Hampton Roads Real Estate News & Market Trends

We hope you’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to things to do! That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 17, 2021

What’s New In Financing? Featuring Cara Erickson, Sr. Mortgage Banker With Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Cara Erickson, a Sr. Mortgage Banker with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Cara began as a mortgage banker assistant, later transitioning to a junior mortgage banker. Since then, her passion for helping millennials, military families, and first-time homebuyers into their dream homes has only intensified.


Cara is a member of Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association and has assisted over 500 families throughout the span of her ten year career. When she’s not working diligently to help her clients achieve their homeownership goals, you can find her traveling, baking, watching sports, or going to the beach with her family.


Now, let’s dive into the world of financing! 


What’s new in the world of financing?

For conventional loans, there’s something really neat called Family Opportunity. Say you have an elderly parent on a fixed income who wants to move into a 55 & Older Community. This loan option is great if you, as their child, wish to purchase the property and finance it in your name as the primary residence for your parent because they can’t qualify on their own. By using this loan option, you won’t incur the expense associated with purchasing an investment property. You’re able to get a lower down payment (as little as 5%), a better interest rate, and all the benefits of purchasing a home as a primary residence. This loan option is also really great for families that have a disabled adult child. 


What kind of grants are available right now?

The top lenders recognized by Virginia Housing for first time home buyers offer down payment assistance in the form of a second loan for FHA/conventional loans. They also offer grants! These are typically 2% of the home’s sales price. For FHA/conventional loans, the grant can be applied to the down payment. For VA loans, the grant can be applied towards closing costs. Keep in mind, there are income restrictions for grants...but if you qualify, they can be extremely helpful. They can be particularly helpful for military buyers, who don’t have to pay a down payment but might be strapped for cash in other ways. Using a grant is a great way for them to hold onto some of their savings while also strengthening their offer (they won’t have to ask the seller for as much closing cost assistance). 


What’s going on with interest rates? 

It’s tricky to make blanket statements about interest rates because there are so many nuances that go into them. However, one thing that’s certain is that even though interest rates are starting to rise, they’re still at historic lows. But as inflation increases, there’s a risk that they’ll continue to rise...and they probably will. If anyone is on the fence about buying or refinancing, it’s time to consider taking that leap of faith because it’s very likely that interest rates aren’t going to drop again. 


Work with Cara!

If you’re interested in speaking to Cara about buying a home in Hampton Roads, you can reach her at 757-348-2262 or caraerickson@atlanticbay.com. She’s licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina! You can also read more about her here.

June 10, 2021

9 Local Beaches That Are Calling Your Name This Summer

One of the best things about living in Hampton Roads is having such close and convenient access to the beach. There are a variety of beautiful coastlines to choose from in Virginia, including some that you may not even know exist! If you’re willing to travel to North Carolina for a day trip or a weekend trip, there are even more gorgeous landscapes to enjoy. Here’s a quick list of nine local beaches that you should check out this summer. Bring your family, pack a cooler, and grab a good book. Soon enough, you’ll have your toes in the sand and feel completely relaxed! 




1. First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park is tucked between the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and Chick’s Beach and is home to 3,000 acres of protected freshwater cypress swamps. There are several trails to explore on bike or foot, and there’s a peaceful, quarter-mile beach within the park. One thing to keep in mind: There are no lifeguards on this stretch of coastline. Public restrooms located near each beach access walkway. 


Address: US-60, Virginia Beach, VA 23459, USA


2. False Cape State Park

This breathtaking 6-mile park is isolated from the outside world and renowned for its biodiversity. To reach the beach, you must either hike about two miles in or pull up to the shoreline by boat. During the summer, a tram is available. In addition to the beautiful beaches, False Cape has a variety of incredible wildlife. You may be able to spot otters, foxes, deer, wild horses, and loggerhead turtles. Public restrooms available at the Visitor Center. No lifeguards on duty. 


Address: 4001 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, USA


3. Sandbridge Beach

This beach is a bit quieter than the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and is located about half an hour south in a residential area. There are several vacation homes available for rent on the strip, if you’re interested in a weekend gathering. If not, it’s still a great place for a day trip. Public restrooms located in the Northern part of the beach. Lifeguards on duty at Sandbridge Market and Little Island Park. 


