West Virginia Real Estate Forget Old Notions A New Resident S Guide To Living In Florida Final Walk Through The Value Of Your Contract Bicycle Realtors The Next Generation In Real Estate Marketing Canadian Realty Holding Its Own

West Virginia is nicknamed the “mountain state” for good reason. Situated in the Appalachians, the West Virginia real estate market has peeks and valleys as well.

West Virginia

West Virginia is somewhat of a misunderstood state when it comes to national recognition.

Occasionally shown in a negative light, the state is actually a tremendous location for outdoor enthusiasts. Rock climbing, hiking, fishing, camping and rafting are available in practically every part of the state. Throw in numerous historical sites from the Civil War and West Virginia just might be considered a hidden gem.


Morgantown is the “college town” of West Virginia. Home to the West Virginia University, the town is invigorated by the student population of roughly 20,000. With a vibrant art and cultural characteristic, you might be surprised to learn Morgantown has been rated as high as the 3rd best small city in which to live in the United States.


Charleston is the biggest city and capital of West Virginia. Charleston is no great shakes, but it is centrally located in the state, which makes the great outdoors readily available in practically every direction.

West Virginia Real Estate

West Virginia real estate prices are extremely reasonable throughout the state. The average price of a single family home in Charleston, for instance, is approximately $180,000. The average home price drops to $140,000 for single family homes in Morgantown. It’s pretty hard to find prices this low in the rest of the country, particularly for a town rated the 3rd best in the United States. For the last 12 months, West Virginia real estate has appreciated at a rate of a little over 9 percent.

Overall, West Virginia is jumping back onto the national scene because of low real estate prices. Real estate in Morgantown, in particular, may be a very good investment.

If you’re new to Florida, then you’ve probably already realized how diverse culture is in the Sunshine State. The cost of living, schools, and people will vary from the Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama connections of life in the Panhandle, to Latino influences in the most southern tip. The good news about getting adjusted to life in Florida is that you’re not alone. Most of the people who live there have relocated from another state; therefore, you are surrounded by millions who know exactly what it feels like to be a newbie. Besides contacting the Chamber of Commerce in whichever community you end up in to get all of their new resident information, you can count on the following to be consistent throughout most parts of Florida.

Big tax breaks on property and personal income tax are some of the big bonuses to living in Florida. Be sure to file for the Homestead Exception to see if you qualify for further cuts. Unlike getting a driver’s license, filing for the Homestead Exception, registering to vote, or filling out a declaration of domicile, will establish your residency in Florida. A driver’s license will only establish your intent to reside in Florida.

Various permits, forms, and licenses are also necessary for boats, the use of beaches and coastal areas, docks, burning, vehicles and fishing. These will often vary according to county. StateofFlorida.com offers information specific to each of these needs and breaks them down into categories. It also has links to Florida State agencies to help relocating individuals or businesses.

Getting the right insurance for your Tampa Bay Florida real estate property and belongings while you live in Florida is a necessity. The recent rash of hurricanes has inspired the Office of Insurance Regulation to reorganize themselves to serve this important aspect of Florida living. Crosscheck some of their links to make sure that your insurance covers all of the possibilities.

Be sure to call or visit the website for the Florida Department of Education to find out how local schools rate in your area. In fact, selecting your property according to school districts may be a good idea if you have, or expect to start, a family in Florida. Each school also has a report on it done by the School Advisory Council Report which rates schools on performance, attendance and various features.

Afternoon thunderstorms are a part of life almost everyday for Floridians during the summertime. This is just one of the features of Florida’s weather that relocators should know about. Being prepared for Florida’s weather will make the transition of relocating much easier. Be sure to ask your neighbors how they prepare for hurricanes and heavy rain. Make sure that you have supplies on hand throughout the year. Also, ask your local authorities about what you should have on hand, what to expect, and who to contact for help.

Expect to see a lot more of your friends and families now that you live in Florida. Visiting you will become a vacation for many of them. It may save you money in the long run to buy year passes to some of the attractions in or around your town or city. It also wouldn’t hurt to collect some brochures from the local Chamber of Commerce, so you have a mini-library of resources at your fingertips for day trips and exciting attractions. Remember that Florida relies on tourism for one of its biggest economies. Your loved ones will still consider Florida one of the top vacation spots long after you have become accustomed to living in the Sunshine State. Be sure to keep any welcome packages you receive from your real estate agent or home owner’s association at finger’s reach for yourself, and for visitors.

A walk-through is an important step in a real estate transaction. To get the most out of it, make sure you understand the terms of the purchase contract.

Check Things the Contract Specifies

When you signed the contact to purchase your new home, certain elements and characteristics were specified. If the home does not match those elements on the walk-through, the contract will give you leveraging position. Consider the following:

If there’s a hole in the wallboard caused by the leg of a table going through it when the seller was moving out, the house is not in substantially the same condition as when you wrote the contract and the wallboard was intact.

If you fill up that lovely, large Jacuzzi tub and the jets won’t work, there is a problem with the working systems of the home. If you start the dishwasher, and it leaks before the cycle is finished, that appliance is not in normal working order. If all the surface burners on the stove won’t light (if gas) or heat to red hot (if electric), ditto. If the heat or air conditioning won’t come on, we have another problem with the working systems.

Allow yourself enough time to really pay attention and check on things. Usually an hour to an hour and a half is enough. Don’t have a chip on your shoulder. Do be a good business person and systematically check.

