Archives: May 2017

Area Map

[vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_google_map height=”600px” lat=”38.348465″ lng=”-77.745856″ zoom=”12″ maptypecontrol=”true” zoomcontrol=”true”]Take a virtual trip around the area. You will find many amenities throughout the area.[/ultimate_google_map][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Buyers FAQs

5 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

  1. They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
  2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
  3. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process.
  4. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
  5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

Answering Your Home Buying Questions

Buying a home is both thrilling and a bit unnerving, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Both experienced home buyers and first-time buyers alike will benefit from the frequently asked questions below. Before you begin your Lake of the Woods search, Pat recommends that you prepare yourself for the journey by educating yourself. This will ensure you are a knowledgeable home buyer prepared to make a confident home buying decision, with her expert advice and counsel, of course!
Q – I’ve never purchased a home before.  Where should I begin?
A – Actually, you’ve already started the process. Fact-finding and reading articles is a great way to become a smart consumer. The highest priorities to focus on before you begin searching for specific areas, neighborhoods, or homes would be to:

  • Familiarize yourself with your personal finances.
  • Learn about the Lake of the Woods real estate market.
  • Carefully review your budget and begin to eliminate as much debt as possible.
  • Have a down payment and earnest money ready when the time comes to act and make your offer.

Your next step is to contact Pat. As your home buying specialist, Pat will protect your interest and manage the details of the real estate transaction on your behalf to your complete satisfaction.  For more experienced buyers, a little brush up on the real estate process wouldn’t be a bad idea, either, as this is an ever-changing industry. Of course, you’ll need Pat’s dedication, knowledge, and expertise to protect your interests too!
Q – With all the bad news about mortgage products and home foreclosures, how do I avoid making a big mistake when deciding which type of loan to select?
A – You should select a lending consultant. I am happy to recommend several trusted lending professionals, or you may choose your own. Having total confidence in your lender is important. Be sure you feel completely at ease with them.  They should speak to you in easy to understand terms.  Ask lots of questions and never sign any document until you know what you are signing and feel completely at ease signing it. And interest rates are extremely attractive! Of course, the type of loan best for you depends on several factors. Here are just a few:

  • How much money do you have for a down payment?
  • How long do you plan to live in the home?
  • Do you qualify for a FHA or VA loan?

Because there is a wide array of homes on the market in Lake of the Woods, Orange County, your choices are plentiful, and the time is right for you to buy!

The Swan Conveys

What prompts life’s journeys can be most unexpected. My now one-and-a half-year journey with Carl, the lone mute swan, began on my first viewing of a waterfront home for sale at Lake of the Woods in April of 2008. My husband liked the house, which was in need of extensive updating and repair. I loved the house; I saw tremendous potential in it becoming our home. And then, of course, the added allure of the swan! Did he, too, convey with the house? Each of the three times we visited prior to closing, the swan was right there at the dock—my personal welcoming committee of one—so, naturally, I assumed that he did.
By most accounts, I am a normal woman. Always somewhat of an “animal person,” as a child I brought stray dogs home, and once, even a bunny. I tried to hatch robins’ eggs on the old coal furnace in my grandfather’s cellar year after year. As I began my own family, cats became the pet of choice. I donate to the ASPCA regularly and would most likely get into a car accident to avoid hitting any animal running into the street. But that was the extent of it.
Now, however, I find myself caring for, and worrying about, Carl. My days begin and end with looking for him to confirm his safety. My husband has even lovingly indulged my passion by announcing “Your bird’s here!” when he is the first to notice that Carl is gracing us with his presence. Honored that Carl has “adopted” me, I believe it is my duty to know. I spend time researching information regarding swans and their behavior through the Regal Swan Foundation’s Ask the Swan Specialist forum. I want to learn; I want to understand; I want to participate.
My journey with Carl has been interesting, exciting, and rewarding! The first time he came into my yard and approached while I was sitting on a chair, I panicked. I jumped up, knocking the chair on its side, and ran. Carl didn’t waiver, though. He just sat next to the chair. I finally got the courage to sit in it, and we sat there, side-by-side, for an hour. And so our bond was formed.
I’ll never forget the first time I walked into my family room to see Carl sitting outside the door on the patio, which is now a regular occurrence. Then, even more incredibly, was the fist time I heard-and saw-him knocking on the door, now also a regular occurrence! Or when we first got our boat, how he would  escort us out of the cove to the main lake and wait for our return to escort us back to our dock. Or how he followed us out on the lake to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July and stayed with us until it got too crowded. Or how he scrambles into my yard for refuge when the younger, stronger male swans come through the cove. Or how he now is so used to the leaf blower, that he doesn’t even move when my husband blows the leaves around him. Or how me acknowledges me, my husband, and our guests, through his snorts and bleats.
Like many Lake of the Woods residents, I’ve hosted a great deal of company. When I hear from my past guests, each one asks about Carl. I’ve received calls from concerned neighbors to check on him when his behavior seemed unusual. When I asked my friend to care for my cats for a few days while I am out of town, she asked, “What about Carl?” A resident who regularly fishes in “my” cove introduces Carl by name to his guests. Carl is becoming a celebrity in his own right!
As part of this journey, I’ve tried to understand why Carl is important to me, and I initially drew the conclusion that it has something to do with being a nurturer and being needed. My only child, a 21 year old daughter, is away at school. But Carl, as an older, disabled male with challenges, needs me! And I am happy to provide him with a friendly place to rest. Carl has given me the opportunity to truly commune with nature to a degree I could have never imagined and to participate in what the lake has to offer in that sense.
But is it that simple, really? Or does it go much deeper? Will someone be so compassionate to me should I become old, disabled, and/or alone? Will someone provide me a safe harbor? Will someone be there to protect me from others who want to prey on my weaknesses? Will someone be there to assist me in keeping my dignity through my golden years?
Through Carl, I’ve learned that journeys are there to be taken if you open yourself to the possibilities. I’ve learned that caring is contagious. I’ve learned that we are fortunate to live among great people at the lake. I’ve learned that the tides have turned; I am now Carl’s personal welcoming committee of one. To my utter delight, I’ve learned that Carl did convey with the house!
If you stop by to visit, most likely you will find Carl perusing the cove or napping on my beach or in my yard; you will find me immersed in the beauty and wonder of it all!