Address: 3128 Sandfiddler Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, USA


4. Yorktown Beach

This 2-acre beach is located in Historic Yorktown and is a great place to boat, swim, kayak, and fish. There’s free parking in several lots, a trolley that can bring you to the beach entrance, and restrooms available for use. There’s also a beach picnic area that can be used for picnics, family reunions, birthday parties, and more! No lifeguard on duty. 


Address: 425 Water St, Yorktown, VA 23690


5. Buckroe Beach

If you’re looking for a clean, quiet beach with large bathrooms and lots of shoreline, this is a great spot to check out! Bordering the Chesapeake Bay, Buckroe Beach offers a gorgeous view of the distant ocean. The beach is open from 10am-6pm, and lifeguards are on duty. Hampton WaterSports rents out jet skis, paddle boards, and kayaks. They also offer cold beverages, hot food to go, and ice cream. 


Address: North First Street, Hampton, VA 23664


6. Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve

This 300-acre preserve contains miles of dunes and coastline. This is somewhat of a “secret spot” that only the locals know about, but it’s well worth the journey and features outstanding views and wildlife! Open daily, but the parking lot is extremely small and can only hold eight cars. No restroom facilities, trash receptacles, or access to drinking water.


Distance from Hampton Roads: 1-2 hours

Address: 2186 Savage Neck Rd Drive, Cape Charles, VA 23310




1. Kitty Hawk

This incredible beach receives some of the largest waves in the area. Surfing, skimboarding, and kayaking are common here, so if you’re looking for a more adventurous beach experience, this might be the place for you! Don’t forget to check out Kitty Hawk Woods, a 461-maritime forest with tons of beautiful walking trails. Public restrooms located at the Kitty Hawk Bath House. Lifeguards on duty from 10am-6pm. 


Distance from Hampton Roads: 1.5 hours 

Address: Virginia Dare Trail, “The Beach Road” 


2. Duck

Duck is one of the most pet-friendly beaches in the country, so it’s a great option if you want to bring your dog to the beach! They’re allowed to be off leash and explore the land and water at their leisure, which is the best part. Port-o-potties available along the beach. Lifeguards on duty from 10am-6pm. 


Distance from Hampton Roads: 1.5 hours 

Address: Duck Town Park Boardwalk, Duck, NC 27949


3. Corolla

This beach borders both Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. You can easily access the ocean waves, the calm sound waters, and the lush maritime forests. And don’t forget to make time to see the beautiful wild horses that roam the area. If you’re interested, guided tours are available. Public restrooms available at the Corolla Visitor Center and Currituck Country Southern Beach Access. 


Distance from Hampton Roads: ~2 hours


Address: 601 Ocean Trail, Corolla, NC 27927


June 3, 2021

6 Fun Events in Hampton Roads This June!

With the world opening back up again, many of us are eager to make up for lost time and enjoy the spring weather with family and friends. If you’re looking for some fun things to do around Hampton Roads this month, we’ve compiled a list for you! Whether you’re eager to hear live music again, or you’re looking forward to enjoying a baseball game in-person, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.


1. Virginia Beach Taco Festival 

June 5th - June 6th at The Shack in Virginia Beach 


This delicious festival will feature some of the area’s best restaurant and food truck tacos, as well as live entertainment, a tequila sampling tent, a taco and chili pepper eating contest, face painters, and a margarita bar! There are two sessions each day. The first is from 12-3pm and the second is from 5-8pm. Tickets start at $14.99. General admission and VIP admission tickets available. Kids 10 and under can attend for free!


2. Capital Color Bike Ride 

June 6th at Chickahominy Riverfront Park in Williamsburg


The third annual Capital Color Ride event will be hosted by James City County Parks & Recreation and includes a 15-mile stretch along the Virginia Capital Trail! Full route information will be available closer to the event date. Light refreshments, t-shirt, and race bibs are included in the rider registration fee ($15). Three start times are available: 2pm, 2:30pm, and 3pm to encourage social distancing. Register early to reserve your spot! 


