Category Archives: Leesburg

a suburban neighborhood

The Differences between City, Suburban, and Rural Living

Every person in the world has a different opinion when it comes to urban and countryside lifestyles. Some would never give up the city amenities, no matter the financial burden and health threats that kind of life imposes. Others who experienced country life say that getting away from the city where you wake up to the sound of birds instead of traffic noise has no price. Still, there is a third option for those who are a part of both of these worlds – the suburbs. Each of these has many benefits and some downsides. Knowing the differences between city, suburban, and rural living can help you find where you belong if you’re starting to reconsider your living conditions.

Life in rural areas

Life in the countryside is a dream come true for anyone who wants to get rid of stress and anxiety induced by big-city survival. Rural living includes life in the open, spread-out areas and small communities. There is a lot of undeveloped lands, usually surrounded by magnificent nature.

This lifestyle is a choice of people who enjoy close-knit communities, where everyone knows each other. You get to enjoy the vast space, lovely views, healing nature. This is the perfect choice for people in search of more sustainable ways of living. With a bit of gardening and farming skills, you can provide for yourself and your family and perhaps even start a small business. In addition, the peace, quiet and clean air makes it perfect for those working remotely.

Since Virginia offers majestic nature, many young families and retirees decide to move to local counties. Besides the obvious health benefits of clean air and a stress-free environment, they provide a lower cost of living and much more affordable housing.

Countryside in Virginia
Magnificent woods, lakes, rivers, and trails could be at your disposal if you move to the countryside.

The downsides of living in the countryside

Even though countryside residents have many health and financial benefits, there are some downsides. One of them is the commute issue. If you don’t work close to your home, you’ll need to drive to work in the city. Even though some rural areas such as Orange County are less than 30 miles from Charlottesville, which makes the commute to work bearable, not all places have the same luck.

In addition, local shops and amenities can be found only in the strict village center. Thus, you will need to stock up on food and supplies to avoid driving to town anytime you need something. That means that families usually need more than one car to get around. Also, with fewer amenities, you have fewer available services. Not being used to this occurrence can be hard if you’ve moved from the city to the countryside. However, living in rural areas makes you resilient and craftier. After you get used to such living, you’ll eliminate the need for many things.

Suburban life

There are clear differences between city, suburban, and rural living, including housing costs, development patterns, and population numbers. However, the difference between suburban and city lifestyles was never clearly defined. Finding the perfect home in a suburb is a choice of many growing families, young professionals, and retirees searching for a slower pace and more affordable cost of living. The benefits of such a lifestyle are many since you get to live peacefully and more comfortably. Plus, the commute to work isn’t as daunting as when you live in the countryside.

A house in a suburban neighborhood
Suburban lifestyle, no matter how convenient, may often lack green surfaces and have nearly the same living costs as the city does.

The good and bad side of being “in-between”

Life in the suburbs is different from city life due to a slower pace and more affordable housing. Still, a suburb is considered a subset of the city. There is no official definition for it. It’s not a central part of the city, nor is it a town of its own. Some suburbs share some country-like living amenities, but still, they are not the countryside either. The cost of living is very similar to that in cities, and since cities are constantly growing and expanding, places around them are often modified with new buildings construction.

It’s safe to say that cities are slowly swallowing the suburbs, making them closer to the core. This is a good and a bad thing since you will be a homeowner in a competitive market. Still, everything you were trying to avoid while living in the city will eventually catch up with you. However, if you’ve tasted the suburban life and you need more action, maybe the city is something worth considering. Since most moving companies provide their services to wider areas, a transfer to the city from the suburbs is not something you should worry about.

City lifestyle

Needless to say that cities are the centers of happenings. They are densely populated hubs of industries, cultures, and politics. There is no better place for work opportunities, education, social and cultural life, and thousands of other amenities. Often you will hear that cities have a life of their own, that they never sleep, and that is true. They are the places where everything is happening, where progress takes place and dreams come true. Still, achieving those dreams is not always easy.

Busy streets of Richmond, VA
One of the perks of living in the city is the fact that you can get almost everywhere on foot.

Life in the city takes its toll

Even though life in the city can give a lot, it takes the same. To sustain in such an environment, you have to work very hard and overburden yourself with life’s many stressful factors. Daily traffic jams, rush, ever-emerging bills, limited living space, polluted air, lack of green surfaces, high costs of living, and many other small things add up to a substantial overwhelming worry. For example, for the price of a tiny apartment in NYC, you can get two beautiful homes in the countryside. This change can help you get the home of your dreams and a passive income. Even with the recent fluctuations in the housing markets worldwide, investing in real estate is always a great idea.

