Thursday, January 12, 2017

Best Cheesesteak in Williamsburg

Want the best Cheesesteak in Williamsburg? Fear not! I have found it for you so you no longer need to search! I am so sweet, aren't I?

Rick's Cheese Steak Shop located at  Prince George Street near Colonial Williamsburg is the spot. The servers are great and always seem so happy. Lunch normally offers a special but I can tell you the large sandwich is plenty for two. 

I love their fries but the last I was there and tried the cheese fries--- not impressed. I like to dip my fries in ketchup not smothered in gooey cheese. 

Check out their menu here



I've gotten a bit obsessed with PicArt and their filters. Sorry. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

25 Tips To Sell Your Home FAST!

Condition, Condition, Condition. Other than price, the condition of your home will have a massive impact on how fast your home sells. Preparing before can pay you huge dividends. Many fix ups cost very little and don't cost much at all. 
Here are some simple tips to help your home show its best.

Indoors:

  1. Clean the your home thoroughly. Shampoo carpets, wash walls, clean window sills, window screens and blinds. Clean out light fixtures and dust shelving. It's time to get detailed here.
  2. Clean all clutter from all closets, cupboards and cabinets. Box up anything you do not need for the next couple of months.
  3. Make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Store unnecessary furnishing items that make your home look crowded. It looks homey to you, not to others.
  4. Arrange furnishing so traffic pattern flows easily.
  5. Scale down the number of photos, pictures, portraits and posters hanging on walls. Make sure you patch all nail and screw holes.
  6. Keep your curtains and draperies open. Your home should show very light and bright. Find ways to screen any unappealing views.
  7. Make your kitchen shine. Remove all unnecessary bowls, appliances and container items from counter tops and cabinets and store it. That salt and pepper collection needs to be packed for your new home. Keep your sink clean and clear of any dirty dishes.
  8. Clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Remove unnecessary clutter from the door.
  9. Clean your oven. Degrease it and keep it looking as good as possible.
  10. Keep scented candles burning in the kitchen and bathrooms but don't over power them. Pleasant fragrances will entice buyers to stay longer in your home.
  11. Keep bathrooms scrubbed and tidy with fresh soap and neatly hung towels. Try to color coordinate your bathrooms.
  12. Keep all sinks in the home clean. Repair leaks or slow drains.
  13. Go through your entire home and touch up paint. Pay close attention to corners where there is traffic wear. Touch up baseboards, trim and cabinets and cupboards. Make sure touch up paint matches. 
  14. Place plants or flower arrangements in strategic parts of the home. 
  15. Make sure that your home is well lit. Put higher wattage bulbs in dark areas or corners. Keep all lights on during showings, even in mid day.
  16. Use mirrors on walls if necessary to reflect light and make rooms look larger.
  17. Make sure that all door knobs and keyed entries are working. Replace any worn knobs or handles.

Outdoors:

  1. Clean up all around the house. Remove any debris piles such as wood, firewood and landscape trimmings. Trim all hedges, bushes and shrubbery away from the house. Keep all garden beds weeded and mulched.
  2. Put some color by your home's entrance with potted flowers. Make sure they stay watered and look attractive.
  3. Keep all walkways clear, clean and in good repair. This includes your driveways and any parking areas. Remove all leaves.
  4. Keep all outdoor furniture clean and in good repair. If it looks trashy, throw it away. 
  5. Clean your gutters and roof. Keep moss or algae from growing on, in or around them.
  6. Keep your yard and lawn areas clean and in good health. A green lawn makes a home look great. Keep your lawn edged and free from weeds.
  7. Repair any broken windows, screens, shutter or awnings. Broken windows scream an unkempt house.
  8. Clean your garage area. Remove clutter and make it look organized and as spacious as possible. Try to have nothing in your garage but cars.
By following these 25 fix up tips, you can do a lot to increase the perceived value of your home and make it stand out above the competition!

Contact me on the side for more information! 

