Monday, July 29, 2013

First quarter home ptrices strong

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to buy a group vacation home


NORFOLK, VA, Jul 25, 2013—It sounds like a dream; splitting the cost of a lakefront home or woodland cabin with your close friends. However, purchasing a group home can end up being more complicated, and that's before you throw in any possible falling outs or conflicting schedules. Below, Louis Eisenberg, Associate Broker REALTOR ABR SFR of Prudential Towne Realty  takes us through a variety of things to consider before purchasing a home with others.

1. Discuss finances first

Can everyone afford to do this? “To minimize complication, it's best for everyone going in on the purchase to be able to put down equal funds,” suggests Eisenberg. In addition to discussing purchase costs, go over who will pay for furnishing the home, improvements, monthly bills, taxes, etc.

“It's important to really scrutinize the financial coverage, from little things like landscaping to emergencies like a flooded basement,” Eisenberg notes.

2. Write it down

After you have a clear plan that all parties agree to, get everything in writing. This will be helpful in the future should someone forget who agreed to pay for those new energy efficient windows. “It might be a good idea to bring in a lawyer to help come up with a contract everyone agrees to,” suggests Eisenberg. A lawyer will not only help document your decisions, but also map out any additional legal concerns – like what will happen to an individual's share of property should they pass away.

Although it may be uncomfortable, you should also talk about what will happen to a property share should someone want to sell or liquidate their assets.

3. Decide how the home will be used

After you've taken care of the legal and financial issues, it's time to talk about the fun stuff: how you will enjoy your home. Will you split up visiting dates throughout the year? Will you all visit at once, reunion style? “While it might seem silly to designate days up-front, it will ease any future tension should schedules clash,” says Eisenberg. Additionally, talk about what will happen to the property as your lives progress. A group of friends purchasing a home in their late twenties will surely use the property differently than a group of friends who are now in their forties.

“After you have your basics covered, celebrate with your friends and enjoy your new vacation home!” says Eisenberg.

For more information on buying a home, please contact Louis Eisenberg, Prudential Towne Realty, 109 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510,, (757) 572-7244, or

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five Common Credit Reporting Errors

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Home Buuying and Maintenance Advise

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tips to simplify your kitchen revamp

NORFOLK, VA, Jul 16, 2013—Whether you're looking to sell your home, are trying to fix up a newly purchased one, or are simply aiming for your dream cooking space, redoing your kitchen is a lot of work. The kitchen has more appliances and fixtures than any other room in the house, and it takes a considerable amount of time, work, money and planning to power though a successful kitchen revamp. Below, Louis Eisenberg, Associate Broker REALTOR ABR SFR of Prudential Towne Realty offers tips to simplify your kitchen remodel,

It is tempting to discard existing appliances when you build new cabinets around them. Rethink the idea. If the appliances are workable, keep them – and save yourself from $1,000 to $5,000, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

If possible, resist the urge to move your stove to the other side of the room, or swap the location of your sink. “Consider keeping the present location of major fixtures, appliances and utilities relative to the plumbing, gas and electrical outlets,” says Eisenberg. Rearranging plumbing, wiring and jacks can be very expensive.

Refacing existing cabinets can reduce the cost of your kitchen remodel considerably and eliminate the need for new flooring, countertops and appliances. If you must get new cabinets, options such as spice racks and slide out wire baskets can be added later. Also, install cabinets without soffits to decrease labor cost; and avoid trim moldings, or use a simple trim. If you must have a new wood trim to match the new cabinets, order pre-finished trim to decrease labor cost; avoid having the painting or staining done on-site.

Stay Neutral

“If you're revamping your home for a sale, you probably want to choose neutral colors for fixtures, appliances and laminates,” says Eisenberg.

Refinish the Floor
Depending on your home, Eisenberg notes that you may be able to avoid the need for a new floor by sanding and refinishing a hardwood floor that may be underneath the existing vinyl flooring.

For more information on remodeling your home, please contact Louis Eisenberg, Prudential Towne Realty, 109 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510,, (757) 572-7244, or

Monday, July 15, 2013

Newer homes can be cheaper


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Understanding the difference: Home equity line of credit vs, Second Mortgage

NORFOLK, VA, Jul 10, 2013—At some point in life—maybe your oldest is off for college or you're finally ready to put on that home addition—you may want to tap into the equity of your home. You have several options here, and two that are commonly confused are the home equity line of credit, and the second mortgage. Below, Louis Eisenberg, Associate Broker REALTOR ABR SFR of Prudential Towne Realty gives us a breakdown of the difference.

“A second mortgage is any loan that involves a second lien on the property,” says Eisenberg. “You receive a lump sum at the beginning of the loan, and every month you pay down the principal and the interest.” The second mortgage can be fixed or variable, and the available amount is often based on the difference between your home's current value and the outstanding principal balance on your first mortgage.

“As second mortgages are subordinate to first mortgages--meaning your first mortgage gets paid off first should the loan default—they are riskier for lenders and often come with higher interest rates,” says Eisenberg.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC), like a second mortgage, lets you tap up to about 80 percent of the appraised value of your home, minus your current mortgage balance. The way the money is distributed, however, is much different than a second mortgage.

