Category Archives: Buying A Home

7Signs You Are Ready To Buy A Home Of Your Own

Living in an apartment or rental home does have its perks: You can test out different neighborhoods and locations, you have the flexibility to move, and you have access to great amenities like a gym or pool. But there’s a reason that to buy a home, rather than renting one, is a highly desired achievement.

Maybe the thought of having your own place has crossed your mind only recently, or maybe you’re regularly saving a chunk of your paycheck for that future down payment. No matter where you are in the process of considering home ownership, here are the unmistakable signs that you’re ready to buy your first home.

new friends hanging out

1. You Want to Get to Know Your Neighbors

Because renters don’t tend to live in one apartment for very long, it can be difficult to meet people who live in your building. But when you buy a home and are more invested in your community, it’s easier to forge lasting friendships.

homeowner customizing his house

2. You Want to Customize Your Space

Many rental communities have limits on what you can customize in your unit. You may be able to paint your walls a different color, but you may not be able to replace the counter tops or appliances that come standard in your apartment.

homeowners in a spacious room

3. You Want More Space or Amenities

You daydream about the day you buy a home with a large kitchen, dining room, basement, garage, or maybe even a home office or bonus room for your hobbies.

sign pointing to home for sale

4. You Regularly Drive by Your Favorite Neighborhoods

You have a list of at least three communities (or maybe even houses) that you would love to live in when you’re ready to buy a home. You might even attend an open house or two.

two parents and a child

5. You’re Eager to Put Down Roots

A home is more than a financial investment. It’s your own space, a private retreat, and the start of a new chapter in your life. You’ll love being able to make lasting memories with your new neighbors and enjoying all the amenities near your home.

woman scrolling through a laptop

6. You’re Constantly Browsing Home Improvement Sites

Instead of scrolling through social media, you’re scrolling through home decor websites or binge-watching HGTV. You now have dozens of ideas for how you’re going to decorate everything from the bathrooms to the entryway.

home buyers searching for homes

7. You Have Money Saved Up for a Down Payment

A down payment is essential to buying the home of your dreams. But once you see your savings account grow, you know your new home is just within reach.

We Can Help You Buy Your First Home

You have plenty of decisions to make when considering homeownership, but we can help you with all of the details. Let’s talk about your plans, and we can work together to search for homes, make an offer on your favorite property, negotiate the best price, and navigate all the steps to closing. Call us and let’s get started!

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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9 Moments All Home Buyers Experience

You’re armed with your pre-approval letter, your wants and needs list, and your knowledge of the real estate market. Now comes the fun part: searching for homes! Like any part of buying a home, the home search has its ups and downs. But once you’re living in your new home, spending weekends shopping for furniture and décor, and enjoying all the amenities of your new location, you know you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Here are the moments only home buyers understand.

home buyers searching for homes

1. When You Hit “Search” for the First Time

You put your price range, number of bedrooms, and a couple of must-have features into an online home search tool, then hold your breath while the results page loads. Look at all those listings! Your new home is just a click away!

sign pointing to home for sale

2. When You Make a Day of Driving Through Your Favorite Neighborhoods

You find yourself giving this excuse to friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else who wants to make plans: “Sorry, I’m busy all weekend. I’m going to open houses!”

buyers looking at homes

3. When You Fall in Love with Several Different Homes

You just can’t help it! You’re picturing yourself reading by the window, cooking meals in the kitchen, decorating the bedrooms, exploring the trails nearby, and even running errands to the closest grocery store.

buyer who's stressed out

4. When You Go Overboard on Your Must-See List

Your Realtor warned you not to have a long list of homes. Now that you’ve seen a handful of properties, each new home is starting to look just like the one before it, and trying to keep them all straight is making your head hurt. The home buying struggle is real.

parents stressed out about listings

5. When Your Favorite Home Goes Off the Market

Another buyer scooped up your favorite property before you could even call your real estate agent for a showing, or worse, the home goes off market just before you’re about to make an offer.

