Winchester, VA Real Estate News

By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Markets change on a cyclical basis.  It doesn't matter if it's the stock market or the real estate market.  They cycle.  Unfortunately for most homeowners - they don't see cycles.  They see blood, sweat and tears and dollar signs.  Most market cycles are not devastating like the current one has been.  So, homeowners tend to expect a profit on a real estate sale, and that's normally the way it is.  But, every so often a cycle comes along that sends the market in a reverse direction.  That shift defies so much of the real estate hype seen on TV infomercials that sellers find it nearly impossible to believe.  There are certain things an agent can do to make sure his client understands the current market. Make sure the CMA at list is as current as possible.  Houses that sold 12 months ago m...
Comments 14
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
My little electrical company has taught me a lot about business.  As a matter of fact, the lessons I've learned as an electrical contractor have made me a better real estate broker.  Quality Electric Co., LLC is a small, high octane electrical contracting company.  The thing that makes us unique in our area is that we can do just about any level of electrical wiring and repair.  It doesn't matter if it is residential, commercial or industrial.  It's not unusual to do all three in one day.  Our team is extremely talented at troubleshooting, and one of our primary sources of income is fixing stuff that breaks in business environments, and fixing stuff that others have tried to fix or have installed.  Another major source of income is the commercial projects we are drawn into that are fast...
Comments 6
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
My electrical contracting company has been doing an electrical project inside a brand new Walmart that is coming to our area.  During the times that I was in building, I noticed a couple things.  It takes a lot of people and a lot of work to open a business of this size and scope.  Nobody was able to tell me how many products are in the store, but I can tell you, it's a bunch. There were no products in the store at all of my first trip to look at the project.  Over two weeks, the building became a buzz with worker bees putting shelves and racks together.  They were loading those shelves and racks.  They had little training sessions going on all over the store.  The employees were shared between departments so they could learn how everything works.  It was interesting. The one thing that...
Comments 15
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
A few years ago, I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico doing a canopy glide.  If you've never done a canopy glide, it's a blast.  You are riding on a 3/4" - 1" cable over, or through, a forest.  You are hanging below the line.  So, it feels like you're suspended in the air.  It is a blast. The first canopy glide that I ever did was about 60 feet above the canopy floor (they get much higher).  You can travel at speeds up to 60 miles an hour, and the only thing that stops you is how you manipulate the pulley you're gliding along with.  It's intense and exciting. On the first ride, we had short runs of 50 to100 yards.  At the end of the day, they reached out to 600 yards.  You can feel totally out of control at times.  For an adrenaline junkie like me, it's great!  On this particular course we ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
During the hot days of the local real estate market, our area had 1400+ agents competing for listings and sales.  Now, with the market in a stagnant and unstable place, we have approximately 500 agents.  That's a 74% drop in agents.  Even still, that's probably 50% more than is necessary. Building permits for the tri-county area are running at 114 for the year.  Last year, they were at 341.  The year before that, they ran at 1783.  Simple numbers like that demonstrate to those who pay attention that the market is still very fragile in our area.  The loss of agents and the lower building permit numbers are good numbers to know when approaching potential listings.  It is a buyer's market.  Everyone should know that by now, but some homeowners still think they can demand whatever they want...
Comments 16
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I have a piece of advice for you, "Never burn your bridges in this business."  I've blogged about a listing I have that has had issues.  The house is beautiful in so many ways, but it was unfinished and then vandalized by the owners on their way out the door.  So, it has a lot of issues.  It makes me sick because it's a great house on a great lot in a wonderful location.  What's not to love? This week, I found one more issue it has that is going to cause even more problems, but hey, life isn't without problems, right?  This one has been a real tug of war.  So, the contract that I was supposed to be writing Wednesday fell through because of the new issues.  A problem, but really, no problem.  Sometimes, you're in a box like this one, and sometimes you need to think outside the box.  Frid...
Comments 24
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
There is an old saying that says, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time."  What could be more true?  I'm a big goals kind of guy.  I realized early in life that without solid recognizable and quantifiable goals, I could drift around forever and never really know if I was making any legitimate progress.  It's what Zig Ziglar used to call a "wandering generality."  Ziglar also said, "I'd rather be a meaningful specific than a wondering generality."  Me too, but how do you get there? Let me offer some simple goal setting rules to see if I can help you get started.  My wife and I did a little exercise when we first got married.  We sat down one day and wrote out every thing we wanted acquire over a ten year period.  It included stuff, but also income, jobs, etc.  At the end of ha...
