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The Neighborhood Scoop: Ghent

Artsy? Check.

Historic? Check.

Shopping? Check.

Entertainment? Check.

Food? Check.

Ghent, in Norfolk, Virginia pretty much has it all. We are going to tell you just how awesome this neighborhood is and why you should make this area a focus for your next move.


Ghents median real estate price is $508,075 and the average rental price in Ghent is currently $1,354, based on NeighborhoodScout’s exclusive analysis. Rents here are currently lower in price than 51.6% of Virginia neighborhoods.

The real estate here is primarily made up of small (studio to two bedroom) to medium sized (three or four bedroom) homes and complexes. Many of the residences in the Ghent are relatively historic, built no later than 1939, and in some cases, quite a bit earlier. A number of residences were also built between 1940 and 1969.

Real estate vacancies are 6.9%, which is lower than one will find in 63.3% of American neighborhoods. Demand for real estate in Ghent is above average for the U.S., and may signal some demand for either price increases or new construction of residential product for this neighborhood.

Norfolk’s Colley Avenue was voted the People’ Choice designation for Great Places in America in 2015.


For soul-satisfying blast from the past, head to Doumar’s Cone and BBQ, a classic drive-in, whose owner created the world’s first waffle cone! Drive up, order and dine in the comfort of your own car or grab a seat inside and take a step back in time. While in the neighborhood, sip and savor at Mermaid Winery, Virginia’ first urban winery, and enjoy a tasty bite paired with a delicious wine flight in their intimate tasting room. Dine al fresco on upscale comfort food at Supper Southern Morsels’ rooftop terrace or check out what’s on tap at O’Conner Brewing Company, a local Norfolk craft brewery, or the Public House on Colley. If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan friendly dishes, restaurants throughout Ghent offer an array of options to quell your cravings.


Ghent is a hotbed of boutique and locally-owned shops, antique stores and specialty retailers. If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your stay in Norfolk, look to boutiques like Le Marche, Kitsch, and A. Dodsons along Colley Avenue. The neighborhood is a collector’s and antique enthusiast’s paradise with vintage and antique shops around every corner! You never know what you’ll find so be sure to factor in some extra time to really dig around. In need of a tasty beverage? Stop by bottle BOX for craft beer to go! Or if you’re shopping for a tasty treat, don’t miss Pendulum Fine Meats’ deli and market and be sure to stop by Savor the Olive for one of the widest selections in fine oils and vinegars in the region.


If you are visiting Norfolk during their seasons, grab tickets to the Virginia Symphony and the Virginia Opera for truly world-class live performances. Lovers of the arts are encouraged to explore over 5,000 years of arts in one of the country’s most impressive museums, the Chrysler Museum of Art. Here you’ll find everything from painting and sculpture to decorative arts, photography and a nationally acclaimed glass collection. Speaking of glass, head to the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio on the museum’s campus for a free glassmaking demonstration at noon. The studio is one of the country’s most cutting edge and offers classes at all level s of expertise, from beginner to advanced. For an engaging activity the whole family can enjoy, be sure to check out the Color Me Mine ceramic studio. Or for a Norfolk Memento, head to the Mermaid Factory where you ca unleash your creativity through paint and create your very own mermaid to bring home.


10 Ways to Increase Your Home Value on a Budget

1. Curb Appeal is Everything.

Taking the time to spruce up your front yard will make a HUGE impact on buyers. We know you will be living inside the home, but let’s get real- no one wants an ugly house with beautiful interior. You don’t need to fish out a great landscaper to get this done either. Cut the grass, plant some grass seed, edge up a bit, put some fresh mulch down and plant some low maintenance plants.

2. Fresh Paint Makes a Huge Difference.

Not all paint is created equal. Before you get all Picasso on your house, check out this blog on the 4 paint colors that will LOWER your home value. Make sure to stay with nice neutral colors that will appease MOST people. The more they can envision their home items in your home, the better.

3. Can You Handle It?

Doing something as simple as changing out the handles on your cabinet doors makes a huge difference. Take a trip to you local hardware store to check out the huge array of handles! Get creative!

4. Because Everyone Notices Junky Caulk.

Now we are getting into the good stuff. Replacing caulk. We promise after you do this, you’ll feel so accomplished you might want to DIY everything in your house! There are tons of tutorials on removing and replacing caulk. That’s right- go get YouTube certified, it’s easy-peasy. There’s nothing like going into a bathroom and seeing appliances that looks clean and unused. No one wants to get clean in a dirty bathroom. It’s also inexpensive, costing you no more than $40 for the entire project.

5. Coordinate Your Appliances.

Your appliances a bit outdated? No need to go buy the latest dishwasher. Pro Tip: replace the panel! I know right?! Who knew!!! Matching front panels will make your kitchen look like you did a full gut and remodel! Totally worth it.