If your contract calls for something you can’t easily judge and it requires a third party to do it (such as the HVAC service mentioned above), you can request a copy of a paid bill at settlement. This is usually sufficient indication that the work has been done, and you know whom to call if there is a problem.

What If You Find a Problem?

Settlement may, or may not, be delayed if a problem is discovered. If it’s small and something you can easily fix, you may just want to ignore it. If it is something expensive and extensive, you probably don’t want to ignore it. Many approaches are possible, but my inclination would be to go to the settlement table anyway and request that enough money be set aside in an escrow account held by a third party (not the buyer or the seller) to fix the problem. I’d pad the amount a little to be sure there’s enough. Those funds could then be used to complete the needed work and then the balance released to the seller.

If the seller is not willing to accept the idea of funds in escrow, I’d request a delay of settlement until the work has been completed. The terms of such a delay need to be spelled out in an addendum to your contract.

Setting out to use walk-through to change the terms of a contract is not fair. However, if a walk-through shows that the terms of your contract have not been met, you need to figure out how to get things back on track and are behaving appropriately when you do so.

Most walk-throughs go smoothly. Let’s hope yours is one of the smooth ones.

They’re mean. They’re green. And they’re going to help you buy your next house. There are a growing number of realtors who are taking green home buying to the next step and using bicycles to show their clients potential places to hang their helmets.

If you’re looking for environmentally friendly home resources, a cycling enthusiast or even just someone who is dreading a day in a hot car, driving from house to house, a cycling realtor may be right for you. This group of realtors are not only using an eco-friendly way of connecting you to the right house, they are also aware of the issues facing the environmentally sensitive home buyer. Casually cycling from home to home can be a lot more relaxing than a tense time in the car, and it’s healthier for you, too.

In a search for bicycle realtors, you find that most of them aren’t just into cycling for the health benefits; they are concerned about their community’s environment. They may use a car in bad weather, but they believe that using a bicycle when at all practicable is the ethical choice for today’s realtors. Along the way, you’ll find that a realtor who bicycles as part of his job is also cognizant of the environmental impact of real estate on the earth. For the person looking to buy a house that is energy-efficient and is less of a burden for the earth to carry, a realtor who believes in bicycles is a good one to consider.

For cycling enthusiasts who have to find a home, the bicycling realtor would be the obvious choice – after all, this person will know what to look for when you say you want safe storage for your $3000 touring bike or even a decent area for your $50 commuter bike. They’ll understand when you say that you need a decent workshop with easy-in, easy-out access. And, of course, they’ll make sure that you are alerted to available houses situated near cycling trails and designated bicycle routes in the city.

For those who are not die-hard cyclists, the bicycle realtor may still be a good choice. You would be surprised at how much less stressful a house-hunt is if you spend a good part of the day leisurely cycling from one house to the next. Even if you’re determined to use the car to get around, that’s okay. Just don’t be too surprised if your realtor gets there before you on two wheels!

Finding out more: Chris Chopik, the pedaling force behind BicycleRealtor.com is one force behind this campaign, being a both car-free realtor and an environmental activist. The website BicycleRealtor.com is currently taking registrations from realtors who want to market themselves as BicycleRealtors. It is the goal of the website to become a resource for those who are interested in this new breed of real estate agent.

The annual winter lull in the real estate market means that the time is good for prospective buyers who like to take their time. With Canadian unemployment at a 33 year low, the realty market looks like holding strong.

It is difficult for many of us Canadians to accept that while the US realty market may be floundering, the Canadian market is steady. In fact, due to the strength of our dollar and the weakness of the US dollar against International currencies, many Americans are actually buying into Canada to preserve their funds.

While coastal and lake areas would seem an obvious choice for American speculation, many are buying properties simply as an investment project. Renting a condo is one of the easiest way to make money and have the property ‘buy itself’, and condo sales everywhere have jumped as people are realizing the enjoyment of life without maintenance!

Condominium prices in Ottawa have been climbing upwards all year, with an increase of 7% over this time last year. The strong job market was partly the cause of this. The increase in national employment has marked the 15th. straight year of national employment growth.

In Calgary, condos are also a good investment and offer a reasonable price range if you are trying to get started on the property ladder. The increased inventory of all properties has slowed the market at the moment, so now is a good time to look for a condo. Some builders have even dropped their prices, so brand new ones can be snapped up by the shrewd buyer.

Despite the changes emanating from the famous revisions to the oil royalty revenue, Calgary has a strong economy and has seen a large population increase. According to one national forecast, it is poised to experience moderate growth and a sustainable real estate market though 2008.

Average house prices in Calgary are set to increase by 4% and in a slower moving market, first time buyers may be encouraged to put their toe in the water.

One of the mandatory requirements for a mortgage for first time (or any other) buyers is a good credit rating. If there is no credit rating recorded against you then apply to a bank for a credit card. They may require you to deposit $500.00 or $300.00 and then you will be required to leave that untouched in the bank as security.

By using your card every month, and paying it every month – on time, you will begin to build up a good credit history. Of course, other data is required by a lender. You will need tax forms showing your income and a letter on headed notepaper from your company stating your earnings.

It is always advisable to get “pre-approved” before looking for a house. This means you sort out the finance before checking out the realty. If you proceed in this order, you will know if you have to save more money for the down-payment, or which price range you can look in when choosing.

Things often ‘heat up’ in the housing market in the spring, so now may be a good time to invest in some Canadian realty.

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