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Meet Your Neighbors in Westport at Ford's Colony

  
  
  

Many of you have asked who is building in Fords Colony’s newest community, Westportwestport at ford's colony

Westport is the newest neighborhood in Ford's Colony, Williamsburg's premier recreational community. The opportunity for the luxury home buyer to purchase an estate lot in a premium community is unlike any other in the Williamsburg area. Offering home sites ranging from 3 to 5 acres, Westport provides a unique level of privacy in a master-planned community and also convenient access to all of the attractions, shopping, and dining of Williamsburg.

We’d like to introduce you to the Weslowskis, who will be moving in within a few months.  Look for more Westport Neighbor profiles in the coming weeks, as sales have been brisk so far this Spring!  And, if you missed the recent Wine Tasting, be sure to stop in to see us at 3420 Westport on weekend afternoons – the model is now finished, furnished, and looking great!

Meet the Weslowskis

 

Are you interested in making Westport at Ford's Colony home?  Click below to download the price list.

 

Download the Westport Price List

 


Average Days on Market Down Slightly in Williamsburg

  
  
  

Williamsburg real estate marketThe real estate market statistics are in for April and are pointing toward an active market moving into the Summer months in Williamsburg, Virginia.

  • Months Supply of Inventory - 7.1
    Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market. 
  • Current Median Sold Price - $295,000
     
  • % of Sold Price to List Price - 97.8%
     
  • Average Days on Market - down slightly to 58
     
  • Closed Sales - down 8.9%

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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Buying a Home in a POA - Your Questions Answered

  
  
  

During the home buying process, one area of concern is always whether the property is or is not part of a property owner's association.  And, if it is, what does that mean for the buyer? Below are answers to the most commonly asked POA questions:buying a home

Q:  What is a property owner’s association?  

A:  Real estate developments often have common areas to own and maintain, architectural review boards, dues, assessments, etc. The tasks and duties associated with these subdivision characteristics are managed by an association of the owners. The association, often incorporated, may be self-managed or professionally managed.

The Act obligates a seller to obtain and provide to prospective purchasers a packet of information, the contents of which are specified by law, in order for a buyer to evaluate the association and the obligations the buyer will have after closing.

Q:  What should a property owner association packet contain?

A:  The Act specifies the contents of the packet.  For example, the name of the association, pending assessments or expenditures of funds, a statement of fees including assessments, a current reserve, study report, current budget, notice as to any pending law suits against the association, insurance coverage information, a statement whether the lot and house are in violation of association rules, copy of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations, minutes from any board of directors or association meetings for six months preceding, etc.

Q:  What if I receive a POA packet from a seller that is either old or incomplete?

A:  There is a Virginia case that holds even an incomplete packet starts the three-day review period, so if the packet is not complete you will need to cancel and re-start the process in order to get a complete packet, or seek an attorney’s advice regarding a mutual extension to the three day review period so a complete packet can be obtained.

Unfortunately the law is not clear regarding how current the disclosure packet must be. The Act simply provides that it must be current as of the date noted on the packet itself. If you receive an old packet (in my view more than six months old or not year current) then I would recommend you immediately cancel and re-start the process unless you have a contractual provision permitting you not only to request an update (you always have a right to request an update) but to terminate based on that update (you do not have this right unless it is agreed in the contract).

Q:  Can I cancel the contract if I do not approve of the POA disclosure packet?  

A:  Yes! The Act permits a purchaser to cancel within three days of the date of receipt of the disclosure packet. Bear in mind that unless the contract specifies to the contrary, the receipt of the packet by your agent or your agent’s firm may trigger the three-day window.

You do not have to have a reason to cancel. You may cancel and state no reason whatsoever, and there is a Virginia case that holds you may have a pre-textual (read fake) reason. And, you may even purchase a home in the same association at a later date.

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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As a Seller, Should I Let the Home Buyer Have Early Possession?

  
  
  

Q:  As a seller, should I let the buyer have early possession?

