The Kline May Real Estate Blog

Kline May Realty Blog

Learn More About How The Cinderella Project Is Helping Local Teens

Hello all, Aimee here, and I'm not blogging on behalf of Kline May Realty and our family of agents today because today's blog post is brought to you by our very own Karen Stevenson Carpenter, who is an agent out of our Fishersville office:

The Cinderella Project is gearing up for this year! For those of you who may not know about this cause, The Cinderella Project helps provide young adults in the Shenandoah Valley with attire for their Junior and Senior Proms, all free of charge. We offer this service to high schools throughout the our area, from Central and Stonewall up north all the way to Rockbridge in the south.

Prom-going teens in need of assistance are screened by the guidance departments of their local high school and then given an invitation that gets them into the Project. Young ladies are offered a dress, jewelry, shoes, evening bag, and makeup; gents are offered a shirt, pants, jacket, belt, shoes, ties, and personal hygiene products.

All the stock for this project is acquired by donation of goods and cash. This is the first year, though, that The Cinderella Project is a 501c3, which means all donations are tax deductible. Did you know that Kline May Realty on Evelyn Byrd Avenue in Harrisonburg and Kline May Realty on Jefferson Highway in Fishersville will be a drop-off point for donated goods? So, as spring cleaning commences, I ask that you might take the time to clean out your closets for items that might be appropriate for donation.


Is the Housing Market Back? Ask Lowe's and Home Depot

Hello all! Aimee here blogging on behalf on Kline May Realty and our family of agents.

A recent Bloomberg Business article reports that both Lowes & Home Depot experienced fourth quarter profits that beat revenue projections by the most in six quarters. So what does that mean to the housing market?

Consumer Confidence

Lowe's Chief Executive Officer Robert Niblock said,

"Consumers are feeling better about their jobs, their wages and certainly feeling better about the value of their home, they are re-engaging in projects that they have put off."

Sales to professional contractors have increased significantly as well, and were a driving factor in the quarter. Home Depot's Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome calls this a "sign of health. If they are putting more items in their basket, it means they have work coming at them."


Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report - February, 2015

Click here to download Market Update charts for February 2015.

In spite of very strong winter weather during the month of February, our local real estate market really heated up, with contracts ratified on 98 homes. In my opinion, many more contracts would have been placed on homes if additional inventory was available for Buyers to consider. Buyers are out in force, and are racing to see each new listing due to the lack of inventory.

Overall, residential sales are up almost 7% compared to last year at this time, and February's total of 63 sales is higher than the February sales in 4 of the past 5 years. The most dramatic increase has occurred in the Southwest part of Rockingham County (Bridgewater, Dayton, Belmont Estates), where sales have nearly doubled from the first two months of last year. I don't see this necessarily as a sudden increase


Thinking of Buying? Why Wait Until Spring?

Hello, Aimee here, blogging on behalf of Kline May Realty and our family of agents.

Last year, I became a homeowner. Being a homeowner comes with many responsibilities like removing the big branch from the driveway when it falls during dinner and Googling instructions to fix the garage door when it won't go up.

My husband and I, though, couldn't be more pleased with our decision to buy a home. It provides our small family with stability. My husband and I both relocated often as kids, and it felt good for us to plant roots for our son. Planting roots is a great reason to become a homeowner, and there are many other great reasons too!

If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, or moving up to the home of your dreams in 2015, here are four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting until the spring market really heats up.


Indoor Activities for a Snowy Day

Hello all, Aimee here, blogging on behalf of Kline May Realty and our family of agents. I'm not a big fan of these sub-zero temperatures, and with rumors of another snow storm approaching our already-snow-blanketed Valley this weekend, I've already started thinking about what types of fun activities will keep my outdoorsy little family from going stir crazy this weekend.

Here's a list of 5 Indoor Activities for a Snowy Day:

1) Puzzles - When I was pregnant, my husband took me up to Shenandoah National Park and bought me a puzzle from Loft Mountain Campground to help pass the time when I was no longer allowed to hike. Brad and I never got around to completing the puzzle, but this weekend would be the perfect opportunity to finally start working on it.

2) Arts and Crafts - Crafting is a great indoor activity for a snowy day. Knitting, painting, drawing, crocheting, scrapbooking, the opportunities are endless. My most recent crafting activity was creating a strand of balloon garland for our banister to help spruce up the house for my husband's birthday! Balloon garland is a super cute and easy decoration that looks great, and costs less than $3.00 to create! Instructions available via our friend, Google.

3) Read a Book - Whether you read a book with the kids (my new favorite is Boss Baby) or re-read To Kill a Mockingbird in preparation for the sequel being released by Harper Lee in July (sigh...July), there is just something special about curling up on the couch with a warm cup of tea, reading a book, and watching the snow fall outside your window.


Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report - January, 2015

Click here to download Market Update charts for January 2015.

After finishing 2014 strong with a very busy December, we have high hopes for the 2015 residential real estate market in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. While January's sales were slightly lower than last year's, activity overall seems to be much stronger than at this point last year, with contracts being ratified on 76 homes. Agents are reporting they are busy and our web traffic is high, it seems we are going to have a busy Spring!

January's residential sales of 47 units is 4 (7.84%) fewer than last January. Be aware though, that in our market, until we have several months of sales history in a year, comparing monthly changes can be misleading. With only 47 sales in all of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County in January, you can see how small variations, especially


3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy a Home

Hello all, Aimee here blogging on behalf of Kline May Realty and our family of agents. The spring real estate market may be a month or two away, but our Realtors are always abuzz with excitement when it comes to helping the folks in our community to find a home to call their own. Are you considering buying this year?

Here are 3 questions you should consider asking yourself before purchasing your very own home sweet home in today's real estate market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.


Thinking of Selling? Now May Be The Time!

Hello, Aimee here, blogging on behalf of Kline May Realty and our family of agents. It is common knowledge that a large number of homes sell during the spring buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off putting their home on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year. It may be worth it to beat the spring rush in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham real estate market and Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro real estate market and list your home NOW!

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed which months and days of the year most people list their home. Here is a graphic showing the results:


Attaining the American Dream: 5 Financial Reasons to Buy

Heading into 2015 many people have their sights set on buying a home. The personal reasons differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities. Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership his paper - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

"Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more."

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.

"Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord."


Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report - December, 2014

Click here to download Market Update charts for December 2014.

It appears 2014 will be known as the year balance returned to the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. Frequent readers of this report know we have been talking for the past few years about the return to a balanced market, where Buyer and Seller activity is in sync and inventory is healthy. As we look at the final numbers for 2014 I think we can safely say we have arrived.

  • December's residential sales were very strong, at 93 units. The "slow November, strong December" seems to be a fairly predictable trend over the past several years, with the exception of 2012. After an extremely slow start annual sales finished at 1043 units, nearly a 3% increase from 2013. This increase is typical of a healthy, balanced market in which the market expands at a reasonable rate.
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