Jennifer Lee Mazeika

GRI, ABR

“Home is where your story begins, I’ll help you get there.”

Turn ‘Playing at Smith Mountain Lake’ Into ‘Living at the Lake’

Great marketing by our local chamber of commerce and others have helped people discover that Smith Mountain Lake of southwest Virginia, also known as the “jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” is one of the top 100 lake communities to live at. Smith Mountain Lake’s attraction is the 20,600 acre lake and 500 miles of shoreline.

It is no longer the hidden getaway that friends and family discovered only on their vacations.  It is a place with great residential communities that offer a lake lifestyle with rural beauty, a slower pace and lower taxes. The lake offers a lifestyle few people get to enjoy in their everyday lives.

Surprising Finds

You will find a first or second home in a quiet cove with just a few neighbors in sight or retire to a well-planned community with shared amenities that include swimming pools, fitness facilities, boat slips, fishing, hiking, tennis and numerous golf courses. They all share a breath-taking view of Smith Mountain Lake and the mountains.

Retirees come from all over the country to retire here at Smith Mountain Lake. They find a community that offers an active lifestyle and a rich social life full of annual events held at the lake and surrounding areas. There is a strong volunteer base that is organized by many of the local churches and non-profits to keep you busy and engaged in helping others. But you will also find young families with loads of activities to keep active and social.

Stress-free Lifestyle

You can imagine drinking your coffee with a view of the lake from your porch or catching a fish right off your dock with your grandchild. How about spending the day with the kids on the boat and then dining at one of your favorite waterfront restaurants? Couples enjoy drinking a glass of wine from one of the local vineyards and watching a sunset over the water. How about driving and hiking part of the Blue Ridge Parkway because it is so close? There are also quirky antique stores and plenty of shopping to discover. The memories are limitless. The lake-lifestyle can be yours.

Abundant Real Estate Opportunities

There is a wide range of housing types and real estate prices on the lake and in the surrounding areas.

Condominiums

For buyers looking for an affordable way to be at the lake now, there are listings that range from $99,000 for a 1 bedroom and 1 bath unit with a fantastic view of the lake to a condo overlooking Halesford Bridge right in the hub of things that has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Large enough to accommodate your guests these units range from $360,000 – $450,000. Full amenities plus convenience to water sport activities and special events that are held frequently steps from this condo location.

 

Single Family Waterfront Homes

Single-family waterfront homes of all sizes range from $365,000 to luxury waterfront homes that start at $800,000. Depending on your needs and wants, the lake provides a fantastic background to some of the most luxurious homes on the lake. What better way to make memories than relaxing with your family from your own dock house with bar or pulling the kids behind your boat? Smith Mountain Lake loves golfers too! Some of our communities include waterfront luxury homes that also provide 18-hole PGA Championship courses.

 

Single Family Water Access Homes

There are finds to be had with water access homes that give you a little more privacy and acreage but also give you full access to the lake with a community boat dock. Your family can still enjoy the day of the lake just minutes away from your new home.

Farms and Ranches

Are you moving to the country as a horse lover but love the idea of playing at the lake?
There are over 80 plus listings of farms and ranches with as little as 5 acreages to well over 100 plus acres for your horses or livestock.  These properties range from $250,000 to $1 million plus depending on the size of house, stables and fenced in pastures. Smith Mountain Lake is an area where you could be riding in a horse show in the morning and taking your boat out for a sunset cruise.

The communities of Moneta, Huddleston, Wirtz, Hardy, Goodview, Penhook and Union Hall offer home buyers a balance between rural and urban living. They provide a great place to raise a family or retire. Cities like Roanoke, Lynchburg, Dulles and Charlotte provide big city access to airports for travel, hospitals for the most modern care facilities and stores for shopping.

But don’t worry, there is plenty of clothes shopping, antique stores, major supermarkets, home improvement and garden centers, marinas, movie theater, restaurants, medical practices, dentists, and many more services at the lake. We have our wonderful farmers’ market, many local produce markets, fruit orchards, wineries and favorite ice cream stores. We have great local colleges and universities nearby like Virginia Tech, Liberty University, Roanoke College, etc. And we have employment opportunities. You can either commute to the closest city or stay local right at the lake.

