Feb. 17, 2021

A Valentine's Birthday in Williamsburg

                                               

𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲?

We are so thankful to live in such a richly diverse area. And depending on where you live in Hampton Roads, Williamsburg is a city within an hour drive from home to feel like you’re really AWAY.   

                  
 

How wonderful to be able to walk the same cobbled streets where our first men and women settlers accomplished the excruciatingly arduous process of laying the foundation for our country?! Here is a short, very well written article on the rich history that will surround you through Colonial Williamsburg: https://bit.ly/3pyW5tN

I wish I could have taken a picture of every meal, and every moment. I did not. I was enveloped in the charm of the city. Some of these shots are mine, and some I pulled from others who’ve gone before me & posted their own stories on the interweb. Bless the process, and my need for photographic evidence.

Our adventure began with Brunch at Berrett's Seafood House in the heart of historic Colonial Williamsburg. Somehow perfectly combining ‘refined’ & ‘laid back’ under one roof! The Maple Bourbon Cranberry Old Fashioned was arguably one of the best I’ve ever had. Paired with a few dozen fresh & deliciously salty Mobjack Bay & York River Oysters and a Club Wrap that was surprisingly also one of the best I’ve ever had. What…Did they put…In that Mayo??? You’d think such a simple sandwich wouldn’t be that meaningful….you’d be wrong. I would drive back up just to have lunch there. Thank you, Justin for your service & expertise on not only the menu, but the entire Williamsburg area!

Next up came the Copper Fox Distillery, just a short drive outside of the Historic area. This word-of-mouth remodeled hotel was I think the coolest, most unexpected experience of our trip. We knew we were going to a distillery, but ambiance is everything. Walking in, you’re pulled by the sweet aroma of bourbon being born. The entire distillery from grain to bottle is right on the property! Vintage upholstered & hand-carved furniture, original abstract paintings for sale, fireplaces, old bourbon barrel tables, a massive retired authentic copper still, and of course, a hand-crafted selection of bourbons and gins. Walk through the 'secret door' made within the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and into a low-lit, lounge-style tavern. Charcuterie boards and other yummy finger foods available to choose from while you sip a Sazerac and play chess! We will definitely be back to enjoy a warm summer night around the outdoor fire pit. Thank you Josh for your amazing personality & service. H I G H L Y recommended.

Williamsburg Premium Outlets shopping is a given. If you haven’t been, go! It’s fun to even just walk around sometimes and burn calories to make room for dinner. From Kids toys to fine China, there’s something for everyone! Word to the wise though- don’t forget your $60 worth of Express shopping in the Uber. Evidently, it’s very difficult to reach an Uber driver after they’ve dropped you off at your hotel. Ask me how I know.

Our hotel was lovely too. The Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony. Comparable to the equally beautiful Kingsmill Resort! A dream bed, a kitchenette & separate living area with an optional adjacent room for kids, this will absolutely double as our staycation site when normalcy re-emerges and Busch Gardens & Water Country theme parks are our Summer time goals!

        

A quick stop at the hotel to get dolled up and on to our final destination for the evening. A fancy, full-on 4 star French Restaurant called Le Yaca. As a mother of 3 and a lifetime lover of Disney, my mind couldn’t help but gravitate to the movie Ratatouille as we walked up to the building. If you haven’t seen the movie, do yourself a favor and watch it. A heartwarming food-lovers tale based in a fine dining restaurant in Paris- it’s just one of those you have to see at least once in your life. While I did not get to experience a server on skates, or a rat preparing our meal, (probably for the best) we did appreciate the cloth-covered & candlelit setting…and I did see Foix Gras on the menu! No, we did not try it. Even a foodie has her limits…and mine is duck liver. All that to say, for a restaurant that could easily come across as unapproachable in its refinedness, Le Yaca is able to pull off elegance 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦 of pretentiousness. Not to mention the fact that each course was enormously portioned. A further nod to its cloaked modesty. I channeled my inner Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman and FINALLY had escargot for the first time. Fact: they do not actually taste like anything more than delicate garlicy mushrooms…but they are ‘slippery little suckers’ nonetheless. We had Blended French Onion Soup, Diver Sea Scallops with Orzo & Vegetable Risotto (INSANELY good) and Surf & Turf Filet & Lobster Tail. My husband was clear: it was most likely the best Lobster he’s ever tasted. A perfectly executed souffle, a trio sorbet alongside roasted coffee and cappuccino for dessert. To our wonderful server: please forgive me for in the trance of the meal, I forgot your name. You were warm and authentic and wonderful. Romantic. Delicious. Perfection. Watch the movie…and go.

