Word of the Week: Blanket Mortgage

What is a Blanket Mortgage?

A Blanket Mortgage is a loan where the borrower offers up more than one parcel of real estate as security (collateral) for the debt.jsrealty4u blanket mortgage

This is a popular option for Builders and Developers who commonly buy large amounts of land. They will often divide the land up into multiple, individual lots and sell the lots off one by one. Instead of getting a new loan each time one of the lots is sold, the borrower will use the Blanket Mortgage loan to buy them all at once. A Blanket Mortgage will usually contain a “release clause” as well. This means when an individual lot is sold, that portion of the mortgage is released (paid back to the lender). The loan is then adjusted and continues on in this manner until all of the lots are sold and the entire mortgage has been repaid.

With access to multiple lenders and extensive experience in Residential and Commercial Real Estate, our Team of Real Estate Professionals is available to lead you to great Real Estate solutions! Contact us today so we can help you realize your Real Estate goals.

Word of the Week: Bilateral Contract

What is a Bilateral Contract in Real Estate?

There are a number of reasons why you should hire a Real Estate Agent to represent you. The paperwork alone is enough to make you dizzy. One piece of paperwork is key to the whole process – the contract. Typically, Real Estate sales contracts are “bilateral”, meaning it’s a two-way agreement. To put it simply, the Seller agrees to sell their home, and the Buyer agrees to purchase it.jsrealty4u Real Estate concepts home bilateral

Navigating through the sea of documents, addendums, and contracts is not an easy task. The Expert Realtors at the JS Realty Team take pride in providing you with a positive and rewarding Real Estate experience. Our Team has negotiated over $500 million in Real Estate transactions. We can lead you to the best Real Estate solutions for you and  your family. If you’re thinking about buying, selling, or investing in a property, contact us today. We offer a FREE, no obligation consultation and Home Analysis and we’d love to speak to you.

Loudoun Brambleton JSRealty4U Appreciation
The JS Realty Team @ Samson Properties

Word of the Week: Earnest Money Deposit

What is an Earnest Money Deposit and why is it important?

deposit jsrealty4uAn Earnest Money Deposit (or “EMD”) is an important part of the home buying process. It is an amount of money that you will deposit (in escrow) that tells the Seller you are committed to the purchase of the home. It’s important to know that this earnest money deposit is not an extra cost of buying a home. It will be credited towards the down payment at closing. In the event that it exceeds your mortgage down payment and settlement costs, you will receive the balance at closing.

How much should I offer?

JSRealty4U Money Payment Deposit

This can differ depending on the real estate markets and can also depend on whether or not there are multiple offers on the property. If you feel that you are not in competition, you can expect to pay around 1-2% of the sales price in most markets. For example: a $300,000.00 sales price x 1% = $3,000.00 EMD. If you are in competition with other offers, you may want to offer more. This will tell the Seller you are more serious about their home and could help you win the offer. A good Realtor can really help you structure the correct offer with the right amount of EMD.

Is my money safe?

jsrealty4u loan deposit amortizationIn most cases you will write the check to your Realtors, Real Estate Brokerage Company or the company that will be assisting you in the settlement (Title Company). Never write the check to the Seller or their Realtor directly. The money is usually due very shortly after the contract is fully accepted by all parties (ratified) and will be placed in an escrow account. Shortly before you go to settlement, it will be released so it can be applied towards your settlement cost and down payment on the day you purchase the home. In the event the amount you put down exceeds the amount needed for these cost, you will get a refund of the difference. This is your money, and it is treated as such. It is only applied to your costs.

if I do not buy the house, how do I get my money back?

JS Realty Contract Paper depositEvery market can be different when it comes to answering this question. Make sure you read and understand the contract. It should state what happens to the EMD if you no longer qualify (or decide you do not want to buy) the home. If you are within your rights to cancel the contract, the Seller will agree to release the funds back to you in full. However, there are many different ways this can be handled. Not all are not favorable, so understand the contract you are signing and discuss any concerns you may have with your Realtor. If you are not comfortable with the language that is written in the contract be sure to consult an attorney before signing to ensure your rights are protected too.