3. Norfolk Harborfest 

June 11th - June 13th at Town Point Park in Norfolk (Virtual Event)


This free festival is one of Norfolk’s most beloved annual events! Did you know it’s the largest, longest-running, free maritime festival in the country? Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, Harborfest will be held virtually this year. Digital content will feature historic photos, videos, and behind-the-scenes content from the festival’s 44-year history. Be sure to follow Norfolk Festevent social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube


4. Norfolk Tides vs. Durham Bulls

June 15th at Harbor Park Stadium in Norfolk 


Are you a baseball fan? You can now attend games at Harbor Park Stadium! The Norfolk Tides will be playing the Durham Bulls on Tuesday, June 15th, from 7:05-11:05pm. Come out for an evening of baseball, hotdogs, and beer! Tickets start at $13 and are sold in groups of 2, 4, and 6. 


5. Virginia Beach Spring Craft Market 

June 25th - June 27th at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach 


The 35th Annual Virginia Beach Spring Craft Market will feature over 150 fine artists and craftspeople from across the country offering handcrafted jewelry, wood, photography, candles, glass, woven baskets, folk art, specialty foods, clothing, toys, and more! Artisans will also be selling home and garden accessories, such as birdhouses, welcome wreaths, and pottery. Tickets are $8. Kids 12 and under can attend for free. On Friday and Saturday, the market will be open from 10am-6pm. On Sunday, the market will be open from 10am-5pm. 


6. Suffolk Pride 2021 

June 27th at Bennetts Creek Park in Suffolk 


Join the Aids Foundation of Hampton Roads and check out Suffolk Pride 2021! This day will be filled with live music, food, entertainment, and LGBTQ+ pride! Schedule of events will be released closer to the event date. All donations received will go towards efforts to open the Suffolk LGBT Center of Hampton Roads!

May 27, 2021

Giving Back On RED Day

Have you heard of RED Day? RED stands for Renew, Energize, and Donate. Since 2009, Keller Williams agents and associates have dedicated the second Thursday of each May to volunteering in their communities and giving back in a meaningful way. This year, RED Day took place on May 12th. However, our office celebrated on May 13th by volunteering with the Seton Youth Center in Virginia Beach! Over the course of the day, we did some landscaping and cleaned the grounds around the facility. If you’re interested in learning more about this organization, check out the end of this post!


Keller Williams’ mission is to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving. Because of this, the philanthropy behind RED Day is a vital part of Keller Williams’ culture. 


Over the years, agents and associates all over the country have raised thousands of dollars for a variety of charities, built homes from scratch, gathered food for those in need, and organized relief efforts after devastating natural disasters. These agents and associates have poured their hearts and souls into causes that resonated with them, and as a result, made a significant impact on their communities. 


Last year, RED Day revolved around providing relief to frontline workers in the form of meals, PPE, and notes of encouragement. This year, safety was again of utmost importance. There were a variety of ways to give back that didn’t require physical participation! For example, writing letters of encouragement and appreciation to frontline workers, donating non-perishables to a local food bank, and donating financially online to a cause in need. If you’re looking for a way to volunteer in your community safely and from a distance, these are some great options. 


Ultimately, the message behind RED Day is that giving back to your community shouldn’t be a once-a-year event. It should be a continuous, year-round effort. If we’re working to improve our communities, we’re working to improve the world we live in. And what’s more beautiful than that? 


If you’re looking for places to volunteer around Hampton Roads this summer, check out these organizations and their missions! 


May 20, 2021

8 Amazing Summer Vacation Spots In Virginia

Virginia is an incredible state to explore. From the mountains of Shenandoah National Park, to the urban, historical landscape of Richmond, to the coastal sand dunes of Virginia Beach, Virginia truly has something for everyone. If you’re thinking about planning a weekend getaway in Virginia this summer, here’s a list of our favorites.


1. Colonial Williamsburg

If you love learning about the past, Colonial Williamsburg is a must-visit. Home to the world’s largest living history museum, the city is brimming with horse drawn carriage rides, quaint taverns, and educational resources. If you have enough time, you can even visit Yorktown and Jamestown to complete Virginia’s Historic Triangle. Do you have kids? If so, don’t forget to dedicate a day to Busch Gardens or Water Country USA!


