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OUR FAVORITE PLACES: La Cucina

Posted by Liz Moore on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 09:20 PM

laBy Brandy Centolanza

When it comes to authentic Italian cuisine, Vito Bellantuono, owner of La Cucina Ristorante Italiano & Pizzeria in Midlothian, takes things seriously. Vito, a native of Italy, has been working hard the past nine years to provide his customers with the best Italian dishes out there.

“We are trying to strike that balance between American Italian food and true Italian food,” Vito said. “We are
always trying new flavors. Our goal is to introduce our customers to different ingredients and to expand their palates.”

Vito co-owns La Cucina, which means “the kitchen” in Italian, with his wife, Joann. The restaurant is located at The Shoppes at Bellgrade on West Huguenot Road. Though he’s owned La Cucina since 2010, he’s been in the
restaurant industry his whole life.

Vito was born in Italy and migrated to the United States in 1973. His father’s entire family was involved in the
restaurant business in Brooklyn, NY, and Vito started working at a young age. He began by serving slices of pizza and washing dishes, which evolved into working in the kitchen and meal prepping.

“It was just a natural progression,” Vito said. “Being a part of this business just became a part of my life.” Vito made his way to the Richmond area in 1995, where he opened an Italian restaurant with his brother-in-law. The duo later opened the restaurant Chianti on Gaskins Road. Eventually, Vito sold his half of Chianti to his brother-in-law when he and Joann decided to open La Cucina.

La Cucina serves traditional Italian food such as pizza and pasta including manicotti, ravioli, cannelloni, and
 lasagna as well as original dishes that Vito creates on a weekly basis. “We pride ourselves on our fish and
veal,” he said. “We have three different specials every week: a fish, a protein, and a pasta.”

La Cucina’s signature pasta dish is pasta Michaelangelo with chicken, shrimp, sausage, red peppers, and
artichoke in a light pink sauce. Other top sellers are the pasta Bolognese served with a meat sauce made with ground veal, beef, pork, and a hint of cream as well as the seared salmon in a lemon caper sauce. The veal and
chicken Marsala entrees are also popular. The restaurant offers roughly half a dozen different veal and chicken dinner entrees.

Vito operates in the kitchen while Joann is responsible for the front of the house. Nearly everything is made
in-house at La Cucina, from the bread to the sauces and dressings. Vito is constantly finding inspiration for his meal selections, even traveling back to Italy for ideas. Customers also rave about his soups.

“Our food is seasonal, and tends to be more hearty in the winter,” he said. “In the summer, I will use a lot more fruit. Right now, I am making a lot of soups. I try not to make the same soup more than twice a year.”

Vito has recipes for more than 100 soups. His wife’s favorite is the chicken gnocchi soup. “Cooking is like handwriting: everyone has their own signature,” Vito said. “I like creating and experimenting in the kitchen and finding out what works and what doesn’t.”

Patrons can eat in the dining room or al fresco on the patio during warmer weather. At La Cucina, Vito and Joann strive to meet the needs of every customer.

“Everything is made to order,” Vito said. “We want to give people a good quality meal and experience at a fair price. We want to make sure everything is right from the moment you place your order to the presentation of the food on your plate to serving you the meal.

Consistency is key to the craft. We don’t compromise on the quality of the food.” Vito and Joann have had loyal customers through the years, some whom come routinely to eat and have watched their two boys grow up. “It’s like they’ve become a part of our family, and that’s very rewarding,” Joann said. “It’s great to hear people say that this is the best food that they’ve had in a long time. Satisfying our customers is what it is all about.

 

 

Tags: lizlocal-richmond-food_and_drink

Where the Heck is the Northern Neck?

Posted by Liz Moore on Tue, Jul 06, 2021 @ 10:41 AM

NNK

 

 

 

By Susan McFadden

Located within an easy commute from major urban centers, the Northern Neck is about two hours south of Washington, D.C., one and one-half hours east of Richmond, and an hour north of Williamsburg.

The Northern Neck has often been referred to as “Virginia’s undiscovered gem.” It’s the northernmost of three peninsulas (traditionally called “necks” in Virginia) on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore. The other two are the Middle Peninsula and the Virginia Peninsula.


The region is comprised of four distinctive coastal counties - Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, and Lancaster - and is flanked by the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. The rivers converge at the lower tip of the Northern Neck to meet the Chesapeake Bay. Two bridges span the Rappahannock River and provide access from the Middle Peninsula to the Northern Neck. The Norris Bridge connects Middlesex County to Lancaster
County, and the Downing Bridge connects Essex County to Richmond County.

Travel by water, air, or car. Marinas dot the 1,100 miles of shoreline, and many welcome transient boaters. Hummel Airport is a public-use facility located in Topping, just a short distance from the Norris Bridge.
Another facility, the Tappahannock-Essex County Airport, is less than 15 minutes from the Downing Bridge. Driving becomes a more recreational pastime once drivers turn off the interstate onto rural, scenic routes heading to their final Northern Neck destination.