A:  This is ALWAYS a risk when you allow a purchaser to take possession of your home priorselling my house to closing. Using a carefully drafted possession agreement helps, but read the document carefully.  Our widely used REIN agreement, for instance, states that the buyer is responsible for anything and everything that might go wrong, EXCEPT those issues covered by the sellers hazard insurance. This can be a very sticky situation and you should really know the answer to the question as to what you (the seller) are going to be responsible for when the buyers move in early.  Always take a sizeable deposit, and insure that the buyers are pre-approved and all contingencies are removed prior to early possession.

Are you thinking about selling your home? 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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The Perfect Film Experience in the Southern Living Showcase Home in Ford's Colony

  
  
  

The media room in Ford's Colony's Southern Living Showcase Home, by Wayne Harbin Builder, allows for the perfect film experience day or night with remote control room darkening shades, TV and blue ray player combination, and a 5.1 digital surround sound audio system. Step into this amazing space with us:

(Video by Chris Conway)

For more information on the Southern Living Showcase home, email us at showcasehome@lizmoore.com, or click below to download the brochure and floor plan.

 Download the Harrison Place Floor Plan & Brochure

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15 Places in Virginia That Are Amazing and Free!

  
  
  

Summer is coming and that usually means keeping the kids, and your out-of-town guests, occupied.  OnlyInYourState.com came up with a list of 15 places to visit in Virginia that are amazing, and better yet, free!things to do in Virginia

1. Mt. Trashmore, Virginia Beach
Built on the site of an old landfill, Mt. Trashmore has turned trash into treasure with 165-acres of park space that has something for everyone. The park features picnic shelters, trails, 2 fishing lakes, a skate park, the “Kids’ Cove” playground, basketball courts and more. As a Virginia Beach City Park, it is free to the public.

2. Virginia Beachfront and Boardwalk
Who doesn’t love sand, sun and ocean? But Virginia Beach is much more than that. The beach offers year-round activities along the beachfront and boardwalk, including street performers, live music, kite festivals, sports, hot rod and classic car shows and more. The best part is that many of these events are absolutely free. Just pack a picnic and enjoy the fun.

3. Maymont, Richmond
With over 100-acres of manicured gardens, a farm, petting zoo, nature center and an historic mansion, Maymont is a Richmond treasure. Stroll the grounds, see wildlife, visit the Japanese Gardens and simply enjoy the beauty of this park. The Dooley Mansion and children’s Petting Zoo have $5 suggested donations and the nature center has a nominal fee, but the rest of this amazing park is yours to enjoy for free.

4. Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, Harrisonburg
Located on the James Madison University campus, this stunning oasis offers forested walking trails, botanic gardens and a wide variety of educataional resources. The arboretum is the only one of its on a college campus and is open to the public at no charge 365 days a year.

5. Colonial Williamsburg
Virginia’s largest living history museum is located at Colonial Williamsburg. While there are fees for some attractions, it is easy to spend a day, or days, walking through the masterfully recreated streets of Williamsburg for a look at life in colonial Virginia without spending a cent. Many reenactments, gardens and countless exhibits are open at no cost to the public.

6. Frying Pan Farm Park, Herndon
This Fairfax County park shows a beautifully preserved glimpse into farm life in the mid-1900s and is the last working farm in the county. See the blacksmith shop, smoke house and barns along with pigs, goats, cows, sheep, rabbits and horses on this real-life dairy farm. Special events include cow and goat milking, wagon rides, educational tours, interactive camps and equestrian events.

7. Bluebird Gap Farm, Hampton
In the heart of urban Hampton, Bluebird Gap Farm has over 150 species of domestic and wild animals, including farm animals, llamas, birds of prey, alpacas, tortoises and peacocks. Picnic shelters and playgrounds, along with an antique barn showcasing farm and home antiques from the past several centuries, ensure that there is truly something for everyone.

8. Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon
For 34 miles, the Virginia Creeper Trail takes you through some of the most beautiful landscape Virginia has to offer. The trail is considered Virginia’s premier mountain biking trail, but there are sections that will fit any skill level. Bike rentals and shuttle services are available, or bring your own bike, pack a picnic and enjoy the ride.

9. Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Smyth County
Featuring the highest peak in Virginia at 5,729-feet, Mt Rogers National Recreation Area covers 200,000 acres and offers 500 miles of trails, beautiful forests, rock formations and herds of wild ponies. Activities include hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking, camping, hunting, biking, bird watching and much, much more.

10. Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge
Only 18 miles out of Washington D.C., the Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge on the Potomac River was the first national refuge purposed specifically for protecting bald eagles. This free refuge hosts eagles, herons, deer and many other species of wildlife on 2,227-acres of forest, marsh and Potomac shoreline.

11. Great Dismal Swamp, Suffolk
This beautiful refuge features Lake Drummond and offers over 200 species of birds and wildlife including deer, black bear, bobcats, river otters and more. Encompassing 112,000 acres, it is truly an escape into another world with trails through pristine forest and marshlands.

12. Foamhenge, Natural Bridge
An exact replica of Stonehenge made entirely from Styrofoam? I’d pay for that, but thanks to the generosity of Foamhenge artist and local artists, Mark Cline, Foamhenge is free for all to enjoy and love.

13. Luray Singing Tower, Luray
This bell tower near Luray Caverns was built in 1937 as a memorial to Colonel T.C. Northcott’s wife and is officially known as the Belle Brown Northcott Memorial. It houses a carillon of 47 bells, the largest weighing in over 7,600 lbs. You can imagine the incredible sounds these bells make – or you can hear them for yourself, free of charge, with regularly scheduled 45-minute concerts throughout the spring, summer and fall.

14. McCormick Observatory, Charlottesville
Take a closer look at the stars in the McCormick Observatory at University of Virginia. On the first and third Friday of each month, the Observatory is open to the public for tours, education and solar observation through the astronomy department’s high-powered telescopes. The events are weather dependent so call (434) 243-1885 for the Public Night Information Line.

15. Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles
As the a companion site to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Udvar-Hazy Center is an remarkable collection of air and space artifacts. The two massive hangars contain an I-Max theater, a Concorde, the space shuttle Discovery and countless other examples of aeronautics throughout the decades. An observation tower allows you watch planes coming in out of Dulles International Airport, one of the world’s busiest hubs, ensuring that kids will love this site almost as much as the adults.

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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Your Spring Home Checklist

  
  
  

Spring is finally here and it is time to get outdoors and celebrate! If you are thinking about selling your home this summer, take advantage of milder spring days and schedule some much-needed home improvements this month.  Houzz.com has a list of spring chores to get your house ready for what lies ahead:selling my home

1.  Have your house painted. Spring, with its milder weather in many regions, is a good time to paint your house. 

2.  Check irrigation systems. It can be disastrous to find out too late that your irrigation system has a clog or leak. Turn on each hose and irrigation system and check that it is working properly.

3.  Clean gutters and downspouts. Remove leaves and debris left by winter storms from rain gutters and make sure downspouts are clear.

4.  Clean and repair screen doors and windows. A mosquito can sneak in through even the tiniest tear in a window screen. Keep bugs out by carefully checking each screen (including doors) as you clean them, and patch up holes and tears. 

5.  Check your yard for fire hazards. If you live in a dry climate, or one that is experiencing a drought (hello, California) it is vital that you do your part to protect your home in case of a fire in your area. Keeping landscaping away from the sides of your home is a good first step; check with your local fire officials for recommendations specific to your area.

6.  Check safety devices. Test the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and replace batteries as needed. Check fire extinguishers.

7.  Maintain heating and cooling systems. Change the filters on window air conditioning units. If you have central air, have a pro come out to service the system. Schedule a cleaning for your heating system.

8.  Clean out your shed or garage. You’ll probably find yourself digging around in your storage shed or garage as you hunt for lawn tools and beach umbrellas, so why not make things tidier while you’re at it? If tackling the entire space in one go sounds daunting, sort through a small section each time you get something out. Once there is a bit more breathing space, set aside a few hours on a weekend to get through the rest.

