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: 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.


Buying your first home can be a daunting experience. We’ve put together some guidelines to help facilitate the process. By following these 4 simple “Rules”, you can reduce the stress that comes with buying a home and come out of it owning your own slice of America!

Meeting Realtor Contracts RulesTHE most important tip to buying your first home is to find an experienced Realtor and have an initial consultation. Your Realtor will lay out the entire buying process and give you an idea of what to expect, along with a timeline of the events leading up to you closing on your home. In today’s ever changing market place, being represented by a strong Realtor is paramount. New lending laws, called TRID, went into effect October 1, 2015 and now more than ever your Realtor and lender need to work closely together to make sure you are ready for your settlement date. Your Realtor can also guide you through the nuances of the local market and recommend advice on how to best negotiate through the current market. The initial consultation with your Realtor should also include these questions:

JS Realty Check List Blank Rules-What type of home are you looking for?
-What is important to you in a home?
-What are your preferred locations?
-How will your current living situation affect your purchase?
-Are you currently in a lease?
-When does that lease end? Can you go month to month once your lease ends?
-What are your long term goals?
-Do you foresee a job transfer in the future?
-Do you want to buy a home in move-in condition or are you willing to consider a home that needs work?
-If it needs work, how much? Simple & carpet or do you need to gut the whole house?

Other item to discuss with your Realtor are the costs associated with purchasing a home. Items like inspections and appraisals are paid for by the buyer outside the actual loan itself.

It is essential to get your pre-approval in place by a reputable Lender for many reasons. Mainly, you want to know how much you can comfortably afford. That amount is not always what the Lender says you qualify for. Being qualified for jsrealty4u js realty stamp rulesa certain amount and being comfortable with the payments at that amount can sometimes be different. Say you buy a house worth X amount of dollars, then the down payment and closing costs will be X, and the PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) plus HOA/Condo fees will be X. Once you are comfortable with those amounts, you will have less anxiety looking at homes in your price range. Another reason to get pre-approved is to find out what type of loan you will be using. The type of loan – whether it’s conventional, VA, FHA, or some other program, could make a difference in your home purchase. For example, some condos are not FHA certified, meaning they would not qualify for a FHA loan. This would be important to know before you got your heart set on a condo only to find out you cannot purchase it with your preferred loan program.

JS Realty New Home Rules BuyerSetting out to tour luxury homes can be a fun way to spend an afternoon, and a great way to get design ideas! But don’t set yourself up to be disappointed when you fall in love with a home who’s price is double (or more!) what you have been pre-qualified for. Know your price range, and stick to viewing homes within that budget. You can always incorporate some of those design elements you admire and give your new home that luxury feel.

JSRealty4U Rules InspectionPay close attention to your home inspector at the home inspection. Buyers can gleam a lot of useful information from this inspection. It’s not only to discover the good and bad points of a home, but it also serves as a valuable learning experience. Your home inspector will give you tips on maintaining and up keeping the different components of your home. The home inspector should also point out items that you will need to keep an eye on for future maintenance or replacement. Your home is usually your biggest asset so you want to have as much knowledge as possible about keeping your home in the best condition. A little preventative maintenance here and there can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

If you’re in the market for a home, contact the expert Realtors at the JS Realty Team @ Samson Properties for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation!