Archive for October, 2012

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

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10260 Old Myrtle Rd   Carrsville, VA 23315

3 bedroom, 2.5 bath Cape located on a beautiful wooded lot. Large great room with vaulted ceiling, 1/2 bath, & gas fireplace. Oversized 2 car garage with a finished room over. Deck & fenced yard. All appliances convey.

Listed by: Marion Grigg

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Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Friday, October 26th, 2012

How will the election affect the housing market?

How will the election results effect the housing market? Good question, no solid answers, but here is my best guess. If Obama wins, then very little will change. Interest rates will need to stay low or the government will have to pay a lot more interest on our National Debt, which we can not afford. The programs that the current administration tried to help the housing crisis have not worked. Their purpose was to keep people in their homes, cut the foreclosure numbers and  thereby decrease  the listing inventory. There were no appreciable results from any of their attempts and I would ask, who were they getting advise from? I see very little change if the current administration stays in office.

So what might Romney do if he gets in? He really does not have a lot of good options. We certainly can not increase the debt to bail out the upside down homeowners. He could work with the banks to make the short sale process happen in a timely manner and get answers to owners and buyers by putting time lines on response times. He could force the banks and lending institution, to allow underwater home owners to refinance at a lower rate for their current loan amounts.

To get the housing market back on a level playing field the inventory must be reduced and we have to have a better economy. The housing market is moving in the right direction, but oh so slowly. In my opinion, Congress and the President, who ever it is, must  give the business community some straight answers on where they stand and how health care is going to go or we will simply continue to muddle through in this recovery.

I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this subject. Care to speak up?!!!

Click the link below to see an interesting article from The Washington Post:

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012


109 Windy Pines Ln   Suffolk, VA 23432

Almost 2 acres of peaceful country living, located within an easy commute to all of Hampton Roads. Huge screened in outdoor living area, detached garage. Recent updates to home make this a must see property.

Listed by: Susan Wilkins

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Don’t Overlook a Home’s Potential

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Home shopping for first-time homebuyers it’s an exciting, albeit nerve-wracking, experience. If you’re like others in the market for their first home, you probably have in mind exactly how your soon-to-be home will look. But it’s important not to fall into the bad decorating, dingy walls and dirt-bare back yard equals bad-home trap. If you don’t see past the hideous wallpaper, funky light fixtures and avocado green carpeting, you may miss out on a home with great potential.

One of the first things to do is to get pre-approved for a loan and determine the maximum you can afford to offer for a house. Don’t look at homes that are asking for more than 5 percent above your maximum, otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment if you find the perfect—but outside your budget—home.

The floor plan of the home is extremely important. If a floor plan isn’t quite to your liking, consider rearranging it or adding on. If you’re looking at an existing home and will need to remodel or expand to suit your needs, the estimated cost of renovation needs to be considered when making an offer.

Also, consider the features of a home:

  • Walls. While these are among the easiest to remedy, they also make a huge first impression. If the walls need to be painted, are covered in wallpaper or are painted a color you find distasteful, picture them crisp and clean in the color of your choice—that’s how they could look after you paint them.
  • Floors. Like walls, carpet or floor surfaces that are old or outdated can be easily replaced. You could even ask for a carpet allowance in your bid, especially if you’re in a buyer’s market.
  • View. Things like old, ugly—even dirty—windows and window treatments can make a view appear less desirable. Those things can be improved, so unless the only view you have is of your neighbor’s clunker on the side of the house, don’t get hung up on what is surely a fixable view.
  • Landscaping. Your best bet is a moderately landscaped yard because you can always improve landscaping without spending too much. Worst case, even if you’re looking at dirt, landscaping is one of the easier projects to tackle. Plus you get to design it however you’d like if you’re starting from scratch.
  • Closets and garages. You can never have too much storage space, which is why so many newer homes have three-car garages. But if you encounter a converted garage that is now a bedroom or storage room, don’t give up. Converted garages can almost always go back to their original purpose without much cost or labor.
  • Kitchen. The most popular room in the house, many homeowners want their kitchen to be large and have modern appliances. Don’t let outdated color schemes deter you because there’s nothing like a fresh coat (or two) of paint to make a kitchen your own. Plus, if you like the rest of the house enough to make an offer, you can give the kitchen a minor spruce-up with some new appliances or a major overhaul complete with new countertops, cabinets, and flooring.
  • The exterior. If the home doesn’t have good curb appeal, try to picture it with a fresh coat of paint and revitalized landscaping.
  • Pools. If you want a pool, buy a home with a pool already built in. Pools are expensive and you will not get a full return on the cost when you go to sell. Let someone else lose the return. The cost of repairing a pool is less than putting one in, so if you’re looking at a home with an old pool that looks like it’s in bad shape, it’s still a better bet than putting one in later.