attic stuffed with boxes and clutter

6. When You Tour a Home That Clearly Isn’t Ready to Sell

For a second you think you’re in the wrong place. There are fingerprint smudges on the windows, dust bunnies in the corners, clutter in the closets, family photos on the walls, home décor that’s easily 30 years old… Yikes. This looks nothing like the online listing photos you fell in love with!

looking at new listings

7. When a New Listing with All Your Criteria Hits the Market

This property has everything you’ve been searching for, and it just showed up in your inbox! You scramble to schedule a showing, make an offer, and thank your Realtor for signing you up for email alerts.

buyer talking with a Realtor

8. When You Still Don’t Understand Parts of the Closing Process

Even though your agent explained everything that happens after you make an offer, you’re still confused about some things, like the difference between “due diligence fee” and “earnest money.” Due diligence is a courtesy amount of a few hundred dollars you pay the seller to take their home off the market. (You get this money back.) But earnest money, which is a fraction of your down payment, you don’t get back.

new homeowners unpacking

9. When You Finally Move Into Your New Home

All those days spent researching neighborhoods, cancelling plans to go to showings, and taking pages and pages of notes about your favorite properties have paid off. The home is finally yours!

We’ll Help You Find Your New Home

The home buying process has its ups and downs, but we’re here to help you every step of the way. We’ll sign you up for alerts of new listings, coordinate showings, and guide you from your home search to the closing table. Ready to get started? Just give us a call!

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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How 2016 Technology Has Changed Your Home Search Forever

scrolling through mobile phoneWhen was the last time you hopped in your car to start your home search? Most home buyers today just pick up their phones to instantly view properties all around the country — no car required.

Each year, new tech changes the way that we interact with the world. Here are just a few of the ways 2016 technology has changed the way buyers find real estate.

You Can Access Anything On the Go

Your home search doesn’t stop while you’re out and about. Today’s technology has made it easier to access information when you need it. While you’re waiting in line at the store or idly scrolling through your phone, you can find articles about the home buying process on social media, see listings on a mobile search app, or check commute times from homes you’re considering.

Video Tours Have Evolved

Listing photos are incredibly helpful for home buyers who are looking online for properties. But now, video tours make deciding on homes even easier. Instagram, Facebook Live, and even Snapchat are just a few of the many platforms that you can use to find video tours.

“Smart” Home Features are Becoming a Priority

Remember earlier this year when the Pokémon Go mobile app was released? Proximity to a “Pokéstop” — a point of interest where players could collect items for the game — was listed as a feature in property descriptions, at least for a little while. The Pokémon Go craze is just one of many instances where technology is becoming a priority in and near homes that buyers are considering.

home with smart featuresToday’s home buyers can purchase smart home security cameras, install programmable thermostats, and invest in the security systems of tomorrow. Green homes, energy-efficient appliances, and home energy monitoring systems help homeowners save money. With the right mobile apps, your smartphone can control just about anything in your home, from lights to locks.

One Thing That Will Never Change…

The Internet is saturated with information, both good and bad. But one thing you can’t glean from technology is the ability to navigate the complex real estate process. Even with all the innovations in technology, you’ll still need an experienced real estate agent to help you buy a home.

Are you searching for a home in our area? We’ll help you find just what you’re looking for and handle every detail of your transaction. Contact us and let’s get started.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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The Top Real Estate Resolutions (And How to Keep Them)

Want to visit the gym more? Finally complete the home improvement project you’ve been working on? Save money for that new watch/car/house/vacation? January 1 is the perfect time to jumpstart your goals. If you’re like most people, according to Money Magazine, you probably have “stay fit,” “spend less,” or “enjoy the most out of life” on your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Did a few real estate goals make it on your list, too? You’re not alone. Here are a few of the most popular home-buying or home-selling goals, and a few tips on how to achieve them.

Buy Your First Home

brand new homeownersYou’re ready to take that first step to homeownership in the New Year. You likely already have an area or neighborhood in mind, and you have a few features that you’d like in your new home.

How to keep it: Buying a home is a major project. It may be easier for you to achieve this goal if you set smaller, more manageable goals, such as putting aside money every month for a down payment, reviewing your budget, and researching reputable lenders.

