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[09/30/17]   Another one sold by Stashsells..

[04/11/17]   There are four important things every investor should consider in a rental property, regardless of location.

1. Projected income
If you're getting into real estate investing, you're probably hoping to get a nice return. But at the bare minimum, you want to cover that monthly mortgage payment. So how much rent should you plan on charging? Bull says she always goes by the 1% rule.

"Basically ... if you are buying a property for $400,000, your hope is to ultimately be able to get $4,000 a month in rent. So that's where you get that 1%. You're buying for $400,000 and your monthly income is $4,000," she said.

In some parts of the country, where the property is less expensive and rents are higher, you may want to go by the 2% rule.

2. Current tenant situation
One of the first things to take note of at a potential investment property is the tenant situation. You don't want buy on a whim and get stuck in a nightmarish situation.

"What's going on ... Are they tenant at will? Are they under market? Do they pay? Get some clarity around that, Some of these properties, they get really bad in terms of hoarders and just mismanaged, bad situations. So try to wrap your head around what's going on there."

3. Overall condition
"It's impossible to find a perfect property," Bull says, so be aware of what needs fixing and whether you're prepared to shell out the money and time to get it done.

"A new roof? OK, it's expensive, but it's not hard to do. It can be done in a matter of a week or two,. "Re-plumbing an entire house? That's a different story."

4. Utilities
If you're looking at multifamily property, like an apartment building or a duplex, you'll need to find out if the utility systems, like water and electric, are separate for each unit or lumped into one.

04/05/2017

RE/MAX PREMIER /STASH SELLS

04/05/2017

RE/MAX PREMIER / STASH SELLS

03/29/2017

Re/max Premier Stash Sells's cover photo

[12/12/16]   Is Rental Property a Good Investment
Photo: © scyther5 - iStockphoto

Harvard University recently published a report of the rental market in the United States. This study included rental-market trends over the last decade and predictions for the next ten years. One of the most surprising facts from the study is that renting a home has become a more common option for almost all types of Americans.

These are some of the results found in the report:

The number of renters increased for people with all levels of household incomes.

The number of renters increased for single people, couples, and parents with children.

The number of single-family houses that have been converted to rental units also increased.

Rising Rent Costs in Most Cities
This housing study also looked at America's largest rental markets. Three out of four of the biggest population centers had vacancy rates of less than five percent. Typically, 95 percent occupancy is considered full occupancy by property management professionals. Only one out of the 75 biggest markets had a vacancy rate that was over 7 percent.

Because vacancy rates are low and demand is high, property owners have been steadily increasing rents. While renting has become popular with people in different economic classes, it may be the only choice for people with modest incomes. The main concern of the study was not that landlords would have trouble finding people to lease properties but that people with lower incomes would be unable to find affordable housing in many parts of the country.

Will the Rental Boom Continue?
The study predicted an even greater demand for rental apartments and houses in the next decade. The baby boomer generation is now aging into senior citizens. The authors of the study believed that many seniors would choose to sell their houses in order to cash out their home equity and enjoy the simplicity of renting. If the predictions in this study are correct, many of those sold homes will get converted to rentals. This is because upcoming generations don't seem as eager to buy a house as their parents or grandparents once were. The study cited higher levels of student loan debt and tighter qualification rules for mortgages as some possible reasons.

Even though both small and large investors have been supplying more inventory to satisfy the needs of all kinds of renters, the supply is not keeping up with the demand in some places. The next great real estate opportunity in the United States might be an investment in rental property. Vacancies are very low and rental prices are rising. Of course, markets differ across the country and even in different parts of the same city, so wise investors should do their research.

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Michele & Jackie Stash - (703) 585-8856 Michele & Jackie Stash - May 2016

[12/12/16]   Safe Alternatives to Toxic Cleaners
Photo: © icarmen13 - iStockphoto

Open almost any kitchen cabinet and you're bound to find cleaning supplies made with toxic chemicals or other pollutants. While harsh chemical cleaners have become increasingly popular, there are plenty of all-natural alternatives that work just as well—usually at a fraction of the cost! Below are some common household ingredients that pull double duty as effective, eco-friendly cleaning agents.

White Vinegar: Despite the strong smell, vinegar is quite versatile when it comes to cleaning. In fact, due to its natural disinfecting and deodorizing properties, it makes an effective ?all-purpose cleaner for virtually every surface in the house. Mixed 50/50 with water, white vinegar can be used to cut grease, get rid of wax buildup on wooden floors, kill mildew, and even get rid of stains.

