Real Estate Blog

You may have seen my latest blog post last week in regards to our local market.  If you didn't believe me, take it from the national data.

Am I allowed to say I told you so??  Please don't miss the bolded highlights.  It is risky to wait it out any longer.

AnnaMaria Andriotis, MarketWatch

Last Update: 9:20 AM ET 1/14/14

Bloomberg

Patience seems to have paid off for those who’ve postponed putting their homes on the market until this year, real estate analysts say. They stand to pocket the kind of profits not seen since the housing boom.

Prices surged more than 10% in many markets last year, bidding wars are once again common, and homes are routinely going for well over the asking price in some cities. These trends make it seem

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Real Estate is my business.  As a business owner, I must be an expert in my field, provide excellent customer service, as I have built my business on referrals, and I must know my market better than anyone else.  This practice of Real Estate takes constant education.  Homes are being bought and sold every day, which means our market is changing every day.  I attend a monthly course that focuses on our region’s economic factors.  These factors include things like affordability, home value changes, number of homes sold/pending and active on the market, foreclosures, jobs, etc.  You get the picture, the study is complex.

Here is what I see for 2014. We will have the best real estate market we have seen in 7 years.  I say that for several reasons.  2013

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Fall HomeInventory is at a record low in much of the nation right now and Hampton Roads is no exception.  The interesting thing about our local market is that the fall is notoriously a busy market for real estate.  This is due to our military community.  Many military families receive orders in the fall and will need to suddenly buy or sell a home.  For buyers right now, this can mean there is not much to choose from, and for sellers, it means there will be a buyer for your home.  It is all about supply and demand.

Working with buyers, I help them get financing in order; have a general idea what they want in a home and where they want to live. As a Realtor, my job is to help keep the frustration to a minimum.  The excitement of finding a home can easily wane if

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Today's Real Estate Market is quite interesting.  On one hand we are dealing with rising interest rates and a growing economy.  On the other hand we see rising sales and prices.  What does all of this mean to you, a potential seller or buyer?

Let's take a walk back in time.  The average 30 year fixed rate mortgage 5 years ago (February 2008) was just under 6% at 5.92% with ½ point fee.  The average 30 year fixed rate mortgage was nearly the same in August of 2004 (source Freddie Mac.com).  Rates were almost exactly the same, yet 2004 was a boom year and 2008 was a bust year for real estate.  Gain some perspective by comparing those rates to today's average at 3.53% with .6% fee (according to FreddieMac for the week ending 2/1/2013). The media would have

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In the listing business of real estate, many people ask if they should hold off until after the holidays to list their home.  Some agents recommend waiting until after Super Bowl.  I think it depends on how badly and how quickly you want your home sold.  My most recent listing had proposed this same question to which I answered "how soon and how bad?"  Their particular situation was to hurry and sell so they could buy a home to get closer to family.  In my opinion, list now!  I sold the home in 7 days all over Thanksgiving holiday, and they couldn't be more excited to begin the next chapter. 

The flipside of this equation is that some buyers must buy now.  In fact, I am working with a buyer who will relocate here and report for duty January 2nd.  Their

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The Alanton-Baycliff pool was a huge draw as we chose the neighborhood where we will raise our family.  Our search for our neighborhood started with the idea of a large, sprawling yard, excellent public schools, public green space, and BEACHES!  We drove through neighborhoods, walked them on a Saturday with our kids and dog, played on their playgrounds, and timed the drive to the Bay and Oceanfront.  We talked with friends and visited preschools and schools. 

The decision to leave behind our tight-knit Norfolk community in Larchmont was tough, but we sold our home and headed east to a little place called Virginia Beach.  Virginia Beach is a much newer city than Norfolk and with a newer city comes newer community amenities such as parks and rec

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The Cost is More Important Than the  Price

Buyers are often advised to look at the COST of purchasing a house more than the PRICE of the home. Obviously, price is part of the cost equation. The other piece, assuming you are not an all cash buyer, is the mortgage rate. The mortgage rate to finance a purchase can have a dramatic impact on the overall cost. Recently, there are more people talking about the possibility that mortgage rates could begin to increase.

HSH.com studies trends in mortgage rates. They explain: “A better economic climate almost always brings higher rates, and a lessening of the troubles in Europe from massive central bank assistance adds to the movement of money from safe havens to more risky assets, driving rates upward.”

At the

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Why Hampton Roads is a GREAT place to raise a Family:

People always ask me what makes the Hampton Roads area a nice place to raise a family.  There are a lot of things in this area that make it the ideal place to raise a family, but here are my top reasons:

Water/Beaches:  Anyone who has flown in or out of the Norfolk International Airport can see that there is no shortage of Water here!  Located on the elbow of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the area is home to some of the best beaches and rivers in the region and arguably the country.  This abundance of water has created a mecca for boating and other water related activities.  Whether you are a seasoned fishermen, surfer or sun worshipper, you will fall in love with all the recreational

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5 Reasons that 2012 is the year to buy a home

1). Prices are low!  The market is starting to see an increase in home prices.  This is an indicator that the low home prices we are seeing may not be around for much longer.   If you are interested in being a home owner, then now is the time to do it.  Remember what you learned in Economics 101…. “Buy low and sell high”.  Now is the time to buy low!

2) There aren’t as many foreclosures out there.  What does this mean to a home owner?  Part of the reason for the downward pressure on home prices was the flood of bank owned foreclosures on the market.  Banks are in the business of lending money not owning homes.  When a home owner walks away from a home and the bank is then left with a vacant home, they are

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Overheard this weekend

I was at a Girl Scout end-of-year pool party on Sunday afternoon.  There were 7 little girls and all of their family members meeting in the backyard of one of the parents, willing to entertain this crowd.  We were in the beautiful Chelsea neighborhood in Virginia Beach, which is lush with mature trees, waterfront homes, with a historic flair.  The homeowners had done a beautiful job updating the home but keeping the historic character of a reproduction period home.  The homes in Chelsea have the character of a home you would find in Norfolk’s Larchmont or Lochaven neighborhoods.  But, the neighborhood is 3 miles to the Chesapeake Bay Beaches (Chicks Beach) and 5 miles to the North End Beaches.  It is situated on Great Neck Road, a

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