Fredericksburg, VA Real Estate News

By Dawn DeGroff
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc)
The Fredericksburg Christmas parade is Saturday December 1st.  It starts at 5:30 and usually lasts a few hours.  It is always a lot of fun for both kids and adults alike.  It starts on Caroline Street by the Visitor center, goes  up Amelia Street and down Princess Anne Street (my office is on that corner so wave!), ending at the Courthouse.  Be sure to leave plenty of time for parking and shopping before the parade.  Most people like to set up thier chairs a few hours before hand to get a good seat.  There are usually about 150 floats and bands.  There will not be parking available on those streets and other roads are usually blocked so plan ahead!  Hope to see ya there!  
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
There are many agents in my office. This is a story of two of them. Agent #1 - I see them in the office on a fairly regular basis, not all the time, but enough to have a relationship. They come by, they talk to a number of agents, and agents in the office generally know what their listings are like, and quite often, since they participate in the office caravan, many agents have been in the house.Agent #2 - I know them by name only. The only reason I would recognize them is that I looked them up on the company website. They have listings, I'm sure, but I know nothing about them.Now, I know we are independent contractors, and I know that many of us work from home, and that's great. And I want to pre-empt my next comment with the statement that I am not advocating the steering of clients a...
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By Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a
(Dockside Realty)
Why do I live at LAKE ANNA?  Sometimes I am asked this question. When you select a place to live just because that is where you want to be people are often curious as to why. No career moves brought us here and no children or parents required my husband or me to be here. We are simply here because it is exactly the type of place both of us have imagined as an ideal home. We each had our separate dreams and desires but they all added up to being near water.                            For us, Lake Anna was the perfect choice. We loved the location, the peacefulness, the rural character of the surrounding area, and definitely the size and beauty of Lake Anna. I have called Lake Anna home now for fifteen years. This is the longest I have ever lived in one spot in my entire life. I cannot th...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Short Sales. They are certainly out there, and they bring with them another level of frustration. I find that no matter how clearly I explain to a client that the waiting process can, and probably will, be long and frustrating, and no matter how frequently I provide regular updates, they still call for updates. That's cool; I'll worry when my phones STOPS ringing. So the wheel goes round and round. I call the listing agent, who calls the bank. I'll bet (I don't know for sure) that a number of these listing agents have a script. "The buyer is going to walk if we don't get them an answer." Or something to that effect. The bank then (hopefully) starts scrambling to get something done. Or maybe they don't. It is sort of like when Dorothy gets to Oz - and the Wizard is behind the curtain. Wh...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Last night I watched Oceans 13. Man - those guys are cool. And I am sure there was a plot in there somwhere, although I never really figured it out. When you watch that group perform, it is not really about the movie, or the plot, it is about those guys hanging out and being cool. But you never really figure out what they are doing.I wonder if our clients ever feel like they are watching Oceans 13. We go in with a slick listing presentation, we wow them with facts, figures, and marketing ideas, we stick a sign in the yard, and then we go away.Watching this movie made me realize more than ever how important it is to have clear and concise communication with our clients. We must stay in regular contact with them, and must make sure that they are invested in our movie and that they truly u...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
One of the great things about the internet is that we can now complete many tasks, including some of our continuing education, from the comfort of our own home. One of the worst things about the internet is that we can complete many tasks, including continuing education, from the comfort of our own home.As I was faxing in my registration form to our local association, an agent saw me doing this and asked me why I was wasting my time, and why did I not just do it from home.I thought about it over the next few days. Honestly, in the past, I had always done it from home. Then, on a whim, I took one course given by our local association. I got the same credit, but I got so much more out of it in person than I could have online.Spending time with my fellow realtors is one of the most satisfy...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I wrote a contract this morning. Yes - that in itself is cause for excitement and celebration. But there is more to it than just that.1. The home had only been on the market 4 days.2. The buyer showed up with his checkbook in hand (that does not always happen).3. The buyer showed up with their Pre-Approval letter in hand.But most importantly, for me, was the fact that on a Saturday morning in November, all of the conference rooms in our office were taken, and two agents were meeting with clients in their cubicles.I am a firm believer that activity is momemtum. People are looking at homes, making offers, and filling up my office on a Saturday morning. It has been a while since we have seen this level of activity, and I love it.