2. Charlottesville

Located amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville has a variety of incredible things to enjoy. Whether you choose to hike at Shenandoah National Park, immerse yourself in history at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, or indulge in some of the area’s finest wineries, you’re sure to have a great time. If you’re feeling adventurous, try horseback riding, or book a hot air balloon tour of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 


3. Chincoteague

For a tranquil getaway, consider Chincoteague. From the wild ponies to the serene beaches, it’s truly a nature lover’s paradise. Spend a day at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, witness a rocket launch at NASA Wallops Visitor Center, or tour the Assateague lighthouse. When you visit Chincoteague, you’re on island time. 


4. Richmond

If you’re looking for a family-friendly city with impressive historic sites, outdoor activities, and delicious restaurants, Richmond checks every box. For a healthy dose of history, check out the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Virginia Holocaust Museum, and the American Civil War Museum. If you’re itching to spend the day outside, hike around Belle Isle, go kayaking on the James River, or go biking on the Virginia Capital Trail


5. Roanoke 

Tucked right next to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Roanoke is a prime vacation spot for those who love the outdoors. The city is ripe with hiking trails, mountain biking trails, horseback riding opportunities, and kayaking adventures. There are also several breweries, art galleries, and live music venues to enjoy. And don’t forget to visit the iconic, 88-foot Mill Mountain Star, a man-made statue that overlooks the city. 


6. Hot Springs 

Home to the infamous Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs is a small yet charming town in the Allegheny Mountains. It’s the perfect weekend escape, especially if you want to relax in a peaceful environment. The Omni features a full-service spa, championship golf courses, and several outdoor recreation opportunities. Did we mention that several presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, have stayed there? 


7. Smith Mountain Lake

If you want to spend a weekend by the water, Smith Mountain Lake is a great option. With over 500 miles of shoreline, Smith Mountain Lake is affectionately known as “The Jewel Of The Blue Ridge”. Some popular activities include boating, jet skiing, paddleboarding, and fishing. There’s even an alpaca farm on-site! 


8. Virginia Beach

For some seaside rest and relaxation, Virginia Beach is the place to go. Spend your days strolling down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, exploring the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, soaking up some sun in the sand, and eating fresh-caught seafood. If you have kids, plan to spend a day at Ocean Breeze Waterpark!

May 13, 2021

Seasonal Maintenance: Prepare Your Home For Summer!

With summer approaching, you’re probably eager to spend leisurely weekends at the beach, make fruity cocktails, host backyard barbecues, and enjoy the warmer months with friends and family. But before you put on your bathing suit and invite your neighbors over for a pool party, you need to make sure your home is functional and running smoothly. Following a home maintenance checklist is a great way to ensure your home stays in pristine condition throughout the year. Whether you’re located in Yorktown, Hampton, Suffolk, or Virginia Beach, these responsibilities are necessary to keep your home in good shape. Dividing these chores by season helps to keep costs down so you don’t get overwhelmed by too many tasks. If you’re eager to tackle your summer home maintenance checklist (or if you haven’t completed your spring checklist yet), keep reading. 



  • Get your roof inspected, and repair any winter storm damage. 

  • Turn your sprinkler system on, and make sure it runs without any issues. 

  • Install fresh batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Clean the gutters. 

  • Check exterior faucets for damage or leaks.

  • Powerwash your windows. 

  • Fertilize your lawn. 

  • Have an HVAC professional inspect your air conditioning system. The last thing you want is to be left without working AC when summer hits. Fusion Heating, Air Conditioning & Insulation is a great local business that can assist you with this task in Hampton Roads! They offer $39 emergency heating and air conditioning system diagnostic, along with free replacement estimates and second opinions. Contact them today at (757) 938-6709 for more information! 

  • Repair any driveway or walkway cracks.

  • Make sure your fire extinguishers work. If they don’t, replace them. 

  • Clean lint buildup from the clothes dryer exhaust duct.



  • Inspect your back deck for damage or deterioration. 

  • Powerwash your deck, and then refinish it. 

  • Reverse your ceiling fans. During the summer months, your fans should run counterclockwise. This will push air down to give you relief from the heat. 

