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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

5 First-Time Homes to Avoid!

At Clocktower Realty, a big portion of what we do is help first-time buyers find the perfect home for them!  Every person has a different idea of what creates the perfect home, but if you’re the average first-time home buyer there are a lot more commonalities than differences!  Here are 5 choices that often plague first-timers making  the buying experience stressful.  As long as you can identify these pitfalls, it can narrow down the seemingly endless options, so you can make a more clear and informed decision on the best house for you!



The Fixer-Upper
This is an option that’s becoming more and more popular because let’s face it, we all think we can DIY.  That is - until a real problem comes up!  A lot of first-time buyers get enthusiastic about a great deal that needs “a little work.”  But don’t bite off more than you can chew.  If there are a couple repairs that can be done over the weekend then go for it, but a complete rehab might be going overboard and over budget.



The Goldilocks Effect
Buying for the future is something a lot of first timers think about when making their decision.  It’s one of the biggest purchases a person will make, and they want it to last a while.  However, many people run into the dilemma of finding something too big or too small.  Sacrificing space for a charming cottage home in a cute neighborhood may not fit your needs a year from now.  What do you use your one extra bedroom for?  An office, a guest room, for a growing family?  Then it becomes a battle of the uses.  But buying a five-bedroom is not necessarily the answer, either.  Confused space, too much maintenance and a higher mortgage aren't worth it.  Often times a three bedroom is the perfect compromise that will keep you comfortable for the years to come!



Chores Galore!
Having luscious landscaping and a giant green lawn packs some powerful curb appeal.  It looks amazing on all the online pictures you stalked on your iPhone in bed and really does impress onlookers.  Having a hot tub, a pool or a water feature are all very impressive as well, but they all of one thing in common— maintenance.  It is an extra expense, but where it will really cost you is your time!  If you don’t want to put up the weekend hours to maintain a tropical bungalow, move on.



The Investment Dream
While this ties in somewhat to "the fixer-upper," it’s more about expecting a return on those improvements you’ve made.  Don’t look at the investment potential, because chances are good your improvements won’t mean very much to future buyers.  Not only do housing trends change (i.e. Open floor plans haven’t always been in style) but there’s no way to tell where your market will be years down the road.  Make improvements for what fits your lifestyle now because you (or someone else) can always change it!



Too Good To Be True
It really hurts to say, but in Real Estate especially…if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!  If you find a really good deal, do your research and then do it again!  Make sure to get a home inspection for the property if you’re seriously considering buying.  There may be a hidden, underlying problem that hasn’t been taken care of by previous owners.  Some of these things can be very serious like buried fuel oil tanks, asbestos siding issues, down to foundation problems that could amount to an unimaginable headache.  Another thing to consider is school districts, crime rates, etc.  There is a reason for the discount, and you don’t want to have to offer that extreme discount yourself when trying to resell.

Buying your first home doesn’t have to be so stressful.  While there are a lot of things to consider, it’s more manageable than it can seem especially with professionals in your corner.  Getting too emotional or only looking at numbers won’t ultimately lead you to the best first home for you, but a balance of the two.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Open House Weekend

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend by getting out to one of our two Open Houses this Saturday!


Saturday 2 pm - 4 pm

5607 Forest Hill Ave
Richmond, VA 23225
$245,000

Welcome to this beautiful cape cod home, located off of Forest Hill Ave. This home has been very well maintained. When entering the home you will see a living room with a dining room off to the left. The kitchen has great natural lighting and beautiful finishing on the walls under the cabinets. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. Going upstairs you will notice a very large master suite with a large sitting area and a large master bathroom as well. Off to the side of the home is a screened in porch, great for entertaining and relaxing. There is a full/unfinished walk out basement that has great potential! Fresh interior paint, exterior repairs, and landscaping improvements to come! 


Saturday 1 pm - 3 pm

5628 River Road
Petersburg, VA 23803
$199,950
Welcome to the newly updated 5628 River Rd in South Chesterfield. This home has re-finished hardwood floors and new carpet throughout. The office has a private entrance, which is great if you work from home! This office encompasses a large bay window and original pine floors, which could be a 4th bedroom! Large mudroom w/ceramic tile and w/d hookup. The kitchen has all new cabinets, new granite counters, stainless steel appliances, tile back splash, hardwood floors, lights under the cabinets, recessed lighting and so much more. The dining room has HW floors, new chandelier, and crown molding. Downstairs master bedroom with connected master bath, new vanity, recessed lighting, ceramic tile, and more! Upstairs you will find a full bath with black marble tile, new toilet, new vanity, and crown molding. The electrical has been upgraded. There is a large cellar with an entrance from the outside that doubles as a walk-down partial basement, fully sealed. Privacy fence to be installed between drive & neighbor to left. Come see this wonderfully updated property with a relaxing den space.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We're Not Waiting for the Weekend! Come to Thursday's Open House Happy Hour!

