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Megan Napier
REALTOR®
(804) 314-9935
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Date Archives: January 2018

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January
31

Selling Your Home - Top Reasons Why FSBOs Fail

WHY FSBOs FAIL
If you're the kind of person who likes to do things on your own, you might find the idea of an FSBO sale – for sale by owner – intriguing. Unfortunately, the benefits that people expect often fail to materialize ... and the final sale turns out to be much less profitable than planned.

Homeowners who are going into their first sale often believe they can save money and even speed up the process by going it alone. When things go poorly at first, it's easy for inexperienced sellers to double down and feel like they just need to "tough it out."  By the time they decide to work with a qualified real estate agent, they may have done more harm than good selling their home.

By the time someone is there to get the sale on track, trends in the housing market could be shifting. Sometimes, the changes are positive ones. In many cases, though, sellers find themselves running after the initial conditions that persuaded them to sell in the first place.

That can be a disaster – it could even sabotage the prospects for selling at all.

How FSBOs Go Bad

It would be one thing if an FSBO went south in a few days or even a few weeks – that would leave you time to recover. But problems often unfold slowly, with their own gravity, that brings you inexorably to a failed sale. There are simply so many factors creating headwind against a successful transaction that virtually anyone would struggle with them.

Let's look at some of them:

  • House Valuation
    Real estate agents get housing valuation info from a number of sources. That includes historic data on recent sales in the area and trend lines for similar markets. A valuation is not simply "how the agent feels" about a home, it's calculated to attract the right kind of buyer. Sellers risk losing thousands by undervaluing a home or pricing it out of the market by overvaluing it.

  • Contract Errors
    Real estate agents bring procedural know-how and connections to ensure legal errors are kept to a minimum. Scams happen, and selling or buying a home without contracts in place will leave unscrupulous characters free to run off with your money or turn around and leave you in the lurch when you might believe a deal is as good as done.

  • Honest Mistakes
    Real estate agents carry errors and omissions insurance – E&O – to protect them against liability if facts in a listing turn out to be wrong. Without that added layer of protection, FSBO sellers can find themselves in the hot seat. Even buyers who agree to purchase a home at a certain price could turn around and sue, claiming you misrepresented the merits of the property.

  • A Longer and Much Less Lucrative Process
    All other factors being equal, FSBOs sell for less and spend more time on the market than other properties do. In 2015, they were estimated to lose about 16 percent of their sale price compared to agent-assisted sales. Prices dropped even further when the buyer was someone the seller knew. At the same time, around 18 percent of FSBOs failed to sell within the desired timeframe.

When you choose to work with Napier ERA, you'll see the value you get from day one. Our real estate agents are experienced local experts who know what it takes to help Richmond homes for sale succeed on the market. For personalized advice that will put you on the road to the sale you really want, simply contact Napier ERA today.

January
25

Millennials are on the Move: Richmond Housing Market

Millennials Richmond Housing Market
For the first time since the 2008 housing bubble, homes are going on the market en masse – and the Richmond, VA housing market is one of the hottest places in the United States.

Napier ERA President Jim Napier put this into perspective in the June, 2017 publication of Richmondmag.com:

"Six months' worth of inventory is considered a normal market that favors neither buyer nor seller. On average, the Richmond region has a little more than four months of inventory based on home sales from the first quarter of 2017."

Conditions remain tight throughout desirable Richmond areas:

  • Fan District: 2.2 months of inventory
  • Museum District: 2.2 months of inventory
  • Wyndham: 3 months of inventory
  • Northern Chesterfield: 3 months of inventory
  • Henrico: 3 months of inventory

Millennials Driving Home Market Success in Richmond and Beyond

The seller's market in Richmond is an inspiration for communities all throughout the United States that want to see a vibrant housing market. And who is the economic engine behind it all? It's Millennials--the oldest of whom are about 35 today.

Institutions have long undervalued Millennial purchasing power. The effects of structural issues like the economic downturn coupled with huge and rising student debt have given the generation a pragmatic streak that looks askance at luxury items like diamonds and sports cars.

Now, however, Millennials are entering the housing market in greater numbers.

Suppressed earnings caused by weak economic conditions have given way to a robust employment market granting Millennials a chance to start fresh at building a family and pursuing homeownership.

With $200 billion in buying power and representing about 25 percent of the population, Millennials have come roaring onto the scene – bringing a merciful end to years of think-pieces and stale jibes about avocado toast.

Still, it's essential to approach the Richmond market with eyes open.

How to Succeed as a Millennial Buyer in Richmond's Seller's Market

Thanks to its many career and educational opportunities, paired with unbeatable amenities and a welcoming community, Richmond is a Millennial magnet.

