Virginia Beach Real Estate and Community News

July 5, 2019

6 Tips for Staging Your Virginia Beach Outdoor Living Space

It’s common wisdom that staging your house will help it sell faster. It’s a guideline that applies to the inside, and to the outside of your home as well. Help prospective buyers imagine your yard as their outdoor oasis with these six tips.

1. A Lush, Green Yard

The first rule of staging your outdoor living space is setting the stage. That means getting your lawn in tiptop shape. Go outside and take a good look at your lawn. Is it full of weeds or brown patches? Is it overgrown? Or cut too close? You can attack lawn weeds with a post-emergent herbicide. Brown patches are often caused by pests or fungus but can be treated with the right diagnosis and a trip to the gardening store. Keep your lawn on a regular mowing and watering schedule, and it will reward you with a thick, bright green carpet of grass.

2. Defining Outdoor Spaces



Buyers can’t always imagine how each space in your home — both indoors and outdoors — is meant to be used. Rather than leaving them guessing, spell it out for them. In an area meant for lounging, like a deck, place comfy outdoor furniture arranged around a firepit. Put a table and chairs on a covered patio, to showcase it as an outdoor dining room, where they will linger over meals under the stars. If you have a pool, showcase this space with matching recliners and a cabana. This will paint a picture of lazy summer afternoons ... without your buyers having to work too hard for that idea. This is the time to throw out any old, or mismatched lawn furniture and declutter the space.

3. Party-Ready

What separates home staging from sprucing up is making prospective buyers imagine the home is theirs. That means if you have a table and chairs defining an outdoor dining space — set the table with plates, silverware, and drinkware. Imagine wine glasses placed among casual dinnerware in summery colors on straw placemats. You can practically see the dinner party, just add people. Make your outdoor space look like it’s waiting for your buyers to sit down and enjoy.

4. Lighting



Lighting can sell your yard and your home. Install a few solar lights to illuminate the walkway and landscaping, or put up strings of fairy lights along a pergola. Rather than hoping a real estate agent explains how magical the outdoor living space is, lights cast a warm glow and highlight important features. They'll also tell buyers how many memories of their own they might make in your outdoor living space.

5. Garden With an Edge

Two of the hottest trends in gardening right now are container gardens and vertical gardens. These easy-to-install gardens can add charm and color to your patio, deck, or yard. A container garden is as simple as mix-and-match pots of planted flowers and place them strategically along the patio and yard. Plant a window box of herbs within a couple of steps from an outdoor kitchen. A vertical garden is as easy as hanging plants along a wall or a fence, or a trellis — or any way you can stack plants on top of each other. The ideas are endless, and the end result should be an eye-catching garden that adds to the charm of your yard.

6. Neutral Exterior Colors Sell

One more thing you should consider when staging your outdoor living space — what color is your house? Experts say home buyers generally don’t like strong, bold colors on a home’s exterior — and your home’s exterior walls are a part of your yard. Colors such as putty, gray, wheat and white may not excite you, but they sure are a lot easier to stage than a brick-red or Pepto pink home. They are also a lot more likely to convince a buyer to make an offer.


The key to staging any part of your home is to make it easier for a buyer to imagine it as theirs. In 2019, the outside of a home can matter as much as the inside of a home, as more people see their yards as a place to relax, entertain or enjoy. This extra effort on your part could pay off with a quicker, and bigger offer.


William Dukes is a freelance writer and home decorator. He spends most of his time landscaping and fixing up and flipping old houses. He and his wife enjoy home DIY projects and recently built a new barn for their ranch.

Dennis Blackmore is a REALTOR(R)/AGENT OWNER with Creed Realty Virginia Beach.  Having been in the business for over 15 years is ready to help you with any recommendations for selling or buying a home...Learn more here.

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 1, 2019

Why The Homes For The Brave Cash Rebate Program Is Best in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads

homes for the brave virginia beach real estateIf you are considering a Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, or Hampton Roads Real Estate purchase, are a military member, (active/retired/veteran), disabled vet, National Guard member, surviving spouse and not using this program you MAY be losing money.

Totally better than Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, Homes for Heroes, or other programs offered. Take advantage of this available funding NOW. 

What do two Naval and one Coast Guard Officers have in common?

They just saved a bundle using the Homes for the Brave Cash Rebate Real Estate Program available to Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads home buyers.


“Dennis is a very timely and knowledgeable Virginia Beach REALTOR®.  His helpful attitude and pleasant personality make you feel like you’re his only client.

We were very impressed with his level of dedication and professionalism with our Virginia Beach real estate transaction. We sincerely appreciate all of his efforts in assisting us with the purchase of our new Virginia Beach home.
- M. & J. P. LCDR, U. S. Navy.”

Here's how you can do better with your real estate purchase and receive spectacular customer service.

Sample cash rebate amounts: (round numbers so example if 250,000 house = $2500.00)

$100,000 house = $1000.00

$200,000 house = $2000.00

$400,000 house =$4000.00

$600,000 house = $6000.00

$800,000 house = $8000.00  

$1,000,000 house = $10.000

“Dennis attention to detail and willingness to go beyond our level of expectation will make the Virginia Beach home buying process much easier. I wanted to thank you again so much for all of your hard work in making this deal on our homework. I know that it was not easy with the current market, dealing with stubborn sellers. Thanks for helping us get everything we wanted in the deal! J. & M. C., LCDR, U.S. Navy”

For those of you deciding to use NFCU or USAA you can still benefit from my “hybrid product".  The good news is that the Homes for the Brave Cash Rebate Program can still be used with their mortgage but will put more money in your pocket for prepaidsclosing costs, down payment, or other items. (Lender restrictions may apply on certain credits).

Lastly, you get a Retired Military Veteran who is experienced, professional, and caring REALTOR® and committed to your real estate goals and dreams.

For more Homes for the Brave Cash Rebate, information contact me here or via facebook messenger.


Posted in Buyers, Main category
March 6, 2018

Virginia Beach Kitchen Remodels

Virginia Beach Kitchen remodels come in various sizes, meaning minor, middle, or top shelf.  The major remodel or top shelf kitchen may involve a total gutting of the kitchen which can approach the $60,000 price tag with new appliances, sink(s), countertops, fixtures, painting, backsplash, and flooring says contractors and remodelers.  virginia beach kitchen remodels

The good news is that Virginia Beach remodels/kitchen projects yielded a higher return than bath projects, with a minor kitchen remodel adding 82.7 percent of the project's cost back to the home's value. ... Now a $50,000 remodel to a kitchen in a $100,000 house is unlikely to yield $50,000 in value, although it may make you a happy foodie.

A middle kitchen redo using existing cabinets will save dollars but still comes in at an approximate $21,000.00 price tag.  Not included which will add to this price are additional labor, individual contractors such as electricians or plumbers who can occur with kitchens. 

How can we bring down the cost of the Virginia Beach kitchen remodels?  Several contractors and remodelers provide some tips to you should consider below: 

How long will you live there? If planning to move in a short period such as 2-4 years then you must keep resale in the picture (you should always consider resale when doing home upgrades).  If planning on being in the home for many years that will have a bearing on the remodel you may want to consider. 

virginia beach kitchen remodelsIf considering resale, then your ideas should include nice cabinets and newer appliances.  This is what we typically see in the median priced homes in Virginia Beach.

Conversely, if staying in the home for many years then customizing the kitchen for the way you want it should be your process.   Does this mean going out and buying a Viking refrigerator for a remodel – probably not?  Typically, we see the more expensive kitchen remodels in Virginia Beach in homes above the median price tag. (such as luxury homes)

Next:  What do you want your kitchen to look like within the constraints of the space?

Popular today are open kitchens that flow into a family or great room, space you spend most of your time within. 

Storage and the Pantry.

One of the most common items buyers look for is a pantry and storage – don’t shortcut this space and include a nice pantry with your remodel. 

Your cabinets should be functional

What is functional?  Maybe you need pull-out large drawers for pots and pans vice just standard cabinets with a shelf. Perhaps you need the vertical thin type cabinet for large flat pans or a spice cabinet?  Thinking about these items will ensure you have a remodeled kitchen that meets your needs.

What are your ideas for the perfect kitchen remodel? Let me know!



Posted in Sellers
March 4, 2018

Virginia Beach Listing Photos

Is a first impression valuable to potential buyers? You bet!! You may only have a short chance with a first impression —  so make it good with professional Virginia Beach Listing Photos that inspire the potential buyer to look further at your home. virginia beach listing photos

So before your big move, you must consider your REALTOR'S advice and do the professional pictures that highlight your home and instill that WOW factor.  Pictures can keep the potential Your buyer viewing your home online and possibly result in a showing.  Our goal is to sell the house quickly and lousy photos on the web can and will prevent showings. 