Comments 18
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I have been watching an epic showdown near my home.  This past week, I was driving home and saw a hawk swooping down to the left of my car.  At the same time, I saw a squirrel running down the sidewalk.  The hawk had him in his sights.  Within seconds the squirrel was going to be lunch!  Just as the hawk caught up to him, the squirrel must have sensed the impending disaster and he jerked to the right and the hawk missed him.  The hawk glided to a tree nearby and studied the area.  Looking back over his shoulder, he knew he had been beaten by the bushy tailed quasi-rodent.  The squirrel darted into a bush, and the game was over. Today, I came down the same street, and there was the squirrel again.  This time he was sitting in the middle of the road.  He was very intently staring at somet...
Comments 49
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
My house looked like we were hosting a wake yesterday.  The Internet network went down.  What?  How could that happen in this day of technology?  Shouldn't someone sitting somewhere starring wide-eyed at a screen have seen this coming and fixed it before we were inconvenienced?  Surely, this should never happen in the 21st century. You would have thought it was a cyber- attack from a foreign country.  Yep, it went down.  No Internet.  No Wi-Fi.  No gaming consoles online.  No, no, nothing.  Pat Kennedy's blog, "Phones! Newspapers! Real Estate! What has Technology Wrought?" made me laugh because of my crew.  They were feeling the effects of techo-withdrawal.    We have definitely become techno-holics.  Once we're "down" life starts to take on a whole new dimension.  It normally starts wi...
Comments 34
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Alright all you fitness enthusiast in the Mid-Atlantic area, do I have a great opportunity for you.  November 5th, Valley Health Wellness and Fitness will be hosting a Susan G. Komen Pedal for the Cure indoor cycling ride.  It's a 12 hour ride, but don't panic, you don't have to do it all.  The goal is to have 30 teams of 1-12 riders.  That will fill the bikes in our studio.  Each team will raise or donate $200 for their team.  The full amount will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.  Here's how it will work: Teams - 1-12 riders per team Rides start every hour on the hour beginning at 7 am - 7 pm. Riders can decide within their team how much time they will ride. Bring a water bottle or two, a favorite snack, bike shorts and clip-less shoes if you have them. T...
Comments 14
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
"Local Broker's Head Explodes at DMV.  Brain Goo Everywhere!  More at 11 P.M."  OK, that was the headline I dreamed about while napping, but it could happen.  Why I saved my trip to the DMV for Friday is a mystery.  Oh, yeah, it's the DMV (Death March Victims).  I would save it for an hour before the apocalypse if possible. It was all my fault.  For some reason, the DMV didn't send me a license renewal this time around, and by total accident, I was filling out a form to work with a new bank and found out that I was due.  I tried to renew online, but the website told me I had to pick 5 out of 10 types of ID to prove I am a US citizen, and then I needed to happily bring them in and apply. (OK, I added happily, but I was just trying to be positive.) When I finally went to the DMV this afte...
Comments 18
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Grab your spoon and join us for the 15th annual Exchange Club Chili Challenge.  It seems that everyone has the world's best chili recipe.  Now is the opportunity to prove it.  The competition is always fierce, but there is always room for a challenger. Local restaurants compete, but there is always a host of amateurs looking to make a name for their chili.  And, why not you?  So far, thirteen restaurants and six teams of amateurs are signed up.  It's going to be hot!  Oh, wait, that's the chili, but I bet the competition will be hot too! The proceeds from this year's event will go back to the Exchange Club to help support local charities.  The event will be held at the Eagles Club on Baker Lane in Winchester.  Costs for tickets are $8 in advance and may be purchased at any local Handy M...
Comments 6
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Are you looking for something to do this weekend?  Do you have a camera?  Do you have a great eye for photography?  Well, if you are, and if you do we want you this weekend.  Winchester, Virginia, along with 1108 other locations will be taking part in the fourth annual "Worldwide Photo Walk" event. The Worldwide Photo Walk is the brainchild of Scott Kelby, editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, editor-in-chief of Layers Magazine and president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. You don't have to be a professional photographer to participate.  Everyone who participates will walk around the city of Winchester taking photographs.  When the walk is complete they will gather at the Daily Grind coffee shop on the downtown walking mall.  The photos will be viewed ...
