More Americans Believe Real Estate is the Best Long-Term Investment

Now's the time to invest

According to a recent Gallup poll, more Americans believe that real estate is a better long-term investment. Compared to gold, stocks, bonds, and savings accounts, real estate was the strongest investment type according to Americans whose household income was $75,000 dollars and above.

This is another sign that the real estate recovery is here and growing strong. If you think you’re ready to diversify your portfolio then now is the time to jump in. Rates are still very favorable but housing prices are starting to increase. Don’t let the market pass you by, speak to a Rose & Womble REALTOR® about investing long term in residential real estate.

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Lynnhaven Men Walk In Her Shoes

Denise Britt, Will Arazia, Norman Thomas, Robbin Favaloro, and Mike Harvey

Lynnhaven Men Raise Awareness to Stop Violence Against Women


A few men from Rose & Womble’s Lynnhaven office decided to put a huge step forward in the fight against domestic violence by participating in the  3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.

Managing Broker John Daly, Assistant Managing Broker Norman Thomas, and REALTORS® Mike Harvey and Will Araiza all participated in the walk which happened at the World Trade Center building in Norfolk.  These men got involved with the march after hearing about the event from Denise Britt, a REALTOR® also from the Lynnhaven office.

“I got involved with this cause after participating in our office helping to remodel several rooms at the YWCA in Norfolk.  The Rose & Womble Foundation and our office worked to raise fund and after that I wanted to do more,” said Denise.

Denise, who used to work as a hair stylist, lost a client to domestic violence helped to co-form a non-profit organization called Daughters of Life.  The organization works to help families in crisis, provide scholarships, and other forms of out reach.  Her organization helped to remodel other rooms at the YWCA.

“Being a REALTOR® I help people find shelter, and that is what Daughters of Life is all about, helping to provide safe shelter for those in need.  I want to encourage other members of Rose & Womble to join me because it’s a perfect partnership to what we already provide,” said Denise.

Mike Harvey, one of the men who participated, said that the event gave him a better appreciation for women.  He borrowed the shoes from his girlfriend.

“Well my feet hurt, and my calves are killing me.  I don’t know how women walk in these shoes.  But seriously, this was a great cause because its important to bring awareness of an issue that I feel doesn’t get enough attention.”

Mike plans to make this an annual event, and Denise really wants to have 100 men from Rose & Womble there next year.

“I will beg if I have to but I won’t take no for an answer. I’m really proud of my four guys this year and I know there are other men in our company who are willing to take a step to help women,” says Denise.

For more information about Daughters of Life please visit their website.


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Latest Mortgage Information

Latest Mortgage Information
Newsletter-April 21st, 2014     
Provided by
Kevin O’Neil
Kevin O’Neil
Monarch Mortgage
Phone: (757)289-4291
Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week lower which pushed rates higher. The market was negative most of the week as stocks rebounded and the data came in against us. The consumer price index rose 0.2%, higher than the expected 0.1% increase. The core, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.2% and was expected up 0.1%. Weekly jobless claims printed at 304k versus the expected 313k. Continuing claims fell to 2.739m versus the expected 2.794m. The Philadelphia Fed business conditions index was better than expected @ 16.6 versus the expected 9.5 mark. The MBS market closed early Thursday and was closed Friday for the holiday weekend. Mortgage interest rates rose by over 1/2 a discount point for the shortened trading week.


Date & Time



Leading Economic Indicators

Monday, April 21,
10:00 am, et

Up 0.2%

Important. An indication of future economic activity. A smaller increase may lead to lower rates.
2-year Treasury Note Auction

Tuesday, April 22,
1:15 pm, et

None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
New Home Sales

Wednesday, April 23,
10:00 am, et


Important. An indication of economic strength and credit demand. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
5-year Treasury Note Auction

Wednesday, April 23,
1:15 pm, et


Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, April 24,
8:30 am, et
298k Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Durable Goods Orders Thursday, April 24,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.8% Important. An indication of the demand for “big ticket” items. Weakness may lead to lower rates.
7-year Treasury Note Auction Thursday, April 24,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Friday, April 25,
10:00 am, et
82.4 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Gas Prices

Fears of energy price increases are growing with gasoline prices pushing back towards and in some areas over the $4/gallon mark. Most areas of the US have seen gas prices rise to levels not seen since last summer. This comes amid a difficult time for many people as good jobs remain scarce, the housing market struggles, and the economy remains fragile.

