The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

The Best Brunch Spots In Virginia - Richmond and Hampton Made the List!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 @ 02:53 PM

Pavilion_cafe_breakfast.jpgVirginia.org recently published a list of the 13 best brunch spots in Virginia.  The list contains spots known for quality food, service, atmosphere...and maybe most importantly, quality cocktails!  Restaurants from Northern Virginia down to Virginia Beach are known to be crowd pleasers, and a few are even located in our backyard!

Venture Kitchen & Bar—Hampton

Sunday 10am-2pm

At Venture Kitchen & Bar, brunch is serious business. Not only does the restaurant have a regular brunch menu that is reliably tasty, but they also have a rotating menu that changes every week so that you can try something new. When it comes to Sunday brunch cocktails, you’ll find some “old faithfuls” like mimosas, but there are many intriguing options as well, like the French 75 and the Queen’s Cousin.

Local Favorites: Fried Eggs Benedict, Orange Blossom Cocktail, Corned Beef Hash

Millie’s Diner—Richmond

Saturday 10am-3pm, Sunday 9am-3pm

This popular Richmond spot has been around for over 25 years, but their tasty brunch menu never gets old. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Richmond residents flock to Millie’s Diner for one of the best brunches in the city. Although the wait can sometimes be over an hour to get in, the food is more than worth it. Plus, the bartender will fix you up with mimosas or Bloody Marys that will make the time seem to fly by.

Local Favorites: Devil’s Mess, Huevos Rancheros

The Jefferson Hotel—Richmond

Sunday 10:30am-1:30pm

If you’re planning on eating brunch at The Jefferson Hotel, make sure you are ready to “tuck in”, as they say. Sunday Champagne Brunch at this historic Richmond location has seemingly endless tables of some of the finest food imaginable, including a platter of smoked salmon and a full seafood raw bar, an impressive ham carved to order, an omelet station manned by several chefs, a lavish dessert display, and so much more (Including bottomless mimosas and coffee!). We could go on and on about this brunch, but you need to experience it yourself to understand why every Richmonder will recommend The Jefferson as a must-visit brunch destination.

 Local Favorites: Raw Seafood Bar, Omelet Station

Next time you find yourself asking, "where should we eat brunch", consider one of these local favorites!

Great restaurants...just another reason why we Love Where We Live!!!

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Tags: Hampton, Locals - 101 Reasons, Richmond

Julie Casey, agent with Liz Moore & Associates, Dancing to Benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and Literacy for Life

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

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Julie Casey, agent in the Liz Moore Williamsburg office, is competing in "Dancing with the Williamsburg Stars" on Saturday, March 4th at 7pm.  The event is being held at Phi Beta Kappa Hall on the Campus of William and Mary, and all proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Literacy for Life.

Three ticket options are available:
*VIP Package($115.00 per person): mingle with the Stars during a pre-show,5:30, cocktail reception at The Muscarelle Museum, then enjoy premier seating for the event and unlimited drinks during intermission. *Only a limited number of VIP package tickets will be sold*
*General Seating 1 ($60.00 per person): View the show from a floor level seat.
*General Seating 2 ($35.00 per person): View the show from a balcony or floor level seat.

Click here to purchase tickets.

If you are unable to attend the event, you can still support Julie by making a donation (click here).  Every little bit helps!

Julie was born and raised on the Eastern Shore and moved to Hampton Roads 23 years ago! She is an Associate Broker with Liz Moore & Associates and specializes in residential real estate sales in Williamsburg, Virginia. Julie is the proud Mom to son Mason, currently studying film and photography in Los Angeles, California, and daughter Cora, a sophomore and Honor Role student at Lafayette High School.

Julie is honored to be invited to participate in Williamsburg Dancing with the Stars and looks forward to raising lots of money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Literacy for Life.

She is appreciative of the support and encouragement she has received from the Williamsburg Dancing with the Stars committee, family, friends, co-workers, and the “Real Stars”, those truly on the front line of these worthy programs who make a huge impact on the lives of so many each year!

Julie would like to thank the community for supporting these amazing organizations. She is honored to be a part of the cast this year and hopes to see you there! Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Dancing with the Williamsburg Stars...just another reason why we love where we live!

