Virginia Beach Real Estate and Community News

June 23, 2017

Seven Traits of a Virginia Beach Dog-Friendly Neighborhood

Calling all dog lovers! As you begin to search for your dream home in Virginia Beach, we know that your furry friend’s opinion matters. Aside from the key points to consider when buying a home in the area, dog owners must look for neighborhoods that welcome their fur baby with open arms.  dog park virginia beach

Homes will have different pet policies. Virginia beach condos, for example, might have stricter policies depending on the HOA.  When you are buying a single-family home in an older neighborhood, you might not face the HOA, but the community could be colder to dogs.

In truth, puppy parameters will differ based on where you live in Virginia Beach.  So how do you identify a neighborhood that loves dogs as much as you do? Here are seven traits of a dog-friendly area.

1.      Other dogs. It’s always a good sign when you see neighbors in the area with dogs.

2.      Pet shops. Having pet stores, veterinary offices, and grooming stores in the vicinity indicates an optimal place to settle down with a dog.

3.      Dog parks. There are a few notable dog parks, which include Wayville Farms Park, Red Wing Park (my favorite and close to home) & Woodstock Park. Some of these parks even have off-leash policies so your dog can run free. Real estate in that area would be ideal for any dog lover.

4.      Large sidewalks. You want to look for a neighborhood with a lot of walking areas, whether that is sidewalks or larger grass areas.

5.      Pet friendly restaurants. You don’t want to leave you dog alone at night, so make sure you check out pet-friendly restaurants in Virginia Beach and base your real estate research there.  

6.      Doggie bag dispensers. Some neighborhoods will have free doggie bag dispensers on the streets. If you see these, you have hit paradise.

7.      Meetup groups. Get online and explore the dog Meetup groups in Virginia Beach. You can get a good idea of pet friendly neighborhoods based on where these groups congregate. 


Once you find that perfect neighborhood that shares a passion for pooches, you can use a home affordability calculator to determine how much you can realistically spend on a home, given your income, credit score, and ideal zip code.  

Questions about Virginia Beach real estate?  Contact Dennis Blackmore here and I will gladly assist with your home search - I love dogs (all animals really).



Posted in Buyers
March 1, 2017

Preparing for Home Ownership After A Life of Renting

Buying After Renting, 
<p>There are big differences between renting and buying. For people who have only lived in apartments, certain aspects of buying and owning a home can be shocking. Knowing how to prepare can help ensure that you’ll be ready when it’s time to buy your first home.</p>
A Guide to Getting Ready 			

Build Up Your Credit

Compared to homebuyers, credit requirements for renters are less stringent. Landlords may perform a background check and credit check, and may or may not confirm employment. However, mortgage lenders are known to study each borrower’s financial status with special scrutiny.

Length of employment, salary, tax history, credit history, credit score and other details are all carefully considered for loan applications. People who have rented all their lives and who plan to buy should start cultivating a good credit

history years in advance in order to get the best interest rates for a mortgage.

Use credit cards wisely and pay off the balance at the end of every month. Months before you decide to buy a home, go through your credit report and correct errors.

Think About the Future

Buying a home requires commitment. When thinking about purchasing a home, renters will need to think well into the future to ensure long-term happiness. A renter who has made the decision to buy a home should think long and hard about long-term goals before deciding how large the home should be, where it should be located and what kind of amenities the property should have.

Create a Budget

The cost of homeownership is far more complicated than that of renting an apartment. Whereas apartment dwellers only pay rent, homeowners must take into account the cost of home repair, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and, for some loans, mortgage insurance. Renters who would like to buy a home are encouraged to establish a detailed budget to ensure that they can handle the cost of buying vs. renting.

Get Handy Quickly

Buying After Renting, A Guide to Getting ReadySome apartment renters know little or nothing about fixing a leaky faucet, replacing a light fixture, unclogging a drain and other basic home repairs. Being able to do these things for yourself will become a big money saver after buying a home. Buy a set of tools and read home improvement/DIY resources and guides to expand your skills. This will give you greater confidence when it’s time to start fixing your own house.