Baking Soda: Baking soda is one of the best deodorizers available. It can be sprinkled over virtually any surface and simply swept, vacuumed, or sponged away when the job is done. Baking soda is also wonderful for scrubbing surfaces that could easily be scratched, such as glass or stainless steel.

Lemons: Lemon juice is a powerful natural acid capable of tackling mildew with ease. It can also cut through soap scum and help get rid of calcium deposits. Spritzing kitchen surfaces with a mixture of water and lemon juice helps keep them sanitized. The fresh, clean scent is a bonus!

Cornstarch: Due to its impressive absorption abilities, cornstarch is the go-to cleaner for dealing with grease and oil. It works especially well on stove tops, vent hoods, counters, and anything else in the kitchen that is exposed to grease. Also, mixing cornstarch with water forms a paste that can be applied to carpets and upholstery before vacuuming to clean without the use of skin-irritating chemicals.

Borax: Also known as sodium borate, borax is a multipurpose cleaner. While it does a fine job of disinfecting and deodorizing, borax really shines when cleaning painted or wallpapered walls without causing damage. Borax is also an ideal choice for grout cleaning.

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Michele & Jackie Stash - (703) 585-8856 Michele & Jackie Stash - May 2016

Michele & Jackie Stash, RE/MAX Premier, 13135 Lee Jackson Hwy , Fairfax VA 22033
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[08/22/16]   Mortgage Rates Move Even Lower This Week

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2016
Fixed-rate mortgages dropped slightly this week compared to the previous week, and continue to hover near all-time lows.

"The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 2 basis points to 3.43 percent this week, erasing last week's uptick,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “For eight consecutive weeks mortgage rates have ranged between 3.41 and 3.48 percent. Inflation is not adding any upward pressure on interest rates as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index was unchanged in July."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Aug. 18:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.43 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.45 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.74 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.76 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.15 percent.
5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.76 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.74 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.94 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

[08/17/16]   The Idea of an Empty Nest Is Fading

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2016
So-called empty nesters are finding their homes aren’t so empty anymore. While the kids may have gone off to college, they’re coming back. Also, aging parents are moving in. It’s a full nest as multigenerational households soar.

About 19 percent of all Americans – or about 60.6 million – lived in a multigenerational household in 2014, according to a newly released Pew Research Center report. Multigenerational households may be comprised of parents, adult children, and grandchildren.

Read more: Must-Have Design for Multigenerational Living
“We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families,” says John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living.”

Part of the surge behind multigenerational households is an increase in ethnic minorities, who are more likely to have more generations sharing a roof. About 28 percent of Asians and 25 percent of both Hispanics and blacks shared a household with extended families in 2014 compared to just 15 percent of whites, according to the Pew report.

“As the face of America is changing, so are family structures,” says Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, an advocacy group for intergenerational programs and housing. “It shouldn’t be a taboo or looked down upon if grown children are living with their families or older adults are living with their grown children.”

Builders are paying close attention to the shift. More builders are putting a suite on the first floor, which sometimes also has a separate entrance and kitchenette. They’re also finding more clients asking for a detached suite with a separate walkway that connects to the main house.

Source: “Bye-Bye, Empty Nests: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise,” realtor.com® (Aug. 15, 2016)

[07/29/16]   What Are Americans’ Top Housing Concerns?

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2016
It might not be all low inventory and high prices. It seems Americans have a confidence problem when it comes to the housing market. They’re increasingly apprehensive to move forward, citing concerns over the economy and job security, according to the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey, a measure of confidence in the health of the housing market among more than 1,000 home owners and buyers.

Could it be the election is spooking buyers as well?
Americans also still express lingering concerns from the housing crisis of 2008, particularly millennials. Sixty-three percent of Americans and 72 percent of millennials say the crash worried them and impacted their decision to either purchase their first home or upgrade to a new one, according to the survey.

Cleve Bellar, chief marketing officer of ValueInsured says that though the results demonstrate “renewed confidence that housing is a smart investment," he adds that it is "tempered by thoughtful consideration of the undeniable risks, especially given the recent uptick in security and economic events in the U.S. and abroad.”

And confidence could be the key to increasing the low rate of home ownership. Sixty-eight percent of Americans and 81 percent of millennials who say they want to buy a home add that they would do so sooner if they had more confidence in the housing market, the survey found.