Tags: Locals - 101 Reasons, Williamsburg

Liz's Crystal Ball for the Peninsula Housing Market

Posted by Liz Moore on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 02:50 PM

crystal.jpg2016 was a solid year for local real estate. Here on the Peninsula, closed sales finished up
9.5% for the year, with pending sales up just under 10% in December, which is activity higher
than we typically see during the holidays. The New Year has started off with a bang, which I
believe is indicative of another strong year for our market.

We are entering 2017 with only slightly over 5 months of active inventory, and homes selling,
on average, in only 97 days. That is good news for sellers who are priced properly and in good
condition. The exception here is the luxury market, where sellers need to be significantly
more patient – there is currently 10 months of inventory priced at $750,000 and up.
Prices remained remarkably steady during the past 12 months, with the median sales price on
the Peninsula hovering right around $180,000 for most of the year.

Here is what I see in the coming 12 months:

Consumer confidence has been our biggest challenge in recent years, especially
during the contentious presidential election. With that behind us, activity levels have
definitely regained momentum.

My expectation is that there are many sellers who have been waiting for more favorable
market conditions to list – and that should begin to happen as we move toward Spring.
We saw a 30% jump in new listings in December, signaling that wise sellers recognize the
importance of beating the competition to the Spring market.

As prices begin an inevitable rise, consumers will realize that moves need to be made ASAP
in order to take advantage of a 7 year streak of historically low rates and home values. It’s
important to note that the market can shift quickly, and the pendulum is likely to continue its
swing toward lower inventory levels, creating a more competitive environment than we’ve seen
in recent years.

Interest rates will begin a slow and steady climb this year.
Interest rates began their inevitable ascent in the final quarter of 2016, and we are expecting at least 2 more increases in 2017, according to our friends in the mortgage industry. The good news is that this is a sure sign of a strengthening economy, but the bad news is that each hike raises the bar on home affordability. My prediction is that this will add some urgency to the market this year, particularly in the lower price ranges.

We recently got some great news for home buyers as FHA lowered mortgage insurance premiums, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now offering low down payment mortgage products (3%) in order to compete with their government counterparts. That, combined with underwriting restrictions which are finally beginning to ease, should encourage first time buyer activity that has been priced out of the market.

Prices will finally begin to show improvement in many neighborhoods.
Prices are neighborhood specific, and some areas are definitely improving faster than others. I expect the market to continue to trend toward more normal appreciation rates in 2017 and beyond.

My overall message here remains the same as last year: If a home purchase is on your New Year resolution list, buy early in the year, as interest rates have a much greater impact than most realize. For instance, waiting for prices to drop 5% to save $12,500 on a $250,000 purchase may cost you an extra $225 per month in payments; if rates increase from 4% to 5.5%, then your payment increases from $1194 to $1419. For most buyers, the affordability index of monthly payments is a more critical consideration.

Your support and referrals are much appreciated, and we promise to deliver the extraordinary client experience that has become our hallmark!

*All stats based on Broker Metrics for REIN Area 101-113 residential home sales in 2016.

If you’re a seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell, email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised.

How Much is My Home Worth?

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Tags: Home Sale Statistics & Trends, Hampton, York County, Newport News, Poquoson

Model Grand Opening in Hallsley at Midlothian...there's chocolate and wine!

Posted by Liz Moore on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 02:52 PM

perk fb ad.jpgJoin Liz Moore & Associates and The Southern Select Team on Friday, February 24th, from 11am - 1pm for our Perkinson Homes Model Grand Opening at 1906 Muswell Court in Hallsley at Midlothian. Enjoy luscious chocolates paired with exquisite wines creating a slightly sinful delight!

Attend this Grand Opening and our Dusty Boots Preview on Feb. 25-26 to be entered into a drawing to win a private party at Ashton Creek Vineyard.

