May 10th, 2016 by Mike Cooper
The Stephens City, VA real estate market had a good first quarter in 2016. There were 75 homes sold with only 5% of them being distressed (short sale or foreclosures). The market is steadily returning to stability.
The minimum price a buyer paid for a home in Stephens City, VA in the firstquarter of 2016 was $89900 and the maximum was $464,530. The average price was $235,343. The average corresponds to other areas of Frederick County, VA. The average days on the market was 77 with the minimum being 0 and the max being 549.
Of those sold, 28 had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Twenty-four had 4+ bedrooms and 2+ baths. Four had 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, and the remaining number fell into a mystical place we call “other.”
Homes sold the following categories:
- 32 – Colonials
- 19 – Ranchers
- 6 – Split Foyers
- 6 – Traditionals
- 2 – Cape Cods
- 2 – Contemporary
- 1 – Rambler
- 7 – Other (Townhouses, Condos, Manufactured Homes)
New construction has picked up in the Stephens City, VA real estate market. Most homes sold in the first quarter were previously owned homes, but the new home market is beginning to have its own revival. When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Stephens City, VA real estate market, be sure to give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are your local real estate pros.
Stephens City, VA real estate market for the first quarter in 2016
#winchestervarealestate, #mikecoopersellshomes, #cornerstonehomesales
April 3rd, 2014 by Mike Cooper
Bicycle Outfitters is Coming to Winchester, VA
OK, Winchester, I have some inside information for you. There is another bicycle store coming to Winchester. Yes, a third bicycle shop, and you ask, “Do we really need a third bike shop?” What kind of question is that? Of course we need a third bike shop. As a two wheel geek, I love the idea of more bikes, riding gear and competition in the biking community.
How did I come by this inside information? My electrical contracting company is doing the wiring for the new store. Bicycle Outfitters will be the latest addition to the local bike enthusiast’s carbon fiber candy stores.
Bicycle Outfitters was established in 1988 as a sales and service bike store. They currently have stores in Leesburg, VA and Brambleton, VA. They carry a great line of bikes for riders of all levels. Their bike lines include, Trek, Gary Fisher, Cannondale, Felt, Giant and Raleigh. They have bikes for all ages, all sizes and all pocketbooks.
Bicycle Outfitters offers a full service department in each store. They pride themselves on great customer service and qualified mechanics who are dedicated to keeping your ride in top condition. No matter what level of bike rider you are, you can find a great bike at Bicycle Outfitters.
They’re also experts at fitting each rider to the right bike. Bike fitting is a science of aligning the human body with the right geometry in a bike. For instance, the length of the top tube, saddle height, angle of the knee at 6:00 o’clock and at the horizonal position make a big difference in a rider’s comfort level. If you’re not properly fit to a bike, you can develop pain in your knees, lower back, neck, shoulders, hands and wrists. Bicycle Outfitters will get you set up and ready for hours of fun cycling.
Look for a grand opening in mid-April 2014. The store will be located at 621 W Jubal Early Dr., Winchester, VA.
Everyday, the project gets a little closer and we are as excited about working on the building as the owners are for opening day. Is there room for another bike shop in Winchester, VA? You bet there is, and I welcome Bicycle Outfitters to the Winchester, VA bike scene. I’ll see you there in April. Let’s roll!
Bicycle Outfitters is Coming to Winchester, VA
Originally posted at http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/agents/mikecooper/files/DSCN9555.JPG
September 12th, 2013 by Mike Cooper
Having a good team behind you is half the battle in business. As your business grows, it becomes imperative to have others who can help shoulder the load and keep the momentum building. In real estate, that is not only a solid agent staff and assistants, but it also includes lenders and closers.
One of my favorite go-to people is my preferred lender, Mark Peter Lynch of Prime Lending. Mark and I have been working together for about two years now, and I can honestly say, I have never been disappointed. This week, Mark showed his superstar status again.