We aren't waiting for the weekend to have an open house for one of our newest listings!  This jewel is in a prime location near Carytown at 117 S. Colonial Avenue.  Within walking distance to lots of shops, restaurants and entertainment, this is a sought after neighborhood.  There are gorgeous lighting fixtures throughout the home along with newly renovated full bathroom, original hardwood flooring and marble detailing on the fireplace and glass doorknobs.  Along with all of these charming features characteristic of a classic Richmond home comes a detached one car garage, which makes this property even more desirable!  Come check out our Open House Happy Hour this Thursday from 5 pm - 7 pm for refreshments and light snacks while browsing this beautiful home!




Monday, March 21, 2016

April Charity of the Month: March of Dimes



Our Charity of the Month for April will be the March of Dimes!  Money from every one of our closings in the month of April will go to this great cause and to help our great friend and fellow Realtor, Missie Dussett. Help us support this charity by making a donation yourself by following the link below.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Open House Weekend!

Saturday, March 19 from 2 pm - 4 pm

117 S. Colonial Ave
Richmond, VA 23221
$349,900
Come make 117 S Colonial your home!! This well-maintained home is two blocks away from all the action in Carytown. Within walking distance to cafes and shops, this is a prime location!! As you walk in you will notice a large foyer with 9ft+ ceilings and a chandelier. The formal living room has great detailing, including marble on the mantle of the fireplace. The family room has new carpet, this could double as a first-floor master. The full bath on the first floor includes new flooring, vanity, and fixtures. Going upstairs you will notice the original pine floors that have been refinished and full bathroom w/vanity and a tub/shower combo. The home has an unfinished basement, fresh paint throughout, new windows, wired for alarm system, original doors and glass doorknobs, detached 1-car garage w/new door and direct entrance to the garage from alley. Come see this beautiful 2-story home in its prime location before its too late!


Sunday, March 20 from 2 pm - 4 pm

11402 Homestead Ln
Henrico, VA
$223,900
Welcome to 11402 Homestead Ln in Henrico, Virginia. This adorable brick rancher has been very well maintained and sits on a sizable lot in a cul-de-sac. Features include gorgeous hardwood floors, living room with large picture window, separate dining area, family room with gas fireplace, and an open kitchen with eat-in space. Oversized utility/mud room has additional storage and direct access to the rear yard. With a park-like setting, this home offers a back patio and an open yard with over a third of an acre of land! Come see this home in the sought-after West End!

5628 River Road
Petersburg, VA 23803
$199,950
Welcome to the newly updated 5628 River Rd in South Chesterfield. This home has re-finished hardwood floors and new carpet throughout. The office has a private entrance, which is great if you work from home! This office encompasses a large bay window and original pine floors, which could be a 4th bedroom! Large mudroom w/ceramic tile and w/d hookup. The kitchen has all new cabinets, new granite counters, stainless steel appliances, tile back splash, hardwood floors, lights under the cabinets, recessed lighting and so much more. The dining room has HW floors, new chandelier, and crown molding. Downstairs master bedroom with connected master bath, new vanity, recessed lighting, ceramic tile, and more! Upstairs you will find a full bath with black marble tile, new toilet, new vanity, and crown molding. The electrical has been upgraded. There is a large cellar with an entrance from the outside that doubles as a walk-down partial basement, fully sealed. Privacy fence to be installed between drive & neighbor to left. Come see this wonderfully updated property with a relaxing den space.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Church Hill Irish Festival



The Irish Festival is happening in my favorite neighborhood, Church Hill THIS WEEKEND! It's over 30 years old and will feature lots of beer, 30 Irish vendors including food from Rosie Connolly's and Rare Olde Times Irish Pub.  It will be lots of fun with music, Irish crafts and good old neighborhood fun!  All the proceeds will be going to some great charities and causes. Being held on Saturday, March 19 from 10 am - 7 pm and Sunday, March 20 from 10 am - 6 pm.  Check out their website for more details.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Real Estate Investment Rehab Timeline



The 3 major goals of any Real Estate investor are to stay in budget, stay on a timeline and make a return.  Every project is different.  Some investors feel comfortable buying a home that need minor repairs, some have the resources to rehab diamonds in the rough.  The best asset for either of these undertakings is a plan.  In a way, it’s comparable to cooking a gourmet meal.  You have to time everything right, in the right sequence and it’s all about multi-tasking and time management.  AND you want to do all of these things without compromising quality.  If you’re looking into your next real estate investment, here is a great Rehab Guideline to build your schedule around from RealtyBizNews.com by Brian Kline.

Phase 1: All of the following items are the first things to do and can be done at the same time independent of each other.

Pull Permits.
Demo (exterior and interior).
Install Glass Block Windows.
Install new Roof.
Install Garage Door.

Phase 2: Once Phase 1 items are complete, you move on to Phase 2:

Siding/Fascia/Soffit: Siding is in Phase 2 because while tearing off the roof shingles (Phase 1), the debris might scratch or damage the siding, fascia, soffit, and/or gutters.
Porches and decks.
Framing: Any framing for closets, doors, widening rooms, adding a wall, etc. come after demo.
Rough Trades: These are electrical, mechanical, and plumbing and they come in after demo but before drywall because they will be cutting holes to do their work.