From Northern Virginia, take US-17 South and crossover the Downing Bridge from Essex County to Richmond
County in the Northern Neck. Or travel the VA-3 East route that stretches the full length of the Neck.
From Richmond, take I-64 East to the West Point 220 exit. Travel VA-33 East and crossover the Norris Bridge that spans the Rappahannock River connecting Middlesex County to Lancaster County in the Northern Neck. An alternate route from Richmond is US-360 East and then crossing at the Downing Bridge.

Williamsburg is the closest urban center to the Northern Neck. Take I-64W to the West Point 227 exit. Continue on VA-33 East and crossover the Norris Bridge to Lancaster County.


Want to know more? We can help. Go to www.lizmoore.com/northernneck or stop by our office at 276 N. Main Street in Kilmarnock. All our agents are Northern Neck locals and would be happy to show you this incredible place we call home.

What Can We Expect to See in the Richmond Market in 2019?

Posted by Liz Moore on Thu, Mar 07, 2019 @ 02:52 PM

rawpixel-620230-unsplash2018 was another solid year for local real estate. Here in Richmond, closed sales finished down 2.15% for the year, with a 6.2% increase in 2 years overall. The final month showed pending sales down 12.3% compared to the year prior.

We are entering 2019 with less than 1.84 months of active inventory, and homes selling, on average, in only 32 days. On average, sellers accepted offers at over 99.75% of their asking price last year. That is good news for sellers who are priced properly and in good condition, or for prospective sellers who are thinking about diving into the market. Nationwide, most markets are experiencing inventory shortages, which is the single biggest factor keeping a lid on the number of sales.

Prices remained remarkably steady during the past 12 months, with the median sales price in Richmond slightly above $290,000 for most of the year and finishing up at $293,539.

Here is what I see in the coming 12 months:

A shortage of listings has been our biggest challenge for the past 18 months. My expectation is that we will continue to see more listings come on the market as we move into the Spring. We have seen a significant jump in new listings over the past few months, signaling that wise sellers recognize the importance of beating the competition to the Spring market.

As the typical Spring seasonal demand builds, consumers will realize that moves need to be made ASAP in order to take advantage of a 9 year streak of historically low rates and home values. It’s important to note that the market can shift quickly, and it will not surprise me to see a highly competitive Spring season for homes selling below $350,000.

Interest rates will begin a slow and steady climb this year. Interest rates have been perplexing over the past 12 months. Most predicted the inevitable ascent would begin as the economy gained steam, but rates remained lower than predicted, most likely because the feds were hesitant to do anything that might inhibit the momentum of the recovery.

I believe that 2019 will be the year that interest rates incrementally increase, but the question remains by how much and how frequently. 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.

Prices will finally begin to show improvement in many neighborhoods. Prices are neighborhood specific, and some areas are definitely improving faster than others. Appreciation was up in the Richmond Metro market last year (with the median sold price up just over 3.72%), and I expect will continue to trend toward more normal appreciation rates (4 to 5%) in 2019 and beyond.

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 be a part of the Richmond Real Estate 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 Central Virginia Regional residential home sales in 2018

If you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, email us at info@lizmoore.com.  We'd love to help!

Tags: Richmond, lizlocal-Richmond, relo-richmond-news

Liz's Crystal Ball for 2019

Posted by Liz Moore on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 @ 04:01 PM

crystal ball-12018 was another solid year for local real estate. Here in Williamsburg, closed sales finished up 5% for the year, on top of a 2% increase in 2017. The final quarter slowed down slightly, with pending sales down almost 2%.

We are entering 2019 with less than 4 months of active inventory, and homes selling, on average, in only 30 days. On average, sellers accepted offers at over 98% of their asking price last year. That is good news for sellers who are priced properly and in good condition, or for prospective sellers who are thinking about diving into the market. Nationwide, most markets are experiencing inventory shortages, which is the single biggest factor keeping a lid on the number of sales.

The exception here is the luxury market, where sellers need to be significantly more patient – there is currently 18 months of inventory priced at $750,000 and up in Greater Williamsburg.

Prices remained remarkably steady during the past 12 months, with the median sales price in Williamsburg slightly above $300,000 for most of the year and finishing up at $310,000. 

Here is what I see in the coming 12 months:

A shortage of listings has been our biggest challenge for the past 18 months. My expectation is that we will continue to see more listings come on the market as we move into the Spring. We have seen a significant jump in new listings over the past few months, signaling that wise sellers recognize the importance of beating the competition to the Spring market.