6. Deep Cleaning Isn’t Just For The Spring.

Okay okay, there is nothing more draining than cleaning a house to be “move ready”. That is a whole new level of clean. If you want to save the most money, then break it up by rooms. It may take a bit, but going from room to room will be less stressful. Rent carpet cleaners, get the supplies (Dollar Tree has great name-brand cleaning supples), buy those gloves (Also at the Dollar Tree), turn on some music and GET.TO.WORK. Other option- hop on Craigslist or Yelp to find some local inexpensive cleaning services.

7. Buy New Shades.

When you step into a room, you notice things. Some of the first things that pop out are the window shades and the lamp shades (if you are staging your home…which you should, but that’s another blog). Go to your local hardware store and give your windows and lamps a complete makeover without crushing your wallet.

8. Faucet Revamp.

Who knew that replacing your sink faucet would make much of a difference. Now, these all vary in price. It really depends on how fancy you want your buyers washing their hands. The top sellers are the “hands free” touch tap faucets. This will most definitely step up your kitchen game.

9. No, Green Shag Carpeting is Not In.

Carpet should be like your wall color- nothing crazy. And please, if you put in carpet DO NOT put in carpet that feels like tile. If it doesn’t feel comfy walking barefoot then what’s the point? Depending on what you want to do, you may luck out and score some inexpensive carpet tiles. Just make sure the installation is grade-A work.

10. Protect Your Investment.

Home warranties are extremely important. What are they for? What do they do? Well, long story short they ARE NOT Homeowners Insurance. Home Warranty is a service contract that covers essential applications and home system components when they break down due to normal wear and tear – items that most homeowners insurance plans do not cover.

You’re in luck! We have a vendor that we work with that would be more than happy to make sure your home value boosting projects stay in tip-top shape– Click here for our vendor list.

Hope you enjoyed the tips!

Thinking about selling your home soon?

We can get it sold in 33 days or the commission is FREE!

Click here to make your appointment or call 757-717-1003 today! We are here 8am -9pm Monday -Sunday!

6 Figure Secrets w/ Chantel Ray & Pat Hiban

Stop wasting your time and start earning the six-figure salary you deserve with five real estate strategies that ACTUALLY WORK. Chantel Ray, owner of Chantel Ray Real Estate, recently joined New York Times best-selling author and founder of Rebus University, Pat Hiban, to discuss her controversial real estate sales system that’s turning heads and helping agents generate huge commissions. Learn about the strategies comprising her sales system, which she dubbed 5 Alive, in this post.

Real Estate Strategies for Cold Calls: Call 200

Every agent knows it: some leads are just plain terrible. Trying to engage them is a constant struggle, and once they are on the line, they want nothing to do with real estate agents. At best, these leads are a training resource for new agents because cold calling almost never works, right?

Wrong. With the Call 200 strategy, agents are able to get cold leads on the line and convert them into clients at an almost unnatural rate. The secret to this strategy’s success isn’t just in what’s said; it’s also in the delivery.

Real Estate Strategies for Warm Calls: Power Hour

Calling members of your SOI isn’t nearly as difficult as calling cold leads. It’s still a challenge, however, and some agents really hate the idea of potentially bothering the people they like and respect with sales calls.
Agents who see these types of calls as a potential bother are approaching sales from the wrong angle. With the Power Hour strategy, sales calls are about giving back to the people you know just as much as they are about generating clients.

Real Estate Strategies for Social Media: Facebook Frenzy

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. If you’re a real estate agent, you need to accept that you can’t be a top agent these days without a strong social media presence. Even if you hate sites like Facebook and Twitter, creating that presence doesn’t have to be a soul-crushing endeavor.

Sure, a lot of people online appear to be somewhat insincere, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be. In fact, when it comes to Chantel’s Facebook Frenzy real estate strategies, getting involved with your genuine passions and interests is key.

Real Estate Strategies for Open Houses: Monster Open House

What’s worse than calling hundreds of leads and not setting a single appointment? Oh, that’s right—taking the time to organize an open house and not having a single potential buyer attend.

This is just one of the many potential problems the Monster Open House strategy helps agents avoid. Not only will you get plenty of potential buyers in attendance if you follow Chantel’s open-house guidelines, you’ll walk away with hot buyer leads and leave a great impression on nearby residents.

Real Estate Strategies for Rapport Building: Elbow Rubbing

Some agents are naturals when it comes to meeting new people. Unfortunately, these agents are exceedingly rare, but good people skills absolutely can be learned.

With Chantel’s real estate strategies for elbow rubbing, it’s possible for any agent to pick up the people skills they’ll need to turn strangers into friends and potential clients. These strategies also discuss the social mistakes all agents must avoid in order to maintain a professional, friendly presence.

If you want to learn more about the real estate strategies that make up the 5 Alive system, listen to the complete podcast interview with Chantel Ray. To sample the 5 Alive course on Rebus University for free, click here.