For more information on this event, or to get started building your dream home in Midlothian, email us at concierge@lizmoore.com

Tags: New Homes, Richmond

Eight Tips for Buying Your First Home

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 03:11 PM

Buying-a-Home-Keys-1.jpg

By Virginia Lascara, TowneBank Mortgage

1. Check your credit.
A homebuyer’s credit score is a crucial factor when it comes to qualifying for a loan. Before starting the mortgage process, scour your credit reports for mistakes, unpaid accounts or collection accounts. If you find a mistake, write to the credit issuer and the credit reporting bureau and tell them what information you believe is inaccurate, and include copies of documents that support your position, and request a deletion or correction. If your credit isn’t so stellar, you should be sure to start making all your payments on time. Your credit utilization, or how much credit you’re using relative to your available balance, is important to your credit score as well. Keep your utilization score low, only using and only using up to 30 percent of your available credit. Realize that it could take several months to get your credit score back in order.

2. Get your finances together. Keep track of how much money you have coming in each month, and how much is going out. Once you assess your monthly cash flow, you’ll have an understanding of how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. If you don’t like the number you’re left with, think about how you can change your spending habits. Gather all the necessary financial documents, such as your two most recent pay stubs, the previous 2 years’ W-2 forms, tax returns and the past two months of bank statements.


3. Calculate all costs and determine how much you can afford. A lot of first-time homebuyers forget to factor in added expenses to their mortgage payments. Your monthly mortgage payment will include principal and interest, real estate taxes, insurance, and private mortgage if you put less than 20 percent down. Don’t forget to factor in homeowners association dues, maintenance, and higher electric and water bills.

4. Get preapproved. After you’ve discovered what your comfortable spending on a home, talk to a TowneBank Mortgage loan officer to see how much you’re qualified to borrow. By obtaining a letter of preapproval, you can start the home buying process with confidence that you can obtain financing. Plus, you won’t waste time shopping for houses out of your price range. Just remember, just because you’ve been preapproved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you have to spend that amount.

5. Don’t spend all your cash on the down payment. Although a big down payment can help slash your monthly mortgage payments, it’s important to not deplete your savings account. When something breaks, you need to make sure that you have enough funds to fix it. There are also additional costs associated with buying a house, such as moving costs, utility down payments, or the purchase of maintenance items such as tools or lawn movers.

6. When you’re looking at houses, focus on what’s important. Come up with a checklist of must-haves, and another checklist of nice-to-haves. Make sure you don’t sacrifice a must-have for a nice-to-have. Maybe you’ll have to live without the granite countertops to achieve your perfect location.

7. If you’re buying into a homeowners association, know the rules. Ask the homeowners association for their contract before you make a decision. Your HOA can govern how many or what type of pets you have, what type of alterations you can make, or the color of your home’s exterior. Take a look at their finances, insurance policies, fees, rules and fines, and meeting minutes to gain some insight. If your neighbors fail to pay their fees each month, you could be on the hook for their payments. Ask neighbors about their opinion of the HOA and any concerns they have.

8. Don’t finance any new purchases. Once you’ve been approved for a loan, you should not take out any new loans or open new lines of credit. You might be tempted to finance a new dining room table or leather sectional for the living room, but doing so could result in higher interest payments or even the loss of your loan. Wait until your loan closes before making these purchases.

Are you thinking about starting the home buying process? Talking to a local lender is a great first step! Contact McKim Beale, with TowneBank Mortgage, at mckim.beale@townebankmortgage.com and he can help get you started.

Tags: Buyers

Liz's Crystal Ball for the 2017 Williamsburg Housing Market

Posted by Liz Moore on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 @ 04:04 PM

Crystal Ball.jpg2016 was a solid year for local real estate. Here in Williamsburg, closed sales finished up 6.4%
for the year, with pending sales up over 10% in December, which is activity higher than we
typically see during the holidays. The New Year has started off with a bang, which I believe is
indicative of another strong year for our market.

We are entering 2017 with only slightly over 4 months of active inventory, and homes selling, on
average, in only 50 days. That is good news for sellers who are priced properly and in good
condition. The exception here is the luxury market, where sellers need to be significantly more
patient – there is currently 10 months of inventory priced at $750,000 and up.

Prices remained remarkably steady during the past 12 months, with the median sales price in
Williamsburg hovering right around $300,000 for most of the year.