The recent consumer price index released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed higher than expected overall prices despite the fact gasoline prices in March were lower which offset price increases in food and shelter. Signs that gasoline prices are now increasing are not a welcome sight with price pressures already a concern.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported April 14, 2014 that the price of regular gasoline averaged $3.579 per gallon across the country. The Gulf Coast had the lowest average prices while the West Coast had the highest. Many analysts blame the price increases on global political instability especially in oil producing countries. Others point to refinery supply issues tied to a changeover from winter formulations to summer formulations. Increased demand by consumers during the holidays also plays a role. Most predict that prices will continue to escalate into the summer but there is some hope that increased domestic production can help keep prices in check.

To unsubscribe, please hit “reply” and include unsubscribe in the subject line.

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Mortgage Market Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is believed to be accurate, however no representation or warranties are written or implied.

   MORTGAGE MARKET IN REVIEW Newsletter-April 21st, 2014     
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Staging a Home to Sell: Mailboxes


When getting your home ready for the market the smallest details can make all the difference to attract buyers. In our continuing series Staging Homes to Sell series today we are going to talk about an important feature: your home’s mailbox. The mailbox is such a small insignificant item that often we take for granted, but an ignored mailbox can show signs that other items in the home have been ignored. Here are some easy, inexpensive tips for staging your mailbox.

For Hanging Mailboxes:

Notice how this hanging mailbox matched the house number - both in shade of metal and style.  While it won't scream out to buyers, ensuring a consistent look will help the over all feel of your home.

Notice how this hanging mailbox matched the house number – both in shade of metal and style. While it won’t scream out to buyers, ensuring a consistent look will help the over all feel of your home.

You have a hanging mailbox when it is attached to your home, usually right next to the door on the porch. This means that while it takes the Buyers’ Agent time to get out the key out of the lockbox your potential buyers have a good chance to sum up their house experience based on what the porch looks like.  Don’t let such a small item cause buyers to be turned off.
• Because of its closeness to the other hard wear it is important that the mailbox matches the other items on the porch.
• The mailbox color should match or compliment the doorknob, house numbers, and trim of the house.
• Replace a rusted out mailbox or repair.
• Make sure that you give it a good cleaning – a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will do the trick for most surfaces.




For Post Mailboxes:

Adding fresh flowers and mulch make this mailbox very appealing.  Also the box and the post match the trim of the house, lending to a uniform look.

Adding fresh flowers and mulch make this mailbox very appealing. Also the box and the post match the trim of the house, lending to a uniform look.


Post mailboxes have even more exposure because often they are located near the street. As potential buyers pass by it is so important not to over look this feature.

If you have a personalized mailbox it is important to depersonalize it.  We’re sure your large bass shaped box is impressive but unless you happen to catch another angler then it might be best to replace it with a simpler mailbox design

This mailbox is lovely, but too personalized for the resale market.  Instead switch it out for a more neutral style that matches the home.

This mailbox is lovely, but too personalized for the resale market. Instead switch it out for a more neutral style that matches the home.

Some other tips:

o Check for rust, loose screws, and splinters on the post – repair or replace hardware.
o Paint or stain the post to match the home’s trim
o Plant flowers or pretty ornamental grass along the base of the post.

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Hump Day Hot Property: 4737 Brians Way

Exterior shot of 710 one of the best

This week’s Hump Day Hot Property is located in the very popular community of Lakes of Joliff in Chesapeake, VA.  4737 Brians Way is a four bedroom, two and half bathroom home in the Western Branch section of Chesapeake.  Close to Peninsula and all areas of Southside Hampton Roads, this house will be ready for its new owners in 60 days.  The community is built by Hearndon, and it surrounded by nature, making Lakes of Joliff a quiet community.

This home features hardwood floors in the foyer and continue into the dining room.  The kitchen has granite counter tops, 42” cabinets, breakfast area, and pantry.  The master bathroom has ceramic tile, and the home has a two-car garage.

