Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Preparing for Hurricane Florence in Fairfax County

The Commonwealth of Virginia has posted some great infographic on preparing for hurricanes. These and other useful tips can be found at http://www.vaemergency.gov/.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters: Are You Prepared?

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Central Atlantic region and my social media filled with posts from people wondering how to prepare.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website features a page with recommendations for preparing for hurricanes. These recommendations can also be applied to other types of extreme weather events and disasters.

Here are some steps you can take to be prepared for hurricanes and other types of disasters:

Know where to go
Sheltering in place is often a good recommendation, but what if you or a family member is injured and needs medical help, or what if your home is rendered unsafe during a disaster? Where are the nearest hospitals, and where can you go if you need emergency shelter? Write down addresses and phone numbers in a safe place — you may not have access to the internet (even from your phone) in the event of an emergency.

Be prepared for power and water outages
If the power goes out, how will you feed yourself? What if the water isn't running, or has been contaminated? NOAA recommends that you keep an emergency rations kit with foods that don't require any preparation or refrigeration, and that you keep these emergency rations in a water-tight container. Make sure everyone in your household knows where this container is located. If the food is canned, make sure you include a can opener and utensils in your kit. You can also store first aid supplies in this container. Keep enough food and fresh water on hand to last 2-3 days.

A generator and/or a camp stove can be extremely helpful in a crisis. Make sure you buy it well ahead of an emergency to avoid low supplies right before a forecasted weather event, and never operate a generator or portable gas stove indoors as these devise produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death (See my blog from last year on CO). It is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned and is, according to the CDC, the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S. CO results in more than 430 deaths and 50,000 emergency room visits each year in the U.S. alone (See the CDC FAQs about CO.)

Have a plan for everyone in your household
Sometimes disasters strike suddenly. Have a plan for you and everyone in your household in the event that you're not together when something happens. Plan where to meet up if communications are down, and how to communicate if power is out (charged, hand-held walkie talkies with a range of more than a mile can be useful in this situation).

For more information visit the NOAA website.

As always, if I can be of service in any way, just let me know.


Rob Traister
RE/MAX 100
Licensed in VA
(703) 935-6891

Friday, August 31, 2018

1471 Davis Mil Rd., Lancaster, VA 22503

Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/SWCRD7/1471-DAVIS-MILL-ROAD-LANCASTER-VA-1000069885
Exceptional investment in historic Northern Neck. 15 minutes from crabbing & fishing. Was operated as an assisted living facility until 2001, now serves as a retreat. 16 bedrooms, 8 full baths, in-ground pool, tennis court, dock, detached single family residence with detached garage and workshop, and Chapel on site. Great opportunity. Adjoining properties also for sale -- up to 190 acres!
Bedrooms: 16
Bathrooms: 8
Price: $1,200,000

For more information about this property, please contact Robert Traister at 703-642-3380 ext. 4721 or rob.traister@gmail.com. You can also text 4182709 to 67299.

See more listings at: www.traister.com

MLS ID: 1000069885

https://www.facebook.com/RobTraisterRemax100/ https://twitter.com/robtraister http://https:://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJYV3Vzpb57DXoL7ONZawaw

554 Catron Ridge Rd., Bentonville, VA 22610

Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/SEFCV3/554-CATRON-RIDGE-RD-BENTONVILLE-VA-1001907176
PRIVATE COUNTRY RETREAT! 3 bed/3 bath house on 6.3 acres overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout, ceramic tile in all baths, spacious kitchen, walk-out basement, huge deck, covered sitting porch. Basement could be converted to in-law suite/guest apartment. 2nd small house on property could be renovated for office space/guest house. Sep. workshop w/elec. AC and heat.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Price: $289,000

For more information about this property, please contact Rob Traister at 703-642-3380 ext. 4721 or rob.traister@gmail.com. You can also text 5094900 to 67299 (Message and Data Rates May Apply, see terms and privacy policy).

