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Spring Fever in Coastal Virginia!

  
  
  

By Liz Moore

One of my absolute favorite things about living in Coastal Virginia is enjoying the arrival of four distinct seasons.  Having grown up in California, I had no idea what I was missing!  It seems that here, spring happens overnight – and that first weekend is simply spectacular. 

One of the telltale signs that spring has arrived each year is the drive into the Oyster Point area of Newport News.  Years ago, Canon Virginia donated dozens of cherry trees to the city, and they now line Canon Boulevard in an explosion of white blooms every April that is not to be missed.

The cherry trees are quickly joined by tulips and daffodils (or buttercups, as my husband’s mother loved to call them) and redbud and forsythia…and, in just a few short weeks, everything is a lush green and the parade of spring blooms is found everywhere.  A brisk walk in the historic district of Colonial Williamsburg is delightful this time of year, to remind us that the chilly winter days are gone for another year, and that a long, lazy summer is just around the corner.

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of photographs taken by our agents to share why they love where they live!

Spring in Coastal Virginia

 

Interested in finding more things to do in and around the Historic Triangle? Subscribe here to our blog as we post ideas frequently.  You also can purchase a copy of Liz’s recently published book, 101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle, in either paperback or e-book version by clicking the button below.

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Virginia Peninsula Real Estate Market Update

  
  
  

As we enter the busy Spring season in real estate, statistics on the Peninsula are showing some very interesting trends.

  • Months Supply of Inventory - 6.0real estate market
    6 months of inventory is considered a balanced real estate market.
     
  • Average Market Time - 101 days
    This number has decreased slightly. 
     
  • Current Median Sold Price - $152,500
    The current median sold price is down 12.5% over the last 12 months. 
     
  • % of Sold Price to List Price - 96.98%
     
  • Closed Sales - down 25.4%
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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Top 5 Outdoor Playgrounds on the Peninsula and in Williamsburg

  
  
  

With the snow and cold temperatures behind us (hopefully!), we are all looking for ways to spend as much time outside as possible.  

After interviewing local moms, the Daily Press published a list of the top five outdoorplaygrounds in Newport News playgrounds on the Peninsula and in Williamsburg.  Whether you have kids, or are a big kid yourself, visiting one of these playgrounds is sure to make for a fun filled Spring afternoon.

1.  Fort Fun
Located in Newport News's Huntington Park, Fort Fun is a fast favorite of many kids.  Very spacious in size, this playground has age-designated areas, a nice breeze that comes off the waterfront, lots of swings for all ages, and if you get tired of the park, you can take the kids to the beach.  The 14,000 square foot playground also features a rock climbing wall and nearby picnic shelters. 

2.  Bluebird Gap Farm
In addition to the large playground at Hampton's Bluebird Gap Farm , children can visit a variety of farm animals. The 60-acre farm has about 150 domestic and wild animals, including deer, peacocks, horses and chickens. The farm and park hosts a regular schedule of events, including hay rides, story times and special family-friendly presentations.

3.  Newport News Park
This playground consists on many different slides and swings for all ages.  You will enjoy the cool breeze and water views.  Make sure you bring bread to feed the ducks! 

4.  Kidsburg
In this Williamsburg playground, you'll find a huge pirate ship with various ways to enter that make you feel like you're really climbing into a ship. In addition to the ship, there is a campsite-themed section of the playground and a zip line.  There is also a smaller gated section for younger kids.

5.  MyPlace
MyPlace Playground is located at the James City County Recreation Center and includes all the features of a traditional playground such as swings and climbing equipment, but is constructed to allow those with disabilities to access every aspect of the facility.

Interested in finding more things to do in and around the Historic Triangle? Subscribe here to our blog as we post ideas frequently.  You also can purchase a copy of Liz’s recently published book, 101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle, in either paperback or e-book version by clicking the button below.

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Did You Know - First Time Home Buyers

  
  
  

According to the 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of REALTORS, 38% of home buyers reported they were first time home buyers. Historically, the share of first time home buyers is 40%.  The South and West had the smallest share of first time home buyers at 35% each, and the Northeast had the largest share at 44%.