Make Extra Payments on Your Mortgage

If you currently own a home, you might be trying to pay it off quickly, knowing that paying even a fraction of your mortgage ahead of time can cut out a few years (and hundreds of dollars in interest). You might have even taken some time to determine how much you could feasibly pay extra every month.

How to keep it: Don’t feel like you need to make dramatic changes to your monthly payments. Instead, save up just a few dollars a week to put aside toward your mortgage.

Put Your Home on the Market

You’ve decided that 2017 is the year to sell your home. Maybe you’ve started getting rid of household items you no longer need, or maybe you’ve started making a few small home improvements. This is a great first step to achieving your real estate goals.

How to keep it: Forbes shared the secret to keeping New Year’s resolutions, and one of the top tips is to make your goals specific. If you want to sell your home for a high price, for instance, determine what amount you want for your home. Start researching which homes near you have recently sold to get an idea of market conditions and what prices are realistic. Just ask us for a Neighborhood Sold Report or a free home evaluation.

Invest in Your First Property

investing in real estateHave you been thinking about investing in real estate to make extra money? Because this type of investment requires a little more real estate and financial knowledge, you might have already started doing a little research before you begin. Knowing common terms, understanding the basics of investing, and having a good handle on your finances can save you time and effort down the road.

How to keep it: Maintain detailed records of your finances. Do your research. Give yourself a deadline to have your down payment and cash reserves (if you don’t have the cash to buy the property outright). Determine how much money you want to make. Then, set aside the time to meet with a real estate agent to talk about your goals and which properties would be best for you.

We’ll Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Goals

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in 2017, we will do
everything we can to help you with your resolutions. You can take the first steps now by viewing the resources available on our website, or you can contact us directly to talk about your plans.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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6 Ways To Save Money For Your First Home


For many first-time home buyers, the idea of a 20% down payment is terrifying. It’s one of the biggest obstacles to homeownership. Maybe you want to own a home someday, but the thought of saving up thousands of dollars for a home purchase has deterred you from seriously considering it.

Believe it or not, it is possible to save enough money for a down payment and make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Here are just a few of the ways that you can start saving.

 

1. Track How Much You Spend Now

When saving for your first home, you’ll need to stick to a budget. Awareness of how much you spend can help you figure out where you can cut your costs. Consumer.gov outlines a few tips for creating a budget here.

2. Determine What You Can Afford

home buyer tracking financesEven if you don’t plan to buy a home for a few years, figuring out how much you can afford for your home will make your savings goal more concrete. Don’t forget to include taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance in your monthly payment calculations.

3. Start Small

Start saving for your down payment and other homeownership costs as soon as you can. The earlier you start, the less you will have to cut your spending and the more time you’ll have to reach your goal.

4. Shop Around for Other Loans

If you find that a 20% down payment is unrealistic, you can opt for a mortgage that offers lower down payment options. FHA loans, for instance, offer 3.5% down, and VA loans offer no money down.

Make sure to do your research. If you put less than 20% down on a home, you will have to purchase private mortgage insurance. We can talk more in depth about home financing options available to you.

home buyer looking at bank account

 

5. Make Your Savings Automatic

Many people find it’s easier to save money if it’s automatically transferred into a savings account every month. Check to see if your bank offers automatic funds transfer services, or ask if your employer can direct a portion of your paycheck into your savings account.

Web 1st Time

 

6. Create a Separate Savings Account

Establishing a savings account specifically for your down payment and homeownership costs is another great way to set aside money for a home. If you decide to automatically transfer money to savings, creating a separate account may make it even easier.

We Can Make Your First Home Buying Experience Easier

When you’ve saved up enough money and are ready to buy a home, we have all the resources you need to make your homeownership dreams a reality. Have a question about owning a home? Call us.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

The 6 Most Important Home Buying Resources

home buying resourcesScrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and pondering the décor in your new home is fun. But the home search itself is not the only enjoyable experience; the entire home buying process can be pleasant when you have access to the 6 most important home buying resources

Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home easier and enjoyable.

