Category Archives: Real Estate News

Annual Festival of Kites Happening on September, 12th in Richmond, VA!

The annual Festival of Kites is coming back to town on September 12th, at Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia! From 11AM – 6PM you’ll enjoy seeing all the various kites take to the sky, and you’ll definitely want to join in on the fun! Moon bounces and inflatables will also be available for kids and adults to enjoy! If you’re wanting to bring your own kite to fly, you’re more than welcome to, or you can purchase there! Supplies are limited though, so be prepared just in case! If all the kite flying works up an appetite, don’t fret because several food vendors will be setting up, as well as fresh smoothies and other beverages. There will also be an array of various vendors that will be displaying fine art, jewelry crafts and more! This will be a rain or shine event, and admission is FREE, so bring the whole family to join in on the fun!

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

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Decor for Spring

The days are getting longer, temperatures are starting to climb, and the trees are finally starting to turn green again. As spring approaches, it’s a great time to freshen up your decor and add a splash of color to your space. Looking for some quick, easy, and affordable design tips? Here are a few ways to welcome spring into your home…especially if you’re thinking about selling in the next few months!

Our Top Spring Decor Tips

Do Some Spring Cleaning

Person cleaning a kitchen

Before you make any decor updates, it’s crucial to get every inch of your home looking pristine. Spring cleaning involves more than just a little scrubbing—you should take some time to reorganize, too!

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, just start by working room by room and removing any clutter. It may also be beneficial to make “keep,” “donate,” and “throw away” piles to ensure that everything stays in order. After you’ve freed up some space, break out the cleaning supplies and banish any dust, cobwebs, and grime. Don’t have time to do it all yourself? Consider hiring a professional cleaner or organizer.

Incorporate a Little Greenery

Roses in a vase

Want to breathe new life into your home? Take some inspiration from nature! Adding freshly-cut or potted flowers and greenery can turn your house into a home—and if you’re selling, your buyers might appreciate the extra pop of color.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider picking up a ready-made bouquet or some low-maintenance houseplants for your living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Placing them in trendy planters and decorative vases can create an added level of style. For a final splash of spring, try hanging a wreath of seasonal blossoms or greenery on your front door to welcome guests inside.

Add New Accessories

Blue-themed living room

Take some time to get rid of your winter accessories and usher in a brand-new season. Light and bright colors, linens, textured pottery, and raw wood accents are all on-trend this spring, and adding these small details can really elevate your home’s style.

Start by incorporating some new accent pillows and paring down your current accessories in favor of a more curated collection. This is particularly important if you’re getting ready to sell; you’ll want to depersonalize your space, but it should still feel like a home. Hanging some different art on your walls can also help you transition to spring—we recommend floral prints or paintings.

Freshen Up with Inviting Scents

Lit candle in a living room

Is your home smelling a little musty after a long winter? Throw open the windows and freshen up with some invigorating scents…especially if you’ll be inviting buyers into your home.

Before you integrate spring fragrances, however, be sure to eliminate any unpleasant odors first. Once you’ve deodorized, swap out those holiday candles in favor of some fresher aromas. Lavender, fresh cotton, and lemongrass are all great choices, and they won’t be too overpowering.

Don’t Neglect Your Outdoor Space!

Spring patio with a table and chairs

As you prep for the warmer months ahead, the outside of your home matters just as much as the inside. Your outdoor space can really make or break a sale during the spring, as buyers are probably ready to spend some time outside. Even if you aren’t selling soon, your yard, porch, deck, or patio could probably use a little extra attention.

Brush off the winter blues by sweeping away any debris, addressing brown spots on your lawn, and getting rid of any dead or wilting plants. You might also want to incorporate some new outdoor furniture on your deck or patio to show off its potential.

Ready To Sell Your Home This Spring?

If you’re looking for spring decorating tips because you’re planning on selling your home soon, we’d love to help you navigate every step of the process. Feel free to reach out to us for more staging strategies and seller tips—we can even help you list your home with just a few clicks!