Whether you are out on your boat, hiking at the state park or horseback riding at area trails, you can make ‘playing at the lake’ your ‘living at the lake’ life-style.

For a Free No-Obligation Consultation, contact me at 540-537-2332 or email me at JmazeHomes4You@gmail.com.

 

 

We would all like to start with our “dream home” but let’s get real. . .  Having realistic expectations when it comes to the neighborhood and type of home you can afford is often an eye opening experience.  Your ultimate goal is to stop paying a landlord rent and to build equity in your own home. Here is a practical strategy for owning your own home today.

What Is A “Must Have” and What Is A “Want”?

Buyers who try to get everything may end up not getting a home at all. By dividing your desires into the two lists, you will reveal the most important features in a home to you. This allows you to start your home search based on your highest priorities and saves you time and frustration.

“Must Have” is anything you absolutely must have and you cannot easily change.

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Garage or storage area
  • Home office
  • Lot size
  • Distance to work
  • Updated systems in house

“Want” is something you’d like to have & that you could change over time, such as:

  • Paint and Carpet
  • Deck, pool, hot tub
  • Hardwood floors
  • Specific style of home
  • Remodeled kitchen or baths
  • Fireplace or wood stove
  • Newer windows
  • Landscaping

At first, Wants will try to sneak into your Must Haves list!  A great home buying tip is to be tough with yourself to make it easy later.

Establish a Firm Price Limit and a List of “Must Have” Features

You have already gotten pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much the bank thinks you can afford each month.  But just because the bank thinks you can afford to spend $350,000 for a home does not mean you have to spend that amount.  Use a tool like the Affordability Calculator on Zillow to help you determine your monthly budget.

It’s easy and convenient these days, to browse the hundreds of houses for sale in your area. But a good agent will know how to zero in on the homes that meet your must haves list and also fit your budget. Be sure to share this must haves list and communicate clearly about your budget.  You want to make sure you and your realtor know your expectations. You don’t want to view homes that clearly have all your must haves and maybe even all you wants but are above your budget. A great agent will know how to keep to your budget, fulfill your needs and maybe even sprinkle in some of those wants.

These tips for buying a house should make the process much easier for you. Every property is going to come with some compromises to your list, but when you are talking about your new home, they should feel minimal.

Staying Within Your Home Buying Budget

Another strategy is to live in your first home for at least three years and then sell and trade up to a larger home in a more desirable neighborhood.  A good real estate agent can help you keep an eye on the area you want to be in the future and keep you informed of any new listings that match your wish list. Meanwhile, you weren’t paying rent each month to a landlord but building equity in your own home. You will also build a credit history of paying a monthly mortgage payment.

If you have trouble finding what you are looking for in a home, you really only have two choices. Pay more or reduce the number of “Wants” so you can get a home that fills your “Needs.”  You don’t want to pay more and experience buyer’s remorse. A house isn’t an item you can return if you change your mind or find yourself ‘house poor’ because the monthly mortgage payment is too high.

Remember communicate clearly with your agent.  Good agents respect your finances and only show you homes you can afford. If you find your agent is constantly asking you to look at more expensive homes, it’s probably time to find a new agent.

Getting Your Must Haves in Your New Home

When buying a house staying within budget takes discipline. So approach the buying process with care. Know what you’re willing to spend, and refuse to look at homes listed above your budget. If you’re unable to find a suitable property after a few weeks or months, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room. If not, hold out – it’s only a matter of time before the right house comes along. And a real estate agent who truly has your interests at heart will stick with you.

My motto is, “Home is where your story begins, I’ll help you get there.”

For a Free No-Obligation Consultation, contact me at 540-537-2332 or email me at JMazeHomes4You@gmail.com.

You Submit Your Mortgage Application

I remember when my husband and I first started looking for a home in the Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia area. It was a place we had fallen in love with after visiting my husband’s family a number of times. Anyway, we had just moved down from Pennsylvania and at the time we were living in my in-laws guest house. We were in our mid 20’s, newly married and anxious to move out on our own.

