How do I know if it’s time to downsize?

Many empty-nesters and beyond debate that question almost daily. Residents often remain in their big homes almost by default – it can be hard to imagine a move. But ask yourself: “Will I be better off if I move? Will I get more out of life if I don’t have to maintain a large house? Could I use the extra time to travel, go to the theater or become engaged in that “cause” I have always wanted to? In short, is staying put actually holding me back from enjoying the things I have always envisioned for the next stage of my life?

For many, the answer is yes. Making a change in housing can be a step toward living life to the fullest.

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What are the up-front costs associated with buying a home?

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The spring real estate market is here, and with all the buyers out there, I thought I’d put together a series of posts covering the various topics addressed during the purchasing process. The first in this series is what the up-front costs are in purchasing a home.

Continue reading “What are the up-front costs associated with buying a home?”

When’s the best time to buy or sell a home?

MCE for sale signWhen consumers start thinking of buying or selling a home, the first that pops into most everyone’s mind is spring market — the time of year when the most inventory comes on and when competition is at its fiercest. However, with 90 percent of homebuyers today starting their search online, along with the masses of information available online before ever engaging with a real estate agent or mortgage lender, the traditional guiding principles seem to be something of the past.

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Trying to sell your home during the holidays?

Beautiful Christmas wreath with garland on door
Image credit McEnearney Associates

Worried about selling your home during the holidays? Follow these tips from Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates in Alexandria.

There are pros and cons to listing your home for sale during the holidays; however, buyers looking during this time tend to be more serious and may be under a deadline to move. There is also less competition in the market. If you are prepared to modify your holiday plans to accommodate showings and the selling process, then here are some tips for preparing your home for sale:

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Around Reston: Meet Stonebridge Title’s Marketing Director Tammy Meyer

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Tammy Meyer, Stonebridge Title

Moving to Reston is interviewing members of the community who are a part of small businesses that serve the Reston area. Next up is Tammy Meyer, who serves as the Marketing Director for Stonebridge Title LLC.

Moving to Reston: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the industry.

Tammy Meyer: I am the Marketing Director with Stonebridge Title, LLC and have been with the company for almost three years. I guess you could say sales, marketing and the real estate industry is in my blood. My first job was during my senior year in high school when I worked part-time for the Board of Realtors in Newport News, Va., where I grew up. After graduating with a degree in business from Virginia Tech, I came to Northern Virginia and worked in the relocation department for a real estate company. I also have worked for a real estate developer, a mortgage insurance company and a small builder. The industry has been fun as it is always changing, and I’ve met some really great people along the way.

The home buying process can be overwhelming so building trust, educating and guiding our clients through the process is what motivates me. We have a great team at Stonebridge Title and make it our mission to make the process as painless as possible for everyone involved, whether you are the buyer, seller, lender, REALTOR or other interested party.

I also love photography, and you will often see me out photographing real estate listings. Remember that great professional photos will sell your home faster.

In my spare time, my husband and I love traveling and hiking with our 18-month-old black lab, Bodie.

Moving to Reston: What is the biggest misconception the public has about the title industry?

Tammy Meyer: Many people don’t understand exactly what title insurance is or why you need it.

Simply stated, the title to a piece of property is the evidence that the owner is in lawful possession of that property. Title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or the defects in the title to the property.

Most people also don’t realize that they — the borrower — have the choice when selecting a title/settlement company. If your lender and/or agent works with a great settlement company that they feel confident, buyers will look to them and trust their recommendation. We see it as a great partnership!

Moving to Reston: What value do you add?

Tammy Meyer: We do mobile settlements throughout Northern Virginia. We always want to make it easy for our clients. We believe in building strong relationships with our clients. Many of our clients have been working with us since the company’s inception in 2002.

I am very actively engaged in networking — I am on the Board and active member of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce and co-chair the annual Real Estate mixer. I am also the founder of the networking group, Capital Home Professionals.

Click here for more information about Stonebridge Title LLC.

7 Real estate apps you need in your life when searching for a new home

Searching for your next home, be it a rental or purchase? Here are seven apps to help you make the most of your search on the go:

  1. homesnap-appHomesnapHomesnap (free) uses your location to find homes on the market around you. You can also narrow down your search by type of home, price and number of bedrooms/bathrooms. The app also allows you to instantly call or email the listing agent for more information.

    Cool feature: Take a picture of any home you’re interested in, and Homesnap will give you details about the home, including an approximate value.

    “The app also keeps track of the history of your snaps, to help you remember the houses you’ve seen. This feature serves a two-fold purpose: one, to help consumers recollect their searches, and two, to help build up a crowd-sourced database containing pictures of homes.” — Sarah Perez, TechCrunch
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Where will mortgage rates go?; Community meeting on new development Aug. 4

Local Real Estate News

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