The Kline May Real Estate Blog

Kline May Realty Blog

Buying a Home is 35% Less Expensive Than Renting

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage throughout the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is from an average of 16% in Honolulu (HI), all the way to 55% in Sarasota (FL), and 35% Nationwide!

The other interesting findings in the report include:

Interest rates have remained low and even though home prices have appreciated around the country (3.9%), they haven't greatly outpaced rental appreciation (3.7%). "In the past year, these two trends have made homeownership even more affordable compared with renting."

Some markets might tip in favor of renting if home prices increase at a greater rate than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due to the strengthening economy.

Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven't been that high since 1989.

Bottom Line

Free Activities In And Around Harrisonburg

Hello all, Aimee here blogging on behalf of Kline May Realty and our family of agents. The website Only in Your State recently appointed The JMU Arboretum as the #4 Best Free Place to Visit in Virginia. Check out the article in its entirety here.

This list inspired me, but I'd like to break it down a bit further. Because, let's be honest, I know I'm not heading out to Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach to do something free this weekend. I asked myself, "What are some of the best free places to visit in and around Harrisonburg?" I came up with the following 4 activities for you to try out this summer...

1. Have a picnic lunch at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.

In the grassy area, over by the pond is one of my favorite places to sit. It's a great place to watch the turtles sunbathe! Picnic lunch ideas: crackers and cheese with grapes, Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and chips, leftovers from the night before, or whatever else may be in your fridge or cabinets that strikes a fancy. Don't forget a picnic blanket to sit on or camping trails.

2. Take the kids to play at A Dream Come True Playground

According to the City of Harrisonburg website, "This playground is a totally accessible/inclusive playground with many unique and one-of-a-kind features. The playground has separate equipment for 2-5 year olds and 5-12 year olds plus more fun and exciting equipment. Features include a rock, rainbow arches, shade structures, roadway, hammock swing, draw wall, pavilion, and family comfort stations that are fully accessible."


4 Reasons to Move-Up This Spring

Spring is in full force; the summer months are right around the corner. If you are debating moving up to your dream home, here are four great reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.

1.) Buyer Demand is High & Inventory Is Low

Recent numbers show that buyer demand is at the highest peak experienced in years, and inventory for sale is at a 4.6 months supply, which is still markedly lower than the 6.0 months needed for a historically normal market.

The National Association of Realtors, Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun put it this way, "Demand in many markets is far exceeding supply, and properties in March sold at a faster rate than any month since last summer."

Listing your home today can greatly increase exposure to buyers who are out in force and ready to act.

2.) Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.7% (most pessimistic) and 27.5% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting for your current home's value to increase before selling could price you out of your new home if you aren't careful.


Mortgage Advice for First-Time Buyers

For first-time buyers, purchasing a home can be so exciting -- and a little scary too. My name is Erin Chiles, and I'm a Senior Mortgage Consultant with Movement Mortgage. Let's see if I can ease some of the anxiety that can be associated with buying a new home by explaining some of the process to you. If you want more information, I am always available to answer questions specific to your situation, at no cost.

Meet with your loan officer
You need to determine how much home you can afford. You and I will discuss your mortgage goals and determine the appropriate loan program with a monthly payment you're comfortable with. Your credit score and the amount of cash you have available will help determine the type of loan you qualify for and its parameters.

Contact your Realtor
Once we determine the amount you prequalify for, contact your Realtor. They will help assist in locating a home to fit your needs and wants. They will also help ensure the home you want to purchase is within the mortgage program parameters. They will assist in writing your offer with the goal of getting a deal approved, which in the industry is called a "ratified contract."


There's No Place Like Home

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American's feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial, but the fifth one was.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.


We Need You(r House)!

How is inventory in our area?

Though the real estate market has improved, we still have one item holding it back – a robust supply of homes for sale. Demand has increased dramatically. At the same time, housing inventory is decreasing especially at the lower price points.

As a recap, below is the status of our area inventory according to the Kline May Realty market report from March 2015:

Harrisonburg - The inventory of homes for sale climbed slightly during March, but is still very low relative to the past four years. If this continues, it will put additional upward pressure on prices, as a large number of buyers compete for a lower number of homes for sale.

Rockingham County - The inventory of homes for sale in the County continues to remain very low. As with the City, continued low inventory, combined with strong buyer activity will put upward pressure on prices.Though the real estate market has improved, we still have one item holding it back from a full recovery – a robust supply of homes for sale. Demand has increased dramatically. At the same time, housing inventory is decreasing especially at the lower price points.

What does that mean to you?

Houses listed today sell quickly. With prices still below peak values of 2007 in many parts of the country and mortgage interest rates at historic lows, this may be the perfect time for your family to make the move you've been waiting for, whether it's upsizing, downsizing, or buying that cottage out in the country.


Lunch Break Carnival Fundraiser

Come one, come all!

On Thursday, April 30th from 11AM-2PM, Kline May Realty is hosting a Lunch Break Carnival to benefit our local American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Please come to our parking lot at 1962 Evelyn Byrd Avenue and enjoy food truck fare ( Mashita and Rocktown Slops), a dunk tank, ladder ball, corn hole, a pie eating contest, and more...

This fundraiser is for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, and this event is a life-changing experience that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to:
Celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer,
Remember loved ones lost,
and Fight Back against the disease.


Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report - March, 2015

Click here to download Market Update charts for March 2015.

There were 71 residential sales recorded by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors during March. This is a healthy number of sales for this time of year, and capped off a 1st quarter that saw sales increase by 18% over last year.

Buyers were very active in March, ratifying contracts on 119 residential properties. This is a very strong number for March and is further indication Buyers are very active in the market and will continue to be throughout the Summer.

Total sales for the past 12 months were 1,071, an increase over February and a continuation of the generally increasing trend since April of last year.

2015 sales are more than 18% better than last year, and roughly equal to sales through the first three months of 2013.

Click here to view or download our Market Activity Charts for March, 2015.

Community Spotlight: Broadway, VA

The Shenandoah Valley is formed by the eastern Blue Ridge Mountains and the western Appalachian range. While many European settlers followed the valley south between the mountains others sought ways to cross the mountains to make their way to Ohio and lands west, with mountain passes providing these opportunities.

One of these roads, following a Native American footpath, passed through the Massanutten Gap in the Massanutten Mountains and crossed the Valley following the North Fork of the Shenandoah River to Brock's Gap in the Little North Mountain of the Appalachians. The road was an important thoroughfare of east-west settlement and commerce.

Near the road was a place where Linville Creek joins the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. In the early 19th century a man named Conrad Custer built a mill near where the two waters joined. A community that grew up on the east-west thoroughfare near the mill became known as "Old Custer's Mill." Many of the settlers in the area were German immigrants of the Dunker faith (later known as the Church of the Brethren). They met in local homes until the Linville Creek church was built in 1828.


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.


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