Real Estate Information Archive


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Blacksburg VA Home Sales April 2017

by Desi Sowers

Desi Sowers has distinguished herself as a leader in the New River Valley real estate market. Desi assists buyers looking for New River Valley real estate for sale and aggressively markets New River Valley homes for sale.

Desi brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a New River Valley home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future – Desi Sowers will help make the most of your New River Valley real estate experience. Give her a call today, 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Ten Décor Trends to Avoid in 2017

by Desi Sowers

If you are looking to update your home décor, whether to sell your house or just to give it a refreshing new look, here are ten décor trends to avoid in 2017.


While this metal can bring a shiny appeal, overuse of it may be, well, overwhelming.  If you love this look, try mixing metals and/or using them as small accent pieces.

Edison Bulbs

It seems that designers have become bored with the industrial décor theme, and old fashioned hanging bulbs are out. Instead, try retro lighting that appeals to you and fits with your home décor.

All White Rooms

2017 will leave all white rooms behind in favor of rooms in bold colors such as navy blue.  Navy is the new face of modern design and adds warmth and freshness to previously pristine, yet clinical feeling rooms.

Indigo Needs to Go

This hue has been everywhere the past few years and has worn out its welcome.  If you like this color, try using a variation of blue tones instead.

Sharp Edges

A boxy item here and there is ok, but in 2017 rounded edges and circular furniture will be making a comeback.  It’s time to “take the edge off” and create calm and comfortable spaces.

DIY Everything

If you are a crafty, creative person, there is nothing better than spending a rainy afternoon on a DIY project. But if everything in your home décor is DIY, it’s time to make a change. In 2017 easy and quick crafts are out and artisanal works that require a high skill level are in.

Brushed Metal

With the overall industrial décor trend going by the wayside, it’s time to say goodbye to burnished metals.  Warmer, shinier metals like bronze and gold will take their place.

Smooth and Sleek Rooms

The simplicity of a smooth and sleek room is going to be a thing of the past as we move into 2017.  This year you will want to transform your room with texture adding warmth and charm to previously “flat” rooms.

Oversized Furniture

Oversized furniture will exit in 2017 as space becomes more important in home décor. Space efficient furniture will take its place.


Designers are now avoiding the zig zag pattern of Chevron, especially prints that have only two to three colors, which can sometimes look cheap and two-dimensional.

Sales are UP!

by Desi Sowers

Pending Home Sales Post Strong Gains in October


The Pending Home Sales Index, which reflects contracts signed but not closed, jumped 10.4 percent in October from September and was 9.2 percent above October 2010, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun believes the improved contract activity is a sign of better times ahead for the housing market. “We hope this indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions. Many consumers are recognizing that home buyers in the past two years have had one of the lowest default rates in history. Moreover, continued inventory declines are another healthy sign for the housing market,” Yun says. 

Pending home sales posted big gains in three of the four regions of the country. In the Northeast, the index surged 17.7 percent in October and was 3.4 percent above October 2010. Pending home sales jumped 24.1 percent in the Midwest in October and was 13.2 percent above a year ago. In the South, pending home sales rose 8.6 percent in October and they were 9.7 percent above October 2010. The index slipped 0.3 percent in the West but was 8.1 percent above a year ago. WED, NOV 30, 2011

The Top 5 Tax Perks for Buyers, Sellers and Homeowners - 2009 Tax Edition

by posted by Desi Sowers

It's tax time, but it doesn't have to be excruciating, especially if you bought, sold or owned a home in 2009.  While so many of us think of tax time as time to write a check, the Obama Administration's stimulus package promised to reverse that tradition, effectively writing a check (in tax credit format) to buyers, sellers and even  short sellers and those who lost a home through foreclosure.

Take this quick list of tax tips to your personal tax guru and cash in your check from Uncle Sam!

    1.  2009-10 First-time Homebuyer
     Tax Credit
  • Who It Helps: Recent (or current!) homebuyers who had not owned a home in the 3 years prior to buying, but bought one in 2009 or this year (must be in contract on or before April 30, 2010).  Depending on when you bought (or buy! there's still some time left!) income and purchase price limits may apply.
  • How It Helps: Depending on your income and purchase price, you can receive up to an $8,000 fully refundable tax credit.  (That means if you were already getting a refund, you'll get a bigger one!) You can claim the credit on your 2009 tax return (the one you file on April 15th), even if you bought in 2010.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Per the IRS website, "because of the documentation requirements for claiming the credit, taxpayers who claim the credit on their 2009 tax return must file a paper — not electronic — return and attach Form 5405."

    2.  2009-10 Move-Up Buyer Tax Credit

  • Who It Helps: Current homeowners who have lived in the home they are selling, or have already sold, as their principal residence for five consecutive years of the last eight years who closed escrow between November 7, 2009 and July 1, 2010, so long as they are in contract on or before April 30, 2010.
  • How It Helps: Eligible homeowners can receive a tax credit of as much as $6,500, depending on income. You can claim the credit on your 2009 tax return (the one you file on April 15th), even if you bought in 2010.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Can't e-file to collect this one, either - see #1, above.

