Virginia Beach Real Estate and Community News

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
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