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Planning To Downsize Your Home? Use These Tips

kitchen and dining roomMaybe the thought of moving to a smaller, low-maintenance home has only briefly crossed your mind, or maybe you’re seriously considering downsizing. But before you trade your too-large house in for, say, a cozy condo downtown, there are a few things to consider.

Downsizing requires quite a bit of planning: You may need to figure out what to keep and what to discard, choose between the love seat and the sofa for your new living room, and determine which furniture pieces can serve multiple functions.

Here are a few downsizing tips to help you prepare to sell your current home.

Start Reducing Your Possessions Now

The sooner you are able to get rid of furniture, household items, and knickknacks you no longer use or need, the better off you’ll be. When you do decide to sell your home, you will thank yourself for spending a few hours a week decluttering now rather than waiting to do everything all at once.

If You Can, Sell Instead of Discard

Many homeowners choose to downsize to spend less money on a mortgage and more money on fun experiences. If you are able to start decluttering weeks in advance, you will have the time to sell unwanted possessions and save the money for future vacations. Consider hosting a yard sale, posting items for sale online, or having high-end items appraised.

Have a Plan

notepad with wadded paperTo avoid getting overwhelmed by all the work involved in downsizing, form a plan to keep your stress at bay. Consider these planning tips:

  • Make a checklist of possessions you cannot live without in your new home.
  • Create a checklist of wants and needs for your new home.
  • Determine which items you can pack now and which items you need to keep handy.
  • Start packing your nonessential belongings.

Get Started by Working with a Real Estate Expert

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make, whether or not they’re downsizing, is not hiring a real estate professional to make the most of their investment. An agent’s experience and knowledge will help you sell your home for the most money possible, allowing you to use the proceeds to purchase a smaller home.

Are you thinking about downsizing? Start the process by requesting a market analysis for your property. Contact us to learn more.

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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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5 Things Only Home Sellers Can Understand

Whether this will be your first time selling a home or your tenth, the home selling process can be a challenge. You want to sell quickly and for the most money, so you will be doing absolutely everything you can to spruce up your home and make it as inviting as possible. But not every experience during the home sale is a struggle. Here are the moments home sellers know too well.

sellers1. The Nostalgia Sellers Feel While Packing

While you’re going through closets and pulling your personal photos off the walls, you may experience some nostalgia. You can vividly remember the day you bought the house. You remember all the guests that have visited. You even remember the stains that you’ve spent time scrubbing out of the carpet.

You have made memories in this home. But don’t forget about all of the new memories you will make in your new home. Whether you’re relocating, upsizing, or downsizing, you will have the opportunity to start fresh.

2. Having To Rush Out The Door For Showings

One of the hardest parts about selling your home is being prepared to leave at any time for showings: during dinner, early in the morning, on weekends… Sometimes, you have just 5 minutes to drop what you’re doing and dart out the door. But when you hear that the buyer has made an offer, you know that all of your scrambling was worth it.

sellers3. The Home Buyers Who Nitpick Everything

It takes time to clean and eliminate clutter the home that you’ve lived in for a while. You remember the dust and dirt you found when you first moved furniture and packed up your closets. You even remember the hours it took to paint your rooms a neutral color. Your home looks brand new and ready for showings, so you can’t help but roll your eyes over the buyer who complains about that one thumb tack hole or the Winder streaks on the window.

4. The Awkwardness of Living In A Partially Empty Home

Everything echoes. It’s impeccably clean. Even the dust bunnies have moved on. With the pictures off the walls, the furniture put in storage, and the walls painted a neutral color, your home looks less like your own and more like a model.

sellers5. Feeling Bittersweet About Leaving Your Home

After all the home sale preparation, last-minute showings, and negotiations, it’s time to say goodbye to your old home and hello to the new one. Yes, there may be things that you will miss about your old home. But there will be also things you can’t wait to have in your new home.

Selling A Home Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

We can help make your home sale a pleasant (and profitable) experience. As real estate experts, we offer a variety of helpful home selling resources, from a free home evaluation to low-cost home improvement ideas. When you’re ready to sell your 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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Does An HOA Add Value When You Sell Your Home?

Houae No HOA Blog

 

I drove by the home at the right a few months ago and it jogged my memory about a situation I encountered last year. I was showing homes to a first time buyer couple. They told me they preferred homes where there was no homeowner’s association.  Since they were moving from a small apartment and would be spending money to furnish their new home they preferred not having the additional expense of HOA fees.