To learn how you can join the team and gain more SIX-FIGURE SECRETS like this, click here!

Pat Hiban is the author of NYT best selling book “6 steps to 7 figures – A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Destiny”, founder of Rebus University and the host of Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars an Agent to Agent Real Estate Radio Podcast with Hiban Digital in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Neighborhood Scoop: Williamsburg

You want it, it’s in the Williamsburg area.

History? Got that — the downtown area is a restored 18th century village. America’s first permanent English colony of Jamestown is nearby. So are the battlefields at Yorktown, where the British army surrendered and ended the Revolutionary War.

Water? Got that — boat on the James, York and Chickahominy rivers, sail on the Chesapeake Bay. Drive an hour to swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

Entertainment? Got that, too — Busch Gardens, Water Country, shopping, restaurants, dinner-movie theaters, miniature golf, even ghost tours.

Education? The College of William & Mary is among the best. Public schools are good, too.

You even have access to big towns like Richmond and D.C…what more is there to say?

Williamsburg’s Current Real Estate Market

Compared to Northern Virginia, the cost of living and home prices are much lower — the average home price in 2010 was $333,500. But if you want a million-dollar, waterfront home with some land, it can be found. In James City County last year, 20 homes sold for $900,000 and above.
But affordable homes are here, too, so it’s no wonder that the area is desired by young families and retirees alike. With the Hampton Roads area home to every branch of the military, it’s inevitable for military families to live here, too.
Saying “I live in Williamsburg” doesn’t just mean you live in the city of Williamsburg, however. Under Virginia’s independent city and county system, a “Williamsburg address” might mean James City County or York County. So while about 80 homes sold in the 9-square-mile city of Williamsburg in 2010, about 750 sold in 144-square-mile James City County.
Because of the first-time homebuyers program, the housing market went in “fits and starts” in 2010. Home prices were lower than in 2009 and spent more time on the market. Buyers generally spent under $300,000, and a $75,000 fixer upper could be found in Williamsburg city.
The area really has tripled in size since the 1990s. Then, there was one high school; now there are three in the Williamsburg-James City County public school system. But the area still holds a small town feel.
Popular neighborhoods range from homes in exclusive, gated resort communities to stately brick or columned homes with a most definite Southern flair. Homes on streets leading into the city of Williamsburg are often decorated with fruit wreaths and other decorations — the pineapple, after all, is a symbol of hospitality dating back to colonial America.
The average price of a home in the Williamsburg area in 2010 was $333,500.

To look our beautiful Williamsburg listings, just click HERE!

Decisions, Decisions: Flipping Houses Vs. Rental Properties

Okay- Let me start by telling you that real estate is one of the quickest ways to financial freedom.

Got it? Good.

Now lets get into the nitty gritty.

Flipping houses and owning “buy and hold” rental properties are two of the most popular real estate strategies. These two strategies work very differently, and generally its best if you choose one path. But which one is right for you?

GOALS AND LIFESTYLE: What are they? What do you envision for yourself?

House flipping entails finding the right deal, fixing it, and then selling it to make a profit. Usually you’re looking for homes that are deeply discounted, and in disrepair. Flipping can be a great way to make money, and that’s why it’s alluring. Many flippers can make anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 on one deal alone. However, it’s important to remember that flipping is transactional.

Have you seen Flip or Flop on HGTV? They paint a great picture, but some important behind-the-scenes details are missing. It’s like having a paycheck-based job. You have to work constantly, and always be on the hunt for the next project. Flippers have to hustle! A typical project takes about six months to complete, and then once you profit off the sale, you’ll need to move onto another to make more money.


If you want real estate to be your new full-time career, then maybe flipping is for you. For most new investors, passive income is the way to go. “Buy and hold” investing is a great way to sit back and collect rent checks, without neglecting your family, job, or other commitments. If you’re thinking that being a landlord doesn’t sound very passive, then your next step would be deciding on a property management team.

If you put the right safeguards in place, renting out your properties can be passive and scalable. Our properties earn an average monthly rent of $700. Each property brings you cash flow every single month, the tax benefits are tremendous, and it’s a great way to build your net worth.


There is a little something called the “1% rule”. Basically you want the rent of the property to be about 1% of the purchase price of the home so you can get a better return for your money. For example, if you buy a $400,000 home it would be $4,000 to rent (which is extremely hard to entice renters), but if you have a $100,000 home it is WAY easier to rent out for $1000. If you had four of these $100K properties you would gross $48,000 at the end of the year, BUT if you rent out the $400,000 for $2,700 (a much reasonable rental price), you’d only gross $32,400.

Make sense? A basic rule of thumb is making sure you are getting AT LEAST a 10% return. ($1000 rent on a $100K property = 12K year gross = 12% return).

Anything less than 10% and well, you can do better.

Whether you are going to be a Flip or Flop pro or rent those properties out all over your neck of the woods, we have amazing listings you can look at now. Click here!

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