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
REOTRANS. I signed up. Seemed like a pretty good deal, and fairly cost effective. For those of you unfamiliar with it, you sign up, and supposedly you get the opportunity to get BPO work.So - I am testing the structeral integrity of my couch the other night about 10:00 PM - and my phone notifies me that there is an email. I look - REOTRANs - A NEW BPO ORDER IS AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA. LOG ON TO REOTRANS AND BLA BLA BLA...........So - I leap into action. I dash across the room to my office, log on to REOTRANS, and........There is nothing there.OK - so I missed out. No big deal I guess. I have plenty of work; it was more of an exercise in curiosity.Last night. I am working at my desk at home. I get another email from REOTRANS. I log on to REOTRANS. Remember, I am already on the computer. A...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Does the antenna boost the satellite signal, or does the satellite boost the antenna signal? Or - is this how you get HDTV in the country? This is just one of the many bizzarre things I see on a daily basis when I secure homes under foreclosure.  Kevin McGrathThe Wallace & McGrath TeamColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
We have a listing. A GREAT LISTING. 4 BR. Almost 2 acres, yet close to shopping, schools, minutes from the highway for commuters (we are just outside of DC). It is truly unique in that it is such a large wooded lot so close to town, and we have marketed it that way.We have advertised this thing everywhere. Print. Internet. Local Paper. Magazines. The photos are great. Had an open house. Had a brokers open. Got feedback and the client immediately reacted positvely to the feedback and made some changes. The house is super clean and not cluttered. Retired couple, no kids at home.Everything about this house says it should sell, but we got nothin'.It was, however, built in 1976, so it is a little long in the tooth. It has been completelly refurbished inside and out. Original owner.How much d...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I list the property. Do all the marketing. It gets shown. A lot. I get a contract. I immediately present it to my client. They immediately make a counter-offer - a fair one. I immediately deliver it to the buyers agent.During the period between when I get the counter-offer from my client, and when I deliver it to the buyers agent - I get another offer. I immediately present it to my client.Yes - I am multi-tasking here. Who among us does not. For me, immediately means immediately. Not 2-3 hours later.Anyway - When I deliver the counter-offer to the buyers agent, I disclose, as agreed upon both in the listing agreement and verbally (as a back up) with my client, that there is another offer, and it might be a good idea to not sit on this.And suddenly, nothing happens. No call. No email. S...
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By Irene Morales Ward, Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate
(REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc.)
I'm not a big shopper...in fact, I pretty much hate it.  I don't mind window shopping but the idea of having to actually buy anything makes me cringe.  I do it reluctantly, at best.  But last Friday, I called my friend (and Stager, Margie Keller) to come out with me for lunch and a day of window shopping in Fredericksburg.   One of Margie's favorite little shops is Moore Unique Designs on Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg.  The store is going to be moving to a new location down on William Street in February and have much of their merchandise discounted.  If you happen to find yourself shopping in the "Burg" during the holidays, don't forget to stop in to this lovely shop.  It offers just about anything you'd need to for the hard to shop for recipient.      BEWARE OF THE KILLER WATC...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I'm interested in the winterization process. I know we get houses wintererized, but what is the de-winterization process? Is it necessary, or is it merely a matter of turning on the water and checking for leaks?If anyone out there is familiar with this process, some info would be greatly appreciated.Thanks Kevin McGrathThe Wallace & McGrathColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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The article titled "Huge waterpark resort planned for Celebrate Va. in Fredericksburg"  in the Free Lance Star today really caught my attention. http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/112007/11162007/334105 This is supposed to bring 1000 jobs to the area.  Yes, that will be good but what will the pay scale for these jobs be?What about traffic?  Route 3 traffic is horrendous already...I know I live there.What about the new conference center already in Central Park?  The developers have already asked the city to help bail them out.  I am sure som good may come of this and will help revenue...But is the small city of Fredericksburg ready for this?Will the city residents even be able to enjoy the waterpark, or will it be like others in the state where you have to be a guest of the resort t...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Truthfully, there are not too many people involved in the real estate industry here in Fredericksburg VA that have been around much longer than I.  However, one of them is William M. Scaife, Jr.  I say involved but that is not quite true.  Bill Scaife retired from the law this year.  In so doing he sold the building in which he had practiced (for more than 50 years) to my new landlord.  Yes, I had rented office space (for Ed DeChristopher, Inc.) from Bill Scaife for many years.This morning he came up to my office and asked me to walk over to the window in my office that overlooks a small parking lot.  On my way over I asked "What have you done, bought a new car?"  That was really a shot in the dark.  Bill and Sylvia Scaife have been driving the same cars for at least 20 years.  "Just lo...
