Archive for January, 2012

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

1109516_101_725215 Carolina Rd   Suffolk, VA 23434

6.98 acre lot. Half cleared in front facing road, remaining wooded in rear. Large road frontage. Perks for ATU Septic System. Horses welcome. Priced $20,000 below city assessment.

Listed by: Tommy Salmon

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Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Good-bye 2011! Each year that goes by gets us a little closer to a better market! It is simply going to take time to work through the foreclosure inventory and for the economy to get to a better place. REIN MLS gives some good statistical data and from that it shows some positive indications. The best was that the December closings were 104 in Suffolk, which matched May closings as the top month. We had a surge at Cross Realty and I think it may have had to do with banks dumping some inventory and great interest rates. Another good sign was that the Medium Sales Price went up, close to $230,000.00 in Suffolk. That was about a $5,000 increase over the last few months. Again a good sign, but I am not sure it is sustainable. We will see.

Our rental market continues to be strong. Cross Realty manages over 300 properties and we continue to have a good record of having them 98% rented. We have been in the rental management business for 59 years and that factor helps with contacts and referrals.

Interest rates are in the 3.9% range. Good time to refinance if your appraisal is above your loan value. It is estimated that about one-third of the homes in the market are “underwater”, their loan is higher than their current market value. We know where your home will sell. It is all about supply, demand, cost of money, the economy and absorption rate. Call us, we can help you. 2012 is going to be a great year!

Recipe of the Month

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

White Lightning Chicken Chili

Makes: 11 1/2 cups
Hands-On Time: 30 min
Total Time: 30 min

Don’t drain the chopped green chiles or navy beans.

1 large sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans chicken broth
2 (4.5 oz) cans chopped green chiles
1 (1.25 oz) package white chicken chili seasoning mix
3 (16 oz.) cans navy beans

Toppings: Avocado-Mango Salsa, sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, fresh cilantro leaves.

Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in chicken, next 3 ingredients, and 2 cans navy beans. Coarsely mash remaining can navy beans, and stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring often: cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

Avocado-Mango Salsa

Stir together 1 large avocado, cubed; 1 cup diced fresh mango; 1/3 cup diced red onion; 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro; and 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice. Makes: About 2 cups.

Southern Living Magazine-January 2012

Featured Property of the Week!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

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1237 Peachtree Dr  Suffolk, VA 23434

Immaculate brick/vinyl Cape Cod in Nansemond Gardens. 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, large master, den with fireplace, sun room, eat-in kitchen, 2 car attached garage and large backyard. Home has been well maintained and shows great

Listed by: Marion Grigg

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Top 3 Real Estate Myths Debunked

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

There are many myths and urban legends in the real estate market, some of which can actually hurt your home sale if you believe them.

Myth #1:  Sellers should still price their home higher than market value to allow for negotiating room.

Truth: Pricing too high in a buyers’ market is a big mistake.  If your home is overpriced in this current market, then agents showing your home will use your property to sell one of the other properties currently listed and in competition with your home.

Three important things to keep in mind when pricing your home:

1. Is your home updated?

2. Does it need cosmetic touch ups like fresh paint and new carpeting?

3. Is your home in a location that will attract buyers or does it back up to a major highway?

These are all items that the buyers’ lender will use when doing an appraisal on the property.  The bottom line is this:  you can price your home at any value you feel is appropriate, however, it still needs to appraise for the selling price in the contract in order for the bank to approve the loan!

A well-trained real estate agent who looks out for your best interests will consult with you on your home’s fair market value and guide you accordingly.  Remember, agents do not set the price of a home, sellers do.  Agents are here to give you current market information in order for you to make an informed decision to price the home in line with what is currently selling.  The worst thing to do is price it higher than what is selling—all you end up doing is chasing the market from a losing position.

Myth #2:  The carpet needs replacing.  Why can’t I offer a credit at closing for new carpet?

Truth: Today’s buyers are looking for houses online and first impressions are critical!   More than 87 percent of today’s buyers are searching for homes online.  They are quite Internet savvy and know what they are looking for.  If your home looks great in the pictures, then chances are good that they will linger on your home’s listing a bit longer.  When they see worn carpeting (and yes, it does show up in the pictures) or outdated appliances they immediately proceed to the next home for sale. They don’t read anything beyond that.

