Archive for June, 2012

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

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205 Causey Ave   Suffolk, VA 23434

Come see this charming home in Lakeside. Updated in 2010-2011 with new roof(30-year), new deck(12X14), refinished hardwood floors, built-in cabinets in living & dining rooms, custom kitchen cabinets, updated bathroom fixtures, decorative landscaping, & more. CCA available. Priced below city assessment.

Listed by: Lee Cross

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Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Monday, June 25th, 2012

It is hot. I wish we could translate that into the real estate market, which is still on the cool side for sellers. Looking at the sales charts from REIN MLS it shows a spike of closings in April of 117 houses sold in Suffolk. January had 51, February had 64, March had 84 and May had 91. The market got hot and then it is trending back to slow. We expect the market to stay about the same for the next few months. The listings that are selling are foreclosures and short sales making up about 40% of the total market and the balance are homes that are priced very competitively. The indication of what a seller should do is simply, no action or showings, better lower your price. A hard message for stressed sellers, but there is a price in every range that is getting some demand and sales.

If you know someone in a foreclosure or short sale situation; make sure they understand they need two types of help. An attorney to advocate and guide them through the process that is experienced in helping clients in the foreclosure process and secondly, they need marketing of their property with an experienced broker. Call us we can help!

Fly the flag for the 4th of July and be thankful you live in the USA!

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

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1824 Mountainside Ave    Suffolk, VA 23434

Wonderful location (owner’s children walk to school), new carpet, & great layout make this home a must see. The neighborhood is close to the highway for an easy drive to all Hampton Roads. Not a short sale, just a great price.

Listed by: Lee Cross

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What To Expect After Listing

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Selling a house can be a lot like remodeling –- it takes longer, costs more and is more emotionally draining than you thought but in the end was worth doing. Knowing what to expect when your house goes up for sale can be half the battle of getting through the transaction. Most people are a bit excited when they put their house on the market. Hopefully, they are moving up to a better home or off to new challenges in another city. Unless you’re the rare homeowner who gets multiple offers above the asking price days after listing, the sales process can be an emotionally challenging time. Here’s a look at what you can expect once you sign a listing agreement:

The first thing your agent will likely do is place your home in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This notifies all other agents in the area that your home is for sale. It will also likely appear on the Internet at Soon, a for-sale sign will appear in the yard and a lockbox will be attached to your house, most likely the front door. The lockbox allows local agents access to the house when you aren’t home.

It may seem unsettling but it’s important to allow agents to show your home when you are away, especially in a slower market. If you don’t have a lockbox, many agents will put you at the bottom of their client’s list of homes to see because it’s a headache to track down your agent, who must track you down to find out when you’ll be around, which may not fit into the buyers’ schedule. Plus, unless you’re in a hot sellers’ market, there will be plenty of other houses to see.

Open house

Your agent will want to have a couple of open houses as soon as possible, which is why it’s not recommended to list your house until everything is ready for a good showing. This means you’ll likely be swamped with last-minute touch-ups and clean-ups to get the house ready

The agent will likely have a brokers’ open house, which is during the week, so area agents, hopefully with clients looking to buy, can see the property. Next, traditionally on a Sunday, will be the public open house.

It is best if you are not present during open houses because buyers want the freedom to look in closets and make comments. That’s difficult for most people to do it you are present. When potential buyers come for a viewing, try to step outside while they tour your house.

Whether you have additional open houses is between you and your agent. Many sellers incorrectly think that multiple open houses are needed to sell a house. In fact, few houses are sold at open houses but there are many good reasons to have one for the public and another for agents.

Traffic patterns

You should get the most traffic the first two to three weeks your house is listed. Anyone looking for a house similar to the one you’re selling will want to see your home. Don’t fret when the traffic dies down.

The average days on market (DOM) can be 60-90 days in a normal cycle, depending on the area of the country. In a slower market buyers can take their time and they usually do. If you have buyers come back a second or third time it usually means they are seriously considering your home and you’ll want your agent to keep in contact with their agent. Any offers, even one you consider low-ball, is a chance to begin negotiating, which often leads to a sale.

Neat freak

Keeping your house in tip-top shape, especially if you have kids and pets, is one of the more difficult parts of selling your home. But remember, buyers will walk into your house and try to picture living there.

Most people don’t have the vision to look past toys scattered throughout the house, dishes in the sink or pet food spilled on the floor. It doesn’t matter that they probably live the same way.

Changing course

Sellers usually hit the wall at about six weeks. The initial excitement of listing has waned, you’ve tired of keeping the house looking like a model and are irritated at yet another looky-loo coming through the front door.

Unless you are in a very difficult market, if you have not had serious interest in six weeks, it’s time to meet with your agent and discuss sales strategy.

Markets can change quickly, so you need to consider price and any physical changes or improvements that could enhance the home. This doesn’t mean you have to remodel the kitchen, but maybe realizing the garage should be cleaned out or the pink bedroom walls should be repainted can make the difference.

When you sign the listing agreement, you can generally expect a three-step process to begin: Getting ready, showing it off and responding to the market place. If you are prepared, especially for the last one, you can avoid getting that prescription for sleeping pills to get through the process.

10 Summer Moving Tips

Monday, June 18th, 2012

How to prepare for a seamless transition

If you’re moving this summer, the busiest season for moving, you know how daunting it can be. But if you create a blueprint for your move, the transition from house to house will go more smoothly.