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

First determine what price, location, size, and any special features your new home must have. Then you can hone in on your favorite properties by searching for additional features that you would prefer.

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home. This tool takes into account the length of the loan, the interest rate, and annual tax and insurance to calculate how much you will pay every month.

3. A Reliable Home Search Tool

home buying resourcesIf you are using national real estate sites to search for homes near you, keep in mind that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. HousingWire reported that websites such as Zillow show fewer listings than are available in many major cities, which means you could be missing out on the best home.

The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

4. A Local Neighborhood Guide

Choosing the best home involves more than the property itself. It’s important to research areas and neighborhoods. Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:

  • Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
  • What are the parking options in the community?
  • Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, or shopping area?
  • How is the local school district?

We have helpful information about neighborhoods and areas on our website that you can use when searching for a home.  Home buying resources provided by us are customized to your requirements

5. A List of Recently Sold Homes

home buying resourcesResearching the real estate market will also make your home search much easier.

If you are thinking of buying a home in a particular community, ask us for the Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced.

You can always ask us about the real estate conditions in this area, too.

6. A Local Real Estate Expert Is The Most Important Of The Home Buying Resources

But your best home buying resource in this area is the local real estate expert. He or she will have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.

Are you ready to buy a home? Let us help! Contact us today and we can work with you to find your ideal home. The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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home buying resources

3 Surprising Ways Public Schools Affect Your House Hunt

house huntIt’s back-to-school season and hard to relate it to a house hunt.  School supplies are front and center in the stores, back-to-school sales are everywhere, and school buses are becoming part of the morning commute.

Even if the public school district is not an important factor in your house hunt, the location of public schools can still have a significant impact on your home buying decision.

If you are looking for a home near a school, you may want to take these factors into consideration.

1. School Speed Zones

Pay attention to the speed limit around schools and times that the school zone speed is enforced. You may want to consider a home that has convenient alternate routes around the school zone.

2. School Bus Stops

Whether there is a bus route through your neighborhood or on a major thoroughfare, it can affect traffic around your home. Call the school district and ask if there is a bus that stops near your home to pick up students

3. Morning and Afternoon Traffic

house hunt
Traffic congestion near public schools may be an issue during the weekdays. Crowded carpool lanes and frequent bus stops can turn a short trip to the grocery store into a frustrating ordeal.

When you are searching for your home, visit the area during peak morning and afternoon hours. Again, you may want to consider a home that is farther from the school or has convenient alternate routes.

We Are Your House Hunt Guide

house huntA school’s location can affect your decision to buy a home, especially if you are new to the area. But a real estate agent is your local expert, giving you everything you need to know about how the nearby schools will affect your morning commute or afternoon trip to the store.

We can help you find the best home in the best location. Call us and let’s talk about your home search.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

house hunt

Moving – An Unavoidable Part Of The Real Estate Process

Moving Van Root CanalThere are fewer things in life that are more stressful than moving.  For home buyers and sellers   moving is the “last play” of the real estate transaction – you either receive or surrender the keys to a home.   One of the most anxiety inspiring aspects of the moving process is not knowing how much it will cost until it is too late to change your mind! There are a number of different factors that will influence the cost of hiring a moving professional. Here are a few of the primary things that will factor into the cost of your move.

Time of year

The warmer months are the times of year when the majority of people choose to . For this reason, moving companies get booked up many months in advance. Trying to hire a mover at the last minute during a busy moving season can end up costing you a lot more than you would normally pay. Remember to book your moving company as far in advance as you can plan. Also, if you are able to move in the “off season” you may get a better rate

Size of your home

Most movers will be able to quote you a ballpark price for moving your home based on the numbers and types of rooms in your home. Movers are well trained in being able to estimate how much packing and moving is involved in a 400 square foot kitchen as opposed to a 200 square foot library. When you first contact your moving company, be prepared with as much information about the size of your home, number of rooms and type of rooms you are moving. Also, be prepared to explain the size and type of the place you are moving into. In general, the larger your home, the more expensive your move, but this is not always the case depending on the type of rooms and their contents