    3.  Energy Efficient Housing Tax Credits
  • Who It Helps: Homeowners who invested in making their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010.
  • How it helps: Offers them a 30 percent tax credit on qualifying purchases of energy-efficient furnaces, windows and insulation.



    4.  Private Mortgage Insurance Deduction
  • Who It Helps: Homeowners who bought a home in 2009, and put less than 20 percent down on their homes. These are the folks whose lenders required them to pay for PMI, or private mortgage insurance.
  • How It Helps: Allows them to deduct the costs - upfront and monthly - of PMI.



    5.  The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act 

  • Who It Helps: Short sellers, owners who lost homes through foreclosures or had their mortgage balance reduced through loan modifications.
  • How It Helps: Normally, when a loan is cancelled or forgiven through, for example, a short sale or foreclosure, the cancelled debt is transformed into taxable income - and the IRS comes looking for their cut.  Under this Act, qualifying mortgage debt forgiven through foreclosure, short sale or loan modification is allowed to be excluded from taxable income.  The forgiven mortgage debt must be a loan on your personal residence, and must be related to the purchase of your home (if you pulled a bunch of cash out and did a short sale on that mortgage, you might not qualify).


On top of these above-and-beyond tax credits, deductions and exemptions, longtime and brand-new homeowners should also look forward to claiming meaty tax deductions for basic closing costs (origination fees, taxes and points - oh my!), property taxes and mortgage interest deductions.

As always, talk to your tax preparer to see if you qualify for any of these tax perks.  And don't delay - the countdown to April 15th is on.

Written by Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Trulia's In-house Consumer Advocate


The Economy is Primed

by Desi Sowers

Feels like Fall is definitely in the air - it's a brisk 51 degrees outside as I write this update!

The Economy is Primed

Ten of Virginia's 15 major employment sectors saw growth in Q2 2009.  In July 2009 CNBC named the Commonwealth the Top State for Business for its economic growth, affordable cost of doing business, talented workforce and other factors.

The surge in business means more competition for homes and future price appreciation.

Remember, with home loan rates still low as well as a juicy tax credit for First Time Home Buyers that is going to expire on November 30th, it makes sense to get off the fence if you've been considering a home purchase .  Or do you have a family member, neighbor, friend or coworker who might benefit from getting some good home loan advice?

I'm always glad to get your referrals, so simply let me know who I might be able to help.

Consumers Redefining the ‘American Dream’

by Desi Sowers

While many Americans still believe they can achieve the American Dream, uncertainty in the U.S. economy has prompted a shift in consumer priorities, according to the 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream. While the American Dream is still defined first and foremost by financial security (66 percent), the current version also emphasizes strong personal relationships. Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) said the current economy has caused them to reevaluate their priorities.

About one-third of Americans feel they have already achieved the American Dream, down slightly from 37 percent a year ago; 72 percent believe they can still achieve it in their lifetime. However, nearly half (49 percent) worry that they won’t be able to sustain that dream.

The study also finds that 50 percent of Americans are only one month – or two paychecks – or less away from being unable to meet their financial obligations if they were to lose their job, and more than half of these people said they could not survive financially for more than two weeks. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Americans admit to having an inadequate financial safety net, and 62 percent of these respondents said they wish they had more cash on hand to tide them over for three to six months in the event of job loss.

Nationally, 44 percent of Americans expect the overall economy to be worse in 2009 than it was in 2008, and 49 percent believe that the creation of new jobs will do the most to boost the economy.

ZIP Codes Where Housing Sales Are Increasing

by posted by Desi Sowers

Housing sales are improving significantly in key ZIP codes around the country where prices have moderated, according to information compiled for by First American CoreLogic.

ZIP codes in California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada dominated the list, but there were also ZIP codes on the
top 25 most-improved sales list from the suburbs around Detroit and Minneapolis and in the metro areas of Atlanta and Chicago.

Inventories are shrinking and prices are stabilizing in several markets, according to the survey. Here are the top 10 ZIP codes with improved home sales:

  1. 94533, Fairfield, Calif. (Fresno)
  2. 92376, Rialto, Calif. (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario)
  3. 91342, Slymar, Calif. (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana)
  4. 92126, San Diego, Calif.
  5. 33914, Cape Coral, Fla. (Fort Meyers)
  6. 93065, Simi Valley, Calif. (Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura)
  7. 95123, San Jose, Calif.
  8. 85379, Surprise, Ariz. (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale)
  9. 93722, Fresno, Calif. (Madera)
  10. 95624, Elks Grove, Calif. (Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville)

Source:, Prashant Gopal (03/05/2009)

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




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