New Waterfront Listing! 2405 Lakeview Pkwy in Lake of the Woods, VA Offered at $374,900

You will just fall in love with this adorable home and it’s beautiful lake view! Kitchen has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Walk out onto the deck from Master bedroom to enjoy the view of the lake! A private, 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, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a 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’d like 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. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from the mid-$100,000 to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods! If you would like more information about this property, be sure to click here!

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.

10 Things Buyers Need To Know In A Seller’s Market

When you’re making an investment of any sort, there’s one thing more important than just securing all the funds you need. You also need to do enough research to make sure you’re going to end up making a truly informed decision. And in this regard, real estate investments are no different. Especially if you’re a buyer in a seller’s market – you need to have all the right data and info. And that’s precisely what we’re going to talk about here!

Working With A Proper Realtor

If you’re buying in a seller’s market, before you actually present an offer to your seller of choice; you want to have all the right information. And in order to do that, you need to have the right representation while you’re buying a property. If you’re facing a steep seller’s market, a good real estate agent will make all the difference in the world. For example, they’ll be able to ask all the right questions when talking to the seller’s agent and figure out all of the activity on the home that you need to know about.

Doing Research In A Timely Manner

When you’re buying a home and moving there, you need to do everything you can in regards to making your relocation less expensive than it needs to be. And that means doing all the prerequisite research; not just on the specific property, but on the market in general. Once you’ve gotten the sense of the kind of home you want, or even the preferred neighborhoods that you have in mind; you should start learning all you can about them. This is another thing your real estate agent will be good at, so finding one early on is important.

An informed decision is the only good one!

Separating Needs And Wants

One of the realities of buyers in a seller’s market is pure and simple – you’ll need to get your priorities in order. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a vacation home or a house you’ll primarily be living in. You still need to forego a couple of your less urgent wants and focus on what you truly require. So, a few compromises on the home’s condition, the local amenities, or the location will simply have to happen in a seller’s market; coming to terms with this reality is good for you.

Stay Within Budget

A seller’s market is, as the name suggests – one where, to paraphrase the old adage, buyers can’t be choosers. With this in mind, you need to say goodbye to the idea of presenting low-ball offers to your sellers. Find a price range you’re completely comfortable with, and make sure you stay within it. If you’re hoping that the seller might drop their listed price down to something more acceptable for you; that isn’t one of the smart things to do in a demand-heavy market where sellers have their pick.

Don’t let your chase for a dream home make you unrealistic!

Scheduling Flexibility

Before you can find a good moving company like bluebellmovingandstorage.com to help you out with your relocation to a new home; you will need to do everything in your power to make sure you can nab the right property. And that means one thing – flexibility! You need to learn of the seller’s time schedule and adjust yourself accordingly.

Usually, it’s useful to learn why the seller in question is moving away; that’ll be a great hint in terms of your closing date. If they’re looking to leave in a hurry, they may want someone who can deal with a quick closing date. On the other hand, they may require extra time to relocate. If there are other buyers you’re competing with (and in a seller’s market, there usually are), this will net you bonus points with the seller. Never underestimate goodwill as a factor!

More Cash Upfront

This isn’t something you can always influence, depending on your budget and personal finances. But generally speaking, a seller’s market reasonably favors people who can offer a larger amount of earnest money. This will, logically, pique the seller’s interest in negotiating with you. When sellers have favorable market conditions and receive lots of offers, a big deposit could be what makes the crucial difference.

Having more cash to offer will differentiate you from the rest of the buyers!

Get Personal

Depending on the seller in question, including some humanity and emotion into the equation could also be the deciding factor. For example, you could write up a letter that you’ll include with the purchase offer, in order for the seller to know your personal reasons for buying the home. Try to become friendly with them through the letter as well – for instance, complimenting their home decor or well-kept outdoors.

Remember – many of the sellers still like the home that they’re selling. That’s why they’d also like for the home to go to someone who’s going to love it just as much!

Look For Potential

As we’ve mentioned above, a seller’s market does demand a certain level of compromise from a buyer. That’s why you shouldn’t take any home at face value; try to find the promise and potential within a good property. Perhaps you’ll be able to change a currently unfavorable layout later on?