Before your home’s initial debut online, it is important that it show well to draw the potential buyers in—not turn them away!  What seems like a savings for the seller in the beginning of your home’s market time might end up costing much more in the long run.  Remember, buyers are comparing your home to other homes that are currently on the market.  Your home should be inviting so that everyone who looks at it can see themselves living there.

Myth #3:  Updates are not necessary.  Let’s just list the house and see what happens.

Truth: Buyers probably won’t make it to your doorstep if your home doesn’t appeal to them online.  Again we need to be mindful of first impressions.  In today’s market, your home’s online presence is vital to drawing in buyers.  If the pictures of your home look great but the cabinets are circa 1970 and your appliances are old, then chances are good that they will be on to the next listing without batting an eye!  You don’t always have to replace the cabinets.  Sometimes a coat of paint and some new hardware will add life to your home and freshen up its appearance.  This is where a good agent’s expertise comes in handy.

Beware of agents who will not share constructive criticism with you.  They are probably not all that interested in getting your home sold as they are in getting the listing.  Your agent is the professional here and his/her real estate advice should be aimed at getting your home sold as quickly as possible and in the shortest amount of time…”

Selling Your Home, How To Set A Fair Price

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

When talking about setting a price to sell your home, we have to talk about setting a “fair” price. One that will make buyers feel that they are indeed getting a good deal, and one that will enable you to move closer toward your goal.

Home Equity Loans
Many homeowners have tapped into the equity of their homes for one reason or another; to make improvements, to pay off expenses, or to make it through tough times. If you have gone this route you must understand clearly, you have already taken the equity out of your house. You cannot expect to collect twice on that sum.  If you have taken out a home equity loan to make home improvements within the past year or two you most likely will not get back the entire amount in your sale price. There are exceptions and an appraiser or real estate agent can advise you based on your particular situation.

Your real estate agent through a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) will go over with you what properties similar to yours are currently on the market.  Those are important, but more important is what sold and what did not sell. Those tell the story of the tolerance of the buying public.  After all it is the buying public that will set the final sale price. Pay particular attention and ask the agent to tell you about the history of the sold and expired properties.  What was their original sale price compared to the last sale price and ultimate sold price? What were the total Days On Market?  (Sometimes people change Realtors or take their homes off the market to stop the DOM meter from running.) Ask for the true number. This information will demonstrate to you what buyers looking in your particular area are expecting and willing to pay.

Based on the information you now have, you want to create an atmosphere of excitement about your home. Set an impression that will inspire buyers to come to see it and most importantly make a decision.  Buyers who are simply looking are not motivated or they have a sense that this house will be around for awhile. You want to create in essence a frenzy that will lead to multiple interested buyers.

Pricing Confidence
Many times sellers worry about under pricing their home.  The market has your back. If you under price the home you are selling, you can have multiple interested buyers. This will ultimately drive the price up.  Have you ever noticed that once a popular product hits the shelf and is immediately sold out, very often the price goes up? Marketing strategists employ this tactic.  As a home seller you can tap into this approach. Since you only have one shot at selling your house you need to price it to create that frenzy. Overpricing will lead to longevity on the market and ultimately a lower sale price than if you priced it correctly in the first place. A home that remains on the market will lead buyers to assume that there is something wrong with the house or that you are a difficult seller. Neither of which may be the case. Be prepared for low ball offers.

While the current market is one that presents a scenario of an over abundance of homes for sale and not enough buyers to go around, the outcome can still work in your favor. If you present your “product for sale” as one that is more desirable than the competition and priced at or just below market value, you can create a flurry of activity among interested, serious buyers.  And yes you still can have a bidding war for your house. Wouldn’t that be a nice dilemma to have–which offer to accept?

Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

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416 Kilby Ave  Suffolk, VA 23434

Affordable, well-kept, ready to go, 2 bedroom 1 bath cutie w/1 car garage in Olde Town Suffolk just blocks from Town Square & Suffolk bypass. New paint & carpet. Central heat & window AC. Large living room, dining room & kitchen. All appliances convey “as is”. Backyard fenced with neighbors fences.

Listed by: June Little

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Featured Property of the Week!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


1269 Wilroy Rd   Suffolk, VA 23434

Step inside this lakeside home and you will be pleasantly surprised by its open floor plan, gorgeous sunroom, granite countertops, real HW, custom tile & bamboo floors. Plus, there is a luxurious master suite with jetted garden tub & oversized shower. Pendant & recessed lighting throughout.

Listed by: Margaret Richardson

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