Friday, January 30, 2015

Why You’ll Regret Not Buying This House

I listed “Beaverwood” less than two days ago for $259,900. It’s a beautiful home with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms about a mile away from Pocahontas Park. This home is spacious, priced reasonably and in a nice location. Most buyers will look at this house and say: “Well, that’s a lovely home! I can see myself living there since it meets all my requirements, however I think i’ll just shop around and see what else comes up”. In fact, most buyers will have this mentality. Unfortunately, as a Real Estate Agent I can tell you with confidence that this property won’t be on the market very long, let me tell you why...

This house can easily accommodate four people, has the bathrooms to support it, is in a convenient location and has a great price. Richmond has been blessed with a rapid recovering economy and more and more people keep moving to the area. We have good schools, a booming job market, several shopping districts and we are centrally located in Virginia. If you’re someone who is moving from, let’s say, DC or NOVA anything in the $250,000 range is a bargain! Everything up north is going to be at least double if not triple for the same amount of space and type of home. Richmond is becoming attractive to more and more people from bigger cities and honestly I can’t blame them.

The biggest problem is that we are not building enough houses and people are not listing their houses on the market quick enough. This makes conditions for a buyer difficult because there isn’t a lot of inventory out there. To break it down in to lamest terms, if there is a high demand for housing but not enough of it, prices will eventually go up. What it means for you as a buyer right now, is that you have more competition out there fighting for the same thing. The days where you could afford looking around for a house for months is over, if you see something that you like you better jump on it or it will be gone before you know it. I’ve seen this happen too many times recently where I have interested parties on a home and they think that they have more time than what they really do. My advice to you as a prospective buyer is to come prepared! See how much house you can afford and get a pre-approval letter from the bank, this way when you do find a home that fits all your desired criteria including pricing, you can get on it and close on your home quickly. 

We can’t predict what the market will do but what we can go off is the information that we have right now and if things keep going the way that they have, it will be more expensive to buy a home in the feature and you will be facing stiff competition. 

Or if you'd like to see the house in person, make sure to give me a call to schedule a showing
(804) 815-0642

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Richmond's Best Breweries - Vol. 1

Richmond is rapidly becoming a sought after city to live, work and play on the east coast.  With relatively low living costs, an edgy art scene, a prime location for restaurant openings for first time chefs or experienced restauranteurs, this love of creativity and innovation is spilling over to craft brewing.  Not only are new restaurants vying to offer local taps, the breweries themselves have decided to offer their own atmosphere and personality to Richmond’s dining scene.  Whether beer is a passion of your own, or you want a fun few Saturday outings, here are 4 great breweries to check out in the Richmond area.

Legend Brewing Co—The original local brewing staple in the city, Legend Brewing Co. started in 1994.  Located in historic Manchester, it offers outdoor seating and Pub fare 7 days a week with hours more typical to a restaurant than a brewery.  Legend offers a free brewery tour on Saturday’s at 1:00pm.  They offer year round varieties as well as seasonal and limited brews.  You can never go wrong with a Legend Brown Ale.

321 West 7th Street, Richmond, VA 23224
(804) 232-3446

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—One of the most successful and sought after local brews, Hardywood has made a name for themselves with beers like the Gingerbread stout that sell out the same day they hit the shelves.  In addition to having great beer, the atmosphere at Hardywood is sought after, with food trucks in the parking lot and bands playing in the ample indoor venue, it has become a local hangout spot.  Closed Monday and Tuesday, they offer public tasting hours starting in the early evening through 9pm and 6pm on Saturday.  You can check their website for available beers throughout the week in the tasting room.  Grab a beer before a game at the Diamond, or before catching a nearby movie.

2408-2410 Ownby Lane, Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 420-2420

Triple Crossing Brewing Co.— Located in downtown Richmond at 113 S. Foushee.  This small brewery offers 9 beers currently on tap.  Food is not offered, so it might be a great place to stop by for a beer before heading to dinner elsewhere, or before a show.  Close by to Altria Theatre, The Carpenter Center, The Coliseum, Virginia’s Repertory Theatre, Richmond CenterStage and The National puts this brewery in a prime location for the start of your night.  A fun atmosphere with group games to play like Jenga, makes it a amiable hang out spot in general.  