“Similar to a credit card, you are given a limit and are able to borrow up to that limit for a certain period of time, which can be anywhere from 5 to 20 years,” says Eisenberg. However, because it is set up as a line of credit, you will not be charged interest until you actually make a withdrawal against the loan, although you will be responsible for paying closing costs.

Unlike a second mortgage which can be fixed or variable, a home equity line of credit is always adjustable.  “It's of the utmost importance that you understand the terms of the loan,” says Eisenberg. “If, for example, your loan requires that you pay interest only for the life of the loan, you will have to pay back the full amount borrowed at the end of the loan period or risk losing your home.”

So which option is better for you? A HELOC is best if your monetary needs will be spread out over a length of time, like if you're renovating your home or paying for a college tuition.  A second mortgage is probably best if you need all of the funds at once, as it's a fixed-rate.
For more information on taking out another loan, please contact Louis Eisenberg, Prudential Towne Realty,, (757) 572-7244, or 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to win your home bidding war

NORFOLK, VA, Jul 02, 2013—When entering a bidding war, you need to put your best foot forward. With multiple offers to consider, the seller needs to see that you're serious and ready to act fast. Below are a few tips to help you knock out the competition.

Be prepared. While it might seem smart to you to lay your offer on the table right away, don't do so unless you're fully prepared, pre-approved for a loan, and have all of your paperwork and finances in order. “Otherwise, the seller won't take you seriously and will pass your offer over for someone who has completed their homework,” says Louis Eisenberg, Associate Broker REALTOR ABR SFR of Prudential Towne Realty .

Be quick. “This may seem counterintuitive to being prepared, but it's important to act fast when you see a home you like, or it will go to another bidder,” says Eisenberg. This is why it's important to get your finances in order before you even begin searching. That way, you can put an offer in right away when you find a good fit.

Don't overbid. Offering more than the home is listed for may seem like a way to get a leg up on the competition, but overbidding and exceeding the home's appraised value can decrease your chaces of a loan--and the seller (or their agent) knows that. “If you overbid, be sure you can afford the excess cost flat out,” suggests Eisenberg.

Don't underbid. “In a bidding war, your offer needs to be just right,” says Eisenberg. Just like the seller won't take you seriously if you overbid too much, they surely won't consider your lowball offer if they have offers from many other buyers. To find your “Goldilocks” price point, figure out the maximum you can afford, and then offer that.

Get under their emotional skin. Last year, everyone was back to writing “love letters” to the sellers of a home they were crazy about. Talk about why you love this home, and why you can see yourself in it. “Does that third bedroom look perfect for your new baby? Is that basement office perfect for running your business? Talk about that,” Eisenberg notes.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Home Remodeling More Popular Than Ever as New Home Prices Rise

According to the Census Bureau, a 28.9 percent rise in new home sales since last year -- coupled with a lack of premium existing properties on the market -- is causing home renovation spending to hit a six-year high. Power Home Remodeling Group cautions homeowners to spend smartly on remodeling projects by investing in fundamental improvements such as roofing, siding and window replacement that will earn the biggest return on investment in this time of cautious optimism as the housing industry continues to slowly improve from the recession. According to Remodeling Magazine, homeowners who invest in an upgrade to vinyl siding will recoup around 72 percent of the renovation's costs in added value to the home.

"Homeowners are investing money in their homes again as the cost of renovations is less than the cost of buying a new property and selling their existing property. Though it may be tmpting for homeowners to make personalized improvements, it is important to spend money wisely when renovating and focus on upgrading basic home functionality to get the biggest bang for their home improvement buck," says Corey Schiller, Power's chief executive officer.

Power offers the following tips for exterior home improvements that update a home's style and curb appeal while also making it more valuable:

• Vinyl Siding – Updating the exterior of your home with vinyl siding will help increase your home's curb appeal while boosting its energy efficiency. Replacing the exterior of your home with vinyl siding will cut down on the maintenance of your home's facade and the project can recoup up to 72 percent in added home value.

• Energy Efficient Windows & Doors – New, energy efficient windows are ideal for insulating a home from extreme temperatures that change with the seasons. If a window overhaul is unrealistic, replacing windows in key rooms of the home where the sun rises and sets can make a huge impact. Old or improperly sealed doors can also significantly affect a home's energy efficiency by allowing air to easily escape. Installing a new door can provide more effective insulation than older ones. Window and door replacement can recoup up to 74 percent in added home value.

• Roofing – Though roofing typically lasts between 20 to 30 years before needing a full replacement, weather can loosen or damage shingles, putting a home at risk for water damage and air leaks. Fixing small issues before they turn into a huge headache can help save you time and money in the future. However, if your roofing needs to be replaced, the project can recoup up to 62 percent in added home value.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.
For more information on Home Remodeling, contact Louis Eisenberg, Prudential Towne Realty, 109 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510, (757) 572-7244