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Will Guza
REALTOR®, Associate Broker, GRI, CRS, ABR
(804) 402-7799
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Date Archives: May 2020

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May
26

Study Up on These Real Estate Terms Before Buying a Home

Real Estate Terms

Buying a home requires learning a new language. It is normal to feel a little lost in the conversation until you learn the lingo. To help make buying a home in Richmond a little easier, our real estate agents recommend studying the following vocabulary words as you start the process.

Mortgage Terms

  • ARM - Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) refers to a mortgage whose interest rate changes over time. ARM's can adjust at 5, 7, or 10-year intervals, and you will want to go over the terms of the loan carefully before deciding on this mortgage option.
  • Amortization - This option allows you to combine both interest and principal in your payments. This allows you to build equity in the home earlier in the process.
  • Discount Points - Don't like the interest rate offered by the bank? Ask about discount points. You can purchase these and receive a lower interest rate, which can save you money over the life of the loan.
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgage - A fixed-rate mortgage is a conventional loan. Most fixed-rate mortgages are for 15, 20, or 30 years. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate remains unchanged for the life of the loan.
  • Pre-Approval Letter - Pre-approval letters are issued by the bank and estimate how much money they will lend you to purchase a home. This requires proving income, employment, and credit history. It's a good idea to get a pre-approval letter before you start searching. There are two reasons for this. First, it helps you narrow your search to homes you can afford. Second, it shows sellers you can purchase the home, and it can give you a little leverage during the negotiation process.

Legal Terms

  • Active Contingent - When the seller accepts your offer, both parties may have certain contingencies, you will need to meet. Active contingencies can include the results of a home inspection, mortgage approval, and the seller's purchase of a new property before you can move in.
  • Appraisal - Lenders will require an appraisal of the home's true value before they will approve the loan. The appraisal needs to be conducted by a qualified third party.
  • Clear Title - It is imperative to conduct a title search before purchasing any property. The title search verifies that there are no liens or levies from creditors or government entities. When you receive a "clear title," you have a green light to purchase the home that verifies there are no building code violations, survey problems, back taxes, etc. on the property.
  • Escalation Clause - This clause establishes how much you are willing to bid on a property if a bidding war develops. This clause will set a ceiling on your bid price and the terms that you are willing to accept as part of the deal.
  • Dual Agency - The laws in Virginia allow real estate agents to represent multiple parties in the transaction. There are strict rules regarding this, and it is essential to ask your real estate agent all the parties to the transaction that they represent.

There are a hundred or more terms to learn when buying a home. Contact us and our team will help you study these as you start the process of examining which Richmond homes for sale are best suited for the lifestyle you want to enjoy. 

May
18

Improve Your Home's Air Quality with These 7 Tips

Air Quality in Your Home

Our real estate agents know many things go into choosing the perfect place to live. And once you find the perfect Richmond homes for sale, making your house a home is an ongoing process.

Keeping your space clean, neat, and organized helps a lot when it comes to comfort. But did you know that your air could also need a cleaning? Indoor air pollution can be a serious problem!

With its enclosed spaces, even the most modern home can develop indoor air more polluted than the air outside.

That said, it's easy to overlook the important ways you can keep your indoor air fresh and clean. While you're taking care of your home, be sure to check out these vital indoor air quality tasks:

  1. Change Your Air Conditioning Filter
    Your air conditioning filter works harder than any other filter in your home. Whenever your system is on, and air is circulating, the filter is in use. Luckily, most modern air conditioners are designed for quick and easy filter replacement. It extends your system's life, too.
  2. Replace Filters on Other Appliances
    Lots of other appliances can have internal air filters. The vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, and kitchen vents may all use filters. Check them out on a regular basis, and be sure to change them. The owner's manual to your devices will let you know how frequently to do it.
  3. Clean Out Your Air Ducts
    Air ducts can be a major culprit when it comes to indoor air pollution. They distribute air through your home when your air conditioner or heater is on. In older homes, they can be very narrow. It is important to have them cleaned once a year to ensure they don't get clogged.
  4. Use Cooking Vents
    The kitchen is the epicenter of indoor air pollution in most homes. Gas stoves are significant sources of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. When you're cooking, always use your cooking vent or have a window open for better air circulation.
  5. Deep Clean the Carpet
    Pollutants that start in the air can easily migrate down into the carpet. They accumulate over time and cling to fibers. Then, ordinary foot traffic can stir them up all over again. Weekly vacuuming and annual deep cleaning will help keep your carpets genuinely fresh.
  6. Reduce Humidity in the Air
    Too much humidity creates the conditions for mold and mildew. Humidity can also make things harder for those with existing allergies or asthma. Compact, efficient dehumidifiers can be set up throughout the home for consistent lower humidity.
  7. Invigorate Your Air With Plants
    Plants are nature's way of clearing the air! Even small plants can be very powerful when it comes to indoor air quality. Ferns and lilies are just two of the many plants that bloom indoors.

Thinking about a new home this spring? Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about Richmond homes.

May
11

9 Tips for Staging for Real Estate Videos and Photos

Staging for Real Estate Photos

Staging your home is an effective way to help buyers visualize the space as their own. However, it's important to remember that what looks good in person might not always translate as well to video and photography. To create a listing that entices buyers, our REALTORS® suggest using these nine staging tips for real estate videos and photos.

