Fredericksburg Real Estate News Blog

Welcome to our Fredericksburg real estate news blog. Please find the most up to date realty information for the Fredericksburg, VA. area, written by Tom Smith. owner of Fredericksburg Realty LLC at Coldwell Banker Elite. The secret to our success is providing accurate information to assist Fredericksburg home buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions.

 

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Aug. 24, 2015

Fredericksburg Homes Staging Tips

Home Staging Tips

     Homes for sale in Fredericksburg are more attractive to buyers when staged. The way you have arranged your home is what makes it your home.  Buyers in Fredericksburg however, need to be able to imagine themselves living in your house. The best way to set up an atmosphere fit for the imagination is to remove your personal touches. The more general and open your house appears to be, the easier it is for a buyer to picture their own scene coming to life within your walls. I’ve put together some staging tips that don’t require a lot of money or time but make a huge difference in how a house will show.

     One thing I’ve learned after showing hundreds of homes is that a buyer instantly knows if your house is a possibility for them. First impressions are key and make all the difference in the world. It never hurts to spruce up the front yard. Make sure there are bulbs in all of your outdoor lighting. Trim bushes and pull weeds. Does the asphalt need resealing? Keep the grass cut and make sure the yard is tidy. A colored door can really make a house pop. A glossy finish will also enhance the curb appeal.

     Make sure the entry way of your home is completely clear of clutter. Consider adding a plant. Buying fresh flowers can become too expensive.

     People often want to see the kitchen first. Kitchens should always be spotless and odor free. A bowl of fruit adds to the beauty of a kitchen and can actually be eaten by your family later.  Remember, the buyer needs to imagine their own family’s traditional cooking happening in that area, so it’s not necessary for the lingering smells of this morning’s bacon to flow through the air.

     Keep the bathrooms clean. Provide nice clean towels and soap. Don’t have anything in your medicine cabinet that buyers shouldn’t see. They will open them. Now might be a good time to change out the medicine cabinet to a more updated style. Keep all of the toilet seats down!

     Clear your closets the best you can. All buyers are looking for spacious closets.

     I always recommend removing at least one quarter of the furniture throughout the house.

     Clear out the clutter, books, family pictures, diplomas and religious items from the house. These things make it your home, not theirs.

     Lighting is so important throughout the home. Change all of your light bulbs to the brightest wattage you can safely use. A bright house is a happy house.  

Fredericksburg Homes Staging Tips provided by:

Tom SmithAssociate Broker

Fredericksburg Realty LLC
Fredericksburg, VA.

 

804-513-9179

Aug. 16, 2015

Fredericksburg Real Estate Market Report July, 2015

Fredericksburg Realty LLC offers a monthly insight in the real estate market conditions for the Fredericksburg VA and surrounding areas of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George and Caroline Counties. The image below is brought to you by Real Estate Business Intellegence or RBI. 

Fredericksburg Real Estate Market Report Image July, 2015

Tom Smith, author of this blog, is a Licensed Virginia Associate Broker and owner of Fredericksburg Realty LLC at Coldwell Banker Elite. Tom is an award winning real estate service provider in full, one on one real estate representation for Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George and Caroline Counties in VA.

Posted in Market Conditions
Aug. 6, 2015

Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair

Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair at Night

The Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair of 2015 runs through this Sunday, August 9th. Boy has it changed since the days of my youth. It seems that a new company, Deggeler Attractions, has taken over the midway boasting many new thrill rides and games that could easily rival those of the state fair.

     Looking around at the Zipper, the Viper and Zero Gravity, my kids didn't know where to run to first. Then I noticed the new pavilion with actual seats at the pageant arena. Where did that come from? I remember sitting on hard bleachers in the beaming sun for hours listening to Bob sing "Under the Boardwalk" between beauty pageants. And the beautiful landscaping all over the fairgrounds is definitely a new touch.

     With so much to see inside the air conditioned buildings, it took longer than I expected to get through them. Some special booths that captured our attention were the display of bugs put on by the Master Gardener volunteers for Va Tech, and the elaborate train tracks and carnival display run by the Rappahannock Model Railroaders Club.

     Though I didn't make it out to the mud bog, I did see a comedic hypnotist that was absolutely hilarious! The smell of the fair-food-air reminded me of Templeton the Rat from Charlotte's Web. I too, rolled home like Templeton after sampling the best root beer I've ever tasted, the fried Oreos, red velvet funnel cake and a whole bag of kettle corn.

     The Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair may be the oldest in America complete with homemakers' contests and animals, but it certainly sets the standard for an enjoyable event for the entire family.

June 15, 2015

Portobago Bay Offers it All

What's your dream community?  For me and my family, it’s Portobago Bay. This lovely Rappahannock River waterfront community is located just 5 miles south of the town of Port Royal, or 23 minutes from Cosner’s Corner and less than 30 minutes from the Dahlgren Naval Base. We are just far enough out to enjoy the peace and quiet of the country life.

I have been a resident of Portobago Bay since 2000. We built our home here in 2004. Since then, just when we think we’ve seen and done it all, we discover another feature that Portobago Bay has to offer. We love the views across the wide Rappahannock River, the quiet walks around the three-mile circle, the community gatherings at the pavilion, the annual Easter egg hunt, the Memorial Day picnic, the Independence Day cookout, the Summer Regatta, the crab feasts and the annual Trunk or Treat. Portobago Bay started out by drawing interest in 1985 from those looking to retire. Portobago Bay now has residents of all ages. Many families with small children call this place home.

Portobago Bay Largemouth Bass

I recently had the opportunity to take my children out fishing in this community. I took my 11-year-old son, Thomas, out to Lake Powhatan for his first fishing trip with artificial baits. His first cast with a plastic worm yielded a 4 lb. largemouth bass. After several photos, he released the fish back into the lake. Not to let her brother out do her, my daughter, Rachel had me take her cat fishing at the dock. We dug some worms and went fishing. Within a couple of minutes, her rod bowed and she reeled in a perfect eating sized blue catfish. Before long, she had a stringer full. I cleaned them right on the dock at the fish cleaning station. We took them home and cooked them for dinner. We've made so many wonderful memories here.

Portobago Bay Cat Fish on stringer

 

Portobago Bay has real estate opportunities. I’m considered the top resource for Portobago Bay homes for sale. The homes here are gorgeous with Williamsburg styles and colors. No two are alike. If you are in the market for a new home,  you may want to consider touring the Bay. My family and I would love to have you as our neighbors. Call Tom at 804-513-9179.

 

June 6, 2015

Fredericksburg Second Quarter Market Report

Fredericksburg real estate market report second quarter

The median sold sales price for homes in the Fredericksburg, VA area from March, 2015 to June, 2015 was $240,000. This was based on the property sales of 293 units. The median sales price was down 7.7% of that of last year at this time period. The average price per square foot on finished space was $146. Real estate sales numbers decreased 47.6%. The average list price for homes in the Fredericksburg area is $390,682 for the first week in June. This showed a slight increase in that of the week prior. This slow start may be an indication that buyers haven't started hitting the streets and inventory is still low. I predict activity to pick up following the area school graduations and when schools let out for summer vacations.

Posted in Market Conditions
May 11, 2015

Why Won’t My Fredericksburg House Sell?

Why Won't my Fredericksburg Home Sell Article Image

Are you a Fredericksburg home owner with your home on the market? Are you viewing other properties around your residence selling while yours is getting stagnant? Are you losing your patience? If you answered yes to any of these questions you will need to read on.

I understand your frustrations. Every day your home doesn't sell, you’ll have to get up the next morning and tidy up the home for the possibility of showings while you are at work. You find that your lifestyle is put on hold until you sell or at least get a contract on your home.

You need to determine why the home is not selling.

 The largest factor is price. Get your REALTOR to perform a recent Comparative Market Analysis on your property or get it appraised by a licensed appraiser. Your home needs to be priced accordingly to compete with other similar homes in your area.

The second factor is exposure. When I list a Fredericksburg home, I list it on as many realty sites as I can to get my clients maximum exposure. This process takes much time because some sites only take manual submissions. The world needs to know your home is for sale, not just your community. Make sure a sign is placed in your yard with a flyer box near. Some buyers don’t want to contact your agent right away, but will take information out of the box. I set up an agent preview on the wide screen at my office so that no matter where your home is located, the entire office of agents will get a preview. Public open houses and broker open houses may help as well. My agent preview seems to get me better results. 

The last factor is condition or problems. I tour my client’s home prior to the official listing. I begin my observations as soon as I pull in the driveway. I’m on the lookout for problems. I use my three senses of sight, sound and smell. If I see anything that may prevent my clients from getting an offer, I address it right then and there. If your home is already listed and you don’t want to call your agent, ask a friend to stop by and tour it for you just as if they are buyers. Make sure you tell them to hold nothing back. If something is noticed, get if fixed. There may be other similar properties out there for sale. It would be a shame if there was a small issue causing buyers concern and reservation, ending in them choosing the other home.

The real estate market in Fredericksburg is hot. There are many homes currently active out there. The key is to get your home in first place. You will also need to make it easy for buyers to view your home. Hopefully you may now know why your home in Fredericksburg won't sell. If you are in the market to sell your home soon, give me a call and I will be happy to walk you through the entire process. I’m an old fashion full service REALTOR that uses the latest tools and updated information to get the job done for you faster for the most money in your pocket. You deserve the BEST.

Tom Smith is a Licensed Virginia Associate Broker and Active Real Estate Agent with Fredericksburg Homes Realty – Century 21 Redwood. He has won numerous customer satisfaction awards over the past years. Tom is a lifelong Fredericksburg area resident and a retired law enforcement officer.

 

Posted in Realtor Tips
May 10, 2015

Fredericksburg Homes Realty Community Spotlight – Portobago Bay

Portobago Bay sign at entrance

Portobago Bay is an exquisite waterfront community on the wide Rappahannock River just south of Port Royal, VA along the Rt. 17 corridor. This neighborhood consists of 104 lots, most which are already built on. Carl D. Silver developed this community back in 1985. It soon became desired by retirees. The lots sold quickly due to the rare wide panoramic water views across the wide bay area. This is my home community.

I bought my lot in 2000 and built my home along the quiet tidal Portobago Creek in 2004. Back then, our nearest large box stores were either in Fredericksburg at the Central Park area or Tappahannock, VA. Since then, we saw new commercial development at Cosner’s Corner, large box stores and a new hospital and now the soon to open Rt. 17 Virginia Railway Express.  These newer locations are only about 20 or so minutes travel on Rt. 17 now. There’s even talk of future development in the New Post area. Now we can enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of the river life and be close enough to shopping to be convenient. My children attend Fredericksburg Christian School. This upper school campus is located just west of New Post or 20 minutes from the Bay. 

We do residents love to live in Portobago Bay? It is quiet and beautiful. All the farm land surrounding the community is placed in a conservation easement. The west end of Portobago Bay is owned by Fort A.P. Hill. This area will not change. What you see is what you will continue to see. It’s very disturbing to locate a beautiful property and watch it develop over time to change the setting completely. I love the security here that it won’t change.  Residents love the three mile circle around the bay. This state road has a 25 mph speed limit. We love to walk, bike ride or jog around this circle. My children love to stop by the Seller’s residence to feed the horses. The Sellers located here before the community was formed. They are allowed to have fenced horses there. Mrs. Sellers will come out and give the children carrots so they can feed these beautiful horses. There are always friends along the trail to stop and converse for a much needed rest. We love the commons areas which consist of the pavilion, sandy beach, long dock, pier, and concrete boat ramp and Lake Powhatan. We gather several times a year for cookouts and gatherings at the pavilion. We recently upgraded our bulkhead at the beach to allow a full wide unobstructed view of the Rappahannock River. Sometimes we may take for granted just how fortunate we are. Bald Eagles and ospreys are everywhere. While others hear traffic and horns, we listen to the frogs, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys and other wildlife. We are blessed here. My family loves fishing at the end of the pier. Sometimes we catch and release. Other times we catch dinner. The bay and lake has an abundant fishery. You can catch catfish, bass, perch, stripers and crappie on the river or largemouth bass, bream and crappie in the aerated lake. The bay is tidal with water depth that varies from an average of 3 to 5 feet with deeper areas along the south shoreline. This keeps noisy boats and high water traffic at a minimum.  My family just started kayaking. This area is perfect to those types of water sports. Smaller power boats can be launched at the boat ramp. Remember to watch the tides and charts to navigate. Once you get in the channel on the eastern side of the bay, you may go all the way to Fredericksburg if you go up the river or all the way to the Chesapeake Bay if you go down stream.

Real estate opportunities are few, though some of our residents work or are stationed at the Dahlgren Naval Base. When they relocate, a property comes available. Others move to Florida or other areas for their last retirement location. I recently had the opportunity to list a gorgeous Williamsburg style main level living rambler on a large open green yard. This home has it all. I have listed many homes in the past. This may be one of the cleanest properties I’ve ever had the privilege of selling. This home is priced to sell fast. View the details here, http://www.fredericksburgagent.com/property/CV8619301/ or watch the Youtube video at https://youtu.be/FHnzxJUhtC0“Complimentary lunch at Port Royal’s River Haven Restaurant offered to qualified buyers shown the property. ($20.00 value).
 Contact 804-513-9179 for appointment and details” 

Tom Smith is a Virginia Licensed Associate Broker with Fredericksburg Homes Realty – Century 21 Redwood. He is one of the top Fredericksburg real estate agents based on his sales and production. He has received numerous customer quality service awards. Tom is a life long area resident and wants to be your local realty connection. Call Tom at 804.513.9179.

 

May 10, 2015

Buying Real Estate in Fredericksburg Isn’t Hard

Fredericksburg Residential Real Estate Image for Blog Post

Tom Smith, an associate broker with Fredericksburg Homes Realty at Century 21 Redwood explains the steps and process of purchasing a Fredericksburg property. Tom is an award winning real estate agent that specializes in residential buyer representation.

Are you a Fredericksburg home buyer? Are you stressed about finding your dream home and getting it under contract at the price you want? If you answered yes, I've got you covered. The first thing you and your family should do is get organized. Take out a writing tablet or ipad and take notes. Make a to-do list. The first item you need to write down is contact a REALTOR. This real estate agent should walk you through the entire process. This should remove your stress. The agent will supply you with a list of mortgage lenders if you don’t have those of your choice. Get qualified with a lender letter to determine the price range you’ll be targeting.

Get together with your loved ones and decide what style home you need. Decide where you want to live. Important factors may be close to quality schools or near work, shopping and commute areas. What are you going to need in the home? Are you going to need three or four bedrooms? Will you need a basement or garage? Are you a cook that needs an updated large kitchen? How about the yard? Do you have children that play outside or pets you need to keep within a fenced area? These are just a few of the questions a real estate agent should ask you. Once you know what you are looking for you can get started.

Request your agent to set you up on a hot search based on your needed criteria and target area. You will get listings as soon as they hit the market. You may also search at home. Choose a realty website that updates listings and information often. There are some sites that show old information. Homes that already have a contract will be displayed as active and available. I keep my site updated directly from my local MLS provider, MRIS. You may use this site with no strings attached. Check out www.fredericksburgagent.com. I designed this site with the home buyer and seller in mind. I want to provide a fun site that is easy to navigate and view listings on all devices.

Once you’ve found the home you’re searching for, have a meeting with your Fredericksburg real estate agent. Request the REALTOR to walk you through making the offer. You should not have to worry. A great agent will answer all your questions and create a fun process.  I’m going to stop here because with a  great realty representative, you should be educated and walked through the remainder of the transaction all the way to the closing table. Purchasing a home is a once or twice in a lifetime experience. It can be hard. It can be easy, fun and reward. It’s up to you and your REALTOR. I wish you a happy home hunt in the lovely Fredericksburg, VA. area.

Posted in How To
May 1, 2015

Announcing Portobago Bay Luxury Rambler for Sale

30258 Portobago Trl Port Royal, VA Home for Sale Image

I just listed a spotless, open floor plan rambler in Portobago Bay, an exclusive riverfront community off Rt. 17 south of Port Royal on the wide Rappahannock River. This home offers 4 bedrooms and 3 baths with 3656 square feet of finished space. Hallmark Builders built the home custom to the current owner’s wants and needs. It is loaded with all the bells and whistles like gleaming hardwood floors, corian counters, tile, crown and much more. The home is situated along Portobago Trail, only a short walking distance from the community commons area. This commons area offers a pavilion, beach, very long pier and a fishing and recreation lake. Residents love this community because there is low traffic and slower speed limits along the approximate 3 mile circle. This is perfect for walking, jogging, and bike riding. This home offers an outstanding curb appeal from the road. The exterior has a remarkable appearance that shows pride of ownership. There’s an American flag and pole in the front yard. The over 2 acre open lawn is perfectly manicured by Tru-green, a company well known for providing the exact nutrients to make a lawn deep green, thick and healthy. The landscape is lined with shrubs and flowers to accent the colors of the home. The front porch offers visitors an impressive appearance with wide round columns, and enough space to offer a romantic bench, rockers or swing and an impressive flower garden below. The back yard offers a flat patio area and a very cute custom shed perfect for storing all your lawn toys and tools. 