Get to know Pat

Pat is a dedicated, energetic Lake of the Woods resident who is fortunate to be able to share her love for Lake of the Woods by serving the community as a full-time, professional, top-producing REALTOR. Pat believes in being part of the solution and is therefore active in her Lake of the Woods community. Pat serves on the External Affairs Committee, Planning Committee, and is Vice Chair of the Communications Committee of the Lake of the Woods Association, is President of the Civic Club, volunteers with Cause 4 Paws (an Orange County feline rescue group), and is a block captain of the Lake of the Woods Neighborhood Watch Program. She differentiates herself by being the greatest resource to her clients through her knowledge of the Lake of the Woods community and real estate expertise.
Pat also writes articles on real estate on behalf of the External Affairs Committee and on wildlife and the community as a hobby for the Lake of the Woods newspaper, Lake Currents. Check out her blog here!
Pat and her husband, John, purchased their home at Lake of the Woods as “weekenders” in 2008. However, after realizing that they spent the first 51 of 52 weekends at the lake, they decided to make the move to become full-time residents, as the “allure of the lake” was simply too great to resist! To read about Pat’s journey, as well as that of other residents, click here.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Pat moved to Virginia in 1980. Prior to making Lake of the Woods their home, Pat and her family lived in Northern Virginia. Her past Northern Virginia work history includes Commercial Property Leasing, Mortgage Banking, and owning a North American Van Lines moving franchise with her husband. This combination of work experiences serves Pat’s clients well, as they all enhance her skills as a REALTOR.
Pat and John have one daughter, Alexandra, who was recently graduated from Old Dominion University and has recently begun lending her expertise as Pat’s Marketing Director.
Pat is a nature enthusiast, as you can see by Carl’s Story and Carl’s Corner. Fascinated by wildlife, Lake of the Woods has definitely inspired this passion! One of the benefits Pat appreciates most about Lake of the Woods is that the environment truly allows one to commune with nature as much, or as little, as one would like.
But please don’t take Pat’s word for it…allow her to take you on a boat tour of the lake!! John’s favorite activity is acting as “Captain John!”

Getting your home ready

5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

  1. Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.
  2. Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
  3. Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
  4. Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.
  5. Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments?

10 Low Cost Ways to Make Your Lake of the Woods Home Buyers Say WOW!

These low cost strategies to make your Lake of the Woods and surrounding areas home more appealing are sure to have your potential buyers saying WOW! Plus these tips are quick and easy.

  1. Mow the lawn and trim the bushes – especially the ones that block your windows and diminish sunlight.
  2. Purchase a new doormat.
  3. Add a bright pot of flowers (or even a small evergreen in winter) on your front porch.
  4. Replace any old, tarnished doorknobs on your doors and polish or replace your house numbers.
  5. Power-wash your driveway, sidewalk, and the exterior siding of your home.
  6. Edge the grass around walks and trees plus add fresh mulch to your planting beds.
  7. Purchase a new mailbox.
  8. Upgrade the outdoor lighting for a feeling of safety (yes, buyers drive by your home at night too) and to add dramatic effect.
  9. Clean your gutters.
  10. Place a seasonal wreath on your front door.

 Lake of the Woods Home Selling Made Easier!

While there are many details to be handled during the sale of your home, from preparing your home for the market, pricing the property correctly, negotiating offers, inspections, and so on, you can breathe easier knowing every detail will be handled on your behalf to your complete satisfaction. Contact Pat, your real estate expert for more information about a complimentary pre-listing consultation today!

Request Your Complimentary Home Evaluation

While many real estate agents still use the old fashion “PFA” (Pulled From the Air) method to determine the fair market value of your home, I will remove all the guesswork when your home is evaluated.  Your home will be priced properly using current data to perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). In the CMA, Pat will collect and compare data for homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood. This system will analyze homes that are comparable to yours in terms of house size, lot size, improvements, locations, and schools.