When making an offer, consider what you can’t live without, as well as your budget. Also, be sure you hire a professional home inspector to inspect the house. If the home’s systems are in good working order and the house has everything you want except a minor item or two, make an offer accordingly.

Most importantly, keep in mind that unless you’re building your dream home from scratch, you’ll probably never find the perfect home. But seeing past a previous owner’s bad decorating choices to the core of the home and its potential for livability will yield you the home you’ve always wanted. It may take some work, but hey—it’s yours.

Recipe of the Month

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Chicken-and-Three-Bean Chili Verde RecipeChicken-and-Three-Bean Chili Verde

Yield: Makes 12 cups
Total: 45 Minutes

  • 14 fresh tomatillos (about 3 lb.), husks removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 extra-large chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (16-oz.) package frozen whole kernel white corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can small kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Toppings: avocado slices, shredded Jack cheese, fresh cilantro sprigs

  1. Bring first 3 ingredients and 3 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan; boil 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté onion and peppers in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until tender. Add corn; sauté 2 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; sauté 4 minutes.
  3. Remove tomatillo mixture from heat, and cool 5 minutes. Process mixture in a blender until smooth.
  4. Add chicken, beans, and tomatillo mixture to Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in tortilla chips and next 4 ingredients; cook 5 minutes or until tortilla chips are soft. Serve with desired toppings.

Southern Living-October 2012

Want to Sell Your House This Fall?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Fall often signals a slowing down in the real estate business. Meaning if you’re selling, you’ll want to do everything you can to make you house look its best. As you set out to put your home on the market and add your home sale to this year’s statistics, keep the following fall tips in mind:

  • Curb appeal. A home shopper’s first impression is everything. The moment they pull up to the curb, they’ll make an instant judgment. You’ll want to be sure it’s positive. You can begin by making sure leaves are raked, and your shrubs and bushes are pruned.
  • Make sure your walkway is free of leaves and debris.
  • Trim trees so unexpected winds don’t knock down branches that could damage your home or hurt anybody.
  • If it is rainy, be sure you have a good doormat so all potential homebuyers can wipe their feet and not traipse mud and water through the house.
  • Make sure gutters are free from debris and are draining properly.
  • If you already have snow, be sure you clear the front walkway to the door. And if you have stairs leading to your front door, make sure they’re not icy.
  • If you live in a warm region, plant a few fall annuals to give your exterior some instant color.
  • Be sure your lawn is mown and fertilized.
  • Make sure your door area is clear from bicycles and toys.
  • Hang a festive fall wreath on your door.
  • Fall is an excellent time to paint your house if you live in a warm region. If your house’s exterior looks drab and you’re in a buyer’s market, you may want to consider painting to raise your home’s appeal.
  • Keep the house cozy. Entering a cold house could leave an unfavorable impression. Instead, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
  • Place a nice fall centerpiece on your dining room table.
  • Decorate the house with festive fall embellishments and bright orange pumpkins.
  • Make sure the back yard isn’t covered in leaves. Also, try to make it look as child-friendly as possible so potential buyers can envision what the space will look like for their own children.
  • If you live in a warm region and still use the patio in the fall, make sure your patio area is inviting and attractive. Clean your patio furniture and arrange it keeping the views from indoors in mind. Spruce up the area with a few container plantings.
  • Windows. Make sure your windows are sparkling clean, especially if you live in a sunny region that doesn’t get much fall rain.
  • Walls. If you’re thinking about touching up the paint on your walls before you put your home on the market, keep the colors neutral and light. A light yellow or beige will make the room feel cooler than a brick red or dark taupe.
  • Let the light in. Open blinds and curtains so plenty of light illuminates the home’s interior.
  • And, just like any other time of year, get rid of the clutter throughout your house. And get rid of any offensive odors that may come from cigarette smoke or pets.

Finally, if you’re selling your home during the fall, there’s nothing more inviting to a potential home buyer than the aroma of a freshly baked, cinnamon-laced apple pie!

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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Paradise found! Six bedrooms, deep water pier with boat lift & jet ski lifts. Enjoy the waterfront view from your new home, hot tub, pool, or multiple decks. Large detached garage, private 5 acre lot & a low cost heat system (geo-thermal) make this a must see home.

Listed by: Lee Cross

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Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

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2966 Desert Rd   Suffolk, VA 23434

Shows great. Open floor plan with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a country front & back porch & a large deck. Oversized detached 2 car garage with pull down stairs & floored upstairs. New carpet. Wet bar in great room & bay window in kitchen. Show & sell property.

Listed by: Marion Grigg

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Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

3020 Driver Station Way W Front

3020 Drivers Station Way   Suffolk, VA 23435

Lovely 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath with open floor plan. Eat-in Kitchen area & formal dining room, gas fireplace in family room. Master bedroom with jetted tub. Lighted crawl space. Deck on back.

Listed by: Phyllis Evans

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