Develop a Green Thumb

Most houses come with yards that need to be watered, trimmed and maintained throughout the year. The best way for an apartment dweller to get used to maintaining a lawn is to care for plants in the apartment. Getting a sense of how much light, how much water and when to trim or not can help you take good care of your lawn when its time.

Think About Your Down Payment

Whereas most renters need only need a deposit and first month’s rent, the down payment for a home can be a significant upfront cost. Renters who have not saved for a down payment are therefore encouraged to start saving as soon as possible. Don’t forget that the down payment isn’t the only upfront cost incurred when buying a home. In addition to the down payment, buyers must also produce closing costs, which can amount to as much as 5% of the cost of the home.

Fortunately, there are ways around some of these costs. FHA loans require as little as 3.5% down payment, and your real estate agent may also be able to negotiate some your closing costs to be covered by the seller. These details can be ironed out when you start searching for a home. Work with your agent and mortgage lender to determine what is realistic for your needs.

For more information contact your REALTOR(R)/Agent Owner here.


Posted in Buyers
Dec. 14, 2016

Sellers Rejoice - Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads Market Report Nov 2016

Sellers Rejoice...the real estate market has tipped in your favor based on the Real Estate Information Network (REIN), the local Multiple Listing Service provider.  virginia beach real estate stats

To quote REIN:  "In recent months it has been the trend in Hampton Roads for growth of real estate pending and settled sales to outpace that of the active listings. For the most part, November’s statistics followed this same pattern, as active listings continued to decline year-over-year and the change in sales activity held steady in the positive column. One difference, though, is that while Hampton Roads has been able to maintain a balanced market in recent history (typically a 5 to 7 months inventory supply), in November the months' supply dipped below 5 months and has allowed the scales to tip slightly in favor of the sellers."

Virginia Beach and Portsmouth experienced the largest drops in active inventory, falling 11.42% and 10.30% respectively. 

So it now a good time to sell?  YES...Contact me if you need a market analysis or consultation...its free and its PAYS to know your neighborhood.

Posted in market reports
Dec. 11, 2016


Geico announced that they are going to hire approximately 500 more employees for sales, service, and claims at the Virginia Beach office located just off General Booth Blvd and Dam Neck Road.  

This facility is located in the Ocean Lakes school district where affordable homes nearby the facility exist.

Geico new jobs include fast track positions.  

You can view all Geico jobs in Virginia Beach at this company website.

Looking for a home in Virginia Beach?  Contact me here and I will find your dream home.

Posted in ocean lakes
Oct. 31, 2016

3d homes tour virginia beach

A 3D home tour can be the difference in making your home standout from the competition.  Especially if the potential buyers is International or from out of Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads.

A 3D home tour will highlight your home from all angles plus give the buyer a much better perspective of "spaces" and how things may "fit" in your home.  Add high quality photos to the 3D home tour and you have a super product for the home seeker.



 3d homes tour virginia beach

You can view my example 3D home tour from a recent Sandbridge property that sold here.  You will notice the ability to move around from room to room and present the viewer a total picture of the property.

All my listings now come with a 3D home tour as I am confident this will help your home sell faster plus an added value for your business.   Also, your listing will be syndicated to all the major real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia,, Redfin, and much more.

Contact me for more information or schedule an appointment.

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 18, 2016

Sandbridge homes for sale with 3D Photography

Sandbridge Homes for Sale with 3D photography

Ask yourself, I am a homeowner in Sandbridge and want/need to sell my home.  What's the best way to present the home to the widest local and out of town audience?  Everyone can put up some photos or do an overhead DRONE shot.

But...the common thread that out of area Sandbridge home buyers are looking for is an understandable layout of the interior.  This is especially true of the Sandbridge buyer that may be considering an investment/rental property.