Don’t Overdo Due Diligence

So far, we’ve talked quite a lot about the importance of making an informed decision. However, you should bear the other side of the coin in mind as well. Remember – real estate markets are a dynamic place. In certain situations, sellers will use the “other people are making offers” ploy as a tactic to get you to panic and agree to a less favorable price. Bear in mind though, that in a seller’s market, this is sometimes truly the case. You need to strike a careful balance between due diligence and overthinking, or the perfect home may slip away!

 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

market stats

February 2020 Lake of the Woods Market Statistics

In February, 16 homes sold in Lake of the Woods.
2 sold between $130-200,000;
1 sold between $200-250,000;
7 sold between $250-300,000; 5 sold between $300-400,000;
1 sold at $600,000.

66 Active Listings for Sale
48 Homes Under Contract
33 Homes Sold since January 1, 2020.

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.

The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

When buying a home, who you choose to work with matters more than you think. Finding the right agent can make or break your entire experience, so it’s important to interview a few candidates before settling on “the one.” Not sure where to start? Here are a few must-ask questions to consider before you pick your buyer’s agent.

How long have you been an agent?

Agent and client talking at a table

Unless you mesh well with a newer agent, it’s usually better to go with someone who has at least a few years of experience under their belt. They’ll have the knowledge you need to navigate the ins and outs of the entire buying process.

Are you a full-time or a part-time agent?

When you’re buying a home, would you rather work with someone who puts in part-time or full-time effort? It’s best to go with a full-time agent that can devote more attention to you and your specific needs.

What experience do you have in my preferred areas?

People talking at a table

If you already know where you want to move, consider collaborating with a real estate pro that has plenty of experience in your target areas. They’ll have the inside scoop on the most popular neighborhoods, price trends, and all the other details you need to know before you buy.

How many clients are you working with right now?

It may seem tempting to use a popular agent—they must be the best if they have a lot of clients, right? This might be true, but you also want to make sure they have the time to take on another buyer. The last thing you want is an agent that has a hard time scheduling showings or returning your calls.

How can I get in touch with you?

Woman texting on a cell phone

Communication is key in the world of real estate, and every agent has a different way of connecting with clients. Be upfront about which method works best for you, and confirm that your agent is willing to reach out in a way that you’re comfortable with. 

What’s your availability?

Even if an agent is able to take you on as a client and is willing to communicate, they might have a lot of other things going on in their personal and professional lives. Make sure they’re honest with you about their availability…and that they aren’t jetting off on a 2-week European vacation anytime soon!

What are the conditions of your contract?

People signing a contract

Some buyer’s agents require you to sign a contract before you start touring homes, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, you shouldn’t agree to anything without reading all the terms and conditions, and if you have any concerns, bring them up during the interview.

What’s your commission policy?

Traditionally, the seller pays most (if not all) of your agent’s commission, but it’s still crucial to familiarize yourself with their policies. You don’t want any surprises to come up during the closing, especially if they’re in the form of unexpected fees.

Can you connect me with other professionals?

Women at a table

You’ll work with more than just a real estate agent when you buy a home. If you’re looking for a good home inspector, lender, real estate attorney, repairman, or cleaner, having an agent with a broad professional network is a major plus. 

Can you provide any references?

A great agent should have plenty of references, and they’ll probably be happy to share them with you. If they seem hesitant, try searching for testimonials online or consider going with someone else. You want to choose someone that’s honest and has plenty of 5-star reviews!

Looking for a Top-Notch Agent?

If you’re looking for the right real estate agent to suit your needs, we’d love to offer you our expertise! Feel free to give us a call to learn more about the tools we offer our buyers—we’re always here to lend a helping hand or answer any lingering questions.

4 Easy, Low-Budget Projects Buyers Will Love

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to impress buyers. In fact, making just a few small changes can have a lasting impact and help you secure a sale. Here are four easy, low-budget projects you can do on your own—and buyers will love the results!

Updating Hardware and Fixtures

Faucet with running water

Does your kitchen feel a little drab? Is your bathroom still stuck in the 1990s? You probably don’t have to undertake an entire renovation to bring your space into the new decade—adding some updated hardware and fixtures just might do the trick! Today’s buyers are looking for modern yet timeless finishes, so oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, or matte black are all great choices. 