  • Prune your bushes and trees. 

  • Examine your house siding for damage. 

  • Clean your freezer and fridge coils. 

  • Clean your grill.

  • Inspect your fencing.

  • Check your door and window locks, to make sure they close properly. 

  • Check your home for water leaks. 

  • Seal the grout in your tile, which can soften during the summer. 

  • Inspect your home for pests, such as termites and ants. 

  • Prepare your pool. Perform a thorough “chemical open” before use. 


Did we miss anything? If so, comment below! 

May 5, 2021

7 Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day In Hampton Roads

The best Mother’s Day gift you can give your mom is quality time and a shared experience. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has made getting together difficult, there are many ways to make Mother’s Day special in Hampton Roads. Below are a variety of fun options that will allow you to make memories with the important women in your life. 


1. Mother’s Day Brunch at 1608 Crafthouse (Virginia Beach)

Looking to celebrate in Virginia Beach? 1608 Crafthouse is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday, May 9th, from 10am to 4pm. This chef-driven restaurant features regional American cuisine and was recently voted Best Local Farm To Table Menu Southside by Coastal Virginia Magazine! Some of their recent menu offers include lump crab crusted trout with crispy mushrooms, hummus, and brussels sprouts; shrimp and noodles with roasted pork belly, green onion, and soft egg; and chocolate peanut butter brownie with chocolate gelato and candied bacon.


2. Mother’s Day Brunch at Grain (Norfolk) 

If you’re spending Mother’s Day in Norfolk, consider stopping by Grain on Sunday, May 9th, for a lovely rooftop brunch! From 9am to 6pm, the party will be in full swing. Grain’s Mother’s Day menu will feature both local favorites and special treats in honor of the incredible women you love and cherish. Enjoy live entertainment, brunch cocktail specials, and an all-you-can-eat buffet.


3. Mother’s Day High Tea at Partea Momma’s (Poquoson) 

On Saturday, May 1st, Partea Momma’s in Poquoson will be hosting a “High Tea” from 10am to 6pm. This event will feature tea, scones, finger sandwiches, desserts, and more! If your mom would enjoy a classy afternoon of drinking tea like royalty, this is the perfect way to treat her like a queen!


4. Mother’s Day Paint Party at Column 15 Coffee (Williamsburg) 

The grand opening of Column 15 Coffee in Williamsburg on May 8th will feature a “Mommy & Me” Mother’s Day Paint Party for parents and children alike who appreciate the arts! Tickets include two canvases, paint, brushes, and instructions. From 2pm to 4pm, celebrate Mother’s Day by creating something colorful with your kids! 


5. 21 Roses, A Mother's Day Comedy Event (Portsmouth) 

Laughter is good for the soul, right? If you share a love of comedy with your mom, consider visiting Yoolks on Us in Portsmouth for their 21 Roses Clean Comedy Show! On May 9th, from 4pm to 9pm, KingDaveTheComedian will put on an unforgettable show. From 4pm to 6pm, a custom menu will be provided for happy hour. The best part is, mothers in the audience will be greeted with roses and escorted to their seats. 


6. Mother’s Day Drive-Thru Celebration (Suffolk) 

On May 5th and May 6th, Suffolk Parks and Recreation will be holding a drive-thru Mother’s Day celebration for women over the age of 55. From 11am to 12:30pm, goodie bags will be given to participants as they drive through the parking lot. Pre-registration is necessary and can be completed until May 3rd. This is an awesome opportunity for those who aren’t yet comfortable dining indoors or being around groups of people. It’s also a great way to make your mom feel special and loved.


7. Masked Up Mother’s Day Pop-Up Shop (Hampton) May 8th

If you’re looking for a COVID-safe celebration in Hampton, join Capstan Bar Brewing Company for a Masked Up Mother’s Day Pop-up! On Saturday, May 8th, from 12pm to 3pm, several vendors will collaborate to bring you a fun shopping and dining experience. Browse different handmade items and grab a craft beer with mom. They’ll even have a card making station set up for the kids.



