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The Virginia Real Estate Market Continues to Benefit Buyers and Sellers
By: Elaine VonCannon

As the national real estate market begins to relax and offers more time and opportunity to buyers, Eastern and Southeastern Virginia move forward into 2006 with a strong, stable real estate market. In real estate the most important factor to consider when buying, selling or relocating is LOCATION. The unusual warmth of Virginia's winter this year has helped the region avoid the normal, yearly slowdown of the local real estate market. A balanced real estate market seems to be the trend across the United States. In the Tidewater and Hampton Roads region of Virginia buyers and sellers can both benefit as the real estate market shifts simply level the playing field.

New Construction vs. Resale Homes

In the January issue of House and Garden Magazine seventy percent of the readers answered a homeowner's poll. This poll revealed that a majority of home buyers would prefer to live in a newly built home, as opposed to an existing home. In my experience, I find that existing homes being sold in neighborhoods that have new construction projects are often on the market longer. The sellers also have a tendency to overprice the home or property, which causes them to loose valuable market time and to overlook good potential buyers. Overpricing your home and then dropping the price over time is not a useful strategy in today's real estate market. It is better to work with an experienced real estate agent and list your house for what it is really worth. Other information gathered in the poll showed the following results: thirty-eight percent of home buyers want a media room or a home theater, seventeen percent want a home spa, ten percent want a wine cellar, ten percent want a guest suite and nine percent prefer a personal dressing room. These types of special features are wonderful additions to your new home however; this level of comfort will be reflected in the price of the home.

The National Real Estate Forecast: Still Strong!

The National Association of REALTORS? (NAR) is forecasting a minor decline in home sales for 2006, largely due to an increase in interest rates. The NAR, however, believes this year will be strong regardless. According to the article Realty Times Outlook-The Inverted Economy, by writer Blanche Evans, "It's obvious that buyers are starting to gather by the sidelines." Evans states that "Chief economist David Lereah said that homes sales should slide by about five percent." "But that's nothing to panic about," Evans continues, "Keep in mind that housing sales have reached new records every year for the past five years. Also, home prices are still expected to rise." The experts seem to feel an attitude of doom and gloom is not necessary in the current real estate market and I agree. When all of the factors are weighed buyers and sellers will continue to prosper. David Lereah has also stated he expects the thirty-year fixed mortgage rate to stabilize around 6.6 percent.

Presenting and Staging Your Home: Advice for Sellers

The Local and National real estate markets will continue to grow despite the mortgage rate increases and slight decrease in home sales happening as the market adjusts. As the real estate market balances itself home buyers have more options and more time, but this still bodes well for sellers. In the February 15, 2006 issue of Realty Times Blanche Evans writes that "With rising inventories there are a lot more dream homes on the market." This is especially true in areas that are considered highly desirable locations. Sellers can get the price they want for their property, but they may spend more time on presentation and staging. On January 13, 2006 Les Christie of talked about how to sell your home in a changing market. "First impressions count," writes Christie, "the first thing most buyers see is the front yard." "Next," Christie continues, "turn your attention to the house's exterior. Freshen up trim and touch up concrete steps." Even small upgrades in the look and feel of the home will make your home sale more successful and profitable. In March's Real Estate Market Trends article I will discuss "Echo Boomers" and their impact on the real estate market. Visit my web site at for other related articles on real estate.

About The Author

Elaine VonCannon is an award winning REALTOR with RE/Max Capital in Williamsburg, Virginia, and she specializes in retirement and relocation in the Williamsburg South Eastern Virginia area. She is an Accredited Buyer's Representative as well as a Senior Real Estate Specialist. Elaine VonCannon also works with real estate investors and home sellers. Elaine is very active in the community, and serves on two committees with the local board of REALTORS.

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