JS Realty loudoun depositAn Earnest Money Deposit is your way of telling the Seller “I love your home and really want to buy it.” In most cases the money remains yours and is applied to your costs in regards to the purchase. It can also be a great way to leverage your offer in the event you find yourself in competition with another Buyer. A great Realtor can guide you through the offer process and help you structure a deal that is more than just about a sales price.

The JS Realty Team is here to help! Contact us at any time, we are more than happy to lead you to great Real Estate solutions.

Word of the Week: Appreciation

Understanding What “Appreciation” Means in the Real Estate Industry

Appreciation is the increase in the worth or value of property. Investors generally buy property for two reasons – income production and appreciation potential.

jsrealty4u appreciationThe purchase of a home usually is the single greatest investment most people make in their lives. It’s important to look at one’s home as an investment, and understand what drives the value of the property in order to find opportunities that maximize wealth. Given the unpredictable nature of the real estate market, what should you know about home appreciation before you buy?

Location, Location, Location

jsrealty4u appreciation mark twain real estate land

As the population steadily increases, the demand for land grows as well. The supply of land on this planet is limited, and its price increases as the population does. Home buyers should focus more on how purchasing a property in a specific location will appreciate over time, versus the physical attributes of the home itself. This is a difficult task for buyers who are expecting to spend a significant amount of time in the home. However, almost all homes can be improved as time goes by and can provide a significant return on the investment – if they’re located in an area of high demand.

Current & Future Amenities

Local amenities are great, and definitely a key factor when choosing a property to purchase. But what about the future prospects for commercial and/or governmental development in the area? Future schools, hospitals, traffic patterns and other public infrastructure will have a big influence on land values, as well as current and future development of commercial amenities in a particular location.

jsrealty4u real estate construction appreciation

Unfortunately, whether your home will appreciate over time is mostly out of your control. The residential real estate market has a natural ebb and flow between being a buyers’ markets and a sellers’ markets.

With so much information and advice out there, it’s hard to know for sure where your property fits into the mix. The JS Realty Team is a great resource when it comes to buying and selling residential real estate. If you’re curious about the appreciation of your current home, contact our Expert Realtors today! They proudly offer FREE Home Analysis and Consultations for Buyers, Sellers, and Investors.

Loudoun Brambleton JSRealty4U Appreciation
The JS Realty Team @ Samson Properties

Word of the Week: Assumption

This Week We Define Assumption and How it Works

So what exactly is Assumption? It’s the act of transferring a loan from one borrower to another. So assuming a loan means taking over the seller’s mortgage and continuing to make the payments on it. An assumption generally requires the lender’s approval consistent with the agreement (assumption clause). JS Realty lender man mortgage assumption

For example, some lenders may agree to transfer the seller’s old loan to the buyer, which could benefit the buyer where the existing mortgage has an interest rate below current interest rates. When a buyer assumes a mortgage, they assume personal liability for full payment of the debt. And if the loan is not paid and a foreclosure sale does not satisfy the debt, the new buyer who assumed the loan could be personally liable to pay the outstanding balance. Such payments are court-ordered through a deficiency judgment. In most cases, however, the lender will hold the seller and the buyer jointly and severally liable. That means that the lender may pursue either or both parties to repay the debt. In effect, the buyer becomes a co-guarantor with the original note maker.jsrealty4u assumption handshake

In today’s market we don’t see a lot of loans assumed because rates are at historic lows. Loans tend to be assumed when rates rise dramatically and the current owners rates are more attractive than what is being currently offered. Another key point is that most loans can’t be assumed. Typically they are only available as an option on FHA and VA loans.

If you have additional questions on assumption, different types of loans, or Real Estate questions in general, feel free to contact us!