April 28, 2021

8 Places To Hang Out In Hampton Roads This Week!

Are you eager to enjoy the nice weather and do something fun this week? We can help you out! Below is a list we’ve compiled of some upcoming events around Hampton Roads. Whether you want to try a new activity, indulge in a delicious meal, spend time in nature, or browse a vintage market, there’s a little bit of something for everyone!


1. Hampton Boulevard Farmers Market 

Wednesday, April 28th, Church of the Good Shepherd, 3pm to 7pm

If you live in Norfolk and enjoy supporting local businesses, check out the Hampton Boulevard Farmers Market each Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 7pm! Some of their vendors include Bootstrap Burt’s Hot Sauce, Cafe Genevieve (offering a variety of French macarons), Empowered Plant Cakes (offering plant-based cakes that will knock your socks off), Honest Pastures (offering vegan “meats”), Klassic Doughnuts, Miami Fusion Empanadas, Nofo Soaps, and more! Face masks required. 


2. Wine & Cheese Night @ Kitty Kingdom Cat Cafe 

Thursday, April 29th, 565 Cedar Rd in Chesapeake, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Wine lovers and cat lovers alike will appreciate this fun event! On Thursday evening, join Kitty Kingdom in Chesapeake for a special evening of wine, cheese, and fabulous felines! Five different wines will be offered, along with a delicious cheese plate. Event is 21+, $30, and reservations must be booked in advance. 


3. Throw Yourself Into Pottery Class

Friday, April 30th, 164 S Military Hwy in Norfolk, 7pm to 9pm

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at pottery? Now’s your chance! This one-night class will introduce you to the basics of creating pottery on a wheel. You’ll even have the opportunity to create your own piece! All materials provided. Tickets are $55, and there are only 10 spots available. 


4. Smithfield Spring Vintage Market

Saturday, May 1st, Isle of Wight County Fairgrounds, 8am to 5pm

Get ready for a day of treasure hunting at the Spring Country Vintage Market in Smithfield! More than 75 vendors will be in attendance. Two entrance times are available: 8am to 12pm ($10) and 1pm to 5pm ($5). Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Face masks required. 


5. Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

Saturday, May 1st, Riverwalk Landing, 11am to 7pm

Sample dozens of craft beers, indulge in some delicious BBQ, and listen to live blues music at Yorktown’s Annual Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival! Two time slots are available: 11am to 2:30pm and 3:30pm to 7pm. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Check out the link above to take a look at some of this year’s participating breweries! 


6. Fiesta De Mayo at Waterside District

Saturday, May 1st, Waterside District, 12pm to 12am

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo early with Waterside! This fun celebration will include drink specials, live music, DJs, prizes, a piñata contest, photo opportunities, and more! Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event. Must be 21+ to buy tickets, but under 21 can attend. 


7. Guided Sunset Paddle at Hoffler Creek 

Saturday, May 1st, 4510 Twin Pines Rd in Portsmouth, 6:15pm to 8:15pm

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature this weekend, kayaking is a great way to do it! Wrap up your Saturday evening with a sunset paddle tour of Hoffler Creek. Tickets are $40/person. Life jackets must be worn at all times. Date is subject to change based on weather conditions 


8. Brunch With The Bumbling Bee at Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewing

May 2nd, Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewing, 11am to 3pm

Enjoy your Sunday morning with a savory vegan brunch and a side of cider, beer, or wine! Back Bay has a gorgeous outdoor seating area, and reservations are available for guests who want to reserve a space or full table. You can check out The Bumbling Bee’s menu here.

April 22, 2021

5 Things Military Families Need To Consider Before Buying a Home

Buying a house requires a significant amount of time, energy, and money. For military families, the process is even more complicated. Oftentimes, short timelines result in rushed decisions. If you’re preparing for a PCS to Hampton Roads in the near future and you’re about to start house hunting, you’ve come to the right place! Here are five things to consider before you buy a home at your next duty station. 


1. How long will you be at your duty station?

Take a look at your orders, and figure out how long you’ll be in Hampton Roads. Maybe you’re PCSing to Fort Eustis Army Base in Newport News for four years, or maybe you’re doing a quick two years at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton. Whatever your circumstances might be, length of time is important. Since buying a home is a huge commitment, you want to make sure the purchase is worth your time (and money!). 


