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Mike Cooper's Blog

By Mike Cooper | Broker in Winchester, VA
  • Winchester, VA Real Estate Market: First Quarter 2014

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Home Selling in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester  |  May 3, 2014 3:56 PM  |  140 views  |  No comments

    Winchester, VA Real Estate Market: First Quarter 2014

    The Winchester, VA real estate market took a hit from the extended winter weather, but it's not nearly as bad as you might think. Nationwide, the real estate has been mixed this year. There are pockets that are on fire, and there are areas that haven't adequately recovered from the recession.

    Winchester, VA real estate has made a slow, but steady, climb out of the recession. The number for foreclosures and short sales sold in the first quarter have dropped from the 2013 numbers. In 2013, short sales made up 9% of the overall sales in the first quarter. That number dropped to 4.5% in the first quarter of 2014. That's a substantial movement year to year.

    Another positive change has been in foreclosures. Foreclosures in the first quarter of 2013 were 21% of overall sales. There has been a noticeable drop in the first quarter of 2014 to 15%. That's a great sign. A year to year change of a 31% drop in foreclosures with 48% drop in short sales is a sign of a market seeking equilibrium.

    The first quarter total sales were down 17% from 2013, but the weather is most likely the biggest reason for that. Snow as still falling in early April. Last year at that same time, the Winchester, VA real estate market was in full swing with one of the hottest Springs since the recession began.

    Distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures) made up 20% of all sales in the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2013, distressed properties totaled 30% of all sales. You can see the trend changing from distressed properties to standard fair market sales. Even if sales are down slightly, the sales that are taking place are moving toward fair market and away from distressed sales.

     Winchester, VA Real Estate Market: First Quarter 2014

    Originally posted at: http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/4385809/winchester--va-real-estate-market--first-quarter-2014#17801681

  • Winchester, VA Third Quarter Real Estate Market Report 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester, Investment Properties in Winchester  |  October 12, 2013 8:31 AM  |  338 views  |  No comments

    Winchester, VA Third Quarter Real Estate Market Report 2013

    The Winchester, VA real estate market had a good summer with 411 sales over that third quarter, but there is a disturbing trend in those numbers. Distressed properties have been a steady decline sine late 2012, but the Trends2percentage of distressed properties in the third quarter rose to 20%.

    That is the highest percentage in 2013. It would not be so concerning if that trend was heavy on the short sale side, but it’s actually weighted on the foreclosure side. Short sales made up 9% of the total 3rd quarter sales, and foreclosures made up 11% of the sales.

    Foreclosures have been a steady decline for nearly a year. National statistics of homeowners who are late on their mortgages fell to 1.91% in 2012. That is down from 3.83% in 2009. That looks like a good trend, but the percentage in a healthy economy is still below 1%. There is still ground to be made up since the market collapse in 2008.

    The Winchester, VA real estate market is still improving. Another quarter should reveal if the distressed property increase is a trend or a blimp on the horizon. Stay tuned for the fourth quarter.

     Winchester, VA Third Quarter Real Estate Market Report 2013

  • Don't miss out. The Winchester, VA real estate market is heating up.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester, Investment Properties in Winchester  |  June 24, 2013 7:14 PM  |  481 views  |  No comments

    Don't miss out. The Winchester, VA real estate market is heating up. 

    You've heard the term, "burning the candle on both ends," I'm sure.  I starting to reallyunderstand that all of a sudden.  Our local real estate market has been a bit tenuous this year, but in the last two to three weeks it has taken off like a rocket for many of us.  That's a good thing for the bottom line, but the reality is buyers are getting run over, and it's running me ragged.

    It is no longer a buyer's market, and buyers who want to act like it is are getting left behind. A good home coming on the market at a good price will be gone in 48 hours or less.  It is more than likely to have two to three offers on it, and bidding wars are getting fierce.  I've been telling my clients, "If you see something you like, don't hesitate.  It won't be here tomorrow."  That has played out over and over in the past few weeks.  

    Most of my clients get their properties, but those who think it's still a "low-ball offers, ask for the moon and expect the sellers to come begging for an offer market" are getting left out in the cold.  With the increase in interest rates, many will be blocked out of the market.  Don't misunderstand, there are bargains out there, but they rarely last a couple days.  So, if you're in the market to buy, be wise and deliberate, have all of your documents ready to make an offer and don't assume the seller is desperate.  He's not.  

    Let's get together and take focused action.  You can win at this game, but you've got to play with determination.  You don't want to miss out chasing properties, and we can avoid some of that with a solid plan.  Trust me, you don't want to get worn out like Walter below.

  • Are short sales declining in the Winchester, VA real estate market?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester, Investment Properties in Winchester  |  May 14, 2013 8:46 AM  |  319 views  |  No comments

    Are short sales declining in the Winchester, VA real estate market? 