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By Dawn DeGroff
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc)
This Thanksgiving when you are concentrating on what you are thankful for think outside the box.  Most of us are thankful for our family, friends, clients, teachers etc.  What about those who never get much thanks...How about the cart pushers at the local shopping center, the custodians who keep our buildings clean, the trash collectors?  There are so many more...Please post a comment of who you think deserves some thanks.  It will be a reminder to all of us as we "Give Thanks this Thanksgiving".  Now is a great time to "Pay it Forward" Now is a great time to get involved in your community.Now is a great time to Thank all of those who "serve" our Wonderful Country.Now is a great time to "Think Outside the Box"There are many people in Fredericksburg Va, who deserve "Thanks".  How about i...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
With so many foreclosures out there now, selling for so much less than some comps out there, my question is this.Do appraisers look any differently at foreclosures when doing appraisals? For instance, in my neighborhood of 400-550k homes, there is a new foreclosure listing for $299k. It is in really nice shape, no damage that a good cleaning would not take care of.I assume that when it sells for $275k, it will be a comp, and will affect the values of other homes in my neighborhood. I have had a couple of people say otherise, but a sale is a sale, and if it is comparable to other properties, then it is a comp, right? Kevin McGrathThe Wallace & McGrath TeamColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"http://www.fredva.com/
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
When I began my real estate career here in the Fredericksburg VA area in 1989, it took me only a short time to realize that I had never seen so many split foyer homes in my life as I did after only a few months here. In particular, there were many of them in Spotsylvania County; more in fact than in the City of Fredericksburg or Stafford County. These are the three most densely populated areas in the region.Our family lived in different parts of the country and world prior to our moving here. New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Germany, Georgia, Panama. My mother's family was from New Brunswick Canada and we visited there many times.One of the very intersting parts of living in such geographically diverse locations is realizing that architectural style of homes varies between those reg...
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By Dawn DeGroff
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc)
The Hugh Mercer Elementary School, in Fredericksburg VA second grade classes had a concert on Veterans Day.  My son, Benjamin DeGroff, was one of the wonderful singers.  The children did a wonderful job.  I can't say  the same for the camera woman.  Ben has been walking around the house for several days singing.  I must admit I YouTubed the Louis Armstrong version of What a Wonderful World  and have been singing right along with him.  I have never posted from You Tube so I hope this works!
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
In a sales meeting today I heard a comment that I am still trying to get my mind around. I heard that banks will grade agents on BPO's. Basically - if you do a BPO and get the listing, you are graded on the percentage that it sells for in reference to your BPO price. But if the market is in a free fall, and the banks are dumping (see Stacy Magids very interesting blog from earlier this evening) then how can they grade the agent? Does anybody have any experience with this?Thanks The Wallace & McGrath TeamKevin McGrathColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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