We were first-time home buyers. We started looking at listings on-line and driving thru different neighborhoods around the Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia – like Moneta, Goodview, Hardy and Huddleston. These were all very good first steps.  But you know what our first step should have been. . .

  1. Checking Our Credit Scores
    This is the number that mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are “creditworthy”. The average credit score is 695. Only about half the people that apply for a mortgage fall in the 700+ range.
  1. Figuring Out How Much Home We Could Afford
    You should honestly assess your financial situation, including your income, monthly expenses and debts, job stability and determine roughly what you can afford to pay each month. Use the Zillow Affordability Calculator  to determine how much house you can afford. By entering details about your income, down payment, and monthly debts, you can estimate the mortgage amount that works with your budget.
  1. Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
    If you have given yourself ample time before purchasing your new home, I would recommend visiting more than one mortgage lender to find the right fit for you. I work with three very professional mortgage lenders in my area on a regular basis. They are listed on the sidebar of this “Buy A Home” blog page. Just click-on a name in the “Preferred Mortgage Lender” list to see their information.

Once you have found a mortgage lender and gone through the process of supplying your tax forms, W-2’s, recent pay stubs, savings and debt obligations, the lender will let you know at what rate and how much they are willing to pre-approve a mortgage for your new home.

This is a crucial step in buying your first home!  It shows the seller that you have what it takes to buy their home.  In most markets, a pre-approved mortgage is required for a seller to take your offer seriously. It shows the seller that you are both willing and able to purchase their home.

Getting a pre-approved mortgage also estimates the size of loan you can handle and calculates your monthly mortgage payment.  This will also help you estimate your total monthly budget to make sure you don’t become “house poor” after purchasing your first home.

Here is what you will need to take with you for your first visit to your mortgage lender:

Loan Application Information Required

The first thing you’ll do when applying for a mortgage is complete a federally required mortgage application. Regardless of whether the application is in the paper format linked here, an online form, or done verbally with your loan officer, this linked document contains the application with the information you’ll need to provide, including:

  • Full name, birth date, Social Security number, and phone number
  • Marital status, number of children and ages
  • Residence history for at least two years. If you’re a renter, your rent payment is needed. If you’re an owner, all mortgage, insurance and tax figures are needed for your primary residence and all other properties owned.
  • Employment history for at least two years, including company name(s), address(es), phone number(s), and your title(s).
  • Income history for at least two years. If you receive commissions, bonuses, or are self-employed, you must provide two years of bonus, commission, or self-employed income received. Most lenders average variable and self-employed income over two years.
  • Asset account balances including all checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts.
  • Debt payments and balances for credit cards, mortgages, student loans, car loans, alimony, child support, or any other fixed debt obligations.
  • Confirmation whether you’ve had bankruptcies or foreclosures within the past seven years, whether you’re party to any lawsuits, or you co-sign on any loans.
  • Confirmation if any part of your down payment will be borrowed.

Loan Documentation Required

Next comes the step of verifying all of the information provided in the application with documentation. A lender will provide a checklist based on your specific profile, but you can generally expect the following:

  • Written (or sometimes verbal) authorization for your lender to run your credit report.
  • Letters of explanation for credit inquiries, past addresses, and derogatory information on your credit report.
  • If you’ve had a bankruptcy in the past seven years, discharge papers are required.
  • If any tax liens or other derogatory items on your credit report require further explanation, you’ll be required to provide full documentation for each derogatory instance.
  • If you’re a renter with a private landlord, 12 months of canceled rent checks or 12 months of bank statements to show rent checks cleared on time. If you’re a renter with an institutional landlord, your lender can sometimes get them to complete a form confirming on-time rent payments in lieu of cancelled checks or bank statements.
  • If you’re keeping your existing home and renting it out, you’ll need to provide a lease agreement and proof that the first month’s rent has been deposited into your bank account.
  • If you intend to sell your existing home before closing on the new home, you’ll need to provide a listing agreement for the home, and it will need to close before your new home can close.
  • Pay stubs for at least 30 days.
  • W2 forms for all jobs worked in the past two years.
  • All pages of personal federal tax returns for the past two years.
  • If self-employed or greater than 20 percent owner in a company, all pages of business federal tax returns for past two years.
  • If self-employed or greater than 20 percent owner in a company, a year-to-date profit and loss statement for the business.
  • Income from rental properties can typically only count if it’s on your tax returns. If rental income isn’t on your tax returns yet because the rental property is new, lenders may accept the income if your rental property down payment was 30 percent or greater. Ask your lender.
  • If you’re divorced and receiving (or paying) child support or alimony, a divorce decree will be required, and this income typically must be scheduled for at least three more years from the time of loan closing.
  • Most recent two months statements for all checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts. You must include all pages even if a page says “intentionally left blank” or you think there is no relevant information on certain pages.
  • If you move money among accounts, you must provide all accounts even if you’re only using one account for the down payment, because the lender will review every line item on two months of full account statements and ask you to paper-trail large deposits and withdrawals.
  • If you’re receiving gift funds, your lender will require all donors and receivers to sign a gift letter verifying the gift isn’t a loan. Some lenders want to see the donor’s accounts for verification of the donor’s ability to gift, and some only want to see the funds being received in your account. And for further reference, here are specific rules for using gift funds as down payment.

Source: https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/mortgage-application-documents/

If the above information looks overwhelming and stressful don’t let it be.  The minute you open the door to your first home, you will know that it has all been worth it.  Besides, I’m there to help you get through it. I will assist you every step of the way.

Needless to say, my husband I were successful in purchasing our first home in Goodview. It’s where we started our family – our son and daughter.  As a realtor who has assisted many couples with the purchase of their first home, I’ll help get you there.

For a Free No-Obligation Consultation, contact me at 540-537-2332 or email me at JmazeHomes4You@gmail.com.

Mortgage loans and their descriptions can be boring. I know at least 3 mortgage lenders that I work with regularly that could explain Mortgage Loans better than me.  But I also know when anyone is first looking to own their own home, they might be a little intimidated by the whole process and need some guidance. One area that might look overwhelming and complex is — do I qualify for a mortgage and which one is right for me?  What do I need to get the process started? Is my credit going to be a problem?  How much money do I need to have saved?

Hopefully, these are all questions any potential homebuyer is asking before they start searching for their new home.  Because some of the best advice I can give you is  – – get qualified for a mortgage before you start looking.

Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage helps you in the following ways:

  1. By knowing how much your mortgage payment could be each month, you can set a budget for your new home.
  2. In going through the mortgage application process, you will have identified any problems you might have with your credit score, employment status, and other important financial information. You will have saved valuable time that you might need when making an offer on your dream home that other potential buyers are interested in.
  3. By being “pre-qualified” for a mortgage, sellers will consider your offer more seriously.

Below is an article from Zillow.com that I sharing with you so that you will be better informed when you sit down with your Mortgage Lender.

A Home Buyer’s Guide – Mortgage Basics

Just as homes come in different styles and price ranges, so do the ways you can finance them. Figuring out what kind of mortgage works best for you requires a little research. There are many different loan types to choose from, and a great lender can walk you through all of your options, but you can start here by understanding these three main categories.

1. Fixed-rate loan or adjustable-rate loan

When deciding on a loan type, one of the main factors to consider is the type of interest rate you are comfortable with: fixed or adjustable. Here’s a look at each of these loan types, with pros and cons to consider.

Fixed-rate mortgages

This is the traditional workhorse mortgage. It gets paid off over a set amount of time (10, 15, 20 or 30 years) at a specific interest rate. A 30-year fixed is the most common. Market rates may rise and fall, but your interest rate won’t budge.

Why would you want a fixed-rate loan? One word: security. You won’t have to worry about a rising interest rate. Your monthly payments may fluctuate a bit with property tax and insurance rates, but they’ll be fairly stable. If rates drop significantly, you can always refinance. The shorter the loan term, the lower the interest rate. For example, a 15-year fixed will have a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed.