So basically, we ate. A lot. The food scene in Williamsburg is infinite, and every atmosphere is exceptional and unique. And to be able at any given moment to walk out of any restaurant and become immersed into 300+ year old history in every direction is a remarkable blessing. What a beautiful birthday experience this entire trip was for me. My husband and I like to say, when it’s one of our birthdays, it’s both of our birthdays! A quick 24-hour getaway rich with history, delicious food, and enchanting ambiance; all within a 45 minute drive. We are so grateful to live here.

May 11, 2020

Be the Good

So our neighbors are some of the most amazing, genuine, giving folks you’ll find. V is retired Navy, and S manages multiple Harris Teeters all over the Tidewater area. Since there’s no physical contact, we have a zone between our houses where we’ll drop stuff off to each other, or just talk and catch up. Here’s the important part I hope everyone can hear: S has been working 60+ hours a week these last few weeks, and through tears in her eyes told us that while there have been plenty of decent human beings coming in to get their groceries, there have also been those who have cussed her out for not having any more TP, someone called her evil for not having any more hams over the Easter weekend....just crazy stuff. And she’s exhausted having to deal with all the negativity with a smile on her face. So we did the only thing we have any control over in this crazy time...we made them dinner. 

 

Margaret took over some of her chicken tortilla soup and placed it in the drop-off zone, only to go outside later and find these flowers for us in its place. Like I said, they’re givers. Just wanted to put that out there and thank all of the decent human beings we know taking care of each other through all of this because at the end of the day-all we have is each other. Be a good human, consider the unsung heroes of this pandemic, and do what you can.

May 2, 2020

Why the Right Buyer's Agent Matters

If you've EVER needed a great example of why it's SO important for you to hire a dedicated Buyer Agent to assist you with your home buying needs...this is it.

Yesterday I was out Facetiming and showing homes with an out-of-state military family I'm working with that's PCS'ing here in July.

24 hours after this beautiful home hit the market the seller had multiple offers. When I arrived during my scheduled showing time I pulled up to find there was already a family inside viewing the home. Additionally, as you can see in the photo, 3 families were waiting in line in front of me, and 2 more arrived behind me. With inventory being so low we were already heading in this direction of demand for homes being greater than supply. Schools being canceled due to COVID accelerated it. Needless to say, I had to wait in line 45+ minutes before I could enter the home.

One of the families in the front of the line told me they were waiting for their agent to arrive. I could clearly see the frustration increasing on their faces as time went by. The agent they were calling wasn't answering or returning their calls. After they let multiple families behind them go by I asked them who their agent was. They explained that it was actually the listing agent of the home they'd scheduled an appointment with. At this point, that agent was 45 minutes late and not answering their calls. I explained to them how important it is for them to have their own representation. They responded they had a family member who is an agent they planned to use, but they didn't want to wait for them so they called the listing agent. The end result? They waited for over an hour and still never got to see this home.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE..... Don't let this happen to you or someone you care about. If you're in the market to buy a home position yourself for success from the very beginning. Hire a dedicated Buyer's Agent TODAY...not when you find a house you like enough to want to see in person. Did you know having Buyer's Agent representation costs nothing for you as the Buyer? Zero. Also, get your financing ready because, in this current market, I promise you these houses are not going to wait for you. Make sure your agent is also experienced enough to be confident in multiple offer situations, and one that has a great reputation within the real estate community. I have buyers that are winning homes in multiple offer situations not necessarily because their offer was higher, but simply because the listing agent knows how professional and smooth I run my business. People tend to want to work with people they know will help a transaction run smoothly. You know the saying... It's not always what you know but who you know!

