Archive for May, 2011

How to Sell in Tough Times

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

(MONEY Magazine) — If you’re in the market to sell your home, you probably feel you can’t catch a break. Nearly five years into the housing bust, when many experts thought the real estate market would at least have stabilized, sales and prices are still dropping in most of the country.

In February existing-home sales tumbled 9.6% from the previous month, and the median price of a single-family home dropped to $157,000 from $163,900 the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

You can’t count on things turning around soon, either. At the current sales pace, it would take 8.6 months to clear out the 3.5 million existing homes listed today.

With the boost from the recent homebuyer tax credit gone, anyone who decides or is forced to put a house up for sale enters a market where houses often linger a full six months — even a year — without any bites.

Put part of the blame on stiff competition: Foreclosures and short sales, which accounted for 39% of sales in February, sell for about 15% less than conventional homes. “It’s dreadful out there for sellers,” says Patrick Newport, a US economist at forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

Fortunately, there is one glimmer of good news. Bargain hunters, too, know that home prices are down some 32% from their peak. In a recent CNNMoney survey, three-quarters said that it was a good time to buy a home. But translating that interest into an actual sale can require some extreme measures.

It’s not enough to show buyers your house is a deal: You have to convince them it’s a total steal. That means slashing your price, bringing in a pro to pretty it up, and creating a killer website for your home. Here’s how to do it right.

Slash Your Price, Big time

Sellers are still loath to accept the extent of the toll the bust took on their homes’ value, says Tara-Nicholle Nelson, consumer educator for the housing website

Many also give in to the temptation to list the property above fair market value to see what happens. Big mistake! About a quarter of sellers in the past year initially listed too high and were forced to knock the price lower, according to Even in cities that have held up well, such as Charlotte, 25% of sellers resort to at least one price cut, and often two

Memorial Day Events in Hampton Roads!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011


Memorial Day Observance: Suffolk, VA

Confederate Monument –Cedar Hill Cemetery

Downtown Suffolk

Admission free

May 28, 2011 10:00 am

Contact 334-1671

Presented by: Suffolk Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy

Memorial Day Observance: Newport News, VA
American Legion, Braxton-Perkins Post # 25 sponsors this annual ceremony commemorating Memorial Day. This annual ceremony (which is free and open to the public) is held at 11:00 am at the Victory Arch located at 25th Street and West Avenue in downtown Newport News. After the ceremony provides an excellent opportunity to visit the Virginia War Museum (located at 9285 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA) and explore the rich military history of Hampton Roads. (Ceremony location: Victory Arch, 25th Street & West Avenue, Newport News, VA; Cost: Free; Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm).

Memorial Day Ceremony: Virginia Beach, VA
This moving ceremony sponsored by the Mayor’s Veterans Committee honors all veterans for their service. The ceremony (free and open to the public) is held at the Tidewater Veterans Memorial (19th Street Virginia Beach, VA, directly across from the VA Beach Convention Center) starting at 12:00 pm and ending at 1:00 pm.

Memorial Day Parade: Portsmouth, VA
Portsmouth, VA’s Memorial Day Parade has been an annual tradition since 1884, making it the oldest Memorial Day parade in the United States. The parade (which is free and open to the public) begins at 11:00 am and winds its way through downtown Portsmouth.

WHRO Memorial Day Concert – Symphony in the Park: Norfolk, VA
Enjoy a concert presented by the Virginia Symphony at Town Point Park in Norfolk, VA. The patriotic concert is a new tradition honoring those who have served in the US military. The concert is free and open to the public. (Location: Town Point Park, Norfolk, VA; Cost: Free; Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, park opens at 3:00 pm).

Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The market continues to improve in the number of sales, but it still is the foreclosures and bank owned properties that are getting the most attention and that is all to do with price. Numerous trade organizations and governmental organizations have proposed possible solutions, none have really been successful.  The government has attempted numerous programs from tax incentives to the HAP program, with little results. Home buyer tax credits prompted purchases, but mostly of bank owned properties. Struggling homeowners’ needs have gone wildly unmet.

In an interview with CBS News, John Boehner, House Speaker, said:  “Over the last couple years, Congress has really set up four programs to help with those mortgage problems. And unfortunately, none of those have worked. And all they’ve really done is drug out the length of time for the market to clear the problems. Which is unfortunate?” “I’m even more skeptical today that there isn’t anything the government can do to resolve these problems.” One real question is: Is it the government’s job to fix housing or should it correct itself? It isn’t exactly a partisan issue and it is the largest part of the economy that has been crippled. The only thing that really has helped sales is the drop in values, which is the same thing that hurt the market the most. It is still a mess and unfortunately looks like it will stay that way for a while. IT IS ALL ABOUT PRICING. We know where your home will sell, call us we can help!

Recipe of the Month

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Tiramisu with Sweet Tea
Makes: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 min  Total Time: 13 hr. 30 min
2 Family-size tea bags
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 (8 oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
2 (3 oz.) packages ladyfingers
1 or 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
  2. Discard tea bags. Add 1 cup sugar, stirring until dissolved. bring tea mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 to 22 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Remove mixture from heat, and let cool to room temperature. (about 30 minutes).
  3. Stir together mascarpone cheese, vanilla bean paste, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  4. Beat whipping cream sat medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, fold into cheese mixture.
  5. Separate ladyfingers in half. Arrange 24 ladyfinger halves, flat sides up, in the bottom of an 11X7-inch baking dish. Drizzle with half of tea mixture. Top with half of cheese mixture. Repeat layers once. Cover and chill 12 hours. Sift cocoa over top just before serving.

Optional Topping: Toss sliced strawberries & pitted fresh cherries with a little sugar and almond liqueur; add shaved chocolate.

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

pics 057 2129 Partridge Place   Suffolk, VA 23433

Located in the highly desirable Cedar Point neighborhood. This move in ready home has it all: large eat-in kitchen, huge master closet, 2 car garage, sun porch, and a beautifully landscaped yard. View Virtual Tour at:

Listed by: Lee Cross

pics 084 pics 087 pics 260 pics 304

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

front113 Shepherd St  Suffolk, VA 23434

A perfect opportunity to own a home in the desirable Walnut Hills subdivision. Situated on a large lot in a cul-de-sac. Oversized A/C unit, Hardwood Floors,  & Ceramic Tile in the Kitchen and Bathrooms.

Listed by: Dan Lawson

kitchen living room master backview

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


1739 Mill Wood Way   Suffolk, VA 23434

Property for sale or lease ($1750 a month). Sunny and open floor plan, extensive network wiring, pre-wired for Christmas lights. Vaulted ceiling in master suite, jetted tub, huge pantry & utility room. Home is in great condition and has private wooded backyard.

Listed by: Margaret Richardson

kitchen familyroom upstairs1 backview

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