We have compiled several best practices (and some not so good practices) for Virginia Beach Listing Photos that will help your property get maximum views online and give it the best attention possible.  Check out our best practices below and let us know if you have other thoughts.

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #1: You need a beautiful photo highlighting the front of the home from the curb or street. 

Curb Appeal is King!  Prospective buyers will stay longer on the listing (or decide in seconds if not appealing) whether this is a potentially useful fit worthy of a showing or move on to the next property.

The photo must be convincing and attractive with the entire house in the picture.  Eliminate any distractions such as vehicles in driveway or street that may be blocking the photo. 

The curb photo: Make sure your photo shot is level and not angled either direction.

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #2: The Entrance

Often overlooked is the front door and entryway.  Make sure the door has a fresh coat of paint, the porch is inviting with flowers/plants or something neutral.  Set a positive mood at the entryway to your home. 

Don’t: Make it arduous for potential buyers to view your home.

Get rid of any signs or "stuff" that detract from the home before photos are taken.  We want to show an inviting home with the images and keep them asking for more. 

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #3: The "Drone" shot.

An above photo gives a bird's eye view and can highlight the lot or surrounding amenities such as a park, lake, or waterfront.

Bad Idea:  The fisheye lens.

Just do not do it as it can make spaces look smaller than they are in real life. Instead, stay with the standard lens and consider that smaller areas can be viewed as more substantial with little modifications to contents. 

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #4. Get a photo(s) of the high selling points of the property. 

Example:  You recently remodeled the bathroom/spa.  Keep in mind that bathrooms are excellent selling points.  Creating that "spa" feeling is enticing to buyers so highlight those features with your photos. 

Bad Idea (and stupid) Keep your photographer out of the photos where a mirror exists. 

Really?  Do I have to elaborate on this?  Nothing weirder than viewing a photo of a bathroom or other space and seeing the picture taker in the mirror. 

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #5. Strongly recommended, "Stage it."

Staging highlights the house and rooms within.  It eliminates clutter or other items that may be distracting to the online and potential buyer.  Staging can reflect the local area such as "beachy," "woodsy," or "urban."  We just want to keep eyeballs on the home and help the buyer see themselves in this home.  Hire a professional stager or look on the internet for helpful articles on staging yourself. 

Bad Idea:  Staging a clutter box - do not do it.

Very simple, get rid of the clutter (you will have to deal with it later when your home sells).  Once again, use the web to get helpful tips on staging and eliminate the unneeded immediately. 

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #6. It "tis" the season to list your home.  1

Whether new or on the market for awhile keep your photos "fresh" with the season, you are selling.  Example:  you have a front picture of the home with snow on the ground and now its Spring.  Change it to something more cheerful with colorful flowers.   Summertime?  Get those tremendous pictures of the outdoors that entice the buyer to want to be in that environment. 

Bad Idea: It is not Christmas, Halloween, or Easter all year long.

Keep your decorations simple during the holiday period and refer to the previous paragraph about updating the photo when the season is over.  Better to get great photos with no season "theme" that will last over time in the listing. 

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #7. If you have a great view such as waterfront, open space, or whatever let's highlight that feature. 

Views can make a deal happen.  Potential buyers often see themselves in that particular environment kayaking on a lake, sitting by the pool, or relaxing in a hammock out back.  The view can be a huge advantage so highlight it and make it look incredible.

Bad Idea:  Keep Fido out of the photos.

While most of us are pet lovers, some buyers may not be.  Keep them out of the photos of your home and keep in mind that we want to provide a buyer a picture of how they may look in their new home.

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #8. Something unique about your home design?

If you have a custom home or have done some extensive unique remodeling, then let's promote those attributes.  You may have 100-year-old repurposed wood floors that are stunning or a different elevation design on the home not found elsewhere in the area.  Showing off these details can be very positive. 

Bad Idea:  Back to the last paragraph - do not highlight ugly items.

Homes are different and may have minor defects but keep them out of the photos.  Buyers can list their pros and cons when viewing online, or at an open house.  The buyer's home inspection will capture anything significant (or minor), and it can be dealt with then.  However, if it is a minor thing just get it corrected before photos are taken of the property. 

If your budget allows, do your remodeling or home improvements before listing the home as you will reap benefits.  Ask your REALTOR(R) for advice and cost analysis. 

