.37 of which $264.36 is principal and $749.01 is interest.

So, in two months, you have paid $527.73 in principal and $1499.01 in interest.  Now, if you add the principal of the second month with your first payment you can skip the interest onpayment two.  So, on January 1 you would pay $1277.73.  That eliminates $749.01 in interest from your loan.  

In February, you would pay payment 3.  Payment 2 has been paid with the January payment – minus the interest which you won’t ever pay.  In February, if you paid the principal of month 4, $266.34, you can skip the interest of $747.03.  In two payments, you have reduced your overall mortgage costs by $1496.04 in interest.  If you repeat that every month throughout your mortgage, you can radically cut the overall interest costs of your mortgage.  There is another way to pay your mortgage off early and reduce the overall interest.  I’ll show that in the next blog.

Buying a Foreclosure in Winchester, VA

Buying a Foreclosure in Winchester, VA

If you’re thinking about buying a foreclosure in Winchester VA, there are certain things you should know.  Foreclosures can be great buys, and many of them are listed at bargain prices.  But, and there is always a but, foreclosure purchases do have characteristics that aren’t always like fair market sales.

  • A foreclosure becomes known as an REO (real estate owned) once the homeowner Foreclosure Signhas lost it and the lender has taken control of it. Most consumers don’t know the difference, so “foreclosure” is often used to avoid confusion.
  • A foreclosure is typically sold “as-is”.  That may mean that some repairs will NOT be made.  Lenders will usually take care of any problems that could be considered a hazard.  For instance, an electrical meter has been tampered with and someone could stick his hand inside of it and get electrocuted.  Water, air, mold, heating and structural issues also come to mind when considering repairs that are hazardous.  They may end up being negotiated.
  • Lenders really don’t care who you are.  They will not discriminate against you for any reason.  They view you from data on a piece of paper as a potential buyer who they will never see, hear from or get to know.  All they want to know is, “Can you buy the property?”  If they seem like they are being hard to get along with, it’s not personal.  When a bank’s asset manager has 200 files sitting on his desk, he doesn’t have time to discriminate.
  • Banks who are trying to liquidate their REOs are not like a seller who has to sell.  You can’t demand things from them.  Expecting the same level of response time, offerings of closing costs or just about anything else is more than likely going to frustrate you.  If you start demanding things during the negotiations, they will just say, Banker“Next.”
  • Threatening a bank with legal action because they are not responding to your demands will not win their favor, approval or respect.  Again, their response will be, “Next.”
  • When you buy a foreclosure, you normally buy caveat emptor.  Buyer beware.  That doesn’t mean that all foreclosures are dumps in terrible condition.  It can be quite the opposite.  A bank in California may not have a clue what a house in Winchester, VA looks like.  So, they can’t afford to make any disclosures or promises about a property they will never see.  You buy at your own risk.
  • Some banks will work with you on closing costs and some will not.
  • Banks may charge you a daily per diem if for some reason you cannot close on time.  I’ve seen it go up to $150 a day.  It’s best to have all of your paperwork ready, as well as your loan approval done on time.  Make sure you’re ready to get busy once the bank agrees to your offer to purchase.  You should already be pre-qualified for a loan before you start.  It’s better to be pre-approved.
  • The less complicated your contract is, the better chance you have of getting the property.  Adding a bunch of contingencies or conditions only makes the next contract more attractive, and banks will gladly accept a pile of contracts before they make a decision.  Keep it simple.  Some things are unavoidable like a final loan approval, but you can skip some contingencies.  Talk to your Cornerstone agent.

Don’t give up on foreclosures because they’re more work.  A foreclosure might be the buy of a lifetime.  It takes patience and understanding, and when you’re ready to buy a Winchester VA foreclosure, give your Cornerstone agent a call.