Obama for Housing

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having a great Friday! I won’t keep you long from enjoying the weekend, and for all you home buyers and sellers out there, I’ve got some good news to share! Guess my surprise when I saw this article in my inbox this morning!

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Obama Administration Extends Application Deadline for the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP & HARP)Extension through December 2015 Will Provide Struggling Homeowners Additional Time to Access Sustainable Mortgage Relief and Align End Dates for Key Assistance Programs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced an extension of the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program through December 31, 2015. The new deadline was determined in coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to align with extended deadlines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and the Streamlined Modification Initiative for homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“The Making Home Affordable Program has provided help and hope to America’s homeowners,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Families across the country have used its tools to reduce their principal, modify their mortgages, fight off foreclosure and stay in their homes – helping further stimulate our housing market recovery. And with this extension, we ensure that the program keeps supporting communities for years to come.”

Homeowners seeking assistance with their mortgage payments should remember that there is never a fee to apply to the Making Home Affordable Program. Homeowners can work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency free-of-charge to understand their options and apply for help. Homeowners should visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for more information about free resources for assistance or call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

Now you can all breathe a big sigh of relief! There’s no better news than having more freedom in your search for the perfect home! Good luck and have a great weekend!

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What to Plant in May

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! How did you spend Memorial Day? It’s always great to be able to spend time and relax with loved ones while appreciating the beautiful outdoors this spring.

Speaking of the season, May is one of the best months to grow flowers! If you’re not into gardening, why not take up this fun and productive pastime to add some curb appeal to your home? For all you beginners out there, here’s a list of flowers you can plant this month, especially if you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region like I am!

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Here are the Top Ten crops for Mid-Atlantic gardens, followed by other recommended crops, as rated in our National Survey of Most Productive Garden Crops. (The criteria for selection include ease of culture, efficient use of garden space and time, ease of storage and desirability at the table.) The recommended crops are sorted by plant family to help you plan rotations so that the same plant families are not grown consecutively in the same area, as much as possible.

Top 10 Crops: Mid-Atlantic Region

 1. Slicing tomato
2. Sweet pepper
3. Cherry tomato
4. Pole snap bean
5. Bush snap bean
6. Garlic
7. Potato
8. Snow/snap pea
9. Summer squash
10. Bulb onion

Other vegetables such as carrots, corn, cucumber, lettuce, pumpkin and radish can be planted during May as well. For herbs, cilantro, dill, fennel, and parsley can be planted this month.

Other Highly Recommended Crops:

Cabbage family:  Broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi
Cucumber family:  Cucumber, winter squash
Leafy greens: Arugula, chard, lettuce, mache, mustard (all types), bok choi, sorrel, spinach
Legumes:  Asparagus/yard-long bean, bush lima bean, dry soup bean, edamame, peas (all types
Root crops:  Parsnip, radish, rutabaga, shallot, sunchoke, turnip
Tomato family:  Eggplant, peppers (all types), tomato (all types)
Miscellaneous:  Asparagus, leek, okra, scallions, sweet corn

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For more details/information, feel free to check out the rest of the article here.

See you all in June, everyone!

How to Hold the Perfect Garage Sale

When you need to either store or get rid of a lot of “stuff” to make your house look its best while on the market, holding a garage sale may be the ideal solution. Not only will your current house stage easier, but you will lighten the load of what needs to be moved to the new home – and make money in the process.

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

Planning the Garage Sale

When you settle on a date for the sale, dig out the local TV listings to ensure that there isn’t a major sporting event that will be televised on that day. Also make sure there isn’t a local event, such as a popular festival or parade. Although there are a lot of die-hard garage sale fans, even they will skip a sale if there’s something else competing for their attention. If you have a major corporation in your area, find out when the employees get paid and hold your sale the weekend after payday.

  • Have everything ready the night before the sale so that you’re not running around in the morning.
  • Make a list of each item you’re selling and the price you’ll be asking. During the sale, cross out each item sold and make note of the price received.
  • Price items clearly.
  • Ensure that you’ll have sufficient help the day of the sale and that everyone is in agreement over pricing and bargaining policies.