113 South Foushee Street, Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 308-0475

Strangeways Brewing— If you have an adventurous pallet and looking for something beyond your typical pale ale or lager, Strageways Brewing is the destination for you.  They focus on not-your-typical brews and offer weekly events, specials and food trucks.  Located at 2277 Dabney Road, halfway between Lakeside and Carytown, this brewery is open daily. 

2277 Dabney Road, Richmond, VA 23230
(804) 303-4336

I will keep this information up to date and I will add more things to do in Richmond as time goes on. I love this city and I want to share all the interesting things to do here with all of you! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

3 Affordable Things You Can Do To Your Home With Your Tax Refund

The average tax refund won’t be enough to remodel your entire kitchen or bath but hopefully it will be enough to make small improvements that add value!  Reinvesting your tax return into your home is one smart way to put that extra cash to work for you.  Entranceways can make great first impressions.  If you’re looking to sell, giving your house a face lift is one of the first things you should think about.  Here are three ways to brighten up the look of your home while doing double duty for energy efficiency.

One small project that will pay off whether you’re deciding to sell or not is installing a storm door.  It can add an extra buffer against the cold winter elements or welcome in a warm summer breeze if you choose a screen option.  A storm door for your front entranceway is a flexible convenience for all occasions.  If your door gets a lot of direct sunlight, avoid glass as it can exacerbate the heat in your entranceway and cause damage to your door.  Check for locks at the top, bottom, and middle for extra security and for reinforced corners.  Aluminum is better for wear than vinyl.  You may also want to re-key the door so a single key can unlock both the storm door and your front door for convenience.  A storm door can cost about $250 with all these features plus a little extra to have someone else install it.  A storm door is definitely a way to improve the value of your home while also making it more energy efficient.

New Windows    
Installing new windows can have the same benefit.  If you have an especially leaky window, an off-kilter one, or maybe the frame is rotting, have it replaced!  In this case, vinyl is cheaper than wood.  If you choose an Energy-star qualified window it may even qualify for a tax credit in your next tax year!  Windows and installation can have a wildly wide range of price options, so make sure you choose a window within your budget and carefully choose your contractor to do the job right the first time.  Replacing old windows can help keep your heating and cooling bill down while adding to the aesthetic appeal.

New Doors
Finally, if you’re going to install a storm door, why not go all the way and paint or replace the door to your front vestibule.  Choosing a new door that fits your entranceway perfectly both in style and size can add timeless beauty to your home and keep the weather outside.  If your house has settled, replacement might be the better option, so your door fits securely at both the top and bottom.  If you have already done this within the past few years, a fresh coat of paint might do the the trick.  Be sure to chose an exterior paint that hides imperfections and is weather resistant.  Updating the hardware on your door by replacing the locks is a good option, and is the perfect timing to match the locks with your storm door as well!
Put your tax dollars to work for you by investing back into your home.  These small updates work in multiple ways and stretch your return this year.  Whether your staying put or looking to sell, adding curb appeal will make your home more enjoyable and save you money in the long run by keeping the seasons outside.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tips On How To Choose The Best Mortgage Lender

You’ve decided to invest in a home in 2015.  You’ve posted your new year’s resolutions about it on Facebook and Twitter and already started internet browsing the homes for sale in your favorite neighborhoods.  Now that you’ve got the ball rolling, choosing a mortgage lender or broker is one of the lesser fun things to do when considering the purchase of a home.  You’re not imagining drapes, you’re imagining interest rates.  However, getting in your loan applications early has a big advantage when putting down offers on a new house.  Having your prequalifcation letter before you even start doing walk-throughs is an advantage you might want to consider and a major hurdle to get over early in the process.

Get References
Ask friends and loved ones that have in recent years purchased a home about their experience with their mortgage lender.  Would they use them again?  Did they get the rates they were promised?  Were there any hidden fees?  Ask them if it felt easy working with their lender and had the terms and conditions of their loan explained in a straightfoward manner.

Shop Around
Use the internet as the handy tool it is to browse home loans and rates anonymously.  It is not a good idea to provide personal information while shopping online.  There are plenty of online spots that provide quotes from banks and credit unions without the use of personal information.  Once you’ve scoured the internet for as much information as possible, go visit banks with reputable names in your community.  Your own bank, with whom you have an account, may be willing to offer you a better deal since you already bank with them.  Compare terms all around.

