The Public Weighs in on Virginia Beach Project

On February 14, 2018, the last of the participants in a written survey turned in their answers to the question: What should be done with the old Dome site in Virginia Beach?

Read more: The Public Weighs in on Virginia Beach Project

Housing Prices in the Wild, Wild West

Housing prices out west continue to raise eyebrows. On March 2, 2018, The Mercury News reported that a home in Sunnyvale, CA, sold for $2 million. That kind of price is not unique, but in this case, the two-bedroom, two-bath home was just 848 square feet. The modest rancher was originally listed for $1.45 million and sold in two days at $550,000 over the asking price.

The beige stucco home is on a 6,000-square-foot lot, which is large by California standards. There is a roomy back yard with a small patio plus a one-car garage, a short concrete driveway and wooden fencing around the perimeter of the property.

Sunnyvale has become the hot new market for homebuyers because it is accessible to Silicon Valley, yet not as pricey as areas a bit closer in—yet. The unobtrusive rancher sold at a price of $2,358/SF, the highest the Multiple Listing Service has recorded for similar properties in this area since 2000.

By contrast, the median list price of a home in Newport News, VA, is $170,700, which works out to $115 per square foot. A home comparable to the Sunnyvale rancher would sell for about $175,000. Of newer construction than the California property, it would have about 1,580 square feet, be situated on more acreage and present a more attractive appearance overall.

Newport News, VA - Smart City Initiatives

February 2018 began on a positive note in Newport news when the City hosted a Smart Cities Readiness Workshop, the purpose of which was to develop strategies for implementing smart infrastructure for the area.

Workshop participants, which numbered more than 125, included city officials and department heads, business leaders, university representatives and technology professionals. Overseeing the workshop were members of the Smart Cities Council, which assists communities in their plans to further inclusion, innovation and investment through its Readiness Program.

Workshop attendees discussed initiatives such as converting street lights to LEDs, improving public safety with videos that could be used by first responders in an emergency, and providing citizens with more access to open data through technology like free Wi-Fi. It's all about putting the latest technological advancements to use and taking best advantage of the many opportunities for building a smart city.

Summit Pointe is Coming to Chesapeake

Drivers on Interstate 64 can see the tall building under construction in the Greenbrier section of Chesapeake. You can’t miss it. It’s the tallest tower in town.

Read more: Summit Pointe is Coming to Chesapeake

Norfolk, VA - Redeveloping Wards Corner

Asking the opinions of residents and local businesspeople is always a good idea when community improvements are being considered. That’s what happened on February 7, 2018, when locals came together with Norfolk council members and other planners to talk about Wards Corner.

Once a vital business district, decades of abandonment and neglect had caused Wards Corner to become an eyesore and an unsafe area. However, a new development plan has grown out of one drafted in 2004. The original plan focused on rejuvenating the area, which prompted the development of the Harris Teeter Shopping Center as well as the Norfolk Wellness and Fitness Center.

Wards Corner used to be a popular destination, and the City of Norfolk believes it can be again. The ideas that were presented to locals for consideration on February 7 involve a 20-year redevelopment plan. Norfolk’s population and income growth have been encouraging points in terms of the revitalization outlook for Wards Corner, as well as its location in being on higher ground that is not susceptible to flooding.

However, there are issues to overcome. For one thing, the City doesn’t own the land; there are individual property owners. However, the owners appear to be interested in revitalization and are attending redevelopment meetings to learn more. Residents and business people are also focused on safety; a pedestrian-friendly, bike-accessible environment; landscape beautification and more businesses, including restaurants. Most of all, they want to see positive changes happen sooner rather than later in Wards Corner. City representatives say a plan based on the ideas discussed at the February 7 meeting is expected to be available by October.

The Local Scene

Fun Summer Events in Newport News

If you are new to our area, you may be looking for fun things to do this summer. Here are three events in Newport News you won’t want to miss:


A World-Famous Attraction

If you like amusement parks, you’re definitely in luck if you are a Hampton Roads resident, because you are practically within shouting distance of world-famous Busch Gardens Williamsburg.


Fun Dining Off the Beaten Path

If you’ve just arrived in Newport News, you are probably busy trying to find your way around town. That’s hard work and sooner or later, you’re going to get hungry. While you can find virtually any kind of food you want in our area, you may be interested in knowing which restaurants have long been favorites among the locals. Here are two that, while as different from each other as night and day, might offer just what you’re looking for in a satisfying dining experience.


At One with the Sea in Hampton Roads

“Water, water everywhere,” is what you might be thinking if you just moved to the Hampton Roads area from, say, the corn belt or the mountains of Utah. Perhaps you’re here to take up a new job, or you’ve come to our area to be closer to your grown children and their families. Whatever the reason, we’re delighted you’re here, but we also realize that life in southeastern Virginia may represent a bit of a change for you.


Getting Out and About in Newport News

If you like the great outdoors, you’ll love living in Newport News. Thanks to the moderate weather, you can be outside much of the year. If you are new to the area, here are a few suggestions to start you off on the right outdoor track:



Staging your Home for Sale—6 Great Tips

As a REALTOR®, I have witnessed many a prospective buyer’s reaction to the appearance of a home that is up for sale. I have listened to their comments and made mental notes about their likes and dislikes, what they found attractive and what turned them off. Some of the comments were universal, and I’ve put together a list of those I’ve heard most often. With that list as the foundation, here are six great tips for staging your home so you can impress the next potential buyer who comes through the door.


Location Matters

You no doubt have a wish list for your dream home, and that includes the location. The things that are important to you now will likely have an effect on the value of your home in coming years, if and when you decide to sell. But finding a good match—dream home vs. location—is not always easy.


Choosing Your Ideal Neighborhood

If you’ve lived in the Hampton Roads area for a while, you may be familiar with many of the neighborhoods. However, if you’re coming here from another state or a distant city, finding the neighborhood where you and your family will feel most comfortable will take a little research.


Will a Move to Newport News Benefit Your Business?

If you’re looking for a mid-Atlantic location that offers more exposure for your business plus the kind of family environment you want, Newport News might just be the answer.


Soothing the Moving Blues

Everybody hates moving, beginning with the task of finding the most responsible movers at a price that won’t make you faint. I’ve been in your shoes, and as a REALTOR®, I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to offer some advice to my clients both from my own experience and from the “adventures” that others have shared with me. To that end, here are five tips that I hope will make the effort of moving from one home to another a bit easier.



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