  1. Use Natural & Artificial Lighting
    You don't need to be a professional photographer to know that lighting is key for any type of photography or videography. When you're taking shots of your interior, you'll need to maximize lighting in ways that illuminate the space without casting shadows. 

  2. Clean From Top to Bottom
    You need to remember to perform this deep clean before taking listing photographs. All areas of the home should be cleaned including overlooked elements like fan blades, ventilation covers, and window sills. Buyers will be able to zoom into your photographs which means you must make sure every nook and cranny is cleaned.

  3. Don't Forget About the Exterior
    Curb appeal is vital, even for online listings. If you're hiring a cleaning service for your interior, you should also consider enlisting the help of a lawn care company for your landscaping. You may also want to wash or repaint your siding and front door as well.

  4. Remove Clutter
    How can you tell the difference between clutter and décor? Remove and store objects like toys, pet supplies, shoes, books, and paperwork so that they aren't shown in the video or photographs.

  5. Relocated Outdoor Clutter as Well
    While you may be quick to store your lawnmower or gardening supplies, you can't forget about other exterior distractions. Wrap up loose hoses, fill empty flower pots, and make sure all fence gates are closed. If you can, move your vehicles down the street so they won't be shown.

  6. Be Particular With Staging Décor
    While a professional staging company may place certain pieces of décor around your home for the in-person viewings, you should limit the décor your feature for the photos and video. For instance, a fresh bouquet of flowers may be a good choice for the kitchen table, but there's no need to place scented candles around the home for image alone.

  7. Take Care of Pet Peeves
    This may sound silly, but there are a few small details that may drive buyers crazy. Make sure you perform simple tasks like putting down the toilet seat lid, hiding wires, turning off the TV, and preventing your reflection from appearing in surfaces when you take the picture.

  8. Shoot Loose, Edit Tight
    This phrase applies to amateur and professional cameramen alike. Digital cameras allow you to take unlimited photos and videos which you should use to your advantage. Take a lot of each, pick your favorites, then ask others to look over them. You'd be surprised how many small yet important things you may miss.

  9. Go Over Every Photo With a Fine Toothed (Digital) Comb
    Buyers can zoom in on your high-quality photographs and freeze-frame your videos, giving them ample time to critique the image. Look for any areas that may be dirty, cluttered, or misleading and correct them before redoing the photos or video.

Are you ready to sell your house alongside our other Richmond homes for sale? Contact us today to get started with your listing.

May
4

10 Apps to Help You Stay Connected While Social Distancing

Social Distancing Apps

It's a trying time for most of us, when not only are we concerned for our physical health and safety, but also for our economic and emotional health. But at least we have the internet and social media to keep us connected, and happily, there are a number of apps that help you do just that. Here are some of our favorite apps for overcoming social distancing and connecting with friends and family members. Plus, some are also a great way for talking to your real estate agent. 

  1. FaceTime 
    Look for this in any Apple device. You can call and talk to people around the world -- as many as 32 at one time. This app requires your contacts' phone numbers to connect with them, and only works with other Apple devices.

  2. Google Duo
    It's a video conferencing platform that allows you to make video calls to just one person or up to eight. Also, leave video messages. Plus, you can play messages over and over.   

  3. Google Hangouts
    Use Google Hangouts for messaging, or voice calls with one person or more. It's free and can be a smartphone app or Google Chrome Extension. Use it on your smartphone. Enjoy emojis, photos, stickers, and more.

  4. Houseparty
    It's another party app, but one that lets you video chat as if you're in an intimate gathering of friends— no matter the physical distance. A split-screen feature allows up to eight participants to chat face-to-face. It's for both Android and iOS.

  5. Marco Polo
    Not everyone wants to stop what they're doing to jump on a video call. Marco Polo lets users send video messages that are to be responded to at the recipient's convenience. Texts, photo messages, and live video talks are also in the mix. 

  6. Netflix Parties
    An extension of Google Chrome, Netflix Parties lets you and your friends watch movies and TV shows together. If chatting about videos in real-time is your thing, this is for you.

  7. Snapchat
    For the selfie-obsessed (and those who want them to disappear quickly), Snapchat is still a thing. But this app also has a free quick video call function, which lets you check in with far-away pals.

  8. Skype
    Skype has been around for a while, but still enjoys great popularity for video or conference calls -- and it's free. Use it on the computer, as an app, through the web, or as a smartphone or tablet app.

  9. WhatsApp
    Who doesn't know about WhatsApp? Send text messages, make phone calls, send and receive documents, videos, and voice messages (to 256 friends or acquaintances at the same time). Syncs with Android, Apple, and Windows PCs, and has free and secure messaging. 

  10. Zoom 
    Many of us have already used Zoom to get together with friends we're missing. Whether it's a group of five or a thousand, Zoom can bring you closer. They're using it in classrooms and for meetings everywhere. You can even have virtual cocktail parties. Get 40 minutes free, then up to $19.99 a month for more for one-on-one calls.

Looking for a team that will use the latest technology to help you reach your real estate goals? When the time is right for you, our real estate agents are happy to discuss Richmond homes for sale. Contact us today. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/04/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/04/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 9:42:56 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 9:41:42 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Joyner Fine Properties may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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Agency License Information: Joyner Fine Properties and its agents are licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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