Archive for December, 2011

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

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145 Beechwood Dr    Suffolk, VA 23434

Great brick ranch in family friendly Maple Hills, currently zoned for Kilby Shores elementary. The home sits on a large double lot and is an easy drive to all of Hampton Roads. View Virtual Tour at:

Listed by: Lee Cross

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Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011


5845 Mineral Spring Rd   Suffolk, VA 23438

Home in perfect condition with new paint & new roof. 4 large bedrooms and 2 offices, this wonderful home has a potential for 6 bedrooms. New paint and new high-wind roof, Pole Barn with 3 phase power, workshop with AC, 12′ garage doors and 30 X 15 floored attic.

Listed by: Margaret Richardson

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Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Friday, December 16th, 2011

harry-son I want to take this opportunity to thank all those that gave us the privilege to work with them this year through Cross Realty’s Sales and Rental Companies. My Father started this business 58 years ago with a vision to help clients with all their real estate buying, selling and leasing needs. He also made it a company policy to give back to the community in time, talent and a portion of the company income to help where needed in the Suffolk community. I realize that I am blessed to be able to continue that tradition. It has been a very difficult time for our economy and that makes me appreciate even more our ability to help others.

Now let’s talk about INVESTMENT,  that is Human Investment. Our society does a pretty good job to make sure that there is a Thanksgiving Dinner or presents for Christmas for our community. But there are 363 more days in the year. I encourage you this year to make one extra Human Investment that might help on those other days. There are lots of places to do so. You probably have already thought of which one you want to do. So be that Secret Santa and make one more investment this year.

Hope you enjoy this Special Christmas Season and from all of us at Cross Realty, thanks for the privilege of being your Realtor.

Harry L. Cross, III

Home Staging Tip: Look Up

Friday, December 16th, 2011

While we are busying ourselves cleaning, decluttering, and generally preparing our house for marketing, there is an area that is usually overlooked–the ceiling. We are so focused on floors and walls that we neglect looking up and address what is going on above our heads.

First let’s examine the ceiling:

  • Are there water stains from an old leak?
  • Are there settlement cracks or nail pops?
  • Is there evidence of an old sloppy paint job that you vowed to fix but never did?
  • Is the ceiling dingy from years of cooking or smoking?
  • Are there cobwebs?

All of these items are turn-offs to buyers or, in some cases, red flags that there may be an unresolved problem, none of which is good for you as a seller.

How about the light fixtures:

  • Are your light fixtures dated? An inexpensive replacement could change the whole look of a room.
  • Do ceiling mounted fixtures have dead bugs lying in state up there?
  • Do your chandeliers or other lights have missing or dead bulbs?
  • Are spiders busying themselves stringing a zip line from one arm to another of your chandelier?

Ceiling Fans—A bonus feature or deterrent:

  • Real estate agents all hold their breaths when a buyer wants to turn on a ceiling fan.
  • Will they waver and clunk?
  • Will they spray a cloud of dust that starts everyone gasping for fresh air?
  • Or are the paddles so greasy and caked that the word “Eeeww” comes to mind?

Light Bulbs—An important yet overlooked detail:

Light fixtures need to have clean, dust free bulbs with the maximum wattage that the fixture will allow. CFL bulbs may be good for living to keep energy costs low, but for selling you are sending a message that the utilities in this house are high. Take the CFL’s to your new house.
One important, if not the most important, thing to remember is that light sells. Anyone in any kind of marketing knows this. Ever notice the crisp, clean feeling you get on those commercials for car insurance with the ever-exuberant character named Flo? It is done on purpose because light makes people feel good. You want buyers to feel good when they are in your home.”

Recipe of the Month

Friday, December 16th, 2011

1142101_Dream061Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes: 2 dozen
Hands-on: 25 minutes
Total: 2 hours, 18 minutes

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 (1 oz) bottle red liquid food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
White Chocolate-Amaretto Frosting (recipe below)
Garnishes: white chocolate snowflakes, red candy sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in food coloring and vanilla until blended.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir together buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. (Mixture will bubble.) Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Place 24 paper baking cups in 2 (12 cup) muffin pans; spoon batter into cups, filling three-fourths full.
  3. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 45 minutes.)
  4. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Garnish, if desired.

White Chocolate-Amaretto Frosting

2 (4 oz.) white chocolate baking bars
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup almond liqueur


  1. Break white chocolate baking bars into pieces. Melt white chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl at medium (50% power) 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. (Do not overheat.) Let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Beat butter and 1 cup powdered sugar at low speed with an electric mixture until blended. Add 5 cups powdered sugar alternately with almond liqueur, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Add white chocolate mixture; beat at medium speed until spreading consistency.

Southern Living Magazine Dec-2011

Surefire Ways to Get Top Price for Your Home

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Yes, your home is beautiful, and it is where you have lived for the past several years, so who wouldn’t want to buy it? However, it is not enough to simply put a home on the market in order to get the best price.

“Price does indeed rule when it comes to selling a home. However, there are some ways to make sure you are getting the most money for your home you can reasonably expect. In order to get that, you must spend some time planning.

Realize selling your home is all about the buyer. If you want to sell it for top price, you must know who your buyer is, and convince them it is worth that. The seller is already convinced of the home’s value.

Learn who your buyer is and what is important to them. The practical step to #1 is to learn about your buyer and what they want in a home. Find out where they live, why they want to move, and what features they will want.

Market to your target buyer specifically and not to everyone. Most people are not interested in your particular home, but a subsection of buyers is. If you can market to them you will drive more buyers to your home than if you market more broadly.

Have an appealing MLS listing designed for your target buyer. Emphasize the features that are important to your buyer, and have lots of pictures. One picture is plain lazy in this day and age. Homes with 20 pictures or more get much more looks and visits than those with less.

The most important part of your home is the first impression. When they drive up to the house, and walk through the front door, they should already be positive about the place before they walk in. Any issues they see past that point they are more likely to brush off then if they had a negative view before they opened the door.

Selling a home is more of an art than science, and price is still king. But these are some actual practical steps you can do to get your home noticed by the right buyers. The more real competition you can get for your home, the higher the home will sell for. Focus efforts not just on getting bodies through the door, but on getting actual quality buyers making offers. To do this you must learn who those buyers are and you must market and sell to them.”

Featured Property of the Week

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

pics 002 116 AC Milford Lane  Suffolk, VA 23434

Large tract located close to city. Mostly wooded, excellent tract for hunting or residential use. Call agent for details.

Listed by: Marion Grigg

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Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

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117 Shropshire Lane   Suffolk, VA 23434

Home has many upgrades, sellers put in hardwood floors and tile in kitchen, baths & foyer. Nice open floor plan, but has living & dining room & first floor bedroom if needed. Homes exterior is Hardi-plank

Listed by: Barbara Kayes

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