757-784-3230
leighannfisher@lizmoore.com

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Home Buyer Tips

TIPS FOR HOME BUYERS

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  1. Be the Pre-Approved Buyer: The pre-approved buyer always has the advantage in an offer situation. Becoming pre-approved is very simple: you complete your loan application with a credit check prior to beginning your home search process. Pre-approval means that you have actually been approved for the purchase by a lender, which gives you the edge in home purchase negotiating.
  2. Beat The Competition to The Best New Listings: Searching for a home can be both fun and trying. You will notice some homes sell very fast and others seem to never sell. The best homes at the best prices sell fast. Keeping on top of this is vital. Connect with a professional Real Estate agent that knows the market and keeps you updated.
  3. Do Research: Investigate the areas and price ranges for the kind of home you are looking for. Get a good idea of the price ranges these homes sell for and how long they are on the market. 
  4. Prove That You Are a Serious Buyer: The best way to accomplish this is with strong earnest money. This might mean that you put 5% or more down. Make it hard for the seller to turn you down.
  5. Don't Crazy: Even in a hot market, be calm and calculated with your decisions. Your home purchase may be your single largest investment. It is important to make sure that you get the best deal possible. Overpaying now will make it harder to get your money back when you sell.
  6. Keep Your Offer Simple and Clean: Make sure that your contract to purchase is simple, clean and not bogged down with unnecessary contingencies, especially repairs. Keep the time frames of repairs and responses to a minimum. The cleaner your offer, the more interested the seller will be. This could help you purchase the property at the best price.
  7. Don't Go At It Alone: What you need most in today's marketplace is an experienced and professional real estate agent who represents your interests only. No matter how heated the competition or the negotiations, a professional agent will represent your best interests, keep you from paying too much and help you maximize your investment.
Are you looking for an agent to represent you and your best interests? You, the home buyer, pay nothing for a professional agent. Their fees are paid for by the seller. 

Contact me in the sidebar for more information! 

Pricing Your Home to Sell Not Sit

Pricing Your Home to Sell Not Sit
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Did you know the best chance for selling your property is within the first seven weeks?

It's true. I promise.
Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net upon the sale. It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value at the signing of your listing contract. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell.
An Overpriced Home:
· Minimizes offers
· Lowers agents response
· Limits qualified buyers
· Showings are minimal
· Prospects are minimal
· Limits financing
· Total waste of advertising dollars
· Nets less for the seller: 
When you are ready, contact me today for a personal market value analysis of your home. 

No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!

Use the contact button on the side to get in touch or email me today!

leighannfisher@lizmoore.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Closing Costs EXPLAINED!

CLOSING COSTS EXPLAINED

Here is an overview of the types of closing costs you may incur on your loan. Some are one-time fees, while others reoccur over the life of the loan. When you apply for your loan, you will receive a Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Charges, and a booklet that will explain these costs in detail.
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Loan Origination Fee: This fee covers the lender's administrative costs in processing the loan. It is a one-time fee, often expressed as a percentage of the loan. The origination fee is typically 1% of the loan, but remember, you can obtain a loan with no origination fee and a slightly higher interest rate.

Loan Discount: Often called "points", a loan discount is a one-time fee used to adjust the yield on the loan to what market conditions demand. One point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. This fee is rare when interest rates are low.
Appraisal Fee: This is a one-time fee that pays for an appraisal, which is a statement of property value viewed by the lender. The appraisal is made by an independent fee appraiser and can cost a standard $300 to $450, or much more, depending on the home's size and location.
Credit Report Fee: This one-time fee covers the cost of the credit report that is run by an independent credit reporting agency and is usually about $60-$75.
Title Insurance Fee: There are two title policies: a lender's title policy (which protects the lender against loss due to defects on title) and a buyer's title policy (which protects you). These are both one-time fee, but the one you usually pay as a buyer is $200.
Miscellaneous Title Charges: The title company may charge fees for a title search, title examination, document preparation, notary fees, recording fees, and a settlement or closing fee. These are all one-time fee and can add up to about $200.
Document Prep Fee: There may be a separate, one-time fee that covers preparation of the final legal papers, including the note and deed of trust. These legal documents run about $150.
Lender Fees: Other lender fees include an underwriting fee, a flood certification fee, an amortization schedule fee, and other miscellaneous fees that should be disclosed by your mortgage lender at loan application. These fees vary dramatically from about $450 to $900.
Prepaid Interest: Depending on the time of month your loan closes, this charge may vary from a full month's interest to just a few days' interest. If your loan closes at the beginning of the month, you will probably have to pay the maximum amount. If your loan closes at the end of the month, you will only have to pay a few days' interest.
PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) Premium: Depending on the amount of your down payment, you may have to pay an up-front fee for mortgage insurance (which protects the lender against loss due to foreclosure). You may also be required to put a certain amount into a special reserve account (an impound account) held by the lender for PMI.
Beginning of the Escrow Account: Your lender will typically have an account w here your property taxes and property insurance will be held. This account will be started with taxes approximately equal to two months in excess of the number of months that have elapsed this year. (If 6 months have passed, they will collect 8 months of taxes.) Your property insurance will be collected one year in advance, plus two months will be kept in your escrow account.
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Earnest Money Deposit: It is important to have an understanding of the earnest money deposit, so you will not be placed in an uncomfortable position when you purchase a property. At the time a written offer is initiated, you will be required by the seller to include a personal check or cashier's check. The amount is normally deposited (cashed) into the designated title company's escrow account upon the offer's acceptance, and will remain in escrow until the time of closing. This amount is credited to you as a partial down payment and represents your intent to purchase the property. If the offer is not accepted, this amount is returned to you promptly. Depending on the price of the property, you should anticipate a minimum of a $500 earnest money deposit. Also, in the event that you do not qualify with a lender for a new loan, the earnest money is refunded to you, provided the sellers are given written notice regarding the lender's disapproval, and provided you have supplied the lender with all documentation they have requested.
Title Insurance: When you purchase your home, both you and the lender need a preliminary title commitment that will indicate exactly what recorded liens, encumbrances and recorded easements are currently in effect on the property. The title commitment will also indicate the vested owner of record and any restrictions on the use of the property. Title insurance is, for all practical purposes, required on all property in most states and is normally a seller's expense. However, the buyer is required to furnish the lender with a lender's policy showing the lender as lien holder on that property. These charges will be incurred at the time of settlement as a part of your closing costs. When the purchase of the property is closed, and the title company has recorded the necessary documents, the title company will then issue a title insurance policy binder to you and the lender, showing clear title to the property.
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For your closing, you must bring a driver's license and a cashier's check for the remainder of your down payment, made out to the title company. At the closing, you may sign the cashier's check over to the title company. If the closing does not occur, you can deposit the cashier's check back into your own account.
There's certainly a lot to know! Have additional questions? Contact me from the sidebar! I am happy to help!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