2. How frequently will you have to travel?

Are you going to be on shore duty in Virginia Beach with a typical 9-5? Or are you heading into a sea tour at Naval Station Norfolk? Whether you’re heading into shore duty or a sea tour it makes sense to put down some roots and buy a house. 


3. When you PCS away from Hampton Roads, will you rent out your home or sell it?

Duty stations aren’t permanent, as military families know. Eventually, you’ll get new orders and move somewhere new. When that time comes, what do you plan to do with your home? Will you rent it out or sell it? Knowing your long-term goals is imperative when buying a new home. If you hope to rent out your home when you leave the area, you’ll want to look for things that will be appealing to future renters, such as a good school district and plenty of storage space.


4. Do you want to buy near base or farther away from base?

Some military service members prefer to be near base in order to have a shorter commute. Others want to live farther away from base because it allows them to have a better work/life balance. It’s also important to consider your family’s commute times. Does your spouse have a job lined up? Do you have school age children? Try to choose a location that works for the entire family. This will make day-to-day life a lot more enjoyable. 


5. Are you planning to use the VA loan?

Did you know that each time you use your VA home loan benefit, the funding fee goes up? Many service members and veterans are unaware of this caveat until they’re hit with a higher mortgage payment than they expected. If you decide to use a VA loan, keep this in mind. If you decide not to use your VA home loan benefit, remember that when it comes time to sell your home and PCS somewhere new, it’s likely that potential buyers will be using the VA home loan themselves. Because of this, it’s important to make sure your home meets the VA’s minimum property requirements. If you’re seeking out a condo, look for a community that accepts VA loans. Some HOAs have rules against this.



April 15, 2021

5 Spring Cleaning Tips

The sun is shining, colorful flowers are blooming, and birds are happily chirping. Spring has officially arrived in Hampton Roads! However, if your home still feels overshadowed by the winter blues, you’re not alone. Spring cleaning is an annual tradition that gives us the opportunity to freshen up our homes and revitalize our space for the spring and summer months. It can feel like an intimidating chore, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are five spring cleaning tips to get you started.


1. Approach the task room by room.
If you try to figure out how to deep clean your entire Virginia Beach home all at once, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed. Instead, approach your house room by room. Create a checklist for each room, and include items such as dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, window cleaning, baseboard cleaning, and more. 


2. Get rid of clutter.
This is one of the most important elements of spring cleaning. Over time, we naturally accumulate material possessions. Many of these items end up shoved into the back of a closet or deep into a drawer we never open. Spring cleaning allows us to examine our belongings, figure out if we still need them or not, and get rid of items that no longer serve us. While you’re going through your belongings  in your Chesapeake home, sort them into four piles: Trash, Donate, Store, and Put Away. Move the clutter out as soon possible, whether that’s through charity donation or a yard sale. Don’t let it sit in the guest bedroom and collect dust. You can find a Goodwill donation center using this tool


3. Ask your family to help. 

If you have a spacious home in Hampton, it might be beneficial to include your kids and make spring cleaning a family endeavor. Create age-appropriate chores for your children, shuffle a fun playlist, and come up with a reward that will encourage your kids to do a good job. This is a great way to enlist some help, and it will also teach your kids the value of maintaining a clean, organized space. 


4. Complete seasonal chores.
In order to prepare your Yorktown home for the summer months, make a list of seasonal chores you need to complete. Include things like cleaning the grill, power washing the patio, cleaning the windows, cleaning the gutters, checking the roof, preparing the lawn mower, inspecting the sprinkler system, cleaning the driveway and sidewalk, and organizing outdoor equipment in the garage. Here’s a helpful checklist with some additional action items. 

5. Solidify new cleaning habits.
After you finish up your spring cleaning, establish a new cleaning routine for the spring/summer that will help you stay on top of your chores. This can be as simple as cleaning for 5-10 minutes each day so your cleaning chores and tasks don’t get out of hand, or designating one weekend per month where you do a more simplified deep clean of your home. Warmer weather can signify new beginnings, new routines, and new habits, and developing a cleaning schedule that can help you maintain the tidiness of your home is a great place to start.