The Day Before the Sale

Now that you’re prepared for the sale, it’s time to make sure folks know about it. There are several ways to get the word out about your garage or yard sale. One of the best is by placing an ad on Craigslist.

  • Make signs to be placed around the neighborhood and to direct customers from a main thoroughfare. They should be large enough to be seen from the road and directions should be clear. Arrow-shaped signs are ideal.
  • Go to the bank and get some cash, such as rolls of quarters, 20 to 30 $1 bills, and five to 10 $5 bills.

Sale Day

  • Move sale items out onto the driveway if that’s where you’ve decided to set up the sales floor. Remember to put the most desirable items out front to entice customers to stop their cars.
  • Set up the neighborhood and directional signs.
  • Ensure that all items are clearly marked with the price.

Considerations

Contact your homeowners association first to determine what rules they have about yard sales and if there are any restrictions. Check local regulations to make sure your street signs aren’t in violation of any city or municipal codes.

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

For more tips on how to hold the perfect garage sale, feel free to check out the rest of the article from my website here.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Cross Junction Market Insider

Hey everyone! It’s time for another edition of Market Insider! This week I’m featuring the lovely town of Cross Junction, VA. If you happen to be buying or selling a home here, you might want to take a quick read at this!

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The median list price in May for single family homes in Cross Junction is $248,000. The list prices increased by 13% from the previous month. The price per square foot for listings in this area is $157. The median sale price in January for single family homes is $179,700. The sale prices increased by 19.87% from the previous month. The price per square foot for sales in this area is $55.

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Median household income in Cross Junction is $64,148 with 70 households earning between $35,000 to $40,000 annually. Income levels are listed along the left side of the chart, and the number of households are displayed along the bottom.

chart (2) The Crime Risk Index compares the likelihood of different crimes happening within this community to the national average. The national average for each type of crime equals a score of 100. A score of 200 would represent twice the risk as the national average, and a score of 50 would represent half the risk.

39
Median Age
51%
Married
1,277
Number of Homes
432
Homes with Children

The above data was gathered from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

Homes for sale in Cross Junction

If you’d like to read more statistics on the current housing market in Cross Junction, visit my website here. You can find more information on it such as local schools, a list of establishments (categorized and searchable by map), and you can even compare areas/neighborhoods according to zip code. It can really provide you with a thorough insight so you have a better idea of the community you want to move into.

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

Designer of the Month: Jamie Herzlinger

Happy Friday, everyone! How’s your week been so far? I hope you’re all excited for the weekend as I am! Starting today I’ve decided to feature an interior designer every month to keep you all updated on the latest home decor trends. For this month of May we’re featuring American designer Jamie Herzlinger, who’s been featured in The New York Times and many other interior design magazines.

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Jamie has always had a flair for design. Her mother, Nan Herzlinger, was a notable sportswear designer back in the ’60s, so it was only expected that she would have a booming career as a New York based clothing designer.

“After taking over nearly all of the shop windows along 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in downtown Manhattan one season, I found myself wondering, ‘How do I top this? Where do I go from here?’ So I got in my car and decided to go west to Arizona and chase this new experience. I wound up at a luncheon, and a woman came up and asked me whose outfit I was in. Funnily enough, it was my own line and when she found out why I was in Arizona, she said, ‘Oh my gosh, I have all your clothes! Would you design my house?’ Bingo, that’s what I knew I was meant to do.

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Despite differing styles with numerous clients, Jamie still successfully incorporates her signature theme of classic sensuality to create the perfect balance. While urban minimalism has been growing popular in the interior design scene, she believes that a home should remain enveloped with substance and warmth. “It’s like sitting down to dinner and having no seasoning in your food. Who wants that?”, she says.

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Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

Naturally, Jamie’s designs are tailored more for women, incorporating sensuality and class in her rooms. Despite ever changing trends, she is one of many who believe that paint can determine everything in achieving a mood or style that everyone will love.

What do you think of Jamie’s designs? If you like her style, feel free to read more about her here.

Have a great weekend, everyone!