Word of the Week: Amoritzation

Defining Mortgage Amortization and Options

Simply put, amortization is a loan that is paid off with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over a period of time. Payments may be Fully or Partially Amortized.jsrealty4u amortization

Full Amortization

Full amortization is an organized method of repaying a loan by making regular, equal payments. With this method, the loan – or principal – and all of the interest on the loan, is reduced to zero by the loan’s maturity. Traditionally, the payments are made on a monthly basis. And while each payment remains the same, the amount of interest and principal paid each month fluctuates.jsrealty4u loan mortgage amortization

Partial Amortization

jsrealty4u mortgage loans amortization balloonPartially amortized loans are a series of amortized payments followed by a “balloon payment” (or lump sum) at the loan’s maturity. The balloon payment is the entire remaining balance. A partially amortized mortgage provides much lower monthly repayments, however a massive final payment is due at the end of the contract. Under a partially amortized mortgage, the final payment is larger than any previous payment as it “balloons” on the last installment. This type of payment is often found in commercial lending arrangements. The lower monthly payments can be helpful while the commercial project grows and, the developer hopes, appreciates.

Full or Partial – Which is best for You?

JS Realty jsrealty4u loans amortizationNot sure which type of amortization is right for you? Contact our good friend and Lender, Keith Harris (NMLS ID #: 838973). Keith is committed to spending the necessary time to understanding his clients needs and will tailor a loan best suited for YOU. From mortgage rates to refinancing, Keith and his team at Intercoastal Mortgage can find the best solution for you and your family.

Word of the Week: Ad Valorem Process

The Ad Valorem Process and How Virginia Property Taxes are Assessed

We’re back with our Real Estate “Word of the Week“! This week we are going to explain what the Ad Valorem Process is.

Ad Valorem Process: The process by which many state and local governments assess real estate taxes for operating revenue. The term “Ad valorem” is Latin for “according to value.” Ad valorem taxes are based on the unique assessed value of the subject property.JS Realty House Tax ad valorem

There are three types of property: Land, Improvements to Land (immovable man made things), and Personal (movable man made things). Real estate, real property or realty are all terms for the combination of land and improvements. The taxing authority requires and/or performs an appraisal of the monetary value of the property, and tax is assessed in proportion to that value. Forms of property tax used vary between countries and jurisdictions.Prop Tax Note JS Realty ad valorem

Property Tax Assessment in Virginia

In Virginia, property taxes are calculated by multiplying a home’s assessed value by its total property tax rate. State law requires cities to reassess every two years and counties every four years. Since properties aren’t reassessed yearly, the assessed values typically diverge from market values over time. The state of Virginia conducts an annual sales ratio study to determine the ratio of assessed values to market values. While ratios are generally close to 100%, in some cases they are not.Tax Rate Calc JS Realty ad valorem

This means that it is entirely possible to notice significant changes to assessed values. According to Virginia state law, total taxes across a tax district cannot increase by more than 1% because of a reassessment. However, taxes on an individual property can increase by any amount. Keep that in mind as reassessment approaches!

The Real Value of Your Home

So, what is my home really worth? The purpose of reassessment is to determine the fair market value of a property. This is the price the property would sell for on the open market. However, as we mentioned above, the assessed price can often diverge slightly. Couple that with the often misleading estimates on popular Real Estate websites, and it can make for a very confusing conversation if you’re looking to sell your home. JS Realty Mortgage Tax Advantages ad valorem

Our Real Estate Team does extensive research before presenting a pricing strategy to a client. Homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood and surrounding areas (referred to as “comps” or “comparables”), the tax assessment, as well as current market trends all factor into our price conculsion.

JS Realty Free Analysis Contact ad valoremOur Expert Realtors offer a FREE, no obligation consultation and Home Analysis. If you’re thinking of placing your home for sale, we would love help you reach your Real Estate goals. Simply contact us below and one of our Agents will be in touch.

Word of the Week: Commission

Breaking down Real Estate commission, and how the JS Realty Team differs

Commission is the method of compensation for agency services, which is generally determined by an agreed upon percentage of the selling price.commission

Did you know? Fees for services are set by the individual brokers and firms. It would actually be a violation of antitrust laws for multiple firms to agree upon or fix a commission rate.

In traditional home sales, the sellers typically pay the agent’s commission—but there are exceptions. Auctions, for instance, usually charge buyers an additional “premium”.

The listing agreement is a contract between the seller and the agent, and it clearly specifies the commission rate. It details the terms under which a the rate is paid and the total commission to be paid. Therefore, buyers cannot negotiate the commission on the sale of a home. A buyer can only negotiate the purchase price and terms of the sale. The buyer’s agent is typically paid by the seller, because the listing agent is sharing a percentage of the commission. Sharing this is called cooperating, or a co-op commission.

And don’t forget, real estate commission—along with most costs associated with buying and/or selling a home—can be tax deductible!

How the JS Realty Team @ Samson Properties is different

commissionThe JS Realty Team proudly offers Full Service Listings for 4.5% (total Real Estate commission)! Other local agents charge 5, 6, even 7% of the purchase price, which means the JS Realty Team could save you thousands of dollars. In addition to a 4.5% rate, you also receive our Full Service listing package at no extra cost!

Our Full Service listing package includes, but is not limited to:
-MLS Service
-Just Listed Postcard, Full Color Brochures
FREE Home Market Analysis
-Enhanced listings on Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com & others
-Professional Photography
-Featured on JSRealty4U.com and Samson Properties Website
YouTube video & Social Media Posts—Facebook, Instagram, etc.
-Seasoned negotiators

We’re here for you! If you’d like to learn more about us or have any questions about the services we offer, please visit our website. You can also contact us at any time for additional information.

Word of the Week: Assessment

What is an assessment and how does it differ from an appraisal

Each week we try to help you to understand some of the expansive, and often confusing Real Estate jargon. Last week we talked about appraisals, and how they can often be confused with the Home Inspection. We also receive many questions from our clients about the difference between an appraisal and an Assessment. These terms are very similar, yet quite different.

An appraisal, we learned, is a detailed single property valuation performed by a licensed appraiser. Appraisals can be used for obtaining a mortgage loan, home equity loan, home sale or estate valuation.jsrealty4u property value assessmentAn Assessment, however, is a mass appraisal of property, that is usually conducted at the beginning of the year by local counties. They are based on the areas sales, which helps to determine the value for a large group of similar properties (like a neighborhood, for instance). This information is generally used to determine property tax amounts.Tax Rate Calc JS Realty assessment

As you can see, appraisals are more exact, since they tend to be performed to determine the market value of a specific property. Whereas the purpose of an assessment is to determine the value for a large number of similar properties.

Questions about the value of your home or the local real estate market in general? Drop us a line!

Word of the Week: Appraisal

Why having an appraisal done on a home is a valuable tool

JSRealty4U Phone AppraisalBuying a home is a busy, often confusing time. Especially when the Realtors and Lenders start throwing terms around. And while some of the words sound like fancy names for the same thing, that’s not always true. Often, the Home Inspection can get confused with an Appraisal. Yes, someone is coming to your home to look, poke around, and take notes about the what they find. But the Inspector and the Appraiser are two very different individuals, performing two very different tasks.


A formalized procedure that involves collecting and analyzing facts necessary to estimate the value of real property.

Property Value Tablet JS RealtyProperty value is based on a number of factors, such as location, amenities, structural condition, and recent sales of similar local properties. The appraisal process is done by an Appraiser. They will perform a walk-through of the property, and note anything that can potentially alter the home’s value. For example, if the home has a swimming pool in the backyard, but swimming pools aren’t popular in the area, it might not add much value to the property. In some cases, it may even detract from it.

The appraiser’s report will contains the appraiser’s opinion of value and the factual basis for that opinion. Appraisal reports range from fairly simple boilerplate reports to lengthy complicated narratives, depending on the type of property being appraised and the client’s needs. The appraiser will give final report to the lender, who is required to show it to the buyer. Make sure to obtain a copy for your own records.appraisal jsrealty4u real estate

The JS Realty Team @ Samson Properties is well versed in all facets of the buying and selling process. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, please contact us today! We proudly offer a no obligation, free home analysis and consultation.