Here are 10 things you can do to prepare for a seamless transition.

  1. Full serve, partial serve or a do-it-yourself move.  Can you do it alone or should you hire a licensed moving company for a full-service or partial-service move?  This is one of the first and often most difficult questions soon-to-be moving households face. The answer depends on your lifestyle, household size, budget and amount of time you have to get everything accomplished. Get written quotes from at least three licensed moving companies so you know you’re getting the best deal based on your specific moving needs.  Moving yourself or doing a partial-service move?  Packing calculators can make it easier to estimate the amount of boxes and packing materials needed.
  2. Plan to unpack BEFORE you pack. Take photos of each room in the new home before you arrive with furniture, plants, appliances and family in tow. Write down on a clip board where each item should go in your next home before packing, and carry it with you on moving day. List out the major items that need to be assembled first. As you place each item in its new room, cross it off the list and you will be one step closer to enjoying your new home.
  3. Be strategic about packing.  If you have more than a month to ‘pick up and move’, start early.  Complete a free change of address and schedule utilities ahead of time at  Start packing early.  Whether it’s one room, one cabinet or a drawer at a time, weed through what may be years of accumulation.  As you’re going through your belongings, divide everything into these helpful categories:  donate to charity, give to a friend, recycle, trash, pack now, or keep handy until moving day.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can donate, recycle or give to friends.  And, you’ll not be overwhelmed with the task at hand three days before you move.
  4. Moving is NOT child’s play. Plan ahead. Consider daycare on moving day, or get help from a friend or family member.  Provide lunch or some other appropriate thank you gesture if you do call in a favor. If that’s not an option, prioritize setting up safe places for your children to play in the new home on moving day so they’re not underfoot.  This will help everyone remain happy and calm on moving day.
  5. Don’t fight with Fido. Sometimes we forget that all the packing and constant in-and-out of visitors is stressful for animals. Consider checking your pet into a daycare facility, or setting up a time for a friend to take them or check them into pet day care. Don’t let your four-legged best friends get lost in the shuffle and remember to make day-of moving arrangements.
  6. Keep track of small parts. Some items need to be broken down into pieces when moving, but do you know what to do with the small screws and washers that you end up with? Rather than tape them to the furniture, which can result in losing them, put everything in a baggie that is clearly marked and sealed. Keep all of the separate baggies together in one box on moving day and personally take it with you to your new home.
  7. Take pictures of electronic hook-ups. Hooking up TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers can be challenging. Before unplugging any wires for the move, take a photo of the connections, print them out and label them in detail. This will create fewer headaches when setting up technology in the new home. Keep track of all loose wires using baggies or boxes that are clearly labeled, and personally carry these easy-to-lose items on moving day.
  8. Packing cleaning products and toxins. Products such as detergents, pesticides and paint are heavy and unwieldy to pack. Dispose of as many as possible before the move in an eco-friendly way.  Call your city’s waste disposal department for guidance on proper disposal. For items that must be transported, pack them in a small box within a larger box for protection against leaks. Don’t overstuff boxes with these items! Consider marking these boxes in a different color, and seal them extra tight. Keep them separate from the rest of the boxes, particularly if you have kids and pets.
  9. Consider getting full value insurance protection. If using a professional mover, it may cost a few dollars extra, but it provides peace of mind and eliminates later annoyances. Investing in full value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made at current market value, regardless of age. It’s important to note that the required minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound would not cover the replacement cost of more expensive items such as a flat screen TV if damaged in transit.
  10. Know your rights. If using a professional mover, research your rights as a consumer with either the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for interstate moves or contact the state agency within the state in which you reside for moves within state. Also, enlist the help of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or local law enforcement if the moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings hostage. FMCSA requires interstate movers to offer arbitration to help settle disputed claims.

Recipe of the Month

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Brown Sugar Pork Chops with Peach Barbecue Sauce


Yield: Makes 4 servings
Total: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes
Hands On: 35 Minutes


  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (about 2 lb.)
  • 1 medium-size sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup peach preserves or jam
  • 2 large peaches (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Garnish: fresh oregano sprigs
  1. Combine sugar and salt in a large bowl; add boiling water, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in ice cubes to cool mixture. Add pork chops; cover and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add ketchup, peach preserves, and peaches. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add vinegar; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove pork from brine, discarding brine. Rinse pork well, and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Pour half of peach mixture into a bowl; reserve remaining mixture. Season both sides of pork with desired amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of each chop registers 145°, basting pork occasionally with peach mixture in bowl. Remove pork from grill; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with reserved peach mixture.

Southern Living-June 2012

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

597 Turlington Rd Front 1

597 Turlington Rd    Suffolk, VA 23434

Brick home on large corner lot of Turlington-Jackson Rd with attached and detached garage. Freshly painted and updates throughout home. Just minutes from Rt.58 by-pass. Hope you enjoy your tour and will call to visit.

Listed by: Phyllis Evans

Eat-in Kitchen Back Attached Garage Detached Garage

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

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156 Little Fork Rd   Suffolk, VA 23438

1.78 acre building lot ready for your home. Septic system & well are in place and ready to hook up, subject to city approval.

Listed by: Marion Grigg

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