In late August, a closing I had scheduled was thrown off course when Wells Fargo withdrew their loan approval. It wasn’t because my client wasn’t qualified, but rather, it was because the investor/homeowner ratio on a condo complex exceeded their ratio limit. Right before closing, I learned that the loan was not going to go through and my client was left adrift.
The client had secured his own financing prior to our first meeting, so it was a done deal when we found a home for him to buy. As soon as I heard of the Wells Fargo debacle, I called Mark. Once I explained the dilemma my client was in, Mark assured me that he could get it done.
Not only did he get it done, but he got it done in record time. A little over two weeks from that Wells Fargo failure, my client is going to closing. If you are in the market for home financing or a refinance, contact Mark Peter Lynch at Prime Lending (540-313-4830). Mark is a man of integrity and skill. He will make things happen, and he will do it with finesse.
Mark Peter Lynch, your Winchester Virginia Lending Superstar
September 9th, 2013 by Mike Cooper
Come to Winchester, VA and enjoy the beauty of the downtown walking mall. It offers something for everyone. Enjoy the promo video.
When you’re ready to buy a home in Winchester, VA, give us a call at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., 888-722-6029.
March 17th, 2013 by Mike Cooper
Amanda is an intelligent and skilled real estate broker. She knows her market and she represents her clients well. Last year, I talked to one of her clients about his experience with her, and he was thrilled with the service she provided in helping him find a home, and he would gladly use her services again.
One of the other things I’ve come to appreciate about Amanda is her compassion for animals. Being the daughter of a vet, it’s no surprise. She has a rescue pit bull named Walter, who is a love. Walter is the kind of pit bull that dispels all of the bad press pit bulls have received over the past decade. I’ve always believed that the owner brings out the best in a dog. If that is true, Walter has a great owner. He is a sweetheart.
I also enjoy Amanda’s sense of humor. She has an infectious laugh that is hard to ignore. We’ve talked a number of times in person and on the phone, and it is always peppered with laughter.
If you’re looking for a real estate broker in the Alexandria, VA area who will take care of all of your real estate needs, I highly recommend Amanda Davidson. Amanda is a true professional with the right stuff to get your real estate needs met, and she will do it with a smile. Give her a call today at 703-431-3755.
March 6th, 2013 by Mike Cooper
Back-up generators are a great asset to any home. Our electrical contacting company has installed a variety of systems and many different brands over the past two decades. This week, we installed a brand we’ve never worked with before, and it has become one of my favorites.
If you’re thinking about a home generator system, make sure to consider a Cummins Onan system in your search. The system differs from Generac or Briggs and Stratton systems in that the transfer switch is between the main panel and the meter base. The transfer switch is the brain of your home generator system. Most system transfer switches are inserted after the main panel. In those systems, you have to pick and choose which circuits will be in your transfer switch.
In the Cummins system, the transfer switch becomes your primary circuit panel and it feeds your current electrical panel. At the time of a power loss, you can pick and choose which circuits are important to you at the time. You may want to vary that group of circuits throughout the power outage. If you’re down for days, rather than hours, you will be able to turn different parts of your house on and off as they are needed.
Most systems are designed to keep the heat, some lights, some cooking equipment, refrigerators, freezers, wells, septic alarms and some minor luxury items like TV and Internet circuits. With the Cummins system, you don’t have to choose some at the expense others. You have your entire panel available to you until you sense a drag on the generator. At that time, you can turn off circuits that are drawing current but aren’t necessary during a down time. The Cummins system also allows you to control it remotely over the Internet. It is the most sophisticated system we’ve installed to date.
If you decide to install a home generator system in your home, do your homework and see who has the system that will best meet your needs during an extended power outage. Generac, Briggs and Stratton and Cummins all offer good solid systems for most budgets. The presence of a home generator system will give you peace of mind no matter what the weather.
February 8th, 2013 by Mike Cooper
We’re at it again. This March, you have a chance to do something good for your body and something good for a cancer patient at the same time. On March 9th, from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, the Valley Healthy Wellness and Fitness Center in Winchester, VA will be hosting 10 Hour Pedal for a Cure event to benefit the Angel Trust Fund at the Winchester Medical Center Foundation.
