Retirement is an exciting time for most of us. And although conventional wisdom says it is also a time to downsize your space, the opposite may be what you need to enjoy your golden years. Here are a few things you can do if you plan to upsize your lifestyle during your retirement. Keep these ideas in mind as you browse through Peter’s listings.
Start your own business.
Owning a business is the American dream. It is, after all, your best bet when you want to take control of your finances. If you spent your entire working life in a nine-to-five, retirement is a great time to prioritize your passions as a business. Whether you want to be a freelance writer, woodworker, or software developer, now is the perfect time to launch a home-based business.
When you buy a larger home, you will have room to separate your personal from your professional endeavors. But something to consider here is that launching a business may put your new investment at risk. Look into your state’s rules on forming an LLC. There’s not a ton of paperwork involved, and you can use a formations service to establish your LLC before you buy your home.
In addition to a few nifty tax advantages, this type of business structure legally protects your personal assets from being targeted in business disputes or financial missteps. This makes it more compelling than, say, a sole proprietorship structure.
Establish a farm homestead.
Have you ever wanted to live self-sufficiently? A great many of us have had that dream. Buying a larger home — and a few acres to go with it — can help you do just that. Your farm can include everything from a barn to a large garden that you can use to grow your own food, build your own furniture, or anything else you need to be self-sufficient.
A farm/homestead also makes a great foundation for a home business. You can sell fresh produce, offer homemade jams and jellies, or open up a farm-to-table bed and breakfast. The possibilities are truly endless, and you will have the room to engage in more than one passion should you choose.
Entertain friends and family.
Finally, buying a larger home will give you the freedom to spend more time with your friends and family. If you’ve never quite had the space for grandkids, now you do. You can build them their own personal playground, give them their own bedroom, or designate an indoor area just for arts and crafts.
For the adults (and the kids) you’ll have room to spread out outdoors, and you can even build an outdoor kitchen, movie theater, and covered patio — each of which will allow for outdoor social distancing until the pandemic has subsided. A larger home also means you can host family gatherings, and your children and grandchildren won’t feel as though they are imposing on you should they wish to come over for a weekend visit.
There are so many possibilities to life once you retire. Don’t fall into the belief that you have to move to a small condo to enjoy your golden years. Sometimes, buying a bigger home makes the most sense. If it’s in your budget, you might just find that a large estate actually gives you a purpose and allows you to live out your best years in a home you love surrounded by people that love you.
Peter Leonard-Morgan’s expertise in real estate in Loudoun County is second to none, and his dedication to his clients is unrivaled. Contact Peter today to discuss your real estate needs. 443-254-5530
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live, and as a result, new trends are emerging around where, exactly, we want to call home.
United States Postal Service mail forwarding data from January through mid-September 2020 shows that many in the nation’s cities moved to suburbs, presumably in search of more space while so many of us are working from home. New York City saw the biggest population shifts of any city in the country, and Texas had the most movement as a state, driven by people leaving the downtown cores of Houston, Dallas and Austin, mostly for nearby suburbs.
If you are looking to move to the city, right now is a great time to buy in downtown city neighborhoods, because prices there are holding steady or even declining a little as competition for housing in suburbs heats up. Coupled with historically low mortgage rates, there are good deals to be found that could give you a great return on investment when cities reach their new post-pandemic equilibrium. Keep in mind that lots of cities have more public health restrictions in place than less-dense areas, so make sure you know the municipal rules before you plan to move.
If you are looking to move to the suburbs or away from a city center, be prepared for the aforementioned competition. You’ll want to do everything you can to make yourself an attractive buyer, so get preapproved for your mortgage and be ready to act fast when you find a house that’s the right fit.
Keep in mind that prices in the suburbs have been going up as demand has increased and supply has stagnated, so it may be harder to stick to your budget. You need to be prepared to walk away from a house you may love so you don’t wind up with a bigger mortgage than you can afford.
What is a 30-year fixed mortgage?
A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that doesn’t change over the full term of the loan, which, for a 30-year mortgage (as the name suggests) is 30 years. It’s a popular choice for many homebuyers because of its stable monthly principal and interest payments ideal for predictable monthly household budgets, at a more affordable cost than shorter-term loans.
Historical 30-year rates
According to Freddie Mac historical data, the 30-year fixed rate shot up to about 18 percent in September and October of 1981, which would give current homebuyers quite the sticker shock. The U.S. was in the midst of an economic recession back then, and the Federal Reserve hiked rates in an effort to curb inflation.
Today, mortgage rates are near historic lows, hovering around 3 percent. Knowing where rates have been — and what drives them — can help you put things into perspective as you evaluate loan offers.