Distance you are moving

If you are moving across the country, this will be more expensive than moving across Web Buyers Atown. Part of that expense is in the gas and wear on the moving van. But this is also due in part to the labor and coordination involved in one crew packing your things in one state and another unpacking in another state. Sometimes, vans also are required to meet up with other vans mid trip and consolidate your belongings onto a different van that might be headed to your new locale. When you are quoted a price from your moving company, be prepared to ask a lot of questions about where your belongings are going, what route and all the details of the packing and unpacking of the van

 

Packing yourself vs. full service moving

The full service mover takes care of every aspect of the move. They will pack, load, move and unload your items. If you want to save money you can opt to pack everything yourself. However, you may end up being better off paying for the full service moving option. If a mover packs everything for you, then they also shoulder the responsibility for breakage due to poor packing and will absorb

Accessibility

When you call a moving company regarding your move be sure to tell them anything about the home you are moving from or moving into that might be difficult to access with a large moving van. If you live down a very long and narrow driveway, or up a step mountain road, then the moving van may not be able to get close enough to your home to load and unload directly adjacent to the house or building. IN this case, you may be subject to extra fees for carrying your belongings a farther distance to and from the van

Extra costs

Although every effort is made to gather the most accurate information regarding your move, be aware that many factors affect the cost of a move. You may incur other costs if there is a flight of stairs in your new home, if you purchase insurance, or if you use the moving company’s boxes rather than your own. Be aware when hiring movers that the price you are quoted isn’t always the final price you pay so talk to your movers about these extra charges and be prepared.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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moving

 

5 Pros and 5 Cons of A Homeowners’ Association

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Homeowners' Association

Across the U.S., homeowners’ associations are on the ascent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59 percent of newly constructed homes in 2014 were part of a homeowners’ association. That’s up from 46 percent in 2009.

So, what’s the draw of a homeowners’ association? By the same token, what are the drawbacks?

“A well-run and managed HOA can be a blessing, and a poorly managed HOA can be a curse,” says Bruce Ailion, a broker at RE/MAX Town and Country in Woodstock, Ga.

Here, real estate agents and homeowners weigh in on the blessings and the curses of homeowners’ associations (HOAs).

Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look good.

Generally, an HOA establishes rules to ensure the neighborhood looks sharp, says Brad Pauly, owner and broker at Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas. These include strict guidelines about keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on parking boats and other large vehicles on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.

“This type of oversight eliminates issues with one or two properties weighing down all property values due to an unpleasant exterior,” says John Lyons, a broker with Baird & Warner in Chicago.

Pro No. 2: You’ll enjoy access to amenities.

An HOA usually offers community amenities such as a pool, a fitness center, parks, children’s play areas and security gates, Pauly says.

Pro No. 3: Your maintenance costs will be shared.

HOA dues are earmarked for maintenance of shared spaces, according to Lyons. This includes community lawn care (but not for your own yard), community snow removal (but not for your own property) and upkeep of common areas like the pool or the fitness center.

Pro No. 4: You’ve got a built-in mediator.

Involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that big oak tree that’s losing limbs? You can settle some confrontations with your neighbors by taking your grievances to the HOA’s board or management company, Lyons says.

Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.

Gina Estrada, who lives in a gated HOA community in Clovis, Calif., says that if you’re elected to serve on the HOA board or are otherwise active in the association, you’ll become better acquainted with your neighbors. Heck, you might even make some new friends. “I believe we should know our surroundings, including the people in them,” Estrada says.

Con No. 1: You’ll fork over HOA dues.

When buying a home in a community with an HOA, you’ve got to add HOA dues to your budget. The dues vary, but typically run in the hundreds of dollars per month.

Con No. 2: Your hands will be (somewhat) tied.

If someone buys a home in an HOA community and wants to make changes to the property, such as the addition of an enclosed patio, it normally must be approved by the HOA’s board. “It’s possible that an HOA could prevent certain updates on a home,” Pauly says.