Virginia Beach Listing Photos #9. Nighttime photos are good. 

Why not?  We are highlighting your home and the more, the merrier.   Leave the lights on and get that outside shot. 

Bad Idea:  Dark photos suck. 

Interior photos need light.  The use of lighting and natural light provide for the best brightness and keep them looking normal. 

Other Nice Articles:  


Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads Pooch Pubs

Kellam High School Homes for sale




Posted in Selling Your Home
Jan. 25, 2018

Should Your Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads Second Home Be A LLC

One of the most important things I recommend to investors or buyers considering buying a second or investment property is to strongly consider whether it should or should not be a Limited Liability Company or LLC for short.  My reasons for this are many but here some pros and cons:

(Always consult with a real estate attorney for the latest information and/or law).

1. Pros:  A lawsuit may offer you some limited protection.  Example:  You have a contractor work completed on a rental home such as a porch or deck repair.  The repair fails, the tenant or guest gets injured, and the injured party files a lawsuit for an accident.  In this case, your damages may be limited, and personal assets may be protected. should-your-virginia-beach-or-hampton-roads-second-home-be-llc

This is especially true when the owner of the property has limited equity in the home or suit exceeds insurance coverage. 

Another example:  Suppose your tenant has a dog that bites someone visiting the property. 

Your insurance might have an exclusion or limit on dog bites.  Most insurance companies in today’s world will not cover dog bites from Rottweilers, chows, and many other breeds. Consider getting a personal liability umbrella coverage policy for one or two million dollars.

Once again, talk with a real estate attorney to best sort out your options, whether LLC, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, or other.  Or if you are great at this stuff you may be able to find an online source for the incorporation forms.

2. Cons:  Financing – Using an FHA loan insured by the Federal Government to finance a property has advantages and only available for primary home purchases. The big benefit is that it allows first time home buyers to put down as little as 3.5% on their properties. Again, this product not available to companies, or LLC’s.  But if purchasing a duplex/tri-plex, etc., and living in one of the units you are fine. 

Bottom line:  You can purchase a property for 3.5% vice 20%. This frees up more dollars for additional real estate investment.  Keep in mind that your interest rate using the FHA product will most likely be significantly less than an LLC rate (company).

Tax breaks also come into play when considering FHA versus LLC.  You will most likely get better deductions for your personal income (not corporation).

Capital Gains:  Look at the laws regarding capital gains and the exemption offered for both single and married couples.

If I can be of assistance in helping you find an investment or second home property please contact me directly at 757-343-4949 or by using the contact form here.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Jan. 8, 2018

What’s New This Winter In Virginia Beach

Famous for its miles-long pleasure beach, powerful military presence, and the beautiful wetland surroundings, there’s always plenty to do in Virginia Beach at the peak of its tourism season.

The 3-mile long boardwalk, which is illuminated by the brilliantly-lit up local shops and accompanied by the sound of the rolling ocean waves, music from the nearby outdoor stages, and the millions of tourists who roam the streets.

Though Virginia Beach is the place to be during the summer, what happens to this bustling resort city during the winter? When the streets are nearly empty and the wintry chill of the ocean prevents anyone from drawing close to the beach, what is there to do? Normally, one would write Virginia Beach off as dead during the winter; however, that isn’t true at all.

A quick look around town, and you’ll see that there’s plenty of interesting things you’ll find at the beach this winter. And with fewer crowds and lower prices, Virginia Beach could probably be your ideal winter getaway.

Winter Wildlife Boat Trips
The beaches may be unapproachable, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun on the water. From late December to March--essentially all of winter--you’re able to go on a Winter Wildlife Tour aboard the Rudee Flipper. While on board, guests will be given an in-depth tour of the Chesapeake Bay entrance. Here, you’ll be able to learn more about our local ecosystem and even check out the animals who live in this region. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot some Humpback and Fin whales as they migrate along the Atlantic Seaboard. These expeditions are sponsored by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Virginia Beach Annual Restaurant Week

Between February 18 to 25, 2018, you can explore Virginia Beach’s food scene. Hosted by the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association, participating restaurants will offer three-course meals at special prices. This coming restaurant week, $5 breakfast specials will be included in the event. Restaurant week is a great way to becoming well-acquainted with Virginia Beach’s local cuisine. Some examples include pan-seared tuna, lump crab cakes, fresh rockfish and she-crab soup, a few classic dishes from a coastal city.