City life eats your money, and you can never earn as much as you can spend. No wonder if you feel a sudden rush to run away from it all. You don’t have to make a radical change and move to the countryside, but you can try living in the suburbs for a while. Even though the moving process takes a lot of time and preparation, you can still get everything ready in 7 days if you develop a good strategy.

Conclusion

Leaving the city would certainly make you healthier. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be happier. Country life is not for everyone – you have to be ready for it. The urge to get away is becoming more frequent with young Newyorkers who are moving to the countryside looking for sustainable ways of living. Others, however, find it hard to let go of all the city amenities. In addition, for some, the move is a financial necessity or comes with age. Still, it’s essential to know your options when the time comes to change directions. Whether you decide to focus on your career, family, or eco-friendly lifestyle, understanding the differences between city, suburban, and rural living can help you turn your life around.

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Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

313 Waterfield Ter NE, Leesburg, VA 20176

313 Waterfield Terrace NE, Leesburg, Virginia now Under Contract by the Licata Group!

Welcome to 313 Waterfield Terrace! This well-maintained, pride of ownership town home in the sought-after Exeter subdivision has been meticulously cared for and continuously updated over the last fifteen years of ownership. Once inside, you are welcomed by gleaming hardwood floors, shadowboxing, and crown molding. The kitchen is bright and features granite countertops and a breakfast area. The pass-through from the kitchen to the formal dining room will make entertaining a breeze. The family room on the main level is spacious and offers access to the deck. The upper level boasts an amazing owner’s suite with a walk-in closet, and en-suite bath, as well as two more bedrooms and another full bath. As you enter the lower level you will find a large family room, another full bath, and a laundry room/storage area. Relax on the deck with your favorite beverage overlooking your landscaped, fenced-in backyard. In addition to being in an amazing area close to downtown Leesburg, Leesburg outlet mall, and Ida Lee Park. All the updates and fine finishes make this the one!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble

With home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a closer look at the market data indicates this is nothing like 2006 for three major reasons.

1. The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans.

Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is an indicator of the availability of mortgage money. The higher the index, the easier it is to obtain a mortgage. The MCAI more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869). Today, the index stands at 130. As an example of the difference between today and 2006, let’s look at the volume of mortgages that originated when a buyer had less than a 620 credit score.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, reiterates this point:

“There are marked differences in today’s run up in prices compared to 2005, which was a bubble fueled by risky loans and lenient underwriting. Today, loans with high-risk features are absent and mortgage underwriting is prudent.”

2. Homeowners aren’t using their homes as ATMs this time.

During the housing bubble, as prices skyrocketed, people were refinancing their homes and pulling out large sums of cash. As prices began to fall, that caused many to spiral into a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of the house).

Today, homeowners are letting their equity build. Tappable equity is the amount available for homeowners to access before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio (thus still leaving them with at least 20% equity). In 2006, that number was $4.6 billion. Today, that number stands at over $8 billion.

Yet, the percentage of cash-out refinances (where the homeowner takes out at least 5% more than their original mortgage amount) is half of what it was in 2006.

3. This time, it’s simply a matter of supply and demand.

FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) dominated the housing market leading up to the 2006 housing bubble and drove up buyer demand. Back then, housing supply more than kept up as many homeowners put their houses on the market, as evidenced by the over seven months’ supply of existing housing inventory available for sale in 2006. Today, that number is barely two months.

Builders also overbuilt during the bubble but pulled back significantly over the next decade. Sam Khater, VP and Chief Economist, Economic & Housing Research at Freddie Macexplains that pullback is the major factor in the lack of available inventory today:

“The main driver of the housing shortfall has been the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes.”

Here’s a chart that quantifies Khater’s remarks:

Today, there are simply not enough homes to keep up with current demand.

Bottom Line

This market is nothing like the run-up to 2006. Bill McBride, the author of the prestigious Calculated Risk blog, predicted the last housing bubble and crash. This is what he has to say about today’s housing market:

“It’s not clear at all to me that things are going to slow down significantly in the near future. In 2005, I had a strong sense that the hot market would turn and that, when it turned, things would get very ugly. Today, I don’t have that sense at all, because all of the fundamentals are there. Demand will be high for a while because Millennials need houses. Prices will keep rising for a while because inventory is so low.”