If you want to see this home or the community of Lakes of Joliff – Just Ask Jen at (757)- 775-6998 or visit

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March 2014 Top Agents: Resale

We want to congratulate the following individuals for their hard work for March 2014.

Top Sales Team:

The PerfecrHouse Team from Holland Road

The PerfecrHouse Team from Holland Road

Top Individual Sales Agent:

Anna Staylor, Lynnhaven

Anna Staylor, Lynnhaven

Top Listing Team:

Judy March, Lynnhaven

Judy March, Lynnhaven

Top Listing Agent:

Chuck Halman, Beach Office

Chuck Halman, Beach Office

Exceptional Sales Performance:

Anna Paduovich, Lynnhaven

Anna Paduovich, Lynnhaven

Top Sales By Office:

Beach Office: Brenda Rawls Star Team

Chesapeake: Your Extreme Team

Ghent: Ernie Guiterrez

Greenbrier: Ellen Drames

Harbour View/Suffolk: Kim Hughes

Holland: The PerfectHouse Team

Lynnhaven: Anna Staylor

Peninsula: Pam Strahorn-Roe

Shore Drive: Rob Mitchell

Top Listing by Office:

Beach: Chuck Halman

Chesapeake: Anna’s Home Team

Ghent: Carl Johansen

Greenbrier: Ellen Drames

Harbour View/Suffolk: Ryan Benton

Holland: The PerfectHouse Team

Lynnhaven: Judy Marsh

Peninsula: Vince Cowling

Shore Drive: Preston Magum


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Weekend DIY: Three Great Projects for Your Bathroom


Bathroom updating can seem expensive and time consuming – but there are three great projects you can accomplish with a little bit of DIY – and probably a trip to your favorite home store.

Kid’s Bathroom

Take a great look at this super cute bathroom from Katie Bower’s blog Bower Power. Easy solutions include a floating shelf for storage or for cute accessories that are just high enough to keep out of children’s reach. You can easily replicate this in your own bathroom with accessories from your own home and a floating shelf kit.

Great idea from Katie Bower from

Great idea from Katie Bower from

Mosaic Tile Bathroom Mirror

This smart blogger used leftover tile from a shower remodel to fix up an old mirror in a guest bathroom. The results are smart, cute, and very buyer friend;y for the resale market.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Mirror Storage Case

This one may be a bit more advance but it’s still a great DIY project for the weekend and provides awesome storage and a full length mirror.

Great storage in side this mirror

Great storage in side this mirror

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

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Hump Day Hot Property: Final Chance to own a New Carriage Home in Seasons at Salem


Our Hump Day Hot Property is 4365 Cattail Lane – a gorgeous three bedroom, two and half bath home with an open floor plan would be a great place to call home – and at $249,900 it is priced to move.  One of the best advantages of this home is that all the appliances, including the flat top stove and stainless steel refrigerator come with the sale, along with a year of condo fees paid for and $2500 decorator allowance.  Plus if you use the seller’s preferred lender you get closing cost assistance and agents have the opportunity to get a 1% agent bonus.

The Carriage Homes in the community of Seasons at Salem are popular for a reason – great style, comfort, and ease of access to some of Virginia Beach’s favorite hot spots.  Minutes from Princess Anne Park, great shopping, and Live Nation, these homes are awesome.  With hard wood floors, cultured marble vanity counter tops, and private outdoor living this is a great move in ready opportunity for buyers who want to spend time enjoying their home and not fixing it up.  Platinum Homes, a 20 year old company with over 4,000 homes built,  is the builder for this community.  Locally owned and operated, Platinum Homes focuses its efforts in the Hampton Roads area.

Take a Tour of Seasons at Salem

The final homes in Seasons at Salem are ready for their first occupants – don’t let the opportunity to own a quality brand new home in Virginia Beach.

How can I visit Seasons at Salem?

For more information about this new home all you have to do is Ask Jen! (757) 250-7900.

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Home Staging: Front Porches Welcome People to Your Home


Often when we talk about home staging we think about de-cluttering living rooms and repainting bedrooms, but staging a home to sell also means taking the time to look at the outside of your home to ensure the property is a shining star.  We know we’re not suppose to judge a book by its cover, but for home buyers a dirty, cluttered yard can prevent them from even wanting to open the front door.  Here are some great tips to think about when getting the front porch ready to bring buyers.


There is simply no better staging tool than a great paint color and a few hours of elbow grease.  Touching up the trim and the front door can make a big impact.  This is one area where a bright color might actually be a good thing.  Also, take a look at the railings, banisters, and any other trim work. If need be touch those areas up too.

Get to know a Powerwasher

You can rent a professional grade power washer at any home improvement store – and use that sucker to blast off the years of dirt and grime that have built up.  Powerwash stairs, brick, and stonework.


Plants can be a great addition to a porch – when they are alive and pretty.  Colorful small pots of seasonal flowers are inexpensive and can add just a touch of color.  Also hanging baskets are a great item to welcome people.


Take a good long look at door knobs, house numbers, and the mailbox – if they are showing signs of age or rust repair or replace to make maximum impact.

Nooks and Crannies

Make sure to remove cobwebs and any other grimy items.

Welcome Mat

Get a brand new and neutral welcome mat.  If will encourage people to wipe their feet and it allows them to think about the welcome mat welcoming them home.

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Why a Computer Shouldn’t Price Property


It’s so tempting to take the perceived easy way to price real estate, especially when so many “real estate” websites claim they have the inside information to pricing property.  Using “complicated” and “proprietary” formulas and calculations these sites claim to help homeowners determine accurate property values. While it seems to be accurate these so called “estimates” are often inaccurate compared to current market conditions.

According to one of the leading “real estate” websites, their estimate system is calculated from public and user submitted data. It is put into a computer program and out pops a price range with a high and low number. These “estimates” are then published for the public to see and use in property research. That sounds reasonable until you realize that this system is pricing property from the Atlantic to the Pacific – and everywhere else in between.

There is no way this system can price property in California and Virginia and expect to be accurate in both areas.  These “real estate” websites even admit that to price homes on their sites they use a geographic area that is much larger than the neighborhood level.

These sites often rely on tax assessments to get a base price and this can be a problem for getting an accurate market price because tax assessments typically lag about 12 months behind the market value where sales prices are increasing or decreasing.

Here’s how home assessments are done for tax purposes:

  1. Home assessments are researched from July –December.
  2. New assessments are mailed in January.  The homeowner has 6 months to challenge the new assessment.
  3. In July the assessments are made then effective…one year after research.

Additionally, the assessor rarely goes into the property for a visual inspection therefore the city assessment is not a true reflection of the property’s market value. The city does a relatively good assessment of the land value but misses the mark on the “improved property” (typically the house) assessment.

And these are the local assessors who are unable to go into individual homes. What about these computer models that tabulate estimated market values for across the country?  If the local assessor is unable to take the time to see every single property and evaluate that way then how in the world could a computer do it, and do it accurately?  Frankly it is a disservice to the consumer that these websites are allowed to claim they are “the starting point of a home’s true value.”  These sites even say in their disclaimers that, “We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement information by doing other research.”  The other research they suggest: getting a real estate agent to perform a comparative market analysis (CMA).

Instead of starting with this faulty system why not use a REALTOR© from the start?

So how do REALTORS© price property?

REALTORS© are searching current market conditions and pricing within the past 3-6 months and are projecting pricing trends going forward based on supply and demand forces in the local market place.  REALTORS© has evaluated the current property condition and its impact on salability of the property.  They take in account things like what the competition is doing, sales terms, and the way the market is trending, along with the location of the property.  REALTORS© use a market area to compare prices that makes sense to the consumer and not based on the algorithm.  REALTORS© tour competitive properties to see how they compare to your home and it is all of this data that goes into pricing property for the market.

There is not a good shortcut in properly pricing your home for the market.  Instead start with a CMA from a Rose & Womble REALTOR© that also includes a strong marketing and negotiating plan.

Simply put there is no substitute for a properly done comparative market analysis when you are ready to price your property to sell or if you are planning to make an offer on a piece of property.  Your Rose & Womble REALTOR© is a great local resource to properly price property.




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