While you’re checking out Virginia Beach’s food scene, it also wouldn’t hurt to take a look at their vibrant nightlife in Towncenter. Located near the intersection of South Independence and Virginia Beach Boulevard, and across the street from the newly-renovated Pembroke Mall, Towncenter is a cluster of Virginia Beach’s finest restaurants, clubs, and shops.

Take A Tour Of The Beach On Horseback

From October 1 through May, you are able to take a guided tour along Virginia Beach’s stunning beaches on horseback. However, if you are unfamiliar with horses, you need not worry. This particular activity is more so on the sightseeing side than an actual horse riding lesson. During the holiday season, nighttime rides are also offered. There, the horses will take you past the beautiful holiday lights display along the boardwalk.

Holiday Lights At The Beach

During the holiday season, Virginia Beach’s boardwalk is transformed into a vibrant, magical lights display. According to the city’s site, it’s the only time of the year when cars are permitted to drive on the boardwalk for over 30 blocks. It’s reported that an average of 30,000 cars come to see the holiday lights every holiday season.  What's new this winter in virginia beachPolar Plunge 2018

This annual event will take place February 2-3, 2018 in four different locations in Virginia, Virginia Beach included. Here, hundreds of “plungers” will bravely take a dip in the icy waters in order to help raise money for Virginia’s Special Olympics. The money earned at the Polar Plunge will be used for competition, sports training, leadership opportunities, and health services; approximately 21,000 athletes with varying disabilities will be benefited by this event.

Coastal Virginia Wine Fest

If you’re a big fan of wine, then this event should be perfect for you. On Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 1 to 7 pm, get your fix of wine, food, and great company at the annual Coast Virginia Wine Fest. Held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on the Ocean Front, attendees are able to sample wine and food while listening to live music.

Make a Trip to Norfolk

Right next door to Virginia Beach, is Norfolk, Virginia. This historic city has an energetic personality, unlike anything you will ever see in Hampton Roads. Here, you can check out Norfolk’s vibrant downtown district, which is located in the Waterside district along the Elizabeth River. Downtown Norfolk has tons of restaurants and live shows that you can come and enjoy while still feeling like you’re in an actual concrete jungle. In Norfolk, you can also visit the Chrysler Museum or even check out Nauticus, a maritime-themed science museum that is right on the water. Either way, Norfolk is another coastal city with tons of character and even more fun activities to do.

For all your real estate needs, please contact me at any time with questions or great places to live at or near the Beach!!




Posted in Sandbridge
Sept. 6, 2017

Rent vs. Buy Virginia Beach - A Comparison

Buy vs. Rent Report – Virginia Beach

It’s true – nationwide real estate values are rising, and the advantages of buying over renting are beginning to squander. But, that doesn’t mean prices are rising everywhere in the country. In fact, it is the perfect time to buy in Virginia Beach, where the local housing market reached bottom in March of 2014, a full 18 months after the first US markets hit their low.  rent vs buy virginia beach

Due to this lag, the median sales price of Coastal Virginia Beach homes just surpassed their peak of $257,000 in September 2013. While the Federal Reserve recently increased interest rates by a quarter point in June, mortgage interest rates remain historically low.

The current median sales price of a home in Virginia Beach is $260,000 while the median rent is $1,500.  Assuming a 20 percent down payment on a mortgage with 4.35 percent interest rate, it is 26 percent cheaper to buy than rent in Virginia Beach at the city level.

That number will vary for Virginia Beach neighborhoods like Dam Neck, Northwest, and North Central – but which one offers the best value to prospective homebuyers? Each neighborhood area offers different quirks, desirable amenities and home prices, but the best value is up to you to decide.

Rent vs. Buy Virginia Beach – A Comparison


Median Sales Price

Median Rent Price

Buy vs. Rent

Virginia Beach




Dam Neck/Southeast Virginia Beach




Northwest Virginia Beach




North Central Virginia Beach





 Dam Neck Area

Located close to the Oceana Naval Air Station and home to the Virginia Beach Aquarium and Science Center, Dam Neck offers some of the best value for current renters opting to buy. It is 41 percent cheaper to buy than rent in the Dam Neck/Southeast Virginia Beach area. The median sales price of home is $420,000 and the median rent is $2,925.  Perceptive renters could save as much as $13,000 when choosing to buy than rent.

