For the first time in our memory all of the major statistics we track have double digit percentage changes based on year over year numbers.  Here is the chart that compares September 2020 to September 2019:

This chart isn’t that different than last month, but last month the median sales price was “only” up 7.84%.  This month we sneaked into the double digit range at 10.04%.  Another interesting note is that while the number of months of inventory is still down, Hampton Roads actually had 8.89% more homes listed for sale last month than in September 2019. 

As we said last month, what is really happening is buyer demand is making homes sell faster for more money.  From the buyer side, there are not as many homes to see, but there are homes available for sale.  Our trivia question for this month is: What year was the last time the median sale price showed double digit growth based on year over year numbers? 

We love talking about real estate. If you are wondering what your house may be worth in this market, reply to this email, or give us a call (757-726-7653 for Lee, 757-434-9084 for Harry).

Even if buying a home isn’t on your list of to-do’s for the next year or two, it’s definitely smart to start thinking about how much you can save towards that purchase when the time presents itself. Coming up with a down payment for your new home doesn’t have to be intimidating – in fact, there’s a huge reward after putting in the hard work – a brand new home to call your own. In this step-by-step checklist we will cover the basics of how you should start saving for one of the biggest purchases of your life.

Figure out just how much you want to save______ (check)

In order to determine a hard number for this, it’s best to give us a call . During this initial conversation you will get a better understanding of our loan products and the down payment affiliated with them. *Pro Tip – Getting pre-qualified first will set you up for success because you will have a better understanding of the loan you will choose and ultimately how much your loan requires you to put down.

Determine your timeline ______ (check)

The second item of business on this checklist is ultimately deciding when you are thinking of buying your new home! There are plenty of “life” factors that play into this, maybe it’s in your one, five- or even 10-year plan. If you’ve found a loan that doesn’t require a down payment (they do exist) then you’re already sitting pretty. If you need to start saving, building out a timeline will help immensely! *Pro Tip – It’s always smart to start as early as you can.

Come up with a saving strategy ______ (check)

The thought of saving thousands of dollars may seem overwhelming, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll reach your goal and be on your way to becoming a homeowner in no time. There are several strategies that can help you get there even faster, including saving your tax returns, bonuses from work and cutting back on eating out just to name a few. *Pro Tip – Automating an allotted amount of money each month helps you save without having to do a thing! As you can see, the process of saving for a down payment can start as early as you’d like! And honestly, the earlier the better when it comes to determining just how much you want to put down on your new home. This kind of preparation will spring you ahead of the game and ensure no monetary surprises when you find your dream home.

 To get the process going give us a call at (757) 615-5172 or email 

Celebrating Virginia’s Originals

Oysters are the oldest documented food in the Commonwealth, dating back to 1607 when the first English settlers at Jamestown survived on oysters pulled from the James River. The Virginia Oyster industry has a rich history which reached its heyday in the 19th century, when nearly eight million bushels were harvested in one year. Virginia is celebrated as the Oyster Capital of the East Coast, with eight different regions harvesting their own distinct flavors. These exceptional tastes range in salinity, creaminess, and sweetness. Unique to Virginia, wine made from grapes grown in the same watershed as oysters pair perfectly – proving that “what grows together, goes together.”

When the temperature drops and it’s wet and dreary, one’s thoughts turn to eating something that warms the soul.  Virgina claims the honor of being “The Original Home of Brunswick Stew”.  Brunswick county, just a few miles down Route 58, is the documented birthplace of the hearty meat and vegetable-based stew that has long warmed brisk autumn and winter days. Original recipes were once made with wild game such as rabbits and squirrels, but today’s variations usually include chicken or pork smoked for many hours before making their way into the pot. 

The humble Handsome peanut  raised in Southeastern Virginia is the largest of the four peanut types grown in the United States. The Virginia Diner in Wakefield is famous for the peanuts it packages and sends around the world. The first known commercial peanut crop of Virginia originated near the town of Waverly in 1842. By 1902, Virginia had quickly become the largest peanut producer, with fourteen of the twenty factories operating in the United States. 

Since the 17th century when settlers learned the Native peoples’ art of smoking meats, Virginia country hams began to earn an international reputation. Most famous are Smithfield hams, which, by law, must be cured within Smithfield’s town limits. Ham Biscuits are a staple at any Virginia table throughout the holiday season.