Here is what I see in the coming 12 months:

Consumer confidence has been our biggest challenge in recent years, especially during the
contentious presidential election. With that behind us, activity levels have definitely regained
momentum.

My expectation is that there are many sellers who have been waiting for more favorable market
conditions to list – and that should begin to happen as we move toward Spring. We saw a 30% jump in
new listings in December, signaling that wise sellers recognize the importance of beating the
competition to the Spring market.

As prices begin an inevitable rise, consumers will realize that moves need to be made ASAP in order
to take advantage of a 7 year streak of historically low rates and home values. It’s
important to note that the market can shift quickly, and the pendulum is likely to continue its
swing toward lower inventory levels, creating a more competitive environment than we’ve seen
in recent years.

Interest rates will begin a slow and steady climb this year.
Interest rates began their inevitable ascent in the final quarter of 2016, and we are expecting at
least 2 more increases in 2017, according to our friends in the mortgage industry. The good news is
that this is a sure sign of a strengthening economy, but the bad news is that each hike raises the
bar on home affordability. My prediction is that this will add some urgency to the market this
year, particularly in the lower price ranges.

We recently got some great news for home buyers as FHA lowered mortgage insurance premiums, and
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now offering low down payment mortgage products (3%) in order to
compete with their government counterparts. That, combined with underwriting restrictions which are
finally beginning to ease, should encourage first time buyer activity that has been priced out of
the market.

Prices will finally begin to show improvement in many neighborhoods.
Prices are neighborhood specific, and some areas are definitely improving faster than others. I
expect the market to continue to trend toward more normal appreciation rates in 2017 and beyond.
My overall message here remains the same as last year: If a home purchase is on your New Year
resolution list, buy early in the year, as interest rates have a much greater impact than most
realize. For instance, waiting for prices to drop 5% to save $12,500 on a $250,000 purchase may
cost you an extra $225 per month in payments; if rates increase from 4% to 5.5%, then your payment
increases from $1194 to $1419. For most buyers, the affordability index of monthly payments is a
more critical consideration.

We were fortunate to participate in 1 out of every 6 home sales in greater Williamsburg in 2016,
insuring our position as the #1 agency in the local market. Your support and referrals are much
appreciated, and we promise to deliver the extraordinary client experience that has become our
hallmark!

*All stats based on Broker Metrics for WMLS, 23188, 23185, and 23186 residential home sales in
2016.*

If you’re a seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell, email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised.

How Much is My Home Worth?

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
Click below to subscribe to our blog

Subscribe!

Tags: Home Sale Statistics & Trends, Williamsburg

Cupcake Wars for CHKD & Comfort Zone Camp!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 @ 01:21 PM

Mark your calendars – our Annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser will be held on Friday, February 10th from 11am – 2pm (or until we run out of cupcakes) in ALL THREE Liz Moore offices!  Get creative and donate your prize winning treats, or stop by and pick up some baked goods for your sweet tooth.  All proceeds will go to CHKD and Comfort Zone Camp.

CupcakeWars2016_eCard.jpg

For more information on how you can contribute to this event, email Lynnette at lynnettetully@lizmoore.com.

Help us spread the word by inviting your friends and sharing the Cupcake Wars facebook event on your wall!

Tags: Locals - 101 Reasons

Richmond Sees Dramatic Rise in Sold Price to List Price Ratio

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

RVA.jpgIn the Central Virginia Region, sold price verses list price trends yielded a 96.7% ratio, up from last year's 79.7% (November 2015), a dramatic 21.27% upswing.

As we begin to move into the year's busiest selling season, this will certainly create pressure on decreasing Month's Supply of Inventory (MSI) in the months to come.

What does this mean to you?  Now is a great time to sell!

Statistics are from CVRMLS, and are based on data from Dec. 2015 - Dec. 2016. 

If you’re a seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell, email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised.

How Much is My Home Worth?

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
Click below to subscribe to our blog

Subscribe!