Why wouldn’t you want a fixed rate? If you plan on moving in five or even 10 years, you may be better off with a lower adjustable rate. It’s the conservative choice for the long term, which means you will pay for the security it promises.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)

You’ll get a lower initial interest rate compared to a fixed-rate mortgage but it won’t necessarily stay there. The interest rate fluctuates with an indexed rate plus a set margin. But don’t worry — you won’t be faced with huge monthly fluctuations. Adjustment intervals are predetermined and there are minimum and maximum rate caps to limit the size of the adjustment.

Why would you want an ARM? Lower rates are an immediate appeal. If you aren’t planning on staying in your home for long, or if you plan to refinance in the near term, an ARM is something you should consider. You can qualify for a higher loan amount with an ARM (due to the lower initial interest rate). Annual ARMs have historically outperformed fixed rate loans.

Why wouldn’t you want an ARM? You have to assume worst-case scenario here. Rates may increase after the adjustment period. If you don’t think you’ll save enough upfront to offset the future rate increase, or if you don’t want to risk having to refinance, think twice.

What should I look for? Look carefully at the frequency of adjustments. You’ll get a lower starting rate with more frequent adjustments but also more uncertainty. Check the payments at the upper limit of your cap and make sure you can afford them. Relying on a refinance to bail you out is a big risk.

Here are the types of ARMs offered:

  • 3/1 ARM: Your interest rate is set for 3 years then adjusts annually for 27 years.
  • 5/1 ARM: Your interest rate is set for 5 years then adjusts annually  for 25 years.
  • 7/1 ARM: Your interest rate is set for 7 years then adjusts annually for 23 years.
  • 10/1 ARM: Your interest rate is set for 10 years then adjusts annually for 20 years.

2. Conventional loan or government-backed loan

You’ll also want to consider whether you want — or qualify for — a government-backed loan. Any loan that’s not backed by the government is called a conventional loan. Here’s a look at the loan types backed by the government.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans

FHA loans are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. These loans are designed for borrowers who can’t come up with a large down payment or have less-than-perfect credit, which makes it a popular choice for first-time home buyers. FHA loans allow for down payments as low as 3.5 percent and credit scores of 580 or higher. A credit score as low as 500 may be accepted with 10 percent down.

Because of the fees associated with FHA loans, you may be better off with a conventional loan, if you can qualify for it. The FHA requires an upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) as well as an annual mortgage insurance premium paid monthly. If you put less than 10 percent down, the MIP must be paid until the loan is paid in full or until you refinance into a non-FHA loan. Conventional loans, on the other hand, do not have the upfront fee, and the private mortgage insurance (PMI) required for loans with less than 20 percent down automatically falls off the loan when your loan-to-value reaches 78 percent.

Veterans Administration (VA) loans

This is a zero-down loan offered to qualifying veterans, active military and military families. The VA guarantees the loan for the lender, and the loan comes with benefits not seen with any other loan type. In most cases, you pay nothing down and you will never have to pay mortgage insurance. If you qualify for a VA loan, this is almost always the best choice.

USDA loans

USDA loans are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are designed to help low- or moderate-income people buy, repair or renovate a home in rural areas. Some suburban areas qualify, too. If you are eligible for a a USDA loan, you can purchase a home with no down payment and get below-market mortgage rates.

3. Jumbo loan or conforming loan

The last thing to consider is whether you want a jumbo loan or conforming loan. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.

A conforming loan is any home loan that follows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conforming guidelines. These guidelines include credit, income, assets requirements and loan amount. Currently the limit in most parts of the country is $417,000, but in certain designated high-price markets it can be as high as $938,250. Wondering if you’re in a high-cost county? Check online for high-cost counties in certain states.

Loans that exceed this amount are called jumbo loans. They’re also referred to as non-conforming mortgages. Why would you want a jumbo loan? The easiest answer is because it allows you to buy a higher-priced home, if you can afford it. But these loans have flexibility that conforming loans don’t have, such as not always requiring mortgage insurance when the down payment is less than 20 percent. Why wouldn’t you want a jumbo loan? Compared to conforming loans, interest rates will be higher. And they often require higher down payments and excellent credit, which can make them more difficult to qualify for.