See more listings at: www.traister.com

MLS ID: 1001907176

https://www.facebook.com/RobTraisterRemax100/ https://twitter.com/robtraister https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJYV3Vzpb57DXoL7ONZawaw

Friday, March 9, 2018

How that $3,000 discount broker "rebate" can cost you more than $5,000

I had coffee with a new client the other day. He's looking for a house in Fairfax and told me he had pretty much decided to go with a discount broker, but one of his friends told him he should talk to me before he made up his mind.

When we sat down the first thing he said was "How much of a rebate will you give me if I go with you?" When I told him I don't give rebates he said that was all he needed to know, and that he was going to use the discount broker.

I asked him how much of a rebate the discount broker offered him and he said it would be around $3,000, which is what they advertise on their site.

"That's a lot of money," I said. "And do you know how much that rebate is going to cost you?"

He looked at me like I was speaking another language. "It's not going to cost me anything -- they're giving money to me!"

That's when I "dropped some truth" on him about buyer rebates -- they cost the buyer money.

Here's how the buyer rebate from this particular broker works: The company gives the buyer a percentage of the commission they receive from the seller, and according their site they typically pay buyers as much as $3,000.

Whoo hoo! Free money, right?

Not even close.

The commission, while paid by the seller, comes out of the purchase price of the house. So when you buy a house, the seller gets that amount minus the commissions and other closing costs. If the buyer is financing the purchase, that "rebate" is money the buyer already borrowed, and he has to pay that money back to the lender with interest.

At today's mortgage rates, a $3,000 "rebate" could cost the buyer more than $5,000 over the life of a 30-year loan.

Then I explained my approach. Using all the tools at my disposal, I negotiate the best deal for my clients to get them the lowest price.

Using those skills, I work to save my clients as much or more than they will end up paying for a discount broker "rebate." 

Let's talk about how much money you can save by working with me. Call or email today.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What The Latest Federal Reserve News Means for Buyers

The Federal Reserve announced after its May meeting that they believe recent lower-than-expected economic numbers are an irregularity and not a sign that the economy is slowing.

So what does this mean for buyers?

Well, it means that for now interest rates are not going up on home loans. The key words in that sentence are "for now," because when the Federal Reserve meets again in June there is a good chance -- 67% according to experts -- they will raise interest rates if current trends continue.

If you are starting to look for a home right now you may be feeling anxious. Rates are rising and home inventories are low, which means there's less to choose from and more competition for what is out there. It's a seller's market, and making the right offer can be the difference between locking in your rate now or having

That's where I come into the picture. If you are looking contact me and I'll walk you through every step of the process, from getting pre-approved for a loan to making a strong offer that sellers will take seriously.

Give me a call today and let's talk. No pressure, no hassle, just straightforward real estate advice.

Rob Traister
RE/MAX 100
Licensed in VA
(703) 935-6891

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Why is a Dip in Existing Home Sales Good News for Sellers?

A report published recently in The Washington Post noted that interest rates are rising and that pending home sales have dipped recently. Sounds like bad news, right?

If you're thinking about selling, this is actually really good news.

The reason home sales have been down recently is because there just isn't enough inventory to meet demand. In the areas where I work, if a home comes on the market and is priced competitively, it's under contract in a matter of days -- and often at a price higher than the listing price.

Think of it this way: there's a hot new toy, like the Fidget Spinner. Everyone wants it, but most stores sold out last week and don't expect more until next month. If you look at sales reports for Fidget Spinners for this month, you'll see a dip in the number of sales. If you happen to have a Fidget Spinner to sell, you'll probably be able to sell it for a price that's higher than the retail price.

With interest rates on the rise, buyers want to lock in NOW before they go any higher. And when inventories are low, it's not uncommon to receive multiple offers on a competitively-priced home and even see bidding wars.

According to the WaPo article, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has increased its estimate for home sales growth in 2017 from 2.5% to 3.5%, and home prices are expected to rise 5% -- another increase from the 3.5% projected by NAR at the end of last year.

If you're thinking about selling, contact me today. I'll do a comparative market analysis to show you what comparable homes in your area have sold for over the past six months, prices for currently-listed homes, and what your home could sell for in the current market.  

Rob Traister
RE/MAX 100
Licensed in VA
(703) 935-6891