Tags: Sellers, Home Sale Statistics & Trends, Richmond

10 Common Mistakes Investors Make

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Jan 05, 2017 @ 02:12 PM

Despite what you may watch on late night TV infomercials, don’t expect to “get rich quick” in real estate.  There are many ways to build wealth by creating a profitable real estate portfolio, but it takes investment savvy, patience, research, and time.  We would love to help you get there!investment_growth.preview.jpg

Here are the 10 most common mistakes that novice investors make:

#1    They begin their investment adventure without a plan.  They buy a piece of property, convinced that it’s a “good deal” and then go about figuring out what to do next.  That’s working backward, and it’s likely to result in trouble.

Begin by creating an investment strategy, based on your individual goals.  That might be building long term wealth, or it may be realizing some quick profits in return for some sweat equity, flipping houses.  Our investment experts can guide you in establishing a plan based on your particular objectives. 

#2    They tend to be emotional.  Investing in real estate is very different than buying a home as a personal residence.  It’s important as an investor to be detached, and stick with the formula that produces the return on investment objective that you’ve set.  If you find yourself in a bidding war, you should be able to walk away when the price exceeds the established parameters in your formula.

#3    They fly solo.  Novice investors try to pinch pennies by wearing all the hats in a transaction.  Successful investors work in teams, where they have surrounded themselves with a circle of professionals who are all working together to deliver a common goal.

At a minimum, you’ll need an experienced investment REALTOR, an accountant, an attorney, a lender, and access to a reliable network of contractors, including a home inspector and a handyman.

#4    They pay too much.  Again, stick to your formula.  A carefully prepared analysis can tell you exactly what your return will be, based on certain criteria.  You must be willing to walk away if the seller is unrealistic or unwilling to work within your parameters.

#5    They avoid doing homework.  You wouldn’t think that you’re qualified to perform brain surgery without years of education and specific training.  So, why is that so many would-be investors jump right into major financial purchases without investing any time at all in research and knowledge?

There are many great books available on the subject, many on our bookshelf.  There are also hundreds of great articles and case studies available to you online.

#6    They skip due diligence.  No matter how sweet the deal appears, you should always perform due diligence before getting so far into the transaction that you’re committed.  At a minimum, that means getting a qualified home inspector to do a thorough review of the property, to alert you to any condition issues that you’ll need to account for in your proforma.

#7    They underestimate tax consequences.  There are many different ways to build wealth through real estate investing.  Understanding the ways that you can capitalize on tax benefits is an income stream in and of itself.  You should thoroughly understand the ramifications of capital gains, as well as the opportunities presented by 1031 tax deferred exchanges, before you pull the trigger.

#8    They ignore timing.  Although the buzzwords in real estate have long been “location, location, location”…savvy real estate investors know that the real key to building wealth is “timing, timing, timing.”  All real estate is cyclical, and understanding the dips and peaks can mean the difference of thousands in your pocket.

Be a student of the market.  Understand inventory levels, absorption rates, days on market, and appreciation percentages for the areas that you’re focused on.

#9  They don’t do their financing homework.  Having the right lender on your investment team is an ace in the hole.  By understanding your long term investment objectives up front, an investment lender can make sure that you are qualified for the right loan programs to meet your objectives, as well as making sure that you have funds available when you need them.  Sometimes an investor is better served by a banking relationship, and sometimes a mortgage loan officer is a better fit…all depending on the scope of the investment plan.

#10  They don’t have a Guide.  Creating a team, resources for knowledge and case study review, help to determine investment goals, and a plan to get there, access to a network of experienced professionals…all of those things add up to successful investing.  And, all of those things are delivered by a seasoned investment counselor, someone who is experienced and knowledgeable and connected.  We would love to be your Guide!

Download our FREE eBook, Field Guide to Real Estate Investing, and find out what every investor should know!

Download The Field Guide to Real Estate Investing

 

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Tags: Investors

Can You Predict the First Snow Fall of the Season?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Jan 02, 2017 @ 10:20 AM

Snowflakes-snowflake-clipart-transparent-background-free.pngCalling all weather experts...or, just good guessers!  Predict the first day we'll see an inch or more of snow in our area this winter.  Closest guess will win a $100 gift card to the restaurant of their choice.  The contest will run unil it snows!  Good luck!

Click below to register your guess.

Call the Snowfall!

 

 

Tags: Locals - 101 Reasons