The Kline May Real Estate Blog

Kline May Realty Blog

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report - June, 2015

Click here to download Market Update charts for June 2015.

The pace of sales in our market continued to increase during June, with 126 residential sales for the month. As the inventory of homes for sale has rebounded over the past few months, Buyers have been there to snap up the new listings!

In further good news for Sellers, not only were sales strong in June, but the number of homes on which Buyers ratified new contracts was extremely strong as well, at 152. Like closed sales, this is the highest monthly total since the recession.

Sales for the first half of 2015 are up almost 17% over the first half of last year, and all indications are that this trend will continue throughout the year.

The good news continues for Sellers as home prices continue to rise. Through the first half of the year, the average sales price has risen over 5%, and we expect this to continue or increase. This is the natural result of more Buyers in the market, historically low (although recovering) inventory levels and increased competition for homes. Barring a dramatic increase in interest rates, we expect this upward trend to continue throughout this year.

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

New Bike Map For Harrisonburg And Other Fun Information



Are you a bicyclist and need inspiration for where to go on your next ride? Do you want to be a bicyclist and don't know where to go? Harrisonburg is considered a mecca for trails, and the City of Harrisonburg has published a new and improved bike map.

Click here to see the map.

The bike community is strong in our area. If you would like to display your bicycling pride, you can do so with these awesome t-shirts designed by a member of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition.

The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition is a local bicycle-minded non-profit group that "Envisions an active and organized cycling community in the central Shenandoah Valley that represents all types and levels of cycling and cyclists." This advocacy group doesn't forget to have fun either. They have plenty of it! Check out their list of annual events.

If you have additional questions, please feel to contact Kline May Realty's bicycling experts, Ritchie Vaughan and Basil Hangemanole. Ritchie is a current SVBC board member, and Basil is a former SVBC board member.

Harrisonburg Real Estate Market Report - May, 2015

Click here to download Market Update charts for May 2015.

The residential market has been very active for the past two months, with 92 homes sold in April and 105 homes sold in May. Low interest rates and pent up demand from Buyers will continue to fuel this trend through the Summer.

While the 108 properties placed under contract in May is only one more than last May's total, April's contract number was considerably higher. It looks like the buyers in our market got off to an early start this year!

Our Year-to-Date sales at May 31 of 384 homes represents a 15.66% increase from the same point last year, partly due to a stronger market this year and partly due to last year's very slow start. Sales in the western part of Rockingham County have been particularly strong compared to last year with the northwest part of the County (Broadway, Timberville) up 33% from last year and southwest portion of the County (Bridgewater, Dayton, Belmont Estates) up a whopping 72%!

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

For Sale By Owner Hurdles That Can Be Prevented By Using a REALTOR



In today's market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons you might want to reconsider.

Here are five reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer's agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value


2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. All real estate agents at Kline May Realty have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home.

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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."

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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