Start by checking out your light fixtures, faucets, or shower heads. Do they look dingy, worn, or out of style? If you’ve tackled a few DIY projects in the past, you can probably update them yourself. For an even easier change, try replacing the pulls on your cabinets—it only costs a few dollars.

Adding Some Fresh Paint

Paint roller

Adding a fresh coat of paint is an easy (and inexpensive!) way to update a room, but it’s crucial to choose the right color to enhance your space. While you might love bright hues or eye-catching wallpapers, buyers may feel differently. When in doubt, it’s best to go with a more neutral shade instead of something bold.

However, just because you’re repainting your home with more subdued tones doesn’t mean you’re limited to white or beige. In fact, grays, pale pink, light sage, and even steel blue are all considered “new neutrals.” It’s okay to experiment with a little bit of color, but be sure to ask your agent for a second opinion.

Maximizing Your Storage Space

An organized closet

Dedicated storage space is one of the most highly sought-after features in today’s market—and buyers are willing to pay a premium for it. Even if your home doesn’t have a lot of storage, you can still enhance what you already have with a few small tweaks.

Buyers often prioritize laundry rooms, closets, and pantries, so it’s best to focus on these spaces if you have them. First, start by decluttering and cleaning your storage areas to maximize every square inch. Adding some shelves, woven baskets, or wall-mounted organizers can create even more storage, too.

Improving Your Curb Appeal

Front porch with a plant

Want to make a great first impression? Don’t forget to update the exterior of your home, too! It’s crucial to wow buyers from the moment they drive up to your home—if they don’t like what they see on the outside, they might never make it inside.  

If you want to up your curb appeal, start by taking a look at your home from the street. Do you see any peeling paint, cracked walkways, or overgrown bushes? These are all repairs that you can tackle during a free afternoon, and you won’t even have to enlist the help of a pro. For a really simple fix, try adding a potted plant or a new welcome mat to your porch.

Are You Ready to List?

Selling your home is no easy task…unless you have the right real estate pro on your side! We’re always here to help you navigate the selling process from start to finish, and we have plenty of staging resources to get your home looking its best. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions and let us know if you’re ready to take your next steps.

Best Neighborhoods in Orange County VA for Young Couples

Orange County Virginia is a very nice place to live, judging by the opinion of a vast number of people. It has a lot to offer and yet it has succeeded in keeping a slow, stress-free, and peaceful lifestyle. If you and your significant other are looking for a place to settle down and make a future, we can help you choose among the best neighborhoods in Orange County VA for young couples. You will enjoy immensely and have an opportunity to do some fun things once your move to Orange County is complete.

What makes a neighborhood a good choice for young couples?

When choosing a place to live, young couples should follow certain criteria that will rule their final decision. Their needs and preferences are, understandably, significantly different from those of retirees, college students or graduates, for example. To be perceived as one of the best neighborhoods in Orange County VA for young couples, here are the features a neighborhood has to possess:

  • To be affordable. – Although there are, of course, young couples who can afford a considerably high standard of living, it is much more probable for them to prefer affordable neighborhoods where the costs of living are lower.
  • To have a strong job market. – Numerous job opportunities are an important factor for everybody, not only young couples. If they cannot find a job easily or earn an income they would like to, they opt for relocation and settling down in another city.
  • To be safe. – Safety is one of the most critical features you can expect from a neighborhood. Since young couples mostly consider starting a family in the near future, this is also yet another reason why safety is important.
  • To have a lot of amenities. – We all know very well that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy, right? Hence, young couples like engaging in various activities once they find some free time after work. Luckily, Orange County VA has it all. Whether they are nature lovers, thrill-seekers, or even partygoers, they will find something to enjoy in this area.