    Are short sales declining in the Winchester, VA real estate market?  I guess that depends Homes for sale in Winchester, VAon how you look at the market.  If you look at the current pending sales you would see 325 properties under contract.  Within that number are 85 short sales.  Short sales make up 26% of the current pending sales.  That may seem like a high number, but let's take a look at a few numbers from a different angle.


    If you were to look at the current available listings you would see that there 491 overall properties available on the Winchester / Frederick County real estate market.  Within that number are 26 short sales.  Short sales only make up 6.5% of the total number of currently available properties. 


    There has been a steady drift away from distressed properties in the local market.  Can I see the end of foreclosures and short sales?  Not at all.  Until the overall economy improves, the presence of foreclosures and short sales is almost a given.  That doesn't mean that there won't be a steady decline.  The limited presence of short sales in the Winchester / Frederick County market still offer bargain shoppers an opportunity to purchase a great house at a discount, but don't wait too much longer.  They may be gone.  Call your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. agent today. 

    Are short sales declining in the Winchester, VA real estate market?

  • Winchester, VA Foreclosure Market - May 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester  |  May 3, 2013 10:33 AM  |  227 views  |  No comments

    Winchester, VA Foreclosure Market - May 2013 

    REOs decline in Winchester, VAThe Winchester, VA foreclosure market is seeing a steady decline in available REOs.  There are only 25 REOs available.  That's a great improvement since the real estate market collapse in 2008.  It is a good sign that the real estate market is making a recovery in the local market.


    Of the 25 REOs available, 6 are in the 120000-149999 price range.  Another 6 are in the 150000-179999 price range, and there are 4 in the $240000-269999 price range.  Most of the remaining price ranges have one or two.  The overall price range is between $49000-$575000.  Click here for current foreclosure/REO listings.


    The average days on the market are at 48.  That's a change from previous years.  In the early days of the days of the market collapse, REOs were sold quickly and as-is.  Today, some banks are making repairs, including, new paint, flooring, plumbing and electrical repairs and some HVAC repairs.  That was not typical of previous years.  The new attitude toward their REO holdings is reflected in the amount of time they are willing to hold properties in their portfolio.


    With the improvements in the Winchester, VA real estate market, banks are looking for more money from their REOs and they are willing to invest a little more to get it.  They are willing to wait longer for an acceptable contract, and they are not as flexible on seller contributions toward closing costs.  That doesn't mean that there aren't good deals out there, but they are slipping away each month.  If you're in the market for a bank owned property, now is the time to call your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent. 

  • "Why do I need a pre-approval letter to submit a contract?"

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester, Investment Properties in Winchester  |  April 1, 2013 7:41 AM  |  227 views  |  1 comment

    "Why do I need a pre-approval letter to submit a contract?" 

    "Why do I need a pre-approval letter to submit a contract?"  I hear that question with about 1 out of 3 new clients that I meet.  It's simple.  The seller wants to know if you can buy the house.  A pre-qualification letter may suffice for some sellers, but I'm running into more and more banks that won't accept a pre-qualification letter in place of a pre-approval letter.

    A pre-qualification letter is a letter based upon information given to a lender, but isn't necessarily verified.  For instance, I may have a client call a lender who will take his information over the phone and then formulate a dollar amount the buyer would qualify for if the information is verified.  It's a simple process.

    A pre-approval letter is going to include verification of income, debt, credit, available funds, etc.  It's much more valuable in a bidding war because it gives a seller up front information that will not have to be verified after the offer is accepted.  It speeds up the process and gives a seller confidence to accept an offer.

    When you are ready to buy a home, start at your lender's office.  Find out what price property you are qualified to buy, and then contact your Cornerstone agent to find that home.  In today's competitive real estate market, you want every possible advantage when it's time to buy.

  • Cornerstone Business Group is your foreclosure sales pro in Winchester, VA

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Winchester, Foreclosure in Winchester, Investment Properties in Winchester  |  January 24, 2013 3:31 PM  |  325 views  |  No comments

    Cornerstone Business Group is your foreclosure sales pro in Winchester, VA

    Posted on January 24, 2013

    Foreclosures can be hard to navigate at times.  Ironically, they are one of the primary sources of sales for Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., in Winchester, VA. We have mastered the art of listing, preparing and selling foreclosures for the past 9 years, and we’ve had 100% success with every one we’ve ever been in contact with.

    Foreclosures become known as REOs (real estate owned) when they have gone through the process of foreclosure and are back in the bank’s hands.  They can be tough for a first-time home-buyer, but that is no reason to ignore them.  An REO can be a great buy for any bBlack Friday is also for houses.uyer, but for a first time buyer an REO might just be a much bigger or accommodating home than a fair market buy.

    Not all REOs are deeply discounted, but many are discounted enough to make them attractive.  With the guidance of a well experienced Cornerstone agent, you might just find the home of your dreams.  So, don’t forget to include REOs in your home search, and when you’re ready to look, contact your real estate pros at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc.

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