When the housing crisis hit in 2008, the average annual 30-year fixed rate was 6.23 percent, according to historical Bankrate data. Since then, it has fallen considerably. When 30-year fixed mortgage rates decline, getting a mortgage is more affordable for homebuyers and those looking to refinance. However, home-prices, which have been rising for the last several years, can present a barrier for potential homeowners even when mortgage rates are low.
The benchmark 30-year fixed rate hit a record low of 3.03 percent during the week of Oct. 28, 2020, according to historical Bankrate data.
Bankrate average annual 30-year fixed mortgage rate, 2008-2018
When to consider a 30-year fixed mortgage
Choosing the right home loan is an important step in the homebuying process, and you have a lot of options. You need to take several factors into consideration, including your credit score, income, down payment amount, budget and financial goals. Here are the main benefits and drawbacks of a 30-year fixed mortgage.
Pros of a 30-year mortgage
Cons of a 30-year mortgage
Is a 30-year fixed mortgage right for you?
Choosing the right home loan is an important step in the homebuying process, and you have a lot of options. You need to take several factors into consideration, such as your credit score, income, down payment amount, budget and financial goals. Here’s how a 30-year fixed mortgage stacks up against other loan types.
Refinancing a 30-year mortgage
It’s generally a good idea to refinance your 30-year fixed mortgage into a new loan if you can get a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment, or improve your financial situation in another way. However, if you’re several years into repaying your loan and you refinance into a new 30-year mortgage, you’ll be paying more total interest in the long run by starting the repayment clock from scratch again.
You’ll also need to determine if the closing costs on your new loan outweigh the savings you’ll gain from lower monthly payments over time. When you refinance a 30-year mortgage, you’ll pay lender origination fees and third-party fees for an appraisal and other closing costs. Most lenders also require you to have at least 20 percent equity in your home to refinance, so make sure you qualify before planning a new budget for yourself.
Keep in mind that most mortgage refinances set to close on or after Dec. 1, 2020 will be assessed a 0.5 percent fee, which will make them slightly more expensive. Many lenders are already pricing the fee into their loan offers. The fee was announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency earlier this year, and applies to all FHFA-backed loans valued at $125,000 or more.
If you can, consider refinancing a 30-year mortgage into a shorter loan, which will avoid lengthening your repayment and save you on interest. Keep in mind, though, you might have a higher monthly payment depending where you are in the amortization schedule.
How do I view personalized 30-year mortgage rates?
Use the tool at the top of this page to see what kind of rates are available in your situation. You just need to give us a little information about your finances and where you live. With that data, Bankrate can show you real-time estimates of mortgages available to you from a number of providers.
Other mortgage tools:
20769 Blueridge Mountain Road, Paris, VA 20130
I am so pleased with this new listing, an exquisite home built in 2006 by Cumberland Custom Homes on 10.3 acres just west of the Town of Hillsboro, Virginia.
As you will see from the photos, this house is beautifully sited in the woods, just up a private gravel road, which serves six houses on 60 acres, and which is accessed by a community electric security gate.
A Generac backup generator has been installed so that, in the unusual event of a power outage, it will engage automatically to provide a significant amount of the power needed in the house.
Priced incredibly competitively at $695,000, this property may go before it even hits the market.
Check out the full details HERE.
Traditionally, we Realtors host face to face broker and public open houses, which enable us to promote our listings, and get the word out about a specific property. That all changed with the onset of this pandemic. Now, thanks to video, and live electronic meeting programs, we have the opportunity to host virtual open houses, where the listing agent schedules an open house as normal, bute adopts a platform such as Facebook Live, Zoom, Facetime or other similar live two-way video feed to 'virtually' show the property.
I'll be hosting my first virtual open house this Sunday April 19th, 2020 between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., at 3 Chinn Lane, Middleburg, VA 20117 , and I am pretty psyched about it! And mildly apprehensive too...as happens with something new.
Further, for this first virtual open house, I will be interviewing my client, the seller, while we both adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. Prospective buyers and their representatives will have the opportunity to ask her about her house, why she purchased it in the first place and what she loves about it. And what she will miss.
Stay safe, look out for one another - we are in it together.
868 Estate Vineyards, located just west of the Town of Hillsboro in Loudoun County, Virginia accomplished this impressive feat in February 2020 when it triumphed over 105 competitor vineyards, which entered no fewer than 530 wines, to become the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Cup outright winner.
868’s winning wine was its 2017 Vidal Blanc Passito, made from the American hybrid grape, Vidal Blanc, and made using the Italian appassimento method. This technique is one where the grapes are partially dried for a month in shallow baskets in order to produce a highly concentrated sugar content. The result is a rich, sweet and intense honey, pineapple and tropical fruit flavor, best served cold.