Our choice of the best neighborhoods in Orange County VA for young couples

Once we have defined what young couples value most when choosing a place to live, we can suggest a few neighborhoods in this area they might like. Even organizing a long-distance relocation is the sacrifice worth making if you find exactly what you are looking for right here. You will soon realize that Orange County VA has the reputation of one of the most livable and pleasant places to live in the USA for a very good reason.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is a perfect choice for everybody regardless of their age or marital status. Its home to two very beautiful lakes that give plenty of options for recreational activity, and make a nice alternative than driving to the beach. The unemployment rate here is low since there are numerous job opportunities. As safety is one of the key features to look for, we will stress that the gated community prides itself on keeping all the residents safe with the help of their own security that patrol the streets on a regular basis.

There are a lot of things to see and do here, enjoying the various amenities to spending time in nature. If you have a dog, Lake of the Woods should be your first choice, since the place is genuinely dog-friendly. Here you’ll find substantially sized dog park within the neighborhood that is properly secured for both you and your pet to enjoy.

Young couples who are looking for a place to settle down permanently and start a family soon should seriously consider Lake of the Woods. It is a community that’s centered around each other, as well as in a wonderful school district.

Lastly, there are no short supply of activities to keep you entertained, as community driven clubs and events are constantly occurring with new ones sprouting up on a regular basis. At Lake of the Woods, you’re sure to find a place that truly feels like a forever home.

The Town of Gordonsville

Gordonsville is a small charming town with a lot of small shops and cafes. Although it is usually preferred by those who decide to buy a home in Virginia after retirement,  the situation has recently started to change. A very low crime rate and a lot of outdoor amenities attract all those nature lovers and people who live a healthy lifestyle.

The unemployment rate here tends to be on the higher side when compared to the national average, but the vicinity of some bigger towns increases the number of job opportunities due to short commute time. Also, the cost of living is around the national average, so we can say that living in Gordonsville is a good option for young couples.

The Town of Orange

As you might assume, Orange is the seat of Orange County. It has scored an increase in population in recent years as more and more people, young couples included, are desperately trying to run away from the hustle and bustle of urban areas. The cost of living here is a bit on the pricey side. On the other hand, safety, numerous amenities, and excellent educational facilities are a big plus.

What young couples also like here are nice cafes and restaurants with a warm, friendly atmosphere. They can enjoy a night out, entertain themselves, and still avoid the turbulence of big cities.

Final words on the best neighborhoods in Orange County VA for young couples

Living in Orange County VA is appealing for a great number of people. The County offers all a person needs – to earn a substantial income, have a nice, spacious home, get a good education, and enjoy various leisure activities. While some neighborhoods are a better choice than othres, whatever neighborhood you choose, you will not make a mistake. They are very similar and each and one of them has a distinctive charm that young couples will like.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Norther 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

The Essentials for Entertaining Big in a Small Home

homeowner setting dining tableWith the holiday season approaching, many homeowners are starting to plan get-togethers with friends or family. While entertaining can be more of a challenge in a smaller home, it’s not impossible to host a memorable dinner party with your loved ones if you’re working with limited space.
Here are a few tips for throwing a large dinner party in a small area.

Before Guests Arrive, Clean and Clear Your Home

You don’t have to put as much effort into cleaning and decluttering as if you were selling a home; the basics will do.
Put away any unnecessary furniture, home décor, and kitchen appliances before the dinner party. Clean and dust the rooms that guests will visit: bathrooms, the kitchen, and the dining area. If you have pets, don’t forget to vacuum upholstery and stash toys or the litter box out of sight.

Get Creative with Guest Seating

You likely don’t keep a dozen matching chairs in storage just for dinner parties. Show off your creativity by relocating chairs, stools, benches, or ottomans currently in your home around the dinner table.

appetizers on raised food standsMaximize Your Table Space

Invest in a tiered platter for dinner parties. Raising the serving plates gives the appearance of more space on your counters and tables and keeps your serving stations from looking cramped.
To further free up space on your dining room table, keep the centerpiece decorations to a minimum. Instead, hang decorations from your walls or ceiling to maximize your space.

Trying to Make the Most of Your Space?

If you’re downsizing but still want to entertain friends and family in your new home, there are many ways to make the most of your space while still enjoying memorable occasions with your loved ones. As real estate experts, we can share downsizing tips and help you find a home that’s just the right size. Contact us to learn more.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Norther 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