House Cape Cod Blog

I drove up to a little Cape Cod with dormers, picket fence with roses, fireplace and an American flag. The interior was quaint with lots of cute nooks and crannies plus a built-in corner hutch in the dining room.  I knew they had fallen in love with it – they were holding hands as they took the tour

Once outside I noticed the homes in the immediate area were in good condition and well cared for.  However, I knew there are homes throughout the subdivision that do not show as well – it doesn’t have an HOA

They asked to tour the neighborhood to “get a feel” for it. Of course, they commented on the  “cosmetically and physically challenged” homes a few blocks away.

After all

  • The lack of an HOA set up the conditions for derelict houses in the subdivision
  • one of the neat houses within eyesight of the home they were interested in could go “rogue”

There are many reasons people may prefer  a home without an HOA.  However, these were first time buyers with no experience.  They were looking to me for direction. What direction would you have recommended?

We knew we could not write a contract on the cape cod as there was a problem with the husband’s VA eligibility due to a break in service. Time resolved that problem and we are now looking at homes that have an HOA

House with Junky Front
My husband and I have assisted many first time buyers during the 35 years we have been in the business.  We will counsel them thoroughly on the pros and cons of purchasing a home where there is no architectural or use control provided by a homeowner’s association.  It is the type of counseling we would want a REALTOR® to give our first time buyer children if we were out of the area and unable to counsel them in the decision.

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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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The Final Word On The Best Time To Sell A Home

best time to sellThere are countless home selling articles online that seem to contradict each other about the best time to sell a home

In this Huffington Post article, the month of May is the best time to sell a home.. But in this Washington Post article, any time between December and March is the optimal time. And in this NerdWallet article, the right time to sell is between May and August.

Is there a right answer? And if you are interested in selling your home soon, should you start preparing your home now or wait until the weather gets colder?

Why Home Sellers Choose to List in the Summer

Every season has its benefits for home sellers.

Spring has traditionally been the time that homeowners put their homes on the market, since the weather is ideal for showings and curb appeal. However, online home searching makes it even easier for today’s buyers to explore available listings (and high-quality photos) at any time.

Let’s say you wanted to sell your home right now. You may be able to sell quickly and for more money because:

  • Home buyers want to move before the new school year starts.
  • Home buyers have fewer properties to choose from than in the springtime.
  • Home buyers can schedule showings during the longer days.

What About the Other Seasons?

best time to sellThere are equally good reasons that home sellers are able to reap the rewards during any other season.

In the spring, there is a chance that potential buyers will start a bidding war.

In the fall, the cooler autumn weather is ideal for home showings.

And in the winter, especially during the holidays, there are often more motivated buyers eager to settle down before the new year.

Is Summer  The Best Time To Sell A Home?

Is timing the secret to selling a home? Yes, but the optimal time depends on when you need to sell. You shouldn’t wait any longer than necessary.  It may be in Summer

The key to selling your home quickly and for more money is choosing the right real estate agent.

Have you considered selling your home this summer? We can give you more information about ways to increase your home’s value. Call us today and let’s talk about the next steps.

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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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best time to sell

Is Renting Really Cheaper Than Buying A Home?

Owning a home is a dream for many people. You have the opportunity to invest in a place of your own and build equity, not to mention carve out a space that reflects who you are and what you love.

However, worries about down payments, property taxes, maintenance, and insurance (and student loans) can make buying a home seem like wishful thinking, which is why you may prefer to rent a home or apartment.

But is renting cheaper than buying a home? There are more than just financial costs to consider. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renting.

a person holding a wad of cashYou Receive No Return When You Rent a Property

As a renter, you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month to live in your community, and if you want to move, it’s much easier. But renting a home doesn’t offer you investment opportunities.

Unlike paying off your home loan and building equity, the money you pay when you rent goes straight to the property owner or manager.

You Don’t Build Credit When You Rent

As this recent Forbes article explains, your credit score often does not factor in your on-time monthly rent payments, so renting a property is not a great way to build credit.

Additionally, renting doesn’t provide you with any tax benefits. If you own a home, however, you can deduct mortgage insurance and property taxes, and exclude capital gains when you sell.