Source for this article: Home Buyer’s Guide – Zillow.com

I would like to recommend that you contact any of the 3 locally Preferred Mortgage Lenders listed on my website. (see their link on my website’s sidebar.) Any one of them will be able to find a mortgage that fits your needs.

Don’t forget — for a free no-obligation consultation just call me at 540-537-2332 or email me at Jmazehomes4you@gmail.com.

I love helping people find the perfect property to match their needs. I have found 24 homes in the Smith Mountain Lake area in Franklin, Bedford and Roanoke counties in 2018 for my clients.

I am proud to be a realtor that provides exceptional service and truly listens to what my client’s wishes are.
I strive to make the buying or selling process as stress-free for my clients as possible by providing in-depth knowledge of the area and personalized service. I respond quickly to phone calls or emails and have come up with a creative solution or two when any problems arose. I try to work with other professionals like mortgage lenders, home inspectors and contractors who will also make the real estate process easier too.

In developing my own website this year, I wanted to establish communication with all my clients and others. That is why I write a blog each month and will continue to do so. I want to interact with my clients to ask, “how can I  make the real estate process easier for you?”  I hope my blogs have helped buyers and sellers become acquainted with the process so there were no big surprises along the way.

I continue to educate myself as a realtor with courses like” Realtor’s Code of Ethics” this year.  It’s important to stay current and further my knowledge as a realtor.  As I told one my client’s, “I live here. My family and I are establishing strong roots here. So integrity and a strong honest reputation are important to me.”

As we start the New Year in 2019, I am optimistic about the future.  Buyers still have fairly low interest rates and a very healthy inventory of homes to choose from in the Smith Mountain Lake area.  Sellers continue to offer a great value for homes in the Smith Mountain Lake area which will attract more buyers to the area.

My motto for the New Year is still the same, “Home is where your story begins, I’ll help you get there.”

As of the latest statistics, 62.9% of Americans own the home they live in.  My objective is to speak to the 37.1% that don’t own their home but should and probably can with a little bit of coaching and effort on their part.  Let’s start with dispelling many of the false notions that keep these people from attempting to buy a home:

“You have to have perfect credit” – While good credit helps, there are loan programs that make allowances for all types of issues and score minimums that drop as low as 580 in many cases.  Most consumers are not as far off this as they think.

“I don’t have any money for a down payment” – There are still many products out there that provide 100% financing options and allow the seller to pay closing costs.  This allows people to get in a home with little to no money out of pocket.

“I am not sure that buying is a good investment” – while the last decade has been a roller coaster for housing prices, a home remains the most reliable investment most Americans will ever make.  The net worth gap between those who own and those who don’t is wide for a reason.

These are just some of the common reasons given for not owning and there are many others but, for many folks, it comes down to fear.  Fear of the unknown and fear of rejection are powerful factors. Overcoming these fears is the prime responsibility of quality loan officers and realtors.  The good ones take your concerns to heart and let you know that your transaction is as important to them as it is to you.

Article submitted by

 

 

 

 

Christy Gorth
Mortgage Banker
o: 540.595.3717
m: 540.556.3263
f: 540.595.3717
cgorth@directmortgageloans.com
NMLS# 1552980
5430 Peters Creek Road, Suite 209
Roanoke, VA 24019

Here’s how most people get the cash for a real estate down payment, as well as some ideas for other creative ways to get ready to buy.

  • 63% of people tap into their savings
  • 38% generate more income (find a second job; take a freelance job)
  • 22% government programs (loan programs that can minimize or eliminate your down payment)
  • 11% cash out investments (stocks and CDs)
  • 8% pull from 401k
  • 11% gifts (money from recent wedding, etc.)