Angel Trust Fund is one of a number of funds at the Winchester Medical Center Foundation that offers assistance to patients who need some sort of assistance with their care. Angel Trust Fund is cancer specific. Their support might be treatment related, or it might as simple as providing transportation to treatment. The Angel Trust Fund makes sure that those who have specific financial needs during their treatment are able to have those needs met during those the scariest days of their lives.
My challenge to you is, “What can you do to help?” I’m glad you asked. You can sponsor a bike for the 10 hours. You can build a team of riders who will ride each hour during the event. You can participate by recruiting others to participate in the event. You can give a donation to the Angel Trust Foundation, or you can help at the event. We’d love for you to do all of the above, but whatever you can offer this great event will be appreciated.
Bikes are reserved for the event at $200 each. Teams can be 1 – 10. New classes start every hour on the hour. There will be opportunities to drop by, donate and ride on a availability basis.
This year, we have a very special treat for the riders. Ted Garber, an amazing musician, songwriter and performer will be dropping by to entertain the riders during the late morning period. If you haven’t hear Ted before, you’re in for a treat.
If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can mail a check to Winchester Medical Center Foundation, Attn: Angel Trust Fund, 220 Campus Blvd, Suite 402, Winchester, VA 22601. You can also drop into the center and reserve your bike, drop off a check and/or get more information. The sign up sheet is at the front desk.
Please plan to come out and join us for the great cause and get a healthy dose of exercise in the process. You may never know exactly who you helped, but know that someone, in the process of beating cancer, is thankful for your support.
February 2nd, 2013 by Mike Cooper
Dear homeowner, when you decide to finish your basement or any unfinished space in your home, get a permit. It will save you aggravation in the future, and it will make sure that the work is done in a professional and safe manner.
When I do an MLS search and see that a house is listed as a 4 bedroom / 3 bath house, that’s what I expect to see when I get there. When I look at the tax record and it says 3 bedrooms / 2 baths, a red flag goes up. Also, when it says the property has an unfinished basement, but I arrive and it has a finished basement, I get suspicious that the renovation was done without including the local inspection departments.
There are a lot reasons to have your renovations inspected:
- Make sure the changes are up to code. This is critical in all areas of construction: framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, even drywall (remember the Chinese drywall and Quest plumbing pipe, GFIs, adequate lighting?)
- To make sure you get what you’re paying for
- It helps keep the contractors honest and on course
- Permits will prevent future questions about your renovations
This past Friday, I ran a service call on one of our rentals. The furnace was not working. The igniter in the gas furnace had cracked and would not ignite the gas, rendering the furnace useless. It was 12 degrees outside. No problem. An igniter is a 10 minute repair. That is unless you had a jack-leg finish off your basement.
This furnace had a wall built right in front it. There was about 8″ gap between the front of the furnace and the back of the wall studs. My head is bigger than 8″, not to mention I need to get both hands in the furnace at the same time to replace the igniter. So, trying to contort my wide shoulders in such a way that I could get my head and both hands in the furnace was miserable.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the code requires a light and receptacle by the equipment. Nada. So, I had to hold a flashlight and contort myself to get the igniter in the unit. The igniters are extremely fragile. A sneeze in the same room will break one before you get it installed (OK, that might a slight exaggeration, but only slight). I broke two before the third one was installed. That cost the homeowner an additional $100 for a typical $100 repair. That doesn’t even count labor.
What would have been a $100 repair will be closer to $250 or beyond because a previous owner didn’t bother to have professional contractors and inspections when he finished his basement. Please, please get a permit and have inspections. It will save you money (because contractors servicing a situation like I ran into will charge you double, triple), it will keep a future home inspector from giving you an encyclopedia of repairs that have to be made before you can sell your house and it will make your home more valuable and safe.