To make the most of all it has to offer, Millennial home buyers should keep these steps in mind:

  • Start with VHDA
    The Virginia Housing Development Authority has recently strengthened its offerings for first-time home buyers, making it a much more attractive resource. VHDA mainly serves current state residents, offering a range of 30-year fixed mortgage programs. These include special mortgage packages for veterans as well as rural development loans in designated areas.
  • Use First Time Home Buyer Savings Plans (FHSP)
    FHSP was enacted by Virginia in 2014 to make it easier for aspiring home buyers to save money for their goals. Any state resident can establish an FHSP account, which is protected from state taxation. In such an account, Virginians can accrue up to $50,000 toward the cost of a down payment. Parents and relatives may choose to contribute to an accountholder's savings.
  • Start With a Budget
    Buying a home is making sense for more and more Millennials, particularly those in the Richmond area. Rent has continued to increase over the last several years, while attractive home bargains continue to appear despite the strong market bent toward sellers. Developing a budget and comparing prospective housing options will help you make the right move.

Hire a Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

At Napier ERA, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you achieve the dream of homeownership. Our team is made up of the foremost experts on the Richmond real estate market. We will give you the personalized guidance you need to make an informed decision each step of the way. Contact Napier ERA today.

 

January
22

Rich Napier

The Napier family lost one of its' founding members Friday when Rich Napier passed at 66. In his career, Rich served alongside his father Oscar as President of Napier Realtors ERA, and co-founded Napier Signature Homes. A link is provided below, and Rich requested that in lieu of flowers,  donations be made in his name to Backpacks of Love at 3035 Lower Hill Rd., Powhatan, Va. 23139

Link: Rich Napier

January
16

The Secret is Out - Midlothian is a Great Place to Live

Midlothian is a Great Place to Live
Do you love the Richmond area and want a scenic, suburban community where you can enjoy all that the region has to offer? Then we've got a secret to share with you! Midlothian, VA has long been a beloved location for anyone who calls the community home with more new residents learning the secret of how great life can here. This historic, growing community is just waiting to be explored with outdoor activities, local businesses, and historic destinations around every corner. Our real estate agents are ready to spill the beans on just why Midlothian is such a great place to call home.

The Secret's Out: Midlothian Is a Great Place to Call Home

Located just outside of Richmond, the village of Midlothian is a large, growing suburb with a fascinating history that dates back centuries. With an affordable cost of living and ample entertainment options, Midlothian homes for sale are popular with shoppers from every generation.

A Historic Community

When we say the history of Midlothian stretches back centuries, we're not kidding. For many years, Midlothian was a mining community, and you can find remnants of that period throughout the community today. It was the site of some of the first coal mines in the country along with the first railroad in Virginia. Today, Midlothian has become more of a residential community with a mix of luxurious homes and attractive, affordable options for shoppers looking to make the most of their budget.

Fun and Entertainment Close to Home

In addition to exploring local history, there's a ton to do in our area. The community's many parks offer a great way to spend the day outdoors, and the local YMCA is a popular gathering place for all of your favorite athletic activities. There are a great antique shops to explore in the area along with local small businesses of every type offering unique products and services. The community's close proximity to downtown Richmond makes also it easy to enjoy a day in the city whenever you please.

Affordable Cost of Living and Attractive Real Estate

Midlothian offers an affordable cost of living about five percent below the national average, which leaves plenty of room in the budget to enjoy all that the community has to offer. The luxury real estate market in the community has grown significantly in recent years, with both new and historic homes available to suit every shopper. If you love outdoor beauty close to home, be sure to check out the waterfront homes available in the Swift Creek Reservoir area. If you're not shopping the luxury market, don't worry – there are appealing homes in Midlothian to suit every budget.

A Healthy Economy

Are you searching for a community on the rise with an exciting present and an even brighter future? Midlothian has grown significantly by any measure in recent decades, and there's plenty more to come. Today, Midlothian is home to a population of more than 68,000 residents with a median household income of $77,158, which was enough to earn a spot on Money Magazine's prestigious list of best places to live in 2017. Expect to see continued growth on both fronts, as more new residents learn the secret of why Midlothian, VA is such an excellent place to call home.

Ready to find a home of your own in Midlothian, and learn first-hand why so many love calling the community home? Contact us to buy and sell homes in Midlothian, VA.

January
11

Hot Art, Cold Beer at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Mural
You may have noticed in recent years that murals have had a renaissance in Richmond, VA, which was sparked in part by the persistent work of muralist Ed Trask. His work appears throughout the city, including many works of art at beloved local businesses. You may have also noticed that our city has become a hot-spot for fantastic craft beers, especially in the historic German Brewing District of the city. Why not combine attractive art with delicious beer, and visit the Ed Trask mural at the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery? Our real estate agents have all of the details about this exciting, local business. 