Other Options:

  • Cut living expenses
  • Private loans (borrow from family)
  • Existing equity (if you already own a home)

Source: Househunt.com

 

Viewing potential new homes – here’s what to look for:

The most fun part of buying a home is often walking through it for the first time. Your excitement grows as you turn each corner, visualizing yourself and your family living there. Before you start planning the housewarming party, there are some important things to keep in mind during the initial walk-through.

Tour the entire house to get a feel for the layout. Is it a home you can live in as-is or does it need some renovation to make it your dream home.  Check for adequate closet and storage space.  A lack of closet or storage space is something you might find you can’t live with later.

Check the condition of the floors. Carpet can be changed or removed and hardwood can be refinished. Don’t assume there is hardwood under the carpet – you’ll want to check to be sure. Check under rugs for stains or faded flooring.

Look for evidence of water damage. Take a close look at the ceilings and under windows for wet spots or water stains. Remember to check under sinks, too. In older homes with stone foundations, you are likely to find some moisture in the basement. A small amount is fine and to be expected in these homes, but a large amount of water in the basement is an issue. While you’re down there, check for mold, foundation cracks and the condition of the floor joists, if visible.

Locate the furnace, hot water heater, A/C unit, etc. You might be able to find a tag or sticker on these items with a date on it – this will give you an idea of its age. Your home inspector will be able to tell you its remaining useful life.

Check out any appliances that may be staying in the home. Feel free to turn them on to make sure they work. Double check that the water line has been hooked up to the fridge, if necessary for filtered water or an ice maker.

Take a walk around property for exterior issues. This is a good time to check for foundation issues and caulk around windows, doors, and siding.

Don’t  stress out about missing something – I always encourage home buyers to have an in-depth home inspection completed once the property is under contract. This will be the time to make informed decisions and find out if there are any major issues with the home. When showing my clients properties, I always ask them to picture themselves at Christmas. Can you visualize where you will put your Christmas tree? That always seems to help my clients when deciding on a home. I look forward to helping guide you through the home buying process!

Give me a call at 540-537-2332 to setup a time for your first property!!

Must haves:
  3 bedrooms                                   Optional – (but would love to have)
  2 baths                                              landscaping – curb appeal
  lots of storage                                   view of the lake
  good schools                                     view of the mountains
  garage                                                close to shopping
  fenced yard                                       workshop (man cave)

 

Step One –     Pre-approved for mortgage

Step Two –     Find a great realtor to find the home we are looking for

Step Three – Combine the above ingredients to find our new home.

Step Four –    Make an offer and close the deal.

Step Five –     Find a home in the Smith Mountain Lake area we have always wanted
with the assistance of Jennifer Lee Mazeika/Realtor – 540-537-2332.

Serve with ice cream (optional)

Client Tesimonials

“Over the last year we have spoken with several real estate agents in the area. Jennifer was the first person that earned our trust by working closely with us, asking relevant questions, and by being extremely responsive to find a home we would love. She took the time to send us updates on homes that were within our budget and exactly what we were looking for. She didn’t just set up a filter and let it automate results. I felt that she looked at new houses on the market and thought about how they might fit our family and what were looking for. We would recommend Jennifer to anyone looking for a real estate agent in the Smith Mountain Lake area.”

Zachary B.

bought a home at Smith Mountain Lake

“Jennifer has been the best realtor I’ve ever dealt with. She was always quick to respond and meet us wherever, whenever. She got to know us personally and would match us with the best houses. She cared more about our happiness with a home than the incentive she was getting. She helped with dealing with house inspections and dealing with the seller as well.”

Stephen C.

Bought a home in Thaxton, VA

“Jennifer was our realtor and did an excellent job. She found us a great house and it fit our budget. We put a contract on it in two days it was a pleasure working with her.
Awesome job Jennifer.”

Lee T.

Bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“We had a lot of issue’s with selling and buying another home, but Jennifer’s negotiating skills kept us from making big mistakes, like not having a home inspection. Otherwise, it would have cost us $1000.00 dollars. She was on top of every detail, even if it was a small one. Also, she was very responsive in returning phone calls. We highly recommend her as your agent. We will certainly use her again if need be.”

Barbara A.

Bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“Great realtor to work with. I came in with no knowledge about the process or anything just knew I wanted a house. She helped me and taught me every step of the way, giving great advice on everything.”

Kirsten S.

Bought a home in Vinton, VA

“I highly recommend Jennifer with any home buyer/seller needs. Jennifer was always on time to our appointments and she is so kind. Jennifer knew exactly what our family’s needs were and found us the perfect home.”

Christian J.

Bought a home in Boones Mill, VA

“I would defiantly recommend Jennifer for all your real estate purchases. Her knowledge, drive, and response times are excellent. She is very understanding and passionate about her job. She kept us informed every step of the way despite any hiccups (which she had no control over). Not only did she find us the perfect home, she did so in a way that was respectful and with class. Jennifer is by far the greatest realtor I have ever worked with.”

Jesse W.

Bought a home in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer was so helpful throughout the entire process, her recommendations for home, loan officers, and title company were the best in the business. Jennifer always had multiple options available and took our needs into consideration for every home we looked at until we found the perfect home for our family. Jennifer put a personal touch we will never forget into the home buying process and we will be forever grateful for the best service. We highly recommend Jennifer to everyone and have already enlisted her help with the selling of a family home, and she will be representing other friends and family in the purchase of their new home.”

Michelle H.

Bought a home in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer Mazeika was very attentive to our needs and prompt in answering our questions. She helped us find a beautiful home with everything we were looking for.”

James B.

Bought a home in Moneta, VA

“This was my first time buying a home and Jennifer was more than reliable.
She always replied to me quickly and took mental notes
about everything I was looking for in a home.”

 

Jessica P.

Bought a home in Union Hall, VA

“Jennifer was a delight to have as my agent. Her dedication to me as her client was superb and her knowledge of the area here in the Smith Mountain Lake is extensive.”

Nita F.

bought a home in Hardy, VA

“Jennifer was near perfect. She was always responsive; we never had to call twice. If she didn’t answer the phone, she got back to us very quickly. She was always willing to go the extra step. She is enthusiastic and her concern for us always seemed to be genuine. To put it succinctly, Jennifer made the ordeal of shopping for a
house much more pleasant than it usually is.”

Kurt S.

bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“Jennifer is absolutely wonderful to work with. She answered all of our questions (we had a lot) and took the time to help find us the right place. I highly recommend her!! I hope we get to see her around the lake!!”

Shannon W.

bought a condo in Moneta, VA

“Very professional, highly prepared, genuine, sincere and knowledgeable about the market. Prompt in returning phone calls and emails and appointments. Always enthusiastic about finding a home that meets the buyer’s wishes.”

Irene C.

bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“Very personable and knowledgeable in her profession. We got along quite well in searching for houses. Traveled throughout three counties in search of the perfect home. Continued despite numerous disappointments and setbacks.”

Doug O.

bought a home in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer has been the best realtor I’ve ever dealt with. She was always quick to respond and meet us wherever, whenever. She got to know us personally and would match us with the best houses. She cared more about our happiness with a home than the incentive she was getting. She helped with dealing with house inspections and dealing with the seller as well.”

Stephen C.

bought a home in Thaxton, VA

“Jennifer is a real estate agent we would use again. When choosing a real estate agent you want someone knowledgeable in all areas of buying and selling, who knows the “ins and outs” of the local area that also has a great personality who can make the sometimes stressful experience as enjoyable as possible. Jennifer is a triple threat! Very knowledgeable of the real estate business and the processes that go along with it. VERY RESPONSIVE. We were buying a property in Smith Mountain Lake and we lived out of town and that was difficult for us. Jennifer made us feel like we could call her anytime and that gave us a level of comfort.”

Gretchen R.

bought a condo in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer has been one of the best agents to work with. She has been very knowledgeable through the whole process. She went above and beyond and did more for us than we could have ever asked for. Answered all of our questions and understood completely what we were looking for and got us into the house of our dreams. Jennifer is an AMAZING agent. We plan to use her in the future and refer her to everyone we know. ”

Tiffani H

Bought a home in Moneta, VA