Northwest Virginia Beach

Go kayaking at Chic’s Beach or experience of the many activities available at Mt. Trashmore Park.  Active residents might want to buy in this great area especially since it is 28 percent less to buy than rent in Northwest Virginia Beach. The median sales price of homes in Northwest Virginia Beach is around $240,000 while the median rent is $1,425. Choosing to own and not give all your money away to a landlord or property management firm could net a $375 monthly savings.

North Central Virginia Beach

North Central Virginia Beach includes the subdivisions of Lynnhaven and Kings Grant.  It is just minutes away from the Lynnhaven Mall.  The choice between renting and buying in this neighborhood is a little tougher but for those who prefer to live close to shopping buying is still a payoff compared to renting. 

With a median sales price just under $320,000 and a median rent price of $1,500 it is 10 percent cheaper to buy than rent in North Central Virginia Beach.  Interest rates would have to increase another point before this neighborhood reaches its break-even point.  For those interested in this neighborhood keep a keen eye on its affordability and budget appropriately with this home affordability calculator.

Virginia Beach offers something for everyone.  Whether it is living near the beach, finding an active neighborhood or living close to shopping, renters should consider owning.  To start a home search and learn more about homeownership call us at 757-343-4949 or reach out online.


*This calculation also assumes owning a home for seven or more years and an income tax rate of 25 percent.

Posted in Buyers
July 18, 2017

Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads Pooch Pubs

All Coastal Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads residents (or soon-to-be) who have a dog rejoice! Long gone are the days where you have to leave your pup behind when heading out for a day of activities. Recently, local craft breweries and various restaurants in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads are now dog friendly and that’s something to celebrate about.  Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads Pooch Pubs

Dog owners who are in the housing market relentlessly hunt for dog friendly neighborhoods throughout Virginia, but now those days have come to an end. Check out some of the great dog-friendly breweries and restaurants along the coast

If you are looking for a Virginia Beach condo or deciding on another type of home in the area, here are a few dog friendly bars worth checking out:

  • Back Bay Brewing. The craft brewery, established in 1938, is known for a variety of things including like their red ale and their beach-rustic tasting room. They have now become a dog-friendly area in Virginia Beach making it a perfect place to relax with your pooch.
  • Green Flash Brewery.  Celebrating one year now in Virginia Beach, this brewery serves the local economy and East Coast.  The tasting room and beer garden serve up to 30 beers on state of the art taps featuring Green Flash favorite front line beers as well as seasonal, rare, and special releases. Bring the furry friends and step out to the expansive beer garden to enjoy a bite from a local food truck and unwind. Enjoy! 
  • Wasserhund Brewing Company. The brewing company, which translates to ‘water dog’ in German, was conceptualized from the love of beaches, dogs, and German beer. They brew high quality ales and lagers in an atmosphere that both you and your dog can enjoy.
  • Bruster's Real Ice Cream. If you’re looking for a refreshing treat on a hot day, head over to Bruster’s, a renowned ice cream in Virginia Beach. The best part about this sweet parlor, Bruster’s is a dog-friendly location and welcomes pups with open arms.
  • Tubby's tavern. This casual American tavern is a pub-style establishment known for their $3.00 Thursdays.  If you’re looking for a great atmosphere but don’t want to leave your dog behind, head over to Tubby’s and enjoy this dog-friendly environment.

Similar to Virginia Beach, there are a plethora of bars and breweries around the Hampton Roads Real Estate Market that will allow your furry friend. Here are a few dog-friendly places in the area.

·         The Point at Phoebus. This farm to table concept in Hampton is known for their fresh produce, quality flavor, and their policy on pups. If you’re looking for a healthy bite and a great dining experience where you can bring your dog, head on over.  

·         Heaven’s Pizza & Tap House. This quaint venue has an impressive pizza menu and rotating beer selection that attracts customers from all over the area. The place has a front patio where you can bring your pooch to relax and enjoy the ambiance.  

Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads seem ideal to any dog owner, but is it affordable for you? Use a mortgage rate calculator to estimate your payments on a home in either area to decide if these two cities are affordable. Using a mortgage calculator not only allows you to forecast what you would be spending on a monthly mortgage, but it also informs you on a variety of loan options that you could consider when searching or a home for you and your pup.  

Need expertise and no-nonsense advice about homes, condos, or town homes in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads?  Drop me a line or call me the old fashioned way.  

Posted in Buyers
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