If you think the exterior of this home is gorgeous, you haven’t seen anything yet. The interior offers home buyers a pleasant showing experience. Enter the home through the front door into the wide and open living room. The colors are all neutral pastels perfect for this home. The large dual open gas fireplace and rock back drop offers a statement. The sunroom is located at the far end of the living room. This room was custom built with knotty pine boards and beams from the Adirondacks and large, wide curved glass windows that offer seasonal views of the bay and of the lush green lawn. The current owners enjoy drinking a cup of coffee in the morning watching the sunrise up over the bay or relaxing after a long day watching the moon rise in the eastern sky. The fireplace here just adds beauty and warmth to this amazing room. The open kitchen and breakfast area are to the left of the sunroom. This is perfect for entertaining. This kitchen offers true custom grooved 42” cabinets and corian counters. The appliances are top of the line. There’s a gas cooking stove, refrigerator, built in microwave and dish washer perfectly placed to allow those who love to cook the room to create wonderful meals. There’s even a special garbage disposal that works with septic systems. The very large screened in back porch is behind the kitchen. This area is perfect for evening dining outside, free of insects. Enjoy the sounds of birds and frogs that create nature’s symphony while you relax. The porch location is perfect to capture the cool summer breezes and northeast trade winds. The other side of the kitchen offers a large pantry area. The mudroom, laundry area and garage entrance are on the west end of the kitchen. The attached garage offers two car parking and room for a work shop. The basement entrance is also located in the mudroom. The basement offers a bathroom, a large finished center area and two rooms that are currently used as an office and craft room. You may use the rooms for your needs.  This open plan finished basement offers recessed lighting and room for entertaining. The far southern end of the home offers the luxury master suite. Wide windows offer bright natural light. The luxury bath offers a double corian vanity, a sit or stand glass shower, a private toilet, a large walk in closet and even room if you want to place a garden tub. The fourth bedroom is also located on this end. The northern end of the home offers two other large bedrooms with a bathroom. The water taste great straight from the tap. Water is supplied from a deep drilled well. No need to buy water. Are you worried about loss of power from storms and weather? There’s an automatic generator to supply power to components and appliances so you don’t have to worry. 

This is one of the cleanest, most well maintained homes I’ve ever had the pleasure to sell. If you are in the market to buy a new home, you need to see this one. You won’t be disappointed. The location is near Dahlgren and only 20 minutes to the new Rt. 17 VRE railway station. You may have to work near heavy traffic and busy areas, but you don’t have to live there too. Come home to a quiet atmosphere and enjoy your very own luxury home. Owners are moving to Florida. They love their neighbors on all sides and state they will miss them and this lovely community.

Click here to view the mls listing. Contact Tom Smith, the listing agent for futher details.

View virtual tour here.

“Complimentary lunch at Port Royal’s River Haven Restaurant offered to qualified buyers shown the property. ($20.00 value).
 Contact 804-513-9179 for appointment and details”

Posted in Homes for Sale
April 23, 2015

What’s Up with Fredericksburg Real Estate?

Fredericksburg Residence for Fredericksburg March Homes Report Article

Fredericksburg Homes Realty wants to keep home buyers and sellers in the Fredericksburg, VA area informed on our current home sales market. I am an active real estate agent in the area. I’m noticing our inventory growing and buyer’s activity increasing by the day. 

What is the state of our real estate market in Fredericksburg? It’s getting really healthy. The sold volume in March, 2015 was $112,896,504. This is a 19.64% increase in volume from last March of $94,364,540. The average sold price in the Fredericksburg area last month was $281,537. This was an increase of 4.42% of last year at $269,613. The median sold price was $260,000. The median sold price last year at this time was $247,652. That is a 4.99% increase. Units sold were up 14.57% from last year. The average days on the market were up from last year at 95, compared to last year at 86. The average sold to original list price 95.3% percent. This was a little better than last year at 94.7%.

The largest increases in market activity were from our current market compared to February of this year. There were 561 new listings posted in February of this year. March was 833. That was a 48.5% increase in new listings posted. This proves that our current inventory is growing. There were 401 closed sales in the area this past March. That was an 51.9% increase from February at 264. Wow, buyers have started buying Fredericksburg homes.

By: Tom Smith
Licensed Associate Broker
Fredericksburg Homes Realty -
Century 21 Redwood
www.fredericksburgagent.com

 

Posted in Market Conditions