Ed Trask with Mural Hardywood

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and the Ed Trask Mural 

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is a business started by two friends, who traveled the world to learn the secrets of creating unique, delicious craft beer. Located in the German Brewing District, Hardywood Park offers an outdoor beer garden, a busy schedule of special events for all ages, amazing beer, and a beautiful mural by Ed Trask. It's a great place to visit, and a perfect example of how unique, local businesses make life in the city special.

  • Outdoor Beer Garden – Spend an afternoon in the sun, sipping on delicious craft beers while you share stories with friends both new and old. The Hardywood Park outdoor beer garden is a great place to kick back, relax, and enjoy everything Richmond has to offer. There's live music on the weekends, with free shows for all ages, along with spaces dedicated to bocce ball and corn hole. The outdoor beer garden is open every Tuesday through Sunday, so be sure to stop by.

  • Special Events – Looking to spice up your schedule with a unique special event in Richmond? There are tons of events to enjoy at Hardywood Park, from release parties for new IPAs to ugly sweater parties for the holidays. Hardywood Park also sponsors off-site events in the city, often raising money for good causes. You'll also find local events at Hardywood's various taprooms, which are often free and open to all ages.

  • Craft Beer – If you love soaking in every detail of your favorite craft beers, you'll fit right in with the crew at Hardywood Park. The list of Hardywood Park beers is a mile long, with unique spins on classic flavors, along with totally new creations. Enjoy lagers, stouts, IPAs, barrel-aged beers, and even one-off pilot projects.

  • Ed Trask Mural – It seems fitting that one of Richmond's most unique businesses is home to a mural by local artist Ed Trask. The Trask Mural at Hardywood Brewery is a spectacular ode to the city of Richmond, and the world of craft beer. Ranked as one of the "10 coolest murals you'll find a breweries," the Ed Trask mural provides the perfect backdrop for an evening at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

  • Giving Back to Richmond – In addition to all of the free events on the schedule, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery gives back to the community by donating $2 for every barrel of beer produced to local non-profit organizations. The crew at Hardywood is happy to support a diverse group of causes, including environmental, humanitarian, and educational organizations located in the communities where Hardywood sells its many craft beers.

Hardywood Home
Are you in the searching for your next home and looking for an experienced, local real estate team to help you accomplish your goals? Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes throughout the Richmond, VA area.

January
3

5 Things First-time RVA Home Buyers Need to Know

First-time Home Buyers RVA

2018 will be a promising year for anyone who wants to buy one of the homes for sale in Richmond. Richmond is a desirable real estate market for both growing families and upwardly-mobile professionals, and there are plenty of opportunities to find amazing homes in our community. 

While Richmond is still the same great area for home buying it has been for years, some aspects of the housing market are shifting. The more you know, the easier it'll be to navigate your options, make the best choices for you, and find the Richmond home you've been searching for.

Let's review some of the most important trends influencing area home buyers today:

  1. Qualifying for a Mortgage Loan is Getting Easier
    Mortgage lenders have been making it easier for buyers – especially first-time home buyers – to qualify for a loan. Down payment expectations are dropping and buyers with a heavier debt load are being considered. Even the paperwork involved is more streamlined than ever.

  2. Debt Limits Are Going Up, Not Down
    Debt-to-income ratio has long been one of the most crucial factors in getting a favorable loan. Strict debt limits are being eased in Richmond and many other places: Potential buyers may now qualify for favorable mortgage terms even if their debts would consume up to 50 percent of their monthly income.

  3. Home Prices are On a Slow Ascent
    From coast to coast, the second half of 2017 saw fast-paced action in the home market. All the activity might usually accelerate home price growth, but prices have remained on a steady crawl. That means 2018 offers plenty of leeway for buyers – but, the sooner you get started, the better!

  4. Mortgage Rates May Tick Upward
    A tiny fraction of a percentage point can save (or lose) you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage loan. Conditions are right for rates to jump sometime in 2018, and it can happen with little warning – another good reason to make your move as soon as you can.

  5. Down Payments Are Shrinking
    It wasn't that long ago when a down payment of 20 percent was considered standard – and as much as 30 percent was advisable. These days, buyers have much more freedom to take action even if they haven't spent years saving up … but even a smaller down payment still makes a difference.

If you are a first-time home buyer with your eye on real estate for sale in the Richmond area, Napier ERA is the expert team that can help make your homeownership dreams come true. Contact Napier ERA today – our real estate agents are looking forward to helping you.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/15/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/15/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:55:31 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:53:17 PM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:54:43 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:26:31 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:50:24 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --


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