Jacobson Realty and Home Staging (JRY) was established by Broker/Owner Belinda Jacobson-Loehle in April 2002. Belinda is a native Washingtonian who grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and has lived and worked in Gainesville, Virginia since 1995.
Autumn is the Best Time of Year to Purchase Land for your Custom Home!
Autumn is the best time of year to purchase land to build your dream home so you can move in next spring! See the “lay of the land” when the leaves are falling so you can properly orient your house to have the best exposure. Autumn also makes site testing and foundation work easier for your contractor, which should save you money. If you agree, think about visiting my new listing at 15770 Palmer Lane Haymarket, VA 20169. The land has been certified for a 4+ septic system and has a southern exposure!
If you are a first-time buyer or a buyer planning to use FHA financing with a 3.5% down payment in 2013, you should be aware of the new changes. Effective April 1, 2013, the MIP ( mortgage insurance premium) charge for newly approved loans has increased. For a $250,000 loan, the monthly loan payment will increase by approximately $20 per month. This may not initially sound like a lot of money but over time (30 years) it adds up! Consult your mortgage loan officer to understand how it will affect you.
More importantly, effective June 1, 2013, the MIP charge will carry through the life of the loan! FHA currently allows the borrow to remove the MIP up charge after the loan amount has been paid down by 15 – 20%. You would simply make the request to your lender to have the charge removed, and upon verification, your loan amount would be adjusted to a lesser amount. This will no longer hold true after June 3, 2013.
The bottom line – Try to have a ratified contractor or lender case number issued by June 3, 2013, to save money that you can be used for home improvements instead of lending fees.
According to the National Association of Realtors approximately 90% of all buyers use the internet as their first step in finding a new home. With that said, you want to have the best photographs possible to showcase a listing. As in home staging, first impressions make a difference.
When seeking a listing agent to market your home ask if they provide professional photography. The days of DIY in real estate are over for sellers and for listing agents that don’t market professional work. The next time you interview a listing agent to market and sell your home be sure to verify the quality of the service they are providing.
A QR Code or “quick response” code will help you buy and sell real estate by saving you time if your are a buyer and by providing convenience to your marketing effort if you are a seller! It’s a win-win for every buyer and seller and QR codes will soon be the norm for real estate marketing.
You will see QR codes on many yard signs and in various marketing materials. Although it’s a funny looking square code it is similar to a bar code in that it provides detailed information in a small concise format, but it is much more powerful. A buyer will scan the code from the yard sign with their mobile device and it will “quickly” direct them to the property details such as price, photo’s and material facts about the property. No more phone calls to an agent, and no waiting to find out if the property is in your price range. For the seller, you are providing convenience to the buyer and accurate information in a timely manner. No more worries about whether there are enough flyers in the brochure box to last through the weekend.
To get started you need to download the “free” scanning software/app for your mobile device, which includes smart phones, ipads, or something similar. Just search for a QR scanner on the mobile device and download the best one for your product. Once downloaded, press the scanner button, aim the device at the QR code you want to read and it will quickly provide you the details. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s an effect real estate tool for buyers and sellers to use. To understand what I am saying try scanning the QR code above. If you need any help contact me at 703-338-9678 or via email, Belinda@JacobsonRealty1.com.
Buyer Tips: Save Everyone Time – Get Pre-Qualified First!
If you are contemplating a real estate purchase within the next 3 -12 months be sure to get pre-qualified first! This simply means contacting a professional loan officer at a bank, credit union, mortgage lending institution to review your financial status and provide you a pre-qualification letter for you and your Realtor. When you do so the loan officer will examine your assets and liabilities, which includes your income and debt, to determine if you qualify, or meet the risk guidelines to obtain a mortgage loan. This inquiry is FREE and does not obligate you to use the source for the pre-qualification letter. In fact, after you are pre-quailified for a mortgage loan you may find it’s in your favor to compare loan programs and interest rates in order to receive the most cost-effective loan.
If you are uncertain of who to contact you can always call a local Realtor for guidance. Regardless of who you contact, once you are pre-qualified you can then approach the search for a new home with a clear understanding of what you can afford. You will also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you have the ability to move forward, and thus transact real estate!
So save yourself time, build confidence in the understanding of what you can afford, and avoid frustration from the start with a pre-quailification lender letter!
From a home staging point of view I think everyone will agree that it is important to define the use of space within a house to show purpose. Simply put, a bedroom should look like a bedroom and a dining room should look like a dining room.
So what does a seller do when the defined space has been altered or re-purposed such that a living room is an office or a dining room is a play room? You need to CONVERT the space back to it’s original planned use! A potential buyer needs to see the house as it was originally planned. Let them decide how they want to live in the space and not how you hope they will accept it.
And remember: Don’t give a buyer a reason to say no!
Home staging is an investment! It is the process of using the principals of space, color, and interior decorating to accentuate a home’s architectural features while depersonalizing the space. Staging makes it easier for the buyer to visualize living in the space and provides the seller top dollar returns.
An Accredited Home Staging Professional (ASP), such as Belinda Jacobson-Loehle, will identify focal points, the best traffic patterns, optimal lighting and coordinate the space using the furnishings and accessories you already have! It’s a “win-win” investment for everyone.
Home staging includes but is not limited to: Interior color and lighting coordination, identification of focal points and traffic flow, clutter reduction and organization, furniture and accessory rearrangement or removal, and prop additions. Exteriorpaint color selection, landscape improvements, garage and storage organization, suggestions for driveway and sidewalk repair, and cosmetic upgrades.