The idea behind this particular varietal was the brainchild of winemaker, co-owner and company president, Carl Di Manno who, together with fellow owners Peter Deliso and Wendy Charron, purchased the 120-acre property, which included renowned farm to fork restaurant, Grandale Farm restaurant, in 2011. Saving it from becoming what was destined to be just another housing subdivision, 868 Estate Vineyards was founded. Now, less than a decade later, the Governor’s Cup resides proudly in the 868 Estate Vineyards tasting room, where it will remain until next year’s winner is announced.
Grandale Farm’s executive chef and co-founder, Author Clark, had been creating exquisite dishes for its discerning clientele since the restaurant opened in 2005 until late 2019, when Chef Clark passed the baton to Chef Thomas Kozak. Today, Grandale offers all of 868’s wines to its diners which include its Chardonel, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Canvas White, a blend of Chardonel and Vidal Blanc.
Initial grapevine planting took place in 2012, and resulted in 10 acres of vines which has expanded to 22 acres during the intervening eight years. Visitors enjoy their favorite wines either in the tasting room, conveniently located opposite the restaurant, or outside under or by the pavilion. Notably, all of the grapes which went into the winning wine came from the estate’s one third acre, dedicated Vidal Blanc vineyard block!
In addition to the tasting room and restaurant, 868 takes art seriously, with local artists from Loudoun and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, Montgomery County in Maryland and Jefferson County in West Virginia exhibiting and offering their works for sale for three months at a time.
Events at 868 include several weddings and corporate gatherings annually plus festivities tailored specifically for ‘Elevation Club’ members, patrons who have committed to buying one case per year, picked up four times annually.
In the words of Peter Deliso’s wife, Nancy, 868’s Marketing Director, “868 Estate Vineyards is an avid proponent of a culture of wine, food, art and nature, all of which flourish at the property”. These four values appear to resonate with a lot of folks judging by the number of people coming and going during my visit.
868 Estate Vineyards and Grandale Farm Restaurant are located at 14001 Harpers Ferry Road, Hillsboro, VA 20132. (540) 668-7008
Originally published in the spring 2020 edition of Country Zest & Style magazine - words and photos by Peter Leonard-Morgan
What Makes for a Promising Property?
There are many things that contribute to how profitable an investment property is. Topping the list is location. For example, when you look at the available data, Virginia offers a profitable rental market, both for short- and long-term rental properties. The vacation rental market and the residential market both reflect a strong history, with the price-to-rent ratio teetering on the top edge favorability for renters. That means residential renters will find it more desirable to rent than buy when they examine their finances.
Beyond the numbers, the property itself should offer desirability to renters. Residential renters will look carefully at things like the suburb, available storage, and neutral decor. Evolve notes vacationers, on the other hand, search for things like a useful kitchen, wifi availability, parking, and pet-friendliness. In both cases, eye appeal will always be important, and better renters will be willing to pay more for an aesthetically pleasing environment.
How Do You Attract Renters?
Once you settle on a property, you’ll want to ensure it both attracts quality renters and is reasonably easy to maintain. For a vacation rental, this might mean including classic and well-made furniture, ample lighting, and a touch of luxury. For both vacation and residential properties, it should include upgrades like refreshed cabinetry, newly painted walls, low-maintenance (but well-maintained) landscaping, and hardwood floors.
Selections like these will spark interest from renters while ensuring your upkeep is minimal. For example, hardwood floors will stand up far better to renter wear and tear than carpet, and they are in high demand these days. Even if renters ding it up, the average cost to refinish hardwood comes in at $3 to $8 per square foot, which is unlikely to be needed very often. On the other hand, carpet would most likely require replacement more frequently, and would look worn as soon as the first grape juice gets spilled. Per Carpet Captain, you can expect the lowest end carpet to run $1 per square foot.
Of course, once your property is all prettied up, you need to get the word out about what a great location it’s in, and how beautiful and comfortable it is. BiggerPockets points out that since everyone is shopping online these days, professional photos are a must for effective property marketing.
What Are Your Responsibilities?
As a property owner, your responsibilities center around providing a functional and safe living space. That means when things break, it falls to you to ensure they get repaired in a timely manner. The more responsive you are to requests, the better chance you have of getting and keeping quality renters, too. This means late-night calls, bills from repairmen, and so forth.
Some property owners elect to pass the daily grind to a property management company. These professional services can tackle everything from properly screening tenants to hiring maintenance work while you enjoy passive income. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a property management agency between 8 and 12 percent of the monthly rent.
It’s normal to have a lot of questions buzzing through your mind when you are investing a large sum of money. Take things slowly and do it the right way. That’s the primary secret in ensuring a favorable outcome with your first investment property.
Peter writes for his local magazine, Country Zest & Style, as its Wine Editor. He also enjoys writing blogs on interesting and pertinent real estate matters, so please follow!
COVID 19 Coronavirus
Historical Mortgage Rates
Luxury Real Estate
National Register Of Historic Places
Real Estate Investment
Sell Your Home
Starting Your Own Business
Virtual Open House
Working From Home