Phase 3:
Drywall: Drywall is after rough trades and framing.
Subfloors: Subfloors are done in preparation for ceramic tile in the kitchen and baths, and for carpet or wood floors.
Any patch work or repairs.
Gutters: Now that fascia, soffit, and roof work is complete, gutters can be installed.

Phase 4:
Backer-Board/Tile.
Hang Doors.

Phase 5:
Ceramic tile.
Set Cabinets/Vanities: Ceramic tile must be done before setting cabinets/vanities because the cabinets go on top of the tile.

Phase 6:
Appliances: Once cabinets are set, appliances can be installed.
Granite: Once cabinets are set, granite can be installed.
Final Plumbing: Install all of the fixtures.

Phase 7:
Wood Floors: Once wood floors are finished, they are covered with paper and plastic.
Base Trim.

Phase 8:
Paint.
Landscaping.

Phase 9:
Carpet: Carpet is after paint so as to not get paint on the carpet.
Final Electrical: Install all the light fixtures. This is done after paint so as to not get paint on the lights.
Final Mechanical.

Phase 10:
Punch List.

Phase 11:
Final Cleaning.


Schedule your contractors appropriately, as doing work out of sequence may end up costing you more time and money by having to redo it.  Having as many projects going on at once that don’t affect each other is a great way to schedule your renovation and stay organized with contractors.  Any well-planned rehab is sure to be a success! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sunday Open House

Come check out our open house this Sunday from 2 pm - 4 pm at 11402 Homestead Lane in Henrico, VA!  Recently reduced in price, this adorable brick rancher has been very well maintained and sits on a sizable lot in a cul-de-sac. Features include gorgeous hardwood floors, living room with large picture window, separate dining area, family room with gas fireplace, and an open kitchen with eat-in space. Oversized utility/mud room has additional storage and direct access to the rear yard. With a park-like setting, this home offers a back patio and an open yard with over a third of an acre of land! Come see this home in the sought-after West End!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hop in Before It Gets Crowded!


     The Real Estate Market is ever-changing.  Without a doubt.  There are predictions, trends, tricks, tips, you name it—  for every season.  But, because it’s ever-changing, what about the in-between times?  The Real Estate Market doesn’t  take a nap or a breather when it’s not quite spring, not quite summer, not quite fall— yet.  As is so apparent with my team’s recent trends, and my previous experience, that getting ready BEFORE the booming Spring market can actually mean you’ll be packing up before your boxes turn green with pollen and your neighbors green with envy.

     We are now experiencing the start of beautiful weather here in Richmond. People are starting to rustle out of hibernation, and if you’re smart, you’ll hit the ground running when trying to buy or sell a home.  During this time, both parties are highly motivated, hoping to avoid the crazy rush.  Buyers are hoping to nab a great deal before the competition inflates asking prices and sellers are hoping to reap the benefits of being the first homes listed in their development.  Which is the case with two of my most recent properties!  One sold within a few days and the other within a week of being listed! Because it was the only home listed in its development, the sellers got a great price and the buyers were happy because they were able to cherry pick the best of their preferred area.

 
    Don’t get lost in the sea of Spring Real Estate.  As a buyer, one of the best things you can do to take advantage of this in-between time is to get pre-approved! That way you can jump on any great deal you can find and your offer will hold more weight than if you weren’t pre-approved.  As a seller, take care to declutter your home, and have it be ready for viewings.  As I said before, you’re dealing with highly motivated shoppers and sellers, so the best thing to do is be on top of your game! 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Open House Today!

This afternoon from 2 pm - 4 pm we are holding an open house at 4806 Sandburne Pkway in Sandston, VA! This cute all brick ranch home as been well maintained. It has 3 bedrooms with recently refinished and buffed hardwood floors in almost all parts of the home. The home has a nice sized screened in rear porch, perfect for relaxing or entertaining. The pull-down attic will not disappoint with all your storage needs. The windows have been replaced and recently underneath the home a vapor barrier and insulation has been installed. Outside you will find an oversized detached garage with room for a workshop space and a large asphalt driveway. Come see this lovely home today!

If you can't catch us today, come by tomorrow, Sunday, March 6th for another viewing from 2 pm - 4 pm.






Tuesday, March 1, 2016

To Market, to Market! Here Comes the Spring

video

Check out the latest edition to the Rhonda Howlett Real Estate Team YouTube Channel!  Matt Hovey gives buyers and sellers advice on what to expect in this upcoming, Spring Real Estate Market!  Traditionally, this is the most popular (and competitive) time of year for real estate.  There's a bigger inventory of homes as well as more buyers looking, which means both parties have to be on top of their game to get the best home at the best price!  Getting pre-approved is extremely important for buyers to have an edge when making an offer and for sellers, making sure your home is ready to show and marketable, especially when it comes to easy fixes that will get you the best price for your property!