Home Evaluation

In today’s highly competitive real estate market, pricing your home RIGHT is critical. Price it too high, and your home will frighten away potential buyers and languish on the market. Price it too low, and you forfeit your hard-earned equity. When you request your Home Evaluation CMA, you benefit from receiving a comprehensive market analysis based on comparable recently sold homes and homes sold with similar features and conditions in your area. Pat’s Home Evaluation CMA delivers superior results – Results you can count on! Please read Pat’s testimonials.

Expert Marketing

The information you provide will enable Pat to initiate the comparative market analysis. In order to complete the analysis, Pat will contact you to schedule a time to visit your home, as viewing your home allows her to most accurately provide her opinion of value. In addition, she will provide you with her innovative, comprehensive marketing plan designed specifically for your property.

Sold Report

Are you interested in learning what homes have sold for in the community?  Simply complete the fields in the form below, and you will receive a list of recently sold homes. When it comes time to place your home on today’s highly competitive market, please remember that pricing your home RIGHT is so critical. When you’re ready, be sure to request your Home Evaluation CMA.

Comparative Market Analysis

The information you provide will enable Pat to begin the comparative market analysis. In order to complete the analysis, Pat will contact you to schedule a time to visit your home. Read what satisfied sellers have had to say about working with Pat!

Area Information

Nestled among the trees, equidistant from historic Fredericksburg and Culpeper, VA, lies Lake of the Woods, in Locust Grove, VA. A gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, equestrian center, community center, fire and rescue department, co-op preschool, and a multi-denominational Church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, water-skiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you prefer a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved.
As you peruse the fabulous communtiy, the eclectic mix of home styles and sizes is readily apparent. You can actually see the decades of development-from the tiny 800+ square feet cabins from the 60s and 70s to the 7-8000 square feet homes of the 2000s. While there are many sections of the community, there aren’t “old” sections and “new sections.” There is old and new everywhere! To me, this is one of the many attributes that makes Lake of the Woods so desirable; Lake of the Woods is no “cookie cutter” development!
Located in Orange County, we offer the perfect location! We are approximately 50 miles from Richmond, Charlottesville, the Washington, DC metro area, and 25 miles from James Madison’s Montpelier. We are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes and HOA assessments. Couple those low taxes and assessments with home prices ranging from $100,000 to over $1,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the ideal community for full-time residents, as well as weekenders and part-timers. But don’t take Pat’s word for it; please come see for yourself! Pat will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why Pat loves Lake of the Woods, and why “It’s another beautiful day at the lake!” Read about Pat’s journey to Lake of the Woods, as well as that of other residents, in her blog!

Journey to the Lake

As a Lake of the Woods resident since 2008 (as a weekender and a full time resident), I’d like to share my Journey to the Lake. My husband, John, and I were interested in finding the perfect location for a second/vacation home. Initially, we were open to looking at a beach location, as well as a lake. We began searching in the summer of 2007 through the spring of 2008 for our getaway.
We decided fairly early on that the beach just wasn’t for us because of distance from Northern Virginia and lack of activity during “non-peak season,” we began focusing on the lakes in the area. Having made the trek to Lake Anna and Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia, and Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, something wasn’t “perfect” for us regarding each location. Lake Anna was too busy for us, and Smith Mountain Lake and Deep Creek Lake were both too far for us to enjoy a home regularly, and we also didn’t care for how few conveniences were located close by (ie, grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, etc).

Then we remembered having visited Lake of the Woods years ago, when we had been a guest of a friend. After our first house-hunting visit to the lake in early spring of 2008, we knew where we wanted to be. Lake of the Woods, as a gated, secured community, gave us peace of mind as weekenders. The community offered us close proximity (1 hr 15 min from Reston),  tons of conveniences, as we residents are supported by a grocery store, pharmacy, gas stations, cleaners, nail salons, automotive services, doctors, a library, a post office, many restaurants, and a brand new elementary school-all within 2 1/2 miles of the gates), over 50 clubs and organizations in which to participate, a fabulous club house overlooking the lake that serves excellent food, and a clear, pristine lake!! Oh…did I mention the PGA golf course and equestrian center within the community?? And the Community Center, and the non-denominational Church within the gates? Or the walking trails? And what about the wildlife!
We purchased our home in June of 2008, and after that first year (52 weekends), we realized that we had been to our home at Lake of the Woods 51 of those 52 weekends! That’s when we decided that the “allure of the lake” was just too great to resist and made the change from weekenders to full time residents!
John commutes to Northern Virginia 3 days per week, and I am fortunate to be able to share my love for the lake as a REALTOR at Keller Williams Capital Properties (located directly across from the front gate between AT&T and CVS), introducing others to this incredible community!
Call me today at 540/735-7998 for a boat and car tour!


Nestled among the trees equidistant from historic Fredericksburg and Culpeper, VA, lies Lake of the Woods. A gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything one could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, a co-op preschool, and a multi-denominational church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, water-skiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you prefer a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved.