Archive for August, 2012

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

new pics 114 125 Oakdale Terrace   Suffolk, VA 23434

Pristine Hardwood floors, tile, lots of cabinets in the kitchen, & the white picket fence makes this a dream come true home. Large porch for entertaining, and a fenced in back yard for kids to play. This is a must see home.

Listed by: Lee Cross

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Harry’s Corner

Friday, August 24th, 2012



The mansion at 204 Bank Street and all of its furniture is going to auction. Cross Realty is not handling the auction, but it is a wonderful opportunity to see one of Suffolk’s most impressive and elegant homes and the period furniture. You can take a virtual tour by going to A B Cole’s auction website,

I hope you will take advantage of the times that it is open Friday 8/24 6pm-9pm, Sat. 8/25 10am-3pm, 9/1 10am-3pm. The auction will be held at the Cultural Arts Center on 9/7. Go see this place, it will be fun and you may find something to bid on. If you want to bid on the home, please register Cross Realty as your agent and if you want some advise on bidding, call me.

If nothing else, this is a really cheap date night, include Harper’s Table for dinner! Maybe I will see you there!

What Is Your Home Worth?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The Comparative Market Analysis is key to answering this question.

When you are interviewing REALTORS® to market your home, you’ll be introduced right away to a priceless document—the comparative market analysis(CMA.) This is one of the areas in which the real estate industry really earns its keep—by showing you in black and white what your competition is. But like a sword, it is a tool that can cut both ways. You and your agent will use the CMA, among other tools, to determine where your home will stand in comparison to others which are on the market, and those which have recently sold to determine the highest possible asking price. Your buyer will use it to find ways to reduce his or her offer.

CMA’s are about facts which can be qualified and quantified. The CMA is typically designed to give quick capsules of information such as number of bedrooms and baths, approximate square footage, size of major rooms, amenities such as fireplaces and pools, age of the home, property taxes, listing agent contact information and more. CMA’s can include homes that are currently for sale and those which have recently sold. They can go back in time as long ago as a year or a month or week. CMA’s can cover areas as narrow as one or two streets surrounding your home, or as broad as an entire subdivision.

What is not included in the CMA are those factors that affect perception, and that is the key difference between why one home with identical features will ultimately command a higher price than its twin. Perception alters reality, and this is a crucial consideration in understanding the buying and selling process and the value of the CMA. Much of a home’s value will ultimately be determined by the emotional impact it has on buyers. These emotions are based on subjective elements such as drive-up appeal, interior decor, colors, views from the windows, light, darkness, room flow, and hundreds of other factors.

At the end of each home’s information on the CMA report there will be a brief statement provided by the listing agent. This statement is usually a combination of fact and subjective opinion, and will generally cover selling restrictions or selling points. It could be anything from “seller’s agent must be present at all showings” to “kitchen and master bath completely remodeled in 1997” to “Charming! Must see!” (Keep in mind that Realtors are salespeople, self-employed and have individual styles of marketing and that some will be better at writing CMA reports than others.)

For privacy reasons the CMA that is offered for public viewing does not list every piece of information that has been obtained by the seller’s agent. It will give the what, when, where, but it won’t give the who (the seller’s identity) and the why (why the home is being put up for sale.) The reasons are two-fold, to protect the seller’s privacy and to keep from inadvertently giving the buyer an advantage in a distress situation.

The CMA is clearly a selling tool, but like any tool, it doesn’t work very well by itself. It takes a skilled person to be able to use it. For this reason, the CMA will always need to be interpreted by a professional or with complete objectivity by the seller or buyer. Remember that the CMA is also a buying tool; it is taken just as seriously by the buyer and his or her agent. As you and your agent are going to use the CMA to ask the highest possible price for your home, the buyer is going to use it to find reasons to either choose or eliminate your home, and to arrive at the lowest price possible.

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

new pics 078 529 Ashley Ave   Suffolk, VA 23434

Better than new! Home was built in 2010 & sold for $187,900. Home is in great shape, and features custom cabinets, recessed lighting, island kitchen & ceramic tile. Huge master suite with two walk-in closets & double vanity. Fenced-in backyard with deck. Home is a must see.

Listed by: Lee Cross

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Don’t Neglect the Garage

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

This important space needs to be as clutter free as the home.

Your yard is in perfect order, the front door is freshly painted, the interior is sparkling, and soft music plays lightly in the background. Your house is ready for potential buyers. Or is it?

If you’re like other whose home is on the market, you’ve gone through the steps of making your house show well. But how much time have you spent making your garage look its best?

The garage is an important amenity for many homeowners.

Among new-home buyers, about one-fourth want garages that can hold not two, but at least three vehicles, regardless of the additional cost, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ report, “The Next Decade for Housing.” Most buyers like the extra space for storage.

So, just as you’ve beautified the rest of your house, making it open and clutter-free, you’ll want the same attention given to your garage.

You can achieve that by following these steps:

  • Get rid of all that extra stuff. What’s in all of those boxes lining the shelves of your garage? Gather all the items you don’t use anymore (this would also be a good time to gather those final items from the rest of your house as well) and have a garage sale. Once you’ve sold everything you can, take everything that’s left over to a local charity.
  • Dust the walls and corners. Get rid of spider webs.
  • Hang up heavy-duty hooks for larger items that are taking up room. This will help the garage look more orderly.
  • If you have cabinets, shelves, or ready-made storage systems, organize the contents; get rid of anything you don’t need.
  • Try to get everything off the floor and into cabinets or shelves.
  • Make sure all flammable items, tools, and chemicals are stored away and out of reach of children. You don’t want potential buyers to wonder what else you may have handled irresponsibly.
  • If you don’t already have one, install a smoke detector in your garage.
  • Make sure your garage door opener is working. Are all the extra functions operating properly – the automatic light function, the automatic reverse (this is a safety feature that reverses direction when something is obstructing the door), small opening feature for pets, emergency release, and the wall control panel.

And finally, clean those floors:

  • Wipe up any excess oil with a towel or cloth.
  • Pour some paint thinner on the oil spot, making sure it is fully saturated.
  • Pour an absorbent material over the saturated spot. You can use cat litter, sand, baking soda, corn meal, sawdust, or any other absorbent material you may have on hand.
  • Leave the mixture to set overnight.
  • Sweep up your mixture. If possible, try to use a heavy push broom with sturdy bristles.
  • Pour a little laundry bleach, dry dishwasher detergent or a concrete cleaning solution on the oil-marked concrete. Let it sit for about an hour.
  • Rinse the area off with hot water and scrub the area with a broom.

If your garage has a workbench, extra storage space, or any unique features, be sure you let your real estate agent know so those features can be pointed out to potential buyers.

And don’t forget the garage door, part of the total “curb appeal” package. Make sure it’s clean, and if it’s worn or marked up, a coat of fresh paint is an easy step that will make a big difference to the house hunters who pull up alongside the curb and will likely see the garage right away. While a garage usually won’t make or break a sale, it could be a tiebreaker and adds to the overall first impression.

Recipe of the Month

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Potato Salad-Stuffed Spuds with Smoked Chicken


  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • potato-salad-spuds-chicken-sl-lVegetable cooking spray
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet-hot pickles
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 3/4 pound warm shredded smoked chicken
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Preparation

    Preheat oven to 400°. Coat baking potatoes with vegetable cooking spray; pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Bake 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven, and cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Cut off top one-third of each potato, and reserve for another use. Carefully scoop out pulp into a bowl, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells intact. Stir together sour cream, vinegar, minced garlic, coarsely ground pepper, spicy brown mustard, salt, sugar, and hot sauce. Stir pimiento, 3/4 cup sour cream mixture, chopped pickles, and green onions into potato pulp in bowl. Reserve remaining sour cream mixture. Spoon potato mixture into potato shells; cover and chill 1 to 24 hours. Divide chicken, cooked and crumbled bacon, and shredded cheese; top each with reserved sour cream mixture.

    Southern Living Magazine July 2012

    Featured Property of the Week

    Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

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    504 Murphy’s Mill Rd   Suffolk, VA 23434

    Great Starter Home. Nice brick ranch on a large lot that backs up to the lake. Upgraded kitchen with ceramic tile floor & a nice deck. Convenient to all of Hampton Roads.

    Listed by: Harry Cross & Jennifer Pearce

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    Featured Property of the Week

    Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

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    431 N Main St   Suffolk, VA 23434

    Built in 1837. This house is an excellent example of the historic homes of this era. Unique opportunity to own a truly Historical home. Fully finished attic.

    Listed by: Harry Cross

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    Featured Property of the Week

    Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

    Front 4000 Manning Rd

    4000 Manning Rd   Suffolk, VA 23437

    Enjoy the country living. Approx. 24X24 detached garage with heat & air. Great workshop. Acreage behind home that is cleared is currently maintained by a farmer, so owner only mows yard area. Hope you enjoy your tour.

    Listed by: Phyllis Evans

    Kitchen Family Rm Detached Garage View

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