Archive for December, 2013

Happy Holiday’s from Harry

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

For over sixty years with three generations, the Cross Family has been serving Suffolk and the surrounding area in real estate sales, listings and property management. We thank you for the privilege of helping so many families and friends with their real estate needs.

We wish you all the best of the holiday season and we look forward to the privilege of professionally helping your family, in the coming years. As in the past, the Cross family will continue to make donations to the Salvation Army, the Joy fund, Suffolk Free Clinic, numerous fuel assistance programs, the Red Cross, the United Way, the Genieve Shelter, various education scholarships, food pantries and many others. We ask you to help out too.

It is also important to shop locally. Check out all our local businesses have to offer. Support the businesses that support our city.

Harry L. Cross, III

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Cross Realty!

Recipe of the Month

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Standing Rib Roast with Red Wine Mushrooms
  • Roast
  • 1 (7-lb.) 4-bone prime rib roast, chine bone removed
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Red Wine Mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  1. Prepare Roast: Let roast stand at room temperature 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk together mustard and next 3 ingredients; reserve 1 Tbsp. mixture. Rub remaining mixture over roast; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place roast on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan.
  3. Bake at 450° on lower oven rack 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°; bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 120° to 130° (medium-rare) or 130° to 135° (medium). Let stand 30 minutes; transfer roast to a serving platter, reserving drippings in pan.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare Red Wine Mushrooms: Skim fat from reserved drippings; place pan on stove top over 2 burners. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and moving pan as necessary to prevent hot spots. Add mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes. Add shallots; cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in wine; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in broth; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Stir in reserved 1 Tbsp. mustard mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice roast, and serve with mushroom mixture.
Ask your butcher: Have the chine bone removed. A thin bone that runs perpendicular to the rib bones, it will get in the way of slicing once the meat is roasted and has rested.
Roast like a pro: Start roasting at 450° for 45 minutes to form the caramelized crust. Then reduce the temperature and finish cooking to keep the inside pink and juicy.
The right temp: 125° for prime rib lovers. Remember: The internal temp on large roasts like this will continue to rise as the roast rests.
Southern Living – December 2013

Mortgage rule changes are coming in 2014

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The world of mortgage lending has changed significantly since the housing bubble burst. Mortgage lenders have returned to traditional loan standards that require extensive documentation of income and assets for a loan approval

Government regulatory agencies also continue to react to the housing crisis, with more adjustments to mortgage requirements set to go into effect in 2014:

Qualified Mortgage Rules

Whether you’re thinking of buying a home or mulling over refinancing your mortgage, Jan. 10, 2014, could be an important date for you to remember. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in the process of implementing regulations to meet goals set forth by the Dodd-Frank Act in Congress, which was meant to correct the errors that led to the housing crisis. The CFPB’s “Qualified Mortgage,” or QM, rules go into effect in January. Essentially, these rules require lenders to prove borrowers’ ability to repay a loan by meeting several guidelines, including a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. While many lenders already limit borrowers to a similar maximum debt-to-income ratio, the new rules won’t allow for any compensating circumstances such as significant cash reserves or a large down payment to be considered in order to offset a higher debt ratio.

If you have credit problems or a high debt-to-income ratio, you may want to push through your loan application for a refinance or home purchase to make sure you close your loan before the new rules go into effect. However, many lenders are already using QM standards in order to make sure they’re in compliance with the regulation. Mortgages that don’t meet QM standards will have to be held by the lender rather than sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so most lenders are careful to meet the new standards.

The 3 Percent Rule

The new QM requirements also limit fees for originating a loan to no more than 3 percent of the loan amount. If you’re financing a more costly home, such as a $400,000 home or more, the lender can easily keep fees under 3 percent, which in this case would be $12,000. However, if you’re refinancing a smaller loan balance or purchasing a less expensive home — for example, for $80,000 — the lender might find it more difficult to keep all fees under $2,400. Mortgage lenders are less likely to offer loans for smaller amounts since they won’t always recoup their costs and make enough profit to pay their staff. If you need a small loan, you may want to push to get it closed before Jan. 10, 2014.

Self-Employed Borrowers

One particular group of borrowers will most likely be impacted by the QM rules: self-employed borrowers. These borrowers already are heavily scrutinized and find it more difficult to obtain a mortgage because they must prove their income based on tax returns and profit-and-loss statements, rather than standard paystubs and W2 forms. The “ability-to-repay” feature of QM rules requires all borrowers to prove they have the cash flow to make payments on their mortgage. Self-employed borrowers often have fluctuating income and rely on cash reserves to pay bills in-between payments, but the emphasis on cash flow can make it harder for lenders to approve a loan even for someone with significant funds in the bank.

Potential Lower Loan Limits

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced in October that plans to reduce the maximum loan limits for conventional conforming loans will be delayed until later in 2014. Typically, loan limits are adjusted on Jan. 1 of each year, but the agency decided to wait to see the impact of the introduction of QM rules before making changes. Currently, the limits are $417,000 in most housing markets and rise to $625,500 in high cost areas. If you need a mortgage near these limits, it would be wise to close your loan earlier in 2014 rather than later in case limits are lowered.

2014 Remodeling Trends

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood Survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.

Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads come a bunch of new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.

1. Modern Kitchens

According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine, 61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014, more than any other room in the house. And, those remodels are expected to follow a new trend.

Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, modern is in, with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.  Appliances are more likely to be blended into the design or hidden away from view entirely to give the kitchen a sleeker appearance.

2. Brass Accents

Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to pick up in 2014. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a facelift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks will be incorporated into kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout the house.


3. Updated Bathrooms

In the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58 percent of remodelers planning to do bathroom remodels in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms that feature amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, heated floors or towel racks, and jetted bathtubs. For coloring and style, glass tiles will be a popular feature as well as neutral and cool colors like ash gray, light blue and off-white.

Remodel 2

4. Vibrant Colors

While the kitchen may be getting the modern single-shade treatment next year, designers have a different idea for other rooms. Bright accent colors such as turquoise, yellow and orange that were popular in 2013 have a new twist; in 2014, they’ll be more of a focal point and even more vibrant with colors such as Green Flash, Lemon Zest, Nectarine and Rouge Red, according to Pantone, the international authority on color. Designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls, main paint colors and flooring throughout bedrooms and main living spaces.

5. Sustainable Materials

Going green is nothing new, but sustainability may get easier in 2014 remodels. According to Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, “Manufacturers and builders are constantly getting greener and greener in the way they source materials and put up homes.”  As a result, “Energy efficiency is becoming an assumption, not an add-on.” Next year, remodels will include more renewable materials such as bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and additional designs that incorporate the local climate

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013



25393 Old Mill Rd   Windsor, VA 23487

Huge 1st floor master, brand new paint, carpet and appliances, all on over an acre of land! Quiet country living, only minuets to 460 for an easy commute. Downstairs has a den, family room, and office. Upstairs has 2 bedrooms, full bath and bonus room! Large deck, carport, and great front porch.

Listed by: Lee Cross


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