Archive for March, 2011

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011


2736 Burning Tree Ln   Suffolk, VA 23434

Turn key ready home in fantastic neighborhood. Wonderful floor plan, new carpet, paint & hardwood floors. Large fenced backyard with deck. No POA. Convenient commute, great schools & near shopping. Well priced & ready to go.

Listed by: Margaret Richardson

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Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

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106 Oliver St   Suffolk, VA 23434

Brick ranch on 2nd hole of Suffolk Golf Course. Formal living and dining room, large den with fireplace, hardwood floors, laundry/mud room off kitchen with sink & door to backyard & deck, carport, & 2 car detached garage. New roof in 2010 & new windows in 1996.

Listed by: Barbara Kayes

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Lynn’s Favorite Pound Cake

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake with Cream Cheese

Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr & 10 mins

1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
⅔ cup strawberry glaze
1 (6-inch) wooden skewer

1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beating until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
2. Gradually add flour to butter mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts. Pour one-third of batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (14 cup) tube pan (about 2 ⅔ cups batter). Dollop 8 rounded teaspoonfuls strawberry glaze over batter, and swirl with wooden skewer. Repeat procedure once, and top with remaining third of batter.
3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Recipe From Southern Living Magazine.

Home Sales Drop 9.6 percent Nationwide in February 2011

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Remember that housing recovery that was supposed to happen this spring? Well, according to the numbers released by the National Association of Realtors, it is not going to happen very soon.

The numbers reported for February, 2011 were rough to say the least. Experts were predicting a drop of 4 percent however we saw the number plummet 9.6 percent. This is the lowest number of homes sold in 9 years. The inventory of homes for sale jumped to 8.6 months.

Overall, the numbers are even rougher to the experts than they appear. The reason why, interest rates. The Federal government is doing everything it can to keep interest rates low including having the Federal Reserve buying up the debt they accumulate. This can only go on so long and then we will see a big bump of interest rates. When that bump hits housing costs will skyrocket removing even more people from the marketplace.

This was the window the economists and the government was expecting housing to improve and help pick up the economy. It looks that that is not going to happen in the near future.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday sales fell 9.6 percent month over month to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, snapping three straight months of gains.
The percentage decline was the largest since July.

The median home price dropped 5.2 percent in February from a year earlier to $156,100, the lowest since April 2002.

“If the price declines persist, even with the job market recovery, that could hamper recovery in the housing market,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Compared with February last year, sales were down 2.8 percent.

Oversupply of homes and a relentless wave of foreclosures are pressuring prices, holding back recovery in the sector, whose collapse helped to tip the U.S. economy into its worst recession since the 1930s. Foreclosures and short sales, which typically occur below market value, accounted for 39 percent of transactions in February, up from 37 percent the prior month. All-cash purchases made up a record 33 percent of transactions in February.

How To Get the Best Price for Your Home.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
  1. Make the most of that first impression. A freshly painted front door, clutter-free front porch, and a well-manicured lawn welcome prospective buyers.
  2. Invest a few hours of sprucing up. Make sure all rooms are clean and tidy. Remove scuff marks from woodwork and repaint walls if necessary.
  3. Think Safety. Make your property as nonperilous as possible for uninitiated visitors. Clean up extension cords, move low hanging light fixtures, and pick up any clutter.
  4. Check Faucets and Light bulbs. Dripping faucets and discolored sinks could suggest worn out plumbing. Burned-out light bulbs can leave buyers in the dark. Take care of these issues before prospective buyers view your home.
  5. Don’t Shut Out A Sale. If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospects mind. Don’t try to explain sticky situations take care of them by replacing the doors or having them planed to close correctly.
  6. Make Room for Space. Potential buyers are not just looking for a comfortable living space, they are looking for storage too. Make sure your attic, basement, garage or storage shed are free of unnecessary items.
  7. Consider Your Closets. A very organized and neat closet appears larger. Box up unwanted items and donate them to charity and pack away those out of season items. The less clutter the better.
  8. Make Your Bathroom Sparkle. Bathrooms sell homes. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. Display your best towels, mats & shower curtain for added appeal.
  9. Create Dream Bedrooms. Buyers look for a cozy and relaxing bedroom. Get rid of excess furniture for a more spacious look. Add a colorful bedspread and curtains to bright up the room.
  10. Let The Sun Shine In. Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospective buyers can see how bright and cheery your home is.
  11. Watch Your Pets. Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when your showing your home. Keep your pets outside or at least out of the way for showings.
  12. Keep a Low Profile. Real Estate agents know buyers – what they need and what they want. Your agent will have an easier time of presenting the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
  13. Don’t Turn Your Home Into a Second-Hand Store. When prospective buyers come to view your home, don’t distract them with offers to sell your furnishings you no longer need.
  14. Defer To Experience. When buyers want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert.
  15. Help Your Agent. Your agent will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through his or her office. You’ll appreciate the results.

Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

As the foreclosures continue to mount up in the market, their selling prices are negatively affecting value across the whole market. It is predicted that 40% of all sales this year will be some type of “compromised” sale and currently 23% of all the houses on the market are compromised, meaning either bank owned, short sale (current loan is greater than selling price) or sale by a large lender like Freddie Mac, FHA, Fannie Mae or the VA from their foreclosed inventory. The sale of the “compromised “ properties is driving prices down because they are selling in a range of 8-20% below what the average sellers want for their homes. Simply put, the foreclosures are pushing prices down for everyone.

It is simple supply and demand. The companies that are selling the “compromised properties” are getting them ready for the market with new carpet and painting. They are making them very competitive.

Currently, in each price range, what is selling is in the bottom 8-15%. I personally think that 70% of all listings get eliminated on the internet by price alone. It is a bottom up price wise search. If you can buy what you want in the bottom 10% price wise of the market, then you never even look at the other homes that are listed.

There was a time when the appraisers did not consider foreclosure properties as “arms length” transaction. This is what we were taught as a standard practice, but when the foreclosure properties become the market, they must be considered. Appraisers are having a difficult time justifying sales values outside of and above the foreclosure market sales. This can result in an appraisal lower than a market sale, which can put the deal in a tail spin.

The most contentious part of this is that review appraisers or loan officers/underwriters also adjust values. That is where we really have a problem in the market, when the loan company wants to set values. It is a very interesting real estate world right now! Actually, we are selling more this year than last. We can help you through this mess, call us. “We’re always open…online” at

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

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718 E. Riverview Dr    Suffolk, VA 23434

Beautiful Brick Ranch in Riverview. 3 BR, 2.5 BA, and 7 total rooms; all of which are large & spacious. Sunken den with stone fireplace opening to patio. Open floor plan with large eat-in kitchen, large living room & dining room both with hardwood floors, large master & 2 additional large bedrooms. Big backyard.

Listed by: Marion Grigg

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Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


1305 River Road    Suffolk, VA 23434

Breathtaking sunsets, true deep water (17 feet at low tide), first class pier with 12,000 lb covered boat lift, floating dock, and dock room. 3600 sq ft house, 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 car garage priced to sell! View Virtual Tour at:

Listed by: Lee Cross

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Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

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231 N. Saratoga St    Suffolk, VA 23434

In-site of the Cultural Arts Complex in Old Town Suffolk. Great starter home with lots of character. Hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace, basement and a large storage shed. View Virtual Tour at:

Listed by: Harry Cross

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