Is There a Financial Benefit to Homeownership?

buying a homeThere’s no denying it: homeownership is still an important part of the American dream. But as time moves forward, many individuals start to wonder if owning a home in today’s world is as beneficial as owning a home in previous decades. The good news is that there are still countless positives associated with owning a home, including many financial upsides. When you’re looking for homes for sale in Suffolk, VA, remember that a house isn’t just a place to live—it’s an investment in your future. Take a minute to read about two of the main financial benefits of homeownership.

Builds Wealth

Housing prices do not remain stagnant. Therefore, the price you pay today will likely be lower than the price that the next person will pay when they buy the home from you. The difference between these numbers is all wealth that you’ve accumulated simply by owning a home. This increase in housing equity is a significant financial advantage for homeowners if you make a smart purchase and buy within your means.

Promotes Financial Stability

Seeing your mortgage shrink every month is a great feeling that shows your progress as you build equity. On the other hand, when you pay your monthly rent, all you see is a decline in your bank account. For this simple reason, owning a home is often the better option. Many mortgage payments are similar or lower than rent payments—with the added benefit of contributing toward a goal. Owning a home is a step toward financial stability in the long run.

Contact Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. today for more advice and to discuss local homes for sale.

Buying a Townhouse? Read This First

townhouses A townhouse can be a great option if you are looking to buy a place of your own. The team at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. is here with a few tips on searching for townhouses for sale in Suffolk, VA.

For the right buyer, there are a some excellent reasons to purchase a townhome as opposed to other options on the market. Townhouses are often more affordable than single-family homes of the same size and similar location. You are responsible for fewer maintenance items than a single-family dwelling, thanks to a homeowners association. Additionally, a townhouse community will keep you in close proximity to others if you prefer to be near your neighbors. A pool, clubhouse with fitness center, playground, and more amenities are usually within close distance and easily accessible.

Ready to start your search? You want to make sure you have an experienced real estate professional working to help you find listings, negotiate pricing, and guide you through the purchase process. Know your budget and prepare ahead of time by working with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved before you immerse yourself in the search for the perfect property.

Our team here at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. is happy to help you find townhouses for sale and get you into one that’s perfect for you. Give us a call today to get started. (757) 539-7451.


couple touring a home with their real estate agent

What to Look for in a Starter Home

Congratulations on your decision to purchase your first house. It’s a big step and one to be celebrated.

Now that you’re ready to start scouring the market for listings, the team at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. is going to tell you what to look for in a starter home. We are intimately familiar with the listings for homes for sale in Northern Suffolk, VA, and happy to share the benefit of our knowledge and insight.

The primary thing to keep in mind is that it’s best not to let emotions rule your decision. You may find a home that you love, but it could be way out of your price range. It’s important to buy a house you can afford to you avoid any financial difficulties down the road. At this particular time, our local market is hot and with limited inventory, potential buyers are encountering bidding wars. Stick to you budget and hold out for the right home so you don’t get yourself into an uncomfortable situation.

When you’re looking for homes for sale, do your research about the location, especially if you are new to the area. Do you want to be close to your family, work, and the places and activities you enjoy? Are you willing to make a daily commute?  Buying your first home is not only a financial commitment!

If you have any questions about being a first-time home buyer, we’ve got the answers. Please contact Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd., and our experienced professionals will help make your dreams of home ownership a reality. We love what we do and we get results!

family standing in front of their new home with SOLD sign

House Hunting Tips to Find Your Dream Home

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life, and you don’t want to go into it unprepared. Knowing what you’re looking for and what’s most important to you can make this often stressful process much easier. Get a sense of the Suffolk real estate market and surrounding areas by researching community information (crime rates, property taxes, flood zones, and school ratings, etc.)  Knowing your price range and anticipating future needs (growing family or downsizing, for instance) can make  a huge difference in how much you invest now and can possibly sell for later. Work with a mortgage broker to have your preapproval, price range, and down payment ready, so you’ll be prepared to make an offer in this competitive market.

Not sure if it is good time for you to buy or sell? An experienced REALTOR® from Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. can tell you whether Suffolk real estate is a buyer or seller’s market right now. A buyer’s market is when available properties exceed the number of buyers. That offers you (as a buyer) more leverage and flexibility in negotiations, like requesting upgrades as part of the contract. Currently, in March of 2021, we are seeing a seller’s market scenario, where the available inventory does not meet the demand. Considering a move this spring? You’re in luck! Our team of professionals is here to help you every step of the way.

land for sale

Buying Land to Build Your Dream Home – Things to Know Before You Purchase

You’ve been planning and saving for years, and now you are ready to make a real estate investment. Congratulations! If you are considering purchasing land to build your dream home, there are some things you will want to seriously think about before making a commitment to a particular parcel. It’s a big decision to make, so let us help by providing information about purchasing land for sale in Suffolk, VA, and surrounding areas.

You want to build your home in a place you love and eliminate the stress of unforeseen issues in the process. Doing some homework beforehand can help prevent potential problems before you begin construction. These are some things to think about as you begin your property search:

Financing: What type of loan will you need? Are you financing the land AND the construction of your home? Let your real estate professional connect you with an experienced loan officer who can give you the best options based on your particular circumstances and goals.

Flood Zone:  Here in Southeast VA and Northeast NC especially, you will want to know if the property you are buying is in a Flood Zone. This can make a significant difference in building and insurance costs.

Survey: A completed survey is a must for determining boundary lines and helping you with placement of driveways, fences, etc. Without a survey, you can potentially be setting yourself up for legal disputes down the road.

Utilities: Does the property currently have any utilities? There can be significant costs in adding them if none are in place. Check with your local city or county planning commission and utility companies to help you clarify answers to questions concerning these matters.

Perc Test: Some parcels of land cannot connect to city sewer and make a septic tank a necessary addition. In this case, a “perc test” needs to be done to determine if the land can handle a septic system. Testing and a septic system can be expensive additional costs. A failed “perc test” determines the site is unsuitable for building.

Zoning and Restrictive Covenants: Know of and review any zoning and/or legal restrictions in place that could dictate future building and usage plans for the property. A Realtor, Title Company, or attorney can provide this information to you.

Lot Prep to Build: Don’t overlook expenses if your lot of choice needs to be cleared or there are existing structures that will need to be demolished. This can add up quickly and needs to be considered in overall cost if applicable.

These are just a handful of many details to consider when buying land to build your home. With that in mind, have a look at available land for sale in Suffolk, VA, to find your homesite! Our real estate professionals can guide you through the process of finding what’s right for your needs. We have REALTORS® on our team with decades of experience in land transactions. Put our knowledge to work for you.


2020 has proven to be a banner year for both buyers and sellers in the Suffolk area! I would have never guessed when C-19 was “announced” back in Feb/March, that the housing market would take off as it has done in this area.   For buyers, the catalyst came from the extraordinarily low mortgage interest rates available to them and for sellers, the “cause and effect” by those incredibly low rates (less than 3.5%) generated an unprecedented demand for those houses.  With that avalanche of buyer demand, came an increase in sales prices, as suddenly buyers were “bidding” on homes such as what happened in the insane 2005-2007 cycle, but this bidding scenario came under different circumstances.   Buyers benefited by locking in interest rates close to 3% for 30 years, and sellers benefited by getting top values for their homes!!
Local statistics have shown the above to be true as home inventory in Hampton Roads is 32% lower than it was at the same time last year, and prices have increased almost 13% compared to the exact same time last year, according to the local MLS system. 
The good news is that most local economists fully expect the same trend to continue into 2021.  Just last month, according to the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association, the 30-year mortgage rate is expected to average 3.075% which is slightly down from the current rate of 3.125%!  What that means in layman’s terms, is for every $1,000 a buyer borrows for a mortgage, the principle and interest payment is ONLY $4.26!    In other words, if a buyer borrows $250,000, his P and I payment would only be $1,065, which is probably much lower than the monthly rent one would expect to pay for a similar dwelling unit!!!   PLUS, buying gives the tax benefits of interest deductions and the property increasing in value (remember the 13% increase in value of homes from just one year ago!)
I’ve been in this business now going on 45 years, and I quite frankly have never seen anything like it where a market is so mutually beneficial for BOTH buyers and sellers.  At some point, I’m sure it’s going to end, but in near term foreseeable future, I see it continuing and I encourage those who are even contemplating a move, whether one is buying or selling, that NOW is the time…………Don’t wait as I fear you may regret it!


 Billy Chorey, Owner/Broker

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

 (757) 539-7451




If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you’re realizing that one of the most important parts of the process is getting approved for a mortgage that works for you. To get the best rate and avoid losing your deposit, keep away from these common mistakes.

Leaving out details from your financial profile.

The best way to avoid doing this is having a great mortgage lender. Making sure you include not only your basic information, employment and living history, income, assets and debts, but also ensuring you answer every single question. Leaving details out of your profile can throw off the entire process, so having someone who is meticulous enough to make sure all your information is made available is key.

Assuming pre-approval is equal to actual approval.

Pre-approval for a mortgage means that you’ve talked to a potential lender or maybe even provided some documentation that gave the impression that you will be approved for a certain amount. Don’t be confused – this is not an actual approval. You need to make sure your loan is approved by an underwriter before making any offers to buy a home. When you are “underwriting approved” you will be able to get a formal loan commitment. Without this document, there is no proof of actual approval, meaning that your profile has been evaluated but nothing official to show approval.

Failing to provide every single piece of documentation needed.

Your lender is going to want very detailed documentation of your financial profile, including the following:

  • Pay stubs covering 30 days
  • 2 of tax returns & W-2s
  • YTD business financial statements (if you’re self-employed)
  • 2 months of statements for all your asset accounts
  • Explanations and paper trails of all deposits or withdrawals over $1,000
  • A home insurance quote with adequate coverage
  • Full financial information on any other homes/businesses you own

You will need to provide all these documents, and if you have a commissioned or variable income, you will need to give permissions to your lender to verify that income. Your credit will be run, which can expose any information you didn’t disclose.

Not knowing enough about mortgage rates.

Once a seller accepts your offer, you will be in contract on that home and you will be ready to lock in your mortgage rate. You cannot lock your rate until you’re in contract, which means that any rate market movement can impact you until then. Rates change throughout each day, and they are priced based on how long they are locked. A shorter lock, about a month or less, will have a lower rate than a lock of 60+ days. If you want to avoid any surprises, talk to your lender and ask them to use your closing timeline to quote rate locks.


Ivon Portellez, REALTOR®

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

(757) 998-0575





KitchenWe have all been spending A LOT of time at home recently during this pandemic. Many people are utilizing this time to tackle home updates or repairs with the idea of future resale in mind. However, many homeowners make a common mistake when it comes to remodeling or renovating. They incur costs through a home equity loan or overspend, expecting to recoup the costs when they sell the home!
Unfortunately, most of the time only some renovation investments are partially recouped at the time of the sale. So, which improvement projects offer the highest return on your investment? Check out the latest. If ever in doubt, please call or message me before investing your valuable time and money in extensive home improvements. We can talk about your timetable for resale and how your projects will impact the value of your home.

1. THE KITCHEN (That’s right, you guessed it!)
A minor kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make in your home. Keep it simple! Don’t spend too much on high-end products, stick with the standard granite or quartz countertops. Consider painting your cabinets, changing out hardware, and updating those outdated fixtures. Change out those old window coverings and go for ones that allow for an abundance of natural light.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, the kitchen remodel has an average 80.5% return on investment.

Re-caulking around your tub and the floor is a simple repair to the dingy outline you may stare at every day taking a shower. If your tub is old but overall, in good condition, try deep cleaning and re-glazing. Add a fresh coat of paint and replace your dated light fixtures/fans, towel racks and shower doors with a more modern style.

First impressions matter! When someone drives past your home, this is what they see. Get rid of the overgrown shrubs, flowers, and weeds. Many local garden centers offer free services or have friendly, knowledgeable employees who are willing to answer your questions about plants and design. You may ask about choosing a focal point such as specific trees/plants, walkways, or fountains.

You could recoup around 70% of the cost of installing replacement windows. Not only will this update the appearance of your home, but you will increase energy efficiency reducing the heating and cooling costs.

Give your exterior a boost! These are the items that many individuals don’t think about but make your home pop and some fresh curb appeal! Paint your front door and/or purchase a new storm door (one of my favorites). Select new garage doors that match your trim and/or siding. Remove old awnings and replace them with a fresh, new selection. Paint railings or change out wood with fiberglass composite railings that are low-maintenance and longer-lasting.


