Archive for July, 2012

Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

There is lots to talk about. The increase in sales, decrease in number of listings and the continued best interest rates I have ever seen! Andrew Kantor, an information analysis with the Virginia Association of Realtors, wrote in an article published in the Virginian Pilot this weekend “that after five years we can say yes the recovery is here. There are simply too many positives to ignore”. He is right, but there is some more news that the market is progressing but very slowly. We still have a large inventor of bank owned homes that are pushing the prices down for the normal sellers. The article goes on to mention that if one of the next three things happen, we could go backwards:

1. Interest rate rise
2. Our economy does not move forward/unemployment rises
3. The European mess gets out of hand.

Personally I am encouraged by the fact that banks are handling foreclosures quicker and response time has been cut considerably on offers on the bank owned properties, the number of listings have declined, interest rates are great and more buyers are looking at homes. Price, condition and the ability to get a loan are still the keys. We know where to price them to sell, call us, we can help you. Hope your AC can get your home down to a tolerable temperature. Most of our AC systems are just not made to deal with this extreme heat.

Recipe of the Month

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Grilled Shrimp and Smoky Grilled-Corn Grits

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients 2090001_Quick013

2 ears fresh corn
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound peeled, jumbo raw shrimp with tails (1 6/20 count), deveined
16 (6-inch) metal skewers
1 pt. grape tomatoes
1/2 (8-oz.) package fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Grill corn, covered with grill lid, 10 minutes or until done, turning once. Cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.
  2. Bring salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until thickened. Stir in corn kernels, cheese, and chipotle pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Stir together olive oil and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss shrimp with olive oil mixture; let stand at room temperature 3 minutes.
  4. Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers alternately with tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
  5. Grill kabobs, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve kabobs with grits, and sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

Southern Living – June 2012

Debating Between a Condo or a House

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Which is right for you?

A condo can offer a good location at a less expensive price. Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important decisions you’ll ever make. Whether you are a first-time buyer, or a veteran homeowner looking to trade up or make a new start, you will inevitably be faced with a number of questions. Your answers will lead you to the home that’s right for you. One of the most fundamental questions all homeowners face is whether to buy a condo or single family house. There are advantages and disadvantages of each and only you can know what’s right for you.

What is most important to you? Give consideration to the following:

  • Location – Where do you want to be? Are there options for both condos and single-family houses in this area?
  • Privacy – Is it important to you to have complete privacy or do you find close neighbors to be a comfort?
  • Responsibility – Do you need total control over decisions affecting your home or are you attracted to the idea of sharing decision-making with your neighbors?
  • Maintenance – Are you a homebody who enjoys getting dirty in the yard or are you delighted with the idea of never having to cut a blade of grass again?
  • Budget – How much do you have to spend? Depending on where you want to live, a condo may be the only option that meets your budget.

These considerations and others will help you determine the best choice for you now. And just remember, if your interests and priorities change in the years ahead, you can always sell your home and make a move, this time with experience as your guide.

14 Ways You Can Make Your House Show Better

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

You don’t have to be a minimalist when it comes to your decor but if you want to sell your home, your chances improve greatly if you get rid of the clutter. While curb appeal speaks volumes, once potential buyers enter your house, you want them to be able to picture themselves in it. And they can’t do that if your stuff is spilling out all over the place. Clutter is confusion to prospective buyers and that puts you at a disadvantage right away. If you’re living in a cluttered home, you may not be able to see disarray. You see sentimental memories of your beloved grandparents, or knick-knacks from a great vacation; the buyer, on the other hand, sees chaos. They can’t separate the house from the clutter and in a market where there are more homes than buyers, you need every advantage you can get. Even if your house is clean, having stuff crammed in every nook and cranny is visually unappealing.

What to do?

  • Well, you don’t need to hire a stager, at least not initially, but you should consider renting a storage space and clear everything out.
  • Make the house neutral. Make it possible for buyers to mentally move their own belongings in. As with any type of decluttering project, make piles of things you’re going to save, things you’re going to donate, and things you’re going to throw away. Be ruthless. There’s a lot of money at stake, after all, especially if you need to sell your house fast.
  • Call a local charity to pick up your items or drop them off yourself. If you can absolutely, without a doubt have a garage sale or sell items online, you can do that as well but it might be best if you can just say good-bye to what you don’t need any more and give to a charitable organization. Yard sales, eBay and Craigslist take time and organization that you might not have during the selling process.
  • Keep what you’re going to save and store it. You’re not getting rid of it, you’re just getting it out of sight.
  • And throw things away. Really. It’s time.

Here are some particular areas you should pay attention to as you de-clutter.

  • Keep furniture to a minimum in your living areas so that your rooms look bigger.
  • Clear out shoes, coats, umbrellas and other outdoor items from your foyer or mudroom.
  • Move out big pieces of equipment, such as guitars, amps, drum sets, or exercise equipment.
  • Take down your personal photos and store them for yourself. Let the buyer imagine putting pictures of their own family on the walls, tables and shelves.
  • Get rid of old newspapers, books and magazines, recycling if you can.
  • Organize your wires in computers, printers, televisions and other electronic equipment so that it doesn’t look sloppy and overwhelming.
  • Take away those boxes of tissue, medicines, magazines and other items you might have on your nightstand and keep just lamps, clocks and maybe a book or two on them.
  • Edit your bookshelves so that you have a neat, orderly space with books and perhaps a few decorative items, like a vase, globe or other art object.
  • Remove everything from your kitchen countertops, keeping only essentials like a toaster. Add decorating items sparingly (bowls of unblemished fruit look nice). And clear off all those magnetized coupons and your child’s artwork from the refrigerator.
  • Arrange the shelves in your pantry nicely. Have everything point in the same direction so that it looks neat and organized.
  • Get rid of sickly plants and only keep a few healthy looking ones on display.
  • Make sure your beds are made and all extraneous items, like clothes, toys or shoes, are off the floor.
  • Clear out the bathrooms and spruce them up with some fresh soaps, towels or maybe flowers. Hide your razors, toothbrushes and shampoos out of sight in a cabinet while your house is being shown.
  • Clean out your closets so they aren’t packed to the rafters.

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

new pics 112Reduced Price!

101 Governors Lane   Suffolk, VA 23436

Magnificent home in the sought after neighborhood of Governor’s Pointe. Close to the pool, club house, tennis courts & playground. Enjoy the river breezes from 3 different porches & lawn care is provided by POA. Huge master bedroom with French doors & balcony, high ceilings, & an open floor plan.

Listed by: Lee Cross

new pics 161 new pics 148 new pics 129 new pics 119

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