In addition, the share of married first time buyers rose in 2013 and remains the largest share of first time buyers at 56%. 

first time home buyers

(image source: 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, National Association of REALTORS)

 

Are you looking to start the home buying process?  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, we'd love to help! Or, click below to download our free Home Buyer's Handbook.

Download Our FREE Home Buyer's Handbook

 

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Family Fest in New Town, Williamsburg!

  
  
  

homes for sale in New Town
The New Town Family Fest will be held on May 3rd from 12-4pm in Sullivan Square at Legacy Hall in New Town.

Visit with Smokey the Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog, get your face painted, ride a pony, check out the petting zoo, fire truck, lego building, and more!

Food vendors will be part of Family Fest, as well as live music by Johnny St. Clair. 

What a great way to spend a Spring afternoon with your family!

Interested in finding more things to do in and around the Historic Triangle? Subscribe here to our blog as we post ideas frequently.  You also can purchase a copy of Liz’s recently published book, 101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle, in either paperback or e-book version by clicking the button below.

Purchase "101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle"

  

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Inspections Needed When Doing a Major Home Remodel

  
  
  

Q: What inspections or building permits do I need for new construction or major remodeling?

There are a wide variety of different inspections, many of which may not be required for your particular project. Many building departments will tell you specifically which inspections you'll need to request, but if they don't, be sure that you ask when you pick up the permits.new homes for sale

Here are some of the more common inspections, as well as when they occur and what the inspector will be looking for.

Footing Inspection: This is typically the first of the inspections, and occurs after the grading has been done and the forms have been laid for the foundation, or at least for the footings. The inspector is looking to see that the footings are the proper size and depth, that any reinforcing steel is in place, and that the location of the foundation does not violate any setbacks.

Underfloor Inspection: This occurs after the foundation has been poured and the floor framing is in place, but before the subfloor is installed. This gives the inspector the opportunity to look at the floor framing, as well as any plumbing or mechanical systems that might be in place under the floor. The inspector will be looking at the size and spacing of the framing; that proper materials have been used wherever the wood meets either the concrete or the soil; and that plumbing and mechanical systems are properly sized, installed and supported.

Rough Inspections: These inspections occur after the rough framing has been completed and all the rough wiring, plumbing and mechanical components have been installed, but before any finished wall and ceiling covering is installed. These are typically the most extensive and complicated of all the inspections, since there is a lot to review and it will all be covered and inaccessible in the future.

The rough framing inspection includes an inspection of all the structural components. The inspectors will be checking that the proper size and type of lumber was used, and that the spacing is correct; that hangers and steel connections are the correct type and are installed with the proper type and quantity of fasteners; that flashings and other weatherproofing measures are in place; and that the roof, windows, exterior doors and other components are in place to make the building weather-tight.

Rough electrical inspections include checking the size and installation of all the wires; the service panel; grounding; installation and location of boxes; installation of can lights; and whether the wires are properly routed and protected. Rough plumbing inspections look at the size and type of pipe that was used; proper slope for drain pipes; vent pipe sizes and locations; size and location of water lines; and that everything is secure and well supported. Rough mechanical inspections include the size, location, and installation of all ducts and vents; installation of furnaces and ventilation fans; and the proper ducting of fans to the outside of the building.

Insulation Inspection: This inspection occurs after the wall insulation has been installed and checks to see that it is complete and of the proper R-value.

Drywall Inspection: Some cities include a drywall inspection, which occurs after the drywall has been installed but before it is taped. The inspectors are checking to see that the proper number and type of fasteners have been used to secure the drywall to walls and ceilings.

Final Inspections: When everything is done, the inspectors will make their final inspections of all systems to ensure that everything has been completed correctly. They will test different systems, check for compliance with manufacturer's specifications, and ensure that everything is operating properly and the house is safe for occupancy.

Remember that this is just a brief overview of the inspection process, and that the actual number, timing and details of the inspections can vary widely. Be sure to talk with your building department to get the specific details of the inspections for your particular project, and to get any of your questions answered before you begin.

