Archive for November, 2010

Home Improvements To Sell Fast

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

front-door Realtors say today’s top-value home improvement project is a front-door upgrade. Return on investment; up to 130 percent. Siding, roofing, landscaping, & other curb-appeal improvements also rank high in getting a home sold faster. Inside, carpeting and paint should be fresh. “Take away those pain points for the buyer,” says Julie Reynolds, senior director at, “and remember that Web appeal is the new curb appeal.” Nine out of 10 buyers search online and spend 12 weeks looking. They look at 12-16 homes in person.

From September 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

pics 0033357 White Marsh Rd    Suffolk, VA

Spotless 4 bedroom, 2 bath home on 1.76 acres. Large eat-in kitchen, living room with fireplace, large master bedroom with walk-in closet & full bath with separate tub & shower, sunroom, & deck. 3-car detached garage with finished room over has water, electric, & heat. Show & Sell!

Listed By: Marion Grigg

pics 23 pics 005 pics 008 pics 001

Frequent Asked Short Sale Questions

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

One phrase that has become part of the American vocabulary is “short sale” – but what exactly is a short sale and how does it work?

“What is a short sale? Homeowners are ’short’ when they owe an amount on their property that is higher than the current market value. A short sale occurs when a negotiation is entered into with the homeowners mortgage company to accept less than the full balance of the loan at closing. A buyer closes on the property and the property is ’sold short.’

Why can’t I just let my home go into foreclosure? You could, but there are many negative connotations for going into foreclosure.

  • If you have a Fannie Mae loan, they may seek a judgment against you to get the loan paid off.
  • You will also be ineligible for another government-backed loan for 5 years.
  • Your credit score will be negatively impacted for more than 3 years by as much as over 300 points.
  • A foreclosure will remain on your credit history for 10 years.
  • A foreclosure is the most challenging issue against a security clearance outside of a conviction or a serious misdemeanor or felony.

Do I need to write a hardship letter? Yes, it is required by every lender. Be specific about your hardship. Tell them about major events in your life that would affect your ability to stay current such as a job loss or an illness or death.

How do you, my listing agent, get paid? Who pays your commission? The bank will pay the commission along with all the other usual closing costs.

I want to do a short sale and I have a 2nd mortgage, can I still do it? Yes, both of your lenders will need to be satisfied in some way to complete the short sale. If your first lender will be paid off by the sale, then you just negotiate the terms with the second lender. Many short sales do involve 1st and 2nd mortgages.”

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

front 22420 Sundown Drive   Carrollton, VA

This move-in ready home is on a 3/4 of an acre lot overlooking woods and marsh with a fenced backyard for added privacy. The downstairs master has a soaker tub and separate shower with a large walk-in closet. Open floor plan, perfect for entertaining and great kid friendly neighborhood.

View the Virtual Tour at:

Listed by: Lee Cross

kitchen2 landing masterbedrm back

Mr. Peanut: making a noise after 94 years!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Did you know that Mr. Peanut has been around since 1916? Planters Peanuts actually held a contest to create a company logo which was won by a fourteen year-old schoolboy named Antonio Gentile. He won the contest with his drawing of a Peanut Man and an artist later added spats, a top hat, a monocle, and a cane to the drawing, and Mr. Peanut was born.


Over the years he has become a mascot that is synonymous with Suffolk, but it wasn’t until this last week, at 94 years old, that our Mr. Peanut was given a voice!



He’s now got his own facebook page!


He’s even changed color. He is now brown, rather than yellow, and changed into a gray flannel suit. I can understand the change of clothes and the new look, but the accent doesn’t sound like he’s from around here!


So isn’t it strange that Mr. Peanut sounds somewhat like Sherlock Holmes? It’s all fair and good getting a celebrity to do the voice over, but I think it would be more fun for him to have a true Suffolkian accent – Don’t you?  Shall we start an online campaign?


What are your thoughts of the new Mr. Peanut?

DOD’s HAP Program: A Valuable Benefit for Seller’s

Friday, November 12th, 2010

The Homeowner’s Assistance Program (HAP) is a selling program for military and federal civilians who face financial loss when selling their primary residence. This a wonderful program that I have found to be very helpful for my sellers, and many people don’t know that it exists.

The Army Corp. of Engineers will reimburse sellers up to 95% of their loss prior to closing, which enables sellers to sell even when they are “underwater”. If that benefit is not enough, they will purchase your home from you to help you sell. I just completed a sale where the homeowner bought the property in 2006 for $350,000, was relocated and sold the home for $260,000. Because this seller would still owe over $20,000 if they were given the 95% reimbursement ($4,500 remaining payoff on mortgage, $15,600 in brokerage fee, and their own closing costs), the DOD bought their home from them, paid off their mortgage, and conveyed it to the buyer. The sellers in this particular transaction only had to come to the table with $2,600. The DOD even paid their real estate agent’s brokerage fee!

Tell your friends and family about this little known benefit, and call me if you have any questions. I will be happy to walk you through the process

Margaret Richardson

Work: (757) 539-2111
Cell: (757) 635-9546

Freedom is not Free

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Last week I was picking up my wife from the Norfolk Airport and I saw a  young family waiting in the same area I was. My first thought was that they were waiting for the arrival of a Grandparent, since I am now one twice, but what I observed was that it was a good bye to the father, who must have been a solider. The little boy, maybe 3 years old, just would not let go of his father and finally the mom had to pick him up and walk away. It was sad, it was real life, it was a reminder of how much our young service families sacrifice for us. We hear often that Freedom is Not Free, but we forget until we see what it means. God bless our troops and all those that serve, we owe them more than we will ever realize.

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