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!
NOW IS THE TIME TO BE BUYING AND SELLING
Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd.
330 W. Constance Rd. Suffolk, VA 23434
The 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.
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 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.
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.
You have probably heard the terms REALTOR®, broker and real estate agent used interchangeably and perhaps never even given a thought to there being a difference between the terms. While they all can assist you in buying or selling a home there are a few differences that clients should understand:
- Real Estate Agents must work for a broker and are a representative of the broker. Brokers have extensive education to be able to own and/or run a brokerage while having other agents work for them.
- A REALTOR® is an agent or broker that is held to an extensive Code of Ethics, with an immaculate professional conduct record holding them to a higher standard than a real estate agent. The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in the United States and part of its mission is developing standards for efficient and ethical real estate business practices.
So, next time you are thinking about contacting a real estate professional, make sure you are contacting a REALTOR®! As a client, you can feel at ease knowing that here at Chorey & Associates Realty LTD, our licensed real estate professionals in Suffolk, VA, are all members of the Hampton Roads Realtor Association (under the NAR umbrella) vetted and sworn to uphold professional standards that we will not compromise. We are proudly continuing a tradition of excellence in our profession.
This blog post has been brought to you by:
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
Suffolk real estate sales don’t have to come with drama. When you’re ready to list, there are a few simple steps to reducing stress and making the process as smooth as possible. As local professionals in the industry, the team at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. knows how to help you sell your home without worry. Here are a few of our top tips:
Understand Your Reasons — People decide to sell for a wide range of reasons. Whether you simply need the money, are relocating for work, need more space or want to downsize, the important thing to remember is why you started the process in the first place. This helps you set attainable goals and keep your focus on the results you want.
Know Your Price — Property markets are often in flux, and starting out with the wrong expectations is an easy way to end up frustrated by an inability to sell at the price you want. A little research beforehand helps you understand realistic pricing options, and that’s where our knowledgeable team of professionals can go to work for you.
Take Advantage of the Web — Today, the majority of home buyers shop around online. A property professional and our marketing coordinator can help you figure out how to best market your home. We have a consistent web, social media, and digital marketing presence to increase the visibility of your new listing, any status changes with the listing, and events such as open houses. You can count on our team to make your selling experience as smooth as possible.
Ready to BUY or SELL a HOME this winter?
A welcoming first impression is essential when marketing your home to potential buyers, no matter what season. Winter can be a more challenging time to sell a house, but with some attention to details, you can be certain to set the stage for an inviting experience. Likewise, if you are looking to buy during the winter season, take note of some things to watch for if you are touring properties in the colder months.
- Make sure your outside spaces are neat and well-maintained. Be sure tree limbs are not in need of trimming or removal. Clear any debris from flower beds and freshen up the mulch.
- Are the gutters cleared and in good shape? Make any repairs necessary!
- Touch up any paint, repair any damaged wood or siding, and be sure the roof is in good shape.
- As the winter days are shorter, some potential buyers may visit during darker hours. Are your exterior lights in good working order and properly illuminating walkways and entryways?
- In the event of snow or icy weather, be sure to clear walkways and steps so visitors can easily access the property.
- Keep the temperature comfortable and cozy. Even if you keep the inside temps slightly cool during the winter, be sure to bump it up when you know potential buyers are coming.
- Has your heating/cooling system been professionally serviced/maintained? Keep records handy.
- Are there drafty areas in the house? Pay attention to weather strips around doors and windows. Repair or replace in areas that need it and be sure all windows and doors open/close properly.
- Winter is a great time to show off your fireplace if the property has one. Be sure to have it professionally maintained prior to using and keep a record of the date of service.
Additional Tips for Preparing to Show your Property:
- Declutter is the magic word! This applies to the exterior and interior spaces of your property. Too many personal items and decorations are a distraction to potential buyers. While it is OK to have a wreath on the door and a few festive touches throughout the home, this is not the time to pull out all your lighted lawn ornaments or fill every corner of your house with “stuff”. If needed, put some of it in storage to help reduce the clutter.
If you are looking to make a move this winter, the experienced professionals at Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. are here for you! We are the Suffolk, VA, real estate specialists and we serve all of Hampton Roads, VA, and Northeastern North Carolina. Contact us today! (757) 539-7451.
“Buyer beware” may be good advice when you’re purchasing something, but it’s not what you wish to hear when you have your heart set on a new home. It has a ring of negativity and almost implies if you fall victim to a bad deal that it’s your fault. It’s often applied to an individual who was duped and didn’t know better.
The way to put to rest any doubts you may have about the home you are purchasing and lay to rest the specter of “buyer beware,” is by choosing a certified professional for a home appraisal in Suffolk, VA.
Qualified appraisers, such as you will find at a team like Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd., are impartial professionals who know what to look for when surveying a property. They consider a wide range of elements and take the time to inspect each one thoroughly. When the appraisal is complete, the appraiser compiles their findings into a comprehensive document that is easy to understand and clearly illustrates any deficiencies or areas for concern.
The value in such a document lies in the fact that it either shows you are paying a fair price for the home, or you can use the report to negotiate a new price based on any repairs or other work you will need to complete after purchase.
Your home is one of the biggest investments of your life, and it’s important to make time to protect and keep it safe for your family. As the seasons change there are things you can do now (in milder temperatures) to prepare and maintain your property for the colder winter months.
When the days begin to grow shorter and the calendar turns to October it’s a good time to prepare for the cold season ahead. It’s never too early to contemplate winterizing your home and Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. has provided a handy checklist to help you protect your Suffolk, VA, real estate.
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure indoor safety.
- Have your chimney professionally cleaned (and repaired as needed).
- Change filter and have your heat system serviced while the weather is still mild.
- Clean gutters and downspouts after the leaves have fallen.
- Check and adjust the drainage areas around your home to prevent excess water from making its way into the house.
- Check your roof for loose, damaged, curled, and missing shingles. Repair as needed.
- Seal your driveway and concrete surfaces to preserve them.
- Repair and paint any exposed wood surfaces; check for areas of loose or cracked caulking.
- Repair or replace leaky seals around windows and doors.
- Drain outside faucets and sprinklers and put your hose away before freezing temps set in.
- Prepare and properly store your mower and other outdoor lawn equipment for the winter.
- If applicable, shut down your pool for the season. Cover and/or store all patio furniture.
- Trim trees around your home to protect the structure and to prevent critters from using them as an entryway into your warm home during the cold months.
By using this handy checklist and your common sense, you will be well prepared for the winter to come. Be safe and be prepared!
If you’ve never purchased a house before, you may have no idea where to begin when preparing to become a homeowner. You may be on the fence about buying, or you may feel like you are ready to buy a home today. Either way, these tips can help anyone feel a little more prepared for their first home purchase!
MONEY IS KEY
It is easy to begin scrolling through beautiful homes on the market without considering your budget. Sale postings can be all over your social media feeds, tempting you to just take a peek. While looking can be fun and exciting, you should prepare financially before you start seriously eyeing any homes. It is much better to know what your price range is so you don’t fall in love with a house you just can’t afford (for now!)
MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE
While you need to be realistic and recognize that you likely are not going to find a home with every single thing you wish to have in a house, making a list of the things that are a priority for you (room count, big backyard, master walk-in closet, etc.) will help you to make sure you’re only looking at houses that will fit your wants and needs.
PHOTOS DON’T TELL THE WHOLE PICTURE
It is easy to fall in love with a home after seeing the listing photos. These perfectly lit, well-staged photos show off houses in their best light, but that doesn’t mean you are getting the whole story. Listing photos are a great place to start, as they will help you to narrow down your options. Unfortunately, there are home traits that may not be portrayed well in photos, whether it be low ceilings, a drafty build, or anything in between. Once you’ve made a short list of the homes that appear to be a fit for you, always do a home tour.
If you walk into a house and it feels like home, trust your gut. There is no better way to know if you should buy a home than seeing how you feel when you walk through the front door. Your home purchase will probably be one of, if not the largest, purchase you’ve made in your life so far. Pictures can only do so much, and nothing can help you decide whether or not a house is made for you better than getting inside it!
NOTHING ELSE WILL DO
Do you get upset at the thought of losing the house you just toured to someone else? Does it already feel like home when you are inside? These are two signs that you have found the home for you! If you see a home and are ready to stop looking at others, you are one step closer to buying a home you will love.
THE BEST AGENT
Finding a great real estate agent is going to be the part that ties everything together. A quality agent will help you find homes within your budget that possess your must-have items and they’ll offer you guidance through every step of the process. If you are ready to purchase a home in the Suffolk, VA or Isle of Wight, VA areas, call me today! (757) 650-3977. I know the area and will guide you through every step of the process!
Are you committed to a move this year? Whether you are making a local move within a familiar territory or planning to purchase a home in a new area, there are many things to consider to ensure that you choose the right neighborhood! Fortunately, the selection process should not be too daunting, especially if you know what to look for in a community. Whether you have a large family or live by yourself, the area in which you live plays a huge role in determining your overall quality of life. With this in mind, consider the following factors when investigating local neighborhoods.
Is There Space?
Depending on the size you need your new home to be, your ideal neighborhood might not have a property with sufficient space. This is why it is a good idea to understand the size of the house you need AND determine your budget before searching for the right location. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a neighborhood, only to discover it cannot accommodate your needs or is out of your price range. Having a focus on your priorities can eliminate wasted time when you begin to visit potential properties.
Are there any Hidden Costs?
Many neighborhoods have Homeowners Association dues and regulations about how you maintain your property. Have you figured additional fees into your budget? Are you okay with HOA regulations? If not, move on! Another thing to note, (especially in our Suffolk, VA and Smithfield, VA areas) would be the regulations/considerations of purchasing a home within a historic district. Often, in historic areas, there are property regulations when it comes to renovations and repairs. Do your homework if you love old homes and are looking at properties with a designated historic district.
Is the Location Convenient?
When browsing through the Suffolk, VA and Smithfield, VA, homes for sale, it is essential to consider convenience, especially if you have a family. In addition to being within easy driving distance of schools and workplaces, the neighborhood you choose should be near grocery stores, restaurants, and other necessary facilities to your daily life. Do you have a commute within the Hampton Roads area? Consider the factors of tunnels, traffic, and tolls when you are looking to relocate within the area.
When moving to a new location with your family, it can be stressful on your children, as the move will often involve them leaving friends and familiarity behind as they are introduced to a new school district and group of people. Though changing schools can be difficult, especially when you are new to an area, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
When moving to a new town, be sure to do your research on all schooling options in the area. If you are making a move to Suffolk or Isle of Wight County, VA, your Suffolk real estate agent will be able to help you determine the schools within range of your new home. Use the Resources page of our web site to browse links for public and private school options in our area. If you are moving to a new home in Suffolk, you’ll find a Suffolk Public Schools locator link on this page. Put in the address of your new home and you’ll see which Suffolk Public Schools are in that zone.
Once you have narrowed down your search, schedule a tour of the potential new schools to ensure they meet your expectations. Be sure to ask the staff any questions you have about their curriculum, policies, and atmosphere. You want your child to be in a safe and nurturing environment where they can learn and make new friends with ease.
Moving to a new school can be a challenge, but with a little help and patience, your child will adjust. If you are interested in learning more about the schools in the Suffolk area, contact Chorey & Associates Realty, Ltd. today at (757) 539-7451. We are here to help your family with every aspect of the moving process!