Are you thinking about new construction?  Tell us a little bit about your dream home, and we’ll arrange for a complimentary consultation with a new homes expert who can point you in the right direction!

Meet with a New Homes Expert

 

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Neighborhood Spotlight - Coventry, Yorktown

  
  
  

Coventry is a sought-after community in Yorktown, Virginia comprised of nine distinct neighborhoods with approximately 160 mixed-style homes situated on around 320 acres amongst paths, woods, open spaces, and lakes.homes for sale in Coventry

This prime location between Big Bethel Road, Hampton Highway, and Route 17 is convenient to shopping, schools, restaurants, Langley, Fort Eustis, and NASA. Residents may enjoy amenities which include two large recreational facilities, a sports field, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, six lakes, and jogging and biking trails. The homeowner’s association hosts a number of events throughout the year providing neighbors an opportunity to get together.

homes for sale in CoventryHomes in Coventry range in price from $150,000 - $475,000 and in size from 1,349 - 3,174 square feet. 

Want to Get the Scoop on Coventry homes for sale?  Simply click below to fill out the form, designating Coventry as your selected neighborhood, and you’ll receive automatic e-mail alerts when any new listings come on the market in Coventry, or when any closings take place, so that you can monitor home values in Coventry.

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Spring is Here - Enjoy the Noland Trail in Newport News!

  
  
  

The 5 mile Noland Trail in Newport News is a favorite for local runners and walkers. It winds through the woodlands of the Mariner’s Museum Park, and over 14 bridges and along the shoreline of 167 acre Lake Maury. Lake Maury was named for the famed 19th centuryrunning in Newport News oceanographer and native Virginian; so you shall be viewing history as well on this scenic route. Also, don’t miss the famous Lion’s Bridge, a dam decorated by statuary designed by Anna Hyatt Huntington (sculptor and wife of the Mariner’s Museum founder) that provides a breathtaking view of the James River. It’s also a great spot for a picnic!

Spring is here!  Get out and enjoy all the area has to offer. For more infomation, visit http://www.marinersmuseum.org/visitor-information/park-lake.

Interested in finding more things to do in and around the Historic Triangle? Subscribe here to our blog as we post ideas frequently.  You also can purchase a copy of Liz’s recently published book, 101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle, in either paperback or e-book version by clicking the button below.

Purchase "101 Reasons to Love Living in the Historic Triangle"

  

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
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How are Home Mortgage Payoffs Calculated?

  
  
  

By Brian D. Lytle, Esq. 

Q: How are mortgage payoffs calculated?

A:  The settlement agent will obtain a payoff statement from any lender who has a securityhow much is my home worth? interest in your home, and we are obligated to accept that figure (you may challenge it if you think it is wrong though).  Many times sellers erroneously estimate their payoffs because they do not consider or understand that interest is paid in arrears on a house loan.  For example, if you have a principal balance of September 1 but are closing on September 30, then your payoff will include accrued interest from September 1 through September 30.  That amount of interest can be nearly the amount of your house payment.  In addition, since the payoff does not arrive in the lender’s hand as of the day of closing we will add several days to account for transit and processing.

Feel free to contact us, or Brian D. Lytle at Lytle Law (757-595-5655), for questions specific to your situation. We'd love to help!

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

 

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Did You Know the Median Age of Home Buyers is 42 Years Old?

  
  
  

According to the 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of REALTORS, the median age of home buyers remains unchanged from 2012 at 42 years.

The largest share of home buyers is in the 25 to 34 age group, accounting for 30% of recent home buyers in the market. Buyers in the Midwest region tend to be younger, while buyers in the West region tend to be older.

The age groups with the smallest percentage of buyers are 18 to 24 years (with 3% of home buyers) and 75 years and older (with 4%).

buying a home
(image source: 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, National Association of REALTORS)

 

Are you looking to start the home buying process?  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, we'd love to help! Or, click below to download our free Home Buyer's Handbook.

Download Our FREE Home Buyer's Handbook

 

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