Con No. 3: You might be hampered by an HOA’s financial woes.

If an HOA is facing financial problems or is ensnared in a lawsuit, it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a home and could hurt sale prices of homes in the community, Pauly says.

Con No. 4: You’ll lose some of your freedom.

When you live in a community governed by a HOA, you’ll have to follow its rules, even if you think they’re ridiculous, Lyons says.

“You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowners’ association to change any rule you don’t agree with. But if you lose, you will have to live with it,” Lyons says.

Con No. 5: You might be the victim of a “rogue” board member.

Estrada says her HOA elected a “rogue” homeowner to the board who decided to flaunt the rules and do whatever he wanted. For instance, Estrada says, the rogue board member thought the community needed speed bumps to slow down speeding drivers, so he had them installed. That move caused a neighborhood uproar. The process to take out the speed bumps and remove the rogue homeowner from the board cost several thousand dollars, including legal fees, she says.

“When there is one rogue homeowner, it can really mess things up,” Estrada says.

Problems also arise when homeowners stop attending HOA meetings, Estrada says, and it’s left to a small group of people to make decisions.

“The board of directors of a homeowners’ association is made up of your neighbors. If you want to have a say in how things go, you have to serve on the board,” says Ailion.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

Homeowners' Association

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

Homeowners' Association

This articale by John Egan was originally posted in RISMedia’shousecall

John Egan is editor in chief at LawnStarter, which connects homeowners with lawn care professionals.

Fixer Upper Or Rehab – Which Should You Buy?

Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper

is a home that is structurally sound and only needs some cosmetic changes to bring it up in value. This can include paint, new carpeting or refinished floors. It also can include non-essentials like updated kitchen cabinets or lighting fixtures—essentially things you can do yourself, if you’re handy, that won’t require a lot of heavy lifting.

fixer upper

 

Rehab

is a project that is a lot more than that and can include everything from roof replacements to repairing water damage and replacing electrical components.

 

The Differences

Somewhere between the two is changing the structural layout of the home to be more open, which likely involves contractor work and permitting but won’t make the house leak or catch on fire if it doesn’t get done.

Perhaps the best way to understand it is this: if you can live in the home safely and comfortably while you’re doing work, chances are it’s a little fixer job, not a full scale rehab. If you will have to go to great strides to inhabit a property before it’s more than halfway finished, it’s leaning towards a rehab.

Risks And Rewards

All of this goes to say that when you buy a home with the anticipation of doing work on it, there are risks and rewards associated with each. While the term fixer upper is pretty widely applied to homes that need renovation before they will be up to snuff for most buyers, the difference between something that needs a couple touches and something that needs its foundation redone is huge. The closer you tread towards the rehab side of the equation, the more risk and potential for expense comes with it (remember that Tom Hanks movie the “The Money Pit”?) When you’re shopping for any home, you should hire a professional inspector to come through and examine your property, and they should be able to give you an idea of what types of things may be wrong with your investment before you buy.

There are benefits that come with buying a home that needs a lot of work however, and if you’re ready for the labor involved you can quickly grow an investment. Getting a home that requires repair opens you up to a less competitive, less expensive market with unique funding options (including mortgages that estimate and fund repairs as part of the principal). It can also mean rates, stolen copper, and unexpected outcomes. Rehabbing a property that you buy for, say, $60,000 in a neighborhood where homes regularly sell for $120,000 or $140,000 is a great deal, so long as you can get everything repaired for under $30,000 or $40,000. Not only will the home jump up in value by a great margin as it gets up to speed with surrounding homes, but it will appreciate regularly in value over time with the market and inflation, adding to your profit if you choose to hold onto it (either to live in or as a rental property).

When it comes to choosing a project house, should you go with something light or go the full rehab route? First, consider your expectations. Once you know what your resources and level of commitment look like, you can start looking for the property that best fits your investment strategy

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy a fixer upper or rehab property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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.Know the Difference: Fixer Uppers vs. Rehab HomesPosted on Nov 16 2015 – 3:14pm by Housecall by Nicholas Brown.  The text has been modified