Have someone else Shop for you
Using a mortgage broker means they find the deals for you.  Ask them how many lenders they’re willing to check out for you.  Ask how the broker will be paid, usually by you and the bank, and have them put it in writing.  Tell them to include any fees, terms or penalties that go along with the loans they recommend.  Be wary of their compensation from the bank being too high, a less than reputable broker might be incentivized into leading you toward a higher interest rate loan.  Its also a good idea to check out a broker you’re considering hiring with the Better Business Bureau.

Starting the process on your financial backing in the purchase of a home early is never a bad idea.  It can help you make smarter offers on homes, narrow down your choices and help you get that much closer to achieving your goal this year!  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Success! Marketing Seminar at Virginia Capital Realty

Last week I held a Marketing Seminar open to anyone who is self employed. The seminar was free to attend to pretty much anyone, and even though it was at 10am on a Thursday we still had a fantastic turn out! The goal of the seminar was just to help those who are Real Estate Agents, Business Owners or even just individuals that are rely on their own income and marketing strategies to be better at what they do.

It's no easy task to be on your own but I have found a lot of tips and tricks that have helped me expand my business significantly. As a result, I now have a couple of agents working with me and a photographer that helps me post my listings and ensure they are seen in the best light possible. I spend at least one hour a day following up with clients, potential clients and just people who refer business to me. In addition to that, I cultivate relationships by placing myself strategically in organizations and charities just to get my name out there. Networking for anyone in business on their own is a MUST if they want to be successful, even attending as seminar like the one I had is a great way to meet new people and learn from others.

My door is always open when it comes to helping others be more successful. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions about how to become a business man or women!

I have included a few of the slides that stand out from my presentation, anyone can learn a few things from these. If you'd like a full copy of the presentation please email me at

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another 3 Great Marketing Tips To Grow Your Business

My free seminar on marketing is tomorrow and I just wanted to share a few more tips to get those wheels turning and creative juices flowing on how to get your small business out there are create some revenue!  

Social media is without a doubt a valuable and inexpensive way to market your small business and keep your brand on your consumer's mind, this includes: Instagram, Twitter, FourSquare and Google Plus.  However, it's not the ONLY affordable and effective way to extend your client base and inform them of your products and services.  My tips here really focus on revving up potential business locally by getting involved in your community.  It's good to keep an eye on the bigger picture, however, it's not a bad idea to start small.

Put together a group of local business that are all related but not competing and agree to cross-promote!  Put together a package deal or have corresponding web links, fliers, etc.  You’ll all expand your client base by reaching new people!  Those looking for one service through one of your connections, could be made of aware of your product or vice versa.  Working together always creates positive results for a small business community.

Give Back
You don’t have to reach people 1,000 miles away to expand your business.  Get involved in your local community by sponsoring a little league team, or an event such as a local 10K race. Find common ground between you and your clients and come up with creative ways to get your name in front of them.

Make a Presentation
There are MANY organizations in your community that you most likely are unaware of.  They’re all looking for informed, qualified people to present to their group. Public speaking can be daunting, but practice makes perfect!  As long as you have good information to present, you’re being helpful!  This also puts you in a position as a credible authority in your field.

Hope to see you all there tomorrow morning! If you haven't yet registered, click here to visit our Facebook Event Page

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3 Great Marketing Tips For Your Business

With my seminar coming up later this week, my mind has been on marketing.  Here are a few things to think about whether you’re planning to attend or not!

Get On The Internet
It’s one thing to have a website but it’s an entirely different thing to be on social media sites. Most people check their online networks several times a day, mainly because they are so accessible through our mobile devices. A lot of people will try to focus on only one type of social media but what they don’t realize is that sometimes it pays off to belong to more than one. Does this mean more work for you? Not necessarily, some social networks will let you post to more than one simultaneously. 

Quality Not Quantity
Networking is immensely important to your business, however, networking doesn’t mean handing out your business card to every Joe on the street.  Making connections with influential people can either get your foot in the door for more clients, or just the right one.  Individually target these people to make a connection with and have a plan to earn their attention.

Work Smarter, Not Harder
Putting a perfect ad in the wrong place will inevitably fail.  Make sure you’re doing the right things in marketing yourself and make sure all the methods you’re using are relevant to better attract future business. Do your research and ask others what has worked for them. You’ll still have to go through some trial and error but instead of getting frustrated, think of it as a long term investment. 

No matter what you do, just remember that Marketing is something that you have to keep at, you won’t get results overnight. Expecting results right away will just end up in disappointment. Set timelines, do your research, make goals and plan accordingly and you’ll see that eventually all your efforts will pay off. 