January 19th, 2013 by Mike Cooper
My company has a motto that says we are, “Making things happen everyday.” That means, if there is anyway we can get a deal through the process, we’ll do it. We will always give 100% for every client every day. This past week was a perfect example.
The first distress call came in from a seller whose water test came back with bacteria that needed to be dealt with. No problem. It’s normally as simple as shocking the well that provides the water supply. Have I ever done that before? No. Does that matter? Not really. I called a friend. He couldn’t bail me out, but he told he how to do it. Today, we received the new water test. Clean!
Then, a rental that is supposed to be done today was in need of a few things. It had five damaged doors and more painting issues than time would allow. There were drywall problems and lighting repairs. My contractor friend was still busy. Do I panic? No, don’t panic, adjust. I grabbed my tools, my staff and off we went. We fixed four drywall holes, installed 5 doors, painted the largest room in the house, replaced door stops all over along with more than a dozen light bulbs. We polished the floors and hauled away the garbage.
Whatever it takes. We are truly making things happen everyday. You may not have the skills to tackle the same projects, but I bet you know someone who does. There is no reason to let a deal fall through because something popped up. No, pull your resources, be the “go to person” for making things happen, and you’ll never be without business. We should all be making things happen everyday!
December 21st, 2012 by Mike Cooper
Clock punchers have an innate need to know that on Friday (or when) they are going to get paid. Having a consistent weekly, bi-weekly paycheck gives them comfort and a certain sense of safety and security. They tend to be more risk averse, and they don’t mind the typical 8 – 5 schedule. Society needs clock punchers.
The non-clock punchers are those that are a little more entrepreneurial. They love the challenge of taking their vision or passion and turning it into a profitable venture. They would never settle for a specific weekly paycheck. Their idea is that they can make as much money as they are willing dedicate their efforts to. Some weeks, that might mean no check, but in two weeks it might mean a huge check. They also like the freedom of choosing their own schedule.
If you’re a non-clock puncher with a vision and no business, you may dream of being in your own business, but you don’t know how to get started. Let me give you a few ideas that might help create a springboard for you.
- Define what it is that you want to do as a business.
- Can you get into the business with little money, equipment or space – or will it need to be well-financed, well equipped and housed somewhere? If you want to do lawn-care you may be able to start part-time with a push mower. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment or money. Other businesses take a lot of money, equipment and a place to work from.
- If your business needs to be financed, have you looked into grants?
- Do you have adequate ability to create the business you envision? You can own a real estate brokerage and not be an agent or a broker, but you will need a licensed broker to oversee the real estate specific operations. You can bring people on board with you if you don’t have the ability to launch on your own.
- Is it something that needs employees before you can launch?
- What are you bringing to the market that isn’t being adequately serviced already? You only need to be 10% better in your field to take over a huge part of the business. Just ask IBM what happened to them when PCs became available to the consumer market.
- Do you have a niche product or a niche market?
- Can you start small and keep up your current source of income while building the business? A service business, such as lawn-care, house cleaning, consulting, even flipping houses can be done while you’re still employed full-time elsewhere.
- Do you have a business mission statement that clearly articulates your business? Your mission statement should be 25 words or less that captures the essence of what you’re about and what you’re going to do.
- Have other similar businesses started and closed in your area? Would you feel comfortable talking to the previous business owners about their experience? The first frozen yogurt provider in our area failed (TCBY). Why? The area wasn’t ready for it yet. When the next company tried it – it was a huge success. TCBY was just a little too early for this area. They would be a smash today.
- Can you ever imagine doing anything else?
Most new businesses fail in the first 5 years. That makes preparation all the more important. The greatest cause of failure is lack of capital or lack of access to capital. Those two issues can be overcome by starting your business part-time, by yourself and with limited cash outlays.
All money that comes in during that first start-up phase should be set aside for a future launch into a full-time business. Some businesses cannot start this way, but for those that do, it’s a great way to protect your current resources while you build equity in your new venture. At the right time, you’ll be ready to go.
Starting a business in Winchester, VA