As the typical Spring seasonal demand builds, consumers will realize that moves need to be made ASAP in order to take advantage of a 9 year streak of historically low rates and home values. It’s important to note that the market can shift quickly, and it will not surprise me to see a highly competitive Spring season for homes selling below $500,000. Interest rates will continue a slow and steady climb this year.

Interest rates have been perplexing over the past 12 months. Most predicted the inevitable ascent would begin as the economy gained steam, but rates remained lower than predicted, most likely because the feds were hesitant to do anything that might inhibit the momentum of the recovery.

I believe that 2019 will be the year that interest rates incrementally increase, but the question remains by how much and how frequently. 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.

Prices will finally begin to show improvement in many neighborhoods. Prices are neighborhood specific, and some areas are definitely improving faster than others. Appreciation was relatively flat in the Greater Williamsburg market last year (with the median sold price down just over 1%), and I expect will continue to trend toward more normal appreciation rates (4 to 5%) in 2019 and beyond.

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 2018, 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 2018

If you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, email us at info@lizmoore.com.  We'd love to help!

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, Williamsburg, lizlocal-Williamsburg, relo-williamsburg-news

Join Us at Village Park of Poquoson for Craft Beer and Delicious Eats

Posted by Liz Moore on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 @ 03:34 PM

FoodTruck_Beer_SocialMedia2.jpgFree beer! Free food! Join us on May 6th from 1-3 at Village Park, the newest Wayne Harbin Builder community in Poquoson. St. George’s Brewery will be pouring their craft beer and The Thirsty Frog food truck will be serving some delicious eats!  

Out of 26 units, 6 have already sold and 3 are reserved. Don’t miss out on this flood insurance free living in Poquoson! Special incentives for a limited time. Call the Village Park team at 757-873-2707 for more details.

Download the Village Park Price List

Tags: Poquoson, New Homes, lizlocal, Peninsula, lizlocal-Peninsula

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?

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

Subscribe!

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

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

Three Units Sold in Village Park of Poquoson!

Posted by Liz Moore on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 @ 03:46 PM

We have recently sold three units, leaving only one unit left in the first building at Village Park of Poquoson! Construction will begin soon on the second building. The builder is also offering free fireplace, washer & dryer, and refrigerator on all units in the first two buildings.  Don't wait - call 757-873-2707 today for more details.

VP_logo-2.jpgThis community of 26 town home units masterfully crafted by Wayne Harbin Builders is located in the heart of Poquoson.  Offering a small town atmosphere with friendly neighbors who have a common interest in the well-being of the city and their families, Poquoson is near major employment sites including Langley Air Force Base, NASA, Fort Monroe, and The Newport News Shipyard.

Interested in Village Park of Poquoson?  Click below to download the price list.

Download the Village Park Price List

 

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

Subscribe!

Tags: Poquoson, New Homes

We Are Reinventing Real Estate in Richmond!

Posted by Liz Moore on Thu, Sep 01, 2016 @ 03:59 PM

Presentation1-1.jpg

Liz Moore and Associates is excited to announce that we are expanding our reach to the Richmond market opening an office in Midlothian, Virginia.  Liz Moore’s first Richmond area office is scheduled to open September 1st.

This new office will introduce the Richmond market to the Liz Moore & Associates brand, a real estate company focused on the client experience with client-centered services like pre-listing inspections and appraisals, exceptional customer service, and creative marketing strategies.  

The Midlothian based office will be led by Tonya Morrow as Richmond Managing Broker.  Tonya is recognized as an innovator in Richmond area real estate, bringing with her a successful track record in sales management.  Morrow, who recently completed the Richmond Association of REALTORS Leadership Academy, is highly respected by local agents for her creative ideas and results driven coaching.

Annemarie Hensley, currently ranked fourth in overall residential resale sales volume in the local market, will serve as the anchor agent for the new office, bringing her team of 5 to the new venture.

Liz Moore & Associates was founded in 2003 by President Liz Moore and her partner Brian D. Lytle, with a vision for an enlightened real estate agency where all the greatest agents want to work, and where business is solidly built on enthusiastic referrals and out-of-the box marketing techniques.  Liz built the company from the inside out, creating the systems and resources that would allow agents to “wow” clients by delivering exceptional customer service.  Liz is very excited to expand and serve the growing Richmond market. 

“I’ve always been interested in expanding into key markets in the Commonwealth, and when this opportunity presented itself, it was simply too good to pass up,” says Liz Moore.  “I was approached by two very accomplished women who were interested in introducing the Liz Moore brand to the Richmond market; they saw the need for a boutique brokerage with a laser focus on the client experience, and our plan is to fill that gap.” 

To learn more about Liz Moore & Associates, this new Richmond area office, and new team members Tonya Morrow and Annemarie Hensley, please visit www.lizmoore.com/rva or email RVA@lizmoore.com.

Tags: Locals - 101 Reasons, Home Page, Richmond, timeline