This blog post has been brought to you by:

Leigh Anne Parks, REALTOR®Leigh Anne Parks, REALTOR®

HRRA Board of Directors, 2020-2021

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

Contact her today to have your real estate questions answered!

 (757) 676- 9790 cell

 (757) 539-7451 office

Reflections On Our Local Real Estate Market – May 2020

When I started my real estate career with Chorey & Associates Realty over 40 years ago, little did I know the “ups and downs” and dramatic changes the Suffolk, VA real estate business would have and now as I look back, I realize that the one thing that has remained consistent has been the fact that real estate values have continued to go up over those years!!!   How well I remember going door to door in the various neighborhoods off of Bennett’s Pasture Road, Wilroy Road, Holland Road, and “introducing myself”, literally house to house ringing doorbells, and simply inquiring if the homeowner “knew anyone who may be wanting to buy or sell their homes in the future”.  I remember like yesterday the homes in Nansemond Shores were selling for mid-upper $’20s, the homes in Lakeside were selling for $’40s, and those were the “fair market prices”. The average price of a home in this area was just over $38,000 and the average interest rate was 10% when I started my career in 1975. NOW, the average mortgage rate for a home mortgage is 3%, and the average price of a home in Suffolk is $290,000!


Concerning the “downs part” of the “ups and downs”, how well I remember the year 1981 when the 10 year Treasury bill, (which reflects on the home mortgage rate) was 15.8%, and mortgage rates were 18 ½% (no, that is NOT a typo!!). By the grace of God, I was still selling houses and staying as busy as I could be.  I recall a young couple who had just purchased a home in Oak Ridge here in Suffolk and they were using Home Federal Savings and Loan on N. Main Street (no longer in business). They were closing on the home I sold them, and they brought champagne with them to the closing to CELEBRATE buying a home at an interest rate LESS than the rate on their MasterCard!


The point I’m trying to make is to first acknowledge that these days with the COVD-19 virus scenario are scary for everybody and we are looking at a “new normal” for the foreseeable future and perhaps longer.  There will be ups and downs, and the real estate market is no exception, BUT the good news for buyers and sellers, is that interest rates are at a historic LOW, (the latest 10-year treasury rate was just under 7/10 of one percent), AND home values in Suffolk continue to go up, with MLS statistics showing almost a 7% increase of the median home price in April of this year vs April of last year!



Billy ChoreyBilly Chorey, Owner/Broker

Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.

330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434

(757) 539-7451


Best Home Remodels to Get a Higher Sale Price

Home RemodelsThe Hampton Roads and Isle of Wight, VA, real estate markets are competitive, so anyone planning to sell their home in the near future needs to ensure their property will stand out. Spring is just around the corner and a few easy upgrades can help you attract buyers and fetch a higher sale price, but which improvements are most cost-effective? Industry experts recommend focusing on the following projects:


Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades

Often, the kitchen or bathroom is the room that “sells” the home. You need to ensure these high traffic spaces will impress potential buyers, but you don’t have to sink too much money into frivolous projects. Real estate professionals recommend focusing on the countertops and cabinets since they are highly visible and frequently used. Whenever possible, reface, repaint, or upgrade fixtures rather than entirely replacing if that is an option.


New Paint

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a home. With well-chosen neutral hues that follow interior design preferences, you can completely transform any property. In particular, choose bright colors that reflect more ambient light; these shades photograph better and make the property appear more substantial. No matter what colors you choose, remember that you are appealing to the tastes of the modern real estate market, not your personal preferences.


Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Energy efficiency is also an important item to consider when evaluating your home for selling. Do you have attic insulation? Are there leaky spots around windows and doors? Even though these items are not as highly visible, they are still important selling points. If you are replacing appliances, consider purchasing energy-efficient models.


Curb Appeal

Evaluate your exterior! Give it a good cleaning with a power washer if needed and repair any loose wood, vinyl, or shingles. Consider giving your front door a fresh coat of paint! Do you need to update the numbers on your mailbox? And, don’t overlook your landscape. Trim shrubs and trees, and add some fresh mulch to landscaped beds. These exterior details will be some of the first things a potential homeowner will notice during a showing. Little things make a big difference overall and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.