9.  Clean grill and set up outdoor kitchen. Give your grill a good scrubbing, test that everything is in working order and stock up on fuel for the grilling season.

Are you thinking about selling your home? 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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The Gap Between Rental Costs and Household Income is Widening

  
  
  

According to an article recently published in REALTOR®Mag by the National Association of REALTORS®, the gap between rental costs and household income is widening to unsustainable levels across the country. As more renters face steeper costs, it may put them even further away from home ownership, according to a new study released by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR evaluated income growth, housing costs, and changes in share of renter and owner-occupied households over the past five years in metropolitan statistical areas across the U.S.rent vs buy a home

Over the last five years, a typical rent rose 15%, while the income of renters grew by only 11%, according to their research.

New York, Seattle, and San Jose, Calif., are among the cities where combined rent growth far exceeds wages, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, those who were able to buy a home in recent years have been insulated from the rising housing costs since they were able to lock-in a low 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a set monthly payment, according to NAR's study. As such, home owners were able to grow their net worth as home values increased and their mortgage balances went down.

The markets that have seen rents rise by the highest amounts since 2009 are:

  • New York: 50.7%
  • Seattle: 32.38%
  • San Jose, Calif.: 25.6%
  • Denver: 24.14%
  • St. Louis: 22.26%

Are you looking to start the home buying process?  Now could be the best time! 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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What to Do for Mom Around the House on Mother's Day

  
  
  

Mother's Day is this weekend, and if you're like most, you are still racking your brain for that perfect gift to show mom how much you care.  Sure, moms love chocolates, flowers, and brunch out with the family, but have you ever thought about doing something around the house for the mom in your life?  Houzz.com has come up with a list of great ideas to help you out:mothers day

1.  Make this the one day Mom doesn’t have to say, “Clean your room!” Make your bed nicely. Get everything put away and picked up. While you’re at it, change Mom’s sheets. Going to bed knowing there are clean sheets on the bed and not having to put them on yourself is always a special treat.

2.  Plant a window box together. Hit the nursery and have the plants ready to present to Mom, then enjoy getting your hands dirty together. If you don’t have a window box or if making one is too much work, create a small container garden with potted plants.

3.  Start a vegetable or herb garden. If you already have one, it’s a good time to get your plants started. You’ll have to check on your zone for specifics, but in general, around Mother’s Day is a great time to get lots of veggies and herbs planted. The great thing is that this is a gift she’ll enjoy through the summer, with fresh ingredients just steps away from the kitchen.

4.  Groom the pets. Some mothers are also mothers to pets. And some are just mothers to pets and not kids. Give the dog a bath, brush the cat, clean the litter box or take the pets to the groomer.

5.  Complete the chores she usually does. Whether your mother is the one usually on dishwashing duty, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash or folding the laundry, tell her that doing any of that is strictly forbidden on her day. Do it for her.

6.  Give Mom the remote. Whether she wants to cheer on her favorite team or binge on Bravo, no comments from the peanut gallery are allowed.

7.  Do something special with family photos. This could be blowing one up, printing a favorite photo of hers and putting it in a frame, getting the iPhoto account organized and creating a fun slideshow to share that day, or assembling an album.

8.  Take care of dinner. Whether you prepare it, pick it up or order in, set a special table complete with tablecloth, linen napkins, the good china, candles and flowers to make it extra special. And don’t forget, Mom is not allowed to help with cleanup.

9.  Designate a bath time. Gather up the bath salts, candles, a fluffy towel and her favorite magazine for bath time. Then give her quiet for at least 30 minutes.

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Are You Looking to Buy a Home in Hampton?

  
  
  

We are excited to bring you the latest issue of the Liz Moore Hampton Homes MagazineClick the image below to flip through the magazine featuring our newest Hampton homes for sale.

Hampton homes for sale

Check out the rest of our digital magazines - Newport News HomesWilliamsburg HomesWaterfront Property, and more!  You can subscribe to one or more of our magazines, and they will be delivered FREE to your inbox once a month, dynamically uploading the latest issues.

Check Out Our Digital Magazines

  

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