The top concerns Americans’ expressed in the survey are:

Global economy: 59% of Americans and 68% of millennials say that the global economic climate has them worried.
American economy: 63% of Americans and 70% of millennials say that the current U.S. economy has them concerned about the risks of buying a home.
National security: 48% of Americans and 61% of millennials say that national security is taking a toll on their home-buying decisions.
Job security/mobility: 55% of Americans and 71% of millennials say that the possibility of a job change or loss has them concerned.
Source: ValueInsured

[07/14/16]   FYI...........Most Popular Exteriors on New Homes

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 2016
Vinyl is the most widely used exterior on new single-family homes, according to the latest Census Bureau data. Vinyl (which includes vinyl-covered aluminum) was used for siding material on 27 percent of new homes nationwide in 2015, followed by stucco at 25 percent, brick or brick veneer at 22 percent, and fiber cement siding at 19 percent. Wood or wood products accounted for 5 percent of new homes.

New-Home Trends
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New-Home Sizes Start to Level Off
New American Home: Green and Integrated
The materials used can vary drastically from region to region. For example, stucco was the most popular siding material in the Pacific and Mountain regions, at 57 percent and 55 percent, respectively. In the East and West South Central regions, at least 55 percent of new single-family homes last year used brick or brick veneer.

Take a look at this map from the National Association of Home Builders to see the most popular siding materials by region.

Source: “Vinyl Is the Most Widely Used Exterior on New Homes,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (July 7, 2016)

[07/02/16]   Mortgage Rates Hover Near All-Time Low

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2016

Fixed-rate mortgages this week dropped to their lowest averages of the year, which analysts attribute to the fallout from last week's "Brexit" vote. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.48 percent this week, only 17 basis points from its all-time record low of 3.31 percent in November 2012, Freddie Mac reports.

Read more: 'Brexit' Could Give U.S. Real Estate Brief Boost
"In the wake of the Brexit vote, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond plummeted 24 basis points," says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "This extremely low mortgage rate should support solid home sales and refinancing volume this summer."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending June 30:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.48 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week's 3.56 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.08 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week's 2.83 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.24 percent.
5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.70 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 2.74 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.99 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac

[07/02/16]   FYI......

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2016
Homes in gated communities command a much higher price — nearly $30,000 on average — than other properties, according to a new study published by the American Real Estate Society. However, the added costs of upkeep for amenities may offset some of that premium.

What Will Buyers Pay For?
Amenities That Jack Up Sales Prices
Over-the-Top Amenities Push Buyers Away
Top Amenities Buyers Will Make Sacrifices For
Home buyers are likely willing to pay more for homes in a gated community because of perceived benefits such as greater privacy, homeowner's associations with tighter controls on maintenance and home design, and added security against crime. But the extra amenities a gated community offers may not be as desirable. The study found the presence of amenities such as clubhouses, community swimming pools, and tennis courts can actually reduce the sales price of a home in a gated community by about $19,500.

"Additional maintenance costs associated with these amenities often outweigh their benefits, and it appears that while a gate has value, additional neighborhood amenities do not always provide additional value," notes Mark A. Sunderman, who conducted the study published by ARES in the Journal of Real Estate Research. "From the perspective of both the buyer and the seller, this information should help each to better price property. A good understanding of what adds value and what does not should help create increased marketability of gated homes."

Source: Florida Atlantic University

[06/08/16]   RE/MAX was born in a single brokerage office in Denver, based on an innovative agent-centric philosophy that attracted the industry's top performers. RE/MAX achieved number one market share in Canada in 1987. A decade later RE/MAX sold more real estate than any competitor in the United States, and has held number one market share in both countries every year since.

With a strong emphasis on improvement through education, the revolutionary RE/MAX Satellite Network broadcast to offices across America in 1994 with a new standard of agent training. RE/MAX is also the long-time industry leader in national TV advertising and website visits.

"RE/MAX is a true American success story. Everyone involved at the beginning came from modest backgrounds, and we just worked really hard to make our dream a reality," added Gail Liniger, RE/MAX Co-Founder and Vice Chairman.

In 2012, RE/MAX continued to grow around the world, adding 739 new franchises and six new countries, including mainland China. RE/MAX now has a presence in more than 85 countries, more than any of its competitors.

Florida led RE/MAX growth in the U.S. with 35 new franchises. California added 33. Internationally, the number of new franchises in South Africa, the fastest growing country, was up 88% over 2011, and Turkey increased by 68%.

Also in 2012, for the 10th time in 14 years, RE/MAX, LLC was recognized as the highest ranking real estate company in Entrepreneur magazine's 34th annual "Franchise 500." RE/MAX also earned the #1 real estate ranking in the Top 200 survey as published in the October 2012 edition of Franchise Times magazine. And, RE/MAX was named one of the "Top 50 Franchises for Minorities" by the National Minority Franchising Initiative through the World Franchising Network.

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13135 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy
Fairfax, VA
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