How Much Home Can I Afford?

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How Much Home Can I Afford?

Figuring out how much you can afford or what your payment will be each month is one of the most asked questions I face as a Real Estate Agent. Picking up the phone and calling a lender you don't know can be scary. Looking at mortgage loan programs available can be confusing and understanding interest rates can be trying. 

There is an easy way to get started. 

Step One: Find out what the interest rates are at the current time. You can typically do this by searching on the internet or a quick call to a local lender. Get your rates on conventional fixed rate loans.

Step Two: To obtain the clearest picture of how much home you can actually qualify for, the best idea is to contact a reputable local lender and let them analyze your entire situation. 

This lender can calculate your income-to-debt ratio, do a quick credit score and give you the information you need. Typically, lenders like to see a ratio not exceeding about 28%. 

This does not take into consideration long term monthly debt. As an example, to qualify for a loan, lenders may require ratios of 28% or 36%. This means you can spend up to 28% of your gross monthly income on a mortgage payment, and no more than 36% of your gross monthly income on all forms of debt, mortgage included.

I work with a number of loan officers and can recommend one for you. Contact me from the sidebar! 

Thanks!

Leigh Ann 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Shopping Lunch at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

I am addicted to eating out. Literally, if I could eat out every meal and act like I was on a cruise ship for the rest of my life, I would. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook but since the girls are getting older and my real estate career is taking off, getting in the kitchen and slinging pans around is just not on my agenda as it once was. Sitting down and letting someone wait on me is much more appeasing than me chopping onions, cooking a meat, serving plates and cleaning up afterwards.




While out shopping for Christmas gifts, Joe and I stopped in at the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen in Newport News and to fill up our hungry bodies. The hostess was super sweet and handed us off to our server who was even more sweet. She delivered us to our table and gave us our menus right aways. She asked if we had been there before and we said no. She pointed out some highlights and took our drink order. I ordered the strawberry lemonade and was happy I did. Very tasty.

We started with the Crescent City Shrimp and Crab Dip. I love the chips they serve. Light and fluffy and with a buttery flavor. The dip was creamy and full of seafood.



I ordered the Homemade Chicken Pot Pie because I always order the pot pie if I see one on the menu. This is one of the most labor intensive meals I've ever made and home so if someone else is making it, I will eat it. 




A choice of the house salad or the Caesar Salad was part of my meal. I chose the house salad with the Bleu Cheese dressing. Yes, lots of creamy dishes for me! The dressing was absolutely amazing with huge chunks of bleu cheese. Mmmmm...... With the crescent roll on the side with the sweet butter... wow! So good!




Joe decided on the Half Rack of Ribs and Shrimp with corn and mac and cheese as his side. We had so much food! The sweet dipping sauce for the shrimp was so great! The ribs were perfectly cooked. 





I would suggest Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen for any meal! The service was great and much better than I've had in awhile. A serious pet peeve of mine is when you are done with a dish and the server will not take it away! Cheddar's, you have got your game going on!