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Reap the Benefits of Your Realtor Even After You’ve Moved

Key Takeaways:

  • Our real estate expertise goes far beyond just buying or selling your home—you can rely on us for quality resources before and after you’ve moved.
  • Whether you’re searching for the best local handyman, a notary, or something else entirely, you can trust our vetted providers to get the job done.
  • If you ever need a real estate recommendation—today or years down the road—just give us a call for personalized advice!

Unlock Our Exclusive Real Estate Recommendations

We like to consider ourselves real estate experts, and we love being able to share our knowledge with you! Throughout our years of working in the housing market, we’ve formed deep relationships with not only our clients, but with local trusted businesses, too. We’ve vetted these vendors ourselves so that you don’t have to play the costly game of trial and error.

Need some personalized recommendations or strategic advice? Here’s how your agent can serve you even after you’ve moved.

Sellers, we don’t stop at “SOLD”

couple with a sold sign

When we say we’re by your side every step of the way, we mean it—which means our services never stop at “SOLD!” Whether we’ve just listed your home or already sold it, we know there’s always more work to be done. Seemingly small details go a long way in making a house a home. We’ve worked with the best professional landscapers, painters, and cleaners in the area—all contacts you need to put the finishing touches on your space.

We consider our clients to be one of our own, which means our exclusive buying and selling resources are always available to you. At any time, you can see if your home value has increased using our free estimator or jumpstart the buying process after you sell with our advanced search tool. Our real estate professionals have gained invaluable experience in working with our clients, so we try to return the favor whenever possible by providing in-depth insight.

New homeowners, you’re not done with us yet

Couple holding keys to a home

We loved helping you find your dream home so much that we want to keep working with you—and honestly, we think we’re going to need each other! Homeownership is a huge investment, so you want your new place to be in tip-top shape at all times.

First things first, it’s important to change your locks when you move into your home, since you don’t know who might have a copy of your keys. Don’t know of a local locksmith? Don’t worry, we’ll open some doors for you! Don’t let a household repair linger just because you don’t know a trusted provider who can get the job done. Whether you’re looking for a handyman to lend a helping hand on a home project or need repairs for your HVAC, you can count on our personalized recommendations for the most reliable providers in the area!

And for when you’ve been watching (maybe too much) HGTV

Older couple talking about renovations

We get it, watching Fixer Upper makes you want to DIY your entire home, especially if you’re thinking about listing soon or just moved in. But for when you’re not in the mood to do it all yourself, we’ve got contacts for everything from new light fixtures to full-on home renovations. Our desire for you to live in your dream home doesn’t stop when you sign the closing documents, and we will always be available to help with any home improvements.

Want Access to Our Preferred Vendors?

Working with a top-notch real estate agent means you’ve gained a partner for life. So when anything comes up in your buying, selling, or homeownership journey, just give us a call!

Whether you’re at the beginning of the selling process or have already bought your dream home, you can always rely on us to connect you with the area’s best vendors. Contact us today for any recommendations you may need—and don’t forget, we’re locals too, and we love to catch up with our clients!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Practical Tips to Declutter Your Home (and Keep It That Way)

As more of us become aware of the fact that we might have too much stuff laying around, decluttering has gone from an occasional chore to a lifestyle trend. This is a positive shift, especially given the global problems caused by waste, but it can be difficult to know how to go about it. 

The facts are, a less cluttered house can reduce your stress and lead to a happier life according to clinical psychologist Jaime Zuckerman. Not only is it good for your mental health, it can also be good for your wallet as decluttering and taking care of cleaning and tidying projects can actually increase your home appraisal.

Some people call in “decluttering experts,” but the truth is that unless you have a hoarding situation on your hands, you don’t need this service. Courtesy of The Licata Group, here are some tips for how you can minimize and declutter on your own. 

Thinking of purchasing or selling a property? The Licata Group can help you navigate the Lake of the Woods housing market. Call us today at (540) 388-2541.

Pick a Decluttering Strategy

If you don’t know where to start with decluttering, there are many existing strategies you can use. These range from the now-famous KonMari method of sorting and decluttering possessions to the Minimalist Game, where you get rid of an increasing number of things based on the day of the month. Pick one that seems doable for you, and you may find the structure of a defined method helps you actually follow through.

Make Plans for Getting Rid of Stuff

What do you do with the bags of stuff you’ve decided to get rid of? Whether you’re going to the recycling center or a charity, know exactly when, where, and how you’ll tackle things. Alternatively, arrange a pick-up from an organization that offers that service. 

Additionally, if you have any large, bulky items you no longer need, consider hiring junk haulers to properly dispose of them. In addition to appliances, professional removal services will handle things like mattresses, carpeting, and furniture. What’s more, they’ll make sure these items end up where they belong, whether it’s a junkyard or a local recycling center.

Hack Your Storage Space

Some of us aren’t blessed with a lot of storage space, even post-declutter. Luckily, there are organization hacks to help you with every room in the house. Use under-bed space in the bedroom, invest in furniture and decor that doubles as storage (such as trunks and ottomans), and use narrow spaces (like the one between your fridge and cabinet) to install vertical storage. And if you want to spruce up those shelves and drawers, use removable wallpaper, which you can find in a number of modern looks. This is also a good solution since it’s easy to swap out designs whenever the mood strikes you.

Set Up a Cleaning Schedule

Now that your home is looking tidy and clutter-free, it’s time to keep it clean. Set a regular cleaning schedule — and then stick to it. For some, this could mean setting aside Sunday mornings for cleaning; for others, a weekly schedule with a couple of small daily tasks is easier. Just make sure it fits with your routine and you can actually picture yourself doing it. 

Control Your Buying

According to the Atlantic, Americans bought an average of 66 garments in 2017. Are spending habits like these part of why you had to declutter in the first place? If so, you need to re-evaluate this, or you will end up with a cluttered closet again in a matter of months. 

You don’t have to go full minimalist or swear to never buy anything again, but you can learn to buy less stuff. Buy good-quality items that last longer, remove temptations like email mailing lists and free delivery subscriptions, and buy only items that you have a planned, concrete use for. 

The act of decluttering itself can be fun and exhilarating. It feels great to see a home that feels cleaner, tidier, and more relaxing. Realistically, the hardest part is keeping things that way. The secret to effective decluttering is not to approach it as a one-time exercise, but as a gradual change in your consumer and home maintenance habits. Over time, you will start to value the long-term comfort and ease of a clutter-free home over the intense (but brief) rush of buying and acquiring new stuff.

Photo via Pexels.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Northern Virginia, or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

LOW Veterans Club Honor Deceased on Memorial Day

written by: Fred Pulis, Member, LOW Veterans Club

As the nation gets ready to celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 31, the LOW Veterans Club will provide an impressive outside ceremony honoring those individuals who have died on military active duty during service to their country.  The approximately one-hour event starting at noon at the flagpole in front of the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse will feature several ways of recognizing those individuals who paid the ultimate price of their lives for their country.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day on May 5, 1868 because it was a day to decorate the graves of lost loved ones.  Subsequently the name was changed to Memorial Day and was declared to be a national holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. 

LOW residents and their guests are invited to witness the true meaning of Memorial Day.  Some of the patriotic events include proper raising and lowering of the American Flag, reading of the names of the LOW veterans who died in 2020, description of the historic meaning of Memorial Day, and the presentation of the wreath.  Also, newly assigned LOW Veterans Club bugler, Tom Ackman, is a member of the “Buglers Across America” will perform taps. 

In the spirit and intent of honoring fallen armed forces personnel the LOW Veterans Club recommends the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) a nonprofit organization that funded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall located in Washington, DC.  VVMF has created an In Memory plaque which contains names of the Vietnam veterans who have lost their lives as a result of their service in Vietnam.

Veterans so honored who have succumbed to:  Exposure to Agent Orange; PTSD/Suicide; Cancer; Diabetes; Heart Disease, and Parkinson ’s disease.  For more information contact VVMF at InMemory@vvmf.org.    

For further information about the LOW Veterans Club and its activities, please contact club president Mike Ferguson at 571-972-5313 or email him at colmferguson@msn.com.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Beautiful Townhouse For Sale in Leesburg, VA! 18236 Cypress Point Ter Now SOLD!!

This stunning, stone town home, just steps from the Potomac River, Over 3,800 sq. ft, including a 2-Car Garage, open floor plan with walls of windows, high ceilings, and gleaming hardwood floors. The main level features an inviting foyer, a family room with floor to ceiling stone fireplace and a french door to a lovely deck with amazing views. The family room opens into the gourmet chefs kitchen with center island, breakfast bar, breakfast nook, pantry, granite, custom backsplash, stainless steel appliances. The angled staircase leads to the upper level with Owner’s Suite with a wall of windows, gas fireplace and an en-suite bath with dual vanity, separate shower, soaking tub and walk in cedar closet. The lower level features an incredible great room with gas fireplace with access to a beautiful patio and another bedroom and full bath. You will love River Creek and all the Amenities – Golf Course, Clubhouse with restaurant and fitness center, pools, tennis courts, walking trails along the Potomac River, Kayaking, Basketball Courts, Tot Lots and more!

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com