This is the state of the Hampton Roads market right now. To say that there's a surplus of buyers to sellers is an understatement. If you or someone you know has considered selling now is an excellent time.

Contact us today for a free copy of our seller concierge program to see what sets us apart in listing your home successfully. 

www.trustworthyagents.com

 

757-500-2404

Posted in Buying
April 22, 2020

TWA Market in a Minute

March was a strong month for our clients and we are poised to help many more families in April as well!

15 Homes went under contract:

*9 Families found their new home, made successful negotiations, and are poised to close in the coming weeks! 

*6 Sellers have found their home's new buyers and will be able to move on to the next chapters in their lives!

5 Closed deals: 

*2 Buyers settling into their new homes 

*3 Sellers closed and now reaping the benefits of homeownership 

 

New Homes To the Market: 

http://125lakefront.com 5 beds/5 baths/ 5,359 Sq Ft

An oasis of a home in the heart of Suffolk!

Peaceful water views, incredible lush landscaping, a private dock, and an oversized 3 car garage complete with an additional 1,000 sq ft of heated & cooled living space on the second floor....just the beginning of describing the meticulous features of this beautiful home. Schedule your private tour today! 757-500-2404 

http://1900kellyrun.com 3 Beds/ 2 Baths/ 1,597 Sq Ft

This home presents a very unique opportunity to have instant equity in the heart of Greenbrier! Don't let an investor steal your chance to walk into profit on this adorable home that needs YOUR personal touch! We have lenders standing by with FHA and VA (zero down payment) Renovation Loans that will allow you to choose the exact flooring/cabinetry/paint color finishes etc. you've always wanted! What questions can we help answer? 757-500-2404 

**ALSO** be on the lookout for 4 more listings scheduled to go live in the next few weeks!

How are we conducting business safely in this unprecedented time?:

Listings: Buyers are viewing our seller’s properties via our 3D Matterport tour and driving by the home before scheduling a tour. This keeps both the buyers and sellers safe and helps honor social distancing while still helping our sellers sell their homes quickly.

Buyers: Our professional Buyer's Agents Nate Pickles Homes and Eric Overmyer are doing lots of video previews for clients, then taking them to just those properties they truly have interest in!

As always, THANK YOU to all the families of #HamptonRoads and around the world who are trusting our team to guide you and your real estate goals to a successful and fruitful finish line! #stayhealthy #stayconnected #trustworthyagents #hamptonroadshomes

 

www.trustworthyagents.com

757-500-2404

Posted in Buying
April 15, 2020

A Mindset of Gratitude in an Uncertain World

"Wisdom is understanding that you don't have to

hold your happiness hostage until some future time

where your desires get gratified.

Whatever your goals, the quality of the journey

HAS to be more important than those fleeting moments

when you actually arrive at your destination.

Because most of your life IS the journey.

Consider instead, that everything you're doing represents

a finite opportunity to savor your life.

And if it doesn't seem that way, paying more attention

can manifest a perspective that reflects that powerful

concept of awareness and gratitude."

____________________________________________________

This is the mindset we're choosing to embrace. Positivity breeds positivity. A calm, aware outlook can literally change your life if you allow it to. Especially now, in this unimaginable moment in history, having the opportunity to construct a clear, confident perspective in your mind could be the strongest tool you possess in manifesting the life you desire.

 

 

May 22, 2015

May 2015 update on Market Conditions

Is the Hampton Roads Housing Market tightening up?

edit:  Market reports lag a 2-3 weeks, so the data presented in this May 2015 update, reflect data from April 2015.

Like most things in life, real estate is impacted by supply and demand.  Here in Hampton Roads, the real estate market has been comparatively stable when compared to some areas in the US that were hit hardest by the bust that occurred a few years back.  One dynamic that resulted from the bust, was a strong inventory of distressed properties for sale.  Bank owned, and short sale inventories went up which drove prices down creating a buyer's market for families that could still buy.  Not a few of which were military families.

Hampton Roads has a strong military presence,  with several naval bases,  Oceana Naval Air station, Langley Air Force base, Fort Eustis, Fort Story and a couple coast guard bases.  The military, while not immune to economic turbulence, still has a mission to perform, and that mission involves staffing bases all over the world.  It comes as no surprise with so many bases in the area, that we see lots of military turnover, which means that families have to buy, sell or rent homes.  Military families aren't immune to economic cycles either, but many do take comfort that they will have continued employment, and used that security to take advantage of the buyer's market that was created after the bust.

This month's press release by the Real Estate Information Network (REIN),  our local board, sheds light on how the supply of distressed housing still impacts our housing market today.  This report though, unlike the news we were hearing in 2009-2011, shows that the volume of distressed sales is slowing down, reducing inventories leading to modest price increases.  It is the supply and demand cycle at work.  This trend coupled with the almost certain prospect of rising interest rates  in the future, suggests that buyers will have to look harder and need to be more scrappier to get the good deals.  For sellers, it means that they are building equity at a better pace, and if they can time the market and interest rates right should do well when they sell their home.

The full report can be found here!

If you, or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell real estate in the Hampton Roads area, please consider referring them to a Trustworthy Agent.  We will be sure that you get a good report back, on our level of service!

 

Posted in Selling
May 20, 2015

Searching for homes by school zone

Search for Hampton Roads homes within a specific school zone

Finding the right home is all about eliminating those that don't match your search criteria.  Often, my buyers are looking for a home in a specific school search, so we enhanced our advanced home search tool to help you do just that.  You can search by High, Middle or Elementary schools easily on the advanced home search form.    (soon, we will add the ability to search schools specifically by city, but in the mean time, the Advanced Home Search form is your friend!

1) Go to the Advanced Search form.  If you are already on the site, "advanced search" is linked in the bottom right of every search appliance, or as "refine search" on any search results page.

Trustworthy Advanced Home Search

Trustworthy refine home search

 

 2.  Now that you are at the advanced search form, you will see three selection fields for High, Middle and Elementary schools.  Pick the schools you are interested in and submit the search.  Please note, that these searches are all or none.  Its possible to pick a high school and middle or elementary school that do not overlap school zones which will result in 0 search results.

Trustworthy home search by school zone

The advanced search tool has other powerful features to make your home search more productive.  Stand by for more blog entries on this in the near future.  

Posted in Buying
April 27, 2015

My cure for back and neck pain

DISCLAIMER

  • I am not a doctor - I have no medical training at all
  • Seek a doctor - before attempting any of these exercises

There are few things more debilitating than neck and back problems.  Sometime in my late thirties, I developed a kink in my neck, that wouldn't go away.  It would radiate pain across my back shoulder muscles, and down my right arm.  It was painful and irritating, but I could function.  I traveled a lot back then, logging tens of thousands of air miles every year and I attributed my problems up to sleeping awkwardly in an airplane.  This irritation progressed over the years, and long after I stopped traveling the pain persisted.  My right arm and fingers would go numb several times a day, but I still didn't go to a doctor, and decided to just man-up.  Ten years after the problem started, I pulled a muscle in my lower back, and the pain associated with that pulled muscle, and my now crooked neck/head forced me to see a doctor.  The doctor dismissed the back pain as a chronic symptom that millions of Americans suffer, but wanted me to see a specialist about the loss of strength in my right arm and chronic neck and shoulder pain.   I  did an MRI and some other tests and met with the specialist who said he had a very simple fix.  He would cut a hole in the back of my neck, insert a tube about the size of a pen, and operate on the vertebrate at the base of my neck.  It's been a while and I don't recall all of the diagnosis, but the one thing I did decide was that no one was going to operate on my neck bones.  So I went to chiropractors (3 of them) and got three different diagnosis', and to a massage therapist (that was like heaven).  I did get some temporary relief but nothing permanent. So I started eating ibuprofen and acetaminophen like candy, and I learned how to live with the discomfort.  

This all started in my late 30's or early 40's.  By the time I was 50, I had quit smoking and put on an unnecessary 30lb's, and seldom had more good days than bad.  My son talked me into taking a cross fit class with him, to shape up and hopefully lose some weight.   The problem was that my back hurt so bad I had a difficult time doing the pre-workout stretches.  Ultimately I did the 4 introductory classes and quit.   I did develop an appreciation for stretching though, and started looking for books that explained different stretches and which muscle groups they targeted.  

This is where things get interesting, and where I'm going to introduce to you something that absolutely changed my life. 

Being an avid researcher I spent a few hours reading reviews on Amazon when I stumbled upon a comment that got me pointed to a book that eliminated my back and neck pain for good.   The book I was researching was full of stretches for athletes.  One of the reviewers stated that if you were older, and stiff you might not be able to do the stretches and recommend a book titled "Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health".  I paged around that book and my interest was piqued.   I then Googled Somatics' and found some Youtube videos showing show of the exercises.  I found a few videos' and that night, about midnight, I tried a couple, then went to bed.  The next morning I was amazed to wake up feeling looser, with less pain.  After breakfast, I revisited the videos and repeated the exercise.  I immediately felt better and immediately bought a Kindle version of the book.

The Book:

The book is divided roughly into three parts.  Part one, is dedicated to several case studies where the book's author took on clients that had debilitating muscular problems.  Each case study included the patient's medical case history, medical diagnosis' and how the author  literally cured the patient by teaching them simple, easy to do movements.  Part two explains how "Sensory-Motor Amnesia" occurs.  Sensory Motor Amnesia is the authors opinion on how our bodies get so out of whack.  Part three is dedicated to easy to do movements that address this motor amnesia.  I found the book to be believable, easy to read and convincing.  What caught my attention the most, was the fact, that Mr. Hanna doesn't see patients for months or years on end with constant tweaks.  Once the clients can successfully master the movements (not a hard thing to do), they were done with him.  This is in stark contrast to most chiropractors I've seen (no dig here, honest).   What I didn't like about the book was that it was difficult to understand exactly how to do the movements with the mannequin drawings that were intended to illustrate. So I went back to YouTube and a couple hours of searching landed me on Dr. Knights videos that contain "all" of the somatic movements and more.  I immediately bought the DVD's.

I am now 57, almost 58 and with just a few exceptions that I'll elaborate on later I am pain free.  No neck pain, no back pain, full range of motion restored, no numb arms and fingers, no achy shoulder muscles.  I am a new man, feeling better than I did when I was in my thirties.  And along the way I dropped 25 pounds, run some, hunt a lot, climb trees . . . Can you tell I'm excited about this?  I have no idea if this is quackery or not, but I do know that my body has been restored.  I'm going to share links to the books and videos below.  Please understand that I receive "NO COMPENSATION" for this.  I don't earn referral fees . . . I just want to pass along the good news.  Your mileage may vary.  Write back and tell me if this works for you.

Book:  Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health

Videos:  YouTube intro to somatic expressions

DVD's: Gentle Somatic Yoga 2 DVD set with James Knight, E-RYT

When I still have pain

I mentioned that I'm "almost" pain free.   From time to time, I would find that I would do something that really pulls a muscle, and when I do, I can be in pain for several days.  Enough pain, that I couldn't even tolerate the exercises.   Once while building my grandkids play set, my back froze up, and I almost had to crawl out of the yard.   Later that day I had an appointment, and as I was driving, my back kept cramping, painfully cramping.  I called my wife and begged her to jump on Google and find out what might be causing the behavior.  Fifteen minutes later she called back.  The answer?  Water and potassium.  I was dehydrated.  I didn't drink water.  Not just that day, I didn't drink water period.  I didn't like water.  I drank a couple pots of coffee throughout the day, and a beer or two in the evening and that was my fluid intake.  I have since learned that our muscles require water to function, and I was starving mine.  I now drink 80+ ounces of water every day, more on hot days or if I am working hard.  The rule of thumb I was given was to divide my weight by 2 and that is how many ounces to drink.  My weight varies between low 150's and 160, so 80+ ounces is my number.  What's yours!