Comments 0
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Is it just me, or did those of you who have been involved in the September 30 Day Localism Challenge just learn a whole bunch about your community?  Wow!  I had no idea that so many things are going on in my community. Sure, I knew about all the market reports, sales, listings and pending closings.  That's what I do.  I'm a numbers geek.  So, I want to know those things.  But, I didn't know about the Civil War walk-about.  I didn't know about the GermanFest.  I didn't know about the Valley Rally Bicycle Ride for the Boy Scouts, and I'm an avid cyclist.  I learned that my local community is growing in restaurants, retail stores, discount grocery stores, discount stores, dental offices for kids, 3 new banks (my company wired all three), 1 new wireless phone store (we also wired it) and 2 ...
Comments 19
By Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale
(Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty)
Just listed- Great End Unit TH!! New appliances within the last year. New washer/dryer, new kitchen floor. Wood floors in living room. Carpets just cleaned! Private deck! Close to the pool! Rent includes lawn maintenance, pool access during the summer and trash removal! Close to I-81, RT 7, & Shenandoah University. Ready for immediate occupancy!www.amandadavidson.com 
Comments 5
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I showed a property today that was on the market for most of this year at approximately 35% over the current market for a similar property.  Of course, it didn't sell.  It came off the market, and then came back on at 25% over the market. The second agent has fluffed up the description to make it sound like it is really a bargain.  She says it's, "Completely gone over!"  What does that mean?  It meant that the owner painted, hung one ceiling fan, had the floors refinished and changed the kitchen sink.  That's nice, but it's still 25% over the current market, even with a reduced price. This is a topic that gets a lot of airtime on Active Rain and other Realtor blog sites.  Friends, please be honest with your clients.  A house that is 25% over the current market is going to sit, get stigm...
Comments 16
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I have two companies.  One is a real estate brokerage, and the other one is an electrical contracting company.  When I started my electrical contracting company in 1984 I did it out of my own personal frustration with the caliber of electrical contractors in my area.  I was on an academic sabbatical from my job at that time, and I received a lot of calls from family, friends and acquaintances who found out I had a little free time. What I found over and over is that so many licensed low performing electricians had done work for them, and now they were in trouble with the work and were worried about the potential harm to them and their homes.  There are good companies in our area, but there are enough of the other group that I could field a crew that simply does repairs on work done by o...
Comments 5
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I have another confession to make.  I'm a big Mel Brooks fan.  I love clever humor.  Brooks was a master of clever humor.  He packed so many great one-liners in his movies that most people I know can immediately respond to a line with a following line.  OK, I'm a nerd.  I admit it. In the movie, Young Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein's (Gene Wilder) assistant, Igor (Marty Feldman), has a hump on his back.  At one point the doctor notices that the hump is on the opposite side of Igor's back.  Pointing to the hump, he asks him, "Didn't you, didn't you used to have that on the other side?" Igor responds, "What?"  Hump, what hump?  The good doctor gives up and moves on.  I love that movie.  I've seen it more times than I can remember, and I still laugh every time.  Did I mention that I'm a ne...
Comments 121
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Like most parents, I have always dreaded the thought of rushing to hospital with one of my kids.  My poor parents spent a lot of time making that trip, but I've been fortunate.  No trips, until yesterday.  My oldest son, 21, finally had his first rush to the emergency room. He works for my electrical contracting company, and in a freak accident (what does that actually mean), he slide a razor knife across a knuckle and wham-o his first trip to the emergency room.  Four stitches later, he's no worse for wear. But, that brings up another great asset about our community, the  Winchester Medical Center.  Winchester Medical Center, a part of the Valley Health chain of hospitals and facilities, is one of the most frequently sought after medical facilities in Virginia.  WMC has been in operati...
Comments 4
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
The downturn in the real estate market has affected homeowners, buyers, sellers, real estate agents and just about every business associated with the real estate industry.  It has been a tough period in the Winchester/Frederick County, Virginia area, but there are signs of life beginning to appear in the local market. For Sellers - the August 2011 median home price in Frederick County is up year over year by 6.53%.  An upward movement in local home prices is a positive sign for a home price recovery.  For Sellers - the month to month numbers are even better.  At 20.19%, that is the largest improvement since the economic downturn of 2008. For Homeowners - the median home price has risen 7.59% year over year.  The average home price for August 2011 rose to $210,524.  That's a 2.81% month ...
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