You Cannot Customize Your Living Space

upgraded kitchen with bright spring flowersNot all costs are financial. There are opportunity costs of renting a home instead of buying a home, and customization is one of them.

There may be rules and regulations in your rental community that prevent you from changing your space to fit your style, such as painting the walls or upgrading the kitchen. These rules may also prevent you from living with a pet.

Owning a home means you can create your own space (with your choice of countertops and kitchen cabinets), you can invest in home improvements, and you can live with your furry companion.

You Have a Harder Time Connecting with Your Community

Forming deep connections with your neighbors is likely not high on your priority list if you’re a renter, especially when you consider that you will only be living in the community for a short time. If you desire to get to know your neighbors, homeownership is a better option.

buyer holding house keys to new homeRenting vs. Buying: The Bottom Line

Renting gives you flexibility and little maintenance to worry about. Buying a home is a long-term investment that gives you a space you can customize, helps you build credit and equity, and connects you with your community.

We want to help you make the best decision, and we have important real estate market resources that you can use to help you decide if renting is cheaper for you than buying a home. Just give us a call and we can 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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Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey Message

 

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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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Woodbridge 22191 First Quarter 2015 Real Esrate Report

woodbridge 22191

Woodbridge 22191 is a postal location in Prince William County.  The Virginia Railway Express and I-95 run right through it, making Woodbridge 22191 one of Northern Virginia’s most convenient residential addresses. It has Prince William County’s best access to the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers. Although it is the oldest of the three Woodbridge postal locations it is also home to some of its’ newest subdivisions such as Port Potomac and Potomac Club

  • Inventory of detached homes, town homes and condominiums for sale in Woodbridge 22191 were higher in the first three months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014
  • Homes of all three types sold in Woodbridge 22191 in the first quarter of 2015 were considerably higher than they were in the first quarter of 2014
  • The March 2015 average sold price for detached homes and town homes in Woodbridge 22191 were considerably lower than they were in March 2014 although they were higher in January snd February.  By comparison the average sold price for condominiums was higher
  • The conditions are right for buyers interested in a Woodbridge 22191 home. Call me to start a home search – low interest rates and large selection of homes should give buyers confidence that a home purchase is a wise investmemt strategy

Placing your mouse over any bar in the Woodbridge Real Estate reports below will generate either a number of units or dollars and a percentage comparing it to the same period a year ago.

 

Woodbridge 22191 Active Listings

 

 

Woodbridge 22191 Closed Sales

 

 

Woodbridge 22191 Average Sold Price

 

 

The figures above in the Woodbridge Real Estate report for Woodbridge 22191 were developed by the area MLS and are not an indication of your home’s market value.  I will visit your home to note its’ specific features and prepare a market comparison for your review.  I will also develop an action plan to market your home.

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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

Karen Biz Card

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

woodbridge 22191 Real Estate

Manassas 20110 Real Estate Report November 2014

 

Manassas 20110Manassas 20110 is a section of the City of Manassas.  It is home to major subdivisions such as Wellington and Cloverhill.  There is a good mix of detached homes, town homes and condominiums.

One of its’, most important features is its’ proximity to transportation facilities including commuter rail, schools, shopping and recreation.

The report says, “It’s a great time to buy a Manassas 20110 home”.

  • More homes for sale than in 2013 giving you a greater selection from which to choose
  • Fewer homes sold than in 2013 improving your negotiating potential
  • Prices trending up in last several months would indicate prices have stabilized

 

Place your mouse over any bar in the interactive graphs below.  You will see a number of units or dollars and a +/- percentage cahange compared to the same month a year ago.

For the past six months

  • the number of Manassas 20110 detached homes, townhouses and condominiums available to buy are considerable higher than they were for the same period in 2013
  • that means a greater selection for buyers

 

Sold Listings Manassas 20110

  • With the exception of detached homes in September unit sales have been lower than 2013 for several months for all three home types
  • This continues to be good news for buyers in Manassas 20110

 

Average Sold Price Manassas 20110

  • The average sold price has increased in Manassas 20110 over the past few months
  • The time is ideal for Manassas home buyers to call me to discuss your plans to purchase

 

The Manassas figures above were developed by the area MLS and are not an indication of your home’s market value./  I will visit your home to note its’ specific features and prepare a market comparison for your review.  I will also develop an action plan to market your home

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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 Manassas 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

manassas 20110