Don’t forget to come to my upcoming free seminar, click here for more information

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brighten Up Your Home For The Winter

Don’t want to delay on improving your home just because the weather outside is frightful?  There are a few indoor projects to consider that will brighten your home while improving its value.  Whether your trying to flip your house or are just an avid DIYer that can’t sit still, here are some awesome things to do while stuck inside from the cold.
Everyone knows that painting is one of the best and inexpensive ways to improve the look of your home.  What’s not widely known is that not every window in your home has to be wide open while you do it as long as you use an environmentally friendly virtually fume free paint!  Update your home’s look, or cover up unsightly blemishes from wear and tear with a water-borne paint.  Go as crazy as your experience will allow you to create dramatic stripes using painters tape, or install modern trim work to give rooms a new appeal.  Remember, if you’re inexperienced in painting, start small, maybe with a bathroom and take your time with the prep work.  Always use the right tools.

Shop for new hardware.  For me, its one of the funnest things to pick out at the home center.  From updating the doors in your home, or updating bathroom faucets or kitchen cabinets, this little improvement can go a long way!  Using a modern classic like brushed silver or bronze, or a funky retro shape, changing these little details adds a world of interest to your dwelling space.

Brighten up your space using lots of light!  Changing light fixtures can add allure to any room, or set the mood for any occasion.  The way you light your home can make it an inviting warm environment where friends and loved ones want to gather, or it can make your space seem sterile, like a industrial hallway.  Picking the right lighting for your home can make a huge difference.  A simple chandelier over the dining room table can add a classic look, or installing a ceiling fan in the master bedroom can be attractive and practical.  What is your favorite lighting?  

So don’t get the winter blues (unless its for your walls!) this year, use this time to stay in, and make your indoors a welcoming place to snuggle in with a book or a movie.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Marketing 101 for Real Estate (And Other Businesses)

Many of you know that I have been very fortunate in the Real Estate Industry, a lot of it has to do with the economy improving but it is also something that you have to work very hard for and know where to position yourself. Honestly, I think that there is enough business to go around but you just have to know how to find it and work for it. 

I think networking is very important in this industry, it doesn’t matter if you go to an event where you are going to meet potential clients, contractors and even other real estate agents. You never know where business is going to come from so it’s important to keep an open mind. You should ALWAYS be good to others, don’t think of other real estate agents as competition! Think of them as an asset to you, they may not have a listing that you do or maybe the lack a specialty that you may have. It works both ways too, if you have a client that may not mesh very well with you but may mesh well with someone else you know, pass them along! 

There are many other things that I would love to talk about when it comes to marketing for Real Estate, and I would love to invite you all to come for a free seminar that I offer at Virginia Capital Realty. This is something that I do frequently and it’s just a crash course on how to put your name out there. All are welcome: business owners, brokers, mortgage lenders and real estate agents are just some of the few people that can benefit greatly from my seminar. See you all then! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year, Time To Downsize Your Stuff

It's a new year and that means time for new beginnings; you’re selling your home.  One of the major things you can do to make your home more attractive to buyers is something that you can do yourself.  Downsize, clean, make way for the new people that want to buy your home.  Think of it as pre-packing.

What a buyer is trying to do when they walk through a home, is imagine themselves in that space.  So, if you are truly motivated to sell-- take yourself out of it! By creating a more neutral atmosphere, it is easier for the potential buyer to color themselves into your home.  Use a storage space for unique pieces.  Downsize by donating any unwanted items, you know, those items you don’t even notice in your hallway anymore simply because they've been there for that long!  Taking your unique style or your clutter out of the equation can help sell your home!  Once you’ve done the basics, really look at your home with a critical eye both inside and out.  Does anything need a little sprucing up?  Cleaning a doorway will brighten a buyers welcome into your home.  Any scuff marks on the walls from bikes or soccer balls will quickly draw the eye.  Trim the hedges.  Be detail oriented.  While these seem like small things, together they help create a collective feel for your house that the buyer will take with them when they leave.

Use up a weekend.  Make it an affair.  Make it a charitable affair!  Go as far as cleaning your closets and donating unwanted items.  Its a way to make your future packing a little lighter, give yourself a small tax break by saving donation receipts, and inviting the future buyer into your home.  Once all that work is done, it will just take some slight upkeep when your real estate agent calls with a potential buyer.