Its a 24 hour open house that can be viewed anytime, anywhere.  See the example below and read more at this dedicated 3D interactive photography page.

Just look at this recent Sandbridge home for sale presented with 3D photography:


Posted in Sandbridge
May 12, 2016

Homes for sale by Kellam High School

Homes for sale by Kellam High School

This particular high school district (Kellam) is one of the most sought out areas in Virginia Beach.  Super elementary and the middle school compliment what is a great educational environment.  homes for sale by kellam high school

Kellam High School (new) launched in Jan 2014 and features many amenities both environmental and technological.  

Neighborhoods and homes for sale by Kellam High School include (but not limited to ):

Courthouse Estates, Indian River Plantation, Eagles Nest, Victoria Park, Princess Anne Quarter, Highcourt, Sandbridge, portions of Lagomar, Ashville Park, Sherwood Lakes, Heritage Park, portions of Red Mill Farm, Three Oaks, Highgate Green, Pungo, Blackwater, Litchfield Manor, Rollingwood, Princess Anne Woods, Southgate, Mathews Green, West Neck Landing, and many more.

You can view all homes for sale by Kellam high school at this dedicated page (link).

Nearby attractions and amenities include:

Harris Teeter anchored shopping area nearer West Neck and Kellam HS.  The Virginia Beach Municipal Center is next to this shopping center. 

Red Mill Commons featuring all major stores plus restaurants including Home Depot, Wal Mart, Office Max, Primo Pizzeria, fast food outlets, Starbucks, Panera, and much more too long to list.

Just 10-15 minutes from anywhere in the Kellam high school district is one of the finest beaches on the East Coast - Sandbridge and the Back Bay area.  Or, head to the resort area and walk, bike, run on the boardwalk and enjoy the many restaurants at the oceanfront.

Pungo/Blackwater are not far from the high school where numerous recreational opportunities exist including the Munden Point park and boat launch into the inter-coastal waterway.  Or, if heading towards Sandbridge visit False Cape State Park where every kind of wildlife is visible in this pristine area of Southeast Virginia Beach. 

Everything is good in this part of the city.


Posted in General Articles
April 20, 2016

Strawberry Picking in Virginia Beach

It's that time of year again to take advantage of all the great strawberries coming to market.  Plus, the fun of picking them with your family.

Below are the phone numbers for the various growers in Virginia Beach/Pungo, etc.   Call first to ensure nothing has changed.  As a Kellam High School district resident I cannot wait for the great crops becoming available.  Of course, it is great to support our local farmers and residents.

More information for the Strawberry festival located at this link.


strawberry picking in virginia beach


Posted in General Articles
March 6, 2016

St. Jude Dream House Giveaway

St. Jude Dream Home Giveway The annual St. Jude Dream House Giveaway is back again.   The St. Jude Dream House Giveway open house tour is from March 12 through April 17 with the giveaway date being April 24, 2016.

This year's house is located in the Hanbury Woods neighborhood of Chesapeake. Hanbury Woods is an exclusive custom home development in the Hickory High School District.  

The house has an estimated value of $550,000 and being built by the outstanding Stephen Alexander team.  

Other prizes include a 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited Sedan from Hall Automotive and Southern Bank.  Also, registrants can win a chance for a $5000.00 shopping adventure at Value City Furniture.  Tickets for the dream home giveaway are $100.00 each.  

St. Jude's hospital treats children with catastrophic diseases and this is one of their biggest fundraisers.   Get behind this worthwhile cause and visit the open house tours.  More info at  



Posted in Real Estate News
March 1, 2016

Red Mill Farm Sold In 5 Days

Red Mill Farm Sold In 5 Days

Red Mill Farm is a neighborhood located in both the Kellam and Ocean Lakes High school districts.  It is sought out because of its diversity of homes (ranch and 2 story), plus the affordability in two great school areas.

Contact me here if I can assist you with the Red Mill Farm area or anything of interest.






Posted in Selling Your Home